The City of Shale

Runt's Thoughts - Chapter Six
The Plot Thickens

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Runt’s Thoughts – Chapter Six
September 24th 2013

19th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

I awake, expecting the pain. No wait! It’s gone, what in the life has that Winter woman done? I grope around downstairs and everything seems to be fixed – thank you Lady Winter! To my embarrassment Parlee is attending me with a warm smile on her face. The embarrassment is too much I just want to ask her to leave me be but then Sergeant Cliffside turns up and offers his sympathy. The shame and the embarrassment – is everyone in town going to visit me one by one? I just want to be left alone.

Cliffside says he understands my pain, bullshit he does, I’m not even sure I understand the pain. Sergeant Cliffside leaves thank the life. If he had carried on I would have run a powerful weave through his unmentionables and then he would come closer to understanding my pain. Lady Winter arrived to see how I am doing – how nice of her – she asks Parlee to leave. Lady Winter goes on to explain how my equipment is not a hundred percent working condition and would be needing additional healing when the stars are right etc, etc… Maybe this is why I’m not filled with my usual lust when I see Parlee – I thought my flaccid response to her had been embarassment, but perhaps not. Jovander visits and conveys his sympathies and fills Parlee and I in on the events that have occurred.

My companions and I meet at Sir Godfrey’s place and fill him in on the events that have transpired. I asked Sir Godfrey whether I need to go back to my cell, he says its okay after what I’ve been through – I go pale from embarrassment and I am fuming inside. I think about challenging him to a duel for that insult, but then I think better of it – I hate that goblinesh tradition anyway.

We group up after meeting Sir Godfrey and begin to discuss matters. Parlee mentions the dark figurines to Tully – our resident socio-path who immediately begins to interrogate her. Parlee is on the spot and her comments don’t seem to appease Tully. I am about to step in but then the bell begins to toll indicating a returned patrol, and danger.
My friends and I rush to the north gate where we discover the two surviving members of the goblinesh patrol we’d sent out to investigate the delayed ships. It seems a force of Prelacy is blockading the river, and the patrol was attacked without cause while investigating. Parlee rushes off to the temple at the mention of the prelacy.
Ton, Tully, and I go to see Kralle at Bastard’s. Our greeting is hostile, and even after some persuasion the guards do not let me inside. Do they not know who I am? I am Kralle’s friend – there must be some mistake. Nevermind, I’ll see Kralle later about this matter, I’m sure it’s nothing.
Tully, Ton and I visit Mr. Jones. They ask him about the events of yesterday, suspecting he may know more than he’s letting on, and he apologies profusely for revealing my apparent drinking problem… Hold on, I’ve never touched the stuff! Something is going on here. His explanations seem legit, but I have a niggling doubt at the back of mind. Before we leave Mr. Jones tells us some story about a fat lion but I couldn’t care less.
Tully, Ton and I go to meet my good friend Gailus to discuss the matter of his blackmail, it seem he has been asked not to investigate further or Visserian will be told. Gailus takes me to one side and discusses my flag pole problem with a little more tact then others have. He offer to examine my endowment to see if he can get it working at full mast. I politely refuse, I’m not sure, but I think maybe he is making pass at me. I’m flattered of course, but not interested, I hope this doesn’t ruin our friendship. Maybe I’m reading this wrong.
We arrive at the temple and meet with Lady Winter. After reminding us – mainly Tully – that she has no requirement to let us search the grounds, she lets us in anway. I apologise for Tully’s rudeness. I spend some time with the wounded administering aid, I hope I’m not getting in Lady Winter’s way. I watch closely as Lady Winter cast her healing spells – fascinating the weaves seem to come from her fully formed. Tully arrives with disappointment and rage on his face. He didn’t find anything, oh that’s a surprise maybe there was nothing to find you nut job.
My friends and I return to the keep and meet up with Jovander, who has managed to decipher the the letter. It seems that Brandon Tully’s younger brother is in fact a member of the Black Lantern, working deep undercover. Godfrey explains that whatever Brandon is doing must be for the greater good. So Tully is wrong again why am I not surprised – always jumping to conclusions.

20th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

We meet up at the docks with Sergeant Cliffside and several of the town militia. I use this chance to practice magical formulas and arcane mediation – I discover the ley line are shifting, they aren’t suppose to do that! I try to investigate further with my arcane senses but Ton’s terrible wailing puts me off. The life! He is worse then a child sometimes.
As night fall we decide to make camp but some distant voices attract our attention, we move along the riverbank to investigate the origin of these voices. Parlee disappears from my field of view and I panic a little – where has she gone? Suddenly we are ambushed by prelacy scum, I panic and hide behind Ton, I have never feel so scared in my life. By the life what is wrong with me? I gain some little self control and enhance Ton with some weaves and run towards Tully and Jovander and enhance them also. Ton loses himself in combat and goes crazy with his tree. I panic and cower behind Jovander and Tully hopefully they did not see. I gain my self control yet again and try to calm Ton down.
After the battle has concluded I start to bury the the bodies. My friends think it a strange thing to do. They seem to prefer them rot away with no proper burial rites – how uncivilised. It is an indescribable joy to know that I, a goblin, perform the burial rite for these prelacy scumbags.
Later I discover that the prelacy were carrying a weird contraption that seem to detect Parlee when she’s hidden in the combat. A curious device composed of intricate wires which Ton points out as crysarium. When did Ton get such insight? Did he eat a book?

