|The Treeblood Wars|
Following almost a century of hostility with the eastern nations of Avalot and the Pinelands, the Pale Reach turned to violence in 534 AU with an attempt to take the city of Blackport under the claim that they needed the city to survive. This resulted in more than a few deaths as the Landsmen army was forced to pull back to Knotook. Word was quickly sent to Avalot and the current Dacre in power, King Vaniel, was outraged at the broken peace talks they had attempted back in 526 AU. For years, both eastern nations spoke out against the Pale Reach, demanding that they return the city to the Pinelands, then ruled by Queen Victoria Drago.
Sensing inevitable war, King Horden Ernest decided to make the first move and weaken his opponents. In the summer of 540 AU, under the guise of a masquerade party, Horden ordered Pale Reach assassins to murder every single member of the Dacre family in Avo. Through bribery and careful planning, he succeeded in wiping out the entire family, including King Vaniel. The only surviving members of the Dacre lineage were an uncle to the King, Thal Dacre, and his son infant son, Leon Dacre. The attack struck Avo hard and caused a complete shut down of the government for a few months, exactly as what Horden hoped. In the winter of 541 AU, when the crops of the Pinelands ceased to grow, Horden committed nearly all of his forces to invading the Pinelands straight for the capital city of Knotook.
Blood in the Trees Edit
While Avalot was busy reorganizing itself, with Thal Dacre vouching against the many nobles in Avo for his rightful position as king, Queen Victoria was forced to combat the outnumbering Landsmen herself. With winter upon them and the farmlands yielding no food, the Queen did the only she could and evacuated Knotook. Known for its navy, the Landsmen made from their ships and headed for the Greenline to wait out the winter while Horden burned Knotook behind them. However, Horden quickly discovered that while he could burn Knotook, he could not succeed in bringing down the tree. Meanwhile, the Landsmen gathered their forces in Holiday, preparing to form a counterattack against the Reach's army.
While the Queen was gathering her army and Horden was busy pillaging the woodlands, facing hit-and-run tactics from the locals loyal to the Queen, Avalot was in the middle of a reform. After spending years gathering allies, including gaining the support of Queen Victoria, Thal Dacre continued to make his case as the rightful heir to the throne. However, the opposing nobility, especially those who had been involved in the assassinations years ago, did not want to surrender total control over Avalot to a Dacre again. So, in 548 AU, Thal proposed a truce in the form of a parliament that would help oversee the decisions made by the King. Thus the Court of Nobles came into existence, and Thal was elected as the new King of Avalot. His first order of business was to assemble an army to join Queen Victoria in cleansing the Pinelands of Horden's forces.
Queen Victoria sent instructions to all her subjects to burn any ships so that the new combined army of Avalot and the Pinelands could sent out with their task. Their target was Blackport, which they easily sacked with the might of the Pineland's armada and Avalot troops marching in by land. With Blackport claimed, Horden found that his only means of escape from the Pinelands was to make for the Sea of Sands. Fortunately, Horden had planned for such a reversal of fortune and had proven to strike a deal with the Sandmen. They attacked Blackport and engaged the Avalotian army, allowing Horden and his forces to slip past unopposed.
Blood in the Sands Edit
Attacking from behind and with the help of the Sandmen, Horden was able to claim Fort Raven for himself and hold the line against the larger army of Avalot and the Pinelands. The local Sandmen had been paid off by Horden and not only helped with his army but had claimed several of the neighboring fortresses for themselves. Thus began the long sieges into the desert, with Queen Victoria and King Thal both at the forefront of battle.
From the years 549 AU to 551 AU, Avalot and the Pinelands continued to lay siege to the fortresses only to be continuously attacked by bandits in the evenings. Eventually, supplies began to run out on both sides when King Thal constructed a new plan of attack. By focusing their attention on destroying the few crops of the desert, the eastern army was able to weaken the forces of the Sandmen enough that they were forced to negotiate. The Federation at the time was led by Augustus Thorn, who met with King Thal to parley for his people's survival. While Queen Victoria wanted to see Thorn and his ilk punished for the deaths they caused, King Thal was not about to lose a potential ally in what had already been a long war. A deal with struck and Horden was betrayed by the Sandsmen, who were instrumental in routing him from Fort Raven, back to the outer fortresses.
Horden was bleeding men from this turn of events and quickly found himself losing the war under the combined might of the three factions. By 552 AU, they had pushed the Reachman all the way back to their homelands and weren't stopping until they reached the capital, Thunderfoot Hold. The Pale Reach had been laid to waste from the campaign, with Horden attempting to halt the advance in one final battle. The Battle of the Warpath, resulted in the death of 10,000 men including King Horden. Horden's son, Finn Ernest, quickly surrendered after his father's defeat.
The damage done to the Pale Reach was so destructive combined with the demand in debt from the Pinelands, that King Finn was actually forced to sell the furniture of Skyreach Citadel. Finn also had to deal with a surplus of bandits, whom had banded together in the aftermath of the war with the many highwaymen in the Reach, instead taking to living in the Golden Acre to poach off travelers. Queen Victoria began to rebuild Knotook, something she would never see the completion of considering she died in 570 AU. Augustus Thorn took to rebuilding the Sands and worked to create a strong federation among the fortress-cities that would last into the modern day. King Thal returned to Avo and disbanded the Court of Nobles for a time, now that peace had been achieved. The Court would soon resume session with the coming Westward invasion.