Ruthoyon's military reforms are, however, very important, as we have seen. He increased the size of Armies to over 11000, and invented various tactical innovations from his experience fighting the Chalcrans and other peoples. To defend against cavalry attack, the front row of infantry were given spears, and formed up to 10 ranks deep. Units of heavy cavalry and mounted infantry were introduced, and artillery was employed more regularly in the field, and not just for sieges. Ruthoyon's strategy was to obtain victory in war by means of battles in the field, rather than through sieges, a policy which became standard in the Second Empire. The overall size of Atlantis' armed forces increased from 150000 in 323 to over 330000 by 345.
DEFEATING THE PHONERIANS
Ruthoyon's first aim was to finish off the Phonerians. He realised they could only be defeated at sea, and so, while advancing with the Marossans to the Opheril mountains protecting the Phonerian peninsula, he prepared a large naval force. With this fleet he sought out and gained a partial victory over the main Phonerian navy in the Marossa Liranca (Bay of Marossan) in 324. Then he landed an army by sea in the bay north-east of Phonero, and defeated the local defence force. Ruthoyon then expanded this bridgehead, and occupied some of the islands in the bay. The Phonerians tried to regain control of the sea from their main base and capital city Achosil, but were unable to do so. Gradually the Atlanteans took over more and more islands, strangling the Phonerians' trade, although neither side could win a decisive victory at sea. Finally in 326, Ruthoyon forced a decisive naval victory on the Phonerians, and destroyed most of their remaining fleet. As he had also conquered the whole of the southern part of the Phonerian peninsula as far north as Nerilo, the Phonerians now surrendered unconditionally, hoping to save Achosil. But Ruthoyon ruthlessly took over the whole Phonerian empire, and adopted the unscathed capital, Achosil, as his main naval base for the north of the Empire. The whole of this area was made into a new Atlantean Province, which he called "Yc´el Atlantis" ("Far Atlantis"), to destroy all remaining Phonerian identity. At the same time, the region around the river Noilafa, previously Phonerian, plus part of southern Marossan were grouped together as a Province called "Atlan-Marossan" (later, with the rest of Marossan, just called Marossan), despite the complaints of Marossan itself.
THE WARS AGAINST THE CHALCRANS
Ruthoyon's taste for war was thoroughly whetted by this victory, and he now travelled south to personally oversee the end of the campaigns to conquer the remaining free towns on the south of Thoinix Thissaindix (329-331). Another full Province for the Atlantean Empire was created here in 334.
By this time, Ruthoyon had become very authoritarian, and completely dominated the government of the Empire. Looking for further fields to conquer, he now settled on the unlucky Chalcrans. At this stage they were divided into three large states plus a number of dependent or neutral little ones, as well as the Atlantis-governed Gasirotto state, dating back to the time of Cao-Mel´on. Since 330, the large state whose capital was at Dravizzi had been at war with the state to its west, with a capital at Sirottis. As Dravizzi seemed to be winning, Ruthoyon claimed that this was upsetting the balance of power in the whole region, and could threaten the security of his Empire's eastern frontier. He therefore joined in the war on Sirottis' side, and after a series of hard-fought campaigns overcame Dravizzi by 335. The climactic battle of this war was the Battle of Dravizzi itself, in 335, and we shall examine this in a little detail, as an example of Ruthoyonĺs art of warfare.
THE BATTLE OF DRAVIZZI
The Chalcrans drew up their army in front and to the north of Dravizzi itself, which was a town and fortress situated on high hills. The town was defended by 15000 swordsmen, well protected by stone and earth defences, and on the top edge of a steep slope, as well as by another 7000 archers positioned behind and in front of the swordsmen. To their right, on lower and flatter ground were two phalanxes, each of 9000 men. Between these two infantry forces were 4000 heavy cavalry, with some ceremonial chariots. To their right was a force of 4000 hired Keltish archers and then about 3000 light and medium cavalry. The rest of the cavalry, 4000, was on the opposite flank, to the side of the hill on which Dravizzi was built. The army added up to 55000 altogether.
Evidently the Chalcrans assumed Ruthoyon would simply throw most of his army against the defences of Dravizzi itself, which was pretty impregnable; they would then advance with the phalanxes and cavalry and crush the complete Atlantean left wing. Ruthoyon guessed this, and played along so far as to set one of his five "Pueggisix" (about 9000 men) to storm this position, protected by about 3000 light cavalry to its right. But he assembled an overwhelming force on his centre and left flanks to crush the Chalcrans here, and isolate the forces defending Dravizzi. Here he had four more "Pueggisix", as well as all his medium and heavy cavalry, 7000 in all. The infantry at this stage was a mixture of about one-third crossbowmen, and the rest swordsmen. His total force was 58000.
