The Campaign of Sargos (Late 2439 to Late 2440 a.a.H) refers to the major event of the Second War of the Power whereas the Demon Prince Satman the Apprentice would set the newly reformed Dark Legion of Demons loose against the Human and Christian Five Kingdoms of the Northwest.
Beginnings of the Second War of the PowerEdit
The Second War of the Power began in 2434 a.a.H., as this was the opening move, when the Bazrrod demon lord: The Witch King of Dol-Nur, with some grudging aid from the Demon Prince, The Nigromante of Tok-Thoria, freed the captive Soul Stones of the remaining Demon Princes, and a host of an unknown number of Bazrrods, from imprisonment in Mount Satanmet.
Upon regaining their freedom and new bodies, the demons called their already free demon brethren back into the structure of the Dark Legion, and wars began all over Polforia to force the domains and tribes of that immense land to pledge their fealty to the Dark Legion. Over six years, the land had largely been brought to heel, and a truly enormous army was gathered.
Purpose of the CampaignEdit
Satman's expectation was to use his new and immense army to conquer all the Five Kingdoms of the Northwest in one year, or at the very least to conquer the heart of the kingdoms, and the strongest human nation: Sargos-Degoland, and strike a decisive blow against all the nations. In following years, he would ensure that all the human nations of Aels--indeed--all of Aels fell to the Dark Legion, and to then conquer all human nations throughout the world.
Despite problems, Satman, with his plan and horde, were very nearly successful in this but for the radically unforeseen event of the appearance of the Sand Beings.
The Campaign of SargosEdit
At the year 2439 a.a.H, the right hand of Saatan, Prince of all Demons, Satman the Apprentice, who had traveled from his fortress from the Unholy Mountain of Hortann to Polforia to review the state of the armies of the Dark Legion. Upon inspection, it was decided the armies of the Dark Legion were ready for conquering the human, elven and loranor realms that opposed the Dark Legion in Aels: an army as was said it wasn't ever seen before: 178 legions -between 900.000 to 1.200.000 warriors, according to Dark Legion chronicles, and of three millions, to human historians-
Problems with the Dark LegionEdit
The Dark Legion seemed to come together with a singular purpose--to gain vengeance for their defeat in the First War of the Power--and to begin again with the demons' frustrated objectives. In truth, things were quite a bit different. The principal leader, Saatan, seems to have never been quite the same after his defeat and became even more of an absentee ruler than he ever was before. Satman, for his part, seems to have lost his boundless patience, and where before he had spent whole generations to prepare in the previous great war, now, he forced a grander Dark Legion into being in less than six years.
Demon lords were not all pleased to see the return of their overlords. The peoples of Polforia were largely opposed to each other, and were angry, fearful, and resentful at being forced to serve these returning demonic bullies. Especially when they had to face the allies who had defeated these supposed dark gods, and over two centuries, had mostly prevailed against the humans and Grey elfs who had sought to colonize Polforia.
The great horde would be wracked by divisions, resentment, and indiscipline. Many times, companies would desert, or even whole legions would have their own independent goals or they would even fight against each other in the field, carrying their own grudges along with them into the battlefields of foreign lands.
The throng of Green Orcs, Green Goblins, Galaw Orcs, Ozcura Orcs, Blood elfs, Beast People, Draak Harg, and various categories of demons not only had their own objectives, but their very summoning and gathering and travel would require stupendous resources in food and water, beasts of burden, and equipment. None of which was ever in sufficient supply, or would be wasted due to immense distances or poor applications, or banditry.
Satman's Plan in BriefEdit
Satman's first main objective was to destroy the strongest of the human nations, Sargos-Degoland, the joined kingdoms of the Osorio Valley that formed the heart of the five human kingdoms of the northwest of Aels. However, in order to march over the Human Five Kingdoms of the Northwest, while could be used the mountain passes of Dargoina, the most direct access to the human kingdoms of the northwest, the Degoland Pass was defended by the bulwark of Humanity, the Gate City of Roccasone, while in the north, closing the Navatiak pass, was the Sovereign Military Order of Nortender: so in order to march over the Five Kingdoms, it was needed to take over Roccasone.
