S5: Meet me in Phandalin – Part 2

dndamp-32(December 21st, 2016) – Today’s session begins with the party devising a way to barricade themselves within Klarg’s chamber.  They decide to barricade the exit with crates, and except for a narrow path along the right side, cover the steps leading into the chamber with ball-bearings. They use the bodies of Klarg and the Goblins to block off the chimney leading into the room from the west. Florian takes first watch as the team attempts to get a long rest.


Chapter 1:

Florian takes first watch in Klarg’s chamber while his friends rest. The first two hours go uneventfully, but in the third hour he hears the shuffle of footsteps over the sound of rushing water.

A voice calls out in Goblin, “Master? Master? Klarg?”
Upon hearing this Florian summons the deepest recesses of his voice and calls back in the Goblin tongue, “Go away, I’m sleeping.”
The Goblin nervously stammers back, “Sorry master, sorry! I’ll go back to my post.”

The ruse having worked, Florian hears the footsteps shuffle back into the distance. The remainder of the time goes quietly as the party change places on watch. Having rested for a full eight hours, the party feels refreshed and ready to continue. Florian collects as many ball bearings as he can from the steps as the group moves forward into the room with the waterfall. Two passages lead from the room, one to the west and one to the northwest. Algiz moves to the pools of water to investigate. He finds that someone has damned off the water flowing into the chamber from the waterfall into two separate pools. Nothing else stands out about the water. Seagold checks the stone floor for any type of tracks but is unable to make anything out. For a second he swears he sees dragon tracks, but that’s impossible.

The party move towards the west passage. As they get closer they see that the northwest passage has stairs leading down. Looking back to the west they can see the beginnings of a wooden bridge. Just then a voice calls out in Goblin,

“Identify yourselves! Who goes there?”
“Klarg,” Florian responds, continuing, “Where is the rest of the watch?”
“Master Klarg, watch what? I’m watching the bridge.” the Goblin responds.
“Are you the only one here,” says Florian as he presses the guard for info.
“Yes Master, just like you said,” the nervous Goblin responds.
Florian dismisses him by saying, “You are relieved of your duty.”
The Goblin appreciatively says, “Thank you Master, I’m going to get some food.”
“Carry on,” says Florian.

As the party presses forward they can see the Goblin guard moving away. They continue slowly, crossing the bridge, and following the five-foot wide passage as it bends to the left twenty-five feet ahead. As they round the bend they can see a passage that opens to their left, and a dull, flickering light ahead. Seagold moves forward to scout ahead towards the flickering light. His attempt to do so stealthily is foiled when he slips on some damp stones, tangles his feet, and tumbles to the ground. Suddenly there are shouts of surprise from ahead.

Someone in the distance yells, “Who is it?!?! Who’s down there?!?!?”
Florian tries his luck again by responding, “Klarg!”
The voice in the distance shouts back, “Klarg! We’re about to have dinner, c’mon in!”
Florian asks, “What are you eating?”
The voice responds, “The Human!”

Upon hearing this response the party charge in, surprising a band of Goblins preparing to cook dinner.


Chapter 2:

Seagold is the first to charge into the approximately 25 foot by 15 foot cavern with an escarpment on the southern side with a staircase leading to the top of it. A cooking fire burns on the western side of the chamber. He fires an arrow at one of the Goblins but misses wildly. Florian fires an arrow as well but he too misses his mark. Algiz steps into the room and looses a crossbow bolt. It strikes one of the Goblins tending the cooking fire in the back of the head. The Goblin falls lifeless into the fire sending off a shower of sparks.

Algiz takes the initiative and fires another crossbow bolt but this one fails to find its mark. The Goblins scramble to attack. The first Goblin fires his bow at Algiz but shoots high and wide. A Goblin opposite the cooking fire attempts to fire his bow at Seagold, but as he draws it back the subpar craftsmanship fails and the bow cracks in half. He throws it down in disgust. Another Goblin fires at Florian and manages to find a chink in his armor. The remaining Goblin fires his bow at Algiz and also eludes his defenses to land good hit. Seagold fires an arrow in return but the Goblin manages to evade the shot. Another Goblin is not so lucky as Florian drives an arrow deep into his chest killing him.

