Preliminary Events[edit | edit source]
The conflict that initiated the events that would lead to the battle was the crusaders carving a pass though the Whitecaps that would be named the Stairway. They then used this pass to transport fifty thousand men along with fourteen Heroes. The Army of Callow would soon after send twenty thousand men through Arcadia to northern Callow, and more specifically Hegdes, where she then meet with Baron Henry Darlington and Baroness Ainsley Morley believing that one of them would betray her to Procer, it most likely being the Baron.
Three weeks later Catherine would ride out in a disguise to spy on a meeting between the Baron and the crusaders. She instead meet and made deals with the Grey Pilgrim, Tariq Isbili, regarding how the armies would treat matters such as prisoners and sacking cities. They also agreed on refraining from using Angels, Devils and Demons. Catherine also warned of a Hell Egg being in the territory which should house a Demon of Absence.
Before meeting the crusaders on the field, the Army of Callow split into three columns and a force of a thousand of the Watch joined the crusaders. Furthermore, the western column, led by general Nauk, used fairy gates to attack the supply lines of the crusades and reappear back in the west when a force of twelve thousand were sent towards them. Indrani and Robber were also sent out to scout and reported there only being twelve heroes present. Two of them presumably dying and being erased by the Demon of Absence giving that Catherine didn't mention them missing.
Before the battle still, Catherine and the Wild Hunt used a Deoraithe mage scrying on them too teleport into their camp. She then had the Watch withdraw from the crusaders camp using a fairy gate, and her along with the Hunt began to kill the officers in their camp. They managed to kill some, when Catherine was forced to fight with a band of four Heroes, including the Saint of Swords, Laurence De Montfort. They fought a brutal fight while the Hunt continued to kill officers it ending when the Saint managed to wound Catherine's domain causing her to return to a semi human state. She then fled through Arcadia. In the chaos that ensued, the Thief, Vivienne Dartwick, had stolen all their food supplies, effectively forcing the army to fight where Catherine wanted them too, less they starve.
As a last attempt to stop the battle, Prince Amadis Milenan, Princess Rozala Malanza, Pilgrim and the Saint meet with Catherine under truce banner. They offered to crown her Princess of the Blessed Isle as well as the eastern lands in the rule of Summerholm for her abdication, but Catherine refused offering instead to let them leave without pursuit.
Battle[edit | edit source]
The battle begun with skirmishers being sent out. The Army of Callow sent out four thousand, including the Watch, while the Crusaders sent out nine thousand men, though Marshall Juniper noted that most of these men were levies and not fantassins. The skirmish lasted under an hour, with one thousand killed and wounded on the Callows side and three thousand either killed or bleeding on the crusaders side. As the army of Callow retreated, the crusaders sent out four thousand cavalry. Sensing a trap, Marshall Juniper called for a full retreat, and shortly thereafter panes made of priestly miracles formed before the skirmishers, trapping them as the cavalry charged and the enemy crossbowmen continued to fire. At first, trebuchets were fired though that only caused the rocks to shatter and as the Army tried breaking the fence with spears of lightning they only found that the crusaders mages formed their own shields. The Army sent out the Order of the Broken Bells, but they too were stopped by panes of Light. Finally Masego was able to break the panes, but not before theau crusaders cavalry had reached the skirmishers. In total, a thousand skirmishers survived, most being of the Watch. The infantry of the crusaders began moving forward, led by seven heroes, as the cavalry pulled back.
As the crusaders continued forward, Catherine went to face the seven heroes. She managed to kill one who was immediately revived by the Grey Pilgrim. During the battle that followed, Catherine ripped of the arm of the Blade of Mercy and kill two unnamed Heroes. She then ran away as the Saint of Swords had entered the fight. Making it back to camp, Catherine and Masego then opened a mile wide gate to the Fields of Wend, a depthless lake in Arcadia, to right above the crusading host, dropping hundreds of tons of water on them and killing thousands as well as reducing the battlefield to marshland. The portal was then closed by the Grey Pilgrim, incapacitating both Catherine and Masego. The trick, in total killed at least nine thousand people and half of that were hurt to badly to fight. Princess Rozala also suspected that at least a thousand more levies would flee in the following night.
The following day, Vivenne Dartwick, the Thief, meet with the Pilgrim as well as a relative of Prince Amadis Milenan. The talk was short-lived as the Pilgrim quickly figured out that Catherine was incapacitated and reported back to the leaders of the Crusade who quickly resumed the march towards the Army of Callow. The crusader's approached the army by splitting in two, roughly thirty thousand men on either side of the marshland. In response, Juniper sent out a force of four thousand to the western column, lead by the then tribute Abigail of Summerholm, and a force of twelve thousand the east lead by General Nauk. After brief battle on the west wing however it was revealed that goblins had dug tunnels between the armies, and as they blew, a trench was formed, effectively creating a river and trapping a third of the crusaders on the wrong side. It was quickly followed by goblin fire exploding under the crusaders on the wrong side of the river. The Saint of Swords tried to kill general Nauk thereafter, but was stopped by Archer.
The battle continued with Princess Rozala sending a wave of cavalry which was broken by the enemies scorpions and goblin munitions though the Pilgrim would then enter, destroying the engines causing the Army of Callow to retreat as the crusader's did the same under fear of enemy cavalry. Then the crusader's camp was set on fire. Rozala chose to retreat fully, with about four thousand dead for the Army of Callow and five thousand for the crusader's on the eastern front. The day concluded with Catherine waking up, though her body was controlled by Akua Sahelian.
The following night, not long before dawn, the dead rose from the marsh, controlled by Akua Sahelian. Princess Rozala tried to counteract this by turning the water holy but found that this had no effect on the undead. In response, the ten Heroes went out in the marsh to face Akua in the body of Catherine. After a brief battle between them, Akau mainly staying out of the Heroes reach, Akua realized that the more that she drew on Winter, the faster Catherine would return. So she called on all the power she could as Catherine once again took control of her body. As she came back, she near instantly retreated up into the sky, calling on the Wild Hunt to break the crusader's lines. Catherine then flew for Princess Rozala, calling a truce and successfully getting one.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
Shortly after the truce had been called, a meeting was made, most everyone that mattered from either side being at the table, the most notable exclusion being the Saint of Swords. In total, they managed to barging for eight months of truce where the crusader's could not enter the lands under rule by the Queen in Callow. Furthermore, Catherine announced plans for trying to become part of the Grand Alliance, and Prince Amadis Milenan offered himself as a royal hostage with the Pilgrim serving as observer.