Emilian Civil War
The Emilian Civil War (1545 IH – 1560 IH), also known as the Corselian Revolt, was a conflict in the Emilian Empire between the Emperor of Emilia, Seromil the Third, and a number of noble houses led by Orwin of House Corsel.
The war resulted in the removal of the Emilian Emperor and replaced it with the Emilian High King. In addition, it saw the rise to prominence of several noble houses in Emilia and the founding of the Kingdoms of Corselia, Sternia, Emilia and Rilia.
Prelude to War
Change of the Succession Laws
The inheritance laws of the Emilian Empire were, at this time, arranged so that brothers inherit over daughters. Seromil’s only daughter, who was only 8 years old, was his pride and joy and he was loathe to allow someone else to inherit over her, even if it was his brother Hoderit. So, in the summer of 1545 Seromil called for the law to be changed, so that his daughter may inherit.
In response to this, the Emilian noble houses called for a council, as was usually the case in situations like this. Seromil, however, panics and overrules the council’s decision to convene before it even has the chance to meet. As Emperor of Emilia, this was legally permitted but currently unprecedented, and this caused uproar with the noble families.
House Corsel Gets Involved
In the 1500s Corsel was a noble house with little power in the grand scheme of Emilian politics. However, Orwin Corsel was an ambitious man who had been gradually building up the house’s repuation and immediately called for the other houses to back Hoderit’s succession and ignore the Emperor’s ruling. Orwin claims that the Emperor’s absolute power is an unacceptable means of rule and meets with resounding agreement.
Several months of pandering to nobles later Seromil calls for his own council and invites all noble families in the Empire to attend. There, he parades his daughter in front of them, declaring her a paragon of innocence. He demands those that would allow her to accept her birthright kneel before her. This was particularly effective among those nobles that were women who had lost out on inheritance or noblewomen in their own right, as well as many nobles who wanted to curry favour with the Emperor. Many others left the palace and instead followed Corsel and Hoderit.
Hostilities in the Empire
Clashes between supporters began almost immediately. At first they were small scale events, with hostilities taking place primarily between lords and their subjects over who to support. Clashes of this type continued to increase in scale until the last day of the winter week where the first true battle between supporters of Seromil and Hoderit at the Battle of Corth River in a severe snowstorm. The battle was short and ended when visibility became so low the commanders were unsure of whether the enemy even remained on the battlefield.
After Corth River, battles led by various commanders across the Empire flared up periodically. Corsel led the campaign to convert lords to his cause from regions around the Empire, with significant successes. However, houses abandoned Hoderit’s cause as well, and every time a house switched sides this led to intensified fighting, including the battles of Loros Ridge in the Sternlands, the First and Second battles of Redford River in Drawazha and the decisive Battle of Starleaf in 1558 IH which resulted in the death of Hoderit.
Negotiations and the Gift
With the death of Hoderit, Odwin Corsel suddenly lost all the momentum his victories and political campaigning had gained. However, his strong position allowed him to force Seromil into receiving peace talks and accepting a ceasefire. Seromil and Corsel, backed by many of the noble families, reached a mutual agreement: to dissolve the Emilian Empire. Instead, it would be divided into the Kingdoms of Emilia, Sternia, Rilia and Corselia. The ruler of Emilia would be the High King, who the kings of the other kingdoms would be loyal to, and have complete control over his own Kingdom while the others had some irrefutable rights over their own.
This division of the Empire came to be known as Seromil’s Gift. Part of the terms of this gift, including a restriction on the satellite’s trading, was that many noble families were resettled into the new kingdoms. Many Emilian nobles who had fought for the Emperor were granted lands under Corselia, to their great dissatisfaction.