Tome of Dorgoth

War of the Sisters

The War of the Sisters was an internal conflict in the elven Kingdom of Laeryll that lasted from 10 LC to 39 LC. During this war, the rulers of the Second Diarchy fought each other over a dispute regarding relations to the Kingdom of Labar and expanding human settlements in present-day Silimanis. The War of the Sisters quickly expanded into a full-blown conflict between elven factions, dwarven tribes, human militias and orcish hordes, rupturing the kingdom.

Background

During the early rule of Laeryllian king Bothandal the Crafter in the fifth century BLC, humans arrived on the Northern Arm and settled from the Labarean peninsula to within present-day Silimanis. Farmers by nature, the humans transformed the landscape and introduced domesticated species from the Southern Arm. Good trade relations with settlements on the Labarean peninsula and with Laeryll allowed the humans to flourish, and their settlements prospered and expanded. In the second century BLC, this led to a series of negotiations between the elves and the humans, as the logging activity of the humans started to spark tensions – and occasionally outright conflict – with elven communities.

In 189 BLC, Bothandal and representatives of the humans (including the ancient sage Pesidorius and the Wayan priestess Adanthi) came to a formal agreement that set conditions for human expansion, including open borders and religious enclaves for the elves and veto rights on any logging activity for The Watchers and the Laeryllian Crown. This did not completely eliminate conflict between elves and humans, as not all humans felt bound to agreements made with others and wood elves in the Forest of Guharr struck without mercy against humans who dared to enter the area.

After the death of Bothandal in 5 BLC, his daughters Morsyana and Galythiel inherited the throne and the Second Diarchy commenced. They respected the agreement their father had made with the humans, but declared that any illegally occupied territory would be reclaimed by Laeryll, by force if necessary.

Pre-war events

The establishment of the Kingdom of Labar in 0 LC divided the Second Diarchy. Queen Galythiel immediately wanted to establish ties with the newly crowned King Clankweedle and welcomed a stable neighbor to the west. Queen Morsyana, however, feared an eventual eastward expansion of the gnomes and encroachment onto the kingdom, and she wanted to support the Federation of the West, an idea championed by Labarean merchants who opposed monarchy and instead proposed self-governing city-states. The Diarchy could not resolve its disagreement, and only Galythiel went to the coronation ceremony of King Clankweedle. While the Laeryllian gift to Clankweedle – a collection of inlaid elven chalices, depicting the history of Laeryll – was offered in the name of both queens, it was clear to everyone that Morsyana was not planning to recognize the Labarean monarchy in earnest.

Years later, in 8 LC, human loggers claimed a large portion of Toktar forest without permission of the Diarchy. Pressed by The Watchers, Morsyana unilaterally responded to this transgression by encouraging the Toktar Massacre, killing 300 humans and destroying two settlements near the forest. Galythiel was furious about her sister's move and sent emissaries to human lands in order to uphold peace. Morsyana, in contrast, started gathering elven support for a campaign that would secure strategic coastal regions and reclaim even legally occupied territory from the humans. The Watchers joined Morsyana's cause, as did the Red Rock Elves and a band of evocation wizards from Qosid named the Flametongues. Galythiel managed to convince most High Wizards from the Seven Schools to follow her lead. A schism was born.

In 9 LC, while Galythiel was on a diplomatic mission to Hervik, Morsyana had the Red Rock Elves take over the Dathyllian city Prydisyrr, which was the base of operations for the Diarchy. She instructed Laeryllian troops to head towards Silimanis and overtake human lands as part of the Great Reclaim. At the same time, she exiled Basil Flutenkrank from elven lands. Notably, Morsyana sent a cabal of dark magic sorcerors to join the ranks of the army.

Galythiel responded to this de facto coup all the way from Labar, allying with the gnomes to restore order in the Kingdom of Laeryll. She teleported to Thellur where she asked for the help of the Qosidian communities, but she found popular opinion there was against her. Only once the use of dark magic in Silimanis became clear to the wood elves, did Galythiel find support of Qosidian loyalists. In Folkanar 11 LC, Galythiel marched from Thellur to Prydisyrr and demanded restoration of the Diarchy. Morsyana refused and the actual War of the Sisters began.

Course of the war

The Siege of Prydisyrr led to a defeat of Galythiel's army, as the Flametongues, loyal to Morsyana despite her use of dark magic, set fire to Galythiel´s encampments. Morsyana´s forces succesfully defended the city walls and Galythiel's army was decimated .She fell back to western Dathyll, where and opted for a guerrilla war against movements of troops loyal to Morsyana, while seeking out additional commitment from Qosid.

In the meantime, King Clankweedle sent ships to Nossed, to block the harbor and deprive Morsyana from control over trade with The Porcupine. This move did not sit well with the dwarves, who had hoped that strife within the Kingdom of Laeryll would not affect them. Instead, they were forced to send their ores and metals much further along the Northern Arm, to The Mouth and Hervik.

In 13 LC, the Mountain King realised that the Kingdom of Laeryll would not return to its normal state quickly. Persuading the Labareans to remove the blockade of Nossed would also not be beneficial, as trade through the harbor remained dependent on Morsyana. This left the dwarves with the options of supporting Galythiel to restore the former order, or of just sitting out the war. The Mountain King decided that the former was preferable, by supplying the elves with a large loan that could be used to hire dwarven mercenaries and that came with very specific political conditions.

It took the dwarves two years to prepare for war and in 16 LC, their troops landed in Eblon on the Northern Arm, where they constructed fortifications that remain to this day. From there, they moved northwards into King's Swamp and the lands just south of it, to prepare for an attack on Dathyll from its eastern border.

Morsyana and Galythiel, in the meantime, were fighting their war in western Dathyll. Morsyana had the upper hand: the conquest of Silimanis provided her with copious foodstuff and Prydisyrr afforded her access to wealth and people. Galythiel, in the meantime, faced her sister's troops in the east and the orcs of Arkos Plains in the west. Her strategy was to buy time, while the dwarves consolidated in Laedor Thilis and Pothael, and the gnomes prepared to march onto Silimanis.

Morsyana feared the dwarven presence the most and decided to strike against them. In 18 LC, the Royal Army, complemented by Loxo mercenaries, mounted an attack against several fortifications in Pothael. The dwarves were well-prepared, however, and managed to not only hold off Morsyana's troops, but turn the defense into an offensive. Chasing the retreating elves, they pushed back the lines that Morsyana held in the eastern forests of Dathyll and set up camps in the trees, while the fortifications in Pothael were manned by new soldiers. Between 18 and 20 LC, the dwarves made a slow march through the forests, setting up subterranean or tree-based bases.

Aftermath

Impact