Nestled in the southeast of Griffonia sit many minor kingdoms once a part of the continent spanning Griffion Empire that fell apart for more reasons than can be reasonably explained here. Needless to say, civil strife and harsh rulers are nothing unique in the areas.
However, what makes the revolution in the area of ‘Prywhen’ within the Kingdom of Brodfield unique is their leader:The infamous and outspoken father of Griffonian communism, Filip Redglad.
The peasants revolting do so under the banner of well known and outspoken Griffionian communist Filip Redglad who leads the so called Griffion Liberation Army against the King of Brodfield, Kloseu de Kissau. The revolt is distinctly Marxist, vowing to liberate the oppressed working class of Brodfield and Prywhen at large with a state manifesto outlying collectivization, public education, access to free healthcare and creation or expansion of various other social programs. While surrounded on all sides by monarchist or totalitarianism forces, they hold believe that they shall free the working griffs of all of southern Griffiona, whether it be through passive persuasion or force.
The King of Brodfield has reigned over the area of Prywhen since at least the collapse of the Empire from which they declared independence, never being truly dependent on them anyway. In comparison to a majority of his neighbors however, his reign has been short. He refuses to give in to any compromise and has vowed to eradicate the ‘demonish communist bastards’ who ‘dare revolt in my rightful land!”
Neighbors of the area of the bandit kingdom of Blackhallow to the west, the fellow minor kingdom of The Principality of Lushi to the north, the nomads of the Gryphian Host to the northeast, the County of Cyanolisia to the southwest and the traders in the Free Towns of Gryphus to the southeast all look to the area with baited breath, wondering who will come out on top. Even regional powers like Wingbardy or nearby nations in the River Coalition look on, gazing from their peripherals the outcome of this bloody civil war.
Having only started 2 years ago, one would be forgiven for believing the conflict had in fact been going on for for far longer given the levels of destruction and desperation present.
“Starving chicks fill out hastily stitched uniforms, armed not with rifles but with sticks painted to look like them. Any passing griffion may be conscripted or detained at any point by a royal official or guard, even shot with only a brief order from a high ranking officer. Every household has been turned into a mini fortress and is occupied by soldiers who demand to be fed although there is no food to give.”- Report given to a Wingbardian reporter interviewing a Brodfieldian peasant on the civil war
“The GLA keep promising us victory, keep promising us peace and prosperity and food. The only thing I’ve seen them do is take the food from the fields not burned or tramped, seen them take every young grif from my village and force them into war, seen them force griffs like me into the factories for 14 hour shifts.”- Prywhen griffion to an Imperial mercenary
“While they claim to be opposite to each other, the only thing I have seen from either side of this war is cruelty and oppression.”- An unknown griffions journal found by a River Republic aid worker after the recapture of a contested village
While it’s true that for years before outright rebellion, there was always tension between the peasantry and the ruling aristocracy, and that underground communist militias had harassed the kings rule before the outbreak, neither warrants the unforeseen and outright appalling situation unfolding within the country. So just what led to this situation and the level of suffering it is bringing upon both sides in this conflict?
The country already had numerous issues plaguing other griffion nations in the area: lack of modernization, almost no modern industry, an illiterate and poverty striken population with an incompetent and cold nobility at the head. That being said, compared to the Central Griffion Empire and even her more dependent neighbors, the area was largely stable even after the collapse of the Empire with abundant food making life for the peasants much easier than those elsewhere.
This abundance however came with a price: a monoculture of almost entirely rice. While it would make the land rich from exports by virtue of being cheap and easy to grow, said economic focus also made both the nation's economy and populace heavily dependant on rice. Then, in 995, a blight struck the rice. Blamed largely in part on the Kings land policies and export focused economy, the country was thrown into economic and political chaos that only ended in 1001 when the King took on extreme powers in an effort to regain order. This was only after one fifth of the countries population had starved, almost any wealth the nation possessed had been drained and communist revolutionaries, who had taken root due to the pre famine greedy noble landowners, became deeply entrenched.
