The Holy Wars of Eden were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Karentian Christian Church between the 2452 and the 2499, especially the campaigns in the Caritz with the aim of capturing Eden from Islamic rule. While their primary objective -as said- was the capture of Eden, the Holy Wars were also fought for many other reasons such as to recapture Christian territory or defend Christians in non-Christian lands, resolve conflict among rival Christian groups, gain political or territorial advantage, or to combat paganism and heresy. The term of the Holy Wars has in more recent times been extended to include religiously motivated Christian military campaigns in the later fantasy age.
Between the 2445-2449, the Archbishop of Karentia and the main bishops of the Five Kingdoms of the Northwest, the Alan Isles, Ne'Sargos, the far north, Hannian and Dumia will try to convince the princes to join their forces, proclaiming the crusade in churches, cathedrals and masses.
Call to ArmsEdit
The First Holy War of Eden arose after a call to arms in a 2449 sermon by the Archbishop Silvestre of Karentia -final part of a series of sermons and attempts to convince the princes of Christendom, between the 2445-2449), that urged the need to reclaim the Holy Ruins of Eden, and as well provide military support to the Unlic Empire of Uslen, who needed reinforcements for his conflict with the Caliphate of the Orange Sun of Blazakhov.
Although one of Silvestre's stated aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to the holy sites in the Holy City of Eden that were under Muslim control, the primary motivation for the Archbishop or for the majority of the princes who heeded his call was due the revelations of the Anonymous Prophet of Sargos during the Battle of the plains of Sargos. Silvestre's wider strategy may have been to unite the Unlic and Karentian branches of Christendom, which were divided, and establish himself as head of the unified Church.
Similarly, some of the hundreds of thousands of people who became Holy Warriors by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the church were peasants hoping for Apotheosis at Eden, or forgiveness from God for all their sins. Others, historians argue, participated to satisfy feudal obligations, gain glory and honour, or find opportunities for economic and political gain. Regardless of the motivation, the response to Silvestre's preaching by people of many different classes across Karentian Christian Aels established the precedent for later Holy Wars of Eden.
Greed and ImmoralityEdit
Different perspectives of the actions carried out, at least nominally, under the Archbishop of Karentia authority during the Holy Wars have polarised historians. To some their behaviour was incongruous with the stated aims and implied moral authority of the Archbishop and the crusades, in one case to the extent that the Archbishop excommunicated Holy Warriors. The Holy Warriors of Christianity often pillaged as they travelled, while their leaders retained control of much captured territory rather than returning it to the Unlic. There were massacres in Christian lands, the murder of thousands of Jews and non-humans, and Titipopolis, capitol of the Unlic Empire of Uslen was sacked, driving these wars a further edge between Karentian and Unlic Christendom.
The Holy Wars had a profound impact on Karentian Christian Aels: they reopened the Caritz to commerce and travel (enabling the Hannian cities to flourish); consolidated the collective identity of the northwestern Aelian Christian Church under the Archbishop of Karentia leadership; and were a wellspring for accounts of heroism, chivalry and piety.
Some historians say, the Holy Wars were largely a waste of much needed resources and manpower, that could have been used against the Dark Legion during the Second War of the Power , and that if they had shared instead the secret and ultimate purpose with their Muslim rivals to gain access to the Holy Relics of Eden to fight and defeat the Dark Legion of Demons, much bloodshed would have been avoided.
First Holy War of Eden Edit
With the support of the kings of Sargos (Sargos-Degoland), La Cruz, Tardos and Botania, the Holy Wars of Eden will be proclaimed at the 2452, as an emissary was sent to the Unlic Empire of Uslen, to gain their support -but only remaining vague of the ultimate goal of the campaigns, being a tightly held secret why they needed Eden and the Relics it guarded, as otherwise the demons will realize humans lacked the free use of the Sand Beings.
