Arangothian Civil War
During the Year of 483, Drache came under siege by the magma wyrm Drogyoldiiv, which lasted for over two years until the wyrm was slain by adventurers in Drache, while assistance from the Crownlands itself was completely absent. During the same year Drogyoldiiv was finally slain, in the spring of 486, the Great Shadow, a massive shadow dragon seized control of the Arangothian province of Ruthmarna and kidnapped the Sithire of Transdariana, Marcion Aldenbar. These two events served as a catalyst for the Arangothian Civil War instigated by proclamation of the Interim Council of Drache.
King of Arangoth Arlok ul-Dorn responded to this proclamation by ordering the Northern Royal Expedition, a force of 5000, to march south to Transdariania, to Drache itself, and subjugate what it deemed traitors to the Crown and bring the southern territories back under its control. As the expedition force traveled south in the late fall of the year of 486, it intended to move through the Ruthmarnan borders with the intention of arriving at Drache's doorstep before winter set in. However, the Crown had underestimated the control the Great Shadow was exerting over the denizens of Ruthmarna, including its military resources, which it set to task harrying the expedition as it marched south. These setbacks resulted in the forced encampment of the expedition within Ruthmarna's southern mountain passes where its regional borders abutted Transdariania.
The winter of 486 was harsh, but the expedition force was reasonably well equipped and prepared to hunkered down until the weather warmed and they could continue their march south. Transdariania found itself at a crossroads, lacking a formal army due to numbers of its former nobility siding with the Crownlands. It found itself relying upon Asnerith Dreth and The Bloody Fifth as their military backbone to keep the region peaceful. Its remaining forces consisted of the The Drache Irregulars, a hodge podge mix of adventurers and conscripted soldiers across the south, busy rooting out loyalists and putting down traitorous denizens turned bandits attempting to take advantage of the Civil War's chaos. It was at this point that Julius ul-Arduin Malbraxa, a member of Drache's Interim Council, made a backroom deal with a lich named Huixoion ul-Dondys Runutire in an attempt to halt the northern expedition in its tracks and keep it from ever reaching the heart of Transdariania, Drache.
Realizing that the Interim Council, in its time of need, would rely upon Huixoion ul-Dondys Runutire's connections and resources, as he himself was no stranger to the manipulation of Drache's internal affairs, had already been taking steps that would be needed to be carried out to accomplish this task. While the Dark Baron mustered the forces of Ruthmarnan and Orcish mercenaries, along with members of his own personal forces, he had the forethought to contract the, at the time newly minted by the Interim Council, Floxod Uzzo Salksilek. The Floxod had been contracted to station himself, along with his amassed horde of oozes, at the northern pass, tasked with ambushing and hunting down Northern Expedition scouts and foraging parties, as well as decimating the local ecosystem to cut off the force's ability to scavenge and resupply during the winter months. During this time, on orders by Runutire, several nearby isolated villages were razed by the demi-liches personal forces, further curtailing the expedition force's ability to procure rations and resources that would soon be in dwindling supply. Runutire, utilizing his dark magicks, set about enshrouding the northern pass in a bitter and increasingly harsh winter conditions, causing temperatures to plummet further and rations to turn foul. Soon the well equipped expedition force found itself in the grip of one of the harshest winters on record in the isolated region, and before long they were forced to slaughter their pack animals just to stave off starvation.
By the time Runutire had amassed his accumulated and contracted forces and moved them north, the expedition force was in dire straits, heavily weakened and demoralized by the terrible conditions and lack of supplies. By the time the combined forces of Ruthmarnan mercenaries, Orcish mercenaries, Runutire's personal forces and Floxod Uzzo's horde of oozes descended upon the Royal Expedition Force in a surprise night time assault, what transpired was less of a battle and more of a slaughter. During the battle, due to the distinct advantage the southern forces had on their enemies, the Ruthmarnan mercenaries, bearing both grudges of their own and under orders from Runutire, turned on the Orcish mercenaries, catching them off guard and slaughtering them indiscriminately along with the northern forces, forever silencing them and reducing the number of living that witnessed the carnage of the slaughter. With the deeds done, Floxod Uzzo and his horde were tasked with cleaning up, devouring the thousands of corpses left behind and claiming the spoils of war availed to them from the fallen expedition force, not a single grave of the fallen to be found in its wake. Due to the lack of Northern survivors, what few witnesses remained alive from the Southern forces that could recount the actuality of the battle were few in number, and those willing to speak of these details, non-existent.
The Battle of the Northern Pass became the decisive turning point in the Arangothian Civil War. With the Crownlands unable to amass another expedition force to march south and reclaim its territories, mostly due to its decentralized nature and the majority of its potential troops consisting of the remaining duchies formerly under its control, further taxed by the loss of Asnerith Dreth and The Bloody Fifth under his command who had sided with the south, the Crownlands were forced into peace talks and concessions, fearing reprisal from the territories that had turned against it.
In the Year 487, Arangoth returned to a confederacy of Grand Duchies as it had been previously, Transdariania being amongst one of the seven seperate Sithrangel that took form in the wake of the Crownlands defeat. The other six duchies to be formed in the wake of the Crownlands defeat are Leptatarna, Sresar Vale, Elgaria, Ruthmarna, Arania and Minkbrantha. The former King Arlok and his family were forced to retire to their ancestral lands in Leptatarna, under the custody of his son, Emereth ul-Arlok Tagran, while Arduin ul-Marcion Tagran Aldenbar ascended to the title and holdings of Sithire of Tagrana.
And thus, the Arangothian Civil War entered the tomes of history, and as with most tales of yore, it is a history written by the victors.
The Origins of the Kingdom of Arangoth