SOCIAL JUSTICE WIZARDS

Session 5: Glasstaff’s House of Cockney Accents

The party gets a good night’s rest at the inn and sets out to get Glasstaff first thing in the morning. Scratch that: first they go SHOPPING. Halia had alerted the party to the presence of Lionshield Coster, a weaponry and supply vendor up the street.

The shopkeep, Linene Graywind, is unhappy–her last shipment never arrived and she suspects bandits–and she is unwilling to sell weapons to strangers who might be Redbrands. Tipsy volunteers the location of the stolen goods in the Cragmaw Hideout, and the party assures Linene that Halia vouches for them, so she welcomes them into the back room and gives them for store credit for the hot tip. Everyone gets some new toys, including caltrops, garrote wire, and a big nasty maul, then it’s off to see the wizard.

Hank and Tipsy are expected at the manor with their “stolen” goods, so they go straight to the front door. The rest of the gang sneaks out to the Alderleaf farm, where young Carp guides them to the secret entrance he spotted. Both groups enter the hideout.

Hank and Tipsy are met by Jarleth and another Redbrand, who lead them in through the cellar of Tresendar Manor and through the first of many secret doors. Meanwhile the other four have emerged into a supernaturally chilly crevasse, where an unseen entity starts chattering away at them telepathically. They manage to avoid detection as Jarleth, Hank, and Tipsy cross a walkway overhead and progress deeper into the hideout, but are left dealing with their unknown monster.

The crevasse turns out to be full of slowly decaying, half eaten corpses, including the bodies of Thel Dendrar the woodworker, and…Harbin Wester, the townmaster. His body in particular has clearly been in the crevasse for a long period of time, and they just saw him alive yesterday.

The creature in the pit agrees to let them pass if they don’t disturb its treasure, and if they can bring it more bodies to eat. They decide that bodies ought to be available verrry soooon, eheheheh.

Hank and Tipsy are told to chill out in the breakroom, where 4 drunk Redbrands are engaged in a high-stakes dice game. Tipsy helps herself to some booze and wins at craps (like for real, her player rolled a pair of dice and fucking won some real actual street craps) which upsets one particularly big, particularly drunk Redbrand, henceforth known as Big Dumb James. Big Dumb James is very upset because his sister, Big Jessica, is dead. Hank is doing his best to make friends when Jarleth returns to grab Hank and Tipsy–Glasstaff is ready to see them.

They cross the hall to the wizard’s workshop, where they discover that Glasstaff is none of than the missing Lord’s Alliance agent Iarno Albrek.

He and Tipsy share a brief, unpleasant reunion before he charges the two with trying to fool him. He is fully aware that the ledger is an old copy, and suspects that something is up. He flings the book at Hank who barely escapes being caught by the book’s glyph of warding booby trap, and a fight breaks out in the workshop.

Hearing the commotion, the other adventures ready themselves for action. Danquayle charges headlong into the fray while Taranion and Ander sprinkle the exits with caltrops. As a Redbrand pops out of the breakroom to investigate the ruckus, he catches a face-full of Taranion’s ray of frost, and Professor Gnomebody dashes into the breakroom. The tiny gnome sets off a thunderwave spell under the table, blasting everything in the room and sending the frozen Redbrand crashing into the wizard’s workshop.

As the table falls back to floor it knocks Gnomebody out cold, leaving Big Dumb James the only one standing. He stares through the open door across the hall and spots a tall Tiefling paladin, and bellows: “YOU KILLED MY SISTER!”

Defeated: 3 Redbrands, negotiated with ???

Acquired: goods from Lionshield Coster, craps winnings

NPC’s met: Linene Graywind, Iarno Albrek/Glasstaff, Big Dumb James

Quests: Feed the thing in the pit, Defeat Glasstaff!

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Session 3: Cragmaw Cave, Under New Goblin Management

Dusting themselves off, the party tries to make good on their deal with Yeemik the goblin, but Sildar’s warning to not trust him rings in their ears. They mage-hand Klarg’s severed head into the room to avoid getting close, which only agitates Yeemik. He demands an audience.

While Ander and Danquayle speak with Yeemik, Tipsy runs back to Klarg’s room for the brandy he mentioned. She finds some gold teeth, potions of healing, a jade frog statue, Klarg’s hairbrush, and the brandy. She also spots a lot of stolen goods featuring a blue lion logo.

