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

Campaign Report 108

Celebration in the Clouds

Steelwing

Falling Ice 27th, 3127

Well, I am now a Ranger. But, we’ll get to that…

Dark Moons 32nd, 3126

I woke beside Ingrid. Can a heart love two women? Perhaps. As much as I wished to stay her, I could almost feel Kenzie needed my help. So, with the sincerest apologies, and serious regret, I took off in search of the wild woman. She was difficult to find, but it seemed she’d had quite the night. As much fun as it might have been, I cannot say I am sorry to have stayed in with Ingrid. I would not have missed it.

Kenzie wound up in Middle Town, in some Ranger’s flat. I knocked on the door, to be met by a man in his small clothes. Beyond, half dressed men and women lay everywhere. It would appear that these Rangers know how to party. Excellent. When I asked for Kenzie, the man shouted to the room if there was anyone named Kenzie within. He did not even know her name?!

Still, she appeared, looking confused and beautiful. Her joy at seeing me lifted my heart. So happy was she to leave, she almost forgot her kit. Once everything had been collected, I invited her to break fast with me.

We headed a few blocks over to Schenkle’s Bakery. I have heard good things. Apparently, the proprietor’s son, Eric Schenkle, is the commander of the Echer’Naught Militia and married to a former Ranger, Sarah. More to the point, anyone asked swears by the bakery’s sweet breads. So, we waited in line, and managed to get some hot, sticky buns.

After which, we sat on a wall and watched the busy traffic on Main Street, or the Greenway Road, as it is called. Echer’Naught is bustling with peoples from all over. Quite exciting. Not unexpected, about a quarter of everyone we saw wore some shade a green cloak. I suppose that makes sense. It is the Regional Headquarters.

While we sat, I asked how Kenzie was doing. She is not very forthcoming, but I learned that she felt she must leave her animals behind. As I feared. Seeing her sad cut me to the quick. So, I offered her my amulet. No doubt, I broke some ancient, sacred taboo of my people, but…I cannot watch a woman cry. She seemed pleased. Someday, she will have her own means of communicating with her horse Diego, and her bear, Volstagg. On that day, she may return the amulet to me. Twin feathers, one of my own, and one of my guardian eagle, Aetos.

Once finished with our sweets, I invited Kenzie back to my room at the Cloak and Pin. Some entrepreneurial soul had converted their home into a hostel for travelling Rangers. There were two such in the city, The Cloak and Pin, and the Sword and Bow. Both catered specifically to the Rangers and served as an overflow for the barracks. Only Rangers assigned to the city stayed there anymore.

When we arrived, we found Ingrid, looking lovely in the morning, sitting at breakfast in the main hall. She had a certain glow about her. Kenzie and I joined her, and we all had a warm meal together. Afterwards, the ladies decided to go shopping, so I joined them. Kenzie asked me to manage her funds, which I was more than happy to do. Together, arm in arm, we shopped till I nearly dropped.

I must say, while I am not much for the crowded streets and claustrophobic holes these Olarans call shops, I quite enjoyed helping the women into…and out of their various dresses. Ascended bless me.

Just about noon, we all joined up with the rest of Alpha Team at the Regional Headquarters. As usual, the Regional headquarters was bustling. Rangers training in the yard, the barracks a hive of activity. Overhead, banners and streamers flapped in the chill winds, and all in the mighty shadow of the beacon tower. Entering through the back, we found the HQ reasonably warm. Fires burned in hearths in every hall and room. Ranger guards stood at sharp attention near every door. Green, lush carpet, flowed from the back door up to the wide, ironwood double doors of the Colonels office.

The inestimable Colonel Anderson was on hand to provide a briefing. Also in the room, the Ranger’s Chief Investigator, Lt. Barand and his Adept. Col. Anderson allowed the Investigator Barand to open the discussion. Again, most of the technical information was beyond my understanding. However, I understood that the Tempest mercs were using some blend of alchemy, stormfire and magic uncommon to Shaintar. Though, the Ranger team had been unable to learn much in such a short time. All they seemed to grasp was that these mercs used this blended magic to coat the lead with gold.

