The Ranger Crisis
|Event Name||Ranger Crisis|
|Dates and Times||295 AC|
|People Involved||Regalian Empire, Orc tribes, Northern Elven Kingdoms, Ularen Horde|
Since the fall of the Elven Empire, Daendroc has been an ethnic mess concerning demographics, borders, and political conflicts. In 295 AC, this brewing conflict would come to a head; the dams burst, spewing forth a crisis that was only temporarily averted. While the cause behind what is now called Ranger Crisis is largely unknown due to the amount of finger-pointing involved by all sides of the conflict, it boils down to core ideas of Ailor expansionism, Orc aggression, and Elven reclamation. Despite the conflict being short-lived, it still featured a severe death toll, horrendous war practices, and the potential for drastic escalation only averted by the actions of the Regalian Empire. The conflict is not considered a formal war in Regalian History today despite the troops deployed in the field, instead viewed as merely a petty precursor scuffle to the later glorious campaigns of the Elven War of 302 AC.
The tangled web that makes up the background to the Ranger Crisis is extensive. To begin, there was the tension in Daendroc between the Northern Elven Kingdoms (now known as L’Elvellen) and the various Daendroque Nations and States (Lusits, Bastierra, etc). These two groups competed with each other in security precautions, in walls, outposts, and patrols beyond such fortifications. While originally such actions had been against the Avanthar and the Orcs, they soon became hostile to each other as well. Then, there was the tension between the Orcs and the Avanthar. While Blood Thorall often attacked the Northern Kingdoms and the Ailor, Dark Ungwar fought the Avanthar who in turn harassed them back. The Orcs as a whole were stymied by the conflict, unable to properly expand while in addition to this, their internal conflicts forced them to fight their own people. For the Avanthar, however, their future was growing grimmer. While they were successfully holding off the Orcs though hit and run techniques, mile by mile the green beasts were taking territory and mounted an impressive defense. Then, to the east were the arrival of Ailor lumber companies, intent on feeding the new rise in power that was flushing the Regalian Empire. The Avanthar were going to be slowly squeezed out unless they could somehow change the balance of power.
All of these complex hostilities came to a head when companies in Caslin and Bastierra moved into untouched forests that were kept pristine due to the presence of Cielothar and Yanar settlements. These two groups, living together in pacifism, had long been avoided by the Daendroque lumberjacks but they finally broke that policy. They moved in on the villages, demanding their relocation as pressure from the Regalian Empire to supply their growing fleet was prompting competition across the Empire. These actions infuriated the Avanthar and they immediately rode in defense of the Cielothar as they so often did, except this time the aggressors were Ailor, not Orcs or Wolond Shenath. Upon arrival, they ignited the stacks of freshly cut timber and newly built homesteads though they did not yet outright kill anyone. This action promptly impoverished the lumberjacks but also other lower class workers across the Daen states. However, it was not the Ailor who struck next but Blood Thorall who pushed out into the Ularen Wastes, avoiding the tent settlements of the Avanthar but destroying everything else. Dark Ungwar set out soon after as well, mainly attempting to contain the power play of their brethren but also make gains at the expense of the Avanthar. It was a very interconnected four-way conflict between all of these powers.
Seeing their lumber trade in danger, the Regalian Empire wasted no time in involving themselves in the conflict. They sent armies to Daendroc to protect their colonies and vassals as the Avanthar were now engaged in open guerilla warfare against them. While the Avanthar had experience, the Regalians had idealism and vigor from the end of the recent Chrysant War, and their military blazed a path straight into the Wastes, killing Avanthar tent settlements as they went. Unfortunately, they moved too fast, and the Avanthar encircled them, cutting them off from their lagging baggage trains. Nearby, the Northern Elven Kingdom of Thellassia pushed its fellow Kingdoms into preparing for a war against Lusits, seeing the weakness created by the majority of the Ailor defense force now trapped in the middle of the plains. Unfortunately, Ithanian agents and other bodies within L’Elvellen alerted the Regalian Empire of these actions and fearing the worst, they sent emissaries immediately to the Ularen Horde where a deal was struck. The encirclement would be ended and in exchange the Ailor would help the Avanthar push the Orcs back into their own territory. The deal was accepted, and the Crisis ended.
