Led by Lord Vann Creed, the rebel forces pushed into Blackwood Forest. The ailing Mortimer Pendleton had been approached prior to the rebellion, but had been against the idea. His son, it appeared, felt similarly. Although the Pendletons did not join in the push, they also did not defend their land and instead allowed the rebels to advance on Blackwatch Keep.
Having heard of the initial victories that the rebels acquired and fearing them to be capable of toppling his keep, Wilhelm sent word to the Margrave of Falomyr that if he assisted him in the upcoming war, he would wed his sister to him. But assistance from Falomyr would be long in coming and the battle was at hand. Hadrian, Wilhelm's heir, offered to lead a punitive force, but his father refused. As he said it, he would crush House Creed as his uncle had years ago.
Wilhelm had grown so fat in his time away from the field that his armor no longer fit him. It is said that as he struggled to place on his breastplate, his bastard son Burkhard arrived to offer his support. Burkhard, trained in battles against trolls, used his expertise to win his father's battle with a handful of soldiers.
Not impractically, the rebels expected to fall upon Blackwatch Keep and besiege it until Viscount Wilhelm surrendered. Blackwatch was a powerful fortress, but it lacked any support with so many rising against it. Siege weaponry was already prepared and the outriders allowed their defenses to become lax. This was their greatest mistake.
Burkhard and his men hid within the foliage. When the vanguard appeared, they allowed it to pass and then fell readily upon the unprepared midsection of the army. Outnumbered 3:1 though they were, Burkhard's men managed to claim Ashton Vine's head which in turn sent his column into dissaray. With the initiative on his side, his men placed the siege weaponry to flame and retreated quickly back into the woods.
The rebels were forced to retreat and regroup.
The loss of Ashton Vine greatly crippled the rebel offensive. In addition, by forcing a temporary retreat, Burkhard enabled Sir Geoffrey Albrecht's soldiers to arrive and assist in manning Viscount Wilhelm's army.