My day as a bandit – By FoxGlove

My name is, well I go by many, but for now call me bandit.

My real name is Lady Eona Erlingdottir, I’m the daughter of a Jarl. Not too long ago I led a boring life of a proper noble lady. I was kidnapped by a group calling themselves The Order of the Black Hand for ransom. I must thank them actually, I found I much prefer the life of a rogue, I find great delight in sowing chaos…
I awoke with a start, I could vaguely remember the dark hooded figure who had been haunting my dreams this night. The only thing I could remember him saying was “Bring me souls”.
As I sat up, I noticed a dull glow beside my bow, it was a dagger like none I’ve seen before. The dagger was quite beautiful, well made, with arcane symbols on a blade that glowed a dull green. I put the dagger in my belt and prepared for the day to come. I applied some sap, from a plant I know, to my arrow heads, my prey can’t run if they can’t move. I found the scroll I had been hoarding, loot from a mage I had robbed a few days ago. I read it aloud, carefully pronouncing the strange words, as I spoke the last line, my skin started toughening. My skin was as hard as steel but still supple and soft.
I began my day wondering through the forest scouting around for small groups I could handle or intimidate on my own. I came across a small band of Orks with a human examining some type of box in a small clearing. I snuck up within easy bow shot but stayed my hand, I wished to play. I purposely stepped on a twig then froze with my bow at the ready. The human looked up and I could see that she saw something, she approached a few feet and called out “friend or foe?”. Silly girl, if I was a friend would I be stalking them? If a foe would I answer truthfully? I remained still and silent as a specter. She advanced a few more feet, and again “friend or foe?”, silence. I could smell her fear, and see the agitation of the Orks, I smiled to myself and waited. All at once the human sprang away from me like a hare with a wolf nipping its tail, and the Orks fell in behind her, disappearing into the brush. It didn’t matter, I already had their scent. I slowly tracked them across an old road and into the brush on the other side. I found them around another strange box, two Orks kneeling, three standing between us and the human to the side. This time I acted quickly, three quick shots netted me three paralyzed Orks. The mage and an Ork ran for their lives, I lost track of the other Ork. I examined my helpless prey, something brought forth my memory of the hooded figure. I drew the dagger from my belt, it felt right in my hand. I stabbed the first Ork and felt an energy pass into the dagger, a pulsing jewel fell from the blade, somehow I knew this was the Orks soul. I heard a horn blow a few yards away, damn it was the Ork that I lost track of. I quickly stabbed the other two and collected their souls. I turned to escape but was too late, there were nearly a dozen Ork warriors running at me. I put my weapons away and cried “Hold I wish to talk”. The leader came forward, keeping his sword between us. I held out my hand showing him the pulsing gems, I said “These are the souls of your boyz” he looked at them “I wish to trade for safe passage”. I could see him pondering my words carefully for a moment, then he said “Keep em, I’ll let you go for the shiny dagger”. Somehow I felt the dagger agreed to this exchange. I handed the dagger over to the Ork Boss and began my escape before he could change his mind.
I moved to another area of the forest in search of more prey. I came across a small group of humans playing with some kind of explosive. They were dressed in black and green with a star on their surcoats, something told me that while they appeared less imposing than the Orks that they may be more dangerous. While I was assessing the best targets, another bandit joined me. We were discussing the chances of success when two of them charged us. We split into opposite directions and attempted to escape, I ended up running near a bystander who attempted to hit me with a sword. Luckily I was still protected by the spell that made my skin tough. After I lost them I circled back in the shadows to watch the group. Another larger party approached looked as if they wished to speak to the group in black and green. Once closer the larger group attacked without warning, the first group didn’t have a chance. I felt this part of the forest was getting quite dangerous and went searching for the other bandit, I’ll call her Red. Red looked the typical part, a thread bare bandit skulking through the forest, only I knew she was actually the Bandit King.
I found her on a path near town charging, anyone who passed, a toll to pass in peace. We were talking about the strange boxes and altars that had appeared in the area. It seems there was some contest of gods going on, we decided the gods were more annoyance than anything. We care for gold, we trade on information and intrigue, we take no side with this contest. We decided to increase our profits we needed to expand our network a bit, this contest could prove lucrative.
We stopped the next person who was passing through, a beautiful young woman, instead of demanding a toll we offered to hire her. I made her an offer, swear fealty to the bandit king, she would be paid and go on her way, but would report back with any information she may come across. She thought it over for a few minutes then agreed, she knelt and swore to follow ,the Bandit King, then went on her way with some extra gold in her purse. We were now three, but I wanted more, many more…

