Landown

Amid the sun-bleached stony highlands of Est Izlon had stood the Mammalian fortress of Landown, defended only by a handful of Knights Radiant, two companies of peasant yeomen fresh from Aurore, and a single free company of mercenary warriors.  Spies had relayed word that an Ophidian attack would besiege the eastern port of Salvataine, and so the northwestern coastal defenses were left with minimal defenses while troops and ships massed on the opposite side of the great isle.  By the time one of the spies was discovered to be a shapeshifting doppelganger, sorcerously bound to serve the Ophidians, it was too late – the blood-red sails of war galleys loomed on the horizon, bound for Landown.  The fighting was terrible, and many lives were lost to the merciless Ophidian warriors as they hammered the beleaguered fortress over and over.  Yet the resolve of the Mammalians was unbreakable, and despite their smaller numbers, they held the fortress and their ground until reinforcement finally arrived overland from Salvataine.

On the third day of the siege, Lady Ulfrid, Baroness of Clystre, found herself alone on the field of battle, her knights slain all around her by the encroaching enemy.  To her good fortune, a handful of mercenaries saw the she-wolf's banner fall amidst the fray and came to her aid, fending off the Ophidian host and making a fighting retreat with her to a more defensible position.  They held their position, alone, for the remainder of that day and the ensuing night, until at last the enemy was thinned enough for them to make their way back to Landown fortress.  For this deed of gallantry, the Baroness pledged her gratitude, promising that their boldness would be rewarded when the battle was won.  True to her word, after the tide had turned and the Ophidian host had been repelled from the shores of Landown, the Lady Ulfrid saw to it that the mercenaries were well paid for their services.  Moreover, so taken was she by their indomitable spirit that she offered her patronage (or matronage, as it were) in their affairs when they returned to the mainland.  Most notably, upon hearing of Ssireszlin's need to carry a warning to the Crown Prince himself, she gave her word that she would pave the way as best she could to such a meeting.

Landown

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