Northwestern Rage Military Conflict in Beourjen | World Anvil
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Northwestern Rage

Vladica, 1412

At noon, Warlord Tevaegar Daeravitch laughed one last time. His son had made a bitter joke, about the state of the city or some such imminent tragedy, and Tevaegar had laughed, coughing and sputtering bile along with it. Then, miraculously considering his depleted strength, he'd placed his bedblade in the boy's palm and muttered a plea to Axen with his final breath.

By dusk, Warlord Kezren Daeravitch could see the Ethanian's camp from the westmost city battlements. His Second said the Aveaan camp could be seen on the eastern horizon. Neither side knew that the other was so close—Vladica was seated so as to just block each view—but both armies would continue toward toward the city bent on seige. By his Second's estimate, they would both reach its walls overmorrow.

Kezren was still a boy; he had been Warlord for all of eight hours. By all conceivable possibilities, he should have lost his city by the week's end.


The third Northwestern Trade had been swelling for five years, and the churning whirlpool that had first kicked up at the far longitudinal borders had at this point driven into the near center. The other two major cities of Jzarmille, Rauszec and Attalux, had been reduced to fetid, bloodied squallors through the past few months' sufferings of war and pillaging, and Vladica was the final heart of Jzarmillan hegemony to be ravaged.

The Ethanians had tried to break through the week prior, but Vladica's walls were strong and its army—though tested and battered by the dominating Trades of the past century—was a willful force when it came to the defense of their final throne.

Of course, a week ago they had still had their leader.

The Beourjen Army

The key piece to note concerning the period leading up to the Rage is that while Beourjen had backed the Aveaans throughout the Third Northwestern Trade, the decision to do so was by no means a popular one outside of Sophre. The Confederacy had remained mostly neutral throughout both the First and Second
Vladica is a monolith of a city but by the eve of the Rage, forty percent of Jzarmille had sought refuge inside. And not just its people; mammoths cracked the streetstones with their tracks, dogs curled in front of butcher shops while wild bitches hung flayed in the windows just above. Feces clogged the gutters, and men tore at each others limbs for water from the wells.
— Essina Pastigarde
Trades, and the decision to support Avar effectively came down to external pressures to pick a side in the wars, and their "begrudging and hypocritical hatred of Ethana" (Hephadron Tiergarn II, 1523).

While no one in Beourjen wanted to support the Ethanians, they were deeply wary of the divine implications of the Aveaan Empress as well. The Beourjen Army High Commander at the time, Avira Baskle, had let her desire for wealth and expansion outweigh her skepticism, which is why Beourjen eventually ended up allying with the Aveaans, but many of her generals—Petrev Marnise in particular—were more acquainted with the lasting effects of a zealous tyrant wanting to scrape across an entire civilization.

General Petrev Marnise

He had awoken the night before to a strange creature off in the distance. Its eyes portruded from its head, it bared its fangs with a kind of predator gaze usually only reserved for tales of horror, and it swayed and stepped with a limp.

"No," the general whispered, but his voice was carried away by a thin breeze, and the wind carried back from the monster: "Yes. The traitor beckons, and you must answer its call."

It's assumed that General Marnise was contacted by someone from Vladica or Rauszec—possibly the late Vladican warlord himself before he passed—however there's no proof of this, nor is there much guess as to why he decided on that particular night. It is well-known that he disliked High Commander Baskle and that he'd managed, by that point, to convince much of the Beourjen Army into a similar stance. But ultimately, what drove him to action is still a mystery.

He had awoken the night before to her soft, mewling cries. He didn't often give credence to his whores' troubles, but he did hers. "What's wrong?" and she stepped and swayed before falling into his waiting arms.

"It's not right." Her voice was like a thin breeze, gentle, caressing. "You're fighting for the wrong side. For the wrong things." And the general shushed her, and carried her back to the bed.

The Betrayal

The night of Ostlaet 31st, General Marnise led his men in a surprise attack against their Aveaan and Sovrik allies. To call it a battle would be misconstrued—Marnise's orders were to wound widely but nonlethally and while the West Beourjens were far outnumbered, most of the Aveaans were inebriated and asleep. Those Beourjens who defected were already set on a fast march into the night before the Aveaans even knew what had happened. There was little the Aveaans could do even once they gained their bearings. Order was not to be restored in such a short span, and many of their wounds would end up lethal without immediate care.

To Vladica

Marnise led his soldiers steadily across the plains through the rest of the night and the following day. According to the men they stopped an hour after dusk that night, and were marching once more an hour before dawn the next morning. It was a long, arduous trek but morale was high now that they'd broken from the Aveaans, and they were almost to Vladica.

