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

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

View
Von Dietrich Letter
Report on Activity

Colonel,
You are busy, so I will be forthright. I understand that the business of Echer’naught takes precedence right now. But in my opinion, you will be in error if the elite team is left in the city.

I have been catching up on your reports from the past months, and I feel that another, perhaps darker, crisis is creeping upon us.
In brief, we have;
-The dark happenings in Galaea, which I believe, aren’t isolated incidents.
-The bandits in the Wildlands that killed the Captain. His arms and equipment are mostly surplus from the Blood Lord’s territory. That is reason enough to think that dark agents are at work.
-The Farwatch Baron is still on the loose.
-Numerous warnings. Some from creatures of Darkness, themselves.

Basically Colonel, the signs are too numerous to be ignored. We see what has happens when past evidence has been looked over…
Echer’naught has already been cooked. Perhaps we might prevent it from now being devoured. For my part, I will do what I am able.
That is all.

Respectfully Submitted,
M. Von.D.

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Memorandum, Dancing Clouds 3124
Implementation of Special Forces

To Lord Mayor Col. A. Wolfhaven
From: Rangers of Echer’Naught HQ
Subject: Implementation of Special Forces

This is a written notice of request for acquisition of funds to establish a unit that specializes in tactical infiltration, espionage, and intelligence gathering. The funds shall be procured to further help locate suitable members for such a team as well as offer additional training for specializations so required.

These persons are to be hand picked and further selected through test that shall be established through discussions through both Ranger First Class Samira Ravenwood and, when able, Sergeant Minor Ardove Longtail. The identity of those so enlisted shall be kept as confidential information and shared only through the immediate upper levels of command to limit the spread of information about such a unit.

It is also requested that, as time permits, Sergeant Minor Ardove Longtail be advisor to such a creation of the unit as well as aid the unit commander, Ranger First Class Samira Ravenwood, in establishing connections in which this unit will utilize for purposes that serve the units established purpose and needs.

Request written by Sgt. Evoran Que’kaasars
Request brought forth by Ranger 1st Class Samira Ravenwood

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Hawksclaw's Folly
Message to Eris Moonsilver

Forest Dance 3rd, 3124
Recovered Thunder Hawk 17th, 3126 (mind-link upon recovery of Hawksclaw from Velkalar’s Keep)

Capt. R.S. Hawksclaw
Via Eris Moonsilver


Eris…
Are you there?
I feel you. I love you, Eris.

It hurts.
I don’t know. Can’t think. I… They drug me. Jumbled together, my thoughts. Tell Highwall. No, that’s not it…
Tell Evoran. Are they ok, Eris?

I can’t find Flit…
It made me so happy. Thank you.
Yesterday, in the Grove, you made me so happy… I think the Captain… I’m sorry. Colonel Wolfhaven should officiate our wedding. That will be nice. It should be in spring, I think.
Have you gotten word from our family? Are they safe?…
I can’t hear you so well. They’re blocking you somehow.
They locked me in a stone cell. Iron bars.

The stone isn’t Dwarf… Dwarven. There are runes all over it. Strange…
She named him Rah-Sahn, Eris… That makes me happy… Tell Evoran to look up…

I keep breaking the chains and stone. They just pull apart. All except for the ones with the runes… I think the drugs are wearing off… I’m sorry.
Tell Evoran to look up the marks. I think Olgor will know. My head hurts so badly.
I lost Trokash. We got separated in the camp. Are the others alright? I tried to get them out, but I don’t know if we will make it. The city is surrounded… The Butcher has Aradove. He took father too…
…no. It isn’t right. I’m sorry.
I’m trying to remember, but I can’t. I Wish I knew more. Tell my Rangers to be careful. This place. They can’t come here. It hurts here. They’re my friends, Eris. Don’t let them hurt them… I love them too… Warn Ryzak… No, not him… Thorgram. Warn Thorgram about the fire. It’s dangerous… Tell Samira that it is alright. I’m not cross with her.
Evoran should share the wine with Saron… I won’t be back in time for the party.

