The Eclipse arrived in Phandalin late in the morning and stabled their horses. Talk of shopping at favorite shops and visiting familiar friends spread across the party, leaving Reece somewhat fascinated by this quaint town. Ulindil and Reece made their way to Barthen’s Provisions, Jebulon and Grognack went to visit Sister Garaele, and Lucca headed towards the Dragon Head Inn to see Felora.
Ulindil and Reece made their way to Barthen’s Provisions as Ulindil needed to procure a set of Studded Leather Armor, accidentally leaving his behind in Orboris Harbor. Ulindil was expecting Chloe, but instead met a shopkeep he was unfamiliar with. The odd fellow did sell him the armor he required, along with two quivers of arrows. Reece attempted to purchase a diamond, but was told that they didn’t sell gemstones at Barthen’s Provisions. He did receive slightly incoherent directions to the Miners Exchange, which is where they headed next.
Upon arriving at the Town Hall per the directions, Ulindil looked three buildings to the right and saw a normal house. Uncertain, Reece began to head into the Town Hall before Ulindil noticed that a sign with a pickaxe hung on a building that was three to the left of the Town Hall. Sighing, he informed Reece and they headed inside. It was here that they encountered their first friendly face of the day, Gundren Rockseer. They exchanged a bit of friendly banter before Reece attempted to buy a diamond. Unfortunately, the only one they had was not only spoken for, but also far outside of their price range. With their affairs in order, they headed for the Dragon Head Inn.
Meanwhile, Jebulon and Grognack went to the new Temple of Tymora and attempted to meet with Sister Garaele. She wasn’t in, so Jebulon took the opportunity to donate a significant sum of gold and instruct Grognack on what tithing is. Grognack, too, attempted to tithe and pray to Tymora, and he found that he felt pretty good afterwards. Afterwards, they went outside to wait where they saw Ulindil and Reece heading towards the Town Hall. Sister Garaele arrived shortly thereafter, and they discussed how things were going in Phandalin. The temple was doing well, and so was Sister Garaele and her daughter, Marianne. After their conversation, Sister Garaele extended an invitation to both Jebulon and Grognack to join her and Marianne for dinner, which they graciously accepted. With their conversation over, Grognack and Jebulon spoke of proper etiquette as they too headed towards the Dragon Head Inn.
Lucca arrived first at the Dragon Head Inn and was greeted by the bartender, Chuck. He looked a little worse for wear, with a noticeable lazy eye and thinning hair, but he seemed to be in good spirits. Lucca inquired about Felora’s whereabouts and was directed to the cellar, where he found her apparently taking inventory. They had a short, private discussion, after which they both headed upstairs.
Phandalin, Part II
The party, minus Lucca, came together at the Dragon Head Inn for drinks. They sat at the bar and inquired about Lucca and were informed that they went upstairs. After a bit of banter at Lucca’s expense, Jebulon heard a heavy footfall behind him and felt something jab into his back. He stood up and spun around quickly, seeing a tall, hooded Half-Orc form standing before him with his head held low and halberd in his chest. The object Jebulon had felt was the hilt of a halberd; The bladed side was pointed into this Half-Orc’s chest. Jebulon tried his best to discern what was going on, but the Half-Orc only replied with one word: “Dishonor.” Jebulon continued to ask questions, and the Half-Orc somberly said, “I did not know what I did.” He tossed back his hood and raised his head. Jebulon, Grognack, and Ulindil recognized the imposing figure as the Half-Orc that had slain Reidoth, likely with the same halberd that was drawing blood from his chest. The Half-Orc continued, “Are you adventurers? Do you get paid to kill the bad guys? I was paid to kill the bad guys.” As he continued to speak, he pushed himself against the halberd, drawing more blood from his self-inflicted chest wound.
Seeing this, Jebulon attempted to remove the halberd but was overcome by the emotional burden of the situation; His strength left him. Ulindil stood and tried to break the handle with a well-placed bow shot, but his attempt also failed. Jebulon implored the Half-Orc to take a walk with him to earn back his honor. Begrudgingly, the Half-Orc accepted and they walked outside together. It was there that Jebulon learned the name of this marauding Half-Orc: Bob. Jebulon told Bob that he would forgive him, but only if he pledged himself to Sister Garaele at the temple in town. Bob thought about this and was persuaded to accept the offer. He began walking off towards the temple, halberd on his back, and released a short whistle from his lips. A large wolf emerged from one of the side alleys and walked up to him, matching his stride.
