The Second Armada
The Second Armada takes place 90 years after the start of the First Armada, which involved the Federation states and Cantari Empire in a bloody naval war across several seas, disrupting coastlands and nearby islands attached to various countries and affinities. By the end of the First Armada, The Federation assumed victory, and claimed Taru alongside other countries from Cantari. After an uneasy era of peace, threats of a full scale rebellion and logistical difficulties, the Federation relinquished the possessed lands as independent, self-governed countries. Some of the newly independent countries willingly joined Cantari, through fears that the Federation may invade once again, others were 'acquired' through politics or war by Cantari. As time went on, nearby countries that bordered Cantari were involved in consequence conflicts, as Cantari began an age of rapid expansion. Countries such as Medevék continue to have such problems with Cantari, and have been forced to sign a treaty that they will not allow magi to remain in their borders.Then, during the years 570 to 575 AL, the world saw a brutal conflict against Taru, called the War of Spears. After political negotiation failed, Cantari attempted to take Taru by force through specialised land soldiers, including the infamous Red Spears. The Federation decided to defend Taru. After the war, there was no clear winner, causing civil unrest to remain in Taru for years to come. An unofficial truce between the Federation and Cantari slowly developed, but the conflict stalled Taru's growth and there was widespread hunger and lack of resources. 30 years later, the Second Armada would begin.
War of the FlagsAs the Armada raged on, a dark, subtle war within Taru stirred and erupted to an openly aggressive civil war, known as the War of the Flags. The Taruan people were afraid of the future of themselves and their country. Some believed it would be best to support the Federation, as they supported Taru during the War of Spears. Others believed Cantari had the answer, and that the new Emperor would lead Taru out of poverty. It began as a covert operation likely started by Cantari and Federation spies themselves. The Cantari followers would use flags made of red rags to identify each other on sloops or at a slumhouse window. They would then try to appeal to other Taruan people to join them, and show support with funds or ships, often through convincing others that they were pro-independence, and wanted to raise defence against any one who would try to attack Taru borders. Lo Chen joined the 'Red Flags' at the age of 17, naively believing it would leave to an independent Taru. He left after discovering they were pro-Cantari. A subsequence 'Blue Flags' group were created, who used similar tactics but were pro-Federation. Violence erupted between the Red Flags and Blue Flags groups, which saw Taruan families fighting each other to the death over ideology. Many of whom did not fully understand the ideology they were dying for. Motivated by the death of his mother, Lo Chen joined the new group, 'Grey flags', which focused on helping injured Taruans from the violence and securing resources from sunken Cantari or Federation ships. The group was mostly left alone by the Red Flags and the Blue Flags, until the Grey Flag's most prominent ship was caught in crossfire between the two flags, and their admiral died of shrapnel wounds. At this time, Lo Chen and his brother, Qing Chen, led the Grey Flags and dramatically changed the nature of Taru's civil war, and the Second Armada itself. They succeeded in convincing key members of the Red Flags and Blue Flags to join them, and stopped the propaganda from Cantari and Federation agents. The civil unrest ended, and Taru was once against united, but fragile. A united Taru was seen as problematic for both Cantari and The Federation. Finally, the country had potential to grow and claim true independence. And thus, Taru became a target in the war, whether it wanted to or not.
"Most of us weren't sure what was going on, let alone what side we were supposed to fight for."- Lo Chen
For most nations, merfolk have simply been a myth or a legend. However, during the Second Armada, the Taruan merfolk gave up their anonymity in exchange for ending the war and saving their home in the ocean.
"Great, we have a small and battered frigate led by a young crew of conscripts. Was that really worth the effort, Lo?" Asked Foreman Ko. Lo Chen simply let his Forbidden Eye glow at Ko, that made him shudder. "It's that red haired captain." Qing said. "She may yet help turn the tide."After a long and arduous meeting, Lo Chen, Qing, Bohai and Alice agreed to launch a surprise attack on the Federation and Cantari. In their minds, it was a desperate last hope attempt to discourage once and for all, the race of conquest the empires were launching against Taru. Alice asked that she would be able to negotiate Federation's surrender, if there was an opportunity. Lo Chen agreed, and they used law magic to secure the deal.
The Surprise AttackThe most dangerous and unpredictable concepts of magic is Calling magic, which can be used by human magi and merfolk. By using calling magic, the user is creating a deep connection with the world of Gaia herself, and pushes forward their will and desires. It cannot be carefully curated. Calling magic is power that explodes forward. It launches the power of the living world and sets things in motion. It is deadly to the user if one foolishly attempts to fully control it, instead, Calling magic can simply be directed. The user would be best advised to accept any and all consequences, including the destruction before them. It is Calling magic that was used in the surprise attack. Bohai's Calling magic drowned platoons of prison warships and caused great underwater creatures to rise and crush. Lo Chen's Calling magic launched typhoons against the front of enemy fleets that faced towards the coast. High winds struck sails and turned ships towards each other, creating a reckoning chaos. Alice Monaghan first attempted to contact Federation fleets after Lo Chen's attack using a combination of Illusion and Transportation magic. She succeeded in convincing several Federation fleets to turn, which would greatly influence her life later. In retaliation however, the largest Federation frigate, The Scarlet Hunter, fired upon Taru ships towards Lo Chen. Without another moment of hesitation or thought, Alice launched her Calling magic. She felt anger and grief at the loss she witnessed around her, and while she would never admit it... She was afraid she would lose Lo Chen. Her Calling magic created an incredible once in a generation storm that struck wildly and indiscriminately. Catastrophic hurricanes tore through ships on either side, Cantari, Federation or Taru without mercy. Lo Chen couldn't hear his own screams as his brother, Qing, was ripped away from the ship and crashed overboard. He took a moment to control himself and held himself alone on his ship, as his crew were drowning. He used Calling magic once more to create a barrier to protect from Alice's raw power. In doing so, he managed to save the majority of the Taruan fleet, and Qing was able to pull himself back on board. The sea quietened by the Taruan shore, but the screams and winds ahead of them continued for a long, terrible moment. And finally, the war was won. Somehow, Taru had defeated two empires at once.
"It's screaming at me, and there's nothing I can do." Meili cried. "It's not his fault. But I can't stop hearing it! I hate this."