Corlagon's Wars of Unification
|Corlagon's Wars of Unification|
Opponents of Corlagon:
|Commanders and leaders|
Eormenric Fathreling's DominionThe Southern Confederation
Corlagon's Wars of Unification was a series of military conflicts between the future King Corlagon I of Etrand and various other forces in Etrand, ultimately resulting in the birth of a unified Kingdom of Etrand under Corlagon's rule.
For a long time, it was believed that the conflict was religiously motivated, and that it was more or less a conflict between the Pagan Eastern and Northern Etrand, versus the Titanist Western Etrand, but evidence of the grander political nature of the conflict also exists - before the war, several of the more powerful tribes of Etrand have been expanding their dominions at the expense of weaker tribes, with the ultimate goal of unifying Etrand and emulating Fathred the Great, or at very least, carving out a territory that is worthy of being called a Kingdom.
However, the religious nature of the conflict should not be undermined as well. Several of the pagan leaders saw the wars against Corlagon as a continuation of Fathred's War with Froturn that happened between 1135 and 1136 BEKE. In their eyes, Corlagon was nothing but a High Elven stooge, a puppet ruler. The feelings of contempt and disgust however were mutual - the people in Corlagon's camp were viewing the pagans as barbarians foolishly throwing their lives away for antiquated ideas.
The origins of the conflict between the Titanists and the Etrandish pagans date back to eleven centuries before. In 1138 BEKE, Fathred the Great's brainchild, Fathred's Confederation - also known as the First Kingdom of Etrand - came alive. The first successful, albeit short-lived attempt at unifying the human tribes of Etrand into one unitary state.
High Elven missionaries from Froturn came knocking on Fathred's doors almost immediately, and they were rejected by the king who did not want foreigners to dictate to him - while he was not a zealot, he was unwilling to worship a new God, especially a foreign one. Fathred's War with Froturn between 1135 and 1136 BEKE did not help the relations either.
Around 1110 BEKE, Fathred died, and a succession war broke out between his sons. Eventually, by 1106, his son Guthbard came out as the winner, but another High Elven intervention ensured the end of the state, fracturing Etrand into a land divided between warring tribes again.
In 846 BEKE, the Great War broke out, which resulted in the temporarily unification of Etrand again - the previously warring tribes of Etrand united into a Confederacy to better co-ordinate their war efforts against the Wood Elves. After the war ended in 834 BEKE, the confederacy quickly dispersed, and Etrand returned to a state of warring tribes once again. However, around 200 BEKE, a new process of unification started, in which larger and more powerful tribes slowly and gradually began expanding their domain at the expense of smaller and weaker tribes, gearing up for the inevitable and ultimate confrontation with the rest of Etrand.
High Elven missionaries have been active in Western Etrand ever since roughly 200 BEKE, and most of the local tribal leaders were tolerant enough to let them convert their subjects, but most tribal leaders did not convert to this new faith until Corlagon came along.
The fact that the religion of their ancient rivals was gaining converts at the expense of the Old Gods was irritating the Eastern and Northern tribes, many of which were jealous of the wealth the Western tribes accumulated by extensive trade with the High Elves and taxation of the trade routes that went through their land, vastly reducing trade income of the Eastern and Northern tribes.
Even before Corlagon came along, many believed that a confrontation between the East and the West was inevitable.
The North-Eastern Campaign (10 BEKE - 3 BEKE)
The North-Eastern campaign was the longest and bloodiest part of Corlagon's Wars of Unification.
Initially, the conflict between Corlagon and the Three Kings of the North started out as little more than border skirmishes, and a series of days-short turf wars between smaller tribes aligned to one of the two sides, starting as early as 13 BEKE.
Raiders on both sides got bolder and bolder, daring to penetrate deeper for loot, and caravans travelling between Froturn and Hulra through Etrand were often raided and robbed by pagan bandits (or - according to pagans - Corlagon's men masquerading as pagans). This resulted in the shutdown of the Froturn-Etrand-Hulra trade route, as well as cut off contact between Dragoc and Pagan Etrand, resulting in the geographical and economical isolation of the rivals of Corlagon.
