Jump to content
Die Shize

[Medieval Siege Event] Dawnwood Castle

Recommended Posts

OOC: This is a prelude thread to the siege of Cardell Castle. This is simply meant to serve as idle roleplay for the Dawnwood faction members. Once points and logistics have been determined, roleplay will transition into the separate siege thread.





Torchlight and candlelight flickered in the dark hollow of the great room, bookcases filled with appropriate material standing testament to the history of violence, the planning of it, that had for long dominated the purpose of this chamber. A single individual was sat at the head of a rectangular table in the center of the room, garbed in an brown and orange surcoat over gray clothing, and a golden mantle over both, colors of his house’s sigil. The weight of a tired head was laid to rest with chin atop folded fists, a dagger lying motionless before them. The long table was barren, vacant chairs running down either side of it to its other end. The man’s amber eyes stared down that way nonetheless, wandering. Long black hair cascaded down his shoulders, thin stubble a day late of being shaved, providing a more rugged feature to an otherwise clean countenance. He looked two or three years younger than his mid-twenties, but the Lord of House Dawnwood had for long felt like he possessed an ancient touch in both mind and heart that exceeded the oldest sages of the lands. Perhaps that grace, or curse, would do him justice in his coming campaign.


The war room had only its leader to witness it, for the moment, for Lord Dawnwood had since requested his war council to meet him, and so he waited for the two doors to open from the other side. For now, he had stands and their suits of armor to converse with via warrior spirit, the portraits of his lineage to seek advice from, and the sculptures of better men to study for answers. At the head of his table, Lord Dawnwood felt as much at a loss of sleep this morning as he did a loss of patience, but only inwardly; his rival had long since lost his own opportunity to step down and share his burden, and it was long since past time’s courtesy. Something more bold had to come about for balance to be restored, and Vadrian Dawnwood intended to see it happen. Rather, to make it so.

Edited by Die Shize

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The double doors swung open, and tough boots trod gently forwards, approaching the bare table.  They hesitated for a moment, as the man who had entered paused to bow, then continued walking, moving along the left side of the table.  Slow, confident, precise.


Sir Favian Procell, vassal of House Dawnwood, was handsome if you looked at him objectively.  His hair was as fair as his skin, which contrasted beautifully with bright blue eyes.  He was tall and well-muscled, but not so huge as to be intimidating.  His clothing was most fashionable, cloth of deep blue layered over white, a style that had won him much admiration in court.


But for all his good looks, there was something slightly off-putting about the man.  His face was usually neutral, occasionally sad, but a smile was a rare event indeed.  It didn't take much observation to see that Sir Porcell took all things in life very seriously.  It had earned him respect from some, who admired his dedication and steadfastness, but even they would hesitate to call him a friend.  He was simply difficult to get along with: though he was charismatic at a distance, he cared as little for drunken revels as he did for high art and literature.   It was as if, as many jokingly said about him, some spider had crept up in the night, and sucked all the fun out of Favian's body.


There was, however, a reason for him being called to this room today.  For he was not only useful for his reliability, but also for his prowess on the battlefield.  If there was passion in him, that was where it awakened, where he waited with utmost patience before charging into battle, leading his men with swiftness and fury.


For now, however, there was no evidence of the so-called Tempest of Dawnwood.  Sir Procell continued up to the head of the table, until he was just before the seat to the left of Lord Vadrian Dawnwood, then stopped and spoke.  "My liege."  He added no more, simply awaiting an invitation or dismissal from his superior.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

“A siege? As in, a castle siege? Attacking a castle?”


Five alchemical bulbs, affixed to a repurposed wagon wheel hanging from the ceiling, spilled warm yellow light across the room. It was swaying gently, and with each forward swing the face of Maldon Rayne was briefly illuminated. He had sharp, hawkish features, a touch too crooked to be handsome, and a wild shock of black hair that fell just past his ears. His eyes were shut behind the stray strands that refused to be pushed back. At the question, however, they opened slowly, revealing a muddy-green color tinged lime in the artificial light.


