Campaign of the Month: June 2018

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

Campaign Report 86
Korash, Army Slayer

Farspeaker, Eris Moonsilver

As relayed from Echer’Naught Alpha team under command of Sergeant Gunther Volstagg (via RFC Daynore)

Edited by Ranger Malcom, Scribe

Twenty Seventh Day of Planting Moons, Year 3126 Under the Light

Planting Moons 2nd, 3126

After discovering the destruction of the Volstagg Estate (formerly Wyvern), Alpha Team rangers fortified and encamped in the ruins while tending to the bodies of the fallen Rangers.

Planting Moons 3rd, 3126

Farspeaker Eris Moonsilver, upon informing Sir Eric Halten, Sheriff and Royal Warden, was informed to relay orders for the Alpha Team to hold position and await reinforcements. The Royal Warden was, at the time of the communication, still returning form his, self proclaimed, victory over the goblinesh marauders assaulting Rangers along the roads to Rhion. With Ranger assistance, Royal Sheriff Halten summoned reinforcements form local Olaran Wardens and dispatched his squire, and nephew, Lt. Halten along with a team of five Halten Sworn and ten wardens to reinforce Alpha Team.

Meanwhile, RFC Daynore reported that Alpha Team was engaged in fortifying their position, training, and resting from their recent ordeals. Notably, Sergeant Volstagg, having acquired an Enhanced Arcfre Handcaster from Luc Gendarre, Sworn of House Wolfhaven and Captain of the Wolf Guard, furthered his training in the art of Shooting. RFC Daynore also reported constructing a large “limberjack” for RFC Moldova, ostensibly for future animation.

Planting Moons 5th, 3126

Three days after receiving orders to hold until reinforced, the column of mounted Olarans arrived at the ruins of Volstagg Estate under command of squire Lt. Halten. Sheriff Halten’s orders were kept confidential until after the team was dispatched, but we have since learned that his mission was to hunt down Korash, the Slayer of Armies, one of Velkalar’s known associates and the suspected agents responsible for the utter annihilation of the Ranger outpost at Volstagg’s Estate. The column departed within hours heading for Stahlheim and the Bridge of the River Shanais.

Ranger Seyrs had located Korash’s tracks heading west and south. With the column mounted, Ranger Newt began following the giant’s prints in the direction of the river. Grendel, however, remained at Volstagg’s estate with Ranger scouts who accompanied the Olarans. They assessed the damage, recorded the names of the dead and, with Grendel, returned to Echer’Naught.

Planting Moons 7th, 3126

Two days later, the column reached the bridge crossing between the Fae nation of Landra’Feya and the dwarven kingdom of Stahlheim. There, Ranger Seyrs, with RFC’s Daynore and Zathlan approached the elven guards seeking to learn if Korash had used the bridge. The guards indicated no, but they had heard rumors that a “giant” encountered elven scouts near the Shanais lake, just south of the bridge.

Planting Moons 10th, 3126

Following this information, the column crossed the river and headed south west to the dwarven clanhome of Crag. There, they made contact with the local Ranger HQ three days later and received scout reports of the incident with Korash. The Rangers confirmed that dwarven guards along the border spoke with their elven counterparts confirming the rumors that Korash has forced his way through the elven lands heading for, it appeared, the Malakar Dominion by way of the north bank of the Shanais Lake.

The majority of the team, under Corporal Amaroth stayed with the Rangers. Sergeant Volstagg, and RFC Zathlan, took a room in the inn rented by Lt. Halten and his men. By all accounts, the Sergeant and the Ranger First Class shared accommodations.

Planting Moons 11th, 3126

By morning, the column was prepared to depart again, this time south into Elven lands. The trip took less than a day, with the Alpha Team and their Olaran allies finding an elven fishing village on the north bank of the lake. There, elven scouts and rangers were recovering and treating their wounded after attempting to intercept Korash as he strode through their lands. From the elves, the team learned that the Ogre had brushed them aside and strode into the lake, heading, as was believed, into Dominion territory.

On a positive note, he did not appear to be heading toward a city or fortification. If the Rangers could close his lead, they might intercept him before Dominion troops were even aware of their presence and mission.

With this information, and after consulting Corporal Amaroth, due to his knowledge of mercenary companies, and RFC Daynore, due to his local knowledge of the Dominion, Sergeant Volstagg and Lt. Halten elected to enter the Dominion via the Crag/Malak road posing as mercenaries. The column turned around again, riding north to just outside of Crag where they camped for the night. RFCs Daynore and Moldova forged documents while Sergeant Volstagg and Corporal Amaroth procured more suitable arms and armor for the Olaran wardens.

Planting Moons 12th, 3126

By dawn, the column, now posing as a mercenary company, and leaving their gear with the Rangers of Crag, rode out for the Dominion. They passed into the country later that day, with little trouble other than standard bribery and “floaters” being found in Serys’ gear. After that, they turned south and began tracking Korash.

Planting Moons 13th, 3216

Dawn the following day, they found him, not far west of the Shanais lake. Korash was sleeping in a small field, when Newt very nearly ran into him. She managed to stop the column before they gave away their position, but in their attempt to retreat, RFC Moldova’s mount caused a collision which woke the giant. As Korash was rousing from his slumber, Lt. Halten ordered Sergeant Vosltagg to send his assassin forward.

Serys took his cue, closed on the ogre even as he woke and put an explosive arrow under the beast’s helm. The shot was true, and obviously wounded Korash, but not hardly enough. As Lt. Halten and Sergeant Volstagg tried to array their men, Korash stood, took up his tower shield and mace and the smashed Serys nearly to pieces before charging into the still scrambling Olarans, scattering Rangers and Olarans like, trampling two of the wardens.

