|Event Name||Drixagh Rebellion|
|Dates and Times||December 14th, 307 AC - January 24, 308 AC|
|People Involved||Regalian State, Drixagh rebels, Herebrand Order, regional nobles|
The Drixagh Rebellion of late 307 AC was a culmination of cultural tensions, historical animosity, and political missteps from the Regalian State. Instigated by continued attempts to remove Drixagh ways of life, and provoked by military actions by the Herebrand Order, the Rebellion’s start saw portions of Drixagh break away from the Regalian Empire, united against southern aggression. Unlike previous revolts, the Drixaghers maintained the upper hand and the Regalian State ultimately sought a pragmatic peace settlement to bring the north back into the fold of Corontium.
Since before the Skagger Wars, conflicts between the Drixagh Velheim and their southern neighbors have been frequent. The Wirtemcaller Kingdom frequently waged military campaigns against the north and founded the Herebrand Knights to protect their border regions. Many years later, the Skagger Horde brought the Wirtemcaller Kingdom to an end, only to be met by the successor realms of Greater Calemberg (made up of what is now Calemberg, Hinter Calemberg, Calder and the western portion of Nordmark). For over two centuries, both Drixagh and Calemberg could never see eye to eye, with each side holding strong to their cultural traditions. Following 302 AC, these border conflicts brewed into the Battle of Calemberg and the Burning of the North, both events affecting Wirtem-Velheim relations. While the Regalian State desired to keep peace in Corontium, it was clear by the political rhetoric that many favored the Regal conversion of the “barbarian raiders.” With their cultural beliefs constantly berated by multiple factions, it was only a matter of time before Drixagh had enough.
The Winter of Malcontent
Following the conclusion of the Dread War, the Regalian Government was now faced with a demobilization of the war front, coupled with repaying war debts to lenders for funding the military. Alongside recent strife in Girobalda over taxation rights, the State was currently treading on thin ice with the different regions of the Empire and needed to act decisively in order to settle matters. What ultimately transpired, however, was the opposite of that.
The first cracks in the government were shown in how the State handled the Elven regions of Altaleï. After waiting a month for the State to send a delegation to negotiate the entrance of a number of principalities into the Regalian Empire, the Teledden eventually closed the diplomatic channel after receiving the cold shoulder from the Regalian Government. This action, coupled with other delays in the bureaucracy, ultimately led to Baldmark ceasing to pay their mandatory taxes to the Regalian State, denouncing the government as being apathetic to the needs of the Empire. This would soon see parts of Osteiermark refuse to pay taxes as well, echoing the statements of Baldmark. Girobalda followed suit and also called for the female Chancellor at the time to be declared impotent and to be placed under her consort to act as her Regent. This culminated in Anglian and Breizh regions of the Archipelago also cutting off their taxes to the State, opening up a large Regal deficit in the State’s books, with the potential for total economic collapse of the Empire if the situation was not addressed immediately.
As more regions continued to lose support in the State, Drixagh also began to feel isolated in their ways. During the waning of government support, mercenary companies in Anglia conducted attacks on Ailor pagans in the region, sending a message to the North that Regalia did not care for their ways. This belief was only further emphasized when the Herebrand Order preemptively attacked northern Ailor outside of their territory, having been tipped off by the top religious official of Regalia who intercepted a letter from the Velheim House Zastorzy that Drixagh was mobilizing to defend against the State. However, the tipping point came in the Chancellor’s granting of a carte-blanc to House Lampero, who was free to invade any non-tax-paying state without any repercussions of State involvement. The consequences of this ultimately led to three things: first, Lampero forces immediately invaded the Anahera lands to their west which caused Girobalda to declare libertatem-quin-caesar, a term to declare rebellion against the Regalian Government, but not the Emperor Himself. Secondly, Baldmark also declared open rebellion, though ultimately boiled into their own inter-ethnic struggles as surrounding regions began attacking them. But, the most significant action came from the North. With the carte-blanc issued by the Chancellor alongside the Herebrand invasion, Drixagh was convinced that the State was out to eradicate them once and for all. This gave most of the region all the reason they needed to declare open rebellion against the Empire and Emperor.
The Opening Skirmishes
The first phase of the Rebellion continued to see further escalation from neutral regions. A few weeks before the rebellion was declared, a Velheim noble family had succeeded in placing a baron friendly to their interests in charge of the Groswald Commune, a small section of Drixagh formerly under House Typhonus protection following a previous border skirmish against several Drixagh families near Hadrian’s Wall. This usurpation of their protectorate led to the Typhonus family, with additional backing from other nobles, to lead a force of 20,000 troops over the Wall to overthrow the new Groswald baron and reassert control. However, the military action ultimately caused Grosswald to join forces with the Drixagh rebels, who sent 40,000 troops to the region, pushing the Typhonus-led host back into Calemberg in a series of short battles. At the same time, the Herebrand Knights in their preemptive fight were also pushed back, outnumbered by the much larger and motivated Drixagh host.
