The party accepted an escort job from their patron and friend Gundren Rockseaker, driving and protecting a wagon from Neverwinter to Phandalin. Gundren rode ahead along with the warrior Sidar Halwinter. The party was promised 10gp each, which will be paid by the owner of Barthen’s Provisions upon safe arrival.
After an uneventful few days the party spot two dead horses, the remains of a goblin ambush. After a brief fight, the party realize that the horses belonged to Gundren and his companion Sidar. An inspection of the area reveals that this location has been used to stage ambushes for some time, and a trail hidden behind thickets on the north side of the road leading northeast is discovered. The recent tracks of roughly a dozen goblins along with two dragged bodies follow the trail. After a lengthy discussion, it is decided that the party will continue on to Phandalin to deliver the goods, then return to mount a rescue.
Upon arrival in Phandalin, the party takes rooms in The Stonehill Inn. The wagon is delivered to Barthen’s Provisions, where the owner, Elmar Barathen, pays the promised 10 Gold each, and conveys his worry that Gundrin never made it to the town. With a little convincing, Elmar agrees to pay the group 100 gold to find Gundren.
Elsewhere in town, the party discover that the Redbrand Ruffians, a group of local thugs lead by someone named Glasstaff, have been shaking down local businesses, and terrorizing the populace. Recently a local woodworker was murdered in broad daylight after standing up to the group. Shortly after, his wife and two children have gone missing too. The group is told that the Redbrands hangout at The Sleeping Giant.
Meanwhile while exploring the twon, Saeonna Kennyr’atear runs into trouble at the Sleeping Giant, in the form of a group Redbrands. Realizing that she is overmatched, she runs back to the Stonehill Inn for reinforcements and is pursued by four Redbrands. Two Redbrands are killed in the ensuing fight, with one being captured and another escaping. After some gentle questioning by [Caldricus] , the captured Redbrand reveals that the group has a hideout in the near by Tresendar Manor. The party is informed by a young boy that there is a secret tunnel in the woods west of the Aderleaf Farm that leads to the manor.
It is decided that the now riled Redbrands are the more immediate threat and must be dealt with before a rescue attempt of Gundren can be mounted. At dawn, the party leaves for the Alderleaf farm, and the secret entrance to the Tresendar Manor.
The long tunnel leads to a large natural cavern divided by a crevasse crossed by two bridges. In the cavern a nothic appears, and battles the group. After being nearly defeated by the group, the nothic calls in reinforcements, in the form of three bugbears, before slinking away to hide and lick its wounds. The group barely survives the fight, while the bugbears were not so fortunate. Now the group must decide if they should retreat or proceed into the cave.