Campaign of the Month: June 2018

Shaintar Legends Awaken: Rangers of the Greenway Road; Regional Command-Echer'Naught

Thomas Zulcrum Report 1
Personal Leave

Report Personal Time
Lt. Celebor,
It goes without saying that I have successfully completed my training to become Ark fire trained. However the time has left me a little weary of those who I do not know and I wish to start my post back with srgt. Evoren as soon as possible. The details of how I was trained goes as follows. I went south and found nothing. So I headed to another lead that winded me up into the valenwood forest where I was trained everything went without insedent.

Thomas Zulcrum

Campaign Report 65
Wolfhaven Dishonored

Kura’Kai Report
32nd day of Red Wolf, Year 3125

I have been instructed to write a reports.

This is my report.

Even in my home gather, the legend of the “Bear Killer”s was well known. They were all followers of the Great Wolf, the slayer of gods, leader of the armies of the Southern KIngdoms. I knew I wanted to fight alongside these great warriors.

It took many weeks to arrive in Olara, but finding the Rangers was not difficult. Many in Olara spoke of the Rangers on trial for murdering Olaran citizens in cold blood. The “Bear Killers” I admire warriors who let no one, friend of foe, to stand in their way.

[Planting Moons 30th]
I arrived in Olara [capital city] late afternoon. On my way to the Ranger Outpost I encountered a battle in the streets. Two Ranger females were engaged in glorious combat with two Olaran males. One Ranger was viciously slain by a good stab through abdomen. The other Ranger, now outnumbered was certain to die gloriously.

As I was to join the Rangers, I decided to intervene. I hoped she would forgive my denying her an honorable death. The two Olarans die well.

After which, I noted that the dead Ranger was alive, though she was soon to join the ancestors. I suggested we depart. It seemed wise as I was already heading to the outpost. I carried the wounded Ranger.

We arrived at the outpost to find an Eldakar, an Alakar, and a Dwarf interrogating a drunk human. The Alakar was upset by my handling of the body. She instructed me to “cradle” the wounded woman like a baby. Noting the Corporal cloak clasp, I complied.

Leaving behind the drunk, the elf and the dwarf, the Corporal led me out back to a small shrine of Light. There I found a human male and an Aevakar, both bearing the symbol of the Church of Light and the trappings of the Rangers. Following orders, I lay the dying woman on the altar and allowed the Priest to do his work.

To my surprise, the pigeon saved the girl. Despite obvious relief at her being alive, the Corporal seemed very angry. I reconsidered my decision to save her life. Given leave, I returned to the main HQ to find the commander of the “Bear Killers”.

The Sergeant was the Eldakar. A mage, from his robes and staff. He was starring down other female Ranger I saved. the dwarf and the drunk hung back. I have difficulty understanding human behavior, but it seemed that they might soon come to blows.

Sadly, not.

I provided my papers to the Sergeant. He asked a few questions. Then, I joined the Rangers.

Shortly, the Corporal returned with the not dead girl. She and the other woman stood at attention while the Sergeant screamed at them. I understood little. It had something to do with a Longtail and disobeying orders. The Corporal eventually stood between and ordered the two women to their room.

After which, the Sergeant instructed me to prevent anyone from the “Bear Killers” from leaving the outpost. I was not allowed to kill. Only severely maim.

[Planting Moons 31st]
The following morning, we all gathered in the common room. The drunk cooks. Danica, the female Ranger not killed was issued a verbal warning for not maiming her partner. The resurrected Ranger was given a written reprimand for directly disobeying orders. And dying.

I was confused. Why was the criminal not simply killed? Understanding these Rangers was going to be more difficult than I imagined.

My hopes of glorious bloodshed dead, I ate and waited for orders. I waited weeks hoping that one of the team would attempt to leave. Perhaps the undead girl. I was to be disappointed.

[Red Wolf 4th]
One morning weeks later local Olarans came for the girl. I considered preventing them from taking her, per orders. However, having already killed two Olarans I felt sure they might take more slaughter badly. Olarans are known to get emotional. Also, the drunk was arrested for starting a row in the kitchen, and then nearly burning the outpost down.

He was arrested by the Rangers. I offered to take care of him, but they refused. I returned to my guard post. At first, this posting seemed good. Two kills on the first day. Now I am reconsidering.

When the Sergeant discovered two of his team had been arrested on the same day, he was put out. I was summoned to give testimony about the attack on the two Rangers weeks ago. All I could say was that the Rangers were losing a fight and I stepped in to prevent both women being slain. I never saw how the fight began.

Luckily, this disqualified me from visiting the girl in jail. Instead, the Sergeant, who cannot speak Olaran (how idiotic) took the Corporal, Danica (the female Ranger), and the Priest.

Here is what I know: A) the Olarans believe that the two female Rangers defied orders and went in search of some man named Velkalar, B) during this investigation, they are accused of slander against the crown and inciting violence, C) this group seems terrified of Velkalar.

The Sergeant was able to get the girl released, but it took two weeks. Odd, he did not seem happy about rescuing her. Every time I think I understand, I do not. The Priest saved the girl, but the Sergeant was mad. The Rangers free the girl, again the Sergeant was mad. Maybe he is just an angry elf?

[Red Wolf 16th]
It was another few weeks before the Olarans released the girl. The Sergeant waited until the girl returned before getting the drunk out of jail. Once again, we were all called together. This time, almost everyone yelled. Velkalar. Longtail. Wolfhaven.

This unit does more yelling than fighting. They also think they are to blame for dishonoring the Wolf…or Velkalar is? These people make very little sense.

The winged elf shouted at the mage elf and threatened to quit. The Corporal tried to calm them and was shouted at by the Sergeant. The human from the Church tried to be calming. The drunk and the dwarf said nothing. It was tiring and boring.

The Priest did quit. I was not sad to see him go. He seemed…prideful.

But, the rest of the team decided to leave the city which was good. Maybe we will finally see battle? We left that afternoon and headed south. We traveled many days by horse. I do not like horses.

[Red Wolf 31st]
We finally arrived at a dump on the edge of Olaran lands. If living with this unit was bad, travelling was worse. The angry, awkward silences.

Our new home belongs to the drunk which might explain sad condition. We found a group of Olaran soldiers sent to help us. They did not seem pleased. The Sergeant did not seem pleased that the Olarans called us “Bear Killers,” though I do not know why. I was not pleased to be there.

The Rangers bathed. I waited. We gathered again. This time, no yelling.

Here is what I know: A) this group of Olarans, commanded by Captain Helt, ambushed a Shaya’Nor wagon train heading south toward elven lands, B) my new team had, with Olaran help, destroyed some Shaya’Nor supply base north of us, C) there are local stories of haunted trees (stupid).

[Red Wolf 32nd]
We left early in the morning headed to place where the wagon was ambushed by the Olarans. From there, we would head south to meet a friend of the drunk’s Alakar houskeeper; some elf monk? Honestly, it will likely involve more riding and probably yelling.

Sergeant Eldakar: He seems smart, but angry. Always yelling, then feeling sad. I think he should drink more. I have not seen him in battle. Hopefully he is better in combat than in meetings.

Corporal Alakar: She seems competent. I have heard that her bow is death. Mostly she follows the Sergeant and tries to make people feel better about being yelled at.

Corporal Aevakar, Priest: Arrogant, but with good magic. He carried a bow, but seemed more of the healer type. Gone now.

Ranger Human male, Church person: Quiet. I do not know if just stupid, or nothing important to say. At least he does not yell. Hopefully he fights better.

Ranger Dwarf: Silent.

Ranger Human female, soldier: Danica can fight. But, she failed to prevent the girl from leaving. Maybe not smart enough, or simply unable to do what she must.

Ranger Girl: Brash, weak fighter. She taught me a “fist bump.” This is some form of bonding. Perhaps I will partner with her?

Drunk: Idiot.

Beta Team Field Report 1
MomoCon 2016

Corporal Wolfhaven, Alfred
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara
Fifteenth Day of Red Wolf, Year 3125 Under the Light

We know Velkalar monitors our every move from the most critical missions down to our sanitary supplies. What most of our illustrious leadership seem incapable of considering is that Velkalar does not, in fact, have to even utilize his own agents to breach our security.

Our enemies are Legion. At least one Shade is known to be still within Echer’Naught’s walls. Petty men like RabenClau and Halten watch our every move. Red Store, Tor Mastak, Shayakar Nightguard, hells even our own town hore are all enemy agents. All Velkalar must do is watch the watchers. How many of our own little games have spun threads which hung our own kin? I wonder…

When I was found by the Ranger I was a terrified boy with no family and condemned to a life of brutal servitude to a master who saw me as little more than a slave. Wolfhaven, Hawksclaw, Longtail, even Highwall, these Rangers were like gods to a poor stable boy, invincible, immortal…

Time has proven otherwise. No being, no matter how powerful, cannot be destroyed. Even Velkalar has a weakness. And his, is hubris.

The plan was simple. Father always said the simplest plans were the most successful. Simple, yet elegant.
I approached Sergeant Major Stormhammer with a critical mission. New potential allies within Galea required a rare shipment. Also, I needed it expedited at the highest levels, but slipped through. No one other than we two would know of the mission.

