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

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…

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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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Campaign Report 49: Addendum
Alfred Lives

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

Fifth Day of Festival Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

While in my office on the 32nd of Thunder Hawk putting together reconstruction assessments I was contacted by Eris Moonsilver with a report that Sergeant Longtail had recovered Alfred from the bandit camp. He was alive, thank Archanon. She had retreated to the Stone Tower Gather and placed him in the care of their healers.

Immediately I turned over operations to Sergeant Major Stormhammer and summoned my Riders. We were riding south by early afternoon the 32nd of Thunder Hawk. Riding all night, we reached the Stone Tower gates by mid morning on the 33rd.

I found Alfred lying comotose in the healers hut. He was breathing, but little else. Occasionally he would mumble nonesne in a fevered dream. The shaman told me that he had been too close to the other world for too long. That it had a hold on him. Only his own spirit could see him return.

Ordering my men to establish camp outside of the gather, I remained with Alfred. Two days later, on the 2nd of Festival Moons, Longtail arrived in the company of Grimbore and his warriors.

They had made a visit to the bandit camp and from her report, the Stone Tower had destroyed the camp utterly. She was unable to find Sarah, Hawksclaw or Trokash, but during her report she did mention freeing a number of catured women and children.

Sending a runner to fetch them from my saddlebags, I showed Longtail the sketches of all the reported kidnap victims. Surprisingly, three of the women Longtail freed were the captives Hawksclaw had originally been sent to rescure back in Red Wolf.

Up until this point, we had no idea where any of these women were and Longtail had simply openned their cell doors and let them go. I rushed out to speak with Grimbore and he informed me that his scouts had been sent to escort the women and children to their villages and towns. He promised me that they would, “Go home safe.”

Then I heard Alfred raspy voice from inside and ducked back into the hut. My son was sitting up on the pile of skins, coughing and begging water. I handed him a skin and urged him to drink slowly. After a time, he began to relate his story.

He and Sarah were ambushed in Echer’Naught before the Kal army had arrived. They were knocked unconcious. When he regained conciouness he was bound and in a strange room. His captures seemed agitated and he overheard conversation that they had to escape the city before the Kal arrived.

They were drugged and when he re-awoke, he could tell they were in a wagon, moving. Over the course of days, or weeks, he was routinely drugged, then waked and tortured for information. How long this lasted, he could not say.

Eventually, however, the constant pain and disorentation wore him down and in his delerium, and facing an Adept, was forced to reveal critical information about the Rangers and, specifically, our team. Sarah fared far worse…

Suffice to say, by the end, she just wanted to the pain to stop. So, she turned on Alfred and joined the Bandits. Her final test was to kill him.

Alfred’s last memory was Sarah stabbing him in the chest with a dagger. By Archanon’s Grace, the blade missed his heart by a hair. Due to Longtail’s heroism and the Stone Tower healer, Alfred was pulled back from the bring of death.

But I fear we may have lost Sarah.

Truthfully, she cannot be blamed. Anyone would break under such torture, but she has betrayed her oaths and attempted to kill her fellow Ranger. She must be captured, tried and given the chance to answer for her crimes.

We stayed until the 3rd, feasting the night of the 2nd with Grimbore’s people. By early morning we rode north to Echer’Naught. It may be some weeks, or months before Alfred is fit for duty. Sarah’s betryal will take far longer to heal.

Taking out time, we arrived in Echer’Naught mid-afternoon on the 5th. Alfred was immediately taken to an upper room and a healer from the Church of Light requested for constant care. Now to the issue of Sarah, and others…

Your most obedient servant,

A. Wolfhaven, Colonel
Echer’Naught

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Campaign Report 49
The Day After

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

Twenty Fourth Day of Thunder Hawk, Year 3124 Under the Light

I woke on the 23rd before the dawn, sore beyond all reason and forced myself to rise despite the agony of every fiber of my being. It helped to remind myself that at least I could still feel the pain. Others had not been so fortunate.
Breakfast was a simple affair, made more pleasurable by Lady Elyanna’s company. She protested that I was far too weary to resume my duties so soon, but assured her that I was able, and that I would take things easy for the next few days. Mollified, but not satisfied, she retired to make herself presentable.

I find myself depending upon her company more every day. However, duty called and so I fetched Malcom and instructed him to round up Hawksclaw’s team and meet in the Library.

They trickled in one by one, none looking well save for, perhaps, Longtail who made a surprise visit after a rather lengthy and mysterious absence. My first order of business was to invite volunteers to stand Olgor’s watch the night of his Last Call. Predictably Hawkslcaw, Longtail and Rildrirr stepped forward as did Evoran, but he would have other concerns.

I informed them all that we would host the Last Call for all of the fallen that very eve and that I was allowing each mess to attend to their own fallen privately. We at the HQ would toast Olgor here while I and my three volunteers would stand watches at the gates. I would hold the North, Hawksclaw the West, Longtail the East and Rildrirr to the South.

The rest of the day would be their own to do with as they pleased, though they would be required to procure a certificate of health from the Infirmary at the Church of Light before I would allow them to resume duties. I also informed them that as soon as the funeral arrangements were seen to that I would dispatch Hawksclaw south to recover Sarah and Alfred, or barring that, bring to justice the monsters who took them.

And with that, I dismissed the group. Before she left, however, Longtail asked to speak with me in private and, to my delight, asked that I be Godfather to her eldest, Alexander. I felt a sense of overwhelming join and pride, but a pang of loss thinking at that moment of Alfred and Sarah.

Of course I accepted such an honor with a glad heart. I know one thing that her children will never want for anything. She seemed as happy as I and left to attend to whatever business she now conducts.

Excusing myself, I retired to the yard where the fallen had continued to gather. When we closed the gates in the face of the Kal we had:

750 Militia Men under command of Cmdr. Schenkle and Sgt. Vasser
250 Town Guard under command of Cmdr. Schenkle and Sgt. Vasser
50 Rangers under command Col. Wolfhaven and Lt. Hawksclaw
50 Wolfhaven Riders under command of Col. Wolfhaven
100 Priest/Paladins under command of High Priest Vallandrian
20 Riding Lizards under command of Col. Wolfhaven
200 Hammerfall Riders under command of Field Marshal Graf von Wrangel
3000 Civilian Auxiliary under my command

All told, our forces numbered around 4,570 men and women at arms. After just four days of fighting, our losses were staggering. Overall, we lost 23% dead and another 25% wounded, some never to recover.
I lost 24 Rangers, 12 dead, not including Sarah and Alfred who I still hold out hope are alive. I lost the same number of riders and 9 of our lizards during the fighting.

Across the city over a thousand men and women lie dead, one sixth of the total population of the city before this most recent attack. I only hope that we will be able to recover.

Now we are left with the grim task of recovering the dead and seeing to their mortal remains.

Preparations for the evening events I left entirely to Lady Elyanna. In truth, I simply lacked the strength to see it through. Without her support I would be well and truly lost.

Mostly, I wandered through the house, keeping out of everyone’s way and meeting with those who wished to speak with me. I had quite a few visitors, everyone uncertain and in need of some support. Also, my Rangers trickled in bringing with them their certificates from the healers. All went well, save for one; Thorgram.

It would seem that his encounter with the Demon of Echer’Naught left a mark. Time will tell how this might affect the young warrior, but I must watch him closely. Perhaps speaking with others who have been marked by their encounters with the enemy might help him through this most dangerous battle.