My eyes don’t work all the time, but the marks. On chains. Walls. Everywhere.
No, They’re coming back. More of the drug. I’ll pretend to be asleep…

They’re gone.

Have you asked Sara about decorating for the wedding? I don’t mind, if you haven’t yet.
Did Alfred make it back?
I… I can’t focus.
Not long.
Eris, I’m sorry. I’m trying.
Eris… I…

View
Campaign Report 50
Lord Mayor Wolfhaven

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

Seventeenth Day of Dancing Clouds, Year 3124 Under the Light

My party returned to Echer’Naught on the 5th with Alfred. He was immediately placed under home care within my Manor House under the close supervision of priests of the Church of Light. With my son’s care secured, I returned to my duties within the city.

Our situation is dreadful. The breach the north wall is massive, large enough to drive a wagon team through with room to spare. Repairs on such an edifice will require enormous expense and months of work by a team of Dwarven craftsmen. Our own city brick yards lack the capacity for such an enormous endeavor. There is also the conspicuous lack of suitable stone material in sufficient quantities.

Nearly 1/3 of our warehouse storage was destroyed during the Demon’s rampage through the city. This included much of our dwindling food stores and supply caches. In addition, many privately held warehouses were also destroyed, most belonging to powerful nobles and merchant lords. Though the legal details elude me, apparently, they are seeking to hold the city responsible for their personal damages. Those experts with which I have spoken confirm that many of the petitions have legal basis, and those which do not have the political clout to make lives difficult.

There was also the complete and utter loss of the city stockyards. Between the fires, attacks, storms and other calamities, not a single beam of the fencework remained. And, following orders, Fekla had long since “relocated” the stockyard water tower. Without water or fencing, the yards were little more than a vast, sun baked eye-sore. Fortunately, the actual stock had been herded south of the city, but complaints mounted from the local lords who claimed compensation for the grazing of private animals on their lands.

Our various merchant districts were more, or less, intact with some looting and pillaging but very little structural damage. This, of course, excluded Baker Street which had been badly burned and ransacked during the riots leading up to the attack. Worse, yet, Schenkle Bakery, our long-time friends, had completely lost their bakery to the flames. With bread being the cash cow of the city, the Duchess is keen to have the ovens returned to service immediately. Though, the harvest was still months away.

City populations were also devastated. Prior to the siege, the former Lord Mayor Von Haber had departed the city on the 5th of Thunder Hawk with nearly 2,000 men, women and children, civilians unable to fight. Even before the first stone fell flaming from the sky, the total population of the city was reduced to somewhat fewer than 4,000 fighting men and supporting population. With the addition of Hammerfall Riders, Wolfhaven Riders, Church of Light and Rangers, our fighting force at the start of battle was right around 4,570. Yet, with 23% slain and another 25% that left 1052 slain, another 1143 wounded, and only 343 of those expected to recover.
By the time the siege was finally broken on the 22nd of Thunder Hawk, Echer’Naught’s population had fallen from over 6000 to around 2720, a little more than 45% of the original, in 19 short days.

And as reported before, 12 Rangers dead out of 50, with another 12 incapacitated for some time, some permanently. I had only 26 Rangers for the entire city. Of the City Guard, 58 dead and another 63 out of the fight, reducing our civic forces to 129 City Watchmen for the entire city and wall.

Worse yet, the near total annihilation of Low Town left little, if any, housing for the few who remained. As refugees tricked home, they found the lives destroyed, houses gone and industry at a near standstill. The former Low Town quickly developed into a wretched and dirty tent city full of crime and deprivation. With so few Rangers and City Watch, there was little to be done.

Before their departure, the Elves and other allies remained a few weeks to help maintain order, but by mid Festival Moons, all had departed and out troubles compounded.

There was good news. Due to the bizarre method of travel employed by Kal forces the countryside had been barely touched. And, with the incredible spring, the harvest would be a bumper crop once it was collected and processed. We just had to last so long.

