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

Campaign Report 62
Death and more Death

Lt. Celebor,

7th First Hunt, 3125
(transcribed by Malcom)

The 33rd of Falling Ice ended well enough, for me at least. For my Alpha team, not as much. On the 30th, Evoran received news that one of his oldest friends, Aradove Longtail had been killed. The news hit him hard.
I have known Longtail for years, but I would not say we were ever close. Wolfhaven cared for her greatly, as did Rah-Sahn. Her loss is a tragedy. Unfortunately, with the attack on the Red Lamp Infirmary, we were unable to hold a last call for our fallen.

So, on the evening of the 33rd, Evoran’s team and what turned out to be half the city, from nobles to paupers, gathered at the Wolfhaven Refuge for Children to toast the life and death of Sergeant Minor Longtail. Per tradition, I declined to attend. Truth be told, I find the Olaran obsession with death to be a tad too morbid for my tastes.

The toast were memorable I heard. Evoran, of course spoke. As did Fateweaver. I think he and Longtail were romantically involved before she married his best friend? In any event, the most surprising eulogist was Eris Moonsilver.

Since she discovered her pregnancy, the Farspeaker has not left the Wolfhaven Manor. And, with the plague targeting Elves, her security has been extraordinarily strict. In her first public appearance in almost a year, Lady Moonsilver made an appearance, if briefly, to remember her fallen friend. Despite the risk, she honored the closest friend of her lost beloved.

No one can accuse the Rangers of lacking loyalty.

In the pre-dawn hours of Falling Ice 34th, Festival Day, a small group gathered again at the Orphanage to hear the last rites performed. Again, I could not attend, this less to do with tradition, and more to do with duties. Despite my strenuous objections, the powers that be demanded Festival plans go ahead as scheduled.

I spent the morning going over security with Captain Vasser of the Watch, Commander Schenkle of the Militia, Sherriff Halten of the King’s Men, and Ranger team leaders. In respect for their loss, I gave Evoran and his team as much time as I could, but by dawn, I needed the on post.

Though I offered him leave to attend, Alfred refused. He said that Longtail would understand. After all, she trained him.

The last rites were conducted by a Druid arranged by Fateweaver. Something of a lush? But, he followed the path of Zavonis. How did Longtail get blessed by an Ascended?

I do know that her urn was donated to the family jointly by both the Kilnfire and StoneMason Clans. Apparently, they set aside their feud long enough. Considering Longtail’s history with the dwarves, I am surprised.

Nevertheless, Evoran and his team left the funeral and made their way to secure the new Stahlheim Housing projects in advance of the big Festival Day Grand Opening. Before riding off to vanquish Vainar, Wolfhaven made arrangements for a series of public works projects in cooperation with the dwarves of Stahlheim, our own clans and a number of business interests. These projects included the rebuilding of the Brick yards, the construction of a new stoneyard and siegemaster proving ground, the repair of the stockyards and warehouse district, the rebuilding and expanding of the Town Watch post, and construction of a new Town Hall building and a Chamber of Commerce.

However, his crowing achievement was the construction of two, and the ground breaking of a third, three story, stone and brick housing block complete with fire places and wells. These Housing Blocks were constructed in Low Town, with the assistance of many of the residents. For the last few months, hundreds of displaced citizens have been moving in.

Now, apparently it is necessary to commemorate this generous gift to the populous and I must oversee the ceremony. Not to forget that a deadly plague stalks the streets of Low Town, or that we are, once again, at war, or, mind you, that an insane self-styled crime lord has issued a bounty on Rangers. But no, let’s have a grand ceremony in the single most unsecurable place in the entire city.

Stellar idea.

And as luck would have it, things went about as well as you would expect.

Sergeant Que’kassars and his team arrived on station where Baker Street literally runs into dirt. This is also the intersection where the first two Housing Blocks were constructed. Luckily, Thorgram and Ben had had the presence of mind to establish City Watch station IN the buildings so we had local support. Bully!

They set up a cordon as I herded our dignitaries to the stage erected to make them the easiest targets possible. I considered issuing vests with painted targets, but thought it might be a bit gauche.

At any rate, things started well enough. Samira and Dakota were on overwatch from the Block House balconies behind us. Thorgram stood on the stage with a couple Rangers just in case there was trouble. Evoran decided to climb up on the roof to get a good view. Ben, with his partner took the back, while Drainar and another Ranger took up post on the Middle Town access street.

We also had local Watch support and plains clothed Rangers imbedded in the crowed. All in all, the best of a horrible situation. Then, Danica comes screaming down Baker Street with a couple of thugs hot on her tail and everything pretty much went to the Abyss…

All security immediately focused on the sudden commotion, but I noted a man pushing his way through the crowd making his way toward the stage. His cloak was bulging and his body language suggested that he was about to do something bad.

Drainar and Ben immediately assisted Danica who was down on the ground, fighting off her two attackers. Drainer fried one, Ben rendered the other unconscious.

As for me, I fired at the figure in the crowd, but missed trying to avoid hitting innocent bystanders. Rare for me, yes, but it happens. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only Ranger to perceive the real threat.

Evoran reacted instantly, unleashing a violent beam of purple Eldritch energy. The assassin vanished in a blast of arcane power. Of course, that sent a shockwave through the crowd resulting in a stampede to clear the intersection. Subtle Evoran is not.

Rangers in the crowd were nearly trampled desperately trying to at least direct the mayhem. My team on the podium, covered their assigned dignitaries as we made our way to a secure fallback position. I never even glanced back assuming Evoran had control of the situation.
I was wrong…horribly wrong.

From what I was able to learn after the fact, Samira, seeing all threats down, looked for Evoran to get new orders. What she saw made no sense. In the commotion, the Sorcerer had gone down and even from her vantage point high on the 3rd floor balcony, Samira could see rivulets of blood coursing down the gutters from the roof Evoran’s body lay upon.

Wasting no time, she leaned over and shouted for Darkota to remain on the 2nd floor balcony as cover. Then she sprinted for the stairs. On the ground, Danica, Drainar and Ben linked up, Ben taking custody of the captive, while Danica tried to explain that there was a problem at the North Gate.

Earlier in the morning, she gathered at the office of the goblin fight promoter, Mitty, to wait for her day’s assignment, being undercover as one of his hired muscle. She happened to overhear he and some of his toughs discussing a big event happening at some point in the day. They also made mention of one of their “special” clients. Danica assumed this had to do with Velkalar so she resolved to warn Thorgram when she was put on his detail.

