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

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.

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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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Campaign Report 57
Paradise Lost

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

Fifteenth Day of Gray Winds, Year 3124 Under the Light

My Rangers awoke just outside of Anasia on the 22nd of White Stagg and began the long trek home through the Elven woods. For the most part, the trip was uneventful, save for the night that they lost nearly all of the tomes they had lost so much to retrieve. At the time, they were awoken on the night of the 24th in the woods between Ey’Dreigh and Greenvale by the sight of a small bonfire in the distant woods.

Ranger 1st Class Ironblood and the newest addition Ben Toma were on watch. They immediately alerted Sergeant Que’kassars. The good Sergeant ordered Ranger 1st Class Silverfeather and Corporal Ravenwood forward to scout as he readied the unit.

What they discovered chilled their bones, causing Sarin to make haste back to the camp with word that the bonfire was, in fact, a book burning…possibly those books they had been charged to protect. Evoran frantically checked Fekla’s sack to find a neat cut in the weave and the vessel entirely empty of books. In a mild panic, the Sergeant deployed his Rangers to the bonfire where he rescued as many books from the fire while the team formed a perimeter.

With the package secured as well as possible, the Rangers searched the area for tracks and found few; all of which vanished within a short distance. Now wide awake, the Rangers pushed on, though for the duration of the trip, the last few books were kept at all times with whomever was on watch so that at no time were they “out of sight”.

They arrived here in Echer’Naught on the 30th of White Stagg, fatigued and in pain from their recent loss. I had ordered our flags lowered to half mast as soon as I was notified of Von Dietrich’s death and I hoped that our collective mourning might ease their pain. Que’kassars’ debrief was short, and rather succinct; a sure indicator of his suffering. As usual, I gave his team leave while they recovered from the mission. I also planned to have Von D’s Last Call and funeral in the next few days, once everyone sufficiently rested.

After the general meet was over, I spoke privately with Corporal Ravenwood concerning her…affliction. With Von D’s recent betrayal, I benched her until she presented a reasonable plan for controlling her burgeoning abilities; whatever those may be.

I was surprised and pleased by SwiftBlade’s skill and ability during this entire episode and, after the recent crisis is abated and he is found loyal, I intend to offer him the cloak. We shall see if he accepts.

Also, I know that Sergeant Que’kassars took the opportunity to pull Von D’s Last Will and Testament. His request was that only the Sergeant was to handle his affairs.

Of note, I understand that Sarin Silverfeather has been promoted to Curate of the Church of Light. He is owed congratulations. He performed a difficult duty without hesitation and deserves our gratitude. Although, I fear that not even Sarin was able to destroy Von D. There will come a reckoning.

With things moving apace at the HQ, I elected to go ahead and have the Last Call the following evening on the 31st of White Stagg at my own home in the city. I was inside with most of the Rangers when the alarm bell was sounded at the front gates. My men responded with surprising alacrity, easily beating me to the door.

By the time I arrived, the battle, such as it was, had moved across the street and down an ally where Rangers and local guards were clustered around a pile of what looked like armor. Something about the scene disturbed me and as I rode in, they parted slowly before me. At a glance, I noted the armor and weapons belonged to Ranger 1st Class Rysak Ironblood, but of the dwarf, there was no sign.

From the shocked and agitated expressions, I braced for the worst. It was Fekla, however, who revealed to our company the true horror…

For some time, likely long before leaving the Island, Rysak had been replaced by a creature of Darkness…a Shade…

I had now lost TWO Rangers to Darkness and all for a handful of water and fire damaged tomes that may, or may not, be of any use. Could I have been deceived? Could Von D have been working against us for longer than we surmised?

Immediately, I sent Sarin to the Temple of the Silver Unicorn to enlist the aid of her Paladins. They, above all, could hunt this beast. And then a new horror dawned…

Despite our careful observations and routine mental and spiritual examinations, the potential that I had willingly allowed an agent of Vainar’s will to manipulate me so completely. It was then that I realized if two of my Rangers were now in league with Darkness, more could be. I made immediately to my manor and had it further locked down.

Now, at all times!

Rangers, Gendarre and Anaxelum’s men scoured the manor finding now further evidence of infiltration, but to be sure, I evicted all by my most trusted agents.

Shortly, my Rangers arrived to find me deep in thought. My mind spun, plotting and counter plotting the moves. What information had our enemy gained, how would they use it, how must I maneuver to stop them. A thousand thousand scenarios played out, each one more dastardly than the last…

I am locked in a deadly game with formidable foes on all sides and already I have lost Olgor to Flame, Hawksclaw and Sarah to Velkalar, and now both Von D AND Rysak to Darkness…

It required all of my will not to succumb to the righteous anger that very nearly overwhelmed me. As it was, I fear that I spoke too harshly to my men who had only ever acted to the best of their abilities. Evoran braved my attention and I demanded a report.

He confirmed the worst, that Rysak was gone and we had a Shade loose in the city. And, it seems that it was the Shade who mostly likely stole and burned the books, though, I cannot dismiss that our newest addition, Toma, was on guard as well.

I cannot afford the luxury of trust. With so much at stake, I could not permit this team, compromised as it was, to remain within the manor. Until such time as I could form a reasonable plan moving forward, they would have to be confined to quarters at the Regional HQ for their safety and for ours.

As they departed, the crushing weight of responsibility crashed down. So many lost, so many enemies worming their way into our ranks… Losing Rysak seemed the straw to break me. Who can I trust now?

There was a time when I knew each Ranger by name, and by heart. Rah-Sahn, Aradove, Rildrirr and even Evoran had served with me in the trenches. By now, from my desk atop the hill I had become an imperious, faceless overlord. And in return, I had lost any sense of the heart of my men…

At least, there are still a few who I have shed blood with and who have never failed me, Rildrirr, Alfred, Evoran…to lose any one of these…or worse, to lost faith? I do not know if I could recover.

I presumed Ryask to be lost to us…but it would appear that might not be the case. Though I am loathe, I cannot reveal my source here, but a little bird whispered that the Shaya’Nor fleet from Nazatir had made berth in the Desert Princes port of Paradise, an ill named city if I had ever heard.

