Tales of the Reincarnated Lord - Chapter 472
On the 25th day of the 4th month, Year 1787, Frederika was occupied by House Norton, whose Tigersoar legion immediately moved against Bodolger. Firmrock moved on Kanbona at the end of the month.
Kanbona was a strategic location in the empire, being a transportation hub that neighbored Bodolger, the two southwestern provinces, the northwestern area, and the province of Malivia. The western edge of Cloudsnap Mountain Range and Morrison River made it a crucial location easy to defend and hard to attack. Whoever controlled Kanbona, controlled all the surrounding provinces.
Before First Prince Redlis saw his kingdom destroyed, Auguslo forced him to sign away the two southwestern provinces. The prince immediately started his preparations despite the treating including a five-year non-aggression pact. Be built numerous forts all over the province, manned by over 70 thousand men. Kanbona was turned into a solid wall just as impassable and even more dangerous than the mountain range it bordered.
Auguslo slammed an army of 300 thousand against it but couldn't break through. The only strategy he could come up with would cost him two-thirds of his army and he wasn't willing to break his back that way. His enemies would immediately bring up their reinforcements and drive him back to his capital. He might even lose everything.
The Prince had made sure the men would never dare surrender by putting all their families in Frederika. If they failed to defend the province, their families would be next in line for the pillage. He'd played his cards well, but nothing unfolded like he wanted. Rather than fight through Kanbona and Bodolger, Auguslo had pushed through Egret Swamp in exchange for offering up 20 thousand bodies, crossed Cloudsnap Mountains and Greatsnow Mountain for another 10 thousand, and attacked Frederika directly. The first prince vanished on that day and no one had heard from him since.
Fortunately for the military families, Kanbona surrendered without a fight. In the end the fortifications didn't see a single day's fighting. With the prince vanished, his kingdom crumbled and was quickly forgotten. Auguslo let his victory go to his head and got himself wiped out as well. He, too, vanished without a trace, though he did eventually make his appearance again.
The 70 thousand men in Kanbona's army had been put into the new army sent to Anderwoff, which left Kanbona's defences unmanned. Most of the local settlements didn't have the men to man the forts properly. At best they could put a few old men in them.
Wessia took the province easily and cut Auguslo off from his kingdom. And were the ones to wipe his army off the map in the end.
Auguslo escaped the city with a few thousand guards and moved to a secluded castle in the depths of Cloudsnap. There he ran into the first prince and his son. The two died in the ensuing battle, but wiped most of Auguslo's remaining forces out in the process. Unable to take back his now-stolen thrown, the ex-king was forced to turn to House Norton for aid, who put him back on the throne for a price.
Wessia was enfeoffed Kanbona, Bodolger, and Anderwoff. Queen Carey also ceded most of Hanstmost in the peace treaty, which was given to Lormo. The two Southwestern provinces were turned into the Union's puppet state, the Allied Duchies of Britt. Together, Lormo and Britt became good buffers between the Union and Andinaq.
Wessia thought they would never hear anything from Auguslo again. They were quite surprised to hear of him retaking his throne with House Norton's help, given the two's notorious cold feud. They even wiped out the Allied Duchies of Britt and retook the two southwestern provinces before turning their forces towards Lormo.
Duke Zitram didn't dare to take them on head-on, so he retreated to the northwestern area, allowing House Norton to take it back for the king easily. Auguslo reinstated himself as king and conquered the two southwestern province and Hanstmost. It was horrible news for Wessia; it meant the peace treaty they signed with Queen Carey was now void. Truthfully, though, the two nations never stopped considering each other enemies.
To prevent Auguslo from entering Kanbona and cut Bodolger off from the Union, Wessia provided immense support to the Union's nobles in the province. As expected of one of the big seven guilds of the Union, they not only gained the Union nobles' support, but also constructed a rather cohesive defensive force. They also made good use of the forts the king left behind.
Auguslo, to the opposite, was all bark and no bite. While he appeared rather audacious, with his claims of restoring the empire, he forbade Whitelion from approaching the border or making any ruckus near it. They couldn't even patrol near it. The king knew he was just a paper tiger after his ascension. While he looked impressive, he didn't have any power. Fortunately, his enemies were completely terrified by House Norton. The house had a long list of impressive exploits. They destroyed Madras, swept the whole of the kingdom, levelled the Allied Duchies of Britt, and even defeated one of the old empire's war gods and the four duchies. Together with their alliance they had become the only pillar keeping the Union from simply stomping Auguslo into the ground and wiping out the last remnants of the empire for good.
