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The Wars of the Mandate, also known as the Salterri Civil Wars or the Xiu Invasions, were a series of conflicts between 415 and 440 within the Salterri Imperium between thetraditional ruling family and the Priory of Ascension, who sought to break free from their rule and install their own candidate as Qzare.

BackgroundEdit

The Priory of Ascension came to prominence in Salteire following the assassination of Governor Lann Qing and were officially granted the right to rule the province by Qzare Xiu Hanyeo during his first rule. Ascension was a variant of the Hailings religion which quickly proved popular, and the Priory established a religious following in many regions of the Imperium. Hanyeo himself was rumoured to be an adherent of the sect, and following a miracle in 392 which created a number of Ascended, or angels, it was further suggested Hanyeo had Ascended himself. Contact with the north in both battle and religion had destabilised many areas of the Imperium and, with encouragement of Hanyeo and permission of Wandao, the Priory established control over Bor-Teire, Campestrus Pratum and Bracia.

Wandao followed a policy of conciliation with the north, and married Empress Syana Ignato in 396, to the horror of the Priory. Wandao's son by his first marriage, Xiu Tian'o, was killed fighting the undead in Shengdi, leading to a minor succession crisis. Hanyeo chose to recognise his illegitimate son Li Tailong as heir and in 407 Wandao abdicated, allowing Hanyeo to reclaim the Silver Throne.

First War of the Mandate
Part of the Wars of the Mandate
Date 418-420
Location Salteire
Result Priory Victory
Territorial changes Priory becomes independent of the Imperium
Combatants
Xiu loyalists: Priory of Ascension
Commanders
Qzare Xiu Hanyeo Chief Hierarch Zanper Fidious
Strength
19,000 12,000
Casualties
4,000

Qzare Xiu Hanyeo

Chief Hierarch Zanper Fidious

The Priory had never been satisfied with Hanyeo's initial surrender of the throne following Wandao's return from captivity, and assembled a list of grievances perpetrated against them and the people of their provinces by Wandao and his brother, which persuaded them that Hanyeo - and ultimately the whole House of Xiu - had lost the Silver Mandate and thus their right to rule.

First WarEdit

In 415 Chief Hierarch Zanper Fidious confronted Hanyeo, requesting he step down, but Hanyeo refused. Fidious called the other Salterri vassals to support him in denouncing Hanyeo at the Silver Summit, but was unable to convince any to join his cause. The Chief Hierarch publicly claimed Hanyeo had lost the Silver Mandate and therefore the right to rule, which resulted in Hanyeo's order for his arrest. He called his banners and marched into Salteire to execute the warrant against Fidious.

Hanyeo assembled a large army of 19,000 men, but was incautious in command and failed to maximise his resources. At a key moment in the battle he charged alone into the Priory lines, seeking single combat with Zanper Fidious, but this left his troops leaderless and he was isolated. It would later be claimed by some sources that Hanyeo took his own life. Zanper Fidious also died in the battle, the struggle proving too much for his aged body.

One of the Priory commanders recorded his experiences of the battle:

