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Age of Chivalry

A period of the Aelyrian Empire's history.
Further Reading: A Primer to the History of the Aelyrian Empire, Historia

Contents


[top]The Pacification of Enamoria

Freed from the burdens of dealing with aggressors from the north, the Aelyrians embarked on a relatively simple conquest of the Kingdom of Daltina, accomplished with a lightning-precise invasion of 60,000 troops to suppress the Royal Army and co-opting the nobility of Duke Arctyl of Arconis, the largest duchy and claimant to the throne of Daltina. By manipulating Arctyl's ambitions, King Constantine promised to place him on the Daltinan throne and initiated a two-pronged assault on the city of Daltina; sieging the city for three years, and staging a threatening force on the Medonian border to discourage reinforcements from Daltina's long-time rival. King Constantine had Arctyl executed in the midst of the siege, eliminating a potential threat, and awarding legionnaires with titles to the Daltinan lands in a prolonged period known as the Daltinan Occupation.

Though Medonia would later be occupied without a single drop of blood in a complicated annexation of its throne, King Constantine soon became preoccupied with the Duchess Candace, a woman who in 9189 earned her position by overseeing the reconstruction of the war-torn Daltinan lands. Benefiting from the meritocracy of the Feudocratic Compact, Duchess Candace soon moved to Daltina and initiated a re-education program that capitalized on magic and spellcraft. It occurred to King Constantine that magic, when used for the purposes of conquest in the capacity of warfare, could produce devastating results, and so, he had Candace appointed onto his new Royal Court as a mage. The expansion of the Aelyrian intellectual class and educational institutions across the now-thriving and immense kingdom is well documented elsewhere, but what is less known is that Candace oversaw the introduction of magic and technologies in the Aelyrian Legions and continued in this tradition well into her reign as Queen when she and the king wed.

The horsemen of Daltina brought a wealth of traditional cavalry knowledge into the Aelyrian military. The most significant of these was the stirrup, enabling standing in the saddle to allow the knight to create shock attacks without falling. The growing popularity of the lance among knights and nobles in Aelyria led to the widespread proliferation of this weapon, which enabled a shock delivery system. The candle on the back of the saddle kept knights on their saddles, thereby allowing them to deliver extremely powerful attacks. After the charge, knights would then progress their attack to combat by sword.

Queen Candace also was able to introduce the now-prominent Enamorian Horse, which had been bred on farms using the three-rotation system of farming, which had allowed for greater diversification of planting and harvesting. This agricultural technique soon became the basis for feudocratic farming throughout the Aelyrian Kingdom. Yet, Candace's greatest contribution to Aelyrian military science can perhaps be seen in the merging of magic with warfare. The Academy of Magic Sciences, which she founded in Aelyria Prime, trained an elite unit of spellcasters specializing in destructive elemental power. This early magical artillery provided the basis for overcoming the stalemate which emerged in the siege of castles and cities.

[top]Castles and Sieges

The Aelyrian Kingdom bore witness to the emergence of castles, which had become the basis of land control through stronghold-driven administrations. They were a favorite among the new, less urban nobility that had emerged out of Barbari and Daltina campaigns. Castles were born of a symbolic dream of this new aristocracy to join the ranks of the elder houses of nobility that had helped found the Aelyrian Kingdom; the source of prestige, the castles often contained the family crests, emblems and legionary standards of the nobles who ruled over them. White-washed, concentric with a double-ringed defense, the better castles had round towers that enabled archers to strike at a full 360 degrees. Soon, every major city was being protected by a fortress, and smaller military castles that failed to provide adequate protection against encroaching armies were soon proven to be the failures that they were.


The Arkdün Siege
The Siege of [wiki]Arkdün[/wolo\ in 9235 provides perhaps the best example of this harsh new reality for enemies of the Aelyrian Kingdom. Shortly before King Constantine uncovered an adulterous affair between Queen Candace and Antediluvian, leader of the Barbari, he had executed a masterful siege of the Barbari capital city, effectively wiping them out once and for all. The huntress-queen Glavia sat inside the walls of stone, and had placed archers on the towers to send projectile weaponry against the Legions. However, legionnaires were effectively trained to protect themselves against arrows. A fresh regiment of knights charged with Constantine's III. LEGION, while the mage-artillery demolished the side-walls. This heightened degree of coordination was only made possible by advanced communication through the use of musical instruments. Elfish horns ordered advances and manuvers while drums and flutes set the pace of marches. After all was said and done, Arkdün was sacked, Glavia's forces slaughtered, and Glavia herself executed.

[top]Aeric Switches Sides

Perhaps the most notorious and controversial military decision by King Constantine was motivated by emotional rage; when he had learned that his wife, Candace, had betrayed him and was engaged in an affair with Antediluvian, who had previously fled Arkdün, the Aelyrian King pardoned Aeric and asked Aeric to lead one of the legions against Aelyria Prime to capture his wife and "hold a woman accountable to the same laws of men". Some historians suggest that perhaps Aeric had previously turned against Glavia and Arkdün, but there is no such evidence and this claim cheapens Constantine's rather historic siege of the Barbari capital. With no significant military forces choosing to side with Candace, the Aelyrian people themselves had risen up against her and assisted in Constantine's capture of his own eternal city. Antediluvian was promptly executed, and Candace met a similar fate. Aeric spent out several decades living a lifestyle of womanizing in Aelyria Prime, where he was honored and respected for his accomplishments against the Aelyrian Legions. He was assassinated under mysterious circumstances, though, many believe that the Aelyrian Government abhorred a reminder of its failure.

[top]Imperial Ambitions

After the bloodless annexation of the Kingdom of Medonia (cf. Talia Songbrooke, Verse 7), the Aelyrian Kingdom became unwieldy. The terroritorial system of administration imbued in the Feudocratic Compact (later termed as "Confederatism" by some political observers) became inefficient for unifying the disparate regions of the realm. When Grand Duchess Michelle of Starkville befriended King Constantine, the two feverishly went to build a new nation. The Feudal Reforms of 9247 irrevocably altered the Feudocratic Compact by mandating a specific structure that houses of nobility and fiefdoms would have to follow. Each house would have to be unified under an administrative hierarchy specifically designed to make it easier for the Royal Court to raise Aelyrian Legions.

- Duke or Duchess, Ducal Leadership over the House
- Marquis or Marquessa, Marquisate, Crown-sanctioned advisor/observer
- Baron or Baroness, Baronial leadership over all castles and rural areas.
- Count or Countess, County supervision over all urban areas.
- Earl, First Knight of the House, raises the legions.

[top]Credit

Kaelon


Created by Nimh, July 15, 2015 at 10:59 PM
Last edited by Nimh, July 17, 2015 at 10:26 AM
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