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Peridotian Mutiny (per-i-DOH-shuhn | /pɛr ɪ 'doʊ ʃən/)

Also called the Naval Civil War -- a savage conflict

The Peridotian Mutiny was an uprising that took place entirely within the ranks of the Avalonian Imperial Navy following the events of the First Interstellar War (IW1). Also sometimes referred to as the Naval Civil War, the conflict involved open fighting and a blockade, with Navy personnel, or former Navy personnel, on both sides. It is regarded as a major embarrassment in Avalonian Navy history, and great effort was made to cover it up. Further, it inspired some of the most heroic figures of the First Interstellar War, the Voidchasers, to acts which might, by some measures, be considered treasonous.

The Conflict

Prelude

Origin

The Avalonian Navy did not fare well during the first half of the First Interstellar War (IW1). They were outnumbered considerably by the Fomorians of the Solstice Pact, and were not able to swell their numbers to deal sufficiently with the attrition. As a result, the elves turned to magic to even the odds.   The fledgling Research & Development Division of the Navy conducted a series of experiments to improve their chances. Their early observations of "Bug-Men" units, such as the Voidchasers, yielded promise, but the costs of the "bug-suits" were so high that they were impractical to introduce in any numbers.   Seeking a cheaper and easier way to provide the same sort of results, R&D inducted a number of volunteers into a secret program to bind their spirits with those of powerful, usually predatory animals, such as bears, wolves, predatory cats, and so forth, to create shapeshifters who would be known as Berserkers. While precedences existed for such creatures in natural shapeshifters, and in shamanic rites of many different cultures, this was something different. Rumours persist that R&D shied away from nothing to create these powerful and dangerous supersoldiers, including forbidden rites of necromancy.  
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Berserker by Viergacht

The Berserkers in the First Interstellar War

The experiments were deemed a success. About 300 Berserkers survived the process. They were one of the factors that turned the tide of the war. Fomorians quickly came to fear the cry of "Berserker!" from any of their crew, as one or two Berserkers at a time were capable of slaughtering entire ships. They were scattered throughout the other marines in the Avalonian Imperial Marine Corps, and eventually, the Avalonian forces proved victorious after the war.  

The Return and the Dilemma

Initially, the Berserkers were greeted as heroes when they returned to their homes and families, but all was not as well as it seemed. The combination of "berserker rages" and trauma from the war led to dangerous, and in some cases, disastrous incidents, as the Berserkers soon found that shapeshifting into a giant animal hybrid with claws and teeth in the middle of their village was a recipe for tragedy.   When news of this spread, some factions within the Navy began to say in hushed tones that the Berserkers, while brave and noble, had clearly altered their bodies and spirits sufficiently that they were no longer elves, and should no longer be welcomed in elven communities. As the incidents mounted, the whispers got louder. Finally, the voices reached the ears of Star Command, who were quickly convinced that the Berserkers represented a security threat.   Star Command discussed the issue at length, and met with the highest ranked Berserkers in consultation. It was mutually agreed that the Berserkers should be confined to an isolated area, for their safety, and the safety of everyone around them.  

Transportation

The small worlds of Yggdrasil's Sprout, having been settled just before the outbreak of IW1, still had vast reaches of isolated territory, and yet were right under the watchful eyes of the Navy, so relatively easy to monitor. In the southern taiga regions of the world of Ruby a colony was formed under the moniker Sunreach Territory . However, everyone was fully aware that whatever it was called, it was, in fact, a prison.   Most Berserkers allowed themselves to be transported to the Sunreach Territory voluntarily, but rumours persist that many, who were resentful of what the Navy had done to them, did not, and that they and their descendants are still somewhere out there in Known Space, where, some say, they are plotting revenge.  

