Shaintar - Rangers of Blue

Supplemental Report 3

Johanna,

We made it back to Blue and Thunk has accepted me into his unit. My classification is a scouting person who talks. We did not discuss my other… ah… duties. Currently, we are resting underground.

Some farmers have gone missing from the nearby town of Woodbridge. We were sent to investigate their disappearance. As far as I know, no livestock has gone missing. All of the following events occurred within 12 hours.

We stopped at the local tavern and spoke to some of the town folk, one of whom we coerce… ah… suggested lead us to the location of the last person who disappeared. At the tavern, we were told that a thing, approximately twenty feet high with a large wingspan, not made of feathers, was flying over the nearby woods, close to dusk. Once we had direct assistance from one of the farmers, we headed into the forest. From there, we saw little disturbance on the ground, but in the canopy, there were heavy gouge marks and several broken branches. I followed the tree road, while the rest remained on the ground.

About an hour later, I had an accident that alerted a group of Builders. We nearly came to blows, but Thunk, tho he does not speak well, talked us all out of killing each other and combining forces. The group of Builders had a war-machine golem of some sort with them, complete with rotating saw blades and other metal moving parts. Some creature had taken over their underground lair and killed some of their forces. That was where the farmers had been taken.

They led us to a copse of ruins, complete with a wide staircase leading under the surface of the forest. At the base were six skeletons of ancestral Builders and two freshly dead bodies. Their fallen comrades.

We were attempting to retrieve the dead to return to the Builders, when Joss ran ahead, triggering off a specter of some sort and the skeletons rose to attack us. So much for subtlety. We were able to get the dead out and unfortunately hacked their ancients to pieces, which will make future negotiations difficult.

There were some magical items in the temple area, but we left them there out of respect. In the lower tunnels, however, we had a nasty surprise waiting for us.

Several cages hung suspended over a lava pit. We found the farmers. Starving, but alive. Flying about the cages were two gargoyles. Across the pit from us was an opening portal, somehow energy attached to the cages the farmers were in. Not all of the cages were full, so I am assuming that there wasn’t enough energy to do what was wanted. I am no mage, so I am only guessing. Kneeling in front opf the portal was a creature similar to the flame demon that Thunk squashed in your city. Unfortunately, it accurately matched the description given to us: standing twenty feet tall, large bat-like wingspan, and demonic.

We fought hard with two of the Builders at our sides. Joss took out one of the gargoyles and may have redeemed himself. Depends on what the future holds. Rak took out the other gargoyle. Thunk, the builders, and I took on the demon, and the other two helped, once the gargoyles were dispatched.

Currently, we are resting, getting the farmers out, and figuring out what peace accord we can bridge with the Builders, for now.

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Supplemental Report 2

Johanna,

Well, I survived. Obviously or I wouldn’t be writing this. Just barely. And, I am learning that I do not do so well in caves. Not enough air space to shoot, I think.

We were joined by an Aevakar male that Thunk and Rak know. Jossifer was still inside with one of Oggo’s men. The three decided to go in through the front. I searched for a second way in, just to make sure no one doubled back on us. I found it. Unfortunately. I followed the riverlet around the cave, passed the men that we had staged as playing a game of cards. I do not think I will ever forget the look of shock on their faces as an ogre charged forward screaming, “Help! Help! Thunk need help!” I do not know that I would have done any better. Once I entered the cave, I heard a tinkling noise. And my skill with a bow failed me utterly.

I was confronted in the shallows of the cave pond by two men. They looked like red, hairless dwarves. One pulled out a crystal weapon and shot me with it. It looked like a bow, but instead of arrows, it discharged an energy bolt.

I am no idiot. Compared to an Ogre, Orc, or Dragordian, I am still crunchy. I screamed like the little girl I am inside, switching from bow to sword in an attempt to maybe perhaps not get dead. Hey. I am not so overly proud that I won’t ask for help when I need it.

