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The Conquest of Alphatia - The Early Yearsby Jamuga Khan and Captain Ebenezum
" When the Alphatians came to this world we landed on the big island now known as "Alphatia". As the Alphatians were only the sad remainder of a once mighty people the main problem was to create a new empire in which we could dwell. From the beginning it was clear that this task would last centuries. The emperor and the Grand Council quickly decided that the Island we had reached was a good place to begin with this task. The generals had to do their work now.
The surviving admirals of the Alphatian Imperial Navy could not stand that. They now had to find a way to re-establish their former might. Of course, we had no magical ships in those early years. The knowledge about the construction of such ships was still there, but our new world had different natural laws; some readjustments were inevitable. The dream of the admirals about an air fleet was years, even decades away.
Fortunately, even in our grandiose old empire we had great oceans, and bold sailors to ply them. Now in our new world those men and women were quickly promoted to captains and admirals, connected with the task to create a new ocean fleet. Some resources were used to build this fleet as naval support is useful in conquering an island. So the fleet was built."
So far an excerpt from Captain Ebenezum's article about the discovery of Bellissaria. As it is widely known when entering this world through a magical gate our successors landed near the place where Sundsvall was built later on. I, Jamuga Khan, a noble from Lagrius on Bellissaria, and my young friend Captain Ebenezum, a noble from Ambur, have written the history of the events.
We, the authors, want to give you, our most estimated reader, a clear look to the first years of Alphatia on the world of Mystara. Unfortunately our beginnings normally are covered by the mists of legends, but this will come to an end now. Read the truth about the victories and defeats, about treason and traitors, about discoveries and settlements.
The Beginning (AY 1)
The magical gate was opened only a half mile from what is now the border of the city of Sundsvall. First some troops under the command of General Zarthurastram entered the new world to secure the terrain. The passage lasted a whole month. In this time the army had to fight local tribes, but those primitive barbarians did not posed any problem.
When the passage was completed the supreme command of the army sent scouts into all directions to learn all about the territory. A camp was made in which the leaders of the Followers of the Air convened to make the necessary decisions. As we all known they came to terms to make Kerothar the new emperor and to form the Grand Council as a second instance of government.
Much work had to be done. The people had to be fed, the military had to be build up. A universal compulsory military service was proclaimed. To increase the number of volunteers it was edicted that those joining for a longer period would be paid much better. Additionally some private armies were founded, which got special licenses. Among these are to be noticed those of Ashar and Aasla.
The Alphatian admiralty desired to build a fleet. To fulfil this purpose they had to find a ocean first, of course! For the moment the admirals mustered all who knew anything about swimming boats and ships. An air fleet was decades away, but the problem was not forgotten. Professor Ar, one of the most estimated and capable scientists of the Followers of the Air, was charged with this project.
The scouts reported that the north was an untamed and unpopulated wilderness, so the supreme command and the government decided to press into the south. As we know when following the Greenlake River you will reach the Haunted Marches. This of course was a drawback for the admiralty, but not a too big one as the best engineer with knowledge about channel-building had survived the war and voyage. This woman, Sasdil, was ordered to construct a secure fairway of the Greenlake River through the marches. While working on this project she lived in a camp just north of the marches well-guarded by imperial elite troops.
While building ships around Sundsvall and constructing the fairway, imperial marines crossed the marches in small boats and reached the ocean. This good success did not do anything to decrease the mockery of the generals. The admirals kept silence and even intensified their efforts.
In the meantime General Zarthurastram pressed south-eastward and reached the Barony of Bigot, part of the Duchy of Herot, which was the western extension of the big kingdom of Rardish to the east. The barony was overrun, but when the duke started to react, Emperor Kerothar had to call back the general and his troops. The reason for this command was that scouting troops in the west had met strong forces of the kingdom of Dafe. Led by the Duke of Fifeton the hostile soldiers stormed eastward and threatened the Alphatian encampments at the Greenlake River. Now the young Second Empire had to face a war at two fronts.
The empire was on the verge of collapse but fortunately the military and magical strength of the Alphatian troops, but especially the military abilities of General Zarthurastram were enough to master this crisis. The duke was beaten and he himself were killed in the battle. To the great relief of all Alphatians the enemy did not seem to have the most simple magical measures to attack or defend himself.
