"The winds that sway Lezra today will change the Lezra of tomorrow.
The nations of today will be the empires of our grandchildren.
The fate of the future world lies in our hands.
Let us forget that we are Tyrellians or Catholics. Baltis or Pondels. Let us instead fight as Balticonians.
Let us remember that no matter how different we are, we will never be Austrontans.
We must keep in mind that the things which divide us must not be fought over on the battlefield. Let us instead fight for Lezra.
We may stand alone in this war, but by heroic action on your part, we may drag on the war until help comes.
Let us never despair or give up hope until the Austrontan flag flies over every building and our languages have been lost to time.
As the Austrontan horde approaches ever closer, let us ever be mindful that we fight not only for ourselves and our freedom, but for our children and our grandchildren's freedom. Let us never forget that."
-King Soloko, speaking to an army of soldiers in 1774, just before the Second Battle of The Blackwoods.
King Soloko had it right, this war shapes the world today as no event in history has. This hinge in history requires a deep delving into because of its critical importance to the Lezra of today. But let us begin at the beginning.
In 1755, Emperor Frederick III took the throne of Austronta. The nation had been going through a slump in recent times, and Frederick wished to reattain the glory of the Austrontan Empire. His Von Hessen family had once controlled all of Austronta, Old Utopia, Sasta, and Balticonia, but a decline in the prospects of the family had led to major territorial cessions. Frederick wished to lead this family and the Austrontan people back into fame and glory. And he knew just how to do it. With WAR!
You see, since 1744, the Balti and Sasts had been in a struggle over Pondel. After Saszo II united the Pondels and Baltis, the two groups entered the Era of Good Faith. After a series of wars against Korania and Allan Land, the Balti made significant territorial gains, but the wars were unpopular with the Balti who believed the wars to be the work of the king's warmongering Pondel advisers. This led to the end of the Era of Good Faith and led the Catholic Sasts to claim that the Pondels, who are also Catholic, would be happier with the Sasts than with the Tyrellian Balti. The Sasts captured much of Pondel early in the war, but after a defeat at Lago Roj, the Sasts were steadily beaten back to the border by 1749. In 1752, the Sasts invaded again and captured most of the Balti coastline, capturing Puto Viccorio and Puto Jockol. The Balti did not hesitate to regain this lost territory, however, and in 1753, launched a campaign over the Balt mountains, trying to drive to the sea.
At the battle of Tuolee, the Sasts took an early advantage with a cavalry charge, but an audacious movement by King Podola of Balticonia around the Maro Mountain ambushed the Sastan camp. The Sasts tried to continue the fight, but they were forced into a fleeing retreat. Again at Valtunum, the Balti beat the Sasts, but a defeat at Ghubu allowed the Sasts to hold their line. This ended the year's campaign season, but in 1754, the Balti renewed their attack, striking at Talmum. The Sasts were overwhelmed by the Balti manpower advantage and were forced to reinforce their army. The Balti continued to advance toward the sea, and they reached the Oriental Ocean a Pularna in summer 1754.
From there, they expanded their coastline both north and south, quickly liberating Puto Jockol since the Balti advance had cut its supplies. The next target was Puto Vicorrio. The battle of Flove was a Sastan effort to end the Balti advance, but the battle began poorly for the Sasts. The Balti still had an advantage in manpower, but the Sasts carefully conserved their men. The Sasts slowly withdrew from the battle in a fighting retreat, harassing the Balti. The Balti captured Flove, but it was a Pyrrhic victory, as the Balti lost twice as many men. The Balti halted their retreat at Gubare, and the Sasts were satisfied with this lull in the conflict.
Meanwhile, Frederick III had re-militarized his southern border with Pentafield during his first year as emperor, and as tensions grew with Sasta, Frederick decided upon a drastic course of action. In 1757, Frederick struck the belly of Sastaville with a deadly stroke. The Sastan manpower pool, exhausted by the wars with the Balti, was too small to muster sufficient resistance. When the Austrontans invaded Sasta, the Balti saw their chance to reopen the conflict with Sasta and they captured Puto Vicorrio within a few months. Needless to say, even with Pentafield entering the war on Sasta's side, the Austrontans won. After a quick victory in Tenuria, the Austrontans made it clear they had a significant advantage. The Austrontans marched on Laumana and captured it. The Sastans capitulated. Balticonia continued to eat away at Sastan territory while Frederick campaigned in Pentafield, and the war was hopeless for the Sasts and for Pentafield. In the Treaty of Newall, ending the war, Frederick gained much of northern Pentafield and some Sastan coastline.
The Balti had continued their fight with Sasta in late 1755, and soon captured Puto Vicorrio. The Balti then launched an invasion of the Sastan homeland in 1756. At the Battle of The Blue Mountains, the Balti breached the Sastan border fortifications, but they were driven back by the ferocious Sasts once Austronta left the country. At Zlykwa, Balticonian troops ambushed a large Sastan force, but were driven back...but not without significantly damaging the Sastan army. All throughout 1757 and 1758, the Balti were in a stalemate with the Sasts, but in 1759, the Balti broke through and were soon on the Sastan plains. This wasn't as bad for Sasta as you might think, however. It gave the Sasts an opportunity to fight the Balti in an open field. At Ghulauh, The Balti lines broke before the Sasts and the Balti were driven back in a fighting retreat deep into the mountains. The Balti took several months to regroup, but by late 1760, they were ready to reinvade the Sastan plains.
At the Second Battle of Ghulauh, the Sasts were this time defeated in a close fight. The Sasts quickly regrouped and reengaged the enemy a few miles away, but they were again beaten. The Sasts retreated a ways further and decided to hold their ground on the Guymauta Ridge which bisects the country. The Balti did not want to overextend their supply lines and dug in below the ridge. The Sasts took this time to heavily fortify the already defensible ridge, and it was now a formidable enemy. After attempts to breach the fortifications in 1761, the Balti suffered terrible losses and again had to give up the project. They instead brought in artillery and kept a steady bombardment on the ridge. The Sast's lives were made terrible and the Balti focused their artillery attacks on a single point now known as "Over Point". The Balti concentrated their forces here and in 1761, scaled the ridge and successfully crossed at Over Point. The Balti now had a much easier task, since most of the Sastan fortifications were designed to defend attacks from below. With artillery support pounding the defenses before them, the Sastan resistance melted away. The Balti now swarmed through the gap and occupied the ridge themselves, putting them in magnificent position to capture Laumana.
Frederick himself intended to annex the Sastan homeland and disliked the Balti taking the land before he did. Frederick continued to antagonize Pentafield, and invaded Pentafield again in 1762 while the Balti were in Sasta. After another quick victory, Frederick annexed more land, but the nations of Lezra did nothing. Finally, in 1763, after a third invasion of Pentafield, Allan Land, Sastaville and Drextopia declared war on Austronta and Balticonia.
The Austrontans quickly subdued all that remained of Pentafield, and then turned northward to attack Sastaville. Old Utopia had also declared war on Austronta, not declaring war on Balticonia because the two countries were in a defensive alliance. However, Old Utopia warned Podola that any aggression against any country besides Sastaville and Austronta would signal an end to the defensive pact. At the Battle of The Tenabro River, Frederick faced a Sasto-Utopian force with tactical genius. Frederick tricked the Old Utopians into attacking a decoy army while he pinned down the Sasts and smashed Old Utopia's flank, inflicting 5 times more casualties than the Austrontans lost. Southern Sasta was quickly subdued, and Frederick met Podola in the plains of Gumarta on May 12, 1764, known in Balticonia as Victory Day. Austronta then laid siege to Laumana, the Sastan capital, and the Sastans again capitulated to the Austrontans in early 1765. By now, the entire coalition had gathered and consolidated its forces on the Old Utopian-Sastan border and prepared for an attack.
