History of Cuirpthe
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|History of Cuirpthe|
The history of Cuirpthe as a distinct and specific region in northern Asura began in the 9th Century, but historic documents and archaeological evidence describe the geographic region and people living there as early as the 1st Century and earlier. These records, written by philosophers, historians and Fiorentine explorers, provide accounts of early tribes and societies spread out across the region north of the Vaellenian mountains, with a culture somewhat distinct from the other Maíraidh peoples. What is today Cuirpthe made up part of the region known to the Fiorentines as Marra, which also included neighboring tir Lhaeraidd and parts of western Newrey. Marra would fall under Fiorentine rule, causing the forced migration or assimilation of Cuirpthean tribes to avoid persecution by Fiorentine generals.
The end of Fiorentine rule would follow uprisings in the Lhaeraidh region, inspiring many of these exiled groups to return to their homelands. The Fiorentines would be driven out as the empire reached its end. Many of these tribes continued across the mountains into Padania, inhabiting the northern half of this region after its abandonment. The power vacuum attracted many of these old powers, with a Cuirpthean kingdom, Mármaga, coming to rule much of the region for a short period. The rulers of this kingdom made impulsive, unwise decisions that only served to damage their legitimacy, and led to revolts that would destroy their short-lived kingdom. The Succession Wars soon followed, with many of the groups to form after Mármaga claiming themselves as its rightful successor.
By the 7th and 8th century, three major claimants to the title of the Mármagian successor grew to control considerable amounts of Cuirpthean land. The Grand Duchy of Corragh in the southwest held the most legitimate claim, yet still competed with the Kingdom of Narraghmore in the east and the Duchy of Dromleigh in the north. Besides them, a multitude of smaller states battled over what land was left. The creation of the Cuirpthean Confederation would end the petty infighting between Cuirpthean states, creating a sense of unity through the defensive political pact and giving birth to the first Cuirpthean nationalists. But, while it may have ended wars over land in the region, competition for control of the Confederation would become just as prominent, due to the existence of the coveted position as King of Cuirpthe, held primarily by Narraghmore kings.
Narraghmore's stability and power would slowly wane in the region. While it was once the most powerful of the Cuirpthean nations, multiple succession crises had led many to question the legitimacy of their line. The end of the royal line would come from the succession crisis of 1417, fully ending in 1419 with the royal wedding of Caitlín of Narraghmore and Prince Isaiah of Newrey. A period of personal union between the two nations would restore its stability, but sow dissent between many ethnic Cuirptheans that hated rule under a Newreyan prince. Under Isaiah, Narraghmore would unify Cuirpthe and dismantle the Confederation, proclaiming himself King of Cuirpthe in 1477. In this same year, the King of Newrey before him passed, allowing him to incorporate Cuirpthe into the Greater Kingdom of Newrey. Many Cuirptheans despised this period. Newrey was a major rival to Cuirpthe, and their presence was predicted to wipe out the unique Cuirpthean culture. Two years following the unification, Isaiah would die. His two sons would each inherit half of his kingdom, Cuirpthe gaining its independence under Stanley of Newrey. He was seen as more tolerable by the people of Cuirpthe, primarily due to his Narraghmore blood. He hoped to bring Cuirpthe into glory as a great power of Asura. But, his plans would be cut short with his death in 1484. His son's unexplained death some weeks later would give his brother, William, the opportunity to seize the throne and proclaim the beginning of the Newreyan-Cuirpthe Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth would find itself the major power of northern Asura. Influence in trade, colonial efforts and quarrel with Midrasia to the south would build a reputation for the nation. Cuirpthean nationalism continued to grow during Newreyan rule. The Edicts of Public Conduct, which among other things, restricted usage of the Cuirpthean language, gave dissenters an excuse to revolt. During the fifth and final of the Mydro-Commonwealth Wars, Cuirpthean peasants rose up and took back their land from Newreyan rulers. The Commonwealth suffered a devastating defeat, and was split in half for a period of Midrasian occupation. When the Midrasian Revolution ended the monarchy in the nation, Cuirpthe would be released fully as a new kingdom. Colonialism and expansionism became large parts of the new nationalist attitude, and various territories across Aeia in Rennekka, Arabekh, Yidao and Vestrim granted Cuirpthe the resources to grow its military and power. The Industrial Revolution allowed the kingdom to utilize these resources in new ways. Infrastructure projects and urbanization were major focuses of the government.
