Way of the Wicked
10 - Fort Jeggare Falls
Chapter 9: The Fall of Tower Jeggare
That morning we rented a pair of large wagons and traveled overland to where Sakkorat Fire-Axe promised to have his hoard awaiting. When we arrived it was clear this was no longer simply a mass of bugbears but a well-trained army.
Sakkarot agreed with our plan and sent thirty of his best warriors to infiltrate Castle Jeggare. We stopped on the way to kill Captain Varning and his rangers. The battle proved little trouble with our bugbear friends.
We then waited until the early hours of the morning and ferried our cargo into town and into the basement of the Lord’s Dalliance. The bugbear proved surprisingly disciplined and managed to move into the tunnels without alerting anyone. Frohike and Dunn set off the rocket and we began to move through the tunnels to the keep.
We arrived in the underground cellar that Tylus found earlier and used that to get everyone organized and wait for what we thought would be long enough to allow us to penetrate to the Gatehouse and not have to hold it for too long before Sakkarot arrived with the main force.
We climbed up through the trapdoor and found ourselves in the large tower. From there we ascended another level and ambushed a pair of guards killing them quickly. Then we proceeded out onto the wall where we ran into a pair of archers. We were somewhat scattered at this point and unable to subdue them before they started blowing their horns.
This proved too much for the discipline of the bugbears who began bubbling out of the tower screaming at the top of their lungs. Frohike shepherded them onto the wall while Tylus, myself, and Dunn battled soldiers that emerged from the Gatehouse.
Tylus climbed to the roof while we dispatched the soldiers. Frohike then set off a large bomb at the entrance to the Gatehouse and blasted the door to splinters. We charged inside and slew the remaining defenders. At some point Tylus climbed back down and joined us bearing some wounds.
Frohike then dashed over to the winch and began to lower the outer gate while I did the same to the inner drawbridge. Sadly this allowed the soldiers, now being mustered by their captain, into the lower portion of the Gatehouse from whence they began to pepper us with arrows. We slammed the trapdoors shut but they immediately began hacking then open with axes.
The bugbears who did not join us in the Gatehouse managed to delay Lord Thomas Jeggare for some few minutes although at the costs of their lives. This allowed us to put up some barricades on the bridge but it wasn’t long before the entire might of the fort was mustered and ready to attack.
We set burning pitch on the bridge but their wizard swept it away with a single icy blast. This did slow down their advance for a few crucial seconds. A group of footmen backed by halberdiers and they in turn supported by a hail of arrows moved towards us in an unstoppable tide.
We positioned the bugbears to defend what was left of the door and held on for dear life as the horns of Sakkarot and his army sounded every closer.
It was the nearest of things as the soldiers burst through our defenses and we fled through the murder holes into the lower gatehouse just as Sakkarot’s lead elements arrived to clear the region. We fled away into the night while his forces poured into the fortress to do battle with Jeggare and his men. It was not long before the entire keep was ablaze.
I watched the burning of the fortress with both a sense of joy and self-loathing. Many good men died that day. In the town of Nisroch more died in the coming days. Still, Sakkarot proved to be a powerful leader and kept his army from wanton slaughter quickly organizing the town-folk into a labor force in order to begin rebuilding those parts of the castle destroyed in the assault.
Tiadora arrived shortly after the battle with rewards and a new mission for our Knot. Thus ended the first chapter of my new life. With fire and death. This was to be the way for a long time to come.