-From the Ranger Logs of Rak’Lryss Tanokk
After my apprenticeship with the Rangers of the Lone Keep and the recent treachery from the Malakar Dominion that nearly split the core of our organization in Krythros, I was finally given my cloak and made a full Ranger.
This was a great honor and the culmination of the first leg of my journey. We were given some time to recover and train, and the members of the Farspeakers’ Guild explained to me the importance of finding new members and encouraging other followers of The Way to join our ranks, especially if they can be convinced to become Rangers as well.
I was sent to Blue to meet with Captain Bromwell for my first assignment as a full Ranger. In addition, I was also to meet with the local Farspeakers Guild to coordinate efforts throughout the region. It was a pleasant journey, and, despite my foreign haritage, I was welcomed by both the Rangers and the Guild with open arms.
With this new mission and newfound confidence, I was assigned to follow some experienced Rangers as we investigated some goings on in Lanthor. Having never been even this far south, I was excited to travel to the greatest port city in the Freelands. Especially in the company of experienced Rangers.
Our group was led by Thunk, a well-known hero of the Rangers whom I’d had the pleasure of fighting alongside against the traitors in Krythros only a few weeks before. We were joined by two new recruits. Corvus is an Avekar and a devotee of nature magic. And Jossifer is a Korindian whose skills seem to be more oriented on dealing with people and some of the seedier places were were certain to end up.
Captain Roland Bromwell gathered us in Blue and filled us in on the details of our mission.
It appeared that two agents of the Rangers, Roderick Hale and Marlena Lock, had been investigating threats and dangers in Lanthor andGreyshore, often travelling between the two cities to report on goings-on there. However, they recently disappeared and there is little information to go on. With the recent internal problems in our Organization and the lack of experienced field agents, it was decided that it would be best to have a Senior Ranger like Thunk take some newcomers and recruits to investigate the disappearances.
So, we set out downriver, heading from Blue to Lanthor. This gave us a chance to get to know each other, which is always important when you are going into possible danger.
This proved to be important when we arrived at the Ranger Waystation along the river. We had beached our boat for the evening and were meeting with a friend of Thunk’s, a Dwarven Ranger named Tor Morningstar. While discussion our mission, we discovered that a trap was being laid for us in the woods between the waystation and the riverboat.
Thunk decided that the best plan was to go out and engage the enemy directly, leading us into combat with a trio of orc mercenaries and a half-dozen human rogues. At first, there was some confusion, as the orcs didn’t seem to know how to deal with the fact that we were allowing them to leave if they were not attacking us. (At this point, we were still not sure that they were enemies and Thunk did not want to take the chance of attacking an innocent bystander. As has been observed before, Thunk has upper management protential.) However, after falling back a few yards as we attacked the human mercanaries, the orcs tried to flank us.
This is where our superior training and comeraderie paid off, as the Rangers quickly regrouped and engaged the enemies on two fronts. Though we were outnumbered, the combination of Thunk’s combat exprtise and strength, Corvus’ aerial archery, Tor’s superior skill and Jossifer’s steath and weapon training, we were able to quickly overcome the attackers with minimal injuries to ourselves. Though the leader of the assassins died trying to pit his underhanded skills against Thunk’s might, Tor and Corvus were able to take several of the others alive, and we were able to question them.
Our fears about problems in Lanthor were confirmed when we discovered that the mercenaries had been hired to ambush and murder any Grey Rangers heading downriver. Of even greater interest is that several of our attackers were carrying coins inted and stamed in the Prelacy of Kamon. Even I knew that this was unusual for the area and that it might spell greater intrigue than expected.
With this new knowledge and good night’s sleep, our group, along with a few prisoners, headed south to Lanthor. Once there, we first checked in with Ranger Captain Niko Deblaze, to alert him of our mission and the recent ambush. He confimed that no one had heard from Rangers Hale and Lock since they’d checked in a week before and that there was some concern among the others that they might have suffered some horrible mishap. They had been investigating rumors of Red Store activity in the region and may have discovered something even more important.
With Deblaze’s assistance, we were able to discover that the mercenaries had been hired by one of the local Lanthor Crime Bosses, an odious man who when by the name of Ogo. We managed to convince one of the assailants, a weasely and weak-willed man who called himself Seth, to take us to Ogo so that we could question the Crimelord.
As Thunk was less than happy about dealing with criminals, Corvus, Jossifer, and myself left the ogre and Tor behind to work on their experimental crossbow weapon. (I believe Tor referred to some sort of arrow fusilade, but at this time I am not certain exactly how it will work. I do know it involves some sort of backpack assembly for Thunk.)