As it happened, Mitty sent her with a group of hired thugs to the Festival Grounds, far away from Thorgram’s team. Worse, when she tried to slip away, the head man noticed her, losing Danica any chance for surprise again. That, and it dawned on her that she was in a group of Mitty’s most seasoned fighters, his top men. She knew she was in trouble.

With no other choice, Danica made her rounds as ordered, desperately seeking her team, or any sign of villainy on the part of Mitty’s men. It took her hours, but almost at noon, she realized they had been slowly but steadily fouling traffic at the North Gate increasing congestion and slowing the flow to a trickle. With a huge portion of available Rangers running security for the massive Fair Grounds, if anything happened IN the city, response time would be…hours?

That’s when she heard a town crier, hired by Fateweaver at Ben’s behest, announce the Grand Opening of the Stahlheim Housing Blocks. All dignitaries were to attend. Danica had no choice but to blow her cover and make a break for the city.

She was spotted immediately and two of Mitty’s goons were sent to chase her down. Which brings us back to the attack’s aftermath.

As quickly as possible, Danica tried to explain to Drainar the situation at the North Gate. He, in turn, looked for Evoran…only to see the post abandoned and no sign of his Sergeant. Leaving Ben with the prisoner, Danica and Drainar pushed through the thinning crowd, headed for Evoran’s last position.

They very nearly collided with Samira who was also just arriving. Seeing the blood, both Samira and Drainar shimmied up to the roof to find Evoran’s body growing cold and…gray. Also, there were two black, fletched arrows protruding from his chest, on buried deep in each lung.

Drainar, calling on his little Life magic, attempted to heal Evoran. However, as he later described, it seemed like trying to revive a slab of meat. Only then did they realize the horrible truth. Evoran was dead, or very nearly so. Far beyond their powers of healing.

Frantic, they discussed options when Eris, who had suddenly lost mental link with Evoran, contacted Samira for a report. In the matter of a thought, Samira relayed the situation. At which, and here is where I realized a problem was happening, Eris closed down the entire battle link.

At this moment, I was trying to calm down some VERY angry bodyguards when my connection with Eris went dark. Using my own abilities, I attempted to re-establish contact, but was soundly rebuffed. Confused, and now a bit concerned, I excused myself from the gaggle of screaming nobles and started making my way back to team.

Eris reached out to me shortly before I arrived and explained, quickly what had transpired and that Evoran was being, “handled”.

While I was enroute, Thorgram in tow, Eris re-connected with Samira explaining that they needed to get Evoran’s body off the roof and onto solid ground. An odd request, to be sure, but the Corporal did not waste time with pointless questions. She and Drainar immediately bound Evoran wrist and foot and lowered him to Danica’s waiting arms.

No sooner had Danica lowered his body to the ground than the earth began to quake. Well, that pretty much finished off any lingerers. Anybody left in the intersection or on the balconies simply scattered. The Rangers backed off as roots began to punch through the cobblestones.

With the roots came wildflowers which inexplicably grew, spreading out from beneath Evoran until he was lying on a bed of soft grass and wildflowers. Then, a figure emerged from the soil, part vine, part elf until the figure of Treesinger resolved. With a gentle hand, she reached out to touch Evoran’s chest and then, both sank into the earth and vanished leaving behind the little island of green and the stunned Rangers.

I then arrived, shortly after to receive a debrief from Samira. Danica quickly alerted me to the possibility of further aggression at the North Gate, so I ordered the team there to secure it while I went to coordinate our response with the Watch and Militia.

The rest of my afternoon was spent calming ruffled feathers, apologizing profusely, and generally dealing with pretentious idiots with less sense than a rock. Samira’s team spent their time unfouling the jam at the North Gate. Fortunately, there were no further attacks. Also, there were no more sightings of Mitty’s men. No surprise.
Falling Ice, 34th 3125 finally came to a close much to the relief of my Rangers.

Regrettably, no word on Evoran. So, on the 1st of First Hunt, I sent Dakota Afliem with another elven Ranger not diseased to the Sacred Grove to inquire of the druids Evoran’s condition. This being Dakota’s first venture into the Sacred Grove I have no doubt it left a memorable impression.

When she returned, Dakota informed me that Evoran remained with us, but he was neither alive. GREAT! Though the High Druidess has my complete respect, she can be utterly frustrating. At the same time, I asked Corporal Ravenwood, if she wanted a couple of weeks to track down information on Evoran’s assailant, or would she prefer to take on her next mission.

For the last few weeks we had received unconfirmed reports of vicious attacks, razed vills, and disappearances occurring all across the northern territories, not to mention the Ranger abductions and murders to the south. Key word, unconfirmed. Actual intelligence that could acted upon was infuriatingly absent. I needed SOMEONE to provide some semblance of a report.

There was also the small matter of any Ranger outside of the walls subject to murder by Velkalar’s trophy hunters.

To my surprise, Samira chose to take on the Long Recon mission north. It would take a few days to make arrangements. So, with Evoran, mostly dead? and Samira in command, but struggling with her own afflictions, I afforded the Alpha team some Administration and Training Time.

I hoped that we would get some word out of the Sacred Grove, an indication of Evoran’s condition. A day later, First Hunt 2nd, 3125, I received just that. Well, I actually received Evoran who, quite literally appeared at the Regional HQ.

When he was ushered into my office by a flustered Malcom, I nearly fell out of my chair. He looked…horrible. His robes were dirt and blood stained. I could still see the holes where the crossbow bolts hand pierced his chest. The Eldakar himself looked worse.

It took me a moment to understand why. I mean, yes, he was recently returned from the dead, but it was something else, something…ephemeral. When I looked at him, I mean really looked…I suddenly understood. Evoran was diminished…still Eldakar…but…mortal.

His expression revealed all. The price of his return was his immortality.

In a few words, he explained his miraculous return. I will leave those to his own words to follow.

At any rate, I asked if he needed time to recover or would he prefer to resume command. Wisely or not, she chose to rejoin his team, so we summoned Samira who was overjoyed at his return.

Together, we quickly filled him in on the mission and our preparations. He would lead a small team north whose mission would be to gather intelligence on reports of recent attacks and confirm or refute claims of agents of Darkness stalking the northern baronies.

