As told by Joe the Bard.
Returning from the banshee we saw smoke rising from the village of Phandalin. Rushing to see what was afire, we found Barthen’s Provisions in flames, Elmar outside being accosted by four Red Brands, his children slain. We managed to kill the Red Brands, as I fell into darkness. I awoke to the glory of the goddess of luck.
Unable to ignore the threat the Red Brands pose to this town any longer, we determined to investigate. I slunk over to the blah-blah to see what kind of numbers we’re against, and found eight (give or take) drunk patrons. Two trademark red cloaks hung by the door, begging to be taken. I returned with those to the shrine, and Cal, Volukk, and I decided to abduct one or two drunk Red Brands to interrogate. We managed to knock a couple out as they relieved themselves outside the tavern, and took them into the woods. We woke one up and questioned him, then he started to escape as we discussed his fate. Volukk knocked him out again, we tied him up, put him in a shallow “grave” and woke his companion. After getting what we could from them, we buried them to their necks in the woods, gagged, so as to prevent them from warning others.
We learned that the “Black Spider” pays a wizard by the name of “Glass Staff” to keep the villagers in fear. There is a prison in the manor by the crypts, guarded by skeletons. The back entrance to the manor, a tunnel, is guarded by an eye monster.
Now in possession of four red cloaks, we used the back entrance. I scouted ahead and found gold, gems, a couple potions, a scroll, and a gorgeous longsword. [5 gems worth 15g, 120 gold, 160 silver (Joe left it, Cal grabbed it), 2 potions of healing, 1 scroll of augury, fancy longsword named Talon]. We then entered the lower level, only to encounter the eye monster, apparently able to communicate with our minds. We slew it and investigated the lower level. On the west a set of stairs down led to two doors, as did a hall – some of which had the sounds of gaming. To the east a hall dead-ended, but Cal found magic which lead us to a secret door. Beyond that was a room with a cistern and a sack [potion of healing, potion of invisibility, clean clothes, 50g], and then a barracks; we convinced the Red Brands therein that we were newbies, and they gave us information about the prison. To the north is a cavern/store room in which we found another secret door.