The Three PathsEdit
With his vast armies, Satman would seem to have decided to attack all routes to the Five Kingdoms at once. Probably to maximize chances of success, and ensure that the humans could not defend from a few points.
By the 2440 a.a.H, Satman ordered his forces to be divided in three main columns -one to cross the paths in southern Dargoina, one in the Navatiak Pass and the main force into Degoland itself through the Degoland Pass-, while minor forces would cross the Dargoina Mountain range all over the available mountain paths. The passage of lightly equipped forces in winter over the formidable mountains was accomplished due to fortifications of Olga's Wall in the mountains bordering Huncle and northern Degoland that allowed somewhat easier access.
Roccasone as the KeyEdit
Since their return in the 2434 a.a.H, while they had been preparing their armies, the Dark Legion as well was careful to try to keep the secret of their strength, and that the return of the demon lords to only remain as rumours: and the humans of Roccasone, too proud, hadn't believed either in the return of the Demon Lords -they firmly believed instead it was a façade, and instead was one more time one of the Dark Legion Remnants claiming hegemony over the other demonic princedoms- and these humans felt safe behind their powerful walls.
Satman didn't want either to show his full force against Roccasone -to not give enough time for the Five Kingdoms to prepare-, and fearing that in the case of a prolonged siege his endless armies would be more of an encumbrance than a benefit due to the problems of feeding such forces, he decided to take Roccasone with treason, secrecy and surprise: The demons will contact in secret the ambitious successor of the Throne of Roccasone Valerian de Roccasone and as well, will send a werewolf commander of Mondwargh -once a slave in the human city and leader of a slave revolt- to distract the defensive efforts of Roccasone and begin a slave revolt -Pumori of the White Fang-.
The Fall of RoccasoneEdit
This scheme will be successful: and while fighting a rebellion of slaves within the city, with werewolves cutting their communication and supply routes to the Five Kingdoms and the traitors of Valerian opening the gates of Roccasone to the marching Dark Legions -a force of about 20.000 to 40.000 warriors commanded by the Bazrrod general Vortigern-, the city will fall.
Most of Roccasone's inhabitants will be slaughtered, and only a handful of survivors were able to escape, while the rest were enslaved by the dark legion: the city, sacked and destroyed, will become known as Skallgard, the Garden of Skulls, a demonic outpost for the marching dark legions under the rule of Succubus Queen Laisha, who was a crucial part of the taking over the human city.
With Roccasone in demonic claws, it was the moment for ordering the crossing of the Dargoina mountains, and all the available legions were to march against Sargos.
While it was needed speed, so the dark legions arrived before the news of the fall of Roccasone, the sacking of the city slowed down their advance, and while the werewolf and ozcuras skirmishers under the command Pumori of the White Fang were very successful in cutting off the communications of Roccasone to the Five Kingdoms, it was precisely because of this lack of news that the garrisons of the border fortresses of Degoland were already on guard: so when finally some Roccasone refugees and survivors arrived with the news, these quickly extended like fire:
"The Dark Legion has returned, and it's here"
Slow Movement of Principal ForcesEdit
The quick advance across the Degoland Pass planned by Satman became instead a muddled, slow advance as the commanders could only advance some few legions at a time to siege and storm the castles and forts of Degoland, with the bulk of the legions awaiting in the Polforian lowlands, consuming vast resources everyday. Meanwhile the news in the northern front against Nortender wasn't good either, as their advance had been stopped.
Satman, growing impatient, and while it was clear in Nortender his legions weren't capable of destroying the Knights of Nortender, he wanted that his forces that were marching across the Barlans -sacking and burning Erenian- to arrive at the Osorio Valley at the same time the main force to cross the Degoland Pass, so he ordered more forces into the Dargoina Mountains to assault the Degolandic castles and forts, finally forcing the pass.
Even then, the bazrrod general of the vanguard, Vortigern, had his hands full, as he needed to push out into Degoland, and provide protection for the legions forming up behind him. His army was pushed very hard, but held firm, and finally, after long delays caused by human defenses within the Degoland Pass, the way through, and the exit in Degoland was secure.