Algiz fires his crossbow at the Goblin opposite the fire and lands a killing blow to the throat. The Goblin who broke his bow draws is scimitar and charges forward towards Algiz. He makes an awkward swipe that Algiz easily deflects away with his shield. The other Goblin fires his bow at Seagold and lands an arrow hit. Seagold fires his bow back in return but his aim is unsteady from the hit and he misses high. Florian fires his bow at the Goblin attacking Seagold and lands an arrow but fails to bring him down.

Algiz draws a dagger and plunges it into the Goblin in front of him, but the Goblin remains on his feet. The Goblin attacking Seagold fires another arrow at him but this one sails harmlessly past to shatter against the stone wall. Suddenly an unseen Goblin leaps from above and lands on Florian’s back. Florian tries to shrug him off but the Goblin holds on. Seagold turns and fires an arrow at this Goblin and buries it deep in his side. The Goblin slides off of Florian and falls to the floor to expire. Florian runs up the staircase to the southwest which leads to the top of the escarpment. When Florian gets to the top he sees a Goblin holding a scimitar and dragging a bound and severely beaten human towards the edge of the escarpment. He looks at Florian and yells, “Truce, or the human dies!” Florian immediately recognize the beaten human as none other than Sildar Hallwinter! Sildar, bruised and beaten, shouts out, “Don’t believe him, he’s lying!”

Heeding the advice, Florian fires his bow without hesitation sinking an arrow into the Goblin. The Goblin grimaces in pain.

Down below the escarpment, Algiz swings his mace at a remaining Goblin who parries with his scimitar to the sound of a loud clang. The Goblin counters but finds only air. The Goblin holding Sildar shoves him over the escarpment and charges Florian. Faking one direction and swinging another the Goblin eludes Florian’s defense and lands a wicked blow. Florian staggers back, falling to the ground and dropping his sword. Below, Seagold fires an arrow at the Goblin on the other side of the cooking fire. The arrow buries itself to the feathers in the Goblins chest and it collapses to the cavern floor. Seagold runs up the steps to find the Goblin standing over Florian’s body.

Algiz follows up with a swing at his opponent and this time lands a crushing blow, dropping the goblin to the floor. He too moves to the top of the stairs. The Goblin on the upper level turns his attention to Seagold and slashes him hard across the thigh. Seagold, armed with his bow and standing a bit too close to the Goblin attempts to hit him with an arrow. He fires wide as the Goblin knocks aside his bow.

Algiz, seeing Florian severely injured, quickly casts a healing spell on him. Florian stabilizes and begins to stir. The Goblin slices again at Seagold but he dodges the swipe this time. Seagold steps back slightly to increase the distance and this time drives an arrow through the right eye of the Goblin, ending the battle.


Chapter 3:

Algiz rushes down to Sildar and finds him unconscious and slipping away. Algiz calls down Seagold to assist. He casts a healing spell on Sildar whose eyes flutter open. He coughs loudly as he comes to his senses.

“Thank you. Thank you for rescuing me,” he gasps.
Algiz pats him on the shoulder saying, “No problem. Have you seen Gundren? When is the last time you saw him?”
Sildar looking saddened says, “They took him, they took him to Cragmaw Castle.”
“Where?”
“Cragmaw Castle,” he replies. “Cragmaw Castle is where the Chieftain of the Goblins lives. I don’t know where it is though, I just know they took Gundren there. Klarg, you seen the Bugbear, right? Have you seen him, is he still alive?”
“No, he’s dead, we took care of him.
“I overhead them talking. Klarg, he had orders. He had orders from someone called the Black Spider. His orders were to waylay us and to get the map that Gundren was carrying. He was to bring it back to the Black Spider,” Sildar explains.
Algiz raises his eyebrows, “What was the map to?”
The map was…oh I’m so tired,” Sildar states suddenly looking very weary, “to the secret location to where the Wave Echo Cave has been rediscovered.”
Algiz looks concernedly at Sildar and asks, “Will you be able to travel with us? Do you think you can?”
Getting to his feet Sildar replies, “Thanks to your healing spell I think I can.”
“We need to get you…”
“You need to get me to Phandalin,” Sildar states emphatically.

