The Cadh War (-7 to 105) was one of the deadliest and most widespread conflicts in the history of Doara. It is estimated that over 5 million people were killed or died from starvation and sickness during the 112 year conflict. The conflict is seen as a major transition of power in Kakhor, as the Peroatlan people fell from dominance, the Dhecadhach people rose and fell in the aftermath, and the Fezhoing and Khanakh peoples achieved relative dominance in the power-vacuum left behind.
The Cadh war had a wide array of partial and full participants, making it one of the most widespread conflicts in history.
The Cadh Empire had been slowly gaining regional power since its consolidation in -115 from Cadhah and Cadh Enste (two ethnically identical states which had been ruled separately for hundreds of years) by slowly infrigning upon the waning Atlan hold on the Kakhor - Zointh trade, and by grasping and unfluencing the fledgling states of Redcah and Israe. The Thekhan people, who had "peacefully invaded" the Atlan provinces in the western Perocadh Peninsula a few centuries before, had all but displaced the Empire's ownership of of the Peninsula. In fact, in -52, under threat of conflict, the powerless Atlan emperor Resaus relinquished the entire Peninsula to them as a soveriegn state.
The Atlan trade infrastructure had never faltered, however, and most of Kakhor's trade from the south was fed through Thekhan hands and across the Mazedian Sea. For centuries, the Dhecadhach civilization had been alienated as a route for intercontinental trade, and had been growing ever more covetous of the lucrative seaports on the Bay of Redcah.
With this regional consolidation, and the transition to Thekhan power in the peninsula, the young Cadh Empire saw an opportunity to monopolize their hold on the Kakhor - Zointh Trade network, and shortly after securing Israe in -20 with a show of force and Redcah in -12, the Cadh's declared war on Thekha in -10, assembling a force reported to be over 500,000 soldiers (The largest single force ever assembled to date).
The Conflict Grows Edit
From -10 until -7, The Cadh Empire invaded Thekha and the two powers fought alone, with the Cadhs making significant advances across a broad front, but mainly along the northern coast. They secured almost all of the major trading ports in the region by this time, and continued to push east, in the hopes of securing more Atlan wealth and infrastructure.
Seeing the advances of the Cadhs and the threat of losing long-held trade relationships with the north, the southern states began to quickly align with the Thekhans. The young state of Chezhoi, recently consolidating with its northern neighbor Decor through a royal marriage was the first to join into the war on the side of Thekha in -7, followed quickly by Parrissa and Zhoicor to the south in -6.
At this stage in the war, however, the Cadh forces had enough momentum to push to the southern coast of the peninsula in a brilliant campaign known as Dhan's March. This cut off southern reinforcements from marching north into Thekha to stem the tide of the invasion. In fact, Cadh forces captured and quickly expanded a small but efficient navy for use in the Atlan Sea, beginning operations there by around -4.
A Nail in the Atlan Coffin Edit
With the Cadhs gaining complete control of the Bay of Redcah as well as several southwestern Thekhan ports on the Atlan Sea, they now had a span of control the entire width of the peninsula, with a naval presence guarding and patrolling both the north and the south. This effectively cut off southern trade attempting to flow north, which was seized by the Cadhs and used for the war effot. At this time, the once mighty Atlan empire had been reduced to a fledgling, sea-bound remnant, holding only Ataya and the northwest corner of Zanatal and the Izass Archipelago.
The rise of Dnalirf, the result of a dictatorial takeover of the Dnaldla Coalition on the Naklab Peninsula had led to a full-fledged invasion of the Atlan homeland of Zanatal itself, gradually reducing the imperial heartland to a single provincial district around the ancient capital. The Dnalirfi had commandeered much of the Atlan navy in the process, quickly making them the most powerful naval force in the world at that time.
in -2, They laid seige to Ataya itself, where the final Atlan emperor Isaretu sat helplessly outnumbered. He sent envoys begging for Thekhan aid to save the city, and for his holdings in Izass to muster a counterattack by sea, but the Thekhans, beginning to lose hold of their front against the Cadh Empire, could spare no help. Izass was able to gather a small force of marines and sailed north to attempt to break the naval blockade on the city. However, while they were gone, the fresh Cadh navy was able to sail to the islands and easily capture the cities there, hoping for a better base of operations on the Atlan Sea.
