The party was highly successful finding an entire field of the flowers needed, taking special care not to let Soul near or alone with her addiction to drugs already known they didn’t trust her not to consume the poppies raw. The next day Quara spent developing and refining a compound substance to blend the hallucinogenic moss and the poppies opium. She wanted to takes few days to and ways to take the substance to find the best methods.
On the same day Rupert informed Erky that he needed to use the storage area and not be disturbed, Rupert hide himself away so he could safely send his senses into his familiar to guide it about the bandit fort. Within the fort he discovered an outside walled area with five towers, one on each corner and extra one with the entrance gate. A fortified building within the walled area also held two towers, it held three floors and had arrow slots all around.
A second wooden building was also within the walled area it had two floors with an attic, and housed the majority of the bandits. The wooden building held little more than beds and tables, very cramped living though only slightly worse than the Lodge the villager and party now lived in. The inner court yard was mud and rocks but there was a back exit that lead into a large sealed off field of grass that was where they kept their horses.
Inside the fortified buildings ground floor was five bedrooms that were being used by the scouts, the food supplies and weapon storage and also the doors to a tunnel leading into the mountains. the second floor had a walk way around the sides with many arrow slots, the middle was sealed with secure doors. From within the sealed area Rupert thought he heard someone crying.
On the top floor he found a similar setup but in the seal central room he heard the sound of two people sharpening weapons. The imp was incapable of opening the doors so he waited until the occupants moved. When the door to the top floor opened he got the first look at the bandit leader, the huge blood splattered half-orc looked more like a full orc fresh from a war. His eye burned and look like they should have been on a demon, vicious but cunning, despite his appears of a blood thirsty frenzy berserker a clear and thinking mind drove him.
The imp quickly slipped into the room as Skull Crunch and Barakas headed down stairs. In this room had four beds in each corner, each clearly owned by vastly different people. Skull crunch’s bed was like that of a madman that had messed with demons and had every type of protective ward Rupert had ever even heard of and many he hadn’t. Across from that was a messy shambles of weapons and armour, Barakas’s. On the other side of a wall from Skull Crunch was a very neat and tidy setup with daggers, poisons and jewels, Hama’s. Dust covered Hama’s area, it looked like she hadn’t been around for several days. The final bed area was also neat and tidy, but held an armour and long sword stands, Blath’s. This too was a little unused but not as long as Hama’s.
Before the imp slipped out of the room he drunk the poisons, as a demon he wasn’t effected, and pissed into the bottle to replace the liquids, then he tracked the two who had left. They had gone through the second floor locked area, where it once again waited for the two to return. Once again slipping into the area as they walked out, Rupert could not hear the crying this time but the locked area was a short hallway with two heavy secure doors as entrance and exit and two wooden doors leading to side rooms.
After listening to the wooden doors he hear someone moving in one of them and so moved into the other room first. This room was very similar to the bed he had seen upstairs, full of wards and magic symbols. From what he could tell this was a summoning and containment room, his lack of knowledge meant he could discern any more. The imp then moved to the other door, with a wry smile it knocked high up on the door and waited near the opening point on the floor.
Once the door opened it slipped in, this room was full of books, items and junk. Cramped and overstocked a small hammock hung in one corner next a work bench and chair. The occupant was a young human female, that looked tired and worn, this was Mara. Jars of feather tokens, shelves of potions and a many various other item that Rupert had seen on the bandits lined the work bench. A box at her feet was full of discarded items, badly formed or broken but still magical, the disenchant pile.
Rupert was at first relieved that what they had thought was their second greatest threat within the bandits was this tired and worn soul. Given the treatment she had received he thought it might be useful to gain her trust and have her change sides. Remaining invisible and using a altered voice Rupert spoke to Mara, offering help and asking question.
Rupert learned that she was treated badly but also still carefully she was too valuable to damage. Her treatment had left large scars in her mind Rupert realized she would not turn until she was positive that her tormenters were destroyed. Mara told Rupert that the room across from hers was indeed a summoning room but also held the sealed true names of several demons giving the Bandits their tenuous loyalty. She also confirmed that Skull Crunch was indeed in charge, he had captured a power demon by way of a essence amulet. An essence amulet was a way demons protect themselves from destruction or loss of power when defeated, but if the amulet was taken it had the opposite effect, allowing the holder to great inflict pain to get favours.
With this information Rupert got Mara to let the imp out and as in a rat form briefly became visible and waved goodbye. The imp fled the fort and Rupert told it to have a few days off and mess around as he brought his mind a focus back to his body. He told Erky all he had learned and Erky called a meeting to inform the party and other relevant people of what had been learned, plans needed to be made.