Florian drinks a healing potion in order to heal his mangled arm. The three of them then search the Goblin corpses finding a total of 31 silver pieces and 3 gold teeth. Searching a little more thoroughly, Florian finds 4 gold pieces, a blue gem, and a Playgoblin magazine stuffed under a mattress.

Sildar interrupts the treasure hunt stating, “Gentlemen we should be going. I will pay you 50 gold pieces to escort me back to Phandalin. I don’t have the money on me, but I will secure a loan when we get there.”
Algiz answers quickly, “Alright.”
Sildar asks, “Do you still have the provisions?”
Algiz explains, “We hid the wagon away, hopefully it’s still there. We’ll see when we get out there.”
“Very well.”

Sildar arms himself with a scimitar and bow from a fallen Goblin while the party discusses what to do next. Consensus is reached. The party decides it’s time to exit the cave and make their way back to the wagon of supplies. Seagold takes point and begins to lead the group out. Reaching the stairs to the north in the Twin Pools cave, he decides to move stealthily down the steps. Unfortunately, Seagold fails to spot a handful of ball-bearings which have managed to roll their way to the top of the landing. These are some of the ball-bearings that were not picked up during the haste to move after an earlier encounter. Seagold loses his balance and tumbles hard down the steps and to the landing below. He’s bloodied, but nothing hurts more than his pride.

Sildar smirks and says “You are an impressive bunch.”

Algiz takes the lead now and the group continues moving out of the cave. They begin to hear the sound of stone being struck echo through the cave. Algiz yells “Someone is breaking down the dam, run!” The party begins to run as the sounds of rushing water fill the cave. They exit the cave safely seconds before rushing water bursts from the cave entrance and then rushes downstream.

Panting, Sildar says “That was a close one.”


Chapter 4
:

The party makes their way back down the path, avoiding the snare trap from earlier. They approach the location where they hid the wagon of supplies earlier and spot a figure standing alongside it and reaching into the cart. Seagold nocks an arrow and fires it into the side of wagon next to the unknown figure. The figure spins around and is recognized immediately.

Algiz exclaims, “Mozi! What are you doing here?”
Seagold, surprised, says “What the fuck?!?!”
Mozi looks relieved saying “I thought something happened to you! I was trying to find out what happened. You left the town without me. I went down the trail trying to find you and I saw the horses in the road. I though the worst. I searched the area and I found the cart but didn’t see you anywhere. I began to search the cart for clues.”
Algiz shrugs his shoulders and says, “Well, heh, we got a a little tied up.”
Seagold adds, “We were waylaid.”
Algiz continues, “We knew the horses belonged to Sildar and Gundren. We followed a trail to a cave where we found Sildar. We need to find Gundren still but apparently, he’s been taken to Cragmaw Castle.”
“Cragmaw Castle? I’ve never heard of it,” says Mozi looking off into space as if trying to recall some forgotten knowledge.
We need to get there, but first we need to get Sildar back to Phandalin,” Algiz explains pointing a thumb at Sildar, “We would appreciate any help you can give us right now.”
Mozi smiles and says “I would be happy to come with you.”

Mozi leans over and whispers into the oxen’s ear and the cart begins to move forward. He leaps to the seat of the wagon and takes the reigns. “Let’s go!” he barks out. The party climbs onto the wagon as Mozi guides it back towards Triboar Trail. Heading southwest and then turning south, the party soon see the lights of Phandalin in the distance. The evening grows dark. “Well gentleman, it looks like we are almost there” Mozi states. As they draw nearer they see a town of roughly forty to fifty wooden buildings surrounded by older crumbling homes covered with ivy. This suggests that the town must have been much larger long ago. A ruined manor house stands elevated on the east side of town. Some town folk look up from their chores to eyeball the new arrivals, but soon turn away uninterested.

Sildar wearily says “My friends, let us secure lodgings. I’m told the local inn is very quaint.”

