War of the False Prophets

The War of the False Prophets is the great war which precipitated the formation of the Peace of Ages. It lasted for 112 years.

Origin

The war was sparked by religious extremism born out of a growing unrest with economic and social issues. The belief in the Old Gods and particularly the Goddess Myta (Goddess of Growth and Atrophy). While the Old Gods were once symbols of balance in the early years the theme shifted. Growing poverty among the working class gave rise to the idea that the world and humanity were in the state of atrophy and decay and that only Myta could save them and restore balance.

Beginnings - Rebirth of Life

In the initial few years before the war the movement pushed the idea that people should clear out the old ways in their lives so that new ways and thus new life could spring forth. This gave way to a strong movement for a monastic lifestyle promoting the shedding of worldly possessions and devotion to clearing of the old to make way for the new. The early movement was peaceful and devout in its belief that bringing about new life was about a return to nature, planting, farming, clearing away old and dead things, and a simplistic lifestyle of what a person needs to exist.

Fanaticism - The Great Renewal

Self proclaimed prophets started to pop up in different regions gathering followers. The prophets told that those who were truly devout to Renewal would be embraced by Myta and Onos himself would open the doors to the Infinite Sanctuary and allow the faithful in. Eventually each country had only one prevailing prophet either through collusion of prophets or through assassination or other violence. It was a time of religious upheaval and the prophets began to talk along similar lines. Coming up was a Great Renewal driven by Myta who was said to believe the human kind had to prove its worth or be burned away from Elder Soteria to make room for a new society.

Only the Faithful

In the time of the Great Renewal the fever for dominance in the eyes of the Gods spread. It was believed that the only way to show truth faith was to spill the blood of those too sick, too stagnant, and too weak to survive. Only through this could people prove their worth in the eyes of Myta and Onos, it was believed the sick or old should willingly give themselves up to sacrifice in the name of Myta to bring about new life.

Interference

Many of the prophets who rose up in different nations were not speaking the same rhetoric by chance. Instead most had an agenda; to keep the humans fighting each other. The dark fae had been preyed on by humans for years. Ostracized from trade and slaughtered by young warriors looking to make a name for themselves. With no help from the light fae, who also despised them for their chaotic and self-serving ways, the dark fae combined forces. Half-breeds were bred or chosen to pass for human and become prophets, spreading the message of blood as the only gateway to everlasting life.

Forces of Light & Hope

When the fighting broke out initially, it began with civil war among the larger nations. Several coup d’etats too place in a short amount of time. Some prophets came to lead and some came to be insurgents. In any case, each group was fighting to kill those they believed were weaker. This was always tied to strict ideologies. In first few months of war, the nations which retained non-fanatic leadership came together to form the Forces of Light and Hope. A short-lived alliance of nations which fought back the believers in the Great Renewal and attempted to oust them from other countries.

War of Attrition

The alliance was short lived, soon stories spread across the countryside of these armies committing atrocities, raping and pillaging where they went. Some of these stories were true, at least in part, though most were not. Nations rose up trying to keep out these new invaders. In a soup of fanatics, stories of atrocities, and a new nationalism and ideas of ethnic purities on the rise was born suspicion and utter fear. Each nation would soon break apart from allies which had been friends for centuries and it became a free-for-all. With everyone fighting everyone both inside and out else soon even powerful nations could barely keep up with anyone.

Martial law took hold of most places. Monarchs pressed locals into service when the armies passed through places. Failure to serve branded one a traitor and / or a rebel and that was grounds to be summarily executed. Children as young as 12 were pressed into service with some as old as 30 likewise pressed. Communities were laid waste, entire family trees were wiped out, farmland sat unplanted for seasons and mass famine gripped the countryside everywhere.

While every nation handled these events differently, the trend was for private lands to be seized by the government and worked by slave labor, often children. Branded as the monarchs providing for their people, children slaves were often pressed into service when they were old enough, though some were held back to work the fields, mines, and forges.

Poverty, Slavery, and Forced Service

Within a decade it was well known that the fighting had been started by false prophets. Most had been executed though a few still remained to cause trouble. The war was still waging on, unending, each time they would be close to peace one side or another would break the agreement through some form of savagery. Peace movements began to surface through most nations and brave people, often former soldiers and child slaves set up pathways to get children out of countries before they could be pressed into service or enslaved in the fields.

Armistice

After several failed attempts to stop the fighting, the final attempt succeeded. The 10 Kingdoms signed a 3 year armistice agreement set to start when all the fighting had finally stopped. It took a full 2 years before this happened. When the fighting stopped no nation had the capacity to continue. If not for the Fallen Star and the Ageless Ones it too would have failed. The armistice lead to the Peace of Ages to finally end the fighting.

Two thirds of the world population was dead by the end of the war.