Intelligence Misgathering

We're almost being heroic in our efforts to clean up this evil city. A shadowbeast has been killed, the goblins dispersed with the death of their leader, and now we're dealing with some bandits who are preying on merchants on a trade route between towns. We have already borrowed a covered wagon and have me as a harmless driver escorted only by an imcompetent-looking guard, a role the paladin fills only too well. The rest of the party are in the back of the wagon pretending to be trade goods. They're pretty convincing too.

We don't lure out any bandits to attack us directly, but at a notorious spot in the road we see wheel tracks in the soft mud leading away from the road. Afutavere gets rather excited by this, giving him a chance to use his ranger tracking skills, but as he checks the wind direction and starts licking animal droppings we have left him behind. The wheel tracks in the mud are pretty easy to follow.

The makeshift bandit camp is readily found, although only fools would go looking for it, I suppose. I scout ahead silently, to give us a better chance of gaining an advantage in unfamiliar territory. The general chit-chat and noise coming from the unsuspecting bandits in the camp conceals any sounds I make in approaching, and I see four dark-skinned humanoids sitting around a fire. Tieflings! But what's that? Beyond a partially collapsed wall I see the head of what looks like a much taller and broader figure. I must go back and report.

I return to the rest of the party, not too far away, and give a detailed description of the layout of the camp which they can mostly see. I also let them know what bandits we face. 'There are some tieflings, and a large fellow, maybe a giant. I didn't get a decent look at him.'

Brennan is keen to get information on the bandit numbers, asking me 'how many?'

'Five.'

'Five giants? Crikey.'

'No, I—'

'Fire giants?' Ganelon isn't happy to hear what we face. Frankly, neither am I, but it focusses the minds of the party, and when we eventually get in to combat at least we find the encounter to be a little smoother than first expected. But not much smoother.

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