The failures of leadership manifested by the Kalirion Dynasty, led by Kaiser Ayreon IV, whose administrations lent undue credence to Elianist ideologies, left the vast and sprawling Benacian empire of Shireroth singularly ill-equipped to contend with a series of calamities including the Elwynnese Civil War, the White Plague, and the emigration of a large portion of its former ruling classes, particularly from the territories of Modan. Shireroth, having invested heavily in financing a global military-industrial complex and the largest armed forces of any of the remaining great powers of Micras, for the purpose of resisting Jing and Bassarid aggression during the years of confrontation, and burdened with a sclerotic and overly hierarchical system of governance, effectively a neo-feudal and corporatist abomination of a command economy, was unable to pivot adroitly towards the reforms and reorganisation that would be necessary for peacetime development.
The inability of the ruling classes to continue operating the machinery of state with any measure of precision or alacrity was finally exposed by the feeble response of the Imperial Government to a minor but bloody rebellion in Shireroth's Inner Benacian puppet state, which had cost the lives of countless Imperial bureaucrats and "advisers", most notable of whom was Lady Cherokee, a prominent Elianist and member of the high nobility. The decision to meekly accept this atrocity, and Inner Benacia's repudiation of the Raspur Pact, and to limit retaliation to economic sanctions and the sealing of the frontier, left Imperial garrisons trapped in Inner Benacia, and merely served to embolden the Laqi insurgency to the point where it became a low intensity "holy war" against the Imperial Republic.
- 1 The situation in 1671 AN
- 2 Timeline
- 2.1 1671
- 2.2 1672
- 2.3 XI.1672
- 2.4 1673
- 3 Malarboria
- 4 Sanilla and Amarra
- 5 The Sovereign Confederation
- 6 Drak-Modan
- 7 Shirekeep
- 8 Imperial Verionist Republic of Shireroth
- 9 Khaz Modan Isles
- 10 Ransenar
The situation in 1671 AN
Having survived the White Plague, and having formally suppressed the last remnants of the moribund federal system, the Imperial Republic was, on paper, a highly centralised polity, with vast powers accrued to the Imperial Advisory Council and the Steward, over whom the Kaiser exercised only the power of appointment and dismissal. The ruling Steward's authority was enhanced by coalition majorities in the Folksraad and Adlesraad, the bicameral legislature of Shireroth's multi-party democracy, while at the same time the presiding committee of the high nobility - heir to the ancient title and dignity of the Landsraad - was quiescent following the departure of most dissident lords with the Modanese Migration.
Control over the tumultuous and perpetually squalid capital, Shirekeep, was ensured by the Shirekeep Garrison, a composite force built around the Palatini Corps, the elite imperial guard which consisted of eight heavily reinforced legions supported by auxiliaries, that was largely independent of the administrative control of the army and outside the operational jurisdiction of Benacia Command. Because of the chequered history of the Palatini Corps, a strong security apparatus, answerable only to the Imperial Household, was set up to protect the sacred person of the Kaiser and other critical officials (Sentinels) and to monitor office holders with an open mandate to purge where necessary (Crypteia). The city's contingent of cudgellers (police) - the City Guard - had also evolved to become a paramilitary force answering to the Prefect of the city. This latter force, notorious for skirmishing with the garrison, had been tamed somewhat by incorporation into the Imperial Constabulary answerable to the Ministry of State.
The Ministry, formed during administrative reforms of the late 1660's out a merger of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Military Affairs, exercised administrative direction and oversight over the so-called pillars of control which allowed the metropolitan centre to exercise control over the vast imperial periphery, these being:
- Control of Force (Imperial Forces / Imperial Marshals)
- Control of Finance (Office of Bounties and Factorage)
- Control of Information (Panopticon / Imperial Postal Service / Benacian Data Network)
Officers of the Ministry of State were represented at every level of these pillars of control, creating an integrated "power-vertical" through which the Imperial Government could make its influence felt even down to the bailiwick or village level.
With the dissolution of the states the top tier subdivision of the Imperial Republic was the dominion, an agglomeration of counties, bailiwicks, and cities, within a distinct and usually contiguous territorial jurisdiction. Dominions, headed by a Viceroy, enjoyed strictly limited autonomy but in practice were entirely dominated by the structures of the power-vertical - the size of provincial militias being formally limited to 6,000 men-at-arms meaning that even the most independently minded viceroy would be hopelessly outgunned by the Imperial garrison within his dominion. Moreover Viceroys had become subject to a further administrative oversight, which over time had come to look more akin to direct control, by Lieutenants of the Golden Mango Throne (Lord Lieutenants) appointed to each of the subdivisions by the Steward. Lieutenants had especial responsibility to oversee the local implementation of of Imperial Law and Policy and had received a detachment of Crypteia, supported by personnel seconded from the Palatini Corps, around which to form a rapid reaction force with which to crush any instances of dissent or sedition discovered within their jurisdiction. Under these conditions the remaining Viceroys, with the notable exception of dissident Verionists in Elwynn's high north, had become timid ciphers, capable of only working within precisely defined and narrow remits whilst being wholly terrified of undertaking any action not expressly sanctioned by higher authority, lest the dreaded accusation of disobedience be levelled against them, followed swiftly by a sudden and nocturnal tribunal held before the inquisitors of the Judex.
The independence of the judiciary from the mechanisms of central government, although theoretically still upheld in the Charter, had largely ceased by this time, mostly on account of slow drift of legally trained professionals from the inns of court towards the chambers of the bureaucracy where the pay was almost as good and the threat of assassination by discontented plaintiffs was markedly reduced.
(All times are in Shirekeep time)
- 13: Benacian Stabilisation Force stood up. Stated objective to relieve IBFOR contingents trapped behind frontier in post-revolution Inner Benacia.
- 01: Kaiser Ayreon IV elevates Batavian King Arkadius IV to Shirerithian peerage as Duke of Brandenburg as a gesture of friendship between the two reflected by the upcoming marriage between Arkadius and Ayreon's sister in law Clara, the creation the city of Vidarstadt in Batavia (named in honour of the Kaiser) and the close relationship between the royal and imperial courts of Batavia and Shireroth.
- 05: Fall Luikur deployment orders put into motion by Benacia Command. General staff relocate to Merensk.
- 06: Provosts report that desertion rate amongst Imperial Forces exceeds 10% for the first time since War of Lost Brothers.
- Process of assigning personnel and equipment to operational formations assigned to Benacian Stabilisation Force begins to look more and more like the wholesale occupation and or looting of Imperial facilities by Raspur Pact aligned factions within the Imperial Forces. Attempts to raise the alarm are made by commissary officers attached to the Field, Frontier, and Riverine Armies. The placement of Raspur Pact aligned staff officers serving dual duty in offices concerning the administrative function of the Imperial Forces helps to effectively stifle the attempts of those on the ground to warn the Office of Defence and Security that something is seriously amiss. In spite of this some warnings are received by the civilian overseers of the armed forces. Shirekeep however remains silent.
- Kaiser Ayreon IV, his concubine Lady Isidora IV of Octavius-Teleni, and children Salome, Kir, and Kian, go to Kezan on a working holiday.
- Elianist People's Party in Amokolia, the Northern Reaches and Akordionnyr, vote to split from the main Elianist People's Party to join the pro-independence Elwynnese Popular Front umbrella party.
- Elianist People's Party, a government party in the imperial government, criticizes the move, calling Elwynnese independence anachronistic. But by now, the government majority in the Folksraad and Adelsraad have been reduced to a minority in both chambers.
- 08: Elwynnese Popular Front delegation in the Folksraad moves for no confidence in the Steward (Soraya Octavius-Parini). Receives significant support by opposition parties for a first reading of the motion in the Folksraad. Decides not to make a similar motion in the Adelsraad, as the party wants to portray the possible downfall of the Steward a "common man's act" (instead of the nobility's).
