In the aftermath of the bonfire, Pinrun fled the scene but was tracked and followed by Kai. The tempestuous rogue began to explore the northern part of Phandalin: a large manor house which loomed above the settlement and was visibly damaged on the western side. Pinrun moved closer and attempted to climb the debris and rubble at the damaged part of the structure, but was unable to find an entrance or opening into the property. Discovering dozens of crisscrossing tracks on the floor, he moved towards the other end of the enormous house but, after hearing a sound behind him, dashed towards the source of the noise and nearly attacked the observing Kai. Together, they sneaked towards the east wing of the house and found a hint of torchlight at a slightly ajar door. The pair retreated, and then – at Pinrun’s instruction – began to play musical instruments in the darkness. The aura of torchlight was immediately extinguished, and the pair fled back into the main streets of Phandalin, found room at the Stonehill Inn, and then went to bed.
Whilst out in the darkness, the remainder of the party ventured to the Stonehill Inn and sought lodgings for the evening. The subdued inn seemed a sombre place, but Akra (with help from her pet, Zero) was able to gradually glean a few pieces of information from the locals:
1. The owner of the orchard was a retired fighter.
2. Sister Garella (the foreign bitch) at the local temple had been acting suspiciously.
3. The bandits, known as ‘redbrands’ had descended upon the settlement in the last few months and their behaviour had recently escalated. The bonfire this evening was seemingly retribution after a local farmer had tried to stand up to them.
The following morning, the group swapped information and parted ways once more. Gore-Grey headed to the local temple to seek out Sister Garella (before the rest of the party awoke), and the rest of the group visited Barthen’s Provisions.
At the temple, Gore-Grey encountered a feisty elven priestess who hinted that she might be able to help the party if they could, in return, help her with a task – but she wouldn’t share the information with the goliath. At Barthen’s Provisions, Elmar Barthen thanked and paid the party members 30GP each for bringing Gundren’s supplies. The elderly halfling also expressed his shock at Gundren’s disappearance, and explained that Gundren’s brothers were due to arrive in Phandalin to meet him a few days from now. He talked about how business was suffering because of the Redbrands and offered his support if someone was to do something about it. Following a heated exchange with Gore-Grey, the halfling also explained that Sildar had been seen around town, that he had never heard of Cragmaw Keep, Iarno Albrek or the Black Spider, but Sister Garella may know someone who had.
As the day moved into mid-morning, the party split once again: Pinrun visited the orchard to find a fit, silver haired human called Daran Edermath – a retired member of a vigilante group from Neverwinter called the Order of the Gauntlet. Pinrun shared his backstory with the man, and was informed that Daran might have a job for the party once they were done with the Redbrands.
Back in Phandalin, Akra, Zinssa and Kai spoke to Sister Garella. The elven lady openly spoke out against the Redbrands and offered the party some items to assist them if they could complete the following task for them:
She had been tasked by her superiors to find a missing spell book and had discovered rumours of a local banshee which might know where it is. Garella had found the banshee’s lair but the banshee did not appear when called. If the party can ask the banshee about the missing spell book, she promised to reward the group.
Whilst the party met once more at the inn to swap stories and information, Pinrun scouted the rest of the village whilst Gore-Grey paid another visit to Sister Garella. Pinrun spotted local children playing near the eastern edge of the manor, north of the village. Taking her flowers, Gore-Grey thanked Sister Garella for her help and managed to find out two more important pieces of information:
1. The hooded figure leading the Redbrands was a wizard called Glass-staff.
2. Goregray had been unable to move because of a high-level spell called Hold Person.
3. The Redbrands were residing in the manor house north of Phandalin.
As the group met for lunch at the Stonehill Inn, Gore-Grey paid the innkeeper for information about banshees. The innkeeper enthusiastically told him everything she had heard about the creatures – particularly the idea that animal sacrifice would draw a banshee into the open and that she had heard a story from a friend about a little girl who had commanded a banshee to do her bidding. With ideas of commanding a banshee army to help them, Gore-Grey impulsively left the inn and sought the local farmer, purchasing a newly born lamb from a terrified family. He marched onward to find the banshee as the party remained behind to discuss their next steps…