The Battle of the Kante Valley was fought in one of the many valleys on the Sastan coastline near where the rolling hills gently merge with the sea. However, there was nothing gentle about this battle. The Allan Landen general Felix tried to trap Frederick into an ambush, but Frederick instead defeated Felix by attacking his split units one by one. A fleeing allied army was then beat again at Suoka, and the remnants of the mighty Allanian-Utopian army retreated to Kantonus. Podola withdrew from the war, keeping a grip on their annexed Sastan territories while staying at peace with Old Utopia. This move won favor with the Balti and Marprovi, but was unpopular with the Pondels. On the Balti-Austrontan border in Sasta, the Austrontans continually encroached the Balti position, slighting the Balti many times. However, Podola's sister-in-law was Austrontan and it is thought that she influenced Podola's decisions. It is known that Podola harbored pro-Austrontan feelings, and as a result, he was blind to the poor treatment Austronta was giving the Balti in Sasta.
Throughout 1765 and 1766, Austronta focused on destroying Old Utopia's trade empire, inciting revolts in Gingeroenia while rebuilding his own strength. This may have been the last point where Balti intervention in the war would have resulted in an allied victory quickly. After this, there was no saving the situation from a devastating war. By April 1767, Frederick mustered an army to attack Kantonus, and though the city was relieved by an Allanian force, the garrison was forced to retreat from the city after a crushing defeat. However, the city was still supplied from the sea, and an ensuing naval battle was a heroic victory for the Old Utopians. Finally, Frederick grew tired of the siege and climbed the walls of the city, and then, in his frustration with the stubborn city, gave his soldiers "Free Reign". Most of the city was burned, many civilians were killed, and the city was completely sacked. In the battle, Klaus II, King of Old Utopia, was captured and later executed by Frederick. Frederick appointed his brother Henrik to rule Old Utopia and then set out to conquer the rest of the country. The defense effort was laughably terrible, and only Pandonus survived the next three months. Frederick then laid siege to Pandonus, but winter forced Frederick to withdraw to Kantonus before the siege was completed. By the spring of 1768, Allan Land had reinforced the city. Finally, with a massive assault force, Frederick captured the city and forced Old Utopia out of the war. This surrender also convinced Podola to declare war on Allan Land and invade now that Old Utopia was out.
Frederick now made his greatest mistake of the war. In March 1769, Frederick attempted to cross the Troutwater Mountains into Old Utopia. He was beaten not by enemy forces, but by disease and hunger and had to abandon the plan though he repeatedly defeated the Allanians. In summer 1769, Frederick met with Podola to discuss the free passage of Austrontan soldiers through Balticonia and around the Troutwater Mountains into Allan Land. This plan would have almost certainly succeeded, but Podola declined because the Austrontans would have to march through Marprovia, the most anti-war region of the country. Feeling dejected, Frederick decided to instead invade Drextopia while Podola invaded Allan Land.
The Balti quickly advanced from the border because the Allanian troops were busy in Troutwater, but when the soldiers arrived at the front, the Balti line buckled at Ulunu. Driven back, the Balti lost Vendia and Zveggara. Anti-war protests then began in force and many soldiers deserted the army. But in 1770, the tide turned and the Balti drove back to the former border. Worried that further shrinking of his army would cripple his chances of victory, Podola offered a peace between the two countries. However, hostilities between Austronta and the Coalition had ended the previous year, and Allanians decided to transfer their armies to the Balti front to continue the war. This was disastrous for the Allanians, however, and the Balti soon captured Nokombo in late 1770 and forced the Allanians to sign a humiliating treaty which ceded much of eastern Allania, far beyond Vendia and Zveggara.
Frederick had been more successful in Drextopia, conquering the mainland portions despite guerrilla resistance. However, when Frederick invaded the Drextopian archipelago, a large naval battle between him and Old Utopians. Though Frederick successfully conquered the islands, he suffered major casualties including a wound to himself. After this. the exhausted Allanians and the frightened Koranians came to the bargaining table with Frederick. In 1770, the Coalition was forced to recognize all of Frederick's territorial expansion during the Second Treaty of Guimone. But peace could not last forever...
In 1770, Austronta encroached on Balticonian territory, revoking the agreement giving Balticonia half of Laumana. Podola still ignored the Austrontan menace, but this turned out to be a fatal mistake. Soloko, Podola's son, formed an assassination plot against his father, stabbing him in late 1770, just after the Treaty of Doltornia was signed. Soloko now took a hard-line stance against Austronta, mobilizing the border. Through diplomatic negotiations with the Fright Republic, Soloko secured promises that Frihomptia would declare war on Frederick if Balticonia was attacked. Korania was still unsure of whether they wanted to entangle themselves in another coalition, however, and they declined to make any promise. They also were allies with Allan Land, and they were displeased that the Balti had annexed much of their ally. The Allanians, still bitter over their recent defeats, also declined to join.
Austronta probably would have regained the favor of Balticonia right here by invading Allan Land, but they were tied up quelling numerous rebellions. The Drextopians were the first to rebel, but they were defeated ruthlessly. The Sasts also tried rebelling, and the rebels managed to stay alive, but after six months, the rebels only controlled small mountain outposts.
A short period of peace followed until 1770 when an invasion of Pentafield by Frederick ignited a further series of revolts around the country. Balticonia saw their chance here, and they took decisive action, declaring war on Austronta. The Fright Republic followed, and so did Allan Land, reluctant to join the Balti, but still determined to beat the common foe. Balticonia sent a large force to reinforce the Fright Republic, and the Frihompts also contributed. However, when they invaded Sasta, they were met by Frederick at the town of Andonal. The Coalition began with a bombardment of the Austrontan position, but Frederick outmaneuvered the Balti, crashing into their flank. The Balti gunners heroically turned their guns to face the enemy and began another splintering fire. The Austrontan line wavered, but continued their advance. The gunners, commanded by Soloko's brother, Vluma, acted admirably; not one abandoned their post even after all hope of victory was lost. The Balti infantry had been scattered, but the artillery remained until the Austrontans were only about 50 feet away. Vluma then prepared his final strike. He had all the cannons stuffed with enough gunpowder to destroy the cannons in the final volley, and when Frederick's line arrived finally, all the cannons were detonated, evaporating Vluma and his heroic gunners, but inflicting massive casualties to Frederick.
With the Coalition's army defeated, Frederick invaded the Fright Republic soon after Andonal. Balticonia rapidly sent reinforcements to the Frihompts and attempted to land them on the Nuban Peninsula. Frederick's navy tried to intercept this landing, and the two sides engaged in the Battle of the Frightened Coast. For the background for this battle, we must briefly visit Old Utopia. The city of Leondar, Old Utopia, manufactured the world's best cannons, and Austronta had a massive stock of them in Keshrish, near the Balticonian border. A man in Old Utopia named Franca Poldis began to smuggle these cannons to the Balti at the beginning of the war. After transporting about half of these cannons, he tried to transport even more, but was discovered by the Austrontans and hung for treason. Nevertheless, Balticonia now had a surplus of cannons, and these were loaded onto the ships headed for the Fright Republic. In the Battle of the Frightened Coast, the Balti cannons proved superior in both numbers and quality, and the Austrontan navy suffered major setbacks to their naval power.
