|Elven War of 302 AC|
|Event Name||Elven War of 302 AC|
|Dates and Times||June 8th - 29th 302 AC|
|People Involved||Regalian Empire, L'Elvellen, Eronidas Polons|
The L'Elvellen War, Elven War of 302 AC, or the June War, was a conflict fought at the dawn of the Kade ascension to the title of Imperial Family. The first war the Regalian Empire had fought in since the Chrysant War (for the Regalians count the events of the Ranger Crisis as a punitive expedition gone awry), it saw numerous noble parties bring their levies to the forefront to jostle for prestige in battle within sight of their new Crown Prince, Alexander Kade. The war lasted mere weeks, and ultimately saw the formation of a pro-Regalian island bulwark against both the Eronidas, and nearby Allorn powers.
The roots of the Elven War run all the way back to the Ranger Crisis, with its end result of the uneasy truce between the Allorn Races, Eronidas, and Ailor circling the Contested Land. In the aftermath of the unsatisfying treaty, the Empire began to look for new avenues to alter the regional dynamic, but the ill health of Justinian II meant the Empire also turned inward to try and solve the issues of succession. In the end, with the Kade Settlement of 302 AC, House Kade rose to the role of Imperial Family, and established Alexander Kade as the Crown Prince, with a coronation set to take place at a later date. Alexander was and still is a unique figure; taught by Teledden scholars, well versed in a range of languages both Ailor and not, and supposedly aware of secrets and histories lost to the wider world and common academia alike.
It came as a shock when, within mere hours of being made Crown Prince, he declared war on the lands of Innsuna-Sen’trallisil, also known as the Northern Elven Kingdoms. This declaration included a set of terms demanding that the Elves give everything from their land to their Ailor slaves. Alexander had chosen his target carefully, as the nations on the large island were considerably divided and weakened due to the lack of a significant Fin’ullen military presence, and constant influence pouring from Ithania regarding conflict resolution over outright warfare. Two local nations, Andois and Visois, had joined the Regalian Empire long ago, and now a score of similarly small city-states joined these two Ailor powers in fealty to the Regalian Emperor by agreeing to his terms. However, the westernmost state of Thellassia refused the terms offered to them, and with a small coalition of allies, rapidly arranged to fight the coming Regalians.
The Muds of Taure Tinechor
The forces marshaled for the war effort were a unique blend of young-faced levies alongside grizzled battle veterans, and led by nobles of equally diverse disposition. The forces were also small, with only a few thousand to each banner brought into the field. They set sail quickly from Corontium, landing in pro-Regalian territory, and marching west across the island in two main groups to battle the various nations that stood against them. The first of these nations was Medlem Talar, and on June 8th, battle was joined outside the walls of a major town called Taure Tinechor; a smaller, border settlement between Medlem and a neighboring, now pro-Regalian state. Tthe region had seen intense rains in the days prior to the Regalian arrival, and mud was everywhere. The Anglian levies that arrayed outside of the city walls, across from their foes, were led by one of the Crown Prince’s younger brothers, with a force of Eronidas unexpectedly recruited from nearby lands joining their forces. Against them stood one of the most well known Fin’ullen generals of the modern age, Neylor Nedheenor, alongside a small Teledden and Fin’ullen host, largely comprised of archers, but accentuated by a unit of Maquixtl mercenary cavalry brought from the mainland much as the Eronidas had been.
Battle began suddenly, as the Eronidas charged the Elven lines head-on and lost as much as half their number in the brutal melee that followed. However, their savage efforts did break a hole in the Elven line, one the Regalians rushed to take advantage of with a significant part of their host. However, it was now when General Nedheenor and the Maquixtl cavalry charged, rushing horizontally into the Ailor lines. The right flank, unable to put up a defense, was destroyed in minutes, and the two portions left of the Regalian force might have fallen before any of them reached the minimal battlements of the town if it were not for one Sihndar. Their identity now lost, though praised by veterans of the war to this day, this warrior challenged Neylor Nedheenor to single combat, without a Mount of his own. Perhaps overconfident, but not without good reason, the Fin’ullen accepted the duel, only to find himself knocked from his Mantavaar and slain in short order, to the shock of all nearby. The defeat of this century-and-a-half old general caused an immediate rout, with nearly three-quarters of the Elven defenders escaping into the surrounding forest, while the rest were either dead or captured. The Regalians had lost nearly one-third of their own forces, while the Eronidas had sustained crippling losses. Despite this, the quick victory in the span of barely an hour was cause for celebration, with the large town taken, and jokingly renamed to “Schlammburg” among the levies for the battle’s muddy terrain. Regalia’s first step towards a victory had been taken.
