The Summer Heroes
Imperial Struggle and Defeat
The war dragged on for twelve more years. The Triple Throne War technically ended in 825 BR, with the death of Physcoa and the capitulation of Soren to the Empress Deilia. Many histories simply refer to the entire conflict, from 818 BR to 837 BR, as the Triple Throne War, but others delineate between the 818-825 BR conflict and 825-837, deeming the latter the Strife of the Two Empresses.
Unlike the stasis the civil had entered into between 820 and 825 BR, the twelve years of the Strife were marked by constant, ongoing battle and struggle. The Empire’s provinces between the Lakelands and Hyperion were torn apart by the war, their economies wrecked and their cities ruined. The confinement of the majority of the impact of the war to this region, however, allowed for the preservation of most of the power bases on either side of the conflict, and consequently permitted the war to continue.
By 832 BR, the inadequacy of the conflicts over the middle of the Empire was readily apparent, and Deilia made a concerted push to the east. Ignoring the eastern capital of Hyperion and its formidable defenses, Deilia aimed to bring the war to the rest of the eastern empire and force surrender by encircling Alyphia. The heavy defenses of the Lakelands made this a reasonable strategic prospect, but Deilia’s plans were interrupted by the orcs from north of the Var-Aldun Range.
Finally taking notice of the widespread war and disunity in the lands to their south, the orcs set aside their historic, tribal differences and began raiding Imperial lands. Initial forays by the orcs were thrown back with relative ease, but as the orcish efforts grew more concerted and more coordinated, the Imperial capacity to defend its northern borders began to diminish. By 835 BR, the orcs had begun making significant headway against the Empire’s northern fortresses and other defenses, and it appears that, in 835, some or most of the orc tribes managed to persuade the ogre clans of the far northern region— the Vast White Reach— to come south to plunder.
The alliance of orcs and ogres was too much for either side of the Imperial civil war to withstand, and Deilia withdrew from her campaign against the east to defend the Empire. In the winter of 835 BR, Deilia and Alyphia came together and signed the Cordial Entente, an agreement to set aside their differences until the orc/ogre threat had been dealt with. The temporary ceasefire was signed in the ruins of the city of Augusta, a setting many considered highly symbolic, and the Entente has, since then, been nicknamed the “Treaty of the Ruined”.
Their ranks thinned by more than a decade of war, the armies of the eastern and western empires found themselves ill-equipped to mount a successful defense against the orcish and ogre hordes; the relative disunity of the orc tribes proved a strength for them, as the orcs waged an ongoing and devastating guerilla campaign against two armies that had aligned themselves for protracted, siege-style combat against their fellow Imperials. In the summer of 836 BR, Deilia and Alyphia suffered massive defeats: the first, at the Battle of the Verangian Forest, and the second at the Battle of Auxerre. Both battles saw the Imperial forces overwhelmed and broken, devastating losses that led to the slaughter of whole companies of troops.
Next: Imperial Collapse