Codex - Hell 2 Miscellany: "Three Dozen Wars (and How They Ended)"

Codex - Hell 2 Miscellany: Three Dozen Wars

We are crowdsourcing the miscellany for Codex - Hell 2! This one is called “Three Dozen Wars (and How They Ended).”

Submissions should be no more than a short paragraph. By submitting here, you’re agreeing to let us use it (you’ll get a credit on the issue). We’re looking for evocative things; the purpose of the miscellany is to inspire the reader. Please avoid anything that seems like misogyny or sexual predation—we won’t publish stuff like that.

Note: if you’d like your name to be listed differently on the Codex credit, send me a DM here (but please keep your submissions in the thread).

Importantly, submissions can be of any genre and can be any type of war, and must include information about how the war ended. Fantasy conflicts, science-fiction conflicts, real-world stuff—all of that and more is good. Actual military campaigns are great, but social conflicts and conflicts that don’t involve anyone dying are also a good fit here. Wars that would be in the history books of the world they took place in should also have a name.

Here are some examples:

“The War of Three Rivers, a conflict between a trio of noble families that dragged on for multiple generations. The three families gave the war its name: House Bernden had the image of a river on its coat of arms; the ancestral home of House Torenden was located in the bend of the great Toren river; and House Reverden, well, that one’s a bit less clear, but it’s most likely the fact that ‘rever’ sounds kind of like ‘river’ (it’s best not to think too hard on these things). The war ended when members of the fourth generation of each family to be involved in the conflict got together and, after some discussion, realized they could no longer agree on what originally started the war in the first place, and figured it was best to just set the whole thing aside.”

“For years, the Duchess of Seradynne was unrivaled in her ability to spread malicious gossip. With a few choice words, spoken to a few choice people, she could ruin reputations, turn the meek into the mighty, and bring whole kingdoms to their knees. But then the Duchess met her match in a minor royal, Prince Theo of Thaynne. For months, the Duchess and Prince circled one another, positioning themselves to glean the best bits of scandalous information at the expense of the other. Their rivalry was officially commenced when they tried to see which of them could more quickly ruin the reputation of the old Countess of Bernden, a woman neither of them had met. After months of effort on both sides, the contest ended when they realized the Countess was a shameless drinker and fornicator, and didn’t give a fig for their ridiculous parlor games.”

1 Like

Few now remember the Great Emu War. Following Allied victory in Europe in 1917, the government of Australia compensated its former soldiers with grants of land in Western Australia. Much of that land turned out to be marginal at best, and ill-suited for a wheat crop. While it should have been clear that farming this region was folly, the government kept promising subsidies (which never arrived), and most kept at it. When the Great Depression hit, wheat prices were already at record lows… and that’s when the emus started their periodic migration across the desert. The large flightless birds found cultivated lands far better pickings than natural areas, and nearly 20,000 emus feasted upon the grain of the meager farmland. Farmers asked the government for aid, and in 1932 it arrived in the form of the Australian Army, bearing machine guns to fight off the avian menace. But the birds were too crafty to line up neatly for slaughter. After nearly 2 weeks of fighting and thousands of rounds of ammunition spent, the army slew just over 50 birds. Parliament then called off the attack. In the Great Emu War, the emus won.

Note: This is a real historical event.

6 Likes

The first territory to declare its independence from the United States did so more than 30 years before the American Civil War. Due to ambiguity in the wording of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, a small, rural region between New Hampshire and British Canada was claimed by both sides. In 1832, the region’s 300 residents were sick of paying double taxes, and voted for independence, forming the “Indian Stream Republic.” The new microstate ratified its own Constitution, and its tiny militia chased off tax collectors from both sides of the border. Things came to a head in October 1835, when an unpaid hardware store bill nearly escalated to war. British authorities went into the ISR to serve an arrest warrant on the debtor. The resulting gunfight sent an injured British official back to a doctor in Sherbrooke. Shortly thereafter, the New Hampshire state militia marched in and annexed the territory, preventing British authorities from re-entering. A month later, the citizens of the ISR voted to dissolve their nation and join New Hampshire. The British ambassador protested the annexation to President Andrew Jackson. Neither country wanted war, and an uneasy peace lasted until the signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1845, which set the current border between the US and Canada.

Note: This one is also real.

