Enjoy this Extra! Extra! special edition of your favorite source for news (second only to Elsa the Gossipy Barmaid).
It’s a sunny day on the 16th of Eleasis, Year of the Scarlet Witch — and here, dear readers, are the local happenings.
In Phandalin, the news never gets old.™
Tresendar Manor Home to Redbrands, Ousted by Unorthodox Adventurers
Unless you’re new to Phandalin, you are well aware that the Redbrand Mercenary Band has been harrying our town for months. Among their litany of offenses, they are known to carouse, threaten, brawl, kidnap, burgle, insult, leer, sneer, scoff, murder, smuggle, steal, enslave, litter, spit, and laugh at vulgar jokes.
Until now, the location of their hideout has been a mystery, and their leader, known as Glasstaff, anonymous — but the Phandalin Gazette is proud to break the story first (take that, Elsa!)…
The Redbrands, under the direction of Glasstaff, had taken up residence in the dungeons of the old Tresendar Manor. Glasstaff himself is said to be none other than one Iarno Albrek, who some Phandalinians will remember as that pretentious fellow who tried to set up a constabulary some months ago. His summary disappearance was, at that time, ironically attributed to the growing threat of brigands in the area.
Townmaster Harbin Wester, well-known Redbrand denier, faces stern looks and possibly even whispered gossip — in public, no less! — now that his long-standing policy concerning the Redbrand threat has proven ineffectual.
And foolish. And asinine.
Tresendar manor was cleared thanks to the town’s newest visitors — a group of strange adventurers (who are profiled later in this issue).
According to an exclusive interview with a verified Redbrand mercenary (who asked to remain anonymous), after the adventurers fought off an army of animated skeletons — it’s true! — the Redbrand in question was jailed in his own slave pens. His impressions of the group included “scary,” “blue,” and “I want a lawyer.”
Local herbalist Mirna Dendrar, widowed by the Redbrands when her husband Thel defied them, and then abducted shortly thereafter, was rescued by the adventuring party along with her two children, thirteen-year-old Nars and eighteen-year-old Nilsa. On behalf of her grieving family, she expressed the utmost gratitude to her rescuers, calling them “heroes” and asking: “is a funeral really the most appropriate time for an interview?”
Wizard Iarno Albrek was apprehended by the group and later formally arrested under the authority of Sildar Hallwinter on loan from the Order of the Founders in Neverwinter (whoever they are). Sildar is said to hold a place of honor in the famous griffon cavalry of the great city of Waterdeep among his list of impressive accolades. Also, he’s quite dashing.
Currently, Iarno waits in the town jail until transport for his trial in Neverwinter can be arranged. (Harbin Wester insists I ask the citizens of Phandalin to stop shouting jeers through the jail window as the townmaster is a light sleeper and his bedchamber is on the second floor of the town hall).
According to local authorities and the commonest of sense, the manor ruins, though recently vacated by their trouble-making tenants, are still unsafe to explore (that means you, Pip Stonehill!).
A small number of Bugbears and a Nothic are alleged to yet haunt the dungeons — though, according to some reports the Nothic eye-monster was subdued, thanks to the wit of one Boirin Ashcloak with the help of a mirror and some string from Phandalin’s own Barthen’s Provisions.
Feature by Gwendolyn the Mad, Queen of Everything
Phandalin Phorce Phive in Profile
Boirin Ashcloak in profile
Dwarf Boirin Ashcloak is a cleric of Marthammor Duin, the dwarven god of something or other. He has been seen carrying a warhammer and shield and appears quite hardy despite his small stature.
Trilena Stonehill, the innkeeper’s wife, shares her impressions of the dwarf: “All-in-all, he is a good patron. He pays his bill, and for that he is always welcome. Sure, he has had his fair share of indiscretions… but I suppose that appearing in the common room in naught but his skivvies can be overlooked given the invaluable service he has rendered our little town.”
Erresea Rána in profile
Erresea Rána, or simply Rána as he is known to his… friends? … came to Phandalin only to earn some coin. To the great benefit of our town, he found more than a payday. If rumors are to be believed, he is not only a lively and unpredictable magician, but also the life of the tavern.
