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Peasants uprising by shabazik-d58l0wq

Disette Rivier amidst the violent peasants uprising known as the "Rivierie"

The Rivierie was a popular revolt in early Middle Human Age in North-western Aels by peasants that took place in eastern Huncle between the summer of 2258 to the 2260 a.a.H.

The revolt, which was violently suppressed after two years of violence, was centered in the Oster Gate Valley, east of Huncle.

Why this rebellion became known as the Rivierie isn't clear: some say it was because the nobles derided peasants as "Rivier" as a generic name, or for their revolutionary leader referred to by the aristocratic chronicler Jacques Crossant as Disette Rivier.

The word Rivierie became synonymous with peasant uprisings in general in the Sargonic, Degolendish and Hunclech.

BackgroundEdit

After the capture of the fortress of Oster Gate by the King of Huncle and his warriors were inspired by a Prophet, they hadn't fulfilled his vision and were cursed by said Prophet.

This by itself wouldn't have been cause enough for such a peasant rebellion, but after the First War of the Power the Kingdom of Huncle was still in a weakened state, and being unable to protect their people from the demons and the Dark Legion before had put their legitimacy in question:

And with the curse of the Prophet, even though he didn't present the opinion of the official church, was seen as a de-legitimization of the king and the nobles to the peasants of Huncle.

Consequently the prestige of the Huncle nobility – which had begun the century at the defeats against the Dark Legion fleeing the field and leaving their infantry to be hacked to pieces, and had given up their king at La Cruz – had sunk to a new low. To secure their rights, the Hunclech privileged classes, the nobility, the merchant elite, and the clergy, forced the peasantry to pay ever-increasing taxes and to repair their war-damaged properties under forgotten ancient taxes without compensation, aside of being conscripting the peasants to defend the castles of their lords.

The immediate cause of the spontaneous uprising would be, however, when it was decided to tax the rights to cut wood from the forests -legally property of the king-. With that tax being announced, the villagers decided that they had enough of that. Sedition spread like a forest fire inside the villages, and from village to village, and soon the whole region was rioting.

The chronicle of Jacques Crossant articulates the perceived problems between the nobility and the peasants, yet some historians, Aq'ven Kaseem being one of them, see the Rivierie revolts as a reaction to a combination of short and long-term effects dating as early as the grain crisis and famine of 1995 a.a.H., and the Sargos-Huncle War of 1998 a.a.H. In addition, bands of grey elves, Kanov montangards, Sargonic and Degolandic raiders— unemployed mercenaries and bandits employed by the Huncle during outbreaks of the war against the orcs in the demons' mountain range defenses and communities of Olga's Wall — were left uncontrolled, to loot, rape and plunder the lands of eastern Huncle almost at will, the King of Huncle powerless to stop them. Many peasants questioned why they should work for a government that clearly could not protect its citizens.

The uprisingEdit

This combination of problems set the stage for a brief series of bloody rebellions in eastern Huncle in 2.258 a.a.H. The uprisings began in a village of Bois de l'eau (Waterwood in Sargonic) near the Trèfle river, where a group of peasants met in a burned church under the command of a young widow who lost her husband during the assault on the orc fortifications on Oster Gate

There, they discussed their perception that the nobles had abandoned the people, and that the tax on the wood was unfair. "They shamed and despoiled the realm, and it would be a good thing to destroy them all." -- Menteur de l'Eglise.

The account of the rising by the contemporary chronicler Menteur de l'Eglise also includes a description of horrifying violence. According to him, peasants

"killed a knight, put him on a spit, and roasted him with his wife and children looking on. After ten or twelve of them raped the lady, they wished to force feed them the roasted flesh of their father and husband and made them then die by a miserable death."

Examples of violence on this scale by the hands of Huncle peasants are offered throughout all of the western-Aelian sources, including Nombre Dix-Sept, in general sympathetic to the peasants' plight, and the particularly unsympathetic aristocrat Jean Pompeux.

The peasants involved in the rebellion seem to have lacked any real organization, instead rising up locally as an unstructured mass. It is speculated by Jean le Boiteux that evil governors and tax collectors spread the word of rebellion from village to village to inspire the peasants to rebel against the nobility. When asked as to the cause of their discontent they apparently replied that they were just doing what they had witnessed others doing. Additionally it seems that the rebellion contained some idea that it was possible to rid the world of nobles.

Pompeux's account portrays the rebels as mindless thugs bent on destruction, which they wreaked on over 150 noble houses and castles, murdering the families in horrendous ways.

