Out of all of the reports from adventurers, one fact has almost universal agreement: Bandit gangs are out there, in large numbers. I submit that these gangs are the greatest threat out there to the stability of the Kingdom of Yarnolth – while monsters act primarily on instinct, bandits are known to kill and maim simply for the pleasure of doing so.
Their intelligence, however, is also their greatest weakness: they can be distracted or outwitted.
Many stories of victory over the bandits involve outwitting them. There are many factions of bandits and all have leaders, each more terrifying than the last. It seems that there is a complex society amongst bandits; some groups have splintered from others and remained allies, while others are blood enemies and would sooner fight each other than attack a mutually beneficial target.
It is a well-known fact that the uglier a bandit is, the tougher and nastier he is. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that the ugliest bandit in any group is the leader.
The gangs themselves vary in size from just five or ten individuals who are disgruntled with their previous way of life to hundreds of well-organised warriors who, as a group, may even be able to threaten towns. I have heard many tales of bandit leaders, though two stand out beyond all others. I have chosen to include what history is known of each of these in this document to provide examples of the worst offenders and as a warning to travellers.
Argoth the Bloody (pictured)
Argoth the Bloody is known to be particularly brutal. He is known to behead his victims, take everything of value and leave them naked in the road. Stories have been told by some that Argoth is a reasonable (perhaps even gentle) man who goes into a blood frenzy whenever he sees one of his men injured.
I find this hard to credit, personally, but if it is true, it may provide an avenue of attack for anyone brave enough to seek him out or unfortunate enough to encounter him.
His gang is well-organised but has recently been reduced in size to about thirty, thanks to a heroic raid by the a group of adventurers known as the Star Reachers. It is reported that this raid initially resulted in Argoth’s capture, though he later escaped after slaughtering said adventurers.
Bran’s appearance is a mystery, as he has never been spotted. However, the calling card of his gang, the White Sickle, is notorious among travellers in the Mossvale area: bodies left where they fell, with no significant wounds save their slit throats and all their possessions still left by their side.
The size and organisation of the White Sickle is subject to much speculation but it is believed to be are one of the larger gangs, with well over a hundred bandits. There are also rumours that these bandits have established a settlement in the region and that their ranks are replenished by the women captured from the caravans they attack, whom they have pressed into “service”. This is a terrifying possibility and I can only hope that it is mere fantasy, although if they have an independent settlement with farms nearby it would explain their lack of need for supplies.