Campaign of the Month: June 2018

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

Campaign Report 77
Peace and Betrayal, Part Two

Malcolm Report, Part Two

Harvest Moons 29th, 3125

So many questions left unanswered. So many…moments. But, life is but moments. Fleeting motes of time that we grasp, then let slip through our fingers. Sadly, I am not paid to wax poetic. I am only paid to record and file.

At the conclusion of my last report, Harvest Moons 2nd, 3125 the day began in the Abyss. Smoke, fire, and blood rained down across middletown. Smoke and fire from the arcfire blast, blood from my brother Rangers.

The previous night, before or after the 13th hour, Anaxelum Regillus, currently in Ranger custody, “went crazy” screaming about Corporal Ravenwood and a Ranger team in imminent danger. He then, proceeded to rip the ironwood door out of the stone wall and threatened to “report directly to Captain Celebor” if his message was not immediately delivered.

He did not offer further resistance and was placed under heavy armed guard.

Celebor arrived on scene while Lady Eris Moonsilver was informed of the situation and alerted to contact Corporal Ravenwood to determine the veracity of Citizen Regillus’ claims.

I was awakened to facilitate coordination with Ranger units as Captain Celebor called up all active duty and emergency teams to a rally point at Regional HQ. Fast response teams were active within minutes.

Lady Eris Moonsilver established a Battle Net and confirmed that Corporal Ravenwood was approaching a warehouse in Middle Town and that four Rangers, RFC Ironblood, Rangers Zulcrum, Afliem, and Kura were engaged with enemy forces and required immediate assistance.

Lady Moonsilver was unable to contact the Rangers inside to provide further intelligence about situation. So, with a potential invasion situation, Captain Celebor used Corporal Ravenwoods position, relayed via Lady Moonsilver, to coordinate fast response teams.

First teams on the ground reported arcfire weapons exchanges. Captain authorized full mobilization, stand by, reserve, off-rotation, he called up all Rangers, sending in teams to secure the area around the warehouse and pull out our men inside.

We were nearly fully mobilized when Ranger Nazir spotted lurkers around the warehouse holding back at least two blocks away. Something in their demeanor alerted her to danger. She shouted a warning to Lady Moonsilver who immediately recalled all Rangers from the warehouse. Without the alert, everyone inside the warehouse would have been killed.

As it is, we lost 27 Rangers killed, another 13 severely wounded requiring immediate medical attention. Those counts did not come for hours. Medical teams pulled the last bodies out of the rubble 12 hours after the explosion.

When the explosion happened, we lost all contact with teams on the ground. Even Lady Moonsilver was overwhelmed by the backlash. It was nearly an hour before we were able to determine if the Captain, who was inside the warehouse at the time had survived. All available teams were pulled back to forma perimeter and to sweep the area for the “lurkers”.

Whoever Ranger Nazatir had seen, were gone by the time the dust settled from the explosion. We must assume they were spotters, or enemy agents. We made a full sweep of the area, only frightened civilians and Rangers.

The blast was seen and heard across the city. Captain Vasser arrived with City Guard units. Even Commander Schenkle arrived with full time soldiers from the milita. Relief operations were initially under command of Captain Vasser until Captain Celebor staggered out of the smoke, waved off healing, and assumed command.

Once some semblance of order was made of the situation on the ground, I was tasked with discovering which operation had gone so horribly wrong. Since the Captain was unaware of any active operations which would involve this warehouse, the assumption was that it was either off-book, or lost in the shuffle. The more I researched, the more I came to fear that the four Rangers of Alpha team were engaged in an unsanctioned mission.

Relaying that information to the Captain, I was ordered to write detention orders for Sergeant Amelia Whitestone, Corporal Samira Ravenwood, RFC Rysak Ironblood, and Rangers Thomas Zulcrum, and Dakota Afliem. Security teams under command of Chief Investigator Lieutenant Barand. The Lieutenant and a Ranger Adept conducted interrogations with the Rangers involved, beginning with Sgt. Whitestone. During her interrogation, a new order was sent requesting detention orders for Ranger Gunthur Volstagg.

By mid-morning, most of Alpha team was waiting interrogation, with the exceptions of Corporal Sarin Silverfeather working healing at ground zero, RFC Thorgram Ramshorn and Ranger Audric Amaroth worked security at the sight. I was in my office overseeing coordination efforts when a casualty report crossed my desk.

Ranger Kura’Kai Afliem was confirmed killed in action, his neck pierced by a Ranger arrow, his body then blown nearly apart by the subsequent explosion.

The interrogations took most of the day. I am not privy to all the details, but what has been released is…telling.

Due to frustration at the apparent lack of action on the part of the Ranger Corps in regards to the multitude of threats against the city, Ranger Dakota Afliem approached RFC Ironblood about engaging in an intelligence gathering mission to find those responsible for the atrocities in the city. RFC Ironblood agreed. He in turn recruited Ranger Zulcrum who maintains contacts in the city from his time in the Guard. Ranger Afliem recruited her husband, Kura’Kai.

At the time of this agreement, Rangers were still barred from engaging in any unauthorized operations, including intelligence gathering missions.

Not much came of this operation, though on at least three occasions Ranger Afliem approached Ranger Volstagg. According to Ranger Afliem and Ranger Volstagg, he was unaware of the extent of the operation or the conspiracy to defy orders. Though, he approached Sergeant Whitestone with suspicious of illegal activities, yet failed to report on his fellow Rangers.

I believe it was the attack on the Thieves Guild Headquarters which altered the situation. At the very least, it pushed the conspiracy to more reckless action. After the attack, however, the Rangers changed their stance on independent intelligence operations. In meetings both with Captain Celebor and with Sgt Whitestone, Rangers of Alpha team were informed that they would be permitted to gather intelligence from local sources, but would not be allowed to any direct action.

This, effectively, authorized the previous activities of the conspiracy. Had they stopped there, even had their efforts been discovered, they were tacitly in keeping with their orders.

We know that sometime during the 1st of Harvest Moons a local citizen approached Ranger Zulcrum with information regarding a high level meeting of criminals happening in a warehouse that evening. During his interrogation, Ranger Zulcum offered a description of the citizen who provided the information. The man’s body was discovered by Ranger patrols four days later, on the 5th of Harvest Moons, murdered by a knife through the heart.

That afternoon, the conspirators gathered to plan their action. All conspirators agree that Ranger Afliem had second thoughts and attempted to convince the others to take their evidence to Sergeant Whitestone. At this point, RFC Ironblood took command of the conspirators, ordered no one to speak to the Rangers and planned a raid on the warehouse that evening, on the 1st of Harvest Moons.

The conspirators removed their cloaks, and made their way to the warehouse. Outside, they spotted sentries disguised as vagrants. Without sufficient forces to take the warehouse by force, the conspirators elected to sneak into the warehouse through a roof access. They found a meeting of half a dozen men in a central “office” protected by six patrolling arclancers.

The plan was for RFC Ironblood and Ranger Afliem to cover Rangers Zulcrum and Kura’Kai’s assault on the office. The plan failed before it was begun. Halfway to the office, Ranger Kura cut Ranger Zulcrim from behind. He then turned and charged RFC Ironblood, taking him down quickly. Arclancers opened up and in the crossfire, Ranger Alfiem went down.

It was at this moment that Corporal Ravenwood arrived through the same roof access the conspirators had used. Seeing Ranger Kura’Kai about to execute his own wife, she fired an arrow, felling him. Then, she attempted to provide cover as Captain Celebor’s reinforcements began to arrive.

