Camaerithian Concord

"We have reason to believe the blackbloods will move to strike here next." - Thuessaun Fist to his Camaerithian Ranger ally

Huge thanks to Astri Lohne for the cover art!
Created in 888 AT by the members of the Camaerithian Circle and King Usur Theussau III of the Theussaun Protectorate, the Camaerithian Concord is a defensive pact of near-unrivaled military power and simplistic drive. Created in response to the founding of Orakgra, a city of orcs and other "monster races," the Camaerithian Concord now seeks to purge this perceived incursion and restore total dominion of eastern Iotura to the constituents of the pact.  

A Growing Relationship

While it was founded as and remains a predominantly military alliance, slowly the people of the Protectorate and Camaerith have begun mingling. Theussaun mages travel to the Arcanul Conservatory to learn complex and ancient magics, and the legions of the Fists train alongside the much smaller battalions of the Arms of Mithril. The religious groups of both constituents have begun to engage in discussions and group rituals, as the devotees of the Silver Dawn within the Protectorate and the druids and clerics of Corellon the Archeart teach one another of each other's customs, bound together under the unity of the Prime Deities.   But, as both factions broaden their respective horizons by learning more about one another, they also darken other paths. In many ways, the Concord has become an echo chamber for deeply rooted ideas of racism and hatred, as the entire alliance was founded on the predication of the genocide of the orcs of Orakgra. Many outdated ideals grow stronger and become reinforced in the mingling of the two factions, as many of their interactions are, consciously or not, dictated by the desire to wipe out the "monster races" of Emaxus. While there are plenty of people in both Camaerith and the Protectorate who either openly disagree with these ideas or are neutral to monster races, the people in power, and many in the military, don't feel the same way.  

Provocation and Response

While some of the ideas of the Camaerithian Concord may be racist and extreme, this isn't to say that their aggression to Orakgra was entirely unprovoked. The people of the city aren't entirely blameless. Their rampant deforestation and total lack of respect for the Forest of the Archeart was guaranteed to warrant a response, and in fact, the majority of the city's population follows the Ruiner. Similar to the leaders of the Camaerithian Concord, Warleader Zitih Handripper believes it is her and her people's duty to claim this land as their own. In fact, there are many within Orakgra that believe their conflict with the elves is holy, decreed by the Ruiner himself to gain vengeance against Corellon.   And rather than seeking to defuse the situation and perhaps secure a better, different future for all of eastern Iotura, the Camaerithian Concord has risen to the provocation of Orakgra. While not yet in all-out war, due to concern for the forest, the Concord's tactics are only ramping up.  

Constituents

Camaerith

Camaerith is the oldest elven city in Emaxus, nestled high in the branches of the Wild Heart and secluded from the outside world for centuries. Here, some of the greatest studies of magic in the Age of Extant have taken place, and ancient traditions from the Age of Rebirth are maintained; however, this sense of ancient mystery has led to an amplified haughtiness, xenophobia, and even out-right racism to all outsiders (even other, non-Camaerithian elves). Their army, the Arms of Mithril, is a group of some one thousand elite elven rangers and guerrilla fighters, armed in full mithril mail with mithril blades.

The Theussaun Protectorate

Composed of dozens of settlements united under the banner of the capital, Theussau, the Theussaun Protectorate is the closest thing to a true "empire" remaining in Emaxus following the Collapse of the Imperium in Aitreas. Founded by devout followers of the Silver Dawn, the Protectorate is a semi-theocratic monarchy leading a conglomeration of entities bound by treaty and mutual benefits.   The Theussaun military is massive, composed of some forty-five thousand troops (dubbed "Theussaun Fists"), organized into Divisions of thirty-five hundred to four thousand Fists each. While fifteen thousand Fists are bound to the First Line to hold back infernal incursions, the rest could be committed to the Concord, if deemed absolutely necessary.  

