The second Northern War was an attempt by both Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms to attack each other, starting in 1267 and ending in 1268. In the case of the North, the rulers believed Nilfgaard would keep attacking them and thus they should be the first to strike but make it look like Nilfgaard was the aggressor in order to gain public support. While Nilfgaard, learning of this, quickly prepared its own arms, devised an elaborate plan and struck first, rapidly subduing many surprised northern kingdoms in a blitzkrieg.
In the end, Nilfgaard once more suffered a defeat due to the incompetence of the commanding officers and the loss at the massive and decisive Battle of Brenna. Despite this, Emperor Emhyr var Emreis ended up marrying False Ciri (who everyone but a few rulers and mages believed was the real Ciri), thus solidifying Cintra as a part of the Empire.
- Nilfgaardian Empire
- Elves (Scoia'tael insurgents and elves from Dol Blathanna)
- Cintran deserters from Vissegerd's army
- Verden (led by King Ervyll)
- Verden (insurgents led by Prince Kistrin)
- Cintra (volunteers led by Vissegerd)
- The Free Company (financed by Kovir)
- Kovir and Poviss (cash assistance).
Before the War
- The Nordling Kings gather in Hagge, and plan to cross the Yaruga and retake Cintra
- Emhyr var Emreis learns of the nordling plan and mobilizes a huge force to Dol Angra
Start of the War
- Thanedd coup - the Brotherhood of Sorcerers break apart after Francesca Findabair helps smuggles Scoia'tael commandos into the banquet. Nilfgaardian soldiers enter the fortress through portals made by Nilfgaardian mages. Afterwards, a witch hunt lead by Dijkstra and Redania's Intelligence Corps carries out the purging of Nilfgaard's magic users
- Attack on the fort Glevitzingen by Aedirnian and Lyrian troops, becoming a pretext for the Nilfgaardian invasion and the beginning of the Second Northern War
- King Vizimir is assassinated, resulting in chaos in Redania
- A purge lead by Dijkstra and Redania's Intelligence Service carries out the elimination of Nilfgaardian spies inside Redania
Phase I - The Eastern Front
- Invasion of southern Lyria; fortresses fall quickly and Queen Meve and her army are forced to retreat north
- One fifth of the Lyrian troops are surrounded and confined to strongholds and forts within Aedirn
- Continuation of the invasion of Lyria and the taking of the fortresses of Scala and Spalla (July 4)
- Siege and capture of Rivia
- Queen Meve's army is defeated, Lyria and Rivia fall completely into the invader's hands
- Nilfgaard begins the invasion of Aedirn
- The Battle of Aldersberg begins
- Siege and capture of Vengerberg
- Nilfgaardian troops move onto Demavend, taking the Pontar valley and Dol Blathanna
- Queen Meve manages to gather a small army of loyalists, survivors, partisans and guerrillas and rejoins the fight
- Kaedwenian Treachery - Henselt of Kaedwen signs a pact with Nilfgaard that would divide Aedirn between them
- The Dun Banner, kaedwenian light cavalry from Ban Gleán is assigned to be the expeditionary force and marches south towards the Aedirnian river of Dyfne
- The official division of Aedirn - Henselt takes Lormark
- Emhyr var Emreis creates the state of Dol Blathanna (Valley of Flowers). Located in eastern Aedirn, a puppet kingdom for the elves that would be ruled by the sorceress Francesca Findabair and the King of the Elves of the Blue Mountains, Filavandrel aén Fidhái.
