“The most improbable moments in history hinge on desperate gambles. This is mine.”
The Second War of Mirusian Coalition is a complex three-way armed conflict fought during the Great Xonexian Schism between the French Colonial Empire, the Sovereign Mirusian Coalition, and the Imperium of War over the former territories of the Drakodominatus Tyranny. Beginning on June 1, 2804, the war is a direct continuation of the First War of Mirusian Coalition, which saw the official withdrawal of the Xonexi Allies from the Mirus Galaxy.
The Treaty of Manticore had relinquished all Allied colonies in Mirus to the Sovereign Mirusian Coalition, an unlikely and fragile alliance of Mirusian natives assembled to challenge Xonexi dominance over former Dominatus Mirus. Included in the territories that were handed over was the colony of French Mirus, even though the French Colonial Empire had not participated in the negotiations or given its consent. On May 3, Emperor Alexandre I of France officially denounced the Treaty of Manticore, believing it illegitimate. He was joined on May 10 by High King Sylo Ethland of Eldarisia, who also refused to acknowledge its legitimacy. Despite being ostracized by the Xonexi Allies, the two monarchs enjoyed an undercurrent of covert support from a number of Allied nations, especially the Tybusen Intergalactic Allied Federation. In response to the French declaring that they would take a stand in Mirus, the TIAF Expeditionary Force under the command of Admiral Ariana Draccard "defected" and joined the French Empire. Emboldened, Alexander and Sylo repeatedly denied demands by the Mirusian Coalition to withdraw from Mirus, instead relocating the majority of their militaries to the galaxy.
During this intense one-month peace, the two sides repositioned their forces for the inevitable conflict. The French Grand Navy of the Empire––plagued by chronic logistic, morale, supply, and leadership problems––continued serious reorganizations of its command structure, seeing Grand Marshal Delacroix removed and replaced by the Emperor himself. The Sovereign Mirusian Coalition also saw some reshuffling as they prepared themselves to confront a formidable foe on equal terms. However, the first shot of the conflict came not from the Mirusian Coalition as expected, but from the Imperium of War.
Battle of the Three Armadas
Perhaps the most unlikely participant in the Sovereign Mirusian Coalition was Imperator Caligustus of the Imperium of War, and for good reason. Reputed for his outright rejection of diplomacy and adherence to a creed of eternal, unending war with his neighbors, it was almost unthinkable that he would join his rivals in confronting a larger foe. Yet, Dragowar troops had fought alongside other Mirusian forces during the First War, marking a sudden shift in his tactics. Even more encouraging was his subsequent gift of the choicest bits of territory he had acquired in the Treaty of Manticore to the Bygorians in return for positive relations. The Dragowar's return to diplomacy was lauded in international circles as a triumph, not least by representatives of the Sovereign Mirusian Coalition. Yet, unknown to all, the Imperator Caligustus had pledged himself to darker masters than his doctrines of unending conflict.
As the rest of the Mirusian Coalition's forces redeployed to form a cohesive front against the French, Imperator Caligustus's troops seized large portions of the Trans-Territorial Hyperlane in the north on June 1st, interrupting the main artery of supplies and reinforcements to Mirusian armies in the south. As the Imperium of War's light fleets poured into undefended portions of the Former Dominatus Territories, the bulk of the Imperial Warlegion––under the command of Warmaster Brutius––advanced on the rear of the Mirusian line. With his invasion well underway, Caligustus sent a secret envoy to parlay with the French. His offer was simple: the Imperium of War and the French Empire would collaborate to wipe out the Mirusian Coalition and partition the Former Dominatus Territories among themselves.
The unfolding scenario was a nightmare for Mirusian commanders as they frantically turned formations around to face the oncoming force. The Mirusian rear, composed mostly of Ugandal troops under the leadership of Commander Kiun Aeddan, engaged Brutius' vanguard in an attempt to buy the main line more time to reposition. However, the Mirusians could not bring their entire force to bear against the Imperium of War, as a significant portion of their deployment was pinned down by French forces across the border. It was less a question of whether the French would take this opportunity to attack, but when. The thought that Caligustus and Alexandre might be working together terrified a great number of the Mirusian leadership.
