Auspicious Occasion

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Auspicious Occasion
Conflict: Benacian Reconquest
AOE1.png
Date: 24.XI.1651 – 14.XII.1651 AN
Place: Alalehzamin and Utasia, Araxion, Eliria, Shirekeep
Outcome: Decisive Imperialist victory. Regime change in Elwynn.
Combatants
Imperialists

ShirerothShireroth
ElwynnState Law & Order Restoration Council

Monarchists

ElwynnElwynnese Union
Elwynn House of Ettlingar Freyu

Commanders
Imperialist Liv Dravot

Imperialist Kyle Kilynn
Imperialist Mira Octavius-Aryani
Elwynn Jeremy Archer
Elwynn Heath Belledin
Elwynn Ryker Everstone

Elwynn King Noah
Elwynn Audun Joel Ayreon-Kalirion
Praetor Fjǫrleif Hallbjörnsdóttir
VTG Lesmad Thaneisson

Strength
ShirerothImperial Army

ShirerothShirerithian Supplies Service

Imperial Marshals: 3,400

Fleurinots Fleur de Lys-Longships Guard: 252,617
Ironsides Union Defence Force: 919,892
VTG Vanic Temple Guard:52,355
Cudgellers Corps of the Gentlemen-at-Cudgels: 157,000
Casualties

  • 3,392 personnel KIA, 4,227 WIA
  • 8 artillery pieces
  • 29 mortars
  • 20 self-propelled guns
  • 118 rocket launchers
  • 88 mobile SAM/AAA
  • 72 scout vehicles
  • 173 trucks
  • 123 Horjin AFV
  • 76 infantry fighting vehicles
  • 103 main battle tanks
  • 18 light attack aircraft
  • 3 multi-role strike aircraft

Notes
1,889 civilian fatalities

The Auspicious Occasion occurred in the year 1651 and saw the expulsion of the House of Ettlingar Freyu and the Church of the Froyalanish Ancient Ways from the Elwynnese Union. The double coup in Shirekeep and Eliria brought to an abrupt end the Froyalanish hegemony over the Imperial Republic that had begun with the abdication of Prince Jonathan Ayreon-Kalirion in 1623 and the River War of 1635.

King Noah disputed the legality of his expulsion but failed to gain any measure of popular support at home or abroad, with the sole exception of the Emperor of Natopia.

Background

Elwynnese expansionism had been a cause of concern on the Benacian continent for sometime, both within and without the Imperial Republic.The rapid expansion of the Elwynnese Kingdom of Amokolia into the far-west, conquering the former Batavian lands, reinforced the paranoid militarism that characterised the latter days of the Empire of Minarboria, placing a strain on the telluric currents which sustained that necrotic land and thereby contributing to its ultimate downfall.

The inefficient manorial system of Elwynnese agriculture, combined with failed harvests and the export of grain and foodstuffs for ideological reasons, resulted in a voracious and all consuming land hunger. This, combined with the simultaneous collapse of Lichbrook, Minarboria, and Mishalan, was the cause of another spurt of aggressive expansionism that in turn triggered the Struggle for the South.

Although the Soviet system in Mishalan had become increasingly moribund, as a consequence of persistent economic mismanagement, poor central planning and endemic corruption, the highhanded manner in which the Elwynnese and the Imperial Steward Kyle Kilynn deposed the soviet government and annexed the territory to Elwynn - all in line with the provisions of the Treaty of the Two Bears provoked a considerable anti-Elwynnese backlash.

Between 9.II and 8.VI.1651 the Landsraad had debated the destabilising effect of the Elwynnese annexation and finally voted by 11 to 3 to veto Imperial Decree No.940. As the debate had grown increasingly bitter a rift had grown between the pragmatic and formalist wings of the partisans of the House of Ayreon-Kalirion in the Landsraad, with Daniyal Dravot, formerly a supporter of the annexation of Mishalan breaking ranks to side with the opposition rather than lose the services to the Imperial Republic of its present, admirable, Prefect. Stung by King Noah's failure to appreciate that the redevelopment of Shirekeep was more important than the retention of empty wilderness, Dravot quit Alalehzamin and Utasia in disgust on 9.III.1651, leaving the fate of the ESB Group's holdings and employees there in some immediate doubt.

Whilst that vote was ongoing, on 5.VI.1651 the King of Elwynn sued the Praetor of the Landsraad, his own sister, before the Imperial Judex in order to overturn the Landsraad's veto. King Noah maintained that the Elwynnese Union exclusive jurisdiction over Mishalan once it had been passed under its control as a consequence of Imperial Decree 940 as the internal administration and organisation of an Imperial State is reserved to the Imperial State under the Charter and that State Law superseded Imperial Law accordingly. Essentially, the argument was that, since Elwynn had taken physical possession of Mishalan, the Landsraad's veto would be invalid as it could not undo the initial grant.