'The fox basks in the shadow of the tiger'. How Auguslo loathed this saying. Wessia knew nothing of the true relationship between him and the alliance. They didn't know he was the smallest fox in the shadow of the biggest tiger. He needed to reorganize, so it suited him to keep his relationship with Lorist obscure. He could have attacked when the Union moved on the Coalition, but he knew Wessia would expect just that, so he sat tight.
He made his move only a year into the conflict, and not against the Union, but against the duchies. The move convinced Wessia that he didn't dare to attack the Union and lowered their guard. The Union had replaced the Krissen Empire as the continent's superpower, after all. It appeared Auguslo had accepted this reversal and had, begrudgingly as it might be, accepted that he would not get back any land taken by the Union.
Andinaq played up this presumption by not moving on Anderwoff when he could have after taking over the duchies. He made every effort possible to avoid upsetting the Union. His decision to give Handra and Shabaj the lands bordering Wessia was also to assuage the Union's suspicions by not having any bordering land directly under his control.
The Union's occupation on the other side of their territory also helped to hasten their forgetfulness. They were quick to accept that Auguslo had no more ambition because it was what they wanted to believe. That they now had a swordsaint certainly made it a lot easier to think that Auguslo no longer had the guts to go against them.
Unfortunately they all underestimated how determined -- or stupid -- Auguslo could be and fell for his ploy completely. As a result the Union lost one of its strongest guilds and almost a sixth of its territory. And, this was only the beginning. Not everything was down purely to surprise however, Auguslo had to admit that Lorist's forces were even more formidable than he had imagined.
They took Anderwoff in a matter of days and had Frederika within a month. Wessia was completely wiped out with the city's fall and they had already taken Kanbona and Bodolger as well. When the union learned of this, they, as well as everyone else on the continent, collapsed in shock. This wasn't just a few slaps to the Union's face, this was stamping their face into dogshite!
They had just surpassed even the Krissen Empire at its peak and now they were already a sixth smaller? Even what was left of the Coalition began to drag on the negotiations. They were clearly trying their luck and hoping the Union would be forced to divert their attention, and forces, away from them, or, even better, lose the war.
Auguslo had to give it to the Union, however, they were nothing if not decisive. They immediately recalled all their armies out in the field, and called up every free man, soldier, and mercenary in their lands. Within a few weeks a hundred thousand men were barreling towards the new front. Within a month they crossed the border into Kanbona. Unfortunately for them, they ran into Tigersoar.
Rumor was that Loze, one of Lorist's subordinates was so happy he couldn't shut up for days! Apparently he didn't see the 100 thousand men as a threat at all. It was better to describe them as juicy pieces of meat just waiting to be roasted. The two armies clashed in a single, massive battle, which Tigersoar won, obviously. Auguslo knew of at least 20 thousand dead and 60 thousand captured. No more than eight thousand had escaped.
Tigersoar immediately moved into Malivia and it fell within a fortnight. Shocking the Union a second time in as many months.
Lorist left Frederika for Kanbona on the 23rd of the 6th to join Auguslo, the dukes, and the various other minor nobles accompanying the king on his campaign. He couldn't take any of them seriously. Potterfang had informed him on the way that, even as he swept through a sixth of the Union, the dukes were still dallying in their lands, they had yet to take a single step over the border.
Auguslo at least tried to do something. He pushed into Zitram with Blizzardblitz and caught the duke off-guard. He failed to capture him, however, and had yet to make any other gains. He lost a lot of men to take the duke's castle, only to watch him escape and hold up in the next one over. He had finally, at least, cornered the duke and was about to attack him now that the rainy season had ended, but lost the duke again. The old man fashioned a number of simple boats from the wood in the castle and rowed across the river running along one side of the castle one night. When Auguslo breached the castle gate, he found the inside completely deserted.
On the 11th day of the 7th month of Year 1787, Auguslo I of the Andinaq kingdom conquered the province of Kanbona with an army a million strong. From the fringes of the Union's province, Armenia, to Malivia, His camps could be seen from the fringes of Armenia to Malivia, their flags finally flapping over land lost to the empire for nearly 50 years. The Union panicked as the continent was thrown back a century to when the Krissen Empire invaded Falik Plains. Only, this time, they did not have any of the allies they had the last time. Strong as they may be now, they now had to face an enemy which -- thanks to House Norton -- was likely even stronger than the one they faced all those years ago.