The Natestian War was the first phase of the Anglyo-Dascunyan Longerathian Wars. It lasted from 427 BP, when Natestus III, Emperor of Estontetso, invaded Dascunya, to 392 BP with the Estontetsan capture of Saint Hughes and the signing of the Treaty of Axbourne. The phase was named after the Emperor of Estonteso, Natestus III, who hoped to dismantle the large Anglyodascunyan Kingdom.
When the Kingdom of Anglyodascunya was founded in 452 BP, after the marriage of William of Dascunya and Catherin of Angliya, the large southern Kingdom was seen as a major threat to the existence of Estontetso. The Emperor of Estontetso]], Natestus III, viewed himself and his Empire as the rightful heir of the Liliani Empire and wished to see the former empire as strong and large as it once was.
Natestus offered a number of marriage proposals to Anglyodascunya in an attempt to gain land through marriage, but each proposal was turned down by Catherin of Anglyodascunya.
Upon the death of William I of Anglyodascunya, Natestus supported the claim of William's brother, Peter I of Bowestra, who had agreed that should he become King of Anglyodascunya, he would agree to unite the two Kingdoms. However, William's only son, the five year old Prince Edmund, was crowned King and his maternal uncle, Duke Thomas of Tyrana chosen to act as the Kings guardian and regent of Anglyodascunya. Catherin was suspicious of Peter and therefore had decided to choose her own brother over Peter.
In 428 BP, Peter met with Estontetsan emissaries and agreed to support a war against Anglyodascunya. Peter spent the following months secretly funding a peasant revolt in Achenar, which forced Duke Thomas to lead an army south to quell the troubles. Peter recruited a number of barons who he knew would pledge him their allegiance and began his preparations for war.
Ançalda and South Divana (427-419)Edit
In 427 BP, with Duke Thomas of Tyrana busy fighting peasant revolts in the southern part of the Anglyodascunyan Kingdom, Natestus III and Peter I of Bowestra took the opportunity to launch an invasion. A large Estontetsan army under Natestus marched into the Dascunyan territory of South Divana, ravaging the lands and laying siege to the walled city of Drekan. Thomas upon hearing the news of the invasion rushed back to Saint Hughes and dispatched riders across the Kingdom commanding to send forces.
The siege of Drekan lasted four months and in that time Thomas gathered a large enough army to march north. Thomas had managed to gather 18,000 men, predominantly from Angliya, Samuelonia, Uestadenia and Dascunya with a further 8,000 making there way from Solanchatka, Aigador and Morangol, whilst Peter I of Bowestra had pledged 12,000 men and was personally sailing from Bowestra.
As Thomas' army neared Drekan, news reached him that Peter had landed in Ançalda with his men, but had proceeded to sack the capital city of Ytzigard. By the time the message had reached Thomas, Ytzigard was in Peter's hands and he had begun attacking the surrounding towns whilst a second larger Estontetsan army had landed in northern Ançalda.
With Duke Thomas' armies outnumbered and unprepared for war, he had little opportunity other than to defend as many Dascunyan castles as possible and avoid the Estontetsan's in open battle until he had assembled sufficient forces.
Throughout 426 to 424 BP the Estontetsan's laid siege to a number of castles across northern Dascunya. Duke Thomas dispatched Catherin of Anglyodascunya to the south of the Kingdom in a bid to keep her safe and to ensure the southern barons remained loyal to the crown. Meanwhile the young King Edmund was sent to the safety of Lagod.
In a bid to slow the Estontetsan invasion, Thomas sent a fleet of ships to raid the west coast of Estontetsan and disrupt there supply lines.
Thomas appealed to Lendosa and Phenixia for support against Estontetso. Lendosa declined, preferring to see which way the war would unfold however, Phenixia agreed that they would support Anglyodascunya, but only when all the Phenixien nobles were ready.
In 423 BP Thomas assembled an army consisting of around 12,000 men, mainly from Angliya, Dascunya, Samuelonia and complimented with a large force of Phenixien mercenaries. Thomas marched north with his army into southern Estontetso and laid siege to the city of Qallaste. A two week siege of Qallaste ensued, before Thomas gave up and began laying waste to the surrounding lands.
