|The Vampire War|
4E 201, 24th of Last Seed
4E 202, 18th of First Seed
Allied victory, Coven forces destroyed or forced into hiding.
Battle of Fort Neugrad
Battle of Riverwood
Battle of Morthal
Battle of Karthspire
Battle of Falkreath hold
The Bloodlet Throne Coven
General Altus Kathalon
General Valdmir Iceclaw
Isran of the Dawnguard
several Forsworn chieftans
Attackers: Roughly six hundred vampires. Over two thousand skeletons, ghouls, and zombies.
Over a hundred mercenaries.
Several small Forsworn tribes.
Majority of Morthal.
Entire population of Karthwasten.
Several dozen members of the Dawnguard.
The Vampire War was Salthar Vivarians first attempt to seize control of Skyrim. When the Bloodlet Throne Coven, under the control of Salthar struck, the Empire of Cyrodiil, and the Stormcloak rebels were already engaged in a war for the future of the province.
The emergence of the Coven caught both sides by surprise, and the vampires inflicted heavy casualties in the opening stages of the war. After several defeats, and the loss of many camps in Falkreath and the Reach holds, both the Empire and the rebels entered into a temporary alliance.
At the same time, the Coven moved into the Reach in force, after striking a deal with the jarl of Falkreath, and securing control of Falkreath hold. The vampires' advance was slowed by the native Forsworn, and regiments of Reach guardsmen. Because of this resistance, the Coven were unable to take the city of Markarth.
The allied forces were joined by the Dawnguard, and began marching on the main Coven army. The vampires made their stand at Karthspire, where the two armies clashed. Salthar Vivarian was killed by Altus Kathalon, one of the allied generals. The Coven forces split apart, fleeing in seperate directions, with the bulk of the survivors, lead by Lucius Draconus, fleeing to Falkreath hold.
After another three months of brutal battles, the Coven forces were severely depleted, and unable to face the combined might of the allies. On the eighteenth of First Seed, the allies declared victory.
"They will kneel. Or I will destroy them." - Salthar Vivarian.
In early 4E 201, the Bloodlet Throne Coven was created by the Altmer vampire, Salthar Vivarian, and his brother, Vengar Vivarian. Salthar formed the Coven in order to 'restore order' to Skyrim, and eventually the rest of Tamriel. Though his initial purpose was to avenge the death of his wife, Virani, who'd been murdered by a group of Nords in Falkreath.
However, as the civil war broke out across the Nordic province, the vampire lord saw an opportunity to seize control of the weakened province, began forming an army of vampiric soldiers, bolstered by lesser undead. Lucius Draconus, a son of a prominent Imperial lord turned mercenary, infiltrated the nobility of the Empire, and subtly discouraged enthusiasm for the Imperial war effort.
Rather than immediately engage the Stormcloak rebels, or Imperial legions, the Coven began to infiltrate both factions, gathering information on their troop strengths and movements.
Battle of fort Neugrad Edit
On the twenty fourth of Last Seed, the Coven finally revealed itself, by marching on the Imperial held fort Neugrad, near Helgen. The garrison was given the option to either surrender or be wiped out. Though badly outnumbered, the Imperials decided to fight. The entire garrison was eliminated over the course of two days, and the garrison brought back to serve as zombie soldiers for the Coven.
Imperial Reinforcements Edit
Shortly after the massacre at fort Neugrad, the Breton general of the Imperial fifth legion, entered Skyrim, with the intent of reinforcing general Tullius' forces. Shortly after their arrival in Skyrim, the legion was infiltrated by Coven scouts, and came across several destroyed Imperial and Stormcloak camps. However, general Kathalon was more concerned with rebel troops reported to be operating in Falkreath hold, and dedicated his forces to rooting them out.
Falkreath Campaign Edit
The Falkreath campaign took place in the hold of the same name, and involved Coven forces, under the command of Vengar Vivarian, ambushing and destroying multiple Imperial and Stormcloak camps. As campaigns went, the Falreath one was fairly, as the Covens' opponents had little notice before being assaulted by overwhelming numbers. Vengar Vivarian planned to wrap up the campaign quickly, as his brother was already marching towards the Reach, with the intent of taking Markarth.
However, with the presence of rebels in the isolated villages of the hold, and the arrival of fresh Imperial troops, the campaign threatened to drag on. Vengars' troops frequently clashed with small forces of rebels, and the Imperial vanguard, though the Altmer was careful to avoid a large confrontation. This was made possible by the Imperials focusing on reaching Whiterun hold, and from there, linking up with general Tullius' troops.
