Campaign of the Month: June 2018

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

Campaign Report 79
A House Re-forged

Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander

Commander of the Legio Heroes

Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

Twenty Sixth Day of Grey Winds, Year 3125 Under the Light

The day post my, return, passed in the most confusing blur. I cannot accurately put into words the most surreal experience it has been to resume my work at the big wooden desk in the office shared with so many over the years.

To think, when I arrived, it was the renegade Von Haber who sat there for so many years. Then, after his betrayal, members of the Harken Duchy. After which, I, for a time, and then Captain Celebor during my absence. Now here I sit again. The vagaries of time are strange.

The 25th of White Stagg, 3125, will go down as one of the most bizarre days of my life. But, there was also a rightness to things. Battle, coordination, these I have been trained well how to accomplish. What came after, however….

Odd, though I had not slept in over a day, I felt little fatigue. Perhaps being “dead” for months left me plenty of rest. I was sore, bone weary, if not tired, and ravenous. More important than all that, I had a task which should have been done so long ago.

Excusing myself early on the 26th, I mounted Thunder and made my way through the early morning snow to my home. I can only assume I was announced, for as I dismounted, I could feel her presence behind me. Turning, I was struck again by Lady Elyanna’s beauty. Obsidian hair, fierce violet eyes…

Her expression was bewildering, and left me feeling anxious. Would she be angry? Sad? Had word of my death reach her and she, in time, been able to grieve my passing and move on? I confess many of these thoughts had been swirling in my mind since my return. Nevertheless, I straightened my shoulders and faced what was to come as any battle, with honor. Whatever her choice, I would accept.

I started my way toward her, only to catch my breath when her face broke into one of those rare beatific smiles. So poised, so reserved, she threw all caution to the wind, plowed through the snow like a school girl and buried herself against my chest. Relief, joy, I can scarcely express my feelings at that moment.

Nevertheless, I swore that the first moment I had, I would offer my hand to her, so long patient with an old soldiers such as myself. Kneeling, I produced my mother’s ring, long kept, though quietly. It was…recovered…from the ashes of my home so many years ago.

Whitesilver, and plain. It was nonetheless, the most treasured heriloom of the Baronesses of my House. Dwarf forged from Stahlheim Whitesilver in the forges of Anvil, it represented more than love. It stood as a testimate of unbroken fealty, honor, and duty from the wife of the first Baron, to now, Lady Elyanna. For a moment, her face was a mask again, inscrutable. And then, with a tenderness I can scarcely describe, accepted my proposal.

The next few moments are a blur of joyous laughter, the scent of flowers and her hair. I know that Corporal Ravenwood stood by, congratulating. I also remember Sir Volstagg and Ranger Amaroth in the road. But, to be honest, I remember little more than that. Only then it occurred to me how rank I must smell, after days fighting and sitting. Excusing myself, I retired to my chambers and enjoyed the luxury of a real, hot bath.

Most men have decades to grow accustomed to the ache of bones and muscles. I but a few hours. In those steaming waters I felt blessed relief as the pains for weariness seeped from my body. What followed was the need for sleep that had eluded me for some time.

Still, I dressed and prepared to present myself to break fast with the ladies now living under my roof. As I exited my private chambers I was delighted to see both Lady Moonsilver, Ferradin in her arms. She seemed overjoyed at my return, but I knew from Malcom’s excellent reviews that she was not untouched by the events during my absence.

Seeing her well, and Ferradin was a balm to the soul, but I could sense her sadness. How her situation mirrored my Lady’s, but she had lost her love so long ago and I had yet to find him, as I swore. After she left, I sought out Lady Elyanna to inquire if there were anything we could do to aid Lady Moonsilver in her troubles. After a brief conference, my beloved suggested a rather ingenious solution to the Farspeaker Guild issue.

So, after which, I went down to breakfast to join Lady Elyanna, Lady Moonsilver, Mrs. Hawksclaw with her daughter. It struck me then, these great ladies all have sacrificed so much, given up their heartsblood and yet they find the strength to carry on. Rah-Sahn, Anaxelum…Alfred. How many more losses must they endure.

It seems that my house is to be a refuge for the lost, the grieving, and those who sacrifice all in the name of honor and freedom.

After an excellent meal (am I the only one now who eats meat?), I presented Lady Moonsilver with a purse of coin, and a letter to send to her Guild asking their forgiveness for the lateness of payment in regards to the service of establishing the Mind Link between Corporal Ravenwood and Anaxelum Regillus on behalf of the Wolfhaven Barony. I also inquired if they would allow Lady Moonsilver to act as their agent here in Echer’Naught with regards to negotiations to establish a Guild House within the city. Of course, we included an appropriate addition that would more than cover any penalties due to tardiness of payment.

