Battle of the Curag Fields
|Battle of Curag Fields|
|Event Name||Battle of Curag Fields|
|Dates and Times||August 20th, 303 AC|
|Location||Curag Fields, Essalonia|
|People Involved||The Regalian Empire, Unknown Race (Fogmen), Estel|
The Battle of Curag Fields was a difficult yet pivotal point in Regalian history when the war-tired nation was pitted against unknown magical forces in 303 AC. Lead by a statue who claimed itself to be Estel; Regalia was thrust into conflict on the windswept Curag Fields in the territory of the Kingdom of Torse in Essalonia after a long-winded political feud between the two nations. By the end of the battle, Estel had vanished, untold hundreds were dead, thousands were wounded, and the Nelfin of Daen had grown restless at this seemingly divine sign from their ancient deity.
The Battle of Curag Fields came about through the hatred of two nations. The Kingdoms of Torse and Arlora had been at war for years, and while the First Songaskian War raged, the two nations had kept themselves out of the conflict. Their manpower remained focused on their heavily contest border region, and with the First Songaskian War over, mercenaries and mage circles flocked to this dispute as a way to earn their coin and glory. On the night of August 5th however, those on the Torse side of the border were devastated. Emerging from a strange mist that came over the water rose a floating Statue, and with it, a host of mutated reindeer-like monstrosities. The Statue and her army tore apart The Arizon Brag, an ancient Torsian fortress, before continuing deeper inland and proceeding to inflict a campaign of destruction across the Kingdom
Upon hearing this from the fled and now vassalized King of Torse, King Corentin, Regalia declared a state of emergency. Emperor Alexander I canceled his leave of absence in Ithania (that had followed the recent conflict with the Songaskians) to begin raising funds for a new Regalian army. Arlora practically sold itself to the Empire for supplies, while the Nelfin of the Daen continent saw the statue as their goddess Estel, returned at last. On the other hand, the northern states of Farah'deen signed an uneasy truce in their mutual hatred for the heretical, sun-blocking mist and its forces.
Positioning of the Army
Having gained the required funds in Ithania and after a massive recruitment drive throughout the Empire, the Imperial Army moved to the Curag Fields in Torse, a battlefield which the Emperor himself chose. The army also brought with it several hundred mages who they chained down to the ground at the center of the field. Correctly understanding that it had been the high concentration of magic users at The Arizon Brag that had brought the creatures, the Emperor now sought to lure the Fogmen and the Statue into a trap. It worked, and after several days, the strange mist appeared on the horizon and drew closer to the plains. The Army assembled itself quickly, a central column of swordsmen with archers in the rear, a right shoulder of a wedge of horsemen hidden behind a small hill, and a left shoulder of pikemen. The tacticians were arranged back at a command tent set close to long range artillery. As the mist drew closer, the central column moved up into the center of the valley where they freed the imprisoned mages. To the levies surprise, the mages joined them once they were freed and donned special armor at an secret unknown signal. Word spread that these were a variety of contracted mage circles or perhaps a new mage order that the Emperor had commissioned, though these accusations never fell through. That soon did not matter as the archers opened fire on the nearest Fogmen and the central column braced itself for the fight.
The First Maneuvers
It came swiftly, and soon the central column was taking a heavy beating as wave after wave of mutated monstrosities poured out of the mist. Seeking to stop the ranged attacks, the Fogmen and their mist poured through at the archers. Also emerging from the mist, strange balls of light coalesced and began to pour out flames and lightning upon the archers. Fortunately for the long range combatants, the mages helped to fend off many of these attacks and the Fogmen were pushed back onto the swordsmen. Unfortunately, the swordsmen were beginning to break. Attempting to seize the opportunity, the Command Tent signaled for the nearby cavalry to charge down into the enemy. One group broke off to ride around a large boulder and attack from another angle, whilst leaving the main group to crest the hill. As they neared this crest, they were shocked to find the Statue suddenly before them.
Hovering before the cavalry, the Statue waved its hand and, using unknown forces, caused gravity to lose its grip on reality as the horsemen were sent flying up into the air. With nary a facial expression, the Statue then began to wave her hands to and fro, crushing and smashing the horses and their riders together. Some managed to slip out of their saddles onto the soft ground a few meters below, but the majority were killed. The smaller party, coming around the large boulder, then gazed in horror at the scene before realizing they had their own problem. Three massive ape-like creatures, later believed to be overgrown Frosthorns, stood before them and began to attack. Rallying around the beasts, the horsemen circled and threw their javelins, killing one but only serving to enrage the other two. Hearing of this abysmal failure, the Command Tent sent the signal for them to retreat before ordering the artillery to fire on the horsemen's old position.
Meanwhile, in the pikemen column, the leaders and their bodyguards stood there waiting, unaware of a hex that had been placed upon all of them. Only after the calamity had already happened did they snap out of it to realize, along with their contingents, that they were mere meters away from the fight. The leaders quickly rallied the pikemen and ordered a charge at the Fogmen. This order was a significant tactical error, as the Fogmen who charged at them used the enemy polearms as springboards to leap into the central lines where a brutal melee began.
