First Aivintian Civil War

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First Aivintian Civil War
AeternalMobilization.jpeg
Aeternal Army mobilizing for the Maven Campaign, circa 1801
Date5 December 1798 - 11 November 1801
(2 years and 346 days)
Location
Result
  • Formation of the Ascendancy of Aivintis
  • Establishment of “Aeternism” as the state religion
  • Dissolution of the Duchy of Maven
Belligerents
File:Aeternal Flag.jpeg The Aeternal Ascendancy Maven Flag.jpeg New Kingdom of Aivintis Dale Flag.png Aivintian Republic
Commanders and leaders
File:Aeternal Flag.jpeg The Aeternus
File:Aeternal Flag.jpeg General Darren Tennyson
File:Aeternal Flag.jpeg General Theodore Stuart
Maven Flag.jpeg King Henry Florence
Maven Flag.jpeg Lord George Douglas
Dale Flag.png Commander-in-Chief Thomas North
Dale Flag.png General Nathaniel Boyd
Casualties and losses
Over 50,000 dead total Over 100,000 dead total Over 75,000 dead

The First Aivintian Civil War, also known as the War of Aivintian Succession, was a national civil war that lasted from the assassination of Geoffrey Dale in 1798 to the Treaty of Aslough in 1801. The war was waged between three belligerents - the authoritarian zealots of the Aeternal Ascendancy, the constitutional monarchists of the New Kingdom of Aivintis, and the radical democrats in the Aivintian Republic. Over 600,000 soldiers took part in the various battles of the war, with over 225,000 killed in the fighting. This was the bloodiest war in Aivintian history up to that point, which caused widespread fear of another civil war, fear that was exploited by the resulting government. The war crippled Maven autonomy, stifled any hopes of democracy in the near future, and began a period of religious persecution that was eventually picked up by their successors.

Background

The Dale Monarchy had been in power since the War of Aivintian Unification, and maintained their power in Aivintis through liberal compromises and strategic political maneuvering. The Duke of Maven was crucial to keeping power in southern Aivintis. However, a number of factors would end up shattering peace and order within the Kingdom of Aivintis.

Aivintian Rule leading up to the War

Geoffrey Dale was the son of King Dale, who took his father’s name as the name of his royal house. King Geoffrey was a skilled military tactician and a shrewd politician, keeping the Kingdom intact during his reign. His policies involved appeasing a largely ceremonial Parliament in order to please the citizenry, building the Aivintian military into a larger force capable of defending the nation against most would-be invaders, and creating a national bureaucracy that would maintain the nation’s power. Notably, King Geoffrey respected the terms of the Treaty of Norwich and Adelslin, which was integral to keeping the Ethalrian Protectorate of Westport out of the war when it broke out.

By 1798, Geoffrey had been ruling for 18 years, and had for the most part maintained order and stability past King Dale’s death, and, as far as most politicians were concerned, into the future. However, King Geoffrey failed to pay attention to the local governments of Aivintis. Notably, Derrim was facing an ever-increasing level of poverty, Redmondburg was overwhelmed by calls for local parliaments to balance the Royal Governors, given the title of Count, and the new Duke of Maven was demanding more autonomy within the Kingdom, all of which was glossed over by the King and the national Parliament, leading the Counts and a growing portion of the Aivintian citizenry to resent his rule.

Maven Supremacy

Henry Florence ascended to the ducal throne of Maven in 1796, two years before the outbreak of war. Duke Henry was an open supporter of Maven supremacy, but unlike most Maven Supremacists, he did not support an independent Kingdom of Maven. Duke Florence saw in a unified Aivintis wealth and stability. However, the Duke was constantly seeking to increase his power within the nation. Upon his ascension to the throne, he sent a letter to King Geoffrey requesting for the de jure territory of the Duchy of Maven to extend into the Grandys River Valley and for more seats in Parliament. He repeated his request again in 1797 and again in 1798, a couple weeks before the Assassination of Geoffrey Dale.

In practice, the Duchy of Maven already exerted control over the Grandys River Valley. The Count of Grandys was a cousin of Duke Henry, and a large percentage of the garrisoned soldiers in the region originated from Maven. This control was reflected in the local government of Grandys County, in which the Count based local policy around the interests of Maven. However, Duke Henry recognized that this de facto domination of Grandys politics would not last forever, and sought to solidify Maven control by incorporating the region into his Duchy.

In Parliament, Maven already held substantial influence, with a large population and its domination of County Grandys. However, the more Aslough-centric northern counties outnumbered them. Thus, Duke Henry decided to strengthen his position and assert a Maven majority, by requesting enough extra Parliament seats to outnumber the northerners in the event of a major disagreement. Although Parliament was a largely ceremonial body, its influence on Royal policy was vast, as the King saw it as an accurate representation of the people’s will. This majority would turn Maven into the dominant force in Aivintian politics.

Each year, without fail, King Geoffrey rejected the Duke’s requests, deeming them ridiculous. Each year, without fail, the Duke published the King’s responses. His rule, coupled with this practiced, popularized the Maven Supremacist movement. The letters inflamed the movement’s people, who spread propaganda against King Geoffrey. Some advocated for an independent Maven and some advocated for more radical reform, but, as time went on, more and more advocated for naming Henry Florence, or his son Charles, as heir to the throne.

Radical Democracy in Aivintis

Democracy was not new to Aivintis. Even before the unification of Aivintis, many called for a parliament and a constitution within their Kingdoms. After the Unification of Aivintis, the efforts were redoubled. Before long, King Dale had written a Constitution and established a bicameral Parliament. Although the Parliament’s powers were largely ceremonial, their decisions were viewed as the will of the people, and greatly influenced Aivintian politics.