So, on the 1st of Gray Winds, 3124, I summoned the Alpha team, plus Fekla, SwiftBlade and Ben Toma to my office. Their choice was simple. They could embark on an unsanctioned, potentially suicidal, mission with a barest hope of recovering our lost Ranger and in doing prove their loyalty…at least somewhat. Or, they could remain in protective custody until the Ranger Investigation team arrived.

All chose to go and I have them leave. They would travel west to Eldara, catch a boat south to Eastport and then take a ship west to Paradise where they were to recover Rysak, if possible, or destroy whatever he had become. Samira, however, had a choice to make, to embrace her Tempest and follow Nell’s path, or to seek Anaxelum’s mental discipline. She chose the latter.

Of note, Ranger Zulcrum has elected to continue his arc-fire training with Sergeant Major Stormhammer, assuming he returns.

My Rangers were gone by mid-day, riding hard and fast. Moving fast on horse-back, they could make it to Eldara in 4 days and 2 more would have them in Eastport.

While they embarked on their mission, I turned my attention to other matters. The recent setbacks had shaken me deeply. So much so, that I sent a message to Kythros requesting an official inquest into my leadership and the Rangers under my command. It is only a matter of time before the ills that have befallen my command to demand direct action from Kythros. So much better that I request an investigation into my leadership and cooperate fully.

On a better note, the Rangers of Stahlheim have proven their worth again. The construction projects move forward apace and they have managed to triumph over the forces of Darkness and corruption within the city. They even captured a potential source of information, if we can keep her alive and away from her former comrades. Below are enclosed reports.

South to Echer’Naught

Accounts to Echer’Naught: 10th of Harvest Moons

Elak’s Log: Harvest Moons the 1st – 15th

Grum’s Thoughts on Re-Building Low Town

Account of LowTown Squabble :Harvest Moon 33rd

Patroling Low Town

Mission Log: Forest Dance the 13th.

Account of Investigation

Low Town patrol

Account of Nightguard Bounty

Typical night in Echer Naught…….

Account of Nightly Avenging

Meeting The Most Important Person

Second Nightguard & Tweaking Hitler

Potential black eye averted?

My Rangers arrived in Eastport on the 7th of Gray Winds and were able to charter a boat through Pirate infested waters to Paradise. By some miracle, they arrived without incident and made port in Paradise on the 14th of Gray Winds 3124. I have never had occasion to enter the Desert Princes, but from everything I have learned from the Olaran soldiers returning from the country, the land is only marginally preferable to the Empire in that, at least in the Desert, the ruling powers are not trying to enslave you…they simply don’t care if you are enslaved.

Language would be an issue and it fell to Thomas and Thorgram to speak for the group. As I understand via Ms. Moonsilver, the group was “made” by end of day and the local refused to work with them. Left with little choice, the Rangers gathered at a local watering hole in hopes of posing as Olaran mercenaries to find work. This too was short lived as Trolls from Shaya’Nor agents within the city attacked Fekla starting a brawl which attracted far too much attention.

Worse, during the ensuing fight, some party attempted to kidnap Corporal Ravenwood, likely to sell her into slavery. Alone, now outed, the Rangers were in dire straights…only to encounter an individual I cannot say I am happy was in town.

Longtail’s friend, the assassin arrived and offered his assistance…for a hefty fee. Looking back, I can see that my tolerance for allowing my Rangers to work with such individuals has come at a high price. Yes, there are those such as Fateweaver and Streetrunner who have eventually made for themselves a better life. Yet, I cannot help but feel that I have been far to lax in regards to protocol. Consider my agreement to allow the Red Lamp to continue operation within the city.

When the Ranger inquest arrives, I feel that many of these policies will be subject to change.

Nevertheless, with few options, Sergeant Que’kassars agreed to the mercenary’s terms. In return for providing safe housing and information on Rysak, we paid him a king’s ransom. Per usual, he was good as his word and set up the Rangers in a foul-smelling hovel behind a tannery. Despite the foul stench, I understand that it was surprisingly secluded and relatively safe.

Meanwhile, the assassin made inquires and discovered that the Shaya’Nor fleet was still in port, for once intelligence live up to the hype, and that the dignitaries were staying in a local complex owned by one of the city’s powerful shieks.

He also revealed that they had a company of Dwergs, corrupted dwarves, in their company. His deal complete, he left the Rangers to plan their next moves.

Attacking the ships was out of the question and the complex would be a tough nut to crack. So, the Rangers decided to try and find the Dwergs outside of either location. And, as Dwergs are still technically dwarves, bars seemed the most likely locale. Leaving Fekla and Corproal Ravenwood to secure their…base, the Rangers went hunting Dwergs.

Perhaps unsurprising, the Dark dwarves were not trying to hide. They were partying at a tavern within a short walk from their own complex. However, the situation proved more dire when Thorgram noticed that one of the 7 dwergs in attendance was none other than Rysak himself…

…another of our company had joined with Darkness…

Targets located, Ben approached the barkeep who was more than happy to keep tabs on the dwergs, for a large purse. With that, the Rangers collected their allies and made ready the ambush.

In the wee hours of the 15th of Gray Winds, the Rangers of Echer’Naught fell upon the unsuspecting villains as they staggered back from a night’s carousing. The plan: Take out Rysak quickly and finish off the other dwergs, though they understood their orders and were prepared to kill Rysak if necessary.

As it happened, the ambush was textbook and Rysak went down early. Moping up the other dwergs was not difficult, and they might have even had some help from our “friend”. With Rysak bound, they retreated to their tent to make preparations to leave the city. Unfortunately, when they attempted to wake Rysak for questioning, the dwarf thrashed and spat like a mandman forcing them to knock him out.

My latest report was just before dawn, Eris relayed that they were going to attempt to book passage on a ship home. I hope they are successful. A land route home would be…problematic and long.

I am left with too many dilemmas. So we have recovered Rysak, but his mind is gone, consumed by the monster which is still, presumably, in my city. I am unsure whether I can trust my top team and I am now more concerned whether I should even allow Thorgram and Samira to remain on active duty, considering what happened with Von D. Can I afford to lose their skills?

Darkness is rising and Velkalar kills Rangers by the day. I pray Longtail’s mission is successful. We need a victory.