2 Likes

The Great Port of Emberdam is unique, in that it’s built on the Demar river delta, which splits two fiefdoms; Mev’rem and Beradynne. For generations the lords of each would build embankments into the river, extending their fiefdom just a few feet, causing a subtle shift in the river’s path such that it would overtake the neighboring fiefdom by some inches. Ultimately, this conflict was forgotten when an upriver dam burst, and the Great White Flood washed away all such embankments, and much of Emberdam as well. The Mev’rem and Beradynne fiefdoms came together to rebuild, and are now staunch allies.

3 Likes

Everyone assumed that the Armageddon Swarm would eventually overtake all sentient life in the Universe. The superhumanoids of thirty galactic civilizations hurled themselves futilely against the insectoid horde only to be consumed and employed as hosts for Ultralarvae. It turned out only Terrans were stupid enough to have stockpiled the colossally lethal Chemical agents capable of felling the bugs. Entire sectors of space are now uninhabitable, but Earth is the richest planet in the Galaxy thanks to ongoing contracts to eradicate the remaining pests.

4 Likes

In the 1980s, the “Cola Wars” between the Coca-Cola Corporation and PepsiCo were really just competing advertising campaigns. But for a few months in 1986, they could have gotten “hot,” as PepsiCo briefly owned the sixth-largest navy in the world! How? Citizens of the Soviet Union had acquired a strong taste for Pepsi in the 1960s. At the time, the Soviet government had signed an in-kind payment agreement, trading Russian vodka for American soda pop. However, by 1986, there were enough competitors in the American vodka market that the Soviets weren’t able to offer enough vodka to slake their thirst for Pepsi. So the Soviets traded a fleet of mothballed WWII-vintage naval vessels for $3B worth of Pepsi products. Until PepsiCo arranged for the ships to be sold for scrap, they briefly commanded a fleet of 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer!

Believe it or not, this one is also true!

3 Likes

‘Pizzageddon’ was the colorful nickname assigned to the 14-month knock-down, drag-out barenuckle fight for dominance in the children’s party theater eatery arena between Pizza 4 Kidz and Calamity Raccoon’s Good Time Pizza Jamboree. The two franchises battled each other with competing specials, coupons, special events (Like the short-lived Beer 4 Dadz promotion) and even rumored industrial espionage. The battle ended abruptly in March of 1983 when Ward Browerly, CFO for P4K was found dead in a limo parked outside a high-end Bangkok casino, having lost somewhere north of a million dollars betting on college basketball. P4K liquidated to their hated rival a few weeks later.

4 Likes

Fictional wars only, please. Sorry, if that wasn’t clear.

1 Like

The Battle of the Elizabeths: For about a decade, Duke Serafend was the most eligible bachelor in the land, as he was rich, handsome, kind, and not smart enough to notice someone else taking over the managing of his household. Two powerful Elizabeths set their sights on him: Lady Elizabeth Dupree, and Sir Elizabeth of Antegonne. For years they held lavish parties and exotic hunting retreats, throwing famous snits when the duke would visit one and not the other. Duke Serafend, for his part, appeared not to notice the rivalry. The war ended when both Elizabeths met their tragic end in the same year: Lady Elizabeth Dupree died of indigestion, and Sir Elizabeth of Antegonne was run through by a boar on a hunt. For his part, Duke Serafend made a love match with a third, title-less Elizabeth, and everyone reports that they’re very happy together.

3 Likes

Sorry, Jason! You included the lines “Real world stuff” and “actual military campaigns” in the description, and I ran with that!

(But who doesn’t love the Great Emu War?)

3 Likes

Yeah, I guess that wasn’t clear. I meant, like, literal war, I guess (as opposed to fantasy stuff or non-violent wars).

No one could remember why The War Of The Grim started, but it had raged for a generation and a half and had taken such a toll on both the Hlalil and Gurovar empires that they had both resorted to conscripting children. That meant forging weapons and armor for soldiers who were barely 12 hands tall. The war continued until two ten-year-olds whose names have been forgotten met on the field of battle. They were both dirty, covered in blood, and almost too exhausted to raise their swords again. They fell against each other in a grapple, swaying almost like lovers dancing, trying to gain any advantage, until one broke wind and it echoed in their armor, reverberating off the metal. The other tried to stifle a giggle, which resulted in a snort. Before long, they had both fallen to the ground, howling with laughter at the absurdity of it all. Their comrades joined in the mirth and, no matter how the generals yelled, their power was broken forever and peace inevitably followed.