Sunreach Territory

Initially, conditions were tolerable at Sunreach. The Navy felt guilty about exiling some of their greatest war heroes, and made efforts to make conditions at the colony as good as they could possibly be. Being in a taiga, there was no shortage of building materials in the coniferous trees, and most of the Berserkers were well-adapted to such an environment.   But over time, resentment grew. The veterans began to figure out ways to control their rage, and children were eventually born to the "colonists" who did not exhibit the uncontrolled rage that their parents experienced. They began to chafe under the restrictions, and requested release from the colony.  
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Mikarraee Hawkflower by Artbreeder

The Hawkflower Administration

However, by this time, Marine Captain Mikarraee Hawkflower , an Archmage, had been charged with administration of the colony. She was a hard-liner who felt that Berserkers were corrupted monsters and violations of the laws of nature. She was a brutal administrator who routinely violated the basic rights of personhood of her charges. Whether or not the scuttlebutt about what went on at the colony was true, the conditions at Sunreach became intolerable, and were made worse by the fact that the Navy had started shipping other military and political prisoners to the colony as well.   The deteriorating conditions did not go entirely unnoticed. Marine Captain Navar Goldenbough routinely wrote his friends, the Voidchasers, an elite, decorated marine unit. His letters were censored, but this raised the Voidchasers' hackles right away. Lieutenant Alesander Tremayne, who had been assigned to manage Supply after the war, began to cook the logistics books, and slipped extra victuals into the orders he received for the colony.   Then, a number of the non-Berserker members of the colony became sick, as an epidemic spread through the colony. Captain Hawkflower denied them basic medicine and medical care, despite there being no shortage in the shipments. The surge of resentment and struggle with hardship broke free, and the members of the colony rebelled.

Deployment

The colonists initially deployed 20 Berserkers to each of the four grounded men-o-war that were guarding the colony, and two companies of mixed colonists to engage the four companies of marines that supported them. In the subsequent low-orbit space battle, four stolen men-o-war were deployed against the two men-o-war of the occupying sailors and marines who were in the air.   A small fleet of warships, including ten torpedo-boats, four corvettes, four frigates, two men-o-war and a dreadnaught, came to reinforce the occupying sailor and marines. The Voidchasers brought a fleet of five torpedo-boats, two corvettes, three frigates, and two men-o-war to reinforce the colonists, along with three Gnomish merchantmen.

Battlefield

The battlefield was two-fold; the surface of Ruby, and the orbit and surrounding space of Ruby and Yggdrasil's Sprout.

The Engagement

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Navar Goldenbough by Artbreeder
The colonists attacked on the early morning on the 11th of Buck Moon, when the marines were the least alert, and when the Berserker's enhanced animal senses, and the natural night vision of the few healthy Fomorians still standing, gave them the advantage. The marines, though trained veterans themselves, were taken completely by surprise. The colonists, under the command of Marine Captain Navar Goldenbough, seized the four guard towers and four out of the six men-o-war with only a half dozen casualties in the initial skirmishes.   Response from the two men-o-war still in the air was swift. A desperate low-orbit aerial combat ensued. One ship was splashed off the coast of the colony, and most of its crew and marine compliment are believed to have drowned in the freezing ocean. The sixth, unfortunately for the rebels, managed to escape.   The escaped man-o-war, the Swordsinger , made it back to Skyreach Harbour and sounded the alarm. The flotilla assigned to Skyreach, under the command of Commodore Lord Numilor Goldenbough, immediately took wing against the colony, under Goldenbough's orders to wipe it out. They also sent a request to Fleet Command on Telasia to reinforce the flotilla with a planetary blockade.   However, Marine Captain Selene Wintermist Sunfall went over the heads of Star Command, directly to King Xerxes Radiant and the Imperial Crown Prince Selnaris Khi'Marinae, and the Voidchasers rallied a flotilla of Navy ships out of Skyreach Harbour and Kanothi on Peridot to oppose them. They were joined by a small flotilla of Gnome ships out of Whirlybird.   A standoff ensued for several months, broken by the occasional dogfight and skirmishes between the grounded marines and the colonists. Casualties for the land-battle mounted over the lengthening weeks. In a temporary ceasefire, Captain Hawkflower was released to the blockading fleet. She immediately used the opportunity to appeal to Star Command for the Navy's assistance in eliminating the colonists.   Her appeal backfired. When the Telasian Fleet arrived, they moved instead to force a more lasting ceasefire.

