The Secret Door
After reconnoitering the area around the crevice, the party headed down a corridor in search of the prisoners. The passageway ended abruptly in a blank wall. Realizing that Erevan had now caught up with the group, the group asked the drow to search the apparent dead-end for secret doors. He soon found one.
With Dresden in front, and Gran guarding the rear, the group went through the secret entrance, and found themselves in a large room. Along the near wall was a cistern, filled with clean water. On the opposite wall was a raised ledge, with stairways leading up to it from both sides of the room. In addition to a door on the ledge, there was another door under one stairway, and a third door on the other side of the cistern.
They searched the room, finding nothing more than barrels filled with provisions. Anxious to find the prisoners, they headed through the door under the stairs, and found a long hallway with a door at the far end. Before they made it down the hallway, Gran — still guarding their rear — shouted in alarm. Three Redbrands had emerged from the door alongside the cistern, apparently trying to sneak up behind the group.
The first Redbrand was taken down quickly, in large part from damage from a tremendous bow shot. The other two engaged the party in hand-to-hand combat, but proved no match for the group. After they were dispatched, they were searched, and a number of gold, electrum, and silver coins were found on them.
The Pit of Bad Ideas
The party then resumed their trek down the next hallway, only to see the floor collapse underneath Urdnot. The paladin fell heavily into a pit, falling prone on the floor. Bruised but okay, he waited as Dresden attempted to reach the far side of the pit by tip-toeing along a narrow ledge. The fighter lost his balance, and plummeted into the pit too.
The remaining three debated how to rescue the two warriors from the hole, when with a sudden burst of inspiration, Gran realized it was a short 10-foot leap across the pit. He easily made the jump. Scrawny Mac didn’t think he had the strength to leap that far, so he transformed into a wolf which could more easily clear the distance. Soon, all five teammates were safely on the other side.
The Skeletons and the Sarcophagus
The door at the end of the hallway led to a strange crypt. Three skeletons, each resting in front of a closed stone sarcophagus, seemed to stand guard. Urdnot’s paladin senses suggested that undead were nearby, setting the party on edge.
Not wanting to take the chance that the skeletons might suddenly attack, Gran slammed one of them with his weapon, breaking its ribs. The skeleton remained inanimate. To be safe, all three skeletons were dispatched to piles of dust. They debated whether to open the sarcophagus, but after much discussion, decided to leave whatever was inside alone.
After the crypt, another room was discovered that appeared to be used as a Redbrand armory. In addition to hand weapons, there were many quivers of arrows and bolts. There were also dirty red cloaks. The ranged weapon users happily helped themselves to a resupply of arrows.
Prisoner’s Cells – and the Zentarum
Confident, the party continued their way through the basement of Tresendar. They soon emerged into a large room that included prisoner’s cells. The cell’s floor was lined with uncomfortable-looking straw, and three prisoners — two women and one child — were inside. All wore iron chains around their necks. But the party’s attention was demanded elsewhere, as a boss wearing studded leather armor and two Redbrand henchmen attacked just as the party came into the room.
Swords slashed and flails flailed as everyone joined in the melee. The party slowly gained the upper hand, however, and eventually the armor-wearing boss was thrown to the ground and pinned, while the two Redbrands were killed.
Realizing the jig was up, the pinned loser revealed herself as Halea, owner of miner’s shop in town. She had taken control of the Redbrands after GlassStaff had been overthrown. After further interrogation, she revealed that she was a member of the secretive Zentarum society.
While questioning Halea, the party discovered that the stone key taken from an enemy in an earlier fight unlocked the cells as well as the prisoner’s chains. The prisoners identified themselves as Kellen and Pip, who lived on the nearby farm that had been recently raided by the Redbrands. The third was a woman named Erna Nendrar.
What to Do with Halea?
Halea suggested that the party let her go, and even implied that they group mind find membership in the Zentarum valuable. However, the party realized that the now-released prisoners would surely object to any shady deal that let Halea escape punishment, so they decided to escort the prisoners out of Tresendar, while also taking Halea to the town authorities.
Even though they hadn’t cleared the upstairs of Redbrand, the party retraced their steps and headed toward the exit. The pit, which they managed to cross earlier, now proved a challenge, since they had no easy way to cross while keeping Halea bound, and also aiding the ex-prisoners. Luckily, they came up with a brilliant plan than enabled all of them to safely cross, the details of which are too epic to recount.
On exiting, Erna apologized for not being able to reward the heroes for rescuing her, but she did give them a potential lead on the location of some valuable treasure in Thudnertree. In that abandoned town was a former shop, and buried there was an emerald necklace. Erna hoped the party could locate it.
Back at the town, the party hauled Halea back to Sildar and Harbon at the town hall. Upon hearing the amazing tale, Sildar paid the party 200gp for dealing with the Redbrands, while Halea was left with the town master. The party returned to the Inn, intent on celebrating their victories at Tresendar, and resting up for their next adventure.