Having been granted a charter by the Swordlords of Restov to explore, map, and pacify the portion of the Stolen lands known as the Greenbelt, the adventurers headed to Oleg’s Trading Post.
Late in the afternoon, the group arrived Oleg’s, to find Oleg working on the roof of the stable, and Svetlana working in the courtyard. After a short debate about the accommodations, Svetlana asked if they were from Restov, there to help with the bandits. The party said yes, and the Leveton’s happily refunded – or tried to – the party’s money, and offered them food.
Warily, the bandits attempted to seek entrance, intending to say they were trappers and hunters, looking for a meal and would move on, but Andros shouted “Fire the catapults!” and charged.
The head bandit immediately drew his bow to loose an arrow at Andros, but that was what the party was expecting, and they got the jump. Andros missed with his charge, and immediately the other bandits jumped in the fray. Twelve very short seconds of combat later, and the leader was down, though alive, and the three surviving bandits fled. Charran one of them down, and shouted for the others to not let them escape, for they would return armed, and with reinforcements, but Andros was content with his prisoner, and said, “Let them come. We will be ready.”
They threw Happs into the midden, and began to interrogate him. Feng, the Tian Monk, terrified the poor man such that he told them where the Thorn River camp was, and they made plans to head out. On their way out, Oleg purchased the bandit’s horses from the party, and asked if they would please return Svetlana’s wedding ring, cruelly taken months ago. Andros took it as a sacred quest, and vowed to return it soon.
Four hours later they arrived outside the Thorn River camp. Feng tried to sneak in to find information, but made too much noise in the underbrush, and a bandit came to investigate. Kressle went for her axes, and the whole camp went to full alert. Hearing the horn, Andros and Char charged in on their horses. Andros had promised Happs a head start if he led them there, and true to his word, if not to his honor, he pushed the still-bound Happs from the horse. Happs Shouted “Get them, Sweetie!”, and Andros reared around, instead of charging the camp, killed Happs with one blow. Later, Andros would explain that had Happs simply run, Andros might have let him live, but the adversarial cry would not go unpunished.
Feng slew the bandit that came to investigate his noise, fighting unarmed, a flurry of blows raining upon the hapless fool. Gregor the wizard put two bandits to sleep, and Arkady, the half-orc Alchemist, ran in, to throw a bomb onto Kressle, but waited, fearing the bomb hitting the sleeping bandits and restoring them to potency. Johanna, the rogue, stealthed in form the side, but missed with her dart, and the bandits retaliatory strikes missed as well. Char charged in, impaling another bandit, but getting uncomfortably close to Kressle. Kressle threw her knife at Char, and combined with the wound the valorous cavalier had failed to mention earlier, this was enough to unhorse him, and knock him out cold.
Arkady threw his bomb at Kressle now, and as she smoldered, her anger burned even hotter. Andros, Feng, Gregor, and Johannafended off attacks from lesser bandits, but the enraged Kressle charged over to Arkady and in a rapid series of strikes nearly severed his head form his neck with her axes – only Fate saved him, as the final blow that would surely have cloven his skull in two caught him by the flat of the axe, and not the edge, knocking him unconscious, and leaving a very large bruise and some minor fractures.
Arkady and Char down, 3 bandits down, the odds now stood 4 heroes to 6 bandits, and their champion was hurt, but not slowing. Andros immediately charged the woman who had slain (he thought) his two companions, and he ran her through on his sword, piercing her heart. She fell dead on the spot. At this sight, the remaining bandits fled, save one who was now pinned by Feng.
He surrendered, and agreed to serve the heroes instead. Though the Thorn River Bandits did not have the wedding ring, this bandit knew that it was taken by Kobolds, and would lead the party there. He gave them his Stag Lord Pin, explaining that the Stag Lord was a terrible demon that controlled the bandits, and though he had never met the Stag Lord, Kressle had, and she lived in fear of him.
The party found a potion among the bandit’s stash, and grabbed their ill-gotten gains. Healing char with a little first aid, and the alchemist with the potion, the party loaded up the horses with the spoils and the prisoner, and returned to Oleg’s.
Oleg rewarded them again, with some money and some healing potions, and told them that if they wanted more potions, they could bring the supplies, and some fangberries, to a hermit called Bokken. Oleg made the remainder of their stay free, and busied himself clearing his storeroom for their goods – which Oleg bought, of course.
The heroes retired to their room, determined to track down Svetlana’s ring in the morning, and deal with the Kobolds.