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Old Feb 09, 2009, 03:45 PM   #1621
Abaddon
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Sorry for bump, but this glorious NES had dropped from page one.

RL busy busy NK?
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Old Feb 09, 2009, 03:49 PM   #1622
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Yes, otherwise I'd have updated.

*sigh*

Thanks, stop spamming.
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Old Feb 09, 2009, 05:42 PM   #1623
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Actually, I think spamming is now necessary, since baaad Abaddon caused the epic Update Is At Top Page feeling to somewhat fail.
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The car's on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel. And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides, and a dark wind blows. The government is corrupt, and we're on so many drugs with the radio on and the curtains drawn. We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death. The sun has fallen down, and the billboards are all leering, and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles. It went like this: The buildings tumbled in on themselves. Mothers clutching babies, picked through the rubble and pulled out their hair. The skyline was beautiful on fire, all twisted metal stretching upwards. Everything washed in a thin orange haze. I said; "Kiss me, you're beautiful - these are truly the last days." You grabbed my hand and we fell into it, like a daydream or a fever. We woke up one morning and fell a little further down, for sure it's the valley of death. I open up my wallet and it's full of blood.
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Old Feb 09, 2009, 05:43 PM   #1624
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Actually I think it's not, since I already have posts reserved. Thanks for the thought, though.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 06:56 PM   #1625
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Bedtime Story

Rahelaia and Taerafaen, sister and brother, lay down beside each other, whispering. They were huddled under an old fleece blanket and above a straw mattress, a slowly fading fire at their feet. The warm orange light dimly lit their small, open house. In the dim light one could make out the basin and the pantry in one direction, and their father’s workshop in the other.

Wooden beams held up the straw-insulated roof, designed to keep in the heat in the cool Helsian winters. One translucent window glowed a dull blue- it was a moonlit night outside.

However, between the children, the topic of discussion was the fire.

Rahelaia rolled over and poked her sleeping mother in the back.

“Mom!” she whispered.

Taerafaen giggled.

“Mom!”

Paraeana rolled over and opened her eyes.

“Yes honey?”

“Mom-”

“Where did fire come from?” interrupted Taerafaen.

“Raf! I was going to ask her.”

“Hush...” smiled their mother, “I can tell you where fire came from...”

“Yeah?”

“If you promise to go to sleep once you’ve heard.”

“Okay!”

Long, long ago, when the world was young, long before myself, your father, or even grandma were born, the world was much different. The Earth-Spirits, the Thaeraia ruled the land, the Water-Spirits, the Coraia ruled the seas, and Haiaou ruled the air.

People lived in the countries of these spirits, along with all of the animals, and they were happy. However, things weren’t perfect. One time, there was an Earth-Spirit who got very greedy. His name was Graeo, and he had limbs as big as trees and a body tougher than boulders.


“Wow, he’s bigger than dad!”

“Don’t wake up your father dear, or else you won’t get to hear the rest.”

The children fell silent.

And his voice was the loudest thing anyone had ever heard. Sometimes he would sing, but when he was angry, he would yell and roar until everyone around him had to hold their ears shut for fear of him.

Every day, he watched over the people he ruled and he watched them farming, fishing and enjoying life. He should have, because the people made him delicious food and rich gifts. However, when he finished going through what had been given to him, he saw the people, and they were still happy.

At first, Graeo was confused. He had thought that people would be angry to give him gifts. Then, he grew envious.

“Why are they not sharing their happiness with me?” Graeo wondered. In order to get them to share, he demanded ten times as much food and ten times as many gifts. The people accepted, and gave him what he demanded. However, despite this difficult accomplishment, the people still managed to be happy and go on with their lives.

Angry, now, Graeo realized that he still didn’t have happiness.

“They are still not sharing it with me! I must find what makes them happy and take it for myself!”

Thus, Graeo demanded all of the possessions, all the homes, and all of the food and water of his people, save that which they needed to survive. Frightened, the people accepted. They had to work very hard to survive now, but even at this point, they still saved up enough food to hold the solstice festival of Haiaou.

Graeo saw this festival, the smiles on the people’s faces, and suddenly realized what he thought was making them happy.

“Of course! Haiaou is giving them happiness, and they are sharing none of it with me! No matter, I’ll take it for myself.”

Thus, Graeo set out to build a giant wall over the people, so that he could receive his happiness directly from Haiaou. When the wall was finished, the people became cold and dark, and the last smiles fell from their faces.

However, Haefi, the Trickster Thaeraia saw this and was upset- Graeo didn’t understand that taking all of these things from the people would not make him happy, and the people, denied of food, heat and light, were going to starve.

Coming up with a plan to help them, Haefi took a stick and climbed onto the highest mountain, waiting for Haiaou to pass by. When he did, Haefi leapt up and poked Haiaou with the stick, then shot down to the ground on a beam of fire and light. When he landed he held in his hand a stick, with a piece of Haiaou on the end. He gave this gift to the cold and darkness-enshrouded people of Graeo’s realm, and they were happy once again.

Upon discovering this, Graeo let out a terrible roar of anger, and started chasing the laughing Haefi around the world. Haefi continued his trick, stealing bits of Haiaou and flying down to earth, each time prompting a roar from the giant Graeo. Today, every time lightning strikes down from the sky, you can still hear an echo of Graeo soon afterwards.

Meanwhile, the people of the world were given the gift of fire. With it, they could keep a bit of Haiaou’s light at night, and bring it into dark places where his light could have previously never reached. The people who were ruled by Graeo escaped to other lands, and were joyful once again- and you can still see the walls, in the great cliffs at Raedelheis.


“And that is how we got fire!”

“Wow!”

“What happened to Graeo?”

“Well, after a long time he grew tired of the chase and stopped. He went back to his home, but found that all of the people had gone. Eventually, he decided to go on a search, to find happiness- but that’s another story.”

Paraeana smiled. The children’s complaints soon faded to mumbles, and in a few minutes they were asleep. Their mother was quick to follow.

The fire grinned widely.

Last edited by Lord_Iggy; Feb 17, 2009 at 10:29 AM.
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 09:28 AM   #1626
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Awwww.... such a cute story, Iggy
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 10:31 AM   #1627
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Thanks. It's what happens when a desire to write a story about domestic Faronun life, a story about Faronun mythology, and be a little less formal in my language comes together.
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 01:55 PM   #1628
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That's funny...I just happened to be writing a child-themed story too, though one with a slightly different focus. I'll post it when it's finished.
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Old Mar 02, 2009, 02:10 PM   #1629
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According to NK this is going to get an update this month, so its' state of semi-activity merits keeping it on the first page.
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Old Mar 02, 2009, 05:48 PM   #1630
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....*massivetwitch*.....