This loss of tempo for the Balti resulted however, in the loss of the Frihompt capital of Lamanza. When the Balti force landed in Nuban, they were forced to march across the country and assault Lamanza rather than reinforce it. At the Battle of Lamanza, the Balti determination was deadly to the Austrontans, causing significant Austrontan casualties. However, Frederick managed to defeat the Balti by puncturing a sizable hole in their line. The Balti retreated twenty miles from the city for the winter, but soon returned in early Spring 1772. The Austrontans feared they did not have enough soldiers in their dwindling ranks to support another offensive, so they defended Lamanza and waited to be attacked. However, the Balti chose to instead lay siege to the city. After it became clear the Balti had exhausted the patience of the Austrontans, Frederick made a last attempt to avoid capture and broke through the Balti lines with massive casualties. The Balti army traveled along the south coast of the Fright Republic through Xiik, while another army landed in Nuban to cut Frederick off. Frederick chose to face the enemy at Nuban.
The Balti army was barely off the beaches when they were swarmed by Austrontan soldiers. The Balti fought back, but, tired from their journey, the Balti were driven back onto the beaches, but the cannons of the Balti navy pounded the Austrontans as they tried to finish off the Balti and the Balti were protected from a certain death at the hand of the Austrontans. Frederick decided to take what he could and raced for the Austrontan border to recover. By masterful deception, he avoided the Balti army in southern Sasta and reached home. The Balti promised Balti Sasta to the Sasts if they would rise up in another Sastan revolt. The Sastans accepted the terms and they played hit and run with the Austrontans in the hills of Sasta. This strategy worked for almost a year until Frederick returned to the front from Guimone with a large army in late 1772. At Sasadon, Frederick encountered the deadly Sasto-Balti combination, but he struck the Sastan rebels a deadly hit and turned to face the Balti eating at his flank. He managed to drive them back and once his group defeating the Sasts had forced a retreat, he allowed the Sasts to flee and instead used these extra troops to flank the Balti. This worked with resounding success, and the Battle of Sasadon was catastrophic for the Balti.
The Sastan revolt was finished, and Frederick had even destroyed the Sastan rebels in the mountains who had helped the Balti. Frederick now held both halves of Sasts as well, and he had a very favorable position. The Balti army had been trapped on the Frightened Coast, and were on the verge of defeat when Allan Land finally contributed to the war by invading Old Utopia. The Austrontans fell back quickly, and Frederick was forced to give up his annihilation of the Balti army and save his brother Henrik. He found Allan Land just miles away from Kantonus. The Allanians assaulted the city when they heard of Frederick's arrival, fearing it was now or never. Frederick managed to intercept the invasion and destroyed much of the Allanian army. At sea, the Old Utopian navy had dealt doom to the Austrontan navy and was now reinforcing the city. The weak-hearted Henrik, however, saw his chance to escape the country and fled, only to have his ship sunk at sea. The Austrontan garrison panicked and Kantonus fell to the Allanians.
Frederick, infuriated by his brother's incompetence, attacked the city during the summer and forced the Allanians to retreat northward to Leondar. In January 1774 he fought the Allanians here at Tulotu. He controlled a hill that the Allanians foolishly attacked, suffering catastrophic losses. The Allanians retreated to Pandonus, harassed by the Austrontans the whole way. The Balti mustered the strength now to attempt to cut the Austrontans off from home by invading Sastaville and reaching Liy Ghoortbas before Frederick. The march had major setbacks, and the Austrontan forts in the Sastan mountains took significant effort to defeat. The Balti also suffered from a bout with disease. However, the Balti struggled on and reached Liy Ghoortbas just a week before Frederick. Frederick now had to perilously traverse the Sastan wilderness as winter came upon him. He avoided sallying into battle, but had to pick his way through the mountains, hoping that he would not be ambushed. Finally, he arrived in Austronta safely, but not without significant loss.
Upon returning to Austronta, Frederick mustered his largest army yet, and drove northward to retake Sasta. Winning battle after battle over the outnumbered Balti, he soon retook most of the country. At the Battle of Kul, Soloko was injured and rushed home. The Balti were demoralized and suffered further losses. Frederick pivoted and attacked the Fright Republic next, again defeating the Balti at Tiifa, in Xiik. Frederick then split his army, sending one group northwards to conquer the countryside while he pursued the floundering Balti through Xiik. The Balti were chased around the perimeter of the Fright Republic and wound up trapped in Nuban. The Austrontan navy, now rebuilt, dealt a defeat to Balticonia at the Second Battle of the Frightened Coast and prevented a maritime escape. The Austrontans then assaulted the rocky fortresses of Nuban, suffering tremendous casualties as the Balti tirelessly defended every crag and ledge. After finally pushing the Balti onto the beaches, Frederick then slaughtered them as they tried to escape to the ships. Those who were not killed in battle soon realized that the ships were Austrontan, and they were captured and later killed. The Balti army was demolished.
Frederick now invaded Balticonia itself, the only country in Eastern Lezra still opposing his vast empire. Frederick predicted a swift victory, remarking: "Balticonia is a nation that should not exist. How could a conglomerate of different ethnicities, all of them hoping to demolish each other last more than a decade?" But Frederick was drastically incorrect in his arrogant assumptions about the Balti coalition. Indeed, Soloko was a magnificent leader with a knack for uniting the different ethnicities. This turned out to be far more useful than the tactical genius of Frederick. A Frederick the Great of Balticonia may have won battles in the war, but Balticonia would have disintegrated under a leader like him because of internal struggle. Soloko was a great leader in this regard.
The Austrontan invasion of Balticonia began very successfully and the Balti were pushed back through their last remaining Sastan territories. At Pont Clarto, Frederick defeated the Balti army when he stormed a bridge and crushed the enemy camp. The Balti army was scattered in all directions and their supplies were captured. While the Balti army was recovering, Frederick managed to capture Pondela against limited resistance. After small battles in Grand Balticonia, Frederick turned southwards to follow the bend of the river with his eyes on Baltornia and Borrikunda. He captured Borrikunda in May 1774, but turned southwards to defeat the Balti army rather than occupy Baltornia. This turned out to be a grave mistake. A northward path could have sent his army hurtling through Balticonia on a path of destruction, with a Balti army in tow. This would have been very angering to the people. However, Frederick instead chose to fight the Battle of The Blackwoods.
Soloko, through a series of deceits, led Austronta to believe his army was encamped in a valley of the Black Woods, however, Soloko put only a small group of beleaguered soldiers in the valley. When Frederick pounced on these soldiers, Soloko trapped the Austrontans. The Austrontans tried to run out of the valley, but the Balticonian soldiers had a high position all around the valley. Frederick had been beaten at his own game. Frederick managed to finally escape with almost half of his army, and he immediately regrouped on a hill in a different part of the forest. This was the decisive moment of the war. After a rousing speech, Soloko personally led a charge up the Blackwoods Hill and heroically defeated the Austrontan defenders. Frederick's army was crushed and he immediately hurried back to the Sastan border to await reinforcements.
