Dogcatchers of Khador

Sivasha's Memiors

It has been sometime since I have written an entry. The last set of memoirs I locked away, as that chapter of my life was over, the chronicles of woman living a half life were done. I took to writing letters that inevitably stopped due to the danger of the situation, that has progressed far beyond expected. From what was last written allow me to inform all that has transpired. I have taken up leadership of the Dog Catchers, and have been in a transitional phase getting used to my new role. The change is a good one not just for the ascension of power, but assuming such a position forces my hand to keep my temper under control and avoid losing myself to this rage.

My brother, Kigir, has experienced a death and rebirth much as I did. Following the removal of a rat from Empress Ayn’s ear, the position of the Head of the Winter Guard, was opened. This position was offered to me however I felt I must pass and allow Kigir to take charge. I have little experience with the Iron Fang whereas he served at the side of the Red General, it was only natural he take the role in place of our Uncle. Alexei, however, is dead, split in half by Gashunk. It is a subject I am not fond of speaking of, or rather simply dismiss due to a lack of closure it has for me. I never had the answers as to why Alexei wasted his effort to pull me from the field. Why did he not let me die out there? Was there a scrap of hope for my brother… or did he merely wish me to suffer with this and watch his descent into madness. I believe our recently member Kestryl is a little, uneased by the fact it is spoken of so openly, and how I refuse to let them see my feelings regarding it. I may give in more to my emotions than others, but I am still a Khadoran woman, and whether I mourn or curse his name, I will do so in private. Strange to think Kigir and I both now share a drink every so often, when our rivalry lead to us to despising one another for so long, he… he is actually tolerable.

In more recent news, Rogue showed up at my door with a bullet hole in his chest. Apparently he was discovered by this L.R., and the Black Widow took aim at him. This woman understands little of what force she is about to have after her head. Killing the Red General in front of me and attempting to claim Kendrick’s life? A grave mistake. It was only fortunate that I managed to gain the chance to test this woman in combat, to understand what she is capable of. Kestryl seems to have equal interest in her demise considering her crimes against his people. Yes, she is a considerable foe with her age, but she fails to understand how strong my desire to right the wrongs she has caused. I cannot wear my nations color until my armor is stained with her blood. Until the death of the Red General is avenged.

New members of the Dog Catchers are Kestryl and Priest whose face I’ve never seen but he is known as Grimm. Both are terribly effective at what they do. However trust in them is limited. In the end I believe both truly have their own use for the Dog Catchers and are using our resources to further their own goals. While not uncommon I have a feeling their true loyalties lie outside, and should our jobs ever come into conflict with these goals relying on them for such matters will become problematic.

Speaking of trust, it appears the man I have trusted the most in this, has given me reason to doubt him. It was learned during our last job that Rowan has had a number of meetings with individuals that we now call enemies. He has met with the Black Widow, met with L.R. recently, and knew of the possible demise of Rogue and said nothing to me. While I understand keeping emotions in check on such subjects, that knowledge, did he not understand what it would have meant to me? While yes I am angry, I am more disappointed than anything, how can I place faith in someone who hides such details? The matter of the Black Widow seems much older but this L.R is incident is fresh. He had an opportunity to kill him but they apparently met up to simply have a chat. Well if the time of holding grudges is over then he is going to have to deal with my next move. If I cannot trust him… leaving only Gashunk, who Morrow have mercy, is preoccupied with his children, I will need to call in someone who does have my trust. This may be a long shot, but he owes me his life, and he is aware of this fact. Since Rowan has proven that he can so casually meet with our enemies, then he can look past this grudge.

Rogue is not counted in this because while I wish him to stay, I do not wish to see him further harmed in this. He is a good spy, but he has admitted he is not a killer, and right now I’m going to need a killer. Besides someone has to look after my office while I’m away and it sure as hell will not be Kigir. Hrm… he might even be able to forge my handwriting, remind to inquire of these talents later on. Might prove useful in the future.

I am going to be reallocating some of my resources to start following rumors of a strong Wind in the North, and when he is located, I will take the horn and summon him myself.

