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Carmine Civil War
Date 519
Location Jarrland
Result Decisive loyalist victory
Casus belli Assassination of King Malyn
Combatants
Discordia

Tempestia
Farridon (partial)
Vennland (partial)

Kingdom of the Carmine Sea

Tzaltec Empire
Salterri Heartlands
Knights of Discord

Commanders
Alfmark Jarrow (P.O.W.) Elwyn Jarrow
Strength
9,000 21,000
Casualties
Total 3,000

The Carmine Civil War was a short conflict in Jarrland fought in 519.

BackgroundEdit

During the late 400s and early 500s, there had been a minor crisis in the male line of Jarrow. None of the house of Athelmark produced eligible male heirs (although there were a number of illegitimate, female, or otherwise succesion-barred children). Following the succession of Malyn to the throne, questions arose as to the future of the dynasty. While Malyn's heir, Elwyn, was clear, there would potentially be dozens of claimants to the throne on Elwyn's death with the law on the matter unclear.

The surviving son of the previous king, Prince Alfmark, apparently found something suspicious in a pattern of deaths and disappearances among the family stretching back to the 480s which had apparently cleared Elwyn's path to the throne, beginning with Prince Martyn during the Sunset War and including King Eldred and his eldest son Alfwyr, as well as Elwyn's own father who had disappeared around the time of Eldred's death.

In 516 a change to the succession law was announced by King Malyn which would reserve the throne permanently to the descendants of Elwyn, the only member of the family to have produced male heirs. Alfmark took offence at this new law, as it saw his own position in the succession drop dramatically, along with that of his potential heirs (though he had no male heirs at the time). He left court for Discordia along with his wife.

Malyn was assassinated in 519 in Aloren, at which point Alfmark decided this was his last chance to exercise power in the kingdom. There was also a new Qzare in office, Gun Huang's son Shiren, who was distracted with an uprising in Shengdi and thus not in a strong position to intervene. As unofficial leader of the opposition to the king, he had a substantial level of political support, especially in Discordia (largely thanks to the influence of his Salterri wife), and Elwyn was absent, having accompanied Malyn to Aloren. Alfmark quickly issued a statement placing the blame for the various deaths in the family on Elwyn or his Tzaltec bride, and claiming that this made him unfit to inherit. Pressing his claim under the old law as the eldest living descendant of King Alfwyr, he called the army to his side and marched on the Atteltor to be crowned.[1]

The military response to Alfmark's requests was higher than might have been suspected. After the war, many would claim that false statements were issued in his name claiming that Elwyn had also been slain in Aloren, and that they had been duped into supporting the rebels' cause. Regiments from Farridon and Vennland rallied to his side, along with the entire army of Tempestia.

ConflictEdit

The Earl of Camberton had nominal control of the Jarrland-Discordian border, though any serious maintenance of the watchtowers and fortifications had long since ceased. Nevertheless, the earl was a loyalist, and having heard contradictory reports about the facts of the situation was not prepared to allow a coup to take place. He ordered his troops to defend the border against any armies approaching from the north, no matter what banners they carried.

Upon hearing of Alfmark's declaration Elwyn flew home from Aloren immediately, sending orders ahead (which arrived only shortly before him) to muster the remaining troops in Jarrland. When news reached Tzalteclan, Teotlkan Senusret himself took ship with a portion of his army to support his son-in-law's claim. A small army from the Salterri Heartlands also arrived to support Elwyn.

By the time Elwyn arrived in the kingdom, Alfmark's army had swelled to such a size the Cambra troops could no longer hold the border, and they retreated to a more defensible position south of the Atteltor. This was the key objective for both sides: as the traditional seat of acclamation and crowning for Jarrland kings, whoever reached it first and held a coronation would see their claims of legitimacy enhanced significantly.

By the time both armies reached the Atteltor Elwyn's supporters outnumbered Alfmark's by around two to one, though both had similar numbers of aerial troops and cavalry.[2]

Senusret had offered to take command, but Elwyn believed he needed to be seen defending his own claim. As soon as the rebels came in sight, he launched his attack. As the ground troops surged forward, he led a spearhead against the sky-knights of Tempestia which utterly shattered them. Reports vary as to whether the sylphids fled immediately before or as a result of the attack, but the effect was similar: they were scattered and could play no further part in the battle. On seeing the battle above, the Vennland cavalry accompanying Alfmark also turned and fled. Some survivors would claim that on seeing Elwyn's dragon they realised the king was alive after all, but in the confusion many of them became confused with other rebels and were cut down.

The retreat of the cavalry allowed the rebel infantry to be outflanked decisively, while the perytons, harpies, and Elwyn himself descended from above. Pressed together with no room for manoeuvre and with casualties mounting, many of the rebels surrendered. The remaining rebel cavalry attempted to break through to clear a path to escape, and the jaws of their giant rats claimed a number of lives, but they were stopped by the Tzaltec reserves and then driven back by a counter-charge from the Knights of Discord, during which Alfmark himself was taken prisoner.

Upon seeing their leader taken, the remaining few rebels threw down their arms.

AftermathEdit

Elwyn was furious with his cousin and adopted brother, not just for the rebellion itself but for the thousands of lives lost as a consequence. Though many urged him to kill Alfmark, he had no desire to become a kinslayer in fact as well as by reputation. Instead he contrived to have his cousin brought to him on the Atteltor, where Alfmark was presented with the crown and told to "do what he thought right". Surrounded by the king's angry and loyal supporters, and with his own army destroyed, Alfmark placed the crown atop Elwyn's head, implicitly surrendering his own claim, and then swore fealty to the king along with the other lords of the kingdom.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=18997195&postcount=1089
  2. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19064389&postcount=1124
  3. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19064555&postcount=1126

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