Narth, that old farmer that looks like a gnarled root, recounts a memorable experience at the Stonehill Inn: “I’m not sure how he did it, but I’ll be darned if that blue feller didn’t drink me right under the table! I’m not too fond of strangers — be it strange folk or folk who’s just plain strange — but this Rána feller’s okay in my book.”
Daardendrian Rhogar in profile
When you grow up on the Sword Coast, you hear stories of all kinds of outlandish creatures and people, but Daardendrian Rhogar may be the first dragonborn to ever visit Phandalin. Covered head to toe in blue-flecked brown scales, the draconic anthropomorph stands an impressive 7 feet tall.
Not much is known of this mysterious adventurer who has traveled so very far from kith and kin, but he seems familiar with Sildar Hallwinter. Some sources believe that they are in league, perhaps belonging to the same Order, while others believe that he could turn into a dragon and destroy the village at any moment.
Roden Hobblebuckle in profile
Phandalin’s own Roden Hobblebuckle has been known to get into mischief from time to time. Recently, said mischief may have finally caught up with the roguish halfling: his sudden and mysterious disappearance has been troubling — most of all to his aunt Qelline Alderleaf who owns a farm on the southeast edge of town.
The Phandalin Phorce Phive refused to comment on their halfling friend’s disappearance, but Qelline responded by insisting that “Roden is a good boy and it’s not fair that he should get mixed up in such trouble. I don’t know why everyone keeps calling him a ‘rogue’; he’s never broken so much as a suggestion in his life, much less the law.”
Adrena? Adrian? Andrina? in profile
Sources have thus far been unable to ascertain her last name. Or confirm the spelling of her first name. Really, with her vibrant orange hair and twilight-blue skin, we’re not even sure she’s human…
What we do know is that she has been spotted shopping at Phandalin’s own Freda the Weaver’s, proving that even adventurers can possess a fashion sense. What’s more, rumors are swirling that she possesses the most enchanting voice that anyone has ever heard, with some suggesting that she is, in fact, a bard! Businesses in town may want to place bids for sponsorship deals in case this Adrena-Adrian-Andina turns out to be a celebrity incognito.
*Artists were unable to render the party’s portraits before they departed for Thundertree owing to their refusal to sit completely still for several hours.
Dear readers, things are changing faster than ever in the dog-eat-dog-goblin-eats-the-cannibalistic-canine world I like to call the Goblosphere®. Welcome to Goblin Goings-On with Gnerx the Columnist, where I give you the down-and-dirty low-down on the low-down, down-and-dirty, good-for-nothings that call the poorly policed roads, blind corners, and dank caverns of the Sword Coast their home. First, over to Gnerx the Obituarist…
Gnerx the Obituarist here, and there is plenty to report as regards the recent deadness of various goblinoid creatures in the region, thanks in no small part to the arrival of the Phandalin Phorce Six. In the last tenday alone, there have been no less than 24 confirmed goblinoid fatalities from the Triboar Trail to the Cragmaw Hideout and even Cragmaw Castle itself. According to Gnerx the Sole Survivor:
The Phandalin Phorce Six don’t make a habit of taking prisoners when it comes to inveterate miscreants.
Among the list of slain, shot, burned, eaten, beheaded, bludgeoned, and vaporized are some noteworthy figures:
Yeemik the Ambitious (nothingized by radiant light).
Klarg the Bugbear (beheaded).
Stewart the Hobgoblin (poked to death).
King Grol (decimated by magic & stabbed with a trident).
Lhupo the Profane Priest (martyred in service to Maglubiyet).
We now go to Gnerx the Political Correspondent. Gnerx?
Thank you, Gnerx.
Hi, I’m Gnerx the Political Correspondent. As we heard from Gnerx the Obituarist, there have been a string of goblinoid deaths recently which, if they belonged to any other race of marginally tolerated creatures, would be considered a murder spree or massacre the likes of which have never been seen.
As it is, however (ignoring the loss of worthless and despicable creatures), what we have is no less than an unprecedented power vacuum in the wake of losing not one, not two, but four influential goblins: including an up-and-coming mutineer, a venal ambusher slash tribal chief, a ruling despot, and a religious leader.
