The Second Attack on the Tower of Night was a battle fought around the Tower of Night between the Guardians of Night and a small force led by Twig Verginix. It was fought in 86 ᴇ.ʏ. during the events of The Last of the Sky Pirates. The battle was fought to free Cowlquape Pentephraxis from the dungeons of the Tower of Night, and, unlike the First Attack on the Tower of Night, it was a success for the attackers because they had a sky ship, the Skyraider.
Prelude to the Battle
When Rook Barkwater encountered Twig at the Great Convocation of Banderbears, he told him that his old friend, Cowlquape, was still alive as a prisoner in the Tower of Night. Twig decided to rescue him with the Skyraider, and he found a crew for the task in the form of Rook and seven banderbear volunteers: Wumeru, Wuralo, Weeg, Rummel, Meeru, Loom, and Molleen. This nine-strong group ventured to Wilderness Lair to retrieve the Skyraider. They quickly arrived, boarded the ship, and set sail on their mission.
Course of the Battle
The Second Attack on the Tower of Night began early one morning when the Guardians sighted the Skyraider approaching the Tower of Night from the west. Mere moments after the sighting, the Skyraider launched its first volley of arrows, crossbow bolts, and flaming ironwood balls, killing some of the patrolling Guardians and damaging the tower. The Guardians swiftly responded by sounding the alarm and running to man the harpoon-turrets and swivel-catapults. In the midst of the confusion, Rook entered the Tower of Night on the east side with the Stormhornet without being noticed.
The Skyraider was bombarded by a volley of harpoons and boulders by the Guardians, but the sturdy sky ship was barely damaged. The ship then headed up towards Midnight’s Spike, easily surviving another volley on the way, and responded with another devastating volley of its own. The attackers suffered their first casualty when Slab shot Rummel, but Rummel was immediately avenged when another volley from the Skyraider annihilated Slab and the tower around him. The battle continued to rage as the two sides launched volley after volley at one another. The crew of the Skyraider suffered two more casualties when Meeru was killed and propelled off of the ship by a harpoon and his brother, Loom, mindless with grief, jumped off after him. As the battle progressed, the flight-rock began to decay due to stone-sickness, passed to it from the strikes of the Guardians weapons, and the Skyraider lost buoyancy, forcing the crew to cut the hull weights to stay aloft.
As this distraction was going on, Rook worked to rescue Cowlquape. He explored the dungeons for a little while without finding Cowlquape, but then he encountered Gobrat. Rook threatened Gobrat with his crossbow to get him to show the way to Cowlquape’s cell, and he did. Rook quickly freed Cowlquape, and the two of them made their way back the gantry where Rook had tethered the Stormhornet. Rook then launched a lufwood-flare to alert Twig that they were ready to escape. However, Orbix Xaxis noticed the flare too, so he sent a detachment of guards, including Xanth Filatine, to check the dungeons.
Twig guided the Skyraider over to the east side of the tower, and, as the sky ship passed by, Cowlquape jumped aboard. Twig had Weeg cut even more of the hull-weights to keep the ship in the air, and he guided it over towards the Stone Gardens away from the Tower of Night. Rook was about the fly after it aboard his skycraft, but as he flew up into the air he realized that his tether-rope had caught fast on the railing. Before he could dismount to free it, Xanth rushed out onto the gantry with a loaded crossbow. However, Xanth recognized his friend and shot the tether-rope so that Rook could fly away.
By this point in the battle the Skyraider was falling apart and about to plummet out of the sky, so all of the surviving crew, with Weeg carrying Cowlquape, abandoned ship. However, Twig refused to. He had been badly wounded by a crossbow bolt and wanted to die with his ship. When the Skyraider went over the cliff and fell out of the sky, he went with it, but at the last moment a caterbird saved him and flew away towards the Deepwoods.
Aftermath of the Battle
After the Second Attack on the Tower of Night, all of the surviving attackers and Cowlquape fled into the sewers of Undertown to join the librarians. They would all take part in the Third Great Migration in various roles. The last sky ship left had been destroyed, but in exchange many Guardians had been killed and the Tower of Night had experienced great damage. Twig was carried by the caterbird who saved him all the way to Riverrise.