By evening, all were in attendance as we gathered to toast our fallen friend. I took the honor speaking first and recounted to all of Olgor’s final deeds on this earth. And then we drank and dropped coins into his mug, dented and scratched from decades of wear.

Then Hawksclaw spoke, and Evoran. Rildrirr’s comments were brief. Longtail said nothing, but I could see the pain in her eyes. And then it was over, for us at least, and we left the manor house to stand our lonely watches.
Over the last years I have stood hundreds, maybe thousands of watches and I remember very few. But this night will linger long in my thoughts.

Smoke skill hung low in the streets, obscuring everything under a gloomy pall. And yet the night was cool and clear, the crispness of autumn just in the air. All throughout the city I could hear the revelry as the fallen of Echer’Naught were celebrated one last time.

Tomorrow, the funerals would begin and we would say goodbye.

I stood long and watched as dawn peaked over the hills to the East. My relief came soon enough and I retired home to find Lady Eyanna waiting with a warm cloak, mulled wine and breakfast. We ate together again quietly and out of the way.

I allowed my Rangers until mid-morn on the 24th of Thunder Hawk to assemble for our daily briefing. They all seemed tired, but some of the desperateness was gone, and with the new day dawning, hopes began to turn a bit brighter. I informed them of their mission again and revealed that our agent Trokash would be waiting in the roadside inn two days south of Echer’Naught.

They seemed EAGER for the task at hand, but I had one more order of business to attend to before they departed. Calling the team to order I announced the following promotions:

Hawksclaw was promoted to Captain
Thorgram was promoted to Ranger 1st Class
Samira was promoted to Ranger 1st Class
Rysak was promoted to Ranger 1st Class

It has been a long time coming, but they definitely deserve the recognition for their exemplary service. From her on, however, I fear there might be some dissention in the ranks.

Up to now, promotions have been out of necessity to establish a command structure here in Echer’Naught, but we are now well established. Ranger 1st Class is assured to any man or women who does their duty to the fullness of their ability. However, moving forward, promotion to NCO status will be reserved for those who express a desire to attain rank, display the leadership qualities needed for such an honor AND, most important, comport themselves as Rangers with respect to all and obedience to the chain of command.
This is something I must stress in our next meeting.

With that, I dismissed the group, though taking a moment to speak with Thorgram about his results and taking a moment to inform Samira that I expected a write-up of her proposed unit for review and approval.
They left, after that, the new Captain Hawksclaw at the lead, quite nearly glowing in joy. I have little doubt they will find our lost friends and bring them home safely. As for me, I must now begin the long and arduous process of rebuilding all that was lost.

That, and figure out what to do about the Lord Mayor post that will certainly be a driving force in the days to come. Perhaps I will speak with Therel Fateweaver?

Your most obedient servant,

A. Wolfhaven, Colonel
Echer’Naught

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Campaign Report 48
The Razing of Echer'Naught

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

Twenty Second Day of Thunder Hawk, Year 3124 Under the Light

These are the days whose deeds echo into myth and legend. A day of heroes.

Even as I sat to record the past week’s events, flaming concoctions of death and destruction rained down upon my city, reducing her once proud monuments to smoking ruin. Yet even this was but a prelude to our destruction. For nothing, not the days of constant bombardment, not the waves of Childer, demons and Kal-A-Nar soldiers compared to the horror that was unleashed upon us…

It was a demon, well over 20 feet in height, perhaps so tall as 30. Our first warning was a bellowing in the darkness which rumbled like thunder. Then, heavy footfalls, like an earthquake shook the very walls. From my vantage, standing on my balcony I watched in muted horror as Ceynara’s brood crashed through our great barrier wall as if it were made of kindling rather than the finest dwarven stone.

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My Rangers, led by Lt Hawksclaw, were at that moment recuperating from the latest assault on our walls at the north gate. From where I stood, I feared that they had been destroyed with the collapsing wall. Despite the loss of many good and honest soldiers, my team was not listed among the dead.

Rather, they flung themselves from the top of the wall in a desperate attempt to escape the demon’s wrath risking great injury but preserving their lives.

Seeing the breech in our walls and the flood of Childer, Abyssal spawn and Kal soldiers beginning to pour through into the city, I sprinted to the war room beneath my manor where Sir Lugard and Sergeant Gendarre had kept vigil over Eris during the entirety of our siege. Through her connection to Hawksclaw I learned that he and his team had survived, but that their position was untenable.

I ordered Eris to establish a mental network to all the commanders within the city and begin to relay my orders. The task would be tiring and I could not know how long she could maintain the spell under such conditions, yet we had little choice. And then I sprinted for my horse and rode hell bent for leather toward the Beacon Tower.

That climb was the longest of my life and, despite the physical training I endure, I was nearly spent when I reached the top. Spotters manned every station, a team of roost masters frantically launched messenger birds to every post in Olara and Lamplighters poured fuel on the beacon fire. From the tower, I had a clear view of the city and the surrounding land, a frightful sight at that moment.

Echer’Naught was surrounded in all directions, the highest concentration of troops at the North and the West. Most of the enemy army was mobilizing to the north around the three strange flaming peaks and marching directly for the breach in the wall. The Elven gate was in flames despite Ranger Silverfeather’s sanctity, though the Dwarven and southern were holding well enough. Harken’s men knew their tasks and performed them well.

The beast had breached just west of the North gate and was beginning a thorough destruction of the city’s brick yards. Our forces were thin in the warren of warehouses just south of the brickyard and the terrain made containing the creature there was impossible.

Through Eris I ordered Hawksclaw to establish a base camp between the North gate and centerpointe to link up with Field Marshal Von Wrangel and establish a fire break along the North Barony Road from Centerpointe and along the Greenway Road between Centerpointe and the Elven Gate. I hoped to cut off the Warehouse District, but even if we could contain the lesser creature and soldiers of the Kal, we had no hope of stopping the Demon, not until we knew how to destroy it.

The task of determining the demon’s weakness would fall to Evoran. He alone had the clinical disposition and patience process through elimination, even if it cost precious lives. The rest of their team, Thorgram, Rysak and Samira would help establish the fire break, with Samira manning the City Watch tower at Centerpoint as a defensive tower.

To Fekla I assigned the most difficult task…slowing the beast. Sophia Longarm was known to employ an Ogre named Transom, at least the size of Fekla. Fortunately, Transom was in Echer’Naught and Lady Longarm agreed to task the Longarm bruiser to assist Fekla. I knew they could not stop the beast, only slow it, and that for only a short time. In all likelihood, I was sending her to her death, but Fekla would have it no other way.

I watched as my Rangers retreated before the Kal soldiers, Hawkslcaw heading straight for his post, Fekla doing the same. Evoran disappeared into the Church district, I assume to find reinforcements. Fekla and Transom vanished into the blast zone of the demon’s path. All I could see through the smoke and darkness was that the creature’s progress had slowed.

Fekla.

My elite team in place, I issued orders to all available units to begin evacuating to our fallback position in High Towne. I sent Anaxelum and his men to secure the Red Lamp along with Elyanna who demanded I allow her to assist. Despite every fibre of my being compelling screaming to lock her in the command room, I relented. I seem to have no will to deny her.

The druids, through their spirit, informed me that they would secure the Sacred Grove and I need only dispatch a detail to help move the wounded to our rally point.

With men and women flooding through the two gate into High Towne and the Dwarven Gate close pressed, I dispatched the LongArms to secure High Towne’s North Gate.

