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Φ-Hᴏᴜsᴇ Gᴜʟᴀ-Φ
Lord Gula looks annoyed as he heard the reports of the poison issues. All his efforts ruined by that damnable alchemist. He was going to have that man drown in a cesspit after this if he survived the attentions of the Carmondi scum. His bloated jowls quiver a bit in anger as he huffs and pushes his plate away, surprising many considering his infamous appetite. It was gone, knowing how much his efforts to capture and cripple his foes had come up wanting.

He was so angry, he couldn't be bothered to even worry about Elkan. The man was doing his job and in the end that was all that mattered. That work would require patience and his reserves were starting to be depleted.

Then came the news of the failed seizure of hostages by the Skerry scum and Ricardi roared in disgust. He flipped the table in outrage, snarling about the unreliable traitors who'd pocketed his coin and barely had provided him anything worth the gold given to them. Swearing and snarling as he vented the bile building up in him that he so rarely allowed to show. He only stopped once out of breath, clutching his chest a little as he felt his heart pounding from all the exertion.

"Send the signal... our plans are ruined. All we have left is violence. Commence the attack..." Lord Gula manages as he still pants while a shaking servant approached and gave him a cup of wine to help calm his master. Few times was this rage ever shown and their lord was generally generous to them. His temper was usually controlled but moments like this could remind them of the deep malice buried under that calculating and bloated form.​
 
The Peasant's Perspective: Fynche
Location: Darrowfall Keep's battlements

With shaking hands, Fynche held trembling the bow in his hand, unable to properly hold and draw the damned thing. The build up to this collapse was gradual. Each passing day made Fynche more nervous. With every observation of the siege weapons, they rose taller each day with more flesh added part by part. They were harbingers of the death, and today marked the arrival of that death. The tumbling of the rocks, the low rumble rolling stones, those sounds of walls collapsing were what brought Fynche into a panicked state.

"We're done for!" Fynche hissed sliding down, hinde impinged on his merlon. From the rumors, he knew of the brutality victorious armies would inflict on their opponents. Hanged, quartered, impaled, these were some of the exaggerations Fynche heard. He did his best to ignore such unpleasant stories, but now reality firmly placed him closer to that fate.

"Hey!" The person the next merlon over yelled at Fynche, "what are you doing!? Keep shooting!" Fynche didn't respond. When Fynche showed no signs of moving, the same person yelled, "Get of y'er ass and start shooting again!" Fynche saw the desparation in his fellow man's eye, and upon seeing it, felt compelled to continue. Without a word, Fynche finally brought his bow back up into shooting stance and began shooting arrows again through the loophole.

Perhaps, as a reward from the Paragon for his obedience, Fynche spotted faint flags in the distance and men marching towards the castle. It couldn't be, their saviours?

"Look! Look in the distance!" Fynche yelled pointing off into the distance, accidently rising from his merlon. No sooner when he did that did an arrow zip right over his head, taking his favorite hat with it. Fynche immediately sat down, breathing heavily from the shock. Fynche hoped this new band of troops were on their side and not on the side of these invaders. Regardless, Fynche began shooting faster, albeit, with his same dogsh** accuracy.
 

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Act I: The Mystery Knight
Darrowfall Keep ~ Battlements | Midday | Hoel d'Argenlong & Lord Miras Darrow's Retinue ~ Pod & Fynche | Status: Stationary






POD
"It's not too late to keep the world from dying."
It had perhaps not been Pod's best idea.
He felt a little like his heart had jumped to his mouth. He could manage the chaos and bloodshed, but the noise, the noise, got to him. The horrible screams of the dying, the ominous grating of wood on rock signalling the approaching siegeworks and worst of all, the sound of steel clashing with steel. A week ago, he'd urged the lunk to reconsider travelling to the massing Carmondy armies and take up service with the Darrows instead. They were sure to find action, and the Darrows would certainly march soon, so they'd save on provisions. If he could, he'd sock himself in the face, but his hands seemed to be operating independently right now. The colour had left his fingers from gripping the stem of his oaken bow so tight it might break. All he wanted was to return home to the inn at the crossroads and taste Mama's lemon cakes again.
A shriek came from one of the men shooting through the loopholes, "Look! Look in the distance!"
Pod mustered enough courage to look.
Could it be? Was that their deliverance? He saw hope somehow return to the pox-ridden face of the peasant relaying the message--his hat on the ground, ran through by a stray arrow. Crouched, he ran towards the part of the battlements they'd cowered behind, scraping his back in the process.
Breathe. Pull. Release.
Pod couldn't open his eyes and look at what he'd aimed at. He could only hope the paragon guided his arrow.
"Listen!" the words came somehow, "You see that giant out there?" he pointed. A part of the tower wall had obstructed his view of the army in the distance; all he could have seen earlier was Hoel and the other chevaliers on their mounts--their would-be deliverance. "Well, I'm his squire. And if anyone can get us out of this mess, it's him." Pod coughed up phlegm and gravel, spat at the ground and continued, "We just need to buy time. They'll do their part, and we do ours. So we can all get out of here alive!"

HOEL
"Sally forth."
They parted ranks when he approached. Bitterhoof neighed and bit at her reigns. Lord Miras himself had requested his presence amongst this posse. It would have been rude to refuse. Hoel pulled himself onto the saddle, the old warhorse struggling slightly at the sudden weight. His fingers tightened around the grip of his silver mace; the weight felt powerful in his hand. Without warning, the massive eastern gates creaked open, and the sounds of hooves echoed into the battlefield.
 
As the men of the fleet revel in their hard-won plunder, Evander's mind remains steadfast on the pressing matters at hand. With a sense of urgency, he swiftly drafts a missive addressed to Robert de Cherbourg, Lord of Berngard. In this urgent correspondence, Evander paints a vivid picture of the dire situation unfolding within the city of Gwyburgh.

Handing the sealed letter to Nuswar, Evander impresses upon him the gravity of the situation. "Take this missive and your cataphracts to Robert's forces." he instructs firmly, his voice carrying the weight of responsibility. "His forces must be positioned between the abbey of Trambly and Darrowfall by now. Avoid the main roads and steer clear of populated areas. Inform him that the Godydd bridge has been sapped, and Nelkirk bridge is slated to meet a similar fate. Aid him in anyway you can."