Compounding the issues, Eris lost contact with Captain Hawksclaw on Thunder Hawk 29th and with him, his entire team. Even the joy at recovering Alfred alive could not assuage my concern at the potential loss of my entire alpha team. By Archanon’s providence, Eris was able to regain contact with Sergeant Que’kassars by the eve of Festival Moons 1st.

We were able to eventually determine that Hawksclaw’s Sacrifice had transported the entire team, minus the Captain and Trokash, 360 miles to the East. They wound up in the southern reaches of the Silverthorn Forest about a day’s ride south of the Elvish city of Ey’Solus.

By fortune or design, they arrived within a half day’s ride of an encampment only to discover Von Dietrich already encamped. He had just parted company of a caravan bound for Archanaya and the great Cathedral of Light. His group departed Echer’Naught on the 12th of Thunder Hawk and by heading East through Harken and all the way into Galea by that road.

The caravan had left his camp less than a day prior to my Rangers appearing nearby. Clearly Landra’s hand moved their fates. Von Dietrich informed the Sergeant Que’kassars that villagers in the area reported strange nightly occurrences and many recent disappearances and deaths. They could offer no explanation but believed that Darkness had befallen their land.

Von Dietrich, a known slayer of Darkness agreed to investigate. With no hope of returning to the Bandit camp before the prisoners could be moved far out of reach, Sergeant Que’kassars agreed to aid in the investigation.
They resolved to camp there the night and begin the investigation in the morning. However, as the night grew longer, all sensed a change in the wind, a chill crept over the camps. By the 13th hour, a supernatural fog crawled across the forest floor. By this point, the Rangers were ready, weapons drawn. Then, mixed with the howl of wind through creaking branches, they heard a sound. A low, moaning wail.

Before any could react, a creature appeared, clad in Black Iron chain with a stench of death. It lashed at the party and soon, more of these undead horrors appeared. Von Dietrich identified them as Wights and the mound they had emerged from was, in fact, a burial barrow. They encountered five Wights the night of the 1st, one more powerful than the rest. In truth, that single Wight very nearly slew the entire party. Only Samira’s keen archery saved them all from certain death.

Eris Moonsilver re-established contact the following night, the 2nd, where the party was camped near Vale, south of the attack. She relayed the outline of their encounter and confirmed that after examining the barrow that morning (2nd) that they discovered obscene runes in blood and evidence of dark rites. With the Wights destroyed, the spell was broken, so they left them intact for local authorities to know with what they must content. At Vale, the Sergeant reported this all to the local who then passed the information along to the nearest Rangers.

What I discovered via Eris, weeks after that was that on that night, and many nights after, more Wights attacked local town, farms and villages. In truth, Rangers and Knights of Galea are still hunting down the last of the cursed tombs as more people turn up missing or dead.

I know from his report that Sergeant Que’kassars briefed the team as to Sarah’s betrayal and the warrant for her arrest. It is a difficult thought for any of us to bear.

On the 13th of Festival Moons, a bedraggled and half starved woman staggered into Ranger patrols outside the city. She was immediately escorted to my office as she claimed to be Gwynlyn Argus, Ranger 1st Class and the last survivor of the Rangers of Sun’s Crossing. Her report was both harrowing and crushing. Sun’s Crossing and all her Rangers were no more. They died trying to destroy the Temple to Ceynara. She alone survived. I have added her to our rolls, but taken her off active duty. Once the situation in Echer’Naught is secured, I will send a larger force to deal with the temple. Just one more piece of unfinished business.

Nevertheless, while I toiled here to bring order to the city and find some semblance of a working relationship with Sheriff Halten who already considered himself the next Lord Mayor, my Rangers rode hard and fast back home. They arrived in the evening hours on the 6th of Dancing Clouds, 38 days after their sudden appearance in Galea.

When they arrived, I was forced to reveal to them the current poor state of affairs in the city. Worse, I was also forced to inform the team that I had strong evidence to the fact that Lady Lithillien of the Red Lamp was, in truth, a Shayae, potentially Shayakar, and that she knowingly employed were-wolves as her security force.
During the siege, my Elyanna had worked with others at the Red Lamp, using it as a staging point for civilian casualties. She identified the Lady of the Lamp as one of her own kin. This merely confirmed suspicions raised many months ago by Von Dietrich who had guessed that her guards were creatures of Darkness.