The Imperials engaged a large Stormcloak force at a river crossing, lead by Valdmir Iceclaw. The rebels suffered heavy losses, and retreated to the village of Riverwood, with the Imperials in pursuit. Vengars' forces pursued at a distance, waiting for the Imperials to engage the Stormcloak troops. After several hours of heavy fighting in the village, the vampires struck the rebels severely weakened forces, killing a good amount of rebel soldiers, before retreating back to Falkreath hold.
Later in the war, the Stormcloaks attempted to establish a foothold on the border of Falkreath hold,using an abandoned lookout tower. Vivarian returned and destroyed a the troops stationed at the tower, before moving on to join Salthar and the rest of his army, on the way to the Reach.Shortly later, Falkreath hold surrendered to the Coven.
Hjaalmarch Campaign Edit
The Hjaalmarch campaign was centered around taking the holds capital, Morthal. Kharkov Darkstone was in charge of the army heading to the hold. Rather than take an overland path to their goal, and risk attracting allied attention, Darkstone lead the army underground. Though the march took slightly longer, neither the Stormcloaks nor the Imperials knew of the army. Unfortunately, the army was beset by traps set by the Falmer, who had a hive nearby.
The army fought their way through several Falmer ambushes, losing a good number of lesser undead. The vampires eventually came across the hive, and destroyed it in a short battle. Soon after, they emerged on the surface, near Morthal, having bypassed several smaller villages and outposts on the way. The Coven forces assaulted the village, but suffered heavy losses, due to the defence put up by the mage Falion and the Morthal guardsmen. However, the town eventually fell, and most of its' inhabitants were killed.
Kharkov began preparing to use the town as a staging point for an assault on Solitude. However, he was called to the Reach, to fight the amassing allied forces. A small garrison was left in Hjaalmarch, with instructions to ambush any enemy troops. The Coven garrison was initially successful, ambushing Imperial troops when they landed on the shores of the hold. Eventually, though, the Imperials retook the hold before the end of 4E 201.
The Reach Campaign Edit
The Reach campaign targeted the holds capital, Markarth. The Coven wanted the city of stone for a base of operations, and a chance to extend into High Rock. Initially, the campaign met with wild success, largely due to Lucius Draconus' success in convincing the Imperial garrison of fort Sungard to defect to the Coven. Because of this, the Imperial troops in the hold weren't alerted to the Coven presence. However, the vampires soon lost momentum.
Forsworn tribes banded together, ambushing Coven soldiers as they made their way through the canyons of the Reach. Worse, the vampires' cavalry were worse than hampered by the terrain, meaning that a good quarter of Draconus' army was rendered useless. The army encountered more resistance the further they pushed into the hold, Forsworn tribes being reinforced by the Imperial garrison, and guard regiments.
Several weeks into the campaign, the Covens' advance had ground to a halt. Salthar Vivarian, whos' army had succeeded in forcing jarl Sidgeir into surrendering, joined Draconus' army, and Kharkov Darkstones' army was ordered to join in order to push through the allied resistance. This eventually lead to the battle of Karthspire, where the Coven suffered a major defeat.
Stormcloak response Edit
The Stormcloaks were the initial target of the Coven in the opening phase of the war. Within a month, almost all of their camps in Falkreath hold had been overrun. The rebels were engaged with the holds Imperial garrison, in order to gain more support for their cause. Dengeir of Stuhn, and a few of the holds smaller villages supported the Stormcloaks, despite the capital, and the majority of the hold loyal to the Empire.
A rebel army of five hundred, mostly infantry, under the command of general Stromma, attempted to fight their way to the rebel village of Halmir. However, the Imperials were waiting for the Stormcloaks. Upon crossing a river, the rebels were set upon by Imperial legionnaires, and suffered heavy losses. Stromma took nearly a quarter of the army, including the entirety of their cavalry, and fled towards Whiterun hold, under the pretense of flanking the enemy. Valdmir Iceclaw was left in charge, though his army forces were tired and demoralised, and constantly harassed by bandits and Imperial forces.
