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The Minaean Affairby Jamuga Khan
Everybody knows that the history of Bellissaria is so uneventful that it is nearly nonexistent. This is true with only a few exceptions. This is the story of one of these rare exceptions.
As we can conclude today, on the mysterious southern continent of Davania once existed a real civilisation, even an empire. Thyatian legends are telling this, and some of the really rare Minaean legends known to the Alphatians affirm that. The culture is said to developed from fleeing Traldars. This might be true, or not, even the whole southern empire might be a hoax.
Fact is, that around AY 900 a group of humans appeared in the south-eastern corner of the Alphatian Empire where they settled down. Those were the Minaeans. We all know that the Minaeans are living on the south-western coast of Skothar today, but in those days they even tried to settle Bellissaria.
This is now the story about the Minaean affair.
The Situation in Bellissaria
In AY 900 the Alphatian Empire was in a bad shape. Although 90 years before the Thyatians had been conquered the Alphatians in these days were decadent and Zzonga-addicted. As it is widely known the good times of the Empire were never so good in Bellissaria, and the bad times never so bad as on the main island. So in these days the humans of Bellissaria cared for themselves and were practically independent. The Bellisarians did not starve and were relatively happy.
The Imperial Navy maintained all the bases it had founded which even exist today but only on rare occasions did any orders come from Sundsvall or Eagret. The Bellissarian admiralty were as independent as the whole island. Ships were built and repaired in the shipyards of Horken, and the kingdoms provided enough men and women to man the ships.
Of the six Bellissarian kingdoms we know today only three were already founded. Meriander, Dawnrim and Surshield did not exist. The Meriander peninsula was claimed by Notrion and Horken, but only some callous farmers had settled there. The plains of Dawnrim were claimed by Notrion and Lagrius but only some trappers fleeing the civilisation earned their livings there.
Surshield was a little different. Although it was claimed by Horken and Lagrius it resembled already the modern kingdom. The Horkenian philosopher Dubbo had preached his philosophy about freedom and anarchy, and his followers had settled the region. Of course, Spearpoint and the forts did not exist.
In AY 901 Minaean settlers landed on the Meriander peninsula and founded the city Alchemos. Three years King Nodrig II. of Notrion, King Inmin Lagrius and Queen Solor of Horken did not notice the new city, and for unknown reasons the navy did not see it neither.
In AY 904 the first report was made, and King Nodrig marched with his army against Alchemos. He was beaten and had to retreat. Now he called the Council of Bellissaria to hold a war council. The monarchs and Admiral Zur from the Imperial Navy came to terms not to tolerate the settlers. Unfortunately the fighting strength of all available forces seemed to be too low. Since the founding the Minaeans had made enormous efforts to strengthen their position. A second attack were a defeat as the Minaeans used the hitherto unknown and so-called Minaean Fire. Although it has nearly no significant military use the Bellissarian soldiers ran away in panic and were slaughtered. Even worse, now the navy found out that the citizens of Alchemos still had contact with the Minaeans on the coast of Skotharian coast from which they got weapons and other supply, sometimes even soldiers.
So the council decided to ask for help on the mainland. King Inmin Lagrius set sail and travelled to Sundsvall. In the meantime the forces were trained and scouts were sent out to recon the enemy. In the imperial capital the king found nobody willing or able to listen to him. But on the very day he planned to leave Sundsvall he met Colonel Wymar from the Imperial Marines. Wymar, who commanded a division in Rardish at this time, was very interested and promised to help, but he warned the king that the help would not come quickly as he first had to made many arrangements. King Inmin returned to Bellissaria with mixed feelings.
Colonel Wymar had a immense task before him. First he had to become a general to get enough power. While committing this campaign he trained the soldiers of his division and made them the best ones in the whole empire. Inhabitants of Randel may hate me for saying this, but even the shape of the troops and academies of Randel was very bad in these times.
