The front of this slim, leather bound notebook is embossed with a stylized eagle
The first page contains a bulleted list of official credentials
Alden Piermont Abercrombie
Aerial Marine Squadron
First Royal Naval Academy of Gossud
- First Cadet Gruadate, Officer Squire of Maritime Resource Management
- Honorary Minor of mechanized marksmanship
- Accelerated Naval Infantry Trainee (condensed)
The following pages are to be filled with the trainee’s final distance training report
Trainee Entry 1 – Arrival in Faetan
I have landed outside the Rathan village of Faetan – a storied hamlet if the accounts of the war I’ve read are accurate. I mean to establish a base of operations in the village and, although it is not explicitly stated in the conditions of my mission, I intend to assemble a team to accompany me on my journey. If our flight assignments have us working with a team, I should attempt to emulate those conditions in my training.
Unlike the examples the other flight cadets have set, I intend to take the path back to Gossud precisely as the eagle flies. I have not had the same military training as the other cadets, and as such I believe I have something to prove – and I mean to go above and beyond in doing so. This path will take me out of the empire, through wilderness and sundered ruin. I will need to select a team with enough experience, and no shortness of mettle, so as to not hamper the progress of my mission.
I have made the acquaintance of a dwarven artificer named Kaman. A perfectly normal dwarf if I do say so – if he can be inspired to leave his post as the village blacksmith, he would be a fine quartermaster, not to mention a sorely needed medic. By chance, he claims to know a traveling mercenary who is a rathan war veteran, currently traveling with another soldier and even an elven wizard! I should recruit them as quickly as possible.
On a side note – to endear myself to the human villagers, I’ve taken to wearing boots. They would never suffice in a flight situation, or be necessary in my homeland, but the tallfolk’s reliance on sturdy footwear has an unfortunate consequence: they litter the roads and floors with dangerous obstructions! Even Kaman’s smithy was littered with sharp slag and jagged bits of wood and metal. Also some of their rural roads are paved with splintered logs! I’ve seen game trails with safer passage. Perhaps its the increased distance between their eyes and the earth. I look forward to not requiring such restrictive footwear, but for now it will do.
Many pages follow detailing the route to be taken, maps with notes, an assessment of the teams capabilities likened to their most relevant military post, and an outline of events prior to leaving Faetan for good.
Kaman Mosin – Medic, Quartermaster
Wade Neill – Forward Infantry
Tannin Cooper – Support Infantry, Reconnaissance
Ulundo Calrissian – Arcane Offense (conjuration), Intelligence
Trainee Entry 2 – Through the clanless lands
The first leg of our journey has taken us east by south east, across the Rathan border and into the clanless lands. As I expected, we’ve encountered no shortage of dangers on our path. I’ve read of walking dead and arcane, mutated beasts, but I never expected to have to set them in my sights. Fortunately, my bolts do not discriminate, and all manner of monsters can be felled by a well placed shot. My chosen team has been most useful, I must be diligent and not allow them to do the lions share of the work lest I be accused of being carried. I have stayed ahead of the group and scouted our path, supplied them with maps, and taken first watch every night.
The night we camped upon a plateau at the behest of my council, we were attacked by large, blood sucking bats. No losses to report, although Tannin (after staying hidden for more than half the battle) accused me of putting the party in danger. Our other option, a nearby cave system, he assumed to be safer. Well, upon exploration of the cave we discovered man eating plants who were both carnivorous AND poisonous. They attacked us with a host of undead – no doubt the last group of people to take shelter in this cave.
Wade, the Rathan soldier, insists on sleeping unprepared for battle. I’ve read a lot of Rathan tactical manuals and this is never mentioned… I will keep this to myself for now, because otherwise his field experience has been a great boon. Perhaps he simply appreciates the mobility. Wade is older than I expected. Don’t most humans have families to tend to by this point in their lives? The Menhirites war-mongering must have deprived him of the opportunity.
After our detour into the cave, I insisted we continue on the journey. We discovered evidence of a settlement on the river, and planned to acquire passage up the waterway. This will no doubt place us squarely in the sundered lands.
Tannin, despite his frequent vanishing acts, is an able scout. I held post in the canopy as he scouted the settlement – he reported that the camp had been overtaken by Rathan millitia-men. Wade signaled our approach and we learned that the camp had been taken by men from Blackers Hill, a relatively new clanless settlement, because the camps previous owners had enslaved a number of their women. A tragic turn of events made right by force of arms – this is the way of things in the part of the world. I have seen myself the toll of undeserved violence on the innocent, and left behind a life of comfort to help prevent it. The men of Blackers Hill acted admirably. They offered us a ship to travel up the river – we will follow them until the northward bend in the river and then continue through the sundered.
While I was helping Kaman prepare the vessel, I noticed Ulundo trying to endear himself to one of the Blackers Hill soldiers. He carried wands so I suspect the elf takes him for a wizard. Does he not know that most humans arcane understanding would be far less than his own? They are much more practical in their approach to wizardry – they lack the long lives of the elves and simply don’t have the luxury of spending long years in academic study. To his credit, Ulundo is not a flashy wizard, and his chosen arcane specialties have been most practical. He has taken to discussing the humans shortcomings with me, perhaps because we share similar traits like pointed ears and longer lives. He’s got a lot of pride in his education and a face only a mother could love.