Equipping the Nuswar and his men with provisions, Evander watches him depart. Turning to Sir Qayne, a sense of determination etched upon his features, Evander divulges the full extent of their mission. "Our mandate is clear," he asserts solemnly. "We are tasked with rendering the bridges at Godydd and Nelkirk unusable for the Fyrdian rebels and sowing chaos along the High River. Rest assured, once our objectives are achieved, we shall rally our forces and hasten to the aid of your sister and the embattled city of Gwyburgh."

Gathering with Admiral Stormcloak and the captains of the fleet, Evander lays out his vision for the impending campaign. "Our course remains unchanged," he declares with unwavering resolve. "We shall press onward up the river, deep into the heart of Fyrdian territory. Victor, you will lead a squadron of five ships to the northern fork, where you will sack Derford. Meanwhile, the main fleet shall descend upon Nelkirk, reducing it to ash and ruin. We shall rendezvous at the Dunwell ruins in two days' time." With the command issued and his plan set in motion, Evander watches as the sails unfurl and the fleet sets course.

Summary

  • Send Nuswar and his cataphracts with a letter explaining what was learned from Sir Allen Qayne to find Robert's force.
  • Send Victor Stormcloak up the fork in the river with two longships and 3 cogs to sack Derford.
  • Sail to and sack Nelkirk and its bridge.
  • Continue up the High River sacking rebel towns on the way to the Dunwell ruins.
 
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  • - Sɪᴇɢᴇ ᴏғ Dᴀʀʀᴏᴡғᴀʟʟ -

    Parrot Parfait Parrot Parfait | Elucid Elucid | cybercrypt cybercrypt

    The Darrow horsemen charge from the gate, catching the ramming crew by surprise - they are left badly exposed when most of the besieging archery either turns about to loose upon the Oriflammes, or become otherwise badly thrown into disarray. Alongside Lord Miras, his son-in-law Sir Egwel Morys, a fellow errant swordsman known as Sir Lokkar Lyteshyld, and several other knights and men-at-arms. Though lacking in title compared to many of the men he was fighting alongside, Sir Hoel the Gald stood out the most by virtue of his stature alone, no matter the faded heraldry and his equipment's battered countenance.

    Of the ram-pushers, several men without armour leave their fellow Kragmen behind and begin to run as quickly as they can from the battlefield. Several armsmen including the sergeants detach from the group and are sent to ride them down, while the rest of the cavalry surrounds the ram.

    A scraggly-bearded Kragman wearing a studded hood and leather jerkin waves a battle-axe at Bitterhoof, but she is able to strike him against the skull with her namesake, felling him. The rest of the men pushing the ram are caught off-guard and begin to panic, with many men becoming cut down before they can pick up a pole or hafted weapon, or even draw a sword. Still, there's warriors among the foe, and although badly outmatched, they don't plan on going down easy. Someone shoots an arrow at the head of Lord Miras's horse, only for it to bounce off its chamfron.

    1709262168485.png

    Some lard and oil is brought up onto the walls and is cast upon the roof of the ram, before being ignited with an arrow from the brazier. Down below, the Kragmen do their best to defend themselves, but most of them are hacked to death within the first few minutes. Archers lean out from the palisades, and loose barbs at the besiegers, and shoot fire at their ram. An oil-soaked cloth is tied around the shaft of Fynche's next arrow by one of the kitchen women. "Burn it, man! Burn it!" The burly-armed maid then bends over to heft up a stone, throwing it over the battlements. A younger scullery maid rushes over, delivering a similarly oily cloth to Pod. "Here, here! You- you tie it on!" Her hands tremble too much.

    Lord Miras breaks his lance off in a Kragman's chest, then draws his sword to strike down another. Several defenders on foot follow at their lord's heels, and begin to swing axes at the supports of the ram, hacking them them down, severing ropes, and cleaving the flesh of unlucky sappers.

    A skull-capped Kragman's blade harshly clangs against Sir Hoel's left cowter. The foe readies his sword for another swing, then his face suddenly contorts as he crumples to the ground with an arrow in his back. "The bitch is done for! We've got to get out of here!" cries one of the Kragmen. Some begin to throw down their weapons in a sprint back to the camp, but they are easy prey for the riders. Only a handful of stragglers remain, fighting a wild and desperate melee against the sally of steel. Hoel and the other men look appear poised to mop them up. Still, the men at the ram are but a small part of the overall besieging force. All they can hope for is that the relief army manages to win through.

    1708400606183.png

    MrThe MrThe | SoRonery SoRonery | BigBucksndBony BigBucksndBony

    Kragmen continue to be cut down, but the main battle line holds. The Flamebay's horsemen break their lances against flesh and swing their swords until reddened, but the Fyrdians do not break. The mighty press of incoming infantry does manage to cause the remaining semblance of a formation to collapse into a horrific free-for-all, in which perhaps a dozen men a minute die in a flash of steel. Still, it isn't a rout... yet.

    The Bloody Baron's arm is crimson up to the elbow. His destrier kicks off a Kragman knight's greathelm, but before he can be finished off, the lance of Robert MacEanruig smashes into Philippe de Oriflamme's shield, throwing him from the saddle. Philippe's great axe is lost in the fall, an errant sword stroke from a foot soldier severing the strap that attached it to his back. Sir Arithor Beldrake snarls through the open face of his bascinet, yellow and red surcoat flowing as he swings his blade at the man who unhorsed his liege, though it merely glances off Robert MacEanruig's barbute.
 
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Count Ricardi Gula.jpg
Φ-Hᴏᴜsᴇ Gᴜʟᴀ-Φ



A carriage ambled into the siege camp with an escort, bearing the black and white banners bearing the eerie eye of House Gula. There was already a pavilion tent that had just been completed in preparation for the arrival of Ricardi Gula to obersve events in motion. It was also the concentration of his forces which made the bloated noble feel far more secure than lingering in Vizgard where an enemy force could attempt to seize him while his forces were focused upon seizing Gwyburgh. Several grooms moved up to the carriage door to open it and lower steps for the bloated frame of Lord Gula himself to descend. He looks about with those calculating eyes before moving towards the pavilion even as his waiting knights were already briefing him on the situation. He could see the siege equipment being assembled in the distance before they all entered the black and white tent.

