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

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…

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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.

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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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Campaign Report 60 Addendum 2
Farwatch Court Marshal

Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Farwatch Outpost, Wildlands
Twenty Sixth Day of Dark Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

On the 25th of Dark Moons, I rode south from Echer’Naught with Sergeant Que’kassars, Corporal Wolfhaven, and three Wolfhaven Free Riders. We arrive a day later on Dark Moons 26 in Farwatch. It was morning, as we had ridden hard the day before.

Rangers of Farwatch
Lt. Derek Stormcrow first, Thaleon on arrival
Ranger 1st Class Darkstryke, Brinchie Ranger
Ranger 1st Class Soryn Nytefyre, Arcmancer (prosecution)
Ranger Mrrel Fastclaw, Brinchie fighter
Ranger Nessius Mohdri, Alakar Archer
Gheleon Cendrellien, Eldakar Academic (defendant)

Vicar of Light, Thaleon

Upon arrival, I found the new headquarters in good repair and the Rangers in good spirits. Lt. Stormcrow remained in command and met me at the gates. We spoke briefly before the arrival of my old friend Thaleon. He appeared to have been flying nearly as hard and long as we had been riding. Seeing him warmed my heart, though the circumstances could have been better.

I inquired if all were assembled for the Court Marshal and Lt. Stormcrow confirmed that they were. So, without further delay, we entered the HQ and began the proceedings.

On the court were myself, Vicar Thaleon, and Sergeant Que’kassars. Advocate for the prosectuion was Ranger 1st Class Soryn Nytefyre. Speaking in his own defense, Ranger Gheleon Cendrillien, Eldakar male.

We had been assembled to try Ranger Cendrillien on the charge of “Reckless endangerment and disregard of civilian casualties,” a serious charge, though the young Ranger’s first offense.

Vicar Thaleon recaptured the events leading to the Court Marshal.

I appeared that Ranger Nessius brought information that a group of Mercs had been shaking down local merchants. When the Rangers Investigated further, they found the merc group was actually being framed by a another group that wanted to sabotage their reputation. A friend of the Rangers, Reggie, was hired to watch the merc guild. Nessius was able to find a safe house that he was residing in. The Rangers discovered that the group they were hunting had holed up in a warehouse. Gheleon and Soryn, doffing their Ranger cloakes, approached the warehouse to gain intelligence. As they closed, Gheleon heard weapons being readied. Without orders or active provocation, Gheleon attacked using area affect spells in the confined spaces of the warehouse without identifying a clear target.
Unfortunately, there were innocents within who were badly injured, though there was no loss of life. Thelon arrived in time to save those who might otherwise have perished. It should be noted that enemies were found within, wearing outfit of organization framing the mercs.

First to speak was the Prosecution and they reiterated what Thaleon had said, but added that Ranger Cendrillien had shown no remorse for the potential loss of life.

Second to speak was Ranger Cendrillien in his own defense, who had little to add, other than he felt badly for the injured, but stood by his actions.

Neither Prosecution or Defense called any witnesses other than themselves. In cross with the Defense, we learned that Ranger 1st Class Nytefyre and Ranger Cendrillien had no clear orders of operation when they approached the warehouse. Lt. Stormcrow spoke up claiming responsibility for allowing his Rangers great lee-way in making their own decisions and, thereby, some responsibility in the actions of the accused.

In closing arguments, Prosecution made an impassioned speech that the Rangers must be held to a higher standard and could not allow such actions to go unpunished. Defense reiterated that there were enemies within and he acted, given his limited information, to his best judgement.

Deliberations were lengthy and will not be revealed here. However, after each member of the court voted the verdict was as follows:

On the charge of Reckless Disgregard, Ranger Cendrillien was found Guilty as Charged.
On the charge that his actions constituted Criminal action, Ranger Cendrillien was found Not-guilty.

The Sentence was as follows: Ranger Cendrillien will have reduction in pay to Trainee level for 1/2 year probation and mandatory training, the Farwatch unit must make personal restitution to those injured in the action. Lastly, the Farwatch unit is to institute organizational changes to prevent further incidents.

With that, the court was dismissed. Almost immediately, we heard a huge commotion in the courtyard outside. Rushing out, we discovered a scene of utter chaos. A large force was attacking the workers who, in turn, were fleeing for their lives. On my command, under Lt. Stormcrow’s able leadership, the Ranger of Farwatch leaped into action.

I, for my part, exited the room and observing the attack, commanded Evoran to take out the mage and Alfred to clear the civilians from the theater of danger. Sure that the non-combatants would be clear, I teleported to the parapets and engaged the bowmen there only to realize that most of the attackers, and those attacking the civilians below were in actuality illusions. Realizing this, I called upon the silver unicorn to dispelled the illusion and safe the workers. With my true foes revealed, struck at one of the archers, but he was protected by powerful magics which easily turned my blade. In the courtyard below, Alfred and Thaleon cleared the workers while the Rangers of Farwatch dealt with the real assailants.

Realizing the magnitude of the enemy cast, I redoubled my efforts and my second blow shattered the defensive spells. The archer tumbled off the parapets wounded, but not dead. Ghelion reacted immediately, sliding down the wall and captured the man. I followed and managed to heal his wounds sufficiently to take him into custody.

The battle was soon done. After combat, Thaleon called for healers as a few Rangers had been struck down. I turned the prisoner over to Ranger Cendrillien and joined Thaleon. Cendrillien took the man to the prison while I helped with the healing.

While there, I noted that our two Brinchie appeared to be hot on the trail of the enemy survivors and Ranger 1st Class Nytefyre was leaving the grounds with the Lt. following. Not certain of that situation, I focused on the task at hand. Once the area was secure, I gathered Thaleon, Evoran and Derek to me to discuss the events.

