Death Alliance Finally Arrives... and Expands?
The third campaign for the new dregs worlds opened with a land rush. Winterblades seized three keeps, but was thwarted at a fourth by Dissentient (DIS) and was caught in a bad engagement at a critical fort in Lucadonius. Undeterred, Winterblades rallied to secure other means of acquiring vast quantities of building materials by locking down the Woutan zone and its valuable refinery. However, Dissentient was not idle in Spring and opened negotiations with the old Chaos forces and in particular making overtures to Death Alliance (LOD/UDL/SIN/MHW/TB)
In the summer, siege operations were executed and Dissentient's keep was assaulted by 22 Winterblades. Dissentient's 26 stalwart defenders were bolstered by their well organized efforts to acquire a full complement of powerful keep guards. Although "Uncle Jobel's Keep" was breached and some of their buildings destroyed, at a critical moment Dissentient unveiled their trap--a new alliance. A force of Death Alliance (LOD/UDL) arrived providing a distraction and allowing Dissentient an opportunity to sally out of the keep and pincer the smaller Winterblade siege force. Meanwhile, at Winterblades' capital a Kitra Fyve Keep, a lone defender delayed and held the walls with ballista against KGV's siege force long enough for the returning Winterblades assault team to arrive and crush the KGV siege equipment and assault team with no loss of any structures.
Winterblades rallied from the coordinated trap and launched a punitive raid at LoD's fort to destroy their assets, but the cooperation between Dissentient and Death Alliance was not some passing fluke of timing. A second coordinated strike by the newly expanded Death Alliance outside LoD's fort overwhelmed the Winterblades siege force for a second time. With the moments ticking down in the Gods' defined single siege hour, a new strategy was required.
To secure the Divine Favor of the Gods more forts were needed for Winterblades to gain victory points in the campaign. It was time to test the agility of the Death Alliance leadership. Was the the newly joined Death Alliance mass able to maneuver as well as strike? To test this the Winterblade siege force was split in half. One half was sent to distract Death Alliance's massed force by starting to siege assets at Dissentent's economic heartland in the fort at Kylet Drakenoire. Meanwhile the other half of the Winterblades siege force blitzed through and captured seven additional forts including overcoming the defending forces of KGV and Wolf Haven.
The evening was an ultimate success for both the newly expanded Death Alliance and Winterblades--the nascent alliance held their strongholds, but did not prevent Winterblades from securing the lead in victory points.
In Fall the gods decreed that only offerings of tears and blood would win victory points--those that burned the greatest number of buildings (and thus manhours of effort) would gain victory. A lightning campaign was planned by Winterblades Leadership. The officers were briefed and forces assigned for a threefold plan:
A diversionary attack with siege equipment at Dissentent home keep, which successfully kept Dissentent's significant forces force tied down defending their home;
An offensive strike team pre-positioned in the far south, which razed Caldera's fully developed fort to the ground, and;
A defensive force at Winterblades home keep defending our numerous structures from any attempt at destruction.
Following the success of the initial plans, the disparate Winterblades forces were united and directed at LoD's home fort a second time--it was time to test if Dissentient's coordination with Death Alliance was the passing association of an evening or the newest chapter in Death Alliance's expansion. In expectation of being driven off by the massed Death Alliance blob, a large store of siege equipment had been prepared and reserved for the initial strike at LoD's fort. A large wave of siege equipment was placed and LOD/UDL's Arcane Armory, Bell Tower, and Hero Statue (respawn) fell rapidly. But as expected, the massed forces of Death Alliance ultimately arrived to save the fort. The Death Alliance pushed the Winterblade siege force off of its siege engines and to the east of the fort where a force of KGV closed off the escape route. Surrounded on three sides by more than double the numbers the siege force fell to the combined Death Alliance forces.
