Trinterian Banner ArmyYuèliàng rebels
|Taiyōan Imperial Army|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Battlemaster Ilia Wyk nar Osten'ka|
The Trinterian-Taiyoan War was a military conflict between the Great Imperial Confederation of Taiyō and the Trinterian Commonwealth between 1385 and 1387. The war was sparked by the shifting allegiances of tribal peoples such as the Yuèliàng on the frontier borderlands, and increasing control of the Taiyoans over their administration following their successful war of unification. Answering a plea from the Yuèliàng patriarchs, in the Winter of 1384, Empress Freida Aein Feldrot nar Jisak'sa Ke'sed of the Trinterian Commonwealth ordered more than 140,000 soldiers of the Banner Army, led by Battlemaster Ilia Wyk nar Osten'ka to march through the Northern Marches and launched an invasion of the Realm through Yuèliàng the following Summer. Trinterian forces managed to capture vast swaths of territory with the help of collaborative Yuèliàng elements before being defeated by a Taiyoan-led loyalist coalition of more than 300,000 at the Battle of the Misty Marsh. Coalition forces inflicted heavy casualties on Trinterian forces, forcing Warmaster Ilia Wyk to order a general retreat back to Zung Wa, where the final battle of the conflict took place when coalition forces attempted to besiege the city, but were thwarted by a daring but costly attack by Trinterian and revolting Yuèliàng forces. Following a protracted stalemate and heavy casualties on both sides, Ilia Wyk, representing the Commonwealth, apologized to the Taiyoans for the invasion and was granted safe passage back to Trinteria with her remaining forces. In the years that followed, further negotiations were held to solidify the border between the two empires. Though Yuèliàng independence and Trinterian dominance over the Realm were never achieved, greater autonomy for the tribe was accepted as a term for peace by the Taiyoans, resulting in both sides declaring victory in the War.
Unification of the Realm
In the wake of the Unification of the Realm referred to by Trinterian scholars at the time as Likuan, dissent began to emerge almost immediately as people from the defeated tribes rose up in revolt against the victorious Taiyō. Despite being plagued by internal rebellions, the nascent Great Imperial Confederation of Taiyō sought to expand its territorial prowess outwards, incorporating a number of small tribes via wars of conquests. At that same time, the Trinterian Commonwealth, having completed its conquest of the Northern Marches by annexing the predominantly Ursinic Kingdom of Nordlys began to take notice at the chain of events that were unfolding though did nothing to intervene in the matter for more than 15 years, and thus, general peace was maintained between the two Empires. However the regional power balance had been lost. Taiyōan military settlers moved in and new leaders took over the conquered communities. Several influential tribal leaders sought out the Trinterians for assistance, however, they were promptly rejected.
One thing that should be noted is that the Trinterians and Taiyō treated their frontier borderland peoples in different ways. Traditionally the Trinterian Tinkar system sought to introduce "uncultured" barbarians to the benefits of the "civilized" center. Taiyōan leadership on the other hand created "patron-client" relationships using marriage alliances and military expeditions to maintain "satellite" partners. Successive Taiyōan courts saw the extraction of resources from frontier vassals as a measurement of their efficacy. However by 1380, both the Taiyōan and Trinterian courts saw the frontier as a source of available troops famed for their ferocity.
The Trinterian Commonwealth had expressed its interests in the region following the successful incorporation of the Northern Marches into the "civilized world". Thus, a steady stream of settlers began to pour into the region from 1368 onwards, leading to a sharp increase in population in the region by 1380. By Werwi Day, 1381, the Clodagh West Circuit counted some 35,321 households, a sharp increase of nearly 76% from the statistic done in 1363.
Before the days of Freida, this county was settled by the Meo barbarian people. There were no traces of Fefsen settlers. In 1363, The ‘Great Martial Leader’ Wisak put down the rebellion of the Nordwik barbarian Linawa, the troops following the general’s expedition remained in the region to open up and settle the wasteland. Their settlements extended throughout this county.
— A Record of Clodagh County
The Taiyōan court was also in the process of consolidating its frontier during this time. In 1377, efforts were made to take direct control of the frontier and its manpower. The northern frontier in the Zuyo region was divided into new administrative units: Nulong, Vantiep, Hishima..... Each of these units was assigned an official. Militia units were established among local communities conscripts had the character "Sons of the Celestials" tattooed on their foreheads. This reflected a distinctly Taiyōan way of controlling regional manpower.
Unrest in the Frontier began following the incorporation of several tribes into the Dominion of the Great Imperial Confederation of Taiyo and the appointment of titles to several tribal leaders in 1379. In the view of the Trinterian court, these titles were not merely honorary appointments. Local militia in the southwestern frontier zone was reorganized in 1382 under the newly appointed prefect of Kurihara. The 45 newly incorporated hamlets were assigned hamlet militia leaders. A commissioner surveyed the region for able-bodied men to be organized under a guard commander selected from the area's prominent households, who received a specific signal banner to indicate their group's distinction. Groups of 30 men were organized into local governance units known as "tithings", which were organized in groups of five under a troop commandant, groups of ten led by an aboriginal commander, and in groups of 50 led by a commander-in-chief. It was perhaps this intensification of border defense that the Trinterian court felt threatened by, as it saw its own systems of local control being slowly eroded away.
By 1380, tensions begun to arose in the frontier regions as Trinterian-backed chiefdoms began to organize raids into the territories of Taiyo for cattle, the most notable of which is the raid launched by Chieftain Litak Hunting Bird of the Wika tribe who, with his son Huka Wildcat, managed to capture a 3 local Taiyōan military inspectors. In the summer of 1381, an incursion into the territory of the Wika tribe was launched by Taiyoan-backed forces but failed to recover the military inspectors who were being held as hostages by the tribal people. In the midst of the fighting, another 8 Taiyōan inspectors were killed. The military commissioner Uehara Takara sought aid from a coalition of tribes for a joint attack on Wika and Trinterian-held territories in retaliation. The Trinterian court caught wind of this and began directly courting local leaders.
