The Hollow War
The Hollow War was a war fought between the kingdom of Lunis and the Xilian city state of Huacali, which was later joined by the other city states in the Xilaman Forest.
Before the WarHuacali and Lunis regularly traded with each other, making use of a tunnel that had been dug through the Hollow Mountains. One day, the tlatoani of Huacali sent a statuette of the Grey Lady to King Cathaoir of Lunis as a sign of friendship. The statuette gifted to King Cathaoir had the head of a roc. In Xilian culture, deities are depicted with the attributes of animals as a form of symbolism, with rocs representing power. King Cathaoir took it as an insult that compared the Grey Lady to a mere beast.
The WarIn response to this perceived insult, King Cathaoir gathered his army and marched through the tunnel in the Hollow Mountains that led to the Xilian Forest. Although Huacali was unprepared, it quickly rallied and met the invaders in combat. Then the Lunan army set fire to the forest. At first this seemed to shift the conflict in Lunis's favor. Unfortunately for Lunis, the other city states were not amused by the burning of their forest. Rivalries and feuds were set aside as all the other Xilian city states joined with Huacali to drive off the Lunans. Druids are normally forbidden from engaging in warfare unless it concerns the whole forest. By burning the forest, Lunis had also made itself an enemy the druids were able and eager to employ their magic against. The Lunan army was forced to retreat through the mountain tunnel. To ensure the end of the conflict, the druids magically collapsed the tunnel, with the Lunan army still in it. With his army decimated, and the best route to Xilaman destroyed, King Cathaoir was forced to accept that continuing the war was more trouble than it was worth.
LegacyThe Hollow War completely changed the relationship between Lunis and the Xilaman Forest, with the burning of the forest hanging over every diplomatic interaction since. Historians would later look back on this war as one of the catalysts for the creation of the Xilaman Empire, as it provided the Xilian city states with a common enemy, the barbarians who tried to harm their forest.
The Burned GroveFollowing the war, a temple to the goddess Xilaman, the creator and protector of the forest, was constructed in a grove in the burnt region of the forest. After King Cathaoir died of illness, a small festival was held at the temple to celebrate the act of divine retribution. When Tower Trees were introduced to the Xilaman Forest, a few were planted by the temple as a symbol of protection.
Dried up TradeThe destruction of the tunnel through the Hollow Mountains had a large impact on the Lunan economy. Tunnelmouth, a Lunan town built up around trade through the tunnel, quickly saw itself lose prominence and wealth. The people of Tunnelmouth, who once had a rich cultural exchange with Huacali, have no love for King Cathaoir.
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