Though the impact could have been much greater if the conflict had lasted any longer, the Ranger Crisis did leave its mark on history. The greatest takeaway from the event would be the Ranger’s Treaty of 295 AC, which concluded the fighting itself. The Avanthar promised huge amounts of land to Regalia, while the Regalian Empire was pledged to assist these Elves in their conflict against the Orcs. Since the Avanthar could not communicate in Common easily, there were often situations where several words or phrases were lost in translation. Whether by design of the Regalians or by complete misfortune, the Regalian Empire found itself giving minimalistic aid to the Elves in the form of rusted and sometimes even broken weapons. But those who lost out by far were the Cielothar. The Avanthar readily gave up land because they were nomadic and didn’t have a problem with having smaller territory. They failed to foresee the consequences of giving away Cielothar land. Because the Cielothar lived on farms, it was much harder for them to migrate and in some sad cases, the Daendroque lumber companies simply logged around their villages cutting them off from the nature they had sworn to protect. Others companies kept some land around the villages intact but stole crops from the peace-loving farmers. Some more radical companies forced the Cielothar to gather their earthly possessions and move south on old trails that would come to be known as the Trails of the Fallen Star. Worse yet, due to the collective cultural belief in not owning personal belongings, the Cielothar frequently left their valuable possessions to the Daendroque lumber companies, not wishing to offend their overlords by withholding gifts. Thousands of Cielothar died years after the actual fighting as a direct result of famine, disease, and overcrowdedness in Cielothar settlements or on the Trails as they sought new homes.
The Cielothar’s suffering was only the beginning of the negative consequences to those parties that were not aligned with the Regalian Empire. The Ranger’s Treaty would broker peace for just a few years as Regalia, ever diligent in finding the best deals to suit their needs, made a secret alliance with Dark Ungwar. In exchange for helping the Regalian Empire in their wars, the Ailor offered to support the Orcs in their conquest of Elven lands. Because the Orcs asked for much less than the Avanthar and enjoyed killing everything, they were the perfect device of war against the Altalar kingdoms in the North whom Regalia was already forming plans against. Their opportunistic action against Lusit had been stopped, but the attempt itself was privately viewed as a grave insult by several key Regalian officials. This long-held revenge was ultimately revealed when Regalia declared war on the Northern Elven Kingdoms, breaking the Ranger’s Treaty and starting the brief conflict known as the Elven War of 302 AC. In the years since, the Ranger Crisis has been seen in an even less positive light as when the Avanthar realized how Regalia had outplayed them, they grew hostile and formed a formal alliance with the Cielothar and Yanar known as the Wild Union. Ultimately, the conflict of the Crisis is now seen as a mere prelude to the conflicts that have engulfed Daen in the years since it occurred.
- The Elven reconquest effort, known as Lle’cӧn-sess’teia, has been permanently jeopardized due to the ignorant concessions of the Avanthar during the Ranger’s Treaty which allowed the Regalians greater influence and aided in their intelligence gathering abilities. The signing of the treaty is why most Altalar have come to dislike the Avanthar in recent years.
- This abandonment by the Ailor of their long-held alignment in favor of the many Elven races would pave the way for the formal alliance between the Regalian Empire and Dark Ungwar first on display during the Elven War of 302 AC. Bringing the Orcs into the fold has resulted in many fascinating and curious developments in warfare technology when their knowledge was combined with that of Dwarves.
- The name of the Ranger Crisis is somewhat confusing as no Elven Rangers were ever involved in the conflict in any major capacity. The name arises from Regalian ignorance as to who instigated the conflict against the lumber companies.