Also, the operation was no more than six months old. Though well funded, based on the eclectic variety of equipment unearthed at the farmhouses, the Rangers doubted whether these mercs served Tempest directly. Even so, it was clear that someone was making good coin selling Tempest tattoos on the black market. Red Store? Perhaps. Or, perhaps Tempest had their own growing underworld empire. Whatever the case, magic tattoos would clearly be a new threat.

Then, they spoke of about Sir Halten, the Royal Sheriff. I gather he is the King’s Warden in this city? Fairly highly placed, and not too friendly with the Rangers. Corporal Sssahliissstah, Ranger Aronzo, and the Ranger team had managed to recover about 80% of the stolen gold. 20-15% were missing. However, it is unclear how much was lost during the alchemical “process.” Colonel Anderson assured the Rangers that he would mollify the Royal Sheriff. 80% was better than nothing?

With his briefing complete, Colonel Anderson dismissed Lt. Barand and his Adept. Once the room was clear, he informed Alpha Team that they would no longer be reporting directly to Sir Halten. It appears that the Royal Sheriff dislikes non-humans? The previous command element of the Alpha Team consisted of primarily humans, Olarans, and nobles. Now that we are led by Ogres and Dregordians, it seems the good sheriff wants nothing to do with us. Funny that.

Colonel Anderson also informed the team that someone named Gracelyn Moldova had given birth on the 29th, of Dark Moons, just a few days ago. He said that she was waiting on Grendel and Ranna at the Wolfhaven Manor. Only later did I learn that RFC Moldova was actually a surviving member of the previous incarnation of Alpha Team. She retired to begin her family. Her lover, as it were, was ALSO a previous member of the team, a Sergeant in fact; second in command. He had disappeared during a recent battle. Rumors say that he was seduced by Flame, though no one can say for sure. Grendel seemed overjoyed to hear of the birth. Audren Bartholemew Amaroth. Well, best wishes I suppose.

After delivering this news, the Colonel asked me to make a decision on the request he had made before. Would I join the Rangers. Since flying across this team, I had considered the question. I have never been much for following orders. I left the aeries mainly because I felt that hiding up on our perches till we were hunted to extinction to be sheer folly. I never joined any of the hunting wings because I couldn’t stand the preening peacocks all pecking for fame and glory.

But, after last night? And with the hope of many more…how could I say no? Despite my previous notions, the Rangers make some of the best fighters, and lovers, I have met. So, why the hell not.

With the Team chanting “One of Us,” I accepted the offer to join the Rangers, though I declined the horrid cloak. I mean, wings? Still, the pin looks nice pinned there on my chest. I’ll fetch some green cloth and make a nice sash.

Now a member of the team, I was permitted to learn of the new mission. We were to escort a high value noble, Lady Nexus Zathlan Volstagg, Sergeant in the Ranger Corps to the city of Almahrad. I learned that Sergeant Zathlan was a former member of this team, as was her husband, Captain Volstagg. He was already in Almahrad heading up the Ranger Outpost there. The lady, and her three children were to be our highest priority. The security on this mission was so high, we were not even told when we would be leaving. Only, soon, and as soon as the snows thawed.

Along with our team would be another group led by Sergeant Tina, a goat…are they kidding? The, um, goat’s team included two other members, Tiny and Max. Their mission was to recover a pair of mules…

Is this right? Mules?

Muriel and King?

Bizarre people, these Rangers.

We were sworn to the greatest secrecy about the upcoming mission. Apparently there was great fear that the “enemy” would make some attempt on the life of Lady Zathlan. Prior to this super secret mission, we were all being sent to training.

