Having recieved official orders to ride to the Olaran town of Echer’Naught and upon arriving there invistigate the disapperance of Ranger Captain Gerald Manning and his missing rangers, the report below outlines my first encounter upon arriving in the territory assigned to the Rangers of the Greenway Road.
After Action Report:
Captain Wolfhaven, Alexander
Gray Ranger Outpost, Echer’Naught
Tenth day, Raining Leaves, Year 3122 Under the Light
What follows is a true accounting of the events which occurred upon the 3rd of this month, seven days prior. Regrettably, I was not present for the opening hostilities, I have taken time to speak with the survivors and believe I have an accurate understanding of the events as they unfolded. This incident involved two parties. The first: a travelling merchant caravan under the leadership of a Nazatiran man by the name of Miguel Ruiz Lorenzo Valero who was accompanied by his wife Eva and their young daughter Sophia. Also of importance to this report was the caravan herbalist and the chief guard, a silent Brinchie called Peacekeeper. In total, this group originally consisted of nearly 30 members. The second group, smaller in size, but not in relevance to this incident, was a pair of travelers; a human sorcerer named Coramin and his travel companion Nelenna, an Aevakar archer.
As reported to me, shortly before dusk, Coramin and Nelenna arrived at the Dwarven Waystation, a rest stop roughly half way between the city of Harken to the east and the town of Echer’Naught to the west. There, the companions discovered the way station was already occupied by the caravan of merchants. Being kindly and of good nature, Master Valero offered his hospitality to the duo and they joined the merchant camp for the night. Though all seemed well, and there had been very little banditry along the road in recent weeks, the party came under assault in a pre-dawn attack that overwhelmed the guards before they could respond. Nelenna and Coramin spoke at length about waking in the pre-dawn hours to find the camp swarming with goblinesh and ratzin. Curiously, no alarm was sounded and, according to Coramin, magic was involved. He believes that at least two spells were in effect; one a silence spell to mask the bandit approach and a second illusory spell to increase the enemy numbers and sow greater confusion among the caravan. Needless to say, the merchants acquitted themselves admirably. Of particular note, and all parties agreed as much, both Coramin and Nelenna fought valiantly and bravely throughout the skirmish, each claiming a number of foes. Curiously at the time, shortly after joining the battle, Coramin found himself being ensnared in a hastily constructed sack of recently slaughtered cow stomachs. Almost before he could think, an ogre, one of very few in the attacking party, had slipped the bag over his head and proceeded to haul him away into the darkness. Were it not for the keen eyes of Nelenna and her skill with the bow, Coramin would certainly have found himself a prisoner. Regardless, by working together, Coramin slipped his bonds and gave better than he received. So mighty was their skill, that the enemy fled before them. Doubtless the evisceration of one of their fellows by a wicked arrow springing from Nelenna’s bow had much to do with their loss of heart. Regardless, as the sun rose above the horizon, the enemies fled and the caravan began the sad duty of counting the wounded and the dead.
It is here that I arrived on scene. Earlier that morning, I and two Riders of Hammerfell had set out toward the town; I to take up my new assignment in Echer’Naught, and my companions on their way to a posting with the town’s Hammerfell contingent. Almost immediately, we spied smoke against the sky and made great haste to the site of the attack. Upon arrival, I found a scene of carnage. Many merchants and guards lay dead, Senior Valero himself was very nearly mortally wounded. As Coramin and Nelenna were explaining the situation, Eva Valero discovered a disturbing fact. During the raid, in which almost nothing was actually taken, young Sophia has been abducted. So too, the old herbalist was found neither among the living or the dead. It was at this juncture that the keen mind of Coramin parsed out the likely reason for the attack. Both he and the herbalist had the gift, Sorcerer and Alchemist respectively. Grudgingly admitted, the Valero’s revealed that so too their daughter Sophia had displayed indicators of arcane power. So the truth was revealed that the target of the assault was not goods or coin, but persons of power. How the enemy knew of Sophia’s secret, we still do not know. I suspect a traitor in their midst, but is he still alive or was he killed the attack? Who is to say?
Knowing this, I suspected a much darker power behind the raid and vowed immediately to rescue the prisoners. Peacekeeper, Coramin and Nelenna also vowed to join me. As much as it pained him, Senior Valero was in no condition for an arduous ride, so he agreed to lead his people to the safety of Echer’Naught and report to the Rangers there. With him I sent the younger of my companions for security. Preparations were made and the Caravan moved out as my party headed north following the trail of the bandits. I must admit being perplexed. Ratzin are enemies of all under the light, but I had trouble accepting that the local goblinesh were in league with Flame. None of the reports I had read before taking this assignment suggested that the local gathers were anything but honorable, if not exactly allies. Even so, with the wind picking up and a chill in the autum air, we road, Nelenna flew and Peacekeeper loped ahead.
