A Short History of the Great War
After the Averdjic Wars, 700 years ago, three great nations remained: Chukasis, Lurbaj, and Burgilia. The culture of Chukasis was centered on magic, whereas Burgilia focused on science. Perhaps because it was situated between two powerful nations that did not always get along, Lurbaj developed a reputation for its mastery of statecraft. When the Oopalogs of the west invaded, diplomats from Lurbaj negotiated a peace treaty among the three nations. Working together, they defeated the Oopalogs. A time of peace followed. Trade flourished, old resentments faded, and all three nations prospered. On a bright spring day 352 years ago, representatives from the three nations—Arrashi of Chukasis, Blargo of Lurbaj, and Madali of Burgilia—met in Lurbaj to form a common government. The Alliance of Three Nations was born, and a Parliament building was constructed in Lurbaj. The Parliament brought peace to the adjoining provinces to the east, south, and west. Thanks to the Parliament’s rulings, all people were considered equal under the eyes of the law, regardless of gender, religion, or social class. Magic and science existed peacefully side-by-side. Traveling wizards entertained children in the heart of bustling cities. Electric power lines stretched out to the horizon in every direction, so that even sorcerers benefited from the technology of their neighbors. It was an age of prosperity and harmony. But time passed, and around 150 years ago, relationships among the nations became tense again. Burgilia had grown increasingly distrustful of magic, as Chukasis looked down on Burgilia’s reliance on technology. The delegates to the Parliament were split by ideological differences, and less able to find common ground. The great leaders of the past would have found a way to settle these disagreements. But, unfortunately, Krencie Themayne had been elected to the role of Speaker, the official in charge of overseeing the administration of the Parliament’s business. Themayne was a weak-willed and short-sighted leader, who seemed oblivious to the possibility of war. It was a dispute over timber, 145 years ago, that brought about the end. Burgilia owned the Accarino Forest, and for years they had allowed the people of Chukasis access to the easternmost edge. But, for the first time, Chukasis crossed their boundary, and cut down trees from Burgilia’s territory. Carter Ikton, the representative from Burgilia, demanded that they stop. The representative from Chukasis, Maji Lohannon, explained that Chukasis needed lumber to build homes, and they needed the land to plant crops. She offered to buy hundreds of acres of forest from Burgilia. Ikton refused this request, telling Lohannon that if the people of Chukasis needed wood, they should use magic to conjure some up. Soon the representatives were screaming insults at one another. Speaker Themayne declared that Chukasis had to follow the law, or else the Alliance would be forced to take military action. All this time later, we cannot know for certain what Chukasis’s leaders were thinking. It is possible that they were fixated on the needs of their citizens, but it seems likely that, after centuries of peace, they simply did not believe the threats. So they continued to harvest lumber from the Accarino Forest. But they had miscalculated, and soon Burgilian and Lurbajian soldiers swept into Chukasis. Chukasis retaliated, with an army of sorcerers turning the invaders into trees. The Great War had begun. As always, Lurbaj attempted to negotiate peace between its neighbors, but it was too late, and, since Chukasis had violated the rulings of the Parliament, they were committed to aiding Burgilia. Chukasis excelled at war. Their sorcerers created walls of fire, sent raging storms, and summoned magical beasts. In a grievous violation of their ethics, the generals of Chukasis even enslaved peaceful unicorns and sent them to fight. To counter these devastating attacks, the scientists of Burgilia developed whole new technologies. They fielded squads of soldiers outfitted with cutting-edge weapons, like the Volt Warriors, the Bombadiers, and the Aeronauts. One of the greatest Burgilian inventors, Professor Icroto, was famous for his clockwork weapons; perhaps the most terrifying of these was the Mechaminotaur. Years of development culminated in Burgilia’s ultimate technological advance, the Quantumvac 939 supercomputer. Building a Quantumvac was so expensive that only seven were ever made. Yet even these marvels were not enough to deliver Burgilia the victory they craved. The war raged for decades, as generations fought and died. Lurbaj was the first nation to fall, 117 years ago. Chukasis seized the capitol and took control of the northern half of the country. Burgilia took the southern half, and the ensuing battles laid waste to Lurbaj’s cities. The citizens scattered, some conscripted into one of the two armies, some fleeing to the east or west. Chukasis finally defeated Burgilia, 100 years ago, but their victory was short-lived. While the nation’s leaders had focused on war to the exclusion of all else, the war had grown unpopular with the people, many of whom had gone hungry. Soon after the end of the war the people revolted, overthrew the government, and executed the leaders. The new provisional government soon collapsed. And now that the war was over, the thousands of spirits, monsters, and magical creatures they had summoned swarmed over the land, wreaking havoc. Burgilia’s land, meanwhile, was taken over by the warlord Globulo. Globulo had come from the southwest and was intent on conquering new territories to expand his empire. He tore down Burgilia’s capitol building and had a castle constructed in its place. Globulo only cared about accumulating wealth and power and ruled over his subjects with cruel and oppressive laws. A few pockets of the old civilization still existed, in the form of the ten Sanctuaries. The Sanctuaries were built by citizens from all three nations who did not want to take part in the war. They lived in peace for decades but, unfortunately, all of the Sanctuaries were invaded. The last to fall, Sanctuary-9, remained intact until a little over 20 years ago, when it was overrun by Globulo’s men. Only a few of the inhabitants survived, fleeing into a deadly world. The Parliament building is now a burnt-out husk. The ideals of the Alliance have been lost, replaced by a brutal dictatorship to the south and anarchy to the north. To the east there are villages that live in constant fear of the monsters, brigands, and warlords that run rampant. A great civilization has collapsed, and there seems to be no hope that it can ever be restored.
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