“Hello, Ranger Artivan!” a small middle aged orc woman comes into the Ranger’s Head Quarters.
“Evening Mam.” Replies Artivan without looking up from his paperwork that the Quartermaster Insists he look over for distribution of help in aide of rebuilding the town from it’s recent attack.
“I will just leave these here. I wanted to thank you for saving my live and the lives of my kin. I have baked some pies. From a recipie that I found in the paper. Modified a little. They are Cinnamon Apple Burbon Pies. Please share these with your friends.” as she sets down 5 large apple pies. This is when the smell of pastry has reached Artivan’s nose with it’s tantalizing smell of fresh baked apples and pastry.
“Mam, This is not necessary we were just-” Says Artivan getting cut off by a suddenly more stern Orc woman.
“I will have nothing of that talk. You folk are heroes. Take your due!” the old orc woman says taking on the tone of a scolding grandmother that will not take no for an answer.
“Yes, Mam.” Artivan says curtly acknowledging a powerful woman that only wishes him well.
“I know that you met my son Ivan. Thank you for sending him to me so that we could talk about his life. You look out for more than our lives but our hearts.”
“I didn’t send him to you. He came into my office exclaiming something, now I understand what.” as it dawns on him what the exchange was earlier in the week with Ivan picking him up and hugging him in a rough manner.
“Yes, Despite some of his life choices he is a good boy. He left that day, I know not where but that is not uncommon. I haven’t seen him for years before he stopped by earlier this week. But, I think that he has seen some light and is attempting to discharge a debt honorably. May the Silver Tree bless him.” and with that she leaves Artivan with his work.
“Carios, come in here.” calls Artivan. Placing one pie separate from the others.
“Yes, I am sorry that she didn’t have an appointment and that she snuck past me.”
“Carios, Never mind that now. Here take these 4 pies to the mess hall and inform the cook that these are to be served with dinner as a special gift from a citizen of Sog.”
“Yes, I will put it with the others.”
“Others?! Explain Carios.”
“There have been other gifts from the citizens of Sog, Breads, Pies, Pastries. One even brought in some Apple Scrumple, a potent brew to be sure. I have taken the liberty of securing you some of it and have strictly rationed the rest so as not to cause a problem.” Explains Carios.
“Hmmph, Kassagore is hiding things from me again as are you. You know I wont put up with any nonsense but something like this I would like to be informed.”
“Of course. Is that all? I need to go and take a look at some of Grumond’s plans for rebuilding.”
Artivan waves him off. “Bring me a plate and a fork.”
Sometimes the Leadership role does rankle a bit but it does come with perks, thinks Artivan privately.
After some pie has been consumed, a Raven flies into the window some how and transforms to a figure in a grey cloak with the hood up and obscuring his sight and distorting his voice.
“Stay your weapon, I am with the Black Lantern, Artivan Galdrius.” He says hastily. Hastily giving secret Black Lantern code phrases.
“I shall have to check later and verify properly. You could have made an appointment..” Grumbles Artivan.
“You of all people know better. I have a mission for you once this blasted snow lets up. My ‘Name’ is Blackwing. I have been sent on an important mission and your Rangers here need to come and help. As soon as this Blizzard lets up that is. I need you and your most talented and trusted Rangers to prepare for it. The plan is still taking form. In the mean time, get the Rangers that are ex-prelacy soldiers to familiarize themselves with how to accord themselves as Prelacy Soldiers. I shall be back with more details of the mission in a week or when this weather lets up. When I come back, You will have less than a day to get prepared and go.” and with that the “Blackwing” transforms back into a raven and flies out the window.
“’Bout time. Get me the Ususual Suspects in here, we have work to do! Carios! If those people aren’t here, get them.” Bellows Artivan. At lease this “Blackwing” let me have some pie first, thinks Artivan as he is already mentally working on what to say for the meeting.