The Battle of Blackwatch Keep is the first part in a series of attacks intended to end the war quickly as the tide was beginning to shift in Albrecht favor. It is seen as a move of desperation.
With his father's army delayed and Sir Ulric harassing his outlying soldiers, Mortimer Pendleton made the decision to march north and toward Blackwatch Keep. Upon entering castle's sight, Mortimer demanded Viscount Dedrick Albrecht meet him in single combat so that no more lives need be lost. Viscount Albrecht, chronically ill, declined the challenge and instead sent forth Lord Marlow Stanleigh to answer him.
The initial contest between Mortimer and Lord Stanleigh was concluded with Lord Stanleigh nearly being unhorsed; however, he retreated back to his line and prepared his men for a sortie against the approaching Pendleton forces. Outnumbered though they were, they deployed themselves in two groups to force the Pendleton might to break into an equal number.
Chilling rains prevented the Pendletons from pushing their offensive for long. After bloodying his men, Sir Marlow called his line back to the castle and used its fortifications to hold Mortimer at bay. Each side was thus waiting for relief from outside forces before advancing further.
The cold began to dampen the morale of those who had been enlivened by Mortimer's near victory over Lord Stanleigh. Sensing that victory was nigh, Lord Stanleigh left his fortifications as night fell to raid the Pendleton position. His life was traded for little more than a mild disturbance amongst the enemy.
Lord Stanleigh's death shook the resolve of many defenders. However, by forcing the Pendletons to remain active through the night he kept them from resting and more importantly, from seeking shelter from the rain. The events at the siege are attributed to his sacrifice.