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Battle of Dejagore by Didier Graffet

Battle of Dejagore by Didier Graffet.

The Battle of Dejagore was a major battle of the Shadowmaster wars that transpired at the end of Shadow Games. It was fought by the Black Company and the Taglian armies under its command against the forces of three Shadowmasters outside the city of Dejagore (which the Shadowmasters had renamed "Stormgard"). On the first night of the battle, two of the vastly powerful Ten Who Were Taken neutralized each other and were subsequently executed. Even though the Company killed one Shadowmaster and paralyzed another during the 2-day battle, the tide was turned against them, and the Shadowlanders routed them during the second day of fighting. This battle was followed by the prolonged and gruesome Siege of Dejagore.

Shadow GamesEdit

Background Edit

Dejagore was originally an unwalled city called Jaicur. After it was conquered by Stormshadow, one of the mysterious Shadowmasters from the south, its name was changed to Stormgard. The original city was buried by 40 feet of earth, and Stormgard was built atop the mound. Then, carefully-designed walls of at least 40 feet were added around it. The whole area surrounding Stormgard was a perfectly flat plain. This was the setting of the Battle of Dejagore.

Not long after his impressive victory at the Battle of Ghoja Ford, Croaker the Liberator led the Black Company and the Taglian armies under his command southward until they reached Dejagore ("Stormgard").

Arrival and skirmish: dodging lightning Edit

Upon their arrival, the leadership of the Black Company was impressed with the city's walls and were daunted by their upcoming undertaking. While the rest of their forces set up camp, the senior leaders scouted around the city on the backs of black stallions. This group was comprised of: Croaker and Lady (dressed in their intimidating Widowmaker and Lifetaker armors); Murgen the standard-bearer; the two wizards One-Eye and Goblin; and the Nar commanders Mogaba, Ochiba, and Sindawe. As they rode, they discovered a large Shadowlander military camp about four hundred yards outside the city's south wall. Murgen, waving the Black Company standard, galloped between the enemy camp and the south wall; the rest of the leadership was forced to follow. Goblin stood in the saddle and bared his buttocks to the enemy. The group avoided enemy arrows thanks to the supernatural speed of their mounts. But when the unseen Stormshadow attempted to blast them with four lightning bolts, they were saved only by the direct intercession of their ally, Shapeshifter, a superior sorcerer from the Lady's Empire.

This night, before the first day of battle, Croaker and Lady finally consummated their relationship.

Day 1 Edit

The pitched battle Edit

The battle was met outside the walls of the city. At least 10,000 soldiers led by Shadowspinner came out from the Shadowlander military camp, joined by what seemed to be every man from the city who could be armed pouring out from one of Dejagore's gates. (Stormshadow remained behind the walls and did not make an appearance; Shapeshifter may have been proactively cancelling out any of her attempts to intervene.)

Shadowspinner appeared in person, floating 5 feet in the air in front of his lines, and eventually Cletus directed his ballista fire to hit the Shadowmaster. The Company and their Taglian armies triumphed when Croaker used his 4,000 well-trained infantrymen, his cavalry force, and most importantly, his war elephants to devastating effect. The defending force was frightened and outmatched, and fled to their encampment south of the city, carrying Spinner who was suffering serious ballista-bolt injuries. (It was later revealed that Shadowspinner's sorcery was being hampered by his rival, Longshadow.) The gates of the city were closed quickly and no one, not even the defenders who had come from the city, could get back inside.

Capture of the city after nightfall Edit

That night, Croaker ordered the creation of a massive ramp and undisguised sappers' mines. But these turned out to be a diversion. To capture Dejagore itself, Croaker ordered the imp Frogface to help a small elite group of Nar over the city wall, capture the barbican from the rear, and open the gate. A large group of armed and vengeful former Shadowlander prisoners then rushed through the city, liberating it while a strange and ferocious storm raged.

Citadel: Shapeshifter versus Stormbringer Edit

That same night, Shapeshifter scaled the exterior walls of Stormgard's citadel in the form of a forvalaka. He then cornered the resident Shadowmaster who was holed up there: Stormshadow. After Croaker, Lady, Goblin, One-Eye, and Murgen arrived, Shifter removed the woman's mask and exposed her to be Stormbringer, one of the Ten Who Were Taken who was thought to have been killed years prior during the Battle of Charm. Even Lady had believed Stormbringer was long dead until this moment. The Company leadership now realized that Shifter had been allied with them recently to settle an old score; he might not be a reliable ally after he finished with Stormbringer.

Shifter and Stormbringer fought each other to an exhausted stalemate in hand-to-hand combat (with Soulcatcher secretly aiding Stormshadow and watching nearby through her murder of crows). While the two fought, One-Eye persuaded his comrades they should kill Shifter now, in his weakened state, because Shifter had killed his brother Tom-Tom years ago, in the city of Beryl. Shifter and Bringer were subsequently killed off, and reduced to ash, by the Black Company. When Shifter's apprentice Lisa Daele Bowalk attempted to intervene, she was cut with the Lance of Passion by Murgen the standard-bearer and subdued.

Day 2 Edit

The second pitched battle begins Edit

The next morning, a relief army of roughly 15,000 fresh Shadowlanders, led by Moonshadow, arrived outside the city. Another pitched battle was fought. They were not evenly matched: fewer than 1,000 Company and Taglian fighters stood against them. Croaker and Lady once again donned their Widowmaker and Lifetaker armors. Croaker ordered that the war elephants converge directly onto the floating Shadowmaster to assassinate him, and the plan worked. Moonshadow's last-minute sorcery caused some of the elephants to burst into pieces, and lit the sky blindingly, but he was pummeled by the beasts, and then impaled by Murgen on the Lance.

Shadowspinner turns the tide Edit

When Shadowspinner's forces (the survivors from the pitched battle of the prior day) advanced from their encampment south of the city, the Black Company's forces were pushed back and went into retreat. Croaker tried to stop the retreat, but was pierced by Soulcatcher's arrow and lost consciousness; he was presumed dead by all witnesses at this point. Murgen abandoned his responsibility as standard-bearer, discarding the Lance of Passion, to take on Croaker's Widowmaker armor in order to inspire the troops. However he was too late, as by that time chaos had taken over and most soldiers were not following commands. He was unsuccessful in turning the tide, and the battle was lost. Murgen and Mogaba, leading the surviving Company and Taglians, retreated into the city. The fateful Siege of Dejagore would begin. Croaker himself, along with Moonshadow (still impaled upon the Lance) were secretly spirited off the battlefield by Soulcatcher.

Aftermath Edit

Main article: Siege of Dejagore

The subsequent siege was detailed in the Annals both by Lady outside the city (in Dreams of Steel) and by Murgen inside the city (in Bleak Seasons).

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