The characters involved in this one-short were as follows:
Stanton “Slim Jim” Cree, Mighty ogrun soldier/bounty hunter
Brunhilde Miller, Mighty ogrun man-at-arms/pirate
John Doe, Intellectual (and claiming to be amnesiac) Iosan duelist/investigator
Now to the adventure:
At the small town of Wildhollow located in the forests north of Bainsmarket in northern Cygnar, the three adventurers were reading through the job offers and news posted in the town square, noticing the large number of “wanted” posters put up on the wall, when someone having a coughing fit behind them caught their attention. The stricken elderly man who had drawn the group’s attention introduced himself as Roderick Blackmoor, trader by profession and suffering the consequences of too many nights spent on the road. He was also very much aware of the recent increase in particularly brutal bandit activity in the area, which was attributed to a gang called the Deerhills Eight, and eagerly accepted the offer of the two large ogruns and their Iosan companion to guard his convoy on the way to Corvis.
After giving the adventurers an advance on their pay, the group went for some shopping, with the Iosan buying a particularly shrill whistle (which would become unexpectedly important very soon) and one of the ogruns buying a new shield before settling in for the night.
The next day the group left Wildhollow early, with Roderick eager to reach the town of Cormack before nightfall so he would be able to spend a night indoors for once. The journey was initially uneventful, with the dense forests slowly giving way to open land, meadows and, up ahead, the tilled fields near Cormack, when John spotted a rider coming their way from Cormack. Strangely, however, the man turned his horse off the road as soon as he spotted the convoy, and disappeared into the forest. Soon thereafter, the group met another group of riders in uniform in obvious pursuit of the first man. The soldiers’ captain, a man swaying perilously on his horse and speaking through gritted teeth, told the traders that some of the Deerhills Eight had been apprehended earlier, but that the members of the gang still at large had staged a breakout, blowing up part of the jail and setting Cormack on fire while their boss, Merrick Casgill, made his escape.
Alarmed by the captain struggling to stay mounted, John then insisted on examining his injuries, and quickly realised the captain would not survive if he did not abandon the pursuit then and there. John offered to take up the pursuit in the soldiers’ stead while they went back to Cormack with the convoy and their captain on one of the carts, to which the officer reluctantly agreed.
Making good use of Slim Jim’s tracking skills in the Iosan’s sharp senses, the group went after Casgill, noting how riding roughshod into the forest had obviously injured his horse. Soon thereafter, they spotted the beast standing riderless in the middle of the forest, and then a shot rang out, as Casgill, who had taken up a position in cover nearby, fired at his pursuers. He clearly hadn’t reckoned with the ensuing charge of two ogruns, however, and while John kept firing at Casgill to make him keep his head down, Slim Jim closed the distance and smashed the bandit leader to the ground, unconscious.
The adventurers then took the reins of Casgill’s horse and retraced their steps back to the road, and then followed it the rest of the way to Cormack. The town was still in disarray when they cleared the forest, with dense smoke rising over the burning buildings. Handing the unconscious bandit off to the soldiers, the group then quickly began aiding the rescue efforts, with Slim Jim and Brunhilde hauling buckets of water from the well and tossing them onto the flames, while John helped the Morrowan friar Easton Calloway in tending the wounded (and also noting that the seven armoured bodies of the rest of the Deerhills Eight had been laid to the side, clearly past any help available on Caen).