|Battle of Lockhaven|
|Next:||Journeys for supplies|
|Group 1:||The Guard|
|Group 2:||The Axe|
The Battle of Lockhaven was a conflict that occurred during the Fall of 1152 when the traitorous Guardmouse Midnight brought his army of followers to Lockhaven's gates. Dissatisfied with the Guard's role in the Territories, Midnight sought to take over Lockhaven under the authority of the Black Axe, and rule over all common mice as a tyrant.
His attempt to conquer Lockhaven failed, and the Guard's matriarch Gwendolyn had her mice march him beyond the Scent Border, far away from the protection of the Guard he so desperately sought to destroy.
Sequence of eventsEdit
Arrivals at the front gatesEdit
- "Archers!? Lockhaven has been waiting for us..."
- ―Midnight to his Army, Fall 1152
On a stormy evening, towards the end of the Fall of 1152, a dark figure arrived at the Lockhaven gates. Quiggly, the stronghold's sentry-mouse, alerted Rand to the unknown mouse's presence, and was subsequently told to bring whoever it was out of the storm. As the gates creaked open, a drenched Sadie strode into Lockhaven's courtyard, receiving a dismissive greeting from Rand. Sadie - wasting no time in the process - informed the Shieldmouse of the Guard's betrayal and the unauthorised Map of Lockhaven. Rand grew serious, and immediately began ordering his Guardmice to prepare for battle.
Shortly afterwards, Midnight's Axe army arrived at the front gates of Lockhaven. Seeing archers already stationed on the parapets, the traitor knew that the advantage of susprise had been lost. Instead, he ordered his mice to attack the front gates with an all-out assault while he himself hauled his captive, the Guardmouse Lieam, to the front of his army. Using the young mouse as his leverage, he demanded to speak with the Guard's Matriarch, Gwendolyn. Ever defiant, Rand rejected his parley and told Midnight that Gwendolyn would never barter with the life of a mouse.
Meanwhile, helplessly watching the conflict unfold in the low maples to the east of Lockhaven were the two Guardmice Kenzie, Saxon, and the oldfur Celanawe. The two younger mice were arguing about whether to attack the army gathered outside the gates, or wait out the danger and hope for the best. Celanawe patiently waited for their argument to end before informing them that there was another entrance to the stronghold that the new Guard wouldn't know how to seal. Seeing the wisdom in this idea, the three mice then departed towards the secret passageway into Lockhaven.
Assault upon the StrongholdEdit
- "It is not we who are trapped in with them, but they who are trapped in with us!"
- ―Midnight, Fall 1152
With the Axe army laying siege to the main gate, Rand knew that it was only a matter of time before they broke through. Worrying, he asked the Guardmouse Meritt why the porticullis wasn't in place. According to Meritt, the rain was rusting the works, preventing the blockade's mechanism from working properly.
That very second, Midnight's army broke through Lockhaven's main gate and entered the great mouse citadel. In a race against time, Meritt sprinted along the threshold with a pair of bolt-cutters in his hand, just managing cut the pully-mechanism supporting the portcullis before being subsequently shot by an axe soldier. The portcullis came crashing down, blocking the entrance from the rest of the advancing invaders, and killing two Axe mice in the process. It was later discovered that Meritt's sacrifice had stopped over one-hundred enemies gaining access to Lockhaven.
Midnight commanded his troops to leave the lifting for the mice outside the walls, and told the rest of his small contigent of mice to head towards Gwendolyn's office. While the enemy was temporarily distracted, the young Guardmouse Lieam fled from his captors, down into the Lockhaven swordsmith. While down there, he managed to scavenge himself two weapons; a long-sword and a dagger, and used them to cut through his bonds.
Whilst the fighting raged downstairs, a Guardmouse was begging Lockhaven's oldfur Apiary Keeper to set the bees of Lockhaven onto the enemy still outside the gates. After a lengthy discussion, the Apiary Keeper agreed, praying that the Guardmice would have enough honey to last through winter. Shortly afterwards, the hives were opened, the bees agitated, and a cloud of bees descended on the helpless army below; rendering the soldiers useless with bee-stings, and ultimately leading to their surrender.