This economical choke compelled the rivals of Corlagon to start gearing up for an all-out-war. However, the war truly began in 10 BEKE, when a group of pagan priests visiting a holy site located in Corlagon's domain were brutally massacred. Three Kings of the North demanded reparations from Corlagon, who denied having to do anything with the massacre. They gave Corlagon an ultimatum - bring those responseible for the massacre to justice, or face the wrath of the Three Kings.
Corlagon laughed off the ultimatum, effectively starting the war in 10 BEKE.
First Stage (10 BEKE - 6 BEKE)
The first stage of the North-Eastern campaign mostly involved Corlagon's side making forays into the territories belonging to the Three Kings. Corlagon's armies raided villages, captured and ransomed/executed pagan priests, desecrated holy sites and burned down old pagan temples.
In response, the armies under the Three Kings made forays into territories belonging to Corlagon, capturing and enslaving men and women, taking cattle, sheep and goats, capturing and executing Titanist missionaries and any High Elves they could get their hands on.
Direct confrontation between the armies of the two sides was rare, and were usually small skirmishes rather than epic great battles. However, at this point, both sides were involved in building wooden fortifications to deter further raids, and walling villages to keep away raiders. Levying of peasants started and both sides began supplement their small armies of trained and armoured warriors with masses of untrained peasant conscripts and barely-armoured (or often unarmoured) warbands using little better than spears and woodcutting axes.
Second Stage (6 BEKE - 3 BEKE)
- See also: The Miracle at Heathen's Grove
By 6 BEKE, the previously relatively cold conflict between Corlagon's camp and the Three Kings has gotten hot, and both sides have chosen the path of direct confrontation.
At this point, walled villages had to be besieged to gain anything of value, and as conscription made the armies larger, so did the magnitude of battles increase. Thousands have fought and died in battles.
Until the Miracle at Heathen's Grove in 5 BEKE, the most prominent general on Corlagon's side was Ulfa, Corlagon's son. After Ulfa has become immobilized, several of Corlagon's other generals took over, until in 4 BEKE, Corlagon took matters into his own hands. The ultimate conclusion of the war against the Three Kings was a bloody but costly victory for Corlagon, which has cost him thousands of men, and lots of headache to keep the population pacified.
The Western Campaign (5 BEKE - 4 BEKE)
The Western Campaign was led personally by Corlagon himself. Corlagon declared war on these tribes with the excuse that their neutrality in the conflict was a covert aliance with the Three Kings of the North.
After Corlagon have defeated the strongest of these tribes, the rest of Western Etrand switched alliance to him.
After the conflict was concluded, most of the tribes newly aligned to Corlagon took part in the North-Eastern campaign, and several generals formerly fighting against Corlagon were leading the troops against Eormenric Fathreling, the man who took it upon himself to lead the resistance against Corlagon after the fall of the Three Kings.
Final conflicts (3 BEKE - 0 BEKE/AEKE)
Even though the tribes of Southern Etrand have lost much of their manpower and resources in their failed attempt to aid the Three Kings of the North, therefore not representing a credible threat, Corlagon still needed to prove to them that no one shall resist him.
Corlagon anticipated a quick campaign and a fast surrender of the remaining tribes. However, he instead met head-to-head with tribes who fought bitterly, defiant to the very end, and when the fights were lost, the last pagan survivors retreated into the swamps and jungles of the south, never to be heard from again.
Local folk legends from Southern Etrand say that there are still pagans out there, hiding in the swamps and jungles, preying for travelers to rob and Titanist Humans and High Elves to ritually sacrifice, although this is most likely nothing more than a scare away children from the dangerous swamps full of lizards, basilisks, meat-eating flowers and man-eating flies.