Our arrival in Sog has been fraught with mishaps and setbacks but the first week ends with success. I admit I had more than my fair share of doubts. There was a…misunderstanding with the locals on my first day but Sergeant Major cleared it up.
The goblins were taking bets. The coldly efficient dregordian had been slowly grating on everyone’s tempers but none more so than Old Storvi. The wagers ranged from when Storvi would snap to how thrashed the dregordian would be when the ogre was done with him. There were rumors the Beast of Thul had joined the Rangers at Sog but the only dregordian to arrive was this officious snit. Everyone was clearly owed some entertainment.
The humans didn’t look so sure. In fact, several had gone running off when Geny offered to bring them into the pool. He looked up from his fellows and the few orcs that joined them and quickly hushed everyone just in time to see Storvi start cursing and raise his fist.
The dregordian, Kassegore, just stared at Storvi as if it didn’t understand what was happening or why and its head snapped to the side as the punch landed. It staggered a bit but didn’t fall and Geny quickly calculated the first round of payouts. Then all hell broke loose.
Geny would later swear he only blinked and he still missed the change. Kassegore, imperious but harmless seeming bastard, transformed into the Beast of Thul. It’s tail lashed out, catching Storvi’s legs but before the ogre could hit the ground a claw slammed into his chest and sent him flying back into a wall several yards away. Geny shrieked orders to the other goblins and everyone within arm’s reach of a rope quickly threw one to entangle the Beast. Unfortunately they learned it wasn’t completely mindless in its rage as it paused just long enough to grab the ropes and fling them callously into the path of the orcs and ogres that had just begun to move for it, tripping their larger kin.
The Beast roared and charged Storvi, fangs bared. Just at it’s jaws were about to close on Storvi’s face the Ranger commander Artivan crashed into the Beast, tackling it to the side. A dozen other humans piled on an instant later, followed by a few orcs, goblins, and an ogre who just wanted to be sure.
“By the Light, where is Savaltor?” the Sergeant Major bellowed.
On the other side of Sog a priest walked a slow meandering path desperately searching for landmarks. “I’m so lost.”
They gave me space afterwards for the rest of day, as did most of the Rangers. It turned out for the best. Once all the miscommunications were sorted out everyone was much more willing to work with me the next day. We progressed so quickly I finished my reports to Artivan by the end of my second day. He thanked me profusely for my work and bade me leave quickly, obviously eager to begin. His scowl of displeasure was a clear sign of the poor standards he was used to. Reptilian efficiency once again proving to be of invaluable use, even to mammals.
By the third day the goblinesh and I had formed enough of a rapport they even offered to assist me. Due to our combined efforts I was able to identify a number of potential business opportunities. Our surplus has been mostly liquidated relieving me of the hassle of finding proper storage and the proceeds invested in a half dozen potentially lucrative ventures. The economic boon should engender even more cooperation between us and the locals. The dwarven Ranger Rok-tar, a shrewd businessman in his own right, helped me with the final selections, his own tavern among them. Artivan, impressed by my results, promoted me to Corporal and made my position as Quartermaster official instead of ad hoc.
Artivan sighed as he looked over the documents laid neatly over his newly organized and cleaned office. He looked up at the dregordian towering over him. “I don’t even know who you are anymore.”
Kassegore looked at the human blankly. Something was bothering Artivan but with humans it could be anything. The species could be so…capricious. “I’m not sure of your meaning, sir.”
“Are you the raging force of destruction I witnessed at the Siege of Thul or are you this?” Artivan held up a sheath of documents. “Whoever this organized…logistical…person is?”
Kassegore tilted his head slightly, his equivalent of a shrug. “I don’t see how there’s a problem. I cannot always rage.”
Artivan drew in a fortifying breath. “Congratulations, Corporal. You are now our official Quartermaster. I’m going to get a drink.”
On a side note, I noticed Nightingale has taken up residency at the Hero’s Heart Tavern. But if she’s residing there then I’m not sure why I received requests for a tent on her behalf from Felosia, Sky, Vhen, Magpie, Artivan, and a few others I can’t be bothered to remember at the moment. I’ll have to speak with them later about requisitioning supplies unnecessarily.
The grand opening of the Hero’s Heart was an incredible success. Salvator, who’d finally resurfaced from Illiana knows where, was unexpectedly proficient with a lute though his real talent lies in playing to a crowd. I missed most of it, but the deer and bear I killed were most welcome. I’m told Artivan even relaxed for the night.
The one-armed ogre had been vigilant in his tasks. The dregordians, bloodied and dragging bodies behind them, were forced to go to the back door. Rok-tar looked over the pair, light, noise, and smells spilling from the party spilling out behind him. He had Maa’ni take the deer and bear carcasses and stated, “You’re not coming in like that.”
Before either could respond the dwarf tossed a small vial at them. It burst and lavender-scented bubbles coated the pair, cleansing them of blood and dirt. The dwarf bit back a chuckle as Kassegore attempted to spit out some of the suds that had entered his mouth and then began sneezing as the offending bubbles reached his nose. When the bubbles dissipated the dregordians were almost sparkling clean and slightly floral. “Now, you may enter.”
The following morning brought more good news. Kargen, the orc who rallied our forces when the Prelacy forces surged for the final time at Thul, is joining our rank. He finds some of Salvator’s actions questionable (and they are) but I’m sure he’ll see the necessity of them soon enough.
The assembled Rangers paused as Kassegore entered, smelling of lavender and musk. He looked around, made his greetings and sat down at one of the clustered tables. Artivan and Kargen were discussing the orc’s new promotion and induction of Nightingale into their order. The aevekar in question was serving fresh bear and venison. Rok-tar could be heard from the kitchen and Bahiya was daintily eating her breakfast. Salvator came over to join him to talk of their plans for the day. He took in the companionable atmosphere. Someday, and soon, they might not all be here.
Despite our advances in the past week here I cannot relax in my efforts. I was given a great gift, delivered a dire warning, and charged with an unknown task. The Prelacy will bring war soon enough and their evil now knows my name.