The Hentani Eviction from Hazgorata was a major turning point and watershed moment in ancient pre-Bennvikan history, over 2,600 years before the days of Silrith Alfwyn.
It is unknown just how far back the bad blood between Bennvika can the Hentani tribe goes. It certainly predates the unification of Bennvika and was well established by 612 BU (before unification), with much tension between the Hentani and the Kingdom of Hazgorata, which would go on to become one of Bennvika’s two founding provinces.
According to legend, the various tribes inhabiting this area formed into two separate confederations. One of these - the Hazgoratans - was formed out of the tribes inhabiting what is now eastern Hazgorata, and the other - the Hentani - was an alliance of those tribes inhabiting the west.
Beyond this, little is known for sure, and the myths vary, but the one thing that all can agree on is that until 612 BU, neither side could destroy the other.
Sedrunna Ironhammer was crowned Queen of Hazgorata in 619 BU. One of the few queens to have personally lead her troops in battle, she ranks alongside the great Silrith Alfwyn as one of history's most iconic, and in Ironhammer's case, notorious, military leaders. The suffix to her name comes from the irreversible hammer blow she inflicted on the Hentani, displacing them entirely from a land that they’d held for more centuries than history has been able to record.
The Battle of Baezia 612 BU
In the late seventh century before unification, war chariots where state-of-the-art-technology, and they would prove to be decisive at Baezia.
Both armies were equipped with these wooden, archer-carrying death carts, so it is no surprise that in Hazgorata’s otherwise undulating terrain, it was on the flat, open ground of Baezia field that the two armies met.
Yet when Ironhammer’s force presented for battle their light, fast chariots were nowhere to be seen. Taking this as a sign of weakness and bad planning, the committee of Hentani leaders ordered a full attack, while Ironhammer took a wholly defensive stance.
That was until smoke was seen coughing up into the air from some miles behind the Hentani force. Far from not being at Ironhammer’s disposal, the Hazgoratan chariots had ridden some miles to the north in an arc, before swinging south to hit the Hentani camp and cutting down the warriors’ kin amid great slaughter.
The sight of the smoke that belied the fate of their families caused the Hentani line to falter, and eventually rout, pursued for hours, then days by the victorious Bennvikans.
Countless tribesmen were picked off by the Hazgoratan chariots when they joined the fray in earnest, but many of the Hentani escaped.
It was the beginning of the displacement of an entire civilisation. In their desperate search for refuge, the Hentani’s headlong flight south had begun.
The Founding of the Hentani Kingdom
The Hentani had never been a fully united force while in the north. They were still a confederacy of smaller tribes, with no singular figurehead, and much bickering between the various tribal chiefs.
The Hazgoratans, meanwhile, had been subject to no such indecision as by the time of the coronation of Sedrunna Ironhammer, the crown had absolute power in her lands. Although its borders did not reach as far as they do now, Hazgorata was by then a kingdom in every way, a far cry from its beginnings as an alliance of separate factions.
Seeing this as a deciding factor in the war, and with a feeling of a lack of leadership as the tribe moved ever southward, keen to get as far out of the reach of the marauding Hazgoratans as possible, many decided that a 'Chief of Chiefs' was needed.
Into this void stepped a petty Hentani leader by the name of Taruzoc.
Taruzoc, already fifty-seven years of age it this time, had been headman on the village of Haruko prior to Sedrunna Ironhammer’s purge of the Hentani from their ancestral lands. He came to be one of the loudest and most persistent voices favouring the election of a new leader to bring a clear direction to the Hentani’s future. The reason he backed this so publicly was simple - he’d spent the entire campaign up to that point making positive political connections with other tribal leaders so that they would back his calls for a vote, and when it came to it, would back his own claim to the position.
His plan could not have worked any better, and in the opening weeks of 611 AU, Taruzoc was crowned as the first Chief of all the Hentani, formally uniting them as one singlaur tribe in the process.
Artwork - 'The Refugees' by Imad Awan at Artstation.