The Conquests of Tapis and Lales

For the fledgling nation of Aryia, these conflicts were a proving ground. Up until now, their opponents had been small lordlings who could be defeated by pure brute force and better skill. Tapis and Lales, on the other hand, were considered to be major powers in the area with thousands of men in their armies, respectively. So, when they made it clear that King Gautier Oweyn would have to face BOTH of them at the same time if he wanted to continue his conquest, it was clear he would have to use different tactics.   Additionally, this would be the first time Rune Casters would be in the field. Although they had talked a good game, no one was sure if the Rune Casters could be of any benefit. Nor was anyone sure if they would be of any use outside the sterile environment of the classroom.   For King Gwenaël Bessec and Queen Ameline Sarraril, rulers of Tapis and Lales respectively, this was thought to be an almost too strong reaction to the growing power of Gautier Oweyn. Every few decades, the Bloodplains would produce a lordling or lady who would conquer the lands around them and set their sights on bigger opponents. Usually, these petty lords and ladies could be easily smashed by Tapis or Lales individually. So, the apparent overreaction by Lales and Tapis stunned many at the time. Rumors began spreading throughout the continent of Thaesia. With people saying anything from the two powerhouses having grown weak to the two kingdoms permanently uniting after this battle to them using this to gauge the abilities of the other before attacking them.

The Conflict

Prelude

After returning home after years away as a mercenary only to find his family farm burned to the ground, his mother and one of his sisters dead and his remaining family scattered, Gautier Oweyn sought revenge on the two warring leaders who had caused the death and destruction. After defeating both Queen Christiane Redler and Queen Margarete Hersch and declaring the new kingdom he had built Aryia, after his deceased sister, he set his sights on the surrounding petty lords and ladies. It would only be a matter of time before one of them attacked his new nation, so he took the initiative and attacked them first.
   
It took ten years of grueling bloody wars, but eventually, King Gautier Oweyn’s forces emerged victoriously, and Aryia had absorbed four more minor nations into it. Now, the fledgling nation looked like a proper small kingdom with a magnificent capital being built to match it. Up until now, King Gautier would have been satisfied with halting his conquests and allowing his people to gather their strength. However, the arrival of the Rune Casters Amelina Humbert, Folcher Chlothar, Otwin Theudemar, Osanna De Rege, Rosmunda Blackwell, Blaise Rouzet, Eliose Bain, and Solange De Verley as well as their followers, changed all that. With a few demonstrations of their ability to heal all but the most grievous of wounds, the King began thinking about conquering Tapis or Lales.   At the same time, King Gwenaël Bessec and Queen Ameline Sarraril learned of the Rune Casters settling down in Aryia. Rumors of what the mysterious Casters could do spread and their people began fearing what might happen. To reassure their people and show that Rune Casters were nothing to be afraid of, the two rulers declared they would be joining forces and would begin mobilizing.   With this declaration, the wheels of destiny were put into motion, and these three nations were set on a course that would change the world forever.

Deployment

Individually, Tapis and Lales had more soldiers than Aryia did. Combined, they had somewhere between double and triple the number of Aryite soldiers. Their soldiers also enjoyed the advantage of being well rested, having fought a major conflict for years, as well as freshly forged weapons and armor. By the time the battle started Tapian and Lales forces had such an excess of equipment that they could have supplied half again as many soldiers.   Aryia was at a disadvantage in terms of numbers and equipment. Additionally, some soldiers were from newly conquered lands which weren’t thrilled with having to follow Gautier Oweyn’s commands. Those who had been with the Aryite king from the beginning had already fought six wars in the past fifteen years. However, this also meant that Aryite forces were battle tested and grizzled. Additionally, all but two of the rune casters would be coming along with the army with each assigned to specific regiments. In addition to healing, these rune casters could set basic elemental traps.

Battlefield

All of the battles took place in the Haliland Thicket, a forest on the border of Tapis and Lales territory.

Conditions

Conditions varied throughout the conflict, with some days being bright and sunny while others were cold and snow covered and others still dark and rainy.