A second big task was to seek assistance in the navy as he did not want to rely on the units of Admiral Zur solely. The woman he finally found was Admiral Cairn. Now the both even increased their efforts to beat the Minaeans.
In AY 907 Wymar was promoted to the rank as a general, but it took 7 more years to complete the preparations. Permission by the supreme command had to be gotten, units had to be assigned to this campaign and the soldiers had to be trained.
In the meanwhile the Bellissarian kings from times to times tried to fight against the Minaeans. Sometimes they loosed and sometimes they won but they were never able to secure a crucial victory over the Minaeans of Alchemos.
Finally, in AY 914, General Wymar was able to start the reconquest of Bellissaria. He and Admiral Cairn set sail and sailed to Notrion.
Of course, the General had informed the kings of Bellissaria about his forthcoming and his plans. Unfortunately, as the following months clearly showed the Minaeans had spies in the cities of Bellissaria.
The army of Lagrius marched north to join the army of Notrion, Horken's army were shipped over the Inner Sea of Horken and was set ashore in the bay now known as Cairnport Bay. Wymar made landfall south-east of Alchemos. To this point the timing was good and the plans were excellent.
But unknown to our troops, the Minaeans had constructed a secret base at that place where nowadays Seahaven can be found, and troops had been landed. Even worse, more Minaean troops had been landed on the Spear Peninsula which now invaded Horken. When learning this fact the remaining troops waiting to be shipped to the Meriander Peninsula refused to go aboard the ships but marched south. The troops already shipped refused to fight the troops of Alchemos but demanded to be shipped back to home. As many ships were manned by Horkenians the troops left now.
Now the troops of Lagrius, being far from home, lost their fighting spirit as they feared for their home country. Fortunately this did not pose a great problem. The army of Horken started to battle the Minaean invaders and were surprisingly successful. More Minaean troops which had the order to evade the army of Horken, but to invade southern Lagrius, met the ranchers and their cowboys living in the southern part of the country and were driven back into Horken where the increasing Horkenian army crushed them utterly. For helping the kingdom in the time of greatest danger the grateful king granted the ranchers the right to rule themselves.
With the defeat of the southern Minaean army the soldiers of Lagrius regained their fighting instinct, but it was too late for a fast victory. The imperial troops of General Wymar had been caught by the Minaeans reinforcements in the back. With Horken's army gone and Lagrius' army being fearful the best result Wymar could reach was a tie.
The Victory of the Navy
The naval battle were a greater success. Besides a lot of transporters to land the imperial troops Admiral Cairn had brought a good war fleet into Bellissarian waters. During the landing operation some scouts had reported hostile fleet movements, and she decided to care for this problem. Outside Cape Meriander she met the Minaean fleet and a fierce naval battle began. Fortunately the parts of the Bellissarian Navy not occupied with transporting back the Horkenians surrounded Cape Meriander, and Admiral Zur caught the hostile fleet by surprise. The Minaeans were crushed and the surviving ships fled back to Skothar.
The Siege of Alchemos
After one month of fighting a relative calm phase began. The Lagrian ranchers and the Horkenian army had solved the problems in the south, General Wymar hold the Minaean northern army at bay, the armies of Lagrius and Notrion now had surrounded Alchemos. The Navy had won the sea domination and were attacking the Minaean base at the cape.
A war council was held and all members came to terms that a frontal attack to Alchemos would most likely prove disastrous. The imperial troops had suffered great losses, and the army of Horken were seriously fatigued. So they decided that the armies of Lagrius and Notrion should lay siege to Alchemos, with the assistance of some of Wymar's siege engineers. Some imperial troops were sent to Horken to construct a fort at the border to the Spear Peninsula. These troops were commanded by Colonel Merrelin, after whom the fort was named later on.
Later the colonel sent a captain to construct a second fort at the coast. Captain Ballarat fulfilled his order, and although more Minaean troops were landed on the peninsula and attacked the forts, they did not accomplish to intrude into Horken and Lagrius throughout the war.