Apparently, Alpha Team of Echer’Naught’s Rangers are a cavalry unit. Everyone, aevakar included are required to be proficient horsemen. Of all the absurd things. See, this is why I’m not a joining. But, I am a man of my word. I like how they failed to mention the whole horse part until AFTER I accepted. But, oh well. I’ve had plenty of practice riding…

We were dismissed and told to return here in the morning to begin out training. With free time, I invited the ladies out to the Autumn Spring for a proper date. I hadn’t been to the Spring in…years. Just inside the Elven gate of Echer’Naught, the Spring is sung from five great Everwoods. At the base of the center tree pools a fresh spring. The water is purported to have great healing and magical qualities. There is a small library in one corner, and a soothing atmosphere.

Kenzie and Ingrid seemed to quite enjoy themselves. I more enjoyed watching their delight at the new experiences. Then we retired to my room, which would sadly be out last night together until we departed the city. I have become accustomed to their naked bodies snuggled with mine beneath my wings. If my choice to become a Ranger gets me killed, it will be worth it for this. All we managed was sleep, but that is fine.

Dark Moons 33rd, 3126

We all arrived at the rear quad of the Echer’Naught Regional Headquarters. The morning was brisk, our breath steamed in the air. Colonel Anderson personally came out to meet us. I gather Alpha Team are given certain perks. At any rate, he welcomed us, and introduced our training Sergeant, a taciturn dwarf named…whatever.

Once the Colonel left, the dwarf explained that, with all due respect to the Colonel, our training would not be easy, and that he expected nothing less than perfection. At this, my dearest Kenzie made an honest observation which irked the dwarf. He proceeded to make us all drop and give 20 pushups. And thus began our training. After that, we were ordered to run to the top of the beacon tower and back. Last man had to much latrines.

We took off running, actually running on foot. Kenzie and Ingrid making a good showing. Ranna and Corporal Sssahliissstah also keeping pace. After ten flights of stairs we emerged on top of the Beacon Tower. After all the years of winging through this region I cannot believe I never ventured to the top of the tower?! The view is stunning, even for an Aevakar. I wonder if I am allowed to jump from the tower?

I also noted the three groups patrolling the summit. Around the perimeter were Ranger scouts. Guarding every entrance and exit, dour Echer’Naught City Watch, in their gray and black tabards. And, around the great beacon itself, the massive iron pot piled high with logs, pitch and tar…gaudily dressed warriors more suited to a posh military parade that actual guard duty. Feathers, really? I learned later that these are members of the Lamplighters Association of Echer’Naught. Legend holds that the local order was founded by the original garrison of Echer’Naught when the city passed from a strictly military outpost, to a “civilian” administration. Despite their haughty air, and garish dress, the Lamplighters have been manning the tower for centuries.

Well, back down we went, and out of breath, arrived back at the Sergeant who was glowering as we came. Sadly for him, Corporal Grendel was the last to arrive. I hear he mucked latrines for days. After that, we were divided up. The Ogres were sent to the Church of Light infirmary to learn the basics of healing. The rest of us were sent to the Stockyards to learn how to ride a horse…

And so, our days went. Wake. Exercise. Train. Quick meals in between. At night, clean gear or stand watches. The worst part! Because I was not officially a Ranger, and not a guest, I was given quarters in the barracks. Kenzie and Ingrid were given lodging elsewhere. Cold, bitter nights indeed!

Still, we all made a good showing and after a couple weeks, even I could stay mounted without needing to use a flap here or there. Kenzie and Ingrid both enjoyed talking to the horses, though I gather neither were particularly good conversationalists.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, Corporal Sssahliissstah and Blackstone managed to acquire nice suits of armor. She dregordian scale from a local shop, Gorli Glamrinson Works. I have no idea where Blackstone got his dwarven plate.

Falling Ice 12th, 3127

Two weeks later, we graduated basic horsemanship training! Happy New Year! I was sore in places I never knew existed. In retrospect, I’m glad I was not sharing a bed with Kenzie and Ingrid. I don’t look so good bruised and battered. We celebrated as a group, but mostly we rested that eve.

Falling Ice 13th, 3127

In the morning, we were all summoned by the unit Adept, Lady Moonsilver. Though her touch was gentle, I sense that she is far more powerful that she may appear. Colonel Anderson was happy to report that the snows had thawed and the roads were now passable. Corporal Grendel was ordered to prepare for two weeks of travel, but to do so quietly. Again, secrecy was paramount. We were to gather again at the local HQ at 9PM the following day, the 14th. There we would gather our horses and leave under cover of night.

