|Event Name||Skagger Wars|
|Dates and Times||68-179 AC|
|People Involved||Regalian Empire, Wirtemcaller Kingdom, Nordskagger Horde|
The Skagger Wars were one of the longest conflicts in Regalian history, featured one hundred and eleven years of continuous aggression, on large and small scales. It pitted the newly forming Regalian Empire against the vast Skagger Horde, who are related closely to the Velheimers found in the Three Skags. With their destruction, submission, and expulsion, the Regalian Archipelago was fully united under the leadership of the Regalian Empire. Many political situations in the North and North-East of the Archipelago today stem from these wars and in recent years, have only grown more exasperated due to the ideals of Imperial Culture.
The first Skaggers arrived at the northern regions of the Regalian Archipelago at an unknown point of time before the Cataclysm and came to dominate much of the Northern Archipelago. In the mid-30s AC, they were joined by an influx of new tribes, many from Ellador and other areas of the North Belt, where the Cataclysm was forcing Ailor to seek better land. The dominance these people possessed was thanks to a mastery of the water and cold. Often using rivers and advanced boat designs to reach deep into the Northern Archipelago, they developed a way of life to thrive in the harsh lands.
This new push of Skaggers also began to raid the Regalian Empire, hugging the coastline of Norrlan to go raiding as far as modern-day Brissiaud. At this time, the Regalian Empire was engaged in a conquest of all other Ailor kingdoms within the Archipelago. Initially, the raids were dismissed by many in the Regalian Empire to be a minor concern, and attention was instead devoted to other campaigns. However, under Emperor Leomar I the attacks grew more aggressive, and it became apparent that the early trade systems of the Empire were under threat. The last straw for the Empire was in late 67 AC, when the Skagger Horde sacked the famed trading port of Verguldulf on Anglia’s southern coast.
In 68 AC, Emperor Leomar declared a Holy War against the Skaggers, who soon became demonized into Void Worshippers in sermons and public addresses across the fledgling Empire. However, the Empire was unable to turn away from their invasion strategy as the disruption and division of their forces to maintain two fronts would put too much of a strain on the army. As a result, certain nobles, newly converted to Unionism or simply not actively being called to the southern front, answered the call from the Emperor. They brought their soldiers to Dorinn and hugged Norrlan much like the Skagger Horde did, and landed in what is today Holzskagger. This force established their beachhead quickly but upon moving deeper inland, found themselves blocked by several large clans and tribes who had formed up in the forests and the rivers, united against the invaders. “The Toehold” as it was called was established, and the northern people of the region experienced their first taste of Regalian occupation. The occupation was rather light and sought to integrate them into the Empire slowly but by 72 AC, they had been forced to abandon the region as land and sea-based clans united to defeat them. In 76 AC, however, Regalia was back and due to Skaggers being drawn away, they took over much of what now makes up Holzskagger today. While the retreat of the Skaggers was to the joy of Regalia, it was to the dismay of another.
The Wirtemcaller Kingdom had been beset by the Skagger Horde since the early 60s AC. A once powerful and prestigious kingdom, a succession dispute that has lasted nearly two decades wracked the Kingdom with internal issues. The nation began to crumble as from both coastlines and the long northern border, Skagger forces attacked. In what is now Opper Calem, the fighting was the fiercest, as powerful lords in the south of the Kingdom sent men and supplies in an attempt to hold this border region. However, by 98 AC, this effort failed, as the Horde overran the Wirtemcaller position in the entirety of Opper Calem and into half of what is now known as Hinter Calem, resulting in a tragic event. The Wirtemcaller King’s two youngest sons were caught trying to escape the Horde, and the vengeful chieftain in charge of the war party had them both burned alive as a sacrifice to the Old Gods. Less than a year later, in 99 AC under their “High Warchief” Waldemar “The Shattering” Albrechtsson, the Toehold in Holzskagger suddenly found itself overrun by the Skagger Horde and Regalia was ultimately forced to abandon it entirely, leaving its Regalianized citizens at the mercy of the Horde to be put to the sword.They did not treat the citizens kindly in the slightest;while some escaped, the deaths there strengthened the Regalian resolve along with “The Burning of the Foxes” which drove home the threat of the Skaggers.
Having lost the Toehold, the Regalians turned their conflict to the seas, where they worked to smash the fleets of raiding vessels from the Skaggers. Their main armies, still on the conquest in the southwestern Archipelago, had smashed the Bergerland Republic in 87 AC. With their defeat came new wealth and the Regalian Emperor Henri I ordered it be used in augmenting the weak Regalian Navy. As the first century since the events of the Cataclysm, this newly enforced fleet sailed out and finally broke the Skagger Horde’s cross-Archipelago power. They confined most of the Horde’s vessels to the eastern-half of the Archipelago, resulting in internal conflict at the overabundance of petty sea lords now stuck together.
