Red Wolf 18th, 3127
So, it would seem that we are to return, once again, into the west. I fear that Sergeant Grendel might have an apoplectic attack. Though I have only heard of in rumor, comments, I gather Alpha Team’s mission into the desert was traumatic for him. RFC Ranna seems to take it better, though she is made of sterner mental fortitude.
Red Wolf 1st, 3127
By the evening of the 1st, I and Kenzie were in the Echer’Naught “Memorial” hospital. Though, all the locals still call it the Red Lamp for some reason. Though we were in different wings, regular visits from Ingrid kept me informed on Kenzie’s progress. Thank the Ascended, she was healing well.
All being equal, I am impressed with the service at the Hospital. Though, I as surprised by the large number of “herbalists” and “healers” over your typical Priest/Druid arrangement. It was also the cleanest room I have ever seen. They boil everything!
Kenzie and I both remained in the hospital for three days. The magic healing at the ambush site was more than enough with the best rest and the ministrations of the city’s finest nurses.
Red Wolf 4th, 3127
We were released in the early morning. Ingrid was there to escort us home. The barracks were nice. Though, I’ve heard that married Rangers are allowed “off-base” housing. Maybe I’ll ask one of the more studious Rangers to inquire the official rules and regulations to that ordinance?
I did find that the rest of the Rangers were assigned to light duty. Basic patrols, paperwork, gear maintenance. Hours of mind numbing boredom. If I didn’t know better, I would think we were being punished. Then again, I fear this is a hallmark of all militaries.
If I ever get too frustrated about the drudgery, I just go watch what the poor City Watch or Olaran Sworn get put through. There is not enough money in the world.
Red Wolf 4th-16th, 3127
Most the group scurried around handling their own affairs. Ingrid went to the Sacred Grove and had an “experience.” When she returned to the HQ, she seemed confused or perplexed. Seems she needed to seek spiritual advice. So, she requested a personal meeting with Captain Hawksclaw.
Aronzo appeared from whichever shadow he was hiding within. I wondered why he was conspicuously absent from our “training.” He declined to explain.
Kenzie spent time recovering. We visited her menagerie of animals. And spent quality time together.
Now Sergeant Grendel and RFC Ranna spent some time together, but I cannot say who is more frustrated. Whatever issues they have, they better get sorted before one or the other loses it when it counts.
I’m not sure what the Explorer does on his free time other than drink and tinker. If it makes him happy. Though, I fear I may be a bad influence on him.
Sssahliissstah…I’m not entirely sure what she does. I saw her with another Dregordian. That one looked high on floaters. Sssvaren? His name sounded like a lot of hissing followed by gibberish.
I think Blackstone made the most progress of all of us. Negotiations with his bride to be seem to be going well. So well in fact, that rumors spread Alpha Team was going to be tasked with escorting Blackstone to the Black Mountains as an official envoy of Stahlheim. I think the stress of command is getting to Grendel. Soon as he heard, he seemed to age.
Funnier yet, I hear that Blackstone had sat down with Sergeant Grendel specifically to address this very mission when the official orders came down. I would have paid good coin to see that.
Red Wolf 16th. 3127
Funnier yet, I hear that Blackstone had sat down with Sergeant Grendel specifically to address this very mission when the official orders came down. I heard he ventured down to the Wayfarer’s Rest where the ogres live just to tell Grendel in person. I would have paid good coin to see that.
Later in the morning, Ingrid spoke with Captain Hawksclaw about unit history. She said something about a massive presence of pure Life energy within Echer’Naught’s Sacred Grove. After which, she returned and said something about a Phoenix Moth. Apparently the Moth was some sacred creature and that is why Alpha Team’s patch bore the sign of the Moth… I learn something new every day.