Rak came to help me. I thought. He killed the one on the other side of the pond, while I tried very hard not to become further mobile target practice. I failed at that too. I heard more fighting up ahead, and knew that Rak would be the only one able to come. He killed the second one as well, his blood heating. I stupidly ignored that, grabbed my bow, by passed the two boats in the cave’s pond, and rushed ahead to help Thunk and the Aevakar. On my way, Rak ran me down, nearly killing me. I learned later, that he really hadn’t meant to. But, as I am learning with this group, I should always remain at least Thunk’s arm reach away from any of them. The bird man healed me. Rak went forward to help Thunk. Once stable, Corvus and I went to assist. I kept my distance from the lizard guy. Head reeling, I think I shot one more of the Prelacy Pri… uh, the enemy.

Thunk dispatched the leader. Once things were quiet, we healed one of the Prelacy soldiers and began to question him. The hairless guys were called Builders. I do not know much about them, but they do not like other species.

While the healing took place, Thunk and I looked around the cave. There was another room, complete with maps, books, tables, and sleeping quarters. One map had several of the southern cities circled. Battle plans perhaps?

The soldier kept insisting that our southern churches would burn. Thunk let me question him. Or, at least, didn’t stop me. I sat the guy in a chair and shot him through the leg with an arrow, embedding the head through the seat. That way, I didn’t have to worry about his possible ability to squirm out of any bindings. He threw several insults at us, but refused to translate his language. As he is Prelacy, he does not like non-humans. I looked at his bleeding leg and decided some wet work was in order. Thunk turned around, and Corvus and Rak decided to go through the hole in the floor under a hoist, as I dropped my trousers. No washing the mingling of body fluids out of that wound. He was now tainted. And it got us a little more information. Such as that it was almost too late. The orders had been given.

I thought hard. This guy was a fanatic. The idea hit me that defiling his holy symbol, as he had, or his group had, planned to damage the Church of Light, might not be a bad idea. I dropped one of his beloved trinkets into a used chamber pot.

My work done, Thunk and I got out of the guy that several churches would be targeted with flame inducing bombs.

Once Corvus came back through the hole, avoiding the lift, he described what was in the chambers below and handed over two pieces of broken crystal. This cave had once been a Builder lair. Rak appeared a moment later. We talked a moment, collected the Builder weapons, and decided to pack up the war room. Corvus flew ahead to Lanthor with a warning. Which, by now, you know all about.

The two boxes that had grunted were two Grey Lanterns that the group had wanted you to help find. They had been gassed with some sort of vapor. I do not know what happened with them in the middle of combat, or about Jossifer or Oggo’s last man.

We packed the war room details in the crates, loaded everything on the cart, and put the soldier, still arrow-bound to the chair, on the back. I sang Brinchie lullabyes to him on the way back. As Da would say, “Mother would have a cat.”

I got a bath soon after we delivered the news and the captive to Lanthor’s Grey Ranger HQ. It was there that I discovered that I do indeed, have a tail. We all got some rest, then headed over to the Church of Light, in order to keep watch. By location was the back of the building.

It was a good idea of Thunk’s. Mid-morning, the next day, there was an assault on the Church. Through the graveyard. Rak inspected one of the mausoleums, being watched by a couple of humans visiting the walled area. He left to get a key, and combat broke out. Thunk intercepted a man trying to break into the same locked crypt. We shot several people. But Thunk was a hair too late. The device went off, and Thunk nearly died. His neck is now scarred, with the Church of Light symbol permanently burned into the side of his flesh.

I hope this tells you who these people are, Johanna. Some of them may act a little strange at times. But they have the common good’s interest at heart. I will remain with them for a while longer. I can only hope that other groups of Rangers took the warning seriously and saved the Churches in other cities.

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To Johanna, Supplemental Report 1
Supplemental Report 1

Johanna,

While I know we spoke of some of this during my last report, I wished to put it into writing, to have a historical dialog and to correct some errors.

The Grey Rangers you asked me to observe are very different from what you described a Grey Ranger should be. They are much more… grey… than I expected.

I chose to observe a specific outing from a roof top, after following Thunk the Ogre. Shortly after taking up my station, Thunk grabbed a man by the shoulders and dragged him bodily out of his home. I learned later that that man was Sessrik “The Devil.” Since I did not know, at the time, if this forced removal was for good or ill, I chose not to reveal my presence.

