Surely the residents of Phandalin knew something changed. After all, there were no more Redbrands running around. A certain measure of justice and stability has been restored.
Would they ever know the cost? Would they be in the great hall of the Lord’s Alliance as they called Sildar’s name only to be met in silence. Would they see his chair remain empty as they recounted his deeds and sacrifice. Would they know his pain as he walked his former friend Iarno to the ultimate justice?
Would they know the pain of Gundren? Finding both his brothers dead? Would they ever know that the impending economic prosperity would be soaked with their blood? Would they know this pain isn’t Gundren’s to bear alone, but Kildrack’s also?
Zeen, the Dragonborn whose introduction to the part came threw the beheading the undead Sildar. his hatred for evil and the undead knows no bounds. He frequently found himself outnumbered and surrounded by the enemy only to survive time and time again.
Varitos, ever the noble and soon to be newlywed underwent a change. Perhaps it was watching Sildar being eaten by the undead, or realizing how far Phandalin had fallen. Varitos went from searching for scented soaps, to revelling in the visceral remains of his foes.
Milo, the gentlemen rogue, disabling traps, and back stabbing his way to glory. The creator of deluxe custom carts and purveyor of illicitly acquired goods, he too was no stranger to paying the cost of combat. Taking risks to save his comrades from an owlbear in Cragmay castle, to problem solving over barely there bridges, Milo had his own hand in the redemption of Phandalin. Perhaps quietly counting the cost paid in blood of the fallen along the way.
Once more, the party ventured into a cave, in search of evil, in search of Phandalin’s redemption, in search of family and maybe in search of riches as well. Pushing back the shadows of evil is not a cheap venture.
Barely five steps into the cave and Gundren was confronted with the body of his brother. Once more the party, led by Kildrack were able to encourage him to avenge his brother’s death by pressing on.
As they pressed further into the cave, the evidence of a barely remembered battle lay strewn about their feet. Bones adorned the floors like tiles, locked in immortal conflict over the resources and wealth promised by the spell forge.
Zeen, found himself in his favored habitat. Crashing through doors, alone, surrounded by those with ill intent. Each time he rose (both metaphorically and literally) to push back against evil.
Varitos, matched wits with the Spider himself and found himself running down the darkened hallways, swearing his return would be inevitable.
Kildrack, found himself, as the healer seemed to do from time to time, alone. Before long, the spiders had him wrapped and risen to the rafters. This arachnid based disappearance put him on death’s door, at which he knocked repeatedly until it was nearly too late. It was Milo’s quick thinking that reminded the group that the amulet that was now adorning Gundren’s chest, may in fact save Kildrack.
Still the party pushed on.
With a last foray to the narrowing depths of the cave they came face to tentacle with the Spectator. Who pushed back nearly blow for blow with the party. Milo darted in with a sneak attack unleashing both it’s blood and a torrent of a thousand whisper and images of the last few weeks flying by the party.
Images of the poor family in town watching their husband being dragged out into the street and murdered by the Redbrands. Images of the party pushing through the cave (with the help of Klarg of course), sounds of Iarno’s fireball slamming into half the party. Glimpses of a town on the edge of despair nearly falling in the clutches of evil.
The party pressed on and at least for one day, the scales fell in their favor and now hope, not Redbrand may walk the streets of Phandalin. The citizens have something to look forward to now.
However, the economy of redemption is not without blood, and the reopening of the mine will bring both pride and peril to Phandalin.
For now, the party can rest, and mourn the fallen. Some will wonder if deals they made will come to haunt them. Others will rest only momentarily, knowing there is still evil in the world.
But all will take time to celebrate the wedding of Linene and Vartios, and for a moment allow themselves to exhale and soak a moment of glory they brought to the dirt roads of Phandalin.