The Goblosphere® is all abuzz, a-cackle, and a-snort over speculations of who will step in to fill this tenuous power void. It’s difficult to tell this early in the political process, but there seems to be a lot of momentum behind a misogynist ogre and a crooked banshee despite literal mud-slinging and allegations of not being thoroughly corrupted enough for the job.
We’ll keep you up to date on all the terrible news coming out of the Goblosphere® here at Goblin Goings-On.
Before I sign off, I’d like to give a shout out to Gerbo the Tinker:
4rlz thx for B-ing my daddy roflol ;P totes didn't see that coming, tbh #GnerxtheGnomelin #itscomplicated
A Goblin Interest Feature by Gnerx the Columnist
Op-Ed: Phandalin Phorce Phears: Heroes or Harbingers of Doom?
I’m hearing a lot of one-sided praise for this “Phandalin Phorce Phive,” and to be honest, it makes me sick! Did they get rid of the Redbrands? Sure… but remember: even a dragon can drive off a monster or two before it makes things worse than ever. I’m telling you… no good with come of these villains-in-disguise!
SO MUCH BAD.
Some may accuse me of fear-mongering — and they’re RIGHT. You should be afraid! Do you have any idea what kind of abomination we have in Phandalin — eating our food, drinking our ale, staying in our inn?!
Erresea Rána is a notorious DECEITFUL ONE, branded Wethrinaer by the High Elves by the power of Corellon himself (may his name be praised)!
You can’t miss him, he’s the blue elf. Stay as far away from him as you can! Hide your children! Run and scream! Shout unclean in the streets as he approaches!
He may seem friendly, but thanks to Elven magic, even he doesn’t know what he’s capable of! The least we can do is drive him and his friends out of town — if they’re in league with a Wethrinaer, that’s all I need to know!
Stay informed! Spread the word! Teach your children! Remember:
W arning: E veryone is T hreatened by H orrible R otten I ndigo N otorious A pocalyptic E rresea R ána
Op-Ed by Sister Garaele
Boirin Ashcloak, well-known advocate of wolf rights, became the de facto poster-dwarf for PETW when he rescued three malnourished canis lupi from a local goblin-run kennel (which has since come under investigation for violating shelter codes).
A shift in public perception seemed possible for the first time since that rash of werewolves a few years back.
The local celebrity-turned-wolf-rights-activist seemed to be the ideal spokesdwarf. However, in a recent PR debacle, Boirin has come under fire for participating in numerous counts of wolf-abuse.
According to circulating rumors, Boirin Ashcloak has been accused of participating in the burning of a live wolf, restraining “his” wolves with iron chains, wolf-baiting to attack his enemies, treating wolves as flesh-shields to absorb attacks meant for him, and even leaving “his” wolves tied up outside of town for days at a time.
These allegations were dismissed as simple rumor — until recently when the dwarf cleric was witnessed using a wolf puppy for batting practice in the south end of Neverwinter Wood. One source speaks out against the abuse:
It was sick… He just picked it up — it was no bigger than this, you know? — and then WHACK, he swings his warhammer and it goes flying into the forest… I mean, how could someone do that?
Another source observes that Boirin was not alone:
Sure, the rest of Phandalin Phorce Phive was there, but they didn’t do anything to stop him. As soon as he picked it up, they all just started laughing, and they kept laughing until long after it was out of sight — as if it was funny. I never want to understand that kind of callousness.
After multiple reports started rolling in, an outraged PETW could no longer vouch for Ashcloak. People for the Ethical Treatment of Wolves immediately launched an investigation. So far, by piecing together various eye-witness accounts, they’ve uncovered startling evidence that suggests that at least two wolves have died under his care. One concerned citizen asks:
How many wolves have to die before we say something? How many have to be launched across the forest before we do something?
PETW are asking conscientious Phandalinians to boycott the sale of Boirin® brand Adventurer’s Kits at Barthen’s Provisions and other participating retailers, using economic pressure to protest private and public wolf exploitation.
Op-Ed by Wolfgang Howell
Serial: The Adventures of Griffin Chubrik Fobalops