I volunteered to escort Kenzie to the Sacred Grove where Volstagg the Bear was being kept. When we arrived, we found her friend in mortal combat with another bear, this one we learned was named Kujo and companion to a Sergant Murvoth who was off fighting in the north with Colonel Wolfhaven. With my pendant nestled against her chest, Kenzie was able to speak with her friend. She explained he needed to stay while she went out on a mission. Then, she tried to make friends with Kujo, my brave but reckless girl.

Fortunately, Volstagg had better sense and she was saved from herself. With that, we worked to make preparations with the rest of the group. Honest, i was just happy to be on the road again and sharing a warm bedroll with two beauties.

Falling Ice 14th, 3127

Just before 9 in eve, we all arrived at the Local Ranger Headquarters. Understand, as Echer’Naught is a Regional Headquarters, there are two separate organizations operating out of the same city. Confusing? Yes, but necessary to handle the hundreds, or thousands, of green cloaked warriors swarming the city. Entering, I saw a plague which stated “Established 3122” and then a small list of names:

Captain Gerald Manning
Colonel Alexander Wolfhaven
Captain Rah-Sahn Hawksclaw
Sergeant Evoran Que’kasaars
Sergeant Amelia Whitestone
Captain Gunther Volstagg

So, we stepped oddly quiet main street into a well cobbled alley between the Outpost and the building next door. A few steps down stood a pair of guards flanking a heavy door. Oddly, the door opened at our approach and we stepped into bustling common room. If I did not know already, I would have believed this to be some large in, except for the heavily armed Rangers everywhere. As we walked across the open floor toward an opposite door flanked by more guards, I saw to my right a long, open building. In the center, low stone fire pits, glowing warmly in the chill. Between them, long tables busy even this late. Balconies overhead thronged with Rangers talking, reading, laughing, training, smoking, drinking, or just…being. At the back of the room, far to my right, massive doors, barred now, but postern doors occasionally opened to admit a lone Ranger being chased indoors by the chill. Outside, I could smell fresh hay, mud and dung. A rear quartyard?

We were immediate permitted into the office, the door plague, wooden but gilded in silver lettering, stating this to be the office of Captain Rah-Sahn Hawksclaw. The same name on the plaque outside. As it happens, Captain Hawksclaw was not in the office this late, this eve. Instead, we were met by a kind faced lieutenant who introduced us to a beautiful elfin woman sitting in rich, thick furs. She smiled beatifically when we entered, and greeted Corporal Grendel and RFC Ranna. Old comrades greeting each other after an absence.

I’ll be plucked if there aren’t members of this team everywhere! With Lady Volstagg were two servants, each holding a child. Of the children, there were three. One larger, dark haired boy, and two newborns, twins. They took much after their mother. Corporal Grendel and Ranna bantered with Lady Volstagg, but the Lieutenant ushered us out quickly, time being of the essence. Outside, we met the other members of the team. And yes, they were goats. Tina, barded and wearing a custom green cloak and pin, Tiny, the size of a large pony, and Max, a normal goat with two lazy eyes who was actually in the process of eating some poor sods tack.

Tina snapped to a crisp goatlike salute and followed us out to the main road. There, we found an ornate black carriage pulled by four horses. Apparently the heavily armored carriage had been lent to the team by the self-same Sheriff Halten. He seemed to have a good report with Captain Volstagg, the lady’s husband.

Once Lady Volstagg was loaded and comfortable with her retinue, Corporal Grendel squeezed into the driver’s seat meant for two men, and RFC Ranna scaled the back, taking both footmen’s posts. the rest of us mounted up, Kenzie on Diego, her warhorse, and Blackstone on Tiny… Though, I heard a story that the Great Wolf once ALSO road Tiny, but this time triumphantly into Echer’Naught. Strange people these Rangers.

