|Event Name||Altalar-Regalian War|
|Dates and Times||July 26th, 305 AC - September 5th, 306 AC|
|People Involved||Regalian Empire and Crown Alliance, Altalar States, Wild Union|
The Altalar-Regalian War, sometimes called the Second Elven War, was the first stage of the Long Elven War, and is considered to be the source of this extended conflict’s name. Spawned from the formation of geopolitical alliances over known Aloria, this military conflict would see battles waged in several theaters across the Daen continent, several reshuffles of Regalia’s military leadership, and month long stalemates between both sides. Even as the Regalian Government faced the Imperial Interregnum and Anglian Misery Crisis, this war trudged on in the west. Eventually, the ambitions of the Dread Empire would see the war between the Nelfin and the Regalians conclude in a defensive truce, leading to the Dread War. While many claim that the Altalar-Regalian War was a waste of countless resources and human lives for little gains, more optimistic scholars believe that the conflict created a newfound understanding between the Regalian Empire and the Successor Principalities, which many claim mended the bridge that was ruined in the aftermath of the Elven War of 302 AC.
Early into the Emperor Cedromar I’s tenure, the Regalian Empire began to shift focus towards a more military narrative, far more direct than under his brother Alexander I’s first reign. Members of the Imperial Palace took note of the Warrior Emperor’s declaration made upon his ascension, of which aspects detailed a desire for the Empire to spread the Great Way is a far more aggressive nature. Though as history showed in the past, rampant military endeavors would lead to difficulties down the road. Well aware of this inevitable outcome, a diplomatic lobby led by the 4th Baron of Guisand, Bonace Tylleronde, began to make moves around Aloria. He hypothesized that due to Aloria being weakened after the Bone Horror Crisis, a great political storm would brew, and that Regalia should foster alliances in order to keep their long term rivals in check. Tylleronde’s first move would be in Hadaria, where he courted the leaders of the Allar Race. In what would be known as the Ztrillian Accord, the Allar were elevated to First Civil Status in the Regalian Empire, becoming Suzerains to the Empire, and becoming the first group to join the fledgling Crown Alliance.
However, Tyleronde was not the only one securing pacts with foreign nations. The Songaskian Masaya, a long time rival to the Regalians, found allies in both the Altalar States and the Sihai Empire, stylizing themselves as the Magic Covenant. In return, the Qadir of Al-Alus and the Asha States joined the Crown Alliance in opposition to the Races that had enslaved their peoples. Elsewhere in Daen, the Avanthar and Cielothar formed their own Pact as the Wild Union, intent of maintaining their borders from both the Altalar and Regalians, the latter of which also had a military pact with the Eronidas Pōlons. With alliances drawn up, it would be the Regalian Empire that acted first, with Emperor Cedromar landing in Farah’deen to start the Second Songaskian War. As the Regalians made headway into the heart of the Masaya, other forces seeking glory would begin their own military movements.
The Cloak of Imperial Martyrdom
As the Regalians waged war in the eastern sands, and with the Emperor personally leading the men on the front lines, the next theatre would open up in the west against the Altalar. The Undercrown Charles Montagaard, the second in command of the Regalian Empire much like the Arch Chancellors of old, along with the Regalian Westmark Army landed in Daenshore, marching towards nearby Altalar nations. Camping for the night in the Field of Ulvar, the Undercrown and his General would entertain delegates from the Daendroque, the Asha, and even Avanthar of the Wild Union, while the Westmark Army would celebrate a Unionist festival in honor of Hero Kelter, celebrated as a military leader who expanded the Ailor territories in Daen centuries ago. However, despite these cordial beginnings, the next morning would grip the army with panic.
At dawn, the Westmark Army would awaken to the sight of a grand Altalar Army encircling their camp, outnumbering the Imperial Army three to one. Among the Altalar warriors was a unique siege weapon that allegedly functioned by Magic. Knowing that there was only one outcome, Undercrown Charles ordered the Unionist priests accompanying the army to deliver morning prayers and blessings for the Imperial Spirit. After a rousing speech, the Undercrown mounted his horse alongside the Westmark General, and ordered the Army to fight to the last man.
