Shaintar_J&L_Rangers of the Wilds

Troubling Times indeed

Col Wolfhaven
Regional HQ Echer’Naught

Lord Mayor, I hope this missive finds you well. We are in need of your services down here in Farwatch.

I am afraid that we need a tribunal to meet for the actions of one of our Rangers, and the alarm it has raised with another.

Details will be given later, but I do hope you can make time to come down and preside over this delicate matter.

Your friend and Servant in the Light
Thaleon

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Terror strikes at the heart of Farwatch

Ranger Bulletin to any nearby Gray Rangers

Wide Spread reports of chaos and terror are pouring in from Farwatch.

Reports have come in that no less than Three simultaneous attacks were launched throughout the city. One at the Ranger HQ, One at the Warehouse, and one even at the Merchant Council Villa.

Witness accounts tell that large numbers of undead and flying ghouls attacked the Warehouse where all of the products that keep Farwatch alive, are held. Others near the Ranger HQ state seeing large numbers of citizens, with seemingly no self preservation, literally throwing themselves into the walls and defenders at the Rangers Head Quarters. The most shocking development is the attack on the Merchant Council themselves inside the Villa. News is slowly spreading that there have been multiple casualties, but it is unknown as of now, to who. The Rangers of Farwatch were on site at the Merchant Council Vila, when the attacks started, and were seen quickly heading off towards the Warehouse to help the desperate defenders there. First reports state that there is minimal structural damage to the buildings, but the fear is the loss of lives could be severe.

More troublesome portents as multiple sources tell of a Large Column of Darkness Shooting into the sky from the North West in the direction of Landra’Feya. Reports state that the Rangers who helped defend the Warehouse were seen preparing to head in that direction.

Rangers in the area are asked to lend a hand at rescue and defense of the beleaguered town, and hope is that order will be restored soon. No information has been given from the Merchant Council, as they have been sequestered away to an unknown location for Safety.

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Darkness has moved into town....

ATTN: Col A. Wolfhaven
Echer’Naught Regional HQ

I hope the Light is guiding you my Friend, because with all that is happening in Farwatch, I fear the Light of Archanon, is coming quickly under siege. What follows are accounts of two of the Rangers of Farwatch, Nessius, and Soryn.

Journal Entry of Ranger Nytefyre
We opened the door and the walls exploded. Some kind of darkness creature stepped out and we had a really hard time dealing with him. He turned out to be some kind of shadow illusion. It was a spell called a phantasm. After we searched the rest of the place, we found one more trap. When we came out we found that they had taken 5 of the carts leaving us only two.
After getting horses and taking these back to the HQ, we opened the crates. They were filled with dark iron forged blades. hundreds of weapons forged of the toxic metal.
The guards told us where they were staying, so we headed over there in the morning. The buildings were not in the Dredges, which means that who ever had the smugglers stay there had the juice to push the merchant militia down. If this was in the Dredges no one would care but in this part of town it was significant.
We found the building from last night on fire so we obviously missed some evidence in our search and they wanted to make sure we didn’t find it. We were attacked when we went into the building by a rabble. After we beat them down we brought the leader home for questioning.

We started out gathering supplies and working on various things. Marek finally decided to train me in the arts of Arcmancy in exchange for more actively helping him to find a citadel to return his family. Getting a citadel is good for three reasons. We will keep it out of the hands of builders who will use it to evil, I will get to shoot builders in the face and there should be arctech for me/us to get in the name of the rangers.
Nessus got in a fight with bandits during patrol and the cat found a series of caravans were heading east toward Kator. She managed to fight off the attack and damage the cart enough to stop it. The priests of Camon were moving crysarium out of town in armored carts. We are going to take the cart and investigate. we know which way they were headed so maybe we can see. I am fairly sure that someone in this city is giving crysarium, from below to the prelacy. That’s some serious treason and I really hope it turns out to be cuntflap. Wolfbait is calling Thaleon back to the front for a push into the north. I don’t know if we are going with but that would be interesting anyway.