Can no one allow the mod to refresh a page at their choosing?
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 02:31 AM   #1631
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End of Empires - Update Ten
The First Armageddon

c. Thirty years.
202 - 230 SR by the Seshweay Calendar
101 - 129 RM by the Satar Calendar



No one man founded the Exatai. ~ Ladran, Faron Historian
The wind rose in the night and laid our plans to waste. ~ Ming proverb
...like armies passing in the night, who return the next morning to find their homeland burned...

The north, apart from two exceptions, two small, and one great, was largely peaceful through this period.

The small exception was that of the Ritti. Not content with their previous conquests, the Evyni Empire continued their attack on the island nation. This was a mostly quick and fairly bloodless affair; the City of Gold was pitifully undergarrisoned, and the Ritti fleet was unable to prevent landings by the much-superior Evyni army. After it became apparent that resistance would be ineffectual at best, the city elders capitulated and joined the growing empire.

The other exception was that of the Ederru and the Stettin tribes. Though the Ederru were to launch a concerted effort to drive the Stettin off of their island, it quickly became obvious that even with their inherent naval superiority, they could not prevent the tribesmen from landing. Moreover, the Stettin were far too experienced with land warfare to be scared off by Ederru warriors. It quickly became obvious that if the war was to be won, either ingenious methods or brute force would have to be applied.

The third affair is one we shall come to much later.

The Evyni attack on Ritti was a great disappointment to another people. Acca had held designs on the archipelago, and was deep into planning with their newfound Trilui allies as to how best to attack when they were preempted by the northern empire. On the domestic front, the Autocracces decided to convert the nation to a new faith – that of the Satar. Though this made them none too popular with those who disliked the Satar, it did certainly give them a new ally, though whether this was to be beneficial or not would remain to be seen.

For the moment, anyway ,the Accans made do with the integration of their new conquests, and even seized one of the Ritti islands in an opportune moment. More importantly, the premature termination of the expedition meant that the empire had much more gold in its coffers than expected. Indeed, it was as though the symbol of prosperity triggered prosperity itself: the income of the state skyrocketed.

The Evyni, for their part, saw peace following the Ritti war for a while, though later on they were brought into the wars. Education became a major focus of the state as it was brought more in line with the Ytauzi belief system. Simultaneously, Asveydr, capital of the state, was beautified, and indeed was already becoming one of the greatest cities in the far north. All in all, the Evyni looked towards a bright future, continuing as one of the greatest states in the north.

Liang lay mostly quiescent during the period, and a royal marriage with the Shu ensured that neither country went to war – though this did free up Shu to conquer their neighbors to the north, Yan, while the Zairnate soldified their hold on the Duchy.

The last nation we turn to is a newly coalescing one. The Sarrukh were a collection of rather militaristic seafarers who lived in the far northern seas. Appearing on the scene quite suddenly, they were happy to act as middlemen in many a dispute, facilitating trade between nations that were officially enemies, like the Ederru and the Stettin, and in the process making all parties involved much the richer for it.

* * * * * * * * *

We shall return to the north and the middle; for the moment, we shall examine the south and east.

The Palmyrians found themselves again undergoing a rather peaceful period. The economy did not grow any further – it seemed to have reached its natural limit, and whenever the people attempted to cultivate new land they almost always found it too marginal to be of any lasting value. On the other hand, military reforms seemed to go quite well, and though the emperor’s new ships did not pan out quite as he might have desired, the army was much improved for the spending.

The Zyesh, for their part, signed an alliance with the quiet nation of Goral, both of them figuring that neither nation was likely to go on a wild genocidal rampage. The king also ordered an expedition to the northeastern seas, which went very successful, expanding the horizons of the already well-traveled Zyesh and establishing them as yet another player in the endless trading games that the region was so fond of. Indeed, as turmoil began to brew between the Trilui and their neighbors, the Zyesh were well placed to continue the trade between the new enemies...

The Nahari invested heavily in their economy, and with the influx of refugees, especially from the latest in the series of wars, they were well-placed to do this. Their formerly ruined islands were repopulated with refugees, though there were some raised eyebrows at exactly how cosmopolitan this Empire was getting. In the meantime, an expedition to Leun, while not discovering any new lands, did solidify the links between the states and better survey the coastline for trading ships.

Leun, for its part, saw its own expedition eastward to be quite successful, though naturally the contents of their report were not made available to other nations. On the other hand, in the known world they did continue rapidly expanding. Though peaceful, this expansion took a heavy toll on their forests, and mudslides and erosion became a major problem as a result. Fortunately these were lethal to the colonies, but they did prove something of a pain.

It was around this time that Farea, a colony of the Faron, was founded in this region. While still a fledgling, it had so many willing immigrants that it quickly surpassed many of its neighbors in size.

Treha would have had a fairly peaceful time of this, and for the most part it did. The ironworks were expanded, utilizing new ores found in the Stad Men region. But to a large degree, their affairs were tied up with those of the Opulensi.

This other nation found its own mostly peaceful period still largely dominated by war. Though some expansion did occur, the focus of the Opulensi king was military reform, chiefly based around the new philosophy of Daharai, which tended to emphasize the martial aspect of Indagahor, and thus showed the way to a new, spartan, military means of enlightenment.

In any case, matters came to a head when Undia was finally found. The Trehan secret city had served as a military base and a base for traders (of the Trehan merchant marine only) for a while now. Whatever it might have served as in the past, the Opulensi discovery of this city was followed quickly by the revelation that this was a privateer base, and namely, that it was the base largely responsible for the Opulensi problems with pirates in recent years. Indeed, the only thing that stopped the Opulensi from going to war immediately was a certain fear of the Trilui, and even that may soon not be enough. The south, it seems, is on the verge of war...

* * * * * * * * *

The rivalry between Gallat and Ferman had always been a source of friction in the north. Strangely, though, they had never quite come to blows. Always war had been averted, if only at the last minute.

But with the fall of the Seshweay, it was evident to both sides that war was coming rapidly. The last major power hostile to Gallat had been felled by its own rivals, and the greatest of the Maninist states was free to pursue whatever course it should so desire. The High Ward Ilunatar used this freedom to reform the military somewhat, and then, rapidly, to attack Ferman itself.

Raising an army of over seven thousand men, the High Ward was blessed to have a pair of young and already distinguished generals to lead the holy war against their southern neighbor, Asamin and Manago. Asamin was himself a churchman, well versed in the doctrines of the Faith; Manago was a much more conventional general, but no less beloved of his men.

But Ferman had not used their time idly. Expanding their fleet yet again, the Fermani were able to nearly match the Gallatene navy, and new fortifications had already been constructed on the Gallatene border, focused around a city called Hern. This new settlement was built entirely around defense, nestled in a crook between three hills, each of which sported a high tower; the walls were intended to be double, though the inner rampart was not quite completed when the war began.

More than anything else, however, Ferman had a stroke of luck from an unexpected quarter. The Evyni Empire, having already subdued Ritti and thus becoming the greatest nation of the western Kern Sea, had offered a treaty of friendship to Ferman, aimed, if only implicitly, at Gallat itself. Ferman, naturally, gladly accepted, and though the initial Gallatene attack came as a surprise, they were comforted in that aid would surely be coming.

