The name "Naga Nori" is related to Norinaga, the lake on which the Shinkan capitol of Kiotoi rests, and means "Western Dawn" (or "Sunrise for the West", or, if you want to get mindlessly literal, "West East"), a reference to the new ascendance of the western continent of Shi Inkahan after the darkness of the Fifth Oni War.
After the chaos and anarchy of the Oni War, the death of Emperor Xiao Ken and the state of near civil war in Shi Inkahan, the daimyos eventually named Xiao Yujin Mikazo and Akane as Emperors. But there were conditions.
The traditionalist Bashu Jipon led by Daimyo Jikan demanded that the Vaxian Empire be brought to justice for their alleged part in te assassination of Xiao-Ken.
The imperialist Maru Ajai shamed by the chaos of the Oni War and the embarrassment of needing foreign help to win it, demanded a new war, to reunite the people of Shi Inkahan behind the Emperors. They didn't much care with whom war was made, as long as it was some force outside of Shi Inkahan, and as long as Shi Inkahan Empire won it on their own.
After The Alchemist was defeated, a familiar old man came to Emperor Yujin. The old man had been the one to tell Yujin about the possession of the Lock and the Key to the Nagatin Gate, and their possession by the Alchemist and Vorkosigan which had been instrumental to victory in the Oni War. The old man revealed himself as a Lom Gunji and claimed that he could unite the Lom Gunji, as well as the Pirates of the West Kadrass, behind the new Emperors, but only if war was declared on the Vaxian Empire.
Moreover, Empress Akane had been told of alleged abuses and crimes by the Vaxian Empire against its people, and was behind the idea of liberating them from their oppressors. That coupled with her own experiences in Miser and then being sold into slavery in Ramsalon made firm her resolve.
Declaration of War
- "People of Vaxia:
"Whereas the Empire oppresses its people with practices which include, but are not limited to: mind scans which invade the basic right to privacy; persecution, imprisonment, and deportation of innocents; widespread slavery; high and regressive taxes; soulless machines enforcing the government's will; reckless endangerment of the fabric of reality and meddling with the natural order of things;
"Whereas the government of the Vaxian Empire is suspected of involvement in the assassination of our beloved Emperor Xiao-Ken;
"And whereas the Empire's rapacious and unchecked expansionism is a threat to all sovereign nations;
"We, the Empire of Shi Inkahan, declare a war of liberation on the Iron Empire of Vaxia."
In a sneak attack making use of anti-divination magic (so it wouldn't be predicted by seers), Shi Inkahan struck Ish Lavin just before the declaration of war was delivered.
They chose a day when, due to repair schedules, fully a third of the Iron Navy was in the Bay of Lavin or docked in Ish Lavin. Lom Gunji Vampires swimming in the Bay of Lavin, put holes in the hulls of all the ships, sinking them. Simultaneously, a land army, landed on the beaches miles away, surrounded the city.
Eventually, the Shi Inkahan Empire forces brought a bomb to the Overpass Portal and blew it up, cutting off Vaxian reinforcements.
Shi Inkahan then occupied the city and proceeded to use it as a base of operations for the invasion of the rest of the continent.
The Lom Gunji immediately began patching the holes in the sunken Iron Navy ships and raising them again from the sea. The Vaxian Empire began conscripting priests and holy mages to ward the hulls of their ships against Undead so that wouldn't happen again.
Two weeks later, bombs and weapons were delivered to Victory City One bomb sealed off the tunnel to Victory Portal. Another destroyed Victory City's Core Tower (with, in secret, a little help from Stome Shinu). Then, with Victory City's control systems destroyed, they started distributing weapons to the prisoners of the city. Soon, the guards were dead or driven off, and the prisoners controlled VC.
Most of Vaxia's Automatons and all of their research into weapons of mass destruction (including contagions and very large explosions) were destroyed in the collapse of the Core.
Negotiations between GHOUL the liberated Vaxian territories, the people of Victory City, and other political groups on the continent began, keeping the Vaxian Empire from retaking the city and beginning the process of annexing it into GHOUL.
The Ish Lavin end of the Overpass Portal was destroyed, but the Ramsalon end was still intact, and the Vaxian Empire had enough resources to build another end. So a new Overpass was opened to the island of Argonn.
Then, Shi Inkahan sailed several ships raised from the Bay of Lavin were into the docks at Argonn and exploded them. A small force sacked the city and captured First Admiral Tarrant of the Iron Navy. Then Shi Inkahan withdrew, leaving Vaxia to rebuild their forces on Argonn.
