Sergeant Nichts Report
Filed Eternal Sun 33rd, 3127
We won the battle. And, the siege is lifted, for the moment. But a Maelstrom army still camps along the A’Morgal cutting off supplies from the south. They will have to be dealt with, as will the armies in the desert. But today, my team did well. Better than well.
Delta team saved A’Davar. No one will ever know or care. But, that is what we do.
Eternal Sun 7th, 3127
Not back but a few hours and the Lieutenant assigns our new mission. For once, the orders were clear and straightforward.
Objective One: proceed directly to the goblinesh gather of Arakk east of A’Davar and seek an alliance with the goblinesh.
Object Two: departing Arakk head north, skirting the foothills of the Black Mountains before circling back west toward Arkstone. There, we would use our contacts to meet with the Warmaiden. If all went horribly wrong, we might manage to contact the Black Wolf Brigade and invite them into our coalition.
Once we gathered whatever alliances our orders were to assemble and march on A’Davar by the 33rd. Prince Morok ki Anzher vowed to march out on the 33rd. Any forces not to the city by then would be left behind.
As my team had just, the night before, returned from a week’s long sortie, I invited them all out to drink before heading out on our new assignment. The city had been under siege for months. Food was non-existent, but they managed to ferment something. It tasted like shit, but it did the trick
Eternal Sun 8th, 3127
We gathered what supplies we could, given the state of the city. Our plan was simple. We would leave A’Davar at 2pm while Wolfhaven Free Riders provided a distraction by raiding pickets and supplies north and east of the city.
At 1pm, my team waited mounted just inside the posturn east gate. A’Davar guards held the bar nervously while we waited for the signal. At just after 2pm, we saw a column of smoke billow into the air a mile outside the city. On my command, guard flung open the gates and we spurred out horses out of the city.
We hit the flats and rode hard east. In the distance, we could see the Free Riders engaged with Kal pickets. Veering away from the skirmish, we struck out away from the roads. Summer heat had baked the ground hard, kicking up clouds of dust as we rode.
I ordered Neithe to drop back and cover our rear, but the dust cloud was too large. She missed the patrol on our tail. Before we knew what was happening, arrows whistled through the air around us. Through fortune, more than anything, we managed to escape in the darkness and hills east of the city.
Our ride took seven days to Arakk over rough terrain. A few days out, the sandy scrub turned to dry grasslands.
Eternal Sun 15th, 3127
After seven days of hard riding, we arrived outside Arakk during the morning hours. We encountered goblin and orc pickets in the grasses outside the Gather. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Arakk is a mining gather, trading with the Malakarans, Aradi, and various faction in the Defiant Lands. The orc in charge of their perimeter greeted me well enough. Since I saw little value in lying to people with which we hoped to forge an alliance, I explained that we were Rangers. Hardly stealthy, but we had little to gain from subterfuge.
Upon hearing we are part of the Rangers out of Echer’Naught, the orc patrol leader perks up and invites us immediately to speak with the Mak Tokash. I was honestly surprised. Sadly, few encounters with Rangers leave the locals in an inviting mood. I’d like to meet these Nice and Friendly Rangers.
In the Gather, we were taken to an old Orc Mak Tokash. He claimed to be a friend of the Rangers. Said a team had come through years before and helped the Gather. Since then, the Rangers made semi-regular visits, bringing in supplies. He called us friends.
Hearing of our coming battle with the Kal, he seemed eager to join the fight. As expected, there were few pleasantries. One of the most respectable things about the Goblinesh is their directness. Almost an Olaran quality.
We were allowed to rest, east, resupply, and tend to our mounts. While there, we noted the goblinesh begin to spar with each other, some form of contest. We quickly realized they were competing to see who would have the honor of joining the battle. At least they were eager.
Though we never learned the name of the Team, I gather they are one of the Special Teams out of Echer’Naught’s Regional Command. Not one of the named Teams, Alpha, Beta, Delta… I’ve heard of such teams, but never met them. Nor, I guess would we. A more inquisitive Ranger might wonder just how many operations Regional Command run at any given time. I am not inquisitive.
We sleep the night and leave early the next morning.
Eternal Sun 16th, 3127
Before dawn, we departed for Arkstone hugging the foothills of the mountains as they ran north, then curved slightly west. This far out, there were no patrols, no Kal, no one. Or so we thought.
Passing within a day of the northernmost peak of the Black Mountains, we encountered a heavily armed mounted patrol. They challenged us in Galean. Clearly not locals. They were not Kal, or Black Wolves, or even local banditry. Confused, but out gunned and out maneuvered, I again chose honesty.
