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Session date

Rangers of the Greenway Road

Campaign Report 148

Starfall/Shaintar

Malcolm Report

 

Date Filed: White Stagg 1st, 3128

 

Darker days indeed. I was not here for the beginning of this tale. Not even my predecessor, Sergeant Evoran Que’kasaars recorded the first days. His mentor, Lieutenant Grizhnak Olgor was the first of the Ranger scribes of the city. It was he who recorded the founding members of Alpha Team, Wolfhaven, Hawksclaw, Highwall, and Longtail.

 

From the very beginning, Sir Halten has resented the Ranger’s arrival in “his” city. Hawksclaw was arrested almost from the moment he arrived. The relationship has only soured from here. But finally, after six years, it appears that Sir Halten has achieved what he has long sought. Longtail arrested, and Wolfhaven dishonored.

 

I fear this tragedy has only begun…

 

Harvest Moons 28th, 3128

 

With the Rangers actively distancing themselves from Sergeant Mansfried’s team, the “former” Alpha Team gathered at Sir Halten’s estate. As foreigners and dignitaries filled up the city with their entourages and tensions grew to a fever pitch, Sir Halten elected to leave the city on a hunt. To distract himself from the stress of his pressing duties.

 

Or more likely, to avoid his wife.

 

He ordered his new Ranger team to acquire rations for the trip and make preparations to leave in the morning, leaving the arrangements to his new team leader Sergeant Mansfried.

 

Briefly, as I understand, Sergeant Mansfried briefed his new team that the Rangers, namely the new Lady Mayor O’Meyer was seeking to officially disband and retire their designation, Alpha Team. And, from what I understand, he also revealed some of his mission to Norcan Darr, and the loss of his arm.

 

Once the formalities were completed, the team established its new chain of command.

 

Former “Alpha Team”:
Sergeant Sir Egon Mansfried
RFC Gracelyn Moldova Amaroth
and
Ranger Charlemagne “Charles” Pierre DeBugerane

 

The military necessities established, Sergeant Mansfried dispatched his team to prepare for their “mission.”

 

RFC Amaroth and Atlas headed to acquire new, “presentable” clothing for the team. They were attending a royal hunt.

 

Sergeant Mansfried took one of the Rangers to acquire horses from House Wolfhaven. Payment for a debt owed; returning the sword of the House.

 

Charles and the rest headed to get necessary kits from Ranger quartermaster, Sergeant Major Stormhammer. And, a former member of the team.

 

Harvest Moons 29th, 3128

 

In the morning, reports indicated that the new Team arrived at Sir Haltens estate. Their various gear arrived shortly after, clothes, horses, and kits. Together with the new Team, A small retinue of Almahradi attendants joined Sir Volstagg. Diego had a handful of retainers from Nazatir, but his only guard a Ranger from Sergeant Minor Longtail’s protection detail, Rick Riordan. A reminder, someone in Ranger command thought it a good idea to put the woman who had sworn to kill Dom Diego for the murder of her husband in charge of his protection.

 

As always, Sir Halten traveled with a veritable army of guards, men at arms, retainers, and companions.

 

Once all had assembled and preparations were made, Sir Halten’s hunting party was ready to leave. Enter Lady Halten. I could hear her shrill voice screeching “Eric” from down the street. Guards at the North Gate reported Sir Halten’s convoy riding hell-bent for leather north with his retinue trailing behind.

 

The last to clear the gate were Runesplitter and Atlas clattering along in their dwarven built wagon.

 

That evening, Sir Halten’s convoy stopped at the growing thorpe north of the city. The local inn has been a long-favored waystation for Rangers traveling the road. With the added traffic drawn by Echer’Naught’s growing importance, the innkeeper has added a second story, stables, and other amenities. Small shops and other services have sprung up around, along with a growing population. I have no doubt that within a few years the waystation will be added to the tax rolls as a fully-fledged community, much like the East “Dwarven” Waystation along with the Wyvern Estate, the West “Elven” Waystation, and the Southern “Goblinesh” Waystation along with Smithing’s Outpost.

 

While there, the Team’s newest member, and Farspeaker, the Korindian Taka, arrived. As an RFC, Taka quickly assumed the third in command position changing the Team’s command structure to:


Sergeant Sir Egon Mansfried
RFC Gracelyn Moldova Amaroth
RFC Taka
Ranger Charles.