Sessrik, while being hauled down the street, began to chant. Fire burst out, and a huge flame-spawned creature stepped through the flames. The Abyssal or Norcan-Darr demon was as large as the ogre.

While I am sure I would do just about anything to protect myself if I were bodily removed from safety, I do not think I would make a deal with anything that evil. Thunk chose to remove Sessrik from this world by placing his body into the very flames the human chanted into existence. His death, however, did not return the demon back to where it came from.

I chose, at this point, that public and personal safety required my active participation. Several thugs rose from the very rooftops that I was posted. I gave assistance in the form of aerial support.

Thunk chose to remove the devil next. Several blows were exchanged. I did help by shooting the thing once in the neck. But I think it was Thunk’s stomping on the demon’s head, which exploded like a smashed watermelon, that did the most damage. Also the very reason that, later when Thunk motioned for me to come over to him, I chose to remain on the rooftop.

Six or seven thugs came to Sessrik’s aid, rising from the shadows on the slated rooftops. I shot two or three. I think. I did not know at this time that Rak, a Dragordian, and Jossifer, a Korindian, were coming down a side street toward Thunk. Once Thunk removed the threat of the demon, Jossifer removed himself from the area. Rak, on the other hand, remained, and the three of us removed more of the thugs. When the ruffians turned and ran, we chose to let them leave. And to leave the bodies of the dead behind. Sorry for the lack of cleanup, if you were involved in that part in any way.

Thunk asked if I wished to join their little band. As I had just seen the Ogre stomp someone’s head like a grape, I chose not to be all that vocal and kept well out of grabbing range. Just in case. Despite that, I accepted, as I thought that would be the fastest way to get the information you required.

The group returned to their tavern. The Branded Fish. Thunk went to rest. Jossifer, Rak, and I went to infiltrate a crime boss’s lair- that of Oggo. For some reason, I am reminded of breakfast pastries every time I hear the name. Oggo, as I am sure you are aware, is a fat human crime lord. His thugs are very well disciplined and do not get distracted easily. At least, not while in the room with their boss.

Oggo is being controlled by a group called the Red Store. As per your instructions, I will attempt to locate more information on this group. But I do know that they are not from the area. Oggo’s daughter is missing and may be how the local Crime Lord is being controlled.

It was after trip to see Oggo that I came to see you, while the others returned to their tavern for the second time that evening. I can understand why you were concerned. I got the impression that Thunk was removing Sessrik for his own protection. Not to kill or harm, but did not have the time to explain. But I have also gained the knowledge that Sessrik’s removal from life probably will make the area a little healthier in the long run. Sessrik was apparently a pain in Oggo’s neck and Jossifer had, I am guessing from the conversation, agreed to take the man out for the crime lord. Thunk was attempting to protect Sessrik from Jossifer, despite the man being an evil person and Jossifer being part of Thunk’s Grey Rangers. I did not get that part correct when last we spoke.

After leaving you, I returned to my own rooms for a nap. Then I went to the Branded Fish to wait for the others to waken. A messenger from Oggo appeared with a scroll.

Rak and Jossifer started the morning bickering. As it appears that Thunk is in charge of this group, I waited to for him to rouse to pass along the message. He asked if I wished to join the Grey Rangers, and gave me a Trainee Cloak, when I agreed. We were to escort a shipment from Oggo to a nearby location in Greyshore. Rak and Jossifer went to meet Oggo’s men. Thunk and I followed the map separately, to scout the area. After Jossifer went and bought two bladders of sheep’s blood.

Near the end point, a cave near the shoreline, Thunk decided to create a distraction, as their were four persons in brown cloaks guarding the entrance. It did not go as intended. As I was hiding in the trees, and saw that there was no reaction, I went back to Thunk and screamed as loud as I could. No such luck. They did not break formation. Thunk went one way, shouting for help. I returned to the tree road.

Thunk approached the brown-cloaked men, still shouting for help, bodily picked one up, and ran back the way he came. This, of course, finally got the attention he had been looking for. The other three went to their comrade’s aide. I am not sure what Thunk did with the first man, but I did hear a loud splash. I decided not to go into the cave as requested, and instead shot one of the men in the neck. They were heavily armored, well trained, and wore uniform garb. If there were four, what was in the cave?

