The Legend of Richard

I - The First Campaign

The Bralian Empire, founded by the greatest man on earth, creator of a glory that all kings afterwards, Bralians or not, can only dream in achieving. Unfortunately, his great work fell apart as soon as he left this world due to the greed of men. The present Kingdom of Bralia is what remains of Richard's glorious Empire, feared even (and mainly) by the pagans who today, have their homeland back to themselves and reject him as a hero, accusing him of genocide and even hating him. Some kings tried to imitate Richard, but failing at Caedia's long-awaited reconquest, they did not earn the right to claim the title of Emperor.

Bralia began with the same title it has now: A simple kingdom, however, at that time the kingdom was much smaller, consisting simply of the city of Bralia and its surroundings. Bralia today is one of the provinces with the most disciplined soldiers, something that was even truer at the time. The Kingdom of Bralia, led by Charles II The Beautiful, Richard's father, whom with his phalanges of pikemen had expanded the Bralian kingdom to the tribes of Amschlag.

Indeed, it was during the conquest of Amschlag that Richard was born. Charles, being on campaign, could not see his first male son born, but when he returned from the campaign he was filled with pride and had a vision: His son was God incarnate, sent to save men from war and violence caused by the evil and heresies of that time.

16 years pass, in which Charles established his dominion over Amschlag and took care of his children. After this period, Charles allies himself with a semi-nomadic people called Vannoi who claimed ancestral rights to the lands of Neunberg. Taking their cause into his own hands, Charles orders the invasion of Neunberg, giving Richard the task of commanding the Bralian expedition while he fought on the Euborian border, trying to get allies from the tribes attacked by the Empire (which from time to time launched expeditions to capture slaves against the tribes near its border). Richard proves to be a military genius and succeeds in his campaign, in just six months conquers Neunberg on behalf of the Vannoi and offers his father aid in the campaign, which Charles rejects and orders Richard to return to rule the kingdom.

Charles died a year later at the Battle of the Frauenborn River, where he received two arrows in the chest and fell from his horse, being murdered on the ground by Euborian spearmen. With the death of its leader, the army is forced to retreat to bring the news and bury the king. Upon learning of his father's death, Richard ordered 3 days of mourning and is crowned the new King. As soon as he was crowned, the provinces of Amschlag and Neunberg rebelled claiming independence, Richard then set out in a year-long war against these provinces and to which he ultimately triumphed and still invaded neighboring kingdoms for supporting the rebellion in his territory and in just six months defeated them and placed on the throne one of his allies, General Walfried, who promptly swore him vassalage.

II - Holy War

After these conflicts, Richard spends 3 years gathering allies for the invasion of Euboria and sets off towards the border to intervene in the war between two peoples: the Neuscheid and the Mödben, the first being supported by Euboria who used the tactic of dividing and conquering against the Proto-Bralian tribes.

Richard intervenes in favor of the Mödben and turns the war against the Neuscheid, completely destroying the Second Euborian Legion that was sent to help them. Sofos VI, Emperor of Euboria, furious at the loss of his legion, does not accept the defeat of his allies and sends more than 40,000 soldiers to avenge his defeat. Richard decides to retreat with his troops to the Frauenborn River, where he defended the bridge that crossed the river successively against his opponents and in an impetuous counterattack broke the enemy morale that fled the camp, killing and capturing thousands in the pursuit that continued.

After winning the battle, Richard restores his casualties and reinforces the army with that of other tribes that, upon hearing of his success, decided to join him in the Crusade against the demon worshippers. The new army formed by the Union of Western Tribes (Bralia, Halmhammar, Loravia, Soniemi and Arenkene), hitherto considered barbaric by the Dark Empire, united under Richard's command and invaded the immaculate Euborian Empire in search of revenge against centuries of war, kidnappings and intrigues promoted by Euboria.

Battle of Edymna

The host marched for months and on the 7th day of September, the 13,000 peltasts, 22,000 infantrymen and 5,000 knights led by Richard, found themselves before the enormous Euborian army, composed of 1 million men, among them thousands of “barbarians” who were convinced to ally themselves to Sofos with promises of countless wealth and Bralia as a spoil.

