By the end of Sea Season, the Lunar invasion of the Holy Country had stalled outside the walls of Karse. After being nearly destroyed in a Lunar assault, Smithstone had been retaken by Esrolian and Malkonwal forces. Whitewall remained free; worse yet, control over the Crimson Bat was lost and the Bat was last seen flying over the Mirrorsea Bay. The Lunar Army’s Sartarite and Sun Dome Templar mercenaries had fled or even switched sides.
Fazzur took direct oversight to correct the situation. First, he rallied disorganized Lunar units near Smithstone that had old from the Bat, and pulled much of the Lunar Army outside of Karse back towards Smithstone. The Cavalry Screen was used to clear the Marzeel north of Smithstone. With some 8000 soldiers, Fazzur retook Smithstone from its Esrolian and Malkonwal defenders and fortified the position against Malkonwal counter attacks.
Then the Red Moon turned and the fortunes of the Lunar Army began to wax again. A Wolf Pirate fleet was spotted in the Mirrorsea Bay, and Caladraland agents reported that the Ditali were preparing for war. The Caladraland mercenaries in Karse made private arrangements to flee by boat while they still could and did so.The Wolf Pirates brought with them Lunar soldiers from Prax – the Granite Phalanx and Silver Shields – and the Lunars made a two-prong assault on Karse. Losses were high on both sides, but in the end, Karse fell (although most of the Esrolian army escaped and returned to Nochet). Fazzur ordered Karse to be spared pillaging. The Wolf Pirates, feeling betrayed, withdrew from the Mirrorsea Bay.
Lunar agents reached out to the Queendom of Jab and encouraged the scorpion people to attack Malkonwal. The Warlord Rikard was forced to withdraw from the conflict around Smithstone to confront the Chaos threat. Lunar agents also encouraged internal dissension within Malkonwal.
By the end of the campaign season of 1619, Karse fully under Lunar control, Malkonwal was rent with internal dissension and a serious chaos threat from the Queendom of Jab, and the Esrolia and Caladraland armies were back in their homelands as insurance against the Western Barbarians. Only Whitewall held out in northern Heortland, besieged by a Lunar screen.
Fazzur had the advantage that the Wolf Pirates were outside of the city and HIS soldiers were inside.
Fazzur really was the Man. When plans went wrong, Fazzur was always able to regroup and correct his errors with remarkable creativity. Like Owen Connelly described Bonaparte, Fazzur was the Great Scrambler.
Greg revealed to me that it was Wolf Pirates not Lunar-crafted ships that enabled the convoy from Corflu. Harrek already hated the Lunar Empire (and hated their leaders, priestesses, and goddess), but the offer was too great for him to turn down – the right to sack and pillage Karse (a rich trading city) and mastery over the Mirrorsea Bay.Instead, Fazzur decreed that Karse would not be pillaged (he had goals of his own) and the Wolf Pirates were left empty-handed. After that Harrek rejected any offer from any Lunar or that would aid the Empire. And harming the Lunar Empire became a treasure for him as valuable as gold or silver.
So the crimson bat attacks whitewall in 1619? not 1620 as stated in the Sartar Companion ?
Correct. When I wrote the Sartar Companion materials, Greg no longer had access to his detailed information about the Whitewall campaign (it went missing around 1991 or so) so we had to rely on summaries and notes.
However a few years ago, a box filled with Greg’s most important notes on Dragon Pass – thought long lost – showed up at Greg’s place shortly before his death, courtesy of an act of great kindness. Greg sent the contents to me to incorporate into RQ. So you’ll be seeing lots of that stuff in the Sartar Book, Cults Book, and everything else. Those pictures on this post is from the series of military campaign maps Greg made of the campaign, probably around 1979 or so.