May Archanon guide me.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

View
Last Will and Testament of RFC Mugin Von Dietrich
Perished in the line of duty, 11th White Stagg, 3124-13th hr

Official eyes only

View
Campaign Report 56
Death of Mugin Von Dietrich

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

Twenty First Day of White Stagg, Year 3124 Under the Light

From the evening of the 10th until the morning of the 12th I had no word, no information as to the condition of my men. I was started in my study on that brutally cold morn when Ranger Malcolm dashed into my office. Lady Moonsilver had made contact with Sergeant Que’kassars, but the images were disjointed, rushed almost as if the Ranger were…fleeing for his life.

It took some time to piece together that the team had survived but were just then being hunted. Then, Sergeant Que’kassars abruptly broke connection. I feared he might have fallen…

We waited, with great unease for nearly four hours. Only then was Eris able to make any kind of connection to Evoran’s mind. And even that at great effort as the Sergeant was barely standing from wounds and fatigue. However, we learned what we required…
…one of our company had fallen.

Two days prior late on the 10th of White Stagg, Sergeant Que’kassars team made landfall on the beach of Von D island. They were faced with the choice of proceeding into the Darkened jungle or waiting on the beach until morning. With a strict 3 day deadline from the captain before they would be stranded, the team decided to enter the jungle a few hours before dark.

Team: Sergeant Minor Aradove Longtail, Sergeant Evoran Que’kassars, Corporal Samira Ravenwood, Rangers 1st Class Mugin Von Dietrich, Rysak Ironblood, Sarin Silverfeather, Ranger Thomas Zulcrum, and ally Fekla Kolfis. In addition, Longtail had managed to pick up another mercenary, a Brinchie called SwiftBlade.

They made it nearly half way to the central mountain before making camp in the overgrown ruins of one of the Island’s former villages. That night, they were attacked by a swarm of what they later identified as Trogolodytes, though some bizarre island savage variety. As the entire island was cloaked in Gloom, the creatures were rendered nigh invisible making combating them nigh impossible.

Ultimately, the Rangers set fire to the jungle around them denying the savages their greatest advantage and, thereby, managing to survive the night. The next morning, the 11th, the Rangers arrived at the base of the island’s central mount. There, they negotiated a treacherous switchback trail up many hundreds of feet before arriving, tired, wounded, and soaked before a set of massive gates.

Even as they began to consider how to scale the wall, the gates opened to reveal a welcoming committee of Shayakar Nightguard. As the team stood stunned, Von Dietrich was cordially invited into his home. In confused silence, they were led into the courtyard filled with enemy Shaya’Nor combatants. Strangely, the assembled army of Darkness made no move to harm or imprison the Rangers. Rather, they seemed to almost expect the team’s arrival.

After walking through the courtyard, they were led into a main hall where a High Level meeting was taking place with representatives from across Shaya’Nor and more. We are still waiting for a full debrief. Nevertheless, the team discovered that Mugin’s older brother, Mortis, was collaborating with Shaya’Nor.

He greeted his brother warmly enough. Despite the potentially violent situation, all parties acted with admirable restraint. Mortis Von Dietrich invited Mugin into their home and offered on night of sanctuary for the entire team. With that, they were all escorted to Chambers, though, again, no move was made to harm them in any way.

Despite the fact that the team was in no immediate danger, Mortis was unwilling to allow the team access to the Library or armory, though he did offer to return their father’s sword to Mugin. Unwilling to allow our only chance to access the vital Von D records slip away, Mugin, without consultation, challenged his brother to a duel for ownership of the keep and all contained.

In return, should Mugin have fallen, the lives of his entire team would have been forfeit. Perhaps I placed too much importance on the secrets we could glean from the ancient tomes… That is the only possible reason I can think that would compel my Ranger to make such a reckless decision. No secrets could possibly be worth the lives of the entire Ranger team.

Or, perhaps, the jealous brotherly rivalry. On reflection, I must consider that the impetus for the challenge was, at least in part, Mugin’s quest for resolution over the death of his family and the betrayal of his brother. I cannot hold Longtail or Que’kassars culpable as they had no notion of the particulars until it was far too late. And had Von D returned, I would have been required to reprimand him for circumventing the chain of command. In the balance, I will only postulate here, but refrain from entering any ruling in Mugin’s official file.

While the rest of the Rangers remained confined, but comfortable in Chambers, Von Dietrich was allowed to prepare for the impending duel in his father’s room attended by family servants. From what we gleaned, both Evoran and Sarin sensed a major ritual of Darkness happening beneath their feet somewhere within the Von D manor. We are still uncertain as to the nature of the ritual being performed.

At the breaking of the 13th hour, all were fetched and led to a balcony overlook where the agents of Darkness had assembled. Both duelists, Mugin Von Dietrich of the Gray Rangers and Mortis Von Dietrich of House D, were announced as were their seconds. Sergeant Que’kassars, as it happened, performed the duty for his brother in arms.

Once both duelists had taken their places, the fight began. I have few details on the actual bout other than that Mortis was a strong practitioner of Necromancer with a preference for summoning. By all accounts Von D fought valiantly, but in the end, Mortis was simply too powerful.

With the lives of his friends and the failure of his mission in the balance, Mugin Von Dietrich was backed into a corner I can scarcely comprehend. And, again, there is the ever present brotherly rivalry. In the end, Ranger Von Dietrich felt compelled to sacrifice himself for what her doubtless perceived as the greatest good.

I regret that in the moment of dire need, Von D willingly submitted to the curse that had so long plagued him by uttering one word: Vainar.

In that moment, Von D ceased to be our ally and brother in arms and instead joined the ranks of Darkness. However, the power that he received imbued him with the power necessary to slay his brother and, thereby, win the duel. At the moment of victory, Ranger Silverfeather, under my expressed orders, executed the fallen Ranger with a single arrow to the back of the neck.

Needless to say, the hosts were displeased at this event and violence very nearly ensued. Worse, whatever power possessed Von D, was released in a blast which caused a reaction within everyone in the radius sparking and involuntary reaction of their own powers, Evoran was engulfed in purple, eldritch energy and Sarin was wreathed in Light. More troubling, however, Samira seemed to be possessed of the Tempest, a crackling storm and all, Thorgram was consumed by the heat of Flame so intense that it cracked the flagstones and Aradove simply vanished…

And then, all powers, were snuffed out in a single handclap as a man descended the steps down to the party. One must assume that he is some powerful agent of Vainar with High Magic powers. His identity and ultimate role to play is not yet known. He did, however, prevent any bloodshed and, stranger yet, bound the assembled agents of Shaya’Nor to the agreements of the duel. Why, I cannot say. He even had Von D’s effects, including his sword, returned to the Rangers.