“Yes, Box. You heard me correctly. Well done,” he drawled, pulling his feet off the table and leaning forward in his plush seat to snatch an orange that had tumbled from the fruit bowl. He began peeling it idly. His eyes remained on Box, a short, muscled woman with coppery red hair reduced to stubble on her head and freckles so numerous that her square, plain face almost looked tan.


“You jackass! This is supposed to be a democracy! We agreed when we started that no one would accept a job without majority approval! Good luck selling everyone on a fucking castle siege, you little pissant, you bossy, self-satisfied piece of, of… oh.”


Her tirade sputtered to a halt as Mal slid a wide, creamy sheet of parchment across the table, its top emblazoned with a howling wolf superimposed over subtle filigree, and the rest filled with precise black script.


“That’s... quite a lot of gold,” Box muttered, her gaze shifting carefully from the paper to Mal, as if expecting a joke. He grinned, a flash of white teeth in the near-darkness, and tossed the remains of his orange peel onto the table.


“Yes, it is.”




It was a long trek to Dawnwood Keep, and the weather was decidedly unhelpful. Their carriage, manned by a mute named Lyman, seemed to hit every pothole, and the rain, which had begun as a pleasant warm trickle, was suddenly a torrent, pushing mud and loose rock into the road and dripping through the poorly-patched canvas covering the cart. The six members of the Beggar’s Blades sat on the splintery wooden seats within, almost all of them glaring at Mal.


Box, who had helped him to convince the others after seeing the offer, glared the hardest, her black eyes slits beneath the hood of her cloak.


“Alright, look, you all agreed to this! I didn’t force any of you to come. We’re too far to go back, and anyway, think of the reward! Just for breaking into a castle? Please! We’ve broken into more secure places! Sennic, remember Brightfall?” Mal said in a rush, tired of the stony silence that had settled after the carriage’s canvas had ripped two hours prior, soaking all of them.


Sennic, a solid plank of a man with a beard broader than his shoulders, leaned back against the damp wood wall of the cart.


“Blightfall. Yes. Cake slice. But only couple guards station, and no surprise. Easy way in, plan solid. No fighting, no wars. This, not like that,” he grumbled, his accent thick through the great thatch of a mustache.


Pote nodded, his mousey face wrought with anxiety. He was their newest member, and the youngest amongst them. Pryna dropped her meaty arm across his shoulders and squeezed. Pote stifled a cry of pain from the sheer weight of it, but smiled wearily up at her. The older and much larger woman had taken to the slip of a boy when he joined them eight months earlier, and had rarely left his side since.


“I mean, this seems… I mean, this isn’t what I thought… I thought the Blades were neutral. ‘Gold for blood,’ right? Not… Not siding in wars,” Pote stammered, looking back to Mal.


“We’re not taking any side, Pote. How is the Dawnwood gold different from any other payment we’ve gladly taken in the past? We are simply tools to be used, Pote, and whether these tools are used for killing Cardells or puppies,” - Pote gasped at that, and Pryna gave Mal a warning look - “is of no matter to us.”


“Definitely one tool here,” Sennic growled, his beady blue eyes on Mal.


“Look. It’s no different from any other job. We just have… a few more objectives than usual. Hence the heaping compensation! And there will be plenty of blood shed for the gold, I promise you. Do you really think some Cardell guard can compete with the Knives in the Night?” Mal grinned crookedly and jabbed Pote’s arm. “Do you?”


The boy shook his head tentatively, then at more prodding, smiled and shook vigorously. The rest seemed to cheer as well, and as if sensing the lightened mood, the rain ceased. The creaking and thundering of the big wooden wheels on stone was suddenly the only noise outside.


Mal threw his arms up and placed his hands behind his head, looking rather pleased with himself, as if he personally had improved the weather.


“Leiv, any bread left?” he asked.


