The Great Canal Raid was an attack launched in July, Year of God 896 by four Imperial Charisian Navy steam-powered ironclad riverboats with the strategic purpose of severely crippling the Church's logistics in Northern Siddarmark and alleviating the military pressure until winter.

Two ships (each towing three barges) starting in Ranshair from Rainshair Bay going to Salyk on Spinefish Bay, traveling over 2700 miles of canal and river.

As a result of the raid:

  • 51 major locks were destroyed on the
    • Guarnak–Ice Ash Canal;
    • Guarnak-Sylmahn Canal between Guarnak to the Hildermoss river;
    • Hildermoss River between the Guarnak-Sylmahn Canal and Spinefish Bay;
    • northern end of the Sair-Selkyr Canal.
  • The following cities were attacked:
    • Fairkym
    • Ohlarhm
    • Guarnak
    • Five Forks
    • Lakeside
    • Sairmeet
    • Traymos

The raid was a resounding success for Charis and Siddarmark. It succeeded in its primary mission of crippling the Church's logistics and stopping the advance of the Army of God through the Sylmahn Gap towards Siddar City. In addition, the destruction of the canal system in Northern Siddarmark was so complete as to make it impossible for the church to both repair it before the next winter and to adequately supply the forces of Bishop Militant Bahrnabai Wyrshym in the Sylmahn Gap throughout the coming winter, forcing a partial withdrawal (to match the amount of food that could be supplied).

The Raid had been a complete surprise for the Church of God Awaiting on many levels. It was the first time that a steam powered vessel was used in war, prompting many of the witnesses, who saw the Ironclads in action, to believe that they were demons from hell. It was also the first time any belligerent nation had willfully and deliberately attacked the canal system, which was a direct violation of the Holy Writ. This last point, together with surgical strikes conducted personally by Merlin Athrawes against 5 critical semaphore stations, was a particular advantage for Charis and Siddarmark, as the local church forces could have conceivably stopped the raid by deliberately destroying the canal locks themselves. Yet with the Holy Writ enjoining all people to protect the canals and with no warning of their arrival, no church commander would have dared do this without receiving approval from on high.