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Winter War

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The Winter War (3313 AR) was a 23-day-long conflict fought between the army of the Witch Queen Baba Yaga and the defending Ulfen forces of the Linnorm Kingdom of Raemerrund and the Djurstor Confederacy. It ended in the complete defeat of the Ulfen forces and the creation of the nation of Irrisen by the Witch Queen. Baba Yaga placed her daughter Jadwiga on the throne, and divided the land into five provinces: Bleakmarch, Feyfrost, Hoarwood, Thronehold, and Wintercrux, with the province of Feyfrost given to the Witch Queen's fey allies in perpetuity for their support during the war.[1]

Omens of War

The winter of 3312 AR was a terrible one, even by the harsh standards of the Linnorm Kingdoms. It was said that nights were cold enough to cause swords to shatter, and that the northern lights were bright and long enough to be mistaken for the sun. These signs were later thought to have been a foretelling of the doom that was to befall the land the following year.[2]

Armies of the Linnorm Kingdoms

Little is known of the men and women who fought against the Witch Queen's forces during this brief, yet terrible war. What few records remain tell tale of a priestess of Desna named Nugloss who wielded the first crystalline starknife; her ultimate fate remains unknown, although it is assumed that she perished.[3] Not all humans of Raemerrund were killed during the war, although an even worse fate awaited them. They were immediately put to work building the new capital of Whitethrone. In an act of unparalleled cruelty, the witches collected the skulls of the fallen human warriors and used them to pave the Bone Road, which runs from the Queen of Irrisen's palace in Whitethrone to the city's gates. Although many more died in the harsh, never-ending winter that followed the war, the Ulfen population eventually stabilized. Their descendants still live in Irrisen to this day, slaves to the ruling Jadwiga.[4][5][6] A few who fled across the border to the west founded the town of Losthome in the eastern Grungir Forest, which is still a refuge to anyone fleeing the land of the White Witches.[7]

Armies of the Witch Queen

Baba Yaga led a diverse collection of beings against the human forces of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, including ice trolls and cold fey.[8] Among these were a contingent of scrags under the command of the great warlord Tirchagac, who fought the longships of the Djurstor Confederacy on Glacier Lake. As a reward, Baba Yaga gave the scrags dominion over the extensive underwater caverns at the bottom of the lake, now known as Scrag Deep.[9]

Jarl Ceszac led a contingent of frost giants and young white dragons who made quick work of the Ulfen forces. Even though the Witch-Mother gifted the Jarl his own castle at the edge of the Winterwall Glacier after the war, the frost giant was unhappy with his position and continued to complain until Baba Yaga cursed him.[10]

The strangest of Baba Yaga's fey allies were the bogeymen known as the Brumal Lords, whom even the other fey considered insane. They kept a pet bandersnatch by their side throughout the fighting.[11]

References