Evoran revealed that the enemy seemed to be specifically targeting Rangers. It would seem that the bounty on Ranger scalps had reached Farwatch. Ranger Cendrillien revealed that the captured warrior appeared to be a member of Tor Mastak, and showed a a name on the orders; Renjen Ki’Tovas. Worse that that, Lt. Stormcrow explained that former Ranger Nytefyre had quit the Rangers in protest for Ranger Cendrillien being allowed to remain in the Corps after his misjudgment.

It pains me to lose a good Ranger, but I will not punish any man just to slake another’s thirst for vengeance, regardless of his motives, reasoning, or personal code. The Court Marshal was as unbiased as I could arrange, and the verdict was final. I hope that he eventually realizes that his brashness is no less than Cendrillien.

If not, I wish him well and pray that Archanon guides his steps.

With that dealt with, I ordered Evoran and Alfred to find us lodging at a local inn while Thaleon and I discussed plans. Once those details were concluded, Lt. Stormcrow, Vicar Thaleon, Sergeant Que’kassars and Corporal Wolfhaven joined me for a meal and drink in town.

By dawn on the 27th of Dark Moons, we were back on the rode, this time in good company of Thaleon headed back to Echer’Naught and what lay waiting there.

Your most obedient servant,
Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Campaign Report 60 Addendum
The End and The Beginning

Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

Thirty Third Day of Dark Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

On the afternoon of the 31st of Dark Moons I was summoned to the Stahlheim encampment where Sergeant Rorauk Fyrforg. When I arrived, I found him in conference with Rallidon Fyrforg, a dwarf I have not seen in some time. The reason for my visit was to address his troops regarding the upcoming march north. However, before that I have a more pressing matter to discuss with the two commanders.

Before I could speak, however, we summoned Ash to secure the tent against magical eavesdropping. After a masterful, if flashy, display of power, I had the tent cleared save for the commanders. It was then that I revealed to Rorauk that I was putting together a secret mission behind enemy lines. Rorauk would be allowed a ten man detail. Due to the highly dangerous nature of the mission, participation was entirely voluntary.

I laid out the details which will be explained in a future report. After the meeting, we stepped out of the command tent to address the assembled force of Dwarves.

The mission is simple. By the first thaw columns of troops will march out of Echer’Naught by various roads heading north. The Soldiers of Stahlheim will head north and then west, passing through Rhion and Jasaram where we hope they will joined by another column from Stahlheim, before marching up the length of the Northern Gathers until reaching the Gather of Jurg. At Jurg, the force will turn east, crossing the Shanair and traversing the east-west road as far as the Clanhome of Stonefinger. In its entirety, the trip from Echer’Naught stands at just over 820 miles, the last 1/3 through territory already contested by the enemy, and the final 75 miles over rough, broken terrain without the benefit of good roads.

With full troops and heavy wagons, they can expect, during the mushy, muddy spring thaws to make 15 miles per day, if VERY lucky. The last 75 miles will be more like 10. To reach Irdok, where the column leaves the main highway, I expect the trip to take 50 days, at least putting them at Irdok on or around the 16th of First Hunt. Another 8 days to the site, puts the column arriving at or around the 24th of First Hunt, 3125. This assumes that they leave by the 1st of Falling Ice as planned.

My own forces will ride hard due east to the coast. Catching ships with supplies, we will disembark just north of Vor. With luck, we will arrive soon after the Dwarves. Granted, this expects all parts of a complex plan to move smoothly. We shall see.

Nevertheless, my plan is to establish our base, a standard fortified field encampment in the valley north of the road above Stonefinger (as terrain allows). My inclusion of the Dwarves of Stahlheim in this endeavor is only partly due to their prowess in battle and construction. My hope is that the incorporation of the independant Dwarven clans in my army will encourage the Clanhomes of Stonefinger and Ironspear to serve as supply bases, field hospitals, and rally points in the case of complete failure.

All of this information was included in the maps and scrolls I left with Rorauk, along with a promotion to Lieutenant in the Ranger Corps. Of course, I told little of this to the troops. Rather, I sketched out the barest details of the march, lest foul ears hear, and reminded them of their duty and their strong name. It had the desired effect. Then, with a bit of a flourish myself, I mounted Thunder and departed camp for my own home.

Yet, in my heart, I felt little but dread. My mission to Shaya’Nor weighed heavily on my mind. And, should I even survive the next few days, I faced the prospect of leaving Olara for what could prove to be an extended tour. M heart aches, but I have my duty, and like my Dwarven brethren, I will not fail.

Your most obedient servant,
Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Campaign Report 60
The Beginning of the End, 3124

Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara
Thirty Third Day of Dark Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

It just before dawn on the first day of the new year; which should be a time of hope and renewal as the winter snows thaw and bitter cold gives way to spring. Yet, this year bring with it little hope. Rather, we are facing what may yet prove to be our greatest challenge.

Vainar has returned…

Even speaking the words fills me with dread. Our most ancient foe has risen and now the forces of Darkness threaten to engulf the world. Yet, hope remains.

Pieces move into place. Allies marshal forces to a common cause and even former foes may be relied up to stand with us.

At home, things return to a semblance of normality. The inquest is gone, but questions remain. I will begin at the beginning.

On the 1st of Dark Moon, 3124, I summoned my Lead Ranger team to discuss the recent events and reassure my men that we were not to be separated. In fact, the team is to be expanded. With so much new blood joining it seemed most advisable to pair experienced Rangers with the new blood. Much like the Knight-Squire relationship, but with far less menial labor.

