THE HELCRANI ANACTAR CURGAN

Curgan was Helcrani Anactar of Milkengrad between 651 and 617 b.S. He was the last of the Sostrian kings.

Curgan, last of the Sostrian kings

View picture in full size Curgan, Helcrani Anactar and last of the Sostrian kings, expecting his own Helcrani men to end his life. Image drawn by Faugar.

General Information. Curgan and his twin brother Cumrann were born in the year 651 b.S., the same year that Arpagar, the tyrant, came to power. He grew up as a hostage in the Curonesta, the traditional sovereign's residence in Milkengrad, where he witnessed Arpagar's brutality and hated it forever. These years marked him ever since and shaped his character. Curgan was silent, sensitive and had a solid moral foundation. He placed duty above everything and considered that his purpose in life was to prevent the evil he saw from happening again. That's why from the innocent age of seven, when Arpagar was killed by Curgan's father, the young prince decided to make a great warrior and leader out of himself. Cumrann shared his brother's ambitions and he followed him on this path. The two brothers were going along very well. Curgan's stability and military genius combined perfectly with Cumrann's imagination and cunning. They had a certain way to understand each other and thus they became a formidable opponent for their enemies, every time they joined forces.
 
First Merits at the Battle of Thyslan. Their first military experience was in the Battle of Thyslan in 637 b. S., where the last Centoraurian king was killed. The two princes proved that they would become great leaders. They fought in this battle as trainee knights. But as the commander of their regiment was killed, they assumed control. Curgan in this very battle led an assault against a hill where enemy archers were fortified. Instead of leading a massive straightforward cavalry attack against the hill, which would have resulted in certain victory, but with heavy losses, he prefered to split his forces and attack the enemy's rear through a narrow forest passage, risking his own life. At the same time Cumrann distracted the enemy lighting a fire at the foothills and launching fake attacks. The plan resulted in victory for Curgan with minimal casualties. Thus Curgan was adored by the army for his courage and interest for their welfare. Cumrann however was more loved by the citizens, because of his beauty and his mild temper.

After the victorious outcome of the battle Tephron, the anactar of Milkengrad, became king of Centorauria and the capital was moved to his city. The Helcrani finally took revenge from the rest of the Centoraurians for abandoning them in Arpagar's disposal.

Victory versus the Stratanian Pirates. At the age of 23 Curgan led an offensive against Stratanian pirates who had been looting Centoraurian ships in the south. Piracy was a serious income source for them at this time and the pirate leader was appreciated in local hierarchy. These military operations resulted in the Stratanians considering the Centoraurian interference a provocation and the war escalated. Curgan however managed in a series of naval battles to destroy the Stratanian fleet and to capture many pirate leaders, among them the supreme leader of the pirates and member of the royal Stratanian council, Tehmen Rut, who passed under trial and was executed in Milkengrad a few months later.

Tactically, this war again was a supreme success for Centorauria. Strategically, Curgan didn't avoid to offend the Stratanians and not only did trade between the two nations stop after the war, but the southerners were also waiting for a chance to take revenge on the invader who crushed both their army and their pride.

The War against the Erpheronians. Two years later in 628 b.S. the Erpheronian army invaded Centorauria. They advanced fast from Cemphiria to Salsair and set the city under siege. Tephron sent Curgan and Cumrann to encircle the enemy. The Erpheronians suffered a defeat under the walls of Salsair, but nevertheless they managed to escape in friendly territory. During the next weeks the war evolved around the bridge of Cemphiria where the two armies faced each other but didn't decide to fight. The Helcrani launched a series of sabotage operations with great success. Curgan prefered military targets like the stationed Erpheronian fleet and their catapults, while Cumrann aimed at the enemy's morale with operations that had a psychological affect on the enemy rather than a tactical one, like the kidnapping of Rabellu, the Erpheronian 6 year old princess. Finally, after a year of warfare the two sides decided to sign a peace treaty abandoning futile confrontation. Renevor, the Erpheronian king would remember this year for a long time to come.

Marriage and Ascension to the Throne. In 627 b.S. Curgan married Lirean of Antiragon in a common ceremony with his brother who took the daughter of the Menegulan Fratra leader, Calirina. Lirean died in birth three years after. However, she managed to give birth to a healthy boy named Altafar.

