Adam has started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in London. Here is his account of their first epic (drunken) journey.
Continuing our epic adventure where we left off (part 1 here!), following a level up at the end of the last dungeon, we finally arrived at the town of Phandalin, our goal for dropping off the cart and oxen (our original mission, still not really our priority) and essentially a quest hub. For this leg of the adventure, our companions Lordy and Samuel went off on their own quest temporarily. However, we were joined by the human cleric (training to be a paladin) Rick, and the elven wizard Varm. They had longer names. I do not remember them.
We elected first to check out the Stonehill Inn to find out some information about the town. After a couple of failed attempts to question the proprietor, King Roberto decided to mug, at knife point, a farmer who was trying to have a quiet drink. Terrified, he tells us the town is plagued by Redbrands, human bandits who burned his crops. Bubbles discovered some secret Thieves’ cant writing supporting this, and a warning to beware of ‘The Sleeping Giant, another pub in the area. Deano, helpfully, then attempted to hook up with the barmaid, but a bad roll meant all he got was a polite smile and half a free beer. Immediately after Deano struck out, Roberto attempted the same and definitively did not strike out, disappearing up to the innkeeper’s chambers for an encounter with Elsa the barmaid.
After one or two turns of passion with Elsa (one turn is approximately 6 seconds apparently), King Roberto then took Rick and Deano to investigate the woodcarver’s house, who had been killed by the bandits and his wife and children kidnapped. Deano and Rick blundered into the dark house through its open door, failing to light a lantern to see where they are going. Roberto decided to light one of his javelins, the pointy end, to illuminate the room. There wasn’t much in the house, but the commotion made brought attention in the form of the sound of footsteps and drawn swords outside. Deano called out and used his silver tongue to convince the approaching red brands that we were also Redbrands (specifically a Redbrand named Tim), and that they weren’t needed here, so they returned to Tresendar Manor. Which we decided to call Trent Reznor Manor.
On the other side of town, Tiny, Bubbles and Varm left to scope out The Sleeping Giant, a dank and raucous pub. Bubbles is specifically looking for Glass-Staff the Wizard, the possible leader of the Redbrands who previously tried to kill Tiny and probably gave Bubbles herpes. Bubbles entered the inn and was confronted by 4 Redbrands inside. Varm burst in and set them on fire, while Bubbles fired an arrow through the eye of the biggest bandit.. Tiny, having climbed in the 1st floor window, crept down the stairs, saw another one off. King Roberto then charged through the open door, without surveying what was going on, ramming the still-flaming javelin through the face of the Redbrand advancing towards the halflings, exploding his head.
The final man ran, and Varm attempted to freeze his legs to stop him warning the others and to allow the party to question him. Unfortunately the spell wasn’t accurate enough, and the forward momentum caused the legs to freeze to the ground but crack off at the knees, leaving the stumps behind and killing him in seconds through shock and blood loss. It turns out that this was the real Tim, now dead in the mud, with a pocket watch from his lover, the barmaid Elsa (plot twist!) congratulating him on his first day. The proprietor informed us that Glass-Staff was holed up in the ruins under Trent Reznor Manor, and Tiny found a note in Thieves’ cant stating ‘Beware the wizard Glass-Staff. He is not what he seems. The Black Spider controls all.’. The party then headed back to their inn for bed. Roberto attempted to get back into bed with Elsa the bar maid, but apparently being covered head to toe in the blood and brains of his enemies is a deal breaker for some reason, and she left him to the comfiest room in the inn.
The next morning, the group went through some Lionshield chests from the caves last time, containing standard adventurer gear including a shiny rope. Lying to the woman working at the Lionshield Coster that we only found one of their crates, and all it contained was random gear, we find out that it is called the Rope of Light, and that it was for a very important person overseas. We then headed to Barthen’s, the trader for whom we were supposed to deliver the cart to, who only gave us half the gold each we were due because we drank all the ale, used the oil and got one of the oxen killed. What a dick.
We decided to head to Trent Reznor Manor. With nothing of note outside, the group headed down some stone steps beneath. Deano went down a corridor on his own, falling down a trap. Rick used the rope of light to pull him back up, but when gripped at both ends the rope created spider’s webs, trapping Deano further. Letting go dissipated the webs, allowing Bubbles to use a normal rope to pull Deano up. The three of them proceeded to jump across the hole, heading down the corridor into a new room containing three sarcophagi and three skeletons crumpled up against them. The skeletons came to life, and the 3 companions quickly came up with a plan – Deano would run to the end of the room, Rick would throw him the other end of the Rope of Light, trapping the skeletons, whereupon Bubbles would jump on Rick’s shoulders to shoot the trapped skeletons. What actually happened was Deano tripped, fumbling the plan somewhat, setting a small fire nearby in the process and trapping himself with the skeletons. Together, Bubbles and Rick killed one skeleton. Two remained, slowly breaking free of the spider webs and moving towards them.
Meanwhile Tiny, Varm and Roberto venture into another room at the bottom of the stairs. There they found 3 Redbrands in bunk beds, two asleep and one awake reading a letter. Varm put the last one asleep with a spell, allowing Roberto read the letter, addressed to Francis. It is from Elsa (the same barmaid who Roberto slept with), who turns out to be pregnant with Francis’s baby (further plot twist!). Francis was tied up and woken for questioning. He tells them that Black Spider hired the Redbrands, Tiny left to join the other group, but fell down the same trap hole that Deano set off. Then, for reasons that he himself doesn’t quite remember, King Roberto decided to tell Elsa’s baby daddy that not only was she unfaithful to him with a man named Tim, but she was also unfaithful with Roberto himself the previous night. Enraged, Francis tried to escape his bonds, vowing to kill this ‘Tim’ (who is already dead). Roberto then murdered him horribly, for more reasons he can’t quite remember.
And then it was late, and we all needed to make it to the last tube, so we called it a night. Picking up mid-dungeon and mid-combat next time!
Check out part 3 here!