Along with the mustering of the regiments and deployment of the other regular forces, auxiliaries to both the Mistborn Rangers and city guards were called up, and volunteers sought, in order to bolster the defenses of the kingdom. Hundreds of men and women from across the Mistmarches heeded the call, setting aside their lives for a time to defend their homes and neighbors.
In the city of Burmovton, northwest of the Narlmarches and a center of farming activity in the northern portion of the realm, a team of scouts was dispatched early one morning in July, 4713, to patrol the roads and hills south of the city. Mosh and Brahn, dwarven cousins strong with axe and hammer, Raquelle, a human cleric of Erastil, Totogar, a scrappy gnome, and Jimmy ‘the Hand,’ a somewhat notorious and recently reformed half-elv cut-purse, rode swiftly along the Tatzylford Pike, in search of whatever stood out as odd.
At the end of an uneventful day, the team found a good, secluded place to camp and keep watch of the southern hills. Lake Hooktongue and the Slough were visible in the distant south. Beginning with Jimmy’s midwatch, each sentry heard tell-tale sounds of movement – or at least sounds not of the forest and hills – from the distant south. At first light the source of these sounds became clear: a large force was swiftly marching up the pike, with a small cavalry screen in front of it.
Without being able to identify the force, the scouts decided to err on the side of caution, and split up, sending Jimmy, the fastest rider, north to fire the signal arrow close enough to Burmovton to be seen. The others broke camp and rushed north, seeking to head off the small party of scouts along the rode to the north.
Hours later, Raquelle, Mosh, Brahn, and Totogar set an ambush and waited for the mysterious riders to appear. Once they came into range it was clear that these were not troops from the Mistmarches and, in fact, when the drew closer, rank symbols of the Kingdom of Pitax were clear to see on a sash that each rider wore. The trap was sprung, and the four troops aggressively pressed the attack against the mounted scouts, attacking both horse & rider with hammer, axe, and bow. The ferocity and surprise gave the rangers the upper hand initially, and the arrival of Jimmy the Hand prevented the enemy from killing Mosh, who’d fallen. In the end, one of six scouts were captured, the horses were chased off, and the bodies hidden. The team made for the city, to bring details of the alert they’d raised.
Upon arriving in Burmovton and sharing the details of their find with Captain Kesempton, garrison commander of the city, they interrogated their prisoner and learned enough additional details to confirm that, indeed, Pitax was on the march. Responding to the signal arrow earlier, other scouts from the city had spotted the large enemy force and by nightfall the kings at Misthaven had been alerted and the town was bracing for attack, turning to its small garrison in hopes of holding off what seemed to be a massive assault in the making. Why the kings had not fortified Burmovton with an army of its own was beyond its residents, and many grumbled about how they’d been left to twist in the wind while the army had marched west to hold onto the most-recently claimed lands outside the Slough. Burmovton, they thought, would surely pay the price for the kings’ expansionist dreams.