The Engagement

Pre-Conflict (0 ARC-1 ARC)

The moment he learned of Tapis and Lales preparing to attack him, King Gautier Oweyn began mobilizing his forces as well. First, he sent men and women loyal to him who couldn’t fight for various reasons to other nations nearby and even across the The Farthest Expanse. These men and women were tasked with spreading propaganda against Tapis and Lales.   Trusting they would get the job done, he turned to adding the rune casters to his forces. Initially, he wanted all of the rune casters to come with him but relented, allowing two casters to journey to Lylne and begin training even more rune casters. The remaining six rune casters he divided between his regiments, forcing each to take care of roughly 2000 soldiers.   With those two tasks out of the way, he ordered his forces to begin marching towards Tapis and Lales. Since they had just finished fighting a previous battle, his troops didn’t need to wait for their equipment to be made or given to them. Those who had armor or weapons in need of repair were allowed to stay behind or are told to make do. Hunters and archers were sent ahead of the main body of the army to scout out the area close to Tapis and Lales.
 
King Gwenaël Bessec and Queen Ameline Sarraril, on the other hand, began their mobilization by commissioning their blacksmiths to forge new armor and weapons for their men. They also had writs issued that asked for every horse to be turned over to the army. With the additional horses, hundreds of infantrymen were reassigned to fight in the cavalry, and more men and women were needed to be recruited to fill in the gaps.   Even as word reached them that the Aryite army was already moving towards them, the leaders of Tapis and Lales paid little mind to it so sure were they that they could crush the up jumped king and his army. Instead, they focused on getting their recruits up to speed and outfitting their army.   In the time it took for King Gwenaël Bessec and Queen Ameline Sarraril to begin deploying their troops, Aryite scouts had already reached the Haliland Thicket and were in the process of mapping the area. Additionally, rumors had started spreading in other countries that painted Tapis and Lales in a bad light. With the maps given to him by his scouts, King Gautier Oweyn began sending small groups of soldiers to specific locations in the woodlands. The rune casters were also shipped ahead and tasked with setting traps along the route the Tapian and Lales forces were thought to be moving along. The main body of Aryite troops, on the other hand, was brought to a halt a few miles away from the forest and allowed to rest up and prepare for the upcoming fight.
 

Conflict (1 ARC-3 ARC)

