Infiltrating the Bandit Camp

Drake and Aegon have managed to convince the bandits that they wish to join them. They have been given full run of the Bandit Camp, where many of the leaders are present. They now have an opportunity to learn more about the Conspiracy of the Coast, and perhaps learn what their true plans are.

1 Flamerule 1368

I can’t believe it. We have managed to gain access to the camp. This is an opportunity for us to gather some real information. Unfortunately, most of the bandits here won’t talk to us.

We try to engage a member of the Chill, but they are equally as unreceptive.

We aren’t members of the Talon, but it’s a benefit if the hobgoblins think we are. We decide to start looking inside tents to see if we can find anything. When we enter the first one we find someone willing to talk with us.

Drake: Uh, yeah, that’s us.

Tersus: Good, I’m s’posed to give each of you some leather armor.

Drake: Uh, sure, pile it on… Say, can you tell me a little about the place? Like who pays the wages around here?

Tersus: Some say da Zhents, some say it might be da Iron Throne. I don’t ask questions, eh. Da boss gives me money an’ I hand out leather armor, it’s dat simple. Chill, Blacktalons, I don’t care who you are, I give you leather armor.

Drake: Blacktalons. Chill. All da same, yup.

He gives us all suits of leather armour, making sure to pick ones that might fit us. He doesn’t seem to notice or care that we already have better armour equipped. He didn’t know who was behind all of this. Perhaps no one here knows. Getting the information we need might prove to be difficult.

We leave the tent and try to talk to the bandits again. This time one of the humans.

When you have a mixed group like this, there are bound to be conflicts. Especially when you are hiring those that don’t mind killing innocent people.

We have full run of the camp, so we start looking in barrels. Drake finds a scroll and passes it over to me. On it is written a spell of perception. It is an advanced spell, so I store it in my scroll case for later.

In a sack nearby Drake finds a Potion of Toughness that may help him last longer in a fight.

We enter another tent and are met with unkindness by its only inhabitant.

Drake: Nor do I like the looks of ye, but it’s better than a face full of pulpy mush, now don’t you think?

Knott: Are you threatening me?

Drake: Keep your voice down or my next move won’t be a threat. I want to know how this whole place is laid our and I want to know it now.

Knott: Gulp… Heh, it’s a bandit camp – tents here, tents there, ain’t got no damn geography to it.

Drake: Then make some. Which one is Tazok’s tent?

Knott: The – The big one in the… in the northeast part of the camp.

Drake: What’s in there? Any guards or traps?

Knott: J-just the prisoner and his guards, no traps, honest!

The bandit scurries out of the tent, his tough persona broken by Drake’s interrogation. He can be quite scary when he needs to be. We search the tent and find a strange looking horn in a sack. If I didn’t know better I would say it looks like it came from a unicorn.

There is also a locked chest in here. Mur’Neth breaks into it, but we find only coins and a dagger. perhaps the unicorn isn’t worth as much.

We leave the tent. Searching the sacks outside we find a Potion of Heroism.

We also find an Oil of Fiery Burning. Mur’Neth takes the Oil so he can try coating his crossbow bolts in the next fight we have.

We enter another tent to find a small group of gnolls. We try to talk to them but they ignore us completely. Bandits aren’t ones for conversation. They’re more into killing people for money.

Among the tents we find a foul smelling cave. On entering we learn why – most of the gnolls in the camp are nested here.

Drake: Why are you in here, anyway?

Garclax: We in here because of trouble we cause in camp! Big brawl two nights back. You should know that… unless you not Blacktalon. You not smell right. You die!

Damn. Our cover is blown. Weapons are drawn. Maybe we can maintain our cover if we kill them all. There are many of them, so Xan casts a Sleep spell.

Most of them fall asleep, leaving only a flind and Garclax himself. We take up positions to fight them.

The flind’s halberd rips into Viconia’s armour and cuts open her stomach. She immediately calls upon Shar for healing. Cat is also injured and retreats. Unfortunately he attracts the attention of a still-conscious gnoll slasher.

The flind collapses. We’re not sure which missile killed it, but we’ll take the win.

Viconia keeps Garclax busy while Drake presses into the slasher that was chasing Cat.

I help Viconia’s fight with a Chromatic Orb. It doesn’t seem to hurt Garclax much.

Drake turns his attention back to Garclax. His Rift Hammer emits a shock wave that wakes the nearby gnoll.

After taking the brunt of the Rift Hammer’s shockwave, Garclax is stunned for a moment. Viconia takes the opportunity to finish him off.

Viconia takes out one of the slashers. Only one left now, then we can take care of the rest while they sleep.

Before we can do that Xan’s spell wears off and the remaining gnolls wake up again. They are startled, but they will quickly become a problem.

Reacting quickly, I put them back to Sleep.

