The citizens of Berell Town awoke to a fire in the stables of the Alehouse, and while Rangers were fighting Rangers, they fought the flames to prevent their home from burning down and rescue the horses. They managed to extinguish the flames with minimal damage to the building.
Once Vandien’s squad has defeated Reagar’s team, it is discovered that two junior Rangers were tied up in Reagar’s rooms. Apparently these two were not turncoats and Reagar made sure they would not interfere.
The town sheriff, Horace Black demands to know what’s going on, and after a thorough interrogation and recounting of the events, he seems to believe our heroes. Their reputation and history in Berell Town is definitely a benefit here.
Under Sheriff Black’s watchful eye, Vandien questions Reagar about his motives and who managed to turn him away from his Rangers vows.
‘’It’s not too late Vandien, you and your team could be on the winning side in the upcoming war. The Queen of Hell is coming, you’ve all seen the signs. The moons are becoming red and they will be full soon. The Hell Gates will be wide open and her followers will spread like wildfire over the Lands. But her arrival is only a prelude for what’s to come. There’s a greater force gathering…’’
That’s when red-white lighting erupts from his pocket and surrounds his body, as well as all the other traitors. They scream and writhe in pain as the red lightning courses thru them. After many seconds, the lightning disappears and all that is left are burnt husks. Blackened coins are found on all their corpses, any marking melted away.
The two other Rangers, Malcolm and Dilan, had been assigned to the team recently, but they hadn’t been turned against the Rangers yet by Reagar. They, along with Sheriff Black, will return to Kythros with the bodies and a full report.
…It is with troubled spirits and a heavy heart that Vandien’s squad leaves Berell Town to continue their mission and head towards the entrance to the Hall of the Well, but they leave behind Erdan & Horak to scout out the area and make sure no other troublesome Rangers are about, and Vandien suspects Erdan wants to speak to Shanssa the herbalist as well. He orders them to join back up as soon as they are finished.
Once the remaining squad reaches the clearing to the Portal, Malen gathers the various ingredients required to open the door, picking up “decoy” items too. Once to door opens, both Vanessa & Toji sense something is watching them out among the trees. Further investigation reveals the tracks of a very large wolf, whose paw prints shift between a quadruped and a biped wolf-like beast. But then the tracks disappear as whatever made them, decides to pull back further.
The Rangers decide to move quickly and get the horses blindfolded and down the tunnel to the Hall of the Well, before whatever was lurking returns with reinforcements.
They open the portal and guide their mounts thru with only minor issues. When they arrive at the other Hall of the Well, they find it illuminated by enchanted torches and the premises are cleaned up.
As they step outside and walk away from the cave entrance, they are stopped by two figures astride large stags ahead of them and camouflaged forms with drawn arrows all round them.
Luckily, Vandien recognizes the two mounted men as Lord Adamar’s son, Seiveril Keletheryl, who commands this outpost, and Joridyn Iliphar, his son-in-law, second to Seiveril.
“Halt and identify yourselves, and states your business.” asks Seiveril. Vanessa steps forward carefully, leaves her bow on the ground and tosses the wooden amulet to him. He catches it and them whispers something to it. Part of the amulet slides and Seiveril peers thru a hole that glows blue and looks intently at the Rangers and Roberre.
Vandien vouches for Roberre and says they are on an urgent mission to protect and escort this man to the Quo Unias, Cyradis Eridor. Seiveril tells the Rangers of the recent troubles with bands of Childer becoming more common and the strain on the elven forces across the forest. He will assign Joridyn and 5 of his men to guide and escort the Rangers.
The Rangers are amazed that they seem to be moving almost effortlessly thru the dense woods. They are guided thru secret shortcuts and pathways and the landscape blurs around them at irregular intervals. At the end of the first days’ travels their elven companions reveal a few snipets if their secret ways, and Malen performs his river stone ritual and Laylana’s image reveals various secret lore concerning Druidism and nature.
The night goes by quietly and a few scouts return as the rest break camp, reporting that childer are close by and closing in. Their Ratzin scouts seem to detect the various magical items upon the Rangers.
The squad must use more circuitous routes to avoid their enemies, but soon realize that will not be possible. Joridyn gives Malen a whistle that will summon woodland guides to help them while he and his men will draw the childer away.
Only a little time later, Malen noticed that no other showed up to lead then. They discovered why soon enough. A group of Minotaurs and ratzin had picked up their trail. They hoped to lose them by racing onwards, but the speed of the Childer were more than equal to the task of pursuing their quarry. Eventually, one of the Rangers’ lack of riding skill caught up to them and Vanessa fell off her mount, but still managed to avoid wounding herself.
Lucky for her, the two Minotaurs had been dispatched a few moments before and not she faced a few ratzin. She need only to delay them until her twin Vandien could arrive and lend her a hand. Of course, he’d never let her forget this. And with both Malen and Toji close by, the three ratzin didn’t stand a chance.