Shaintar_J&L_Rangers of Sog

Third Journal of Magpie Storm Singer
Arcfire Auction

3123 Harvest Moon 20,

Black wings rustled behind him, of course long after he’d landed. Kassegore didn’t flinch, no reason to show a predator that you were taken by surprise. “What do You want?” He kept going through the stores and checking the numbers. Having a suspicion that there was a thief among the Rangers was always awkward when there was a thief.

“Things have been going missing.” Especially when the aforementioned thief admits to knowing what he shouldn’t about thefts. “My stores of crysalites and Arcfire equipment have been raided.” Kassegore turned to him at that with a raised eyebrow. “What? You know I tinker with things while I’m trying to figure out how they work. But I figured that if my stuff has been missing…”

Kassegore sighed. The admission that Magpie had separate stores was no shock, and confirmed the reports that he had been receiving, as well as confirming his suspicions that Magpie didn’t care if anyone knew that he had his own stashes. “Ranger supplies have been raided as well.”

Magpie nodded, “I’ve heard rumors about an auction. Someone is auctioning off Arcfire tech. I wanted to see if you could do a little more digging into your source while I gather more information as well. Since I spotted you as I was passing by-”

“Really? You’re throwing me that line?” Magpie grinned then shrugged and launched himself into the air with barely a whisper from his feathers. Kassegore muttered “showoff” as he finished his inventory check and moved to check with his ‘source’ cursing the feathered fool who thinks he knows what Kassegore is doing.

As Magpie glided deeper into Sog and the more disreputable sections he weighed his options. No reason to approach the gambling dens, though that would make for a bigger purse at the end of the night. For all that those Goblinesh knew he trafficked in information they were less likely to know anything this time. Catching a whiff of trout Magpie grinned.

The docks might not be a bad place to start. Old Nanny Net-mender, or Net-Mother as she preferred, heard whispers from along the river as the boats came in. It was a network obviously limited to the waterways, but it was a wide network that traveled relatively fast. She knew about Sky’s Builder a full day before he arrived, and had been very smug about it. Magpie grimaced, if she knew about this auction though it would be likely she knew he’d been robbed. Something that hadn’t happened in well over five years, and something he was going to want to put a knife in.

Magpie landed behind a barrel of fish and watched as one fish on top of the pile was still flopping weakly. He tried not to draw similarities between it and himself as he slipped around it and glanced into the building. Not seeing anything inside despite the lack of light Magpie slipped past the door and started down the side of the dock, slipping under the edge as he walked to the shoreline and sat on the rock on the edge of the river. A slight squish came from behind him and he whispered “you expected me”.

“Not hard to do when the river talks of ‘shinnies’ swimming upstream.” Magpie knew she had information, and knew that it was going to cost him. She wouldn’t let something like that drop for free unless there was a gem worth three times that which she was holding on to.

“I really don’t like it when my shinnies swim upstream, it’s harder to count them that way.” Net-Mother chuckled as Magpie turned around to face her. The short and hunched Dregordian woman had a very toothy grin and Magpie realized from the water on her shoulder that she’d pulled the same trick on him that he had pulled on Kassegore earlier only from the water except the air. They eyed each other for a few moments as river sent reflections of the moonlight dancing over their faces until Net-Mother looked Magpie in the eye and saw the eagerness mixed with anger in his eyes.

Grinning wider she waved for Magpie to follow her and they slowly worked their way down the coastline until they came to a smaller shack that was nestled between two larger buildings and was almost completely covered in nets and rope. Slipping through a gap in the ropes Net-Mother let Magpie move into the shack before her and he watched as she pulled on a rope which set some rope traps around her house which he had built with her during his training. “I had thought you might have changed, what with joining the Rangers and all.”

Magpie snorted. “They have some uses for me, and it’s been an equally beneficial partnership.” Net-Mother glanced down at the Arcfire Chainmail he was wearing with it’s black metal and amber crystals glinting in the light of the single candle she had lit. Magpie grinned further “yes, I have gained some new items and capabilities. You knew that of course, hence your jab earlier.”

Net-Mother shrugged and pulled up a short stool as Magpie leaned against the wall. “I heard the rumors that some pirates had managed to get into some of the Ranger stores to steal their Arcfire equipment. I have to admit that it brought you to mind, but I didn’t think you’d have allowed yourself to be robbed so easily until one mentioned how hard it had been to get in under the nose of ‘the nosey false angel’.”

Magpies eyes narrowed. “I guess we have a clue as to where that lot came from.” At the Net-Mother’s nod Magpie grimaced “so the Arcfire equipment…” Net-Mother sighed and stood up, motioning for Magpie to take her seat. He moved over as she walked to a corner and came back with a piece of parchment. She set the parchment on the table with a bottle of ink and pulled up a second stool. As she sat down Magpie pulled out a small bag of coins and set it on the table, watching as it disappeared before he’d even pulled his hand back all the way. Net-Mother nodded then reached out a hand and Magpie grinned. She had helped him find a Goblin master-fletcher to help him with his wings after an accident while fixing up her shack. The master-fletcher had helped him fix his damaged wings and even converted a few of his feathers into hidden tools.

Magpie pulled a feather from one of his wings and handed her the quill as she grinned. Net-Mother started talking as she wrote and sketched on the parchment. “The pirates were spreading word that there will be an auction upriver. They didn’t spread word far and made a point of wanting those they talked to not to tell the Rangers what was going on.” Net-Mother winked and touched her nose “good thing for both of us that I don’t have to be the one talked to in order to get information.” She flipped the parchment around and started pointing to things on the rough map she had sketched. “They mentioned this inn, and the fact that the auction is going to happen in a couple of days. The way to indicate you want to get in on the auction is to buy a pair of drinks and toast to O’Malley mentioning something about his sexual prowess.”

Net-Mother looked at Magpie and tilted her head to the side. “This inn is a day away from here by boat, and if you take this route it’s the fastest. I can get one of my boys to run you up there, and if you are bringing any of your new… friends… with you he won’t have any issues with them, and as you know we are the fastest boaters you’ll in these rivers.”

Magpie grinned as he nodded to her. “I know you are, and thank you. I’ll keep you out of any official reports as always.” Net-Mother snorted and waved a hand in acceptance. “Have you heard anything about the Ranger Quartermaster Kassegore?” Net-Mother nodded, “he’s working on something with a goblin and I haven’t had the chance to bring it up with him and see what’s going on but I have been able to figure out that he’s working with Arcfire tech.”

Net-Mother’s eyes widened and her grin went predatory “it sounds like you have found another like yourself among the Rangers. This is good.” Magpie’s lip twitched up slightly as Net-Mother reached behind her and grabbed something off of a shelf. “I’ll keep my ears open, but the only thing I’ve heard so far is that some find him terrifying and others are just confused” Magpie nodded thinking about what had happened to get Kassegore promoted to Quartermaster.

She then took turned the parchment around and wrote a couple of notes on the side of the sketch and handed the whole thing to Magpie. He glanced at the writing and froze. “What did you write these things for?” He drew a finger slowly down the list of items she had written beside the inns location. “Arcfire Handcasters…. Crysalites… Arcfire armor pieces… An Arcforge!? And Arcfire Burrowers? Are these things all going to be in the auction?” Net-Mother nodded and Magpies face hardened. He stood and dropped two smaller bags of coin on the table. “Is there anything else I need to know?”

Net-Mother hadn’t even looked at the coin but kept her eyes on Magpie’s face. “Is it really that bad?” Magpie just stared into her eyes for a moment then nodded. Net-Mother nodded then “we will get the Rangers up-river as fast as we can, they’ll have my fastest crew. And Magpie?” he had turned to the door but turned back at the concern in her voice. He noticed that she still hadn’t taken the money from the table. “I remember what happened to you. When you were first brought to me…” Seeing Magpies eyes flick away from her she stood and wrapped an arm around him. “This isn’t the same group, they aren’t Winghunters.” Magpie flinched. “Just keep that in mind. And if Winghunters ever do come nearby you can trust us to get word to you as soon as we hear even a rumor. You will have help with them, from us if need-be but I think the Rangers will want a piece of them too.”

Magpie sighed and his shoulders relaxed slightly. “Thank you. Sometimes it all comes back and I don’t know who I become. We will deal with this, and we will make certain to keep everything out of anyone else’s hands.” Net-Mother looked at the table and Magpie chuckled. “Did you want something from the auction Net-Mother?” She laughed and shook her head. “Any job offers you hear about that I might like make sure I hear about.” Net-Mother rolled her eyes as Magpie stepped out the door, pulling another rope which deactivated the trap on the front door only. Then as he launched into the night Net-Mother sighed. That was one of her knot-children who had the most potential, as well as the biggest demons hovering behind him. She was glad he had been picked up by the Rangers, but wondered how he would handle things when the Winghunters finally came. Then she thought about Kassegore – The Beast and smiled. If the signals Magpie had been giving related to Kassegore were accurate then he was going to have some like-minded allies when they finally got here, and with that she pulled the trap rope as she slunk out to the river and disappeared into the water.

