The Red-and-Black-Year in 3770/71 of the Era of the Earth was one of the major menaces to the Confederation of Tarrabaenia that almost brought about its downfall. It was named either after the black smoke from the smelters and blacksmiths during the winter, when weapons and armour were forged and the blood that was spilled during the summer or it was called that after the black flag of the pro-confederate party andthe red flag of the pro-imperial party. Responsible was Pólius Súna Felis, who wanted to seize the sole reign over the confederation and proclaiming himself emperor. Previously he had consolidated his power by installing a puppet commander with the army of his home state Tebrina so he could command it from a distance. He also used his connections to get control of the army of Savína and to manipulate the secret police into doing as he pleased. This concentration of power eventually first led to suspicions about his plans and later to open resistance and civil war.
Course of events
Pólius Súna Felis was the second oldest son of Spurcus Súna Tarnáclo, the then king of Tebrina, and thus predestined to be Tebrinas candidate for election to a diarch of the Confederation of Tarrabaenia. He tried to get a hold of the title thrice, in 3761, 3765 and 3769 of the Era of the Earth and finally succeeded on the third try.
He has always been an ambitious character and his two failed attempts to rise to the title of co-king are believed to be the main catalyst for the course of actions he took later. Because of him feeling hurt by the first two refections, he swore to become the most influential king of the confederation and to lead it to new heights. Thus he had his father giving him a rank in the military, so he could make a name for himself with the soldiers. Indeed he was a good strategist and helped Tebrina greatly to consolidate its power even beyond the Sévo Mountains and pushig the borders as far north-east as to the Paunis river. In 3765, after not getting elected for the second time, he influenced his father and had him appoint a commander of the army who was loyal to Pólius only and no other. His father trusted his judgement and followed his suggestion because of Pólius' mimlitary prowess. In 3769, when he was elected king of the confederation together with Rullius Prístius Látó, he immediately pushed to get involved with the military, that is the Indigo Guard, the dilissentes, which are the confederations secret police or intelligence corps and the military of the capital city, Savína. He achieved this by planting some loyal followers in these organisations after 3765. He became sole ruler in 3770 after the second king, Rullius Prístius Látó, fell victim to his schemings. Although the exact circumstances of Rullius Pristius Látós death are shrouded in the mists of history, it is probable that either an assassin was hired to have him killed or he was killed by a member of the Indigo Guard, which was by then already fully loyal to Pólius Súna Felis. The murderer was never found, but the Indigo Guard and the dilissentes were quick to put the blame on Ósónius Límius Vétor, the then king of the state of Tresalbeo and one of Pólius Súna Felis' most vocal critics.
Feeling deeply offended by these accusations, Ósónius Límius Vétor started rallying other critics of Pólius Súna Felis and declaring secession from the confederation. This lent Pólius Súna Felis legitimisation to mobilise the other states' armies and march against the secessionists. Soon the confederation fell into three parties: Those loyal to Pólius Súna Felis, the secessionists under Ósónius Límius Vétor and two states that decided to stay neutral. Open war broke out after the harvest season of 3770 but was paused by the winter. The Mdûlûn became aware of the inner conflict and prepared an invasion during the winter, too. In 3771, when Pólius Súna Felis turned his attention west again, he only left a small portion of the army of Tebrina at home. The Mdûlûn, being aware of the lack of backup from the north invaded the eastern part of the province of Salmáné. Their progress could only be delayed by the troops of Salmáné and the little help from Tebrina there was, but the danger of the Mdûlûn succeeding was immanent.
While Pólius Súna Felis marched west, he successfully won four skirmishes and a full flung battle against the secessionists, who by then had adapted the name Ósillantes Tarrabaenié. They were far from being beaten though and in fact only tried to lure Pólius Súna Felis into territory more favourable for themselves. But Pólius Súna Felis had to head back east to prevent the Mdûlûn from overrunning the defences of Salmáné before they could reconnect with their brethren from the west. Meanwhile Ósónius Límius Vétor turned north, leaving a small troup at the entrance to Tresalbeo, an area easily defended. In the north he united his army with the armies of his allies and marched east through the north of the confederation, while Pólius Súna Felis was busy fighting the Mdûlûn in the south.
Spurcus Súna Tarnáclo only got aware of the danger, when the Ósillantes Tarrabaenié were right at the border of Tebrina. Although he sent word to his son immediately, it was too late: Tarrabaenias capital, Nócantio, was besieged within a week and two weeks later it was captured. Pólius Súna Felis had no chance to return in time as he was engaged in fierce fights with the Mdûlûn. He finally beat the Mdûlûn forces and slaughtered them all, as he cut off their means of retreat by burning their fleet. Half way back he was notified of the capture of Nócantio. The Ósillantes Tarrabaenié offered to leave the allies of Pólius Súna Felis unpunished, should he surrender. He objected and left his father at the mercy of his enemies. This caused some unrest within his own ranks, weakening his status and esteem as a leader. Without proper supplies, an army exhausted from the fight against the Mdûlûn, no capital and the merciless summer heat burning down on his army, the troops moral soon began to fail. Although Pólius Súna Felis tried to move against Nócantio, he could not progress far, as all the states defences were directed to the south to be prepared for Mdûlûn attacks. After two of Pólius Súna Felis' allies fell off the cause and returned home, the Ósillantes Tarrabaenié decided to meet him head on. He and his remaining allies were unwilling to give up. They were all killed in a final battle in Salmáné.
After these events the Confederation of Tarrabaenia had to be reformed. Ósónius Límius Vétor had, despite his heritage - Tresalbenians are notorious for their lust for independance - no interest on either leaving the confederation permanently or becoming what Pólius had tried to become. The changes made to the organisation of the Confederation of Tarrabaenia where trifold:1) For every elected co-king a replacement king had to be appointed, so that ideally at no time no single king alone was in power over the confederation.
2) The co-kings were not allowed to have any past military affiliations whatsoever, safe for having received military training during their time of upbringing.
3) The Indigo Guard became the only military unit to be directly under the command of the kings and became completely detached from the military of Savína.
These measures proved to be quite effective, as since then there was no other attempt to take hold of the confederation as a whole and rule it otherwise than as a diarchy, the way it was intended to be.