Bandit Tales

Episode 4.1 - Colrath the Slaver's
In which Flervin and Carl buy people.

Flervin found Carl in town and told him about the appointment he set with Colrath.

The quiet healer looked around and finally spoke “Colrath is a slaver, right? What are we going there for, Flerv? Slaves? Besides, I missed my appointment and he’s probably pissed at me now.”

“yes, he’s the slaver. I’m sure we can talk our way around the missed appointment – or so I hope. I want to see what they have for…options” replied the wizard, leaning on his staff.

Carl’s curiosity still got the best of him “I guess it would be kind of nice to have someone carry me around piggy back all the time.”

The two walked to Colrath’s compound. It resembled a jail or keep, it was the most defended looking structure in all of Latha-Ir. One of the guards outside recognized the duo and opened the door for them.

The room beyond was a lobby of sorts, with a nice looking fountain with lush greenery in the center. There were some Koi swimming about in the fountain. The walls were painted with some depictions of farmers, laborers and entertainers doing their tasks with smiles with painted gold coins piled on the bottoms of each mural – giving the effect that their work produces wealth.

The wall opposite the entrance has a painted scroll mural which read:
The slaves for sale here have been trained to serve you passionately. They have come to this state due to debts owed,many come here willingly. If they serve you well, it is up to you to decide when they have earned their freedom. Many cultures hold a debt to 7 years. Your slave may end up being a servant, an employee, even a friend. Please leave your weapons, staves and wands with the attendant. All will be returned to you upon exit.

There are two more guards in here as well as an attractive woman dressed in harem type clothes. She held her hands in greeting and invited the men inside. Flervin and Carl entered. Not soon after a door to their right opened and another female, younger, came in, carrying a tray of wine and goblets for the guests.

Flervin bowed in greeting and extended his staff to the attending guard. Carl followed suit. The guard handed the weapons to the servant girl who bowed and exited the way she came.

“Colrath will be with you shortly. In the meantime, sit, have a drink, and tell me briefly of what type of servant you are seeking…” the woman said as she sat on the desktop, slightly suggestively.

Flervin poured himself a goblet of the wine, sipped and spoke “I was curious as to what types of slaves you have available and the prices for their offered servitude.”

The receptionist smiled and responded “We have all manner of servants for your purchase. We have everything from general laborers, warriors (like the men you see before you), cooks, house servants, bedroom servants, even beings of other races. All are in top condition, well fed and trained.”

Carl, feeling extremely uncomfortable by all of this, blurted out “Do you have any that mouth off and give you a hard time? That’s probably more in my price range.” The woman turned to Carl “Our slaves are trained to an excellent level of obedience before they are permitted to be sold. You should never have an issue such as this”

Still sipping his wine, Flervin asked “Is the price of your slaves a flat rate, or do the prices for them vary?”

“Excellent question, Our servants range in price depending on the type of service they are trained for, their age, condition, and other factors. I’m sure we have something for you in a price range you will find agreeable”

“I sure it will certainly be worth the discussion. Has business been well for you as of late?” Flervin inquired.

The woman smiled and replied “Master Colrath can explore topic in greater detail, but from my experience, there are always those who have need to enter into bonded service.”

Just then, the door opened again and a man in leather armor and fine clothing stepped out. He appeared to be in his 40’s, with strong build and a casual demeanor. He greeted the men “Good day, I am Colrath.. Welcome. Alexis, I hope, has been a pleasant host while I was detained?” 

“Need a strong back. Good at swinging an axe a plus. Firewood and stuff. Got anything like that?” Carl asked. He detested slavery, but remembered that Getto said he may have to leave on pressing family business…without a warrior the group would be in trouble.

“Of course, follow me!” Colrath smiled as he invited the group on a tour. As they moved along, Carl and Flervin made mental notes of the layout. Offices, conference rooms, a larder. The doors were all metal, locked and sturdy looking. There is a man with a broom sweeping up one of the rooms. Colrath smiled at him “Nice work, as usual Harley”

Colrath took the duo through a set of thick double doors and into a courtyard. It looked like where training might take place. In here were two slaves. One wass a man (perhaps the man Flervin saw a day ago) and the other was a goblin.

“Jesse and Mudraks, my newest acquisitions.” smiled the slaver. “Found this goblin on the run from his own kind. Took pity on the poor thing. He’s very eager to serve.”