He arched a brow at that, but complied.

The bait was set. By my estimation, Velkalar’s spies would discover the requisition buried among the mundane and quickly realize its importance. Therefore, I added a wrinkle. Stormhammer had less than 24 hours to process mission which included a large, heavy wagon, pack animals and funds for outside security.

Note I conveniently revealed the destination?

If our enemies were going to ambush us along the rode in our heavy, plodding wagon, they would still need to move very quickly to mobilize a force of sufficient size to ensure victory. That usually takes time. Time I was not allowing.

Men can be assembled quickly, but it is a messy affair and without finesse or subtlety. Certain my nemesis’ forces were already in motion set to meet me along the road, I began phase two of my little operation.
I failed to mention to the good Sergeant that there was no delivery as there were no new allies in Galea. The package was in reality my team: Lugard, Gwyn, and Rysak. For weeks I had them running routine duties under other commands. I, myself, took a leave of absence. More chum in the water.

The mission was submitted on the 29th of Planting Moons, with a proposed departure date of the 30th. Everything looked good until a wild, mountain man wandered into the HQ and very nearly ruined everything.
Thomas Zulcrum, fresh from his “leave” had decided to return at that precise moment. His sudden re-appearance might have spooked Velkalar’s network. If they were not already aware of his return, I surely was not going to let his blundering ruin months of planning.

Before he reached the front desk I quietly, if forcefully, escorted him out of the HQ and to the house of an acquaintance with no connection to the Rangers. There, he waited for the rest of my team that had orders to assemble at the loading site by separate routes just before the wagon was set to roll out.

An hour after I was to have departed with my team, now in the wagon, I informed Sergeant Major that unforeseen issues with security would delay my departure. He was kind enough to authorize a three day delay. Just enough time to collect a few low level street toughs that might make passable caravan guards.

It just so happened that Olara, in a fit of national pride, were hosting recruiting drives across the country in preparation for a war with Shaya’Nor, should it come to that. All I had to do was hang around the Muster Grounds looking for suitable candidates. I found three.

The first was an Olaran solider. Dommer…Donner? In any case, he was strong enough to swing a sword, and smart enough not to ask stupid questions. He hired on first. I barely had to ask.

The other two were a bit trickier: a dwarf and a brinchie.

Krivak was the dwarf’s name, a wright, engineer, and warrior from the Forgehome. He was, in all ways, a dwarf as so many are. But, I found him plucky enough and he passed the Esprit test with flying colors even if his combat abilities were uninspiring. A few ales, and he can’t even swing straight. He also has something of a mouth on him, one that will likely lead him into a scrap he’s not tough enough to survive. Time will tell.

The brinchie calls herself Softpaws. Like so many of her kind, she is far too pleased with her own cleverness. But, she can track, sneak, and fight. The girl has a savage streak, no doubt, but she is so fixed on being “terrifying” that she wastes precious energy in battle. That, and her little signature throat ripping move is going to lead her enemies right to her one day. If she lives long enough to get over herself, she might make a passable Ranger.

After passing their auditions, I invited them to a friend’s place and offered them a job. The Olaran accepted before I finished asking. Krivak more or less shrugged. If he was going to fight, might as well fight for me. Softpaws just wanted money. Piss poor reason to fight, but makes her easier to manipulate so I will not look a gift horse in the mouth.

They bedded down on the 33rd of Planting Moons. By my estimation, Velkalar, or his lackeys, had just enough time to roust out a band of thugs and send them scurrying off to intercept us on the road to Galea. If I was right, they would already be in the field when the spies learned of our unfortunate “delay”. Either they would have an adept or signaler in their party (unlikely), or not.

Either way, Velkalar’s band of bloodthirsty highwaymen would quickly find themselves waiting by a lonely stretch of road for a wagon three days away with nothing better to do than to gamble, drink, and fight. Three days was just long enough to encourage them to build a decent camp, but not long enough that they might think of packing up and leaving.

We left Echer’Naught on the morning of the 1st of Red Wolf amidst the early traffic. I doffed my cloak and none of my “guards” had any identifiable markers on them either. To everyone else, we looked like wealthy caravan guards protection some fatcat’s precious cargo. To Velkalar’s spies, we were chicken ripe for the plucking.

To be fair, I expected the hit much earlier. We were halfway to Hale, five days (Red Wolf 5th) when Krivak took the first arrow in the back. One minute, we are trudging along the road, the next all hell breaks loose. Arcfire blasts from the treeline to my right, and behind us, I hear the bellow of an Ogre.

I’ll give them credit. They put their three days to good use. The bandits had created hunting blinds around the ambush site. With a few quick slashes of a blade, walls of shrubs and limbs fell away to reveal dozens of armed men and women. It was a textbook ambush.

It was also a trap.

My trap.

As soon as I heard Krivak cry out, I put my horn to my lips and blew. The sides of my wagon shot up and my team leaped out, weapons at the ready. On the left, Lugard up front with Thomas in the rear. On the right, Rysak held the front while Gywn to the rear. Suddenly, the Olaran, Dommer, was flanked by a Paladin and a deranged Olaran in plate. Krivak found himself standing by a dwarf with filed teeth and a slight human girl with a bow half a head taller than herself.

Softpaw brought up the rear more or less by her lonesome.

I, out front, released the horn of Wolfhaven and readied my spear. It was time for some just deserts.

The bandits came in fast and hard, trying to overwhelm our defensive line while their archers, and arclancer, peppered us from the trees. At first, Softpaws took the worst of it as she was out of line and without support.
In waves, three brigands rushed her. She managed to drop two before the last, quite literally, ripped out her throat. How she remained standing, I’ll never know. The wound seemed less to kill her as it just pissed her off more. She went on a bloody rampage of throat ripping that would have shamed a vampire.

Krivak and Rysak cut their way through waves of bandits trying to reach the arclancer who was making scrap iron out of Rysak’s armor. Gywn handled herself well until Softpaw’s decided to start eating a bandit right beside her. I suppose I cannot hold the brinchie at fault. She couldn’t know about the girl’s past.

On the left flank, Dommer, Lugard and Thomas faced off against at least as many bandits as well as an Ogre in full plate. Lucky for them, the stupid oaf attacked the wagon first. I’ll bet the only orders it received was to stop the wagon. Dumb brute.

Once the wagon was kindling, it turned its attention on Thomas and proceeded to driver the Olaran into the ground like a tent peg. In the end, the Ranger felled the giant with a well-placed hand-caster shot that melted flesh and armor.

Note that Thomas appears to have received the Arcfire training he so desperately sought.
The Olaran did well enough, as did Lugard. Once I dispatched the two men blocking out path, I turned my attention to the enemy commander who was firing on us from a small rise to my left.

From his armor and bearing, I place him as a Maelstrom commander, or perhaps a true Kal warrior. Either way, I closed the distance quickly, hoping to catch him off balance. Instead, he recovered first and, dropping his bow, drew a Warhammer. His first blow caught me in the chest and ripped me from the saddle.

In the background I could hear my team mopping up the rest of the bandits, but their leader was tough. We traded blows, he using his weight and strength to gain advantage, I longer reach and an overwhelming desire to cut out his heart. In the end, I settled upon skewing him to the dirt and he upon gasping his death rattle like a poleaxed sow.

To my surprise, the entire time had come through more or less unscathed. Gwyn was frozen and Softpaw was bleeding out her gaping throat, but Thomas stitched her easily enough and Lugard coaxed Gwyn to moving again.

Minor medical issues managed, I dispatched them into teams: some to scout for more bandits and some to scour the area for the enemy camp I estimated would be within a few hundred yards. Before searching the area, I had the brinchie check the fallen brigands. None of the bandits survived. Afterwards, Softpaw found the enemy camp just over 200 yards to the south in a small copse of trees. She did have a devil of a time trying to explain that. He wound, it seems, has rendered her mute.

The camp was a sorry affair, but decent enough considering the inhabitants. Again, I dispatched my men into search teams. We found armor, trash, broken bottles and other bits of detritus. Softpaw managed to find coin minted in the northern Wildlands near the Howling River ports. That, along with the large swath of tracks leading to the south east provided our next heading.

We rested the night in the camp and started out on the 6th for Erimar. Six days across country, and an afternoon ferry ride found us in Erimar on the 12th. We entered Erimar late afternoon. I stayed at the docks with the team sending in only the dwarves. Krivak proved to be quite chatty and, posing as bounty hunters, managed to find information regarding someone who might know about Ranger bounties south of the town.
Our entire time in Erimar proved Velkalar’s influence. Everyone was armed and all treated us with suspicion. I was nearly positive our presence had already reach the ears of our enemy, but I was curious to see this farce through.

We made a half-day trek in half the time, climbing into the Northern Hills. It was around this point that Thomas revealed that he had learned on his quest of enemy agents in Montrel, just on the other side of this range. That squares with other reports I have read and the fact that the Blood Lord’s Citadel was buried somewhere under the Northern Hills.

If this isn’t Velkalar’s base of operations, then it is at least a stronghold.

