Battle of Vijayanagara
|Battle of Vijayanagara|
|Conflict:||War of Vengeance|
|Date:||1509 (Elw Calendar)|
|Outcome:||Decisive Elwynnese victory. Beginning of the end of the Yardistani war effort.|
|Barony of Elwynn||Barony of Antya|
|Count Harald of Araxion|| Radru Umbarcotumo† |
Sir Quelian of Djugagrad†
(includes killed, wounded, missing, captured);
45 ships lost (includes sank, captured, or damaged beyond repair)
The Battle of Vijayanagara was a pivotal battle which took place in the year 1509 during the days of the War of Vengeance which ultimately determined the outcome of that war. It was fought just outside the city of Vijayanagara between an Elwynnese army - of which the core was formed by the battle-hardened retinue of Huskarls of Count Harald of Araxion and which for war administrative purposes had been given the name of Huskarliregementet - and the Crusaders of Apollo, the Antyan invasion force, which was led by Radru Umbarcotumo, a half-elf paladin. The battle ended in a decisive Elwynnese victory.
Elwynnese Army and Count Harald's Preparations
In late 1508, with the Yardistani invasion looming, it was deemed time by the high nobles of Elwynn to muster forces for the defense of the Elwynnese realm. At the proposal of the Count of Lesser Zjandaria, Ardashir Osmani, Baron Richard Lyon of Elwynn isssued a decree requiring all males and females between the ages of 15 and 45 to report to their nearest police station for further advice. The Police of Elwynn was likewise ordered in the self-same decree to recruit every person who was physically and mentally fit for service in the militia. The Count of Lesser Zjandaria was also appointed Amir of the Militia and the Police of Elwynn.
The militia was specifically designed with guerrilla warfare in mind, to evade and harras the invading Yardistani forces yet also to defend with full vigour the major cities of the Flower of the North. An example of that was the digging elf pits along the likely lines of the Yardistani advance. (Elf pits are concealed holes in the ground at the bottom of which are to be found all manner of spikes and other assorted booby traps.) Such pits would be quite the bad news for the vanguard and would demoralise the rest of the invading force too. It was also recommended that explosive charges be placed upon the dams that span the two branches of the River Elwynn should the lower portion of the continent be lost to the enemy, the Elwynnese hydroelectric industry would furnish the Jewel of Many Facets with one of the finest vengeance weapon ever devised.
The aforesaid militia was to be augmented by professional (wo)men-at-arms from the retinues of the various high nobles of Elwynn; in Count Harald's case it were 2000 battle-hardened Huskarls from his comital hirð, veterans of innumerable battles all over the world and were a highly respected – and feared - fighting force who were renowned for their effectiveness, lethality, brutality, and sheer ruthlessness on the battlefield. Those Huskarls were supplemented by 400 sister-archers of the Daughters of Freyja and 100 senior Priestesses of the faith which over time would become known as the Froyalanish Ancient Ways. Both groups of Vanic Ladies were included in the Huskarliregementet to counter any magic that the Yardistani combatants might be using in battle.
In light of the heinous and barbaric threats levied against the peace loving people of Elwynn, to wit: genocide, ethnic cleansing and the obliteration of their cities, the Amir of the Militia and the Police of Elwynn ordered that all non-combatant women as well as children under the age of 14 be evacuated from the cities of Elwynn into the countryside for their own protection. Baron Richard Lyon subsequently required all buses and trains to follow the orders of the Amir of Elwynn so that the aforesaid evacuation could be carried out safely, quickly and troublefree.
Baron Richard Lyon dispatched Count Harald to the city of Vijayanagara, which was situated in what was to become Agnesia over time, to lead Elwynn's defense efforts in that city as well as its surroundings and hinterland. Vijayanagara was the largest Babkhi city in northern Elwynn and the gateway to Ribat al-Eluinshahr, an area heavily populated by Babkhis, and therefore an obvious and inevitable target for the Yardistani invaders. Shortly after arriving in Vijayanagra, Count Harald learnt from Eyði Gíslason, his spymaster, that it would be the Antyans - Yardistani allies from the Dutchy of Kildare who were led by a half-elf Paladin called Radru Umbarcotumo - that he would be facing in battle.
After carefully studying various dispatches, scouting reports and (military) maps of the Vijayanagara area, Count Harald chose Hampi Heights as the place to meet the Antyans in battle. This large rocky promontory commanded the Baronial Highway to the city of Vijayanagara and the Antyans would therefore have to take it if they were ever to get to Vijayanagara.
When attempting to take Hampi Heights, the Antyans would literally be fighting an uphill battle against the Elwynnese shieldwall. Should the shieldwall break, then the Elwynnese would resort to a Plan B and use the Elvish villas from the days of the Ducal and Baronial Reigns of Sirithil nos Fëanor and Mari Greenwood, with which Hampi Heights was littered, for the deployment of urban guerilla tactics. Since virtually all of those villas had been built by the Sameinaða Erlendur Kaupsýsla Einokun Félagið for wealthy members of the Elvish elite, Count Harald had excellent knowledge of the secrets of those villas, especially their hidden rooms and secret passageways.