- Second reading of the motion in the Folksraad. No debate. Motions of confidence are quite common in the Folksraad but never before have they gone past the second reading. This time they did.
- Kaiser meets Kalgachian representatives in Kezan.
- 09:30. Third reading of the no-confidence motion in the Folksraad.
- 09:32–11:45: Folksraad debates the motion.
- 11:47: Folksraad votes on the motion.
- 11:48: Speaker Marius Macaby (Imperial Order) announces the result of the vote: that the Folksraad has no confidence in the Steward.
- 12:05: Speaker Macaby meets with the Lord Speaker of the Adelsraad and the Prætor of the Landsraad (Tinker Sprocket) to discuss the new government formation process. Kaiser is informed.
- 12:30: Kaiser calls the Steward to inform her that he will relieve her of her office.
- 12:48: Kaiser issues Imperial Decree 1194, relieving the Steward of her office but tasking her to remain acting Steward until the Landsraad has elected a new Steward. Kaiser decides to return to Shirekeep to meet with the Prætor and Imperial Advisory Council. Concubine and children stay in Kezan.
- 19:03: Kaiser returns to Raynor's Keep. Calls for an IAC meeting for the day after.
- 21:00: By now, Kaiser has had dinner with his catamite (Jaap van Pijpervale). The dinner does not go well. van Pijpervale contravenes protocol and departs from the Imperial immediacy without prior leave, returning to the sleeping quarters of the adept pages in the Dirâsat-an-Nûr. The Kaiser's fury is relieved by a mild sedative administered by the court physician.
- 21:52–23:11: van Pijpervale finds consolation with a coterie of Elw page boys who, ultimately, prove to have something interesting, which they have long contemplated, to reveal to him.
- 22:45: The Kaiser, with the effect of the sedative wearing off, is reported to have worked himself into a "heightened emotional state". After refusing offers of consolation by the adept pages attending upon the Imperial immediacy at the appointed hour, the Kaiser dismissed his retinue before retiring to have a two-way conference call with Emperor Nathan II of Natopia (the Kaiser's husband), hosted in the Keep's holographic projection chamber. The Kaiser's personnel security detail is excluded from the projection chamber during this time. The breach of protocol is swiftly reported to the Chamberlain of the Imperial Household, herself absent attending to her functions as Count-Palatine of Kezan at the time.
- 05:30: An attack carried out on Shirekeep-Foley Aerodrome by unknown assailants utilising a mix of imperial and allied equipment, uniforms, and gravimetric vehicles, throws the capital into pandemonium. The Evocati legion, garrisoned at Fort Foley, is the first to respond whilst the remainder of the Palatini Corps and the City Guard enact their deployment orders for placing the old city and Raynor's Keep into lock-down.
- 07:00: Hostile raiding force retires, after destroying eleven F-8 Shrikes on the ground. As the site is secured a panopticon node is discovered to have been tampered with. Running a system diagnostic on the device without isolating it first from critical networks results in the sending of a data spike to the central data repository housed beneath the Esagila of Raynor. The resulting system cascade crashes the Benacian Data Network, crippling those Imperial communication systems not carried on the Natopian-based satellite communication grid utilised by Benacia Command. Within minutes the knock-on effects are felt right the way across Benacia as the operating systems of government facilities, hospitals, factories, and power stations are all knocked out of action by the network crash.
- 07:10: The tram and metro system of metropolitan Shirekeep ceases operation, compounding the delays caused by the throwing up of additional security checkpoints around the city. Reports of violent jostling by angry commuters, escalating into disturbances requiring the intervention of cudgellers, begin to trickle in from around the old city.
- 07:32: Rumours of fighting in and around the barracks of the Saznan Szironeï in Sakatopolis following reports of an attempted mutiny being thwarted in the preceding hours concurrent with the attack on Shirekeep-Foley Aerodrome. The city's Crypteia Rapid Response Group is dispatched to investigate.
- 08:19: A local communications network is created utilising old radio sets taken out of storage in the subterranean portions of the Kelb of Raynor's Keep and Hoennese electronic communications devices belonging to individual officers - flouting a long-standing Imperial ban on the use of the latter for official purposes.
- 01:28: Reports (at this time unconfirmed) of the Kaiser's death reach Kezan. Security around the heir-apparent and members of the Imperial Court in Kezan is upped.
- 04:32: Kaiser's death is confirmed within the Imperial Government, but information of it not yet released to the wider public. Kezan prepares for regency. Teleconferencing with Li Naomiai (Minister of the Exterior, attending to business in Lindström).
- 08:45: Kaiser Ayreon IV's death is announced by the Imperial Government (from Kezan via Natopian communications network). Salome proclaimed to have acceded to the throne as the new kaiseress. Imperial Government announces Li Naomiai, the Marchioness of Sentratera and Minister of the Exterior to be Regent for the Kaiseress until she comes of age.
- 10.00 The Sanilla and Amarra Liberation Army for Democracy declared the independence of the Democratic Federation of Sanilla and Amarra from their headquarters in Nee. In the declaration they stated that their goal is to establish a state in the former county of Amarr, southwestern Lachmodan and southern Highpass, the Sani and Ama homelands. They also sought peaceful relations with their neighbors and a negotiated settlement with the regency in Shirekeep.
- 9:50 The Prefect of Shirekeep, Titus Morvayne, is elected by the Landsraad as Kaiser Verion II of Shireroth in a questionable procedure where he was the only person in the Landsraad. His control over the capital make for a tense situation.
- 10:45 Imperial Regency denounces the so-called imperial election, reasserts its power. Accuses Titus Morvayne for having hacked the prætor and not followed proper procedures.
- Natopia confirms hack of Prætor.
- Imperial directive against Titus put in place. Loyalist regiments of the Palatini Corps and Shirekeep Garrison assert control in Shirekeep. Titus disappears into the urban snarl of the Old City, supported by his cudgellers and the infamously riotous mobs of the city.
- 16: Elwynnese Republic declared as an entity with the view of achieving independence. Support from the transitional authorities in the Duchy of Akordionnyr (south Elwynn) and the Northern Realm (north Elwynn), and bailiwicks in east Oleslääd. Although claiming Hyperborea and Leng, no communication with authorities there. Provisional leader is Pedyr Mekaarveq of the Elwynnese Popular Front, titled Conducator of the Provisional Government.
- 20: Shadow Witch Council in Leng announce Leng as a Boreal Kingdom and independent, and sends deployments to a starving Hyperborea. Elwynnese Republic formally protests.
- 22: Akordionnyr seeks help from the Black Legions to secure the border with Shirekeep, and to counter the liberal agenda of the north.
- 23: Hyperborea "annexed" by the Boreal Kingdom, now known as the Boreal Kingdoms in the plural. Elwynnese Republic formally protests once again.
- 4: Isidora gives birth to Kaiser Ayreon's last child, a son, Prince Rubin Leonid Orientalis.
- 13: Akordionnyr and Northern Elwynn begin negotiations on Elwynnese reunification.
- 8: Elwynnese Republic political compromise achieved. Conducator Pedyr Mekaarveq steps aside in favour of Firdaus Abdollahi Mehr who is now the new Conducator.
- 9: Elwynnese Republic declares its sovereignty. Maintains some formal cooperation with the Imperial Regency (Imperialists).
- 12: The SALAD proclaims Sanama to be liberated from fascists and imperialists. Announces that elections for local citizens' councils will be held on 15-16.X.1672 and also bars itself from fielding candidates. Launches a massive get-out-the-vote campaign.
- 9: Elwynn's Union Defence Force deploy troops to pacify Cape Farewell and Cimmeria from Boreals.
- 12: National Assembly elections in Talenore, heavily influenced by the events in Shirekeep. Leads to National Development Party increasing its share to a majority.
