Michelle nods to Shendra, "Good to know." She turns to Lullaby, "Who do you report to and are there any dangers we should be aware of?" The woman replies, "I am not the leader of the gang but I was hoping to start to fund my takeover. That is why I was charging so much. The leader is a spooky old woman named Mother Nightthrush, and while she is old, she’s got weird mystical powers. There are about three dozen Roadkeepers in all in the gang as a whole. I am not sure of an exact total these days, but most of them are exploring, under the guidance of the group’s second-in-command, a dwarven alchemist named Dolland. Also Dolland’s apprentice Sharlise was killed by a trap a while back but came back from the dead and still runs with the gang as some sort of creepy 'ghostie.' There are two ways into the hill. There is the Bramblemouth cave which is where a tribe of goblins are and there is the stonehouse which is where most of my gang is. There is also the Vindictive Traveler in a clearing up ahead. I do not know anything about the goblin tribe. Outside the stonehouse there will probably be some roadkeepers. Inside the stonehouse is most likely Mother Nightthrush. There is a secret door in the back left of the stonehouse that leads below to the basement. In the basement there is a barricaded door that encloses an invisible monster. Further along is a way further down but I haven't been that far. There will probably be more roadkeepers in the basement."
Michael takes the group out of earshot and says, "We need to turn back around and turn her and her friends into the authorities. It wouldn't sit well with me to kill prisoners, no matter the convenience of it. Let's turn them in and we'll take a different route towards her gang's hideout so we can clear the area of these killers while not implicating our ferry driver."
"'Murder is bad,' does seem to be the direction pointed to by my moral compass," says Shendra drolly. "In truth I suppose I had been trying not to think about what we would do when we came up against, well, living people. It has been all dead things, gross bugs, and flesh monsters until now."
You decide to return to town with the brigands in tow. There are now four of them left. The one hit by Teodor's dagger is dead. First you wave to Hallen to bring the barge back. You cannot all go in one trip so you decide to go in two trips. Hallen does not charge you for the return trips. Once you are back you head back to town. Once back in Roderic's Cove you head to?
Shendra sort of glances around with an impatient-sounding sigh. "I suppose we just take them to the Guardhouse. I heard the Captain's right-hand woman used to be a bit of a character herself. Maybe she will be able to set Lullaby and her compatriots straight." The seer turns to the bandit woman as her lips pull back in a sort of haughty smile. "If not I suppose I look forward to continuing our chat from earlier - before we were unfortunately interrupted."
You drop Lullaby and her men off with some guards at the guardhouse and then back to Hallen, who does not charge you for your trip back across the river. Finally you are back to where you met with resistance. This time, though, there is no resistance. What are your plans?
"We shouldn't make a frontal assault unless we know more about their defenses. Why don't we scout around and see if we can't find their second in command? If goblins could be reasoned with, I'd propose negotiating with them, but they are usually too violent and unpredictable." Michael says. "Who here is good at scouting?"
"I must agree with Michael that we take a more circuitous route," says the seer as she scans their woodsy surroundings. "We are not up against thoughtless beasts anymore - a frontal assault combined with untimely reinforcements could get us killed. And I would rather prefer to stay alive," adding this time silently to herself. Her free hand falls to her side where she grabs her hanging waterskin, lifting it up to her mouth to take a swig. "Why not take a quick look at this 'Vindictive Traveller', whatever it is, and then, as has been suggested, we track down this Dolland fellow?"
"Alright Teodor, take point. About 60 feet ahead should work. Let's see if we can find this Vindictive Traveller, and if we get lucky and can reduce more of the bandit population around here, all the better."Michael thanks Hallen and follows behind Teodor.
"Go ahead, I'll keep Night furher back. Snow will lead you and Poe will track your progress from the air. Snow, track the brigands."
Drath presents the rope used to bind the bandits for the dog to sniff at.
Teodor heads south with the others behind. You follow a network of trails that aren’t quite roads. Finally you come upon a strange site. The borders of this clearing are unusual in that they are well-tended, clear of brush, and strewn with gravel to form a circular road of sorts. A single dead oak tree looms at the center of the clearing, and something silver sparkles from one of the lower branches—what appears to be an amulet hangs there. The mutilated bodies of three recently slain people wearing the armor of the town watch from Roderic’s Cove lie near the tree’s roots.
The seer looks suspiciously about the clearing. This was not what she had been expecting. Silently she raises her free hand and wiggles it around briefly before pointing at the amulet and then giving a similarly pointed questioning look to her companions.
Teodor stops at the edge of the clearing staying well clear of the tree. "Um, I hope this doesn't sound too much like the boogy man, but I have heard tale of killer trees." He draws his blades and adds, "Just in case I'll circle around and make sure our Vindictive Traveller isn't just hiding behind the tree." He carefully starts working his way around the outside of the clearing looking for trouble. He also tries to see what sort of wounds the guards have.