From there, the fight turned ugly for Alpha Team and the Olarans. They were too close and Korash moved surprisingly quickly. Were it not for Moldova stunning Korash with her magic, all might have been lost. With that slight distraction, Lt. Halten gave the order to “scatter” as he and Sergeant Volstagg engaged the beast in an attempt to distract and slow him.

Rangers and Olarans obeyed, each trying desperately to get clear of Korash’s mighty reach. Even so, the ogre pursued them, charging through their lines and trampling them with ease. In a last ditch effort to save his men, Lt. Halten gave the order to withdraw and charged into Korash’s legs, managing to place his blade in the gaps behind the ogres knee armor. The wound was not mortal, but it did injure and slow Korash. It also managed to change the ogres focus from smashing RFC Zathlan to Lt. Halten who hung from the back of the giant’s knee like a parasite.

Torn, Sergeant Volstagg obeyed his final order and ran to fetch Serys while Sir Halten was swatted aside, losing his sword arm in the offing. His last moment, as purported by Sergeant Volstagg and the Olarans was Lt. Halten, lying on his back, bleeding from his missing sword arm, screaming at Korash as the ogre crushed him flat under food.

With that, the battle was over. Sergeant Volstagg managed to reach some horses and the Olarans pulled Serys onto a saddle. Everyone rode out, but in the confusion, the group got separated. Most of the team managed to find each other over the course of the morning using RFC Daynore’s telepathy, but Sergeant Vosltagg was unreachable and presumed lost.

Corporal Amaroth was just about to order a search, when Sergeant Volstagg arrived, fully healed, his armor mended, but far more bitter and angry than even previously. From what little has been said, he was “visited”, but little more is known at this time.

Five Olaran Wardens, along with Lt. Halten were killed. The five Sworn and five of the Wardens survived. No Rangers were killed, though Serys was badly wounded.

Planting Moons 15th, 3126

The trip back was slower, and the team crossed the Malakar border early on the 15th and arrived back at Crag that evening. They received accommodations, healing, and their returned gear from the Rangers. Sir Halten’s men held a soldier’s Last Call at the Ranger outpost. All Rangers attended.

Sheriff Halten was informed of the death by the 14th, and by that same evening, vigils and honors were being held at his Estate in the city. The reputation of his House has been greatly improved by the death of the young squire heroically wounded an unkillable monster. Politically, it has played well for the Sheriff, though his personal feelings he keeps to himself.

Planting Moons 17th, 3126

Alpha Team and the Olarans remained in Crag as guest of the local Rangers for two days to heal and rest. On the 17th, they departed for Echer’Naught again, taking the most direct route through Eldara. The trip took nine days and occurred without incident.

Planting Moons 26th, 3126

After a month in the field, Alpha Team returned, tired and discouraged. They first reported to the Regional Headquarters, however, Colonel Wolfhaven was away at Camp Wolfhaven overseeing matters of the War in the North. After reporting to the duty officer, the Alpha Team made their way to Sir Halten’s office at his estate.

The exact transcript is unavailable, but we are aware that he is pleased with the Ranger’s performance as they were invited to his family’s keep to participate in the official funeral rights for his squire. No sooner had Alpha Team left his offer when Corporal Amaroth was dispatched to pull a month’s worth of rations. Nothing Sir Halten had said, to this point, warranted such an extended mission. We are still seeking word if Alpha Team is to be temporarily stationed elsewhere. Though, given Sergeant Volstagg’s state of mind, and the renewed conflict with Velkalar, it may be assumed that he is beginning to act irrationally.

I will send a request to Sir Halten’s office for a full mental evaluation of the team.

Alpha Team departed the city that eve and camped just north.

Planting Moons 27th, 3126

Sir Halten’s office alerted our office that he, and the Alpha Team, would be departing the city for an extended stay. They would provide security for himself and his family during the funeral of his nephew. Rangers at the gates confirmed that Sir Halten met with the Alpha Team north of town, then returned for about and hour, before rejoining the Alpha Team at the dwarven (east) gate around 10 AM. The team departed Echer’Naught again after remaining one day, and not even within the walls.

Three Notes. First, Sir Halten made an official request for RFC Zathlan’s full file. We are aware he has been in contact with her House in Galea. Though not officially under the charter of the Rangers, rumors have spread about a potential liaison between Sergeant Volstagg and RFC Zathlan. It can be surmised that Sir Halten is laying the ground work for a petition on Sir Vosltagg’s behalf. Second, though not public knowledge, we are now aware that RFC Moldova’s brother, who serves in the City Watch, has no reported to work for several days, nor has this squad. Captain Vasser has declined to request Ranger assistance. Third, around Planting Moons 5th, while Alpha Team was preparing for their hunt of Korash, rumors spread that former Ranger Evoran Que’kasaar’s tree had been attacked. I can, sadly, confirm that unknown assailants using arcfire have burned the tree and the grove. High Druidess Treesinger has reportedly left Echer’Naught, presumably to tend to the loss of Evoran’s Tree. Though little evidence exists, it is believed that Velkalar’s agents are responsible.

In response to the attack on Volstagg’s estate, Evoran’s tree, and the potential kidnapping of RFC Moldova’s brother, the Rangers in the city are on high alert. We are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of all former members of Alpha Team, and securing anyone close to those Rangers. Extra guards have been placed at their homes and Kythros has also been alerted to be watchful of an attack on former Rangers Ironblood, Zulcrum, and Afliem.

Farspeaker, Eris Moonsilver

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Campaign Report 85
Bradshaw, Bergham, and Randall

Farspeaker, Eris Moonsilver

As relayed from Echer’Naught Alpha team under command of Sergeant Gunther Volstagg (via RFC Daynore)

Edited by Ranger Malcom, Scribe

Second Day of Planting Moons, Year 3126 Under the Light

First Hunt 19th, 3126

Sergeant Volstagg reorganized his team into patrol pairs and established new patrol areas and times.