Just as day faded to night, we arrived a large complex nestled in a small bluff overlooking Erimar. If it were not an enemy fortress, it might have even been charming. We sent Softpaw ahead to scout the ground while we waited a safe distance.

She reported back through some wild pantomiming that the complex appeared empty. So, I ordered my team inside, cautiously. Entering, it certainly seemed vacant.

There were two main structures. I sent Thomas and Rysak to investigate the smaller of the two. For some reason Softpaw and Dommer decided to follow. I considered speaking up, but decided to let things play out.
We had a brief start when Thomas bashed open the front door. Apparently he dislodged a broom which fell to the floor causing him to jump like a school girl seeing a mouse. Eventually he overcame his fear of rakes and headed inside with the others.

They were gone a bit when Krivak got impatient and decided to take Lugard into larger structure. Again, I elected to allow this brashness. Either the buildings were empty and I could address the insubordination at a later, more convenient, date, or, this was, as I suspected, a trap. In which case, they would at least flush out my enemies for me like good soldiers.

In the end, it was a bit of neither. I assumed Velkalar would use traps. He is nothing if not predictable. This is why I hired Krivak, the Olaran, and conscripted Thomas. They should, at least, soak up some damage.
What I did not expect was for Velkalar’s men to have mined the entire complex. That was an intriguing surprise. Krivak and Lugard apparently stumbled across many interesting things, finely sewn women’s clothing, no doubt stitched by Sarah and even rose scented water in the lavatory. But, their greatest discovery was entering a room filled with the stench of blood an offal.

Sadly, they retreated before actually seeing what was in the cells lining the room and, in doing so, set off booby-traps that obliterated both structures with everyone inside. I suppose we may never know how many prisoners we torched in that fire.

For the second time I was shocked to see that nearly everyone made it out alive. Only Thomas was badly wounded as he was weighed down so by his plate armor. The rest managed to quickly clear the buildings suffering only moderate to severe burns in most cases.

Our evidence slowly burning to ash around us, I ordered a retreat. No sense in giving Velkalar easier targets. We fell back to a good place down the mountains; easily defensible if need be. There, I forced Greater Healing potions down Thomas’ throat until the Ranger sputtered and coughed into consciousness. He truly looked awful, but he was conscious and that is all I required.

Before departing, I borrowed an arcfire teleporter from the Ranger HQ, knowing Thomas could operate it in the event we needed a swift escape. Now, I thrust the tangle of wires and gears into his hands and, with them, our lives. Impressively, he managed to activate the device through gritted teeth. I can imagine the pain he was in.

With a flash of Arcfire and our bodies being ripped to shreds before fused back together, we returned to Echer’Naught. The mission was hardly a success, but we did discover a great deal about Velkalar’s operations. We also managed not to lose a single soldier. Yes, Softpaw is permanently crippled, Rysak’s chest was badly burned by arcfire, Thomas has lost most of his skin, and even Krivak got badly cooked.

But, in most engagements with Velkalar we tend to lose at least one team member, so I will report this as a qualified success. Both Softpaw and Thomas asked to remain on the team after recuperating in the infirmary. Gwyn will not like working with the brinchie, but she will learn to accept, or not.

I am left with one question. How soon did our enemies know of my plans? Clearly they had enough time to abandon their outpost and even enough time to set their trap. It would also seem that they were unsurprised at our arrival in Erimar. So, did they get word during our week long ride south? Or, did we miss a scout at the ambush site; someone reporting our progress even before the attack?

Perhaps Velkalar is more clever than all that. Perhaps, he knew all along and simply sacrificed a few pawns to lure me deeper into his trap. He is truly a skilled gamesman.

This proves to be an interesting contest indeed.

Your most obedient servant,
Alfred Wolfhaven, Corporal
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

Rogue Faction Play
Summer 3125
Campaign Report 64
Evoran Arrested, Thorgram Convicted

Farspeaker, Eris Moonsilver

As relayed from Echer’Naught Alpha team under command of Sergeant Evoran Que’kasaars

Fifteenth Day of Planting Moons, Year 3125 Under the Light

There is no heroism without sacrifice. This, I find, is the most significant truism of my life. I have lost my love, my surrogate father, my sister, my niece, my dearest friends… Worse, sometimes, death is the easier burden to bear…

I contact Sergeant Que’kasaars as scheduled by dawn on the 3rd of Golden Eagle. He and his team were established in the Great Library of Rhion under the protection and graces of the Order of the Steel Quill. The Grandmaster himself ensured their safety.

Sergeant Que’kasaars and Corporal Silverfeather delved deep into the ancient lore of Olara seeking locations of potential artifacts, weapons, or hidden masters from the Age of Darkness and before. Their labors took a month, ending only on the 33rd of Golden Eagle, five weeks to the day. My last report, before the team closed down for the eve was that Evoran believed he was close, lacking on a piece of information that might break the case open.

Later, I discovered that the team broke late in the evening, Corporals Silverfeather and Ravenwood stepped away to have a quite tea and discuss the Sergeant’s levels of stress. The remaining Rangers, under the watchful eye of the Sergeant, retired to a tavern in a vain efforts to wash away their frustration with ale. All seemed well until they exited the pub sometime after the 13th hour.

As they made their way toward their inn, none noticed the army of thugs waiting in alleys and behind carts. Just a block from their destination, the party was attacked in the shadows of Rhion’s gritty streets. The attack was as brutal as it was sudden and, though the Rangers held their ground, numbers were stacked heavily against them.

Things seemed dire when Ranger Toma signaled Corporal Ravenwood telepathically and alerted her to the attack. As fortune would have, the Corporals happened to be just around the block. They managed to arrive in moments and take the enemy by surprise.

With death from the shadows, via the archers, and the Rangers rallying, the battle began to turn…when Ranger 1st Class Thorgram fell again… In a fit of berskerk rage, the Ranger literally ripped the enemy leader in half, spraying the team with gore. Corporal Samira, fearing that at the raging half-orc might turn on the Sergeant who lay bleeding nearby, took down with a well-placed arrow. His body fell heavily on the already wounded Sergeant.

Corporal Silverfeather flew in and summoned Archanon’s healing energies to soothe the wounds of the Rangers and recover the Sergeant from where he had fallen. Just as the Rangers were recovering, a soft clapping echoed through the suddenly quiet courtyard. A figure emerged, dark of skin and impeccably dressed, the duelist addressed Rangers.

He introduced himself as Alphonz Domingo Ferrara Diego Castellano, Diego for short. The Nazitiran apologized for the attack, but he needed to determine if the Rangers were truly worthy of his blade. It seemed that he was seeking Velkalar’s bounty on their heads. Fortunately for the Rangers, but not their pride, Diego found them lacking and merely departed with a sigh.

Shaken, and demoralized, the Rangers found a well to wash of the blood before delivering the unconscious thug to the local authorities. Then, hung over and sore, the Rangers returned to the Inn to discuss this newest development. Velkalar’s reach had clearly grown and the Rangers were now in serious danger in Rhion. Diego would not be the last assassin.

They had a fitful sleep waiting to hear from the Olaran Warden in the morning about the prisoner waking. Sergeant Que’kasaars was on guard when the hall outside their rooms was suddenly filled with the tromp of heavy boots. A Captain of House Olara, flanked by four Sergeants at arm, approached Sergeant Que’kasaars with an order for his arrest.

Ranger Toma fetched Corporal Ravenwood who officially took command of the Rangers on the 1st of Planting Moons, 3125 as Sergeant Que’kasaars was remanded into Olaran custody and led away in irons. Even as the Sergeant departed, a runner arrived with news that the prisoner was awake. Heavily fatigued, the Rangers roused themselves and headed to the goal.

The prisoner, a local thug revealed little. Diego had informed him, and his companions, of the large bounty on the heads of the Rangers. He knew nothing of Velkalar or Diego. More defeated than ever, the Rangers left the man in gaol. It was at this point that Ranger Toma contacted me and I, in turn, reached out to Corporal Ravenwood.

As soon as I was informed, I sent a runner to our local Olaran represented, the honorable Sheriff Halten who confirmed, rather gleefully, that Sergeant Que’kasaars was under arrest for the murder of an Olaran citizen and that he was being transported to the city of Olara for trial. Knowing how swift, and lethal, Olaran justice can be, Lt. Celebor ordered the team to Olara as well in the hopes that they could, at the very least, represent Evoran at the trial.

The trip was uneventful. They even managed to pass the prison wagon on the road to Kore. I messaged ahead so that a place would be prepared for the team at the Ranger HQ. It took the Rangers 5 days to reach Olara, Evoran arrived 2 days after that. The trial was set for the 15th of Planting Moons. For the next two weeks, Corporal Ravenwood required that the Rangers remain within the local HQ compound. There was no knowing how quickly Velkalar’s assassins would track them, but if Sheriff Halten in Echer’Naught knew of Evoran’s arrest, it was assured that Velkalar’s spies, not to mention Vainar’s, were also aware.

The trial on the 15th was as straightforward as expected. The Rangers were allowed to enter the King’s Keep, without weapons, to attend the trail in a small chamber used for higher level justice. Instead of a panel of judges, there was one Chancellor who heard Evoran’s case.

