The Second Northern War Military Conflict in Rakuen | World Anvil
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The Second Northern War

A war of scars that don't fade.

The Conflict


Deep in Severní, war was afoot. The stalemate of the First Northern War left the many tribes of orcs belleagered. Their alliance with the kobolds and goblins splintered. The goblins raided the northeast coast of Dewa, while the kobolds retreated deep beyond The North Slope, supposedly called back by their gods, but with their primary military forces decimated. Although the Weigar clan held the border with Severní, they were weak at best, their defenses in shambles, and cooperating with the human alliances.   The humans fared little better, although they kept up appearances. Their battle was hardly a trounce, costing thousands of lives and even more in gold. Moreover, battles over the borders between Severní, The Golden Empire, Formosa, and Ezo meant that trust was in short supply. Only when Formosa and Ezo made a non-aggression pact and began defending Formosan territory together did The Confederation organize a peace treaty for all three countries. In The First Northern Wars, humans were their own worst enemies. Nevertheless, they vanquished the mob hordes that descended, forced a treaty, and were demanding retribution from the orcs that surrendered.   And it all pissed Kurdan off. Kurdan was off to war at 8, and although he was fearsome on the front lines, nearly died when he took a lance through the chest. The weapon shattered his rib-cage, ripped through his back, and missed his heart only by inches. He was left aloft on the shaft of the lance as his arms and knees were snapped so he couldn't throttle anyone else who passed by. He was an example during the battle, an example of how humans thought of the North: so worthless, death wasn't even necessary, only to bleed out slowly upon the weapon that slayed you. By pure chance, the human front was pushed back, and a kobold healer was able to aid Kurdan, who was hastily sent off to his family's tribe.   That's what pissed him off. Sitting at home, relearning how to walk, relearning how to wield an axe, and watching The North surrender. Peace and reparations to the humans. Fools, they all were.   Kurdan worked his was to the top of his tribe by beheading his elder, slaying his wives and slaves, and demanding anyone in the town who thought they were stronger fight him. He killed 14 more before they knelt to him. He held power over one of the strongest tribes in the region, but he had ambitions. He began roaming to every region of Severní, meeting with old enemies. Anyone who would not speak to them as equals, he killed. Anyone who challenged him or his rule, he killed. Anyone who refused to do as he said, he enslaved. In time, he grew the largest army of orcs in the northern continent.   Because Kurdan had a plan. A plan no human had ever seen before. It would take time, but he had time to spare. 10 years of civil war with the orcish hordes. Only orcs and their slaves, no other weak races. There was no space for weakness here. Exploit the precarious alliance of all three nations of the north, and kill everyone in the process with the greatest army on Earth.


Kurdan's first phase was to take the northern city of Heijo. The city had been the source of the fighting with the Human Alliance, with The Golden Empire, Formosa, and Ezo all laying historical claim to the city - a bickering match that lasted over 1000 years. Kurdan would invade the city in a blitzkrieg, then ripple out into the countryside in all directions. Then, as the armies closed in, the leaders of the city would be killed, the orcs would hide in the sewers, and wait for the humans to do their worst.   Once the humans were fighting, and their northern borders forgotten, Kurdan's Army would once again rush south. The goal was not pillage nor plunder: the goal was as many dead and enslaved humans, and as many burned towns and fields as possible. Any human who would not fight against their own would be executed through hard labour; any human child found would be captured and raised as an orc until they forgot their species; any woman would be enslaved and breed more orcs in the homeland. The goal was not victory, but raw destruction and enslavement.


The Rape of Heijo is seen as one of the worst events in modern memory. As Kurdan expected, no city could stand strong against a horde of 10,000 orcs. The city was overrun in a day, every farm in the area being scorched, and the entire populace of the city enslaved. It was said only 2,500 bodies were found in a mass grave of a city of 15,000, and that the eastern coast was blanketed in the smoke and ash from all the fires. Orcish envoys were sent to each nation, insisting that their city would be returned for massive gold and slaves. As Kurdan expected, it enraged the humans, and they levied armies to march upon the city. 95% of the orcish troops, and all of the slaves, were evacuated immediately back to Severní. From here, the Heijo War was fought between the allied powers.   6 months later, Kurdan's Offensive began in earnest. As troops were drawn away from the northern borders in all three countries, Kurdan simply biding his time, building his own forces, preparing for his next blitzkrieg, known as The Three Arrows.