Marley Mongo, also known as Marley the Rastaviking, served as Count Harald's second-in-command. He had been entrusted by Count Harald with selecting from the rolls of the militia those who, in addition the Huskarls, would serve in the shieldwall. Marley was determined to make the militia shieldwallers a crack unit, so he made the selection process a gruelling ordeal, which many of those who managed to make to the end - the reported pass rate was 5% - described it as nothing short of torture that left them wanting to die. In the ensuing Battle of Vijayanagra, however, which occurred several months after the commencement of the shieldwall training, Marley's methods did pay off greatly.
Meanwhile the Vanic Priestesses, and the Daughters of Freyja to a lesser extent, spent their days wandering Hampi Heights and its surroundings warding the area with powerful concealed - and virtually undetectable - magic sealing spells to prevent the Antyans from using their magic against the Elwynnese forces.
The survivors of the shieldwall selection ordeal were subsequently rigorously drilled in shieldwall tactics, especially staying in formation and not pursuing enemies who seemed to flee to avoid being tricked by the feigned flight tactic - the tactic of pretending to flee in panic and then turning on one's pursuers - to cause the shieldwall to break down and then overwhelm and slaughter the shieldwallers who would have been rendered vulnerable by leaving the shieldwall formation.
A master of psychological warfare, Count Harald also pulled a trick on the Antyans - the Ship of Fools - that he already, several years before in the Days of the Old Tale, had succesfully used on enemy forces during his Conquest of the Heartland, by sending Lady Lolle Jónsdóttir and a bunch of other freaks as his delegation to parley with the leadership of the Antyan invasion force when they had just landed at Alumelith Bay near the city of Vijayanagra. As very much expected Lady Lolle & Co screwed up completely and the Antyans were lured into a false sense of security and complacence thinking that they were dealing with a bunch of cowardly, inept and incompetent dweebs who would merely serve as their machine meat during the upcoming battle which would be little more than a walk-over. (Boy! Were they in for a nasty surprise!)
Another miscalculation by the Yardistani in general and the Antyans in particular, was that they counted on the Elw and Elfinshi to rise up en masse against the Babkhi-dominated regime of the time to evict those 'foreigners' from the realm. The Elw, however, had always considered themselves to be a people apart from the other Shirithians and there was a societal trend among the Elw towards making common cause with the other dominant ethnic groups of Elwynn, to wit: the Babkhi and the growing community of Stormarkers in Wintergleam, who would eventually come to be regarded as the Froyalanish and the Haraldian Wintergleamish. And very unfortunately for the Yardistanis and their allies that Elwynnese societal trend just happened to culminate in the days of the War of Vengeance in which Elws, Vikings and Babkhis fought side-by-side to keep the Southern meddlers at bay. The Elfinshi, very understandably, did not want to rock the boat and continued with keeping a low profile.
Radru's Preparations and Landing
In the port city of New Kajar, which was situated on Carama Bay in the southern Kildarian Barony of Antya, Radru Umbarcotumo, the leader of the Antyan invasion force, assembled a large invasion fleet as well as an army of 10,000 bloodtthirsty and vengeful Soloralists called the Crusaders of Apollo. It consisted of 7,000 Sword Mages, 1000 Elemental Mages, 1200 Evokers, 300 Clerics and 500 Paladins. Racial representation among the Crusaders of Apollo was roughly 60% human, 15% micron, and 25% elvish.
Sword Mages were the staple unit of the Crusaders of Apollo. Sword Magic is the combination of magic and might by using enhancing magic to strengthen the sword and reflexes. It was not uncommon for a Sword Mage to have his sweapon burst into flames, become mind-numbingly cold, or otherwise (see Elemental Mages) in order to increase the destructive power of their weapons. Despite their name, Sword Mages did not have to use swords - it is a generic and misleading term - but they tended to use medival melee-based weaponry as their base weapon. These elite troops could generally withstand enough ranged fire to get into attack range. Although Sword Mages were nowhere near invicible, they were more than a match for most non-magical soldiers.
Elemental Mages were mages that controlled one of the four major Tunarean (Soloralist word for natural elemental) elements. (Fire/Water/Air/Earth) Most of their abilities were toward damage spells, although Water Mages and Storm (air) Mages tended to have various miscellanious spells, such as healing or trap spells. Magic can be akin to a form of artillery, although they were vulnerable to magic sealing techniques.
Evokers were less specialized versions of the Elemental Mages, evokers tended to focus more on nonelemental (usually pure energy-based) or multi-elemental magic. Evokers tended to use purely destructive magic, and were more artillery-based than the elemental mages. Evokers tended to stay in the back of the battlefield, blasting troops from afar. They tended to be even more sensitive to sealing techniques than elemental mages were.