The Rangers spoke, one after another, recounting their memories of the battle and the events leading up to the tragedy. In all, the trial lasted less than an hour. After hearing all evidence, the Chancellor agreed that the incident was a tragic accident, but pointed out that this was the second time that Sergeant Que’kasaar’s team had killed Olaran citizens. As Evoran represented the Ranger Corps and large, and his unit in particular, the unit, under his command, was guilty of criminal negligence and subject to the king’s justice.

He was found guilty on all charges.

The Chancellor offered to allow Sergeant Que’kassars an official protest. He pointed out that the power and prestige of the Rangers would almost guarantee that his sentence would be lessened or possibly entirely commuted. None of Wolfhaven’s men would ever take that deal.

Therefore, the Chancellor prepared to issue his ruling when Ranger 1st Class Thorgram stood and addressed the court. It was he who slew the first citizens in a fit of Flame touched rage and so it was to him that the punishment should fall.

Over Evoran’s strident protests, Thorgram adamantly refused to budge. His duty is to protect his team regardless of the consequences. In the face of such selflessness, Evoran acquiesced and Thorgram was sentenced to six month hard labor in Olaran incarceration. With a last request to take care of Muriel, Thogram was led away in chains.

With that, the Chancellor declared the trial concluded and Sergeant Que’kasaars free to go. The Olarans left the courtroom to attend other business while the Rangers sat in silence. Evoran wept.

After a time, the Rangers, minus Thorgram, returned to the local HQ to discuss their next move.

There can be no heroism without sacrifice. Why must it always be those few who must do the sacrificing?

Farspeaker, Eris Moonsilver

Campaign Report 63
Good men die

Farspeaker, Eris Moonsilver
as relayed from Echer’Naught Alpha team under command of Sergeant Evoran Que’kasaars

Third Day of Golden Eagle, Year 3125 Under the Light

I see, yet have no sight
I hear, yet there is no sound
I feel, yet may not weep
I act, yet cannot move

What follows is the truest accounting of the efforts of Sergeant Que’kasaars Rangers to seek out the forces of Darkness on a Long Recon mission to the north.

We resume on the 7th day of First Hunt while the Rangers grappled with Corporal Samira Ravenwoods miraculous, if troublesome, conversion into a Tempest Druid. Though her life was saved, the lingering doubts as to her fitness for duty only redoubles.

However, that same morning, workers at the Wolfhaven Barony reported the arrival of a boy, starved and scarred to death.

Sergeant Que’kasaars and Ranger 1st Class Ramshorn went to speak with the boy and, through translators, learned that he was the sole survivor of an attack on an Olaran village to the north west. The Rangers elect to investigate as is their mandate, leaving the boy at the manor. His name, I learned is Jaques and he, when stable, will be sent to the Orphanage here in Echer’Naught.

The Rangers departed on horseback around mid-morning.

At the same time, Corporal Sarin Silverfeather has a vision of impending doom. He rallies a member of the Temple of the Silver Unicorn, an Aevakar, to join him as he departs to warn the Rangers. It would appear the Celestial Halls foresee a great evil befalling our world and if the Rangers cannot stop Shaya’Nor’s forces from gathering powerful Relics from the Age of Darkness, all might be lost.

No relevant news until the 10th of First Hunt. Corporal Silverfeather arrives safely without incident.

No relevant news until the 12th of First hunt. As the party camps near where they believe the attack to have occurred, they are spotted and reconned by an enemy scout. A Troglodyte. The scout escapes to betray their position. Corporal Silverfeather scouts the sky and easily spots a swath of destruction. It appears that more than one village may have been raided.

The following day, around noon on the 13th of First Hunt, the Rangers arrive at the burned village. According to Sergeant Que’kasaars, the attack was definitely by forces of Darkness. All valuables, things normally taken by bandits, remained, but there were no bodies, dead or alive.

Ranger Danica suggested the team camp away from the village as Darkness often leaves buried corpses to act as sentries and shock troops to ambush enemy scouts. No attack occurred, and nothing stirred in the village that night.

The following morning on the 14th, the Rangers continued north following a set of tracks. There were at least two, if not three large tracks. The first, oldest, appeared to be made by the Darkness forces which attacked. Included were massive footprints of Trolls. Also, the shuffling gate of prisoners. Rangers found detritus, food, clothes and even children’s toys scattered where they were dropped by those unfortunate souls.

The second column of tracks ran parallel and appeared to be mercenaries. Who this was, and how they were involved was still a mystery. The Rangers also took a parallel route on the opposite side of the enemy’s tracks and rode north.

No relevant news until the 16th of First Hunt. Rangers spot an enemy encampment on a wooded hill just off the enemy route. The Rangers take up observational posts and monitor the enemy position. Later that night, or early on the 17th, the enemy forces dowse their cook fires and appear to leave before dawn’s light.

Just after light, on the 17th of First Hunt, Sergeant Que’kasaars orders his Rangers to scout the enemy camp in force. They manage to get within short bowshot when the Sergeant sees the glint of metal and realizes the enemy has set up an ambush. Exposed, on untested mounts and in a clear field of fire, he orders an attack.

The Rangers cut loose unleashing magic and arrows against the entrenched forces. Sergeant Que’kasaars himself blasts apart their barricade and the three men behind. Drainar answers with his own blast. Corporal Ravenwood launches arrows, bringing down more men.

Corporal Silverfeather calls upon Archanon’s power to cow the enemy into surrender, demanding they lay down their arms. The battlefield is filled with the peal of a horn, one which Danica recognizes immediately and shouts for the Rangers to call off the attack. Sergeant Que’kasaars relays the order, but the damage is already done.

As the Rangers drop their weapons, men of House Olar, the King’s men, step from behind the barricade. These are not regular soldiers, but Olaran militia. They are the survivors of the attack, men and women out in the fields or hunting when their families were butchered and enslaved. They had been tracking the forces of Darkness when they spotted the Rangers.

Fearing the Rangers were enemy scouts, they set up the ambush. Despite the best efforts of Corporal Silverfeather, only two of the men Sergeant Que’kasaars blasted could be saved. One man lost his life. However, the Rangers now had allies. With the battle over, both Rangers and Olarans departed by mid-day, tracking north.

No relevant news until the 19th of First Hunt when Ranger scouts spot an ancient hill-fort ahead. Corporal Ravenwood and Ranger Danica are dispatched to scout the keep. Corporal Ravenwood manages to penetrate their security, but the size and numbers of the enemy force give her pause. She is spotted and uses her new Tempest powers to escape. Danica is nearly captured, but manages to escape after a lengthy footchase.

They return, tired, on the 20th only to report that the keep is beyond the ability of even the combined forces of Rangers and Olaran militia. The following morning, the 21st, Sergeant Que’kasaars asks me to summon reinforcements from our own units and contact the Olarans. I do so, sending Wolfhaven Free Company Riders assembled at the Wolfhaven Barony to support the team.

No relevant news until the 24th of First Hunt when 20 Wolfhaven Free Company Riders arrive to support operations. Unable to assail the fort, they begin encirclement, preventing the enemy troops from escaping.

No relevant news until the 32nd of First Hunt when an Olaran column of Olar troops under command of a Helt, arrives at the Ranger camp. After a brief conference, the Olarans assume command of the operation and make their way north to attack the fort.

By the following morning, the 33rd of First Hunt, the Olarans begin sieging the fort by dawn. By mid day, the fort is in ruins, all within are slain. Sergeant Que’kasaars men take no part in the assault.

The Rangers are given free range to investigate the remains. Apparently, the base was a supply cache and fortified relay point for Shaya’Nor operations in northern Landra’Feya. Though we cannot prove so, the Rangers believe this is but one installation in a chain. From here, enemy agents are able to launch raids or attack nearly anywhere.

Being close to Rhion and the famed Great Libraries there, Sergeant Que’kasaars orders his men to ride north west to the Olaran river bastion. They depart the Olarans the following morning on the 1st if Golden Eagle.

No relevant news until the 3rd of Golden Eagle when the Rangers arrive in Rhion. They break into teams, Sergeant Que’kasaars leads the researchers to the Great Library, headquarters to the Order of the Steel Quill. Corporal Ravenwood takes the second team into the city in hopes of gathering local intelligence.

Sergeant Que’kasaars is tended to by the Grandmaster of the Order, Lord Lothar Mueller, Loremaster. It is from this great man that Evoran learns of Wolfhaven’s fate. Corporal Ravenwood must here it in a pub, from a barkeep.

As is well known, Colonel Alexander Wolfhaven was cut down by enemy forces while meeting with his commanders on the 33rd of First Hunt. I as ordered to withhold this information so as to not distract the Rangers in the field. I have always done as ordered.

The news was difficult to hear and I fear for my Rangers. However, I know they will rally, eventually, and carry on the mission. So much loss…

Sergeant Que’kasaars contracted an Olaran farspeaker to reach me so that I might confirm the news, which with breaking heart, I did so. That was the last communication I have received, though I know the Rangers intend to remain in Rhion as long as necessary to collect the information there.