We have only her word as to how she came to know of the plot as all conspirators confirmed that she was never approached. It would appear that she was in bed, early on the 2nd of Harvest Moons (or late eve on the 1st), she was awoken by a Ranger messenger who informed her that “someone” wished to speak with her.

Why Corporal Ravenwood would willingly leave her home in the middle of the night to meet with a stranger is a matter of debate. However, as the messenger was a Ranger, she followed orders.

It would appear that the meeting was NOT a sanctioned Ranger appointment and, rather, a man representing “concerned citizens” informed her that at that moment a group of Rangers was entering a warehouse on information to raid a high level criminal meeting, but that the entire event was a trap. With no time to return to the Rangers with this information she “contact” her husband who was still in his cell, and ran immediately to protect her team at the warehouse. And so she arrived in time to prevent Kura’Kai from killing his wife and team.

This all brings us back to the beginning. Citizen Regillus alerting the Rangers of the danger and Captain Celebor sending Rangers into the warehouse.

A complicated plot to be sure. Further complicated by the fact that, this concerned citizen does not appear to exist. His description, his identity is a complete mystery. Worse, half of Ranger Kura’Kai’s mask was discovered broken and charred in the rubble. However, both Lieutenant Barand’s adept and Corporal Silverfeather both agreed that the mask found, the one Kura wore into battle, was a fake. Every effort both mundane and magical was employed to locate the true mask. To no avail.

Even Lady Moonsilver was tasked on the 3rd to track it with Corporal Silverfeathers assistance. All efforts failed. Mystery piled upon mystery.

On the 5th of Harvest Moons, I wrote orders for the arrest of RFC Ironblood, and Rangers Zulcrum and Afliem. They were taken into custody in Ranger detention to await court martial. Trial date was set for the 11th of Harvest Moons.

Advocate Evanor Qularian was appointed to speak for the accused. An Eldakar, newly from Kythros, I conducted a quiet review of his resume and could find no fault with his credentials. Despite their actions, they will receive the best representation possible. Well, other than, perhaps, Evoran. But, we cannot always have miracles.

On the 11th of Harvest Moons, 3125, I attended the formal Court Marshal of RFC Ironblood, and Rangers Zulcrum and Afliem. Few others were in attendance. The remainder of their team, Captain Celebor, a handful of Rangers, and the Royal Sheriff, Sir Halten. It was presided over by a Col. Ashford, a Major Karlax, and a Captain Gissold, all representatives from Kythros.

I note that these were the very same men who attempted to extradite citizen Regillus to Kythros after his capture during the Tempest battle. Seeing those three on the bench did not instill me with great confidence for the fates of the Rangers on the stand. Still…

Advocate Qularian entered a plea of guilty for all parties. It seemed they were not going to fight the court’s justice. Just as well.

Without much deliberation, the Court Marshal sentence each of the accused to two years incarceration in Kythros. RFC Ironblood and Ranger Zulcrum were to be remanded immediately. Ranger Afliem was allowed to remain, turned over to custody of the Sacred Grove to tend to her daughter until the child was old enough to survive without her mother. I see High Druidess Treesinger’s hand in this.

But, if half the rumors about the child are true…

Thomas and Rysak were led out in chains. Druids arrived and quickly shuffled out with Dakota. Sergeant Whitestone, in her finest dress simply sat, stone faced, lost in thought.

As I left, I noted that Sir Halten and Ranger Volstagg having a private word. The two had grown close, so I thought nothing of it at the time. I should have known better in Echer’Naught.

Then came the hard part. I was unable to release any “evidence” until after the court marshal which included Kura’Kai’s remains and belongings. As soon as the trial concluded, I sent word to those closes to Kura to attend a private Last Call for him. It pained me that Dakota would miss her own husbands funeral, but she chose her actions. He his.

We met that night, on the 11th. Sokolov was kind enough to rent out the entire Wayfarer’s rest for a very reasonable rate. I only invited a few guests as I paid for the affair out of pocket. I admit, I was upset to see Thorgram arrive with so many uninvited guests, but I suppose we all grieve in our own way.

I tried to speak. Failed miserably. Others spoke more eloquently. Ranger Amaroth gave quite the rouser, starling Thorgram’s flock of sycophants with a Kura Kai! warcry. Last to speak was Sergeant Whitestone who arrived late. She spoke well, as a soldier. Honored her fallen and then left.

I worry for her. More for what came later. But, I get ahead of myself.

Kura’Kau’s ashes will be held for his daughter until she is old enough to choose how they will be handled. And, since we do not know his religious practices, if any, no real funeral was held. Though, I asked a priest to say prayers for him on the following morning in a very very private ceremony.

Late on the 14th of Harvest Moons I was asked to write a bizarre set of orders. The remaining members of Alpha team were being sent on a “team building” exercise somewhere on the Wildlands border…

As I understand, they met on the 15th, the following morning, and Sergeant Whitestone gave them the odd news. En mass, the team agreed and headed out to the camp on the morning of the 16th of Harvest Moons, 3125.

I know it was a two day trek and they arrived on the 19th of Harvest Moons. I know that the leader of the camp was a Dregordian adept known as Sssvaren ran the camp which specialized in treating crippling wounds, physical, spiritual, and psychological. He assigned the daily “exercises” such as they were.

On day one, the 20th, he organized a hike that only Corporals Ravenwood and Silverfeather attended.

On day two, the 21st, they were tasked with “going to a warehouse.” In truth, from reports, it was a logic puzzle which forced the team to choose between failure or sacrificing one of their own? I am confused as to the details.

On day three, the 22nd, they were sent on an errand for Sssvaren to a neighboring town to get his tea herbs???

On day four, the 23rd, they were sent to over a few hills to a sacred spring to bring back water. As it turns out, the task was impossible to complete. Thought they stayed until the 24th trying to complete it.

On day five, the 25th, they were allowed to return home after answering two question, “Who are you?”, and “What do you fear.”

And that was it…

I will note that during most of their tasks, save for fetching the herbs, the party ended up split. On the first task, most of the party simply ignored. The barn/warehouse required one to be left behind and they chose Ranger Amaroth. Odd, though, at the spring, Corporal Silverfeather abandoned his team to sleep at the base of the hill rather.

Perhaps that is the lesson? That they continue, even after the loss of their comrades to work together? I fear it will only get worse.

By the 28th of Harvest Moons, the team arrived in Echer’Naught to be assigned light duties. I had my hand full. While gone, I processed paperwork transferring citizen Regillus to Olaran custody, specifically that of Sir Halten.

His connection to Corporal Ravenwood made them both a massive security breach and the Rangers felt that the Olarans would have more “latitude” in ensuring operational security. Meaning, I gather, if he causes a problem the Olarans would not hesitate to execute him.

I am not privy to the means by which they plan to sever the mental connection between Corporal Ravenwood and her husband, but knowing now HOW it was created, I am concerned for them both. Loss after loss. Not only is her husband in prison, now, because she wished to save her friends who had betrayed her, she lost him all over again. No legal gymnastics could prevent this.

Worse and worse, after years of a spotless record, I authorized a written reprimand for Lady Eris Moonsilver who performed the ritual that bound Samira and Anaxelum. So many people hurt. So much loss. I understand that her Guild is revering her Bond to determine if she violated the terms of her contract with the Rangers. If they rule against her…we may lose Eris too.

And things only got worse. On my desk was an official request from the Olaran crown requesting that Sir Halten be placed in charge of a “joint task force” of members selected by the Sheriff to “deal with the continuing crisis in Echer’Naught.” Not even then did I put it together with Ranger Volstagg…not until the following morning.

