In this battle, a badly outnumbered by the Dark Legions (ten to one, according to some accounts) the Sargonic-Degolandic army, retreating to Karentia, was forced to present battle due to the risk of being flanked by the flying columns of the Dark legion, the commander of the armies of the Five Kingdoms, Don Camilo III The Warrior choosing to present instead a defensive battle in a chosen position rather than be caught in the retreat.
This battle is notable for the apparition of the Anonymous Prophet, which unleashed the Sand Beings, in the only account in existence of control of their destructive potential. The battle is the centrepiece of many plays and epics of Aels.
Contemporary accounts Edit
The Battle of the Plains of Sargos is well documented by at least eleven contemporary accounts,five of them by eyewitnesses. The approximate location of the battle was never in dispute, as afterward and as result of the action of the Sand Beings, it turned into the Landas of Sargos.
Two of the most frequently cited accounts come from Degolandic sources: one from Silas of Delgem, who was present at the battle, and the other from Mendax Hypocrita Ambitiosor. The Dark Legion eyewitness account comes from the anonymous "The Sand is calling", believed to have been written by a Bazrrod lieutenant of Satman, who had his body destroyed by the Sand Beings and his soulstone recovered. Other authors include the Archbishop of Karentia, Jean Joachim -who wasn't present at the battle, and wrote it from his discussions with some of the wounded survivors in the Hospital of Karentia- in his book "The Miracle of the Plains of Sargos and other divine demonstrations of how God had chosen Humans", and the Draak Harg mercenary Shee'ehz Hisss'hi, Siege engineer captain of the Dark Legion, in his book "From Roccassone back to Skallgard: an account of the Campaign of Sargos".
At the year 2439 a.a.H, the right hand of Sataan, Satman the Apprentice, who had traveled from his fortress from the Unholy Mountain of Hortann to Polforia to review the state of the armies of the Dark Legion. Upon inspection, it was decided the armies of the Dark Legion were ready for conquering the human, elven and loranor realms that opposed the Dark Legion in Aels: an army as was said it wasn't ever seen before: 178 legions -between 900.000 to 1.200.000 warriors, according to Dark Legion chronicles, and of three millions, to human historians-
However, in order to march over the Human Five Kingdoms of the Northwest, while could be used the mountain passes of the Dargoina Mountains, the most direct access to the human kingdoms of the northwest, the Degoland Pass was defended by the bulwark of Humanity, the Gate City of Roccasone, while in the north, closing the Navatiak pass, was the Sovereign Military Order of Nortender: so in order to march over the Five Kingdoms, it was needed to take over Roccasone.
By the 2440 a.a.H, Satman ordered his forces to be divided in three main columns -one to cross the paths in southern Dargoina, one in the Navatiak Pass and the main force into Degoland itself through the Degoland Pass-, while minor forces would cross the Dargoina Mountain range all over the available mountain paths.
Since their return in the 2434 a.a.H, while they had been preparing their armies, the Dark Legion as well was careful to try to keep the secret of their strength, and that the return of the demon lords to only remain as rumours: and the humans of Roccasone, too proud, hadn't believed either in the return of the Demon Lords -they firmly believed instead it was a façade, and instead was one more time one of the Dark Legion Remnants claiming hegemony over the other demonic princedoms- and these humans felt safe behind their powerful walls.
However, Roccasone quickly fell due to betrayal, slave revolts, infiltration and a marching Dark Legion force.
Much of Roccasone's inhabitants will be slaughtered, and only a handful of survivors were able to escape, while the rest were enslaved by the dark legion: the city, sacked and damaged, will become known as Skallgard, the Garden of Skulls, a demonic outpost for the marching dark legions under the rule of Succubus Queen Laisha, who was a crucial part of the taking over the human city.
While it was needed speed, so the dark legions arrived before the news of the fall of Roccasone, the sacking of the city slowed down their advance, and while the Werewolf and Ozcura Orc skirmishers were very successful in cutting off the communications of Roccasone to the Five Kingdoms, it was precisely because of this lack of news that the garrisons of the border fortresses of Degoland were already on guard: so when finally some Roccasone refugees and survivors arrived with the news, this news quickly extended like fire:
"The Dark Legion has returned, and it's here"
The quick advance across the Degoland Pass planned by Satman became instead a muddled, slow advance as he could only advance some few legions at a time to siege and storm the castles and forts of Degoland within the pass, with the bulk of the legions awaiting in the Polforian lowlands, meanwhile the news in the northern front against Nortender wasn't good either, as their advance had been stopped.