RFC Moldova and Ranger Grendel were assigned to the First (morning) shift in Low Town

RFC Daynore and Ranger Nest were assigned to the Second Shift (evening) shift in Low Town

Corporal Amaroth and RFC Nexus were assigned to First (morning) shift along Mainstreet

Sergeant Volstagg and Ranger Serys were assigned to Second Shift (evening) on the Wall.

Reports indicate that Commander Schenkle and his father’s bakery have recently seen a massive uptick in commerce due to his warhero status and the connections he has made in the city; least of which his numerous direct contracts with the Rangers of Echer’Naught. Per “rumor”, the Schenkle bakery is quickly upsetting the current power structure of the Bakers and Bread-makers Guild usurping control through sheer market share. Though at present a merely economic and political struggle, there is a the very real possibility that the unrest could turn violent. Significant sums of money are at stake, as is great political power within the city.

Of note, Schenkle has opened a secondary location primarily as a baking and delivery operation. The first such outlet branch for a local bakery. They have also contracted with local muscle to provide “security.” Troubling, I Ranger recon units have linked at least some of the "muscle’ to the goblin fight promoter, Mitty. A supposed associate of Velkalar within the city.

Trade caravans originating from the Desert Princes region continue to increase, as does the frequency of “Sun Gold”, as it has become known. In that last months, several entire grain shipments were purchased from the city stock fully by coinage stamped with the ancient symbol of the Empire of the Golden Sun. Still, all known recon efforts, save the Long Recon Team have failed to return with any relevant evidence.

Plans are currently under way to form a dedicated recon unit to establish a formal presence in the region.

First Hunt 20th. 3126

At 11 AM on the 20th, three teams, Ranger Malcom’s research team, Sergeant Volstagg’s Alpha team, and an At Large team under command of Corporal Smith gathered in the courtyard behind the Ranger Regional Headquarters. Truth be told, the teams were assembled hours in advance, all dressed in Ranger Dress Uniforms. Each member of the team was awarded a Silver Shield medal from Colonel Wolfhaven and Sir Halten, the Royal Sheriff for services in rendered in eliminating “Vainar’s Bane”, the plague corrupting and killing elves within the city. Afterwards, there was a small luncheon attended by local luminaries and reporters from the new Echer’Naught Watcher publication. On an unofficial note, both Sir Volstagg and Lady Zathlan made quite an impression on the assemble nobility, both gaining many favors and not a few invitations to parties.

It should be noted, that while we celebrate our victory of the Elven wasting plague, a new outbreak has occurred in the city of Lanthor. Our own reserves were too limited to offer more than advice on procuring their own remedy. May the Ascended have mercy on the poor elves of that metropolis. There is also more troubling news from Lanthor, a new faction, the ominously named Shadow Legion, has gained a strong foothold, consolidating many of the smaller gangs, formerly under sway of Red Store. Recent information suggests that there might be an all new Shadow War similar to our own brewing there. Great care is being taken to determine any possible links between this new syndicate and the Velkalar crime family, if any.

First Hunt 21st, 3126

Sergeant Volstagg conducted interviews with his team. Paperwork was filed to promote RFC Audric Amaroth to Corporal. In addition, it is believed that it was also on the 21st when Sergeant Volstagg received the engraved invitation of the Intermediary Corporation, Bradshaw, Bergham, and Randall. Surprising little information about this enterprise is publicly available. I leaned from Baroness Wolfhaven, and confirmed via Madame Lillithien, that Bradshaw, Bergham, and Randall is a high profile, though discreet, business which serves as a go-between for nations, powerful syndicates, companies, and royalty when direct contact would be illegal, unseemly, or impossible. They are a Holding Company for the most powerful players in the lands. And, they invited Sir Volstagg for a personal meet in the port city of Centerport, at his earliest convenience.

Sergeant Volstagg reported this to Colonel Wolfhaven, then to Sir Halten. Ultimately, he, and his team, were given leave to attend.

First Hunt 22nd, 3126

Sergeant Volstagg informed his team of the new meeting in the Malakar Dominion and set them about making preparations for a long ride west. Also, on First Hunt 22nd, 3126 RFC Audric Amaroth was promoted to Corporal and assumed the duties as XO for Alpha Team.

Sergeant Volstagg further organized his team into two Squads. First Squad (Assault)

First Hunt 23rd, 3126

In the early morning, the Alpha team departed Echer’Naught, mounted with Grendel in a heavy wagon, heading west along the Greenway Road toward Eldara. From the the E’N to Eldara was a trip of about 200 miles, taking 7 days. They reached the city by the evening of the 30th of First Hunt. In Eldara, the crew rented a barge to transport the horses and Grendel’s wagon down the Shanais River to the sea port of Eastport. They departed the capital city early on the 31st of First Hunt.

It would appear, however, that the Alpha team’s involvement with curing Vainar’s Bane plague garnered them local support from the elves. They were met with less suspicion that most travelers these days. That coupled with RFC Nazir’s efforts bridging the rift between the Olarans and the Elves within Echer’Naught have obviously gone far to improving relations between the races. At least, locally.

Golden Eagle 5th, 3126

Eldara to Easport was another trip of about 7 days, taking a slow barge south. They arrived in Eastport by river on the 5th of Golden Eagle, 3216. and immediately set out to make arrangements with the local Rangers. While it is well known that the aggreement signed with Eastport greatly restrains what, if anything, the local Ranger HQ is allowed to do, Lieutenant Even Granger’s command is oft considered one of the least capable. The reports of drunkenness, disorganization, and outright insubordinate behavior has no excuse.

Seeing that the local Rangers would be of very little aid, Corporal Amaroth established the Rangers in the outposts stables with the mounts while others, namely RFC Zathlan acquired necessary items for their mission. By reports, she procured a very passable gown to pose a noble dilettante. I am curious how that will go with her war hammer, however?

