It was a rainy day, perfect weather for work except that I didn’t feel like working. The events of the past few days were still clouding my mind and I needed to figure some things out. I went to Pandora, a recently aquired friend and sought her advice. She sees to be able to discern the best course of action by using her witchcraft. Mind you, I’m not the superstitious type but had I not heeded her last adivce I would probably be dead like Sergei.
Pandora listened to my problem and said she would consult the bones. As they lay seeming randomly strewn across the dirt, she mulled over them for a period of time. Then she looked at me and simply said, “We shall go to Restov for our future awaits us there.” So south we traveled to the city.
On the way, we heard stories of a lady who seemed wise in the ways of the Green Belt area. We argeed that if we were accepted for a charter, we would seek out this Gran Ibo and try to convince her to join us. Restov was not as inviting as I had hoped, but is any place truly accepting of a mixed blood? The first few days all that I accomplished was to discover that the charters were being awarded to companies not individuals. We had to find some reliable allies. This was on my mind when a female voice invited me into a tavern. Not having anyplace better to go, I wandered in and got a drink. The patrons were not impressive and as I was about to leave I noticed two characters in the back that seemed worth more investigation. A dwarf and a human having a merry conversation. I had always heard that the bearded folk loved their drink so I guess it is fitting that the first dwarf I would meet was in a tavern. They noticed me and invited me over to join. Turns out they have the same plan but are still short a couple people for their company. Trixie, the female shrill, apparently uses the tavern for both business and recruiting.
In short order, we had a company of seven with an eigth possibly joining us later. Ookami, whom I didn’t meet in the tavern because she was outside the city at the time, is a mixed blood like myself. She sought the forest as a home much as myself. We should work well together. Gran Ibo had already traveled to Restov so finding her and recruiting her was easily accomplished. The last is some sort of holy man finishing up some necessary work before joining us. So with seven, we applied for a charter. The interviews went well and we were invited to a formal meeting.
We were lucky in that there was only one charter remaining, the other three already assigned, and thats what we were awarded. They must expect bandits. Not sure why, it’s a relatively uninhabited area so who would they rob? But the laws that were strongly impressed to enforce were the penalties for banditry. Death. If bandits are all we encounter while exploring, it should go smoothly.
The next day after purchasing a couple last minute items, we headed south towards Oleg’s Trading Post. The trip was uneventful. I did allow us to learn more about each other. I have high expectations for the group as we are diverse. Maybe even a little intimidating, well at least the women with their cowls look intimidating.
Oleg’s Post is an old wooden border fort. He and his wife, Svetlana, have put in a good deal of work to return it to a workable condition. Apparently the men in Restov know their business because upon arriving we learned that the bandits have control over the area. They make regular visits, businesslike, to collect their “taxes”. Lucky for Oleg and Svetlana, we arrived a day before their next collection. No need to go into detail on the events of the next morning as the bandits were very accomdating. The rode right up inside the fort, dismounted and began haggling over the rights to spend time with Trixie. They were complely unaware of the trap they entered. In the end, four lives were spared. They were so incompetant as bandits we think we may be able to use them to help Oleg at the post as labor. Hopefully we have convinved them that they will live longer working for us rather than against us.
We learned about their base camp a few hours ride, thanks to the bandits we now each have a horse, inside the Green Belt. We decided it would be best to assault the base camp the same day so that they did not send another group to Oleg’s to investigate their missing tax collection party. While scouting the area of the base camp, I got a little anxious and triped on a vine. That mistake started a frenzy of activity. Again, I’ll leave out the finer details but the end result was capturing two more bandits and killing another officer. It came at a price as we almost lost Trixie and our dwaven companion. An arrow narrowly missed putting me out of action as well. We shall have to work on our tactics before we try to assault another base camp in the forest. We had hoped to find Svetlana’s wedding ring here but it seems the bandits themselves were robbed by mites and the ring was one of the items lost. We shall have to investigate their lair but first we have to decide upon our action with the two prisoners. They seem to have some good information for us as we continue to question them. But besides mapping the area, our job is to enfore the laws and they are experienced bandits. Best that they be put to death.