On their way back to Ish Lavin, the Shinkan ships were scattered by an unexpected storm, and most of them were caught and destroyed by the Iron Navy.
Tarrant was teleported to a secure prison in Shi Inkahan. However, a few days later, most of the guards and prisoners in the facility were found dead at their posts and in their cells, with no visible injuries. (Traces of an exotic delayed-effect poison were later found in the facility's stores of rice.) The Bashumatsu monk guarding Tarrant's cell was also dead, stabbed to death, lying in a pool of blood -- much of it not his own. No trace of Tarrant was found.
(In unrelated news, the Baroness Louise Vixan and her husband, the former drad Drathan announced, shortly after the attack on Argonn, that they, along with their good friend the Admiral's wife, would immediately be leaving for a long holiday in Candenord.)
It had been a decade since Crystal was a relevant trading post, so it was lightly defended, and Shi Inkahan captured it easily.
Shi Inkahan didn’t bother to take the miserable fishing town of Miser. Many Iron Navy sailors, having fled after the Battle of Ish Lavin, holed up in Miser, waiting for somebody to come get them.
The Cygnus House in the Nebrakian Collectiva had pledged their support to Vaxian Empire. The Cygnus Lord had called in many favors among other tactics to convince other houses to join them in their cause, only a handful answered and they gathered their banners and marched to reinforce the Vaxian lines in the borderlands.
Some had feared Governor/King Meriadoch of Arpaksad might have taken after his departed mentor, Merguth, and begun a long, slow trip around the bend. But, if that had begun to happen, it hadn't yet begun to show. Arpaksad’s White Guards fearlessly marched almost due south, through the Iron Desert itself, to catch the defenders of Ish Lavin unawares.
Candenord, the clans of the Elven Nation and clans of the Elven Alliance the Dwarves of Kundul Iskrania GHOUL, and East Grom all remained silent or officially declared neutrality. The Vaxian Empire quietly waved the threat of economic or political sanctions (which provoked surreptitious military raids by West Grom mostly against Jorkana), and in some cases of invasion and conquering after this war is over, but few nations had a horse in this race, so most of them wisely elected to remain out of the bloodbath.
In the early days of the war, a large portion of the Shinkan army disembarked in Meribor, and marched east across the continent through Jorkana, taking food from the farmlands as they went (reimbursing farmers with cash, albeit probably not as much cash as the food was worth). In the Azure Mountains, a detachment of ninjas and lom gunji led by Emperor Mikazo descended into the underworld, where they convinced or bribed Nethar to guide them under Gauntlet Gulf to the tunnels below Ramsalon. The lom gunji Hobomonster had spent years in the sewers and tunnels below Ramsalon, so their lom gunji guides allowed the Shinkans to navigate safely there.
In the first day of the week-long invasion of Ramsalon, Shi Inkahan delivered bombs to the walls of Ramsalon, and put big holes in the walls. It turned out that the Shinkan anti-divination auras caused the automatons to arrest everyone nearby because of lack of auras, so the automatons were withdrawn from service until the problem could be corrected.
On the second day (perhaps due to timing or communication errors), the army that had marched from Jorkana invaded in force via the Royal Road, taking the Court Of Heroes and Beth Bow and destroying the Overpass Portal to Argonn.
On the third day, reinforcements arrived by sea, landing east of Ramsalon and taking the Common Flats in an amphibious attack. Taking control of some of Ramsalon's defensive siege engines, they destroyed the Haven Croft Barracks, erected a barricade between Common Flats and Haven Croft, and defeated many defenders by deploying lom gunji.
On the fourth day, the Ramsalon Merchants Association (or a sizable contingent thereof) snuck hired mercenaries into Wayward Ho and with their collaboration, Shi Inkahan took the district.
On the fifth day, the automatons, their programming having been patched, were deployed to Wayward Ho and the Shinkan camps outside Ramsalon. The entire Wayward Ho district, minus a couple buildings, was completely burned to the ground, ruining the fortunes of countless merchants. The Shinkan camps were pretty well messed up, too, with most of the supplies (which they had brought with them and raided from Jorkana) destroyed.
On the sixth day, Shi Inkahan advanced to take Haven Croft up to Kanestronia Cathedral (where Emperor Xiao-Yujin Mikazo then took up residence), the Town Green and destroyed an automaton storage facility in Congreth Kane Castle in a commando raid.
