Dean (Jared), Matt (Spinter Paw), Mariel (Ragash), Jeff (Ford), Chris (Creeper), and James (Kraygen) are returning cast members.
We left the group lurking in the forest near Phandalin, surveiling a small cave that the Redbrands used for some mysterious purpose. Creeper led the way in, finding a passage about a hundred feet long that opened into a rough cavern that had clearly been improved for civilized use. The room was dimly lit by oil lamps along the wall, and bisected by a crevice that was in turn crossed by two simple rope bridges.
The group spread out through the room, investigating each of the exits. Creeper went west far enough to listen at a door, making out noises of conversation within. Kraygen tried to cross the closer of the two bridges, heading east, and it collapsed beneath him. He did manage to leap to the far side rather than falling into the crevice. The rest crossed by simply climbing down one side and up the other. While at the bottom, they noticed a half-eaten corpse in simple clothing, with a set of carpenter’s tools. Ford took the tools. Further north, an outline of a box was visible beneath the second bridge. During their exploration, Ford noticed a lizardlike creature scuttle out of sight into the darkness.
The party chose after a brief whispered discussion to continue exploring by the road less traveled by, to the east. That way they found a storeroom with a cistern and provisions. An adjacent room held more supplies and three Redbrand guards, who promptly attacked Jared when he opened the door. Jared distracted them by falling into the cistern and bleeding heavily. Creeper killed one from stealth, Ragash wounded another, and Jared finished off the remaining two with a flourish, blowing smoke from the barrel of his his hand crossbow. As Jared got up out of the cistern, he found a waterproof bag hidden in the depths. It contained a fresh change of clothes, now soaked; two potions; and 50 gold. The party appropriated three Redbrand cloaks from the corpses.
Continuing to explore, Creeper found a pit trap, but managed to escape it before the rest of the group noticed his distress. Ford locked the pit closed. The next room turned out to contain three sarcophagi and three skeletons that rose to attack Creeper when he passed through. Again the group made short work of these, and found 3 signet rings inside the sarcophagi worth 50 gp each.
Ragash and Kraygen performed a dynamic entry on the next room, killing two Redbrands inside with a decorative flourish from Kraygen after Ragash softened them up. There were three prisoners inside: a young woman, a younger boy, and an even younger female child. They claimed they had been taken prisoner from Phandalin, and the Redbrands spoke of selling them into slavery. They also mentioned their father, a carpenter in Phandalin.
Further explanation discovered the Redbrand armory, containing many weapons in poor condition.
While most of the group settled in for a short rest, Ford left the rest of the group, leading the three ex-prisoners to the body of their father. He would be taken back to town for a decent burial…