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gaeleth:history:storm_wars

Storm Wars

The Storm Wars began in the year 762, and lasted until late 772 Avard. For ten years, Gaeleth suffered armies of undead numbering in the millions, shock troops teleporting into various places, mages and sorcerors devestating the land and their enemies, archons and angels battling one another in the streets, enormous constructs that could slaughter whole cities, barely controlled dragons on rampages behind enemy lines, and much, much more. The wars polarized all of Gaeleth, forcing every tiny tribe in every corner of the world to choose one of the two sides. When the final battle was complete, a relative peace settled over the land, but it was a sad peace. A generation of soldiers had been sent to their graves, entire nations lay in mass graves, and the land itself was as desolate as the hearts and minds of the people.

The Storm Wars

Essentially, the Dark God, otherwise known as Nathel, spent four centuries preparing his army for invasion of the northern lands. Covert and secretive, the preparations went on right under the noses of the Karatikans, with the laying in of supply depots and armories, the insertion of moles within the hierarchies, and other, seemingly legal operations. Most people assumed that Nathel had faded into obscurity, as the last recorded Nathelian ambassador had left Karmen in 254 Avard. The Nathelian operatives in Karatikan lands used the misnomer of Chandral – one of the Nathelian-conquered lands far from civilization. Working on an ages-old prophecy that massive earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and other global upheavals would occur on a certain date near 758 Avard, Nathel quietly prepared his armies for invasion. In 760, the upheavals began, and slowly began to shake apart the Karatikan Alliance. With carefully placed spies and agents, Nathel helped stir up insurgency against the ruling druids, who apparently could do nothing about the catastrophic events. When the time was deemed right, a perfectly coordinated and executed plan ripped through the Karatikans like a sword through flesh.

Karatikan defenses were not suited for mass-scale combat, and Nathel poured millions of soldiers onto the battlefields. Massive numbers of a 'Dark Race' teleported into key installations across the alliance's territory, sabotaging defenses, assassinating anyone with leadership skill, and generally demoralizing the northern nations. On top of this, the Nathelia soldiers were well-trained, and worked with combined attacks between enslaved dragons, artillery, cavalry, giants, undead, and even war golems. Sweeping northward for roughly a year unhindered, the Karatikans finally began to rally and hold a defensive line. Unfortunately, they had already lost nearly a quarter of their territory, and could barely hold the lines they had drawn.

The first year of fighting saw the creation of the god Yatindar. Yatindar's worship quickly spread, and his servants proved themselves as formidable leaders. One of the most prominent of these was the paladin Simon Luminar, who had converted from the worship of Whalin, to Yatindar. Luminar and his fellow paladins of Yatindar would help unite the defenders, and even achieve some major victories in the western portions of the campaign. However, Nathel's moles and spies found a weakness in Luminar's psyche, and exploited it, even giving over several battles to the Karatikans to further undermine Yatindar's star paladin. At the Battle of the Ruins of Tantalis, Luminar was won over to the service of Nathel as an antipaladin blackguard of considerable power and ability.

Luminar's defection to Nathel demoralized the Karatikans, and immediately cost them nearly a thousand miles of hard-won territory. The only thing that kept the Nathelians from cutting through the middle of Karatika, and then destroying the Alliance completely, was the God Slayer. A paladin of Mikindim by the name of Therod Halsbal had found the ancient weapon, and used it in the southern campaigns of Nor to defeat two of Nathel's underling gods, Hyark (the God of Pain), and Multheir. The loss of Multheir, the God of Sailing, critically hurt Nathel's ability to resupply his forces in the Karatikan lands. Despite this loss, Nathel's cunning and innovativeness helped him maintain a fearsome attack on the Alliance.

The war drug on for another two years, chewing up soldiers and spitting out corpses, before one of Nathel's generals betrayed him. General Orcen Roreth, perhaps the most powerful of all Nathel's generals, somehow managed to arrange one of the most stunning military victories in history. In the modern-day lands of Dantel, Roreth used a small strike force of 12,000 drow to draw off, encircle, and then demolish the 150,000-strong army of Therod Halsbal – securing for himself the fabled God Slayer. The battle began at sunset, and was over before dawn – and the drow had only 4,000 killed and wounded, compared to General Halsbal's 149,000 dead. Worse, Nathel himself did not know of the God Slayer's acquisition, partially because of the artifact's special cloaking properties, but mainly due to General Roreth's incredible skill at planning and manipulating events and people.