Back in the capital, Velheim nobles leaked information pertaining to letters between House Lampero and the Regalian State in regard to using chemical and biological warfare against the rebellious states in the Archipelago. The Iron Duke, Ryker Lampero, revealed that the letters were valid and confirmed the Chancellor signed off on the plan, but claimed to have no part in it and declared the entire idea dishonorable. The immediate consequence of this revelation was found in the Imperial Palace, where Emperor Alexander I was reported to have flown into an uncharacteristic lack of composure, before sacking the entire Regalian Government. After calling for emergency applicants, the Emperor eventually appointed a new Chancellor with heavy support from the nobility. The Drixagh Rebellion, however, continued to march on.
As the new Chancellor worked to get disloyal, non-rebellious states to return to paying their taxes, Drixagh rebels continued to make gains along the border with Calemberg. The Herebrand Order was pushed back even further by the much larger rebel host, before being placed under siege at Mariënforz Castle, unable to leave. Velheim nobles, meanwhile, succeeded in getting the Krainivaya Hetmans to join in the rebellion, and together the rebels pushed back against the Wirtem north of Hadrian’s Wall, resulting in a Wirtem retreat back behind the recently built fortification. At the same time, Velheim nobles used their yet un-sacked role as regional financial directors to move 30,000 Regals from the State’s regional bank to their personal coffers, before resigning the office. However, the most significant action came from an operation on the Crown Isle. The previous Chancellor had moored fireships in the capital in an attempt to use them against the Anahera rebels but failed to capitalize on the effort. This allowed several ships sailing conflict-neutral colors to move into the harbor, seize the supplies on the ships, and sail back to Drixagh, where they were given to the Velheim nobles who had helped create this ruse. These supplies allowed the rebels to create gunpowder explosives, which were set along Hadrian’s Wall in the middle of the night, and detonated the next day, exposing Calemberg to a Drixagh invasion force.
With Hadrian’s Wall compromised, House Typhonus ordered the civilians to retreat from the border towns, causing a mass exodus heading for the safety of the southern provinces. With further troops mobilized to defend Calemberg, the Drixagh hosts moved across the border, repeatedly defeating Wirtem forces in the field due to overwhelming numbers. The Zastorzy-led army besieging the Herebrand Order eventually lifted the assault and permitted the Knights to retreat, the ancient group abandoning their centuries-old holdings. At the same time, the Chancellor attempted to call for an armistice, though was ignored due to other noble families in the Archipelago raising banners as a holy war was now declared by priests of the Unionist faith against the northern rebels. Private navies sailed to Drixagh’s western coastline, beginning a successful blockade against the rebels and after a week of movement, the Chancellor sent a provisional peace offer to the Drixagh rebels. Coupled with the retraction of the holy war declaration, this allowed an armistice to be reached. Following a brief hostage exchange with one of the Zastorzy brothers and the Chancellor’s daughter, negotiations were carried out in the capital, allowing the rebellion to come to an end.
The Drixagh Rebellion today is seen as a minor footnote in world events, as it lasted a little over a month and never reached much beyond the lands in revolt. While the treaty did confirm several large changes, such as the ejection of the Herebrand Order south into Girobalda, which also ended the regional rebellion as the Herebrand turned to fighting heretics, and Lampero’s invading army helped force peace, it also betrayed the cracks in Velheim politics. One of the more notable Velheim noble families behind many of the most daring moves the Rebellion had made was essentially shut out of the negotiations, isolated due to their constant drive forward, and for not working much with other elements of the Rebellion. Thus, when the peace was signed, they were forced to conduct their own, separate peace. Additionally, the Velheim who had been under Herebrand control remained under Wirtem leadership, which was considered sufficient by other Velheim. However, since the Rebellion, Drixagh has actively shirked away from this event, and while their military mettle was proven, many in the region still remember the calls for holy war by Unionists and rapid movement against them by the rest of Corontium. The Regalian Empire, for all its flaws and weaknesses, is not to be trifled with, and many believe that Drixagh will never revolt against the Empire while it remains an intact political body. The treaties signed have also guaranteed their cultural security, and since 309 AC, several Old Gods warrior groups have been drawn into major Knight Orders. This has taken place alongside religious protections (though 311 AC saw some uncertainty on this last point).
On the larger scale of Regalian history, the Drixagh Rebellion is considered a small event, easily forgotten as just another minor conflict in what soon became a more destabilized Corontium due to larger, longer-lasting conflicts. However, it is worth noting that the Drixagh Rebellion is the only other revolt aside from the Drachenwald Crisis who technically won their fight. The political settlement has not been torn up and discarded in a later retribution effort or campaign of terror but remains intact. One of the stranger outcomes of the conflict was the transformation of Hadrian’s Wall into the Hadrian Mountain Chain, seemingly caused by the power of a Dragon who flew overhead shortly after the main treaty between the State and the now former rebels was signed. This great natural barrier was not a permanent solution (as a supposed Elven magical attack against the mountains blew a large hole in 308 AC), but it did radically reshape the geography of the region and will make any future conflicts, small or large, much harder.
- The Drixagh Rebellion, ironically, fractured the power of Greater Calemberg. In what is now Nordmark, whose westernmost members were part of Calemberg itself, House von Treppewitz helped lead a breakaway toward greater autonomy as they disagreed with Calemberg’s provocative actions, as well as the conflict of the Herebrand Order. Thus, Nordmark was enlarged into its modern borders.
- Few will admit it, but the poor military performance of Wirtem forces in the Rebellion possibly speaks to the idea that the region’s military heritage has slipped from its fighting forces, and is now solely invested in its generals and officers.