The Great War
|The Great War|
Coalition of the Free:
|Commanders and leaders|
The Great War was a military conflict between the Kingdom of Dragoc and the various Human and Lizardman tribes that inhabited present-day Etrand at the time. This war is the direct cause for the existence of the Orcish race and is considered a turning-point in Dragoc's history.
The official casus belli remains a mystery even to this day - the words of the emissaries remained unrecorded, if they were even involved at all.
The unofficial casus belli however is well-documented - the actual motivations of the Wood Elves of the time are well-recorded: it was recorded in writing that the Wood Elves at the time were a warlike people that saw themselves as the true successors of the Proto-Elves and wanted to unite all the lands the Proto-Elves once colonized. They saw it as their birthright to rule all of Artograch and enslave the inferior races. In front of their eyes hovered legends about the fabled Southern Kingdom (which in reality was the Empire of Neressa). Fueled by legends about the greatness of the Proto-Elves, and a burning desire to restore said (largerly fictious) greatness, the Wood Elves seeked to subjugate all the other races of Artograch - first the Humans and the Lizardmen, then eventually the High Elves too.
The Wood Elves suddenly attacked the scattered Lizardman settlements, as well as raided the Human camps on the plains. The Humans and the Lizardmen, previously at odds with each other and competing for territory (and also given the fact the Lizardmen are indigenous, while the Humans are descendants of the Proto-Elves, just like the Wood Elves) were forced to put aside their differences and unite to defend against the Wood Elven menace.
At first, the Wood Elves ruled the battlefields. Their attacks completely shattered the enemies, and at forested fields, their archers made short work of the troops of the tiny counter-attacking tribes. Ambidextrous Wood Elven sword-dancers / berserkers with their dual-wielded blades also wreaked havoc amongst the enemy ranks.
Eventually, the humans finally began to learn Wood Elves' way of fighting, organizing their own crops of forest-trotting rangers, warriors good with both the sword and the bow. The result of this was stationary warfare, which decimated both sides. Lizardmen used their new invention, the so-called "black water" to make whole forests burst into flames, eliminating hiding soldiers, eventually threatening actual civilian settlements.
As the war turned against the Wood Elves, the legend of the flourishing southern kingdom faded away and degenerated into the dream of fools. A lot of Wood Elves, upon seeing their burning homes, changed their minds about the whole "subjugate other races" idea. The main druids and the king agreed that peace should be made, and so they sued for peace.
The representatives of the confederation agreed to a white peace, a return to the status quo, but the Wood Elven population was conflicted in their stance to the war. While a majority of them have agreed that this was was essentially for nothing and was a mistake that should not be repeated, most of them also overlapped with another category: those who believed that the Humans and the Lizardmen should face some kind of punishment for burning the forests. And then there were those who continued to harbour feelings of superiority over the other races, and in fact wanted revenge.
The leader of that group, Thorm'Fa rebelled against the establishment, making his intention to continue the war clear. It took the combined efforts of the Wood Elves, Humans and Lizardmen to stop his rampage. In fact, it was this Wood Elven intervention that truly convinced the Humans and Lizardmen to agree to a white peace instead of putting any sanctions on the Wood Elves.
Eventually, Thorm'Fa and his followers were captured, tortured and expelled into the brutish, cold and unforgiving lands of Brutang. The establishment at Dragoc thought that Thorm'Fa and his crew would freeze or starve to death, but...
... Thorm'Fa and his crew apparently survived and bred. However, something happened to them. Their descendants were no longer Wood Elves. They became green-skinned beings with shorter lifespan. Orcs. No one knows why did this happen.
For the Wood Elves, the war caused the loss of their warlike ways, and many embraced pacifism. After a pointless war that ended up humiliating the Wood Elves, that cost them so many lives, that pit them against their own brothers whose fates were unknown to them (for the time), war seemed like a terrible thing to most Wood Elves...
... until the first Orcish raids happened. The mutated, green-skinned descendants of Thorm'Fa's people have consolidated their hold over Brutang and formed the Kingdom of the Orcs, and started raiding in Etrand and Dragoc, kidnapping men and women alike, burning and pillaging. In response to this, the Wood Elves abandoned pacifism and adopted the peace-through-strength mentality that they hold to this day - train everyone for war, always be prepared for war, but be peaceful.
The short-lived unity among Humans was indeed short-lived: after the war, the confederacy was disintegrated, it was no more. The humans of Etrand went back to being warring tribes.