The Chronicles of Oa
Massacre at Old Oak
“There is no capacity for violence, grotesque and horrific force, that cannot be met equally with endurance and love. Violence transforms its victims into its perpetrators— to interrupt such a transformation is to reveal utterly the powerlessness of violence.” – from Mactire Defeated by Satrap Gwyndol
It is no secret that the Stahlic people have been the repeated subject of prosecution; from the early days of Ondarinism which sought to stamp out all forms of paganism, to the political practicalities of Taenish nobility who wish to enforce a conqueror’s will on a conquered people.
The Massacre at Old Oak stands, perhaps, as the most emblematic example of this persecution.
In 837 T.R., High King Richter the Gentle acquiesced to the demands of militant Ondarinist demands from “Bloody” Boer and outlawed all communal rituals associated with Stahlic culture. Lord Protector Boer couched this as a way to stop seditious Stahlic elements from collaborating and colluding.
This was particularly irksome because of its timing— it was the eve of Eistefodd.
“Eistefodd” is widely considered the largest and most important holiday for those of the Stahlic blood, being a time to celebrate the renewal of the spiritual world. The festival associated is also used as a meeting of the various satraps that briefly unifies a culture which is otherwise experiencing a near constant diffusion across the Greenwold. Families and tribes offer tokens and effigies to the various spiritual figures of Stahlmen folklore, political disputes between tribes are handled outside the authority and judicial review of the Lord Protector, discourse is aired on all manner of issue, and generally for a single span of days Stahlmen truly act like the community they are generally purported to be.
In response Satrap Gwyndol declared “The Eternal Eistofodd”. Thousands of Stahlmen camped outside the walls of Old Oak in a show of solidarity, in protest of the new edict. When the local militia proved inadequate to the task of breaking up the Stahlmen, the High King himself road out with Lord Protector Boer.
Gwyndol’s attempt at peaceful parlay saw him messily and publicly disemboweled.
It is a matter of frequent and aggravated scholastic debate whether or not the Stahlmen provoked Taenish forces; regardless, the Stahlmen were butchered. In the ensuing abattoir, High King Richter the Gentle was fatally wounded by a Stahlic arrow and roughly seven thousand men, women, and children were killed.
The years that followed would host one of the bloodiest rebellions in the history of the Kingdoms.