During the closing years of the Age Of The Empire At War, Sparhae factions allowed barbarians to gain footholds in many parts of the Great Nation. One of these barbarian groups, invited into the Empire through treachery, was the Kiskerics.
Kiskeric tales relate little but unverified legend as to their beginnings. They claim that the Kiskeric tribe was founded by Kish, the disgruntled 2nd son of Essor, the Patriarch of Nations, who, cheated of his proper portion of the inheritance, went to war against his Essori brothers. He was captured after many years of battle and exiled to the far north, where he married a sorceress named Itgai, who was half-woman and half-serpent.
It is known that before 353, the Kiskerics had dwelt in Haithipir the Lesser, on the edges of the Great Northern Wilderness, for centuries, warring amongst themselves and with other, smaller tribes. Little is known of the history of this period except that they had retreated further north into Haithipir as Sparhae settlement had encroached upon barbarian territories.
This was, however, soon to change.
The year was 353. Sparhae was in pieces. The Age Of The Empire At War had rent the Great Nation for over one hundred years. In the north, in Shyakul Taryi, High General Gsash had declared himself to be the true Emperor, pretending to the throne by virtue of a promise made to him by the late God-Emperor Shmuol II (himself a former general). In the south, half of the Sea Provinces rose in rebellion against the Divine Throne, led by Vo'onuk Keres, a Telchai religious fanatic. Numerous petty generals, nobles, and pretenders vied for power. Barbarians, taking advantage of the instability of Sparhae, swarmed into the marches of the Great Nation, establishing their own states and pushing Sparhae governors for concessions and power of their own.
In Spatha A'har, the adolescent God-Emperor Kirishash lived in seclution, while his mother Fan-Hikorney ruled in his name as Regent In Divine Glory, playing various greater powers against each other in a desperate attempt to retain the power of the Divine Throne.
One of the most powerful contenders for the favor of the Throne (and most likely in seeking to claim it from Fan-Hikorney and the Imperial son) was Lord-General Of The State Army, Abardospathi. As lord in charge of the Imperial Legions, and official leader of the generals of the provincial armies, Abardospathi wielded considerable power in the capitol. He was reportedly a close confidant of Fan-Hikorney, often meeting with her in the Moon-Gardens of the Imperial Terrace, and often personally escorting the young God-Emperor to prayers at the Imperial Family Temple.
Abardospathi's main opposer in the struggle for the favor of the Throne was the Empire's greatest lord at the time, Vyakshin Ksanes, the Lord-Governor of Yaisharnan, the bread-basket of the Empire and controller of the most powerful of the provincial armies (the Girded Legions of the Mighty Ones of Yaisharnan). Though most of the Imperial Court and public lauded Ksanes as a hero, Fan-Hikorney for her part considered him odious.
It is generally known that for about 5 years, while Imperial armies battled Gsash in the northwest and Vo'onuk's Telchai fanatics in the maritime south, Abardospathi and Vyakshin Ksanes plotted against each other. It is believed that at least 8 poisonings were attempted. Abardospathi was forced to cut down an assassin at a dinner party. Ksanes was forced to put down a minor rebellion of northern forts (secretly funded by Abardospathi).
Finally, there occurred the famous 'Treachery of Abardospathi'.
During one of Fan-Hikorney's war councils, Abardospathi managed to convince the empress that Ksanes was plotting against her; his evidence was the military mobilizations that Ksanes had undertaken in the wake of the minor rebellion, as well as the movement of Ksanes' personal manor further west (the General was probably trying to draw connection between Ksanes and the rebel Gsash).
Then, Abardospathi sent a letter to Ksanes urging instant reconciliation and warning him (falsely, of course) that Fan-Hikorney was planning to have him killed. For this, he used Fan-Hikorney's known hatred of Ksanes, and the fact that emissaries from Ksanes had recently been stopped on capitol-bound roads (a product of Fan-Hikorney's new distrust of Ksanes).
-Gsunes invites the Kiskerics out of Outer Haithipir (where they are being pressured by the Gutar hordes)
The hosts have gathered, legions eye barbarians across a barren field, the generals stab daggers into their maps, the WAR QUEST has arrived.
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