The Great Siege of Julabin
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The following is an excerpt taken from SCP-140, detailing the siege of the city-state Julabin located in what is now [REDACTED], Norway.

*Note: Based on context as well as usage in previous passages, the following cultural terms have been successfully translated:
Speck-second
Mark-minute
Turn-hour
Length-day
Set-night
Shift-week
Range-month
Cycle-year
Markeqs-measure of weight
Pateks-measure of distance
Tukats-currency

In the Thirty-Eighth Cycle of Yurta, relations between the Daevites and the independent city-nation of Julabin quickly began to deteriorate. As Julabin was situated near the Northern mouth of the great Htazla river, Czrakhin Alkri had always desired to take over the well-situated stronghold as another addition to the Daeva Empire since the beginning of his rule in the Twenty-Third Cycle of Yurta.

Certainly, Julabin seemed a grand prize. With a population of seven hundred thousand men, a coinage flow of sixty-three million tukats per Range, a livestock and produce intake of forty million markeqs and outtake of thirty-seven million markeqs per Range, the city-nation had always been one of the most wealthy in the Northern regions.

Alkri greatly wished to rule over it, but at first lacked the troops and resources to forcibly take over the powerful Julabins. A fearsome drought in the Empire's South-Western provinces in the Twenty-Seventh Cycle and civil unrest around the Empire due to famine destabilized the nation's unity and demoralized Alkri's Black Horde. As such, the cunning Czrakhin decided a different approach: occupation through economic and cultural means.

Quickly dispatching a diplomatic convoy in the Tenth Range of the Twenty-Eighth Cycle, Alkri began a trade route between the Daeva Empire and Julabin. Over the years, the city-nation grew to rely on the Empire's steady supply of high quality meat, produce, textiles, iron, timber, and pottery. In addition, Julabin rapidly became flooded with Daevite culture. Traders from the Empire brought into the city their music, art, sagas, folklore, legends, and myths. Daevite cuisine was also warmly welcomed by the Julabins, in particular the savoury shychi, made of Numbik Kippyt, betalrote, and hrizakl.

As trade between the two nations increased, greater numbers of Daevites immigrated into Julabin, so much so that by the end of the Thirty-Third Cycle of Yurta, twelve thousand Daevites had settled in a district within Julabin that became known as the Daevikrugl. Daevite culture permeated the city-nation; soon the entire Julabin population, from the lowliest of excrement cleaners to the wealthiest of boyerehs, was enthralled in its exotic tastes. Daevite foods, arts, and even traditions rapidly replaced their local Julabin counterparts, and to Czrakhin Alkri, it seemed as though his goal was an arm's length away.

However, the Julabin priest-king Ingrudn gradually realized Alkri's plot, and in the First Range of the Thirty-Eighth Cycle of Yurta ordered the banishment of all Daevite residents from the city. He then dissolved all trade agreements with the Daeva Empire and imposed ludicrous tariffs on all non-Julabin goods and products. This was seen as a perfect solution to the threat of a Daevite takeover, and Ingrudn soon lowered his guard. After all, the Daeva faced famine and serf revolts, and there was no possibility of a war against him.

Unknown to Ingrudn, though, was the fact that the Daeva Empire had been drastically increasing its imports of grain and livestock from surrounding regions since the Thirtieth Cycle, successfully preventing starvation around the empire and calming the masses. Alkri, as well, had been raising his armies in secret and managed to double to size of his Black Horde.

And so, without delay, the Czrakhin Alkri led eighty-thousand of the Empire's finest and marched for Julabin in the Thirteenth Range of the Thirty-Eighth Cycle. Moving by night and camping by day, the Black Horde advanced steadily towards the city without delay. Alkri sent scouts ahead of the main army to clear all hamlets and villages along the way of their denizens, ensuring that no stray peasant would report back to Julabin. He ordered his warriors to wrap all weapons in oilcloths and all horse and baggage-mule hooves in woollen sacks to muffle any sound of their approach. Yet despite all precautions taken, Alkri missed one thing.

The Black Horde's movements routed all the wildlife from the surrounding areas, and the panicking oleinei, krolika, and ptistyaka soon alerted Julabin lookouts of the impending invasion. So when Alkri finally arrived at the gates of the city, he was enraged to see the walls lined with ranks of roaring Julabin archers. As the element of surprise was lost to him, Alkri could only order his men to besiege the city directly. So began the Great Siege of Julabin.