Likewise the hostile troops from Herot relied solely on swords and muscles. Two weeks after the battle against the Dafians the Alphatian troops met the Herotian army. One fortunately circumstance for the empire was that the Duke of Herot was not on good terms with his king at this time, so he fought alone and was thrown back into his duchy even we had to give up the barony of Bigos, which General Zarthurastram had conquered only weeks before.
The Political Situation (AY 1)
Now we had met two of our neighbours, and we had learned much about them by fighting them and by interrogating the prisoners of war. Before making them our slaves the hostile soldiers told us some details about their home countries and their enemies. To the west there was the big kingdom of Dafe, which lasted to the Greenlake River before. In the east existed the kingdom of Rardish, which reached to the spring of the Herot River (Thera River) and comprised modern Randel, Bettellyn, Eadrin and Theranderol. To the south there were two smaller kingdoms, Afotir and Shavadze. On the coast in the northwest existed some smaller city-states, and north of Rardish were a wild and lawless region, populated by a wild race of seafarers who earned their livings as pirates. On the other hand the information about the north were so vaguely that the government and the supreme command impossibly could rely on them.
Back to the south: Dafe and Rardish were arch-enemies but the distance did not allow too much wars between them. Afotir was on bad terms with Dafe and Shavadze, but a part-time ally of Rardish, Shavadze successfully hold ground against Rardish with a little help by Dafe. Luckily enough all kingdoms had stretched their population too much, and between the settled regions there were usually wilderness. Another advantage was that those barbarians did not have very much knowledge about magic.
To protect the empire against the barbarians from the west, the emperor made a call to all experienced wizards to construct a protective wall 100-150 miles west of the Greenlake River. With the completion of this wall the first year on Mystara ended.
The War against Herot (AY 2)
In AY 1 the Alphatian armies had beaten both the Dukes of Fifeton and Herot. While the Fifetonian army had made a hastily retreat after the death of the Duke, the Duke of Herot had not yet made this experience, and he was now well aware that a new might had arisen. As we can conclude from captured documents in AY 2 the duke started to improve his relations to his king. To his bad luck, his progress was slow. So General Zarthurastram was able to conquer Bigos and surrounded Herot. When the inhabitants of the city prepared themselves for a long siege, the Alphatian troops stormed into the city through a massive usage of magic.
The duke had not been in the city as he had been distracted by a smaller unit led by Colonel Errolyn, the oldest son of the emperor and later Kerothar II., who had been sent against the smaller border baronies Nehiun and Avakinet. In the battle of Avakinet Errolyn was able to beat the duke, but he was not able to capture him. As the Herotian soldiers had been beaten on all fronts they were not able to hold ground against General Zarthurastram who now even conquered the small counties of Dolas and Mersepolis. The Duke of Herot made a retreat into the rest of the kingdom of Rardish and probably he shouted for help. In the meanwhile General Zarthurastram secured the duchy and even sent emissaries to Shavadze to assure them that Alphatia had no hostile plans against them. This, of course, was a political lie to prevent a war at three fronts.
The general now retired for deliberation into his new headquarter in Herot where he studied the captured documents and maps together with his subordinated officers.
The Situation in the North (AY 2)
North of Sundsvall, as the aspiring capital was now named, the scouts had found nothing but endless forests. Ashar, one of the leaders of the private armies, petitioned for a license to cut wood in these forests. At the same time he promised to protect the capital with his own soldiers from dangers in the north. The emperor and the Grand Council saw the advantages in this plan, and he founded two camps, which were later called Ashar and Verboton, and the Northern Alphatian Wood Company (NAWC). Nothing spectacular is to be noticed for this region until the arrival of the Shiye elves under Ardashiye and Illashiye 200 years later. In this time some minor offences were summed up to accuse the venerable Ashar and the other leaders of the company for high treason. The NAWC lost their license and the land was given to the elves.
The War against Fifeton (AY 2)
The border to Fifeton and Dafe had been secured one year before. So in AY 2 only some weak units were guarding the wall. Aasla, a Cypri women, who feared that the fate of her people could worsen under the "pure Alphatian" Kerothar I., desired to find a home for herself. When this meant to beat legions of barbarians then she was determined to do it.
