Success had been made across the SouthShattered Sea however, the Halasphorans had made landfall on Dacacia and after a short siege had managed to secure the surrender of the city, capitulating and agreeing to rejoin the Halasphoran Empire willingly.
This was good and bad news for the Aphalians, they had neutralized the potential threat of the Dacacians, but Halasphora was now effectively out of the war, and unbenounced to them Havis had ferried the men he believed more loyal to Aestia than Dacacia onto the mainland when his suspicions had begun to mount about Aphalian intentions.
With both of these factors at play, even with landed reinforcements, the total number that encamped outside of Reynold to begin to starve the city into submission numbered about seventy thousand, with another fifteen tied up in managing the south.
As they began to entrench facing the city and torching the farmland it must have certainly come as a shock then when an Aestian force numbering nearly forty eight thousand emerged from behind them, Havis had rallied with the forces from Matsu and Poyne, and now had much better odds against the still numerically superior, but far less organised Aphalian force.
Lines were assembled by the Aestians and an advance sounded, although still rather exhausted by the long march the advance did allow the Aphalians to construct their own formations.
The forces clashed in the first battle of this scale to feature a sizable number of polegunners, smoke and the cracking of firesand filled the air as both lines attempted to push against each others flanks, with cavalry constantly looking for openings in the tight squares to little avail.
The so called “Great Black Battle”, so named for the scorched farmland and the smoke filling the air lasted for hours, until eventually the forces were practically feet apart and had divulged into a chaotic and formless melee in the center.
Trenton, commander of the Aphalian forces, saw that his already disunified men on the flanks were beginning to route and would break if something drastic was not done, so in a moment of courage he descended his command position with his guard, rallied the scraps of the cavalry detachments to him, and began to lead them toward the center himself, inspiring many of the men who had begun to flee into a charge back into the fray.
Once the cavalry smashed into the disorganized center it was suddenly the Aestian flanks who began to break.
Havis assessed the situation, realizing that the battle was lost with this turn of the tide, he opted for a similarly courageous plan, he would take all men able and make a push through the right flank and make a mad dash towards Reynold, knowing that if he could get enough men through they should still be able to hold the city since the Aphalian force had been severely wounded.
And so they did, through fire and choking black smoke Havis managed to push through the line and break behind the Aphalians, and for a moment weighed his odds at encircling and crushing them, but as he began to see the walls of Reynold in the distance, he knew that holding out in the city would be the only way to win the war.
The remaining Aestians in the center watched their Commander ride away towards Reynold, and knowing they had bought him the time he needed, they began to submit to capture.
Trenton himself had been struck twice by polegun shot, once in the shoulder and once in the lower chest, but had continued to fight and aided and rounding up the prisoners, refusing aid from his physicians until the moment he fell from his horse, dying shortly after.
The Great Black Battle had been decisive, the Aphalians had the men who had stuck behind from the battle as reserves, but even combined with the wounded they only numbered some thirty thousand, with only perhaps twenty fit to fight on, not nearly enough to seize the prize of Reynold without untold more losses, this and the fact that opinion on the war had begun to sour in Aphal after news of the battle, old divisions began to be called upon and the Wavens soon peace talks had begun between what remained of Aestia and the Aphalians.
It was elected that the NewAest would be divided, although in a manner far more agreeable to the Aestians.
Reynold and its countryside would remain directly under Aestian control, as would Goroth and all lands in between.
The Aphalians could have the southwestern coast where there outposts had been established as well as the treacherous Vorpaswoods Region up the the Newlyans lake.
Poyne and Matsu however, would be allowed to retain autonomy as independent States who would have free trading rights with both the Aestian remnant and the Aphalian nations if they so choose.
This peace was ratified and signed into act in Ea1189, the official end of the Aphalia-Aesita war.
In the end this peace would prove to be a masterstroke from the Aestians, as limiting the territory gained by the Aphalians to the mostly useless Vorpaswoods would begin to erode the 4th Union as they attempted to divide it.
The move to make Poyne and Matsu independant powers did have unforeseen consequences, however, it was made by the Aestians to ensure the Aphalians did not attempt to take the cities by force, but Poyne would elect to make good on its freedom to trade with who it would, beginning to quickly rebuild ties to the Aphalian Polegun market to keep their income rolling, and Matsu would seem to take a stance of isolation from western politics, choosing instead to take part in the separation of north and south Xhinji in the Aest.
In regards to the division of Aestian Gains, Grogramn as he laid dying attempted to draft an agreement that would calm the rising distrust and anger against the 4th Union, but alas would pass away in the twilight of 1190, beginning to truly unravel the union as the scramble for territory began.
Eventually it was decided under a vote of electorates that only barely passed that the maps would cede 2 of the 5 outposts Aphal had founded directly to Gimson, 2 to Waven, and 1 to Rivea although they would also be given control of the vast Vorpaswood Area ceded to them.
The Various SouthShatter Islands would be technically given to Aeoporta, although it would like Aeoporta technically be “property of the Union” and each of the myriad islands was to be governed by the nations who had contributed, although these islands were mostly craggy marshy and invaluable, leaving many of the lesser powers feeling that the whole purpose of Grogramns carefully crafted balance of power had been betrayed.
In the end the effective members of the 4th Unions central administrative body aswell as its military had been halved, with leaders opting to entrench themselves in national politics rather than continue to fight for their voices to be heard in the Union.
Although the counsel would continue to meet and the Guardsmen continue to be employed, the 4th Aphalian Unions influence had been greatly reduced, and new wounds had been dug into the Aphalian nations.
So Truly concluded the Aphalia-Aestia war.