- 14: Li Naomiai, Regent of the Imperial Republic, visits Talenore on a two-day visit, meets with Speaker Leila Mehraban, charges Speaker to speak with the leaders of the various assembly parties on the matter of new government formation.
- 15: Li Naomiai re-appoints Mahmood Sadri (Count of Pasdaran) to Governor-General of Talenore (head of government).
- 8: Voluntary force from Normark join the UDF in attacking Boreal installments in Leng and Hyperborea. First goal is to secure the Boreal Air Bridge, second goal is to secure Elwynnese sovereignty over Leng, third goal is to secure Elwynnese sovereignty over both Leng and Hyperborea.
- 5: The first of The Saints CF, having been expelled from Goetia, arrive in Demonsfall under the sanction and leadership of Kizzy Drakland.
- 3: Elwynnese pacification of the Cape Farewell and Cimmeria concluded. Elwynnese government established in full. Troops remain.
- 11: Joint Military Council of the Raspur Pact releases strategic reserves to bolster Benacia Command.
- 10: Arkadius IV (King of Batavia, claimed King of Amokolia) marries Clara Sundara (sister of Kaiser Ayreon's widow Nathan II). That marriage went ahead seen as tacit Shirerithian recognition of Amokolia and Drak-Modan. Shireroth refrained from sending representatives to the wedding however.
- 21: Declaration of Brandenburg, West Amokolia declares itself independent, with support from Elwynn.
15-16: The 1672 Sanaman local elections are held in Sanama, marking the first democratic elections ever in the area. The around 5,500 communes formed federate into 68 cantons. Work started to draft a constitution.
- 9: Operation Avan: Units of the Guttuli Corps enter Lichport and Lowbrook. By the end of the day, both cities issue formal requests to come under the protection of the Guttuli Protectorate. Resisting members of each municipal government are removed to the countryside for execution.
- 10: Operation Avan: City Council of Barrowfield announces that it has put down an attempted coup among the municipal police, who are believed to be members of the Utnaræn. Martial law is declared and a makeshift militia is formed to defend the city. Skirmishes with advance units of the Guttuli Corps in the hills southeast of the city.
- 11: Operation Avan: Second wave units establish a new defensive frontier west of the Lowbrook-Lichport Line.
- 15: Operation Avan: Siege of Barrowfield initiated as second wave units of the Guttuli Corps encircle the city.
- 16: Elwynn and Normark conquer Leng (except for Zi'yeh Kla, the witcher capital, and Mholog, the witcher vassal town). Sets up air and naval bases in enu Kalirioon, and Swordson.
- 18: Kaiser Verion II and his supporters establish the Imperial Verionist Republic of Shireroth on the Skyla islands.
- 19: Elwynn and Normark start bombing Boreal Kingdoms bases in Hyperborea, including Tala (Thule) and Vanyam (Vanaheim).
- 20: Operation Avan: Barrowfield City Council votes to invite the Guttuli Protectorate to extend its protection over their city. Guttuli Corps units took control of city hall and other government buildings. Mayor, City Council, and senior police officials last seen being driven into the countryside by members of the Guttuli Corps.
- 22: Regency declares Shirekeep liberated. Shirerithian control of greater Shirekeep re-established.
- 23: Regency begins negotiations with Elwynn re independence.
- 1: Regency sends out missives to Sanilla-Amarra, United Governorates, Suthergold, Drak-Modan, Guttuli, Tellia and Amokolia, to discuss the fracture and the question of autonomy/independence.
- 2: Li Naomiai moves to Shirekeep and sets up the Regency in Raynor's Keep. Kaiseress remains in Kezan for the time being.
- 3: Regency sends out troops to pacify and bring order to Ynnraile, Monty Crisco, and north Caverden.
- 4: Elwynn and Normark campaigns against Mholog begin (sea, air, and ice/land). Elwynn and Normark suffer unexpected number of casualties, and retreat from Mholog.
- 7: Round 1 in Elwynn's elections for Prince. Conducator Firdaus Abdollahi Mehr (Nationalist and Humanist Party) leads with 42% of the vote, followed by Ander Avon-El (Ayreonist Independence Party) at 36%, and Pedyr Mekaarveq (EWP) with 20%. Former Elwynnese princess Eki Verion, forwarded by the Holy Party of the Divine Icebear, last with less than 2% of the vote. Due to no candidate receiving a majority, a second round between Mehr and Avon-El planned for 9.XIII.1672.
- 15: Elwynn conquers Vanyam (Vanaheim).
- 17: Regency realizes (somewhat belatedly) that the Vulture States will not "go away". Begins internal negotiations on what approach to take with regard to them.
- 18: Elwynn and Normark forces bomb Tala (Thule) and other areas of strategic interest in Raikoth. The use of long-range aviation of types only available to Raspur Pact member-states strongly tips the involvement of Benacia Command and Keltia Command in the campaign.
- 20: Protests in Eliria against the bombings in Raikoth. Conducator Mehr defends the actions, "Elwynn does not negotiate with terrorists".
- 23: Elwynn bombs Mholog with heavy armaments.
- 23: Mholog surrenders to the Elwynnese–Norse forces.
- 24: Mholog is under full Elwynnese control.
- 3: Regency agrees to recognize in principle (as in once treaties have been signed with the respective vultures) the independence of Elwynn and Suthergold (and letting them sort out their disputes) with their claimed borders, as well as the United Governorates (the Merensk area), Drak-Modan, Guttuli, Amokolia, Sanama (except for Sanama claims over Lower Highpass) as well as an end to the Mandate of Tellia (with Tellia being the sovereign over Hither Tellia). Invites representatives for a convention to discuss trade, cross-border issues, and a future relationship between them. Regency calls these vulture state territories "pre-independent".
- 4: Regency decides to grant Skyla independence as a county if Kaiser Verion II renounces the kaisership and declares himself count of Skyla with no other titles or pretences to Shireroth, and recognizes Salome as kaiseress of Shireroth.
- Elwynnese representatives arrive at Shirekeep, sets out demand for full independence and sovereignty as well as imperial recognition of Elwynnese claims in Wintergleam (disputed with Suthergold), Leng and Hyperborea. Elwynn suggests Amokolian sovereignty over Mishalan.
- Black Legions begin the invasion of Mishalan, citing the necessity of controlling armaments industry.
- 6: Regency condemns Black Legion invasion of Mishalan, calling on the Black Legions to remain in Merensk, and suggesting that further Black Legion involvement in territories not designated by the Imperial Government as pre-independent would be unfavourable for the relations between the Regency and the United Governorates and for the possible future recognition of UG sovereignty.
- Elwynnese elections for prince conclude with Ander Avon-El winning 50.37% of the vote against Firdaus Abollahi Mehr at 49.62%. Mehr concedes defeat and vows to work closely together with Avon-El. Term begins 1.I.1673.
- Congress elections in north Elwynn conclude: Verionist Union becomes largest party. Verionist leader Stephen Lewis given enough support to lead a coalition government in northern Elwynn once the new month begins.
- 12: Elwynnese–Norse forces enter ("liberate") Hyperborean towns of Kalen, Midoth, and Anshir (the towns closest to Vanyam Island). Bombardment of rebel installations in the coastal towns of Tala (Thule), Taras, Sithli, Talisre. Protests against bombings continue in Eliria.
- 13: Representatives of the Planning and Political Directorates of Benacia Command arrive in Eliria.
- 14: Elwynnese government, exasperated with the lack of fruitful discussions with authorities in Suthergold with regard to the Ketsire area where some Suthergoldian control remains, withdraw the peace proposal, and begin the Wintergleam campaign, with the view to restore full Elwynnese sovereignty and order in Wintergleam. Suthergoldian forces classed as "unlawful combatants" and will be subject to terrorist legislation. UDF cudgellers deployed to the outskirts of the Ketsire area.
