Into the Old Woods
The Great War
In the year 527 since the founding of the Empire, a disagreement appeared in the practice of The Way of Amrak. With the religion holding an important role in the control of vast areas of land, and having great influence over the Emperor and the lesser kings, it was only a matter of time before this religious disagreement became a political issue.
The disagreement was based on a new interpretation of the Hymn of Law, one of the poems passed down from Amrak in order to guide the civilized races to greatness against the darkness. According to the new interpretation, only priests that had been anointed at birth could be suitable guardians of the faith. This interpretation greatly favored the great colleges, where children were trained for priesthood. While many of the newer Colleges were used to anointing priests at adulthood. The newer Colleges at the outskirts of the Empire resented the control of the large Colleges.
With this religious interpretation becoming a political issue, it was only a matter of time before the unresolved conflict turned violent. It began in the city of Severim, and quickly spread to the other corners of the Empire as cities, duchies, colleges of the faith, and lords aligned themselves with either faction. Eventually the Emperor stepped in to resolve the issue, in favor of The Keepers, the conservative faction. But many people stilled remained
fervent believers in the new interpretation, calling themselves The Visionaries.
In 683 the heirless Camelonian Emperor attempted to have his appointed successor attain the crowns of Absaleth and Morgenstil, the city of Absaleth rose up in armed rebellion against the Empire, wishing for their independence, and the right to worship the visonary faith. The forces of the empire moved to end the rebellion, but the sudden death of the Emperor emboldened the rebels. The kingdom of Severim and many Camelonian nobles joined the rebellion, gathering their forces and marching on the capital.
The Emperors successor found himself in a greatly weakened position, with many lords of the land refusing his call to arms, not wishing to fight their own countrymen. He was forced to ask the kingdoms of Herkaros and Arkhen, firm supporters of the keeper faith, for assistence in fighting the rebels. This caused to conflict to spread beyond the Camelonian empire. With other kingdoms who were more united in the religious issue joining forces with either the rebels or the loyalists. The situation quickly escalated to full out war. After over ten years of fighting the emperor was able to defeat the rebel forces in Absaleth. thanks to foreign aid. But the war continued in Severim, a kingdom known for its martial pride, and where the war’s destruction was unprecedented.
Following their victory in Absaleth, the Emperor hoped to rally the forces of Orghand and Jerkhon into an army that could crush the resistance in Severim once and for all. Orghand resisted being forced to join the war, and soon found itself at odds with the Empire. The Empire used its deep pockets to marshal an army mostly consisting of mercenaries, and sent it north to subdue Orghand. This conflict fared poorly for the Orghandian troops, and they soon found themselves besieged in the Capitol.
Finding themselves hard pressed, the rebels asked the northern kingdoms of Urya and Nordshal to join the conflict. These were kingdoms whom the Empire had often been at war with, and when their armies marched into the northern areas of the empire, it quickly became clear that they were more interested in sizing imperial lands, than fighting for the rebel cause.