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Runt's Thoughts - Chapter Five
Out Of The Frying Pan...

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Runt’s Thoughts – Chapter Five
September 17th 2013

15th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

Today I am helping out the Gather with the grand move, my brethren have finally been accepted back to Shale. It is a glorious day for Shale and the Gather. Ton is also helping out but he can’t seem to keep up with my pace, is he coming down with something?

17th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

Today is going to be a great day. Colonel Kesspar no Visstor is arriving – one of the higher ups from the Grey Rangers – maybe he can stop by the club and regale us (mainly me) with his exploits.
He arrives with forty Grey Rangers in tow. The life! He must have some influence. He greets us telepathically (impressive), the others and I greet him verbally but for some reason he does not like my response, maybe he does not like goblinesh.

He then begins to invade my mind and gives me a vision of being tortured the vile bastard, he is actively scanning my mind! I resist – I had not given him permission to enter my mind – if he were to to ask I would have granted it freely as I have nothing to hide. He then tells me telepathically that I need to show more respect, I tell him he needs to show more respect. I don’t expand further as he was in my head and he should know me quite well by now and why I responded in that way. He then has me jailed, never thinking that maybe it’s him in the wrong.

Oh by the life its boring here and the smell! Aren’t these cells ever cleaned? If I am going to be in this cell for a week then it needs a clean. I take my time and begin casting intricate weaves – the dirt and grime flakes away from the walls, floor and what little furnishing there is. By the life it’s much better now.

Godfrey comes by and explains my wrongdoing, apparently I need to respond to higher ups in the Grey Rangers with the prefix “sir” strange I thought that particulate prefix was used for nobles. Live and learn as my grandfather used to say, poor grandfather how I miss you. Godfrey made no mention of the cleaning, I thought he would be pleased, maybe he has other things on his mind, yeah that must be it.

18th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

Godfrey comes by and put me into the custody of my good friend Gailus on special request. I agree of course. It turns out that Gailus has found out who has been blackmailing him – Mr Jones, seem unlikely he is a loveable character who loves telling stories from what I hear and get on well with the children. It could be a guise so I go to investigate…

I open my eyes, somebody, I’m not sure who, pours a foul tasting liquid down my throat. I fall into blackness. I open my eyes again and everything is a blur and my chest feels painful , then something again is poured into my throat.

Shortly after everything comes into sharp focus, my head is pounding and I smell of hops what’s going on I’m scared. I quickly realise my friends are there including Parlee and I smile. I realise it is quite cold out and quickly I realise to my embarrassment that I naked from head to toe! I feel my face going a bright crimson and I hide myself from their eyes especially Parlee. Oh the life I’m never going to be able to look Parlee in the eyes again what must she think? The shame! My friends gather my belongings and I spend some time cleaning them with weaves. Oh life the strench.

Shortly after I am dressed and a riot begins between the goblinesh and the rest of the populace, probably bigoted humans. I try to quiet them down but it didn’t work, I think it may have made it worse then suddenly I am thrown about the square like a rag doll. I fall to the ground and a horde of people run over me and I hear two rapid pops and I scream out in pain and black out.

I come to my friends carrying me towards Lady Winter’s temple for healing, oh the pain is unbearable please kill me now. Lady Winter takes a look at my condition and for once doesn’t seem to think it’s a waste of her time. I am given something sweet tasting and thank the life, everything fades away again.

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Runt's Thoughts - Chapter Four
Burn!

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Runt’s Thoughts – Chapter Four
September 10th 2013

12th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

Me and my companions go and visit Godfrey Steele our commander and explain the recent events, and he seem to be understanding of Tully’s need to execute Gunther, however I do not, and believe Tully’s actions should be reigned in. He may have to be kept on a short leash like Ton. Godfrey goes on to tell us about the fact that he is a Grey Lantern, sent here on a mission to investigate the previous Rangers and that they were involved with a Black Lantern. Godfrey has heard through his intelligence network that there may be traitors in the Ranger organization!

Godfrey goes on to tell us about a visitor coming within the week, some high ranking ranger to assess us as rangers. This is interesting and it might be fun to see another ranger with experience. Maybe we can have a quiet word at The Club about his exploits. I have a private word with Godfrey about my reason troubles. Godfrey is very understanding and says he has faith in me. And that he sees a hidden strength in me, this comforts me but I am still worried about the future.

I am approached by members of our group. They want me to persuade Rene to help Visserian, I can’t see how Rene will help in extracting information from Visserian’s captive, I can see him sensing information on character and behaviour but what use would that be? But a child is at risk so I push for him to help.

We travel to the Mohdri house and meet with the prisoner Parlee had seen yesterday (apparently he was playing hide and seek, by the life the naivety!). I am allowed to enter the interrogation room with Rene as this is a dangerous criminal and poor Rene could be at risk going in alone, and with some persuading on Jovander’s part he also was allowed to enter. The whole event was remarkable in itself as Rene entered the room and as the door closed behind the captive began spilling the beans as it were. A remarkable skill! Hopefully Rene can teach it to me, no need for blood shed with that skill.