Let us call it for what it is. Petrev Marnise arrived at Vladica to see a child presiding over it, and is it not easier, both physically as well as on the moral conscious, to simply steal from a child than to wage war against one? He took advantage—and now hundreds, thousands, of children from Vladica are under Beourjen 'protection.'
— Joseph Latven


The Vladicans had seen them coming of course, but their appearance and formation had puzzled the orvon. They came from the Aveaan base, but there were no bronzed, skirted soldiers among their ranks. The Vladicans knew of these southerners; they did not expect them at their gates. Nor did they expect their leader to request civil audience with their young warlord. Kezren was advised to acquiesce but to be cautious; Jzarmille knew very little of the Beourjens at the time of the Third Trade apart from the concerning fact that they had a large army, and they had kept it long secluded until recently.

Setting Up for Battle

Dealing with Ethana

While the Aveaans had been impaired for at least a couple days, neither General Marnise nor Kezren knew for certain of the state of the Ethanian's army and camp. They sought to err on the side of caution (in hindsight, this was a smart decision on their part and perhaps was the final tilt that veered the tide of war), and Marnise came up with an idea for how they might impede the Ethanians before they even arrived at Vladica's gates.

Marnise didn't know their numbers, or their weaponry, or how they fared or any of that, but he knew the weather. He could see where they were, and it was dry and hot. His plan was for Kezren to send a man with plea of surrender, take a wagon with several barrels of fresh water, and bread and meat, to convince the Ethanians to spare the orvon's lives when they took Vladica. Vladica could scarcely spare such offerings, but Marnise assured Kezren it would be worth it.

So Kezren sent a man, and the Ethanians accepted their surrender. They spread the food and water amongst themselves, and Kezren's man returned to Vladica with a small Ethanian retinue that would see Kezren's surrender and lay their claim to the city personally.

The retinue was slaughtered by Marnise's men upon arrival. Several days later, as the Ethanian Army made their way to Vladica, they were hit with a violent wave of dehydration and diarrhea that no amount of water would ever be able to sate.
by mirescosmo

The Rage

Initial Assault

Early on Ostlaet 36th the Aveaans arrived. Unaware of the alliance made between the Beourjens and Vladicans, the Aveaans set to breaking through the gate without expecting much resistance. The Ethanians were not far behind them—a few hours at most, but the Aveaans assumed that they would beseige Vladica with little to no resistance, and then easily repel the Ethanians upon the other army's arrival.

What happened was markedly different. Upon arriving at Vladica's gates, they were met with not only a small contention of Marnise's soldiers but also Warlord Kezren's own revived fervor. About half of the Aveaan infantry managed to weasle their way through the gates, consequentially thinning out their lines. Then they realized their mistake.

The city of Vladica rests on a slight hill, with the gates at the near bottom opening out to a triangular courtyard. Somehow before the battle, Kezren had managed to completely empty this courtyard area of civilians, giving what little semblance of cavalry he could scrounge up a sprint down the two main roads leading into the city. While they pummeled straight through the center of the Aveaan's infantry and cavalry lines with the aid of gravity, their infantry—in formation along the edges of Vladica's southern wall—attacked the Aveaan's side.

Ethanian Arrival

The Ethanians arrived about a half hour after the first blood had been spilled. They were extremely weak but still under the impression that Vladica had surrendered to them and, seeing only a small number of Aveaans outside the gate, saw an opportunity and attacked the back lines.

The Rage lasted no more than another half hour after that. The bodies were piling up at the gates, preventing the back lines from pushing through into the city, and the Ethanians managed some small amount of damage from the back before they were put down by the Aveaans and Beourjen archers up above.

End of Battle

The Ethanians soon retreated after realizing that the Vladicans did not in fact plan on surrendering to them, though at that point there were few surviving Ethanians at all. The Aveaans surrendered to Marnise and Kezren, and Marnise graciously let High Commander Baskle herself return to Beourjen with her private guards to deliver the outcome of the war.

The bodies were all burned soonafter, whether those of ally or enemy soldiers. This wasn't standard practice of either the Beourjens or orvon but Marnise and Kezren did not want to risk whatever had affected the Ethanian soldiers tainting their land or, by miasma, their peoples.
The surrendered Aveaans were taken prisoner by Kezren, many to be ransomed back to the Empress later on. Marnise and the Beourjen Army, now somewhat unified again, stayed at Vladica for another two weeks to recover and aid in Vladica's recuperation, and then returned to Beourjen leaving behind a small Beourjen unit in alliance with Kezren's own burgeoning army.


