08 – 12.Gozran.4710
08.Gozran (Sunday) – A cloudy day found Brother Zero, Sue and Regik travelling quickly through the fields to the Narlmarch Forest and entered the woods without a problem. As night descended and the sky released a deluge of water the party set up camp and settled in for the night.
Corbin and Markoa waited at the camp gathering supplies and building some makeshift shelters.
09. (Moonday) – During the early morning hours the camp was visited by a walking mass of vegetation that seemed to be seeking meat to decompose within it. The three rose and fought the creature as best they could but Sue came close to dying and Brother Zero decided the best case was to run. Given no other choice they pressed on to the Thorn River camp through the rain and their fatigue.
The bedraggled three entered the camp and tended to as the day progressed and the rain abated. Markoa discovered during a scouting that someone had been spying on the camp. The group now more rested and back together decided to press on and Markoa followed the tracks of the bandit that had escaped their attack on the camp a few days ago. By evening the five had reached the a rickety bridge that spanned the Thorn River and decided to camp on the north side braving the weak span.
10. (Toilday) – The next morning the group moved further on picking up on the obscured tracks of the bandit that they were following until they finally got close and Markoa and Sue decided to sneak into the forest to capture the man. Markoa slipped quietly into the scrub and moved towards the man. Sue…did not so much as slip into the woods as create a commotion and dispensed with stealth to plow into the woods towards the alerted man. The bandit tried to fire arrows at the half-ogre barreling towards him and at Markoa who revealed himself with his own ranged fire but he soon fell to the heroes dying to Sue’s powerful attack.
The scout dispatched the group moved on hoping that they would find Zebulon alive at the Stag Lord’s fort. A mile or two down the road along the Shrike River the group was approached by a hunter named Carl that had been keeping an eye out for the party as he had promised Zebulon.
Zebulon spent his days amongst the bandits making connections, learning secrets and keeping away from the bandits that scared him or were suspicious. The bandits, especially the more antisocial ones, would want to test his dedication and willingness to be violent so Zebulon avoided them as best he could but soon learned that he had been chosen by the Stag Lord to go on a raid of the local homesteads in the morning.
11. (Wealday) – After spending the night with Carl the group started out early and laid a trap in the path with concealed pits.
The Stag Lord rode out of his fort with a crew that morning. In a few miles up the Shrike River path the bandits found some of their horses falling in spiked pits. A pitched battle ensued with both sides fighting for their lives. Auchs, the brute, almost killed Sue but was finally slain and Sue healed by Corbin. Markoa’s bowmanship was more accurate than the Stag Lord’s own rapid firing. The sadists Ayles and Jeb found justice by Brother Zero’s zeal and Sue’s might while Markoa’s sure aim and Corbin’s holy fury brought justice to most of the rest of the bandits. Zebulon turned his allegiance back to his friends and was able to convince Topper Red to lay down his arms and surrender. Nonny, however, refused and was laid low. Well, as low as the fat man could get. Falgrim Sneed was also laid low but Corbin healed him enough that he would survive to face justice in Restov. The Stag Lord was pressed to the breaking point and finally turned tail and leapt into the Shrike River. The group ran to the edge of the ridge and felt their victory getting away but Sue would have none of it. The half-ogre soldier set his brow with determination and, with a running leap, followed the Stag Lord into the swollen Shrike River. The river, swollen with spring melt, carried the two down its rapids smashing the two against rocks and trees or trying to drown them with undertow and whitewater. Both men were endangered but in the end both carried through to their end. Sue pulled himself to the bank of the river hundreds of yards down the river and the Stag Lord was washed out into the Tuskwater and onto shore. Dragging himself to his knees the Stag Lord roared and beat the pebbled beach as he dripped upon the shore. Betrayed, beaten, and made to run the Stag Lord knew the interlopers were soon to follow him down the road. He pulled himself to his feet and soon was running to his fort. They would go there and he would be waiting. The Stag Lord cursed himself for not listening to the Snitch. It wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t gotten the liquor that Kressle had promised him. Kressle, the man killed him with fury. If she wasn’t dead already she would be when he finished with these…. Who were these people? Agent of Brevoy? …Pitax? Rival bandits? Hired mercenaries?
Dead men that is what they were going to be when he was through with them. He was the Stag Lord and his Dream was counting on him. She told him that he was a man of power now and he would not fail Her. He needed to have all the Stolen Lands under his control and then She would be his Queen.
The Stag Lord reached the fort and had the gates sealed behind him. In moments he was raging before his remaining lieutenants while calls went out for any remaining bandits to return to the fort as fast as possible. As night fell the Stag Lord descended into the cellar as drunk as he could make himself and still be conscious. The Stag Lord still didn’t like seeing the Old Man but he was no longer afraid and the Old Man would have advice and counsel from his prayers. The Old Man would never tell him what to do again but he would have advice and the Stag Lord needed it now. He needed to know how to kill Zebulon Pike and his new friends.