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Call of the Wild - A Ranger's story


Ecthelion chuckled softly to himself. He stood in the shadow of an archway, leaning against the wall as he watched fresh Legion recruits perform drill practice.

"Lorem cohort... about... turn!"

The recruits turned on their heels. Some spun a full circle while others tripped over their own feet, knocking over the person beside them and causing a domino effect down the line.

Their drill master, Brennus Dexsius, Centurion of the Imperial Legion, could only shake his head as the recruits picked themselves off the floor and reformed their ragged line. He breathed a long slow sigh as he realised drill practice wouldn't finish for another three hours.

As the morning wore on, the recruits were put through their paces; learning drill, hand to hand combat and battle formations. They leapt and scurried to comply with every bellowed command until they were finally dismissed for lunch and a short respite before afternoon guard duty. The life of a soldier was never as glamorous as one imagined.

"Well that was entertaining," said Ecthelion as he approached Brennus. The two men grasped each other's right forearm in a warrior's handshake.

"For you maybe," replied Brennus. He wiped the sweat off his brow and watched the recruits trudge off wearily to the soldiers mess. He grinned as he remembered a time when he too was a stripling of a lad and wet behind the ears.

Brennus was a veteran of the Legion. A cheerful, stout-hearted man who was quick with a smile and had your back in a fight. He was widely respected by fellow Legionnaires for his leadership and skills in battle; qualities which saw him rise quickly through the ranks.

He broke out of his reverie and turned to his friend. "And what brings Ecthelion, First Ranger of the Ranger Company to my humble drill square?"

The Ranger smiled. A mischievous grin that split a gruff black beard in need of shaving. "I have a mission for you."

Brennus groaned. "I was hoping you wouldn't say that." He sighed and shook his head. "You know, I still can't hear properly out of my left ear, after that time we hunted banshees near Andaria."

Ecthelion laughed. "Now that, was fun."

"You, my friend, have a twisted sense of humour, if you think fighting disease ridden cadavers and wailing banshees is fun." Brennus pointed his finger accusingly at Ecthelion. "And don't forget about the last mission we went on. The one where I ended up giving an orc my boots as tribute!"

Ecthelion laughed even louder. He clapped Brennus on the shoulder and turned away, waving his hand in goodbye. "Trust me," he called over his shoulder, "This will be the best one yet. I'll see you tomorrow dawn at the moongate!"

The Ranger strode away. His laugh could still be heard as he rounded the archway. Brennus smiled in resignation and for the third time that morning, he sighed and shook his head.
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Part 1 of an RP story featuring my Ranger, Ecthelion and his adventures across Avadon. These stories form the final process in Imperium Prevalia's Call of the Wild RP pathway and will feature actual scenarios that occured during my play time with friends and guild members. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do writing them!


Dawn broke clear and cool the next day. The weather around Prevalia remained clement all year long due to its idyllic location. Warm days were dominated by clear blue skies and a refreshing cool breeze blew in from the eastern sea every afternoon.

The fresh morning breeze whipped Ecthelion's shoulder length hair about his face as he watched the sun break the horizon. He waited for his friend in silence, enjoying the stillness of the morning and the peaceful sounds of nature before the city stirred to life. Although his fealty is pledged to the Imperium Prevalia, his heart truly belonged to the forests and wilderness of Avadon. The call of the wild sang to him and he answered it wholeheartedly.

Not long after, Brennus appeared astride his grey mare. The experienced soldier forewent his usual metal plated armour; instead opting for well worn leather leggings and a shirt of ringmail. A large, heavily scarred metal shield was slung across his back and at his hip hung an exceptionally crafted war axe. The head and shaft of the war axe was notched from years of service but its edge still held a deadly keeness.

"Greetings Ranger," said Brennus.

"Greetings Centurion. Fine day today."

"Aye, it sure is," Brennus replied. He dismounted and patted his horse's nose, letting it graze contently upon the green grass.

"A fine day for an adventure," said Brennus. "And pray tell, where are we headed today? Oh and if possible, I would like to keep my boots this time." He added with a grin.

Ecthelion returned the grin and pulled out an oiled map. "To our north, the orcs have united into one clan, the Boulderfist Clan, and have claimed all the lands between Prevalia and Pulma." Ecthelion pointed at the map, indicating the area mentioned. His finger moved to the King's Road that ran west from Prevalia. "And to the west, gangs of murderers prowl the wilderness, killing innocent loggers and any solo travelers unlucky enough to cross their path."

"To our east," he continued. "Sightings of pirates have increased. So far, incidences are few and far between but we expect an increase of open water banditry in the coming months."

Ecthelion paused, letting the information sink in. "And finally, to our south, near the town of Horseshoe Bay, we have recieved reports of dark magic and blood sacrifices in the ancient fortress of Aegis Keep."

"I have received an urgent missive from our Praeceptorem Titus Severus and the Senate, to investigate Aegis Keep and ascertain the threat that it poses to our Empire." Ecthelion rolled up his map and placed it back into a weatherproof pouch.

Brennus nodded slowly as he digested the information. "And what do your Rangers report?" he asked.

Ecthelion shook his head. "Not much unfortunately. We sent a Ranger to investigate but we have had no word from him. That was five days ago."

"Then what are we waiting for?" said Brennus with a wide grin. He stretched his arms overhead, shook himself off and slapped his hands together. "It's been far too long since I've had a good fight."

Ecthelion laughed. "And that's why I need you for this mission old friend. We'll be going deep into this dungeon and I'll need your shield arm." He patted Brennus on the stomach. "Plus, you could use some more exercise, drill master." Ecthelion winked and skipped away, dodging the punch that was aimed at his shoulder.

The two seasoned warriors mounted their faithful horses and rode towards the glowing moongate. It hummed with arcane energy. Its colour shifted constantly; ranging from a deep lustrous purple to a blue that was only matched by the depths of the sea.

The exact workings of this magical portal was unknown to Ecthelion. It was constructed by the Mages Guild on a small island east of the main gate, and was connected to the city by a long bridge. Its location was chosen for strategic purposes; any invading force would have to cross the open bridge, exposing themselves to a storm of fire and arrows. However, Ecthelion thought it more likely that the moongate was located outside the city, not because of its strategic location, but because like all things magical, it had the propensity to malfunction and explode.

The journey to Aegis Keep was uneventful. By horseback, it would have taken two weeks of hard riding; a dangerous journey through monster infested untamed wilderness, but due to the teleportation magic of the moongate, the two Prevalians arrived at their destination by night fall. Approaching the wooden bridge that served as the entrance to the ancient fortress, Ecthelion dismounted and bade his horse find somewhere safe to rest. Brennus did likewise and without a word to each other, they equipped their weapons with practiced ease. Ecthelion pulled on the bow string, testing the tension and finding it satisfactory. He notched an arrow and with a nod to Brennus, led the way into Aegis Keep.
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