So, as our two most senior Rangers finished their work, I took the new recruits and Seth and sent to meet with Ogo. Before arriving, we carefully hid our Grey Cloaks, as my plan involved some level of misdirection and Jossifer felt that he could be more effective if they did no know he was a Grey Ranger.
I had to keep reminding myself that the people in Lanthor had their own city guard and might not have the same respect for our organization as more remote communities.
Seth took us to a seedy bar called the Drained Lizard, where, after a few conversations and some interesting diplomacy by Jossifer, we were ushered through some tunnels into Ogo’s recieving room.
The crimelord was large, obese, and slovenly, surrounded by assorted rogues who were engaging in all sorts of hedonistic vices. I had, of course, heard of such things on my way to theLone Keep, but I had never seen such a den of sin and pleasure.
I admit, it was interesting to observe.
At first, Ogo seemed upset that Seth would bring armed strangers into his inner court, and I have to agree that I would have disapproved as well, but after a few minutes of conversation, we were able to convince the crimeboss that we were here to meet with him and had no intentions of harming him. I produced my own Ranger Cloak, explaining that his mercenaries had fallen in battle with the Grey Rangers and that my comapnions and I came upon them. I explained that we were also experienced warriors and that I had gotten my own cloak from a Ranger. While this is the truth, I neglected to explain that it was given to me freely and not pulled from the body of a dead enemy.
Master Moga often explained that it is easier to get someone to believe your ie if it is, in fact, a version of the truth.
During our discussion, Jossifer and Corvus were able to get Ogo to imply that the Red Store was making a bigger play in town and that he’d been paid by one of their agents to send some of his men north to kill off the Rangers heading South. He’d paid his men with some Prelacy Coin, though we could not get him to admit where he’d gotten it from.
After a bit more negotiation, we convinced Ogo not to kill Seth for incompetence and to accept us a provisional members of his gang. However, he inisisted that we go through some sort of initiation first, carrying our some sort of mission for him. With that, he told us to meet one of his men at the docks at an arranged time. There we would be given a mission to kill one of Ogo’s enemies. Then we were dismissed.
We returned to Thunk and Tor, explaining our plans and that this might be a way to get some clues on who may have interfered with Rangers Hale and Lock. I was against killing any innocent person, though I woudl be willing to engage in some misdirection if need be. Was a touchy subject and there was some discussiona dn disagreement about how to deal with a crimeboss and a possible innocent man. After all, as the Rangers, we are the wall that stands between the innocent and people like Ogo. However, though Thunk disagreed with our plan, he agreed to hide at the dock beforehand so that the rest of us could meet with this contact.
Seth was allowed to enjoy the hospitality of Deblaze’s dungeons until this was all settled. At least he would be safe.
Tor, Jossifer, Corvus, and myself went to the docks, where we were informed that our target was a rival crimeboss. This man, Sessrik “The Devil” was a jewel merchant who ruled the gangs of one of the districts of the city. We agreed to carry out the contract and attempted to return to the Branded Fish, an Inn near the Ranger Lodge, where we were presently staying.
However, along the way, we encountered a woman who had been apparently shadowing us for some time. She produced some credentials and informed us that she was Johanna, a member of the Grey Rangers working with the Black Lanterns. I was, of course, impressed by this, having only heard of the Black Lanterns during my training.
After confirming her identity, we traded information, explaining to Johanna our plan and that we intended to find out just how evil Sessrik was and that we could arrange for him to disappear if necessary to make it look like he had been killed.
Johanna did not seem worried that we might kill the man and mentioned that it would be no loss.
The woman also informed us that she knew of Hale and Lock and had not seen them since they reported in to Lanthor. She was concerned about their well eing and feared the worst. We agreed to keep her informed of what we discovered and returned to the Branded Fish to make our plans.
As was expected, Thunk was comepletely against us harming or killing Sessrick. Even though I informed him that we only meant to make him disappear for a while so that we could get closer to Ogo, our ogre leader wanted no part of the planning. As a result, it took the rest of us a while to realise that he had already left.
After another quick search and discussion, Jossifer and I left to follow Thunk, hoping that he would not find greater trouble than he could handle.
In fact, Thunk had gone straight to Sassrik, pounding on the merchant’s door in the middle of the night, demanding to be let in so that he could save the man. “The Devil” refused and Thunk kicked the door in, dragging the screaming man out into the night.
As we attempted to catch up to Thunk, others were already converging on his location.
(End of Week 1)