- Cudgellers with UDF-armbands reappear on the streets of Eliria in response to continuing protests.
- Ryker OS taken offline temporarily whilst a defragmentation and clean up is run on the old boy's memory kernels. Mother and daughter team Doir Jen Merah and Selardi Jen Daniyal assume temporary command of the state.
- III (Wintergleam) Corps of the Goldshire Regulars reactivates in the service of the Sovereign Confederation (45,090 militia, 1,127 non-commissioned officers, 376 squadron officers, 38 regimental officers, and 30 field officers report to mustering points)
- A superheated canister of molten antimony, projected at high velocity by unknown means from somewhere south of the frontier between Wintergleam and Suthergold, ruptures in spectacular fashion above the heads of a band of UDF cudgellers parading on the outskirts of Ketsire. 14 cudgellers were killed and 38 were seriously injured, whilst the remainder, 68 in total, fled from the scene of devastation and horror. The peculiar nature of the attack raised suspicions as to the potential culprits.
- In response to the Ketsire atrocity, the UDF mobilises the 10th Division (Zjandarian Guard) in the Alalehzamini Autonomous Republic and the 3rd Division (Livgardet Elenaran) in Congressional Elwynn. The Union Aerospace Corps and Union Fleet Maritime Corps are placed on alert.
- The Sovereign Confederation, feeling that it's very survival is now under threat, responds by ordering a full mobilisation on the same day. Conflict in Wintergleam now seems inevitable.
- Benacia Command places a temporary ban on the supply of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles to Elwynn and the Sovereign Confederation. Advisory teams from Northern and Eastern Banner Groups prohibited from entering Wintergleam in support of either party. Urges diplomatic solution.
- Froyalanish terrorists carry out attacks in Mürtin and flee to Mishalan.
- Amokolian Highlanders invade Mishalan and Mittlere Stadt from the west.
- Conflict in Wintergleam: Protected by their ground based air defence network, the 8th Division of the SLDD's Wintergleam Corps is able to role up the right flank of the UDF's 10th Divison, forcing it to retire back towards the railhead at Monare which served as the UDF supply hub in the region. The withdrawal opens a gap in the Elwynnese line around Kaliandare which is quickly exploited by the armoured elements of the arriving Suthergold Corps. Cudgeller and UDF Gendarme detachments in Ketsire, Alnavi, and Monare, deprived of UDF air and now artillery support, begin to yield ground in the face of SLDD counter-attacks across the entirety of the disputed bailiwicks in Wintergleam.
- Elwynnese–Norse combined force take Taras (in Hyperborea).
- Conflict in Wintergleam:
- The gathering momentum of the Confederate counter-offensive takes the Wintergleam Corps westwards and past Monare in pursuit of the retiring Zjandrian Guards. Threatens the Elwynnese city of Echo and takes the attackers beyond the range of the protective umbrella of air defences along the border with Suthergold. UDF airstrikes begin to rip through the advancing SLDD armoured columns only to be countered by the arrival of fighter jets and gravimetric vehicles carrying the markings of the Order of the Golden Spear. UDF accuses SLDD of enlisting pilots from the Black Legions garrison in the Sovereign Confederation. An attritional air battle develops in the skies between Echo and Ketsire.
- Northern Banner Group issues warning to Sovereign Confederation that forces passing beyond the bounds of Wintergleam would be liable to attack.
- Conflict in Wintergleam: Elwynnese maritime forces (12th Naval Division) attempts to land troops ashore along the coast between Asantelian and Tephal, and blockade the harbours. Landing is strongly opposed. By attacking locations along the Norestrian coast the Elwynnese have provided the necessary pretext for the Eastern Banner Group to now intervene openly.
- Problems encountered by the Elwynnese in undertaking this operation included unfamiliarity with the ex-Imperial Navy ships utilised, ignorance of the logistical complexities of amphibious operations, inexperience of landing parties in conducting said operations, the fact that the landings have taken place in a coastal zone heavily fortified by the previous regime, the fact that the landings took place in an area where the Black Legions garrison in the Sovereign Confederation was resting so as to avoid being embroiled in the conflict in Wintergleam.
- The attack would quite possibly become an ignominious rout had not the aviation assets of the Eastern Banner Group, pursuing fleeing ships of the UDF's naval division, encountered warships of the Northern Banner Group observing the landings being conducted by their UDF protegees.
- Both the Northern and Eastern Banner Groups of Benacia Command independently announce that they are conducting live-fire exercises off the Norestian coast.
- Conflict in Wintergleam: Elwynnese maritime forces (12th Naval Division) attempts to land troops ashore along the coast between Asantelian and Tephal, and blockade the harbours. Landing is strongly opposed. By attacking locations along the Norestrian coast the Elwynnese have provided the necessary pretext for the Eastern Banner Group to now intervene openly.
- Elwynnese–Norse combined forces enter Sithili whilst encountering only sporadic resistance. The blockade upon supplies of food and fuel to the island seem at last to have had a demoralising effect on the resisting populace.
- Concurrent live-fire exercises off the Norestian coast appear, to the undiscerning eye, to take on the aspect of a fratricidal slaughter. Reinforcements arrive for the Elwynnese landing parties.
- Talisre surrenders to UDF/Norse forces. Tala is the only remaining settlement in Hyperborea outside UDF/Elwynnese/Norse control.
- Commanders of the Northern and Eastern Banner Groups are summoned to Merensk in order to explain themselves to the Commander-in-Chief.
- 11: Forces of the Northern and Eastern Banner Groups suspend their live-fire exercises and withdraw towards Wolfraven and New Harbor respectively. Surviving Elwynnese landing parties secure Asantelian and Tephal unopposed.
- Amokolian Highlanders, outraged to see Elwynnese troops now invading Mishalan as well, sweep into the bailiwick of Mittlere Stadt, located in Elwynese Amokolia, expelling the bailiwick's garrison of startled cudgellers at bayonet point.
- Advancing Amokolian and Black Legionary scouting parties encounter each other at various points along a roughly agreed line of control. That this line of control had not been exactly demarcated on the ground meant that several formations were obliged to sharply retire westwards or southeastwards upon contact.
- 14: Representatives of West Amokolia, Black Legions, and Elwynn meet in Araxion to discuss the 'Mishalan problem', agree to a protocol on deconfliction, the disarmament of the remaining bands of Imperial loyalists and resistance groups, and to commence the process of negotiating the division of Mishalan into respective zones of control.
- 17: Elwynn and Sovereign Confederation agree to a border between them based on Shireroth's Wintergleam–Suthergold border with the following adjustments: Elwynn receives the wards of Asantelian, Tephal and Orenthaven, while the Sovereign Confederation receives the bailiwicks of Ketsire, Alnavi, and Kaliandare. Negotiations move on to diplomatic, trade, and cooperative matters. Prisoners of war from either side recognised as such and repatriated to their respective state.
- 18: Fall of Tala. The aerial bombardment of Boreal installations in Tala continues (some 250 civilian casualties), and ends with Elwynnese–Norse troops taking over the city. All of Hyperborea now under Elwynnese sovereignty. Ziyeh Kla in Leng remains the only terrorist outpost. But Elwynnese–Norse forces plan to "starve" the city out by blocking any shipments to and from the city. Sooner or later, fuel and food will run out, the Elwynnese–Norse forces gather.
- 19: Shirerithian forces withdraws from central Benacia. Regency formally recognizes the independence of the United Governorates of Benacia, the Elwynnese Republic, the Tellian Confederation, the Sovereign Confederation, the Guttuli Protectorate, the Bovic Kingdom of Drak-Modan, the Democratic Federation of Sanilla and Amarra. Regency disputes, however, Vulture States claims on the Isle of Benacia and Highpass, as well as refuses to recognize the so-called Imperial Verionist Republic of Shireroth
- 20: Sanama recognises the sovereignty and independence of the Shirerithian regency within its defined borders. Reasserts its claim over Lower Highpass, but with the caveat that the claim only applies to areas with Sani, Ama or Cisamarrese majority that consent to integration into Sanama.