Magpie flew over to the Ranger Headquarters as quickly as he could while still staying silent and varying his route. Anyone who saw him would know where he was probably headed, but he didn’t want anyone to know that he was in a hurry or that he found what he’d wanted at the docks. He stopped with a few more informants and made certain to hop into the gambling den to lose a few coins before declaring his luck broken for the night. When he finally got to headquarters Artivan had already pulled a group together and was discussing the information that Kassegore had come across.

Apparently Kassegore knew that the supplies had been stolen in the course of a couple of days. Magpie told everyone that there was going to be an auction of Arcfire equipment up-river from Sog. He then asked Artivan if he could step out with him. When they had some privacy Magpie told him about the items in the auction, and that if the Arcforge existed it would be an extraordinary find as we’d be able to make crysalites with it. As he finished discussing the items in the auction and what they could do Artivan put a hand on his shoulder. “What rank are you these days?”

“I’ve not been promoted beyond Ranger.” Magpie looked at him warily as Artivan seemed surprised.

“Well now you are a Corporal,” Magpie felt the weight of command hit his shoulders and his emotions started to drop as Artivan continued “and you are also now the official Liaison to the Mechanarium.” At this Magpies hopes soared. He’d had things confiscated by the Black Lanterns for the Mechanarium and was intensely curious about it and desperately wanted to see it and some of the things that he had heard were in the control of the group holding it for the Rangers.

“Thank you. That’s awesome! I think… But thanks!” Artivan and Magpie moved back into Artivan’s office as the others were discussing what to do about the auction. “The auction is in two days and I have passage for us up the river.” Then the discussion turned to how we should go about setting things up and Magpie interjected again “my sources told me that a bidder will be allowed four guards, and I don’t think they’ll allow more than that, so since there are six of us we should try for two groups.” Magpie informed them of the password and the groups were set. Salvator was going as Zebediah Stone, Kassegore and Sky as his guards with Sky as his Arcfire expert. Magpie was going as the leader of the other group with Artivan and Bahiabin Al’Shams as his guards.

They decided to split the groups up by a little but still try to keep their entrances close enough together that they could assist if something went wrong. Hence a couple of minutes after Zebediah Stone made his entrance Magpie and his guards moved forward, but Artivan pushed past Magpie and kicked in the door yelling “Where’s that Bastard O’Malley?”

Trying to keep a lid on his fury Magpie heard from inside “To O’Malley!” as people toasted to the recently deceased. Magpie walked in and put his hand on Artivan’s shoulder with a “you are here as my guard you can keep your personal feelings towards him under your tongue.”

“O’Malley owed me money, bastard wasn’t very good at cards.” to which the barkeep looked at the mug on the bar and Artivan clarified with a “I won’t force the family to pay his debts” and he tossed a coin into the mug with a “despite all of that he was very good in the sack.” At this Magpie was practically vibrating in rage as the people by the fireplace seemed shocked and almost like they wanted to come over and trade some words with Artivan, but glanced at Magpie and decided against it.

Magpie then tossed a gold coin on top of the mug and said “O’Malley had some good stories about his sack.”

The innkeeper glanced at Magpie “and how did you know O’Malley?”

“I was a contact of his down the river, made some good business deals and had some fun evenings.” Magpie’s eyebrows quirked up as a very drunken man barged in from a back door and staggered over to their group.

“Anoser for the private party? But whish of yew made the toast?”

Magpie stepped forward and opened his mouth as Artivan said “We both did, but he’s the one.” and magpie gave the drunk a slight glare which apparently translated into a ‘get moving’ because the drunk waved them to follow him as he made for the back door. Artivan and Magpie turned to each other and Artivan says “I need to hit the head, I’ll be down in a minute”

“Take all the time you need.” Magpie turned and without a look backwards walked out the door with Bahiyabin Al’Shams at his shoulder. The ‘drunk’ seemed very curious but didn’t ask anything as he led them down a set of stairs into the cellar and through a secret door into a half sunken hallway with a couple of doors leading off of it.

“You can come in and observe the goods, but she stays out here.” The guide pointed to Bahiyabin who traded looks with the two guards at the closest door. “Once you’ve seen the goods we will come back out and you can go down the hall to join the other groups in the waiting room.” Magpie frowned but nodded and followed the guide into the room as Bahiyabin set her hand on her sword and kept an eye on the two guards.

Back in the bar Artivan had been in desperate conversation with the bartender telling him to clear out everyone and that they really didn’t want to be present. “So you’re telling me that I have to clear out of my own bar?”

Artivan pulled his shield out from under his cloak and set it on the bar between them, “do you recognize this?” And the bartender nodded. “So you know who I am?”

“Yes but… We aren’t with them. I don’t know who they are but O’Malley was a good man. Anyone saying such things about him didn’t really know him. I’m just letting them go down there so they aren’t ruining the wake.”

Artivan sighed “they are all under arrest, and they probably won’t go quietly. I suggest that you and everyone here be long gone by the time the dying starts. I’m just trying to make sure none of you get hurt. Look, we’ll do everything we can to make sure that your bar isn’t damaged but if you’re here I won’t be responsible.”

The bartender nodded then called out “Last call! Actually, I have a shack a little ways off that has some good quality moonshine!” The patrons all let out a raucous cheer at this and started filing out the back as Artivan dropped a few more coins into the flask on the bar, filling it up before the bartender picked it up and walked out with the rest of the party.

As Magpie looked over all of the Arcfire devices present he noted booby traps on the bigger items, and that most of the smaller items were probably the items stolen from Sog, with a few extras tossed in among them. A few pieces of armor and some handcasters with their ammo made up two lots while a third lot was the Arcforge and two devices that looked to be the Arcfire Burrowers which explained how they got into some of the stores in Sog. The fourth lot was a pair of Arc-bombs. Magpie went to them and saw that one was broken beyond repair, but that the other was alive, set, and counting down on a timer. “This bomb is broken!” He turned to the guide “how do you expect me to trust what I’m bidding on when you include this shit in it?”

The guide took the paper that he had handed Magpie with the different lots listed on it and crossed out the fourth lot before handing it back. “If you don’t like it, don’t bid on it. I’m a facilitator for the auction. I just sell the things I get, so don’t get mad at me.”

As the guide turned to lead them out Magpie stopped him, “can you reset the bomb? I don’t want it going off under me.” The guide smiled and went over to the bomb and entered a sequence into it that reset the timer. They then stepped out into the hallway again to see that Artivan had come down.
Artivan whipped his shield around and smashed it into the head of the guard closest to him who rocked back, seeing this Magpie drew his sword and held it to the guide’s throat saying “I really don’t want you to die so go with it.” before yelling at Artivan “What do you think you’re doing? Put that down!”

Artivan pointed his sword at the group and said “you are all under arrest, surrender now.”

The guard whom Artivan had slammed looked at him and said “Ok.” as he pressed a button on the wall and a stone tablet slammed down in front of the door to the vault with the Arcfire devices in it. “But we set this up so that you could get at the group in the waiting room. We will leave you to them and walk away.”

Magpie started whispering in the ear of the auctioneer as Artivan exchanged negotiations with the Malakaran guards. “Can you put me in touch with the man who collected all of this for sale? I’m very curious to meet him and see if he might be interested in some more business.”

The auctioneer seemed slightly confused but replied “yes, just let me go. I only sell what they give me.”

Magpie shrugged “I am keeping you alive, just don’t struggle.”

Artivan was clearly not happy about the fact that the vault had been sealed as it had but the talkative guard grabbed Magpie’s attention again when he said “you mean the necromancer?” He seemed to get great pleasure out of seeing the shock on the Rangers faces. “He is dressed as a Priest of the Light but we knew him. We could smell his entourage.”

Artivan glared at the guards “You may leave if you leave peaceably. But that” and he pointed at the vault “all stays with us.”

The Malakaran guards shrugged and sheathed their weapons “this was intended to remove these groups, the devices are yours.” and they walked back up the stairs.

As the auctioneer starts to follow them Magpie stops him. “Tell me how to disarm the traps on those lots.”

“Then I can leave?” The auctioneer looked like he was ready for his day to be over.

Magpie nodded, “and keep in mind what we discussed.” Magpie listened as the auctioneer explained the traps and how they could be dismantled, after which he ran up the stairs. Magpie looked at Artivan and said “I’ll be back in a minute, I want to get the bar we will need to open this door before someone else gets the same idea.”

When Magpie got back they filed down the hall towards the reception room with Bahiyabin leading and Artivan bringing up the rear. When they stepped into the room there was a very well dressed effeminate man at the other end of the room who said “good! It looks like everyone is here, now we may commence the bidding.”

Magpie noted the groups around the room; to his left was a Dregordian who seemed to be trading glances with Kassegore and who was wearing the symbols of the Red Store. He was accompanied by four guards of varying races. To the Store’s left was a group of Malakaran soldiers who looked to be mercenaries with one man who looked to be their captain. On Magpie’s right was a group of Orcs with one orc looking to be a War-chief and on the other side of him was what appeared to be a priest of the light with four acolytes, though they didn’t look quite right. Focussing on them and remembering what the guards had said Magpie noticed their aura change and he could see through their illusion to the fact that he was seeing a Denier of Death and four zombies.

