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Session date

Rangers of the Greenway Road

Campaign Report 147

Starfall/Shaintar

Sad days indeed. Alexander Wolfhaven, once a paragon of honor, a bastion of the Southern Kingdoms has been led away in chains. Before rumor of his arrest could spark revolt, he was secreted away to Kythros. As I write this, he is likely riding hard over hill and dale, his erstwhile captors about him. All know that, had he not allowed it to be so, the Rangers would have been unable to take him. Even without his formidable Wolf Guard, his Alpha Team, or his many allies within the city, he alone is more than a match for most in Echer’Naught save for perhaps Murvoth, leader of the Silver Paladins, or Ash, head of the Academy of Yomenie Curu. Even then, I would not bet against the former Lord Mayor.

 

But, such speculation is moot. Wolfhaven has fallen, and in his place, we have the guidance of Lady Mayor Gwendolyn O’Meyer, and the protection of Colonel Anderson. So here we are.

 

Raining Leaves, 20th, 3128

 

Word reaches the Wolfhaven Barony that Sergeant Minor Aradove Longtail, Sworn of House Wolfhaven, has sent her three kits, Alexander, Emma, and Little Paw Rah-sahn, to live with former Alpha Team commander, Captain Sir Gunther Volstagg and his wife, Sergeant Lady Nexus Zathlan Volstagg in their household in the city of Almahrad. It should also be noted that the wife of Dom Diego, former Ranger Doma Dakota Afliem and her children ALSO live in the household, along with the progeny of various former members of Alpha Team.

 

At last count, the Volstagg House in Almahard hosts:

 

  • Alexander (son), Emma (daughter), and Little Paw Rah-sahn (son), kits of Longtail
  • Gunther Stagg, son of Volstagg
  • Serys Roman Volkstagg (boy) and Wynter Night Volkstagg (girl), twins of Volstagg and his wife
  • Elissea * Nazir (girl), daughter of Corporal Leaora Nazir
  • Lutz Therrell Völkstagg (boy), son of Volstag and wife
  • Grenna (girl), daughter of Ranna
  •  

Harvest Moons 17th, 3128

 

We received word that former Ranger, Gilbur Gill Grimm and former Ranger Cairn Gravelheart were accepted into Ash’s Academy of Yomenie Curu. Grimm has been accepted as an adjunct professor of Alchemy. What Gravelheart’s position might be, we know not, nor is it of great concern to the Rangers.

 

After receiving Baron Wolfhaven’s sword at the north gate, just after his arrest, Sergeant Sir Egon Mansfried rode, followed by Colonel Anderson and his retinue, to the Wolfhaven Manor to return to the Sword to his family there. Sergeant at Arms in command of the Echer’Naught unit of the house’s Wolf Guard, Sergeant Gendarre accepted the sword on behalf of his Lord. Though, it should be noted that, due to the high exposure to Flame during his long trek through Norcan Darr, Sir Mansfried suffered mightily when standing on the sacred ground of the Manor. Shayline’s Sanctification remains as potent as it was when first established.

 

Once his sacred duty to House Wolfhaven was completed, Sergeant Mansfried surrendered himself to interrogation by the Rangers. As the soul active remaining member of Alpha Team, his testimony was vital to understanding the last year of Alpha Team’s operation, and the factors that led to Wolfhaven’s sudden, and saddening, fall from grace.

 

Colonel Anderson and his staff escorted Sergeant Mansfried to the Ranger HQ, where they were joined by Sergeant Minor Longtail who had recently arrived, hearing that Woflhaven had returned. The Colonel, along with Longtail, a pair of Adepts, a Priest of Light, and two guards entered a small meeting room in the HQ and proceeded to debrief Sergeant Mansfried. I was otherwise occupied, but the secondary Adept is a member of my staff and dutifully recorded the events. What was reported is troubling, to say the least.

