The Necruruean Empire came to a sudden chaotic end when its military rose up against a bad emperor.
The generals slew the emperor and his entire family and then fought one
another in a
fruitless, horribly violent civil war.
In the fractured, unhappy peace that
followed, there emerged Prakai Eleusi, a charismatic
panitei leader who
called for a return to ancient panitei values and a purified political
Prakai united the Necruruean remnants, created a huge army, and
initiated a wave of conquest. He created a dictatorship that was cruel
beyond measure. He caused the death of several millions. He successfully
attacked the Ceiolaian Empire, and ended up conquering a third of
Bergonia. He died alone one night in his private garden, stabbed by a
clever assassin who disappeared into the dark. After the short reign
of his son, his realm disintegrated in a war of succession that lasted 35
years. He left a great scar on Bergonian history.
For background see the History of Medieval Bergonia and
the History of the Imperial Era.
This the story of western Bergonia from 530 to 622 AD, including Prakai's
Sudden, Bloody End of the Necruruean Empire:
victor gets the privilege of writing history, and the generals who assassinated
the emperor in 530 AD wrote that
their motive was proper vengeance. One of them, a great nobleman of
the Spider Clan, had a beautiful daughter, fifteen years old. When she
properly rejected the old emperor's advance, he had her brought to his
chambers. She kept her dignity, and he raped and then severely beat
her. Word got out of the palace that he was detaining the girl, and
her father came storming to the palace gates demanding her release. At
the decisive moment the emperor prevaricated and then he released her,
showing weakness. The general was outraged at what the emperor had
done to his daughter. He and other nobles petitioned the emperor to
give an account for himself and to make amends, and the emperor reacted by
commanding total silence on the subject.
few weeks later he tried to appease the generals by hosting them at a grand
banquet. Before the servants could bring the second course, the
generals all jumped forward with daggers drawn and killed the emperor with a
hundred cuts. They murdered his retinue and his male kin. It was
said that the blood flowed from the palace down the steps onto the great
plaza, and then across to the other side, horrifying all the
generals immediately fell into violent quarreling about who would take
over. There was more blood in the palace. Soon the banda
warriors and the army was dividing up into four opposing
until then the empire had been stable for three centuries, but the generals'
competing greed unleashed a civil war on all western Bergonia that
lasted __ ugly years. The panitei in how they waged the war were
totally heedless of the commoners. No one suffered more than the
citizens of besieged cities. Usually the defending army roughly
imposed itself on the city, and when the siege began the panitei turned the
citizen into slaves. The attacking army often tried to propel fire
over the city walls, either with a barrage of fiery arrows or a catapult
propelling pitch or some other flaming substance. Many civilian
casualties resulted. If and when the siege finally succeeded, the
victorious panitei quite often ordered their men to brutalize the surviving
siege in 541 AD came to an abrupt end when the archers refused orders to shoot
their fire arrows over the walls. The panitei-officers yelled and
screamed at the commoner-soldiers, but the soldiers remained stubborn.
They had grown weary of murdering civilians, people like themselves. Soon armies everywhere
faced mutinies by weary soldiers against their panitei masters.
Nothing like this-- common soldiers defying the glorified warrior-officer
class-- had ever happened before.
armies froze in place, a cold peace spread over the land.
All fighting ceased by 543. The
people were relieved, and very satisfied with the peace the soldiers had wrested from
the panitei. For
their part the panitei were still formally in charge, but facing potential mutinies at
every turn. The people had utterly
subdued them. They
had comfortably dominated society for centuries, since before the time of the
Prophet; no one could conceive of such defiance. The panitei, in their pride, overlooked the their own
unprecedented misdeeds during the war that wounded cities and killed thousands
AD-- Prakai Eleusi's murderous reign
the next twenty years the panitei criticized themselves harshly.
A new generation of panitei criticized the generals who had waged the disastrous civil war. They
extended the criticism to all the high-ranking panitei of imperial Necrurue (and by
extension to the very similar panitei of imperial Ceiolai, to the east).