I placed the Dwarven Sorcerer Drainer with Sergeant Que’kassars. It made a kind of sense. Young Alfiem I paired with Corporal Ravenwood. Both are elves and both archers. They will work well together. Perhaps most unusual, I placed Ranger Toma under Ranger 1st Class Thorgram’s tutelage. Both men have much to learn from each other, and a history they have yet to explore. Time will tell if either man will be the first to begin healing old wounds.

The second duty I had the pleasure of performing was the promotion of Ranger 1st Class Sarin Silverfeather to Corporal. His tenure with the Rangers began rocky, but he has shown stark improvement and continued to grow as a team player. Command is more difficult than any man understands. I wish him the best.

We also introduced a transfer, Ranger Amelia Whitestone. She spent the last three years serving in Kythros. The 1st was her official re-up date. According to records, she personally requested the Echer’Naught command. I look forward to her contributions. Pairing Ranger Whitestone with Corporal Silverfeather was convenient, but I also hope that her experience and obvious bearing will be a good match for the new NCO.
For me, the hardest impact of the month’s long investigation was that I was sequestered away from the new Rangers. As I read reports and approve patrols I recognize so few names. I promised myself that I would never be the commander who lost touch with his men. For me to utilize them best, I must understand first how they function.

Beginning on the 6th, I began assigning myself to rounds with the newest Rangers. One of the first was Dakota Afliem. Corporal Ravenwood had “administrative” duties to perform so I was able to join Ranger Alfiem on the main street route.

She is a Legacy, unusual here in Olara. More than that, I find her an intelligent and contemplative individual, if guarded. Though, we all have stories and it took me many years to be open about my own past. If she remains, she could be a great asset to the team.

Two days later, on the 8th, I joined Ben Toma after our morning prayers. He wears his faith like armor, seeking the calm in all situations. It is admirable in its way. I pray to Archanon he can retain his center in the future.
Drainar was easy to speak with as he posted guard outside the Local HQ. He speaks little, but I imagine his time is spent in study. He will be a great aid to Evoran.

The next few weeks was spent re-organizing the Corps. Many Rangers were left uncertain after the events of the past months and I had a long way to go in earing their trust and respect. Fortunately, the final month of 3124 was, for the most part quiet. A terrible herald of things to come, I suppose.

I did receive word that Sergeant Que’kassars took Corporal Ravenwood to a formal dinner at the Lamplighters Guild Hall. Clearly the good Sergeant has become far more political of late. Perhaps I should speak with him…then again, perhaps not. I trust his judgement. I have to. With so many gone, he has become my right hand. So, I will leave it be. At least Corporal Ravenwood had fun getting to know Field Marshal Von Wrangel.

Curious

That was on the 15th of Dark Moons. It was about this time that reports came in confirming what we only suspected. Shaya’Nor was on the move, planning something larger than we had at first realized. More to the point, our agents confirmed that this group of Star Watchers was reaching out to us through back channels.
I beseeched the Rangers to permit me to undertake the mission. They were leaning to tasking Artivan, but I understand he was called away suddenly. Preparations then began in earnest. Stormhammer was busy working on some new gear for the operation and I dispatched Alfred to deliver letters personally.

How he has grown. I only hope that his experiences to not leave him so hard that he becomes brittle. I am pleased to see him bond with the new Rysak Ironblood. They are a good team. Until I am certain of Rysak’s mental health, he will stand with Corporal Wolfhaven and his team (Ranger 1st Class Sir Lugard, Ranger 1st Class Gwynlyn Argus of Sun’s Crossing).

My most enjoyable, if awkward moment of the month was joining Samira and Anaxelum at the Wayfarer’s Rest on a double outing. In truth, we just traveled together; staying in compliance with the ordinance. Elyanna and I had a WONDERFUL time. I know things are difficult with Samira, but I pray she finds what she seeks. After dinner, we walked the walls. Elyanna looked like an Angel, her hair powdered with snow, her eyes sparking violet in the moonlight. I fear I am struck.

The last two weeks of preparations were frantic as forces were moved into place. Already soldiers gathered, supplies stocked and orders cut for the White Silver Wolves Mercenary company to depart for the Northern Gathers. I even received missives from Kassagore seeking aid. Rorauk Fyrforg and his Soldiers of Stahlheim had done their part for Echer’Naught. Now it was time for war.

At the same time, I gathered the heroes of Shaintar, warriors like Murvoth and Whit, spellcasters like Thaleon and Ash. All old friends and comrades alike answered my call once again. So much to do. My only real regret was spending so little time with Elyanna.

Each day I cherish her wisdom, her patience, and her love more. Archanon grant that I return from this war, for I do not wish to spend another lifetime without her by my side. Let me stand the breech this one last time, my people need me. But when this is done, I must follow my heart.

On the 31st of Dark Moons I joined the Soldiers of Stahlheim in their camp where I laid out final arrangements for the march north and was honored to give a brief speech to the men. After which, I returned to my manor and put together my Last Will and Testament and crafted orders for Evoran should the worst happen.
All that was left was to spend a couple days with my beloved before my mission North on the 33rd of Dark Moons and pray.

Your most obedient servant,
Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

Addition:
Falling Ice 1st, 3125
Our mission was a success, but our worst fears have been realized. Vainar has returned and Shaya’Nor threatens to consume Camon. I go to join my column. The Soliders of Stahlheim are already gone. Alfred is furious that I will not bring him, but he is too important here. Elyanna, is sad, but bears it well. She may be the strongest of us all.

I leave papers with Evoran. Orders and my will. He will see it done. I trust him.