Tephron fell of his horse and died in 621 b.S. Heir to the throne, according to Tephron's wish, was Curgan, but Cumrann claimed the throne also, because both brothers shared a passion for power. Curgan wanted to ensure his people prosperity and lead them in being the supreme human kingdom, while Cumrann dreamed of glory and immortality through fame. Thus succession was to poison the relationship between the two brothers.

40 days after Tephron's funeral, the fratric council met and decided to give the throne to Curgan. According to the tradition the Guardian of Helronn's sword would give it to the future king as a sign of his coronation. During the ceremony upon the Efirhal, Cumrann demanded that the Guardian handed over the sword to him. Curgan himself didn't react violently and tried to negotiate with his brother. However, supporters of the two pretenders drew their swords and a conflict broke up.
 
The Kin War. These happenings caused  the "Kin War", as it was named later. For the first time in Helcran history it wasn't a Fratra versus Fratra war, but the people were divided according to their personal preferences. Curgan's supporters were fewer, but after a month of constant warfare he managed to capture his brother. The civil war had devastated the city and a large portion of it the town was in ruins. Meanwhile the rest of the Centoraurian cities had revolted under the leadership of the local clans, as Centorauria, just like Milkengrad, had been always organized in a clan-based system.

Curgan passed Cumrann under trial for rebellion, but he loved him too much to sentence him to death as the law ordered. He exiled his brother for ten years without depriving him of his citizenship and the right to bear arms (thus not humiliating him). Curgan hoped that after some time his relations with his brother would be as they used to. He believed that his enlightened leadership would gain him public approval and eliminate Cumrann's ambitions for taking the throne. Cumrann's supporters however incited the people to leave the city along with their exiled prince. It was a surprise for Curgan to get to know that three out of four of his people were abandoning Milkengrad. He met them just before the Golden Bridge and talked to them. His speech is recorded in Tychandar's epic, "Helcrah" which describes Helcrani history till the fulfillment of the Curse.

Curgan's Speech. In his speech Curgan urged the Helcrani not to abandon their king, their city and their ancestor's graves violating all divine and human laws. He also told them that ruling empty halls without citizens is of no value and a king should always look after his people. Thus, he begged them not to leave without weapons and provisions like exiles and he offered to provide them with everything necessary for the journey to Helcrah, their ancient homeland. Curgan forgave his brother for rewarding his mercy with treason and offered him his help for the sake of their people. And as Curgan understood that most of them wouldn't return he bid them farewell wishing that Seyella, the Goddess of Fate, would lead them to prosperity and happiness. 

Approximately 70,000 followed Cumrann taking their fortunes with them as they were allowed. About 25,000 remained loyal to Curgan. Among them were all seven fratric leaders and members of the Council, except Menegulan. The rest of Centorauria was in chaos as the newly emerged city-states were in war with each other and the central government in Milkengrad. Curgan's army was smaller than those of the rebels, but nevertheless by far superior. He couldn't crush the revolution however, because he was afraid that his brother would ally with the rebels and attack at his rear. Though, in 619 b. S. he managed to establish peace among the rebel fractions, avoiding the continuation of the civil war. Curgan was hoping that he could still unite Centorauria through diplomatic negotiations.

Cumrann went to Helcrah with his supporters. The five initial Helcrani villages still existed because they were not totally abandoned at the great plague in 731 b. S. The local population was enriched by the Milkengradian refugees who were divided among the villages according to their Fratra. The elves and dwarves inhabited each village equally. The Mountaineers (as the Helcrani from the villages were called) weren't in constant war with the Milkengradians but they were waiting for a chance to invade and take over the city. At this time their first priority was to rebuilt the villages and shelter themselves and their families.

The Rebuilding of Milkengrad.
The time between 619 and 618 was a period of rebuilding. Curgan with his weak treasury (as the refugees took their fortunes with them and trade was minimized) tried to repair the city which was devastated from the Kin War. Meanwhile he never abandoned his attempts to regain control over the rebels. Cumrann, on the other hand, had an easier task in rebuilding Helcrah, because he was supported from the Caltharians also, who were still the overlords of Helcrah.