If it was revealed that we WERE under attack, Evoran would use his judgment to determine whether his team could handle the situation. If so, all to the good. If not, he would wait until the following morning when Eris made routine contact. He could then request reinforcements.

Wolfhaven Free Riders had been making routine patrols between the Wolfhaven Barony and the city. They had delivered some of the rumors themselves, but their purview was to keep the roads open, not track down weak rumors of ghostly figures and arcane horrors. That task was left to the Ranger Corps proper.

Despite my concerns over the well-being of both Evoran and Samira, the two senior commanders, I authorized the team to leave that same evening, First Hunt 2nd, 3125, under cover of Darkness.

We know we are being watched. That much is a given. But, there was at least some hope that news of Evoran’s miraculous recovery might not have reached the ears of our enemy. So, taking what precautions could be taken on short notice, the team rode out the north gate with 3 extra Rangers pulled from the rotation to fill slots made absent by Sarin and Amelia.

From Eris’ reports, the team camped about an hour north of Echer’Naught the night of the 2nd of First Hunt before heading on the morning of the 3rd of First Hunt. By noon on the 3rd of First Hunt, they arrived at a small thorpe complete with an inn (a house that served some fermented draught and provided wooden plank benches by a small, piteous fire).

Danica, who actually speaks Olaran, and Samira entered the “inn” to seek out rumors. The innkeeper seemed amenable enough, if filthy, offered a few tidbits of info, one blood drained cow and a column of black smoke on the horizon to the west. Neither seemed that promising, but the cow was closer. So, after Samira spit out the piss-poor ale all over the innkeeper, the scouts returned to the team who had been watering the mounts.
Evoran elected to investigate the cow as it was closer and more indicative of Darkness activity in the area. Before leaving the hamlet, however, they had to locate Thorgrams ass, Muriel, who had managed to slip her lead and disappear. She was quickly located behind the inn consuming an entire crate of the same swill that was so foul it caused Samira to spray all over her host.

With drunken mule in hand, the team followed the spotty directions provided by the innkeeper toward “Farmer John’s” fields and the exsanguinated bovine. Sadly, the trip was interrupted midway when Muriel stubbornly refused to jump one of the farm’s stone walls and, instead, chose to plow right through.

The rest of the team settled down for an afternoon lunch in the sun while Thorgram restacked the heavy stone, cursing the entire time. Damage repaired, they proceeded to Farmer John who, by all reports, was an amiable fellow. He confirmed the cow story, but since the beast had since been butchered, there was little evidence of the crime.

He did add that all the farms had suffered increased predation lately, but had seen nothing out of the ordinary beyond that…and the blood drained cattle.

Evoran elected to establish camp on a nearby hill the farmer had indicated so that they team might set up a watch over the countryside. Farmer John was amenable, so the eve of the 3rd of First Hunt, 3125, the Alpha Team set up camp on a hill a day and a half’s ride north of Echer’Naught and proceeded to set watch over the farmlands.

All seemed well, no sightings of anything amiss, but the following morning, on the 4th of First Hunt, things began to go awry. That morning, Samira woke with a bloody cough, so imbibed one of the Greater Healing Potions her paramour, Anaxelum, had “procured” from Flamel’s Apothecary. All as the healers had proscribed. Unfortunately, it seemed to have little effect.

The next morning, on the 5th, her symptoms worsened. Still, no sign of Darkness in the surrounding county. Again on the 6th, her condition worsened markedly and again, the land around seemed unchained with no sightings of Darkness, cultists, or anything amiss.

However, by afternoon, Samira was bed-ridden, so Evoran made a call and had the camp broken quickly. The Rangers rode HARD for the Wolfhaven Manor, arriving late the evening of the 6th of First Hunt.

What they found surprised them all. It would appear that, in addition to his many civic projects in Echer’Naught, the good Col had ALSO been making repairs to his ancestral home as well. He had been a busy lad. Foremen, laborers, architects, stonecutters, and all manner of craftsmen had established a large, heavily armed camp and were already well on their way to renovating the first floor of the Wolfhaven Estate.

Most of these men had survived last summer’s (3124) attack by Flame and returned to resume their work. Farmers were already sowing seeds in once barren field. These men knew Thorgram well and invited the Rangers in with open arms, providing them lodging in a few of the completed rooms in the Manor House proper.

Danica and Ben stood watch, being immune as they were to the disease while the others spoke with the laborers, using Thorgram as a guide and interpreter in some cases. The Half-Orc speaks dirt.
That night was a long one with Samira growing ever worse…

…in the morning on the 7th of First Hunt 3125, she was dead.

Evoran clearly sensed her spirit fade and Darkness begin to overtake her. He was just about to destroy her body when it was consumed by power. Outside, the terrified workers looked up to see a massive Tempest Cyclone begin forming overhead.

Within the chamber itself, an even stronger wind picked up as lighting began to play over Samira’s corpse. Thorgram, having faced this before, shouted for everyone to take cover as the Rangers sprinted for cover in the Manor House.

In the room, Evoran ordered Danica out even as the gale-force winds threatened to slam them against the walls. Half of the Rangers were nearly killed by lightning strikes as the weather outside went haywire. Snow, sleet, and hail hammered the roof while rain poured from the sky and thunder and lightning created a deafening cacophony.

A little singed, the Rangers made it to cover to find Evoran and Danica backing away from Samira’s door. Dakota shouted over the din, demanding to know what was happening and Evoran was screaming back when everything went eerily silent. The rain stopped and the wind died leaving the team in deafening silence.
From the gloom of the chamber, a figure appeared in the doorway. Reacting to a potential attack, the team readied itself for war.

Ben stood, mask on, sword ablaze in blue/white light even as his cloak still smoked…

Dakota drew her bow cursing her fate of losing every new friend she found…

Evoran summoned his power, wreathing himself in eldritch protection…

Drainar summoned arcane armor and prepared for the worst….

Danica fingered her saber, readying for the rush…

Thorgram locked his shield, axe ready to hew…

And from the wreckage stepped Samira, very much alive, though obviously disoriented by the reaction of her team. From behind the group, the three Rangers stood stunned, unsure of what to do next.

Samira broke the spell, demanding to know why they appeared about to murder her. Only then, did the team relax, somewhat. Ben and Evoran maintained that she was now a threat and should be escorted back to Echer’Naught immediately. Thorgram jumped to her defense pointing out that she as not the only marked member and if they arrested every Ranger who was cursed by some power they would have no one left to fight.