Maíraidh nationalism also grew during this period. Many sought to unite the Maíraidh peoples into a new empire in northwest Asura. Cuirpthean leaders looked for excuses to invade neighboring tir Lhaeraidd and form this great empire. After the Perpignan war and the humiliation of Midrasia by Cuirpthe and Veleaz, their justification seemed to be close approaching. Midrasian revanchism was bringing tensions to a breaking point in western Asura, and the great powers began to arm themselves. With the bombing of Perpignan and the beginning of the Great War, Cuirpthe had its excuse and invaded its western neighbor.
Cuirpthe was devastated in the war. As Newrey joined, Cuirpthe was forced to stretch its armies thin in a two front war. Eventually, with dwindling morale and devastated armies, Cuirpthe capitulated. After the carving of its territories, Cuirpthe entered a seven year period of occupation by its neighbors until it was finally released as a free republic. Growth, increased immigration and aid from other democracies created a golden age for Cuirpthean industry, until the Great Depression and Great Famine brought it to an end. The ideas of communism appealed to the masses, and the words of revolutionaries sparked the Cuirpthean Civil War. This war would drag Cuirpthe into the Second Great War. Following its end, Cuirpthe would grow to the modern state it is now, recovering from the scars of war and the damage of the depression, becoming one of the new influential nations of western Asura.
- 1 Prehistory
- 2 The Iron Age
- 3 Early Middle Ages (576-906)
- 4 Late Middle Ages (906-1484)
- 5 Commonwealth Period (1485-1624)
- 6 Kingdom of Cuirpthe (1784-1827)
- 7 19th Century Cuirpthe (1824-1899)
- 7.1 Rise of Brennan Madden
- 7.2 Railways and Infrastructure
- 7.3 Scramble for Arabekh
- 7.4 Cuirpthean Colonial Empire
- 7.5 Maíraidh Unionism
- 7.6 Growing Tensions in Asura
- 7.7 Perpignan War
- 7.8 The Great War
- 8 20th Century Cuirpthe (1900-1996)
- 8.1 Post-War Cuirpthe
- 8.2 The Great Famine
- 8.3 The Great Depression
- 8.4 Cuirpthean Civil War
- 8.5 The Cold War
- 9 Modernity (1996-Present)
With the discovery of the Birr Mandible in 1912, ancient humans are estimated to have been present in Cuirpthe from 800,000 to 900,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons in northern Asura have been found in southern Cuirpthe, within the Vaellenian mountains. The 380,000 year old tools were javelins, around 1.8 meters long each, and were likely used for hunting. The valleys just north of the mountains are host to the remains of several settlements, with much of the evidence found on the banks of rivers or near lakes. The Valley Gleanmór in Cuirpthe was the location where the first non-human fossil to ever be discovered was found and recognized in 1856; He was named Fer nGleannmhór(Man of Gleanmór), and later became known as Homo glenmorensis by the scientific community. This fossil, Glenmoren 1, is now known to be around 40,000 years old, close to the disappearance of Glenmorens as a whole. These people have been found to be present in Asura as early as 400,000 years ago, but died out close to 30,000 years ago, most likely out-competed by modern humans during periods of cold weather. This aligns with evidence suggesting the arrival of modern homo sapiens in Cuirpthe to be around 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. This is backed up by 38,000 year old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes found in Cuirpthe, some of the oldest musical instruments in the world. Cave paintings remain as the only record of early Glenmoren and Cuirpthean society, mostly depicting the hunting of megafauna like mammoths.
The global temperature increase at the end of the last ice age allowed many of the early modern humans to migrate to the coasts. The Lhedwinic channel became host to some of the earliest permanent settlements of humans in Cuirpthe. Because of this age, dating back 15,000 to 11,000 years ago, few written records exist of the people there. The remains of early canoes, spears and nets suggest a focus on fishing and sailing in daily life, with most settlements clustered on the coastline. Other early Cuirpthean settlements remain close to rivers. Tools found in these regions(dating back 10,000 years ago) appear to be used for agriculture. Some of these people decided against permanent settlement, taking up nomadic lifestyles in the mountains of southern Cuirpthe.
