Bandit Tales

Episode 25: Homecoming
In which the bandits destroy a tome and almost get thrown out of Latha

The bandits traveled back to the Pine Hills. Along the way they encountered Jalfe and Maerwynn heading into the Dawnwood Forest. The duo expressed joy at seeing them again and then revealed their reason for travel.

Spiders had invaded the forest. Carl immediately grabbed his axe and looked toward the forest, while the others debated as to their original plan of destroying the tome. The group decided to destroy the book first, then return to Latha to refresh and finally return to the Dawnwood. Ajax asked the two not to do anything stupid until they got back.

The group traveled across the Pine Hills and into the Shimmer Mountains. They found a curious sign offering ‘free beer’ at a lone inn on a mountain road. (The Last Inn in the Shimmers). They were very focused so they continued onto Old Forge, passing a few more signs pressing the urgency of the free beer. The paint was still wet and some words were misspelled, causing the bandits to assume a trap.

The bandits arrived in Old Forge and had a run in with the guards over Mudraks. The captain of the guard recognized Kell’s sword Grudgebearer and remembered his rescue of the Long Beards who had been captured by trolls. The group was allowed in and they headed right for the massive furnace.

The smith was willing to assist and started stoking the fire when a cleric of Cor, the dwarven creator, came forth and attempted to seize the tome. He seemed concerned about the book somehow tainting the forge and wanted to investigate the matter before throwing it in. The bandits protested to deaf dwarven ears. Reluctantly, Ajax dropped his last two time-stopping cards and snagged the book and tossed it deep into the firey furnace.

The book exploded in a terrify display of arcane fire. The bandits used this distraction to flee back to Latha.

While in Latha, Carl encountered Kay at the Hole and confronted him about trying to sell the tome. Kay seemed nonchalant about his lack of concern over apocalypses. His attitude upset the bumpkin, who attacked him. Kay sat idly while his cat leaped from his lap and took the attack – clearly not your normal tabby. Kay accused the group of being “heroes” which angered the crowd. He then touched his cat, Abaddon, and teleported out of sight.

Roosk ushered the group into his home and promised to clear things up as long as the bandits lay low and leave town. He offered them a job to which they said they would get to soon. In the morning the group left town quietly and headed back to the Dawnwood

Jalfe and Maerwynn had not been to the inn that Ajax recommended they wait for them in

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Episode 24: The Plague in Conterra pt 7
In which the Bandits beat up a little girl

The bandits raced after the little girl, finding it impossible to keep up with her as she ran with supernatural speed towards the dock district. She jumped from the docks across the river to the deck of the Westward on Longstream, the Battle Brothers ship. Soon after the ship hoisted anchor and set sail.

Ajax mustered some men at arms to take the infected’s siege machines to bear on the ship while the rest of the bandits, along with Arla, raced to the shoreline. Battle Brothers on the ship began to fire their bows at the bandits. Arla cast a spell that put an immovable barrier in front of the ship. Seeing this, Carl dove into the water and swam for the boat.

He climbed up the opposite side of the ship, finding the little girl barking orders to the Battle Brother crew, who looked as if under a trance. Donning a captain’s coat, he moved unnoticed on the deck. When the time was right he bum rushed the unsuspecting girl and carried her over the side of the ship. The crew instantly came to their senses and wondered what had happened.

The girl changed from her very mature bossy nature to a helpless little girl, which everyone suspected very much. When they reached shore, she saw Arla and growled, releasing a demonic spirit that transformed into a massive demon. It charged Arla, nearly killing the healer.

The bandits battled the beast, Carl racing around healing this person and that. Meanwhile, Ajax acted as forward observer, sending ballista bolts and chunks of stone at the demon. It eventually fell and a near-dead Arla banished it from this plan.

The bandits rejoined the recovering community of Conterra and were given a hero’s send off. Arla finally noticed the book was missing and the bandits quietly slipped away and retrieved it. They decided to take it to Old Forge, a dwarven smith-town with a magical furnace hot enough to destroy the evil tome.

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Episode 21: A Plague in Conterra pt 5
In which the bandits arrive at the temple

The bandits race along the wall to the temple. They jump down the wall and into its protective light just before a mass of infected follow them to their doom. Inside the temple they find survivors. Healers are making food and water, acolytes and survivors guard the walls. The Sun Orb powers the protective spells but the lack of sunny days of late (the city has bee unnaturally cloudy) is causing the storage tanks to drain dangerously low.

