First Songaskian War
|First Songaskian War
|First Songaskian War
|Dates and Times
|November 9th 302 AC - July 19th, 303 AC
|Regalian Archipelago and Farahdeen
|Regalian Empire, Qadir territory and Songaskian Masaya
The First Songaskian War was a devastating conflict over a century in the making, a bloody fight between two great political giants of Aloria, the Regalian Empire and the Songaskian Masaya. Enemies for years, neither side had been willing to commit to full-scale war due to the various distractions and the difficulties each had faced with such a vast operation. However, a single spark in Regalia set a flame that grew into a fire which roared into the fringe lands of the Regalian Archipelago, then into the City of Regalia, and finally across the seas to the arid deserts of Farahdeen.
For years, the Regalian Empire and the Songaskian Masaya had been at odds, their conflict based around key differences between the two states, from religion, to their military doctrines and schools of thought about the world. While there had been no active warfare between the two, the Regalians and the Masaya quietly authorized privateers to raid the opposing side’s merchant shipping. If these pirates were found out, the Regalian-allied pirates were left alone to suffer the Masaya’s punishment. However, if Regalia captured Masaya-allied pirates, Regalian warships went and bombarded Masayan coastal towns. They also exerted political influence over states at their borders and performed infiltration and spying operations on each other’s militaries, civilians, and governments. One of the largest parties affected by this were the Qadir, who leaned toward the Regalians, considering their deep vendetta against the Songaskia. Over the years, all of this built up to a budding, ripe animosity, yet there was a reluctance to start a war with the other side due to the required logistics for an undertaking of such proportions by the two nations. This ultimately left the nations in a cold war with one another.
There had been little indication that the current state of affairs would change as the year of 302 AC drew closer to its end. Instead, it was a shocking and terrifying supernatural event that would unexpectedly thrust the two nations together. At the Harvest Ball held in the City of Regalia, the Archdemon appeared and with nefarious accomplices and worshipers, attempted to possess Emperor Alexander Kade before a horrified crowd. However, midway through the ritual, the Mage making the transfer of the Archdemon’s spirit into the Emperor’s body was killed as the Imperial Guards surged forward, forcing the malevolent being to seek refuge in a nearby stone statue. However, this effectively trapped the creature inside the artwork and the statue was immediately carted off by Imperial Guards. The more significant part of the evening was the effect that was produced when the old body of the Archdemon was destroyed. Across the world, dark Void-bases storms suddenly ceased, clearing long-clouded skies in distant corners of the world, and a tremor went through the world of Magic. The next day, priests of the Dragon faith across the Masaya felt that the sun was shining so bright that it had to be a sign of purpose from their gods. They appealed to the Massya, who approved of their divination with enthusiasm. He gathered his vast armies, put them inside every single available boat from the great cities before setting sail for the distant Regalian Archipelago.
Enemy at the Gates
It took two weeks of sailing, but the Masayan forces eventually landed in the southern rim lands of Corontium. Upon their arrival, through the use of infiltrators, they managed to avoid Regalian Navy patrols as well as overthrow the region’s coastal defenses. In a matter of hours, multiple key islands fell to the Masaya as the colossal enemy force swept through the region. A state of emergency was declared in Regalia with many Songaskian residents of the Empire and the capital city being thrown into jail as anti-Farahdeen sentiments sharply rose. A week after the landing, 20,000 Regalian levies invaded the occupied islands, with a myriad of fortifications to take back. Among these were the formidable Kreutzfeld Castle and the town of Steinberg, both of which would help clear the way for further action by the Regalian Military. Upon landing though, the Regalians were beset by Masayan soldiers, but even once a beachhead was established, a political situation in the Caerden levies threatened to break the army apart mere hours after arrival. However, the Regalian troops soldiered on and beat back the enemy army effectively. As the new year came to the humid, Allar-rich region, the soldiers of the Masaya attacked the beachhead again with the Regalian defenders barely holding them off. Noting that the local Masaya forces were similarly depleted in manpower, Regalia chose to strike out against the enemy to push them further back.
The Battle of the Old Rivergrand followed, taking place in a lush but also muddy valley, which hampered maneuvers on both sides. But the battle went very poorly for the Regalian Army, who now fought Songaskian Mages in the field in large numbers, while also facing the first instances of Necroservants in this arena. The resounding defeat for the Regalians saw only 3,000 troops make it away and several commanding nobles injured or captured. The Songaskians promptly began to take apart the Regalian defenses around Steinberg, though in an ironic turn of fate, their own defenses failed them when a daring raid by a three-man team freed all of their noble captives. Despite their heavy losses, the Regalians would not be deterred, and tried to land again, this time at the port of Sudlandet. The battle there was intense and ended in a draw after several hours of fighting, the Masaya choosing to pull back from this new beachhead to regroup as they had suffered a significant number of casualties, but to also tend to their prisoners. Several more Regalian nobles and their bodyguards had been captured, including the Chancellor, and the Regalian efforts ground to a halt as they chose not to directly provoke the Songaskian leadership. However, they still launched several rescue efforts over the coming weeks for these high-profile captives, though each effort was a failure, few of the captives escaping and in one instance, most of the rescuers getting captured instead. As the situation dragged on, the Imperial Family suddenly left the capital with the simple statement that the Chancellor had been sacked and the recently formed State Council was now in command. Meanwhile, the Daen Governate and the Kingdom of Lusits had begun to mobilize and Regalia’s Eronidas allies also were gathering raiding parties to strike against the enemy.