I, however, looked DASHING atop my black steed, with my wings fluttering in the wind. Cutting such a rakish figure, Aronzo offered me a sharp hat, to which I added one of my own feathers for the perfect air of unrestrained passion. Though I find the idea of riding horses ridiculous for my kind, we do look good doing so…

And so, by 30 past the hour we were moving. Guards at the gates opened without question and we departed the city of Echer’Naught. We pushed hard for a few hours, then camped by the road. OH it was GOOD to once again lie with the beautiful creatures of Kenzie and Ingrid.

Falling Ice 16th, 3127

We reached Erda’Meias by the 16th. The hunters of the community are well known, though they spend most of their time hunting creeping darkness, Red Store, and Maelstrom. I’ve known a few elves of this realm, but not many. Surprisingly, the Alpha Team was welcomed. Apparently, this was the team which helped bring the horror of Vainar’s Plague to an end. For that, they have earned the loyalty of most of the local elf families. An elves trust is hard to win, but once earned, it is a powerful bond.

While in cities and towns, we stay in hotels, the team split into two rooms, with the Ogres in the barns. I much prefer the open road camps. There, we are free to share our beds with whomever, and, not so crammed together, offer some semblance of privacy. Even IF our guard shifts were doubled for the sake of Lady Volstagg.

Falling Ice 18th, 3127

Four days out of Echer’Naught, we arrived in the Elven capital of Eldara. Well, the capital of Landra’Feya, though if you asked the elves of this wood, they oft believe they rule us all. I wonder what the elves of Tar’Imas would say to that, eh? Still, we were welcomed in the grand city. Here, Lady Volstagg requested a banquet meal, which the elves happily provided. We ate, drank, and reveled in being alive. I suppose for members of this team, we must take our pleasure when and where we can?

Falling Ice 19th, 3127

In the wee hours of the morn, the Alpha Team boarded one of the elves’ great swan boats, leaving out mounts behind, we began the trek down river. I have never chanced to ride a boat before. Because…wings. Other than being a bit ill for the first day, I find I quite enjoy the trip. I was even allowed to sit at the top of the mast and let the world slip by. Again, the downside, we bunked alone, and with limited space. Still, the elves certainly know the boatcraft.

Falling Ice 20th, 3127

We arrived, in the Eastport harbor late on the 20th. There, we sailed straight into the sea to meet another ship at anchor, this a two masted war caravel. The Sea Ranger. I gathered from the greeting that the Captain Roberts of the Sea Ranger knew our unit well. I wonder how many iterations of this unit he has conveyed over the years? Perhaps its best I don’t know.

Still, with great ceremony, Lady Volstagg boarded the ship with her retinue, followed by our team, and the goats. Then, as the gangplank was pulled, every elf stood at the rails and bowed, before turning about and sailing back toward the harbor. We, or I should say Captain Roberts, immediately shouted orders and the swift little caravel filled her sails and pulled away.

Falling Ice 21st, 3127

Late into the eve on the first day of travel, I was awakened by shouting on deck. When I emerged from the crushing interior of the ship, I spied flames on the horizon. Captain Roberts, his first mate Kira, the Sea Mage, and the black skinned Orc which served as his sailing master all stood on the starboard rail of the ship, watching the growing conflagration with a worrying concentration. As I know nothing of ships, I can only guess at what transpired, but I gathered from the low whispers of the crew that our escort ship was caught and sunk buying us the time to escape. I weep for all the souls lost for our sakes.

Only then did it occur to me that while we traveled in safety, never setting foot on foreign soil once departing elven lands that others, less fortunate, died so that we could pass unnoticed. How many fellow Rangers now lay dead since we left the city? Would we ever know the names of those brave souls who gave their lives for us?

That sobering thought has stayed with me.

Falling Ice 22nd, 3127

Again, late in the eve, we arrived at the harbor of Granite Port. I have never seen such sights! Massive metal armed cranes, clockwork cranks, even belching steam. The dwarven wonders are like another world. And, bobbing in the harbor a ship so out of place it could have come from another plane of being. Long, low, powered by oars, with a canopy covered most of the rear half, a brightly colored, elegant ship. Captain Roberts pulled the Sea Ranger alongside, and the boarding ramp was lowered.