With the information gained through Rene’s questioning we proceed to the location where the boy is being held. We stealthily approach the building, but I believe Ton gives the game away because as soon as Tully rammed open the door he was attacked! Maybe next Ton should be at a distance and we can call him in when we need a brawler. We made quick work of the thugs – we were forced to crushed them (oh the life it pains me to do this! Why won’t they listen?). I leave the care of the baby in the hands of Parlee, she would make an excellent mother and hopefully me an excellent father.

I meet up with the lovely Lady Fielding . I talk to her about the Gather and Lady Fielding makes it quite clear that she supports reunification of Shale and the Gather. I travel with her to The Club making small talk along the way, shortly after I arrive there I find Lord Harding drinking heavily. I spend much of the evening attempting to cheer up the miserable sod , but in the end all I can do is encourage Harding to go home and sleep it off. I think I need to talk to Tully about his father.

13th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

With the recent events and the cold shoulder from Parlee (what have I done to upset her so?) I decide I need some time with my own people. Ton and I travel toward the gather. When we draw closer I can see smoke rising from the Gather so I head there as quickly as I can with Ton following behind. My brethren are at first hostile, and I soon realize why as we learn that Brandon (Tully’s brother, who apparently looks a lot like Tully himself) arrived at the rise of the sun, asking for the gather’s best trackers and scouts to head east in pursuit of a small Maelstrom patrol. An hour later the gather was surprise attacked by Maelstrom soldiers, whose sole purpose seemed to be killing as many goblinesh as possible.

Enraged by what I was hearing I head eastward picking up on the trackers’ trail. After much time tracking I discover to my horror twenty five corpses of my fallen brethren, cut down and slaughtered horribly. I fall to my knees and wail like a small child, after some time I gain some little composure, and begin building litters. Some time into the building of the second litter I am mournfully greeted by my companions, Kralle and some of my brethren. Kralle comforts me – this is unexpected.

Ton and I stay at the gather helping them rebuild. I notice strange scratches on the right arms of two of the scout-party corpses, I must see Parlee about this or maybe Lady Winter.

14th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

When my companions return to the gather they convey some excellent news! The exile has been lifted and the gather can return to Shale! By the life my work will be cut out for me!

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Runt's Thoughts - Chapter Three
Death Sentence

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Runt’s Thoughts – Chapter Three
September 3rd 2013

9th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
Today I go and see my lovely and always charming friend Galius. To discuss why he was entertaining the Erimar delegation, It turns out that that whore’s son Captain Gullen, (my i’m getting good at these insults) blackmailing my friend. The cowardly bastard he will pay. I do not see what Galius has to has to be afraid off.
I wonder if Parlee has received my flowers yet. My heart beat just gets a tiny bit faster being near. How I long for her sweet embrace, oh Parlee, may be I should write a poem.

Later that day my companions and I make haste tracking the villain Gunther Breck . Dust coame quite quickly and we made camp . Parlee and I spoke a little about are selves. Apparently she is from Camonere area she seem put off that I am tho. (Have I said something wrong?) A patrol from Kralle’s Gather arrive and I welcome them with open arms they join us by the campfire and agree to help with the search for Gunther. They play a strange gambling game tho they do not let me participate something thinking i’ll cheat.(do there sorcerers at the Gather cheat disgraceful.)

10th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

Jovander’s informs us that Gunther’s force was met by a larger force, probably soldiers. (hes just guessing at the soldier part.)Jovander notices a set of tracks of savage childer beast known as a minotaur.. (Ton will be happy, but poor Parlee I will protect her.) During are travels we discover a Erimar camp and further down the way we find Gunher Breck’s camp and army of over a hundred armed men may be two hundred. Are friends from the Gather confirms that the guards are Maelstrom soldiers. We decide to contact the regiment from Erimar. My companions believe if the Prelates are still with them then they should oppose them.

We arrive at the encampment and discuss the matter with Captain Gullen and his Prelacy masters, they are quick to swing into action.
It angers me something terrible to be around these bigoted scum, i’ll need to to watch these prelacy carefully they could turn on us at any moment. I do not worry for my safety or Jovander, Tully and Tonj just Parlee she can be awfully naive at times. The prelacy could probably get her to go Camonere with them and then be sold into slavery thinking there going for cup of tea.
Time that proceeds is a haze to me acting on instinct and to survive, I remember casting weaves so poor my ten year old self would laugh. They did the job tho. I remember being on a horse Tully’s I think a out control beast, I thought about running a weave through its head to make it stop. Then thought better of it (It be Tully’s prized horse). I felt revolted to my core as the weaves as a extension of myself lanced through my foes bodies.

The criminals throw down their weapons and surrender but before Gunther can say a word he is cut down by Tully. Ton grabs two of Gunther’s men and smashes them together. Tully about to execute Visserian I hear a whistle follow by a curse from Tully’ (did a horse just kick him?). I use this opportunity to gallop in on Tully’s horse and weave the weapon away from Tully’s hands, I do my best to calm down Ton , I even unleashing a weave at the maddened Ton. (by the holy life that was exhausting) .

11th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122

I followed by Ton go the Gather visit with Kralle and fill him in on what had occurred out in the wilds. I feel that now would be a good time for Kralle to visit Shale (perhaps to help bury bridges in the face of larger threats). Kralle in still intend on calling me “little king” may be I should call him “large weird one”.