 

The report was long, but we learned that Colonel Wolfhaven made Alpha Team leave their cloaks at the Wolfhaven Barony before departing with the Maker device he stole from Echer’Naught. Over a series of misadventures, they arrived at the Legion Keep where they wired the device into their Grande Arcgate. From there, he required his Alpha Team to write their Last Wills and Testaments, before firing the team through the Veil into Norcan Darr. What was only suspected has been confirmed. Wolfhaven attempted to make an alliance with one of the Builder Clans in Norcan Darr.

 

However, what no one, apparently not even Wolfahven himself, suspected was that enemy forces were aware of the secret meeting and were waiting to attack. They used saboteurs to shut down the Citadel’s defenses. After this, they were easily able to overwhelm Wolfhaven’s potential allies. Only with the sacrifice of Alpha Team’s dregordian commander, Sergeant Ssahliissstah, were Wolfhaven’s Rangers and their new Builder allies able to escape.

 

Thus began a harrowing march across the Hard Lands. During which, Colonel Wolfhaven was “killed” on numerous occasions. At once point, Wolfhaven had his head removed by a pair of enemy bounty hunters. When the then Alpha Team commander, Sergeant Minor Blackstone, was able to retrieve the head, they were able to re-attach the head and Colonel Wolfaven apparently returned to life. Which, should not be possible, though, in theory, the lack of the covenants in Norcan Darr might mean that Wolfhaven’s “abilities” would allow such a feat. Or, his team might have been hallucinating the entire episode. Stress does have that effect.

 

That also says nothing about the pair of bounty hunters capable of taking down Wolfhaven and much of his team. Or that they are purported to have been equipped with weapons and armor from outside Shaintar. Or, that they seemed more aware of Wolfhaven’s movements than even his own team.

 

In fact, throughout the debrief, it became apparent that the enemy was perfectly aware of Wolfhaven’s plans until the Colonel elected to withhold information from even his own team. Only then was he able to outmaneuver his foes. This suggests that the enemy has spies in Shaintar, the Rangers, and Alpha Team. Such fear might lead a man to act alone, even so far as to steal a powerful device if he truly believed his own command was compromised.

 

And then, there was the report of an entire Tempest Legion operating in Norcan Darr. That fact alone should give all pause. Every region of the county seems invaded by Tempest, and they are growing, not the contrary.

 

Finally, there was the small matter of the warrior being that, according to Sergeant Mansfried, nearly killed Colonel Wolfhaven out of hand. If such tales are true, then we face an even more powerful enemy.

 

Nothing the Sergeant revealed was good news. Sadly, it hardly painted Colonel Wolfhaven in a good light. He lied to his team. He stole the device. He used the device to reach Builders, getting members of his team killed. And he failed in his primary mission, though at least a few of the Builders managed to return with him. But, considering that he was betrayed at every turn, it hardly painted the Rangers, the Legion, or his own team in better light.

 

Who can one trust?

 

Harvest Moons 18th, 3128

 

Accepted into the Academy, Professor Grimm began his classes the following day, the 18th. In addition to his considerable Alchemical knowledge, Grimm is the world’s expert on the magical components found in Norcan Darr. Though, his exposure to Flame presents an issue that all those who survived the prolonged mission share.

 

By dawn on the 18th, rumors of Wolfhaven’s arrival and arrest had spread. The Olarans sent missives of protest that they were denied justice. Some even suggested that by abjuring the realm, Baron Wolfhaven had admitted guilt and forfeited his title and lands. Worse, the Rangers seemed uninterested in countering the narrative, preferring to let the Olarans believe what they wanted about Colonel Wolfhaven.

 

In due course, RFC Gracelyn Moldova Amaroth went in search of Grimm and Gravelheart at the college. So too, RFCs Silverwing, McKenzie Shan, and Ingrid Snow, the infant in tow, also ventured to the college. They all met, perfectly innocently. However, news of the former and current members meeting rippled like a fire through the city. Many expected an armed uprising to break out at any moment.

