Shipbreaker War

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Shipbreaker War
Impacted partiesThe Nazedha Empire, Sapience.
Began364 MA
Ended369 MA
Main Help File(HELP NAZEDHA)

An Overview of the Shipbreaker War

The Shipbreaker War is the name used to describe the second Nazetu (and first Nazedha) invasion against the continent of Sapience that began in Midsummer of the year 364 MA and ended in the year 369 MA. The crux of the conflict involved skirmishes between Nazedha elite and Aetolian warriors, the former shielded by the power of Chaos and the latter wielding Divinely-empowered reliquaries.

The Initial Stages

Emperor Baelak Shipbreaker, having united the five Nazetu Tribes of the western seas under the banner of the Nazedha Empire, assembled a great fleet combining the strongest of the five Tribes and sailed east to the continent of Sapience. Upon landing, he went to each of the cities at that time - in Enorian, Duiran, and Spinesreach, he gave an offer of unconditional surrender, which representatives of the respective cities refused in each case. However, an alliance was established between the Nazedha and Bloodloch, with the two empires fighting alongside one another to battle the forces of Duiran and Enorian.

In each case, the Emperor and his three Sages - Ghrudka, Tratmo, and Jakhi - warned that a sea of blood would be spilled in order to feed and awaken their strange and mysterious deity, Lanu Du, and that this would be done in accord with their religious dogma and a long-extant prophecy.

The Capture of Dun

One of the first casualties of the Shipbreaker War was the Barony of Dun. Baelak's forces moved to occupy Dun Fortress, executing the Ogre Baron Vukub Ysin'zhu and mounting his head on a pike outside his own stronghold. The drawbridge drawn up and the Nazedha armed with strange, chaotic crossbow bolts beyond the means of the Aetolians to retaliate against, breaching the Fortress seemed a relative impossibility. During this time, it became clear that the Nazedha were capable of teleportation - able to traverse between their own city and the mainland with relative ease.

At this time, the indigenous populations of Orcs and Ogres were taken by the Nazedha as slave labor. It would not be until later in the war that the Aetolians would retake Dun through use of catapults constructed by Rhulin, the dwarven architect - even then, however, the Fortress was abandoned, with the Emperor making his move on the ruins of Ashtan to construct what would become Huanazedha. The sole Nazedha casualty of the recapture was Jakhi, one of the three great Sages, from whom the Aetolians would recover a book containing the Revelation of Lanu Du.

A foothold established, the Nazedha grew bolder, expanding their reach along the entire western coast. During this time, a number of successful skirmishes were accomplished against the Light by Nazedha forces and Bloodloch's forces in tandem. It was at this time noted that during the rage of combat, the Nazedha would sometimes forget who fought alongside them; the Sages in particular would often set their Chaos beasts upon Bloodloch warriors.

Fighting the Nazedha

The main difficulty that prevented the Nazedha from being fought akin to more normal foes was an inability to afflict them - they wore Chaos shields that were simply too powerful, and required breaching in order to deal any amount of damage. Compounding this difficulty was the fact that many Nazedha fought like the mainlanders; employing a variety of skills, using various curatives, and drinking elixirs to forestall death. A clear answer to the question of how to fight them was needed.

A Grook peddler and a Nazetu priest from Ollin answered this call; acting on divine inspiration, they crafted the weapons known as reliquaries, vessels capable of storing Divine essence and weaponizing it in a form particular to the teachings, the personality, and the ways of the God which it reflected. Reliquaries were capable of drawing on the ambient power from any shrine. Although each reliquary could only contain so much, they provided a valuable tool for hindering the Nazedha; this would be crucial in the skirmishes to come.

Another way to battle the Nazedha came in the form of a long-time tool for Chaos entities: the orb and prism sigils. Thrown at a Nazedha warrior, these would disrupt a chaos shield. Enough of them would destroy the shield temporarily, allowing for damage to be done. However, without hindrance, a Nazedha could simply raise their shield again, or cure themselves of the damage; so it was that a mixture of reliquaries and sigils were needed to combat the threat, and though at first the Aetolians did not fight well, they grew in skill. One Aetolian warrior in particular, Serrice, earned the admiration, respect, and fear of the Nazedha through her canny understanding of their tactics.

Three sorts of elite Nazedha were distinguished during this time: Enforcers, Blackguards, and Sages. The Enforcers were brutes, wielding chains and bludgeoning foes into submission while defending the Sages. The Blackguards employed stealth, including a kind of phase and ambush, suppressing those that used reliquaries. Finally, the Sages were the priests and healers of the Nazedha armies, calling upon vicious Chaos beasts and using their skill with magic to fight the droves of warriors that opposed them.

Betrayal and Conquest

The Nazedha alliance with Bloodloch was doomed from the outset; as a race and as a culture, the islanders were simply too xenophobic, too contemptuous of any race not their own, and at last the Emperor ended all pretense of unity and declared outright war against Bloodloch.