But even though the Degoland Pass was the main way through the Dargoina Mountains, and the most efficient, it would still require many weeks, or even a few months, for the entire contingent to be able to traverse the pass, along with supplies and wagons going back and forth. This central mass would send huge armies out to protect its flanks, general Merrick the Half Orc to the north, and Vortigern to the south, conquering the whole of the country of Degoland. The central mass of the horde moving forward like locusts, towards the Sargos-Degoland capital of Millbridge.
In the north, the human colony and military order of Nortender successfully smashed the massive legion that was to be the vanguard to the north and to crush Nortender and to secure and traverse the Navatiak Pass. The plan was to conquer the northern humans and their dwarven allies, and attack Huncle from the north. But the largest and best army sent to the north had been soundly defeated and almost destroyed altogether in a quick succession of battles, ending with the Battle of the Hundred Lakes.
As the north approach was always going to be the hardest and longest anyway, and the most environmentally brutal and hardest to supply, Satman angrily abandoned that approach. Instead, the remaining legions that were meant to go around the northwest corner of the Dargoina Mountains and the Aels continent merely continued to invade Nortender, and kept the Order of Nortender, and Order of Saint Creöle, besieged in their castles.
Meanwhile in the Dargoina pass of The Cauldron, Satman's legions crossed to the Barlans without problems, and were now marching in the plains westwards towards Erenian. This southern army would easily occupy Erenian, but even here, they would face problems. Whole legions stopped, fragmented, and became more interested in sacking and looting the sparse frontier country, and its Human, Half Elf, and Grey elf towns along the east bank of the South Osorio River. This is perhaps best explained by the long march, poor discipline, and inadequate supplies. Once disorganized and stopped, it was very difficult to get these legions reassembled and moving again.
Erenian itself was completely unable to adequately fight this southern fork of the invading horde. However, the River Guard and knights from powerful southern Degoland duchies managed to slow them down or sometimes even contain them thanks to Osorio River tributaries, but mostly due to orcish armies halting for days after every municipality they would obliterate. Guerrilla and Intelligence operations in Erenian and southern Degoland, some using alchemy to hide their scents, also picked off scattered bands of Dark Legion troops, or the scouts of this southern Dark Legion force, rendering the invading commanders half blind.
The situation was so bad, that Vortigern, the bazrrod general who had finally forced the Degoland Pass, was ordered to journey to the south of Degoland to protect the southern flank of the 'forming up' central horde, and to 'lead the southern column by the hand'.
This had the positive effect of catching much of the southern country in a pincers and would lead to Degoland being abandoned by most armies and knightly defenders of the Five Kingdoms. Indeed, the king, Camilo III, would order all forces across the Osorio River, most centering at the capital of Millbridge. But ill coordination between Dark Legion units would allow many southern Degoland armies to escape across the Osorio River to Sargos to fight another day.
It is possible that many of the problems of the southern branch were due to confusion of tactics and roles? The column might have been expected to split up, with some going north to meet up with the central mass, some playing rear guard, and a third crossing the river and invading the kingdom of Tardos? The southern armies remained intact, but confused and unsuccessful until they got some help and direction from Vortigern, and Pumori of the White Fang, who eliminated the most sophisticated and wily of the guerrilla forces, and captured the river island of Pointu Orielle, a defeat for the stalwart River Guard, and finally allowing the Dark Legion a passage across the Osorio River into Tardos and south Sargos.
'Over the Mountain' ForcesEdit
However, the distraction forces that were crossing the smaller mountain passes across the Dargoina Mountains were very successful in distracting the human kingdoms, as at first Huncle will commit most of their forces to guard the Öster Gate Pass, (see: Oster Gate), the same with Degoland. Farms and villages all along the western shadow of the Dargoina Mountains were raided and burned by light raiders of Ozcura Orc, various goblins, Werewolf war packs and so on.
These attacks after traversing the mountains through secondary passes and installations of Olga's Wall within the mountains, were a remarkable and terrifying achievement to be accomplished in winter. Indeed, even some small armies of Green Orcs and Brûmer Orcs would be able to get through the mountains with reasonable equipment to conduct war and sieges in north Degoland. These 'tertiary forces' were the first to arrive--as planned. Although they were actually more ahead of the central main force and the southern secondary force than expected.