The bundle of black cloth in the corner shook its head, then, a moment later, threw a large chunk of jerky at Mal from somewhere within its many folds. It landed heavily in his lap. He scowled, but ripped a large bite from it anyway. Just as he was passing the rubbery meat to Pote to finish off, the carriage rolled to a stop.


“Everything alright, Lyman? We there?” Mal called, then remembering their driver to be a mute, swung the doors open and hopped out. His boots landed with a squelch in the thick mud. He wandered around the carriage, to the front where Lyman sat in his cab.


“What’s the… oh,” he stopped, now seeing the towering castle just a short walk ahead. Lyman nodded his wrinkly head and held out his hand, tapping his foot in an exaggerated manner. Mal rolled his eyes and pulled a small sack of clinking gold from his belt. Lyman grabbed it and nodded once more, then looked forward dismissively. The rest of the Blades were filing out and came up behind Mal as he looked over the castle reprovingly.


“Not bad,” he said, then grinned over his shoulder. “Shall we pay a visit to the generous Lord Dawnwood?”

Together, the six approached the wide gates, notified the guard stationed there of their identities, and awaited entrance.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Captain Alleyn pushed the double doors of the war room. The summons had gone out, Lord Dawnwood was assembling his war council. Battle would be met soon, the Cardell's had overreached their bounds and the Dawnwood's were rising to bring justice to the rival nobles. As Captain of House Dawnwood, Alleyn was trusted with leading and overseeing the men-at-arms and levied peasants, in times of war and peace. At only twenty he was young to have achieved such a position, particularly considering his humble beginnings. A mere two years ago he was a simple man-at-arms within Lord Dawnwood's army. His promotion to captain had only happened a month ago, the coming siege would be the first true test of command for Alleyn. He was excited for it, it was an opportunity to lead his Lord's men in glorious battle, to bring honour to his Liege and justice to his foes. As well as gain prestige and wealth for himself, the siege could be the first step to attaining his dream of a knighthood.


 Alleyn was a decently handsome young man, his clear blue eyes and brown hair complementing a strong jaw. Like many other soldiers he was a tall and muscled man. He wore a surcoat in the orange and purple of his Lord's colours. Alleyn wore his looks well, he was friendly to his peers, respectful to his betters, and stern but understanding to the men he commanded. To him honour was more valuable than anything.


 The war room was currently only occupied by himself, Sir Procell, and of course Lord Dawnwood. He reached his Lord and bowed, "My Lord." His voice a little shaky, being so close to the man who held his allegiance still made him feel a little on edge, and Sir Procell was always an intimidating figure. Alleyn swallowed hard and tried to compose himself as he awaited his Lord's response. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recurring Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fwb8gE1AHU[/spoiler]


Vadrian slowly leaned back into an upright position on the purple seat of his tall chair, straightening himself to appropriate posture as Ser Favian Procell entered the room. He rested his arms upon the table, blinking without emotion on a countenance that carried none for it as he observed the knight-captain.


“Ser Favian.”


Vadrian held a moment of silence before responding to the patient grace of his field commander, nodding his head.




It was at the lord’s hand gesture for the knight to sit down that the war room opened once more to Captain Alleyn. To this equally dutiful and honor-bound servant, the captain-at-arms of his forces, Lord Vadrian nodded after a brief spell of study, beckoning both men to take their positions as his chief military advisors in the battle to come. What would follow was Vadrian calmly turning his dagger upon the tabletop so that its tip was pointing to the other end of the table, further past to the room’s two doors as he looked down at the blade as though speaking to the polished steel of war.


“I’ve always known it would come to this. The Cardells have had too long and too proud a reign as robber of the realm. War comes to all, however, and not even the Cardells will be immune to its fire and blood. Our enemy, however, has no might beneath his money.”


Vadrian looked from one man to the other, scouring faces for reactions to dissect with a gaze of amber torches.


“I’m willing to wager it will be our nobility, not our trebuchet or our sword, that conquers the Cardells.”


