The Civil War is one of the largest and most impacting conflicts in modern history. Featuring an Andoras at its peak, the rebel side, primarily led by the realms of Thyllanor, Thunder's Shore, and the Moonlyt Peaks with some end-war assistance from Gardoria, went to war against the loyalists, or the Crown, which included the Kingdom of Andoras itself, followed by its vassals the realms of The Wetlands, Edrane, and Frostfall. What ensued was a bloody conflict that lasted two and a half years, and was eventually won due to a series of victories in the Kingsland, particularly around the cities of Corcivaetas and Dragonspire, leading to a demoralized and eventually decimated Kingdom which fell apart at the seams in the final year of combat.
The war made many heroes out of both sides, some of which still serve today in their respective locations. Residual effects of the war ending are still prevalent as well, with the most notable being the War of Embers between Thyllanor and Thunder's Shore. Once former allies, conflicting claims and a long-standing blood feud between House Karthmere and House Grimolt led to war over the land that was once directly held by the Dragomári themselves -- and before them, the Daytons. It also set to make different factions within the continent itself, and to this day, the loyalist paramouncies still have tensions with those who won the war and dissolved the kingdom. The Wetlands and Edrane still recognize the Kingdom of Andoras as a sovereign nation, and await its return, while Frostfall renounced its loyalist ties not long after the war ended, thinking it folly to support a dead kingdom.
Origin of the war
A rebellion twenty years prior, the 326 AC rebellion (Farmers' Revolution) was fueled by and created hate for Aeganar IV Dragomárus. This is not to say that he was not already loathed by many of his subjects; his tyrannic actions prior to war breaking out had already influenced many of his once-close compatriots and vassals. It is said to have originally stemmed from the loss of his father, Aeramor I Dragomárus, who died in a conflict between a Thysian fleet and his own, which sparked the Thysian Conflict -- a short, two-battle war that ended as soon as it began. A few Andorasi ships survived the onslaught; the Drowned Duchess being one of them, one commandeered by House Dayton. Aeganar had returned to the general location of the fleet a few weeks later and torched the entire fleet to cinders and ashes. While some spoke out against this (namely a young diplomat named Veddel Markwell, who would later be the main force behind the Farmers' Revolution), many claimed that it was justified and that the Thysians firing on the fleet were biased and had little compassion for who might have been sailing in their waters. The Thysians claimed that the war had been forced upon them because the Andorasi were attempting to pirate their goods and extort them of their spices, which fetched enormous prices in Andoras. The general public thought of this as propaganda at first, unable to comprehend that King Aeramor, who had been known for his generally nice demeanor, would go to such lengths to abhorrently steal from another nation. Aeganar knew that this was not true, and that the underlying cause of the Thysian Conflict was the corruption in the market that had led to Thysia pointing fingers at the source of the problem, rather than consulting Aeramor directly. A fatal flaw of this, however, is that Aeganar never directly said this to anyone, and his father's name remained under scrutiny and depised tones. Already, the rule of the young king had seemed to go wrong in its ways, and the bar was set higher than necessary for Aeganar to succeed as a king, as eager not to repeat the 'mistakes' that his father made. This mindset worked, for some time, and Aeganar's First Five began.
'Aeganar's First Five'
Aeganar's First Five was a term given to the first five years that Aeganar IV Dragomárus ruled as a monarch in Andoras. They were marked by an unprecedented rate of growth and what seemed like a temporary golden age for the Andorasi. House Stenwulf set its differences aside, and finally publicly acknowledged the rule of the Dragomári; something they hadn't done since the Dragomárus invasion nearly three centuries prior. House Karthmere, already substantially rich, discovered more gold mines embedded in the hills of Thyllanor, leading to the creation of a new project a few miles north of Faercrest -- Vicarshall, a Karthmere family villa and holiday residence. It would be quite expensive, with the total cost being around 200,000 lions, and would not be finished until 333 AC. The Highlord of Thyllanor, Dalan I Karthmere, had expanded the borders of Thyllanor to north of the Wetlands and placed them farther south into Ember's End (before the war known as the Kingsland). This would be the start of a rising incline of Karthmere influence in the region. In June 321 AC, Aeganar held a grand tournament of Dragonspire, and nearly every lord in Andoras was invited to attend. Aeganar himself participated in the tournament, and won second place in the joust to be bested only by a young Larys Carston, who would later be knighted and become one of his main generals. Some nobles spoke out on this, particularly those who were knights themselves. They claimed that a man's prowess in battle does not determine if he is worthy to be a knight; rather that he be the best kind of man to represent the kingdom internally and through outside affairs. This was true to some extent, as Larys lived a slob's life outside of his public one. He'd often find himself waking up with his head pounding and his mouth dry, with a terrible hangover and often late into the day. One could not take away from his military and martial abilities, not to mention that they far outweighed his public life, and so he remained a knight, and later named Grand General of Andoras a month later. Many overlooked this, but those who had earned their knighthood and still felt they lacked proper attention didn't like this state of affairs.
Life for the peasants
Even life for the peasants had improved in this time. Less farmers were needed to work the fields, and a very smooth process of producing food and selling it had created itself during this time. A peasant could expect to have lived longer (if the golden age had lasted, that is), and didn't have to work as hard as they did before. For the first time, peasants could seek out leisure and entertainment; they weren't very accepted, but opportunities were present for them.
