Having just directed the wounded Sildar Hallwinter to await them at the goblin campsite just outside, the party continued to clear the mine of enemies (passing by the wolf den for now). They swiftly trounced all goblins they came across, save for one that managed to dart further in. They finally were ambushed in the final room by several wolves, goblins, and the leader, the ferocious bugbear Klarg wielding a large morningstar. After an arduous skirmish, the party emerged victorious. They returned outside to their new ally in waiting, and set off to Phandalin.
Once at the town proper, Sildar excused himself to the Stonehill Inn to recuperate before securing a loan to pay the adventurers for the escort. Our adventurers proceeded to return their wagonload to Barthen’s Provisions as contracted, then briefly explore the town. They gathered some rumors from the locals — mostly information of the local gang running amok. They also were offered some opportunities to make some coin: to investigate the appearance of undead at the Old Owl Well on behalf of the retired adventurer Daran Edermath, to find out the whereabouts of the legendary tome Bogentle’s Spellbook from the lich Agatha on behalf of Sister Garaele, and to kill the leader of the Redbrands, Glasstaff, on behalf of Halia Thornton.
Sobaka, being a drow elf, thought himself suitable for entrance into the Sleeping Giant tap house, but he is immediately challenged upon entry. Sensing a fight looming with the entirety of the seedy bar patronage — primarily by getting punched at for not leaving — Sobaka grudgingly cut his efforts to assimilate and left.
Meanwhile, Meridan spoke to the hospitable halfling Qelline Alderleaf, who offered to let her friends sleep in her hayloft free of charge, and her son Carp, who pointed out to Meridan the secret entrance to the Redbrands’ hideout beneath Tresendar Manor. Before Meridan departed, Qelline also suggested that she and her friends pay a visit to Reidoth the Druid, who recently set out for the ruins of Thundertree, if they need any help locating any particular locations since he knows every inch of the land.
Upon retiring to the Stonehill Inn for the night, the two made it in time to see that Enigrim Timberbottom had set to perform a night of storytelling for the Stonehill patrons. His performance was relatively good, though he did manage to attract the attention of a couple gnome girls who followed him to his room and spent several hours doing whatever mutually consenting gnomes do.
The next day, the group was confronted by a quartet of Redbrand ruffians who demanded all their items. Refusing, a fight quickly broke out, leaving the party little option but to follow up with the Redbrands.
The party set out for the secret entrance they were told about, finding a couple Redbrands guarding the exit. Meridan charmed the crap out of them and was able to get a bit of information out of them. Fearing punishment of death from their leader Glastaff, the two couldn’t allow the party to freely pass into the hideout, despite Daegras’ pleas for them to surrender and be spared.
The tunnel led to an underground cavern featuring a large 10-foot crevasse. As they entered, the adventurers’ heads became filled with territorial murmurings and demands for food. It soon became apparent that this was an actual creature telepathically communicating with them. Offering to let the creature feast on Redbrand flesh, the creature allowed them passage.
The party soon came across three bugbears torturing a small goblin in a room, who immediately fainted at the sight of the adventurers, who skillfully dispatched the aggressors. Restraining the goblin as a precaution, the characters woke him, who turned out to be nonhostile goblin named Droop who offered to help them navigate the area in return for protection.
The characters proceeded to explore the hideout, coming across a small group of ruffians sitting around a table and gambling noisily who were soon cut down. The next room featured ambelics, retorts, distillation coils, and other alchemical devices stewing and bubbling away, apparently set up to brew potions of invisibility. They also noticed a tome written in Dwarvish, though none of the adventurers were familiar with the language. A curious rat took refuge beneath the table, and after a curiously desperate chase, Enigrim managed to snatch him with the help of a parlor trick and calm the creature.
The next room led to a bedchamber draped with scarlet cloths and furnished with several bookshelves, a small writing desk and matching chair, and a comfortable-looking bed with a wooden chest at its foot left ajar, which contained some valuable gems and a notable sum of coins. They also note the secret door left slightly ajar.
The party passes through the doorway, returning to the north end of the crevasse area and passing through another secret door to a small hallway. They quickly check the armory to the east, then enter the crypt to the south, where three skeletons animate in their presence but are quickly defeated.** Noticing two doors, the group opts to investigate the smaller door on the northern east wall. Stealthily, they open the door — and come face-to-face with another Ruffian, readied to ambush the next person to walk through. . .