- Ervyll of Verden pays tribute to the southern emperor - Emhyr var Emreis blocks off the mouth of the Yaruga, preventing Foltest's counter-attack
- King Foltest of Temeria signs a truce with Nilfgaard - Temerian troops enter and occupy the western Aedirn fort of Hagge
- The remaining Aedirnian Army flees to Temeria via the Mahakam mountains, Demavend seeks refuge in Redania
Phase II - Invasion of Brugge and Sodden
- After a mere 16 days of peace, Emhyr suddenly breaks his truce with Temeria and invades the kingdom
- Brugge is attacked from three sides - from the north via Brokilon by elven squirrel commandos; from the west and Verden, the Nilfgaardian Army; from the south and the other side of the Yaruga, the Black Infantry
- Night of August 4-5, the 4th Cavalry Army is divided into three battle groups: "Vreemde", "Sievers", and "Morteisen", the groups set out for the Drieschot triangle near the Vidort-Carcano-Armeria boundary to cross the Ina
- The siege and sacking of Brugge
- Fierce Bruggian resistance
- Siege of Dillingen
- Fight over the Chotla
- The Battle of Armeria (4th Cavalry Army and Cintran troops)
- Fighting in Angren
- The Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga
- Illegal Nilfgaardian expedition into Angren (from the east - through the Klamat pass)
- Siege of the fortresses of Razwan and Mayena, cordoning off all of Sodden
- Invasion of southern Temeria
- The Battle of Maribor
- The retreat of Nilfgaardian troops back to Sodden
The Spring Offensive Plan
Emperor Emhyr var Emreis gave up on his immediate military pursuits and decided to put off the offensive for a year. He did so for two reasons: first, the upcoming winter was predicted to be particularly harsh and cold, which complicated the key issue which was logistics and the supplying the army; and second, the attack on Temeria, while resulting in a solid victory at Maribor, was simply too quick and easy - suggesting that the Mayena Fortress had been purposefully left under-defended. A great offensive was planned, but it would not begin until the following spring.
The primary targets of the great offensive were Temeria and Novigrad. Army Group 'Center' was to depart from Sodden under the command of Field marshal Menno Coehoorn. They were ordered to take major Temerian cities and to reach the river Pontar, the main Novigrad-Vizima-Ellander trade route.
Meanwhile on the Eastern Front, Army Group 'East', under the command of duke Ardal aep Dahy, was to take the Pontar valley, secure Menno Coehoorn's flank and invade Kaedwen, preventing King Henselt from aiding King Foltest of Temeria. The Verden Operations Group, led by duke Joachim de Wett, was to take Cidaris and move towards north in order to completely cut off Novigrad, Gors Velen and Vizima. The general staff decided that it was absolutely necessary to place a blockade on these three major cities.
300,000 troops (counting the main forces and reserves), both men and elves, were to take part in the spring offensive.
Phase III - The Temerian offensive
The Nilfgaardian blitzkrieg reaches its apogee and has an unprecedented scale. However the Northern Kingdoms, after heavy losses in the previous two phases, stand side by side to face the common enemy together. The united allied forces make bold offensive actions against the enemy, therefore they become a worthy opponent for, so far unbeaten, Nilfgaardian invasion forces.
The Western Front
On the western front, the offensive on Temeria did not bring the expected result, this was caused by foolishness decrepitude way of command of main commander, duke Joachim de Wett. The annalists say that: Duke de Wett led his Operation Group "Verden" in a way that the word "bogocity" is too delicate.
Joachim de Wett was an active plotter in the nobles' conspiracy. The other main plotters were dukes Ardal aep Dahy, Berengar Leuvaarden, count Broinne and emperor's coroner Stefan Skellen, who also had a support of the sorcerer Vilgefortz. The conspiracy was to overthrow and kill the Nilfgaard's emperor, Emhyr var Emreis. The great dukes of Nilfgaard felt humiliated, deceived and betrayed by Emhyr, for he rejected their offers to marry their daughters and marry Cirilla of Cintra instead. However, Emhyr var Emreis had a vast number of supporters, the inner troops and fanatic guard called "Impera", therefore the civil war was not taken into account. The plotters planned to assassinate Emhyr using the hypnotized killer, the sorceress Yennefer who was imprisoned by Vilgefortz. They assumed that they would be able to convert the remainder of the army on their side, especially the officers, for they were angry at Emhyr for the purging after the loss under Sodden, and the people for they were sick of the destructive ongoing war. After the assassination of the emperor, the plotters planned to put Prince Voorhis or his son Morvran, so the Council of Regency, the great dukes and high nobles, would rule in his name. Emhyr var Emreis, predicting the plot, sent Ardal aep Dahy and Joachim de Wett to command the armies of Nilfgaard in the war with Temeria. By that he moved them and their loyal troops away from throne. When Emhyr did that he "signed the declaration of his own death", because the dukes did not want Emhyr to win this war.