So in AY 2 she decided that the training of her soldiers was sufficient and she asked the Grand Council for the permission to invade Dafe. As the empire were not risking too much, she got their permission and crossed the wall. Since the defeat and death of the Duke of Fifeton one year before the suppressed peasants had started a revolt. Royal troops had arrived to quell this revolt, but the civil war was still ongoing. Now with Aasla coming the situation for the Dafenian army even worsened. She made herself the leader of the revolt by presenting herself as a liberator and by promising a better life for the peasants. So after some few months the Duchy of Fifeton were conquered, but Aasla had not yet found the place where she wanted to live.
The War against Dovir (AY 2-3)
The kingdom of Dafe secured the pass through the mountains which separated the duchy from the rest of kingdom. Now, the invaders blocked by the mountains, the marches and the impenetrable forests, they felt secure. Aasla surprised them by crossing these forests and conquered the capital of the County of Adiach.
Next spring she marched southward and conquered the capital of the duchy of Dovir and the barony of Banna. Here she found a beautiful bay where she wished to live, and she renamed the region Aasla.
For the rest of the year she sent her brother Aaslon with some troops into the north to handle the problem with the barony of Warzazath. She sent emissaries to the barony of Lesir to negotiate a capitulation. The baron was desperate and had probably given up but the commanding general of the royal troops were determined to continue the fighting. So Aasla concealed herself as a simple peasant, teleported into the stronghold and charmed the general. After that Lesir capitulated.
After conquering more than half of Dafe Aasla now proclaimed the kingdom of Haven. The emperor used this opportunity to proclaim the kingdom of Vertiloch, the traditional name of the realm of the emperor in the days of the first empire. The former duchy of Herot remained an imperial territory yet.
The First Explorations of the Navy (AY 2-3)
In AY 2 a small flotilla of seven ships sailed down the Greenlake River and entered the big gulf, now known as Aaslan gulf. They decide to set a western course, but only three days later two ships sank during a storm. In the shallow waters before the barony of Banna the flotilla met one Dafenian ship. A battle occurred and as a result two ships sank, two ships severely damaged, but the hostile vessel were captured even it has taken heavy damages. One ship had to be given up due to damages, and the reduced flotilla returned to Saddor which had been made the first headquarter of the Imperial Navy.
The captured ship was studied carefully, and many details were integrated into the second generation of Alphatian ships.
In AY 3 a new flotilla set sails and returned to the barony of Banna. The plan was to attack or even conquer the first deep water harbour the Alphatians had located. But to the great disappointment of the admirals the flotilla was too late as Aasla already had conquered the barony. But on the other hand the admirals were not too disappointed as they now had a harbour and even more ships which were captured by Aasla's troops.
The War against Igondor (AY 3)
The big county of Igondor with its triangular shape was the next target of General Zarthurastram. After his emissaries had negotiated some assistance from Shavadze General Thraeliol was sent with the 5th army into the county. Igondor was bursting from royal troops as the invading Alphatian troops was disturbing an ongoing campaign against Shavadze. Obviously the generals were not informed about the events in the north one year back. The troops from Shavadze and Alphatia attacked at the same time, and while Shavadze was able to reconquer its lost territories on its side of the river General Thraeliol crushed all Igondoron cities. The king of Rardish could not interfere as he was occupied with more urgent matters. The losses General Thraeliol had to take were much higher than expected, so he could not return to Herot, but had to stay with his complete remaining army as a occupation force.
The First War against Rardish (AY 3-10)
At the same time as Igondor was attacked General Zarthurastram entered the plains of Rardish and marched toward Kedy. The king of Rardish marched against the Alphatian troops, but was not able to battle them before they had burned down the town of Keby. In the sight of the burning Keby the royal troops finally were able to engage General Zarthurastram. The battle of Keby was a tie as the general never had intended to win. Instead he made a proper retreat into Herot.
His scouts had travelled through Rardish since the first encounter with the troops of Herot, so he now had a good sight onto the situation in the kingdom.
So, in AY 4, General Zarthurastram crossed the foothills of the Grey Mountains bear Nehiun and stormed down into the northern parts of the kingdom, the county of Rimpos and the Duchy of Quanfax.
Unfortunately the emperor and the Grand Council did not see the military situation as optimistic as the general and recalled him. As not very much Alphatians had survived the end of the first empire the population were low and the ranks of the army, although highly skilled in the magical and martial arts, were dangerously thin.