Judging Falkreath hold to be unwinnable, Iceclaw lead the remaining Stormcloaks towards Riverwood, hoping to restock and rejoin the main rebel force. His forces stumbled across the hold commanders, Thorryg Sun-Killers army, who had intercepted Stromma, arrested him, and absorbed his forces into the army. He'd also dispatched a small force to establish a foothold in an abandoned tower.
Battle of Riverwood Edit
Main article- Battle of Riverwood
The battle of Riverwood was the killing blow for the rebel movement in Falkreath hold. Despite putting up a determined defense, the Imperials had nearly destroyed the rebel army when the Coven attacked from the opposite direction, killing commander Sun-Killer, and routing the remaining Stormcloaks.
As the Coven took more and more territory, attacking Stormcloak and Imperial forces alike, the rebels began to lose their ability to launch cohesive assaults on Imperials, or counter-attack the Coven. When jarl Balgruuf invited the Stormcloak and Imperial leaders to meet in Whiterun, Valdmir spoke in support of an alliance with the Imperials.
Battle of Karthspire Edit
Main article- Battle of Karthspire
The Stormcloaks had a small but significant impact on the war. Despite a small vampire force harassing their supply lines from Dawnstar to Windhelm, the rebels still managed to muster a formidable army, which they marched to the Reach. The army arrived in time to reinforce the allied army already in the Reach, and trapped the majority of the Coven army between the two allied forces.
Imperial response Edit
Unlike the Stormcloaks, the Empire held a strong position when the war started, despite the heavy fighting in the north and east. Falkreath hold only had a few smaller camps, although legionnaires were garrisoned in the city of Helgen, and several forts in the hold. However, most Imperials were stationed on the hold border, fighting general Alric Strommas' troops. Because of this, the vampires had no problem eliminating smaller camps.
Once general Altus Kathalon arrived in Skyrim,leading the fifth legion, he took the fight to the rebels, and devised a plan to destroy the vampire threat along with the rebels, upon hearing of their proximity to Riverwood. After securing Falkreath hold, the fifth legion moved on to engage the Stormcloaks in other holds. However, the hold surrendered entirely, leaving it securely in the hands of the Coven by the end of Hearthfire.
Throughout Skyrim as a hold, the Empire ended up fighting on multiple fronts against both the Stormcloaks and Coven armies. The alliance brokered by Derek Starsong and Isran of the Dawnguard, benefited the Imperials, as they managed to consolidate their forces and shore up faltering defences in the Reach. Altus Kathalons legion joined Valdmir Iceclaws' Stormcloak troops, along with a large group of Dawnguard, and marched to the Reach, in order to engage the Covens' army.
Elsewhere, pockets of Imperial legionnaires attempted to retake Morthal from the Coven, though they initially met with failure. At the battle of Karthspire, the Imperials played a large part in defeating the Coven, with both the fourth and fifth legions joining the battle. After the battle, the fifth legion moved back into Falkreath hold, and began retaking territory from the Coven.
With the Covens' main army smashed, and Salthar Vivarian believed dead, the vampires were scattered throughout the Reach and Falkreath holds. Despite this, the remnants of the main Coven army, under Lucius Draconus, retreated to Falkreath hold, defeating several allied forces. The vampires reached the Bloodlet Throne, and prepared for a siege. News of the defeat spread to Coven forces all over Skyrim, leading to infighting and loss of morale in some areas. Meanwhile, the Coven soldiers in the north, near Dawnstar, continued fighting until an allied force arrived to dispatch them.
Retaking Hjaalmarch Edit
Main file-Second battle of Morthal
After Kharkov Darkstones' army was driven into the mountains of the Reach, and Lucius Draconus' forces pursued back to the Bloodlet Throne, allied troops sailed from Solitude to the edge of the swamps of Hjaalmarch. Upon landing, they were ambushed by the troops Darkstone had left in the area. However, the allies managed to fight their way to Morthal, and after heavy fighting, took the city, forcing the remaining Coven troops to withdraw.
End of the war Edit
By 18th of First Seed,4E 202 the Coven was declared defeated, despite the allies failure to take the Bloodlet Throne fortress. Despite Derek Starsong, and Altus Kathalon pushing to continue the war, enthusiasm for it was waning. Both the Stormcloak and Imperial leaders wanted to return to the either securing Skyrims' independence, or reclaiming it as a province of the Empire. They two sides agreed to a five month truce, in which fort Snowstone, located at the base of the mountain, leading to the Bloodlet Throne fortress. Upon completion, the fort was garrisoned solely by Dawnguard forces.