As the bodies of the brothers were taken away, Vainar knows where, my Rangers committed themselves to accomplish their original mission before dawn as the agreed upon sanctuary ended promptly as the rise of dawn over the mountain. Breaking into teams, Evoran and Sarin in the Library, the rest in the armory, my Rangers quickly gathered vast knowledge, and what few remnants of the ancient Von D arsenal, all in the nick of time.

At an hour before dawn, they descended the mountain, reaching the base as the first rays of light peaked over the horizon. In that same instant, a cloud of winged creatures (crows…bats?) burst from the highest tower and began to swarm above the keep in an ever expanding cloud which cast an ominous shadow which crept down the mountain and threatened to blanket the island in a shroud of Darkness.

My Rangers realized their peril instantly, but the sudden rustling in the trees about them eliminated any doubt. As one, they turned and fled, running pell mell through the thick and rotten undergrowth. With every step they were hounded and harassed by swarms of the barbarian Troglodytes. Four nearly four hours they ran, scrabbled, climbed and fought their way clear…

By the time the reached the beach, stumbling into the light, they were exhausted and most badly wounded. Sergeant Que’kassars had the worst of it. Yet the Shadow stalked them spelling doom. Everyone dashed for the Long Boat, SwiftBlade seeming to know how best to handle it. Fekla just forged into breakers, quickly disappearing beneath the waves.

They all reached the boat, thank Archanon. Captain Smith was already nearly under weigh as the Long Boat and Fekla were winched aboard. Then, they turned their bow east and sailed home.

Nine days it took to reach Anasia once again, arriving as they did on the 21st day of White Stagg. It was, mercifully, a trip without incident. The Rangers disembarked easily enough. Though, Samira had a surprise waiting. One of her people was waiting to meet the group.

She, Longtail, and Que’kassars returned to the same bar they had nearly destroyed to find a friend waiting. He reported that, at long last, they had tracked the villain who stabbed and nearly killed Samira on orders from Velkalar to the city of Lanthor. Interrogating him was the first step to finding the master criminal. However, our war with Darkness could not be ignored and the tomes recovered from the Slayer Library might hold vital clues to combating that Darkness.

Longtail agreed to take the agent to Lanthor and capture the assassin while Sergeant Que’kassars brough the tomes here for study. Smith’s ship was still in harbor and she was on-board by nightfall and on her way to Lanthor. As their previous visit had wrought destruction on the city, the Rangers were asked to camp outside.

While in camp, another Agent dispatched by our Church of Light, and on my approval, met the group. His name is Ben Toma, an adept with the Church. He is young, and inexperienced, but uncorrupted by the war. So many of my best have been marred by constant struggle with forces far beyond our control. Ben, for the moment, is pure. So, we will use him.

It is late and so much rides upon the coming days. Reports roll in each day of new cults of Darkness, strange signs in the North and even here, in Echer’Naught, the Dwarves of Stahlhiem encounter forces of Darkness within these walls.

But that is not my greatest concern. I have lost Hawksclaw, dead?, and now I have offered up Von D to the Darkness he has spent a lifetime fighting. Thorgram is scorched by Flame, Samira consumed by Tempest, Longtail…Archanon knows what. Rysak has stared too long in the abyss. Only Sarin, Thomas, and Evoran appear to have avoided some darker fate.

How many more must I sacrifice? Too many…

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Campaign Report 55
Isle of Von D

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

Elevnth Day of White Stagg, Year 3124 Under the Light

As this morning, Farspeaker Eris Moonsilver has lost contact with the team moments after confirmation that they have arrived at their destination.

Now, it seems is the time to break the seal of silence regarding this operation. For the past months I have received disturbing reports about increased encounters with creatures of Darkness across the Southern Lands and beyond. Worse, as my long recon confirmed, armies of Shaya’Nor are on the march threatening the Northern Gathers and potentially invading as far south as Camon.

While many theories exist to explain this sudden new aggressiveness, we have few, if any, hard facts. Therefore, intelligence gathering has been at the forefront of our mission. To that end, I have been speaking with our resident Darkness expert, Mujin Von Dietrich with the hope of finding new sources of information and weapons to fight this ancient foe.

It was Von D who revealed that his family estate in the far off nation of Nazatir contained a massive and ancient library dedicated to the study and defeat of Darkness. Many of these tomes date all the way back to the Age of Darkness. So, in secret, we developed a plan to dispatch his team to Nazatir to recover what remains of the family archives and their whitesilver weapons cache. Due to the increased threat of infiltration by enemy agents, we agreed to keep the full nature of the mission secret even from our own people. Only Eris, Stormhammer, Von D and I had full knowledge of the mission.

As noted previously, the team departed Echer’Naught early 25th of Harvest Moons 3124 and made the trek south through Farwatch and Greenvale and then west to the port of Anasia. The trip was uneventful until reaching the port.

However, as reported by Sergeant Que’kassars, things become difficult upon reaching Anasia. Less than an hour in the town and three Rangers had violated the protocol of always travelling in pairs: Ranger Thomas Zulcrum, Ranger 1st Class Sarin Silverfeather, and even, much to my disappointment, Sergeant Evoran Que’kassars himself. I have scheduled additional security briefing upon the team’s return.

While the Sergeant went to spend time with his own “people”, Ranger 1st Class Silverfeather arranged accommodations in a nicer part of town, and young Ranger Zulcrum went looking for trouble…
… and he found it.

According to the report, Zulcrum entered a seedy, dive bar seeking a game of chance. What he found was local muscle in the employ of the self-styled crime boss Lord Velkalar. No sooner had Zulcrum entered the tavern when he was attacked by a dirty dwarf wielding a warhammer and a one-eyed orc with a battleaxe. Before he could recover, more patrons rose surrounding Zulcrum. Wounded, alone, and outnumbered, Zulcrum might well have died were it not for the timely and surprising intervention of Sergeant Minor Aradove Longtail.

