The Cellian Wars drained the Ghidovians until their society - held together by ideals rather than true power, fractured and nearly collapsed entirely.
The Galley Wars
In the aftermath of the Cellian Wars and the stalemate between Millile Leader Andurian Rafil and Zarodess Sonya Norsom, Ghidovia was left essentially isolated from the world. It was difficult for news to arrive, and even more difficult for any sort of assistance. With the passing of Sonya, the "Witch of Ghidovia" in 1709, the main deterrent to Andurian's initial conquest was removed. Without intervention, more milliles could easily arrive and finally return Ghidovia to Arcva rule.
Doga Sorcha Norsom convinced the young Zarodess Serilda, niece of Sonya, to invest in a small fleet of galleys designed from the remains of cellian merchant ships. Using these, they planned to blockade Vastasuesmin Bankamana and eventually starve Andurian into submission. The construction took over a year, but the fleet set sail to war during the winter when supplies were thought to be most stressed for Andurian. Andurian, however, had been informed long in advance and his war-galleys were able to attack the fleet outside the harbour, sinking most of the poorly-built ships and forcing the others to surrender, where the prisoners were blinded and sent back to Werex as slaves for the Empai.
Subsequent to the disaster of 1709, Andurian was called away to suppress rebellions back in Kavees. Unfortunetly, internal strife as a result of the Galley war led to Sorcha effectively renouncing the rule of the Zarodess. She invited the Cellian Empire to Firesky. This union persisted until 1715 when her daughter, Sarah Norsom, usurped and forced out the centile.
The Hammer War
In 1715, news reached Ghidovia that Andurian Rafil had set sail with four milliles in tow, intending to forge himself a Zarodom in Ghidovia. With venificors educated by Alti runes, he arrived in the early winter and made several brief expeditions to Donoughen and Old Ghidovia where he confirmed to himself that the Eternal Winter had been caused intentionally by Venificors. Claiming he possessed a way to do the same if he were hit by a helstorm, Andurian was satisfied that what occurred in Sala would not happen again.
Ghidovia, meanwhile, remain fragmented. Although their armies united, it was out of fear of Andurian rather than loyalty to the absentee, weak-handed Zarodess Serilda. The Archmage Silvia Norsom was killed by agents of the Archdemon Jarquimos mere weeks before battle, further weakening the royal authority.
The four milliles set out up the Donoughen River. The Ghidovians escaped and took what supplies they could and burned the rest. Andurian was merciful and attempted to get the locals on his side, with limited success. He then turned north up the Wheat Tribute, aiming to capture the capital and effectively end resistance to his rule. Brief raids slowed his progress, and half a millile was left to guard the river behind.
The Battle of Wheat Tribute
Andurian's army of 3500 met with a Ghido force complimented by a few ashanzu of just under 6000. They were much poorly trained, but they were able to attack by surprise at dawn and split Andurian's forced on either sides of the river. Andurian's venificors practices anti-magic to prevent the archmages from wiping out his shield wall, but in the end a dedicated effort from the tribesmen of Donoughen broke his center and forced a retreat. Guilted by the war and famine that were quickly descending on her lands, Zarodossa Serilda commit suicide
The End of the Cellian Wars
With his army broken, the Millile-Zarod took the survivors and reunited at the port. He received news that the Empai was arriving with a pair of milliles to revoke his command, forcing him to plan an escape. He tried to bait the Ghidovians into an alliance against the Empai, claiming that the Crimson Sails had four milliles and intended to conquer Ghidovia. When that failed, he threatened to add his survivors to the Empai's army. Neither ruse worked, and with the attackers storming his palace tower he was forced to escape through a window and had his venificors destroy the entire palace.
The Empai Mureios Rafil II met with representatives Erasmus Atreit, Arcen Kempt Financier Man, and Cyril from Ghidovia. In the harbour, they negotiated what became known as the Treaty of West Pizors, after the Ghido name for the town. In this treaty, they agreed:
- Neither side would prohibit the other from sending students to each other's magical academies
- Each would recognize each other as legitimate ruler
- They would form "Zarodossa's Alliance" and each rule as co-Empais of Altus
- Trade would be resumed between the two, although cellian coinage would be minted in Arcellus
- All equipment lost by Andurian would be returned to the Empai to equip his future milliles
- An exchange of relatives would take place between the Empais, although this element was subsequently not enforced.