The goblin, who was mopping the floor, cow towed up to the group. “Yes master, we serve the master. Are these masters my new masters?” he asked, looking at Flervin and Carl. Colrath extended his hand and patted Mudraks on the head. The goblin flinched a bit at first, as if fearful of a strike.

“No, no , Muddy. These men are looking for someone strong.”

“What sorts of things is the goblin capable of doing? Also, why was he on the run from his own kind?” asked Flervin as he studied the beast.

“He is a simple, loyal creature. He can do manual labor, menial tasks with glee”. Colrath laughed.

YES OH YES. We cleans the latrines, masters, makes em shine. We do!” hooted Mudraks.

Meanwhile Carl was fuming inside. He didn’t like what he was seeing. He wondered if any of these slaves wanted to be freed if only to take revenge on their former master. He looked over to the man, Jesse, who was quietly crimping metal wire for chain mail. The man made sure not to look up from his work.

“I think we are looking for someone a bit more capable.” said FLervin as he watched the pitiful goblin.

“Oh, of course” Colrath smiled, he looked towards one of the guards “Bring out Shamsher and Kilter.”. Without hesitation, the guard left through the opposite door to an area of cells beyond. Meanwhile, the goblin stared up at Flervin, he jumped up and down and began to dance around, apparently thinking he was already purchased by the wizard. Colrath shot the goblin a glance and he quickly stopped his odd celebration.

Soon the guard returned, along with two muscular looking men. One was a swarthy, bearded man with a turban. The other wass bald and clean shaven and tribal tattoos covered his arms and chest. Both men were armed with clubs and shields.

Taking on a grand stature, Colrath announced: “Gentlemen, this Shamsher Singh, the Lion of Kait, and Kilter, Beast of the Frostmarr.” He lowered his arms “Would you like to see them duel?”. At the sight of the two men, Mudraks cowered behind Flervin, who was mildly annoyed by the act.

Carl pointed at the darker fellow “How much for Turban, here?” 

“A mere 100 pieces of gold.” Colrath replied with a glint in his eyes. Carl did some mental math and thumbed through his pockets trying to look casual as he determined if he had the coin.

“I’ll take him” he replied, handing over the fee with his best poker face.

“Wonderful!” exclaimed Colrath. The woman from the lobby returned to handle the transaction while Shamsher bowed and was lead back through the cell block. “He will be washed and dressed and provided to you in one hour’s time. You may remain in our lobby or I can have him delivered to you somewhere in Latha-Ir.” Colrath then turned to Flervin. “Would you be purchasing anyone today, oh, wizard?”

Flervin wasn’t sure why, but he studied the goblin. Did he possess any special qualities. The beast appeared a bit scrawny, but moved quickly and perhaps gracefully in an odd way. Then it dawned on Flervin. This was the goblin that escaped from the spider den. The one the goblin chief was looking for – the one who didn’t ‘take the bite’ (whatever that meant).

“You’ve taken to that beast!” 10 gold and he is yours!" Laughed Colrath. in anticipation of a sale.

Flervin knelt and spoke to the goblin. " Mudraks, why did you run from your people?"

Looking first at Colrath, as if getting permission to speak, the goblin replied ""They chose to serve monsters, master. SPIDERS! We all had to get bitten by the queen spider. Changes them, it did. Mudrak’s friends change! Mudrak’s family change! They not goblins anymore, master." the goblin looked inwardly and then his eyes widened and he screamed “AFRAID MUDRAKS WAS! NO MASTER! NOT GOING BACK!!!” he clutched at Flervin’s robes, getting a calm urgency to his voice “Will serve you, take care of the master!”

Flervin looked at Colrath.

“A pittance, 10 pieces of gold for the beast. He’s loyal, if nothing else.” replied Colrath, trying to seal the deal.

Carl leaned over the goblin, intimidatingly “You know anything about a guy in a black cloak?” he asked with a finger pointed between Mudrak’s eyes. At the mention of the man, Mudraks shrieked and jumped away spastically.

“NO!!!!!! NOT HIM MASTER! MUDRAKS HATES HIM!!! RATS MAN THE RATS MAN!!! NOOOoooooo!” the goblin scrambled around, knocking over chairs and spilling Jesse’s metal links to the ground. Colrath’s demeanor changed and he became furious. He nodded to a guard who stepped foward, drawing his club.