France joins the fray
On June 2nd, the French made their move. The Grand Battery of Mirus, a formation under the command of Marshal Isordon consisting of the vast majority of the Colonial Empire's deployable artillery, opened with a thundering volley. Though the Mirusians braced themselves for impact, the discharges far overshot the main Mirusian line and instead crashed into the ranks of the advancing War-Imperial formation. Alexandre's position on Caligustus' offer was made perfectly clear: he was not going to cooperate with the traitorous Imperator.
Volley after devastating volley challenged the integrity and cohesion of the Dragowar fleets, but they continued their southward attack. Multiple attempts at enveloping Commander Aeddan's numerically inferior forces, but a combination of sound tactics on behalf of the Ugandals and torrential bombardment on behalf of the French kept them at bay. More Mirusian formations abandoned the southern Mirusian line and joined Aeddan's defense of the rear, successfully halting the Dragowar advance.
However, when the battle in the north began turning in favor of the Mirusians, Isordon turned his guns on another target: the weakened Mirusian left flank. France's strategy, proposed and coordinated by Marshal Chartier, was to mediate the fighting between the two sides. France had an absolute advantage in long-range hyperspatial artillery, as no other Mirusian power possessed that technology at the time. This meant that they could bombard both sides unopposed, dictating who had the upper hand. Yet, he knew that if the French flexed this muscle too much, the Mirusians would likely call a temporary truce and join forces against the French Grand Navy. That is why, after just a few short hours of this balancing act, he ordered Isordon to cease the bombardment, and the Franco-Eldarisian main line surged forward in attack. By this action, the engagement was turned into a chaotic and complex three-way battle which would last for days.
The Descendants attack the War-Imperial borders
“Our enemy is a machine, a hammer of war that crushes all beneath it. But we are a finely honed bladed guided by a competent hand. They may outnumber and out gun us, but we will be precises and sure. We will strike and cut until there is nothing left. Their blood will be our trophy and their death our reward.”
- - Admiral Kirji
While having stayed neutral for the beginning of this conflict for a variety of reasons the Vanara Houses were quick to catch news of what had been going on. After quick discussion the Alpha Senate and Beta Senate agreed to strike against the Imperium of War, knowing full well that they would attack them eventually, while further enforcing their newly gained former Drakodominatus Tyranny territories. On June 5th they began to further enforce their position in former Tyranny space, locking out Xonexi forces, making a very clear statement that they could and would defend what they had gained through violence if attacked.
Not soon after they made their attack on the Imperium of War. Taking several tactical potshots against the Imperium on a separate front from the one the SMC was fighting on, they caught their enemies off guard. The Imperium of War, used to fighting agile yet fragile Vanara Empire ships, instead found themselves facing off against ungraded UPD ships, that while maintaining their speed and maneuverability, were far tougher, with better armor, shields, and anti-missile systems. All finished off with withering fire power to match, allowing them to turn quick tactical strikes into full on sieges. New weapons also served to upset the balance, such as the Nightmare Torpedo which turned a ships own armor into it's tomb.
Several key battles of note were fought during the course of the UPD's initial strike against the Imperium. The first was the Battle of Haborym, which counted as the first full on assault led by Admiral Kirji for the space attack and Marshal Krel for the ground invasion. The battle resulted in victory for the UPD forces with Kirji luring the Imperium forces in the asteroid belt of systems and used the asteroids present in a surprisingly clever way by using Nightmare Torpedoes to turn large numbers of asteroids into massive mine fields. Afterwards he cut them off from the planet and Krel was free to launch her ground assault, sending bomber and gunship squadrons to cripple the defenders and then striking from the weakest point opened by the bombings. The end result being the UPD taking the planet from their enemy.
