Keep on the Borderlands: Session 13 — “Under Siege”




Ulster BlackThe trebuchets, catapults, and ballistas of Lord and Glover hammered Skalgrimgard throughout the long night and morning, breaching the walls of the curtain, just south of the barbican, and bailey. A strike into Skalhalla itself, left Ulster Black, the Wolfe Commander, severely wounded. As the Whitemane forces moved their Siege Tower into place, and prepared a concerted assault against the south breach, all eyes turned toward the Heroes of the Caves of Chaos for leadership.

As the weary band plotted a quick strategy, Kik-Dos Drake, mage of the Cassandra, received a telepathic message from the Treskeggmal Staff he was studying at his Captian’s request. He called his companions to a secluded room and allowed the message to be heard by all.

Marisha MercerThe transmission was from Marisha Mercer, daughter of late King Torin who had fallen in the Caves of Chaos alongside Paavo and Rune Ljunberg. She reported on the troop movents to the south as her Pox Macchia troops were camped beyond the Keep. Hers was a fishing expedition, trying to pull political promises from Heroes in exchange for her forces to hinder those of House Whitemane.

Magnar negotiated an alliance between them, sealing the deal by their promise to speak on behalf of Pox to earn favor with the Duke of Hawkmoor in return for her forces to harry those of Whitemane, giving the Heroes time to address the looming threat of the siege tower.

Sebastian addressed the seemingly desperate move on Glover and Lords part to forgo a lengthy siege, pressing a dangerous and dicey assault against the Keep. While all agreed, they hoped to capitalize on the foolhardy enterprise.

Confident in their defense plan, the majority of their troops, including the liberated conscripts, were sent out of the curtain wall breach to meet the advancing Whitemanes, sandwiching them between Wolfe and Pox, while the Heroes and a smaller elite force led an attack against the siege tower that looked to circumvent the natural cliff-side defense of the Keep.

siegetowerBrukhart surged forth through the breach ahead of all others, seeing the wide gangplank lowered and the troops begin to muster across. The elder Ljunberg hurled a cask of oil, smashing it before their advance and prepared for their assault. Swarming forth, he cut several down easily, the bodies piling up at his feet, as his companions joined in the battle.

A couple of failed attempts to light the oil was met by Kik-Dos placing himself in harm’s way to ignite the incendiary fluid by arcane means. It went up in flames, cutting off several of the Whitemanes, allowing Sebastian and the others to cut a path through them, even as crossbow bolts sailed through the flames.

The Whitemanes jettisoned the burning plank and lowered another into place as more troops surged forth. Sebastian hurled a flaming flask, reigniting their bridge as Wolfe forces peppered them with arrows from the walls above.

Herron GloverThen, Herron Glover, took the field as she marshaled arcane forces of her own, extinguishing the flames. The Heroes fell back as more Whitemanes climbed the tower and pressed forward. Sebastian and Magnar joined Sir Jon to hold the line at the breached wall, while Brukhart and Kik-Dos took up position of the ruined tower.

Brukhart took careful aim at the Glover mage, loosing an arrow with deadly accuracy, but the sorceress snatched the missile out of the aim and pointed a vengeful finger at the Skalgrim warrior. Likewise, Sebastian had marked Antwon Lord, catching the commander’s eye with murderous intent.

As they braced themselves for the coming conflict, the sound of steel on steel mingled with the screams of the dying — Men-at-Arms wearing the colors of House Glover had scaled the walls and fought with the men of House Black and House Trask on the northern ramparts.

The Whitemane horns sounded…

to be continued


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