The Three Battles
The Battle of Perfwenn
While the northern thrust paused at their new conquest, those of the southern column pushed on, dividing into two smaller forces to tackle different objectives. The first of these was the small city-state of Perfwenn, which the Regalians reached on June 12th. It was perhaps the most internally divided branch of the army, made up of several rival families of Cearden origin who had, mere decades previously, tried to kill each other in the Drachenwald Crisis. With them also came the levies of minor allied families from southern regions. Informally called the “Red Army” because of this feuding background, the name proved apt when on the eve of battle, the duchess leading the army through her husband found herself and her consort ousted by a countess and her own consort. This indignity grew worse when the countess proceeded to lead an almost flawless attack on Perfwenn, the Regalian forces crashing through the Elven defenses and its gate, and killing over a thousand defenders against their own losses of only sixty-seven. Fortunately, the duchess took this political defeat gracefully, and the Red Army only remained red with the blood of the Elves that stood in their way.
The Battle of Heller Tellarna
Nearby, the fortified town of Heller Tellarna stood as Medlem Talar’s defensive anchor in the region. However, after the battle at Taure Tinechor, the garrison was considerably lighter than it should have been, and was without the skilled general who had originally been planned to take up the post. Taking advantage of the situation, a Regalian force made up of levies from polar opposite sides of the Regalian Archipelago marched on the town. Unlike the Red Army, these forces immediately found common cause as the Gallovians and Dressolini bonded over shared martial traditions, as well as shared mountainous living traditions. Commanded by the leader of House Howlester and the leader of House Lampero, the “Mountain Army” had barely come within sight of the fortifications on June 13th before they were suddenly beset by an ambush, as a significant contingent of Elven fighters (mostly survivors from Taure Tinechor) came out of the jungle. The commanders were briefly captured, but as a route neared, a Kade leading the rearguard skillfully turned the tide of the close-quarters fight, and charged back up the roadway to smash into the regrouping enemy forces. The Elves melted back into the vegetation, and the freed commanders quickly carried the charge forward, only to find that Heller Tellarna had been largely abandoned. While the battle’s turnout was impressive, the Regalians had suffered more than twice the casualties of the Elves, whose forces still avoided a decisive battle.
The First Battle of H’rellen
On the same day, a setback of greater severity was underway. Following the Battle of Taure Tinechor, the Kade army recuperated for a day while rewarding their surviving Eronidas allies, and then pressed on, leaving a garrison in the taken town. They were joined by a reinforcing column of levies risen by Wirtem lords, while they were shadowed from the coastline by a navy dominated by vessels from the few nobles of the Archipelago’s Rim Isles. The “Grand Host” as it was named then marched on H’rellen, a small and unassuming coastal town whose only notable feature was an ancient, half-ruined Estelley temple sitting high above the surrounding jungle. The naval and land forces coordinated their assaults on the 13th, with Wirtem commanders overseeing a successful deployment of their naval marines from their vessels into the town while the traditional levies attacked the town’s defenses. At sea, the Elven naval vessels which moved to try and attack the Regalians ended up being consumed by flames through the surprise use of Magic by the Rim’s naval vessels.
As the fight at sea concluded, affairs on land continued to look positive. The town had rapidly fallen, with its remaining defenders fleeing up into the great temple which loomed nearby. A few Regalians boldly scouted close after them, and found a very different sight than regrouping defenders. Within the grand central chamber of the temple, ringed by statues of the Estelley pantheon, lay the Imperial Crown of the vanished Allorn Empire, the Crown of the World, a beautiful piece which had been missing for over 300 years. Emboldened by the appearance of this beautiful piece, in what seemed to be an empty room, the Regalians strode forward to seize it. However, it turned out to be a trap, and a collective of men and women with Teledden features wearing pale blue robes stepped out, beginning to cast a most unique Magic. A highly powerful tornado formed in the chamber, sucking all of the Regalians into it, while the Crown was safely escorted down into the complex that sat beneath the temple on the hill. Barely able to escape, the victorious army below these scouts soon found themselves facing the same threat, as the Mages came out flying on their tornados, and unleashing cyclonic might against those who sought to conquer the temple. The Regalians retreated into the town with a minimal loss of life, however they had a considerably higher number of injuries which halved the strength of their forces.