Frederick invaded again in October the coastal towns on the Oriental Ocean. All of North and South Coast Province were taken, including Puto Jockol and Puto Vicorrio. The Austrontans reached the Balt Mountains and prepared for an attack on Cintornia. Soloko ordered Balti guerrillas to harass the Austrontans during their crossing of the mountains, a tactic that worked remarkably. The Austrontans, severely weakened, finally emerged from the mountains and marched on Cintornia. The Balti struggled to stop them, and Frederick won at both Mizo and Yutiki. Soloko now left the army and campaigned in surrounding cities, gathering thousands of recruits with rousing speeches. The Balti army now had superior numbers, but continued to lose tactically to Frederick. At Platom, the Balti finally won a victory, but not without massive casualties. Frederick was forced to retreat several miles, but winter was brewing now. The Balti ranks swelled further and Frederick decided to attack before winter ruined his army. The Balti lines held firm for several days under relentless Austrontan charges, but finally, Platom fell to the Austrontans.
However, Frederick's fighting capabilities were decimated by the Balti and all that remained of his glorious army was a small, bedraggled group. Frederick wished to assail Cintornia next, but Frederick knew the city's strong walls and defense mechanisms would be hopeless to attack. Frederick now faced a growing horde of Balti soldiers preparing to capture Platom, and Frederick made the only decision he could. Frederick ordered the burning of Platom and he led his army on a campaign of destruction back to enemy lines. Baltornia and Borrikunda suffered the torch of Frederick, as did many villages. A more skillful political maneuverer may have led his army westwards instead of south to burn not Baltia, but Pondel. This may have presented an opportunity to pounce on the political instability of Balticonia by encouraging dissent among Pondels. This golden opportunity was missed, however, and Frederick returned with a defeated army to the Sastan border.
Realizing his mistake in not attacking the Upper Balticonian River, Frederick decided to try another attack in April 1775, this time focusing on Pondel and causing as much sorrow on the minority as possible. Frederick gathered one of his largest armies of the entire war and sent them from Batombia up the river, hoping to reach the Grand Balticonian Valley. However, the Balti hid above the canyons of the Clart Plateau and harassed them every mile of the way. The devilish shrieks famous of Sasts terrorized the inexperienced Austrontan soldiers, who were miserable. The Austrontan advance slowed almost to a halt and Frederick lost nearly all control of his men in the dark, dreary, dungeon-like trap. To make things worse, the Spring Gales for which the plateau is infamous brought howling winds and lighting upon the soldiers. The conditions of this march were almost otherworldly, and Frederick finally ordered a return to Batombia. His men finally emerged from the abyss in August, forever traumatized. Barely 10% ever fought again after what they went through.
Frederick realized that the Allanians were beginning to gather a force to invade Old Utopia and knew he must attempt one final strike at Balticonia in a last-ditch effort. In October, Frederick attacked up the coast from Nod Sast. However, this expedition was doomed as the Balti ranks had now peaked in both size and experience and presented one of the most formidable foes in Lezran history. At Tupova, the first major encounter of the war, Frederick tactfully arranged his troops to ambush the Balti. The ambush worked like magic. The Balti were caught on their right flank completely by surprise, but even this was not enough to conjure a victory for Frederick. Though the Balti lost more casualties, Frederick's men were destroyed. The invasion force was permanently crippled, and Frederick retreated back to Sasta to prepare anew for an invasion.
Political strife now rocked Balticonia, as the Marprovis finally revolted after years of war. They demanded Balticonia withdraw from the war immediately, and seized control of many towns, going so far as to hang the mayor of Nod Colomio, a famous pro-war official. Soloko rushed to the region without a bodyguard to address the peace-loving Marprovis and explain why the war was so vital. While speaking in Tuolee, however, an assassin attempted to kill the king and ruptured his chest. Soloko was rushed back to Cintornia, where he was treated by doctors. The Marprovis eventually ended the revolt when Frederick re-mobilized the Balticonian border and invasion once again seemed imminent. Only those who devoutly wanted Soloko to demand peace, whatever the price, remained in opposition. Soloko, though recovering, never recovered all of his vitality and only made administrative decisions from this point forward. On January 4, 1776, Calobo VI was coronated King of Balticonia.
The following day, Frederick began another march into Balticonia, however, this would be his final march into Balticonia. Just three days in, he turned around and hurried to Old Utopia to defend against another Allan Landen invasion. At Ivone, on the road between Leondar and Kantonus, Frederick engaged the enemy. Frederick had a numerical advantage, but the battle was intense. After brilliant planning, Frederick finally routed the center of the Allan Landen line. The town of Ivone was surrounded and captured, along with 8,000 enemy soldiers. However, the battle was still not as decisive as Frederick had wished.
In summer 1776, a new problem faced Frederick. Korania joined the war. Though Korania had almost no army because of two recent losses to Ivorica, they were still a dangerous foe. Frederick took the initiative and invaded Korania in late July. By May 1777, Frederick had subdued all of Turkish Korania and was ready to invade Western Korania, hoping to capture Velnaz. Emperor Petrenko III of Korania meanwhile gathered an army of 200,000 soldiers and Frederick retreated up the Pezitran Heights to await attack. Frederick gave the Koranians a false impression that his army was disorganized, and on July 9th, Petrenko attacked. Frederick tricked the Koranians into attacking his right flank, and when he wedged himself between the wings of Korania, the battle fell apart for Korania. Korania lost 8 times as many soldiers in a disastrous fight.
Frederick now continued his advance and captured Velnaz a few days later. He then captured Nebovosk and Andruthinia. After capturing Petrenkov, he controlled virtually all of Korania and forced Emperor Petrenko III to sign the Treaty of Velnaz, which split Korania into Western Korania, Ballatchia, and Turkish Korania. Unfortunately for Frederick, young Exavier Markov had escaped to Ivorica. When Petrenko died in January, probably of suicide, Exavier became emperor and began a five year campaign to liberate Korania.
Meanwhile, Calobo VI began an invasion of Sastan territory in 1777. A large Balti force submitted the Blue Mountains and captured parts of Sasta. Calobo now traveled around Sasta, waxing his army with Sastan recruits as the Austrontans chased him, but could do little more than watch. When the Austrontans finally cornered Calobo, he occupied the Guymauta Ridge. When an Austrontan force attacked the Lutuoka Gap on the ridge, the Balticonians successfully repelled the charge and crippled the Sastan Defense Force of Austronta. As the Austrontans camped below the ridge, on the plains of Fulic, Calobo ordered a massive cavalry charge down the hill and routed the Austrontans.
The Austrontans now returned to Sastaville with a massive horde to reopen communications with Frederick in Korania. Following a coastal route, Calobo ordered his troops to retreat rather than sacrifice themselves engaging the enemy. The Austrontans, having completed their assignment, folded inwards and attacked Calobo. At Batombia, Calobo inflicted heavy casualties to the Austrontans, but it hardly left a dent as the Balti were routed. The Austrontans chased the Balti through Sasta, and Calobo chose to retreat back into Balticonia rather than fight it out. The Austrontans attempted to cross the border several times, but they were never successful and always beaten back. The Hostilities ceased in March 1778 when a ceasefire was agreed to, and the the Second Treaty of Guimone established a peace in name only...but it would not last long.
Soloko, still weak, signed a pact with Allan Land the day after the treaty was signed to continue the war at the soonest optimal moment. Frederick desperately attempted to pull Allan Land into alliance with himself, but the Allanians had witnessed the poor treatment of Balticonians when the two were allies. Besides, Frederick was a man of war, not a man of peace, and was certainly no diplomat. An inconclusive rebellion in Korania resulted in the survival of the young Exavier Markov. This had the effect of allowing Frederick to return to Eastern Lezra before the War of the Fifth Coalition broke out on December 4rth when Calobo marched into Sastaville. In January, Allan Land traversed the Troutwater Mountains and entered Old Utopia. Frederick chose to personally destroy the Allanians while his best general, Cristof Tritter beat the Balticonians. Both groups were massive and of prime quality.