The Izass force, too small to break the naval blockade, and devastated by the loss of their home, fled to Thekha and settled there, using their ships' wood to build their city, called Takaroc ("Broken Heart" in Atlan). It wasn't long before the remaining forces in Ataya surrendered in -1, bringing an end to the Atlass Empire- a significant event for all of Kakhor.
Advantage - Cadhs Edit
After the fall of Atlass, The Cadhs were able to intercept and commandeer enemy trade and military ships sailing from the inner Atlan Sea east. This effectively cut communication between the Thekhans and their southern allies, whose armies were still only mustering minor forays into Cadh territory. Left unchecked, it was feared that the Cadhs could invade the south from the sea- keeping the forces of Zhoicor and Chezhoi hesitantly divided between guarding their own territory or attacking the Cadhs.
The mere presence of enemies to the south, however, led to a decreased intensity on the offensive against Thekha. Having a split front in the south meant that extra forces and garrisons needed to be maintained in case of an attack. The original Cadh plan had called for a stronger push towards Berokha (Peroth) in the north along the coast, but extra armies were unable to reinforce the push and risk losing the southern coastline.
Already by 5 the war was raging on for longer than anticipated (little did anyone know the war would continue for an additional century) but the Cadh Empire had cut deep into the northern and southern flanks of the Thekhans, capturing valuable trade and communication routes, populous cities, and sending Thekhan standing armies reeling. Uukhej, the commander of all Thekhan forces in the north had seen the trend of defeats in open battle and revised his strategy to a mix of hit and run style ambushes and an ingenious system of strategic fortifications- using Atlan-trained engineers to construct walls, moats, spike pits, and all other obstructions to hinder the push.
Over the next 15 years of the war, The Cadhs would see a number of shortcomings and ground to a halt in the north. Thekha, now able to train and mobilize a larger land force for war was able to conservatively reinforce the front line and enhance the fortifications built by the engineers. A few raids were even laucnhed from the Thekhan held salient in the Perocadh Mountains to hamper supply routes to the front. By 18, the north had turned almost completely into a massive seige. This broad-front style of static warfare was unheard of in previous eras, yet the prosperity and infrastructure of the previous era proved capable of supporting it. Across a variety of terrains, the Cadhs were unable to surround Thekhan positions, and so supply lines were stable.
In the South, manuevering had let to several standoffs and few battles- namely the Battle of Cor Therno, in which the first major Fezhoing (Chezhish and Zhoic) assault was utterly crushed. Beaten back, the Thekhans and other allies were too weakened to attack again in the near future.
Dnalirf - An Unforseen Ally Edit
The Thekhans, still desparate to put pressure onto the Cadhs, began to reach out to Dnalirf- now the most powerful naval force in the world, and conquerer of Zanatal, to ask for an alliance against the invaders. This was a tough job for the Thekhans, as the Dnalak people had just finished their long invasion of Atlass and were weary of conflict, and the Thekhans had been seen as potential allies by their former enemies just a few years earlier. However, Dnalirf saw an opportunity to grasp at more of the Atlan Sea, and even gain territory through treaties to secure more of the rich trade and infrastructure left behind by the Atlans.
Finally, in 25, Dnalirf agreed to join the Thekhans on the terms that they would be given Uzara (that is Ushaora, the easternmost province in the Peninsula) after the Cadhs were repulsed. They began to draft Atlan ethnic citizens into naval and infantry service, appeasing their citizens in the Naklab Peninsula by letting them return home. The Dnalirfi navy quickly hindered most of the efforts of the Cadh Navy in the Izass Archipelago, but their effects on land were minimal at best- serving mainly as port city garrisons in northern Thekhan cities. Dnalirf did sucessfully capture the cities on the Archipelago in 28 and reduced the Cadh presence to the coastal areas around the cities of Coratisa and Uuza'ala. This allowed trade and communication to once again skirt around to the Thekhan ports on the Atlan Sea.