The Second Battle of H’rellen
The Second Battle, which came two days later on June 15th, was not to end as the first had. Now aware of what was being guarded in the temple, and better prepared for the forces about to be thrown at them, the Crown Prince arrived with a detachment of the Azure Order. Feared Mage hunters with unique tools to repress magical abilities, they proved key in the battle to come. With minor reinforcements to make up for their injured levies, the Regalians now charged up the temple hill in force. For the first time in Regalian history, Azure operatives marched side by side with men-at-arms in battle. The town’s surviving defenders and their mysterious Mage allies worked to push the Regalians back, but each Azure agent brought a squad of levies with them. When a Mage appeared, the Azure used their unique tools and silenced their ability to cast Magic, before sending in the levies to fight off any defenders of the now defenseless Mage, and to either capture, or execute them. The unknown Mage group’s numbers thinned, and the defenses could not hold out for long. In the end, the remaining mundane defenders surrendered, while the remaining Mages fought on until capture or death. With the battle firmly won, the Regalians scoured the temple and its underground passages, retrieving the Crown of the World for delivery to the Crown Prince. It was sent back aboard the man’s personal flagship, The Laridae, and the Empire rejoiced. Victory was soon at hand.
The Red Massacre
After the capture of the Crown of the World, there was a lull in the fighting as the routes through enemy territory were secured, and smaller towns or cities were taken quietly without much fanfare or note. In fact, the capture of the Crown, where believed, weakened the Elven resolve, and so trickling forth from the forests and jungles came groups of surrendering soldiers, survivors of Taure Tinechor, prospective rebels who had intended to harass Regalian control of their region, and others. The planned siege of Madar Tellarina might have been a similar minor footnote, though it soon turned into a crippling blow to already failing morale among the Elves. The Grand Host, now joined with the Red Army, had pushed deeper toward Thellasia, and was now attacking a fortified city located near their border with the long-suffering Medlem Talar. Led by Cedric Kade, future Emperor Cedromar I, the Regalian forces fired cannons at the walls as a screen for their archers while a slow, creeping approach of the levies pushed onward for an assault on the city walls. However, this slow, calculating plan was upended when one of the Caerden commanders ordered the cannons to aim over the walls and start striking the city. This change in tactic took all by surprise, as to this point the Empire had not pursued much punitive action or aggression against the civilians in the Teledden settlements they captured.
Whether it was tactical aptitude to force a quicker fight, or simply hatred for Elves, the commander’s tactic did prove the undoing of the defenders. Fires started, and the need for aid inside of the walls dramatically increased. Defenders were forced to leave the battlements to save their city, which let the Regalian levies rush the walls. Soon, the cracks in the defenses became a flood, and the Regalians flung open the main gates to the city. What defenders were left were executed, and the citizens were pushed out of their city as all food stores were taken with the Regalians who resumed their march away, leaving the survivors of the tragedy to starve. Most did not, as nearby towns quickly absorbed the refugees, but a new message was clearly being sent: resistance would mean death and dispossession. In response, Medlem Talar surrendered without a fight, which began a steady trickle of other surrenders along the western-half of the island. As the week wore on, only a single target remained for the Regalians: the capital of Thellasia, Lenna Bas.
The Battle of Lenna Bas
Following the events of The Red Massacre, the defenders of Lenna Bas abandoned their own walls to avoid a repeat of the sad fate that befell Madar Tellarna. Unlike the other sites of battle so far, Lenna Bas was built into a small mountain, with a deep-growth forest climbing its slopes, as well as a large, cleared field before the main city gate. On June 29th, Crown Prince Alexander reached the artificial plain, and set up for battle against the army across from them. For the first time since the beginning of the conflict, the two sides were roughly equal in number, some 10,000 defenders, set out across the field and in the trees, against 11,300 Regalian attackers who had all gathered on the open ground with two flanks and a center. Regalian forces had been augmented once again with Eronidas fighters, though their apathy to Regalian commands meant they hung back, and did not take part as the battle began with a roar of cannon fire. Unlike at Madar Tellarna, however, these cannons tore not into homes or buildings, or even the walls, but at the trees at the edges of the plains where the Regalians knew defenders lurked. Trees toppled, and there was significant confusion from the enemy, which the right flank took advantage of, charging into the thicket with the support of cavalry behind them. An intense melee began, as Elven archers and Mages rained down projectiles while Yanar-commanded Neefaar, magical illusions, and conjured foes of plantlife mixed with magical essence slammed into the attackers. With time, the Elven forces were made to withdraw, but their superior mounted units savaged the Regalian cavalry which was bogged down in the brush, with almost all of the Regalian commanders being knocked from their horses, though protected by the levies.