One of the lieutenant generals under Roreth was Simon Luminar, to whom he entrusted the God Slayer. Luminar was to lead a strike force of nearly 125,000 drow against the gnomes in the Heavensbanes, but General Roreth manipulated events so that Nathel himself would have to intervene. The gnomes guarded the Gate Nexus, which would be needed to further accelerate the war. Had Nathel learned of the Gate Nexus prior to his invasion, and acquired it, he would have been the undisputed ruler of all of Gaeleth. Luminar invaded the Heavensbane Mountains with the Dark Race, and nearly succeeded. The gnomes were tough adversaries, and highly fortified in their positions. Working in conjunction with one of Nathel's scheming archons, Roreth and Luminar managed to lure Nathel's avatar to the Gate Nexus – where Luminar slew his patron deity.

The resultant explosion sealed off the Gate Nexus from the Nathelian armies, and slew half of Nathel's priests instantly. The scheming archon, known as Nabrol, immediately assumed command of all the armies, and all the remaining priests, gaining all of Nathel's power in one momentous event. The sheer power of it all drove Nabrol insane, and the Heavensbanes were suddenly left in chaos. General Roreth was immediately slain by Luminar, and Luminar rebuked his status as an antipaladin. Aiding the remaining gnomes to escape through the Gate Nexus to another world, Luminar went on to regain his paladinhood in the service of the new god Arpelos.

The God Slayer, meanwhile, was turned over to the church of Yatindar. Rather than be used on the battlefield, the weapon was dismantled and scattered. Nabrol, insane with power, began using the massive Nathelian armies in chaotic, unpredictable ways. Half searching for the components of the God Slayer, and half just playing on his whims, the armies of the Nathelians continued to wear away at the Karatikans.

In the meantime, both sides had stepped up their use of massive firepower. ArchMages used ancient spells of amplification to devestate armies, and were in turn slain by single assassins. Disciples of the various gods, and even archons and angels, entered the fight with increasing impunity. The well-organized, orderly battle that ate a generation of young soldiers, turned into a frantic feeding frenzy that sent innocents and soldiers alike to their graves. Nowhere was safe. No land escaped the ravaging of battle, war, and destruction.

The Karatikans developed various strategies and tactics to combat the chaotic armies, and slowly but surely began to wear down their supply lines and resources. Led by the paladin of Yatindar Joseph McCray, the Nathelian-Nabrolian presence was slowly but steadily reduced. Seven years after the death of Nathel, the Nabrolian-led peoples were finally contained on the renamed continent of Nabrolia.

While history credits McCray with the eventual defeat of the Nabrolian armies, real credit goes to Nabrol himself. Nathel was very careful to pay homage to the Goddess of the Seas, Olorin, and thus ensured his massive triremes and frigates were free to sail the seas at will. Coupled with the God of Sailing, Multheir, Nathel's forces controlled the seas, and could establish long supply chains to distant islands. Nabrol ignored the Sea Goddess, spurning her as inconsequential. Incurring her wrath was foolish, but even her resources were limited; it would take her denizens time to beat back the Nabrolians. Working in conjunction with Yatindar, Olorin's forces helped eliminate the Nabrolian supply lines and troop resources. At the conclusion of the Storm Wars, Olorin's vengeance was the final seal on the island continent, preventing Nabrol's triremes from escaping.

As a last act of defiance and vengeance in the year 772, the last year of the wars, all of Nathel's old sleeper agents and moles were given one final order. Reporting to a blood mage by the name of Refterdardes, they sacrificed themselves to him in a violent orgy of bloodletting, death, and conception. Refterdardes used the power to assassinate the weakened Avard Karatikan, and assassinated the ArchDruid in a massive fireball of destruction and hellfire. Some students of history argue that no bloodmage had the power necessary to accomplish what he did, and some suspicion rests on the shoulders of the God of Destiny, Brigain.

With the loss of most of the ruling druids during the wars, and the prominent rise in power of the churches, the Alliance slowly unraveled. Local rulers and kings began to assume independant power, checked in some small measure by the churches.

All of this petty bickering went on in the aftermath of the Storm Wars. The best of the mages had been slain. The most powerful sorcerors were gone. Entire nations were literally wiped off the face of the planet. Forests withered. Diseases spread. The clouds and cool weather would destroy crops for years to come. Poverty ruled, and hope was weak. In these terrible conditions, the survivors of the Storm Wars considered themselves victorious.

It is very important to note that not one Karatikan set foot on the Nathelian-Nabrolian mainland. Every capital resource of the Nabrolians was left intact at the end of the war, and save for a lack of able-bodied men, Nabrolia could arguably be considered the real victor of the wars.

gaeleth/history/storm_wars.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/27 21:56 (external edit)