Many of the younger generation denounced their imperial ancestors for
their bureaucratic careerism, their softness and their luxurious materialism.
560 a panitei leader, Prakai Eleusi, of the Fox Clan, stridently appealed to the priesthood and the
panitei warriors among all the autonomous factions to join him in unifying the
remains of Necrurue. Prakai pledged to restore Necruruean power over the entire
Western Ifuno. This unrestrained
glory-seeking struck a loud chord in the hearts of his contemporaries.
He praised the assassins of the last emperor for upholding proper panitei
rectitude, and for exercising proper panitei aggression, like the righteous
aggression of the ancient feticinai. But
then he criticized them for falling into greedy competition.
He accused them of not having shed their decadent imperial attitude.
proclaimed fervent loyalty to Shufrantei orthodoxy. His allies, the old priesthood, feared their domination was
denominations that arose in the Clacupo cities had started winning converts in
the Ancita heartland itself.
years later, in 563, Prakai felt confident enough to launch a campaign.
His army was small, composed only of panitei, immune to the possibility
of mutiny by common soldiers. Most
pantei supported his program and flocked to his banner.
Little fighting was actually necessary as he assumed control of the old
Ancita center of what was once Necrurue. The
warriors and the orthodox priests saluted his ascendancy.
But once in charge of central Necrurue, Prakai's behavior changed
dramatically. What had begun as a
broad-based movement to strengthen panitei traditions and Shufrantei rectitude
he soon led in a different direction. People quickly saw that neither his
imagination nor ambition knew any bounds. He
proclaimed that all Shufrantei society had strayed from Ierecina’s pure way,
so that the world had sunk into a mire of pollution.
Prakai would rectify this deviation by imposing upon the whole world a
new reign that would please the Gods—as had been done before.
In short, he intended to repeat the Subanei conquest of the world.
For his banner he flew a white cloth bearing the twin ideographs for "brushfire” and "axe,” drawn in red &
These symbols spoke loudly to the people of the times.
The herder and the peasant of the grassy Ifuno have always seen
brushfires as total devastation, leaving behind blackness and emptiness, out of
which life springs anew. The axe
was a weapon used by the Ancita panitei warrior and his soldiers, but for the
panitei it lacked the symbolic allure or mystique that surrounded the bow,
dagger and spear. However, the
panitei traditionally employed the axe to behead the most dishonorable criminals as they
were made to kneel. Therefore
the axe implied a great insult to Prakai's enemies. It meant judgment,
while the Brushfire meant devastation. The combined symbology spelled out
something quite unsettling to the Bergonian, the idea of total judgment of
society, which would exact the ultimate penalty and spare no one.
Prakai Eleusi, then, burst forth as the Ifemrae-- "Axe of
his very first public address, he manifested an unremitting and irrational
hatred for the Feocarine. Most of
the orthodox priests at first supported him, but too late realized how brutal he
intended to be. He ordered arrests and murders of all Feocarine
priests. He banned all Feocarine books and communications, confiscated
their temples and monasteries, and threatened to expel from the ranks any
panitei who showed interest in Feocarine put all their believers under
Too late, for Prakai had already obtained a firm grasp on the reigns of
power, and he did not lack support, for he had hypnotized the panitei.
Moreover Necrurue’s trading establishment supported the military
conquests that Prakai openly schemed, in hopes of obtaining control of all the
roads and markets in the West. Enough
of the priesthood lent Prakai their unconditional support, since he always
argued that, like the Naithitieri, he was bonded to the priesthood.
In time he started hinting to the people around him that Arkan and
Icotesi whispered in his ear. He
then implied that every command he gave was nothing less than the Divine
Couple’s direct wish. He wore the
most bizarre attire, ignoring any convention that conflicted with his own
predilections and moody whims. Prakai
was overly fond of wearing pelts of fox fur-- he did belong to the Fox clan,
He fastened flashy colorful bird feathers to his jacket and made a tall
crown of them. This attire shocked
the reserved traditionalists among the Ancita.