Our job made us realize that it was not the Khadoran Empress who was the target but the Ordic diplomat. I am uncertain I have ever seen Rowan squirm so uncomfortably. I assume he is packing for a trip…. I am more concerned with this knowledge he withheld that we all learned from the foreigners trying to stop the Widow, whom it appears we accidentally killed… they did not speak in any language we knew but only after informed us of their aligned goals…

I do not find such timing amusing.

I believe if this man truly has the ability to control a dragon, then I can truly steal Dinalogos’s attention from his current task for now… even he cannot deny what must be stopped.

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Excerpts from Rowan's Personal Notes vol 13

“Recent events in my life have become dire indeed. It is now more important than ever that my plans be put into motion. I am getting ahead of myself; I’ll should start from the beginning.

Upon finding the card and the note from Lamsyn for a private audience in Llael I set out immediately. I went alone as requested. Some may think my actions rash, that I was walking into a trap, but I know Lamsyn; the direct method is not his way. He prefers a more cat-and-mouse method to brute tactics. Plus I knew I couldn’t bring anyone with me. Gashunk, Grimm, and Kestryl, while good men, I don’t have enough dealings with to keep them in line and Sivasha, while I trust, is too wild in temper. She would have killed him on the spot. I too enjoy the cat-and-mouse too much to use brute tactics. So I made my way to Llael…"

…“I met with one of Lamsyn’s associates at the bar in Riversmet where we used to talk. The associate told me to come with him to meet Lamsyn but I insisted he met me here. It was as close to neutral group as I would find in Llael. Once he joined me we discussed his plan. He had in fact figured out what had become of Vargus and had removed the Rogue. He has also come across an artifact of great power and he plans to turn it against my native land. He sees this as a way to make us even for my part in what happened to Riversmet. I scoffed at the possibility and reminded him that he was fighting an uphill battle. He has to beat me every time whereas I only have to beat him once. He did not seem deterred by my revelation. Once he was done with his threatening I asked him to stay and chat, like old times. He was once my closest friend and I saw no reason for us not to speak as equals once more. We spoke at great length and during the conversation I came to realize the difference between us. He is blinded by his emotions and holds onto grudges like a drowning man grabs a floating log while I am not so petty”…

…“I returned just in time for our next job. I found the Rogue there, badly injured, but still alive. My surprise at seeing him alive betrayed my previous knowledge and the news of my meeting with Lamsyn did not seem to sit well with some of the Dogcatchers. I didn’t bother to explain myself, I rarely feel such a compulsion”…

“The job was to protect Lady Ann from an assassination attempt during a meeting with ambassadors from Cygnar and Ord. The description of the possible assailants led us to believe that the Black Widow was involved and might be linked to a group of strange, dark-skinned, foreigners seen around the capital. Myself and Kestryl went to survey the surrounding area. We scoped various vantage points and marked the most advantageous spot. There was a lot of ground to cover as all the buildings in the surrounding area had be bought up, their tenants hurriedly vacated, by a single holding company. It was going to take more than just us and the guard (considered inept in my book) to cover the ground. I left to make preparations”…

…“I paid plenty of the resident homeless a good deal of coin to occupy the buildings to serve as our eyes and ears. I bribed the holding company to break their dealings with Lamsyn, who I learned was behind the purchases. The set up was simple; Gashunk and Kestryl would watch the obvious spot, Sivasha would coordinate everything from the courtyard, and Grimm and myself would survey the inside. All the chess pieces put into place, pawns set up to protect the queen”…

…“Some times things do not go according to plan. Turns out the dark-skinned fellows had the same objective we did. I know little about them as I did not deal with them myself. Kestryl and Sivasha battled the Black Widow but were unable to best her. It was all just a distraction for the real plot against the real target. A mechanical rifle had been set up elsewhere to shoot the ambassador of Ord. However, that plan also did not pan out and the bullet only wounded the man. It was a direct assault against my homeland. This aggression will not stand”…

