The suffering caused by this war has entirely shaped the history of these two countries, and colors the interactions between elves and men all over the world.
The Beginning- The First Battle of the Bloodstraits
In the year 11 EOM the newly formed kingdom of King Einiger I in Viridia had completed the construction of it’s first Naval forces. The humans had been sailing for decades prior to the unification of the kingdoms in year 1 EOM, but as many of the humans feared the elves it was customary to steer clear of Mithlandish territory.
Mithland’s navy was already well established, but the council of elders had decided as the humans began to appear in Viridia that they would leave the new race to develop as they might (provided of course that they did not become aggressive or expansionist).
None living are sure what caused the conflict to begin, but at some point in the spring of 12 EOM two patrolling vessels skirmished in the waters near what the men called Hop Island. The elf vessel was a small scouting vessel, and was overpowered by the human ship. A few surviving elves fled the site of the battle and returned to fleet headquarters at Satama.
Each government considered the skirmish an act of war and began to prepare. Admiral Nioldiori of the Elvish fleet struck first, intercepting the human fleet and surrounding them in the First Battle of the Bloodstraits. The casualties on both sides were so severe that survivors claimed that from shore to shore the waters of the straits were stained with blood- and from then on the channel between the two countries was known as the Bloodstraits (or Seremegil).
The human Admiral Vascaro was slain in the battle, leaving king Einiger without his most senior military commander. The loss set back the development of the Viridian navy significantly, putting the men on the defensive and largely ceding the straits to Mithland for centuries.
The Siege of Eastport
Situated on a peninsula whose edge was only 12 miles from Hop Island, Eastport was the center of the Viridian naval fleet. The new Admiral Vintare was ill prepared for his post, and Einiger sent the commander of his land forces High General Kargin to assume command at Eastport.
Encouraged by his victory in the Battle of the Bloodstraits, Nioldiori made his case to the elders that Eastport was ripe for the taking, and that crushing what remained of the naval forces there would ensure that the humans could no longer be a danger to Mithland. The elders gave Nioldiori free reign to begin his siege.
Kargin decided that the best course was to scrap the fleet entirely. They would completely cede the water to the elves for now and make a stand at Eastport. They build fortifications all around the peninsula, and put the sailors to work digging tunnels to lead into the city from further inland. Kargin’s chief engineer Carlo had created new defenses to be implemented in Eastport- things the Elves had never encountered.
Nioldiori amassed his fleet near Hop Island and pressed towards Eastport. He was surprised at first by the lack of resistance over the water, but was stunned when he reached the city. The elves attempted for nine days to sack the city, and sustained heavy casualties as Carlo’s defenses proved to be deadly.
Enraged, Nioldiori was forced into a long term siege. He attempted over and over to cut off the land routes to Eastport with limited success. The humans had spent the previous centuries fighting each other and clearing the island of orcs before being unified under the Dragon Banner of Einiger, and the Viridian forces were full of veterans. The elves were overmatched when attempting to take the peninsula.
For months the Naval blockade was in place, and though life inside Easport was less than ideal the city would not be broken. As the icy winds of winter drew near Nioldiori knew he needed to make a final push or be humiliated so soon after his huge victory in the Bloodstraits.
He sent a messenger to the council and asked for the Taikuri to be sent to help. These wizards had long been studying magic alone in the Green Tower, and it was unheard of for them to be disturbed. The mages agreed to come down from their solitude in the mountains and help.
With the help of the magic of the Taikuri, Nioldiori was able to crush Eastport as winter fell. The sturdy warriors of Viridia had no idea how to counter the horrifying magic of the Taikuri and began to flee the city as fire rained from the sky. Kargin stayed behind to defend the final retreat, and was lost when the city fell on the last day of Firstbite, 12EOM.
The Occupation of Easport
For more than 300 years, Easport – or as it became known to the elves Itävaltiot- was under strict control of the Elves. They spread their territory out into the surrounding foothills, but were satisfied that Mithland was safe for the time being. Meanwhile the prisoners that had been taken in the final sacking of the city were taken as slaves. Generations of men and women were born under the boot of Nioldiori, who maintained Itävaltiot as its governor until 323EOM when he chose to retire to his estate on Mithland.
In 325EOM, King Vierdiger II of Viridia began a controversial practice of buying freedom for slaves in Eastport. An extremely rich gold vein had been discovered in a mine in the souther mountains of Viridia and he decided to attempt to get as many of his citizens back as he could. The new governor of Eastport, a young and somewhat foolish elf named Liendras, was excited by an opportunity to fill his treasury and obliged the King.
In 328EOM, King Vierdiger bought what was to be his last batch of Itävaltiot slaves. Included in this new batch was a giant of a man, a farm laborer by the name of Hadros.
Hadros and the Retaking of Eastport
When the slaves returned to Kingston after being purchased, they appeared before Vierdiger and were given their freedom. Hadros refused to leave the palace, telling Vierdiger that he would not go back to some farm and work. He knew how to take Eastport, and he would do it. He swore himself to the service of the king, and joined the army immediately.
It seemed Hadros needed little training, and as soon as he picked up a weapon it seemed natural to him. He was nearly seven feet tall, with muscles honed by 2 decades of hard labor. Quickly rising through the ranks of the army, Hadros soon had the chance to prove himself in a battle with an orcish band to the north. Hadros flew into a rage when in battle, a whirling, axe-holding machine of destruction. The orcs began to flee when they saw him coming.
