The Battle of Maradon is series of battles in the defense of the capital city of Saldaea against a massive Trolloc force advancing south from the Blight. The forces of the Light, led by Great Captain Rodel Ituralde fought a retreating battle attempting to contain the invasion and prevent the Trolloc force from breaking through to ravage the southern lands. Heavily outnumbered, the forces of the Light were eventually forced to conduct fighting in the streets of Maradon, trying to cause as much damage to the Trolloc forces as possible, before help arrived led by Rand al'Thor, who was finally able to turn back the Trolloc tide and save what remained of the city.
Toward the end of Rodel Ituralde's campaign to push the Seanchan out of Arad Doman, his forces were slowly pushed back by the greater Seanchan numbers and their use of damane in battle. Prepared to fight a last stand in an abandoned stedding, Ituralde was approached by Rand al'Thor and convinced to fight in the defense of the Borderlands instead, for the promise of a negotiated peace with the Seanchan.
Thus Ituralde's force of Domani and Taraboner troops were transported to Saldaea, along with 100 Asha'man sent by Rand, and some Saldaean officers to act as advisers to Rodel Ituralde, who has no experience fighting against Trollocs.
The path taken by the Trollocs is a mountain pass directly north of the city of Maradon, followed by a ford across the river Arinelle. The path is defended by a heavily fortified camp constructed by the Saldaeans over the years. It is here that Ituralde set us his initial defenses, after being refused entry into the city of Maradon by the commander of the city, a cousin of the Queen later revealed as a Darkfriend.
Defending the passEdit
The Saldaean hill fort was situated atop a natural hill just south of the River Arinelle, directly facing the fort used by the Trolloc forces. On the hill's northern side, the Saldaeans had constructed trenches, bulwarks, and archer towers at the top of the hill to defend the pass; on the south side, the reverse slope was much steeper, and a lower camp is situated below the hill for troops to rest.
The attacking Trollocs would have to ford the Arinelle and cross numerous trenches, completely exposed to hails of arrows from archers and crossbow-men placed on the archer towers, before meeting pikemen near the top of the hill, who would be protected by defensive bulwarks. These Saldaean defenses were used to great effect by Ituralde, fending off numerous Trolloc charges.
Ituralde's stubborn defense forced the Shadowspawn army to deploy their siege equipment, which were originally intended for use against the city walls around Maradon. However, instead of rocks and boulders, the Myrddraal commanders of the Trolloc army used the carcasses of their dead with their initial barrage. This tactic puzzled Ituralde, who deduced their tactic just as a group of Draghkar descended with one of the subsequent waves of corpses, causing great confusion among Ituralde's army and claiming the life of Rajabi, one of Ituralde's lieutenants.
Pushed into the cityEdit
Even with the stalwart defense put up by Ituralde and his Domani army, the Trolloc's numerical advantage eventually allowed them to overrun Ituralde's upper camp. Ituralde had evacuated the upper camp and set up his forces in a triple pike line retreat at the base of the reverse slope, with archers behind the pikemen for support and Asha'man in reserve, ready to take up the defense when the battle lines weaken. The plan was a slow but organized retreat south past the city of Maradon, since they would not be allowed into the city, and escape by Gateways when the Trolloc advance slows to surround the city itself.
Ituralde's plan was disrupted as Lieutenant Lidrin recklessly rode in front of the lines in a hopeless charge, allowing the Trollocs to carve a hole in the defensive lines. Just as Ituralde and his personal guards charged to reinforce the lines, some panicked trumpeters sounded the retreat while others refrained, having not received a direct order as they were ordered to. Unfortunately, this meant half Ituralde's force tried to retreat, while the other half remained in the defense, even as their flanks became exposed. This general confusion allowed the Trolloc army to completely overwhelm Ituralde's force and the battle turned into a rout.
Meanwhile, a Saldaean Captian named Yoeli, seeing the Domani defense against the Shadowspawn army and his lord's inaction, revolted against his lord and led his followers in a sortie to help Ituralde's force. His forces arrived in time to rescue an injured Ituralde from a Myrddraal, and halted the Trolloc advance enough to allow what remained of Ituralde's forces to retreat inside the city.
The Trollocs went on to completely surround the city, but refrained from attacking the city and took to beating drums at all hours, demoralizing the defenders. One morning, Ituralde was called to the city wall by Deepe Bhadar, leader of the contingent of Asha'man sent by Rand al'Thor, who informed him that the Trolloc forces had channelers who are preparing a weave. Just as Yoeli was sent to prepare the defenders for attack, the enemy channelers unleashed their weave against the section of city wall Ituralde and Bhadar were standing on, wounding both defenders and opening a gaping hole in the city wall.
After receiving healing by the Asha'man healer Antail, Ituralde deduced that the city would be lost with a hole in the city wall. However, Captain Yoeli refused to leave the city, citing the signal fire indicating help was on the way, and convinced Ituralde to remain and defend the city until help arrived.
Seeing the futility of stubbornly defending such a large breach, Ituralde ordered the remaining Asha'man to defend the breach with every ounce of Power they had left and buy time for the remaining defenders to prepare an ambush. When the Power wrought destruction finally subsided, Trolloc forces believed the battle won and charged into the city, chasing wounded troops carefully placed by Ituralde. They were led to a carefully prepared ambush where archers were hidden in the upper floors of the city's buildings, and Saldaean cavalry charged those Trollocs who didn't fall to archers from side streets, using their familiarity with the city to their advantage.
Using similar tactics, Ituralde led the remaining Saldaean and Domani troops in conducting ambushes against the Trollocs inside the city, dividing the over all force into a number of separate units capable of independent operations. Even so, the greater Trolloc numbers allowed them to capture the city and slowly whittle down the defending forces; a small band led by Ituralde personally started with 200 warriors, and ended with only 50 warriors.
Just as Ituralde's force completed another successful ambush, they heard a large force approaching. Preparing another possible ambush, it was only when the approaching force turned out to be company of Saldaeans that Ituralde became aware that help had arrived. By this time, the newly arrived Saldaeans, led by Bashere, had already retaken much of the city, but large numbers of Trollocs were still gathered at the hill fort and were preparing to assault the city yet again. A fresh, larger Trolloc army had arrived, and was ready to destroy the army. Bashere and Ituralde agree to flee the city.
Seeing this, Rand al'Thor, who until then had accompanied the newly arrived forces but remained out of the fighting, decided to step in. He faced down the Trolloc army and destroyed it in an awe-inspiring display of the Power.
After Rand al'Thor completed his destruction of the larger Trolloc army, he was left extremely weakened, stating that if one of the Forsaken were to attack him now, he would surely be defeated. He also revealed that the Last Battle was not for him to fight in, but others were meant to be his pawns until the end, when he would personally fight the Dark one himself.