When word of this arrived at Gallasa, the High Ward Ilunatar was said to have used the most impious of responses. But the deed had already been done, and Gallat’s armies were marching towards Ferman already. There could be no retracing the path.

Five thousand soldiers under Asamin were already en route to Senden, the nearest of Ferman’s major cities and the one with the most adherents to the Faith. Unfortunately, Hern lay square in his path, a rather unexpected obstacle, and the Gallatene advance looked to be stymied already. Asamin, however, was not about to let such a minor obstacle obstruct him; he feigned a siege and let the Fermani armies begin to rally to its defense, then quietly slipped away.

Supplied by Gallat’s navy at every step of the way, he was able to fairly fly across the Alsoli Peninsula. Ferman’s ships were powerless to stop them, trying as they were to carry out the simultaneous and contradictory instructions of harassing Gallat’s shipping and yet attempting to engage the enemy fleet; thus Senden was both unaware and unprepared for the Gallatene army that appeared on its doorstep.

With a minimal garrison, the Maninists in the city were able to open the gates, and fell upon their fellow citizens in a brutal massacre, leaving the city entirely claimed by the Maninists and Gallat.

Hern still lay behind Asamin, to be sure, but his supply lines were, for at least a little while, secure, and those of Ferman were conversely dangerously stretched. Taking full advantage of this, he detached a minor force of some three hundred men to raid eastwards, burning and pillaging, distracting the now frantic Fermani defense to an even greater degree than before.

At this moment, his fellow general Manago gathered the remaining troops of Gallat, Hasia, and Tarasat, and led this new army directly south from Hasia, int the north of Ferman. The city of Sern with its rather weak garrison was overrun quickly.

But Gallat, in its rush to win the war before Evyn could intervene, had underestimated the speed of that very intervention. Ayinse, the Evyni queen, was generally regarded as a weak and somewhat incapable regent for her young son, Shadyn. But she had responded to the challenge with skill, concluding a treaty of friendship with Acca and thus removing any threat to her flanks. The army of Evyn, four thousand strong, boarded their new fleet and sailed across the Kern Sea, landing just south of Sirasona and besieging the city.

The Fermani general at Hern was left with a difficult choice – should he try to march west and link with the Evyni to create a unified army, or march south and prevent Asamin from coming to his homeland’s aid, or simply march east and help the massively beleaguered defense of Ferman’s central lands?

Fatefully, he continued with the cautious course that Ferman had already decided, and leaving a strong garrison at Hern, retreated with the majority of his army eastward to destroy the raiders and restore some kind of order. His supply lines, he reasoned, would be in even worse shape should he attempt to march west, and his nation would do no good to their Evyni allies if destroyed.

On the other hand, the Fermani navy did sail towards Sirasona, aiming to link with the Evyni fleet; this would be the only way they could match the more numerous and better trained Gallatene ships. The latter, for their part, had attempted to seal up the Crene Sea, but this was far easier said than done in an era when ships had to be beached every night for resupply, and one could simply flee under cover of darkness.

On the other hand, the Fermani fleet had to sail for several days through hostile territory, unable to stop for food or even water; all the while Gallat’s flotilla pursued them zealously, with Asamin’s army covering their landward flank (he had been careful to firmly garrison Senden before his march). Thus, when Gallat confronted the fleets of the allied nations, it was a battered and exhausted enemy they faced.

The Battle of Sirasona was fought late in autumn (112 RM), under a cold gray sky. A storm had just passed through from the south, and the ground was muddy enough that the armies could not engage; if any decision was to be made, it would be on the waves. The Gallatene ships had weathered the storm in the port of Peren, whereas their opponents had had to make do with whatever shelter they could find among the salt flats of the peninsula; in more than one case an allied ship joined the battle late because it had been buried in the mud.

Thus the Gallatene ships pressed their advantage and rounded the cape, wheeling directly into the allied fleet; for their part the Fermani and Evyni tried to pin their foes against the shore, into crowded waters where their superior seamanship would not prove so potent. Alas, the attackers were able to outwit their opponents and broke through their center; the allied fleet retreated brokenly.

Around this time, Asamin ordered the attack, and though his army was not as well trained as their opponents, he managed to push them back anyway; the arrival of reinforcements detached from Manago’s force in the east effectively ended the battle. The Evyni forces were still able to withdraw in good order, and marched northwards, attempting to rally, but their enemies were in hot pursuit. Moreover, the next city, Gallasa, was well fortified enough that it could not be attacked effectively.

So the Evyni forces pressed on, avoiding the enemy capital, and eventually arriving at the northern straits of the Kern Sea; there they boarded their ships and were able to cross to the city of Adua before Gallat was able to stop them.

At this moment, Asamin decided it was probably better to let the Gallatene fleet pursue their enemies and prevent another invasion. Possibly the new allies in Taudo and Seadol would be able to distract the Evyni long enough. And in any case, Ferman had made good on the breathing space afforded them and recaptured Senden despite the garrison, razing it to the ground and massacring the inhabitants. The return southwards could not be delayed any longer.

Asamin had relatively few options. He could besiege Hern again, and attempt to reduce it with the Fermani armies breathing down his neck. He could try and bring their armies to battle – but why would they engage, when they had so much to lose and so little to gain? Or he could try to catch them by surprise. In the event, he decided to march directly east, link up with Manago, and march south; the shifting of the main front caught the Fermani off their guard.

With a united army, Gallat could at last make some real progress, but unfortunately there was some friction between the commanders. Asamin had grown convinced he was the greater of the two commanders regardless of their supposedly equal standing. Manago, for his part, felt the churchman was an overly pious, bombastic fool who had managed to lose Senden for the sake of defending a city that was not terribly threatened anyway.

Their army threatened to unravel when, quite abruptly indeed, Manago simply left the encampment with his part of the army, forming a flying column that raced through the countryside, devastating the land as he went. In truth, given his now heated rivalry with Asamin, there was no way he could have served under the other commander, and this was probably the best option that was left to them.

So the army split, and Manago raced through Ferman, greatly disrupting the spring planting even as Asamin plowed straight through to the capital of Jedim. Ferman tried its best to hold back the oncoming tide, but found themselves swamped. Now led by a charismatic general, Fessan the One-Eyed, they tried instead to harass the Gallatene forces, and making it cost them dearly for every inch of ground that they conquered.

Still, Gallat had soldiers to spare, and as spring trundled on to summer and then again autumn, Ferman found its harvest completely ruined, while Gallat was able to bring in shipments of grain from their homeland. Combined with a harsh winter, the siege of Jedim proceeded quickly, and by early 114 it had fallen completely. The supposedly impregnable city of Hern fell to Manago’s column by treachery, and by the year 115, Ferman was all but conquered, with only the city at Edrim holding out.