Journal of Nessius, Ranger of Farwatch
Location: Easttown, late at night, outside a non-descript house.
Derek and I looked back towards the flame and shadow surrounding the now empty doorframe. Mrrel was still recovering from her unintended flight across the alley.
Soren was already reading his weapons as I lept to my feet and readied my bow. The creature reacted first and charged partway across the alley, only to unleash a huge wave of only what can be called darkness.
It took a moment to shake off the darkness, but a feeling of weariness and decay stayed with me. I tried to shake it off and unleashed an arrow at the creature’s head. I watched as my arrow flew true and struck the creature in the head with an explosion of white silver. The creature roared and rocked back, but something struck me as odd. I couldn’t figure out what as a blast from Soren’s handcasters exploded against the creature. The beast reacted again, and still, something felt wrong.
Mrrel leapt to her feet, shouted “Not real!!!” and ran into the building. I was just lining up a second shot when Derek ran up to the creature, took a huge swing and swung completely through the beast.
I shook my head again, and then I could see my arrow lodged in the wall behind where the creature still appeared. Soren’s shots had taken out a good chuck of the wall opposite my arrow. Derek and Soren put their heads together for a second, and as one announced “illusion” or it so it seemed. As I thought more about it, the creature dissolved into nothingness. As it faded away we heard a voice echo throughout the alley, “You know, you are really starting to annoy me”. (Hey Brett, I can’t remember if SkellyHead talked, but if so, was it the same voice?)
We joined Mrrel in searching inside. As I walked in, she bounded towards a hole in the back wall. She suddenly stopped in her tracks and yelled “Trap!” It looked as if several people had bunked here, but suddenly left in a hurry. There were the marks of hasty packing and moving everywhere. Mrrel and I saw a dark shape disappear through the hole. I ran outside and watched the darkness rise from the ground and fly, fading to the south, moving much too quickly to track.
We searched the rest of the house, and it looked actually as if it were turned into a combination bunkhouse, warehouse and laboratory. In fact the hole in the wall was right near the laboratory section of the building. After finding nothing else of import, we went back outside to check on the guards we had left under the wagon. It turns out that while we were dealing with the trapped door & subsequent illusion, somebody had removed most of the wagons. Only two were left, including the one where we had stashed the unconscious guards, who were also still there. Derek & Soren took off to find horses to take the remaining wagons back to HQ, until we determined what to do with the poison. We placed the three guards to be interrogated further in the back of a wagon. Whilst Mrrel stood watch, I jumped back into a wagon to see if I could find out anything else. I was very hesitant to open one of the coffin shaped boxes after what happened inside the house, so I left them alone. They were really heavy regardless.
I jumped down, touched Mrrel on the shoulder and just about received a face full of claws for my trouble. Must remember not to startle Brinchie in the future. It could be hazardous to my health. Derek and Soren showed up shortly thereafter with 4 horses. Several of them shied away and became very agitated when I walked over to help. Apparently I’ve become rather infamous amongst horsekind. Great. I decided to walk back to HQ. About ½ way back, I was passed by the two wagons, with the horses bucking and making horrible noises as they recognized me. Grr….
Derek and Soren went off to interrogate the 3 guards since Soren spoke Malakaran and only one spoke any Galean. Mrrel and I went out into the courtyard with Darren to inspect the large boxes. We were just explaining to him about the traps and how were unsure exactly how to open them, when he produced a slim dagger and proceeded to pry the top off. Darien seemed to faint and fell back off the wagon and I felt a wave of sickness overtake me as it was revealed that the container was filled with back iron weapons. Well, that ended my involvement in the containers and wagons and horses, and screw everything, I headed off practice some archery for a while since that always seemed to help.
It turns out the 3 guards worked for Harkvale as well. We really need to meet that guy. Only one of the three guards had met Harkvale, the other two only stayed at a house around the corner from the warehouse/laboratory/bunkhouse we visited earlier. Also, Randall had met Harkvale at an unnamed tavern in the Dredges.
We decided to get a bit of rack time, as we were all yawning by now, and interesting things keep happening at night around here, unfortunately for the humans.
Several good hours of nothingness later, and we were gearing up to head out. Soren was called out to the gate by the merchant who was trying to procure more Crysarium for his handcasters. I never did find out the details of that conversation, but the merchant seemed to be satisfied with Soren’s responses.
As we neared the warehouse we visited early, we noticed that it was on fire, and very specifically, the laboratory area was on fire. And it wasn’t appearing to be spreading. And why the hell was it so quiet? The fire should be drawing a crowd at the very least. Good questions, and now we have to add them to the list.
I decided to stand watch out in the alley whilst the other three took a looksee inside the house. Derek kicked the door in, with weapons drawn, just in case. Nothing happened. It seemed dark inside. They disappeared inside, and for a bit, nothing happened.
I was minding my own business, contemplating my navel apparently when I noticed at the last moment, a sap heading towards my head. Quickly ducking, I yelled out “Ambush!!!!” towards the house, and prepared to defend myself.
The poor bastard who swung the sap at me was having a bad time of it. I almost wanted to give him directions but he might hurt some poor villager. He smacked the sap against the side of the building and it fell out of his hand. He then went to draw his sword and it went flying through the air as if thrown by the gods. I felt really badly for him, so I quickly swung my bow around my back and drew my short sword. Sadly, I almost dropped my sword because I was laughing, but I managed to keep control. Then, I stabbed him to put him out of his misery and was turning to face his friend when Mrrel appeared next to me and solved that particular problem for us. Shouts of reinforcements reached our ears seconds before 2 more men rounded the corners in front of Mrrel and I. 2 More showed up at the other end of the alley, and 2 archers appeared above us on the adjoining buildings. I blinked and Mrrel reappeared at the end of the alley in front of our two reinforcements. She yelled “RUN!” at them, and one took one look at the snarling, smoking furball with claws and swords sticking out, dropped his sword and ran screaming down the alley, back the way he came. The other just smiled and gave Mrrel a “bring it” gesture.
I let Mrrel have her bit of fun, while I took aim on the closest ranged threat from above. I slowly breathed to the count of 3 and let fly. My arrow literally disappeared into the man’s eye socket. He didn’t even have a chance to nock an arrow. Oh well. Soren and Derek exploded from the house next. Soren aimed at the other archer with his pair of handcasters, and two loud explosions later, the ranged threat was no more. Mrrel and her dance partner were batting at each other like little girls so I took aim again as they separated to try to regain an advantage and I released my arrow. I got him in the right eye this time as my arrow removed his head and pinned it against the wall. Not too bad. I turned back just to see Soren explode one and Derek beat down the last.
Two women were found inside, tied up and beaten, abused, and other things that should NEVER be done to womenfolk.
They did not seem to be very comfortable around anyone but Mrrel, so she took them back to HQ. We healed the last survivor and tied him up. Derek, Soren and I searched around the house, and indeed the rest of the block. It seemed like the entire area was turned into barracks for at least 30 men, but all were emptied in a hurry. We always seem to be a step behind.

