The Secrets We Keep
Arthur, Byron, and Edmund stood before Princess Marra Wolfe, commander of the forces at Fort Pitt. Seeking a place of respite and free passage through the lands of House Wolfe, the Princess agreed to the following terms: the Bordermen of Brigand’s Rest, including their banners (Dark Horse, Fell Hand, & Goblin’s Tooth), would have the rights requested in exchange for the Bordermen procuring a lost artifact, hidden somewhere within Pittcairn Keep, a fortification recently fallen to a House Hightower siege. During the Bordermen’s excursion, the banners would serve Fort Pitt, defending its walls and under fealty to the Princess.
With the terms set, the trio recruited their ‘hostage’, Killian Denwar, Sir Garrett Mark, and the swashbuckling Fell Hander, Nelson Billet, to their cause and set out on horse for Pittcairn Keep, having left the reins of command with Sir Franklin Stewart.
Approaching the ruined keep under cover of darkness, they hid their horses nearby and crept up on battle scarred tower. All around it lay bloodied pikes, shields, discarded weapons, and supplies. The remains of a short but brutal siege.
From the tree cover they spotted two halflings talking by a campfire in the midst of the siege remains. Arthur and Edmund crept up on them, but the halflings had sharp ears and became wary.
Edmund soothed them with a savvy tongue and open palms. He explained they were here to find a treasure and encouraged them to join them in the quest, promising to only take the single item and leaving the rest of the spoils to the diminutive adventurers.
The heavily armored Prick Knuckleduster and roguish Buck Tennin attempted to speak amongst themselves in goblin and orc, but Arthur, being skilled in both tongues, called out to them in each. They shifted to Mortainne and Denwar picking up on this advised the halflings were planning to run.
Byron sent Togo out beyond them to discourage their flight and the halflings fell in, agreeing to the plan.
They explained there were still soldiers and looters inside and feared the front entrance would be an unwelcome avenue for entry.
Byron suggested searching for a secret entrance in the nearby stable and as they explored the area, Edmund’s keen sight discovered a hidden door behind the horse trough.
With some minor difficulties opening the door, solved by using Edmund’s spear as a makeshift lever, they pressed forward and into the keep.
Dead bodies were piled around the main gate, and barricades had been constructed just beyond the entry where it had been breached. Bloody pikes, buckets of arrows, and broken blades were everywhere, but then, as they began to branch out, came the heavy footfalls of armored soldiers.
The company quickly hid as the soldiers descended the stair.
to be continued