1866-10-10: The Sacking of Blacksands
The Sacking of Blacksands
Summary: Brodlund raiders attack the fief of Blacksands
Date: 1866-10-10
Related: None….yet.
Players:
NPC  NPC  

It was a quiet night at Saltspire castle, but then when was it not? The castle, once the home of House Aldana had fallen during the Succession War, and it had fallen hard as most castles did when Alphard Haldis came to call. When the war ended, the Aldana who survived had lost their titles, taking up as knights in service to the Durante, while the castle, now half a ruin, was governed by an official from the court at Sunsreach, one of the ubiquitous Greycens, and a skeleton garrison of Tracano troops. Dev had been there three months and the place was still eerie to him, especially at night.

A skirling wind whips through the gaps in the stones and Dev shivers pulling his cloak up around him. One more month he tells himself. One more month and he’d be back in Sunsreach, and in time for the Queen’s wedding too. He smiles. Weddings were always welcome. Especially Tracano weddings, everyone ate and drank well on those nights. He might finally bed Jeyne as well-

What was that?

There’d been a noise from the wall. Dev turns, with his hand on his blade, eyes peering at the burnt and battered stone. “Will,” he calls to the man he shared his watch with, who’d taken a moment to step out of the wind for a piss. “Will, give it a shake and come help me.”

They all knew that part of the wall was the easiest part to climb, but it was also unstable and Dev would be damned to the Abyss before he walked out on it alone in the dark.

“Will? Where in the bloody black Abyss are you?” he demands and glances towards where his comrade had gone.

Will staggers backwards out of the shadows, hands clutching his throat. He tumbles falling on the ground. When Will’s hand fell away from his throat, Dev could see blood spill onto the ground.

Dev rips his sword free of his scabbard. “To arms! We’re under-“

A rough hand grabs him from behind, covering his mouth. Damn it he’d turned his back to the wall!

There was a sharp pain in his back and suddenly it hurts to breathe. “we’re under-“ the rest of the words are lost in the welling up of warm blood in his throat.

***

Saemund Osvifson withdraws his short blade from the back of the Softlander and lets him fall. His eyes scans the dark and ruined keep for signs that the man’s cries had been heeded. There was no movement no answering shouts.

He spits on the corpse. Some captains might give thanks to Magnus for an easy victory but Saemund was not one of those men. Triumph was sweeter when it was hard won. Still, he had his orders.

He glances back towards the wall, his men were climbing over the top, there were two dozen of them here and the other three ships of men were down below waiting for the orders to assault the town. When his men are ready, he trades his short blade for his axe and then with a nod begins the slaughter.

***

The morning finds Saltspire castle ablaze once more and town in the same state. Crows and gulls swarm the skies, adding their particular music to the crackle of burning wood. At the riverside the men who brought about this grim fate made ready to sail, stocking loot and captives into their long ships. Though with that was being packed another thing, bags of sand that was as black as pitch the very stuff that gave this fief its name: Blacksand.

Saemund watches his ships being loaded as he cleans his axe. His right hand, Snorri who led the raid in the town joins him. “The sand is heavy, are we sure we need so much?” he asks, glancing at the pile of loot to be left behind and the bodies of captives slain because there would not be enough room.

“The Red-Hand wants the sand, we get the sand.”

Snorri nods. There was no arguing with Ragnar Red-Hand, all men of sense knew that.

“What about him?” Snorri asks, nodding to the softlander lord they had bound by the boats.

Saemund glances at him, and rubs the place where the man’s sword had cut his cheek. He’d fought well and Saemund would have killed him then, sword still in hand, if he had not needed him to force the rest into surrender.

“He fought well,” Saemund says thrusting his axe to Snorri to hold. The man takes it, and Saesmund rises, drawing his short blade.

The softlander looked up at Saesmund’s approach, stoic in the face of his captor. The other men of good blood had begged, promising riches for their freedom. Not this one though. In other days Saesmund would have taken such offers, but that was not the purpose and they had died, their blood spilled on the ground. It would be different for this one. He had courage.

“<Stand>” he Saesmund says in the softlander tongue.

Bound though he was, the man struggled to his feet, meeting Saesmund’s eye.

“<We are done here. We will go.>”

The man had no answer for him. He just stared.

Saemund nods his head in grim approval. “<Name?>”

“Oliver Greycen,” the man replies.

Saemund nods, “<We will drink in Magnar’s Hall. But first you go to Njor.>”

Saemund looked to two of his men. The seized the lord and dragged him to the river side grasping the man’s head by his hair and holding him out over the water. Saemund could see him muttering prayers to their One God.

Even brave men weren’t perfect.

The lord’s death was quick, his blood spilled into the river, cloudy and red. Saemund kneels dipping his blade in the blood clouded river. “This man’s life is for you Njor,” he prays to the god of the seas. “Give us swift currents and still seas until we are home again.”

His two men drop the body on the river bank, and Saemund stands. “Time to go,” he announces. Though his prayer spoke of going home, that was not his course, not yet, these ships would sail there with their sand and captives, he would join the others waiting at the mouth of the river and strike south, there was still much more to do…

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