 

To make matters worse, Silverwing put out the call for other Alpha Team members, and by lunchtime, they had all assembled for a private meeting in the back room of the Wayfarer’s Rest. There was nothing illegal about the meeting, but under the circumstances, given the tense political situation, commanders in HQ took note.

 

Attending the meeting were:

 

  • Major Rah-Sahn Hawksclaw, Sworn of House Wolfhaven, and commander of Echer’Naught’s Rangers
  • Sergeant Minor Aradove Longtail, Sworn of House Wolfhaven, and Senior NCO to former Lord Mayor Wolfhaven
  • Sergeant Sir Egon Mansfried, only active member of Alpha Team, and sole returning member for the Hard Lands War.
  • RFC Gracelyn Moldova, Sworn of House Wolfhaven
  • Former Corporal Gilbur Gill Grimm, survivor of the Hard Lands War
  • Former RFC Cairn Gravelheart, survivor of the Hard Lands War
  • RFC Silverwing
  • RFC McKenzie Shan
  • RFC Ingrid Snow

 

Whether this intrepid group intended to conspire, there was little hope of their private meeting being viewed as little more than pre-coup coordination.

 

After the meeting, Sir Mansfried left to immediately speak with Sir Halten, who apparently now resides in former Alpha member, Captain Sir Gunther Volstagg’s home. This small fact was a shock, and concern to the commanders at HQ. Such collusion to have gone unnoticed?!

 

It is well documented that Sir Eric Halten serves at the behest of Lord RabenClau, now that he is one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the city. The friendship between Sir Volstagg and Sir Halten was known, but the fact they the former rented his home to the latter was a comingling of alarming political ramifications.

 

Though, in truth, it took Sir Mansfried the better part of three hours to walk from Sir Halten’s Manor in High Towne to his rented rooms in middle town as he was being led by Sir Halten’s “man” Ostermark. What was said, we know not. But, the assumption being that Sir Halten would support Sir Mansfried in exchange for the latter’s loyalty. And, as things bore out, that analysis proved correct. Alpha Team was officially under Olaran, or at least Halten control. We believe that Sir Halten revealed to Sir Mansfried Lady Mayor O’Meyers intention to permanently disband Alpha Team.

 

For context, the Rangers had been engaged in negotiations with Sir Halten in regard to his joint command over Alpha Team. Few remember how such an arrangement even occurred, but a reading of the records reveals that the entire idea of the joint operation was created by Sir Halten himself when Captain Celebor was in temporary command bac in late 3125 (Report 77). All around the disastrous betrayal of Ironblood, Zulcrum, and Afliem…and the death of Kura’Kai. After the incident at the warehouse, Captain Volstagg felt personally betrayed, and that the Rangers were in disarray. Captain Celebor was unable to withstand the political pressure brought to bear by Sir Halten, allied with Sir Volstagg. It was a stunning political maneuver by Sir Halten, and a troubling betrayal by Sir Volstagg. Though, it should be noted that even as this report is written, Sir Volstagg is hosting Dakota Afliem in his own house, and seems to be allied with her husband, Dom Diego who tried to kill him at his own wedding and did slay Sergeant Minor Longtail’s husband. Perhaps that is why she is willing to side with Colonel Anderson over her former allies?

 

At the same time, guards reported that RFC Gracelyn Moldova Amaroth immediately rode out of town heading north in the direction of the Wolfahven Barony. Coupled with the private meeting AND Sir Mansfried’s meeting with Sir Halten, a powerful political alliance between the Wolfhaven Loyalist faction and Sir Halten’s own seemed in the offing. Letters were immediately dispatched to Kythros.

 

Fortunately, Sergeant Minor Longtail left the meeting to report to Colonel Anderson, keeping him abreast of developments. Though hated by Sir Halten, and hardly trusted by many in command due to her closeness with Wolfhaven, it seems the former Wolfhaven ally may prove to be invaluable in the case against him, and in preventing a Wolfhaven loyalist coup.