General Zarthurastram did not react and continued his campaign against northern Rardish. Only one commander of his army, Colonel Errolyn, returned. In this moment the emperor reconsidered the deeds the general had done. Of course, as the leader of the Followers of the Air, Kerothar had been happy that General Zarthurastram had fought against his emperor Alphaks I., but now, being emperor for himself, he feared a strong defect in the character of the general. At least General Zarthurastram had defected the former emperor! A quotation of Kerothar I. on this matter is still known today: "We love the treason, but we hate the traitors."
Colonel Errolyn was made general and commander of the occupied zone of Herot. His first decision was to construct a second wall to the kingdom of Rardish. Then he petitioned to make Herot a new kingdom. His father, the emperor, and the Grand Council agreed and Errolyn renamed the country Theranderol after his sister Thera and his brother Derol. The land was not as big as nowadays as the territories west of the Thera was still under the control of Shavadze.
In the following years General Zarthurastram managed to conquer the whole north of Rardish, but he had to do it without getting any soldier or any supply from Sundsvall. He even sent troops into Foresthome as the barbarians from Lake Llyn had marched southward in AY 5 and attacked him in the back. General Llyn marched with the 3rd army into the north on AY 6 but was beaten severely and even lost his life. He never say the lake which now bears his name.
General Zarthurastram managed to get enough supply from the conquered territories but his logistic lines were becoming long and longer, and the number of his soldiers was dwindling. Due to losses and occupation units he had to station in the conquered towns he had no more than some hundred men and women when he entered the region now known as northern Randel.
In AY 10 General Zarthurastram conquered Norok but was beaten at Ubeidda. Very much angered he retreated to Quanfax where he had made his headquarter. In a try to make a political victory out of this military defeat he travelled to Sundsvall and negotiated the famous treaty with the emperor and the Grand Council. He got all the territories now known as Bettellyn and Randel and the right to name the king of Eadrin. He chose General Thraeliol as the first king. Secret documents from this era show that the emperor and the Council had already reached an agreement to crown the general so they agreed to the wish of the general. For that General Zarthurastram promised to train the Imperial Army and to serve the emperor, personally and with his army.
Generations of historians have squabbled about the question if Kerothar knew that General Zarthurastram had not conquered the whole kingdom of Rardish yet. Personally I believe that the emperor learned this facts only several years later. (In this point we disagree: I believe that Kerothar knew the situation well enough. Note by Cpt. Ebenezum)
Fact is that the war had exhausted Rardish. The Alphatian troops they had battled were small and finally they get exhausted as well, but this victory had costed the kingdom much more than it could afford. Approximately more than 90 % of the territory was lost, and 60-70 % of its inhabitants now served the Alphatian Empire as slaves. The morale of the population was dangerously low, and the morale of the soldiers who had fought against icestorms and magic missiles, lightning and fireballs, sleeps and charms, was not really better.
But it is also fact that the kingdom of Rardish did not fell before AY 92. The reasons why it was beaten so late are discussed heavily. During this time other territories were conquered, and already conquered territories were settled. (My personal suggestion is that the emperor did not wish to see General Zarthurastram connecting his territories too soon. Note by Cpt. Ebenezum)
The Discovery of the West Coast (AY 3-4)
As told before Aasla had sent her brother Aaslon with some troops into the north to handle the problem with the barony of Warzazath. The little and remote barony posed no problem for the Alphatian soldiers bow fully adapted to war. Instead of returning to his sister Aaslon decided to explore the mountains, which he called Kerothar Mountains to honour the emperor.
Aaslon managed to cross the mountains, but he lost many soldiers. When reaching the Stonewall region, he left the troops behind and explored the region with only some henchmen. Unfortunately the soldiers from the city-states in this region was on guard and engaged the Alphatian soldiers. They were able to beat the attackers, but lost more men. When learning this Aaslon returned to his men and retreated into the mountains. There he was caught by the beginning winter and had to pass the winter in a secluded valley in the Kerothar Mountains.
With a grossly reduced troop he returned his sister in AY 4. Aasla was very angry about her brother, and he decided to leave her army. Instead he joined the ranks of the Royal Marines which were just forming in the city of Aasla.