"I see we've at least got them more suitably rolled up into the city, despite our setbacks," Gula growled some as he moved to take a seat in a large wooden chair with purple cloth and cushion. It creaks under his bulk as he has a servant pour him wine while a platter of meats and cheeses were produced for him to enjoy now that he had arrived.

"With the failure of our more discreet work, it seems we only have violence left to settle matters. I'll trust you all to see this through, I know I am no warrior but merely the will behind this effort," Gula said as he regards the new map that had been set up for him. He was never one to withhold praise for his men when deserved. It was best to stroke egos and soothe tempers, to control them with emotions as much as money and title. Loyalty was a currency he did not throw away lightly. He had seen the Skerrymen here and had admittedly felt still some resentment towards the botched hostage taking. Yet they were here for the fight and Gula had paid them when the Carmody had not. So he would see them be made useful here having vented most of his rage back at Vizgard.

"I want the Skerrymen to be who seize the High Magistrate and his court. Too many of our people have hot blood over what he's done to them and their kin. I can trust the Skerrymen to grasp his value as a hostage, considering the share of ransom they'll be getting if we can get our hands on him after that botch of a hostage taking earlier," Gula said thoughtfully as he sips his wine and starts to spin plans. He was no commander but he knew people and understood it better to trust mercenaries to take someone alive over his own men with potential blood feuds born of Carmody slaughter and tyranny.

"If our folk feel that's unfair... give them Carmody soldiers to vent their rage against. They've done their share of vileness to our people. They can reap what they've sown. The highborn are not to be harmed. Yet. We can always remind our foes that hostage have little value to us if they are unwilling to pay their ransoms," Gula noted with a cold and callous tone. He resented the Carmody more than any for the holdings House Gula had lost, including in Gwyburgh. He would have his prize and hopefully restored funds to secure it more fully if they could win out and break the siege to take Qayne alive.

"Put out the call to any loyal sons of Fyrdros to join us with their banners if they dare or to seize the Carmody holdings around us. The time is now to act. The ones we contacted before should have some readiness if they so dared to take my offers seriously. If not, they can get mustering while our siege works are being built. I want word on the King and his forces, hopefully they'll be able to take advantage of the chaos we're causing down here."

It would also create a theater of personalities he could manipulate to ensure he retained control of Gwyburgh once they seized it. There would be looting but that was going to happen no matter what. The city itself was the prize he sought, the stepping stone to becoming a greater power in the region and perhaps in a now restored Fyrdos. He would have much political capital to play with should this succeed. If it failed, he had no intention of watching his House be further diminished. He had already consulted tomes on a potent poison he had elected to start keeping on his person. He would live and die by his own actions and no others. No Carmody noble would get the pleasure of watching him executed or tortured.​
 
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The Cooked Cat, Sigton


“Cooked Cat? Not even I’m that poor…”

Gunhild of Merick found herself in an inn known as The Cooked Cat. Despite the name, it seemed a popular enough place in Sigton. This appeared to be the rest stop for all mercenaries headed into battle. Certainly, they were dressed for it. Gunny too came prepared for the battle ahead, donned in her padded tunic. By padded tunic, it was just layers of clothes and straw sewn together into makeshift armor. She only recently dyed black it to appear as a cohesive piece. And yet, the outfit wasn’t terribly out of place among the patrons. What stood out more was that she was one of the few women in this horde of warriors. In order not to draw unwanted testosterone-fueled attention, she had tied her hair back to fit within her leather helmet. At best, she looked like a very pretty boy. Her voice would betray the ruse.

As she eavesdropped on the local townsfolk gossiping about local knights, Gunny looked suspiciously at their soup. Were those cat bits? Nevermind that. Simply listening to the patrons was a history lesson. With the ill mention of names like Arathand, it was clear her fellow Skerry were still bitter over Godsbridge. A part of her wanted justice for her brothers, but she didn’t come all this way for revenge. She came for paying work. If the money was as good as she was told, her family back in Merick might make through winter after all. But with high reward came deadly risk. Though she had spent time training with other Skerry mercenaries, this would be her first real mission.

Gunny partook in one of the biscuits (she still didn’t trust the meat) while listening to the adjacent table. Upon hearing of their destination, she moved her chair a bit closer to inquire in casual conversation.

“Have you heard anything about…er…expectations? I heard Gwyburgh’s already fortified. I hope this Lord Gula knows what he’s doing.”
 
Fynche
"You want me, the man with the aim of a blind bat, to shoot the bloody ram with an arrow, woman? You must be daft!" Fynche mocked incredulously at the maid. The remark got him a hard slap on the cheek.

"Hurry up you silly goose and shoot!" The maid scolded before turning away to give the neighboring peasant a flaming arrow. Fynche grumbled some curses over his stinging cheek, but what upset him more was the fact he couldn't aim a bow at a house sized target to save his life. With such a critical shot, Fynche wanted so dearly to just chuck the burning shaft with his arm, but were he to do that, the arrow would probably bounce off instead. After a second of mulling it over, Fynche cursed, "Forget it," before lighting the arrow and aiming the arrow with his hand instead of the bow. With a flick of his arm, he sent the arrow soaring down the castle walls, quickly dodging behind the merlon as an arrow grazed his other cheek.

"Damn it," Fynche swore as he touched the shallow but long gash on his face. He rubbed the blood between his fingers. "That's going to leave a mark, isn't it?" Fynche dared not peek to see if he'd hit the battering ram or not. Though, he was confident he'd hit the ram. He was always miles better at throwing things as opposed to using tools to hurl things. His only concern now was whether the arrow actually stuck to the seige weapon as opposed to bouncing off.
 
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Philippe and his army charged uphill against the Fyrdians besieging Darrowfall, thundering hooves churning the ground as each man atop one such noble beast leapt skillfully across the ditch at the base of the hill. They had hoped to catch the enemy by surprise but unfortunately it seemed they were ready to receive the charge. "No matter" Philippe thought aloud "They will scatter after tasting the tip of our lance." And at first it seemed he was right as after spearing several men the Bloody Baron burst through clear to the other side of the formation where he was faced with a countercharge.