The Fall of Regalia
While the stalemate seemed likely to continue, the Masaya had other ideas, recruiting Allar allies from the rogue, aquatic tribes in the regions they held. These groups had no true loyalty to the Regalian Empire, and they proved this poignantly on the morning of February 26th. As the Songaskian navy flowed out of the rim islands and headed for the Shoenn River which would give them direct passage to the capital city, and heart of Corontium, the Regalian Navy tried to engage them. However, explosives placed on the hulls of nearly three dozen ships guaranteed they could not block this massive new offensive. Many other ships were destroyed by the weight of this attack as well, and by the end of the day, the Masaya had begun landing on the Crown Isle. The defenders of the city found themselves betrayed by spies and infiltrators, who took a number of prisoners, and then opened the city gates, allowing the city to fall. The Masaya moved quickly to secure their power, immediately freeing all Mages imprisoned at the Azure Tower before sealing the premises, while also opening the prison, allowing hundreds of Songaskians to be set free, but also ingratiating themselves to the city’s criminal element. The Massya’s second wife took charge of the city’s governance, capturing a number of Regalian nobles, and either putting them into prison, or forcing them into compliance as collaborators in a new government. Few took her up on the offer, but many others simply escaped to the urban sprawl, the city of four million quite the challenge for even the Songaskian army.
On the same day as the City of Regalia fell, the Emperor declared a new capital in an Ithanian city bought for the purpose, while he also wed Queen Julianna do Lobo of Lusits, fully uniting this realm to the Empire. With the forces of Lusits and other western states at his command, Alexander set sail east, and for a moment, many believed he was returning to wage war against the Masaya in Corontium. However, this assumption proved incorrect, as Alexander instead sailed to aid the Qadir against the Masaya. Enraged, the Masaya redoubled their efforts against the Qadir, while the Qadir graciously accepted the direct help, and began to closely work with the Regalian Empire, the Qadir enclaves across Aloria directed to do the same. The campaigns in this region would be fierce, but back in the Regalian Archipelago, the Masaya suffered more problems. While they held the capital and carpeted both the southern coastline and the route to this key region, efforts to expand their conquest met with difficulty. Riots and revolts were now frequent in the lands their troops were annexing, and Masayan morale was further lowered by news of the Eronidas Dredge Fleet, a unique combined effort between the Dwarves and Eronidas, setting sail for Farahdeen where it was soon reported they were laying siege to Massoilagui. Behind the scenes, the Masayan forces in Regalia began to debate if they should return home to aid in defense of their nation. Many argued against this action, as the capital had been surprisingly peaceful, and so to reinforce their other forces and ensure they could remain here longer, Songaskian troops marched from the capital city to other nearby areas.
Whether this had been a signal waited for by a portion of the populace, or the timing was simply an act of fate, the Songaskians suddenly found themselves attacked by a group calling itself the Crown Rebellion. Devastating street to street battles began, as the Songaskia had limited experience in this form of warfare since their fights with the Qadir were often at a great distance, and on vast open terrain. They still fought bitterly though, and their Necroservant constructs were constantly refreshed. A number of citizens beginning a passive resistance in response to the rise of active fighting did not help matters, and tensions rose. This all culminated in a fierce riot that tore through Masayan troops and their checkpoints, but became worse when Songaskian Mages unleashed a torrent of fire which, while it did disperse the attackers, caught numerous buildings on fire. Thousands died in this event, on both sides, and the occupiers had had enough. They retreated to the key centers of power, cramped but aggressively dug in. Crown rebels surrounded these positions, and rumors were rife of a planned attack, only for these efforts to be shut down. From the north, elements of the Regalian Navy arrived, though under a flag of truce. They reached the capital, and parleed with the Songaskian leadership. Within a day, thousands of Masayan troops streamed out of the city, in a rapid but orderly retreat, taking all they could acquire in their departure, but going unharassed at the explicit command of the Imperial leadership.
