The Spring Campaign was named for the fact it began following the final winds of winter and ended before the first day of summer. It was an unsuccessful attempt by disatisfied Houses to displace House Albrecht, only a generation following the Blackwood Uprising.
Although economic burdens are often cited as the chief cause for the rebellion, in truth Wilhelm Albrecht's reign was one that had marked growth for Blackmarsh due to the continuation of his father's trade agreements. More realistically, the issue was a matter of old grudges and traditionalists taking umbrage with an attempt to alter what Blackmarsh was once more.
Following the Blackwood Uprising, many noble houses were reorganized or replaced. Grievances from this time were noted, but little could be done with the combination of Dedrick Albrecht and Sir Ulric the Falconheart at the head of Blackmarsh. By the time that they died, most of the complaints had been allowed to die with them, as Wilhelm seemed to be a new face to lead a new age.
But the new age that Wilhelm envisioned was one that attacked the very fibers of Blackmarsh's society. Disatisfied with the drafty and dank lands that he inheritted, he attempted to recreate the liveliness of Capital City within the border region. This led not to expansion, but frustration as lord and subject agreed on very little. To further prove his point, he encouraged the spread of the Light through Blackmarsh. Many resisted and more feigned reverence while secreting away their traditional idols.
It was Wilhelm's decision to force the second born sons of all nobles to be fostered at Blackwatch Keep that finally caused the rebellion. Blackwatch Keep was indeed a fitting place for young men to learn the ways of Lordaeron, but it was not the manner in which many wished for their children to be raised.
House Graves, nearly crippled following the Blackwood Uprising, agreed with Houses Willow, Creed, and Vine to attack House Albrecht if it moved against them. Robert Pendleton remained largely aloof on the matter, but it was believed if they could draw blood from House Albrecht the Pendletons would add into the conflict on their side.
The chance to attack came when Viscount Wilhelm Albrecht, as a means of showing he would not be dissuaded from his course, sent a punitive force to chastise House Graves. Instead, upon entering Umber's Crossing, they were beset by the combined might of the rebel houses and Douglas Marshal was forced to retreat. The Battle of Umber's Crossing marks the beginning of the Spring Campaign.
This happenstance battle was the result of Viscount Wilhelm sending a token force to break the will of House Graves. Instead, what resulted was a surprise offensive launched by the combined houses of Graves, Willow, Vine and Creed to smash their army and send it into retreat.
Brunshire was a small town recently built by Wilhelm Albrecht’s cultural expansion policy. After the defeat of Douglas Marshal’s army at Umber’s Crossing, the rebels pushed onward to the small town. Michael Stanleigh and his defenders held the town for as long as they could, but were eventually overwhelmed.
The combined rebel forces then crossed into Blackwood Forest, expecting the Pendletons to rise with them following their two previous victories. Surprisingly, the Pendletons did not assist them. While aid was requested from the Margave of Falomyr, Wilhelm’s bastard Burkhard rode out to meet the enemy. The following battle was a surprising victory for the Albrecht forces that forced the rebels into temporary retreat. The time gained was enough for a counter offensive to be launched.
With Burkhard Meadows and Sir Geoffrey Albrecht at the head of the Albrecht forces, they launched an attack against the seat of House Willow’s power – Willow. Chauncey Willow met them in the field, but was forced to retreat when Geoffrey Albrecht overcame him in a brutal showing of arms. Following the battle, Geoffrey Albrecht was named Falconheart and elevated to commander of House Albrecht’s forces.
Honor’s Point was a battle that lasted three days. The resurgent Albrecht forces met with the rebel houses in the countryside, where neither relented. The casualty rate of this battle tripled any other battle, and though both sides left well bloodied, neither actually claimed a victory.
While the men of Blackmarsh battled tooth and nail to take Honor’s Point, it was Margave Falomyr that won the war. Although no reply had come from Wilhelm’s missive, as the third day of Honor’s Point neared its close, veteran soldiers of Falomyr besieged the ancient castle of Dreadholme. In a matter of hours every inhabitant of the castle was slain, women and children included. The gross brutality displayed broke the wills of those that remained and they quickly surrendered.
Although the Spring Campaign was largely a failed attempt to overthrow House Albrecht, its impact was great. Blackmarsh as a whole was both weakened and shamed. Viscount Albrecht, upon hearing he would not receive royal support, began debating until a heart attack took him.Hadrian Albrecht, but a young man at the time, became the viscount. He destroyed House Willow and made amends with House Creed once more. Given a province in shambles and an aunt being publically humiliated and privately defiled, he would eventually launch Hadrian's War.