The Rose War
Imgah, noticing the fall in worship, asked his head priest if the Faithful had turned aside. The priest answered that the common man's faith had been shaken by the great deaths of the last century, and that orders like the Serpents and the Roses preyed upon those in crisis, turning them from Imgah's light. Imgah grew angered, and demanded an accounting from the Roses - he would go to war, for the first time since the Age of Fire when the gods were young.
The fields before the minor stronghold of the Roses.
The battle began on a holy day of Imgah, in the middle of the fall season. Tremendous storms lashed the coast, an expression of Imgah's anger that ultimately disadvantaged the Faithful, who had less experience.
The armies of the Faithful laid siege to the Roses' fortress, refusing to give a period of consideration of surrender as was traditional. Rather, they demanded immediate surrender, and when Sabi refused, they launched their attack - a haste oft attributed to the inexperience of the Faithful and to their god's impatience to make an example of the Roses. The Faithful, being armed with a truly unusual amount of magic, for Imgah had committed a significant portion of his strength to this conflict, made rapid progress, slaying many Roses in the opening hours. Sabi took aside her Roses' only arcane caster, a sorcerer of some power, and together they cast through the near-planes until they reached the high abode of Imgah himself. Sabi strolled to the gates of his cloud castle and loudly announced her challenge, while her sorcerer held back. Imgah accepted, and the battle in the mortal realm subsided briefly as the sides waited anxiously for an outcome. For nearly three days the fight between Imgah and Sabi raged, until on the dawn of the third day Sabi struck a mortal blow. It is unclear if Imgah struck her at the same time, or if the enormous backlash from slaying a god overcame her. The Faithful's spells all faded from their minds, their divine magic failing, even as the sorcerer returned with Sabi's body - and her sword, transformed by its immersion in the blood of a god. Sabi's second-in-command and close friend took up the blade, and led the Roses to mount upon horseback and throw open the gates, charging down the plain at the despairing Faithful, who routed despite their leader's attempts to rally them.
The Faithful scattered, and with Imgah's death his followers abandoned the temples en masse, many turning to other gods for protection - but many, too, joining the Roses, who had proved the dominance of the elven spirit over the will of the divine. The Roses experienced a tremendous surge in recruitment, rapidly expanding their operations under the watchful eye of their new leader.
Worship declined globally, and the Rose War marked the beginning of the end of the ages of the gods. The Order of the Rose became one of the dominant international powers in the temples' stead.
Despite its duration of a mere three days, a blink of an eye in the tremendously long elven wars (where traditionally a single siege battle could ebb and flow over years), the War of the Rose proved to be one of the most world-changing wars in Veshiri history, for never before and never since would someone of Veshiri strike down a god. Though perhaps the 'never since' might be for lack of opportunity, for many gods voluntarily retracted the extent of their influence, closing off their domains and answering prayers less and less, content to wait out the tide of the unfaithful as their temperamental peer had not. They did not, however, anticipate that the tide would not fall but rather continue to swell, until faith in the gods dwindled to the point where they barely could have influenced the world, even if they wished to risk it.
Sabi Jobai's battle against a god is immortalized in numerous books, plays, poems, songs, and works of art, both contemporary and throughout the ages, of both elven and foreign make. Indeed, her story has been adapted time and again as each new planet that has a quarrel with their gods hears of it.
- Conflict Result
- The death of the god Imgah, and the shattering of the Faithful