Confrontation in Gwendolyn's OfficeEdit
- "You are not the Black Axe... I am. And I have come to claim what is mine!"
- ―Celanawe to Midnight, Fall 1152
After fighting their way through Lockhaven's defenders, Midnight's army eventually arrived at the base of the Matriarch's Office itself. Steeling themselves, the group headed up the stairs, leaving four mice behind to guard their flank in the case of an ambush. Arriving in the office, Midnight found it deserted, save for the Guardmice Rand, Sadie and Gwendolyn. Midnight ordered the three to stand down, and make room for Midnight's new dominion. Gwendolyn rejected surrender and told the traitor that she would continue to use the Guard as she saw fit. Midnight, growing aggressive, then told her that she would be forced to comply, under the authority of the Black Axe.
Downstairs, Lieam was departing from the Swordsmith's when he heard voices outside Gwendolyn's Office. Moving quickly, he arrived to find the way barred by the four mice left behind by Midnight to protect the rear. Fortunately, the mice were not a problem for the trained Guardmouse, and he took one down with a throwing knife before slaying the rest with his new sword.
Back in the office, just as Midnight was preparing to order the attack on Gwendolyn, a voice seemed to speak to the traitor from a painting on the wall; it told him that he was not the true Black Axe, and that the unknown speaker was the rightful owner of the title. The painting then swung open, and out emerged Celanawe, Kenzie and Saxon, having completed their journey through the secret entrance into the stronghold. Tearing off his helmet in anger, Midnight revealed his true identity to all present, and hurled himself at the Guardmice - ordering his own mice to follow suit.
The End of The AxeEdit
- "I have wielded that weapon for a lifetime... You will not disgrace its legacy!"
- ―Celanawe to Midnight, Fall 1152
With the battle raging on in Gwendolyn's office, it looked as though the Axe might have gained the upper-hand. Thankfully, Lieam arrived just in the nick of time, evening the odds up between the two opposing forces. With the young Guardmouse's help, the Axe soldiers were pushed back and killed, with relatively few injuries on the Guard's side.
At the centre of the room, the leader of the Axe army, Midnight, dueled with the Guard's Matriarch. Midnight was gaining the advantage thanks to his legendary weapon. With a roar, Midnight threw Gwendolyn to the floor and prepared to kill the Guard's young leader. Only the timely intervention of the oldfur Celanawe saved her life. Blocking the traitor's downward finishing swipe, Celanawe faced Midnight in a one-on-one duel, attempting to end his personal vendetta for good.
Midnight swung the Black Axe with all his strength at Celanawe, who barely managed to stop the strike with his own sword. Coupled with both the rust on his weapon, and the fury of Midnight's strike, Celanawe's blade snapped at the hilt. Acting quickly, Celanawe snatched the Axe with his left paw and used his broken sword as a dagger, driving it into his adversary's rib-cage. Bundling the traitor against the stone wall, Celanawe brutally raised the axe and began to swing the weapon execution-style into Midnight's throat.
It was only the intervention of Gwendolyn that saved Midnight's life; reaching out with her arm, she commanded Celanawe to stop. Unable to stop his blow completely, Celanawe instead aimed it at the wall; and spared the traitor Midnight's life.
- "If he dies, he becomes a martyr."
- ―Gwendolyn, Fall 1152
After the battle had ended, Gwendolyn announced that the Guard would continue to function as it ever had, as a group of helpers and guides, rather than enforcers of strict laws. She had her Guardmice march Midnight beyond the borders of the Territories, away from the Guard's protection. Of the one-hundred and fourteen soldiers of midnight's army left outside the gates, most went back to their regular jobs in and around Barkstone. Only three were imprisoned by their local magistrates.