Each member of the party came to Restov for their various reasons. Reyes and Fionnius (“Finn”) quickly found each other and began forming the party — seeking to build a formidable squad to take on the rugged Stolen Lands. Eventually, all six members: Reyes, Finn, Kydien, Petronius (“Jack”), Asher, and Sparrow, headed South. They arrived at Oleg’s Trading Post. Oleg and his wife, Svetlana, mistook the party for an official Restov security force — something they had been asking for for some time. Nonetheless, the party claimed to be able to handle whatever it was Oleg and Svetlana needed… in exchange for free food and board, of course. Oleg told the party that bandits routinely come and demand exorbitant “taxes” — and they were scheduled to appear the very next morning!
Asher and Sparrow waited by the Trading Post’s gates, while Kydien stood in a watchtower, and Finn stood off to the side with a bow. Jack and Reyes stood in the courtyard. When the bandits arrived early in the morning, they rode right through the gates and stopped, puzzled, at the sight of the two adventurers standing defiantly. Asher and Sparrow locked the gates shut. Jack and Reyes both gave ominous greetings, and Asher threw boiling oil onto three of the four bandits. Finn let loose an arrow into the fourth bandit — the leader of this group — and the arrow flew through the back of the man’s skull and jutted out his eye socket, killing him instantly. Writhing in pain, the other three bandits immediately surrendered.
The party learned that this leader was Haps Bydon, the lover of his superior, a woman named Kressle. Haps also was an officer of sorts under the Stag Lord, the most feared bandit in the Greenbelt. As an officer under the Stag Lord, Haps wore a silver Stag Lord amulet. Asher took the amulet and jokingly claimed to be the new Stag Lord. Reyes interrogated the bandits and learned the location of their camp. The party headed out. By midday, the party found a temporary campsite used by the four bandits, and quickly pressed on.
Soon, the party encountered a shambling mound. It proved a fearsome foe, one difficult for traditional tactics to defeat. However, being plant-like, it was susceptible to fire. Sparrow fired flaming arrows at it, and then Asher came and splashed a flask of lantern oil upon the shambling mound, and it succumbed to the flames. At night, the party was beset by bandits who tried to catch the party sleeping. Jack was nearly killed with an arrow before the rest of the party slayed the bandits — but discovered no connection to the Stag Lord or Kressle. These were merely freelance bandits.
Although the day was uneventful, at nightfall, Asher rigged a trap around the campsite to alert the party of any intruders. The adventurers had no sooner settled in to sleep than the various sticks and pots and pans clanged and banged, meaning someone was approaching the camp. The party quickly drew weapons, and a confused, filthy man approached, holding beavers. It seemed as if he wanted to trade. The party was highly suspicious, and asked the man many questions. It became clear he was a crazy hermit named Joe. The party traded meat for some of his beavers. Asher offered to pay Finn a handful of small gems in exchange for a high-quality beaver hat.
Again, daytime travel was easy, but night remained the party’s bane. As Asher stood watch on first shift, a monstrous centipede the size of a horse crawled into the camp. Alarmed, the party armed themselves and attempted to fend off the creature. However, Asher lept from the tree and buried his Aldori sword into the centipede, deftly slicing it in twain.
The party came to the area where the bandit camp was supposed to be. Finn, Sparrow, and Asher scouted around until they found the camp. They reported back that the camp was very rustic and open, but had East and West watchtowers, with a cache of supplies under the West tower. They formed a plan for Finn to take down the East tower with alchemist’s fire, Sparrow to take up position in the West tower, Asher would slip into the main part of the camp and quietly slit throats until the alarm was raised, and then Jake and Reyes would ride in for a full assault.
The plan, however, did not go quite as expected. Asher was caught by Kressle before he made it to the camp proper. Playing for time, he showed her the amulet of her dead lover, irreverently worn around his neck, and taunted her. Enraged, she slashed at Asher but barely nicked him. Suddenly, the sound and sight of the Eastern tower going up in flames distracted Kressle, and Asher took this opportunity to stick his blade straight through her heart.
One by one the bandits were easily killed by the party, until the last one, which was only wounded and then tied up. Fionn was killed in a freak accident, falling on his own sword. The bandit prisoner was interrogated, and the party learned much about the Stag Lord and his fort. It seemed the best way to get to the Stag Lord was posing as the next shipment of a greenish liquor favored by the Stag Lord. The party also learned that a group of mites had stolen some supplies from these bandits, possibly including Svetlana’s wedding ring. The mites were said to have a lair beneath an old sycamore tree East of the bandit camp.
Kydien was caught whispering with the prisoner, and revealed that she is the sister of the Stag Lord. She was detained, and the party planned on bringing her back to Restov to be hanged. In the night, Kydien went missing, presumably dragged off into the woods, where her trail stopped cold. Asher denied involvement. Crazy Joe stalked Jack at night, and was promptly killed by Asher.