History Lesson #1 (Beiden Pass)

  • Ready to join Post Terminus?

    Click to get started and submit your first character.

    Getting Started
D

Djudge

Guest
Introduction

The Battle of Beiden Pass was the single largest organized counteroffensive that the Gotei 13 launched in the Great Hollow War. There were other operations, such as the Quincy landing at the Valley of the Falling Blossoms, that involved larger numbers of participants, but they were organized by multiple resistance fronts against the Hollow occupation of Soul Society. Even though the Gotei 13 suffered a backbreaking series of defeats at the Pass and rendered it inferior for the rest of the war as a fighting force when compared to the Hollow Hordes, it stands as the strategic turning point of the conflict. The ineffective command structure of Seireitei's forces had been replaced with a much more viable regionally based construction and placed many of Soul Society's future heroes in a much better position to act as they saw fit. The following lecture over the course of this upcoming week will be aimed as a general history lesson as it would be taught at the Shinigami Academy as well as general military maneuvers tutorial in the tactics employed by the current Captains' predecessors.



Friday:
*Early Gotei victories
*Sabotage? and supply problems
*Military Strength Comparison

Saturday:
*Communication troubles and the "Night of Knives"
*Daybreak and withdrawal plans
*Arrancar and Shifter flanking attack
*Captains fall
*Military Strength Comparison

Sunday:
*The aftermath
*Notable survivors​
 
D

Djudge

Guest
The Numbers

Hollow Horde Forces

  • (Active/Detected Troops)

    -Regular Forces-
    *8,500~ D-Rank Hollows
    *2,000~ C-Rank Hollows
    *250~ B-Rank Hollows
    *7 A-Rank Hollows

    -Special Forces-
    *5 Menos, Gillian
    *2 Menos, Adjuchas
    *8 Arrancar, Juvenile
    *1 Arrancar, Matured

  • (Inactive/Hidden Reserve)

    -Regular Forces-
    *3,000~ D-Rank Hollows
    *750~ C-Rank

    -Special Forces
    *1 Menos, Vastrode
    *4 Arrancar, Juvenile
    *4 Shifters


Gotei 13 Shinigami Forces

  • (Active/Detected Troops)

    -Regular Forces-
    *Gotei 13, 3rd Division (1000~)
    *Gotei 13, 5th Division (2500~)
    *Gotei 13, 8th Division (500~)
    *Gotei 13, 10th Division (750~)
    *Gotei 13, 11th Division (1000~)

    -Special Forces-
    *150 Onmitsu Kidou/Keigun operatives
    *25 Kidoushuu specialists

  • (Inactive/Hidden Reserve)

    -Regular Forces-
    *Gotei 13, 12th Division (750~)
    *Gotei 13, 13th Division (1500~)

    -Special Forces-
    *None
 
D

Djudge

Guest
The Main Players

Hollow Horde

White Corona - The main commander of the Hollow salient in the region. Due to his dual role as Byakuya Koukan of the Central 46, he has left much of the decision making to Abien.

Abien - Vastrode recruited by Emptybones to rally Menos; main field marshall for early stages of the conflict.

Ahval & Brevel - Adjuchas gathered by Abien to safeguard the approach to White Corona's main camp.

Arrancar #1-12 - High level Hollows personally baptised into their new forms by Emptybones.

Shifters #1-4 - Seemingly indestructible engines of death; created by Brainfang's research into the Soul Data Project fragments captured from Seireitei.

Emptybones - Not directly involved in the attack, but is currently luring Captains Ro-Hanken and Mitori into a deadly ambush back in Seireitei.


Gotei 13 Shinigami Forces

Ishimasuka Zennosuke - 3rd Division Captain, Joint Commander of Operational Movements; carries into battle a great sense of noble pride and is a master duelist seeking a bout with Abien.

