Petru, Nikolai, Alara, Featherbark, and Kaz arrived at Oleg’s to learn that he and his wife, Svetlana, have been under the thumb of a vicious bandit gang. Oleg had sent for a guard detachment from Restov, but it was at least a few more days away. The PCs quickly offered assistance and decided to ambush the bandits the next morning when they came for their monthly “taxes”.
The ambush went perfectly, and a bandit Sgt. named Happs Bydon was captured. In return for a fighting chance (heh), he revealed the location of the bandit camp, as well as the name of his superior – a cruel and wily woman named Kressle. Nikolai then made quick work of Happs in a boxing match, and Kaz executed the bandit on the spot.
The PCs found a message board at the trading post with a number of quests available; and took them all. Oleg also mentioned Kressle had taken Svetlana’s wedding ring and that he would extend them 1000 GP in store credit if they could find and return it.
Realizing that the other bandits would be expecting Happs to return soon, the PCs set out immediately to find and defeat Kressle and her gang. They elected to travel straight to the camp without exploring the intervening terrain, taking a little more than a day, and so found the camp with little effort. Kaz provoked their leader into charging him, killed her with one amazing bow-shot, and routed the rest of the gang. Kaz then tracked and captured one of the bandits who the PCs then interrogated. They learned that the bandits of the Greenbelt were being led by a huge man calling himself the “Stag Lord”, so named for the horned skull helm he always wears. The Stag lord apparently has a fort to the south at a river crossing. Petru suggested that the PC may be able to use the two amulets they’d recovered from bandit leaders to infiltrate the fort, a plan that may yet prove useful.
Oleg, pleased to hear his bandit troubles had abated, granted the PCs free room and board at the trading post for as long as they like, as well as a 15% discount on all goods when they agreed to turn over non-essential spoils from their adventures to his store.
The guards arrived form Restov in the form of a taciturn Nobleman named Kesten Garess (Male Human Ftr 3) and his three men. Nikolai learned that Kesten is dissatisfied with his posting, but also is seeking a fugitive and is willing to give the PCs masterwork weapons for their assistance.
A day later, a borderline defrocked priest of Erastil arrived and set up residence at the trading post.Johd (Male Human Cleric 4) told the PCs that he believed there to be an ancient temple to erastil somewhere in the wilderness guarded by a cursed bear. He wanted the PCs to defeat the bear and help him cleanse the temple. For doing this, he offered free spellcasting services for life.
For the next few weeks, the PCs explored the miles around Oleg’s Trading Post. They encountered a number of interesting wildlife, as well as some useful items and locations, completing a number of the quests obtained at Oleg’s. They met Bokken, the crazy potion-making hermit. Eventually, they discovered the Temple of the Elk and it’s crazed urisne guardian. Upon it’s defeat, the bear gave a sigh of relief and transformed into an aged human man before turning to dust and blowing away. The temple immediately became more vibrant and inviting, and once the PCs had Johd sanctify it, the Temple of the Elk was once again a holy site. Perhaps someday it can be the foundation of a community.