The argument continued until Eris contact Evoran as scheduled. She, telling me later, linked with both Evoran and Samira allowing her to interrogate the one for the other. After a brief, but intense questioning, Evoran agreed to allow Samira to remain in the field, though he harbored deep reservations about her reliability now that she had willingly embraced the Tempest.

That crises resolved, the Rangers stood down and prepared to resume their breakfast that had been so rudely interrupted when the Foreman approached with grim news. A young boy had just been found, half-starved and terrified babbling about his village being destroyed.

Exhausted, hungry, half the team either suspect or devastated, the Alpha team put aside their own concerns to face what new horror awaited them.

Eris, of course, relayed this latest to me via her connection with Evoran. So much had happened over the last few days that I completely forgot to inform him of the most unusual event in a long string of unbelievable events.

The morning of the 1st of First Hunt, after I met with Samira, I had a visitor. Captain Vasser of the Watch arrived to personally deliver the previous day’s crime report. As he explained, the 34th of Falling Ice traditionally had the highest crime rate of any day in the year as it was the Festival Day and usually saw huge crowds arrive in Echer’Naught. With so many people spending so much coin and security stretched to the limit, it was always a busy time for the city’s criminals.

What Captain Vasser handed me, however, was a blank sheet of paper. Confused, I asked what he was about. With wonder, and a bit of a smile, he informed me that there was not a single reported case of theft from start of Sergeant Minor Longtail’s Last Call for the next 25 hours…

On the single most lucrative day, it seemed that every thief, cutpurse, draw latch, and pickpocket in the entire city simply…took the day off. No one ever explained why, and the Watch was at a loss to explain it, but Vasser and I both believe that it was Longtail’s “associates” way of honoring her memory, but honoring her commitment to the Rangers.

To my knowledge, and his, that was the only day in the city’s long history this ever happened.

What better tribute could there be?

Lt. Celebor

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Non-Cannon Game
April Fool Villains Game

Alright, recap:
2 years after our game, the world is torn by war, the Elvers all but destroyed by the Plague. Shaya’Nor nearly won, but was betrayed and ambushed by the Kal, who were in turn nearly overrun by Tempest. At the height of the carnage, with all of Shaintar
Shaintar’s armies spent, a new force entered the world through the Dragon’s Eye. In 1 night, the four guardian gathers fell. In a few weeks a thick, mystical darkness covered the island and began to spread.

Every force sent against it was utterly lost. In a last desperate bid, Wolfhaven summoned a team of supervillains to enter the enemy stronghold to stop the construction of some superweapon.

Leaving from near Trollkeep, the Villains ride in on a massive Arcfire airship that the Mad Bomber suspects he may have once destroyed, some thousands of years ago.

Before they reach the heart of the island, anit-air guns, and something else attacks the ship. Wolfhaven teleports away just before the ship and all hands are annihilated.

Picking themselves up, the Villains descend into the valley, coming across a slave-mining camp of Goblinesh who have been rounded up by some alien force. The humanoids wear full body protection like black longcoats. Their faces are covered in strange masks. They gas the emaciated slaves who quickly die.

After the army leaves, the party enters the village, only to have the dead rise as some strange Arcmancy/Tempest/Undead Reavers and attack. Each time they are struck down, they rise quickly. Eventually, the party realizes they must take the heads, but by now, they were too wounded to keep fighting so Wolfhaven orders retreat.

Wolf ports our Von D and the Flame Ranger, but right before the Mad Bomber ports out Sarah and the Butcher, the Butcher is wounded…and goes berserk. So, they leave him to die.
But, in a rage state, the Butcher destroys the entire Reaver force…but only delays the inevitable as he is not sane enough to take their heads. With a moments respite, the party retreats, Von D carrying an unconscious Wolfhaven.

A day later, they find themselves hiking through a forest just at dusk when tracer fire lights up the forest. The flame Ranger nearly loses and arm and the others fight a desperate battle against unknown numbers. In the end, they clear out the gun nests, but discover the enemy has far superior firepower and the Mad Bomber reveals that their tech is currently only at partial power as they have not fully adapted to shaintar’s magic.
Climbing out of the forest, the party finds the narrow, winding pass filled with enemy soldiers. Wolfhaven sends scouts ahead, invisible by the Assassin’s power, while he and the heavies draw fire. It is a close thing, Von D nearly goes, down, the Wolf is incapped for the 2nd or 3rd time, sarah is nearly killed, and the flame ranger is badly hurt.

But, they reach the summit to find the ruins of the ancient dragon-keep rebuilt by the invaders. And standing before the gate, a massive arctech/tempest Mech and flame troopers along with more enemy soldiers in the towers. A few blasts from the mech and flamers takes out the assassin. Heroically, if maniacally, the Mad Bomber charges, and tries to hurl a grenade at the Mech, the bomb slips from his fingers and the Bomber and Mech are destroyed in a cataclysmic fire.

Assassin and Bomber down, Wolf orders Von D to follow through the portal and the others to hold the line.
As D and Wolf race for the portal, an army pours over the wall. The Flame ranger shoots the butcher to enrage him, but nearly kills hims in the process and then is cut down by enemy fire. With only two left, Sarah, one wound from death and the Butcher, also nearly gone, charge the enemy army.

Wolf and D step through the Dragon’s Eye, which appears to be held open by some arctech portal system. On the other side, they find themselves in a dark, putrid bombed out city. And in the Darkness something massive moves. Three heads rise above them, each spewing a breath weapon, one LIghtning, one fire, and one the chemical soup that turns living into Reavers.

Wolfhaven orders D to distract the beast and then vanishes.

Von D, taking the bombers last 2 bombs rushes the beast and immolates himself…only stunning the Dragon. But as he is ripped apart, he sees Wolfhaven appear in the air before the Dragon as the Col plunges his sword through its hard. The wrap slips away and a strange jewel recently set into the sword flashes…

With the tether severed, the Dragon’s pocket realm collapses causing a tidal explosion through the gate.
The fate of the World now falls to chance. JJ rolls 50/50 percentile. First roll 93, utterly destroying the entire world. Spends a benny. Second roll, 49%. The Island is obliterated along with the party and the bulk of the enemy army. Now, only a lake remains.