A long wait was not at all favourable for the Black Horde. While Julabin had reserves full of grain and pens upon pens of ovtsei and skutiy, Alkri's men had only the supplies resting on the backs of their baggage-mules. The frost would sap strength and morale away as quickly as any arrow or blade. And so Alkri sat with his captains and debated the best approach. Saegmat, Alkri's second in command, wished to delay no further and commence a frontal assault against the walls, and ordered the immediate construction of several wooden towers using the area's forests for material.

While the other captains were quite content to follow Saegmat's plan, Alkri was not. He foresaw the loss of a large number of his own warriors along the walls of Julabin, and contemplated an alternative action. Yet on the Twenty-Third Length of the siege, Saegmat's towers were completed, and in the first few Turns the Black Horde attempted to breach Julabin's walls.

Saegmat's assault was a disaster. The siege towers, hastily constructed of dried timber, were set alight by Julabin archers. No wet hides had been pasted onto them during construction to both increase the speed of completion and preserve what small number of beasts the Black Horde had with them. Half the towers collapsed from fire damage, and the other half were rendered useless because of the heat from burning planks of wood. The attack ended soon after it started, with not a single Daeva touching the white walls of the city. Two thousand eighty warriors were roasted alive, and Saegmat himself was crushed underneath a splintered pile of blazing timber. Alkri's men dared not recover his body, for the cheering Julabin soldiers closely watched for any who dared come close to the walls.

Disgraced and demoralized, the Black Horde was forced to wait for the Set to come before attempting a recovery. A small group of men, cloaked by the darkness, managed to sneak to where the charred remains of Saegmat laid, and carried it back to Alkri's camp. Stricken with grief for the loss of his sword-brother, the Czrakhin vowed bloody revenge upon Ingrudn and the Julabins.

Alkri's cunning plan finally came to him on the Thirty-First Set, among the foggy depths of slumber. He ordered the construction of underground tunnels leading into Julabin immediately, and with renewed spirit his Black Horde began their muddy work. To shield the digging from prying Julabin eyes, large wooden screens were raised before each tunnel entrance. To divert attention, Alkri sent small bands of warriors, no more than twenty or thirty, towards the wall. They would shoot a few arrows at the archers on the wall, hide behind their shields, then retreat back to the palisades of the Horde's camp.

The tunnels were at last finished on the Fortieth Length of the Great Siege, and Alkri quickly moved to exact his vengeance upon the Julabins. As soon as Set's darkness fell upon the land, the Czrakhin led fourscore of his finest warriors into the tunnels and underneath the walls. Emerging onto the streets of the city, Alkri and his men slaughtered the slumbering, unwitting sentinels and opened the mighty gates of Julabin. As the Black Horde charged into the city full of bloodlust, Alkri headed for the palace with Saegmat's sword and shield in hand.

As his warriors ran amok in the city, Alkri entered the throne room alone and was met by two warriors and Ingrudn and Jaekl, the Julabin Captain of the Royal Guard. Quickly decapitating the two guards, the Czrakhin then met the captain at the middle of the cavernous chamber in a clash of steel as the priest-king huddled by a pillar, yelling abuse at both men.

The duel could not have been between men, but rather gods. Rippling muscles underneath layers of armour battered away at each other, sweat flowing freely down the chiselled figures. Alkri and Jaekl were locked in brutal combat for sixty Marks, neither one giving any ground. And as arms wearied and breaths shortened, a bead of sweat dripped into Jaekl's eye. The captain blinked to be rid of the sting, but in that moment Alkri stuck him through the throat.

The Czrakhin loured over the bleeding corpse, panting, and glared at the dumb figure of Ingrudn. Alkri then slowly advanced towards the coward, and in one deft motion took the priest-king's head, and another his heart. One in each hand, he then proceeded onto the palace balcony. In full view of his Black Horde, Alkri thanked the gods for his victory, dropped Ingrudn's head and crushed it under his foot, and then bit into his heart. He threw both hands into the air, blood coursing down his arms and onto his scarred face.

For three Lengths and three Sets, Alkri and his men pillaged and raped and burned, until mighty Julabin became a mound of rubble. Every temple was ransacked, every storehouse raided, every man killed and every woman defiled. The dead and wounded were indiscriminately piled together in the city square and burned, a scorching blaze that lasted for many Turns and ended with Alkri leading his Horde in a joyous feasting of the charred flesh. The Julabins were thus stamped out, and the city was renamed Saegmadik and absorbed into the growling beast that was the Daeva Empire. Thus the Great Siege ended, and Alkri once again led our people to glory.

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