Bandits are violent criminals who commonly attempt to waylay travelers in the more wild regions of the Surface and Avernum. Bandits typically live in communities, although the communities themselves may be completely unrelated and uncooperative with each other. Bandit communities are generally led by the most clever or strong bandit.
Many different types of bandit exist. Some may sell their abilities for a price, serving as pseudo-mercenaries to their employer. Others may specifically target merchant caravans and steal their goods. Finally, some bandits opt to live a more predictable life of smuggling. Smugglers generally work together for protection, and commonly live in the midst of large towns or other busy areas. Most bandits engage in all of these actions as the opportunities present themselves.
In the Empire
The Empire's stance on banditry was previously to Exile all caught bandits, but of late all bandits have been executed instead. However, the Empire's many laws and thinly spread enforcers make banditry a profitable if immoral and dangerous occupation.
Because of the Empire's Exiling of many bandits, Avernum has no shortage of bandits. Some decide to give up their life of crime, but more often they do not. When a person is discovered to be a bandit, they are sent into The Abyss, Avernum's solution to the problem of rampant psychopaths among it's population. Apart from The Abyss, minor but prolific bandit clans can be found in the Northeastern Exile region.
If a bandit manages to survive in Avernum proper for any time, most will eventually join up with a larger group of bandits. Typically, a single group of bandits controls a small and easily-defended structure, from which they can flaunt their freedom to the Kingdom of Avernum. Bandits may also live with nephilim tribes which are hostile to most humans. The bandit-mage Anastasia lived as bandit with a tribe of nephilim.