Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 13th of Month 2 (Subati):
Inspector Raquel Bosque rode slowly through the Rhungora countryside, his eyes darting over empty fields and deserted villages. Something was terribly wrong. He had gotten the feeling two days ago when he had encountered the first waystation completely deserted by its small ten man garrison. Only their bedrolls and dinner, now cold, in tin plates remained to prove that men had once inhabited the small stone structure.
He had looked for some locals to question but found the village likewise deserted with no signs of the occupants, even the livestock were gone. His escort, two Imperial cavalrymen, had ridden with loaded carbines since then.
“Inspector!” One of his escorts, a young handsome fellow named Marcelo, was pointing into the distance. Smoke. A single black column that climbed into the perfect blue sky. Only buildings burned like that. A grass fire would be grey and spread from horizon to horizon. He kicked back his heels and urged his horse into a trot.
The three men covered the distance quickly. The rolling Savannah, once so pleasant and calm, suddenly seemed to hold a hidden menace that Bosque could not quite describe. He had been an inspector for some twenty years, investigating whatever was required of him, and all of that experience now filled him with dread. Something was terribly wrong.
The smoke thickened as they drew closer and the Inspector quickly ordered his escort to dismount, leading their mounts into a thick copse of trees before proceeding carefully on foot. They stuck to the shade, it wouldn’t provide much concealment but something was better than nothing.
A small river cut through the landscape here and a customs house had been built to collect a toll from travellers to use the bridge. That building and its neat little garden were engulfed in flame now, sparks shooting high into the air as the whole roof suddenly caved in.
“Well shit.” Marcelo muttered from Bosques right. His carbine was tucked into this shoulder, ready to fire, as he scanned the vegetation around the customs house. “I suppose it would be too much to hope for a chimney fire?”
“Unlikely.” The second soldier, Zamora, indicated several large vultures that were tearing at some black object lying in the roadway. “Could be a dog?”
“In a uniform?” Bosque had his eyeglass out now and was surveying the damage. The vultures had jumped abruptly in size and he ignored them as he focused on what he was now certain was a dead man. A white trimmed golden jacket with red lapelles was evident, the uniform of the regiment currently assigned to guard this stretch of roadway.
“We need to go, right now.” Bosque wasted no time as he turned and hurried back toward the horses, his escort in tow. There was no argument from them as they swung into the saddle and spurred into the open road.
They skirtered the customs house and body as they made for the bridge, hooves throwing up sparks as the metal crashed against stone. They saw no one else, dead or alive, as they went and Bosque felt his heart sink. The customs house should have held at least another dozen soldiers.
The three rode in silence now, more and more aware of the increasing number of smoke columns smearing the tranquil sky. The sun was hot on their necks but none of them noticed. All they wanted now was to reach safety, wherever that was. Minutes turned into hours as they rode, stopping now and then to water their horses and feed themselves. More abandoned guard stations came and went but no more bodies were to be found. It was as though a giant hand had plucked everyone from the land, leaving behind nothing but echoes in their abandoned buildings.
Then, as they crossed the Kadasha River, they found human life. A squad of soldiers on exhausted horses, were resting in some shade as they gulped down water. Bosque was surprised to see that they were a mis-mash of uniforms and his discontent deepened further.
“Easy! Inspector Bosque of the Territorial Guard.” He called out quickly as the soldiers scrambled to their feet, snatching up their weapons, when they saw the three riders.
Relief showed on their faces and weapons were lowered as Bosque dismounted, leading his horse to the edge of the river before turning to the assembled soldiers. He looked them over with a practiced eye. They were tired, dirty, and everyone of them looked afraid.
“We have just returned from the North. Every way station, guard post, and customs house is abandoned without a single soul to be found, what the hell has happened?” Bosque focused his questions on a tall Sergeant, the highest ranking of the group. The man stared at him in amazement for a moment.
“God Bless you Inspector, but the Rhun have risen. They’re killing everyone they can find who wears the Emperors uniform.” There was murmured ascent and nods from the rest of the soldiers. “I managed to find these lads when I fled Khapala.”
Khapala, the capital of Rhungora, home to the provinces only real port, modern citadel, and an impressive garrison.
