Craterhold Uprising Military Conflict in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

Craterhold Uprising

The Craterhold Uprising was a 29 day period of civil unrest in the municipality of Craterhold which occurred in the late spring of 9975 AR. The event was notable because it disrupted activity in the informal heart of the otherwise decentralized Craterhold society, was caused by the machinations of the 125 Hands, saw the first field deployment of Project: Elastomer Soul, and led directly to the signing of the Second Treaty of Vivaldi Peak.

The Conflict


Craterhold (including the eponymous municipality at its center) is a majority Elovisian nation, but it also has a small New Voxelian minority. Citizenship within the nation has always been built on civic nationalism (i.e. the adoption of a shared set of national values) over any ethnic considerations. Even so, shared political values still have not completely erased the cultural rift between these two ethnic groups, an enmity stretching back to the time of the Old Voxelian Conquest. The War of Reunification further fuels such divisions, as the geopolitical enemy of the Coalition of Breakaway Colonies (and especially Craterhold) is Voxelia - the homeland of the New Voxelian people.  

Craterhold Unity Flag by BCGR_Wurth
The generally rural, individualistic, and conspiracy-minded cultural milieu of Holdsmen and Freelanders found in the region means that outsiders - or those percieved to be outsiders - are regarded with suspicion at best and open contempt at worst. For example, though there are vanishingly few verdials in Medial C due to the uncomfortable dryness of the region, the Creeping Lichens Conspiracy is still common among Holdsmen.   This fractious attitude, coupled with the previously-mentioned historical enmities and an ill-timed ebb in the cicumvection cycle leading to a dramatic spike in food prices, brought social tensions to a head in 9975 AR. The 125 Hands had already established themselves by 9975 as a force for chaos, being zealots of an ideology that actively sought to lay low the existing social strucutres of the Manifold Sky as revenge for the destruction of Tartagloam. The Hands saw an opportunity to spark civil unrest by spreading divisive propaganda, and so they left it to trusted agents (including a young Cyrus Vinge) to put an operation in motion to do just that.


Starting around New Year's Day in 9975 AR, agents of the 125 Hands began posing as anonymous citizens and submitting opinion pieces to the local imprint of The Guild Gazette expressing distrust and distaste for the New Voxelian minority. They also performed RadNet signal intrusions - using broadcast antennas concealed in cars to conceal their locations -
125 Hands Deedmark by BCGR_Wurth
to insert paranoia-stoking 'public service announcements' into broadcasts over otherwise politically neutral advertising reads. All of these messages were carefully crafted to appeal to pre-existing public emotions and to contain as many factual elements as possible to resist good-faith refutation.   Soon, small scale anti-Voxelian demonstrations and pro-unity counter-demonstrations were growing in the city, though these were initially small in scope and peaceful in nature. The otherwise libertarian Craterhold Moot struggled to cope with an increase in assaults, muggings, and vandalism directed against New Voxelians and their property within the city, and it became unsafe to walk along the perimeter wall avenues at night. These issues didn't stretch much beyond the city's walls, however; rural Holdsmen of all ethnicities had more arms for self-defense and stronger allegiances to their families - which were often heavily blended - than to their ethnicities per se.   In late Irsten 9975 AR, digits of the 125 Hands approached local impoverished people and criminal gangs with offers of money if they could successfully spark violence at the public demonstrations. These activities were paid for with money stolen during other 125 Hands operations, specificially the proceeds of systems intrusions concurrently carried out against Data Engines Limited government systems in the Commonwealth of C. Luckily for the Coalition, these gear-grinders never uncovered any evidence of the Elastomer Souls which would later put down the Uprising.