The right-flank cavalry nearly got wiped out, but it was then that the Eronidas decided to act, saving the Regalian effort in that part of the battlefield. Using crude explosives to create noise and divots in the earth, they spooked and slaughtered many Mounts of the Elven cavalry, allowing the army to march forward unimpeded. With their own flank now collapsing, the Elves knew that they could not maintain superiority on the battlefield. The king of Thellasia thus surrendered to the Empire before the full core of the army could come to bear, to save his people and the city, before he and his troops were taken into custody. Much celebration gripped the Ailor, and while a contingent stayed on duty, marching through Lenna Bas to enforce the new order, many more spread out across the field in celebration with a grand victory dinner. Among these tents sat the opulent finery of the Imperial Court with the Crown Prince also present. As the hour grew late, the crowds thinned, but that is when assassins struck from the shadows. Powerful Mages, the attackers rushed the tent, with the Imperial Guards and some members of the Azure Order counterrushing to defend the nobles and Kades present. However, realizing the element of surprise was lost, one of the attackers detonated himself in a horrific magical explosion while his cohorts pulled back. The Imperial Court and Guards were sent sprawling to the ground, helpless as the ruins of ancient stone pillars used as support for the tent began to crumble from the shockwave. The large tent crashed down, and Crown Prince Alexander was struck in the head with heavy wooden beams, rendering him unconscious. Victory had been reached, but now the future of the Empire looked uncertain.
In the immediate aftermath of the war, Andois and Visois were enlarged, while the rest of the island was turned into the state of Elvenaam, a pro-Regalian Teledden-ruled state. However, the populations of the region dramatically shifted when the Empire expelled thousands of Teledden and their allies from the island, and instead brought in thousands of Ailor replacements. The previous eight to one ratio of Teledden to Ailor dramatically shifted, and their populations are now roughly equal. L'Elvellen, as the region was soon known, swiftly regained its prosperity with the aid of nearby Sovereign Ithania, and came to host a Regalian naval detachment which has remained there to defend local trade, but also defend the area against the privations of Kezzeret Sabu, constantly unstable and doing little to stop attacks of conquest based out of its barren lands. The war also signaled a formal end to the accord which ended the Ranger Crisis, and in its aftermath, the Ailor reliance on the Eronidas did not go unnoticed by the Allorn world. Soon, greater bonds of friendship were formed between these two Races, at the cost of the longstanding Ailor-Allorn axis which had stood for decades until that point.
The conflict is credited as sealing the choices of later years, with Teledden statespeople actively turning inward for unity in the face of a Regalian Empire no longer content with just reuniting Ailor domains under their rule. This worry has largely proven empty, as few non-Ailor nations in western regions, let alone the world, have since been drawn into the Empire. But, this war started the quiet talks which would eventually form the Magic Covenant, and later, the reborn Allorn Empire. Still, the conflict is now viewed as notable for how smoothly it progressed. Many believe if the Crown Prince had not been rendered into a coma (which he eventually woke from without issue), immediate actions and words might have soothed Teledden fears of further conquest elsewhere, for it seems the choice he made was perfect. The weak nations of the region proved no match to Regalian levies applying sufficient force, and for once, the nobles all cooperated in mutual goals. Later wars would show this as a rarity in the modern age, and some have come to call the conflict “A splendid little war” for how little was lost, how much was gained, and how it began the Kade’s reign on a right note, even if the attempted assassination was quite the sour final stanza.
- It is still a mystery to many as to what the Crown was doing at the Temple. While the Azure Order secretly aided the black orders of Regalian spycraft to torture what few captured temple guards there were, they never gave up their secret, endlessly reciting “We protect the Crown in Her name.” All ultimately died in captivity, their secrets safe in the ether of death.
- The Crown of the World rather anticlimactically languished unseen for over half a decade in the Kade Vault before apparently being stolen. It is unknown if it has found its way back into the hands of the supposed reborn Empress Talea.
- The assassins who attempted to kill the Crown Prince have remained anonymous to this day, though suspects range from graduates of Sollandë Aëssar to secret survivors of H’rellen.
- Neylor Nedheenor’s death left behind three sons, and twice as many daughters. Some claim they all swore the Neylor Pact, a binding magical agreement in honor of their father, claiming revenge on the Regalian Empire and especially the Sihndar for his senseless death.