The Second Siege

In late 1011, the Second City’s leadership decided to strike first. Arming a group of Outsiders with weapons from the City, they claimed that the resulting attack was a clear violation of the bond between the two. The Second City’s army, supported by its army and air force, quickly moved down the coast toward the City. The main force of the Citizens’ Army met the Second Citizens near the mouth of the Rane River, and the result was a catastrophe. Despite outnumbering the Second Citizens nearly two to one, the City’s force was annihilated. As the Mayor and Council struggled to organize a defense, the Second City’s forces cut a swath across the Farmlands and by the end of the year had reached the outskirts of the City itself.

A heroic defense, mounted in the eleventh hour, prevented the Second Citizens from encircling the City, though the Second Navy was able to destroy the City’s docks and occupy the bay. For the next two years, the Second Citizens would fruitlessly attempt to break the defense lines around the City, and at times aimed dagger thrusts at the City center itself. The City was under constant bombardment from land and sea, and air raids occurred nightly.

As before, the City was able to trade with Outsiders for badly needed materials, and hired thousands as mercenaries with the promise of citizenship. Meanwhile, agents of the City attempted to stir the Second City’s chattel laborers to rebellion, forcing the Second Army to garrison troops throughout its own areas. In the meantime, the Citizens’ Army and Mayor built up their forces for a counterattack.

1013 saw the counterattack launched, and the brilliant maneuver shattered the besieging forces. The Second City lost the cream of its army and military material in the Battle of the Outskirts, and was soon pushed back to its own borders. The City now adapted the tactics of its adversary, and launched continual combined-arms attacks on the Second City and its environs. By 1015, the Second City and Second Farmlands were in ruins. Many of the survivors fled into the Outlands in small groups, attempting to blend in with the very people they had treated so poorly. The top military and political leaders of the Second City were executed, and its territory was annexed and appended to the Farmlands. The Second City itself, damaged beyond repair, was razed.

The New Order

The devastating events of the Second Siege led to a sea change in the City’s politics. Fear of external invasion, compounded by the massive industries built by the war, led the Mayor to begin a permanent program of Outsider pacification. While trade continued, this meant that many of the City’s goods were provided to Outsiders free of charge, provided that they did not attempt to make war on the City or the Farmlands.

In the meantime, technological development had been jump-started by the conflict, and by 1175 was approaching that which legend ascribed to the Precursor City. At the same time, life expectancy in the City began to plateau; further research determined that the City’s massive use of electricity and artificial light invariably caused terminal melanoma after a certain level of exposure, For most Citizens, this meant that the absolute limit of their life was now approximately 100 years, and for many others with less tolerance, death came much younger.

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