“Why did you have to flee?” The Inspector asked carefully. He did not want to sound like he was accusing the man of desertion. There were two dozen men with him, all of them on the edge of reason, and the Inspector only had two cavalrymen to back him up.
“The Rhun…” The Sergeant looked confused, as if he thought Bosuqe was having him on. “You really don’t know?”
“No, Sergeant, I haven’t a clue. You said the Rhun has risen, what does that mean exactly?”
“Khapala is gone, sir. The garrison slaughtered.”
Bosque felt as though someone had thrown ice cold water over him, his mind trying to process what that meant for the Imperial forces in the country.
“It wasn’t any sort of planned thing. A group of the local auxiliary decided they’d had enough, shot their officers, and attacked the garrison. The whole country is up in arms.”
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 13th of Month 2 (Subati):
Thus begins the rise of Rhungora against their overlords. The shock had reverberated through the nearby colonies at the audacity and violence of the insurrection. Armies had been mobilized, seemingly endless columns of soldiers marching to war to put down the rebellious upstart nation. Everyone had known it would be but a matter of time before the rebellion would be crushed, the imperial penance exacted, a million hearts were to bleed in recompense.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 21st of Month 2 (Subati):
Vast imperial armies had marched with easy knowledge of their victory into the plains of Rhungora. They had set ablaze entire villages, razed to the ground all structures that met their advance, they left no stone unturned and no rebel alive. Within a week of their arrival, the border was aflame, the land wreathed in smoke and ember.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 28th of Month 2 (Subati):
Within another week, tens of thousands had perished, entire cities wiped from existence under the boot of imperial retribution. There would be no mercy for such upstarts. For every Imperial soul lost, a thousand of the enemy would feed the earth with their blood. Such was the price of treason. Such was the price of daring to defy the will of the supreme.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 2nd of Month 3 (Adara):
As is almost inevitable in war, disease swept the ranks of the invading forces. Native afflictions, few of which the men of Anyueva held a resistance to, devastated their numbers.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 22nd of Month 3 (Adara):
The Empareja ordered in fresh units, drafting colonial volunteers into a new army. This new force had swept once more into the upstart province, and once more the burning of Rhungora had resumed.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 30th of Month 3 (Adara):
The crushing defeat of a rebel army at the Battle of the Rhilahedra Plain, wherein fifty thousand Anyuevan soldiers - forty thousand colonial and native volunteers, and a professional core of ten thousand homelanders - had brought to heel a rebel force claimed to number three hundred thousand. Though the rest of the world treated such claims derisively. The comparatively poorly led enemy force had been split down the middle and torn to pieces by the potent cannonade of the Anyuevan guns, their forces had been run down by Anyuevan grenadiers, their resistance crushed like the impotent bugs they were.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 17th of Month 4 (Nisani):
The Dark Day. In a mirror image of Rhilahedra, the seemingly unstoppable onslaught of Anyueva’s military forces was dramatically halted. One hundred and twenty thousand soldiers marching under the banner of Anyueva clashed with eighty thousand of the Rhun, and ten thousand ‘mercenaries’ hailing from the lands of Quat’i Al-Qarikha. Sixty thousand Rhun, and seven thousand sons and daughters of Quat’i walked from the battlefield that day. Nary ten thousand Anyuevan sons escaped with their freedom or their lives intact. The news had triggered an uproar, a tumultuous outcry, a demand that this defeat be avenged.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 29th of Month 4 (Nisani):
Declaration of war between Quat’i Al-Qarikha and the Grakaisaran Imperpulau Anyueva, and the armies of the two super-empires marshalled for all out war. In Sentekuthi, the capital city of Anyueva, the Posdal of the Father called for a grand crusade against the heathen Elder worshippers of Quat’i.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 30th of Month 4 (Nisani):
In Melidki, the capital of the sprawling empire of Quat’i, the Malik assembled the merchant dynasties, the designated governors of each province, the clergy of the Twelve, and decreed to them that they would put forth their sworn funding to arm the people of the nation and to raise once more the great armies of Quat’i.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 13th of Month 5 (Ayyara):