Outcome

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Zaaste Auroraborn by Artbreeder
After the inquest and court martial, strongly influenced by the involvement of the Imperial Crown Prince and the sovereign ruler of the Telasian System, the colonists were resettled in an area of their choosing, on Ruby so that it would not fall in the direct jurisdiction of the Avalonian Navy. Zaaste Auroraborn was elected as the first Queen of the new Starbluff Suzerainty, which gave its loyalty to the Celestial Throne of Avalon without the Navy's oversight.   Zaaste Hawkflower was brought up on charges for her excesses, and allowed to retire from the service.   Selene Wintermist Sunfall and the Voidchasers were also brought up on charges. Alesander Tremayne was court martialed and sentenced to prison for Inciting Sedition in a Navy Officer. In return for dropping the charges against her crew, Captain Sunfall also retired from the service, after requesting that her father, the Imperial Prince, have her records sealed.

Aftermath

The Starbluff Suzerainty later dealt with a mutiny in their own ranks, but for the most part, continue a quiet existence, content to be left alone.   There is not a Berserker left alive who will serve in the Avalonian armed forces.
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Toy Soldiers by Sable Aradia

The Voidchasers
Conflict Type
Military Campaign
Battlefield Type
Planetary
Start Date
11 Buck Moon, 4943 AC
Ending Date
17 Hunter's Moon, 4943 AC
Conflict Result
Victory for the Berserkers, establishment of the Starbluff Suzerainty .

Belligerents

Telasian Fleet, Avalonian Imperial Navy

Led by

Strength

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Avalonian Imperial Navy Crest

  • 10 torpedo-boats, full crew and compliment (10 marines)
  • 4 corvettes, full compliment and crew (20 marines)
  • 4 frigates, full compliment and crew (40 marines)
  • 8 men-o-war, full compliment and crew (100 marines)
  • 1 dreadnaught, full compliment and crew (120 marines)

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Starbluff Suzerainty Crest

  • 2 companies of Berserkers
  • 3 companies of mixed colonists
  • 5 torpedo-boats at half compliment (5 marines)
  • 2 corvettes at half compliment (10 marines)
  • 3 frigates at half compliment (20 marines)
  • 2 men-o-war at half compliment (33 marines)

Casualties

  • 127 marines killed, 55 wounded
  • 155 sailors killed, 60 wounded
  • 17 Berserkers killed, 59 wounded
  • 45 colonists killed, 24 wounded
  • 8 marines killed, 35 wounded
  • 25 sailors killed, 67 wounded

Objectives

To quell the Berserker uprising in the Sunreach Territory .
To break free of the oppressive conditions in the Sunreach Territory .

Maps

  • Peridot
    Peridot is a small world in the roots of the Tree of Life known as Yggdrasil's Sprout, located in the far reaches of the Telasian System. It was settled primarily by elves and gnomes, and serves as an outpost for the Avalonian Imperial Navy in the system.
  • Sunreach Territory
    The original borders of the Sunreach Territory penal colony on Ruby .

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Originally, Peridot was established by the Avalonian Imperial Navy as a deep space outpost. Over time, small civilian colonies of elves, and even gnomes, also settled the planetoid.

Selene Wintermist Sunfall
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Selene Sunfall (née Wintermist) is a highly-respected and much loved priestess of Arianrhod. Selene, however, has a complicated past; one with equal measures of fame and infamy.

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The Black Hole Division was, as far as the rest of the universe is concerned, a short-lived mutinous force. In reality, they are a lot more than that.


Honourable Mention: SummerCamp 2021 Military Conflict Category "A bloody coup, rebellion or uprising"


Cover image: Berserker by EliceSp

Comments

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Forgemaster Dimitris
Dimitris Havlidis
10 Aug, 2021 08:12

Very nicely done Sable! 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!

18 Sep, 2021 23:49

SummerCamp was such a joy, as I have come to expect! Thanks for having a read, and thanks for making me an Honourable Mention! I love doing military conflicts, and will be picking your brains as to how I can improve. And as always, thank you so much again for World Anvil, and for all the wonderful things that you do *big hugs*

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
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