Golden Eagle 7th, 3126

Two days in that squalid mockery of an outpose would have been intolerable. Mercifully, by the dawn tides on the 7th of Golden Eagle, the Alpha team departs Eastport for Centerport on board a semi-reputable freighter.

Golden Eagle 11th, 3126

Four short days later, without incident, the freighter docks at Centerport and the Rangers disembark, without their signature cloaks and pins. Their immediate concern to find lodging happens with only minor incident. Apparently Sergeant Volstagg gets momentarily separated from the team and is beset by thugs, but manages to scare them off with little more than a throbbing skull.

Most of the team, under command of Corporal Amaroth find lodging in a suitable inn a few streets away from the seedier establishments of the wharf. The team elected to pose a mercenaries, to the point where the pacifist RFC Moldova demanded the Corporal Amaroth strike her about the face. By all accounts the Corporal did not hesitate. They managed two rooms for the team, with Grendel in the stables just below the windows.

Meanwhile, keeping to their characters, Sir Volstagg, Lady Zathlan, and their bodyman, Daynore, arrange FAR more suitable lodging in the upper parts of the city, well away from the poor and the stench of fish and sea. They spent the remainder of that day and much of the following morning seeing the sights and spreading their ample funds around in a display of wealth.

Golden Eagle 12th, 3126

Late morning on the 12th, Sir Volstagg and his entourage ventured to the established meet, which happened to be a dive bar not far from the docks. By all appearances it was FAR below the standard of their dress. Upon entry, however, they were met by a man, impeccably dressed, who announced their full names, titles, Ranger Rank, and even indicated RFC Daynore’s Adept abilites to the assembled neredowells and knuckdraggers. Much to the surprise of the team, though no one made a move to accost them, yet. The man, who would later introduce himself as Vess, offered them both a seat and refreshment.

After a passable meal, Vess got right to the point. He was an agent of Bradshaw, Berhan, & Randall. They represented a party, designated V, who wished to offer Sergeant Volstagg an cessation of all hostilities between V’s organization and all current and future members of Alpha Team (including their employer, Sir Halten and his resources). In return, V promised to offer a sizable monetary donation to the Wolfhaven Refuge for Children, The Grizhnak Olgor & Evoran Que’kasaars Memorial Library, Echer’Naught, and a number of civic works, including construction of more Housing Blocks in Low Town. Unfortunately, the deal also stated that all property, persons, personnel, territory, businesses, and properties currently held by each party would be formally granted them in perpetuity. Meaning, of course, that any prisoners, Captain Hawksclaw, would be forever lost to Alpha Team. Furthermore, this would prevent the Alpha team, or Sir Halten’s office, from protecting or even intervening should V (Velkalar) make attempts on the lives of Colonel Wolfhaven or Sergeant Ravenwood.

It did not bind the Ranger Corps as a whole, but seeing as the Alpha team has had the most success, after the deaths of Bravo team, to locate and thwart Velkalar’s efforts, and the Rangers were too occupied with the war with Darkness and rebuilding Archanaya and Mindoth’s Tower, agreeing to the deal would hobble Alpha team and Sir Halten effectively giving Velakar free reign.

By accounts, Sergeant Volstagg greatly considered signing the deal, but ultimately, he could not stand by and allow evil to flourish. So, he declined. With that, Vess touched the contract to a lamp on the table and let it burn to cinders in his fingers. Then, he thanked them politely for meeting him, closed up his papers, and departed. Before he left, he warned them that the locals “appeared restless” and that they should make a quick escape before coming to violence.

No sooner did he step away from the table, then the thugs about the room attacked. RFC Daynore at the bar, and Sergeant Volstagg and RFC Zathlan at the table sprinted for the door, overturning furniture in their haste with a room full of brigands closing in on them. Both RFC Daynore and Zathlan reached the door without injury, but Sergeant Volstagg was violently struck from behind. Just as they tumbled out the door to the tavern, Vess shouted a final warning, “Sir Volstagg, you should see to your estates.”

With that, the Rangers spilled into the streets and barely managed to lose their pursuers in the narrow alleys of the port district. Just after noon, Grendel rapped on the window of the second story room alerting Corporal Amaroth that the party had returned. Moments later, the three staggered into the room. Immediately, the Rangers began to bind Sergeant Volstagg’s wounds as he gave orders to prepare to leave. He answered few questions and forbade them from using the name of Velkalar while still within the city.

With luck, and a small fortune, Sergeant Volstagg managed to book a night passage on a smuggler’s vessel. And with that, the team departed Centerpor on the 12th of Golden Eagle.

Golden Eagle 17th, 3126

Five days later, they arrived back in Eastport without incident. There, they reacquired their mounts and elected to leave the very same day, fearful of pursuit. Rather than take the planned route home, Sergeant Volstagg elected to follow the river road north toward Eldara, but to continue north from there making for the Gather of the Broken Chains and then to Rhion. The trip would have taken about 15 days, putting them at the gather on the 32nd. Sadly, they never arrived.

Golden Eagle 31st, 3126

A day short of the Gather of the Broken Chains, the team was camped near the Shanais River when their campfire exploded, stunning the team, and plunging them in to supernatural silence. Sergeant Volstagg and Seyrs were on guard, but were caught completely unawares. The rest, save for Corporal Amaroth were in their bedrolls, unarmed.

No sooner had the blase occurred, then Orcs poured from nearby woods and began to attack the party. Grendel took the worst of it, all fighting valiantly, but the tide turned with a monster of an Orc, huge and black skinned, felled, but did not kill, Grendel. It them demanded through sign that Sergeant Volstagg should put down his arms, or the brute would execute Grendel.