Troops moving into position, I again turned my attention north. It is strange to watch a battle from the vantage point of a general, to see the different units shifting across the ground like set pieces in a child’s game of toy soldiers. There is a sense of power controlling the fates of so many, but there is also a sense of hopelessness watching your friends and colleagues suffer and die knowing there is little you can do but put them in harm’s way.

I watched as troops fled from our southern and western positions toward High Towne carrying with them our wounded. They looked like ants fleeing a rising stream. All along the walls men battled Gargoyles and Ratzin as more incendiary devices rained down. It was a scene from the Abyss. And all the while the beast raged, wreaking destruction with every step. Only through Eris’ connection did I know that Fekla yet lived.

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My most disturbing report came from Ranger Silverfeather who informed me that our local Ranger Outpost had been taken by an elite team of warriors and adepts. I suspect Tor Mastak. No doubt they were keen on capturing vital intelligence. Ranger Silverfeather had the presence of mind to gather all the most important documents and evacuate them with young Malcom. Thwarted in their mission, they still very nearly managed to take Silverfeather’s wings as a prize. Narrowly he escaped.

This meant that the enemy was well and truly behind our lines executing acts of sabotage. A quick check of other high value target teams confirmed that, at present, only the Local HQ was compromised, but with everything on the west side of the city was already abandoned I had no means to verify.

Hours passed and I watched as the positions on the walls began to fall. The west gate fell first, the last soldiers and civilians fleeing before a horde of Kal. Members of the Town Militia fought a fierce rear-guard action, holding back the tide of Flame. Our east-west defensive line collapsed along the Greenway Road, falling in back in good order; the north-west line holding fast.

Low Town was in flames, but Fekla’s warrens slowed the enemy advance to a crawl. For the moment, Harken held, but the beast continued to cut a bloody swath through all defenses. Nothing seemed to work, not white silver, not spells. The creature was unstoppable.

And then, the word came from Evoran. He knew how to kill the beast. It cost the lives of his entire team of priests and paladins, and the lives of hundreds of soldiers, but at long last, we could kill it. Blessed heavy weapons were the beast’s only weakness.

Unfortunately, the gargoyles had targeted our weapons, taking out most along the north, west and southern walls and what the flying devils had missed, the Kal siege engines had finished. Our siege engines along the High Towne walls were yet untouched and we still had a few operational ballistae around the east gate.
Time. It was all a matter of time.

I gave the word to double guard on all remaining siege weapons and salvage any that could be repaired. Sophia LongArm’s men were to secure High Towne’s north gate and establish a shield wall to protect evacuees. Word came again through Eris that Transom was down, dead or incapacitated, no one knew, but the demon was coming.

And, all our preparation would be for naught if we could not lure the creature into range of the weapons. Evoran, Rysak and Fekla were still in position, so to them fell the grim task of baiting the beast. To the west, our defenses collapsed. We were out of time. My final order was for every available priest and druid to assemble at the siege trap and prepare.

From the peak of the tower to my horse lasted no more than two or three minutes. The ride to the north gate no more. Yet every step, every second weighed heavily upon my soul.

By the time Thunder skidded to a halt, blood spattered and sooty figures swarmed the walls, frantically securing the siege weapons as the skies filled with the leathery wings of gargoyles. Leaping from Thunder, I sprinted up the narrow stone steps to the top of the wall just as the demon came thundering into view. Its towering form was crashing through Centerpointe.

With a single swipe of its massive flaming sword, the demon toppled the City Watch tower like it was a toy. Just before the stones shattered, figures hurled themselves from the upper windows. I prayed to Archanon that Samira and her team had made it out in time.

We all watched in muted horror as the demon thundered its way down Main Street, melting paving stones with each step. Running just ahead were three figures, one towering Ogre, staggering almost spent, the flapping robes of a sorcerer and the small squat figure of a dwarf. Fekla was staggering her wounds were clearly serious. She managed to just reach the mark when her monumental strength finally failed her.

How she had stood for hours on end against a creature our own walls were powerless to deter I may never know. But, her sacrifice had bought us, bought me, the time needed to finally stop the creature once and for all. I stood powerless atop High Towne’s gate as the demon raised is flaming sword, Fekla prostrate in the dirt before it.

Everyone froze in terror as our most stalwart defender gave her life for a cause she did not even claim as her own. I know that Fekla came to this city to prove her brother’s innocence. And as I helplessly watched the killing blow, I felt a sense of failure. She sacrificed all in the faith that I would avenger Grimbore’s would be executors.
And then, before our stunned eyes a long figure sprinted across the road, hurling itself between the demon and Fekla’s lifeless form. As the flaming sword crashed down, Thorgram Ramshorn stood alone, his Targe shielding Fekla from the demon’s wrath. And then, all vanished in a maelstrom of heat, smoke and dust as the street disintegrated into shrapnel.

I leaned forward, my fingers digging into the stone parapet. Had I lost another?

And then the cloud dissipated and time seemed to slow…

The beast pressing downward, almost confused at the sudden resistance to his attack. And there, beneath the savage sword a defiant Thorgram, body in flames, but unyielding.

I have seen many great and wonderful things, many sacrifices on the battlefield, but this act of defiance in the face of oblivion rivaled them all. Before this act, we knew only defeat…

But one man refused to break…and in that moment I knew that, come what may, we would stand to the bitter end.

“Beautiful,” I whispered and then signaled the attack.

Beams of pure white light exploded from the hands of priests along the walls, met by equally brilliant streams of pure emerald energy from the druids. One by one, ballistae thundered hurtling their arc-fire enhanced ammunition each man-sized spear blessed by Archanon’s Light or the spiritual power of Landra.

Fire rained down, staggering the beast. More beams, more enhanced heavy darts slammed into the creature. Yet, it refused to fall. Already I could see the demon rising again…

There was no choice. I leapt into the saddle, spurring Thunder down the parapet and up the narrow stone stairs to the first, and nearest, tower. Ignoring the shouts of alarm, I pushed my mount up and over the wall.
No other horse would have trusted a rider so. No sane man would have attempted what I in my desperation attempted.

Reaching deep inside, I summoned that power which I seem to carry and stepped. Again I felt the surge of energy and the world blurred for a heartbeat and then I was there, handing in the air beside the demon’s head. With all of my might I leaned into the stirrups and swung, my father’s blade flashing white as it bit deep into the demon’s flesh.

And then the pull of the earth grabbed me and I began to plummet to the ground. Digging deep I grabbed the power and stepped…

…and felt Thunder’s hooves striking sparks on flagstones.

Releasing the power the normal fatigue washed over me from the strain of stepping through space and time. Behind me, the demon bellowed once, then sagged to its knees, angry orange flames gouting from the wound on its neck. And then, it toppled forward, smashing the street to bits under its bulk.

Our relief was short lived. Kal forces had already reached CenterPointe and would be on us in minutes. I sent an order through Eris to have all forces fall back, but her mental network had fallen silent. So, I shouted to every commander in earshot retreat behind the walls of High Towne and spurred Thunder to where Fekla’s body had fallen.

With immense effort, we managed to drag her through the gates just as the Kal army reached our position. They were boiling over and howling for blood. The thunder of their blows on the stout ironwood gates drowned out the frightened babble of voices sheltering behind the walls.

As I stood looking back at the defenders of Echer’Naught I was struck by their uniformity. When the siege had started we were divided: Rangers, City Watch, King’s Guard, LongArms and mercenaries. But days of constant battle had stripped us of our ranks, scorched our tabards and leaving our soot covered clothes a uniform gray, stone gray.

To the east a thin, lightening line presaged the dawn.