Now, Hanyeo, he was a terror to behold. I'm right glad that he was on the other side of the battle from where I was deployed. Wildly swinging that glowing sword, anyone that got too close to him was cut down. No screams, no struggling, no resistance. They just died... It was gruesome, but he seemed to be loving every moment of it! We lost just over a thousand men, and most of them were to that madman and his cursed magic sword. And those wings! I don't know if they were part of his armor or what, but... there just aren't words. They made him look like one of the angels, but they were just "wrong." There's no other way to put it. Seeing them just put a knot in your stomach, and you lost the will to fight just looking at him. I tried not to look, but he just drew the eye like a moth to flame. There were times where the fighting just kind of stopped while people on both sides just stood and stared in disbelief at the man.
It was in one of these lulls that things just got weird. We hear this goddess awful scream of rage, and we all turn and look at the Qzare. There he is charging headlong at the Chief Hierarch. I'm just thinking, "Well, damn," because I figure we just went and lost our leader and are about to have a full rout on our hands. Hanyeo raises his sword and swings it as hard as he can right at the Chief Hierarch, connecting with his ribs. The whole fight practically stood still, and I would almost swear that I could hear the impact as our Prior was thrown to the ground with the force of the blow. "It's over," I start thinking, but then I'm just staring, my mind not even processing what's happening. There's this faint silvery glow in the air around the two of them, and the Chief Hierarch just kind of stands up! I mean, he takes this horrendous blow then just stands up and looks like nothing even happened! He wasn't even armored or holding a weapon, and he just takes it and gets back up! He holds his hand out to Hanyeo, points to the ground, and says something, but I was too far away to hear what it was. Then Hanyeo moves to attack him again.
I didn't see what happened after that. Everyone started fighting like mad. All I know is that a few minutes later, a chant starts going through the ranks. "The Qzare is dead! The Qzare is dead!" Over and over. As it passes our little knot of warriors, we just kind of stop fighting and look at each other like, "Now what?" Looking around, the battle is winding down, and people are just kind of standing there exhausted. They start gathering up their casualties, and we start gathering ours. Then we just kind of walk away. I mean, no one ever really talks about how a battle ends. It's all fighting and glory, then it's over and the victor is announced. Cleaning up really isn't glamorous, but the way we just kind of stopped and walked away was weird. Usually, it's one side turning to run from the other, but no one was routed, no one retreated, no one surrendered. We just stopped...[1]

The battle was a tactical victory for the Priory, as the Xiu forces withdrew to Aus-Teire. Hanyeo's body was lost and interred in Salteire.

Zhuang's InvasionEdit

Zhuang's Invasion
Part of the Wars of the Mandate
Date 422
Location Bor-Teire
Result Imperial victory, Zhuang arrested
Territorial changes Ignato Empire abolished
Combatants
Ignato Empire

Grizzland

Priory of Ascension

Salterri Heartlands

Commanders
Emperor Zhuang Ignato Qzare Zuida Rongyao

Li Tailong

Strength
14,000 18,000
Casualties
1,000 Negligible

Following the battle, Zanper Fidious's son, the former Patriarch Gloriosis, arranged a series of trials to examine the Priory leadership for treason in the rebellion against Hanyeo. The former Chief Hierarch was posthumously convicted of treason, while Patriarch Famulatus was executed. Matriarch Parsimonia was appointed the new Chief Hierarch, while Gloriosis was recognised as Qzare, taking the name Zuida Rongyao.

Hanyeo's heir presumptive was his legitimised son Xiu Tailong, though Tailong had fallen out with his father and was not eager to continue to fight against the Priory. He had been friends with Rongyao before the war and agreed to consider Rongyao's claims regarding the deposition of the house of Xiu. Tailong wrote to the remaining Imperial vassals stating that he wished for peace in the Imperium and would not press his claim to the throne without their support.

Meanwhile, Xiu Zhuang Ignato, Wandao's surviving legitimate son, had taken power in the Ignato Empire following the premature death of his half-sister Empress Mira (it was widely rumoured he had her poisoned). Zhuang was barred from succession to the Silver Throne, but was eager to press his claim and had been in negotiations preparing for war even before the Priory's approach to Hanyeo. He secretly gathered the army of the Triumvirate - mostly from his own power base in the Ignato Empire - although his plot was discovered by Tailong shortly prior to the outbreak of war between Hanyeo and the Priory.

In 422 Zhuang declared the Priory was a rebellious and oppressive state, too dangerous to be allowed to operate freely south of of Triumvirate lands, that they had violently usurped power from his cousin and the rightful heir to the Silver Throne, they had suppressed the native worship of the Lord of Fire in Bor-Teire and Minotron, and they were known oath breakers who illegally split from their liege without just cause and thus could not be trusted. He marched into Bor-Teire, largely against the wishes of his Triumviral partners.