The mopping up after the war was to take another seven years, thanks largely to the determined resistance by Fessan, but after he was captured and decapitated, it fizzled. Much of the population fled the turmoil; east if they followed Alta; west and north if they were Maninist. By the end of the war, the country formerly known as Ferman was quite depopulated, and barren as well, as the advancing desert had begun to cover former vineyards and pastures.

While these events were taking place, the Evyni expeditionary force found itself in Seadol, abandoned by its fleet, and largely exposed to any kind of attack, by either land or sea. It is about this time that we find the first mentions of a young general, Eisu, who managed to rally the force, and led them from Adua to Seadol’s capital itself. Finding it completely devoid of major defensive walls, they overran it without much trouble, and set it to the torch (though it would be resettled later).

Instead of returning home, Eisu sent only the most demoralized of his troops southwards; with the rest he set about attempting to pacify Taudo. He had in fact largely succeeded in this endeavor by the time that the Queen Regent called him back to witness the coronation of Shadyn as Thorsrdyn.

At this point, the Evyni Empire was in no shape to do battle, and neither was Gallat – the Maninist nation sent out several peace overtures to Shadyn. Though young and undoubtedly reckless, he possessed some wisdom beyond his years, and was probably heavily pressured by his still influential mother anyway. He agreed to a peace that allowed both nations to keep the gains they had made.

In theory, the treaty was supposed to ensure that both nations could continue their separate ways peacefully. In practice... there was enough water between the two nations that perhaps the theory might even hold true.

* * * * * * * * *

Third-Gaci was the youngest son of his father, a man more interested in theological debate than in true rulership. Indeed, there was little sign that he would ever have to come to power. Yet when his father died an old man, somehow his older siblings had both fallen ill and died, a year before and three months before, respectively. The chiefs of Moti had rejoiced then, for it was a weaker ruler that was coming to the throne, and surely he could be manipulated into whatever they should so desire.

But the world has a habit of mocking our greatest desires, and suddenly a messenger from the mighty Xetares, third Redeemer of the Satar Exatai arrived in the court of Gaci – surrender the greater part of his lands, or perish. No ruler could acquiesce to that demand and remain a ruler for long. And so Third-Gaci refused, and studied the books of war, and listened to his nobles, and played them off each other, and suddenly from this rather small, unimpressive theologian, a brilliant star of leadership emerged, a man with perhaps the mettle to challenge the Satar.

The first great test, of course, were those that had been left behind. After Atraxes the Great’s (for he had already earned that moniker) southern campaign, the River Yensai had been left in shambles. Krato’s attempts to reestablish control over the northern half of the river had ended up only increasing the anarchy that was spreading through the land, and in this state the new Algoli Exatai had found a promising conquest. Aligned with the Satar as they were, they were poised directly to Moti’s south, and threatened to plunge a dagger directly at the center of the world itself.

So Gaci invoked the ancient pact with Krato, and Krato brought in its own soldiers, men from every land – over sixty thousand all told. Even the Holy Church sent forces, carrying the most sacred relics of Iralliam before them. As Gaci was to march down the river, War Chiefs Iltu and Bujokl were to march north, and thus they would both purge the land of any of the cavalry that were there, and also secure the best crossings. At the same time, Gaci sent his War Chief Kono to the north, to face the inevitable Satar move against Bisria.

It was a sound plan, but difficult to execute. The Algoli were highly mobile, and devious as well, making them most difficult to pin down. On the other hand, the allies were numerous, and though all three followed rather different tactical systems that were difficult to integrate, when they eventually did Gaci used them brilliantly, and was able to largely drive back the Algoli from the eastern side of the river. Lumada, their only real base, was secured without difficulty, for steppe warriors do not make good garrisons.

The problem that confronted them now, however, was much more daunting. The west bank of the Yensai was much closer to the Algoli homeland, and any attacks there would be more difficult to sustain. While they might capture the cities, these were not crucial to the survival of the Exatai, and indeed would put more of a strain on the allies to garrison. Gaci knew, however, that his own forces were numerous, and he could afford many garrisons; moreover, the allied army was much more suited to cities than to the open plain.

So an expedition was mounted for Lotumbo, and the only thing easier than the march was the capture of the city; barely any resistance was offered. By now, however, Algoli harassment of the supply lines was becoming serious, particularly since the supplies for the Krato force had been rather lacking in the first place. And they were still nowhere even near the much greater threat of the Satar – an attack on Magha would have to be made through the most desperate of conditions.

Fortunately, or rather unfortunately as it were, at this point, Gaci had gotten word of the fortunes of his eastern army.

Gaci had seen through the ploy of the Satar, and when their large army, over thirty thousand strong, came roaring down into the north of the country, all the Moti knew it for a ruse. They bled it as best they could, with the militia of the borderlands being raised in all their ferocity to blunt the attack; when Kirost was taken it was not unexpected, and the city had been mostly emptied of its people anyway.

Kono had been tasked instead to march to the northeast, to the friendly city of Gyza, which though it had pledged aid to the Satar had in secret desperately pled for assistance from the Moti and Trilui. The Trilui, for their part, were nowhere to be found (having not yet been informed of the scale of this conflagration), but the Moti had made good on their promise, and arrived at the city with more than four thousand men.

Yet when the enemy came it was clear all their preparations had been in vain; Xetares’ army numbered at nearly fifteen thousand, more than twice what the allies could bring to bear, and unlike theirs his army was well-supplied, extraordinarily mobile, and battle-hardened. Some two hundred men were hand-picked to throw themselves in a suicide mission against the Satar to delay them as long as possible; five hundred of the Gyzan militia guarded their families as they fled to the far-off hills in a now familiar maneuver to the many-times sacked city; the rest of the army retreated. Gyza was leveled, an ominous warning to future rivals of the Satar.

Kono’s army had fled south to the Had, the Satar host hot on their heels, and had not yet made it to Bisria when another force appeared from downriver, marching faster than anyone would have believed. Had the Satar crafted some devious ploy and stolen a march?

To their great surprise, the banners bore not the wolf of the Satar, but a flower instead. For these were the men of Faeoria Aramsayafa, one of the great families of Faron. They explained that Faron had not joined the war against the Satar – the Faeoria Council had voted down that proposal, if narrowly – but they could not stomach watching the Exatai swallow its smaller neighbors without a fight. Kono apparently neglected to point out that fighting was exactly what he was doing, presumably grateful for the extra men.

But it soon became clear that the extra men were not enough, either. With some eight thousand soldiers at his disposal, Kono was still outnumbered nearly two to one, and his soldiers were more likely to break and run when faced with the Satar foe than fight. So he left large garrisons in Bisria and Het, and withdrew the greater part of his army to try and harass the enemy as they advanced.

By this time, Xetares had already advanced to the Had. There he arrived outside the ancient city of Minar, capital of Serat. A rather decrepit city for all its majestic past, he nevertheless offered the king a full princedom in the Exatai should he submit – with his implied destruction should he refuse. Naturally he accepted, and his own forces now joined those of the Satar, for what that was worth (not particularly much, as it would later turn out).