As the first light of dawn stretched across the land I came to a decision. If Echer’Naught were to fall that this day, I would ensure that this army broke on the stones of our walls. Turning I asked for volunteers to join me in this our final hour. Bloody, but unbroken, my Rangers stepped up, one after the next. Soon, others followed.
If we were to die, we would die together. I ordered the gates open.

As the doors swung open, I could see the hungry gleam in the eyes of the massed Childer and they howled in victory surging the through the open gate. I spurred Thunder forward and charged.

Behind me the Defenders of Echer’Naught roared and drove through the enemy. Time slowed as it does in the heat of battle. Arrows buzzed around me like hornets, purple eldritch energy crackled, white light so bright it left stars in my eyes exploded as a choir of angels descended from the heavens.

Our cry was answered by a horn from the east as the forces of Harken and Ranger broke through the Dwarven gate. From the west came the elves, their arrows falling like rain. From the south, Grimbore led the Stone Tower gather like some avenging avalanche and by his side, Rildrirr wielding his icy demon’s bane.

A heartbeat stretched to a minute, a moment became hours. By the time the battle was through, I could barely sit my saddle. Covered in blood, soot, and ash, I swayed drunkenly, my arms so tired they felt as if they were made of stone. Around me, soldiers collapsed where they stood, all life finally spent.

It was with the greatest effort that I dragged myself from the saddle to meet with the other commanders.
Field Marshal Von Wrangel, surly as ever. There was an elven military commander, an Eldais I had never met. Lord Haken himself commanded the relief force from Harken. Mak Tokash Grimbore met us as well and declared it a good fight, though with Sheriff Halten’s ultimatum that he would only delay Grimbore’s arrest.
Our meeting was brief, though productive. Each army separated and went into quarters outside the ruins of our city. I requested that they dispatch fresh units to secure the city and begin re-establishing order within the city allowing my own weary forces a much needed rest.

My men seen to, I walked Thunder to the nearest well, drawing enough to bury my head in the cool water. As I sank down beside the well, it occurred to me that the temperature had finally broken, much as the Kal army. Autumn quickly approached, harvest season.

Leaning my head back against the warm stone I considered the task before me. No Mayor, a town in ruins, nearly half the population missing, dead or permanently relocated. Not to mention, I had heard nothing from the Sun’s Crossing Rangers…

Closing my eyes, sleep finally overtook me there, slumped against the well beside the road, Thunder breathing heavily beside me. Days of fighting with no sleep had taken its toll.

It was late afternoon before I finally roused myself, cold and overlooked by the swarm of men and women already beginning to clean. Sore and hungry, I made my way back to the outpost, but approaching the gate I knew there was a problem.

Dread filled me to my very core. Entering the house, I found the bodies of my Rangers already laid out in rows in the yard. Looking into the faces of the survivors I knew something was horribly wrong. Evoran met me, his face a mask of pain and anguish.

Olgor was dead.

The little goblin was laid out in the library, a blanket covering his frail form, so small in death. Hawksclaw was absent and after a quick search I found him asleep beside the comatose form of Eris Moonsilver.

Evoran filled me in. During the final assault, agents of Tor Mastok had assault the HQ, fighting passed my House Guard and raiding my home. Lieutenant Olgor defended the library alone, fending off a team of Kal agents. In the command room beneath the Manor House, agents managed to force their way into Eris’ room, but were stopped by Sir Lugard and Gendarre himself.

Eris eventually succumbed to the stress of maintaining the bond too long and rendered herself unconscious. It would be some time before all of our dead could be dug out of the rubble.

Standing among the dead and dying I was overwhelmed by sadness. I should have been here. Why would Eris not have alerted me to the attack?

But I knew. Even at the risk of her own life, Eris would not have distracted me from my duty. She only informed Hawksclaw due to their connection. And he stood beside me even as the woman he loved could have been dying.

I have not cried in a long time. Despite everything we have survived, tears have seldom come. I am not ashamed to say that I knelt among the bodies of my men, MY MEN, and wept like a child. How long I remained, I cannot say, but it was well past dark when Elyanna finally put an arm around me and pulled me from the field of dead.

I write this report in the library that my friend Grizhnak saved at the cost of his own life. My second in command and my Farspeaker lie incapacitated upstairs and my city burns around me.
In truth, I have little to report. Perhaps tomorrow.

Your most obedient servant,

A. Wolfhaven, Colonel
Echer’Naught

View
Campaign Report 47
The Doom of Echer'Naught

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

Twenty First Day of Thunder Hawk, Year 3124 Under the Light

For hours I struggled with the Kal attack and our best course of defense. We were simply too outnumbered and had too few troops to hold the miles of wall surrounding the city. Maybe with another thousand troops I could withstand the assault…
Putting that out of my mind I focused on what factors I could control. First I divided my Rangers into elite strike teams and wrote orders for Lt. Hawksclaw to station them around the city at key strategic points. He and his team would hold the North Gate. I knew from experience and history that if an enemy were to breach our walls, that would be a likely target.
I met with Sir Halten, the Royal Sherrif, and Commander Schenkle. The boy has certainly matured. It was my sad duty to speak with him about the disappearance of his love, Sarah. He was…upset, but understood his duty. However, once our battle is over, I fear the young man might attempt something rash, such as a rescue.
Nevertheless, all forces were in place. Sir Halten’s men held the East and South gates along with High Towne. Lt. Hawksclaw negotiated a contract with Sophia Longarm to ensure their support in the coming fight. The indomitable woman’s unit would provide support on the main street entrance to High Towne.
My Rangers would hold the North and West gate, those most likely to suffer attack. Our priests and paladins would pair up and intersperse themselves evenly among the troops on the walls with our cavalry forces patrolling the Main Street and stage in the Stockyards.
Supporting our forces would be the city Militia combined with the Town Watch. What civilians remained would provide material support and act as light auxiliaries. All our forces would operate in three shifts, one on the wall at all times, one in reserve and the final resting and healing. During actual assaults, all troops would stand to.

Unit Tallies
750 Militia Men under command of Cmdr. Schenkle and Sgt. Vasser
250 Town Guard under command of Cmdr. Schenkle and Sgt. Vasser
50 Rangers under command Col. Wolfhaven and Lt. Hawksclaw
50 Wolfhaven Riders under command of Col. Wolfhaven
100 Priest/Paladins under command of High Priest Vallandrian
20 Riding Lizards under command of Col. Wolfhaven
200 Hammerfall Riders under command of Field Marshal Graf von Wrangel
3000 Civilian Auxiliary
Total Units: 4,570