Having little choice, Volstagg lowered his weapons. The others, save for Serys followed suit. Serys, with a back to Volstagg, managed to kill one of the orcs before he realized the conditions. No sooner had they surrended, then they were roughly bound, hooded and dragged a distance away. There, things took a strange turn.

Serys was hauled away from the group, un-hooded and beaten by the lead Orc. After a brief exchange, it became obvious that the massive orc blamed Serys for the death of the orcs brother. Serys admitted to “murdering” many, but could not place the orc, or his death kin. At that, the story became more clear. The Orc bandit accused RFC Zathlan of being a “she-bitch” who seduced his brother only for Seyrs to murder him.

It was at this point that Seyrs, at least, appeared to understand the situation because, by accounts, he began laughing. He informed the Orc that, A) he had nothing to do with his brother’s death, B) he too had tracked this unit to gain vengeance for his OWN sisters death, C) that he could never exact satisfaction, but the Orc could because there was one person who was involved in his brother’s death still on the team. Serys went on to explain that this person had befriended the orcs brother, then allowed his murder.

Here it should be noted that the dead orc is likely none other than Kura’Kai, wife of Dakota Afliem, explaining the orc’s confusion with RFC Zathlan. Also, he might mistake Ranger Serys for Sergeant Ravenwood.

Serys promised to give up the name of Kura’ betrayer if, and only if, the brother would allow everyone else save for himself, Seyrs, and the betrayer to leave. The Orc refused, but Seyrs challenged his honor and courage. Eventually, it was agreed that the Orc would challenge his brother’s betrayer to battle. If the betrayer won, all the Rangers would go free, unharmed. But, should the Orc win, the Rangers would be given over the warband to be abused and killed at their amusement…

As much as he could, Sergeant Volstagg, now realizing the horror of the situation, agreed. Serys indicated Sergant Volstagg as the betrayer and the orcs pulled the Sergeant to his feet, unbound him, unhooded him, and handed him his weapons. Before attacking, the Orc demanded to know if he was well enough to fight. Sergeant Volstagg affirmed, and attempted to reason with the Orc, but there was nothing he could do but defend himself from the violent assault.

The Orc used nothing but his fists. However, due to his size, skill, and ferocity, he was very nearly a match for the armed and armored Knight. However, Sergeant Vosltagg was victorious and managed to slay Kura’Kai’s elder brother in single combat. True to the orc’s word, the other orcs released the Rangers and knelt to begin preparing their leader for burial…

…when Sir Halten and his forces exploded from the woods on horseback to ride down the brigands. No orc or goblin was spared. While his men slaughtered the goblinesh, Sir Halten spoke with Sergeant Volstagg and the Olaran healers began to treat the wounded Rangers.

Sir Halten had been tracking the Rangers for a while, expecting an attack at some point. Unfortunately, when Sergeant Volstagg deviated from the established route, Sir Halten was unable to reach them in time. Nevertheless, Sir Halten congratulated the Sergeant on his peerless victory and gathered his men to return to Echer’Naught. Now on foot, he suggested that the Rangers head to Sir Volstagg’s nearby estate to rest and recuperate.

Golden Eagle 32nd, 3216

The following morning, Grendel awoke with a headache but no more worse for wear. The Alpha gathered the supplies provided by Sir Halten and proceeded on foot to Sir Volstagg (formerly Sir Wyvern’s) estate. The trip took three days.

Planting Moons 2nd, 3216

Three days later, Newt and Serys in the forward scout position crested a hill to see the former keep utterly in ruins. Suspecting a trap, Alpha Team deployed and cautiously approached the pile of smoldering rubble that was, a few days ago, a functioning Ranger outpost. There were no enemies therein, but nor were there living Rangers. Twenty four Rangers, along with six staff were brutally slaughtered, most crushed to death, a few clearly crushed slowly as in torture.

Of the keep, no two stones remained stacked. The entire keep, main hall, and walls had been toppled like children’s blocks. In the very heard of the devastation a single sky blue flag with a gold V embroidered waved lazily in the late spring breeze.

Tired, defeated, and in pain, Sergeant Vostagg posted guards, and ordered his Ranges to see to burying what was left of the dead while he contact Lady Moonsilver for orders.

Though we lack definitive proof, there is clear evidence that the destruction of the Volstagg Keep was wrought at the hands of Korash, the Destroyer of Armies, one of Velkalar. Also troubling, Seyrs recent admission. Also, the death of Kura’s brother, after those bitter events will likely be source of great anguish for the team, at the very least, Sergeant Volstagg.

Farspeaker, Eris Moonsilver

Addendum: First Hunt 20th. 3126

Prior to the Silver Shield ceremony on the morning of the 20th, Colonel Alexander Wolfhaven entered Echer’Naught’s Sacred Grove by his own request to personally oversee the transfer of former Ranger Dakota Afliem into Ranger custody. At 8 AM, citizen Dakota Afliem was remanded to Rangers to begin her two year prison sentence in Kythros to officially end, First Hunt 19th, 3128 (2019).

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Campaign Report 84
A Flower and a Cure

Report Filed 18th First Hunt 3126

Sergeant Minor Amelia Whitestone

18th of Falling Ice, 3126

RFC Zathlan, accompanied by Paladin Sebastian Surname, and our guide, Serys (a surly Alakar archer) departed Echer’Naught on horseback riding to meet us in Tar’Imas.

20th of Falling Ice, 3126

We were politely asked to leave the Gather of Fylg by the morning of the 20th. Everyone was, more or less, healed so I chose not to press the issue. Of course, not knowing what awaited us on our next mission, I tried to give the team enough time to sort their equipment while I conferred with Lady Moonsilver. Despite the utility of Farspeakers, I find the mental intrusion disquieting.

My new orders were to head west to the Aralon forest and wait for allies in the elven city of Tar’Imas. I was also under strict orders to keep our destination and mission secret. Which was easy to do considering other than “meet allies in Tar’Imas” I knew no more than my team.

