Well, sadly, Darkfall had one more surprise left for me. Or, should I say, the Blackrock Clan had one more surprise for me. A siege.
A complete accident lead me to logging on during the first contestation of our city, the orc themed Andruk. A siege stone had finally been dropped, sides were quickly formed, and our first war was on. No more drills, no more pathetic defense attempts -- this one was for real. We liked our city and we were not interested in losing it.
But with the siege came a conundrum. If I report the siege, it will be pretty obvious who I've joined up with. It doesn't take a genius to look at all of the sieges and come up with, "Which one was at an orc city?" So, as this is truly the last article in the Daze of Darkfall series -- the one where I get to participate in what many say is the capstone of the Darkfall experience -- I think it's time to drop the worries and be specific. This is my view of the Battle of Andruk that took place between the Blackrock Clan and the Brotherhood of the Spider.
How to Siege for Dummies
First of all, an explanation of rules for all of you non-Darkfall players. Sieges are not the easiest things to perform. You don't grab a dropdown box in a menu and select "siege enemy" or anything like that. First of all, one side has to declare war on the other, so the other city kinda knows it could be coming. Sieges are then started by placing a "clan shard" (we like to call them siege shards, as that's what they do) down in the enemy's city limits. There are two ways to challenge with a clan shard, either with gold or with collateral, and this siege involved the latter.
Blackrock Clan performed a "city vs. city" siege, in which they wagered all of their holdings against our city. Of course, since Blackrock Clan only owns a hamlet, it wasn't much of a balanced wager. From the moment the challenge is made, their cities (lone hamlet) become vulnerable for the next 4 hours. During this time, Andruk was invulnerable, and this was the Brotherhood's time to go out and lay waste. However, after viewing the hamlet and the forces gathered there, the Brotherhood decided not to bother with that, and instead mounted a defense in Andruk.
Once the four hours are up, stage 2 of the siege commences. During this final phase, Andruk is now made vulnerable for capture. Attackers are aiming for the city's clanstone, the very pretty crystal that acts as the central hub of the city. If the attackers destroy the clan stone, they win the city. Also, during these final two hours, we can still move in and attack their holdings (the single, lone hamlet.) If we would successfully capture all of their holdings (still a hamlet) we would end the challenge immediately.
If the final two hours go up and no one destroys anything, the battle is called a draw and is ended.
Timing is everything
On Sunday morning, I logged on and was greeted with the following message -- "02:01:34 until challenge ends. 0/18,191 city points collected." I immediately slammed my head into the desk as I realized I logged on in the middle of a siege challenge. Luckily, I was just in time for phase two, when Andruk would be attacked. Perfect timing! Without any questions asked, I fired up Ventrilo and grabbed my armor, weapons, food, arrows, and potions. It was time to defend, and luckily the Koinonein Knights, Black, Imperil, Cadre Quietus, and Business Casual had shown up to aid us. The alliance of Force was in... well... force.
We were all down by the bank, grabbing the last minute stuff we would need. Then the call came in: enemies spotted coming up the ramp, heading towards the east side of the city. "The ramp," as it's affectionately called, is the main way up to the city. Our entire city is built on a rock cliff with only one way in our out -- the ramp. It makes it easy to find enemies coming towards the city, but the incoming troops almost always still attempt to circle around to the back and use a spell called telekinesis to push people up and over the walls.
But as they rounded the city and everyone unleashed a volley of arrows and spells, one of the guard towers exploded with a fire spell. Our defenders came running out -- on fire -- all trying to get away from being burnt to death. Out from the lunacy strode a member of Sinister, one of the best clans in the game. "Someone paid someone off," said one of the other defenders over Ventrilo.
More Sinister members appeared in Blackrock's ranks, as well as members of DIE. Outside of our walls, Necessary Evil showed up and began killing anyone who ran out of the city -- taking advantage of the situation by culling the weakened. Andruk was decending into chaos as our members were falling and we were being pushed back.