|Land Wars of Hobrazia |
მიწის ომები ჰობრაცის
|Part of Deltarian Migrations|
Medieval illustration of the Land Wars
|Zargunian Empire||Hobratz Tribes|
|King Zargaanous of Zargunia||Princess Eris of the Hobratz|
|Casualties and losses|
The Land Wars of Hobrazia (Hobrazian: მიწის ომები ჰობრაცის Mitsis Omebi Hobratsis) is the name for the intermittent warfare between Deltarian and Hobratz tribes which lasted for 200 years and eventually led to the creation of the Hobrazian nation.
The first encounter between the Deltarians and the Hobratz is recorded to have occurred in 500 BCE. At first the relations between the two groups were cordial. Indeed, for many a season following this initial meeting, the Hobratz and the Deltarians worked and lived well together, the Hobratz teaching the Deltarians about the land and the far improved farming techniques they had developed, whilst the Deltarians taught the Hobratz how to improve their limited technological ability, forging metal farming equipment and far improving the quality of irrigation and general cleanliness of the Hobratz villages.
However, by 450 BCE, tensions had started to mount between the Hobratz and Deltarian leaderships. The Deltarians were an exploratory people, tending only to remain in one place for short periods of time, whereas their new Hobratz friends believed that the Great Spirits of the land provided this land for them and to leave it would bring with it great disaster, not only for those leaving but also to those who remained. And so, it was agreed, that as the Deltarians were not originally of Hobratz land that they would depart and allow themselves to explore the areas around them, whereas the Hobratz would remain in their home.
Over the years, the inward nature of the Hobratz eventually led to them losing all contact with the Deltarians, and it wasn’t until 100 BCE that the next existing historical documentation has been found, though some historians have argued that it would have been unlikely that the two peoples would have lost complete contact considering the seeming interdependency that had grown between the two cultures. This new meeting was, however, much more disastrous than the first.
According to evidence, the first meeting of Hobratz and Deltarians in over 300 years was that of a mass slaughter. The Deltarians, now known as Zargunias, entered a Hobratz farming village on the edge of what is now the Mkhare of Stormereti. After a single call for surrender, which was refused, they marched into the village and executed all men over the age of ascension (to the Zargunias of the time the age of ascension was the age that a boy could join the armed forces. At this period the Zargunias operated a system of “conscription” for all male members over the age of 14), after which all women and children were forcibly removed from their homes and taken to the nearest Zargunia military outpost and used as slaves and concubines. Word soon reached the Hobratz tribes of this massacre and they responded as quickly as they could, though at the time the Hobratz were still mainly farmers and their ability to use weapons was far inferior to the well trained and efficient forces of the Zargunias. And so, the start of a bloody war that would last almost 200 years ensued (though it is designated a war, by all accounts most of the fighting was only in relatively small skirmishes. Only during a short 20 year period could it be compared with warfare as currently thought of in modern times).
Technological progress was rapid, on both sides. Within only 2 years the Hobratz had advanced their military technology almost to the equal of the Zargunia military. This was no small feat for the Hobratz. As has been already mentioned the Hobratz were, until this point, still mainly farmers, however unlike their Zargunia enemies the lands in which they lived were extremely fertile, and consequently their families extremely large.
War leads to development
It is at this point that time should be taken to way up both sides in this impending conflict. Both had strengths and weaknesses that would become crucial in not only the final outcome of the war, but also its longevity.
Over the hundreds of years since the two peoples had parted, the Deltarians had, through their explorations, come into contact with many differing people. However most of these, unlike the Hobratz before them, had not remained as separate entities, but rather had intermarried and consequently mixed their cultural values with those of the Deltarians. The most important of these were a large tribe in what is now the Mkhare of Zargundia. This tribe was highly aggressive, but was only at the technologically primitive level of the Hobratz (it has been suggested by many eminent Hobrazian historians that the Zargunias were merely another tribe of “lost” Hobratz, though there has never been found any conclusive evidence either for or against this theory). The Zargunias deemed the comparatively technologically advanced Deltarians as Gods and welcomed them with open arms into their towns and villages. However, unlike the Hobratz before them who had merely learned from the Deltarians and nothing more the Zargunias interbred with the Deltarians mixing their aggressive society with that of the exploratory nature of the Deltarians, creating a powerful ideological force.
