Previously, the guildmembers were hot on the trail of the bandits that robbed Hal the Ale Merchant. Now, deep in the Oakswald forest, the guildmembers decide to continue on the morrow and make camp...
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
Night falls... Those who have an ear for such things note that it is an unusually quiet night. Woodsman Guy, who has the last watch, hears not a single bird when day breaks: this is not the natural order of affairs in the Oakswald.
Come morning, Guy successfully tracks their quarry deeper into the forest. After about three hours on the trail, he spots the deep tracks of a donkey-drawn cart alongside the footsteps. Cesper uses a Minor Summon spell (see Core Rulebook, page 191) to call forth a moonhawk to do some scouting for them. Just as the beast makes out a clearing in the direction they’re headed, David Wincher spots a tent behind some trees up ahead.
Our heroes conclude this must be the bandits’ camp. They decide to mount a three-pronged attack, with Rolland and Cesper advancing openly through the middle, and Guy, Tirin, and David coming in on the left and right flanks. As they stalk forward, David manages to send an arrow into one of the figures he spots lying near the remains of a campfire. However, when the man does not flinch at David's attack, it becomes apparent that he is already dead. As the rest of the group descends on the camp to search it, Cesper lingers outside its perimeter. He is suddenly charged by a huge boar.
Cesper's player succeeded at a Perception (detect) skill check, making him aware of the sudden threat (an unusually large boar charging out of nowhere). He makes use of a trusted instrument--his Ghost spell (see Core Rulebook, page 160)--to summon a fallen soldier who quickly deflects the charge with his pole arm before disappearing again in thin air. It is enough to stop the enemy in its tracks.
The other party members come to Cesper's aid. David, however, stays behind to recover his arrow from the bandit’s body. He fails his Perception (detect) skill check and is caught by surprise when another boar appears out of nowhere. The boar charges him in the back, flinging him to the ground with his tusks, and causes a serious wound to David’s legs.
Meanwhile, the others manage to kill the first boar. It disintegrates into a brown ash, leaving nothing but the tracks made by its hooves. Two more boars attack, but are done away with. Unfortunately, David is attacked and struck a second time, leaving him seriously injured and impaired.
When the threat is dealt with, the guildmembers take care of David’s wounds and search the camp. They find a total of five dead bandits lying around, all without visible wounds and with expressions of deep terror on their faces. Tirin finds a pair of beautifully embroidered leather gloves on one of the corpses (later determined by Cesper to provide the wearer with a flat +2 bonus on Brawl checks). The heroes also find Hal's cart with a shipment of ale, a set of doctor's tools, a chest decorated with a strange piece of cloth that contains 9 gold pieces, and a torn map of the northwest of the Electorate Principality of Penhaven. As Guy and Cesper successfully search the surroundings for healing herbs, normal forest sounds return to the Oakswald.
The guild members load up their loot and the bodies of the fallen forest robbers and make for home.
Back in Aberford, the group stops outside the southern gate, and Tirin goes to fetch the Captain of the Guard, while Rolland goes to notify Hal the Ale Merchant of their contract's completion. Captain Bartholomeus decides to have the bandits buried in unmarked graves in the cemetery, but not before Hal identifies one of the bandits as a guard he had hired to accompany him to Westrich earlier.
Cesper shows the strange piece of cloth that covered the chest (green with an image of a white hand) to Bartholomeus, who identifies the symbol as that of Penhaven's clandestine organization, 'the Men of the Green Hand'. This visibly troubles the Captain, but attempts by Cesper to inquire further about the Green Hand and its connection to Jorn Ghosthand's men are met with very little enthusiasm.
After Hal pays his fee, the guildmembers retreat to their base where they are met by their eager new follower Marcus. Marcus helps them unload the loot into the basement and assists Rolland with procuring the services of a local carpenter to design an armory for the guild. Cesper enlists the help of Temple acolyte Rowan to treat David’s wounds. Rowan performs a healing prayer on David’s injured legs, which will allow the wounds to heal. Cesper offers the guild’s services in return for Rowan's efforts, but Rowan says that he would rather they speak to his seemingly troubled master, Brother Treyfusis. The group then retires for the first time in their officially established and recognized Guild Hall...