The Last Night at Brackenfels Keep
It's night. Duke Egor, his son Finn and Ser Vidis are in a high room in the keep of the besieged castle Brackenfels. The fire burns low in the chimney, cups of wine are on the table. Ser Vidis urges the Duke to surrender, but Finn will have none of it.
Ser Vidis argues why they should surrender: The keep is cut off and with the church supporting the attackers, help is unlikely to arrive anytime soon. Even some of their own people had a change of heart as demonstrated by someone opening the north gate the night before, letting the enemy overcome the second wall. All of this enrages Finn more and more. He shouts and eventually flips the table. After all, it's their own vassals laying siege to the castle. Egor, on the other hand, stays calm and is beginning to accept their desperate situation. He is about to sign a letter detailing their terms of surrender.
Finn has a sudden realization: Last night's breach of the wall was only noticed after the enemy was well inside the area. Noone knows which gate they used first. Yet, Ser Vidis explicitly mentioned the north gate. Finn accuses him of treason.
Unable to explain this, Duke Egor kills Ser Vidis for what he's done. With his last breath, the traitor confesses and reveals that the postern gate has been unlocked all night and Inquisitor Arathorn Lightblade is surely inside the keep by now. Steps can be heard from the stairs. Duke Egor urges Finn to flee. He himself stays back to face the intruders.
Reluctantly, Finn escapes through a secret exit in the library. As he rows a small boat out on the dark sea, all of his father's banners on the castle are set ablaze.
- Duke Egor of Brackenfels, who has lost the loyalty of his vassals and is now besieged by them.
- Finn Tervo, the duke's adult son.
- Ser Vidis, the duke's captain of the guard. Also a traitor loyal to the Guardians of Faith
The so-called Guardians of Faith, an alliance of Duke Egor's former vassals and the church. It was created after rumours about the Duke being a follower of the Tyrant were spread. Though accurate, this fact was not known by the inventor of the rumour. The alliance is led by Arathorn Lightblade.
The plot takes place during the Siege of Brackenfels inside the besieged castle of Brackenfels. The so-called Guardians of Faith have already managed to get behind the first two walls. Due to the surprise attack, most of the Northguard are still scattered around the region. The rest was has forced to yield or has been taken captive. The situation in the castle is close to desperate. The scene itself takes place in a small living room on the upper floor of the keep. A fire burns low in the chimney. The protagonists are sitting around a round wooden table, with cups of wine and a map of the city. Two doors lead to different parts of the castle. A large window lets in the few beams of light of the decrescent moon or allows a view on the city and the enemy camp in front of it.
The dominant threat to Duke Egor are the forces of the Guardian of Faith besieging his castle. This aspect is reinforced by the fact that there might still be—and indeed is—a traitor amongst the people in the keep.