Word on the streets the Lamplighter’s Association had a big soiree up at their manor house. I noted a white horse-drawn carriage clattering over the cobbled streets late on the 16th pulled by six gray horses. Pulling away from the Wolfhaven Manor. Which, in and of itself, means little. But the scary white masked and heavily robed shadows confirmed that the carriage belonged to Lady Moonsilver. I suppose the Rangers are still concerned with Andak-Gol Ivar ki Novri and his merry band of murderers. I figured it would be unlikely for the Lady to attend such an event without her esteemed husband.
Red Wolf 17th, 3127
We were all about, doing our usual, when Lady Moonsilver contacted us each and ordered the team to meet the Echer’Naught (local) HQ. I assumed, as I figured the others did, that this was in regards to our upcoming mission into the west. To my surprise, we had another mission. This one in the city. I think this would be my first ACTUAL Echer’Naught mission. As a member of the Echer’Naught Rangers, I was excited for the opportunity.
We all gathered in the Outpost’s Library as the entire unit cannot fit in the Captain’s small office. Apparently, Captain Hawksclaw received word that a local gang, the Storm Guard, were operating out of a warehouse in middle town, or the low town side of that district. Apparantly, the Storm Guard gang were also behind, or at least associated, with the theft of the King’s gold. Despite most of the gold being recovered, most of the operation escaped. And I also heard word that a Trainee unit was ambushed outside the city. I never got the details, but a group of Training NCO’s were killed.
Before we began, however, Captain Hawksclaw promoted Corporal Grendel to Sergeant.
He seemed shocked, but resolved to do his duty. After that, the real work began.
Captain Hawksclaw had made arrangements with Captain Vasser of the City Watch. I’ve worked with them a bit, stalwart men, if surly. The City boys would handle our perimeter. Meanwhile, Alpha Team and Beta Team would breach the warehouse hideout. About that time, Lieutenant Wolfhaven entered. Odd, though, I don’t remember seeing him wear any rank. In fact, other than his White Silver Boar Spear and his cloak, he bears no trappings of rank or status.
He arrived well informed. Outlining intelligence on the warehouse, blueprints. He also informed us that his team would enter the warehouse through a sewer grate in the floor of the building. While we provided the “loud” entry, his team would come up below and behind the gang. They would be caught between us, with the Watch on our flanks to round up any stragglers.
It was a sound plan. Aronzo would deploy an explosive at the front door. Something called a “Mad Bomb?” I’d never heard of such a device, but Hawksclaw seemed giddy, and I do believer the Explorer was a bit aroused at the prospect. Clearly, this device has a history.
I was second through the breach created by the bomb. My job was to distract and engage. Something I am uniquely suited in doing. Then, after me, Grendel and the rest of the team, with Ranna bringing up the rear. The Explorer would be stationed opposite the building on a second story roof. Better angle for his shots.
It was then I suggest bringing along Volstagg. I know Grendel disliked the beast, but he has proven useful, I know Kenzie would love it, and, to be honest, I feel kinda sorry for the bear being couped up like that.Captain Hawksclaw agreed, and that was that.
Stepping oustide, we noted a huge, and unexpected storm, had appeared as if by magic. Rain poured down, reducing visibility and quickly clearing the streets. We all went about gathering our gear and by late afternoon, arrived in a warehouse a few blocks away. Captains Vasser and Hawksclaw presided, their teams prepping for war. Sergeant Major Stormhammer, himself, oversaw equipment and logistics. Clearly this was a big deal. Of Beta Team, I saw nothing, but that does not surprise me. Other than Lieutenant Wolfhaven, I have never even seen their faces. The assignment strikes me as a lonely one, but I suppose there are those who gravitate to anonymity.
RFC Ranna was also assigned another “artifact” from something called the "Vault. Apparently, there exists a repository of weapons and armor collected from fallen members of Alpha Team. If that was not morbid enough, occasionally, acting members were issued some items as a subtle reminder of how likely they were to die and have their remains added to the macabre collection.
