Per request via the charming Colonel Anderson, I am submitting the following report.
Submitted, via dictation: Dark Moons 31st, 3126
Dark Moons 25th, 3126
I first came upon the Alpha Team of Echer’Naught while tracking a pair of Ravens who, in turn, were tracking the Alpha Team. Based upon their behavior, intellect, and rudeness, I must conclude that they were under control, or served some other masters. Though, they appeared to bear no ill will toward the Rangers.
At any rate, as I tracked the Ravens, I saw smoke. The smoke led me to a battle. About a day’s ride, if one were included to mount such beasts, north of Echer’Naught, a small unit of Rangers battled a group of mercenaries equipped with arcfire and traditional arms and armor. Though not a Ranger myself, with little interesting in joining, I nevertheless felt inclined to lend my not inconsiderable skills to the embattled Rangers.
By the time I arrived, the lead Ogre, the dwarf healer, and the pale human were down, blown to smithereens in an explosion of cataclysmic proportions. One of the three buildings on the field was a smoking ruin. A man, commander I suppose, was standing over the fallen Ogre, the Ranger leader, tapping a warhammer against his head. I didn’t need to hear the words to grasp the situation. If the Rangers refused, their leader was dead. The other ogre, female, ordered the rest to throw down their weapons.
It was pretty much over for the Rangers. So…I decided to get involved. My family aerie always said that curiosity would get me killed one day.
Though, the expression of shock on the man’s face when I dropped out of the sky was priceless. With my entry into battle, the Rangers rallied and battle resumed. The enemy commander went down quickly, though less through my skill and more my unexpected arrival. Better lucky than good?
Behind me, the Rangers exploded into action…well…after a bit of prompting. The ogress led the charge, with the one of the human girl summoning a bear from somewhere! There was a ravening dregordian, a gaunt looking human man, who was an ogre before…that takes a bit of explaining. There was another cute human girl with druid powers. And last an angry dwarf healer. Oh, and the ogre in charge.
We pushed them back. Spells exploded, healers healed. It was glorious battle. The best I have had in MONTHS. And, we didn’t lose a single member of the team. That was a surprise.
Once the field was clear, I finally had the opportunity to meet these Rangers. Their leader was an ogre named Corporal Grendel. Surprising as it seems, he was a Silver Paladin, though unlike any I have seen. Their second was a Dregordian named Corporal Sssahliissstah. Adept I believe, and a berserker. Scary woman. Third in command of the plucky company, Ranger First Class Ranna the ogress crossbow woman. After that, the two beautiful women, McKenzie Shan and Ingrid. One wild, and innocent, the other sweet, and inquisitive. Shan has the thing with animals. The bear is named Volstagg and has an appetite. The stallion is Diego, noble, and powerful. Ingrid is a druid. And then there is the dwarf druidic healer, Arimar Blackstone. and the human skulk, Aronzo.
Though no one died, the Rangers were still pretty shot out. So, instead of running headlong into another exploding building, Corporal Grendel wisely elected to set up a perimeter and call for reinforcements. I sent Aetos, my Guardian Eagle, with a message for the Wolfhaven Manor. I figured by wing, my friend would arrive by early morning. From there, the Great Wolf’s house could easily arrange for reinforcements. Meanwhile, I provided cover for my new friends.
Corporal Sssahllissstah took Aronzo and they headed off to the waystation to meet up with any Ranger reinforcements coming from the main road. Meanwhile, Corporal and Grendel and Arimar examined the bodies while the women kept watch on the ground. Later I heard they found strange magical tattoos and arcfire gear. Though the tattoos varied from man to man, all bore a swirling twister split by azure blue lightning. So, either the mercs worked for Tempest or were mimicking their methods.
About this time, I see the bear Volstagg loping back to the others dragging the body of a dead horse. Insert joke. Turns OUT that the horse belonged to a local farmer. And, apparently killing the King’s livestock is frowned upon. Corporal Grendel decides to cover up the crime by taking the horse away from the hungry bear…with predictable results. Volstagg the Bear to exception to the ogres rudeness and attacked. Battle ensued with Kenzie trying to save her companion. In the end, Grendel was forced to knock out the bear.