- 22: Regency accepts Sanaman suggestion of referendum. Highpass being one entity in the Imperial Republic should have a referendum on whether to integrate to Sanama or remain in the Imperial Republic. The Regency suggests that the referendum should be binding on both Shireroth and Sanama, and that the referendum should be monitored by representatives from Elwynn and Drak-Modan.
- 23: Sanama rejects the referendum proposal since it would be a guaranteed loss for the minority population. Demands that each local area should be allowed a separate referendum.
- Commander of the Northern Banner Group suffers an unexpected heart attack whilst alone in his hotel room in Merensk. A replacement will be announced in due course.
- The Shirerithian withdrawal from the impoverished and lawless portion of Malarboria claimed by Tellia leaves the Tellian authorities, already overstretched by the task of restoring order in the former Mandate of Tellia, as the only recognised claimant of the land despite nominal control. With the region's unimpeded usage by Sanaman and Black Legion forces, and anti-Tellian sentiment from disowned Shirerithian locals, for practical reasons the decision is made to continue to focus resource and effort upon the southern territories.
- 1–17: Black Legions begin to amass armour and infantry in the Gloomburg and Litel regions.
- Legions adopt active hunting tactics, utilising heavy armour and air support, against Tee-al population of Upper Lywall.
- Red Lach and Mishalanski bandits from the eastern regions of Inner Benacia, recruited to the crimson banner by the lure of pay and plunder, are organised into the ESB-Brunïakis-Afzælt and deployed in the Litel region.
- 18: New Sanaman constitution approved by popular referendum with around 88 % of the votes in favor.
- 24: Recruitment for 56 new regiments begins in Mishalan.
- 29: 24,000 carpenters, 9,500 boatbuilders, and 3,700 welders and metal workers mobilised for shipbuilding work in the port of Rothaven.
- 30: Orders for 1,120 four-stroke diesel engines placed with Natopian companies by the Benacian Purchasing Commission.
- 33: Fall of Zi'yeh Kla. Elwynnese–Norse troops conquer the Witch Council compound, and arrest, as unlawful combatants, the Timeless Shadow and the Shadow Witches.
- By this point the independence of the surviving Vulture States had received a wider degree of recognition from the international community.
- The inauguration of Ander Avon-El as Prince of the Elwynnese Republic was held in Eliria - to minimal fanfare, in line with the prevailing mood of republican austerity in the country.
- 2: Prince Ander Avon-El, on behalf of Elwynn, formally applies for full de jure Raspur Pact membership.
- 8: Elwynn applies for MTO membership.
- 9: Constancian delegation to the Permanent Commission proposes joint Constancian-Natopian declaration recognising the Elwynnese Republic, Imperial Regency, Sovereign Confederation, and Unified Governorates of Benacia as successors to the Imperial Republic of Shireroth and inheritors of its membership. The delegate was quoted as saying "Rules and regulations have no weight next to the avowed will of nations, and it is our will that these states, who have remained true to the Pact, even in the midst of adversity, shall be granted seats on the Permanent Commission and Joint Military Council. So let it be said, so let it be done." Proposals were also mooted with regards to offering a "Partnership for Peace" security arrangement, with economic benefits, to Amokolia and Sanama. The discussions come at a time when the potential for overhauling the foundational treaty of the alliance is being investigated - with a view to realigning the text to better reflect the institutions and practices which have actually taken hold.
- 10: Following the customary exchange of guarantees and hostages, a delegation headed by Herlot bi Merensk, the Director of Military Intelligence of Benacia Command, arrived in Shirekeep for the first time since 1671. Meeting with the Steward of the Imperial Regency, Soraya Octavius-Parini, and the Magister of the Palatini Corps, Justin Guadalim, in the Steward's Tower of Raynor's Keep, the discussion proved to be a broadly positive one. Although Benacia Command refused - politely - to reintegrate the Black Legions into the Imperial Forces (at this point limited to the Palatini Corps, Shirekeep Garrison, and a few loyalist patrol boats on the upper stretches of the Red Elwynn), the delegation did agree to dispatch a force to assist with the reassertion Imperial power over a wider area - so as to secure the position of Shirekeep and restore its lines of communication to the outside world. Discussion turned to the situation along the course of the Red Elwynn, particularly to the bandit groups operating on the upper portion of the river and the activities of the Guttuli Protectorate along its lower reaches. Agreement was reached that the Palatini Corps would advance southwards through Monty Crisco, whilst the Southern Banner Group of Benacia Command would enter the estuary of the Red Elwynn and advance northwards along the river's course through the county of Kralizec with the two converging forces intending upon a meeting at Alexandretta. The occupation of Lichport by the Guttuli Corps, and the potential for reversing this, was also discussed.
- 20: Officers of the Central Banner Group greatly upset to learn that the confrontation with Inner Benacia has been postponed in order to prioritise the forthcoming resource needs of the Southern Banner Group over the course of the year. Warnings that this decision will pass the initiative to insurgent forces in the "Litkov salient" go unheeded.
- 1: Menaced by the Guttuli Protectorate's rapid conquest of southern Caverden and the city of Lichport, the Drak-Modani Defense Force began a build-up of forces along the eastern borders of Capshire and Kizshire (formerly eastern Modan-Lach).
- 2: Southern Banner Group begins concentrating naval assets and chartered merchant shipping at Sabatini station.
- 4: Kizzy Drakland declares herself Kaiseress of the Imperial Daemonic Republic of Shireroth in Demonsfall (now renamed New North Shirekeep). The Saints CF in full charge of the city government after the last imperial authority was "removed" by the Saints.
- 6: XXXIV Salb "Derban" forms up at Raynor's Point. Inspectorate Troops begin establishing supply depots and forward landing strips around Bajkir in Kizshire.
- 7: Cedrist priests in Ynnraile begin preaching for a holy war against the latest daemonic incursion into Benacia. Appeals for aid by local landowners and the rebellious peasantry alike are sent to Eliria, Kingsgate, Shirekeep, and Merensk.
- 10: Ships of the Arcadian Oil Company are plagued by piracy from the Florencia Isles. At the request of the Arcadian king, Gustavus des Vinandy, Arkadius Frederik Gustavus des Vinandy sent his personal military unit to secure the ships and patrol the seas around the isles.
- The Medusa, a Grav-Rig Cruiser, escorted by four GV-7 Leviathans, and fifty GAV-6 Zephyrs, was hastily dispatched to take up station over MoMA Station Sagittarius. Officially this was a shakedown cruise intended to integrate long-range gravimetric vehicles into the Aerospace Forces of the Black Legions prior to their transfer to the Western Banner Group of Benacia Command. That their passage would afford the opportunity to shoot up pirate skiffs, and other doubtful vessels, under the guise of gunnery practice whilst bringing the islands under the influence of the Unified Governorates of Benacia was an entirely incidental benefit.
- The Elwynn-class corvette BLS Zahnstange slipped its moorings at Marinestation Šlomxala and set course for the Iridian Isles.
- The Tassity Mansabdar deploy their mobile offshore base southeast of the coast of The Lodge.
- Following consultations with representatives of the Imperial Regency, a one-hundred and twenty man observation force drawn from veteran operatives who had previously served with Streïkrupp Kasha on the Inner Benacian mission were inserted on the outskirts of The Lodge by twenty GAV-4 Jackalopes accompanied by an eight-man team from the Political Relations Bureau of the General Staff's Political Directorate.
- The crews of the Medusa and the four Leviathan mobile command bases set about securing the dilapidated ex-Imperial naval station at Sagittarius. Five Zephyrs remained at Sagittarius whilst the remainder continued on their long-range patrol towards New Blackstone.