The War against Dafe (AY 4-8)
In AY 4 the Aasla Naval Base became fully operational, and Queen Aasla and the Emperor Kerothar came to terms to finish the war against Dafe together. The daughter of the emperor, Princess Thera, became supreme commander of the Naval Sector West. The both women became friends, and even Aasla was content with her conquests she realised that the war had to be finished.
So in AY 4 Queen Aasla marched southward to Palvaton, while Admiral Thera attacked from sea. Of course the imperial marines were victorious. The Dafenian troops sent against the queen were not able to engage her, but the losses had been much higher than expected. Back in Aasla City both women had to make new plans.
At this point we want to talk about Prince Derol. Despite being the son of the capable wizard Kerothar I. he had not the faintest talent for magic. Back in Old Alphatia he would have spent his life in a secluded sanatorium as all those rare Alphatians without the talent to cast spells. In our new world these sanatoriums had not been built yet. So he had the chance to join the navy and in AY 4 he was among the men and women under the command of his sister.
Here in Aasla he heard the voices of the Greater Powers. Some might remember from their lessons in history back in school that Derol was the first Alphatian cleric in Mystara. They might even remember that he was a member of the navy and became an admiral much later. The most would conclude that he was a cleric of Protius, the old man from the sea, as most seafaring clerics worship this being. Unfortunately nothing could be further away from the truth. Instead he was a cleric of Asterius, and his immortal told him much about the business of a thief and a spy.
Now, his sister and the queen pondering above their maps he developed a really clever plan. He proposed to travel to Afotir where he planned to inspire the Afotiri to sack the coastal cities of Dafe. The women were not too happy about this but Princess Thera herself teleported him to the capital of the kingdom. There he started his campaign.
In AY 5 Afotiri buccaneers started to attack the towns of Dafe. They even attacked Palvaton and Aasla but through the information of Prince Derol the Alphatian forces were well-prepared and could beat the attackers severely. Finally, only hours after an Afotiri attack, an Alphatian fleet sailed into the harbour of Songodir. The defenders were disorganised and confused as most soldiers were helping in removing rubble and corpses. It was an easy victory.
In AY 6 the town of Gorar felt. The Dafenians had not expected the attack as neither the Afotiri nor the Alphatian ships had sailed so far north yet. So the town was full of refugees who hindered the soldiers.
In AY 7 the Alphatian Navy conquered Lorm, the last Dafenian harbour city which had at least a little significance.
In AY 8 forces marched into the inland from Gorar, Songodir, Palvaton and Aasla. The soldiers of Dafe fought valiantly but they had no chance. Especially the troops of Queen Aasla had a devastating effects to the defenders. Her politic of treating the peasants well had earned her the respect, and many soldiers. For the last 4 years she had not fought very much but had guarded the border at the Alphas River. So the true might of Haven's army surprised Dafe. The marines had taken a greater part of fighting during the war and were by far not so strong now. So they posed as distractions for Queen Aasla who finally conquered the cities of Hady and Dafe. After making the Dafenian king her personal slave she returned to Aasla. The war was over.
Time of Pondering (AY 10-15)
By now it had become obviously that the magical ability was decreasing. Much more children than before had been born since the landing without the ability to cast spells. Now with Dafe defunct and Rardish reduced to a small remainder of its former self a time of consolidation began - and a time of pondering. Many discussion were led, but finally our ancestors came to terms to continue the conquests.
The War against Afotir (AY 16-17)
The war against Afotir was short, heavy and successful. The navy attacked Eagret. At the same time King Zarthurastram, King Thraeliol and some auxiliary troops from Shavadze crossed the border. Due to the intelligence work of Prince Derol, now a capable cleric and a captain of the Alphatian Imperial Navy, the war were a complete disaster for Afotir. The Alphatian commanders took care for their troops, so it lasted two years to finish the wars, but our losses were low.
The war came to an end, when Captain Derol took the Afotiri king as a captive. All but the capital had been conquered at this moment, and now the troops crumbled. The admiralty gave Derol the chance to return to Sundsvall to build up the Naval Intelligence Service or to became commander of the new Eagret Naval Base. After 13 years of being a spy in Afotir he decided to return to Sundsvall. Of course he was promoted to the rank of an admiral.
Organizing the Empire (AY 17-30)
The war against Afotir had brought more territories to rule. Many work had to be done now. So the years swept over the young second Empire. Shavadze was a friendly kingdom, and Rardish did not have the might to make any trouble. There is really nothing special to be said about these years.