Joachim de Wett was lingering with the offensive toward north, the only kingdom in his way was Cidaris, and Nilfgaardian army outnumbered them two to one. He concentrated his army to fight with Verden's guerrillas. He wanted to secure his back and wipe out all the rebels and brigands first. On his order, the Operation Group "Verden" made some cruel acts during the fightings with guerrillas, not only on them but on the innocent civilian people too. The outcome of that was easy to predict. Verden's guerrillas counted about five hundred in force in winter, then in the spring the entire country had rebelled against the invaders. King Ervyll of Verden, who was loyal to Nilfgaard, was murdered and his son, prince Kistrin, was put as a leader of the uprising.
The Operation Group did not have to fight only with the Verden's guerrillas but also with the army of King Ethain of Cidaris, who used the situation and attacked with the aid of Crach en Craite of the Skellige Islands, Crach had made some bold attacks on the west shore of Verden. Joachim de Wett was forced to fight on all fronts and he was losing battle after battle. Instead of blocking the west flank of the Nordlings, he blocked the Center Army Group under the command of Field marshal Menno Coehoorn.
The Eastern Front
Situation remains unchanged, Ardal aep Dahy, commanding the East Army, occupies Lyria, Rivia and Aedirn. He does not attack Kaedwen either, which has taken the upper part of Aedirn. Because of this action, Ardal aep Dahy was unable to attack Temeria from the flank.
The Center Front
The actions of duke de Wett had a great psychological effect. The myth about invincible army of Nilfgaard was gone, like snow in the spring, hundreds of volunteers started to join the army. Especially to the threatened army of Temeria (the famous Vizima's troops from the Poor Fucking Infantry division). Queen Hedwig of Redania, had sent Foltest the Redania's troops to aid him and his kingdom. Once separated at the beginning of the war, now, the Northern Kingdoms, stand united to fight the common enemy. The Nordlings were also supported by the Free Company, Dwarves from Mahakam sent by elder Brouver Hoog.
Nordlings quickly used Nilfgaard's failures and counterattacked. They pushed the enemy troops away from Maribor, preventing Nilfgaard from conquering the fortress, and moved into the north part of Sodden. They were pushing the army of Nilfgaard steadily toward south, that's when the battle of Mayena took place. Nordlings prevailed and defeated the blockade of the fortress. Some troops, due to their losses, moved back and regrouped in Vizima. The uprising in Verden stopped the Field marshal Menno Coehoorn for some time. Therefore, Coehoorn decided to move out and attack, he departed from the river Ina with his army, counting over one hundred thousand troops. Then the Nilfgaardian forces defeated under Mayena, besieged the fortress again.
It was clear that Temeria's and Redania's forces were unable to defeat Menno Coehoorn and his entire army. The East Army was expected to assault on eastern flank of Temeria through the Pontar valley. From the Pontar valley to the west to Temeria and Redania, it was a straight and open road to those two kingdoms. However, to get to Pontar valley, duke Ardal aep Dahy would have to attack Kaedwen. King Henselt of Kaedwen expected that, he could not stop, all alone, the East Army.
