Cragnea, Land of Giants
The 10-Year Failure
The decade-long war against the Cragnean giants became known as “The 10-Year Failure” after the alliance’s crushing defeat.
The Nation of Zaltan was first to spark the flames of war. Zaltan had sent several ships of merchants and diplomats to the previously isolationist country with hopes that they might establish a trade agreement. But when none of the ships reported back to the homeland, Merion Strongmast, the then current ruler of Zaltan, feared the worst. After enlisting their most powerful scryers, they discovered the fate of their kinsmen.
Many, if not most, of those on the ships were killed as soon as they reached port by the hulking monstrosities. Any survivors were immediately captured and enslaved. Merion was furious. He had heard rumors that giants were causing problems in Cragnea, but not to this extent. They weren’t just causing problems. They were subjugating the entire population. It pained him to imagine their suffering for who knows how many years, while the rest of the world lived in (relative) peace. This simply could not stand. Regardless of Merion’s desire to free the slaves of Cragnea, the completely unprovoked slaughter of a diplomatic vessel was an act of war by itself. He had to take action.
Though Merion was a bullheaded leader, he was not stupid. Seeing the power of the enemy, he knew that he could not face them alone. Leveraging the cruelty to and slavery of the native Cragneans, Merion convinced the other world leaders to rally behind him.
However, the camaraderie between the nations would not last long. As the war raged on and the alliance suffered more and more casualties, the world leaders’ resolve began to fade. They started to question continuing to send troops to their deaths for a people that previously closed themselves off to the world. Were they even worth it? Sure, the civilized world was against slavery in principle, but a war can’t be won on principle alone.
As their motivation for fighting decreased, the other nations bowed out of the conflict, leaving only Zaltan entrenched in the war. Merion refused to admit defeat. Zaltan continued fighting for three more months until Merion was killed in battle. His troops, completely demoralized, fled back home.
After the war, tensions rose between Zaltan and the rest of the nations. The Zaltanese viewed the other countries as cowards for abandoning a just cause, while everyone else resented Zaltan for drawing them into an unwinnable conflict. While they drifted further apart, Cragnea began to reestablish control over the areas previously lost.