Hadros had reached the rank of Colonel when he told the king that it was the time to strike, and laid out his plan. He knew that the elves, especially Liendras, had become lazy and complacent. The Taikuri had moved to a base on Hop Island to resume their study. The way to regain Eastport, Hadros explained, was to strike so hard and fast that the elves would have no time to react. They must have the city by the time the Taikuri were able to arrive.
The other secret that Hadros knew, was that Nioldiori had feared that the humans would gain their own magic to rival that of the Taikuri. He had the old mages install an item of great power, a shield that could be activated that would absorb magic aimed at the city.
The king agreed, and Hadros led the charge. Caught unaware, the elvish defenses were overhwelmed quickly, and Hadros soon had Liendras’s head on a pike in the harbor. He moved to quickly take the keep, and successfully activated the shield. The Taikuri arrived by ship, but after hours of attempting to bypass their own protections, they returned to Mithland and abandoned their Hop Island refuge.
Viridia was once again whole.
The Jutton Armada
General Hadros soon founded his own port city to the north, in a protected fjord harbor called Jutton. There he began to recruit any and all persons he could find with magical gifts, and founded his own group of mages called the Spellhammers. These are spellcasters who have learned the arts of war, and could cast their spells through their weapons and wear armor while casting them. It took generations to perfect the art, long after Hadros was merely a statue in Jutton harbor.
Meanwhile both navies were built to be stronger than ever. A few skirmishes resulted over the next decades, but as the humans seemed to be content with having Eastport back the elves decided to be cautious.
The governor of Jutton in 543EOM was a particularly ambitious leader by the name of Osselo. He set the Spellhammers on a new task, to work with the royal engineers to make ships that would utilize their battle magic against the elven fleet. This Jutton Armada was 50 ships strong when completed, each ship having a row of devices called spell-cannons that amplified certain magic spells to a larger scale.
Osselo tested his ships against a two vessel elven scouting patrol, and they proved to be extremely effective. He immediately massed the entire fleet and advanced, hoping to move on Satama. The Elves instead had moved quickly, Taikuri reinforcing the elvish navy under command of Ionaurni. The two forces fought to a standstill at sea, then made landfall on the large, rocky, uninhabited island in the south of the Blood Straits.
The Taikuri and Spellhammers clashed in a battle the likes of which had never been seen on Erdea. Three thousand spell casters battled for days, and when the elves finally retreated, the island was a dead husk. Magic had been woven into the very rocks of the island, leaving it uninhabitable.
Further emboldened by this new victory, Osselo picked up reinforcements at Eastport, and sacked Satama, occupying Mithlandish soil for the first time.
The Sataman Occupation
Ionauri returned to Kaivata (the elvish capital) in shame. Knowing he would be forever reviled for the worst military loss in Mithlandish history he stepped down from leading the forces and went into exile.
Ithaida the Sharp Eyed assumed command. She was a rising star in the elvish military, and was the creator and head of the Haiva. The Haiva were an elite corps of highly trained elvish commandos, experts in guerrilla warfare. They made quick work of human scouting patrols that were moving inland from Satama.
Osselo was not content to take Satama and rest on his laurels. He felt that the time was ripe to move on the elvish capital. He sent for another round of reinforcements from the king, and as soon as they arrived they began their journey. Osselo’s army marched across the western tidewater region unopposed, and pushed on into the Ikävöidä. The massive forest was unlike anything the men had ever seen, and the Haiva knew this land like they knew their own bodies. They constantly picked off soldier after soldier, moving silently in the mists that constantly hung in the air. They cut off entire platoons from the army and pounced on them, leaving dismembered bodies as warning to the advancing army.
By the time the invasion force reached Kaivata, the army was at 60% strength. The weeks in the great forest had taken their toll heavily on the advancing force. The Spellhammers struck hard at the great stone walls of the city, breaching the outer wall on the third day. The elves pulled back into the secondary wall, and the Taikuri set the outer ring of the city ablaze with magical fire. The magic attack was so intense the humans began to flee back through the breach in the wall, but there the Haiva were waiting. Funneled into a small passage, they were easy pickings for the disciplined commandos. Pinched between death from above or death by the curved elven blade, Osselo led a final desperate charge back out the city walls – but Ithaida was there to meet him. Their duel was hard fought, and both sides sung songs about it for centuries to come, but Ithaida was too crafty, too skilled with the blade. She finished him, and beheaded him- holding his head aloft as she screamed to the men remaining to surrender. Surrender they did, and the siege of Kaivata was over.
The elves then regrouped, and soon retook Satama as well. Osselo had over-committed to the siege of the capitol, and the defenses remaining in the elven port were not ready for a real assault. The occupation of Satama was over as quickly as it started.
The Stalemate- 2 Millienia of Small Scale War
The following centuries were relatively quiet compared to the two large first campaigns. Both sides had seen the folly of large scale invasion, and instead an unsteady truce emerged.
Many times, open fighting broke out on a small island or with naval forces. Hop Island changed hands hundreds of times. All these bloody conflicts aside, no further declaration of aggression would be made.
Despite the fragile peace, no love between these kingdoms exists. Both blame internal conflicts for their failures, and the leadership of both kingdoms has become adept at using fear of war and fear of the enemy to further their own goals.
After the exodus of prince Arien in the late 30th century EOM, there are stirrings of a formal peace agreement between the two countries. Only time will tell if the age old conflict can finally be put to rest.