Todoko Kenpachi - 5th Division Captain, Forward Assault Leader

Ohara Aya - 8th Division Captain; oversees supply routes for the counteroffensive, but concerned about outside interference and possible upcoming sabotage

Fuyutsuki Nimuro - 10th Division Captain; has made a bet with Joaquin on which of them can take out the most Hollows (outside of Kenpachi).

Joaquin Cofresi - 11th Division Captain; has made a bet with Nimuro on which of them can take out the most Hollows (outside of Kenpachi).

Maehara Junko - Interim Keigun Chief, Joint Commander of Operational Movements; has begun catching more and more traitors and saboteurs, worried about the unidentified Hollow signatures (Shifters) reported to her.

Hagane Sosugu - Not immediately involved in battle due to participation in the theater of war located in the Living World; has promised to deliver the coup-de-grace a few days into the battle.

Seiji Yasuo - Not immediately involved in battle, but present in the background. Recently returned to Soul Society and extremely wary of Vizard involvement in the war, he patrols Seireitei's walls attempting to capture and interrogate Vizard operatives. Extreme worry for Junko's well-being interferes with his mission.
 
D

Djudge

Guest
The Geography of Northwestern Rukongai

In the days before the war began to escalate the landscape of Northwestern Rukongai was composed of vast woodlands not unlike its counterparts below the agricultural belt of Western Rukongai in the southwest. It had been home to some of the most serene natural landscapes that a resident of Soul Society could ever hope to experience and became a popular retreat for all types of poets and artists, as well as those who could afford a pretty penny to build a retreat there. It was a particularly favorable place to move to in the winter for those who could not stand the frigid season in North Rukongai proper. In comparison to the bustling metropolitan life of the East, the Northwest had no major residential, commercial, or industrial regions and was mostly self-sufficient.

The key area in question for the battle, Beiden Pass, was just at the edge of the woods next at the feet of the imposing mountain ranges that crisscrossed the northern boundary of Soul Society. The name Beiden, is written with the characters for "wall" and "legend," and is attributed to be the local folktales of resident earth spirts stopping invaders and malign entities from pouring into the forest and the rice fields beyond. As one can see, it was easy for the Shinigami to identify with the legend as the Pass' defenders against a hostile force that threatened to spill into Rukongai. As for the pass itself, it was a deeply situated gorge that was wide enough for whole columns to march through. Various vantage points to pour fire down from above were few and far between, being very difficult to reach. The pass' walls were slightly sloped, allowing for an incline fight off to the periphery, as was the actual ground itself which continuously rolled up and down for a span of several hundred kilometers making for a slow advance.


The Stakes

Hollow Horde Victory
  • A new, and more advantageous front in the Northwest will be created to support the siege at the Red Hollow (South) Gate.
  • A supply routes between the northwest and the southwest will be defended on both flanks.
  • Total victory could mean the destruction of as many as five Gotei Divisions.

Gotei 13 Shinigami Forces Victory
  • Prevents the opening of a new front in the northwest.
  • The Bloodstone stores in the North will be defended from raids.
  • Food stores and farming production centers in the West will not have to be moved East.
  • An overall increase in morale.
 
D

Djudge

Guest
The State of the Hollow Hordes Before the Battle

With Seireitei still maintaining quite the formidable force thanks to a very strong depth chart of officers that succeeded slain Captains, it became clear to Emptybones and White Corona that their previous strategy to overwhelm the the city defenders at the southern walls and at the Red Hollow Gate would need to be augmented by spreading out Seireitei's military strength into more manageable fronts. The decision to attack from a position that would severly damage the greatest source of food and raw materials for the Shinigami came down from Emptybones, who was currently still under the guise of the 12th Division Captain, Karappo Kotsu. White Corona, still posing as Byakuya Koukan in the Central 46, furthered their agenda by suggesting to the assembly and to Ro-Hanken that the Hollows could be crushed at Beiden Pass with a large contingent of Soul Society's best combat Divisions. The logic was on the Arrancar's side here, still there were unable to secure all of their objectives as even though the force would be led by a noble, Ishimasuka Zennosuke, it would also be supervised by an outside factor that the White Corona could not immediately control: Maehara Junko.