Each army began by advancing on opposite flanks (see map below: numbers indicate order of movements). The Chalcran cavalry on the extreme left was supposed to wait till Atlantean infantry had become entangled with the Chalcran defences in front of Dravizzi, then hit them in flank, but in fact it immediately moved forwards to attach the opposing cavalry before the Atlantean infantry had moved more than a few yards (1). There was a hard tussle, but the Chalcrans overwhelmed the light Atlantean cavalry, and half of it chased it off the field. The infantry here did meanwhile advance on the defences of Dravizzi, leaving one force behind to guard against the enemy cavalry (2). Not surprisingly, the Atlanteans were completely unable to storm the Chalcran defences, and after a while were forced to retreat in some confusion, chased back by a few of the Chalcrans. Meanwhile on the Atlantean left, most of the cavalry there, plus two Pueggisix moved rapidly forwards against the opposing Chalcran cavalry and a line of archers (1) . They had little difficulty in overcoming the archers and then the horsemen. The right-hand Atlantean Army was then assaulted by the unit of Keltish archers, but was able to withstand this and eventually force it to retire, after which much of it was overrun by Atlantean cavalry (2).
Before the fighting on this flank was settled, the Chalcran phalanxes lumbered forwards, with the aim of crushing the Atlantean infantry opposite (3). (Some units were left behind to guard against attacks from the Atlanteans on their right. (4))The two Atlantean Armies here had already advanced a little way, and the two forces collided two-thirds of the way towards the Atlantean start-line. The Chalcrans veered towards their left, partly to try to separate this part of the Atlantean force from the units attacking Dravizzi, and partly to avoid the fighting on the north of the battlefield. The right-hand phalanx was brought to a halt by concentrated Atlantean crossbows, but the left-hand one hit the Atlantean flank and turned it (4).The Chalcran heavy cavalry now galloped forwards to finish off the Atlanteans, accompanied by the chariots(5). However, the Atlantean heavy cavalry, originally in the middle of the Atlantean Armies, had already moved someway to its right, and now moved behind the infantry and countered the Chalcran horsemen, forcing them back and massacring the chariots (6).
But now the victorious Atlantean infantry and cavalry on the left flank was able to intervene decisively in the events here in the middle. One Atlantean Army moved against the right-hand Chalcran phalanx (5), while cavalry and infantry moved against the rear of the phalanx (4). Some Atlantean horsemen got right round behind the phalanx, threatening its rear. Both phalanxes were now defeated and retreated in increasing disorder. With the defeat of the cavalry and the Keltish bowmen, and the death of the Chalcran king, the whole of the right of the Chalcran Army now disappeared to the rear, chased by the Atlanteans. Despite their success on the left, the defenders of Dravizzi were also ordered to retreat, leaving just a small garrison in the citadel. This victory cost the Atlanteans 9000 men, and the Chalcrans 16500 (plus 3000 more who surrendered in Dravizzi a few days later).
The Chalcrans now sued for peace. Ruthoyon garrisoned the whole area, and graciously acceded to Sirottis' request to become part of the Atlantean Empire (along with a number of small Chalcran client states). So in 337, Ruthoyon set up a new Province of Borchalcr´eh, and almost immediately allotted citizenship to its inhabitants. There was a large pro- Atlantean party in the governing circles of all the Chalcran states, and it is noteworthy how quickly and completely all forms of Chalcran independence and individuality were to die out.
There followed four years of peace, which were not at all to Ruthoyon's liking. However, a series of raids by the West Kelts, led by Var (Leader) Dorgod, against his new Province of Marossan decided Ruthoyon to take on the Kelts next. He made sure he got hold of military assistance from the independent state of Marossan, but even with a massive invasion by 100000 Atlantean troops, Ruthoyon found the war difficult to prosecute because the Kelts were so expert at guerrilla tactics.
Another serious problem arose in 340, when the remaining large, independent Chalcran state (with its capital at Runnates) seized the opportunity when Ruthoyon seemed to be fully occupied with the Kelts to invade Borchalcr´eh. Ruthoyon rose to the occasion, declared a unilateral truce with the Kelts, and by 342 had captured Runnates. However, in this climactic battle, he was shot and killed. The Chalcrans were not aware of this, and sued for peace at this point.
THE SUCCESSION TO RUTHOYON II
Ruthoyon II, about whose family life we know very little, had no issue, his only son having been killed fighting the Chalcrans. He had never given much thought to the succession, but was definitely unwilling to agree to Cao-Thildo, a cousin, who was next in line legally. It is claimed he refused to allow this cousin to succeed him while he was still conscious after the shot that mortally wounded him, but this was hushed up, and Ruthoyon himself was hastily finished off. At any rate Cao-Thildo became the new Emperor in 343. Compared to the lean, athletic and warlike Ruthoyon, he could not have been more different - grotesquely fat, gluttonous, libidinous, wholly self-centered, and much older than Ruthoyon had been.
"EXOTIC ROMANTIC" ART OF THE FIRST EMPIRE
After about 320, the straightforward so-called First Empire Romantic art of poets like Carnaxa Lill´e gave way to an increasing interest in the indigenous art of other countries. Writers such as the Helvran Bemmel, who wrote epics between 295 and 330, and the Yalland poet Phostin (300-335) had great influence on young writers after about 320. Atlantean writers between 320 and about 360 found inspiration in the themes and forms of the literature of Helvr´eh, the Yalland states, the Chalcrans and even Manralia, and copied it in their poetry and drama, and even in architecture. This interest was partly caused by the new lands being conquered by Atlantis, particularly by Ruthoyon II, but can also be seen, especially after Ruthoyon II's death as a retreat into a fantasy land by artists who wanted to escape from the grim reality of cruel and capricious Emperors and the misery of civil war.
To read the next part of this history, click on (5) 343-361