The Crystal War (10/26/2007)

The Crystal War erupted in 862 C.E. and lasted until 864 C.E. The Allied Forces of Altana battled the combined armies of the Shadow Lord, known collectively as the Beastman Confederate, in a conflict that raged over both the Quon and Mindartian continents. It is recorded as the largest and bloodiest war in Vana'diel's history.

In the year 855 C.E., a mysterious entity arrived in the land of Valdeaunia with the howling hosts of the underworld at his command--the impact of the Shadow Lord's appearance was akin to a meteor strike. In a few short years, the Shadow Lord had united the disparate factions of the beastmen into a single, organized force and declared his intention to scour every last child of Altana from the face of Vana'diel. During the 4th moon of the year 862 C.E., he had already begun his invasion of the San d'Orian region of Norvallen.

In the opening stages of the war, the nations of Vana'diel attempted to fight the beastmen independently, only to suffer repeated losses against their enemies' vastly superior numbers. At the behest of Archduke Kam'lanaut of Jeuno, the nations of San d'Oria, Bastok, and Windurst put aside their historical enmities and formed the Allied Forces of Altana. As the isolated nations began sharing information and resources, they gradually developed the infrastructure to plan operations that would span entire continents.
The most significant step towards the execution of cooperative operations was taken during the battle waged in the defense of Jeuno. The retreat of the Beastman Confederate in the face of the three nations' coordinated attacks served to further strengthen the newfound alliance.

After the triumph at the Siege of Jeuno, the allied forces began retaliating against the beastmen across all the lands of Vana'diel. In the 4th Moon of the year 863 C.E., a final resounding victory was won in the Battle of Xarcabard, where the main force of the Beastman Confederate was smashed under the combined military might of Altana's armies.

Castle Zvahl fell to the allies soon after. In the year 864 C.E., the Orcish Hosts, who had refused to concede defeat, were at last forced into the northern sea. And thus were ended two long years of bloody warfare.

Battle of Jugner

The Beastman Confederate advanced on Jugner with one hundred thousand soldiers. Yet despite repeated request for aid, Marquis Rouhent was sent only a paltry three hundred reinforcements from the Royal Knights under the command of Count Aurchiat. The marquis attempted to use his intimate knowledge of the forest to blunt the progress of the massive army, but with barely a thousand troops to stand against a sea of beastmen, he was hopelessly outnumbered. News of the elite Norvallen knights' defeat came as a sobering shock to the capital, but it was merely a prelude to the looming horror of the Crystal War.

Siege of Jeuno

Even with a mountain of their own dead to impede their advance, the endless waves of Quadav continued to push forward. Battlements were shattered under a hail of cannon fire and Gigas-thrown boulders...
The forces of the Beastman Confederate that pressed the fortress-city of Jeuno on all three sides finally converged on the vulnerable Batallia front. One, two, and then three of the four ramparts that protected the city crumbled under the assault.
The allied forces rallied their troops and launched a coordinated counterattack that resulted in a critical victory against the beastman invasion.

Battle of Xarcabard

When the driving snows suddenly died and a shaft of sunlight pierced the clouds to illuminate the battlefield, a rousing cheer rose from the ranks of the allied forces. The feint to split the forces of their enemy had succeeded--the army before them was clearly outnumbered.
However, those cheers turned to shouts of dismay as the battle was joined. The soldiers they faced were no ordinary troops, but the elite vanguard of the Shadow Lord, highly trained and handpicked from among the champions of each beastman race.
The allied forces claimed victory, but only at tremendous cost.

Illustration by Mitsuhiro Arita