- 5: Darwin Research Station is reopened by Amokolia.
- 6: Uncorroborated reports in the Erudition Standard Gazette of Amity state that three U-boats (believed to have been one Type 941 and two Type 2400 U-boats respectively) which were last known to have been in the harbour of Sabatini Station on the night of the 5th were now absent from their berths with the coming of dawn on the morning of the 6th.
- 24: The MV Pearled-Tusk, a 1,745 ton cargo ferry, carrying one-hundred and twenty-eight passengers and forty crew on the route between the Musika and Svalbarh Commands, issued a distress signal whilst passing four kilometres to the south of the island of Origuttula. The message, sent 22:24 (CMT-7), gave the vessel's location, reported that fires had taken hold in the engine compartment, and that the order to abandon ship had been given. The distress-call was repeated only once before ending abruptly.
- 30: The Revolutionary Army of Crisco starts to cause havoc in central Benacia, controlling parts of Monty Crisco and former Goldshire.
- 4: MTO admits Elwynn as a member. Elwynn ratifies the General Membership Treaty and the MTO Convention on the Law of the Seas. Ambassador to the MTO is Manoshehr Nivadi.
- 6: Blue Valley Agreement: Shireroth agrees with Talenore to no longer collect protectorate taxes from Talenore in exchange for Talenore's continued allegiance to the Kaiseress (back-dated for the entirety of 1673), promises further to lobby for associate membership in the Raspur Pact for Talenore.
- 9: The Verionist-run Imperial Dominion under the Administration of the Iron Company (the official name of the government of Elsenar) declares that will join the Elwynnese Republic. Immediate condemnation from the Regency. Elwynnese government cautiously optimistic about this and begins negotiations with the Iron Company with regard to a constitutional settlement.
- 10: In the Council of Eliria, the two Alalehzamini (N&H) representatives veto the continuance of negotiations. Negotiations immediately halted. Verionist Union condemns the veto as an N&H insult on Verionism.
- It was subsequently deemed necessary by the Alalehzamini delegation to preserve their objections for posterity:
- "In what fresh hell of jumbled geography is Elsenar now to be considered Elwynnese territory?"
- "It makes no geographic or political sense... the Elwynnese nation is the land between the two rivers - Elsenar is so far from the river that it is practically in Jingdao."
- "The Verionists should have consulted the map before making the proposal."
- It was subsequently deemed necessary by the Alalehzamini delegation to preserve their objections for posterity:
- The Sovereign Confederation, wary of potential Elwynnese expansion southward, formally declares itself Protector of Goldshire and its people. Shortly thereafter, Speaker Doir Jen Mera petitions the Elwynnese Republic grant its historically Goldshirean holdings gained in the aftermath of the War in Wintergleam the status and rights of an Autonomous Republic.
- Elwynn replies that all bailiwicks have autonomy in matters of local government, is, however, concerned with the Elwynnese minorities in the territories of Wintergleam conquered by the Sovereign Confederation in the War in Wintergleam, petitions Speaker Doir Jen Mera for considerable Elwynnese autonomy in the SC-conquered bailiwicks.
- Benacia Command recognises the protection of the Sovereign Confederation over the territory of Goldshire, including those portions presently occupied by the Guttuli Protectorate in Lunaris, as being necessary for the stability of eastern Benacia until such time as the Imperial Regency is sufficiently stabilised as to be able to reassert authority in the region.
- Acting on its roll of Protector of Goldshire and from respect for the remnants of Shireroth, The Sovereign Confederation, supported by the Eastern Banner Group of Benacia Command, invades Ynnrailli lands held by Kizzy's daemonic Antikaisership based in Demonsfall. The move was justified on account of multiple intel reports describing what Speaker Jen Merah called "Unspeakable acts carried out for unknowable reasons" and several testimonies from refugees fleeing the Demonsfall regime.
- Fall of Erianamor: forces under Legion LI "Aïreon" successfully complete their maneuver through the northern Nemorosus Salus and begin their attack on the rear of the defenses at Erianamor in the pre-dawn hours. This action leads to a complete rout and allowing for entry into the town by forces under Legion LIV "Ikol". Surviving military and civil leaders imprisoned for demonstrations of submission.
- Guttuli Protectorate Military Council declares the creation of Command Prata, coterminous with the so-called Freedom Meadow. New government to be installed in the upcoming weeks once resistance is fully-pacified.
- Acting on reports of Kizzy's transgressions, Goetia forms a new paramilitary group, the Gorillas NF, with the purpose of rescue, extraction, and execution of Kizzy, Babbit, and their followers.
- 13: Large scale bombing raid on Demonsfall, carried out in the hours before dawn by the 4th Bombardment Division of the Eastern Tactical Air Force, sees 2,788 tonnes of incendiary bombs and 20 tonnes of high explosive bombs dropped over the rebel held settlement.
- 14–24: Unassailed, for the moment, by the previously anticipated daemonic swarms that were expected to fill the nighttime skies in opposition to their sorties, the three-hundred and eighty-four B-49 Delta and forty-four B-69 Vulcan bombers of the 4th Bombardment Division returned over successive evenings to deposit alternating loads of incendiary and high-explosive munitions over targets that included the Daemonswood to the east of Demonsfall as well as the barracks of the Vigiles Arcani located on its outskirts. The object of these raids, beyond discomforting the Daemon-Queen and her small band of followers, was to punish the inhabitants of Demonsfall and especially those former Imperial soldiers and officials who had finally and definitively failed in their sole objective of defending a site of unique occult significance. Certainly by standing aside and allowing every cultist and lunatic drawn to Demonsfall, by its notorious reputation of being built over the purported portal to hell, to flock into the city unopposed, the denizens and former soldiery of Demonsfall had marked themselves - in the eyes of Benacia Command as being legitimate targets for collective reprisal.
- 22: Launch of Operation Liven, aimed at neutralizing the threat of piracy from former members of V Corps, who are using the City of Ankh as their base of operations to harass trade across the upper Red Elwynn.
- 24: Amidst ongoing investigations into reports of piracy in the Iridian Isles, two Logistic Support Vessels entered the harbour of Acarid City flying the flags of the Raspur Pact, the Black Legions, and the Imperial Republic. The vessels disembarked and put ashore a mixed force of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, supported by a security detachment of 120 personnel drafted from the General Inspectorate of the Black Legions and the constabulary of Shireroth. Representative detachments from the island's militia were mustered for a special parade on the quayside during which the officers received new standards and arrears of pay for their regiments. Those present on parade are led by their officers in rendering their salaams and ritualised adoration to the icons of Kaïsarin Salome and the Szodan, Constantine Loup. Administrators from the Unified Governorates installed themselves in the Palazzo Vecchio, from the balcony of which the standard of the Black Legions was hung whilst an edict was read out to a gathering of curious populace in the name of the Commissioner of the Circuit of Jadid Khaz Modan. The edict detailed that, until such time as order was restored, the newly appointed Chief Administrator of Florencia and the Iridian Isles would exercise the authority of Viceroy and Lieutenant of the Isles on behalf of the Regent. The Chief Administrator would however be reporting directly to the Commissioner, an appointee of the Commander-in-Chief of Benacia Command - the Szodan.
- Concurrently, proposals were submitted by Benacia Command to the Permanent Committee of the Raspur Pact that the model being trialled in Florencia be expanded to the remaining islands of the Khaz Modan archipelago with each island being assigned a lead nation from amongst the Pact's membership to provide a civil governance reconstruction team tasked with restoring order and providing relief for the populace.