The Red Alliance forming against Milkengrad. In 618 b. S. the Erpheronian king, Renevor, formed an alliance with Lecam Turpotaker, the son of the diseased Tehmen Rut. This was the so-called Red Alliance, because its banner was a golden scimitar in red background to symbolize the blood of the dead and the glory of revenge. Curgan saw that another war was due in the near future and turned for help to these forces that would be threatened by the rising of Erpheronia and his brother in Helcrah. He sent messengers to Darihan, the Kyranian king, the independent Centoraurians, the Caltherians, the Eyelians of Parda, the Goltherrhim and Aellenrhim elves and Helcrah. The Kyranian king answered his pleas for help with joining the Red Alliance. The rebel Centoraurian cities were forced to do the same in an attempt to preserve their independence, because the balance of power was against Milkengrad. The Goltherlon elves agreed to send reinforcements in remembrance of their ancient friendship but the rest refused. Cumrann didn't respond.

The war was imminent and Curgan knew it. So, he focused his energy on repairing the Ogygian Walls and gathering provisions for the upcoming storm. He was more worried when he learned that hordes of Ashmarian barbarians were gathering in Nyermersys to serve Renevor as mercenaries. They were trained for battle by the in the previous war distinguished Shiman Deathblade. The Helcrani of Milkengrad were outnumbered.

The War of Milkengrad. In 617 b. S. in the 7th day of the month of the Awakening Earth the Allies declared war to Milkengrad in order to avenge the "slaughter of the Stratanians" a few years ago and remove the "tyrant" Curgan from the throne. Leader of the Erpheronian force was prince Milthon and his generals were Gorsim the Brave, Barlir the Strong and Hubwin the One-Eyed. The Ashmarian mercenaries were under the high command of the Erpheronian Shiman Deathblade and guided by their own warlords. General Niphric led the Kyranians. Leader of the Stratanians and supreme general of the campaign was Lecam Turpotaker, who was assisted by Zagen the Cruel, Hammergan the Sealion, Turagan the Wild and Nerdza the Black. They commanded the reinforcements from Centorauria also. The offenders had gathered a gigantic army of 250,000 men.

On the other side Curgan could only array for battle 7,000 troops plus 900 Centoraurian noblemen (who were by that time called helcrani too) that came to fight and die by their lord in his time of need, 100 Helcrani from the Villages and 700 Goltherhim and Caltherian reinforcements. The Milkengradians were commanded by the 7 fratric leaders; the notorious Agaran for the Styrani, Zigilrak the Warhammer for the Nerters, Sertelon for the Sostrians, Helgon for the Helerothi, Hecylor the Strong for the Codommans, Dragashim for the Ahais and Marysan for the Menegulans. Canthasir of Thyslan guided the Centoraurian Helcrani. The Mountaineers were commanded by the Bagril brothers, Bagaral and Bagamir, while the Goltherhim and the Caltherians were under Righten the son of Noronnoh, the Ác'rónn of the Goltherlon elves and close friend of Agaran. All of them were under Curgan's orders and after him the most important were Agaran and Righten.

The enemy army invaded Centorauria from north and south. The Erpheronians crossed the bridge of Cemphiria and the bridge of Accam in the second day of the month of the Singing Bird, while the Stratanians and Kyranians marched on the plains of Altheim two days later. Curgan decided to defend the two bridges that connected Efirhal with the rest of the world and not let the enemy enter the island. As the enemy scouts, who exceeded in number the defenders of Milkengrad, were approaching on the north Curgan led a cavalry attack against them. The Centoraurians were always famous for their horsemen and when they assaulted it is said that the earth was trembling and the skies shattered. Although they were outnumbered, the Helcrani defeated the enemy forces, destroyed all their catapults and drove them out of Midlanir, the island between Milkengrad and Accam. But this victory had no effect as the Helcrani were forced to evacuate Midlanir because the main allied force was already approaching the city under general Gorsim.

For the next couple of days, the Milkengradians managed to keep the enemy outside their island and hard battles were fought over the two bridges, the Golden and the Norgamon. In a strike operation Curgan managed to burn the siege machines of the south army. Now, the enemy couldn't threaten the walls of the city. This success wasn't to last long. The allied fleet arrived in the 9th of Alivevan and in the next dawn a massive landing of troops took place. The Milkengradian fleet left the Lion Port, the military haven of the city, and engaged the enemy. But the Helcrani were too few to man all the ships and defend their coastline at the same time and the enemies were too many for them. Many allied ships were sunk, however, and this naval battle was a victory for Agaran who commanded the naval forces. Nevertheless, the allies achieved their goal and admiral Hammergan landed with his troops on the island and then set anchor in the coast just opposite of the Milkengradian military harbor. It is said that more than 60,000 men fought for the allies that day. The only thing Curgan could do was to withdraw his warriors and non-combatants within the city walls. After a day of desperate warfare he managed to gather most of them inside the Ogygian walls and those who couldn't make it were all killed or executed in front of the walls, no matter their gender or age.