My first inclination was to establish a strike force and burn out this evil nestled in the heart of the city. But, I was given pause. First, to my knowledge and, indeed, based on extensive investigation, the Lady has committed no crimes. Quite the contrary, she and her people have been constant allies of the Rangers. In each and every crisis, her support has proved critical to our success. Add to this, I currently have given haven to a Shaye and had willingly and knowingly collaborated with a were-wolf to gain access to the Blood Lord’s keep during that crisis. If I were to hold her criminal for her nature, I would be forced to do so for myself, my love, Von Dietrich and anyone else who failed to slaughter any touched by Flame or Darkness out of hand.
However, the decision was not entirely mine. I sought the counsel of my Rangers and they concurred to remain neutral on the issue until the matter of the Mayorship was settled.

I must note here a rather vehement protest from Ranger 1st Class Ramshorn. His family had been slaughtered by were-wolves and I know of his hatred of their kind. Despite his protest, however, he agreed to abide by my orders, though I can see potential issues in the future.

Rangers from this point forth will be barred from patronizing the Red Lamp and may only enter the establishment on official Ranger business.

Based on the meeting, I ordered Sergeant Que’kasaars to go with Von Dietrich in the morning (7th) and explain our knowledge and our position to the Madame. After which, I turned the discussion to the recent political unrest.

The Duke of Harken was still in the city and he had yet to make a determination as to the position of the Lord Mayor, however, rumors indicated that Sir Halten was all but guaranteed the appointment. That being said, there was a great deal of opposition to the Sheriffs appointment. It would seem that the Duke was intentionally stalling.

Many of my Rangers, and my own Lady, had expressed a belief that I should petition for the position. I must state emphatically that I have ZERO desire to attain any political position now or in the future. It seemed prudent to reiterate my stance and to order Sergeant Que’kassars to issue an official statement on behalf of the Rangers stating our neutrality in the appointment of the Lord Mayor.

No Ranger shall knowingly involve themselves in the political processes of a sovereign nation. We enforce laws, we do not see to their creation or adoption. That issue thoroughly handled, I handed assignments for the next few days and then released my tired Rangers to their beds.

On the 7th, Sergeant Que’kassars and Ranger 1st Class Von Dietrich met with Madame Lithillien who admitted to being a Shayae and confirmed that her guards were were-wolves. But, she denied any nefarious intention. In fact, she offered to vacate the city with entire staff should her presence be deemed illegal. And, she offered Von Dietrich her solemn vow that she would not act against the Rangers of Echer’Naught.

He explained that we were to remain neutral but would support the new Lord Mayors decision once he was appointed. She understood and agreed to comply.

On the 8th, Sergeant Que’kassars published our official stance on the political unrest in the city. All Rangers were ordered to abide by the order.

I was informed that a couple days later, on the 10th, Fekla bestowed upon Thorgram a token, an ancient piece of a Dragon’s scale long held by her gather Kolfis. With this token, he was then adopted into her Gather. I know it pleased him greatly.

On the 13th of Dancing Clouds the Duke officially announced that he would be revealing his appointment to the position of Lord Mayor. This, though long expected, brought the political maneuvering to a new high. The City Watch was forced to intervene in a number of duels between young nobles. The last thing the city needed at this point was MORE unrest.

To make matters even worse, it appeared that there was a growing movement in support of my appointment. Despite my best efforts, and firm condemnation of Rangers involving themselves in the process, clamor grew. By the evening of the 15th, they night before the announcement, Evoran entered my study while I reclined with Lady Elyanna. He delivered an impassioned speech on my behalf. What he did not know was that I had spent most of that evening receiving much the same speech from Elyanna.

Under constant assault, I consented that I would not campaign for any position, but should I be appointed, I would do my duty.

What neither knew was that the Duke had invited me to the Mayoral Manse on the 12th. He asked if I might be willing to retire from the Rangers in order to accept the position of Lord Mayor. I was forced to decline. My oaths to the Cloak prohibit me from leaving the Rangers for any political position.