While Thomas had been besieging Qallaste the Emperor Natestus had time to move an army to the area. Whilst Thomas' army laid waste to a twenty-mile-wide strip of Estontetsan countryside, plundering and burning hundreds of villages, Natestus' army shadowed Thomas' army. On 14 October, Thomas advanced toward the Estontetsan army and battle appeared imminent. Thomas moved away again plundering more territory. The Estontetsan continued to shadow Thomas. Ultimately battle lines were drawn in the plainest of Alvario. With both sides facing each other a battle was expected to take place on 23 October, but nothing happened. At nightfall Thomas marched his troops out of Estontetso having successfully bought some time for the northern castle of Dascunya.
Second South Divana CampaignEdit
In 422 BP Natestus launched a new campaign in South Divana, in which he was successful in taking a number of prominent castles. Thomas decided that with the invading Estontetsan armies split across South Divana, he would march his army to meet them in battle. With Edmund I of Anglyodascunya now 15 years old, the young King joined Thomas in the march north.
On 15 August 422 Thomas' army, numbering around 16,000 fought an Estontetsan/Bowestran army, led by Peter I of Bowestra, numbering around 9,000 at the Battle of Lalloigne. Peter's heavily outnumbered army were comprehensively beaten and a large number of Bowestran nobility captured, however Peter managed to escape.
Thomas then retook the castles of Gamberden and Clyden, which had been taken by Peter. Upon hearing of the Estontetsan defeat, Natestus gathered his main army and marched to meet Thomas. The two armies met on 4 October 422 at the Battle of Hollyfield. Whilst Natestus' army was slightly larger he had lost a large number of men to sickness and the ensuing battle saw the Anglyodascunyan archers play a pivotal role in the victory. Natestus left the battlefield and began to prepare a new army to face the Anglyodascunyan's.
On 8 July 421 Natestus returned with an army numbering close to 20,000 and met with Thomas and Edmund's army of about 14,000 at the Battle of Pion in South Divana.
Natestus positioned his forces for battle, and Thomas' army made a series of piecemeal attacks against the Estontetsan longbowmen, and all of the attacks were dispersed with heavy losses until the Anglyodascunyan's were forced to retreat. Pion was a crushing defeat for Thomas, but even worse was the death of Edmund I of Anglyodascunya who was struck down in a heavy cavalry charge led by his uncle, Peter I of Bowestra.
Death of King EdmundEdit
The impact of the death of the young King, Edmund I of Anglyodascunya was far reaching and put a temporary stop to the war. Natestus had won a grand victory at Pion but the campaign had taken a huge toll in the cost of men. Estontetso had gained Ançalda and South Divana, but even more importantly, had killed the King of Anglyodascunya.
Thomas returned to Saint Hughes with the body of Edmund where the funeral took place. Three names were put forward to become the next Anglyodascunyan King. Many of the barons supported Thomas of Tyrana, whilst some pointed out that the traitor, Peter I of Bowestra had a strong claim, however both Thomas and Catherin of Anglyodascunya backed the claim of Edmund's younger brother, Arthur I of Anglyodascunya, who was crowned King of Anglyodascunya, three days after the funeral.
Peter I of Bowestra spent a number of years trying to gain support from Natestus III to launch a new campaign in Dascunya. Peter held Bowestra and Ançalda, but desired the Anglyodascunyan crown. Natestus however had to deal with a number of internal issues before being able to supply enough troops for the campaign.
The campaign of Terrablanca was finally launched in 416 led by Peter, whilst Natestus dealt with a rebellion in the north of Estontetso. Peter led his army on a trail of destruction, destroying entire towns and villages. Thousands of villagers fled the region and those that failed to flee were raped or murdered. The siege of Castle Hawadan began in December 416, but was broken by a relief force led by Roger of Tyrana and his half brother Edward Volantia.
Peter retreated to Ançalda to resupply his army and returned to Terrablanca in 414. Peter met the Anglyodascunyan army led by Arthur I of Anglyodascunya at the Battle of Targaya. Arthur had chosen to lead his army personally and against the advice of his commanders, left Thomas of Tyrana in Saint Hughes. Arthur was an inexperienced tactician and the Battle of Targaya saw his army routed and Peter's army pursued the remnants of the Arthur's Anglyodascunyan army to Castle Hawadan, where a new siege began.
