This article is the second in a series involving The Bandits of Lope. This is the second article in the series, describing the first real encounter with the bandits and possible repercussions.
On the Road
This encounter should take place on a road or well traveled trail in the wilds within the bandits' range of operations. The bandit leader Juro has set up a well planned ambush, selecting a site that provides positional advantage for his men and at least two good escape routes. Juro will have used his Fair illusion / concealment magic skill to further cloak his group. The ambushers consist of (see the original Bandits of Lope article for further description) Juro, the leader of the ambush and eight of the bandit rank and file.
Once the party enters the ambush area the trap is sprung. The spokesman of the bandits will block the path ahead while others will come out of hiding with missile weapons at the ready. Juro will be stationed near the spokesman, ready to direct the action or up the ante. The bandits are not interested in a fight. They'd rather use their superior tactical position to extract some gold or other valuables from the party, then cut them loose and disappear into the woods with Juro using his magical abilities to cover the trail. The bandits have mounts hidden nearby to insure their escape.
The bandits are not particularly fearsome foes for a competent group. If the ambush turns violent, Juro will order his men into battle without hesitation. The bandits will make good use of missile weapons, focusing their fire on the most dangerous-appearing target. The spokesman and Juro will close to melee with the nearest party member.
Should the conflict go badly for the bandits they will break into several groups and run. Juro will use his magical abilities to cover his group's trail as best he can. Fallen or badly wounded bandits will be left for dead by their companions.
If the party offers to pay Juro and his men for safe passage the bandits will exact a stiff toll in coin and / or goods. Any women with the party might be considered for kidnapping, and any goods carried will be searched for valuables. The bandits will take weapons (particularly ranged weapons), foodstuffs and small valuables they find. The goods taken should provide incentive for the party to pursue the bandits, but shouldn't be crippling losses.
If conflict breaks out and the party loses the fight, they'll be beaten, tied up and left for dead. Most of their gear will have been taken, along with any mounts they might have had.
Should the party win the fight they'll earn the long term hostility of the bandits. If Juro survives he'll seek out information about the party and their ties to the local community. Anyone associated with the party will be targeted for harassment or direct attack. Juro is a vengeful sort and he will have to prove himself to retain his position in the bandit hierarchy. Eventually Juro will seek another confrontation with the party.
If Juro is captured he'll likely face a severe penalty (maiming, long prison term, or execution). The bandits will certainly attempt a rescue, planned by Renis and aided by Timon. It's very likely this attempt will fail as the bandits don't have sufficient forces to overcome the local militia.
If Juro is slain or executed Renis will focus his hatred on the party as the agents of his brother's death. Subsequent posts in this series will assume Juro has been slain and Renis has set his revenge in motion.