While unfortunate, the return of the more numerous Death Alliance forces, and the success of their massed forces was anticipated. It was again time to test the agility of Death Alliance's leadership and ability to maneuver. A swift rally and resupply, brought the Winterblades siege force to Dissentient's main economic hub at Kylet Drakenoire in Lucadonius. Scouts were placed to provide warning of the movements of the LOD/UDL/DIS massed forces. A wave of siege equipment was dropped allowing for the further destruction of three buildings from Dissentent's main caravansary fort. As soon as the Death Alliance horde began streaming into the Lucadonius zone, Winterblades slipped away into the night. After rapid discussion, an executive decision was made by Damebix--a return to LoD's home fort in Woutan. This would be a race against the Death Alliance's ability to retrace their steps.
The Winterblades siege force raced back to LoD's home fort dropping siege and further destroying LoD's barracks while the Death Alliance forces lagged in reacting to the new threat. A trickle of Death Alliance defenders arrived, but they failed to unify their numbers and were dispatched as the small clusters arrived. Unfortunately the single hour of the siege contest came to a close before further structures could be razed in LoD's home fort.
The Gods' demand for tears and blood was well satisfied following the razing of assets in Caldera, LoD/UDL, and Dissentient homelands, easily securing Winterblades the greatest Divine Favor with their offerings and expanding Winterblades' lead in victory points. Much ink in general chat and discord was spilled discussing the difficulties defenders faced in protecting their assets.
After the long campaigning season and prior successes, the only path to victory for the remainder of the server was through Winterblade's home keep at Kitra Fyve in Thoreandan. Fortunately, Death Alliance did not disappoint. An outnumbered force of Winterblades manned the walls against massed forces of Death Alliance. The siege work grew hot. Although many of the LoD/DIS siege engines were placed within ballista range, a few were more expertly placed and beyond the reach of the defensive ballista. Between the siege weapons outside ballista range and the overall mass of incoming siege fire, it was clear ballista alone would not hold the line. The siege engines outside of ballista range needed to be brought down or Death Alliance would destroy the Winterblades respawn statue and breach the walls, where their larger numbers could be brought to against the defenders. The Winterblades force thus sallied from the keep on three occasions into the massed Death Alliance force securing the destruction of critical siege engine before falling back to the keep.
Despite being significantly outnumbered, the Death Alliance ran out of catapults and trebuchets before the wall was breached or any Winterblade structure was destroyed--though the Hero's Monument (Respawn Statute) was below 25% health. Protecting assets with a smaller defensive force is not easy and requires sallying from the safety of the walls, but it can be done.
The call was made to repay in kind the Winterblades' debts to the Death Alliance for their pincer trap in Summer at Dissentient's "Uncle Jobel's Keep". Although Winterblades and HoA had agreed to compete against each other in Dregs, it was time to call in a favor from the Auld Alliance of Balance. A force of Avari struck the rear of Dissentient creating the distraction necessary for the Winterblades force to once again sally out and drive deep into the center of the Death Alliance lines causing a general collapse and rout of the Death Alliance forces.
With even the oppressive blue light of Winter fading from the dying world, Winterblades used the final moments of the final divinely sanctioned siege hour to launch an offensive at the home of their old foes from the days of the Chaos Hordelings. UxA's built up fort at Fela Darktide in Mael ibn Bracht was razed to the ground, despite two relief attempts from UxA and Corvus Citadel. To salt the earth, the fort was neutralized and left unclaimed as a final offering to the Divine Favor of the Gods.
With the Hunger sweeping in, the dying world was doomed and it was time to prepare for the next dregs campaign, but not before claiming victory by both Right of Conquest and the Divine Favor of the Gods.
Will a new tide rise? Will Dissentent join LoD/UDL/SIN/MWH/TB in the grand DEATH Alliance? Is DEATH arriving (or still merely coming)? Is Dissentient's alliance with Death a marriage of convenience or is Dissentent the latest initiate into the Death Cult? Only time will tell. What is known, is a guild with less than 60 days in Crowfall (although greatly assisted by the former Clam mercenaries) has shown a greater capacity for cooperation, diplomacy, organization, and coordinated action than has been seen outside of the forces of Balance since the beginning of the Trials of the Gods.