Being that the kids are 8 and 11, i simplified the hook and just narrated that they were hired by the king to go out to the green belt and make the area livable again for human settlements and to start one when it is.
So when they go to Oleg’s trading post, they met Oleg and Svetlana, who asked if they were here to defeat the bandits, to which they immediately said… “Uh… Maybe.”
At another table were the two NPCs, Frederico and Gaston. they joined the conversation and indicated that they had been recruited to make the area inhabitable and they woudl be willing to take care of the bandit problem. the kids said, “I thought that was our job, Dad.” I pointed out that it was and they had papers to prove it. the kids showed their papers, and the NPCs showed theirs and they decided to join forces. I start using the charismatic and talkative Frederico character to nudge the players to certain interactions if the kids are not picking up on subtle things in the game. I use Gaston to stand in the front and absorb attacks or to shoot his giant composite bow at bad guya so that the kids can have some breathing room to figure out combats.
The kids set up a very simple ambush, where they wait for the bansits to come and when they knock on the gate, they will start raining down arrows and musket bullets from the towers. this works surprizingly well. one of the bandits almost gets away, but is shot off of his horse by a well placed arrow.
The kids go through the bandits gear while Oleg tells them that they can stay and eat for free whenever they want and that he will buy any items form them at market value for a time.
This is where the kids show a different priority than some gming gorups. the first thing they divide up is the bandits’ trail rationsthen the horses. THEN they sell off the other stuff and start making orders with Oleg for other supplies. After some initial resistance by Rica, there is an order made to buy a lot of bullet making equipment for Manny. She originally thought it was a lot of money to spend on ammunition, but softened her stance when she saw that the gun was very damaging and was told that bullets are very hard to find, not like the arrows and crossbow bolts that are found on almost every foe.
So they made that order and are now waiting for the next session to decide what to do next.