This week our other table was a little light on numbers with several of the players deep in preparation for Alcon, however we also had a new member join us – Daniel had contacted the store after finding us via the WotC site and the store had put him in touch with me.
Sadly I didn’t get to chat much as I was running my table but I have since chatted via email and it sounds like he’s happy to come back next time so we must be doing something right.
Back in the Redbrand hideout the heroes decide it would be safer to leave the family they rescued in the room with the cells (after dumping the two bodies in the pit they discovered) until they knew it was safe for them to leave and then explored the north door. They were very cautious of the seemingly empty corridor, Lee bowled a couple of the skulls down it to see if the floor was trapped, before they moved up to find the door was locked (with a fairly newly replaced lock too). Lee easily picked the lock and they entered the room to find racked weapons (which they proceeded to try and cripple so as to prevent further use by the Redbrands). After searching the room and corridor but finding nothing (with truly abysmal rolls) they return to the cells to collect the family as they can lead them out on the way to the secret door they had previously found.
Unfortunately this meant getting past the pit. Lee, Jack and Patrick agreed to tie ropes to each other and jump across then use the ropes to assist the family skirting the edge ledges, but their luck with rolls continued with 2 of the 3 falling into the pit! It was only then they realised they had left Jon’s mage to hold the rope on the other side all on his own. Thankfully Jon had the idea of lowering the family one at a time into the pit and then lifting them out the other side, repeating the process until everyone was across (for this I gave him an inspiration die) and shortly the pit was bypassed.
The family left the hideout with advice from the heroes to avoid the main path and seek out Sildar once back in town. With the family disappearing into the night, the heroes turn their attention back to the Redbrands.
Going through the secret door they follow the corridor until they come to a chamber split by a crevasse, with a pair of wooden bridges crossing it. Jon began to “hear” a voice in his head telling him it was hungry and he only had to give up one – not as if he hadn’t done so before. While Lee and Jack probed further and Jack spotted a sickly green orb which made him vomit violently after looking at it, then it disappeared. A glimpse of something slipped over the edge into the crevasse.
Eventually Jon is able to find that the voice belongs to a Nothic and a deal is made to give the creature the 2 rebrand bodies to feast on for information (the Nothic tells them that Glasstaff is working for someone called the Black Spider). Lee leads the way over one of the bridges – and it falls away under his feet, dumping him into the unnaturally cold crevasse. While he climbs out he notices a large chest at one end. Once he’s out and the others cross the other bridge safely he tells them of the chest.
Investigating the 2 corridors they hear noise coming from beyond each set of stairs, one a number of guttural growls with an annoying whine, the other sounds like a group of humans engaged in recreational activities. They decide to head towards this area and find 2 doors, the first has the sounds of the humans while the other has a solitary squeak like that of a rat.
Choosing to investigate the squeak they open the door to find a rat in a cage on a workbench along with various alchemical equipment and a bookcase full of various papers and another door leading further onwards. A brief examination of the bookcase gains them an interesting book on the Mines of Phandelver and some alchemical reagents.
They press onward and open the door to reveal a well-appointed room occupied by a calm looking wizard holding a glass staff. Jon seizes the initiative and uses thunderwave to knock the wizard flying before his allies charge in. When the wizard finally climbs back to his feet he surprises the heroes by calmly surrendering to them – but his captivity is short-lived as Lee stabs him without warning and kills him. Despite their shock they search through his paperwork and footlocker gaining a rather cryptic note and a fair bit of loot.
Jon then has the idea to try and intimidate the humans they heard into surrendering using the dead wizards staff to prove that he was defeated. This works, until the fourth of the humans recognises Lee – it’s the Redbrand thug that fought him in the street outside the Sleeping Giant. The thug and Lee face off, Patrick tries to help but is heavily wounded for his trouble and backs out while Jack and Jon make sure that the cowed thugs leave quickly and quietly via the tunnel in the Nothic’s chamber. Once the thug is dead Jon offers the Nothic another pair of juicy bodies in return for the chest, after a moment the Nothic agrees asking Jon to lower a rope as it is too weak to lift the chest out itself.
Jon lowers the rope and the Nothic goes to tie it onto the chest, though it takes it more time than one would expect, but eventually it tugs to indicate it can be pulled up. The corpses of the thug and wizard are dropped over and the over-cautious party eye the chest warily. Jack fires an arrow at it, nothing happens. Lee checks it for traps, finds none and so decides to flip the lid open.
At this crucial point I decide to take a bathroom break – ooh you could have cut the air with a spoon!
Ok, so back to the action. Lee flips the lid and reveals…..an empty chest! Jon hears the Nothic chuckling as it feasts on the wizards remains ” you asked for the chest, yes you did, but not for its contents, oh no you did not”.
By this time the heroes resources are severely depleted and while they know there is a trio of bugbears here somewhere they don’t want to face them. So they take the tunnel out and return to the town.
Jon heads directly to the Inn to inform Sildar of their findings, waking the sleeping warrior which doesn’t impress him over much, before retiring to a room of his own.
Patrick and Lee head to Lee’s contact at the Mining Exchange, she’s not impressed to see Patrick but he chooses to take her withering gaze a signs of attraction and sort of flirts ineffectually with her while Lee reports his escapades and gains the reward. Then they head to the Inn too.
Jack heads to the woodworkers family home, disturbing the returned family as he wants to make sure they got home ok and let Sildar know what had happened. The widow tells him they headed straight home, it being the middle of the night and all, Jack apologises but just needs to ask her about Thundertree and if she can remember any details of her old home, but as she reminds him she left as a young child and in somewhat of a hurry. He too returns to the Inn.
And that is where we left it. The heroes will resume their adventures in Phandalin when we get spare sessions as next time we’re beginning (albeit a little late) the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure. We may possibly also have 2-3 more players joining us – a returning Encounters player (Daniel) and his better half (Sarah), and another of my All Scar cohorts (Gary) who used to play 2e with me many moons ago.
Before that though (as we play double sessions, fortnightly) we will be playing our first Saturday Expeditions adventure – DDEX1-1 Defiance in Phlan. I’m really looking forward to this as the original Phlan adventures (Ruins of Adventure for 1e and the Pool of Radiance pc game by SSI) were long time favourites of mine (and I still have my original copies of both).