The Great Conquest
The Great Conquests were a series of campaigns by The Stageiran Minotaurs, to expand their empire in Paedonia from 937 SA to 1002 SA, culminating in the apparent genocide of the Telchine race, although reports have subsisted of rare sightings.
In 936 SA, King Xagoras claimed he received a vision from Stagirus, commanding his chosen followers to spread and conquer, for it was their divine writ to rule over those of the lesser races.
The following year, Stageira struck against it’s neighbours, the Human city-state of Tyras.
The Tyrasines were traders and merchants, but not unused to protecting their interests.
Boasting an impressive Navy that kept it’s harbours clear of attackers, and their high walls thwarted even the most fervent Minotaur attack. The Stageirans began to lose faith in their King’s Divine writ, and it seemed as though The Great Conquest would fail before it even started, until the horn sounded.
The Horn of Stagirus, a treasured artifact of the Minotaurs, was an ornate six-foot long warhorn, adorned in silver and bronze and rubies. Long claimed to have once been apart of the god Stagirus himself, it had for a few thousand years been in the possession of the Minotaurs. The Minotaurs often carried it in their marches, it’s bellow reaching the ears of it’s soldiers from miles away.
This time though, the horn’s call was earth-shatteringly loud. Fissures emerged in the battlefield, felling Minotaur and human alike, and both armies turned to retreat, both fearing a rout, when the walls of Tyras cracked and fell, and soon after, Tyras fell as well. The Minotaurs, bolstered by this apparent act of god, turned back and took advantage of the panicked and unorganized Tyrasines, taking only a day before High Merchants surrendered the city to the Stageirans.
King Xagoras then gave the Tyrasines a choice, to kneel before the divine mandate that Stagirus had entrusted the Minotaurs with, or to be made an example of in the battles to come. Cowed by the display of might and power of the Horn, The Tyrasines quickly converted from their god Midaeus, and put down their scales for swords.
In exchange for soldiers in war, a tithe on their resources, and certain, privileges for those of Stageira in Tyras, the Tyrasines were allowed to continue their own relative autonomy.
Following the conquest of Tyras, the Stageirans turned their sites on the lands of the Cyclops.
The Cyclops were master architects and smiths, who’s methods, known only to the Cyclops, who’s creations like the dreaded Automaton and Juggernauts. The two proved an evenly matched force, and for years, the Minotaurs fought for every inch at a stalemate, exhausting themselves upon the mechanical men that made up the Cyclopian army. But one day, the Cyclops left. It is said the Cyclops learned of their end from the Seers of the Isle of Gorgos, the three Immortal Gorgons who hold stewardship over one of the few Seeing pools not in the dominion of the gods in exchange for the Silver Labyrinth and Automaton Garden the Cyclops built for them. The Cyclops, perhaps seeing that their fates were coming to a close, took their majestic steam ships and sailed west to the open sea, never being seen in Paedonia again.
With the Cyclops out of the way, the Minotaurs of Stageira found little resistance left to their Conquests. Human City-States and empires either fell or joined the Minotaurs, becoming just as fervent followers of the Horned God as the Minotaurs that ruled them. The Gegenees, once fearful tribes of Giants who could besiege entire villages with ease, were pushed deep into the mountains, the remnants of the six-armed behemoths left to prey on the lonely traveler instead of the fatted sheep of a Shepard.
The Telchines proved the last resistance to the Minotaurs divine mandate. These wolf-headed men had clawed webbed hands and feet that allowed them to thrive in their coastal region as one of the few amphibious races. With their magic, they crafted powerful and terrible weapons that could devastate a Juggernaut with but a single blow and lay waste to entire armies. It was then, in 978 SA, that the Telchines and Minotaurs first clashed. For twenty two years, the Telchines and Minotaurs drained each other of life and resource, and for the first time since the invasion of Tyras, the Minotaurs looked upon their darkest moments. Once again, turning to the Horn, the great Minotaur Hero, General Arstides I blew the Horn of Stagirus one last time. The Telchine Capital, Kepines fell into the sea, turning the depths red with the blood of it’s citizens. The Minotaurs, once again at the advantage, routed the rest of the Telechines, allowing none no quarter. The Telechines, it is said, were slain to the very last on that day.
It was so in 1002 SA, that the Great Conquests had finally come to a close. Stageira had been successful in yoking the majority of Paedonia into it’s hold, with the Humans having thrown their support to their new lords, and those that resisted either having been slain or driven off.
Though the Minotaurs could rest easy, confident that their Mandate had been completed and that they had pleased their god Stagirus, began to build upon their new empire, and memories of the Cyclopses and Telechine faded into memory.