The Elwynnese government therefore sought to have the Judex declare the order of the Landsraad to the Steward to make arrangements to implement Resolution to veto Imperial Decree No.940 to be null and void on the grounds of unconstitutionality; and to follow this up with a Permanent Injunction against the officials and institutions of the Imperial Government implementing the Resolution to veto Imperial Decree No.940.

In the meantime, as the application awaited processing before the Judex, the Stewardship had passed into the hands of the young Kaiser's mother, Liv Dravot. As a woman with her own reasons to resent Elwynnese arrogance, she noted with interest that the case brought by the Elwynnese government had only named the Praetor as a respondent, and not the Imperial Government, in spite of the injunction of the Imperial Government being one of King Noah's stated objectives. Accordingly, not being constrained as a respondent, she felt sufficiently empowered to act upon the Landsraad's veto and to promulgate Imperial Decree 957 giving effect to the resolution and to authorise the Imperial Constabulary and Imperial Forces to support the establishment of the Provisional Government of Mishalan, and to escort Elwynnese settlers and officials from the Imperial Dominion. This decree was published on 12.VI.1651 and the operation (Ursus Sæviens) began on the same day.

There was only sporadic violence, and the occasional unexplained instances of mauling by bears, during the orderly reversion of Mishalan back to Imperial control.

The Arbiter meanwhile, after due deliberation, gave a Case Management Order on 9.VIII.1651.

On 11.XI.1651 King Noah, on behalf of the Elwynnese Union, made his presentation of evidence and argument before the Arbiter. At this point, many in the Imperial Advisory Council, the Imperial Government and the wider Imperial Republic began to take a great interest to see whether the Praetor would advance the cause of the Landsraad or meekly accede to the case put forward by her brother.

On 23.XI.1651 the Praetor declared Res ipsa loquitur, refused to defend the actions of the Landsraad before the Arbiter and cast aside all pretence of impartiality. Moves had already begun to find a replacement for the long-serving Praetor, who had appeared before the Judex previously to answer accusations that she had failed to uphold the will of the Landsraad.

The IAC acts

Exasperated, the Imperial Advisory Council received a briefing from the Rrakanychan Watch, after which it voted by a 6-1 majority, to declare both Thorstein Noah Hallbjörnsson and Fjǫrleif Hallbjörnsdóttir to be joint manifestations of a single daemonic creature, known as the Harald Entity which was to be expelled from the Imperial Republic with immediate effect upon the publication of Imperial Decree 969 on 24.XI.1651.

The majority had been achieved by bringing together a coalition of factions with their origins in Brookshire, Goldshire, Kezan, and Malarboria, who opposed growing Elwynnese power and detested the flaunting of Froyalanish culture on an ever more extravagant scale, with those Elwynnese who were becoming increasingly concerned that it would be impossible to salvage the position of the House of Ayreon-Kalirion if the inevitable confrontation was to erupt in an uncoordinated manner. Accordingly, to save Shireroth, Elwynn and the dynasty, it would be necessary to sacrifice the House of Ettlingar Freyu.

The Campaign

The campaign to take control of Elwynn focused on an initial coup to take control of administrative buildings in Eliria, backed by native risings amongst the Babkhi, Elw and Norse populations of the Deep South. This was followed up by a double envelopment of Eliria by forces advancing up river from Shirekeep as well as from Mishalan and Suthergold. The objective being to isolate the Royal Family from potential reinforcements from Amokolia and Froyalan and to thereby expedite their expulsion.

The Storrish Fright

When it became public that His Riverine Majesty had lost the favour of the Mango Throne and, more importantly, had become host to a daemonic presence, panic filled the streets of every major city in Elwynn, as the rapid mobilisation of thousands of Vanic Temple Guards (ostensibly to defend the White Orchid Throne against the Imperial Army) were, in fact, part of an extermination order, and that the King, knowing that his time was short, intended to bring as many non-Froyalaner Elwynnese subjects with him in an orgy of blood.

The spontaneous counter-mobilisation of non-Froyalaners, organising together against their perceived threat, ended up hastening the demise of His Riverine Majesty.

Capturing Eliria

The publication of the decree was timed to coincide with the seizure of the Landsraad in Shirekeep and the Palace of Krull. The intention was to lock the two principle targets, Fjǫrleif and Noah from their bastions of power. A brief statement, entitled "A New Dawn in Elwynn" was read by Daniyal Dravot in the King's Court, as the Imperial Marshalry went about securing the royal palaces in Eliria.

