Deregod

From The 5 Kingdoms Tome of Knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search

Climactic battle between the Kingdoms and the Empire of Murmanityed in 77 TC.

Queen Casta of Aruthien launched a crusade in 76 TC to strike the Murmanityedi Empire before the Imperial Legions could march north and overwhelm the Kingdoms. Gathering allies from every Kingdom - Barloz, Aligindel, Ehrenland, Tantathia, Spaartha, and others, the Kingdom Crusade overwhelmed the Imperial Legions stationed and the border and struck deep into the Empire, aiming for the Murmaniteydi capital of Murdamiya.

Casta had also dispatched many small bands into the Empire, some to gather intelligence, some to disrupt the Empire, others to try and force the Dustari to rise against their overlords. Nearly all these groups failed. Most perished. Some won through and performed their missions. One group did more than that - the Silent Heroes. While these legendary folk were fighting the Witch-Queen in her lair, the fortunes of the Kingdoms were being determined a few miles away, on the Plains of Deregod.

Here the Legions of the Kingdoms were brought to battle by the numerically superior forces of the Empire. The Kingdoms force - somewhat less than twenty thousand - was engaged by nine Murmanityedi Legions. (Note: Kingdom 'Legions' number around 2,000 soldiers. Imperial 'Legions' are massive by comparison - 10,000 men). The Kingdom force was outnumbered nearly five-to-one.

The Kingdoms forces chose their ground - a sloping hill with a cliff to their left and badlands to their right. Spaarthan cavalry warded the rear of the army as the Murmanityedi Legions came on. With nothing but contempt for their foes, the Murmanityedi forces came straight up the center, climbing the steep, rocky slope, into the teeth of Kingdom longbows. The first cohorts to reach the Kingdom lines were shattered by massive logs rolled down the hill - logs soaked in pitch and set alight. The next cohorts were pummeled by Brynnia's Fire - the sticky, burning gel who the Empress of Aligindel had sent to aid her son Phillipi's Aligindelites.

Still the Imperial troops came on, grinding up the hill. The Kingdom troops repulsed them again and again, though not without grevious loss. By the second day of the battle, the Kingdom forces had lost a quarter of their strength. King Alhandro of Barloz was killed the morning of the second day. Finally the Imperial Lionguard were committed to the action - ten thousand of the Empire's best. They struggled up the hill and slammed into the Kingdom line. The fight was desperate. Prince Phillipi was wounded and carried from the battle by his Templar. Queen Casta and her Hospitaliers were soon cut off from the Kingdom forces and surrounded. The Queen and her bodyguard fell back to the edge of the cliff, near the lone tree that had survived the entire battle. Three times the Lionguard came. Three times the Hospitaliers saw them off. After each push, the Murmanityedi Warlord asked for Casta's surrender. Three times she refused.

The battle seemed lost. The Kingdom Legions were exhausted and splintered. The Murmanityedi still had an entire Legion in reserve. Casta was surrounded and would fall soon. At this dark moment of the battle, Jareth, Regent of Spaartha, rode to the pavilion where Phillipi had been taken. The wounded Prince of Aligindel and the Regent of Spaartha resolved to go down fighting - they would not abandon Casta to the Imperials. The Aruthien General Kynette drew the short straw and agreed to take what remained of the army back to defend the Kingdoms - for as long as she could.

Jareth and Phillipi gathered every mounted soldier left in the Kingdom army behind the line of fatigued infantry. With that host assembled, they charged. The wedge of Kingdom cavalry broke the Murmanityedi Phylactis VIIth Legion entirely. Jareth was wounded badly in the charge and nearly killed. Both Kingdom leaders were wounded, their horses blown, and still the Lionguard stood in their path, closing the ring around Casta and her valiant bodyguard.

The exact moment the Witch-Queen died is uncertain. Some say it was when the Phylactis Legion broke. Some say it was after the victory was won. Queen Casta maintained that the Witch-Queen must have died when she led her Hospitaliers into the Lionguard line in a forlorn attempt to join Phillipi and Jareth - because her charge broke the Lionguard.

With that, the entire Murmanityedi army routed. The exhausted Kingdom force let them flee - they had not the energy to pursue, and had lost over half their number in the battle. Painfully, the army left Deregod and marched to Murdamiya - intending, with what strength remained, to besiege Murdamiya. They arrived to find the gates of the city open to them, and the Silent Heroes awaiting the coming of the army. The campaign was victorious. The Empire of Murmanityed was no more.