Xetares advanced to Bisria and put it under siege, and Kono hunkered down in the mountain passes, fearing the worst; it seemed like the full fury of the Satar might bear down upon him, and for all his careful preparations, nothing in the world could have overcome the nearly four to one disadvantage he now found himself facing. It was then that he called for aid from Gaci, and the Chief of Chiefs, having met only success on his side of the mountains, was impelled to cross them and hopefully turn the tide on the other side, possibly with the aid of the Kratoan army.

By the time Gaci’s vanguard had made it to the East, however, they found the valley mysteriously devoid of Satar troops. Fearing some kind of trap, he refused to advance at first, but it soon became apparent that Xetares, along with the entirety of his army, had vanished. Only a small force of Serati slave soldiers remained, and these were pushed back by the Moti soldiers with some ease. The siege of Bisria was ended, and though the countryside was much devastated, even Kirost was regained.

Gaci was somewhat surprised at his own luck, but soon came to the conclusion that whatever had drawn away the Satar armies, it might not remain indefinitely. If this was his one window of opportunity, he had to take it as best he could.

So began the march on Magha.
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Last edited by North King; Apr 14, 2009 at 07:55 PM.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 02:32 AM   #1632
North King
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The dilemma of the supply lines still haunted Moti and Krato alike, and Gaci had no desire to attempt to face the Algoli on their home soil. He left several tens of thousands of Kratoan forces to beat back any attempts to cross the Yensai that might come, and instead opted for a completely different route. The Moti were well acquainted with the Kothai Mountains, and it was time they used this knowledge.

There are four great passes through the Kothai Range. One, at Yashidim, closely guarded by the Satar. One, at Gaci, too far from Magha to be of any use. The other two were much further to the east, all but useless in this case. But there is another pass, much more minor, that also rises near Gaci and falls at the headwaters of the Sesh. It was this middle route that Gaci took, threading his army through the mountain ranges, shielded by the peaks against the depredations of the Algoli horde and any ambushes the Satar might have laid.

Initially there was almost no resistance. Able to carry out raids at their leisure, the Moti made feints towards Nikros to pin that garrison down. At the same time, many of the estates of the Satar Princes were burned. But these were, of course, only secondary targets; Magha was their true aim, and so they marched straight north, through the fierce deserts that the Bahrai had called their home. The garrison at Yashidim was able to carry out many raids on his exposed left flank, but he had expected that and was able to counter them.

Then, almost so quickly that it surprised the allies, they arrived on the south bank of the Sesh, facing the great city of Magha. Caught between two rivers, the city had been well sited. The middle branch of the Sesh tumbles abruptly downwards in cataracts, and by the time it reaches Magha it is well beneath the level of the desert; a great red-walled canyon is formed. In these walls are the famous monasteries of Taleldil, as foreboding as any fortress. The northern river was rather less of a barrier, but as the Moti were on the other side, this made little difference. The cities walls loomed high above the desert flats, and at the very joining of the two rivers a massive citadel carved in the shape of an ark, already legendary for its strength and size, cut into the canyon.

The Sapphire City seemed nigh-on impregnable, even with the minor garrison that it had been given. But Gaci had known this might be the case, and did not intend to sack it; instead he contented himself with sealing it off, as he managed to cross the Sesh and camp between the rivers. Then, he proceeded to ransack the countryside, dealing much damage to the land that was the heartland of the Satar themselves, though of course the noble families and their possessions had been brought inside the walls of Magha.

And so he settled down for a long siege, and the men of the city did so as well, for they knew that help would be long in coming. For Xetares had not gone to head off some invasion, no. The Satar armies were gone for one reason only.

Xetares had set out to conquer the world.

* * * * * * * * *

Xetares’ invasion of Faron cannot have come as a surprise. Perhaps some in the Faeoria Council wouldn’t have thought it would come so soon – the Satar were already fighting two wars against some of the greatest powers in the world, why should they take on a third? – but certainly they knew it was coming. And truth be told, the invasion was even less surprising to those few family leaders who knew of this new Redeemer. Brash, brutal, and egotistical to a fault, it was very much in his character to try and unite the two great rivers under a single banner.

But he had tarried in the west for some eight years, plenty of time for the Faron to recuperate and rebuild from their devastating war against the Hu’ut. Massive new fortifications were constructed, and the population was growing without stop – so much so that the Faeoria gave money to emigrants willing to build a new colony far to the east.

Faron itself found this short period to be a most prosperous time. Grain harvests were rising, and surpluses were such that even with the increased population exports could also increase. This, of course, much benefitted their neighbors, who were most eager to feed their own populace... At the same time, the Faeoria had taken a liking to the patronization of certain philosophers, and around this period, the first prototypical schools were being set up.

And Hu’ut, too, was undergoing a period of renewal during the period. Under the brilliant administration of Shafay Fetosa, the former slave empire made a smooth transition into a freedman economy; the family system of Faron was impossible to implement, but a reasonable facsimile based on village and city representatives was established.

And while there were of course numerous tensions underneath the surface – resentment from former slaveowners and enslaved alike, ethnic clashes, religious rivalries – these were not great enough to destroy the new state that was being built. Instead the nation was emerging more united than its predecessor ever could have been, and if left undisturbed, might even grow to become greater than its parent nation to the north, though alternatively it might lapse into something all too similar to slavery, if under a different name.

But all this speculation is meaningless for the moment, because as we all know, it was not left undisturbed. Instead, the Satar appeared over the horizon; their army led by ferocious general by the name of Aphas. Massive and a little unwieldy, this force plowed down the Had River, taking Tynet with ease and besieging Salgaron. The Faron began their counterattack, but were driven back at Salgaron, and failing to break the siege were forced to start over.

Then it suddenly became evident that this had all been a massive diversion. The Faronun armies received word that Dema, of all places, was under heavy Satar assault, and was pleading for assistance. It seemed as though Xetares had chosen a more northerly route. So a large force was dispatched to deal with the Satar there, and within a week they arrived at the northern city, only to find it more or less intact. The enemy had moved on.

Of course the passes had been alerted that the enemy was arriving from the north, and they were heavily garrisoned and fortified. Shafay led his soldiers eagerly towards the pass; it seemed that the Satar might be headed there, and if he could catch Xetares between the fortifications and his own troops, denying the Satar any maneuverability at all, then they could perhaps win the decisive victory of the war. Yet when he arrived there, the enemy was still nowhere to be found.

Indeed, Xetares had maneuvered all the way around Helsia, through the Faron territory, swiftly descending on the end of the peninsula that belonged to the Trilui. The march to Trovin took less than a day, with the entirely horsed Satar army easily outpacing even the messengers of the Trilui army; they caught the capital entirely by surprise, crashed through the gates, and burned it to the ground.