Preparations completed I rode to speak with Lt. Hawksclaw and his team as they assembled at the gate. They were already assessing the situation and assigning positions. Fekla looked positively gleeful at the prospect of battle.
I took the opportunity to step aside with Ranger Ravenwood and express my sincere regrets for my callous demeanor and to express my pride in her growth as a Ranger. Ordering others into harm’s way is one of the most difficult choices for a commander. For so young a Ranger to have such bearing under fire is remarkable.
It seems as if all my Rangers have grown so much in my absence.
After leaving the North Gate, I made my rounds to the other units, though my efforts were quite unnecessary. Our men are well trained and the immediacy of danger has a stirring effect on the troops. Though, the stress of idleness with the constant state of high alert was clearly wearing upon nerves. Men shifted restlessly, obsessively cleaning and re-cleaning gear and weapons.
I am reminded of my years at the Helt Academy where one of my battle instructors said that a siege, for the defenders, was more a battle of the mind than of warfare. If a commander could master his fears and anxiety, then he could certainly weather a bombardment.
It was not until late in the eve on the 18th that I returned to my quarters and resumed my vigil over the map table, pouring over every report, scrutinizing every preparation and reconsidering every troop placement. The problem of the Kal attacks gnawed at me like a Ratzin.
Their march across Olara made no logical sense. Surely if forces of this size were in the open field then local lords would have raised the alarm. And, if they were teleporting, from where; and why the ruse to make us think their movements were overland.
Eventually, Elyanna fetched me and forced me to retire. We had a late dinner and I fell into a restless sleep, my mind worrying at the problem like a dog with a bone.
I awoke on the 19th, before dawn and resumed my apparently fruitless quest. So fatigued was I that I broke with tradition and poured myself a cup of that thick, black beverage that Gendarre and the rest of my “house guard” have seem to rely upon so much. Cup in hand, I returned to my study and, in my absent state of mind, placed the cup directly on the map table.
Realizing my error, I snatched the cup, but already an ugly brown ring had formed. I was just about to curse, when the fog of war was lifted. Immediately, I set the cup down on the area of the attacks, lining the bottom rim of the cup with the assaults on Sun’s Crossing, Kore, my barony and now Echer’Naught. Though an imperfect match, the substance was clear.
Setting the cup aside, I grabbed a quill and began drawing lines from each point of contact to the center of the stain…
Why could I not see it all before?!
Of course! The Kal armies were not even camped with Olaran borders. No wonder our forces had been caught so unawares. They never even passed near Kore in any great numbers. Most likely, they smuggled their way through Stahlheim, or better yet, moved through the Dominion and skirted the Elven wood.
Regardless, I now understood where the Kal base should be, at least the general area and how they were launching the attacks. It also made sense that they would stage their progress in such a way to make us waste valuable time looking for them to the west, when all the while they were snuggly camped south, just over the border in Eleven lands.
Though the plains north of the forest is claimed by the elves, they treat it as more of a buffer zone, a bulwark against human incursions. I, of anyone, should have realized this sooner. After all, I grew up on their borders.
Castigating myself further was fruitless. I contact Eris, waking her from a sound sleep and relayed a message through her to the Sun’s Crossing Rangers somewhere around Kore. I ordered them to make haste south to seek out and destroy that base. It would take time for the message to reach them, no doubt. They might not receive it until much later, but the orders were sent.
That task completed, I managed to relax sufficiently to eat a decent breakfast and make another set of rounds. Little had changed, though the enemy had been hard at work during the evening hours. Their lines very nearly encircled the city in an unbroken ring. Worse, the massive shapes of siege engines loomed darkly in the morning mist.
The rest of the day I spent meeting with commanders, making certain arrangements and generally brooding, though I did my best to keep any fear of mine from the men. Another ardent rule of my battle masters was that a commander should always display the utmost confidence. Men followed an assured leader.
It was, then, with the waning hours of the day when the first stones were lobbed over the walls. Flaming pots full of alchemical fire, enchanted stones and rocks the size of cattle crashed into the city, flattening houses, setting fire to entire blocks and scattering anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in the open.
As I stood on my balcony and watched the meteors smash into the walls, I began to truly wonder if this battle would spell doom for my city. And then, I shook of such evil thoughts, belted on my sword, strode into the courtyard, mounted thunder and, with a personal guard of Hammerfall Riders, and one empty saddle beside me, I rode confidently to the front lines.
Cavalry in a city is like…well…something on a bull. Another cherished axiom from my academy days.
For hours the shelling continued, and then, abruptly, it stopped.
I knew what came next, though I was unable to warn the men on the walls in time. Before most were even aware a swarm of Ratzin scaled the walls and very nearly swept the defenders before the alarms were sounded.
It was touch and go. I was first called to defend the Eastern Gate, before I Eris alerted me that Hawksclaw was in danger, though by the time I arrived, they had the situation well in hand.
I discovered later that the enemy had used teleported agents to actually open the gate from within. They even spearheaded their assault with a trio of Minotaur. However, the Kal were not expecting to meet Fekla. They got no further.

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Every man and woman performed with exception skill. I could see the purple flashes from half way across town as Sergeant Que’kasaars unleashed eldritch fury upon the foes. And, from a brief report read, Ranger Ramshorn gain quite a reputation among the City Watch as he used his own body to shield them from harm.
The fighting was close all along the wall, but as quickly as it came, the enemy broke…and the bombardment resumed.
For an entire day, Echer’Naught was shelled. No one so much as moved throughout the 20th for fear of being struck down by random death from the sky. Few, if anyone, found any sleep as the crash of stone and roar of fire made any semblance of rest nigh impossible. I myself spent most of that day in the saddle dodging shrapnel.
I expected an attack that night, but was pleasantly surprised. The enemy was more than content to continue to bombard us into submission. The attack, as it happened, came with the dawn.
After two days of a near constant barrage, I am afraid we fell into something of a routine. Which is why, when the incoming fire suddenly silenced, there was momentary confusing and idleness on the wall. By the time the alarm was sounded, the enemy were already within a stone’s throw of our defenses.
The reports of the actions displayed on the morning of the 21st of Thunder Hawk will go down in legend. Not a man, living or dead, could hope to have served himself and his city better. I feel honored to have stood with the defenders of Echer’Naught and, should I survive the day, will count this action among the finest.
We threw them back with hideous losses to their forces. In actuality, I was spared most of the horror as my unit remained behind the walls until Lt. Hawksclaw summoned me again. This time, however, we arrived at the critical moment.
I gave the order to throw open the gates and with the way clear, I and my riders, along with Field Marshal von Wrangel himself, we swept the field of the enemy. By the time we returned to the safety of the walls, the Kal were already in retreat.
Immediately, the siege engines opened up and death fell anew.
With the immediate danger passed, I made another circuit of the city, and then reported in to all stations. The wells were secure, along with the Red Lamp triage, the Sacred Grove field hospital and the Church of Light infirmary. Despite the growing casualty list, we were weathering the particular storm better than I had imagined.
At this rate, we might just outlast the Kal army.
Returning to my study, I took a moment to confer with Olgor concerning the actions of various units.

I wish to place, here special commendation for many, but in particular:
Ranger Ironblood for brilliant tactical acumen.
Ranger Ravenwood for command excellence.
Ranger Ramshorm for selfless dedication.
Fekla for stalwart immutability.
Commander Schenkle for uncommon valor.
Sir Halten for unpromising bravery.

Here I would also note both Sergeant Que’kasaars and Lieutenant Hawksclaw have performed brilliantly in defense of the city.

I look forward to acknowledging such bravery when this current crisis has ended.
Your most obedient servant,

A. Wolfhaven, Colonel
Echer’Naught

Addendum:
…the alarm has sounded. the walls of been breached! By the Ascended…what is that THING?!
I have ordered Eris to send out the alert, Echer’Naughts outer wall has fallen.
A demon.
Ascended have mercy on our souls…
I go…

A. Wolfh

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Campaign Report 46
Burning Hatred: Holding the Western Gate

TO: LT. Rah-Sahn Hawksclaw of Regional Command
FROM: SGT. Evoran Que’kasaars of Echer’Naught Command

18th of Thunder Hawk

The bells of the tower rang loudly, beckoning a young Ranger to ask me what that meant. I ordered the Ranger to summon the mean and head towards regional command to muster, as that would be where we would assign duties (since we also had to work with other garrisons outside of the Ranger Corp itself).