“Enough, I will buy the beast. He will serve me well” Flervin uttered. Colrath stayed the guard and Mudraks’ tantrum ceased. The goblin raced over to Flervin and hugged him aggressively.

“OH MASTER. Mudraks will serve the master. Mudraks loves the master.” He cowered below Flervin, then jumped up and tugged on Flervin’s backpack. “Here, Mudraks carries master’s pack for master!!!” He then quickly knelt to the ground and spit on Flervin’s boots. “Shines master’s shoes!.” he cried as he frantically began rubbing them with his ragged shirt.

“Mudraks, calm yourself.” Flervin uttered as he wondered just what he had done.

Episode 4: R&R
In which the bandits slay a monster and spend gold

The bandits stood before the open tomb, reluctant to enter. The walls of the crypt were decorated with carved stone resembling spider webs. A sarcophagus rested on a dias two feet or so off the ground. The dais was ringed in more script. More words of the revenge that would take place upon the higher races, at the hands of “vermin” (Rats, spiders and such).

Ajax studied the floor carefully. His elven eyes spied no traps. He crept forward, with Getto looking over his shoulder from the doorway. He moved to the dais, finding it free from traps as well. Getto spied something he missed, handprints on the sarcophagus, in the dust.

“I was getting to those” Ajax replied, moving to the side of the casket. There he found a piece of paper. It had magical runes written on it, a script he could not decipher. Without hesitation, he brought the note back to Flervin and Carl.

Flervin looked over the parchment. “These are incantations…this one would have helped get the user past the skeletal guardians in the hall behind us….and these…would awaken the spirit of whomever is – or was – inside there.” he muttered as he pointed to the sarcophagus.

Ajax studied the stone casket carefully. It didn’t appear trapped. Getto approached and offered his dwarven might to push the lid off and reveal the contents inside. With a heave, the lid toppled off and broke in two on the ground. The casket was empty, although the shape of the padding inside led the group to believe that the owner was not human. There was also a place in the coffin for something large and rectangular, perhaps a tome?

Ajax pulled out his sword, ready to carve the interior in search of hidden secrets. Carl, still at the door with Flervin, heard a strange noise behind him. Turning, he saw a frightful sight. A wizened, dead looking spider, who’s head had been replaced with the torso of a skeletal woman. “A drider!” he yelled, “An undead drider!”

The creature struck out at Flervin, lacerating him with a sharp taloned leg. Getto jumped off of the dais and waded forward into combat. Carl pulled Flervin to safety, administering his healing touch while he did so. Ajax pulled a bolt from his new magic quiver. The dart glowed with a magical light, proving Flervin’s study of the magical quiver was accurate.

The beast snarled and fought bitterly with Getto, but could not pierce his defenses. Carl, offended by the foul beast, leaped forward with his warhammer and layed blow after blow with the accuracy of a warrior. Flervin’s fiery bolts and the sting of Getto’s axe eventually felled the beast.

The group inspected the corpse and found it carrying some magical jewelry. Ajax’s assumptions that the casket held riches was accurate. Under the padding he found a pile of coins and some magic items. Flervin and Carl studied each, learning their secrets.

The group returned to the Miller farmstead where they found young David waiting for them. He mentioned seeing a black cloaked figure leave the area just a few hours before the bandits did. Ajax, feeling very charitable, gave the boy 100 silver pieces. Shocked and thankful, the boy agreed to keep things secret and returned to share the riches with his needy family.

The journey back to Latha-Ir was uneventful. The group managed to find the hidden cave entrance and were greeted by Knorz and Schlorz, the two orc guards, who escorted them past the defenses and into town.

They settled the reward money at Roosk’s shoppe where Ajax admired some expensive magical leather armors.

Getto hit the Hole and ordered a personal feast, while Ajax arranged semi-permanent residency at the Dark Room, getting two rooms for the group for 6 months. Fergal agreed to the sum of 150 gp per month.

Flervin and Carl went to Kurumtum’s magic shop. On the way out, Flervin witnessed a slave being beaten outside of Colrath the Slaver’s compound. The beating was short and the man was moved inside soon after.

The group reunited at the Hole where they saw the arrival of Kay the Fence, who seemed to hold a lot of clout in town. He had a special booth and Gombur even brought him over a special goblet of wine.