Philippe was quickly unhorsed after squarely receiving the Lance directed towards him with his shield, which immediately shattered. Rising to his feet with little delay Lord Oriflamme shoulder checked his opponents mount and forcibly unhorsed him as well. Then began a most difficult fight on foot that much to Philippe's great shame ended in his capture despite the best efforts of his retainers to recover him.
 
Roberts lance shattered as it kissed the flammed shield of the first horseman that breach the Kragwyn line. A fine hit for a tourney, he would have been pleased with it even. A sword glanced off his barbute.

But this was a real fight. Real fights aren't won by smashing lances and throwing riders from there mounts. He tossed the ruined shaft of his weapon to the ground as he swung his stead around for another charge into the foe. He saw that many of his riders had to turn away or else hit there own line.

No matter. He could no longer think on the battle as a whole. Just this small picture. There was the unhorsed knight. He had to be important as others of the foe were coming to his aid. A knight of Kragwyn was struck down by a knight of Flamebay as Robert closed in.

Hooves dug into soil as Robert came to his second charge. His ax raised high. Now he knew the man he had tossed was Phillippe de Oriflame. Now was a chance to end the battle. The ax came down on a knight dressed in the surcoat of Flamebay. The wicked pick end of the hatchet sunk through helm and coif and into the skull.

He turned to Phillippe and began to attack. The two knight trading blows, Robert felt a pain in his left leg. No time to look he turned and charged again. This time he felt him self being drug from his saddle. A well timed blow from Phillippe sending him tumbling into the mud.

Robert was up on his feet moment before his foes weapon came down, the blade sinking into blood turned mud. The fight was a confused brawl now. At one time the Baron of Flamebay had the upper hand, at another it was Robert poised to kill. A lucky blow to his foes head sent the Bloody Baron sinking to the mud like a sack of flour.
 


  • - Sɪᴇɢᴇ ᴏғ Gᴡʏʙᴜʀɢʜ -

    Crocodile Crocodile

    Men in oiled mail, evil-eyed surcoats, and black-painted padded armour crowded about the carriage of Lord Ricardi, protecting him behind a wall of shields, spears, swords, axes and glaives. Attendants help him from the steps of his opulent transport and into the pavilion where his war council awaits.

    The siege encampment was erected in and around Saerd Manor and its accompanying hamlet. The cover offered by the trees surrounding Mork Tower were also considered, but the main road leading into the city needed to blockaded properly. Your carriage would have been unable to reach it, besides. Defensive stakes begin to be fashioned and driven into the ground around the camp, and trenches are dug.

    Some other sections of the Fyrdian rebel army have built stonethrowers such as onagers and trebuchets to assault the city walls. The rabble of Vizgardian levies, Skerrymen and expelled townlings prepare to launch and assault against the walls. The 'bluecaps' of the Boldward, the Carmondian guild militias, the Gwyburgh City Watch, the urban lordlings' retinues, and the Qayne family's retainers gather their forces to defend the city, but their numbers are relatively few compared to the thousands of rebels that have amassed outside. Still, they are more heavily armed and armoured in comparison to most of their opponents.

    1710131991597.png

    The local residents are at least sympathetic to the rebels, though they likely aren't happy about the amount of hot-blooded soldiery running amok, eating, drinking, and screwing everything in sight. Villagers either sell their provisions very cheaply, or simply hand them over to the troops. Some of the besiegers find lodgings in local hovels, otherwise they pitch their tents or construct temporary shelters from trees felled in the surrounding woods. It wasn't long before the population of Saerd Manor had swollen to over ten times its previous amount.

    Captain Meldraut spreads out the map. "M'lord... There is the matter of the city's outworks - specifically the Fyrdward, and the slums of Hartown. The Fyrdward is, more or less, already in the hands of our Fyrdian brothers. Hartown, however, is menaced by Carmondians residing in the Daenhard Estate. The defenses here are weaker than that of the main city walls, but an attack here would be risky. It's flat, open ground - leaves us vulnerable to a mounted sally."

    1709444824392.png

    "Ignore the Daenhards," says Sir Pyllard, one of your chief knights. "They won't be able to help the Qaynes resist our strike against the main gate, with the folk in the Hartown slums being prepared to rise up at any moment."

    "They leave one of our flanks exposed,"
    says another knight, good Sir Aywin. "The Gwyburgh guards can sally out of their palisaded gate and hit our force from the side."

    "Would they spread themselves so thin?"
    Sir Pyllard asks.

    "Perhaps not, who knows what the Magistrate might do. The area must be properly blockaded, nonetheless."

    Sir Uther does not have much to add, in terms of strategy. He does, however, have some updates regarding the siege. "My lord, our allies have finished the construction of several mangonels. They don't seem to have much effect on the walls, at least so far... and, my lord, we have had soldiers of fortune arriving at the camp. Many of them are also staying in Sigton and Vizgard. I believe that we can hire thirty-eight knights, and several hundred other men - for now, it will cost about two-hundred fifteen gold pieces, with additional wages the longer this siege takes. I've also learned of the presence of a certain Gryphon Company, who apparently specialise in siege works - perhaps a meeting could be arranged with their captain? Other than that, I am doing my best to recruit carpenters, smiths, and other tradesmen relevant to our endeavors here," your bailiff says. He takes a sip of wine.

 
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GRYPHON COMPANY

Emblazoned in the signature red and white colors of his own company, a grim-faced Captain Haldas Winghelm marched through one of the many streets of Sigton at a decisive step. He was flanked by his second in command- Lieutenant Garrith Boldsword- and a trio of his most skilled men-at-arms. While Sigton had not fallen victim of any fighting just yet the port city was indeed a strategic position and could very well be garrisoned at a moment's notice- assuming one had the manpower to do so.

Regardless, thinking that a city- any city- this close to the frontline was "safe" would be foolish, arrogant even. Haldas had long ago learned the cost of a widespread reputation, namely that others would do anything to stop you before you could even enter the fray. While Gryphon Company always kept its own matters close to heart it wouldn't take long for even the most dim-witted of farmhands to conclude where such a specialized mercenary company might find employment.

As such Haldas remained on guard, with a good portion of his men rotating in and out of the city on both foot and mounted patrol as a precaution while the rest either killed time or prepared the equipment for the contract ahead.