The Engagement

As the war built up around Heijo, Kurdan's forces crossed the Severní border and raced into the allied territories. The destinations were the capitals of Manchu in the Golden Empire, Hanseong in Formosa, and the provincial capital Tainan in Ezo-Dewa. These far southern destinations seemed like distant goals in the First Northern War. But in Kurdan's Offensive, since these were the only destinations, these were mere playthings. Kurdan wished for his armies, "To move like guiding arrows. You are beacons. Fly over the heads of our enemies and consume not their heads, nor their arms, but their hearts. Without the heart beating, the body falls limp."   His plan was remarkably successful. With the primary military offense raiding Heijo, and with only small warnings from other cities and towns, the capitals cold not understand the size or scale of the enemies until they had fallen upon them. The same strategy was put in place: enslave as many people as possible. This time, however, Kurdan used the sophisticated highways to move their slave army to the Dewa coast, where they used slaver ships to migrate as many of their newfound cache of humans as possible before sending the largest contingent of prisoners north on a journey known as The Way of Tears in Ezoan and Formosan history.   Meanwhile, Kurdan would leave his strongest troops in the capital cities, using these places as a staging ground for raids south. With a civil war in the north between the humans, protecting the capitals in the center of the country, and the orcs raiding further south than they ever have before, the entire Orient was set ablaze with the flames of war.   The Golden Empire was headless. Losing the capital of Manchu meant all lines of communication with the government was forfeit. The Confederation began mobilizing armies from the center of the nation upon Manchu in what is known as The Endless Siege, but Kurdan expected this, leaving himself and his largest contingent here as their base of operations. Only after two straight years of battle was Manchu finally recovered.   Formosa suffered terribly. With civil war and orcish raids in the north, but also an Orcish occupation that decimated their government - which exiled itself to Busan - the Formosan people instituted mandatory military service to take back the capital, to little avail. After several horrific losses, they abandoned Heijo, regrouped, and then allied with Ezo.   Ezo, to its own respect, had never seen such a sincere threat. Although the Strait of the Divide saved them from all-out invasion, there were nevertheless countless raids upon the North of Ezo, with even a few contingents of Kurdan's army camping out in the Sea of Trees. Moreover, with all of the Ezoan coast on the mainland under Kurdan's control, there was no way to contact them beyond naval means, which fortunately found no resistance. After nearly a year of panic, Emperor Miroku called upon The Most Serene Monarchy of Quartz, The Ruby Kingdoms of Caspia, and Bastion for aid. For a great amount of wealth that remains secret to this day, the nations provided both weaponry and the inclusion of multiple airships for the purposes of raiding. With these airships, the tides of the battle quickly turned, and the Ezo army began to support Formosa in a new alliance, claiming the eastern seaboard for themselves as they fought northward.   In time, Ezo's army united with Formosa's army began to march their way northward. The main contingent of forces were focused on retaking Hanseong, firebombing the city and splitting the Orcish line in two. The secondary force of the Ezo army took to defeating the orcish hordes that occupied the east coast, while also claiming the territory as their own through the wartime agreement with Formosa. Both armies, increasingly becoming more settled, began to force their way northward.   The Golden Empire lost an enormous amount of territory to the orcish hordes, but were eventually rebuffed by the central force of The Confederation. Once The Endless Siege finally came to an faltered, The People's Army of the Confederation moved northward until they had reached the Severní Range, where they ended their offenses entirely, having sustained too many losses.


