- This article is about the Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep. For a list of other battles around or inside the city, see Battle of Vulpengaard Keep.
|Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep|
| Akai Tora||Northern Horde||Southern Horde|
| Hiroshi Takamoto||Unknown||Enenra|
|Second Great War|
The Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep took place at Vulpengaard Keep in Yamato in 1017 AE. A rag-tag army consisting of the Akai Tora, the Forgotten and the Fellowship of Maar Sul fought against one of the Northern Horde's armies around the keep while Khasra III entered Xar Daeon in hopes of using the celestial city's innate powers to sever the link between it and the demons. Eventually Khasra succeeded, weakening the demons' regenerative powers and giving his companions an edge in the battle. The weakened demons were driven away as a result, and Vulpengaard Keep became the new stronghold of the Akai Tora and the Forgotten. The Southern Horde tried to take over the keep soon after but was also driven away.
The Fellowship of Maar Sul had entered Yamato but were captured almost immediately by Damian Resta who took them to the Akai Tora stronghold. Shogun Hiroshi Takamoto of the Akai Tora and Alathor, the leader of the Forgotten, suggested that the fellowship helped them combat the demons of the Northern Horde and take over Vulpengaard Keep.
They argued that this would be the perfect time to strike because most of the Northern Horde's forces had travelled north and thus left the keep vulnerable for a surprise attack. Although the fellowship was skeptic about working with such dubious characters as Takamoto and Alathor, they realized that the other option would be to die in the dungeons of the Akai Tora or be slaughtered by the demons. They reluctantly agreed to help their former enemy Takamoto for the sake of the future of the world.
Alathor prepared Khasra III, whom he saw as a chosen one of Mardük because of his paladinhood, for the trials to come and gave him a rusty sword. He then sent Khasra through the magic Mirror of Truth to the shade of the celestial city of Xar Daeon that had once been Mardük's capital. Khasra's mission would be to restore Xar Daeon to what it had once been, which in turn would sever the city's link with the demons and cut off their regenerative powers. If Khasra were to fail, however, the demons would easily overwhelm the combined forces of the Akai Tora and the Forgotten and eventually destroy the Silverbranch Tree.
Hiroshi Takamoto and Alathor led their forces to Vulpengaard Keep to have a big showdown with the demons, and the fellowship followed them because they knew winning the battle would be the only way for them to continue their journey to the Silverbranch Tree which lay at the heart of the demon lands. They faced a large number of demonic warriors from the Northern Horde on the outskirts of the keep, and a fierce battle began.
Meanwhile Khasra entered a shadow of Xar Daeon which turned out to actually have a will of its own. While Khasra contemplated on the divine city's similarity to Maar Sul City and saw glimpses of its history through the time-space continuum, he suddenly faced a malevolent shade named Hob who wanted to take the rusty blade which Khasra had received from Alathor.
Initially Hob had the advantage, and every injury Khasra suffered was reflected on the Land of the Living where the demons beat the forces of the Akai Tora back time and time again, severly weakening the samurai army. When all seemed lost, Khasra was contacted by the spirit of Galen Grimwrath who urged him to use Xar Daeon's powers and memories against Hob. It turned out that the blade Khasra was holding had once belonged to Galen who had been Hob's mentor and that Mardük's madness during the War of the Andain had corrupted Hob into the twisted shade he now was.
Khasra's love for his friends and allies was too great to be overcome by darkness, and his determination combined with the powers of Xar Daeon proved to be enough for him to finally figure out that his rusty blade had once been called Morninglight. His determination and the light of the now named blade were enough to pierce the darkness of Hob and restore some of the former glory of Xar Daeon which now remembered what it had once stood for.
Khasra's actions immediately resonated in the Land of the Living as the demons' regenerative powers were severely weakened. While the demons tried to understand what had happened, the heroes struck and managed to defeat most of the demons and drive the confused survivors away. Despite suffering heavy losses, the Akai Tora and the Forgotten had succeeded in taking over Vulpengaard Keep thanks to the help from Khasra and the rest of the fellowship.
The Akai Tora and the Forgotten now had Vulpengaard Keep as their new stronghold, and they immediately began strengthening its defenses for the eventual counterattack of the demons. Although they knew there would be many more battles to come, they now had a chance to reclaim their lost homeland from the demons who could no longer rely solely on regeneration.
However, the alliance between the fellowship and their new friends would not last because a mole within the fellowship framed Leon Alcibiates and Steve for the assassination attempt on Takamoto. The heroes, including the mole who had managed to mask his deception, were able to escape from the enraged Akai Tora and the Forgotten but only thanks to help from Khasra who had returned from Xar Daeon and the Akai Tora member Damian Resta who sympathized with them.
The fellowship continued the journey to the Silverbranch Tree with a heavy heart in the ensuing chaos of the demon counterattack while the Akai Tora and the Forgotten barely repelled the demons from reclaiming Vulpengaard Keep.