With the Shinigami best now marching into Northwestern Rukongai with the ever-vigilant interim Keigun Chief watching over them, it became clear that if the Hollows were to emerge from the pass with the Shinigami fleeing before them, they would have to manipulate Zennosuke's pride. For that reason, a Vastrode, Abien, was recruited to be the leader of the attack, its identity clearly revealed to the Shinigami during a prior raid at the South Gate of Seireitei. Abien specifically attacked 3rd Division members and even went as far as to sack and massacre many of the Ishimasuka family retainers at the House's main estate in Southeastern Rukongai. Driven by both his pride as a noble and revenge for the death of many in his family house, Zennosuke played directly into the Hollows' plans of planning the offensive in a hasty manner. Tipped off by generally reliable reconnoissance reports that the Shinigami could crush the Hollows at Beiden Pass before they could fully establish themselves there, Zennosuke filed false reports to Ro-Hanken detailing supply routes that had not been established, in order to get a headstart with the march. Byakuya Koukan would merely smile as he delivered the final report personally in an address to the Central 46 that was met with thunderous approval. Both he and Emptybones had not given the order to leak the information, nor did they ever find out who did, but they were both very thankful for the Shinigami errors that led to this golden opportunity. The salient was already in the pass, quite ready for the oncoming assault.

The Keigun agents that reported the movements of the Hollow army that drove Zennosuke to falsify paperwork were caught and executed by Maehara Junko, many years after the war in the Living World. They were not Shinigami, or even trained souls from Rukongai; they were Vizards, who this time were assigned to assassinate Junko in her sleep.


The State of the Shinigami Forces Before the Battle

With Southern Rukongai completely overwhelmed and the battle at the South Gate reaching a stalemate, it became clear to Shinigami leaders that a defensive war was at their advantage given that the Hollows could not fortify out in the desert environment they had launched their invasion from. Therefore, all efforts were made to dig in with several trench lines that stretched away from the Red Hollow (South) Gate along the borderlines to West and East Rukongai to contain the Hollows from spreading all around Seireitei. For the most part, it had been effective, but due to increased difficulty in supplying troops farther down the line away from the city in addition to terrain and communication troubles along those sheer distances, it eventually began to falter. The Shinigami had lost the tail end of the Western defense force as it was whittled away by battle and watched helplessly as innumerable quantities of Hollows began to spill in the backwaters of Western Rukongai. The 13th Division Captain, Mitori Yanagawa, personally took command of the faltering Western line and reconstructed it to hold the Hollows at bay at the edges of the agricultural centers of the region and the battle lines were again redrawn.

Not much time later, the Shinigami were alerted by reconnoissance reports to the northward march of the Hollow invasion to the northwest. It would be a key vantage point for the Hollows to strike from since the it would allow them to construct permanent fortifications and give them access to a only a short series of waypoints leading to the Bloodstone mines of the North and the aforementioned farming lands down south in Western Rukongai. It is here that several of the remaining Captains were spurred on by a unanimous mandate, originally proposed by Byakuya Koukan, to defeat the Hollows decisively at a grand battle in the northwest mountain forests. It would involve five of Soul Society's Gotei Divisions as well as several of the finest personnel of the other branches of Seireitei's forces and would supplied with the majority of the reserve stores hidden far below the Shinigami city. It was a grand endeavor indeed, and looked to be very promising for the Gotei forces since they were to face an enemy that was expected to be dead-tired from their long march and extended deprivation of sustenance having avoided populated areas to conceal their movements. If only their intelligence had actually been more accurate, or true for that matter...

So on that fateful day, nearly four hundred years ago, Soul Society's finest began to make their trek to the craggy lands of Beiden Pass, determined to live up to the local folklore of being "immovable stone guardians" that drove away evil at every turn. Little did they know that only a mere fraction of them would ever see the ivory-white Bloodstone walls of Seireitei ever again...
 