The first fight of the war between Lales, Tapis, and Aryia started with unexpected swiftness. King Gwenaël Bessec and Queen Ameline Sarraril having heard from merchants passing through the area the Aryite army was camped a few miles east of the Haliland Thicket progressed through the forest without much thought. They quickly learned of their mistake when arrows began raining down on their lead soldiers. Chaos reigned as the Tapian and Lales forces simultaneously sought cover and looked for the archers shooting at them. Then, just as sudden as the attack started, it stopped. Cautiously the troops began emerging from their hiding places and checked on the wounded and dead.   Those who were able to move fell into formation again and began cautiously moving forward. Even with the Lales and Tapis forces on high alert, they were still caught off guard when arrows started raining down on them once more. This time, the commanders ordered their men to rout out the archers. They took a few casualties but eventually the soldiers were able to identify the locations the archers were shooting at them from and began converging on those locations. However, the Aryite archers fled in different directions forcing the Lales and Tapis soldiers to break into smaller groups.   Some of these groups ran into ambushes with more archers, others, however, ran into areas ladened with runic traps. When the first few gouts of flame, shards of ice, and pillars of earth engulfed those who triggered the traps, chaos reigned once more. Several soldiers of varying experience broke rank and fled, unable to contain their fear and panic at being the first to witness the effectiveness of runic traps.   For the Lales and Tapian forces who remained, their trek through the woodland continued in the same manner. Archers would shoot at them from hiding spots, and they would flush them out only to stop chasing the after a few feet out of fear they’d trigger another trap. Or they would pass through an area that looked relatively safe only to be met with fire, ice or earth erupting from the ground or rocks or even trees.   The night brought different challenges as the troops made skittish from the day’s events found it challenging to rest. Shelters that would have once brought great relief, like caves, were now viewed with suspicion as the walls could be covered in rune symbols invisible in the dark. Noises in the night were chased by jumpy recruits who either got lost, injured, or took the opportunity to flee.   It took weeks to traverse the woodlands, and by the time they emerged, they had already lost over a thousand men and morale was abysmal. When they finally appeared onto grassland and caught sight of the enemy camp off in the distance, several commanders enraged at the loss of men, and the perceived insults disregarded orders and charged the field. As they crossed the miles of seemingly empty grassland, however, these soldiers quickly discovered that while they had been delayed in the woods, the Aryites had dug several spiked pits. These pits were virtually invisible to the naked eye, and many soldiers lost their lives before anyone even realized the danger.   Once more, the Lales and Tapis forces were made to halt their progress. King Gwenaël Bessec and Queen Ameline Sarraril were caught in a predicament. They could easily call off the attack and go back, but they had already lost so many soldiers getting to this point that neither ruler felt they could retreat. Plus, their reputations as powerful nations would be tarnished by being forced to flee by a newly formed kingdom. And so, they ordered their troops to find safe paths to traverse the grounds forward. It took days to cross the miles of grassland, and a few deaths, but eventually the Lales and Tapian forces were able to mark a safe path through the ladened trap area. Upon reaching the other side, they attacked the Aryite camp only to discover no one was there.  
Puzzled and more than a little paranoid, they made camp in the abandoned field expecting some attack at night. The attack they were waiting for, came at dawn when from the direction they had just come from, the entire Aryite army attacked. The battle lasted a few hours, with both sides taking losses before King Gautier called a retreat back towards the Haliland Thicket and the lands of Tapis and Lales beyond. They chased them through the grassland, discovering too late the markers used to show a safe path had been moved. Those who followed King Gautier’s forces safely to the woodland area were met once again by a hail of arrows. Afraid that the Aryite forces would conquer their home, King Gwenaël Bessec and Queen Ameline Sarraril’s forces continued onward into the forest even as their comrades fell in droves. When they entered the wooded area, they weren’t just met with ambushes and traps. This time, they were also met with the Aryite army, which spread out through the forest, engaged them in battle.   For the next few months, the forest became a war-torn battlefield as the two armies clashed again and again. During that time, rumors had continued to spread that Tapis and Lales were picking on a country that had been no threat to them. And after they defeated Aryia, the two powerhouses would begin attacking other countries as well. These rumors, as well as Aryia holding out against a stronger opponent, convinced other countries to send aid to King Gautier. Additionally, the Rune Casters were quickly becoming invaluable members of the Aryia army as within hours they could have wounded soldiers back on their feet.   King Gwenaël Bessec lost his life during one of the many ambushes set up by Aryia forces in the Haliland Thicket, elevating his son Thibault Bessec to the Tapian throne. Thibault, unlike his father, did not see any reason to continue the fight after having lost so many men and women. So he surrendered to King Gautier and ordered his forces to retreat. Queen Ameline Sarraril kept fighting for another year until captured by Aryite troops and was forced to surrender.

Outcome

In the immediate aftermath of the war, the kingdoms of Tapis and Lales were absorbed into the country of Aryia.

Aftermath

Queen Ameline Sarraril was executed by King Gautier as well as her entire family. King Thibault Bessec, however, was allowed to keep his head and he and his family were forced into exile. With the two major powers out of the way, Gautier would go on to conquer nearly a fifth of Thaesia, with some nations surrendering before he even reached them out of fear.   The rune casters who came with the army learned far more in the two years they assisted the Aryite military than they had in a classroom. Thanks to demand, they had learned new, faster, ways of healing and had created more powerful traps. Rune Casters, in general, gained a great deal of fame and infamy as tales of their exploits in the battles spread. With these tales, interest grew, and the still under construction Remia Academy was flooded with potential students.

Historical Significance

Legacy

The battle between Ayria and Tapis and Lales was a turning point in history. After this battle, many small nations and kingdoms disappeared as they were absorbed into what is today the mighty nation of Aryia.   King Gautier and his children are known today as mighty conqueror and alternatively vicious murderers for how many people they trampled in their way to take over the continent.   Rune casters became far more plentiful in the decades and centuries that followed, and with this growth came a growth in power and influence. Many outside of Aryia wonder if the Rune Casters are the ones in charge and the House of Oweyn are merely their puppets.

