War:Great Northern War
The Great Northern War, otherwise known as the Northern Campaign in the Kingdom of Courland, was a conflict involving the House of Staunton and Barbanov between early 1603 to late 1604. Hostility brew due to a series of incidents, not least to the past Riga War some 40 years prior, with King Marius formally submitting an ultimatum in 1603 to King Tobias. The latter refused to accept the terms, and conflict ensued.
The conflict began in the Courlandic controlled former Imperial Heartlands, culminating in the Battle of Elba. After, the Courlandic host sieged the House of Vanir stronghold in eastern Haense, with the successful siege leading to the complete capitulation of the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska and the dominance of House of Staunton both in human and world politics.
- Prince Meric Staunton, Lord Ambassador of Courland and nephew to King Tobias, is murdered in the streets of St Karlsburg by a disgruntled Haensetian Privy member after a meeting with King Marius.
- A meeting is held between King Marius and King Tobias at the Cloud Temple, with both parties agreeing to reduce hostilities after the body of Prince Meric is returned to Aleksandria.
- Princess Annabelle of Courland, niece of King Tobias is abducted and held in the dungeons of St Karlsburg after being captured by the Ivanovic's.
- The Duke of Marna, a prominent vassal of the Kingdom of Courland, attempts to negotiate Princess Annabelle‘s release, however, he is beheaded by Hansetian soldiers.
- Princess Annabelle is moved to the Duchy of Carnatia, due to King Marius’ attempts to have her released.
- Incursions into the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska are made by the Courlandic Lord Chancellor, Sven Staunton, with a minor contingent of men. They attack the Kovachev fortress in the Duchy of Carnatia in an attempt to free Princess Annabelle. The attempt fails.
- A covert operation orchestrated by Ser Rotger Von Curon leads to Princess Annabelle’s escape.
- Count Boris var Ruthern is dispatched by Chancellor Lukas to discuss the release of Princess Annabelle and an end to the raiding. He is slain by Ser Demetrios outside of Aleksandria.
- After repeated Courlandic raids in the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, King Marius submits an official ultimatum to King Tobias.
- King Tobias refuses to accept the ultimatum, and swiftly declares war on King Marius and the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska.
- King Marius calls upon their allies in the Kingdom of the Westerlands, who refuse to assist due to their ongoing defense against Mordring, whilst King Tobias receives support from the prominent clan of Frostbeard in the Grand Kingdom of Urguan.
- Courlandic forces land from Asul in the former Imperial Heartlands, with the Hansetic force moving south from Metterden.
- The Hansetic and Courlandic scouts skirmish north-west of the ruins of Johannesburg.
- The two sides meet each other in the Elba Forest, resulting in the Battle of Elba where the Courlandic forces achieve an overwhelmingly decisive victory.
- King Tobias offers Haense peace under crushing terms. The offer is rejected.
- Courlandic generals agree to siege the fortress of Vasililand, rather than the presumed target of Metterden.
- Sven Staunton successfully negotiates military access and transport for the Courlandic forces from the Grand King Bastion Ireheart, in exchange for a promise of territorial gain from the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska.
- Hansetic generals began preparations for the defense of Vasiland, moving their battered forces and fresh recruits to the Vanir fortress.
- The Courlandic host arrives in the Grand Kingdom, and begins their march to Vasiland.
- A naval blockade is put in place in the Eastern Sea, resulting in food shortages in the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. The Haensetian navy retreats to a safe location, whilst the defending land force stockpiles supplies in preparation for a long siege.
- After minor skirmishes along the road, Courlandic forces reach the fortress of Vasiland and begin work on a siege camp.
- Courlandic forces suffer heavy attrition during the winter months, and Tobias’ generals vote for an assault after four months on the crumbling fortress.
- The fortress of Vasiland is taken in three days, with only minor casualties reported for the Courlandic forces.
- After the fall of Vasiland, the lack of defenses both natural and man-made leave the Hansetic interior open to raids and pillaging by Courlandic forces.
- Diplomats between the two warring states begin negotiations, culminating in the complete surrender of the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska and the ceding of the former Barbanov lands to the House of Staunton.
- The House of Barbanov, whilst still claiming their titles, leads the citizens of the Kingdom in a mass exodus to the Kingdom of Mardon, taking refuge under the protection of King Peter.
As a result of the successful campaign, Staunton influence spread further in Tahn, with the titular Kingdoms of Haense and Ruska being adopted by King Tobias of Courland. The city of St Karlsburg was set ablaze, in what Courlanders deemed just revenge for the pillage of Riga in the Riga War. Tobias installed Ivan Ivanovich as warden of the north, and gifted him the lands of the former Kingdom. However he would die childless, and without any immediate family the region was inherited by the Franz Kovachev, named the Grand Duke of Akovia as a vassal of the Kingdom of Courland.
The Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska would only be returned to the House of Barbanov over a decade later, as a result of the Mordskov rebellion and a genuine desire of both heirs of the feuding Kings, King Joseph Staunton and Prince Stephan Barbanov, to put the historic rivalry between the two great Houses of Staunton and Barbanov to rest.