The Mysterious Figures Appear
At the center, the lines continued to take a pounding as evermore Fogmen poured from the seeming endless mist that steeped itself everywhere. Suddenly appearing before a leader of the levies came two mystery figures, a Nelfin and an Ailor, who conjured up two hulking ethereal forms that immediately set to attacking the now terrified Fogmen. Meanwhile, the Statue had gone, and the two remaining Frosthorns had been pushed off, leaving the remaining cavalrymen to try and rally themselves. It was during this that appearing from nowhere came an old woman who, with a manic and demented glee, seemed to summon to her a whole host of Vampires. They poured themselves out of the forest, the infected beings smashing into the Fogmen, and while they were felled in huge numbers, the Vampires continued to endlessly pour forth from the trees. The cavalry, at the cheerful recommendation of the old woman who proceeded to dance away, remounted and regrouped in stunned silence as they looked on.
At the Command Tent, the tacticians and commanders were left aghast and flustered by both of these events, with another one soon adding to their growing annoyance. The artillery guns had gone silent, and after a quick decision, one of the men moved to learn the cause. The man reached the artillery position and was stunned to find everyone dozing at their post. Turning his head, he suddenly found himself in the thrall of a beautiful young Nelfin woman who sat there, playing her harp and singing a soft song. The man promptly fell asleep. Back on the battlefield, the pikemen had gained a minor reprieve as the Fogmen drew back for another charge, when their own two mysterious saviors appeared, a Dwarf covered in golden bangles and armor as well as an older, monk-looking figure. The two raised their hands and started to throw earth and stones at the enemy which sent the Fogmen fleeing away.
The Final Confrontation
The center column throughout all of this had been faring far better than in the earlier stages of the battle, as they allowed the two ethereal beings to unleash their power on the ever retreating Fogmen. This seeming run of luck finally came to end as the Statue emerged from the fog, causing the two beings to suddenly slip back into their physical forms. Striding out of nowhere came two more mysterious men, another Nelfin and an Ailor who immediately prepared to attack the newly emboldened Fogmen. The Regalians, who had kept back as the beings broke up the majority of the frontline now moved to try and join these men in a push against their magical foe.
This push stopped as the Statue raised itself up high and began to profess itself to be Estel, the Soul of the World, and that she would now kill that world for bringing her pain. In response, the two beings fired bolts of energy at her, to which she responded to with powerful bolts of her own. Their attack was soon joined by their fellow mysterious people and two more figures, an Ailor and an Eronidas who added their own attacks. The battle was almost blinding to anyone left in the Fields, with many forced to turn away or gaze through squinted eyes at the display of power that bedazzled their sight. The magical battle went on for seconds, before suddenly from nowhere came an elderly Qadir woman. with a wave of her hand, abruptly created a massive black portal on the ground, consuming herself, Estel, and those who were fighting against her.
With their leader now gone, the Fogmen stood there uncertainly while the Regalians, having no qualms about attacking their magical foes, promptly charged. The Fogmen swiftly retreated, fleeing back across the Fields and into the treeline as the mist around the battlefield began to settle and fade away. On the right, the Vampires detached themselves from battle and fled into the woods with their elderly commander, while on the left, the Dwarf folded the earth up over himself and the monk and vanished with nary a trace. As the battle began to come to an end, the Regalian generals, tacticians and commanders emerged from their Commander Tent, sounding out a victory, and the army began the slow task of regrouping.
While the Battle of Curag Fields was spun by propaganda and seen as a grand victory for the Regalian Empire, it was a somewhat hollow event. Hundreds lay dead, many thousands were wounded and even more added to the death toll by dying of their wounds. The Regalian Empire had paid a heavy price, physically but also economically. While some Ithanian nobles or financiers had given out of the goodness of their Unionist faith, many more (including the leaders of the Ithanian Sovereignty) gave their funds due to commercial deals involving taxes, tariffs and trade goods. This would serve to contribute even more to Ithania’s influence over the Empire. There was also many questions raised by this battle and the mere presence of the Fogmen. What were they? Would they return? How many of them actually were there? Finally, the more terrifying question sat on the edge of everyone’s lips: was that Statue really Estel as it claimed?
For the Regalians, the finer details were quietly brushed away, and the state aimed to suppress any mention of the mystery mages who had appeared that day, along with denouncing the Statue as a heretical work of the Nelfin. Meanwhile for the Nelfin, this event was their call to arms. The seeming return of their goddess spread like wildfire through Daen. While some, like the Cielothar, reacted with fear at the terrible power the statue had wielded with no regard for life, other still felt that it was a sign that the Nelfin needed to be reborn. While it would take a few years to see the ultimate fruit of their labor, several of the Inheritor States of Rie began to unite economically and politically seeking to bring an end to their internal warfare in favor of greater goals.
But by far the biggest loser of the entire war was Torse, and to a lesser extent Arlora. Torse as a state was virtually annihilated. Thousands of its people had died to the Fogmen and Estel, with very few returning to their homes from neighboring countries after the conflict. Its King was now a weak and nominal ruler for the Imperial Court of Regalia. For Arlora, their economic fate was now eternally bound to that of Regalia. They had practically sold the soul of the state for more weaponry and Lapis Lazuli (which had seen effectiveness against the Fogmen at The Arizon Brag), leaving them desperate. This desperation would eventually push them into attempting a war with Regalia, eventually beginning the Bone Horror Crisis
- The ethereal beings have never been confirmed to have resurfaced anywhere, though rumors are abound to who they might have been.
- The Fogmen have barely been seen since Curag, with many thought to have returned to their vast and freezing home in the Northern Expanse. While some called for an expedition to be sent to the area in the months following the battle, the Empire coolly rejected the idea, having had quite enough of the Fogmen.