Early Years Edit
The Years of Blood began around 560AU. The early period was a confusion of inter-city-state wars; Borletta against Talins, Sipani against Muris ad infinitum. Large city-states eventually subjugated the smaller ones; for instance Talins cowed or crushed Etrea, Etrisani, Cesale, and Baol.
The constant warfare gave rise to mercenary companies fighting for different warring city-states, sometime for both. The most famous of which was The Thousand Swords which was founded by a man called Sazine.
In time, Talins emerged as the most powerful city-state in all Styria. To counter the ruthless ambitions of Grand Duke Orso of Talins, the Grand Dukes of Ospria, Visserine and Borletta formed the military alliance The League of Eight.
Later Years Edit
Despite The League of Eight, Talins continued it's aggressive dominance, thanks in part to the emergence of General Monza Murcatto the captain general of The Thousand Swords, in the long-term employ of Grand Duke Orso. Monza brought Orso victory after victory, and went on to prove herself the greatest general of the age; the Snake of Talins.
At Sweet Pines, Duke Salier of Visserine rashly engaged the Talinese forces and lost, before Duke Rogont of Ospria could arrive. At Musselia, Monza sacked the city the day before Duke Rogont arrived. After the mercenaries captured the city of Caprile, they brutally sacked the city, making Monza a hero in Talins, but vilified everywhere else as the Butcher of Caprile. After Monza's victory as the High Bank, where Duke Salier again suffered defeat, allowing Duke Cantain of Borletta to be crushed, The League of Eight is on the verge of defeat.
However, Grand Duke Orso's a suspicious man, and Monza's success has brought her the love of the people of Talins. In 579AU, Fearing she may usurp his Duchy, as his great-grandfather had done, he orders her and her brother Benna murdered and thrown off the battlements of Fontezarmo. Nonetheless, Monza manages to survive, a vows vengeance against Orso.
The Talinese army under General Ganmark successfully capture the city of Visserine and kill Grand Duke Salier, although Ganmark himself is murder during the siege by the vengeful Monza. Duke Orso's forces continue east now under his son Prince Foscar and Colonel Rigrat. Duke Lirozio of Puranti surrenders without a fight, leaving the way open to Ospria and victory.
The decisive battle in the Years of Blood occurs near Ospria, where Grand Duke Orso’s main force engaged Duke Rogont and his Affoians allies. As the battle rages, the mercenaries of The Thousand Swords fail to engage for Orso; having been paid off by the Gurkish. Then a Sipanese army suddenly appear and flank Orso’s force; Rogont had persuaded Chancellor Sotorius to end his neutrality after Orso son Ario was killed in Sipani by Monza. Duke Rogont routed the the Talinese army, in part thanks to a cavalry charge led by Monza, who had allied herself with Rogont.
In the aftermath of Grand Duke Rogont defeating the main Talinese force, other Styrian city-state flooded to Rogont’s side. Grand Duke Orso was besieged in his fortress of Fontezarmo, which was eventually sacked and Orso killed. The Years of Blood officially ended with Rogont being crowned King of all Styria by the remaining city-state rulers. However he and all of the city-state rulers were poisoned during the coronation by Castor Morveer. The only survivor was Grand Duchess Monza Murcatto of Talins, who was saved by the glove she always wears on her crippled hand.
Although Grand Duchess Monza had promised peace upon assuming the Duchy of Talins, Styria descended into chaos, with the breakout of various inter-city-state wars and civil wars. Over the next ten years, one by one, Duchess Monza cowed or crushed Etrisani and Sipani, Nicante and Affoia, Visserine and Westport. When King Jezal of The Union grew concerned at Monza's growing power in Styria, she defeated the Union Army three times in the field. By 587AU, Duchess Monza was all powerful in Styria, and crowns her son Jappo the King of all Styria before a jubilant crowd.