Get a new contingent of Grey Rangers to Barak and get them situated in their new home at Falconspire Tower.
After Action Report:
Grey Lantern Report: Barak, 15th of Red Wolf, 3122, Montar Reporting
I write this with a heavy heart, for death has again stalked the Grey Rangers and we have lost many valiant brothers and sisters. Yet, even in the midst of sorrow there is hope, for the actions of those who remain are a beacon of light in the darkness.
While I did not meet this contingent of Grey Rangers until they had actually arrived in Barak, I was able to piece together some of what happened on their journey.
The group came together in groups of two or three as they travelled northwards from Serenity, arriving from their various training camps across the Wildlands. From what I can gather the group mostly travelled in silence, each Ranger lost in their own thoughts. There were, however, some interactions; a Galean named Santik Tiresen was outwardly friendly throughout the journey, doing his best to engage almost everyone in conversation. He was particularly interested in conversing with a dwarf named Angus, taking time to praise the ale that the dwarf was carrying on his horse.
A human female named Merellen seemed to be very enamored of an Eldakar named Cassiel, to the point that some compared it to a schoolgirl crush.
The travelling group only stopped once, at the memorial on Crimson Rock. You will remember it as the spot where seventeen of our comrades were captured and then slaughtered one by one last year as the War of Flame was beginning. One of the travelling group, by the name of Ostar, made sure to stop, for his brother was one of the seventeen who fell. Ostar stopped by the boulder that has the weapons of the seventeen arrayed around it and their names etched into the stone. I believe he explained the story of what happened to the rest of the group. I can only imagine that it was very somber moment.
After the brief stop at the memorial they group finally arrived in Barak. They were warmly welcomed by the townsfolk (who must be very glad to see a new contingent of Rangers arrive to protect them) as they made their way through the town and then up north into the hills until they finally arrived at Falconspire.
They found Falconspire in the midst of renovations; the upper floors are still being repaired and the defensive wall is still taking shape. Surlik, his wife Bleechie, and their two children were there however, ready to serve the Grey Rangers as always. Amazing when you think about all the trouble that poor Goblin has seen that he would still serve so willingly.
After getting settled, the new group of Rangers gathered in the courtyard by the fire pit for dinner. Angus gladly shared his wonderful dwarven ale with everyone and as night fell, the mood brightened as some of the Rangers brought out their instruments and began to play. The majority of the group joined in the merriment, but I did take note that the Eldakar, Cassiel, wandered away from the group. I studied him for a bit from afar and there is a darkness, or perhaps great sorrow, within his soul. Yet, I can see that whatever happened has strengthened him as well, for there is a determination there that blazes strongly.
I did take note of a female Alakar named Ailirria who was quiet and spent most of her time studying her comrades and her surroundings as if to make sure that she would not be caught unaware by anyone or anything. I sense steel and resolve within her, yet also a softness that was evident in her interactions with the Goblin family.
The dwarf, Angus, as you will see, is a fierce warrior, an immovable force that will, in time, become one of our greatest fighters.
You may wonder why I only discuss my feelings about the above three Rangers? Simply, it is because they are the only Rangers of Barak left standing after what happened next.
As the night wound down I took my leave to head back into town and see about getting more supplies and workers. If I had only known…
In the middle of the night, a force of Kal soldiers attacked Falconspire. They were led into the compound by Santik Tiresen. Have we fallen so far that traitors can now be found in our ranks? Attacking from the darkness the Kal warriors quickly fell upon the inexperienced Rangers. The Rangers fought as well as they could, but were quickly overwhelmed and started falling one by one.
Angus and Cassiel, by virtue of sleeping in the basement because their rooms in the upper part of the tower were not ready yet, got some warning when the trapdoor to the room was opened and the corpse of Merellen was hurled down the stairs.
Angus’ fury at seeing one of his comrades murdered was great and he hurled himself up the stairs, knocking the trapdoor open and into the face of one of the Kal warriors. Cassiel went to Merellen, seeking to use his healing magic to save her, but her wound was too grievous and she died in his arms.
