One of the most confusing and bloody patches in history is the 40 year period known as the Crowning War. In this time, some six to eight thousand lives were lost, several kingdoms rose, fell, and were merged with each other, and the war itself was the direct cause of the Age of Regression. Truly, the war only lasted seven years, but small skirmishes and assassinations kept the fight alive for the following 30 years, repeatedly stifling any attempts to end the hostilities.
The war started, as so many of them do, with a political slight. King Belias Revington, at a private dinner with many local lords and ladies, got into an argument with his eldest son, Prince Berral, wherein he loudly proclaimed he would give his crown to his eldest daughter, Princess Liatha. The argument, it has been recorded, had to do with the Prince’s notion that they should take up arms and march on the small kingdom of Miras to the south, absorbing it into their own territories. The King had formed an uneasy truce with them years prior, granting them their current lands in exchange for a percentage of crops every season. Prince Berral believed they were living on borrowed time, and the charade of letting them rule themselves needed to be ended. King Belial, seeing no reason to upset the status quo, refused his son’s ideas, and chastised him for his thinking. Prince Berral, furious with the proclamation, which the King later admitted was nothing more than a way to momentarily shame his son amongst gathered company, left that very night with a contingency of loyal knights.
Princess Liatha spend the rest of her evening quite thrilled at how her fortunes had changed between the first and second course of dinner.
In the coming weeks, forces moved across the north, allegiances switching with the sunrise. By day, many stood under the banner of their rightful King, but by night, soldiers left en masse to form up with the Spurned Prince, who sought his own throne in the north, outside of his father’s grasp. Naturally, it took only a few weeks before a single spark set all the kindling aflame.
The spark came in the form of the Princess, who, when she learned of her brother’s plans to form his own kingdom in direct opposition of what would one day be her kingdom, begged her father to intervene. The King refused. He saw Berral’s acts as those of a spoiled child, and saw no more threat in it than he would a baby throwing a tantrum. Liatha, furious that her father’s apathy would lead to a further corruption of their loyalists, demanded that they act before Berral did. It was the second refusal of the King that lost him his daughter.
Princess Liatha took the remaining loyal knights and soldiers in her father’s service and rode for her brother’s newly claimed lands, the harsh far north, just at the base of the Rinorak Mountains. The King watched her go with a mild frustration. He assured his Queen and fellow lordlings that his children had much to learn about ruling, and they were just itching to play at King and Queen. It should be noted that he expected them both to return within the year, tails between their legs, wherein it was said he was going to grant the crown to his youngest son, on the ground that he had been the more patient of the three.
Within the year, both his son and daughter had amassed small forces of their own, the two of them both declaring that the other stand down and let them take up their rightful place as new monarch. Berral claimed his new lands were his kingdom, where Liatha claimed he was on her, the rightful Queen’s, lands and should bend the knee to her. Naturally, the two could not see eye to eye on which of them had claim over the other, and it is some wonder that they did not both kill each other at that first meeting as warring parties.
The people of the north were wholly divided. Old money saw it best to bet on the sure thing, and stayed true to their king. King Belial had their best interests at heart, what with his lavish parties, his strict border policies, and his rigid stance on the young taking care of the old. If some of his choices seemed suspect, or even unclear, so be it. He hadn’t led them to ruin before.
Many of the younger folk, particularly men of service, flocked to Prince Berral, who sought to stake his rightful claim, a cause they thought noble. He took his place in the far north, not provoking any fights, but keeping power all the same. His men trained, adapted to the harsh climate, and dug in. They sought not to win through force, but through endurance, by showing the rest of the kingdom that they could weather any storm, and would be waiting for the day the crown was given, rightfully, to the Prince.
Many more still turned to Princess Liatha, a strong and intelligent woman, who had won over the hearts of many on her trek through the north, and won more still when she set west to the coasts, to claim her own piece of the country. She was not one to sit idly by while her country was torn apart by the bullheaded men of her family, and so she took charge of many of the port cities along the coast, claiming trade routes and choking out the resources of her father and brother. Under the first year of her reign, they established multiple new connections with the elves, the dwarves, and even the orc, none of which would have been allowed under her father’s command. The coast flourished. Trade was good, morale was high, and the people could see the promise of a bright and new future under their new Queen.
For three full years, the kingdom stayed at an unsteady peace, all the while splitting off into three distinct new kingdoms under nobles of the same bloodline. It wasn’t until King Belial took ill that the peace was shattered, as wolves closed in from all sides, ready to pounce on the vacant throne.