The next was the Battle of Laran and the Battle of Decarabia. Though the battle of Laran was technically a victory for the UPD, it was considered more of pariah victory as they were forced to glass the planet from orbit. The Battle of Decarabia on the other hand was a counter offensive by the Imperium of War in which they tried to take the UPD planet of Decarabia. Though initially successful, the UPD's population off citizen soldiers put up a successful resistance until a Persan Task Group arrived to drive the Imperium off.
However the Imperium of War was able to reinforce their position and put up and effective resistance against the UPD advance. The two forces ended up grinding each other to a halt. Both sides were left facing off with neither making a fully committed attack, instead conflict having come down to many small skirmishes. The Descendants and the Imperium both readying themselves for another full on confrontation. This forced the Imperium into fighting on an offensive and defensive front simultaneously, giving the SMC some breathing room for further engagement. Meanwhile Seerkar and Akanri of the Elemental Hunters Freelancers (acting as a independent force) began a civilian rescue operation to get as many none combatants possible out of the line of fire and into stable space full well knowing their action would bring them to clash with Xonexi Allies. Both Seerkar and Akanri(being parents themselves) secretly relishing the idea of slaughtering Eldarisian for the deaths of Waptoria children during the Eldarisian genocide against the WAoS.
Early Mirusian victories
By some miracle, the Mirusian left flank against the Franco-Eldarisian Alliance held for twenty-six days. Though outnumbered two-to-one and pelted by disciplined Angelfire barrages, Mirusian forces on that front had one advantage: the month-long standoff that had preceded the war had given them plenty of time to dig in and fortify their planetary holdings. Initial French invasions in the first week were successful and incurred acceptable losses, due primarily to French air power. However, as the French advanced further into Mirusian territory, the left flank's overall cohesion progressively began to disintegrate. Prolonged sieges caused gaps in French Angelfire protection, opening the way for devastating lightning strikes at exposed French squadrons in orbit of besieged planets. At the battles for sectors Thena A392 and J-421 (French designations), hundreds of attacking French armies found themselves stranded and besieged when their naval squadrons were chased out of the sector by vicious Mirusian counterattacks. Casualties mounted as the Grand Navy of the Empire made increasingly amateurish mistakes, creating opportunities for hawkish Mirusian commanders to exploit.
It was during these close engagements that the limits of the Grand Battery of Mirus became obvious. Due to command and control problems, inefficient communication, and the undisciplined use of equipment on behalf of French artillerists, elements of the Battery were unable to provide French squadrons with the cover they needed to execute their movements. They took far too long to prepare execute volleys, reconnaissance units incorrectly directed bombardments, and individual pieces were unable to accurately line up individual targets. In the most shocking incidents, batteries missed their intended targets entirely and instead landed their shots in the midst of French formations, sowing even more chaos and panic.
In the north, the Coalition found themselves reinforced by the Draekar Dominion, staunch supporters of Mirusian indepedence and arch-emeies of the Imperium of War. With their aid, Warmaster Brutius' War-Imperial forces buckled at the Battle of the Trinity, soundly defeated by Commander Kiun Aeddan. Realizing that he needed to take measures, Imperator Caligustus did send in his most trusted forster son, Warmaster Ionius, to take over over War-Imperial command. Unlike the conservatively-minded Brutius, Ionius was known for his wits and his willingness to try out new, unconventional strategies, if that was what it took to archive victory. Hemmed in, Ionius uncharacteristically initiated a retreat on June 19, turning his fleets around to meet up with the main War-Imperial contingent headed south towards the front. With these new reinforcements, he would return to the battlefield in due time.
