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Siege of Pale

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Siege Of Pale

The Siege of Pale

The Siege of Pale marked a turning point in the war on Genabackis. It lasted three years,[1] ending in late winter[2] of the 1163rd year of Burn's Sleep.[3]

The besiegedEdit

Pale had massive ancient stone walls the foundations of which were built on a huge glacial dump which covered the entire valley area. Below the city walls this rock pile filled a giant crevice reaching so far underground that even with magic it was hardly possible to find its bottom.[4]

Pale's resident mages had allied themselves with Anomander Rake, the leader of the Tiste Andii. The presence of his fortress, Moon's Spawn, hanging a quarter-mile over the city was the reason that the siege had gone on for three years.[5]

The besiegersEdit

The combined Malazan 2nd and 6th armies under High Fist Dujek Onearm were the primary forces outside Pale. They were comprised of seven thousand veterans and four thousand recruits and were accompanied by several Black Moranth legions.[6]

The Malazan encampment was set up with precise order.[7] They were camped on the hillsides overlooking the plains outside the city. Rows of grey canvas tents had pathways between them and regimental standards were blowing in the wind. Braziers filled with burning horse dung would keep soldiers on watch warm.[8]

There was also a massive camp of tents and shelters set up by the camp followers.[9]

Part of the besieging army, the Bridgeburners, had been tasked with undermining the ancient walls, a somewhat impossible undertaking due to the nature of the geology beneath the walls.[10]

It was the Malazan belief that the Northern campaign of the 5th Malaz Army had drawn the majority of Moon Spawn's inhabitants away from the fortress, leaving the Lord of Moon's Spawn alone,[11] however, as the Malaz 5th Army in the North Campaign was decimated and wouldn't get any reinforcements for some time, Rake might have his armies back at his disposal at Pale in the near future. Thus the decision was finally made to end the stalemate and attack the city.[12]

High Mage Tayschrenn was part of the Command and pulling the strings behind the scene. He was in constant direct contact with the Empress.[13]

The final battleEdit

On the final day of the Siege, in late winter of the 1163rd year of Burn's Sleep, the 2nd Malaz Army received orders from Empress Laseen to attack Moon's Spawn.[11] She had sent some of the Claw to eliminate the city's mages as a precursor to the attack,[14] in order to prevent them from helping any magic user still resident in Moon's Spawn.

At the command meeting in the morning, Dujek informed his mages of the plan to attack.[15]

It was an overcast day with no wind stirring the midday air and the troops were being bitten by midges as they waited on the plain for the battle to commence.[16]

High Mage Tayschrenn led the sorcerous assault on Moon's Spawn. He was atop the hill closest to Moon's Spawn, while the three High Mages, Nightchill, Bellurdan, and A'Karonys, took the center hill. The 2nd army's mage cadre, composed of Tattersail, Hairlock, and Calot took the farthest hill (which was situated to the north-west or north of Pale)[17] The 2nd and 6th Malaz Armies, seven thousand veterans and four thousand recruits, formed ranks on the plain and would march towards the city when ordered to do so. The Black Moranth legions lined the ridges to the west, a quarter mile away.[18]

When Tayschrenn began the assault, it became apparent that Moon's Spawn would not flee. The magic attack upon the fortress sent debris of stone flying into the city of Pale and into the Malazan forces on the plain. The first attack also dislodged a huge flock of Great Ravens which were nestled among the crags of the fortress, estimated by Hairlock to number thirty-thousand. Anomander Rake then appeared on a ledge of the fortress and opened his own Warren of Kurald Galain.[19]

In the following battle, Hairlock was sliced in half by a wave of sorcery and Calot sacrificed himself to save Tattersail from an attack from behind.[20] Nightchill was dismembered and partially devoured by a Kenryll'ah demon and in retaliation for his mate's death, Bellurdan crushed the skull of the demon.[21] A'Karonys was first frozen solid, then crushed to dust by 'wings of ice'.[21]

Numerous sorcerous attacks launched from Moon's Spawn were deflected by Tayschrenn, causing huge damage amongst the massed armies of the 2nd and 5th, decimating them. His continued assaults sheared enourmous cliffs off the Moon's face which rained down on Pale causing death and chaos there as well.[22]

The soldiers in the field also came under attack from demons.[21]

