They were wrong.
A massive war in the lands to their east changed the landscape. The Empire of Aztol was falling to an alliance of enemies. An Imperial Prince, Hugo Blackblood, saw that they had no chance to win; outnumbered and with enemies on three flanks he suggested they they surrender. However his father and elder brothers thought that they could win, even with the disadvantages they had. After reflection, Hugo realized that even if they did surrender they would not be treated well because of their brutality.
Instead he took advantage of the fact he ran the navy and took every man he commanded, every weapon, supply and horse he could get. Before his family knew it he had sailed off on two hundred ships, filled with almost eleven thousand men off to the west.
Aztol fell three weeks after he left.
He arrived at Koldos five months later in the east, roughly just over five hundred years ago. After they established themselves at a camp he had the land scouted and found the locals further north by modern day Fort Fist. Seeing such a vulnerable and weak people Hugo demanded that they be conquered. Few of the people resisted; most didn't know how to respond to such violence. The Council of Patriarchs were killed to the man. They rounded up the population and separated the males and females.
The females were collared, raped and kept as sex slaves.
The men were either killed or set to work as slave labor, to toil in mines, quarries, lumberyards and construction.
With Koldo conquered Hugo Blackblood declared that this land was now Terra, and he it's Emperor by his own sword and right by the Sacred Lords of Heaven and that no force would disrupt his family's rule over it
It took well over twenty years before a small band was able to fashion a boat and sail off to warn Highwind and Heartland of what had happened. Even so, Highwind was too weak militarily to fight those that had set up shop and Heartland was waging a new war with a southwestern power monger, tying up their military for another twenty years. Even then the Heartland Navy was an undermanned branch, still building ships of war. Unable to do much, at the time, Highwind sent a number of shipwrights to help speed along the construction of the Heartland Navy.
Hugo, meanwhile, was no fool. He knew that to attack now would be foolish; his spies had gathered enough knowledge of Heartland's power and history to know conquering it would have to wait until they had the numbers. He had his men breed the women as fast as possible with the sons being brought up as warriors and magicians in his brutal regime, but it was something that would take time.
To build up until then he had several defensive positions made around and founded Blackblood City on an island in a lake with the only access to it being a long bridge and a long river, sections of which he had filled in to prevent too many ships from sailing in at one time. He also founded Fortress Dragon's Maw to further block the entrance to that river and act as an advanced post in case of invasion. Fortress Brick was added years later on the opposite side of the bridge to Blackblood City.
Hugo Blackblood died at the age of eight seven.
His grandson would rise to replace him, Orson Blackblood. In his lifetime he built on the laws of Terra and demanded the building of Fort Breaker as well as Swordpoint City.
As the population increased with the rape of women making many constantly pregnant they spread out further across the land.
Three hundred and fifty years ago one of the most moderate of the Blackbloods (By that family's standards, anyway) Walter Blackblood gave women some rights as citizen, but they were still heavily oppressed. While his ancestors had been obsessed with building numbers and military he was focused on improving the land's farms, medical knowledge and technology; even using spies to steal information from Heartland. His brothers and uncle scoffed at him until Walter reminded them that a military needed supplies to function and that better technology meant better weapons.
He still needed to use physical reminders for some of them.
Dubbed 'Walter the Sound' he laid the foundations that would keep the Empire's economy and production high to match their military.
After the death of Walter Blackblood at age ninety came Henry the Short-Lived some three hundred years ago. He earned the nickname by dying at age thirty, two years into his reign. Rumors (Likely true) that he was poisoned continue to this day. The obvious successor was Daryl the Hammer but he was challenged for his rule by his youngest brother, Luther. The fifteen year old took sword in hand and challenged his eldest brother for right to the throne in battle. Laughing the massive thirty year old Daryl agreed and moved to fight him.
The battle was short and shocking. The younger Luther attacked, but not as Daryl expected; he threw a dagger at his brother's face before sliding under him to stab a blade into the back of his knee, ripping the weapon out to damage his limb further. Daryl the Hammer fell and Luther kept out of his reach, letting his massive sibling bleed out.