History

Founding

On Middas the 15th of Martii, 888 AT, King Usur Theussau III and his delegation met with the members of the Camaerithian Circle to discuss the perceived threat of Orakgra. Their discussions lasted for three long weeks, before they signed the Camaerithian Concord, birthing the alliance of the same name. Under the original strictures, the Protectorate would commit to aiding Camaerith militarily and economically in the defense of the Forest of the Archeart and the defeat of Orakgra for the betterment of all eastern Iotura, on the grounds that Camaerith would open the secrets of their city and the Arcanul Ordinate to the priests and mages of the Protectorate.   And so, a massive military power was born. But the issue now came: how does one move thousands of troops to fight those defiling the forest without damaging the forest themselves?  

The Battle of Broken Limb

This question had to be answered rapidly, as within two months of the Concord's founding, on Waydas the 4th of Mayth, 888 AT, word was received that a force was coming out of Orakgra to establish a lumber outpost past the borders of the already cleared forest. Camaerith called for action immediately, somewhat doubting that the Protectorate would honor the Concord (racism has a way of making one perceive others in false ways). To their pleasant surprise, Theussau upheld the bargain and sent the Fifth Division to be stationed in Camaerith.   Within a week, some four thousand Fists, alongside a thousand auxiliary and supply troops, arrived to Camaerith to be garrisoned there until the war's end. From there five hundred Fists alongside five hundred Arms of Mithril, under the command of Lt. General Neiven Townsend of the Protectorate, mobilized on the location of the outpost being founded. On Cintdas the 16th of Mayth, 888 AT, one thousand Concord troops swept down on two hundred lumberjacks guarded by a garrison of fifty and slaughtered them all.   A bloody, decisive start to a long, drawn-out war.  

The Massacre of Erridh

Following the success of the Battle of Broken Limb, Lt. General Townsend received orders to continue pushing and secure the settlement of Erridh a day to the southeast. Marching out of the dense forest and into the open hills that Orakgra had deforested, Townsend's forces arrived upon the town the morning of Maydas the 18th of Mayth, 888 AT. That day, some two thousand citizens were butchered, protected only by a garrison of some two hundred warriors, at the cost of less than one hundred Concord forces.   With Erridh "secured," Townsend and his forces bunkered down to await more troops to finish the push to Orakgra and rapidly end the war. Over the next week, an additional one thousand Fists alongside another five hundred Arms of Mithril came to join Lt. General Townsend's offensive. Many would never return home.  

The Disaster at Bleeding Hill

On Freedas the 1st of Jone, 888 AT, Lt. General Townsend began his march from the ruins of Erridh towards Orakgra, which was two more days south. Halfway there, the Concord's army made camp atop a hill, which allowed them vision of the surrounding area and thus defense. From atop the hill, Townsend and his troops could see the lights of Orakgra on the edge of the horizon, and soon, they would be home with glory, honor, and safety for their people.   That night, Warleader Zitih Handripper herself led a force of a thousand goblins on a stealth mission. In the dark of the night, the force encircled the Concord camp, and picked off the watch. Over the course of the night, some fifteen hundred Fists and four hundred Arms of Mithril were butchered. Just over one thousand men returned home from an army of three thousand, fleeing for their lives as Warleader Handripper proclaimed "Now, this Bleeding Hill will forever be a reminder of the weakness of your 'Concord,' and the wrath of those wronged!"   When Townsend returned, he was relinquished of his rank. Over the next few months, Orakgra began probing the borders of the forest once more as the Fifth Division's ranks were replenished from the north and the Concord planned their next step forward.  

The Years of Strife

Following the Disaster at Bleeding Hill, the Concord decided that a strike at Orakgra would not be possible. With the varied strengths of the "monsters" they faced, any multi-day march would be doomed to fail, either being wiped out before reaching the city or whittled down then butchered. And so began the Years of Strife. The Concord and Orakgra committed to tactics of guerrilla warfare and strategic strikes, and a war of attrition was initiated. No battle has been as bloody as the first three the Concord took part in, but the body count has slowly been adding up. Luckily, on a homefront perspective, the Concord has been making great strides.   The Protectorate has been receiving many rare and exotic goods from Camaerith, and Theussaun mages have begun studying at the Camaerithian Concord. Both parties have learned much of one another's cultures, and their priests and druids have begun mingling and strengthening the bonds between their Prime Deities. And the Camaerithian Circle has begun more in-depth trade and military talks with King Usur, seeking to perhaps make the Concord more permanent, even if the war ends soon.