I stepped outside to look for myself, to make sure things were true. Sure enough, the smoke billowed and the bells were being answered. The enemy was coming without a doubt. I saw merchants close shop, old citizens calmly moving to the plans they had settled on long ago. And I saw people staring in confusion. Normally I would have mounted and rode hard, but these were casualties waiting to happen. I proceeded on foot, warning those loiterers to seek cover for their own safety. I would say I was fairly successful.

On my route to regional, I crossed paths with a mounted Lt. Hawksclaw who beckoned me to gather the rangers to the West Gate. I immediately headed back to re-route them. Clearly the west was where we needed to reinforce. I would later learn that is where they were assaulting from.

As I was en route, a skirmish started. Rats and Minotaurs were assaulting the civilians trying to enter the town. Ranger Samira Ravenwood and Ranger Rysak Ironblood were posted at the gate. Samirs, I hear, made the call to close the West Gate, despite their being people outside. I know it was a hard decision, but I am proud of her for making the call. It was the best one could hope for.

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However, despite the decisive decision, my rangers were no match for who lead this strike force. After a long absence from Echer’Naught the infamous Flame Ranger returned. Samira, despite her skill with the bow, was not match for that infernal archer and, soon enough, the wall was overrun with Rats.

To my understanding of events, Hawksclaw arrived on the scene with the Flame Ranger waiting for him. A duel was struck between the two — Should Hawksclaw fall, the Gate remains open and the forces of Flame march into the city. If the Flame Ranger were to fall they would withdraw. Hawksclaw shot first, striking his foe but not felling him. The Flame Ranger went next, firing two shots.

That diabolical creature is indeed cruel, for he not only struck Hawksclaw but he took the life of Flit. I can only imagine the pain Hawksclaw felt when his companion passed. I do not know how things work with the lives of Fey, but my heart goes out to him for his loss.

I knew when Hawksclaw was down. I felt Eris’ scream resonate in my head. I think we all did. That scream only fueled me to lead my men faster, but I still had to keep them in an organized fashion. As we traveled, I felt what I can only describe as a warm sensation tingling my limbs followed by a shimmering light at the watch tower. Sarin. That was the only explanation for it.

As it turns out, Sarin had prayed and his faith was answered. Landra and Archanon joined to revitalize Hawksclaw, infusing him with the powerful forces of life and faith. Hawksclaw readied a final arrow and scored a direct hit to the Flame Rangers center mass. The purifying forces began to counteract the flame within his body and, in what I could only imagine as a gory but satisfying event, he exploded.

Of course the minions of the Flame Ranger did not hold to the agreement and the skirmish once again resumed. It was all a matter of time before the enemy began to breech through the open gate. We did not have much time.

From my head at the Rangers, we saw a beam of light descend from the sky and then vanish back behind the clouds. Again, I knew Sarin was actively involved and hoped that his prayers would be answered to make things easier on the few at the wall. They only needed to buy us a little bit more time.

We arrived on the scene to see an Acolyte of War stride into the fray — a Minotaur of considerable size, imbued by the infernal forces of Flame. He came from the smokey clouds of sulfur. As he began to step forward, a large two handed weapon, wreathed in blue and white, slashed out and ran through the chest of the Minotaur. As the beast was slain out stepped from the plume Colonel Baron Wolfhaven. He looked worse for wear, but still a sight for these sharp eyes of mine.

With Wolfhaven I saw soldiers of Tempest. My heart sank for a moment but, as they began to file in and join our ranks, I began to feel more confusion than anything. As I greeted Wolfhaven, I was introduced to the Tempest Commander: Anaxelum. It seems Wolfhaven had struck an agreement for the soldiers of Tempest were in just as much danger of losing their home as we were. In either case, I did not plan to bawk as such an awesome gift. They were bedecked in Archfire gear from head to toe, and we knew how skilled they were.

Wolfhaven and his new found allies hitched a ride through thaumaturgy and reported that they had witnessed a large collection of Childer gathered around a Cauldron. The cauldron would connect to the Abyss, where Wolfhaven speculated our enemy will eventually summon demons and greater demons for the war. We certainly have our work cut out for us.

I gave him a general overview of the situation at hand, and where the city currently stood. I also told him about the loss of his barony. It pained me to do so, but he needed to know.

Results of the Battle of West Gate:

Rysak was wounded and suffered an awkward walk. Thorgram also had a wound and his injury limited his agility. The healers tell me these are both temporary and will go away with rest and healing.

I ordered the chain for West Gate to be dismantled so that, should our walls be breeched by their rats, they will be unable to open it. I will make them work to take these walls.

Wolfhaven pulled Hawksclaw and myself aside to discuss several matters. Some of the information discussed shall not be listed due to the confidential nature of it, but it was certainly enlightening to say the least. We did, however, go over battle plans for the siege and Wolfhaven was given a detailed report of the logistical situation, as well as preparations made to help the city endure the siege.

Wolfhaven told Hawksclaw to go and requisition the services of Sophia Longarm. She is a private military contractor who, aside from the knights in High Town, has the heaviest units available.

I was instructed to go see how many Lizard Riders we had. My investigation on the matter reveals we have 20 of them. So, for our nocturnal patrols we certainly have a very powerful force. And, given they use rats, I expect to see them attack during the night and it is said the lizards love rats. Surprise to surprise indeed.

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Samira and Rysak were to reach out to the archers and speak to them about Gargoyles. We want our ranged forces prepared and to try and ground the flying forces of Flame as quickly as possible.

Sarin was to go speak to the church about healing and Thorgram was sent to the Red Lamp to inquire about the same thing.

It was at this time we had the displeasure of announcing to the Colonel about the situation with Alfred and Sarah. He took it hard, I think.

All in all, we are as ready as we ever will be. We have some skilled forces, and plans for several situations. Logistically, we are stretched thin but if Flame lives up to it’s reputation, they will offer a different siege than what happened with the Butcher. Losses on our end only extend the logistics in our favor. All we have to do is hold out for reinforcements. I do not know if they will make it in time, but regardless if they make it or not we will not go out in silence.

Also, with the return of Colonel Wolfhaven, I will relinquish my direct command over the Rangers of Echer’Naught, unless further notified, and will return command over to Lt. Hawksclaw.

Sgt. Evoran Que’kaasars
Stewart of Echer’Naught

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Campaign Report 45
Flame Attacks

Lt. R. S. Hawksclaw
18th of Thunderhawk
About the 13th Hour
Echer’naught

I never wanted command. I wanted to do my service and go home to The Forest. I hoped I would make some small mark, then fade into the ages.
That was another time, and those were the aspirations of a child. Now we are here.

The tactical situation is this;
Suns Crossing is gone, Kor is presumed lost, Baron Wolfhaven’s land is occupied, and the Kal are, at most, a day out. We are here. Trapped. Not by the enemy yet, but by duty. I would not say as much to my soldiers, but this is most likely our end. No amount of speechifying or gallantry might change the fact. They have the numbers.

I have done all that I am able, to ensure that we hold as long as possible. When Echer’naught falls, so too does the region. We have prepared for the worst, now we pray for the best.

Sgt. Que’kesarrs has tactical Ranger command, Sir Halton has command of Hightown, and I will act as their intermediary. Also, I have overall command of any non-royal troops.
I’ve ordered Main Street to be cleared to allow the mounted troops to function there, and in the stockyards. Walls have been constructed throughout Low Town so as to give the Militia a tactical moving advantage. The seige engines are prepped, and archers are stationed along the walls with them. Finally, any heavy infantry we have will be stationed to respond to breaches which might occur during the assault. Everyone has a part, and in this fight there are no civilians.

