“Citizens and soldiers of the Empire, hear my voice. I am Fleet Admiral Adraci, commander of Imperial forces on Coruanthor. Our foes, the Republic, who represent a government of chaos and illegitimacy, stand ready to destroy all that which we have built. They spread lies and delusions! They seek to end the Empire and sully the sanctity of our galaxy, but I promise you this: they will fail! They will fall! And today will mark the death of the New Republic by the Empire's hand! Today we reclaim our galaxy! Today, we seize our future!”
- - Fleet Admiral Tharnak Adraci
The Battle of Coruanthor (Iunius 53, 15 NE - Dekemurios 40, 15 NE) was a large-scale engagement during the Second Great Cyrannus War, fought between the New Cyrannian Republic and the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus for control over the Republic-aligned ecumenopolis of Coruanthor. Although the Empire had been moving along the Republica Hyperlane since the beginning of the conflict, in a seemingly inexorable march to total victory, the conflict on Coruanthor began when Praesator Vel Natalo, the newly elected leader of the planet, surrender to Imperial forces led by the Phaedric Lord Maethoruin and Fleet Admiral Tharnak Adraci. Though the Empire accepted the surrender, becoming entrenched in the capital district, the Republic defenders, backed by civilian resistance movements, sprang up in opposition. Organised by Republic Fleet Admirals Shavalera, Kaedar and Kuestantine, the Republic armada retaliated against the Imperial forces, sparking a battle which would last four months.
Claiming legitmacy through Natalo's puppet government, the Imperials rallied the support of many of Coruanthor's traditional Great Houses, including House Capulex, members of which felt that the New Republic had stripped away their political power, particularly in the aftermath of the Neraida War. The once pristine streets of the ecumenopolis became a battleground, with both Imperial and Republic forces hiring mercenaries, bounty hunters and smugglers in a desperate bid to secure victory over their foes. Simultaneously, the battle saw extensive confrontations between the Phaedric and Aldárae Orders, culminating in a battle between the Aldárae knights and the Phaedric Lord Echoriax. The battle utterly ravaged large swaths of Coruanthor's surface, killing millions of civilians and decimating considerable portions of both the Republic and Imperial armed forces.
The battle ended in Dekemurios 15 NE, when President Apollo gathered a team including the crews of the CRS Aeolus and the Auethnen Raptor on a mission to gather support from the Republic's allies. The combined assault from the New Republic, the Indoctrinate Collective, the Cyrandia Resistance and the Unified Order of Cognalorilos drove the Imperials from the system, thus ending the Coru Secundus Campaign and the opening stages of the war. However, the victory would be a costly one, with over eighteen percent of the entire Republic military falling in the battle. However, four percent of the Imperial military was also destroyed, a disproportionate number given the respective sizes of the combatant's forces.
Course of the BattleEdit
“So easily did the great bastion of the Republic fall. However, I am under no illusion that keeping it down will be as simple.”
- - Fleet Admiral Tharnak Adraci
The Imperial seizure of Coruanthor was the culmination of an operation in planning since the earliest days of the Cyrannian Cold War. For years, Imperial Intelligence infiltrated the highest levels of power on the planet, manipulating the great houses of the planet, which had been devastated during the Battle of Coruanthor during the Neraida War, that the New Republic had abandoned them to decline. House Capulex, which had previously voted for Coruanthor to join the Empire prior to the formation of the New Republic, were particularly amenable to the honeyed words of Imperial Intelligence. By the time the Second Great War erupted, much of the Coruanthori parliament were already in the Empire's hands, forcing the planet's Republic-aligned Praesator, Vos'Rame Veerah, from power and allowing the young Vel Natalo to ascend to the position. Under the Republic's nose, members of parliament who proved troublesome were removed from office through bribery or blackmail.
In orbit over the planet, Fleet Admirals Laege Shavalera, Aver Kuestantine and Gialu Kaedar united their fleets in preparation for a stand against Imperial Fleet Admiral Tharnak Adraci's advancing armada, which had conquered dozens of Republic systems along the key Republica Hyperlane. When the first Imperial battlecruisers dropped out of lightspeed, the Republic defenders were unprepared for the planet's defences to be turned on their own armada, the product of weeks of sabotage by Imperial Intelligence agents. The massive Imperial armada, under the direction of the Phaedric Lord Maethoruin, promptly pushed through the Republic blockade and took up position in orbit over the Capitol District. Broadcast over the HoloDomain, the Imperials invited Praesator Vel Natalo onto the Imperial flagship Inexorable, where he bent his knee to the Phaedric Lord and offered his surrender to Maethoruin and Admiral Adraci.
On the planet below, Natalo declared martial law as Imperial battlecruisers descended from orbit. All communications between the planet and the rest of Republic space were cut, preventing the Republic admiralty from calling reinforcements. With Imperial Interdiction fields set up throughout the system, they were unable to retreat and thus resolved to ending the Imperial occupation with what little resources at their disposal. The Republic defence fleet, which had been reinforced by fleeing vessels from the battles of Cyraband, Coruaan and the Mou'Cyran remnants, dropped from Imperial-occupied orbit to the free sectors of the planet far from the Capitol District, establishing multiple military bases amidst the ruins of city blocks yet to be repaired since the Neraida War. Of these bases, Fort Angoul, re-purposed from one of the shattered ship breaking yards which once dominated Coruanthor's industrial sector was built up to withstand a considerable Imperial bombardment, while Republic battlecruisers and dreadnoughts held up defensive positions around the area, unloading entire battalions of troops and war machines. Though a brief peace had descended upon the planet, both the Republic and the planet's citizenry began preparing for the battle to liberate Coruanthor.
