With their hired help ready to go, the party set out on the road heading north out of Leedshire. After the first day of travel they spent the night in the hamlet of North Leedshire where they decided to carouse and spend some money. Money was won, money was lost, and Broak found himself waking up next to a very large woman in a brothel the next morning.
After Broak met back up with the others, they set back out on the road. The long journey ahead to the area where Cauldron Keep would take about another ten days, with Church of His Eternal Glory being the only point of civilization along the way. The further north they traveled the less frequent they saw other travelers on the road—but it was an otherwise uneventful journey for several days.
* * *
On the sixth day of their journey they set up camp as normal and Broak took the first watch. Just an hour into his first watch Broak noticed three rather rough looking men coming down the road towards their campsite. As they approached on said called out, "Well, well, weel, what 'ave we 'ere?" in an intimidating manner—bandits.
As Broak moved to put himself between them and the camp he noticed several more bandits armed with crossbows creep out of the shadows surrounding the camp (they rolled a very good stealth check to sneak up on the group).
The bandits wanted to take the party's horse, mule and two carts, as well as some coin. Naturally Broak wasn't about to let this happen. Audrey, Lorentz and Grabby were roused by the commotion (Gerhardt remained soundly sleeping). With their crossbows leveled at most of the party, they knew any sudden movements would be answered with a crossbow bolt.
Not wanting to give the bandits anything a melee quickly ensued with Broak making an attempt at the first attack against the bandit leader. Boots remained motionless with a bandit just ten feet from him, but Ander, Grabby, and Audrey leapt into action, risking injury. Even Lorentz the sell-sword rolled over, grabbed his shield and leapt to his feet to combat the threat.
Several bolts were fired at the party and Ander worked his way around the camp firing off arrows at their foes, while Broak and Audrey moved in to attack the leader and his two henchmen. Broak suffered a terrible bleeding wound at one point during the battle. When their numbers were whittled down, one bandit made an attempt to steal the horse and escape, but was promptly shot off by a well placed arrow from Ander. Boots cast a sleep spell which managed to put one bandit to sleep.
Without his armour, Lorentz was taking a beating from one of the bandits but eventually managed to best him with some assistance from the party.
Eventually the bandits and their leader all lay dead—and one lay asleep.
Surrounding the lone bandit with their weapons at the ready they woke up the rather frightened man. The party started to push him for information on the whereabouts of the bandits' camp, which he refused. Eventually this led to Ander wanting to resort to torture, so he cut off one of the defenseless man's fingers to get answers, which made Grabby and Broak feel like this was getting out hand. The nine-fingered bandit then gave up that his camp was to the west, through the mountains in Toln Swamp...
Now I need to read up on alignment and torture.