Nordlings, aware of that, quickly changed their strategy. They decided to not stop the offensive actions, especially in the moment when they had forces and supplies to continue them, they did not allowed Nilfgaard to respond to those bold attacks. The entire allied army, counting the regular and reserves of Temerian and Redanian troops and allied divisions, marched south to aid fortress of Mayena. They hoped to get there before the Menno Coehoorn's Middle Army. Field marshal Coehoorn immediately marched to the west in order to block the allied army from getting to Mayena. So he divided his force, he sent the entire infantry to Mayena to aid in the siege. he took with himself the IV Cavalry Army and the entire cavalry from the III Army, therefore he assembled the cavalry counting about forty six thousand men. Thanks to his decision, Menno Coehoorn, was able to move faster and made his way towards the allied army of Northern Kingdoms. The main commander of the allied army, King Foltest of Temeria, facing the incoming power of Nilfgaard, he put his army between the Chotla river and the village of Brenna (which was burnt into ground at the moment). Everything was indicating that there will be a great battle between Nilfgaard and Nordlings, and so it did happened.
Battle of Brenna - The turning point
This battle is the culmination of the actions of both the Temerian and Redanian armies, led by king Foltest and the Center Army Group, led by the Field marshal Menno Coehoorn. The fate of the world changed in that one battle, making it a pivotal point in the 2nd Nilfgaard-Nordling War. Because of this victory, the North was able to conduct a large counter-offensive on all three fronts and begin Phase IV, the final phase of the war.
Phase IV - Northern coalition counter-offensive
IV phase, known also as the Counter attack of the Nordlings. After the significant victory of the allied army over the most powerful Nilfgaardian army, the Middle Army, after the Battle of Brenna, the offensive was broken. The greatest force of emperor Emhyr var Emreis were shattered, and all of the world learned it very soon. The bravery and confidence came to the Nordlings' hearts, like sun rises after a dark night, and following the counterattack on the central front, other allied armies moved towards south.
The Central Front
The rout of the Middle Army after the battle of Brenna, caused by Temerian and Redanian forces, had long term effects. The tide of war was on the side of the Northern Kingdoms, and they decided to take advantage of the success, instead of stopping to celebrate. The most active commander on the front was John Natalis, the constable of king Foltest, commanding, side by side with him, the allied forces under Brenna. Natalis quickly took, following the example of Menno Coehoorn, the cavalry unit and marched from Brenna's fields to the fortress of Mayena. In the mean time, the other group of the Middle Army, after learning there was a huge army of Nordlings awaiting the Niflgaardian army, moved towards the north to aid Coehoorn. However, the remainder of the army did not know about the outcome of the battle which gave John Natalis big advantage. With the cavalry unit, whose main body was the Free Company from Kovir, he attacked the column of the Middle Army's infantry, with the attack so sudden Nilfgaard's forces routed. Thus John Natalis fulfilled the full defeat of Coehoorn's army on the central front. The unnamed battle took place on the road between Mayena and Maribor. The commander of the Nilfgaardian troops in Sodden, after learning the outcome of the battle of Brenna and Natalis' victory over the army that was to aid Coehoorn, decided to retreat to Riverdell and Angren, in order to separate his army from the army of Nordlings by the Ina river. Meanwhile, John Natalis surprised everyone, when, instead of advancing to Mayena and chasing the Nilfgaardian army, he moved to the west, to the Chotla river, to release Brugge from the Nilfgaardian occupation and strike on the forces of the duke Joachim de Wett, settling the war on the western front.
The Western Front
Commander Joachim de Wett faced his doom. The only direction from which Nordlings did not attack him was the east, from Brugge. John Natalis marched from Sodden, leading the Temerian and other allied forces, and wanted to attack de Wett from the east. Natalis was heading east with a forced march, however, his army had slowed down in central Brugge, where his forces were forced to besiege the cities of Brugge and Dillingen. This gave de Wett enough time to prepare. The "Verden" Group could not settle the fate of the war on the western front. He could not win with the guerrillas from Verden, with Kistrin leading them, and he could not stop the warriors from the Skellige Islands and was unable to respond on attacks from Cidaris, with king Ethain leading their army. It was obvious to him the fight with John Natalis could only worsen the already catastrophic situation in Verden. De Wett decided to evacuate back via the Yaruga river to Cintra. He secured his retreat by leaving strong crews in the powerful fortresses of Verden - Nastrog, Rozrog, and Bodrog. Joachim de Wett, after retreating back to Cintra, was able to defend himself from behind the Yaruga, as the crews he had left in the fortresses were defending themselves from the Nordlings until the end of the war and left Verden after Peace of Cintra.
