It is well known that facts recede into fictions as they become memories, and fresh facts themselves are ephemeral among the rumors and legends of the south. This is especially true in the case of Redmaw, the most terrible of Thunderjaws, a machine which is nothing if not legendary. Few who have laid eyes upon it have survived, and among them even fewer can be trusted not to embellish their tales. All that said, here I have endeavored to truthfully chronicle all the calamities attributed to the beast, and all the expeditions meant to end such calamities once and for all. None have succeeded. As of this writing, the terror of the south still roams free, scarred perhaps, but deadly as the day the sun first shone upon its armored hide.
In the early spring of the eighteenth year of the reign of the Sun-King Jiran, a freehold was destroyed near the Hands of the Flood. Nine bodies were recovered (eight riddled with cannon rounds, one flattened completely). No witnesses survived. Though never proven, this is widely thought to be Redmaw's first attack.
In the late spring of the eighteenth year of the reign of the Sun-King Jiran, an expedition of four hunters set out from Sunstone Rock to track the machine or machines responsible for the destruction of the freehold. None returned. Their bodies were subsequently found in the south (three blasted, one stomped). Never proven, but thought to be Redmaw's work.
In the early summer of the eighteenth year of the reign of the Sun-King Jiran, an expedition of six mercenaries set out from Meridian to track the machine or machines responsible for the losses described above. One returned (ribs crushed, clavicle fractured). He spoke of a Thunderjaw which split a man in half with a single bite. This is the first confirmed sighting of the legendary machine, and the one which gave it a name.
In the late summer of the eighteenth year of the reign of the Sun-King Jiran, an expedition of eight set off from Meridian to track Redmaw. None returned. Six bodies were found near Blackwing Snag (one blasted, three stomped, two eviscerated, one swallowed his own tongue, evidently in a spasm of terror, suffocating).
In the autumn of the eighteenth year of his reign, the Sun-King Jiran commanded the Hunters Lodge to send an expedition south in pursuit of Redmaw. After numerous logistical delays, three Hawks and their Thrushes set out in winter. Only one pair returned, reporting the deaths of the others (two blasted, one stomped, one decapitated). The survivors were sacrificed for cowardice (one gutted by a Sawtooth, the other skewered by kestrels). After this setback, members of the Lodge grew wary of pursuing the legendary Thunderjaw; only the proudest Hawks even considered it. Aspirants to the Lodge, however, foolish in their ambition, eagerly took part in subsequent hunts.
In the summer of the nineteenth year of the reign of the Sun-King Jiran, the destruction of a caravan south of the Spurflints (three blasted, two stomped, one immolated) reignited interest in Redmaw. Three expeditions totaling fifteen mercenaries went after the machine, with only three survivors (nine blasted, three stomped, two eviscerated, one liquefied).
In the early spring of the twentieth year of the reign of the Sun-King Jiran, a cohort of twelve soldiers headed from the Raingathers to the Alight were set upon by the beast. Only one survived (one blasted, one stomped, ten crushed when their fleeing footsteps triggered an avalanche).
In the late spring of the twentieth year of the reign of the Sun-King Jiran, three cohorts totaling thirty-four men went in search of Redmaw. Alas, they were ambushed by Stalkers and only four survived (twenty-four sniped, six exploded). Understandably, this ended pursuit of Redmaw for some time.
In the summer of the first year of the reign of the Sun-King Avad, a group of six Oseram traders were attacked by the beast (one blasted, three stomped, one spit into a ravine). The lone survivor petitioned Captain Ersa to send the Vanguard after the monster, but the request was denied. However, three additional expeditions, comprised of mercenaries and hunters aspiring to the Lodge, were subsequently commissioned:
Autumn, seven men (two blasted, three stomped, one tripped on his own spear). One survivor.
Winter, nine men (three blasted, two stomped, two died from frostbite). Two survivors.
Spring, eleven men (five blasted, one stomped, three "retreated" off a cliff). Two survivors.
The last known sighting of Redmaw occurred in the spring of the third year of the reign of the Sun-King Avad. Tarkas, Hawk of the Lodge, got word of a sighting near Thunderhead and set off to take the beast on his own. His Thrush, Talanah, arrived at the scene too late, just as Tarkas was dying of his wounds (multiple perforations). Talanah testified that as Redmaw lumbered off through the trees, she could see the spear of her mentor embedded in its hide.