The Dragon WarriorsAethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Solaran – Elementalist
Reiver Patrols (Day 65 – Early morning)
The following two days allowed Aethelfrith to fully recover from his wounds and for the adventurers to get their things in order to set out once more to destroy the bandit’s nest. After they had stowed away their loot and said their “Farewells” to the mayor, the adventurers set out on the road again. This time they would head directly to the dilapidated manor house via the route they now knew through the forest, rather than skirt the hills.
The first day’s travel passed uneventfully, but just after dawn of the following day, when Solaran was just about to finish his watch duties, there was a rustling in the bushes nearby. He noticed a few shapes stealthily moving towards their small glade encampment.
After scanning them surreptitiously for a few moments, he realised that there were at least three of the Reivers approaching them from three different directions. He nudged Sir Erich and Aethelfrith awake, and they grabbed their weapons, but did not have time to don any armour. They each took aim at one of the approaching shadows and let loose. Solaran’s and Sir Erich’s shafts struck home leaving the third bandit no choice but to turn on his heels and flee the glade.
The following day passed uneventfully except for the party climbing a tree to avoid an encounter with a roaming wild boar.
The companions arrived within the vicinity of the manor house during the morning of the third day of their travels from Worsted. They carefully surveyed the perimeter and then settled in front of the main gates to observe the comings and goings of the bandits within. Nothing happened except for a changing of the guard every few hours, so the party decided to cover their tracks and make camp a short distance away from the bandit lair to pass the night.
Attack! (Day 68)
The adventurers returned to their observation place the following morning to try to work out what was going on within the confines of the bandit lair. They observed that there were now only two guards on the main gate as opposed to the three they saw the first time they visited the ruins. The guards changed over every couple of hours and the rota finished within three changes, meaning there could only be a handful of bandits left in their lair.
The party decided that they would attack, so advanced upon the gate, bows at the ready. When they got into range, the party let loose their shafts but missed their targets at the gate. The bandits yelled an alarm and shot back at Solaran and Sir Erich; they had failed to spot where Aethelfrith was hidden. Solaran and Aethelfrith got another shot off at the same guard and he crumpled to the floor. His colleague returned a shot but missed his target. A few seconds later, several more guards turned up and started to shoot at the party who started to slowly back away, shooting as they went. A few barbs found their mark on either side.
The leader of the bandits spotted the party had begun to retreat and urged his men forward at a charge. That was the signal for the adventurers to turn tail. They fled for about fifty yards until they found a defendable position and turned with their bows drawn. As soon as the bandits came into view Sir Erich loosed his shaft and one of the pursuers dropped to the floor.
The rest of the bandits closed in now that their quarry had turned to fight, but shots from Solaran and Sir Erich carried on finding their marks. By the time the bandits were able to close into melee there were only three of them left; a sergeant and two minions. The battle broke up into pairs, and each of the party sustained a hit before they dispatched their foe.
The battle over, the party collected their thoughts and tried to work out what to do next, now that it looked like they had killed what they thought must have been the majority of the Reivers. They stripped the bandits’ bodies of all of their valuables and weapons and cautiously returned to the manor house again.
The adventurers remained watchful for an hour or two until they were sure they could see no guards at the manor house gates, then they advanced cautiously upon the opening with their weapons drawn, expecting to be attacked at any moment, but all was eerily silent.
They entered the tumble-down house but found no sign of the bandits. They had either all been killed or had fled. They ransacked the building for treasure but found nothing other than an ornate breast plate for all of their troubles. When they had finished searching the manor, they settled down for their evening meal. Sir Erich collected his thoughts on the first day he had arrived in Worsted, when he was dressed as a monk – he remembered that he had not seen the bandit leader in all of these subsequent combats and skirmishes. There was nothing to show for the bandits’ highway robbery efforts within the ruins, so he assumed that the missing leader had run away with all the portable items of value when the going had got hot.
The party camped the night in the ruins but nothing untoward happened except for the passing of a large creature during the middle of the night that Aethelfrith heard but did not see. They broke camp and left for Worsted the next day.
The Journey Back (Days 69-71)
The party broke camp early in the morning and headed back to Worsted on the path that had brought them to the manor house. As they were making their way through the forest, a sudden crash of undergrowth and a snarl brought them face-to-face with a large white cat. The sabre-toothed cat lunged at Sir Erich to bite him but he managed to step away from the cat just in time. Aethelfrith was a little more alert and was able to stab the feline with his spear causing it to yowl in pain. The cat lunged for the attack again and caught Sir Erich a glancing blow whilst Aethelfrith again stabbed it with his spear. This enraged the wild cat and it changed its attack to the one who had caused it pain, causing a wound upon Aethelfrith’s upper thigh. Aethelfrith backed away whilst Sir Erich advanced. Solaran shot at the cat with his bow but this only seemed to enrage the creature further. Sir Erich caused a grievous wound with his great axe and a solid blow from Aethelfrith’s spear caused the cat to become even more enraged, and rather than flee it redoubled its attacks upon the party. Solaran thought that magic may do the trick where steel could not, but the cat dodged the flaming ball that was thrown at it. However, this caused enough of a diversion for Sir Erich to dispatch the creature. Whilst Aethelfrith bandaged up his wounds, Sir Erich got to work skinning the cat; the pelt was sure to fetch a good price at any market.
The following day, the party were able to avoid an orc patrol that was headed towards the ruined manor house.
The rest of their journey to Worsted was uneventful.
The End of the Adventure (Days 72-80)
When the adventurers turned up in town they announced that they had rid the village of its nemesis. Although this was good news to the ears of the local residents, they seemed totally non-plussed and carried on with their everyday lives as if it meant nothing to them. This annoyed the party as they did not even get to have a proper celebration at the expense of the villagers. They returned to the chapel where they put their newfound loot onto their cart and prepared to leave when the next caravan made its way to Glissom.
The following day they paid a visit on the mayor, who congratulated them on a job well done. He also enquired after the white cat pelt on their cart. The party negotiated with him and managed to barter it for an item of jewellery that consisted of a white polished stone with a red glyph inscribed upon it; an Amulet of Abraxus (a magical item that allowed its wearer to heal more quickly than by nature alone).
Aethelfrith found that the days between their arrival back in town and when the next caravan pulled in was enough to cure him of the wounds he had accrued in their last few battles. He certainly had a lot of scars to boast about when they arrived at their next port of call.
The caravan arrived about a week later and the party negotiated their place upon it for the return journey to Glissom.