Army of Letters
The Army of Letters was a communications and intelligence network that existed in Milofia and Meagharia roughly from the 1730s to the end of the Meagharian Civil War. The function of the Army varied throughout its existence, varying from the dissemination and development of Meagharite ideology, to the planning and support of Meagharite Uprisings throughout Milofia. Most notably the Army of Letters would serve as an intelligence and radicalization network during the course of the Meagharian Civil War, gaining new followers within Milofite held territory even while Meagharites battled in the countryside.
The early period of the Army of Letters is usually referred to Meagharian Historians as "The Seed Period" as there is not much evidence of widespread intercommunication, instead there is substantial evidence of several individual Milofite priests throughout Milofia hiding Meagharite texts and even adding their own additions. Oddly most of these texts are found outside of Gier, where the Meagharite Revolt occurred. This does imply that Meagharite philosophy had already filtered outside of Gier by the time of the Meagharite Revolt. The lack of evidence from gier immediately post-revolt implies a thorough purge by the Milofite authorities of Meagharite influenced priests in the region, despite official Milofite histories claiming that Father Meaghar had acted without the support of the local peasantry and priesthood. The Seed Period is beleived to have ended at some point in the mid 1800s, as communication and dialogue slowly began to increase as the Milofite vigilance against Meagharism began to wane.
The second period of the Army of Letters is referred to as the "Root Period" as the Army expanded from just consisting of isolated priests who found Meagharism compelling. In this period these individuals began to communicate with one another, and these priests began adding their own ideas to the surviving Meagharite texts, often using Father Meaghar's name, making it more difficult to tell which texts were legitimately written by Father Meaghar and which were written by members of the Army at various later points. In this period the Army of Letters also gained roots outside of the Priestly caste, with various Milofite Military Commanders, as well as Merchants, began to adopt Meagharite ideas. Due to this there is evidence of minor Meagharite Uprisings, mostly local, in areas where the priests were members of the Army. It was not unheard of for Milofite Soldiers to defect to join these revolts, but despite this none of these uprisings have been found to have encompassed more area than perhaps a single village, and none of the revolts appear in the official Milofite histories. The Root Period is considered to have ended in the 1960s, as the roots established began to prepare for a larger revolt.
The Flowering Period is known as such because in this period there is a clear shift in the character of the Army of Letters, from speculation and local revolt planning to planning large scale uprising. This was spurred by a change in the character of the Milofite Council's governing policy. A new generation of Councilors had risen, who believed that Milofia should open up to the outside, and due to this they began making changes in Milofite society. These changes did not work to eliminate the feudal institutions of Milofia, but rather made the cities more amenable to possible future foreign trade. Because of this, the Merchant Class, already somewhat sympathetic to Meagharism began to be converted in larger numbers to Meagharite ideals. The Meagharite ideology also began to become more common in the ranks of the Milofian military, with many young commanders seeing Meagharism as being the future of the island. This would culminate in the assassination of one of the leading members of the council in 1975 by a Meagharite terrorist, thinking that this would provoke a mass uprising. Evidence shows that the Army was shocked by this action, and was certainly unprepared for the uprising that the terrorist had wanted to start. This event would lead to a major backlash by the Milofite establishment, with plans to open the country being scrapped. However, many of the other reforms stayed in place. This backlash enraged the Army of Letters, and also spurred recruitment into secretive Meagharite Cells. During this period cities, except for the Holy City of Milof where thousands were expelled on suspicion of not being Milofite enough, became the centers of the Meagharite movement, with Sherman being the largest center. Colonel Burnside was the unoffical leader of the Army of Letters in the city of Sherman, and he also had influence over the majority of soldiers within the city. The population as a whole felt bitterness towards the Milofite government, and when Burnside began his revolt by taking over the city, culminating in Meagharian_Triumph#The_First_Triumph.
During the war the purpose of the Army of Letters changed from fermenting revolt to supporting it in territory that was still controlled by the Milofites. There were communications from the Army, discussing troop movements, planning new uprising in villages and cities, spying on Milofites, and sabotaging infrastructure in cities. The only area where this espionage did not occur was within the Holy City of Milof, as the Council imported ever more advanced technology to keep the walled city from turning against them.
Many operatives within the Army of Letters were absorbed into the Meagharian Central Intelligence Agency, with their skills in espionage being put to use by the Meagharian state. Due to their efforts in perpetuating and supporting the Meagharite cause, there is an exihibit dedicated to the Army of Letters in the Museum of Heroes in Sherman