“I must use all available resources to best Lamsyn. I leave immediately for Ord. My first order of business will take me to Five Fingers. Somehow I need to get a message to The Baird to warn him of Lamsyn’s plot. The attempted assassination should give my words some credence. If I can not meet with him directly I can pass word through the grapevine. The news will reach The Baird somehow, this I am sure. There has never been a king as cunning as him. Lamsyn may think he can take on my intelligence but if I am backed by my crafty king then Lamsyn will stand no chance. He thinks that attacking our economy, our weakest asset, will lead him to victory. We’ve never been rich, we accept that. What he fails to understand is the quiet and noble strength of our people. Todorians and Thurians may have our differences but, once united, we stand resolute. We are used to the hardships, used to the struggle, and yet we continue on. Because of this Ord will never fall!”

“I will also spend some time in Midfast. I wish to speak to the Golden Crucible there about my idea of a unified system of investigation and law as well as spend some time back in my homeland. I’ve been gone for far too long. I will spend some time walking the mountains as I did in my youth. I may be gone for a week or so but the Dogcatchers should be able to maintain without my presence. The world will not end because Rowan Voyle decided to take a brief vacation.”

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Kestryl's Report #3
Delivered by a beggar-child for 1 koltina

I have secured a sanctuary where I might conduct my research in private. Using the funds gained from my first mission with the Dogcatchers, I hired a team of discreet masons to refurbish an old sewer chamber into something fitting my needs. It is isolated and secure. If any has need, let him walk one mile due west from Korsk’s city square. There, take the alley north, and look for a sewer grate. Climb down and follow the main channel. Pass the first intersection and then look to the left wall. There lies the false door, concealed as stone. It requires a key, which I possess, but the enterprising among you should have no trouble gaining access. Should I depart from Korsk, I will leave the key hidden nearby. Otherwise, leave me a message, and I will grant you access when I am able. I have left 2,000 koltinas within to support any Seekers who pass through. Take what you must.

Scyrah preserve us,
Kestryl Syvas

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Excerpts from Rowan's Personal Notes vol 12

…“There have been some changes to the order of business in the Dogcatchers. First off, Tavik is no longer our leader. That role has fallen to Sivasha as it’s a role she is best suited for. We also got a new member, Kestryl, to replace Bastian while he is working on his own projects. Kestryl seems like a quiet Iosan. It may be some time before I learn what brought one of his kind to our doorsteps. He does not appear to be a threat, for now”…

“We’ve gotten a bit of good news for the Dogcatchers. The city is in an uproar over a new curfew put in place by the Winter Guard that affects the lower class. The majority of people started rioting over the curfew which gave us the opportunity we need to get Durga out of power. We split up to find as much information as we could to link Durga to the problems throughout the city. It was nice to do some old fashion detective work.”

…“I partnered with Kestryl during our fact finding mission. We found some evidence linking Durga to the break outs and then we had to split up to cover more ground. I had Kestryl go gather the information from Craton while I went to investigate a missing weapon. I had found a machine that could control thoughts; a machine I find deplorable. While there I also found proof linking Sivasha’s brother to the turmoil”….

…"Kestryl got the information we needed from Craton and proved to be a big help during this adventure. So far he has proven himself useful and is beginning to earn my trust. I rarely base putting my trust into people because “it feels right” but only when they can prove to me that they are useful. The more useful you are the more I’ll let you know to make you even more useful. It’s not about sentimentality, it’s about resources"…

…“Gashunk had taken part in the riots and was the one who struck down Alexi. It had something to do with Gashunk’s pet project with the orphans. Sivasha didn’t appear to be too bent out of shape over the ordeal. We had Durga tried and he was sentenced for his crimes. It felt good to let the courts do their job”…

“I found a card in my room. It seems Lamsyn has discovered what happened to Vargus. Looks like the extra time I bought for us is up. I must get moving faster than ever if my goals are to be reached. I have the money and the influence I just need to talk with the Golden Crucible. If I can get my crime lab started I will have more time to deal with the Rimbaldi issue. If I can bring him to justice I can use his case to springboard my cause of an interkingdom criminal court system. One thing at a time though. My next step is to get some researchers in my back pocket and find a proper facility for them to work. I believe I might try to set it up with the group in Midfast and then have the Korsk group fall in line. This is bigger than just myself so it should be done properly.”