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Sanctifying a despoiled temple

Ranger Soryn’s Entry
After hiding the black iron in the ruins of the church we headed back to the Ranger HQ. Once we were there we discovered that a plague had been found in Greenvale. We sought out the alchemist who provides us with our potions and asked him to take a look at the necromantic malady.
I slept and when I awoke I found that the Nessius and the cat had found some kind of secret cargo. We found the carts fillled the Last kiss and a single wagon filled with locked crates six feet long and three feet wide. I think they are coffins with vampires or something inside that they use to make the last kiss.

Ranger Nessius’ entry
Location: Abandoned temple to Vainar.

Before we left the area, we stacked the crates of black iron (the humans and Brinchie did anyway. Thalien, Darren and I supervised from the other side of the room) inside the room where the gate originally was located. After closing and baring the door as best we could, Darren was able to cast a ward on the door to inform him if/when it was disturbed.
We made it back to HQ without incident fortunately, as the long walk out, all the fun and games underground (I’m going to have nightmares for a long time), and the walk back, I was starting to feel a bit tired. More than a bit.
I guess the day wasn’t quite done with us, as there was a small crowd of very unhappy and disheveled looking commoners outside our so called “walls”. More like holes with a bit if structure to hold them together. Should get that fixed one of these days… It seems like we’ve been here longer than we have. It has only been a week or so – the workers will get to it when they can.
Apparently the folk were up from Greenvale, which has been placed under quarantine for a plague. Some of them were sick but Thalien has it under control. I really hope we don’t have to travel there anytime soon. We offered the refugees shelter inside our “walls” while we figure out what to do with them. I’m sure they will end up helping out around here as well. Maybe one of them can cook.
After sharing our new largess of Chrysarium with Merrick, well, enough to power his armor at least, Soren & Derek took off to town to do a bit of shopping. Procurement of white silver short-swords or daggers for Mrrel & I was added to their list before Mrrel and I headed to our bunks to get some shuteye before the night’s festivities. Being able to see at night definitely has its advantages.
After a good few hours of sleep, Derek, Mrrel and I headed to Easttown. It looks like they had a bit of success but the white silver weapons will take longer than I thought. Seemed to be where the working class lived. Reasonably quite area.
After seemingly aimlessly wandering for a couple of hours, several things started to stand out for us all at the same time. First, several wagons throughout the district were noticeable mostly for being unmarked by any livery or coat of arms, and otherwise nondescript. Also there seemed to be more men standing in doorways and on stoops checking out anybody walking by. One particular set of men in front of a house in the SE part of Easttown really captured our attention as trying a bit too hard to be casual. Funny, I think part of what we noticed was that there were no women outside. We decided that we should take a bit closer look at this house, but we had to head back to HQ to get some food & grab Soren for the fun part.
After getting close to the house, I made my way stealthily up to the house, intending to scout around inside through a window if I could. I got to the house without incident and peeked in a window. Unfortunately it was too dark, and I couldn’t see anything inside. Wrong window?
I must have gotten up on the right side of the bunk this afternoon, since I managed to realize somebody was coming and dove out of sight just as one of those “casual lookouts” we had seen earlier walked by. I followed him, keeping out of the random pools of light, and hugging the walls and doorways. Now we were getting somewhere!
Keeping out of sight, I trusted Mrrell to stop anyone rude enough to try to interrupt our sortie. I followed him a ways up the street until he stopped at a cart, looked inside, turned around and then stared right at me. Oh shit! In the couple of seconds he just stood there and stared, I closed the distance started a blow from the ground behind be and landed a solid shot right on the side of his melon. I say melon since the noise it made was exactly like the thock you hear when you hit a really ripe melon. Anyway, his eyes rolled back into his head and he dropped. I mostly caught him and dragged him quietly under the cart.
