Prior to the Rebellion, North Harchong’s thirteen provinces had been home to over twenty-five million Harchongians, with the majority concentrated in Boisseau, Tiegelkamp, Stene, and the southern half of Chiang-wu and Maddox. Somewhere around a quarter of the total had lived in Tiegelkamp.
In 903, a serf rebellion broke out in North Harchong. The imperial capital, Shang-mi, was overrun and Emperor Waisu VI killed, along with many of his ministers. His son, Zhyou-Zhwo, managed to escape to Yu-kwau in South Harchong, but imperial authority in North Harchong completely collapsed and descended into chaos.
From this chaos two coherent successor states emerged: the United Provinces in the west, led by Charisian-supported reform-minded nobles, and East Harchong in the east, led by Earl Rainbow Waters and his Mighty Host of God and the Archangels and supported by Mother Church. In Central Harchong, warlords - many claiming allegiance to the absent emperor but really intending to carve out independent kingdoms - warred between each other for dominance. Among these warlords was Kaihwei Pyangzhow, Grand Duke Spring Flower.
The Chynduk Valley in Central Harchong's Chiang-wu Mountains managed to remain free, being little effected by the serf rebellion as all of its inhabitants were free peasants. Attempts by Spring Flower to seize the valley were stopped by Syngpu's army of guerrillas and the support of Charis.