Please note, this project you are about to read is quite a long and arduous one. 15 years of a War, from every perspective is quite a challenge so, most likely, when you read this it will be far from complete. I intend to document the entire 15 years, year by year, season by season. I hope you enjoy this recording of the mighty Haram War.
Before the actual beginning of the Haram War, both sides had relatively positive views on the conflict, though this was mostly present in the Haram Empire. Bolstered by over 1,200 years of might, wealth and great morale, the Empire was ready to go to war, and its people almost begging for it. The Haram wanted a quick decisive end to the Illuthai, and a great beginning for an even larger empire.
The First yearEdit
It began... to cheers. -Views of a Haram philosopher on the opening of the Haram War.
Spring, the First YearEdit
The Haram War began early in the year, just as the colds of winter receded to be replaced by the warmth of Summer. As both sides had been preparing for years before hand there was little hesitation as the tensions of years were unleashed between the combatants. On the Southern border, the Haram began their offensive, attacking enemy positions all along the Kridean border, while maintaining a mainly defensive presence in Katar. The Dragons rose to defend their lands but were pushed back by the sheer numbers of the 17th, 18th and 19th legions. The Illuthai to the north began the conquest of Trien and Valen which proved a harder challenge than first thought, as Haram Cavalry harassed the badly organized Illuthan armies. The Illuthai (With Draconic support) decided to cut off the one path connecting the eastern colonies with the rest of the Empire.
Summer, the First YearEdit
After months of fighting the Illuthai finally took Valen and proceeded to take Trien except for one area, now known as The Path through Hell. Here Haram soldiers held onto every farm house and hut, vainly attempting to hold the rapidly collapsing line. Eventually the line was forced down to a small gap, connecting the Colonies to Katar like an artery to a heart. The Colonies were put under siege and Haram supply wagons were forced to fight their way through hostile lands just to deliver supplies and soldiers.
Autumn, the First YearEdit
Eventually the colonies began to fall, one by one and the Illuthai were allowed to concentrate their forces directly on Katar. Supreme Commaning General Ranth, decided to personally lead a counter offensive, and attempted to drive the Elven forces back through Trien. With him, went the entire 15th legion, which was previously assigned to defending the interior of Katar. At first the offensive went well, and the 15th battered through enemy lines and managed to re-take much of their objective. Then winter struck.
Winter, the First YearEdit
It began with early thunderstorms gathered throughout Katar and Kridea, some believed they would never cease. Then the snow came, and covered both sides in torrential blizzards and ice storms. The reasons for this sudden wintery onset have still to be found, though the most likely source is the loss of warm winds from Duskania, but the cause behind that still remains veiled by time. Little activity occurred through most of the first month, as both sides were shocked by the onslaught of snow, and then the lines once again began to clash in the eastern counties. Down in Kridea, the cold was a little more forgiving and allowed troops to move across the lines with much more ease. Supplies became scarce and many soldiers resorted to eating anything they could find, be it berries or rotten food. The Dragons, due to their obvious ability to fly, were little hindered by the snow, and wreaked havoc along the Haram lines as soldiers fought to respond quickly. Further north, in Katar, all movement stopped as the intense cold and snow continued trapping the 15th and General Ranth in enemy territory. They set up camp in an abandoned and mainly burnt out town located in southern Valen, and waited for the winter to end. Soldiers were picked off by wolves and the occasional elven marauder.
The Second YearEdit
And so more bloodshed and destruction followed...
Spring, the Second YearEdit
And so spring officially began, but the weather paid little attention to the schedules set down my men. The cold continued, and the lines of both sides remained mainly stuck in place. An explicit order from the Emperor to all of his legions got things moving again, though not necessarily for the best. Haram soldiers were forced to attack the Elven positions in Valen, and the 15th legion, tired, hungry and fed up, were force marched against entrenched Elves during a snow storm resulting in heavy casualties.