At the time of invasion of the modern day Stormereti the Zargunia army was made up of large, semi-independent groups. Each group operated as a subset of a much larger division made up of 100’s of men. Each man was armed with a short stabbing sword, which they were trained to use from an early age, as well as a secondary throwing knife. They were protected by a large, thick wooden, rectangular shield, usually held and firmly strapped to their left arm. They would then be fitted with body hugging thick leather britches and a metal plate strapped to their upper body. Each plate would be measured and made to fit individual soldiers, meaning that no two armour plates were the same. This had the advantage that the armour would fit, and consequently be comfortable to wear, for the soldier over long periods. It did, however, have the disadvantage that over time, due to the limited resources of the burgeoning Zargunia Empire, and consequently its need to ever expand, that by the time of the assault on the Hobratz the armour was often thin and easily pierced by direct strikes.
The Hobratz, in comparison, were lightly armed, especially in close combat assaults. Their limited armies were made up of poorly trained militias rather than a structured military force, but had the advantage over the invading Zargunias in both knowledge of the territory and numbers. The average Hobratz soldier was armed, at least in the early years of the conflict, with modified farming equipment, most notably large scythes and picks, and, like their Zargunia enemies, large, sharp knives. Their armour was, generally, non-existent except for a few of the richer nobles who, like their Zargunia counterparts, had metal armour, though generally of a much higher quality.
The turning point
Early conflicts were sporadic at best, with most battles being won overwhelmingly by the better trained and equipped Zargunias. However, the turning point came in 98BCE when a small group of lightly armed group of Hobratz were attacked by a larger force of Zargunias outside the town of Krupskaya. Though the exact nature of the battle has been lost, and many records are based more on hearsay rather than thorough historical evidence, it is clear that the Hobratz forces not only stopped the invading Zargunia army, but also launched a counter attack on a nearby Zargunia encampment. The surprise attack caught the unprepared Zargunias with no ability to respond. This attack also showed the first use of a Hobratz weapon, specifically designed for combat, which would come to dominate Hobratz military tactics in the future. The Hobratz, from the cover of nearby trees, fired arrows from their hunting bows. The arrows, however, were tipped with a sticky, dripping liquid known as “haqlass” (the exact constitute of which is now unknown, though it has been surmised that it may have been some form of fish oil, however this is hotly contested). When this substance came in contact with skin it began to burn. A Zargunia military officer, quoted from a later battle, describes the effects of the substance as: “The pain is almost indescribable. When any part of the body comes in contact with this devastating liquid it becomes immediately enflamed, leaving a blotchy pustule where once there was healthy skin. Should any come in contact with the face, then Hoba help the poor man, for they shall never see another day”.
From this early encounter the Hobratz soon began fighting back against the Zargunia onslaught. Their forces became much more coherent and, over the years, became a formidable force.
However, though outnumbered, Zargunia technological development continued apace always matching, and often staying far in advance, of that of the Hobratz. Victory, though, never seemed to be something that either side would see much of.
A Zargunia soldier, in 10 CE, describes the wars as: “An almost insatiable need by the King. The expansion of the Zargunia Empire had, for hundreds of years, been merely a formality and these (Hobratz farmers) should have been no more than a light skirmish to claim the lands of Hoba. However the Hobratz fought as if possessed and rained the Devils elixir (Haqlass) down upon us at every opportunity”.
The Hobratz themselves were also feeling the strain of ongoing warfare, not least upon their rich and fertile farm lands as more and more resources were being turned over to producing weapons.
A report from a Hobratz farmer in the North of Stormereti describes the effect of the constant battles between the Hobratz and the Zargunias as: “A clash of Titans fighting over who should marry the loveliest girl in the world, but during the fight neither notice that the girl has grown old and remains only wrinkled”.
Ending and Aftermath
The Land Wars lasted almost 200 years, though all out confrontation was only for about 20 years with the rest being mere border skirmishes. It did, however, cost massive numbers of lives on both sides, especially between those living on the borders between the two groups. It was decided that the only way to bring peace to the two sides, after so long a conflict, would be for both sides to be joined as one. However, after so long a conflict neither side would willingly surrender to the other. To bring about the formation of one group, and the joining of the territories, the two Royal Families of the time, the King Zargaanous of the Zargunia and the Princess Eris of the Hobratz, decided that they would marry, creating the Zarganid Dynasty. So, on the 30 July 99 CE, the new Kingdom of Hobrazia was born, which was to last until 815 CE.