Benacian Reconquest

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The Benacian Reconquest transformed the situation of the Imperial Republic which had, after the reign of Kaiseress Mira Raynora, hitherto been a federation of largely independent and independent minded monarchies - known as the Imperial States. Between 1639 and 1651 the Imperial Forces would intervene in, and subsequently defeat, the state forces of Goldshire, Lichbrook and Elwynn in sequence, whilst simultaneously carving off a number of undefended provinces from the moribund and collapsing Empire of Minarboria.

During the regency of Kaiser Ayreon IV the Imperial Advisory Council would rise from being a powerless advisory body to effectively dominate the public affairs and governance of the Imperial Republic as a Council of Ministers chaired by the Steward. Members of the IAC ruled directly the Imperial States of Elwynn, Goldshire, and Kezan whilst the Partition of Elwynn greatly increased the proportion of Benacia under the direct rule of the Golden Mango Throne.

The reconquest by the Imperialist faction comprised of two stages. The first, the Struggle for the South saw the Imperial Republic liquidate the failing government of the Kingdom of Lichbrook. At the same time the collapse of Minarboria opened up opportunities to reconquer Karalakh, expand the Mandate of Tellia, and make certain favourable frontier adjustments in the west. This process was upset by opposition to the grant of the Imperial Dominion of Mishalan to the Elwynnese Union. The Imperial Government was obliged to realign its policy following a rare veto in the Landsraad, and instead initiated an operation to expel the Elwynnese and Froyalanish settlers from Mishalan and to restore its dominion status under the stewardship of a provisional government.

The intransigent Elwynnese opposition to the Imperial Government's change of course, infuriated the IAC and galvanised it to commence the second stage, the crushing of Elwynn's ruling house. The Auspicious Occasion of 1651 certainly appeared to succeed beyond the wildest expectation of its instigators and the IAC was in a position to guide and advise Elwynn's youthful new King, Vilhjalm of Elwynn on how to avoid the missteps of his father. At the same time the partition of Elwynn greatly enriched the Imperial finances and opened up new resources and labour forces for exploitation, increasing the self-sufficiency of the Imperial Government.

A key cornerstone of the Partition of Elwynn, the programme of deporting the vast Froyalanish population into an ill-prepared national reservation placed a severe strain on the fragile economy and post-liberation society of northern and western Benacia. As columns of deportees wound their way on foot towards the FNR during the spring and summer months of 1652, tensions began to escalate as food reserves became depleted and the starving Froyalanish began to desert their columns to plunder the meagre food stores of the Absentian, Amokolian and Batavian villages through which they passed. Pursued by Imperial Marshals and Auxiliaries determined to return them to their protective custody, and harassed and ambushed by the furious indigenous populations fighting to defend their crops, the numbers of Froyalanish on the move, vast beyond all reckoning, began to defy Imperial authority, forming self-defence groups and showing more willingness to fight for their own survival than they ever had for their "king" Noah.

Finally, Waldemar Zinkgraven, the most senior Imperial official in Western Benacia, lost all patience with the deportation process and unleashed the locally recruited Batavian auxiliaries to chase the Froyalanish out of Batavia. As the self-defence groups fought back so the Batavian-Froyalanish War began.