The first major engagements of the campaign began in the fall of 846, as the Campanel Desert's terrible heat was starting to subside for the year. Anthep's leaders, an oligarchy of various guildsmen and merchants, recruited a dozen mercenary armies to fend off the Desperan invaders near the Temeraire
mountain pass. Bernadotte's tactics, outflanking the Anthep forces with some well-placed reinforcements, turned the mercenary armies into disarray and forced them into a chaotic retreat. Each mercenary force only reported to the merchant they were hired by, leading to a lack of coordination between armies that proved to be their downfall.
By that winter Anthep's ruling class was left with just a couple of armies to defend the city. Cut off from the Arrayas Ocean
, the city could only be resupplied by merchants from Sabha
willing to make the dangerous trek through the Campanel Desert. Within weeks the city began running low on all basic goods, its inhabitants growing restless and rioting against the rampant starvation.
The final nail in the coffin for Anthep may have been the forced conscription of thri-kreen in defense of the city. For centuries thri-kreen had been willing to share their expertise of the desert to merchants and travelers alike for a fee, but the thri-kreen made it clear that they respected no masters but themselves. Once representatives from the city's thri-kreen confirmed that Despero's government would respect their autonomy, the thri-kreen abandoned the city en masse. Anthep fell a couple days later, and the city-state was annexed by Despero in a matter of months.