For the coming days I am gonna to chat with that lovely Lady Fielding about inviting Kralle to the Council argument seasons. As input from Gather is drastically needed as all kinds of hell will break loose.
I will need to see Godfrey about my recent encounters and also about the recent deaths I have cause praise be to the life.
It pains me something terrible the deaths I have caused. There deaths seem to have attached themselves to my weaves and in turn my aura. I am close to a break down. But I must stay strong for Parlee. The thought of her will keep me strong…I hope.

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Runt's Thoughts - Chapter Two
We Are Shale!

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Runt’s Thoughts – Chapter Two
August 27th 2013.

Upon returning from the Gather, Ton, Tully and myself meet up with the others and inform Godfrey of our progress. Parlee seems in better spirits today, it is to be expected as I doubt she has seen ratzin before. She need not fear as I will be there to protect her, even at the cost of my life and maybe even my soul. Life preserve me is this what a beautiful women does to the mind of a man?

We receive urgent news of murders on a merchant vessel, the scene is most foul and I almost bring forth yesterday’s meal or maybe it’s that vile concoction I had to take to ward those ill omens that seem to be everywhere! I gave Parlee a reassuring smile to help comfort her, then I thought better of it, if I smile she may think like this gory scene which I don’t. And my elbows will never feel her gentle hands.

We search the vessel but we find no evidence. There was no sign of Cliffside so we head for to his house to find a wounded Cliffside beneath rubble being attacked by ratzin. Parlee runs in to assist Cliffside (has she done something different with her hair?). Ton engages the horde and I see Parlee’s life is in immediate danger and pool as much arcane strength as I can muster towards the eradication of the ratzin horde. They explode in a shower of gore. Tully and Ton go after the ratzin leader and I follow but the recent casting and lack of sleep had taxed my strength so I tail far behind to be over taken by the pretty one.

Cliffside tells us a person going by the name of Brandon arrived at his house and unleashed the ratzin upon him. He thinks they were looking for his copy of the manifest which indicates stolen cargo due for Lady Winter. Tully seem angered by this, apparently Brandon is Tully’s brother who was though dead. This seem like a time for happiness not anger, I wish I had a brother.

Our group minus Tully go to see the perpetually grumpy Lady Winter, we find out from her that indeed it is her cargo with reagents for warding.

At the start of another day we attend the weekly argument session. Lady Fielding motions to improve relations with the local Gather by removing the imposed exiled status. I like her but she is no Parlee, maybe she would be my second. We are instructed to escort a delegation (Captain Gullen and two Prelates from Camon) from Erimar around Shale. I hate having to escort these prelate scum around but this is the duty imposed upon us.

Later that day Tully asked us for moral support for meeting up with an old friend at the Last Resort. Tully is talking with a women called Shaila, she seems distracted and knocks a bottle of Erimar 3109, obviously a bit clumsiness on her part. As quick as a flash I catch the bottle with an arcane weave and place it gently back on the table. She looks disappointed and puzzled. I am puzzled by her disappointment. In raised voices a book is mentioned and they go out back. Maybe this is a pretence for elbow rubbing, Tully comes back ten minutes later unhappy. Maybe there was no elbow rubbing.

We escort the Erimar delegation to The Club, where the Erimar delegation do their best to convince the wealthy club members of the benefits of working with Erimar, they are fools the lot of them the Prelacy will be running things in Shale and Erimar before to long if they aren’t already in Erimar.

I haven’t seen Ton in a while I hope he isn’t causing trouble life preserve us. By the weave he is talking to a prelate, saying something about the Gather the imbecilic fool. I quickly thread a weave and whisper gently in his ear to stop talking, he goes to investigate the voice, the dumb ass.

With our escort duty over with, Tully wishes to see Rene (my friend) in the library and question him about Brandon. After some threats from Tully and raised voice to Tully from me, Rene reveals that Brandon had been researching local geography and history When Brandon began to inquire about the Flame, Rene his revoked access from the library . Of he did he is not a idiot.

Parlee seem quite worried about the Prelacy being about. Who wouldn’t be? She needs cheering up maybe some flowers would help. Women love flowers for some reason. I thought Gailus would know about flowers so I asked him what a kind of flowers a pretty young women would like he gave me a sly smile and recommended red roses. I brought twelve roses from a local florist and left them at the steps to temple addressed to Parlee with no mention of who they where from. Gailus told me women love secret admirers.

What is going on in this town with Erimar, The Prelacy scum, Brandon and the Ratzin. Can I stop Tully’s need for his brother blood? Human are weird.

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Chapter Two
We Are Shale!

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“Beast men. Monsters. The true name for these “demon children” is Childer. It is believed they were spawned or created by the Infernals of the abyss many centuries ago and that they now reside in the hot, desolate realm known as Norcan Darr – the “Hard Lands”. Little is known of the Childer beyond that they are universally vicious, tainted by Flame, and that they are summoned to create chaos and murder wherever they go. The ratzin you have encountered are the least dangerous of these strange creatures from beyond the veil…"
~Godfrey Steele, on Childer.

Chapter Two – We Are Shale!
August 27th 2013

The club opened up later than usual so we started play a little late. Joff was unable to attend this session so Jovander faded into the background as he succumbed to an infection from ratzin bites.

