Black Iron's Glory - Chapter 545

On the 3rd of the 2nd month, Year 603, a meeting was held in force headquarters within Lanu.

"As Lord Militant Claude had predicted, the pamigar launched a huge wave of attacks in Moloshik's colony and occupied most of it. The various towns deeper inland have fallen to the Pamigar Liberation Front. What remains of Moloshik's colonial forces have congregated around the four main port cities in anticipation for reinforcements from their kingdom.

"According to Colonel Borkal, the pamigar are rallying their forces to form a huge army of around 200 thousand men to take the four port cities in one swoop, chasing the Moloshikians away from Nubissia for good. They even declared they would take the four main port cities before the rainy season. After the season, they'll be able to found their independent pamigar nation."

Fodres just gave a briefing on the latest updates of the armed conflict started by the pamigar, as well as the new requests they have for the region. The newly elected pamigar president, Tazinger, hoped that the region could continue to provide up to 100 thousand new muskets and accompanying ammunition within the short term to prevent any delays to their revolt.

"How many weapons have we already provided them with?" Claude asked.

"Lord Militant, so far, we gave them 146800 new muskets and accompanying ammunition in four separate batches. They're worth near a million crowns in total," Fodres replied.

"Have Colonel Borkal and the other officers sent there to train them been ignored? Are they only asking us for supplies now?"

Fodres laughed awkwardly and said, "That is not the case. While President Taganem is no longer as amicable to them, he still treasures a friendly relationship with the region. Colonel Borkal and the others are given good treatment and aren't ignored or ostracised. Even though they didn't take part in the pamigar's attacks, they are still helping with the training of a new folk being formed in the rear.

"This new folk is formed from the most loyal men President Taganem picked. They are the presidential guard and reserve forces for the Pamigar Liberation Front. So, they will not be used in the attack on the four main ports. He requested that we train the presidential guard for a full half a year."

"Looks like this Tazinger Nora Taganem didn't let the victories he's had so far get to his head. I believe we picked the right person this time. For him to be able to form a force loyal to him in a time like this means that he won't be as short lived as a shooting star. Agree to his request and send him a new batch of weapons." Claude gave it more thought and said, "By the way, General Fodres, did the colonial forces of Lesnia and Wasilisk's colony respond in any way?"

Respectfully, Fodres said, "Lord Militant, it's like what you predicted the last time. Those two colonies only gathered a force to reinforce the borders to prevent the pamigar's entry. They also sent out ambassadors to make contact with the local Moloshikian officials and the pamigars in hopes that the two sides can resolve their conflict through dialogue.

"Interestingly, the ambassador sent to establish contact with the Moloshikian officials in Port Felimz mocked the incompetence of the Moloshikian colonial forces after their initial greeting, and offered to send their own colonial forces to stop the revolt if the Moloshikians were willing to pay. As expected, the Moloshikian officials refused that offer.

"The ambassadors sent to the Pamiger Liberation Front to meet President Taganem, on the other hand, maintained a strictly neutral position. Their stance is that the expansion of war would cause endless tragedy for the civilians, and they hoped for it to end soon. They also said they'd be willing to start talks between the Front and the Moloshikian officials to reach a peace settlement.

"President Taganem also immediately refused all talks, saying that the pamigar intend to found their own independent nation to rule over themselves. Having been refused, the ambassadors changed their tune to say they'd be willing to supply some arms to the Pamigar Liberation Front, since the weapons used by the 50 thousand troops of the pamigar were old-style muskets."

Claude chuckled. "The two colonies are trying to look like bystanders when they're actually waiting for their chance to profit off this when the dust settles. They can't wait for Moloshik's colony and the pamigar to wipe each other out. The more serious the casualties, the more elated they will be. No matter which side wins, the victor will still have to negotiate with them and might have to endure being taken advantage of."

General Natass, the master of strategy, asked, "Lord Militant, are you suggesting that those two colonies will join the war no matter which side wins in the end?"

"No, they won't join the existing war. They'll start a whole new one," Claude answered with a nod, "The colonies of the eight Southern Freian nations have a very fine balance, being more or less as strong as one another. In the past six centuries, there used to be some 200 city-state federations in Southern Freia. After some three centuries of chaos, they eventually settled into the seven coastal nations. The last one, the United Kingdom of Fochs, is an island nation as opposed to a coastal one.

"As the might of those eight nations are about the same, none of them are able to dominate another. Sometimes, two to three nations would work together to attack one nation, but just as the target is about to be eliminated, the other bystander nations will interfere. No matter how the fights end up, no side ends up better off. Such a state has persisted until now. While there have been squabbles over the past two to three centuries, these eight nations will band together in an alliance against an outside force. All internal conflict will magically disappear.

"As such, expansion is not an option for these eight nations, so they turned heavily to developing maritime trade and were among the first to start colonising Nubissia. If you look at the history of the western colonies, you'll find that those eight nations aren't the first to reach the western coast. Instead, a Northern Freian nation, the Duchy of Leotoma was the first to reach there.

"The eight nations only came later. After they formed a colony, they worked together to expand, eventually swallowing up the whole western coast. They had pretty good luck over the past two centuries, much of it thanks to Shiks' invasion and extermination of Leotoma. After that, Lesnia and Carmenleon declared war to divide their territory in the colonies.

"Nowadays, all of the western coast is occupied by those eight nations. There have been many conflicts at the borders in the past century, but they develop like they do on the mainland. No side ever has enough of an advantage over another. But now, the pamigars launched a war in Moloshik's colony and swept most of it out. To the two neighbouring colonies, it's a good chance to expand their influence.

