The Last War
The Last War was a conflict that raged between Aundair, Breland, Cyre (now the Mournland), Thrane, and Karrnath. Its purpose was to reunite the Kingdom of Galifar after the succession conflict that occurred upon the death of King Jarot. Instead, the conflict lasted over a century and ended inconclusively with the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold in 996 YK.
Galifar was a kingdom that covered the entire continent of Khorvaire. It was, however, more of a confederacy than a unified kingdom. While each of the kingdom’s constituent Five Nations (Aundair, Breland, Cyre, Thrane, and Karrnath) owed fealty to the king (whose throne lay in the free city Throneport, outside the borders of any one nation), each nation was governed independently by its own ruler and had a surprising amount of autonomy within its own borders. The only concession each nation had to make was that, upon the death of the king, all previous rulers were required to step down in favor of the new monarch’s appointees.
This system functioned for over a thousand years, relying on tradition, trade, and centralized might to ensure continuity. But then the blood of Galifar’s kings thinned and Jarot, albeit a good man, began to see threats everywhere. Turning his considerable talents to strengthening the kingdom, he also sowed the seeds of destruction because without his emphasis on preparations for war, the Five Nations would have never achieved the industrial capacity to fuel over a century of conflict.
As King Jarot of Galifar approached old age and certainty of his madness spread, the nobles of Galifar began to cast suspicion on his choice of successor, Princess Mishann of Cyre. Each of the rulers of Aundair, Cyre, Karrnath, and Thrane wanted the crown while Breland, ever the most anarchic, began to noise about the idea of self-government. King Jarot did what he could to stem the tide and, upon his deathbed, gave Mishann his blessings and bade Prince Wrogar of Aundair to honor his decision.
Yet Prince Thalin of Thrane, perhaps inheriting some of his father’s madness, claimed divine right by mandate of the Silver Flame, given to him through holy vision while in prayer. Together with Prince Kaius (future King Kaius I) of Karrnath, they quit the succession talks at Thronehold and neither Cyre nor Aundair had the strength or will to bar their way. They were to regret that shortly, for Queen Mishann was ambushed by both rebel princes on her way to coronation and was only rescued through timely interference by Prince Wrogar’s elite Wardens of the Wood.
From 894 YK on, the ravages of war slowly spread to engulf the entire continent. Those places which saw none of the fighting still suffered from governmental neglect, the loss of the younger generation, banditry, famine, and epidemic illnesses. The places that did play host to fighting suffered all that and more.
The death throes of Galifar were terrible indeed. While the Five Nations crippled each other into senility, dependent kingdoms revolted, leading to the rise of Darguun, Droaam, the Eldeen Reaches, the Lhazaar Principalities, the Mror Holds, [[Q’barra]], the Talenta Plains, Valenar, and Zilargo. Criminal organizations entrenched themselves in the cities, then spread like locusts across the entire continent. Bigotry, fear, and anger simmer endlessly beneath the surface.
Then the unthinkable happened: Cyre, beset on all sides, crippled by bipolar leadership, simply ceased to exist. In its place stood the roiling walls of gray mist that today demark the Mournland’s borders. Everyone who did not manage to stay ahead of the advance of those walls died; in a single day, Cyre as a nation ceased to exist.
It took two years for the unexpected alliance of Breland and Karrnath to force the remaining nations into peace talks in the free city of Throneport. The Treaty of Thronehold was signed in 996 YK, effectively putting an end to the conflict while at the same time recognizing twelve of the fifteen new nations that had come into existence during the Last War.
Although the signatories abide by the treaty, the wounds of the Last War are numerous and slow to heal. Many feel that the current peace is only temporary at best and that until one nation defeats the others and reclaims the throne of Galifar, there will never be a true and lasting peace.