The Invasion of the Dulte Kingdom
The Dulte Kingdom
The Dulte Kingdom is an empire of two humanoid alien races, the majority Dulte that are genetically related to the Dresch, and the Betian, sometimes pronounced Begian, minority people that are more closely associated with the Audrian and Naplian races. The Kingdom is squeezed between the Briddarri in the north, the Naplians to the west, The Dresch to the south and the Languan worlds to the east. Historically, the Dulte commanded powerful trade fleets that ranged throughout the Rimward Reaches. The Dulte Kingdom has been at various times allied or at war with all of her neighbors, trade rights being uniformly the reason for alliance or enmity. The two exceptions to this rule were the First Audrian War, where the Dulte Kingdom sided with the Audrians against the Onwe Naplian throne, and the Emperors' War that followed hard on the heels of the former conflict.
Still suffering from the effects of the First Audrian War, the Dulte government declared neutrality when the Emperor's War began in 2660. The bemused Naplians formally accepted the Dulte position and the Briddarri grudgingly communicated the Grand Alliance's agreement. The Kingdom was careful to honor that neutrality, trading with both sides and preventing both sides from violating Dulte territory.
It was not until 2663, the third year of the war that a glimmer of what the Naplians intended surface. A Dresch counterintelligence officer learned that the Naplians were using stealthships to survey routes through the Dssan Drift, leading directly into the heart of the Dulte Kingdom. The officer's findings were transmitted to Dulte authorities in a report suggesting that an attack on the Dulte Kingdom was imminent. The Dulte partially mobilized, but the Naplians made no aggressive movements. Two years later, although nearly all of the fighting was far to the south in Qomiti and Kitanai, the Briddarri, without explanation, instituted a mandatory convoy system for all vessels trading with the Briddarri.
In 2667 the Naplian Imperial Navy, with Svenisch and Maripal auxiliaries flooded across the eastern and southeastern borders of Dulte. The Dulte government called upon the Grand Alliance for assistance, but Admiral Gamein, the Dresch Chief of Stellar Staff, declared that he had no forces available. The Briddarri, who were already massed along their western and southern borders, surged into the northern Dulte provinces and established a line of defense that occupied only the Dulte provinces along the border of south Briddarri. It was clear that the Briddarri only intended to create a bulwark against the invasion of their own starsystems.
The Dulte continued to resist but by late 2670, except the northern frontier provinces held by the Briddarri, a few isolated starsystems, and two of the southernmost provinces were in Naplian hands. To spare their people from further bloodshed, the Dulte King capitulated, and the bulk of the surviving Dulte forces surrendered. Some Dulte units flee to Briddarri or Dresch lines. With the Dulte defeat, the Dresch were forced to shift considerable forces north to protect their open right flank. One Dulte official ruefully remarked that had the Dresch moved those forces north a year earlier, the Naplians would not be walking the halls of the Dulte Grand Palace.
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