Keep on the Borderlands: Session 12 — “Flip the (Con)script”




Riding hard through heavy snowfall, Brukhart and Magnar Ljunberg, Sebastian Pike, Sir Jon Foster, and Dann Riegal, met another rider on the road, traveling south from the Keep. As the rider came closer, Pike recognized the man as one of his crew, Kik-Dos Drake.

Having expected both Pike and Horde to have returned to the Cassandra, Drake was selected to venture out to check on their Captain. Along the way, however, Drake espied a military force moving into the area that he was able to identify as predominately Houses Glover and Lord, bannermen of House Whitemane.

As the approached, they found Pox Macchia camped outside the walls to the west, while the Keep on the Borderlands itself, Skalgrimgard, was bustling with activity along its ramparts. There they saw soldiers from Houses Kilraven, Trask, and Black, all bannermen of House Wolfe.

Ulster BlackBeing greeted as the Heroes of the Caves of Chaos, they were ushered inside to Skalhalla, were an intoxicated Skeld Hrothgarsson called for all to raise a horn in their honor, Seated in the room, alongside the remnants of the noble family of the recently deceased Jarl Hrothgar, were noblemen and women of the Wolfe bannermen, led by Ulster Black.

Black spoke of the Whitemane advance into the Borderlands, of how they were conscripting free folk into their army and using them against the allied forces of Wolfe and Hawkmoor. He spoke of the conflict which was brewing, of Hawkmoor’s secession and of how Wolfe was quick to join their cause.

Ragan BlackmoorThe Whitemanes, fearing Skalgrimgard would be used as a staging area for the Hawkmoor-Wolfe Alliance, had sent units under the command of Kelvin Glover and Antwon Lord to lay siege and bring the Keep to heel. There was also a unit of light cavalry, commanded by Ragan Blackmoor, assigned to the Glover and Lord command.

Whitemane was taking this very seriously.

After much discussion, it was decided that Brukhart, Magnar, Sebastian, Kik-Dos, and Sir John, along with Steffan Kilraven would infiltrate, under cover of darkness, the conscript camp, liberating the thirty men unjustly drafted into service and turning them against their handlers — some twenty soldiers of House Lord.

The party descended the defensive cliff and crept in to the surrounding forest, intently watching the campsite. An encampment of some twenty Glovers was also nearby inside a great Mead Hall tent.

Steffan KilravenBrukhart and Sebastian stealthily entered the conscript camp and roused them to the cause. As word quickly spread, Kik-Dos sneaked forward as well, but an errant stone, hidden beneath the fresh powder, caused him to alert the guards.

He quickly enchanted them with his magics, lulling three of the four sentries into stasis. Steffan killed the fourth with a well-aimed arrow, then the conscripts sprang to life and began butchering the sleeping Lords in their tents.

Called forth by the carnage, Glover guards investigated. Kik-Dos enchanted one, luring him over where to where he, Steffan, and Magnar were positioned. The Glover proved their equal, avoiding their attacks for some time before Magnar and Steffan blows became too much for him.

Meanwhile, Brukhart, Sir Jon, and Sebastian were cutting their way through the Lords. Sensing the Glovers would soon be upon them, Pike tossed a flask of burning oil onto the tent, killing their unit commander and the majority of those housed inside.

Some of the survivors fled, while others were butchered by the party and the liberated conscripts. Having achieved a clear victory, the party, and the twenty-two surviving conscripts, returned to Skalgrimgard, scaling the defensive cliff where they were greeted warmly by the nobles in Skalhalla.

to be continued

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