I was also forced to reveal that the plague in Echer’Naught has only grown worse. We are now turning away Elves for their own safety. Small camps are appearing around the walls as Elves cling to the protection of the city, while avoiding her plague ridden streets.

Lt. Celebor, I and Lady Elyanna have so far been spared. I and the Lady have the highest protection available. The Lt., however, refuses. There is much concern about his situation and even talk about appointing a non-elf commander.

This has been most difficult for Corporal Wolfhaven. News of his father’s fall has been a crushing blow to Alfred. He has thrown himself into his duty. I fear for his safety, though I know he has good men by his side. In particular, Rysak Ironblood has taken on the role of his personal bodyguard. It is strange to see, but in some way, the dwarf seems more…at peace now that before? Or is it merely without the clutter of a past, he is filled with a sense of duty.

Whatever the case, I cannot believe Rysak would allow anything to happen to Alfred. I do hope.

With Col. Woflhaven, Lt. Olgor, Sergeant Minor Longtail gone, and Sergeant Que’kasaars away on assignment, many of the more junior NCOs have been forced to step up. I am proud of the Rangers of Echer’Naught.

The wraith is still at large, though no new bodies have appeared. Either it is gone, or it has chosen a permanent mask.

Our greatest healers can find no pattern to the plague or even a first victim. So far, only Corporal Ravenwood has lived once falling ill. And that at a terrible price. Evoran’s would-be assassin has also vanished, though the reports of dead Rangers begins to mount. Two patrols of Wolfhaven Free Company Riders have been wiped out, one, it would seem, by a single agent.

Archanon, hear my prayers and bring the Rangers home safely.

Farspeaker, Eris Moonsilver

Campaign Report 62
Death and more Death

Lt. Celebor,

7th First Hunt, 3125
(transcribed by Malcom)

The 33rd of Falling Ice ended well enough, for me at least. For my Alpha team, not as much. On the 30th, Evoran received news that one of his oldest friends, Aradove Longtail had been killed. The news hit him hard.
I have known Longtail for years, but I would not say we were ever close. Wolfhaven cared for her greatly, as did Rah-Sahn. Her loss is a tragedy. Unfortunately, with the attack on the Red Lamp Infirmary, we were unable to hold a last call for our fallen.

So, on the evening of the 33rd, Evoran’s team and what turned out to be half the city, from nobles to paupers, gathered at the Wolfhaven Refuge for Children to toast the life and death of Sergeant Minor Longtail. Per tradition, I declined to attend. Truth be told, I find the Olaran obsession with death to be a tad too morbid for my tastes.

The toast were memorable I heard. Evoran, of course spoke. As did Fateweaver. I think he and Longtail were romantically involved before she married his best friend? In any event, the most surprising eulogist was Eris Moonsilver.

Since she discovered her pregnancy, the Farspeaker has not left the Wolfhaven Manor. And, with the plague targeting Elves, her security has been extraordinarily strict. In her first public appearance in almost a year, Lady Moonsilver made an appearance, if briefly, to remember her fallen friend. Despite the risk, she honored the closest friend of her lost beloved.

No one can accuse the Rangers of lacking loyalty.

In the pre-dawn hours of Falling Ice 34th, Festival Day, a small group gathered again at the Orphanage to hear the last rites performed. Again, I could not attend, this less to do with tradition, and more to do with duties. Despite my strenuous objections, the powers that be demanded Festival plans go ahead as scheduled.

I spent the morning going over security with Captain Vasser of the Watch, Commander Schenkle of the Militia, Sherriff Halten of the King’s Men, and Ranger team leaders. In respect for their loss, I gave Evoran and his team as much time as I could, but by dawn, I needed the on post.

Though I offered him leave to attend, Alfred refused. He said that Longtail would understand. After all, she trained him.

The last rites were conducted by a Druid arranged by Fateweaver. Something of a lush? But, he followed the path of Zavonis. How did Longtail get blessed by an Ascended?

I do know that her urn was donated to the family jointly by both the Kilnfire and StoneMason Clans. Apparently, they set aside their feud long enough. Considering Longtail’s history with the dwarves, I am surprised.

Nevertheless, Evoran and his team left the funeral and made their way to secure the new Stahlheim Housing projects in advance of the big Festival Day Grand Opening. Before riding off to vanquish Vainar, Wolfhaven made arrangements for a series of public works projects in cooperation with the dwarves of Stahlheim, our own clans and a number of business interests. These projects included the rebuilding of the Brick yards, the construction of a new stoneyard and siegemaster proving ground, the repair of the stockyards and warehouse district, the rebuilding and expanding of the Town Watch post, and construction of a new Town Hall building and a Chamber of Commerce.

However, his crowing achievement was the construction of two, and the ground breaking of a third, three story, stone and brick housing block complete with fire places and wells. These Housing Blocks were constructed in Low Town, with the assistance of many of the residents. For the last few months, hundreds of displaced citizens have been moving in.

Now, apparently it is necessary to commemorate this generous gift to the populous and I must oversee the ceremony. Not to forget that a deadly plague stalks the streets of Low Town, or that we are, once again, at war, or, mind you, that an insane self-styled crime lord has issued a bounty on Rangers. But no, let’s have a grand ceremony in the single most unsecurable place in the entire city.

Stellar idea.

And as luck would have it, things went about as well as you would expect.

Sergeant Que’kassars and his team arrived on station where Baker Street literally runs into dirt. This is also the intersection where the first two Housing Blocks were constructed. Luckily, Thorgram and Ben had had the presence of mind to establish City Watch station IN the buildings so we had local support. Bully!

They set up a cordon as I herded our dignitaries to the stage erected to make them the easiest targets possible. I considered issuing vests with painted targets, but thought it might be a bit gauche.

At any rate, things started well enough. Samira and Dakota were on overwatch from the Block House balconies behind us. Thorgram stood on the stage with a couple Rangers just in case there was trouble. Evoran decided to climb up on the roof to get a good view. Ben, with his partner took the back, while Drainar and another Ranger took up post on the Middle Town access street.

We also had local Watch support and plains clothed Rangers imbedded in the crowed. All in all, the best of a horrible situation. Then, Danica comes screaming down Baker Street with a couple of thugs hot on her tail and everything pretty much went to the Abyss…

All security immediately focused on the sudden commotion, but I noted a man pushing his way through the crowd making his way toward the stage. His cloak was bulging and his body language suggested that he was about to do something bad.

Drainar and Ben immediately assisted Danica who was down on the ground, fighting off her two attackers. Drainer fried one, Ben rendered the other unconscious.

As for me, I fired at the figure in the crowd, but missed trying to avoid hitting innocent bystanders. Rare for me, yes, but it happens. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only Ranger to perceive the real threat.

Evoran reacted instantly, unleashing a violent beam of purple Eldritch energy. The assassin vanished in a blast of arcane power. Of course, that sent a shockwave through the crowd resulting in a stampede to clear the intersection. Subtle Evoran is not.

Rangers in the crowd were nearly trampled desperately trying to at least direct the mayhem. My team on the podium, covered their assigned dignitaries as we made our way to a secure fallback position. I never even glanced back assuming Evoran had control of the situation.
I was wrong…horribly wrong.

From what I was able to learn after the fact, Samira, seeing all threats down, looked for Evoran to get new orders. What she saw made no sense. In the commotion, the Sorcerer had gone down and even from her vantage point high on the 3rd floor balcony, Samira could see rivulets of blood coursing down the gutters from the roof Evoran’s body lay upon.

Wasting no time, she leaned over and shouted for Darkota to remain on the 2nd floor balcony as cover. Then she sprinted for the stairs. On the ground, Danica, Drainar and Ben linked up, Ben taking custody of the captive, while Danica tried to explain that there was a problem at the North Gate.

Earlier in the morning, she gathered at the office of the goblin fight promoter, Mitty, to wait for her day’s assignment, being undercover as one of his hired muscle. She happened to overhear he and some of his toughs discussing a big event happening at some point in the day. They also made mention of one of their “special” clients. Danica assumed this had to do with Velkalar so she resolved to warn Thorgram when she was put on his detail.

As it happened, Mitty sent her with a group of hired thugs to the Festival Grounds, far away from Thorgram’s team. Worse, when she tried to slip away, the head man noticed her, losing Danica any chance for surprise again. That, and it dawned on her that she was in a group of Mitty’s most seasoned fighters, his top men. She knew she was in trouble.

With no other choice, Danica made her rounds as ordered, desperately seeking her team, or any sign of villainy on the part of Mitty’s men. It took her hours, but almost at noon, she realized they had been slowly but steadily fouling traffic at the North Gate increasing congestion and slowing the flow to a trickle. With a huge portion of available Rangers running security for the massive Fair Grounds, if anything happened IN the city, response time would be…hours?

That’s when she heard a town crier, hired by Fateweaver at Ben’s behest, announce the Grand Opening of the Stahlheim Housing Blocks. All dignitaries were to attend. Danica had no choice but to blow her cover and make a break for the city.

She was spotted immediately and two of Mitty’s goons were sent to chase her down. Which brings us back to the attack’s aftermath.

