War of Retribution
This article is a work-in-progress. The War of Retribution occurred between early in the 304th year of the Second Age and continued into early into the 306th. It was triggered by the disappearance of the Cambrian Duchess Lady Pengrove following her visit to the elf-allied territory of Naserine's Echo and was directly responsible for the secession of North Cambria, the death of Lord Thornwood as Duke Regent of Cambria, the disappearance of Lady Pengrove, and the dissolution of the southern half of Cambria into independent city-states.
Tensions before WarTensions between Cambria and Melorn had been rising for some six months prior to official declarations of war. The Cambrian population was growing unwieldy and their resources scarce while the elven territory was lush with natural resources and sparsely-inhabited (after the typical elven fashion). In an effort to sooth these rising tensions, the newly-instated and self-appointed negotiator city-state of Naserine's Echo invited delegates from all neighbouring provinces to a festive tournament in the light winter snows early in the 304th year. After an Inevitable locked the city-state into an impenetrable demi-plane, the present guests were presumed kidnapped, including the then-Duchess of Cambria, Lady Pengrove. In Brighton, Lord Thornwood assumed the mantle of Duke Regent of Cambria, formally declared a war of retribution on Melorn and sounded a call to arms. The War of Retribution officially began on the thirtieth day of Winter, 304th year.
Military Campaign of the Duke Regent of CambriaThe Duke Regent lunged southward, stationing a large garrison at Southold. Over several months, the Duke Regent's companies wore down and bested elven defenders emerging from the Wolfswood and Queensfall Grasslands before rallying for a southward push to the ruins of Milchester, which was later somewhat restored to be used as a forward camp.
BattlesThe following are a list of battles in chronological order. Siege of Jasmine. The elven town of Jasmine stood at the edge of a the Runefang Forest, and no human army in history has bested elven militia in their own woodlands. The Duke Regent evaded this problem with a fiery siege; from distant hills he hurled burning pitch from trebuchets and sent fire magi on airships to scorch the elven town. The elves yielded and the humans claimed the first of several victories over the elves. Battle for Lilyblossom. Wielding similar tactics to his first great victory, the Duke Regent employed fire magic from airships to lead the assault. They were supported by companies of human footmen & cavalry on the ground, striking from two fronts at the poor defenses of Lilyblossom. Victory for the humans was swift and bloody, and the Duke Regent had the town renamed to Thornton in his own honor. The Sacking of Brighton . While Queen Thilirien was absent, Queen Azariah of the Thalassian Elves sought to preserve her woodland kin through offensive measures. The Thalassian fleet emerged quite unexpected from the Sea of Echoes and struck like lightning at Brighton's walls, which had been left ill-defended in the absence of the Cambrian military. The Queen of Tides shattered their walls, broke what forces had been left behind and occupied the city for a fortnight before retreating to the sea. Queen Azariah's assault prompted hesitation from the Duke Regent on the front, who slowed his forward march and called for reinforcements from Frell to support him, worried that he was already stretched too thin. The Return. One year and four months after the disappearance of Duchess Pengrove, Naserine's Echo was freed from its demiplane along with its occupants. Queen Thilirien of Melorn returned to her people and engaged in diplomatic efforts with the Duke Regent of Cambria while the Duchess Pengrove met the Cambrians at Milchester and urged retreat and surrender. The Duke Regent accused the Duchess Pengrove of treason & corruption by her elven captors and had her kept under watch for months, before formally imprisoning her. Secession of Frell & Northern Alliances. The people of Frell and other settlements north of the Wailing Wood ally with Azariah and secede from Cambria, adopting a new province name Shattering of the Cambrian Front. By the time the Frellians seceded and it was clear to the Duke Regent that he would not be receiving reinforcements for his march beyond the Sharannore Mountains to claim the elven capitol of Yavannamire, it marked his own end. It had been six months of false diplomacy between Queen Thilirien and the Duke Regent while he waited for reinforcements, and now it was the elves that had grown stronger and his own men had lost their momentum. The Duke urged his men to strike south over the mountains by airship, demanding an immediate assault to claim more ground; reluctantly, they agreed, and were shot down by Lady Selkie of Naserine's Echo, and Romagnus of Romagnus' Anchorage, astride the dragons Zara and Titan. The Duke Regent pushed for a second attack, but his men rebelled. He was imprisoned and executed. Denouement. At some time during the rebellion of the Duke Regent's men, the imprisoned Duchess Pengrove went missing; whether she escaped, was freed, or was executed off-record is unclear. With both the Duchess and Duke Regent dead, and with the northern (and now more organized) end of Cambria officially seceded from the south, the region that was southern Cambria and the human-occupied region of Melorn (north of the Sharannore mountains) descended into chaos. Lords and ladies vied for power and eventually most settlements and cities in this region adopted the model set forth by Naserine's Echo some two years prior and became independent city-states functioning under their own laws and leadership, while the wilderness around them grew wild and brutal from a lack of patrols. Other Consequences. Meridon took control of Stormbreak Isle when the Cambrian forces broke.