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

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

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

Official eyes only

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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

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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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Campaign Report 52
Haunted Inn (Epic Cosplay)

Echer_NaughtSeasonsGreeting.png

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

First Day of Raining Leaves, Year 3124 Under the Light

One of the most difficult responsibilities of any commander is to be forced to sit behind a desk while others bear the burden of risk. As the Lord Mayor of the city, it seems that ALL I do is sit behind this desk and read reports until my eyes bleed. Who would ever imagine I would long for the days when I slept in the saddle one heartbeat from utter annihilation.

I believe of all the decisions I have made in my tenure here in Echer’Naught, that recruiting Lady Eris Moonsilver has been the most beneficial. Whoever first envisioned the creation of the Farspeakers had incredible foresight. Much I report here has been relayed via Lady Moonsilver from Sergeant Que’kassars.

My last report ended with nearly my entire team incapacitated from a trap set by Velkalar under the corpse of one of my Wolfhaven Free Rider Sergeants. With Corporal Ravenwood already lying on a med-cot, some assassin’s poison coursing through her system, the near eradication of the rest of my Alpha Team left me with a severe manpower shortage. By Archanon’s mercy, with a little help from Ranger Silverfeather’s timely prayers,

I arrived shortly before dark just after Sarin and a convoy of wagons from a local farm. We evacuated the wounded first to a local inn for triage and then on to Echer’Naught’s Church of Light Infirmary. It was early morning on the 23rd of Dancing Clouds. I gave strict orders that my men were NOT to be released until they cleared a complete physical examination. At least one Ranger would rue that command.

Worse, I was expected to arrive at Camp Wolfhaven within a few days. My city in chaos, my Rangers lying unconscious and I had to depart… Command is a curse I would not wish upon my worst enemy.

This situation left Ranger 1st Class Silverfeather in command of the city HQ until Sergeant Que’kassars recovered. Sarin and I had a brief conversation about his command responsibilities before I was finally forced to leave or risk being late to Camp Wolfhaven.

The full details of the Long Recon report are mostly classified, but a few of the Rangers wrote reports included here:

Elaine’s Log of the Long recon.

From Silverfeather’s reports I know that he met with Sir Lugard, Ranger Argus, Ranger Ironblood who’s Dwarven constitution had the warrior already well on the way to recovery and our new ally, the City Watchman Thomas Zulcrum. They discussed the situation in Low Town, and the deaths of an old man and a young woman.

Rysak and Thomas paired up and managed to track the culprits of the girl’s attack, but they managed to escape into gang territory forcing my Rangers to retreat.

Sergeant Que’kassars and the rest of the Rangers all awoke at some time on the 27th of Dancing Clouds, all except Samira who’s condition defied even the Church of Light. Upon regaining consciousness, Sergeant Que’kassars demanded to be released to continue his work and when the healers, under my orders, refused, he threw a tantrum and destroyed a piece of furniture in a pique of rage.

It would seem he has not managed to overcome ALL his arrogance. I was forced to issue a verbal warning. This incident will not be noted in his permanent file.

I returned on the 29th of Dancing Clouds in the company of around 30 Rangers and 50 Olaran allies from Camp Wolfhaven. Though only a fraction of the numbers needed to regain order in the city, this infusion more than quadruples my available manpower.

On that same day, once I learned of the increasingly poor conditions of Low Town, and the escape of the criminals, I summoned Sarin’s team to my office with a plan, a show of force. If the gangs of Low Town wanted to flex muscles, then we would happily oblige. I sent Fekla with Sarin’s team under orders to capture the men alive. Fekla, I assumed, could handle the gangs, at least when we had surprise on our side, and I was happy to be proven correct.

None of the low-life thugs seemed particularly pleased to engage the behemoth and she was easily able to crack open the house the men were holed up in allowing Sarin’s men easy access. And like that, we arrested the killers and proved that the Rangers would not be intimidated in our own city.

A small gesture, but an important one.

