|Event Name||Altaleï-Regalian War|
|Dates and Times||July 26th, 305 AC - September 5th, 306 AC|
|Location||Altaleï and Westwynd|
|People Involved||Regalian Empire, various Elven nations, Wild Union|
The Altaleï-Regalian War, sometimes called the Second Elven War, was the first stage of what is now termed the Long Elven War, a prolonged period of Regalian involvement in the West. Spawned from the formation of geopolitical alliances across Aloria, this military conflict would see battles waged in several theaters in the lands of Altaleï and Westwynd, several reshuffles of Regalia’s military leadership, and month-long stalemates between both sides. Eventually, the ambitions of the Dread Empire would see the war between the combating Elves and Regalians conclude in a defensive truce, leading to the Dread War. Many claim that the Altaleï-Regalian War was a waste of countless resources and lives for little gain, and set the stage for the eventual return of the Allorn Empire.
Early into the reign of Emperor Cedromar I, the Regalian Empire began to shift towards militarism and more direct politics when compared to the first reign of his brother, Alexander I. However, in a surprising move, Cedromar heeded the entreaties of diplomatic-minded Alexander-era appointees in the Imperial Court. Led by the 4th Baron of Guisand, Bonace Tylleronde, the group made overtures across Aloria, strongly feeling that the Empire needed to foster new alliances in the wake of the Bone Horror Crisis. Tylleronde would successfully draw the Allar into a formal alliance with the Empire early into these diplomatic moves, naming this new bloc the Crown Alliance.
However, in response to the Regalian Empire’s actions, the Songaskian Masaya and various Elven states came together in a pact called the Magic Covenant, pooling their Magic-based resources to stand against the Regalians. In response to this, many Asha leaders and the Qadir proceeded to join the Crown Alliance. Elsewhere, the Wild Union, an alliance of non-Westafar Maquixtl and Yanar, joined together to proclaim an identity distinct from the Magic Covenant, while the Eronidas made the choice not to join the Regalians, but they did hold several treaties with them which could be strengthened with time as needed. With alliances drawn up, it would be the Regalian Empire that acted first, with Emperor Cedromar landing in Farahdeen 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 First Blows
As the conflict raged in Farahdeen, patriotic fervor began to grip various regions of the Regalian Empire. The Wirtem Chancellor at the time, acting of his own volition while most eyes were turned east, marched with the newly-formed Westmark Army to the Daen Governate and then onward toward Altaleï. Camping for the night in the Field of Ulvar, he met with local Ailor leaders, and delegates from several groups, from the Wild Union to the Asha, while the army celebrated a Unionist festival honoring the anniversary of the expansion of the faith into Daendroque territory decades ago. The next morning, the Regalians awoke to find a large Teledden-commanded army across the Field from them, outnumbering the Westmark Army three to one. Scouting launched to their rear also revealed wings of the force were rapidly moving to encircle the Regalians. Additionally, among the Elven forces was a unique form of cannon newly crafted by Teledden engineers, seemingly powered by Magic. Realizing that there was only one outcome, the Chancellor had the army receive their morning prayers, before leading the Regalian forces against their foe.
The Battle of Ulvar that followed was extremely one-sided and would see the entire Westmark Army eradicated alongside its leadership. The Unionist priests were spared, however, and sent back to the Empire to report on the Elven victory. The reaction to the battle was varied, with some calling those who died martyrs to be avenged, while others blamed the Chancellor involved and stated this was a just ending for a tyrannical man. Others still saw the whole incident as one caused by the Elves themselves, who had manipulated events to lure the Regalians into a trap by projecting false weakness. But in the end, these reactions did not matter. The Regalian Empire could not fully discredit the Chancellor’s actions, lest they look incompetent and unable to control one of their most powerful politicians, but they were also reluctant to war on two fronts against the Magic Covenant. Still, with an army to avenge, preparations were made for a new invasion.
Reforms and Retaliation
The following months proved a rush of activity for the Regalian State. A new Leutz-Vixe Chancellor was selected, then dismissed, ultimately replaced with a new Noble Assembly led on and off by a new series of Chancellors elected by the nobility. Meanwhile, in an act still difficult to explain, Emperor Cedromar abruptly departed the Empire with a large host of soldiers in order to sail to Jadeheart after the conclusion of the Second Songaskian War. He fought against the Akula and made diplomatic overtures to the Sihai while also apparently consulting them about Draconic matters. Despite his absence, the government of the Empire stabilized, and those left to oversee affairs helped launch an invasion of Elven lands in western Altaleï. Naval dominance in the immediate area was quickly established, with multiple landings carried out by the different portions of the Regalian Army. While some forces created beachheads, others began to push deeper inland, clashing with scouts, and destroying smaller settlements.