Many of the small, light forces, particularly of ozcura orcs, would face heavy losses due to the attention they attracted and lack of support. Small orc armies making their way through the secondary passes would achieve some successes with attention being diverted to the legions forcing their way through the Oster Gate and Degoland Pass. However, at least two armies would come to open warfare with each other due to rivalries and racial animosity with one army being of Green orcs, and the other of Brûmer Orcs.
This being a clear of sign the disunity, poor discipline and lack of faith in greater goals that characterized the Dark Legion in this era despite overwhelming numbers.
With the news of the advance of the Dark Legion, menacing all along the Dargoina Mountains -with possibly a main attack trying to force the Degoland Pass, the sargonic king don Camilo III was to lead the forces of the Five Kingdoms, calling to arms their armies.
The Actions of the Sargos-Degoland KingEdit
Camilo III the Warrior was quick to rebuild again the fortifications and raise the armies of Sargos at least to the point of the Sargonic wars since his return to Sargos at the 2431 a.a.H, and he counted in with the support of the Five Kingdoms, acknowledging the danger of the Dark Legion -especially after the fall of Roccasone-, the humans of the northwest had gathered an army of about 100.000 men, aside of the garrisons of the castles and fortifications -as most of the forces of Degoland and Huncle were already defending their eastern borders, and it was needed to send a force to help Erenian-.
While a powerful army, as the Degoland Pass and Erenian had fallen, Satman was finally able to move into Degoland the bulk of his legions: And against the armies massed by the dark Legion in their great invasion of Sargos, there was little that the Christian human armies of the northwest could do: As Camilo III realized the size of the invading forces of the Dark Legion, he ordered to abandon Degoland, retreating to the western bank of the Osorio river, leaving only garrisons in the strongest degolandic castles to slow down the advance of the Dark Legion -and in case they weren't assaulted, to menace the supply and communication lines of the demonic armies-.
While in the south the River Guard and Tardos tried to hold the line, in a quick succession the cities and castles of Degoland fell, destroyed and sacked by the Dark Legions, and the line of the Osorio River proved to be impossible to hold for the human armies of the sargonic king Camilo III, who after the fall of his own capital -Millbridge- ordered his army to retreat again westwards, toward Karentia, seeking for a better defensive position to face in battle the Dark Legions.
However, as the Dark legion raiders and flying columns of ozcuras, werewolves and other light forces flanked the Sargonic army, was fought a series of desperate battles in the human retreat, until it was clear that, in the risk of being encircled, Camilo III and his armies were to fight a final battle in the plains of Sargos rather than Karentia, a battle where it was to be put on the line the destiny of the Five Kingdoms.
A Stand Against the DemonsEdit
Camilo III, with an army of about 80.000 men, were to face some 160 dark legions -according to human historians, about three millions servers of the Dark Legion, and according demonic accounts, a force of 982.000 warriors.-
In what will be known as the Battle of the plains of Sargos, the Christian armies of the Five Kingdoms fought fanatically, with their heavy cavalry doing one after the other charges against the dark legions, with the bloodbath lasting more than three hours: however, despite the best efforts of the humans, the battle was lost and their forces encircled. Camilo III, King of Sargos and commander of the human armies fell, and as well the king of Tardos and of Huncle, and only some ragged last positions, fortified in farms and hills tried some desperate last stands:
and when the humans' luck seemed to be all out and the fate of the Northwest sealed, that was when the Prophet appeared on a hill that dominated the battlefield where the Dark Legion was standing triumphant: It was then when the Prophet, using unknown magic -in what later the human historians will call a miracle- was able to command the Sand Beings, which were unleashed over the surprised demonic armies:
A sand storm will cover the battlefield, and for five minutes the remnants of the royal guard of Camilo III and the knights of La Cruz will see, astonished, as the Prophet held his cane, as only the sound of roaring sand and screams escaped from the sandstorm.
Then, the Prophet fell to his knees, his cane broken. As that happened, the human knights hurried to the Prophet, while the sand storm disappeared as quickly as had appeared: All the demon armies that were on the Plains of Sargos were destroyed. While the humans didn't believ what they saw, they came by the Prophet. There, the princes of the Northwest heard the death-bed council of the Prophet, who told them that the only way to truly defeat the demon lords, was to hunt for the Holy Relic of Eden.