Nevertheless, the 16th came soon enough and that evening, every noble, merchant lord, political sycophant and royal appointee gathered at the Mayoral Manse. The procession took nearly 4 hours as the wagons, carriages and envoys arrived in a slow, lumbering procession. I arrived close to dark surrounded by Gendarre and Anaxelum’s men wearing the Wolfhaven standard and with Lady Elyanna looking resplendent on my arm. From what I have heard, we cut quite the figure. I owe the display to the Lady.

She seemed to think that I needed to dress for the position I was going to attain. I had my doubts, but she has not steered me wrong. Sergeant Que’kassars was tasked with providing security for the gathering. Every Ranger, City Watch and Royal Guard was pulled in. We were surrounded by a veritable army.

The actual conference did not start until late in the evening and ran even longer than the arrivals. Every petty noble and bureaucrat argued endlessly, running round and round in circles. Half a dozen names were proposed, but the only serious candidates were Lord Eric Halten, Sheriff of Echer’Naught and myself, Lord Colonel, Barond Alexander Wolfhaven.

After hours of argument, the Duke of Harken finally stood and brought the room to order. His remarks were brief and I was too fatigued at that point to record them exactly, but he indicated that the Royal Sheriff had a strong claim to the position and that I too had been considered. He revealed to the assembled that he had even asked whether I would take off the cloak in order to assume the position, but I had, of course, declined.
He explained that my allegiance to the Cloak prohibited my appointment to the position and so long as the City was administered by Olaran authorities, I could not hold the position of Lord Mayor. He then went on to explain that the cost for rebuilding the city was prohibitive and that the Rangers at Kythros had offered a potential partnership. In return for a century lend-lease of the city, they would pay for the rebuilding of the damaged areas. In addition, the city would pay a sizable fee to the Harken Duchy for the privilege of managing the city of Echer’Naught.

I was stunned.

Then, I was named Lord Mayor and the city was officially declared a holding of Grayson’s Gray Rangers for the next 100 years or until both parties mutually agreed to a parting. Echer’Naught’s lands and titles would remain with the Harkens, but the city, in effect, was mine.

My feelings were a mixture of awe, terror and excitement at the prospect. I was in the minority, however, in those pleased by the news. The room erupted into uproar, shouting shook the halls. Man came to blows and at least a few personal guards were forced to escort their patrons from the building for their own safety, or to prevent incidences of violence.

Finally, I felt compelled to quell some of the potentially fatal fury. I rose and spoke, ensuring the assembled that, regardless of my oaths to the Rangers, I was and always would be Olaran. I reminded them that I yet served the King and that, though the Rangers would assume administration of Echer’Naught, the city was Olaran. It was at this juncture, Sir Halten stormed out of the room trailed by his entourage. After which, my personal guard escorted me out of the building for my own safety.

I retired to my Manor, still reeling. My Rangers remained behind continuing to provide security in an attempt to re-establish order. Grievances spilled into the streets and by morning, six nobles were dead in duals and one manor house was burned to the ground.

As for my part, I remained at home with Elyanna, quietly discussing the monumental task before us. We were visited by Fateweaver who, after condolences, settled in to map our plans for the future. Despite my reservations about the man, I trust that he is equally nonplused at being thrust into the center of politics as I am.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? We still must locate and arrest Sarah and confirm whether or not Hawksclaw is truly dead. Alfred is yet to regain his strength and the city is in shambles. My term as Lord Mayor could not have come at a more difficult time. And, there are so many tasks left unfinished. This so-called Lord Velkalar must be dealt with and soon. Someone must take a force to the far north and make some sense of the reports from that area. There is also the rise in crime within the city and the strange occurrences like the Wights in Galea that have suddenly seemed to rise in frequency.

I am chilled by a warning offered by Madame Lithillien…something dark is coming…

It seems I have been chosen for this task and so I must do my duty.

Your most obedient servant,

A. Wolfhaven, Colonel
Echer’Naught

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