The ferocity of the Regalians was perhaps underestimated by the slow-to-unite Teledden, and was possibly also a shock to many Regalian leaders as without direct orders, a terrible crime was soon perpetuated. Unionist fanatics attacked the ancient Käell Temple, an ancient site of faith and culture from the time of the Allorn Empire, proceeding to massacre the worshipers, torture and kill the priesthood, and demolish numerous statues and works of art. The site was then ruthlessly pillaged of all its finery, which was then sent back to the Empire. What was once a peaceful temple was now completely desecrated, to an extent that the Teledden had never witnessed before, given Regalia’s disinterest in religious sites during the Ranger Crisis and L’Elvellen War. The Massacre of the Käell Temple would be a rallying cry for them, and they more aggressively defended their territory, their scouting parties heavily armed and looking to blunt Regalian probes. Elsewhere, it appears the Dread Empire saw an opportunity to exploit the ongoing conflict by attacking the western coastline of Westwynd. These early raids were followed by an invasion of L’Elvellen, forcing Regalian troops to be sent to stop this attack, as well as reinforce other Ithanian lands around the large island. At the end of it all, religious fervor would damn the Regalian Armies in the coming battles, with many top generals and admirals unable to comprehend the wanton destruction undertaken by some of their own.
The Tone is Genocide for All
Following the Massacre of the Käell Temple, the Regalian Armies in Altaleï began to fight a renewed push inland. Ancient fortifications manned in force for the first time in decades now stood in their path but gradually fell, only for Regalian chases or pursuits to end in failure as Maquixtl mercenaries harassed and slowed them. Even as the Regalian Empire occupied smaller cities, local civilians repeatedly ambushed their occupiers, convinced that they could share the fate of the Temple Martyrs if the Regalians were not stopped. In many cases, the Regalians defended themselves and proved these beliefs wrong, but random acts of violence by xenophobic Unionists continued to enforce the Teledden’s beliefs. Meanwhile, at sea, the naval supremacy of the Empire was broken. This was not by any Elven effort but thanks to political intrigue taking place in Corontium, resulting in the sabotage of ship supplies and creating disorder. With the military coordination of its enemy weakening, the Elves of Altaleï would enact their revenge.
Following the capture of Fort Mei (a Regalian short-hand for the lengthy Altalar name for the fortress) which caused the Regalians to temporarily halt their advance, there was a rotation of their forces, with fresh troops replacing the hardened soldiers in occupied territory. Taking advantage of the ongoing logistical transfers and the influx of so many unfamiliar with the region they now claimed to control, the Elves struck. Led by Prince Läefel, an army of 50,000-strong surrounded and captured the Regalian army encamped near Fort Mei, bringing them to a nearby city. In the city, the Prince treated the captured Regalian generals with 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 leaders could only watch in horror as Läefel ordered the captured army to be brought out into the middle of the arena, whereupon they were butchered in much the same way as the victims in the Käell Temple had been. In total, 25,000 Regalian lives were lost in the “Battle of Mei” and the execution that followed in the hippodrome, with the Regalian commanders being sent back to the fortress after the display. Läefel would soon abandon his city and the surrounding areas with all of his citizens, setting fire to the grand settlement to deny it from the Regalians and leaving his enemy with the 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 but the massive resistance they faced forced them to divide their attention. It also became difficult to push further into the forests, as the Maquixtl mercenaries they faced succeeded in launching hit-and-run raids from the cover of the foliage. For the Regalian Navy, progress fully stalled in seeking to expand the naval cordon down more of the Altaleï coastline. 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 an army, and thus unable to be in two places at once. This back and forth between the region’s Elves and Regalians continued for several weeks, with both sides making little progress in regard to occupying territories. Despite this stagnation on the front lines, other theaters proved favorable. After departing for several months to Jadeheart, Emperor Cedromar returned with news of positive contact with the Sihai as well as grand victories against the monstrous Akula. In Farahdeen, the Songaskian civil war that had followed the Second Songaskian War concluded around the same time, with the reenthroned Massya Musamansa Koné declaring his departure from the Magic Covenant to focus on internal consolidation.
With its ally leaving the union, the Teledden states were never more isolated. While many would’ve expected their resolve 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 few months would see little progress on the Regalian front, as every attempt to make headway would see the Elves push back with extreme force, causing continued stalemates on the front lines. While the Regalian Military called for additional forces to beat back the enemy, their calls would ultimately fall on deaf ears, as the Crown Isle became a battlefield with Regalian Loyalists fighting a domestic conflict with Renita, a lesser Dragon of Regulus’ Dragon Throne, and the subjects she had enthralled alongside Renita-loyal Archon. Arken and their allies also rushed through the midst of both sides, causing trouble. The government was thus paralyzed, and so the war in the west remained at a stalemate.
The Faith Army
During the Dragon Crisis, the Noble Assembly disbanded itself in favor of a more centralized government to deal with immediate issues on the Crown Isle, which rapidly proved effective once the instability passed. Supplies and other logical aids poured into the various front lines of the conflict but unfortunately, city-based religious officials politically maneuvered themselves into taking command of a massive, 100,000-strong “faith 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 a considerable portion of the military’s available manpower, the massive army’s effectiveness in the field was surprisingly high under its religious leaders and they pushed forward at great speed. Soon, new Altaleïn cities were falling to their power, while the Maquixtl mercenaries serving the High Elves were forced to retreat, ending their contracts in the process. Soon after, the Wild Union itself dissolved, and the Maquixtl remained distinctly uninvolved in the ongoing conflict, having suffered little harm in the whole affair.