All of their previous rulers had dressed in simple kilt and tunic of
wool, not unlike the common warrior, though covered by a long tailored jacket.
Prakai also painted his face in the old
manner, much to the delight of his adoring masses.
Wherever he went he rode in a gold gilded wagon with huge wheels, which
sixty soldiers enthusiastically pulled. The
people amassed around the wagon, raised their hands into the air in balled fists
and shouted, "Ifemrae!"-- "The Heavenly Axe".
Prakai's blade-welding zealots
Like most successful revolutionaries (whether religious or political)
Prakai surrounded himself with a coterie of followers who took on distinctive
manners. These panitei he dubbed
the Pupreisani-- the "Supporters of the Righteous."
The Pupreisani zealots thought nothing of murdering those whom they
suspected of disagreeing with Prakai’s theological pronouncements.
The Pupreisani amended the injunctions contained in the Book of Anger
with Prakai's many commandments. He
inveighed against licentious living and slothfulness.
They cast aside all liquor and, save for the special occasions when they
became intoxicated in wild orgiastic celebrations.
The Pupreisani wore simple white shirts and kilts, tied their hair
back in a knot, wore no jewelry or other ostentation, kept their small empty
abodes perfectly spotless, abstained from illicit sex and drinking, meditated,
chanted, trained in weapons, scrupulously honored the old pantei traditions, and despised
all the secular art of the current renaissance and reformation.
They organized one marathon running race after another and strived,
according to Prakai's commandments, to stay in top physical condition.
In the era before Ierecina, the pantei warriors commonly engaged in such
marathon competitions, but over the centuries the marathons died out.
Now the Pupreisani revived the practice.
all the Pupreisani showed great cruelty. Prakai and the Purpreisani
repeatedly denounced an underground conspiracy and
credited it with numerous violent acts of rebellion. They called these conspirators the "Ants." Thousands of people
were arrested, tortured and imprisoned because of their alleged connections with
the Ants. They liked to cripple and maim the suspects-- cutting off ears,
fingers, toes, genitalia. Their propaganda linked the Feocarine with the
"Ants," and they tortured people in order to get
information about the Feocarine. They took the remarkable step, quite rare
in the voluminous annals of torture, of holding their session in public, forcing
an amazed and fascinated audience of commoners to watch the extraction of
information. Historians are now fairly certain that the Ants were wholly a
fiction to justify terror and persecution of individuals. However the
Feocarine were quite real.
With Prakai's approval, the Pupreisani
established a horrid prison, known to us more by the tales told by the
jailers rather than the jailed, few of whom survived.
built cells four feet wide and seven feet long-- and only three
feet high, compelling the occupant to remain prone on a filthy surface of cold
stone during the entire time of his incarceration.
A small door permitted a person to crawl in or out, but the jailers
opened it only to shove inside scraps of food and water in a ladle.
Other than this once-a-day feeding the door remained shut, and the
prisoner remained encased in darkness. The
cell was never cleaned, so a prisoner befouled his small enclosures until
he died. Then the jailers compelled a new prisoner to pull the body out
before ordering him in to take the dead man's place.
neglected to remove the corpse of the old prisoner before making the new
prisoner climb into the cell.
wanted a concrete expression of his power. He ordered the construction of a huge temple in
Ancitaselticoi. Its shear size made
it horrifically ugly. It was little
more than a huge cube capped with a dome. The
builders initiated work on the building in 565, his second year of power.
Prakai poured vast resources into this project, impressing into the
service of his engineers over twenty thousand workers to cut and haul stone,
lay the foundation and build the walls. He
completed the project in a mere five years. Few could honestly say that they found any beauty in the huge
temple, but no one could speak an honest opinion about it without incurring the
wrath of the Pupreisani.
initiated a campaign of conquest. His
armies spread out from Necrurue in all four directions.
