Good day Reya,
I hope these letters find you comfort as they do for me to write them. The world stage is larger than I had anticipated, and the problems stack up.
After the raid with the bandits, the guard was able to arrest a bunch of them. Since we were asked to do something about the leader Benna Seridan, we asked if we could talk to the imprisoned ones for more information.
Rakuno and I set up a sort of good guy, bad guy routine to get information out of one of them. Well, it went about as well as you’re no doubt imagining Rey. We botched the whole thing. Luckily Spoke was there and bailed us out.
We were able to confirm the location of their stronghold was in the Crest Mountains, learned a little more about their management structure, and how they recruit desperate Humblefolk.
Tables began to turn though. Everyone has their story, a cause to believe in, and truth be told, Spoke looks to have empathized with their position. He's even considered taking their side, aside from the banditry of course. I’m still on the fence about what the person said, but it was worthy enough to investigate further.
The bandit told us about the devastation the fire is doing to all the smaller villages, like Hedgewatch, where he was from. He was just a farmer then and lost everything, came to the city and was forced to make a home in the Underfall, the root system of the Alderheart tree. We decided to visit the Underfall ourselves, and it was a squalor.
For now, we need to stop this conflict because the fire is a more pressing matter, but after we do something about Benna, I will have some words about representation of the Humblefolk to the council. The council members are nothing but Birdfolk, how can they truly serve all the citizens?
Oh, that night before we were to head out, we spotted the strig knight from the raid before. Turns out he is Riffin the Ash Knight. He was in Ashbarrow when the fire hit. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know much what happened there as he was overwhelmed and then woke up in Alderheart. An interesting story for sure but wish he had more to it. Also turns out, he adventured with Susan too. Imagine that. The woods are a small place it seems.
Once daybreak came, we set out for the stronghold. It would take us a few days journey, so we made last minute preparations. It was a hazardous road, being stopped by a bandit ambush. Fortunately for us, Farah played out her great idea. Using the sword, she convinced them we were long time members away for a while and headed back after the raid on the fort, and we lost our leader putting her in control. We hid out in the woods for a while before finally coming back in. They bought the story and let us through.
Further down the road, we were attacked by mountain lions. They got some licks in, but we ultimately triumphed. Since we had this extra meat, I had a plan to get to the stronghold and hand them over to further help our story that we were bandits.
Arriving at the stronghold, the feeling was tense. There were no birdfolk I could see, but that was to be expected. Farah explained to them that we were from the same village when the fire took it, and I kept my beak shut. If only I had kept it that way.
We had walked inside, offered the meat and made our way to the common house where we observed some of the other bandits. Here is where I made a mistake. In my anxiety of trying to fit it, I made some small talk with the table next to us claiming we’re new members around here and was a shame what happened to the fort from the raid. This of course ruined Farah’s story she established with the ambush party. As soon as they come in, it would ruin our cover so my slip up caused us to start to expedite our plan to confront Benna sooner.
Our plan was to spike the drink we give to Benna to put her unconscious, then find a way to haul her out to a safe place. Now we’re more or less going by the seat of our pants.
I’ll continue this story in the next letter for you Reya. For now, enjoy the lion jerky I sent along with this letter.