D

Djudge

Guest
The Opening Skirmishes

Interestingly enough, the two forces opened up combat a day away from the actual Beiden Pass in the forest clearings that led up to it. Advance Shinigami patrols led by 10th Division and its Captain, Fuyutsuki Nimuro, had constructed a wide marching arc that spearheaded the approach to Beiden Pass. After penetrating the forest limits, they immediately came into contact with several Hollow ambushes that were subsequently defeated after a few minutes of fighting. The opposing forces were composed of packs of Hollows led by throngs of C-Rankers; a tactic that had not ever been seen by Shinigami forces up to that point. However, the Hollows were still so small in number and low in frequency that they had been dismissed by tactical analysts in each Division as nothing more than stragglers In his report to Zennosuke and Junko, Nimuro had stated that "the Hollows seem to have organized to the point where they have established communication lines via runners and telepaths" and that "these Hollows are in fact part of the real Horde closing in on the pass." The reports were delayed however due to an untimely hitch in communication when a short, but violent rainstorm made travel particularly different in the forest for messengers. It was a disturbing trend that figured into a much larger role later on in the war when the speed at which each side could communicate with their forces internally were reversed. The Shinigami started out with the faster means of communication thanks to the equipment that was supplied and maintained by the Onmitsu Kidou, but after Zennosuke's supply debacle became apparent, telepathic Hollows gained the upper hand.


White Corona's Boast

After the opening moves in the forests at the foot of Beiden Pass, the main Shinigami column came upon the body of a Shinigami that had been strewn in a striking fashion on small cliff face in the last forest clearing before the main dirt road leading into the Pass. The body had been decapitated, its hands holding its head which had its eyes and mouth sewn shut. On the man's bare, raw chest was a message that appeared to have been scratched directly onto the flesh:

"Cursed are those who pass beyond the flesh of this trespasser.

Beyond him lay fields of despair
Beyond him lay the jaws of true death
Beyond him lay those that feast on your very souls

The conquerors have come with the standard
of annihilation in one hand, of reformation in the other

Return to your petty walls and wait for the coming doom
Huddled in cowardice and stripped of your pride

Hear the cries of those you fail to protect
as your own joins theirs

But if you so choose
come and do battle here in this sepulchre of stone
We will gladly dance your rotting maws
as we use them to erect our new spire in the Court of Damned Souls."


- corona blanca
The Situation Elsewhere

  • The situation at the Red Hollow (South) Gate had grown so fierce that Seiji Yasuo had begun to actively move out and engage the Hollows behind enemy lines. He is succesful in defeating an Adjuchas stationed there without alerting anyone to his own reiatsu.

  • The 9th Division Captain, Shorin Hyourin, has been sent a message to meet with the 12th Division Captain, Karappo Kotsu, about affairs stemming from possiblbe renewed Vizard incursions into Seireitei.

  • The 13th Division Captain, Mitori Yanagawa, ponders the situation regarding the Hollow advance in Western Rukongai to the so-called Vizard threat in Soul Society. Things don't add up in his personal, confidential investigation and he begins to research the possibility of Arrancar involvement.


The Numbers

Hollow Horde Forces

  • (Active/Detected Troops)

    -Regular Forces-
    *8,275~ D-Rank Hollows
    *1,950~ C-Rank Hollows
    *250~ B-Rank Hollows
    *7 A-Rank Hollows

    -Special Forces-
    *5 Menos, Gillian
    *2 Menos, Adjuchas
    *8 Arrancar, Juvenile
    *1 Arrancar, Matured

  • (Inactive/Hidden Reserve)

    -Regular Forces-
    *3,000~ D-Rank Hollows
    *750~ C-Rank

    -Special Forces
    *1 Menos, Vastrode
    *4 Arrancar, Juvenile
    *4 Shifters


Gotei 13 Shinigami Forces

  • (Active/Detected Troops)

