The triplet Zarodesses simultaneously created Zarodoms and expanded Arcva influence around the world. A delicate balance of power remained, and Arcellus suffered from the expenses of the wars.
Melduo Rafil II died in 1568 without any male heir. Instead, he left three triplet daughters as young adults: Poneius, Daria, and Lasheva. The three agreed that they would use the Crimson Sails and Arcellus' army to conquer their own Zarodoms so that each could rule as Zarodess in her own right.
Conquest of Kavees
The Arcellus army raised the banner of Lasheva and landed in Mimimaj Bankalumafia that autumn. After intruding onto the lands of the City of Vitro which ruled the lakes of Vitro Auq and Nomi Auq, the city's Strongman declared war on Arcellus. His group of 5000 spearmen and archers fought a hit-and-run combat and were able to halt three separate incursions by the 15000 soldiers of Arcellus in 1568.
The next year's campaign was delayed by spring monsoons, but by Feyuken 1569, Lasheva was on the march with 20000 soldiers. She split the group into four and ordered them forwards. Two groups lay in wait on hillsides while the centre two groups attacked villages along Vitro Etu. Vitro City's army tried to harass the flanks of the Cellian army and then pulled back. Their retreat was caught by the second half of Lasheva's force and the Cellians won a big victory and secured western Kavees which they spent two years solidifying their rule over by deposing Strongmen in smaller villages and hunting down loyalist bandits who had fled from the Battle of Vitro Etu.
Vitro City withdrew its armies and allowed the Cellians to take the rest of Kavees, believing that they were to lose land in a truce. Instead, Lasheva conquered the lands around the city and assaulted it. The town was sacked, burned, and looted in the summer of 1576. Its prizes were taken back to Werex Bankasorabeau and its people made into slaves. The ruins were rebuilt as Esmaj Vinaoladiu as the new capital of Lasheva's Zarodom.
In 1577, the army of Arcellus destroyed the small armies and fortifications that remained independent of the ruined City of Vitro. Lasheva Rafil I ruled the lands beneath the Royal, Lasheva, and Kavees hills, down the Essea Peninsula, and west all the way to Auqmi. She took a turquoise circle pierced by a silver sword with six wings on a yellow background as her banner.
Conquest of Ijhier
In 1579, the Crimson Sails blockaded the cities within the Ijhier forest and in the nearby rainforest. Daria took 10000 soldiers ashore and sacked the commercial and spiritual hub of Malae, a temple to Darnus was burned and replaced by one to Zarodossa from which Daria herself ruled. The other cities soon accepted terms of surrender to spare a similar fate, and Daria Rafil I was crowned Zarodess of Ijhier.
After a long season of monsoons and disease, Daria entered 1580 with only 2000 men at her side. The local cities rebelled and killed the Arcva rulers living in them. Daria conscripted the locals as slave soldiers, and she conquered the rest of the forest and opened up trade with the Alfar in the north. Morata was pleased to have neighbours who did not wish to destroy them, and provided assistance in stabilizing the region. Daria was merciful to the defeated Ashanzu this time, and allowed the rebel Chiefs to join her in council so long as they gave up their private armies to her Zarodom's central force.
Poneius Rafil I returned to Arcellus and claimed the title of Zarodess of Arcellus in spite of Dondorius I's claim that no woman would ever rule Arcellus. Her sisters were friendly, and Arcellus' trade potential was amplified by the emergence of Redoga as a regular trade partner and their holdings in the east granted to them by the powerful Muzabachen Tribe of Tokai in Borava.
The First Papiska War
In the aftermath of the conquest of Ijhier and Kavees committed by Zarodess Poneius, the Cellian army was weakened substantially. Of the 30000 soldiers who participated in the conquests, only 5000 returned. They were faced with a debt of 6 million gold pieces with a yearly surplus under one million. 2 Million was raised from the selling of slaves captured in the war who soon grew more populous than natural citizens in the vicinity of Werex Bankasorabeau.
Twelve separate slave revolts in 1580 drained even more manpower from the depleted Cellian military, whose Milliles pleaded with Poneius to ask for help from Doga Zinius Onud III of Starport who offered 2 million gold pieces, half their outstanding debt, if Poneius would agree to cede the western coast of Papiska to him. Her refusal meant little to Zinius III, who occupied Saltmeat and started extorting the human locals around Papiska Town in exchange for safety from his horse-back raiders.
The Battle of Saltmeat
Poneius sent her army across and marched towards Saltmeat. Millile Leader Deterium Atria commanded the 5000 soldiers who marched straight to Saltmeat. Zinius met them at the Battle of Saltmeat, and his mobile force ran circles around the Cellians while attacking with arrows. Over three days, Millile Detrium attempted to pull his tired army back to Papiska Town and yet the raiders returned to attack again every few hours. They burned crops ahead of the army and set fire to the Ashanzu supply carts. When escape was hopeless, Deterium ordered his soldiers to break their traditional shield wall and charge Zinius himself, hoping to shatter the morale of the humans. The horse archers never let the Cellians make contact, and Detrium plunged his blade into his own heart.
When news reached Poneius, she intensified her blockade of Starport. No ships arrived safely, and her ships flung disease-infected bodies into the city. When plague gripped Starport and Zinius fell ill, he offered truce terms to Poneius – his soldiers would keep Saltmeat but would stop harassing Papiska Town. Poneius accepted, and the two shook hands aboard the Crimson Sails' flagship.
Over the next ten years, further losses by Zinius in the Shattering against rival Dogas in Dan meant that he had to withdraw from Saltmeat. By 1600, the town was firmly back under the control of Arcellus.
Between 1630 and 1635, the slave population around Papiska Straight was almost twice the citizens of the area. Conflicts began to grow between the saevan humans who resented the rich Ashanzu vaniens and Arcva overlords of Papiska. Tensions boiled over into a full-scale revolt. Henry “Copper-Tooth” of Saltmeat won a pitched battle of 2000 rebels against an entire Millile in the Battle of Human Crossing, when the Millile was caught while fording the river. This victory inspired other rebellions in Cella, and by 1640 Werex Bankasorabeau was cut off from the rest of the Zarodom by a ring of hostile slaves who killed the masters who were unable to flee.
Although the Crimson Sails retook the coastline and reconnected the capital to the Zarodom within the next year, the slaves ran to the forests and made temporary cities to continue waging their war. 1650 saw the final encounter of the revolt when Grand Venificor Aran summoned a hurricane to flood the low-lying camp of the rebels along the Human River.
The exhausted Poneius had lost her war-like way by now. Rather than intensify the guarding of slaves in Arcellus, she relaxed them. She ensured that slaves always had the ability to buy their freedom, that children of slaves were free by birth, and that mistreatment of slaves was criminal. Her reforms were not completely enforced, especially further away from the capital, but they ended a generation of warfare around the Papiska strait.