Siege of Divinity's Reach
The Siege of Divinity's Reach, also known as the Siege of Lake Doric, occurred in 1330 AE as a coalition comprised of a White Mantle splinter group led by Confessor Caudecus Beetlestone and an army of centaurs from the Harathi tribe led by Siegemaster Immelhoof fought against an alliance comprised of Krytan loyalists led by Queen Jennah and a charr warband led by Legionnaire Nylia Steelpaw for the control of Lake Doric and Divinity's Reach, the capital of the Kingdom of Kryta. The siege included skirmishes within Divinity's Reach and Caudecus's Manor, and at Lake Doric where the bulk of the fighting took place. Thanks to the assistance provided by the Pact Commander, Caudecus's insurrection was ended swiftly and led to the collapse of the White Mantle.
The year 1329 AE led to many shocking revelations among Krytan commoners and nobles who had believed the White Mantle cult to be long gone. Raiders had discovered a notable White Mantle presence led by High Inquisitor Xera in the Forsaken Thicket deep within the Heart of Maguuma before dismantling her operation, and bounty hunters had found irrefutable proof among the belongings of various slain bandit leaders that most if not all of the bandits operating in Kryta and the Maguuma Jungle had deep ties to the White Mantle.
Legate Minister Caudecus Beetlestone, who had vanished from the Royal Palace and was found among White Mantle forces in Bloodstone Fen, revealed himself to not be their captive but the Confessor of the White Mantle to a strike team which had come to bring him back to the capital. Caudecus fled with the assistance of Lady Valette Wi after the sudden arrival of the mursaat Lazarus saved the strike team from the Confessor's trap and splintered the White Mantle into two rival factions. One faction remained loyal to Caudecus and the other pledged allegiance to Lazarus.
The Shining Blade began tracking down Caudecus who was rumored to have traveled north to the Isles of Janthir. While the Confessor's plans to use Jade Constructs in an eventual assault on Divinity's Reach were known to Queen Jennah through Shining Blade agent Canach's report from the failed arrest, far worse were evidence found in the Forsaken Thicket and the journals of Bloodstone Fen that any human in Tyria regardless of social status could secretly be a White Mantle sympathizer or agent waiting for the moment to strike. The White Mantle had infiltrated not only Divinity's Reach but several Tyrian scholarly organizations and orders as well in preparation for the assault on Kryta.
Assault on the Upper City
Queen Jennah, knowing that many members of the Ministry and the Ministry Guard were still sympathetic to Caudecus, made preparations for the battle to come and discreetly strengthened the magical wards around Divinity's Reach. In 1330 AE she summoned ministers and the Pact Commander to the Upper City where she would make a grand announcement to everyone present. After the Commander made her aware that the White Mantle had set up listening devices in the garden, Jennah played her hand: she declared that the Ministry would be suspended until dangers to Kryta had passed, which led to several ministers voicing their complaints loudly and accusing the queen of using the danger as pretext to increasing her authoritative power.
Before the political dispute could be settled, the White Mantle used the ensuing unrest to launch an assault on the city. The damages to the Upper City were minimals thanks to the timely activation of the magical wards. However, many ministers and nobles, Minister Arton among them, lost their lives as several people who were present revealed themselves to be White Mantle agents and sympathizers and attacked the loyalists while mesmers ported in more White Mantle.
Minister Estelle revealed herself to be the head of the White Mantle strike force selected by Caudecus to assassinate Jennah. She underestimated Jennah's power, however, and was ultimately killed during a battle against Jennah, the Pact Commander and the recovering Captain Logan Thackeray. The White Mantle mesmers were ultimately defeated and, with the help of the newly commissioned watchknights, the tide turned in the loyalists' favor.
Skirmishes at Lake Doric
The White Mantle's initial bombardment of Divinity's Reach destroyed the locks of the northeastern dam, which drained Lake Doric and took a couple of ships with it. The defenders successfully regrouped under Captain Thackeray and Legionnaire Nylia Steelpaw with a force consisting of Seraph, Shining Blade, Steelpaw's warband, watchknights and locals living around the now drained lake. However, they faced fierce resistance from the White Mantle whose soldiers and jade constructs had already taken over Fort Evennia and who tried to invade other strategic locations including Harvest Cascades, New Loamhurst and Saidra's Haven for a three-pronged assault on the capital. The White Mantle were reinforced by a sizable group of bloodstone-crazed Harathi besiegers and raiders pouring in from Harathi Hinterlands who had established a foothold at Watchtower Cliffs.
The Pact Commander aided the charr-human alliance against the White Mantle and the Harathi by scouting key strategic locations for both enemy presence and for any sign of Caudecus among the attackers as well as by infiltrating the White Mantle forward base of Fort Evennia under a disguise to sabotage enemy operations. Afterwards the Commander assisted the alliance's counterattack and successfully took down enemy generals such as Justiciar Agatha and Siegemaster Immelhoof, thus crippling the enemy coalition's forces.
Assault on Caudecus's Manor
After the White Mantle and centaurs had been pushed back, the loyalists' focus turned on locating and either capturing or eliminating Caudecus himself. As a previous strike team led by Canach had not returned from Caudecus's manor, another strike team consisting of Countess Anise, Caudecus's daughter and Order of Whispers agent Demmi Beetlestone and the Pact Commander went after them. They infiltrated the manor via a secret passageway that Demmi knew of.
The team liberated Canach and slew High Inquisitor Victor although they were too late to save the other Shining Blade members who had been tortured to death. They eventually cornered Caudecus and Valette Wi in the center of the manor and fought against them only to witness the injured and maddened Caudecus shooting Demmi and fleeing through a magical passageway before he could be caught.
Caudecus's actions against his daughter caused a change of heart in Valette who abandoned his cause and sided with the strike team, offering them a way into the Confessor's inner sanctum. They traversed the labyrinthine hallways into the center of the sanctum where they faced a now fully bloodstone-crazed Caudecus abomination. The team ultimately prevailed and killed Caudecus although the price of victory was the life of Demmi who succumbed to her injuries soon after.
Following Caudecus's demise, Minister Wi was appointed as the new Legate Minister while his daughter, who received the nickname Valette the Treasonous, was taken into custody and placed under the watchful eye of Countess Anise to serve her sentence. Jennah lifted the suspension on the Ministry after the siege had ended although it remains unclear whether the Ministry retained their former rights or lost some of their political power.
Due to the incriminating information discovered in the letters within Caudecus's manor and the tireless work of the Shining Blade and other loyalist agents, several White Mantle spies were rooted out from Divinity's Reach and the various scholarly organizations they had infiltrated throughout Tyria. The few surviving members of the two White Mantle factions who were not caught at Lake Doric or in Draconis Mons fled to their remaining hidden fortress north of Brisban Wildlands, which was lorded over by Justiciar Araya, only to meet their end there after the Pact Commander and Exemplar Kerida infiltrated the fortress. These defeats, followed by the ultimate death of Lazarus himself in Siren's Landing, signaled the collapse of the White Mantle and ended their threat once and for all.
- ^ The conflict is referred to as the Siege of Divinity's Reach and the Siege of Lake Doric in the story journal entries for Eyes on Lake Doric and Confessor's End, respectively, given the turning of the tide during the conflict.
- ^ Frozen Out
- <Character name>: And the human minister, Caudecus, escaped custody and came out as the leader of the White Mantle. He's currently MIA.
- Rox: Canach says it looks like he's making his way up to the Isles of Janthir.