Cassiel made it up the stairs just in time to see Angus launch himself at the three remaining Kal warriors in the entryway. The dwarf was like a whirlwind of destruction as his weapon easily swept through his opponents like a scythe through a field of wheat. The fight in the entryway was over before it even started and the two of them hastily made their way outside.
What met them was a scene of chaos and confusion; the stables and supply shed were in flames. The corpses of Grey Rangers dotted the courtyard and only a few fights were still ongoing. One enemy was right by the doorway, about to drive his sword through the prone form of Surlik the Goblin. Angus smacked the Kal with his shield and then drove his weapon through his opponents chest.
At the same time, the Alakar, Ailirria, who had been sleeping outdoors in a small copse of trees, was stealthily making her way to the shed where two Kal warriors were menacing Bleechie and her two children. Furious at this situation, Ailirria rose from the shadows and with a flurry of arrows killed one of the Kal. The other Kal was dispatched by Cassiel with a bolt of white light that flew unerringly from his hands.
Meanwhile, Ostar appeared at Angus’ side, bloody and battered from the fights he’d engaged in but still living. As he was giving Angus a report Ostar suddenly fell to his knees, his hands reaching behind him, feebly trying to remove the arrow that was lodged in his back. Angus looked beyond Ostar’s kneeling form and saw a large Kal Battle Leader nocking another arrow and grinning fiercely. As Angus began running towards the Kal leader the arrow flew from his opponent’s bow and went through Ostar’s head, the force popping Ostar’s eyeball out onto the ground. Angus roared insults at the Kal Battle Leader who only laughed and leapt at the dwarf with his giant sword. Angus, however, was not to be denied. With an exultant warcry he swept his weapon through the Kal Battle Leader, splitting him in two from groin to head.
I’m not sure how to explain what happened next. Cassiel rushed to Ostar’s aid and…I almost find this impossible…brought his hands towards the dying man. The Eldakar’s hands filled with a blinding light that covered Ostar’s entire body. One by one Ostar’s wounds disappeared and his eyeball grew back! Great magic or truly touched by Landra? Even I don’t know, but it bears watching for it was one of the greatest acts of healing I’ve ever heard of.
Santik, the traitor, appeared out of the darkness at this point and scooped up the two crying goblin children and made his way out the front gate, defended by the remaining Kal warriors.
Leaving Ostar with Surlik and Bleechie the three remaining Rangers raced after Santik and the remaining Kal. They found him and his troops at the Flamebreak Bridge. Santik was in the center of the bridge, holding the two goblin children and laughing maniacally. Defending the Barak side of the bridge were four Kal warriors. At the bottom of the bridge was one Kal, holding a torch aloft, about to light the fuse on barrels of explosives that were tied around the piers of the bridge.
It sounds simple in the re-telling, but what followed was fairly amazing. In the span of less than 30 seconds, Ailirria managed to kill the torch-wielding Kal at the bottom of the bridge with one well-placed arrow to his neck. She followed that with two arrows into the shoulders of Santik who lost control of the goblin children. In the darkness at long distance? Incredible accuracy.
At the same time as Ailirria’s arrows were flying, Angust and Cassiel made short work of the four Kal warriors guarding the bridge. They all turned to go after Santik, but he had stumbled to the side of the bridge and fallen over the railing into the rushing river below.
The night was over, but it had been long and terrible. Only four Grey Rangers remain in Barak. Who was Santik and was he working for a greater power? Was the Kal company that attacked part of the Kalinesh Army or were they part of the Maelstrom Mercenary company? Answers will be forthcoming that I promise. Now I must again begin to rebuild and fervently pray that only four Grey Rangers can hold against the forces that work against them in Barak and its environs.
Surlik: Goblin caretaker of Falconspire Tower.
Bleechie: Wife of Surlik
Santik Tiresen: Former Grey Ranger. Traitor who led Kal soldiers into Ranger compound.
Lieutenant Altir Merran: Inexperienced leader of the Royal Trade Coalition Marines in Barak.