On the last day, the Vaxian Empire withdrew from the city entirely, loading their soldiers up onto the Iron Navy ships that had been blockading the city and sailing off to Argonn, leaving behind only automatons, led by Orrtek. (Orrtek had informed Balcazar and Kire that he had a plan to retake the city, without informing them of any details of this plan.) When representatives of Shi Inkahan refused to withdraw from the continent, all remaining automatons marched into the sea, and Orrtek's contingencies went off, wrecking the city.
The Burn / Final Solution
Some thirty or so explosions went off, all around the city. There was little left to burn in Wayward Ho, so it didn’t. There was nobody left in the Congreth-Kane Castle, and nobody wanted to enter the strange green smog that was manifesting there, and it was separated from the city by large walls, so all the wooden structures within the CKC were just allowed to burn. In the rest of the city, Ramsalonian reaction to the fires was slow (the people had grown used to automatons fighting all fires with maximum efficiency), but the Shinkan army, the Mage Guild and private citizens banded together to halt the spread of the fires. In the end, 45 city blocks burned down, including the Bard's Inn, several other popular restaurants, the municipal forges, and a few houses of nobility.
A horrible greenish smog was emitted from somewhere within the Congreth-Kane Castle. It blew briefly inland, over the river, covering much of the Town Green, before eventually blowing back out to sea and dispersing. Everyone who inhaled it was subjected to brief coughing fits, but the long-term effects of the infection were subtle.
To make matters worse, a huge sinkhole opened up beneath southern Shinkantown swallowing several city blocks of the district and causing widespread panic that the notoriously tunnel-honeycombed fundamentals of Ramsalon are finally giving way. In the end, further collapses didn't wind up happening.
A swarm of glittering little black beetles or spiders boiled from the squat, concrete Royal Labs Area Three in Haven Croft. These creatures, perhaps disliking the cold, swarmed into hiding in adjacent buildings and the sewers. This worried the populace almost more than actually seeing them swarming everywhere might have. The hospitals and temples, in the midst of the chaos, began to see people showing up with horrible necrosis, limbs just rotting right off. Many survivors didn’t even remember experiencing anything that might have caused this, limbs just rotting right off with no provocation, though some reported being stung or bitten by little black arthropods.
Shinkan Emperor Xiao-Yujin Mikazo threw open the doors of Kanestronia Cathedral, inviting the populace to take refuge in the huge, ancient structure. There was sufficient room in the Cathedral’s hundreds of rooms for everyone who wanted to take shelter there, but they were packed in pretty tight in some of the rooms: a recipe for the spread of disease.
Shi Inkahan’s army was largely able to prevent looting and violence, though obviously they’re not a fraction as effective at enforcing law and order than the Vaxian Empire was.
Unfortunately, all of the Shinkan supplies were burned in their camps on the fifth day of the invasion of Ramsalon. Much of Ramsalon’s food stores were burned in the Wayward Ho at the same time. There was no longer enough food in the city to feed the Ramsalonians or Shinkans alone for more than a month, much less both. Jorkana, the continent’s breadbasket, was already tapped out –- most of their harvest having been raided by Westgrom and by Shi Inkahan as they marched east to Ramsalon, and lost in the fires. Jorkana was left with barely enough to feed themselves, if that; definitely not enough to export. The farmland to the east of Ramsalon couldn’t possibly produce enough to feed everyone. Many fishing boats were burned when Wayward Ho did, so even the fishing industry would take time to get back off the ground. It would be weeks before anything starts arriving in Ramsalon from the fertile lands of Tesaria and Nebrak, and even that was at best a band-aid. The whole continent would be starving before the summer harvests came.
After this, both sides rather lost their taste for continued fighting. Shi Inkahan kept control of Ramsalon, Jorkana, and Ish Lavin. Tesaria, Arpaksad was granted independence (Tesaria was also granted control over Grokul and Dawnport Crystal); the Nebrakian Collectiva, the Groms, Kundul, Iskrania, and GHOUL were allowed to keep their independence. The Vaxian Empire retained control of their East Kadrass island holdings.
Shi Inkahan granted clemency to all soldiers and sailors who had fought against them (with the exception of Royal Labs and some high ranking personnel), so long as they took oaths never again to take up arms against the Shi Inkahan Empire. Some Iron Navy sailors, disturbed by the reports of the so-called "Final Solution", began to mutiny and defect to Shi Inkahan's side. Both Ramsalon and the Vaxian government-in-exile declared the Royal Labs anathema for their role in the Final Solution. Royal Labs personnel in Argonn were arrested.
The Argonn Overpass portal in Ramsalon was shut down in order to prevent it from being used in any kind of retaliation.