The Eastern Front
The eastern front was the only front in which Emhyr var Emreis had an advantage over the Nordlings, which all changed after the battle of Brenna. First, after the Temerian and Redanian victory over Menno Coehoorn in Sodden, it was time for Kaedwen's army and the remains of the Aedirn troops to demonstrate themselves in the war. The victory at Brenna gave a new shot of bravery and confidence, bringing together the quarreled kings Demavend and Henselt, who both shook hands in a symbolic promise to work and cooperate with one another. Secondly, the East Army, under the command of Ardal aep Dahy, had the task of aiding Coehoorn's offensive on Temeria after getting help from Kaedwen. Meanwhile, the Middle Army was completely vanquished, leaving the goal of the Nilfgaardian army in Aedirn unknown. The Nordlings immediately took advantage of the Nilfgaardian hesitation. Still few in numbers, the recreated army of Demavend, with the Temerian crew, left the fort of Hagge and marched southeast, while Henselt's army crossed the armistice line on the Dyfne river and began the offensive against Ardal aep Dahy's army.
The Nilfgaardian commander, not knowing what to do, began to retreat southwards, which proved to be a big mistake. He could have defended himself easily from the Nordlings on the Kaedwenian border, while the retreat meant that he had to stretch the defensive line, because Demavend was closing in from the west. Moreover, he had to prepare for an attack from the north and defend Dol Blathanna, because Francesca Findabair and Filavandrel did not have enough elves to form a capable army. Thus the valley of flowers was written off after the vicious revenge of the Nordlings, and it was called later "The Valley of Ashes". Duke Ardal aep Duhy stopped retreating and decided to stop in southern Aedirn to defend himself there, the line of his defence settled by the city of Aldersberg. The forces of Nilfgaard and the Nordlings were balanced, so Henselt and Demavend were not hasty to attack. Everything changed when, suddenly, the main commander of the East Army, Ardal aep Dahy, died. After the Nordlings found about this, they attacked and the battle was later known as the "Second Battle of Aldersberg," where the conjoined forces of Aedirn and Kaedwen defeated the East Army, settling the war of the eastern front. This started the liberation of the kingdom of Aedirn, with the capital city of Vengerberg as one of the first cities liberated, the chaotic retreat of the East Army through Lyria where Queen Meve fought a guerrilla war, and the march of the Kaedwen's forces to the river Yaruga.
The end of the war
On the western front, Verden was liberated, however, there were still three fortresses occupied by Nilfgaard that were still resisting the Nordling's forces. King Foltest and his army liberated Lower Sodden from the Nilfgaard's occupation. Nilfgaard forces, greatly outnumbered, retreat through Yaruga river to empower the defence there. On the eastern front the Nilfgaard forces are retreating back to the empire, and the Kaedwen's army reaches Dol Angra, the place where the war started. Nilfgaard was losing on all fronts. Northern kings gave up the idea of liberating Cintra, they already controlled the right shore of Yaruga and all retreating Nilfgaardian forces were there, and together they were a great military power. Both north and south had enough of the destructive war. The negotiations started and there was a proposed truce, stop the military actions and don't cross the borders. It was settled that at the 2nd of April, all leaders of countries involved in war were to meet in Cintra to negotiate a peace and bring a new order to the world.
Peace of Cintra
Peace of Cintra, on 2 April year 1268, between the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard ending the Second Nilfgaard War and a new order was brought to the world.