Alainic Uprisings Military Conflict in Wyrion | World Anvil

Alainic Uprisings

Historical Overview



  In 454AR, with Alain III Braelea resigning himself to defeat in Somae, House Thewisy took charge of the Braelean Hedge Wars. In the Age of Rule, House Thewisy controlled a small portion of land for a major house, known as the Trifling Wards. While the territory would become known for its high level of centralization and efficient bureaucracy, these trends were just beginning at the time. Further, while the Crimson Quill existed, House Thewisy had not yet solidified their system of soft power, and was thus in a precarious position both militarily and politically. To prevent risk or any disturbance to Thewisy control over their small territory, Lord Pelain Thewisy's court decided against risking open combat.  
"With his withdrawal, Lord Alain took with him the body of his mentor, Sir Beraud, but left behind his stomach for combat. Deprived of a father, with a life of hardship, and his quest to retake his home necessitating the future loss of those close to him, it is hard to place blame, though the disappointment of his allies was manifest." - Sir Rys Thewisy, CQ, Blood Red Blossoms
  Instead, from 454 to 471AR, uprisings of varying success occured across the Blossom Fields. While they succeeded in disrupting House Semillon establishing control over the loyalist bureaucracy of the region, thus significantly reducing their income from wine and cider exports while increasing smuggling into neighboring territory, the uprisings led to excessive loss of life amongst the peasantry of the region. While Alain opposed this privately, he said nothing in public as his position was precarious, besides ordering his advisors to prevent Braelea men from engaging in wasted battles.  

Early Uprisings

  After his defeat, Alain was lodged comfortably in the Braelea Palace in Somae, with the tacit understanding amongst all that House Thewisy would take it from there. Agents from Somae began filtering over the border, delivering arms smuggled across Lake Salis to loyalist villages across the Blossom Fields. The first significant uprising took place in 457 at Perryden, a village at the mouth of the Timber.  

House Perry & Riverine Warfare

  So named because it was a slow and wide river, down which loggers would float lumber to Perryden from the Murkmantle, the Timber was an important site for shipbuilding. With the increase in smuggling into the neighboring Eastmarches, almost entirely into House Thewisy territory, House Reed, an ally of the Semillons, began basing a number of ships at Perryden to help crack down on smugglers. They were to be House Thewisy's first target.  
"House Perry, small in number, unnoteworthy in lineage, unimportant economically, was through their bravery able to postpone House Reed's control over the Timber and thus the Ciderwinde, giving the Cyrtons sufficient time to fortify their river." - Sir Rys Thewisy, CQ, Blood Red Blossoms
  When House Perry was finally convinced to be the first to raise their banner in defiance of the Semillons, Thewisy agents quickly acted to seize control of House Reed's ships in the Timber. Seizing many of those at anchor, they were sailed south to the Thewisy portion of Lake Salis, and were later joined by further Perry vessels as they were constructed.   While House Perry's uprising was helpful in delaying House Reed taking control over the waterways of the Blossom Fields, its true payoff was more for the Thewisys than the Braeleas. House Perry could not stand against the Free Company long without being part of a larger theatre, rather they were instead used as a test for the new system of uprisings. The result was positive for the Thewisys, who postponed the end of smuggling and gained new materiel for the coming war, but negative for the Perrys, who lost many men in their ensuing attempts to hold the Timber and protect the Ciderwinde Strip from a naval invasion.  

Cleavehill Uprising

  In the northwest of the Blossom Fields, atop an imposing seaside cliff, is the fortress of Cleavehill. A defensively important settlement, Cleavehill has long held the border of the Vinelands against any attack from their neighbors to the west, and their rulers, House Marcel, hold control of the Ruby Key, the main roadway into the Vestral Downs  A fractious region, overpopulated with minor houses and constantly quarreling, the Vestral Downs were the main source of income for House Semillon before they took Surlee. Here the Free Company did most of their work, and earned House Semillon a reputation for prowess amongst the houses of the area, creating potential allies for the conflict with the Braeleas. To circumvent this, House Thewisy sought to end House Marcel's neutrality, and gain control over the border for the Braelea faction.   Negotiations fell flat however, as House Marcel's patriarch was loath to give up his profitable position guarding the border and roadways, despite being close allies and cousins of the Braeleas. House Thewisy was forced to turn to their second plan, installing a new leader. They chose to back Bryn Marcel, son of the deceased mentor of Alain Braelea, Sir Beraud Marcel. Arming Bryn's faction, they attempted to take Lord Marcel by force, but after a day of skirmishes throughout the city, the uprising failed.   While Bryn Marcel was imprisoned and his men mostly killed, it was a strategic victory for the Thewisys, who sufficiently frightened Lord Marcel into maintaining his neutrality throughout the war and shuttering the border to potential Semillon allies.  

The Ciderwinde League

  The Ciderwinde League, a retroactively applied name for House Cyrton and their vassals, was both the most successful and most tragic of the uprisings. The towns around the Ciderwinde Strip make up the economic heart of the Blossom Fields, and here are produced, as one would expect, much of the cider and wine for which the region is famous. The greatest of the settlements in the area is Septhearth, ruled by House Cyrton, which holds the lords of the other towns along the waterway in vassalage.   House Cyrton, and their vassals, were early allies of the Braeleas, helping them flee during the Raymontale and seeing some of their men fall as the first casualties of the wars. Longtime rivals of House Semillon, Septhearth is just down the road from Caer Semillon, they often clashed with them over local issues. It was therefore no wonder, and took little goading by House Thewisy, when the Cyrtons and their vassals raised their banners in revolt in 460.    By this point, the Free Company was spread thin, dealing with House Perry, heading east to threaten House Salis into siding with them, garrisoning towns across the Blossom Fields to prevent their joining with the Braeleas, and marching around Lake Salis to intimidate the Thewisys. They were thus unable to effectively deal with the entire Ciderwinde Strip revolting, which further weakened House Semillon economically by removing any hope of collecting on cider and wine trade. Further, thanks to House Perry's work cutting off the mouth of the Timber, House Cyrton was able to reinforce Perryden and effectively prevent House Reed from rushing upstream to hit the Ciderwinde.  
"The loyalty of House Cyrton never wavered throughout the entire conflict, and they resisted even in the waning of our morale during Lord Alain's tragic rule. Our inability to effectively relieve the siege of Septhearth was Lord Etien's greatest regret, and perhaps it is for the best he did not live to see the end of his most noble and gallant vassal in the terrible storm Semillon brought upon them." - Sir Rys Thewisy, CQ, Blood Red Blossoms
  While House Cyrton's uprising was the most effective, and lasted the longest, they suffered from Etien's inability to push the front away from the Ciderwinde. Especially after the Etientale, when Etien Braelea was forced into the Murkmantle and began a raiding campaign, the Ciderwinde became the frontline once again. Septhearth was constantly under siege, and the less protected towns of their vassals, most prominently Crab Hall, Beau Hill, and Cidermill, saw their countryside burnt and people displaced.   While Etien briefly relieved the siege during his final push in 473, House Semillon's decision to focus solely on removing the Braelea claimant from the field allowed the Ciderwinde League to outlast their liege, but doomed them in the long run. With Etien's death, the vassals of House Cyrton lost the will to fight, and the Fall of House Cyrton came two years later in 475, which would see their ruling family exiled and a Semillon-loyalist vassal installed as ruler of the Ciderwinde Strip.
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