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
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. Even I could feel the energy of the place, chaotic and oppressive. Just after mid day, we arrived at the location indicated on the map and I could feel the change in the atmosphere. Things here felt, calmer, more…alive…
At the center of a glade was pool of pure, crystal clear water fed by a spring of melted snow… The first thaw of spring, fresh, untouched snow. It could get no more pure.
I stepped forward to fill the whitesilver canteen I had procured from Stormhammer when I felt a heavy hand on my shoulder. Sgt Volstagg nodded to Moldove. “She should do it. She has never taken a life.” I was impressed by the wisdom of the thought.
So, without comment, I passed the canteen to her, and ordered the team to spread out and form a perimeter. She seemed a bit unsettled, but, resolved. I could hear her praying to Archanon, odd, I never knew she had faith. And then, she dipped the canteen in the water, filled it to the bring without actually touching the pool. And it was done.
We were about to form up when Daynore asked whether that damned flower might also be located here. I ordered a five minute search. We found nothing, though our scout Newt alerted us to advancing Tempest troops.
Immediately we turned south and headed for the nearest beach. Speed was of the essence. We travelled another two hours before Newt fell back to warn us that the Tempest forces were setting up a wide search grid. The look on Volstagg’s face confirmed my worst fears. Not knowing where we had gone, they saturated the countryside in small teams working a careful search pattern that eliminated any real means of escape.
We had to punch out. Volstagg agreed. And so began the mad, harrowing run for the beach. We ran for over two hours, encountering Tempest ambushes every few minutes. Arclancer tracer fire light the forest, starting fires and shattering trees. Everyone was hit. Volstagg, to his credit shielded our most vulnerable members.
And, miraculously, we made it to the beach, and ALMOST escaped intact What happened next, I can only report as it was reported to me.
I had just hit the beach when an arclancer caught me from behind. I went down and my world went black. So too, Volstagg went down. I think Moldova as well.
Even as our bodies hit the sands, Orcs rose from the water where they had lurked for…hours? They rushed the Tempest forces closing on our position. Even as the Fylg Defenders engaged the Tempest, more Orcs threw sand blended covers off boats and ushered us onboard, dragging the fallen. As their men died on the beaches, we were rowed to safety.
Once on the far side, late on the 17th, we were again taken to the small, human barracks and our wounds attended to. Here, RFC Amaroth took command and acted ably.
20th Falling Ice, 3126
I and the others remained unconscious until early on the 20th. It has taken some time to recover, but I am well enough to move now, and so file this report. While I was out, Daynore contacted Lady Moonsilver and delivered our report.
I must say, Sgt Volstagg’s suggestions and willingness to protect his team, RFC Amaroth stepping up to command in our absence, RFC Daynore taking care to report with me out of commission, RFC Moldova’s actions during battle and her action at the spring, Newt’s selfless act by using herself to burn out the enemy, even Trainee Grendel following orders and holding position until commanded…I believe they are now ready.
That said, I have received orders to wait until the team is ready, I would say two more days. After which, I must take the team out and head west. A new ally and RFC Zathlan will meet us at our new location.
I will give Tempest one thing, they know how to fight like Olarans. Come to it, I am not sure in an all out war we can win. Not without help. I fear only the Kal Empire might have the military might to stop them. That is a sobering thought.
Sergeant Minor Amelia Whitestone