It comes as no surprise that the two regions and ethnic groups of the south had attained questionable relations since the fall of the Garden Kingdom. Forces of the Garden played a major role as defenders against exoduses into the Red Delta-region, and the Marsins of the Garden eventually included Ladusians into their southern theaters due to manpower issues. Subjugated kings of the Delta later inherited the defensive positions which the Garden had established, as part of the Bahu Agreement treaty signed at an unknown date, giving Ladusia military autonomy, it wasn't long until the Ladusians had to face countless invasion attempts from Jhubarians and Hassyiki-folk. Even prior to northern subjugation, the Red Delta kingdoms waged countless offensives against the east, the Hassyiki claiming the largest losses which included the lands of contemporary Three Steppes and Ael Chinuf. Ladusian kingdoms of the delta eventually completely subjugated their eastern rivals in the regions encompassing the entire northern shoreline of the south, reaching Myyia and the Fog Bay. Hassyiki rebel groups quickly emerged far inland in towns such as Syaiice and Ayyukarai. One infamous group of saboteurs and dissenters were the Red Sons of Tael Byaak, who has assumed many roles across the centuries of its existence. Initially being mere tribal rebels hostile against Padesh and the Ladusians, to a shadow government within the Hassyiki province of Phobus ruled Ladusia.
Although inferior to the Delta-region, crop yield within the Hassyiki region was immense, which was the main source of trade for the Hassyiki people. Cities such as Hassayyik and Aeshlmha boomed well into the Third Age. Which saw Belvedorian merchants offer goods such as grapes, milk, and cloth, for southern wheat and barley. Aeshlmha was later incorporated into a Belvedorian port; Port Erda, becoming one of the most important centers of trade on the continent, comparable to Stallions Nest and the Red River Delta. House Phobus of Ladusia took notice of the growing wealth and rise of infrastructure in his eastern province. Ladusia had slowly grown its leverage against Rilia through the vast network of the Ladusian food commerce. Phobus had instated heavier tolls in the Hassyiki province many years ago and the legislation was lucrative, for a while. It incited the native Hassyiki lords into forming black markets, supported by the likes of the Red Sons who was receiving financial support from Belvedoria. The patrons of Stockton, whose expenditures were reduced drastically, approved greatly of the new independent markets forming. Queen Helena Emporium also lobbied together with Belvedoria, the Hassyiks (Red Sons council), Gemaria, Midden, Hannia, Rima, and Argevia, demanding for reduced tolls between all the north and Hassyiki. The act was deemed illegal and offensive by house Phobus, claiming it to undermine Ladusian law in its dominions, failure to legally reduce tolls further encouraged the growth of illegal commerce between foreigners and the south.
Helena of Rilia had brought her empire into a difficult position, being in a previously 'comfortable' geopolitical standing with the Ladusian state, with no option to retract her political moves against Ladusia. Rilia could not and would not admit its error, neither could they push the matter further by supporting the questionable activities of the Red Sons, which would in the eyes of house Phobus be further confirmation that the north was supporting rebel groups in Hassyiki. Groups who had spread dissent, sabotaged Ladusian logistics, bribed officials, and murdered travellers in the region, all being hostile or blatant acts of war. Rilia chose to subtly move away from the controversy, despite this it damaged the credibility and reputation of Rilia among inner circles, seeing as the Runic Empire itself withdrew from a lesser authority.
House Phobus set out to enforce Ladusian law in Hassyiki, jailing those who do not present proper rights to commerce in the province, usually in the form of a contract, which was part of the 3GA-036 Commerce Act requiring all merchants performing trade in the south to have proper paperwork signed by Ladusian bureaucrats. The treaty was later reiterated and updated to include legislation requiring all merchant guilds to document their imports and exports and present those to the Ladusian state. It was imperative for Ladusia to install effective tax methods in Hassyiki due to its exploding debts and deficits. The Red Sons council and its supporters ignored the new laws and continued to actively seek ways to circulate Ladusian tax laws and challenge its hold over the Hassyiki people, with support (although subtle at this point) from Belvedoria, acting independently from Rilia, with the goal of eliminating tariffs in the region, all clear violations of Ladusian law.