Cut to Wolfhaven’s tent on the front lines in the north. He wakes in a cold sweat from his nightmare. But as he sits up, something evil shifts in the shadows and he hears a dark, cold voice laugh even as light dawns…

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Official Report, Physical Examination of the Deceased
Longtail's Final Report

Official Report
Physical Examination of the Deceased

Name: Unknown
Race: Brinchie
Gender: Female
Age: Early 20s

Physical Description: Young woman appears to be Brinchie female between the ages of late teens and mid-twenties. Fur color, light gray. Eyes, one green, one amber. Claws capped in White Silver.

Body showed clear signs of past torture. 3rd degree burns over most of the body. Multiple lacerations scars on all four limbs, healed wounds to the torso, stomach and back.

Curiously, one thrust from a long, sharp dagger appears to have nicked the sternum and pierced the heart, but scarring indicates the wound healed.

Recent unhealed scarring on wrists, ankles and throat indicate binding, possible further torture.
Cause of Death: Undetermined. Multiple potential causes.

A) Body was found pierced by three arrows, one in the upper left shoulder immobilizing mobility in the joint, severing the deltoid, one in the stomach just above the navel, penetrating the small intestine, the last arrow piercing the chest between the third and fourth ribs, penetrating the left lung. Fletching and arrowhead matches standard Ranger technique.

B) Body was also found stabbed in the lower back severing the thoracic spine and the spinal column. Blade appears to be a wide, flat blade penetrating six inches into the body. Likely, inflicted by short sword or large knife. Small shard of metal found lodged in the spine indicates Black Iron weapon.

C) Body was found submerged sea water. Water within the lungs indicate the woman was alive when submerged. Absorption of water in the skin and soft tissue indicates the body remained in the water for days after death. Potential drowning?

D) Discoloration of the lips indicated sub-zero water temperature or possible poison. Time in water makes confirmation impossible.

Material Articles Recovered:
1. Ranger Cloak, tattered
2. Gold Ranger Pin
3. Sergeant Minor Ring
4. Nightshade Chain armor
5. Bracers
6. Lockpicks, 1 master set
7. Lo-sska, White Silver
8. Rrka
9. Assassin’s blade
10. Cavalier’s parrying dirk, Wolfhaven crest
11. Golden Feather necklace
12. Cassanova’s pillow book

Notes: The corpse washed up on shores south of Eastport around the 16th of Falling Ice, 3125. Was discovered by local fishermen and turned over to nearest Ranger HQ. The examination and report filed, the body has been sent to processing. Due to the rank and nature of death, cremated remains, personal artifacts, and files are transferred to Echer’Naught.

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Campaign Report 61
Temporary Regional Commander

Lt. Celebor,

33rd Falling Ice, 3125

Grek, Tina, and I were enjoyed a nice respite from the labors of the road when my mind was touched by Lady Moonsilver. My wine turned to vinegar in my mouth. Probably because it was piss to begin with. At any rate, my worst nightmare had come to pass. Wolfhaven had decided to hi off on yet another fool crusade and now I was being tapped to keep his seat warm.

It was mid day on the second of Falling Ice, or thereabouts.

Turning command of our recon unit over to Brinchie number three, Grek, Tina, and I made our way West to Echer’Naught. We actually passed Wolfhaven on the road to Camp Wolfhaven (how pretentious is it to name your own camp after yourself???). He paused just long enough to relay a few special orders before charging off again.

We made our way from there to Echer’Naught. Not much has changed since my last visit. Maybe a little remodeling? It was the 8th, I think.

High Towne looks nice. Very little battle damage. Funny how they always seem to avoid any real consequences. The big house on the hill looked busy. Wolfhaven’s men have done wonders. In a few centuries Echer’Naught might even rival Kythros.

Leaving Grek in the courtyard, I went in search of who might be in charge. Turns out, it was Evoran, or, Sergeant Que’kassars. I’m not sure if he was relieved or disappointed about my arrival. Either way, he briefed me on current operations.

The Rangers were stepping up patrols of Low Town. They were also running a recon on a Fight promoter in Middle Town named Mitty. Apparently, he hired out local muscle to contractors and was not particularly choosy about who they might be. A new Ranger named Amelia Whitestone had provided information that Velkalar or his associates were hiring from this Goblin.

Also, Ranger 1st Class Ramshorn and Ranger Toma were working closely with Captain Vasser of the City Watch to set up offices in the new Stahlheim forged city housing blocks. Also, Ranger Toma made arrangements with the bard, Therel Fateweaver, to spread word of work and housing to recent immigrants via a network of town criers organized and trained by Fateweaver himself.

I was honestly glad to know that the Rangers of Echer’Naught had things well in hand. Refreshing, considering that I fully expected to inherent an absolute disaster. After concluding his report, Evoran gathered his things and headed back to his office while I settled in to my new office. That is until Sergeant Major Stormhammer stumped in and buried me in paperwork.

If Wolfhaven survives his current suicide mission, we are going to have serious words when he returns.

While I wore my fingers to the bone filing paperwork, the Rangers set up their watch on Mitty’s fight club based out of a warehouse behind what used to be the Red Lamp. And, what happened to the Red Lamp?! I liked that place.

Since so few of these Rangers speak Olaran, they had to send one of the new ones, Danica, former member of the Golden Gryphons. From what I heard, she had to fight her way in and made a pretty good showing of herself. Ranger Whitestone was running the operation under the guidance of Corporal Silverfeather and Ravenwood.

She went under on the 10th. I remember because this was the same day that Evoran approached me about a growing sickness among the elves. He feared that this illness was Vainar’s Curse revisited upon our kind. Every Elf knows the legends and every century or so some illness is claimed to be Vainar’s Curse again. When Evoran brought me the news, I was concerned, but not overly…

Two weeks later, it was clear that Evoran had been right. The dead were piling up and by now we knew it was only among the elves. Together, we crafted plan to convert the abandoned Red Lamp building into a quarantine hospital. While not a perfect solution, it was the best we had.

Within another week, the numbers of elves trying to enter or pass through Echer’Naught had reached critical levels. Evoran set up healers to examine elves before they were given access to the city, though the disease was already sweeping through the Elven District of the city.

Things seemed to be working well enough, given the numbers of dead and dying, when I received frantic reports from the Red Lamp…the dead were overrunning the hospital… It was the 30th of Falling Ice and my tenure as provisional Regional Commander was finally turning south.

I grabbed my bow and Ogre and sprinted for the hospital. The scene was one of sheer horror. Mangled staff desperately evacuated half-dead diseased as hordes of undead swarmed and devoured those too wounded or sick to escape.