 

Sir Halten, Sir Volstagg, and Dom Diego all get rooms in the Waystation. The Rangers encamp outside in the yard along with a few travelers.

 

Harvest Moons 30th, 3128

 

In the morning, Sir Halten and the Team leave north without incident. by that evening, Halten’s force had left the main road and entered an ancient forest to the east. The lands were held by a vassal House of the King’s own, House Olar. Apparently a good friend of Sir Halten, the land’s Lord had invited Sir Halten to hunt.

 

We learned, more overhearing tales of the hunt in taverns discussed by the attendants to the Lords, that Sir Volstagg elected to hunt a Hart Stagg. To that end, Halten’s party ventured deep into the forest that night before setting camp.

 

Harvest Moons 31st, 3128

 

Sir Halten tasked the Team with tracking and bringing the Stagg to bay Which, as I am told, they did admirably, and swiftly. They bring it to bay by noon. Sir Volstagg was given the first thrust but missed his mark by inches. The spooked creature, larger than any of the party’s own mounts charged the dwarf Cragheart. Only Thorgram’s shield and Sergeant Mansfried saves the young Ranger.

 

They were both injured as the stag began to paw and butt. Even as Sir Volstagg turned his mount to make another pass, Dom Diego galloped across the field and lays the beast low with a single thrust of his rapier. With that, the first day of the hunt ended. Atlas draged the massive animal back to camp where retainers string it up and begin to field strip.

 

Sir Halten, Sir Volstagg, and Dom Diego returned for a well-deserved drink, and to discuss current events. None were willing to reveal what the lords said, but we can guess much focused on the quickly deteriorating political climate in the city.

 

Almost as if on cue, Taka received word of a reception to be hosted within the week for many key delegates. Sir Halten was “requested” to attend. Grudgingly, the party prepared to depart in the morning for the city. And the negotiations.

 

Harvest Moons 32nd, 3128

 

After rejoining the main road and then turning south, Halten’s company arrived once again at the North Barony Road Waystation and Inn. However, over the past 48 hours, dozens of attendees to the political conference have been leaving the city as turmoil boils over. Every waystation, roadside inn, and hovel with a shingle out within a day’s ride of the city was filled to overflowing.

 

The North Barony Road Waystation was no different by the time Sir Halten arrived. So much so, that according to reports, only Sir Halten was able to secure a single room for all three Lords, Halten, Volstagg, and Diego. The common room and courtyard were too packed so the Team was forced to camp in an open field across the street. The Lords found a corner table near the hearth. Each took a single man for protection. Ranger Riordan stood guard over Dom Diego, Ranger Charles DeBugerane protected Sir Halten, and an Almahradi warrior flanked Sir Volstagg.

 

However, in the press, all were distracted as Sir Halten handed drinks to Dom Diego and Sir Volstagg. Someone approached Charles DeBugerane from behind, stabbing him in the back. His cry of pain and alarm drew every eye. Three figures fled in the confusion: an Eldakar sprinted for the door, a human man sprinted for the stairs to the second floor, and a boy ran for the back.

 

Range DeBugerane caught the man at the stairs who was unarmed. The Rangers outside, hearing the commotion, sprinted for the Inn. Sergeant Mansfried ran after the fleeing Eldakar. Runesplitter, Cragheart, and Atlas charged into the Inn with Atlas shattering a table against the ceiling to get control. Harpy, the pirate, sprinted around the back of the Inn. Taka remained to guard the camp.

 

Sergeant Mansfried easily apprehended the Eldakar who was armed with a bloody knife. The Olaran knight dragged the true assailant back to the Inn. DeBurgerane, in the meantime, secured the human, though it seemed as though he was just running from a violent crime.

 

However, with all the confusion, no one saw Dom Diego collapse onto the table after taking a sip from his drink. He was vomiting and convulsing. RFC Moldova rushed to his aide, but there was little she could do. Sir Halten began to violently interrogate the eldakar assailant, beating him nearly to death.

 

The Royal sheriff ordered Cragheart to patch the man up and Taka to ask him why he tried to kill Ranger DeBurgerane. As it turned out, the elf’s family were captured, tortured, and executed by the Prelacy of Camon. He simply hated all Camonere and took the opportunity to attack a vulnerable target.

