Our heroes are busy hiding upstairs when they hear the leader of the red bandit guys burst into the inn and demand to see the people who killed all his folk. None of our heroes feel the need to go claim credit at the moment because they are too busy watching crazy anime and eating maple flavour potato chips. This presents a great opportunity for the newbie, PhantomFoxx, playing Akilah Batiatus, a half-elf fighter, to come in and prove herself by saving the day.
Akilah is tired and mad after a long time traveling away from a town overrun by bandits. She just wants a damn drink, but this punk is making all sorts of noise. What do?
Footsteps pound up the stairs and then there is a knock at the heroes' door. "Who's there?" asks Celkini, who is standing in the middle of the room. The others are standing to the side of the door, ready to attack. Xavros and Celkini are sure they can hear about two people approaching. The door opens and Celkini waves. Dweezil gets off a weak-ass attack, followed up by Asher's ORAORAORAORA which manages to push the first guy back out the door into the next guy.
Back downstairs, there are still a Red Brand with his sword to the innkeeper's neck. Akilah gets up and back talks the Red Brand, who drops the innkeeper and starts slowly walking over to her, shortsword drawn. The Red Brand tosses aside a poor halfling, and when he gets within five feet of her, Akilah tosses her drink in his face. He covers his face in time, but two citizens jump up and grab his arms. Akilah strikes at him with her sword, but he tosses a citizen at her, throwing her off.
Upstairs, Asher and Dweezil struggle with the Red Brands. Celkini misses her attack, but Ben leaps onto Asher's spear, runs along it and does a leaping attack at the Red Brand's face. Xavros uses Vicious Mockery:
Roses are redViolets are blueI have five fingersAnd the third one's for you
Xavros words cut deep, leaving the poor remaining Red Brand open to attack from Celkini and Ben. Xavros finishes him off, despite Asher's attempt to stop him because OMG that's murder! Dweezil leads the charge downstairs.
Meanwhile, Akilah is feeling a bit demoralized by her repeated missed attacks. She wracks her brain for useful 80s puns, but the Red Brand has no desire to negotiate. No one ever wants to negotiate, dammit.
Inception Xavros rolls in with more Vicious Mama Mockery, but Akilah still takes a hit and fails to hit the Red Brand. We'll just say she is drunk'd and forgive her for her level oneness. Asher leaps in for a save. "KO!" shouts a citizen from the side. The innkeeper praises the heroes and offers drinks on the house for all. A party bursts into happening, Prince is playing. Celkini grabs a cup.
Dweezil, still all business, checks outdoors where he spies other Red Brands wandering into other buildings. Dweezil asks the innkeeper to help hide the bodies while he explores their pockets. Celkini gets drunk'd.
Asher and Akilah immediately bond over their shared elven heritage and love of punching things.
The group share ale and introductions. Tomlin offers accommodations to Akilah. He speaks on behalf of all the citizens in the pub when he says that they are happy to have these heroes here to rid the town of the Red Brands. Dweezil continues to gather information, learning little more about the Red Brands than that they hang out at the Sleeping Giant. For now, all seems to be well and the crew heads upstairs to rest.
Xavros wakes up to find Asher already awake, training his body.
They head over to the next room to wake up the small folk, then wake up the new girl. They still need to get into that chest. Downstairs, Sildar, looking regal in clean, glistening armour, is sitting there. He invites them to breakfast. He tells them about some gnome/dwarf history about some Wave Echo treasure cave that may or may not be near this place. He says some stuff about how the goblins have a fortress where they may have taken Gundren Rockseeker. Sildar offers them a hefty reward if they are willing to help. They also tell him about the Red Brands and how he has taken over the town, arresting the shifty mayor and taking his place. Celkini rattles off the confusing details of their adventures in the mansion up the road, which Sildar recognizes as a place where some other guy disappeared to and needs saving. Because obviously. The team decides the goblin castle is the best option.
Before heading out, they decide to restock at the armoury where Celkini informs the storekeeper that she and her friends found her crates and offer to retrieve them if they could get some support to do so. The group has now figured out that it is wise to gag Celkini when discussing important things with people. The armoursmith is a bit of a bitch and certainly not a hero. After some horrible haggling by Dweezil and Xavros, they purchase some weaponry for 13 gold pieces. She also offers them a cart and horses in order to pick up the crates, but Dweezil suggests they should make sure the cave is clear first.
Shopping done, they head to the cave with Asher and Celkini in the lead. Behind them, the others are apparently checking their cellphones because only Akilah notices the group of well-armed goblinoid creatures in the distance. The three in the back run and hide, Celkini climbs into a tree and readies her sling, and Asher, who recognizes these six creatures as hobgoblins, readies his shortbow and stands out in the open. One of them spots him.
Asher dashes into the brush. Ben orders Celkini to be silent and still. Asher vanishes, the hobgoblins follow, but they cannot find him. Through Ben, Asher delivers a warning to Celkini that he is going to cast Darkness. Through Ben, Celkini passes on this message to the others, scratching the specific details in the dirt. Dweezil suspects that Ben is the true mastermind of this entire affair. Asher casts his spell, and everyone runs. They make it to the mouth of the cave...