Also, on the 29th, I had the pleasure of inviting Watchman Thomas Zulcrum to my office with an offer to officially join the Ranger Corps. Captain Vasser was on hand, and though he loathed to lose a fine man, was pleased to see one of his own stepping up to serve a larger cause. I am pleased that Ranger Zulcrum, with his previous service counted as time served, has been added to our roster as a full Ranger.

Weeks passed without any change in Samira. I was in my office when word arrived that she had finally awoken from her coma on the 32nd of Dancing Clouds. By the time I arrived, she was up and talking, though Sergeant Que’kassars and Ranger Von Dietrich both seemed disturbed. What I learned concerns me. Apparently, Anaxelum managed to rouse the sleeping Ranger through some strange magic. Von D smelled ozone. I fear Z’zt.

Soon, I will confront the Storm Commander. He has much to explain. Regardless, Samira APPEARS to be recovering nicely. I pray to Archanon that the cost of her resurrection is none too steep.

It was always brought to my attention that Anaxelum is paying a great deal of attention to young Ravenwood. Fateweaver has intimated, in his own way, that the Storm warrior has strong feeling for the elf maiden. He certainly decimated the wild flowers population around the city. Time will tell how that budding relationship develops. But, I will do what I must to protect my Ranger…

With the revival of my Rangers, and the funeral rites of the fallen, life returned to a semblance of normal. Sergeant Que’kassars assumed command and issued a personal commendation to Ranger 1st Class Silverfeather for his superb command during the Sergeant’s convalescences.

It was another week, 4th of Forest Dance before Samira was fully healed, still no sign of whatever magic revived her. She reported to Sergeant Que’kassars that her would-be assassin was one of the three finalist during out recent trials. The mercenary proved to be an agent working for Velkalar with orders to eliminate Samira. He very nearly succeeded. Her other recruits have searched for any rumors of the killer’s whereabouts, but he appears to have vanished.

Just one more crime added to Velkalar’s list.

Weeks passed, the new Rangers settled in and patrols increased. Again, Commander Schenkle was in my office each and every morning with a letter of formal complaint in regards to Ranger Sarah Longtail and a demand for Rangers to mount an immediate rescue mission. If only everyone within my command had a fraction of this man’s determination…

It pains me deeply his loss and betrayal, but Sarah, despite her reasons, attempted to murder at least one fellow Ranger, and is implicated in the death of Captain Hawksclaw. Whatever our personal feelings toward her may be, she is a traitor and WILL be brought to justice.

On that note, we have heard nothing about Vekalar’s main operations. Already reports are arriving of Wildland Rangers being found dead, “trophies” taken from their bodies, a grim testament to Velkalar’s depravity. Our situation reminds me of something I find myself repeating to less seasoned Rangers. In the face of the most powerful and savage foes, it is often the simplest problems which are out undoing.

Velkalar, without any supernatural powers, has done more damage to this command than the ENTIRE army of Flame.

And, the Southern Bandit Lord is hardly the only threat. On the 16th of Forest Dance, Therel Fateweaver finally managed to arrange a sit down with the Lord of Low Town, Mr. Blythe. Sergeant Que’kassars made the meet. Their conversation was brief, but the summary being that the Thieve’s Guild has chosen to remain neutral, that the gangs are independent of his control, and that Velkalar has placed bounties on any and all Ranger, including allies. The higher the Rank, the bigger the reward.

With that, the Rangers were dismissed. I suppose we should count ourselves fortunate. Blythe has a reputation for paranoia. It is a small miracle he agreed to the meet in the first place. Despite his protests, I believe Fateweaver has more influence than he lets on.

Not much happened for the rest of the month, other than the gangs, Velkalar’s assassins and the continual barrage of petitioners demanding my time, life in Echer’Naught was just getting normal when I had a visitor.

He arrived with a small escort before dawn on the 27th of Forest Dance. I was just sitting down to breakfast with Lady Elyanna, when Malcom summoned me to the front hall. There, standing in my foyer was an emissary of the King. Without a word, he presented to me a Royal order demanding my assistance in dealing with a delicate political matter in the North.

In short, two of his nobles. Lord Visiliem was threatening open war with his neighbor, Baron Harkass, over the alleged kidnapping of his only daughter. The King wanted the Rangers, in the role of impartial investigators, to uncover the truth of the matter and quietly prevent a war.

