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The Great Schism

"Yaltur may have given this Empire His blessing, but He would not recognise the tyranny now wrought in His name. To preserve the proper rule of all Imperials, we now declare the formation of the Confederation of Yaltur."
  Despite its reputation for being eternal and everlasting, The Empire of Belyos spent most of the last thousand years as a fractured remnant of what it first started out as. It endured as a coherent whole only until 927 IY, when four of the northern provinces declared their independence and formed the Confederation. Despite the conflict that broke out, the Empire was unable to bring the secessionist states back under Imperial control, even when the Confederation collapsed barely thirty years later.   A series of militarily minded Emperors kept the conflict going for almost 120 years, although in the latter decades, its intensity was low, mainly due to fatigue on all sides. It never formally ended, but rather fizzled out, and when the rump Empire collapsed in 1218, all parties involved were more concerned with individual attempts to gain power.  

The Conflict

Prelude

Under the set-up of the old Empire, the power of the Emperor was balanced by that of the great Imperial Houses; ten noble families from whom imperial dynasties were chosen. The preceding few hundred years had seen an erosion of central Imperial power, and the rise of the power of these Imperial Houses. Unlike the defined regions of the new Empire, under the old structure, noble houses could hold land across many provinces, paying mere lip service to the Imperially appointed regional governor. Each house had its own armies, and jealously protected that right, with increases to the numbers allowed creeping up due to a series of weak Emperors.   When Demal took the throne in 739 IY, he oversaw a massive overhaul of Imperial structure, which saw the power of the Imperial Houses drastically reduced and the size of their allowed armies cut. Despite their best efforts to resist, Demal was shrewd politician, and had the love of the common folk, and no one wished to see peasant uprisings. When he died in 801, his successor turned out to be a mere puppet for the Imperial Houses, and all of Demal's reforms were gradually undone. This bolstered the belief of the Houses that they were more powerful than the Emperor himself, a belief that persisted; emperors that attempted to rule in the manner of Demal died prematurely of suspicious circumstances, whereas those who bowed to Imperial House demands saw their reigns last marginally longer.   By 900 IY Imperial Houses were often in open conflict over trade and borders, and it saw a consolidation of holdings into more coherent geographical ranges, and when Talub III came to the throne in 923 IY, four of the more powerful houses were largely consolidated in the north of the Empire, furthest from Imperial influence. Talub III made four significant actions in the first four years of his reign, against the better wishes of his advisors.   Firstly, he issued a decree that substantially restricted Imperial House army size. Second, he demanded a return to historically defined borders, to better spread out the power of the Houses. Third, he increased the general taxation of the Imperial Houses. And finally, he saw a general increase in the size of the Imperial forces.   The outcome of this was inevitable. The four most powerful houses declared their secession from the Empire, and the situation escalated quickly. By the end of 927, the first battles were being fought.  


Battlefield

The split between Empire and Confederation saw most of the richest parts of the Empire away from Belyos leave. Mythero and Chasroth saw most of the conflict, as Imbar in the east fortified against aggression from Iren.  
The Great Schism
The split between the Empire and the regions that formed the Confederation
Conflict Type
War
Start Date
927 IY
Ending Date
1064 Iy (informal)

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Cover image: A View of Salerno and Vesuvius by Unknown

Comments

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2 Aug, 2021 03:19

I love the idea of Great Houses checking the Emperor. The empire elements reads like a real empire and not the topey kind. I'm interested!