Artivan called out as he swung his shield out from under his cloak “We outbid everyone!” and he started to point his shield at the necromancer. The effeminate auctioneer seemed shocked as the priest of light revealed himself while slinging a necromantic bolt at Artivan which fizzled off his shield and the zombies attacked, one taking the auctioneer down as two others attack the orcs and the fourth started battering the wall. Light surrounded Artivan as he cried again “Those who do not oppose the Rangers can walk out of here! Well most of you.”

“We do not oppose the Rangers!” the warchief cried as Bahiyabin cast a Jet through them and into the zombies and necromancer, killing the two zombies attacking the orcs and knocking out most of the orcs. Magpie decided that he would risk trusting the Orc Warchief and lunged through the Orcs in order to race up to the necromancer and bring both of his blades down on him, knocking him back and into the wall as he fell over unconscious.

One of the Red Store guards looked at Artivan with a “How about letting us go?”

“How about that’s not what I offered! Come at me!” as Artivan swung his shield around to face them. Two of the Red Store guards moved forward as if to attack Sky and Artivan and Kassegore lunged forward, cutting them both down. He then swings his tail through another Red store guard and roars as he berserks into The Beast and swung his Kaiakore at the Dregordian leader. The mercenaries let loose a Prelacy curse and bashed out a window for their leader to climb out of as the rest guarded the exit. “Sky! Bring him back!” Artivan pointed at the fleeing captain. Magpie heard the Dregordian from the Red Store cat call to The Beast that he wishes he would die with frozen blood as The Beast watched the Prelacy captain leave. Artivan yelled at The Beast “Sky has him, take captives we need them alive!”

Magpie yelled across the room in Dregordian “You have a Dregordian opponent who wants you to die with frozen blood and you’re worried about a human peon?” Bahiyabin called out asking what was being said and got his response back in Aradish “You really don’t want to know.” Bahiyabin then fires bolts at the remaining zombies as he gets out of the way of The Beast before Sky ran past everyone and launched herself up into the air to chase down the captain.

As sky flew out the hole in the wall after the runner Bahiyabin fired a Jet through another portion of the wall killing a zombie and the remaining Prelacy soldiers as Sky yelled back through the new hole “There’s something big in the water!”

Magpie stopped for a second staring at Kassegore as he rips out the throat of the Dregordian Red Store member then cutting him into three pieces before turning one of the two bodies next to him into a puddle of bloody pus. The other body jumped up screaming his surrender to which The Beast growled at him “You serve me now.” It was only as The Beast received a very quiet “Yes Master” that Magpie realized everyone in the room had stood in shock staring at this interchange.

Magpie shook his head as Artivan stepped forward with light welling up out of his footsteps stunning the last zombie before carelessly blowing the zombie into dust with a bolt as he passed it while moving towards the Jet-hole. Magpie flew up out of the Jet-hole as Sky threw the runner back into the room to be tied up with the other prisoner. Then he flew in place in shock again as a massive Arcfire vehicle rose up out of the river.

As the vehicle rose out of the water two large golems blew the water off of it with large wings that had been built into them. A gangplank was dropped and three carts rolled off of it filled with Ratsin wearing collars as a massive voice booms out over those assembled on the shore “We have detected out equipment here. You will surrender it to us.” A massive weapon then rises out of the vehicle and points directly at the location where the vault of Arcfire devices was.

Artivan stepped forward and called “Will you come out and talk to us or just hide in your vehicle?” The weapon then aims at Artivan and the voice booms out again calling Artivan an arrogant human. “We will give you your equipment, but I just want to talk to you. Magpie!” Artivan waved Magpie down to him and pointed back inside before whispering in his ear “can you mess with the bomb, get it to go off at a different time?”

Magpie nodded “I can do that.” Magpie then flew at the Jet-hole and yelled at Sky “You’re with me Sky!” and the two of them maneuvered through the sunken area to the vault door and Magpie put the bar in place. He then had Sky take hold on the bar with him and they jacked the door up out of the way and back into a locked position. As they got inside Magpie looked at the treasure at his feet and a wave of horror washed over him as he realized that the Builders in the vehicle had tracked something here. He looked at the Arcforge and shivered. “Sky, grab our things, the two lots of handcasters and their crysalites and the armor and get it as far away from here as possible. Don’t get spotted.”

Sky hesitated as Magpie got down next to the bomb that he knew would work and he snapped “Now Sky there isn’t time!” There was a massive boom from outside and the ground shook with suck fury that the roof shifted and rocks started to fall over their heads. Sky then moved and faster than Magpie’d ever seen her move she shoved everything into the bags next to them and ran back out the way they’d been led in earlier.

Magpie shook his head, hating himself as he took apart the bomb and started messing with the inner workings. He started working on the mechanism and had it ready to blow, figuring how much time he might need to get out and have it blow when they sent their Ratsin in to carry everything out was going to be at least some compensation for having to blow the Arcforge. Magpie really wanted to study that more!

Artivan came running in as he was putting the finishing touches on connecting the two bombs so that the explosion would be truly massive. “What’s taking so long? Oh. What’re you doing?”

Magpie looked back at him “when they come to get their stuff it’ll blow.” Artivan looked at Magpie’s hardened face then behind him to the Arcforge. “Just set it for 20 seconds. We’re going to run out back and make them think this blast took us out too so they aren’t looking for us.” Magpie realized the wisdom behind his decision and made a couple of quick adjustments then stood and led the way outside at a run. Artivan and Magpie bolted up the hill and as an explosion ripped through the air around them, throwing rocks and vegetation past them they managed to dive into a ditch and a piece of roof landed over them, shielding them from the torrent of falling stone.

As the last of the debris fell around them Magpie heard a voice boom through the air. “Know this survivors! All of our belongings will be returned to us, by Peace or War!” Magpie took a tainted pleasure from the fact that the voice was but a whisper to the explosion he had caused but a moment earlier.

Artivan turned to Magpie as they started digging themselves out from under the roof “I’m impressed and very proud that you left those things in there to blow up.”

Magpie nodded and a second later said “they could have tracked that all back to Sog. I’m sure they’ll try to take us at some point, but we don’t need them coming now.” He then looked at Artivan “what in Flame was that boom when Sky and I were in there?”

Artivan then explained as Sky landed next to them and they all walked back towards the inn how the Builders had used the cannon to blow the docks up as a show of force. He also explained that these Builders claimed not to know who the Merchant was and didn’t care. “They seem solely interested in collecting their equipment back. They don’t seem like a group that will attack us outright.”

Magpie snorted. It had certainly appeared to him like they were being fairly aggressive. “Artivan, they were demanding that we give them all of the Arc-tech present without any leeway for it not being theirs. They could have come to us and asked for it. Claiming it as theirs doesn’t make it theirs even if some Builders made it.”

Artivan clapped him on the shoulder “but they aren’t just attacking us for it either.” magpie wondered whether they weren’t attacking the group on the shore because they didn’t know for sure if they could have taken everyone. Or if they might have taken enough damage to make it not worth the effort. Then he saw the shoreline. The shallows had been converted into a crater that was even now still filling in with water, and which had the river running backwards to fill in the crater. The crater where the docks used to be dwarfed the hole in the ground that he could see their comrades digging furiously in. “You didn’t tell them did you?”

Artivan hollered out to everyone and waved as the three of them walked down the hill. “Nope.”

As they get back to the inn Salvator walks up to Magpie and smacked him upside the head. “Don’t ever do that again! I thought you’d actually blown yourself up this time!” As things settled down Magpie figured out that there were a few interesting things that he’d missed by securing the stash. Though he’d been relatively certain that would be the case regardless considering the things he’d heard and what Artivan had said. As the true mourners of O’Malley’s passing came down to see what the commotion was all about the Rangers managed to convince the inn keeper that he was happy with the docks being blown apart. Though being told that it was a quick comment on Artivan’s part that the docks became the target instead of the inn probably helped. And being told that the Rangers would cover the repairs didn’t hurt either.

The Rangers were invited back into the inn to join the wake before they figured out their journey back. Kassegore hung back from the inn and Magpie decided to see what was going on with him and his captives. They had a very animated discussion about Kassegore’s plans for Camon and the Prelacy, and Magpie’s thoughts to those ends. By the time that they were ready to leave the next day the crater had long been filled and the river had gone back to its natural course. Magpie was certain that Kassegore was going to be a fun ally, though he wondered if Kassegore would ever really be able to follow through on his plans. Then wondered again what would happen if he did.