I picked off the other two, then had Thunk assist me in arranging the four bodies to make it look like they were playing “cards” with a pile of leaves. Even though one man had an arrow through the neck and eye. I thought, if nothing else, it might make whomever was in the cave into non-moving targets a moment or two when they came out to see what had happened.

After the scene was set, I entered the cave. It was a good thing we did not do the original plan, as there was a fifth man inside, guarding barred doors. As silently as possible, I shot him as well, and dragged him back to Thunk.

Shortly thereafter, Jossifer, Rak, and three of Oggo’s men showed up with a cart. They began arguing, after seeing the “card” players stacked up in the little grove. Jossifer decided to not turn around and go back to Oggo, but to instead take himself and one of Oggo’s men into the cave after lots of arguing and Thunk presenting himself accidentally. I remained in the trees. The cave however, held several more Soldiers Prelacy of Kamon, who, it turns out, were the people Oggo was delivering the cart to. Yay.

The cart had two boxes. Both of which grunted when they were dropped on the ground.

I write this report now, with the hopes that it will somehow be delivered to you if I do not make it through another round of stupidity by one of the group, who shall, at this point, remain nameless. I am all for taking risk, as we discussed. But when there is a clear out when every one can get away safely and re-strategize, and someone ignores that, well… like I said. I like to hang back and see who is really friend and who is really foe. Hopefully there will be a Supplemental Report 2, and I will have not shot someone in the foot to prevent them from running away while I beat them repeatedly about the head, trying to smack some sense and well-being of others into their head.

reply Quote

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Journal of Rak'Lryss: Mysteries in Lanthor cont.
Mysteries in Lanthor: Week 2

-From the Ranger Logs of Rak’Lryss Tanokk

As Jossifer and myself raced to locate Thunk, our leader was already in some sort of trouble, having effectively kidnapped a lesser crimeboss.

Before we could arrive, nearly a dozen of Sassrik’s men emerged from the shadows on the rooftops to aim their bows at Thunk.

Meanwhile, the merchant himself began chanting from his position slung over Thunk’s shoulder. By the time our fearless leader realised what was happening, a wall of fire, conjured by Sassrik’s evil magic, sprung up several yards in front of the ogre and his passenger.

Things got even more interesting and dangerous as the thugs on the rooftops took aim at Thunk.

Several things then happened at once.

First, some sort of monster crawled out of the flames.

At the same time, one of the thugs fell silently from the rooftop, an arrow in his throat.

And Thunk, quickly realizing that he had a foul minion of the Flame in his grasp, began to carry Sassrik towards the fire.

In the resulting chaos, another thug fell to his death, pierced through the heart by an arrow. Thunk forced the now screaming wizard into the flames, burning the man with the very fires he’d conjured to kill the ogre.

By the time we arrived, Thunk was engaged in a melee with some sort of Demon nearly as large as himself, the goliaths trading blows in the middle of the street.

Meanwhile, the thugs began to realize that not only had Jossifer and myself arrived, but someone on the rooftops was shooting at their men.

With definite enemies in sight, enemies who were obviously servants of the Flame, I saw an opportunity to refocus my disciplines. Though the mental training I recieved as an Adprt Initiate allow me to keep my bloodlust in check, there are times when I can unleash that rage at owrthy targets, using my own weakness as a tool against enemies of the Light.

With a quiet snarl, I cleared my mind and let the rage overtake me.

Leaping onto a crate, I was able to pull one of the assassins from the roof with my Kayakor, but I was forced off the roof myself, falling prone next to the battle between Thunk and the demon.

Jossifer fared much better. When a pair of assassins fired at him, missing both times, he pulled one of the arros from a nearby post and launched it back at the firer, killing the man. The Korindian then lept from barrel to post to rooftop, barreling into the second archer and driving both of them off the back of the building. The resulting two story fall killed the second archer as Jossifer rolled so that the thug’s body took the bulk of the collision with the street below.

