TheoriThe Humiliation of the Rhoynish
#1
The Humiliation of the Rhoynish: Essharan's Conquest of the Rhoynur 1650-1653


The Conquest of Rhoynur, often colloquially referred to as Grimmore's Campaign or 'The Humiliation of the Rhoynish', began after a historically unprecedented increase in Rhoynish raids into Essharan territory. While the mercenary peoples had been raiding the border towns of Esshar since the reign of King Kroisos I 'the Idle' Petrakis -his lack of proper response to the raids being the origin of his nickname- relatively frequently, the Summer of 1650 was marked by the invasion of the Rhoynish as far as Hessalia, a minor city several kilometres from the border. Hessalia, unprepared for a siege surrendered to the Rhoynish within a week, after which the Rhoynish sacked the city and the surrounding area, razing several nearby towns and putting the majority of the population to the sword.

The response in the capital was quick and decisive. Queen Ariadni II, not wanting to be seen as a new Idle Queen, declared this as the straw that broke the camel's back; Esshar henceforth declared war upon the Nation of Rhoynur. The army was rallied at the Constellus Fortress, and under the command of a First Light detachment headed by prominent nobleman and Lightbringer Ardes Grimmore marched for Hessalia, where the Rhoynish army was encamped nearby.

Three days after arriving outside Hessalia, the Lightbringer put into action a brilliant strategy; marshalling the army into position at dawn, the First Light lived up to their name, leading the Essharan forces down a hill on the eastern side of the Rhoynish camp in a devastating cavalry charge as the sun rose, the reflection of its light -bolstered by Light magic- off of the armour of the knights blinding those few Rhoynish who were able to put together a ramshackle defense. Even so, the Rhoynish army rallied, and a hard fought battle began that several military theorists have suggested only resulted in victory due to Ardes Grimmore's use of the Crimson Cosmic ability to keep his men invigorated as the Rhoynish began to tire. The Battle of the Red Sunrise, as it is now known, was a decisive Essharan victory that threw the Rhoynish invasion into disarray barely months after it had begun. Around eight thousand Rhoynish lay dead as midday came, and by nightfall the raiders had fractured, splitting off into dozens of smaller groups. On the Essharan side, less than half that had been slain.

Although the first battle of the campaign was a success, the war was far from over. Indeed, the Battle of the Red Sunrise was a mixed blessing, as although the raiders main force was broken, those Rhoynish who survived scattered across the Essharan countryside, continuing their pillaging at whatever village or town they came across, although they no longer had the combined strength to lay siege to even a small city. The Lightbringer had also split the army, sending men to garrison any city believed in danger of an attack, whilst his main force continued to chase groups of Rhoynish raiders. While the strategic skill Grimmore had shown was notable, the struggle of catching up to several smaller, more agile forces caused considerable delays in the conflict, and it wasn't until the autumn of 1651 that the Rhoynish could truly be considered fully repelled from the Kingdom.

However, just because the raiding parties had been defeated did not mean the war was over. At the counsel of several advisors, including several letters sent to her by Ardes Grimmore himself, Queen Ariadni II put forth a motion to invade the Rhoynur Tribelands to the Essharan parliament. Supported by the Loyalist faction headed by House Grimmore, and with the war enjoying popular support amongst the people, the motion passed almost unanimously. Lightbringer Grimmore was retained as the Commander of the campaign, and three more detachments of First Light Knights were sent to the front to bolster the army. Recruitment into the military peaked at a new modern record shortly after the announcement, and in the Spring of 1651 the Essharan army marched across the border into the Tribelands.

The Rhoynish military had been substantially drained by the resounding defeat suffered by the raiders at the Battle of the Red Sunrise, but its people were renowned for being hardy and unafraid of combat, a reputation that they proved true as the Essharan military advanced. The soldiers of Esshar were confident in victory; after all, they'd mainly been fighting the Rhoynish on Essharan ground, where they had been trained. Rhoynur was very different. Supply caravans disappeared overnight, messages were intercepted, and constant guerilla attacks by the Rhoynish bogged down the Essharan advance for weeks at a time. 

The Lightbringer had split the army into three smaller forces in order to strike at multiple targets at once; this led to disaster when a falsified set of orders were delivered to the force under Radiant Antikles Floros, instructing him to relieve the garrison at Fort Ardes, which had been built inside the Tribelands as a logistics centre for the war effort. When Floros' force marched through a nearby forest, it was ambushed by a Rhoynish force that killed several hundred soldiers -including Floros himself- before disappearing into the woods as if they'd never been there.