However, the distraction forces that were crossing the smaller mountain passes across the Dargoina Mountains were very successful in distracting the human kingdoms, as at first Huncle will commit most of their forces to guard Oster Gate, the same with Degoland. Meanwhile in the Dargoina pass of The Cauldron, Satman's legions crossed to Barlans without problems, and were now marching in the plains westwards.
With the news of the advance of the Dark Legion, menacing all along the Dargoina Mountains -with possibly a main attack trying to force the Degoland Pass, the sargonic king don Camilo III was to lead the forces of the Five Kingdoms, calling to arms their armies.
Satman, growing impatient, and while it was clear in Nortender his legions present there weren't capable of destroying the Knights of Nortender, he wanted that his forces that were marching across El Yermo -sacking and burning Erenian- to arrive at the Osorio Valley at the same time the main force to cross the Degoland Pass, so he ordered more forces into the Dargoina Mountains to assault the Degolandic castles and forts, finally forcing the pass.
While Camilo III was quick to rebuild again the fortifications and raise the armies of Sargos at least to the point of the Sargonic wars since his return to Sargos at the 2431 a.a.H, and he counted in with the support of the Five Kingdoms of the Northwest, acknowledging the danger of the Dark Legion -especially after the fall of Roccasone-, the humans of the northwest had gathered an army of about 100.000 men, aside of the garrisons of the castles and fortifications -as most of the forces of Degoland and Huncle were already defending their eastern borders, and it was needed to send a force to help Erenian-.
While a powerful army, as the Degoland Pass and Erenian had fallen, Satman was finally able to move into Degoland the bulk of his legions: And against the armies massed by the dark Legion in their great invasion of Sargos, there was little that the Christian human armies of the northwest could do: As Camilo III realized the size of the invading forces of the Dark Legion, he ordered to abandon Degoland, retreating to the western bank of the Osorio river, leaving only garrisons in the strongest degolandic castles to slow down the advance of the Dark Legion -and in case they weren't assaulted, to menace the supply and communication lines of the demonic armies-.
While in the south the River Guard and Tardos tried hold the line, in a quick succession the cities and castles of Degoland fell, destroyed and sacked by the Dark Legions, and the line of the Osorio River proved to be impossible to hold for the human armies of the sargonic king Camilo III, who after the fall of his own capital -Millbridge- ordered his army to retreat again westwards, toward Karentia, seeking for a better defensive position to face in battle the Dark Legions.
However, as the Dark legion raiders and flying columns of ozcuras, werewolves and other light forces flanked the Sargonic army, was fought a series of desperate battles in the human retreat, until it was clear that, in the risk of being encircled, Camilo III and his armies were to fight a final battle in the plains of Sargos rather than Karentia, a battle where it was to be put on the line the destiny of the Five Kingdoms.
Camilo III, with an army of about 80.000 men, were to face some 160 dark legions -according to human historians, about three millions servers of the Dark Legion, and according demonic accounts, a force of 982.000 warriors.-
The Battlefield Edit
The location of the battle, while chosen by the human leaders to serve their heavy cavalry and give some defense to their infantry, wasn't their first option, but they couldn't retreat to Karentia. The plains had a line of hills and rocky terrain westward and to the north and south there were the woods of Tramar and Zinner, being in the region only some scattered farms and smaller villages.
Five Kingdom Armies deployment Edit
Having decided to abandon the Siege of Millbridge to avoid a fighting in the streets or to be encircled, much of the Army of Sargos was still largely intact, and during the retreat had joined them remnants of Degolandic forces who had crossed the Osorio, along with the armies of the great nobles of Sargos and many who had retreated as well, following the King's order. Burdened with the fleeing refugees, the retreat had been slower than expected, but this permitted more people to escape from the flying columns of the Dark Legion and that the town militias of many of the larger Sargonic cities -as well retreating by King's Order- to reach the King's Army: Only because of this, Camilo III had in his retreat the largest army of Sargos deployed until that point in history under his command -some pointing about 40,000 Sargonic soldiers. Some say, this accounts fall short, and didn't count the Degolandic-.