The Maiden Flight of the Phoenix (AY 30)
30 years Ar had worked to redevelop the art of skyship building. Now, in AY 30, he finished the first Mystaran skyship for the navy, the HIMS Phoenix. After fulfilling this task he demanded funds for developing floating islands, but the council and the emperor refused. Instead they ordered him to build even more skyships. He refused and quitted his service for the empire. Very angered he build a second ship, the Flying Rock, for himself and left the capital with his followers. The government now had the difficult task to teach the newly discovered principles to more wizards. Ar had left back all papers, but he had taken his complete team with him. This fact was a severe back-stroke for the empire.
The Phoenix itself remained, of course, but it was only a small vessel, appropriated as a courier boat, as the greatest part of the 30 years had been used to create the principles. Besides the research of Ar had shown that building new skyships on Mystara was a difficult and expensive process unlike back in Old Alphatia where this task could be performed very easily.
Time of Exploration (AY 30-42)
In these years the navy committed some exploratory missions. In AY 32, the east coast of Alphatia were charted up to Foresthome, additionally some new bases were founded. In AY 35 an expedition explored the west coast up to nowadays Limn. There they met ships from the island of Qeodhar and were driven back.
The expeditions of Cpt. Trikelios in AY 37, 39 and 40 and of Cpt. Ekto in AY 38 and 42 to the Isle of Dawn shall not be described here.
Securing the South (AY 42-48)
After some years of peace the emperor, the Grand Council and the supreme command now decided that the trusted ally from former campaigns, the kingdom of Shavadze, was no longer needed. So troops from Greenspur, Eadrin, Theranderol and imperial troops under the command of king Zarthurastram entered the kingdom and conquered acre about acre of the land. The Shavadzians were the far strongest enemy Alphatia had to fight until now as they had learned much about modern warfare from their Alphatian military advisers. The result of the campaign were clear though. Shavadze became another Alphatian province.
Two problems shall be mentioned here: The imperial troops suffered heavy losses during the war, and king Zarthurastram accused the emperor of being responsible for that - but not too loud! When looking into reports from these times this opinion seems to be acknowledged as the soldiers of Zarthurastram had to do the hardest jobs of all.
At the same time the king of Rardish started a counter-attack and managed to reconquer some of his lost territories. The reduced troops of king Zarthurastram were finally able to stop the attack, and in the final the result of this war was a tie.
The First Qeodharian War (AY 50-62)
In AY 50 King Zarthurastram demanded a war against Rardish, but the supreme command of the navy directed the attention to the Qeodharian situation. After the defeat against in AY 35 the northern raiders now appeared at the coasts of Aasla and sacked the coastal settlements.
The new ships were much better than fifteen years ago, and the admirals proposed a campaign against the raiders. The emperor asked the Grand Council, and the vote was against the Rardish war and for the Qeodharian war. So units of the Alphatian Imperial Navy left their bases and sailed into the north.
First the navy caught the Qeodharians by surprise, and all enemies were sunk. In AY 51 the villages in the Stonewall region were conquered by marines under the command of Colonel Aaslon. One year later Aaslon burned down the settlements farther north. Near the location where now Draco can be found the navy founded a base.
In AY 52 the Qeodharians started a counter-attack. Over the next years some minor naval battles occurred, and bases were constructed and destroyed. In AY 60 the Stonewall base was conquered by the Qeodharians. After this defeat the navy sent a fleet into the north to battle the enemy on his own ground. The battle occurred in AY 61 around the north-western tip of the continent and was a major defeat for the Imperial Navy. In this battle a young midshipman took over command over the severely beaten HIMS Medusa and steered back the ship into an Alphatian harbour. The name of this midshipman was Meriander.
So the victorious Qeodharian fleet sailed south in AY 62 to crush their enemies completely. Fortunately they underestimated the reserves of the empire. Most Qeodharian units were captured or sunk. After this victory the empire was able to reclaim all those territories up to the Torpes region.