4th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122.
While Runt, Ton, and Tully finish up at the Gather and return to Shale, Parlee gets a few hours rest and then meets with Godfrey at the keep. Gofrey gives Parlee a pep-talk and assures her he had his reasons for recruiting her into the Rangers.

Runt, Ton, and Tully arrive at the keep and inform Godfrey of their progress. The party then travels down to the docks, meet with Jovander, and learn of the murders on the merchant vessel.

The party search the vessel but find no additional evidence. They look for marines at the RTC outpost but find nothing so head to Sergeant Cliffside’s house. They find the wounded Sergeant, still in danger from a horde of ratzin. As Parlee moves to assist Cliffside, Ton engages the horde and Runt unleashes a ridiculous torrent of arcane energy upon the creatures. The ratzin leader flees with Tully in close pursuit. A race across town ensues ending with Tully knocking the creature off the wall (just before it could scramble over to safety) and its neck breaks.

Sergeant Cliffside tells the group that Brandon arrived at his house and unleashed the ratzin upon him. He suspects they were looking for his copy of the manifest – which indicates that the three stolen crates were bound for Lady Winter.

Tully tells his father Brandon is alive. Lord Harding reveals his suspicions that Brandon was secretly engaged in Flame research before the raid. Tully searches Brandon’s room and discovers a Flame-touched book.

While Tully is with his father, the rest of the party meet with Lady Winter. She claims to know no reason why her crates were targeted, but after Parlee takes her aside, Lady Winter confesses that the crates contained magical reagents used to ward away Darkness and Flame. They could conceivably be used by agents of those powers as well.

Our heroes find the body of the remaining RTC marine in his house in valley-side. It looks like Brandon went there first looking for the manifest.

Tully meets with Father Hayes at the Church. Roderic inspects the flame-touched book and suspects it contains information relevant to creating a cauldron – a portal to Norcan Darr, land of the demons. Tully requests a detachment of Paladins be requested from Archanaya, but Roderic fears they may be delayed due to a military build up in Camon.

Parlee meets with her friend Arianna Mohdri. The two share pleasantries, Arianna seems very pleased with Parlee’s new status as a Gray Ranger and she also makes a pass at Parlee (who doesn’t notice). Parlee is invited to a small gathering several days hence.

5th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
The Rangers attend the weekly town council meeting. Lady Fielding files a motion to improve relations with the Gather by revoking the exiled status. Lord Harding and Lady Fielding argue for some time on the issue – in the end the motion is not carried. Lord Harding announces the arrival of a delegation from Erimar – Captain Gullen and two Prelates from Camon. The Rangers are instructed to escort them around Shale and to treat them as befits their VIP status.

The party visit Market Street Antiques and Tully purchases a scarf for Shaila Breck (on Arianna’s suggestion). After a conversation outside the shop in which Ton informs his friends that Gunther Breck doesn’t like Visserian Mohdri, Parlee rushes in to warn Arianna of a possible danger to her husband – Arianna appears confident her husband is not under threat from Breck.

In The Last Resort, Parlee notices a little brusing hidden under the scarf Shaila Breck is wearing. Tully moves in to investigate and Shaila attempts to create a distraction. Runt uses legerdemain to stop her but Ton decides to help out by punching a farmer and starting a bar brawl. Tully accosts Shaila and despite her protestations refuses to leave without more answers. Reluctantly she takes him upstairs under the guise of “finding a missing book”. Once alone in the room Shaila quickly turns angry and slaps Tully but then just as swiftly falls into his arms. She tells Tully that Gunther is a bad man, he is involved in criminal activities and also beats her. Worst of all he has been offering poor people work outside town but when the take up the offer they never return. Shaila fears for those people but she cannot go to the authorities because Gunther has hidden her son. Tully promises to help.

6th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
The Rangers escort the Erimar delegation to The Kingdom’s Finest. Captain Gullen and Mr. Jones clearly do not like each other but exchange pleasantries (possibly coded phrases). Next they travel to The Club, where the Erimar delegation do their best to convince the wealthy club-members of the benefits of working with Erimar (and by extension, the Prelacy). Lord Harding appears to be very interested. Lord Layshona seems strangely adamant that the delegation are not annoyed – he seems to fear them (and what they know). Lady Fielding causes a stir by ranting at the delegation (expansionist fascists!) and has to be escorted out of the building by the Rangers. Tully informs her of Shaila’s status and Lady Fielding promises to help as much as she can.

7th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
The Rangers meet with Rene in the library and question him about Brandon (and his research). After some threats from Tully, Rene reveals that Brandon had been researching local geography and history (particularly looking for sites of battles and the locations of ley lines). When Brandon began to inquire about the Flame, Rene barred him from the store. Tully assigns extra guards to watch the library in case Brandon seeks revenge.

8th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
Parlee attends a small gathering at the Mohdri house. Arianna is an impeccable host and seems very interested in having a Gray Ranger as an ally. She makes several passes at Parlee that are rebuffed.

Ton informs Roke Hogsback of the investigation’s progress and is encouraged to help probe a new tunnel in the mines. At the Gather, Ton meets with Kralle and they discuss the political situation – Kralle sees no reason to kowtow to Shale’s noble folk.