Towards the end of the golden yearsLife went on as it had for these years until 325 AC, when a strange madness overcame Aeganar and he began to act out against anyone who angered him; several noticed, however, that he still treated his children and family with compassion, being incredibly hostile to anyone who tried to talk to them directly. It started with slight outbursts, typical of a king under stress, to loudly proclaiming the death of anyone who had so much as looked at him on a particular day. The reaction to this was sudden surprise, and later, anger. A young king who had maintained his temperance and public image for five years so well suddenly turned to madness and hate for his answers. Many courtiers who were with Aeganar tried to seek help for him, and many were in turn executed for what Aeganar said himself, "incredibly un-clandestine arrogance". The rampant death that Aeganar had caused within his own populace was felt throughout the entire kingdom. Already, arms were being prepared against him; but, in a stroke of luck, Aeganar had managed to convince the population to trust in his command, with a speech that he delivered in June of 325 AC. In the speech, he claimed:
But even with this speech, Aeganar was on borrowed time. He knew that war was imminent, but he didn't know that he'd be the one declaring it.
The Farmers' Revolution
Main article: 326 AC rebellion
Beginning in mid-late 325 AC, Aeganar created a plan in which he would travel to several locations around the kingdom, particularly those known for the recently-revived philosophy of con-crownism and those who were threatening to wage war against the Kingdom in revolt. To that end, Aeganar traveled with a heavily-guarded carriage caravan and several royal guardsmen at all times, to avoid any conflict if they could by intimidation and, if necessary, fend off any foes, who would be mostly peasantry; untrained and often armed with little more than their farming tools.
Aeganar's travels around the kingdom
Aeganar's plan devised a route to follow which would encircle and later bring him back to Dragonspire. The full journey, not counting the time it would take to stop in each city and give a demonstration, would take nearly a year. His first travel was to the nearby city of Corcivaetas, which was a quickly burgeoning city after the reputed discovery of silver in a large vein deep below the mountains nearby. Most citizens and peasants in the Kingsland tolerated Aeganar enough to listen to him, and there was a good chance that if war broke out, they wouldn't also secede with the others. Most of these travels had little to no violence, and Aeganar had escaped each town with his self intact - regardless if they heeded his message or not.
Travel to Farrowhalt and Faercrest
The 'no violence' experience would not last long, however. Thyllanor was a hotbed for con-crownism and secession from the kingdom, especially since all three who would later become commanders of the Farrowhalt Freehold; Veddel Markwell, Michael Avleston, and Dalan I Karthmere; lived here and held power as well. Aeganar reached the border of Thyllanor by September, and was en route to Farrowhalt by November. A militia which had been formed a few months prior was preparing for this opportunity, having read the letter that Veddel Markwell penned that was directly addressed to all able men and women in the town. An ambush was prepared, and for the first time, Aeganar saw the beginnings of a war under his reign. He was able to fend them off, but lost many of his men in the process. This made Aeganar even more mad than he previously was.
Faercrest was an unscheduled visit on the travel, but Aeganar decided to travel there anyway, keen to prove his innocence to the Thyllanorians. Aeganar was met with harsh reception in Faercrest, and an even larger assassination attempt occurred there in the town square. Dalan I Karthmere was nowhere to be seen, and the guards seemed to have taken longer than normal to break up the battle than they were known for. Aeganar did not fare well in this battle. He retreated back to Dragonspire, demanding that no one would stop until he reached the Dragonspire itself. Aeganar's two remaining carriages were badly battered, with cracked windows and cinder marks from where they were burnt. Three of the horses died, being forced to move until they collapsed from exhaustion. Once Aeganar learned he had to walk back to Dragonspire, he killed everyone in his entourage, and rode the last horse until it, too, died from exhaustion, with the gates in sight. He later ordered the death of everyone who had seen him in such a state, and sprinted at a brisk pace until he reached the Dragonspire. The tyranny of this single action was enough for the Farrowhalt Freehold to declare its independence, led by Markwell, Avleston, and several days later, Lord Karthmere.
During the war
Aeganar did many tyrannical things during the war that led to only more hate for him. At the conclusion of the war, his main general, Daemalor Celtheon, slew Dalan I Karthmere at the Six-Day-Siege. Aeganar also brought his dragon, Vhalax, to torch the city of Faercrest which concluded the siege quite abruptly, killing most of the peasantry, who lived in wooden structures and either suffocated or burnt to death. After Veddel Markwell and Michael Avleston were captured in 331 AC, they were executed and the war ended exactly 5 years after it's beginning; many claimed this was a bad omen, as five years of excellence turned to five years of war, but in reality Aeganar meant exactly for this to occur, considering it a milestone of a sort.
After the Farmers' Revolution
While hate for Aeganar IV still existed (perhaps even more) after the Farmers' Revolution, no one dared to wage war against him, lest they too be killed and annihilated. This was exactly what Aeganar looked to do; rule with the power of fear. He did so successfully for two decades, until the Civil War broke out and he lost his life alongside his kingdom and power.
The 330s AC
The decade of 330 AC was a period of cooling off for Andoras. Faercrest, particularly the poor district, was in shambles, and the Karthmeres had to dedicate most of their funds to rebuilding the city. For a time, House Grimolt was the richest house in Andoras. The Brackwaters, regardless of their personal opinion of the king, had always remained loyal vassals, and so the Highlord Rolland Brackwater maintained peace and love for the king in his domain, The Wetlands. Aeganar gave many public audiences and interviews during this time, and had a penchant for discussing the war at large with diplomats and emissaries from Doras Edrossi, who were unaffected by his tyranny and still enjoyed his company. Aeganar, however, was still known for his outbursts, and even maimed a Meyronite diplomat while he was in a debate with Aeganar. The Tentative Years, named such because of its period of inactivity, was Aeganar's attempt at centralizing the Kingdom and placing all power in him. Not even a month after the Farmers' Revolution ended, the mandates ranged from trade tariffs, to punishing Thyllanor as a 'foreign occupied nation' and more.