I am still unsure why Longtail was in Anasia, nor how she was able to intercept my team. More curious, Eris Moonsilver was unable to contact Longtail…something I had not thought possible. Nevertheless, Longtail killed the dwarf by decapitation and scared off the rest of the gang. Zulcrum suffered minor injuries and a bent helmet nose piece. At this time Longtail also picked up local muscle, a mercenary Brinchie called SwiftBlade. I am unsure whether he was a plant by Longtail or a genuine local hire.

Much time has passed since a young Brinchie rogue joined my team. Though I trust Longtail implicitly, there are times I question her methods. Especially, more recently.

Longtail, Zulcrum and SwiftBlade found Sergeant Que’kassars speaking with local security. They had just enough time to brief the Sergeant on the event when a hue and cry rose from the wharf front. While the Sergeants were meeting, the rest of the Rangers, Corporal Ravenwood, Rangers 1st Class Ramshorn, Von Dietrich, and Ironblood had been drinking. However, upon seeing the gangers fleeing down the street, made their way to the scene of Zulcrum’s attack.

In their typical subtle way, they approached the dwarf’s headless corpse that had been tossed into the street for the undertaker. As they stood around the body, which had been stripped of valuable armor and weapons, they noted an embroidered strip of gold cloth with a detailed V in sky blue…tucked into his shirt. Knowing full well the danger they face, the group immediately froze not wanting to accidentally set of any hidden arc-fire devices.

This was the scene Sergeants Longtail and Que’kassars encountered as they returned to the bar; the entire troupe of Rangers standing comically frozen around the rapidly cooling corpse of the headless dwarf. At times I wonder. Nevertheless, Longtail secured the body and declared it free of devices. Evoran took the kerchief for future study, and Von D took the head.

This crises averted, Sergeant Que’kassars took Thomas Zulcrum to the local tailor to investigate the cloth. Samira and Thorgram went to recover Silverfeather and Fekla. The ogress had apparently stumbled upon the same fine establishment as the Priest and she made herself at home, much to the irritation of the proprietors. The rest of the team, under Longtail, secured multiple lodgings for the team. That evening everyone stayed together and compared notes while Fekla helped load the ships on the docks…for some reason.

In the morning, the 1st of White Stagg 3124, the Rangers departed on the Waverunner under Captain Smith. their trip was mostly uneventful with one glaring exception. Sometime late on the 8th of White Stagg Corporal Ravenwood suffered a horrible nightmare that the ship was destroyed by a powerful water spout that seemed to attack the ship. Waking the others, they made their way to the deck and informed the crew. Though skeptical at first, the ship’s own weather mage, a member of the The Navaquilera (Sea Eagle) Mage guild, confirmed the dream was more than just that.

By way of a quick course correction the ship was able to avoid the storm which would have surely sunk her. Thought I am pleased that they were able to avoid the calamity, my fears are now confirmed. I will speak with Anaxelum. He has much to answer for.

Two days later, on the 10th of White Stagg, the ship arrived at a small island of the north west coast of Nazatir. Here, Captain Smith agreed to wait 3 days. After which, he would leave with or without the team. Despite arriving late in the evening, the Rangers decided to begin their trek, time being an issue. Our last report was that they were entering a corrupted jungle heavy with shadows of Darkness.

It is now late on the 11th and I have heard nothing. Eris cannot contact the Rangers. Archanon protect them.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

View
Campaign Report 54
Arrest and Supsicion

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

Twenty Fifth Day of Harvest Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

On the 2nd of Harvest Moons, after my dinner with the representatives from Stahlheim I met with Sergeant Que’kassars to discuss matters of the Rangers of Echer’Naught and future plans. With the influx of dwarves and Rangers from Camp Wolfhaven, it was time to decide on the best reallocation of resources. But first, there was the unpleasant matter of reprimand. Though it is one of the duties of command I most loathe, discipline is vital to maintaining order.

Beginning on the morning of the 3rd, we began to speak with members of the “Alpha” unit regarding the action involving the feuding Lords Vissiliem and Harkass. These conversations continued from the 3rd of Harvest Moons until the 8th.

First, we addressed Ranger 1st Class Mugin Von Dietrich. Though no formal reprimand was issued, there is nevertheless, great concern regarding his “condition”. Should he fall during a critical mission, his turning might jeopardize the lives of his entire team. With his expressed permission we elected to assign Ranger 1st Class Sarin Silverfeather to act as failsafe until Corproal Athrate Alystar returns from his mission. Von D cautioned us to act quickly upon his death not knowing how long or what exactly might occur.

We next spoke with Ranger 1st Class Rysak Ironblood who did receive a formal verbal reprimand for disobedience of a direct order. During the engagement, both Ranger Thomas Zulcrim and Ranger 1st Class Mujin Von Dietrich were being overwhelmed by zombies. However, stopping the Necromancer behind the attack was of critical importance. Ranger Ironblood was given a direct order to withdraw and begin a search for the leader of the ritual. However, he remained and continued to fire into the undead horde. While his actions were understandable, they were not justified. Ranger Ironblood accepted his reprimand with honor, though he admitted that, should Von D, once again fall, he would likely disobey orders to prevent his turning. Considering the well documented fear that our dwarf companion feels toward the undead, I understand the sentiment, but I will not allow any breach of the chain of command.

We then spoke with Ranger 1st Class Thorgram Ramshorn regarding his loss of control. Ranger Ramshorn also received a formal verbal reprimand, but less for going berserk on the battlefield than for allowing himself to be so consumed by Rage that Flame overwhelmed him. In his fit of anger, Ranger Ramshorn slew five good Olaran men; allies. He will have to square with that some day. I advised him to speak with Von Dietrich and others for ideas on overcoming his malady.

The Sergeant and I also spoke with Corporal Samira Ravenwood and Ranger 1st Class Sarin Silverfeather. For Corporal Ravenwood, I commended her on her deportment during the engagement. However, We also discussed the continuation of her special assignment. Of most import, however, was the peculiar way in which she was awakened from her coma. Commander Regilis assured me that any consequences would fall upon his shoulders, but I fear that we know too little about the entity he serves. To this end, I cautioned my Ranger to be forthcoming with any changes in mood, magical occurrences, and, most importantly, any sign of dreams or visions.