Despite the increased military tensions, the Trinterian court attempted to defuse the situation by dispatching a delegation to Qun Xing led by Wikta Kin nar Osten'ga. The Taiyan authorities asked for the return of their military commissioner, but they were denied. Both sides' leaders were wary of further escalation and directed their respective local military commissions to refrain from assembling troops. Empress Freida Ke'sed of Trinteria was very vocal about not starting a war with Taiyo during the early stages of the conflict; historians agree that this opinion stemmed from the fact that Trinteria had little to gain if was to emerge victorious.
Despite this attempt to calm the situations, skirmishes between local tribes continued well into 1383.
In early 1384, a group of diplomats led by Bao Ying were dispatched to Trinteria by Yuèliàng patriarchs who sought to thwart Taiyōan dominion over their territories, and were willing to pay tributes to Trinteria in exchange for the restoration of their independence. An opportunity arose for Trinteria to cripple a rival in the region whilst acquiring new vassals to incorporate, Empress Freida allowed the Banner Army to assemble a force to heed the patriarchs' plea. Hence, an Army of roughly 100,000 backed by 40,000 auxiliaries were assembled from the ranks of the 22nd to the 33rd Imperial Legions. This Army was reinforced by an additional 40,000 raised from local tribes who also provided an additional 15,000 auxiliaries.
Preparations well into the Winter as battle plans were drawn up by a Command Council led by Warmaster of the Banner Army, and Knight Commander of the Chivalrous Order of Hija'ta, Ilia Wyk nar Osten'ka. The invasion was to commence by winter's end in 1385.
As planned, the Trinterian Banner Army commenced their invasion in April of 1385. Throughout the summer of that year, the Taiyoan garrison in the borders were easily overwhelmed.
By Fall, a Taiyoan force of more than 56,000 assembled under the leadership of Magistrate Ishiwari Yoshitomo, and hastily launched a counteroffensive with the goal of repulsing the Trinterians from the frontier regions and thwart the invasion as a whole. However, faulty intelligence and general confusion led to the Taiyoan leadership underestimating the strength of their Trinterian adversaries, their armies being outnumbered and outmaneuvered by the Trinterian Banner Army.
Anticipating an attack from the north, Warmaster Ilia Wyk had her armies reinforce and form defensive positions in their new garrison at Wu Zain whilst ordering a strong contingent of uplanders led by Nevarth Iarxalim to harass the Taiyoan forces and weaken them before the decisive Battle of Wu Zain which begun in October of that year.
Though weakened by Trinterian ambushes, the armies of Yoshitomo was far from defeated and launched an overwhelming attack at Wu Zain that intiially saw success as they overwhelmed several perimeter outposts, forcing Warmaster Ilia to order a retreat to the second defensive line. Though initially expected to be subjected to a brutal siege, the employment of gunpowder artillery in fortified positions by Trinterian forces inflicted severe casualties upon the Taiyōan army. The battle came to an end when Magistrate Yoshitomo was killed in battle, a cannonball having struck the grounds where he stood, gravely wounding, and later killing him.
The Trinterian Banner Army spent the next two weeks pushing their way towards Zung Wa, annihilating any retreating Taiyoan warriors they encountered. The City of Zung Wa, then the Empire's second-largest, fell into Trinterian hands without a fight in June of the same year, when the Yuèliàng patriarchs surrendered the city despite instructions from the imperial capital of Qun Xing.
Warmaster Ilia Wyk, confident in her army's progress, refused to have her army set up camp and prepare for Winter as Fall approached, instead ordering all soldiers to continue advancing North, where she had planned to capture Otasu and launch a naval invasion of Taiyo proper before Winter arrived. This, however, proved to be a disastrous error. The defenders of Great Anethaeum, a religiously significant city, were especially tenacious as the siege, which was supposed to last only a fortnight, carried on for a full month of harsh drawn-out battle. The city was ultimately captured in early October, and the 40,000-strong garrison was disarmed and taken prisoner. The city was finally taken in early October, the 40,000-strong garrison disarmed, and became prisoners of war. The city commander Yoha Sujian killed his own family and refused to leave a burning building, committing suicide. The governor Yoha Sujian and 36 members of his family in the city died, with Yoha Sujian declaring, "I won't die at the hands of those pathetic knaves.".
Again refusing to set up camp, and brace for Winter, Warmaster Ilia Wyk marched her army North where she plans on crippling remaining Taiyoan resistance on the important Fortress of the Misty Marsh where the tide of the war was changed.
Battle of the Misty Marsh
The Battle of the Misty Marsh, though still debated, is commonly recognized as a watershed moment in the war, when a force of approximately 150,000 Trinterian legionnaires split across 31 Legions pushed north in the hopes of constructing encampments to aid a naval attack of Taiyo before summer. However, at the Misty Marsh that winter, they were caught by a force of nearly 300,000 men headed by Grand Prince Tobe Tadashi, who subsequently became Emperor of the Great Imperial Confederation of Taiy upon the war's conclusion. Unfavorable terrains and repeated ambushes on supply caravans, according to Trinterian sources, wrecked havoc on Trinterian soldiers' morale and integrity, prompting Warmaster Ilia Wyk to flee south to the safety of Zung Wa while being pursued by Tadashi's forces. The Taiyoan victory at the Misty Marsh is often credited with ensuring the Great Imperial Confederation's survival.