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Travel from Epitaph to Elk Temple – 1 Day
Travel from Elk Temple to Stag Statue – 2 Day Fight bandits, capture 2. 2, including the leader, get away.
Travel Back to Elk Temple – 2Day
At the Temple of Erastil, we questioned Jhod about his dealings with the half-elf, Marina, and he stated only that he’d “taken care of her” or something to that effect. He was strangely silent on the matter.
The battle we waged against the bandit cell at the statue of Erastil was more difficult than any of us had predicted. Tad successfully intimidated one bandit after pummeling one to death, while I levitated and held my “ground” with a Protection from Arrows spell (first time I’d used either of those spells; they both worked perfectly). Meanwhile, Khrystos/Skyduster and Jane/Toboe finally captured one bandit after various divine spell mishaps (a misguided Swarm spell and an ineffective Entangle spell). Their leader (Damish), apparently a multi-classed ranger/rogue, gave us the slip, although Tad nearly caught him. We managed to capture the bandit that Tad had intimidated although he too nearly escaped into the night. At the end of the evening, of the 5 original bandits, one was dead; two (including the leader) escaped; and two were captured. Khrystos and I both suffered serious wounds in the battle, but Jane healed us.
The next day, we returned to the Temple of Erastil, captives in tow. Khrystos and I interrogated one bandit in a cave within the temple, while Tad and Jane waited outside with the other one. Although I was using a Detect Thoughts spell, very little was learned from the first bandit; when Jane revealed to him that I was using magic to pry into his mind, he immediately shut his mind off from us, and refused to answer any more questions.
Khrystos then left the room to begin interrogating the second bandit in the hallway. In a clever ruse, Tad insinuated to the second bandit that his friend had just been killed for refusing to talk… and Khrystos just nodded in solemn agreement. Scared that he might be next, the second bandit quickly began offering information about the Stag Lord and his fort. The bandit described the fort, confirming Cass’ description that it was surrounded by a tall fence of spiked wooden beams, and that there were 3 watchtowers as well. He confirmed that there were 3 lieutenants who resided in the fort almost all the time, in addition to the Stag Lord himself. Further, there is apparently a monster (!) inside the fort that screams and hoots! He also told us that the bandits who escaped yesterday probably were headed back to the Stag Lord’s fort, and would report everything to the Stag Lord, necessitating a bandit password change. He confirmed that the fort’s password changes every week, and to obtain the new password, bandits gather at a grove about 1.5 days’ travel (by foot) NW from the fort. There, they make offerings to the gods, after which the password is bequeathed to them. He showed us the rough location of the grove on a map, and told us it’s “near a place where we have a trap set up to capture animals for food.”
My vision is cloudy. I’m not certain what the fates have in store for us next. We’re all pretty certain that we’ve blown any chance for subterfuge at this point; the bandits who escaped have probably relayed their story to the Stag Lord, assuming they made it back there alive. So the question before us now is: Do we journey to the grove of trees and attempt to obtain the latest password? Or, do we head back to Oleg’s, and prepare for a direct assault on the Stag Lord’s castle?
Nettle’s curse wears heavy upon me. I must rest now.]