The Siddarmark Civil War, known as the Rising to the Temple Loyalists of Siddarmark, was a civil war fought in the Republic of Siddarmark between the Church of God Awaiting and the loyalist forces led by Lord Protector Greyghor Stohnar. Its early stages were marked by several war atrocities, including pogroms against Charisian civilians settled within the Republic.
Even prior to the Battle of Crag Reach, the Church of God Awaiting had been seeking ways to chastise the growing liberalism of the Republic of Siddarmark, but had always held back due to the vast power of the land-based nation. In the past, the church's efforts involved complicated treaties, such as the Treaty of Silk Town, the maintenance of the Border States, or often as not, the playing of powerful mainland nations off against one another. (BSRA)
However by the late YOG 890's the Church's temporal power had risen to such a degree that it could challenge the Republic and make them the example that the Old Kingdom of Charis was meant to be earlier. (HFAF)
That being said, the Church still would have held back had it not been for several additional factors:
- The inability of Greyghor Stohnar to stamp out the growing Reformist movement within his borders. (HFAF)
- Most importantly, Vicar Zhaspyr Clyntahn's ever present concern that the Republic would one day invade the Temple Lands. (OAR)
Early Phases (Late YOG 895)
Prior to open conflict in late YOG 895, there was a gradual increase in tensions. These tensions had existed for some time among the various groups (Temple Loyalists, Reformists, and Charisian expatriates), but then were exploited by the Sword of Schueler, a group highly dedicated not only to the Church, but especially to the Group of Four. (HFAF)
The Sword of Schueler had infiltrated the Republic everywhere, especially in the capital of Siddar and other large cities, and also in the western portion, in order to secure their supply lines from the Temple Lands. Not only did they infiltrate the citizenry, but also the ranks of the unemployed youth, and the military, sowing dissent, anger and slowly building a cadre of the willing.
Major events in the build up to the civil war included riots, especially the Fish Market Riot, which tested the resolve of all parties. The government failed to crack down and restore order (which would have meant finding and defeating the Sword of Schueler), the Charisian émigrés had failed to prepare for a further escalation of violence, and the Sword of Schueler took both of these signs as indicators to proceed. (HFAF)
Outbreak of conflict
The outbreak of fighting was simultaneous nation-wide, every province being hit at once, especially in the West, but also in the larger cities and the capital. Several provinces succumbed quite quickly, but in the East several provinces were able to weather the attacks, and some were able to achive local superiority over the Temple Loyalists, and the Sword of Schueler.
Primary targets of the Sword of Schueler in the first wave of attacks included Charisian Quarters of the larger cities, and Reformist Churches wherever they were to be found. In the capital the large Charisian Quarter was to be destroyed, but of equal importance was the Lord Protector's Palace, along with Lord Protector Greyghor Stohnar himself. (HFAF)
Constitution Square Massacre
In many cities across the Republic, the pogroms against Charisians and reformists were successful, but in Siddar itself they were less so. including the attack on the Lord Protector's Palace, and the resultant Constitution Square Massacre. Although the casualties numbered several thousands, Aivah Pahrsahn arrived with her irregulars in time to save the Lord Protector and secure the capital. (HFAF)
After the first wave of attacks, several provinces were secured firmly by one side or the other, some were hold out pockets surrounded by enemies, and some were still hotly contested as late as the early Year of God 896. (HFAF)
Progression (YOG 896)
By early YOG 896 the Loyalists had seized the northwestern portions, but the sothern — and especially southeastern portions — were just as firmly under the Republic’s control. The middle was a wasteland, dotted with the ruins of what had once been towns and farms where hating, embittered men hunted one another like savages. Battles such as the Gray Wall Mountains Ambush, were all too common as combat shifted to fighting over food stores, rather than strategic objectives.
However dispite the bleak outlook of that time, things were slowly progressing. The Siddarmark Sea-Lift had begun, which provided a great deal of food, livestock, and fodder to the starving masses along the east coast. The Empire of Charis had also begun assembling military forces, such as Duke Eastshare's Initiative, which would land 80,000 armed Charisian soldiers into Siddar City.
Later YOG 896 revealed the awesome power of the newest weapons avaiable on Safehold. During several battles between the Royal Dohlaran Army, and loyalist factions of the Republic of Siddarmark Army, the end of the pike as a main weapon of war created several one-sided massacres. Shortly after this, the Imperial Charisian Army finally entered into the combat phase, and during the first battle with Dohlarans, they almost routed the entire force, inflicting heavy losses upon them, and tying up large numbers of their forces in the town of Trevyr. Although superior weapons did indeed aid in the Battle of Thesmar, it must be mentioned that tactics and shock value also played a significant part. (MTAT)
By May YOG 896, most estimates had put the death count somewhere over two and three-quarters million people. Just under a quarter million had been Charisians, or foreigners. The rest had been native Siddarmarkians, more than half of them children, and more had perished of starvation, hypothermia, or disease than from any other cause. (MTAT)
On earth a similar religious war once raged across the earth, although mainly upon Europe, especially the Holy Roman Empire. This was was called the 30 years war, fought between Catholics and Protestants, although towards the end, several nations had switched sides. It too caused massive starvation, and left large parts of the Holy Roman Empire uninhabited.