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