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Pilgrim’s Journal Day 181- SNOW!
Harvest Moons 9th

I woke up this morning and found after my morning exercise of running and climbing through the city, I checked the days patrol schedule. I have a new assignment. I am to report out to Felosia and check in with her. I have come to find that I am to be patrolling in stealth around an area just past the farthest farm of Sog. An are of some hills and some trees. I reported to Felosia and found that in a tree for nearly all that care to look up is a large cocoon about the size of a person. If looked at closely, I see that it has a sort of rainbow glow, as of just after a rain where the dew drops fragment the light. It is mesmerizing. I snapped out of it and spoke with Felosia and found that this creature must be protected at all costs for it could turn the tide of the Prelacy War and the War with Darkness come spring and summer. Not being wise about such things, I take it as one of the more sacred duties I could take with the Rangers. The other thing that was a bit of a disconcerting revelation, I could not tell anyone, even my fellow Rangers, unless they were on duty with me. Shortly after I took up a wide patrol around the creature, I had to stop a group of Druids and report. I come to find from Felosia that they were expected and they are helping tend the guard duty by cloaking it’s natural brilliance and at least one druid is going to be on watch at all times to report to. They are expecting Necromancers and Undead to accost this beautiful creature.
The Patrol goes fine. Mid-way through the day I see my first sight of snow falling from the sky. I have seen it on a couple of mountains in Korindia but never falling. It is fascinating. First one “Flake” then more. They coated the ground and kept coming. Now I felt the tingling of the cold and it has slowed me down a little, much like friend Kassagore but I seem to be less affected than he. I discovered a new landscape when covered in snow, it is like the white sands beaches after a monsoon, except no plant debris. I found that my natural coloring is not a detrimental thing in the snow, it even aids being stealthy. It did take me a bit to figure out how to walk with out leaving messy tracks though.
The Druids are kind and teach me about this snow and ice when I take a break for sup, they also noticed that I don’t do very well in the cold but I seem to be the best at keeping my presence hidden from people in it. I wonder what the next day shall bring.

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Bad Moth, No Killing
It's A What, Exactly?

6th of Harvest Moons

Artivan has received a request from a few farmers about a blight just past their farm. It is decided that Valitor, Salvator, Kassegore and myself are to go take a look at the blight. The farmer walks with us to his farm and then points us in the right direction.

Upon further scouting, we come across several of the undead, normal skeletons and then undead Ratson. This was very unnerving, at least for me. Kassegore just jumps right in and takes out a skeleton.

Two Ratson attempt to hit Kassegore in retaliation and miss. Three attack me, only one actually hitting and all that does is cause scratches. Four undead attempt to hit Salvator.

Salvator then turns himself into a light source, which takes out two of the Ratson, shakes six other Ratson and a Skeleton.

One other Skeleton moves up to Salvator and two to Kassegore. All of which miss their attacks.

Salvator makes the light pulse and takes out three more and stuns several others.

A Skeleton shakes off the effect of the light. A Ratson hits Salvator for a scratch. A Ratson attempts to hit Kassegore, although it only manages to make a hole. A different Skeleton attempts to do something, but there is nothing I could even remotely make out of its actions. Another Ratson attempts to hit me. A cloaked skeleton moves up to me and attempts to attack.

I stun the cloaked on and then get out of the way of Valitor. Valitor steps up and takes out the cloaked Skeleton.

A Minotaur comes charging out of nowhere and attempts to throw stones at me.

The Beast then makes an appearance and takes out a Skeleton with the Kayakor. Although the head butt and tail slap both miss their targets. I decide to try out my new casters and stun the Minotaur. Valitor sweeps the Ratson and Skeletons near him, taking out two of the Ratson and a Skeleton.

The Ratson shake of the light effect and two of them manage to stun Salvator. One Ratson attempts to hit Valitor.

Salvator, again, pulses the light. This takes out several Skeletons and stuns three Raton. Valitor hits a Skeleton and Ratson, taking out both. As the casters aren’t doing much against these, I switch them out for my spear and then fly down stabbing a Ratson. As the Ratson gets stuck on my spear, I then throw it at one of its companions, taking both out.

A Ratson stabs and stuns Valitor.

The Beast takes out the last Skeleton and then moves up to the Ratson. One gets taken out with the Beast’s head butt and another gets taken out with a tail slap. Salvator hits and takes out the last Ratson.

The transformation from the Beast to Kassegore starts. I hold Salvator and Valitor out of reach. I really should see how high Kassegore/the Beast can jump, so I could effectively keep allies out of range.

Kassegore is once again himself, and then the ground starts moving. After a bit, we see a Skeleton emerge from the ground. We quickly take it out. After a quick look around, we find several different locations where Skeletons will be appearing. Salvator, Valitor and Kassegore all stake out different locations to make sure that the dead stay down.

I take a closer look at the blight. There is a weird chrysalis thing dangling from a tree along with a talisman. I bring this to Salvator’s and Valitor’s attention. I hear Salvator say that he wants the chrysalis thing down, so I cut it down. It was being held up there by a silk string.

It seemed I moved to fast in getting the chrysalis down, as Valitor isn’t happy with me. Valitor then states that he doesn’t know what the talisman is. Kassegore doesn’t care, he just wants to cut it into many pieces. Salvator states that the talisman’s power has been spent. What ever was in the chrysalis has escaped and is totally evil.

There is a trail of blight leading to another meadow. We follow the trail. As the scout, I see several more groups of undead Skeletons and Ratson. We quickly make a plan: Kassegore on the far side of these undead and the two Priests of Light and I on the front lines.

I fly Kassegore to the far end. As I head back I notice that the center actually has three Necromancers, two Minotaurs, a Minotaur that has Arcfire arms and a black Moth thing. I continue back to Salvator and Valitor as quietly as I can and let them know.

Salvator casts deflection as Valitor calls out: “Deniers of Death, why don’t you kill yourselves or die by my sword.” Kassegore sneaks forward and quietly takes out the Skeleton that is hacking at a tree.

The Deniers of Death just shrug at this.

I fly above a Deniers head and shoot it in the head, this stuns the Denier and causes the illusion spell to drop. I then pull out my sword.

A Denier calls for the Moth to get me. The weird Minotaur moves forward near Valitor, then shoots him. This stuns Valitor.

Valitor then shakes off the hit and says: “Your corruption shall not sully these lands.” Valitor then swings at the Minotaur and stuns it. Salvator moves forward and casts bolt at the group of Necromancers. This wounds one and stuns another. This causes another spell to falter.

The Moth flies up and blows some blackness at me. As the tops of the trees in the line die, I dodge the blast. One of the smaller Minotaurs runs up to Valitor and as it does, Valitor stabs it and takes it out. The other smaller Minotaur runs up on Salvator and attempts to hit him.

Valitor keeps shouting different taunts at the group of Skeletons and Ratson. This gets four of the Ratson to attack Valitor, one Ratson climbs up and clings to Valitor’s shield and the others miss. Three other Ratson run up to Salvator and attempt to hit him.

Kassegore runs up to the group of Necromancers and with his Kayakor takes out one. Kassegore’s tail slap takes out another one. Kassegore then roars a challenge to the Moth. I call out “Beast wanta play?” Kassegore looks up at me and snarls. I say one moment.

The last Necromancer throws off the hit and casts something before running away. The large Minotaur shakes off the hit and swings at Valitor wounding him. The Moth accepts Kassegore’s challenge and flies down. The Moth then attempts to get both Kassegore and me in that weird breath thing. I fly behind Kassegore, successfully dodging the breath of death. Kassegore takes the hit and nothing seems to happen.

Three Ratson attempt to hit Valitor and miss, while a fourth manages to ding Valitor’s armor. Five Ratson attempt to hit Salvator and miss, while a sixth manages to ding Salvator’s armor. A Ratson moves forward and somehow kills itself on Valitor’s shield, then another steps into that space and attempts to hit Valitor.

Kassegore smacks the Moth with the Kayakor to stun it, attempts to tail slap it, then head butts it to take it out. Then he says, “So this is what death tastes like.”

Salvator then makes with the light, taking out four Ratson and stunning several others. As the Moth dies, several Skeletons drop. Salvator then turns and heals Valitor.

Valitor then attacks the large Minotaur to take it out, then hits a Ratson. I take out the last Necromancer. As he falls the rest of the undead fall as well.

Valitor studies the tree and the chrysalis in it. He informs us that these creatures are an ancient being known as the Phoenix Moths. The black one was a corrupted one and the Necromancers destroyed one other. Salvator then looks at me and I nod and take off as fast as I can back to Sog.

I finally reach Sog and go directly to Artivan and tell him that we have a un-hatched creature that needs to be protected until the triple full moon as Valitor called the creature a Phoenix Moth and there was a group of Necromancers that were attempting to corrupt it. I also inform Artivan that even in a chrysalis this thing heals people and plants.

Artivan looks stunned at this news and then calls for Cairos to make a new roster for the patrols to cover this area and to get the Druids out there to protect it. Artivan then turns to me and asks me to keep the group there until the others arrive. I nod at Artivan as I head back out to the others, making a quick stop for rations.

As soon as I get back to the others, I let them know that Artivan is sending patrols and Druids out as soon as he can. Salvator pulls me over to the tree and lets it heal me as I pushed myself as fast as I could to get to Sog and back.

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Meeting Cairos
I Got Lucky, I Didn't Get The Same As Galashorn

I walk into Artivan’s office and hand Cairos the following note.

I’m writing this as I am not sure how Kassegore feels at the moment. You probably heard about the fact that I did smack him on the snout the last time we were in the field together.

I need to see about getting more bottles for my healing potions that I am supplying to the Rangers.

After reading this, Cairos looks up and says, “Why aren’t you telling me this?”

At the unexpected noise, Artivan turns to Cairos and yells, “Bloody hell! Cairos, don’t startle me like that and who are you…. Nightingale. You are getting to be as bad as Magpie. Right. Now have the two of you met before?”

