Tanishian Civil War in Flightless | World Anvil

Tanishian Civil War

The Fourth Reckoning triggered an earthquake and subsequent tsunami off the coast of Tirasha that reduced most of the city to rubble. Among the hundreds of thousands of dead was entire royal family, the Executors of the Will, the Oracle, and a large number of nobles. Throughout the kingdom - throughout the world - cities lay in ruin. This resulted in a power vacuum that embroiled Tanish in 20 years of chaos.  

Background Context

It took about a year for things to settle down after the Reckoning. That first year was spent looking after neighbours, trying to find food, and survive the next day. By the end of the year, things had begun to stabilize. Those who had naturally assumed leadership roles during the crisis became the mayors of new cities - sometimes built on the ruins of the old ones, sometimes emerging out of refugee camps. People began to be able to look past leadership for just their immediate area. Talk began of who was going to take the throne.   Tirasha was still in ruins, but Zedda - and the spring palace at its peak - was practically unharmed. This was taken as a sign from the gods that it was to be the new capital. Communication was very difficult due to the collapse of infrastructure and it took a few months for everyone throughout the kingdom (which in those days did not include Kalitria) to know for sure that the royal family was dead. The Great Prince had died in the Reckoning, making him their king, but he had no Oracle and no heirs of his own.   It became clear that in order to maintain the link to the sun, they were going to have to track the royal line much farther back to find someone who was a direct blood-descendant of a previous king. Three contenders emerged.  

The Contenders for the Throne

The first contender was Naram-Sin, who traced his lineage from King Shar-Tattanu. Naram-Sin was a noble from La'aygu, whose home was on the northeast side of the city and wasn't as hard hit by the tsunami. He offered his home as a shelter to those displaced and homeless and gained a lot of popular support in that way.   The second was Perak, twho traced his lineage from King Shar-Manitushu. He was based on the southern Zeh region and was a prominent noble even before the Reckoning. He was a region administrator for one of the most agriculturally productive regions in Zeh and organized the distribution of food throughout southern Zeh. However, his claim to royal lineage came from Tattanu's maternal niece, while many thought made his claim illegitimate, or at least very weak   The third was Rukesh, who traced his lineage from King Shar-Gell. He came from Tirasha, but had been patrolling the northern extent of the kingdom in his role as a general during the Reckoning. His primary advantage was that he had the loyalty of the troops who had been with him during the Reckoning and he led his armies himself rather than employing military men. He was the great-great-grandson of a king, but lived among rumours that his great-great-grandmother had had an affair and possibly he didn't have any royal blood at all.   Around 1PR, all three men began to march toward Zedda with a retinue of soldiers loyal to them in tow. They converged around the mouth of the Valley of Kings (known only as Zel River Valley at the time). This resulted in the first battle of the Tanishian Civil War.  

Twenty Years of Chaos

Over the next twenty years, Naram-Sin, Parek, and Rukesh attempted to gain supporters and territory. Territory passed between the three of them, and cities that survived the Reckoning became battlegrounds for yet more death.   There were periods of relative peace within the heart of territory controlled by one or the others. While skirmishes were frequent where the factions met, villages firmly under the control of one faction could live fairly normal lives. The constant marching of troops across fields, though, made agriculture difficult and exacerbated problems begun with the Second Reckoning. Starvation was common and no family was untouched by the bloodshed. Many people suspected the war would only end with Tanish divided into three states, because unity after this was impossible.  

Gell Victory

In the 21st year of war, yet another three-sided battle took place near Lusisi'ur. During this battle, Rukesh was slain and the Gell faction fell back. The next day, the soothsayer employed by Rukesh claimed to have been visited by him in the night. Rukesh channelled orders for another assault through her, and the battle a week later ended in a decisive victory for the followers of Gell.   The soothsayer, whose name has been lost to history, was visited by Rukesh every night. In death, his tactical mind sharpened and his strategies became unbeatable. While his son took over official command of his army, they continued obeying the orders of Rukesh via the soothsayer. The tide of the war turned, and the 20 year stalemate between three armies turned into a steady march toward Zedda. Within a year, the Gell army had taken Zedda and Rukesh's mummy sat on the throne. His son became the first Great Prince of the new Gell dynasty, and his soothsayer served as his Oracle until the Great Prince's death.