"Moloshik only has two standing corps in their mainland. While their colonial forces also amount to a corps, they are spread out to defend the various towns. In Southern Freia, Moloshik and Wasilisk are neighbours and they've fought a few wars. Wasilisk is usually the invaded one. The two nations can be said to be nemeses. While Lesnia isn't that close to Moloshik on the mainland, they did have a few conflicts with them in the colonies.

"That's why the pamigar revolt is great news to Lesnia and Wasilisk's colonies. They are willing to provide support to the Pamigar Liberation Front in hopes that Moloshik's military might can be worn down. Currently, however, they are still on friendly terms with each other, united on carrying out the embargo against us. So, they won't go to war with each other directly.

"The colonial forces in Moloshik's colony are helpless to do anything and just barely keeping their four port cities defended. If the kingdom really wants to stop this revolt, their only options are to either send troops from Freia there or to request the two neighbouring colonies to help quell the revolt for them.

"For the former option, they would have to count on their colonial forces being able to hold out against the pamigar. Even so, there are only two standing corps in the Moloshikian mainland, and they would need at least one corps to quell the revolt. That would require Moloshik to divert resources from its transport fleet and navy to ship the troops to the western coast, which in turn requires a substantial amount of time. They would also need to make sure at least one of the port cities is defended for their docking.

"As for asking the neighbouring colonies for help, while that's a much faster and more convenient approach, it comes with rather heavy costs. The colonial forces from the other two nations might occupy their territory and refuse to leave, causing problems down the line. That's why they won't request their aid unless absolutely necessary.

"While the pamigar occupy a really huge territory right now, their situation is still far from certain, at least as far as Wasilisk and Lesnia's colonies are concerned. They need to see which move Moloshik would take first before deciding on their own. For instance, if Moloshik sends their troops from the mainland, those other two nations would support the pamigar to make sure both sides end up ruined from the fighting.

"If Moloshik's forces from the mainland suffer badly from the revolt, Lesnia and Wasilisk wouldn't give up on that chance and send their troops into Moloshik's colony. They could well use attacking the pamigar as their excuse. With Moloshik's forces wounded and recovering, they wouldn't be able to afford angering the two other nations and would have to cede part of their colony away.

"The ideal outcome for the colonies of Wasilisk and Lesnia would be if the pamigar defeats the mainland Moloshikian forces and chase them out of the western coast, before founding their own nation. That way, the other two colonies have all the reason to conquer and swallow Moloshik's colony without worrying about Moloshik's response, as they would have lost their claim to the territory."

Claude's analysis made it clear to the high-ranking officers that while the pamigar seemed like they were doing really well, there were at least three obstacles that they still had to overcome. The first was to defeat Moloshik's mainland forces, the second was to reclaim the whole colony, the four port cities included, and the third was to face war from the other two colonies after the founding of their nation.

Only when all three conditions were cleared could the pamigar truly be considered liberated and independent. They would then become the shining beacon for the other indigenous races at the western coast, kickstarting the spring of revolts and fights for independence.

Natass turned to Fodres and asked, "What about the reactions of the other western colonies? I recall that Lesnia has two colonies at the western coast. The one that neighbours Moloshik's is near to the Fochsian colony of Lodex Bay, which happens to be not too far from Loki Mountains."

Fodres said, "Lesnia's other colony is rather far from here. The moment word of the pamigar revolt spread, they transferred two garrison lines from their other colony to the border for increased security.

"The other colonies are watching from the sidelines. Some are publishing the narrative that the pamigar revolt stemmed from cruel treatment by the colonisers. Some other publications published the opinion that the revolting pamigars had to be punished to stifle all hope for independence, lest they caused the other races in the other colonies to revolt."

Natass said, "I'm quite worried that the pamigar nation would come under attack from all western colonies the moment they are formed. If they end up exterminated, Operation Wildfire will have failed and our investment would've gone to waste."

"It is indeed something we have to pay attention to," Claude agreed, "The original plan was for our informants to reach the other indigenous races in other colonies by the time the pamigar revolt started so that all the colonies are taken off guard at the same time.

"But now that the pamigar revolt started two months earlier, the other colonies have raised their guard. Our informants of various races are no longer able to freely cross into other colonies, so not all our plans can be carried out. It is a rather huge mistake. Our region can only do our best to support the founding of the pamigar nation now. At worst, we'll join this war ourselves."

Claude had already made up his mind. If the pamigar nation really came under a coordinated attack from the other colonies, the region would send their troops in. Since they already had the Shiksan folks, it wouldn't be surprising for them to form more voluntary folks. There were all too many reasons for them to join the war. They could, for example, run with the narrative of their support of liberating the natives, all the while taking up the mantle of an ally of justice.

On the 11th of the 2nd month, Year 603, around 200 thousand members of the Pamigar Liberation Front launched heavy attacks on the four coastal port cities of the colony. The four cities shook, but still remained in the hands of the colonial forces.

Before the first heavy rain of the rainy season in the 3rd month, the pamigar had suffered up to 80 thousand casualties. President Taganem had no choice but to give the order to retreat 50 kilometres back for the construction of a defence line along Milankorda River.

On the 28th of the 3rd month, the two corps from Moloshik docked at Port Felimz. After half a month of rest, they launched their counterattack. Splitting into two, they attacked the pamigar's defence line. Following a heated battle that lasted a day and night, the line crumbled and the pamigar troops fell. Around 40 thousand of them were captured and massacred at Milankorda River.

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