The War of the Second Dragon is a major military conflict that took place between FY 939 and 943 and spanned most of the Westlands. It was in this conflict that Artur Paendrag Tanreall rose to prominence and gained the nickname "Hawkwing." The war was fought between a loose alliance of eastern kingdoms allied to Tar Valon against the false Dragon Guaire Amalasan and the kingdoms he had conquered.
Prelude to war
Culminating in FY 939, a devastating plague known as the Black Fever had swept across the continent from east to west. One-tenth of the population died in unbearable suffering, including King Myrdin Paendrag Maregore and Queen Mailinde Paendrag Lyndhal of Shandalle, a kingdom in the east located between the Alguenya and Erinin rivers. Their son, Artur Paendrag Tanreall, took the throne at the age of twenty-seven. The entire continent was badly afflicted, with the plague eventually reaching the nation of Darmovan on the Aryth Ocean.
In Darmovan, a charismatic man named Guaire Amalasan rose out of obscurity. Taking advantage of the weakness and chaos left by the plague, he claimed the throne of Darmovan under a flag showing the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai. He called those who followed him the People of the Dragon and displayed in-depth knowledge of the Prophecies of the Dragon. He proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn and began assembling a large army. The Aes Sedai denounced him as a false Dragon and requested aid from the other nations in capturing him.
The second Dragon victorious
With the continent still ravaged by the plague, the nations were unable to muster forces very quickly. Amalasan was able to advance almost unhindered, and took Elan Dapor and Balasun to the south of Darmovan within a year of his proclamation. He turned south and east, seizing Kharendor, Dhowlan, Farashelle, and the powerful nation of Shiota. Aware that the fall of the Stone of Tear to his forces would be the greatest sign that he was the true Dragon Reborn, Amalasan marched towards the city of Tear, on the border between Fergansea and Moreina. Along the way he also secured the kingdoms of Nerevan and Esandara on his flank.
The siege of Tear proved unsuccessful. Although Amalasan's forces were overwhelming in numbers, thirty-nine Aes Sedai had taken up residence in the Stone, preventing him from using the One Power to overcome the defenses. Unable to take the Stone, he instead maintained a siege and directed his forces to invade Talmour and Khodomar to the north.
By this time, the spring of FY 943, over a third of the entire continent was under his control, and even in regions far from the warzone many came to believe that only the true Dragon Reborn could achieve so much. The nations of Masenashar and Dal Calain in particular suffered from riots from pro-Amalasan forces, and even the powerful kingdom of Aldeshar started seeing similar discontent among its people.
With Amalasan looking ever more undefeatable, it fell to Artur Paendrag Tanreall, already dubbed 'Artur Hawkwing' for the speed with which he could move his armies, to face him in battle. Hawkwing had fought Amalasan several times already, but only as part of a larger contingent of troops. While Hawkwing had not suffered major losses to Amalasan, he had not been able to score a decisive victory either. In the spring of FY 943 Hawkwing was leading an army, accompanied by several Aes Sedai, out of Shandalle and Tova, across the Jolvaine Pass through the Maraside Mountains, in order to join the fight in Khodomar when he was unexpectedly faced with his enemy in an unlooked-for battle.
The battle of Jolvaine Pass
This was the decisive engagement of the whole war, and both armies came to it unexpectedly. Amalasan is believed to have been leading a massive flanking assault into Tova to cut off reinforcements headed for Khodomar, but was not expecting battle so soon. His and Hawkwing's scouts stumbled into one another south of the pass, near the town of Endersole, and both armies deployed for battle.
Hawkwing's army consisted of 23,000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry. The make-up of his army is unclear, but the fact he was in command suggested it was mostly forces from Shandalle itself, although the records indicate troops from Tar Valon were involved as well, possibly serving as bodyguards for the unknown numbers of Aes Sedai present.
Amalasan's army was considerably larger: 41,000 infantry and 26,000 horse. However, the terrain did not favor the use of cavalry and Amalasan dismounted a large amount of his mounted force.
The battle went Amalasan's way, although quick redeployments of Hawkwing's lines prevented his forces from being encircled. At the end of the day's fighting both armies had suffered severe casualties, but Amalasan could afford the losses. Hawkwing began a retreat to the pass and Amalasan decided to let him go to rest his troops and begin the pursuit in the morning.
However, Hawkwing instead split his army in three, sending his cavalry (accompanied by the Aes Sedai and Hawkwing himself) on a night ride of almost fifty miles into Amalasan's rear and sending his two infantry wings to strike Amalasan's flanks. This was in contravention of military doctrine: Hawkwing's troops had already been fighting for hours and were too few to gain a decisive breakthrough. However, the sheer panic that the three-pronged attacked sent through Amalasan's army nearly brought about its collapse. Just as Amalasan was starting to rally his troops, Hawkwing and the Aes Sedai led a cavalry charge on Amalasan's position. Amalasan was taken, shielded from the One Power, and removed from the battlefield. This caused his army to break and run. Unable to spare the time to pursue and destroy Amalasan's forces, Hawkwing and his force headed north towards Tar Valon with all speed.
The battle of Tar Valon
Hawkwing's badly-blooded army undertook a forced march from the Jolvaine Pass to Tar Valon, the better part of a thousand miles. It is unknown whether he gathered additional reinforcements from Shandalle or other kingdoms along the way. What is known is that in defiance of White Tower law, he took his entire army into Tar Valon's territory and encamped within sight of the bridges over the Osendrelle Erinin. The Amyrlin Seat, Bonwhin Meraighdin, gave Hawkwing a curt welcome and ordered him to withdraw his army from Tar Valon's borders within five days of his arrival.
At the same time, news of Amalasan's capture had reached his lieutenants fighting on other fronts. Within three days of the Battle of the Jolvaine Pass, General Sawyn Maculhene withdrew 50,000 men from the fight in Khodomar to march on Tar Valon, while Elinde Motheneos led an even larger force north from Esandara. The combined force, exceeding 100,000 men in number, marched up the western shores of the Erinin and launched a surprise attack on Tar Valon itself, capturing two bridges over the Alindrelle Erinin and entering the city in force. In response, Hawkwing led his army into the city from the opposite side of the river, resulting in bloody and bitter street-to-street fighting which raged even to the foot of the White Tower itself. Maculhene was killed during the fighting, and with Amalasan already gentled after a trial, his army broke and fled. Motheneos also died, but it is unclear how or when. Hawkwing pursued and destroyed it in detail, with more than 40,000 killed and an unknown number captured.
The War of the Second Dragon had left most of the west and the south in a state of chaos, as Amalasan's lieutenants and governors fought amongst themselves for dominance. While those kingdoms fell into internal conflict, the kingdoms of Caembarin, Khodomar, and Tova, apparently fearful of Hawkwing and declaring him a renegade for defying White Tower law while on Tar Valon territory, launched a joint invasion of Shandalle from the west, south, and east respectively. It is unlikely such an invasion could have been carried out without the Aes Sedai knowing about it, but the Aes Sedai made no move to intervene in this conflict. Some historians suspect that Amyrlin Bonwhin, infuriated that Tar Valon had been saved by a man acting in defiance of Aes Sedai orders, had decided that Hawkwing could not be allowed to continue his reign.
Astonishingly, Hawkwing was able to rally his forces and beat off the triple-pronged attack. His counterattack saw him seize large portions of all three nations. The following spring, Aldeshar, Ileande, and Talmour entered the war as well. The Wars of the Consolidation had begun.