Over a year and three months ago, a Charter was sent from the Swordlords of the Brevory to our fine adventurers to be. Armed with this paper, the three set out across the wilderness to conquer the Stolen Lands and restore order by dispatching the bandits who roamed the land freely. Two Paladins, one of shield known as Lode, and his brother-in-arms the hammer-wielding Locke served as the moral compass of the small group, while the Magus Faustus tried his best to temper their good intentions with a level of wit.
The chaotic nature of the Stolen Lands made itself known readily. Upon arriving at Oleg’s Trading Post they found from the caretaker that they were expecting the local bandits to come collect their monthly dues for operation. They had feared that the bandits had arrived early, but were exceedingly happy to find out that there was hope in the form of a hammer, shield, and sword. Oleg had a stake far beyond his money in the thefts, for the ring that bound his wife to him had been stolen. Lana no longer viewed them as married until it was returned. This would be their first cause for Justice. Unfortunately, the adventurers explained that they had not been sent to aid Oleg in particular, but the entire land.
As any noteworthy Paladin would do, the adventurers awaited at the front gate for the bandits. The bandits were elusive in their words and almost managed to convince the trio that they were travelers. After a slip up, and a failure to come to a peaceful set of terms, the bandits were effortlessly squashed by Locke’s Hammer and spiked by Lode’s Shield. Before they could finish off the third bandit, he made a hasty retreat. Weighed down by their armor, the Paladins could not give chase, nor was the Magus prepared to follow alone.
They immediately made plans to follow the bandit without so much of a rest. Through a measure of luck more so than skill, the three adventurers found themselves at the bandit camp. They easily avoided the petty trap that was meant to catch greedy men, and once more boldly called out their terms. Alas, the bandits were prepared for them. The warriors were able to dispatch of the leadership of the bandits swiftly, but despite all odds a lone bandit turned the tide against them with his skillfully placed arrows. In the span of a few seconds, the thug had managed to pin the Charter Members down. Desperate to deal with the bowman, Lode dropped his shield to make use of his bow. Ever quick with his hands, one of the few remaining bandits grabbed the shield and proceeded to cave Lode’s skull in with his new found weapon. It wasn’t long before then that the rain of arrows put the rest down.
Surely the gods shined upon the adventurers that day, because they awoke some days prior on the back to their way to Oleg’s Fort. Of course, they were bound to a mule, nude, and devoid of any and all possessions, but they were alive. After the bumpy ride to their base of operations, the trio immediately made plans for revenge. The Paladins armed themselves with what they could, a pot lid for Lode, and a short sword for Locke, while the Magus grabbed a spare sword and the knowledge gleamed from a note left by a passing Wizard.
They set off.
The Bandit camp was empty once they arrived, but they were left a note from the man who spared them. He explained that the value of their lives was nothing next to how much their gear was worth, and that it was thanks to them that he was able to take the role of leader for the bandits. The heroes did not give up hope as they explored around until they found a gaggle of men around a campfire being told the story of how the speaker gained his wonderful new armor and weapons. It was then that they learned the name of what was being referred to as a Legendary Bowman, John Cena.
Swift the act, the Trio found some difficulty in attacking the bandits given the state of their equipment. The bandit that was proudly wearing Lode’s shining armor was a particular issue, yet Faustus was able to fry him alive with a touch of his lighting incased hand. Bloody and battered by the assault of the bandits and the hail of arrows from John Cena, who had remained in a tree the entire time, the adventurers could only watch as John escaped into the forest as the last bandit fell.
Reunited with their gear, but still lacking their pride, the heroes realized that they needed to gain more experience in dealing with the harsh lands that they were tasked to bring order to. For almost a full month they roamed the lands. They dealt with spiders, toads, and Bogarts before finally having mapped the northern quadrants of the Stolen Lands. Upon returning to Oleg’s Fort, they met a detachment of peace keepers that were there to protect Oleg’s interest, given that he was the only settlement. They gained word of the Stag Lord, a leader of bandits that was responsible for most of the bandit activity. Unfortunately, the Stag Lord had found protection in his own fort, which the three knew full well that they weren’t ready for. They had however, found themselves a measure of reinforcements in the Sorcerer Re’alla, who also shared their character.
Bolstered with new forces, they set out to explore the South, only to find themselves confronted by a troupe of Trolls. To say they were outmatched would be an understatement, but given the proximity of the Fort, the guards were able to chip in to fight. Kevin, the Mule was slaughtered in the process, but the trolls were distracted by the fresh meat. Still, it wasn’t going to be enough and all things looked bleak until twin arrows came from the distance felling one of the trolls. Before the Heroes could identify the shooter, another set of arrows came, once more finding home in the forehead of a troll. This gave the band of heroes enough time to finish off the remainder; alas, two of the guards also had met their end protecting them.
Their last minute savior revealed himself to be none other than John Cena. He revealed that he had been watching the group when they started to turn hostile towards him. The bandit went as far to explain that he knew their watch schedule, and noted many of their less than stellar accomplishments that he could have easily attacked them during. He wasn’t here for a fight; rather he was looking to recruit them to deal with the Stag Lord, who had placed a hit on John Cena for trying to move up on the ranks so quickly.
A deal was struck, and Cena agreed to meet with them when they finally did decide to deal with the Stag Lord. He then left without a goodbye, but he made sure to take his fair share of loot from the trolls. By the time the party could complain, he was already out of earshot.
The Paladins made sure to tend to the wounded the best they could, and gave money to aid the families in burials, but there wasn’t much time for grieving. Once more, they set to the South where they found a tree filled with a society of Mites. They proceeded to slaughter every single speck of life inside of the tree, even the younglings. Inside, they found a trapped Kobold who promised to bring them to his leader if they could find a particular relic for him.
It was fairly easy to do so, after all, the entire tree was now devoid of life due to the genocide of over fifty mites. Once found, they were taken to the Kobold’s Mine where it was revealed that their Chief was being controlled by a Sorcerer who loathed Kobolds, despite sharing the form of one. When things escalated, as usual, the Paladin challenged the Sorcerer to a duel. The Sorcerer knew he wouldn’t win after the first blow was struck, and made a quick exit during the battle with an invisibility spell. The party left on good terms with the Kobolds, though the Sorcerer is still at large.
A few minor adventures from there, and the group found themselves knocking at the door of the Stag Lord’s Fort. Despite the foolishness of this, the Paladins demanded that a peaceful and diplomatic solution was found. The bandits merely laughed and fortified the door. After breaking through the heavy wood barricade, they valiantly fought against the bandits. Re’alla almost died in the conflict, after the axe from a Barbarian cleaved across her chest; Locke survived barely, after he moved to take on the Stag Lord alone, only to be crippled by arrows.
John Cena leapt from the top of the fort, and barreled into the Stag Lord, his sword in hand. Without much of a scuffle, the Stag Lord was dead, his bandits were crushed, and aside from a few pest problems in the basement with a badger and spiders, the party had completed their initial Charter.