By dusk, we were suited and ready. Alpha Team made their way through the empty streets as the sun’s light died. In the twilight of dusk, I covered the Explorer as he hauled himself onto the opposite roof and crawled into position. From my perch, I could see Alpha Team in the shadows moving into place. Around the warehouse, gang members, disguised as homeless, lay about in alleys, and doorways. One man, covered in tattoos smoked outside the main entrance.
All we waited for now as Aronzo to trigger the door.
And trigger it he did. I only caught movement as the "mad bomb bounced once, then detonated in a fireball which nearly blew me off the roof across the street. For a good five seconds I was blind, deaf, and dumb. The resulting shock wave ripped through the streets, blowing down stalls, and rolling the guards right out of their doorways. When the smoke began to clear, the central section of the warehouse, clear to the rafters was simply gone. The cobblestones were cracked and blackened. Of the guard, I saw no sign.
Before the enemy could recover, I stepped up to leap into action, when the Explorer barked that he spotted explosives being tossed in the wide hole of the front wall. Anyone going in that way would trigger the mines. So, I changed tack, dropped to my left and buzzed the team in the alley, alerting them to the danger, before diving into the hazy, smoke filled interior.
As I darted inside, I caught glimpses of the azure blue of storm-fire weapons. At best speed in the confines, I skimmed the dusty floor, before rising to the center of the room, then dropped down again as weak and dazed fire tried in vain to track me.
Almost instantly, the wall somewhere to my left exploded inward, and I could see vague shapes pouring in through the haze. In front of me, arcfire traced overhead, punching through the shooters in the loft. One body landed nearly on top of me. Behind me, to the right, sound and motion exploded and men began to die.
As for me, well, mostly I tried to desperately to stay out of any direct lines of fire. The few who staggered to close were easily picked off, but mainly I controlled the center of the warehouse as Alpha Team breached from my left and Beta from behind and the to the right.
I could see some of the team getting struck by glancing blows of Stormfire, but I did not see a single person go down. Late into the fight, Sssahliissstah appeared, but almost instantly the order was given to withdraw. Across the street, the Explorer took a bad hit, but rolled, re-acquired and dropped the ganger.
And that quickly it was done. We exited the carnage and RFC Ranna sniped a few fleeing members before the all clear was sounded. All told, the fight lasted less than a minute. In that time, we blew nearly half the warehouse, killed 22 and Aronzo captured 2, while the watch captured another 3.
Captains Hawksclaw and Vasser arrived to observe the devastation. It was…bad. Bodies lay torn and flung about, some even hanging limp from the rafters. Volstagg was dragging a half eaten corpse, exciting showing his kill to the team, before depositing it at Kenzie’s feet. The warehouse was in ruins. Were it not for the rain, it might have caught fire. Funny that.
As we stood just taking in the sheer brutality, there was a loud creak, then a crack, and then the final supports gave way and the warehouse imploded into a pile of smoldering rubble, burying the wounded and dead. Immediately, city engineers marked off the rubble and mine field, and began clearing away and pulling out bodies. Our work was done.
After a quick moment to heal minor wounds, rack our gear, wash, and climb into clean clothes, we all exited our staging warehouse into a crisp, cool-ish night, fresh from the easing rain. Sergeant Major Stormhammer invited us all down to the Hammer and Anvil for ales. Kenzie, Ingrid, and I took a quick moment to return Volstagg to the Sacred Grove before joining the team for one round. After which, we retired for our own private party in the dwarven inn across the street.
Red Wolf 18th, 3127
By morning, Alpha Team was back in the barracks and making preparations for another long journey into the west.
Here we go again.
P.S. I DID hear a funny rumor that the main gatekeeper we blasted in the initial explosion wasn’t destroyed in the blast. The Watcher says that his body was hurled two blocks and crashed through the second story roof into a man’s bedroom. That poor sod was mid coitus with his young mistress when the corpse killed the mood. He is suing the Rangers for damages, and there might be civil suits. His wife was none-too please, nor was the mistress’ husband.