THere were lots of things to do, but the drink tasted good and there would be time for that later.

Episode 3: Webs of Intrigue
In which bandits encounter a spider cult

The group breathed a sigh of relief after carefully exploring the entire goblin cavern system. Flervin and Carl carefully studied the curious black pills they discovered in Zipi, the goblin shaman’s, quarters.

“They are not magical, I detect no aura” Flervin muttered as he studied a pill.
“Could be herbal” Carl suggested as he rolled one around between his fingers.

“THEY’RE INCREDIBLE!” exclaimed Ajax as he swallowed the little black pill without a sip of water. His eyes took on a sense of purpose not seen before as he moved across the room quickly and determinedly.

The group moved to the web coated tunnel that lead deeper into the darkness. Getto’s dwarven sight spied no creatures ahead. “Aye, there be only webs ahead. Hand me a torch, Carl” he said as he scanned the tunnel ahead. Carl gave him the fiery torch and the dwarf set the webs on fire. They seemed to shrink away like a dog fearful of his master’s hand.

The group moved down the tunnel. “I smell water ahead” Getto whispered.

The tunnel emptied into a dark cave. A body was strung up in webs, but otherwise the cavern was empty. In the torchlight Getto spied an odd reflection coming from above. “SPIDER!” He shouted, a minute too late. The giant spider jumped from the ceiling and pounced on Getto with surprising accuracy. The group battled the hideous beast. Perhaps it was fear, but the bandits sometimes faltered, dropping their weapons or forgetting their spells. The fight was long and hard, with Getto acting as the group’s shield most of the time. Eventually it curled it’s legs in a ball and moved no more.

The body was a goblin, a normal one. There were several passages leading out, each into 1 meter deep water. Getto held his head high, not happy that his beard was getting wet, but the group moved forward. In the torchlight, Ajax spotted a patch of dry land and moved forward. In the darkness he and Flervin spied the telltale reflection of spider eyes on the ceiling. Two sets.

The spiders were provoked and moved foward, attacking from the cavern ceiling. The battle was hard fought with both sides scoring serious injuries and embarrassing slips. Carl, desperately trying to heal his partners, was bitten viciously and fell to his wounds, taking the torch with him into the water. Ajax pulled the healer away from combat while the dwarf and wizard fended off the hardy spiders. A healing potion later, Carl was back in action although nearly blinded in the darkness, only lit by the occasional flare of Flervin’s fire beams.

Flervin called upon his arcane learnings and generated a massive fire beam, searing the legs off of one of the spidery beasts. From that point on, however, he had a hard time regaining composure and kept forgetting his teachings. Getto and the others finally crushed the spiders and the group breathed a sigh of relief.

As Flervin carved eyes and fangs from the spiders (they are of value to alchemists), he noted that one of the spiders was affixed with metal studs that would accept a saddle and reigns. Somebody or something rides this spider.

The group moved to another dry spot, filled with what appeared to be crockery burial urns in the style of the deserts to the south. They featured wolf-head like lids and the bodies of the urn were decorated as warriors. The walls were decorated with hieroglyphs that spoke of vermin worship. Snakes, Spiders, Rats…a union of creatures despised by most of the noble races.

Getto shouldered an urn over and a wolf helmeted skeleton fell out of the broken pottery. It soon came to life, and the group heard the other urns starting to shake and shatter. A battle verses nearly a dozen skeletons ensued. The skeletons fought hard and some defended the passage beyond. When a break in the lines occurred, Ajax raced past the skeletal defenders and into the unexplored room. There was a well or pool of some sort with more depictions of the wolf-men, plus a woman riding a spider. She pointed towards a set of double doors in the southern wall. The skeletons didn’t appreciate Ajax’s intrusion and two of the chased him around the well.

Eventually Getto and the rest were able to rescue the elf as he raced around the well. The group inspected the well and discovered a pressure plate that opened the door. This was clearly a tomb. The group gripped their weapons and prepared to enter….

Episode 2: More Mouths to Feed
in which our bandits battle strange goblins...

Several more bandits arrived, at the request of Roosk, who after hearing that the Miller Farm had been attacked again and lost their barn, decided to hire some more able bodied men to clear out the goblin threat.

The group shared brief introductions then set about their task of clearing out the goblins from the network of caves. Two goblins stood guard over the first cavern. They bickered among themselves, allowing the group to creep up and study them.