When challenged, I announced that we were Rangers. If they were Wolves or Unchained, they knew our identity already. If they were bandits, it would make no difference. Though, there was a SLIGHT chance our Ranger status might improve our situation.
Again, against all odds, the riders welcomed us and escorted Delta Team to a lone keep in a far northern location. The details, of course, I decline to provide. Needless to say, the Great Wolf’s reach is far. In the remote and independent Defiant Lands, the Centenium Council has managed to establish a Keep for Legio Heroes.
By nightfall, riding hard, we arrived at their supply camp at the base of the Legion’s mountain keep. There I spoke with a Lieutenant. While my team again rested and resupplied.
Here I was out of my depth. My orders did not cover making an alliance with the Legio Heroes, but as I knew they were chartered under the Centenium Proclamation. Of course, the exact political and military status between the Rangers and the Legio Heroes was never part of my briefing. Abyss, we needed men and the Legion was willing to help.
So, I laid out the situation and asked the Legion to join the fight to liberate A’Davar. I knew it would expose them, but even a small arcfire equipped force could tip the scales heavily in our favor. The Lt spoke with his superiors and secured a promise to send what help they could. Basically the same promise from the goblinesh, but with less enthusiasm.
Again we were given supplies and a safe place to camp. And, for the second time Delta Team encountered a local military force on good terms with the Rangers. Curioser and curioser.
Eternal Sun 17th, 3127
Before dawn, we rode for Arkstone. This time, we move west, straight and fast. Time was running out.
Eternal Sun 21st, 3127
Five days later, we arrive in Arkstone about midafternoon. Not much had changed since our last visit. We secured a room in the Inn we had used before, maintaining our local covers. Once there, I sent Corporal Kyzak and Karma to meet a local Black Wolf contact, Warmaiden.
I sent Jankem and Ache’Te to keep watch, though with the Black Wolves I suspected it was pointless. It was. They are omniscient and omnipotent in the region.
Meanwhile, Neithe and I remained back at the room. Jankem was under strict orders to report back to me the moment something changed, or contact was made with the Wolves. Thirty minutes after being sent out, Jankem returned indicating that the Corporal’s team had made contact and were leaving the city.
An hour and a half later, Jankem returned to report that the Corporal, Karma, and now Ach’Te had been taken way by the Black Wolf brigade, though it appeared they did so voluntarily. Trusting my team to follow orders, there was little left to do but wait until they returned.
Eternal Sun 22nd, 3127
At dawn, team returned. Ach’Te was badly beaten, but his more serious wounds had been treated. Apparently to “earn the Wolves’ respect” Ach’te had to fight their champions. I believe he defeated the first and performed well against the second. As they were released alive, and with another tepid agreement to assist, I call Ach’Te’s performance successful.
The Black Wolves agreed to join the crusade, but had a condition. Black Wolf Commander demanded the right to kill the Kal commander, Dair-endar Ragnar Ki Merrick. And, he claimed rights to the commander’s weapons and armor. I assume that allying with the Black Wolves, and allowing this seemingly small concession will eventually bite us all squarely in the ass. Still, we need warriors.
My orders were, at this point, complete. I had made contact with the goblinesh of Arakk and the Black Wolf brigade and managed to secure promises of support. In addition, I had also secured promises of assistance from the Legio Heroes.
However, the situation remained incomplete. First, if I returned to A’Davar, the allied forces would be forced to make their own way to A’Davar without guidance or leadership. Second, there was yet another potential ally in the region we had yet to approach. The elves of Tar’Imas were hardly close allies of the Southern Kingdoms, but they WERE enemies of the Kal. So, on my own initiative, I dispatched Neithe to make the hellish ride to Tar’Imas and invite the Iron Elves of Tar’Imas to our party.
I dispatched Jankem immediately to A’Davar to report back to Lieutenant Cromwell to inform the Rangers that our mission was successful. Also, I needed to know if our timeline had changed. The rest of the team headed to the central point between the Defiant lands, goblinesh gathers, and the desert princes. All allied forces would, by necessity, march through that region making it an ideal staging area outside Kal patrols.
The plan, join the Tar’Imas (iron elves), Legio Heroes, Arakk Goblinesh, and the Black Wolf Brigade with our own A’Davar militia and the Prince’s own forces to attack the Kal army sieging the city. Prince Romar was sent to raid the Maelstrom forces south of the city, keeping them distracted while our alliance delt the knockout blow to the Kal. With fortune and a lot of death, we might break the siege and save the city.