Within the Parliament itself and in the counties of Aivintis, however, the cries for democracy did not cease. Mainly, the people demanded county parliaments to bring democracy into their local politics and for more Parliamentary power, specifically for the Parliament to have the authority to raise and lower taxes. However, some were even more radical in their cries, demanding universal male suffrage and sometimes even the abdication of the King in favor of a democratically elected President.

During the war, even the more moderate democrats joined the Aivintian Republic. Many believed Henry Florence would only bring more absolutist policies into Aivintis, and these people saw the Aivintian Republic as their only chance for greater political freedom and democracy in Aivintis.

Rise of the Aeternus

The Aeternus was a wild card in the War of Aivintian Succession. Before the war, his name was spoken only in whispers - Daniel Dale, the bastard son of Geoffrey, who would bring salvation to the people and an end to the troubles Aivintis had faced. These were all just rumors, though, started by The Aeternus to rally support against the monarchy so that he could establish an authoritarian regime under his guidance, a regime which would crown him as not a King, but a God.

Aeternism was still a small movement by 1798. Small groups of revolutionaries, militant zealots, and disillusioned deserters who saw in the Aeternus a utopian society. His speeches turned dreamers into pawns. In the eyes of his followers, he was the God he claimed to be, and in the eyes of his enemy, he was indeed a wrathful, powerful force of nature. This elevated The Aeternus to a position where he could secure power, and allowed for him to increase that power once it was his.

However, his promises of an eternally glorious and prosperous nation under the rule of a God were not what made him powerful. The power The Aeternus held lay in the hands of Darren Tennyson, George Tyramin, and Theodore Stuart. All were members of the nobility, and all were powerful commanders in the Aivintian military. Their support meant the support of a sizable part of the Aivintian Army and the Aivintian Navy, which eventually secured his victory in the war. To these men, he did not promise what he promised the common people. He promised them power, the chance to hold high offices in his new nation, offices which granted them great wealth and authority. They greedily accepted.

The Beginning of the War

The Assassination of Geoffrey Dale was the nail in the coffin of the Kingdom of Aivintis, the final event which sparked the War of Aivintian Succession. Although war was inevitable from the viewpoints of the three major factions, the death of Geoffrey Dale was the opportunity they had been waiting for to make their move, rally even more support, and take over the nation.

There were a number of reasons to kill the King. The Aeternists were planning an assassination of both King Geoffrey and Duke Henry, in order to cripple the nation and pave the way for their revolution. The Aivintian Republicans, a movement of radical democrats which had coalesced less than a year before the Assassination as a way to organize their efforts, had been discussing an assassination of the King in order to bring attention to their movement from the beginning. However, it was the Maven Supremacists, in the end, that actually ordered the Assassination.

Although Maven had supported a unified Aivintis since the Maven Act of Union in 1763, and Duke Henry had consistently vocalized the desire for peaceful change, the popularity of the Maven Supremacist movement led to growing resentment of the King. The radical Maven Supremacists finally cracked after the third letter of rejection by King Geoffrey. Inflamed by propaganda and the release of the letter, a number of these radicals met in a bar in downtown Maven, and conspired to kill the King.

According to surviving historical records, The Black Hand was an Assassin’s Guild dating back to at least the 16th century. Rumors claimed they had chapters all over the world. It soon became apparent that they were at least active in Aivintis. For an unknown fee, the Black Hand sent an assassin after King Geoffrey. The King was shot twice in the head while he was praying in the Teronian Chapel. His guards rushed in, and two died before the assassin was taken down. A letter was found on his corpse from The Black Hand’s leadership, claiming responsibility for the Assassination and explaining who had ordered the hit.

The Assassination of Geoffrey Dale led to war for a number of reasons. Of course, the main reason was the disorder that the assassination caused, which allowed for the three major factions of the First Aivintian Civil War to rally their supporters and attempt their takeover of the government. However, the reason why this worked was that the King had no heir. For years, the King had no heir. However, he was only able to produce a bastard son, Daniel, who rose to become the Aeternus. Legally, if there was no royal heir, Parliament was authorized to choose the next King. However, the only obvious choice, Duke Henry, was clearly behind the King’s murder. Due to this, Parliament was unable to make a decision, and Duke Henry was forced to crown himself King of Aivintis from his palace in Maven, far from the capital of Teronia, with no legal backing.

Following the death of King Geoffrey, the Aivintian Republicans executed the Count of Redmondburg and declared war on Florence’s self-proclaimed New Kingdom of Aivintis, forming the Aivintian Republic. The liberal count of Carlisle willingly joined the Aivintian Republic, which had elected Thomas North as Commander-in-Chief during the war efforts. The more conservative Count of Bricaster, however, was overthrown by Aivintian Republicans under the command of General Nathaniel Boyd, an influential Republican.

The Aeternus struck shortly after Boyd’s Revolt, capturing Aslough and Teronia with the support of his three Generals. Derrim, unwilling to face the full might of the Aeternal Army, joined them soon after. The Aivintian military in those territories either followed the will of their new master, or deserted and fled to the Aivintian Republic. Few in the north thought it wise or necessary to join the New Kingdom, due to its distance and what they viewed as similarity between the two regimes.

The newly crowned King Henry was the last to declare war. His territories were the most stable, though, and mobilization was quick. The old Kingdom of Aivintis was now effectively rubble, the borders had been drawn for three main belligerents, and the War of Aivintian Succession had truly begun.

Northern Front

Southern Front

End of the War

Results