On the 29th of Harvest Moons, a bitterly cold day, I was called into Captain Celebor’s office for a meeting. There, I was joined by the Captain, Sir Halten, Sergeant Whitestone, and Rangers Volstagg and Amaroth. Only then did I begin to see the Sheriff’s brilliant maneuver.

He formally request approval of his proposal for the task force. Given the grievous losses and the current climate within the Rangers, Captain Celebor demurred. His rationale was that the timing was not right. He hoped to get his own house in order before having his authority undermined.

And then Sir Halten played his trump card. Sir Volstagg stepped forward to endorse the plan. With Rangers support, if Captain Celebor denied the request, Sir Halten would have all the leverage he would need to show that the Ranger command no longer spoke for the best interest of its own members. Certainly, we could fight the Olarans, but to what end?

In a last attempt, Captain Celebor asked Sergeant Whitestone if she considered such a drastic shift in command to be appropriate at this time. All she said, in typical Olaran stoicism, is that she followed orders. If these were her orders, so be it. Crestfallen, Captain Celebor ceded Ranger authority to a visibly giddy Sir Halten.

After they all left, Sergeant Whitestone fuming, Sir Halten actually whistling, I noted Celebor slumped in his oversize chair, head in hands. Out the open door, Whitestone stalked away, Volstagg and Amaroth sauntered off together and Sir Halten…began preparations.

As for me, I returned to my small desk and stared at the mountains of paperwork stacked around me. What was it all for?! Was it worth the price?!

The irony is that after examining the bodies of the “merchants” killed in the explosion, we have confirmed that no fewer than two have confirmed links to Red Store. So, the conspirators were right about the meeting. This information, couples with the staggering amounts of Arcfire, all-but certifies that they DID raid a high level meeting of criminal operatives. The sad part, if they had approached command there is every likelihood that our enemies, who have certainly compromised our ranks, would have learned and alerted the perpetrators. At the very least, the meeting would have been cancelled and we would have lost the opportunity.

And yet, what have we gained?! So, we killed three criminals. That hardly stops crime in Echer’Naught! And with them all dead, we have no new leads. So…we gain, in essence, NOTHING!

But the price…

Captain Celebor is badly wounded, worse, the blow to his command is such that I fear he may simply resign from the Rangers rather than continue.

I know that Sergeant Whitestone’s request for transfer have been denied. As an Olaran, I can almost guarantee that her resignation is not far behind.

Ranger Kura’Kai Afliem is dead, and with him, Toma’s Mask is gone, so, in effect, we lost two Rangers.

And, now three Rangers are in prison, and Dakota’s daughter has lost a father, and will lose her mother during her most formative years.

Then, there are the 27 Rangers KIA whose names I am sorely tempted to list. Thirteen had spouses, 11 had children. One had just mustered out that night…he was celebrating his 11 year tenure in the Rangers when the call went up. He didn’t even have to go. But instinct, loyalty, and training.

Corporal Ravenwood was forced to fire, again, on a comrade and this time kill them. And, now, her husband has been locked away in some Olaran secret prison for magic users.

Lady Eris Moonsilver MAY just lose her Farspeaker’s bond over this, and with it, her career, reputation, and position within the Ranger organization.

What of the remains of the team? Thorgram will take this hard, more the loss of Toma’s mask. And Volstagg is now Sir Halten’s man. I’m not sure if the Rangers, or Whitestone can trust him anymore? I suppose Audric, Sarin, and Leora are going to be alright. Ranger Leora Nazir is in for promotion for her part in the peace talks between the Elves and the Olarans. So, one small bright spot.

All of this, all the death, all the loss, all the broken trust, and shattered friendships…

…to kill a dozen men who may, or may not, have been key players.

Evoran help me.

Malcolm

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Campaign Report 76
Peace and Betrayal, Part One

Malcolm Report, Part One

Harvest Moons 1st, 3125

I spend each day reading, writing,and filing the reports of my friends, my comrades, may family as they go out and risk their lives. We convince ourselves that our sacrifice has meaning, purpose. Because, without some greater good, then we are left with nothing but death and regret.

Some days such self denials are more difficult than others.

Raining Leaves 16th, 3125

Via Lady Moonsilver, we received word that a mass naval landing had occurred just outside of the city of High Port. Forces of the “Southern Blades” quickly overwhelmed the Prelacy defenders with minimal losses. It would appear that, never loyal to the church, many within High Port elected to surrender without battle.

Strange, all communication from the northern front have ceased. Perhaps not terribly surprising considering the massive resources redirected to the Camon operation. Still, I know the recon group appears nervous.

This report continues from the previous filing date, Raining Leaves 21st.

Raining Leaves 25th, 3125

Sergeant Whitestone scheduled her routine team meeting. I understand she confirmed Prelacy agents within the city.

Also, due to the riots and the attacks City Watch have been posted to patrol the Elven district, while the Rangers increased security at the Western Gates.

In addition, reinforcements have been assigned to all Ranger patrols drawn from the newer Ranger recruits and the City Watch.

Raining Leaves 26th, 3125

Late after 2AM, an arcfire device detonated on the northern wall, west of the North Barony gate. Corporal Ravenwood and Ranger Afliem were on scene. They described minor damage to the tower and a single body, too badly burned for recognition.

Lt. Barand confirmed the body to be that of a human male, 20-30, with no distinguishing marks, no coins, no weapons. No further evidence was found at the scene.

Raining Leaves 28th, 3125

Investigator Barand’s official report released. The device was arcfire, of Mad Bomber design. No other devices in the city were discovered. Due to the severe damage to the body, it appeared the victim was lying on top of the device which in turn was lying on the top of the wall. No further evidence as to whom or why.

Of note, Ranger Nazir proposes a plan to heal the rift between the Elves and the Olarans by bringing the Olaran leadership, aka Sir Halten, together with the Elven leadership, aka Lady Treesinger, to establish a dialogue and begin rebuilding the damaged sections of town.

It is also confimed that the Southern Blades have successfuly taken Defiance and the Prealcy capital of Camondel. Still no word on the North.

Raining Leaves 29th, 3125

With Corporal Ravenwood’s support, Ranger Nazir arranges with Lady Treesinger. Through Ranger Volstagg, she secures Sir Halten’s participation. The meeting is scheduled for the 31st, to be held in the Church of Light, mediated by the Bishop Vallandrian, as arranged by Corporal Silverfeather.

Raining Leaves 31st, 3125

In the morning of the 31st, a delegation from the Olarans headed by the Royal Sheriff of Echer’Naught, Sir Halten, accompanied by the current head of the Merchant’s Guild, the Grandmaster of the Lamplighter’s Association, and Sir Harken, a young scion of the duchy, met with a delegation from the elves, lead by High Druidess Illandria Treesinger, accompanied by the patron of the Autumn Spring, and two elven community leaders. For the Church of Light, Bishop Vallandrian. Leaora Nazir, Amelia Whitestone, Sir Volstagg, and Audric Amaroth represented the City.

Though the initial meeting was…unsuccessful. After Sir Halten cleared the room of himself, Treesinger, Nazir, and the Biship, an arrangement was set. A beginning team of 20, 10 Olarans, 10 Elves, would meet at the Church of Light. Sir Halten selected the Autumn Spring for repair, Treesinger, Baker Street. Half of the funds would come from each side to be handled by the Church.

Of note, the Rangers were conspicuously excluded from the deal.

Raining Leaves 33rd, 3125

A building in Low Town is fired. RFC Ramshorn and Ranger Kura’Kai are first on scene. Smelling burning flesh, they secured the area, sent for reinforcements, then RFC went in for survivors. Finding none on the first and second floors, he attempted to enter the basement. At this point, Reports indicate access to the lower section was hidden.