Unfortunately the quick transport over had meant leaving some equipment, resulting in Gryphon Company needing to source local manpower and resources to replenish properly. Haldas' train of thought was stopped as a mounted patrol rode past with the most senior of the mercenaries greeting him with a sloppy salute. Haldas returned the gesture and resumed his march towards the Cooked Cat.

A representative from their would-be client was long overdue now and Haldas hoped to finalize the details of the contract so that Gryphon Company could pack up and mobilize.

"Do you think they'll be stalling us intentionally, Captain?" Asked Boldsword.

Haldas shrugged slightly, his expression remained the same. "Of that I am not sure." He snorted. "But if he wants quality and results then we're his best choice."

Boldsword chuckled. "Certainly, we haven't been faced with an unbreakable wall just yet."

"Indeed," replied Haldas, offering a sly grin.

The group of mercenaries neared the inn. A pair of Gryphon Company men-at-arms loitered outside, looking alert and well-rested. Haldas greeted them with a nod. "Let's hope Ironhammer's preparations are carrying on as planned," he said to Boldsword.

Garrith nodded in agreement but looked skeptical. "Won't do much good unless Tomekeeper can bolster our ranks."

"I suppose we'll have to teach some of our recruits how to do things the Gryphon way," said Haldas as he opened up the front door and entered the inn.

The interior looked more like an improvised command building with equipment, banners and other military gear spread about. Most of the people inside were mercenaries though there were some citizens and villagers present as well- mostly locals that had provided Gryphon Company with resources such as spare horses and carts or valuable intelligence such as the possible locations of good camp sites, which roads that were safe and more.

Siege-breaking was a costly business when it came to all the required preparations- but it could be extremely profitable as well.

Haldas nodded towards the innkeep. "Any news?"

Lorsh Lorsh
 
𓅐-Gʀʏᴘʜᴏɴ Cᴏᴍᴘᴀɴʏ-𓅐
Viper Actual Viper Actual
The inn-keep nods back to you, placing a tankard down in front of you on the bar top and filling it to it's brim with the house's ale - a thin, pale drink. "On me. Least I can do for all these...new patrons you've brought me," he comments, with a quick scan around the room. Men are packed shoulder to shoulder inside, many of them bearing identifiers of your company. There aren't nearly enough places to seat everyone, however the innkeep makes room for you and your officers, clearing off a few lesser men from the bar. "These men will be having your stools."


Once you'd been seated and served, the barman got down to business. "A siege camp has been erected outside the city, to the north. A great big army has already gathered, and still more men arrive every hour. I hear Sir Dallsen will lead all these mean bastards and move to join them...some say he will go through Flutterbog first and sack it, so as to prevent Lord Arathand from getting any help from those posh bastards," the innkeep explains, punctuating himself by spitting on the Magistrate's name. "Besides that, there was some incident with horse racers, and the price of grain is up again..."

Sir Dallsen, you'd heard the name before. One of the more influential high-borns of the area who was heavily involved in the fishing and shipping done out of Sigton, owning a tract of land and a manor not far from the hamlet. And the place of Flutterbog was also spoken about, often with contempt, by the locals here in Sigton. It was known as a loyalist stronghold, housing many sympathizers and collaborators to the magistracy.

"Perhaps you'd see fit to join them?" the innkeep questions, as he's called away to serve another patron but still carrying his conversation with you, referring to Sir Dallsen and whatever band of fighters he'd be able to rouse to join him from the city. Before you can make a reply one of the knights of your company joins you at the counter, insisting that you meet him outside.

"Captain," the knight began, looking around furtively and tapping his fingers on a letter he held closely to his chest. It was sealed anonymously, no sigil of any house being present. "I've been approached by an agent claiming to be of Lord Qayne. He passed himself off as a peasant, and slipped me this," he said in a whisper. "I nearly struck him down then and there, but he mentioned you by name," your knight tells you once you'd reached a relatively private area out of earshot of any rebels - for if this were told inside the inn, you'd have surely been accosted.

"A letter from Qayne? Are you mad?" asks one of your officers of the knight, astonished. "You should have torn it up and sent your own message -- the man's head!" he scolds.

The knight downcasts his eyes. "I myself have no love for the magistrate, but we are mercenaries. Imagine how much the man may pay if we were to join his employ?"

"He could pay us all the crowns he'd like, would do us no good - we'd be dead before we could spend it," your officer retorts.

"The city is not yet fully surrounded. It may yet be possible to slip in - though that window is quickly closing. We'll need to leave before this Dallsen, else he'll surely attempt to detain us. Whether he'd know our banner or not, he'd have reason in either case," Garrith tells you.

"I'd say we really ought to just go with Sir Dallsen and find work in the camp. Once the city has fallen, we will all be put to death. They do not treat men of fortune well - we may not even be given the chance to ransom ourselves."

"He's not yet even opened the letter. Qayne has to have considered the risks we will take. He's known to be a very rich man indeed, and this could be one of our largest takes,"
ponders one of your more money-minded armsmen, one of the trio of your most skilled.

"Captain, I must say this again, we should dispose of this wretched piece of writing at once. It is not worth even considering," claims the knight who had previously scolded his counterpart who had allowed the messenger to escape unharmed.
 
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GRYPHON COMPANY

Nodding, Haldas thanked the innkeeper with a silent nod before sliding over two coins across the counter in a discreet fashion. Good information was hard to come by- reliable information more so. That, alongside the fact that the innkeeper continued to show him and his men the best of hospitality warranted proper gratitude whenever possible. Innkeepers such as the one in front of Captain Winghelm had no obligation to be kind and their favor could just as well turn into fervor in response to the slightest disrespect.

Sigton especially, with its relatively neutral harbor, was a place where one could never have too many allies.

Before he could give the information much thought Haldas was approached by one of his knights. He observed the letter with a mix of suspicion and curiosity while listening to his men and their arguments. He sighed, before looking at each and everyone of them. "You all bring fair and sound arguments. I have little interest in seeing us be encircled and slaughtered like dogs- of that you may be sure- however there is no harm in seeing what this potential client may bring to the table."

"If anything, a potential offer may bring us some leverage with our other would-be employer." Haldas then waved the letter in the air. "With any luck we may be able to encourage one client to offer more than the other, if only to deny their opponent the advantage of having our expertise on their side. Granted, it is no risk-free move but if nobody is willing to meet our price then I am not willing to spend our blood."

