After a long and weary trek through the Northern Narlmarches, the party finally reaches Oleg’s that afternoon. Jubilantly, they inform Oleg that they have slain Tuskgutter, and produce his tusks as evidence, collecting Rick the Ranger’s reward. They also inform Oleg that they’ve completed a map of the Greenbelt. Basque has Ephya reproduce two copies of the original, one he asks Oleg to mail to Restov, and one he asks Oleg to keep, in case explorers begin heading south. Ephya, interested in purchasing a magic item she’d ordered, asks Basque to loan her some gold.
After completing his business with Oleg, Basque finds Kesten, who just happened to be hoping Basque would turn up soon. Kesten describes to Basque a history of his between him and a thief called Falgrim Sneed, who’d stolen from Kesten on contract and damaged his reputation with his hirer. He believes Sneed has fled south and taken up employ with the Stag Lord, and asks if it would be possible for Basque to apprehend Falgrim, dead or alive, but preferably alive. Basque agrees, and asks if Kesten can spare any men for the group’s imminent assault on the Stag Fort. Kesten agrees to allow two volunteers to accompany the party.
Meanwhile, Aeldur finds out Jhod, and informs him about the location of the Temple he’d been searching for, in addition to the beast they found within. Jhod seemed to have known something had happened, as his nightmares had been lifted some days ago. Gratefully, Jhod offers his spellcasting services free of charge in recompense. Aeldur decides to ask if Jhod would accompany the party south to help tend to their wounds against the battle with the bandits. After being reassured he’d not be asked to fight, Jhod reluctantly agrees.
The party rests well that night in preparation for the journey South. The next morning, the entire group departs South, having commandeered a wagon the party had salvaged from the bandits earlier and left at the fort; allowing Trenton, Robert, and Jhod to accompany the party.
The first day passed uneventfully, on the second morning, many of the party awake to weird pranks. Acheron’s hair has been rainbow dyed, while bark has been glued with sap to Harry’s face. Several others are pranked, and Aeldur concludes that they’re being stalked by faeries. Everyone makes individual appeasements to the faeries to leave them alone that night, but on the third morning only Basque and Elzbeth appear successful. The party continues South toward the fort and arrive at the forest on the fourth day, enduring varying pranks along the way.
Having had enough, the group piles up a large sum of gold coins to make a group appeal to the fey to leave them alone. Reluctantly, a faerie dragon and a weird cricket-centaur reveal themselves, the dragon introduces them as Perlivash and Tyg-titter-tut respectively. After a short conversation, the fey agree to stop pranking the group. Basque attempts to persuade them into looking over at the Stag Keep and see if they can find anything. A little too afraid by the prospect, the fey decide to leave and let the group handle it.
The party then heads out East from the forest and sets up camp near the fort under the cover of night, using hills and brush to conceal themselves from the fort. After spending the next few days and nights observing the fort the party plans its attack.
The West wall, being the weakest defended, is selected as the point of attack. The stealthier members will move up, hop the wall, open the gate, and allow the rest to storm the keep by force.
On the night of the attack, the party begins its advance on the hill to the keep, when zombies suddenly spring up and attack Aeldur, Harry, and Epyha. Acting quickly, they’re all able to run away from the zombies without attracting the keep’s attention. The zombies mill about the fort and finally bury themselves again.
After regrouping, the party decides they need to use a raised causeway at the front of the fort to get to the gate. Aeldur thinks they could do it if the torches lighting the ramp were doused. Basque decides to ask Jhod if he could conjure water above the torches and douse them, which he is able to do just barely. Harry then proposes that they have Jhod begin randomly dousing torches over the next few nights, first to observe the bandits reaction’s, and then to make them lax and unsuspecting of the torches failing.
After the first few times, the bandits cautiously relight the torches with supervision from a lieutenant. By the third night the bandits have become lax, on the fifth, the party decides to put its plan into action.
On the night of the assault, Jhod puts out both torches, causing one of the guards to leave his post to go inside the fort and inform his colleagues to relight it, leaving only one guard watching the causeway. Harry, Aeldur, and Ephya sneak up the ramp to the base of the wall, and Ephya casts a sleeping hex on the guard, allowing Aeldur to climb up the wall to the watchtower and tie up the guard.
The gate then opens up, with one man walking outside to light the torches. As he does, Ephya casts a sleeping hex on him; Harry then running up and pulling his body over to the side of the wall and tying him up. The guard from the other tower finally arrives back at his post and realizes the gate has been left open. Leaning over to investigate, he is hexed by Ephya as well; Harry, climbing up the wall, is able to subdue him as well. Meanwhile, Aeldur shoots and kills the last bandit in the watchtowers.
Ephya climbs up the wall to join Harry, noticing a bandit inside the fort separated from the rest, she hexes him too, and sends Harry in to tie him up as well. Walking inside, he’s spotted by one of the bandits, but bluffs as if to appear to be one of them and passes by. After tying up Ephya’s latest target, they both see that one of the bandits playing cards inside has realized the front gate has been left open. After calling out with no answer, he and a bandit lieutenant walk to the gate to investigate.
As the two of them approach the gate, Ephya casts a sleeping hex on the lieutenant and gives the signal to the rest of the party waiting at the base of the causeway. The party charges up the causeway, quickly dispatching the bandits at the front gate. Just inside the fort, one of the other lieutenants attempts to turn a wheel opening an iron gate. Elzbeth decides to grease the wheel, causing him to lose his grip and let the gate slam shut. Ephya casts a sleeping spell on one of the big bandits, causing him to fall asleep; without having a way to quickly subdue him, Harry delivers a coup de grace on the bandit. Inside the fort, Basque, Acheron, and Grull charge in and begin fighting the bandits in close combat. Aeldur, Trenton, and Robert shoot arrows from behind them.
Having heard all the ruckus, the Stag Lord finally arrives at the scene, shooting a near crippling arrow at Basque, who hobbles over to Elzbeth and accepts a healing potion from her. After failing to open the gate while being attacked by Grull, the bandit lieutenant stabs another bandit next to him and shouts his surrender to Grull, who eyes him and then moves to attack the Stag Lord, who fires another arrow at Ephya and nearly kills her. Grull, Basque, and Elzbeth’s eidilon surround the Stag Lord and finally subdue him.
With the battle won, Basque signals Jhod with his whistle to come up to the Fort and begin healing everyone. The surrendered bandit lieutenant approaches Basque and reveals his name as Akiros, and asks for mercy after explaining he’d been trying to find a way to leave the Stag Fort. Basque believes him and promises he’ll be spared. The party gathers the rest of the bandits together and puts watch over them while they rest for the night.