Under the Banner of
The terms of the combat were set. Three men would face off, individually. Whichever group had two men still standing at the end would be the victor.
Arthur dueled Nelson Billet in a dual-wielding frenzy, with Hawke outlasting the swashbuckler.
Byron entered into a shoot-out with Kyle Verner, easily dispatching the wounded, one-eyed bowman.
Edmund faced off against the failed knight, Roland Riddle. Riddle proved difficult, clad in full plate, so Stewart took the man to the ground and they wrestled until the Fell Hand’s captain asked for quarter.
Winning the contest, the Bordermen of Brigand’s Rest had the everyone rest and supp together, hoping to initiate bonds of camaraderie.
They spoke with one of the freed hostages — one of the Heroes of Blackmire, Yendor the Stonemason. He talked briefly of the Keep on the Borderlands, having spent some time there shortly after the River Farthing War.
With everyone rested, and the mounts sorted, Riddle led the company to meet with the leader of the Goblin’s Tooth, a small mercenary band with ties to the Fell Hand. Recruiting them to the cause, Brigand’s Rest entered the Duchy of Wolfe, in the County of Pitt.
Seeing smoke on the horizon, Arthur, Byron, Edmund, Garrett, and Denwar rode out to investigate, leaving Sir Stewart in command. The riders came up a battlefield littered with corpses, stretching toward a frontier fort manned by Pitt men-at-arms.
They were greeted and led into the compound, eventually to be delivered to court where Princess Marra Wolfe had assumed command. Entering the High Lodge, Arthur was stunned to hear a familiar voice call out —
“Hello, brother. Has your exile ended already?”
Turning, he saw his youngest sister, Hellen Hawke-Pitt, standing by the fireplace, alongside a stoic figure wearing the colors of Killraven.
Marra Wolfe stirred on the Pitt throne, her two wolves looking hungrily toward her as if asking permission to feed. She tossed each a strip of raw venison and leaned forward.
“What have we here?” she asked. Her eyes fell on Byron and Togo.
“We are the Bordermen of Brigand’s Rest,” Edmund proclaimed. “We’re on Duke Hawkmoor’s business, riding for Skalgrimgard.”
to be continued