He became known as Luther the Wicked.
Luther demanded a massive build up over the next four years in both army and naval forces. He prepped his generals, sniffed out spies and made every effort to prepare for war.
It was time to invade Heartland
His plan was to land his main force near Goldenport just after smaller forces landed north of Jubilee City (Modern Day Skylander City) and at the furthest northern point they could reach. The three armies would sweep towards Heartland City and lay siege to it. Along the way they would take Goldenport, Jubilee, Champion and Silverblade cities, along with Fort Victor. Their naval forces would, meanwhile, enter the river passage to Heartland Lake and lay siege to them by sea. The plan was launched, taking care to avoid patrolling ships and use the cover of night and fog to land.
The first army, under command of Victor Hail took Goldenport after five days of siege and started marching on Fort Victor. Jubilee City lasted longer under attack from the second army under command of Gregory Hatswell, but surrendered after ten days, much of both garrisons survivors retreating to Fort Victor; Hail's slight delay making the fall of both cities near simultaneous. The ships moving to the river passage were stalled by the new naval ships and stuck in a bottleneck, retreating for two weeks to repair, but returned to wage battle and break into the lake.
However up north it was another story as the army force led by Samuel Blocker ran into a Heartland Army commanded by Jacob Whitedawn. Accompanied by his wife, Winterlynn, a master water and ice mage, the ensuing four day battle was costly for both sides, but eventually many of the ships used by Blocker were trapped in Winterlynn's ice that she made shift, breaking hulls and sinking many of the ships. Knowing he was denied, Blocker took what men and ships survived and sailed south to redeploy with the first army.
The next place to have siege laid was Fort Victor. By now they had received reinforcements from Silverblade and Earthbound Cities, the kingdom marching armies east to meet the invaders. The battle lasted twenty days. It seemed the fort would hold but Blocker's ships found a good wind to assist them and arrived to bolster Hail. The fort surrendered, most of it's forces retreating to Heartland City.
While Blocker's forces arriving helped break Fort Victor this left Champion City unmolested and it's army marched to Heartland City. In addition, remnants of the Jubilee garrison and civilian militia had started targeting supply routes, harassing the invaders with hit and run strikes. Led by Victor Skylander and his siblings they did what they could to slow the massive war machine.
The three armies converged on Heartland City, even as battle raged in the lake. It seemed as the Kingdom would fall.
King Richard Heartland thought otherwise and had some of his men exit the walls of his city in order to flank the Terrans as they laid siege to his home. His navy, outnumbered in the lake but using knowledge of it to lure Terran ships to spots too shallow to move in, held out. The city was attacked for three straight weeks, the three armies attacking the walls, fending off the Heartland Army (Even as more reinforcements from Hightower, Fort Blaine and Fort Defender came in) but as time passed the invaders found themselves weakened and unable to break through the walls. Worse, the attacks on their supply lines increased until they did not have the food or ammunition to carry on the fight.
Hail sounded the retreat to Goldenport, intending to hold it until further help could arrive. It was not to be.
A small, but powerful Highwind Navy had sailed in alongside Heartland reinforcements to retake Lake Heartland. The gathered Heartland Army marched after the three armies intending to drive them into the sea; and not into any ships. As Terra defended Goldenport it became apparent that they could not win. Hail was killed four days into the siege and by day seven Hatswell ordered a retreat onto the remaining ships. They fled, the Terran Navy harassed all the way to Fortress Dragon's Maw by Heartland and Highwind ships at which point the two kingdom's ships were forced back by the formidable defenses present.
King Richard considered launching a counter invasion, but knew that while both nations lost many men-at-arms Heartland had to rebuild cities and forts on top of it, and he knew that the remainder of the Terran Army would join up with the local garrisons in well fortified positions. He thought the result would be the same as the Terran's attack; a strong push to the enemy's gates until it petered out and lost momentum. He knew he had to be satisfied with the knowledge that their most powerful foe to date failed.