It became apparent that we had an ally on the rooftop when a feline figure fired an arrow at the demon, hitting the beast in the same spot Thunk had just wounded.

The battle was soon ended when Thunk forced the demon backwards down the street. I was able to hook the monster’s leg with my Kayakor, allowing the ogre to grapple the demon and drive him head-first into and then through the wall of a nearby building.

As I pulled myself to my feet, I saw Thunk drag the struggling monster from the debris before driving the demon’s head into the cobblestones of the street, shattering the beast’s skull once and for all.

In the aftermath, the remaining three thugs fled.

With no enemies in sight, I was able to increase my calm and lock the bloodrage away, saving it for another day. Pleasantly, my rampage had caused no damage to innocents or allies. It appears that Master Moga’s training was working.

After a few cautious words and exchanges, the Brinchie archer who had been helping us climbed down to explain that she’d seen the assassins and once the demon was summoned, she decided to help those of us who were trying to stop it.

Of course, Thunk immediately recruited her into the Gray Rangers. The Brinchie, an archer named Mestah, accepted his offer.

I have a feeling this is not the first time Thunk has found new recruits.

So, with the remains of the demon and Sessrik, we returned to Deblaze to explain what had happened. All of us, especially Thunk, were relieved that we did not have to harm or frighten an innocent man, as Sessrik’s Flame magic proved that he was perhaps even more evil than Ogo.

After informing the Captain of our misadventure and introducing him to Mestah, we discussed the ramifications of what had just happened. Running into a minion of the Flame while investigating the disappearance of Lock and Hale seemed to be too much of a coincidence.

Again, it was recommended by the Captain that we do what we could to infiltrate Ogo’s gang without actually removing the Crimelord. After all, he was a known threat and he did keep most of the violence betweent he gangs focused on each other instead of the more innocent locals.

So, while the Captain disposed of the bodies, Jossifer, Mestah, and myself went to report a very edited version of our story to Ogo.

Not surprisingly, our new trainee had no difficulty blending in at the Drained Lizard and we were quickly whisked into Ogo’s lair.

At first, the Crimelord did not believe our story, claiming that we were simply claiming to have killed his rival in an attempt to defraud the obese man. Though he was amused to hear that the rumors of Sessrik’s “forbidden” dabblings might be true. However, Jossifer surprised the crimelord (and me) by producing Sessrik’s charred head, which my companion had been carrying with him since leaving the Grey Rangers’ enclave.

With this new proof in hand, Ogo’s attitude changed dramtically. There was laughter and boasting and we were invited to mingle with the other thugs and criminals. While I observed the strange goings-on, Mestah and Jossifer apparently gathered quite a bit of information. Our new Brinchie friend even managed to get Ogo talking about the situation in Lanthor.

Soon Ogo decided to give us another assignment. He would let us know. Soon. We had gained more of his confidence and now we might finally get more of a lead on the missing Rangers.

With this new connection, Jossifer and I retuned to the Branded Fish to inform Thunk of the new developments and catch some well-needed rest.

The next morning, we found Mestah outside our rooms with a message. Apparently, she intercepted a thug from Ogo, delivering our next assignment.

We were to escort a delivery to Ogo’s contacts in the deep woods a few miles outside of town. Mestah informed us of additional information about Ogo.

Apparently, the Red Store has been moving in on the crime scene in Lanthor. They were the ones who paid Ogo to send assassins to kill the Grey Rangers. Ogo was working for them not because of the profit involved, but because they had already caused some serious damage and threats. There were rumors that they killed him wife and kidnapped his daughter.

Mestah thought that if we could somehow find and rescue Ogo’s daughter, we might be able to sway the criminal towards greater support of the Grey Rangers.

However, there might be more to this, so we decided to split the group. Jossifer and I would escort the wagon, while Mestah and Thunk headed off ahead to scout the supposed delivery area.

So, while they set out, Jossifer and I talked with the three wagon drovers as we escorted them to the delivery spot. It turns out we were transporting several large crates and a few long boxes.