The party makes their way into town and to the Stonehill Inn. Florian attempts to quickly make his way to the bar but is horse-collared by Seagold. Moving as a group, they enter the inn and head to a small table which passes as the front desk.

In Klarg’s voice to the handsome barkeep, “You want to be my Bugbear tonight?” – Tim

Sildar speaks to the inn keeper briefly then turns to the party and says, “Gentleman, if you don’t mind I need to rest. I’m going to head to my room.”
Algiz chuckles, “When can we get our 50 gold pieces?”
“When I awaken,” he explains, “I will acquire the gold I promised you.”
Algiz, not sure if he trusts Sildar, asks “Well, what room are you in?”
“Room 407,” he says backing slowly towards the steps before turning and heading up.

After a bit of haggling, the party acquires rooms for a reduced price. The innkeeper introduces himself as Toblin Stonehill. He relays to the characters that he was once a miner but found the profit in innkeeping far higher and far safer. “Where are you from?” he asks the party.
“Elmarch,” they respond almost in unison.
“Elmarch? We’ve received word that Elmarch was in trouble,” Toblin says looking up from his guest book.
“What kind of news have you heard?” asks Algiz.
“We’ve heard there was a raid, and the village was partially burned.” he replies looking back to his guest book and scribbling.
“Yes, the village was partially burned but they are in the process of rebuilding. A lot of people did lose their lives,” Algiz says somberly.
“That’s a shame,” Toblin says as his jaw tightens, then continues “If I have one piece of advice for you while in town, it’s keep an eye out for the Redbrands.”
Florian’s ears perk up “Who are the Redbrands?”
Toblin answers “The Redbrands are a group of ruffians who have been bullying people in town. This town is recovering and doesn’t have much of a watch or army of any sort. The Town Master Harbin, he does nothing to curtail them, and they run roughshod over the entire town. Be careful of them.”
Algiz asks “How can we identify them?”
Toblin, mimicking pulling a cloak over his shoulders, responds “They wear cloaks of red.”

Seagold and Algiz head to their rooms for some much-needed rest. Florian, still feeling fresh, heads to the bar and orders a drink. Toblin, pulling double duty at both the front desk and bar, pours him a mug of ale.

Florian takes a long swig, wipes his mouth and asks “What fun is there to be had in this town?”
“Well, you know we’re kind of a recovering town so there is not a lot to do for fun,” he says as he wipes the bar, “You will find things like Barthen’s Provisions, a shop that sells weapons and armor called the Lionshield Coster, and a shrine.”
“To which deity?” Florian asks taking another swig.
“It is the Shrine of Luck,” he answers.
“I’ll have another mug of your finest ale,” says Florian polishing off his first mug.
“I recommend a pint of our Triboar Ale named after the Triboar Trail that leads here,” says Toblin reaching for a pitcher of brown liquid.
“How much is it?”
“Two copper pieces,” he replies as he pours a mug to the top.

Florian reaches into his pouch and returns with three copper pieces, two for the ale and one for a tip.

Toblin nods his head and says, “Thank you sir, thank you kindly.”

Florian picks up his mug and heads outside to where the oxen and cart of provisions are tied up. He finds Mozi resting atop the cart.

Mozi sees him approaching and asks, “What are we doing with this cart?”
“We have to drop it off at Barthen’s Provisions, but they’re closed for the night,” he replies.
“We’re not going to be able to leave this here, it’s too valuable,” says Mozi waving a hand in the air over the cart.
Florian climbs up onto the wagon saying “We’ll watch it for the night, I’ll join you.”

Night settles across the town.


Chapter 5:

The sun rises as the party awakens to what appears to be a pleasant morning. They meet downstairs in front of the inn. Soon Sildar exits the inn to join them.

Sildar walks up to the party, exchanges pleasantries, and says, “I think the first thing we need to do is get this cart over to Barthen’s Provisions.”
“I think the first thing you need to do is give me that 50 gold pieces,” Algiz says sarcastically.
“Let’s get the cart back to Barthen’s Provisions and then I will secure a loan and get you the 50 gold pieces I promised,” he replies defensively.
Algiz smiles and says “I’m just busting your balls, Sildar.”