As quickly as possible, Danica tried to explain to Drainar the situation at the North Gate. He, in turn, looked for Evoran…only to see the post abandoned and no sign of his Sergeant. Leaving Ben with the prisoner, Danica and Drainar pushed through the thinning crowd, headed for Evoran’s last position.

They very nearly collided with Samira who was also just arriving. Seeing the blood, both Samira and Drainar shimmied up to the roof to find Evoran’s body growing cold and…gray. Also, there were two black, fletched arrows protruding from his chest, on buried deep in each lung.

Drainar, calling on his little Life magic, attempted to heal Evoran. However, as he later described, it seemed like trying to revive a slab of meat. Only then did they realize the horrible truth. Evoran was dead, or very nearly so. Far beyond their powers of healing.

Frantic, they discussed options when Eris, who had suddenly lost mental link with Evoran, contacted Samira for a report. In the matter of a thought, Samira relayed the situation. At which, and here is where I realized a problem was happening, Eris closed down the entire battle link.

At this moment, I was trying to calm down some VERY angry bodyguards when my connection with Eris went dark. Using my own abilities, I attempted to re-establish contact, but was soundly rebuffed. Confused, and now a bit concerned, I excused myself from the gaggle of screaming nobles and started making my way back to team.

Eris reached out to me shortly before I arrived and explained, quickly what had transpired and that Evoran was being, “handled”.

While I was enroute, Thorgram in tow, Eris re-connected with Samira explaining that they needed to get Evoran’s body off the roof and onto solid ground. An odd request, to be sure, but the Corporal did not waste time with pointless questions. She and Drainar immediately bound Evoran wrist and foot and lowered him to Danica’s waiting arms.

No sooner had Danica lowered his body to the ground than the earth began to quake. Well, that pretty much finished off any lingerers. Anybody left in the intersection or on the balconies simply scattered. The Rangers backed off as roots began to punch through the cobblestones.

With the roots came wildflowers which inexplicably grew, spreading out from beneath Evoran until he was lying on a bed of soft grass and wildflowers. Then, a figure emerged from the soil, part vine, part elf until the figure of Treesinger resolved. With a gentle hand, she reached out to touch Evoran’s chest and then, both sank into the earth and vanished leaving behind the little island of green and the stunned Rangers.

I then arrived, shortly after to receive a debrief from Samira. Danica quickly alerted me to the possibility of further aggression at the North Gate, so I ordered the team there to secure it while I went to coordinate our response with the Watch and Militia.

The rest of my afternoon was spent calming ruffled feathers, apologizing profusely, and generally dealing with pretentious idiots with less sense than a rock. Samira’s team spent their time unfouling the jam at the North Gate. Fortunately, there were no further attacks. Also, there were no more sightings of Mitty’s men. No surprise.
Falling Ice, 34th 3125 finally came to a close much to the relief of my Rangers.

Regrettably, no word on Evoran. So, on the 1st of First Hunt, I sent Dakota Afliem with another elven Ranger not diseased to the Sacred Grove to inquire of the druids Evoran’s condition. This being Dakota’s first venture into the Sacred Grove I have no doubt it left a memorable impression.

When she returned, Dakota informed me that Evoran remained with us, but he was neither alive. GREAT! Though the High Druidess has my complete respect, she can be utterly frustrating. At the same time, I asked Corporal Ravenwood, if she wanted a couple of weeks to track down information on Evoran’s assailant, or would she prefer to take on her next mission.

For the last few weeks we had received unconfirmed reports of vicious attacks, razed vills, and disappearances occurring all across the northern territories, not to mention the Ranger abductions and murders to the south. Key word, unconfirmed. Actual intelligence that could acted upon was infuriatingly absent. I needed SOMEONE to provide some semblance of a report.

There was also the small matter of any Ranger outside of the walls subject to murder by Velkalar’s trophy hunters.

To my surprise, Samira chose to take on the Long Recon mission north. It would take a few days to make arrangements. So, with Evoran, mostly dead? and Samira in command, but struggling with her own afflictions, I afforded the Alpha team some Administration and Training Time.

I hoped that we would get some word out of the Sacred Grove, an indication of Evoran’s condition. A day later, First Hunt 2nd, 3125, I received just that. Well, I actually received Evoran who, quite literally appeared at the Regional HQ.

When he was ushered into my office by a flustered Malcom, I nearly fell out of my chair. He looked…horrible. His robes were dirt and blood stained. I could still see the holes where the crossbow bolts hand pierced his chest. The Eldakar himself looked worse.

It took me a moment to understand why. I mean, yes, he was recently returned from the dead, but it was something else, something…ephemeral. When I looked at him, I mean really looked…I suddenly understood. Evoran was diminished…still Eldakar…but…mortal.

His expression revealed all. The price of his return was his immortality.

In a few words, he explained his miraculous return. I will leave those to his own words to follow.

At any rate, I asked if he needed time to recover or would he prefer to resume command. Wisely or not, she chose to rejoin his team, so we summoned Samira who was overjoyed at his return.

Together, we quickly filled him in on the mission and our preparations. He would lead a small team north whose mission would be to gather intelligence on reports of recent attacks and confirm or refute claims of agents of Darkness stalking the northern baronies.

If it was revealed that we WERE under attack, Evoran would use his judgment to determine whether his team could handle the situation. If so, all to the good. If not, he would wait until the following morning when Eris made routine contact. He could then request reinforcements.

Wolfhaven Free Riders had been making routine patrols between the Wolfhaven Barony and the city. They had delivered some of the rumors themselves, but their purview was to keep the roads open, not track down weak rumors of ghostly figures and arcane horrors. That task was left to the Ranger Corps proper.

Despite my concerns over the well-being of both Evoran and Samira, the two senior commanders, I authorized the team to leave that same evening, First Hunt 2nd, 3125, under cover of Darkness.

We know we are being watched. That much is a given. But, there was at least some hope that news of Evoran’s miraculous recovery might not have reached the ears of our enemy. So, taking what precautions could be taken on short notice, the team rode out the north gate with 3 extra Rangers pulled from the rotation to fill slots made absent by Sarin and Amelia.

From Eris’ reports, the team camped about an hour north of Echer’Naught the night of the 2nd of First Hunt before heading on the morning of the 3rd of First Hunt. By noon on the 3rd of First Hunt, they arrived at a small thorpe complete with an inn (a house that served some fermented draught and provided wooden plank benches by a small, piteous fire).

Danica, who actually speaks Olaran, and Samira entered the “inn” to seek out rumors. The innkeeper seemed amenable enough, if filthy, offered a few tidbits of info, one blood drained cow and a column of black smoke on the horizon to the west. Neither seemed that promising, but the cow was closer. So, after Samira spit out the piss-poor ale all over the innkeeper, the scouts returned to the team who had been watering the mounts.
Evoran elected to investigate the cow as it was closer and more indicative of Darkness activity in the area. Before leaving the hamlet, however, they had to locate Thorgrams ass, Muriel, who had managed to slip her lead and disappear. She was quickly located behind the inn consuming an entire crate of the same swill that was so foul it caused Samira to spray all over her host.

With drunken mule in hand, the team followed the spotty directions provided by the innkeeper toward “Farmer John’s” fields and the exsanguinated bovine. Sadly, the trip was interrupted midway when Muriel stubbornly refused to jump one of the farm’s stone walls and, instead, chose to plow right through.

The rest of the team settled down for an afternoon lunch in the sun while Thorgram restacked the heavy stone, cursing the entire time. Damage repaired, they proceeded to Farmer John who, by all reports, was an amiable fellow. He confirmed the cow story, but since the beast had since been butchered, there was little evidence of the crime.

He did add that all the farms had suffered increased predation lately, but had seen nothing out of the ordinary beyond that…and the blood drained cattle.

Evoran elected to establish camp on a nearby hill the farmer had indicated so that they team might set up a watch over the countryside. Farmer John was amenable, so the eve of the 3rd of First Hunt, 3125, the Alpha Team set up camp on a hill a day and a half’s ride north of Echer’Naught and proceeded to set watch over the farmlands.

All seemed well, no sightings of anything amiss, but the following morning, on the 4th of First Hunt, things began to go awry. That morning, Samira woke with a bloody cough, so imbibed one of the Greater Healing Potions her paramour, Anaxelum, had “procured” from Flamel’s Apothecary. All as the healers had proscribed. Unfortunately, it seemed to have little effect.

The next morning, on the 5th, her symptoms worsened. Still, no sign of Darkness in the surrounding county. Again on the 6th, her condition worsened markedly and again, the land around seemed unchained with no sightings of Darkness, cultists, or anything amiss.

However, by afternoon, Samira was bed-ridden, so Evoran made a call and had the camp broken quickly. The Rangers rode HARD for the Wolfhaven Manor, arriving late the evening of the 6th of First Hunt.

What they found surprised them all. It would appear that, in addition to his many civic projects in Echer’Naught, the good Col had ALSO been making repairs to his ancestral home as well. He had been a busy lad. Foremen, laborers, architects, stonecutters, and all manner of craftsmen had established a large, heavily armed camp and were already well on their way to renovating the first floor of the Wolfhaven Estate.