Despite the chaos and the Kings now overwhelming powers of which he did not use sparingly, the country was slowly but surely returning to how it was before. However, the already unpopular king became hated by his people and most of the communist and their largest paramilitary force the ‘Griffion Liberation Army’ or GLA. In 1003, an attempt was made on the kings life while watching a military parade, and whilst the king lived with no more than a deep and distinct scar along his cheek, his wife was fatally injured, dying in his arms shortly after. Despite the perpetrator being shot down the moment in their attempt to kill the king and an investigation finding it impossible to link the act to any one group, the King was furious and blamed the GLA for his wife's death.
“It was on the day my mother was buried that my father, the griffion who I knew deep down cared deeply for his people, was also laid to rest.”- Prince Tomado de Kissau on his father after the death of the Queen of Brodfield
What followed was a reign of terror known as the ‘Red Hunt’ or the ‘Month of the Burning Field’ depending which side you ask. Hundreds of communist, socialist and innocent griffs were arrested or simply shot. Eventually the commoners who had long grown tired of their tyrannical king, impoverished life and overbearing nobles began to revolt, rallying around the charismatic GLA commander Filip Redglade. The Kings army was forced to fight a retreating battle to the areas more loyal to the king around the capital of Kivessin and the important port of Sydia while the revolutionaries control the more rural and sparsely populated regions of Whiteflower and Lifov. Both sides are locked into a game of push and take, local militias and guerrials making taking territory difficult for either side, locking them in temporary stalemates.
So far, thousands have died from not only warfare and ‘collateral damage’ but from famine, disease and lack of shelter. Thousands more have migrated to surrounding countries, causing something of a refugee crises as these starving, ragged griffions arrive at ports and border crossing in droves, begging for entry and for a chance at a better life.
“So far, even being homeless has been better than life anywhere in Brodfield.”- Brodfieldian refugee who arrived in Sunset before the port of Sydia was closed
“Please, take me to prison! Take me to the dungeons! Take me anywhere but back to my home!”- Refugee pleads with Lushian troops after being found sneaking into the country
“I might love my king and my country, but I love my family far more.”- Deserting Brodfield officer on why he fled his post to the Free Towns of Gryphus
So far, both sides have only accepted limited outside help despite nations including New Mareland, WIngbardy, River Republic and several Imperial states offers to send intense civilian aid. It is rumored however both eagerly accept military and engineering assistance from any of their few neighbors who have yet to declare any official neutrality, with those who have being adamant they care neither side of the conflict. Other nations including Skyfall, Stalliongrad and even Wingbardy have been accused of and denied claims of profiteering off the war.
“The Prince sees no reason to intervene with the conflicts of other nations and declares complete and utter impartiality.”- Lushian declaration on the civil war
“A conclusion has been reached among the shipwrights and guild masters: it is not good for profits and thus is not our problem.”- Master Yeve, head trade master of the Free Towns of Gryphus
“We have decided to simply ignore the Kingdom of Brodfield and its petty problems.” Countess Taillow Marshquil of Cyanolisia
Despite these claims, it is rumored almost of all them have sent aid of some type to the country through secret shipments of weapons or military attaches sent under the guise of but a few of the many mercenaries involved in the conflict. Others like the bandits of Blackhallow or the cossacks of Gryphus had decided to take advantage of the conflict and launch raids into the territory of both revolutionaries and loyalist. Given how both have no troops to spare fending off these attacks, they are said to go unopposed and only add to the misery of those living on the borders of these countries. It is assumed many local powers support the King out of sheer hatred of communism and hope to see it utterly eradicated from the continent, with King Moriset Discret of Aquilla, who’s country’s own internal strife is covered later on, saying this on the subject
“If you must, burn every rice field, every cottage, every forest, swamp, smoke out every cave or mine. Anyone who steps out of line, shoot them. Any village that rebels hail from, leave it empty. Do whatever must be done to keep the scourge of communism off of Griffionia!”- King Moriset in a letter to the king of Brodfield
And across the bright blue sea, the leader of The United Soviets of Stalliongrad, Altidiya, said this in support of the revolutionaries efforts, being the first and so far only one to recognize the revolutionaries as an independent country.