Cairos says no as I shake my head. Artivan looks briefly at me and then looks over at Cairos to say, “Right then, Cairos this is Nightingale. She’s a potion maker and she is incapable of speech. She does know Ranger sign and carries around a pad for things more complicated. Nightingale this is my scribe Cairos. Now why are you here?”

I move forward and gesture to the note. Cairos then hands the note over to Artivan.

Artivan looks at it and then looks at me, saying, “Right I had heard about this, but I didn’t want it to be true. You know that its not nice or right to hit your fellow Rangers? I did demote someone over something like this.”

I quickly write out “I thought that we needed the Beast, so I brought him out. It was a little hit” and hand it to Artivan.

Artivan replies, “That bad?” I nod. Artivan says, “OK then, no further action is needed on this.”

Cairos turns to me and says, “Wait. If you’re making potions for all of the Rangers, where are you getting all of the other supplies?”

I point at myself. Artivan and Cairos say “No. This won’t do.” Cairos then starts on some paperwork and mutters something about children. Artivan asks Cairos, “Are you taking care of this over-site?”
Cairos replies, “Yes, Artivan. You’ll have something to sign in just a moment.”
Artivan then says, “Oh, bloody… never mind for this I will happily sign the damned paperwork.”

Artivan then turns to me and says, “Although you will have to give this to Kassegore yourself.”
I slowly nod as I pout to Artivan.

Artivan tells me, “There is no reason that you should have to use your resources for these potions, when Kassegore is gathering so many. And just think of this as a penance, of sorts.”

I nod at this. Cairos finishes the paperwork and then hands it over to Artivan. Artivan quickly looks it over and then adds a small note at the bottom before signing it. Artivan hands the paper to me, saying “Its open ended for the potions that you bring to the Rangers.”

I make a quick note, asking about the potions that are going to the Sog leaders for the hospitals and clinics.

Artivan and Cairos look at the note and then at each other. Cairos then starts on a new paper, telling Artivan that he is making a request for the totals that have been given so that those can be added to the request. Artivan nods and makes a quick note. Artivan then hands to me, telling me that Kassegore needs to see this as well. And if I was finished could I get out of the office?

I quickly make my way over to the quartermaster’s office.

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Can I Please Get Back to Sog?
I Have a Builder

12th of Raining Leaves

I am beginning to want to beg the captain to be able to scout ahead as this is soo much slower than walking. According to the captain we are about a day out from Sog and will be stopping at a port to get new cargo and deliver some. He insists that the two of us, get off the boat for a bit. The look the captain gave me, said that it was more of an order. So Grak and I head out and start to look around town.

A River Trade Commission (RTC) officer flags me down and asks where I am stationed. I inform him that I was out of Sog. He then informs me that they have heard rumors that Artivan is in trouble. Artivan had headed off to a human town by the name of Barnett’s Crossing because they wanted to be come allies. He had taken Liarra and Zaastax with him, for the discussions of setting up a Ranger post there.

At my worried look, the officer states that word came down from an RTC member that happened to be in Sog on the 10th, heard Felosia giving orders to go help after speaking to someone named Venetti. I ask for very detailed instructions on where this Barnett’s Crossing is.

I turn to Grak and tell him that I have to go.
Grak says: “Sure. I don’t fly, but I come too?”

After a brief discussion about how much of a difference in speed that we will be traveling, the RTC officer pipes up saying that if I give them the correct note, they will make sure that Grak gets to Sog alright. I make up a letter of intruduction for Grak and address it to Father Salvator. I start to head out and think of a better idea and turn back to hand Grak my trainee cloak, so that no one will shoot him as he comes in. And tell him: “When you get close to Sog, put this on.”

Grak says: “My love wears cloak, I wear cloak?”
I say: “Sure.”

The RTC members are snickering at this as Grak puts on the cloak. As I take off the RTC escort Grak back to the ship.

About mid-afternoon I hear shouting in Prelacy, which causes me to fly faster. As I start to go as fast as I can, I hear thunder. And then the familiar sounds of the casters being fired, although this is a lot louder. I found out later that it was a cannon that was blasting a wall.

As the sounds continue I realize that the Prelacy has brought a large force to this town along with a large group of Arcfire casters.

As I see the force, Felosia spots me and calls out: “Sky you’re here! What took you so long?”
My reply: “I got lost.”

Sheelia laughs at this, as Felosia calls out to kill them.

Vhen moves in on the Prelacy as the villagers move to find cover.

Two Prelacy archers attempt to hit Gunther. Two others attempt to shoot Maeve, one managing to do a glancing blow to her armor. Two Prelacy at the gates to the town attempt to get them open, while the other two at the gate attempt to go over the wall.

Maeve seems to shake off a previous hit then she and Justice move forward. Maeve hops off of Justice and shoots an archer to stun him. There is a cry from the one that got away. I assume that Justice sent him an interesting image. I see an archer (one of the ones that shot at Gunther) just disappear. I shoot an archer and take it out.

Felosia calls out: “Do you still have the potion?”
I reply: “From ages ago.”
Felosia: “Then fly over to Gunther, give him the potion and get him to the main roof.”

As I point out that the potion is back from Stoon, Maeve states: “A properly decanted potion lasts for a while.”
I reply: “This was from Draxx.”
Maeve: “What’s a Draxx?”
I reply: “Gibben Draxx. And I know what his potions do.”
Maeve: “What they are suppose to?”
Me: “No.”
Felosia: “Its all good! We’ve got this.”

I hear from Gunther’s rooftop “You are dead to me.” Right before he lets an arrow fly, taking out an archer. I guess that archer really upset Gunther.

Felosia disappears and reappears behind the four at the gate, manages to stun one of soldiers that had attempted to climb the wall. Sheelia bites the leader on the ass, making it bleed.

The leader cries out: “Insolent mongrel!”
Felosia replies: “Careful, she’s smarter than you!”
The leader: “Impossible!”

An archer breaks through a shutter and attempts to shoot a civilian. Several others attempt to break in the inn’s door.

On the other side of the town, Liarra takes over one of the blasters and makes him take out several of the leaders. Several soldiers break ranks at this and start to run away.

Venetti steps out of the trees and stabs an archer in the face, then flicks the blood in to a soldier’s face. This stuns the soldier.

The other blasters turn to the one that Liarra took over and open fire, taking it out.

I fly forward and shoot the leader, which appears to wound and stun him.

Felosia says: “So your back?”
Me: “Yes.”
Felosia says: “So you all can surrender.” And being smart, they all do.

Vhen runs forward and just bounces over the wall. I check to see if Felosia needs a lift.
Felosia replies: “I can always go under. What about Gunther?”
I say: “Maeve’s got him.”
Felosia: “See if they need a lift.

Liarra makes another blaster shoot his companions, taking out several.

I shout over to Maeve: “Do you need a lift?”
Maeve’s responds: “Yes, since my ride is over that way.” Pointing at the inn.
I call out to Justice: “Sorry Justice, I can’t carry you.”

And then we all hear the calls of Ratson coming on the field. Liarra calls out that there are Ratson coming and that she has a new toy.
Artivan replies: “A new toy?”
Liarra: “I puppeted him.”
Artivan: “You can do that now?”
Liarra: “Yes.”
Artivan: “I like you more and more every day!”
I call down: “Felosia, they have fliers that are bigger than bats!”
Felosia: “Are they made of stone?”
I reply: “I can’t make that out.
Felosia: “Then stay away from them.”
I call out: “Artivan, they have fliers.”
Liarra calls out: “Gargoyles!”

Several of the soldiers take off, when they see what has come on the field. The one that managed to get into the inn, surrenders.

Gunther shoots at one of the Gargoyles and takes it out. Then slides off the building. Felosia disappears and reappears next to Artivan.

Several of the enemy moves closer.

Felosia then disappears and pops back up on the other side of town to cast entangle on some of the Ratson and a Minotaur. After she casts, she heads back underground.

A Crusader starts to run away, though its not at a fast rate at all. The blaster that Liarra has controlled attempts to break free and fails. A blaster, or Boom trooper hits the gate and it shatters open.

Liarra shouts “Incoming!”

I shoot the other Gargoyle out of the air. Several Rangers that were on the roof, move forward and attempt to shoot the golems. Maeve heals Gunther and after shouting at me to go get them, they move towards the inn. Justice moves forward as well.

The Minotaur and one of the Ratson that Felosia entangled, break free and run to the gates. Two smaller Minotaurs and Ratson move forward as well. The other Ratson just wiggle in the entanglement.

Liarra makes the blaster shoot the Minotaur and manages to wound it. Liarra then makes the lighting surround her and casts confusion at the other blaster and manages to stun the other Minotaur and two golems as well.

Artivan turns to the other Rangers that are waiting for those that should be breaking through the gate and says: “I don’t know what’s going on?”

To which Liarra replies: He’ll take care of if."

Artivan to the others in the courtyard: “My people apparently have it.”

Vhen asks Artivan: “Want me to act?”

Artivan replies: “I expect there’s more coming, just hold.”