A decisive factor in this war began to make itself apparent. Since the war begun in the 1750s, massive strides had been made in technology, both militarily and industrially. Frederick, the man of war he was, refused to invest in technology at the expense of his military, and as a result, he was not nearly as developed as he should have been. Contrarily, Calobo VI always prioritized industry and infrastructure and Balticonia proved itself to be the most developed country in the world when the Fifth Coalition erupted. Premium-quality roads had been constructed to link the industrial regions of the Balticonian Valley with the Sastan border, and new equipment and supplies poured to the front at an alarming pace. Austronta had little infrastructure and also had to transport everything over the mountainous regions of Sasta. Balticonia now produced 5 times more firearms than the entire Austrontan empire, and more clothing. Moreover, Frederick's campaigns in Korania gave him the responsibility to feed the Koranians. Korania had always been short on grain, and so was Austronta. Old Utopia's grain was plentiful, however, the nation had no desire to give their grain to Austronta and the citizens horded it. Calobo ordered that no grain from Balticonia, the "Breadbasket of Lezra" would be allowed to be imported anywhere occupied by Frederick, and Frederick's empire suffered.
Exavier Markov saw his chance to reignite revolt in Korania with both Frederick and Tritter gone, and Frederick gave command of the Koranian front to Karl von Manz. However, Exavier was a better general than Von Manz, and he also had superior manpower. Frederick's empire was stretched to the very limit and it finally broke. Exavier soon was gaining ground against the Austrontans. Frederick realized that he must rapidly wrap up at least one front and he may have acted too hastily, moving his army to Leondar. Gunter Jakob, the Allan Landen general was urged by his commanders to leave Cannae, the city he currently occupied, to battle Frederick. Gunter vehemently disagreed and thought they should take caution in order to prolong the front, but this was his doom. Maximilian Morris, another Allanian general, overthrew Jakob and ordered the troops to attack. This was a mistake, and the inexperienced general was led into a trap by Frederick at Pele, where the Allanians were exhausted and suffered greater casualties.
At Liliano, Frederick again inflicted great casualties on the Allanians, who were forced to retreat. Morris Maximilian was hung by his soldiers and Jakob returned to power. At Siebra, Frederick defeated a garrison in a prolonged siege, but this gave Jakob the time to escape. Jakob remarkably defeated Frederick in the Battle of Dotoria-Javi, near Keshrish, and Frederick's army was almost destroyed. After the deadly battle of Castellarmo, Frederick returned to Leondar, and Jakob returned to Pandonus. The Old Utopian campaign of 1779 had ended precisely where it begun.
Meanwhile, in Sasta, Calobo had breached the border fortifications and engaged Tritter in battle. Calobo chose to ignite Sastan revolts as he traveled through the winter of 1779-1780 and used the Sastans to preform the hit and run tactics that had worked so well before Sasadon. The Sasts were also employed to strike fear in the Austrontans. The Balticonians were very successful here, and quickly crossed the mountains. The Balti muskets were superior to the Austrontan ones, and the Austrontans lost heavy casualties. At Vymahar, the first major encounter, the Balti surrounded and demolished the Austrontans, killing around a third of the Austrontan force and wounding many others. Unfortunately, in August, an epidemic swept through the Balti ranks and momentarily paused the Balticonian advance. This gave Tritter, an engineering genius, to construct earthworks in the plains of Savaya. The trenches of the Austrontans were very effective, and though Calobo repeatedly charged the Austrontan lines, Tritter held his ground. In late June, Calobo gave up and retreated for several months.
In September 1779, the Balti again assaulted the Austrontan position by digging trenches of their own, unbeknownst to Tritter, that came within a few feet of the right flank of the Austrontan trenches. When the last few feet were dug out, the Balti poured into the Austrontan position, and a very narrow front in the trenches began the site of great bloodshed. Though the Balticonians had superior firearms, the Austrontans were far more skillful in the hand-to-hand fighting that erupted here, and the Balti were driven back. Calobo ordered 2,000 men to leave the Balticonian reserves and run over the field to flank the Austrontan soldiers in the front lines, and though half of these men were killed as the ran across the plains, enough arrived to force the Austrontans into retreat. After around 20 hours of this, Tritter realized he could not defend his lines much longer and retreated to Laumana. The Battle of Savaya had inflicted upwards of 30,000 casualties to both sides.
Tritter again defended Laumana's outer walls with great skill, but his army was so crippled by the Battle of Savaya that the Balti captured the city with ease in late July. Calobo the chased the Austrontans around Sasta, and in October, they reached the border with Frihomptia and solidified their control of the region. Meanwhile, the fighting in Old Utopia had resumed. Frederick had assailed Pandonus in a deadly struggle without success, but inflicted sufficient casualties to force Jakob to abandon the city, which Frederick occupied in May 1780. Frederick than attempted a second invasion of Allan Land through the Troutwater Mountains, and reached the plains of Allan Land in July. If Frederick reached Nokombo, the Allanians would almost certainly capitulate to Frederick, leaving both Tritter and Frederick to battle Balticonia. However, the patriotic Allanians resisted the Austrontans the whole way, and, though Jakob was defeated at both Alayu and Mustavo, he regrouped his army over and over. At Dorle, just 15 miles from Nokombo, Frederick again, confident of victory, charged the Allanians. However, Jakob and his soldiers fought ferociously in defense of their country, and Frederick was narrowly driven back. Frederick again charged, and this time, he broke the lines of Jakob, but he had too little soldiers to continue on. Frederick turned and retreated to Pandonus, feeling depressed.
Jakob now went on the offensive, capturing Pandonus while Frederick was in Kanton Inu. However, at Lissetto, Jakob was killed by Austrontan cavalry, and the Allanians withdrew home. Meanwhile, Exavier Markov completed his control over Western Korania and began invading Ballatchia. When Von Manz was defeated at Azgad, Frederick relieved him and began to drive the Koranians back. Frederick's cavalry completed a heroic charge at Azgad, and Exavier was forced to retreat with just a fragment of his army. Winter was now setting in, and Frederick abandoned the Koranian campaign, re-instituting Von Manz as commander. He now defended against an Allanian invasion led by Louie of Trutt in January 1871. Frederick's army was exhausted and cold, and the invasion was in January. Frederick defended an attack on Leondar, but he lost twice as many men and retreated to Kantonus. His men started to die of disease and hunger, and his army was demoralized.
In April, Calobo had crossed from Sasta into Frihomptia to attack Tritter. He made rapid advances with superior manpower, defeating Tritter at both Laniifa and Tuaxoma, but as he approached Lamanza, Tritter camped atop a small plateau to defend against Calobo. Calobo's men heroically summited the nearly vertical cliffs under heavy fire under protection from an artillery barrage released by the Balti gunners. The ranks of these men were greatly thinned, and unfortunately, Tritter's men drove the Balti back down the steep slope. Calobo had suffered far more casualties, and Tritter now pursued Calobo to the border of Sasta. Calobo now entrenched himself on the border and awaited reinforcements. In September 1781, Calobo again invaded through Xiik. Tritter defended with some difficulty, and drove the Balti back. Calobo now launched a grand offensive with his superior force, driving Tritter back. However, Austrontan reinforcements arrived from the south, and Calobo withdrew to the border rather than risk being trapped between two armies.