- 05: Benacia Command announced that the Skyla Isles, along with the harbours of Lichport, Kelb, Musika (Musica), Nuisoren (Novaya Sorensk), Meszor (Mesior), and Svalbarh, are closed to commercial shipping. Any merchant vessels, encountered by warships of the Raspur Pact, that were suspected of having entered those harbours, of conducting ship to shore transfers via boats from those locations, or of intending to transact the same at some future point, would, with effect from this order, be forced to come to a halt and undergo an inspection by boarding party. Where suspicions were confirmed, the crews of suspect vessels would be henceforth arrested and the impounded vessels taken to the port of Twoggle in Drak-Modan for unloading. Any merchant vessel that ignored orders to come to a full stop and undergo inspection would be engaged and sunk without further warning.
- 18: Responsibility for the Benacian Archipelago is transferred from the Central Banner Group to the Western and Southern Banner Groups. In the Southern Banner Group area of responsibility the XXX Salb "Vasilescu" and the XXXII Salb "Popescu" relieved the Streïkrupp Kasha of garrison duties on Benacia Isle and Florencia respectively. Naudia'Diva and the Iridian Isles meanwhile received garrisons of Inspectorate troops from New Blackstone.
- 19: The Tassity Mansabdar dismantle their mobile offshore base southeast of the coast of The Lodge. While an aircraft carrier is anchored north of Naudia'Diva.
- 22: Following the impounding of a merchant vessel outbound from Meszor, the Guttuli Protectorate Military Council transmits a message to Benacia Command, asking what they want, responses to be directed to the Office of the Kraln.
- 23: Subsequent to the exchange of several terse signals pertaining to the identity and credentials of the Office of the Kraln, the Political Relations Bureau of Benacia Command forwarded a list of demands:
- The withdrawal of all forces from Barrowfield, Lichport, and Lowbrook and the redeployment of those forces against river piracy and bandit formations operating along the upper reaches of the Red Elwynn;
- The opening of the Red Elwynn to military and commercial traffic of the Raspur Pact;
- The commencement of negotiations for a strategic military, political, and economic partnership plan between the Guttuli Protectorate and the Raspur Pact;
- The Unconditional release of ex-Imperial veterans presently in held in detention, or any form of involuntary servitude, into the custody of the Sanitäts Uihmanz;
- The immediate termination of all forms of support for terrorist organisations.
- 2: Operation Avan: additional labor deployed to the Barrowfield-Lichport region to accelerate the construction of fortifications.
- 5: Operation Fanlin: additional home-deployed troops put on anti-partisan patrols throughout the Fanlinunig. Front-line formations redeploying north to extend the frontier.
- 17: Operation Liven: Siege of Ankh initiated. Negotiations initiated with troops located therein.
- 24: The Kingdom of Ransenar is proclaimed at Goldfield. The Kaiser is kept as a figurehead, while a democratic government is built under the leadership of Séan O’Callaghan. As his first act in Government, O'Callaghan announced Ransenar's accession to the Raspur Pact as one of the successor states of Shireroth.
- The Black Legions undertake to guarantee the security of Ransenar and provide a garrison for the kingdom in return for 20% of the harvest for the next twelve years and the right to establish anchorages and aerodromes for its maritime and aerospace forces within the territory claimed by Ransenar.
- The Sovereign Confederation formally recognizes the government and claims of Ransenar calling it "a bastion against Verionist treachery".
- 8: The Iron Company government in Elsenar declares its loyalty to the Verionist antikaiser.
- 9: Stock market in Eliria plummets. The Elwynnese Democrat Party calls for new congressional elections, proclaiming the Verionist Union a party unworthy of the congressional government. Verionist Union affirms that it has no political relations with the Iron Company or the Verionist antikaiser, but remains loyal to the post-Shirerithian peace process in Benacia.
- 18: The Elwynnese congressional government survives a vote of no confidence in Congress, with the AIP and EWP content with the Verionist Union's declaration of no political ties with the Verionist antikaiser or the Iron Company.
- 20: Verionist Union support goes down significantly in Northern Elwynnese opinion polls, with swings to the N&H and Democrats.
- 5: Elwynnese Workers' Party calls on the Verionist Union to declare all its ties with the Iron Company, faces meanwhile strong internal calls to withdraw from the Vanguard coalition in congressional Elwynn.
- 8: The Standing Committee of the Elwynnese Workers' Party adopts a resolution condemning the Verionist Union's passivity with regard to the Verionist antikaiser and its ties to the Iron Company, but reaffirms, however, its support of the Northern coalition, calling it the best way possible, under the current circumstances, to protect workers' rights, equality, social rights, access to health, social insurance, and education. Leaving the coalition would put the Elwynnese working class in much danger with all their rights eroding.
- A spokesman for the Ayreonist Independence Party, however, declares that Shireroth is a failed state, not worthy of existing, and that he was certain that the Iron Company was acting within the limits of law, and in the interests of its shareholders. He denies knowledge of any Elwynnese organisations or companies owning shares in it. He also puts blame on the political crisis on the N&H, saying that if that party hadn't vetoed Elsenar's accession to Elwynn, the Iron Company would never had felt the need to take these unprecedented steps. As Shireroth is incapable of upholding the law in Goldshire, the Iron Company's moves are logical, even if they may be regrettable.
- 2. In response to the Iron Company's change of allegiance to the Verionist antikaiser, the Regency offers the Company complete sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity over the Company-held lands in Goldshire. The only condition on this is the Company's denunciation of the so-called Verionist Imperial Republic.
- Elwynn, a cautious partner of the Iron Company, calls on the Iron Company to "dump" the Verionist antikaiser and receive international recognition, prestige, trade, and sovereignty instead.
Across much of the Imperial Republic the continuing loyalty of a given dominion or county was determined well in advance by whether the appointed Lieutenant, designated Imperial representative to the subdivision, had remained at his post or absconded during the months preceding the moment at which the fracture of the state apparatus had become undeniable. In the county of Malarboria, a vast region encompassing the old Minarborian provinces of Lachmeren, Lywall, Novodolor, and Porolia, the situation had begun to unravel almost immediately upon the success of the Inner Benacian revolution becoming widely known. Under these circumstances, the Lieutenant, having endured much in the way of abuse, resentment, and outright resistance from the preceding regime, was amongst the first to depart Sansabury for the east, departing with a retinue of the Imperial Constabulary trailing in her wake. The restive, and ever watchful Lach, quiescent in the province since the repressions of the Prince of Modan, took this as their opportunity to renew their struggle for independence. It was under the cover of confronting this new insurgency that the General Staff began to concentrate reliable personnel, equipment, stores, and command & control assets, around Sansabury, Merensk, and Šlomxala between the fifth and eighth months of 1671.
Between 18.XIV and 06.XV of 1671, Benacia Command deployed four legions in an action intended to open up a land corridor connecting Pact Loyalist forces in Lachmeren-Lywall and the main airfields, depots, and manufacturies of the continent in Mishalan. This entailed the full occupation of the western portion of Malarboria, as far north as Gloomburg, and the dispatch of raiding forces into Inner Benacia to disrupt any insurgent groups or tribes, such as the warring Black and Red Laqi hosts, which might be tempted to intervene. The occasion was also used to cover the withdrawal of the last Pact Loyalist assets from around Stonetree, where they had been effectively marooned ever since the unilateral withdrawal of Inner Benacia from the Pact set the whole process of fracturing into motion.
As the legions were not to be wasted on counter-insurgency operations and policing actions, the Black Legions were withdrawn from around Gloomburg with their exterminating frenzy being then replaced by the more low-tempo and lackadaisical brutality of "Inspectorate-Troops" (auxiliaries and cudgellers drawn from garrisons in Mishalan and Alalehzamin respectively), whose main remit was to keep the towns quiet and the roads open by whatever means necessary.
In an effort to secure strategic and operational depth, Benacia Command mandated the Black Legions to concentrate on securing the former Area of Operations of the Central Banner Group and ensuring their incorporation into the temporary martial law administration known as the Unified Governorates of Benacia. Accordingly therefore the dominions and counties within that region form the "Zone of Immediate Interest" to Benacia Command.