I tied him up and went about starting to look inside the wagon. I saw 2 barrels that seemed full of liquid, some sort of alcohol by the smell, and 3 crates. That is strange, we need to figure this out, later when we don’t have to pay attention to these streets.
I was just finishing the climb down from the back of the cart, when I heard “Saul! Hey Saul!” “Have you seen Saul?” “No, probably sleepin’ on duty again”. Shit, they missed him already, oh well, we got one name. ! I was just looking around for a better place to hide Saul, when the next guard showed up next to the wagon. Mrrel appeared out of nowhere and clocked the next guard, and laid him rather neatly next to Saul under the wagon. We tied him up as well, as were just about to search both of them when we heard another voice call out in the dark. “Randall? Hey Randall, did you find Saul?” “Damn it, now Randall is missing” Derek showed up at the wagon just about the same time as the third guard did. Derek tried to knock the third guy out, but he just shrugged off Derek’s blow and was about to return the favor when Mrrel slugged the guy into next week. He made a strange groaning sound and slid down the wagon. We stacked him neatly beside his fellow guards/lookouts. Then my awesome eyesight failed me as I rather pronounced that they were unarmed. Derek gave me a look at started removing what seemed like an armory from the three of them. Mrrel determined that they were Malakarian by smell
We more fully searched the wagons and found that the barrels were filled with rum. Then we found something that really shocked the others. A drug called “The Last Kiss”. I hadn’t heard of it before, but in discussions later, it was assumed that it was quite possibly responsible for the plague reports from Greenvale. We found some other coffin shaped boxes, and we decided not to open them at the time.
We made our way back to the door of the house that the three lookouts were guarding. Mrrel ran up first, and as soon as she tried to open the door there was a huge explosion, and she flew across the alley followed closely by the door.
Derek and I ran up to her and rapidly patted her down to put the burning fur out. After checking to make sure she was not badly injured and handing her part of a healing draught, we turned back towards the smoking and now empty doorway.
A large shape was just visible through the smoke and flame.

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Miles underground...

Nessius Journal

Location: Mines under Farwatch

So after searching around a bit it suddenly dawned on several of us, that this structure, and the one above were abandoned temples to Vainar. This one looked like it was disused, and parts of it certainly were, but others were being used heavily, but not obviously.

We searched through what was definitely a dark iron mine. Mrrel suddenly stiffened up and sniffed the air. “Something nasty ahead”, she exclaimed, and all of us proceeded even more cautiously. We eventually found a barricade across the entire width of the passage. Familiar noises emanated from beyond. Peeking through gaps, we noticed perhaps a 1/2 dozen or so ghouls milling about. Several bodies piled on the floor indicated that they were being corrupted and dumped in here to fend for themselves. From the clothing on them, they appeared to be citizens of the Dredges. Thalien said that if we gathered them together, he could “cleanse” the lot of them. Well, Derek had to try twice to hit one in the head with rock. They eventually gathered close to the barricade trying to get at Derek. Thalien took a deep breath muttered a prayer and a white glow burst through the gaps. That problem was fixed at least.

It appeared as if the crates of black iron that we found in the wagons upstairs were found in the mines here, as there was dust on the floor recently disturbed, where the crates were stored.

We searched the rest of the temple and other that some rather disturbing blood pathways under a not disused throne, the other thing of interest was a door that was sealed. What looked like writing in dried blood covered the door and frame.

Thalien placed his shield directly in front of him, and muttered a prayer to try to unseal the door. A huge blast of evil for lack of a better word blasted him off his feet. I felt it as it blew over me, but other that a not so brief desire to be elsewhere, I just shook it off.

After a bit of discussion, Thalien took off back to HQ to retrieve Darrien, our resident mage to help with the door. The rest of us hunkered down inside the landing area under the lift. With the drawbridges raised, and the door into the temple closed and 40 foot high walls, we felt not at all safe waiting for Darrien and Thalien. Mrrel took a catnap, whilst I tried to stay alert, taking the time to maintain my equipment.