The Battle of Ulvar would go down in history as the first victory the Altalar had against the Regalian Empire, with the entire Westmark Army eradicated alongside the Undercrown. Only the Unionist priests were spared the bloodbaths, who delivered the report back to the Emperor. Attempting to turn public opinion favorably, Cedromar would ultimately be faced with mixed results, with pro-Montagaard supporters calling him a martyr, whereas opponents saw the end of a tyrant who marginalized the nobility in order to rule unchecked. Regardless of personal opinions related to the Undercrown, Regalia was now seemingly at war with the Altalar, and with an Imperial Army to avenge, preparations began to be made to invade the Successor Principalities.
Reforms and Retaliation
The following months proved to be quite busy for the Regalian State. With the death of Montagaard came the rise of the second Undercrown Albaer Ravenstad, whose own short tenure eventually was cut short due to an Imperial Inquest that would be overturned by the Emperor a day later. In its place rose the Cedromarian Noble Assembly, led on and off by a duo of Consuls of a Single Proconsul elected by the Nobility. At the same time, the Emperor gathered a large host of soldiers to sail to the Sihai Empire, with the goal of ending the Magic Covenant and leaving the Altalar without allies. With the Emperor away in the Far East and the government seemingly stabilizing, plans for the invasion of the Successor Principalities were launched.
At sea, the Imperial Fleet managed to secure dominance Teled Methen's northeastern coastline, allowing the Regalian Army to begin its initial campaigns in the area. While some armies established beachheads, others combed the nearby forests, pillaging and destroying nearby villages. News of the invasions would reach the inland cities, but would be too late to halt the greatest atrocities committed by the Regalians. It would be a band of Unionist fanatics that would ultimately set the tension for the remainder of the war, as the zealous group attacked the ancient Käell Temple, a site revered by almost every Nelfin society. Bestowing no mercy to the peaceful worshippers inside, the Unionists massacred Cielothar, Altalar, and Yanar alike. Priests were burned alive, quartered and beheaded. Yanar were rounded up and set ablaze, while the Cielothar were used by the Regalian archers as target practice. When the slaughter was completed, the great statue of the Pride demon Kathyar was torn down, with its golden and jeweled decorations seized and taken back to Regalia as war bounty. What was once a peaceful temple was now completely desecrated, to an extent that the Elves had never witnessed before, given Regalia’s disinterest in religious sites during the Ranger Crisis.
The Massacre of the Käell Temple would be a rallying cry for all Nelfin. The Avanthar of the Wild Union immediately declared war on the Regalian Empire after learning of the murders of the Cielothar, despite only a month ago engaging in pleasantries with the Westmark Army. What was the most surprising turn of events was from the tribal Kathar of the Daen jungles, who also declared war on the Crown Alliance for desecrating their diety’s shrine. Soon after, other areas of the Dread Empire began to attack, the main thrust of this invasion being into the L’Elvellen Principality. At the end of it all, religious fervor would damn the Regalian Armies in the coming battles, with many top General and Admiral unable to comprehend the wanton destruction undertaken by some of their own.
The Tone is Genocide for All
Following the Massacre of Käell Temple, the Regalian Armies began to fight skirmishes against the Altalar forces, with forts being taken and lost as the Elven Rangers ambushed their Regalian equivalents in guerilla warfare. In each of these engagements, it became clear to the Regalians that the Principalities had superior knowledge of the terrain, and only through focused assaults could any territory be held. Even as the Regalian occupied small cities, local civilians ambushed their occupiers at every opportunity, knowing full well that they could share the fate of the Temple Martyrs. Meanwhile at sea, the Fleets experienced bouts of sabotage, owing largely to the political intrigue going on in the Regalian heartland. With military coordination between armies weakening, the Altalar would enact their revenge.
Following the capture of Fort Mei, two Regalian Field Armies would transfer control of the area between each other. After the initial occupation force left the area, the Alalar launched their offensive. Led by Prince Läefel of Precaëlle, a 50,000 Altalar army surrounded and captured the remaining Regalian Army, bringing them to a nearby city. In the city, the Prince would treat the captured Regalian Generals with the proper honneurs, though ultimately concluded his discussions by stating his regrets about the current climate of the war, citing the Massacre as an act of needless savagery. Taking the Generals to the city Hippodrome, the Regalian Commanders would watch in horror as Läefel ordered the captured Regalian Army to be brought out into the middle of the arena, whereupon they were butchered in much the same way as the Nelfin in the Käell Temple were. In total, 25,000 Regalian lives were lost in the Battle of Mei and execution in the Hippodrome, with the Regelian Commanders being sent back to the Fort after the display. Läefel would soon abandon the city and surrounding areas, setting fire to it all and leaving the Regalians with knowledge that the Elves would respond in kind to the genocide inflicted on them.