It was due to the threat of fighting on two separate fronts against numerically superior foes that forced the Mirusians out of the favorable positions they held against French and Eldarisian forces. In a devastating show of battlefield agency, Mirusian forces launched Operation Salvation, a coordinated assault across the entire left flank. The goal was to relieve thousands of besieged armies trapped behind Franco-Eldarisian lines and to bring them back to the heart of Mirusian-occupied space safely. In this, the operation was resoundingly successful, inflicting damaging losses on the French in the process, and moving the battle line back to where it had been on June 1.
On June 29, just as the Sovereign Mirusian Coalition’s greatest triumph seemed to indicate that the war was going their way, Mirusian forces withdrew from their fortified position on Franco-Mirusian border. In the north, the Imperium of War had arrived.
It could only go downhill from there. Mirusian commanders reformed their entire battle line to display a cohesive front to both the French and the Imperium of War without leaving the possibility for a flanking maneuver from either party. After a brief grace period where the Chartier shuffled his forces around and Ionius finalized his deployment, the Mirusians found themselves attacked on all sides.
Ionius, in a display meant to shatter Mirusian morale, opened his assault by unraveling a new War-Imperial weapon: their own hyperspatial anti-ship missiles uncovered from Dominatus designs. Before the Mirusians could react, a swarm of missiles destroyed a number of Mirusian screening fleets and forced the rest to retreat behind the main line.
The French, unceremoniously abandoning the tactics and caution of earlier in the campaign, also opted for open displays of technological supremacy wherever possible, masking their organizational weaknesses. However, Marshal Chartier and his subordinates worked furiously to rework the French chain of command in light of earlier lessons. Veterans from earlier sieges took on advisory positions on the French left flank in preparation to advise their counterparts. On his end, Marshal Isordon prodigiously streamlined communication between his batteries, forward observers, and regular units in need of support. He drilled his men constantly, turning them from incompetent recruits to hardened artillerists. When hostilities resumed on July 3, the Grand Battery’s accuracy had increased, and would continue to increase dramatically over the remainder of the campaign.
On the Mirusian side, things looked increasingly bleak. Stalemated against the Imperium of War and losing ground to the French, nothing Mirusian commanders tried could reverse the tide of the battle. It had been a month since they had received fresh supplies. Entire fleets were without ammunition and dangerously low on fuel. On July 5, a massive relief fleet left the Waptorian territory and attempted to circumnavigate the Imperium of War blockade. Had it reached its destination, Mirusian forces might have been able to hold out for another few weeks. However, it was intercepted by the rogue TIAF Admiral Ariana Draccard. At the Battle of the Mirusian Void, the Waptorian relief fleet was utterly and completely destroyed by the TIAF Expeditionary Force and French void hunters. This final, devastating action sealed the defeat of Mirusian forces in the lower Tyranny territories, forcing the Mirusians to the negotiation table with their French counterparts. At Alexandre's suggestion, a temporary truce was agreed upon on July 10, pending a formal resolution.
Battle of Sagittarius III
With their Mirusian Allies forced into negotiations the UPD made their move. Bringing in the Alpha Task Force of the Trinity Fleet to join their Mirusian Fleet they struck. The Imperium was unable to bring reinforcements up to counter, and while still holding a numerical advantage, were successfully outmaneuvered by the Persan Commanders. Part of the advantage came from the unveiling of the UPD's new weapon the "Accel Motion Gun". Massive cannons that fired blazing white beams of Accel Space "Special Data" Particles from many light years away. This would give the UPD ships their traditional gun shape and the nick name DAMs (acronym coming).
