1876-04-01: Cohorts on the Border
Cohorts on the Border
IC Date: 1 Avril, 1876 IE
Related Information: The Aequorian Civil War

The winter of 1876 was a particularly harsh one in the broad section of the Civilised West known as the Ergonian Range, but even more so in the north. In that area, briefly known as Eosphora and now called Rhone once more, war has been waged for the last year between the one time independent Kingdom of Jasmina al'Mordran and the Kingdom of Aequor. Eosphora subsequently was brought back into the fold of Aequor (hence its reversion to the Rhone name), though under the rebel leadership of Crown Princess Atreis. This situation left the primarily al'Callenta Royalist party on the west bank of the Rhodan river and its tributaries, while Rhone's rebels continued to hold the east bank.

Over the winter, both sides reinforced their positions as much as they were able to. Having had to hoard their harvest due to river blockades preventing trading, Rhone was at least well supplied in food for the siege, and spent their time reinforcing defences and training soldiers. On the other side, the al'Callenta paid for significant amounts of mercenaries, coming especially from the Principality of Alezzo with smaller elements from Navali, Rikton and even some Parthians. The Royalists thus massed significant amounts of soldiers in addition to their already extant Argent Legionnaires and local house troops.

As the colder weather began to abate over the last month, the Royalist party has taken a new tact in terms of strategy. Cohorts have been formed around a core of Royalist knights and their retinues, with most of the body of soldiers being made up of sellswords. While the Royalists haved payed initial wages out of the treasury and especially from seized properpty of attained nobles in Aequor, they have cannily encouraged the cohorts to 'pay themselves'.

The Royalist cohorts immediately sprang into action across the Rhodan river. While less than a month old, they have succeeded in sowing chaos within Rhone. Several minor castles have been stormed, or in some cases surrendered after short sieges. The Royalist cohorts have in some cases held them for their side, and in others ransomed them back to their knights and lords. Sometimes, they have ransomed them to non related lords, or the knights who command them have bought them from their own cohorts.

The lesser lords, knights, and merchants of these areas have also seen a decline in their own security - often taken prisoner and ransomed for exhorbitant money that is then used to fuel the very cohorts that perpetrated these abuses. Often, captured soldiers are ransomed by the Rhone lords from the Royalists, and then retreat back into safe territory to the east, stripping the area of defences. And while this happens, the surrounding countryside is pillaged.

This has obviously caused unrest in Rhone. While the majority of nobles have come around to supporting Crown Princess Atreis's rebels, a few lesser lords have dissented, supported by a peasantry in their area that has no wish to return to the restrictive heirarchy of Aequor that strangled them for so long. The Crown Princess has cannily bought out most of these Lords. Meanwhile, her forces and those of Rhone themselves have ridden down the rebellious peasants. In an ironic twist of fate, on numerous occasions the Royalist and Rhone forces have sworn local truces in order to suppress the peasantry, combining their might in order to grind them into the thawing mud.

Thus far, only some areas of the border between Rhone and the Royalist territories have been affected by the rampaging sides - mostly near Eflada in Rhone's far south, and Kaul in its centre. However, while its unclear as to whether this will be an effective strategy in suppressing the Crown Princess's allies in Rhone, it is succeeding in sowing chaos in the Duchy, and undermining both Atreis's own burgeoning rebellion and the oncemore Archduchess Jasmina's legitimacy as a ruler. There are other indications that mercenaries may eventually take this into their own hands - but for now, they remain under firm control of the Cohorts. It is going to be an ugly spring in Rhone.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License