The Thirteen Fingers
The Steel War was an armed conflict between the Tesaki Juusan and Pelinore. It lasted from 1253 to 1261 when the Opal Treaty was signed between the Tesaki Emperor Masaru Itsuki and the Pelinore King Gar’ell. The Taitan Wall was built in response to escalating violence along the border between Dayreoudan and Pelinore.
Cause and Effect
The main source of tension between the two factions resulted from the discovery of several mines of iron ore (which could be smelted into steel) found along the border of Dayre’s Crossing and eastern Pelinore in 1250. Once word got out that the iron mines contained vast deposits of ore, each country sent massive mobilizations of workers to begin excavating. Harsh working conditions and disputed claims over several mines mounted tension into action as fights between various bands of miners from either side began springing up all across the borderland.
The Spark to the Fire
In March of 1253, the largest conflagration erupted the conflict into a full-scale war. A group from Pelinore, calling themselves Iron Horse, detonated explosives, collapsing a mine claimed by Tesaki, killing 43 workers and 6 Honshōku. In response, Emperor Itsuki called to service soldiers from every province and sent them to Dayreoudan. In response, King Gar’ell sent soldiers of his own, and the first battle was fought on June 23rd, 1253.
The War and The Wall
As the war raged for over two years, Emperor Itsuki amassed a secondary group comprised of masons, engineers, and architects to the northwestern border of Dayre’s Crossing to begin construction on a massive project called the Wall of Taitan. The Wall was a massive undertaking, employing almost 10,000 workers at a time. Construction began at the western-most part of the current wall, and proceeded east along the border. The Wall served two purposes: it halted Pelinore troop advancements, and gave the Juusan protection on the iron mine claims on their side of the border. The Taitan Wall was actually not completed until a year and a half after the conflict had ended.
At the end of the 1250s, popular opinion in the Pelinore kingdom had shifted against the War with Tesaki. Mounting costs, combined with the difficulties of laying seige to the Wall of Taitan, the rising death toll, and the shrinking iron deposits, led to King Gar’ell, on August 30th, 1260, decreeing a diminishing of military presence along the eastern border, and a formal letter sent to Emperor Itsuki, requesting a meeting to discuss terms to end the war, began the deescalation of Tesaki forces as well. On April 29th, 1261, atop the incomplete Wall of Taitan, King Gar’ell and Emperor Itsuki met face-to-face for the first time and signed the Opal Treaty.
The Opal Treaty
Within the treaty, the Tesaki Juusan agreed to give 12% of the iron ore they mined on home soil to the Pelinore kingdom over the next four years. In exchange, Pelinore agreed to dismantle three military establishments they had set up in the Cardian Spit, the land-peninsula between Karasuriku and Dayreoudan. This was seen as a fair compromise, as the prevailing thought was that the Taitan Wall had secured some 70-80% of the iron mines, so Pelinore was receiving more than they were naturally entitled to. The dismantling of the military bases in the Cardian Spit was seen as an assured formality, as King Gar’ell had no real intention of trying to maintain the bases after the end of the war.
(see also World Chronology)