The Iron Age
The Már Tribes
The ethnogenesis of the Már peoples(and by extension, the Cuirptheans descended from them) is believed to have started during the Lhaeraidh Bronze Age, or at the latest during the Pre-Fiorentine Iron Age. From their homes and settlements in western tir Lhaeraidd, the early Paithwaidh people migrated eastward into the interior of Western Asura. These people would reach what is today Cuirpthe close to the 12th BCE. There, they came into contact with other early Cataisuran peoples, initially coexisting with the other inhabitants of northern Asura. However, by the late 9th century BCE, many of these people had been driven eastward by the newcomers, into neighboring Newrey. By this time, the people to inhabit Cuirpthe had developed a distinct identity, calling themselves the Már.
The term Már originates in the early Maíraidh phrase Túath Mór, translating to "big people". Over time, the term Már (itself only meaning "big") would become the common name used to refer to early Cuirpthean tribes. The Már tribes had spread to cover the majority of modern Cuirpthe, as well as some parts of Wayt in Newrey and western Padania in Midrasia. While ultimately related, the cultures of the many tribes were vastly different, their customs generally associated with the lands they came to inhabit. Overall, they would be grouped into three distinct cultures. The smallest and least organized of these groups were the Márléibe (Fiorentine name: Maralibi), translating to the "people of the mountains." The Márléibe lived nomadic lifestyles, retaining the customs of the bronze age peoples of the Vaellenian mountains and the prehistoric inhabitants before them. Much like their predecessors, the Márléibe lived and roamed across the Vaellenian mountains and the northern foothills, hunting and gathering as a source of nourishment. They rarely interacted with other tribes, and lacked any primitive form of government. The closest they had to a leader was a chief, who guided the people, led hunts and made important decisions.
North of the Márléibe, in the valleys and plains of central Cuirpthe, were the largest and most prominent of the Cuirpthean cultures, the Mármaige (Fiorentine name: Marbacci), or the "people of the fields". The Mármaige had adopted the sedentary ways of most small civilizations at this time, founding small villages with a focus on agriculture rather than hunting and gathering. The Mármaige were by far the most prominent of the three groups, covering the majority of Cuirpthe from east to west. Hierarchy is thought to have played a big part in Mármaige society, though the exact relationship between the those of higher rank and those of lower rank is not fully understood by researchers. Settlements are known to have had a mayor or chief figure, but the activities and finer details of Mármaige have yet to be uncovered. The Fiorentines would primarily interact with the Mármaige prior to the Marric campaigns, mostly because of the widespread presence of these groups compared to that of the Márléibe. In the far north and along the coast of the Lhedwinic Channel were a group focused more on aquatic lifestyles. Their native name is not known, due to the destruction of what few records they had by Mármaige raids in the 2nd millennium BCE. Much like prehistoric Cuirptheans before them, they are thought to have relied on fishing more than farming for food. What existed of their society has since been destroyed by Mármaige invaders, forcing them to escape to the seas and slaughtering those that chose to stay, taking the settlements they left behind. Current evidence points to them resettling on the then uninhabited Mardin Archipelago, taking on the name the Mairtine. Because of this, it is assumed that the original tribe would have called themselves the Máirte, and this is the name used by historians.
The region of Cuirpthe was commonly called Marra by the Fiorentine Empire. The Vaellenian mountains acted as a natural barrier and defense for the Már, preventing the Empire from simply marching in and driving out the natives. Close to 130 BCE, it is believed the Fiorentine city of Intermodium was founded, in the narrow pass that connects Cuirpthe to Midrasia through the mountains. For several decades, Intermodium was the furthest extent of Fiorentine control in Marra. Several encampments and fortified positions north of the city marked the border between Fiorentina and Marra. The tense peace between the two was relatively stable, though it became extremely strained in 85 BCE and onward, following the beginning of Fiorentine campaigns in northern Asura, primarily tir Lhaeraidd. Skirmishes and attempts at gaining control would occur throughout this time, but the narrow entrance into Marra enabled the tribes to hold off the military advance. This defense would become useless in 92 CE, following the conquest of tir Lhaeraidd.