After everyone saw to their gear maintenance, we gathered at our temporary shelter and were “walked out” of the Gather. That was an interesting experience. Though, I was not sorry to depart.

We marched West taking the northwest road from Fylg to Char for four days, the westernmost Guardian Gather. From there, we turned due west, travelling to just outside of Hispan in two days. Along they way, about a day outside of Hispan, my team entered into the Defiant Lands, a harsh and lawless region historically contested by the various local powers. Here, we doffed our Ranger kit and went as travelers. Per orders, we avoided the independent city. Turning north, we entered the Aralon forest.

Our greeting from the local elves was only slightly less inviting than our welcome to Fylg. These people were less hospitable than a Steiner in the Crimson Wall. Nevertheless, my passphrase, provided by Lady Moonsilver, was enough to prevent our outright execution. With no fanfare, we were escorted by our “hosts” into the elven woods and just outside the city of Tar’Imas, an ancient and well defended city. From what little I knew of this place, they had survived the War of Flame, despite Kal attempts to torch the woods. We arrived late on the 6th of First Hunt.

All in all, the trip trip took 20 days by foot. Our mounted allies were not far behind.

7th of First Hunt, 3126

The day after we arrived, our allies arrived, bringing with them a guide and my special package. First order of business was to introduce the new members to the team. Starting with Sebastian, a male, human Paladin who had recently served under the Colonel during the stand against Darkness. Considering our upcoming mission was Light oriented, I hoped his connection with “higher powers” would come in handy. Our other addition was an Alakar with connection to the local elves and a knowledge of a potential location for the Life-toched Angel’s Trumpet.

My second order of business was to pass on the “special package.” When RFC Ramshorn died, he left his sword and axe to the Colonel. After a conversation I had with the Colonel I deliberated long about who I might pass the shield on to. Ultimately, I elected to give the shield to RFC Daynore. Neither I nor Sergeant Volstagg needed the shield. RFC Amaroth could use it, but also did not necessarily require it. Of late, RFC Daynore has been useful in protecting our mages and healers, namely RFC Moldova. With this in mind, I handed him the shield with instructions that when a new member entered the team, he would pass the artifact on to that individual. Then, we set camp for the night while I discussed our plans with Serys.

8th of First Hunt, 3126

We departed by first light. Serys up front, Newt bringing up the rear. RFCs Audric and Zathlan took the flanks as we took the forest path north from the city. The elves seemed pleased to see us go.

10th of First Hunt, 3126

We arrived at a location two days north of the city in, or around, the area which Serys claims legend speaks of a tomb of one of Archanon’s first followers, right within a sacred grove. For reasons, the elves have abandoned it, letting Life take its course. How Serys knows of this place, I was cautioned not to press. Nevertheless, I ordered Sergeant Volstagg to break the team into pairs to increase our search area.

RFCs Amaroth and Daynor, Sergeant Volstagg and Ranger Newt, Grendel and Sebastian, RFCs Moldova and Zathlan; I was paired with Serys. We split up, staying in range of voice. It took time, hours, but RFC Amaroth spotted a circular glade from an arete line and alerted the team. By late afternoon, regrouped and made for the “glade”. Our unit was moving north and east, across broken terrain, crisscrossing the river in a winding path. Though more direct, it was also more treacherous. We were crossing yet another log bridge, when Sebastian lost his footing and plummeted into the river, wearing full armor. Before any of us had a chance to react, Serys pulled rope from his shoulder, tossed the end to Grendel and dove off the log into the river below. In moments, he reached the struggling Sebastian who thrashed so violently that Serys was forced to render the man unconscious. All was going well, when the rope slipped from Grendel’s hands.

Now, without anchor, Seyrs tried to maneuver both bodies to the shoreline, but fought the raging current. We, immediately back tracked and started down to them. It took the better part of the afternoon, but we managed to find them both, Serys had pulled Sebastian from the river, stripped his armor, breathed life into him, before wrapping the Paladin in his own cloak for warmth. RFC Moldova verified that the young man would live. We made camp that night.

11th of First Hunt, 3126

We resume our journey.

13th of First Hunt, 3216

It took two days, but we arrived without incident. Walking the river path, we descended ancient and weathered stone stairs. I sent Newt to scout the area and she returned with a report that the glade was a circle within the forest. There were eight stone structures, four arches framing kneeling stone statues (Paladins) and four straight standing stones. Within the center was a tomb, and a circle of flowers.

Finding no hint of danger, we sent RFC Moldova forward with Sergeant Volstagg in support. She entered the sacred glade with little issue, though indicated feeling power. With nothing doing, Volstagg entered the glade and things immediately went sideways. No sooner had Volstagg broken the boundary, when the four massive statures rose from their kneeling position and attacked both RFC Moldova and Sergeant Volstagg. Surrounded, I sent the rest of the team in to support. Serys and RFC Daynore remained behind in support.

RFC Amaroth charged in, trying to draw off the Celestial Stone Guardians. He managed one. We engaged the rest, but our weapons were of little help. Even if we could harm the statues, they almost immediately repaired themselves. From behind, Seyrs peppered them with explosive arrows which SEEMED to have an effect. Watching the battle for a time, I realized that no matter how we maneuvered, the Celestial Guardians always placed two guardians between the tomb and our forces while the others engaged. Considering how unintelligent they appeared, that was obviously programmed. And since they seemed to have a taste for RFC Amaroth, he would prove excellent bait.