On orders, Kura’Kai smashes through the burning floor to reveal a hidden bar beneath. Half a dozen bodies burning. RFC leaps into the flames to pull out two bodies. Lt. Barand arrives a short time later. He quickly identifies both corpses are known thieves.

At this point, there is much speculation that the hidden bar was a haunt of the Thieves Guild, thought neutral in the current conflict.

We spoke with Fateweaver to reach out to contacts, but we have heard little back.

Harvest Moons 1st, 3125

I attended a meeting in Captain Celebor’s office with Alpha Team. It is confirmed via Fateweaver that the fired building was the Thieves Guild main operation in the city and that the Guild has gone to ground. Going against standing orders, the Captain authorized an overture to the King of Low Town, which has, of yet gone unanswered. He also authorized the Rangers to begin quite investigations with their own local assets, but only once cleared by the Sgt.

NO direct action was authorized. Any information was to be reported to Command for a cohesive plan. The Rangers feared getting drawn into a turf war between criminal enterprises. Ranger Zulcrum confirmed that there was a growing market of arcfire in the town, supplied, so we believe, by Velkalar.

Harvest Moons 1st, 3125, 13 hour

All seemed quite when alarms rang through the headquarters. Lady Moonsilver established a battle net information all Rangers to gear up and assemble in the courtyard. I attended the Captain.

Minutes prior, Master Anaxelum began raving that Corporal Ravenwood was enroute to a warehouse in Middle Town to rescue part of her team from an ambush. He swore that a large criminal enterprise was involved and the Rangers required full mobilization or risk losing the team, and perhaps letting another atrocity occur.

Upon contacting the Corporal, Lady Moonsilver confirmed the report. RFC Ironblood, and Rangers Zulcrum, Afliem, and Kura’Kai were engaged with a large criminal force inside a warehouse and require immediate backup. Arcfire discharge was reported.

Having little intel, the Captain elected to mobilize a large immediate response force hoping to overwhelm any resistance rather than sending in small forces piecemeal to be cut down.

Using Teleport, the Rangers engaged the enemy forces in the warehouse coming into hot contact with dozens of hostiles within. I remained behind to coordinate attempting to make sense of the scattered and confusing information flooding in.

Then, before half the forces made the port, Eris called an immediate recall. Ranger Nazir suspected a bomb. Only a fraction of the forces within made it out…

Reports are still coming in. So many unaccounted. So many possibly dead…

I know it is strange, and small of me. But all I can think right now is that I wish Evoran were here. He would know what to do. He could…make sense of all of this…

But he is not. And I am alone.

Ascended, please let us not have lost them all…

Malcolm

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Campaign Report 75
Day of Long Knives

Kura’Kai Afliem Report

[Raining Leaves 21st, 3125-Malcolm]

I would not think anyone could take the fun out of bloody victory. But, these Southlanders have managed. If I could just kill something!

Me and Ramshorn continue out daily march thru Low Town. Nothing changes. Thieves, thugs, and the occasional body. It would not be so bad, but no one will fight. They just scurry away like rats. I do not like rats.

[Raining Leaves 15th, 3125-Malcolm]

One morning, we see smoke over in Middle Town and hear people screaming. Finally, some fun. Ramshorn and I charge in the direction to find a building almost completely burned to the ground. The flames were hot. I know fire is hot, but this fire seemed hotter. Like…it wasn’t fire? And, it only burned the one building.

So, usually, when you raze a village, all you have to do is set fire to a couple thatched roofs. I remember this one raid. We hit the Black Claw Gather a few days march north of us. Thieving bastards!

Anyway, we were supposed to take back livestock they stole from us. Things were going well, we easily slaughtered their sentries and were just inside the Gather finishing off their wounded when Gunbar One-eye, forever to be known as Gunbar dumbass slipped on someones’ intestines and staggered into a lamp.

The lamp flew off the hook and landed on the roof of the stables. Before we could even shout, the whole place went up. Dry stray thatching. Inside, we could hear our animals burning alive. Horrible sounds.

As we watched, the fire sparked from one roof to another. Within moments, the whole gather burned; infant hut, healers hut, even their food stores. Within an hour, there was nothing left. The few survivors blamed us for destroying their gather. We tried to explain it was an accident, but they would not listen. So, we had to kill them.

Came home empty handed. The raid was a complete waste and worse, we didn’t have fresh milk for months. Only good news was we killed Gunbar and left him there too. So, I guess everything worked out in the end.

So, yeh. Fire usually travels, but not this fire. It was, odd. No point in trying to put it out. Place was done when we got there.

Some of the witnesses said that there were bodies inside. Yeh, I think I saw something looking like burned up people hanging from columns in the heart of the fire. Odd place to be.

Anyway, eventually, that Investigator fellow showed up. We stood guard until late. Turns out there WERE bodies. Six. And they were chained up those columns. I wonder if this might have been intentional? Maybe I should mention that? Hmm…

[Raining Leaves 17th, 3125-Malcolm]

All we got was a fire. Zulcrum and Rysak got a fire AND a fight. They stumbled across two gangs trying to kill each other. One was…Shayakar? I think that’s right. Nightguard. The other we didn’t know then. But they had arc-fire. There is a lot of arcfire here in the South.

Anyway, the Rangers didn’t do so well this time. Rysak got shot up good, but they never even bothered to return fire. Guess the new rules are we can’t even fight anymore. Stupid rules.

They did manage to rescue a mother and her children from a fire. Too bad they let another family of four burn. Win some. Lose some.

Oh, and some City watchmen took an arrow to the face. Zulcrum seemed pissed about that one. At least he didn’t burn alive like those people?

[Raining Leaves 20th, 3125-Malcolm]

Week later or so, we have our weekly, sorta, meeting with the Sergeant. She looks…terrible. I think she may be sick.

We learned a bunch about the arcfire weapons. Something about a Mad Bomber and some history.

The Sergeant invites an old human man named, Fateweaver? to the meeting. He seems…odd. At first, I thought he was a beggar, but he talks better than the dead Sergeant. So, smart? And, he seemed both old and agile. Hmm. Dakota said something about him being a bard, like our bard.

So, this Fateweaver starts talking about history and how we fought people in the past that we fight now. He says we are facing two wars, Shaya’Nor and the Prelacy. He suggests that maybe they are fighting each other for Echer’Naught.

Oh, the Prelacy uses arcfire and used this Mad Bombers weapons years ago? I don’t know. None of it makes sense.

Then, they talk about the King of Low Town. Guess what? This old geezer WAS the King of Low Town before he was captured for a long time. He doesn’t LOOK like a king? Though, to be honest, I don’t know what a king looks like. I guess, more Kingly?

But, the King of Low Town rules the Thieves Guild. They don’t kill. So, he doesn’t think they are behind the killing. But, maybe?

Oh, and Red Store. Not sure about that one. They seem to be involved with everything. And Velkalar. Always Velkalar.

I think my band is obsessed with this Velkalar person. Now, I really want to meet him. Imagine if he was an ally…we could actually DO something.

Meeting over, but good food. We go back to work.

[Raining Leaves 21st, 3125-Malcolm]

Well, this began the stupidest battle of my life. No, not battle. Not even a good brawl.

Ramshorn and I were doing our patrol when we attacked by a mob of local people. Rags, clubs, barely a threat. So, I draw my chucktar to end this and Ramshorn says I can’t! By the Ascended!

Why the Bloody Abyss NOT! They were ATTACKING us and I have to be nice?! Stupid rules! Stupid Rangers! No wonder we are getting our arses kicked.

