The Invasion of Corisande began in November of the Year of God 892, when Emperor Cayleb of Charis led a force of dozens of ships and an army of about 50,000 Imperial Marines to the League of Corisande in order to dethrone Prince Hektor before he could be reinforced by the Church of God Awaiting.
Prelude and preparations Edit
To rally as many forces as possible and to shore up the still-fresh political bond between the two realms, Cayleb and his invasion force first journeyed to the Kingdom of Chisholm. The economic windfall of thousands of Charisian servicemen looking to enjoy their last chance at liberty in friendly territory helped forge a strengthening bond between all of Cayleb’s subjects. Cayleb visited with Empress Sharleyan's mother and the regent of Chisholm Baron Green Mountain before making a speech to the Parliament of Chisholm, which had a history of political conflict with the Chisholmian Crown.
Though the invasion force remained almost entirely composed of Charisians, these events helped win critical Chisolmian backing for war against Corisande and the Temple. (BHD)
Absorption of Zebediah Edit
In order to gain a stable base of operations from which to invade Corisande, Cayleb parlayed with Grand Duke Tohmys of Zebediah. In exchange for respecting the authority of the Imperial crown, the Grand Duke was allowed to retain his title and semi-autonomy. Prince Nahrmahn, who as a former “ally” of Prince Hektor of Corisande had dealt covertly with the Grand Duke in the past, proved instrumental in arranging the pact. Nahrmahn correctly predicted that the Zebedian ruler, known to possess no genuine loyalty to anyone except himself, would betray the Empire of Charis at the first practical opportunity. Despite this, Cayleb accepted the Grand Duke’s oath of fealty aboard his flagship, and the invasion fleet proceeded to Corisande Island. (BHD)
Landing on Corisande Edit
Selecting the port city of Dairos on the opposite end of Corisande Island from his ultimate objective of the heavily fortified capitol of Manchyr, Emperor Cayleb’s fleet engaged in a heavy land bombardment before his Marines made landfall. Through correspondence, Cayleb convinced the Baron of Dairos to honorably retreat from the city, which Cayleb made his invasion headquarters. Strict discipline was imposed upon the Charisian force to prevent any post conquest atrocities as the Charisians advanced inland towards an impending encounter with the main Corisandian army under the command of General Sir Koryn Gahrvai. (BHD)
Battle of Haryl's Crossing Edit
The Imperial Marines, under the tactical command of Brigadier Kynt Clareyk encountered Gahrvai's numerically superior army after advancing east to the Talbor River. Gahrvai made the decision to press his apparent advantage in the fields around the town of Haryl's Crossing. The town, with most of its 4,000 residents having fled as the opposing armies converged on each other, featured a strategically critical stone bridge that the Charisians would be required to take to be able to proceed eastward. Other crossings and fords that were unsuitable for the travel of heavy forces and artillery were nearby, most notably in the form of a decaying wooden bridge at the namesake Haryl's Priory.
Gahrvai established a headquarters at a planter's house and planned to draw the Marines forward along the highway through a forest that would serve as an easily severed strategic bottleneck. The Charisians responded by deploying Marine scout-snipers, an elite force, the concept for which was "invented" by Merlin Athrawes, in the dark of night. Scout sniper units stealthily eliminated all Corisandian cavalry pickets that were put in place to track the Charisian advance, allowing Clareyk to move the bulk of his force to attack range of Gahrvai's army in the early morning without being detected. Concerned with how Clareyk had managed to set the scene of the battle entirely on his terms, Gahrvai considered ordering a last-minute retreat, but allowed the inevitable collision to occur, banking on his numerical advantage to win through.
This proved to be a critical mistake, though the wide variety of Charisian strategic and technological advantages over the Corisandians, advantages which Gahrvai had little understanding of, proved to be the inevitable deciding factors in the "battle," which was set to become all but a massacre. As the Corisandian infantry advanced, scout-snipers went into action, wiping out Corisandian unit cohesion by systematically killing every readily identifiable line officer. Leaderless and increasingly disorganized, the Corisandians charged -- straight into Charisian rifle fire, the like of which had never before been seen on a Safeholdian battlefield. Corisandians died in droves as long range rifle volleys slammed into them repeatedly without obtaining any ability to close the distance with formations that relied on traditional pike-and-musket combination.
Exercising his not inconsiderable tactical ability, Gahrvai, in concert with the heroic efforts of several key leaders in his army, managed to rally half of his army into an organized retreat that prevented complete disaster. (BHD)
Talbor Pass Edit
Having salvaged most of his surviving forces, Gahrvai managed to fight a tactical retreat over the next two months to the strategic chokepoint of Talbor Pass, which Cayleb's Marines would be forced to fight their way through in order to reach Manchyr as quickly as possible. The terrain through the Dark Hill Mountains was extremely difficult to press an offensive through, and this combined with a series of effective fortifications that Gahrvai had set up brought the Charisian advance to a halt. Scout-snipers deployed to continually harass the Corisandians in their fortifications but even they could only eliminate a handful of enemy troops each day. Gahrvai used the cover of night to increase his fortifications and account for the gradual casualties Charis managed to inflict.
Recognizing that a long and costly campaign in Corisande would play directly into the Temple's hands, and, in time, even permit the Group of Four to arrange for direct aid to Prince Hektor, Cayleb sought to reduce the redoubt at Talbor Pass as quickly as possible, but even with his considerable technological edge and Merlin's abilities, this proved to be an extremely difficult proposition. The Corisandian redoubts, taking advantage of Gahrvai's numerical advantage, the terrain, and a particularly active storm season, effectively neutralized the Charisian's tactical superiority. No advance occurred for another month. At that point, Cayleb resolved to re-embark as many Marines as he could and attempt to flank the Corisandians by sea. Sailing to the rear of the Talbor redoubts, scout sniper teams once again deployed to eliminate Corisandian security pickets. (BHD)
Siege of Manchyr Edit
Some time later, the Charisian and Chisholmian forces under the Emperor’s command began the Siege of Manchyr. The Corisandian capital’s defenses had been reinforced, and its warehouses were full of supplies, so both sides prepared for a lengthy siege.
After Prince Hektor and his oldest son were murdered on the secret order of Grand Inquisitor Zhaspahr Clyntahn, their generals had no other choice but to negotiate with Emperor Cayleb. He made it clear that no Corisandian property would be seized illegaly and that no Corisandian priest would come to harm as long as all the late Prince’s subjects surrendered peacefully to the Charisian Empire. (BHD)
In the aftermath of the siege of Manchyr, the League of Corisande was dissolved and the Princedom of Corisande Island became one of the individual realms of the Empire of Charis.