I ordered my team to fall back, Serys providing cover. As I hoped, as soon as we left the circle, the Guardians resumed their vigil, two by the tomb, the others closest to our larger force. On a hunch, I sent RFC Moldova with Sebastian and Seyrs around the far side, one Paladin, one Blessed by Archonon, and our only hope of successfully recovering the flower. The others, I stacked near the rode. Simple plan. Sergeant Volstagg and I would try and take out two of the Guardian’s legs with our arcfire bombs. The rest of the team would split, Grendel vs one, the others vs the second and they would engage the remaining two Guardians. With two disabled and two under attack, I hoped the Serys could reach the flower, take it, and then Sebastian could recover it before the Guardians turned on them. Archanon willing, of course.

The plan worked, more or less. RFC Amaroth entered the sacred circle and immediately two of the Guardians attacked. I took one, Volstagg the second. My bombs did their work well. Both dropped to their knees. Unfortunately, I and Amaroth were caught the blasts. Volstagg weathered it well. The others struck and pinned the remaining Guardians. Serys broke for the flower while we held our ground. It seemed an eternity, but he did was was required, and Sebastian sprinted, vaulting the tomb grabbed the flower and escaped.

We withdrew, and once clear of the circle, the Guardians repaired themselves and resumed their post around the tomb. We took stock, and retreated.

15th of First Hunt, 3126

We arrived back at Tar’Imas two days later, Newt in the lead this time. Serys in the rear. RFC Moldova held the flower and water. We were just outside the city when I realized that the team was halted in the road. When I arrived, I found a creature, vaguely female with the body of a young child, but somehow…older. It, she, whatever, was engaged in conversation with my men. Volstagg, in particular, seemed frustrated. The creature, calling itself Eve, informed us that it, she, was not an enemy and that it, she, could aid us in returning harm. RFC Daynore contacted Eris, who contacted the…thing. In the end, Lady Moonsilver vouched for the creature and Eve led us into the city, right passed the guards. They seemed to part for this…girl.

Eve entered the sacred grove of this city, and there, we gathered into a circle. Even spoke and we rippled through space, arriving within Echer’Naught sacred grove. Lady Treesinger greeted us upon arrival. We were invited to stay within the grove, but, instead, I ordered my team back the barracks to clean, repair, and rest. Eve disappeared and we left the water and flower with the druidess. I, Sergeant Volstagg, and Seyrs went to report in, finding Colonel Wolfhaven in attendance.

16th of First Hunt, 3126

After the beating we took over our most recent two missions, I felt it appropriate to give my team some down time. Sergeant Major Stormhammer agreed to allow me to send them on Pub Patrol. More a ceremonial beat. Olaran commanders sometimes reward their best by ordering them to keep the peace within the keep, or city’s, taverns. My team was expected to break up fights, but were also allowed to drink, within reason.

I also welcomed Sebastian and Serys to the team as official Rangers of Echer’Naught. Also, I was informed by my men that someone was creating icons of the Colonel, clay, wood, pewter, and if you were rich enough, White Silver. Also, Sergeant Volstagg prevented Grendel from stealing one of the icons. Apparently, he knows nothing of commerce.

That same night, at 10PM, we arrived at the Sacred Grove to witness the ritual we sacrificed so much to achieve. The elves here were actually hospitable, but I was more interested in getting on with it. We witnessed the usual swaying, singing, chanting and magic. Sometime during the 13th hour, the Everwood bowl, the water of pureness, fine raw crysarium powder, Archanon’s Light, the Life-touched Angel’s Trumpet were all joined. Interestingly, High Druidess Treesinger gave up her station in charge of the ritual to the girl-creature Eve.

Sometime late into the 13th hour, an elf was brought into the Sacred Grove, clearly afflicted with the plague. The woman was given the water, and we all were allowed to take hammocks within the grove to wait. I admit, while first skeptical, I had one of my most peaceful night’s sleep while there.

17th of First Hunt, 3126

Early in the morning on the 17th, High Druidess Treesinger informed us all that the cure was successful. Though, full healing would take time. I dismissed my team to take the day off while I spoke with Colonel Wolfhaven, and Sheriff Halten about future plans. It was during those meetings that my approval for transfer to Kythros was accepted. Colonel Wolfhaven, Sir Halten, and I discussed the future of the team. Sergeant Volstagg has proven more than capable and, clearly, Sir Halten prefers him to me. The team has meshed well over the last months and the new additions are working well. Time will tell if they will survive as a team.

Nevertheless, my appointment was always intended to be temporary. And, with a new leader emerging in Volstagg…the time had come for me to move on. I debated calling the team together and telling them like Rangers are accustomed to doing, but time is pressing. I knew Volstagg would handle things.

Odd enough, later that evening, Sergeant Volstagg himself arrived in Colonel Wolfhaven’s office as we were wrapping up the details of the transfer of authority. I bade him farewell. It was notably Olaran. I respected that. Should he ever find himself in Kythros, I will treat him to a drink.

18th of First Hunt, 3126

I was gone by the morning, but I know that my Rangers would be meeting Sir Halten for the first time under Sergeant Volstagg’s command. I wish them well. My Hunt continues.

Final Report as Echer’Naught Alpha Team Commander

Sergeant Minor Amelia Whitestone

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Campaign Report 83
Tall Drink of Water

Report Filed 20th Falling Ice 3126

Sergeant Minor Amelia Whitestone

15th Falling Ice, 3125

The day after Trainee Grendel arrived, I assembled my team for our morning brief in the back room of the Barracks, only to realize that we could no longer meet inside due to the Ogre. So, we retired to the unsecured courtyard where I addressed the team and introduced out newest recruit, Newt.

Newt is a Brinchie merc who joined the Rangers after action fighting during the recent holding action against Shaya’Nor. On her paperwork, the 14th of Falling Ice, 3126 is her official date of duty, as with Grendel the Ogre.

Once normal introductions were completed, I explained out new mission. As has been noted, the plague referred to as Vainar’s Bane or Vengeance has burned through the elven population, particularly within the city. Over the course of two years, various research projects and the sacrifices of numerous Rangers resulted in a breakthru in which Malcom, our resident scribe, determined that the plague was, in fact, an alchemical construct, a poison as it were.