Nazedha filled the Mhojave Desert, and the Emperor proved his leadership by mounting a full-scale assault against the subterranean city. Although Bloodloch was ultimately able to repel the threat, they lost many of their guards as well as control of the Mhojave Desert - from that point on until the end of the war, the Nazedha would hold it in spite of the best efforts of Bloodloch's military might. The slaves taken from Bloodloch at that time would be ultimately responsible for spreading the concepts of undeath and vampirism through the Nazedha Empire, which had until that point been an exclusively living society.

Cutting eastward, through the hills, and moving through Jaru, the Nazedha made a bold strike for Enorian next; their prophecies held that the Great Sparks must be extinguished to bring about Lanu Du's awakening, and the Emperor was willing to go to great lengths to see this done. As with Bloodloch, the Nazedha were ultimately repelled, but not before they breached the city, killing soldiers and innumerable guards and taking many native Enorianites as slaves.

During this time, the Emperor, with the help of his new mainland slaves, sailed around the southern edge of the continent and eastward, to Delve. Knowing full well that he and any other Nazetu would be cleansed of Chakrasul's essence if they crossed onto the continent of Albedos, he ordered the Orcs and Ogres sent instead. The result of this risky operation was the successful theft of a pylon, much like the ones in the rest of the major Aetolian cities. Once the pylon was installed in Nazedha, a brief disturbance resonated through the leylines. Spinesreach learned, before any other city, what the cause must be, but over time the Empire's new advantage became clear, reinforced doubly by the fact that they alone had the ability to harvest foci that manifested at sea.

The Aalen Bloom

No one knows quite how it happened; maybe some Nazedha tasted the purple sludge, perhaps it was freak happenstance, or perhaps it was Artifice - but one way or another, the Aalen Bloom took root among the invaders, and was soon an epidemic. The afflicted minority was consigned to Huanazedha, a city built upon the sunken ruins of Ashtan as a show of Nazedha supremacy. The walls sealed, and the gates shut, the disease raged within, and the Emperor and his diminished forces made a retreat back to the continent. It is highly possible that the Aalen Bloom prevented the Emperor's eventual victory, although it cannot ever be said for certain how the war would have ended had the contagion not struck.

The Emperor went to negotiate peace with the warriors of Aetolia, promising many concessions that failed to manifest following his agreement; during these negotiations, his own untenable position became clear, and he as much as admitted that open rebellion had broken out in his homeland after his failure to deliver on his promise. Giving his cloak to Lin, he departed for the islands in the west.

The Repercussions

As a result of the invasion, Nazedha culture became influenced by many continental ideas, most particularly undeath, vampirism, and the rituals of the Bloodborn. These led to a religious schism within the Cult of Lanu Du, one that broke down upon Tribal lines and severely impacted the Emperor's attempts to re-establish control over his populace. A Grook slave named Rodney, originally captured from Enorian, was instrumental in helping the Nazedha translate scrolls recovered from the ruins of Ashtan, which granted Tribe Urrop the ability to shapeshift into werecrocodiles - which the Nazedha termed 'euscuchia'.

Vampirism, when combined with the practice of Chaos magic on the islands, led to the rise of a new cult: the Kelonari, drawn from the Kalsu words for 'blood lords'. The Kelonari regard Lanu Du and Chakrasul not as distinct entities, but as more primal forces of the world. The Kelonari have been extremely controversial in Nazedha politics, with their native Tribe, Adessim, rallying around them, and the other Tribes being notably less approving.

Emperor Baelak Shipbreaker has encountered a fall in public approval, and a splintering of the Empire; the five Tribes are now grouped into three coalitions, with the Empire still claiming Urmoc and Masit in opposition to Adessim and Karthek, while Urrop plays both sides and attempts to expand its influence and wealth on the mainland through the colony of Huanazedha.

On the mainland, the clearest sign of the Nazedha invasion is the town of Huanazedha, whose walls would remain closed for some time before Tribe Urrop conquered it and opened it to the continent of Sapience. The non-Nazetu slaves within show clear signs of assimilation into Nazedha culture and Nazedha faith, most particularly a strong belief in Lanu Du and the coming of the end times.

Dun is now populated by Nazedha Chaos beasts, and as a result of Nazedha magic worked in the area, the Nazedha Chaos Plane is now accessible anywhere from the valley by one trained to access the normal Chaos Plane. Prince Tolonar now practices Nazedha chaos magic in addition to his own Bloodborn skills, making him a treacherous and highly deadly foe; he remains sole ruler of the valley, although too insane to fully grasp that fact.

The city of Nazedha, moreover, contains a Dark Spire erected by the Sages in praise of Chakrasul, who is considered the Mother of all Nazetu; it is possible that this Dark Spire is in fact the one spoken of in the Revelation.