However, this retreat had weakened the morale of the Sargonic and Degolandic, in what they felt was the Apocalypse.
The slowly marching Sargonic-Degolandic army as well gave an opportunity to the Royal Army of Tardos and a sizeable force of the retreating River Guard -a sizeable force of about 12,000 warriors- to reach in time the army of Camilo III, thanks to the use of Wind Riders as explorers to guide their march.
With these forces reunited and the Flying Columns of the Dark legion trying to flank them, Camilo III of Sargos and King Francisco I el Negro of Tardos fought several rear-guard battles considered to be brilliant rear-guard actions. However, it was understood that they wouldn't be able to reach Karentia in time before being cut off by the advancing Dark Legions.
Sending again the Wind Riders to send a message to the forces massing in the pass of Karentia, where 4,000 infantrymen of the archbishopric where waiting, along with a 1,200 knights of Trebol and a Hunclech army of around 6,000-8,000 under the King of Huncle, Louis Phillipe IV Vautur, in which requested them to advance and meet them in the plains of Sargos.
The last one to arrive will be Ignacio VI The Rabid, king of La Cruz with 2,000 of his riders, only hours before the battle, thanks to a gap found between the encircling Dark legions once again by the Wind Riders.
The Princes and Kings of La Cruz, Tardos, Sargos, Huncle, Degoland and Botania were present, as the Archbishop of Karentia, all with their respective armies, voting Camilo III as their commander.
Camilo III deployed his army along the hillside, between the woods of Tramar and Zinner, with bowmen and crossbowmen in two hills near the woods on either flanks, reinforced with spearmen, with the infantry, men-at-arms and knights in the centre -along with some archers-. The army was organised into three "battles" or divisions: the vanguard, led by the King of Tardos; the main battle led by Camilo III himself; and the rearguard, led by the king of Huncle. The human men-at-arms in plate and mail were placed shoulder to shoulder four deep, while the archers on the flanks drove pointed wooden stakes, or palings, into the ground. Archers was a key component of the Sargonic armies.
The Weseuros made their confessions before the battle, as was customary. Camilo III made a speech emphasising the importance to stand their ground, being the last line of defense of the Northwest, and reminding his army of previous great defeats the humans had inflicted on the Dark Legion against their numerical superiority.
Dark Legion Deployment Edit
The Dark Legion force was not only larger than that of the Five Kingdoms, their demon masters considered themselves superior: their forces were composed of 160 Legions, but of the most diverse quality and type, most of them composed of light infantry.
The Dark Legions were arrayed in three lines:. The first line was composed of 40 Legions, the main battle line of 70 legions, with two wings of 5 legions on each flank, and the third line had 40 legions. Their plan was to advance with the main battle line, while the other lines were to flank the whole human army.
Thousands of troops appear to have been in the rearguard, containing servants, auxiliary forces and commoners whom the Dark Legion were either unable or unwilling to deploy, as due the numerical superiority they already had they were seen as unnecessary, but some say Satman was reserving them instead for a possible pursuit.
Opening Moves Edit
Heavy cavalry attack Edit
Main Dark Legion Assault Edit
The Last Stand Edit
The Prophet and the Sand Beings Edit
the Christian armies of the Five Kingdoms fought fanatically, with their heavy cavalry doing one after the other charges against the dark legions, with the bloodbath lasting more than three hours: however, despite the best efforts of the humans, the battle was lost and their forces encircled. Camilo III, King of Sargos and commander of the human armies fell, and as well the king of Tardos and of Huncle, and only some ragged last positions, fortified in farms and hills tried some desperate last stands:
and when the humans' luck seemed to be all out and the fate of the Northwest sealed, that was when the Prophet appeared on a hill that dominated the battlefield where the Dark Legion was standing triumphant: It was then when the Prophet, using unknown magic -in what later the human historians will call a miracle- was able to command the Sand Beings, which were unleashed over the surprised demonic armies:
A sand storm will cover the battlefield, and for five minutes the remnants of the royal guard of Camilo III and the knights of La Cruz will see, astonished, as the Prophet held his cane, as only the sound of roaring sand and screams escaped from the sandstorm.