It was the greatest loss the Trilui had ever suffered. For all time, their capital had sat, impregnable by virtue of the Faron state that guarded it. The symbiosis of the free, land-based state to the west and the maritime, commercial state to the east had lasted for more than a thousand years. But the landward shield had failed, an enemy had slipped through the cracks. The largest, most populous, and perhaps most magnificent city in the world was ruined.

Trovin had just begun to enter a new period of growth and prosperity in this time. The city swelled past its own walls; the temples had been refurbished. A great library had been raised in recent times by the Emperors, full of all knowledge in the world, and they were starting schools of philosophy much akin to the Faron practices. And now it was all gone, swept away with the invading horde. At a stroke, the Satar had decapitated their rival empire.

For the Trilui, more than most empires, were focused around a very small area; their reach might extend far, but the beating heart of the empire was always in Trovin. The Emperor himself had been slain in the sack; now generals and governors alike could tear apart the empire at will. Perhaps order could be restored if a monarch both strong and brilliant were to ascend to the throne, but even then the chances looked slim.

As if to compound this fact, an earthquake of startling fury rocked the Kainoan Sea in 212; its center near enough Trovin as made no difference. What minimal rebuilding efforts had started after the Satar invasion were shook into rubble; it was as though the gods themselves were mocking the efforts of mortals to recuperate.

With these terrible omens, the death-knell of the Empire seemed to sound. The Nahsjad nomads to the north had finally united under the Maninist Sira tribe; this new threat saw the fall of the Trilui and decided to take full advantage, pressing forward into the northern colonies of the old empire. Pirates took full advantage of the sudden loss of authority, and what had been so briefly a Pax Trilui fell again into chaos; shipping declined massively. An extraordinarily loyal contingent in the Jania area prevented its rebellion, but as the empire began to come apart at the seams, there were some hints that perhaps even that most faithful area might break away for its own survival.

As an abortive assault into the Sesh Delta was abandoned before it could do much damage, the Hanakahi broke their alliance with the Trilui and took revenge for their former mother culture of the Hamakua, uniting this ancient region in open rebellion against the Trilui; only Sivi remained in their hands.

But the damage wrought there was still but part of Xetares’ plan. He continued westwards, back into the Faron lands, and fell upon the city of Faron itself. However, this time he had overestimated himself. Dema had not thought to send word to Trovin that the Satar were coming, for none had known that. But Trovin was a busy port, and much of the merchant fleet escaped, with the native Faronun merchants bearing word of its sack back to Faron. Heavily fortified and massively garrisoned, this city could not be taken by surprise.

Still, Xetares would not be outdone, and proclaimed that he would subdue the city even should it take ten years.

Aphas, for his part, finally managed to take the city of Salgaron, and put it to the torch. At this point, he calculated the Faron were too divided to make any sort of dedicated effort against him, so he launched an attack against Subal, the city that had so often served as a battleground between Hu’ut and Faron. Now it seemed ripe for the taking, and if this could be done, then Aphas could link up with the Redeemer and the Satar might be able to establish permanent control in this part of the world.

But Shafay still had control of the situation, and though he felt himself too weak to challenge Xetares, Aphas’ army was much less mobile. The Satar general was of course still convinced of his own invulnerability. Yet the Faronun felt that they could stand up to their enemies in a one on one battle, so long as they were able to keep the Satar cavalry advantage to a minimum. So Shafay marched down from the mountain passes on Subal, and his ships sent word to the Hu’ut generals, who marched north and waited to link up with him.

On the other hand, even with the newly recruited Hu’ut armies, the Faronun could only bring some fifteen thousand to bear; the Satar army was over twenty thousand strong. Shafay faced uphill odds; his only hope was to somehow take the Satar army off-guard. Quickly it became evident that this would be difficult. Brash as he was, Aphas was an experienced general, and the Satar army was surrounded by a cloud of scouts and outriders.

Aphas’ soon received word of the Faronun force moving towards him. With no small amount of glee, he left a large force to cover the city, and sent the rest of his army directly at the enemy. He arrived to find a fairly small enemy – less than he had been led to believe, arrayed on the forward slope of a wooded hill. Annoyed, for he knew the trees would break his arrow fire, he nonetheless ordered his forces forward. The enemy was outnumbered by such a margin that he needn’t worry.

The woods were dewy, and slick from a recent storm. As the Satar infantry charged uphill, urged on by their cavalry, it suddenly became evident that the Faronun were expecting aid, and sure enough, another line of infantry emerged from their hiding place behind the crest of the hill, surging down the slope. As their horns rang out, another set called from behind the Satar – those of the Hu’ut army, and Aphas knew instantly that he had walked into a trap.

Though many a lesser general would have been hopelessly ensnared, the Prince was able to keep a tight rein on his troops. Sending his cavalry at the Hu’ut army to harass them and delay their arrival as long as possible, he pushed onwards with his infantry towards the crest of the hill, driving the Faronun back through sheer weight of numbers. Shafay battled back by sending what limited cavalry he had around the Satar left, and this worked at least initially.

Shafay then pushed to link with the Hu’ut forces to the south, but Aphas was able to counter every move that he made; by nightfall still no decision had been reached.

The next day the fighting resumed, and this time it went decisively in favor of the Satar armies. Shafay, however, was able to withdraw his forces in good order, a determined stand by the rearguard preventing a devastating pursual by the Satar cavalry.

Indeed, Shafay made his way to the Had, thinking to threaten the Satar armies’ supply lines, but it became evident that the Satar had somehow contrived a combination of massive provisions and living off the land which ensured that even Faronun possession of the Had couldn’t starve them. At the same time, Aphas did not seem to be budging from his siege of Subal, and so Shafay made the logical move of securing the Had again.

By this time, Xetares had received word that his subordinate had abandoned the Had to besiege Subal. At another time, he might have been infuriated at Aphas’ brash attack, but Xetares liked eagerness and in any case realized he could use the extra troops. Summoning nearly half of Aphas’ army, he prepared to end the siege of Faron by smashing through the walls.

The Satar had brought Seshweay engineers along with them; meanwhile the Faron had their exiled brethren designing the defenses. The most ingenious devices of the world were arrayed on either side of the lines: catapults, battering rams, and all their ilk, finely machined and readied for war. The ramparts of Faron had been built up to a startling level, higher than anything except perhaps the walls of Magha, and full of numerous traps for the Satar cavalry.

At first, Xetares contemplated somehow blocking off the harbor. But it quickly became evident that it was far too wide to erect any kind of boom, and he did not quite have enough manpower to somehow build a mole to threaten the ships. Therefore any hope of starving out the enemy was extinguished: Faron would have to be taken by assault.

Heavy bombardment by both bow and catapult proceeded, with Xetares making every effort to clear the walls of defenders. But the Faron responded with catapults of their own, hidden in niches of the walls that were impossible to hit; the walls of the city were far too strong to batter down by thrown stones, but the catapults of the Satar were sitting ducks. Angered, Xetares ordered his soldiers forward to try and sap the walls, but an ingenious device of unknown nature pumped smoke into the tunnels of the sappers and drove them back, coughing, under a flight of arrows.