He then nodded towards the knight who had carried the letter to him. "You did good in showing patience. Regardless of what his letter might say the killing of serfs and messengers serves us no purpose."

That being said, Haldas inspected the letter closely before opening it...

Lorsh Lorsh Lord Bradorian Lord Bradorian
 
Gunhild of Merick
The Cooked Cat, Sigton


Gunny was grateful to find a kindred spirit in the crowded bar. She did not hesitate to join he orange-tuniced man called Hale at his table. He seemed to have more faith in her bow than the barmaid. Still, the latter’s warning weighed on Gunny’s mind. This was a big risk for the pay.

Everything Hale mentioned sounded bad to her peasant ears. The enemy was expecting them, the main gate would be fortified, and if they met victory, they would be locked in a siege. Still, Hale spoke in such a way that this was planned out this way. And the mention of numbers inspired confidence.

When the questions turned to her, Gunny took a swig of ale before responding.

“Service to the Barony took my brothers at Godsbridge. They’ll get no more from my family this time,” Gunny replied darkly, a little bitter that her family had to pay for that hopeless cause. “Besides, I hear loyalty to House Gula pays far better. Though, you say the Baron will be at the siege? That’s brave of him. Perhaps he isn’t the same leader my brothers’ served.”

The conversation between Trig and Hale gave mention of more allies, the Longbeards, turning to their favor along with deserting mercenaries. Surely she picked the right side in this fight. Though she had no experience in strategy, Gunny did enjoy the quarterbacking on the battle’s proceedings with the men. It kept her from thinking about actually implementing said strategy in the field.

“It’s good to hear we’ll have plenty to favor a victory. Pray tell, any chance of allies still within the city? Enough to open the gate for us?”
 

Darrowfall Rout.​

Him and his lord were side by side, for now. They charged at the attackers with the hopes of their guards being opened for an attack. However the opposition was not in fact surprised. What followed would be a one-sided fight and the Flamebay soldiers weren't there. Avery was too distracted to notice the separation between him and Philippe, they both were divided between walls of friendly and enemy footmen. He had been cutting with his reddened blade with the rest of the cavalry. However he was too blinded within his own world to notice his lord had been knocked and dehorsed.

But this battle was loosing as the other siege-camps would close in from the Flamebay flank. But a yell signaling the capture of the Baron had been picked up by Avery, with the front-line breaking and enemies closing on the rear flank, Avery and some Flamebayers from the rear would manage to break off and flee. The rest of the forces wouldn't be so far behind. Where ever the main-force decides to go, Avery would have to travel to Rooster Keep to notify of Philippe's capture.
 
  • 𓅐-Gʀʏᴘʜᴏɴ Cᴏᴍᴘᴀɴʏ-𓅐

    Viper Actual Viper Actual

    You open up the scroll, seeing that it does have the seal of House Qayne, and is signed by the High Magistrate himself. You're being called to enter the city and take up arms with the ruling Magistracy. The Crown of Carmondy was the traditional side of most Tyberian mercenaries, after all. But since the Battle of Merlions, some of your countrymen have switched to serving baronial retinues. In terms of official support, King Gildon, although kin with King Edmund, has been reluctant to send aid or auxiliaries to him. Tyberia had watched its larger neighbour fall into anarchy and strife, while they themselves remained relatively intact - they bid their time.

    1711238338127.png




    Gᴜɴʜɪʟᴅ ᴏғ Mᴇʀɪᴄᴋ

    Toogee Toogee

    The crossbowman Hale's face grows grim. "That is where our greatest struggle lies... the curs have prepared themselves well for a siege. The Carmondians have killed or expelled most of their nemeses in the city. They crushed the riots, and imposed their rule everywhere except some of the outworks, like Greenwald, the Daenhard Estate slums, and the Fyrdward. When the knights cut a swath through the rebels, it were ankle-deep bloody in some streets, I hear. They quartered Doland Mendly, the Gula-Qayne liaison, and killed Sir Egton, one of the city watch captains and a man of Lord Gula. Many more were put to the noose."

    "Tell us something less disheartening,"
    the old and impoverished crossbowman Trig murmurs.

    "Your next ale is on me, good Trig. One for you as well, sister of Skerry."

    Trig sighs. "Thank-you. I don't want to be groggy in the morning, so only a few more..." Trig checked his purse... he was down to his last few pieces of silver. He paid for some bread and cheese with a small silver penny, and drank his ale once the tavern wench returned in a few minutes with fresh tankards of the frothing beverage.

    "Right. Well, where are you lodging?" asks Hale of you. "I wouldn't go straight to the siege camp - couldn't make it there before dark, at this point."
 
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You open up the scroll, seeing that it does have the seal of House Qayne, and is signed by the High Magistrate himself.

Haldas read the scroll once but not twice before folding it up, pondering on the words within. After a brief moment he hands it over to Garrith who skims it over, snorts and shakes his head before he too folds up the scroll in a tight grip.

"Well," he began, eyes set on Haldas. "What shall we do?"

Narrowing his eyes and sighing, Haldas resisted the urge to sigh or show any other sign of exasperation. Two thousand crowns and a title was indeed a hefty sum, one that would indeed buy you the best siege company on the continent- though it'd serve little joy nor purpose if all of Gryphon Company would be rounded up and killed.

The veteran mercenary looked at Garrith and the others;

"Prepare a runner. Find me someone who speaks the will of Lord Gula or whom speaks on the behalf of his House. I'll want a counter-offer from him, post haste." Haldas scratched his beard.
"Lest he'd much more prefer our siege engines turn against him."

Lorsh Lorsh
 
𓅐-Gʀʏᴘʜᴏɴ Cᴏᴍᴘᴀɴʏ-𓅐

Viper Actual Viper Actual

One of the men-at-arms adjusts his mail collar nervously. "This is... most surprising, Captain, sir - but do you really think...?"

Another knight interjects. "Some of the men have heard things about this 'Ricardi' figure. He's often listening in on hostels like these..."