The Marric Wars (131 CE - 187 CE) were a series of wars and conflicts between the Fiorentine Empire and the Már peoples. While small excursions north of the Vaellenians had occurred for decades, it was only now, with the annexation of tir Lhaeraidd, that the Fiorentines possessed an open passageway into Marra. Few mountains existed between northern tir Lhaeraidd and Cuirpthe, leaving the Már with no natural defense from the west. Before the Fiorentines controlled the region, this had not been an issue, but now the tribes were extremely vulnerable. The Empire would go through a period of establishing its control over northern Asura, subjugating rebellions and constructing new cities and fortifications. The Limes Marrus (Fiorentine for the Marric Frontier), a series of fortifications, towers and walls stretching from the Vrnallian Sea to the Vaellenian Mountains. At the time of its completion in 116 CE, it divided the Empire and the unsubdued tribes east of them. The Limes stretched approximately 575 kilometers, and included at least 60 forts and 900 watchtowers. The majority of the structure was unbroken wall, around 3 meters in height. From 116 CE to 131 CE, it would define the border between Cuirpthe and Fiorentina, with both parties enjoying a stable, if tense, peace.
The war would stem from growing tension between Már and Fiorentines. The Máirír (Fiorentine: Maerirri), a confederation of four smaller Mármaige tribes (though this number is mentioned, the Fiorentines gave these groups no name) in the far northeast of Marra, had for the past year been preparing for a mass migration westward, finding their current position in Marra to be unfavorable. This would take them past the Limes and into Fiorentine territory. Many Fiorentine generals, having learned of this through the few tribes they traded with, were against this happening. They believed that if the tribe was to cross the border, the empire would be forced to endure raids and attacks by the displaced group. The Máirír sent an emissary to Fiorentina to negotiate safe transit, and were dismayed when it was refused. After several more attempts at negotiations, their emissary was imprisoned and the Limes received military fortification. This brought fear to the Máirír and their fellow tribes of an invasion by the empire. A great number of Mármaige chieftains met to discuss this threat in late 130 CE. The majority of them had neutral opinions of the Fiorentines. The empire's conquest attempts had mostly been focused on the Márléibe near Intermodium, and thus it was only the western Mármaige in direct contention with them. While the validity of it is not certain, records of the time and local legend state that it was High King Cáiseach that convinced the tribes to arm themselves and unite against the empire. This was highly worrying to Fiorentina. Their was fear from both sides of a coming invasion, and any relations the two groups had quickly broke down. Tensions would peak in May, 131 CE when the Máirír began to migrate. They gathered at the eastern side of the Limes, halted by the wall in their path. The chieftain of the Máirír, Subhán, demanded passage for himself and his tribe. After being refused, he argued with the soldiers at the wall, refusing to leave until his tribe was allowed through. The tribe, restless and tired from the journey to the wall, joined in his anger. This went on for some time, until one of the Fiorentine soldiers, confused and antagonized by the tribesmen now banging their fists on the wall, took a shot, killing a woman.
With this shot, the First Marric War had officially begun. The soldiers, seeing this, assumed they had received orders to attack and fired on the others. Subhán and his tribe retreated, alerting the other tribes and villages they passed of the massacre. The tribes mobilized, preparing for imminent invasion. On the opposing side, the Fiorentines took this as an excuse to finally invade and subjugate the tribes, preparing their armies to march from the Limes in the west and Intermodium in the south. Just days after the Máirír Massacre, Fiorentine legions marched into Marra. The Márléibe were conquered easily. They had little interest or experience in war, and most surrendered quickly. Those that didn't were taken prisoner, or rarely, killed by the invading soldiers. The Mármaige, who had prepared for war, put up much greater of a fight. A three year campaign ended with little change to the border and demoralized soldiers, leading to active combat ending around 135 CE. It would resume by 142 CE with the Second Marric War (142 CE - 155 CE), which saw a much lengthier campaign into Marric territory. By the end of the second war, the Empire was in control of much of modern day Chestalve, as well as part of the northwest. Peace came through an agreement between Cáiseach and Fiorentine generals to leave most of the Mármaige free in return for control over what lands they had conquered. This treaty granted a shake peace between the tribal alliance and the Fiorentines. However, with Cáiseach's death in 179 CE, the alliance began to crumble. The various chieftains quarreled over who was to succeed him as High King of the Mármaige. In this moment of weakness, the Empire took their chance. The Third Marric War (179 CE - 187 CE) saw the Fiorentines easily make their way through the disunited tribes, slowly gaining control over the whole region. In 8 years, they broke the resolve of what few groups remained and forced them eastward, into modern day Newrey. Marra would be declared an Imperial Province of the Empire, ending the period of tribal rule in the region.