Yeemik meanwhile is trying to alter the deal in his favor. He still has Sildar, and demands the rest of the party’s goods from their wagon. Ander threatens to free the remaining Klarg-loyal goblins and bring another fight into the goblin breakroom, and Yeemik prefers to keep his dick in one piece so he relents, but not before revealing that the Cragmaw goblins have been acting the orders of a person or organization known as the Black Spider.

With Sildar limping behind, the party leaves the Cragmaw Hideout and returns to Scump and the wagon. He and Sildar discuss the fate of their friend Gundren while they continue to Phandalin as planned. Sildar dishes on what Gundren had planned: the dwarf had discovered the legendary lost mine of Phandelver, and had plans to reopen it. He needed protection and secrecy in order to preserve his claim, and so Sildar offered the protection of the Lord’s Alliance. Sildar hoped to see the mine reopen and return prosperity and stability to the region, but they have to find Gundren first.

Once in town, they drop off the goods as promised at Barthen’s Provisions. The proprietor, Elmar Barthen, was expecting the Rockseeker brothers to return to town for supplies any day now, but hasn’t seen them. Furthermore, he warns the party about the gang of Redbrands menacing the town and hurting businesses.

At the Stonehill Inn, Ander performs a song detailing the party’s adventures and virtues, instantly ingratiating them with the townspeople. Talking to them, they find similar complaints from all the inn’s patrons: the Redbrands harass the people, shake down businesses for protection money, and reportedly killed the town wood-worker and abducted his family.

Sildar promises the party some answers in the morning, as well as a reward for being rescued. The Lord’s Alliance has deep pockets.

Defeated: Negotiated with Yeemik

Acquired: Klarg’s treasure, healing potions, frog statue, bugbear brush

NPC’s met: Elmar Barthen, Toblin Stonehill, others I can’t remember

Quests: Find Gundren, What’s is Black Spider, Stop the Redbrands

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Session 2: Road Warriors
OR “I went to Phandalin and all I got were these two dead horses”

The four adventurers from Neverwinter escort Scump’s wagon of supplies while he talks their ears off over the details: His buddy, the dwarf Gundren Rockseeker, has a business proposition, but he needs supplies delivered to his base of operations in the mining town of Phandalin. He hired a warrior, Sildar Hallwinter, to provide protection along the way. However, Gundren grew impatient and left with Sildar a few days early, leaving Scump to fend for himself.

At the crossroads of the High Road and Triboar Trail, they run into Mizandry Tipplegrain the rogue and Professor Gnomebody the wizard, looking for a lift. They tag along with the wagon, although Scump lets them know they won’t get paid for the escort.

Things take a turn for the worse when the party spots two dead horses in the trail ahead of them, which Scump identifies as belonging to Gundren and Sildar. No sooner have the implications set in than the party is ambushed by four goblins. Spells and arrows fly, but the party takes down all but one goblin. A little enchanting and threats of physical violence convince their new friend Slurry the goblin to lead them to where Sildar is being held prisoner, a nearby cave called Cragmaw Hideout.

They take out a few guard goblins and proceed into the cave. Wolves chained to rocks lunge at the party, but are briefly calmed by a handful of baked goods. Ander scurries up a natural chimney in the rock to spy on the boss of the cave, Klarg the bugbear. Rather than take him on, the party proceeds into the cave and finds the goblin breakroom, where they are discovered by the treacherous second-in-command goblin, Yeemik. Yeemik has SIldar, bruised and starving but alive, and proposes a deal: the party kills Klarg, and they get Sildar in return. He offers them the aid of his loyal goblins to help spring the cave’s flood traps on Klarg if the party can lure him into the main chamber of the cave.

Using Ander’s disguise kit and a minor illusion courtesy of Prof. Gnomebody, they disguise Tipsy the halfling as an alluring goblin lady. Hank and Taranion use their understanding of goblin-speak to teach her three phrases:

  1. “Hey there, big boy”
    #“Do you have a dwarf we can fuck on?” and
    #“Never mind that last thing I said.”
    She heads to Klarg’s chamber while the rest of the party gathers on a walkway over the flood zone.

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Tipsy goes to spring the honeypot trap on Klarg, who falls for it completely. He begins conversing freely in common-tongue, and reveals that the dwarf he had is long gone. Tipsy has nearly lured Klarg into trap range when she gets distracted by the brandy he has stashed back in his room, but manages to stick to plan and shimmy up a rope onto the walkway as the rest of the gang gives the flood signal.