I summoned my top Rangers and briefed them on the situation. Sergeant Que’kassars and his team were on the road before an hour had passed. It was a hard 6 day ride north to a small barony East of Olara and in the foothills of the Forges. There, the team met with a rather loud and angry Lord Visiliem. In short, he had graciously arranged for his daughter to attend a fall festival in his neighbors lands at the request of Lord Harkass’ eldest son who was intent on wooing the lass.

That was the last Lord Visiliem had heard and he vowed to launch an attack by week’s end if the Rangers did not produce his daughter, unharmed.

From there, my Rangers departed his keep, heading west a few miles to Harkass lands. As Eris relayed, a storm arrived forcing them to take shelter in a nearby hamlet inn. All seemed to be normal, the innkeeper, Hiram and his wife Dora were inviting. The team had a good meal and settled down to sleep, when Von D, suspicious as ever, stumbled across a scene of horror.

The Innkeepers were in league with Darkness and the inn was an elaborate trap. I have enclosed Sergeant Que’kassars’ report, per usual. It would appear that Hiram and his wife Dora are, at best, Necromancers and they employed, for certain, one Vampire who manage to bite Ranger 1st Class Thorgram in his privates…something for which I expect a THOROUGH explanation. Von D also mentioned a hulking brute named “Clive”, the butcher and a pair of hounds, all of which our Slayer claims were undead under some impenetrable illusory spell.

Caught asleep, and in some rather “compromised” positions, Sergeant Que’kassars ordered a retreat and all the Rangers managed to escape across a river and out of the reach of the illusion spell. During the retreat they encountered Zombies and something Von D referred to as the “headless horseman” a rider with a flaming pumpkin head of all things.

With no further pursuit, they camped for the night and returned in the light of day to find the entire vill gone, with only ruins behind. Von D discovered fresh graves and the team began to dig. They discovered some partially eaten bones of a young girl, and Lady Visiliem’s necklace with the bones.

Before turning in the night before, Hiram’s “daughter” had come down to greet the guests. Afterwards, all the Ranges agreed that she looked exactly like the sketch lord Visiliem had shown them of his own child, down to the amulet found in the shallow grave. I am waiting for further analysis. Von D is contemplating the evidence and, hopefully, will soon have an answer to this mystery.

Nevertheless, Evoran ordered the bones and amulet gathered. They are, as of this writing, on their way to Baron Harkass to finally resolve the true details of this horrible situation.

I await further information with dread.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Campaign Report 51
Velkalar's Vengeance

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

Twenty Second Day of Dancing Clouds, Year 3124 Under the Light

After completing my General Order on the 19th of Dancing Clouds, I summoned Sergeant Que’kassars to my office for the first of what I hope to be regularly scheduled weekly meetings. While waiting for my adjutant, I had the pleasure of speaking with Commander Schenkle about the readiness of the Town Militia. And, per his daily routine, he presented a letter of formal protest for the treatment of former Ranger Sarah Longtail and a demand for a detail be dispatched for her immediate recovery. His dedication to his beloved is admirable. I only wish there was more I could do to put his mind at east.

On Eric’s heels came an envoy of Lord RabenClau with a document witnessed and signed granting the young Lord’s estate all mineral rights to the land beneath and immediately surrounding the city of Echer’Naught. How he managed to negotiate such a deal with the Dwarven Clans or the Duchess Harken is beyond my ability to reason. However, I could see no good reason not to approve what so many of the city’s most noble had arranged. He left seeming pleased and very nearly collided with Evoran and Thorgram.

I am happy to see that my Rangers continue to obey the edict forbidding Rangers from operating alone.

They entered, but it was clear that things were not going well in the city. I knew as much already. Sergeant Que’kassars reported that the situation in Low Town was reaching critical levels. Already deaths were on the rise and many citizens had been attacked. From our informants on the street, Low Town was being divided up by competing gangs. Open violence was common and the locals were quickly losing faith in our ability to keep order.

We also discussed obtaining more information about the new “King of Low Town”, though from what little Longtail revealed, the man is not to be trusted. I sincerely hope that we are not faced with a war within the walls so soon.