The Prophet had died, unknown who he was, from where he had come and how he had acquired such power. The Sand Beings disappeared back to the Desert of Death as mysteriously they had appeared. And the ragged survivors of the human army that fought in the plains of Sargos saw the Demonic army annihilated: from when defeat was certain, they were now victorious. A Pyrric victory, but with the key of the knowledge and hope for a final victory against the demons.
Among the fallen, was Satman, but his soulstone was unscratched, and recovered by some of his surviving lieutenants. While the main force of the Dark Legion was wiped out, the flanking forces, garrisons, the flying bands and routers, and as well some fortunate ones who escaped the sand storm, and in general all the ones who hadn't fought in the Battle of the plains of Sargos had survived: But as they were ignorant of what caused the wrath of the Sand Beings, or what mysterious magic the humans possessed and if they could unleash it once more time, began a hasty retreat in disorder, with only few commanders of the Dark Legion being able to keep some cohesion in their forces.
The Counterattack of the Five KingdomsEdit
The King of La Cruz gathered the remnants of the army of Camilo III, and with the reinforcements that arrived from Tardos, Huncle and La Cruz began a persecution of the retreating legions: however with his own forces spent and tired, they couldn't annihilate the remnants of the legions of Satman in the battles of the Osorio River, and Degoland, and in their pursuit, while they were able to retake all lost land, when they arrived at former Roccasone -Skallgard-.
The Dark legions, commanded by the Succubus Queen Laisha and Satman -who had his soulstone once more placed in a new body- will keep there their line, and the Christian armies will clash and waver against the walls of the city, unable to reach Polforia.
Uncertainty of the Dark LegionEdit
That was the end of the Campaign of Sargos, with basically was a return to the status-quo-ante-bellum, with the exception of the fall of Roccasone. While the Dark Legion suffered a major defeat in the Battle of the Plains of Sargos, they will quickly begin to rebuild their forces to their former strength: but more than the human Christian armies stopping them to return, it will be the doubt in the black Soul Stone of Satman and the other Demon Lords, that if they were to unleash again their armies in the Northwest, the humans will again use the Sand Beings... so instead, they prepared to defend the Olga's Wall they began to rebuild and strengthen.
The doubts that lower demon lords and the mortals who served in the Dark Legion over the infallibility of their dark 'gods' intensified as a result of this defeat. Indeed, wars had been fought to reunite the Dark Legion, and great sacrifices had come to nothing. Polforia, and the greater Dark Legion, would be beset by successions and civil wars through much of the Second War of the Power. Mostly from new objections of tribal peoples, but more seriously, from successions of a great demon lord like Anutkahook, and even more seriously, the Nigromante of Tok-Thoria. Though both would come back to the Dark Legion again.
Damage to the Five KingdomsEdit
The allied Five Kingdoms had repelled the Dark Legion from the Osorio Valley--with the help of a 'miracle'. But they were left with the great Osorio Valley in tatters; the kingdom of Degoland being essentially destroyed for a generation as it was the primary battlefield and staging ground of huge armies, and great swaths of Sargos similarly afflicted, including the sacked capital city of Millbridge. In the south, Erenian had suffered as much as Degoland, and even Tardos had suffered from invasion. In the north, Huncle, too, had experienced terror and raided and burning farms and villages as a result of diversionary forces.
And, of course, they had lost the petty kingdom of Roccasone and control over the Degoland Pass had become contested. They would always know that the Dark Legion borders were only a matter of a few days march through the pass should a massive army ever form up in the new Skallgard. Skallgard, which seemed to exist to mock them.
Beginnings of a Holy WarEdit
The Five Kingdoms learned from this the full power of the unleashed Dark Legion, and knew that they couldn't trust a miracle to happen again and save them from the demons... so instead, the princes of the Northwest decided to follow the advice of the Prophet, and while they prepared for the next invasion of the Dark Legion, at the same time much of their efforts will be directed to acquire the Holy Relic of Eden in what will be later the Holy Wars of Eden, in order to defeat the demon lords.