The walls of Hawadan were heavily bombarded for a week and the castle was eventually breached before Thomas of Tyrana could arrive with a relief army. Arthur along with the defenders of Hawadan were tortured and executed and there bodies left in the rubble of Castle Hawadan.
Thomas was elected Regent of Anglyodascunya for a second time and chose to return to Saint Hughes instead of facing Peter's army in battle, hoping Peter would pursue him into the heavily defended Templarianna region. Peter did not take the bait and instead chose to secure his position in Terrablanca, repairing the damaged castles that he had taken.
Apart from a number of small incursions, it wasn't for another 5 years that Thomas led a major push in a bid to retake Terrablanca. On 19 June 409, Thomas met Peter once more at the Battle of Osterly Bridge. The battle itself was a bloody slaughter in which both sides lost large numbers and it was a hollow victory for Thomas, who was forced to return to Saint Hughes having insufficient numbers to continue his campaign.
Thomas spent the years after the unsuccessful Terrablanca campaign preparing his army to launch a new campaign in northern Dascunya, but in 412 news spread that a number of Bowestran barons had begun a rebellion in Bowestra. Thomas immediately began preparing his army for a campaign in Bowestra in hope to deprive Peter of his lands.
A large Anglyodascunyan army landed in Bowestra on 10 May 411, along with support from Phenixia, who had now agreed to enter the war. The Bowestra campaign was to become the bloodiest and most brutal part of the Natestian War.
Peter chose to bolster the defences of Outreaumer, whilst Thomas joined with the rebel barons in southern Bowestra where they had laid siege to the important city of Anjou.
Anjou fell in early 410 BP and Thomas split his armies across a number of southern cities, laying siege to a number of castles. Peter, outnumbered and with a rag tag army of old men and young boys remained at Outreaumer, awaiting the arrival of Natestus. By 408 BP, Natestus had still not arrived and the lands and cities around Outreaumer were in Thomas' hands. Thomas began the siege of Outreaumer in late summer of 408.
Natestus finally arrived in the spring of 407 with a large army numbering close to 25,000. Thomas' army numbered just under 20,000 whilst Peter had a small army of around 4,000 at Outreaumer. The Battle of Outreaumer proved hugely costly for both sides in which neither Thomas or Natestus could claim victory. Both sides lost over half there force and Thomas was forced to call off the siege and retreat to Hamilton.
Over the coming year neither Thomas or Natestus wanted to commit to another costly pitched battle and only small attacks took place. Natestus remained in Outreaumer whilst Thomas held Hamilton with both awaiting reinforcements. During 406 the main battles were naval battles in the Dark Sea.
The Battle of ElfridEdit
In March 405, Natestus having received reinforcements departed Outreaumer and marched on the castle town of Elfrid. The baron, Henry Duboigne, seeing such a large army surrendered the castle to Natestus without a fight.
A month later, Thomas arrived at Elfrid with his army which had been reinforced by 8,000 Anglyodascunyan men and a further 14,000 Phenixians, totalling his army at around 28,000, outnumbering Natestus' army of 21,000.
Thomas camped his army 5 miles from Elfrid, choosing to hold the higher ground and await the arrival of Natestus. Natestus awaited the arrival of Peter from Outreaumer who arrived 4 days later with 5,000 men and on 26 April 405, the Estontetsan army marched out of Elfrid castle to confront Thomas.
The ensuing battle saw huge losses suffered from both sides with large numbers of longbowmen filling the ranks of both armies. However the turning point came when Peter, believing he had sufficient numbers to take the Anglyodascunyan right flank charged. Thomas's son Sir Edward Volantia was in command of the right flank observing the charge pulled his men back behind the stakes of his archers. Peter believing that Edward's men were retreating continued his charged before being flanked and his men cut down. The manoeuvre cost the life of both Peter and Edward.
With Natestus' army now exposed on the left, his right flank, consisting of Lendosan mercenaries deserted him and his centre left completely exposed. Seeing the defeat unfolding Natestus retreated to Elfrid with around 12,000 of his men.
Thomas now had Natestus in a corner and laid siege to Elfrid. Not wanting to lose the opportunity of capturing or killing Natestus he ordered an all out assault on the castle on 1 May 405. The death toll was huge but after six hours the Anglyodascunyan's had breeches the walls.
