From the travel journal of Varis
L'Krusk the Infamous has escaped prison, and is on the run. This isn't normally something of interest for me, but Gronk apparently cares a bit. L'Krusk is the leader of a rival gang, the Emerald Roses. She's a 5th Circle Swordmaster, and her gang tend to be brutal and creative as one might expect from that Discipline.
We talk to the guards to get access to her prison, and shortly find some material Gronk can use to use Mystic Pursuit. We get word that she's headed Southeast along the foothills of the mountains.
We are getting close to the expected location of the hideout. Suddenly we're ambushed by 4 archers hidden in the trees. Fortunately, everyone but Ceadda spots them ahead of time. Scouting ahead, Gronk takes the brunt of their assault at first. Ceadda and Bortruk charge up the middle to jump on one of them. The bandits surround us, shooting into our backs instead of distracting us. We take some serious injuries. I bring down the lightning upon all of them, but is mostly absorbed by their armor. Ceadda then kills one just before Bortruk is knocked unconscious. Gronk drops another. At this point, the two left decide to flee. One knocks out Gronk on the way out. I treats Gronk and Bortruk to get them back on their feet.
Much healing is done, as we look for a camp for Shelter spells. We bring the brigand we dropped with us, and take him prisoner.
Bortruk has a serious conversation with the captive. He gets some good information about the location, and the traps that await inside. There's a rumor that there is another exit/entrance.
Confident that we are fully rested, and any warning the survivors might have given has worn off at this point, we prepare to find and invade the cave.
When we arrive, I sense an Air Spirit nearby, and talk to it a bit. I ask it about the cave, and it flies in to look around. It comes back to tell me that there are 3-5 Namegivers in there. It asked me about my Living Crystal armor, and left after mentioned the Wolf Father. I'm sure that doesn't bode poorly.
We enter the cave carefully. Bortruk tosses a torch ahead to set off the gas. I start putting new spells into matrixes, and set up Winds of Deflection on myself (expecting more ambushing archers). Eventually, a gas pocket goes off, and some of us see a blur of shadow in the back of the cave. The cave comes to a cross, heading left, right, and forward.
Ceadda takes the lead, and eventually finds the trap that we were all afraid of, a bear trap that keeps him in place. A T'skrang Wizard emerges from behind a corner, and throws a few Mind Daggers. After a short time hiding behind Ceadda, I jump into the middle of the cave crossing and report back what I see. The left is clear, ahead there are 2 archers and the Wizard, and to the right is L'Krusk. I unleash the lightning again, and only scratch one archer. In return for this horrible display, the Wizard hits me with a Mind Dagger, and L'Krusk leaps upon me and cuts my flesh and good humor at the same time, knocking me to the ground. Bortruk runs around L'Krusk, insulting her like a Master, and stabbing her. This opens her up to Gronk shooting her in the back with True Shot. In no time, she is on the ground, and Bortruk finishes her off, declaring to the brigands that this is over. After a few tense moments, we finally get Ceadda free of the trap, and haul L'Krusk's body off for evidence of our victory.
It was a close call. Bortruk has a used Death Cheat Charm trophy because of his daring move. On the way back to Throal, Gronk does a little blood ritual to initiate us into the Buunda Boyz gang. I'm touched by the sentiment, but I'm not sure how I feel about being part of the criminal underworld.