As it began to snow in the evening, the adventurers arrived at the Trade Post, only to see six bandits threatening Oleg and his wife Svetlana. The highwaymen were dressed in a peculiar fashion, wearing gray cloaks adorned with a wolf’s head. Because the bandits held Svetlana at knife’s point, the heroes decided to retreat into the night, and return in a more stealthy fashion to rescue the duo.
Milon was able to sneak into the Trade Post, but his presence was soon discovered by an attentive guard, however. The party then launched an all-out assault on the bandits. Making good use of the element of surprise, our heroes quickly defeated the bandits and liberated Oleg and his wife. One of the wolfshead bandits, Happs, was caught alive for questioning.
While offering the fellowship a hearty stew, Oleg narrated the misfortunes he and his wife suffered at the hands of the bandits. Unlike ordinary bandits, whom Oleg had repelled from his trade post on a regular base, the “wolfsheads” were much more organized and daunting. They demanded a tax in trade goods and gold from the Trade Post.
The adventurers took notice of the “Wanted” posters at Oleg’s, and also accepted two minor quests from the trader and his wife: Oleg wanted the party to retrieve Svetlana’s wedding ring, which the bandits took on a previous occassion; and Svetlana asked the heroes to find her some giant radishes, which she used for a dark-fey repelling draught.
Questioning Happs, the adventurers found out that there was a bandit camp to the south of Oleg’s, which answered to a mysterious “Wolf Lord”. Happs was a former peasant from Rostland who had fallen to banditry, and a fresh recruit of the Wolf Clan. He promised to lead the party to the bandit camp, which was close to the Thorn River.
During the next night, Thorismund and Emrys dreamed of a wolf with green hair, and pondered the meaning of the recurrent theme in their dreams.
After a few days of rest, our heroes set out for the Thorn River. For two days, they explored the woods south of Oleg’s. Finally, they arrived at the Thorn River. Through a cunning maneuver, they outwitted the watchman of Clan Wolf and advanced to the camp’s clearing. Their plan was to gather as much information on the camp in order to prepare a plan for assault. However, three of the party’s horses failed to cross the stream on the icy and thus slippery river stones, falling into the water. In the ensuing chaos, the heroes’ cover was quickly blown, and they faced fifteen bandit archers and a fierce woman with dual handaxes. Retreat seemed the wisest of options, and after a heroic delaying maneuver of Milon, which almost cost his life, the party managed to escape.
They retreated to Oleg’s Trade Post, realizing that the bandits now knew they were coming, and would prepare themselves accordingly…