Even so, Lightbringer Grimmore was unrelenting, and despite numerous delays and several costly battles, in late Summer of 1653 his army reached Rhoynur. As the Rhoynish civilisation was largely nomadic -the capital city of Rhoynur being the only permanent settlement in the Tribelands- laying siege to the capital was of even greater importance than such an event in a feudal country. Unlike the Essharan monarchy, which had fled to Osrona in 693 when the summer capital of Nuburg was put under siege, Rhoynur's entire government was centralised in their capital -including the Generals organising the guerilla attacks. However, it did mean that the Rhoynish city was very well supplied, and the Lighbringer rightfully expected a long siege. 

This initially seemed to be the case, as the Essharan army, despite desiring a quick end to the war were forced to winter outside of Rhoynur's walls. Fortunately, the presence of a fair number of Fire magi prevented the cold from taking too many lives. The same could not be said for hunger, however, as continuing guerilla raids by the Rhoynish interrupted Essharan supply lines relatively frequently, and often for prolonged stretches of time. It is estimated roughly three hundred soldiers succumbed to illness exacberated by malnourishment. Even so, the Lightbringer brought an end to the siege when he, along with a First Light striketeam infiltrated the capital at night and captured the Rhoynish King and his immediate heir. Faced with the threat of their summary execution, the Rhoynish government surrendered the city to the Essharans, signalling what was effectively the end of the war. 

Lightbringer Grimmore personally escorted the Rhoynish King across the border at the head of the army, which -sans a sizable occupation force left behind in Rhoynur- marched back to Hessalia, seen as a site of symbolic importance in the war. In spring of 1653 the Treaty of Hessalia was signed by the Rhoynish King and Queen Ariadni II, formally annexing the land and people of Rhoynur into the Kingdom of Esshar. The treaty stipulated the indentured servitude of many of the Rhoynish people -census results indicating roughly thirty five thousand- as war reparations, and outlawed their cultural raiding practices.

The end of the war resulted in a surge in the popularity of Queen Ariadni II, allowing several of her bills to pass through parliament and into law. Additionally, Ardes Grimmore returned to Osrona a war hero, and enjoyed a significantly increased degree of influence in the royal court. Whilst the people of Rhoynur were defeated, their spirit remained unbroken, and several terrorist groups operated in the time after the war in an attempt to bring as much chaos to Esshar as possible. Notably, within two years of the Treaty being signed, there were at least four assassination attempts on both Ardes Grimmore and Queen Ariadni II.
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#2
Very good!

A few edits, mostly at the start. If you're fine with them then feel free to add this to timeline on the wiki.

Quote:The Conquest of Rhoynur, often colloquially referred to as Grimmore's Campaign or 'The First and Final Defeat of the Rhoynish', began in 1650AC after a historically unprecedented increase in Rhoynish raids into Essharan territory, and ended just three years after. It followed ten years after the death of the beloved king Aris Petrakis, who was murdered by Aldaren Syagros, an influential and mysterious titan of a criminal who's rumored to be the lover of the witch. Ariandi Petrakis II, the reigning monarch and daughter of Aris, charged the Lightbringer Ardes Grimmore to deal with the threat as an opportunity to regain his honor after failing to defend her father and losing an arm and leg in the process.

While the mercenary peoples had been raiding the border towns of Esshar since the reign of King Kroisos I 'the Idle' Petrakis -his lack of proper response to the raids being the origin of his nickname- relatively frequently, in hit and run attacks, the Summer of 1650 was marked by the invasion of the Rhoynish as far as Hessalia, a minor city several kilometres from the border. Hessalia, unprepared for a siege surrendered to the Rhoynish within a week, after which the Rhoynish sacked the city and the surrounding area, razing several nearby towns and putting the majority of the population to the sword.

The response in the capital was quick and decisive. Queen Ariadni II declared this as the straw that broke the camel's back; Esshar henceforth was at war with the Nation of Rhoynur. The army was rallied at the Constellus Fortress, and under the command of a First Light detachment headed by prominent nobleman and Lightbringer Ardes  marched for Hessalia, where the Rhoynish army was encamped nearby.

Three days after arriving outside Hessalia, the Lightbringer put into action a brilliant strategy; marshalling the army into position at dawn, the First Light lived up to their name, leading the Essharan forces down a hill on the eastern side of the Rhoynish camp in a devastating cavalry charge as the sun rose, the reflection of its light -bolstered by Light magic- off of the armour of the knights blinding those few Rhoynish who were able to put together a ramshackle defense. Even so, the Rhoynish army rallied, and a hard fought battle began that several military theorists have suggested only resulted in victory due to Ardes Grimmore's use of an invigoring, crimson cosmic technique that swept over the fields of battle and renewed his men as the Rhoynish began to tire. The Battle of the Red Sunrise, as it is now known, was a decisive Essharan victory that threw the Rhoynish invasion into disarray barely months after it had begun. Around eight thousand Rhoynish lay dead as midday came, and by nightfall the raiders had fractured, splitting off into dozens of smaller groups. On the Essharan side, less than half that had been slain.