    -Regular Forces-
    *Gotei 13, 3rd Division (1000~)
    *Gotei 13, 5th Division (2500~)
    *Gotei 13, 8th Division (500~)
    *Gotei 13, 10th Division (700~)
    *Gotei 13, 11th Division (950~)

    -Special Forces-
    *148 Onmitsu Kidou/Keigun operatives
    *25 Kidoushuu specialists

  • (Inactive/Hidden Reserve)

    -Regular Forces-
    *Gotei 13, 12th Division (750~)
    *Gotei 13, 13th Division (1500~)

    -Special Forces-
    *None
 
D

Djudge

Guest
Bottlenecked

As the Gotei Shinigami forces exited the forest barrier to Beiden Pass, it quickly became apparent that the intelligence that they had received before mobilizing had been somewhat faulty. Both Captains Fuyutsuki and Cofresi sent runners returning from the frontlines detailing what seemed to be rudimentary fortifications at the mouth of the pass. A few probing attacks led by each seated officers of each Division showed that there was already some sort of defensive force dug into the mountain roads, effectively creating a massive chokepoint. With no cover for the approach to the pass' entrance, the Shinigami established their territory just behind the edge of the forest and quickly began to set up artillery positions using both massive boulders crumbling from the mountains nearby as well as small wooden platforms in the forest canopy for the Kidoushuu to begin magical bombardment of the Hollow forts.

The first major action both sides saw as soon as each were dug in came in the form of an Arrancar-led raid on left flank of the Shinigami frontline. Thundering down the slopes of the mountains, massive four-legged Huge Hollows attempted to clear the forest to the Shinigami's left in order to open up a route for a B-Ranker led attack force to penetrate deeper into the enemy ranks. The attack was stalled however when Kidoushuu sentries and Captain Ohara managed to sink the behemoths in a quagmire brought on by massive dirt traps prepared by the 11th Division and a Kidou-spawned storm. However, this small success did not prevent the B-Ranker force from crossing the makeshift moat on the corpses of their Huge Hollow allies. The ensuing follow-up attack made for a daring strike by these Hollows as they cut deep into the 11th Division, killing several squads before being driven off by Captain Fuyutsuki of the 10th who responded to a distress flare after the first two lines on the left flank had been broken. Captain Cofresi, who at the time had been called back by the Operational Commander, Captain Ishimasuka, never left the front line after the Huge Hollow/B-Rank flanking maneuver.


Kenpachi Moves Out

After a few more, less successful, Hollow raids on the Shinigami flanks, an executive order from both Commanders Ishimasuka and Maehara came down to authorize the autonomous deployment of the Forward Assault Leader, Captain Todoko. Kenpachi's forces had held the center ground of the Shinigami frontline, but had not seen as much action as the 11th Division to the left or the 10th Division to their right. After watching minimal success in luring the Hollows out of their forts, Kenpachi was more than eager to bring the fight to them and to smash a way into Beiden Pass that would defeat the current bottleneck. So on the morning of the third day at the Pass, Todoko Kenpachi left the frontline by himself with only his Zanpakutou, Hakamori. Long-range observational towers built by the Onmitsu Kidou and were manned by Keigun agents that reported directly to the rear command post to Captain Zennosuke and Chief Maehara's ears. The report was repetitive to say the least, with massive explosions rocking the Hollow's forward forts. It appeared as if the numerous C-Rankers had attempted to knock out the Captain with their explosive abilities and whole swarms of D-Rankers rushed Kenpachi to no avail. As water crashes against a rock by the coast aimlessly, so did the Hollow hordes against the 5th Division Captain.

