Roderick's Rebellion

Roderick Wesler was just one of many people who were tired of being pushed around all of his life and because of that a whole war started just because so many people like him wanted to be treated with dignity - Sir Dayne of Wayne

The Conflict

Prelude

Roderick Wesler and famer turned fugitive gathered an army to rebel against the tyranny of the crown of the Kingdom of Ardania. With many more following his example to take up arms to fight King Joseph IV.

Historical Significance

Rebellion Against Tyranny

  The rebellion did not happen overnight, but for several years, like Joseph, the Tyrant abused his powers as a king as his people suffered and gave them high taxes and let the nobility run rampant to do as they pleased. Allowing for centuries of rights and laws for the commoners to be thrown out as if they were trash. Leading to one man by the name of Roderick Wesler to take up arms against the crown after enduring years of abuse from it and demanded justice for all the wrongs done to him and so many others. Leading to hundreds of militias across the kingdom to rise and answer his call to arms. At first, this rebellion was seen as nothing more than a minor threat as they were nothing more than farmers with pitchforks. Though they would sing a different tune when the farmers with pitchforks began slaughtering them and their soldiers as many of the militia had been training themselves to defend their homes for years. Leading to a much longer conflict and bloody than anticipated, leading to the deaths of thousands after it was all said and done.   It all started with a raid on a royal garrison in the town of Sanswich, by Roderick Wesler and his band outlaws known as the Freemen that wanted to equip themselves with better weapons and armor to defend themselves against the agents of the crown that had been on their trail for some time know as they traveled from place to place seeking refuge where ever they could find it. Though what they didn't expect was that it was a trap that they were running into as the garrison was empty and there were no weapons to be found as the outside of the building was swarmed with guards and royal soldiers that had trapped them Inside of the garrison as they had to be spotted only a few hours earlier by one of the guards and knew they were going to attack the garrison as it was the only interest that the town had. It was here that Roderick and his men barricaded themselves in to avoid the better-equipped royal forces from storming in. This led to a stand-off between both sides as neither side wanted to attack not knowing what the other was capable of. Roderick was asked to surrender several times peacefully along with his men and they would be spared. But surrender would only mean death for them as they were branded traitors to the kingdom and would end up with a rope around their neck as a result.   It was here that the captain of the garrison, Louis Then, and Roderick began debating over who the real criminals were and what makes a good ruler, along with how he was wronged by the crown among many others that were with him. This would gather a crowd that grew larger and larger as this went on until the garrison was surrounded by an angry mob that empathized with Roderick as many of them have suffered in the years of Joseph IV was in power and often had to deal with abuse from the nobility because of it. It was here that the mob attacked the soldiers and quickly overran them and many of them were killed before they could fight back. Those that remained were spared due to Roderick's interference as they were not at fault either as they were only following orders. They were instead locked in the prison cells, along with the sheriff and the mayor to stop anyone from reporting what had happened to the crown. It was here that the mob began praising Roderick as a hero for his defiance against the tyranny of the nobility and only humbly replied that he was just a farmer. It was here that they were brought to the town's church where they met with a priest that would give them refuge. It was from that the embers of rebellion would turn into flames after many days as the townsfolk wanted to join Roderick in his fight against those who had wronged them. It was here that the Freedmen's Rebellion would take place as Roderick began secretly training an army for a few months, spreading the word to militias across the land to take up arms with him and many did just that. It wasn't until Then finally escaped his imprisonment along with several others by breaking the bars of their cells that anyone first heard of the news of rebellion as it's secretly being committed at this point.    

Year One

As the war began with the mobilization of every noble in the region near Sanswich to put down the rebellion before it would escape. But by the time they arrived the rebels were already gone with only those they imprisoned remaining. It was from here that they sent scouts to look for them and they eventually found them taking refugees on Stone Hill several miles away from town. It was from here that a large force composed of several noble houses, most notably House Legan, House Julmer, and House Stone were leading the charge. It was first believed that the rebels were only a few hundred people and could easily be crushed. Though it quickly changed as they made their advance up the hill that comprised several thousand that hid behind the rocky terrain of the hill.   Resulting in the noble forces being caught off guard and forced to retreat with many of them killed and several of their lords with them. It was from that another battle would take place a week later at Hesten as nobles of the area heard what happened and rallied their forces to fight the rebels. But shortly after they would be confronted by a second rebel army that had been secretly gathering and wiped them out while they were marching towards Stone Hill. One of the rebel leaders, Orion Madok, making his debut as his large size intimidated many of the soldiers calling him a "Giant" and that name would stick. By this time Roderick's rebels had fortified themselves on Stone Hill for the time being until they could properly organize and have a plan of attack. All the while preparing for another attack from the royal forces, but that would never come as the nobility was reassessing the situation as reports of rebel forces shocked them as they never thought it would be this large and had to deal with these other threats before they could become too strong. It was from here small skirmishes would have daily as rebels were trying to fight soldiers stationed near their home as many on both sides tried to gain control of their settlement by wiping out the other that shared it. Along with rebels trying to get food and weapons to support their growing armies. It would be many months before any more battles would take place until things died down. The final battle of that year would be the Battle of Lansburg as a third rebel army had held the town of Landsburg and the remaining royal forces in the area would meet it. Despite it being the first victory the royal forces had taken major causes to win that victory and any rebel forces that were captured were hanged afterward. Winter would then come a month later and both sides waited to lick their wounds and prepare for spring to attack once more. It was during this time that guerrilla warfare was used by both sides to steal or destroy resources, along with sabotaging their means to wage war with one another. The most infamous of these guerrilla would be the Wild Blades lead by Sir Dayne of Wayne a Knight that was unconventional and believed in achieving victory at any cost. Along with a rebel fighter known as Gerard Lumer, who leads his group known as the Knives in the Back that often took the ears of those they killed as trophies.  

