The Trade Route War of the Central Corridor Military Conflict in Fyria | World Anvil

The Trade Route War of the Central Corridor

For many years, the neighbouring countries of Bastion and Estrua have been warring over a slim strip of land along their western borders. This strip of land runs from the southern coast of the Vilanto Sea, between Mijhail and Ithosia, alongside Thysduin - The Ruined Plateau, and ends near the southern borders of Shikyuo in the north. It is a highly valuable trade route for both countries, especially Bastion which in recent decades has become starved and desperate for new avenues to attain outside resources to feed and sustain their nation.   The battle began four years ago when Bastion forcibly and suddenly took control over an Estruan fort located several kilometres south of their territory, close to the two nations' shared border. This fort acted as a crossing point towards a pathway that leads through Estruan territory and connects with the central corridor trade route. This came as a surprise to Estrua, as Bastion was historically a close ally and many considered them a sibling state. This particular road was quite often shared by the two nations without too much question or hassle, though some restrictions had been levied by Estrua in recent years due to some minor complaints by local Estrua citizens regarding an influx of rowdy Bastion traders.   Bastion by the point of the first invasion had undergone many years of suffering, over a decade before the battles began they were plagued by a sudden and unending storm and numerous major earthquakes that would irrevocably change their landscape over six hellish years. Sadly this in accompaniment with ill-managed resources in years past placed Bastion in a state of dire need. Over the next ten years or so after the calamity, Estrua would give extreme aid and resources to their friend. However, Estrua's strict hold on their resources meant that this level of aid could not last and began to ration what they sent Bastion.  
A dangerous path through Bastion's western mountains used to resupply soldiers in the corridor in emergencies.
Bastion, and their ruler the Sovereign Ressyk Cace, viewed this as a betrayal and began to scheme as to how they could overcome their blighted situation without the aid of their betrayer Estrua.   They decided that control of the corridor was imperative to their survival and moved in. They took over the fort and began to funnel men into the area and towards the corridor as quickly as possible. This first assault was a major success for Bastion, and its success has been given over to the fact that Estrua never expected Bastion to openly begin a violent conflict. After all the two were once so close that their capitals were only separated by a bridge, a bridge they built together.   The intrusion was initially met with confusion by Estrua, and a small force was sent with a diplomat to halt the forces of Bastion and to potentially parlay and discuss matters with them before more blood was shed.   Unfortunately, these parlays were not to be, as Bastion quickly ambushed these forces after a scout reported their path.   Estrua viewed this as a flagrant disrespect in their attempts to halt a war with peaceful discussion and officially entered into war with Bastion.
  Soon after the assault more conflicts began, and both nations began pulling citizens from border towns, including their former capitals of Bastion's Old Darwyn, and Estrua's Baile. The two being linked, as mentioned previously, literally and symbolically by the Siblings Bridge.   Since then there have been numerous battles with territory won and lost along the northern regions of Estrua and within the corridor itself. Bastion has continually funnelled soldiers through a dangerous mountain path in their northwestern territory towards the northern section of the trade corridor and continues to push through Estruan territory both covertly and forcibly to take strategic locations both within Estrua's territory and the corridor itself.   The corridor has now become dotted with small but bulky forts and battlements all kitted out for war. Most of these forts do not last long as they are swept away by one force or another before being rebuilt a kilometre or less from where they once stood. No real ground has been gained by either nation in this conflict, but many believe it is just a matter of time before Bastion runs out of resources and crumples due to its weaknesses.
One of the dozens of hastily constructed wooden forts that currently populate the central corridor.