I will miss my home; fresh baked Schenkle bread, Alfred’s constant presence as familiar as my own shadow, watching the Rangers train, or just spending time with my men. Even Anaxelum’s stilted and awkward conversations. But most of all, I will miss her. For the Rangers, for Olara…for my love…

I go. May Archanon protect me. Protect us all.

See:
Campaign Report 60 Addendum
Vainar has Returned!
A Friend in Need…
White Silver Wolves Mercenary Company Marches North

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Campaign Report 59
End of an Investigation

Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara
Thirty Third Day of White River, Year 3124 Under the Light

A bit of an aside; Mugin Von Dietrich’s Last Call on the 9th of White River last long into the morning. Many worthy words were spoken for our fallen comrade, the Golden Gryphons who sacrificed their lives for ours, and for all those lost in recent months; far too many.

The evening was soured only by the looming cloud of the Ranger Investigation Team. And with my Alpha unit finally returned from their too-long vacation, the time for their interrogation fast approached. Per our custom, the evening revelry of the Last Call gave way to the somber tomb side service the following morning on the 10th.

For such an odd fellow, he had many friends. I guess it is true with Rangers, as different as we are, we are all one. Bishop Vallandrian sent one of his Last Rites Priests to oversee the prayers. I hope that Von D would appreciate the gesture. The entire unit, plus a few others he knew attended, including Corporal Alystar.

I worry for that man. He seems more brooding, almost…dark. Perhaps he cared more for his partner than he oft let on. Or, perhaps, there is another, more sinister cause. Whatever the case, he remained for the reading of the Will before storming off. Later, Evoran mentioned that he suspects the Priest seeks justice for Von D.

At first I thought that Von D’s choice of executor odd. I never knew that he and the Sergeant were all that close. But on reflection, who else would the Slayer trust?

For the time being, my top team was benched on administrative leave. Three days later, on the 13th, the first to leave. Ranger Thomas Zulcrum entered my office with a request for extended leave: arcfire training. I provided the necessary forms and he left.

As I understand, he made a bee-line straight for Sergeant Que’kasaars in his office downtown. Once again, a Ranger sought the Sergeant for legal advice. This time, Thomas asked Evoran to put his small in-town home up for sale. I suppose he is serious, or that his gambling has led him to lose everything.

That evening, I was visited by the Chief Inspector Ss’kar na Ssavassaran and his chief interrogator, Alfonze. The man was pleasant enough, six feet tall, blonde hair, blue eyed and spoke with an unmistakable Freeland’s accent. He greeted me warmly, apologized for inconveniencing me and requested to conduct their interview.
The cordiality ended there. With the Dregordian Inspector hulking in the corner, his slit eyes burning into my mind, Alfonze proceeded to lay bare the entirety of my two years in Echer’Naught. And that is all I can reveal about my interview. Though, when repeated to me, I confess that despite the unpleasantness of the experience, I feel the Investigation to be vitally necessary. I have made mistakes.

Beginning the following morning on the 14th and following through to the 17th the Alpha team was brought in for interrogation starting with Ranger 1st Class Silverfeather. They spoke with almost everyone, Corporal Ravenwood, Ranger 1st Class Ramshorn, Ranger Zulcrum, Ben Toma, and finally Sergeant Que’kasaars.

I understand that they continued to question Ranger 1st Class Ironblood in his cell. It was during this time that my son, Corporal Wolfhaven approached me to begin training Rysak as a Darkness Slayer. At first I was confused, as I understood that it was the Shade who made the request, not Rysak, but Alfred made a salient point. There was no better way to reacclimatize the dwarf than combat training. So, I approved.

In retrospect, this might have instigated some ill will between myself and the Inspector. Shortly after this order, I was asked to refrain from further actions which might be construed as interfering with an active investigation. It was STRONGLY suggested that I take some personal time.

I did not, though I did give way to my office. In truth, I have other operations to oversee and I had faith that my Rangers could handle the stress of the interrogations. If Kythros was to be mollified, I needed to be seen as utterly cooperative. So, I retired to my home to conduct “other” business.

Guards at the barracks informed me that Corporal Ravenwood and Anaxelum had a “conversation” outside the barracks on the 18th. Though, they were not privy to the content of the conversation, I can guess. My theory was nearly concerned by a second report that Anaxelum had immediately walked across town to conference with Sergeant Que’kasaars in his office for many, many hours.

Despite the obvious potential risk with keeping Storm Legionnaires here in Echer’Naught, I do hope that Samira is able to find some happiness. If it is with the Praetorian, so be it. I trust that she will always place her oaths to the Rangers first.

Two days later, on the 20th, the Inspector approved Ranger Zulcrum’s administrative leave. From what I understand, the Sergeant had managed to sell his house for a tidy profit. I only hope that Thomas does not come to regret giving up his life here. But, that is his choice. I did very much the same and things have worked out well enough so far.

Three days later, on the 23rd of White River, two new recruits and a Stahlheim transfer joined our ranks. Dakota Afliem, an Eldakar shootist and Benjamin Toma both took the cloak of the Ranger. Drainar, a dwarven sorcerer from Stahlheim, officially transferred to our command. My only regret is that I was not on hand to witness the oath myself. In all of this, that is the most grievous wound.

This new blood, as happy news as it is, cannot cancel the fact that Thomas is gone and Fekla Kolfis declined my offer to take the cloak as her brother once did. Though I respect and understand their choices, I admit that I am saddened. Added to the loss of Von D and Rysak’s current state…the team is more than decimated.

In two days, on the 25th of White River, I received “word” that an arrest had been issued for Sergeant Longtail’s husband, Streetrunner and that Ranger 1st Class Sarin Silverfeather had been placed in charge of the execution of the warrant. On his team were the new recruits Ranger Trainees Toma and Afliem along with Ranger Drainar.