The fiscal house of Ladusia had grown exponentially during the Third Age; the Turgic invasion caused massive destruction to northern and Maelan agriculture, making Ladusian food trade very attractive. This in turn propelled the expansion of Ladusian cities and infrastructure. The sacking of Maela in the Supremacy War also contributed to the increase of wealth in the south, which remained a controversial topic in Ladusi-Maelan affairs. Despite the positive development, by the time Helena became queen in the north, Ladusia ran on an almost constant deficit. Phobus of Ladusia eventually had talks with the Tyrelians regarding possible loans to the Ladusian state, resulting in Rilia assuming up to twenty-million worth of Rhin of the Ladusian debt (over the course of six years), and a loan of forty million for Ladusia which was delivered by Belvedoria (nineteen million), Rilia (fifteen-million) and Rima (six million). Military expenditure also spiked in the south, Phobus began an initiative for naval expansion after the Supremacy War, which costed up to sixteen million gold. It would include the construction of a hundred-forty galleons, thirty-nine carracks, and twelve cargo ships.
Ladusia had intensified its military efforts by the thirty-eight year of the Third Age; sending twenty-thousand men of the Serpent Army into Hassyiki to occupy the province. Which included the city of Erda. One formidable night fifteen Belvedorian men and two women were slain after drawing swords on Serpent soldiers, who were boarding their vessel on the suspicion of illegal activity. They were transporting swords, shields, halberds, spears, and other weapons. The patron of Belvedoria at the time then imposed a trade embargo against Ladusia, as well as sending up to five-hundred men and sixteen galleons to Erda. Rose soldiers infiltrated the port-city and ousted the Ladusian garrison with a minor skirmish between Rose men and Ladusian levies, forty Ladusian soldiers and two Belvedorians were killed. Outrage struck Ladusia, lords of Three Steppes and Reaper Hall were commanded to raise their levies which would number into twelve-thousand in total, and garrison in Hassyiki. The Serpent Army was already laying siege to the port-city, meanwhile out at sea, ten Belvedorian galleons skirmish with fourteen vessels of the Serpent Fleet for control over the waters of Erda.
News of hostilities between its vassal-state and Ladusia reached Queen Helena, immediately setting in motion the events leading up to the Runic Continental War.
Serpent Forces had smashed the Tyrelians in the Dunics and in the Red Delta, the ninety strong galleon fleet of the Rilians and Belvedorians was sunk. King Phobus travelled north with his armada, conquering the Ashgarden, sacking the seat of the Rilian Empire, and occupying Belvedoria. Peace was restored to the continent and Rilian hegemony was demolished, as according to the 3GA-039 Peace treaty of Neverlas officially declaring the dismantlement of the Rilian Runic Empire, and the establishment of the Ladusian Runic Empire, the Red Empire. Ladusia was hoping that the ousting of the Rilians and Belvedorians would allow the country to prosper once again as food scarcity in the north became increasingly apparent, Purtian merchants did begin to trade more frequently with Red merchants, however the Rilians, Gemarians, and Argevians had moved most of their food trade to Maela and Tysoulia during the Continental War. Denying the Ladusians most of the northern profit. Maela had begun to actively challenge the southern food trade as the Iron Alliance of Ironflood and Argevia occupied Stallions Nest.
Phobus of Ladusia succumbed three years after the war, giving way for his son; Anophis the first, of house Phobus to ascend as the Marsin of the Red Empire. Ladusia with the weakened Runic-continental trade bankrupted itself after the excess spending of Phobus the first, Ladusia could no longer afford to maintain of its almost three-hundred large armada, and the standing Serpent Army lost a majority of its professional forces. Anophis of Ladusia would during a period of financial unrest wage war against the Iron Alliance, with minimal success as Stallions Nest remained mostly under northern rule with its vast supplies of wheat, corn, livestock, horses, and sheep funding the efforts of the Iron Alliance. Ladusia lost eight-thousand men to desertion, nine-thousand to disease, and two-thousand to battle in its north-eastern offensives. The Hassyiks began to whisper revolt as the news of the Serpent retreat from the Dunics echoed across the Red Empire, violence erupted several times in various Hassyiki cities, the Red Empire could not spare manpower to external and
internal threats, their ability to reinforce their garrisons in Belvedoria was close to impossible. The inherent logistical difficulties and the destruction of Runic Sea trade would be the ultimate downfall of the Ladusian Runic Empire, by the Age of the Masters in 3GA-330 it was a shadow of its former self, unable to project effective military or political influence.
Geopolitical situation of the Continental War.
Excuse any typos you may encounter, thank you for reading.