Bordering Nations
The Central Corridor is a route that travels from the most northern nation of Fyria to the most south-central nation in Fyria. It is one unbroken path the entire way and passes by, along, or to six different countries. These six countries are Shikyuo, Bastion, Estrua, Ithosia, Mijhail, and the former elven kingdom of Thysduin now known as The Ruined Plateau.   Shikyuo is at the route's most northern point and leads almost directly into the gates of their territory. However this portion of the route is rarely used as Shikyuo does not conduct trade with other nations, nor does it accept trade or travellers under most circumstances. Including by foot via the central corridor route.   Since the conflict began they no longer bother using it at all, even in the rare case that they could use it. Instead, in the rare cases they do leave the empire, they opt for a seafaring route either through the Aldelgis mountain ranges in the north or around the entire western coast of Fyria. Which their ships and navigators have somehow mastered, a feat none other than them has accomplished consistently. Any trade they do accept is also via a seafaring route, but this again is rare and is usually only done via private merchants hired by Shikyuo for a specific task.   They have historically and currently have zero interest in becoming involved in the conflict, believing it is a petty squabble between embittered children. Further, they have warned both nations that if they get within reach of their borders they will bring their full might against them and crush them both. A threat which has been taken seriously by both combatants as neither wishes to bring upon the infamous Shikyuo wrath. No conflict has to date come within a day's ride of Shikyuo's territory.  
Along the western stretch of the central corridor lies a long and seemingly endless divide in the earth, normally it would be called a canyon but a bottom has never technically been spotted. This divide is what separates the corridor and the rest of the continent from The Ruined Plateau of Thysduin. A plagued land that thousands of years ago was home to the elves, but after a catastrophic disaster still shaded in mystery the nation was destroyed and most elves were lost, with the few survivors scattering to the winds of the worlds.   Only two entrances into the former Thysduin exist across this divide, and one of these slim rocky bridges is located along the central corridor, but no one dares cross it due to the ever-present dangers of the plateau and the plague held within. This has not changed since the beginning of the conflict.   At the southern reaches of the trade corridor, a day or so's ride from its conclusion lies the Gnomish Lands, who somehow remain blissfully unaware of the combat occurring only a few day's ride from their homesteads. This is rather in line with the lackadaisical nature of the gnomish culture.
An abandoned wagon decaying for years on a forested section of the central corridor.
  The gnomes just continue to party and go about their business, it is a wonder what they would do if combat ever reached their borders as they have never dealt with any sort of wider conflict. They are easy to please, eager to help, and are most complacent with their place in the world. They mostly stay put in their lands and do not seek the use of any outside route including the central corridor.   At the route's culmination at the very south of the continent lies a fork in the road, the Jungles of Mijhail lie to the west, Mijhail has no real stake in the conflict as most of their trade routes are accessible by sea and are much farther to the southwest on the continent. And Ithosia to the east, who have a much grander stake in the conflict than any other nation outside of Bastion and Estrua.   For Ithosia, Estrua is an important trade partner both for exports of foodstuffs and imports of wood and seedlings for crops. Over the years the two have gained a positive and fruitful trade relationship. Ithosia while it is not eager to join another war, especially one started between two other nations has a significant army available to it, and has stated that if the conflict reaches the Ithosian border it will engage in the war and do what it must to protect its citizens.   This could potentially lead to a far more dangerous conflict arising, as despite having close ties with Estrua, Ithosia has not stated who's side if any they would take. Only promising a swift end to the conflict. If Ithosia were to engage it would be somewhat fitting, as they in the distant past ended a large conflict in the area that now occupies Estrua and Bastion that led to their country's founding and allowed for the future colonization of both nations that are currently fighting each other.
The Trade Route War of the Central Corridor has been ongoing for the past four years between former allies Bastion and Estrua. The conflict is over a slim central corridor that links the northern lands of Fyria directly to the southern coast near Ithosia and important sea-faring trade routes along the Vilanto Sea. Historically the vast majority of the trade route has been used by Estrua, who's borders are fairly open to the corridor.   Bastion, due to its geographical disadvantages has no safe and direct access to the trade route and is only able to access it via two routes. One is a dangerous trek through their western mountain range, which holds many dangers and is a long and fraught journey. The other path would involve passing through Estruan territory for a short time and linking up to the corridor in its upper regions before travelling along it southwards to the coast.   Bastion is determined to gain control over both the corridor and the slim line of Estruan territory that connects to it south of their borders. They continue to fight despite their quickly dwindling resources, they are desperate for success at this dangerous gamble for failure to them could mean the demise of their nation.
Table of Contents

Current Status
At the current time, the war for the corridor has hit its most tense, as Bastion's resources dwindle their tactics have become more erratic and desperate. Bastion's forces along the corridor have made a surge, pushing the Estruan forces south, and while this push is likely not sustainable for Bastion it has put the war perilously close to some of Ithosia's northern territory. And Ithosia has stated in the past that they will enter the conflict and put it to an end with impunity if they must. While Ithosia is a stated ally of Estrua, it is unknown if that friendship would hold if the latter allowed unrelated conflict to enter and affect the citizens of Ithosia.   Further north in the former capitals of the two warring nations, reserve forces have begun to amass on either side of the Siblings Bridge. Open conflict has yet to occur in this once peaceful coalition of towns but as the days pass it seems more likely that a battle may yet occur across the crumbling stone of the bridge that once signified the unity of the two nations.
The Siblings Bridge was constructed by citizens from both nations in coalition long ago to symbolize their unity.

Key Points of Contention
While the main battle has stayed in the central corridor there are several other locations of importance to the war effort. For Bastion, a slim sliver of route exists that narrowly skirts the eastern edge of the Amber Stone Canyon on their border before cutting through Estruan territory and connecting with the central corridor. This small stretch of land was the location of the first skirmishes of the conflict. And it continues to be traded back and forth, and each time Bastion gains control they flood the central corridor with reinforcements.   A second key point for Bastion is the only other route from their territory into the central corridor, this route is uncontested but has proven difficult to reach due to the dangerous route it requires Bastion troops to take. When emergency reinforcements to the central corridor are needed they run the risk, but Estrua has caught on and is trying to funnel troops up to this dangerous path in the hopes they can pick off troops wearied from the treacherous route as they exit into the corridor.   The last key piece is one that neither side has pushed for quite yet, but it is likely only a matter of time before one or the other does. This point, is the Siblings Bridge and the two former capitals of Old Darwyn and Baile, of Bastion and Estrua respectively. These two cities hold no real sway over the outcome of the corridor as they both lie several day's ride from it. But each nation knows that it would be a huge psychological blow to lose their former capitals. Despite the ongoing conflict though, a hesitation persists between the two nations, as these cities are the last remnants of their once unshakeable friendship.

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