“My brothers and sisters, my far away grffion comrades, remember your cause is just! That you fight for the ever oppressed workers of not only Prywhen but the world! That no matter what, you shall win in the hearts and minds of the people and with that comes total victory! No oppressor can truly crush the spirit of the working griffion or pony!”-Altidiya in a speech upon the arrival of a smuggled Prywhenian representative to Saint Petershoof
This civil war has not only exposed the cracks within Brodfield but even within other nations. Several neighboring countries are rumored to have underground communist rebel cells either inspired by or directly from those in Prywhen, lending more credence to the idea that many will rally to crush the communist which they see as a dire threat to their own stability.
So we get to the question once again: when will this war end and what will be the consequences of it? It largely depends not just on who wins but how they win, in what shape the country is left in when it does end and what whichever government is the winner decides to do to stabilize the nation.
Should the King overcome the revolutionaries is it assumed his son, the much more moderate and liberal Prince Tomado, can convince his father to spare a majority of the country from the ‘violet eyed rage’ of which the king is well known for, even if only after more Hunts take place. It is hoped that eventually, through careful action,the pair can turn the country into a modernized, model constitutional monarchy where the grifs are happy and well fed from a reformed agriculture sector rejuvenated by outside aid and looking back on past mistakes. And if one were an idealist, the bond between the people and the king would regrow, leading to almost any scars being erased. However, this all depends on the son opposing his stern and untempered father who is not one to forgive and forget by all accounts.
Others fear the Kingdom could become even more tyrannical under a even more radical and zealous king who expands his already vast authority to take out all his rage on an already suffering peasantry, possibly even his so far supportful nobles. In this scenario, it is assumed that any reform, aside from those to make the loyal military complacent and better to enact his whims, will come not from willingly out of love of his people but begrudging acceptance in a need to rebuild and advance to continue to keep his country solvent or fend off outsiders who see a dying state ripe for the pickings. Should he do so, it is impossible to tell if another civil war is in the future, but it would the life of the Brodfieldian people would only worsen. But even with this darkness, the king might eventually pass and allow his son to fix his grave mistakes.
In the alternative likelihood, should the communist forces overcome their monarchy, is it almost assured the King shall be executed, his son killed imprisoned or exiled, and the nobility's powers destroyed along with many noble griffs being killed or captured.The policies promised in the manifesto and numerous other reforms enacted slowly as the country rebuilds itself while having to remain vigilant for raids or invasion from its neighbors, fearful and angry by the outcome and destruction of the status quo. In that case, the weakened state with no one around to aid it would almost surely fall and likely be either occupied or whatever dynasty left reinstated.
Should the new communist government stay alive long enough to do so, it would likely go one of two ways: settle into a peaceful, internal looking communist nation that would be militarized to avoid being destroyed while still providing the best life possible to her people. Or, it could attempt to spread the revolution to its neighbors one by one, helping to topple governments in place for hundreds of years, swooping in to help and protect their new now communist friend. When this is impossible, they will mobilize their loyal masses of the proletariat to liberate those fellow oppressed working classes, though given the country's limited population size and lack of military industry it is unknown how successful they could be in conquest.
“I wouldn’t know, I’ve only ever killed communist.”- A griffion mercenary fighting for Brodfield to a New Mareland reporter about the emotional toll of killing griffions
“That cruel tyrant seems to forget who made this land great once! It was not him! It was not the church! It was not the nobles! It was the working griffion and he will soon remember this!”- GLA commander to troops right before an attack
“The people of Brodfield wanted what any griffion deserves: self determination and fair treatment by their ruler. They got what any tyrant shall give: Bullets and empty bellies.”- President-Marshal Kemerskia, leader of the Griffion Republic and staunch anti monarchist and communist figure on the Brodfieldian civil war