The Second Hentani War (1500-1503) can be more accurately described as the invasion of the Hentani Kingdom by Bennvika. After much bloodshed, the war ended when the Hentani Kingdom collapsed.
The Road to War
A leader’s duty is to keep their people safe. In the mind of King Bastinian of Bennvika, known by some as Bastinian the Great and by others as Bastinian the Wicked, the best way to do this was to expand Bennvika’s borders, so that the kingdom may be feared by its neighbours.
The natural target was the Hentani Kingdom. The population of Bennvika had never quite forgotten the Hentani’s attempt to invade southern Bennvika in the First Hentani War (1236-37 AU), back in the days of King Ansdren and Chief Rokujo.
In an attempt to rally the support of the nobles and win control of an increasingly impetuous Congressate, King Bastinian ordered the raising of an army.
He did this publicly during his speech at the 1500th Bennvikan Unification Day, an event celebrating 1500 years since the kingdom’s inception.
It is believed by many that he hadn’t told anyone that he was planning on making this announcement. There was much surprise from the nobles, but none dared challenge the king, especially after witnessing the strength of the crowd’s support.
The Hentani Prince Vorad, son of the then Cheif, Goyro, and heir to the tribe’s throne, led the defence of their kingdom, although with his father still retaining ultimate authority.
Anticipating that the Bennvikans would go straight for the heart of the kingdom, Vorad oversaw the preparations for his father’s capitol, Jianoko, to defend a siege.
This was the first moment at which the war went against the Hentani. After initially marching towards Jianoko, now known as Rildayorda, Prince Lissoll of Bennvika then swung west, heading for the Hentani city of Quesoto. When news of this was fed back to Vorad, he was presented with a problem.
Vorad saw through Lissoll’s trick, knowing that it was simply an attempt to lure the main Hentani army out from within the safe protection of Jianoko’s defences. The more recent Preddaberg Citadel had not yet been built, but with its stone walls, the city would still have been a tough nut for the Bennvikans to crack.
However, keeping the main army in Jianoko left the other cities vulnerable, and reports came flooding in telling of many towns being reduced to burning ruins.
Vorad soon saw his cautious policy overruled by his father, Chief Goyro, and he was ordered, despite much protesting from Vorad himself, to take the army out of the city, march west and meet the Bennvikans on the field of battle.
The Battle of Repuki and the Fall of Jianoko
Despite Cheif Goyro’s visions of a decisive, bloody engagement, the Battle of Repuki was something quite else, and the indecisive result saw Vorad’s force, battered as it was, live to fight another day.
Lissoll had been made aware of the Hentani advance by his scouts and, acting on the advice of Yathrud Alyredd, a commander of growing reputation, took up a defensive position at the top of a suitable incline, and waited for Vorad’s force to come to him.
The orders from Vorad's father gave him no choice but to fight, but from the moment the battle began, the Hentani army took heavy losses and were put to flight by their better-trained Bennvikan foe. Yet Vorad thought fast when he saw so many of his warriors turning and running. He ordered his army's war horns be blown. Heartened by the sound, some of the Hentani troops heard this and realised that although the battle was lost, a small contingent had managed to retreat in good order to the east, too weak to take on the Bennvikans again that day, but strong enough to march away and lick their wounds.
After the defeat at Repuki, Vorad was very much aware that, rather than pursuing him east, the Bennvikans headed south, going for the jugular and heading straight for Jianoko. But he knew that following them would be suicide, such was the weakness of his remaining force, even with the addition of those few men who had heard his war horns and regrouped with his force after the battle. So he made the hard decision to leave the garrison commanded by his father to defend the city, while Vorad himself headed west to Quesoto in the hope of raising a larger army with which he could then march on Jianoko and defeat the Bennvikans with his relief force.
However, the vastly outnumbered Jianoko garrison was unwilling to fight when the Bennvikans arrived. There was a mutiny. The ringleaders opened the gates in capitulation with the Bennvikans, and handed Chief Goyro over to them. Lissoll had originally planned to ransom Goyro back to his people, but amid changing circumstances, Goyro was executed in the months after Jianoko fell.
The Second Stage
After taking Jianoko in the autumn of 1501, Prince Lissoll of Bennvika wintered there. When hostilities were resumed in the spring of 1502, he ordered Yathrud Alyredd to stay in the city to oversee its pacification and its population’s assimilation into the Bennvikan way of life.
Without Yathrud to restrain him, the hot-headed young Lissoll became increasingly violent towards any Hentani settlements that fell into his hands, frustrated by slow progress as his advance was handicapped by Vorad’s scorched earth tactics.
Nevertheless, ignoring the deadly chaos that had been unleashed in all its fury on the vulnerable, defenceless towns and villages, the newly-crowned Chief Vorad stayed with his army within the confines of Quesoto's walls, where he soon found himself besieged by Lissoll.
The Siege of Quesoto
What Vorad didn't know was that Lissoll had sent a second force north to besiege Imako. After hearing the rumours that Imako, like Jianoko, had surrendered without a fight, morale inside Quesoto hit a new low. Then the Hentani were hit with another hammer-blow. Vorad fell during intense fighting with the Bennvikans as they tried to storm the city walls.
Mourning Vorad, much of the army lost their stomach for the fight. With Vorad’s death, his son, a boy named Hojorak, was named as chief. He sent an emissary to Lissoll. What the Hentani didn't know was that the Bennvikan army was on the verge of mutiny over unpaid soldiers' wages. If they had held out at Quesoto for a few more days or weeks, perhaps they would have emerged victorious? Such are the 'ifs' and 'buts' of history.
As it was, without this knowledge, the new Chief Hojorak had handed Prince Lissoll a priceless opportunity. By sending the emissary with terms of the Hentani's surrender, handing all Hentani lands over to the Bennvikan crown on the condition that the Hentani themselves could continue to live in them in peace, he had presented the resolution Lissoll so desperately needed. Lissoll got to walk away with his victory and the loot and glory from his conquest, and with his authority over his army revitalised, while the Hentani got to survive.
As a footnote, from that moment, the Chiefdom of the Hentani became a client-king position to the Bennvikan throne.