The Unlic Empire, although recalcitrant, helped: they had in their own been having not only problems with their traditional enemies of the Caliphate of the Orange Sun of Blazakhov, but had as well lost much of their Zarhuycan possessions to the Farsian Empire: a bloody conquest, the Farsian still hadn't been able to secure their hold in northern Zarhuy, and the local elites, while opposed to the Farsian rule, were as well divided.
The first expedition of northwestern Aelian crusaders to arrive to Uslen was composed mostly of the forces of Tardic, Cruzeños, Botanios and Hannians: the tensions where high and the Emperor of Uslen wasn't happy to have a foreign army in his territory -with the nobles quickly becoming part of the political intrigues of the empire and their priests trying to meddle with the internal issues of the Unlic Christian church, so when he was able to bribe off them, convincing them to leave the empire and conquer the island of Demonatch -in hands of the Dark Legion since the liberation of the Demon Overlords at the beginning of the Second War of the Power- he was more than happy to ferry the crusaders to the demonic-held island.
In a quick but bloody campaign, the northwestern Aelian crusaders where able to defeat the demonic garrison and take the island, along with the ancient fortifications of the Order of the Watchers of Hellsgate. It was proclaimed after this swift victory , that god approved the expedition.
However, when the Botanian nobles proclaimed the island to be instead an independent Duchy -the Duchy of Demonatch- rather than handing it back to the Unlic Empire of Uslen -claiming that the Order of the Watchers of Hellsgate had been a sovereign military order, rather than an imperial province-, this will cause yet other wedge between the allies.
The newly founded Duchy of Demonatch will become a midway point for the marching holy armies of Christianity, serving as an important supply base for further operations in Zarhuy.
Following their success in Demonatch, Hannian dukes of the crusader army -that had more relations with traders- will conspire with Vanolosé orc elites of Zarhuycan cities that had been conquered by the Farsian, for them to open their ports and the gates of their cities, in exchange of regaining their independence both from Farsia and Uslen:
The armies under the banner of the Archbishop of Karentia were received as liberators and had a triumphal entry into the Vanolosé trading cities of Zarhuy, and after a quick, functional and insincere conversion to karentian Christianity by the Vanolosé elites -along with the crowning of aelian human nobles as kings and princes of the newly independent states- the vanolosé returned to their business with their guilds having in check their new human rulers, who enjoyed the riches produced by their new states.
Following the crusade of the dukes, came the crusade of the Kings: the King of Hannian and Botania. After crossing the empire, despite the distrust of the Unlic Emperor and the king of Hannian due commercial disputes, the Botanian king Carlos Alfonso II was able to dissipate some of the distrust and gain Unlic support of their fleet and an army, to cross the Caritz sea and reach Zarhuy.
As the crusade of the kings and the Unlic army crossed to Zarhuy, the Farsian governors of Zarhuy, only realizing then that the Christian armies in their shores may be more important than their rivalry with Blazakhov, will quickly try to muster their forces.
The first major battle of the Holy Wars of Eden between Muslims and Christians was the Battle of Kirkerk, at the 2454 a.a.H, when the Christian Armies defeated the Zarhuycan army of the Sha of Farsia: the two farsian governors saw their armies routed and dispersed, while the Unlic and Karentian Christians had as their war-cry "God wants it": this defeat made the zarhuycan vassals of Farsia rebel, the Christians and some Muslims seeking support of the Karentian Christians, which prompted the Sha of Farsia to cross the Tok Sea with reinforcements with a large army: however, the Sha defeat will be complete in the successive battles of Gagbag and Mosaul at the 2455: the disaster was total, because not only died from his wounds on the battle the Sha, but on the same day his seven sons and heirs died before him, and the same his two uncles: with this battle, Farsia lost not only all their holdings in Zarhuy, but entered in a succession crisis that made the empire crumble, effectively undermining what had been one of the greater Muslim powers of the Near Hieyoks.