The Persan forces broke through and advanced om the Imperium planet of Sagittarius III, which occupied an important strategic position in Imperium Space. Attacking the planet the Persan found themselves held up by the intense planetary defense and where initially loosing as the Imperium flanked them from both sides. However the Persan were saved by several of their space militia who had fallowed them and provided supporting fire from outside IoW lines. The finally victory came when they managed to bring in the Persan's sole Titan-class, the "Spring Day", and use it's massive Ultimate Accel Motion Cannon to crack the crust and cripple the planetary defenses. Thus the Persan were able to commit to a full orbital bombardment, destroying the War-Imperial cities on the planet, before sending in troops to secure the world and totally eliminate the remaining War-Imperial presence there. With peace having been declared between the SMC and Xonexi the UPD was able to call in more reinforcements to the anti-Imperium front and force the War-Imperial forces to retreat from Sagittarius III. The UPD was left with an important strategic position alongside the war-Imperial borders to further their campaign. However, they held off, wanting allied support before they would make any further moves against the Imperium of War - which, as new developments indicated, would not arrive.
Creation of the Covenant of Mirus
- Further reading: Covenant of Mirus
Negotiations took place aboard the Pax Franconica, the massive French flagship launched earlier that month, involving all parties to the conflict, including the Vanara Houses. Alexandre was firm: he wanted all of the Allies' pre-war territories returned to them. In exchange, he offered substantial French help against the Imperium of War. No attempt by Zarbanian diplomats to mollify the deal succeeded. However, the Waptorian delegation thought a little further into the future than anyone present. They attempted to bring to the table an ambitious set of provisions which would ensure that a favorable balance of power was maintained after the Second War of Mirusian Coalition was over. Many of these were refused by Alexandre and his diplomatic team, though he returned with an even more ambitious proposal: applying his theory of equitable peace to Mirus––something he had not yet thought to do––he proposed the creation of a Mirusian galactic government which would create a set of democratic laws, standards, and enforcement mechanisms which would ensure that both galactics and extragalactics were kept in check, and that such a war would never happen again. The Xonexi Allies would give up their claim on ex-Tyranny space held by the natives and their allies before the Scramble of Mirus broke out, in exchange that the Coalition would hand back over the rest to the Xonexi.
Given the Mirusian situation, this agreement was far more generous than they would have expected. To King Sylo I of Eldarisia, it was an outrageous waste of an opportunity. The Eldarsian delegation had wanted to extricate from the members of the Sovereign Mirusian Coalition concessions of territory, reparations, and disarmament. His goal was to take revenge for the humiliating Eldarisian-Waptorian Conflict and to ensure that his enemies would not be capable of threatening Xonexi interests again. He confronted Alexandre in a private audience with the Emperor, and the two would argue for hours. No issue that had simmered under the surface of the Franco-Eldarisian Alliance was left untouched. Finally, they came to an agreement.
All was also not well on the side of the Mirusians and their allies. The French had failed to take into account the warrior mentality of the Mendel, Zarbanian, Raptoranean, and Persan. Both felt as though they wasted their soldiers lives on taking land that was to be taken from them by dishonorable means. Though the Waptoria Alliance supported peace in return of recognition, many Raptoraneans, due to their own warrior-hunter mentality, felt the same way as their Mendel and Persan brothers, and threatened to split off. Zuki, Girdlock, and Barda met behind the scenes and all agreed to support peace simply out of convenience - they had other issues to deal with.
The final peace deal between the Sovereign Mirusian Coalition and the Franco-Eldarisian Alliance was referred to as the Covenant of Mirus, a set of three promises:
- (1) The two sides pledged to continue fighting the Imperium of War as a rogue state which was a danger to galactic peace. Territory occupied by the Imperium of War formerly belonging to the Allies or Coalition would be returned as soon as it was reclaimed.
- (2) The two sides promised to work to create a Mirusian galactic government capable of enforcing galactic law once the war was over, taking into account the grievances, history, and interests of both galactics and extragalactics.
- (3) The Eldarisians would, though skeptical, place their faith in the galactic government and give it a chance to work.
Thus, the war between the Allies and the Sovereign Mirusian Coalition ended.
- In France and Eldarisia, there is no distinction between the First and Second War of Mirusian Coalition, as they are considered the same war. The ambiguity arises from French and Eldarisian refusal to acknowledge that the Treaty of Manticore ever happened.