Lieutenant Boldsword nods, offering a final word of caution before the runner is dispacted. "Not to mention, sir - the lord of this hinterland is rumoured to have spent millenars of gold in equipping and sheltering the Fyrdosian rebels. He may have spent too much money, and be unable to pay us. Either way, he may readily kill us if we are not careful. I've heard a whisper that this man's reputation is that of cunning and schemes... though, his people still love him, and fight well to defend him. If we make the decision to join Qayne, it must be hasty, lest this place become a deathtrap - we are surrounded on all sides by Fyrdosians, after all."
 
Gᴜɴʜɪʟᴅ ᴏғ Mᴇʀɪᴄᴋ


The crossbowman Hale's face grows grim. "That is where our greatest struggle lies... the curs have prepared themselves well for a siege. The Carmondians have killed or expelled most of their nemeses in the city. They crushed the riots, and imposed their rule everywhere except some of the outworks, like Greenwald, the Daenhard Estate slums, and the Fyrdward. When the knights cut a swath through the rebels, it were ankle-deep bloody in some streets, I hear. They quartered Doland Mendly, the Gula-Qayne liaison, and killed Sir Egton, one of the city watch captains and a man of Lord Gula. Many more were put to the noose."

"Tell us something less disheartening,"
the old and impoverished crossbowman Trig murmurs.

"Your next ale is on me, good Trig. One for you as well, sister of Skerry."

Trig sighs. "Thank-you. I don't want to be groggy in the morning, so only a few more..." Trig checked his purse... he was down to his last few pieces of silver. He paid for some bread and cheese with a small silver penny, and drank his ale once the tavern wench returned in a few minutes with fresh tankards of the frothing beverage.

"Right. Well, where are you lodging?" asks Hale of you. "I wouldn't go straight to the siege camp - couldn't make it there before dark, at this point."


“Friends call me Gunny,” Gunhild replied to Hale. “And I think I’ll need of a couple of those before this is over. Friends that is. I mean, I’ll take the ale too.”


As the fresh round of ales arrived, Gunny lifted hers in a toast to Hale and Trig. “A toast to our luck. May it be better than it sounds.” Indeed, the conditions within the fortifications were less favorable. Unlike Trig, she was hoping the ale would last long enough to take the edge off the upcoming battle.


Though she was not a regular with alcohol, the archer was not averse to partaking in the ale. Back on the farm, when the well went dry, there wasn’t much of a choice but fermented grain. Admittedly, this ale was far more refreshing than anything she had back in Merick.


The topic changed to lodging. If she were being honest , just being under any roof beat roughing it on the road to Sigton. Gunny had slept in cramped wagons and thick brush for much of her journey; surely a populated inn wouldn’t be that bad.


“Sounds like I’m sleeping here tonight. Whatcha think the rate is for sleeping under the table?”


Hopefully not too much; she barely had two silvers to rub against.
 
Fynche
"It hit?" Fynche exclaimed incredulously when one of the crossbowmen celebrated over Fynche's hit on the ram. While Fynche felt like parading his accomplishment, doing so with the dire situation would merely invite misfortune. Besides, the shot was only a single lucky blip in this battle, which hardly counted in the larger scheme of things.

"Ey, only if we're able to get out of this bloody, damn mess," Fynche thought in his head, but he dare not speak those words aloud. Dlynn shortly after urged Fynche to get his wound fixed up during this brief respite. Fynche hesitated not, hastily scurrying off the battlements and straight to the infirmiry.

Upon reaching the infirmiry's threshold, the lingering odour of dried blood and pus struck a twinge in Fynche's nose. The smell was not pungent by any means, but nonetheless offputting. The room was deathly quiet, the clashes of battle a muffled echo in the infirmiry. On occasion, a soldier would groan in pain, or a nurse would shuffle to the next patient. Fynche's hesitation was brief before he tagged the nearest nurse.

After getting her attention, Fynche worded to her, "Excuse me-"

"INJURED INCOMING!" A nurse from the outside screame as injured people from the recent skirmish began pouring in. Fynche gagged. Pierced ribs, skewered shoulders, the arrows sticking out of legs, and the smell. Good Paragon, the smell. The fresh blood stank to high heaven, which made him nearly hurl combined with unsettingly injuries.

"Oh, Paragon," the nurse swore as she looked over Fynches shoulder. She then refocused her attention to him. Quickly speaking, she immediately instructed as she pointed with a finger, "Take a cloth from there, damp it with that water, and clean the wound. Do not touch the wound with your bare hand. After, press the wound with a dried cloth and wait for the blood to settle. You got that?" Fynche nodded, comprehending most of what she said.

"Good," the nurse responded, "We'll get back to you after this mess." Fynche then watched the woman jog over to the newly wounded before following her instructions, using everything she pointed at.
 
GRYPHON COMPANY

"Of course," said Haldas, nodding towards both Garrith and the rest of his men. "I know all too well what measures desperate men so easily take- especially those with power to lose."

He fell silent for a brief moment before continuing; "Which is why we'll tread very carefully from this point forward. Hopefully our prospective client will realize that there are other means of payment for our services."

"Be it influence, the spoils of war or the good will of House Gula we will be compensated for sure. Gold or not I have no interest on ending up on a spike on the town square."

Lorsh Lorsh
 
House Blackstone


Coming to the fork in the High River where the fleet is meant to split and raid both stretches of the river, Evander hears a loud blast from the horn signaling the sight of enemy ships in the water just as arrows from the town battlements begin to harry the fleet. The Ebon Crest’s captain, Adaric Gains, ask Evander "Your orders, m'lord?" as arrows thrum into the deck. “Signal the fleet to the left of the fork, we will deal with the smaller force there.” Evander says as he readies his longbow. “Once in range let loose your bolts on them.” he adds notching an arrow to let fly. As the two fleets begin to engage each other the Blackstone Crossbowmen stand to arms and send their quarrels towards the enemy sailors. Captain Gaines steers the Ebon Crest westward against the current but with favorable winds. As the Ebon Crest is embroiled in the hail of arrows coming from the enemy ships a Blackstone knight cries out to Evander “My Lord, we must board them!” drawing his sword and raking several arrows off him that were caught by his mail. Evander rushes to the starboard rail “Victor, board that ship to your front, keep them between you and the wall!” he screams across the open water of the river. Spinning on his heel “Captain Gains, signal Lord Feabane and the ships behind him to board the ships to the west” he commands. Looking at the river cog to the west “Signal the ships behind Victor to follow us, we will be taking the next cog in line.” He barks at Captain Gains. Marching to the stern of the Crest He issues one more order before contact with the cog “Get John and his ships up here and in the fight!”