The collapse of the Farsian empire meant that the Holy Warriors of Christianity, greedy, quickly founded their own, new states, while for a last time the Unlic Empire of Uslen will be able to reclaim part of their Zarhuycan possessions:
However, many Zarhuycan Christians and Muslims, who had first supported the Aelians against the Farsian rule, resisted then as well against their new masters.
Mudded in these conflicts of the dukes, without having seen the walls of Eden, many felt that the Holy War had been abandoned, and that holy warriors were only being used as Unlic mercenaries or for the petty feudal interests of the dukes: so when arrived a third crusading army under King Don Camilo IV near Christmas of the 2455 a.a.H with a sargonic host -Sargonic, degolandic, Ne'Sargonic and Liohnese-, wanting to continue the route to Eden, many of the dispersed knights and warriors joined his host.
Under the command of Camilo IV, the crusader army arrived to Bazikstan, where were located the ruins of the Holy City of Eden.
The Bazik sultan will gather his army and try to face the invading Christian army in the Battle of Hafmush at the 2456, but the Baziks were defeated and forced to retreat to the highlands and to the walls of Eden. The Christians prepared to lay siege to the city, but lacking supplies, water and resources, along with information that the Montaiqa Kanov Baziks of the tribes of the mountains were gathering to relieve the Holy City, and that the Caliph of Aegypus was marching as well with his army, will determine the Christians to lift the siege:
However, before doing so, Don Camilo IV visited the ruins around the walled city, and was granted permission as a simple peregrine to enter within the holy city, contemplating many of the ancient human relics of the Sky Age.
Proclaimed defender of the faith of the Christians of Eden and being granted the safety for pilgrims, he gave important donations to churches and monasteries in Eden, founding as well a Hospital for Pilgrims. As Don Camilo IV ended his peregrination, he returned with his army and retreated northward, to the Aelian Christian states.
For now, the aelian crusaders could only contemplate the walls of the holy city, or visit it only as unarmed pilgrims in reduced numbers, under the careful watch of the Bazik guards.
The First Holy War, while successful in establishing Karentian Christian States in Zarhuy, along with the Unlic Empire of Uslen taking back some of their lost territory, hadn't achieved their objective to reach the Holy City of Eden.
Second Holy War of Eden Edit
- 2.459 The Christians began a second holy war to conquest Eden, the "holy city" in Zarhuy
- 2.459 Don Camilo IV the Pious, Christian king, conquest Lokair, capitol city of the Aegypus Muslim caliphate.
- 2.463 Conquest of the Holy City of Eden by Christians. The Muslims call a Holy war to expulse the invaders.
- 2.464 The Muslim conquer the Holy City of Eden to the Christians of the Sargonic king Don Camilo IV the Pious, who fall among with his men
- 2.465 battle of Gericó, Christian victory, but the Christians must keep retreating to the Zarhuy Christian kingdoms forced by the Muslim Bazik armies
Third Holy War of Eden Edit
2.469 End of the holy war. battle of Jashamesh, Christian defeat of the army of king of Botania Carlos Alfonso II against the Torks.
- 2.470 Foundation of the Tork Empire of Cretor.
Fourth Holy War of Eden Edit
- 2.474 Fourth Holy war of Eden. Christians reinforcements land in Julio Biel de Akr.
- 2.484 A Christian fleet face a Tunecern Muslim fleet in the naval battle of Tomb-ashu-isba. Conquer of Tunecern by Christians
- 2.486 End of the fourth Holy war, the exhausted Christian armies abandon their sieges over Lokair and the Holy City of Eden.
Fifth Holy War of Eden Edit
- 2.491 Fifth Holy war for Eden. Don Camilo V the Warrior, Sargonic Christian king advance from Julio Biel de Akr to Lokair to the Holy City of Eden
- 2.495 The Christian army of Don Camilo V the Warrior conquest the Holy City of Eden, plundering it, and stealing the Holy relic
- 2.499 End of the 5th Holy War, death of Don Camilo V the Warrior and fall of Julio Biel of Akr