The first full military clashes between the two superpowers begin. The mighty guns of the Anyuevan fleet roared in challenge to the navy of Quat’i. The great harbor of Adenib had drawn its chain, and its coastal guns roared back as the people braced for blockade. An expeditionary force of a hundred thousand sons and daughters of Quat’i landed upon the beaches of Anyamundar, bayonets gleaming in the tropical sun as they marched forth to do battle. Five hundred thousand levied men and women rallied to the banner of the army, and they too marched forth in great columns.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 30th of Month 5 (Ayyara):
The forces of Quat’i Al-Qarikha met the Anyuevan army in the humid heat of Anyamundar’s tropical plains, in the south of Rhungora, in what would come to be known as the Killing Field of Ipsit. Lady General Ipsit, commander of the second expeditionary army, brought her force numbering some one hundred and twenty thousand to bear against an Anyuevan army reported to number nearly one hundred sixty thousand. It was rumored that the streams ran red with the blood of fallen Anyuevan soldiers as canister shot raked their lines, that the ground became a muddy slog with the fallen of Quat’i. But at the end of the day, Quat’i stood victorious, suffering thirty thousand killed and wounded to nearly three times that number on the side of Anyueva. But Ipsit was criticized for her failure to cut off the retreat of the fleeing Anyuevan army, which rallied under the command of its highest ranking surviving officer, a man named Peleun Ietrop Aoonad Ban, who lead the remaining force of some thirty thousand in a fighting retreat that humbled the high spirits of Ipsit.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 30th of Month 5 (Ayyara):
Peleun makes a speedy march south where he recruited able and willing volunteers with stirring speeches and promises of rewards and glory. Soon, cut off far from reinforcement, he had crafted his surviving force into a hardened backbone upon which his new army would rest. He would requisition and receive copious supplies of arms and ammunition from the military forts erected near the border, and slowly his new force grew.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 23rd of Month 6 (Hazirani):
The humiliating defeat of Lord General Anwai at the hands of Peleun’s new army, grown to some one hundred and sixteen thousand. Awai’s Third Expeditionary Army, numbering some one hundred thousand, was brought to battle and completely annihilated in a brilliant double envelopment that cost the Anyuevan force a comparatively minor eleven thousand killed and wounded. Peleun would launch a lighting assault into the heart of Rhungora and beyond into the lands under Quat’i Al-Qarikha.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 29th of Month 6 (Hazirani):
Lady General Ipsit’s army avoided near catastrophe in the Battle of the Talak River, but even so left thousands of their own lying dead on the field before the triumphant Anyuevan force. Lady General Zira was not so lucky, and met a similar fate as that of Lord General Anwai in the Battle of Lake Irimin when her forces were drawn into a killing field and her own life ended by a stray cannonball. The entire army of Quat’i had been slain or drowned as they were herded into the lake by merciless Anyuevan artillery and musketry.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 9th of Month 7 (Tammiz):
Anyueva scores a crucial victory against Quat’i in the Siege of Port Madine, a grisly battle in which, due to masterful use of terrain and artillery by Peleun, the city fell in less than two months of fighting. This vital port annexed from the hands of Quat’i, the surviving armies fell back rather than be stranded without support.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 20th of Month 7 (Tammiz):
Lady General Ipsit’s force, whittled down by attrition and numerous smaller engagements, found itself guarding the crucial city of Salaah near the border of Rhungora. Lord General Ramesh’s Fourth Expeditionary Army found itself pinned in a protracted staredown with an Anyuevan army equally matched in numbers and artillery.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 11th of Month 7 (Tammiz):
With the emerging stalemate in Anyamundar, Peleun found himself sailing to the home islands of Anyueva. Greeted to a hero’s welcome by the common folk, he was brought into the chamber of the Posdal of the Father himself.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 15th Month 9 (Aylulan):
One month had passed since Peleun emerged from the chamber, the new Posdal of the Father. He proclaimed a new era of glory for the people of Anyueva, and announced the marshalling of yet more armies, for the war was not yet over. One month had passed since the purging of the ranks of Anyueva’s elite, replaced by those handpicked by Peleun for their loyalty, skills, and ideological fervour. He proclaimed a new era, one where Posdalism would truly rule the world, where the foul things that worshipped demons and devils that were not of man would be wiped from the world or made to see the truth and repent. The call for crusade was renewed.
Year 1851 Post-Awakening (P.A.), 21st Month 9 (Aylulan):
News arrives in Quat’i and the rest of the world of the coronation of the new Empareja.