John W Partington
suspend disbelief - have an adventure

Rangers in Danger

Marcus pulled uncomfortably at the neck of his shirt. He hated wearing formal clothes, but deemed it best, given the gravity of their situation. The three stood before a formal hearing to judge their competence, and possibly their lives.

“Quit fidgeting,” Clarissa whispered out of the corner of her mouth. The half-elf was dressed in a flowing robe that, while simple, was elegant. No matter what Clarissa wore, she had the bearing of a queen.

“If they’re going to hang us, you might as well be comfortable,” Bannor growled from the other side. The only concession the dwarf had made was removing his scale-mail armour. His axe still hung from his belt, and there were a number of knives sequestered about his person.

“It makes a good impression,” Marcus replied. The three magistrates continued their private council for a while. Occasionally Clarissa smiled or frowned at what she heard with her sensitive ears.

“Is it going well?” Marcus asked. His legs were getting sore. He had been standing for over an hour in a room that was gloomy and humid. Wearing a tight, high-collared shirt, he could feel a trickle of sweat running down his neck and back, to pool uncomfortably in the crack of his buttocks.

“They aren’t going to hang us,” Clarissa replied, “but they aren’t going to acquit us either.”

“Enough,” the Chief Magistrate said with a wave of his arms. “Marcus Wardenvale, Bannor Olafsson, and Clarissa of Moonhaven, serious charges have been brought against you. You have heard all the evidence. What have you to say for yourselves?”

“Well,” Marcus started. “It wasn’t really our fault.”

“Bannor and Clarissa, does Marcus speak for you as well?” The dwarf and half-elf both nodded their heads. “What happened?”

“Our patrol…” Marcus started.

“A large patrol,” Bannor interjected.

“Our patrol of twenty Rangers was dispatched to bring in the wizard Mondez. Seventeen of our number were wounded or killed in bringing him down, but we finally managed to bind him with anti-magic manacles. He was helpless at that point. We buried our dead and tended our wounded as best we could. Our wounded were able to travel to the nearest town on their own, so we three set out on foot for the Prison Keep. Along the way we were ambushed by trolls.”

“So you let a few trolls capture the wizard?” the magistrate asked.

“It was a hundred and fifty trolls in a war party,” Marcus said.

“They seemed more interested in eating the wizard and us,” Clarissa added.

“We took a few down with our bows, but it was hopeless. Then Mondez offered to help us in our plight. He said he had no desire to be brought to justice, but did not want to be eaten by a troll either.”

“So you took off the binders?” a second magistrate asked.

“It seemed the best option at the time.”

“And you thought he would be honourable?”

“He swore an oath to Lindros that he would come quietly,” Bannor exclaimed.

“And you believed him?”

“As I said,” Marcus continued, “it seemed the best option at the time. Mondez summoned all his arcane knowledge and turned the trolls into rabbits. Then the rabbits attacked. In the confusion Mondez opened a rift and escaped.”


“One hundred and fifty vicious rabbits!” Bannor exclaimed.

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