In Literature

Details of this battle as well as the rest of King Gautier's conquests are the subject of dozens of books, the most famous and infamous being The History of King Gautier Oweyn.

Conflict Type
War
Battlefield Type
Land
Start Date
0 ARC
Ending Date
3 ARC
Conflict Result
Aryia emerged victoriously
Location
Thaesia

Belligerents

Strength

~15,000 soldiers
1,000 Rangers/hunters
6 Rune Casters
~5,000 Soldiers from nearby countries
~30,000 Solders
~10,000 Cavalry

Casualties

~900
~10,000

Objectives

To conquer Tapis and Lales
Defeat King Gautier and his forces
Thaesia
Geographic Location | Mar 5, 2018
King Gautier Oweyn
Character | Jul 13, 2019

First King of Aryia

   
Aryia Oweyn
Character | Mar 27, 2019

Lost princess of Aryia

Aryia
Organization | Mar 22, 2019
Llyne
Settlement | Jul 14, 2019

Capital of Aryia

Rune Caster
Profession | Jul 28, 2019

Rune casters are highly skilled individuals who are the only people in all of Iosis able to use rune magic at will. Those who cannot perform this feat may buy the services of a rune caster at a high cost.

Remia Academy of the Arcane
Organization | Jul 28, 2019

First major Rune Casting academy in all of Iosis

Amelina Humbert
Character | Dec 4, 2019

Student of Leobwin Cenric and founder of Remia Academy of the Arcane

Folcher Chlothar
Character | Jul 14, 2019

Student of Leobwin Cenric and founder of Remia Academy of the Arcane

Otwin Theudemar
Character | Jul 14, 2019

Student of Leobwin Cenric and founder of Remia Academy of the Arcane

Osanna De Rege
Character | Dec 4, 2019

Student of Leobwin Cenric and founder of Remia Academy of the Arcane

Rosmunda Blackwell
Character | Jul 25, 2019

Student of Leobwin Cenric and founder of Remia Academy of the Arcane

Blaise Rouzet
Character | Jul 14, 2019

Student of Leobwin Cenric and founder of Remia Academy of the Arcane

Eliose Bain
Character | Jul 14, 2019

Student of Leobwin Cenric and founder of Remia Academy of the Arcane

Solange De Verley
Character | Jul 14, 2019

Student of Leobwin Cenric and founder of Remia Academy of the Arcane

King Gwenaël Bessec
Character | Jul 14, 2019

Last King of Tapis

Tapis
Organization | Jul 5, 2018
Queen Ameline Sarraril
Character | Jul 14, 2019

Last Queen of Lales

Lales
Organization | Jul 5, 2018
Haliland Thicket
Geographic Location | Jul 14, 2019
The Farthest Expanse
Geographic Location | Mar 23, 2019
Thibault Bessec
Character | Jul 14, 2019

Last Prince of Tapis

The History of King Gautier Oweyn
Document | Jul 21, 2019
House of Oweyn
Organization | Jun 23, 2018
The Grerin War
Military Conflict | Jul 14, 2019

King Gautier Oweyn's shortest war


Cover image: Rise to the Throne by atomhawk

Comments

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14 Jul, 2019 18:16

This is a long, long article. So its a little difficult for me to cover everything perfectly. But, starting from the top: I think its likely a placeholder, and you simply haven't gotten to it yet, but hover text on each of the characters mentioned at the top would add a lot. You don't need to have a full, accessible article for each yet, but having a little description or some key words for each of those characters would add a lot to the readability.
Second, in the first paragraph of the Deployment section "as well as, freshly forged weapons and armor." should be changed to "as well as freshly forged weapons and armor." Its a small thing, but it was the only pure editing mistake I could find in this. Overall, a very good article! Good job!