After the situation report, I informed Evoran that I would be presenting my first major public address as Lord Mayor. And, despite our desperate manpower shortage, I would require my elite team on guard duty as so many dignitaries would be assembled in the Mayoral Manse. We quickly sketched out a security plan.

Before he left, Evoran asked after Eric Schenkle and Lord RabenClau’s representative and I explained their purpose. With that, he and Thorgram departed. The remainder of my day was spent in meetings, making arrangements for announcement and conferencing with Fateweaver on proper protocols. The man is a political genius.

It makes me wonder why he hid in Low Town for so many years? I am certain there is a story worth hearing there. Funny how his own life is the only topic he simply refuses to speak on.

The following morning, the 20th I had the pleasure and honor of summoning Ranger 1st Class Ravenwood to my office. Shortly after her return from the mission in which Captain Hawksclaw was captured, Samira, with some help from Evoran and Aradove, proposed the creation of a unit within the Rangers dedicated to archery.

I was curious to see if she would have the initiative to complete all the necessary paperwork required for such a venture. Samira was more than up to the task and, with my recommendation, her proposal was approved. And with her new command came a requisite promotion to the rank of Ranger Corporal.

Samira seemed genuinely pleased. I fear though that Ranger 1st Class Silverfeather was less so. He has been with us for quite some time. He arrived Festival Moons 26th, 3123 just under a year ago. And yet, from the first, he showed little interest in command, preferring to spend his time at the Church of Light with his brothers. However, from what little I saw, I feel that his attitude my be changing. If he is willing to accept some mentoring I have faith that he can achieve his goals.

We agreed that the training session would take place on the 22nd, the morning after my formal announcement. Samira herself would oversee the archery portion of the assessment, I would judge the combat portion and Sergeant Major Stormhammer the final “obstacle course”.

The rest of my day was again busy with meetings, petitioners and planning sessions. Most of my business involved the 21st and all the myriad preparations surrounding the event in question. Food had to be shipped in, damage in and around the Manse repaired and proper accommodations found for all the various guests.

These meetings continued throughout the night and into the morning of the 21st. I was finally forced to excuse myself for a bit of rest before the actual event. However, despite my sincerest desire, the evening finally arrived and I was trussed up like a festival goose and escorted by an obscenely heavily armed contingent to the Mayoral Manse for my first “public address”.

Though I have never felt uncomfortable speaking before large groups, I must confess that addressing soldiers is far easier than the assembled that night. Any slip, any lapse on my part would be set upon like a pack of wild dogs. These people were infinitely more dangerous than all the arclancers in the Prelacy of Camon.

My remarks were brief. I outlined the currently held positions within my interim administration and announced what positions were still open for nomination. Also, I addressed the state of affairs in the city, and though I desired to announce my negotiations with Stahlheim I felt it was premature as final ink was not yet dry.

It pleases me that this announcement was better received than my appointment to the Lord Mayorship. After the speech, we held a small reception for continued debate. Mostly, I just mingled with the crowd and let Fateweaver and Lady Elyanna speak on my behalf. They are far more suited to this battlefield than I.

I did not reach my chambers until well into the morning and was forced to rouse quite early for Samira’s assessments. Fortunately, Sergeant Stormhammer brewed the blackest coffee to stir my senses.

We had seven recruits arrive that morning. They came from all walks of life in the city, and all showed great promise. Corporal Ravenwood and the Sergeant Major both seemed quite enthused despite the earliness of the hour and the chill in the air.

After the first test of archery skill, one man was eliminated. I believe he was a Blackthorn Guard from the Sacred Grove, though everyone performed well. The second test, combat, proved quite exciting. Each participant fought with ferocity and skill, though the victor was a mercenary who has served with the Olaran army in numerous conflicts. Our final test, the obstacle course, pitted two teams of 2 men in a footrace through parts of the city. In truth, the test was more to determine the participants cooperation skills and teamwork.

Though the first team was victorious in the race, it was the second team which showed true promise, sacrificing the victory to help each other. In the end, Corporal Ravenwood awarded the victory the second team, though by then, two members had already made the cut from the previous events.