Reinforced, Tritter now invaded Sasta, and the two sides engaged at the Thiulian River. The Balti occupied the cliffs above the river, a very defensible position. However, Tritter saw an opportunity to trap the Balti against the cliffs. He ordered his right flank to attack the Balti, and though it was defeated, when the Balti pursued the unit, the rest of Tritter's army came crashing into the flank of the Balti, pinning them against a cliff. The Balti fought desperately, but to no avail. The Austrontans demolished the Balti army, and forced them to climb down the cliffs to save themselves. Tritter left the Balti in the canyon and advanced, forcing Calobo to simply chase him deeper into Sasta. Tritter marched toward Laumana, subduing Sastan rebels as they went. Calobo realized that he could not catch the Austrontans, and turned north to Balticonia in order to block Tritter from advancing unopposed into the Balti homeland.
Tritter put down the Sastan rebels he encountered with ruthless, unnecessary brutality. The rebels scattered to their mountain fortresses and holdouts, and the road to Laumana was clear. In May, 1781, Cristof Tritter subdued a small garrison in Laumana. Here, at the height of his power, Tritter scored his final victory. As he triumphantly entered the city in a grand parade, he passed through the Atche dy Ausonte, or the Arch of Austronta, an arch built in the 1600s to celebrate a victory over the Austrontans in 1611 and the independence of Sasta. As he passed through, a Sastan rebel hiding in the complex metalworking of the arch jumped out and shot a bullet into Tritter's forehead. The general was killed immediately. Upon hearing the news, Calobo invaded through the mountains and engaged the shocked and discouraged Sastan army. He besieged Laumana, and in July, 1781, the city fell to the Balti. The Austrontan soldiers fled back to Austronta.
Frederick was infuriated by this news, and rightly so. He ordered a new contingent of soldiers to sail to Frihomptia before Calobo could reach the border. Calobo was rapidly marching to the border, and he reached it in September. Calobo halted his advance here, and awaited the following Spring to relaunch his campaign. The past few months had mostly featured silence on the Old Utopian front. Frederick had been content to simply stay in Kantonus, knowing Louie would be afraid to attack him. In May, when reinforcements gave Trutt the numerical advantage he needed, he moved on the city, but Frederick left the capital before he could be trapped. Frederick now made a bold move to invade Sasta and relieve the Austrontan garrisons there who were panicking after losing Tritter. Louie knew this would be disastrous for the coalition, and he did all he could to stop this. Louie engaged Frederick at Aleli, preventing Frederick from relieving the Austrontans in Sasta, but losing far more men in a close battle.
Frederick now moved to capture Leondar and Pandonus, capitalizing on Louie's loss in manpower. Leondar fell, but Pandonus held firm under the protection of Old Utopian guerrillas. At the Second Battle of Cannae, Louie struck back on March 19th of 1782, defeating Frederick in his first decisive defeat. By June, it became clear that the battle in Old Utopia was going nowhere. Neither Louie nor Frederick could eliminate the other, yet Louie still kept Frederick from entering Sasta. However, it became clear that Frederick was needed in Korania to replace Karl Von Manz, and Frederick took action, hoping to defeat Louie so that he could rush westward. The Austrontans forded the Trowy River at Vicento and fought the Allanians there. Though the Austrontans were at times driven back, they prevailed in the end and broke Louie's defenses.
Frederick was not able to capitalize on this victory and travel westward, though, because he had also been weakened in the battle and retreated to Kantonus to await reinforcement. July brought the earth shattering news that Karl Von Manz had been routed in Turkish Korania and that Exavier Markov was now in control of almost all of his country. Frederick's manpower pool had been drained for years, and he was now forced to scrape the last reserves he could muster. Worse yet, Calobo had resumed his campaign in Frihomptia, and he was winning. Calobo crossed the border in late July and quickly won a victory at Monarak. He campaigned against the floundering, inexperienced Austrontans, beating them further and further back.
Calobo soon was liberating large sections of the Fright Republic, as the Austrontans shied away from further battles which might prove disastrous. In October, Lamanza was taken, and the Balti soon had the Austrontans trapped on the coast in mid-November 1782. The Austrontans finally fought, surprising Calobo and costing him many men. Calobo beat the Austrontans back to the coast, but because of the costly campaign, he was equal in manpower with the Austrontans. What ensued is now known as the Battle of Tyrof, even though the town of Tyrof was a good 20 miles away. Nomenclature aside, here is what happened. The Balti, confident of victory, charged the left of the Austrontans. The Austrontans fought back, forcing the right flank of the Balti into retreat. The Balti left flank, however, fared much better. They broke the lines of the Austrontans and forced them backwards. The battle lines now revolved circularly, as the Balti left beat back the Austrontan right, and the Austrontan left beat back the Balti right. A fierce fight raged in the center of the battlefield as the Balti center was locked in stalemate with the Austrontan center with armies circling around them.
Calobo finally ended this bizarre situation by ordering his victorious left flank to break off the pursuit and crash down on the Austrontan center. This worked with astonishing success. The Austrontan center floundered and was enveloped. Once this was achieved, the Balti center and left reinforced the fleeing Balti right, driving back the Austrontans here. The Austrontan right, finally realizing they were no longer being chased, reinforced the Austrontan left, but this was to no avail. The Battle of Tyrof was a resounding success that destroyed most of the Austrontan force in Frihomptia. Frederick, cutting his losses, ordered the naval evacuation of the Fright Republic. This crucial front had finally ended in an overwhelming Balti triumph.
By August, Karl Von Manz was too far defeated to muster any significant resistance, and Exavier entered Old Utopia that month. After the Battles of Rondisi and Tuno, Frederick had lost ground to the Koranians, but he had inflicted far more casualties, approaching parity with the opposing hordes. Frederick then turned and dealt defeats to Louie at Pizara and Faeci. Though he was outnumbered, he still was managing to put up a grand fight. He now controlled all Old Utopia but Pandonus, but he did not risk an attack on it. Instead, he remained on the defensive. At the beginning of 1783, Exavier drove Frederick to Leondar while Louie captured Cannae. Calobo also arrived in Old Utopia, meaning that Frederick was hopelessly outnumbered. Frederick managed to defeat Exavier and Louie, but Calobo, he did not dare attack yet. Calobo's experienced, confident Balti force waxed with Old Utopian rebels and was now the main force opposing Frederick.
On August 11th, "Leondar Day", Frederick engaged the Allanians near Leondar. Unbeknownst to Frederick, both Calobo and Exavier were close by, and this battle was decisive. Frederick bombarded the Allanian position with superior artillery, taking advantage of the poor placement of Allanian guns. Louie was about to call for a retreat, but then he heard of the proximity of Calobo and Exavier. The Allanians held out for another day until Exavier arrived and attacked the left flank of the Austrontans. Frederick, though outnumbered, held their ground. Calobo now arrived at the battle, and his men began an assault on the opposite side of the Austrontan flank. His men fought ferociously, and buckled the Austrontan line. Most of the Austrontans fled in terror, but the coalition did not pursue them. However, a small group of determined soldiers maintained the ridge until the last man was killed by another charge led by Calobo. Frederick, upon hearing this, remarked "The Austrontans are without a doubt the proudest and bravest people." Calobo wished to chase Frederick and deal a defeat that would demolish his army, but Louie and Exavier had been fighting for an extra day and needed time to recover.