Eternal Sun 27th, 3127
In the afternoon, we arrived at our forward assembly base to find Jankem waiting. He reported successful contact with Lt. Cromwell to report. And, the orders stand.
Eternal Sun 29th, 3127
In the evening, Neither returned from her hellish ride with a fresh mount. Her report was brief. The elves agreed.
Eternal Sun 30th, 3127
Early in the morning, a force of goblinesh arrived, kitted for war. Later that evening, Two Platoons of Legio Heroes arrived mounted, kitted with arcfire. I met with the commanders, the orc Torkash and the Legion Lieutenant. We conferenced about their units, and best use of their capabilities.
My Rangers worked overtime to keep order, going about their tasks without direct supervision.
Eternal Sun 31st, 3127
As were moved our various units into position, the Tar’Imas, Iron Elves, arrived early in the morning. They moved into position at the end of the column, and like that, we marched out.
In total, our small force numbered:
Goblinesh – 150
Legio Heores – 100
Iron Elves – 100
Wolfhaven Free Riders – 100
Total – 550
Eternal Sun 33rd, 3127
To my shock, we arrive to meet Lt. Cromwell outside the city. The Kal which had encircled the city for months has apparently withdrawn. Why, I do not know.
With the Lt was our hand trained A’Davar milita. I immediately dispatched Delta team to resume their command posts within the unit. We added 100, bringing our small coalition to 650 combatants.
A’Davar militia – 100
Joining the Prince’s own forces, we marched north from the city. A days march out, we meet the Kal army in the field, formed along a ridge, waiting. Though we could see their heavy troops in formation, their skirmishes and light are nowhere to be seen.
Once I confirmed that the city was not left undefended, I pointed out that with Kal army away from the city, our job was effectively done. So long as the Kal army chose to sit, there was little value in an assault. Not until the situation changed. Besides, if we rushed in without finding the rest of their army, we risked being enveloped and destroyed.
Taking my advice, the Prince chose to dig in and wait. We secured our flanks and rear, while we watched the Kal army closely. Once our position was as secure as possible, we deployed scouts.
A scout team led by Ach’Te lucked upon the Kal scouts, skirmishers, and light units a short distance from the battlefield. Apparantly we were right. They were poised to hit our flanks as soon as we committed. Instead, we sent our own Wolfhaven Free Riders and the Prince’s cavalry to sweep around their flanks and drive their skirmishers back into their lines. When the Kal skirmishes disrupted the Kal formation, we would launch our attack.
Everything started well. In the first attack, their scouts are easily routed and driven into the Kal lines. However, their discipline held, and the lines wavered, but never broke. Corporal Kyzak and Neithe joined the flankers on horseback, while Ach’Te and Jankem prowled on foot. The fighting was intense, but we slowly pushed the Kal lines back.
After hours of fighting, a force of Unchained appear behind the forces just as our own forces began encirclement. However, despite nearly fully enveloping the Kal army, their lines held. Then, from the west, more Kal reinforcments arrive threatening our flank. These were mostly summoned troops, childer and infernals. At nearly the same time the Black Wolves arrive from the north. Battle descended into small clusters of troops fighting desperate actions against other knots of enemy forces.
As night fell, it became nearly impossible to distinguish friend from foe. The press of bodies made maneuvering impossible and it began rain turning the ground into a coppery sludge. Late in the battle, as I was leading a beleaguered unit of Militia out of the press, I saw a minotaur charging down upon Ach’Te. At the last moment I dove in and took the blow, being gored. In turn, Ach’te braced himself against my back ran the beat through.
We fought like demons, neither our men nor the Kal giving any ground. Casualties mounted until late in the night, the Kal will finally broke. Despite it all, in the final analysis, the butchers bill could have been far worse. We lost, in the final analysis, 10% or about 85 men dead. Four times that wounded.
As we removed our wounded from the field, and managed to reformed our lines, the Black Wolves descended on the fleeing Kal. Per his demands, the Black Wolf commander killed the Kal commander with a soul devouring sword.
It is late and the rains continue. I hear the moans and cries from the hospital tent, and the quiet talk among the troops. My own team mill about, cleaning themselves, resting, talking…actually, I have no idea what they are doing. But, they fought well.
We were given an impossible mission and they managed to perform admirably. Suffering privation, starvation, and exposure, they exceeded every challenge. Having no other means of reward, I wish to request official Commendation for:
Ranger First Class Karma
Ranger First Class Jankem
As for Ach’Te, I request a bonus pay for his superior services.
