Siege of Anthep Military Conflict in Ekal | World Anvil
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Siege of Anthep

A months-long siege of the city-state Anthep in the Campanel Desert by forces from the half-elf kingdom of Despero. The campaign proved a resounding success, a major development in Despero's path towards regional power.

The Conflict


The half-elf kingdom of Despero had long dreamed of gaining a foothold in the Campanel Desert, seeking an alternative to trade routes through its rival Rakka and access to rare goods from the desert's interior. It had attempted to conquer the region more than half a century prior, but its forces became stretched too thin and unprepared for the desert's harsh climate. The noble families of Despero felt that the previous ruler Chantalle De Mer had been too meddlesome in the campaign's day-to-day operations, but with King Philippe De Mer's hands-off approach the nobles believed they could wage a war on their own terms without unnecessary interference.


Cautious after the failures of the previous campaign, Despero's armies made a slow advancement from the northern city of Majeure into the Thueban region of the Campanel Desert. Military commanders like Gen. Jean Bernadotte ensured a consistent stream of communication between Desperan forces and the nation's capital Havre, keeping the army well-supplied and secure against attacks from the rear.


Unlike the previous desert campaign, Despero's leaders focused on seizing control over Anthep and avoided direct confrontation with the yuan-ti of Sheyuan. After Anthep's forces were pushed out of the field and within the city's gates, the conflict's fighting was concentrated solely around the city.

The Engagement

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 or Renzi 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.


With the annexation of Anthep, Despero cemented its status as a regional superpower in Southern Pescat. For centuries the region was defined by the wars between the Elflands Empire and Rakka, but with the successful annexation of Anthep Despero proved that it was more than just an Elflands satellite state. Despero's borders now stretched hundreds of miles from the arid climates of the Campanel Desert to the verdant farmlands of the Fey Plains.   The victory in Anthep also stood as a testament to the success of the kingdom's current oligarchy. With a hands-off monarch and a royal council representing the most powerful noble families, the council continued to amass power to the point where the King stood as a virtual figurehead in the kingdom.


Despero's annexation of Anthep could not have come at a better time: a couple decades later the Elflands Empire would collapse during the Sunken God's Reign of Terror, completely realigning Southern Pescat's balance of power. Despero no longer had to play second fiddle to the Elflands, instead competing with three other kingdoms for regional supremacy: the human nation of Sardivelia, the tiefling kingdom of Rakka, and the dragonborn land of Bahamut  The Siege of Anthep had clear commercial and political gains for Despero, but experts in the region have speculated that the half-elf kingdom may have made itself vulnerable to infiltration to yuan-ti forces. Despero's borders now stopped just a few dozen miles away from the yuan-ti homeland of Sheyuan, posing a tempting opportunity for yuan-ti purebloods seeking to sway nobles and public opinion in Despero.
Conflict Type
Battlefield Type
Start Date
846, 4th Cycle
Ending Date
847, 4th Cycle
Conflict Result
Despero victory, annexation of Anthep


Despero Armies

Led by

The Campanel Guild




To seize and annex the desert city of Anthep
To defend against Despero's aggressive expansionism


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