So, I play nice, put away my weapons and start murdering people with my fists. Civilized like.

We call for reinforcements as more idiots show up and the city watch starts to flood in. But instead of putting down the riots, they just form a wall and sort herd everyone into the square near those new housing blocks.

By the time we shuffle that way, there are hundreds of rioters, some with actual weapons. Still, no blades. Non-lethal force only. What kind of…?

And while we were cracking skulls in Low Town, the REST of our Band got to have an ACTUAL battle near the Elven Gate. Turns out some agents or whatever from the Prelacy had stirred up the crowds to distract us while they murdered the elves.

Not that the elves needed help. From what I hear they gave better than they got. I would not underestimate my wife’s people. They look frail…but they are not.

So, we mopped up the crowds. At some point, our bard showed up and started talking the crowd down. It took a few hours and the fire started up. Those actual normal and burned a few blocks of Low Town.

Back at the headquarters, the band managed to capture one of the Prelacy who revealed some good information. But, it seems like the Corporal and the others now don’t trust the Rangers?!

What?!

Why in the Abyss are we fighting for the Rangers if they are our enemies.

I am so confused. After the fight, I felt like I was going to murder someone. So, my wife and I had lots of angry sex. That made me feel better.

[Raining Leaves 21st, 3125-Malcolm]

Next morning, another meeting. Sergeant seemed more pissed than ugly. She said she was going to convince the Rangers to let us do something useful. Good luck with that.

Oh, and the elves got tired of dying and killed a bunch of Olarans. I really can’t blame them. That’s what I’d do.

So, um, we killed 50 citizens, give or take, and about the same number of elves were murdered. So, we are at least even.

I guess back to patrol tomorrow?

We could all use a good war.

Kura’Kai Alfiem

View
Campaign Report 74
Evelyn Afliem is Born

Kura’Kai Afliem Report

[Raining Leaves 12th, 3125-Malcolm]

I am a father.

Malcolm says I must say more…

[Dancing Clouds 33rd, 3125-Malcolm]

Months ago, I went with my Mak Terresk to meet with the Sergeant in the back room of the Barracks, the bar barracks, not the sleeping barracks. Though, I am certain the Sergeant also sleeps in the back room of the bar Barracks, so it would be the sleeping bar Barracks. I think?

Sergeant says we are at war. Odd, I thought we were already at war. Dakota says we are now at two wars. I like these Olarans. Their appetite for bloodshed is almost orcish. The new enemy is the Church of Archanon. Or the Prelacy of Camon. I am not sure which. Two places have been burned, Archanaya and Mindoth’s Tower. I assume they were important. Now they are rubble and ash. How this has anything to do with our city, I know not.

But, we will soon gain more soldiers in Echer’Naught. This is good. Soldiers are good.

[Forest Dance 1st, 3125-Malcolm]

Next morning, we head back to the Barracks, bar-sleeping one for meeting, but the Sergeant is gone. She had other duties. The Corporal, not the winged elf, Ravenwood gave us our tasks.

I joined Ramshorn to patrol low-town. We had the late morning shift.

Volstagg joined the one-eyed mercenary in the dawn shift. They were to patrol the main street.

Ironblood, the crazed dwarf, and Zulcrum, the wild man, teamed up to patrol the Warehouse district on the night shift.

Corporal Silverfeather, the winged elf, and Leaora, the bard, took the night watch as well in the Tower. I’d like to see the top of the tower. Maybe Dakota can help?

Overnight shift went to Corporal Ravenwood and my Mak Terresk on the Wall. Pengrin asked if I was worried about my pregnant wife being out there on the wall. No. I am not. She is strong.

[Forest Dance 1st-16th, 3125-Malcolm]

The first two weeks were exciting. First, I discovered that Low Town is called Low Town because it is lower than High Towne. This makes sense.

We also found a body on our first few days. Well, a young man found us and HE found the body. But he led us to the body which was floating in the Stews.

I have wondered what the horrific stench coming from Low Town was. No I know. We have our own small lake of offal, piss, bile, and rot. I do not know why.

Anyway, the boy explained that the body was too far out to reach, so while we decided what to do, Ramshorn said he needed to make a lasso. When asked, he said a lasso was a rope with the loop. All we needed was rope.

As luck would have it, the boy knew where we could find rope, in our Ranger kits! We had it all along!. Good thing we had the stranger, because without his help we might never have made the lasso.

After a few minutes of struggling, Ramshorn made a loop in the end of his rope and we, Ramshorn, Muriel, and I headed to the body. Sure enough, it was floating in a sea of crap. So, Ramshorn waves the rope over his head a few times then drops it in the muck. I suggested he might want to throw the rope near the body and not at his own feet.

He decided a lasso was not the way to get the body. If I knew he was trying to get the body I would have gotten it to start. While he considered what else to throw in the cesspool, I waded out, grabbed the body, and dragged it to shore. Ramshorn took sudden ill. I hope he is not getting sick.

Now, our orders are to report bodies to proper authority, but there were only the three of us. The boy having disappeared. So, Ramshorn decides to write a note and clip it to Muriel. It worked. Mostly.

Help arrived in about half a glass. Meanwhile, Ramshorn poked the body full of holes with a stick and the mule got soused on booz up and down Low Town. New Investigator seems nice. Lt. Barand I think.

He tells us to go ask if anyone heard or saw anything. After three hours of nothing, we find an old cripple who says he saw a group of men in that area the night before. He noticed them while on his way to see lady friend. I was just happy to hear that he had friends.

We file the report, find Muriel and Ramshorn went back to jail. I headed the Barracks, the bar, to get a drink. Odd, though. Dakota seemed to start getting very sick in the mornings. She said it was normal. Elves…

By next week, we find another body. Well, actually, a young woman finds us who found a body. And yes, it was also in the Stews. Turns out, it was two bodies. Good thing we had two ropes. Strange, Ramshorn says no lassos this time. He wades out to get one body, and I wade out to get the second. He attaches a note to Muriel again and off she goes.

In about 3 quarter turns of the glass here comes the Investigator and his team, tea in hand. He and Ramshorn talk about the bodies. Barand says they were murdered. The last guy was a foreigner, but the man here was local. The girl, maybe half his age, was not.

We go asking around again and again, nothing but no and slammed doors. Until we find our friend, the cripple. He says he saw nothing, but knows that the local gangs are getting much bigger in the area. Then Ramshorn asks if the cripple thinks the gangs work for someone called the King of Low Town. The old man gets really mad and hobbles off saying he’s not our friend anymore. Well, at least he has the lady.

It seems you cannot talk about the King of Low Town in Low Town. I don’t know if you can talk about the King of Low Town in other parts of town? I will ask Dakota. She knows of such things.

[Forest Dance 16th, 3125-Malcolm]

So, after two weeks, and more bodies, we finally have a meeting with the rest of our team. We had not seen them at all. Everyone looked sad, except Volstagg. He looked hungry.

Sergeant explains that we the Rangers do not have enough men to patrol so we have been split up, but we are also in trouble. I don’t know why. There are reasons, but nothing makes sense to me.

Though, it turns out that Ramshorn and I were not the only members of the band to have fun. Volstagg and the one-eyed mercenary said that petty theft was getting worse and that main street was flooded with foreign performers and vendors. I do not know why that is bad…

Ironblood and Zulcrum discovered many warehouses that had been broken into and robbed, but never found the thieves. Ironblood seemed most upset. Zulcrum seemed drunk.

