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Grand Campaign

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The Grand Campaign was a conflict between Taldor and the Qadira that lasted 524 years, from the Qadiran invasion in 4079 AR to the settlement of an uneasy peace in 4603 AR.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

History

In the mid 4000s AR, Taldor suffered from internal rebellion and upheaval in the distant province of Cheliax and Andoran. So much of the Taldan Horse and Phalanx were deployed to pacify those regions that the Taldan heartland was left unprotected.[1]

In Qadira, the succession to the Kelesh throne of the Padishah Emperor turned contentious and violent in 4067 AR. The imperial vizier overseeing the satrap of Qadira left to participate in the political scrum of 40 princes contesting their claims to rulership, and without the empire's oversight, Qadiran Satrap Gheber III was quick to exploit the chance to strike weakened Taldor.[1][8]

Ghevran victories

In 4079 AR, Gheber III marched Qadiran armies of more than 40,000 soldiers across Taldor's southern border,[9][1][8] captured the city of Zimar and enslaved its population, and burned towns across the Zimar Scrublands virtually unopposed. Within a very short period of time, Qadiran forces claimed most of southern Taldor and were stopped only by the natural barrier of the River Porthmos in 4083 AR, within spitting distance of the capital of Oppara, in a series of victories recorded in Qadiran history as the Ghevran Victories[9] and in Taldor as the Ghevran Massacres.[10] This rapid progress terrified Taldor's ruling elite, who withdrew all but a token force from the frontier provinces to defend Oppara and Taldor.[1]

A year later (in 4080 AR), Qadiran forces set fire to the settlements surrounding Zimar in an event known as Ember Night. This massacre is still used by Taldans today to justify their hatred of their southern neighbor.[10]

Heaven's Step Offensive

After 250 years of war, Taldor launched an invasion of Qadiran territories known as the Heaven's Step Offensive, initiated by Grand Prince Gennaris III in 4324 AR. After defeating six Qadiran generals on the Plains of Paresh, Taldor took control of much of northern Qadira for a time. The Taldan emperor refused to slay fleeing foes which it is believed ultimately led to his death at the hands of a Qadiran ambush. Qadira was then reinforced by the Empire of Kelesh, itself joining the war and soon threw back the Taldan armies.[10][11]

Centuries of war

The 524 years of the war saw near-constant conflict between Taldor and Qadira, as Taldor sought to reclaim what it had lost. Each side of the war struck deep into the other's territory, including a Taldan raid on Qadira's Resolute Citadel[12] and sieges of the Qadiran city of Koor that led to its abandonment.[13]

Grand Prince Stavian I instituted the Great Purge of Sarenites in 4528 AR to counter their perceived aid to the Qadiran military.[1][14]

Resolution

The Grand Campaign finally ceased in 4603 AR, with Taldor having pushed its border with Qadira back to where it was for thousands of years.[1][8]

Ongoing impact

In 4081 AR, a mere two years after the initial Qadiran invasion, Chelish King Aspex the Even-Tongued of the Taldan province of Cheliax claimed Andoran, Galt, and Isger. Over the course of a decade, the Even-Tongued Conquest took advantage of Taldor's redirected military to fracture the empire's western front and politically reshape western Avistan over the following centuries.[6][15]

While open warfare between Taldor and Qadira has ceased, the nations maintain chilly relations. The Zimar Corsairs, a group of privateers sponsored by Taldor, harass Qadiran shipping. Both nations raid across a tense border at the joining of the Jalrune River and River of Qadira.[16] In the Qadiran capital of Katheer, the remains of Taldans slain in the Campaign are displayed alongside the sarcophagi of Qadiran heroes, much to Taldor's ongoing dismay.[17] Qadiran agents also attempt—and have largely failed—to infiltrate Grand Prince Stavian III's Ulfen Guard in hopes of assassinating the emperor.[18]

The lingering social effects of Qadira's invasion and the Great Purge make both Keleshites and Sarenites feel unwelcome in much of Taldor—or outright hated in its southern regions, particularly Zimar.[14][19]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Joshua J. Frost. (2009). Taldor, Echoes of Glory, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-169-5
  2. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 36. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  3. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 37. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 120. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  5. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 136. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  6. 6.0 6.1 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 202. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  7. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 203. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Brian Cortijo. (2009). Qadira, Gateway to the East, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-180-0
  9. 9.0 9.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 151. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Mark Moreland. (2017). Taldor, the First Empire, p. 11. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-999-8
  11. John Compton et al. (2018). The Reaper's Right Hand, p. 99. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-045-3
  12. James MacKenzie. (2010). The Jester's Fraud, p. 19. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
  13. Larry Wilhelm. (2011). The Forbidden Furnace of Forgotten Koor, p. 5. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Joshua J. Frost. (2009). Taldor, Echoes of Glory, p. 24. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-169-5
  15. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 30. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  16. Joshua J. Frost. (2009). Taldor, Echoes of Glory, p. 11. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-169-5
  17. James MacKenzie. (2009). Our Lady of Silver, p. 13. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
  18. Brian Cortijo. (2009). Qadira, Gateway to the East, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-180-0
  19. Joshua J. Frost. (2009). Taldor, Echoes of Glory, p. 14. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-169-5