The Bandits of Dailat
A loose conglomeration of various bandit groups live in the Wasted Lands. They inhabit various forests, rocky outcrops, abandoned keeps etc. in the area. They prey on the caravans that travel between Ashoyin and Beltavia, with occasional raids into these territories. Some of the poorer, fringe groups are little more than thugs that will kill you as soon as look at you. The various groups have had to learn to live together and respect each other's boundaries over the years and this produced a loose alliance, but there are always troublemakers - they're bandits after all - and groups wanting to expand at the expense of their neighbours.
One notable group, lead by the Bandit "Queen" Gemara (Gem to her friends) is almost civilised. They let non-combatants that surrender to pass on unmolested (minus their valuables obviously), they treat ransomable prisoners quite well, they look after their own sick, elderly and wounded with care.
The band have a secure camp deep in the Dailat Forest, within the crater of a small extinct volcanco, that can only be reached through a concealed secret entrance. They live in stout log cabins and cultivate gardens, and despite its name the Wasted Lands is quite abundant so there is plenty to hunt and plants to gather. They fence most of their stolen goods though contacts in Nyerdhan and Ashoyin, the instability there making it easy to get past the authorities, and have given the Jade Sword some logistical assistance.
Gemara the Bandit Queen.
A brassy, voluptuous beauty with henna-red hair and a saucy grin. She wears several green ribbons in her dyed hair, and lots of rather tawdry jewelry. Her clothes, although of the finest quality that the passing caravans can supply, seem to be made up from several different outfits cobbled together. When not skulking through the forest she likes bright gaudy colours.
Gem is a former concubine/body guard (she was trained at a Butterfly School) to a Llaza merchant who decided to travel up the Far Anhui to check on his interests seventeen years ago. Their caravan was captured and the merchant ransomed, but Gemara elected to stay behind and soon rose to a position of leadership. Her quick wits, determined attitude and generous heart inspire loyalty in her band who have prospered under her command. She is skilled in unarmed combat, bow and staff.