The Sacred War
The Sacred War can trace its roots to a dispute between alliances led by Sirisea and Inorias due to their differing religious ideologies. Both claim the other started the conflict: Sirisea claims it merely defended itself from Inorias’ aggression; Inorias claims that it was responding to the unceasing raids that Sirisea was carrying out on its allies and protectorates. The war started out in areas where both city-states had heavy influence, with ambiguous allegiances for the various hamlets caught in-between. Multiple times, Inorias and Sirisea had their armies poised to invade the heart of their rival, only to be foiled by the sudden arrival of an ally. As the war dragged on, more of the Nine weighed in, leaving only Orithor and Helleras as neutral parties.
The elven Houses of Lothienye tried to stay neutral, and House Starglass was especially desperate, seeing as they were smack in the middle of Coalition territory. Ithlon kept up a fierce blockade that was never broken, even by House Silversea’s concerted efforts. Meanwhile, the land forces of the Helian Assemblage were focused on defending their territory, as Sirisea had recently gained momentum. Despite House Starglass’s repeated please for assistance, the Helian Assemblage could not lend assistance.
Then the Coalition revealed their trump card: their secret member, House Thornfang. Their conquest of House Starglass was swift and brutal. The consequences of this act were far-reaching. Among other things: Ithlon called off its blockade, since it was no longer necessary (and they still happily claim it was never broken); Helleras, horrified, was spurred into forming the Peacemakers alliance, focused on ending the war that broke the once proud House; and finally, the lands of House Starglass, along with a large part of its population, remain under Coalition control (although not the control of House Thornfang).
Helleras’ entrance into the war signaled a new phase: the final five out of fourteen total years.
Another notable event in the Sacred War was the assault of Nulbarakaz. Sirisea sent an expeditionary force off to Nulbarakaz, thinking that they would roll over the city-state easily, and therefore weaken the Assemblage as a whole. What the Coalition did not count on, in their arrogance, was the not-distant Hill Dwarf city of Baragzan, who came to the aid of Nulbarakaz. In particular, they came to the aid of its dwarven immigrant population, which is much larger than any of the other Nine. Baragzan easily and quickly crushed Sirisea’s dreams of conquering Nulbarakaz. Ironically however, they did succeed in shifting Nulbarakaz’s allegiance – to that of the Peacemakers, following a coup that led to a change in the ruling dynasty.
The War Ends
The war was formally ended by treaty signed in Orithor. The horrors of the war inspired Orithor native Pistil Lykurgus to create the Lykurgus Network. The idea was simple: connect each of the major city-states to each other, in order to encourage communication and cooperation, starting with the leaders of the three alliances, and Orithor. Seeing as the Network is a new form of infrastructure, so far only Orithor, Inorias and Sirisea have their Lykurgus nodes installed. Helleras’ node remains under construction.
The Legacy Endures
25 years have passed since the end of the Sacred War. The human veterans and survivors are growing older, although the horrific memories of the war are carried along dutifully by the dwarf and gnome inhabitants of the continent, and the elves of House Starglass nurse a grudge born of multiple betrayals. Tensions remain, especially considering the war was seen as a human-led one. It remains to be seen whether the Himlonde Treaty and the Lykurgus Network will maintain the hard-won peace.