After our adventurers finished their meeting with Magthyra they decided to lay low for a few days as they prepared for the next leg of their journey. During this time they felt it was quite imperative to replenish their supplies and hone their skills. The ranger, Mange practiced his stealth and furthered his skills with the blade. An-Nasir took interest in the occult and dabbled in the arcane. Meanwhile, Rangrim studied the spider-like totem he had recently removed from the wounded body of Augie.
After a few days rest, it was time to continue on with the task at hand. Magthyra has promised aide and important information—but only under one condition. First the adventurers had to stakeout, and then eradicate the bandits still left in the Cloakwood Forest. It seemed like an easy enough chore, but our heroes would be sadly mistaken!
The first leg of the journey took them back across the river and out of the city walls of Baldur’s Gate. After the fairy took them across, they once again, found themselves in the filth ridden refugee camp. They certainly had no intention of staying long, but based on a plan they had formed, they decided they needed a carriage and a mule. Finn Taimore gladly sold them a run-down carriage and a old horse that was literally on it’s “last legs!”
The group had the needed supplies. They would wait until dusk at which point they would, use the horse and carriage to form a trap. According to the plan, Mange would sneak his way though the forest a few yards in front of the group, while Rangrim and the horse would act like a drunken peddler that was lost as he tried to make his was down the trail. Hopefully this would catch the bandits attention and they would attempt to rob him—at which point our heroes would make their surprise attack. But it was not to be…
After about an hours walk through the Cloakwood passage, our heroes heard some beautiful music emanating from further down the road. Mange scouted ahead, where he met a perceptive little tiefling. Though the tiefling obviously new Mange was hiding out within the cover of the forest, Mange refused show himself. After a game of “cat and mouse,” the musician strummed his lute and moved on down the path where he eventually met with the other three members of the group. At first Rangrim (who was leading the cart) tried to deceive the jovial little man. But the tiefling was far to cunning to be tricked. It took some time, but Rangrim and the others slowly realized that their cover had been blown. Through conversation, An-Nasir, Manaf, and Rangrim realized that this “bard” may very well know where the bandit’s camp was. So it was at this point that they finally came completely clean about their intentions.
The tiefling introduced himself as Vrago. According to Vrago, he had been living in the Cloakwood for quite some time. He new of the Dragonborn, and also seemed to know about the bandits and their whereabouts as well. Rangrim and the others grew to trust the happy-go-lucky Vrago, but Mange was not as easily swayed.
Along with Vrago, the group decided to camp for the night. Mange grew restless and asked the tiefling for the location of the bandit hideout. Vrago mapped out the location of cave where he claimed a good 25 men resided. Mange once again scouted ahead in order to gain more knowledge about the location. As he arrived at the cave, he did not sense much, if any movement. He wanted to get a closer look into the cave to gauge how many bandits laid within, but in order to do so, he would have to blow his cover…and he was not willing to do so! one thing he did notice were about a half-dozen, human sized holes in the ground. These where interesting to Mange, but he wasn’t quite sure what they were, or if they were even significant. Thus, he returned to camp where he reported his findings to An-Nasir.
At dawn our heroes returned to the cave. For quite some time, they laid low as they looked for any signs of life. They saw none. Feeling deceived, the highly strung Mange grew even angrier. He finally decided it was time to get a closer look…this was a mistake! Two large Ankhegs burst through the ground from the holes he had inspected the night before. One quickly brought the shifter into it’d clutches. Knowing that if they did not help, Mange would quickly be devoured, all of three of the remaining heroes advanced. However, Vrago quickly took a few steps back. Was he a traitor? Was this some kind of trap?
The four warriors fought gallantly, but the large centipede like creatures where quickly getting the better of them. Mange and Manaf where at death’s door, and things where beginning to look grim for Rangrim and An-Nasir as well. Realizing this, Vrago finally came closer and entered the battle in his own little way. He began to strum his lute once more…only this time the echoes from the instrument seemed to install new life into our champions. Somehow, this music was healing them!
With this new found energy, the four heroes were able to finally do away with the Ankhegs. This seemed to excite the tiefling. But Rangrim and his companions were not was amused! Why had Vrago set them up? Vrago quickly answered this question when he explained that he had once lived in that cave, but when the Ankhegs took over the area and he was forced to evacuate. He went into further detail by telling them that he could have accepted this, but he had left a nice skillet in the cave, and he wanted it back. So when he saw the heroes, he saw his chance to finally remove the insects. This obviously made our heroes furious, but since he had saved their lives, they simply could not kill the tricky bard.
So, they found shelter in Vrago’s cave—where they mended their wounds and began to refocus on their original mission.