The Priory moved to defend Bor-Teire, and were joined by Tailong with the remaining army of the Heartlands. The battle was a tactical victory for the Salterri armies, Zhuang beaten back with small losses. Shortly after the battle, however, a second army from the Triumvirate interceded on behalf of the Shahidi Mkuu and arrested Zhuang on charges of treason and fratricide. His forces refused to fight the new arrivals, and Zhuang was returned to Aloren, where he was convicted of treason and sentenced to death.

Zhuang's actions were a catalyst for the final abolition of the Ignato Empire, his mother Empress Syana retaking the throne for long enough to renounce her family's claim to it and oversee its dissolution into the Triumvirate.

The Moonshroud WarEdit

The Moonshroud War
Part of the Wars of the Mandate
Date 434-437
Location Salteire, Campestrus Pratum, Maos, Golden Sun Sea, Heartsea
Result Xiu/Li Loyalist victory
Territorial changes Campestrus Pratum and Salteire captured by the Imperium
Combatants
Xiu/Li loyalists: Priory Allies:
Commanders
King Athelmere

General Jiao'ao
Cassius Caercia
King Alfmark
Jogay Morris

Qzare Zuida Rongyao

Matriarch Militae
Chief Hierarch Belauda Cestae
Inigo of Guilder

Strength
40,000 41,000

20,000 militia

Casualties
2,000 c.12,000
The vassals had responded positively to Tailong, with all of them save the Priory agreeing to recognise him as Qzare. In 422 he married Ambryn Jarrow, daughter of King Athelmere, which further bound him together with both the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea and Palas Caercia. Pressure began to build for Tailong to resume the war with the Priory and end the division of the Imperium, especially as the Priory's lands physically divided the Imperium in two, and following the succession of the martially-minded Cassius as Lord Protector in Palas Caercia.

In 434 Tailong was due to attend the Moonshroud Festival in Anaphorica where he was to attempt to resolve the situation with the Priory diplomatically. When he failed to return, however, there was anxiety in Xianzhi Urbe that he had been seized and was being held prisoner, or even that he had been killed. Tailong's friend General Jiao'ao rallied the troops of the Heartlands for an expedition to Salteire to recover him.

"The Qzare has done more than he need have to reconcile with the lands the Priory claims their own! The Priory and their false Qzare have declined all of it, accepting nothing but complete surrender! And what do they have to show for it? They have NO support outside their own lands! They train troops endlessly, as if to prepare for war! Well if it's a war they want, then it's a war they will get! They speak honeyed words, but their actions speak otherwise. That is not Salterri virtue! The Silver Lady rewards the virtuous in action! Instead, they claim to act with good intention, but their actions speak otherwise, and we all know what the Silver Lady thinks about that! Don't we?!
"Our Qzare has not returned from the Moonshroud Festival they held in Anaphorica. I say we march upon their city and fight for him like he fought for us! YANDE RONGHAI!"[2]- General Jiao'ao

Salteire IEdit

The Priory sent out a general call for aid, which was answered by their vassal Ri Chugang, their ally Bordeux and by Guilder. The western Guilder fleet brought reinforcements from Bordeux, who had marched via Crima to meet their ships due to the blockade in the Straits of Diyu, although the troops from Ri Chugang were unable to negotitate passage through Ashenia in time to join the battle.

King Athelmere brought his own army north through Discordia to join Jiao'ao and take command of the army, as the most experienced general in the Imperium, together with the Burning Legion troops who had been garrisoned in Jarrland for twenty years prior to protect the interests of Lord of Fire worshippers in the south.

The allied forces under Athelmere and Jiao'ao were victorious in the opening engagements, although the rigours of campaign proved too much for the old king, and he died in his tent of an unknown fever. 


Campestrus PratumEdit

A Caercian force comprised mostly of cavalry under the command of Cassius Caercia overran the southern Priory region of Campestrus Pratum, defeating the army of Matriarch Militae and her Bordeusi allies and militia raised to oppose them.


