The Glorious History of Aathenaar, Part Five: The Very Bad War
The Twelve Children of Alatia had children of their own, and thus did the race of man thrive upon Coventra. But just as wherever the fengra mushroom sprouts, eventually will grow up a grove of occa trees, tensions developed between the Twelve’s descendants as their numbers grew.
It was a delegation from Anders’ marshy territory that started the unpleasantness. They had journeyed to the western lowlands, where Jaara’s tribe had flourished, hoping to convince them to abandon reason and trade the prodigious fruits that their orchards produced for the bitter mush that was all that grow in the swamps.
Negotiations never even began, however, for the delegation viewed what clever Jaara’s tribe had built — the magnificent monuments, the stately temples, and the peaceful parks that seemed to glow from within — and became insanely jealous. Upon gaining an audience with Carry, the chief of the tribe, one of the envoys named Serrer declared: “It is clear to us that you are unworthy of what you have wrought, and that we are. Therefore, we are at war.”
Without awaiting response, the marsh delegation turned as one and marched out of the frescoed town hall.
Word spread, and each of the Twelve tribes found themselves on one side of the dispute or the other, or both simultaneously, (as happened with Liekei’s tribe, which had followed Colm’s and supported Jaara’s tribe, but with an undercurrent of dissatisfaction because many thought this would be an issue that would let them break free of their mountain cousins‘ influence) or sometimes creating brand-new sides (as Cavin’s children did; by declaring that war could only hurt their fishing and attempting to remain neutral, they made enemies of all.)
Throughout Coventra, all effort went toward fashioning weapons, and training armies, and planning strategies, and posting guards to defend against the invaders who had once been brothers and sisters. This went on for many months, while fields lay unsown and fruits unharvested. People grew hungry and starved, and buildings fell into disrepair, and society seemed on the verge of crumbling.
Eventually, the mischievous sprites grew weary of watching the race of man waste away like this. “If you wish to be at war,” they said, “it is not enough to merely prepare for an invasion. Eventually, someone must actually invade.”
But the race of man was not accustomed to taking direction from sprites, and declared that it would conduct this war on its own terms. While most of the tribes were satisfied to say that, Bax, the wise chief of the tribe of Marion, and a direct ancestor to our beloved Baron Brange, wanted more. He gathered representatives from each of the Twelve tribes together under a banner of truce and made the following appeal:
“We must put aside our differences, if not for ourselves than to prove that we shall not be manipulated by sprite or goblin or any other inferior race. I propose that we achieve peace.”
This statement was so full of wisdom, and Bax so persuasive, that the representatives of the Twelve tribes unanimously and immediately agreed to it.