Meledor Goldchase informed the PCs that he overheard Lord Murray describing a problem in which people are being kidnapped throughout his lands. He sent some locals to investigate and they brought back a local bandit who claimed the kidnapped locals were being taken to a bandit leader in the mountains southeast of Avonhill. The bandit is still in the jail while Lord Murray ponders how best to rescue the locals without them being killed or used as hostages (this happened once before during the war with Astoria).
Once the Heroes agreed to help, Meledor kind of admitted he already volunteered them to Lord Murray and they had been granted access to the bandit prisoner. While the PCs perform this daring rescue, Meledor wants Pellivarius Greenwhisper and himself to seek the exact location of the first dwarven ruins.
The PCs planted Talon into the jail to help the jailed bandit escape and gain his trust. They intended to follow Talon to the bandit camp when the bandit would inevitably show Talon how to get there. The PCs followed the pair to the camp and fought the bandits, killing all of them except the leader, and rescuing a female local tracker named Isilde.
Meledor is trying to form trust with the humans of Avonhill. He told the PCs of his dinner with Lord Murray and that the local liege was worried about locals being kidnapped over the last several months. He had commissioned some locals to investigate, and they captured a bandit who admitted the kidnapped locals were being taken to a bandit camp in the hills southeast of Avonhill.
Lord Murray was worried because the bandits could use the locals as hostages or kill them if he had his men-at-arms storm the camp. Meledor told the PCs they would be local heroes if they were able to solve Murray’s problem. He claimed the investigators brought back the captured bandit three days ago.
In truth, Meledor already volunteered the party to help Murray, but he wanted them to see things his way rather than force them to go. Once they agreed, he admitted he secured Murray’s permission to talk to the bandit in the jail. The astute Heroes immediately realized he had already volunteered them and called him out. They said Lord Murray must be paying a lot for this kind of foray and that they should seek an audience with Lord Murray to find out how much. Meledor insisted Murray had offered nothing, but he could meet with him again and bargain for a reward. The PCs were skeptical of Meledor’s honesty.
The Heroes decided they would arrange a fake arrest of Talon and have him placed with the jailed bandit. He would gain the bandit’s trust and learn the location of he bandit camp. The group discussed various ways to ensure the arrest would look genuine, in case the bandit had informants in the town.
Talon decided he needed to look beat up and had Dane and even Grimbull take a few shots at him. Savina was a little dismayed at his pretty face being messed up. Talon arranged for his own arrest and was dragged into town tied to the back of a horse. He was taken to the jail and thrown into a cell next to the bandit.
“The jail is under the barracks with its own entrance. The barracks themselves are a large building made of stone with narrow arrow slits for windows and a small battlement atop the roof. Men-at-arms, some armored in chain and some only wearing their armor padding or doublets, stand in the practice yard talking. Most are of large frame and well-muscled but some are gangly youths who look as green as a blade of grass.”
“The entrance to the jail is a steep set of stairs that goes under the barracks. Unlike the rest of the barracks, the stairs are unkempt and littered with leaves, dirt, and old blood. The door, a thick wooden portal, is closed.”
Inside is a guard chamber with but one jailor and another stout door, barred from the guard chamber that leads to the cells. The jailor is a hulking brute with one eye, a greasy, balding head, and rotting teeth clearly showing from his protruding jaw. His enormous nose looks like it has been broken several times. He wears a dirty leather breastplate and has an axe hanging from his belt._
The guard chamber had a hearth with a pot, a splintered table, a couple of chairs, and a couple of boxes.
In the cell next to Talon’s was the brigand, who looked young and of Brellish descent. He had stringy, brown hair that comes down below his shoulders, was somewhat scrawny, and had freckles and rare blue eyes. Talon got him to talking and he admitted his name was Bomar.
Bomar asked some questions about what Talon was doing in the jail and how he was caught. He claimed he (himself) would be executed for highway robbery. He said he was working for a Vyshani named Viro and was based at a camp south in the hills. Once Talon said he was planning an escape, Bomar said he would vouch for Talon to Viro if he came with him.
Talon picked the locks on both doors, and together they accosted the poor, sleeping, innocent guard and locked him into a cell. They escaped the town on foot and made their way south, with Talon leaving signs for the PCs to follow his trail.
To the Bandit Camp
Talon and Bomar escaped at around 11 PM. The night was clear and brisk, with the stars and moon clearly shining. They traveled south for 6 hours, arriving at a camp with a carefully camouflaged watch tower hidden in some trees atop a hill. Behind the hill were tends the bandits were staying in. Bomar announced his presence, and Viro came out to meet them. He told them to get some sleep and then arranged for the watch to be doubled.
Grimborn, prior to the PCs’ departure from Avonhill, had purchased a cart and two donkeys, and had it loaded with essentials, such as ale. He took his cart when the Heroes left the town. Dane had a new suit of splint armor, and Savina had a horse she could barely ride. They decided to follow the trail as slowly as possible so they could arrive to the camp at around dawn. They got there a little early, however, were spotted by bandit sentries, and an alarm was raised.
Four bandits were in the camouflaged tower and fired upon the PCs with light crossbows, nicking Dane with two bolts and injuring Savina with one. The PCs advanced on the tower under fire, as more bandits awakened and made their way up the hill.
Bomar woke Talon, and they made their way to the fight as well. Talon spied Viro sneaking behind the two as they left the tent area.
The Heroes dispatched six bandits, with Bomar fleeing and Viro making a final stand. Ki and Nicholai lit up the pre-dawn sky with glowing magic missiles, rays of shimmering frost, and bolts of fire. Grimborn roared as he swung his axe in a wild rage, and Dane used his shields to ward attack after attack intended for members of his party. The leader weathered attack after attack while disparaging the group for attacking him in a pack. “It takes five of you to bring down the mighty Viro!”
The final attack was Ki donkey punching Viro in the face and knocking him out. Grimborn was a little too excited about hogtying Viro and hanging him from a tree.
The bandits were all Brellish in appearance except for Viro. They wear dirtied leather armor with pieces of salvaged chain here and there. They are dirty and unkempt.
Viro, in contrast, kept an immaculate appearance and was dressed in black and gray doublet and breeches with tall leather boots and cloak. He wielded a cutlass (scimitar) and kept 3 daggers in his belt. He had black hair and trimmed beard, brown eyes that were set too close together, and had a flat nose.
Ki and Talon looked for survivors and found a young female staked to the floor of Viro’s tent. They questioned her, and Nicholai suggested they untie her rather than interrogate her. Savina healed her upon seeing her.
The female said her name was Isilde and she was a local tracker. Isilde had a black eye, a cut lip, bloodied nose, and bruises. She was only covered with a thin wool blanket with no clothing. She was somewhat tall at 5’9” for a female, with a slender, willowy build. She had green eyes, black hair cut short, and tan skin. She looked quite young, around 18-20.
She was with the group that captured Bomar and took him to Avonhill. Her group then found the bandit camp, but there were too many bandits, and they were defeated. Isilde was kept here but the surviving locals she was with were taken south, along a creek that went through the camp. The PCs asked her if she could track the trail south and she said she could. She wanted to hurry so she could find her companions. She found her studded leather armor, bow, and short swords.
The camp has a variety of stolen goods: barrels of ale and wine (mostly empty), jewelry, and coin. There is also a female prisoner being kept here for Viro’s pleasure: Isilde, a huntress from Avonhill.
5 pp, 128 gp, 12 ep, 55 sp, 93 cp, 1 potion
3 art objects (80 p finely wrought gold bracelet, 130 gp gold necklace with a wolf head set with 2 sapphires for eyes, 80 gp silver ewer)