The battle took place to the east of the ancient city of Edymna, near where today is Ekland in Caedia, a terrain surrounded by mountains that prevented the Emperor Sofos from using all of his army. The Bralians advanced through the Phaedria Pass (Richard's Pass), Richard leading from the right flank, leaving the left wing to his allies and the center with the Bralian Ândica leading. Sofos concentrated his cavalry on the right flank, in the left the barbarian mercenaries and the bulk of the Euborian infantry in the center, as well as Sofos himself.

The Euborian cavalry launched their attack against the knights led by Andica, crossing the river and starting the battle, the center and right flank of Bralia began to advance as the Allies resisted in the west against the bulk of the Euborian attack. The Bralians were initially at a disadvantage and when they crossed the river, suffered heavy casualties against the imperial archers and had to retreat, while Andica suffered from the heavy charge of the Euborian heavy cavalry that outnumbered them.

The situation was one of great despair, when almost as a miracle the Bralian heavy infantry led by Richard managed to break the Euborian line and the pikemen captured whole legions of Euborians, forcing them to retreat and allowing the Bralian cavalry freedom of action. Richard mounted his horse and, leading a fierce charge, directly attacked the Euborian center, aiming for Sofos and almost kills him with a thrust of his spear that hits him in the temple, who seriously wounded, flees with his guards. Richard seizes the chance and attacks the mercenaries, who break formation and are destroyed. The Euborians, watching their Emperor flee and the battle changing it's turn, retreat. The day was Bralian.

Siege of Euboria

Richard continues his advance and in every passing city orders the destruction of the temples and executes Euborian priests until he reaches and besieges the capital. With his army weakened and Euboria in siege, Sofos summons his priests who, fearing the Bralian advance, invoke several demons to help defend the city, among them, the most terrible of all was the evil Zymmyt, a huge creature with a reptilian aspect and wings that breathed fire. The assault attempts proved difficult, the men terrorized by the beasts refused to attack several times, and when an assault was successful, Zymmyt flew over the invaders and either burned them alive or crushed them with its huge paws.

During the siege, plagues fell under the army of the Western Tribes and strong storms destroyed the siege towers, however, the sick recovered under Richard's prayers and new, stronger and firmer towers were built. After 3 years of stalemate, a final assault is carried out and after a bloodbath, the gates and walls are finally taken. Richard orders his troops not to advance into the city and to only defend their positions from Euborian counterattacks until his horn was blown.

Richard then mounts on his horse and rides alone towards the center of the city, Zymmyt flies over him trying to knock him down, but fails and is wounded by Richard's Sword, the creature retreats and throws fire at Richard, who turns and throws himself against the dragon, the dragon retreats upward and tries to knock Richard off his horse with the wind of the flap of its wings, Richard throws himself on a charge and climbs on top of his horse, and taking a huge leap towards the demon sticks his sword into the beast's neck, which falls to the dead ground. Richard gets up and blow the horn that echoes all over the city ordering the attack. Sofos, watching Zymmyt's death from his palace, slits his own throat with a dagger.

Richard orders the complete destruction of the city, none of its citizens should be spared, none of the riches plundered: The whole city, inhabitants and riches should be completely burned and its soil salted, the pyramid is personally destroyed by Richard and thousands of heretical books within it are burned. After the destruction, Richard appoints Andines as his representative in the Euborian lands and spends another 2 years hunting Euborian generals and executing them upon capture while Andines establishes the new government and begins the forced conversion of the population to Bralian monotheism, in addition to ordering the foundation of a new city as capital: Caedia.

III - Orchic Wars

Having established the new government and extinguished any dangers to the Bralian occupation, Richard, now 26, returns to Bralia where he and his allies found the Bralian Empire, with Richard as its emperor. Each of the kings now had an obligation to assist one another in battle and set aside their differences and ambitions for mutual growth, and if they could not resolve any dispute between themselves, they were to take it to the Emperor who would serve as judge.

Richard, realizing the diversity of his people, sees the need for a unified calendar to facilitate the communication of time within his territory and creates the Imperial Calendar, marked by the foundation of the Empire. The calendar is divided into 12 months of 30 days based on the movements of the sun with 5 extras days added to the last month of the year for the realization of festivals.

Two years after the founding of the new Empire, a people known as Plautus, being invaded by the militarists of Livolis, cry out for help from Bralia, offering vassalage in exchange for aid in the conflict. Richard mobilizes the Bralian veterans and a wave of soldiers from Caedia and marches in support of the Plautus people, defeating the Livolis in the Battle of Storms and subsequently invading them and installing the Euborian general Buccio as the new king. Richard is not content with a single victory, and summons his new allies in a long march to the south in which he subjugates several tribes and forces their leaders to swear vassalage to him, several of them surrendering even before the arrival of the Imperial Army.