Elsewhere Benacia Command established working relationships with other successor states so as to ensure continued freedom of movement for its forces and or access to strategic resources in return for material aid and guarantees of assistance in defending the territorial integrity of the successors. The Banner Groups therefore are acting as Military Missions in support of the fellow successor states as follows:
The Eastern and Northern Banner Groups found themselves in an interesting quandary whereby they were both supporting rival parties in a territorial stand-off concerning the control of the western portion of Wintergleam, a territory often contested by Elwynn and Goldshire. Although the Military Mission in Elwynn gamely sought to avoid the conflict by focusing its attentions on supporting the UDF expedition against the Boreals in Cape Farewell, and the Military Mission to the Sovereign Confederation made plain that it would not cross into Wintergleam unless in receipt of positive orders from Benacia Command to engage the UDF, the possibility of a "black-on-black" friendly fire incident remained.
The Western Banner Group, based on New Blackstone in the Madison Isles, was quite removed from the affairs of mainland Benacia, instead focusing on defending Shirerithian, Natopian, and, to a certain extent, Batavian commercial shipping against the depredations of USSO-sponsored global piracy.
The Black Legions remain actively involved in supporting the efforts of Drak-Modan to evict the Yardistani from the isles of So-Sara. Hotheads amongst the General Staff talk of going further than merely re-establishing control over the former MoMA naval stations in the isles but rather of scouring the entire Khaz Modan island chain of every last trace of the Yardistani and confining their ilk to Novi Nigrad.
The rise of the Guttuli Protectorate, formed by deserters from the Riverine Army, is a cause of considerable concern to Benacia Command. Controlling the eponymous islands in the delta estuary of the Red Elwynn, the southern third of Lunaris, and most importantly of all the strategic port of Musica, the Protectorate is in a prime position to dominate the river trade up to Shirekeep, they also managed to secure a greater haul of the Imperial Forces collection of surface-to-air missiles than planners on the General Staff are entirely comfortable with countenancing. The "Guttulins Uihmanz", formed from the VII Corps of the Riverine Army, has shown scant enthusiasm for reintegrating into the allied command structure; indeed hostile rumour depicts the Protectorate Military Council as being a fanatical junta of hard-line and dissident officers who go so far as to speak Præta in their private and everyday conversations - eschewing Istvanistani altogether - pointing to the possibility that their intent is solely focused upon fostering a Brookshirian national revival.
Meanwhile, emboldened by their success in liberating the Mandated Territories, the Tellian nationalists began to push into the eastern reaches of Malarboria, seeking to link up the scattered exclaves and restore the boundaries of the Tellian Confederation to an extent last seen prior to the country's annexation by Ashkenatza in the previous century.
Sanilla and Amarra
The disarray and power vacuum during the Kalirion Fracture presented an ample opportunity for the Sanilla and Amarra Liberation Army for Democracy to seize power. Working from a base of operations in Nee, the SALAD quickly took control of the coastal regions of Amarr, including Fatehpur Sikri and Thanatos island. Encountering little to no resistance, and with support from the local oppressed classes and castes, the SALAD-controlled territory expanded northwards. Its stated nationalist goals for Sanis and Amas gave it a power base within the majority population. The SALAD faced its first real opposition when it reached Base 3-C close to the border with Highpass. Instead of attacking the base head-on, the SALAD encircled it and cut off all supply routes. The base was also hit by numerous desertions from native personnel. Heavily decimated and cut off from supply and communication with Shirekeep, the base surrendered within weeks. All personnel were allowed to leave. In southwestern Lachmodan and on the islands of Z and Azarea, local uprisings among the Sani and Ama populations led to those areas passing under the control of the SALAD.
On 12.VIII.1671, the leadership of the SALAD declared independence from Shirekeep under the name Democratic Federation of Sanilla and Amarra.
The Sovereign Confederation
The rapid fracturing of the Duchy of Modan & Malarboria, a gift from Ayreon IV to Natopian Emperor Nathan II, prompted the Emperor to make a direct claim to the core territory of the duchy and areas of significance to both his family and Natopian history. The entire duchy split apart at its seams almost instantly: the RIB encroaching in the west, the Black Legion asserting control in Malarboria, Laqi revolutions in Amarr, and the sudden resurgence of Yardistan's thirst for annexation. The Duchy of Modan & Malarboria was thought to be a secure and personal investment in the prosperity of Shireroth, Natopia's longtime ally. Natopia had come to rely on Shireroth's military acumen and tradition. The sudden loss of almost all of the duchy, and the possibility of a dramatic or total reduction of Shirekeep's power, was a direct threat to Natopia's security and Nathan II saw the independence of Lachmodan and So-Sara as the only viable solution to maintaining the strength (or at least some semblance of it) of the Raspur Pact's military hegemony over the western hemisphere, which is the cornerstone of Natopia's defense strategy. Remnants of the ducal militia, under orders from the duke quickly secured population centers in Lachmodan, as Nathan II issued a public declaration in Drakorda calling for the peaceful and mutual independence of Drak-Modan from the rapidly fracturing Imperial Republic. The newly self-proclaimed King promised the residents of Lachmodan and So-Sara security and prosperity as a closely allied and supported state of Natopia. The islands of So-Sara are disputed with Yardistan.
(placeholder: chaos in the aftermath of the assassination of the Kaiser)
Following the downfall of the Shirithian nation, and the power vacuüm that was left after the death of Kaiser Ayreon IV, the city of Shirekeep remained under the tight control of its Prefect, Titus Morvayne, deeming the time ripe for increasing his power, Morvayne had himself elected Kaiser by the Landsraad. Although the City Guard, as well as the Apollonian Guard, supported his claim, he was unable to convince the leadership of the Palatini Corps. This saw Shirekeep being thrown into disarray, with the Imperial Forces located in the Keep containing the Verionists who controlled the largest part of the city.
Imperial Verionist Republic of Shireroth
The initial lack of success of what had been deemed a "coup" by the supporters of the Regent caused the Verionists to withdraw from Shirekeep. Within the year that followed, Kaiser Verion's supporters left the city. Verion himself moved to the Skyla Islands together with the largest group of his supporters, where he continued his claim on the Imperial Mango Throne.
Khaz Modan Isles
(placeholder: narrative about about Yardistan overrunning the isles)
(placeholder: So-Sara dispute and Operation Massive Wedge)
On 16.VI.1672 the Yardistani Island Council dissolved following their failure to creatively counter Natopian, Drak-Modani, and Black Legion moves against their positions in So-Sara. Having specifically forsworn militarism, the Yardistani government faced a fundamental crisis when confronted by opponents who did not share their scruples concerning the use of force.
A provisional government, composed of hard-line republicans took power in Novi Nigrad and began to explore ways in which the Yardistan Police Agency could be expanded and transformed into a paramilitary force. The prospect of Yardistani extremists spreading their revolution to neighbouring islands caused considerable alarm amongst the feudal lords and civic authorities of Amity, Mirioth, and So-Sara, who, desiring to fall neither under the military dictatorship of the Black Legions, the Natopian hegemony established in Drak-Modan, nor risk the restoration of direct Imperial rule at a time when the new government was unproven, swallowed the bitter pill instead of extending an invitation to Azardokht al-Osman to accept the title of Emira of the Isles. The hope of the nobles and the burgess' was that bringing in an Osmanid princess with a connection to the isles would ensure a measure of sympathetic rule whilst, on account of her blood and familial connections, ensuring that the Raspur Pact would respect the rights of the islanders to home-rule. Unfortunately, as they gathered in Nordagaat to make their declaration, they were unaware that the first wave of a Black Legion invasion force had already slipped out of their anchorages and were on course for the island of Mirioth.