The Ogygian walls of Milkengrad were a masterpiece of masonry. They encircled the city twice and they were too strong for every opponent. The first "belt" was 5 peds tall and the second 10 peds. They were a formidable defense for the besieged and the enemy didn't have any siege machines. This fact supported the moral of the Helcrani, who were certain that their perimeter couldn't be violated except by treason.

However, in the morning of the 11th a present for Milthon arrived from Helcrah. It was Carbesil of Codomma with 100 light cavalrymen and 21 catapults. They were the most powerful catapults that man could create at that time, next generation of a Sarvonian War legacy. Their inventor, Astic of Heleroth, called them Citytakers and Pridecrushers. The Citytakers were designed for longer hits, while the Pridecrushers had a devastating firepower. Astic was present to see his work in action and to guide them how to use his inventions. The Helcrani were shocked as they saw this superior weaponry. From this point the Siege of Milkengrad began.

Curgan's Speech to Lecam. This time Lecam chose to send envoys to point out the hopelessness of the battle and to demand surrender without terms. He also told that if the Milkengradians would not surrender, all of them would be killed if the city would be conquered. Curgan answered with pride: "You say you wage this war for justice, but I see no justice in your acts. You came here for war and nothing I can do or say seems that it can change your mind. You slaughter my people without mercy and burn my land. And what if we are outnumbered and fight without hope? We have the right and even if Avá and all her servants would be fighting on your side still we would not surrender. We 'd rather die instead. And so we will. You base your power upon swords and spears and ships, but our power lies in the eyes of our children and the graves of our fathers. Your men are brave because of your whips, while we fight for the sacred light of the Artapherana. And if by any chance Eyasha plants peace in your heart have in mind that inside the walls you'll find ears willing to hear you. Now, tell your master, that he can keep ruling pirates and mercenaries but if he wants to conquer my city he'll have to pay a great price in blood. This I have spoken." And as the envoys were leaving Curgan released the Milkengradians from their allegiance to him allowing them to leave for Helcrah, if they wanted, and save themselves from a hopeless battle. Nobody left.

The Siege of Milkengrad. During the next days the invaders fortified their positions, because they never stopped being afraid of a surprising Milkengradian assault, and they started shooting large boulders upon the Ogygian walls. The new catapults disgraced the fierce walls. But the Stratanians weren't good at aiming, so this task was trusted to specialized gunners from Helcrah. They didn't stop shooting each day from dawn till sunset. Day by day the enemy was becoming more aggressive. The wall started to crumble in several parts and quite large gaps appeared. In the nights the non-combatants tried to fill the gaps with tree trunks, sacks of sand and everything they got.

Curgan knew that the Citytakers and the Pridecrushers had to be destroyed and especially the two largest of each kind, which bore the names of ARMEROS and Etherus, the Gods of War and Excess. In the 16th of the month of Alí'veván, Righten of the Goltherlon elves commanded a raid against the dangerous weaponry. The elves with their superior skills in stealth didn't only succeed in burning down the two fiercest catapults but they also killed Astic, their maker, who happened to be near Armeros.

In the night of the 29th the Milkengradians enjoyed a great success. Curgan himself led a sneak attack against the Erpheronian fleet, which was arrogantly stationed just opposite of the Lion Haven and managed to burn down most ships. This way it was possible for the city to continue receiving supplies and the danger of a landing inside Milkengrad was evaded. This victory was answered some days later when Hamergan had all naval passages to the city blocked and in the next days he captured four ships from Parda. However, in the 7th of Dalinjera captain Mitterstan from Naios managed to humiliate the allied blockade and to enter the city with three ships full of grain.