“Coruanthor is on the verge of falling to the Empire, and if Corunathor falls, the Republic might well follow.”
- - Commodore Helo Roslia
From the bridge of his Star Dreadnought Dark Hand, Lord Maethoruin deployed the might of the Imperial military, with an estimated ten million Imperial soldiers deployed to hold key installations and locations across Coruanthor's vast cityscape, each major Grand Battalion led by a Phaedric Lord. Others however, shirked their duties. Striking from the shadows, the newly revealed Lord Echoriax plagued Republic positions, her blades dripping with the blood of her foes. However, with the mere whisper of her depravity echoing throughout the Republic-held areas of the planet, Maethoruin did not prevent Echoriax from continuing her hunt for an Aldárae worthy of her skill. Simultaneously, the newly promoted Grand Inquisitor Vandalion arrived in the Capitol District to ensure the government's loyalty to the Empire.
Not content with backroom politics, however, he set about on his own mission to locate the most influential local leaders who remained loyal to the Republic, chief among them Lady Vetras Maraean, who rallied support from the aristocratic houses for the planetary resistance and the Republic forces. Upon Maraean's capture, Vandalion brought her to the Capitol Building, where he presented her to Praesator Natalo. With Maraean pledging her loyalty to Natalo for all the HoloDomain to see, Vandalion stood behind the two leaders and activated his double-bladed weapon, decapitating both.
Vandalion's plan worked as expected—the Republic admirals were forced to retaliate, lest they lose their credibility in the eyes of the Coruanthori. Space above the city world came alight with the fire of a thousand ships trading broadsides, though those closer to the planet's surface were prevented from joining the fray by powerful Imperial Hypervelocity Cannons deployed across the planet's surface. Working with small groups of Aldárae and Republic Strategic Intelligence agents, Aoirtae Valaeris and Vanikaimar, infiltrated the closest Imperial facility to Fort Angoul and disabled the Imperial defences in the area, allowing the Republic Dreadnought Star of Cyrannus and its escort to take the fight to the Empire in a direct assault on Spira Capulex.
Imperial forces in Spira Capulex, commanded by Captain Mornauó, activated interdiction fields to drag disabled Republic cruisers, damaged in the fighting, smashing into city blocks, killing thousands of civilians as they huddled for safety.
Across the planet, in the resistance stronghold of Spira Maraean, General Elaen Minerchae of the Republic Army struck out against Imperial heavy fortifications, bringing in fresh Republic reinforcements from the galactic north, which managed to sneak beneath Imperial shields thanks to Strategic Intelligence sabotage. Soon afterwards, Commander Corvexa landed with a team of Republic Special Forces, utilising stolen Imperial walkers to attack from behind enemy lines, capturing Grand General Valtor Halfaxi and crippling Imperial efforts in the battle's southern theatres.
After months of constant fighting, and a new threat in the form of Adelheidis' Republic faction, President Apollo tasked Commodore Helo Roslia and the Aldárae crew of the Auethnen Raptor to seek out the Republic's allies for one final push to oust the Imperials from the Corunathor system. Upon rallying the Unified Order of Cognalorilos and the Indoctrinate Collective, both of whom were fighting in the southern Coru Secundus campaign, as well as the Cyrandia Resistance, the New Republic successfully ousted the Imperials from the planet, capturing Fleet Admiral Adraci in the process.
“I'm sick of these endless retreats. We're under-powered and outnumbered, basically all the time. Just once, I'd like to try it the other way.”
While stragglers continued to fight against Republic forces for much of the following month, the evening after the mission in the Imperial Headquarters saw the official end of hostilities on Coruanthor. The Republic and their allies had won decisively over the Empire, the first major victory since the Battle of Cadian. In an address made from the Presidential Pyramid on Capricaerón, President Apollo rallied the people of the Republic to celebrate the crushing Imperial defeat. However, a threat loomed behind his celebratory words, for the flames of civil war were being fanned across the Republic's extragalactic territories. Praesator Adelheidis rallied her forces in preparation for a strike against Apollo's government, while their Rambo allies didn't seem to make respond to this new threat within the Quadrant, or even worse turning a blind eye towards them. Something they did frequently lately. In the outer regions of the Capricorn Sector, a rogue senator thought dead, was preparing to make his move in a decades-long quest for power. The Battle of Corunathor signalled the end of the Coru Secundus Campaign, and heralded the beginning of a new year and a new phase of the war.
The Republic was not the only one in danger, however; a rising threat lurked through Cognatus space, and they demanded retribution for the crimes of the past. And beyond them, a terrible shadow from beyond the very Gigaquadrant loomed, its nightmarish claws extended to prepare their own move upon the unsuspected galaxy, and their arrival would be heralded by the return of an old enemy, who once nearly sundered the whole galaxy in a war of intergalactic proportions, back from the grave. While the Resistance boosted their ranks with more and more personnel and squadrons after their victories at Ambar and Coruanthor, the Emperor observed all from his distant throne on Orbispira, planning on remove the nuisance. He issued an order to form an elite squadron to hunt down the Cyrandia Resistance, remove them and all who support them from the chessboard and make examples of its leadership.
- The Battle of Coruanthor will involve several subplots, showing a different perspective on the months-long campaign.