I found myself wandering near a place of the gods, a crossover point to the other side. I ran across the group in black and green who had been massacred earlier. They were confused and disoriented, it seems they didn’t remember dying, just being brought back. I promised them some free information if they would consider a request, they agreed. I explained what I had seen from the shadows, and described the party that attacked them. I then offered them the opportunity to join with the bandit king. They declined my offer, but we came to an agreement that we would not prey on each other for the near future and went our separate ways. While wondering near that hellish area I came across the hooded figure from my dreams. I was curious but did not approach. He seemed to see me but spoke no word. He held out his cloaked hand and another glowing dagger appeared, he place the dagger on a stump, turned and floated away. I of course picked up the dagger, smiling and put it in my belt.
I wondered back near town and met up with a small group of peasants dressed in black and orange. They appeared to be quite angry about something. I approached them hoping to add to our recruits. It turned out they were a bunch of do gooders who frowned on banditry and chaos in general. They were however seeking some items they wanted for the silly god thing that seemed to be everywhere. Ah I thought, gold could be had, I asked what they were looking for. Some rings of power, daggers that could take a mans soul, and souls themselves, I smiled. Just to appear interested and friendly I asked what the items were for. After some long story I barely paid attention too, they told me the wished to find a way to destroy the daggers and release the souls. This sounded like it would be great fun to watch play out, so I began negotiating for a dagger and two souls. During our talk a small party approached and called out, “bandit we seek information”. They presented me with a wanted poster and asked for help in finding the lost lady. I had a very hard time keeping a straight face, there on the wanted poster were images and a description of me…
I told them I was sure I could help them in their search, but I would need some time, I told them to meet me in a secluded place at a later time. Easy pickings, I was thinking.
I returned to my negotiations, I traded the dagger and souls for a rather large sum of gold, and a promise to let the bandits be in the future. I hid away the gold and went searching for Red to share out our new found fortune. Red and I split the gold and rounded up a few more single conscripts who were traveling alone. I headed towards town and again ran into the group wearing green and black. I noticed they had a new leader and cautiously approached him. I spoke to him about joining forces with the Bandit King, I offered gold now that I had plenty, he seemed interested. He finally said he had a great desire to posses one of the magic daggers that steal souls, he also seemed interested in spreading chaos just for the fun of it. My kind of people. I explained that I had held two already this day and if he joined us we would hunt another. He agreed, I summoned Red and the entire party swore fealty to her. I was speaking to one of them away from the group when a lone man approached. He began asking her about a wanted lady and showed her a wanted poster, while glancing at me. She saw my image and leaned in to speak to him, he didn’t notice the dagger in her hand. With a wicked gleam in her eye, she lunged unexpectedly but unfortunately his armor turned the blade and he ran for his life….