The next Helcrani plan was to capture Lecam himself, hoping that this would discourage their enemies and force them to abandon the siege. Since the defenders were outnumbered, this was their only hope for victory. Curgan wanted to lead the operation himself, but under Agaran's persistence he agreed to let him do it. Agaran gathered a total of 10 men, one from each squadron inside the city, as he wanted all of them to share the glory. This was a fatal mistake, as the chosen from the Mountaineer Helcrani was a traitor sent by Cumrann. His name was Coorvalan the son of Helnar. All members of the mission were arrested outside Lecam's tent and after they refused to exchange their lives with their faith to Curgan they were all impaled in front of the Norwind Gate, the weakest point of the city walls, which the Anactar himself was defending. Agaran's wife, Anastara the Beautiful, became the leader of the Styrani Fratra and she fought bravely till the end. She had already lost two sons and her husband. And the bombing continued for the rest of the 12th day of the month dedicated to Eyasha, the Goddess of Peace.

The first assault to take over the city was set to take place in the middle of the month. From the first day an effort to tear down the walls started and indeed, when the assault began, a large portion of the once mighty Ogygian walls was destroyed. The women and children of the city, who couldn't fight upon the walls, worked hard even during the day to repair the gaps. Nevertheless, not many measures could be taken against the remaining devastating Citytakers and Pridecrushers.

The attack started one hour after the dawn of the 15th of Dalinjera. Lecam decided to lead a massive attack with all his army covering the whole perimeter of the city. He planned to lead the attack at the north side assisted by Shiman and most of the Ashmarians. The east side was assigned to Niphric who had some barbarians under his command for the offensive, while prince Milthon of Erpheronia would attack from the west. The offenders presented a magnificent spectacle. "The earth trembled and the walls were shaking from the mighty roar" is written in a chronicle of the time. However, the sparse Helcrani defenses managed to repel the attack fighting hard till sunset. Among the dead were many allied nobles; most important of them was Hubwin of Erpheronia and Nerdza's brother, Karmel. The Milkengradian mourned for Zigilrak the Dwarf, who was killed in his attempt to burn a siege tower.

The faith of the offenders was shaken after this failure. Lecam was outraged and screamed continuously that they were unable to take over empty walls. This time Gorsim the Brave proposed a peace treaty with terms that satisfied the Erpheronian interests. Lecam and the rest of the Stratanians, however, didn't even want to hear such an idea. And the war raged on.

Milkengradian Surprise Attack. The bombing continued all day and the red allies made small attacks against the walls, just to keep the defenders busy day and night. Curgan decided to turn this tactic against the enemy. He sent out lurkers who set up ambushes. The Anactar himself participated in some of these ambushes giving death to his enemies. Some days later, he counseled with Righten of Goltherlon and Hecylor and organized a cavalry squad consisting of all horsemen available. And in the night of the 23rd, when several enemy platoons were spotted approaching the capital of Centorauria, the Gates opened and the famous cavalrymen assaulted. In the confusion that followed many invaders found death and, besides Curgan and Righten, Dragashim the Ahai and Hecylor of Heleroth were distinguished.

When the allied cavalry was ready for battle the Helcrani were heading towards the city walls. The only organized opposition against the Milkengradians was of Carbesil's light cavalry, who had the advantage of the Helcran elite training. They engaged Curgan's regiment but they were encircled and would all have found their death, if Curgan didn't prevent Sertelon launching the final assault. Even at this point he didn't want to fight his countrymen.

Curgan's Message to Cumrann. This night Curgan sent a message to his brother via a cavalryman in Carbesil's service. His name was Senhim and he was brother of SENRIN, a young officer in Curgan's squadron. In this message he urged Cumrann to help the city. In exchange, after the enemy would withdraw, Curgan would surrender the throne to his brother and would place himself under his brother's disposal. A week later, in a letter written by Cumrann's hand, this proposal was rejected, because the city would whatsoever be given to him after Curgan's defeat and it would be his turn to set his brother under trial. Cumrann would take the crown of Milkengrad by the sword and not as a bribe.

The last Assault on Milkengrad. Next morning, Lecam organized a council. He was thinking of leaving, as it was obvious that the city wouldn't fall and the men were shaken. Zagen and Milthon, however, persuaded him to continue the effort. A week later the second charge to take over Milkengrad took place. This time the attack would take place in waves. The defenders would have to fight many enemy attacks one after the other and eventually they would get tired and defeated because they couldn't afford the luxury of having spare troops to relieve the tired ones.