These were no normal goblins. They had multiple, onyx eyes, stiff bristly hair jutted out from their lumpy heads. Their skin looked hard and leathery and they walked hunched over and stood on their toes. Ajax ran in and ran out, hoping to draw the goblins out to the rest of the waiting bandits. It worked pretty well, with one goblin {the more normal looking of the two) running after him. He was quickly dispatched and the group poured in and slayed the remaining foe. The duo had nothing of value. A dark tunnel led out of the room. So the elves and dwarf looked ahead while Carl lit a torch. Scouting ahead, Ajax found an empty cavern with little sign of traffic. His elven ears picked up the sounds of chittering and screeching from the south passage, so he investigated, finding a cavern filled with more of the odd goblins. The group crept into position and Getto charged into the room, cleaving a goblin in twain with his axe.

The foes erupted in an alien manner, bounding high, jumping off the walls and clambering over one another to attack the intruders. They shrieked an unearthly cry, sounding less like goblins and more like demons. A group of them surrounded Getto completely, but his skill and armor kept them at bay. The rest poured past him and clashed with Jackal and Ajax, while Carl and Flervin supported from the rear.

Getto’s axe swung true, taking out a goblin with each swing, but another quickly filled its place. He managed to block most of their claws and bites, but occasionally one found a vulnerable spot and dwarven blood began to flow. Jackal, trained as a fighter of opportunity, was soon overwhelmed by the goblin onslaught. Carl tried desperately to heal him but in the darkness, facing such an alien foe, the healing words would not come. Jumping in and out of melee, Ajax’s trusty crossbow found its mark, taking out goblins more often then not. Flervin, nervous as he was in his first real battle, forgot his incantations and fumbled with the words his father taught him. The fiery bolts of doom did come from time to time, however.

The battle raged for what seemed like minutes. Carl managed to heal the fallen Jackal, and Flervin remembered his teachings, sending more than one goblin to his flaming doom. Getto felt the arms his forefathers guiding his axe, it seemed with the more he slew, the more skilled and lucky he became in combat. Soon the group had destroyed all the goblins and everyone sighed in exhaustion.

A quick rest, with Carl praying to the forces of nature (siting how unnatural these creatures were and how important destroying them was). Blood stopped flowing from wounds as they were sewn magically shut as the herbalist placed leaves and a paste of herbs and mud over their gashes and scrapes. Flervan, Ajax and Jackal searched the room carefully, finding mostly junk. A few gem shards were discovered but not much else besides bloody rags and blobs of wax.

Ready to move on, Ajax’s ears picked up the sound of a loud, deep voiced goblin berating two underlings. “Find Mudraks…he must take the bite” he overheard in Freetongue. Looking through a curtain that separated a cavern into two parts, he spied a large goblin, most likely the chief, chewing out two goblins. The group prepared for ambush when the dwarf, still drunk on the lust of combat, tripped over a stone and fell to the ground – his plate mail clattering loudly.

The ambush was lost, Ajax launched a bolt into the chieftain and the battle was on. The chief called out to someone “ZIPI, COME HERE!!!” before he waded into combat against Getto. The other two goblins burst through the curtain to find a room full of intruders. They fought valiantly for being so outclassed and outnumbered. A tiny goblin dressed in robes and carrying a staff skid around the corner and let flame bolts fly. Jackal was nearly killed again and he took two bolts in succession while fighting off a rabid, clawing goblin. The group dispatched the goblin guards but Zipi and the Chief proved skilled opponents. Zipi, in a brief moment of overconfidence shouted “I’m going to burn you all!!!” before he fell to Flervin’s flame. The chief and Getto fought for several more moments before he too was overwhelmed by the bandit dwarf’s blade.

The group quickly set about exploring the cavern, focusing on a large chest in the rear of the room. Ajax cracked his knuckles and told the others to ‘watch this’ before he searched the chest carefully for traps. Not carefully enough, for a cleverly hidden poison needle pricked his finger and he nearly fell to its damaging effects.

As he recovered, the others opened the chest and were greeted by a grand horde of coins and magical arms. A beautiful sword, of elven make, a horned helm – undoubtedly from a barbarian of the Frostmarr, an ornate elven quiver, a golden ring and more. Flervin set about counting the coin, dividing it evenly among the bandits. Carls kicked through the chief’s pile of hides, finding the key that must have opened the chest.