Elsewhere, the gates open to the Beggar’s Blades, bidding them entry into Dawnwood Castle. A man stood at the entrance claiming himself to be the castle’s regent, and prompted the mercenaries to make haste to the war room in council with Lord Vadrian, in which he would welcome their arrival as only fated. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Favian blinked.


Of course there was going to be a battle.  Why else would he be summoned here?  It was what he was for, to hope for anything else would be foolish.


"My liege, the Cardells have sharp ears, and ties to many other families.  If we are to be rid of them, we must ready ourselves swiftly..."  He looked down, seeming to consider for a moment, then looked back up at Vadrian.  "I am ready, my liege.  Tell me where to strike, and I shall see it turned to rubble."


He kept his face carefully neutral, but within, there was some small degree of satisfaction at knowing his target.  The Cardells were stagnant, mere parasites bleeding the wealth out of their lands.  They had nothing left to contribute.  Lord Dawnwood, however, had ideals, leadership.  He would be a storm upon a forest, blowing away the rotten old wood and making room for new life to grow.  Advancements, in trade, culture, quality of life.  It was not Favian's role to think of these things, but he cared about the land and its people, and knowing that he fought for their prosperity would drive him onwards, to crush the challenges that lay ahead.


"Now," he continued, laying both his hands on the table in front of him, "though our nobility may decide our battle, swords and trebuchets are needed.  May I put forth some questions?  How strong, in pure military terms, is the force you intend to command, and what will be the roles of myself and the Captain in this endeavor?  And how soon can we expect to ride out?"

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The gate lifted with the screech of iron and the groan of old wood. The six assassins stepped through, the littlest among them staring up at the inner mechanism as he passed beneath it.


“I’ve never been in a castle before. It’s big.”


“They tend to be, Pote. Now,” Mal said, turning to the regent, who was watching them rather warily, “where are we going, again?”


The regent directed them hastily. The war room’s doors creaked open upon their approach, and the regent entered, stopping just inside to let the Blades pass. They trickled through, Mal in front. Beyond the murmurs at the long table at the room’s center, it was uncomfortably quiet.


Until Mal clomped forward and spoke loudly.


“Lord Dawnwood?” he called, eyes on the man at the head of the table. “Am I right to presume? You seem the lordly type. No offense intended to you fellows.” He glanced at the two others.


The five Blades behind Mal were shifting uneasily. Before the lord had a chance to answer, or perhaps in the middle of his reply, Mal went on.

“Ah! But you know me, in any case. Maldon Rayne, ready and able. Oh, and the rest,” he said, gesturing vaguely toward the rest of his troupe. Box, nearest to him, flicked him hard on the ear. “Ow! What?”

Edited by Sanzoid

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recurring Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fwb8gE1AHU[/spoiler]


Vadrian looked his dagger up and down, finding little reason to marvel over it—blade shined with sharpness, handle simple in length—and more fascinated with its purpose over its design. His first spoke of the enemy’s connections, but Edgar’s ear would not be able to hear the whispers of death that Vadrian would speak to him, and even if it could, his mind would not be able to take the torment.


“Rubble leaves no firm foundation from which to build a new home for this house, Ser Favian. For the plans to be put into place, we must first appeal to the graces of Lord Cardell.”


Vadrian broke into a cough, words like bile in his throat as he choked on them, but in reality he was all too aware of that reality. Now was not the time to appear weak, however. Clearing his throat, the doors to his room opened, and the three councilmen were bidden to pay heed to the newcomers: the Beggar’s Blades. Vadrian certainly kew the value of mercenaries and welcomed these blades to his table with a gesture of his hand.


“You must be Mal. You seem the sellsword type. I would say I’m as accurate with my presumption as you are with yours. Please, join us. You’re right in time.”


Vadrian smiled at the free company’s leader before leaning back in his chair, expanding his view down the length of the table, more to take in the portraits of his family that lined the walls.