Meanwhile, unsupervised and hungry. I gather the Rangers had not stopped to eat in a day at least, Diego the Stallion wandered into the complex of houses looking for food. The Rangers watched in horror as Diego entered the eastern farmhouse. Ingrid and Kenzie ran to lure him out, while Ranna set up camp, ignoring the other’s antics. Ingrid summoned a faerie to scout the house, but to little avail. Worse, the Rangers eventually realized the barn door had closed behind Diego, though they did not know whether it was accidental, or if enemies lay in wait.
Ultimately, they all returned to the camp. This being well into the eve. I landed now, after watching Grendel try and douse Ingrid with snow to wash off some the gore splattered on her during battle. I gallantly offered to provide her a security screen to bath, and provided a wooden bucket I had spotted nearby for heated water.
While Ranna poured water from the holed bucket, I wrapped her in wings. I did my best to provide privacy. Once she finished her shower, we ate.
Corporal Grendel set watches around 11PM. Corporal Grendel and Ingrid took first watch. Arimar Blackstone and I second. Morning watch was taken by Kenzie and RFC Ranna. When not on watch, Kenzie and Ingrid, who was well chilled, found warmth in my plumage. I must admit, I found their company delightful.
In the pre-dawn hours Ranna alerted us to an attack. Those of us in our bedrolls scrambled awake as a massive near 20 foot golem of lightning and thunder struck our camp. Kenzie took the first hit as she desperately tried to wake her bear. The second attack blasted me into a snowdrift. When I managed to shake myself free, crossbow bolts were pinging off the ogres’ armor. I shouted for Grendel to ask whether he wanted me to engage the golem or the crossbowmen. He ordered me into the sky to pick off their crossbows.
He sent me up, so I blasted off and gained altitude as quickly as possible. I could see them, figured moving through the brush to the south. There were a dozen, or more. I drew and fired as fast as I could locate them.
Below me, the Rangers were in a fix. Ranna’s bolts seemed to do little, though Ingrid’s blasted the creature back. She contains incredible power in her small frame, much to my delight. Sadly, even the onslaught of the druid’s power only staggered the Tempest golem. Realizing his situation, Corporal Grendel ordered a retreat as he beat the construct with his massive club.
While I was firing, Kenzie took a hit, maybe from the golems lightning blast which cooked me, I don’t know. But Arimar reached her, healing with a touch. Even so, Volstagg the Bear was still out, and Diego was locked in the bar. I don’t know what I would do if I were forced to Aetos. But, I suppose losing our animal companions is better than watching our friends die? Perhaps not for Kenzie, though.
Before the team can move, the Golem lines up another shot. the night is lit by a beam of blue white electricity arcing straight for Grendel. The ogre manages to throw up his club just in time to divert the beam, but is lanced past him striking Ranna in the chest, melting through her armor. The ogress dropped making retreat impossible. I kept firing on the crossbowmen, keeping them at bay while the Rangers solved their own issues.
Once again, the stump legged healer sloshed through the slush to heal a fallen comrade. Ranna was on her feet in moments, but crossbow bolts continued to rain down. By now, the others are in gear. Ranna and Ingrid are moving south-ish. Arimar trailing behind. Only Kenzie and Grendel held their ground. Kenzie desperately tried to rouse Volstagg while Grendel dueled the golem alone. It was inspiring. The love of a comrade, the fearlessness before annihilation. Poetic.
The Tempest Golem continued to assault as the Rangers scampered across open grounder a hail of fire. With one last desperate swing, Grendel crushed the construct in a blast of lighting, wind, and sound. And, in that moment, Kenzie roused Volstagg…who immediately attacked Grendel. I can hardly blame him really.
Now all the Rangers are moving south. Ranna out in front, with both Ingrid and Arimar behind. Grendel scooped up Kenzie while Volstagg chased the ogre, trying to take a bit out of his ass. All the while, crossbow bolts whistled and hissed around them. Under other circumstances, it would have been humorous. Though…it begs the question, why focus on the Rangers and ignore me…?
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