The Archenland Conflict was a brief international crisis occurring in Narnian-year 1014.
|Previous Conflict:||Ettinsmoor War|
|Next Conflict:||Telmarine Conquest|
During the Golden Age of Narnia, the four monarchs of Narnia (the Pevensies) made an attempt to establish peace with the southern nation of Calormen. Queen Susan and King Edmund traveled to the capital of Tashbaan as ambassadors. Whilst there, Queen Susan was courted by Prince Rabadash, the son of the Tisroc, ruler of Calormen. Eventually, Susan rejected his advances. Realizing that Rabadash might attempt to wed Susan by force, they left Tashbaan under secrecy of night.
A furious Rabadash begged his father to invade and destroy Narnia. The Tisroc refused, fearing open war with Narnia (citing the defeat of the White Witch as evidence that the Narnians must have powerful magic and be in league with demons). Rabadash proposed a plan that he lead a force of two hundred horsemen through the country of Archenland on Narnia's southern border. After conquering its capital at Anvard, he and his army would rush through Narnia and abduct Queen Susan, and as he would hold Archenland, the Tisroc could gather an army right on Narnia's borders and attack Narnia at his leisure. He believed that the Narnians, stripped of their allies at Anvard and wishing to cement an alliance with Calormen, would not dare to retaliate for the kidnapping of Susan. The Tisroc approved the plan under the condition that Rabadash pretend to carry out his plans as if in secret, so that the Tisroc could deny knowledge of the plot should Rabadash fail. He further informed Rabadash that he would neither avenge him if he were killed nor ransom him if he were captured.
Unbeknownst to the Calormenes, their plans were overheard by Aravis, a young Calormene noblewoman fleeing an arranged marriage. She and her companions—Shasta, a fisherman's son fleeing slavery, and two Talking Horses from Narnia named Bree and Hwin—turned their course to warn Archenland's King Lune of the coming danger. They traveled for a day and a night nonstop over the Great Desert to stay one step ahead of Rabadash's army.
Shasta eventually reached King Lune and was able to warn him of the impending Calormen attack. The battle occurred at Archenland's capital Anvard. A combined force of Archenlanders and Narnians completely routed the Calormen army and captured Rabadash, ending the conflict (known as the Battle of Anvard) in the space of a single afternoon.
To punish the unrepentant Rabadash, Aslan transformed him into a donkey during his trial at Anvard. Rabadash was restored to human form—in the sight of thousands of his subjects—when he returned to Tashbaan during the Autumn Feast, but Aslan warned him that he would be turned back into a donkey, permanently, should he ever again travel further than ten miles from the great temple of Tash located in Tashbaan. Due to this limitation, he was unable to go to war and thus his eventual reign as Tisroc actually was a period of great peace between Calormen and Archenland.
Also during these proceedings, Shasta was discovered to be the long-lost Prince Cor of Archenland, who had been kidnapped at birth by a vengeful advisor and spy of the Tisroc, and was restored to his rightful place as heir to the throne of Archenland.