After taking Sildar Hallwinter back to Klarg’s lair, they revive him to find out what he knows. Sildar tells the party that the cragmaw tribe has been taken over by someone or something called The Black Spider. Klarg had been tasked with capturing Gundren Rockseeker, and has already sent him off. Although Sildar doesn’t know where, he thinks that some of the locals in Phandalin might have an idea. Sildar also confirms that Gundren has a map, and that he and his two brothers are working on reestablishing the glory of Wave Echo Cave. Finally, Sildar also mentions that his reason for travelling to Phandalin is to find and locate Iarno, his colleague from The Lords’ Alliance who hasn’t been in contact for months, and is believed to be missing or dead, and he will pay 50 gold to the party if they assist him to Phandalin.
After talking with Sildar, the party decides the goblins can’t be allowed to continue living, so they return to the den to find them all packing up and getting ready to leave. Even though they had previously surrendered and sworn not to hurt another living sole, they are all slain.
Arriving in Phandalin , Sildar informs the party that he will be staying at the Stone Hill Inn that night. Most of the party packs it in, but Smokey tries get it on with Sister Garaele. Unfortunately for him, she turns him down. Later, Joe instead decides to make a small offering Tymora and receives a small blessing. Saya and Granny visit The Lionshield Coster, which is run by Linene Graywind, and sells weapons and armour. Linene says that she isn’t going to sell anything to a newcomer, lest the weapons end up in the hands of the Red Brands. Linene informs them that the Red Brands have taken over Phandalin and run everything, but the townmaster, Harbin Wester, is too scared to do anything about it. Instead he insists that they aren’t a real problem, and that it’s being handled adequately.
Meanwhile, Luceim and Granny decide to head to The Sleeping Giant Inn to see if they can gather any more information. As they approach, four tough-looking young humans, all dressed in scarlet cloaks, approach the pair.
“Alright you two, drop your valuables and get out of here”, one of them calls.
“Granny, I think we’ve walked into the wrong part of town,” Luceim murmurs as a look of concern washes over his face.
“Nonsense my dear! I think we’re exactly where we need to be”, Granny replies as she places a wrinkled, but warm and reassuring hand on Luceim’s arm. “Hello dearie!” she calls back, “We just want to come in for a drink!”
“I don’t think you heard me properly,” growls the thug, “hand over your money if you ever want to be able to drink again!” Granny stares at the hood as she pulled out her large purse and picked out a single gold piece and threw it on the ground, all without ever breaking eye contact. “Well if that’s how it’s going to be…” he growled, as he drew his sword and moved towards the pair.
Granny cast sleep on the first of the Red Brands while Luceim cast wild shape and together the tore the remaining Red Brands apart. Taking the still sleeping one captive, they round up the party and let them know what happened. Saya can’t believe they just killed 3 civilians and refuses to take part, but the remainder of the team interrogates their captive. He reveals that the Red Brands are being led by someone called Glass Staff, and that their base of operations is hidden underneath Tresendor Manor. Joe slits his throat and hides the body.
The party approaches Harbin at the town hall, and finds him talking to Sildar. When they ask about the Red Brands, he insists that they aren’t an issue, and that they’re under control. As he faces pressure and more intense questioning, he asks Sildar to get rid of his friends. Sildar takes them outside and explains that this issue must be dealt with, and offers 200 gold if they manage to rid Phandalin of the wretched Red Brands.
Realising that they perhaps needed more information from the Red Brand member, the party decides they’ll just get another one by going back to The Sleeping Giant Inn. The area is deserted, but they can hear sounds of merryment coming from inside the inn. Joe walks up to the door, kicks it in so hard that is breaks in two, and yells, ‘If you’re not a Red Brand, get out!’ Unfortunately all the patrons then decided to stampede out the door to avoid being caught it a crossfire, Red Brands included. The stampede of people makes fighting hard until Xander casts Farie Fire, and highlights the targets for them. Granny puts the rest of the civilians to sleep, while Luceim eats half of the gang members. Two Red Brand prisoners are taken and questioned by cross examination and it’s discovered that The Black Spider has allied with the Red Brands in order to take control of the surrounding area of Wave Echo Cave. It’s also revealed that there is a secret underground entrance into Tresendor Manor. The two Red Brands then both have their throats slit individually.