Picking up where we left off, the party has just cleared out the Cragmaw Caves, saved Sildar Hallwinter, and is headed back to their wagons on their way to Phandalin.
Just outside Phandalin, they come across a lone wood elf ranger fending off a small herd of goblins that are attacking her and her wagon. As the party rushes to her aid, the goblins break and run. In all the commotion, the captured goblin from the caves awakens and slips his bonds and tries to escape. As fortune would have it, a resident of Phandalin, a young halfling boy named Carp, had hidden in the bushes when the goblins attacked. Carp is able to smack the lone goblin in the back of the head with a frying pan, knocking the goblin out, and alerting the party to their missing prisoner.
The party, now with Prya, a wood elf ranger who was also hired by Gundar Rockseeker, make their way into Phandalin, and head to the Stonehill Inn as recommended by Sildar. The party is able to convince the locals to wake up the townmaster to lock up their goblin captive, and they retire for the night to recuperate from their battles.
In the morning, they finish their first quest and deliver the Rockseeker’s goods to Barston’s Provisions. It is in Barston’s that they first hear about the Redbrand Gang that is slowly strong-arming the citizens of Phandalin into submission. Dax goes off to interrogate their goblin captive, eventually learning about King Grol, Cragmaw Castle, and someone or something called the Black Spider… but at this time Dax is unable to get reliable directions from the goblin to find the castle.
Using some of the gossip from around town, the party decides to visit the Sleeping Giant Inn and has their first encounter with the band of ruffians calling themselves the Redbrands. Prya quickly establishes her value to the party, using her bow to strike down one of the thugs, while Urg, Dax, and An quickly finishes off another 2, and as the last of the band tries to escape, Urg hacks him down from behind.