We had a bit of a late start, but that just gave people time to finalize their characters and transcribe them to character sheets. We established that the PCs had all been in Red Larch for around a week, so knew a bit of the town. Thogal, who claims to have seen everyone in a prophetic dream, became kind of the hub for contact for Ander Lackman, Veladrin Vasco, Father Elias and Ander Brightwood.
The Constable’s Charge
Thogal was approached by the Constable Harburk Tuthmarillar and asked to range to the south and deal with the bandits preying on trade along the Cairn Road. Thogal then recruited his new acquaintances to assist. Father Elias made a point of negotiating with the Constable for a reward, and got agreement that the group could keep a portion of whatever was recovered from the bandits.
With the plan established to head out the next morning, the group spent the evening in preparations. Thogal talked with Kaylessa the Innkeeper about her theory that all the recent bad stuff was connected, and learned that she was offering 50 gp to any group that would scout Lance Rock, just off the Long Road. The rest of the group seemed to spend their time making fun of Ander the Bard’s musical stylings.
On the Road Again … for the First Time
In the morning, the group headed south along the Cairn Road. Father Elias took charge of navigating, while Thogal and Veladrin kept an eye out for trouble. The two Anders spent their time scavenging food and water along the road.
A cunning plan was developed at Veladrin’s suggestion (he’d written a paper on such plans, perhaps you’ve read it?). Ander the Bard would pretend to be a lone, wealthy traveller on the road to lure out the bandits, while the rest of the group would hang back hiding to ambush the bandits.
Against Expectations the Plan Works!
Amazingly, despite Ander the Bard overplaying his role and the Ander the Fighter crashing through the brush in bright chain mail, the plan works! Four bandits step out and demand Ander turn over his purse and goods. A volley of arrows, bolts, fire, harpoons, and some harsh words about mothers and personal appearance quickly drop two of the bandits and put the other two to flight.
They are unable to run fast enough to escape Thorgal’s longbow, and are also dropped and taken as prisoners. After a break for lunch, and to give the bandits time to wake up, the criminals are interrogated. It’s now that we learn that half the group is looking for very specific people, and that the bandits really don’t know who they are.
The group also learns that the bandits have a camp in a cave not far from the road, and that there’s no more bandits. The group decides to recover the loot from the cave.
Bears aren’t Loot, Right?
At the camp, the group finds an angry bear in a flimsy cage on a wagon. By way of explanation, the bandits say “We ate the pig, and then we caught the bear”, which isn’t very helpful. Ander the Bard suggests feeding the bear and letting it out of the cage. With a couple minor tweaks, that’s what the group does (tweak one – while the bear is eating, Ander opens the cage door, tweak two – the party runs away before the bear gets out of the cage).
Another cunning plan works perfectly, and the bear ambles off into the wilderness after finishing the food. In the cave is coin and goods, which are loaded into the wagon along with the prisoners. The whole lot is carted (hah hah) back to town.
The Constable is a bit surprised to have prisoners, but does admit we did “deal with” the bandits. The coin and a portion of the goods values is turned over as a rewards, and the group agrees to meet up again the next morning to talk to the Tarnlar kids (who might have some knowledge of the Rock), and then explore Lance Rock. 50 gp, even split 5 ways, is nothing to sneeze at.