14 Jul, 2019 22:53

Firstly, I have to re-iterate the above, there's a lot here but it's all well written and very thorough. My comments are more organisational, as a result. I would personally put the shorter sections (Battlefield, Conditions and In Literature) as sections on the right-hand side, above the masses of block links to other articles. Battlefield and Condition, in particular, sit a little awkwardly as an interruption between two longer sections that connect well either side. In the intro, the wording "talked a good game" is possibly a little too modern/colloquial for the setting, but that's a minor nitpick. Lastly, something I find personally helps is to add a tooltip for the first mention of a date acronym (ARC in your case). Helps give a little context to timings - though, considering this starts at 0ARC, I'm guessing this conflict is something to do with ARC?

15 Jul, 2019 00:27

As the other two people have mentioned, this is indeed a very long article. In fact, it's too long for it to be submitted for SC's article critique, but we are here already anyway, so we may give it a go. I suggest in the future, however, that you check the rules more thoroughly, and that if you make long articles, you indicate what kind of feedback are you after. It really goes a long way in helping to provide useful feedback.   Why were rune casters making people uncomfortable? (prelude) Why did the other kingdoms not have rune casters for deployment? Particularly once they heard the enemy was using them, or after realising how effective they were deployed? (deployment) How big is this forest, that it took them literal weeks to cross? (conflict) How is it possible that the battle took months, all in the same place, after the several weeks it already took them to cross a forest? How many rations/provisions did these armies have? (particularly those who took weeks to cross a forest, meaning it'd be extremely unlikely they were receiving more provisions)(conflict)   Several sections could do with some editing. They are minor details, but fixing them can go a long way in a long article, as the reader will eventually encounter enough issues to be bothered by them. I have added some examples of edits to this section in bold: "Trusting they would get the job done, he turned his attention to incorporating the rune casters into his forces. Initially, he wanted all of the rune casters to come with him but relented, allowing two casters to journey to Lylne and begin training even more rune casters. The remaining six rune casters were evenly divided between his regiments, forcing each to take care of roughly 2000 soldiers."   These issues aside, it was an interesting story of a smaller country with bad odds winning. I think the article could use things to break up the long text: quotes or excerpts (from example, from all of the books that according to the literature section have been published on this war). I also think there are sections of the article which could be reduced, without affecting the story.   Finally, the sidebar is peppered with general articles, war articles, location articles, organization articles, and character articles, all mixed up, with no order that I can distinguish. It makes it very unappealing and contributes to the lengthy and disordered feel of the overall article. It'd be much nicer if you link these articles on the text itself when they are mentioned (instead of making the reader go and seek the character in question and see if there is an article for it), and make sure said articles have nice excerpts, that way when the reader hovers their mouse over the link, they will be able to read about it.

15 Jul, 2019 15:55

I'm a little confused by the feedback that I see on this article. Everyone starts by mentioning how long the piece is - but the author is describing the entirety of a war. If the war is truly a sidenote in the history of his world, I could understand just writing a pithy couple of paragraphs indicating that Side A fought Side B in years C-D. But the SC writing prompt is asking for "a conflict that shaped the political climate of your world". You don't write about the sort of thing effectively in a couple of paragraphs.   When I put this article in MS Word, it tells me that the word count is 2,664. That's not even really that long. (Go check out the word count on Wookieepedia for some of the significant conflicts. The articles are massive.) But I've already noticed that this seems to be something of a trend within the World Anvil community: You put up an article with 2,000-3,000 words and a lot of the feedback is, "Whoa! Mannn... This is a really long article!"   Of course, I'm not trying to claim that an article can't be too long. But as a writer, I can say with confidence that it's of little use to hear that something is "too long". What part is too long? Which details were unnecessary? Which sections should really be broken out into their own standalone articles? You see, without any specifics, hearing that your article is "too long" is like hearing that your song has "too many notes" or that your painting has "too many colors".   Finally, the reason that I chose to reply to your comment in particular is because you say that: "In fact, it's too long for it to be submitted for SC's article critique" and "I suggest in the future, however, that you check the rules more thoroughly". Now, I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing. Maybe there's some other kind of critiquing going on at SC (I'm not there, so I wouldn't know). But if you're talking about the "30 Days, 30 Prompts" challenge, I'm not seeing anywhere on the page that it gives any upper limit on word count. It specifically says that the article must be a minimum of 300 words to be considered. But I'm not seeing anywhere that it sets an upper limit on the overall size (word count) of the submitted article.