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Author Topic: Bryald’s Journal – Part 5 – Along the Wall  (Read 1631 times)
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Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715

« on: September 10, 2009, 04:30:49 PM »

We left the Ishensa Gates at dawn with the early morning patrol. Better armed and armored, we had the appearance of a professional company, but that was a shallow illusion, we were still untested and two months of sword drill had not yet made us effective soldiers. Ready or not, we were soon to take our turn on the Wall. As we finally cleared the massive gates and they swung closed behind us, I had the ominous feeling that I had left the last truly secure place in the north. With one wistful look back at the towering walls, I turned my eyes west and started the long march to Ergel’s Keep. 

As we marched, Sergeant Yorin told us that unlike the trip up the Ishensa, we would not have prepared camps along our route. The Captain, weather permitting, would try to end our daily march near keeps along the Wall. For the first ten days of the march, the Captain was good to his word; we sheltered inside secure walls. The garrisons we encountered were happy to see us, eager for news from the south. Like the Gates, the keeps and towers were undermanned, some with little more than a score of troops. This was not the great bulwark defense I had believed protected us from the Shadow in the North. Unless significantly reinforced, the Wall would barely slow the Dark Lord’s advance. 

The further west we marched, the worse the defenses became. We passed ancient ruined watchtowers, keeps that were only partially rebuilt, towers manned by Dornish warriors flying house colors vice the banners of the High King, and small forts that while still intact had been abandoned for lack of soldiers. All of the abandoned keeps had their gates and shuttered windows removed to prevent bandits or worse from using them as strongpoints. Without their gates the empty forts reminded me of skulls that stared accusingly as we passed, as if we were dishonoring those who had fought and died there only to be abandoned without a fight. 

The only heartening aspect of the march was the almost constant presence of mounted patrols from the local Dorn noble houses. The patrols were heavily armed and looked as if they made frequent use of their weapons. It was clear that the Dorns were not counting on the High King to hold back the Shadow. After seeing the state of the Wall and the pitifully few troops manning it, I couldn’t blame them for not trusting the army to defend their people. Sergeant Yorin said we’d have a company from House Fallon helping us man Ergel’s Keep. Knowing we’d have a skilled company alongside us gave me a little more hope.
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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: Bryald’s Journal – Part 5 – Along the Wall
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