The Empire lives in prosperity for about 5 years, in which Richard intervenes in various internal conflicts and encourages trade between peoples, which leads to old rivals becoming great friends. However, peace wouldn't last long. Ervig, son of Walfried, desperately invades the royal palace asking for the help of Richard and the Empire against the Orcs, hideous creatures who live in the woods and eat those who travel alone. Hitherto dismissed as mere folklore, the Orcs attacked and ransacked Amschlag, killing Walfried in defense of the city and now marching to Neunberg.

Richard summons the Empire, first ordering the withdrawal of Neunberg and its citizens to take refuge in Caedia with its army joining the Bralian under the command of Ervig, after which the forces of his allies should gather in Bralia for the campaign, along with adventurers willing to occupy the new lands. Upon arriving in Neunberg, what was left of the city had already been looted and the Orcs were long gone, the same happens in Amschlag.

Richard orders his army, along with willing citizens, to cut down the forest. From time to time the loggers were raided by orcs, which were then repelled by the Imperial Army. After 3 years the loggers report a trail, Richard with his army follow the trail and begins the invasion of Orc territory, defeating the army of one of their cities and burning their idols, as well as founding the city of Nederbøl. Richard leads his campaign to the Serpent River, defeating dozens of Orc armies on the way and founding several new cities in that territory. Successive in his first campaign, Richard returns to Bralia to manage his Empire.

For two years, Orcs attack the Bralian colonies with no stop, leading Richard to prepare yet another campaign in which his army marches throughout Askerburg, conquering forts and cities, until it reaches Vensai, where at the beginning of the 11th year it meets and kills in battle the warlord responsible for the terror in Neunberg. The battle, however, was only won with the help of the Ussukan, a human civilization in the far east that promptly not only allied itself with Richard, but recognized him as an avatar of his God Eros due to his appearance and the prophecy that he would come to earth to create an Empire and free them from the Orcs.

Richard returns to Bralia, delegating to the Ussukan and their generals and allies the task of defending the new territories and spends 7 years with his attention fully devoted to ruling of the Empire, during which time he created the Kalve, coins made out of silver as common currency for the Empire. In addition, he founded schools throughout the Empire teaching the Bralian language in order to make it lingua franca.

In the year 18, Richard set out with his army and expanded north until he reached the desert, where another human people was found, the so-called Desert Peoples. Richard promises them help in exchange for loyalty and they, knowing of Richard's success story, accept the offer. Richard then founds the first order of chivalry: The Knights of Sandur to protect the natives from Orcs.

Richard then returns to Bralia and reigns for another 5 years, when he suddenly removes the crown from his head and leaves with 6 soldiers on a journey to the desert peoples, there he meets with the Captain of the order of chivalry he had created, Montbard, and set out with them for a journey from which he would never return, without heirs and without explaining his motives. The Bralians, confused, declared regency and waited for the return of their Emperor, a period in which disorder and rebellion began to grow with the possibility of his non-return.

After 10 years, the entire semblance of order fel and his vassals and generals began to war among themselves for the Empire, with the exception of Andines, who declares Caedia's independence and is content to defend Euborian territories against the other warlords. During one of the few periods of peace in the so-called War of Succession, a Bralian priest named Létt claims visions of Richard, who claims to be God, this priest begins to preach in the capital and shortly afterwards similar reports spread throughout the Empire, statues once made as commemoration became object of worship.

Andica rejectsthe new religion as it delegitimizes his kingdom and claims it to be heretical and idolizer of men, forbidding it in his Kingdom. For 19 years, the religion spread throughout the Empire, a period in which Montbard is the only one to return and meet Létt, confirming his vision and stating that Richard transcended to the heavens while in the desert, where they killed thousands of Orcs and a Dark Lord. After this meeting, Létt is named the leader of the Bralian Church and the Knights of Sandur become the second institution directly affiliated with the church (the first being the Empire itself). Montbard's death day is not known, but the Knights of Sandur commemorate him every March 6th and he is presumed to have died of old age.

Ludolf Seger, Bishop of Arnedorp