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The Arslan invasions of Fuso (Genjingo: Arusuran no Fuso no Shinryaku (アルスランの扶桑の侵略), Zerlegkhel: Arslan Fusogiin Dovtolgoo (ᠠᠷᠰᠯᠠᠨ ᠹᠦᠰᠤᠭ ᠤᠨ ᠳᠣᠪᠲᠣᠯᠭᠠ), Wanyu: Fusang de A'ersilan Ruqin (扶桑的阿爾斯蘭入侵)) were two separate attempts for the Arslan-ruled Lin dynasty – the first time as a division of the Gergazartan Khaganate – to conquer Fuso. Both invasions failed and had different but significant consequences on the future of the belligerent powers.
First Arslan Invasion
The First Arslan Invasion of Fuso (最初アルスランの扶桑侵略/Saisho Arusuran no Fuso Shinryaku), also known as the Gergazartan Invasion (Genjingo: Gerugazarutan no Shinryaku (ゲルガザルタンの侵略), Zerlegkhel: (Gergazartan Dovtolgoo (ᠭᠡᠷᠭᠠᠵᠠᠷᠲᠤᠨ ᠳᠣᠪᠲᠣᠯᠭᠠ), Wanyu: Gaigezhatan Ruqin (蓋格扎坦入侵)), took place at the height of the Gergazartan Khaganate and alongside the rise of Yamatai during the early years of the Seifuku Jidai (Age of Conquest) of the Ni-Hyakunen Senso (Two Hundred Years' War), before the fragmentation of the Khaganate and the independence of the Lin dynasty of Tianchao from Gergazar.
2032INO (3749PCZ/4170TJH), the army and navy of Gergazar invaded and occupied several of the northeastern islands, overrunning the smaller islands in days before invading Suisho (水晶), one of the major islands of Fuso. The armies of the local daimyo manged to keep up stiff resistance, but the disunity between them were a weakness that Gergazar exploited openly. The Genjin suffered mounting losses as they were unable to hold back the ferocity and onslaught of the Arslan hordes, turning the situation bleak fast.
With the final fall of Suisho, a council of the local daimyo who escaped the battle, left with few options, sent the recently-founded Yamato Empire, which had not yet reached these islands, a plea for help. Shintoki-tenno agreed without hesitation and redirected his army and navy to face the invaders, fighting their invasion to a virtual standstill for two years.
In 2035INO (3752PCZ/4173TJH), the turning point came during the Siege of Hansei (繁星の包囲), the first real victory for the Yamato and local forces against Gergazartan forces. The ruler of Gergazar, Khundet Khagan (ᠬᠦᠨᠳᠦᠳ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ), was killed in battle, slain in a duel with Shintoki-tenno himself. This event saw the tide turn against the Khaganate, which began calling its armies home as it began tearing itself apart when news of its ruler's death reached their homelands. Within a year of the siege, the remnants of the Gergazartan armies in Fuso were defeated and the islands liberated, just as the khaganate itself collapsed.
The consequences and aftereffects of the failed invasion were far-reaching.
In Tianchao, with the death of Khundet Khagan, whom had not named an heir, and with the kurultai unable to come to a consensus on the election of a new ruler, a succession dispute erupted between Khundet Khagan's sons. Within a year following his death, the Gergazartan Khaganate broke into five independent states, including the Lin dynasty.
The Altanzul clan was ousted from rulership of Gergazar, which caem under the rule of the Tunadas (ᠲᠤᠨᠤᠳᠠᠰᠤ) clan, but the Lin dynasty remained under the rule of the Altanzul clan, under Khundet Khagan's tenth son, Baatar Khagan (ᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤᠷ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ), though it was now independent of Gergazar. Meanwhile four other sates broke away from Gergazartan rule: the Sinjok-ruled Gwan (관/館) dynasty, the Xiyi-ruled Pan (磐) dynasty, the Shengwai-ruled Shuang (雙) dynasty, and the resurgent Boginotan Khanate (ᠣᠭᠣᠨᠢᠳᠤᠨ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨᠲᠤ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ). The former two were eventually reconquered by Tianchao, but Shuang endured for several centuries until it was conquered by a later dynasty while Bogino remains independent and has recovered some of its lost territory. Gergazar itself, meanwhile, struggled to get back on its feet in the aftermath of the near-total collapse of its empire, but was never a threat to Fuso again.