Year Two

  It wasn't until late spring the first battle of the war would start as intense rain that in early had caused roads to bog down leading many armies unable to move their forces until the ground dried. But during that time Roderick's army had finally left Stone Hill after training his men more and conducting raids in nearby lands for weapons and supplies. Along with gathering intelligence on the enemy and joining up with other rebel forces. It was during this time he would move his army through the countryside and away from the roads to meet up with Orion Madok's forces to create a larger force. With the remains of several other rebel forces joining them as they headed there. As for the Royal forces they were currently in complete disarray as their leadership was scattered and were often unable to deliver messages to one another due to the constant rebel activity. But during the time the royal was able to completely form up with winter, along with several noble houses finally managing to gather together to make a larger host. It was one of these hosts that would start the Battle of Crooked Knee which was a river in the south that resulted in another defeat for the crown as the rebels caught them as they were crossing the river leaving the forces of the crown divide and may who were still waist-deep in the water struggling to make it ashore with many of them would drown once they were routed as they were trampled on by their comrades.   When early summer arrived, the crown's forces would be sent out to eradicate its forces. Though made no contact with any large armies at this point they would clear out smaller rebel forces before they could gather to form a larger host. It was from here that many settlements would be destroyed being suspected of rebel activity despite many of the rebels leaving these settlements they were destroyed anyway. It was from these massacres that an enraged Roderick's army would march of forested region of Evergreen in the attempt to outflank the royal army that remained near the capital of Asron and lay siege to the city as the rebels would not last in the long term conflict as they were under-equipped and outnumbered. This did not go as planned however as their army was spotted by a royal scout and news was given to the army to meet them in battle. From here the rebels would take up a position in Evergreen Forest to force the army to fight on their terms. Which they did meet them in and resulted in slaughter on both sides as many of their losses in the forest as they had no prior knowledge of it before the battle and many battle formations proved ineffective in their forest environment. Leading both sides to retreat to avoid theirs from being wiped out as it was nothing more than an unorganized brawl with no clear winner. Despite the royal army's losses, the rebels took a harder hit than they anticipated and had to leave quickly before enemy reinforcements arrived. It took some time before they even realized that the rebels even left the forest as they had set up dummies and fake camps to trick them as they fled into the night. Not knowing where the rebels fled to, the crown's forces did not try to pursue them as they were still recovering from their losses. Along with the rebel forces, they march throughout the night to gain distance between them as they head south away from the capital. Any means of further confrontation were considered ill-advised due to the lack of numbers and survivors would find in the town of Luge as it was of the few remaining rebel holdings in the region where they could seek refuge. As the rebel forces during that time were almost wiped out by the crown's brutal tactics had left the countryside in flames with many dead with them, with many civilians who were not a part of the rebellion becoming victims in the conflict. It was from here that Roderick and the remaining rebel leaders had to plan properly their next move or be completely wiped out.   It was from here that the conflict showed sides of dying down as both sides suffered great losses and sought after more manpower to increase their numbers. King Joseph himself even ordered the Banors of the borderlands to take up arms in the name of the crown. But they refused as it was against the law for Banors to take up arms in the cases of internal conflicts as they were meant to protect the borders from external threats. So where forces from all the Border Guard Forces despite receiving threats from the king as being traitors they remained neutral in the conflict as the rebels never attracted their holdings as they knew of their importance. Very few soldiers could be mustered as many people would be conscripted but were often read to violence as the people who stayed out for the war were tired of the fighting and wanted to stay out of the conflict entirely, often chasing out both sides to avoid further destruction. From here, the crown had to plan thoroughly to ensure that they would achieve overall victory or they could lose tels. The same went with the rebels as well as their numbers were quickly dwindling in open battle against the better equipped royal forces. But it wasn't till one of the last remaining rebel armies began to march to join Roderick's forces that the royal army finally made its move splitting its forces in half to allow one group to intercept the rebel while the other headed towards Luge. It was here that the royal force intercepting the rebel forces would meet the village of Everly and begin the battle of Everly which led to the royal army defeating and scattering the rebels to ensure that they did not regroup to fight another day. It was from here that the final battle would soon approach as both armies began to prepare to clash with one another. Though the rebels would leave Luge for a more favored location nearby known as Three Hills, they hoped to defeat the royal army. Though it would take a few days as royal forces were waiting for the forces at Everly to return. It was from here that rebels made use of their time and dug into hills to fight to the bitter end as it was victory or death at this point. Then the Battle of Three Hills would begin at noon with royal forces marching towards the hills under a blanket of fog that had come over them as the summer slowly turned to autumn. The rebels wanted to use it to their advantage to lure the royal army into a trap as a third of their forces had taken a position on each of the hills in the hope of outflanking them from all sides and in hopes of crushing them. Though they would have to time it right to ensure that the plan would work. The royal army however divided their forces into two as they had spotted one of the armies led by Madok the Giant and believed it was the main force and hoped to catch them in a pincer movement. The force to take the hill would be under the command of Herrshal Rupert Durand of House Durand. Though as the army took the hill to attack and the main army began to make it move they were attacked by the other two armies simultaneously as the fog began to clear. It was from here that royal forces were struggling to hold off the sudden attack from two sides. But soon enough Durand’s forces were triumphant and Madok was killed causing the rebels to route from the battle entirely and Durand came charging down the hill to outflank the rebel main force. Leading to the remains of their army being outnumbered and quickly coming apart with much of it surrendering and very few escaping the battle. Among the captured were several rebel leaders including Roderick Wesler, with his capture soon came the complete end of the rebellion as rebel forces gave up without his leadership.  