The crew of the other ship, wearing bright silks, and strange headgear bowed low as an immaculately dressed man, of almond skin, and brown eyes invited the Lady Volstagg aboard. She seemed to know him, naming him A’kavir. Once she and her retinue were sitting comfortably on silk cushions under the canopy, the Alpha Team was invited aboard. A’kavir greeted us each in turn, with consummate politeness. When we were all aboard, the Sea Ranger pulled up the gangplank and with a final salute, the ship turned nimbly, dropped her sheets, and sailed away.

Lady Volstagg was offered every courtesy, every luxury as this fine ship turned in the harbor and rowed north, upriver. Past the stone docks, and metal ships we sailed. Every four hours, a new crew took the oars, and so we sailed almost non-stop. And, at all times, sharp eyed guards scoured the banks with intensity.

Falling Ice 26th, 3127

We sailed four days to the beat of the drum. On the 3rd, we passed through a narrow cleft in the cliffs of the Black Mountains. So narrow, we had to ship oars and pole through. However, on the other side, a valley opened wide. As we passed through, beacon lights lit, and horns sounded. In the distance, I could see a glittering jewel, cascading water, and gardens suspended almost as if by magic.

We arrived late on the 26th, 3127. City guards in the colors of Prince Velthana of Almahrad waited. Lady Volstagg was escorted from the boat and lifted into a palanquin hoisted by eight men and carried at the head of our column. Behind her, we marched in good order, escorted, as always, by the Prince’s men. The city is HUGE, and gorgeous.

The docks were a congested stone wharf filled with fishermen, workers, and the scent of fish, soot, and brackish water. Late evening crowds parted as we marched through, most bowing, though lurkers in the crowd eyed our caravan with hard eyes. Once through the docks, we entered a gate almost as massive as Echer’Naught’s east and west gates. The road opened into a massive city, surrounded by high granite walls, and dominated by an open bizarre nearly the size of Echer’Naught’s High Town. This late, the streets were mostly clear, but warm light and laughter spilled from inns, alehouses, and bawdy houses.

We marched through the bizarre, following the rising road, and passed through another gate. Here, the streets were wider, the houses more orderly, more fine. Music drifted on the winds, scented by spice and sweet flowers. Every turn featured a fountain, or garden. Finely dressed men and women walked under the stars, laughing lightly with the Almahradi accents. And finally through the last gate, we entered the wide avenues of the Houses, above us sat the palace, glittering in the night.

Our caravan took a few turns before stopping outside an ornate, palatial estate. Everything about it was Almahradi from the polished sandstone walls to the onion shaped spinnerets. All this made the emerald Ranger banners draped from every wall stand out in stark contrast. The main gate was flanked by a pair of Rangers, who admitted our small group. The Princes men remained behind. Inside the courtyard, local servants guided us into a great, open courtyard. Lady Volstagg dismounted, and A’kavir escorted us through rows of columns into an interior garden flanked on all sides by wide marble portico, and ornate blue, white, and gold columns. FINALLY a building without walls, or a roof. I rather like the architecture of Almahrad, despite the Rangers best efforts to ruin the ascetic with fortifications and walls…

At the heart of the garden was a stone gazebo, and within reclined a cloaked and hooded figure. Even their face was covered. All I could see were a pair of intense eyes watching our approach intently. I rather imagine that is how the mouse feels under the gaze of snake. He, or she, it? welcomed us to Almaharad. A’kavir introduced our host as the Emissary. We were all allowed to retire to our private rooms to freshen before dinner. At least there is now room for Kenzie and Ingrid in my quarters. The entire TEAM could bunk with us and have room to spare.

When we returned to the inner garden, servants were on hand, preparing a banquet. Then a bells was rung…and A’kavir announced, “Now presenting, Sir and Lady Volstagg!” That’s was my first glimpse of the famed “Crimson Knight.” Few names actually scare the Kal, and his is one. Even taking into account exaggeration, the man’s exploits are legendary. He was large, as expected, and hairy, also expected. When I think of Olaran, his image comes to mind. Still, the way he looked at his bride, I could tell he was deeply in love. They both were.