As the populace of Eliria began to realise that the autocratic regime of King Noah was beginning to totter, the night began to echo to cheers, the hooting of car-horns and celebratory gunfire. Daniyal Dravot briefly made an announcement on the Elwnet announcing the temporary assumption of power as Conducator, however regime loyalists in control of the Elwnet broadcasting hub were able to disrupt the livestream, limiting both the audience and the impact of the message.

Many buildings associated with the Elwynnese Monarchy and the Froyalanish community are attacked and set-ablaze by rioting Elw. Reprisals by the Fleur de Lys-Longships Guard and Vanic Temple Guard were severe, obliging the Imperial Marshals to deviate from their mission in order to help the civilian protestors.

News of the uprising within the city led to the Cudgellers in the bailiwicks outside the city deciding to either desert to go over to the side of the Imperialists.

By 12.XII.1651 the situation had calmed down sufficiently for Dravot to venture out once more to the King's Court, this time to announce the transfer of power to a State Law & Order Restoration Council comprised of:

  • Jeremy Archer, Imperial Constabulary;
  • Heath Belledin, Imperial Inquisition;
  • Ryker Everstone, Kingdom of Goldshire.

The Council's first and only act was to recognise Vilhjalm of Elwynn, Noah's son, as titular King whilst he in turn appointed the councillors to his privy council, the Council of Eliria.

On 13.XII.1651, 14 days after the initial coup, having rallied a force of Fleur de Lys-Longships Guardmen and retainers from the Elwynns Konungurs Hirð, Noah was able to briefly retake control of the Palace of Krull and the Elirian Bazaar. By now however the tide was against him and, aside from briefly protesting the illegality of the actions taken against him, Noah's counterattack quickly lost momentum and he was obliged to retire in the face of advancing Cudgellers and Imperial Marshals at dawn the following day.

Securing Shirekeep

The storming of the Baths.

Aftermath

The speed of the collapse of Elwynnese resistance, combined with the success of the Imperial Government in delivering a fait accompli had brought the Auspicious Occasion to a swift and decisive conclusion, greatly limiting the destruction and loss of life endured by the Elwynnese. This contrasted strikingly with previous Imperial interventions in Dietsland, Goldshire, Lichbrook, Minarboria, Puritania and Voltrue over the course of the previous sixteen years.

On the Elwynnese side, the centralising of decision making powers into the hands of the King and his court had meant that once Noah was isolated and unable to maintain open communications the once formidable array of forces at his disposal gave a poor account of themselves, in marked contrast to their performance during the Year of the Four Kaisers seven years previously. The selection and advancement of officers noted for their loyalty to the Crown and love of pomp and pageantry over their professional ability had degraded the quality of command and control and led to a loss of the capacity for displays of individual initiative.

The Imperial Forces meanwhile had continued to expand, rearm and professionalise following the defeats endured in the River War and the Year of the Four Kaisers. The Imperial Army was performing at near the peak of operational readiness it had achieved during an abortive war scare with Jingdao in 1647, and its officers were highly motivated to gain revenge for the slights they had endured from the Elwynnese over the years.

The Imperial Forces were, to be sure, still bedevilled by the perennial problems of a creaking and sclerotic logistics chain as well as a command structure of bewildering complexity. Nonetheless the matter was resolved before these issues could make a decisive negative impact.

The Imperial Marshals had finally proved themselves with their involvement in the capture of Krull Palace. Unfettered by the constraints of the Martial Code they had been free to move assets into the city under the guise of rotating personnel out of the Imperial Legations, without the level of domestic surveillance that Imperial Forces transiting Elwynnese territory routinely had to endure.

Relations with Natopia

Strained on account of the interconnectedness of the House of Ettlingar Freyu with the House of Waffel-Paine. Complete rupture averted but Noah remained Natopian foreign minister, prompting some awkwardness.

Iconoclasm

One of the most notable attributes of the aftermath of the Auspicious Occasion was the systematic repudiation and destruction of much of what had previously been considered integral to Vanic and Froyalanish iconography. In many regards the Royal Government was obliged to legislate to keep up with the popular anger and the tearing down of Vanic monuments.

The smashing and destruction of the "viking helmet crowns" prominently displayed on all royal crests, proved to be an especially popular pastime amongst the masses.

Territorial settlement

The sudden fall of the House of Ettlingar Freyu threw into sharp reverse the expansionist policy pursued by Elwynn hitherto. Instead, under the terms of an agreement brokered in Eliria, Elwynnese territory was ceded to the Kingdom of Goldshire, the Dominion of Malarboria and the Imperial Republic itself - so as to form new Imperial Dominions.