In the last day of Dalinjera the allies charged against the disgraced walls. The siege machines didn't stop throwing boulders even when the first wave had reached the walls and didn't stop till the second wave attacked. It were the Ashmarian mercenaries who attacked first. The purpose of their attack was to tire the defenders and blunt the Helcran swords with their bodies. And indeed, they were slaughtered under the half destroyed lower wall. And many, who were spared from the Helcran weapons, found death by friendly fire from the catapults of the Red Alliance. Three times they retreated panicked and three times did they return to fight again. Then it was the turn of the Kyranians, Centoraurians and some of the Stratanians. They were repelled one more time. The Menegulan leader Marysan was distinguished as he defended a large gap with a dozen of men. He was wounded but didn't notice till after the attack finished, whcih was two hours later. One hour after noon the Stratanians replaced the Kyranians in storming the walls. Their first attack was repelled easily, but their second was so fierce that the Milkengradians were forced to withdraw in the second wall. Zagen himself was fighting in the first line and he was one of the first to cross the lower wall. Still, they couldn't storm the second wall.

In the late afternoon the elite Erpheronian legions attacked the city. The defenders were exhausted. They didn't stop fighting, however, and Dragashim himself threw many enemies from the wall who managed to climb it. A squad that had already crossed the first wall, accidentally found a gap that was unfilled. So, they crossed the second wall and entered Milkengrad and if it weren't for Canthasir of Thyslan the city would have been conquered. In this battle his brother, Canthahir, was killed in his attempt to prevent more enemies from entering the city. At the end of the day the red allies retreated once more and the Helcrani were in control of the Ogygian walls.

The supposed Victory of the Helcrani. The Helcrani were in raptures over their victory. They raised their family and clan banners over what was left from the city walls and sang with joy. Inside the city a feast was taking place. Lecam, on the other hand, lost his courage after this new failure and was prepared to agree to a peace treaty that would satisfy the Stratanian pride, perhaps with compensation. The bombing stopped for two days and the messengers were already upon their horses, ready to deliver a proposal for peace, when something unexpected changed everything: Three carts loaded with tapped clay jars. Inside there was a substance that had the ability to ignite instantly. This flammable material, called Helmar, was escorted by Astic's son, Pergalon, who offered the Red Alliance the cart's load and a tactic plan of taking over the city designed by Cumrann himself.

Pergalon's secret Weapon. A first step of implying Cumrann's plan was the continuation of the bombing. The Milkengradians, who were expecting a proposal of truce, were dragged out of their delusion by a boulder who struck right were the royal banner was placed in front of the Norgamon Gate. For the next days selected parts of the walls were hit. Pergalon applied a three-step technique against the walls. Indeed, the results were amazing. According to the plan, the bombing would continue night and day. And because the boulders were ending, buildings all over the Efirhal Island were destroyed, including two magnificent statues of Helronn and Curogane mounted, which were placed at the northern edge of the Golden Bridge. The severe bombing didn't prevent the Helcrani though to repair what they could from the walls and to fill the gaps any way they could. At this time Anastara, Agaran's wife and leader of the elven Fratra, started training many women for battle. Their training focused in the use of the bow and the shortsword. This way the shortage on men was be partially anticipated for the next assault that seemed to be imminent.

The Ogygian walls were crushed and the first part of the attack was to take place in the 10th of Efiryphero. At nights 4 squads of 3,000 men were to assault the city twice from all directions just to keep the defenders busy. And they succeeded with this. The defenders were sleeping among the ruined walls and they woke up to repel the attacks. Marysan, the leader of the Menegulan Fratra, was killed in these attacks.

Three days later, the major offensive was launched. The defenders had to array at the walls 4,977 men and 3,000 women, trained in a great haste. While the offenders had 130,000 men ready for battle plus 20,000 mercenary reinforcements from all around the Sarvonian continent. The attack started at dawn, took place in two waves and focused on the most destroyed parts of the walls. Some of the elite forces attacked with the first wave, while most of them charged with the second one. As the attack began, the Pridecrushers started shooting boulders at the walls. The first wave charged with great fury, but the defenders managed to repel the attack. Anastara was distinguished in this battle but Sertelon of the Sostrians was killed along with his brother Sertor and his older son Sarilon, aged 16.