 

Later that day, Rangers within the Local Command reported that Major Hawksclaw met with members of Wolfhaven’s personal Wolf Guard. Again, the exact details of that meeting were not heard, but farily soon after, members of the Wolfhaven Free Riders loyal to Wolfhaven began setting up camps along all four major roads leading into the city. It should ALSO be noted that Major Hawksclaw created the Wolfhaven Free Rider Company and that he remains a loyal Sworn to Wolfhaven. What he commanded the Free Riders to achieve by picketing all roads is not know. However, many within Regional Command count this as the first military action of the impending coup.

 

Of note, scouts along the route report that various riders have been spotted shadowing the detail charged with escorting Wolfhaven to Kythros. It is believed that members of his own Wolf Guard/Wolfhaven Free Riders are among the group. Also, we know that Gray Lanterns were dispatched to prevent any action by enemy forces, or Rangers loyal to the Colonel.

 

The day ended without violence, but…the political implications of all these maneuvers leave me troubled.

 

Harvest Moons 20th, 3128

 

Reports indicate that RFC Gracelyn Moldova Amaroth arrived at the Wolfahven Barony. We know from scouts that the entire estate is fortified and prepared for war. Sir Regillus Anaxelum has called the Wolfhaven Banners to defend the estate. Hundreds of troops dig in camps around the walls, with more inside setting heavy weapons along the ramparts. Any movement against the Barony will be met with storm and fire. Though, we have heard that Houses Barrough, Bolen, Boer, Gaulouen, Erlgen, and members of House Olar have raised banners against House Wolfhaven. In addition to Wolfhaven’s betrayal by taking the device, these Houses also have sleights against their honor from Sir Volstagg and Sir Halten’s evading justice during a wedding in the summer of 3126 (Report 87). Six houses arrayed against one. Even for House Wolfhaven, this may be too much. Duchess Harken has, of yet, not announced her position to either defend or abandon the house of her vassal.

 

Of note, Commander Kelles, Olaran general during the battle with Tempest in which we lost Sergeant Que’kasaars, and the Eckhart sigil have been seen among the banners of Wolfhaven’s camp…

 

We also learn, from the Baroness herself, that the assassins who very nearly slew Wolfhaven on the one night he stopped in his Barony used Xaos magic to bypass their security and to wield the Butcher’s blade, Soul Reaver. Reports from Kythros confirm that the vault containing the infernal blade had not been opened in many years. They were completely unaware that it was missing. However, after so long, most of the guards that would have been there during the last opening are long since gone, or dead. We have been assured an investigation has been launched to determine how such a powerful weapon could be stolen from the heart of the Ranger keep.

 

Additionally, the actual assassins did not hail from the Xaos realm or the desert. By all appearances, they are Wildlanders. Perhaps even Rangers from their kit and how they arranged their gear. I am certain Sir Regillus is taking this news as expected. If it were not for the imminent attack on his Barony, he might have already marched on the city. Though we do not wish bloodshed among our Olaran allies, if the threat of attack prevents Baron Wolfhaven’s forces from marching on Echer’Naught, I do not believe many in Regional Command would object.

 

After the meeting, we do know that Wolf Guard from the Echer’Naught manor left in the care of RFC Amaroth’s child, Audren Amaroth, heading north, presumably toward the relative safety of the Wolfhaven Barony.

 

Harvest Moons 21st 3128

 

In the morning, Sergeant Sir Mansfried is summoned to Lady Mayor Gwendylon O’Meyer’s office for a formal meeting. Her first since his return. I attended this meeting and can confirm that she expressed gratitude for the Sergeant’s service. However, she had been brought in to clean up the city offices. She had never met Colonel Wolfhaven and had no strong ties to Kythros either. However, she informed Sir Mansfried that she had submitted paperwork to Lord-Commander Lady Grayson to formally disband Alpha Team and retire their designation.

 

At this revelation, Sir Mansfried excused himself for a brief moment and returned. Something about his demeanor led me to believe there was something wrong, but as I had no direct evidence, there was little I could do.

