Cursed Lands Session 12
January 13, 2019
A merchant heading along to Crowthorne from Crossroads Keep was ambushed. Bloody and barely conscious, when leaving town the merchant fell into the arms of Rasotto. Barely conscious, he whispers that his goods were stolen. Samson exclaims that it is the guards he should be after, but the guards respond that their duty is to the community and not to some merchant wanting to get rich off of their isolation. When leaving town again, the man promised a reward if they could recover his goods. So they decided to go after the bandits.
They travelled north into the badlands. The Badlands is an area of maze-like cliffs and scrub that separates Crossroads Keep form the wild Southlands. Scouting the ground and forging a trail into the cliffs, they hit a dead end and were surprised when the voice from behind them. Three bandits stood there.
“You killed my brother!” One of the bandits exclaim. “You murdered him, cut him near in half and left him for the buzzards! Prepare to die!”
The party steeled themselves to capture someone who didn’t want to be. They fought and with only a few injuries managed to capture the man who claimed his brother died. The other two managed to escape. After a brief civil interrogation, he wanted them to torture or even kill him knowing full well that it was against the law and that his friends would take the risk of returning the goods and claiming the party were the real criminals. After debating the chances of making him disappear, they decided to return him to Crowthorn.
As they collected their packs, they noted that the porters have gone missing, having run away at first sign of conflict. They tracked them to a cave entrance that they must’ve entered. Only a shoe and a fork was all the trace of them, and they would probably have to check out the cave. Deciding that it would be easier to do, they returned to town and delivered the man to the guards they did so.
When they got back, the merchant came to speak to them about the reward was for recovering his goods. A bag of grain. He suspected that Crowthorn was hungry, so he brought them in a handcart to try and trade. His guess was correct, with the town’s foresters unable to trek into the forest to hunt due to them continually going missing, they were forced to eat only grain and whatever the grass scrubs of the cliffs could provide.
The cost of grain had risen to such a level as to be worth their weight in silver. Laws had been enacted, making the theft of food punishable by the rest of your life in a Gibbet. The guards delighted to punish a food thief led the bandit away.
As they started to set off a second time, a traveller interrupted them and claimed to see a man leading two people described as short and tall, much like Tom and Dil the porters are. They had their hands bound and looked in trouble. The party pulled their packs tight as Rasotto lead them back, ruminating on the way, his honour left away, leaving him feeling cynical and Faded. He promised himself that he would no longer play by the rules.