In Yamatai, in gratitude for answering their call for help, all of the regions and people effected by the Gergazartan Invasion willingly assimilated into the Yamato Empire.
Part of the reason for the Khaganate's failure to conquer Fuso was due to their limited expectations. They were well aware of Fuso's civil war period and were looking to take advantage of it. They invaded Fuso expecting to encounter and conquer "petty kingdoms" that had fighting amongst each other for generations and fully expected to be able to simply conquer them one-by-one with minimal resistance. They had received news of the rise of Yamatai but assumed it was just another "petty kingdom" of Fuso simply led by a more charismatic leader, and had little expectations of any interference from it.
Because they didn't take the possible threat of Yamatai seriously, or assume that the warlords they were expecting to fight would call to it for help, they were ill-prepared to deal with the full force of a unitary power in the process of uniting a nation.
Another reason for the failure of the invasion was the unexpected encounter with ninja. The Gergazartan had no knowledge of ninja or their tactics, and so many of their soldiers and commanders fell prey to them at the worst moments.
One of the more prominent aftereffects of the invasion was that it brought black powder and its uses as weapons, including cannons and matchlock muskets, to Fuso for the first time. Black powder weapons were first used by Gergazar against the Genjin (after assimilating it from recently-conquered Tianchao), but some of it was either stolen by ninja or captured from enemy camps and brought to Shintoki-tenno's attention. After learning how to use it from Wan prisoners of war and defectors from the Gergazartan army (including the non-violent uses of black powder), the Yamato immediately began using the weapon against the Khaganate. Much was left behind when the Gergazartan Khaganate left. After Yamato alchemists figured out how to make more, with help from the Wan, some of whom were left behind in the aftermath, and some dwarves familiar with the substance, Shintoki-tenno later began using black powder weapons in his campaigns to unite Fuso, with good results.
Second Arslan Invasion
The Second Arslan Invasion of Fuso (秒アルスランの扶桑侵略/Byo Arusuran no Fuso Shinryaku), also sometimes known as the Lin Invasion of Yamatai (Zerlegkhel: Lin Dovtolgoon Yamatain (ᠯᠢᠩᠨ ᠳᠣᠪᠲᠣᠯᠭᠠᠨ ᠢᠮᠠᠲᠠᠢ ᠶᠢᠨ), Wanyu: Lin Ruqin Yematai (霖入侵耶馬台), Genjingo: Yamatai no shin'nyu motte Rin (耶馬台の侵入以て霖)), took place more than a century and a half (164 years) after the first one, and was more successful for a time. The second invasion even managed, for a time, to conquer Teikyo; something the first invasion never even got close to achieving.
In 2200INO (4338TJH/3917PCZ), the Lin dynasty under Sarsorvi Khagan (ᠰᠠᠷᠰᠣᠷᠪᠢ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ) launched another invasion in an attempt to conquer Fuso. By this time the Lin dynasty of Tianchao had been independent of the weakened Gergazartan Khaganate for generations and had long since reconquered the breakaway Gwan and Pan dynasties. The reason for the invasion was partly for revenge for the death of Khundet Khagan a century-and-a-half before, and mainly to reassert Tianchao's dominance through the conquest and subjugation of a once apparently inconquerable foe.
The imperial family of the Lin dynasty was desperate to show strength given that, while it had been independent since the Khaganate's fragmentation, it remained under the rule of a foreign ethnic group and was locked in a struggle to maintain its authority over a nation mostly comprised of many different (mostly Wan) ethnic groups.
Although the last invasion was more than a century ago, they had learned from it and took the Yamato Empire seriously this time. This time, they were adequately prepared to face the armies and battle tactics of Yamatai, which had been thoroughly studied in the time since.
