- "[A]s ragged companies of Tiste Edur crossed the killing field, bones and armour began raining down. Limbs, polished weapons, helms, skulls, plummeting in murderous sweeps across the basin. Warriors died in the ghastly hail."
- ―Battle of Brans Keep
The Battle of Brans Keep was the final battle in the war between the Kingdom of Lether and Emperor Rhulad Sengar's Tiste Edur. After their victories at Trate, High Fort, and Fort Shake, the three Edur armies of Rhulad, Fear Sengar, and Tomad and Binadas Sengar converged on Letheras, the Letherii capital.
King Ezgara Diskanar and Preda Unnutal Hebaz withdrew the Letherii armies to concentrate their forces at Brans Keep, which lay about two days' journey by horse northwest of the capital. Ceda Kuru Qan did not accompany the army as he appeared to be overcome by madness.
The keep faced northward with a range of hills to its back. The hill directly behind the keep had been cut to form a steep cliff so that the formidable citadel was backed against it. The wall surrounding the citadel had a corner tower in the east and the west. Each was defended by fixed mangonels and a mage. A ridgeline ran to the keep's west while the artificial Lake Brans restricted access to its east. A seasonal river or drainage channel ran from the lake to the northeast. To the far west and south was the Dissent River.
Preda Hebaz placed her troops in a line across the front of the keep facing north. The Crimson Rampant Brigade guarded the army's extreme left flank where the hills ended near the course of the Dissent River. The rest of the left flank was formed by the Snakebelt Battalion and a portion of the Riven Brigade who were placed directly in front of a ridgeline. The Letherii centre was formed by the Heavy infantry elements of the King's Battalion, the bulk of the King's Battalion placed at the foot of the keep's walls, and the Merchants' Battalion standing before Lake Brans. Across the dry channel was the Letherii right flank which included the Artisan Battalion, the Whitefinder Battalion, and the other portion of the Riven Brigade.
To the north of the basin where the battle would be fought were three Edur armies. Fear Sengar's army held the centre. Emperor Rhulad's army was positioned on the right with thousands of Jheck and hundreds of Kenyll'rah covering his flank. Tomad and Binadas Sengar were still arriving on the left after crossing a lesser range of hills and old lake beds. On the hills behind Rhulad's position to the northwest was the encampment of Edur women, elders, and children who followed the armies. From here, the slaves Udinaas and Feather Witch observed the battle.
Tiste Edur (Attackers)Edit
Emperor Rhulad Sengar's commandEdit
- Warlock King Hannan Mosag
- Tiste Edur
- Jheck - thousands
- Kenryll'ah - at least a dozen
- Kenyll'rah - around 240 (a score for each Kenryll'ah)
- Shadow wraiths - at least 60,000 between the three commands
Fear Sengar's commandEdit
Tomad and Binadas Sengar's commandEdit
- K'risnan - 1
- Tiste Edur
- Shadow wraiths
Kingdom of Lether (Defenders)Edit
- Mages - at least 2
- Crimson Rampant Brigade
- Snakebelt Battalion
- Riven Brigade
- King's Battalion
- Merchants' Battalion
- Artisan Battalion
- Whitefinder Battalion
- Mangonels and crews on the keep towers
The battle began when Hannan Mosag and his K'risnan began to raise dark streams of dust on the wind. The Letherii mages responded by raising a coruscating wave of white fire crackling with lightning. At the same time, the Jheck and Demons on the Edur right flank began moving south. The Crimson Rampant Brigade on the Letherii left flank noticed the movement and began maneuvering as well.
As the Edur magic intensified, enormous spiralling pillars grew over the battlefield sending the Edur and Letherii cowering below their shrieking and keening winds. The pillars began tumbling over onto the Letherii lines and the Letherii magic rose to meet them. Meanwhile, a flood of Shadow wraiths were sent forward as fodder fast and low along the ground towards the enemy lines. When the sorceries met, rapid concussions shook the keep and the Letherii lines. Both of the keep's corner towers collapsed killing the mages atop them and sending the Letherii magic out of control. Without the Ceda, the Letherii magic was swept aside and the Edur pillars fell directly onto the Letherii lines.
The Edur magic tore the Letherii left and centre flanks to pieces, pulling the screaming, blackened corpses of the Letherii into the sky. The Snakebelt Battalion, Riven Brigade, King's Battalion, and Merchants' Battalion died quickly along with Preda Unnutal Hebaz. On the other side of the field, fragments Letherii white fire fell onto Fear Sengar's lines killing many Merude warriors and one of his K'risnan. Magic also lashed down killing shadow wraiths by the hundreds and incinerating companies of demons. Another burst of magic rolled into the camp of Edur noncombatants and was stopped only by the Kurald Emurlahn magic of Uruth Sengar and her fellow women.
The three Edur armies began crossing the field as the sorcerous pillars worked their way east and west along the Letherii lines. Fear's army was showered by bones and equipment as some of the pillar magic dissipated overhead while others exploded concussively. On the Letherii left flank, the Crimson Rampant Brigade routed and the fleeing soldiers were cut down by pursuing Jheck and demons. On the Letherii right flank, the Artisan Battalion, Whitefinder Battalion, and Riven Brigade engaged in traditional hand to hand combat with Tomad and Binadas' army. But when they saw what had happened to the rest of the army and a pillar began bearing down on them, they broke.
For all intents and purposes the Letherii army was effectively wiped out and the battlefield was littered with the debris of their bodies and equipment. Jheck continued to hunt down and slay survivors among the hills while a few score wraiths drifted here and there. The ruined keep burned.
Udinaas estimated the casualties at two to three thousand dead Edur, tens of thousands of dead Letherii, and fifty to sixty thousand shadow wraiths obliterated. The scale of the destruction horrified Hull Beddict and even the Edur. The former Sentinel was dazed in the aftermath and Udinaas had to calm a hysterical Rhulad to prevent violence against Hannan Mosag. Uruth was expected to survive her wounds.
Emperor Rhulad ordered Tomad and Fear to prepare a barrow for all of the dead of both armies. He declared that the Letherii were now his subjects and so were deserving of the same honour as any citizen. After a day of rest and reorganisation, the Edur would begin the march on Letheras.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.645-646
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.618
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.671/677
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.671
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.671/679
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.671-673/676
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.673
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.678
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.669
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.671/675
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.674
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.674-675
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.675-677
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.676-679
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.678-679/681
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.678/682
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.677-678/682-684
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.684
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.684-685