“My father watches us, as does his father and the father before him, all of them watching this council from the walls of its room. They expect victory from me, and I intend to give it to them.”


Vadrian settled his gaze back onto the faces of his councilmen, focusing away from the past and back toward the present while one eye peered into the future.


“I will lead a host of four hundred men into Cardell’s lands and demand the surrender of his own and his permanent removal from his castle, at which point I will take it.”


Vadrian’s lips seized themselves in a frown as his jaw tightened, lifting his head while the steel in his eyes stabbed the chair at the other end of the table as though Edgar himself had been sitting upon it. The lord blinked from his trance and looked upon his three captains.


“Captain Alleyn, you will command our main force. In addition, Ser Favian, you will command a company of knights. Mal, your charge is your own company.”


Vadrian politely requested with Mal to have servants show his mercenaries their quarters and comforts, emphasizing the time for sensitive information. He would then lay out the details of each commander’s roles in depth. After some time of conversing over strategy, Lord Dawnwood exchanged a look with the three men that would lead his pack of wolves to victory.


“We march soon.”

Edited by Die Shize

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Within a day of Lord Vadrian's announcement, the castle had become a hive of activity.  Preparing an army to march was an immense task, logistically, and even more so when it was likely going to be necessary to prepare for a long siege.  Food was being gathered and counted, men recruited, the materials for tents and siege engines brought together.  Hammers rang out, echoing against the stony walls, as smiths worked day and night to forgo more weapons, more armor, more shovels to dig trenches and garderobes and graves.  The soldiers were enough of a handful already, but they'd have to bring engineers and apothecaries, peasants and beasts of burden, not to mention the dozens of whores and bards who would be following along, trying to earn coin and favor from the weary warriors.


Sir Favian had little patience for most of these people.  Most, he found, were either uncouth and rude, or so desperate to please that they degraded themselves before him.  Fortunately, the men he would be commanding were the best of all those gathered here.  The knights, standing humble yet proud, the pinnacle of all a warrior could be.


These strongest of swords had been forged from many different metals.  Some had been seeking adventure and glory, hearing tales of mighty knights and dedicating themselves to becoming storied heroes.  Others were fighters, with little else to do in life but perfect their art.  Still others had sought the position for its privileges, the small degree of power it granted those not part of the true nobility.  But all had been trained, and forced to do battle, whether in wars or in tournaments.  All of them now knew the ways of honor, strength, and discipline.


Favian knew this, and would make them follow these ways.


Having ridden out from the castle with them in the late morning, he was now putting his fellow knights through their paces.  Two hundred and four hooves pounded against the earth as their horses charged around, following their leader.  Sir Procell rode at the front of the host, moving first let, then right, then bringing them around in an arc. They would be following him into a true battle soon, and they could not afford to make mistakes there.  They would need to know his favored maneuvers by heart, to see the signs that he was about to move and be able to follow him cohesively.  They would need to know formations, timing, and how to keep their horses obedient and alert.  The beasts were strong and loyal, but their instincts could betray their riders at the most critical moments, which could not be allowed.


They would be trained as well.  Favian had made sure that the horses saw exposure to fire and noise.  Riding around fires, leaping over fires, hearing the banging of swords upon the shields of the knights.  He escalated these challenges gradually, so that the mounts never panicked, only became more and more attuned to the sights and sounds of war.


By the time they rode, he would know his knights, and they would know him.  They would never be friends, but in battle, they could think and move as a unit, more and more cohesive with each day.  They were a weapon capable of striking a killing blow against the enemy.   It was up to Vadrian, and the rest of the army, to give them an exposed target.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Captain Alleyn busied himself with inspection after inspection, assuring his men were prepared for the battle ahead, seeing to it that their gear was well maintained and that they themselves were ready for war. How many times had he watched his predecessor move through the assembled men, eyes sharp and assessing. It had been a dream of his to be in that position ever since first joining, he never thought it would come about so soon though. After hours of combing through the ranks he finished the last group's inspection. They were ready. The soldiers of House Dawnwood were a disciplined group, ordered and generally well-behaved, it made him proud.


