The Union and The Gurkish Empire had been in conflict for a number of years. The First Gurkish War occurred in Gurkhul, some nine years before the events in The Blade Itself. It ended in a victory for The Union.
At the end of the war, the merchant Guild of Spicers encouraged The Union to annex the independent peaceful kingdom of Dagoska in Kanta into the realm. When Uthman-ul-Dosht becoming Emperor, about one year before the trilogy, his first act was to declare his intention to capture Dagoska.
In the backdrop to this, is the conflict between the Magi Khalul and Bayaz. Khalul manipulates The Gurkish Empire through religion, as the religious leader The Prophet. While, Bayaz secretly controls The Union through money and the banking house of Valint & Balk. This personal feud is now centuries old, and revolves around the death of their master Juvens, and Khalul breaking of the Euz's Second Law.
At the outbreak of war, The Union were also engaged in a war in The North. With twelve regiments of the King's Own and as many Levies involved in the First Northern War, this made up the majority of The Union’s strength.
Before the war, the Gurkish infiltrated Dagoska with spies, including the Eater Shickel. The spies managed to corrupt two members of the city ruling council, Carlot dan Eider and Korsten dan Vurms, who agreed to help hand over the city without bloodshed. When Superior Davoust, the head of the Inquisition in the city, found out about their plot, Shickel made him disappear. Superior Sand dan Glokta was named as his replacement.
Hostilities Open Edit
In the months before the battle, the Gurkish began to build up forces outside Dagoska, which blockaded the city by land. Finally, the Gurkish forces encircled to city with five standards; twenty thousand spears, with three great siege engines, and thousands more to follow.
The Union mustered all the forces available in Dagoska under General Vissbruck and Superior Glokta:
- Six hundred Union soldiers;
- One thousand mercenaries under Nicomo Cosca;
- Thousands of native Dagoskans armed by the city.
Before the Gurkish forces arrived, the defences in the city had been greatly improved, under the orders of Superior Glokta. Using labour from the native Dagoskans, the great outer wall was repairs, and the ditch was dug ready to be flooded.
Before hostilities opened, the Gurkish sent an ambassador to the city ruling council to offer terms, Shabbed al Islik Burai. Insisting that resistance to the Gurkish forces would be futile, the Emperor would allow The Union personnel to leave Dagoska unharmed, if they peacefully surrender the city. However, after the meeting Glokta took him into custody, and tortured him into revealing the Union traitors. His head was then displayed on the walls of Dagoska. The Gurkish siege began shortly afterwards.
Dagoska Under Siege Edit
The Gurkish began bombarding the city with incendiaries for the three huge. Meanwhile, daily assaults were made against the walls, each one greater in size and determination. They strived to fill in the flooded channel with boulders, to scale the walls with ladders and bring rams against the gates. At night, The Union organised sorties, to try and dig the channel out again. The Gurkish losses were heavy, but losses they could afford.
After six weeks, the Gurkish finally succeeded in filling the channel in two places. They sent daily scaling parties, sometimes making it onto the walls themselves, only to be bloodily repulsed. Meanwhile, the bombardment had caused several sections of the walls to be dangerously weakened, and eventually caused a breach. The Union prepared to withdraw into the Upper City, cutting off any hope of escape.
After two months, the Lower City was lost to the Gurkish. Soon, Superior Glokta left the city, leaving General Vissbruck in sole control of the Union forces, with orders to fight to the last man. Eventually, the Gurkish were let into the Upper City through treachery, probably by the mercenary Cosca.
The Aftermath Edit
The city of Dagoska fell to the Gurkish, and was annexed into The Gurkish Empire. The remaining Union forces were massacred to a man, and the mercenaries were taken into slavery. However, the natives Dagoskans, by and large, were spared.
The human casualties in the war for the Union, both citizens and soldiers, were huge. Notable casualties include:
The human losses for the Gurkish were also colossal. Notable casualties include:
However, the conflict between the Gurkish and the Union does not end there, with the Battle of Adua occurring shortly afterwards.