10th of Abadius, 4712AR
We continued to explore South ward, finding the river, and followed it down. When we spotted the smoke from a camp fires Mitchell stopped us. Getting down from his horse he faced his palms towards him chest, crossed them, and linked them by his thumbs to make them form a bird. He then began to whistle and tweet quickly. A small sparrow apparently returned his calls before quickly flying off. Mitchell then stood there quite satisfied with himself while we stood their in awkward silence. Nearly a minute passed as we stared at him. To our surprise the sparrow returned and after a quick exchange of twitters, Mitchell fed the bird a lump of bread. He then explained that the bird told him that the camp ahead had many people there and one of them was in a tree. We decided to make temporary camp a good distance away to hide and wait for the darkness to strike at the bandits.
Schmidtaki went to scout the camp and would later recount his adventure. He slowly crept into the camp approaching from the north and going through the shallows of the river. As he did he spotted the guard in the tree, he was asleep. He moved towards the campfire and the small shack. The bandits were drinking and singing around the fire. At the edge of the fire’s light he found the ladder to the lookout. Schmidtaki carefully climbed up. Covering the bandits mouth he slit the rogues throat, who then died with a whimper. He made no sound climbing down the ladder but as his feet touched the ground the icy ground crackled. He was spotted! One of the bandits sitting by the fire stared right at him. Though dressed as one of them he apparently didn’t think much about it. Schmidtaki casually stepped away and snuck back along the same path he came in. (Stealth, Stealth, Stealth, Disguise, Bluff, Stealth, WIN. Can we say iconic ninja!)
With their lookout dead and armed with Schmidtaki’s knowledge of the camp we approached in force. Myself and Schmidtaki approaching from the north of the campfire and our dwarf friends coming from the east. The bandits were for a moment disorientated by our attack but rallied around their leader. Kressel, just as Oleg had described her. At first it appeared that the fight would be over quickly, but Kressel’s brutal axes quickly turned the battle against us. Cleric and Mitchelle were able to keep us from succumbing to the wounds she dealt.
I was fighting a loosing battle trading blows with Kressel but I managed to trip her as we surrounded her. Cleric landed a terrible blow, lopping off her head with a single slice of his battle ax (Max damage on a Crit roll!)
The bandits were clearly disheartened and should have fleed, but they could see that we had little fight left in us. One bandit landed a lucky blow against Schmidtaki who slumped to the ground still clutching his sword. Mitchell chittered wildly as he raised his writhing fingers to the sky. A massive centipede crawled out the ground to attack a bandit before scuttling off. Then Geronimo quickly climbed to the top of the shack and began swiping at the bandit that attacked Schmidtaki. Then it got worse. There was a rustling from inside the shack. More bandits!
Cleric took to one knee praying for Desna’s grace and we could all feel her healing graces closing our wounds. Unfortunately, so did the bandits. Then as a bandit charged forward, Schmidtaki plunged his sword into the bandits belly ending of him. Schmidtaki was fighting from the ground and surrounded on two sides managed to deftly dodged the blows of his enemies. Fighting his way to his feet he took on the two himself as we held the rest of the outlaws at the shack’s door. As we did an unseen sniper launche arrows at us from the darkness.
As the last bandit fell there was a moment of silence before another arrow narrowly missed Cleric. The chase was on. The sniper ran off into the forest. Striding out of the gore Mitchell dropped his spear and shield, and drawing his bow. With Cleric’s hand on his shoulder he drew his bow and landed an amazing shot on the sniper. Geronimo charged into the forest after the wounded sniper. We chased him down to find Geronimo chewing on the face of the nameless sniper.
Standing in the quiet and still of the night while we all tried to gather our breath, Schmidtaki asked, “So its ok to loot the bandits, right?” Strangely we all laughed. Outside of the bandits regular equipment we found a wooden music box, three crates of furs, and 8 bottles of green herbal liquid. Mitchell found another stag amulet on the ground where Kressel lost her head.
Perhaps it was Kressel’s axes, or her headless corpse, but a brilliant though gory idea came to my mind. To make it known that banditry would not be tolerated I would collecting heads and placing them on pikes outside of Oleg’s. Taking one of her axes I lopped of the heads of her and her companions, safe for one bandit who we found was clinging to life. We bandaged him up to question him later.
That night we slept at the bandits camp.