The party makes their way through town to Barthen’s Provisions. Pulling the cart up front they see an older, human man inside, apparently the guy in charge, standing behind a large table and stocking shelves. Two other employees scurry about the store at his direction. One of the employees approaches Mozi and takes the reigns.

“What would you like us to do with these supplies?” the unidentified man asks.
Ignoring him, Sildar says, “Let’s go in and talk to Barthen, he’ll remember me.”

Algiz and Seagold accompany Sildar inside while the rest wait at the cart.

“Well son of a bitch,” exclaims the old man, “you finally made it! What took so long?”
Sildar explains, “Well, we ran into some trouble.”

He continues on relaying the details that brought them there so late and why. He includes he and Gundren’s capture as well as his subsequent rescue at the hands of the party. The party notices he refers to the shopkeeper as Elmar and not Barthen. Eventually Sildar wraps up his story.

“Thanks to these gentleman with us,” Sildar says waving to the party, “we did bring the provisions, and everything is as we said it would be.”
Elmar, wringing his hands says, “Ah, so bad to hear what happened to Gundren and Elmarch,” a genuine tone reflecting through, “I’m glad you came with my supplies though. Here is the money that I owe you.”

Elmar reaches under the table and returns with a metal box. He opens it and counts out not 25 but 30, giving each member of the party an additional 5 gold pieces. Algiz notices he even gives Sildar a 30 gold piece cut.

“A deal’s a deal, and you guys went through a lot to bring this to me,” Elmar says as he closes and returns the metal box below the table, “I really appreciate it.”
Sildar turns to Algiz and counts off 5 gold pieces handing the rest to him, “Here is 25 gold, I will keep 5 for myself. I’ll get you 25 more.”
“Tell ya what, don’t worry about it,” replies Algiz.
With a look of shock and surprise on his face, Seagold stammers out, “What!?!?”
Elmar breaks in before anything else can be said, “Gundren was a good friend of mine,” before being cut off by Algiz.
“He’s dead though.”
“I think maybe you should try to find out,” Elmar continues, “You obviously survived these great adventures, you seem more than capable.”
Seagold states matter-of-factly, “I’m more than capable, I’m a dead-eye.”

Elmar thinks to himself that maybe he overestimated them after all.

“Hmmmm, that reminds me,” Elmar says, rubbing his chin, “Gundren’s brothers were camped outside of town. I have not seen them in a ten-day. I hope nothing bad has befallen them as well, that would be terrible.”
Algiz turns to Sildar and asks, “Are you staying in town or looking to adventure with us?”
Sildar answers, “I think that is an adventure I will have to leave to you. I have other business to attend to. You may not have noticed, but I am part of the Lord’s Alliance. We are a group of allied political powers concerned with the security and prosperity of the area. I originally linked up with Gundren because I knew he was coming to Phandalin, and there was somebody here I needed to find. Somebody who is part of our organization who I have not heard from for many weeks. It is imperative that I find that person.”
“Sildar, if we needed to find you, where would we look?”
“Well, I don’t plan to leave Phandalin,” Sildar responds as he leans over to adjust his boot, “This is the last known location of the person that I seek. I will spend some time searching the town and asking people about his whereabouts.”
Algiz reaches his hand out to Sildar, “Well, good luck to you.”
“Thank you, and thank you for rescuing me,” Sildar says taking Algiz’s hand in a firm handshake.
“You’re very welcome,” Algiz responds, “and we will do what we can to find Gundren, and let you know.”
“That would be fantastic.”

