Battle of the Black Toll
|Battle of the Black Toll|
|Part of the Sunnish War|
|Blazing Banners||Loyalist Army|
|Roylan a Grayle
||King Altayn II a Tair|
|2,200 bows and slingers|
|<500 killed or wounded||2,680 killed|
The Battle of the Black Toll was a decisive clash of the armies of the House of Maigher and the House a Tair during the first phase of the Sunnish War. It ended in a victory for the soldiers of the Blazing Banners and the capture of King Altayn II a Tair.
While a Maigher army marched south after the fleeing House of Twyne soldiers following their capture of Castle Quill in the northern reaches of Summerly, King Altayn II a Tair raised his banner over the Black Toll on the River Flax and pledged that the treacherers from Ingbara would not cross over.
The House of Dreyling, hereditary lords of the Oaken Keep in the forest south of the river, bowed to their King and prepared for battle. That afternoon, the retreating army of the Twynes arrived, including three hundred spears. Together, they planned to hold the bridge against the invader.
An intense downpour began about four glasses in the early evening. King Altayn and an army of four thousand camped in the dense wood on the southwestern bank.
By seven glasses, Maigher swords arrived under Roylan a Grayle in the hills on the opposite bank. The rising sun and a dense fog from the rain over the river and shoreline flora masked the full extent of their approach and numbers, but loyalist scouts marked their coming. Unbeknownst to the King's Banners, the Grayling's seer, Catnip, had a vision the previous night of the day to come. Knowing the rain would cease, Catnip gave secret counsel to a Grayle to burn the forest.
Before he or the king had even come, a Grayle sent a score paw-picked beasts to ford the river a mile northeast, slip over the southern wall of the keep itself under cover of the rain, and take the fortress. When the rain cleared, they were to begin their attack, and a Grayle his.
Catnip's words rang true. As soon as the rain cleared, a Grayle set fire to the woodland and engaged the King's forces with the rest of his own.
Meanwhile, the Oaken Keep curtain wall was claimed, and Maigher archers began firing from the walls down into the backs of the King's bannerbeasts. Caught between the Red Knight's army to their north and their own keep to their south, the loyalist army was splintered and the King captured.
When challenged to surrender his sword, however, Old Lord Dor Dreyling rose from his throne and charged the soldiers with a sword, forcing them to kill him rather than be taken alive.