“Your payment,” said Sildar flatly, still stunned from the revelation that his former ally Iarno was actually Glass-Staff, leader of the Redbrand scum that had been terrorizing his town for months.
Nameless, Garcon, Roselyn took their gold and quickly distanced themselves from our heroes. “You guys are crazy! Who opens a second door while we’re already fighting a squadron of bugbears?! You’re suicidal! We’re leaving.”
Ten Tea-Leaf on the other hand, decided to stay on with our heroes. “You guys are crazy! Who opens a second door while we’re already fighting a squadron of bugbears?! You’re hilarious! I’m with you.”
With that, they had a new ally in their quest, and as they watched the cowardly mercenaries flee Phandalin, Ro-Kan suggested they head to the Stone Hill Inn to check on Turin.
As they entered the Stone Hill, they were met by cheering miners and a glorious feast laid out before them. Rat immediately took a running leap into the middle of the table, and plowed into a giant bowl of mashed potatoes with his filthy hands, shoveling the fluffy mixture into his tiny mouth. The rest of the party realized how hungry they were, and began to feast and drink and cheer and drink along with the miners.
A few kegs of ale later, and Rat was literally swinging from a chandelier. Ro-Kan was in the corner playing his guitar and loudly singing about the glory of the storm. Ten was playing cards with an unlucky group of drunken miners. Zex sat and drank, still solemn about his cousin’s disappearance.
A few kegs after that, the party was telling the miners (again) all about how they captured Glass-Staff. This time telling the story, the Redbrands had two dozen Minotaurs guarding their hideout.
“They’re all cowards!” Zex shouted, eliciting a rousing cheer from the miners.
“Let’s all go to the Sleeping Giant, and teach those Redbrand a lesson!” suggested Ro-Kan, again eliciting a cheer from the miners.
“Wait… where’s Turin?”
Ro-Kan turned to Ten. “Hey, we’ll go get Turin. He’s real blasty. He’s good in a fight, you’ll like him. While we’re doing that, you should see if any of these guys want to come with us.”
Ten stepped in front of the brick wall and rolled up his sleeves. A hush fell over the crowd—injuring six.
“An Orc and Elf, and a Dwarf all come upon an Efreet, who offers them one Wish apiece. The Orc goes first: ‘I wish for all the Orcs and Half-Orcs to live together in peace and prosperity in our ancestral homelands!’ The Efreet nods, and POOF!, the Orc disappears. The Elf goes next: : ‘I wish for all the Elves and Half-Elves to live together in peace and prosperity in our ancestral homelands.’ The Efreet nods, and POOF!, the Elf disappears. The Dwarf is last: ‘Let me get this straight. The Orc wished for all the Orcs to go away, and the Elf wished for all the Elves to go away?’ The Efreet nods. ‘Fuck it then, I’ll have an ale.”
Cut to: Interior: Turin’s Convalescence Room at the Stone Hill- Night – Continuous
Rat and Ro-Kan stumble into the bedroom, breaking a lamp.
“Turin! Turin! Turin! Here. Drink this.” said Ro-Kan, shaking the Warlock and holding out a bottle of Dwarven whiskey.
“What? I know you.” Turin said, as he awoke.
“Want to go kill some Redbrands?” Rat asked, eagerly.
“Yes. I don’t think I know you.”
“That’s Rat. He’s very good at killing. Here. Drink this.”
Cut to: Exterior: Phandalin Streets – Night – A few moments later
Our heroes drunkenly march down the streets of the small mining community. A handful of equally intoxicated Dwarven miners in tow.
As they approached the Sleeping Giant, they saw crates and boxes littering the road.
“Boxes?” said Ro-Kan incredulously. “They think they will stop me with mere boxes?”
“Ha! Those fools!” scoffed Rat. “I used to stack boxes for a living!”
Moving closer, they were able to identify four of the boxes as caskets.
Stepping just a bit closer, the four caskets in unison all fell open, revealing skeletons within. The skeletons all drew shortswords and stepped out into the street.
Ro-Kan, angered at this abomination, charged the skeletons. As he ran, he called out to Thor for power, and brought his hammer down onto the paving stones between the middle two skeletons. A mighty thunderclap erupted from that point, disintegrating the pair of skeletons into nothing more than a fine powder. The pair of caskets they stepped out of and the other debris littering the roadway went rocketing off in various directions from the force of the blow. Nearby windows shattered.
“So much for the element of surprise,” said Ten.
“That seemed pretty surprising to me,” replied Turin.
Now that Ro-Kan had cleared the debris from the middle of the road, they could all now see that a line of Redbrand stood some thirty feel back from their skeletal ambush.
Rat ran up next to Ro-Kan and readied himself to attack any skeleton or Redbrand that came close enough.
Zex ran past the pair of them, charging towards the line of Redbrand.
Turin spotted one Redbrand in particular who stood a foot taller than the rest. He was bare-chested, wearing the standard red cape tied about his shoulders, and carrying a massive two-handed axe, in place of the twin shortswords favored by the other Redbrand. Deciding this one was the most dangerous threat, Turin fired off a blast of crackling green energy that hit the tall Redbrand solidly in the face.
Ten shouted insults at the skeletons that approached Rat and Ro-Kan, and it seemed to help, and he slid in behind Ro-Kan, attempting to hide.
A pair of Redbrand charged the line, ignoring Zex, which seemed to anger the Dwarf further.