Battle of SerapiEdit
Commander Ranth and the 15th, ordered to continue their attacks despite the overwhelming wintery onslaught, found themselves encountering defenses they had abandoned weeks before now occupied by hostile forces. While the fact that the Illuthan positions didn't expect an attack gave Imperial forces an initial advantage word spread nonetheless and the majority of Illuthan units were ordered back to the local fortified town named 'Serapi' which the 15th was forced out of not long ago. While the defenses remained in a state of disrepair the number of hostile forces within the city allowed them to hold the few actual holes to be completely sealed. In addition a large contingent of entrenched Illuthai never received the order to fall back and ended up compromising the 15th Legion's left flank. Ranth's forces couldn't move against either position without drawing the other into it's exposed rear. Two sections, 100 men each, were dispatched to covertly eliminate the entrenched positions while the rest of the force prepared to lay siege to Serapi. The two specially assigned sections were separated half way through their operation leaving both floundering about looking for each other and the enemy. Eventually the unit under the command of Lieutanant
The 15th, cold, battered and ragged, returned to Katar with little success. Despite heavy northern losses, the Haram southern offensive once again pushed forward as the ice began to melt, creating fields of mud. Some of which would bring about an interesting victory.
Battle of GainiEdit
At a small town(Gaini) in western Trien the two sides gathered, preparing for battle. A small regiment of Kridean troops, tired, hungry and barely following their commander waited for battle. The elves on the other hand took a leisurely breakfast and sat about watching the rain and lack of food batter their foe. Eventually, they mounted their horses and donned their armor. The Haram, seeing movement on the enemy lines formed up. The Elves, confident, sure and energetic charged directly across the muddy field separating the sides. This was shattered as clouds of flaming arrows sprang from the Haram line, picking off hundreds of the enemy and causing many horses to stumble upon their fallen comrades. Then in another act of strategical brilliance, the Katarian mages created a wall of fire for a few seconds, directly in front of the charging battle line. This, while barely hurting the enemy directly caused the frontal horses to stop abruptly, and so the horses behind crashed headlong into the men in front of them. The result was a nasty mosh of tangled limbs, horses and mud. While the cavalry attack failed, the Elven infantry picked their way around the horses and began to let loose a furious storm of magical attacks as they too charged the Katarian line. Their answer was another volley of devastating arrows, and a wall of men marching slowly towards them. protected by invisible magical shields. The Elves, outnumbered and for once, out armed routed, fleeing the field. The remaining cavalry were hauled from the mud and remained in prison until end of the war. This was the first major victory for the Imperial army since the outbreak of the war.
Summer, the Second YearEdit
Finally it seemed the icy fingers of winter were dispelled and the sun broke through the clouds, looking down on a battered world. The 15th was decimated, Trien and Valen burnt and Katar almost cracked. Yet the Empire persisted leading offensive after offensive, driving the enemy back over their own lines and eventually into full scale retreat. The Elven council(formed for the war specifically) was highly disappointed with their Generals, until the most fearsome of them all rose to take their place.
Eventually it became apparent that the Elves now had a commander with superior skill to those of the Empire, and that the two border provinces were in dire danger. Forces were moved north from Kridea to Katar since it was predicted that the new Elven general would strike again at a now weakened Katar. Unfortunately for the Empire, its attempted foresight was proven badly wrong.
Autumn, the Second YearEdit
As the leaves turned golden, red, orange and brown, armies moved and others prepared desperate defenses. After the 15th, 16th and 17th legions had departed for Katar, the Elven armies struck. Pushing past the poorly planned outposts of the remaining 18th legion General Eiln came to the River Onbar. The last natural defense of the Kridean interior, the Onbar was crossable at only one point, the creatively named Onbar Bridge. And so the remnants of the 18th legion attempted to defend this last choke point. As the armies met, it became apparent that it was not only elves that made up the offensive, but dragons too. Before this point, Draconic involvement in the war was rare and actual battles with them few and far between.
The Battle of Onbar BridgeEdit
The battle began with the meeting of both sides on its respective bank. The 18th formed its heavy infantry into a shield wall and proceeded to block the width of the bridge while staggered lines of archers took positions behind them. Should there be a break in the line several regiments of cavalry prepared to charge into a gap and beat it back outwards so that it may be reformed, they also protected the rear from flanking ambushes. The Haram had also brought along several catapults which were placed on the hill behind the bridge.
In normal tactical terms, the 18th had a perfect defensive line, almost completely impregnable. Yet there were a few things they had not counted on: bad luck and the power of an airborne foe.