We still have the Maelstrom army south of the city to deal with. I assume we will head south quickly and attack before they receive word of our victory against their paymasters. But, that is tomorrow’s battle. Tonight, my men rest, drink, and celebrate victory and life.
This is Ach’te,
Karma is teaching me to write, and read words. This is an infuriating, and laborious task, but she says that in written words there is power. Therefore I will learn these words, and their meanings to become even more powerful. She says to keep practicing, and she helps me even now, but these human sized “pens” are too damn small.
What an interesting world where the son of a forgotten trader can be instructed by one of the desert’s noble daughters. I do appreciate her efforts on my behalf even though I have nothing of value to offer for trade, and I believe that it speaks to the unusual nature of this “Delta Team”, and it’s people.
I will be brief (that means short).
A great battle was fought and won here at the gates of A’davar. I doubt the people will ever know that an Olaran Ranger Sergeant, and her small team saved their city.
Probably not, nor does any of the team care.
Most outsiders do not understand the intricacies of dealing with people of this region. Alliances here shift like the sand, and even treaties of peace usually only last a generation. So it is in the west. I have been to the east, and politics there are far more stable. Petty lords rise up here like grass, and like grass they are cut down with the seasons. So it is, and so it has been since living memory. But The Ranger team has done well, and I have done well by signing on to the cause, hopeless as it may seem sometimes.
The Black Wolves held their agreement. Not only that, but it seems they did more. As the first of the Wolves arrived, they did so with a compliment of Unchained. I know of the Unchained, and while they certainly serve a function, they do not move easily. I believe that The Wolves had something to do with this. I may be wrong, but it’s the only explanation that I have.
Perhaps it had something to do with fighting the warlord’s champions, but again I do not know, nor do I particularly care. I did not fight them as a matter of honor, nor did I do so to prove myself to the warlord. He acts as one who has lost his soul, so it is of no glory to fight a man such as that. I did it because his Visir is an asshole… None of that is important though because they did just as they said, and that is good enough.
As for the battle, it was a glorious affair. Our forces that we gathered over the past week rallied as they said, and we found that the Kal had withdrawn from the city when we arrived. Our forces were laid out as a fishhook along a low rise. It was a good position, yet something was still wrong. We saw no light troops to our front, so that meant they had to be somewhere else. I was given a small force of skirmishers that the Kal (the one on our side) said he had trained personally. True to his word, these troops did not disappoint. We found the light troops massed on the far left out of sight, and they were obviously positioned to hit our flank when we committed. I sent a man back, and whan word arrived to advance the hunt was on.
We scoured the outskirts of their position, and made careful not to be seen. We killed their scouts so that they could not raise an alarm, and then the cavalry charged in from the far left. This drove them back for a time, and almost into their main force, but eventually they regrouped. While this was going on the men that I had been given, and myself continued to advance along the flanks. When I saw that this was doing good no longer I gathered what men I could, and wheeled in on the right angle of their line. This was also where the Sergeant, and her people happened to be.
They had regrouped effectively, and were beginning to push back when the first of our reinforcements arrived on the far hill. From that hill we saw several units of Unchained forming ranks, and with their number were banners of the Black Wolves. They joined with our left flank, and together we continue to push as the light troops collapsed back into the main heavier line.
It was about this time when a Minotaur found me, and as it was about to deliver a mighty blow the Seargent interposed herself so her heavy armor took the brunt of it’s attack. Recovering from this I braced against her, and with my sword over her shoulder we pushed through.
As the enemy lines began to falter in earnest the final cavalry contingent arrived. It was the Wolf commander, along with his retinue, and a sizable number of mounted troops. The main force attacked on the extreme left, and the smaller command unit found, then killed the Kal commander. This well-placed charge turned and organized retreat into a route. I was honestly surprised at our successes thus far, and despite some back-and-forth we continually gained ground. But this… It’s sheer savagery broke them, and it is a beautiful thing to see Kal fleeing a battlefield.
After the fighting had ended I set about trying to gather as many of our wounded as I could. Also, I came across a considerable amount of coin among the enemy dead. From their number I found several slain Kal officers, and cut away their breastplates. I have several now, and hopefully that along with the gold that I found shall be enough to construct myself a helmet of their distinctive black colored steel. I need no trophies, but I do lack a proper helm so that would be good enough.
My hand is growing tired now, so this ends my report. Karma says that it becomes easier with practice, but for now I am finished.
Also, the quiet girl (Nithe?) spoke… I had assumed she was mute. She swears that we have spoken before, but I do not recall.