THIRTY-THREE TALES OF WAR XXIII: THE SCHOLAR
Civil war rages in the black-blooded nation of Kandrisev. Its citizens grow restless. They demand their voices be heard. These are their stories laid out in thirty-three tales of war.
Thirty-Three Tales of War: Exploring the Diarchal Collapse through the Lives of Kandrisev’s Citizens
2A213 - 2A230
Presented by Emestesi Dvir, Senior Field Historian for the Ghinnish Academy of Higher Learning
THE Candrish Civil War, also known as the Diarchal Collapse, began in First Light of year 213 of the Second Age and lasted until Second Root of year 230, when Sofezhka Ïnna of the Ranov dynasty was captured and later executed by Elgana Rusalya of the Yolkerev dynasty and Magya Dvorina of the Odov dynasty (1). Unsurprisingly, Yolkerev and Odov were the Civil War’s primary belligerents. After Ranov’s execution, Yolkerev and Odov went on to ignite an ongoing conflict dubbed the Nine Queens’ War.
In Sun’s Pale of year 207 of the Second Age, Sofezhka Ïnna Ranov assumed the title of Rirtsriya (2) following the unexpected deaths of her older sisters: the dynasty’s natural heirs. Due to Ranov’s nezhdoya (3) status and intensified by the lack of another living Ranov woman of direct descent to fill the role of Ayrtsriya (4) — thus making a monarchy of Kandrisev’s traditional diarchy — her accession was met with extreme controversy. A compounding factor in the dispute over her legitimacy was Ranov’s role as the primary religious leader of Orthodox Quintinity, a widespread Northern faith. Historically, Candrish nobility have been disallowed from holding positions of religious significance while participating in government.
Outraged by the lack of opposition to Ranov’s rule, Magya Odov, then Chobortsriya (5) of Zoldonmesk, declared secession. When doing so, she renamed Zoldonmesk “Zoldoni Chovrekozh,” a controversial decision in itself. The name hearkened back to a time when Zoldoni folk were widely intolerant of and aggressive toward outlanders, including allies. Hoping the loss of Kandrisev’s largest and most productive region would encourage dissension, Odov urged the other Chobortsriya to likewise assert their independence.
Despite encouragement from her allies to force Zoldonmesk and Southern Kandrisev’s reunion with the North, Sofezhka Ranov continually declined to declare war. At the time, Igna, Zoldonmesk’s capital, had a higher population than that of each major Northern city combined. Direct war with Odov meant certain defeat. Instead, Ranov embargoed Zoldonmesk, following with embargoes of Chariv and Ochetsk after their respective Chobortsriya came out in support of the Zoldonmesk’s secession.
By year 210 of the Second Age, Kandrisev had fractured into three main states: Zoldoni Chovrekozh, Southern Kandrisev, and Northern Kandrisev. Nezhlovyad, an eastern region, remained generally neutral and declined to join any of the three states or declare independence.
Being nezhdoya herself, Ranov was frequently and fervently petitioned to divorce her blue-blooded husband, Patriarch Edgandris Paltra of the Brisian Empire, renounce and disinherit their three children, and marry a Candrish man by whom she could create black-blooded heirs. Every region, with the exception of Morozhelo and Sosna Chonok, pressured her to meet these terms. Her staunch refusal to acquiesce worsened relations with Southern Kandrisev and soured Nezhlovyad against the idea of allying with the North. In Harvest’s End, year 212 of the Second Age, Ranov unilaterally banned the nezhdoya trade and ordered all current nezhdoya to be given the opportunity to leave their spouse or families and return to their place of origin if they so desired.
In retaliation, Elgana Yolkerev sent three cohorts to raze Yav Vsevnyi, the holiest site in the Orthodox faith. The nezhdoya trade was a long-standing economic crutch within Chariv deeply ingrained in regional culture as an honorable and righteous use of one’s life. Families of children selected as nezhdoya were often given stipends or property deeds by the Upperbirth family that purchased their child. It is estimated that two-fifths of Candrish folk living in foreign lands were nezhdoya of Charivi stock in the same year the practice was banned.
Already embroiled in a centuries-long rivalry, the Yolkerev and Ranov dynasties’ mutual embitterment ignited after the sacking of Yav Vsevnyi. Unable to continue her policy of peaceable resolution in its wake, Sofezhka Ranov was finally forced to declare war.
(1) Sofezhka Ranov is known colloquially as the “Blue Queen,” Elgana Yolkerev as the “Yellow Queen,” and Magya Odov as the “Red Queen.”
(2) Literally, "Mother" (Rirah) + "Protectress" (Tsriya). Honorific and legal title for the “Principal Woman” of Kandrisev, traditionally viewed as the head of the diarchy. Often shortened to “Rirah.”
(3) Literally, “not” (nezh) + “mine” (doya). A lowbirth child forcibly adopted by an Upperbirth family for the express purpose of entering into a cross-blood-colour (“hemotone”) marriage alliance because the child possesses a unique trait or talent.
(4) Literally, "Sister" (Ayr) + "Protectress" (Tsriya). Honorific and legal title for the “Second Woman” of Kandrisev, traditionally viewed as Kandrisev's principal Chobortsriya.
(5) Literally, "Sovereign" (Chobort) + "Guardianess" (Vasriya). Honorific and legal title for the leader of each Candrish administrative district (region). Answers directly to the Ayrtsriya.