Unlike neighboring tir Lhaeraidd, Marra was not divided into several provinces. While in the west they felt the need to prevent a single lhaeraidh culture and identity that could at one point rise up against them, most Már had evacuated. Those that stayed were content to assimilate with Fiorentine culture. Those that didn't were forced into slavery, working to construct Fiorentine cities and fortifications on the new eastern border of the empire. Slowly, what remained of Már culture in Marra was replaced by that of the Fiorentines. The Márric language was replaced by Vulgar Fiorentine, leaving southern Newrey as the only place where it lived on. When the empire expanded northward still around 345 CE, the remaining Már refused to migrate and continued to practice their culture within Fiorentine borders. Frequent rebellions would occur in this region, by tribes claiming to be oppressed under what was by all accounts fair rule. These revolts weakened Fiorentine control in the north, turning many once loyal citizens of the northern provinces against imperial rule.
It was at this time, around 428 CE, that the empire began to fear a full scale rebellion in the province. Garrisons in various cities were forced to deal with constant attacks, and morale was extremely low. Projects to construct barriers in the south began, dubbed the Vaellenian Walls, created to ensure the safety of imperial lands if they were to lose control over Marra. Completed in 437, the larger of the two walls stretched in a wide perimeter around southern Chestalve, centered in Intermodium, and the shorter of the two walled off the opening of the Intermodium Pass. The Már peoples were sent north, outside of the walls, in order to prevent any uprising behind the fortification. This enraged much of the population that was uprooted and displaced, forced to leave behind their homes and migrate out of cities that they had called home for generations. Many of the displaced tribes saw this as a sign of retreat by the empire, and rapidly migrated back into former Már lands from 439 to 449. The armies of Fiorentina were unequipped to deal with the sheer amount of Már and were driven south and west by the ransacking of cities across eastern Marra. The empire began granting parts of their land to these tribes in an attempt to stave off invasion, but did little to stop others who wanted land themselves. Control over greater Marra was lost when the Mármuír tribe (Fiorentine: Maramirri, a coastal group with ties to the late High King), under the leadership of legendary chieftain Nuallán, led a mass migration deep into Fiorentine territory in 451. Fiorentine lines were broken and soldiers retreated to the walls, leaving the cities abandon to be absorbed by various tribes.
The walls would soon be broken themselves. They were strong and held off invasion for some time, but the Empire had neglected to build them into the Vaellenian mountains, overestimating their ability to defend their flank. In 453, various tribal forces swarmed past the walls, sacking Intermodium and driving the last of the Fiorentines back through the mountains. Marra was fully abandon by the Fiorentines and the tribes had reconquered their land. Some continued south into Vaellenia and east into Padania, but over time, the conquests of the various tribes slowed down and ended by 459. The Empire continued to crumble from the efforts of other barbarian groups, and Marra would fall under the control of the Már once again.
Kingdom of Mármaga
Following the defeat of the Fiorentines at Intermodium in 453, Nuallán, leader of the Mármuír, had found himself in control of much of south and western Marra. The power vacuum left by the empire had already caused disagreement among the many tribes, primarily over who was to succeed Cáiseach as High King of the Mármaige. Nuallán recorded a series of military victories over neighboring tribes, from 457 to 463, in which he secured his control over the south of Marra. His victories over what he claimed to be pretender kings, as well as his personal decision to adopt Alydianism, the religion followed by much of southern Marra after Fiorentine rule, granted him greater legitimacy over his Alydian subjects. In 468. he proclaimed himself the true High King of the Mármaige, forming what is today called the Kingdom of Mármaga. With this proclamation, he led three campaigns across Marra to establish control over the other tribes. By 480, he had annexed the regions today known as Upper Vaellenia, Mayavane, and the remaining northern part of Corragh, establishing the borders of Mármaga.
