This is an actual play report (submitted by Jeff) of a game I am running set in the world of Absalom and using the Basilisk Hills and Lake of Abomination hexcrawls. I hope to put episodes out as a podcast in the near future, as I think they do a decent job of illustrating high-level play in a hexcrawl/sandbox. The cast of characters are as follows (the character with a single asterisk are the main PCs; those with a double asterisk are retainers):
Evil Jeff's Characters
*Velsind Flere- Warlock 6
**Barbat Rauta - Ironskin 3
**Amagar Cacar- Scout 3
*Nerhgui - Fighter 6
**Kalan - Cleric 3
**Safa - Destrier 2
**Blodwyn - Bard 2
**Vygr Bloodtooth - Gnoll Sorcerer 1
*Ciaran - Magic-User 6
**Ruarc - Assassin 3
**Slainte - ''Cerves'' Brave 3
Orpheus - Assassin, Level 6
** Vallistra - Godborn (Eladrin) Level 4
Jon G's Character
*Sir Keyan Telva - Knight 6
**Blix - Goblin 3
**Ugla - Goblin Mage 4
The team of Amagar, Blix, Blodwyn, Ruarc, Vallistra, along with the thirty mercs keep watch over the prisoners throughout the night. As they begin to stir for the day, they begin to interrogate the bandits. The leader's name is Wilfred and she, along with her main bodyguards are very reluctant to speak. This is not the case with the twins, Tofria & Tokas. They are rather forward with information and letting the party know things about the Red Foot Gang.
The gang is spread out over several areas, probably totaling up to 150 brigands. Two areas that are noted is an old keep somewhere farther north towards the mountains that house the town of Rocky Peak. The leader is Renmar the Red, he is also accompanied by an advisor that could be a sorcerer or warlock. The peculiar part of the advisor is that no one has seen his face. The other location that is brought up is the town of Syn, a town far to the east of the Basilisk Hills. It is here one would find Thasrol Tim, the brigand in charge. The group learns that the gang is basically trying to be the main source of gems flowing through the area.
As the twins were forthcoming with information, the team feels that they could be turned to a more productive state and the idea that they become henchman, such as the team is, could be ideal. They decide to make sure to keep them away from the general population. The team then performs the cast magic spell over the loot they obtained and look over the bandits for anything they missed. The sword and ring from Wilfred turn up magical, along with the shield that came from one of the twins. The potion that was found hidden is also seen to be magical.
Looking at the bandits, they notice a small bag glowing under the spell effects that they missed before on Wilfred. She is rather put out when it is taken. Examination of the pouch yields that it is a bag of holding and it contains almost 3000 GP of coinage and gems. The group takes extra care to search the rest of the gang for any other small items that might be hidden, magical or not. Mounting up, the gang is marched towards Dry Gulch.
As the approach the town, citizens along the outskirts see this awkward parade and begin to follow. Soon, a decent size crowd is found along with the team, making sure the gang heads into town. They are met at the edge of town by a man who states he is Egar, captain of the guards of Dry Gulch. The parade is led to the jail area and the gang is turned over to the guard. A quiet whisper to the captain is made to try and hold the twins away from the rest of the gang as the group thinks they will take them back to Liwil with them. They are asked about their plans and inform the captain that they can stay for a short while but intend to leave the next morning to head back to the bandit's camp to gather more items then return to Liwil.
The group relaxes for the rest of the day, the mercs given some coin to enjoy themselves. Late in the evening, the group is summoned to the council chambers as an emergency session is being held. Upon arrival in the chambers, they see the council seated in seven large wooden chairs, each with a motif carved in them that designates their area of concern. The councilors hide their identity with the use of veils. A Master Thyber, who leads the Wisdom Guild, speaks first, seemingly the one who leads the council. He thanks the team and asks for the actions that led them to capturing the gang. A limited outline of how the bandits were found then captured was given. He then lets the group know some information that was learned from the council's interrogation of the bandits.
The group is asked if they would like anything else, along with the monetary reward, of course. They ask for first right for craftsmen to come to the keep for rebuilding, to which the Craft Guild leader, who they know is Mistress Vestry, agrees to and will send an assistant to help with that request. They also ask for the twins to be released to them, which is agreed to. The last thing that is asked is to consider their group first whenever there is any issue that the Dry Gulch cannot or does not wish to deal with. When asked for how to contact them, they say their group is working along with the Basilisk Knights. Taking the monetary reward, the group retires to their rooms and awaits the morning of the 16th(?) day to observe the punishment to be meted out to the gang then head back to the bandit camp.
The main group at the dragon's lair gather up as much treasure as they can, leaving Orpheus and 10 mercs to guard the remainder, and head out in the morning. They arrive just after mid-day at the keep, dump the treasure and return with more mercs and all of the horses and bags they can. They are informed about the magic items that were identified by the Hewtim, the dagger and the ring. It is decided that the rapier found previously would be used by Nerguhi in an attempt to identify it. This leaves ten mercs with Barbat and Vygr to guard things. Barbat rushes to Liwil to have Hewtim identify the wand. In the short casual conversation, Barbat mentions that the group had killed a green dragon. Hewtim became very excited about the possibility to gain possible dragon parts. He is invited to come to the keep three days hence to see things.
The main group returned almost immediately to dragon's den after gathering more men and horses. They reach the den at evening and set up a cold camp outside to wait out the night. Late into the first watch, Velsind spies several sets of animal eyes out of the range of torch light. Casting sleep twice, he causes four of the pairs of eyes to fall but the largest set is able to escape. They go out and find four wolves that they then skin and leave the rest to the side. In the morning, the rest of the treasure is gathered and the entire group then returns to the keep. Along the way back, they feel like something is watching them but it does not present itself. This ends the 17th day.