The Worldeater Saga, Part XXXIII: The Clawhook Campaign

On the three-hundred-and-eighty-fourth day of the Creators’ Monomachy, Sapient and Albedi minds united to meet under a common banner: that of the resistance against Drakkenmont. Having recognised a crucial, once-in-a-century opportunity to pry a region from the empire’s cruel grasp, the Free City of Delve reached out to the city-states of Sapience to request a meeting betwixt their leaders in hopes of arranging for a cooperative campaign to free the Red Quarter from Dreikathi tyranny. Though citizen questions regarding the state of matters came in droves, Tonzal of the Raging Herd and Rhav Maslak remained focused upon what it is they sought from the four other cities: military might, manpower, and funding.

Sapience was all too happy to provide a promise for all three.

During the meeting, Councillors Rhav and Tonzal outlined Drakkenmont’s current political atmosphere – a set of circumstances that ensured that the governor of the Red Quarter and his subordinates were left vulnerable and without aid for a coming siege. Citing the release of Kaj, rumoured civil unrest in the Red Quarter, the recent failings of Polemarch Andalso and his subsequent loss of status and favour, and Governor Xandrelle’s own rising political influence, the two leaders of the Free City insisted that now was the best – and only – time to strike in the name of freeing the region. When asked about the horrible possibility of an aerial assault on the Resistance’s impending efforts, the councillors insisted that news of the armada’s visit to Sapience meant the airships would require repair and reallocation of refined ylem, effectively taking them out of battle considerations for now.

As Sapience’s adventurers departed to make preparations, the Resistance deployed scouts and engineers that struck camp in the Clawhook throughout the next few weeks. On the dawn of the three-hundred-and-ninety-seventh day, Blademaster Tuiln of ruined Ashtan called upon Sapience once more to man the camp and lend their aid in the ensuing operation to siege Dramlai Watch – the bottleneck between the Clawhook and the Red Quarter, a region still held under Drakkenmont’s sway. Adventurers from all walks of life were swift to lend their aid, weaving bandages, tending to the wounded, repairing equipment, scouting territory, and even engaging in minor skirmishes with Dramlai’s preliminary forces.

Warfare’s ebb and flow reigned for many weeks as the operation evolved and the Bonro Liberation Front secured more and more territory in their approach to Dramlai Watch’s very gates. As Marzpawn Zorusthi recognised the mounting threat now upon his doorstep, he saw to dispatching elite officers to the field that brought devastation to those that would oppose the Autarch’s claim upon all the world had to offer. Unwilling to give up an inch of their hard fought progress, Sapience mobilised with startling fervour to strike down each and every one of these foes, though many soldiers were lost in explosive fusillades and devastating strikes within the heat of each vicious battle.

The campaign reached new heights of brutality upon the four-hundred-and-ninety-eighth day, the rocks of the Clawhook’s myriad ridges soon running slick with the blood of pitched battles. Led by Blademaster Tuiln himself, Sapience assembled upon the front lines and sieged Dramlai Watch’s walls. Fighting through Dramlai’s defenders and indentured giants, the Liberation Front proved a worthy, ferocious foe against Drakkenmont’s imperial might as it eluded ylemnic devastation and brought a battering ram to hammer away at its very walls. Though they managed to inflict grievous damage to the keep’s structure, Dramlai’s defensive forces succeeded in damaging the siege device enough to warrant a call for retreat and Tuiln swore to those gathered that they would begin operations again as soon as a new battering ram could be assembled.

As the hour of the second siege drew near, even the wild world sought a champion to send in its name. Contacted by the cantankerous basilisk spirit known as Fornax, Sysaa Moss found herself drawn to an ancient grotto within the Clawhook. Within this sacred hideaway she found a gnarled totem dedicated to the spirit and gave of her own lifeblood to revitalise its link to the land and the spirit world. Sacrificing a Praexi in the name of the brutal Sentinel, the Presiding Voice ascended as a Tiarna an-Kiar and discovered within that burgeoning might a renewed determination to see Drakkenmont toppled from its lofty dominion over all Albedos.

It was then, upon the five-hundred-and-fourth day of the savage violence in the heavens, that the Resistance progressed their siege to the next step. Armed with fresh experience and traditional Sapience grit, the four city-states once more united to paint the ridges red with the blood of their Drakkenmont foes. More efficient and organised than the last time by far, it did not take long for the Bonro Liberation Front to march up the lines and once more lay siege to the staunch walls of Dramlai Watch. Though Marzpawn Zorusthi deployed elite officers to waylay this operation, his ploy ultimately proved ineffectual and the keep’s structure suffered massive damage before the Dreikathi’s forces could destroy this new ram.

Penned by my hand on Quensday, the 17th of Haernos, in the year 512 MA.