After about 1/2 an hour or so, my vigilance was rewarded, as I heard the soft puff as one of the shadow beasts appeared/disappeared. I shouted to the others that we were about to have company, and somebody wake up Hicks, I mean Mrrel.

Again, one appeared right in front of me, not liking me. I was able to shoot almost as soon as it appeared, and it shuddered visibly, as its attack brushed the front of my cloak. I heard shouts and crashes from the others as at least two more appeared among us.

My particular beast disappeared then reappeared in front of me again. I shot again, and this time, the thing made a horrendous noise as it seemed to melt into a black darkness and fade.

By the time I was about to line up for another shot, Derek swung into the last, and it didn’t even have a chance to melt and fade, it just exploded into nothingness.

Almost on cue, all of us still breathing heavily from the exertion of combat, the clank and groan of invisible chains signaled the decent of the lift. Thalien’s glow was visible long before he and Darien were.

We ushered Darien up to the door. He took a look at the writing and turned a bit green. “It requires a letting to unseal”, he announced, "you really want in here?” Unfortunately we really needed to, and while were debating a bit about it, Darien quickly nicked his palm, spread it across the door and stepped back.

We heard unseen clicks as the mechanism released. Cautiously, we opened the door and stepped inside. I saw almost nothing, as a much more powerful reaction to black iron swept over me. I almost retched on the floor as I back-pedaled away from the room.

Others examined the room, and found a black iron “gate” for the Ebonways. Or at least that was the consensus, as was the need to destroy it. Darien casually tossed a black-purple flame between his hands as Derek & Soren talked about how to accomplish just that.

We all retreated a bit as Darien gathered his will and threw a huge ball of black-purple flame into the room. A huge blast wave made me actually retch, as black iron dust filled the air. Another problem at least temporarily solved. Must remember to send to the druids apparently, as they have some method for dealing with black iron.

Soryn Nytefyre
The massive room was basically empty. In the far left corner we could ghouls boarded up inside the dark iron min. The mine is very old and may have been here for a long time. We found a portal to the ebon way in a room sealed with blood. Darrien blew it up with a spell and collapsed it inside the piles of rubble. We will still need to come back.
We found more of those shadow beasts and wandered around inside the crysarium mine. At first I thought that cuntflap was not up to no good but he is offloading boxes with his mark on them. While that might be ok, it seems odd. I would have expected his cut to be in coin not in the most valuable resource. He must be selling them directly to the Red Store, Or worse.
We didn’t get anything concrete accept a few pounds of raw crysarium and a lot of darkness. The face that the crysaruim seems to keep the darkness is interesting.

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Searching for a way in...

Collected journals of Nessius, and Soryn

Location: Farwatch, Ranger HQ

After spending several frustrating days trying to get into the only entrance to the mines to investigate the explosions in the Dredges, we decided to first look closer to home, and spent a good amount of time searching HQ for anything resembling an entrance to the mines, or other secret rooms for that matter.

After talking with our resident builder, who knew a little bit more about mining than us, we were determined to find a different entrance to the mines. We started off staring through the fields south of town. They were huge, and didn’t contain anything more than workers who looked disturbed as we trudged through the fields.

As we approached the road that led off to Kator?, Mrrel remembered the carts leaving our HQ the other night after we were attacked headed off this direction. We finally seemed to catch a break as we found wagon tracks leading off to large wooded area that would be perfect for concealing another entrance to the mines. After tracking the wagon trails through the woods for a while then ended up at a clearing with a building in the middle of nowhere. There were still a couple of wagons with horses still hitched in front. From the relative safety of the trees, we could see movement in the windows.

Being the stealthy ones(!), Mrrel and I proceeded to sneak up to the Eastern wagon, whilst the others would sneak up to eh other wagon, other than Thaleon, whose damn handy glow, was not so handy right now, who would provide us a distraction in 10 minutes.

All went well for a bit, until the fighting actually started. I could see a guard through an open window and was just about to take my shot when a shout towards the other wagon alerted all the guards. All hell broke loose then.

Thaleon flew in, and went over the top of the building as arrows and bolts started flying from all the windows towards us. We ducked behind the wagons. Damn I wished I had taken a bit of time and cut the horses loose, since they were looking very nervous, and I had a very bad feeling that we were going to lose our cover when they bolted.

Mrrel didn’t wait and took two bounding steps and drove through an open window to get at somebody. I was just about to follow her much more sedately when two men came around the corner and through the gate leading into the yard to the North of the house.

