The party tried to act fast. Beron quickly drew the party a quick sketch of the awaiting ambush; a narrow crevasse leading to a small clearing surrounded by steep cliffs. 4 bandits waited at the top of the cliffs; two at each side, while within the clearing, 4 or so bandits hid behind the large natural rocks.
They decided to split up. Sylin, Rolen and Beron would climb the southern cliff, while Malakarth and Malik would climb the northern face. They would sneak around and take out the bandits waiting above. Audra and Faen would wait below. Sylin insisted that none of the bandits be killed in the encounter. Faen and Malik agreed, but the others made no promises.
Sylin was the first climb, and almost instantly the rock face began collapsing around him. Very loudly. Meanwhile on the north side, Malik and King Slurp scaled the steep cliffs with ease. King Slurp was about to walk over a small rise towards the ambush spot, but quickly realized the bandits were all looking in his direction, alerted by the sound of the rock collapse. Luckily, they did not spot him. While Rolen, Beron and Sylin made another attempt at the challenge of climbing some rocks, Faen created some dancing lights in the centre of the canyon, to draw the bandits’ gaze away from them. It worked, and so Malik and King Slurp snuck up behind the bandits. As Malik slashed non lethally, King Slurp snapped the neck of the opponent without hesitation. Taking this to mean killing was allowed, Malik then murdered the other bandit.
Meanwhile on the south side, Sylin remained below, while Rolen and Beron approached the bandits. As Beron prepared to stealthily take out the bandits, Rolen fired an arrow at the other, and from it sprouted many thorns and vines, killing the bandits, and severely damaging Beron. Meanwhile in the canyon, the remaining party rushed in, to take care of the remaining bandits. One bandit had an axe launched at him from above, nearly severing his arm, and burning him to a crisp. Another was knocked out by the Rogue Faen. King Slurp leapt from rock to rock, towards the leader of the ambushers. Malik attempted to replicate Slurp’s deft movements, but failed. Upon realizing his archers were dead, the bandit captain surrendered, and the 3 remaining bandits were tied up while the party began arguing about the killing.
Sylin, being a former paladin, believed that the bandits did not deserve to die, and were merely trying to survive or something like that. Faen agreed. The others argued that it was better to kill them so they don’t rob anyone else and Rolen wanted to eat them or something. Beron stayed neutral. Eventually they sent the bandit captives back to town, and Sylin threatened to go with them if the party did not change their ways. The party agreed to no longer kill the bandits.
After passing through a small refugee camp, where the party taught the refugees how to trap animals for food, they found the bandit hideout; a series of rooms dug into a hillside, with a somewhat hidden entrance. As they entered, they found a large wooden wall with a door, and through it they heard bandits. Sylin and Faen decided to impersonate bandits, and be taken to the leader of the redfists. The bandits on guard believed them, and they were brought directly before Redron Thunderfist.
After some discussion, Sylin convinced Redron that to the north (in Gnoll territory!) there was a large, abandoned temple, filled to the brim with elvish weaponry and armour. Additionally, it would make a much better hideout than this one! Redron, after some careful consideration, and persuasion on Sylin and Faen’s part, agreed to march the remaining bandits north in full force, to find this temple! And so they left, leaving the new recruits Faen and Sylin to take care of the old hideout, and clear of the rust monster infestation. And so the party did, eventually clearing out some rocks blocking passage into an old room.
Inside, they found Dormian’s hammer.