While we were traveling, Thunk and Mestah spied on the smuggler’s cave, seeing several robed guards. Apparently, after several combined ruses, the pair managed to lure the guards towards a nearby river, where Thunk engaged the guards in combat and Mestah brought them down with her arrows from the safety of the woods.

By the time we arrived, our scouts had retreated into hiding, though they left the bodies of the guards out by the path.

Jossifer and I found the bodies. We knew it was Thunk and Mestah, because the corpses had been propped up to look like they were sitting, playing poker, with leaves for cards…

Upon further examination, we could see that the guards were wearing Prelacy armor. Heavy armor. This had suddenly become more interesting and dangerous.

At first, we had to explain to the other members of Ogo’s gang that something bad had happened, and that there might be some sort of betrayal. It took a bit to convince the drovers that we needed to finish the delivery, and so we managed to get close to the cave so that we could call out a few more guards from inside.

After some more discussion, two drovers and I decided to wait outside while Jossifer and the leader of Ogo’s carters went into the cave to see how many more enemies we might have to face. The drovers thought it might be as many as a few dozen.

It wasn’t a great plan, but, as he covered his pointed ears with a bandanna, Jossifer explained, “I didn’t ask you if this was gonna work. I said this is what we are doing.”

He is only a Ranger in Training, but I admired his bravery and decided to go along with his plan.

After all, I did not have a better one.

Thunk and Mestah remained hidden in the woods to the side of the trail, apparently unseen by the drovers.

After a few minutes, more guards came out. Apparently, Jossifer had found an inner chamber and had convinced the Prelacy guards there that he was not only human, but was also one of Ogo’s men. He must have also convinced them that something strange was going on, because they came out wary.

When they came out, the guards turned out to be more of the heavily armed Prelacy soldiers. At first, the drovers were talking to their contacts, trying to figure out what happened and why there were dead bodies by the road. I removed my hood, silently enhancing my own protection with the disciplines Master Moga had taught me.

My reptilian appearance betrayed the misguided hatred of the Prelacy soldiers and they immediately dre their weapons and made moves to strike down not only myself, but the two drovers who were speaking with me.

As I surged forward to protect the men who came with us, I again allowed the rage of my ancestors to fuel my actions, struggling to direct my anger against the Prelacy warriors.

“It is an ambush!” I yelled to Ogo’s men, “Get out of there! the Prelacy is trying to kill us all!”

I need not have worried about protecting the drovers. Before the nearest thug from Camon could strike, he grabbed his throat and fell to the ground, his neck pierced by an arrow.

Even in my rage, I recognised the work of my ally Mestah. The drovers would be safe and I could push my concern aside. As my Kayakor cut through the next Prelacy puppet, Thunk charged from the cover of the trees, catching another with a crushing blow

The last assassin fell to a blow from my tail and another arrow from Mestah, and in seconds, our battle was over. As I again regained control of my rage, I struggled to explain to the drovers that Mestah and Thunk were with us, additional protection to protect the delivery.

Again, this was the truth, though I was leaving a few details out of my explanation.

Luckily, the drovers recognised Mestah from the day before, and with a bit of quick talking, we were able to convince them that the Prelacy men were our enemy and that all of us were in danger.

The drovers agreed, and they decided that it was best to simply leave the cargo delivery and head back to the city, abandoning Jossifer and their own leader to the villains of Camon. As they were always paid back in town and never recieved direct rewrds from the Prelacy contacts, this seemed to them to be the best option.

The pair began to quickly unload our cart, explaining that this had never happened, though they seemed grateful that we were there to protect them.

Thunk was anxious to further explore the tunnels and he was already making preprations to head into the cave as the stack of boxes grew next to the cart.

Then, as the drovers unloaded the last two boxes, I heard a noise. As they set the first container on the ground, a long box nearly the size of a coffin, we heard a grunt and groan from within. I moved closer to the box, listening again as the others unloaded the final crate. I heard coughing from within the nearest box and another grunt from the final crate.

While I looked to Mestah, a shadow fell over the camp as a winged figure dropped from the sky.

(End of Week 2)

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Journal of Rak'Lryss: Mysteries in Lanthor
Mysteries in Lanthor: Week 1

-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)

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