I knew he got a good look at me and made the connection before he fled.
I rejoined the rest of the party in green and black, I threw a couple of handfuls of gold to them and said “I am hunting a man, join me! Lets creat some havoc!”. I began sprinting towards the forest where I saw the man disappear, the group following.
A short distance down the trail, we came across a large group of people, heavily armored, standing around the body of the leader of the peasants. I negotiated safe passage, barely, and asked if his body was for sale. They sent us on our way empty handed, but I saw what I was looking for, a magic dagger. Even with the group I had hired I knew we were too few to prevail, so we continued down the trail hunting the man who was hunting me. We ran right into a large group of Orks and both stopped short, I yelled to the leader that I wished to talk. We met halfway between the opposing groups with weapons at the ready. I said “We don’t wish to fight you, I am hunting someone else. But how would you like to fight a real battle?”. I could see the WarBoss thinking, he said “fightins good, we likes fightin.”. I said “join us and I promise you and your boyz a fun fight.”. He had a big grin on his face and turned to his pack of Orks and said “wez going with them to a fight.”.
I explained my plan briefly with the leader of the black and green, then pointed down the path where we came from and told the WarBoss we’re going to fight them right around that corner. He yelled to his boyz to charge and charged down the path, we waited a few seconds then followed behind. I planned to let the Orks charge in and soften them up a bit, drawing any mage fire, then we would come in a second wave and clean up. Well not all plans come together as desired. We came in a few seconds behind the Orks, and found the last couple being cut down.
There was a completely different party there at the crossroads, a larger more heavily armed party. They called out that they had to wish to fight us but would defend themselves. I stopped our attack but held weapons at the ready, and replied “you’re not our target, we were after the group that was just here. But you killed my Orks”. They responded “well they attacked us, if course we killed them.”, I asked if there was a priest among them. They said yes they had priests, I asked them to raise my Orks so that I could continue my hunt. They said “no we’re not raising them they attacked us.”, I responded “there just Orks, they didn’t know any better, but I need them, so raise my Orks and we will pass in peace.” Their spokesman had a hard look on his face and again said “no”, I yelled attack and loosed an arrow at him. We did lose that fight but it was worth it….

I heard a rumor of a great battle for one of the rings was about to happen, so Red and I decided to check it out and see what opportunities may arise.
She held back but I was drawn into the battle, it was pure chaos. I was shooting at someone when a hit to the head caused everything to go black, I still had my spell but the hit knocked me out. When I came to, I was tied and I could see Red had been killed, there was a priest saying words over her, and she sat up alive.
It was a small group who had captured us dressed in grays. They were civil and polite, but no amount of pleading, threatening, or offer of bribes stopped them from turning us in for the rewards. I was being taken home by a guardsman who underestimated my desire for freedom, I left his body by the roadside and made my escape.
One of my informants caught up with me having news of one of the magic daggers, it seems the leader of the Orks had one. I was low on gold and had no large force at the ready but I still had my wits. I scouted out their camp, and asked to be taken to their Boss. He was a bit leery of talking with me, of course at our last meeting I cause their massacre. I confirmed that he had a magic dagger and told him I wanted to trade. Of course I didn’t have much gold left but I was sure I could think of something. I remembered some odd bit of lore I had heard about Orks coveting teeth and an idea hit me. I said to the WarBoss “it’s like this, you have two options. I have a handful of these rare teeth, from a giant ocean fish called a shark”, I had robbed a merchant who was carrying them, “or I can raise a small army, kill you all and just take the dagger.”. I could see the confusion on his face. Finally he says “fightin is good, but teeth is better. I’ll take teeth, you take dagger”, I agreed and we traded. As I was leaving the camp I heard him say “boyz come look at these teeth we got”.
I met up with the leader of the group in black and green, and gave him the dagger to complete our deal. He told me that they were on their way to a battle for the last ring and asked me to fight with them. I joined in their party and we headed to the field where the battle was to occur.
There were two sides facing across a small field as we joined the battle began. I noticed in the ranks opposing us that there was a large man holding a huge boulder over his head. I didn’t know how he could possibly even pick it up, but there was no time to think about it. I took careful aim with my bow, let loose, and my arrow hit his chest dead center. He fell instantly, dropping the giant boulder, amazingly killing a half dozen people who were too close to him. I think that is a personal best, killing seven people with one arrow.
After the battle I felt I had had enough for one day and taking the last of my stolen gold, headed to the tavern to have some cider and relax…