The Thirteen Fingers
“It stretches across the sky, blotting out the sun hours before dusk. The formidable sight alone is enough to cause the legions to tremble beneath the audacity of man’s engineering.”
Alain Northrind, A Guide To Wonders
The Taitan Wall was constructed during the early period of the decades-long Steel War. Its intent was to shorten the border between Pelinore and the Juusan, forcing the Pelinorean army to either siege portions of the wall or travel the Cardian Spit, a low-lying valley surrounded by cliffs between Dayreoudan and Karasuriku, at which point they would be under constant harassment from the armies of the Juusan.
The Taitan Wall runs the expanse from the cliffs in the western border of Dayreoudan to the mountain range in the southwest corner of Sougen, stretching for a total of 117 miles. At its highest point, the Taitan Wall is 140 feet above the ground, though it averages just 80 feet. The width of the wall varies as well, but averages 25 feet. Sections containing guard posts are often much wider, up to 75 feet but typically 35 to 40 feet. The Kumori Castle is built on the Juusan-side of the wall, but is embedded into the facade, making the castle a physical part of the wall itself.
At one mile intervals along the wall is a guard post, garrisoned year-round by Juusan soldiers. Each garrison contains ten to twelve archers, two scouts, and a commanding officer (typically a lieutenant, but retired executive officers may also choose to lead a garrison). Each guard post consists of a tower, which has a door allowing soldiers access to walk the wall. It also will contain a ladder that leads into the main housing. A guard post typically consists of barracks, a small armory (no bigger than a large closet), commanding officer’s quarters, conference room (doubling as the commander’s office), living room, warehouse, and small kitchen. All of these rooms exist within the wall itself. Often, an outer door will be present that leads to a small courtyard containing a training area and, if the post is fortunate enough, stables.
At the height of construction, over 31,000 workers, soldiers, and convicts worked on the wall, though estimates of the total number of individuals who participated in construction is often put somewhere between 89,000 and 115,000. Between perilous construction and constant raids, nearly 13,000 workers died.
The Taitan Wall is often credited for turning the tide of the war, though some scholars believe its effectiveness is dubious at best. Though it did aid in protecting smaller towns and communities from invasion by Pelinorean forces, the high cost of labor, life, and money is often forgotten