The party arrived during nightfall at Logerswold, they headed directly to the local inn, called the Spreading Tree, for they were weary from the skirmish with the bandits. The inn was full of locals, who gathered there seeking mutual protection and safety, almost every villager carried some tool they could use for self-defense, which is relatively easy to find in a town full of woodcutters.
The townspeople knew already that these four are hired by bann Trumhall, the innkeeper greeted them with relief and offered s free a place to stay, and some kegs of ale on the house. Aneirin decided to leave the information gathering to his human companions, he explored the town, looking for clues, and keeping watch in case the Gorehands would attack. Liwis, the innkeeper, told the others the horrifying and sorrowful story of his late wife, who was raped and murdered by the Gorehands, her not being the only victim suffering such grisly end at the hand of the fiendish outlaws, the party agreed that they have to end the terror of the bandits for good. Lisa, Dorian and Ezekiel learned from Liwis that a small group of loggers left for a nearby camp, they could get there tomorrow afternoon if they set off by the first light. The adventurers were very grateful for the good advice Liwis gave them and promised him that they will retrieve the silver-brooch of his late wife from the outlaws if they can.
They rose early enough to get to the camp by late afternoon, staying alert, Lisa and Aneirin continuously scouted the area, but they saw no sign of the enemy and arrived without being ambushed. They found the woodcutters, who left a week ago, slain and robbed, the rotting bodies were full of arrows, clearly a massacre added to the list of crimes commited by the Gorehands, the only living creatures there were three horses, which, judging from the breed of the horses and their equipment, obviously belonged to the other adventuring party: the Avvar women, Hocke and his younger brother.
Making their way carefully through the Brecilian forest, the adventurers tracked the other party, and caught sign of a swift shadow moving in the dark undergrowth; Blacktail was following them. Both Dorian and Aneirin became suspicious of the mabari wardog, they investigated his collar, and sensed that it must be some sort of a magical item, but they could not fathom the exact purpose of it, leaving them with the hypothesis that bann Trumhall is most possibly watching them through his dog. Nonetheless, Blacktail’s keen senses made the tracking much easier, but it was still deep night when they located the other party, who were at the edge of a small valley, turning out to be the camp of the Gorehands.
Naturally some tensions rose between the adventurers, as they were both contestants and possible allies in this undertaking, yet the outlaws outnumbered them almost three to one, it was just common sense to make a temporary alliance and share the treasures they can find. The plan was that Hocke and his companions would go around the valley, sneak into the camp and deal with as many bandits as possible in approximately an hour. Lisa would then kill the half-asleep guard nearest to them, Aneirin and she would advance to the stalls, whilst waiting for Ezekiel and Dorian to sneak up on the tent of the leader, Gorehand himself, and capture him – since their main goal was to find proof of the presumed connection between bann Trumhall and the Gorehands. Once they are ready Aneirin would wreck the side of stalls, Lisa would frighten the horses with some torches thrown at their hooves and the others would use the ruckus created to rush in the tent.
The plan went surprisingly smoothly, almost everything worked out as described. Ezekiel surprised Gorehand, but the watchful bandit leader was mistrustful enough towards his fellow outlaws to sleep with his weapons, giving Ezekiel a tough fight before he surrendered. Lisa and Aneirin supported Dorian and Ezekiel from afar with deadly arrows and arcane might, meanwhile Dorian held the outlaws at bay, filling the night with the stench and screams of burning bandits. Gorehand yielded and Ezekiel led him outside. Both Dorian and Aneirin have already noticed that Blacktail was heading towards the tent of Gorehand, Lisa – being somewhat ignorant of magic – tried to control the dog with common command words, but Blacktail rushed towards Gorehand swiftly as a dark lightning bolt on the very second he saw him in Ezekiel’s grasp, tearing him from his hands and finishing the bandit leader off with one vicious bite.
Blacktail tried to escape, but the adventures would not let him. Aneirin rendered him prone with one blast of magical force, Lisa pierced him with her arrows, and Dorian chased boldly after him, slowing the wardog with bone-chilling cold. Aneirin followed him, they tried to capture Blacktail alive, but as soon as the dog fell unconscious, he reverted to his true form: a male human. The party stood there completely puzzled by this event. The two mages being the closest to the body, they saw the allied party approaching them, who have just made their way from the other side of the camp.
Some tense seconds followed, Hocke measuring their chances and deciding to take advantage of the situation having only two magic-wielders in combat range, they attacked them, but those three backed the worst horse possible. Aneirin blew them from their feet, Dorian shocked them with arcs of electricity, it became quickly evident that these two are not the easy prey they took them for and the mages persuaded Hocke’s party easily to nick off as long as they can.
Without any opponents left, Dorian and Aneirin started to gather the captive outlaws and the scattered horses. Lisa and Ezekiel searched the camp and the tent, and found most of the stolen goods, some exotic items of value, a pair of magical boots, and most importantly: the journal of Gorehand, containing evidence of the bandits and the bann working together. The mages examined the body of “Blacktail” suspecting that he might have been a shapeshifter working together with bann Trumhall. The party rested a bit, and set off to return the stolen items and horses to the townspeople and deliver justice to the treacherous bann.