The group moved into a side passage, where there were tons of supplies. Beer barrels, wine, sacks of grain, bolts of cloth, and more. Beyond that was a cavern that was clearly the home of Zipi. Scrolls and potions were pulled from the shelves, a tin of odd pills were found, and a case of scrolls looted. The passage beyond led back around to the rarely used cavern, where another tunnel was discovered, one covered in cobwebs and leading down.

Tune in next week!

Episode One: The Secret Place
in which our bandits find a home

Our story began with Carl and Jackal chained next to each other in a crowded prison wagon bound for Ironhall. Carl, who decided to take a nap in the arms of a statue in Cendor that apparently held very sentimental value to its populace, had been arrested for vagrancy and indecent exposure. When he got abusive with the Cendor town guard, a patrol of Longbeards, lawmen from Ironhall, happened by and decided to assist the guards with the arrest.

Jackal, already in the wagon, was guilty of being in the wrong place and the wrong time and was pulled in bases purely on his appearance and gear. The two shared a bench with a two other criminals (a burly looking man and young lad).Across from them sat four more suspects: A dwarf and elf (who constantly bickered with each other about each ‘invading their personal space’) and sobbing young man pleading his innocence, and a quiet, older man with an air of confidence. This man was chained together with the others and had manacles like they all did, but he also wore leg irons.

The wagon was constructed of thick iron bars, spikes jutted from the outsides, which would make would be rescuers think twice about climbing atop it. The wagon was lead by two massive horses. At the reins was a confident looking dwarf, while the captain of this patrol watched on from beside him. The duo sat on a bench that also served as the lid of a wooden chest that undoubtedly held the prisoners’ personal effects.

Two more dwarves acted as scouts and guards, walking alongside the wagon, occasionally standing on spikes and catching a ride. From time to time the captain would grunt and point to some place ahead and they’d go investigate before the wagon would continue.

Rumors abound in the wagon. Some talked about “Grimmstone” a mythical prison of no escape. Others discussed “Longbeard Justice”, where they discretely dispose of prisoners instead of taking them back to Ironhall for trial. This talk sent the crying prisoner into a great fit of tears and wailing.

Carl, annoyed by the crybaby, espied the calm, older fellow quietly picking his leg irons. The man saw him watching and gave him a wink and a smile. Carl decided to cause a distraction – he arose and began choking the sobbing prisoner loudly.

It didn’t take long for the captain to notice, looking back he grunted for Carl to sit down. Carl ignored his demands and continued gripping the young man’s neck. The cart halted and the captain stepped down. He grabbed the chain to pull Carl back into his seat. Jackal stood and the two men resisted the dwarf’s attempts to restrain them. The rest of the criminals stood and both Jackal and Carl tried to kick and punch the wagon driver off of the bench, unsuccessfully. He was just too hard to get at.

The older criminal undid his manacles and tossed his lock pick to Carl who quickly handed it over to Jackal. Jackal freed himself, then Carl. About half of the other passengers cried for freedom while the others looked bewildered. The mysterious man said “The name is Roosk. You gents want to get out of here?” as he moved towards the locked door of the wagon.

The dwarven captain, now realizing the situation, whistled for his scouts and then went for his trusty spear. Jabbing at Carl, the focus of his ire, he slipped in the mud, falling on his spear snapping it in half. Landing face first in the mud, he let out a string of dwarven profanity that would make his ancestors blush.

After picking the locks the gang fought with the driver for a moment, jumped up to the chest and grabbed their gear and quickly ran for it. Hoping to outpace the stunty dwarves, Carl and Jackal followed Roosk as best they could. When they finally stopped to catch their breath, Roosk thanked them and invited the duo to a place where they could be safe, grab a beer and maybe make some money.

He lead them overland for the rest of the day, heading west towards the foot of the Shimmer Mountains. They soon arrived in a rocky region where he revealed a cave entrance to them. “You will encounter two orcs here, but do not fear my friends, for these orcs are not like the rest. They are like us.” The group lit torches and moved into the underground tunnels.

Soon they encounter two orcish brutes who, upon seeing Roosk, changed their demeanor and stepped aside. They chuckled a bit at the sight of Carl. Roosk called the bigger one “Goldy”, because of his golden tusk. For the next half an hour the group walked along tunnels. Roosk would point out dangerous passages: “Don’t go left here, there are traps. Not down there, risk of cave in”. Soon the group saw daylight ahead and the tunnel opened up onto the base of a tight gorge.

