- 9 months ago
The Dark Elves, initially hailing from the eastern land of Ascalonia on the Western shores of Sargon, were the first people of the East to look for opportunity Westward, across the great sea, which is now referred to as the middle sea. It can be said, the geographical circumstances of these peoples is what drove them to seafaring, the borders of their city states being locked to the sea by warlike tribes and the many great empires further east.
Before convention they became wealthy trading up and down the continent of Sargon minor, trading with the Ancient Kingdom of Kemet, still a time of Dragonborn independence and kinship of their once Living Dragon Gods, the old human empires of the Hittites, Sumerians, and Sun Elven Amorites, of the short lived Empire of Kazallu. During the Collapse, a four century event where many civilizations were destroyed due to the instability created by the Outlander during convention, many looked westward for survival. It was during this period where it is believed they started colonizing across the Middle Sea, exchanging goods, culture, ideas, and the first Alphabet, which many cultures quickly absorbed. They traveled as far West as the Iberian Peninsula and as far north to the Cassiterides, the mysterious islands to the north of Etruria.
The Ascalonians would only know independence for short intervals throughout their history, being seated on the coast in the Levant has made them a target to those who wish to exploit their unmatched wealth. Their autonomy was taken by the Hittites, Kemites, Assyrians, Amorites, and the greatest of all eastern empires until Archelaus the Greats empire, an empire that would go on to take the entire continent and beyond. The conquests of Cyrus the Great, king of Ansan, and soon to be king of kings. Under the Median Empire of Cyrus, Ascalonia was divided into four vassal kingdoms : Sydon, Azupiranu, Aynook, and Ugarit.
After the conquests, Ascalonia prospered under Median Rule building Naval Fleets for the empire they now served. However, many colonies across the sea gained their independence, some keeping peaceful relations with their motherland including Akkad. Akkad was a relatively small trading post settled by the city Azupiranu to help facilitate trade on the most northern region of the continent Alkebulan near Cape Nabeul. The city of Utica, another colony of the Ascalonians held the most importance in the region before Akkad matured into a colony. Akkad took the front and center of power in the region during the Macedonian conquests of the Achaemenid empire during the reign of Archelaus the Great. When the great city Azupiranu was laid under siege ( Siege of Azupiranu ) those who could, fled the city and migrated to Akkad, including most of the aristocratic families. The city became wealthy if not the wealthiest city in the world at a time. However, the fate of Azupiranu was a harsh one, for defying the young king many were put to the sword or crucified, and many more were sold into slavery. Those who took refuge in their temple of Melqart were spared, including the King of Azupiranu, Azemilcus.
Akkad would continue the legacy of its predecessors by exploring new lands and facilitating trade between different cultures around the known world. Going as far as circumnavigating the entire Alkebulanian Continent. They maintained their hegemony of the Western half of the Middle Sea with their vast wealth and large professional navy which at one time hosted over three and fifty ships. They were trained and drilled even in peace time. As impressive as their navy was they relied almost solely on mercenaries for their army.
Akkad would go on to take over other nearby Ascalonian colonies adding to its own hegemony. They recovered many important colonies for itself such as the fortress city of Alkebaeum on the south western shore of the Island Sicania which was the main base of operations in which several wars were fought over for the entire island, with varying success. The first of these wars would mark a major defeat, shifting the political and economic landscape of Akkad, the old government of entrenched nobility was ousted, replaced by the Akkadian Republic. The king still remained for a time, but he had very little power and most power was entrusted to the council of Elders. Most recently the city of Agadir was reclaimed on the Iberian Peninsula which sits on the strait of Gades that separates Etruria and Alkebulan, its also connects the Middle Sea to the Outer Sea.
To the North across the middle sea their old trading partners, the Tyrrhenians were subdued by the now dominant force in Latia, the Arretian Republic. It wasn't long after that their conquests brought them south to take the southern part of the Latian peninsula away from the Hellenic city state Tarentum. In the cities bid for help it called across the Adriatic sea to Pyrrhus the king of Epirus. His war with Arretium to carve out more land for his kingdom was initially successful, surprising the Arretians with the use of war elephants, in which they've never seen until then. His failure though led him to heed the call of Syracuse, which was besieged by Akkad at the time.