The armies first marched southeast toward Letlari, then they went
thundering southwest toward the Clacupo.
Next they attacked Muonatli, the state that had remained independent of
Necrurue for centuries. And as they conquered they burned the temples of the sects Prakai
disliked. They took many panitei
prisoners. Typically they lined up
the prisoners and demanded immediate conversion to their way, and those who
displayed the slightest equivocation met a swift turn of the blade.
They burned several cities whose leaders resisted, in this respect
imitating the Necruruean generals whom Prakai had criticized.
They sometimes irrationally mutilated and
slaughtered populations even after their leaders had surrendered.
They maimed thousands, cutting off arms and legs.
As the conquest proceeded-- and as tales of his army’s cruelty spread--
his foes fell into panicked retreats or surrendered in abject terror.
Never before had Bergonians seen such savage bloodletting.
Improving upon the practice of dragooning that the generals invented
during the Necruruean civil war, Prakai enforced conscription on a grand scale,
and men of all social classes swiftly divined that they had better serve
his bloody will rather than risk even the appearance of opposition. Some historians estimate that he had as
many as 700,000 men under his command, a huge army considering that he drafted
this number from a total population of seven or eight million.
Eleusi's greatest campaign
-- invading the Ceiolaian Empire
In 579 Prakai Eleusi initiated a new campaign eastward, facing the
Imperial Army of Ceiolai which still occupied the central Ifuno Plateau,
including the area around the grand city of gold, Crisitoni, the acknowledged center of Bergonia.
After two months of skirmishing and maneuvers, two huge armies
clashed 40 miles west of Crisitoni, 120,000 of Prakai Eleusi's men versus 88,000
Imperial soldiers. This was
the battle of Atlacroi, "Cold Creek," where the Army of Ceiolai
suffered its worst defeat ever.
The decimation of the Ceiolaian Army allowed Prakai's army to capture
Crisitoni and sweep eastward.
Prakai's men hailed their victory as a repeat of
the destruction of the armies of the First Ceiolaian Army by the forces of the Prophet. Everyone
prophesied the capture of Ceiolai.
for reasons unknown to history Prakai Eleusi ordered his army split, and
he sent a contingent from Crisitoni southward toward the Letlari region.
The small cities there, formerly under Ceiolaian control,
fell quickly to that contingent. The
remainder he ordered to press eastward toward Ceiolai.
With fewer men under arms their chances for victory were clearly
less. We do not know if Prakai's generals objected,
but we do know that he executed a number of them around
this time, demoralizing the rest. We also know that Prakai,
perhaps realizing his error, held up his army and dispatched another 20,000 men eastward on a forced march, hoping to catch up. But the first force was too close to the Ceiolaians' remaining legions,
and even though the Ceiolaians were outnumbered they decided to take the
offense. They inflicted heavy casualties on Prakai's army. Both
armies reeled away from the scene of bloodletting badly
injured. This was as far east as any of Prakai's armies had ever
come, and now they retreated back into the verdant Crevase region and encamped on the shores
of one of the lakes, waiting for the reinforcements to come.
The Ceiolaian commanders did not want to give the reinforcements a chance
to arrive, so they attacked again, this time catching them on the lakeside.
Prakai’s army had the waters to their back and nowhere to go.
It was said that the floating bodies covered the entire surface of the Lake. This ended Prakai Eleusi's eastward expansion, and Ceiolai was saved. The
two forces clashed many more times, but with reduced numbers and
with Prakai less willing to place so much at stake. Prakai Eleusi apparently accepted the limits to his
But Ceiolai had lost a third of its territory. It lost its centuries-old grip on the central
Ifuno Plateau, including Crisitoni and the nearby
gold mines. The Ceiolaian army had lost a total of ninety thousand men in the campaign. The
defeat showed the world that Ceiolai's armies were vulnerable, and presaged the
ultimate collapse of the Empire.