The Elven Moors and Kathar Intrusions
With the Maquixtl involvement in the war over, all that was left for the Regalians to deal with were the Teledden. The Faith Army was reduced in number, allowing several new Field Armies commanded by Regalian military officers to deploy into a region Regalians called the 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 theater to open up, spreading the enemy’s forces thin. While previous battles in the Elven Moors had failed to create headway for the Regalians, this next round of movements led the army to establish forward operating posts and Regalian armies took more and more territory in the following weeks. However, during one battle in the theater, a new foe revealed itself. Driven out of L’Elvellen by a surprise force of Sihndar from Drowda, the Kathar of the Dread Empire instead moved to attack the western lands of Altaleï. Raids launched beyond this intrusion brought them into contact with Regalian forces, and in the aftermath of these skirmishes, Regalian forces were made to withdraw to their more secure positions. This small victory by the Kathar proved demoralizing to the Regalians, who were forced to halt their next stage of expansion and prepare for further Kathar attacks.
Anglian Misery and an Unlikely Truce
Soon after this halt in movement, key members of the Regalian State (from many members of House Kade to newly installed members of the government) began to travel to the City of Axenfoord for a key summit on the government itself. Without warning, a mysterious fog swallowed up the city and much of Anglia itself, leaving the Empire without its core leadership, and in many cases, any potential replacements as people within the fog were frozen in time. With only a few members of the government left, various groups began to make moves in the capital, a petty scramble for leadership that saw half a dozen leaders declare themselves on the basis of noble blood, tenuous Imperial connections, or faith. The lands of the Dressolini, Drixagh, Nordskag, and several other Regalian-allied nations declared secession from the Empire, while zealots began to riot against the government in favor of one faction or the other. House de Gosselin, under Duke Florent, would capitalize the most on the chaos, as the disappearance of Imperial Prince Frederique left the Vixhall army leaderless, allowing the Duke to muster his army alongside the Reliquary Order to invade Ithania, deposing the Sovereign and confining her to house arrest.
Regalia’s internal struggles and power grabbing ultimately placed the ongoing war in a predicament as the forces of the Dread Empire continued to push back both Ailor and Altaleï-based Elven forces alike, with the sole goal of conquering the entirety of Altaleï, Westwynd, and likely beyond, to convert it into a Void Empire. Faced with little option, the Elven and Regalian military leaders on the frontline met and established a truce between both sides. Despite the Regalian Military now usurping the Regalian State in making deals with foreign nations, especially an enemy nation, 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, and ending the Altaleï-Regalian War.
Most can agree that the Altaleï-Regalian War was the result of intense geopolitical rivalries simmering since the L'Elvellen War and short-term 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, while the Regalian State saw appointments and shuffles 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 calamities that befell the capital during these years, and the war against the Altaleïn Elves was repeatedly pushed to the rear of politicians' minds, 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 members of the Crown Alliance led to new populations becoming more vocal in the capital city as well as the Empire at large, while Cedromar’s actions in Jadeheart established more positive relations with the Sihai.
Post-310 AC, many Regalian citizens may quietly bemoan the failures of the Regalian Military, the State, the religious establishment, and indeed, the many noble factions, for not working together to finish off what soon grew into an immense rival. While the Altaleïn Elves were united, the rebirth of the Allorn Empire in the modern day is seen both as a direct result of the greater unity Regalia helped foster in the region’s states, but also the Empire’s inability to “finish the job” and leave a returned Empress Talea just a few years later with little to nothing in terms of a united body to simply take power over (though her return also granted the uniting Elven forces of Altaleï an unprecedented level of centralization). The intense role of religion in this era also saw many extremist factions of Unionism lose favor, as the Empire was sure to document the brutal actions such followers undertook. However, they are not fully gone, and for every three citizens that disparage their barbarity during this conflict, there is another who praises them for seeking to guard Ailor souls and secure Unionist providence. Ultimately, many deem the conflict a waste and a confusing time best forgotten.
- Because of the start and end dates of the Altaleï-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 involvement in this particular war is limited to his campaign against the Maquixtl
- This conflict saw the priests of the City of Regalia, as well as Unionist religious leadership, placed under heavy scrutiny in regards to their interactions with the secular world during this affair. Many military factions blame the loss of lives on religious zealotry, while others more sympathetic to the faith believed it was internal politics that corrupted the teachings of various Unionist religious figures.
- The destruction wrought by this war is uncalculated today. The great length of the conflict, with huge resources from two immense sides and frequent pauses but also intense activity, has rendered it hard to calculate both the loss of life, as well as the state of Altaleïn infrastructure. The reformation of the Allorn Empire has not helped with this as their borders have been sealed to outside eyes, though most suspect the nation has fully rebuilt all that was lost in the conflict.
- The magical cannons used to destroy the Westmark Army at the very start of the war were never used again. Regalian forces chased the weapons for several months early into the conflict, but ended up as almost a distraction for the real threat the engineers should have been focused on. In the end, a raid by the Dread Empire destroyed the cannons and killed their creators and operators as they began their invasion of Altaleï.