The Fall of the Roamin' Empire Part I: Looking for Trouble

Damir meets up with Peregrine, Mist, and a cleric of St. Cuthbert named Enteri and discusses his plans to ambush this goods-launderer. Damir convinces the men to sneak out and hide amongst the underbrush near the meeting spot while he speaks to Jake, his contact. Peregrine and Mist go scope out some hiding places the day before the meet and disarm some traps that were there; when the next day arrives, the party arranges to be at a specific tree on the edge of town and follow Damir out of the area. Damir casts Speak with Allies on them so that they can communicate; they then set off. Damir speaks to Jake for a short time before hearing Peregrine say that there are "snipers" in the woods near him. Damir keeps talking, but when the cleric casts a very noisy spell at the snipers, Damir has to bluff a "What the hell was that?" reaction. He manages to; he draws his rapier and dives for cover behind the raiders' cart as the men in the forest engage the snipers. The thug guards by the cart begin to look into the woods to attack, but before they can spot the hiding PCs, Jake casts Obscuring Mist on the area to try to cover his escape. Damir waits as one of the guards runs by him; he stabs the man in the back and casts Puff and Gone, then slices the horse's harness while invisible. Meanwhile, Jake has jumped upon the cart to run away; in doing so, he exposed himself to Enteri, who hit him with a sonic subdual attack. The blast knocked both Damir and the thugs onto their asses; Jake is knocked around in the seat of the cart, and the horse is bowled over. Damir gets back up and runs into the fog to hide from the thugs; the still-conscious one gives chase. Damir then casts another Puff and Gone spell and runs out of the fog, chasing Jake. Jake is running off, having cast Expedious Retreat, so Damir and Peregrine open fire on him and bring him down. By this time, the snipers are in retreat, but the horse has taken off because of the combat. The guard inside the fog bank grabs the horse and tries to calm it so that he can mount it and make his escape; meanwhile, a summoned celestial eagle is attacking the retreating snipers courtesy of Enteri. Peregrine and Enteri's eagle bring down the snipers while Damir and Enteri are dealing with the last thug; once all the raiders are unconscious, Damir starts to run around binding them. Meanwhile, Mist and Peregrine are getting the horse back under control. Damir raids the raiders' pockets; he snags a wand and a spellbook in secret, but takes only a couple more items, leaving the majority of the (mostly magical potions) spoils to the party. Damir takes very little money in the exchange, but he does slip his pearls into the sack to compensate for the expensive items he's taken. During the raiding, Peregrine and Enteri have taken Jake off and are interrogating; Damir knows nothing about the details of this interrogation. Damir takes the cart back into town alone; the others sneak off and wait for him at the sheriff's outpost. Damir gives the cart and horse to the priests in exchange for some item identifications; he does not have the wand identified yet, however. The food and clothing in the cart go to the priests for distribution; the criminals go to the sheriff and the other three take their bounties and leave. Damir asks the priests if he might be allowed to bake some cakes and pies with the confiscated foods; the priests agree, and Damir does so. That evening, Damir makes the announcement that five bandits were apprehended by anonymous good samaritans this afternoon, as verified by the sheriff and the priests. Damir tries to rally the audience with this news, but he manages to elict only a weak response. The audience is obviously still frightened of possible retribution. Damir does get some response from the crowd, however, and he goes on to perform for them again, celebrating the rejuvination of the town.
The priests interrogated Jake and his guards; Damir had asked that they share the information they receive with him. Damir also asks the group if they recognize his skull belt. If so, he would like to know of any special significance it bears. Jake doesn't know anything about the belt, but he does know that the former soldiers used skulls to decorate many things when the Necromancer was in charge. One of the snipers, however, asks if the scratch is part of the design. When Damir tells him it is, he reveals that the Necromancer had a scar over his right eye similar to the scratch on the skull. Damir discovers that the thugs were riginally lone swords from neiboring lands… then a few months back, they made the mistake of getting involved with the Scarlet Wolves. By the time they had proof they were working for criminals, they decided it would be… unsafe for them should they leave. The pay was also decent given the little actual guard work they had to do. One of the snipers joined, deserting his guard position in the southern village when the northern village was destroyed, out of a sense of self-preservation. He did well defending the Wolves from abominations and undead and was promoted to sniper when trade picked up again after the fall of the Necromancer's castle. The other sniper was just a looter who fell on hard times. He was the only survivor in a nasty skirmish with some ghouls, and the Wolves spared his life and convinced him to burn his fallen comrades' bodies so they wouldn't rise as ghouls themselves. They trained him in archery, and he was sticking with them to "repay his debt" and save his hide until he felt he could safely run off. He was the sniper who tried to cover his more injured comrade's escape. Jake is a nasty fellow who started out as a lockpicker and got his hands on a spellbook one day. He managed to learn some wizardly skills, so he demoted himself in the field and tricked his comrades into making him an accountant so that he could skim. He might be worth something to the Scarlet Wolves because they might want to kill him for his treachery.

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