These are the journal entries for our D&D 5th Edition campaign being played on Roll20. There are 6 PCs: Ragnar (Paladin), Eamon (Cleric), Jortran (Druid), Tec (Rogue), Malfred (Warlock), and Tristan (Barbarian).
18-19 Flamerule – 1490 – Year of the Star Walker’s Return
After defeating King Grol and his minions, the adventurers spent the night recuperating in Cragmaw Castle. During the night the party discovered a wounded goblin amongst the dead. They brought him back to the former King’s quarters and bound him to the heavy table with manacles. Jortran used magic to heal the goblin’s wounds.
Later, while swearing an oath to the forests, Ragnar heard strange bellowing sounds coming from the sky. He called Malfred out and together they spied a large, dark cloud high in the atmosphere, approaching quickly from the north. The sounds of deep, bellowing voices in a language they did not know emanated from the cloud, echoing across the land. Suddenly, with the sound of exploding trees, something large and heavy landed in the forest north of the castle. Malfred and Ragnar roused the others, who peered up into the sky to watch the strange cloud formation sweep by, blotting out the stars. Not long after it passed, there was another tremendous crash to the south, and soon after the cloud, and its bellowing voices, drifted out of sight, and beyond hearing.
In the morning the group took the manacled goblin, whom they learned was name Skenaz, and ventured into the woods north of the castle, enlisting the aid of some squirrels to help them find the site of the first fallen object. There they discovered a large, heavy boulder, of the type of rock common to the mountains that make up The Spine of the World not far to the north. With nothing more to see, the party headed back south towards Phandalin. Along the way they navigated to the location of the second fallen object. Here they found another large, heavy boulder that had smashed a large divot into the earth, and knocked over several trees as it rolled down the forested hill to end up against a mighty Oak. Inspecting this boulder they discovered a strange symbol chiselled into its surface about 1′ in diametre. No one could tell what language it was, but Malfred was able to use his special abilities to determine the symbol might mean “Enemy”.
They took a rubbing of the symbol and continued on to Phandalin. When they reached the town, folks poured out to see Gundren, and to ask what happened. The townsfolk cheered on the party. Tristan pulled out the head of King Grol to show the crowd. Some screamed or fainted, and one young girl roared with approval, grabbing a stick from the ground to use as a “sword” against the bugbear’s severed head. Tristan placed the head on a pike in the road, meant as a warning to other intruders, and the party headed to the townmaster’s hall to find Sildar. Along the way they noticed down one side road a small group of ruffians in red cloaks who were gathered outside a building, and watching the party closely as they passed.
At the townmaster’s hall Sildar was overjoyed to see Gundren was safely returned. Gundren asked after his brothers, and explained to the party exactly what they had found and why it was important. He implored the heroes to head for the mines to see what had become of the other Rockseekers. Before that, however, Sildar informed the party that the actions of the Redbrand Ruffians were getting worse. They were extorting money from some of the shopkeepers, and it was rumoured that the Dendrar family, missing two days now, may have been taken by the Redbrands somewhere, and possibly were or would be murdered.
After collecting their reward of 500gp from Sildar for the safe return of Gundren, the party headed out into the town to speak with Sister Garaele, who had witnessed some of the altercations with the Redbrands. While speaking with her, they saw the brave young girl from earlier playing kickball with the head of King Grol. A local woman begged the heroes to get rid of it, while pulling the girl away.
Confident that the rumours about the Redbrands were likely true, the party headed down the side street towards the Sleeping Giant Taproom, outside of which six members of the Redbrands were lounging. Upon approaching them, insults were traded back and forth, and taking offense, Tristan stormed up to the apparent half-orc leader of the group. Just as he was about to punch the half-orc in retaliation for an insult to Ragnar, an arrow flew straight from Tec’s talented bow, into the heart of the Redbrand. As the blood bubbled up out of his mouth, he pitched forward, almost toppling into Tristan’s arms, but falling dead to the ground instead.
Immediately chaos ensued. One of the redbrands started running, while the others drew weapons. Tec continued to pepper the ruffians with well-placed arrows, while Jortran rushed to heal them. Eamon used magical tricks in an attempt to force a surrender, but to no avail it seemed. Two more of the band made to run, but one of them was caught in creeping vines conjured by Jortran. In the end, four of the ruffians were captured, two dying, one unconscious, and one simply uncooperative. Sildar arrived to beg the party to arrest them and bring them to the jail cells under the townmaster’s hall, and the party noticed a large crowd had gathered to watch the fight. There again was the young girl, who cheered for her heroes, and called them “The Cragmaw Killers!”. They also noticed a strange woman in the crowd who watched them intently before drifting off down the street.
Back at the townmaster’s hall, the four captured Redbrands were locked into the two cells. Harbin Wester, the townmaster, was beside himself, shrieking that the Redbrands were not bad boys, just mercenaries, and that the actions of the party were unacceptable. He rushed out of the town hall. Ragnar and Eamon attempted to question the conscious thug, who would admit to nothing, and to knowing no one, especially not the missing family. The party decided it would be best to head up to Tresendar manor before going to the mines, for fear that the Dendrar family might be in mortal danger.
UNTIL NEXT TIME…