Most of these men had survived last summer’s (3124) attack by Flame and returned to resume their work. Farmers were already sowing seeds in once barren field. These men knew Thorgram well and invited the Rangers in with open arms, providing them lodging in a few of the completed rooms in the Manor House proper.

Danica and Ben stood watch, being immune as they were to the disease while the others spoke with the laborers, using Thorgram as a guide and interpreter in some cases. The Half-Orc speaks dirt.
That night was a long one with Samira growing ever worse…

…in the morning on the 7th of First Hunt 3125, she was dead.

Evoran clearly sensed her spirit fade and Darkness begin to overtake her. He was just about to destroy her body when it was consumed by power. Outside, the terrified workers looked up to see a massive Tempest Cyclone begin forming overhead.

Within the chamber itself, an even stronger wind picked up as lighting began to play over Samira’s corpse. Thorgram, having faced this before, shouted for everyone to take cover as the Rangers sprinted for cover in the Manor House.

In the room, Evoran ordered Danica out even as the gale-force winds threatened to slam them against the walls. Half of the Rangers were nearly killed by lightning strikes as the weather outside went haywire. Snow, sleet, and hail hammered the roof while rain poured from the sky and thunder and lightning created a deafening cacophony.

A little singed, the Rangers made it to cover to find Evoran and Danica backing away from Samira’s door. Dakota shouted over the din, demanding to know what was happening and Evoran was screaming back when everything went eerily silent. The rain stopped and the wind died leaving the team in deafening silence.
From the gloom of the chamber, a figure appeared in the doorway. Reacting to a potential attack, the team readied itself for war.

Ben stood, mask on, sword ablaze in blue/white light even as his cloak still smoked…

Dakota drew her bow cursing her fate of losing every new friend she found…

Evoran summoned his power, wreathing himself in eldritch protection…

Drainar summoned arcane armor and prepared for the worst….

Danica fingered her saber, readying for the rush…

Thorgram locked his shield, axe ready to hew…

And from the wreckage stepped Samira, very much alive, though obviously disoriented by the reaction of her team. From behind the group, the three Rangers stood stunned, unsure of what to do next.

Samira broke the spell, demanding to know why they appeared about to murder her. Only then, did the team relax, somewhat. Ben and Evoran maintained that she was now a threat and should be escorted back to Echer’Naught immediately. Thorgram jumped to her defense pointing out that she as not the only marked member and if they arrested every Ranger who was cursed by some power they would have no one left to fight.

The argument continued until Eris contact Evoran as scheduled. She, telling me later, linked with both Evoran and Samira allowing her to interrogate the one for the other. After a brief, but intense questioning, Evoran agreed to allow Samira to remain in the field, though he harbored deep reservations about her reliability now that she had willingly embraced the Tempest.

That crises resolved, the Rangers stood down and prepared to resume their breakfast that had been so rudely interrupted when the Foreman approached with grim news. A young boy had just been found, half-starved and terrified babbling about his village being destroyed.

Exhausted, hungry, half the team either suspect or devastated, the Alpha team put aside their own concerns to face what new horror awaited them.

Eris, of course, relayed this latest to me via her connection with Evoran. So much had happened over the last few days that I completely forgot to inform him of the most unusual event in a long string of unbelievable events.

The morning of the 1st of First Hunt, after I met with Samira, I had a visitor. Captain Vasser of the Watch arrived to personally deliver the previous day’s crime report. As he explained, the 34th of Falling Ice traditionally had the highest crime rate of any day in the year as it was the Festival Day and usually saw huge crowds arrive in Echer’Naught. With so many people spending so much coin and security stretched to the limit, it was always a busy time for the city’s criminals.

What Captain Vasser handed me, however, was a blank sheet of paper. Confused, I asked what he was about. With wonder, and a bit of a smile, he informed me that there was not a single reported case of theft from start of Sergeant Minor Longtail’s Last Call for the next 25 hours…

On the single most lucrative day, it seemed that every thief, cutpurse, draw latch, and pickpocket in the entire city simply…took the day off. No one ever explained why, and the Watch was at a loss to explain it, but Vasser and I both believe that it was Longtail’s “associates” way of honoring her memory, but honoring her commitment to the Rangers.

To my knowledge, and his, that was the only day in the city’s long history this ever happened.

What better tribute could there be?

Lt. Celebor

Non-Cannon Game
April Fool Villains Game

Alright, recap:
2 years after our game, the world is torn by war, the Elvers all but destroyed by the Plague. Shaya’Nor nearly won, but was betrayed and ambushed by the Kal, who were in turn nearly overrun by Tempest. At the height of the carnage, with all of Shaintar
Shaintar’s armies spent, a new force entered the world through the Dragon’s Eye. In 1 night, the four guardian gathers fell. In a few weeks a thick, mystical darkness covered the island and began to spread.

Every force sent against it was utterly lost. In a last desperate bid, Wolfhaven summoned a team of supervillains to enter the enemy stronghold to stop the construction of some superweapon.

Leaving from near Trollkeep, the Villains ride in on a massive Arcfire airship that the Mad Bomber suspects he may have once destroyed, some thousands of years ago.

Before they reach the heart of the island, anit-air guns, and something else attacks the ship. Wolfhaven teleports away just before the ship and all hands are annihilated.

Picking themselves up, the Villains descend into the valley, coming across a slave-mining camp of Goblinesh who have been rounded up by some alien force. The humanoids wear full body protection like black longcoats. Their faces are covered in strange masks. They gas the emaciated slaves who quickly die.

After the army leaves, the party enters the village, only to have the dead rise as some strange Arcmancy/Tempest/Undead Reavers and attack. Each time they are struck down, they rise quickly. Eventually, the party realizes they must take the heads, but by now, they were too wounded to keep fighting so Wolfhaven orders retreat.

Wolf ports our Von D and the Flame Ranger, but right before the Mad Bomber ports out Sarah and the Butcher, the Butcher is wounded…and goes berserk. So, they leave him to die.
But, in a rage state, the Butcher destroys the entire Reaver force…but only delays the inevitable as he is not sane enough to take their heads. With a moments respite, the party retreats, Von D carrying an unconscious Wolfhaven.

A day later, they find themselves hiking through a forest just at dusk when tracer fire lights up the forest. The flame Ranger nearly loses and arm and the others fight a desperate battle against unknown numbers. In the end, they clear out the gun nests, but discover the enemy has far superior firepower and the Mad Bomber reveals that their tech is currently only at partial power as they have not fully adapted to shaintar’s magic.
Climbing out of the forest, the party finds the narrow, winding pass filled with enemy soldiers. Wolfhaven sends scouts ahead, invisible by the Assassin’s power, while he and the heavies draw fire. It is a close thing, Von D nearly goes, down, the Wolf is incapped for the 2nd or 3rd time, sarah is nearly killed, and the flame ranger is badly hurt.

But, they reach the summit to find the ruins of the ancient dragon-keep rebuilt by the invaders. And standing before the gate, a massive arctech/tempest Mech and flame troopers along with more enemy soldiers in the towers. A few blasts from the mech and flamers takes out the assassin. Heroically, if maniacally, the Mad Bomber charges, and tries to hurl a grenade at the Mech, the bomb slips from his fingers and the Bomber and Mech are destroyed in a cataclysmic fire.

Assassin and Bomber down, Wolf orders Von D to follow through the portal and the others to hold the line.
As D and Wolf race for the portal, an army pours over the wall. The Flame ranger shoots the butcher to enrage him, but nearly kills hims in the process and then is cut down by enemy fire. With only two left, Sarah, one wound from death and the Butcher, also nearly gone, charge the enemy army.

Wolf and D step through the Dragon’s Eye, which appears to be held open by some arctech portal system. On the other side, they find themselves in a dark, putrid bombed out city. And in the Darkness something massive moves. Three heads rise above them, each spewing a breath weapon, one LIghtning, one fire, and one the chemical soup that turns living into Reavers.

Wolfhaven orders D to distract the beast and then vanishes.

Von D, taking the bombers last 2 bombs rushes the beast and immolates himself…only stunning the Dragon. But as he is ripped apart, he sees Wolfhaven appear in the air before the Dragon as the Col plunges his sword through its hard. The wrap slips away and a strange jewel recently set into the sword flashes…

With the tether severed, the Dragon’s pocket realm collapses causing a tidal explosion through the gate.
The fate of the World now falls to chance. JJ rolls 50/50 percentile. First roll 93, utterly destroying the entire world. Spends a benny. Second roll, 49%. The Island is obliterated along with the party and the bulk of the enemy army. Now, only a lake remains.

Cut to Wolfhaven’s tent on the front lines in the north. He wakes in a cold sweat from his nightmare. But as he sits up, something evil shifts in the shadows and he hears a dark, cold voice laugh even as light dawns…

Official Report, Physical Examination of the Deceased
Longtail's Final Report

Official Report
Physical Examination of the Deceased

Name: Unknown
Race: Brinchie
Gender: Female
Age: Early 20s

Physical Description: Young woman appears to be Brinchie female between the ages of late teens and mid-twenties. Fur color, light gray. Eyes, one green, one amber. Claws capped in White Silver.

