As you catch your breath after the harrowing dash up the hill to the keep of Greenest, the heavy doors clang shut. The sound still ringing in your ears, a male human of post middle years approaches. His fine clothes bloodstained, his right arm in a sling and the right side of his head and face is bandaged. He stops to speak with a few of the commoners you rescued. One of those commoners points you out and he turns to you.
“Well met adventurers. I am Tarbaw Nighthill, and at the behest of the citizens I am Governor. I bid you welcome to our town of Greenest. Unfortunately our accommodations are rather sparse at the moment. I assume you understand our present difficulties. Linan tells me you happened along just in the nick of time and saved her and her family. I also saw others come along with you when you entered the keep. For this allow me to express our gratitude in the name of the town of Greenest. Please join me upon the parapet, we can get the best view from up there.”
Part way up the steps to the parapet the wind begins to rise and it stirs your hair and ash drifts over the edge. You can see the storm is almost upon you, and whirling overhead is a great blue dragon. Chanting from below rises to your ears and you can make out a name, Lennithon. Spears clash on shields below creating a dissonant noise which makes it hard to think.
“This is our castellan, Escobert.” Introduces Governor Nighthill, “he is master of the keep and in charge of its defense.”
“Well met,” replies Escobert. He is a stout dwarf with wind tangled bright red hair. On his belt is an enormous iron ring laden with many keys of brass and iron.
A sudden crescendo of noise from below triggers a feeling of deep dread. Pressure in the air above you seems to build, your skin begins to prickle. You can see Escobert’s hair begin to float and stick out. Surveying through the gloom and smoke, the clearing around the keep swarms with raiders. A small group is promenading around the keep yelling, and beating on shields.
“If only I had someone to question!” Bemoans Governor Nighthill, “then we might know their true motives. They haven’t made much of an attempt to take the keep. They seem to be content with us bottled up here, but I fear for those that have not made it to safety.”
“Seems to me we might have a few enterprising individuals,” says Escobert sizing you up. “There is the sally port a few brave souls could run out through to brave their way through the lines. We’ve never had a siege, but there is an old tunnel that reaches to the creek. It might be in a sorry state but shouldn’t take too much work.”
Just then someone in robes embroidered with sheaves of wheat runs up the stairs. “Governor! I can’t find Father Falconmoon anywhere! I fear he must still be at the temple!”
“The temple is a stout building but not one made to resist something like this.” Says Governor Nighthill, his brow furrowing. “And I wonder how many more people are also sheltering there, doomed to slaughter.”
“Governor, look!” Exclaims Escobert, “there’s raiders at the mill with torches! They’ll burn it and all our flour and feed stores!”
Governor Nighthill speaks, “We must gather guards to send to the mill. Of all the town, that loss would be sore. It’ll take some time to gather enough men to deter the raiders. Someone must go now or we’ll only be guarding ashes.” Governor Nighthill turns towards you. “We are in a sorry state this night for visitors and I fear our entertainment must be self provided. On behalf of Greenest I would request your aid. No promise of reward can I offer with the sacking of the town happening around us.”
The wind begins to pick up and a few fires below begin to smolder less, the smoke starting to clear.
- Go to the forum The Keep Besieged for any questions and comments about the prelude.