To Ranger Captain Aevarion Larth’thia of Kator.
Official after action report by ranger Abraham Shonin.
10th to 12th day of Dancing Clouds 3126.
As rangers coming of our leave that have lasted a month. Of the various options for mission we had available, we decided to go to the crypt, where the others had met and fought Skeletal werewolves. We did have reports of Aliana being spotted down close to Camden. In captivity, but all of us had decided not to try and free her, as we believe that will be a suicide mission. I have written letters about this, in case Ranger HQ have contacts to assets, that can work in Camden.
And we also have reports of Korindians in Serenity, Harken, Farwatch, Echer’naught and Erimar. Not with enough details to accurately ascertain if it was vampires or not.
Ranger 1st class Ariel having other businesses to attend to, as our groups leader, and the Kator Rangers second in command, after Captain Larth’thia. I was designated group leader for this mission.
The rangers on mission was:
Abraham Shonin. (Human) Mission leader.
Katyr. (M’adukar) Killed in action.
It’s my duty to report that Katyr was killed in action, on this mission.
All of us had individually time to prepare for the mission into the forest and the crypt. I had wen’t to the local apothecary, bought some potions to help us survive.
Geil and Jig had received blessings from the local church, and information that they had sent for a paladin to handle the current Vampire scourge.
I made sure that all, was knowledgeable about the usefulness of crushing weapons like maces and clubs, against foes of darkness, at least those of a skeletal nature.
So after midday we went north, into the deadwoods. Quiet travels and camping. The next day close to the crypt we came across a Mule, apparently named Theo. At least that was what Katyr surmised from his communion with it. It had apparently been in the area for about 6 months, it had apparently been led dragging a wagon to this place. Thou the equipment on the wagon, had over that time, degraded into scrap metals and the like. My mind immediately saw a option to sell the materials, for those that can repair or make new wares out of it. Maybe donate a bit to my own shop in Kator.
Geil was able to repair the wagons harnesses, so we could attach the mule or one of our horses, to the wagon, when we were going to return to Kator. Katyr made the Mule keep an eye out for our horses. He told us it was smarter than most animals, he used the term lifetouched. Guess that is a druid thing. Like his connection to his animal companions. Venom and Slim.
We then as a group went into the darkness of the Crypt, even thou I had been warned by Katyr and Jig had his trepidations. I had the utmost confidence in my group, as we had been able to handle ourselves thus far.
I utilized a standard approach maneuver, sharp eyed Jig in front. Geil and myself just behind, with shields up. Both Jig and Geil carrying torches, so we without improved eyesight could see in the darkness. Katyr, Bremner and animals taking up the rear, to support us in the front, and protect Jig, if we were to be attacked.
We had not gone far into the crypt, when we came across a room, with a broken down door. Some of us stood at the door, as the rest of the group went in to search the room. They discovered some wall lanterns that they lit. An on the far wall, was a eye. Jig discovered it had magic properties or magical residue on it. But before we could investigate further. A slithering sound came up from deeper in the tunnels. As I write this, this night before the funeral of Ranger Katyr, I can not remember who heard the noise.
But it was heard early enough, that we had time to prepare in case of a attack. Jig and Katyr took the time to properly cast there magics and improve our chances. Even some of our weapons was turned to everwood by Katyr. We made a defensive line, with I, Geil and Katyr wildboar Slim in front, being the groups close combat fighters and the best protected. I must say I started to doubt my decision at this moment, with no Esph or Ariel, to truly anchor our line. Jig, Katyr and Bremner moving deeper into the room, to outside the range of immediate danger, and would be able to support us from range.
(Next paragraph written in shaking, frustrated strokes.)
“I was so very wrong in choosing this strategy, as we were swarmed by rats, flaming rats, not burning dying rats, but clearly evil magical giant rats. They swarmed us, bit us and set us on fire. Stabbing one rat, just made another 10 take its place, all I could do was swear, yell, scream as I burned, trying to smash the rats with my shield. Throwing out Katyrs dying snake from the fire, as I saw it trying to smother and bite the rats, as it always do, when fighting the enemies of Katyr.
In my fear and horror, my mind clicked and I started to babble about holy blessed cats, as rats would even be able to understand my yelling and be affected by it. My mind even imagined, it watched a arrow from Bremner, skewering dozens of rats shot along the floor, to then explode from the fiery heat, killing many more rats in a shower of splinters.
But somehow we managed to beat the rats to a retreat, and as I gathered myself, I spotted Geil half burnt, tending to Venom Katyrs snake. Jig standing up from behind his massive shield. It was first then, I realized that Katyr was still burning and dying. None of us, not me, not the Drunken Cat, slow old Geil, not the cowardly Jig reacted fast enough to save Katyr. None of us moved to but the fire out, on Katyr until it was too late, he was like a mesmerizing fire, just making us stand there dumbfounded."
(The writing returning to a more calm presentation again)
I apologize for my previous outburst in my report. I have decided to leave it as is, so as you Captain Larth’thia and those of interest that is granted access to this report, can better gauge my state of mind. Everybody in the group, fought valiantly and beyond there abilities. The fault and responsibility is mine and mine alone. I did not listen to the warnings of my group, I did not retreat to outside the crypt, but stayed in a room with no escape possibility. And I did not in any way adapt to what we fought, in any meaningful way. And for my failings, Katyr had to die, the rest of the group being burnt or close to death. And looking back, I can also only take responsibility of the capture of Aliana. Completely underestimating the prowess and abilities of the bandits and there leaders.
I was able to collect myself enough, to lead the group back to Kator, with the Body of Katyr. Geil is nursing Venom back to health, it seems the snake has taken to Geil. Slim is following us, possibly more out of habit than anything. I will make sure, that as long it follows us, it will be well fed. I owe it at least that much.
Captain Aevarion Larth’thia as I am finishing this report, listening to the sounds of a town preparing to a feast of a funeral. I will inform you, that I am prepared for any disciplinary action, you feel is in order, to punish me for my lacking leadership and abilities, that have lead to the death of Ranger Katyr and the capture of Ranger initiate Aliana.
And I recommend that I am demoted from any leadership responsibilities. Thou if I am still a ranger after this, I still believe I will make good quartermaster.
I can not say who will make a decent second in command of our current group, as they all have skills and traits that can be utilized as leaders. But I can promise that any of them, will undoubtedly perform much better than I could or can in the future.
Signed the 13th day of Dancing clouds 3126