In the end, we were left with three men who made the cut. With the assessments complete, I turned over the rest to the Corporal and I and the Sergeant Major returned to out work. What I did not know was that, at that time, Rangers 1st Class Ramshorn and Ironblood were in low time on extra patrols. Seeing how short staffed our forces were, they had volunteered for extra duties. Ranger 1st Class Von Dietrich was also out patrolling and all three entered Sergeant Que’kassars office that afternoon to report on the deteriorating conditions in Low Town.

While I was in the Mayoral Office, Malcome received a package from a post rider and entered the city HQ to deliver it to Evoran. Meanwhile, Corporal Ravenwood was meeting with her three victors and briefing them on upcoming procedures.

None of us knew what was coming next. As Evoran opened the package to find the five severed hands of a squad of Wolfhaven Free Riders, Samira was alone in the room with an assassin. Evoran immediately identified the ring on one of the hands as belonging to a Sergeant in the Riders. But, when he ran to assemble his team, he discovered Samira had been stabbed AND poisoned in the next room!

By the time Eris Moonsilver relayed the event to me, Sergeant Que’kassars had already escorted Ravenwood to the apothecary and taken his team south to investigate the hit on the Riders. When I ordered Eris to put me in contact with Sergeant Que’kassars, she could not make contact. Something in my gut told me there was more to this…Samira’s attempted assassination, the bloody hands shipped to Evoran…there was more at play.

I was on the rode, with Alfred who refused to remain behind despite his condition, within the hour. When we arrived, we found Thomas alive and Rysak on his last leg. Sarin had flown for help, which was already on its way.

The attack was a trap, the bodies had been rigged with arcfire devices to detonate when anyone touched the flag staff rammed through the body of the Rider Sergeant. Though there was little left when I arrived, the scene of torture and horror described to me by Thomas and Ryask was enough to boil my blood. With the help of some local farmers, we managed to get the team back to Echer’Naught and into the Church of Light’s infirmary. However, the wounds they suffered, nearly fatal, will remain with them all a long time.

Counted among the fallen: Sergeant Que’kassars, Corporal Ravenwood, Rangers 1st Class Von Dietrich, Ramshorn and two Riders who joined them on the hunt, both dead. With Captain Hawksclaw missing, the command team is now reduced to Sarin and a wounded Rysak.

This so called “Lord” Velkalar has done more damage to this team in a few short months than the entire Army of Flame during the siege.

As I sit beside their beds and hour grows late, I feel the weight of this newest tragedy weighs upon me. How many more losses must we suffer?

In the morning, I must go, and yet, how can I leave now? The weight of command…who would ever desire such a horrible thing?

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Stahlheim Echer'Naught Trade Agreement

Captain Fyrforg

Fifth son of Oracyon Fyrforg, Commander of the Greyson’s Grey Rangers in Stahlheim,

Brother, the road has been long and negotiations intense, but I feel what we have achieved here will leave a lasting legacy of friendship and cooperation between our two peoples. From the day I dispatched my messenger Raven on the 5th of Festival Moons describing to you the utter devastation of my home city until the completion of our negotiations on the 20th of Forest Dance, 3124 our conversations, though lengthy have born fantastic fruit.

As the Lord Mayor of the Olaran City of Echer’Naught and officially authorized by Grey Ranger Lord Commander Lady Valinda Norwood Grayson, I have fully authorized the shipment of 200 tons of Whole Wheat Grain for the baking of bread and brewing of ale from the Harvest Surplus in 7 shipments over a period of many months.

The first shipment and largest of 50 tons of grain hauled by 12 heavy dwarven wagons guarded by 100 professional LongArm caravan guards will depart collection warehouses in Echer’Naught Raining Leaves 20th by the West road toward Erda’Meias with an estimated delivery date of on/or before Raining Leaves 33rd. At the same time, a shipment of Dwarven cut block will depart the Stahlheim city of Stone on an opposite trip toward Echer’Naught in the company of Soldiers of Stahlheim and professional dwarven engineers with families seeking employment opportunities in the rebuilding of Echer’Naught.