I decided to focus on the more immediate threat, even though they were looking up and babbling about the bright glowing thing in the sky. I shot my first arrow, and as usual it seemed recently, flew true, but didn’t do a damn thing but irritate him. I was just lining up my second shot when Gabby when flying by on the side of the other cart as the horses did indeed decide that leaving was an excellent idea. That gave me an idea about the two men in front of me, as they were continuing to focus on Thaleon above, so I decided to give them something else to think about

I took aim at the closest horse, and loosed a half-drawn arrow. And apparently discovered that horses have an inherit weakness when getting shot from behind. I still think my foot slipped or something as my arrow disappeared under the poor horse’s tail. The poor thing gave a massive cry, lurched forward dragging both the cart and the other horse with it and promptly crashed into the fence and died. The men simply jumped out of the way and continued to shoot at Thaleon above. The other horse ripped itself away from the cart and took off. It’s probably still running!

I shot a few more of my arrows that didn’t seem to do anything, but between Thaleon and I (mostly him), we took out the two in front of me. I went to the door in front of me, and opened it cautiously to assess the situation inside.

Derek was on the far side of the room, surrounded, Soren was just inside a window, surrounded, and Mrrel was squaring off with some sort of being with a skull for a head. Well you certainly don’t see that every day! There were a handful of human archers scattered throughout and several other beings that seemed to have weapons grafted onto them.

I took aim at SkellyHead, and let fly again. My arrows seemed to explode when reaching him, but still didn’t seem to do much damage. Gabby ran up and joined Mrrel in trying to take this enemy down.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Derek try to draw his sword. I say try, as he failed miserably, and his sword flew across the room to stick in some pews. Wow, this is going quite badly, I thought.

Sorren didn’t have many rounds left for his weapons, so he was stuck hand-to-hand which is not his strong suit against these “knights of darkness” creatures. Mrrel and Gabby weren’t having too much luck as was I against SkellyHead either.

Derek somehow got his sword back, his armor glowed, and he started cutting a swath through the knights, getting to Sorren.

I heard a huge explosion from the far room, and two bodies came flying out in an explosion of light. Thaleon must be helping from the outside.

I myself shot one last arrow at SkellyHead that penetrated his outside armor and burst in a ball of white inside his abdomen. He grunted, looked up and pointed at me directly, and disappeared.

Hmm, I appear to have made a more specific enemy of Darkness today. Once he was gone, the rest went down very easily, comparatively.

Thaleon dumped one human archer through the door contemptuously “This one tried to run”, he said disgustedly. After some moderate cleanup and healing. And my rather grisly task of dealing with the the poor horse. (I was NOT going to try to retrieve that arrow!) Mrrel and I searched the yard, and found several disturbed graves. The number loosely matched the number of knights that we dispatched, but not exactly.

When I looked inside one of the cart, a wave of weakness and cold washed over me. Black Iron! This gets worse and worse, I thought.

The others were finished searching inside, and they had found an apparatus that lowered into the ground. Soren found the mechanism for lowering it. It made a large clanking noise, but there was no visible mechanical means for it to operate. Thaleon and I made the first decent, since we would be able to see in the dark a bit better than the humans. After going down perhaps 2,000 feet, were hit the bottom and according to Thaleon, this was the structure that the Ranger had seen in the mines before, but were never able to get into. We searched around, but was unable to find another mechanism to raise the lift. After ten minutes, the lift started to rise again, as we had arranged. I rode it back up to tell the others what we had found.

After ferrying the rest of the party down, somebody had found the mechanism at the bottom to return the lift to the top, so we all went down to explore.

Other than the darkness, and being 2,000 feet underground it wasn’t too bad. I’m lying my ass off, but a Ranger does what needs to be done. We found a huge door with a sigil that looked very familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. After a bit of searching, we found a wheel that, when spun, opened the door. As we started to spread out through the chamber beyond, we were attacked by these shadow beasts that would appear and disappear at will.

One apparently took a serious dislike to me, and hit me once in the shoulder. We made short work of them, and my wound didn’t seem to be that serious, but I felt like I hadn’t slept in a day or two after the battle. Mrrel had apparently gotten her claws stuck in one whilst it was trying to disappear and take her with it! She let go at the last moment, but she visibly slumped afterwards. We tended the rest of our wounds before searching the rest of the room.