Liarra then blasts the controller at the back of the battlefield, and the controller glares back at her. The boom-trooper who was shaken, shouts at the boom-trooper that Liarra is controlling: “Stop shooting our minotaur!” And then attempts to shoot Liarra, possibly, as he ends up hitting the Minotaur instead.

As the Minotaur falls to its knees, Artivan calls out: " On my mark pit it out of its misery."

A purifier starts to run away. Two Minotaurs race into the keep and Vhen charges them with a sweep attack.

Artivan casts on something on himself and Vhen. Then attacks the Minotaurs, who fall to the blows. Artivan then turns to the others in the courtyard and says: “That lads, is what it means to become a full Ranger. Well it helps to be a crafty cat, but don’t tell him I said that.”

Justice runs through the wall and broken window shutters. He then runs towards the Arcmancer, while projecting an image of a giant lightning cloud in the shape of a horse pawing at him. The Arcmancer’s response is “Crazy Horse.”

Zaastax says: “Screw this. Fucking Death Horse.” and runs through the room and out a window to the courtyard. After which, he then closes the shutters and ducks under the window ledge.

A Builder lancer runs to the window and bashes open the shutters, doesn’t see Zaastax, and shoots at Vhen. The other two lancers move down the hallway to attempt to shoot Justice, with the full capability of their weapons. Justice then does the equivalence of equine laughter. One shot does bounce off of Justice’s armor. One turns to the other and says: “We maybe fucked.”

Both the Golems recover from being stunned. One attempts to shoot a Ranger and misses.

A Civilian fires at a Minotaur and the arrow bounces off of him. Two Rangers move to the hallway, near Justice and attempt to hit the Builder. I shoot the eye of the main Minotaur and take it out.

The Arcmancer inside the hallway casts something at Justice, who doesn’t seem to be impressed at the firepower. At the look of boredom, the Arcmancer says: “What the hell is up with this stupid horse?”

Felosia burrows to the Crusader, and when she and Sheela pop up— Sheela wraps her jaws around his nuts. This causes the Crusader to surrender as Felosia then casts entangle at the control Builder.

The Ratson, as soon as they notice they are free, all run away.

Zaastax runs in through another window and tells the Arcmancer, they’ve lost and should surrender if they don’t want to die.

In the distance, we are hearing: “Please stop killing our guys!” and “I can’t help it!”

The Arcmancer starts to reply as Zaastax says: “I could let the horse come through.” Zaastax then walks the Arcmancer through the numbers of his guys getting slaughtered. The Arcmancer surrenders.

Zaastax says: “You surrendered, you get to live. Now you pay for the damages you did.”
The Arcmancer: “What have I done?”

I fly over to Artivan and report on where I have been.
Artivan asks: “Who gave you permission to do this?”
I reply: “Kassegore did.”
Artivan: “We’re not having this conversation right now. Welcome back. Glad your alive.”
I tell Artivan: “I have a Builder headed to Sog right now, with a control golem. He happens to be wearing a Ranger cloak!”
Liarra: “Does he know what all that entails?”
I reply: “Not yet, but I made him give me his word that he would not harm the Rangers or their allies. Oh, and he’s building
me armor.”

Felosia shakes her head and mutters something about three days, as she heads after the Purifier. Maeve wanders in and checks for those that are wounded.

We are informed that the captured Builders, the control golems and pieces of the collars or control stuff are being sent South to Kithros. The leaders are ok with the smaller Builder stuff to stay in Sog. Once it was found out that only two individuals were behind this plot and were given over to the locals, the leaders and Artivan move forward with the Alliance.

On the way back to Sog, Artivan asks what prompted the trip. I explained that I was homesick and that back on the island that we could get to the ocean within three hours in any direction.

Artivan grumbles about this being a continent, what ever that means and that I was sent to be a test of Faith. As I start to reply to this, Vhen comes up to us and asks why the trees are dying. Artivan turns to me and opens his mouth as I tell Vhen that the trees always do this, its how they get ready for the cold.

Artivan closes his mouth and looks up at the sky making a gesture. He then turns to me and says, “Continent.” Turns to Vhen and says, “It’s a winter thing.” Artivan then walks forward towards Felosia while muttering “Islanders!”

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My Crazy Trip to the Ocean
I Have a What Now?

I started to head to Artivan’s office when I heard him yelling get out. I quickly discover that Kassegore has yet again made another of this island crazy. Well in all good faith, turn about should be fair play.

I quickly step in his way and ask if he’s had a chance to look over the requisition requests that I have filled out. After all he is the quartermaster. He snarls at me.

I tilt my head at him and say: “That won’t work with me, I do know that you are quite intelligent and currently have the full ability for speech. I’m not one of those that you need to keep on their toes. Would you like to try that again?”

Kassegore’s responds “It is an acceptable response. Given the nature of your requisitions I’d prefer not to dignify it with words.” He will tries to leave at this point.

I get the following objections:
Whale – You will get no response. He’s not going to dignify it with anything other than a stamp that says “DENIED.”
Cleaning fluid – Denied. You’re not on cleaning staff.
Horse – Redundant and inefficient use of resources.
Boat – At such a time the Rangers acquire a river-worthy craft use will be determined on a case by case basis.
Pets – Personal expenses, you’re paid. Stop wasting my time.

If pestered further he’ll look at Sky like he did Nightingale when he tore off the ogre-zombie’s cranial implant. It’ll shift to the look he sometimes gives Derrick Rufis or Cairos. It’s a look he gives right before he relays particularly unpleasant orders and he’ll give Sky a date and time to be at the Hero’s Heart Cafe for a shift as Rufis’ “drinking buddy.”

As he seems to pause for an answer, I look at Artivan’s closed door and say: “You seem to be getting worked up about this, I wonder if we should be troubling Artivan with this?”

Kassegore just looks at me, before heading off towards the warehouse. Feeling closer to my age than I have in a long while, I start acting like one of the younger teenagers from back on the island. Mostly repeating the questions of “Why?” and “Why not?”

After a few minutes of this, Kassegore bares his teeth at me and tells me that I need to leave for a while. I take this as a wonderful order and head back to my room. I figure that most of the towns on this new island has been reached in a few days that I can get to the ocean before anyone misses me. But just in case I leave a note for Gunther and Felosia saying that I headed out exploring and should be back within 3 days. After all, the past three weeks—watching Kassegore almost take out an Orc, then having to find Father Salvator and lastly the shopping trip with Father Salvator and Derick calls for a reward. I should be back in time to be Rufis’ drinking buddy.

After leaving the notes where they could be found, I set off. I did sneak in and get a map to see which way the closest way to the ocean was. I do stop to check in on the newest members of the Rangers, since I hadn’t done that in the previous weeks and see how they are faring. The biggest complaint that they seem to all have is that the food isn’t as good or up to par as they were use to. I suggested that they head over to the Hero’s Heart and see if they could make some of the food they were use to. That seemed to cheer them up.

As it has been quiet, I forgot about the fact that we are not at peace. I didn’t make as good of time as I expected, dodging forces adds time. I figure that I can still spend another half a day, after looking at the map. By the end of the third day, I had to admit that I was lost. This island is much bigger than what I first thought.

At the middle of the fourth day, I find a nice farmer who states that I’m close and that near the ocean is a group of Rangers that I could possibly send word back to my post that I am alive. I take the farmer at his word and in two hours I found myself seeing a wonderful sight. Its been months since I’ve seen the ocean, and for a few hours I get caught up. As the sun starts to set, I see about finding the Rangers. After several hours, I come across a large tree that could hide me until dawn.

The next day, I start my search again for more Rangers. I am most certain that those back in Sog are going to tease me about not being able to read a map. I see several individuals harvesting the crops and they seem to want to hide from me, so I don’t stop to get better directions. Around noon, this old man waves me down and starts yelling at me to stop dinking around and get up to the manor and help the others. Among his yelling was detailed directions to this manor, so I waited him out and apologized for my tardiness and headed off. As I was leaving I heard him say: “With all of her dilly dalling, you would think that she was lost!” I didn’t want to have another lecture yelled at me, so I left him to his thoughts.

The manor that the old man spoke of, was surrounded by Rangers making several repairs. It looked like they were at the end of putting in some sort of platform in. I found out as I got closer, that this platform was going to be for the aid in the defense of the manor, so lots of individuals and gear could get to the top of the barricade faster. As they made it strong enough to carry the very large Orc, Grimjack, who makes Maa’ni look like a child.

I slowly and carefully make my way to the manor, as I really don’t want to come under fire from these six Rangers. They all look as imposing as Artivan can be. After a few minutes they start calling out to a Dwarf that heads my way. He introduces himself as Sergeant Rallidon Fyrforg and I introduce myself as Corporal from Sog. Before I can mention that I am lost, he asks for my help in getting the manor ready for the Rangers stationed here. Mostly it was looking out to see if any other enemy was lurking around.

Later that night I find out that the Sergeant and the five others; Geppert, Flint, The Murv, Roauk, Grimjack and Thraxx had come out to help out the Rangers that were stationed here. I thought that I heard them say this was Artimas, but when I went to look on the map, I didn’t find it there.

