Tales of the Crescent Isles
Twenty-Five Year War
Start of the War
The end of the Illean/ Likian Golden Age came when Illeau declared war on Likai. The border between Illeau and Likai had always been fuzzy; the land between the Two Rivers had been contested over the years and resulted in some local disturbances but never amounted to anything particularly bloody.
Reports are fuzzy, as the initial strike decimated the Likians, but the Illeans claim that an aggressive strike against the Southern border towns was made the Likians and they retaliated in force. The Likians hold that no such strike occurred, and that the attack was completely unprovoked. The debate continues to this day.
Confused, the Likian towns closest in the disputed area tried to send envoys to end the bloodshed. None who were sent would return. Three days after the attack, Likai was resigned to fighting a war with their Southern neighbours.
While Illeau had the population advantage and had the aid of powerful Elven magic, Likai had far more battle-hardened soldiers and better equipment. The following conflict resulted in a bloody stalemate with their Southern neighbours. The lands within the disputed area were decimated on both sides. The ground ran red with blood, and a war of attrition set in that lasted over two decade.
About 5 years into the conflict Loccain entered the scene. Members of the vast trading empire set up shop between the mainland and Prisoner’s Island and began diplomatic proceedings with both sides. Feigning insufficient numbers and not wanting to get directly involved in the war, the Loccaini began trading with both sides. Loccaini supplied weapons and supplies to the beleaguered sides. Some say they carefully managed what supplies went to where, so as to not run the risk of the war (and hence their source of gold) end prematurely.
In the 23rd year of the war Likai, seeking to end the conflict, started diplomatic proceedings with Loccain in order to obtain their support in ending the war. Loccain was reluctant due largely in part to the great financial windfall the war had brought them as traders and merchants. Eventually Loccain conceded, some think only to ensure that there would be at least a survivor left to trade with before long.
From there they consolidated their forces and began preparations to finally end the war. As part of their strategy, the several warships were sent to Veil to liberate the Eladrin who were being abducted and taken into slavery by the Illeans. Having captured the Elven ships, the Eladrin agreed to help assault the Southern tip as thanks to their saviours. It was time to strike.
The Likians pushed the front, clearing the way for Loccain to take position in the mainland and provide reinforcements for the ground army pushing from the North. Thanks to Loccain’s many warships that were able to best the Elven Fleet on the Western front and occupied those towns along its shores and the liberated Eladrin assaulted the South in a short, bloody rush.
Caught between land and sea from 3 sides, Likai, Illeau and the Eladrin’s combined forces were able to make it to the very doors of the capital of Illeau. Illeau’s council, knowing their death was imminent, surrendered.
Over 100,000 men, women and children died during the course of the war.
The aftermath was just as chaotic as the war itself. The Likian people were prepared to put the Illean Council’s heads on pikes, but Loccain pleaded for peace; disassembling their military and dividing the land was more beneficial, was their argument. Had they tried to remove the Illean Council and implant their own sovereign over the proud Elves, it would lead to civil unrest for years to come. After much debate, Likai begrudgingly agreed with their ally. The war had drained much of Likai’s resources. Attempting to place, feed and protect so many would be folly with their resources dwindling as they were. Their treasury was nearly spent as it was.
A treaty was eventually signed, giving Loccain control over the area between the Two Rivers, and new borders were drawn. Many of Likai’s citizens disagreed vehemently with the decision to hand over the land to the Loccaini, feeling they spilt too much blood over lands that now weren’t even theres. The Likian King told it’s public that they owed the lands to those that helped them end the war years sooner than it might have lasted and that they were indebted to them.
The truth, however, was that the Loccaini were deeply rooted in the area now. The towns and villages had been razed or heavily damaged and the land itself was broken from years of conflict waged upon it. Likai had neither the manpower to stake their claim or the gold to begin rebuilding these areas. They had no choice, truly. Shortly thereafter Likai learned the truth of Loccain’s double-dealing during the conflict, and were powerless to act.
Effects of the War
The war has left many scars on both the land and the people. Likai has become more insular, greatly distrusting both neighbours to the South of it. Only due to the efforts of the even-handed and calm influence of their King has hostilities not broken out between Likai and Loccain. Likai has also restricted travel to their lands save those with summons, or those traders who still do business between lands out of necessity.
Illeau has lost much of their lands closest to the Shining River during the war and does not have the treasury to rebuild most of it. Poverty and crime are on the rise in all but the capital, where the Council has tried to bring back some level of comfort to the once proud people. The Elves, now mistrusted by the people of the North, keep to themselves in tight-knit communities whenever possible. For most this is a time of trial and hardship, and returning to simpler ways. The various temples across the land are seeing a dramatic increase in attendance and worship.
Loccain has been the one to benefit the most from the end of the war. They have spread to the vast majority of the central plains of the region and are in the process of rebuilding many of the towns and structures that were once present for their own needs. Their central location also means they are now effectively the facilitators of trade for the entire country. Taxes are levied on all goods coming and going. They are the richest state currently on the island.
The bulk of the Eladrin did not return to the Veil; they were unable to face the shame of having been slaves, or simply didn’t feel they could truly ‘come home.’ Most migrated to Loccaini lands, feeling that Loccain was their saviour. Some did return to the Veil, which has now become exceedingly insulated from the outside world. Those who trespass on their lands during their Landing are met with arrows and deadly magicks.