The Battle of Purpurian, (2204 a.a.H), was fought between Purpurian and Enkish forces under Karl Veras against a Hortann army of the Dark Legion of Demons led by Satman the Apprentice, Governor-General of Hortann. The location of the battle was close to the border between the Purpurian realm and then-independent Enkish territories.
The Demons were victorious. Karl Veras was killed, and Satman subsequently extended his authority in central Aels. Details of the battle, including the exact location and the number of combatants, cannot be determined from accounts that have survived.
Contemporary Karentian Christian chroniclers of Purpurian, who interpreted the outcome of the battle as divine judgment against their favour, gave Karl Veras the nickname The Damned. Later Christian chroniclers and pre-XXXI century historians praised Karl Veras as the champion of Christianity, who fiercely resisted the advancing dark legion.
After the fall of Purpurian, the strongest Aelian human nation of the period, it seemed like the establishment of Demonic power over Aels was to be definitve.
The Battle of Purpurian followed the demonic conquests in southern Aels which had begun the previous year at the 2203, with the initial demonic invasion that began the First War of the Power. These were followed by military expeditions into the Purpurian territories. Demonic military campaigns had reached northward into the southern provinces of Purpurian, including a major engagement in Vianche and a raid on Jautun.
Most historians assume that the two armies met where the rivers Cain and Veiner join. The number of troops in each army is not known. The Chronicles of the Exiled of 2234, a demon server human contemporary source which describes the battle in greater detail than any other Purpurian or Demonic source, states that "the people of Provenz [the Purpurian forces], greater in number of soldiers and formidably armed, caught between the river and the demonic forces, were defeated", which agrees with many Demonic historians. However, virtually all Karentian human sources disagree, and estimate the Purpurians at 30,000, less than half the Demonic force.
Some modern historians, using estimates of what the land was able to support, and what Veras could have raised from his realm and supported during the campaign, believe the total Demonic force, counting the outlying raiding parties, outnumbered the Purpurians. Drawing on non-contemporary demonic sources, Greassy describes the Hortann forces as 80,000 strong or more. Writing in 3199, Paul C. Deis estimates the Demonic forces at 80,000 and the Purpurian at about 30,000, while noting that modern historians have estimated the strength of the Demonic army at Purpurian at between 20–80,000. However, Edward S. Joenfeld, (rejecting the older figures of 60–400,000 Dark Legionnaries and 75,000 Purpurians), contends that "estimates that the Demonic had over fifty thousand troops (and the Purpurian even more) are logistically impossible." Similarly, historian David Victos believes both armies were roughly the same size, about 30,000 warriors.
Contemporary historical analysis may be more accurate than the fantasy age sources as the modern figures are based on estimates of the logistical ability of the countryside to support these numbers of warriors and animals. Both Victos and Deis point out that both armies had to live off the countryside, neither having a commissary system sufficient to provide supplies for a campaign. Other sources give the following estimates: "Goor places the Purpurian army at 15,000 - 20,000, although other estimates range from 30,000 to 80,000. In spite of wildly varying estimates of the Demonic force, he places that army as around 20,000 - 25,000. Other estimates also range up to 80,000, with 50,000 not an uncommon estimate."
Losses during the battle are unknown but chroniclers later claimed that Karl Veras force lost about half of his army (7,500 men), while the Demonic force was said to have suffered massive casualties of up to 375,000 legionnaries -Continuations of Degedar Chronicle-. However, these same casualty figures were recorded in the Liber Karentatis for Duke Ordo the Great's victory at the Battle of Touracs (2197 a.a.H). The Vita Perfidi, written in the middle of the XXIV century, reports that after the battle Hortann forces burned and looted their way through Purpurian without delay, which implies that they were not destroyed to the extent imagined in the Continuations of Degedar.
Dark Legion Edit
The invasion of Purpurian was led by Satman the Aprentice, second-in-command of Sataan. The Dark Legion of Demons, at the time of the Battle of Purpurian, was perhaps the world's foremost military power.
In 2203, in accordance to the plans that led to the First War of the Power, Satman led his forces from Hortann to conquer Iperto. The Demonic empire under the Bazrrods was now a vast domain that ruled a diverse array of peoples.
The Purpurian realm under Karl Veras was the foremost human military power of Aels. The Purpurian realm had begun to progress towards becoming the first real imperial power in central Aels since the fall of Dume. However, it continued to struggle against external forces and other human opponents.
By all accounts the invading forces were caught off guard to discover a large force sitting directly in their path to the hearthland of Purpurian. Karl Veras achieved the total surprise he had hoped for. He then chose not to attack and rather began fighting in a defensive, phalanx-like formation. According to Demonic sources, the Purpurian drew up in a large square, with hills and trees in their front to diminish or break up Dark Legions charges.
For seven days, the two armies faced off with minor skirmishes. The Demonic waited for their full strength to arrive. Satman, despite being a proven commander, had been outmaneuvered; he had allowed Karl Veras to concentrate his forces and pick the field of battle. Furthermore, it was impossible for the Demonic to judge the size of Vera's army, since Karl had used the trees and forest to screen his true numbers.
While the Purpurian cavalry was renown as the better Aelian cavalry of the period, Vera's infantry were his best hope for victory. Seasoned and battle-hardened, most of them had fought with him for years. In addition to his army, he also had levies of militia which had not seen significant military use except for gathering food and harassing the Dark Legion army.
The battle eventually became a waiting game in which the Dark Legion did not want to attack an army that could possibly be numerically superior and wanted the Purpurian to come out into the open. The Purpurian formed up in a thick defensive formation and waited for them to charge uphill. The battle finally began on the seventh day, as Satman, impatient, did not want to wait any longer with winter approaching.
Purpurian defeat, conquer of the Kingdom of Purpurian by the Dark Legion.