Tennoc took his armies north along the River Cobb toward Gwyrfal, Crymavon's men joining the expedition. The Kellish towns and castles along the way were caught unawares and lightly defended. Some surrendered outright to the Hero of Maalig, others after a brief skirmish; a few chose to fight to the last. The fierce battles at the coal mines of Baltha ended in the fortress's taking, and the slaughter of Clan Baltha's men.
Cror ar Crymavon
When Tennoc arrived at the castle's gates, Lady Flaryn's husband had already thrown them open. "I saw your forces long before you got here, Tennoc ar Sial," said Cror ar Crymavon, "and I couldn't have defended against your war machines had I wished to."
Tennoc smiled, but he drew his lips flat. "You're wise, cousin. In my current humor I am not countenancing resistance."
Lady Flaryn ar Crymavon still lived. In her own court, the cousin Tennoc's mother had remembered as painfully shy had blossomed into an assured woman, still beautiful and like enough to Lassanna that Tennoc's heart ached at the sight of her. "Why did you not stop here in your flight from Gwyrfal, cousin?" she asked him in Kellish at dinner that night.