Algiz turns to Elmar and asks, “Have you heard of Cragmaw Castle or Wave Echo Cave?”
“Cragmaw Castle you say, I’ve heard rumors of Cragmaw Castle. It’s a Goblin stronghold,” Elmar says as he rummages through a wooden crate, “supposedly nearby, but I don’t know where it is.”
“Have you heard of Wave Echo Cave?” Algiz asks.
Continuing to fumble in the wooden crate, Elmar chuckles and responds, “Wave Echo Cave, of course I’ve heard of Wave Echo Cave. Who hasn’t heard of Wave Echo Cave? You don’t know what Wave Echo Cave is?”
“I’ve never heard of it, why is it so funny?” Algiz asks.
Elmar let’s out a sigh as his eyes focus out into the distance. “Well, let me tell you a story…”

More than five hundred years ago, clans of dwarves and gnomes made an agreement known as the Phandelver’s Pact, by which they would share a rich mine in a wondrous cavern known as Wave Echo Cave. In addition to its mineral wealth, the mine contained great magical power. Human spellcasters allied themselves with the dwarves and gnomes to channel and bind that energy into a great forge called the Forge of Spells, here magic items could be crafted. Times were good, and the nearby human town of Phandalin prospered as well. But then disaster struck when orcs swept through the North and laid waste to all in their path. A powerful force of orcs reinforced by evil mercenary wizards attacked Wave Echo Cave to seize its riches and magic treasures. Human wizards fought alongside their dwarf and gnome allies to defend the Forge of Spells, and the ensuing spell battle destroyed much of the cavern. Few survived the cave-ins and tremors, and the location of Wave Echo Cave was lost.
“You know anybody who might now of its location?” Algiz asks.
Elmar reaches onto a store shelf behind him and straightens some goods on display, “I do not know, but I know for centuries these rumors of buried riches have attracted treasure seekers and opportunists onto the area around Phandalin. No one has ever succeeded in locating the lost mine. In recent years people have resettled the area. Phandalin is now a rough and tumble frontier town,” Elmar turns to face the party and continues, “More importantly, the Rockseeker brothers have supposedly rediscovered the entrance to Wave Echo Cave, and they intend to reopen the mine.”

Just then the sounds of horses and hoofbeats are heard outside the store. Mozi and Florian, hard at work unloading the wagon of provisions, see three horses gallop up. Atop the horses ride three men in red cloaks. The riders pull up in front of the store, dismount, and tie up their steeds. They eyeball Mozi and Florian.

“New in town, huh?” asks one of the ruffians.
Florian replies, “Yup.”
“Well, if you’re new in town then you must know about the ‘new towns-person fee’,” another of the ruffians says with a smirk on his face.
“I already paid it, get the hell out of here.”
“Oh you think you’re a tough guy huh? You’re funny, huh?”
“Yeah.”

One of the ruffians with a thick mustache steps forward and unexpectedly smacks Florian across the face with the back of his hand.

“The fee just went up to 20 gold pieces,” the mustached man says placing his hands on his hips. His red-cloaked companions move their hands to their sword hilts menacingly.

Florian yells to Mozi to get help as he draws his two swords. He surprises the mustachioed man with two quick swipes of his blades. The mustachioed man staggers back and clumsily attempts to draw his sword, but it slips from his grip and clangs onto the steps of the shop. The two ruffians rush up drawing their long swords. Florian deftly sidesteps the first swipe, but the swipe from the second ruffian draws blood.

Mozi runs into shop yelling, “Guys come quick, the Redbrands are fighting with Florian.”

Florian again swipes at the mustachioed man, but this time the unarmed ruffian is ready and steps back from the attack. He reaches into his waistband and draws a dagger, thrusts forward, but glances it off Florian’s armor. A ruffian brings down an overhand swing that Floran parries with his short swords. The second ruffian runs after Mozi and into the shop. Florian awkwardly swipes at him as he passes by, but the momentum of the man knocks the short sword from his grip and onto the ground. As the man makes it into the shop, Mozi is waiting and cracks him across the chest with his staff.

Florian uses his remaining short sword to strike at the man in front of him, but it lands with a thud in his shield.

Inside the shop Algiz steps to a window and casts Sacred Flame on a ruffian outside. The glint of the glass obscures his vision just enough to cause the flame to descend left of the target.

Elmar screams out, “Not in here! Not in here!”

Seagold draws down on the ruffian in the shop and sinks an arrow into his chest. The ruffian’s feet fly up from underneath him and he crashes dead to the wooden floor.

“I’m in so much trouble, my business is ruined! The Redbrands will never forgive me!” cries Elmar placing his face into his hands.