Frederick now concluded that a defense of Old Utopia or Sasta would be futile and withdrew to the Tenabro River on the border with Sasta and Austronta. Here, he fought Calobo in a desperate defense of his empire which was crumbling around him. Calobo used his well-supplied forces wisely, and though outnumbered, he forced the Austrontans to flee toward the river. Frederick hit the Balti hard with a deadly artillery barrage, but the Austrontans suffered more losses as their men swam the flooded river. In June of 1784, almost all of Lezra had been liberated. Only the Austrontan peninsula remained of Frederick's once mighty and glorious empire. Perhaps if Cristof Tritter were still living, Frederick could have maintained a defensive position on the south side of the Tenabro River, but alas, Tritter had been slain in Laumana years ago and Frederick's best engineer was missing. Frederick did the best he could to defend the river, but because of his lack of expertise and his army that was outnumbered two to one, Frederick's defenses were breached in August 1784.
As Frederick prepared for an all-out defense of Guimone and Scholtzburg, his outnumbered armies were rapidly driven back. On November 24th, after crushing the other armies, led by Theodore Von Hitzen and Karl von Manz, Calobo met the enemy outside Guimone. Frederick decided to face Calobo outside Guimone in a decisive battle rather than endure a siege. He took cover in defensive fortifications behind the Rastalt River and awaited attack. The Balti began the attack by storming the Elwin Bridge on Frederick's right flank. After an hour-long brave defense of the bridge, Franz Kaufer, charged with defending the bridge, withdrew to the village of Elsterding. Calobo ordered reinforcements to the bridge and these combined units assaulted Elsterding. They were driven back to the bridge, and by now, more soldiers had arrived from Frderick's main reserve. The Balticonians were driven back across the bridge soon after, and the first engagement had achieved nothing. The Balti suffered almost twice as many casualties and they had lost the bridge.
Now, Calobo ordered an assault on the Korbl Bridge, a strategic position that led to the town of Vilsbach and protected Frederick's left flank. This was a bad idea, because Balti forces were heavily outnumbered and driven back easily. Though Calobo had lost both skirmishes so far, he had suffered little more than morale because he had not yet invested significant portions of his forces. Calobo resorted to an artillery attack on Vilsbach from the Vortem Hill, but Frederick managed to maneuver his cavalry out of the city and mounted a raid of his own. Frederick crossed the bridge with several thousand horses and confiscated most of Calobo's artillery before the king knew what was happening. Calobo had thought that there was an infantry unit defending the Korbl bridge, but that unit had recently been called back to Elsterding because Frederick had feinted an assault there and the messenger to Calobo had not arrived when the king dispatched his artillery. Now, Calobo was low on artillery and morale, but was still in an advantageous position because Exavier was on the way.
Louie now reinforced the allied position, and Calobo felt confident in a second assault on Elsterding. The Balti caught the Austrontans off guard and captured the Elwin bridge, but when Austrontan reinforcements arrived, both sides dug in and fought from behind makeshift fortifications. The Balti soon found they were at a disadvantage in this battle because of Frederick's artillery superiority, but they dug in and held on. Calobo now received false information that the reinforcements that had saved Elsterding had come from Vilsbach and moved accordingly to launch another attack on the supposedly poorly-defended town. The Austrontans still had a vast advantage in Vilsbach, however, because the reinforcements in Elsterding had come from Guimone, and some had even one to Vilsbach, so the Austrontan position was stronger than before rather than weaker. The Balti retreated in disarray back across the Korbl Bridge, pursued hotly by the Austrontans who struck down a thousand Balti before the Balti main force arrived and the Austrontans fled back to Vilsbach. Vilsbach was made of a series of fortifications, so even though Calobo now had the Austrontans outnumbered in Vilsbach, he knew he could not risk an attack that would throw his line off balance. His main army instead sat back, ready to reinforce either the Vilsbach or Elsterding position if the Austrontans went on the offensive.
Calobo now decided on a decisive offensive. He elected to cross not one, not two, but three bridges, sending troops to Vilsbach, Elsterding, and across the Kilian Bridge, a bridge to the far right of the battle, almost off the battlefield that led to Nurembeck, a town crucial because it held many of Frederick's supplies. Frederick has caught off guard at Nurembeck, and the Balti stormed the bridge. At Elsterding also, Calobo successfully attacked, capturing the town. The Korbl Bridge leading to Vilsbach still held firm however, and the Balti were unable to crack the defenses. The attack on Elsterding continued to do well, and the Austrontans fell back when Franz Kaufer, the commander of the town, was killed by a Balticonian bullet. Frederick realized that Elsterding would be lost and quickly ordered the Elsterding forces to reinforce Nurembeck, determined not to lose the crucial supplies. The Korbl attack was also ended by Calobo, but this was a costly attack, with several thousand dead vainly attempting to capture Vilsbach. The Balticonians now held Elsterding, but the rest of their assault had failed, and Frederick was now free to attack the town with his full force. He gathered a large force of 22,000 for this task, and he soon drove the Balti from the town, but reinforcements from Calobo steadied the Balti line and prevented an evacuation of the bridgehead. The Balti now drove forward, but more waves of Austrontans and Balti constantly drove the other side back and forth for about five hours. By the end of the day, the third day of fighting, the Balti held half of Elsterding. Frederick bombarded the town, but the Balti sheltered themselves and protected themselves from the shells. Frederick ordered an abrupt end to the bombardment because his troops now charged forward, catching the Balti isolated and surprised and forcing a disorganized retreat across the Elwin Bridge. That night, Frederick ordered 20,000 more reinforcements from Guimone to reinforce Elsterding while his weary troops fell back into the reserves. Calobo gave up his attack and instead moved his artillery closer to the Rastalt River in order to provide cover for his troops on his next attack.
Frederick diverted 10,000 troops from the front now to fortify his right flank because Koranian scouts had been sighted and Frederick feared a Koranian attack, not knowing the Koranians were still a ways off. Calobo ordered a shelling of Vilsbach and Elsterding by his newly placed artillery. The Austrontans, surprised the Balti were in range, withdrew from the towns. Calobo now ordered a crossing of the two bridges to make Frederick think that he was not attacking Nurembeck. The trick worked and Frederick diverted forces from Nurembeck. Calobo now sent a large force over the Kilian Bridge to take Nurembeck with his main attack. Frederick sent an even larger force to counter this attack and he evacuated his supplies. The Balti reinforcements were just behind the first group, and together, they easily subdued Nurembeck. At Vilsbach, the attackers were evenly matched with Frederick's forces and the battle was a stalemate, but at Elsterding, Frederick had almost a 2-1 advantage. Calobo had sent artillery with the Elsterding group and began shelling Frederick's reserves, dealing a massive blow to Austrontan morale as it now appeared to them that the Balti commanded the whole battlefield. Hospitals in the Austrontan reserves were ruthlessly targeted, and several exploded or were burned with recovering men inside. Austrontans still outnumbered the Balti at Elsterding and mustered an attack to retake the town before their reserves were completely depleted. The attack succeeded and the Balti artillery was destroyed or captured, further exasperating the Balti lack of artillery. The Balti attack in Vilsbach now seemed like it was about to burst the flank of Frederick, so forces were diverted from Elsterding to Vilsbach. The reinforcements turned the tide and drove the Balti back across the Korbl Bridge, but the diversion also gave much needed relief to the Balti at Elsterding, who rallied to retake the town. By the time the fighting settled down, the Balti were in clear possession of Elsterding and Nurembeck, but still were unable to make any headway at Vilsbach.