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Kestryl's Report #2
Dead drop, Korsk alleyway

Fortune has smiled upon me – I have not been in Korsk an entire day, and already I have made great strides toward necessary ends. Upon my arrival, I approached Tavik Stonehammer of the Dogcatchers and offered my services. He was amenable to my joining, but ultimately my acceptance would be up to the rest of the group. He summoned the others to get their input, and then he surprised them by retiring – and handing over control of the Dogcatchers to Sivasha Makarov.

With Makarov acting as captain, we plunged into solving a new issue in Korsk. The captain of the Winter Guard, a man named Durga, had forced a curfew upon the city, which seemed to adversely affect the lower classes. I gathered that Captain Makarov has had a long-standing feud with Durga, as she sent us out at once to gather evidence proving corruption on his part. Rowan Voyle and I obtained evidence that Durga had orchestrated a jailbreak in the past, while the rest of the group found their own proof. As luck would have it, Rowan introduced me to a member of the Golden Crucible during our escapade. His name is Killbride, and he has agreed to speak with me more in the future.

Ultimately, we brought our combined evidence to the military secretary, and Durga was sentenced to death. However, to reach this point, Captain Makarov lost her younger brother Alexei (to Gashunk’s blade, no less!). I expected the Captain to be angry or distraught, but I am told that she was not fond of Alexei, and it seems his end was inevitable. After the short trial, I introduced myself to the military secretary and presented my papers, so I now have some standing with the officials of Korsk. I hope to use it to gain access to the city’s library. Surely there are ancient tomes hidden within!

Scyrah preserve us,
Kestryl Syvas

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Kestryl's Report #1

My path has lead me to Khador. I have walked for years and found little of consequence, but I feel something stirring now in my soul. Perhaps Khador is the land of snow in my dreams. Though the capitol is not beset by blizzards as was the place in my vision, surely I can find answers there. Besides, there reside the notorious Dogcatchers – and where better can an outsider like myself find a place than in the midst of more outsiders? If they have found acceptance in Khador, then perhaps I can as well. I have only one way to find out. Korsk awaits!

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Excerpts from Rowan's Personal Notes vol 11

I haven’t much to report lately. Most of the last month has just been prep work for rescuing Teegan. We didn’t have too much trouble getting to her even with the government shutting down the trains. Where there is a will there is a way and the Dogcatchers are a stubborn bunch. We made it there in short order with only minimal interference from Khadorian forces.

I went off on my own to scout and cover the group. It was kind of pleasant in its own way. It has been awhile since I’ve had much of a chance to just wander through the woods like I used to do back in Ord. I found myself mentally drifting back to that place except this time the book had been replaced by a rifle. Regardless of the high stakes, the soldiers, and the ever present danger of the Thornwood it gave me a chance to clear my head and think of my own next step.

The group met up with the Cygnarian soldiers. I wasn’t able to make out most of the conversation as I viewed the whole interaction through the scope of my rifle. When it came time to engage my involvement was nil. I wasn’t shooting well and they Cygnarians seemed to have some new warjack technology that was making me ineffectual when I did manage to hit my mark. I resigned myself of offensive action and decided to grab Teegan when I got the chance and lead her out of harms way. The rest of the group had everything under control. They might sometimes act irrationally but I can always count on their focus during times of conflict.

We all made it back relatively safe and sound. I’m sure there will be some repercussions from our actions but for now no one seems to be too concerned. They will be between the kingdoms, not us personally, even if that is what I would like to avoid.