The Beginning of the Maritime Trade (AY 62-88)
After the discovery of the Isle of Dawn in the expeditions from AY 37-42 this big island had been neglected for many years. In AY 62 the first civilian expedition was started. The Alphatian Sailing Ship Zyklon under the command of Captain Deirdren sailed to Thothia. Deirdren had committed the maritime trade in Alphatian coastal waters for more than twenty years, and now he felt that he was prepared to cross the ocean. Indeed he was successful in establishing a trade route to Thothia. With this success he founded one of the greatest mercantile empires Alphatia had ever seen. The Isle of Dawn Company later took over more and more of the island in later years, but the foundation of new colonies did not occur before the beginning of the 5th century when the decline of the poor Thothians became noticeable.
The Rise of the Imperial Navy (AY 88-102)
Since AY 62 only skirmishes had occurred between Alphatian and Qeodharian ships, but now the admiralty decided to start a new campaign. The ships had been improved again, and when Commander Meriander volunteered to explore the hitherto unknown north coast the admirals approved his plan. He got the command over a small sailing ship, the HIMS Iron Golem. The commander discovered the home of the enemies, the big island Qeodhar, where he was battled by the Qeodharians. He managed to break free and to survive. The entries in the logbook of the Iron Golem are written in a dry style and cannot reflect the pain and hard labour of these weeks. Finally he reached the kingdom of General Zarthurastram where he was brought into the capital to report to the admirals.
With the most valuable information Cmdr. Meriander had brought about the enemy, in AY 90 an expedition was started. Captain Meriander commanded a ship of the fleet which battled the Qeodharians, but the real battle occurred ashore where Colonel Horken from the Imperial Marines burned down Ystmarhavn, the greatest settlement of the Qeodharian jarls. This was a defeat from which the jarls never recovered fully.
Surprisingly for everybody the emperor ordered an attack on Rardish in AY 92. Captain Meriander and Colonel Horken both participated in this battle. When General Zarthurastrams troops distracted the defender, a landing operation occurred at the shores of Rardish. Captain Meriander commanded theHIMS Gargoyle, which was the first ship to land it's marines ashore Rardish. Colonel Horken led the marines and conquered the city. After this the kingdom of Rardish had no other choice than to surrender, much to the satisfaction of King Zarthurastram.
After defeating the last great nation on the main island, a time of relative peace came to the empire. The army secured the conquered territories, and the civil administration took over more and more of the duties which had been fulfilled by the military administration in the hectic early years. The Imperial Navy committed some explorations and some minor, even two greater naval battles.
In AY 93 Lieutenant Lagrius commanded a river boat which followed the Llyn River to the Lake Llyn. There he was driven back by the Yanifeyan raiders from the big inland lake. In AY 94 Lieutenant Hepira discovered the Easthollow River and in AY 94 Captain Lakim led a small flotilla upwards the Llyn River, defeated the Yanifeyans and founded a naval base on the biggest island in the lake. More naval bases were founded in the next years along the coastlines of nowadays Foresthome, Floating Ar, Ambur and Frisland. The purpose of these bases were to protect settlers and to provide them with supply. Unfortunately, due to the Qeodharian threat, this plan did not work. In AY 95 and in AY 100 two counterattacks occurred. The first wave were beaten easily, but the second, five years later, were a tight fight. Admiral Alanthus died on the deck of his flag-ship. After the death of the admiral his flag-captain, Captain Notrion, took over command and led the fleet to a glorious victory, but three bases and over thirty ships were destroyed.
Besides, not too many Alphatians were willing to settle in the cold north. So the whole region remained a wilderness for the next centuries, although officially being "Imperial Territories".
Finally, in AY 101, a merchantman cast adrift by a storm sighted a great hitherto unknown landmass in the south, and the admiralty decided to send a flotilla into an expedition. The names of commanding officers who left Alphatia in AY 102 are well-known today: Rear Admiral Meriander, Major-General Horken, Captain (later Admiral) Notrion, Captain Lagrius and Captain Alinquin, and Commander (later Captain) Hook. Likewise the names of their ships has become famous: HIMS Bellissaria, HIMS Aaslin and HIMS Alatia. The story of these brave officers and ships is described in an article, written by my co-author Captain Ebenezum: Expedition to the Great Southland, published in Alphatian Imperial Naval Journal, Sundsvall, AY 2004. The interested reader may read the fascinating story of these events.
With the discovery of Bellissaria we want to finish the description of the early years. We hope that we have brought more clearness into those exciting years and that you, dear reader, have enjoyed reading this article.