Celkini leads the way as the team checks the cave. She finds a rubble filled path leading up to the other side, but as she and Asher climb up to the landing and attempt to throw down a rope to help the others up, the platform gives way. Akeelah takes seven damage from the falling pebbles. Good thing she leveled up earlier. Celkini also offers her a Cure Wounds spell, then Ben goes up the path to check things out. Celkini and Asher follow and this time discover that there's nothing up there. Totally worth the effort.
The team decides to rest while Dweezil works on a map of the cave to give to the lady who owns the stolen stuff. Celkini offers everyone her stash of muffins that she'd brought with her from home. They are rock hard and taste awful, but they do the job and refill their waterskins from the river that goblins hopefully have not peed in. They know better now than to accept food from Celkini, but Xavros was very, very hungry.
Then they head back to town. It's dark now, but they spot the two poorly dressed guards at the entrance. They approach cautiously, except for Celkini, who waves and proceeds to inform the guards of their recent adventures, including the slaughter of Red Brands. The guards don't seem too surprised by this, but they haven't yet drawn their short swords. Instead, they offer to escort the crew to the Town Master's house. Dweezil attempts to discern what these two are up to. Xavros doesn't trust them, Asher is on guard, and Dweezil and Akeelah are playing up Akeelah's injury so that they can hang back. Celkini skips along merrily. They spot other "guards" walking in town, at least two, and another at the door to the Town Master's house. The guards nod to each other
The hooded man notes that this group has caused much trouble, but clearly they have skills that would be useful to the Red Brands. He offers them two options: join us, or die. The four guards pull their swords.
Dweezil notes that the Red Brands don't seem keen on non-human membership, The man says they are willing to make an exception. "I am not too familiar with human feeding customs," says Dweezil, "but I don't eat the ass. We need to speak to the head." He then drops the mic. The hooded man chuckles and agrees to take them to his leader, the wizard.