9th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
A valley farmer arrives in town, desperate for aid. The Rangers learn that Gunther and his minions have been going from farm to farm “offering” work. The farmer’s family were taken and he was left for dead. The farmer suspects that Gunther’s recruitment is moving steadily south-ward.


A really enjoyable session that covered a lot of ground. It was great beginning to see the many threads of Shale’s intrigues beginning to weave into a narrative as the players started putting things together. Seems like everyone has secrets! The roleplaying level was again excellent, with several scenes instigated entirely through hindrances. Fantastic!

Things To Ponder

What upcoming events are Jovander and Mr. Jones so concerned about?

Why did Lady Winter need those reagents?

Gunther Breck is rounding up people – but where do they go and to what end?

What was the purpose of Brandon’s research?

Why was Lord Layshona so scared of the Erimar delegation?

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Runt's Thoughts - Chapter One
The Rangers Are Back In Town

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Runt’s Thoughts – Chapter One
August 20th 2013.

Me and my companions, Ton, Parlee (The Pretty One), Tully and Jovander have been called by Sargent Cliffside for a meeting where Cliffside and Mayor Harding are bickering about something or other. The bickering of non goblinesh is always amusing as long it doesn’t come to violence. Oh life, I pray there’s no violence. We are told we should make our presence know to the low-town, I am eager to help I resist the urge to shine my proudly presented badge. I have heard this is bad etiquette amongst the non goblinesh.

We arrived in low-town, the smell is just an assault to my senses, there are smells I can only hazard a guess at. The non goblinesh smell bad as well – not as bad as low-town – but how do they not notice? Apart the fae of course, especially the pretty one – she smells beautiful, words can’t describe so I will not try.

Tully announces to this area of the town the rangers are in town and that illegal activity is to stop. Quite fair I think, bravo Tully. No sooner as Tully gave his speech my nose twitches in discomfort as we are approached by two human women wearing very revealing clothing leaving… what’s that human phrase? Ah yes, “nothing to the imagination”. They revealed that they were ladies of the night at least that’s what Gailus told me I should call them and not gutter words like whore… not that he’s interested in such things. These ladies of the night were apparently being beaten by a guy named Reeve which I can not abide. The ladies were guarded by Ton as we went to investigate the situation. I do worry about Ton maybe he was dropped on head as a child or a bad upbringing who knows, simple things seem to to amuse him maybe that sort of world could be pleasant at times.

We approach where Reeve is said to live – oh by the life the door is red! Red doors are said to be a portal to hell, very unlucky! I must brave this and show resolve, to counteract this ill omen I will consume the oesophagus of a trout ground to fine paste stirred in water, tastes foul but wards of the ill omen. I brave my way in and a battle ensues, I had to blast one of Reeve’s minions, I did try and talk him down I really did, didn’t I? I immediately went to healing the poor fool. During my healing administrations Reeve was taken down and hand cuffed, and the pretty one was not here anymore and Ton was here with a Ton shaped hole in the ceiling… oh that’s what that noise was… wait Ton’s here oh life he was given a simple task, probably not simple enough! I miss the opportunity to talk some sense into the dimwitted ogre, as Reeve’s minion awakens thank the life. We meet back at low-town square and find beautiful Parlee talking to these ladies if indeed that is the right word to use. Oh, life the smell the smell!

We arrived back in the main part of town. I believe was Tully shouting at a group of people for some reason. I wasn’t paying much attention, by the life that foul order was still lingering.

There was signal from the north-gate alerting us to some trouble in the mines, we go to investigate and find there was cave in and some creature of the flame attacking the miners. We offer are assistance and Hogback, he gladly agrees. We proceed into the mine. The pretty one is frightened the poor thing, must be her first time encounting such evil creatures. I do my best to calm her. I believe my magical prowess helps to calm.
The pretty one is a caring healer, I am impressed by such beauty and prowess in the healing arts. Her speed is to be amazed. I can’t stop but think that I’m getting in Parlee’s way. But I can’t leave these souls without offering what little help I can.

The following morning Parlee, bone tired and exhausted, leaves for the Temple for rest and sleep. No doubt she will encounter that Winter women, by the life she scares me more than those ratzin! The pretty one is brave.

Maybe when things have quietened down we can have one of those hot water leaf drinks, I believe its called tea. It may lead up the pretty one stoking my elbows with her silky smooth hands. Is that too forward? After yesterday’s encounter with the whores I’m not sure what behavior is appropriate anymore in this town.

It appears one of the miner’s is missing and Hogback suspects him of collapsing the mine. We go to investigate, apart from Parlee she need her sleep the poor dear. I worry for her she been pushing herself too much, but I would do the same. To investigate we need to go to the Gather that means Kralle will call me “little king” again. sigh Thank the life Tully does most of the talking. We find some cryptic notes in Jokar’s Abode saying he was responsible for the mining disaster but it was only supposed to be a distraction?

What is going on in this town?

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Ton's View of Chapter One
The Rangers Are Back In Town

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Chapter One – The Rangers Are Back In Town
August 20th 2013.

