There's some sort of bandit bossman standing here named Jagger Jack. He jumps me while I'm right in the middle of poisoning his dead dogs, so I don't even have time to make fun of his name before I kill him.
So this has been a good effort. I've cleaned out the bandit hideout, killed their leader, killed their dogs, killed a bunch of unrelated animals, and then tainted the ecosystem of Chetwood with deadly poison.
"Now," Ellie says after I return and report my success. "I'll see about getting you in to see their leader."
There is a really long pause. I have a question, which I am afraid to ask, "What leader?"
Ellie looks at me funny, "The bandit leader, ye urchin! Who do ye think?"
"I thought..." my voice tails off. I do sort of remember her saying something about a hidden base or whatnot, but I hadn't really been following very closely.
"So, who did I just kill," I ask quietly. "And more importantly: Why?"
"Ye killed the brigands what was breeding the dogs. I felt bad about helping them get those dogs if you remember."
"I guess, yeah," I lie.
"And this let me set things right."
I sigh: "So... all this work... the killing, the warg, the poison, the wolves and bears, Jagger Jack... all of that was just to satisfy your guilty conscience?"
"Aye, and ye done right by me."
"So your idea of repentance is to hire a stranger to slaughter a bunch of innocent animals?"
"And now it's time to go after the bandit leader!"
"But why didn't you send me to kill the bandit leader first!?! The dogs wouldn't be a problem if the bandits were broken and scattered. What were they going to do, elect a new master and invade town on their own?"
"Well, this is also your chance to rescue that ranger friend of yours," she shoots back.
Oh yeah. Forgot about that guy. Yeah. I guess I have to rescue him or admit I'm only in this for the fashion. Thus checkmated, I have no choice but to take the job.
Ellie Cutleaf gives me the super-secret directions on how to get to the bandit hideout. The real hideout. The main hideout. The hideout which, as it turns out, is right outside the lumber camp in Chetwood.
Whoops. I wasn't supposed to make this trip. My quest log says to go talk to Toradan first, which I didn't notice until I got to the bandit hideout, realized my mistake, and had to hike back. You might think it's unfair to count this trip since it was my fault, but you would be wrong for the following reasons:
1) Shut up.
So anyway, back to town...
Before I go charging off to assault the place all by my lonesome, I should stop by and speak with Toradan because apparently I hate myself.