The roads may be somewhat safer after today, but it had almost cost the Party dearly. In fact, were it not for Royryn Bardenhall and his dwarven companions, things would have turned far more ill then they did. To encounter the Priest of Dugmaren Brightmantle and his associates was a boon this morning, given what lay before them later this day.
The dwarves were apparently tracking the same bandits, all be it for different reasons. Apparently, in the possession of the bandits, was a seal. An item purely decorative to the human raiders, but of great significance to Bardenhall and his followers as it apparently held the key to finding something long lost to the dwarves of the region.
The trail the dwarves were following led strait back to the camp where the Party had left dome of it's 'less than subtle' members guarding the alchemists, rather than take two academics into a bandit lord's hold.
Upon reaching the camp, they had hoped to find Falron, Aradun and co enjoying a lazy late breakfast, but were in stead confronted by the sight of their colleges, beaten, bound and bowed and surrounded by not only innumerable bandits, but also ogres and even the giant Mirko Kolic himself.
Although they had done their best to be stealthy, Kolic had called them out almost immediately and positioned his horde to face them. Calling the party out to fight. When berating them did nothing, ha called to one of his associates, who Alyssa later identified as Karvan Kane, a tracker of note in the employ of Kolic and no doubt the one who had located the sneaking party, and the ranger ordered Falron stood against a rock. He them proceeded to shoot the Wood Elf in a variety of increasingly painful locations before battle was reached.
A battle that was to nearly cost the party everything, and almost did immediately when, with a sweeping arc of the massive Halbard-like weapon he was carrying, Kolic almost cleft Aellias in twain, and it took the hasty ministrations of Royryn to halt the Half-Drow's slide to Kelemvor's grasp.
It was also with fortune that Alyssa had been able to identify some of the items they had been carrying around, especially the two healing wands, as they saved the lives of both Suzmec and Morn in turn, the Aaismar ministering to himself, and the Cleric having to rely on the courage of young Alyssa to heal him after his ill-chosen charge into 3-1 odds, and a second time after he chose, again unadvisedly, to become embroiled in  a ranged duel with the renowned bowman Karvan Kane.
The ogres caused merry hell also, with one nearly crippling Logan with a blow to the back followed by a rapid crushing swing to the chest that almost collapsed the ranger's rib-cage.
With the help of the dwarves, and the arrogance of Mirko Kolic, victory was won in the end. The bandit lord was felled, although his lieutenant, Kane fled the scene late in the day.
Royryn was overjoyed when it was discovered that the seal he had been looking for was in possession of Kolic and thanked the party for their assistance in retrieving it.
Hopefully they can have an uneventful return to Raven's Bluff now.