Wednesday, 4 May 2016

For Freedom And Past Glories: Tyland Free State

Having covered the Artian Confederation last week it is only right that we take a look at the Tyland Free State, a nation that is a sad relic of its former glory. No other nation in Darmonica has played such a major role in its history and ended up falling so low. For nearly a decade it has endured occupation and humiliation whilst harbouring a strong regret of all that has been lost. It is also a dangerous place where gunfights in the streets and bombings aren't unheard of.

History

Once the Free State was known as the Kingdom of Tyland, a nation with a long history that stretched back centuries. Many Tylanders even claim that the Kingdom was the first Darmonican power to arise after the fall of the Ancient Terrans, whether true of false this claim has yet to be proven either way. Though whilst it may had been the oldest power in Darmonica it wasn't immune to upheaval as a number of civil wars occurred throughout its history as various houses vied for the Tylander throne. 

Much like the Holy Sodkan Empire, the Tylanders were devout followers of the deity known as 'The Great Maker' but there were theological differences between the two that often led to conflict. The two nations warred on and off over the centuries until the early 1700s when their differences in religious doctrine were put to one side, bonds between them were further strengthened in 1738 when an arranged marriage linked the Sodkan and Tylander royal families. Plans for a Darmonican superstate devoted to the Great Maker were beginning to bear fruit, especially after the United Provinces had been conquered.

Then the Tyland-Artian War broke out.

At first the war went in Tyland's favour as the various Artian states fell one after another in the first couple years of the conflict, least until the Siege of Utherheim that was the Kingdom's undoing. As the siege raged on the Tylanders allowed themselves to tunnel vision and become obsessed with crushing Viktor Wilstein, effectively leaving the Tylanders blind to events taking place elsewhere. Sensing an opportunity, the Commonwealth had struck a deal with Wilstein to get some payback for the defeat it had suffered at Tylander hands some years earlier. In a bold move the Commonwealth landed a large army in the United Provinces, taking full advantage of the fact that the Tylander garrison had been weakened due to the war against the Artians. Faced with a sudden second front opening up and a renewed Artian offensive, the Tylander war effort crumbled.

Worse was yet to come when the Tylander king was killed during an Artian artillery bombardment on Tyland's capital, a loss that the Tylanders never fully recovered from and sparked the Kingdom's decline as well as the Great Darmonican War. The Tyland-Artian War ended a few weeks after the king's death and Tylander ambitions for a pan-Darmonican superstate were permanently put on hold as the Kingdom sought to recover and crown a new monarch. For the next half a century the Tylanders lick their wounds looked to settle accounts, ultimately leading to the Great Darmonican War in 1796 AF.

The Tylanders had hoped to relive their early successes of the earlier Tyland-Artian War by taking a rapid, blitzkrieg like advance into the Confederation. They had also gotten their Sodkan allies to attack from the east, hoping to defeat the Artians by forcing them to fight a war on two fronts. At first things went to plan as Confederate soldiers were forced to conduct a fighting retreat, though a number of delaying actions caused the Royal Tylander Army to start getting bogged down. Similarly the Sodkans enjoyed some early successes, though they advanced on a much broader front and at a more sedate pace. Things changed when the Commonwealth attacked the Holy Sodkan Empire and captured a major port city, in addition they conducted raids along the northern coastline of Tyland.

The ultimate doing of the joint Tylander-Sodkan war plans was the rise of the Order of the Great Machine, a radical religious sect that stirred up wide spread civil unrest in the Holy Sodkan Empire and eventually left it unable to support its Tylander allies. This left the Artians free to redeploy troops from the Sodkan Front, at the same time the Commonwealth landed troops on Tyland's coast and captured a number of ports. With the Sodkan Empress' death in the event known as 'The Blast', the Sodkans withdrew from the conflict and the joint Artian-Commonwealth forces crushed the Tylander war machine.

Present Day

In aftermath of the War the Tylanders found their Kingdom occupied by both the Artians and the Commonwealth, the latter holding the northern ports whilst the former occupied the rest of the Kingdom. A treaty forced upon the Tylanders saw the creation of a rump of a state called the Tyland Free State with a chunk of former Tylander territory given to the Artians. The same treaty allowed for Artian troops to occupy the Free State and the Commonwealth to hold the northern ports (thus known as 'Treaty Ports') for a period of ten years, though amidst growing tensions it is doubtful that either country will honour the treaty and withdraw their troops.

A number of Tylander resistance groups have sprung up over the past decade, all of them united in fighting the occupiers but divided by their ultimate goals. The resistance groups are just as likely to fight one another as they are the Artians, leading to a low level civil war like situation in the Free State. There is a provisional government, but it is seen as little more than a puppet and ineffective as it has to rely heavily on the Artians occupation forces. If the resistance groups could put aside their differences and co-ordinated their efforts they can could have a shot at reclaiming their country...

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