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"Bones. Burning, plunging from the sky. Bodies exploding where they struck. Crushing pressure, the air roiling and screaming like a thing alive. The sudden muting of all noise, the outrageous cacophony of grunts as a thousand men died all at once. A sound that Moroch Nevath would never forget. What had the bastards unleashed?"
Moroch Nevath[src]

The Battle of High Fort was one of the first major engagements in the war between the Kingdom of Lether and Emperor Rhulad Sengar's Tiste Edur. It took place shortly after the fall of Fent Reach,[1] Trate,[2] and Fort Shake.[3] High Fort lay on Lether's northern frontier near the pass leading across the mountains to Edur territory. Any Edur ground invasion of Lether would have to pass near its walls.

When war erupted between the Letherii and the Edur tribes, Letherii Queen Janall Diskanar led the Queen's Battalion and the Quillas Brigade to the mountain pass determined to strike first and strike hard to accomplish her own objectives in the war.[4] But Fear Sengar's Edur army crossed the pass before she reached it and the Queen and Prince Quillas were forced to return to High Fort.[5]

The Battlefield[]

High Fort was situated on pastureland just south of a forest cloaking the presence of the Katter River.[6] Its walls were overlooked by corner bastions where ballistae and mangonels guarded against enemy approach. Fortified earthen ramparts encircled the fort outside its walls. An old drainage course known as the Dry Gully ran across the field from the hills a thousand paces to the fort's north. Three ramparts ran parallel to the gully and upon the easternmost and largest rampart was built a stone-walled fort.[7] High Fort's largest bastion tower overlooked the westernmost of the ramparts guarding the gully.[8]

Queen Janall, Prince Quillan, four sorcerers, and two companies of the Queen's Battalion were placed atop a fortified rampart flanked by Dresh ballistae. Two more companies of the Queen's Battalion were on a lesser berm to their east. The prince's three lesser sorcerers were on a rampart directly south of Dry Gully. The forward elements of the Grass Jackets Brigade manned the ramparts along the gully and placed their own four sorcerers within the small stone-walled fort on the eastern rampart.[7] Reserves, including elements of Heavy cavalry, held the ramparts encircling the rest of the fort. The fort's garrison lined the fort's walls and bastions and manned the mangonels and ballistae above.[7]

The Edur army emerged from the forest and was split into two separate Edur commands and accompanied by two independent forces of Jheck. Both Edur commands were organised on the field in similar formations. In the frontline was an uncounted number of Shadow wraiths three hundred paces across and scores deep. Behind the wraiths was a wedge of Kenyll'rah Demons. The demons were flanked by Tiste Edur, except Hanradi's right flank which was occupied by a third force of Jheck.[9] Both forces hid more than two-thirds of their Edur in the forest behind them. The independent forces of Jheck hid out of sight, with B'nagga holding his in a basin to the west while the other group moved down the Dry Gully.[10]

Opposing Forces[]

Tiste Edur (Attackers)[]

Fear Sengar's command[]


Hanradi Khalag's command[]

  • K'risnan - 1 (Hanradi's son)[10]
  • Tiste Edur - 18,000[9][10]
  • Jheck - 1,000[10][9]
  • Kenyll'rah Demons - 100[9]
  • Shadow wraiths[9]


Independent commands[]


Kingdom of Lether (Defenders)[]

Queen's Battalion[]


Quillas Brigade[]


Grass Jackets Brigade[]

  • Sorcerers - 4[7]


High Fort garrison[]

  • Ballistae and mangonels[7]

The Battle[]

Letherii sorcerers launched the battle by sending a massive wall of flame against the Edur lines. The two Edur K'risnan cast a counter-spell transforming the flames into pillars spiralled with silver-fire over two hundred man-heights tall. Within the flames, Trull Sengar saw hundreds of thousands of bones fueling the fires. The conjoined spells toppled over onto the Letherii lines with explosive effect, tossing earth, flesh, and fragments of armour into the air.[12]

The Shadow wraiths of both Edur commands surged forward and the Kenyll'rah disappeared from the Edur lines only to reappear amongst the Letherii. While the Edur's servants wreaked havoc, both Edur armies charged forward.[13] The fort's garrison directed their ballistae against the huge Demons peppering them with their enormous quarrels and the surviving Green Jackets mages sent a rolling column crackling with lightning against Hanradi Khalag's Edur killing hundreds. Hanradi's K'risnan son responded with an attack of his own detonating the eastern rampart.[14]

Fear's Edur seized the rampart held by the Queen's Battalion and Trull killed the last of their mages. The survivors of the Queen's Battalion and the Quillas Brigade broke and fled with the Edur and their shadow wraiths cutting them down in pursuit. Jheck in their wolf forms and a horde of shadow wraiths poured out of the gully before the Green Jackets Brigade shattering their lines.[15] B'nagga and his Jheck skirted south to the ramparts on the west side of the fort to attack the cavalry reserves sending them and the Letherii's southern reserves fleeing.[16] Seeing the inevitable, the fort's garrison sent out a delegation to surrender.[17]

Aftermath[]

Fear accepted the surrender of the fort's garrison, and once stripped of their weapons, the surviving Letherii soldiers were allowed to safely walk away.[18] Of the Edur army's two K'risnan, one was severely wounded but tended by healers. The other, Hanradi Khalag's son, died during the battle.[7] All of the Letherii mages were dead.[19] Queen Janall and Prince Quillas were both captured and the prince expected to be ransomed in the Letherii manner, but Fear announced that Emperor Rhulad wanted them for himself.[20] Moroch Nevath tore a tendon in the fighting and became separated from his charges. After learning of their capture he sought a horse to make a hurried journey south.[21]

Thinking Hanradi much damaged by the loss of his son, Fear left him behind to govern the fort.[22] Following on the Edur's successes at Trate and Fort Shake, the rest of Fear's army made ready to march on Letheras in two days.[23]

Notes and references[]

  1. Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.488
  2. Midnight Tides, Chapter 16
  3. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.555
  4. Midnight Tides, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.432
  5. Midnight Tides, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.529-530
  6. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.547/561
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.547-548
  8. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.549
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.548-549
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.550
  11. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.548-549
  12. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.550-551
  13. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.550-551
  14. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.550-552/554
  15. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.553-554
  16. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.554
  17. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.555/557
  18. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.556-557
  19. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.555
  20. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.560-561
  21. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.555-556
  22. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.557
  23. Midnight Tides, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.555/564
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