in 1625 the Pirate Raid shocked Oronegro into action, her navy was expanded and her marine forces were improved to face off any other potential invaders. the story of the Military power of Oronegro entered its second chapter Oronegro created 2 land forces, of massive size. the first was tiny, called el ejército primero it consisted of 2 legions (1000 men each) and a few cohorts each of which have 500 men. The soldiers in these forces were some of the best trained forces for their day in the whole world. the second force was el ejército segundo, it consisted of what today would be considered reservists, they came from the general populace but attended regular training and arming exercises, they made up around 5% of Oronegro's total population in 1650 and that only ever increased until in 1700 it was 20% where it remained stable more or less until the system was abolished in 1894. More on these forces will be explained also in other texts that will come later on.
The navy was also altered in a way. more larger ships were built and in 1659 what would later be considered a first rate ship of the line was built. the Juan Carlos was a massive ship that only just managed to fit into the harbour at La Ley. it was crude and was dismantled and rebuilt several times until in 1723 it took the form that most first rate ships of the line had. the name Juan Carlos was always used on Oronegro's largest ship and if Oronegro ever acquired or built a larger vessel the name would be transferred unto it no matter if the other ship was still in active service. the Navy also started to recruit more marines, who were the envy of many other nations except those of the great naval powers or France and Britain.
|a painting of the Juan Carlos made in 1754|
|the mine shafts in the valley of el minero were some of the most well constructed anywhere, to comply with strict safety regulations|
However it was during this period that another group of settlers descended in vast numbers into Oronegro.... Germans, with the Thirty years war raging fiercely in Europe many German catholics and protestants who found their homes on the front lines fled not to safer areas where their religion was prominent but to Oronegro. Oronegro's parliament of 1649 even considered officially adding some German kingdoms and duchies to its list of Official allies by settlers decent. the Next mass influx of migrant was during the English Civil war, this had the effect of consolidating Britain's presence in the nation and also meant that the age old tolerance of other religions was threatened.
Oronegro had always been tolerant however these new arrivals were divided, though many were not overly zealous there was certainly division between them. Something had to be done, the answer was education and health care...
|as war rages in Europe Oronegro grows rapidly|
The punishment for religious, racial or sexual crimes became harsher also, although there still were some crimes committed, the punishment of death for killing someone because of their religion as opposed to a long prison sentence and then hard labour before release helped to get the message across that Oronegro was not about to let religion get in the way of running a nation.
|hanging became the common punishment for those who killed a fellow man because he believed something different|
What the Native tribes did during the early 17th century in Oronegro is relatively unknown however some must have grown in strength. the Kaxad empire grew in strength and cohesion after their long lull due to their defeat at the hands of Oronegrean forces in the previous century the valleys leading to their home were explored and secured by Oronegrean soldiers and military settlers, the towns of La Palma and San Juan were founded in this way. But it was the tribes in the valley of the cat that caused the most problems. they declared war on Oronegro in 1678 for what reason no-one knows but they would soon regret the act. A legion under the command of Samuel Jose was sent to clear the valley. The only way to reach the valley was usually through the Kaxad plain, however Samuel decided to cut a new one, through the mountains north west of La Ley. his regulars were of the all well acquainted with road building and an all weather military road across the mountain passes was established within 3 months. The Tribes feared their destruction and began to head for their sacred home in the tall mountain range in the far north of the region. However Samuel decided to make an example of this conflict. he carried on the road even though there were already trails in the valley, in fact he buried the river in a long large sewer and fresh water system! every few Kilometers he built some small watchtowers and every days march distance a secure fortified complex of houses was built, at the same time the reservists were pulled into action thousands upon thousands joined the army. a large wall was built at the point where the valley of the cats entered the Kaxad plain it was manned by reservists and volunteer militia. the advance of the army of Samuel Jose was slow due to the construction however it was unstoppable all ambushes were either found and destroyed or beaten back. by the time Samuel reached the town later called el gato, his forces had swelled to over 15,000 drawn by the opportunities of wealth and land. by the time he had reached the base of the mountains where the tribes took refuge 2 years had passed, the river that once flowed through that valley had been all but covered and turned into a water supply for all the fortified houses and the small towns along the route.
Now came the hard part getting up the mountain side. for this he built a massive zig-zag up the hill the road was wide enough for many carts to pass and at each end of the rise there was a large battery in place to cover the construction crews... All the tribes could do was watch and wait as the monstrous worm or road made its way up the slope, all their best attempts of stopping the army failed and they were worried about the coming of winter which at that altitude brought snow! However now it seemed that the army of Samuel Jose would reach them before the winter of 1681...
on the 12th of June 1681 Samuel Jose and his cuirassiers reached the level top of the mountains the air was thin but the tension in the air was suffocating. for over 3 years now he had led an army all the way up one of the most obscure places known, building one of the most over the top and complex systems of roads around, he had covered rivers and carved hills into plains paved a road longer than the distance between London and Dover. All this work, all this effort and all the expense had been done for this moment, the moment when he would conquer the fortress on top of the mountain. its defenders hid behind the walls, their muskets and bows ready to draw Oronegrean blood.
Samuel brought his infantry up to the hill top, then the artillery and finally the thousands of reservists and militia he never really commanded. Now assembled on the plain on top of the mountain their uniforms were like a red and blue sea that turned that place into a parade of death.
At precisely 12 p.m the cannons of Samuel's army opened fire upon the wooden castle, it lasted for 3 days and 3 nights. and on the morning of the 15th of June the infantry of the Legion that started the long march to the place so many years ago stormed the broken walls killing all its defenders, the fighting for the huge castle lasted for a week but when it was done the war was over and the Oronegrean flag flew on the mountain top!
It was September when Samuel Returned to La Esperanza and then to La Ley. in the Capital he was greeted by large crowds he was hailed as a national Hero and his name would forever go down as the man who conquered a nation only to establish a permanent peace. the mountain top the Tribes once hid in was flattened and a new Stone castle built. El Castillo as it became known was the grandest and largest fortification built in Oronegro and for that matter it was also one of the largest built since the middle ages. Oronegro was now secure and it had matured as a nation. nothing could stop it now... could it?
in the final instalment we look at the early 18th century and the start of some political moves that will affect Oronegro in a major way and some wars that you may not have thought involved them.