The mustachioed man fakes a dagger thrust but instead launches a punch. Florian shrugs to catch it on the shoulder-armor and the man shrieks in pain to a crunching sound. The second ruffian swings low with this sword and catches Florian across the thigh. Mozi charges outside and lands a vicious ball-kick to the mustachioed man who is clutching his busted hand. His eyes roll back in his head as he drops to his knees grabbing his crotch, the pain in his hand forgotten.

Florian steps around the kneeling man and thrusts at the remaining ruffian. The ruffian blocks the attempt with his shield. Algiz runs outside with his mace and swings at the kneeling man. He lands a blow to his shoulder. It glances off, but not completely. Seagold also exits to the store porch and fires an arrow at the standing ruffian, but the shot goes wide, sticking into the supply wagon behind him. The standing ruffian slices at Florian again but the blow is parried.

The mustachioed man, clutching his crotch, croaks, “Stop! No! No more!”

Mozi, in answer, cracks his staff over the top of his head. There is a sickening crunch, and the mustachioed man falls face-first to the ground.

Florain counters from his parry and slashes the remaining ruffian across the forearm. Algiz moves behind the ruffian and punches him in the back of the head in an attempt to knock him out. The man’s head snaps forward but he maintains consciousness. Seagold tosses his bow to the ground and rushes forward to drive a shoulder into the ruffian. The man grunts as the wind is knocked out him. He falls backwards with Seagold on top of him. The downed man pulls a dagger from his belt and attempts to stick it in Seagold’s ribs but he is unable to penetrate the armor for lack of leverage. Mozi drops a punch on the prone man knocking him out cold.

Mozi stands up, dusting himself off exclaiming, “That was fun, I haven’t done that in so long!”

The party rummages through the possessions of the dead men and collect some coins and silver ring. They also remove and take their red cloaks for possible later use.

Elmar stands on the shop porch surveying the scene. “Oh no, what have you done?”

 

Epilogue:

Florian removes the weapons from the unconscious man. Seagold takes his right arm and ties it behind the man’s back. He grabs him by the left arm and drags him to the porch placing his left hand on top of the wooden deck. He draws a dagger, places it over the man’s fingers, and then wakes him up.

The man comes to but is dazed, “Huh? What?”

“I’m going to ask you a series of questions. If you don’t answer to our satisfaction I’m going to cut your fingers off one by one.”

The man stares at him blankly.

“Who the fuck do you guys think you are?”
“We’re the Readbrands, and we run this town. You’re going to find out soon enough,” the ruffian states matter-of-factly.
“How many are you?” Florain asks.
“We are many.”

Seagold attempts to cut off his finger but is stopped by Algiz.

“I’m going to give you a chance, or he will cut off your finger. Who is in charge of the Redbrands? You better come up with an answer quick because I can only keep him under control for so long,” Algiz says raising his chin in indication at Seagold.
“We all answer to Glasstaff.”
Seagold asks, “Where can we find him?”
“He’s nowhere, he’s everywhere,” the ruffian says defiantly.

Seagold plunges the dagger into the back of his hand. The ruffian screams out in pain.

“Did that help clear up your memory?” asks Seagold.
Algiz says sternly, “Where can we find Glasstaff?”
“He’s at the Redbrand hideout! He’s at the Redbrand hideout! That’s all I know!” the ruffian says in a panic.
“Do I have to stab you again? Where is the hideout?” asks Seagold
“I’ve never been to the hideout! Only high-level people are allowed in the hideout, you have to believe me!”

The party confers on what to do next. Mozi is leaning on his staff looking disinterested. They decide to take him to the Town Master. The party loads the two corpses into the back of the ox-drawn wagon along with the tied up prisoner. Taking control of the three horses left by the ruffians, they head-off towards the Town Master’s office.

The doors to Barthen’s Provisions slam and the sound of locks being engaged can be heard as they ride away.

 

Food:

A large iron kettle of homemade chili.

 

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What will the Town Master say? Will he be helpful? Will he throw the party in jail? Will the Redbrands exact their revenge?