 

After the meeting with the Lady Mayor, Sir Mansfried immediately reports to Major Hawksclaw, further proving that Hawksclaw and Sir Halten are coordinating efforts between the Wolfhaven Loyalists and those led by Sir Halten, and back by Lord RabenClau.

 

Shortly after Sir Mansfried left, Major Hawksclaw was visited by Commander Eric Schenkle of the city Militia. We do not know the full extent of the conversation, but we know that immediately after, Commander Schenkle issued a public order indicating that the City Militia would begin weekly drills at the muster grounds, months out of the cycle. Ranger HQ now understands that Sir Halten and Major Hawksclaw have mobilized the city Militia in support of their coup. Perhaps Hawksclaw will take Echer’Naught and march to support the barony? Reinforcements from Kythros are en route.

 

This is, of course, odd as the growing merchant class in Middle Town is currently in a bitter feud with the Noble Houses of High Towne over the latter commandeering Middle Towns water rights just after the Maker attack. Fights have already broken out between merchant guards and House Guards of Olaran Blood. Then again, it is known that Sir Halten is not on good terms with the other nobles, which pushed him toward allying with Lord RabenClau. Maybe this is why the City Militia has agreed to back Sir Halten’s bid for the city?

 

With the Milia now loyal to the RabenClau/Halten/Hawksclaw faction, Major Hawksclaw met with Captain Vasser, a longtime friend, to secure the loyalty of the City Watch. Again, Ranger Command does not know what was said, but an alliance between RabenClau’s Storm Guard mercenary force, Hawksclaw’s Wolfhaven Loyalists, the Wolf Guard/Wolfhaven Free Riders, Schenkle’s City Militia, and Vasser’s City Watch, backed by Sir Halten’s authority would be more than the Rangers could hope to defeat. Ranger Command only hopes reinforcements from Kythros will arrive before the conspirators make their move.

 

With his alliances secured, Major Hawksclaw forced a meeting with Lady Mayor O’Meyer, and then Colonel Anderson. No demands were made, but Major Hawksclaw made certain they were both aware of the divisions within the city. After his departure, the Lady Mayor and Colonel Anderson met for some time to strategize defense of the Rangers in Echer’Naught.

 

Harvest Moons 26th, 3128

 

RFC Gracelyn Moldova Amaroth arrived back in Echer’Naught fresh from her meeting with Baroness Wolfhaven and her military commander, Sir Regillus Anaxelum. She returns immediately to the Wolfhaven Manor to coordinate with the Wolfhaven Loyalists in the city.

 

Midday on the 28th bells around the city sounded the arrival of the Diplomatic Envoy of Independent Nations from the West. All Active Duty Rangers are called up, forming ranks to welcome the dignitaries. It was an impressive display of solidarity, covering deep and worsening divisions. At the head of the envoys was none other than Captain Volstagg, along with Dom Diego from Nazatir. For over a year, Sir Volstagg had been cultivating allies, even among his former foes, and now he entered the city like a conquering hero.

 

How many blades had he brought? His relationship with Sir Halten was well known, as was his disdain and distrust of Ranger Command. His arrival at the head of the column sent shock waves through Ranger Command. They expected a power move or political maneuver to be imminent. Was this Sir Halten’s plan all along? If these visitors from the west allied with Sir Halten, Major Hawksclaw, and their fellow dissenters, Ranger Command of Echer’Naught was over.

 

Within days, Kythros and Regional Command’s worst fears were realized. There is no going back.

 

Diplomats from Korindia, the Pirate Archipelogs, Nazatir, the Black Mountains, and the Desert Princes all assembled at Regional Command for opening ceremonies. Speeches were given, introductions were made, and arrangements were hammered out to house, feed, and protect all the diplomats. However, at the same time, Regional Command struggled to prepare for the inevitable attack from within. Rangers of questionable loyalty were stationed in locations where they could inflict the least damage, while loyal officials were posted in critical locations.