The Conclusion

  After Roderick’s capture, he and many of the rebels were brought back to the capital to face trial for treason as they were brought through the city streets no one cheered as it seemed that too much death had taken its toll as the capital itself had faced a famine that claimed thousands during the rebellion. It was from here that they would be placed in dungeons of the palace with Roderick being tortured to sign a confession to his treason to avoid a trial by the king himself. But it never came and he would stand in front of a court battered and bruised. It was from here that the court began to question his actions and the chaos he caused by starting the rebellion. With him only laughing at them saying that all of this was meaningless as he told even if didn’t start the rebellion some else would have taken his place. Along with him pointing out that many people only rebelled due to their government's conditions and treatment and treatment. Knowing he was going to die anyway he was going to say that the only crime that he ever committed was actually believing those lies for so and not rebelling soon to ride the land of the filth that believed that they had the right to rule because they were born into it.   It was from here that the court found him guilty and as they dragged them out he cursed the king to have his line severed and never rise again. It was from that he would be dragged to his execution and be hanged publicly to all who were attending. His final words were, "I die a free man. Can you say the same for yourselves? It? After his death, a riot took place as many in the crowd supported Wesler and his cause, while those who were loyal to the crown fought them. In the chaos, some of his supporters stormed the executioner's stand and took away his body before vanishing into the chaos around them. Though no one ever knew what became of them nor did they know where Roderick was buried or if he even was at all. It would take several days before the riots were finally put down, but significant damage was done to the part of the city. Many of the remaining rebel leaders were executed privately to avoid any more violence. Afterward, King Joseph wished to have a large manhunt on all of the rebels that went into hiding and have them executed for treason. Along with many of the Banors that refused to fight for him which would have led to more fighting and the kingdom's border's exposure to danger. It was from here that many of the nobles tried to reason with him saying that the war was over and those that remained were broken, not willing to fight again with no need to go after them. Along with the Banors, their role in the kingdom was to protect their lands from those who see them plundered and in ruins. It was from here King Joseph's behavior was finally causing many people to despise him as he believed that all of them should die for opposing his rightful rule.   It was from here that many nobles saw him unfit to rule the kingdom as his laws were what caused the rebellion to happen in the first place and with many of his allies either dead or turning on him, especially with their militaries in tatters it was no better time to get rid of him. Moments later the king would be arrested by his brother Peter and would be confined to his chambers until the nobility knew what to do to him. A few days later the king would be found dead in his chambers from poisoned wine which everyone wished to rule was a suicide as his death was the only appropriate measure to take to bring peace. After his death, his brother would be named king and be known as Peter II. It was from here the remaining rebels were released from their imprisonment and allowed to go home. From here, the new king wished to rebuild the kingdom from the rebellion and undo the damage that the former king had caused. Hoping to rebuild the land to what it once was and after half a decade it did and peace would finally cover the land and the abuse that the people had gone through would no longer happen as the nobles were now put on a short leash to ensure that the peace would last. But remains of the rebellion would remain for years to come as it was something that no one would easily forget.
Conflict Type
War
Start Date
1506
Ending Date
1508
Conflict Result
Kingdom crushes the rebellion