The Orcish Threat

The Camaerithian Concord was founded to combat Orakgra, a new city of orcs (and other rapidly growing "monster" populations) that was founded on the southeastern shores of the Forest of the Archeart several years ago. While the idea of the "orcish threat" isn't entirely unfounded, it is heavily rooted in racist ideals that have long prevailed in Emaxus. Some outsiders, and even some residents of the Protectorate/Camaerith, realize that the people of Orakgra are simply looking for a home in a world that hates them. But, the Camaerithians are also driven to conflict by the mass deforestation Orakgra has been perpetrating to support its rapid growth.   The Theussaun Protectorate is eager to join Camaerith in this conflict, seeing Orakgra as a potential long-term threat, and the conflict being an opportunity to flex their military might. Perhaps, if peace talks could be organized, both sides could be brought to walk in each other's shoes and bring an end to the conflict before it erupts into full-scale war, potentially harming the sacred Forest of the Archeart far more and for far longer than any lumber operations could.

Military Might

The Camaerithian Concord, as it was signed, can benefit from up to the full might of both its constituent parties: Camaerith and the Theussaun Protectorate. This includes up to forty thousand Theussaun Fists (all of the Protectorate's military save the legions serving on the First Line), as well as the some 5,000 Camaerithians who make up the Arms of Mithril, the city's elite army. This isn't even considering the powerful mages of the Arcanul Ordinate, or the many zealous followers of the Silver Dawn within the Protectorate; however, the chances of this mobilization even being remotely necessary is close to none.   Instead, the Camaerithian Concord is more a defensive pact of deterrence. Especially following the Collapse of the Imperium in Aitreas, there isn't a military power on Emaxus that could face the Concord alone, and there would have to be many unlikely alliances to strike at them wholeheartedly. But, luckily for many, the Concord is not set to be indefinite, nor is it meant to be a warmongering alliance. Once the "invading" orcs of Orakgra are "cleansed," the Concord will likely cease to exist. Should peace or some other conclusion to the current conflict arise, such a stalemate or ceasefire (as unlikely as all three of those events are), the fate of the Concord would be in the air. Would it continue for the sake of safety, or end due to a lack of necessity?
Type
Political, Alliance

Unlikely Alliance

As they say: strange times make for strange bedfellows. Considering the harshly xenophobic traditions of the ancient elves of Camaerith, who seek nothing more than to protect the Forest of the Archeart and the Wild Heart they call home, it surprised many when they reached out to the predominantly human Theussaun Protectorate to the north for an alliance. But, for native Camaerithians, or those who understand the current geopolitical situation of eastern Iotura (which is to say, not many) the situation is clear: in a prolonged conflict against the orcish settlers of Orakgra, there are few situations where the elves come out on top.   For one, they are limited to guerrilla warfare due to their own strictures and religious policies related to their proclaimed duty as the defenders of the forest. Second, they may be ancient, which allows for even elves to eventually grow in number, but their still elves. Compared to the growth and reproduction rate of orcs, every one ranger that falls is of equal value to twenty orcish warriors. Third, Orakgra is more than just orcs. As they grow in power and size, monster races of all kinds are flocking to this new safe haven. Goblinoids, kobolds, even minotaurs and lycanthropes are helping to swell the population of the city, and with it, their diversity in combat grows.   So, Camaerith had two options: employ powerful magics from the Arcanul Ordinate and wipe the orcs off the map, while potentially doing irrevocable damage to their home and ward, or call in help from the diverse peoples of the Theussaun Protectorate to the north. Generally, most Camaerithians would rather fling themselves from the highest branch of the Wild Heart's canopy than see their own people hurt the forest. And thus, the Camaerithian Concord was born.

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