Campaign Diary #3: The Redbrands.

The following is one of my Campaign Diaries, where I recap the latest game of Dungeons and Dragons that my friends and I play. Click here for the Campaign Diaries in order, click here for a “Who’s who” style summary, and click here for a Dungeons and Dragons introduction post!

The Diary

Meeting some Redbrands

After leaving Harbin Wester’s office, Dovogholz, Theon, Ser Donat and Gryff were met by four men in raggedy red cloaks, each of them armed and apparently ready for battle.

“Time for you to move on, strangers. Give us your stuff, and be on your way.” said one of the men.

“Says who?” asked Sir Donat, stepping forward and putting his hand on the pommel of his sword, but not drawing it quite yet. Gryff and Dovogholz saw this and both readied their weapons.

“We’re part of the Redbrands, and you lot better clear off. We’ve heard that you’ve been asking one too many questions.”

One of the Redbrands stepped forward and shoved Theon back, causing him to stumble slightly.

“Leave us alone and you’ll all be able to part from here with your lives,” warned Sir Donat. That was enough. The Redbrands all drew their weapons and charged, while the hirelings of Gundren Rockbreaker drew their weapons as well. It was a quick fight, with Dovogholz, Gryff and Sir Donat each getting a kill, and Dovo a second.

The previous night, a few of the townsfolk were complaining of the Redbrands, a gang of bandits who had taken over the town as the pseudo-government almost. They were exacting harsh taxes, and maiming, kidnapping and sometimes killing those who fought back. Asking around the town, they found out that the abandoned manor, Trensendar, seemed to be their base of operations.

Carp, the Halfling boy.

During his time asking townsfolk for help, Dovogholz came across a tiny halfling boy. The boy was staring at Dovogholz, transfixed by his height, bulk and scaled skin. He took a deep breath, and spoke extremely fast.

“Are you a dragon!? You look like a dragon. Well maybe you don’t, I don’t know. My friend Darry said that dragons have hard scales like lizards and can breath fire, can you breath fire? Just tell me if you can I’ll believe you, you don’t have to show me cause you’d burn some stuff probably.”

Dovogholz laughed and replied that he wasn’t, he was simply a Dragonborn. To be fair to the halfling boy, he was fairly close!

A Dragonborn, Wizards of the Coast, From dndbeyond.com

Dovogholz spoke to the child for some time, and learned that when he and his friend Darry were playing in the woods, some Redbrands appeared from nowhere and told them to clear off. Naturally, the children didn’t and followed the men to a small cave in the side of Trensendar Hill. Dovogholz knew that this must be a secret entrance to Tresendar Manor, known hideout of the Redbrands. He gathered his comrades and they set off.

Entering the Hideout.

Sneaking in slowly, Sir Donat, Gryff, Theon and Dovogholz came into a natural cave that the Manor was built on top of. It seemed part of the caves were integrated into the Manor’s lower chambers and storerooms. They clambered into a large cavern, that had entrances going off into manmade chambers on all sides, as well as a large fissure in the ground that had two rope-bridges crossing it.

They ventured in slowly, all on high alert, when a voice rang through Gryff’s mind:

“Well hello there, Little Bitch!”

“AH! Who said that!?” called out Gryff, giving his comrades a start.

“No-one said anything good man,” stated Sir Donat, “Keep your voice down.”

They ventured further in, with the strange voice calling out more and more to Gryff, but only he could hear the voice. They rounded a stone column and found a small disgusting looking lizard like creature, with one great eye in the middle of its head. A Nothic. The Nothic has the ability to discern one secret that someone is keeping, and are telepathic.

Disgusting little blighter. Wizards of the Coast via dndbeyond.com

The group fought and quickly dispatched of the Nothic, tossing its corpse down the ravine below. The picked a passage way and found stairs leading down. At the bottom of the stairs they found two doors. Pressing an ear to each, they could hear goblins and bugbears behind one, and some men laughing and cheering behind the other. Sir Donat took the pitons from his pack and used them to seal the door with the goblins behind it shut. Now they onnly had to deal with the men in the other room.

Gambling with their lives.

“Hang on!” said Theon, “I have an idea!” He waved his hands and made strange gestures in the air, while muttering arcane words. As he did, the illusion of a red cloak appeared on his back, and his clothes appeared disheveled and dirty. He had cast Disguise Self to appear as a Redbrand.

“I’ll go in there, tempt them out here one by one, and you guys can-” he drew a finger across his throat. The others agreed, and consequently used the corner at the bottom of the stairs to hide, their weapons drawn.

Theon went inside the room to find four men, all in Redbrand uniform, sitting at a small table, drinking and gambling. Theon, who used to run cons and plays to swindle people out of their money, put on his game face. He joined the group, introducing himself as a new member of their troupe. They eventually accepted him and welcomed him to their dice throwing gambling game. He even began to win some gold!

After a while, Theon convinced one of the men to check on the goblins down the hall. Dovo, Gryff and Donat swiftly dispatched of him. Donat took the man’s cloak, not liking how long Theon was taking and entered the room. It didn’t take much longer for Theon and Sir Donat to convince a second man to leave, who once again was swiftly taken care of. Gryff and Dovo burst in to surprise the last two, and got rid of them fairly quickly.

In disguise…

Realising that being in disguise could really work in their favour, the group all donned real cloaks, Theon’s spell just fading. Next, they hid the bodies, took some ropes and wrapped them around Dovo’s wrists, making it look like he was tied up. More importantly, they made sure not to bind his wrists.

They continued to explore, eager to find the enigmatic Glasstaff, leader of the Redbrands. As they clambered through the halls and rooms of the basement of Trensendar, they came across a lab like room. A small rat scurried out of the room and up a small stair to a door. The group followed the door and opened it.

It appeared to be the bedchamber and office of Glasstaff. There was a bed in one corner, with a wooden chest at the foot. All along the walls were small shelves filled with books, bottles, and various trinkets. On the left stood a small desk and chair with a seated man. Beside him a large quarter staff made of glass leaned against the desk.

Glasstaff

“Eh, sir,” interrupted Sir Donat, “We have a prisoner here we thought you’d like to talk to. He seems to have been killing some of our men in the town.”

Glasstaff looked up, “A Dragonborn eh… Haven’t seen any of your kind around here. Fine.” He looked to Donat, Gryff and Theon. “Kill him and feed his corpse to the Nothic. I have much work to do for the Black Spider.”

Giving each other a look, the four adventurers slowly drew their weapons, and all struck at the same time.

Dovogholz struck out with his halberd, which cut deep into Glasstaff’s neck, decapitating him. As the head fell, black smoke rose from the wounds, revealing that Glasstaff was none other than a doppleganger.

Why would a doppleganger be posing as a human?

Who is the Black Spider?

Will Theon get over his newfound gambling addiction?

Find out the answers to these questions and more, next time!

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