We also spoke briefly with Ranger 1st Class Silverfeather. His actions during the most recent engagement were above reproach. In fact, since our last talk, he has displayed greater maturity in both word and deed. I am pleased to see his progress and hope that neither pride nor jealousy will sway him from his newfound path.

My last conversation, on the 8th of Harvest Moons was with Rangers 1st Class Von Dietrich and Ramshorn. As we have all been “marked” by supernatural evil, I hoped that we might find some means of supporting one another. In Von Dietrich’s case, I sense a certain arrogance that I fear will lead to his undoing. He feels, wrongly I believe, that he can control this power within him. Time will tell. For Ramshorn, quite the opposite. The has a gentle nature, despite the evidence to the contrary. This event has shaken him just as his confidence was beginning to blossom. I pray that he can move beyond his failure and achieve his dreams and aims.

I was informed that on the 7th of Harvest Moons, Ranger 1st Class Ramshorn met with Brother Silverfeather and Bishop Vallandrian at the Church of Light. As I understand, Ramshorn is seeking a means of coping with, or ridding himself of this mark.

There was also an odd report about Fekla. She seemed intent on some task or another. First, she met with Longtail’s Orphanage Matron and then just as quickly fetched Ramshorn to meet with Fateweaver of all people. I hardly understand this at all. However, it was fortuitous as her timely intervention once again granted our operations her curious perceptiveness. More on that in a moment.

On the 9th of Harvest Moons, Sergeant Que’kassars received approval to interrogate two smuggler’s apprehended by Rangers Ironblood and Ramshorn on the 22nd of Dancing Clouds. Together, Ramshorn and Que’kassars, along with Von D, were able to determine a number of dead drops in the city and eventually identify not only a staging point north of the city, a former Red Store safehouse, but also a warehouse within the city often used by the smugglers. One of Que’kassars’ contacts informed him that a local businessman might be involved in major smuggling within the city.

With information in hand, my Rangers headed to the warehouse and were in the process of searching the premises when Fekla arrived requesting Ramshorn. Once they explained their mission at the warehouse, Fekla looked around, pointed out some unlabeled boxes and knocked open a hidden hatch in a nearby wall. Having completed their task for them, Thorgram was allowed accompany her to meet with Fateweaver.

By then, my Rangers had returned with their evidence. It appeared that this “honest” businessman was indeed involved in leasing a portion of the warehouse and the unlabeled crates were filled with smuggled goods, floaters mostly. With a heavy heart, I authorized Sergeant Que’kassars to take two teams, one for the man’s house and one for his place of business. I signed the Warrants myself.

The search of his business turned up nothing and by all accounts he seemed open and helpful. However, the investigation of his home was damning. Von Dietrich and Silverfeather found black iron and bloodsteel weapons in his midden heap, floaters hidden in his kitchen and, worse, a second set of books revealing the full extent of his crimes. Evidence in hand, my Rangers confronted the man and his wife. Both swore their innocence, but with so much evidence we were honor bound to arrest him until a formal trial could be set.

Before my Rangers returned from their mission, I had an unexpected visit from the good Sheriff Halten. As this man’s operations appeared to extend well outside my jurisdiction he demanded that the Rangers turn over all evidence and prosecution of the man’s case to him. How he heard of our investigation I know not. Nevertheless, I was placed in a difficult position.

When my men returned I regretfully informed them that the King’s men would be taking over the case. Sergeant Que’kassars strongly urged that the case may not be as clear cut as it appeared from all the evidence. Despite finding so much linking Mr. Smith to smuggling, his shock and innocence appeared genuine. He and Silverfeather suggested having his mind probed by an adept for the truth.

Sir Halten promised to see the case through, but, in truth, he was just looking for an easy win. Mr. Smith was tried and convicted within the week. His sentence, however, was death. Sir Halten wanted to look tough on crime and linking the Rangers to an execution did nothing but improve his image and sour ours. I despise politics.

That matter out of my hands, I turned to brighter topics. Lady Elyanna and I had planned for some time to host a dinner for my closest associates. With a long term away mission on the horizon, we felt there was no better time than now. For that reason, I asked Samira, Rysak and Thorgram to do a bit of hunting for me. From the 10th to the 13th, they stalked the grounds around the city.They delivered in prime fashion providing our larder with two plump wild turkeys, hogs, and venison.

I hosted our Dinner of Thanks on the 15th and invited everyone to my table, including Fateweaver, Anaxelum, and Captain Hawksclaw’s family. His disappearance weighs heavily on my mind; as do the reports of dead and missing Rangers to the south. Once I have my reinforcements, I will be dispatching a mission to find Sarah and her new master Velkar. They will pay dearly for what they have cost us.

But, the dinner was well received and I allowed each to have some leave time. I did reveal a new mission to Nazatir, but the exact nature of the mission and the departure dates I kept vague. Recent experience with the ex-Lord Mayor, Velkalar, the truth about Madame Lithillien and the fact that our Royal Sheriff has such exacting details of our ongoing investigations….

I know Sergeant Que’kassars suspects spies within our ranks, but to be honest, I always suspect that my enemy knows at least as much as I, if not more. So, operational security will be kept tight on this op. May Archanon ensure that we find what we need and in time.

On a side note, upon hearing that Mr. Smith was to be executed, Sergeant Que’kassars spent every free moment advocating on the man’s behalf. Evoran was able to eventually persuade a reluctant Sherriff to allow Mr. Smith to exile from Olara along with his wife and two children who had been staying in the Orphanage while their father was in gaol. All parties agreed and on the 22nd of Harvest Moons, he and his family abandoned their property and fled the realm.

In what some might consider a stroke of luck, with Mr. Smith’s former business now at auction, Evoran was able to purchase the building to hold his Library. As pleased as I am for him, I am deeply concerned about the entire affair and how it might appear to the populous. In the first, the Rangers arrest a man even my team is not certain was guilty. But, having no desire to see him punished, we turn him over to the Sheriff who is more than happy to have the man killed. The Rangers “rescue” Mr. Smith, but force him to turn over all of his worldy goods to the city, or, more appropriately, to the Rangers. And then, his arresting officer purchases his business for a fraction of what it might have cost were Mr. Smith not in exile…

While I know in my heart that my Rangers performed their duties without reproach, the appearance cannot be undone. I fear what new seeds of doubt this latest episode will place in the hearts of the citizenry.

