Borderland of Adventure #12: Against the Bandit Queen

At the end of last session, the PCs were resting in the town of Piren’s Bluff after having rescued a family of peasants attacked and left for dead by bandits.



The party lusted for revenge on behalf of the Sampo and his family and plotted their plan. Krorz remembered that several years ago, a group of bandits lurked in the surrounding area and apparently were based in an old keep hidden high up in the hills. That night, and the next day, the party wandered the village in search of more information and learnt that the bandit attacks had lessened somewhat in recent years, but that the bandits were now thought to be led by a ferocious she-devil who showed no mercy to those falling into her hands.They also learnt that the keep had been built about 40 years ago by the adventurer Valentin Ironwolf as a place to bring up his family. He fought the tribes of the surrounding area, but eventually fell in battle and the keep fell into ruin.

Armed with this information, the party hatched a clever plan. They would disguise themselves as simple peasants and try and get attacked by the over-confident bandits. Their plans and disguise took shape over several days and eventually they left town with a donkey and cart ostensibly carrying the mundane possessions of a normal peasant family. Klara elected to stay behind, because she was feeling ill, but indicated that she would join the party as soon as she was able. Thus, the party initially comprised the following members:

  • Krorz  (male half-orc rogue 2)
  • Kemmo (male Bakluni human samurai from the far west 2)
  • Adoven (male dwarf cleric [Moradin] 2; searching for ancient places of his kin)
  • Belivar (male halfling summoner 2)

The party reached the area they rescued Sampo and his family and were not attacked. As night was falling, they elected to rest there, but sadly their night was uneventful. The next day, the decided to investigate the nearby treeline where Klara had earlier determined the attack had originated from. They found no-one lurking within, but after a brief search discovered the bodies of three bandits shot to death with arrows – arrows that Adoven quickly determined were of goblin manufacture. With no other clues, the party elected to follow the trail of footsteps that led deeper into the wood. Abandoning their cart and donkey – and leaving a note for Klara to find detailing their intentions – they continue onwards.

After several hours, they abruptly came into a clearing atop a high hill. Within the clearing stood a partially ruined castle. After a brief discussion, the party decided to investigate the castle’s lone tower as it seemed in much better condition than the main donjon. Krorz and Belivar scaled the crumbling wall and from there reached the top of the tower. While doing so, they heard unmistakable sounds of occupation coming from within.

After a brief discussion, Belivar returned to his companions and they decided – to assault the tower from above. However, all  did not go as planned as Adoven fell slightly as he climbed the knotted rope set by his companions. When almost at the top of the tower, he slipped and his armour clanged against the wall. This alerted a dog within the tower which started barking furiously. A man thrust his head out of the window and shouted a warning. Belivar charged up the wall on his eidolon and battle was joined. Krorz burst through the trapdoor in the tower roof and moved down the stairs to block the bandits on the lower floors gaining the top floor. Belivar wounded the man trying to shout for aid, but failed to stop him getting out of the room. Another door opened nearby and a  woman wearing half-plate mail emerged. She immediately identified herself as a spellcaster by casting several spells, all that seemed to boost her combat prowess. She grew in size as her comrades advanced up the stairs and Krorz had his hands full keeping the bandits from aiding their mistress. One bandit in particularly a smelly, ugly half-orc woman wielding a handaxe gave the rogue trouble while the now enlarged woman struck him and Belivar several devastating blows with her longspear.

Belivar’s eidolon was busy, however, finally silencing the barking dog and wounding the man who drank a healing potion and a potion of invisiblity.

The party’s assault was irresistible, however, and Krorz began to chop his way through the bandits on the stairs below. Bolstered by Adoven’s healing magic, he managed to hold the stairs while the man originally encountered was cut down by the eidolon.

Meanwhile,below Kemmo who had never managed to climb the rope in the first place, tried to break into the tower at ground level, but the door seemed barred and he failed. Nevertheless, he prepared himself for battle and eventually bandits fleeing the carnage on the floors above burst forth. He grievously injured one, and the survivors fled.

Soon on the floors above all the bandits but their leader fell. However, the party were grievously wounded and Adoven’s healing magic was much depleted. Kemmo charged up the stairs and eventually reached the top floor. Dodging the woman’s attacks he burst into her room and struck her a mighty blow that almost slew her. As she tottered backwards, Belivar’s pet struck slaying her.

Silence descended over the gore and blood-splattered tower…

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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