The Burning of MaosEdit

On the outbreak of war and realising the intention of Guilder and the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea to send their navies to Salteire, the Kingdom of Serendel sealed off the Grand Canal to prevent its being used for militaristic purposes. Guilder land troops were able to pass unhindered to join the battle in Salteire, but the Carmine navy was stranded to the east of the canal. Upon discovering the canal blocked, the navy (accompanied by the king's eldest son, Atheldynn, who had been returning from Anaphorica at the outbreak of war) took matters into their own hands. On their journey home past Fiassa's Fast, they raided the coast of Maos under the command of Jogay Morris, looting warehouses and capturing strategic locations, including the construction site of the Titan, which was later found defaced. Upon the arrival of Guilder's own navy, and reinforcements from Lyradis and Hurosha, the Carmine troops retreated to Jarrland.


The HeartseaEdit

After the early battles in Salteire and the raid on Maos, Guilder withdrew from the war under advisement from its liege in Lyradis. To transport reinforcements to Salteire, Bordeux turned to its ally Alydaxis, who possessed a navy stationed north of the blockade in the Straits of Diyu. Alydaxis agreed to provide troops and naval transport to assist the war effort, but an attack by Salterri naval forces was anticipated.

As predicted, Lord Protector Cassius sent the navy from Sterkelv to intercept the Alydaxian ferry, but were met by the Bordeusi navy, operating at will south of the Salterri blockade. The Bordeusi navy successfully blocked the Caercians from reaching the ferry, trapping them in the Heartsea, although in a fierce battle, the Bordeusi were eventually driven off, losing a thousand of their troops and many more only being saved by prosthetics.


The Golden Sun SeaEdit

Having assumed the Bordeusi navy would take care of interceptors from Sterkelv, the Alydaxian ships set off to bring reinforcements to Salteire. They had however failed to take account of the Heartlands navy, which caught them a little way off the coast and harried them back towards the shore. The Salterri expertise at fighting close to the coastline, their numerical advantage, and the unpreparedness of the Alydaxian fleet, meant the ferry stood little chance, and all the Alydaxian ships were sunk. Many of their army troops went down with their ships, although the bulk of them had yet to embark, or managed to escape onto shore.

As a result of the battle, reinforcements from Bordeux and Alydaxis were stranded on the wrong side of the sea and unable to reach Salteire in time to prevent the capture of Anaphorica or the fall of Campestrus Pratum.


Salteire IIEdit

By early 437, Priory forces had fallen back to defend Anaphorica, augmented by their militia. With the loss of Athelmere and in the absence of other experienced Salterri leaders, Irvest Ethmorl of the Triumvirate was petitioned to come to command the Imperial forces, but on arrival, unaccompanied by any of his own troops, he was unable to impose his authority on the Salterri generals.

Priory forces were meanwhile weakened by the loss of Zuida Rongyao, who had perished at the Second International Council. Chief Hierarch Belauda Cestae was forced to take the lead in his place, while eventually, Athelmere's successor King Alfmark took command of the loyalist forces and drove through the Priory's lines, capturing Anaphorica and securing Salteire for the Imperium.

AftermathEdit

The deaths of both Tailong and Rongyao at the Propinlonge Council threw both the Heartlands and the Priory into disarray. The eldest child of each of them was proclaimed Qzare, although both children were too young to rule.

Li Tianshi, Tailong's daughter and successor, was believed to disapprove of the war, and wished for Salteire to be returned to the Priory. For many years, however, the Priory refused to meet her at the negotiating table. The Priory itself however never recovered from the war. Zuida Heping did not return from exile and in the absence of their candidate for Qzare, resistance to the house of Li failed. By 455 a substantial body of opinion had formed in favour of reunification and the Priory submitted peacefully to Imperial rule, surrendering all its secular offices.

The Caercian Consortium took full control of Campestrus Pratum and restored its minotine name, Minotron, seeking to bring the minotines into a greater governmental role.


ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17669402&postcount=518
  2. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17836663&postcount=566

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