Prakai Eleusi now had conquered a
third of all Bergonia, and half the Shufrantei world.
Eleusi died at the hand of an assassin in 587.
A frenetic Feocarine dissenter-- who was also an accomplished gudazhe--
had seen his entire family murdered by Prakai's agents in the
persecutions. Animated by the
spirit of revenge, he managed to scale the walls of Prakai's palace and
then lurked through his gardens. Prakai,
it was known, often attended to his private pleasures in the peace of his walled
garden. There the Feocarine charged
and stabbed Prakai one time in the gut.
the stabbing he lived for three days, during which he summoned twelve priests, fifty pantei commanders and eighty-four bureaucrats and
proclaimed to them that his 24 years old son, Aruli Eleusi, should succeed
him. The chronicles record that
Prakai's followers built a pyre sixty feet tall and kept it burning
for days. With bizarre cruelty
Aruli ordered that the prison guards kill all the inmates and
fling their bodies onto the flames. It
was said that nothing would grow on the spot for
the next five hundred years. The
next day Aruli became naithetieri in a hurried ceremony.
Prakai Eleusi was 37 years of age when he seized power in 563
A.D. He was 61 years old when he died. He
reigned for 24 years, the most violent time in all Bergonian history.
is accepted by all historians that at least a millions died—making Prakai the
worst killer in all Bergonian history.
some modern historians take very seriously the
claims of contemporaries who held that he killed over two million, as much as twenty
percent of the population under his rule, though others ascribe such
assertions as hyperbole. During his reign
a flood of refugees swamped cities in the east like Ceiolai and Varsca.
man typified the most frightening of recurring phenomena in Bergonia
history-- the Hero-Priest-King-Conqueror, set on transforming the
face of human society in accordance with his own version of the
ancient and archetypal Godly Kingdom on Earth. Though some shed blood with savage abandon, others employed careful strategy in
combination with genuine consideration for the masses, every single one of these
redeemers sought to repeat the most failed aspect of
Ierecina's career, that of holy emperor. Every
one of them sought to reclaim a lost vision of the perfect
harmonious society. They were
revolutionaries following a reactionary vision, both loved, hated,
but especially feared in their own time, and setting into motion ripples
that lasted far beyond their own years. In the quest of a harmoniously pure
society, they invariably disturbed the natural blemished
harmony that prevails in real life. Some of them left permanent marks on the stream
of Bergonian history, but none left such a stain as bloody as Prakai
Western Wars of Succession:
How the war began
Eleusi was what in Nacateca is called aiertale, which means
"distracted by one's body," which is to say chronically ill. The
chronicles describe what we today recognize as uncontrolled grand mal seizures.
The chronicles state that he remained in his bed much of the time because of
unspecified illess. He apparently also have
suffered bouts of mania. But in his
lucid moments he possessed a dangerous shrewdness. The
Pupreisani remained loyal to him. The climate of terror and revenge
that had enveloped Prakai's Ancita hierarchy now claimed his son.
It is not clear why Aruli turned the Pupresani
goons on the Mrilitashi priests and their followers. but he did direct several
of his purges against them. In 591 Aruli was
in his turn assassinated in the very same palace garden where his father met the blade.
The assassin was one of his
valets, a man who had served Aruli for a
decade, presumably of impeccable loyalty. History does not record a
Aruli's death sparked a fierce struggle between the orthodox Mrilitashi
partisans and the Pupreisani. Aruli
had no sons, and so he had designated a Pupreisani leader to
succeed him in the preposterous office of naithetieri.
The Mrilitashi would not brook the choice and revolted.
