Under Feet of Clay
Pittacan Civil War
In the year 1133, an unknown assassin killed Pittacae’s King Meneandros IV without an heir in a gathering of all the Cathedras. In the ensuing chaos, a rift formed in the noble houses, leading to a division between the traditionalist party known as the Royalists, and the families who desire to dissolve the office of king entirely, who call themselves the Liberati. While most divisions fell across family lines, some houses such as House Pausanias was split by the turmoil. During the war, the lines would fall more or less between West Sea and East Sea families, though the sizable force of House Eurysthenes would join the Liberati, creating a border through which few could escape.
While Pittacans insist that this war is an internal affair between the noble houses, the effects have been felt throughout Calopius. Without the forces of warriors on adventuring leave, the security of the borders has decreased significantly, particularly near Dikethaleos and Biasophoros. Rumors persist that merchants and politicians from Solonos and Periandropolis are secretly financing parts of the war, with Solonos accused of attempting to purchase the loyalty of the crown, while Periandropolene investors are believed to finance the upstart Liberati in a stand against monarchy.
The Houses divide according to these lines:
The Royalist Party draws support from Houses Agiadis, Zeuxedamus, Kynotas, Oibalos, Cleombrontos, and the remains of the Royal House of Lacedaemonids. The headquarters of their front of the war is the defensible fortress of House Cleombrontos, overlooking the Winedark Sea.
The Liberati are a union of Houses Amyklas, Tyndareos, Pausanias, Nabis, and Eurysthenes
A brief timeline of the war is as follows:
1133 – King Meneandros IV is assassinated. Initial evidence points to the implication of House Agiadis and Zeuxedamus coordinating a grab for power. Queen Melissa (originally of House Zeuxedamus, and sister to Dorikas Zeuxedamus) is taken by cover of night from the Citadel and spirited to an unknown location for safety as violence threatens to break out. The houses of the Liberati make their stand that with the King now dead and the royal line broken, the office should be dissolved.
1134 – The Naval Battle of Three Harbors sees the bulk of the Royalist navy destroyed by the ships of House Pausanias, who dominates the naval theater in the East. Nicanor Agiadis is appointed commander of the lands of House Agiadis, and tasked with maintaining a force that can keep House Eurysthenes from maneuvering the bulk of their army into the greater battle.
1136 – Peace talks between Houses Agiadis, Cleombrontos, and Amyklas fall through. The Battle of the Copper Hills sees the shield-bearers of House Oibalos suffer heavy losses.
1139 – House Tyndareos launches a night raid of the manor of House Zeuxedamus, killing the current leaders of House Zeuxedamus. Dorikas withdrawn from the location where Melissa is being kept to oversee the affairs of his house.
1141 – In a battle that is now known as Nicanor’s Gambit or The Knife of Agiadis, a distraction force provides cover for Nicanor Agiadis to push his lines north, sacking the manor of House Eurysthenes and breaking the northern front of the Liberati. The victory came at significant cost, and the coming occupation of Eurythenes lands will prove a greater drain on their resources. Zoldus Eurysthenes’s body is found in the wine cellar, allegedly preserved by magic and having been dead for years. However the body is stolen during a riot when Commander Agiadis orders a proper public funeral for the head of the house. A sizable bulk of Eurysthenes soldiers escape to the Western front of the war, but some retreat to the north.
1144 – House Agiadis officially ends occupation of the the lands of House Eurysthenes, after nearly a dozen peasant revolts and ongoing infiltration and sabotage attempts. Among the commoners of House Eurysthenes, Nicanor earns the nickname Butcher of the Bloody Bay, due in large part to a few incidents in which armed soldiers were forced to raise their weapons against rebeling peasants.
1150 – The Battle of Bull’s Charge sees the Royalist Army turn a near defeat into a rout with a cunning false retreat.
1152 – Captain Laylissa, a mercenary captain from Timaedius under the employ of the Royalist Army, earns a reputation across all Calopius for a run that comes to be known as The Battle of Empty Seas, in which casks of Alchemist’s Fire were hurled ahead of the ship on catapults to create the sense of an imminent battle against the Liberati forces, and instead the half-elf oversaw a rescue of fifty prisoners of war returned to their houses.
1155 – The protracted fighting has left deep entrenchments largely along the main thoroughfares of the Pittacan countryside. After two decades of bloodshed, little hope remains of reuniting the splintered polis.