Anaxelum and his Storm Legion formed a shield wall at the base of the steps, stemming the tide. Rangers Whitestone and Danica posted on the side doors, holding back the horde while panicked healers cowered behind them. Corporals Ravenwood and Silverfeather along with other archers like Ranger Afliem cut down any undead who managed to evade the blockade.

I arrived in time to see Evoran and his understudy Drainar blasting holes in perfectly good walls. Though, in their defense, there were many zombies destroyed as well. Of the Jade Adept Toma, I saw nothing, at first. Rangers 1st Class Ramshorn sprinted into the building, disappeared for an uncomfortable time, and then emerged with Toma who promptly collapsed. The young Ranger had so much blood soaking his robes, I feared he had been eviscerated. As it happened, the blood was not his own.

We managed to slay the beasts and restore order, but the casualty numbers were disheartening. Of the patients, we lost almost 90%. The staff suffered over 40% casualties. And, despite our best efforts, some of the undead escaped. No doubt, that is going to come back to bite us.

When the crisis was over, I went to speak with Evoran about cleanup to find him in dire straights. With breaking voice he explained that just prior to the attack, he received the remains of his longtime friend, Sergeant Minor Longtail. She had been killed somewhere near Eastport and dumped in the ocean only to be found by fishermen.

I was close with Rah-Sahn, but I have known Aradove for many years. Her loss will sorely felt by her friends here. At that moment, I feared the Sergeant might do something rash, but, despite his condition, he seemed more clear minded than I would have been.

Hawksclaw, Longtail, Sarah, Olgor, Von Dietrich, and countless others…. The Rangers of Echer’Naught have suffered losses.

I retired to my office to continue preparations for the Grand Opening of the Housing Blocks. Despite the health crisis, the city fathers demanded the celebration go on as planned. It seemed they considered the plague to be an elven matter and none of their concern. I wonder if they would feel differently were it humans dying in droves??? No doubt they would demand our help.

Nevertheless, Wolfhaven himself explained how important good housing was for the city’s recovery and it was his idea to host the Festival Day opening. Damn that man!

Again, things seemed to be turning around when two days later on the 32nd, I received word that Corporal Ravenwood had contracted the illness. I myself was feeling under the weather, but so far I had no cravings for human, or other, flesh.

Shortly after hearing that news I received a complaint from the city potion master that a large, well-armed warrior had “taken” his entire store of greater healing potions. When pressed further, the potion master admitted that the man had paid above market price, but his demeanor indicated that had the merchant NOT sold his wares, the man would have simply taken them.

Evoran explained later that Samira’s lover, Anaxelum, was concerned for her health and made “arrangements” as the Legionnaire so tactfully explained. This assignment continues to offer up gems.

The 33rd passed without anyone dying, or anything exploding in my face. Tomorrow, however, promises to be very exciting indeed. I’m banking on an assassination attempt, though another undead horde would have a familiar allure. Or perhaps, Tempest will attempt an anniversary attack on the city?

Whatever the case, I pray my Rangers are prepared. I fear our darkest days are ahead.

Lt. Celebor

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Campaign Report 60 Addendum 2
Farwatch Court Marshal

Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Farwatch Outpost, Wildlands
Twenty Sixth Day of Dark Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

On the 25th of Dark Moons, I rode south from Echer’Naught with Sergeant Que’kassars, Corporal Wolfhaven, and three Wolfhaven Free Riders. We arrive a day later on Dark Moons 26 in Farwatch. It was morning, as we had ridden hard the day before.

Rangers of Farwatch
Lt. Derek Stormcrow first, Thaleon on arrival
Ranger 1st Class Darkstryke, Brinchie Ranger
Ranger 1st Class Soryn Nytefyre, Arcmancer (prosecution)
Ranger Mrrel Fastclaw, Brinchie fighter
Ranger Nessius Mohdri, Alakar Archer
Gheleon Cendrellien, Eldakar Academic (defendant)

Vicar of Light, Thaleon

Upon arrival, I found the new headquarters in good repair and the Rangers in good spirits. Lt. Stormcrow remained in command and met me at the gates. We spoke briefly before the arrival of my old friend Thaleon. He appeared to have been flying nearly as hard and long as we had been riding. Seeing him warmed my heart, though the circumstances could have been better.

I inquired if all were assembled for the Court Marshal and Lt. Stormcrow confirmed that they were. So, without further delay, we entered the HQ and began the proceedings.

On the court were myself, Vicar Thaleon, and Sergeant Que’kassars. Advocate for the prosectuion was Ranger 1st Class Soryn Nytefyre. Speaking in his own defense, Ranger Gheleon Cendrillien, Eldakar male.

We had been assembled to try Ranger Cendrillien on the charge of “Reckless endangerment and disregard of civilian casualties,” a serious charge, though the young Ranger’s first offense.

Vicar Thaleon recaptured the events leading to the Court Marshal.

I appeared that Ranger Nessius brought information that a group of Mercs had been shaking down local merchants. When the Rangers Investigated further, they found the merc group was actually being framed by a another group that wanted to sabotage their reputation. A friend of the Rangers, Reggie, was hired to watch the merc guild. Nessius was able to find a safe house that he was residing in. The Rangers discovered that the group they were hunting had holed up in a warehouse. Gheleon and Soryn, doffing their Ranger cloakes, approached the warehouse to gain intelligence. As they closed, Gheleon heard weapons being readied. Without orders or active provocation, Gheleon attacked using area affect spells in the confined spaces of the warehouse without identifying a clear target.
Unfortunately, there were innocents within who were badly injured, though there was no loss of life. Thelon arrived in time to save those who might otherwise have perished. It should be noted that enemies were found within, wearing outfit of organization framing the mercs.

First to speak was the Prosecution and they reiterated what Thaleon had said, but added that Ranger Cendrillien had shown no remorse for the potential loss of life.

Second to speak was Ranger Cendrillien in his own defense, who had little to add, other than he felt badly for the injured, but stood by his actions.

Neither Prosecution or Defense called any witnesses other than themselves. In cross with the Defense, we learned that Ranger 1st Class Nytefyre and Ranger Cendrillien had no clear orders of operation when they approached the warehouse. Lt. Stormcrow spoke up claiming responsibility for allowing his Rangers great lee-way in making their own decisions and, thereby, some responsibility in the actions of the accused.