 

Dom Diego’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and RFC Amaroth suggested they get him to the hospital in Echer’Naught as her attempts to heal him with magic failed. Sir Halten ordered that the Eldakar be turned over to local authorities. that Sergeant Mansfried finds out who poisoned Dom Diego, and that he, Sir Volstagg and RFC Amaroth would be rushing Dom Diego to Echer’Naught’s hospital.

 

Carrying Dom Diego, Sir Halten’s entire entourage, minus the Team, departed at a fast gallop heading south, leaving Sergeant Mansfried to find out who poisoned Dom Diego.

 

Sergeant Mansfried sent DeBugerane into the kitchens to find where the boy had vanished into after the stabbing. He quickly found the young man, Tom, cowering in the cupboard. The boy was coaxed out of the cabinet and admitted to running when he saw the Eldakar stab DeBugerane. He knew little else.

 

Atlas sniffed the cup and smells…flowers.

 

The orc followed the scent through the kitchen and out the back door where the scent began to fade in the open air and wind. However, none of the Team could locate tracks. Here, Harpy interjected that she had seen a kitchen server bump into “something” spilling her tray over the ground.

 

The Team guessed that the cup had been poisoned by an invisible attacker. Atlas pushed to continue the hunt before the assassin could escape.

 

So, the Team left the inn heading south and east, zigzagging parallel to the main road as it ran toward Echer’Naught.

 

Even as the Team hunted, Sir Halten arrived in Echer’Naught six hours after leaving the Waystation, just before the 13th hour. Flashing his badge, he rode past the guards leading his entourage straight for the hospital. Dom Diego was admitted immediately, but the healers could do little.

 

RFC Amaroth contacted former Ranger Grimm who correctly identified the poison as an allergic reaction. But, no one seemed to know that Dom Diego had any allergies. After contacting the Rangers, the Nazitiran delegation, and even his own wife, there appeared to be no records of his allergy recorded anywhere. Curious.

 

While seeking the nature of his allergy, Dom Diego’s body began to shut down. On death’s door, the healers are unable to save him. Sir Volstagg steps in, binding his life force with Dom Diego’s via the Silver Unicorn’s power. While this saved Dom Diego, it also tied their lives together. Should one perish, the other would shortly follow.

 

Harvest Moons 33rd, 3128

 

Late in the afternoon, after a fruitless hunt of the assassin, the Team arriveed in Echer’Naught. They are stopped and searched entering the city as neither the Ranger, City, or Olaran guards trust them overmuch. However, they managed to arrive at the hospital shortly after Dom Diego regained consciousness.

 

Together, Sir Halten, Sir Volstagg, and the Team learned from Dom Diego that he is fatally allergic to a rare, but not particularly valuable, a flower found only in certain regions of his homeland. He had apparently fallen into a patch as a child and nearly died. As it was a crippling weakness, he ensured that only he and his mother were aware of the potential poison. One can assume that the doctor who treated him as a child did not survive long.

 

That mystery solved, the Team needed to learn where one could acquire such a rare blossom here in Echer’Naught. The Team divideed, RFC Amaroth going to speak with Gill, Mansfried, and Atlas heading to the local potion master, Flamel Apothecary. Harpy headed to speak with her fellow pirates, who congregate at the Wayfarer’s Rest, before being directed to several pop-up merchants in just for the event.

 

Though he had none of the rare flowers, Grimm is so intrigued, he sought out the Potionmaster as well. Harpy also found none available, but several merchants promised that they could acquire the blossoms for a price.

 

Eventually, all arrived at the potion master who had explained to Sergeant Mansfried that he had three blossoms but they were sold about a week prior to an unknown buyer. Though they never met, he DID hand off the package to a street urchin runner. With Taka and Grimm’s help, the Team managed to sketch a passable likeness of the boy.

 

As it was late, and shops were closing, the team retired to the Backroom of the Barracks, formerly Whitestone’s Office. They ate and discussed the developments of the day.

 

While eating and discussing, a messenger handed Sergeant Mansfried a note. Upon receiving the note, he immediately ordered the Team into Low Town to investigate a new lead. RFC Amaroth and Taka had been at the hospital, so they arrived in Low Town first. They attempted to “case” the address before the others arrived, and find a good observation location.

 

However, when the rest of the team arrived, Taka revealed their position forcing RFC Amaroth to abandon her plan and simply rejoin the others in the streets. Outside the Low Town hovel, Atlas smelled blood within. Taka, however, sensed no life. Also, the sudden arrival of the Team wearing green cloaks attracted the attention of the locals who began to gather at the fringes.