Corporal Silverfeather and Leaora both said that they spotted groups gathering at night from the tower, but when Rangers went to investigate, they found nothing. Maybe people just like to take night walks? Refresh the mind.

Worst, Corporal Ravenwood and my Wife kept spotting shadows darting over the walls, but never could find out who, or why. They feared that enemies were moving in and out of the city. That, and my Mak Terresk said that men on the wall were disrespectful toward her. I wonder why she does not kill them? Rangers are strange. Elves more so.

We also learned that Celebor, the commander, was now a Captain. Everyone said they were sorry to hear it. I was confused.

[Forest Dance 17th-33rd, 3125-Malcolm]

So, we go back to our patrols. More bodies. More robberies. But over the next few weeks, we have hundreds, maybe a thousands soldiers pour into the city. It was fun. Every night there were fights in the streets and bars. Olarans know how to riot!

Because of so many new people, the Rangers order us to move out of the barracks. The sleeping barracks, not the bar-sleeping barracks where we meet the Sergeant. Anyway, Dakota and I had been staying in a hotel, but she said we had a new home. When we arrived, sure enough, we have a house! Dakota and I share most of the downstairs, while Volstagg has rooms above. We also invite the one-eyed mercenary and Ironblood to stay with us because they got kicked out of the barracks. The sleeping barracks, not the bar-sleeping barracks.

Dakota shows me our bedroom suite. I do not know what a suite is, but I liked the furniture. Our bed is HUGE and made of steel! Now I do not need to worry about breaking another bed. We broke four in the hotel. They were very mad even after I explained that my wife and I are very ferocious in our sex. Apparently humans do not know how to properly sex. They also do not like when you give them advice.

So, now we have our own home and bed. It is good. I realized then, that I had not killed in months and yet, I am not angry. Marriage is good. I like marriage.

Over the next two weeks, Dakota gets sicker and bigger. She is so happy she nearly cries. Other Rangers do not understand how our child can grow so quickly. They do not know the power of our love, or the strength of my seed. I am Kura’Kai. She is Mak Terresk.

[Forrest Dance 33rd, 3125-Malcolm]

The city seems to grow almost as fast as Dakota until suddenly one morning, horns sound and a vast army marches out the East Gate, toward some place called Camp Wolfhaven, and everything in the city goes quiet. Things feel…empty.

But, we have a job to do and go back to our patrols. Ramshorn and I find another body in an alley and two more in the Stews, but no one sees or hears anything. I think I offended Ramshorn, though.

When the Investigator arrived at the body in the alley, Ramshorn told him that he was in prison, or on work-release. The Lt. Barand seemed surprised and asked his crime. I thought that Ramshorn forgot. He seemed unable to speak, so I explained that he murdered five men.

Then the Investigator got upset and Ramshorn said that yes, he killed 5 men, but not the man in the alley. I did not understand. Of course he did not kill the man in the alley. I explained as much. Even so, the Inspector asked us to leave. We did not even have the chance to ask around if anyone heard or saw anything. Not that they would have said so.

After that, things were quite, mostly.

[Raining Leaves 3rd, 3125-Malcolm]

A few days after the army leaves, the Sergeant calls a meeting. She explains that she has been absent because she was working on logistics for the army that left. That makes sense. She also explains that our Band has been split up on purpose. The Rangers seem afraid that we will get into trouble or get killed. I am not sure which. She thanks us for working so hard and asks us to be patient.

I did not even know that anything was wrong.

A week later, though, Ironblood reports that an entire elven family were murdered in the Warehouse district right near their patrol route. The only one to survive was a young girl, the mother, father, and brother all beaten to death. Odd, before meeting Dakota, this would not have concerned me, but to think that there are those in my city who might harm my wife and child…

We must find these men and kill them.

We even learned that these attacks were not the first and that many elves are being attacked and killed. Thorgram and I went to a place called the AutumnSpring to speak with elves. It is a bar made of trees where elves drink. We talked with the bartender who said that the elves in the city were planning to arm themselves and fight back against the humans attacking them and that it was our job, the Rangers, to protect them.

We may soon have a war in the city, elf vs men. That would make three wars. No good.

It was also around this time that elf who sings to trees said that my wife should stay in the Sacred Grove. Our child was coming soon! I continued to work, visiting her at night. I am grateful to the elves of the Grove for protecting my wife. They are strong. Many elves seek refuge in the grove as the city is no longer safe.

[Raining Leaves 11th, 3125-Malcolm]

I was home, meditating early when the mind speaker touched my mind. MY WIFE WAS GIVING BIRTH! I ran out of the house and up the street to the Great Wolf’s Manor. I knew that Dakota would want Corporal Ravenwood to be with her.

The guards let me pass. I shouted for the Corporal and she came out wearing a shift and cloak. Only then did I realize I too was in sleep pants. Never mind.

Lady Elyanna had a carriage waiting. How she knew, I do not know. But the carriage took us to the Sacred Grove. There, we found the elf who sings to trees waiting.

I would say more, but my Mak Terresk has said that I may not.

At just before noon, my daughter, Evelyn Alfiem was born. She is beautiful and strong like her mother. She has my ears. I am so filled with pride and love, I fear I will burst.

I am a father! This is the greatest day of my life.

Kura’Kai Alfiem

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Campaign Report 73
Two weddings and incarcerations

Kura’Kair Report

Dancing Clouds 30th, 3125

This is my Report.

These Southlanders sure like to rest. One battle and we are on “leave” again, where we get to stay home. Makes no sense.

But, more sex. Who am I do argue?

And speaking of… They said that an Orc and an Elf could not have children. Clearly, they do not realize the strength of my seed, or the power of my Wife! Not only is she with child, but it grows and three times the normal rate?!

Truly, the fruit of our loins surpasses in strength. I eagerly wait the day when I may train our young warrior in the ways of our people. Or, if they follow their mother, raise them to be powerful!

It is good.

[Dancing Clouds 23, 3125-Echer’Naught~Malcom]

Odd, the day after we returned, the weather turned hot…hot and muggy. Dakota was caught out in warm wools and had to disrobe in the grove. Then, it rained. Man but it pissed down. I got soaked, Dakota too. Everyone in town was wet. After an hour, nothing. Cool breeze, puffy clouds.

Odd place this Echer’Naught.

Speaking of the Grove. My Wife spoke with the elf who sings to trees. She told us our seed was strong and special. Of course, it is my child with Dakota. The strongest!

The singer of trees said that our baby may grow even more swiftly than now! My wife was so happy, she nearly wept. My chest near burst with pride. The strength of the Gather truly flow through my loins. Already my Wife grows large.

Before we go, I do ask the elf high Druid what exactly a druid is? Now…I know.

We return to our room. My wife seems overwrought with joy at the speed of our pregnancy. I give her time to rest while I think on what the druid singer said. This changes things.

[Dancing Clouds 25th, 3125-Low Town Patrol~Malcom]

The Half-orc asks me to join him on a patrol, he being in prison, must work. He cannot rest. I envy him. We speak.

He had a Blood Oath with Brother Toma. He swore to protect him. He failed, as did I. He wants the mask. He offers a challenge. I win, I take his life. He wins, he gets the mask.

But, we are Rangers and Rangers do not understand such things. His time to give his oath again to the Rangers comes soon. At that time, he may remove his cloak and I, then, will take his life. Or, he may lack courage and strength and fail in his Blood Oath to Brother Toma.

Either way, when Ramshorn departs the Rangers, I will kill him. I am greatly looking forward to that day. When he is out of prison, I look forward to getting to know him well. He could be a powerful friend.