The Engagement

League Dieseltech Armory by BCGR_Wurth
On Abirsten 14, 9975 AR, a protest outside the local League Dieseltech Armory offices turned violent when provocateurs, paid by the 125 Hands, began hurling lit jugs of Bee's Lantern into the crowd of counter-protesters. LDA security officers clad in BF-6 "Fortress" Mobile Stronghold Auto-Armor pushed the growing riot away from the building, while agents paid by the Hands led detatchments to torch New Voxelian-owned businesses and attack any of that ethnicity who might be walking the streets at the time.   The location of the LDA offices within the commissure-adjacent district meant that these spreading tendrils of unrest were protected from immediate municipal security response by the commissure's sheer drops on one side and the tall commercial and industrial buildings (preventing direct aerial tracking or deployment) on the other. The local Coalition air base offered ACG-1 "Aquila" Combat Autogyro support for Moot security forces, but the Moot refused on the grounds that this was an internal affair. Coalition leadership disagreed, as Craterhold was the keystone to the Coalition's 'wall of force' on the Medial D front, but acquiesced on diplomatic grounds. As such, alone and limited in number, Moot security quickly found that they could not handle the atomized pockets of violence.   After several weeks of spiraling violence, members of the Coalition's Military and Political Sphere councils grew concerned enough about the situation to take matters into their own hands. Without addressing the members of the councils from Craterhold, these members worked in secret to create a false flag event which would serve to distract the Craterhold public and reunite them in facing their real enemy: the Grand Army of Voxelia.
Coalition Insignia by BCGR_wurth
Elastomer Souls were armed with captured Voxelian equipment. Gear-grinders from the Coalition were tasked with creating a plausible disruption in Craterhold early warning systms in the local commissure; the information gained from this insider attack would also be used to patch any security vulnerabilities found thereby. The commander of the coalition carrier airship CDAF Mourncloud was given a set of secret orders to carry out, along with drop pods full of undisclosed equipment to be deployed into the municipality at the order of CDF military command.   On the 12th of Iksunten, 9975 AR, the Coalition's secret plan was put into action. On the signal, the Mournhold crossed over from the Medial D front to Medial C via the Craterhold commissure. At the same time, the local defense skystations experienced power outages and bursts of radio interference due to the interference of Coalition infiltrators, preventing them from identifying the Mourncloud properly as an allied vehicle. Once through, the Mourncloud dropped its payload and made for the inflection layer; by the time any anti-air guns could be turned on the 'unknown' vehicle in response to this drop, the Mournhold would be safely out of range.  
GAV Seal by BCGR_Wurth
Upon landing, the drop pods opened to reveal squads of Elastomer Souls disguised as GAV PM "Paladin" Main Battle Auto-Armor and carrying MH-2 "Monarch" Mellification Cannons, which began marching through the streets towards known pockets of rioting and engaging anyone who stood in their way, New Voxelian or Elovisian. Meanwhile, once the communications blackout ended a few minutes later, an 'intelligence bulletin' was issued by CDF forces that a Voxelian incursion had occurred, and partially New Voxelian League Army units were dispatched to provide reinforcements to the besieged municipal security forces. Ultimately, the Elastomer Souls were either destroyed outright or self-destructed to simulate dieseltech runaways caused by combat damage.


The incident with the disguised Elastomer Souls caused many of the rioters to scatter and gave a pretext for security forces and Coalition military personnel to sweep in, clearing the streets long enough to restore order. The Craterhold Uprising was declared over by the end of the day on Iksunten 13, 9975 AR. Photos in the Gazette of the unified Coalition soldiers clearing out the 'Voxelian' armored units - along with a carefully-considered propaganda messaging on the part of the Coalition's Political Sphere - helped greatly sway public opinion towards the pro-union side and away from the 125 Hands plants.


While the use of 'fake Voxelians' to quell the Craterhold Uprising remains the subject of numerous conspiracy theories, the full truth of what happened that month in 9975 has never been declassified for fear of causing a public uproar or a diplomatic rift between Craterhold and the other Coalition States. The incident was eventually used as a pretext for the Second Treaty of Vivaldi Peak, which granted the Coalition (and the CDF in particular) expanded powers to intervene in incidents which, while occuring on foreign allied soil, risk the security of the Coalition as a whole. Later on, the Craterhold Moot did piece together enough evidence to recognize what the Coalition had done, causing them to become more circumspect in dealings with their erstwhile allies.

Historical Significance


While the operation was successful in stopping the Uprising and providing justification for the Second Treaty of Vivaldi peak (which allowed the CDF to intervene in internal threats to the alliance), the Commonwealth government's relationship with the Craterhold Moot (who were initially kept ignorant in an effort to maintain upmost operational security) cooled significantly in the aftermath. To this day, Data Engines Limited production facilities located within the municipality face an unusually high number of surprise inspections and delays when working with local suppliers. The local lords insist that this is a simple coincidence, but DEL actuarial tables tell a different story when compared with those of other manufacturers in the region.
Included under Conflict
Conflict Type
Battlefield Type
Start Date
Abirsten 14, 9975 AR
Ending Date
Iksunten 13, 9975 AR
Conflict Result
Riots suppressed; new safeguards put into place at national and supranational levels of governance

Cover image: Craterhold Walls by Artbreeder


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May 14, 2021 15:49 by Kahuna The Elder

Great artwork! I can see how each piece relates to the story0. Well done!

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - Creator of Arnathia