The Magic Covenant is No More
Following the Hippodrome Executions, Regalian Forces continued to attempt to establish control over occupied territories. While the easternmost island of Läe was taken, the mainland occupation zones were all but lost. For the Regalian Navy, progress was slow at sea. A few ships were lost due to experimental ammunition tests, while one armada was forced to be on standby, due to its Admiral being in command of a Consular Army, and thus unable to be in two places at once. For the Regalian Army, it became difficult to push further into the forests, as the Avanthar horse riders succeeded in launching hit and run raids from the cover of the foliage. This back and forth between the Altalar and Regalians continued for several weeks, both sides making little progress in regards to occupying territories.
Despite the stagnation on the front lines, other theatres proved favorable. After departing for several months to the Far East, Emperor Cedromar returned back to the Crown Isle, and proclaimed the Sihai Empire’s joining of the Crown Alliance. In Farah’deen, the Songaskian Civil War concluded around the same time, with Massya Musamansa Koné declaring his departure from the Magic Covenant to focus on internal consolidation. With both of its allies either leaving or joining the enemy, the Successor Principalities were left alone in their fight against Regalia. However, while many would’ve expected the Altalar to weaken, the loss of their allies instead drove the Elves to set aside their ancient infighting to fully focus on the war. The next several months would see little progress on the Regalian front, as every attempt to make headway would see the Nelfin push back with extreme force, causing continued stalemates on the front lines. While the Military called for additional forces to beat back the enemy, their calls would ultimately fall on deaf ears, as the Crown Isle would succumb to the Dragon Crisis, in which little contact with the capital would be on pause as Regalian Loyalists fought a domestic conflict with the Dread Dragon Rikkira, and learning of Emperor Cedromar’s lineage as a Dragonblood.
The Faith Army and Trayan’s Carts
During the Dragon Crisis, the Noble Assembly disbanded itself in favor of a more centralized government, which rapidly proved effective. Supplies and other logical aids poured into the various front lines. Unfortunately, city-based Celates politically maneuvered themselves into taking command of a massive, 100,000 man army, which heavily depleted the forces of the normal Regalian Military. Despite the criticism leveled at the officials who had allowed this to happen and the protests against the religious takeover of the military, the massive army’s effectiveness in the field was surprisingly high and they pushed forward rapidly. Soon, new Altalar cities were falling to their power, while the Avanthar were forced to retreat. The Regalians chose to focus politically on the Avanthar, seeking to return to peace with them. Unfortunately, these efforts failed initially as the Avanthar leadership demanded that the Celates and Regalian Empire be forced to walk through a “Trial of Thorns” to pay for the Massacre of Käell Temple. Surprising many, both Regalian parties agreed, and the Avanthar Royal Encampment soon received a host of carts, carrying Cedromar and some Celates within it.
At the tent capital of the Avanthar horse lords, the Emperor disembarked from his carriage, and went alone in simple clothes into the center tent where the Avanthar Princes met him. However, rather than preparing to take the Path of Thorns, the short Emperor instead offered the Avanthar one last chance to surrender. Caught by surprise, the Princes began to laugh, making lewd hose related gestures toward Cedromar, indicating that they did not take the Regalians threat with any bearing. However, their actions towards the Emperor alongside their ignorance of what had occurred in the Crown Isle would be their undoing. Giving a signal, the Emperor transformed into the Imperial Dragon, while the uniquely built Trayan Carts opened up to reveal several dozen Mages supplied by the mysterious Azure Order. Utilizing their arcane abilities, the Mages would create portals which would send out several Regalian Army units to attack the Avanthar. In what would prove to be a decisive victory for the Regalians, the Avanthar leadership would be eradicated, with the remaining forces retreating far into the interior of the forests. The Wild Union was defeated, and the Imperial Dragon was revealed to the Elves, shifting the tide of the war in the Empire’s favor.
