Simus was not pleased to hear that the adventurers failed to both find and destroy the primal evil that lurked in the Forest of Evansdael. He was further discouraged to hear that Petrin and Eldarion were captured.
“Not exactly a successful journey,” he said sourly. “It is imperative that we end this threat, but right now it is more imperative to rescuse your friends. They cannot fall into the wrong hands.”
“I thought they already had fallen into the wrong hands,” said Galendan, scratching his head.
“True enough,” replied Simus. “But there are worse hands. You cannot delay. But first you must tell me if you noticed anything strange about the room in the cave.”
“You mean stranger than teleportation stones and a chest of magic wolf bones?” asked Kitten sarcastically.
“Yes,” replied Simus stone-faced.
Kitten swallowed before he spoke. “Well there was this crow that seemed to be spying on us. And there was a birdcage in the room, so it likely lived there.”
Simus sighed. “She has eyes on you then. As long as this bird lives, she’ll know where you are. If you get a chance, you must kill the beast.”
“Got it, we’ll take care of the bird,” said Damakos. “Now how do we go about sneaking into Four Stones when every member of the Sinking Sun will be patrolling the place with our descriptions.”
“A disguise of course,” said Galendan. “I’m quite good at them.”
“I’m not,” growled Kitten. “No disguises. I’ve got a better idea.”
“Do share,” replied Galendan folding his arms.
“All we need is a cart and one other person who wouldn’t be recognized as someone who knows us. We fill the cart with trade goods, and then hide among the barrels. The new guy will drive the horses. Hopefully the bandits won’t get too suspicious and we’ll be allowed in.”
“Sounds risky,” said Damakos. “Suppose they search the cart?”
“Then plan B,” replied Kitten with a grin.
“And what’s plan B,” asked Galendan grinning himself.
Kitten brought his fist down on the table, “We kill the whole lot!”
Shon was honored to be invited by the adventurers to be a part of their little plan. He had no love for the Sinking Sun and as commander of the night watch at Arcannus had little opportunity to take the battle to them. The cart was loaded with barrels of barley and olives, common trading goods to ship from Arcannus. Kitten, Damakos and Galendan hid in the front of the cart, just behind the horses. Shon drove the cart down the King’s Road to Four Stones.
The Silvermarsh River snaked across the King’s Road just before the town of Four Stones. A long stone bridge was the only way into town. This made the bridge an ideal location for a checkpoint. Shon spotted three bandits at the checkpoint and another two with crossbows across the river.
“Looks like three right here and two crossbowmen across the river,” he whispered over his shoulder.
“Alright, keep cool Shon,” said Kitten, “and with any luck we’ll be crossing that bridge in short order.”
“Not to be a gloomy goat,” said Galendan, “but I’m not sure luck is really on our side these days.”
Kitten shot the eladrin a fierce glare. Galendan shrugged his shoulders and leaned back against the cart.
One of the checkpoint guards approached the cart. As Shon slowed the cart, he spotted the Sinking Sun tatoo on the guard’s arm. There was no intent to cover it at all. Shon wondered how a bandit gang could come to run one of Akari’s richest towns.
“What are you hauling merchant?” the bandit asked somewhat disinterested.
“Olives and barley,” Shon replied. “Twenty-four barrels.”
“We’ll have to take a look,” the bandit responded.
“Is that really necessary?” asked Shon. “I still have another delivery to make in ”/campaign/okknos/wikis/mocklyn" class=“wiki-page-link”>Mocklyn."
The bandit raised an eyebrow and looked Shon in the eyes. “It won’t take long,” he said.
Damakos could hear the entire conversation. “Looks like we’re about to have company. Get low and get invisible and maybe they won’t search all the way up here,” he said.
The others nodded and did their best to hide. Two of the guards came came around to the back of the cart and peered inside. Where Damakos and Galendan hid, all they saw was barrels. Where Kitten hid however, they saw barrels, bits of shiny armor, and a scowling face.
“Alright, who’s back there?!” called one of the bandits.
“No use hiding eh? We can see you!” yelled the other. “Come out now, or we start firing arrows in there.”
Kitten looked over at Galendan and Damakos. “Forget it,” he said, “Time for Plan B.”
With that, he kicked over the barrel closest to him and charged the first guard. The guard did not anticipate Kitten’s ferocious response and had not yet unsheathed his weapon. The second guard unsheathed his weapon but was quickly met by Galendan. The guard managed to parry the rogues initial thrusts, but Galendan was too fast and managed to sneak under the guards defenses to cut him down. Damakos sprung up from his hiding spot, but instead of helping Kitten and Galendan at the back of the cart, he climbed out the front and engaged the bandit archers across the river.
The third guard at the checkpoint rushed the cart. Shon managed to dismount and arm himself in time to meet him. Shon’s experience with the sword was too much for the raw violence of the bandit. His patience won out as the bandit exhausted himself to the point where he could not deflect, nor stop the commander’s sword as it approached his neck.
Damakos grinned as he let fly another arrow across the river. He questioned the intelligence of an archer who neglects the use of cover. The tiefling used the cart to protect himself, but the archers across the river had nothing between them and him. Within a few minutes both had fallend to the ranger’s precision shots.
By this time, Kitten had already finished the first guard to approach the cart and was already inspecting the body. As he expected, the man possessed a paper with the group’s description and with orders to bring them in alive. The paper was signed by Uly Breen.