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King Alaric's War

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King Alaric's War was a limited naval war between the League of Antar and the Unified Kingdom which lasted from 565 to 571. Prior to the war, Tierra was effectively an Antari vassal, being required to pay annual tribute, and allow Antari traders favoured treatment. This changed with the accession of the ambitious King Alaric to the Gryphon Throne in 564.

King Alaric's predecessor, Edmund II, had laid the foundations of what was to become two major Tierran state institutions: the Royal Tierran Navy, and Royal Intelligence. King Alaric then used these two resources to his advantage, using the latter, and his own abrasive diplomatic style (hence the King's epithet, "Spitfire") to escalate a trade dispute with the Antari to his own ends.

The combined forces of the Lords of the Congress had more ships, and heavier ships than the Tierran Navy, but the RTN had better ships, better sailors, and a large merchant-marine which had been clandestinely armed before the war. With the Antari unwilling to submit to unified naval command, or even pool their resources to form convoys, Tierran privateers cut apart the Antari sea trade, while the Northern Fleet hunted down any isolated squadron which the Antari might deploy. As pickings became scarcer for the privateers, the Antari expeditions to hunt them down became better equipped, organised, and larger, culminating in the last expedition of over four dozen warships in the Winter of 570-571. It would be this fleet which would be met and destroyed by the Tierran Northern Fleet in the most famous victory in the RTN's history: The Battle of the Northern Pillars.

Following this engagement, the Takarans stepped in to arbitrate a peace at gunpoint, as they feared that the war might escalate further, especially seeing as how the Callindiran Incident several months prior had led to a swift cooling of relations between Tierra and Takara. Neither side was particularly capable of continuing the war: Antar had few merchant vessels, and even fewer warships remaining, Tierra's reliance on Antari imports meant that the Unified Kingdom's economy was on the verge of collapse.

In the end, the Takarans brokered a deal which exacted token reparations from the Tierrans, and a few empty diplomatic promises from the Antari. Despite this, Tierra had proved itself capable as an independent power, and the Antari began to build a growing resentment of their "upstart" foe, which had not only humiliated them, but also done so "unfairly", through their use of privateers, hit-and-run raids, and an extensive intelligence network.

One of the great heroes of the war was a young aristocrat of the highest pedigree, who had risen, by war's end, to the rank of Major in the Royal Marines: Lord Hector d'al Candless, who was to one day become the Duke of Wulfram.[1]

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