Having been gathered by her highness Fiele, Baroness of Dhoesone, the players are tasked with surveying and charting the heretofore uncharted wilds of the Giantdowns, specifically the Midjarna region. It seems as if a rise in banditry in the region has chased off a significant portion of settlers there, and is preventing numerous nomadic Rjurik tribes from migrating there during the colder months, causing her no end of problems, and a good and comprehensive map of the region would aid immensely in resettlement efforts.
The players set out the next morning, the first day of the new year, the Day of Rebirth in the year 551 MR (Michaelene Reckoning), a particularly auspicious day on which to begin a new endeavor or set forth on a new journey. A barge sets up down the Rhuide River to deliver its passengers to within a half a day’s ride to Oleg’s Trading Post.
After a frightening encounter with some hungry ogres, the players ride north to Oleg’s. Oleg clues them in about some of the bandit activity, and that he himself is being extorted by a group of bandits, who should be arriving the following morning to collect his “taxes.” Fearing for the safety of his wife and tired of the humiliation, Oleg hatches a plan, with the cooperation of the players, to catch these bandits off-guard when they come the following morning.
Suffice it to say the bandits have grown complacent and are taken by complete surprise, and the newly chartered group of explorers make short work of them, leaving one alive (momentarily) for questioning. After being Charmed by Cian, one Happs Bydon tells the group of his allegiance to a mysterious bandit king The Stag Lord, about which he knows nothing, his intermediary being his boss (and sometimes lover) Kressle. Before he met his ultimate end, Happs revealed the approximate location of Kressle’s camp, some 25 miles to the South East of Oleg’s Trading Post.