The results of the Northwestern Rage, and the Trades as a whole, were sorted out over the next several decades among a number of involved organizations. Ultimately, Jzarmille and the orvon dominions would remain under rule of its warlords, and Kezren in particular would rebuild Vladica to a pillar of glory that it had not seen in over a century.

Marnise remained a general in the Beourjen Army for the remainder of his military career, though many expected him to become its High Commander after Avira Baskle stepped down. Warlord Kezren Daeravitch ruled Vladica and its surrounding lands for several decades after the Rage, much of his focus on stabilizing Vladica's foundation and defenses in case of another war like the Trades.
Ostlae 31-36, 1412

Conflict Type
Part of Vladica Campaign
Vladica, Jzarmille

Beourjen (West) and Vladican victory
Armistace Negotiations
Brickard Trade Agreement
Aveaan Protectorate
Jzarmillan Reservations
Ostlaet 31
Beourjen (West)

Beourjen (East)

Ostlaet 34
Beourjen (West)


Ostlaet 36
Beourjen (W)
Beourjen (E)

Jzarmille (Ostlaet, 1412)

The Ethanian Army
The other important note to mention concerns the Ethanian Army. King Hestian Tiergarn was a decent king and a competent commander, but the Trades had emptied over half of their treasury and taken nearly as high a percentage of their soldiers. More recently, and more crucially to the impending turn in war, the campaigning army was becoming drained of water—Ostlaet is the middle of dry season, and most of Jzarmille was in a drought.

Ostlaet 31st

I must confess that tonight, in the most sinister and dishonest of all our battles thus far, I felt as though we were breaking free of a chokehold. Weeks now we have been biding our time, leeching from Attalux along with the Aveaans and pretending that we are loyal to High Commander Baskle. But now? Now I shall no longer lie awake wondering if, at the end, we will become thralls of the Empress. Marnise fights for Beourjen and only Beourjen, and I fight for such as well.

Ethanians en Route
The Ethanian Army was marching toward Vladica, albeit slowly, and an outlining of the trajectories by which they and the Beourjens took to the city suggests that they would have spotted the Beourjens sometime during the afternoon on Ostlaet 32nd.


What General Marnise said to Kezren to convince him to ally with the Beourjens for the remainder of the Trade can only be speculated upon, though it's doubtful it would've taken much convincing for Kezren to accept the Beourjen's aid. As it was, neither of them stood a chance individually at surviving the onslaught that would inevitably reach them. Nonetheless, they came out of their discussion having laid out an embryonic draft of terms for allyship that would, several decades later, lead to the Brickard Trade Agreements.

Aveaans en Route
The Aveaans (and Sovrik half of the Beourjen Army) took several days to recuperate after the betrayal. They needed to, for their health and morale at least, and they doubted the defected Beourjens would be able to lay seige to Vladica successfully. They set out again for Vladica on Ostlaet 34th.

Most accounts tell of him slipping something into the vats of water. A serum, blood, even piss. People came up with other details too. That he called on the gods, that he was heard murmuring incantations over the barrels, that he sacrificed one of his men for it to work.
— Annalist Berra Falkren

Rallying Vladica
The day before the Rage, Kezren delivered a fiery speech in the center of Vladica's market. He rallied his people with the compelling narrative of a nation whose very soul was the great, orc god, and whose people beat and bled with the blood of the fearless liberators before them. Better to die in valiant strife, Kezren said, than to be taken prisoner once more.

Kezren would give many other speeches throughout his career as warlord, but his people would remember this one long after. At the cusp of their darkest hour he'd found some buried sliver of strength within his people, and he had turned them from sitting ducks to defending soldiers. But it was a striking speech too because he was so young; some might argue too young to have composed such a riveting speech.

A battlefield is an inherently dirty landscape, but the aftermath of the Rage was supposedly the worst in all the Trades. The sheer amount of released dysentry from the already sickened Ethanian soldiers, the straight butchering of the Aveaans, all packed into a space no bigger than an amphitheatre. It surpassed the accumulated putridity of Vladica without question.
— Essina Pastigarde

Rauszec and Attalux
Rauszec, having been desecrated by the Ethanians earlier in the war, took even longer to recover than Vladica, and Kezren and Marnise both sent men and supplies to aid them in rebuilding their city. They did eventually return to their former strength, however the war's stains would forever marr their grounds, and they both rely on and are subjected to Beourjen moreso than the other two Jzarmillan cities.

Attalux more easily recovered after the Aveaans rescinded their hold over the city. With the river nearby and aid from Armistace arriving almost immediately after the war's end, they were able to quickly turn and play a pivotal role in spreading food and supplies throughout the rest of Jzarmille.

Cover image: by Charles Parrocel


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