Trym (a wood-elf rogue), Raiann (a dragonborn fighter), Medea (a half-elf wizard), Arizima (a human monk), and Lizzie (a forest gnome rogue) arrived in Red Larch separately. They had seen one another at the boarding house and tavern, and had chatted with one another and with various townsfolk. Among other things, they learned that the constable was offering a small reward if someone could find and stop the bandits raiding the Long Road south of town. They took this job and became a party!
They found a guy at the boardinghouse that had survived a bandit attack, and he described it happening just after his group had crossed a large muddy patch with some logs laid across it.
After walking south for a few hours, the group found the mudhole with logs across it, but no sign of bandits. They pressed on another hour, then worked their way back, searching more thoroughly. They eventually found a faint trail to the side, followed it, and met a hostile group in a small clearing by a shallow cave in a steep hillside. Lizzie riled them up by taking a couple of pot-shots and hiding in the woods, and Arizima tried to calm them with an offer of bread, but the bandits soon returned fire, seemingly gaining the upper hand initially. The party retreated in several directions, with Raiann closely pursued and near death. The tide turned, however, when Trym & Medea snuck back and caught the remaining bandits unaware. A trail around the hill was located, but the party decided to head back to town with one surviving bandit and some low-value stolen goods they found in the cave.
After being welcomed as heroes, the party got a free meal in the tavern and rooms at the inn. It seemed like everyone wanted to thank the team and tell their own personal tale of mystery, including ghosts, plague, mystery skulls, and ancient treasure.
The next morning, they head back to the bandit camp to follow that trail, which very quickly leads to a spot where horses were obviously corralled recently. Hoofprints led back to the Long Road, then headed south. The party resolved to follow as far as they could but still return to town by evening. At the last possible moment, they saw a rider in the distance having trouble controlling a group of horses, and they quickly caught up. After a bit of conversation/interrogation Lizzie decided he was one of the bandits and shot him dead. Discoveries in the saddlebags (the “good stuff” of the goods the bandits had stolen) vindicated her, and the party rode back to town to more accolades! Most sold the ponies and gear for cold, hard cash, but Medea and Lizzie are stabling their mounts at the inn.
The next day, the party investigated a ghost sighting by a little girl, finding that it is a guardian for an ancient warrior’s tomb. They asked to enter the tomb to pay their respects, which the spirit allowed, and then they headed out. Upon leaving the tomb they soon found a small camp nearby, and were attacked by a goblin and a half-ogre. Although several of them were knocked out, Medea was able to put the monsters to sleep, at which point they were quickly dispatched by Lizzie and Trym. They took the half-ogre’s head back to town and were once again applauded for their service. They helped finish decorating the inn for the Highharvest festival and went to sleep for the night.