Jairus: Elven Mage/Thief
Kell: Human Ravager (Barbarian)
Sanaka: Human Windwalker (Priest)
Gunel: Human Fighter/Gladiator
The characters began the session very beat up, completely out of spells, and not a little scared after last session's encounter with the Redbrands at the Sleeping Giant. They had found out that the leader of the Redbrands was a wizard, and they needed a safe place to recuperate before challenging him.
Gunel the Fearless headed back to her room at Stonehill Inn. She was not going to run scared, not when sleep was calling after an honorable battle. (Gunel's player was absent for most of the sitting.)
The others decided to seek the aid of Linene, proprietor of the Lionshield Coster, for asylum. They had done her a favor in the previous sitting, and she had offered her help in the future. Linene set the party up in a strongroom below the business. She retired to her home next door for the night. Mist was asked to set guard for a couple hours, circling the Coster in the shadows to make sure they were safe. She then retired to the strongroom herself for much needed rest.
Unbeknownst to the party, Glasstaff, the magic-using leader of the Redbrands, had spies in the town...spies who told Glasstaff exactly where the party had secreted themselves for the night. Upon hearing their location, he collected his remaining Redbrand forces and certain scrolls, then made his way to Linene's house in force.
The benevolent proprietor stood no chance against the ruffians that forced their way into her house. The Redbrands tied her up and took her with them as a hostage when assaulting the party. Through Linene, the party had they keys to the Lionshield Coster and the knowledge of the layout of the building. Glasstaff cast Strength on 3 of his goons from certain scrolls in his possession.
The PCs were asleep when the Redbrands thrust open the strongroom door, while Glasstaff cast Sleep. Mist, Jairus, and Kell fell to the spell immediately, some never waking to the opening of the door in the first place. Sanaka remained awake but was taken by Glasstaff's Charm spell before he could arm himself for a fight. The PCs were blindfolded and led out of the Coster toward the Redbrand hideout. Glasstaff, in a show of kindness, left Linene locked in the basement strongroom "for her protection."
The party awoke in separate male/female cells in the basement of the Redbrand hideout. The cells already contained other prisoners: the family of Phandalin's murdered woodworker. The party's weapons and equipment were missing. They were still out of spells and low on hit points. Their outer clothing lay in a pile in the middle of the room between the two cells. They had nothing.
Except, Mist keeps lockpicks threaded in the seam of her undergarments. Try as she might, she could not pick the locks to the cell, nor could Jairus after she tossed him the picks. However, luck would soon swing their way.
The sound of Redbrands celebrating flowed into the room through the one visible door. Later in the night, two Redbrands entered. One immediately fell asleep in the pile of clothing in the center of the guardroom. The other looked to the female cell, then looked to the male cell. He headed toward the males and began relieving himself beside Sanaka's prone form. Jairus immediately leapt up and grabbed the Redbrand by his hanging cloak. He jerked the drunk guard's form into the bars of the cell, bouncing the man's skull off a bar. He slowly lowered the body, and then ripped the guard's keys off his belt. The party and the woodworker's family were free. Sanaka took the opportunity to repay the guard who had urinated on him. Jairus took a cloak.
Mist put on one of the two red cloaks and went to explore the beyond the door. It was a large room with three stone sarcophagi. Against each one was a human skeleton clad in rusty mail. The skeletons ignored her as she poked around the room. She first tried a door to the north that opened to a short hallway with a locked door on the right. Again her lockpicks failed her, and she couldn't get the door to open. (Note these were failed 50% chance rolls, not locks that were exceptionally difficult.)
She returned to the crypt and tried a set of double doors to the southeast. These opened to a long hallway with a doorway at the end. She returned to report to the party.
Sanaka decided to explore the next room a bit. When he entered the crypts, the three skeletons awoke and shuffled toward him. He retreated to the guard room, where he borrowed a red cloak.
He returned to the crypts in the red cloak, and the skeletons didn't move. Sanaka used a short sword, borrowed from one of the downed guards, to hack at the neck of the unmoving skeleton. The sword was unfamiliar in his hands, and it caught the lip of a sarcophagus, flying out of the priest's hand. (FUMBLE!) He picked the short sword back up and hacked at the skeletons in earnest. Their heads separated from their bodies, and the undead collapsed into piles of bones. There were now enough short swords for the entire party.
Feeling accomplished, the priest opened the nearest sarcophagus to look inside. He found a platinum signet ring in each sarcophagus. The party was ready to try the wide hallway to the south.
Mist again walked ahead and didn't see the trapdoor in the floor before she walked over it. She was able to catch herself on the rim of the floor as weakened tiles crashed 20 feet below.