I started my day being called to the large building near the center of town. When I got there the rest of my new ranger buddies all ready inside. As I was trying to get into the building I could hear Mayor Harding arguing with someone and my fellow ranger buddies all pitching in. When I did manage to get in through the door Mayor Harding was arguing with the human in charge of the navy men. He was complaining about being down on strength, but all human armies are under strength to me. Mayor Harding was reluctant to spare any human but with a little persuading from the human in shiny armor he spared 8 guards.

As we were leaving to building we were asked to go squeeze some of the scum in the smelly part of town, which made me happy so show off my new friends and to test my authority, not that anyone has not done what I said.

When we arrived the shiny human gave some sort of orders like he has done this type of thing before and we were approached 2 very unclean female humans. They were complaining about someone and the rangers thought this needed dealing with, they all marched off down an ally but I stayed to play with these 2 skanks. As my buddies went down the cramped ally the 2 female humans called out to the man they were complaining about? I heard a few arrows and shouts from the ally so I told the 2 human females to stay and I made my way down the ally. I got to the building they were standing out side of and smashed my way through the door way revealing a dark room, I could see 2 heat signatures in the back and another 1 running up some stairs.
The shiny man ran past me, up to the 2 men and unleashed his sword upon one cutting him almost in two and then up the stairs. Then some smashing went on and the tiny green skin lit the room with magic and the other filth was gone.

The tiny green skin made his way up the stairs to join the chase so I grabbed the limpy elf and smashed my way through the ceiling to the next floor where I was greeted by shiny man chasing pointy man. I charged at the pointy man just as he was leaping for the window and put my full weight into grabbing and pinning him. The others caught up and started to question him but I was crushing him and shiny man ask me to let him live so he could face his crime, which sounded like something a ranger would do.

We then split up, shiny man, Runt and I took the pointy man and his minion who Runt had smooshed then unsmooshed!??!?! up to the keep on the hill, the pretty one took the dirty female humans to Lady Winter and the limpy elf was making a fuss about his tea.

When the 3 of us were at the keep some overly slacking humans got shouted at by shiny man Tully which amused me. Then a guard alerted us to a problem at the mine, at which I charged off knowing the mines are a dangerous place and there are a lot of innocent people working there including Roak Hogsback who is a friend to me. I arrived just before the others who were on horse back to horrible news.

The mines have had a collapse in shaft 4 with miners still in and an attack from some hideous giant rat like creatures in shaft 5. We all made our way down to shaft 5, I had to clear some rubble before I could get through but Tully and Jovander were able to charge on in.

As soon as I could fit I smashed through and Jovander had somehow got surrounded by these things, I let loose my strength and squished 3 of ’em and threw one down into the next tunnel. There was a thrilling fight of smashing, slicing and magic to clear this room, I proceeded into the machinery room because the other was filled with gushing water. I was confronted by some more giant rats and some miners who were defending the machines. After we smashed these rats and told the miners to get out I saw everybody dropped to the floor just as the machines exploded. I got the full force of the boom but it just made me a bit dizzy, as I looked to check everyone else I noticed the pretty one and Runt huddled around my feet for cover.

There was still some shouting coming from deeper in the mine but the tunnel leading was very small so Tully ran off alone, then there was a very loud bang and Tully carrying a drawf came flying past us back into the room we had just cleared, but this room was now breaking and falling down we had to get out now.

We barely escaped and we saved half the miners even though most were injured. Roak demanded we stay and help get the remaining survivors from shaft 4. We all stayed except Jovander who needed to head of for his pudding which doesn’t seem as important to me, but the rest of us worked though the night clearing rubble and helping the injured. When we got out the survivors we had a chance to talk to Roak and find out some more information. It turns out an Orc named Jo-Kar is still missing and he could of caused the collapse in shaft 4. The pretty one Parlee was very weak form the healing and went back to her temple while Tully, Runt and myself went to my home to talk to this Jo-Kar.

Upon arriving at the Gather I warned Tully that he might not be liked by the leader Kralle but he did not seem at all phased by this, he obviously hasn’t met Kralle before.

We searched Kralle out at his home in the center of town and asked about Jo-Kar, Tully seemed very quite compared to what he was in the smelly part of Shale, maybe he felt out of place around so many orcs and goblins.
Kralle took us to Jo-Kar’s house for us only to find him dead, suicide by poison the only thing we eventually found was a note saying “bury me where I was happiest”. After some investigation we ended up at the orchids to find a buried box of notes which Runt read aloud. Tully seemed overly shock by the letters which he revealed was written by his dead brother, I don’t understand how a dead guy can write a letter let alone blackmail an orc.

What I am now thinking is where to next and who is behind this?

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Chapter One
The Rangers Are Back In Town

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“Know that this position will place upon you a burden of responsibility unlike any other – for hundreds of years the Gray Rangers have been the only thing standing between civilization and outright chaos in the Wildlands. The second you put on that cloak is the second your old life ends and your new life begins. A Gray Rangers accepts personal responsibility for the safety and liberty of the people of the Wildlands, defending those values with his skills, his strength, his wisdom, and if necessary, his life."
~Godfrey Steele, during the party’s commencement.

Chapter One – The Rangers Are Back In Town
August 20th 2013

We began the session with a little preparation work (always sensible in a first session), making sure everyone had dice, bennies, etc. We went over a little recap of the prologue of the campaign (the raid on Shale, how Godfrey had revealed himself as a Gray Ranger, and how the player characters had been recruited). Then it was down to gaming!

