Year 235 Elion calendar
The black death that started with the merchants trading with Valencia took away a large portion of the population of Calpheon, Keflan, Hidel, and Olvia. No one was spared from the plague that rotted the flesh black. People became wary of each other and stopped visiting each other. Those who were believed to be infected were stranded outside the castles.
As people were even forced to abandon their own children due to the plague, titles such as royalty, nobility, or men of cloth lost any meaning. They were banished with the others who have been infected and all of their belongings were burned along with their rotting corpse. The plague had disappeared as suddenly as it had come but not without leaving its mark. The lower class realized that even royalty spilled the same blood as them and they lost faith in Elion as their prayers for salvation had gone unanswered.
The surviving nobility of each nation franticly looked for a scapegoat. They gathered in Calpheon and decided to retain order by putting the blame on the distant desert nation, Valencia. The priests of Elion declared the disaster a result of the Valencian heretics meddling with Black Stone alchemy and the kings instigated a war under the pretense of controlling the Black Desert, which had the largest known reserves of Black Stone.
Furthermore, as the lower-class began to realize the value of their labor, large wages were promised to compensate. An alliance was formed and the long bloodshed against Valencia has begun.
Year 236 Elion calendar
The blackened corpses of Valencians made it clear that the plague didn’t hold back for anyone. Priests were ridiculed for their proclamations against the heretics and their status within the Elion church was started to be considered a product of luck. But the war raged on regardless as there was no better reason for war than hatred which the war itself provided plenty of.
Media grew more prosperous with each expedition. They had been making a living with trade due to being located at the center of the continent and accumulated more wealth through supplying the alliance’s expeditions. Starting with swords they went on to sell guns and cannons. Large mines were developed to meet the increasing demand.
They also had the power of knowledge. The Valencians needed Black Stones for cooking and surviving the cold desert nights while the alliance, knowing this, started to haul out massive amounts of Black Stones from the desert with each expedition as if they intended to pick the Black Desert clean.
The Medians noticed this and told the alliance that they needed Black Stone for melting metals and making gunpowder. Upon hearing the news, the Calpheon alliance was only too happy to give them away in exchange for settling part of their expedition expenses. Both Calpheon and Valencia were unaware of the true value of Black Stones.
While the Medians stockpiled Black Stones at a very cheap price, a city emerged within their borders and walls were built around them.
The individual to gain most fame through the war was Imur Narses, king of Valencia. He was first called a demon who brought disaster but the accusations were soon replaced with stories of his heroics where he managed to humiliate the alliance by beating them at unfavorable odds. Even with several attempts within Valencia to overthrow him, the Calpheon alliance never even reached the walls of Valencia.
This grueling conflict lasted for 30 years until a sandstorm buried Calpheon king Dahad Seric and most of his troops under the Black Desert.
Year 267 Elion calendar
Sandstorms were only the beginning. While the sandstorm that buried the expedition moved on to the villages around the desert, tidal waves engulfed seaside towns and the boats docked within. Highlands were ravaged by heavy rain and the map was changed by raging hurricanes. The tropical regions beyond the desert suffered from drought as the dried up landscape started to show visible cracks. If the plague changed the people, the natural disasters changed the world as they knew it.
The Nagas were pushed out of the Serendian swamps by the Phoguns. Ogres and Orcs started a great migration. Savage tribes settled in the southern parts of Media. While the expeditions took a toll on each nation’s defenses, the savages took the opportunity to migrate towards the less ravaged in-land regions. The pillaging started soon after.
With no means of communication between the natives and settlers, the ensuing chaos only got worse. Each side had gone on with no exchange for a long time and were now forced together as their boarders were crumbled due to external circumstances. Even if there was a way to communicate how much good would it have done when both side’s interest was a matter of survival?
The natives and the savage settlers came to live on the same land and the Calpheon alliance along with its expedition became a thing of the past.
Year 275 Elion calendar
Keflan, Hidel, and Olvia established trade with Valencia through Media for they had no other choice if they were to refill their coffers that were dried up during the expeditions. It was not long before the King of Calpheon allowed trade guilds to trade with Valencia despite the protests from Elion priests.
The caravans that reached Media saw that it was no longer the same place they knew ten years ago. Although the southern regions fell to the savages, the north was lined with several layers of fortifications. The soldiers stationed on these walls looked self-assured with their guns and cannons. The city was bustling with activity and filled with chimneys along with various devices that were never seen before.