I confess I had a moment of doubt. Streetrunner is well known to us. He has been both ally and enemy in the past, but Longtail would not marry anyone who was not exceptional. If things turned violent, my Rangers might suffer. Though I questioned the wisdom of sending such inexperienced Rangers to support Sarin, I was not in command of the operation.

As it happened, my concerns were unfounded. After a tense standoff, Streetrunner surrendered himself into Ranger authority.

Here, I must add a commendation for the actions of Ranger 1st Class, Sarin Silverfeather. Not only did he execute a politically volatile warrant with skill and efficiency when many of his fellow Rangers expressed outrage, he also competently secured cooperation from our Stahlheim allies in Low Town, and managed to negotiate Streetrunner’s surrender.

That known associates of Streetrunner quickly informed me of the situation is, to my knowledge, unattributable to Ranger 1st Class Silverfeather.

It was upon returning with Streetrunner, that the rest of the Alpha Team learned of the warrant and, due to an involuntary admission from Ranger Alphonze that Sergeant Minor Longtail was also under investigation and a warrant had been issued.

That was news to me, though, not surprising. The last I heard Longtail was headed to Lanthor following up on leads related to Velkalar. With the expansion of the Charter, the Freelands do fall under Ranger jurisdiction, though their fierce independence has made cooperation difficult. If Longtail was involved in counter espionage and an investigatory team attempted to apprehend her, I can imagine her reaction. Disappearing comes to mind.

By reports, Streetrunner remained with the Inspector, who he demanded to speak with alone, for seven hours. I need to imagine what details he revealed during this time. Nevertheless, the interview with Streetrunner concluded the investigation. It took no time for the Inspector to reach his decision.

The announcement fell the following morning, the 26th of White River. All Rangers, except those on critical assignments, were invited to the Regional Headquarters where the Inspection team would make its official announcement. Though the decision of the Inspection Team was only a recommendation to Kythros, I had no delusions it would have a strong bearing on my future.

I assembled with Alfred and the Inspection Team atop the courtyard steps as the Rangers assembled below. Rysak was present under guard by the Inspection Team.

Lieutenant Alphonze made the opening announcements. He revealed that those affected by supernatural powers, Thorgram and Samira, would be remanded to a facility in Kythros better able to content with their condition. He also informed the assembled Rangers that we had lost Fekla and Thomas. Lastly, he revealed that the official recommendation of the Investigation was that I be reassigned to a field command and that temporary Regional Command would transfer to Chief Inspector Ss’kar na Ssavassaran until such time as a permanent replacement was appointed.

However, when Lieutenant Alfonze turned to the Chief Inspector to address the assembled, the Dregordian inexplicably flew into a rage, attacking me with his Kayakor. Though every instinct screamed to defend myself, I could not be certain of the Inspector’s intentions, so I allowed events to unfold. My Rangers, however, reacted instantly.

Before the Inspector made more than two paces toward me, Sarin appeared before me taking the Kayakor’s blow to the chest. Arrows lanced from both Samira and Dakota, the first hobbling the massive Dregordian’s leg, the second piercing his arm forcing him to drop his weapon. Ben, somersaulted the crowed and interposed himself, not threatening, but ready to intervene.

I am particularly proud of Rysak who, shackled and unarmed, dropped all seven of her guards and sprinted for the stage to aid her fellow Rangers proving that my instincts were correct. Thorgram launched himself atop the man, pinning his arms and dragging him down.

The fight ended when Eris exerted her considerable will, seizing control of the Chief Inspector. By this point, I could see the fight was gone in his eyes, so I ordered him released into custody of his own men. As he was being taken inside, I commanded Sergeant Que’kasaars to lock down the grounds and not let anyone in or out.
We spent the next days treating the Inspector’s wounds and scanning him for any evidence of having been influenced by an outside source. Nothing we tried revealed anything. It appears that the stress of the investigation momentarily caused him to lose control of his bestial nature. As I was the target of his…focus, he natural attacked me.

This is the official explanation, though I have difficulty believing an adept of such power would so easily succumb to his primal instinct. Still, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, that is the explanation with which we must go.

It took hours to clear everyone in the courtyard, but eventually everyone was cleared and we confirmed no intruders. While we investigated the event, I ordered my Rangers to return normal duties. It took nearly two weeks for the Investigation to wrap up.

In light of the Inspector’s behavior, the case was tagged for reassignment. Though, any further action would have to wait until the present team was fully debriefed and investigated. With the extreme political pressure, the embarrassment of the Chief, and the exemplary actions on behalf of my team, I imagine it would be some time before anyone elects to move on this investigation.

So, I remain in command. For the moment. However, I am unsatisfied with the conclusion of this investigation.
I believe that the Inspector was sabotaged. There is further evidence of betrayal, but until I have concrete proof, or can certainly identify our mole, I will refrain from action. But, I am close. And I will not fail.

White River comes to a close and the present crisis is, for the moment, abated, but Velkalar is at large and more Rangers have fallen to his bounties. Darkness is on the Rise and we are hearing reports of strange activity to the north.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Well...that just happened...

So, I get a missive from Wolfhaven, first contact I have had with him in months. He tells me to head to the Regional HQ because he is mobilizing a strike force for some mission. Normal Wolfhaven half talk, but I know it is something important by his rushed delivery of said missive so I make haste and fly my ass there as fast as Zavonis will take me.