Body showed clear signs of past torture. 3rd degree burns over most of the body. Multiple lacerations scars on all four limbs, healed wounds to the torso, stomach and back.

Curiously, one thrust from a long, sharp dagger appears to have nicked the sternum and pierced the heart, but scarring indicates the wound healed.

Recent unhealed scarring on wrists, ankles and throat indicate binding, possible further torture.
Cause of Death: Undetermined. Multiple potential causes.

A) Body was found pierced by three arrows, one in the upper left shoulder immobilizing mobility in the joint, severing the deltoid, one in the stomach just above the navel, penetrating the small intestine, the last arrow piercing the chest between the third and fourth ribs, penetrating the left lung. Fletching and arrowhead matches standard Ranger technique.

B) Body was also found stabbed in the lower back severing the thoracic spine and the spinal column. Blade appears to be a wide, flat blade penetrating six inches into the body. Likely, inflicted by short sword or large knife. Small shard of metal found lodged in the spine indicates Black Iron weapon.

C) Body was found submerged sea water. Water within the lungs indicate the woman was alive when submerged. Absorption of water in the skin and soft tissue indicates the body remained in the water for days after death. Potential drowning?

D) Discoloration of the lips indicated sub-zero water temperature or possible poison. Time in water makes confirmation impossible.

Material Articles Recovered:
1. Ranger Cloak, tattered
2. Gold Ranger Pin
3. Sergeant Minor Ring
4. Nightshade Chain armor
5. Bracers
6. Lockpicks, 1 master set
7. Lo-sska, White Silver
8. Rrka
9. Assassin’s blade
10. Cavalier’s parrying dirk, Wolfhaven crest
11. Golden Feather necklace
12. Cassanova’s pillow book

Notes: The corpse washed up on shores south of Eastport around the 16th of Falling Ice, 3125. Was discovered by local fishermen and turned over to nearest Ranger HQ. The examination and report filed, the body has been sent to processing. Due to the rank and nature of death, cremated remains, personal artifacts, and files are transferred to Echer’Naught.

Campaign Report 61
Temporary Regional Commander

Lt. Celebor,

33rd Falling Ice, 3125

Grek, Tina, and I were enjoyed a nice respite from the labors of the road when my mind was touched by Lady Moonsilver. My wine turned to vinegar in my mouth. Probably because it was piss to begin with. At any rate, my worst nightmare had come to pass. Wolfhaven had decided to hi off on yet another fool crusade and now I was being tapped to keep his seat warm.

It was mid day on the second of Falling Ice, or thereabouts.

Turning command of our recon unit over to Brinchie number three, Grek, Tina, and I made our way West to Echer’Naught. We actually passed Wolfhaven on the road to Camp Wolfhaven (how pretentious is it to name your own camp after yourself???). He paused just long enough to relay a few special orders before charging off again.

We made our way from there to Echer’Naught. Not much has changed since my last visit. Maybe a little remodeling? It was the 8th, I think.

High Towne looks nice. Very little battle damage. Funny how they always seem to avoid any real consequences. The big house on the hill looked busy. Wolfhaven’s men have done wonders. In a few centuries Echer’Naught might even rival Kythros.

Leaving Grek in the courtyard, I went in search of who might be in charge. Turns out, it was Evoran, or, Sergeant Que’kassars. I’m not sure if he was relieved or disappointed about my arrival. Either way, he briefed me on current operations.

The Rangers were stepping up patrols of Low Town. They were also running a recon on a Fight promoter in Middle Town named Mitty. Apparently, he hired out local muscle to contractors and was not particularly choosy about who they might be. A new Ranger named Amelia Whitestone had provided information that Velkalar or his associates were hiring from this Goblin.

Also, Ranger 1st Class Ramshorn and Ranger Toma were working closely with Captain Vasser of the City Watch to set up offices in the new Stahlheim forged city housing blocks. Also, Ranger Toma made arrangements with the bard, Therel Fateweaver, to spread word of work and housing to recent immigrants via a network of town criers organized and trained by Fateweaver himself.

I was honestly glad to know that the Rangers of Echer’Naught had things well in hand. Refreshing, considering that I fully expected to inherent an absolute disaster. After concluding his report, Evoran gathered his things and headed back to his office while I settled in to my new office. That is until Sergeant Major Stormhammer stumped in and buried me in paperwork.

If Wolfhaven survives his current suicide mission, we are going to have serious words when he returns.

While I wore my fingers to the bone filing paperwork, the Rangers set up their watch on Mitty’s fight club based out of a warehouse behind what used to be the Red Lamp. And, what happened to the Red Lamp?! I liked that place.

Since so few of these Rangers speak Olaran, they had to send one of the new ones, Danica, former member of the Golden Gryphons. From what I heard, she had to fight her way in and made a pretty good showing of herself. Ranger Whitestone was running the operation under the guidance of Corporal Silverfeather and Ravenwood.

She went under on the 10th. I remember because this was the same day that Evoran approached me about a growing sickness among the elves. He feared that this illness was Vainar’s Curse revisited upon our kind. Every Elf knows the legends and every century or so some illness is claimed to be Vainar’s Curse again. When Evoran brought me the news, I was concerned, but not overly…

Two weeks later, it was clear that Evoran had been right. The dead were piling up and by now we knew it was only among the elves. Together, we crafted plan to convert the abandoned Red Lamp building into a quarantine hospital. While not a perfect solution, it was the best we had.

Within another week, the numbers of elves trying to enter or pass through Echer’Naught had reached critical levels. Evoran set up healers to examine elves before they were given access to the city, though the disease was already sweeping through the Elven District of the city.

Things seemed to be working well enough, given the numbers of dead and dying, when I received frantic reports from the Red Lamp…the dead were overrunning the hospital… It was the 30th of Falling Ice and my tenure as provisional Regional Commander was finally turning south.

I grabbed my bow and Ogre and sprinted for the hospital. The scene was one of sheer horror. Mangled staff desperately evacuated half-dead diseased as hordes of undead swarmed and devoured those too wounded or sick to escape.

Anaxelum and his Storm Legion formed a shield wall at the base of the steps, stemming the tide. Rangers Whitestone and Danica posted on the side doors, holding back the horde while panicked healers cowered behind them. Corporals Ravenwood and Silverfeather along with other archers like Ranger Afliem cut down any undead who managed to evade the blockade.

I arrived in time to see Evoran and his understudy Drainar blasting holes in perfectly good walls. Though, in their defense, there were many zombies destroyed as well. Of the Jade Adept Toma, I saw nothing, at first. Rangers 1st Class Ramshorn sprinted into the building, disappeared for an uncomfortable time, and then emerged with Toma who promptly collapsed. The young Ranger had so much blood soaking his robes, I feared he had been eviscerated. As it happened, the blood was not his own.

We managed to slay the beasts and restore order, but the casualty numbers were disheartening. Of the patients, we lost almost 90%. The staff suffered over 40% casualties. And, despite our best efforts, some of the undead escaped. No doubt, that is going to come back to bite us.

When the crisis was over, I went to speak with Evoran about cleanup to find him in dire straights. With breaking voice he explained that just prior to the attack, he received the remains of his longtime friend, Sergeant Minor Longtail. She had been killed somewhere near Eastport and dumped in the ocean only to be found by fishermen.

I was close with Rah-Sahn, but I have known Aradove for many years. Her loss will sorely felt by her friends here. At that moment, I feared the Sergeant might do something rash, but, despite his condition, he seemed more clear minded than I would have been.

Hawksclaw, Longtail, Sarah, Olgor, Von Dietrich, and countless others…. The Rangers of Echer’Naught have suffered losses.

I retired to my office to continue preparations for the Grand Opening of the Housing Blocks. Despite the health crisis, the city fathers demanded the celebration go on as planned. It seemed they considered the plague to be an elven matter and none of their concern. I wonder if they would feel differently were it humans dying in droves??? No doubt they would demand our help.

Nevertheless, Wolfhaven himself explained how important good housing was for the city’s recovery and it was his idea to host the Festival Day opening. Damn that man!

Again, things seemed to be turning around when two days later on the 32nd, I received word that Corporal Ravenwood had contracted the illness. I myself was feeling under the weather, but so far I had no cravings for human, or other, flesh.

Shortly after hearing that news I received a complaint from the city potion master that a large, well-armed warrior had “taken” his entire store of greater healing potions. When pressed further, the potion master admitted that the man had paid above market price, but his demeanor indicated that had the merchant NOT sold his wares, the man would have simply taken them.

Evoran explained later that Samira’s lover, Anaxelum, was concerned for her health and made “arrangements” as the Legionnaire so tactfully explained. This assignment continues to offer up gems.

The 33rd passed without anyone dying, or anything exploding in my face. Tomorrow, however, promises to be very exciting indeed. I’m banking on an assassination attempt, though another undead horde would have a familiar allure. Or perhaps, Tempest will attempt an anniversary attack on the city?

Whatever the case, I pray my Rangers are prepared. I fear our darkest days are ahead.

Lt. Celebor


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