[Dancing Clouds 26th, 3125-Audric mugged in Low Town~Malcom]

[Dancing Clouds 27th, 3125-Echer’Naught Regional HQ~Malcom]

I hear that the winged elf is a Priest of Light. Makes sense. But, I also hear he wants to find something of Darkness? Has something to do with the mine we destroyed, I think. Guards to prattle like old goblins.

[Dancing Clouds 28th, 3125-Echer’Naught~Malcom]

Other than sleep, and sex, my Wife has spent all her time with the Corporal and Volstagg planning our wedding. I thought we were already wed? So we give our oaths, then we give our oaths in front of others before a Priest, then we party about giving our oaths? But I have to wear a suit and she a dress she only wears once. We also spend as much money as possible, but only so our friends think us important?!

Southlanders. They could make falling complicated. In this, gathers do best. You like. You take. You breed. Simple.

But, if it brings her Joy, I will do whatever I am asked. My Wife tells me that we will be wed with the Corporal and the enemy Tempest she beds. I guess one wedding was not enough for them either? At least the Corporal looks more relaxed. The sex must be good.

I wonder if Ramshorn would like to make it a three way? If the Tempest dog can be released to wed, certainly the Ass can as well? I will ask my Wife. She understand these things.

Though, I am concerned about Volstagg. There are times when he seems the warrior…others…I wonder about his preferences? If the half-orc can bed a mule, who am I to judge.

These Rangers are a very open lot. Oh, did I mention that one-eye tried to get himself killed? Turns out he went into a place called Low Town without a brother and was stabbed repeatedly. Fortunately, he can run away better than he can fight.

That and the dwerg was also thrown in jail. It is truly mad how many Rangers find themselves in prison. Are we not the law? I do not understand.

But, everyone was released from prison to come to our second…or third wedding ritual. The half-orc had to work. But his Ass was free.

[Dancing Clouds 29th, 3125-Ranger Prison~Malcom]

Southland wedding rituals are strange. We met in a prison, first. I suppose since so many of our number are criminals it makes sense. There was another winged elf, this one seemed less a pompous prickle, but I spent little time with him. Perhaps they are all born with stick firmly up their arse?

I stood beside the winged Priest, and Anaxelum was led in chains to the room and released to stand beside me. A warrior knows his own. He may be my enemy, and a dog, but he is strong. I can respect that. Perhaps this is what the Corporal sees?

Our unit and others I have seen in the city are gathered, sitting on benches. Everyone tries to dress better than everyone else. I think it is a competition? I will ask my Wife. Anaxelum won.

Then, everyone stands and the old bard sings. He has a voice, that is true.

They enter. The Corporal looks well. But, I see only Dakota. Beautiful, lithe, save for our child, and radiant. I cannot tell if she glows due to being with child, or her inner power, or her being an elf. It matters none.

Again, I am struck dumb. But, I must remember who she is. And she must learn who she is.

Today, I abandon my gather. Today, I become Defender of Dakota. She will understand.

My Wife glides down the isle, light swirling around her. She comes to my side and takes my hand.

The winged elf speaks.

Anaxelum speaks.

Then I speak.

Among my people, there are no Blood or Nobles. We have the Mak Torkash, the first among equals. He leads. Beside him, second only in war, the Mak Terresk, the High Shaman. It appears that Druids are Shaman. This is what the elf singer of trees said.

If this is the case, then I am wed to the Mak Terresk. As we have wed according to her customs, our three is now a Gather. The Gather of Afliem. If this is true, then she is my Mak Terresk, my High Shaman.

And so, before the witnesses, I broke with my old Gather and pledge myself to her alone. I have no higher goal that her life. I am an Orc. I am Defender of the Gather. Mak Terresk, Dakota Alfiem, is my Gather, my reason for life.

She seemed confused. I forgot, she does not speak Goblinesh. Maybe I can have Malcom translate?

Then, the Priest said something about rings. Volstagg keeps jewelry, I guess its his thing, or he keeps stuff on hand for occasions like this? How many weddings does he attend? I really think he could be…maybe he likes both? Not uncommon in the Gathers, though Olarans tend to be shy about things.

Anyway, I now have a ring. It is supposed to represent love. Strange, but I finally know why my Wife kept talking about jewelry before. I still don’t know where kneeling fits in. Maybe there is another ceremony where we are all on our knees?

The rings were beautiful. Dwarven. I think the Sergeant Major made them. It was a good thing.

The mind lady, first time seeing her in person, that was odd, she stood and touched the Corporal and Anaxelum’s head. Dakota flinched. Said something about Mind powers? Dunno. Magic stuff. But the Corporal got all woosy. Hmm…

I’m glad that was not part of our ritual. Then the old bard and the singer of trees sang. It was beautiful. I may have cried a bit.

Then we walked out. Anaxelum was put in chains and led to his cell. I am sorry for the Corporal. But, she should have known. He is a criminal.

Volstagg arranged a party in the Barracks. The drinking one, not the sleeping one. Though, we don’t sleep in either. We drink in one. So, that one.

Well, actually, in the back room. Which is also the Sergeant’s office. So, we had our party in the back room of the drinking barracks in the Sergeants office.

She wasn’t working at the time. To be clear.

The party was great. I found out later that the Velkalar fellow made some kind of ruckus out front. I was too busy drinking with Volstagg and celebrating with my Mak Terresk. Maybe Southland weddings are not so bad.

The dwerg gave us each beautiful knives. I will treasure them.

For my Mak Terresk, I presented a White Silver Hek-Chucktar. If she is to be a High Shaman, she must learn to use her powers, and her blade. She seemed pleased. Though, I was a bit drunk so I cannot know for sure.

Later, we returned to our room. I slept well.

[Dancing Clouds 30th, 3125-Barracks~Malcom]

The following morning, we returned to the back room of the drinking barracks where the Sergeant was now working. She informed us that this Velkalar person had left a crate on our door which had the pelt of a wolf and cub, a skinned grey cat, a burned book and a burned everwood branch.

Even I know that this is an insult to our fallen comrades. My band seemed angry and rightly so. When we find this Velkalar man, he will be made to suffer for his hand in these deaths. But, for the time, we must be careful.

The Sergeant told us to go only in pairs or more. And, to be ready for defense. I am concerned for my Gather, but my Mak Terresk is strong as am I. We will be fine. The others will likely be killed.

Also, we have a house? I hope it has a good bed. We will need a strong one. We broke two already.

Kura’Kai Afliem

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Campaign Report 72
Tempest Again!

Kura’Kai Report

[Report filed, Dancing Clouds 22nd, 3125-Malcom]

This is my Report,

I was going to ask Malcom to date my reports again, but Im beginning to think that little man is scarier than I thought. Word around the Rangers is he made a Colonel, a Major, a Captain go have sex with themselves. I’m not sure how that works, but I don’t want to find out.

[Departed Echer’Naught Dancing Clouds 3rd, 3125-Malcom]

Anyway, we road north again, back the way we had just come a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if the Rangers understand the concept of their own…um…concepts. Right? We were not supposed to be on duty for another week at least. And they send us right back into the same fight we just left?

Me, I don’t really care, though wish they’d make up their minds. Coulda saved a lot of trouble if we had just STAYED put before, rather than ride ALL the way to Echer’Naught only to ride ALL the way back out here. But, I begin to understand that a Ranger is pretty capable and smart. The Corps are run by a one eyed Ogre with a head wound.

The ride takes, what?, three days? Where did the winged elf go? For a Corporal, I don’t see him doing much. Anyway, the working Corporal spots an enemy camp a couple miles out. Least, that’s what she said. I had no reason to doubt. I couldn’t see squat.