In Terra the end of the Terran Aggression War was not taken as well
Luther was furious with his men's failure. Hatswell was executed for ordering the retreat. He demoted Blocker, but otherwise left him alone finding his redeployment unfortunate but acceptable to unexpected resistance. Other members were killed for incompetence or to make a point. They lost a significant amount of naval and ground forces and had nothing to show for it. He vowed revenge and that if he was unable to take it then one of his descendants would and force Heartland to it's knees and make it's women serve Terra.
Despite this he felt his forces proved themselves superior until the end and took pride in that to soothe his battered ego.
Ten years ago was the death of Hugo Blackblood the Third. A duel between brothers for the throne, as common in the Blackblood family, ensued. Hector defeated his brother Peter and sat on his throne.
Hector was a believer in that it was Terra's destiny to take Heartland and make it's women to submit. He also had a fascination with it's Queen, Jessica Heartland and wanted to dominate and rape her, breaking her until she was a willing pet. He reviewed the history of the Terran Aggression War and knew that part of the reason they had lost, or at least lost so many men and ships during the retreat, was the Highwind Navy.
The tiny island Kingdom of Highwind had a small army, but sizable navy and advanced ships. Realizing that the more powerful Heartland was too strong to attack yet, even after their military had recovered, he set his sights on Highwind. He spent five years building up his navy and ground forces before launching the attack, leading the charge on his new flagship, the Imperial Terran Fleet (ITF) Hellcraft, a massive man-o-war that was four times the size of a standard ship and largest in the known world.
His fleet was spotted by the Heartland Royal Navy (HRN) Intrepid which retreated to alert the Heartland Navy in addition to being later spotted by the Highwind Defense Fleet (HDF) Blue Pearl which retreated to Highwind to raise the alarm.
As the ITF Hellcraft led the charge with most of the warships to the northern city of Port Love a collection of smaller ships broke off and sailed around the island, circling around to the south for Port Cod. As the Terran and Highwind fleets clashed the Heartland Navy moved to attack from the flank, led by the HRN Justice Incarnate with a second fleet trailing behind them led by the HRN Tempest. However neither kingdom could have predicted the sheer number of ships the Empire had brought to bear.
They had the same number of ships as the two kingdoms combined, plus half. The battle waged on and off, with the ITF Hellcraft and the Terran Navy breaking off combat and reengaging at seeming random. Magicians on both sides launched spells and attacks at each other while deflecting magical attacks from the other side.
However it was all a play for time as the smaller ships landed at Port Cod and south of Highwind City before sweeping north. By the time it seemed that the battle at sea was reaching a stalemate boats fulls of civilians and soldiers spilled out of Highwind from Port Love as it was overwhelmed. The navies of the two kingdoms were shocked as they realized what had happened.
Highwind had fallen.
The Terran Navy swooped in, attacking the fleeing ships. The Highwind Navy moved to escort as the Heartland Navy moved to counter attack; using the opening to sink ships. While the ending battle saw the Terran fleet heavily damaged compared to their counterparts, the Highwind War was over in under two weeks. The Heartland Navy broke off and followed the Highwind Navy to Goldenport and from there, Heartland City.
Terra had won the war.
Highwind's King and Queen were slain. As the ITF Hellcraft landed at Highwind City to the cheers of his men he marched to the throne in Highwind Castle and sat down and demanded the princesses be brought to him. The commander reported that Princess Helga Highwind was not present during the attack, but they had caught Gwen Highwind before she could flee. She was brought to him as he had the women of Highwind City fill the throne room. These women of Highwind City were forced to watch as Gwen Highwing, youngest princess of their kingdom and second in line for the throne was stripped and raped by Hector.
He prolonged it for an hour before he told them this was their future.
He left with the princess and in a ceremony made her his wife who he would spend the next four months breaking to his will. What is left of Gwen Highwind, now Gwen Highwind Blackblood, is a broken shell doing what she's told meekly, unable to think of further resistance.
As his reign carried on he hired pirates to attack Heartland as he secured his hold on his new territory.
He still watches Heartland, waiting to invade while knowing he had taken out one of her allies...