 

Before the party even ended, Sir Volstagg and Sir Halten were already conspiring. Stranger yet, Kythros dictated that Sergeant Minor Longtail serve as commander of Dom Diego’s personal security even though she had publicly declared a blood vendetta to kill the man? Meanwhile, an ogre named Atlas and Wolfhaven loyalist, who had earlier hospitalized a man for vocally protesting Colonel Wolfhaven, was seen in the company of Si Volstagg. Another Ranger hopeful, Wilhelm Cragheart another Wolfhaven loyalist, was seen with Sergeant Mansfried. Was this the plan? To gather the Loyalists under the cover of the summit?

 

I fear what will happen when the reinforcements from Kytrhos arrive, or when the Olaran Houses launch their attack on the Wolfhaven Barony. Worse, what if Colonel Wolfhaven comes to harm?

 

The party was just ending when Sir Volstagg, Sir Halten, and Sir Mansfried cornered Colonel Anderson and coerced the Regional Commander to reinstate Alpha Team under their command from select applicants, most or all Wolfhaven loyalists. It was here that Colonel Anderson revealed the paperwork had been repeatedly delayed, once even thrown in the fire, purely by “accident.” Realizing the Wolfhaven Loyalist still had many allies within his own command, and under severe political pressure, Colonel Anderson had no choice but to reestablish Alpha Team under Sir Halten’s command, until the paperwork formally decommissioning the team was approved and signed in Kythros. However, they were denied the Alpha Team designation as that was still pending review.

 

Having achieved their objectives, Sir Halten and Sir Volstagg retired to the Halten Manor to assemble their team, and coordinate with their allies in the city.

 

Harvest Moons 27th, 3128

 

In the morning, Sir Volstagg, Major Hawksclaw, Sir Halten, Sir Mansfried gather in Colonel Anderson’s office to officially assemble the team. Having little choice, Colonel Anderson allows the assembled conspirators to select whomever they wish for their team. They select:

 

  • RFC Gracelyn Moldova Amaroth, Sworn of House Wolfhaven
  • Atlas, the ogre guilty of hospitalizing opponents to Wolfhaven
  • Wilhelm Cragheart, the dwarven Wolfhaven fanboy
  • Sylvia Harpy Vex, an apostate korindian and pirate
  • Finnlea Runesplitter, a human seer

 

and

 

  • Charlemaigne Pierre DeBugerane, a Camonere/Galean duelist

 

The only member that Colonel Anderson insisted on being assigned was a Farspeaker en route from a nearby Ranger outpost.

 

On the 27th, this new team, though not technically Alpha Team was commissioned by the Rangers, but placed under the nigh complete command of Sir Halten, in service of maintaining the already strained relations with the Olarans.

 

Harvest Moons 28th, 3128

 

In the morning, the entire team arrived in the courtyard of the Halten estate to be evaluated and signed on by Sir Halten, Sir Volstagg, Dom Diego, and Sir Mansfried. Along with Major Hawksclaw’s Loyalist, Commander Schenkle’s Militia, and Captain Vasser’s City Watch, Lord RabenClau’s position in the city has been secured.

 

To add to the general tumult, the cries of Olara for Olarans grows ever large amoung the Noble Houses within the city. The Harken Duchy has yet to take a stance on this, either, but how long can they ignore the political pressure. One mistake, one dishonor in the eyes of the Olarans, and the Rangers may be found in violation of the Charter. Many have already called for nullification based upon the Rangers “removing” Baron Wolfhaven from the city. All over water rights taken from the merchants of Middletown during last year’s Maker attack and the sudden appearance of the Crysarium mines. Even if Wolfhaven were not a factor, the city might have devolved into a civil war regardless…

 

We also received word from the Farwatch Road Outpost that a large force of goblinesh from the Stone Tower Gather may be mobilizing against the city of Echer’Naught.

 

Ascended help us all…

 

Malcolm

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