Although the first battle of the campaign was a success, the war was far from over. Indeed, the Battle of the Red Sunrise was a mixed blessing, as although the raiders main force was broken, those Rhoynish who survived scattered across the Essharan countryside, continuing their pillaging at whatever village or town they came across, although they no longer had the combined strength to lay siege to even a small city. The Lightbringer had also split the army, sending men to garrison any city believed in danger of an attack, whilst his main force continued to chase groups of Rhoynish raiders. While the strategic skill Grimmore had shown was notable, the struggle of catching up to several smaller, more agile forces caused considerable delays in the conflict, and it wasn't until the autumn of 1651 that the Rhoynish could truly be considered fully repelled from the Kingdom.

However, just because the raiding parties had been defeated did not mean the war was over. At the counsel of several advisors, including several letters sent to her by Ardes Grimmore himself, Queen Ariadni II put forth a motion to invade the Rhoynur Tribelands to the Essharan parliament. Supported by the Loyalist faction headed by House Grimmore, and with the war enjoying popular support amongst the people, the motion passed almost unanimously. Lightbringer Grimmore was retained as the Commander of the campaign, and three more detachments of First Light Knights were sent to the front to bolster the army. Recruitment into the military peaked at a new modern record shortly after the announcement, and in the Spring of 1651 the Essharan army marched across the border into the Tribelands.

The Rhoynish military had been substantially drained by the resounding defeat suffered by the raiders at the Battle of the Red Sunrise, but its people were renowned for being hardy and unafraid of combat, a reputation that they proved true as the Essharan military advanced. The soldiers of Esshar were confident in victory; after all, they'd mainly been fighting the Rhoynish on Essharan ground, where they had been trained. Rhoynur was very different. Supply caravans disappeared overnight, messages were intercepted, and constant guerilla attacks by the Rhoynish bogged down the Essharan advance for weeks at a time.

The Lightbringer had split the army into three smaller forces in order to strike at multiple targets at once; this led to disaster when a falsified set of orders were delivered to the force under Radiant Antikles Floros, instructing him to relieve the garrison at Fort Ardes, which had been built inside the Tribelands as a logistics centre for the war effort. When Floros' force marched through a nearby forest, it was ambushed by a Rhoynish force that killed several hundred soldiers -including Floros himself- before disappearing into the woods as if they'd never been there.

Even so, Lightbringer Grimmore was unrelenting, and despite numerous delays and several costly battles, in late Summer of 1653 his army reached Rhoynur. As the Rhoynish civilisation was largely nomadic -the capital city of Rhoynur being the only permanent settlement in the Tribelands- laying siege to the capital was of even greater importance than such an event in a feudal country. Unlike the Essharan monarchy, which had fled to Osrona in 693 when the summer capital of Nuburg was put under siege, Rhoynur's entire government was centralised in their capital -including the Generals organising the guerilla attacks. However, it did mean that the Rhoynish city was very well supplied, and the Lighbringer rightfully expected a long siege.

This initially seemed to be the case, as the Essharan army, despite desiring a quick end to the war were forced to winter outside of Rhoynur's walls. Fortunately, the presence of a fair number of Fire magi prevented the cold from taking too many lives. The same could not be said for hunger, however, as continuing guerilla raids by the Rhoynish interrupted Essharan supply lines relatively frequently, and often for prolonged stretches of time. It is estimated roughly three hundred soldiers succumbed to illness exacberated by malnourishment. Even so, the Lightbringer brought an end to the siege when he, along with a First Light striketeam infiltrated the capital at night and captured the Rhoynish King and his immediate heir. Faced with the threat of their summary execution, the Rhoynish government surrendered the city to the Essharans, signalling what was effectively the end of the war.

Lightbringer Grimmore personally escorted the Rhoynish King across the border at the head of the army, which -sans a sizable occupation force left behind in Rhoynur- marched back to Hessalia, seen as a site of symbolic importance in the war. In spring of 1653 the Treaty of Hessalia was signed by the Rhoynish King and Queen Ariadni II, formally annexing the land and people of Rhoynur into the Kingdom of Esshar. The treaty stipulated the indentured servitude of many of the Rhoynish people -census results indicating roughly thirty five thousand- as war reparations, and outlawed their cultural raiding practices.

The end of the war resulted in a surge in the popularity of Queen Ariadni II, allowing several of her bills to pass through parliament and into law. Additionally, Ardes Grimmore returned to Osrona a war hero and redeemed, and enjoyed a significantly increased degree of influence in the royal court. Whilst the people of Rhoynur were defeated, their spirit remained unbroken, and several terrorist groups operated in the time after the war in an attempt to bring as much chaos to Esshar as possible. Notably, within two years of the Treaty being signed, there were at least four assassination attempts on high ranking officials within the kingdom.
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