Belligerents

The Crown
The Rebellion

Strength

80,000
50,000

Casualties

49,323
38,123

Objectives

Wipe out the rebellion
Overthrow the crown

Major Battles

 
  • Battle of Stone Hill
 
  • Battle of Evergreen
 
  • Battle of the Three Hills
 

Minor Battles

 
  • Battle of Lansburg
 
  • Battle of Hesten
 
  • Battle of Everly
 
  • Battle of the Crooke Knee
 

Failings of a State

  It is considered that Roderick's Rebellion was considered the downfall of the Kingdom of Ardania by the time that the war finally ended and left the land in ruins for many years before it could finally rebuild, Leading it tweaking economically and militarily. This of course is nothing more than a lie as the kingdom had itself had been in decline for several centuries now as it had become trapped in stagnation and its leadership had become corrupt and complacent for some time now. It was only recently that in the last few decades that the kingdom had begun to rebuild itself and its power to become a great power once more. Though many of its old laws had still yet to be repelled to ensure that its people could have better lives and empowered the nobility. With conflicts between them being more common than it was centuries. But the incompetency and paranoia of King Joseph IV had caused the kingdom to fall apart by abusing his powers as king and empowering many nobles allied to him. It was with the rebellion that he had caused the involvement of decades of progress that truly caused the downfall of the kingdom.  

Chaotic Conflict

  When the rebellion began there were no proper rules of engagement with both sides which often lead to entire settlements just choosing sides on a whim to avoid destruction or because of their loyalties. Meaning those entire settlements would tear each other apart if they disagreed on who they should fight for. Some just remain neutral in the conflict to avoid destruction. There were no battle lines either for the conflict as a loyalist and rebel settlement and neutral were scattered across the kingdom with it often being number deciding the fate of regions and who they were occupied by. Making it highly difficult for both sides to decided where to attack as they could be surrounded by an enemy force with no hopes of reinforcements. What’s more, was skirmishes were often a daily event with both sides attacking each other to spread chaos and confusion where ever they went to weaken the enemy. It was not uncommon to suddenly end up in a skirmish either as they were often as unpredictable and they were brutal. Not even neutral settlements were safe either as they would often be attacked if they were suspected of harboring forces from either side even when they weren’t. Causing the needless death of many who just wanted to be left alone.  

Outcome

  Roderick Wesler is capture and hanged for treason against the crown. Along with many, those involved were hanged as well. While many more scattered and returned their home denies any involvement in the rebellion in hope of not finding themselves in a similar fate. Along with King Joseph himself being placed under house arrest due to his action and extreme methods he wanted to place on all who rebelled against the crown. He would later be replaced by his brother, Peter after he was found dead in his room.  

Aftermath

  A rise in famine and banditry began in the kingdom due to the lack of farmers lead to starvation in some regions of the kingdom. Along with growing resentment for the crown and its actions as it seemed to have failed it, people, for not caring for them properly. An increase in militias across the land continues as they no longer feel safe from those who swore to protect them. Many became homeless after the war as the crown had burned many settlements that supposedly contained rebels where or not it was true. Along with several noble houses wiped out and decrease in the military as much of its forces wiped out and which possibly was one of the many reasons the Vatian Empire invaded Ardania and beginning the War of the Raptors sixteen years later.  

Legacy

  The kingdom had mixed feeling about the rebellion in the years to come as many saw it as the sign that the kingdom was failing due to half the kingdom was against the crown with many of them being the poor that had suffered from the abuse of a ruler that did nothing but embolden himself at the expense of others. Roderick Wesler was also divided amongst the people as some saw him as a hero and others saw him a traitor. But none could deny that he was quite brave for what he did as so very few people ever do in the face of authority.

Cover image: Peasants' Revolt by maxprodanov

Comments

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Forgemaster Dimitris
Dimitris Havlidis
10 Aug, 2021 08:03

That was a LOOONG read! Thank you for submitting on my special category! I really hope you enjoyed taking part in SummerCamp this year! Have a wonderful day and I hope we see you on the awards ceremony!

Join me, become a Sky Pirate in the world of Lyra!

11 Aug, 2021 13:37

Thanks

May you forever find your way on the journey you set out on and make yourself greater.
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