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The Battle at the Shadowlander cemetery was a major engagement between Mogaba's Protectorate forces, and the Black Company and its allies commanded by its Captain, Sleepy, during Soldiers Live. The Company had no sorcery at its disposal, as its wizards were out on the glittering plain, so the battle was conducted with conventional weapons and fireball projectors. It took place beside a Shadowlander cemetery not far from the Rock Road and the Grove of Doom.

Soldiers Live[]

Preceding events[]

After the Protectorate defeat at the Battle of the Middle Ground, Mogaba received reliable intelligence that the Company's sorcerers had flown far away south. If the reports were accurate, it would mean that the Company was at least temporarily deprived of incredible battlefield advantages. Aware that it might have been a ruse, he took the risk anyway and prepared an attack in force. His intelligence turned out to be accurate: unlike the preceding battle, which was awash with horrible sorcery, this battle was fought with conventional weapons only. Numerous Unknown Shadows were actually present, but steadfastly refused to help the Black Company, as their beloved Tobo was one of the absent sorcerers.

Mogaba divided his forces into three divisions:

  1. the central division was the veteran Second Territorial, under Mogaba's direct command;
  2. the right wing, under the command of the young officer Narenda Nath Saraswati; and
  3. the left wing, commanded by Aridatha Singh and comprised mostly of City Battalions infantry, whose goal was to push through the Grove and attack the Company's left wing, rear, and reserve.

Skirmishes on the Rock Road[]

Mogaba’s Taglian cavalry started numerous skirmishes with Sleepy’s forces near the Rock Road (the most important highway in the region) not far from the Grove of Doom. This caused commercial traffic to dwindle on the road, but it did not cease entirely. Both armies "relied heavily on questioning civilians passing through" the Rock Road.

Saraswati crushed[]

Sleepy neutralized Saraswati's right-wing division very early, before she could be fully engaged by the Second Territorial. Saraswati's men charged without cohesion over almost a full mile. Sleepy anticipated the maneuver. They were cut to pieces by a force which Sleepy had hidden inside the actual cemetery, which marched out from the concealing trees in perfect order. Saraswati himself was killed, and of his division, "not one man in ten could be accounted for".

Veteran armies collide[]

The Black Company then fought Mogaba and his veteran Second Territorial directly in grueling combat over many hours. Right before they clashed, Sleepy maneuvered her best soldiers as well as her cavalry for maximum effect. Mogaba observed this and admitted, "the little witch finally caught me" upon realizing that he had been outwitted. Whereas he had defeated Sleepy numerous times during the Kiaulune wars, now his adversary had outmaneuvered him.

Meanwhile, Aridatha Singh's force swept through the Grove of Doom. His men executed and beheaded all the Strangler pilgrims there, and captured the Daughter of Night and the Khadidas. These valuable prisoners were both sent away to be imprisoned within the Palace of Taglios. Then, Aridatha's force moved to join the battle, but was eventually pushed off the battlefield thanks to the foresight of Sleepy's second-in-command, Suvrin. "Only Aridatha Singh's division retained its cohesion. Its reward was the task of screening the retreating army. Which consisted mainly of survivors of the Second Territorial."

Losses[]

On the Company's side, numerous valued veterans were injured or killed, including the Old Crew engineer brothers Cletus and Loftus, and many of Sleepy's most trusted men who dated back to the Kiaulune wars, such as Iqbal Singh and Riverwalker. They also lost three longstanding allies: Ky Sahra, Blade, and Willow Swan. Sahra, the mother of Tobo, disappeared during the battle. She was presumed killed, and later appeared to her son in ghostly visions... but her body was never found, not even with the supernatural assistance of the Unknown Shadows. Despite these losses, Mogaba did not overrun the Company's camp as he planned, and he did not seize the mass of treasure which the Company had collected from the fortress with no name.

List of notable fatalities[]

Black Company and allies:

Protectorate:

Aftermath[]

Mogaba sent his newest aid-de-camp, Than Jahn, to negotiate an armistice so the bodies of lost Taglians could be collected for proper funerary rites.

This battle was followed by the Siege of Taglios, during which both Sleepy and Mogaba were killed, the city of Taglios itself was liberated, and the Protectorate finally overthrown.

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