Outbreaks occurred in all eastern Huncle, while some northern Degolendic cities were sacked by the peasant army. Meanwhile, The bourgeoisie of many cities of Western Huncle, sorely pressed by the court party, accepted the Rivierie, and the urban underclass were sympathetic. It is notable that churches were not the targets of peasant fury.

SuppressionEdit

At first, the armies of Charles IV, the King of Huncle -still weakened since the end of the end of the First War of the Power- were waging war in the south: As well, due to the curse of the Prophet, many of his troops had deserted him upon superstition, so when he finally was able to march back to eastern Huncle, his army arrived in the advanced winter, and facing a large peasant army and lacking a foothold in his own country, he wasn't able to organize an efficient repression: and so, they did the Pacts of Christmas of 2.258.

After the weeks of violence, with this pact between the king, nobles and the peasants of the Valley of Oster Gate, it was instituted not only an amnesty to all the rebels and their leaders, but as well many of the taxes were outlawed and the feudal system of Huncle was renovated, claiming many that the Pacts of Christmas can be seen as the first constitution of western Aels -while others claims is instead the Gran Carta de Sargos-.

The Pacts of Christmas were a great victory to the rebels and an humiliation to the King of Huncle. While many of the rebel leaders as important political figures of the region, conforming a self government in eastern Huncle, the king retreated to his western possessions.

In the following year, during 2.559 the violence will continue, but in a sporadic way: riots and protests, divisions among the same peasants, and as well uprisings in near provinces, which worried not only now the king of Huncle and his nobles, but as well the neighboring kingdoms of Degoland, Sargos and La Cruz, specially after the death of the King of Huncle Charles IV due a hunting accident: the succession was unclear, becoming Charles le Gros the Regent, and claiming the Throne prince Phillipe II Vautur and king Martin the Conqueror of Sargos.

With rebellions once again being expressed in violent assaults to castles and noble manors, the prince (and an aspirant to the throne) Phillipe II Vautur, with his position too weakened to solve the situation on his own, contacted in secret with the King of Sargos, Martin the Conqueror.

Sargos, in that moment rising as one of the more powerful human kingdoms of Northwestern Aels, seeing this as an opportunity not only to restore peace of the disturbed society (To their standards), but as well as an opportunity for territorial expansion.

They began with an offensive of the church, which claimed all these peasant uprisings as heretical and sinful, while the Sargonic army slowly prepared for war.

In the 2.260, it was the end of the Commune of Öster Gate and their independent rule.

The revolt was suppressed by Huncle and Sargonic nobles led by Martin the Conqueror of Sargos, cousin, brother-in-law and mortal enemy of the Regent Charles le Gross, whose throne he was attempting to usurp.

When knowing of the Sargonic invasion of Eastern Huncle, the Commune and their leaders claimed Prince Phillipe II Vautur to be a traitor to Huncle and rallied their forces in a hurry:

Finally, Martin the Conqueror and the peasant army opposed each other near Dix-Sept on 10 June 2.260 a.a.H.

There, the large but untrained, unequipped and without discipline peasant army was ridden down by divisions of knights' cavalry in the ensuing Battle of Dix-Sept, which was followed by a campaign of terror throughout the Oster Gate Valley region, where soldiers roamed door to door in the countryside lynching countless peasants and killing many thousands in the fury that followed.

The nobles and the sargonic soldiers plundered the cities and churches and set fire to all eastern Huncle, which burned for two weeks, overrunning the countryside, burning cottages and barns and slaughtering all the peasants they could find.

The reprisals continued through July and August. There was one massacre after other as Martin The Conqueror and his Sargonic army slowly advanced now to western Huncle, where the regent Charles le Gross, who feared both the rebels and the Sargonic forces, didn't do anything to stop the invasion of their southern neighbors until the Rebellion was smashed by the invasion of Sargos...

Then, instead of fighting the invader, Charles le Gross gave the crown of Huncle to Phillipe II vautur, Huncle then becoming an allied state of Sargos.

A declaration of Amnesty was issued then by Phillipe II as the Sargonic army returned to their own country -leaving an important garrison to ensure the "loyalty" of the now king Phillipe II-

The leader of the revolt, Disette Rivier, disappeared after the Battle of Dix-Sept. Some say, she died in that battle. Others, that she was captured and interned as a nun in a monastery... and others said, she left, to become a spirit of rebellion of Aels.

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