Upon escaping the cyclopses with the injured dwarf in tow, the party paused to catch their breath and tend to their wounds. On rousing, the dwarf devolved into a panic, demanding to go back to the mines to retrieve his backpack. When asked what could be so important in his bag to risk his life again his answer was simple and unsurprising. Gold. Though his adamance seemed odd, the party pressed him further.
The dwarf explained he was from the nearby town of Phandelin, plagued by thugs and bandits that had come extorting the people, demanding gold for protection now that the Broadsea guard no longer comes to aid them. Any who cannot pay are savagely beaten. Morrigan suggests just moving on and leaving it be, but on hearing that the only way to mount Kilimanjaro is to head through the town, the party is forced to intervene.
Morrigan activates the Serpentine Owl, turning it into a giant owl that lifts Trask off the ground to survey the surroundings, but finds no back entrances to the bandit’s lair- the posh manor that the town’s former mayor resided in. The party is forced to enter the front gates, and with some smooth talking, manages to bribe the guards set at their posts for entry. Once inside, they head to the Temple of Selune- Aladon’s god. the dwarf said a rebellion was being formed there, and when the priestess inside demanded to know who the group was, Morrigan made Vannah White hand motions at Aladon, introducing the Reverend.
Once allowed inside, they found the ‘congregation’ to be in shambles. The temple was housing hungry and poor children, and the priestess informed them of the severity of the thug’s hard pressing taxes, before hiding the party in the cellar from one very such tax collector. A plan was hatched that day. And they went to dwarf’s home and place of business- the local tavern and inn.
Though they meet a bandit toll on the way, Thea bribes the bandits with a pan, Morrigan further helping with more Vannah White hand motions, the two put their Charisma to use and convince the guards that the pan is magical, and can julienne cut french fries. He proceeds to wear it as a helmet.
On entering the inn of Talden Stonehill, the dwarf, the party organizes the inn as a rally point and enlists the aid of the strongest and most daring townsfolk. Farmers all of them, but they would have their use. With the plan settled, they acted that very night.
Aladon and Arime remained at the Temple of Selune to protect the children there while Trask, Thea, and Morrigan set to the task of hunting down bandit patrols. When the first group passes the Inn, Morrigan hijacks a bandit’s mind and body, forcing him to attack his allies, acting as the cue for Trask and Thea, in the form of a monstrous dire wolf, to charge in. The bandits didn’t know what hit them. Morrigan retrieved Thea’s pan and put it on the wolf’s head. Petting ensued. Some bonding happened.
However in the commotion of killing the first guard squad one tried to escape. Though he was killed before he could get too far the second patrol started wandering closer to investigate. The team acted fast however and killed them as well. Dragging the bodies back to the inn, the townsfolk put on the bandit’s armor, receiving instructions on what to say and how to act, they successfully convince a third patrol to investigate the inn. Where a dire wolf was waiting at the door to tear them limb from limb.
Again another attempts to escape, pulling the attention of a fourth patrol, but the team manage to pull the bodies inside and set up. And the men proceeded to walk into the exact same deadly ambush.
With only two patrols left on opposite ends of town, the three felt capable of eschewing subtlety. Thea shifts into a bear, inciting panic and chasing three men into a barn before crushing them under a massive bale of hay with a good shove of her bear weight. Smothered, crushed, barely surviving, those who managed to escape their baleful predicament were only met with the angry bear waiting outside the hay for them to crawl out. For as they say… Those who live in the hay… Die in the hay.
With one last squad of thugs left, the party promptly mauled them, clearing the town of the night shift watchmen. As the rest of the bandits arrived to swap for the day shift, they found the town full of citizens disguised in bandit armor- who turned on them, and were quickly joined by the party in a swift play of violent mob justice. Without so much as a single scratch to the people or party, in a single night over twenty two bandits were slain in cold blood. Now only seven or eight remain, holed up in the mayor’s manor, entirely clueless of their catastrophic losses and the violent mob, led by a force of nature, an unstoppable super soldier, and a twisted sadist, marching on them with blood in their eyes and hate in their hearts.
Bandits: Oh finally, I can get some stress relief. You know. With murder.
The Master: He leads these guys? Well they were a fairly organized group so he knows what he’s doing, perhaps. But why is everyone around here a master? I want to be a master too! Maybe if I kill him I can take his title for myself… Master Warlock Morrigan Lor’osa… I rather like that, I think…