Enraged, Klarg tries in vain to climb up to the party or knock down the walkway, but before he can do so the dam at the back of the cave breaks and washes him outside. Klarg is battered, but alive, and furious. His remaining loyal goblins and pet wolf attack the rest of the party while Hank and Tipsy go to finish him off. Tipsy scores a critical hit in his heart with her crossbow, but Hank lands the killing blow by kicking the amorous bugbear’s dick so hard his brain ruptures. The party mops up the other goblins with little trouble, but Klarg’s wolf Ripper refuses to die until a hail-mary throw puts one of Danquayle’s hand-axes through his head. They collect Klarg’s head to show to Yeemik, and get ready to finish their bargain.

Defeated: 4 goblin ambushers, 2 goblin guards, 2 Klarg supporters, Klarg, Ripper the Wolf

Acquired: One bugbear head, goblin shortbow

NPC’s met: Sildar Hallwinter, Yeemik, Klarg (deceased)

Quests: Rescue Sildar, Find Gundren

Corrections: this post initially stated that Tipsy’s first goblin phrase was “Hey boy, come up and see me sometime.” This was misremembered.

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Session 1: Escape from New Neverwinter

On a cold and stormy night in the wrecked town of Neverwinter, five strangers find themselves under lock and key in a makeshift jail. The four cells hold Hank the monk, Danquayle the Tiefling and Ander the bard, Taranion the Sun Elf cleric, and an Orc named Gurg.

(Ander was picked up after causing a scene with an offensive shanty in a tavern, Hank was caught in the fight that ensued at that same tavern, Taranion was caught snooping around a temple where he wasn’t welcome, Danquayle for suspicion of having stolen her paladin gear, and Gurg for theft and a little murder.)

The guards in charge of this jail quickly expose themselves as phony cops, and plan on selling the prisoners to slavers first thing in the morning.

After getting to know one another, they beginning formulating a plan to escape. Using a combination of their skills, they are able to free themselves using the jail keys. Gurg convinces them to let him out as well, promising them a cut of the treasure he got thrown in jail for stealing. Gurg promptly gets himself killed by one of the guards, and they party has a battle on their hands. Without their armor or weapons, Danquayle uses Gurg as a meat shield and Hank starts punching apart the guards. They grab their stuff, and gain a strange looking old key, then head out into the driving rain.

Danquayle recognizes the street they’re on, and hustles them into a nearby inn. The conditions are squalid, but the proprietor is an old friend. The only room they can afford is a crime scene, literally. Danquayle takes the bloodsoaked mattress, and everyone settles in. In the darkness of early morning, a frigid coldness crawls over the room, and the party wakes to moans of a ghostly presence. After possessing Danquayle, the entity demands its stolen key be returned to it, but finds itself unable to grab the key with its ethereal form. It vanishes as the key falls to floor.

In the morning the inn keeper reveals that the murdered lodger was a wizard travelling under the name “Thistle”, and he had an assortment of maps of the area and notes about some kind of forge. The party hits the road, and finds a convenient wagoneer, the folksy and entrepreneurial Scump McGillicuddy, headed out of town looking for some armed escort. And with that, the party heads for Phandalin (and begins the actual written adventure).

Defeated: 2 phony cops, 1 human wizard ghost (?)

Acquired: Their own gear, some cash, weird old key

NPC’s met: Gurg (deceased), Deb the innkeeper, “Thistle” the ghost, Scump McGillicuddy

Quests: Escort Scump to Phandalin, What is this key

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Session 4: Kicking Teeth and Making Friends
OR “Phandalin is for Lovers”

So some of this actually happened in session 3 and I forgot it at the time, but it reads better this way anyway.

After a good, ghost-free rest at the Stonehill Inn, the party heads out into Phandalin to get a feel for things, and it’s bad vibes everywhere: Ander and Danquayle head to the townmaster’s hall to meet up with Sildar and get some leads on finding Gundren. They discover that Sildar’s contact in Phandalin, the wizard Iarno Albrek, has gone missing, and the incompetent townmaster Hardin Wester has no interest in helping, urging the adventurers to leave the town and the Redbrands alone.

Meanwhile, Tipsy and Hank decide to fuck with the Redbrands, naturally. They’re headed to the Sleeping Giant tavern, where the Redbrands are known to hang out. They interrupt the brunching ruffians on the patio, and try to play it off as interest in joining their ranks. Here is where we first discover that Hank’s stamina for negotiating lasts exactly one round. A fight breaks out and Tipsy nearly spills her cider.