Soryn Nytefyre’s Journal

We decided to do a sweep around the city. We found wagon tracks leading into the woods on the north eastern side of the city. The woods had been cleared away and there was what looked like an old church out there. Two carts filled with crates of some kind were back there.
Archers attacked us as we approached the scene. Derek slipped around the corner as cat 1 and I jumped in through the window. I caught my self on the bits of shattered glass.
The fight went like many before. Since I am almost completely out of crystallites I was forced to fight in the melee. I am trained but not skilled so the fight could have gone better.
We battled archers, some kind of horned ghouls with swords melted to their hands and some horror with a skull for armor.
Gabby, and Nessius battled thugs outside and killed one of the horses.
Once the enemies were dispatched, we found that the carts contained dark iron ore, which is evil. We will need to have the Rangers dispose of it.
Inside we found a lab and an elevator that carried us deep into the ground. The bottom found us inside the massive fortification we couldn’t get into. The structure is of Shay’a Nar origin.
We opened a massive door with the markings of spiders and had to do battle with teleporting monsters. With out crysalites, every battle for me has turned into an ordeal.

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Nessius' Ranger Journal

Location: Farwatch, Ranger HQ

After sleeping the rest of the night/early morning through, we were kept busy most of the following morning cleaning up and tending to more wounds. It was discovered that Annika was missing from HQ as well.

It was decided to head to the Merchant Council’s Villa to “discuss” gaining entry into the mines to continue our investigation.

But our journey there was interrupted by a procession. Lo and behold the missing Annika was discovered on the arm of none other than Valerious. Bastard. I really really hope he’s corrupt and involved up to those eyebrows of his.

After seeing all of that, Derek decided to head directly to the teahouse where the entrance to the mines was located.

We spent what seemed like hours in the oppressive warmth of the teahouse. I had to remove much of my armor to prevent swampass. Only the Brinchie really seemed to be enjoying themselves. I will never admit it to or in front of them, but damn do they snore.

Finally the Dregordian owner denied to make an appearance. Double talked his ass right back out the door as well, refusing us entry, without ever stating so quite so bluntly, couching it in pleasantries, and other nonesuch things. Very annoying, but part of the cost of doing business, so to speak I guess. I didn’t really understand such things. I was more used to action than talking anyways, but a good Ranger needs to do both, so I’m learning, or trying to!

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Ranger Nessius, Personal Journal entries

Location: Farwatch, just leaving the Merchant Council HQ.
After leaving the audience with the Merchant Council, we were strolling back towards HQ chatting when we noticed that people were gathering around the notice boards. We went up to take a look and saw that there were recruitment posters for the merchant militia. We were discussing this rather boisterously, mostly on how bad it actually could and probably would be when Draxxon from the council mysteriously appeared behind us. (How the hell did he get the drop on Rangers??? I’m getting soft after only being in the city for a few days!) He seemed to agree that this was a “Bad Thing”, but really didn’t feel comfortable talking about it much more in public. We followed him to a private room at the Stone Thrower at his invitation.
We sat and discussed local politics for a bit, but I rapidly lost interest as human politics make zero sense to me. He did seem to agree that Valarious’ behavior had changed recently for the worse in the last month or two, but didn’t have any more light to shed on the situation.

As we were leaving, Darkstryke and I noticed a group of humans and non-humans trying very hard not to be noticed. The two of us sidled up closer to two very obvious (and oblivious!) lookouts to try to see what was up. (That damn heroic streak that drove me into the world from my own lands, getting me in trouble again!) We were just starting to get close, when Mrrel bounds up and shows of an admitted very interesting gem to Darkstryke. Unfortunately she was completely oblivious as well to what DS and I were up to, and started dancing around DS showing off her new shiny.
Well, even 2 completely green raw recruits cannot fail but notice a dancing Brinchie. Admittedly it was very hard to ignore, as both DS and I didn’t see the 3rd person step from the shadows, tap one of the lookouts on the shoulder and whispered something in his ear. All three started walking down the alley away from us.
We followed them for quite a ways until they got to a major intersection and split up. DS headed left, and I took off to the right. I rapidly lost the trail, and headed back the other way to catch up to DS.
I found Mrrel on the way back and she and I took off after DS. We found him just as he trapped one of the lookouts in a dead-end alley. He tried to run but DS just stuck out an arm and clotheslined the poor guy. Once he realized that there was no escape, he kinda deflated a bit. And then Mrrel smiled at him. I didn’t realize that human bladders could hold so much. Of course, maybe seeing a Brinchie smile like that at you inspires a man. Or just scares ALL the piss out of you.
We dragged him back to HQ, got him cleaned up and talked to him a bit. Turns out, he was just a courier, who was hired to drop a letter off at an undisclosed to him location. The letter he had was written in the same “probably” Shay language as the other note we had. His boss’s name was Harkvale was about the only other usable piece of information.
Poor Reggie had a bad few hours. After some severe questioning, and being out of a job, we decided to “employ” him for odd jobs around HQ. Everybody gets a second chance.
I’m not sure what everybody else did, because after a quick discussion, DS and I headed to our perch and cot, respectively, as the dead of night has taken on an entirely different meaning recently.
It seemed our foresight was well rewarded, as a boom in the night shook the walls a bit. Looking outside, we saw a backlight cloud expanding from the direction of Eastown. We briefly debated a bit about all of us heading out to investigate, but we all ended up heading out leaving Siege & company behind to hold the fort.
Shortly after traveling to a nondescript warehouse being completely engulfed in flames in Eastown, militia dressed in the livery of Highgate joined us on the scene. It appeared as if this was a similar explosion to the ones in the Dredges, but no ghoul or other attacks. We quickly decided that we were not needed here at all, and proceeded back to HQ.
There we discovered that the entire thing had indeed been a diversion to draw the bulk of the Ranger’s force away from HQ. There were even more holes in the wall and amazingly enough a Siege shaped dent in the wall. Derek and I quickly went to his aid, bandaging what we could until Thalien arrived, and was able to heal him. The others were not as horribly injured, but none were doing all that well. We tended to them all before scouring the place to figure out what the hell happened. Mrrel seemed to remember something, but then, unfortunately, she got distracted by something, and the thought left her.
It was discovered in a previously closed off hidden room that a child’s doll was removed, obviously quite forcefully from the premises.

