Ameth, Malkatraz, and Liniff run into each other at the Gilded Brush tavern and all agree that the city of Arantile has lost some of it’s luster. They decided to head West toward the city of Seregon. On their way out of town they see a large land barge loading up. The head of the ship, Sham, sees the adventurers and offers them passage and 500 gold each if they can also act as escorts against any trouble the caravan may encounter on the 2 day trip. Seeing as it will knock more than a day off of travel and will add some weight to their purses the three agree.
The trip begins as you would expect it. The three do some light exploring of the barge, meet two other mercenaries (a barbarian and a ranger) hired to guard the ship, Rock the son of Iverson, and also a White Knight of Kurn. Despite Sham’s wishes the group attempt to chat with the Knight. He seems to have little patience for the group but does mention he is headed toward Bagrin to hopefully stop the spread of an unknown epidemic.
As night falls on the barge the first sign of trouble appears. One of the mercenaries spots a large fallen tree blocking the road.Ameth, Malkatraz, and Liniff head toward the roadblock to investigate and find a man laying in the road. As Ameth checks to see if the man is wounded and knife is shoved deep into his leg. The group is startled but pins the man down and ask what’s going on. Their only answer is a slight laugh as arrows now rain down from the barge. Realizing they have let the barge become overcome with bandits the three attempt to get back on the ship. They see the White Knight of Kurn toss several bandits from the barge before he himself jumps from the ship and heads toward the downed tree.
The three join the other two mercenaries and slowly kill off the bandits while the White Knight pushes away the tree. The group manages to overcome the bandits on the deck of the ship but soon find that despite their best efforts Sham has been killed and all the cargo has been stolen. The White Knight returns to the barge covered in blood from his own battle with the bandits saying the road block has been removed. As soon as he realizes the captain of the barge is dead and order has fallen away he takes one of the four Ofsken that were pulling the ship and heads off to complete his mission in Bagrin.
The elf, dwarf, and halfling decide to chase down Sham’s killers and hopefully regain the cargo. The manage to find wagon tracks leading into the forest but soon see the paths split into two sets of tracks. Ameth and Liniff head one way while Malkatraz follows the other. As the night goes on the two groups continue to follow their tracks with little results. Eventually Ameth gets restless and decides to head back to try and see if Malkatraz is getting better results while Liniffcontinues to follow these tracks. Soon she find that the tracks lead to a bandit camp and continues to press forward. Liniff manages to work her way into the camp while pretending to be a simple traveler, where she finds an empty spot and curls up for the night.
Meanwhile instead of a bandit camp Malkatraz finds himself face to face with a large Tigerbear. The dwarf tries to calm the great beast but soon finds that the Tigerbear has two cubs with her. Desperate to protect her children the Tigerbear continues to attack Malkatraz. He tries everything he can think of but soon realizes that the only thing to save his hide is to take its. Ameth appears on the scene just as an ax goes into the side of the head of the tigerbear. The two try to calm the remaining cubs with Malkatraz’s lute and some rat meat. Unfortunately the Ameth’s rat meat was several days old and ended up poisoning one of the cubs while Malkatraz awkward plucking scared off the other cub. Ameth gave chase into the dark woods hoping to capture the bear while Malkatraz heads back toward the road.
Soon he encounters one of the other mercenaries that were hired to guard the barge. The barbarian asks what’s happening in the forest and insists they head back to the barge. With adrenaline still flowing from his encounter with the Tigerbear he attacks his fellow mercenary and quickly lops his head off. As Malkatraz feasts on the heart of the dead barbarian he notices the 2nd mercenary and lets loose with a mad cackle. The ranger runs off terrified back to the barge. After disposing of the body Malkatraz finds Ameth again and finds his companion had managed to track down the cub.
Together the two head back into the woods in search of the bandits and presumably their traveling companion Liniff. The two soon find an encampment filled with sleeping bandits and wagons filled with goods. The rouge and the fighter work their way through the majority of the bandits until one of the stronger bandits manages to inflict a fatal blow upon Malkatraz who was still weak from his encounter with the wild beast. Ameth deftly avoids the final bandit’s attacks and tosses his friend his last health potion. Revitalized the two make short work of the last thief. They find Liniff sleeping in one of the now empty bandit tents and decide they need rest as well after several long hours of fighting and exploring the woods.