These measures, along with a continuity of command initiative, will give us the best possible chance of holding out. We have enough food and water to last at least two weeks, but given our enemies’ proclivity for attack, I do not expect a lengthy siege. No, this contest will be fairly quick and decisive.

However, we are not beyond all hope. Everyone here knows what is at stake, and they will do their jobs.

Ramshorn, Ravenwood, and Ironblood did an admirable job at the barony. They are forming quite a close bond, I think. It makes me happy to see them work in harmony, and it reminds me of an earlier time. When it was Gate, Aradove, Ryldryrr, and myself, under the command of Captain Wolfhaven. A long time ago.
I hope they make it, because the world needs Rangers of their caliber.

But now, the hour is late, and the show is set to begin.
The disposition of our little symphony…
Evoran will lead as their conductor.
Samira will be with, and liaise with our archers. They will be our strings.
Ryzak and Thorgram will do the same for the infantry. They shall play percussion.
Silverfeather and Eris will be able to provide quick intelligence. The high notes.
I will direct the production.
With this arrangement, we will play out a melody, written by fire, and accented in blood that the Ascended themselves will not soon forget. The stage is set, and the curtain will open soon.

~Hawksclaw

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General Order 4
LRHTH013124

From: Lt. R.S. Hawksclaw
Regional Command
Echer’naught

To: Rangers, Militia, and Watchmen of Echer’naught.

Re: General Orders

My friends,
Long has been the hour of our prosperity. Short has our allotted time together been. Deep are the roots which bind us together. Shallow has our breath become.

The heat, which has plagued us these past weeks, will soon be nothing. The Kal are marching toward Echer’naught. I ask any who will, to stand with my Rangers, the Town Watch, and myself. Here is my plea.

A few days ago, the few survivors of Sun’s Crossing came to Echer’naught. They had been attacked, and at the cost of their commander’s life, made it here. Their homes are gone. We are next on the map.

At this juncture, we are faced with two paths. We retreat, or we fight. I have elected to fight. As of yesterday, I have ordered the Wolfhaven barony evacuated and raised. The Wolfhaven orphanage is, likewise, vacated. All non marshal personnel will be given the chance to make their exodus. Finally, I have authorized the various armories to be opened, and sent the call to arms across Olara.
This city, we shall defend.

All of this, however, has come at no small cost. Many of us have already lost loved ones to this menace. The Rangers are no exception. My heart is heavy, even at this hour.

So, now, it falls to me to humbly beseech all who are able to answer my call.

Stand with us. Stand with me. Defend what we have built here, even unto death. Let our defense stand in testimony to any who hear of it, for ours shall be a tough medicine for the Kal to swallow. May our resolution be as firm as our ancient walls. May our battle shout ring through the eons until there are no ears which might listen.
Our feet are braced to fight, our fists are clenched for war. Let us touch the plains and we shall make them tremble evermore.

By the Blessing of Leandra,
~Lt. R.S. Hawksclaw
Ranger Regional Command
Echer’naught

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Campaign Report 44
Heat Wave

From: Echer’Naught Ranger Command
To: Regional Command
Attn: Regional Commander — Lt. Hawksclaw

The 23rd of Red Wolf, as noted in last report, was the day we had to collect ourselves and settle in.

The 24th of Red Wolf we resumed duties as normal. That morning we were called to the Regional Headquarters by acting Regional Commander Lt. Hawksclaw. We were told that the immediate concern was the location of the missing VIPs that had been acquired by the bandits/raiders in the south. We had taken one of the encampments on our last mission but we failed to locate anyone who had been taken hostage.

We were also instructed to keep an eye out for citizens under the influence of the drug Firestorm. We discovered some clues of it during our last excursion so we had some idea. That idea, we would soon discover, was not enough to accurately prepare us for what it could truly do.

On a more lighter note, the good Lieutenant announced promotions for the Rangers of Echer’Naught as follows

  • Rysak Ironblood was promoted from Ranger Trainee to full fledged Ranger
  • Sarin Silverfeather was promoted from Ranger to Ranger First Class
  • Alfred Wolfhaven was promoted from Ranger First Class to Corporal
  • Rildrirr was given command of a Goblinesh Waystation on Farwatch Road, effectively marking his first field command.
  • Evoran Que’Kasaars was promoted from Corporal to Sergeant

I must admit that I am pleased with the promotion. I did not expect, however, to receive command of Echer’Naught (although this is temporary as Sgt. Minor Longtail is still, technically, on limited duty / Paternity leave).

Still, I take the rank with new admiration and a profound sense of concern and worry. I hope that I am fit to lead this fine unit and that I do proud those who have faith in my abilities to do so.

On the 26th of Red Wolf, Rildrirr makes his departure for his command and I was summoned by Lt. Hawksclaw. He informed me he was pushing to get command to issue me a higher clearance so that I would have access to more information. That alone put me in higher spirits. Spirits I would need as my command abilities would be put to the test in a few short days.

By the 31st of Red Wolf the heat wave had begun. The protective city walls were now the cause of stagnant air that sweltered enough to cause fatigue and heat strokes. The heat escalated so bad that by the 12th of the Eternal Sun the Lord Mayor officially declared that water was to be rationed out. Due to the circumstances that had involved the city for the last year or so, they had been unable to compensate for the rapid expansion and growth of the city and, therefore, had a limited scope in regards to wells / water distribution.

We were summoned by the good Lieutenant and received a debrief of the situation. The Rangers were expected to patrol lowtown and the area outside of the city proper to make sure the rationing rules were kept to standards. We issued out patrols and hoped for the best.

The situation seemed well under control. However, as word spread that the supply was to be rationed off, the people of Echer’Naught began to crowd around the wells in droves. It was at this time things began to show the severity of this situation. Within these crowds existed on a handful of citizens who were under the influence of Firestorm. For how long, we will never know.

Just to note and touch base on how strong these deranged and raving lunatics are — they were somehow able to best poor Fekla. She is well and did not entertain any discernible injuries, but they still had the ability to do so.

In either case, Thorgram, Samira, and Fekla were assigned to the Market in low town to guard the well there. Thorgram told me it only took six of them to cause the chaos they did — bodies everywhere and buildings set ablaze. They lost 2 members of the town watch. I hear one of them fought with a tenacity and strength that few ever get to see. So I commend the Watch for that.

3 other spots were hit in similar attacks and I lost about half of the rangers that had been assigned. Low Town was in flames but I thank the divines for miracles — Rain began to fall on this town. I later learned it was Nell’s doing and she summoned the rain to help fend off the fires so they did not consume the city.

All of that madness started on the 16th of The Eternal Sun.

None of the Firestorm addicts survived the encounter, and we lost about an eight of low town to the fire. The Rangers worked well into the next day making sure the fire was as contained as it could be.

On the 18th of The Eternal Sun we had a few wells that had been damaged or destroyed and lots of people without homes. Lt. Hawksclaw ordered our excess food be given out to the citizens to help with the rations and any extra canvas we had was to be turned into forms of shelter for those who needed and for stations of respite from the sweltering heat.

I also received an autopsy report from one of the addicts who had inexplicably died. It seems the drug has a tendency to cause internal bleeding. The doctors told me this would come from either long time users who someone who had an extreme dose. I would learn later that day from Miss Longtail that the drugs are magically enhanced so it would seem short term users had the affects of being long term users.

It was also later that day that we found Ranger Kyran Tam murdered only a few allies away from our Headquarters. I remember when she joined. She was only 18. Her body had on a single bloody bandanna. Two members of the Town Watch had found her and beckoned me to her. I sent them to fetch Hawksclaw who joined me on the scene. It was at this time we ordered that no Ranger was to ever go alone — the buddy system was to be utilized in strict order.