The Hadravian War
Despite regaining control of the capital and the various Corontium regions seized by the Masaya, the Regalian Empire had not declared a true peace. Indeed, fighting continued on Farahdeen as the First and Second Armies fought with the Qadir against the Masaya on ancient, power-blasted plains. Seeking to regain glory and show the world that the Empire was not a weak power, the state assembled the Regalian Third, Fourth, and Fifth Armies for a march on northern Farahdeen. The loose plan was to enact, or at least attempt to enact, a large pincher from the south and north on the Songaskian capital, located far inland, and thus bypass the largest Pearl Cities which dotted the continent’s western coastline. To that end, the Regalians attacked the regions surrounding the Pearl City of Timbardena, which put them into conflict with largely living armies as the locals rejected the use of dead material in the creation of servant vessels. While the Fourth Army marched to threaten the Pearl City, the Third and Fifth Armies moved to assault the ancient Watif Esballah Castle.
While the Fourth Army was successful in pushing forward, defeating the son of the city’s noble leader in the field, the Third Army suffered heavy losses in taking the castle. A counter-attack by the enemy the following week was narrowly defeated, and when the Fifth Army arrived to support their besieged fellows, the Masayan forces were routed, though at a serious loss to Regalian troops. Another week afterward, the enemy general returned and attempted to destroy the Fourth Army but failed, his own army being annihilated instead. Empowered by these recent victories, the Third and Fifth Armies merged to form the Second Army with the Fourth Army becoming the First Army. Those forces fighting with the Qadir accepted the demotion in status, as the push in the north continued to go far better than the fighting in the south, while the Eronidas-Dwarven siege of Massoilagui ground on. However, this swell of positivity was short-lived, as the swelled First Army met a similarly large Songaskian force close to Timbardena and moved to engage them. In the press of fighting, the Regalian general in overall command was suddenly attacked by Regalian archers in a political play, before being escorted away by a loyal bodyguard against attacking Regalian troops, more traitors in on the plot. As a result of this, the First Army suffered heavy losses, but was able to drive the enemy force off in a tactical stalemate. Their progress, though, ground to a halt.
Meanwhile, further south on the road leading to the Songaskian capital, the Second Army met the forces of the famed female general Amaka Cissoko. The fighting was intense, but only lasted a short time, as her forces were able to successfully seize Crown Prince Cedric Kade, later Cedromar I. The Regalian forces disengaged, with the Prince taken to the capital and thrown into a claustrophobic confinement while peace talks opened with his brother, the Emperor. Fighting on all fronts ground to a halt, and in mid-June, after weeks of waiting, a peace was finally signed bringing the war to an end. Regalian forces extracted themselves from Farahdeen, with no gains for either side, while captives were also exchanged, freeing the Prince to return home shaken, but alive.
- For more information on the Hadravian War, click HERE
The First Songaskian War was thought at the time it was fought to be the ultimate venting of national frustration and hatred for the Songaskian Masaya, despite the war's rather unwanted beginning. It was sold as a glorious event, with many victories against the Masaya, and an enforcement of prestige in the face of treachery by fringe Allar, spies, and sympathizers. Today, however, the entire affair is seen as a bloody conflict that lost both Regalia and the Masaya far more than they could ever hope to claim back. For the Regalians, the Imperial Treasury was robbed of a large sum, their capital city suffered a damaging fire alongside their most magnificent structures being looted by Songaskian occupiers, and their rim islands alongside their defenses were severely weakened. Another fact, secret at the time, is now more openly known, that that warfare severely damaged the Regalian Navy, cutting their strength almost by half, though this had the long term benefit of justifying the construction of new, and better, warships. For the Masaya, they had lost tens of thousands of Mages and soldiers, and their own naval capabilities were even worse-off. Another issue was the immense loss of prestige the ruling dynasty of the Songaskian Masaya suffered in this conflict. The Songaskian nobility are extremely meritocratic, with even a single failure plunging a family down in status, so a draw against the Regalian Empire did not sit well with a vocal portion of the local nobility. In the end, the loss of life and material was vast though it ultimately paled in comparison to the conflict which came two years later, known as the Second Songaskian War. This first war is also viewed negatively for how it weakened the Regalian Empire just before the arrival of the Ohnark led by a statue claiming to be the Estelley goddess Estel that rampaged over Torse and was later faced by Regalia at the Battle of Curag Fields.
- For a brief time at the very start of the war, Cedric Kade went missing in the Farahdeen north, later being rescued from a hostile situation by a small Regalian party. No one quite knows where he went, but some have theorized he found something in the sands which began his path to ultimately awaken his Draconic powers just a few years later.
- The amount of dead matter left over from the Songaskian occupation of Corontium saw a significant spike in both fear of the Undead, as well as the improvement of local graveyard and burial practices near their claimed territory.
- The ultimate fate of the Archdemon remains a mystery, though whispers state the statue was broken up, and tossed into the deepest part of the Regalian Sewers, effectively permanently condemning that ancient foe to languish in utter darkness.