With some semblance of normality starting to descend on the city, many are starting to look to securing their interests again. In particular, a coalition of merchants who trade with Margush is offering a reward to anyone who can deal with the Bandit problem along the Acryn-Margush trade route.
The attacks themselves started shortly before the rise of King Blackthorne, but with random taxation and inspections making it difficult to do business at all, many simply cut their losses. Now many are trying to re-establish their trade deals in Margush and the famed bandit Green Thomas has become a problem.
Advertisements suggest that those interested in dealing with the issue should present themselves to the Spicer's Guild.
The party met with a secretary of the spicers guild. Were told the “Prize” was a 120R pot for the group who could prove they'd solved the problem. 2 other groups had left the day before. Were given maps and forms.
The party set out towards Margush, finding that banditry upon the roads has greatly increased and become more vicious in the wake of Green Thomas forcing the pre-existing bandits off their patch, meeting with a beleaguered caravan that tells tails of the non-lethal nature of Green Thomas's attacks. Along the way they meet a river spirit at a ford who tells them it has need of blood offering such that it may avoid such a fate as befell its brother, when the party offer their blood in small quantities it tells them that it only right for it to take what it can take by force and promptly does so. After floating down the river for some distance the party awaken feeling weak and pale. In Haydn's expert medical opinion what the spirit took was barely short of fatal. Still feeling exceedingly woozy the party arrive in Margush and begin seeking information on the situation. Whilst the rest of the party are greeted warmly Erik is met with more than a little skepticism as “one of those Junnys” that Baron Rhys Monteverde has been taking such a hard line on. Popular opinion seems to hold that the Junnes refugees are a drain on society and an undesired criminal element, with most in favour of Baron Monteverde's workhouse program. Additionally they discover that not only is trade by road being interrupted there seem to be problems in trade by river as well. Whilst chatting in the market Erik and Haydn catch sight of a Serradic looking fellow watching them from an alleyway and go to investigate. They asked why he was so interested in them. He said they could cut the act and go tell Dines he wasn't having anything to do with them. They tried to convince the Serradic guy that they were not, in fact, working for Frederick Dines. Then Kyros pulled out a chain and they woke up on the floor, with weapons drawn, and with blood on their weapons. They themselves showed evidence of having been struck by lightning. The total time experienced was about 5 minutes. They return after 15 minutes or so to find Anabel still having a nice long chat with a pot vendor having not heard anything amiss. Having heard that Green Thomas has been seen in the poor/foreign district they decide to head that way. Promptly encountering a group of what are on closer inspection slavers beating a group of Junnes refugees.
Having dealt with them and left them unconscious and chained in their own wagon the party are led to meet a Tender priest who has been working with the refugees having established himself in Margush not long before the upheaval. Chatting with a group of refugees and Julio Twine, the priest, the party hear the full extent of the awfulness that Rhys Monteverde is perpetrating upon the refugees. Enforced poverty through workhouses paid in company scrip, the only hope any of those so indentured have of escape being the dashing figure, Green Thomas. They talk of the figure after whom Green Thomas has modelled himself the noble robber of the rich merchantry at desert oases for the poor oppressed of Junnes. They hear the tale of how he caught the interest of two gods: She of the Light and He of the Dark. She of the Light had interest because of those he helped. He of the Dark had interest because of his skill in fighting those stronger than him, and his use of subterfuge. Eventually Green Thomas accepted Her blessing, and earned the Wrath of Him. It is said that the only way to defeat Green Thomas is to earn the Blessing of He of the Dark. The party arrange a meeting with Green Thomas through Julio. Meeting with Green Thomas two of the party are greeted as old friends. He tells them that the only way he could possibly move away is if the Evil Baron Monteverde is deposed and publicly humiliated such that none would think to follow in his footsteps. He has learned that the Baron has imprisoned and taken control of a water spirit within a sewer works of his own construction, an act that any sensible god fearing man of Margush would find utterly detestable. The party agree to free the water spirit and bring Rhys to justice.
Having acquired some pure water to help with their purification the party infiltrate the sewers. Splitting up the guards with cunning deceptions the party meet with unpleasant things, animated ropes, sewage spirits and the dramatic waves caused by the desperate thrashings of the imprisoned spirit. They found a bunch of magic components: ropes across the 12 entrances (under the water) and chalices set in alcoves above head height. First they cut the ropes, 3 at a time, leaping back ready to fight off horror which never came. Then they removed the chalices, pouring stuff they identified as good on the water spirit and stuff which they identified as bad away. They were eventually left with 3 “alchemical” smelling chalices, took a sip of one, exploded, the other two being knocked over. During this proceedure, the water spirit had been inert while the water flowed around it. Now the water flowed normally and the water spirit was carried away. The water looked like spring water (and not sewage) by the end of this process.
Emerging from the sewer the party is met by Rhys Monterverde himself, seemingly summoned by one of the guards they left unconscious on the way in. Realising that the only way he can avoid disgrace is if the whole matter is quickly covered up he initiates a plan of no witnesses, intending to rebind the spirit once the party is dealt with. In the ensuing fight he is saved from a brutal execution at Erik's hand only by the dramatic spray of his acidic blood each time the axe bites into his flesh.
The party give Baron Monteverde to Green Thomas's men for safe keeping whilst they work out who to hand him over to. They quite quickly discover several other important merchants outraged by his terrible actions against the water spirit and thankful for the party's actions to put such a situation to rights. The party is rewarded with 30 Riel each, Erik gives his share to Julio Twine to help the poor Junnes refugees in Margush. Skilled medics also provide treatment for the many unpleasantly infected wounds accrued in the sewers. Only Anabel's left hand cannot be fully treated after a week of rest and will experience periodic weakness for the duration of her next adventure (take a disarm along with the first combat call to strike you in combat encounters, drop something at random when it would be funny in non-combat encounters).
Content with the resolution of the Rhys Monteverde problem, Green Thomas gives the party a note with his affixed seal stating that has moved on due to their efforts. After a short discussion with them agreeing that the place most in need of his help now is clearly Liarus and its refugee population, to which end he and his band set out.
Returning to Acryn the party report back to their contact in the Spicer's Guild who whilst initially a little sceptical of their note is willing to wait a month to see if the situation has improved, particularly as they haven't heard anything back from the other groups sent to deal with the problem. When it clearly has after a month each of the party is paid their due in the form of 40 Riel.
Should the party again deal with a water spirit they will find that their experience with this one has left them with two important consequences. Firstly any water spirit will feel predisposed to treat with them politely and pleasantly. Secondly they smell delicious.