Seeing both his initial attempts fail, the First Prince ordered his rams forward to try and take the gates by storm. Massive stones and arrows pelted them, but the Satar covered their ram, and resumed the assault, and at the same time launched a general assault with ladders on the walls. The casualties were horrific, but the horde began to make headway and enter the city. At long last, the gates were breached and the Satar horde coursed into Faron, burning, pillaging, and ruining everything in sight.

The sack of Faron saw the destruction of one of the most beautiful and one of the largest cities in the world, and the sudden extinguishing of the most prominent intellectual tradition of the age. Certainly, Faron was not entirely centralized, and many, if not most, of the philosophers, playwrights, and artists escaped. But many of them were slain, and many of their greatest works were present in the city when they were hauled off to join the Satar baggage train, presumably to be used in the beautification of faraway Magha.

Even for those that remained, the city had often been a focal point of learning and inspiration. Many had produced their greatest works there, and many learned that their magnum opuses were carried away to furnish the halls of a zealous king – a terribly demoralizing blow.

The sheer human tragedy of it all surely tugged at people’s minds as well. Trovin and Faron had together been home to hundreds of thousands, and all these had perished in the burnings of their cities. Terrifying as they were, they incited the city of Subal to capitulate without even fighting to the Satar king as he moved westwards. It looked as though the Faronun civilization would be extinguished; the greatest culture of the world.

Yet Xetares could not press his advantage, for he received a most desperate message from the Sesh. Though Magha remained invulnerable to any probes or assaults that had been launched on it, the countryside around it had not been so fortunate. The garrison at Nikros in particular had been deeply weakened by the desperate effort by Isharia, High Oracle and governess of the Sesh in Xetares’ absence, to defend the city of Magha. Thus the lesser city had fallen, and with that the gates to the Sesh were open.

Possibly the situation could have been completely averted had Xetares broken off the siege of Faron earlier, but his camp had been so remote that the dispatches did not arrive until they were much too late to make much of a difference. Magha remained firm against the enemy, but everywhere else was falling. Tisatar was an easy conquest. On the other hand, Isharia had a strange knack for getting even subject populations to like her, and her surprisingly fair rule at home had endeared the population to her. Thus, despite everything, the Seshweay population somehow remained loyal.

The war had been won in Faron, at the cost of his homeland. But Xetares was not to be discouraged; he still had the greatest army in the world, and he was fully confident that should he catch the enemy in battle, he would utterly lay waste to them. So he left strong garrisons in Faron, and with twenty thousand men set out to retake his homeland.

Racing over the Senet Desert, galloping by the Had, not even pausing in Bisria, the Redeemer gave his soldiers no rest, and pushed them ever onwards, determined to catch the allied armies before they could flee home. As it happened, they had little intention of doing that. Third-Gaci realized that with his army occupying most of the Sesh, and being forty-five thousand strong, he would never find a more opportune time to fight the Satar.

Xetares’ army forded the Sesh under cover of darkness, slipping past the guards that Third-Gaci had placed, and thus it was on a fateful day in the year 125 by the Satar calendar that the two armies met.

Third-Gaci and his allies had deployed in a deep formation, but were still so numerous that they were easily able to match the length of their foe’s line. He placed himself at the head of the right flank under his best troops; War-Chief Kono led the left flank. In the middle were the vast host of Kratoan soldiers, led by their War-Chief Iltu (Bujokl had been struck down by a rather nasty disease earlier in the campaign), and though he had no illusions about their quality, their numbers were enough to make up for it.

Xetares knew his enemy’s deployment from his scouts, and shifted his forces to match it. He himself led the left flank, intending to attack and kill Third-Gaci in battle himself. His general Aphas would lead the middle, intending to cut through the middle of the Kratoan line. The left he stuffed with more of his cavalry, but the leader was a name forgotten to history. His was a daring plan: after he slew the Moti Chief of Chiefs, he would be able to break their right entirely; he could thus plunge into the flank of the Kratoan mass even as Aphas cut into it, and at least half the allied army would be wiped out.

The day was hot and muggy, with a hint of a storm in the air.

Elephants thundered towards the Satar right, fearsome beasts, well armed and armored. Steppe cavalry, as hardened as they were, could not easily withstand this menace. Their horses were frightened to the point of nearly fleeing themselves by the smell of the beasts, and though Xetares had made n effort to acclimatize them, he had mostly focused on his own noble cavalry corps. The steppe cavalry had no such training, and by nature fell back, reverting to the tried and true tactic of harassing their opponents with showers of arrows; the Moti raised their shields and plowed onwards.

The center was an even more ambiguous affair, for Aphas charged straight into the heart of the enemy, laying waste wherever he went. The sight of the Satar in their death-masks was too much for many a Kratoan infantryman to bear, and they began to come dangerously close to breaking, when Iltu rallied his men. The center of the allied armies began to bow out under the pressure of the Satar advance, and it soon became evident that this was by design: the allies planned to envelop the enemy, to deny him the space to maneuver, and hopefully then crush him.

This was, of course, entirely contingent on the battle for the allied right. Xetares charged into battle as expected, but before him were the Satar’s own elephant corps, and around him were a personal guard of one hundred Argai, elite warriors who had dedicated their entire lives to combat, and were superb at any form of it. These forces thundered into a crack line of Bisrian infantry, who formed a phalanx of pikes that seemed nearly impregnable. But Xetares ordered forward his elephants again, who broke the infantry line only to clash with their Moti brethren.

As the great beasts came together in their titanic struggle, the mere mortals struggled in the dust around them. Xetares was untouchable, thanks to his bodyguard; anyone who dared to come near him was quickly dispatched. Third-Gaci quickly realized this, and ordered part of his elephant corps (for he had many more than the Satar horde) to break off and attack the Argai with arrow and spear. Though the Argai were able to eventually wound and panic many of the elephants, they still suffered large casualties in doing so.

On the allied left, Kono ordered his troops to halt, mystifying the Satar, who continued to harass them. Suddenly they broke and ran, and the steppe cavalry began, cautiously, to move forwards; at a signal the allies turned and charged back at the enemy. At this second elephant charge, the Satar again gave way, but this time the Moti allowed them no breathing space, and followed hard on their heels. At the same time, soldiers from the Church of Iralliam swept around the enemy flank and began the envelopment on their side.

We turn then to the battle on the Satar left, where Xetares continued his attack, trying with all his might to find Third-Gaci. The Chief-of-Chiefs avoided the confrontation as best he could, knowing that he could not best Xetares in a melee. But this, if prolonged, could seriously dishearten his soldiers, and he did not intend it to end that way.