MEANWHILE meanwhile, Taranion and Chinny hit ups Phandalin’s only extant religious establishment, a fledgling shrine to the Luck goddess Tymora. They find a young elven priestess, Sister Garaele, attending to the shrine. She is bruised and limping, but her wounds came from a misadventure out in the wilderness, not from Redbrands. She explains that her super secret organization (cough) sent her to meet with a banshee named Agatha in the abandoned town of Conyberry, but the banshee had no interest in helping her. She’s acquired a bribe for the spirit in the form of a silver comb, but is too injured to make the journey again herself. The cleric and wizard wish her luck (which, is not super helpful for the priestess of Tymora) and leave, but Gnomebody doubles back to chat some more.

Taranion runs into Sildar near the townmaster’s hall, and gets a new request: finding Iarno Albrek, the missing Lord’s Alliance wizard, is now top priority. Taranion resolves to do his best and decides to investigate spooky Tresendar Manor.

Danquayle and Ander decide to go check in with Ander’s aunt Quelline Alderleaf down at her farm to see if she has any more info for them, but encounter a pair of Redbrands in the road. Some tough talk reveals that the ruffians have just torched the Alderleaf farm and scattered their livestock, and the situation comes to blows. The big, brawny Redbrand catches Danquayle with her lasso and proceeds to pummel her while Anders pokes a few holes in the shorter Redbrand. Eventually Danquayle has enough and crushes her foe’s skull with a morningstar, causing the other Redbrand to flee towards… Tresendar Manor. Danquayle figures the Big Dead Jessica’s redbrand cloak would probably fit her, and snatches it for safe keeping.

The fleeing Redbrand runs right into Taranion, but scrambles off up the hill. Taranion tracks him to the manor on the hill. The place is abandoned, but has clearly had plenty of traffic leading to and from it in recent days, including a fresh set of tracks. The cleric thinks better of entering solo and returns to the Stonehill Inn to mull over this information.

Ander and Danquayle find Alderleaf farm on fire and its ponies running amok in the fields. Danquayle uses her fiendish bloodline to her advantage to dive into the flames and douse them in water, while Ander assists her relatives. They mange to save most of the farm and sit down to chat with Quelline and her son Carp. Quelline naturally despises the Redbrands and what they have wrought upon Phandalin, and Carp lets Danquayle know about a path in the woods near the farm that he’s seen Redbrands using.

Back at the Sleeping Giant, Hank finds himself ganged up on, but manages to knock out a Redbrand cold even while grappled. They relent, and take him inside to meet their boss…NOT Glasstaff, but the Redbrand Lieutenant Jarleth. Jarleth sits with a black rat on his shoulder, going over some plans. He agrees to let Tipsy and Hank take on an initiation job: Halia Thornton, the guildmaster of the Phandalin Miner’s Exchange, is the only person uncowed by the Redbrands. She has the support of most of the village and miners behind her, so they cannot attack her openly. Jarleth suggests that Hank and Tipsy steal Halia’s ledger and personal seal, so that Glasstaff can forge the documents to make Halia unpopular with the townspeople. They agree to the conditions, and return to the Stonehill Inn.

After swapping details about their day and wondering where the gnome is, the party quickly decides to approach Halia directly about the scheme. Their intuition proves correct when they discover Halia to be a force to be reckoned with. She already has a bead on the Redbrands and is eager to assist in the infiltration. She also provides confirmation that they’re working out of Tresendar Manor, and that they have bugbears on site. She provides Hank and Tipsy with an outdated ledger (which is booby trapped) and her seal. She requests two things of Hank: return the seal to her, and take out Glasstaff.

Back at the inn, they find Prof. Gnomebody enjoying an ale and bearing unwelcome news: he’s accepted the banshee errand for Sister Garaele in exchange for some lucky dice, and also learned that something weirder than bugbears or wizards lurks in Tresendar Manor…

Defeated: 3-ish Redbrands

Acquired: Redbrand cloak (used, slightly bloodied), old ledger, fancy seal, Dice of Tymora, silver comb

NPC’s met: Harbin Wester, Sister Garaele, Quelline and Carp Alderleaf, Halia Thornton, Lieutenant Jarleth, Big Dead Jessica (deceased)

Quests: Find Iarno (Taranion), Join the Redbrands (Tipsy and Hank), COMB QUEST (Gnomebody), There Are Some Orcs Out There, I Guess (Ander and Danquayle).

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