Third Rurikid Uprising
The Third Rurikid Uprising (High Imperial: Tertia Ruricus Rebellio), from 1556 to 1558, was the third and last large revolt of the native Avarites against the Holy Orenian Empire, ending with the destruction of the main Avarite city of Seahelm and the exile of the majority of the natives. The war resulted from the unwillingness of Emperor John II to grant the conquered island fully to the native population and henceforth autonomy from direct Imperial rule.
The island of Avar was conquered in the Eighteen Years' War by the Empire from the Grand Kingdom of Urguan. The Empire was originally supported by the natives led by the chieftain Sven Ruric, who despised dwarven rule over the lands. After the death of John I, Sven's cousin and Urguanite supporter Beo Ruric launched an unsuccessful rebellion in order to seize the island as an independent realm. However, with lack of Urguanite support and the reinforcing Imperial forces led by Henry Rothesay in support of Sven, Beo's host was destroyed at the Battle of Sunholt and Beo himself slain in the field.
Under John II's rule, the island was split into three administrative areas- Sunholt, stewarded by the knight Ser Acker under Adrian Rothesay; Ostavar, which was given to Lord Henry Rothesay as Count of Estavar; and finally Seahelm, ruled by the native population under newly instated Lord Sven Ruric and his son, Thomas Ruric. Tensions grew between the newly arriving Imperial settlers and the native population. Settlers saw the Avarites as barbarians, and rumors grew of the Ruric's suspected paganism. The natives resented the imposed centralized government and saw the colonization of Avar by Imperial settlers as wrongful and illegal.
It reached the breaking point when Thomas Ruric, with command of his father's retinue, arrived in Felsen to demand John II deliver the title Duke of Avar to his father and recognize Avarite autonomy. The Emperor refused, which led to Thomas leaving the city in anger. The Avarites then expelled all Imperial representatives from their city of Seahelm, which led to the Empire declaring a full state of war between itself and the natives.
Course of the War
In the beginning of the war, Sven Ruric quickly seized Seahelm from any Imperial control and its outlying regions, expelling or killing the majority of any Imperial citizenry that did not flee to the western side of the island. Avarites would come to hold around half of Avar completely under their control (the eastern half), with the remaining western half under the control of the General Henry Rothesay. Despite his ability to maintain a successful defense against the native marauders, he was unable to push or reclaim any of the former. Till Imperial landing upon Avar in 1557, the Avarites pushed up to Sunholt, however unable to successfully siege the castle.
Thomas Ruric, son of Sven, contributed a successful pirating ploy against the Empire, raiding the Istrian shore down to the Erochland marshes. The construction of the Avarite flagship Quadrinaros was completed by order of Thomas, the largest warship ever constructed in the modern period.
The Empire itself was slow to rally its forces. Original rivalry between Alexander, Duke of Courland and John, Duke of Carnatia led to conflict as who would lead the Imperial expedition to Avar. Alexander was chosen much to John's and his faction's dismay. With Felsen actively blockaded by Thomas, the Imperial Fleet amassed at the Imperial City of Riga. Meanwhile, Thomas had amassed the majority of all Avarite and allied ships, hoping to make one major push into Felsen and capture the capital before the Empire gathered its strength.
The Imperial Fleet launched at early summer from the City of Riga. Thomas was unable to gather his fleet in time, having strung his naval forces too thinly to quickly reform his fleet. The two enemy fleets eventually met at Dogger Bay, the bay outlooking the City of Felsen, which led to the Battle of Dogger Bay. Using the number advantage compared to the Avarites and the speed of the Orenian vessels compared to the lumbering Avarite ships, the fleet was surrounded. The pinnacle of the battle was fought upon the dead whale carcass laying before the Quadinaros and the Orenian flagship HIM Princess Philippa. The Avarites forces were defeated, and the Quadinaros was destroyed.
The Imperial forces landed upon Avar in late 1557. Sven abandoned his campaign in Sunholt and amassed all his forces within his city. With the majority of his army dead or missing, however, after the disastrous Battle of Dogger Bay, Sven resorted to salting and burning the outlying regions of Seahelm, hoping to hinder the Imperial advance. In the spring of 1558, the Imperial Army made a daring assault upon Seahelm in the Sack of Seahelm, which led to a decisive Imperial victory. Seahelm was captured and ransacked. Sven escaped with the remainder of his armies and fled to the southern mainland. John II ordered not to pursue.
With Avar now fully under Imperial control, the Third Rurikid Uprising officially ended. However, majority of the Avarites which survived the war joined the forces of the anti-Orenian Dunamis mercenaries to the south, continuing to harass and pillage Orenian caravans and villages.