On land, the remains of the Wirtemcaller Kingdom suddenly found itself attacked by the opportunistic Vulminer Principality to their south. The Kingdom then disintegrated, with some lords capitulating to either the Skaggers or the Vulminers while other sealed themselves away in personal power bases to wait. In 105 AC, the Regalians inflicted the Vulminer Destruction on the Principality that resulted in that state’s destruction. The Regalian Empire now turned their full attention (and hardened, well-prepared military) to deal with the Nordskagger Horde. By 113 AC, the Regalians were pushing through the Calem regions, and the former Wirtemcaller natives and rulers immediately submitted themselves to Regalia for protection and to help them in destroying the Horde.
Calm before the Hammer
However, the old Emperor Henri I had grown tired of the wars, as he had fought ceaselessly for control of the Archipelago and could not stand the thought of losing it. In particular, the Vulminer Destruction lay heavy on his mind, which leads him to halt the Holy War. Emissaries sent by the Regalian Government attempted to make contact with the various chieftains and war leaders of the Horde only to discover a miscalculation the Regalians had long assumed. The Skagger Horde was not a collection of united kingdoms with rulers and courts somewhere far in the backlines. They were nomadic, with no settled villages, and even fought itself more than it did against the Regalians. The emissaries attempted to complete their mission with very little success. While one warlord might choose to side with Regalia, three others might not, and if one got a better deal, the others would immediately renounce their agreement as they claimed it was unfair.
The lull continued under Emperor Henri II, who reveled in all forms of sexual debauchery and material pleasure, caring little to nothing about the war or the emissaries of his predecessors. As a result, it took less than six months for the military, clergy and bureaucracy to oust him into exile before appointing one of his younger brothers, Henri III, in 121 AC. One of his first acts was to call the Second Holy War against the Skagger Horde which began immediately. In a flurry of combat, the Regalians dominated the horde on land and sea, reconquering Opper Calem in 132. By 150 AC, the Drazj Wastes were opened to them after the Battle for Bashtur’s Sword. This battle saw the last coordinated attempt by the horde to defeat Regalia. Led by a man named “Shaman Byström”, the army was defeated by Regalia when a rockslide suddenly obliterated the Skagger rear which demoralized many Skaggers who deemed it as a bad omen, and only served to inspire the Regalians to push their advantage
From here on out, on land and sea, Regalia conquered the remains of the Horde. Many fled to the Three Skags, which had been known to the Horde earlier but was now considered a haven as they continued to lose territory. Some stayed and fought, only to be swept aside and purged by the zealous army. Others saw the writing on the wall and submitted, often receiving small sections of their territory back in return for fighting alongside the Regalians in their quest of unity. Finally, in 179 AC, the last holdout of Skaggers lay holed up along the coastline of the Brzegn Wald (Forest). Over the next six months, a brutal guerilla campaign was fought as the Skagger held on to the last bits of their home. But in the end, they retreated, and the survivors fled in hidden ships away to the Three Skags and other Northern regions. It had taken one hundred and eleven years but the final part of the Horde was removed from the Archipelago, and with that, Regalia proclaimed a united Archipelago.
Today, the Archipelago is united under Regalia proceeding the defeat of the Skagger Horde. The Holzskagger region is more cultured than its neighbors due to its occupation by Regalia as The Toehold and later, due to trade ties established between it and the Calem regions. Because of the Wars, there are strong and long lasting ties today between the peoples of Hinter Calem and Calemberg. On the other side of this, Opper Calem is more warrior-like and battle hardened, with a dislike for their southern relatives due to feeling used and downtrodden, since their region was the front line during the time of the Wirtemcaller Kingdom. After the Empire had secured the North, Regalia put the great northern woods and mountains to work. To this day, they have ignored the political issues that plague the North today as a result of the Wars in return for continued production of raw materials. However in recent months, Drixagh in particular has fallen under Imperial interest with an attempt being made to rebuild the region in a Unionist, Regalian image.
- The original site of the Battle for Bashtur’s Sword is lost, as naming rocks and mountains after Bashtur, and his varied war tools was common for the time among the Old Gods Skaggers. The most likely site is currently the home of a small School of Skagger facility which survived the recent turmoil in Drixagh.
- The Wirtemcaller Royal Line went missing as the kingdom collapsed, leaving only extended relatives on a distant female line. Some believe they died in the Horde ambush while other believe they fled with the last of their wealth to some other area of the Archipelago.
- The commander of the second Toehold, Aart de Wees, is remembered fondly by the citizens of Holzskagger. When the Skagger Horde returned, he forced many of the men under his command to try and protect the mostly Northern-towns within his borders from the Horde. While none were able to hold out for long, it gave the citizens time to flee or prepare themselves.