Which leads me to my next steps. I know I might never see my ultimate idea come to fruition but I can at least make a few steps to better law enforcement and criminal justice. My next step is going to be to strengthen the Dogcatchers as well do some research and development for other groups. I’ve decided to try to set up a laboratory dedicated to crime. It will help us uncover further information while we can still go out and find more clues and evidence. When not on a case it can also do some work that will make our jobs easier. I’m going to try to see if the Golden Crucible has any members interested in making this a formal arrangement or if the Golden Crucible themselves would like to get involved. I would be more than happy to have their support and backing. Should my true aspirations come to be it would be nice to have a powerful, non-government organization helping with the process.

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Bastian's Journal #8

From the journal of Bastian Ironhand…

I am alive. Despite what events have occurred, and despite what I have done, I am alive.

Truth be told, I don’t rightly know where it all started. I suppose it was back when Pendrake arrived in Korsk, looking to turn me into a spy for him. I denied him, of course. Why I did at the time, only Morrow knows, he does, but something about it just didn’t sit right in my heart. It isn’t that I’d turned traitor to Cygnar or fallen in love with Khador by any stretch of the imagination, but I saw things askew to how I had once, and I didn’t see anything to be gained by my spying. So I refused, and Pendrake left. And in that moment, I believe I sowed the seeds of hatred in his heart, for when he did return, he did so with only vengeance in mind. Unknown to the other Dogcatchers and myself, we found ourselves with bounties upon our own heads. A team of hunters found us and gave us quite a fight – and we would’ve beaten them had they not taken the coward’s way and kidnapped Teagan. With her in danger, I had no choice but to give myself up to their clutches. My allies came to rescue us, but we were outmatched and outgunned, for an entire force of Cygnaran warcasters had marched into Korsk unchecked! And of course, at their head was none other than Victor Pendrake. He took my sister, vowing to end her life if we did not show ourselves in Thornwood in one month’s time. So we waited. I passed the time as best I was able, but I mostly brooded and drank until the time came to leave for that desolate place. When we finally arrived, I was taken captive once again in exchange for my sister’s life. I was to be executed as a traitor, – and this I accepted, so long as Teagan would live. But my allies – no, my friends – weren’t content to sit and watch me be hanged, they weren’t! That crazed Menite summoned up fires like I’ve never seen and drove the warcasters toward the Khadoran border! Meanwhile, Teagan got to safety as Blackjack ran to my aid, and we Dogcatchers showed Pendrake why our name is feared! We defeated him there, on that scorched earth, and as he kneeled before me, I cut off his head for what he had done. Now I am a true traitor to Cygnar, and I shall never return home. But for my dear sister’s life, no price is too high. Should they come for her again, I swear by all the gods that I will march to Caspia myself, and I will not stop until all of their forces lie dead before me.

But may it never come to that. We are safe here in Korsk, we are. I may miss my family and my home, but I’ve made new ones here. And I am still alive.

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Excerpts from Rowan's Personal Notes vol 10

“With the upcoming release of my Discourse I haven’t had much time to report on what happened in Thornwood. It appears that Myrrel was there to cause problems between the tense Khadoran and Cygnarian forces stationed there. Seems like Makarov’s brother is involved in L.R’s plans. Not smart on Lamsyn’s part to piss off Makarov, maybe he is slipping…”

“We got a new team mate recently, Aureus Grimson. He’s a priest from the Protectorate. His preachy ways seem to grate on the rest of the team’s nerves but he has proven himself to be useful.”

“Aureus asked me to come take a look at some dead Menite priest the other day. Seems both of them were murdered by an old Orgoth gun as evident by the charge powder left from the close range shots. The question was who could afford to be using something that old and powerful.”

“I was invited to meet with a secret admirer. In my past, most people who want to meet me in secret are either there to tell me they are trying to kill me or are actively trying to kill me so I came armed. Good thing because I was met by a large man and his two friends. While he did come with a copy of my book to have signed he was there more to keep me in check while some of his friends tried to bounty hunt my friends. I wasn’t pleased but had little choice. We took up a chess game.”

