After an unknown process of deliberation and sifting through applicants, the inscrutable yet purportedly brilliant minds of Restov chartered four adventuring parties. Three parties, only briefly heard about, were sent on dangerous missions to various parts of the stolen lands; the other, consisting of a Paladin, Cavalier, Druid, Ranger, Rogue, and Wizard was sent to alleviate the trader Oleg’s bandit problem, and to provide him and his outpost with much-needed supplies.
The newly-chartered party, after a near-apathetic discussion of what name they should assign themselves, passed a hunter coming from Oleg’s, still a 12 to 16-hour march away, given the slow pace of the burdened mules. This hunter carried information that bandits were expected at Oleg’s in about three days time, but conveyed this information with such a degree of gravity that Torbold Durning and Marcus Senno convinced themselves (and nearly the remainder of the [perhaps not so] Bright Wardens) of the urgent need to press on through the night to the outpost.
Somehow, reason prevailed, and the party encamped near the road. Watch was divvied up, and in the wee hours of the morning, Third Watch (Marcus Senno and Masoon Telaeon) noticed a pack of four wolves stalking the mules, still laden with Oleg’s resupplies. Luckily, Marcus Senno and his horse Pokey ((editors note: I’ll change this name when I get the real name of the horse. I do like Pokey though, and raise it as a suggestion if the horse is still nameless)) were able to take down two of the wolves; while Torbold Durning and his mighty steed took down one more, with some ranged support from Masoon Telaeon.
Oleg’s was reached the next day, whereupon Torbold Durning immediately began making plans to restore the outpost’s disused siege engines, despite his below-average intelligence score, and a complete lack of Knowledge(Engineering). He also purchased a crossbow and some bolts at what would be considered market price in the city, but is a tremendous steal on the edge of the wilderness.
After reassuring Oleg that, yes, they were the chartered unit sent forth from Restov to keep the local banditry at bay, and that they were very sorry Restov hadn’t sent as many adventurers as he, in his almighty wisdom, thought they ought to, Torbold Durning devised the exceptionally keen plan of “lock ourselves in with the baddies and hope they’re not a higher level than us”. (This plan shall henceforth be known as Torbold’s Gambit.)
The very next day, the uncharacteristically punctual bandits appeared on the horizon, all mounted on combat-trained horses. Cantering into the outpost, their leader called nonchalantly to Oleg that paying time had arrived, and so it was either gold or he and wifey would get it. Masoon Telaeon had shut the gate at that point and Torbold Durning charged haphazardly into battle, missing his quarry entirely with all attacks. Marcus Senno, silent and stalwart, fared far better, impaling one of the bandits on his lance in a gruesome spectacle.
The one-two combination of Ruindol of the Trees‘s sleep spell and Zephyra the Windfeather’s bag of blinding powder rendered nearly all horses and riders harmless. The bandit leader fainted, turned into a veritable pincushion by the combined efforts of Furcifer Lightfoot and Masoon Telaeon, while Marcus Senno and Torbold Durning cleaned up the remainder of the bandits.
The last standing bandit repented, agreeing wholeheartedly to abandon his life of crime, and serve faithfully as Oleg’s handyman, housekeeper, and occasional gimp. He also provided the party with all the useful information they could want, including the location of the bandit camp, their numbers, how to identify their leader, and when his party was expected back.
Visibly upset that he had neither reason nor divine permission to torture the remaining three bandits who had not perished outright in the fighting, Torbold Durning hastened to the ramparts to rig up a makeshift gallows, and to tie his Brevoy-renowned slipknots into Marcus Senno‘s rope (assumedly because he hadn’t performed a rousing execution in nearly two weeks’ time). Tellingly, it was Oleg who demanded the bandits be put on trial and, over the pleas of “please don’t kill us” and “we didn’t have a choice” and “we were forced to”, Torbold Durning proclaimed each of them guilty and kicked them over the tall wall of the outpost, nooses affixed firmly to their necks. From then onward, Torbold Durning was referred to (always behind his back) as Judge-Jury-and-Executioner. Perhaps some readers find this dark irony pleasing; hopefully the lawful Deities will as well.
The following day, with the bandit corpses on Oleg’s rampart only slightly pecked, and still unbloated, the party set out to explore the lands surrounding Oleg’s outpost. After a mostly-uneventful and empty jaunt around the plains, the Bright Wardens stumbled upon a bobbing orb of light, which Ruindol of the Trees would later identify as a Will-o’-the-Wisp; and evil entity of seriously nontrivial power.
After determining that the ball of light was evil, Torbold Durning ignored the obvious trepidations and warnings of his companions and attempted to smite the entity, striking more swiftly and precisely than he had in their entire campaign, and missing utterly. Judge-Jury-and-Executioner was summarily abandoned, partly because of the obvious power of the creature that rendered him near death in a single blow, and partly because he is perhaps the creepiest Paladin the party has ever come across. (It’s also worth noting that this constitutes a situation wherein Torbold’s Gambit is counterindicated). His horse (complete with war saddle which kept Torbold affixed to its back) fled combat, and Torbold rests surprisingly easily in Oleg’s inn.
- party chartered in Restov
- The Bright Wardens
- Wolves in the night
- Defeat of the Bandits
- Torture? Torture? Maybe no torture.
- Are we running? Are we running yet? No, let me touch the shiny evil! (Paladin knocked out) NOW are we running?
For a breakdown of items used, gold spent, and loot gained, see Item Log S1