Fort in the Mist
The North Marches is bordered on the northern edge by a sharp, heavily fortified escarpment over-looking the Wilds. Four main forts defend the northern border, Anvil, Buckler, Cutlass and Port Dagger. Between the forts are several smaller watchtowers. The Wilds are a wide open plain, criss-crossed with small streams and rivers and dotted with spare forests and lakes. Orc and goblinoid tribes live a nomadic life in the Wilds.
South of the border stretches the North Woods, an ancient woodland home to small farmsteads, charcoal burners and hunters.
The west is bordered by the high, nearly impassable Spine Mountains.
To the east is the ocean.
History and Politics
North of Anvil Three watchtower, a great battle was fought a long time in the past, a combined army of humans, dwarfs and elves defeated an orc and goblin force lead by (as legend has it) a powerful necromancer.
30 years ago, unhappy with the frequency of the border raids, the king seized control of the marches from the border earls. He reinfored the forts, repaired the military road and now the region is relatively peaceful.
The garrisons are supported by a group of skilled, independant scouts that report directly the kingdom's intelligence service.
Port Dagger on the coast is the administrative center, a port town of some 5,000 people with a standing garrison of 200 troops. Forts Anvil, Buckler and Cutlass are garrisoned with 20-30 soldiers. The watchtowers between the forts are manned with a squad of six.
Fort Anvil is currently lead by Captain Plovin.
Sent to the borders on the king's orders, Lead Scout Fayle Regan is currently staying at Fort Anvil.
The king had received reports that the border forts had lost contact with Anvil Three watchtower, A lead scout, Fayle Regas was sent to investigate but did not return. The party having aided the king's army is quelling a civil war and were hired by the king's intelligence service to travel north and investigate.
The party chose to travel up the old, mostly unused, drover's road. A shorter journey by some 3-4 days than the coast and milliary roads. They reached an abandoned farmstead where they found clues that the inhabitants had been killed and taken away by forces unknown.
The party travelled on, entering an eerie mist as the neared Fort Anvil. The mist thickened and they were warned to turn back by some soldiers from the fort. Skeletons approached and the soldiers fled back to the fort. The party, pressed hard by the skeletal warriers retreated to the safety of the fort.
The fort, standing on a rocky prominance in the escarpment overlooking the wilds was surrounded by the mists and the undead within.
The garrison morale was low and the leader, Captain Plovin was despondant and resigned to defeat although he agree to provide the party with whatever assistance he could. The lead scout, trapped by the mists as well, had obtained a history tome that hinted at a magical artifact used by the combined army of humans, dwarfs and elves that had fought a massive battle with a army of orcs, goblins and undead some 800 years in the past.
The legend of artifact suggested the artifact could be in one of two locations: an ancient barrow where the original wielder was buried; or somewhere on the ancient battlefield.
The party decided to seach the barrow first and gained entrance to the central chamber after defeating the guardians and opening the ward-locked door. Runes of the door warned: "Within is sealed the dark light and the fallen champion. Turn back and seek no further or you too will fall."