The Scarred South

Join the Army they say....

Excerpt of the journal of Sergeant Verghat Maerwatch, recruiter for General Aporos

3rd day of Alturiak 1485 DR

Three months since the death of the red dragon and the miraculous survival of our beloved leader. Three months of winter in the South, with pouring rain that left our men soaked as they hunted loyalists in the silent streets of the City of Saffron. A hunt that costed us even more soldiers. The battle was declared over when High Suikh Helbareim’s head was removed from his shoulders but Ormpur is far from stabilized, the followers of the Dragon Queen working hard to avenge the destruction of their cathedral and the death of their draconic guardian.

Finally our first batch of recruits has arrived today, ready to strengthen our ranks! As one of Commander Tilden’s main recruiters, he asked me to oversee the arrival of the fresh meat, who were to be lodged and fed at the new Suikh’s expense.

Some were there for the money, others for the pleasure of battle, some had joined because it was a religious duty or simply because they had nothing else to do with their lives. This group certainly had a few weird ones, from the ash genasi to the fey-like wizard, it was almost as if the general had decided to form a foreign legion!

The whole lot was sent to Nalune’s, a good inn with decent food but I was unable to join them, having to organize the installation of the camp outside the walls and to report to the Commander about my evaluation of the recruits. When I was finally able to get there, I discovered a taproom full of life, some of the soldiers drinking themselves to death while others were playing lanceboard, our general’s favorite game.

It wasn’t long before I was intercepted by a girl named Ashlan, a fire genasi of some sort who saïd she wanted to test the battle efficiency of her group and who took me by surprise with a punch to the face! This act, along with the screams of rage of her dwarven companion set the whole inn into a fight that unfortunately finished badly for me.

I was knocked out by a joint effort of a drunk, yet fierce dwarf, a pale warrior controlling shadows and a knight, all following the rallying cry of a priest in red. Fortunately for them, they had not yet signed their contract and were safe when Battlelord Katernin came in, screaming insults at the drunk soldiers “who were fighting among themselves when there was still Tiamatan loyalists outside.” When I woke up, the taproom had returned to its joyful mood and I shared a few beers to the winners before leaving for a good night of sleep at the barracks.

Excerpt of Blue Ghost notes on his new recruits

4th day of Alturiak 1485 DR

The day had just started for the fresh recruits in the camp and I was already at work, reading the reports of my “little birds” inside and outside of Ormpur. Spying was a dangerous profession….especially in a city protected by dragons and the lost of some of my best men forced me to consider adding new blood to my team. Fortunately, among the poor souls who signed in to fight with us, some had been noticed at the interview by one of our recruiters, Sergeant Verghat and one came with the recommendation of Kiral Sabbagh, one of the battle chaplains. It was not every day that candidates came with such backing and I would be mad to miss this opportunity to strengthen my ranks. Saving a few grunts from the meat grinder would certainly be seen favorably by the Gods anyways…

When the general call was made for the rookies to visit the recruitment center, I decided to join them, in disguise, to see how they would react to provocation, especially without knowing who I was. The crippled half-orc had told me that the group was weird and he was damn right! I will definitely need to do a background check on a few of them because I have never seen such an eclectic group of recruits since I joined! Only one played along, challenging me and entertaining the recruits that were patiently waiting to sign their contract with the Company. This one, a cindersoul genasi, was also the one who had, my sources said, started a fight at Nalune’s the previous night, clearly someone to watch….I also had interactions with an elf wizard, badmouthing the poor Colonel Karanok to convince her to join me instead….Meanwhile, the rest of the bunch was looking at me suspiciously, imagining I was competition….

With what had transpired from the evening at Nalune’s, I decided to go for a group interview and, when their turn arrived, they are allowed inside together as per my instructions. When they realized I was following them, their first thought was that I was going to join them on their trial, a perspective that clearly made some of them uneasy. The look on their faces when I walked away from my chair to sit in front of them! Priceless….

Back to business, I informed them of General Aporos’ set of rules and about the importance of loyalty and efficiency in our army. I also explained them that my vision of leadership was much less rigid than in the rest of our army and that anytime, they could share their thoughts and opinions with me without fear. They seemed convinced by my little speech and seemed ready to hear about their first mission, a test to determine their level of devotion, their subtlety and their knowledge of tactics. If they succeeded this mission, they would get their lucrative contracts.

The goal was simple: track down a stolen crate containing an undisclosed weapon sent from Derlusk to help us on our mission to remove the Church of Tiamat’s influence in the region. The box, probably stolen by gnolls, was last seen at an oasis located four days away from Ormpur and was locked with a key. They were warned not to open the box but to the test the lock to confirm that the crate was not a fake. I suspect that the move was done by loyalists working against our efforts but so far, I have nothing else that could help us track the culprits. This type of hunt will be a good test for the recruits, a challenge for their synergy, their sense of tactics and their knowledge about the environment. They would also need to be subtle as the superior officers are not yet aware of the missing weapon and would certainly overreact, something that i wish to keep from the Commander and the General’s ears. They finally agreed to my terms – a good pay rate, lodging and food with anything looted as well- and left to visit the Quartermaster and request some material necessary for the mission…

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