From his vantage point near the helm Evander watches as Victor’s and Feabane’s long ships overtake the small cogs to their front and seems to be winning the battles abord them. Evander reaches the portside of the Ebon Crest just as they make contact with the cog. Evander places his bow aside and pulls out his long sword. Issuing one last command before he leads his knights and the boarding party onto the cog. “Captain gains signal the ships that have yet to engage the enemy to push the center and engage at will.” Once the gang planks have fallen, he and his men rush aboard the cog hacking at the first Fyrdian in sight. Evander and a party of Blackstone marines fight their way onto one of the river cogs. Several of the foe are felled by crossbow bolts, and before long, the men of the Blackstone Isles have swarmed the deck, beginning a melee with the crew. Archers from the frontward crenellated tower and the quarterdeck begin to loose arrows into the Blackstone men as the board, wounding several. One of the Blackstone sergeants advances past his lord, swinging his sword and finishing off a Fyrdian bowman wounded by a bolt. The household knight remains at his lord's side, prepared to shield him if need be - an indispensable service, as his liege chose to fight with a two-handed sword. A marine to the right of the pair is shot, but after recoiling, he manages to throw a spear up into the tower and obtain swift revenge by skewering the offending archer. Battle cries and screams abound as soldiers and sailors fight for their lives. Evander rushes a confused footman in the middle of the battle, his blade screams down with all his force but not being the best swordsman, his edge alignment is off and the blow glances off merely knocking the footman back a step. The footman retaliates but slips in the blood of his crewmen and overswings with his club losing grip on the weapon as it flies off the ship. As he cowers and begs for mercy Evander puts a boot in his chest, putting him on his back. Eying his next foe he rushes a sergeant swiping with his longsword attempting to take him unaware. The Fyridian sees him at the last second and sidesteps Evander’s blade leaving him over extended and open for a counterattack. One of Evander’s men noticed his lords blunder of an attack and moved preemptively to protect him from reprisal. Knocking the attack meant for his lord’s head aside he strikes back at the Fyridian hitting him in the arm drawing blood and loosening the grip of his axe "Finish him off, milord!" Evander swings wildly with the unruly longsword and whiffs the attack as a Blackstone knight rushes in the attempt a murder stroke knocking the Fryidian down to the deck of the cog. Evander tries to thrust his blade in the downed mans chest with all his strength but the man on the ground is quick enough to block the attack with his axe. Distracted with Evander’s attack the Fyridian was unable to block the killing blow from the knight. Once the enemy sergeant’s head rolls from his shoulders “Good man” Evander says catching his breath to the knight. He then takes in a deep breath and yells out to the remaining Fyridians “You have lost this ship, lay down your weapons and be spared death!” The Fyridians steal glances at each then they all look to the captain at the helm of the cog. He steps down from the quarterdeck and walks straight to Evander with his sword drawn, the knight at Evander’s side steps forward to interpose himself between them. The captain stops and kneels holding his sword up to Evander “Sir, we are at your mercy.” Evander takes his sword and ask, “Which ship is in command of this forces?” “I cannot be certain the mayor of Aerchran is in command of the town’s walls and we are following his orders to halt your raid.” The captain replies. Evander takes a moment to scan the battle noticing another small cog being taken by one of his long ships. “Seems a misguided order to me.” He says softly. Disarming the remaining Fyridians and neutering the cog from sailing Evander and his men return to the Ebon Crest and sail to the next enemy cog. The battle lingers on as the Fyridian ships resolve to fight on in the name of their town but with the overwhelming number of the coalition’s fleet the battle is lost to them.

Shortly after the battle Evander meets with Robert and Victor to inform them that they will be taking the town of Aerchran. “Originally I thought this town too fortified and manned to sack, but with what I suspect as half their fighting force either dead or captured the town is in no shape to resist us.” Evander says. "I will send a messenger with terms of surrender to the mayor," Evander stated firmly "Their fate is sealed unless they heed our demands."

  • Terms of Surrender:
    • The town of Aerchran shall immediately and unconditionally surrender to the superior forces under my command. Resistance is futile, and any attempts to defy these terms will be swiftly crushed.
    • All weapons, military equipment, and fortifications within Aerchran shall be surrendered to my coalition forces without delay. Any resistance or concealment of weapons will result in severe consequences.
    • All valuable resources, including but not limited to food, water, and supplies, shall be confiscated for the benefit of my coalition forces.
    • If these terms are not accepted then the town of Aerchran will face the full might of the my force and looting will be unregulated.
 
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  • -Hᴏᴜsᴇ ᴏғ Bʟᴀᴄᴋsᴛᴏɴᴇ-

    Darth Rentoc Darth Rentoc

    After the terms are delivered, a runner returning from the Mayor of Aerchran agrees to the terms of surrender. He says he cannot guarantee that the townlings won't try to save what belongings they can and flee, so disembarking with haste seems prudent.

    Over hundred crowns' worth of gold are pilfered from the townhouses and shops. Three good warhorses, five riding horses and eight mules, asses and sumpters are also seized.

    In addition to that, fifteen crossbows, sixty bows, and ninety swords are handed over. In armour, twenty gambesons, forty lighter padded tunics, fifteen mail shirts and a hundred helmets are surrendered. Other than that, you gain an assortment of flails, battle axes, glaives, and spears.

    Blackstone marines and sailors overturn wagons and carts and shake down townsmen for all of their valuables, killing or brutalizing any who kick up a fuss. They break into storehouses, dwellings and shops, helping themselves to barrels of drink, food - mostly bread and saltfish - valuables, and women. Baskets, pots, and crates of provisions are loaded onto the ships.

    The addition of four little cogs and three river cogs captured from the Aerchran naval militia allows your forces to carry off even more supplies.

    Things go well enough, and some time is taken to mend the sails that had been damaged by fire or arrows. One Stonfort sailor was stabbed by a marine from Blackstone Castle in an argument over who had the rights to purloin a ham from a townhouse, leading Adaric Gaines to suggest flogging.
 
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