With a massive force of about 20,000 heavy infantry holding the bridge, the Elves decided that any sort of frontal charge, even with their own heavy cavalry would be futile, and thus the Dragons were called in to tenderize the Haram ranks.
Approximately 20 Dragons of all sizes flew across the river and began to hit the Haram infantry with magical and physical attacks. As the dragons spewed fire and ice while swooping to carry off unlucky soldiers, the Elven infantry charged directly into the demoralized Haram and began to cut a swath into their well planned defense. While this was happening the Dragons refocused their attention on the catapults which were now firing boulders at the soldiers on the bridge. Three of four were destroyed until the archers rallied and sent waves of arrows back up at their foe. The Dragons fell back only to land on the bridge and directly attack the shield wall. With their front lines wavering a section of heavy cavalry charged into the breach to fill it and cut down the enemy.
The final catapult, though damaged continued to spew rocks and boulders onto the bridge with little to no aim, sometimes hitting their own men. One such boulder fell directly into the Haram ranks, sending men flying off the bridge into the cold water. Then the unthinkable happened: The bridge its self collapsed, leaving a gaping hole where much of the Haram force was. While this held the Elves for a while, the gap was soon filled with logs and other materials and the assault began anew. Faced with superior forces, the remains of the proud 18th legion routed, leaving behind a field of corpses.
The Fall of AhadEdit
With the road into Kridea secured, the next logical objective for the Illuthai forces was Ahad, the third largest city in the province. While it had a wall and sturdy defenses, the men defending it were few and hope for reinforcements low. Thus the remainder of the 18th rallied at Ahad and prepared to defend the doomed city. Eventually word got to the Imperial Captial of the defeat on the Onbar and a massive force consisting of the 15th, 16th and 17th legions marched back to the land they left only a month ago.
Along the road to Ahad, General Eiln had built a group of siege engines with which he hoped to shatter the walls of the city. Before its fall, Ahad had been a splendid city filled with prime Kridean architecture and a huge population. As columns of smoke on the horizon signaled the 18th's retreat the city quickly descended into chaos. Tens of thousands grabbed their possessions and ran for the gates in swarms. The Nobility, intent on removing absolutely all of their valuables stored everything from beds to earrings in huge carts and tried to evacuate the city. Unfortunately the massing crowds got in their way, so the nobles ordered their armed guards to simply "Cut a path". And they did. Hundreds were slaughtered as the self centered nobility fled the city with their belongings. And so by the time what was left of the 18th Legion made it to the city, it was a husk.
As the demoralized and severely depleted 18th marched into the city, the enemy appeared on the surrounding hills. The gates were quickly closed and hasty defenses prepared as rocks covered in flaming pitch began to rain down on the city, setting it alight. Small groups of dragons flew overhead dropping rocks of their own and the arrows that arced up to meet them simply bounced off or fell short of their marks. With the city in flames, and the walls crumbling around them the 18th legion simply broke up and ran. Instead of retreating in an orderly manner as taught, the men stripped their armor and ran into the surrounding countryside as they were pursued and cut down by Illuthai cavalry. Thus with no siege or extensive invasion, Ahad fell.
The Faithful 200Edit
Although the 18th legion was broken, it was not entirely shattered. A group of ragged soldiers escaped the city, numbering around 200. The "Faithful 200" as they came to be called, rode ahead of the Elven forces further into the province towards the city of Ishmir, the jewel of Kridea. Since their numbers were so small, the faithful were forced to simply snipe at their foe with composite bows, or make quick attacks on gathering parties. But as winter came around once again it became increasingly hard to survive without support or supplies.
Winter, the Second YearEdit
But how can the 18th legion be destroyed? They were the third best in the Empire! An entire legion! Thats impossible!
- Vederas tir'Sen, Emperor
Although less fearsome than the year before, winter had fallen again on Kaile. As the first snow began to fall, the forces of General Eiln made their way east, pushing into the heart of Kridea. With little opposition other than the Faithful the combined army of Elves and Dragons chewed up the land before them, intent on causing the Empire as much pain as possible.
TO BE CONTINUED
The Fall of IshmirEdit
The Battle of Salej HillEdit
The 16th and 17th legions arrive, driving Eiln out of southern Katar while the 15th blocked his retreat at the river Onbar.