During the night, Frederick decided not to bombard the towns in fear that he would destroy the defensive positions the Austrontans needed to win the battle, and continued to fight for them. Reinforcements to Nurembeck forced the Balti back across the Kilian Bridge for the last time, as Austrontans then proceeded to burn the bridge. The Balti soldiers occupying Nurembeck then transferred to Elsterding, in order to give the Balti an almost impregnable position. The Balti began to mass forces at the Korbl Bridge, but the Austrontans were ordered to burn that bridge too, leaving only the Elwin Bridge still standing. Frederick sent Matthias von Brandt with a cavalry division to delay Exavier's arrival, but Exavier took a longer route in order to evade Von Brandt. Calobo now ordered a new assault on Vilsbach and Nurembeck, ordering his troops to swim across the river. Though the Balti lost several hundred men drowned in this, they caught Frederick completely by surprise and took both towns. The Balti now, for the first time, held all three towns. Frederick ordered an all-out assault against Vilsbach and Nurembeck, and though he captured Vilsbach, it was soon retaken and Frederick abandoned the hope of taking the towns and retreated to a second line of defense. The first stage in the battle had been won by the Balti, and the first line of defense had been decisively breached. Frederick's new line of defense along the Von Kolkenburg Ridge consisted of a the Grauhuften Farmhouse and barn on the left, the Konigrath Chateau in the center and the town of Wiensveld on the right.
On November 28th, four days after beginning the battle, Calobo began the attack on the second defense line. However, after a few small skirmishes were unsuccessful, Calobo received word that Exavier was on the way and expected to arrive on the 29th, and so he ordered a retreat back to the lines and a reinforcement of the three towns. The Balti were also reinforced by 50,00 new recruits from Balticonia, led by the ailing Soloko, determined to fight to the end in Balticonia's greatest trial. On the 29th, the Balti assailed all three positions. Soloko led the attack on the chateau with some of Balticonia's greatest soldiers and cavalry prepared to charge through the gap as soon as Soloko's infantry pierced a hole in the Austrontan chateau position. Though the Austrontans were vastly outnumbered, they fought bravely and used every crack in the walls of the chateau, every room for protection, refusing to give up the position. The Balticonians captured the farmhouse quickly, but were routed at Wiensveld. Frederick now pivoted his Wiensveld forces to flank the Balti at the chateau, but as he approached, he heard the one sound he dreaded. A Koranian war horn. He abandoned his hopes of ousting the Balti from the chateau and instead turned to face Exavier, who he did not know had evaded von Brandt. By now, Soloko had finally crushed the Austrontan position at the Konigrath Chateau and instead of charging through the Austrontan lines towards Guimone, turned his cavalry towards Frederick. Calobo urged his father not to do this, knowing it could be suicidal, but Soloko seemed unwavering in his urge to fight Frederick, saying "For Balticonia I have lived, and for Balticonia I shall die. The two megalithic armies faced each other on a long and narrow field atop the Von Kolkenburg Ridge, Frederick in the middle, and Exavier and Soloko on either side, and waited for the attack. Exavier began by personally leading a massive cavalry charge into the Austrontans. The Austrontan artillery tore open the Koranian lines, inflicting massive casualties, but the Koranians charged on...and on...and on. Closer and closer the Koranians approached, leaving thousands of dead comrades and brothers behind, casualties of the barrage. But the Koranian line did not waver and finally crashed into the Austrontan line, plunging dead into the fortifications. The Koranians, led by Exavier seemed determined to break the back of Austronta. Unfortunately, the heroic emperor Exavier was bucked by his spooked horse when a shell landed in front of it. The Emperor got up, but his horse had fled the scene. Exavier unsheathed his saber and fought as a foot soldier, fencing his way through the Austrontan position, his courage never failing him. As the Koranian charge advanced further, Exavier suddenly felt a bullet rip through his chest. Though not fatally wounded, he staggered in pain, only to feel the sharp blade of an Austrontan sword kill the defenseless emperor moments later. The Austrontans began cheering and fought with renewed strength. The disheartened Koranians fell back to their lines.
Meanwhile, Soloko had simultaneously led 10,000 of Balticonia's best horsemen at Frederick at the same time as the Koranian charge. The Austrontan artillery was unable to fire at both forces, so the Balti reached the Austrontan lines mostly unscathed. Soloko personally slew over 50 Austrontans as they charged forward, almost reaching Exavier's forces in the middle. Soloko was hit by an Austrontan bullet as the Balticonian forces advanced. Knowing he had but moments to live, Soloko leaped from his mount, killing an Austrontan general as he reached the ground before succumbing to his wounds. The Balti charge did not lose hope as the Koranians did, however, and kept fighting. Frederick's forces now could focus on the Balti charge because the Koranians were fleeing, and the Balti soon were enveloped, fighting to the last man. Only one man, Caluvius Wtuma escaped alive. He had rode his horse into the battle behind Soloko, and was hit early on. He fell to the ground, but never was killed. He pretended to be dead to avoid being killed because he was unable to fight. The charging horsemen trampled over Wtuma, but he somehow survived, witnessing the death of Soloko and his army. It was now the Austrontan's turn to charge, but their depleted forces were routed by the coalition. The chateau resistance melted away, and those forces, along with the farmhouse forces reinforced the Balti lines. Frederick, wounded from the battle, ordered a retreat within the walls of Guimone, where he died on December 4rth from his wounds, seemingly lost his determination to live after being discouraged by the loss of the battle of Guimone.
The Austrontan government convened at Scholtzburg to decide what to do. They agreed to sign a peace treaty with the coalition stripping them of their territory gained during the wars. Balticonia relinquished the territory gained against Allan Land, but kept the Vestils. Balticonia gained North Sasta from Sasta, and a new Sastan government was set up in only name. Laumana was given to Balticonia and the Sastan capital was moved to Batombia. Sasta was now a crumbling nation, poor and backwards, and twenty years later, most of Sasta was integrated into Balticonia. The Frihompts also lost some autonomy to Balticonia, but the people thought of Balticonians as heroes and liberators and did not mind. Austronta went into decline and soon devolved into political chaos. Similarly to Sasta, it was similarly annexed by Balticonia in the early 1800s, but a further series of Civil Wars regained their independence. Though Korania had won the war, they gained very little, and were in fact, much weaker than at the start of the war. Their new emperor, Ivan Markov, found Korania a ailing nation, and was not as good a leader as Exavier had been. Allania now had new allies, abandoning their old rivalries with Balticonia and Old Utopia, forming the Triple Entente in 1800 with the two nations. Frederick was a great leader, no doubt, but he was driven by selfish ambition. Even if Lezra had been subdued by his banner, you still wonder: 7 million casualties. Was it worth it? Similarly, when one sees the heroic defense of freedom by Balticonia, Allania and Korania, they must ask themselves: Is freedom worth the lives of 7 million people? Was it worth the scars and wounds of millions more? Was it worth 7 million hopes and dreams? Was it worth the sorrow of 7 million mothers, sons and wives? Is freedom so dear to us that we are willing to sacrifice the lives of others? No matter the value you assign to freedom, tragedy and trial shakes the foundations of a country and their ideals to the very core. This was never so true as it was in the Wars of the Austrontan Coalitions--the greatest trial the world has faced.