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Long over due reports from the Rangers of Farwatch

Attn: Col A. Wolfhaven
Echer’Naught Regional HQ

Journal Entry of Nessius, Alakar Ranger from Landra’Feya
Location: Farwatch – Grey Ranger’s HQ
Well, we had bedded down for a good night’s sleep before venturing into the mines when we were awoken in the wee hours by another large explosion. Mrrel bounced out of her bunk and was gone. I barely had a chance to get my gear together when the call came to get our posteriors in motion and to get to the Dredges. Darkstrike was nowhere to be found, apparently he ate something that disagreed with him, though Mrrel was obviously fine.
When we arrived, there were people rushing out of houses again, except this time, we noticed several humans holding people inside of the houses. At that point, things pretty much disintegrated into the normal chaos of battle.
I plunked two arrows into the closest archer that did nothing. Didn’t even take their attention away from Derek, as he charged across the battlefield.
My third arrow finally found something important, as the man screamed and plummeted off the roof. At that point, the house on the right exploded. The same black evilness came swelling up from the ruins, and zombies came stumbling out of the wreckage as well.
I took aim at the new threat and was rewarded my arrow exploded in a ring of white fire around the zombie’s midsection. Derek’s sword had the same effect. I got another zombie, and noticed that Gabby did some awesome damage to somebody’s cloak, and Soren got a couple himself.
Mrrel, I completely lost track of as she was further away. I found out later she had gone into a house before the inhabitants were turned, I guess, into zombies.
In the aftermath, Thalien showed up to help keep the darkness from spreading, but the as we investigated, we found the original house that had awoken us and drawn us here. Mrrel and I peeked inside and were barely able to keep our stomachs intact.
“Burn It” was the only solution to that charnel house. We were able to keep the burn controlled, and the townsfolk came up to us thanking us for our help.
In searching the remains, we came across a parchment that by deducing that it was one of the only languages we couldn’t read that it was in Shae.
We couldn’t decipher any of it, and there was nothing left for us at the time, so we headed back to HQ to finish sleeping the night away.

Early the next morning our presence was “requested” by Valarious, the merchant lord. I had to physically bite my tongue several times to keep from physically assaulting this waste of precious resources.
Humans really must select their leaders for completely different reasons than the Alakar. And apparently competition leadership is not among the traits. I couldn’t believe some of the things he was saying. I still let several comments slip out during the “friendly” conversation. I must continue to work on my self-control during such meetings.
As we were leaving I was feeling like we were heading back to HQ to pack our things when Soren remarked, quite seriously, that the audience went well, much better than last time. I was taken much aback by his statement, but Derek seemed to agree as well.

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Dangerous Actions, even more dire Consequences...

ATTN: Col A. Wolfhaven
Regional Ranger HQ
Echer’Naught

This missive is being sent straight to you, as I think things have turned drastically worse for us in Farwatch.

As we were leaving the “talking to” from Valarious, Council Member Rykker came to speak with us privately. I do not think this is the proper way to go about what was said, as I fear someone could easily intercept the letter, but know, it worries me to no end about the state of affairs in Farwatch.

I will however, include a entry from Ranger Nytefyre as to his view of the situation.

I think things are quickly coming to a boil, and I really worry that the situation will devolve into hostilities soon.

Thaleon
Celestial Star, Fist of Archanon
Corporal, Rangers of Farwatch

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