With them all unconscious, we take care of them one by one. We can’t leave any survivors – they know we aren’t supposed to be here.

Once we are sure they’re dead, I heal my familiar. We are bonded by the Weave. If one of us dies, the other goes with him.

Xan isn’t too keen on the scenery. He is feeling nostalgic.

Aegon: Would not you prefer the moon to shine upon you at the hour of your death? You are a grey elf, after all.

Xan: Lle holma ve’ edan… I shall translate for you – you smell like a human. Which is unsurprising since one of them raised you. Now, I’d like to spend the last moments of my life as pleasantly as I can, so keep away from me. I wish to smell slime and listen to the suckling sound the mud makes.

Wow, calm down Xan. It’s not like I chose to be raised by a human. What was I thinking? This old “elf” could never live up to Father.

We search the knolls. They have the usual swords, halberds and trinkets. Garclax himself, however, was wielding a powerful looking axe. One of our dwarf friends might enjoy this weapon. For now, we store it in our Bag of Holding.

We search the rest of the cave before we leave, and find another gnoll cowering at the back of the cave.

Knowing it has been made, it tries to fight its way out. We don’t let it leave.

Outside the cave again, we go back to searching barrels and sacks. We find a Potion of Perception, which Mur’Neth asks to hold on to.

We go into another tent, and find a strange ring in one of the chests. We can’t tell what it does.

We still have Gellana’s Curse Removal Soap, so Viconia agrees to try on the ring. Her flesh immediately starts rotting off her bones. Her hair shrivels into dust. I rush to try and grab the ring from her, but she tells us she is fine in a now-raspy voice. It must be an illusion.

She takes the soap and uses it to take the ring off. As soon as she does her flesh returns to her bones.

The ring is known as the Iron Thorn. It is possibly a creation of Myrkul, designed to force its victims to face death. We decide to keep it. Gaining the appearance of a zombie might be useful, given some unusual circumstances.

We leave this last tent and we find someone giving orders. Drake decides we should find out who he is.

Drake snorts.

Drake: The hammer’s easier.

Aegon: You’ve my respect, but I’ll not fear you. It’s better placed with our quarry.

Taurgosz Khosann: Ha ha ha! Good attitude. be sure to keep it when Tazok arrive. He hires Blacktalons for Iron Throne, but you take orders only from me. Understand? Stay away from Chill as well: They only our friends till the job is finished.

From what I can tell, the Blacktalons are the human bandits. It must be why everyone assumes we are Blacktalons. We have humans in our group, and elves are closer to human in appearance than they are to hobgoblins.

The Chill are the hobgoblin bandits. Their allegiance with the Blacktalons is purely based on money and not very stable. Whenever we’ve encountered bandits they’ve either been human or hobgoblin. Never a mix of both. They mustn’t like to work together.

As for the gnolls, they must be a third faction. I don’t think they work with the gnolls from the stronghold we rescued Dynaheir from, but maybe that’s just because they never really seem well organised.

None of them seem to be aware of, nor do they care about, their true employer. They do their job, get paid, ask no questions. Whether it’s the Zhentarim, the Iron Throne, or some other organisation, we won’t find out by asking questions of the grunts. We need Tazok.

We can see the big tent before us, but we quickly check one last tent before we approach it. Inside we find some scrolls. The first is for Vampiric Touch. This is a necromancer’s scroll. None of us will go near it, but perhaps the Mad Wizard Xzar will appreciate it next time we see him.

The other is a Scroll of Web. This looks like something I could learn, so I decide to try and copy it to my spell book.

Unfortunately, I need more practice at doing this.

It’s time. No more putting this off. We approach the largest tent. Tazok’s tent. We find a bandit guarding the entrance.

Drake: And who might you be?

Credus: Me? I’m Credus. I’m your superio… seperbior… I’m your boss. I was the newest recruit until you showed up. Now you’ll get all the crappy guard duty and I’ll be moving up.

Drake: I hope I do as good a job as you did. What would I be guarding?

Credus: Good attitude! Important work it is! Gotta keep an eye on Tazok’s tent and make sure no one gets too close. They do super secret planning in there, all about where the iron and stuff goes. Smack anybody who goes near! Hey, maybe we’ll give you a little test. You can guard the place for tonight. Tazok will be pleased that we took the initinivvi… initititive… ini… that we didn’t wait. It’ll give me a break for tonight too. You just make sure nothing goes missing, or your head goes next.

Just like that we are responsible for Tazok’s tent. These bandits aren’t well coordinated. We take up position as if we were on guard duty. I look to the tent. I see visions of our deaths again.

We have to find out what is happening in there. But something is telling me that just wandering in there and asking questions isn’t going to work as well as it has on their grunts. We need to be prepared for a fight.

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