When I arrive I see that the strike force is already assembled, and it contains damn near an army from Stahlheim, and also the Prince Brinchie from our other campaigns. Included were a couple other familiar faces, and also noticed two other familiars whom also had reached Archon status within the Church. Knowing this, I was pretty sure where ever we were heading, it was going to take some of Archanon’s wrath to solve so I smirked as I made my way to greet Wolfhaven.

As we got underway, things moved in a blur, and the feeling of using one of those damn Arcfire gates is one I won’t soon forget, and won’t soon want to ever use again…. that one wasn’t even the weirdest one of the trip, but Ill get to those in a minute. When we landed, we were pretty much smack dab in the middle of Shaya’nor, and like seems to happen every fucking day, a group of batshit crazy cultists where chanting away. It took every ounce of my being not to light the fuckers up with my wrath, but thought better of setting off a Giant Light Beacon for all the nasties of Shaya’nor to home in on. We were instructed to “bear witness” to something that was through an Ebonway portal…. Well with the one we found in Farwatch, I am glad that we didn’t end up using that one, because let me tell you, those ebonway passages are things of nightmares! It didn’t as much cause physical pain, but the stench and rotting feeling of my soul will linger for days! Where we arrived was quickly explained as the Greylands… Now I know I have slacked in my Cosmology readings, and hell even in my Magical Academia, but I have no clue in the entirety of Shaintar where we were, until someone quickly mentioned that this is where Vainar was entombed…. Yeah, so there was that… we are where the betrayer was dormant. Great, time to head out…. nothing to see here…. until we found a giant ruined circle with hundred of bodies inside. We figured that this was a great source of necromantic ritual power, and were greeted quickly with the sight of Darkness opening up a storm of fury to the east. Being the heroes we all were, we of course headed directly in that direction. Soon we found out that we may have stumbled upon something that will shake the entirety of Shaintar.
As we approached we all heard the chanting, which is usually always something I hear when dealing with the Flame or Darkness, but this one made me pause for a second as I heard the simple number of chanters….over multiple thousands! And these weren’t just run of the mill cultists, no we had the cream of the undead crop there, and well, that is when we heard what they were chanting….. Vainar….Vainar….Vainar….and well thats when we realized….he isn’t dormant anymore….
Now I am not quite sure how, or what was said, but we all decided to make a “tactical withdrawal” back to the ruins to make preparations for our trip out.
We just had to stem the tide of the small undead army, that pretty much saw us as a tasty snack waiting to be swallowed. I know most of the next couple minutes were a mass of motion, but the main thing I can attest to was that the full force of Darkness beared upon us, and we did not flinch. We readied ourselves and with the skill and power of Archanon, we blasted and slashed everything we could muster. I was able to call upon the Lord of Lights blessings in a magnificent way, by obliterating a giant corrupt Troll with the fury of White Silver right between….and through his beady souless black eyes. Also got to see Wolfhaven cut one down in a single swipe…. I still think my kill was more stylish, but will give the man his Credit.

Soon after we turned the tide, Ash was able to dispatch the necromancers that were trying to halt our departure, when a Very Large and seemingly angry Vampire Lord started stomping his happy ass towards us. I quickly readied myself in preparation against the great foe, when in normal Wolfhaven fashion, he went all sparkly and we were quickly relieved from that hellish plane and were standing outside of Echer’Naught, and Wolfhaven turned to us and said somberly, let EVERYONE know that Vainar has returned.

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Campaign Report 58
Method and Madness

Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

Tenth Day of White River, Year 3124 Under the Light

With any operation there is inherent risk and commanders must be willing to accept losses or he will quickly lose control. That said, when faced with a pattern of high risk, poorly executed operations with unsustainable losses, something must change. For this reason, I contacted Kythros via Farspeaker on the 1st of Gray Winds 3124 and requested an investigatory team be dispatched to my post for a complete top down review.

Despite every precaution taken and complying fully with all rules and regulations I continue to feel a nagging suspicion that my command has been compromised at the highest levels. Such paranoia has even cause my behavior to grow erratic as I tilt at windmills and jump at shadows. And yet, the thought that any of my Rangers could be colluding with outside forces fills me with sorrow.

I received word almost immediately, as if plans were already in the works, that a team would arrive by late Gray Winds. That issue in progress I turned my attention to Echer’Naught, the war in the north, and plans for my coming sortie. With the additional forces already dispatched from High Command, the unit brought in from Camp Wolfhaven, not to mention the Herculean efforts by my Stahlheim brothers, Echer’Naught was better staffed than it had been since before the Kal breached the walls.

Already, civilians, merchants, artisans, and soldiers arrived in growing numbers. The Low Town Housing Blocks near completion, good news as the tenement town in that district is filling to burst. And between the various forces at work within the city, our detention facilities are also quite full.

My own residence has received the highest levels of security housing as it does some of our most precious personnel: Hawksclaw’s family, my son, Lady Moonsiver (our only Farspeaker) and, of course, my dearest Lady Elyanna.

Plans move forward with the northern excursion, ships chartered, supplies stocked in Camp Wolfhaven. Barring any unforeseen circumstances the project should be ready to move forward by year’s end. I am worried though how my command staff will take this new mission. Assuming, of course, my command survives the coming investigation.

And, lastly, there is the delicate issue of Lady Moonsilver. A topic of which of which I will elaborate in due time.

Firstly, however, I must speak to the mission to recover Ranger 1st Class Rysak from captivity at the hands of agents of Darkness. My last report ended on the 15th of Gray Winds in the city of Paradise with my Rangers having recovered Rysak, or what was left of the Dwarf after the villains had scooped out his mind, and were holed up planning in their base of operations in the fetid, reeking yurt behind the tanning yards.

They rested for the day, lying low making plans.

