The Summer Heroes
In 818 BR, Iphita’s daughter, Alyphia, inherited the Tribuneship from her mother and declared herself Empress of the East. Furious, the Empress Deilia left the city of Soren at the head of a large Imperial army and headed east towards Hyperion to crush the rebellion and re-unite the Empire’s two halves. A few months after she left, a bloody coup ensued in the capital, and the head of the Imperial Academy of Alchemy, Pelops, seized control of the Imperial throne and overthrew the Dycastery. This coup is considered to be the beginning of what is now called the Triple Throne War.
Deilia hesitated, caught between a now-hostile capital city and the hostile east, though she retained the loyalty of most of the cities and provinces east of Soren not under Alyphia’s control. Deciding she needed to secure her own territory before engaging Alyphia, Deilia turned the Imperial army back and returned to Soren, which she besieged. In 819 BR, another bloody coup occurred in the capital city, and Pelops was murdered and overthrown by his wife Physcoa, who then declared herself Empress. The period following this is sometimes jokingly called “The War of Too Many Empresses” because of a remark scribbled in the margins of the Imperial Chronicle by the Imperial court’s chief historian at the time, Tethys, which read, “There are too many damn empresses right now. Do the elves or the orcs need any? We have two to spare!”
With the Empire having been divided into three parts, the princes and politicians of Ystria, Darrova, and the Penwith Islands held their proverbial breath and waited. Alyphia’s forces remained in the East, however, and made no real move towards Soren and either Deilia or Physcoa. After another year besieging Soren, Deilia, unable to make any real progress, set her sights on isolating Physcoa in the capital and re-taking the lands of Sargon to the west of the city, which had mostly fallen under Physcoa’s control. Deilia managed to mount a relatively effective siege of the city and keep Physcoa tied down, and for the next six months the bulk of her army crisscrossed Sargon, where Physcoa’s support quickly collapsed.
Made aware of Deilia’s absence, Alyphia struck out at the western Empire, methodically grinding away at the fortresses and other military installations that dotted the provinces. Alyphia seemed to have no designs on ruling the entire Empire, however, and made no real move to conquer the provinces; she simply seemed to want to strip them of their military capacity. Deilia returned to the east of Soren, but found it mostly impossible to tie down Physcoa in the capital and deal with Alyphia’s aggression in the west simultaneously.
The war ground to a virtual stalemate, with Physcoa in charge of the capital, Deilia in charge of most of the western empire, and Alyphia, content to rule the east. For five years, the war seemed to enter into a virtual stasis, and a sense of normality almost reigned, but in 825 BR, Physcoa was assassinated and the city of Soren, weary of the conflict, threw open its gates to Deilia.
Finally able to consolidate, Deilia secured the capital and turned east again, where she found Alyphia already stirring. The war took on a new, devastating dimension, as western and eastern forces clashed again and again, or— more frequently— maneuvered past each other, destroying forts, crops, and walls as they went. The east bore the brunt of the destruction, and the Iron River and the Lakelands proved a natural barrier to stopping Alpyhia’s incursions westward, though Deilia’s forces never made it to the far east of Orem, to threaten cities like Ystria and Darrova.