Each combatant fared differently in its own respects.   The Golden Empire was struck hardest. With Manchu and Heijo lost, the country was sent into a state of shock. The majority of its nobility had either been killed or enslaved, and tens of thousands of lives were lost. Moreover, the dire need of the threat required The Confederation to pull away troops from their western front along the Opalesce border. Although the People's Army of the Confederation can handle even monumental losses such as were incurred, the blow is still disastrous, and untold amounts of families have been permanently altered by the war. The chaos within their borders have allowed Formosa to strengthen their border, meaning any chance at invasion of Formosa would be much harder fought.   Formosa limped back from the war with a Pyrrhic victory. On one hand, the nobility of Formosa was largely able to evacuate, maintaining the current government, and disallowing a power vacuum that could be exploited either by The Confederation or Ezo, nor within Formosa's own borders; however, the government was forced into exile, and had to be recontructed as they were reinstated. On one hand, with Ezo's aid, they were able to retake their capital; however, the entire city was razed by the airship firebombings. On one hand, once Formosa had regained control of their land; however, they also had to give up the entire eastern seaboard to Ezo for their aid. On one hand, Formosa now has one of the most vigilant armies in the Orient; however, this is at the cost of countless lives who were mostly civilian. Although Formosa was able to expand because of this war, calling it a pure victory would be short-sighted at best.   Ezo was largely victorious throughout the war. Dewa at the time was largely unincorporated and small, maintaing the two pennesulas on the eastern seaboard of the Orient. As Ezo pressed northward, they were granted any land they were able to conquer east of the Kuril Mountains. Although the fighting was hard, it also meant that the majority of their military could be sent for the task, and as The Confederation - their only other rival beyond Formosa, their direct ally in the war - would have to pass directly through Formosa if they intended to invade, Ezo would have plenty of time to regroup and counterattack. As this never came to pass, Ezo gained a large swathe of territory while also building positive relations with Formosa.   Kurdan's Army suffered great loss, yet great success. As the war effort was always slightly suicidal from the beginning - only expecting to cause chaos - the losses were all within the range of acceptability for Kurdan. As their forces began to be overrun, they retreated east in Dewa. Here, they encountered the Ezo army, and had harsh, brutal combat for years. Eventually, they were pushed all the way back across the Kuril Mountains into Formosa, and then back into Severní, where some of the harshest battles were fought, and where resistance remains to this day.

Historical Significance


The legacy of Kurdan's Offensive shows how a wild plan can be absolutely successful by exploiting every single weakness of an enemy with a patient strategy.   The Confederation struggles to this day to recover from the mighty blow it was dealt, the worst in the nation's history. Although The Golden Empire has largely been rebuilt, it is still fragile and weak, and as a result, The Confederation keeps a large contingent of its military permanently in the east to prevent uprisings, mutiny, while also presenting strength against Formosa.   Formosa is stronger than ever. Their losses necessitated a rebuilding of both Heijo and the capital in Hanseong. Many lives, primarily civilian, were also lost in the conflict. However, the ever-eager and formidable Formosans steeled themeslves. With no fear of an invasion from the east, seeing Ezo as an ally, Formosa pushed all its military to the north and west, countering what were always their most dangerous rivals. Moreover, before the war, many small nation states were beginning to perk up in the north of Formosa, near the Heijo region, potentially seeking independence from what they saw as a distant government in the south that did not serve them. These same potential nations were the first to be swept over by the orcish hordes, and any dissent was quickly washed away with the blood of war.   Ezo only grew in strength from the war. They expanded their colonies further than ever before. This meant much more administration for them, and also encouraging many peasants to migrate to the far-lands and populate them, for fear that if they weren't maintained, they would either be taken back by Formosan rebels, the Formosans themselves, or by another orcish horde from the north. Ezo also rarely saw direct military battles. This war is seen as some of the most destructive in the last century, and the scars of the war can be seen in families throughout the empire, with elderly and no youth to pass on their name, or split families who lost their structure due to causalities of warfare.
Conflict Type
Battlefield Type
Start Date
Ending Date
Conflict Result
The Hume Nations were victorious.


  • Rakuen


Kurdan's Army

Led by






Cause chaos in the Orient.






Defend Ezo, colonize Dewa.

Led by






Regain the homeland, regain Hanseong, regain Heijo.
The Golden Empire

Led by






Retake the capital, secure the borders.


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