Two years General Wymar manoeuvred around the Minaean army, but with the navy blocking the sea-routes the Minaean general had to surrender in AY 916. Now the imperial army could reinforce the besiegers which finally sealed the fate of Alchemos.
Those troops had to learn in the past two years that Alchemos was very difficult to conquer. On the bad side the both beleaguering armies had not accomplished to block the city altogether, which of course now changed with the assistance of the imperial troops. On the good side the logistic problems were little as the troops were supplied over land and over sea from Notrion, Lagrius and Horken. In these days the haven of Cairnport had been founded on a suggestion of Admiral Cairn to land troops and supply on the peninsula near Alchemos. Now Cairnport was developed into a real city.
The two years of fighting had costed a high price from all units, and it was decided to continue the siege to starve Alchemos out. General Wymar as supreme commander organized a scheduling system to relief all troops, and the war continued on a low level.
In AY 917 Wymar ordered the foundation Seahaven as a naval base. On a private base should be noticed that he married Admiral Cairn in this year. The Minaeans tried to attack Aaslin on AY 918, without success. After that campaign the new King Nodrig III. of Notrion founded the city of Crownhaven. The formal foundation of the Military District of Meriander occurred in AY 919, with General Wymar as the commander. Seahaven in Surshield was founded in AY 920 to prohibit Minaean troops from crossing the Surshield Wall.
The Conquest of Surshield
In AY 921 the war against Minaea increased. The Spear Peninsula had not been observed too closely, but now the Bellissarian leaders learned about hostile activities in the south. Five years after the defeat of the Minaeans in the north enough troops had been recruited and trained to start a new campaign. From Fort Merrelin and Fort Ballarat strong units under the command of General Wymar marched across the peninsula. At the same time Admiral Cairn and Admiral Zur attacked a naval base at the place where nowadays the capital of Surshield can be found. They caught the enemy by surprise and burnt down the base. Panicked the Minaean troops on the Spear Peninsula were slaughtered until a wise general decided to surrender. A new base was constructed and named Spearpoint. At the same time the Military District of Surshield was founded and named after the mountain chain which had protected the Bellissarian countries from the south. Spearpoint now was made headquarter of the district.
The Fall of Alchemos
Finally, in AY 924, after ten long years of siege, Alchemos surrendered. General Wymar gave the Minaeans the opportunity to go to Minaea, but all those willing to live under Alphatian law were welcomed. Many of the Minaean alchemists decided to stay, and Alchemos became the headquarter of the military district.
So there was peace again in Bellissaria. One might believe that the monarchs of Bellissaria would have thrown General Wymar, now he had accomplished his task. This would be a severe injustice against the Bellissarian leaders. They had called the general and they were grateful. So they started a political campaign to create new kingdoms in Bellissaria. As the few members of the Grand Council not addicted to Zzonga liked that idea the campaign ran good, and finally they made a proposal to the emperor. Kerothar IV., inept and even insane, ordered that Bellissaria should be divided into kingdoms at once. He does not care for this order later on, so he did not notice that no kingdom was founded on the Plains of Dawnrim. The kingdoms of Meriander and Surshield were founded indeed, and Wymar and Cairn became king and queen of Meriander.
The old Admiral Zur was crowned as king of Surshield, and the safety of Bellissaria was guaranteed for now.
For the next decades the Bellisarians were vigilant and guarded their territories well. At least the Empire recovered and retook the duty to guard the frontiers, but the Minaeans settled down in Skothar and tried never again to invade Bellissaria although the piracy increased.
The Meriander Peninsula, now being a real kingdom, became the most civilised region of Bellissaria including a university, and Surshield acted according to its name and protected the island. General Wymar never intended to name any region after him, but after his death Horken renamed a city in the Surshield Wall. The autonomy of the Lagrian ranchers lasted for some centuries until it was receded. This led to the foundation of Dawnrim, but this is a completely other story.