Looking back, one of the most pivotal points in the development of the Greenbelt was the inevitable confrontation between the Chartered and the bandits lead by the Stag Lord. In the years that followed many tales would be told, songs sung and drams performed, that attempted to portray the heroic actions taken by the five adventurers. However, none of them (including my previous writings on the subject) ever came close to representing the truth of what happened that day. The tales tell of a carefully planned infiltration of the bandits’ monastery headquarters. I picture now only the vaguest notions of a plan, careful or otherwise.
When the party woke that morning it was with high spirits. The hunter the group rescued provided a wealth of information concerning the Stag Lord’s operation. Armed with this intelligence Reiner, Jac and Wiktor decided to press forward despite the mysterious disappearance of Liluye the day before. The decision was made to pose as perspective bandit recruits seeking to join the Stag Lord’s operation. Our disguises were meticulously implemented. Reiner did not shave that morning and each of us chose eminently plausible aliases. There was little doubt that we would be recognized as anything other than ruthless bandits.
The plan worked surprisingly well considering we were not immediately shot as we advanced up the exposed path to the gates. Once there we let Jac speak as our leader as he appeared the most bandity. To my great surprise the Stag Lord’s lieutenant, Akiros, seemed to accept our story and was willing to let us leave alive. This was not enough for Jac who pressed our advantage and wormed his way into an audience with the Stag Lord himself. Sadly the bandits were a suspicious lot and only allowed Jac and Wiktor to enter the fort. All probably would have been lost there except that Reiner, showing impressive insight, managed to flirt with the creepy knife loving bandit we learned was named Dovan and get us let in as well.
As we approached the Stag Lord’s monastery fortress I prepared a number of magical effects that would hopefully allow us to keep the upper hand. One such spell was one that I had learned only days before. I set up a message relay between myself and the rest of the party that would allow us to stay in contact. The set up was not ideal as I was the only one able to both send and receive messages and would have to pass along any whispered missives meant for the other members of our band. What follows is an accounting, as best I can recall, of the messages I received.
“There are six that I can see on the ground floor.”
“At least three on the towers.”
“Akiros and the one in the corner look dangerous.”
“I think some are unhappy here. Maybe we can turn them.”
“There is some kind of locked door on the west side.”
“The Stag Lord is coming out. He looks drunk.”
“That didn’t go like I thought. I will try and speak with him again.”
“The fat one looks like a good candidate. I will try and lead him off so we can talk.”
“Vedal, he’s talking to you. Wave and play along.”
“He’s not answering the door.”
“Wait, here he comes.”
“My gods it’s hot in here.”
“I don’t care what he wants to do to you. Try to keep him busy.”
“This is bad. This is bad.”
“Now!” This last was punctuated by a loud crash from the main hall and the sound of many heavy things falling from a great height. The sounds most associated with a successful attack.
~Travels in the Greenbelt