Someday, I hope to share that…maybe with more than one?

After a brief meal and discussion where the Emissary explained the rules. No weapons outside the walls of the Ranger Outpost, we represent our kings and countries, etc… He, she, it excused themselves leaving the hall to the Rangers. We ate, drank, laughed… The fellowship was good, and warm. True.

Captain Volstagg, Sergeant Zathlan, Corporal Grendel, and RFC Ranna spoke a bit about their exploits, though I can see the losses of their team members still weigh upon them. Late into the eve, we retired. I think Kenzie and Ingrid joined me, though to be honest, it was all such a swirl. I passed right now.

Falling Ice 27th, 3127

We were wakened by the staff and began a long morning of preparations. The Emissaries tailors fitted us each with new outfits. We were groomed, and bathed, not unlike prized horses. Then, we were fitted into our costumes, oiled up like harlots, and paraded outside for the show. Again, Lady Volstagg was offered the palanquin. Her, and Captain Vosltagg. The rest of us peasants trotted along like good asses. Though, the actual asses stayed behind…

Tina, Tiny, Max, Muriel, and King remained at the outpost, having quite a party in the stables. Damn but Muriel can drink.

We arrived at the palace just at dusk, and the lights glittered like stars. Banners streamed from balconies and hundreds of guests, each more ornately gowned than the last shuffled and swirled in a dizzying riot of color. We plebes were only allowed to enter the second tier of the party, though we were a step above the hostlers. The Emissary, with Captain and Lady Volstagg, were permitted entry into the Prince’s own hall. Just the same. I find such events stuffy and boorish.

Everything was going well enough, we were all huddled in a corner like frightened sheep with a Camonere on the loose, when I spied across the crowded patio, none other than Andak-Gol Ivar ki Novri, that scrawny little shite. I swore the next time I saw him, I’d slit his throat, he more or less the same for me. I’ll say one thing about the party, it was interesting. I invited Kenzie and Ingrid to join me as I introduced them to the Kal Wing Hunter. Kenzie looked uncomfortable, though I am unsure whether it was meeting the bloodthirsty murdered, or just the party in general. Ingrid was clearly put off by the while Flame touched aspect.

My thought was simple, hiding from them would only show weakness and invite aggression. Like showing fear to a rapid animal Better to remain calm and unafraid. Still, I have this bad feeling we will be seeing them again. Eventually, Corporal Sssahllissstah came over to “rescue” us before I embroiled us in an international incident. Ingrid at least seemed relieved. The rest of the night was more of the same, each member of our party pointing out various villainous factions in attendance.

Let’s see if I remember correctly, other than the aforementioned Wing Hunters of the Kal-A-Nar Empire, we had in attendance:

Various Doms of Nazatir
Fists of Kor from Korindia
A Pirate Lord from the Archipelgos
Counselors from Dregordia
Masked Dragon Cultists
Clan Chiefs from the Black Mountain Clanhomes
Red skinned demon dwarves
Dominion Ministers
Blooded noble houses from Almahrad
Sheikhs from the desert, most notably Paradise
Xaos Priests in gold and black
At least one Mordin Vampiress stalking the crowds

And, the Rangers, et al.

It was quite the assemblage. All we needed were a pack of werewolves and De’Lear to complete the set. So many enemies in one place, it was exhilarating. But, after Corporal Grendel had his minor heart attack over the Dragon Cult…odd as I would have assumed that to come from Corporal Sssahllissstah. Whatever the case, Blackstone was invited by the Black Mountain dwarves for drinks and Aaronzo tagged along. The ghoulish man looked even paler than usual, even past his “makeup.”

After that, we excused ourselves. Back at the outpost, we spoke for a bit, but eventually, our trio got some sleep. Though, to be honest…I expect the morrow to be very interesting indeed!

Steelwing

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