Then, the Prophet fell to his knees, his cane broken. As that happened, the human knights hurried to the Prophet, while the sand storm disappeared as quickly as had appeared: All the demon armies that were on the Plains of Sargos were destroyed. While the humans didn't believe what they saw, they came by the Prophet. There, the princes of the Northwest heard the death-bed council of the Prophet, who told them that the only way to truly defeat the demon lords, was to hunt for the Holy Relics of Eden.
The Prophet had died, unknown who he was, from where he had come and how he had acquired such power. The Sand Beings disappeared back to the Desert of Death as mysteriously as they had appeared. And the ragged survivors of the human army that fought in the plains of Sargos saw the Demonic army annihilated: from where defeat was certain, they were now victorious. A Pyrric victory, but with the key of the knowledge and hope for a final victory against the demons.
Among the fallen, was Satman, but his soulstone was unscratched, and recovered by some of his surviving lieutenants. While the main force of the Dark Legion was wiped out, the flanking forces, garrisons, the flying bands and routers, and as well some fortunate ones who escaped the sand storm, and in general all the ones who hadn't fought in the Battle of the Plains of Sargos had survived: But as they were ignorant of what caused the wrath of the Sand Beings, or what mysterious magic the humans possessed and if they could unleash it one more time, began a hasty retreat in disorder, with only few commanders of the Dark Legion being able to keep some cohesion in their forces.
The King of La Cruz Ignacio VI The Rabid gathered the remnants of the army of Camilo III, and with further reinforcements that arrived from Tardos, Huncle and La Cruz began a persecution of the retreating legions: however with his own forces spent and tired, they couldn't annihilate the remnants of the legions of Satman in the following battles of the Osorio River, and Degoland, and in their pursuit, while they were able to retake all lost land, until they arrived at former Roccasone -Skallgard-.
The Dark legions, commanded by the Succubus Queen Laisha and Satman -who had his soulstone once more placed in a new body- will keep there their line, and the Christian armies will clash and waver against the walls of the city, unable to reach Polforia.
Notable casualties Edit
Five Kingdoms Edit
Notable casualties include:
- Camilo III, King of Sargos
- Francisco I el Negro, King of Tardos
- Louis Phillipe IV Vautur, King of Huncle
- David d'Karent, Archbishop of Karentia
as well, were counted among the fallen six dukes, sixteen counts and some 200 bannerets and others
Numbers at the Plains of Sargos Edit
Annemarie Saucier, the renown succubus historia, in her 3205 book The Plains of Sargos: A New History, argues (based on research into the surviving administrative records) that the Dark Legion Army was about 260,000 strong, and the Five Armies army about 100,000, giving odds of 2,6–1. By contrast, Donald Rushvin in his The Plains of Sargos: The King, the Campaign, the Battle (also published in 3205) argues the humans were outnumbered "at least eight to one and possibly as much as ten to one". He suggests figures of about 80,000 for the FIve Kingdoms and 640,000 for the Dark Legion, based on the Gesta Camilo's figures for the armies of the Five Kingdoms, and M.M Mennericht's statement "that the Dark Legion were eight times more numerous than the humans". The Encyclopædia Sargonica uses the figures of about 40,000 for the Five Kingdoms and 960,000 to 982,000 for the Dark Legion.
With one of the lowest estimates for the size of the Dark Legion army and also one of the highest estimates for the size of the Five Kingdoms armies, Saucier is currently in a minority in suggesting that the odds were as near equal as 2,6-1. While not necessarily agreeing with the exact numbers Saucier uses, some historians have however given support to her assertion that the Dark Legion army was much smaller than traditionally thought, and the Five Kingdoms' armies somewhat bigger. M.M Mennericht notes how Saucier "minimises Dark Legion numbers (by limiting her figures to those in the Line Infantry army and a few specific additional companies) and maximises Five Armies numbers (by assuming the numbers of refugees that joined the army)", but agrees that previous estimates have exaggerated the odds.
Popular representations Edit
Soon after the Five Kingdoms of the Weseuros victory at the Plains of Sargos, a number of popular folk songs were created about the battle, the most famous being the Sargos Carol. Other ballads followed, including King Camilo Third's Braves, raising the popular prominence of particular events mentioned only in passing by the original chroniclers.