[Arrived at the Tempest camp on Dancing Clouds 6th, 3125-Malcom]

The Sergeant orders a halt, has us make a “secure’ camp and the horses are watered and fed. Look. What in the Abyss is a secure camp? We supposed to guard it? Keep people out? These Rangers and their fancy words. Mostly, I just stand around and look mean. That, and spend time with my WIFE.

She looks amazing. I like riding behind her. Her hair whips in the wind and the tips of her ears poke out just enough to see… Sometimes, shell catch me watching and give me that look. Like, what in the Abyss is wrong with you?! Ascended but I love that elf.

The corporal takes one-eye out on a recon of the enemy camp. They come back that night, looking nervous. One word. Tempest.

Oh look, we found the SAME group of Tempest from our last fight. I got excited. Time to settle the score for the former Sergeant. Everyone just looks a little sick. You know, I think these Tempest shites have them a little spooked. They haven’t been this nervous since my WIFE took ill.

I wonder?

So, we sit and watch for four days, give or take. It weren’t all bad. Volstagg can cook. The half-orc seems capable enough. I’m not sure about his Ass though. They seem to be a little close…if you understand.

We had a herder up north, orc, I was just an orkling, but the caregivers said to keep away from him. I didn’t know why till much later. Turns out he too liked them wild, sheep in his case. To be honest, I was a little mad. I mean, I wasn’t a sheep so why’d it matter? They just said it did.

If he weren’t hurtin nobody and enjoys the company, more power too him. The sheep seemed to follow him an awful lot so he must be doing something right. Maybe that’s why the mule wont leave that fellow alone? I guess he’s good in the saddle? If you understand.

[Dancing Clouds 10th, 3125; camp outside of Tempest fort-Malcom]

So, after four days of nothing. The Sergeant figures that Anaxelum already beat us to the camp. Let me explain. So, Anaxelum is an enemy commander, I figure. He and the dead Great Wolf got one well enough so that he, being Anaxelum, was invited to live in the Wolf’s house. But, Anaxelum was still an enemy, so he was kinda in prison, but not really. While there, he learned all about the Rangers and the city.

Also, during their first battle, the Corporal and this Anaxelum tried to kill each other. Seems neither pulled it off, but it sure tickled them were it feels good cause about the time Anaxelum and the Wolf get back from some place called Nor Can Dar, wherever the Abyss that is, she decides to throw away her whole life with the Rangers to get some of him. Then she dies. I think.

Here’s where it gets confusing. So, she goes down. I mean dies, not…whatever. He, Anaxelum, sells her soul to his god to save her life, making her an enemy of the Rangers and now his. But the Rangers keep her on even though she’s now Tempest and bedding the enemy commander.

Alright, the Wolf and the Tempest have a deal that because he’s such a swell guy, the Wolf will just let him go whenever the Tempest attacks again. Then the Wolf dies. Tempest hangs around with the Corporal until we battle Tempest.

So now, Anaxelum has taken his men to return to the Tempest lands with all our secrets. The Rangers don’t care about any deal the Wolf made, they just want the Tempest dead. And the Corporal, near as I can tell, is tired of bedding the man, and plans to go back to killing him?

More or less. To be honest, none of this makes any sense. Why didn’t they just arrest him before? Why would the Wolf give him all these secrets then just send him on his way. And why is the Corporal trying to kill him again if she’s supposed to love him?

Remind me never to piss of Dakota. Elven maidens are touched. Really.

Alright, so, the Sergeant decides we gotta kill the Tempest mage in the enemy camp to keep them from leaving. Which, seems stupid. If they wanted to leave, wouldn’t they have gone days ago? Clearly they have no intention of going anywhere but who am I to miss out on a good fight?

The plan: The Sergeant leads a team with me, the dwerg, the scruffy mercenary, the one-eyed mercenary, the half-orc, and Volstagg in an ambush on a morning patrol coming out of the enemy camp. Meanwhile, the Corporal and my WIFE sneak around the side and set up to snipe the Tempest mage should he pop his head up. The Sheriff of Echer’Naught and his knights would join with the Wolfhaven Free Riders and ambush any enemy reinforcements that might try and break up out little party.

The plan seemed good enough, if pointless. Still, I was finally getting close enough to stab these Tempest dogs and I wasn’t about to say or do anything to ruin a perfect day for slaughter. All day before the battle, the Sergeant and Volstagg have us salting our weapons with pig fat. Says they make it easier to fight Tempest? Not unless we are gonna eat our gear. But, I don’t ask questions. Orders is orders.

We crawled into place by the road that very night and waiting till the morning for our attack. It was pretty peaceful. The hot summer was cooling off and the bugs were out, chirping and buzzing. I dozed as the wind rustled the tall grass. Somewhere in the distance, I could hear the Tempest soldiers talking and laughing. I looked forward to spilling their guts in the mud.

[Attack occurred on the morning of Dancing Clouds 11th, 3125; just north of Tempest fort-Malcom]

Morning came, finally, and we readied ourselves. Sure enough, right on schedule those Tempest cogs came marching out in perfect order, two columns of lightly armored scouts. Sergeant waited until they were almost past our spot before springing ambush.

We hit them HARD. Three went down before they even knew we were among them! For a minute, I wondered why everyone made such a fuss about these Tempest. They seemed to die like anyone else. I was soon to find out.

Yeh, we hit them hard and yeh, they were pretty shaken. But that lasted all of a heartbeat. Before our lines could form and box them in, the Tempest shifted fronts and flanked us, putting their back against their own fort. I heard a lout pop and buzz and then the entire flaming line erupted into lighting. What in the name of the Abyss are these things?!

Our ambush when sideways and our lines got fouled, while they cut, slashed and stepped in perfect unison. I’ll hand it to them, Sergeant tried to shore the left, while Volstagg and the one-eyed merc came up on the right, but with each hit, we got scorched bad. Then, the enemy siege engines opened up and everything went red.

I know we were taking hits. Sergeant was cut down by four of them. The one eyed merc too. The dwerg came up and held his own for a minute. Even the half-orc did his best, berserk rage and all, but he took a ballista bolt through the chest and went down. Things seemed grim when the world went white.

Scruffy merc picked up an enemy weapon and thought’d be a great idea to try and fire it. Thing was, the enemy trapped all their casters. He went up in a ball of lighting taking out the dwerg and half our line. In his defense he managed to take out a couple Tempest. He was fine, I got singed.

He had just enough time to laugh at the Tempest for failing to kill him when a ballista bolt went through his stomach. Sodding moron.

That left me and Volstagg to hold the line. The rest were down and bleeding out. Then the oddest thing happened. We hear a horn, the Tempest throw us back and then…march away.

I woulda chased them, but turns out I was fairly mortally wounded. Volstagg was missing part of his leg. Ballista. Next time, I figure we stay out of range of those?

So, while we were fighting, the Corporal managed to make her shot. I guess. The whole camp was being sucked up by a twister! Those Tempest crazies just ran right into it and vanished. Good riddance.

And then, it was over. Well, almost. Seems those Tempest rats had trapped their casters. They go down, we go boom. I grabbed everyone on my half the field, Thorgram grabbed his and we took off running hell bent for leather. Blast nearly finished us good, but we managed to eat dirt. Then, it was over.

After a bit, the Sheriff and what was left of the Free Riders came over. Volstagg and the Sheriff started drinking and eating while the medics went to work. One of the Sheriff’s knights went and found my wife. She was all shot up, but her stomach wasn’t hit.

Medic said she would live. I told him if she didn’t, neither would he. Im surprised he seemed not surprised at that.

I sta