The next morning they invite me to travel with them, as they say its on the way back to Sog. I heartily agree, as I still have no clue as to were I am. I do manage to find out before we head off that there is no Adept that can reach Sog and let them know that I am ok. And I would reach Sog before any message that I might send. Artivan is going to be extremely mad at me.

I spend the first day out getting to know these new Rangers, mostly to distract myself from the problems back at Sog. When we camp for the night, it occurs to me that Artivan might actually demote me and that thought cheers me up. The next morning, however, I am depressed as I find out that it is the 9th of Raining Leaves. I am now a week over due!

As these thoughts come into my head, we start hearing weird sounds from up ahead. I ask if they would like for me to scout ahead and the answer was yes, but keep in sight. I was a bit confused as I headed off, though the answer did spark a debate as to the effectiveness of my scouting this way. It appears that the other scout was very wounded when she fell out of the sky.

I find a large group of Ratson, a weird looking Troll, several bats and dog-like creatures that are just off somehow, two Builders and a Necromancer. I head back and report what I saw, which wasn’t much. The group attempts to get close enough to smack them without being detected, although with the flat ground that wasn’t very close at all,

It was interesting seeing this group in action, even though there was a large group of enemies the fight was over quickly. Rorauk ran up to what I had thought was a Troll, which was a golem-ized Minotaur. It had a tail, which the others told me later was a scorpion tail with the poison sac. Rorauk using his fists, smashed the creature’s nose in with a upper-cut. I don’t think that the creature was put together well, as it turned in to goo from the hit.

The reason that the dogs looked wrong is that they were also changed. The bats had weird looking faces, those looked like someone put a sea slug’s head attached to a bat.

These creatures are just so, grotesque and the hit was so amazing, I didn’t see who took out two of the bats. I gather my senses to see who is still among those in the back and ask: “Who wants a ride to the middle of the fight, now!?” To which Thraxx answers: “I do!” I fly over to him and pick him off of his horse and get him as close as I can to the fight, before dropping him off. As I drop him off he says: “Thanks for flying Aevakar Airlines, when you need to deliver Archanon’s Justice quickly, there is no better choice!”

Three Ratson run up to him and before they could even swing at him, Thraxx takes them all out. As I watch the fight, the enemy attempting to get to us, I notice that the Necromancer is still attempting to cast something, so I shout back: “Are we really worried about what the caster is doing?” Rallidon shouts back yes, and I reply: “Do you want me to go take him out while you take care of this?” Again the answer is yes.

As I turn to head off to take out the Necromancer, the funniest thing happened. One of the Builders, turns and fires on the other. As that control golem is now in pieces, we have less enemies to fight. But the Builder wasn’t finished, he continued creating havoc for the enemy by using the creatures to attack the Necromancer and then each other.

When the Builder is the last, non-Ranger on the field, he very carefully raises his arms and calls out that he did it all for the beautiful angel. And if that wasn’t weird enough, the Builder called this out in Goblinesh. This Builder wants to help us and works with us to see if we can recover useful items. There are several casters that are recovered and at my interest and mention of Maggpie they send me home with two of them as well as some bracers.

We find that on one of the Minotaurs that there was a cannon attached to its back. After several of us attempting to remove it to see if we might be able to find out how it worked along with how it was attached, we had to give up as it was beyond us. Our new ally didn’t seem to mind us looking over the dead, but once we got near his control golem he would get animated. He would not have this reaction with me, but everyone else.

At Rallidon’s prompting I get assurances that the Builder will not use the control golem against us. Rallidon decides to allow the Builder to keep the control golem.

The next two days are very interesting, as the Builder tended to just follow me everywhere. The only times that I could get him to stay in a spot was if I promised to be back. As we get closer to the end town, Rallidon has me riding on the control golem to make sure that we don’t cause too much of a panic.

Rhion proves to have access to the river that Sog is near and I think that Rallidon has finally figured out that I was lost as he finds a captain that is willing and able to take the Builder, the control golem and I up to Sog. What Rallidon and I didn’t realize is that the Builder had done some scavenging himself.

During the trip back to Sog, the Builder tells me his name is Grak and that I should learn how to use the weapons that I now have. He kept insisting that I learn, even though I kept telling him these were for a friend. What finally ending the argument was when he said that “His beautiful angel should learn how to properly use the armor that is being made for her.” So I started learning.

I wonder what Artivan is going to say about what I am bringing back. And as I start to see Sog, I realize that what Grak is doing and what he has done is exactly what Ventti has done for Maeve.

Sog just got interesting.

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Artivan and the Beast
Cue the Bassoon and French Horn

The ledger lay open on the desk. Though innocuous in its appearance it represented weeks of effort and a small fortune in supplies in a way few understood and even fewer fully appreciated. Cairos was one such individual and as such poured carefully over the records before speaking. “The Corporal sends his assurances at the current rate we will have enough supplies for winter by the first snow.”

Artivan looked up from his weekly patrol reports. He raised an eyebrow at the eldekar. “While I have full confidence in our quartermaster I have problems accepting that statement from someone who has admittedly never seen snow.”

“He has been consulting with Felosia a great deal as of late.” Cairos had to admit Kassegore was highly competent around a battlefield and a bureaucracy. The quartermaster was something less than competent everywhere else. The mix resulted in varying degrees of amusement and exasperation for all those involved.

“I’ve noticed Magpie and Vhen with that pair the past few days.” Kassegore didn’t casually socialize and had no problem attracting trouble. Magpie liked experimenting too much for anyone’s comfort. Vhen was too oblivious to stop either of them. “Should I be concerned?” Hopefully Felosia would keep them out of too much trouble.

Cairos shrugged. Children would be children regardless of race. Most of them lived to adulthood and a few scars usually brought a modicum of wisdom. “As far as I know it’s Felosia’s project.”
Artivan didn’t know if that should relieve or worry him. Before he could decide the dregordian in question stooped through the doorway. Kassegore took one look at Cairos and commanded, “You are dismissed, Scribe.” Cairos merely nodded to Artivan, gathered his things, and quietly exited the room.

Kassegore remained standing even after Cairos was gone. The first time he’d been in Artivan’s office he tried sitting. He was uncomfortably oversized for the furniture meant for humans and looked slightly ridiculous for it. It was far easier to be taken seriously when the Sergeant Major wasn’t laughing at him. Once the door was closed he spoke. “I require bait if I am to destroy the Prelacy.”

It was, Artivan thought, everything he’d come to expect from Kassegore, short, rude, and incomprehensible. Cairos had once mentioned something about dregordian curtesy but he couldn’t recall the particulars. “What bait are you talking about?” Best to decipher this thread of whatever passed for logic in Kassegore’s mind quickly.

“Camon,” was the only reply.

He turned to retrieve a bottle and a glass from counter behind him. “Camon is not bait. It is a country and one ruled by the Prelacy.” The liquor was a gift from Rok-tar from the grand opening of the dwarf’s café. He poured a measured amount and took a sip, allowing the taste and promise of more to fortify him for the conversation.

The human was listening. It was always an encouraging sign when Artivan spoke back instead of screaming obscenities. “When I crush the armies of the Crusade it will weaken the Prelacy and allow the tension and unrest in Camon to escalate into a civil war.”

“How do you plan to defeat these armies?”

“When I kill enough of their soldiers they will dissolve.” There were details but he saw no need to burden the other man with such things this early.

It was as simple as it was impractical. Artivan worried Kassegore might actually believe himself capable. Thankfully winter was coming and the season of war would end soon. It’d give him enough time to save the dregordian from himself. The mention of internal problems was more serious. “The Rangers are already supporting the civil war in Kal-anar. We don’t have to resources for another.”

“We don’t need to be involved. They will war with themselves and when enough have been slaughtered and the nation broken it will be bait.”

There it was again. “This word bait, I do not think it means what you think it does.” He began to finish his drink but paused and realization came over him. He paled and set his glass down with shaking hands. “You’re not using it wrong, are you? You mean use Camon as bait for Shayanor.”

“Shayanor,” he said carefully as if trying to name out. “Yes, that is the name of the land of Darkness. They will not be able to resist being so near to wounded prey. They will move and when they do I will be waiting, ready to hunt.”

“I have been called crazy but I am a bastion of sanity next to you!” Artivan grabbed his hair with both hands as if trying to hold onto his sanity and not go mad.

He seemed impassive in the face of the human emotional display. Only another dregordian would have would have known the slight shift in posture indicated eagerness. “The Prelacy is an ideal and a belief. Shayanor will excise it from Camon and what is left will be so desperate for any help by the time we move they will accept non-humans willingly. I will then hunt the dark ones instead.”

“You’re talking about genocide!” Artivan accused.

Kassegore merely tilted his head. “I am planning to destroy a philosophy. It is considerably more difficult than anything else I’ve attempted to kill before. The dead bodies are merely collateral.”

“I can’t listen to anymore. Get out!” His eyes were wild as he shouted.

“It is imperative we plan for Shayanor. I assure you they will be planning for us.”

“GET OUT!”

He did not expect so much resistance, though he probably should have. The other races usually denied the demands of logic when first presented, especially when they needed listen most. He’d give it some time. Artivan would eventually accept it. They always did.