Lady Moonsilver seemed overjoyed and grateful. With fortune and the Grace of Archanon and my good Lady Celesia, the Guild will drop its “investigation” into Lady Moonsilver. More to the point, should the Rangers seek to make the Mind Link a sticking point in future “conversations” regarding Anaxelum, this will put to rest the legitimacy of the link. The onus of that will be upon me, and not on the happy couple.

That done, I promised Corporal Ravenwood that I would work to see her beloved released, though I knew not how, and then retired for much needed rest. Apparently, with age comes the deceptiveness of sleep. I believed that I had the stamina of youth. I was sorely mistaken, and sore. I slept through that day and all night. Though, I managed to rouse myself by dawn the following morn to begin a long overdue review of my command.

My first task, with Malcom’s help, was to establish a schedule of meetings with personnel, commanders,and important members of the government. Odd, one of my greatest peeves in any organization is the random mandatory meetings which so often achieve nothing. How often have I stood at attention while some Officer pontificated upon his own greatness. I have always sought to meet with my men and women on their terms. It always struck me as more genuine, to share their burden, their tribulations, their hardships rather than imperiously summon them on high.

And so, with great reluctance, I began issues the very same summons. Rank has its privileged, certainly, but no small number of equally tiresome responsibilities. Still, my Rangers reported in good grace. For that, I am eternally grateful.

On the 28th of White Stagg, I spoke with a number of new Rangers, one, in particular, Ranger Audric Amaroth, the brash young warrior who pledge his sword to my service upon our first meeting. He reminds me so of the boys I fought with when I first entered the war of Flame. So full of promise, prepared to earn honor and glory in equal measure. But he, unlike they, has also gained the wisdom of bitter experience.

We spoke primarily of his wish to join the Wolfhaven House. I knew of his former House Henrik. Honorable warriors, though I never fought beside them, their reputation was stalwart. I confess I was unaware of their fate until I investigated Ranger Amaroth. I know the pain of losing one’s House, keenly so. Perhaps it was this that compelled me to accept the young man into service. My only caveat was that he would spend his free time, and the resources provided by House Wolfhaven to seek out the bastard who betrayed his Lord so that justice could be done, and honor served. I will never find those responsible for my own losses, too many battlefields, too many servants of Flame… So, I may then seek justice vicariously. It will still be Justice.

After our talk, he officially joined the ranks of House Wolfhaven. Taking his new tabard, he exited to join Sir Volstagg on routine patrol.

The rest of the day was spent meeting with other Rangers, and the new Investigator Lt. Barand. He kindly offered me a strong tea he ships in directly from a small town in the Eternal Desert. I declined, but was impressed, overall, with his upbeat professionalism. Strange, though, my experiences with Ranger Inspectors has not been a pleasant one. I hope that nothing quite so disquieting happens with the new team. He also introduced me to the rest of his team and I was able to spend a brief moment welcoming each one. Overall, I am impressed.

The following day, on the 29th of White Stagg, I first met with RFC Sir Volstagg. I must confess, I was most looking forward to finally meeting the man I had seen, but yet to meet. He was as interesting as I had imagined, a Volstagg of the Crimson Wall. Could there be are more dichotomous warrior? Still, he was gracious, deferential, but I could feel he might dislike the pomp and circumstance almost as much as I. In another life, this man could be a close friend, confident. But, as a member of the Rangers, I have a duty to remain impartial.

He and I spoke briefly, mainly pertaining to his work with Sir Halten, the Royal Sheriff and recently come King’s Warden. I had to admit, to him and myself, that bridging the rather deep divide between the Sheriff’s office and the Rangers was a duty that I had spectacularly failed to do. War I know. Politics and love, I am woefully lacking. But, I am learning.

Still, I thank and congratulated him on his work with the Sheriff’s office and pledged my support for further efforts to bring us closer together. I also, hesitantly, broached the subject of the recent loss and incarceration of his teammates. I know, from reports, that he was close to the conspiracy, but chose, due to faith in his comrades, not to step forward with unconfirmed rumors. To then have so much death happen, I could only imagine how he might have felt. I know how i have felt each and every time I was betrayed by those I trusted. It never gets easier.

But, I encouraged him to have faith in himself, the Rangers, and my office. I hope that, in time, he will realize that he made the best choice given the situation. Believing in your comrades is not a failing, even if it results in failure.

Over the next few days, I had a few memorable meetings. I did meet with our new Public Mediator, Colonel Anderson. He seems a rather cheerful and amiable man. I wonder though, as I have not before been privy to his service within the Rangers. Perhaps, due to Echer’Naught Ranger’s rather tumultuous relationship with the citizenry and Olara in general High Command saw fit to provide this new resource? Curiouser and curiouser. Still, his credentials and professionalism speak for themselves. I look forward to his council.

