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Battle of the Red Diamond

The last stand of the Steel Wardens against the Artalgnian Empire

Introduction


"Glorious? Heroic? No, that battle was a disaster. Nothing good came out of it. What Achard and we did may have been impressive, but we didn't save the Kingdom. We didn't."
— Muriel Proulx, writer and former member of the Steel Wardens

One of the most famous battles to ever be fought in the Kingdom of Archana, the Battle of the Red Diamond marked the end of the Steel Wardens and the war against Artalgne. Only a few survivors left the battle, but they were received as heroes.

The Conflict

Prelude

Artalgne and Archana have a long history of conflict, with the former once being able to conquer and hold control of the later for 170 years. After Archana regained its independence, Artalgne would often come back and try to retake its former colony, but thanks to the new defenders of the border, the Steel Wardens, they failed every time. The Battle of the Red Diamond was intended to be Artalgne's largest clash against Archana so far, trying to overwhelm the Wardens with sheer numbers.

Deployment

At first, the Wardens were having an easy time since they were so used to fight the Artalgnians. But the enemy's troops were overwhelming in numbers. They brought everything they could, supplies, men and weapons, enough to make the siege last a week of battling. It was a suicide attack of sorts, the Artalgnian troops were dying by the hundreds, but the Wardens were being pressured enough to start losing their ranks and walls.

By the 8th day, the Artalgnian army nearly decimated the Wardens. Only Achard Lionhart and a few other members of the Council remained, almost defeated and ready to give up. But a timely arrival of King Abraham II reignited their hope for a last stand, and Achard led his few fellow Wardens into the battlefield for an impressive face off against the enemy.

These heroes seemed invincible, the fire from their souls burned every single enemy soldier that crossed into The Tip of the Fort until the Artalgnian army finally retreated and left the battlefield.

Click here to reveal spoilers for the campaign.

Ending the War

The real reason why Artalgne retreated was that the King had a meeting with the enemy commander and made a deal with them. Archana was discovering the secrets of Rune Magic through the ADP, and that information would greatly benefit the Empire. Abraham would provide such information to them in exchange for Archana's liberty, the end of the war. While this deal did end the war, this act was treason, and so it was kept a secret.

Battlefield

The battle took place in Fort Edgemourn, as usual. A barrier of 4 layers of walls, gatehouses, walkways, and moats.

Outcome

The victory ensured Archana its independence, even though it cost the lives of nearly every single Warden. Artalgne retreated, and word was that they wouldn't return again - the war was over.

Aftermath

With the ranks of the Wardens dwindled to 5 people only and the declaration that Artalgne wouldn't return, King Abraham II announced that the Steel Wardens were disbanded and that the Arcane Development Program was in charge of Archana's defense moving forward.

Historical Significance

The Battle of the Red Diamond marked a great change of direction in Archana's history. The King became harsher in his decisions, and those did show his growing concern about the Kingdom's safety. The people were also left the scarred, with so many deaths weighing down on them. The death count was such that the moats of the Diamond Walls turned red with the blood of both sides, which is why it was named the Battle of the Red Diamond.

In Literature

Muriel Proulx, one of the 5 surviving Wardens and now a writer, took the front of the documentation of the battle. She described in detail the 8 days of siege, how the Wardens managed to keep their morale and counteracted the enemy's advance. It also kickstarted her career as a writer, publishing many other works later on.

Technological Advancement

While the design of the Fort was a huge point to the Wardens' side, it certainly wasn't only that that gave them such a huge advantage to last so long with so few men in comparison. Artalgne is a religious anti-magic empire, so they could only count with the use of usual medieval-ish warfare. Archana, on the other hand, is all in for the use of magic, guaranteeing that every Warden was worth almost a hundred men of the Artalgnian army.

Conflict Type
Siege
Battlefield Type
Land
Start Date
July 13, 480 AE
Ending Date
July 21, 480 AE
Conflict Result
Archana barely won, ending the war against Artalgne
Location
Fort Edgemourn

Belligerents

Steel Wardens (Archana)
The Artalgnian Army

Strength

A little over 4.000 soldiers
500.000 soldiers

Casualties

Every Warden but 5 survivors
Almost 400.000 men

Objectives

Resist the attack until the Artalgnian troops retreat
Take over Edgemourn to use it as an outpost and take the rest of Archana

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Cover image: by Zeke Lionhart

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