Dragon Age - The Wandering Blades

Part 3 - Into The Forest

You stand bleary-eyed within the decimation left by Ralath’s final act: blood and gore surround you, and the wagons themselves are stained red.

As Sifred, Izzarand Tobbin stand trying to order their thoughts Ser Garlyn finally catches up. The grizzly scene does nothing for his already sick stomach but with nothing left to vomit up he drops to his knees dry heaving and unable to speak.

After a few long moments you all manage to compose yourselves and begin to investigate the scene: You find much of the supplies within the wagons still present. However it seems the bandits meant to send a message and there is a very obvious stench of urine coming from the remaining supplies. Among the wreckage of the wagons you also find the body of one of the men who had asked you to accompany them to see Bann Krole. You are left to wonder had you done so could you have prevented this tragedy.

Tobbin heads up to check and see if he can find any sign of where the bandits may have fled to but instead is lead (by the sound of laboured wheezing and groaning) to a survivor. A very large man, seemingly an Avvarian Hillsemen, is bound and half-crucified against a tree. Another message the bandits meant to send but this one was left unfinished.

You free the man and though his wounds are numerous he appears as if he will live. He introduces himself as Sithig Ar Muire O Redhold. Having done all you can at the sight of the attack you return to Logerswold to gather yourselves and rest up before you head into the heart of the Brecilian to begin your hunt in ernest.

The next morning you wake at sun-up and the propriator of the inn has prepared supplies for you. As you get ready to head out Tobbin is approached by Dealia. The girl pleads with him to let her come with you but Tobbin insists she stay explaining that she would be in grave danger and he would feel responsible for her. Grundgingly the girl agrees and you set out.

You travel for hours through the Brecilian, following the map that Trewin provided and snaking your way along winding trails. The canopy above is thick and it is obvious to you how easy it must be for the bandits to remain hidden in such an imposing landscape. You feel eyes on you as you trek through the forest but your watcher, if there is one, always seems to be just outside your range of vision.

You come to an opening in the path: A ravine stretches below you to your right more than twenty feet, and an almost sheer rock face extending up just over ten feet to your left. The tension builds as you feel more eyes on you. Just as it is too late Izzar spots an ambush above at the edge of the treeline. As you turn to defend yourself from the half-dozen bowmen another four bandits charge at you from around the corner, blocking any escape. Battle ensues but you have learned quickly from your last encounter with these men and you split the party to attack each front: Ser Garlyn, Sifredand Tobbin scale the rock face as quickly as possible to attack the archers while Izzar and Sithig attack the bandit skirmishers.

Battle is frantic with people being knocked off the road down to the ravine below and knocked from the archers position back down to the road. You fight hard and for the most part are smart in your tactics and it pays off. Even out-numbered two to one you manage to defeat the bandits. The remaining three try to flee but one is caught in the back by Ser Garlyn’s axe. Another is caught by Sithig and has his face smashed into the rock wall for good measure. Unfortunately the last bandit flees, despite your best efforts.

It is now time for answer. Unfortunately Sithig‘s extreme negotiating tactics of breaking the bandits leg fails. In frustration Sithig ends the man’s life and you are none the wiser. Miraculously the remaining bandit (with the axe in his back) is still alive. Thanks to some more civilised negotiating from Izzar and Sifred you glean some information from the man: “Follow the stream”. With the information you need, the man is of no more use to you and Izzar opens his throat.

Now you need only find the logger’s camp and you will be one step closer to finding your prey.

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