Nevertheless, we secured passage on a ship sailing out of Anasia and my Rangers departed on their long trek early on the 25th of Harvest Moons. I pray that this voyage goes more smoothly that all our previous attempts. At least they have a Fekla.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Campaign Report 53
Battle of Geisterstadt/Stahlheim Arrives

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

Second Day of Harvest Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

There are times when victory is nearly as bitter a pill to swallow as defeat.

After my last report, Sergeant Que’kassars informed me via Ms. Moonsilver that he and his team were headed on to Harkass lands with the remains of the girl and the pendant. His hope was to determine all facts in the story before making an official report. I commended him on his diligence.

On the 1st of Raining Leaves, 3124, Sergeant Que’kassars, Corporal Ravenwood, Rangers 1st Class Silverfeather, Von Deitrich, Ramshorn, and Ironblood left their camp near the “Ghost Inn” and proceeded on foot, save for Muriel the War Mule.

They arrived late in the afternoon on the 3rd of Raining Leaves at Baron Harkass’ estate, a poor and miserable rural Barony. After an uncomfortable encounter with the lord’s Sword guardsmen, Evoran was escorted to Baron Harkass’ eldest son, a capable administrator and warrior by all accounts.

While the rest of the Rangers dried themselves and grabbed food in the keep’s barracks, Evoran and Sarin met with the young Lord and broke the news of his betrothed’s demise. I am proud to say that Lord Harkass took the news with typical Olaran aplomb. After explaining the nature of the Darkness trap, the Lord and the Rangers decided to take his forces that were arriving in the morning to the site of the event. The plan was to use the Olaran reinforcements to secure the site and capture the Necromancer behind the evil hell-house.

Lord Harkass invited the Rangers to dine at his table, a rare honor. That night of the 3rd they slept in the keep before leaving before dawn with around 200 Olaran soldiers and crossbowmen. It was a hard slog through the muddy road and when they arrived on the 5th of Raining Leaves at the border between the Harkass/Vissiliem lands, they found that Lord Vissiliem was waiting their arrival with a force of 400 well-armed men and knights.

Lord Harkass, Sergeant Que’kassars and Lord Vissiliem met between the armies under a flag of truce. Evoran’s account of the event made clear that Vissiliem cared little for their evidence. Rather, he was intent on destroying Harkass’ forces. Such bickering in unseemly among Olarans.

In the end, Evoran managed to secure an agreement that come night fall, the evil spell would trigger revealing to all the truth of the Ranger report. However, should the spell NOT appear, Lord Vissiliem would claim Evoran’s life as well as Lord Harkass’. I am impressed and well pleased with the courage and selflessness of my adjutant.

The Nobles retired to make battle preparations and Evoran remained in the field to have a conversation with his team. Samira Ravenwood pointed out that there was no guarantee that anyone would be able to see the spell from without as they had to actually enter the ritual’s area before they were affected. Evoran approached young Harkass who, though irritated with the lateness of the information, altered his plans admirably to adapt.

Evoran remained with the Rangers out of line of battle and waited for nightfall. As silence fell over the field, all eyes watched the sun as it dipped below the horizon before finally disappearing altogether. Every breath caught expecting the onslaught, yet nothing happened.

Then, by all accounted, Lord Vissiliem shouted jovially out of the darkness that he wished to give the Rangers another moment just to be sure. With a bellow of Fire! hell rained down on Harkass’ lines from Vissiliems siege engines.

Per the plan, Harkass held formation for a moment before signaling his lines to break and make a dash up the road back toward his own keep. Visiliem, sensing victory, followed. In fact, Harkass was NOT retreating, but rather luring Visiliem’s forces into the range of the spell. As the Olaran forces began their deadly dance, Evoran pulled his Rangers back and sprinted for the ritual site.

First through the veil were Thorgram and Rysak who immediately came under fire from a line of skeletal archers behind a horde of zombies. Rysak took hits and staggered aside bringing his crossbow to bare. Thorgram charged forward, drawing on his anger to give him strength. Next through Von Dietrich and Thomas also came under fire. Thomas’ recently acquired plate armor served him well. Von D, seeing the situation, set his sights on a Wraith Lord charging down Thorgram and Rysak and took off in pursuit.

Evoran and Sarin staggered through next in time to see the Wraith riding down Thorgram and Rysak with a blade which sapped the strength and weakened the soul. As Evoran watched in horror, Thorgram rushed the line of undead, scattering them before him as heat and flames began to wreath his body. Rysak, ridding with arrows dropped skeletons. Thomas huddled in his armor avoiding the worst of the onslaught and Von Dietrich engaged the Wraith alone.
Samira arrived and she and Sarin unleashed with their bows. Von D managed to drop the Wraith, but Thomas, who had moved to support Thorgram was being overrun by zombies. Thorgram in his rage had drive entirely through the enemy lines and was casting about for something to destroy. He seemed more a raging monster than a man.

Harkass’ men arrived and the young lord rode up beside Evoran to survey the field. Harkass ordered Evoran to pull the Rangers off the line and swing around the right to sweep the village in search of the Necromancer summoning the undead. Evoran gave the order but as he was shouting, Thomas fell under the weight of undead and Von Dietrich was already running to support.

Sarin and Samira immediately obeyed, but Rysak did not, training her crossbow on the undead around Thomas. Von D continued to Thomas’ side and Thorgram was so far lost in rage that he was simply smashing anything that came into reach. As Evoran watched in horror, Von Dietrich was brought down just as he reached Thomas. Knowing the result of his death, Evoran shouted to Harkass that should Von D perish they would all be doomed.

The young lord did not hesitate, but charged into battle, laying about him and clearing space for the Rangers. On Evoran’s orders, Sarin swooped in and dragged Von D away. Thomas staged out of the fray, wounded but still alive. The other Rangers, save for Thorgram, were moving together when Harkass was pulled off his horse and they were both devoured by zombies.

Only then did Visiliem arrive and glancing about admitting that he might have been in error in accusing his neighbors. The addition Olaran troops quickly began to overwhelm the undead horde. However, as Evoran watched his Rangers scramble out of the way, Lord Visiliem noted that Thorgram was at present slaughting Harkass men and was curious why.

