As the Unit investigated, or tried to eavesdrop, on the conversation between Captain Jo and the mysterious man, they were abpruptly ordered to rouse Captain Fix and the General Staff of Southern Command. There had been some conversation of this man going above Captain Jo’s head and informing Captain Fix anyway, and it seemed to you that she took his threat seriously.
By morning, the party was ordered by Corporal Len to the small town of Steedscross. Their mission was simple, figure out a way to destroy the bridge that spanned the Silver River and slow the cavalry of Varte. Apparently the mysterious man, whose name they discovered was Corporal Cyrus, had brought news of a new offense from the West.
Looking around the camp, the Unit saw that different groups had different tasks, but the Command was ready for combat in way that seemed impossible just the night before. Special Tactics especially was living up to its name of “special” as some units were loaded down with weaponry whilst others were putting on dresses and makeup.
The Unit set out to the Southwest towards Steedscross, discussing the likely possibilities. The party agreed that it would be best to send Koram, Alice, and Mercy into town to discuss the situation, while Calvin and Nix prepared themselves to destroy the bridge.
On the way, the party camped, for many the first night without cover over their head. Calvin volunteered to keep watch at night, uncomfortable under the Assassin’s Moon, he damned his own soul to save the others from the smile of Xatec’s Moon.
The next day, the party stumbled upon a pack of Nathian Lions, pack predators that hunt in the Ashenath Plains. The party was wise enough to leave the Lions to their meal and move on.
Towards the end of their journey, traveling down Horse Run Creek, the party happened upon a wagon. It was quickly apparent that a robbery was in progress, and it was confirmed by the bandits who could lie as well as a four year old to his mother. Caught in their trap, Koram sprung first, landing an arrow in the Bandit Captain’s leg.
Nix rushed foward as Calvin fired from his vantage point in the wagon that Mercy was driving, narrowly missing the Bandits.
As the two bandits who were worse liars than a thief with her hand covered in red ink turned to face the Unit, and six others came to take on Nix, the Captain dove for cover. Unfortunately, for the bandits, he and the others were not nearly fast enough or skilled enough to face well-trained members of the Army of the Coast.
Nix shield bashed one in the head and downed another with her hammer, as Calvin’s bow remembered it’s killing form, slicing through another two bandits by Nix. Alice easily fended off the two in front of her, capitalizing on their lack of training by slipping her dagger into one of the bandit’s chest, while Koram scored a hit on the Captain, driving him from his horse before he could find cover.
Mercy meanwhile, guided the wagon to safety and found a sheltered spot.
The bandits broke and ran, including the captain. Koram and Calvin would have none of that, firing off an arrow into his head and leg.
The Merchant, who had been the victim of the robbery attempt was overjoyed at his sudden fortune. Geoff, the merchant, was certain that this was the sign that his luck had changed, after his precious Vartian merchandize had been robbed, both by robbers and government robbers: tax collectors.
He graciously agreed to gift Nix’s childhood friend, Alice, a piece of pottery when he went through that town. But first, he needed to know where that town was. The party graciously gave him directions, trussed up the leader of the bandits, and continued on their way, with promises to stop into Geoff’s shop in the City of Flowers in Galah, if they ever passed that way.
As night fell on the 3rd day of Play, the Unit arrived at Steedscross. It was a small, rustic town with only a handful of buildings and a large, well-maintained bridge. Koram, Alice, and Mercy approached two old men who were introduced as Ned Ce’Grey, the mayor, and Thom. The Bandit was quickly thrown into the “cell,” a common honor-prison system in the Ashenath Plains
Koram led in quickly, telling the men that they needed to discuss the destruction of the bridge. Thom took immediate offense, and the three learned that his full name was Thom Bridger, and that was his bridge to care for.
Ned, sensing the tension, asked for the three to join the town for dinner. So Koram, Mercy, and Alice went into Mayor Ned’s tavern, the Lucky Horseshoe, for dinner.
Inside, they discovered that this town was some kind of rest home for old farmers whose families could not care for them. Two boys, Owen and Ben Farmer, were in town to make sure the elderly were cared for, and another girl, Mandy was there as well.
Marcia, Ned’s wife, and Marcus, her sister, were also in the room and they talked about the recent troop movements to the south. Ned assured the party that they were loyal and did not pay the taxpayers from Varte. He did however explain that the bridge was their livelihood and that it could be financially ruinous to tear it down.
Marcia, speaking with Alice, explained that much of the community that supported the village, or where villagers used to live, was south of the bridge, and that the bridge was a link to their loved ones.
Meanwhile, Mercy went to find Mandy and her crying child Sally. Mandy had been thrown out of her house for an unwed pregnancy. She would not speak of the father. Mercy discovered that the source of the child’s tears was an ear infection and did her best to cure the problem.
While the others were warm and comfortable inside, Nix and Calvin examined the bridge and then jogged to the south to scout the lands that were supposed to be under siege. Just as their jog was over, they spotted bright stars on the horizon.
It did not take long for them to realize that those “stars” were in fact campfires. No accurate count could be made, but they thought there was a minimum of 50 Vartian soldiers, and possibly many more. They knew the bridge must fall, or there could be gaping holes in the army’s defense. And they ran back to town.