The military leaders of Tianchao knew that for the invasion and conquest to succeed, the timing was of crucial paramount; they could not strike too early or they would be met with stiff defenses that would cost them too many casualties and hinder their advance even if they caught them off guard, while delaying for too long could force them to cancel the invasion entirely if the political, economic or military situation at home changed. Spies and turncoats had been carefully observing the political, military and economic situation of Yamatai for decades, noting every defense and garrison on the nearest islands, the ones they would attack first and the ones behind them as they changed.
Finally they found the perfect opportunity to strike: Sarsorvi Khagan readied his invasion fleet as he got word that civil war was taking place in Fuso.
War of the Twin Brothers
Before the invasion of Yamatai by Tianchao, twin brothers Bakufu-no-miya Mitsufumi Koshi (瀑布宮光史皇子) & Niji-no-miya Akikage Koshi (虹宮秋影皇子), sons of the recently-deceased Kagemitsu-tenno (景光天皇), were fighting a war of succession – recalled in Genjin history as the Futago no Nairan (双子の内乱/Civil War of the Twins) – to succeed their father.
Mitsufumi and Akikage had been close since birth, but grew apart as they came of age and the issue of succession became apparent. Over several years they both raised and nurtured their own factions to garner support to become tenno when their father passed, including several elder members of the imperial family who still held some degree of influence, influential members of the Daijo-kan and the Gikai, members of several influential clans of every stature and meritorious commoners; both brothers even raised personal armies. Followers of both sides got into minor skirmishes every one in a while, but no deaths occurred and the peace remained unbroken.
In 2197INO (4335TJH/3914PCZ), Kagemitsu-tenno died. With the succession dispute still unresolved, many feared that war was only days away. Both brothers marched on the capital with their armies and followers as a show of strength, supposedly to send off their father in a proper funeral. Both forces converged on the fields of Shibafu Heigen (芝生平原/Shibafu Plains) south of the border of Teikyo-gun. Both brothers argued from afar on who should be the successor, and their followers got into shouting matches as well, until one side (to this day, no one is sure which) fired a musket. The shot caused "retaliation" by both sides as they clashed on the open fields with every weapon at their disposal. The battle ended in a draw as both sides withdrew with neither marching on Teikyo; law and tradition stated that in the event of succession dispute neither claimant may enter the capital until it was resolved.
For three years the two brothers waged war against one another. While their personal war was mostly confined to Nakasu (中州) – the middle of the three biggest islands of Yamatai – their conflict ended up affecting the whole empire. Loyalists of both sides clashed with each other in every part of Yamatai, turning families and neighbors against one another as support for both brothers waxed and waned.
With the empire fighting itself, most of the scout vessels and watchtowers of Yamatai's outer territorial waters and islands were either undermanned or ceased operation entirely. Worse yet, spies within Tianchao's borders stopped reporting the situation within Tianchao, as they were either dead, had defected, or their reports simply never reached army command. Consequently, Yamatai almost no forewarning of the imminent invasion.
Invasion of the Lin Dynasty
In 2200INO, three years after the civil war between the royal brothers began, the Arslan-ruled Lin dynasty of Tianchao returned in full force, invading the same islands they had the first time, overrunning them within days, and Suisho within a couple weeks. Both brothers received word of the invasion a few weeks later just as they were about the fight a pitched battle near the town of Gohan (合板). Knowing that a threat to the territorial integrity of Yamatai came first, they agreed to set aside their conflict over the throne for the time being in order to work together against the invaders. However, with the empire torn asunder by Mitsufumi and Akikage's war, the empire's defenses were in tatters and Tianchao had little trouble gaining ground, though the concentrated effort of the Yamato did slow them down. Even Furinkazan, the Waraboshi and the ninja orders, none of whom had taken sides during the war between the twins and retained their full strength, were unable to do much against the onslaught of an enemy that knew how to fight and counter their guerilla tactics, something the Tianzu didn't know how to do during the last invasion.
Over the next seven years, Tianchao conquered large swathes of Yamatai – more than a quarter of it – including the capital, demoralizing the Yamato significantly. City after city, port after port, town after town, village after village, the Lin army and navy conquered everything in its path and swept away any army that tried to stop it. The Lin spared no one, soldier or civilian, and any who resisted met terrible fates. Throughout the period all who lived under the Lin flag in the conquered regions of Yamatai suffered cruelly. By the seven-year mark, the Yamato army, still several-hundred-thousand strong but severely weakened, had managed to grind the Lin Invasion almost to a halt, but continued to suffer losses and were unable to make any significant gains. Even humanitarian and logistical aide from Hinomoto was of little help. With the economy breaking down as well, the Yamato were fighting, and losing, a war of attrition to the enemy.