Evoran realized only too late that the half-orc had given in to rage and Flame was overtaking him. With no choice, Evoran raised his staff and blasted his own man with eldritch power, but with the protection of Flame it was not enough. Rysak fired as well, but he too missed. Sarin desperately tried to heal Von D, but he was simply too weak and the Slayer too injured.

With a snort, Lord Visiliem raised a hand and arrows cut Thorgram down. Laughing, the Lord rode forward to join the mop up operation. Weary and devastated, Evoran joined the Rangers who, at this point, were just happy to be alive. Sarin managed to drag Thorgram back and Evoran sent Rysak and Samira to clear the houses, but the necromancer was gone, probably long before the battle ever started.

The Rangers camped with the combined Olaran camp and treated what would they could. In the morning, the magic had faded and all that was left were ruins. Visiliem seemed pleased with the turn of events, despite the death of his only daughter. He made it clear that he would remain in the area long enough to cleanse the land and destroy any remaining undead.

Lord Visiliem retracted his accusation against the Baron Harkass and with the death of Lord Harkass, Visiliem was, for the moment, in command of the combined forces in the field. So, despite the losses, the Rangers had achieved peace in the land.

They departed on the 6th of Raining Leaves and arrived back in Echer’Naught on the 12th of the same. The entire team, save for Evoran and Samira headed directly the infirmary at the Church of Light. Evoran gave his report, but was sad to report the disobedience of many of the Ranges in the field. The burden of responsibility ultimately falls to me so I will be forced to reprimand those responsible.

After which, I put the entire team on medical leave, save for Evoran who had a mountain of paperwork waiting, until they were all cleared for duty. However, I fear that this team needs more than rest to fully heal. This is how many times Von Dietrich has nearly cost use dearly due to his curse, and now Thorgram seems to be giving in to the temptation of the power of Flame.

My discussion with Anaxelum revealed nothing about how he managed to resuscitate Samira during her previous incapacitation. He promised that any burden would fall upon him. I was forced to remind him that our arrangement forbade him from harming my Rangers, even if unintentionally. Should anything untoward happen to Samira, he shall pay the price.

Nevertheless, it took weeks for the team to fully heal. After which, the team was placed on light duty pending an investigation of their actions. Despite the success of the mission, Rangers are judged not only on results, but on methods and conduct in the field.

Early on the morning of Harvest Moons 1st, 3124, word arrived that the Stahlheim convoy had been spotted approaching the city from the West. With joy in my heart, I quickly donned my best uniform, summoned my guard and made my way to the breach in the wall. I assumed that the stalwart Dwarves of Stahlheim would head there first.

I was correct.

As I rode through the massive hole in the wall, a veritable army of massive, self propelled wagons, dozens of Dwarven wrights and an actual small army began to off-load cargo. At the head of the column was my old brother in arms, Rorauk Fyrforg, Ranger Sergeant Major, Stahlheim Army Captain.

[400 Stalheim Soldiers including the PC Squad, Rorauk, his Sidekick Bjorn, and his 10 Warband members. 100 total wrights including 3 Legendary wrights, 12 Master Wrights, 40 Journeyman Wrights, and 45 Apprentice Wrights, 20 dwarven chefs to aid with feeding the wrights and soldiers, and 400 Dwarven laborers(Not wrights or keepers of the old ways, but still capable dwarven workers to aid in clearing rubble and moving block into position.). 8 of the massive Legendary Wright Device Wagons, each being driven by a Legendary Wright, 600 additional heavy dwarven wagons with horse teams and 100 extra dwarves that were hired to drive 100 of them for the dwarven wrights.]

He looked the part astride his horse. I think that it may have been of the stock gifted him from the Harken lands during the Treaty signing. We approached and embraced as warriors and friends. His greeting was as warm as my own, but I could see the same horror in his eyes, that I have harbored in my heart since the fateful night the Bane of Echer’Naught breached out walls.

We spoke but briefly and I invited him and his men to a formal dinner the following evening. Of course he accepted, and I bid him a farewell. All the way back to the Manse I could not hide my excitement. For so long I have despaired for my city, but just the sight of the Yellow, Red and Black banner of Stahlheim evaporated my unease like the sun dries the morning dew.

All day I coordinated efforts, penned orders to secure billet and camp for our guests and quickly put together preparations for the dinner where I was to unveil my grande plans.

Soon enough the hour came the following day, the 2nd of Harvest Moons. Nearly every noble in the city, along with a huge retinue from Stahlheim, both recent arrivals and those from the embassy filled the Mayoral Manse’s courtyard. Rumors flew like arrows and for once, I was at ease. Sir Halten has been hot on my heels, leveraging the recent unrest to weaken my position and hamper my attempts to unify the nobles behind a common goal.

But on this night, all doubts will be swept away.

We began with a complete tour of the ancient sites for the Stahlheim wrights who seemed excited to examine the ancient Dwarven craftsmanship of the city. After which, we gathered for a meal, and as my guests ate, I introduced our friends from afar and unveiled the grande rebuilding of Echer’Nught.

First, the breach would be sealed by the finest dwarven engineers and the rubble used to repair our roads and fill in retaining walls destroyed during the attacks. At the same time, Stahlhem’s wrights agreed to begin construction on a series of housing blocks in Low Town to alleviate the misery of the citizens there.

But my plans do not stop there. Already I have engineers drafting an entirely new cistern system for our sewage, a twin tank arrangement, one where the Stews currently lie, and one outside which will flow into a natural pond I hope to become a fishing and wildlife preserve managed by our city druids.

I also intend to remake Center Pointe into a Grande Plaza. On the north-west corner, the Temple District will rest, a new gate constructed facing the center. On the south-west side and entirely new tower and barracks complex for the City Guard and Militia. On the south-east side I plan for a new City Hall, a place of civic power and authority. And lastly, a Merchant Council House will site on the north-east corner, a center of commerce and tax collection for Echer’Naught.

New wells will be dug, and monuments built to the sacrifice of so many in saving out city.

With the help of Stahlheim’s great craftsmen, and the investment of friends near and far, Echer’Naught will rise from the ashes like the Phoenix to stand as one of the grandest and most modern cities in Olara.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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