The Grey Rangers of Barak head into the northern wilderness to investigate recent robberies at farms near Barak.
After Action Report:
Grey Lantern Report: Barak, 22nd of Red Wolf, 3122, Montar Reporting
My travels through the Wildlands continue, my investigations into the disruption of our communication system is proving frustrating and fruitless. I fear that there is something very sinister at work, but I have no evidence of what exactly. It frustrates me to no end that I can not spend more time in Barak where our very small contingent of Rangers continues to be beset by trouble. I can only hope that they continue showing the skill and courage that they have displayed so far. Luckily, our carrier pigeons are not being disrupted and I can continue watching over them from afar.
The day after the confrontation in the abandoned church to Archanon began with an interrogation of the newest Kal prisoner. Wisely choosing a non-confrontational approach, Angus plied the prisoner with a hearty breakfast and friendliness. Somewhat amazingly the ploy actually worked!
The Rangers learned, amongst other things, that the Kal company they fought had been operating in the area of Barak for around a year. They learned that there are other Kal warbands still operating in the area for different purposes. It seems that the warbands are operating as secret cells, each band unaware of what the other is doing. The prisoner, unlike the other one, also gave his name as Ragnar.
Most disturbing is that the War Priestess of Ceynara that they defeated the night before would often take fanatical Kal warriors into her tent at night and not for the purpose that you’d think! The men that entered her tent did so willingly and they would never be seen again. When asked the War Priestess would only say, “Blood for the Fire Goddess. She needs to feed, as do her servants.”
Having gained as much information as they could the Rangers decided that the two Kal prisoners would probably be better off being held in Barak proper at the jail there. The RTC Marines helpfully said that they would escort the prisoners there on their way back to the barracks in town.
As the Rangers were eating breakfast they discussed their plans; they figured that they should find out more about the other Kal warbands operating in the area and were deciding how to go about that when two members of the Town Council of Barak showed up at the compound.
Riding inside an ornate coach usually reserved for royalty were Torran Arvensson and Cealinn Meihnare. To make it brief; Torran is, to put it kindly, a pompous, overbearing ass whose girth is only matched by his displays of wealth. He has made his wealth with the Aldenhop grain that is used to brew Dark Alden ale. Cealinn is a kindly, older woman who many say is the wisest council member in Barak. Cealinn is, unfortunately, overridden in most matters by Torran.
Torran, acting like the idiot he is, managed to offend all of the Rangers; Angus by ignoring him because he is a dwarf, Ailirria by spending most of his time staring at her chest and making lewd comments, and Cassiel because of his sheer arrogance.
Amazingly enough, Torran did not manage to get gutted and beheaded and was able to explain the reason for his visit. It seems that there has been a recent rash of robberies occurring at the farms to the north of Barak. While no one had been seriously hurt during the robberies, the Town Council felt that the robberies bear investigating since there are so many reports of Childer, Kal Warbands, and other dark groups in the area. The fact that one of Torran’s farms was recently robbed may have something to do with it as well…
The Rangers readily agreed to investigate and quickly made arrangements with Ostar, Surlik, and Breechie to take care of the compound while they were away. Within an hour the three Rangers were packed up and on the move northwards.
Reaching the farms in good time the Rangers spent some time investigating the farms that had been robbed and were also able to speak with one farmer who had been assaulted during the course of a robbery. The farmer related that he had just been subdued and tied up and that the robbers had taken only a minimal amount of grain and one cow before leaving. He could not tell who the robbers were as he had been knocked unconscious and then blindfolded. It was of interest, though, that no serious injury had been inflicted upon the farmer and that his farm had suffered no damage. This lead the Rangers to believe that the attacks were not being carried out by Childer who would have caused much more destruction.
The farmer brought the Rangers over to the site of the attack and Ailirria was able to quickly pick up the tracks and follow them into the wilderness to the north. Over the span of the next few hours the Rangers made their way through the wilderness, Ailirria carefully tracking the entire way, her outdoor skills very much on display.
Just as dusk was falling the Rangers finally reached the end of their journey and were very surprised to find an encampment of children hidden in a ring of forested hills. Carefully scanning the encampment the Rangers were able to determine that there were perhaps 25-30 children lead by four young adults one of whom, a Nazatirian by his looks, seemed to be the obvious leader. Torn tents and scraps of cloth served as “homes” for the children and it obviously looked like the group moved around a fair amount. The Rangers also saw obvious signs (sacks of grain, a cow, etc.) that they’d found their mysterious farm robbers.
As the Rangers huddled and tried to decide their next course of action a breeze brought a foul stench to their nostrils. Quickly determining the source of the smell they were dismayed to see a force of Ratzin, led by a Minotaur, cresting a hill near the children’s encampment. It was fairly obvious that the Childer force was preparing an attack on the children.
With not much time to plan the Rangers sprang into action! Like they stealthy warriors they are..wait, who am I kidding…Angus blundered through the underbrush like a diseased rhino with eyesight problems, Cassiel made a point of carefully finding every dry branch he could and hopping up and down on it like a jackrabbit hopped up on sweets, and Ailirria..well..Ailirria does have some skill in moving quietly and unobserved in the wilderness so she was able to gain a position on a hill overlooking the Childer force.
As the Childer began to move down the hill towards the children’s encampment, Angus stepped out from behind a tree and whistled loudly drawing the attention of the Ratzin and Minotaur. Cassiel engaged a group of Ratzin on the flank and Ailirria rose from her hiding spot, her bow drawn and ready to fire.
A chaotic melee followed; Angus single-handedly stood his ground against the ferocious attacks of the Ratzin and Minotaur, his axe flashing in deadly sweeps that decapitated and disemboweled the Ratzin in their tracks, his sturdy body taking repeated strikes from the heavy weapon of the Minotaur.
Cassiel’s magic bolts of lightning crackled forth from the sky and his fingers, jolting and burning the Ratzin that were scampering around him, their claws and swords causing an array of wounds across the Eldakar’s body as he grimly stood his ground.
Ailirria fired her bow as quickly as she could, whittling down the Ratzin surrounding Cassiel. At one point she slid down the hillside, firing her bow as she went, her arrows finding homes in the skulls of her opponents.
In the end, all of the Rangers were bleeding from numerous wounds; Cassiel and Ailirria were fighting back to back taking down the Ratzin one by one with ferocious strikes from their swords. Angus, blood streaming down his face, nearly obscuring the vision in his one good eye, stood against an overwhelming force consisting of the Minotaur and a dozen Ratzin. The Nazatirian had joined the melee at this point, standing by Angus’ side, his rapier flashing in the fading light.
As the last ray of light was filtering through the trees the battle ended as Ailirria’s arrow flew true, embedding itself in the neck of the Minotaur who had been severely weakened by the heroic efforts of Angus. The Minotaur fell at Angus’ feet with a thud. The remaining Ratzin tried to flee through the trees but they were quickly cut down by the children who had, at this point, joined the fight and were using rocks and sticks as weapons.
With the fight ended and no other obvious threat nearby the Rangers turned and began talking to Nazatirian and the children…
The players were awarded 2 experience points for this adventure.
Torran Arvensson: Fat, pompous wealthy merchant in his mid-40s who is a member of the Town Council of Barak.
Cealinn Meihnare: Older woman. Kindly yet overshadowed by Torran Arvensson. She is another member of the Town Council of Barak.