Over the last few years your characters have made a good name for themselves in the Red Irons Mercenary Company. How you got into the Red Irons or your purpose matters not. What does matter are the decisions that you will be making soon.
You have been selected for one last task, hand picked by the famous Capt. Decker himself. Your last assignment with the Red Irons (should you choose not to re-enlist) is to assist Capt. Decker with the reclamation of a ruined keep about a days ride to the west of Kirkwall.
Even before the expedition was underway from Kirkwall you could feel in your bones that this was going to be a bumpy mission. Of the 50 men from your detachment you found that there were many who were lacking in discipline. After chasing many of them out from the various taverns and brothels you were finally able to head out to Dark Keep.
While the keep is relatively near Kirkwall, it resides mid-way up a steep mountain and can be recognized from some distance as a splotch of black in the otherwise snow white side of the mountain. After about a days journey on foot Capt. Decker halts the company some distance away from the keep and sends your characters up closer to investigate.
The entire area that surrounds the keep vents steam and hot air in the outer parameter which melts the snow in the general vicinity of the keep and makes it visible for miles. You have made the appropriate preparations in order to spy on the keep and have determined that you can follow the lower crags near the steam caves in order to make your way closer to the keep.