In the wee hours of the 16th of Gray Winds, Evoran was collecting the private funds of the Rangers in the hope of scraping enough money to afford passage out of the Paradise Ports. Our new ally Jade Flame Adept Benjamin Toma, Longtail’s newest hire SwiftBlade (the Brinchie), and, of course, Fekla who could not fit inside the Yurt were all on watch while the remaining team, Sergeant Que’Kassars, Corporal Ravenwood, Rangers 1st Class Silverfeather and Ramshorn, and Ranger Zulcrum planned for their escape with the Dwarf.

They were in the middle of discussions when things, as usual, went south, hard. Unknown assassins attacked the sentries outside. Both Toma and SwiftBlade had their throats unceremoniously slit. Fekla was blinded by some alchemical concoction. She, of course, bellowed.

Alerted to the danger, the Rangers leaped into action. Sarin reacted quickest, bursting out the door. His action, however, perplexes me. Seeing Fekla beginning to succumb to rage, he elected to shoot her in the leg. This did little damage but immediately provoked her into attacking. Since she could not see, she simply smashed everything in the vicinity.

Thorgram exited next and, assessing the situation, elected to drag the wounded Adept back into the tent for healing. And proceed to do so. As preoccupied as he was, he missed the alchemical bombs being tossed into the tent over his shoulder.

Evoran spotted them just as they exploded in his face, destroying the tent and blasting everyone inside. Even as the bombs sailed through the air both Thorgram and Thomas reacted with lighting speed each using his own body to shield an ally: Thorgram protected his patient and Thomas threw himself in front of Samira who, though blown out of the tent, was unharmed.

Both men survived their heroics, though I understand that Thomas was “hurled like a man sized discus.” As the dust settled and Evoran began to dust himself off and stamp out the fire engulfing his robes, Samira noticed that one of their number was decidedly absent: Rysak.

In the explosion, the Dwarf had freed himself and escaped. Fortunately, his tracks were easy to follow. There were precious few soot footed Dwarves running around Paradise.

After calming Fekla down, Evoran left Thorgram and Samira with Fekla and the downed sentries (Toma and SwiftBlade) to oversee their treatment and to keep Fekla from going berserk while he, Thomas, and Samira tracked the mad dwarf. The diminutive warrior had not made if far. Obviously the explosion had done serious damage.

The trio came upon Rysak raving in a pit left over when a building burned to the ground. The dwarf was pain crazy and clawing at the sides like a blind man. Thomas volunteered to climb down into the pit to retrieve the Ranger. The Olaran easily slid into the pit just in time to be brained by Rysak who had picked up a piece of charred wood. That sparked the fight which continued to rage.

Two heavily armed Rangers slaughtering each other in the pit began to attract unwanted attention. A crowd gathered, coin changed hands, and I understand that local hawkers even began selling food like the fight was some planned public spectacle.

Eventually, Evoran was forced to act. Despite the inadequacies in their arms, the two warriors were simply too evenly matched resulting in a prolonged and public put the team in greater and greater risk the longer they remained. Worse, agents of Darkness could arrive at any moment and the rest of his team were back at their former camp at less than half strength. With few options remaining to him, Evoran ordered Sarin to end the fight.

As usual, the Paladin executed his duties with ruthless dispatch. Rysak went down like a sack of oats and Thomas dragged the Dwarf’s lifeless body out of the pit. Everything seemed to be turning around…

However, back at the camp site things were not going as well. Under normal circumstances a raging Ogress would probably have sent the locals packing. However, this was a den of prostitutes, thieves, floater dealers, and their addicts. By report, her ruckus even broke up an attempted murder of a John by his harlot.

These unhappy souls were very put off being disturbed from their vices and began to gather with violent intent. After seeing to the wounded, Thorgram felt the best course of action would be to scare the growing crowd away with a well-timed intimidation. A sensible plan which failed utterly.

Rather than scaring off the crowd, his actions provoked them to rage. A crowd became a mob and attacked. Suddenly the wounded Adept and Mercenary found themselves under attack again. Thorgram, seeing his only option would be to slaughter civilians, turned tail and bolted to find the Sergeant. That is what I choose to believe. SwiftBlade also chose the better part of value and followed on his heels.

Unfortunately, this left a wounded and dazed Ben, a helpless Samira, and a blind, and pissed off Fekla behind to face the mob alone. It really didn’t matter. As soon as Fekla came under attack all reservation fled and she set about killing everything. This managed to break up the mob, but not until she had murdered at least two dozen citizens of that city.

I imagine that she will not be welcomed again.

Evoran, on his way back, look up to see a fountain of blood and a spooked half-orc running in his direction. The reunion was far from joyous as the Sergeant manhandled the Ranger BACK in the direction of the mass slaughter. By the time the team reunited, the battle was over and the field was a thick soup of blood, offal, and charred remains from the blast.

Now the entire city was aware of their presence and all of the collected money had been scattered by the bombs and much picked up by the rioters leaving the Rangers stranded in a hostile city with little hope of escape. They were saved by the timely intervention of a friendly forces in the guise of a woman named Danica, a member of the Golden Gryphons.

Apparently, they stationed a team in the region keeping tabs on enemy activity. My Ranger’s somewhat raucous activities impelled them to act on our behalf lest the entire unit of Rangers get themselves killed. Danica led the team to the Gryphon camp outside of the city where her Captain Rhine spoke with Evoran.

He agreed to escort the Rangers and their captive to a nearby independent port town of Tovin. The Rangers had to agree to follow his commands and keep in line. Evoran readily agreed. And so, the Rangers began a week long hike along the coastal road out of the Desert Princes.