Meanwhile, Ulindil gave Reece the basic information around this Half-Orc and what exactly was going on. Jebulon returned a short time later, and filled Reece in on the details.He told the party what transpired, and also inquired about Lucca’s whereabouts. As he had not been seen, he went upstairs and knocked on both his and Felora’s door to no response. He went back downstairs and got himself and Grognack cleaned up. Jebulon requested Reece do the work with Prestidigitation, while Grognack got another taste of Ulindil’s Tireless Janitor. After getting properly cleaned up, they headed towards Sister Garaele’s house for an uneventful, but pleasant, dinner. During this, Reece attempted to find a good place to perform to no avail, while Ulindil stayed behind at The Dragon Head.
The next day, the party noticed that Lucca and Felora were still nowhere to be seen. Jebulon announced his intent to travel to Thundertree and check on the vegetation there. Grognack volunteered to go with him, and they departed shortly afterwards. Ulindil and Reece, decided to investigate Lucca and Felora’s rooms a bit further. They went upstairs and tried knocking to no avail. Next, Ulindil decided to peer through Felora’s keyhole to see what was going on. What he saw horrified him and prompted Reece to take a look. He, too, saw something that made his stomach turn. They both retreated downstairs and shared a drink before going their separate ways.
Reece, realizing that he didn’t have a set of thieves tools to pick the lock, went to Barthen’s Provisions to obtain some. While there, he encountered the same unscrupulous shopkeep behind the counter. After discreetly asking for lockpicks, the shopkeep accused him of being a thief. Reece denied it, and the shopkeep, now known as Brutus, gave him a set. When Reece went to pay, Brutus grabbed his hand pulled him in, whispering, “You’re one of us, right? The Redbrands will return!” Reece, unsure of what this meant, headed back to The Dragon’s Head to converse with Ulindil.
After being informed of what the Redbrands were, they headed to the Temple of Tymora and met up with Sister Garaelle and her daughter, Marianne. They told her what Brutus had said, and she seemed nonchalant about the news, even dismissing it. When they asked about the old hideout, Marianne spoke up and told them about the rumors she heard about the whispers in the old Tresendar Manor cellars. Hearing this, they decided to investigate. What they saw shocked them: Two individuals wearing dark leathers and wearing tattered red cloaks standing by the old cistern. Ulindil’s instincts kicked in, and he sensed that there were numerous undead in the area. He and Reece agreed to retreat for the time being.
Old Enemies, Part II
Jebulon and Grognack arrived in Thundertree without much issue. They noticed a few zombies still shambling about, but they posed no threat to their combined might. They made their way past the skeletal remains of Venomfang and into Reidoth’s old hideout, which was bittersweet for Jebulon. Things seemed fairly tame, although the roof had been compromised by the dragon on their last visit. They decided to rest before heading to investigate the tower that Venomfang lived in. Upon arriving inside the tower, they noticed that the treasure they could not carry was no longer present. Jebulon decided to investigate the roof when both he and Grognack began hearing a voice in their minds, blaming and taunting them. They both recognized it as Tristan, the dragon cultist that perished attempting to negotiate with Venomfang.
As Jebulon continued to climb the rickety stairs towards the top of the tower, the planks kept snapping beneath him as Tristan disparaging both of them. Grognack decided to descend first, followed shortly by Jebulon. Tristan, in his new raspy voice, told them both that they were not free to leave and that when he perished, he found some latent power in the area, or that the power found him. Jebulon recalled the Lich Phylactery that they had destroyed on their last adventure to Thundertree, and became intensely concerned at what they might be dealing with.
WIll Jebulon and Grognack escape the Tower? Can Reece and Ulindil get to the bottom of what is going on in Phandalin? What has become of Lucca and Felora? Only time will provide these answers, and hopefully they are not as tragic as their return to a sleepy little town called Phandalin.