“There is a reason I hate conversation. The man spent a great deal of my time telling me every detail about myself and why my book was flawed. Guess he fancied himself a great investigator, laughable, but he did have the advantage on me. He asked me questions about myself but I hardly replied to them, I hate talking about myself. He then proceeded to talk about himself, I hate talking about others even more. He also spoke about how I was blinded by emotions, also laughable, and could I find a topic I hate more. It became clear to me that they planned to kill me with boredom and that I must escape,”

“I remembered the bottle of Heart Stopper poison I had acquired on one of my earlier missions and made the excuse of going to grab drinks. While I was at the bar I managed to slip the poison into his drink without him knowing. The man knew everything about me but to be suspicious if I am drinking since it is something I just don’t do. I remember why; on top of making you dumb it also taste like shit. Luckily the foul-tasting liquid hid the poison taste. However the man was a Skorne and seemed to take the poisoning with a bit of humor. He did let me go as a reward for my cleverness.”

“I tried to get to my friends but it did not seem I was fast enough. While most of them were able to handle themselves it seems we lost Teegan, Bastion’s sister, in the fray. She is being held captive by who I’m come to find is Bastion’s old mentor. Seems there is corruption in both Khador and Cygnar, ha.”

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Sivasha's Memoir's 9
Letter to Rogue & Events

Vargus,

I am delivering the grave news. Alexei is involved as suspected and it has cost my brother Kigir the life he had. The Red General is dead at the hands of a Iosan woman nicknamed the Black Widow. There is more forces at work than we could have expected. I wish there was more to say but the results of our previous work says everything. L.R. has played his hands and at last Rowan’s contempt for this man is understood. His target of Khador has to do with Riversmeet, something both Rowan and I stand responsible for as well.

We have a great deal of work to do ahead of us. If the letters stop then you have all right to assume I am dead. Perhaps it would be best you do so now before the inevitable does finally claim me. I am uncertain how far I will have to go to see the end of this but it is apparent loss of faith in my own country is the first step. I am much farther from escaping the shadows then I expected.

Ledi v Chernom

xXx

“Expect this short. I appear incapable writing something that I haven’t felt the need to destroy shortly afterwards. Between confessions and reflections that reveal nothing short of weakness and self doubt, and the endless anger that I thought I had escaped. Perhaps such things never come to an end… now that it has direction again, however….”

“…It is clear that even my beloved country is unable to see what foolish mistakes it has made in the change of administration with the Winter Guard. Soon the war with Cygnar is going to ignite with an intensity no one can claim to have seen. I have already seen the looks my countrymen are giving Ironhand, one who has openly separated himself from his country, is facing new waves of discrimination…”

“…I delivered the Red General’s blade to his wife following his passing. My duty indicates it should have gone to our Empress, Lady Ayn yet I found no honor in doing such. To see Lady Ayn in flesh is to be an grace, an honor, yet I lack all desire. Another duty done was to leave the tags of the Durga clan member outside their home. I scrawled messily a letter indicating Durga should rethink how expendable his clan is in the eyes of L.R. I may not be able to reclaim my Uncle’s station but I will plant doubt and strip him of contacts in Khador anyway I must…”

“…My letter to Rogue was brief. I am unsure what to say other than I think for now, my contact with him is safe if short and distant. I find myself displeased with this but right now it is best…”

“Kigir’s funeral arrangements have been made. This was not how our rivalry was to end. I was supposed to show my superiority to him on fair grounds. This… now I inherit the position of eldest child by a false death. My parents favoritism to shift to their warcaster child whom I will have to out as a traitor. Following my Uncle’s removal from the Winter Guard, what further grief am I forced to deliver to them. Will there be satisfaction if I bring Alexei back to face judgement knowing it is another Makarov to face shame. The very brother I owe my life…. why?”

“In better news. Gashunk has returned. His children are safe. I have pulled a few strings to ensure they are going to be treated well and that their identities are kept hidden from any prying government figures.”

“Aureus Grimson. Our new hire. A Menite from the Protectorate. Talents and useful, undoubtedly. However another clash of ideals is on the Horizon I am certain. At least I can find humor in these disputes if anything.”

“Ne Odetyy v chernyy , poka yeye pyaten krovi on malinovyy snova.”

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