In 2207INO (4545TJH/491DE/3924PCZ), as Yamatai found itself almost on its last legs, all seemed lost until the sudden intervention of Yamatai's one-time enemy from northeastern Aquilonis, the Kingdom of Soleil. They were led by King Hector Envoûté d'Sortilège (regnal name: Hector I), a powerful mage who was the first king of Sorcellerie dynasty, whom assumed power in Soleil by revolt around the same time the Futago no Nairan broke out.
The Soleilliens suddenly arrived in Fuso with an army several hundreds of thousands strong, landing both in Nakasu and Hoppo (北邦) (the northernmost of the three big islands). At first the Yamato feared the Soleilliens were there to take advantage of their recent troubles to carve out a piece of Fuso for themselves. This fear was not unjustified, as the Yamato had attempted to establish a colony on the end of the Vieillesse Peninsula a couple decades following the end of the Ni-Hyakunen Senso, but lost it to Soleil almost forty years before as part of the peace treaty that ended a war over it. Though their fears were not unjustified, the Yamato were assured otherwise with Soleil's generous and chivalrous offers, along with their western transoceanic counterpart's strict observance of their culture, language and customs throughout the negotiations; King Hector and his entourage even went as far as to speak Genjingo and wear Genjin clothing at all times to make them feel at ease.
Their offers not only included military assistance, but also humanitarian, logistical and economic relief. Any lingering reservations about foreign aide were dispelled when the Soleilliens proved themselves in the opening battle of the intervention, when the two powers worked together to bring a Tianzu army nearly twice their size to its knees; and a week later both armies liberated Teikyo. With Soleil's aide, the war turned against Tianchao, whom were unfamiliar with battle tactics of an Aquiline power whose people were mostly Eurodyne in origin.
Another thing that turned the tide of war against Tianchao was the betrayal of one of the the Lin dynasty's top generals, Altanzul Shonkor (ᠠᠯᠲᠠᠨᠵᠤᠯ ᠱᠣᠩᠬᠣᠷ), also known as Shonkor Khan (ᠱᠣᠩᠬᠣᠷ ᠬᠠᠨ), an illegitimate half-brother of Sarsorvi Khagan. Shonkor Khan defected to the Soleillien-Yamato Alliance mainly because he saw, not only that the war was turning in Yamatai's favor, but an opportunity to actually matter. After being sidelined from his family and the politics of Tianchao for most of his life, despite an impeccable military record in his adulthood that saw him rise through the ranks at record pace, he saw an opportunity to make a place for himself in history, even if it meant he would forever be seen as a traitor by his own people. With his defection, Shonkor Khan brought with him a host of nearly ten thousand soldiers of every ethnic group under Lin rule, all of whom were dissatisfied with their lot in life as a result of the Lin dynasty's rule back home. He also brought a proper understanding of Arslan-Lin military tactics, allowing the alliance to make proper counter-strategies that shifted the flow of the war even more in their favor.
In 2212INO (4350TJH/496DE/3929PCZ), after twelve years of war – fifteen if one includes the civil war before the invasion – the Tianzu were forced out of Fuso once more. The last army of Tianchao in Fuso surrendered after exhausting the last of their provisions shortly before the signing of the Treaty of Suisho (水晶の条約/Suisho no Joyaku), the peace treaty that ended the conflict.
Among the terms of the treaty were the complete evacuation of all Tianzu troops from Yamatai and return of sovereignty over all territories Tianchao had occupied to Yamatai. Repatriation of prisoners of war to both sides were steadily done over the course of the following several years, though the last army to surrender was also sent back to Tianchao along with the evacuation. The Lin dynasty would also release any slaves they took, pay massive war reparations to Yamatai and bear the full economic cost of the war. The Kingdom of Soleil declined any and all economic reparations from either Yamatai or Tanchao for their intervention in the conflict.