The Calpheon merchant guild tried to find out how Media was able to obtain this burst of development but nothing could be found within Media itself. Yet they found a lead in the Black Desert. Valencian soldiers were keeping a tight watch over the desert and it was unreasonable for them to keep such a high level of security if what was in the desert were merely fuel for lighting stoves. The Black Stones Calpheon managed to smuggle out were sent to their alchemists. It was not long before they realized why Media’s firepower was greater than theirs. The stories, spun up by Elion priests, of the magical properties of Black Stones turned out to be not far from the truth. Keflan, Hidel, and Olvia caught on to this as well.
Each nation went on their way to acquire their own supply of Black Stones. Keflan was the first to find a vein in their mountains but it contained too much impurities for them to used beyond simple combustion. Yet Media went on its way to buy these at a high price. The Black Stones from Keflan could yet be used for melting metal for they burned at higher temperature for a longer time than coal. Media needed the additional supply because Valencia outlawed Black Stone trade after the war.
The next stock was found in the swamps of Serendia. A couple of black pebbles that a young naga was holding turned out to be Black Stones. The Black Stones from the swamp were so pure that Media merchants went on to make their way through the swamps to see for themselves.
These turn of events made Calpheon nervous. No matter how hard they searched, they couldn’t find any Black Stones within their kingdom. It was evident that they will lose their place as the leading power of the continent and become a second-rate nation if they couldn’t obtain a supply of Black Stones for themselves. They wanted the Black Stones from Serendia, but the problem was the lower-class. Plague, war, and disaster thinned their numbers and those remaining were exhausted from the constant pillaging from the savages. To send them back in to war as soldiers would require a huge sum of money as wages.
So the young king of Calpheon, Guy Seric, went out to raise war funds. He convinced the priests that the war was a chance to reclaim the former glory of Elion and he promised the merchant guilds that he would allow them to raise their own armies to compete with the Median guilds.
The war for Black Stones began and this time it was a war for greed.
Year 276 Elion calendar.
Keflan was the first to fall as it was between Calpheon and Serendia. Yet Calpheon had trouble reaching Hidel castle with Serendia being protected by Cliff and Armstrong, both of whom already made a name during the expeditions. Even after several clashes the two watch towers where Cliff and Armstrong were stationed stood strong. Guy Seric had his forces make a standoff at the frontlines while he organized 300 of his elites and led them to Valenos. The river that ran between Valenos and the plains of Serendia also passed by Hidel Castle. The soldiers of Hidel were helpless against the ambush that came from the river during the dead of night. Cliff lead his forces and returned to Hidel but the castle was already burning and Guy Seric was nowhere to be seen.
Year 277 Elion calendar.
The Calpheon forces stationed around the watch towers began their attack as soon as the flames started to rise in Hidel castle. Yet the real problem for Serendia was king Crucio. The king of Hidel castle didn’t manage to escape and was held prisoner by Guy Seric. Guy sent his messenger to Cliff and announced that he will let Crucio free under three conditions.
Hidel will not be allowed to amass a sizable army, especially around the watch towers. All of Hidel’s diplomacy and trade will be done through Calpheon. The Black Stones from Serendia belongs to Calpheon.
Year 278 Elion calendar.
Another year has passed before Crucio was able to return to Hidel. Olvia surrendered without a fight and came under direct control of Calpheon. As the Black Stones from Keflan mines and Serendian extractors started to pour in, Guy Seric’s attention went towards the Black Desert where his late father was buried. He believed that if he could take control of the Black Desert then he would be able to conquer all of the known world and beyond.
But another alliance was unlikely. It was also unlikely that Guy would even make it past Media without strong support from Hidel, which was already out of question. So Guy Seric decided to hire mercenaries to strengthen his numbers. The problem was acquiring the war funds for their wages and he didn’t have the patience to wait for the Black Stones from Keflan and Serendia to pile up.
So the King of Calpheon did the one thing he shouldn’t have. He raised taxes to unheard rates. This was a disaster for the lower-class who were just finding some peace. The priests of Elion were taxed as well and the merchant guild army was taken over by the royal army.
Year 281 Elion calendar.
The king’s dream couldn’t go against the tide of time. The feudal system was long broken after the plague, the lower-class were now aware of their worth, and wealth was led by trade. Nobles, priests, peasants, no one were willing to see the king have his own way. Thus by a poisoned drink, the king of Calpheon passed on without seeing his dreams come to fruition.
A parliamentary government with senators representing each class was set up in Calpheon.