A the time, he lacked the information on combating such a weapon. But, after further research, and information gleaned during our recent food investigation, it would appear that a ritual has been constructed to create an antidote of sorts.

Most of the ingredients for said ritual have been reported as “standard”, whatever that may mean. However, two items in particular were deemed as critical: “Water of absolute pureness”, and “a sprig of Life-touched Angel’s Trumpet found on the highest peaks, in the darkest jungles, or within a forgotten glade.”

Few, if any, guidelines were offered. As Malcom explained the translations were mostly guesswork and ancient alchemical manuscripts are universally frustrating and poetic. With no further information I put it to the team what they wished to investigate first. After RFC Amaroth flipped a coin, we settled on the water.

A number of plausible ideas were offered, but the most likely was Sergeant Volstagg’s suggestion that such a think MIGHT be found on the isle of Og’M’Drakar. Having never personally visited the isle, though always wondering at the challenge, I approved the mission. There had also been reports of Tempest units spotted or encountered on the island. Regardless, this would prove to be an interesting mission.

I left Sgt Volstagg in charge of acquiring the necessary gear while I arranged “transportation” with Sgt Major Stormhammer and consulted with our library for the most recent maps of the island.

16th Falling Ice, 3126

We met before dawn the following morning. Per arrangements with Sgt Major Stormhammer, my team hiked to a location north of the city where the Sgt Major and his team were setting up an Arcfire Teleportation device. RFC Amaroth questioned the Ranger’s posession and use of such a device. In truth, there are many among the upper echelons who dislike use of arcfire, particularly Col Wolfhaven. However, high monetary cost aside, I have read reports which indicate the utility and accuracy of this device in particular.

So, I assembled my team in the ring of arcfire pylons while the Sgt Major powered up the machine.

Our raiding party consisted of:
Sgt Minor Whitestone
Sgt Volstagg
RFC Amaroth
RFC Moldova
RFC Daynore
Ranger Newt
Trainee Grendel

Sir Stahn has been pulled for active roster, RFC Zathlan is on medical leave.

The device fired, and my team was teleported, rather violently, to a location just south of the southernmost Guaridan Gather, Fylg. We were met by a Defender of the Gather, an Orc who never bothered to give his name. So too, we were “inspected” by a Shaman, female Orc, who seemed to allow our passing.

Once the inspection was completed, we were led through the Gather to a location north and just inside the outermost ring-wall. There, we were told to wait in a small, stone structure, a crude imitation of a human dwelling. I focused on prepping my gear. The others amused themselves, while Grendel waited outisde.

Just after dark on the 16th, we were summoned by the Orc and led out of the Gather to the bank of the Lake. There, we began a short few hour run around the south-west bend of the lake to a location away from the Gather. The hope, as I understand, was to avoid detection by any enemy, see Tempest, forces on the island.

One the spot was chosen four Orcs lowered a wide, flat bottomed boat into the water and my team, Grendel included, boarded. We were ordered to sit silently while the Orcs gingerly rowed us across, making sure to make no noise in the effort. I am impressed with their skill and discipline.

It took hours to reach the far side. We arrived sometime in the 13th hour.

17th Falling Ice, 3126

Beaching the boat on the sandy shore, I sent Newt ahead to scout out landing while the team gathered their gear and prepared to offload on the beach. We never got the chance. Newt had barely reached the berm when about 60 yards insland, arclances opened up on our position.

Most of my team was struck, though not badly. Two the Orcs were killed instantly, a third mortally wounded. I ordered the team to seek cover behind the berm as tracer fire lit the night sky. Then I heard the horn. So much for the Element of Surprise.

Even as we hit threw ourselves down in the sand, Newt flow over head, in flames, headed for the lake. She doused herself in the water, before being plucked from the lake and thrown to safety by Sgt Volstagg.

Pinned as we were on the beach, ever second brought enemy reinforcements closer. Our enemy were sitting in a rough, wooden tower across a fairly clear killing field. Three arclancers.

I sent Newt around the flank to try and scale the tower. I ordered Grendel and the Orc to wait for her distraction before rushing the tower. Volstagg, Amaroth and I would make a zigzag run, cover to cover, to try and draw fire away from Newt. Daynor and Moldover would provide ranged and magical assistance.

On my order, Newt took off and the distraction squad broke cover. We ALL came under immediate and accurate fire. Newt took hits, Volstagg was riddled with arcfire and one crysalite punched straight through Amaroth, armor and all.

My shield was cut to ribbons as I took the center path toward the tower. But, we had numbers and sheer dumb luck. My team survived, if barely, the enemy fire and Newt reached the tower, though she was, again, in flames.

As soon as she reached it, I ordered an all out assault. My plan of her climbing the tower and engaging the arclancers in melee did not work, but, to her credit, rather than put out the flames, she actually used herself as a living torch to light their tower on fire. Hell of the thing.

The rest of us assaulted the wooden supports, hacking furiously at the bindings while Grendel suppressed the arclancers. Daynore managed to drop one of the arclancers with a bolt, and distract a second.

We had almost managed to bring the tower down when one of the arclancers hit a kill swith immolating himself and his comrades in an arcfire cataclysm. Though badly singed, we all survived the blast.

The Orc fell back to the boats to seek reinforcements from the gather. My team took a few moments to quaff healing potions and tend to wounds, Newt being mostly burn tissue before we formed up and struck out inland.

Tempest forces had been alerted to our presence, but they did NOT know our destination. That gave us a chance to reach the sacred spring located on the map I had procured. Whether we would be able to get out again, that was a the question.

We hiked for about 5 hours. The terrain was savage, and wild. I could see the strain the magic of the place put on Daynore and Moldova