Three months after this first shipment of 50 tons, beginning in White River and continuing through the harsh months of winter through Planting Moons (6 months), one additional convoy per month of 25 tons of grain from Echer’Naught and 25 tons of smaller cut stone from Stahlheim will be shipped between our two nations.

By this method, both our great states benefit as Echer’Naught is made whole again by the superlative skills of your native craftsmen and your people are fed by the bounty of our fields.

Let this stand as a testament to the friendship between our two people.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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General Order4, Echer'Naught
CAWDC193124

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

Nineteenth Day of Dancing Clouds, Year 3124 Under the Light

By the grace of her Lady the Duchess of Harken and the favor of Lord Commander Lady Valinda Norwood Grayson, I have been appointed to the position of Lord Mayor and Supreme Commander of all Ranger forces in the region. With my elevation comes the transition of Civil Authority within the city of Echer’Naught from Olaran forces under the Duchess of Harken to administration directly by the Ranger Corps. All Royal appointments under direct authority of the King, Banrick XIV, shall retain their positions with all rights and privileges accorded them by royal decree.

Such a transition shall require new challenges and expanded roles within our ranks as we must fill the roles of protector and administrator. The Regional Headquarters will be moved from the Wolfhaven Manor house to the Mayoral Manor. Once the physical transition is complete, my first task will be to establish an administrative staff to assume duties of civic management, though the preponderance of city positions will still be held noble appointees. In truth, a list of capable individuals is already being considered for final approval.

This also necessitates a change in the our manner of dress and deportment. All NCO and Officers assigned to the Regional Command must wear full dress honors as duty attire. So too, the Chief NCO and Officer in command of the City Headquarters must also dress in formal attire while on official duties within the city.

In addition, rank and promotion will not be based upon Ranger seniority as they are so often thought. Elevation will depend entirely upon quality, duty, training and desire to lead. Ranger NCO’s and Officers will oft be called upon to command and train city units and Olaran levies. As such, cooperative attitude and professional demeanor will be paramount to all Ranger NCO’s and Officers stationed in Echer’Naught.

At the writing of this directive, Ranger ranks have been much depleted by recent actions. However, in time, our numbers will grow and with new personnel will come new challenges. Dorm space within the Mayoral Manor will be converted for use by Rangers assigned to regional duty. The same will be said for the city HQ. Also, standing agreements must be reached with other lodging establishments within the city for overflow numbers and guests of garrisoned Rangers.

Extant City Positions:

  • Lord Mayor-Baron Wolfhaven
  • Royal Shire Reeve (Sheriff)-Sir Halten
  • City Steward-
  • Intendant of the Civil List-
    • Commandant of Defense-
    • Treasurer of the City’s Civil List-
    • Civil List Adviser-
  • City Constable- Commander Eric Schenkle
  • Captain of the Watch- Captain Vasser
  • City Seneschal- Therel Fateweaver
  • City Bailiff

In addition, Training and Discipline will be strictly enforced. See: General Order 3, Echer’Naught.

At this juncture I feel it necessary to clarify certain situations which have recently developed to as to avoid further rumor and heresay.

Former Lord Mayor Von Haber has officially been charged with desertion and suspicious of treason, though any allegiance to the Criminal Organization known as Red Store is merely speculation. A warrant has been issued for his immediate arrest and he is wanted in connection with numerous crimes.

The Red Lamp is now off-limits to any and all Ranger personnel. Patronage of a known Brothel is not in keeping with the high standards of the Ranger Corps. Violation of this directive will result in reprimand (see General Order 3).

Ranger Sarah Longtail is charged with attempted murder of a fellow Ranger. She is considered armed and dangerous. A warrant for her capture ALIVE has been issued and any and all sightings are to be reported immediately.

Active recruitment will begin immediately with all able-bodied applicants screened. Remedial and specialized training will be administered on a needs basis. Priority recruitment will be towards Specialized units (see Wolfhaven Free Company).

it is my sincerest desire that the Ranger administration be one of prosperity and security. I call upon all citizens of Echer’Naught and Rangers to unite in the common goal of seeing this vision a reality.

Your most obedient servant,

Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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