Prologue
Six weeks ago a force of Kalinesh soldiers and Maelstrom mercenaries attacked Shale, appearing as if from nowhere in north-side and attacking the innocent populace. By the time a defence was mounted the attackers had moved up the hill where they struck at the Keep. Again and again the attackers launched assaults at Shale’s brave defenders – focusing their attacks on Gray Rangers where possible. A day and night of battle followed, but it wasn’t until the last Gray Ranger was cut down before the tide of battle turned and the attackers were routed. Many innocents died that day and a great deal of property damage was wrought as well.

As the dust began to settle and survivors were being treated, an old man named Godfrey Steele (who had been staying at The Last Resort) revealed himself as a retired Ranger. He volunteered to help out by communicating with the Gray Ranger HQ in Kythros.

Due to the war effort the Rangers could not spare any men to replace those lost in Shale – but due to the town’s special legal status, Godfrey was temporarily reinstated and given a mandate to deputize a half-dozen or so of Shale’s residents. The old man conducted a number of interviews over the next week, and whether it through a judging of character, or through heroism during the attack, five people were asked to join the Gray Rangers. All accepted.

3rd Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
Our heroes helped to resolve an argument between Mayor Harding and Sergeant Cliffside. Eight men from Harding’s personal guard were assigned to the Rangers.

The party were asked to go down to low-side and remind the criminal element that the Rangers were back in town. Tully gave the street vendors an hour to pack up any illegal merchandise and is approached by two deflated (long term floater using) prostitutes who claim their monger, a man named Reeve, has been treating them badly.

The Rangers raid a filthy tenement building, getting shot at by bodyguards and triggering multiple traps as they attempt to accost the fleshmonger. Tully charges directly after Reeve, Jovander and Ton handle the bodyguards downstairs, and Runt takes out a fleeing bodyguard with an Arcane Bolt before moving to heal him. Tully (empowered with Parlee’s strength boost) and Reeve engage in a brief battle before the fleshmonger runs for the window but Ton erupts from the floor with a powerful leap and grapples Reeve to the ground. A short interrogation later has Reeve’s cache of drugs located and Jovander takes the evidence.

Jovander has tea with his friend, Mr. Jones. They discuss the recent events in low-side and Mr. Jones recommends that the newly-minted Ranger watch his back – their recent concerns may be coming to a head.

Runt, Ton, and Tully escort Reeve and his surviving bodyguard to the keep. Tully snaps Mayor Harding’s donated men into line.

A signal from the north-gate alerted the Rangers to a disaster at the mines and they swiftly left town to go and assist. A forty minute ride later our heroes found the Hogsback iron mines in chaos – injured miners everywhere and men still being brought out. A ratzin body had been brought up with the miners; Roke told the Rangers that not only has tunnel four collapsed but tunnel five is partially blocked, with a horde of ratzin attacking the miners trapped inside!

Ton led his companions (and four miners bearing torches) into the mine. Tully and Jovander squeezed into tunnel five while Ton began clearing the blockage so he could fit. Parlee (terrified) stayed back with Runt who began casting powerful Arcane Bolts at the ratzin inside.

By the time Ton had cleared the blockage and entered Jovander was being ravaged by ratzin eager to get a fae flesh. Tully did a heroic job protecting his companions while Ton smashes ratzin with his tree and Runt unleashed his sorcery. As the Rangers progressed deeper into the tunnel, a nearby mechanical bellows exploded sending our heroes crashing to the floor. Their ears ringing, they moved right to the end of the tunnel to try and get the last miners out – only to see a miner setting a mining charge to explode!

The Rangers escaped (barely) in time and made their way to the surface. Their actions had saved the lives of many miners, but for most the night was not yet over. Jovander returned home (for pudding and a sleep) while the others laboured to help the beleagured and wounded miners. Ton helped clear tunnel four, Tully and Parlee triaged the survivors, and Runt helped to collect medicinal herbs.

4th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122.
In the morning Parlee returned to the temple to check in with Lady Winter and then went home to bed. Runt, Ton, and Tully travelled to Kralle’s Gather to look for Jokar, an orc Roke suspected of sabotage. After a brief meeting with Kralle, the Rangers found Jokar dead in his bed, a nearby poison potion suggesting suicide. A cryptic note led them to a nearby orchard where they found a hidden cache of letters that showed how Jokar had been blackmailed into creating a distraction at the mine to allow someone named “B” to do something in Shale without Ranger interference.

Tully is shocked to see that the handwriting in the latters matches that of his brother (thought killed in the recent attack on Shale) Brandon.

While the party were investigating Jokar’s cryptic note, Jovander had been brought to the docks by a guardsman. A large merchant vessel had been found that morning with the crew butchered and three crates missing from the hold – the stink of ratzin filling the air.


I was very impressed by how quickly the players got into the game (in terms of pacing, earning bennies, and keeping the energy high). It certainly helped that Joff and Lee had been gaming with me for the last eight weeks and were ready to go but I was really pleased with Brad, James, and Pete for jumping in with both feet and going for it!

Things To Ponder
What upcoming events are Jovander and Mr. Jones so concerned about?

What exactly happened down at the docks? What was in the crates that were stolen?

Brandon Harding’s alive?! If he truly did write those letters how is he mixed up in all this?

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