A small community stood before them, nestled against the steep walls of the gorge. The Shimmer Mountains stood above them in all their glory. There were shops, a tavern, an inn and more. “Welcome to Latha-Ir” Roosk smiled as he stretched his arms out in presentation. “It’s dwarven for “secret compartment”, like an artisan would place in a piece of furniture or art, for hiding valuables”.

Roosk promised them they’d be at home here and told them to go get a drink at “The Hole”, a tavern. Sensing their poverty, Roosk tossed them each 5 gold coins. “For rescuing me!” he smiled. “I have business at my shop. I sell items a thief would find useful. I’ll be along shortly, go have fun”.

The duo took in The Hole, which was indeed a dive. The house beer, Holebrew, was intensely bitter, and a bit watery, but refreshing all the same. They saw all manner of riff-raff gambling, drinking, eating and purchasing ‘companionship’ from the house ‘beauties’. There were gangs of highwaymen counting their spoils, quiet games of poker, and a raucous band belting out shanties.

Roosk showed up and chatted for a while before offering the duo a few job opportunities. One included fetching a magic knife from a ruined temple. The other was investigating some goblin trouble before it attracted Longbeards or Heliapriests.

The two decided upon the goblin threat and tried to negotiate price unsuccessfully. Agreeing to 125gp for the disposal of the goblins, the two found rooms at the inn and left the next morning.

The site of the goblin raid, a nearby farmstead, revealed a smoldering barn. The farmer and his sons worked to salvage what they could. The farmer showed them the carcass of his horse, which they saw had died from a poisonous looking bite. The farmers son, David, revealed that he had tried to set up an ambush for the goblins but became frightened when he saw they were different. They had more than two eyes, some crawled on the ground and had long fangs. He also described a eerie cloaked figure riding a giant spider.

The guys tracked the goblin prints out beyond the fields and into a nearby forest. The trail lead to an ominous looking cave, guarded by a pile of skulls stuck together by strands of webbing.

Some snaps in the bushes exposed a dwarf and elf, armed for battle, being led by none other than David.

Ajax and Getto introduced themselves. They explained how they had been hired by Roosk to give aid, once he caught wind of the Miller’s barn being burned down. The four bandits, plus David, looked toward the darkened cave mouth.

How we got here...

After rescuing Zantalus, the adventurers retreated south to warmer climates. Getto guided them to Ironhall, a large dwarven city and seat of power. Non-dwarves are not allowed in the city proper, but a small, multicultural trading post outside its walls has grown into a city in its own right – Premont. Getto got his plate mail properly fitted, while Lomax, Ajax and Lo got in and out of trouble in Premont. Bar fights were fought, town guard were dodged, cookies were eaten and lots of beer quaffed.

A month or so later, Lomax caught wind of family trouble and had to return to his homelands in the Umbarla Basin. He bid a farewell to his compatriots, promising to see them again someday soon. Lo spent most of his time researching spells and other magical pursuits, overhearing rumors of a powerful necromancer moving about the Shimmer Mountains. His desire for arcane knowledge peaked, he departed with hopes of either studying under the sorcerer or destroying him, whatever was needed.

Ajax was not really interested in following Lomax into the savage Umbarla – fraught with magic tainted prehistoric beasts, or venturing into the mountains in search of death magic – so he opted to stay with Getto and the two decided on the relative peace of the Pine Hills region.

A few months pass. Odd jobs here and there, merchant caravans to guard. The adventuring life seemed to be getting a bit stale. The Long River trade route brought a constant stream of fresh, young adventurers bent on a life of heroism. With their money spent, the duo (now well aware of merchant trade routes and such) tried their hand at robbing a caravan.

It was pretty easy and brought some needed coin for ale and supplies. One lead to another until finally they started hearing about their exploits in towns like Cendor. It wasn’t long after that before groups of heroes, patrols from Ironhall and Cendor, and even priests of Helia began looking for them.

The duo didn’t see themselves as the bandits the flyers seemed to portray them as. Nobody, well…not MANY…men died at their hands. Their robberies had class. They still recognized orcs and other beasties as the true EVIL in the world and dispatched them as they found them; but now they have to keep one eye out for bounty hunters too.


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