The Sinking of the Tyrnabay Armada

There are many seaports along the shores of Cartyrion, and at least five of the races have established themselves as at least noteworthy on the seas. But it is generally agreed that there are only two contenders for the title of "super-power of the seas: the free Dwarven city of Cliffport, and the nation of Tyrnabay with its Wolf's Bay Free Traders' League. This is the story of when the latter sought to secure its place at the top... and failed to do so.

Two hundred years ago, the privateers of Tyrnabay had formed a coalition of sorts: the Wolf's Bay Free Trader's League. They had grown tired of fighting amongst themselves and sought instead to focus their attentions making their home nation of Tyrnabay a region to be reckoned with. The pact that formed the league provided rules for dividing the world into portions that each member of the league was free to plunder. But it also provided the five privateer companies and five mercenary bands a framework for working together. Very early on, they decided that they should do just that to deal with the one other power on Cartyrion that could be a formidable enemy. If they were able to neutralize Cliffport and its Dwarven ships, all the seas of Cartyrion would be theirs to plunder. And so, the League planned an assault on Cliffport.

The Plan

Their intention was to attack without warning, and their finally agreed-upon objective was to capture the city and subjugate it under the Tyrnabay flag. They assembled every ship they could find that could either carry mercenary troops or support sea catapults. Over two hundred ships would carry four thousand soldiers to assault the city while the ships themselves dealt with the Dwarven fleet. The ships would approach Cliffport, but about five miles short of the city, they would disembark their foot soldiers. These would take oar-boats to the shore, form up, and attack the city by land as the ships sailed into the harbor to wreak havoc from the seas.

The Surprise

What the Tyrnabay privateers did not know was that some twenty years earlier, the Dwarves of the Glitterhold - a Delve not far from Cliffport - had made a breakthrough discovery in catapult technology. This breakthrough, which resulted in catapults with drastically increased ranges meant that the Dwarven ships could fire upon the invaders long before the invaders could return fire.

The Tyrnabay raiders were also unaware that the Dwarves of Cliffport and the Awkwana of ?? had entered into a pact of their own for mutual defense. Part of this pact included establishing a series of signal fire towers in the mountain peaks that separated the two cities. If either city was attacked, word would reach the other city several hundred miles away within perhaps a half-hour at most.

When the Tyrnabay Armada rounded the point and sailed past ??, it was spotted by Awkwana waveriders. The signal fires were lit, and Cliffport was alerted. By the time Tyrnabay's fleet reached the point where it was to disembark the land troops, the Cliffport fleet was already under sail and approaching them.

The Battle

The Tyrnabay ship officers were not phased - at least not until the Dwarves started firing their catapults. Sticky, flaming balls of alchemical fire rained down on the ships from large catapults mounted on the shore - from a distance far beyond what the Tyrnabay captains "knew" to be safe from shore attack. The ships began to increase distance from the shore, all the while still dropping their oar-boats with land troops. Once the sailing vessels were properly beyond reach of the shore batteries, the Dwarves turned their attention to the landing boats. It is estimated that of the four thousand soldiers that loaded into the boats, barely three hundred of them made it to the shore alive.

In the meantime, Cliffport's own defense fleet was approaching the armada of Tyrnabay ships. Once more, the Tyrnabay captains assessed the situation improperly. They believed that the fact they outnumbered the dwarven fleet by at least ten to one meant they had the upper hand. But the Dwarves had superior firepower. Instead of closing to "traditional" assault distance, the Cliffport fleet split and maneuvered to sail past the armada on either side. As they did so, they too rained down sticky fire upon the Tyrnabay ships.

The entire engagement was over in about three hours. Of the more than a hundred sailing vessels that Tyrnabay brought to the fight, only two were seaworthy enough to return to their home port. Of the four thousand troops disembarked to fight on land, none ever returned home.


Fortunately for Tyrnabay - and perhaps the rest of the world - the Seafarer Dwarves of Cliffport do not have a desire to rule the world, or even the seas. They wish, however, to be left to pursue their goals upon those seas without intereference. Thus, they did not follow the sinking of the Tyrnabay armada with an assault on Tyrnabay itself. The privateers and mercenaries were left to return home. Since then, the member organizations of the Free Traders League have had the opportunity to rebuild. While they are not as powerful today as they were before their catastrophic assault on Cliffport, they are nonetheless formidable. And they are wary - at least of ships bearing the colors of Cliffport.


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