 The training yard was crowded and loud with dozens of soldiers all priming their skills. In the midst of them was Sergeant Joreth, leading his men in combat drills. Currently they were working on quickly erecting a shield wall, when the Sergeant sounded the order they locked shields, in front and above their formation. They were good, in only a few seconds they had locked shields, a wall against the stones and arrows that would inevitably be flung at them from the walls of Castle Cardell. Joreth's men were some of the best the Dawnwood's had, the Sergeant had a long and honored career ahead of him. 


 The Captain spied Sir Favian in the courtyard, standing in the midst of bustling activity, as soldiers and servants hurried to finish preparing the march of the army. They would be working together closely for the battle. Alleyn walked over to him. "Sir, how go the preparations?"

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Vadrian felt tired. He felt more ashamed at the thought of what his men might think of him as he elected to sit on his bed with his legs stretched out before him, while they beat themselves into shape to fight to the death at his beckoning. They were fine men, he knew, but something was keeping him immobile as he contemplated the coming conquest. His captains were out there preparing themselves, the sounds of hooves pounding and shields rattling a distant contrast to the silence of his chamber. Large and spacious though it was high up in the keep, a closing cloud suffocated his surroundings, eyes peering without purpose toward the blazing fire at the wall opposite his bed.


What if he didn’t win? What if Lord Cardell slaughtered his forces where they stood, if not even captured him in battle, holding his head at ransom with a sword at his neck? This was a one-time-only opportunity for the Dawnwoods, and everything was at stake. It were these such recurring moments of self-admitted brooding that consequently reminded Vadrian of how grateful he was to have his wife at his side. If not for her, his lordship might not be so held intact, for his heart might give into its own fragility. Though he had his lieutenants, it was the lord’s lady that gave Vadrian Dawnwood his closest counsel.


Battle was coming. Three days from now, Vadrian would stand before Edgar’s beloved seat, offering him the terms of surrender. In his arrogance, not merely his ability, Edgar Cardell would turn the terms back on the sender. Coming to an agreement with a bloodthirsty tyrant meant only agreeing to the terms of combat—swing to kill. Edgar evidently wanted a fight, Vadrian thought, for the madman must have known the penalty of his power.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The training, conducted in full battle armor, was exhausting even for the knights.  Favian pushed them hard, but eventually called the exercises to a halt, before riding with his fifty fellows back to the castle, where their armor was removed.  Following this, they dispersed, each going about their business.  Some went to sleep or drink after the long day, others to ponder the coming conflict, or, in the cases of those normally residing in this castle, to spent some time with friends and loved ones.


Sir Procell himself went to the courtyard, to observe the preparations.  He would not allow himself to rest, not when men's lives might be saved or lost based on his actions.  However, simply watching the gathering army and noting how things were coming together was not too taxing physically, and was thus something of a reprieve for him.  Out of his armor, he stood in light blue cloth once again.


He instantly recognized Alleyn upon seeing the man approaching him, and greeted the Captain with a slight nod.  "The servants seem to be tarrying a little, this late in the day, but that is no matter, their work is nearly done.  The knights are ready, and resting.  The soldiers would do better to sleep now, to prepare themselves for the march tomorrow, than to watch the bards and court the whores..."  He paused, seeming to consider for a moment.  "But it would be a waste of effort to try and stop them.  Besides, I don't doubt that our enemy's warriors will be even less disciplined."  He crossed his arms.  "We can begin our march on the morrow without issue, unless Lord Dawnwood should choose to delay.  But I do not think he will."


Favian seemed to stop there, letting the Captain think on this.  After a moment, however, he suddenly turned to  Alleyn.  "Captain, have you ever led men into battle before?"  His tone before had been curt and formal, but now there was something a little sad in it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...