Around noon, the Aevakar lady spotted a column of smoke smudging the skyline. Approaching cautiously, we discovered a farmhouse whose livestock had been butchered and mutilated, then left to rot in the sun. Peacekeeper scouted the area while Nelenna circled the house. No sign of the farmers were found outside so Coramin and I entered while the sergeant remained with the horses. The charnel house within was infinitely worse than the scene without. Four poor souls had been dragged inside and then fed upon while they yet lived. Blood and offal was everywhere. We searched for survivors, without much hope. Curiously, I discovered a magical sigil burned into the wall above the still smoldering chimney. I asked Coramin, our magical expert, to investigate further while I stepped outside to report to our companions. I had crossed but halfway to the door when the sorcerer commanded me to stop. Complying instantly, I learned that we had activated some form of magical trap. Cormain sought every means of escape, but the villain who set the trap had done their work admirably. We were left with but one choice. Coramin relying on his protective spells and I my armor, we rushed the door and hurled ourselves outside as the farmhouse was engulfed in unholy flames. We were both singed, but otherwise unharmed. I owe my life to the keen sense and cunning thinking of Coramin. That hazard overcome, Peacekeeper revealed that our enemies had split. The goblinesh, numbering no more than a dozen had headed west. The captives were taken north by a human and a large, cloven-hooved beast I recognized immediately as a Minotaur.
We took a moment to catch our breath, fill our bellies and recover from the smoke before striking out north again, riding hard. Nearly mid-afternoon, as the terrain became more broken and rocky, Lady Nelenna soared to the sky and spied our quarry not half an hours ride ahead. Being the land of my youth, I devised a strategy whereby Coramin, Nelenna and Peacekeeper would head north-east and come at the enemy from the flank as they threaded a narrow cut in land. Meanwhile, the sergeant and I would ride hard around them and double back, hitting them from the front. All I can say of that ride was it was as desperate as it was hard. My man and I arrived just as the enemy was climbing out of the ravine. As planned, we levelled our lances and charged. Meanwhile, our allies burst from the trees to the enemy ride and attacked. Our plan was perfect, but the enemy Thaumaturgist had other plans. Screaming something dark and sinister, she summoned a pack of Ratzin that immediately swarmed our party. Meanwhile, she let loose a bolt of pure fire and very nearly laid Nelenna low. Peacekeeper bravely took on the Minotaur as my sergerant and I cut our way through the Ratzin. Coramin was instantly surrounded and cut off by a pack. The ensuing fight was quick and brutal. Despite her wounds, Nelenna continued to rain down ours as her wings smouldered and smoked. Coramin laid about him with staff and spell, striking down the Ratzin like wheat before the scythe. Peacekeeper, facing a Minotaur and two Ratzin took to the high ground and fended them off, buying the rest of our force time. Once the Ratzin around me had been dealt with I charged forward to engage the Flame Acolyte. The sergeant rushed to Coramin’s aid and together, they eliminated the pack. With a desperate sweep, I cleaved the witch to her breast, but still the Minotaur fought on. I charged with my man and together with Peacekeeper surrounded the beast. Sadly, our victory was spoiled as in his dying throes, the Minotaur felled the sergeant and his mount in a savage blow.
Victorious, we tended the wounded, secured the captives and established camp. By morning, we were headed south again. Our trip was longer then, at a more relaxed pace. We arrived back at Echer’Naught two and half days later. There we were met by an ebullient Valero family who were overcome with joy at the return of their precious Sophia. I also met Magor Stormhammer, the local ranger Master at Arms, who was about to set off with a rescue party. Senior Valero presented Coramin and Nelenna sacred family cups as a sign of fidelity and thanks. I also expressed my admiration for their abilities and offered them my recommendation should they ever desire to join the Rangers. That evening, there was much celebrating and exchanging of tales. Within a day, Coramin, Nelenna and the merchants had left, continuing their westward trek.
I am left to record their deeds and write a letter to the family of Sergeant Olaf Algorian. He was but 21, fresh faced and as proud of his new rank as any king his crown. Too many of these I have written and I know there will be more to come in the dark days ahead. As I sit in the office of the man I have been sent to find and look around me, I am suddenly struck by the enormity of the task I have before. In my heart of hearts I had hoped that Coramin or Nelenna would have agreed to stay on, if just a while, but no. They each have their life to live.
I conclude this report with a request for reinforcements. Few better understand how dangerously stretched our resources are, especially as storm clouds grow over Camon and strange tales surface from the south of new and powerful magics. My hope is that some may be found to take up the cloak and join me here. For without aid, I fear I cannot succeed.
Your obedient servant,
A. Wolfhaven, Captain
This adventure was featued on Rho Pi Gamma: The gamer’s podcast in two parts. The first http://rhopigamma.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/season-4-episode-026-season-finale/ having aired Nov. 10, 2013. The second to air early next year. Coramin was played by Byron Clark, the show host. Nelenna by his lovely co-host Liz. Combat was simulated using the Roll20 program.
For more on Rho Pi Gamme, check us out at: http://rhopigamma.wordpress.com/
Miguel Ruiz Lorenzo Valero
Senior Valero was born on the island of Nazatir to a family of seamen and merchants. At an early age he took a position with his family merchant fleet and married a local beauty, Eva. Together they had a daughter named Sophia who, very early on, displayed signs of magic. The Valeros decided to take Sophia to Leanda’Feya and turn her training over to a family friend, a Druid of some reputation. Miguel is middle aged, but physically fit. He prefers flamboyant clothes and speaks loudly and with gusto. When he fights, he uses a rapier/dagger style, but much prefers good wine and entertaining stories over bloody combat.
Peacekeeper is an enigmatic Brinchie fighter. Like everything about him, where he learned to fight is a complete mystery. He rarely speaks, and when he does it is generally little more than a whisper. Regardless, he is a loyal friend and a fearless warrior. His coloring is similar to that of a mountain lion, and he is average height and build for a Brinchie adult male. His weapons of choice are the traditional lo-sska/rrka combo.