Some witnesses say they saw a wizard casting a weather effecting spell from the Fortress of Order, so the bandits decide to go check it out. Along the way they are ambushed by a new type of infected, with a long choking tongue. Flervin and Ajax are infected.

They arrive at the fortress, which is sealed up tight. They make their way in and it appears abandoned. Soon they find telltale spiderwebs and after some investigation monster spiders attack. The group gets somewhat divided and conflict ensues.

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Episode 23: A Plague in Conterra pt 7
In which the bandits save the city

The Fat Friar is shut up tight. The bandits break in and find it filled with infected. They battle their way through the restaurant and eventually clear it, including the infected Fat Friar himself. They grab the ingredients – but not before Ajax uses one of his last time stopping cards to cut Arla’s backpack off and steal back the Journal of Anaxagoras. He buries it in the forest outside of town and makes his way back to the temple.

The rest of the bandits race back to the temple and Grimbur builds the tea while Kel and the rest tie up Flervin, who’s going through the change. Grimbur injects the tea into the reservior just as the siege begins. The guards shut down the orb and open the doors. The infected can’t resist and all race towards the temple. At the right time Carl throws the switch and the orb glows with an unearthly light.

The light forces the demonic plague out of all of the infected. Kell hurls Flervin’s bed into the light and he is cured too. There are masses of wounded but they are not infected. A black oily smoke curls away from the light and enters a little girl. She smiles a demonic smile and turns out of sight…

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Episode 22: A Plague in Conterra pt 6
In which the bandits fight VORAS

Ajax makes a beeline to the top of the tallest tower and finds the Spider Lord Voras (A familiar foe responsible or involved in a few things in the bandits’ past). Battle ensues and after a long, hard fight Voras escapes and the spider folk retreat. The spell over the city is broken and the sun shines again…

They race to fetch Grimbur from his lab and make plans on a cure – input the healing tea into the orb’s reservoirs. They make it to Grimbur’s lab safely and gather him and his stuff. He needs a few more ingredients, however. So they decide to head to the Fat Friar.

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Episode 20: A Plague in Conterra pt 4
In which the bandits see what the infected are up to

The group moves along stealthily, finding a shocking sight. The infected are building siege engines. Not only that, they are stockpiling the dead (they mysteriously disappear each night, so this is where they are ending up). The infected feed upon the piled up mass of bodies.

The focus of their siege building lies ahead, the Temple of Helia. Around it a yellow glow coming from the belltower, a massive bright, sunlike orb. When infected fall into it radius of light, they burst into flames and are destroyed.

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Episode 19: A Plague in Conterra pt 3
In which the characters walk the wall

The bandits are split between finding ingredients for the cure, checking out construction noises from the other side of town, or following the wall to the temple.

They decide the wall is the safest and make their way along. They investigate some of the towers, battle some infected and make their way across town. A roving band of infected clash with them as they approach the NE corner.

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Episode 18: A Plague in Conterra pt 2
In which the Bandits make it to the Battle Bros stronghold

The bandits fight there way through a few more infected city blocks and finally reach the Battle Brothers northern watchtower. There they find the handful of mercenaries are holding out against an ever increasing number of infected.

Grimbur, Arla and Carl make a few batches of antidote and Carl takes one, giving the other to one of the wounded brothers. Both are cured. They meet the Sergeant of the Guard and he clues them into what’s going on around the city.

There is another Battle Bros tower on the south wall, but they have not responded to flag or fire signals in two days. The Battle Bros’ ship, the Westward on Longstream is anchored in the river outside of town. The infected will not enter the water, not yet at least, so it’s safe. The City Council and Battle Bros’ seat of government, the Fortress of Order was believed to be holding up but no contact has happened in a few days. The last message delivered was ’seal the city to all traffic in and out" and the Brothers are following that last order.

The Helian Temple is also a safe haven due to a magical force field it creates.

There is also a restaurant called “The Fat Friar” which is holding out. They have stockpiles of food. The Brothers may need to ‘convince’ the owner to get his food and people over to the tower.

The bandits decide to try to make it the temple and check it out.

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Episode 17 - Plague in Conterra

The PCs, after equipping themselves with a number of scrolls, headed into the city proper with the Battle Brothers to fetch the necessary supplies from the apothecary. Noon Priestess Arla stayed behind to assist with the “sick.” Ren and Ajax headed up to the rooftops for a bit. Ren fell through one roof and discovered a woman hiding in the attic. The woman followed Ren to the rooftop and was nearly killed when attempting to climb down. She was sent back to the door leading to the inn’s cellars outside of the city.