The Elven Moors and Kathar Plagues
With the Avanthar defeated, all that was left for the Regalians was to deal with the Altalar. The Faith Army was reduced in number, allowing several new Field Armies to deploy into the southern Elven Moors. While this change in army capacity ultimately forced the Regalians to abandon their occupation of the westernmost Elven cities, It did allow a new theatre to open up. While previous battles in the Elven Moors failed to create headway for the Regalians, this next round of movements led the Army to establish forward operating posts. Regalian armies took more and more territory in the following weeks. However, during one battle in the theatre, a new foe revealed itself to the main armies. Having been driven out of L’Elvellen by a Sihndar force from Drowda, the Kathar of the Dread Empire instead moved to attack from the southwest of Daen. During the initial battle with this dark force, several Regalian soldiers succumbed to various Void diseases, forcing the entire Regalian force to retreat back to the Elven Cities. As troops returned back home, it would become apparent that the Kathar had infected several soldiers with a Void Plague, intent on causing disarray in the Regalian Capital. While the sickness would eventually be cured though mysterious means, the psychological victory of the Kathar would prove to be effective.
Anglian Misery and an Unlikely Truce
Soon after the Dread Plague was eradicated, key members of the Regalian State began to travel to the City of Axenfoord for a summit on the government. Among these individuals was the recently appointed Chancellor Rodderick Howlester, Prince Frederique Ivrae de Sange of Vixhall, and the former Imperial Kade Princes, including Cedromar and Alexander. After a brief inspection of an Anglian border wall, a thundering noise would be heard coming from the Anglian interior. Within moments, a mysterious fog would swallow up the delegation, leaving the Empire without its core leadership, or any potential replacements. With only a few members of a State Council in place, various groups began to make moves in the capital. A Celate was one of the first to act, declaring himself the Holy Chancellor while at the same time, members of the State Council also declared themselves Chancellor, before they met in secret to nominate two joint Co-Consular Chancellors. With various factions declaring legitimacy, the Regalian State began to split apart. The Vultarin Hegemony, Drixagh, Nordskag, and several other Suzerain States declared secession from the Empire, while zealots began to riot against the government. House de Gosselin under Duke Florent would capitalize the most on the chaos, as the disappearance of Prince Frederique made the Vixhall army leaderless, allowing the Duke to muster his army alongside the Villiers-Eclaire Order to invade Ithania, deposing the Sovereign and confining her to house arrest.
Regalia’s internal struggles and power grabs ultimately placed the Altalar-Regalian War into a predicament. The Qadir immediately withdrew from the Crown Alliance with a desire to distance themselves from the Regalians, which in turn gave the Regalians one less ally to call on in the west. At the same time, the Dread Empire forces continued to push back both Ailor and Altalar forces alike, with the sole goal of conquering the entirety of Daen and converting it into a Void Empire. Faced with little options, the Altalar and Regalian Military leaders on the front lines met in Graelle Talea, where a truce between both sides was signed. Despite the Regalian Military now usurping the State in making deals with foreign states, especially an enemy state, the situation in the Moors had forced the two parties to set aside their differences to fight the greater of two evils, beginning the Dread War chapter of the Long Elven War.
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While it has only been a few years since the start of this war, most can agree that the Altalar-Regalian War was the creation of geopolitical rivalries and political machinations, with the results of the military reflecting heavily on this. The constant changes in Cedromar’s government saw military hierarchies change every other month, with State Governance changing at much the same rate. This ultimately left the Regalian Military with inconsistent support, costing hundreds of thousands of Regalian lives as Generals and Admirals attempted to fight a war with whatever resources they could secure. Add on the several Crises that befall the capital during these years, and the War against the Altalar was forced into general obscurity, only to be brought back whenever the ruling powers stabilized capital affairs.
However, the War was not a complete loss of resources and lives. The elevation of the Allar and Asha to First Civil Status led to several new populations to become more vocal in the city, while Cedromar’s actions in the Far East led to the Crown Alliance being the sole power faction in known Aloria. Finally, the emergence of the Dread Empire host caused Altalar-Regalian relations to dramatically shift directions as they joined forces to fight a common foe. Even with the genocides inflicted by both sides during the stalemates, today the Successor Principalities and the Regalian Empire are on respectful terms, with talks of the Altalar joining the Ailor Empire coming up now and then.
- Because of the start and end dates of the Altalar-Regalian War, nearly the entirety of Cedromar’s reign as Emperor was spent in constant warfare. This has only further emphasized his time as the Marshal Emperor, even though his direct involvement in the Altalar War only included his battle against the Avanthar.
- This War saw the Celates of the City of Regalia as well as Dogmatic Unionist leadership placed under heavy scrutiny in regards to their interactions with the secular world. Many military factions blame the loss of many lives on religious zealotry, while others more sympathetic to the faith believed it was internal politics that corrupted the holy body.