Limiykla's Tryst

Limiykla's Tryst
Part of the War of the Velaran Succession
Date10 February 1770
Location
Result
  • Ja'ekhan victory
Belligerents
Grand Duchy of Ja'ekha Ja'ekha  Isles of Velar
Commanders and leaders
Grand Duchy of Ja'ekha Pahrek Limiykla
Strength
37 cavalry 312 infantry
Casualties and losses
3 dead
6 wounded
48 dead
138 captured

Limiykla's Tryst was a minor engagement of the War of the Velaran Succession, fought outside the walls of Zarthalin on 10 February 1770. After learning of a plot to take the city, only recently secured by the Grand Duchy of Ja'ekha, Pahrek Limiykla led a band of cavalry out and routed a much larger Velaran force as they attempted to storm Zarthalin under cover of night.

Prelude and intrigue

Zarthalin was the most strategically important city in Retikh or Pelna, and its capture, in early 1769, had been the focus of a major campaign by Kenti of Ja'ekha. Over the next year, the local Velaran commanders Heruyel and Laidakon made two attempts to retake the city. After the last siege of the city was lifted on 2 February, the Velaran army withdrew to the coast, and Kenti went in pursuit with most of his army. 1,500 soldiers, and most of his cannon, were left in Zarthalin under Pahrek Limiykla while the greater parts of the two armies moved towards the battleground of the Plain of Marúna.

Unbeknownst to either army, some three hundred Velarans had deserted after their defeat outside Zarthalin and remained encamped in the hills above the city. They remained in contact with some of the citizens who were still loyal to Prince Miró of Txir. A few days after Kenti's departure, they moved down from the hills, planning to seize Zarthalin at night. They had arranged for the owner of the city's stables, Talas Ranako, to open the gates for them and were to hide beneath the city walls after sunset, waiting for his signal to enter the city. In the afternoon of 10 February, the day the capture was to take place, an informant approached Limiykla with the details of the plan. Aware of the urgency, he took a company of guards to the stables and confronted Ranako. Threatened with prison and possible execution, Ranako broke down, and Limiykla decided to take the stable's horses to form a cavalry contingent. However, not even forty horses remained in the entire city of the several thousand who had passed through in the previous weeks.

The skirmish

Limiykla was not daunted, however, and he chose thirty six riders to accompany him. At seven o'clock in the evening, he led his company out the gates and around the east wall. They encountered the Velarans between the fosse and the walls, carrying two ladders and taken by surprise at seeing an unknown number of shadowy assailants charging them. They dropped their ladders, and many of them broke and ran; those who remained were ridden down by the Ja'ekhan horsemen with lances and carbines. Within ten minutes, almost half of the Velarans (126 of 312) had fled the field, while four dozen lay dead in the grass. Limiykla had lost just three men, with six wounded, and rounded up over one hundred of the defeated Velarans.

Legacy

Although the battle was relatively insignificant to how the war played out, Limiykla's victory prevented the Miróists from regaining any territory on the mainland and protected Zarthalin's hinterland from plundering. Limiykla was locally acclaimed as a hero, and the story of his nighttime escapade spread quickly across Trellin. The skirmish quickly became known as Limiykla's Tryst and remained one of the most retold and published stories of the entire war. In 1916 it was the subject of a film called Liymikla's Tryst.