In my games I’ve developed an interesting group called the Shaleburrow Bandits. They’re a massive, organized bandit group that’s hard to take down because Shaleburrow offers them sanctuary in exchange for them serving as the town guards. They also have contracts with some of the other settlements so they leave them alone and are allowed to roam free in each one. They’re hard to take down because the Guard has no authority to take them in unless a town turns them in, or unless they’re found outside of a settlement. When they travel, they don’t take the main roads. They dress in black tunics that cover their heads and faces. Their sign is a cluster of blackberries embroidered on the right sleeve of their black tunics. They have different areas of the territories assigned to different members of the group. Mainly the areas ambushed are the routes between Barkstone, Elmoss, Sprucetuck, and Dorigift. They never ambush anyone traveling on roads connected to Shaleburrow. All merchandise is taken to the head of their devision, who then sales it in a safe way and pays good wages out of the profits to the each member. Every once in a while, if there is something a bandit stole that is special to, he is allowed to keep it. If you are caught keeping merchandise without permission, you are instantly turned in to the Guard, or the nearest settlement. Because the Shaleburrow bandits have caused so much trouble in recent years, Gwindolyn has established a policy of complete annihilation if any are caught. There are no exceptions. She is tired of playing games with them. Many of the bandits don’t evan hide their position. They only visit the towns that sanction them. The group is growing bigger and bigger and some are afraid they may be raising money to build an army for themselves so that they can accomplish bigger goals on a bigger scale.
I’ve used much of this in my games. It’s fun because there are a lot of rules for the bandits and the guard, and rules are made to be broken. The Mouse Guard patrol in our games has had to interrogate a member of the bandit group because the bandits had a special antidote to a rabid disease spreading in the territories. They’ve had to struggle with inner compassion for certain bandits, while struggling with following Gwindolyns orders. One of the patrol named Laird, has an entire family in the bandits. He was born in Lockhaven prison at a very young age and was raised by a Lockhaven tradesmen for his entire life. He still holds close bonds and communication with his parents and to brothers who work in the Shaleburrow Bandits. One day he will decide between family or the guard. I wonder if his current belief(family before all, or something like) will be denied or considered at that point. He has the Guards Honor trait because he was raised in the Guard and they trust him. If he goes against the Guard, there will be blood to pay.
So far it’s worked out splendidly. The frustration of not being able to deal with a bandit when your talking to him face to face in Shaleburrow is particularly fun and trying to find ways to deal with them or bribe them or just make your move and suffer the consequences.
Feel free to use them. Tell me how it turns out or what you think of how I’ve been using them. Any ideas to improve them? Any comments? Any thoughts? Anything?