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Post by Squeaks on Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:39 pm


SOme wars were fought hard during the first days of EMpire. Valerian's invasion of Acasarena was not one of his finest hours, but it paled when compared to the murder of Telmior. AT least Telmior had a reason for the hate it inspired in the clans of the Sea of Grass. Acasarena was another story entirely.

Having siezed Telmior, Dalthrasia, with the peaceful amalgamation of Atakash and DUinir, the road towards EMpire was paved for the youth Valeian was. He moved forces against two more foes: Saladir and Acaserena. Saladir was a a straightforward move - he would use diplomacy where possible, appeal to either the nobility or the people and engineer peace or a revolt.

Acaserena was a different tale entirely. Valerian knew nothing about them or their culture. They were simply beyond the borders of Telmior, and seemed a tempting target. Acasarena was wealthy as such, and it boasted an army that people called the 'Lionhearts'. Whilst not numerous, they proved to be a difficulty that almost tore the throne from his grasp. In the end, sheer brutality won out.

Diplomatic inroads were attempted, but all attempts were simply returned, always accompanied by the note 'A Lion does not bend it's knee to a savage'. This infuriated him, and he began plans to invade. His usual tactics included heavy use of quick moving troops, of the Air Cavalries that he prized above all else, and of forced marches and daring maneuvres.

Valerian delivered a three pronged assault. To the north of the province, he sent seven thousand of his clansmen, only one thousand of which were mounted, all of which were ferocious fighters and heavily blooded. The target was the principal chokepoint of the self-styled 'kingdom', which wound through to the north of Telmior, into Ancillia. The town of Salia fell to the army in one blistering assault.

In the centre, Valerian sent four thousands of SPurhawk Cavalry, to assault the Capital of Acasarena; the city of Isiltir. Here, the plan went wrong. Hearing of the fall of Telmior and the lands to the south and east of the Sea of Grass, they had prepared their defences against aerial assault. Catapults had been raised to send shards of steel into the air, they had raised spikes on the walls, netted off areas of the city and had hired eight hundred crossbowmen from ANcillia to protect the city.

The Dawn assault was perfect in execution, but the SPur Hawks were repulsed easily, with heavy losses. They had siezed some sections of the city, but with no support from ground forces, they were forced to flee. Luckily they could manage at least this with some grace.

In the SOuth, Valerian moved his main force, twenty thousands of the main Imperial Army. There were men of DUinir, Atakash Angelbloods, more Spurhawksmen, Clansmen and men of mixed cultures who were the foreunners of the Legions that would soon be fully formed in Valerians' mind.

They attacked the Lionsbreath - the narrow valley that held the Fortress of that name, nestled in a high vale, silver walls glistening, pennants flying in a mist - this was where the heart of the nation stood. With one blow, he could finish the kingdom as a threat or target. The SPurhawks swept up over the walls, and were met with heavy missile fire, but tore through into open streets. His other forces struck in three places; the front gate, an eastern tower and the southern central wall. Siege engines coughed, missiles flew and men on both sides died.

Within hours, it became clear that this would be a hard fight, so when the SPurhawks came from the north, they were met with delight. The news they brought was not heard with delight. One thousand were sent north again, with dire orders, which were to be executed to the letter.

The Lionsbreath was attacked three times that day, and the sounds of battle were heard twice more that night, but there was little movement on either side.

Dawn the next day brought Valerian's anger down on the capital City, Isiltir. FOr hour after hour, the hawks rained pots of oil, pitch, bales of straw and possibly many other flammable chemicals. For a half day, they did this, as the army from the north filed down into the plains before the city. Then, as the sun set, they dropped fireballs onto the city streets. The city burned for three days, uncontrollably. The screams rent the air, and all who fled from the conflagration were slaughtered as they ran from the walls. At the end of the third day, thousands litterted the plains, and the city was lifeless. He had his victory, but at what cost to his own morality?

When the news was delivered to Lionsbreath, the fortress surrendered unconditionally. Fearing for their people, they surrendered, and their nobility burned itself into the raw eyes of the young Valerian. He was said to have never forgotten it, and he paid for it every day in his own mind. In his youth, his temper had ruled his heart, and he had won, but he could never take away the truth, and never did. He paid minstrels to sing of the Lion-hearted men of Acasarena, and raised the province above most others in his new EMpire. He was said to have poured so much money into the province's rebirth that he almost bankrupted himself, but, by then, was invading north and south...still impetuous, but a little more restrained in his emotions.


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