However, by the first night Danica had spotted an enemy column following the group. Each successive night, the enemies came closer. On that first night, Corporal Ravenwood was able to stealth into the enemy camp and observe their number. It seemed that they had been lighting more than twice the number of campfires at night than would be required for a force of their size in an effort to psychologically intimidate the Rangers. Worse, they were carrying with them the means to animate powerful Undead servants.

For three days and nights the enemy column marched in perfect close order, quickly establishing their faux camp and running the Rangers into the ground. The Shaya’Nor unit executed Olaran tactics as if trained at the Helt Academy.

On the third night, the 18th of Gray Winds, the Captain Rhine told Evoran that he expected an attack that or the following night. And, should things turn ugly, Evoran was to lead the Rangers out while his men covered their retreat sending only Danica as a guide. His words were prophetic.

In the pre-dawn hours on the 20th, Darkness attacked.

Thorgram was on the line, when the Troglanesh surged out of the woodline. After four days without sleep, both Sarin and Evoran were unconcious due to fatigue. Ben had just awakened from 18 hours of fitful sleep due to the blood loss of his severed throat.

Weary, battered and demoralized, the Rangers managed to form ranks and engage the enemy advance. Fekla, frustrated by the days events charged into battle with abandon. The Rangers survived the first onslaught, but more enemies surged and with them Bone Golems which engaged Fekla and pinned her with their bone-whip tentacles.

Roused by the sounds of battle, Evoran and Sarin staggered to their feet. Evoran rallied his men while Sarin soared in and summoned the power of Archanon to blast the Bone Golems with sheering white Light. The beasts were staggered and eventually released under onslaught.

2016BoneGolemJJ.jpg

However, Sarin took four bolt of Black Iron to the chest and began to fade. Evoran, realizing the situation called for withdrawal. Even as he was laying down fire, a new figure, the enemy commander strode onto the field. He was a creature unlike they had ever seen, clad in black armor with a flowing black cape.

On he came, neither quickly or with hesitation, but stalked forward with a slow steady pace. Captain Rhine charged to meet him and was easily, and unceremoniously bisected by a single, casual backhanded blow from the villains enchanted sword.

With that, Evoran ordered his men off the field and the Rangers turned and left the last two Gryphons to by a few precious seconds with their lives. It worked. The Rangers reached the port of Tovin without encountering any further attempts by Darkness.

By the time they reached Tovin on the 21st, Fekla was carrying over the team who had passed out from exhaustion. They were forced to collapse in an inn until everyone had time to recover. Fortunately, the stay in Tovin was without incident and Danika was able to secure passage on a freighter headed to Eastport.

The group sailed out of Tovin on the 23rd and arrived in Eastport without incident on the 31st of Gray Winds after a boring 11th day journey home. Picking up their mounts, they headed home via the Eldara road. Again, this leg of the journey was completed without interruption, thank Archanon, and my Rangers arrived ragged and tired, but triumphant on the 9th of White River.

When the team entered, not having even stopped to change, I already had a guest, the Inspector, a Dregordian Adept who leads the most successful, and thorough, investigation team in the Corps. He and his team had arrived in the city on the 21st of Gray Winds (22 days before) giving them ample time to begin their investigation.

Their first major breakthru was to discover that the Red Lamp had simply vanished. Not the physical structure, but the entire building had been cleaned out and there staff, Madame Lithillien included, had simply vanished. No one that could be reached knew anything. The only evidence found was that they had closed their doors “temporarily” for some renovation (post invasion) and never re-opened.

Of note, Sergeant Minor Longtail’s husband, Streetrunner, also vanished and is wanted for questioning.

The investigation team, with nearly a month, had already perused our entire library of reports, going through all unit and personal records, spoken with most of the key figures in the town and started Mind Reading the newer recruits.

The Inspector has also issued an order that non-Rangers will be excluded from High Level Ranger missions until our security situation can be addressed.

Even with the spectre of the inquest in the room, my Rangers delivered their report with professionalism to make me proud. The investigation team took custody of Rysak to begin his interrogation while I dismissed my men to get cleaned up and eat something hot.

I did ask that Evoran would accompany me for a brief moment for an important mission.

For months I have been keeping Eris Moonsilver away from her fellow Rangers. In fact, she has not had personal contact in over four months. We also increased security and provided round the clock protection on her person.

When Evoran entered the room where Hawksclaw’s family stood around Eris who held a baby boy in her arms born the 6th of White River, 3124. Hawksclaw’s son. If our enemies had learned that our only Farspeaker was entering the end of her pregnancy, they could have planned coordinated attacks while our communications were down.

Worse, they might have attempted to kidnap or harm woman or child. When I realized that a Shade had replaced one of our own and that I might be allowing the enemy access to the mother, I, perhaps, overreacted. Nevertheless, I feel confident that now that my team understands the reason behind my bizarre behavior they will forgive any harshness in my attitude.

With security still at a premium, only Evoran was allowed direct access to the child. But, with the Last Call that evening for Von D and all our recent fallen, I felt it a perfect opportunity to allow the Sergeant make the announcement.

I must admit that sitting in the room with all my Rangers listening to Evoran announce the birth and seeing the great joy on everyone’s faces warmed my heart and gave me hope. It was only marred slightly by the figure of the Inspector lurking in the corner like a ghost.

We have much to do and I still cannot shake this nagging suspicion that we are betrayed. I only hope that if and when such is revealed, the fallout will not irrevocably damage this unit. I would rather take the fall than break up what has become a family.

Tomorrow is the 10th of White River. A new day and we have new potential recruits. Danica would be a solid asset, as would Ben. I have hope for the future.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Into Darkness
Rysak Ironblood
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