In closing arguments, Prosecution made an impassioned speech that the Rangers must be held to a higher standard and could not allow such actions to go unpunished. Defense reiterated that there were enemies within and he acted, given his limited information, to his best judgement.

Deliberations were lengthy and will not be revealed here. However, after each member of the court voted the verdict was as follows:

On the charge of Reckless Disgregard, Ranger Cendrillien was found Guilty as Charged.
On the charge that his actions constituted Criminal action, Ranger Cendrillien was found Not-guilty.

The Sentence was as follows: Ranger Cendrillien will have reduction in pay to Trainee level for 1/2 year probation and mandatory training, the Farwatch unit must make personal restitution to those injured in the action. Lastly, the Farwatch unit is to institute organizational changes to prevent further incidents.

With that, the court was dismissed. Almost immediately, we heard a huge commotion in the courtyard outside. Rushing out, we discovered a scene of utter chaos. A large force was attacking the workers who, in turn, were fleeing for their lives. On my command, under Lt. Stormcrow’s able leadership, the Ranger of Farwatch leaped into action.

I, for my part, exited the room and observing the attack, commanded Evoran to take out the mage and Alfred to clear the civilians from the theater of danger. Sure that the non-combatants would be clear, I teleported to the parapets and engaged the bowmen there only to realize that most of the attackers, and those attacking the civilians below were in actuality illusions. Realizing this, I called upon the silver unicorn to dispelled the illusion and safe the workers. With my true foes revealed, struck at one of the archers, but he was protected by powerful magics which easily turned my blade. In the courtyard below, Alfred and Thaleon cleared the workers while the Rangers of Farwatch dealt with the real assailants.

Realizing the magnitude of the enemy cast, I redoubled my efforts and my second blow shattered the defensive spells. The archer tumbled off the parapets wounded, but not dead. Ghelion reacted immediately, sliding down the wall and captured the man. I followed and managed to heal his wounds sufficiently to take him into custody.

The battle was soon done. After combat, Thaleon called for healers as a few Rangers had been struck down. I turned the prisoner over to Ranger Cendrillien and joined Thaleon. Cendrillien took the man to the prison while I helped with the healing.

While there, I noted that our two Brinchie appeared to be hot on the trail of the enemy survivors and Ranger 1st Class Nytefyre was leaving the grounds with the Lt. following. Not certain of that situation, I focused on the task at hand. Once the area was secure, I gathered Thaleon, Evoran and Derek to me to discuss the events.

Evoran revealed that the enemy seemed to be specifically targeting Rangers. It would seem that the bounty on Ranger scalps had reached Farwatch. Ranger Cendrillien revealed that the captured warrior appeared to be a member of Tor Mastak, and showed a a name on the orders; Renjen Ki’Tovas. Worse that that, Lt. Stormcrow explained that former Ranger Nytefyre had quit the Rangers in protest for Ranger Cendrillien being allowed to remain in the Corps after his misjudgment.

It pains me to lose a good Ranger, but I will not punish any man just to slake another’s thirst for vengeance, regardless of his motives, reasoning, or personal code. The Court Marshal was as unbiased as I could arrange, and the verdict was final. I hope that he eventually realizes that his brashness is no less than Cendrillien.

If not, I wish him well and pray that Archanon guides his steps.

With that dealt with, I ordered Evoran and Alfred to find us lodging at a local inn while Thaleon and I discussed plans. Once those details were concluded, Lt. Stormcrow, Vicar Thaleon, Sergeant Que’kassars and Corporal Wolfhaven joined me for a meal and drink in town.

By dawn on the 27th of Dark Moons, we were back on the rode, this time in good company of Thaleon headed back to Echer’Naught and what lay waiting there.

Your most obedient servant,
Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Campaign Report 60 Addendum
The End and The Beginning

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

Thirty Third Day of Dark Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

On the afternoon of the 31st of Dark Moons I was summoned to the Stahlheim encampment where Sergeant Rorauk Fyrforg. When I arrived, I found him in conference with Rallidon Fyrforg, a dwarf I have not seen in some time. The reason for my visit was to address his troops regarding the upcoming march north. However, before that I have a more pressing matter to discuss with the two commanders.

Before I could speak, however, we summoned Ash to secure the tent against magical eavesdropping. After a masterful, if flashy, display of power, I had the tent cleared save for the commanders. It was then that I revealed to Rorauk that I was putting together a secret mission behind enemy lines. Rorauk would be allowed a ten man detail. Due to the highly dangerous nature of the mission, participation was entirely voluntary.

I laid out the details which will be explained in a future report. After the meeting, we stepped out of the command tent to address the assembled force of Dwarves.

The mission is simple. By the first thaw columns of troops will march out of Echer’Naught by various roads heading north. The Soldiers of Stahlheim will head north and then west, passing through Rhion and Jasaram where we hope they will joined by another column from Stahlheim, before marching up the length of the Northern Gathers until reaching the Gather of Jurg. At Jurg, the force will turn east, crossing the Shanair and traversing the east-west road as far as the Clanhome of Stonefinger. In its entirety, the trip from Echer’Naught stands at just over 820 miles, the last 1/3 through territory already contested by the enemy, and the final 75 miles over rough, broken terrain without the benefit of good roads.

With full troops and heavy wagons, they can expect, during the mushy, muddy spring thaws to make 15 miles per day, if VERY lucky. The last 75 miles will be more like 10. To reach Irdok, where the column leaves the main highway, I expect the trip to take 50 days, at least putting them at Irdok on or around the 16th of First Hunt. Another 8 days to the site, puts the column arriving at or around the 24th of First Hunt, 3125. This assumes that they leave by the 1st of Falling Ice as planned.

My own forces will ride hard due east to the coast. Catching ships with supplies, we will disembark just north of Vor. With luck, we will arrive soon after the Dwarves. Granted, this expects all parts of a complex plan to move smoothly. We shall see.

Nevertheless, my plan is to establish our base, a standard fortified field encampment in the valley north of the road above Stonefinger (as terrain allows). My inclusion of the Dwarves of Stahlheim in this endeavor is only partly due to their prowess in battle and construction. My hope is that the incorporation of the independant Dwarven clans in my army will encourage the Clanhomes of Stonefinger and Ironspear to serve as supply bases, field hospitals, and rally points in the case of complete failure.

All of this information was included in the maps and scrolls I left with Rorauk, along with a promotion to Lieutenant in the Ranger Corps. Of course, I told little of this to the troops. Rather, I sketched out the barest details of the march, lest foul ears hear, and reminded them of their duty and their strong name. It had the desired effect. Then, with a bit of a flourish myself, I mounted Thunder and departed camp for my own home.