Pyrrhus went on to lift the siege and proclaim himself the king of Sicania with the support of all of the Hellenic cities on the promise of ridding the island of the Akkadians. Pyrrhus went on to capture Eryx, the strongest Akkadian fortress on Sicania at the time. This prompted the rest of Akkadian controlled cities to defect to Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus then negotiated with Akkad, although they were inclined to come to terms with supplying him money and ships when friendly relations were established, he demanded Akkad abandon all holdings and claims on Sicania, which they would not do. Pyrrhus' Hellenic allies and supporters were vehemently opposed to making peace while the Akkadians still held the powerful city of Alkebaeum on the south western side of the island. Negotiations fell through and Pyrrhus went on to siege Alkebaeum. For two months he launched unsuccessful assaults on the city before realizing he could not mount a successful siege without blocking it from the sea. Pyrrhus went on to request his Hellenic allies on the island to build him a fleet, unhappy about those contributions he had to resort to compulsory contributions and force to keep them in line. These measures culminated in him proclaiming a military dictatorship of Sicania and installing military garrisons in Sicanian cities.
These actions were deeply unpopular and soon Sicanian opinion became inflamed with him. Pyrrhus had so alienated his allies that they were willing to make common case with the Akkadians. The Akkadians took heart from this and sent another army against him. The army was promptly defeated. In spite of this victory, Sicania continued to grow increasingly hostile to Pyrrhus, who considered abandoning the island. At this point Samnite and Tarentine envoys reached him and informed him that all Hellenic cities in Latia, only Tarentum have not been conquered by Arretium. Pyrrhus made his decision and departed from Sicania. As his ship left the island, he turned and, foreshadowing the Akkadian - Arretian War, said to his companions: "What a wresting ground we are leaving, my friends, for the Akkadians and the Arretians."
The next large conflict ahead for the Akkadians would come at the heaviest cost they've ever known. A rogue group of mercenaries known as the Sons of Quirinus, betrayed the city of Messana and attempted to take the city of Syracuse to the south. After being defeated by Hiero II, the tyrant of Syracuse near Mylae, they retreated back and requested assistance from Akkad and Arretium. Seeing this as an opportune moment to seize the long standing Hellenic city, Akkad responded first, approaching Hiero and telling him to stand down and then telling the Sons of Quirinus to accept an Akkadian garrison in Messana. Unhappy with this, the Sons of Quirinus petitioned Arretium for an alliance, not wanting Akkad to have complete control of the island, the Arretians sent two legions to Messana. On Arrival the Sons of Quirinus expelled the Akkadian garrison at Messana and let the Arretians post up in the city and use it as a staging ground for further expeditions. The war drug on with a fierce tug of war over the island on land and sea for the next twenty three years.
In a sue for peace Akkad was forced to surrender all territories on the island of Sicania to the Arretian Republic and made to pay 2200 tons of silver in reparations (Treaty of Lutatius). The crushing reparations made it so Akkad could not pay what was due to the Mercenaries they relied on for the entirety of the war, which in turned caused the veteran army of mercenaries to revolt against the Akkadians. They took over the Islands of Sardinia and Corsica to the north west of Sicania and seized Bizerte, threatening the city of Akkad. They rallied many Akkadian cities to revolt against Akkad, heavily outmatched in terms of troops, money, and supplies, an unprepared Akkad fared poorly in the initial engagements of the war. The tides changed when the generalship of the army was given to Hamilcar Barca, general from the campaigns in Sicania. The rebels were soon defeated, culminating at the Battle of "The Saw". All of the leaders of the rebellion found themselves crucified. In breaking the truce, the Arretians took the opportunity to capture Sardinia and Corsica from the mercenaries holding it, something the Akkadians would never forget.
The victory of Hamilcar Barca greatly enhanced the prestige and power of the Barcid family. The loss of Sardinia and Corsica, and previously the loss of Sicania meant Akkad's traditional source of wealth, its trade, was significantly compromised. Forcing them to look for a new source of wealth. This led Hamilcar, together with his son-in-law Hasdrubal, and his son Hannibal to establish a power base in Iberia, outside Arretium's sphere of influence.
Hamilcar invaded and conquered the southern part of the Iberian peninsula for their silver mines, subjugating the local human and wood elf tribes in the area. During the siege of the town of Helike, Orissus, the chief of the Wood Elven Oretani tribe and an ally, arrived under the guise to assist Hamilcar. His men descended on Hamilcar's army forcing them to retreat across the Jucar river. It is here where it is believed that Hamilcar drowned attempting to cross with his men. In eight years, Hamilcar had secured extensive territory in Iberia by force of arms and diplomacy, but his premature death denied Akkad a complete conquest.
It is by no means a secret that Hamilcar's son, Hannibal, who as a child swore to his father that he would never be a friend of Arretium, moves an army north across Iberia. With the reigns of a newly carved kingdom at his disposal and an army to go with it, the drums of war are no doubt soon to follow as he approaches the Iberian city of Saguntum, a staunch ally of the Arretian Republic.