So, I admit, this next part was pretty strange for me. You know how the Hold’s defenses buckled and for a while the northmen took the place, right? Well, we were part of the forces that marched up there to retake it. Granted, we had a little something extra in mind we hoped to do while we were there, but overall I found myself marching with a large group of troops intent on taking a border keep.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought it would. The last time I was doing such a thing, it ended with such a slaughter, nearly ending me along with it too. Granted, when we went back there, it wasn’t so bad since it was a small group that time and we weren’t retaking the place, just killing what had taken up residence. But this time? It was eerily similar to the last time I marched with an army. Had me on edge the entire time, I tell you.
Now, most of the troops were going to be used like troops are- marched together until they die or kill. They would assault the walls of the Hold, but let’s be honest here. That place was meant to withstand any attacks like that, so what good was this going to do? It was practically throwing lives away. So why did they decide on that plan?
Turns out the generals had a plan and the dying soldiers were to provide a distraction for a small team to sneak into town and kill the invaders’ leader. Guess who they picked for that small team. No, go on and guess. Don’t give me that look, just humor me. Why yes! How did you know?! The Black Foxes had the honor of slipping in during a pitched battle and killing whatever passed for a leader in there. I think I’ve already heard a ballad or two being composed about it already, and let me tell you, none of them were like the real thing at all.
First, there was very little resistance getting in. We didn’t gut watchmen and hide bodies, we just slunk inside the fortress and then slipped up onto the main keep’s roof without having to slit any throats, bind any foes or gag any guardsmen.
Second, I hear people talking about us raining down on that giant and his guard like death, but believe me, it was nothing like that. None of it was impressive, since most of us ended up falling into the middle of his war council. They probably were more confused than intimidated. We certainly weren’t making a good showing at first, which is probably why they didn’t run or call for more guards.
Now, I will give those song-writers props on the giant himself. They got that pretty spot on. Except for the axe part, he didn’t have one of those, just two large shields he kept hitting us with. But he was certainly a sight to behold. A towering behemoth of steel, smoke and rage, I like that description and it fits. Or it did fit until all the fighting died down. Nothing is really towering after having its head cut off. Guess we’ve become quite adept at dealing with behemoths.
Once that was done, we paraded his head around the fortress, scaring off most northmen that we came across. From what I hear, the battle on the walls really turned in Sutherland’s favor once news got out that their general had fallen, but we didn’t really stick around to see. You see, we had another reason for being there and we hoped to be done with it by the time our troops retook the crumbling fortress. What was that reason, you ask? Well, buy me another round and I’ll tell you, but let me give you a hint, it involved the crypts and a lost, holy relic.
Yeah, you want to hear that part of the story, don’t you? So about that round of drink…