During the assault, all five of the tunnels carved under the city by the Bridgeburners collapsed killing almost 1,400 soldiers. Only about thirty-five Bridgeburners were able to escape from one of the tunnels.[23]

After sustaining heavy damage, Moon's Spawn then retreated towards the Tahlyn Mountains.[21]

The City of Pale then fell. According to Tattersail, it took less than an hour from them getting ready for the unscheduled command meeting that morning, to Calot being incinerated. This timescale contradicts the observations made before the battle of 'no wind stirred the midday air'. Given that the army had not yet been mobilized when the meeting was called, Tattersail's 'less than an hour' is best taken as a figure of speech (or editing/printing error).[24][25] Just after the battle Tattersail considered how she felt as if someone had been beating her for the last two hours, an indication of the length of the mage battle.[26]

Altogether, about nine thousand men and women died.[27]

Immediate aftermathEdit

The Ravens of Moon's Spawn feasted on the remains outside the walls after the battle.[28]

About an hour after the end of the siege, as Whiskeyjack's mage Quick Ben was working sorcery on the dying Hairlock, Tattersail examined the placement of the wounds on Hairlock. The sorcery which had cut him down had come from the plain. It was Tattersail's belief that Tayschrenn had arranged the wiping out of his own mages and that he deliberately decimated Onearm's Host.[29]

Tattersail had just left, when Whiskeyjack observed that the Moranth were entering Pale in accordance with an agreement made with the Empire. No one in the city was safe as the Moranth enacted an hour of retribution. The streets ran red with blood as 18,739 residents of Pale were purged, one for every confirmed Moranth death at the hands of Pale[3][30]

The order of the Malazan encampment had disintegrated. Wounded were loaded on horse-drawn carts and the air was filled with the screams of pain.[7]

Tayschrenn held a de-briefing after the battle, sometime later in the day.[31]

Timeline of events in Pale later onEdit

Sometime after the battle, by the fifth day at the latest, the Empire headquarters were re-located to a compound within the city.[32]

Sometime in the days after the battle, a low-ranking officer delivered Tayschrenn's commiserations to the surviving Bridgburners. The officer was found two hours later in his room, expertly garotted.[33] When Toc the Younger accompanied Paran into Pale, he told the Captain, that his (Toc's) Clawmaster had been garotted two days back.[34]

One early morning, about seven days after the siege, Whiskeyjack and his squad departed from Pale to Darujhistan by Moranth Quorl.[35] Within the hour, an attack by the Hound of Shadow Gear on Tattersail in her quarters in Pale, left her unconscious.[36] The Hound also killed several marines, fourteen according to what Toc the Younger had heard.[37] When Hairlock met with Quick Ben in the Warren of Chaos, her fever had broken the night before. She had screamed something about a coin having fallen and now being in someone's hand, putting the event around the time of Crokus Younghand picking up the coin.[38]

Toc the Younger left Pale to rendezvous with Adjunct Lorn sometime soon after the attack by the Hound. He rode for three days before meeting her and returned to Pale with her, riding double.[39] On the evening of their return, a formal dinner was held for the Adjunct. This was four days after Tattersail had regained consciousness.[40]

Retrospect insightsEdit

While conversing with Baruk later on, Rake stated his belief that the Malazan assault would have been repelled had the wizards of Pale not fled upon hearing that Empire Claws had infiltrated the city. The Claw had actually been rendered ineffective since they had been dispatched by him almost as soon as they had entered Pale. Rake told Baruk that he had since hunted down the wizards who had fled, tracking the last two to Darujhistan. Given the alternative of them dying by Dragnipur, the alchemist promised Rake he would have their heads.[41]

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.53
  2. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.86
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.52
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.61
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.61/66
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, US HC p.69
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.85
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.60/61
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.86
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.58/62
  11. 11.0 11.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.66
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.68
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.116
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.65
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.66
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.72
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.107/108
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.72
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.74/75
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.76
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.77
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.75-77
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, US HC p.60-61
  24. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.60
  25. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.72
  26. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.78
  27. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.86
  28. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.199/200
  29. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.52/80/81
  30. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.257
  31. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.91/92
  32. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.100
  33. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.104
  34. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.115
  35. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.156-160/163
  36. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.162-168
  37. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.268
  38. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.262
  39. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.267-278
  40. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.299
  41. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.214
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