After the first series of forts had been softened and severely damaged, the greater bulk of the 5th Division flooded the mouth of the pass and began to cleave their way through the fleeing Hollow grunts. So fast was their advance however, that the 10th and 11th Divisions could not keep up in setting up defensive positions to guard the 5th Division's flanks from up high on the sides of the pass. As a result, when the Hollows counterattacked to stabilize their receeding frontline, the Arrancar deployed were easily able to contain the situation and begin Kidou bombardment against the short-range attackers of the 5th Division to devastating effect. However, with the arrival of 3rd and 8th Division reinforcements, losses were kept to a moderate degree. Night fell upon the Shinigami forces as the battle again cooled and looked to enter its fourth day of existence.


Evidence of New Hollow

During the battle to smash into the Pass, Keigun operatives moved alongside the 10th and 11th Divisions as they scaled the sides of the pass in order to protect the flanks of the main Shinigami column situated inside of Beiden Pass itself. As the battle was joined down below, the operatives received advance orders from their Chief, Maehara, to scout out the situation ahead in order to anticipate any late additions to the battle from the Hollow side. Late in the day, the scouts on the 11th Division's side of the pass (on the left) managed to record various signatures that did not match any known pure Hollow and sent a message via Kidou to their counterparts on the right side of the pass that were ahead of the 10th Division. Having seen Arrancar earlier that eventually were countered by 3rd and 8th Division reinforcements, the Keigun operatives on the Pass' right side had initially dismissed the readings as just retreating Arrancar. However, when crossreferenced with Captain Fuyutsuki and Captain Ohara's joint analysis of the mystery signature, the Keigun were told that it was no pure Hollow and no Arrancar that was making its way up the Pass as they spoke.

Chief Maehara ordered her operatives that were ahead of the 11th Division to move in to see what was behind the corner as the Pass turned to the left. They had all traveled well into the morning to reach an acceptable vantage point. What they saw were something totally new, behemoths that had been encased in spheres of energy that held them at bay. Zooming with surveillance equipment, the Keigun agents quickly established a video feed back to Captain Ishimasuka and Chief Maehara. The creatures that the Hollows had imprisoned seem to be more like golems than anything else, but still seemed to have the classic Hollow hunger as it was being fed D-Rankers in order to satiate its terrible aggressiveness. However, before any more data could be collected, the transmission ended with the agents suddenly up and leaving trying to make it back to Captain Cofresi's lines before the communication cut out. The pair of surviving agents that returned to the 11th Division Captain's main camp on the left flank immediately reported in that several Menos had sighted them and opened fire with their Cero on the surveillance position.

As grim as the knowledge that the Hollows had managed to conscript Menos into their army was, the footage of the golem-like creatures in the pass that had to be forcibly restrained was even more troubling.


The Numbers

Hollow Horde Forces

  • (Active/Detected Troops)

    -Regular Forces-
    *5,300~ D-Rank Hollows
    *1,150~ C-Rank Hollows
    *155~ B-Rank Hollows
    *6 A-Rank Hollows

    -Special Forces-
    *5 Menos, Gillian
    *2 Menos, Adjuchas
    *5 Arrancar, Juvenile
    *1 Arrancar, Matured

  • (Inactive/Hidden Reserve)

    -Regular Forces-
    *3,000~ D-Rank Hollows
    *750~ C-Rank

    -Special Forces
    *1 Menos, Vastrode
    *4 Arrancar, Juvenile
    *4 Shifters


Gotei 13 Shinigami Forces

  • (Active/Detected Troops)

    -Regular Forces-
    *Gotei 13, 3rd Division (975~)
    *Gotei 13, 5th Division (2000~)
    *Gotei 13, 8th Division (475~)
    *Gotei 13, 10th Division (650~)
    *Gotei 13, 11th Division (900~)

    -Special Forces-
    *117 Onmitsu Kidou/Keigun operatives
    *21 Kidoushuu specialists

  • (Inactive/Hidden Reserve)

    -Regular Forces-
    *Gotei 13, 12th Division (750~)
    *Gotei 13, 13th Division (1500~)

    -Special Forces-
    *None
 

Patreon

Writing Week is 312

Discord Chat

Current Date in Araevis