At this point, the Satar elephant corps fled the field entirely, but the allied elephants, too, were beginning to panic. All could be lost, for Third-Gaci knew his elephant screen was all that protected him from the near-certain death that would come should the Argai attack him. So he detached thousands of men from his center and sent them under cover further to his right, in the reeds of the riverbank. At the same time he began to pull his own soldiers back.

Xetares took the bait and plunged forward, but at the last possible moment noticed the forces in the marshland and turned to destroy them. Third-Gaci had not intended this, but realized that it worked all the same; with Xetares’ attention diverted, he sent more men forward to push the Satar into the mud of the river, literally bogging them down; he himself relocated to the center of the line, where one of his elephants dealt Aphas a shattering blow, killing him instantly.

With this, the center of the Satar line began to give way, and their right was already being rolled up by the advancing Moti troops. Suddenly the battlefield became a death-trap: though many of the Satar troops were able to escape northwards, more than half were slaughtered as they were pushed into the swirling Sesh, which had through the day grown more strident in its flow, and was beginning to swell over the banks – this due to the storm, which was advancing northwards over the land and had fallen first on the southern parts of the river.

It was thus in the rain and flooding that the Battle of the Reeds was concluded. The Argai, though slaying many tens of men for each of their own number, perished to a man. To their credit, Xetares did not perish until every one of them was slain; he himself fought like a madman, and it was said that only arrows brought him down, his heavily bejeweled body lost forever in the rising waters, floating downstream and into the north.

The Satar army had disintegrated. With it, the empire that the Satar had built so painstakingly fell to pieces. The Had was seized almost entirely by the Hu’ut, the Faronun recovered their capital (though a small garrison at Subal still held out), and the Sesh was halfway in the hands of the Moti – though the other half remained under the rule of High Oracle Isharia. Magha, on the other hand, remained firm in its resistance -- its granaries large, and its fortification still regarded as impregnable. But though the city would live on, the Exatai was shattered into many pieces.

In truth, the Satar had not been completely destroyed. Like any steppe tribe, they seemingly could not be exterminated, and so they fled northwards. Strangely, though, they were to rally around the last figure of command left – the daughter of Xephaion, High Oracle, Ishalia. Whether she would be able to lead them to some other future remained to be seen, for the Satar were unsure of how to deal with this: a woman in a position of power!

And thus we arrive at the end of this tumultuous period; all sides involved were now much the poorer for men and treasure. Krato had seen many tens of thousands of its men die in the expeditions northwards, not of any particular battle so much as hunger and disease. Moti had seen Bisria utterly ravaged, and though they had conquered much of the Sesh, they had lost much in return, and still the Delta and Magha held out against them. The Algoli Exatai, nearly forgotten by all its neighbors, were now fighting a desperate struggle against another barbarian tribe. The Trilui had lost their capital and seemed set to lose their empire. And even the Faron had their countryside devastated and much of their hard work rebuilding the Hu’ut nation now wasted.

Even the victors were hardly left much time to savor their conquests. Krato began to fracture the moment the battle had been fought. The Duroc, possibly organized by some outside force, had finally risen, claiming some sort of grievance or other (probably true, as they had been largely surpassed in social standing by the Uggor), and there were some hints that the easternmost parts of the empire might breakaway. It was not a terribly strong rebellion, but it would be difficult to fight.

The Moti were stuck with a larger empire than even they had dreamed possible, but should they hold onto it – no guarantee, for it was doubtful that they could make themselves better liked than the Satar had – they would face a very difficult time integrating it.

But the victors could count themselves lucky in one thing. They had emerged from this great battle and survived.
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Last edited by North King; Mar 21, 2009 at 02:39 AM.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 02:34 AM   #1633
North King
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NPC Diplomacy

A regal and richly dressed envoy arrives in the western lands of the Algoli Exatai, and is taken before the chief himself. Bowing low before his host, he announces that he is from a great and mighty empire: that of the Dulama. Conqueror of many lands, the Emperor would be most pleased to receive the allegiance of the Algoli, whom he would accept as a vassal to guard his eastern borders, so that in return he could offer them assistance as their lord and master.

Likewise, an envoy arrives in similar fashion in the realm of the Krato, saying that he has traveled for many leagues down the Yensai. He is from the Empire of the Dulama, a nation of many great warriors. They have heard of the realm of Krato, and for now are willing to leave them be, should they promise never to expand up the Yensai into the lands the Emperor regards as rightfully his.


Maps:


Political Map.


City Map.

OOC:

A reminder to everyone that if some of your cities lack names on the city map, you should name them. Otherwise, I will end up doing it, and not only are my names pretty terrible when I have to come up with a whole slew of them (see the nations to the east of Opulensi if you don’t believe me), but I will also probably be somewhat annoyed. That also goes for place names, though it’s less crucial. I prefer a list of names to pick from, so I can take the best-sounding ones. Well, the ones that sound best to me.

A general comment – if you think you can squeeze a second campaign out of a turn, feel free. This was supposed to be a fifty year turn, enough for at least three campaigns, but all the participants in the Satar war detailed only one, so I cut the turn length considerably. And made the one campaign the decisive one, fancy that.

Sorry that the cultural bits of the update got shafted. I’m actually starting to prefer writing them over the wars, but it’s rather necessary to give blow-by blow accounts of the war, simply because they deal with the fates of player nations in a very immediate fashion.

If it’s not hilariously obvious, I didn’t do stats yet, or story bonuses. I will do these when I feel like it. The next update will probably be in May, in all honesty, so I can’t see what a couple day’s delay will do.
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Last edited by North King; Mar 21, 2009 at 02:40 AM.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 02:37 AM   #1634
North King
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Uh oh... Need to revise something. Just a moment.

Revised. This update was a real pain. I hope you enjoy.
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Last edited by North King; Mar 21, 2009 at 02:41 AM.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 03:20 AM   #1635
Thlayli
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What an excellent update, NK.

OOC, I congratulate Krato on a well orchestrated backstab, and Moti on a well orchestrated attack.

In character, the High Oracle Ishalia invites the great Princes of the Moti to speak with her on terms of peace. Having proved themselves the stronger and slain the Redeemer, the Moti are victors by right.

We owe the Moti our fealty, and our respect.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 03:49 AM   #1636
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Um.

Okay, I'll find the time to read all of this a bit later today. In the meantime, I should note that this is the second time in this NES that I won and overwhelmingly at that without expecting to or preparing for it. Should I throw my favourite ring out into the ocean or something now?

Anyway, I guess I'll pretty much have to build that world empire after all. *sigh*

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Last edited by das; Mar 21, 2009 at 06:39 AM.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 05:08 AM   #1637
Dachs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by das View Post
Should I throw my favourite ring out into the ocean or something now?
lurker's comment: Dunno how many people are going to get the Polykrates joke dude. I liked it tho.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 05:16 AM   #1638
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Awesome Update!
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 07:35 AM   #1639
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You back stabbing Thlayli
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 08:57 AM   #1640
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That was awesome, thank you North King.
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