It has been, thus far, a pleasant trip along the plains. Dan even thought he'd picked out that cave he spent a night in a few years back, though it could simply be a hill that looks similar. The atmosphere was peaceful and, the personal problems of the riders aside, very relaxing. It was, apparently, not meant to last. The lead driver opened a sliding metal window and spoke in a tremulous voice without bothering to turn to look into the slot:
"Er, Yah Highness, sir, there's somethin' up ahead! Looks like a gang o' bandits!"
The driver was right, but at this distance he could hardly tell that he was only half right. A gang of bandits was indeed along the road. However, they were not alone. Neb Nueva, Leothe, Anetta Faustus, and one hired mercenary were also there, fighting for their lives. Neb had originally hired two other men, but they already lay on the ground, dead. One was a pincushion of summoned arrows, and the other had been fried by a blast of white light. This battle had only just begun, and those still living were all fresh for this fight... but as it stood, it looked to be a very close contest indeed. Members of Neb's party have already fairly leapt from their cart, and are engaged against two wiry human men, who look disturbingly alike and wield twin short swords, a towering ork eagerly brandishing a longsword and a shield as well as some mismatched armor, an elven woman in extravagant crimson robes who holds a staff, and nekonian man in common clothes, who holds a mace and seems to be drawing symbols in the air with his off hand.
The wild eyes, wiry men rush forward as though they were a single being, and bear down on Neb's last mercenary. He puts up a valiant struggle to block their blows, but there's simply too many. He's quickly impaled and falls to the ground dead.
(Combat, as if you couldn't guess! Init: Myrnal, Human1, Dan, Human2, Neb, Annetta, Leothe, Ork, Elf, Nekojin, Kobakk. Neb is up! Myrnal and Dan count as held initiative until they reach the fight.)