Four hours after dawn the first wave was withdrawn while the second started marching against the walls. The Pridecrushers started shooting again, while the Citytakers were armed with Pergalon's deadly cargo. They aimed beyond the walls, inside Milkengrad. Soon, the city was on fire. This caused great confusion among the Helcrani. All the armed women abandoned the battle and tried to put out the fire along with the other non-combatants. The defense was now very thin and completely disorganized. However, for more than an hour the offenders couldn't violate the Helcrani perimeter. Righten, who was defending the Golden Gate was killed by an officer under Milthon's orders and soon his men, outnumbered and without their leader, started to retreat. The enemies entered the city from this point. Hecylor and Anastara were killed in their attempt to drive away the enemy. They didn't make it though and soon the Helcrani defense started to crumble. The warriors were leaving their positions and ran to the city.

The Conquest of Milkengrad and the Death of Curgan. Curgan, who had been successfully defending the Norgamon Gate from the other main assault, saw the Helcrani abandoning their places and trying to save their families from the mayhem that was approaching. With an arrow he killed Gorsim the brave and the might of the Erpheronians was lost. Thus, Curgan could leave Senrin in his place and rush with a few dozens of men at the gap. The spectacle was terrible. Outside the walls, the enemies were entering the city in hundreds and the ones assigned at the first wave were entering the battle once more to take part at the looting, while inside the walls his city was on fire. Everything was lost. Curgan looked at the Artapherana and with tears in his eyes he refused to live to see their light over a captured city. He charged at the gap and started giving steel to the Milthon's Erpheronians. A few minutes later Carbesil and his men from Helcrah entered the battle for the first time since the night of the 23rd of Dalinjera, when they had to prevent a massacre of the Red Alliance. Now, they wanted to be the ones who would kill the Anactar: No foreigner should kill a Helcrani king. This was their privilege and burden, and so they did. After a hard battle, the last of the Sostrian kings was lost in a sea of swords. Curgan's body was taken by 7 of Carbesil's men and carried in the camp. Lecam wanted to cut his head off, but with the assistance of an Erpheronian philosopher and Milthon's councilor, called Salgen, they managed to take Curgan's body intact with them and headed for Helcrah.

The conquerors spared nobody. Everybody was killed. Warriors were killed in the streets along with their families as they tried to reach the ports and escape to the sea. A few accomplished this feat. Helgon of the Helerothi and his men died at the Lion port in an attempt to protect those who fled from there. Ava's temple was filled with people, who hoped that they would find salvation in the holy place, but they were burned along with it. Curgan's 7-year-old son, Altafar, was decapitated at the gates of the Curonesta. The slaughter was so brutal that Carbesil attacked the Stratanians in order to prevent the total annihilation of the Milkengradians. His Helcrani died in an attempt to protect those who they tried to conquer for 93 days. Only Iassan of Ahaiwana lived to bring the news to Cumrann.

Senrin with his men retreated to the Efirhal in order to protect the Blessed Trees. Many non-combatants followed them, as they were the only organized opposition left against the Red Alliance. He managed to hold out the grave of Curogane and Tacunija till the end. The Bagril brothers continued to hold their position in a wall tower and along with Senrin they were allowed by Milthon to leave the city two days later, as a reward for their bravery. The rest were killed fighting. Bagamir was given permission also to bury his dead brother and the dead Helcrani before he left along with 278 other persons. 

Behind them lied a disgraced and burnt metropolis. The Curse was fulfilled for a second time.

Aftermath. Curgan was buried in Helcrah, his body was returned to the Efirhal Island by Thar's son, king Tharagane of Tharania, and was placed under the rebuilt Avá's Temple in 457 b.S.

Milkengrad was given to the Stratanians and the Ashmarians. The city was renamed to Turacanth, a name that held until its liberation. Later, a settlement with the same name was created for their descendants at Esperoth Island, west of Milkengrad.

Cumrann and his most trusted friends exiled themselves from Helcrah as the news of the Fall reached the villages. However, they vowed that this would never be allowed to happen again. No Helcrani ever saw them again.

Senrin was given the Helcran crown according to Cumrann's last order. He took the name Sinrann, which meant "Leader of the deceived".

Lecam Turpotaker, Zagen the Cruel, Nerdza the black and king Renevor of Erpheronia were found murdered in the 20 years that followed. A star with 19 edges, the famous "Arpagar's Star" was found in all cases. Milkengrad never regained its former beauty until the time of king Tharagane.

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