The party fought their way through several blocks of the city. Karl sprinted ahead, trying to keep the party moving. Battle brothers Vareck and Darrin (as well as Karl) were scratched by zombies and possibly infected. Helmford, the other battle bro., was severely wounded.

At the third block the party was again attacked by yet more zombies. This time the zombies were accompanied by a large, blue, ogre-ish zombie. Kell used the fire breath potion to incinerate two of the zombies, and the archers played a large role in felling the big blue hulk.

At the conclusion of the sit, the party still had to traverse two more blocks to reach their destination.

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Episode 16: Plague in Conterra
In which the bandits discover a bit of armegeddon

Arla wanted to take the tome to the seat of power for the Helian church, the mega-city of Stormbluff. There the tome would be safe and could be studied by the top priests of Helia.

The Longstream River flows very near the city and was the most logical mode of travel. The group moved on horseback to Westing and caught charter to Stormbluff.

Along the rode to Westing, they discovered a robbed caravan (Jacques!) and Ren deduced it was hobgoblin raiders from the Dawnwood. Some of the bandits wanted to investigate but Arla kept them on task. They moved farther and camped. In the early morning Kel spotted a group of ravens approaching in an odd formation. Getting a bad feeling, the group grabbed their belongings and raced for the forest. They watched the ravens circle and land in their abandoned camp. The birds seemed to be searching for something, as they fished through the remaining packs and sacks. Carl and Flervin studied them from afar and concurred that they were not ravens, but a single entity, from a plane of shadow. The ravens left, flying east.

The group arrived in Westing and booked travel. The trip down the Longstream was practically pleasant with no troubles to speak of. After a couple of days travel they rounded a bend in the river and were approaching the city of Conterra. A border fortress city that is often embroiled in war with Zasarin raiders from the south.

The city was smoking and it appeared it had been attacked. The streets were silent and empty. Only a few masked guards on the walls. A ship sat anchored in the center of the river. It signaled for the merchant vessel to pass on the left side, away from town. The ship flew the colors of the Battle Brothers, a mercenary force. The captain revealed that Conterra had seen so much war that the populace no longer had the stomach for it, and had given up their protection to the mercenary army.

The Battle Brothers’ ship, the Westward on Longstream, signaled that the city was closed to all travelers due to a plague. Carl responded if healers were needed and the mercs said yes, and requested any interested go to the tavern outside the northern walls of the city, the Cease Fire.

The merchant ship didn’t want to stop, but let the bandits off on a dinghy, returning some of their fee. The bandits entered the Cease Fire which was full of generally upset merchants. All complained about not being able to enter the city and sell their wares.

The bandits learned that a nasty plague had hit the city about a week ago and the city council had ordered the city sealed off. The inn’s soup was terribly watered down, as the barkeep said they were running out of supplies.

Many people sported masks or wrappings around their mouths. Everyone spoke of the plague starting like the flu or a cold and were very paranoid of each other whenever someone sneezed or coughed.

Soon a crazy looking hermit came from a basement stairs. He seemed to be a healer and was checking on people who flocked over to him. The group announced their presence and he took them to the tavern cellar where he revealed a concealed door that lead to his laboratory.

Down some older looking passages, past some metal doors where banging and moaning could be heard from, the group was lead to what appeared to be an armory from a bygone era. The room had been converted into an alchemical lab, complete with instruments of healing or torture, depending on your outlook.

Grimbur, who was a healer of sorts, revealed the nature of the plague. It began as a cold, feaver, chills, sneezing and coughing but soon progressed into a lethargic state. Eventually the victim seeks bed rest from which they fall into a torpor like state of near death.

When they emerge they are not themselves and seek only to violently attack any and all around them. They cannot be reasoned with, talked to or otherwise persuaded not to attack. The wounds from these attacks spread the plague much more quickly, with victims of these injuries moving to a similar state within hours of being wounded.

Grimbur revealed his recipe for a cure, which Carl overlooked and tweaked a bit, surprising Grimbur and making him practically dance with joy. He coughed and black phlegm came up, he showed the group a jar of the stuff on his shelf and it appeared to move on its own. He explained that the stuff was of a dark, old magic. It centers in the brain and heart of the victims – and he believes it is the impetus of their violent behavior.

From the other exit in the room, 3 battle brothers appeared and offered to lead the bandits to their stronghold. The group reluctantly agreed.

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