The most critical task, however, was the disturbing absence of Sergeant Major Magor Stormhammer. I have spoken with every member of his staff and every guard posted anywhere the Sergeant Major might have been during the battle. Not only can we not locate Stormhammer, I can find no one who even saw him at any point during the battle! It is as if he simply vanished. Teams have scoured the sewers, and we have conducted street by street sweeps, but no Ranger, citizen, guard, or noble has any information regarding his whereabouts.

I even dispatched Wolfhaven Free Riders into the countryside around the city seeking any clue, or information. After days of fruitless search, I am growing more convinced by the hour that Stormhammer was an intended victim of the forces of Darkness. To what end, I know not. If he has been taken, which I fear is the case, it is more than likely that he has been taken to Shivak Novos, beyond our immediate reach. But how to located him?

On the 33rd of White Stagg, I met with one of the few members of alpha team I remember from before my fall, RFC Thorgram Ramshorn. I must admit a great sense of relief to know the stalwart warrior has survived the many calamities which has befallen the team over the last months. My first, and foremost, question was to learn about his incarceration. As it happens, he spent nearly the entire time I was laid low imprisoned in an Olaran work camp on the far norther border. I was also aware that during his time in prison, he spent the majority in the medical ward as frequent fights with one particular Orc resulted in his death. That Orc was executed for his temerity.

As it happens, RFC Ramshorn put a rather different spin on the story. It appears that the Orc was, in point of fact, teaching him how to control the Rage inside him. Through his own sacrifice, Thorgram was able to master the beast within. A steep price, but, the unnamed Orc, and myself, see the potential in RFC Ramshorn even if he is slow realize it himself.

I was also, under the authority as a Baron, able to replace his broken Targe with an Unbreakble shield. It lack the sentimental nature of his previous shield, borne through so many battles, but this new Targe is sure never to break even under the greatest duress. I was also able to confirm that Muriel, his ass, had managed, somehow, to achieve Ranger status. Time will tell if that was a wise decision. Nevetheless, I am encouraged to know that our brave defender stands yet to protect the Rangers.

Time permitting, I was able to meet with the newer members of Alpha team. On the 3rd of Gray Winds, I called Durlan Daynore and Sir Stahn to meet.

My Lady Elyanna had previously informed me of the arrival and sit down with a distant cousin from Galea turned Ranger. I was anxious and curious to meet this man who shared, if distantly, the Wolfhaven blood. He arrived with Ranger Daynore and I found him pleasant, a fine example of a Galean Knight. He seemed in earnest to continue his plan to leave his House in Galea to join the Wolfhaven House as a Knight. After a brief conversation, I heartily agreed to endorse his request for citizenship in Olara and will gladly accept his fealty upon the acceptance of his petition. It does my heart well to know that, at least somewhere, the blood of Wolfhaven runs through the heart of such warriors. Perhaps I have other far flung family that will someday return home. Nevertheless, a House stands by its Knights and I am pleased to have another sword and shield to add to its defense.

Ranger Daynore is an interesting one. Skilled in language and magically adept, he is polite and well spoken. He is, also, a Malakaran. Strange, yet the Ranger Corps is founded upon the principle that all men and women are capable of heroism. I will not pre-judge him based on where he might have been born, and I hope he will afford me the same.

Two days later, on the 5th of Gray Winds, I spoke with Lady Nexus Zathlan of Galean, and Gracelyn Moldova. The good lady is of House Lyonn in Galea. A strong House of warriors. One of the few which might be considered a match to Olaran warrior traditions. She, thought happens to also be an elf fair. I was surprised at her discomfiture in my presence. I come to understand she is, generally speaking, ill at east among other nobility. Odd, but not in any way detracting from her service. I know well that she handled herself valiantly in the most recent battles.

As for Ranger Moldova, she is an Olaran, and a citizen of this fair city. Other than the former Ranger Zulcrum, she is one of only a handful of Echer’Naught’s citizens to adopt the cloak. I pray that her unique insight into the lives and struggles of the citizens will be well represented.

Meetings continued, along with some fairly intense legal research. Stormhammer’s plight notwithstanding, I had pressing legal issues to address. Namely, how to secure release for Anaxelum Regillus from Ranger, well, Olaran custody. To be honest, the question plagued me for days until, with Malcom’s help, I stumbled upon an ancient legal precedent. It would require courage and some risk, but should it be successful, I was certain I could free Anaxelum. It depended, however, greatly on Sir Halten’s cooperation.

I have no illusions that were it not for the work of RFC Volstagg and Nazir, I would likely never have arranged Sir Halten’s participation. As it was, he agreed