He didn’t watch the quartermaster leave. He desperately hoped Kassegore was wrong but as he stared at the map on the wall he only saw war.

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Advetisement in Gobblin Gazette
(OOC Contact Howard Brandon for info)

Longarm Guard Company
Dedicated. Reliable. Affordable.
Longarms.png

A full service protection company for the budget conscious merchant serving all of Olara, the northern Wildlands and Landra’Feya.

Office locations may be found in Echer’Naught and the capital city, Olara. Retainer contracts available upon request.

Services include:
*Caravan Guarding
*Warehouse Protection
*Merchant House Defense
For contracts, message
Sophia Longarm
4 Stone Street
Echer’Naught, Olara.

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The Gobblin Gazette
Snippets from the Gobblin Gazette- First Gobblin Gazette, Publication date 6th of Forest Dance, Common Era 3123.

Snippets from the Gobblin Gazette- First Gobblin Gazette, Publication date 6th of Forest Dance, Common Era 3123.

(Gobblin Gazette is printed in Goblinesh on one side and the exact same page is printed in Orlan on the other side, There are 4 sections: Main Page, Article Section, and Anouncemnts/Merchant Section.)

A note from the Prime Editor:

Greetings, I am “Grumbling” Grundy the goblin. You may know me from some of my buildings in Sog. This is the first issue of The Gobblin Gazette, the first local news source in Sog. If you have news you wish to make known or wish to write for The Gobblin Gazette then I will happily take submissions and possibly interviews for article submitters. If you wish to have The Gobblin Gazette feature your business then you will need to make an appointment at our local office and we can discuss terms. This paper is primarily for information purposes and not a place to drag people through the mud or complain or other such nonsense. At The Gobblin Gazette we will not tolerate false news or inaccurate claims about a business. If it is found that anything is not accurate then please send us a message we can and in most cases will print a correction but don’t falsely correct anything. We do our best here so please be respectful. You can take our dedication to correct information as a kind of oath.
On another note, I am also the new Post Master in Sog, for those unfamiliar with the term, I shall collect specific sized letters that you wish to send and have people deliver the letter/message to them for a small fee. We are still working out the rules and routes for delivery so be patient with us. I will make an announcement in the next issue of The Gobblin Gazette when it is fully ready for public use. Getting something going at a troubling time such as this is a bit of a challenge so bear with us. Inquire at the Post Central Building for further information, we will be putting up announcements when it is ready and have the rules clearly stated.

Sincerely,
“Grumbling” Grundy the Goblin, your new Post Master and Prime Editor of the Gobblin Gazette.

The Triumph of Thuls
We are pleased to report that the battle of Thuls was won and Thuls is now a city free from The Prealacy’s Concuring grasp. With the aid of the Grey Rangers the Olarian Army and Thuls town guard was able to repel and triumph against the armies of the Camoran Prelacy’s siege on the city. We celebrate the freedom of Thuls and Sog’s Continued Freedom in thanks to the Grey Rangers. The Grey Rangers reduced the enemies resources for the final siege in the days leading up to the attack and assisted greatly in the city’s defense during the attack. The attacking General, Prelacy general, Bertrand Greniere has been captured when Orlan Soldiers lead by the Grey Rangers attacked and trounced the Church of the Prelacy’s soldiers with very little loss of life to the defenders.

Ogress the Ogre Oracle, bringing common wisdom to the common person
For entertainment purposes only, Ogress is not a recognized seer of the future.

Dis is Ogress, the Ogre Oracle in our first Seeing of the future.
Ogress says that if you are born into dis month of Forest Dance den you best watch your feet or you may lose your way. For others not born in dis month den yous forcast is to watch out for doos that are looking down, dey may get in da way.
Ogress’s Tip of the Month: Don’t go outside de city without a buddy. Your friends and peoples want yous back alive and not dead and moving still.

Cooking Corner by Rok-tar Firebeard
With fall coming fast you may be asking yourself what you can do with all of the local apples. Here are some tried and true tasty recipeis:

Apple Pie <recipe>
Apple Streusel <recipe>

And for your personal stash, try this method of apple tonic.
Apple Whisky <part>
Place apples in a bucket, press apples whole and liquefy.
Add a small amount of bread yeast and a cup of sugar and 2 cups of raisins. Add 1 cup of lemon juice for preservative.
Mash up good and leave out in the cold, covered.
Let freeze and thaw multiple times, scrape the pure ice off of the top before thawing.
Remove solids when you can using the following method…
At Mid-Winter place in a bottle and wait until spring.

Also, If you still have apples left try this method of sugaring and drying for long term storage….<instructions>

And lastly Apple Chips..<instructions>

The recipes work well for crabapples too but to offset the tartness use a cup of sugar.

At Firebeard Tavern and Luncheon we are having apple pie at the end of the month and an apple custard pie. Come and enjoy a slice with your favorite Firebeard beer.

Snippet from the Announcement Section

We welcome Gromby the Ogre born of Gnesh and Gobbler Goblin. It was a difficult birth but even in this time of war Life must continue. If you have any Ogre Baby cloths Gnesh would be very happy for a donation of it.

Jamber the Carpenter is looking for commissions in furniture repair and creation. Jambler can be found on 3rd Street, look for the wooden Chair sign in the worker’s section of town. “Working hard to help you sit better.”

Grand Opening of Firebeard’s Tavern and Luncheon this month. We have Alvarian Ale and Firebeard’s Brand ale as well as a selection of local meads and wines. Come for Lunch and stay for a drink or two. We always have something tasty. Fresh backed and cooked goods daily. See our sign out front for specials. Fresh pressed Cider served soon!
Post Carriers and Paperers needed: Inquire at Post Central Building for details on how you can help the Post and Gobblin Gazette grow.

Are you a Hero? Do you wish to make your mark and help the city of Sog grow and prosper? Don’t know how to go about it? Then come on down to the Grey Ranger’s headquarters and see if you qualify for signing up to be a Grey Ranger. Any Ranger may assist you with directions, just ask and let them know you wish to sign up to help your fellow person. (This announcement is made independently and not an official Grey Ranger’s announcement.)

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Gobblin Gazette 1st editionNews Articles of "Beyond the Gather"
News Articles of "Beyond the Gather"

The Great Road Project

The project to build a road from Echer’Naught to Greenvale is nearly complete. Workers of the road project are hopeful that the road will be complete before winter, making travel safer and quicker between the two places. Merchants eagerly anticipate it’s opening for spring and are disappointed that the road will not be available for the Fall Harvest Season. One of the Grey rangers commented, “Well, we (meaning the Grey Rangers and the Orlaran Army) can get there quicker for a more timely defense and it would mean more trade between the areas.”

Corruption of Gathers?

Contact has been lost to several Goblinesh Gathers in the area between Echer’Naught and Farwatch. Travelers are advised to stay clear of the area while the Gray Rangers and Olaran Army verify some of the rumors. A Priest of Light that came from the area recently commented, “They have fallen to Darkeness.” Speaking of a gather that has been corrupted by the forces of evil. If you have kin in the area it is better to send a message than to travel there. If you must travel there then it has been suggested to travel in force and armed and tread cautiously.

Wolfhaven creates a Haven of Tents

Camp Wolfhaven, founded by Col. Alexander Wolfhaven was founded just east from Tarnn. It was founded in the effort to provide succor and healing for those suffering from the War with the Prelacy. Col. Alexander Wolfhaven’s men lead by Macha Panta cleared the town of Schweinskopf of Prelacy forces but could not prevent the burning of the town. The camp was founded as a major hospice effort and established the “Hospital” in a large camp of tents. They have also brought in a large number of people of the Healing Arts to aid in the healing of the many wounded and harmed by the Prelacy’s Crimson Crusade. Though the majority of the Healers are not skilled in Magical Healing, they have healed and aided hundreds already. Col. Alexander boasts that the camp may have 1000 wounded at it’s maximum capacity. “The tents go on and on..” one new comer commented in awe. Even with the large effort here they would welcome anybody with healing talent and would even teach volunteers their art. Some of the head healers talk, currently idly, of establishing a Healing Univerisity and repository of medical knowledge to be constructed but this is only in the speculation stages. This writer notes that sponsorship of this great endeveor would not go amiss as hope is needed in this time of war.

Food Shortages in Karas!

The Siege of Crystara took a heavy toll. Many flee to Karas for a better life and to avoid being in the conflict. When the Grey Rangers returned from the Siege they noted that it will stretch supplies very keenly, especially with winter coming. Food Merchants that have a surplus are asked to donate it to ease suffering or at least sell it at a discount to create a relief fund of supplies. See the local City Officials or a Grey Ranger Outpost if you are interested.

Denier’s of Death Cult at Large

When the Siege of Thuls was broken and the dust settled, there were far fewer of this cult than were known to be there. The Denier’s of Death is a cult of worshipers of Evil that use magic to raise the dead to fight for them, the risen are simply animated creatures of evil with no ties to their former self. The Grey Rangers and Orlaran Army has concluded that many of the cult must have escaped and are at large and dangerous. The search for the rest of the members of this cult is on. If you hear strange screams or moans or other scary sounds then please report it as the Grey Rangers and the Orlaran Army are here to protect us and help us. They are working for your safety.

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