Yet, in my heart, I felt little but dread. My mission to Shaya’Nor weighed heavily on my mind. And, should I even survive the next few days, I faced the prospect of leaving Olara for what could prove to be an extended tour. M heart aches, but I have my duty, and like my Dwarven brethren, I will not fail.

Your most obedient servant,
Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara

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Campaign Report 60
The Beginning of the End, 3124

Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara
Thirty Third Day of Dark Moons, Year 3124 Under the Light

It just before dawn on the first day of the new year; which should be a time of hope and renewal as the winter snows thaw and bitter cold gives way to spring. Yet, this year bring with it little hope. Rather, we are facing what may yet prove to be our greatest challenge.

Vainar has returned…

Even speaking the words fills me with dread. Our most ancient foe has risen and now the forces of Darkness threaten to engulf the world. Yet, hope remains.

Pieces move into place. Allies marshal forces to a common cause and even former foes may be relied up to stand with us.

At home, things return to a semblance of normality. The inquest is gone, but questions remain. I will begin at the beginning.

On the 1st of Dark Moon, 3124, I summoned my Lead Ranger team to discuss the recent events and reassure my men that we were not to be separated. In fact, the team is to be expanded. With so much new blood joining it seemed most advisable to pair experienced Rangers with the new blood. Much like the Knight-Squire relationship, but with far less menial labor.

I placed the Dwarven Sorcerer Drainer with Sergeant Que’kassars. It made a kind of sense. Young Alfiem I paired with Corporal Ravenwood. Both are elves and both archers. They will work well together. Perhaps most unusual, I placed Ranger Toma under Ranger 1st Class Thorgram’s tutelage. Both men have much to learn from each other, and a history they have yet to explore. Time will tell if either man will be the first to begin healing old wounds.

The second duty I had the pleasure of performing was the promotion of Ranger 1st Class Sarin Silverfeather to Corporal. His tenure with the Rangers began rocky, but he has shown stark improvement and continued to grow as a team player. Command is more difficult than any man understands. I wish him the best.

We also introduced a transfer, Ranger Amelia Whitestone. She spent the last three years serving in Kythros. The 1st was her official re-up date. According to records, she personally requested the Echer’Naught command. I look forward to her contributions. Pairing Ranger Whitestone with Corporal Silverfeather was convenient, but I also hope that her experience and obvious bearing will be a good match for the new NCO.
For me, the hardest impact of the month’s long investigation was that I was sequestered away from the new Rangers. As I read reports and approve patrols I recognize so few names. I promised myself that I would never be the commander who lost touch with his men. For me to utilize them best, I must understand first how they function.

Beginning on the 6th, I began assigning myself to rounds with the newest Rangers. One of the first was Dakota Afliem. Corporal Ravenwood had “administrative” duties to perform so I was able to join Ranger Alfiem on the main street route.

She is a Legacy, unusual here in Olara. More than that, I find her an intelligent and contemplative individual, if guarded. Though, we all have stories and it took me many years to be open about my own past. If she remains, she could be a great asset to the team.

Two days later, on the 8th, I joined Ben Toma after our morning prayers. He wears his faith like armor, seeking the calm in all situations. It is admirable in its way. I pray to Archanon he can retain his center in the future.
Drainar was easy to speak with as he posted guard outside the Local HQ. He speaks little, but I imagine his time is spent in study. He will be a great aid to Evoran.

The next few weeks was spent re-organizing the Corps. Many Rangers were left uncertain after the events of the past months and I had a long way to go in earing their trust and respect. Fortunately, the final month of 3124 was, for the most part quiet. A terrible herald of things to come, I suppose.

I did receive word that Sergeant Que’kassars took Corporal Ravenwood to a formal dinner at the Lamplighters Guild Hall. Clearly the good Sergeant has become far more political of late. Perhaps I should speak with him…then again, perhaps not. I trust his judgement. I have to. With so many gone, he has become my right hand. So, I will leave it be. At least Corporal Ravenwood had fun getting to know Field Marshal Von Wrangel.

Curious

That was on the 15th of Dark Moons. It was about this time that reports came in confirming what we only suspected. Shaya’Nor was on the move, planning something larger than we had at first realized. More to the point, our agents confirmed that this group of Star Watchers was reaching out to us through back channels.
I beseeched the Rangers to permit me to undertake the mission. They were leaning to tasking Artivan, but I understand he was called away suddenly. Preparations then began in earnest. Stormhammer was busy working on some new gear for the operation and I dispatched Alfred to deliver letters personally.

How he has grown. I only hope that his experiences to not leave him so hard that he becomes brittle. I am pleased to see him bond with the new Rysak Ironblood. They are a good team. Until I am certain of Rysak’s mental health, he will stand with Corporal Wolfhaven and his team (Ranger 1st Class Sir Lugard, Ranger 1st Class Gwynlyn Argus of Sun’s Crossing).

My most enjoyable, if awkward moment of the month was joining Samira and Anaxelum at the Wayfarer’s Rest on a double outing. In truth, we just traveled together; staying in compliance with the ordinance. Elyanna and I had a WONDERFUL time. I know things are difficult with Samira, but I pray she finds what she seeks. After dinner, we walked the walls. Elyanna looked like an Angel, her hair powdered with snow, her eyes sparking violet in the moonlight. I fear I am struck.

The last two weeks of preparations were frantic as forces were moved into place. Already soldiers gathered, supplies stocked and orders cut for the White Silver Wolves Mercenary company to depart for the Northern Gathers. I even received missives from Kassagore seeking aid. Rorauk Fyrforg and his Soldiers of Stahlheim had done their part for Echer’Naught. Now it was time for war.

At the same time, I gathered the heroes of Shaintar, warriors like Murvoth and Whit, spellcasters like Thaleon and Ash. All old friends and comrades alike answered my call once again. So much to do. My only real regret was spending so little time with Elyanna.

Each day I cherish her wisdom, her patience, and her love more. Archanon grant that I return from this war, for I do not wish to spend another lifetime without her by my side. Let me stand the breech this one last time, my people need me. But when this is done, I must follow my heart.

On the 31st of Dark Moons I joined the Soldiers of Stahlheim in their camp where I laid out final arrangements for the march north and was honored to give a brief speech to the men. After wh