The Rangers of Barak must get a group of young orphan children to safety, needing to travel through the dangerous wilderness with both Childer and Kal-A-Nar troops in the area…
After Action Report:
Grey Lantern Report: Barak, 28nd of Red Wolf, 3122, Montar Reporting
I’m beginning to wonder what is giving me more gray hairs; my own investigations or the troubles that the new Rangers of Barak are getting themselves into?
The ensuing hours after the Rangers had fought off the childer attack on the children’s camp were filled with a flurry of activity.
The Rangers spoke, for a time, with the “leader” of the children, a Nazatirian named Ondino de Batiz Delgado. Ondino explained that the children were war orphans who had come together over the course of the past year and lived in the wilderness, watched over by him and a few of the older children. Ondino named himself and Angus as Blade Brothers due to the fact that they had fought side by side against the Minotaur.
Angus rapidly dug a gargantuan hole for the enemy dead to be placed into while a group of children watched his activity, clambered all over him, and pelted him with questions.
Cassiel and Ailirria spent quite a bit of time with a small girl named Illendra who Ondino was paying particular attention to. Cassiel, especially, was very drawn to the child as she was emanating waves of raw magical power that seemed very much at odds with her age and demeanor. The girl was somewhat reticient about speaking with the two Rangers, even going so far as to, at one point, asking if Ailirria was a succubus.
Ondino was asked about Illendra, but didn’t really seem to have any more information that would help explain the oddities surrounding her. He did note that they had found her one night rifling through the foodstores in the camp and, when first confronted, she had acted very feral almost as if the concept of civilization were foreign to her.
The only other incident of note during the evening was Illendra giving Angus’ horse the name of Starfire. Slightly odd in that Angus had never named the beast and, yet, Illendra was more than assured that it was the horse’s proper name.
In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, the rag-tag crew set out. Ailirria had been sent ahead to scout the path and also to warn Falconspire about the incoming group of orphaned children. Angus, Cassiel, and Ondino took up defensive positions, forming a square around the children as they began to move southward at a careful, steady pace.
After a few miles of travel it became very apparent that the small group was being chased through the wilderness by a large contingent of enemies. Ratzin began appearing, scampering and howling along the cliffs on either side of the group and winged enemies could be seen circling in the sky.
A sense of urgency overtook the group, the children were obviously frightened, and they knew that there would be no way to defeat such a large group of foes in a pitched battle while trying to protect all the children. They began looking around for a way to escape, or to hide. As they were discussing their options the winged enemies began a diving attack on the group…
Cassiel stepped up, his hands quickly weaving light into the form of missiles. Standing resolute as the gargoyles, for the winged enemies had finally become clearly visible, dove straight him, Cassiel raised his hands and bolts of crackling light sped from him towards the gargoyles. With unerring accuracy Cassiel’s magical bolts struck the three gargoyles, dropping each one from the sky in a blaze of white light and scorched flesh.
The rest of the gargoyles in the sky drew back a bit, obviously wary of the magical prowess that had just been put on display. The Rangers took the brief respite they had gained to travel in the direction of a series of Dwarven roadmarkers that they had discovered in the underbrush.
Oddly enough the road markers were crumbling and in ruin. Odd because most dwarven markers are usually kept in good condition by the dwarves of the clanhome that the markers point toward. As the group got closer to the entrance it dawned on Angus what they were approaching.
Angus had heard tales of clanhomes that had turned to darkness, the inhabitants becoming Dwerg. He began to realize that the small group was approaching just such a place. He shuddered a bit inwardly as he realized that they were going to have to enter the clanhome of Clan Hearthblade. The tales he’d heard spoke of a prideful clan leader who wanted to be the richest of all dwarves, it spoke of how his pride and greed made him dig ever deeper in search of the White Silver that the clan had found evidence of, and, finally, it spoke of something they had awakened deep in the bowels of the earth that caused their downfall. The clanhome had closed its gates many years ago and any tales of the clanhome had receded into the realm of the cautionary and stories told to frighten young dwarven children.
Knowing that they did not have much choice, for the force following them was growing large, the group plunged into the dark tunnel that led towards the main gates of Clan Hearthblade. Following the tunnel they found the massive gates of the clanhome locked with only a simple phrase written amidst the dried blood that covered the gates….“Fallen into darkness, corruption has taken them. Enter if you wish your own death, or to become one of them. Dwarven blood to open doors of darkness.”
Oddly enough, Ailirria had rejoined the group at this point, though no one really bothered to ask how she’d come back. The group was just happy to have her back with them. As Angus studied the door the rest of the group all pitched in to form a barricade at the tunnel entrance.
As they carried rocks and boulders from the rubble in the tunnel they could see that the enemies following them had spread out across the front of the entrance and the leader, a giant of a man clad in the blackest of full plate armor, had approached.
The plate-clad figure spoke in a booming, eerie voice, demanding the the group turn over Illendra or face extinction. The Rangers and children tried to ignore the enemy force as much as possible as they continued constructing the barricade. As the last rock fell into place and they prepared to fight to the end there was a flash of light behind them and the sound of rusted gates slowly opening.
Turning around they saw Angust standing by the open gates, quickly wrapping a bandage around his bleeding hand. With a shrug, Angus pointed to the darkness beyond the gates. Knowing that they faced certain death if they stayed where they were, the group plunged into the darkness beyond the gates.
As their torches cast light into the are they found themselves and the gates shut behind them the group gasped as they saw the tableau spread before them; corpses stacked up by the gates, their clawed, frozen hands stuck in position where they’d died frantically scratching at the gates to get out…
Two experience points were awarded for this session.
Ondino de Batiz Delgado: A Nazatirian male, dressed in rich colors and deadly with his rapier, who is the de facto leader and protector of the group of orphaned children the Rangers of Barak found hiding in the wilderness north of Barak. The group was responsible for the thefts at the farms surrounding Barak.
Illendra: A young girl, perhaps eight or so, who was found with the group of orphaned children the Rangers have rescued. Illendra has displayed an amazing amount of magical power for one so young, though none of the Rangers really know why.