 

After checking for traps, the Team entered the room to find it clean and orderly. At first, nothing seemed amiss, but Atlas continued to smell blood, and the Team eventually found traced in the joints of the wood floor. Someone had bled out recently, and someone else had removed nearly any evidence.

 

Atlas also smelled lye, used in making soap. The Team found nothing else. However, Atlas tracked the scent of blood outside to a nearby sewer grate in the alley beside the hovel. There the scent of blood was stronger, but the grate was locked by an engineer’s key.

 

Sergeant Mansfried headed to the City Watch Station to get a key, while Taka and DeBurgerane peruse the papers and books in the Adept’s room, and Harpy tried to disperse the crowd. From what Taka could tell, the man had been a memory specialist and dreamwalker. While DeBurgerane leafed through the Adept’s datebook, Taka contacted his peers in the Farspeaker network.

 

DeBurgerane learned that the Adept’s last appointment was the previous night, Harvest Moons 32nd, but everything was in cipher so he knew nothing of who the man met, or why. Taka revealed that he was a known criminal. The man, Epstein, had worked in the Elven lands until he was caught illegally altering memories for coin. He fled, and arrived in Echer’Naught where he provided memory and telepathy services.

 

Shortly, Sergeant Mansfried returned with a City Watchman who unlocked the sewer grate. Harpy and Amaroth drop into the sewer and find a corpse floating in a cistern nearby. They dragged him to the hatch and handed him out to Atlas who carried him inside.

 

There, the Team examined him and discovered he was an Alakar with a focus crystal whose throat had been slit. Runesplitter divined with the honored dead and received a message from beyond the grave. “I stole a memory and they took my life.” The team knew two things: this man likely wiped or altered the memory of the assassin, and Epstein didn’t kill himself.

 

Outside, Harpy questioned a few of the stragglers. They knew he was an adept and had a reputation, but they offered little.

 

It was late now, nearly the 13th hour, so the Team returned to their barracks/rooms until morning.

 

White Stagg 1st, 3128

 

In the morning, Harpy, DeBurgerane, and Atlas went to speak with Skullcrusher, the orc matron of the orphanage. She provided little help. Without better options, they staked out the Wolfhaven Refuge for Children, the local orphanage, hoping to spot the urchin who had delivered the package to the potion master. At around 11 AM, they spotted the boy running a message from the Orphanage.

 

Before he vanished into the crowd, they managed to flag him down. When asked about the delivery, he remembered delivering a package from the potion master to an alley in Middletown about a week prior, the same day Halten’s entourage left the city on their hunt. The boy said he met a brinchie in a dark hood and robe. He could only tell it was a brinchie due to the shape of the face, but really never got a good look.

 

Harpy paid him well enough that he would be willing to answer more questions should they need him later. He agreed and vanishes into the crowds.

 

After reporting in, Sergeant Mansfried asked if they showed the boy a sketch of Sergeant Minor Longtail, as Sir Halten suspected she was the culprit. Paying another urchin to find the first, Sergeant Mansfried asked the boy to take him to the meeting place. There, they show him a sketch of Sergeant Minor Longtail. The boy thought it could be her, but did not get a sufficient look to make a positive identification. Sergeant Mansfried dismisses the boy.

 

Here, Sir Halten arrived, demanding updates. Sergeant Mansfried hesitated to implicate Sergeant Minor Longtail, but was forced to admit the boy thought she could have been the buyer of the flowers. Add to that her connection to orphans, her ability and stealth, and mostly her public pledge to murder Dom Diego at first opportunity was enough evidence for Sir Halten to issue a warrant for her arrest.

 

By the time the Team returned to the barracks for a late lunch, Sergeant Minor Longtail had been arrested at her third office in Middletown…not far from the alley she is purported to have purchased the poison to kill Dom Diego.

 

At the very least, she appears guilty.

 

The Team was ordered to stand down and await further instruction as Sir Halten continued the investigation using Olaran assets. Clearly, he feared the Rangers would try to smuggle her out of the city, as they had with Wolfhaven if given the chance. And, based on the tension between the Rangers and the Olarans, I would not doubt they would try to prevent Longtail from suffering “Olaran justice.”

 

Malcolm

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