Era of Faith
With the Church having existed now for a few centuries corruption had worked its way in, many blame the Spymaster for causing this involving nations in Church politics had brought the taint of politicians to the clergyman. This set the stage for the Sainted Cleric to rise to power, thanks in large part to the Teachings which enabled even Lacklusters to access the Ephemera. This rapidly grew the Church’s power, the next few decades saw an increase of power for Ganoth, many nations placed much value in courting the favor of the Church. And the Elves saw the Church as the face of Mankind. When the Paladin rose to power the xenophobic and jingoist attitudes brought on by the Cleric’s rule as Pontiff were widespread, the stage was set for the launch of the Crusade. A march of the Holy against the foreign ways of the Elves.
-The Sainted Cleric
-The Holy and Righteous Paladin
-The High Inquisitor
The Teachings are Written
A young priest having studied many writings on the words of the Oracle, had managed to create a kind of science of obtaining access to the power of the Ephemera. In the Teachings the Cleric laid out a method by which even Lacklusters could access the power of the Ephemera, he also laid out the ground works for the Inquisitor’s and Paladin’s training later in the era.
The Sainted Cleric Rises
In an atmosphere of corruption, the Sainted Cleric rises to power in Ganoth as the Pontiff taking charge of the Church. The Sainted Cleric’s reign is one rife with jingoist and xenophobic tendencies, with the discovery of the Path through the Wilderness and the introduction to the Elven lands, many feared for Man’s place in the world. During this time the Church monopolized on this fear to further increase its grip over the nations. Suddenly Magic was available to any willing to follow the Teachings.
A couple of decades after the Cleric’s ascent, a young warrior of the faith proved his valor in battle and was awarded a contingent of men. From there the Paladin soon rose to power eventually becoming the Commander of the Army of the Faithful. The Paladin is most famous for leading the church into the Crusade. A series of wars with the Elves two century long. The Crusade was technically five different crusades spread out over the years beginning with the Paladin’s March into the Elven Lands and ending with the Inquisitor’s Compromise and subsequent retreat from the Elven Lands. Below are the various events of the Crusade.
The First Army of the Faithful
Lead by the Paladin- The largest army to invade the Elven lands, the charismatic leader attracted warriors from all accross the lands of Men, unified against the foreign Elves. The army had little care for holding land and instead sacked the three Elven cities Fendel, Veinari, Morline before retreating back across the Wilderness.
The Second Army of the Faithful
Ganthonian and Delosian Army- Largely viewed as the least successful of the Crusades, the Second Army of the Faithful was an echo of the first, Largely composed of donated soldiers from a then pious Triumvirate of Delos. Ultimately the army attempted to lay siege against Forendal, however they were outflanked and slaughtered by Elven Forces.
The Third Army of the Faithful
Ganthonian Army- A pitiful force from the small army of Ganoth, they were poorly commanded and hopelessly outnumbered. They encountered the Elven Military three times, by the third time the Third Army of the Faithful was in bad shape and only escaped thanks to interference from rebellious Valley Dwellers.
The Destruction of Haven
Elven Army- After the Third Army of the Faithful there was no will to continue the Crusade, the Elves however were still out for blood. They attacked Haven a nation boardering the Wilderness. The attack was quick and surgical, the entire nations power structure removed before they even realized they were at war. Haven fell in a night.
The March of Man
A Coalition of Ganoth, Delos, Greywatch, and Tyrn- An army forged for Retribution nearly every nation of Man participated in the attack to gain revenge for Haven. During the longest and second largest invasion of the Crusades the March of Man claimed and held the Elven city Forendal. They laid siege and briefly occupied many Elven cities during this time, the Massive force fracturing without a strong leader and attempting to each claim an Elven city for their homeland. During this time the occupied cities were largely supported by rebellious Valley Dwellers who were discontent with Elven rule.
The Northern Crusade
Svatch’s absence from the March of Man was noticed, they felt disconnected from the ways of the Church many in their country following the way of the Wyrd. To them the threat posed by the Southern Elves was a distant one. This came back to bite them after the brunt of the March of Man was over. The Church pushed for the Northern Crusade, a march across Svatch to enforce the word of the Church and stop the heretical spreading of the Wyrd. Much of western Svatch was invaded by church forces. It was not long before Svatch’s inevitable surrender to the Church’s forces. As part of the surrender they agreed to adopt the Church as their official religion however some still practice the ways of the Wyrd to this day.
The High Inquisitor’s Rise
During the Northern Crusade, the Church needed a strong leadership to continue their presence in the Elven Lands. It was decided to make the leader a native convert, the idea was to improve relations with the locals. This theory did not work in practice since the church appointed a young Dwarf as High Inquisitor. Never before had a member of the Little Folk been in a position of authority above elves. During his reign the High Inquisitor instituted a number of unpopular sanctions including making official the Church’s alliance with the rebellious Valley Dwellers.
Rise of Kirell and End of the Crusade
Soon a resistance movement based in the occupied city of Forendal managed to push the Church back, this eventually lead to the High Inquisitor’s Compromise. The Church would withdraw all forces from Elven lands under the condition that there be a church present in each formerly occupied Elven city and a section of land in the Eternal Valleys be given to the Valley Dwellers, to form a sovereign nation in every regard. This last act officially ended the Crusade, now Kirell the Dwarven Nation exists thanks to the Peace Treaty with the Humans, their existence dependent on the Human’s continued support.