Clerics were priests of the various dieties of Soloralism - mostly Mithaniel and Tunare, the patron micron - who had the ability to heal minor wounds through prayer; they were usually not on the offensive.
Paladins were the elite guard of Radru Umbarcotumo, a half-elf paladin, and the descendent of the Fatebane, Quillan Umbarcotumo, the major general of Elpidos during the Purge of Nonhumans. These holy men, the remnents of the old Order of Micras from ages ago, were akin to a combination of both the clerics and the Sword Mages, their weapons enhanced by their holy zeal, as well as the ability to lay hands to embark small healings on their allies. Until the Battle of Vijayanagra was it quite rare for a Paladin to fall in battle.
It took the Antyans almost nine months on their preparations, as they had to construct a fleet from scratch and the gathering of troops for the invasion force was hampered by Kildare's at the time very poor infrastructure.
Radru's plan was simple: his army would sail the seas all the way to northern Elwynn to open a second front for the Yardistanis - their Antican allies had alreadt landed on the shores of Musica - and from there start ravaging Ribat al-Eluinshahr and then continue on a march of death and destruction through Elwynn, ending with the ultimate destruction of the city of Ardashirshahr, the symbol of all what they hated. In his own malicious mind it was without the slightest bit of a doubt that the Crusaders of Apollo would be victorious; it was only a matter of time.
After a very uneventful trip, sailing the long way from Carama Bay through Gaeos Strait and the Central Sea into the Halberd Strait, the Antyans finally reached Alumelith Bay in northern Elwynn, where they overconfidently landed. In their twisted minds the destruction of the Babkhi was near.
The failed parley with Lady Lolle Jónsdóttir et al. boosted the Antyans' confidence to unprecedented heights and they thought that they were making the ultimate trip of their lives. (They, of course, very much, but not in the way they had expected.)
The battle commenced at the crack of dawn.
The Crusaders of Apollo had marched throughout the night in an effort to take the Elwynnese army - whom they saw as incompetent due to the visit of Lady Lolle & Co - by surprise to finish them off as quickly as possible.
Before leaving their camp for Hampi Heights the Antyan evokers had prepared their spells in their minds, ready to unleash arcane destruction. Likewise the elemental mages had meditated, preparing their minds to become in tune with the Empathi Field. The Sword Mages had done some warming up excercises, fencing with each other to sharpen their skills and prevent decay. Finally, the clerics and paladins had prayed to their gods - mostly Mithaniel, although some had prayed to Tunare and Clistiro as well, for guidance. Some of the clerics were Essential Soloralists, and had just prayed to the quintessences themselves for the strength to aid others.
They arrived in the early morning and launched their attack, looking forward to a complete and quick massacre of the Elwynnese forces. However, the Huskarliregementet and the militia had, thanks to the excellent work of the Elwynnese scouts, arrayed themselves in time in shieldwall formation and were very ready to meet the Antyans in battle.
"For the glory of the quintessences," Radru shouted out defiantly. "We shall smite those who wish to defend the atrocities of the past! Men, commence bombardment!", giving the signal to commence the hostilities.
At that moment, various encantations were heard from the magi. Commands in the old magical language of the microns that had the strange power to communicate into the Empathi Field. The Empathi Field heeded their calls, transporting the vast arcane energies from the Planes into the battlefield. Beams of energy, balls of fire, strands of sharp ice, cracklings of electricity, and even small sandstorms started pouring out from the ranks of the Antyans. They all headed toward one particular place: the Elwynnese shieldwall. The arcane bombardment was to little effect, however, owing to the powerful concealed - and virtually undetectable - magic sealing spells with which the Vanic Priestesses and the Daughters of Freyja had warded Hampi Heights and its surroundings, which kicked in immediately after the commencement of the bombings.
The Sister-Archers of the Daughters of Freyja were positioned safely behind the shieldwall. The Daughters of Freyja were - and still are - renowed for their prowess with the bow. Many of them present responded with their Valtian longbows by sending a rain of arrows toward the Antyans.
From the sky strange projectiles descended upon the Crusaders of Apollo in the form of cumbersome grenade-tipped arrows, causing the first few casualties of the Battle of Vijayanagra to be among the ranks of the Antyans.
Through some bizarre and enormously rash ideas floating around Vanic forces, the Daughters of Freyja were ordered to fight in the nude. The explanation given was that they were meant to be tauntingly sending the Antyan invaders the message that they were such a pathetic bunch that the Daughters of Freyja had no need for armour at all. They, of course, perished.
All of the aforesaid, as intended, baffled and outraged the Antyans and Radru Umbarcotumo ordered a full-scale cavalry assault on the Elwynnese shieldwall.
The cavalry charge was mostly repelled by the Elwynnese shieldwall, though the Elwynnese had managed to inflict heavy casualties upon the assaulting force.