3 Likes

There are none who live long enough spans to notice, but Lithmagmar, Dread Plate of the Subducted South, Rumbler of Worlds, Stone Heart, Dagger At The Throat of Mountains has been at war with Qertzgeld, Eternal Plate of the Obducted North-East, Sky Toucher, Crystal Heart, Hammer at the Anvil of Time since the planet’s crust first cooled. These two tectonic plates are locked together in a war that spans eons, with gains measured only in the slow growth of a shared mountain range and the regularity with which deep tremors from their struggles reduce surface-dwelling civilizations to ruin.

3 Likes

Lord Namar, who ascended to his throne when he was but 12, got it into his head that a town in the fiefdom of Leval was his, simply because it shared his name. He gathered up all of his armies, and lead them, on a pony he was scarcely tall enough to ride, into a long crusade across the country, out to claim the town of Namar, and a 10 foot wide strip of land connecting his fiefdom to the town, intending to bisect several interstitial fiefdoms. As the young lord was an ineffective strategist, his men-at-arms did most of the commanding, and so the crusade was relatively bloodless - aside from a few bulls who resented the encroachment onto their pastures, but that could be made right with the exchange of a few coins. Ultimately, the neighboring lord viewed the encroachment mostly with amusement, and built a small folly titled “the triumph of Namar” in the army’s path, which amused Namar so much he forgot about his intended target. Ultimately, Namar married that neighboring lord’s daughter, and blushes everytime his childhood military campaign is brought up at family reunions.

3 Likes

Glasya, Fiend lord and commander of 36 legions of Hell, had invaded other dark and strange realms, in order to gather more conscripts for the ultimate goal. Unfortunately, the strange realms had taken their toll Glasyas troops, each denizen losing a limb or one of their senses each incursion. After the 6th realm was invaded, so few of Glasyas minions were battle ready, the invasions stopped, and Glasya was demoted to Imp form with a furious gaze from Lucifer.

2 Likes

Where do we go to hear more of these actual wars from Haladir? I’m hooked now, you can’t cut me off!

The Magisterium’s fleet had assembled in orbit around Archon IV, ready to defend a vital resupply point against an attack that spies watching The Children Of Invictus had predicted was imminent. While the spies were correct, none of them had anticipated the shocking nature of the attack. A single drone ship appeared and used a modified matter driver to launch a projectile of nearly infinite mass into Terrico, the star that Archon IV orbited, causing the star to implode and suck every object in the system into the resulting singularity. The remnants of The Magisterium’s fleet were scattered across the galaxy, unable to mount any meaningful form of counterattack, and The Magisterium quickly surrendered.

2 Likes

Logan Chase, the Sheriff of Andersen County, stared down the dusty street as Johnny “The Two-Gun Kid” Calico sauntered out of Mad Jack’s Saloon. “You’re the last one, Calico!” Chase yelled. “You’re the last of Branford’s roughnecks! Everyone else laid their guns down or died slapping leather! Which is it gonna be for you?” Johnny was lightning quick, but Logan had put a round through each eye … before The Two-Gun Kid could finish unbuckling his belt to call it quits.

4 Likes

Tarragon Brewster waited patiently by the hole in the wall she had seen Squeaker enter two hours before. She had chased off or killed all of the other members of The Rats, the worst gang she had ever had to hunt down, so she had plenty of time, but Squeaker’s hours were numbered. The sun was starting to set, casting long shadows. Squeaker should be coming out any time now. Tarragon’s tail twitched, almost as it if it had a mind of its own. She didn’t need people to set traps. She was a hunter, and by the end of the night, her house would be free of rodents, one way or another.

3 Likes

Aunt Jen’s “WAR OF THE BLUEBERRY COMPOTE PIE” waged for 17 years. Convinced that the local diner had stolen her secret, award winning, recipe after the 82’ town fair, she waged a war on multiple fronts. Early on she would eat there and speak loudly about how the pie was so similar to her own, often to a confused waitstaff. After ownership had her forced out over one particularly vocal tantrum, she bought all the blueberries from nearby food suppliers, causing a menu change for a whole week (she was so proud). The final battle, and her Waterloo, was when the diner submitted their pie for the '99 town fair. It was only after a niece explained to her what the “vegan” tag on the diner pie meant that she relented, “Well I make my crust with lard!” Aunt Jen said. She never mentions that the diner pie went on to win blue ribbon at the state fair.

6 Likes