From the journal of Naias von Richter
Oathday, 1st Pharast 4710
We arrived at Oleg’s trading post, which was housed in an old fort. Oleg seemed like a grim, surly, burly man, whilst his wife Svetlana, who greeted us, was both charming and beautiful. It is just a shame that she is married. She informed us that we were expected and of their trouble from bandits. a group of about a dozen bandits had been raiding their trading post, forcing them to hand over all their goods. They were led by an archer and a bad tempered woman who wielded twin axes. For some reason she brought to mind a tale I had heard from some of my father’s men, of a psychotic axe-woman named Ardwyn. Apparently they werre expecting the bandits to return the next day. A cleric of Erastil, named Jhod Kavken, was staying in their guest lodge and offered to help us if we planned to fight the bandits.
2nd Pharast 4710
We waited in ambush for the bandits. I was hidden on the roof of the stables with Johd, whilst Gorefang was hidden with his orcish double axe in the storage shed. When the bandits arrived, demanding entry, Oleg let them in and told them the goods were all in the shed. One of the bandits opened the door and Gorefang struck. The bandits were shocked by the attack and we were able to shoot first, injuring two of them. The leader of them shot me and i was amazed by the power of the arrow as it pierced my body. I would probably have died from my wound if Johd hadn’t prayed to Erastil to heal my wound. I managed to shoot the leader through the skull and gorefang decapitated one of the bandits. Whilst their attention had been on us, Oleg had closed the gates behind them and run. With no obvious escape the remaining bandits surrendered.
The bandits had ridden here and brought an extra two horses to lead Oleg’s cart. We gave those to Oleg as a gift and also traded another horse for two potions which he had hidden away in his house. Apparently he had traded them from a hermit, who lived out in the hills nearby. This sounds like a useful person to meet later on.
From Gorefang interrogating the bandits we learnt that their camp was nearly two days south, along a tributary of the thorn river, towards the eastern edge of the forest. The archer who had shot me, had an exceptionally well made composite bow, nearly as good as my own, which I gave to Gorefang. He also had a nice silver stag amulet, which the bandits told us was the symbol of The stag lord, to whom most of the bandit groups in the forest swore allegiance. Their band was led by , the axewoman. The leader also had two flasks of alchemist’s fire, which Gorefang and I took.
Speaking with Johd, we learnt that he had come to this area because of a dream about a beserk bear in a temple of Erastil. In his dream the bear was somehow cursed by Erastil for some offence which it had caused. He hoped to explore the area and find the ruined temple. Gorefang and I offered to help him in his quest in return for his help on ours.
We took the bandits to the nearest village on the road to Restov, riding hard in order to return the same day. The trip was also used to send a letter containing our findings to the mayor of Restov. Whilst there we learnt that a bounty was to be offered for fighting the bandits. It offered 400 GP for slaying or capturing 6 bandits. Unfortunately these two would not count. We also met a small company of 4 soldiers on the road to Oleg’s, who had been sent to help protect the trading fort from attack. Their leader was named, a nobleman from one of Brevoy’s seven ruling families.
3rd Pharast 4710
After a decent rest we set out south into the forest. On the first day we stumbled across a few kobolds, who had gorged themselves on raddishes. They were jealously guarding their patch of wild raddishes, but there seemed to be no reason to fight them and so we continued on our way.
4th Pharast 4710
In the morning, after briefly losing the bandits trail, we discovered their tracks again, following the thorn river to a small tributary and eventually reached their camp. We did not know it was their camp at first, but the sight of an abandoned cart by a ford in the river made us suspicious, and so, whilst the other two held back, I made my way cautiously forward, trying to stay out of sight. Unfortunately my chosen route, skirting the edge of the trees, brought me right next to a raised hide which was being used by the bandit’s lookout. Before I could get off a shot, to silence him, he threw a thunder stone, deafening me, and alerting their camp. I shot him, but he moved back out of sight and so I threw a flask of alchemist’s fire at him, which seemed to engulf his platform and had, i later learnt,killed him.
Johd and Gorefang ran forward, to use the cart as cover, and shot across the river at where the bandits were shooting at us. I moved to join them. Several arrows were fired but as we were all behind cover it was hard to hit anyone. The bandit leader did not have weapons which could reach us, but was unwilling to break cover, to atttack us. One of the bandits tried charging us, but Gorefang brought him down with a single mighty blow. He then ran across the river and hurled his alchemist’s fire at their leader, but missed her. She moved to attack Gorefang and her bandits were moving from their hiding places to support her. Johd also charged forward to support Gorefang. Seeing one of the bandits was about to break cover, to attack Johd from behind, I held my shot until he charged forwards and hit him on the thight. He didn’t stop, but the shot had thrown him off and he missed his attack. A second shot killed him outright. Johd and Gorefang had a difficult fight against Kressle. She was exceptionally skilled with her two axes, and although Gorefang is a tough, muscular mountain of a man, clad in scale, she nearly killed him in a single blow, however his Orcish fortitude helped him to remain standing and he was able to bring her down. The last of the bandits tried to flee and so I ran after him. He was slightly more nimble than I was and it was clear that I was losing ground, and so, when I thought I had a decent line of sight, I decided to sisk all on a single shot, before he was too far to reach. Thanks to Erastil, my arrow found its quarry and brought him down.
Johd healed the woman, Kressle, and the bandit which I had brought down enough for them to be brought back with us to stand trial. The other three were beyond saving. Their camp had a large collection of booty which had clearly been plundered from Oleg’s. We divided their gold between the three of us and then made camp. In the morning we intend to make the return trip, to Oleg’s trading post with our prisoners and to return the stolen goods. I should definitely have some of that drink to celebrate my birthday tomorrow.