Hammer and Anvil

Homecoming: aftermath

4 Cinten, 606 AR

After one last charge against the North tower, The Stump matched against a Khadoran field gun unit, the guns fall silent. The keep is eerily calm. You realise that the day has only just begun; you started your assault at night, the sun rising as you fought along the battlements. You are all very, very tired.

Gunner reappears once it is clear that the fighting is over and the Khadorans have been beaten, announcing himself loudly from the Great Tower for fear of being shot. He looks much the worse for wear – as do you all – and is alone. He explains that, once the battle began, he and his companion began moving around the keep, taking pot shots at the fighters on the wall, more to give the impression that there were other forces around the keep than with any realistic hope of affecting the battle. They killed only six Khadorans on the walls, but did succeed in keeping the field gunners in position.

There were, however, Kossites in the woods around the keep; Gunner killed three of them, including the one that killed his companion. Gunner looks saddened when you tell him that none of the rangers survived, but reflects that they’d surely be happy that, against all odds, the keep has been secured.

Although you’re tired Gunner suggests that he and Bryce do a quick, but stealthy, sweep of the keep to ensure that there are no survivors (other than your captives). It’s a strange sensation for Bryce, seeing his old home again after so long, with so much changed. Most of the keep has been left to ruin; the towers themselves, made of stone, look little different from his memories of them, but in the central buildings the roofs are falling in and the walls are sagging, their wooden supports damaged by fire. Inside the baileys, the once carefully tended gardens have gone to seed and the buildings are covered by creeping plants.

It seems that the Khadorans had principally been using the Great and Wizards Towers as accommodation, with gun and mortar emplacements in the North, West and Red Towers and the Gatehouse. Both the Bailey Gate and the door between the banquet hall and the kitchen have been bricked up, suggesting that the Khadorans would, if besieged, have retreated to the east side of the fortifications.

A quick post-fight inventory (because I know you’ll be interested): 3 mortars; 4 field guns; 4 swords; 24 long rifles; 42 blunderbusses; 62 axes; 66 sets of light armour; 243 Khadoran koltinas (gold coins). And of course 70 bodies…

There is significant structural damage to the upper floor of the gatehouse, and to a lesser extent to the Great Tower. However, the keep looks to be relatively secure against ground assault.

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