The two groups competed in the battlefield for the power to select a new
emperor. Coninpati tribesmen
from north of the Sutretamos came south in droves; for a fair price they would
involve themselves in just about anyone's war.
war continued without either side gaining a decisive victory, and after a few
years generals defected and militias organized to form new armies to oppose both
the Pupresani and the Mrilitashi. Reformists, including the Feocarine, supported
a general named Tuleri, the "Hopeful One," had
assembled a large force which was primarily loyal to himself and to no religious orthodoxy. Tuleri
had served under Eleusi, although he turned out a most liberal
man, very tolerant of most views, but motivated by a singular urge
to become emperor. Everyone recognized him as a moderate, careful, fair man, and this made
him appealing to many. Tuleri
adorned his blue flag with an emblem of six lilies, because lilies were in bloom
at the time he established his own army of six legions.
Avengers -- dedicated to destroying Prakai's legacy
Feocarine supported the new movement known as the White Avengers, organized
by survivors of atrocities to hunt down and kill off all surviving
Pupreisani. The White Avengers
disseminated anti-Pupreisani propaganda in the towns and villages. White
Avenger commandos attacked Pupreisani troops and assassinated Pupreisani
They had no particular love for the Mrilitashi who had just a
few years earlier had walked hand in hand with the Pupreisani, but they now found Mrilitashi convenient partners in resisting the
Pupreisani. The White Avengers ironically shared many traits with the
Pupreisani-- their fanaticism made them capable of horrible atrocities themselves.
But they also displayed amazing heroism in battle, and the bravery
they showed in their occasionally preposterous attacks upon the Pupreisani
inspired the imagination of millions who also feared and hated the Pupreisani.
The White Avengers had virtually no doctrine
or theology beyond denouncing Prakai, Aruli and the
Pupreisani as black and hoary demons spawned from the offal of moral pollution.
They embraced a mission, not of truth, reflection or transformation, but of action and redemption. The
intensity of the White Avengers' dedication frightened
some and comforted others, but few who lived in those chaotic times had the
luxury to reflect upon the similarity between the Pupreisani and the White
races had for centuries been popular among the Ancita people of the
windswept Ifuno plateau. Under Prakai's rule the Pupreisani sponsored all foot races.
The White Avengers assumed that all competitive runners
were either Pupreisani or allies, and so for a time made it habit of murdering anyone they saw
running in a race.
But they reversed themselves and
began sponsoring their own races, declaring that the people had to have athletic as well as military skills to enable them to match
and defeat the Pupreisani. The Avengers used the races as vehicles to spread
propaganda and solicit recruits.
Soon all people
all throughout western Bergonia participated in White Avenger athletic
parties end up stalemated
For ten years war continued gnashing and grating all across the
breadth of Prakai's empire, achieving little more result than the slaughter of
thousands of soldiers-- stalwart believers, burly mercenaries from the
northern mountains, and young draftees-- and the reckless and wanton decimation
of towns and cities.
campaigns, however, finally resulted in the parties effectively partitioning
Prakai's empire three ways.
(a) Tuleri, the dispassionate general, persisted in his
modest aims of destroying the remains of Pakai's regime, amassing
lands and a fortune, and influencing the selection of any new emperor.
His forces organized at the city of Iutafaca, having liberated all the
territories to the west. Tuleri
faced the independent power of Muonatli to the north, and their armies
regarded each other warily, but without real enmity.
(b) To the east both Tuleri and Muonlati faced the regiments of
The Pupreisani occupied the old Ancita heartland, from the
frontiers of Ampelicu all the way to Crisioni, including the holy city of
(c) The armies of the Mrilitashi and their moderate allies occupied the big
cities on the Cuanta River upriver from Muonatli. The White Avengers, for all their ferocity and impact,
were of small numbers and had no interest in occupying territory, only in
therefore they moved in small groups in guerrilla fashion across the
countryside, like panitei warriors in the ancient times.
fortunes of war shifted like the shapes of cumulus clouds on a windy day.
Alliances of convenience dictated the course of the war and, like those
alliances formed between the competing commanders in the Necruruean civil war
sixty years before, they often ended in one side's betrayal of another. Tuleri,
especially, was always ready to replace one promise with another and it became apparent to all that the war of attrition had
claimed as a casualty his honesty and integrity. Such debilitation of character, sadly, occurs often in war.
campaigns and the destruction of the Pupreisani
613 Tuleri died in battle against the army
of Muonatli, but his forces retreated in order, and his three
surviving generals bought peace by ceding territory to Muonatli.
