Dorks and Dragons

Session 1
Nothing ever ends well for gingers

A popular stop along the Long Road, the bustling village of Red Larch is accustomed to the frequent comings and goings of strange folk. Thus, the arrival tendays hence of three travelers didn't raise but a single brow. However, these new arrivals were more than mere traders or smallfolk making their way along the Long Road. Tan Fai, a banished monk, his strange cleric companion Markas, and Ilyenya Nailo – a renegade elven princess passing unrecognized as a mere common druid –  all make for unusual visitors to a simple Dessarin Valley frontier village.

Tan Fei and Markas made common cause with Ilyenya after working together on a few small jobs for the local tavernkeeper, Garlen Harlathurl (better known as Mr. Har among locals). All in need of coin, monk, cleric, and druid set about the town inquiring after adventuring work. After being directed to Constable Harburk by Mr. Har, Ilyenya made use of her ability to speak with animals to get directions to the Constable's home from Grund, the half-orc village simpleton. When they finally found the Constable at work in his wife Jalessa's butcher shop, he expressed his gratitude to have some extra help and eagerly gave them directions to a location down the Cairin Road where he'd heard reports of bandits.

Within only a few hours of setting out from town, the group encountered a pack of three trolls crashing through the bush 100 meters off from the road and, at the behest of Ilyenya, wisely avoided confrontation. The rest of the day passed uneventfully until nightfall when a merchant caravan carrying china from Waterdeep to Neverwinter mistook Ilyenya for a bandit and there was nearly a confrontation. The morning ushered in a fine day of travel in pleasant country, and the party even managed to befriend a local family of shepherds and pass by the famous Farmy McFarmface, the legendary "most farmy farm" in the multiverse. Markas, especially, was excited to recognize the farm he'd read so much about in his past studies.

When the party finally made it to the location Constable Harburk had described, they discovered that four bandits had made camp there, stashing their loot in a cave cut into the hills behind their campfire. The bandits had plunder mundane and exotic, even keeping a black bear in a wooden cage on a cart at the back of their camp – probably intended for sale to a circus. Ilyenya and Tan melted into the forest hoping to avoid notice and Markas, attempting to follow suit, stumbled into the clearing and drew the attention of the bandits. Two of the bandits, twins with ginger hair, took out crossbows and began to fire on Markas, while the other two, a girzzled old man with a scar over his left eye and a devilishly handsome youth, brandished their shortswords. 

Ilyenya practically ended the encounter by summoning vines from the earth beneath the bandit's feet, hopelessly entangling them. Tan managed to land a quick slash across one of the twins' faces with his short sword, incapacitating the young man and drawing the rage of his sister. The handsome bandit managed to free himself from Ilyenya's vines and rushed at Markas, still dazed from his stumble into the clearing. However before his attacker could land a single blow with his sword, Markas used his magic to cast a vicious fire bolt, lighting the man's gorgeous hair ablaze and leaving him with serious wounds. Enraged by the apparent death of her brother, the female twin shot her crossbow at Tan in revenge, striking him through the eye and bringing him to death's door. Ilyenya, forced to decide between tending to Tan immediately or aiding Markas made the quick decision to save her cleric companion, dashing over and cleaving the previously handsome bandit's head from his shoulders in a single stroke of her bone scimitar. Markas summoned magical fire once again and, after a first failed attempt, managed to light Ilyenya's magical vines on fire, engulfing the older bandit and the two twins in flames. Ilyenya dragged Tan from the fire and together with Markas managed to get him back on his feet with a bit of healing magic. Markas delivered the final blows to the burning bandits, incinerating them with powerful blasts of his Sacred Flame cantrip. 

Having dealt with the bandits, the group turned their attention to the bear, which was struggling to free itself from its burning cage. Ilyenya managed to calm the beast and it returned peacefully to the forest. Tan, Ilyenya, and Markas then searched the bandit's cave for loot, finding ample gold and other treasure as a reward for their efforts in the service of Red Larch. Having eliminated an apparently quite dangerous (as confirmed by the shepherds from earlier) menace from the countryside, the group loaded up their cart with spoils and headed back for Red Larch. 

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