The Ghidovian Civil War
During the aftermath of the war, two separate Zarodesses were presented. Doga Sarah Norsom, supported by The Mana Seeker, the city of New Ghidovia, and her lands near Firesky. Saradauk Fryna Ragnarr was supported by the main bulk of the army for her work in stopping Andurian. The two opposing sides gathered their strength until 1719, with Fryna not being strong enough to attack the archmages in in New Ghidovia and Danmen not being able to risk fighting a guerilla war with his smaller army.
In 1718 The Doga Hardvor Ascelin would subsequently break the Treaty of West Pizors and went into regular raids against West Pizors, which was unable to protect itself from the repeated attacks. Many times, his warriors sacked the outlying villages and killed many hundreds of Ashanzu. Their goal was not to take valuables but to kill the Ashanzu wherever they could be found. Fryna, unable to ruin her relation with either the Empai or Hardvor, simply did nothing while using her civil war as an excuse for inaction.
The Maedoc Tribes under Augyr Signe Maedoc also split, seeing renewed Cellian presence along the coast as a threat to their way of life and an opportunity to enrich themselves by attacking the new settlers. Sarah could not prevent this misdirection, and they departed from her service in 1719.
The Truce of Kryus
By summer 1720, Fryna was able to threaten an attack on New Ghidovia with the help of hired mercenaries, new equipment, and agreements with vasten nomads from the hills. Under this threat, Danmen agreed to Erasmus Atreit's request for a negotiation at the site of Andurian's fort on the Wheat Tribute. Danmen recognized his defeat would occur one way or another and agreed to leave New Ghidovia and surrender his army. He insisted, however, that Kryus Keep, the blood academy, and the royal palace remain under his control. Fryna was finally in control of her capital.
Once she had possession of the city, it was only a few months before Fryna broke the truce. In winter 1721, her Retuvians stormed the royal palace and Kryus Keep, burning the palace and looting many of the art and valuables from it to be sold to help fund her new dynasty. Danmen responded by having his mana seekers take all of the tablets and valuables from the blood academy and fleeing south to Firesky with them.
At the end of the war, Fryna was in control of almost all the wealthy lands in Ghidovia and had avoided much of the debts she anticipated when the war began. The Ascelin and Maedoc had equally counted on a long and bloody civil war, and were in no position to fight against Fryna directly. In the fall of 1721, Fryna marched to Ascelintown and captured Hardvor Ascelin. He was burned alive and his family longhouse converted into a new home for one of the tribesmen loyal to Fryna during the civil war.
Her attempts to subdue the Maedoc rebels proved difficult, and though in principle she claimed to rule them, in practice they disobeyed her entirely.
Further south, Sarah decided she would once again turn her back on Ghidovia, taking the title Doga of Fireksy where she and Danmen attempted to rebuild the lost glory of the ancient Norsom tradition.
The Summer Settlers
Erasmus Atreit had spent years traveling from village to village. with young Freja Ragnarr, among the diasporas, spreading the story of Ghidovia's resurgence and eventual victory against Andurian Rafil. With the Sea of Cedorax now safe and Ghidovia prepared to take the Empai's side if piracy in Saeva continued, many diasporas' way of life was coming to an end. With inter-village warfare rising rapidly and raiders from Yakug ever more hostile, many chiefs took the decision to gather their meager possessions and return home to Ghidovi and settle along the Summer River without fear of Cellian or Ghidovian aggression.
Although their return was welcomed, it presented new problems. In the centuries of absense, the diaspora culture had grown independently. It now rejected the religious and matriarchal traditions of Ghidovia. Its chiefs accepted the new title of Augyr but there was no willingness to bow to a foreign ruler or to pay taxes and other measures imposed by Fryna. The settlements remained cautiously independent and only nominally part of Ghidovia.
Doga Sarah Norsom was at peace and Firesky had gone from a small village at the edge of a steaming lake to a town filled with loyalist and wizards attending the new Blood Academy built by Danmen Norsom. Pilgrims began to arrive en route to the Temple of Hauvis built by Heirarch Cyril who preached the need for Ghidovians to remember that it was they, not the Arcva, who were the holders of Zarodossa's torch. Then, in 1725, the dormant phoenix Menelion awoke from its egg and quickly became the guardian of Firesky.