Elvish War of the Fifth Kingdom
The Elvish War of the Fifth Kingdom, known simply as the Elf Wars among Vanilli and The Defacement among elven tribes is a conflict that began in what is now Portsport District near the middle of the Fifth Kingdom, and which eventually spread to encompass much of the southern portion of North Vanil. The precise start and end dates are amorphous, but the war’s major confrontations took place between 497 and 503.
Events Leading to the Conflict
Prior to and throughout the Fourth Kingdom, the area in what is now Portsport District was the center of worship for The Three Sisters. With the arrival of The Church of the Three at the end of the Fourth Kingdom, worship declined and much of the human population, which had to that point been located inland, left to find new homes. After the settlements of Portsport and Suxold were founded near the Central Ocean on the fertile Sess Plains, the trickle of immigrants into the region became a flood. The rampant expansion resulted in the clearing of vast swaths of forest for building space and raw materials, leading to the eventual displacement of the native Mettar Tribe as Mettar Forest was exploited. The elves attempted to convince the humans to adopt a less rapacious expansion policy, but no heed was given to the request. The elves at that point adopted a policy of disruption, focused around slowing and inconveniencing human expansion into the forest in the hopes that the humans would give up.
The Attack at Mettar
In 497, a group of Vanilli woodcutters entered Mettar Forest and Karenda Essari, a particularly zealous elven ranger, led a small group of scouts on a routine disruption mission. Instead of fleeing from the sudden assault as had been the case in the past, the woodcutters retaliated, slaying one of the elves and resulting in seven human deaths. The survivors were taken prisoner and a messenger was dispatched to Portsport to inform Regent Almasy of what had occurred. Almasy had the messenger imprisoned and dispatched a company of troops to ensure the woodcutters’ freedom. As word spread in Portsport, anti-elf sentiment rose in the city and individuals sharing a hatred for the demihuman race banded together and formed the beginnings of The Brotherhood. Many of these individuals enlisted in the army, and this likely contributed to the methods employed in prosecuting the later war.
Already put on edge by the disappearance of their messenger, upon seeing armed and armored human troops entering their forest, the Mettar attacked and slew the humans without a single reported elven casualty. This is considered by most to be the beginning of the Elf Wars.
The Mettar Campaign
Regent Almasy, after enough time had passed without word of his troops, assumed the worst and mobilized the entire Portsport military, initiating a slash-and-burn campaign against the elves. The conflict over Mettar Forest lasted for almost two years, with the elves fighting a heavily defensive war against the human onslaught. Few elves were actually killed in battle; however, portions of their forest home were destroyed little by little. The Mettar were eventually forced to flee northward to the forests around Tinder. The armies of Portsport did not pursue, instead choosing to burn the remainder of the forest to the ground. By 499, the woodlands to the northwest of Portsport had been annihilated and turned into a barren, hilly waste.
Spread and End of the War
During the elves’ flight, messengers were dispatched to the Carmi and Tesska tribes to ask for aid. The Tesska to the north dispatched supplies and a few warriors, but the more chaotic Carmi decided offense was the best defense. From their home in the Carm Forest, they began assaulting Vanilli settlers in the region. Without a powerful force in the region equivalent to Portsport, this continued without consequence on-and-off for roughly two years until 502, when a raiding party mistakenly targeted a journeying mage named Kalim, who not only fought off his attackers but was able to divine their intent and base of operations.
Miffed at the “unprovoked” attack, upon returning to his tower he gathered his apprentices and followers and set out to educate the Carmi on the proper etiquette when dealing with a powerful wizard. Kalim, joined by a few mages from the east who has been part of the Mettar Campaign and who desired further vengeance, descended upon Carm Forest early in 503. He did not engage in wanton slaughter as had been the case in the east, however; his sole act was to erect a foreboding spire of rock that would, in his words, “forever taint the soul of this great wood.” Following Kalim’s proclamation, the Carmi broke off their attacks to deal with the frequent flow of cursed beasts and monsters from the deep forest. Sporadic skirmishes still took place between elves and humans, but by and large the war had ended in a decisive human victory.
No official peace treaty was ever made between the Vanilli and the elf tribes; though the Tesska to the north are at best indifferent to humans, the surviving Carmi and Mettar (some of whom are actual veterans of the war) still treat human trespassers in their territory harshly. Elves (usually Tesska, as the Mettar remain isolated through choice while the Carmi to this day cope with Kalim’s curse) who travel through Vanilli territory are regarded with suspicion and half-elves, as a result of their mixed heritage, are treated as subhuman in many places. The Brotherhood, which began as an organization dedicated to exterminating elves, quickly expanded its hate to encompass all demihuman races, though elves have retained a position of special hatred.
One of the arguably positive results of the war was that it improved Vanilli-riichna relations significantly. Riichnas had engaged in their own wars with the elven tribes and the two races grew closer as a result of this shared history of conflict. This thawing of relations, some historians argue, led directly to events in the Sixth Kingdom regarding the Thean Slave Uprising and the initiation of the first human leyseers.
A far more widely-known improvement was that the communication between Kalim and the mages from Portsport he associated with was maintained. Together, the wizards hammered out the foundations of what would in the Sixth Kingdom become the Wizard’s Guild.
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