Before I started writing what would become the final rendition of book 1 of the Sword of Dragons, the story began with a map. At first all I did was draw in the lines for the continents, and then I started picking where cities and land features would be…and as I marked down the cities, I began to formulate the countries, and their back stories.
And thus, conflict was born. Four kingdoms, two at each other’s throats, with the other two supporting one or the other. Every couple of generations, a new war would start.
When the kingdoms briefly united against the common foe, Klaralin, many wondered if peace would finally reign upon his defeat. But it was less than a century before Tal and Falind were at each other’s throats again, with Erien and Saran supporting each respectively. These recurring conflicts, in comparison to the war against Klaralin, became known as the Lesser Wars.
But…why has conflict always broken out between Tal and Falind? Why are these two countries destined to squabble century after century? And will the peace that has come between them after book 1 last?
Remembering and Forgetting
By the time book 1 takes place, Tal and Falind have had periodic wars for over five thousand years. No one remembers the reason behind the first conflict. Somewhere in one of the sanctuaries of the Order of the Ages, there is a history book that tells of the first war, but even the greatest scholars have not seen nor read this book in millennia.
What often sparks the Lesser Wars now are land disputes. Every time a new mine or other resource is discovered somewhere along the border, or every time a Warrior patrol from one kingdom strays into the other, it becomes the impetus for a new war.
One thing is for certain, the Warriors’ Guild has been at the head of almost every conflict (almost.) When Cardin Kataar learns of this, it is one of the many reasons he begins to have second thoughts about joining the Warriors.
Is he right? Are the Warriors the reason for the continual cycle of the Lesser Wars? Can the cycle be broken?
As Professor River Song would say, Spoilers ;)
But this begs the question…at this point, does the original reason even matter? If someone were to find this book and discover the original reason, could they point to this and say “See? This reason is no longer valid. Why are we still fighting?” Or would the book give them more reason to fight?
Or, going back to the original question…would it even matter?
As we’ve seen in the real world, “yesterday’s enemies can be today’s allies; today’s allies can be tomorrow’s enemies.” Today the United States and Britain are close allies. 250 years ago, we were enemies. No one cares about those old grievances so much anymore.
So in all reality, no, a grievance five thousand years ago really has no play on the current conflicts. At worst, if someone from the time of the current book series were to learn of the original reason, they might use it as an excuse to continue war.
Currently I have no plans of ever revealing in the book series why the original conflict began. But the original reason is a matter of sovereignty, stretching back to the era of Archos and Talus themselves. As the first kingdom, Tal, grew larger, it became more and more difficult to maintain the breadth of the Kingdom. Saran and Falind were both formed around the same time as one another, named after their first sovereigns.
The leader of Tal at the time did not care for this outright revolt. These lands were under his rule. So he declared war.
And Tal lost that first war, and was forced to concede Saran and Falind’s independence. But Tal didn’t forget, and never forgave.
Fortunate for Saran, their capitol was formed at the end of a labyrinth of valleys in a vast land of mesas, and was nestled against the sea, and so was easily protected. Tal, realizing that they could never hope to take Sharenth, let them be, and when they had built up enough strength, marched upon only Falind. Saran, unwilling to let Tal have their way with an independent nation, attacked Tal’s forces.
So the cycle began. The seeds of hatred between Tal and Falind were formed, and the customary alliance between Falind and Saran was born.
Tal never conquered Falind, though they came close many times. As the original reasons were forgotten, there even came a point when Falind had designs on conquering Tal, putting to rest the Lesser Wars once and for all.
I hope you all enjoyed this glimpse into the history of Halarite and the four kingdoms! If you enjoyed this, let me know and I’ll delve even deeper into Halarite’s history as time goes on!
Thanks for reading,