Left alone in a cave in a hillside, surrounded by the bodies of bugbears and goblins, our adventurers found several boxes of supplies, branded with a blue Lion’s head. Thinking they might be able to sell some of it, they take a box or two, in addition to the treasure already collected and load it into the wagon.
Sildar Hallwinter re-iterates his wish that the group escort him safely to Phandalin, for a reward when he can secure the funds. The group set off, with Bek tied up in the back of the carriage, along with the other supplies.
After another days travel. the party make it to Phandalin, as the sun begins to set. They check into Barthen’s Provisions to deliver their goods and retrieve their reward, 10gp per party member. In the meantime, Arranis Rookwood makes his way over to the Stonehill Inn for a drink, and sets up a large tab there.
Barthen’s shop-hands point out that the boxes have the logo of the Lionshield Coster, a store on the other side of town, and suggest to go over there. Wesley, Jack and Arden walk through the town square, noticing a minstrel playing some music on a flute, with a longbow and small satchel close by.
Suddenly, a group of thugs in red clocks make a ruckus, harassing a couple of people who were listening to the music. Jack gets their attention and the two groups pass insults between each other. The minstrel stops playing and tries to calm them down, but to no avail, as fighting begins.
The bard picks up their flute again and suddenly one of the thugs looks terrified and starts to run away. Jack hits the runner with his crossbow, severely injuring him. Wesley sidles up to another, striking him with his sword. Arden tries to command the thugs to grovel, but they ignore him. The runner escapes, while the leader, unhurt thus far, makes a run towards Jack. Suddenly, the bard is holding the longbow and there’s an arrow through the leader’s head. Killed instantly, he falls to the ground in-front of Jack. Briefly surprised, Jack moves over to the final red-cloaked bandit, sword drawn, hand crossbow raised. He makes the shot as he approaches and the bandit crumples, dead.
The fight lasted less than 12 seconds, so the bystanders are a little surprised. Jack orders Wesley to move the bodies to one side and goes to comfort the bystanders, before heading to the townmaster’s hall. The bard packs up and leaves their spot as well.
At this point, Arden goes to the Inn to find Arranis, and joins him for a few drinks, sampling the local ales and cider. Wesley waits with the bodies, finding 10cp in their pockets.
Walking together to the townmaster’s office, both Jack and the minstrel walk in, finding Sildar and a man they presume to be the townmaster having a conversation. Looking up, he introduces himself as Harbin Wester, he listens as Jack explains the situation, his expression appearing to grow increasingly nervous with every word. Apparently the thugs were part of The Redbrands, who Harbin describes as “just a mercenary guild, really.” But it is obvious from his expression that he is troubled by them. (DM Note: The bard definitely did some valuable talking here also, but I can’t for the life of me remember the whole discussion. Apologies for the omission.) Harbin follows the pair back to the square to survey the damage and arrange for someone to handle it.
The bard takes off for a stroll around town, while Jack and Wesley go to rejoin the others at the Inn. After arranging for some rooms, Jack visits Bek in the unloaded wagon, explaining to him that he needs to stay in the wagon, tied up, to keep everyone safe and calm and prevent them panicking. Bek agrees and remains there while Jack wraps him in a blanket and leaves. Soon, Bek begins to sing to himself, when the bard enters the wagon. They talk about why Bek is there, how he is part of the Cragmaw Clan and how he is pretty happy, if a little uncomfortable. The bard introduces himself as Eli, and eventually they both fall asleep.
Awakening early the next day, Eli undoes Bek’s ropes, letting him be free if he wants to be. Bek stretches and gets comfortable, falling back to sleep again, before the rest of the group turns up outside. Eli jumps out and the group argue a little. Jack is upset that Bek is untied, but Arranis points out that Bek didn’t run away, which is interesting. Discussing the magical and martial arts, Eli and Arranis begin to bond, and Jack agrees to allow Eli to join them on their little quest.
The party heads over to towards the Lionshield Coster to see about returning the goods that the goblins had found. Linene, owner of the establishment, thanks them, taking note of where the shipment was and getting the rest unloaded straight away. She gives the group a bag of 50gp as a reward, in addition to offering any other help she can provide.
After this, Arden and Arranis walk to the Sleeping Giant Taphouse to sample their drinks, Jack goes to visit Sildar at the townmaster’s hall and collect their payment while Wesley and Eli go to pay their respects at the Shrine of Luck, which Wes recognises as a shrine to Tymora.
Inside the shrine stands a woman in white robes, with a pin on her breast. Eli mistakes her for Tymora, before she introduces herself as Sister Garaele, a member of the Harpers. She was impressed with how the party handled the Redbrands the day before. She tells them that they usually hang out around the Sleeping Giant, when they aren’t hassling the townsfolk. She also mentions that she might have a task for the group, if they are available.
Jack meets with Sildar, who pays 50gp for their escort services, and expresses his desire that they find Gundren Rockseeker soon. Sildar is remaining here because he is looking for someone.
Arranis and Arden walk into the Taphouse and find a seat in the corner, after getting some expensive drinks (1 and 2sp, respectfully), from a very surly female dwarf. The tavern is occupied solely by red-cloaked figures. One comes up to Arden and says pointedly, “Were you one of the guys that beat up my friend, yesterday?”. Arden claims he wasn’t (because he actually didn’t hurt anybody during the fight), but that he knew those guys.
The thug presses a fist into his other palm and growls, “Well then, I want you to deliver a message from me…”