Over the course of the war, a renewed sense of unity was felt all across Yamatai. Mitsufumi and Akikage had buried their old rivalry, having recalled their closeness in their childhood after fighting side-by-side against the invaders rather than against each other. After the final defeat of the invasion, they came to an understanding and together decided to pass the throne to their younger sister, Shiwase-no-miya Mikiko Kojo (幸せ宮みきこ皇女), who became posthumously known as Orihime-tenno, rather than fight over it again and cause the people of Yamatai more suffering.
The Soleillien-Yamato Alliance against Tianchao also birthed a feeling of camaraderie between the two countries, erasing any lingering resentment from the last war between the two powers and giving birth to a treaty of friendship, alliance and free trade that endures to present day. This also resulted in free migration between the two powers, resulting in growing communities of Gallique in Yamatai and Genjin in Soleil. The free trade provision of the treaty has also effectively granted Soleil access to Marlakcor without having to go all the way around Fuso, allowing the free flow of goods between east and west, which made both countries extremely wealthy.
Altanzul Shonkor's defection and efforts against his former nation also gave birth to a new clan in northwestern Fuso. For his deeds, Shonkor was awarded land and title in Suisho and adopted the name Hanasaku Hayabusa (花咲く隼) and married a Genjin woman, giving birth to the Arslan-Genjin Hanasaku samurai clan the pledges loyalty to the tenno to this day. The soldiers who followed him were also allowed to settle in Yamatai, resulting in growing Arslan-descended communities in various parts of Yamatai.
In Tianchao, the defeat of the invasion after much initial success weakened the Lin dynasty considerably, and the authority of the non-Wan imperial family was once again called into question. In shame, Sarsovi Khagan abdicated while the peace treaty was being negotiated, believing that the empire would collapse following such a humiliating defeat and did not want to be the sitting ruler when it happened. However, his abdication turned out to be what saved the Lin dynasty. The hotheaded and militaristic Sarsovi Khagan had never been popular, and many believed that his invasion of Yamatai was a foolhardy endeavor. This opinion reversed somewhat following the invasion's initial success, but the initial view was renewed when the tide turned against Tianchao in Fuso, in particular in the aftermath of Shonkor Khan's betrayal.
His nephew and successor, Zaltsus Khagan (ᠵᠠᠴᠢᠰ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ), proved to be a much more temperate and diplomatic ruler. His first acts as huangdi were issuing a series of reforms meant to help the empire recover both from decades of war and the economic cost of the treaty. He even gave favorable terms to the Yamato in an attempt to foster future peaceful relations. Later in his reign he tried to broker a mutually-beneficial trade treaty with Yamatai, yet Yamato distrust of the Tianzu prevented anything from coming to fruition. Regardless, his efforts won him popularity with the people of Tianchao. A change in leadership saved the Lin dynasty from collapse, at least for the foreseeable future.
The one negative outcome of the conflict was the effects of Orihime-tenno's reign. Never once envisioning herself ruling the empire, she was never educated in ruling and so relegated herself to listening to a host of advisors, in particularly the shogun. Unfortunately, her eagerness for advice inadvertently caused her let herself be manipulated by her advisors, namely the shogun. Her relatively ineffectual reign from hanging on to voices from behind the throne resulted in a the curtailment of imperial authority. By the time she died and her son was enthroned the damage had been done; what ensued was long period where the tenno, while still the de jure ruler of Yamatai, was largely marginalized and their power restricted in favor of the Goku Shogunate (業苦幕府/Goku Bakufu), similarly to how it was before the Sengoku Jidai.
For three hundred years the power of the tenno was ceremonial at best; while the tenno remained the de jure ruler of Yamatai, the shoguns of the Goku clan were the de facto rulers of the empire as they increasingly made decisions without imperial input. The approval of the tenno was still required in certain aspects, but for the most part the political power of the Goku Shogunate was so absolute that the tenno had little to no power to affect anything, and thus were left with no choice but to give their approval. This remained Yamatai's form of governance until the civil war known as the Shirayuki Fukkatsu (白雪復活/Shirayuki Restoration) ended the Goku Shogunate and brought full power back to the imperial family.