I arrive at the outskirts of Satakalaam in search of the final Ansei Ward only to find the entrance to the city barred to me. The Seventh Legion of the corrupted empire have somehow managed to cross the Dragontail Mountains from Bangkorai in large enough numbers to overrun the city, and hold out against the outlying forces of the Redguard General Thoda.
The city’s main entrance from the Tigonus wastes is well fortified with high walls and palisades, whilst the surrounding mountains provide natural barriers preventing incursion, so our only course is to infiltrate the city by subterfuge and loosen the legion’s grip from within. And so just past midnight I enter the city dressed as a Seventh legionnaire with orders to free any hostages, discover how the legion managed to capture the seemingly impregnable Satakalaam, and prevent any more reinforcements from joining the invaders.
Named after the Yokudan god Satakal the Worldskin, the city is also the location for the largest burial ground in the desert, the Motalion Necropolis. It is here I suspect I will find the necromantic cult of the Withered Hand who hold the final ward. Are the Seventh Legion really now working with this death cult? Their invasion is just too well planned to be but opportunism on the Withered Hand’s chaos.
Oh how far the morality of the empire has fallen, where now is the famed integrity of the legionaries? Is it not true even the most august warrior with a thousand noble victories, losses all honour in the scrolls with but a single ignoble deed.
As dawn arrives and the desert sun blooms over the mountains, Satakalaam’s minarets shimmer like golden petals upon the wind, and the city is ours. With tensions continuing across the sands between Crown and Forebear kin, I wonder, will the future bards of the desert even recall that it was a Forebear force that liberated this most devout of Crown cities.