The fighting continued within the castle and during this both Thomas and his son Charles Volantia were cut down and died in battle. Natestus' men suffered huge losses and by nightfall retreated to the castle keep with around only 2,000 men remaining. Another of Thomas' sons, John Volantia now led the Anglyodascunyan army in place of his father and breeched the keep by morning. What was left of the Estontetsan defenders were the elite bodyguard of Natestus who fought valiantly to the death. It is written that Natestus died a brave death with sword in hand, refusing to be captured alive.
Aftermath of ElfridEdit
With such huge losses suffered on both sides and more importantly the losses of nobility, the effects from the battle of Elfrid were far reaching. The death of Natestus meant the loss of a strong formidable leader and further to that, the loss of Peter and Bowestra removed the Estontetsan claim to the Anglyodascunyan throne. Natestus son Augustus III was proclaimed Emperor of Estontetso and the closest relative to Peter still alive and willing to side with Estontetso was a bastard born son, Geoffrey of Estallia. His claim was so remote and impossible it was more of a token gesture for the new emperor.
The death of Thomas of Tyrana was a huge loss to William II of Anglyodascunya, who at 15, was still too young and green to command the respect of the Kingdom. William rewarded John Volantia with vast lands in Bowestra and made him Prince of Bowestra. John would later become one of William's closest confidants along with Owyn of Correana and Hugh de Rivers.
One of Augustus' first actions was to use his navy to attack trade and shipping around Phenixia. The new Emperor hoped to put enough pressure on the Phenixians to withdraw there support for Anglyodascunya. After three years of naval attacks, Augustus sent an army into northern Phenixia under the command of Justin Gordainia.
William II of Anglyodascunya joined the Phenixians and after a number of small battles Gotdainia met William at the battle of Lasalle-des-Bains on 21 September 401. The Anglyo-Phenixian defeat at Lassale saw yet another monarch die in battle, with William dieing in a hail of arrows.
Wynters joined with the main Phenixian army in 399 and fought an Estontetsan army in the strategically important battle of Cédre. The importance of the Anglyo-Phenixian victory saw Phenixia's largest city saved and stemmed the Estontetsan advance in the region.
The death of Augustus III in 397 BP led to a renewal of war between Anglyodascunya and Estontetso. The new Emperor, Cornelius II was keen to prove his military prowess, but initially faced opposition from his Lord's, who were not keen for a new campaign after such a long and expensive war.
Cornelius deeply desired to prove himself and by the winter of 397 was leading his army to Templarianna. Panic spread across the region and Harold I of Anglyodascunya arranged for his family to be taken safely away from Saint Hughes. Harold however refused to leave the city and vowed to defend his capital as the Estontetsan army neared. Harold had had insufficient time to muster a big enough army and chose instead to prepare the city for attack, doubling the number of cannons and catapults.
Cornelius however gave Harold sufficient time to prepare the city for attack and chose the following year to ravage the countryside around Saint Hughes.
Siege of Saint HughesEdit
On 7 May 395 BP, Cornelius' army surrounded the city, imposing a blockade and burning windmills to prevent a food supply from reaching Saint Hughes. Cornelius had at this point only around 12,000–13,000 troops, facing an enemy of around 30,000. Owing to the limited amount of heavy siege artillery that Cornelius had brought, it was likely that Saint Hughes could only be compelled to surrender through starvation. The city's defence was placed in the hands of the young William Wynters.
Cornelius set up his artillery on the hills to the north of the city, and bombarded the city from there. In July his force was swelled by reinforcements to 25,000 and by August he had overrun all the outlying suburbs of the city. Cornelius tried to negotiate the surrender of Saint Hughes, but his terms were rejected and the siege continued.
On 30 October, news reached the city that a relief army under Harold I of Anglyodascunya, was on its way. The King and his troops were able to send food supplies into the city, and after a final attack on the ramparts failed, Cornelius broke off his siege and retreated. An estimated 40,000–50,000 of the population died during the siege, most of starvation.
Second siege of Saint HughesEdit
After Cornelius' retreat from Saint Hughes, Cornelius remained in northern Templarianna where he was joined by a further 15,000 swelling his army to around 40,000. On the 6 January 394 the Battle of Eddincourt occurred to the west of Saint Hughes where Cornelius took on Harold's army which numbered just under 26,000.