Then they divided the remainder of Tuleri's territory among
themselves, forming three new states, two in the Clacupo basin and one in
the Ciarepepina Hills called Ampelicu.
In 614 the Mrilitashi forces achieved such a degree of control over
their territory that they organized a new state, Tiericoatli, which
contained a little more than half of the territory formerly included within Necrurue's borders. The
Mrilitashi generals gathered under a plane tree and drew lots among themselves to select an
emperor, imagining that they were imitating the Ceiolaian generals who had
disposed the last Shumalo emperor.
they operated under a faulty recollection of history. The Ceiolaian generals had not left for posterity any clues
about how they selected Areshe Velorec, but in all probability they engaged in
hard bargaining. Nothing in history
suggests they used lots.
Thus they founded a new dynasty.
Their new emperor promptly established a capitol in city of Paslanicreno
and ordered the construction of new walls.
In 617 the general who established a state in Ampelicu joined with
the Mrilitashi forces to attack the Pupreisani
in one last terrible engagement out in the grasslands of the Ifuno, but the
Pupreisani managed to flee, and they sought refuge in a vast pine forest.
All their enemies came from miles around, and hemmed them in.
News of this reached
the ears of the White Avengers
who, in a forced march that supposedly covered seventy miles in just two days, hunted the Pupreisani remnants down and
joyfully massacred them among the pines. Doubtlessly
their frequent footraces had conditioned them for this moment.
The victors bathed in the blood of their victims, soaking
their kilts and tunics, and then went about the villages and
towns for many miles around singing victory hymns and displaying their
weapons. For days they wandered over the countryside, waving
their bloodied clothes, eschewing bathing, and creating a ghastly sensation thereby.
In this way the last of Prakai Eluesi's legacy died.
Once peace came, the remnants of the White Avengers turned their attention to a new task-- the
destruction of Prakai Eleusi's huge temple in Ancitaselticoi.
The Mrilitashi regime which had power there allowed them to attack the
building that everyone disliked with picks and bars. The
White Avengers put the word out, and people came from near and far to demonstrate their
bitterness against Prakai's regime by helping in the demolition.
The White Avengers never again exercised military power, but they did evolve
into an order of panitei dedicated to
athletics and service, not to mention opposition to tyranny.
Because of the White Avengers, athletic competitions became a staple of
life in the West and, in time, throughout all medieval Bergonia.
The White Avengers continued doing good work for centuries.
"Basket of Flowers" -- the Final Peace Treaty
The territories once contained within Prakai's empire remained
unsettled, and war still threatened. And
to make things worse, a new calamity struck between 615 and 620-- famine.
All Bergonia, except the perpetually rainy northwest, experienced famine
during this time, particularly the south, southeast and
western Ifuno. The peasants
and their rulers habitually accommodated the inevitability of bad harvests
and stockpiled grain. Both
peasants and city-dwellers could easily withstand two or three
years of famine, but five years of severe famine exhausted all granaries and
wrought great suffering.
Throughout the region the cities faced grain shortfalls. The
diminished harvests caused drastic shortfalls
in state revenues, and the generals discovered that they
could not feed their troops. Tiericoatli's
new leader and his attending clique begged their foes and
neighbors to negotiate peace. As a
result Tiericoatli entered into a series of treaties with the ten other states that had emerged from the civil war.
hoped that these treaties would bring an era of
peace to the West. The negotiators
completed these treaties, completed in 622-- a year of good
harvests-- and they named them Susrecale, the "Basket of Flowers."
The new Tiericoatli leadership urgently promised abstention from
religious discrimination and persecution, although its members remained
devoted to the Mrilitashi sect.
long last, peace came to the exhausted West.