On the 19th of Eternal Sun, Longtail returned from an errand I had asked her to undertake and she brought with her a dozen Brinchie. I asked her to bring them to me so that we could utilize them as runners. They are known to be exceptionally quick and the faster we could relay messages across the city the faster we could respond. I have made a note in the coffers section to compensate them accordingly under the title of “Outside Contracting — Runners”.

The situation only continued to decline as on the 22nd of Eternal Sun the citizens, whom seemed fueled by the addicts, attacked the Sacred Grove. Treesinger was able to, with the help of the druids, a few melee forces who used very interesting gear, and 2 stone golems, defend the trees. No fires were started thankfully. She informed me the citizens of Echer’Naught thought them to be hoarding extra supplies.

I know Treesinger well enough that she was doing everything in her power. I understood her stance on protecting the Sacred Trees — If they had to kill they would. I completely supported her stance on the matter. She offered to send the Druids out to heal the injured and wounded but I made it a point to bring the patients to the Grove rather than weaken its defenders should another assault occur.

Another Ranger, Ranger Larken, was found dead just before dawn on the 23rd of The Eternal Sun by Samira and Thorgram. He had been hanged and a knife was driven into his chest to hold a note. My two Rangers took the body to Lt. Hawksclaw who summoned me to make sure it was not magical. As he read it, the exhausted Lieutenant grew even more grim and jumped into action. I do not know, even now, what exactly was on that note. I do know, however, that it had an impact on the events to come.

Because of the heat and the lockdown on the Wells, we were effectively pulling double shifts. It made any real rest a fleeting thought, even though that the attacks had stopped. In fact, we had not experienced anything until the 29th of The Eternal Sun.

I was called around noon by a Brinchie Runner who informed me that Baker Street was in flames. This was close to our base of operations, which meant things were suddenly escalating again. I called the Rangers inside to me, all six of them, before rushing out to investigate. A full scale riot had finally happened: The Citizens of Echer’Naught had been pushed over the breaking point.

I sent 2 rangers and the Brinchie to fetch riders and horses. With the few people I had with me there was no way we could even hope to stand and fight against the mob. Hawksclaw arrived on scene with the few Rangers he could find and began to form a line. We were joined by Sgt. Vasser and his Town Watch of whom formed a Shield Wall Line. Next Vallandrian arrived with the Church of Light. These Paladins likewise formed a Shield Wall, now marked two men deep. Vallandrian took charge and we were directed to look away from him.

I do not know exactly what he did as I adverted and covered my eyes. I could, however, feel it. After the flash of holy power he issued only a single command: Advance. Then, in unison, Town Watch and the Church of Light began to advance forth towards the mob. Their shields struck hard, striking down man in a safe way. The Rangers carried the rear, securing any whom the two lines stepped over.

Off in the distance I could see a few people running — people whom should be beaten and exhausted running faster than they should. It was at this time that the mounted units arrived and I gave the order for them to run down the addicts that were in the crowd. Brinchie and Calvary alike road in and made short work of them.

All in all we were able to contain the riot to a minimum, but they selected the worse place to sack. The citizens carelessness cost us half the food supply. Though, once again, Nell came through and it rained. By night the Riot was completely disbanded and the fires put out.

On the 30th of The Eternal Sun I was summoned to Lt. Hawksclaws off late in the afternoon. On his desk sat a letter bearing the official seal of The Lord Mayor. It was as I expected to come: Marshall Law. I had warned Hawksclaw that we would, unfortunately, have to fight the citizens of this place. The Riot made that clear. They were murderous. With Marshall Law declared, it was going to happen again.

It was passed down to the Rangers who had not passed out from heat stroke or fatigue that any person found outside of their homes from Sunset to Sunrise were to be considered enemies of the state and to be incarcerated if possible. If not possible they were to be killed.

To keep with our charter and serve the people as best as we could we once again lowered our rations. We were now down to the minimum that we could function off of. I expect grumpy Rangers and, unfortunately, some to have their decision making process impaired. Lack of sleep and stimulation are going to take their told if they have not already.

Still — Two rangers have been murdered under my first command as messages to us and we now have a town that could boil over again any moment.

The next few days seem to go over as well as expected. From the 31st to the 34th of Eternal Sun we have a few skirmishes and minor situations. Most of the people seem to deal with the Marshall Law, understanding the why behind it, even if they absolutely loathed it. I can only be thankful for the upstanding people here for making our lives that much easier. Not that it made much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, but any little bit helped.

On the 1st of Thunder Hawk we had a meeting with Hawksclaw. Before I made my way to this meeting I was crossed with a personal representative of the Lord Mayor. It seems he has heard through the grape vine that I am interested in working close with him. He is interested in establishing this partnership but to do so it requires a favor. Echer’Naught is the Lord Mayors crown jewel — it is what keeps him in power. He suspects that the good Lieutenant does not understand its importance. He would like us to beckon resources and reinforcements from neighboring outpost to help bolster its defenses and ease some of the logistical strain on its supplies.

This was the break I had been hoping for. A relationship like this with The Lord Mayor will make certain things here in the city much easier for the Rangers. It will be a mutual benefit, for sure, with both of us leveraging and using once another for the influence it has. The Lord Mayor will be seen as strong with an influence over the Rangers (which, while not true, is certainly a perception to be seen. And in politics perception can be a true reality). For the Rangers it means we can cut through a lot of the bureaucracy and red tape that limits things with us. I just had to convince Hawksclaw to do it.

At the meeting my heart sank. Alfred and Sarah had been taken captive by the bandit lord of the south. He demanded an immediate audience with Hawksclaw or he would kill them both. Likewise we had a group of Rangers from Sun’s Crossing who reported that the city and Ranger Outpost had been obliterated by the Kalinar army. They were on the march. Only a handful of them made it out alive at the cost of their commanders life to get us this message. The Army was on the move, heading straight to us.

Thorgram, who has been the foreman of the Wolfhaven Estates and in charge of keeping it tended, reported that the Barony was at risk of being taken over. It was a straight path from where the Kalinar army was matching and if we lost it we will probably lose the city as well.

Hawksclaw had three choices, none of which were easy. Protect the Barony. Protect Sarah and Alfred, or Protect the city.

I informed Hawksclaw of my conversation with the Mayor’s representative earlier that morning. I told him what was requested and I told him my perspective on it. We are a regional command. If the city that the Regional Headquarters resides at falls, the moral drop across the region could be devastating.

Apparently I was convincing enough as Hawksclaw decided to create an army and bolster our forces here in the City of Echer’Naught. At my suggestion he decided to sack the Barony — pull what can be removed. Anything that can not is to be burned to the ground to prevent the enemy from acquiring resources.

We have acquired a powerful friend in Echer’Naught. A great thing. But at what cost? We have most assuredly condemned Alfred and Sarah. I know the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. That does not, however, make this any less bitter to swallow.

I’ve lost too many Rangers under my command already. How many more will I lose? I can only hope that the answer to my question is this: “Less than I expect.”

As a note to the report I do apologize for its quality. The lack of sleep has taken its toll on me. I’ve been awake for far too long. In truth I am not sure how I managed to pen this. Still, I shall adhere to my logs and document what I can.

Here is to victory. May it come swiftly in our favor.

Sincerely,

Sergeant Evoran Que’kasaars
Echer’Naught Ranger Commander (Acting).

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