Using ropes from the jail cells and the lids of the sarcophagi, the party was able to navigate the large pit in the center of the wide hallway. At the end of the hall was a doorway to the south. It led into a wide room with stairs leading up to the east and a cistern to the west. Beside the cistern was a door. Around the cistern were barrels. The party set to exploring before heading up the stairs.
The barrels were full of foodstuffs. In the cistern, Sanaka found a rope with a waterproof satchel underwater. It contained two potions, gold, and a set of travel clothes. While Mist listened at the door near the cistern, it slowly cracked open.
An alert Redbrand slowly opened the door to the sound of people rustling through barrels. He caught Mist mostly off guard, but she kicked the door open and he had to move his hand out of the way at the last second lest it be crushed between the door and the wall. A sword fight began in the doorway.
While Mist fought in the doorway, Jairus jumped on some nearby barrels to add a poke from his sword into the doorway now and then. Sanaka explored the potions in the satchel. One was familiar as a healing potion. He gave it to the barbarian.
The barbarian, with significantly more HP than at the beginning of the session, took over for Mist when she was injured. The party fought as the guard backed into his room, where two more guards could join the fight. The barbarian fought with her fists against the guards with swords. She was able to knock one out with an uppercut. The other two fell soon afterward, with help from Jairus who had climbed a bunk bed in the room to fight from advantageous high ground. When the adversary was defeated, the two rooms were cleared, and the party exited the hideout via the stairs.
Back in town, the party freed Linene from her shop's basement. She suggested they go to the Shrine of Luck for healing. They stopped in to visit Sister Garaele in her home beside the shrine, then boldly left town to finish a night of rest in peace in the woods. (Glasstaff's spies were all asleep, and didn't track the party out of town.)
The next day the party returned to town to recruit help in dealing with Glasstaff. A couple of the party members asking for help were pointed in the direction of Daran Edermath, a retired "adventurer" who now kept an orchard. He agreed to help the party as an archer in return for them performing a deed for him afterward.
Linene was recruited for retribution against those who invaded her home and kidnapped her.
The proprietor of the Miner's Exchange, Halia, would not lend a swordarm, but suggested that Glasstaff had a goblin lackey who may know the way to the Cragmaw Castle the party had been asking about. She exchanged her information for any information the party could tell her about Glasstaff after storming his hideout.
Sister Garaele was recruited for battlefield medical purposes, though she requested a boon from the party afterward as well. Gunel was awoken after fully recuperating at the Stonehill Inn.
The party headed toward the Redbrand Hideout, equipped with borrowed weapons and armor from the Lionshield Coster (they had never found their stuff in the Hideout before leaving). As they were walking up the road toward the Sleeping Giant, they heard Glasstaff shouting for the town to give up the party members before he was forced to destroy it in order to find them. His position given away, the party spread out to meet their challenger. Jairus was given a potion of Invisibility Sanaka found in the underwater satchel.
On the road to the east of the Sleeping Giant, the party saw Glasstaff behind 6 Redbrands who, in turn, were behind three bugbears. Glasstaff let the party advance a bit up the road before casting Fireball from a scroll. Mist was knocked down. Gunel, Kell, and Sanaka were wounded. The others were outside of the area of effect. A few buildings, including the Sleeping Giant, and a tree were lit on fire.
Gunel charged the bugbears, with Sanaka attacking at her flank. Daran shot arrows at Glasstaff from the corner of the Sleeping Giant. Sister Garaele healed Mist so she could return to help in the battle. Linene protected Daran's flank from Redbrands who were circling around the flaming taphouse. Kell ignored bugbear and Redbrand to charge Glasstaff's position.
Redbrands fell to Garaele and Mist's opportunistic stabs, Kell's barbarian rage, Daran's deadly arrows, Jairus's flashing daggers, and Sanaka's massive claymore.
Bugbears were unable to stand against the gladiator's professional solo fighting tactics. Sanaka, Mist, Linene, and Daran helped finish off bugbears as Gunel held them at bay.
Glasstaff cast protective magics about himself, but was unable to stop the assault from Daran's arrows as well as the crazed, charging barbarian. When Glasstaff eventually turned tail to try to save himself, Jairus let loose a deadly backstab from his invisible position.
The Redbrand Ruffians, along with their magic-wielding leader, were no more.
The characters helped to extinguish fires before exploring the rest of the Redbrand Hideout. They found areas that had previously gone unexplored in their earlier hasty exit. Their weapons were found behind the door Mist was unable to unlock. Their personal equipment, as well as a hiding goblin, were found in a bunkroom. Glasstaff's personal rooms contained a potion laboratory and a desk with telling paperwork. Glasstaff was Iarno Albrek, the person Sildar Hallwinter was coming to Phandalin to find. Also, Glasstaff was charged to take the party hostage by one calling himself The Black Spider.
All other follow up will have to occur via messaging until the group can meet again.