With the blood of the bandit still on her Rapier, Valerie scouted the area from her perch before sneaking back to the rest of the group. There was another ‘blind’ watch tower on the western side of the bandit camp a good 60-70 feet away that she was pretty sure had not realized what was going on…there was a decent bit of cover blocking sight between the two from tree limbs.
Korin meanwhile was busy untangling his arrows that had mysteriously been tied together in sets of five…another ‘joke’ by the fae that seem to have been following the group around.
The bandit camp totaled Nine Bandits and Kressle the leader. Make that Eight Bandits with the one guard that Valerie killed. So another seven on the ground with her, and another in the blind. Still, the bandits had not realized they were being spied upon yet despite having superior numbers. And after all, the party mused, the previous bandits had tried to flee or surrender once their ‘leader’ was dispatched.
Sidney, who had yet to acquire any kind of melee weapon, snuck back up into the outlook Valerie had recently cleared out to give support with his longbow once the battle started. Valerie herself snuck back into the camp…close enough to get a shot off at Kressle herself…she would be the signal to attack!
Readying her sling and aiming true her sneak attack left a bloody mark across Kressle’s face as the rest of the group leapt into battle. Having heard of her prowess in battle the group quickly targeted Kressle and killed her dead before she even got a chance to react. Three bandits fled immediately, the rest too dumbfounded to realize what just happened.
In no time through a combination of overwhelming force, finesse, and deadly mingbending rainbows from Tarvis the rest of the bandits were subdued. One surrendered, another was captured via Color Spray.
“What can you tell us about the Stag Lord? Also repent or be hung by your neck until dead!”
Facing such options both bandits decided to repent, spilling their guts verbally rather than literally. The Stag Lord is a powerful man, able to crush another man’s skull in his hand…but lately he’s been trying to find answers at the bottom of a whiskey bottle and that has started to destabilize his control of the regions bandits. A lot of the day to day running of the Stag Lord’s fort was left to three Lieutenants: Akiros Ismort who is described as a somber man with a large scar down the right side of his face and a soldiers’ discipline. Auchs, a large simple man with great strength, and Dovan a sadist/masochist that is in some kind of power struggle with Akiros.
Also apparently the Stag Lord once punched out a horse.
Among the things claimed at the camp was a crate full of greenish-looking whiskey…apparently somewhat locally made. It was intended as a delivery for the Stag Lord to feed his alcoholic habits but the group just might use that to help gain entrance to the Fort later. After all, the bandits come and go so frequently it was hard to know who was ‘in’ the gang and who was just passing through and giving tribute. The current pass-code to gain entrance is the phrase “By the Bloody Bones of St. Gilmorg, who wants to know?” and no, neither bandit knows who St. Gilmorg is supposed to be.
One of the Bandits (the other scout from the trees) was utterly convinced the group was going to kill him. Being told that he should start digging graves for the other bandits did not ease his mind. “How many?” the bandit asked.
“A giant hole” responded the dwarf. The bandit held back tears as he started digging in the background while the party discussed what to do next.
Valerie attempted to console the bandit, assuring him they weren’t going to kill him after forcing him to dig a mass grave. The fact that Valerie had just finished stripping Kressle of all of her belongings in a plan to disguise herself as the bandit to gain access to the Stag Lord’s fort, was not helping the situation.
Gathering up their two bandit captives and taking the wagon from the Thorn River camp the players began their two day trek back to Oleg’s Trading Post. They were unable to avoid continuing shenanigans via Fae however…on the first night back to Oleg’s Valerie found that her journal had been written in! There was a moving-comic on the bottom of every page that created a running small animal. Valerie actually found this adorable.
Tarvis, when getting up for his shift of the night watch picked up his trusty quarterstaff and tossed it back down in surprise when it started screeching loudly and flashing bright white and blue lights at the very ass-crack of dawn, startling everyone else in the camp awake including the two bandits.
The next day was safe travels, but more pranks. Sidney found a bunch of purple berries stuffed into his boot with spider legs attached to it to make it seem as if he just squished a spider. The groups horses were changed in color to look like the cast from My Little Pony.
Finally the group arrived back at Oleg’s Trading Post, and were greeted with an unfamiliar voice from the other side of the closed doors. Apparently the reinforcements from Stormreach had finally arrived – a mercenary captain named Septim Garress and his group of three soldiers had taken the job from the Coin Lords to provide protection for this outpost. Septim even recognized Korin among the group, the two were pals back from their time together in Stormreach. While Septim is a classically trained Blademark soldier from House Deneith something happened to cause him to distance himself from the House – the fact that he did not introduce himself as “Septim Garress d’Deneith” was indication enough of that.
Regardless Septim was also here hunting down a bounty from Stormreach. A bandit named Falgrim Sneeg was last scene heading south to disappear into the jungles of Xen’drik. The Coin Lords would send upgraded equipment to Septim’s group for the return of the convict. They preferred alive but dead was also acceptable…and while Septim was currently protecting Oleg’s he promised to share the rewards with Korin and his gang if they helped bring him in. Korin agreed to help.
The group wheeled and dealed with Frank, let their first two bandit captives go since their information turned out to be correct and replaced them with their other two captives, Valerie had some girl time with Svetlana as they prepared Moon Radish soup together, and met with a middle aged Cleric of Balinor who introduced himself as Jhod Kavken. Jhod bestowed another quest upon the party – to find an ancient temple to Balinor the God of the Hunt within the Sovereign Host. Jhod confided in Valerie that he had been having these dreams lately…that he felt something was guiding him to find this place, and that there was a “large bear that wasn’t quite right” guarding this place…it was somewhere in the south but that was all Jhod knew.
Two new quests in hand and saddle bags emptied of loot the group headed southeast from Oleg’s to begin exploring the land. The group explored an area of plains and came upon a disturbing area littered with skeletons of local wildlife – boars, bears, even humans. The group was able to spot what appeared to be two protective ‘lids’ being held open ever so slightly by big looking spiders…Trapdoor spiders. Two of them. Considering they were so close to Oleg’s the group wanted to clear out this danger…between Alanea and Valerie’s quick thinking they rigged up some Molotov Cocktails with some flasks of Oil and each managed to hit their mark – lighting the roof of the spider’s lairs on fire…forcing the spiders out into the open for direct combat!
Denied access to their cover and unable to drag individuals back into their lair the spiders were quickly dealt with and loot recovered from the spider’s lairs.
Of particular note was a cloth drawing in blood of a claw-shaped tree sticking out of a hill with a deep red “X” noted underneath it.
Tarvis mused “A treasure map? Interesting.”
The group seems intent on simply exploring the local area now that the immediate threat of bandit attacks against Oleg’s has been eliminated.
XP Gained: 803 each.
XP until Level 2 – 409