GoG 0.49 - The War of Exhaustion IV

As prying eyes will well know, events took place in Gehenna, away from the war as well. The Grote Strohmm in 1382 was a long flight and fight, a crusade of wildemen. Early in the year they wandered onto their drakken ships and swarmed north, attacking and raiding coast and land, especially the marasen cities, threatening to overrun, leaving only smoldering ruins. During the defense of one such, the city of Arnahvhalla, the marasen Duca Mercale Tykssekkson fell, lost to a stray arrow rupturing his throat. Few came to his aid.

It took until 1383, that there finally would be a treaty that ended the state of war, when Marekoi I was able to push the League for a settlement, establishing the Drangarer Friedfertigkeit, a peace treaty between Marequista, Marasen and the members of the kleine Reichskammer. It remains a source of contention, as the treaty was rejected by both supremists and mannusans and violence between those three is slow to die down.

At this point, it seemed to go well for the coalition forces, as their enemy was pushed back, at a steady rate, but when in ’84 the Battle of Noerdlingen came to be, many hopes for a quick end to this conflict were dashed. As the reinforced positions of mannusan troops were entrenched alongside their hillside, the sudden and powerful flank they opened towards the suprematii cavalieri torched any advantage they had and forced a rout. The fortunes of war moved again.

But as the mannusan position worsened, Marequista hope remained for a precision strike to end it all. Therefore, many supporters of the war effort pinned their hopes on the genius of minrab IX, hoping for him to be, or at least become another Van Djikvries or Wunderbrück. Under such pressure he devised what became famous as the ‘Waller Blitz’. While coalition forces engaged supremists near Luchsfels in the Second Battle at the Kaynau, the duke himself and selected men snuck into Langental and set fire to the most important military installations and the ducal palace, killing many and outrighteously creating the hostility that even nowadays stands between Wallingen and Lange.

From such a position it was therefore, that Marequista advocati and Reichskammer envoys tried their hand at peaceful overtures towards the unruly west. The Council of Intermediaries demands for such a peace were horrendously overblown, and spiked with a particular cruelty. Either pay reparations for damaged incurred as well as penal payments, recompense for the war itself and those hurt as well as accepting the supremist position and title, instituting their faith as the official faith of the Sacred Cordian Realm. Alternatively the head of Duke Wallingen, Minrab IX and the Kaisers. Neither was acceptable for the Coalition, though it is said that some even considered the offer. It remains only clear that several high officials fell out of favor during those days, but whether for corruption or attempts at assassinating either, cannot be rightly said.

The reaction towards the peace overtures was a devastating campaign and in a sudden push, led by Councilor and Duke of Lange, Heinrich IV himself, the union army of Lange moved beyond their own supply lines. Cut off from their own, but able to move far behind enemy lines, the duke made a stringent push towards Maledictas, and indeed succeeded in putting the city under siege. The mightiest city of Gehenna was suddenly forced to endure starvation.

In 1390, with the sacred throne under siege, other battlefields became of lesser import, and the Fall of Maidborg, not widely publicized, became the third time the Fires of Righteousness consumed life and property. The act was widely condemned, but little action followed, though, by hearsay, even Cymris distanced itself from the Council of Intermediaries and the general suprematii line.

Somewhere else, the Golden Fleet, failing in getting a foothold near Maledictas, burned the ports and fields close to the coast, while attempts by left-over coalitionist armies tried to encircle and starve out the union army besieging Maledictas, but failed. Those instead took from the environs, as entire farmsteads and granaries fell to the hungry hordes, which burned, raped and pillaged the countryside.

It wasn´t until Autumn ’91, that the situation became horrid enough, and union forces were able to storm the mighty walls of Old Dorbrugge, which long ago had already become a mere district in the moloch that modern Maledictas had become. It was then, there, that battle began for the final time.

For weeks, the fighting devastated the once great metropolis and spilled out into every street and alley, where even the citizenry would take up arms, such that we were forced to employ the Fire of Righteousness against them, as the Church had done previously only three times in living memory, against those cities steeped most deeply in sin.

But as the fall of the Great Palace itself seemed all but assured, a great black gloom came over the city. The entire metropolis enveloped within. Hundreds of thousands of citizen and soldiers of either armies suddenly vanished in the stroke of a clock as the gloom descended. Those left on both sides, suddenly bereft of their troops and greatest leaders, retreated to lick their wounds.

As fear ruled cities and plains, in a quiet move, envoys from both side met in Tempelstadt, the only remaining free imperial city, where, under the aegis of a Zar´Vas seekers school, they accepted a treaty of armistice between them, the Silent Accords, peace, soon known as the Waller Intercession. But while most who were party to the Silent Accords accepted their terms, Kolpingerlanden protested and proclaimed their freedom from the realm, their voters left the Reichskammer soon after.

And earlier this year, with 1393 RA, the Kolpinger Declaration of Miserita Tempus opens a new chapter, as this first of what suspect many more will we come to see, of suprematii heresy.

With the current situation unresolved, soldiers still continue to roam the land, often times creating mercenary bands, or worse, falling into banditry to survive. Some have even taken to becoming treasure hunters in the ruins of dead cities like Maidborg, one of the three cities devastated by the Fire of Righteousness. Those of greater madness have even plunged themselves to go into the black gloom of Maledictas, but so far, only the mad have returned.

But even beyond that, the land itself is dead. Great stretches of soil had to endure thousands of soldiers on them, something not even the best farmland can endure, especially not for years at a time. Entire harvests lost, because of a siege or the need to feed their own troops. The abominable “revenants” roam the land, preying on both living and dead. And from outside the realm, the continued danger of another intervention from those states and petty kingdoms still looms.

Continuing the list is the sudden rise of cults during those last two years, which proclaim radical ideas, from the Kaisers ascension to Godhood, to the coming of the Final Days, from the Blazing Flames, to the Eye and Star.

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