Ro-Kan grabbed Rat by the belt and hurled him at the incoming Redbrand. Rat flew through the air like a filthy javelin, his twin cutlasses out in front, and he speared his target through the chest with both blades. As the man sputtered, blood filling his mouth, Rat pulled his blades free and slashed the man’s throat.
Turin shot another bolt of energy that caught the giant Redbrand right in the throat, and he gurgled out his final breath.
Ten stepped out from behind the Goliath and again mocked the approaching skeletons.
The Redbrand that ran past Zex approached Ro-Kan and fell into a fighting stance.
“You look like you need a dance partner, bug guy,” he sneered at the Goliath. The Redbrand slashed at Ro-Kan’s belly, and hit twice. Ro-Kan, however, as drunk as he was did not feel a thing. But Thor took notice and saw fit to reward the Redbrand for slashing his favored follower with a massive thunderclap that rang out from where he hit Ro-Kan. The force of the thunderclap knocked his head back, and when his eyes were able to focus again, he felt blood pouring out of his ears and nose. The last thing he ever saw was Ro-Kan lifting his Maul up above his head.
When the hammer came down, it absolutely obliterated the human’s body. His head, neck, chest, and torso were splattered around the area. As the lifeless body started to slump over, Ro-Kan grabbed it by the cape and hurled it towards the other Redbrand. As the corpse spiraled through the night sky, it rained blood and gore down on the city of Phandalin.
The blood came down on Rat and Ten, as they fought a skeleton. The blood fell on Zex, as he too fought a skeleton. The bloody mess that was once a Redbrand warrior smashed onto the paving stones a few feet from the last surviving Redbrand.
Seeing this, he immediately turned tail and ran, ever the true coward. Ro-Kan quickly dropped his hammer and drew his bow. Even drunk, he was able to catch the running man in the shoulder with an arrow.
The arrow hit his shoulder, and sent him rolling, but he quickly got to his feet and continued his retreat. It seemed like he would get away, until a blast of green light popped his head like a grape.
Rat slashed out the spine of the skeleton that menaced him and Ten, sending the bones collapsing to the street.
Zex and the last skeleton were locked in combat. The drunken adventurers formed a semi-circle around the pair and cheered Zex on.
The skeleton slashed out at him, and he quickly ducked the blow. With a bellow, the Dwarf’s warhammer connected with the ribcage of the skeleton and destroyed the undead beast. Bones rained down, clattering off the stones below. Ro-Kan took a skull and affixed it to his belt.
Still hungry for a fight, Ro-Kan put his boot to the door of the Sleeping Giant. It was empty.
Zex, and Ro-Kan resumed drinking while Ten and Turin started searching for gold. Rat found himself a bottle of Ol’ Janx Spirit, easily worth 2000 gold pieces, tucked away in a case. He cracked it open and also resumed drinking.
Before long, everyone had passed out.
Morning came, and everyone began their preparations to return to the Redbrand hideout. Turin took hold of the Glass-Staff and began the process of attuning to it. Ro-Kan hung a sign on the door of the bar that read “UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT” and padlocked the door with a sturdy lock from the Provisioner. He then went to Toblin and asked for his help getting their new bar up and running. He instructed Toblin to hire the halfling woman (Karp’s mother) to redecorate the interior of the establishment, as well as to get a blacksmith and a carpenter around to make the place suitable for decent folk. They would also need to hire some miners to excavate lots more space in the cellar and add in a sub-cellar. If possible, start the process of adding a second floor as well. Set up deliveries of alcohol and food. Find us a decent bartender and some serving girls. He passed Toblin some gold for his trouble.
Our heroes headed back out to the Redbrand hideout and delved inside. Finding a room with a cool clear cistern of fresh water and no signs of life in any nearby room, Ro-Kan realized how long it had been since he had bathed in a fresh mountain stream. Stripping down, he jumped into the cistern to wash himself. Swimming down as deep as he could go, he spotted a waterproof satchel stashed there.and pulled it up. Inside, they found a small sack of coins, a pair of vials, and a clean set of traveling clothes. Ro-Kan dressed and added the satchel to his belt.
Pressing forward, they discovered a room with several empty sarcophagi. Perhaps the former resting place of the skeletons they battled last night. Listening at the door, Ten heard someone yelling for help. Bursting through the door, the party discovered a trio of prisoners in cells, collars around their necks.
Ro-Kan ripped the bars down from the first cell, and he, Zex, and Ten worked together to burst the lock on the second cell. Ten offered the prisoners food, which they gratefully accepted. Turin suggested that Ro-Kan give Rat the bag of coins from the waterproof satchel and have him escort the freed slaves back to Phandalin.
As Rat took them back to the town, the rest of the group pressed on.
There was no one else alive in the whole complex. A few secret doors yielded nothing interesting, and there were no magic items or treasure anywhere else except for a few gems Turin turned up in a former barracks.
Turin followed Rat back to town to hire a few strong men and get Zex’s cart while Zex went from room to room examining the stonework for any other secret rooms or passages we may have missed. Ten did the same, but attempting to Detect Magic in all the rooms. Ro-Kan went around the complex and moved all the crates and barrels of food, drink and other supplies to the cave entrance. When Turin returned with the cart and hirelings, they packed everything up and headed back to town, to use the former possessions of the Redbrand, who terrorized Phandalin, to stock Phandalin’s newest establishment to bring merriment to the people of Phandalin.
“The Frays & Balks” would soon be open.