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The Great Crusade Against Araby was a three year long war, to free Estalia from the Arabyan invaders, and then taking the fight into Araby in retaliation to topple the evil reign of Sultan Jaffar and crush his empire.
Prelude and Early WarEdit
In IC 1448, the Sultan Jaffar united all of Araby, ruling it with an iron fist. Convinced by the nefarious Skaven that the Estalian Kingdoms were planning an invasion, he gathered a vast army and prepared his fleet for war.
Jaffar landed in southern Estalia and quickly seized Magritta before advancing on Bilbali. As his army marched north thousands of slaves were taken and sent back Araby in chains, to be sold at the terrible slave markets of Lashiek.
In response King Louis the Righteous of Bretonnia declared the first Errantry War. Some say this was because the King feared the Arabyans might turn their attention to his own realm once Estalia had been conquered; others suggest it was the outrage felt by the noble ruler at the terrible deeds supposedly carried out by Jaffar's soldiers that moved his heart and forced his hand.
Either way, Bretonnia was at war. Louis sent word to the Emperor Frederik III, but Frederik was reluctant to send his army south, for his Empire teetered on the brink of civil war and he felt he could not spare men to defend a foreign nation when the welfare of his own people hung in the balance - nevertheless Frederik did not ignore Louis entirely. No imperial army marched to war, but Frederik did appeal to the independent orders of knights who resided within the Empire to support with the Bretonnians in the fight against Jaffar, and encouraged each of the Elector Counts to send a portion of their own forces to the aid of Estalia.
Unaware that to the north the Empire and Bretonnia were preparing for war, the evil sultan sent part of his force east. A massive fleet sailed up the Tilean Sea to attack the city-state of Tobaro. Thinking such a small principality would be easy prey, the Arabyan commanders were surprised when it proved harder to take than they had initially imagined. Despite being hugely outnumbered, the tenacious defenders managed to hold Tobaro's great sea walls, preventing the invaders from setting foot even in the outer parts of their city. Ultimately the Arabyans had to accept a humiliating defeat, and for the first time it was shown they could be beaten, even when gathered in force.
The allied army consisted mostly of heavy cavalry, a thing the arabyans lacked as their desert homeland isn't suited for horses or thick armor. With this superiority, they crossed the mountains into Estalia and quickly won victories against the Arabyan army. As Jaffar realised he couldn't win in the field agains the superior army, he withdrew to his homeland while he left a force in the most important city of Estalia, Magritta, under the command of the Sheikh Emir Wazar, better known as Emir the Cruel.
As the inhabitants were enslaved and forced to fortify the city, the army marched south through Estalia. Seeing how the vengeful Arabyans had put entire towns to the torch as they fled back south, they vowed to take the crusade all the way to Araby and slay the evil sultan.
As they assaulted Magritta they knew that the siege could go on for years, and Jaffar would be able to gather a fresh army in Araby if they didn't pursue now. Thus they decided to split their army in two, one would stay to besiege Magritta and break the last Arabyan strongpoint in Estalia before following the other army into the hot deserts of Araby, a task that would take eight years and the intervention of Mymidia to complete.
As the main force arrived in the ports of southern Estalia ships were brought in from all over the Old World to ship the army across the sea.
The Crusade Reaches ArabyEdit
Sack of CopherEdit
As the crusaders sailed, Jaffar and his men prepared for the coming invasion. When they finally arrived in the spice-trading city of Copher it was heavily fortified and the defenders were well prepared for the coming battle. Yet they weren't prepared for the wrath Jaffar had brought upon them, and once the defenders first started faltering against the onslaught, the high spires were pulled to the ground and much of the population were put to the sword.
The crusaders were playing straight into Jaffars schemes, he had expected that once they had fought for months in the sweltering heat of Araby they would loose their taste for vengeance and return home. While they weren't prepared for a desert campaign, they were urged on by the fact that the locals hated Jaffar even more than the crusaders and rose up against him.
For months they marched through the hot deserts towards El Haikk, the capital were Jaffar had decided to make his stand, where the outcome of the war would be decided, once and for all.
Battle of El HaikkEdit
As the crusaders laid siege to the sultans stronghold, many hundreds of tribesmen conscripted by Jaffar revolted, plunging the city into disarray and throwing the careful plans of Jaffar into chaos. Seeing that his last hope for victory would be meeting the enemy in the field, where the hot desert sun would deter the Old Worlders used to a different climate he marched out to meet the army at his doorstep.
While Jaffars army slightly outnumbered the crusaders, the lack of heavy cavalry in his army came into play once more. As the infantry of both armies fought a desperate battle, with the crusaders being pushed back in the heat, thousands of heavily armoured knights charged into the side of the Arabyan light infantry, thousands of tons of metal cutting straight through the lightly armoured pikemen like a scythe. This charge has been immortalized by many legendary stories and songs, colouring the ground red as the Arabyans were crushed beneath thousands of armoured horses. A colour that remains to this day.
Jaffar died that day, pierced through the back by a Bretonnian lance as he fled. Now seeing their honour satisfied, the knights of Bretonnia decided to return to Copher and sail home. Yet most of the Imperial knights stayed for years hunting down and defeating remnants of Jaffars dark empire, and almost 100 years passed before the last of the Empire troops had returned home.
It was in this century that many of the Imperial Knightly Orders were founded, as they discovered many things previously unknown in the Old World, they often named themselves after this, such as the Knights Panther.