The Battle of Normont, Springfall, year 48. The Battle of Normont was more a battle of wits than a true melee. Openly flying war banners, Shayne made a show of leading his army into the winding, treacherous Stilys nearby the northern holdings of warlord Esdeline Chernock. Chernock, a highly esteemed figure in the region, saw a chance to strike out and potentially decimate the invading army before any damage could be wrought to the southern parts of the peninsula. Given solid information from her own scouts as well as from several informants within Shayne’s army, she was finally convinced by the testimony of a captured herald, who broke down in interrogation and listed off specific numbers of soldiers, the current state of the army, and the field marshals’ intended route through the mountain passes. Chernock rallied an army and set out to create an ambush along the mountainsides and valleys—a strategy that, had it worked, would indeed have caused irreparable damage to Shayne’s army and plans.
On the day of battle, however, Shayne never appeared; instead, he and his entire army looped back to Chernock’s fortress-home of Normont and surprised the skeleton crew that had been left behind to guard the holdings. Easily overpowering them, Shayne and his soldiers seized the fortress quite handily. Shayne then proceeded to hold Chernock’s mother and younger brother hostage until Chernock, returning, agreed to Shayne’s terms of surrender. As soon as she yielded, Shayne knighted her, promising her the castle and a title if she would aid his war effort. She agreed, impressed by his tactics; as the war continued, she would become one of his most loyal and ardent knights.