We’re starting our second contract with the OVR, and I’m going to change up the way I write my reports. Instead of going down to the nitty gritty, I’m going to do a more broad overview. We’ll see how I like this layout.
After collecting our payment from our previous contract, and splitting the various rewards between Ronin, Carric, and myself, both Ronin and I did some downtime activities. I researched a bunch into the mad wizard’s papers, finding that, surprise! He was mad. There are some bits and bobs that I can find information from, but others not so much. I can’t replicate his projects, at least not with the methods I am willing to use, but I keep the stash of knowledge for further research if I ever need it. I also take the amulet we found and put the gem into it. I want to be able to have it near me at all times, just in case.
A few weeks after our return, we are approached for another mission. A man’s son was recently ambushed and killed, and we are to find the body of his son and the family’s heirloom sword. We are joined by a Half-Orc Bard going by the name Rumy, who will be a welcome addition with the loss of Haltz.
We make our way to the family’s home, where we ask the father some questions, and then are given the opportunity to question the lone survivor. The man has not exactly been treated well – He was a coward, and they wanted to be certain that they both had the proper information and that he wouldn’t repeat his actions. Chained to the floor, the soles of his feet flayed off and eyes gouged out (Among other things), he repeats his tale – A man with a hammer “Carved to look like fire” attacked the caravan, killing everyone and ransacking it. He only survived by hiding in a ditch.
We then make our way into the Brackwood, a wonderful, peaceful woodland full of rabbits, deer and friendly birds. Or, rather, a dark and foreboding semi-magical forest of doom. After our first day, we come to a bridge, with bits and pieces of it broken presumably from recent flooding. Ronin made a scouting attempt across what remained, and only managed to stir up a… thing.
In my research, I had come across references to creatures made from magical runoff, and this fit the bill perfectly. It was made of mud, stones, and skulls of not-so-happy woodland critters, Somehow, the topic of paying a toll to the creature came up and it seemed pretty happy with the idea. After trying a few thoughts (And Carric pegging it with a few arrows), we managed to all get to the opposite side of the muddy streambed, where we figured out the thing was trapped within a small area around the bridge. As it was unable to come after us, we go happily on our way.
Or, for some of us happily. I, and at times some of the others, end up having headaches and being generally grumpy in this forest. This clears mostly as we get away from the forest on the third day, coming out to a clearing. We see a few farmhouses – One that looks empty, and one that looks inhabited. We decide to make our way to the empty one, as arriving at an inhabited place in an area plagued by bandits at nightfall probably wouldn’t be the best idea.
We arrive at the house, finding it deserted and empty – Well, except for the bodies of the family we found inside. Ronin and I take the time to bury them while Rumy explores the house and the surrounding area, with Carric finding a sheep for dinner. Ronin prepares it for us, and we sleep – Much better than we have in previous nights.
In the morning, we make our way out to the inhabited farmhouse, to which they unsurprisingly bolt themselves shut and try their best to ignore us. Carric talks at them, eventually convincing one of them out.
We explain what we were hired to do, and that we expect the local bandit king to have the sword. Since we’re going after him, he gives us some information – The bandits camp on the “Golem’s Blade” cliff, and while there is a road (and a diversion camp) that lead up to it, there’s also a way around the back.
We decide to surprise them in their rear, and after getting off track a time or two, we find their camp a short time after dark. Sparing no subtlety, we attack. Rumy sets off a few of the horses to cause some confusion, and we take out a few of them before they know what’s going on. Some get away to go round up and warn the others, and one decides to make a stand. Ronin goes after him while Carric stays to the shadows, raining arrows on unsuspecting victims. Rumy, too, keeps to the shadows, waiting until the opportune moment to use her bardic magic, shattering several bandits into bloody pulp. I use my own magic to hit some of them, until switching to my glaive to help Ronin dispatch the lone bandit.
The ruckus summoned a big, burly Orc from his slightly-fancier hut, along with two bodyguards. The men who we had been dealing with had stalled for enough time for several others to slip into some armor, and they began rushing us as well. Rumy took a shot at the boss and his guards, dealing some damage to them before she was even seen.
We’ll have to wait until next week to see what sort of mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.