Nuallán declared Ballinluska his capital, and established the Marimurian Dynasty (468-576) as the true holders of the Mármagian Crown. Much of his life would be spent on the conquests of other tribes, though he would not live to see a unified Marra, dying in 477. His son, Niadhín I (477 - 503), would finish his conquests, allowing the kingdom to reach an even greater extent in 512 with the inclusion of modern day Manore and Narraghmore. Niadhín was popular among the people; he was formerly a great warrior, in service under his father during the conquests of other tribes. As a king, he was level headed and rational, believing to only do what is good for all, not just himself. Under his rule, Alydianism would become the official religion of Mármaga. He formed alliances with neighboring Dromleigh, both benefiting from the conquests of other tribes. These conquests would lead to a relatively peaceful period for Marra, with the majority of its land under one, fairly stable kingdom. Western and southern Marra underwent a period of growth and change. Its technology, society and military would reach the standards of the other early Asuran powers. Meanwhile, the tribes in the east remained tied to their old beliefs and way of life, refusing to give up tribal society.
The independence of these tribes would end during the later part of the kingdom's history. King Fiachna I (548 - 565) wished to finally finish the conquests of his ancestors and unite the Már under one nation. He would lead several campaigns into eastern Marra to subjugate the remaining tribes, generally having easy success over their comparatively primitive weapons and strategies. Fiachna became a sort of symbol of Marra, and later, Cuirpthe as a whole. He famously went into battle under a banner bearing a raven with its wings extended, an image that would continue on today on the Cuirpthean coat of arms. In 562, Mármaga controlled nearly all of Cuirpthe, save for their allies in the northeast. With Fiachna's death in 565, his eldest son, Nuadha I (565 - 576) would ascend to the throne. His reign would sow distrust between him and his siblings and ultimately send the entire kingdom into civil war.
Early Middle Ages (576-906)
Collapse of Mármaga
With Nuadha's ascension came a period of instability in the Kingdom. As the eldest of the king's three sons, Nuadha received his father's crown at the age of 24. The Council of Lords, which acted as the legislative body of Mármaga (Though with little actual power, due to the king's ability to dissolve it at any given time), disagreed on who should succeed Fiachna. While Nuadha was the eldest son, he was also the most inexperienced of the three. The youngest, Aodhán, was the Duke of Narraghmore, and one of the kingdom's most influential vassals. Similarly, the middle brother, Ruaidhrí, was the Duke of Bannedon, a major city in southern Mármaga. The Council was split on who to grant the crown to. Nuadha was the rightful ruler, but much of the council held no confidence in him and lobbied for him to be declared a bastard. In the end, their efforts were for nothing. Nuadha held the loyalty of the army, and ordered them to close Ballinluska. He declared that until he was crowned king, no man or woman was to enter or exit. This prevented his brothers from arriving to accept the crown. He also closed the Council of Lords, ordering his army to keep the Lords captive until they conceded the crown to him. After four days of confinement, the Lords finally agreed to crown Nuadha as King of all Már.
This course of actions would cause further dissent. While to some, Nuadha was protecting his right to the throne by any means necessary, others saw it as an act of tyranny. His brothers were extremely angry with his decision to lock them out of the capital. They both had ambitions to take their father's crown, and were enraged when they found themselves stopped at the gates. Competition, which had already existed between the three brothers, grew, and both brothers made a point to disagree and vote against any of the king's proposals. Three times, Nuadha attempted to revoke his siblings' titles in order to stop this opposition to his plans, always unsuccessful.
Following his coronation, Nuadha would order for six of the lords, those that had opposed his rule the most, to be removed from their title and placed under house arrest. Their positions would be filled by several of his own advisers, all of which were extremely loyal to the king. He decreased the power of his vassals (subverting the Council when they attempted to block this), and began revoking titles to increase his own. His popularity plummeted, and peasants across the kingdom revolted against his rule. He responded by increasing garrisons in the affected areas, only angering the rebels further. The tipping point was the Great Peasant's Revolt of 576, overpowering the guards in several cities and forcing them out. Ruaidhrí joined the opposing side, declaring himself the rightful king and raising his armies. Aodhán soon did the same, and both armies marched into Ballinluska, easily defeating the city guard and capturing Nuadha, imprisoning him at Bandon. He was deposed, his rule declared illegitimate and tyrannical in a unanimous vote by the Council of Lords. Now, they faced a new issue. Both Aodhán and Ruaidhrí declared themselves to be king, with Ruaidhrí having the legitimate claim as eldest of the two. Aodhán refused to accept his brother's rule, leading directly to the War of the Cuirpthean Succession.
Mármagian War of Succession
Following Nuadha's removal from the throne, Mármaga descended into war. The kingdom was split between two major factions, each supporting the rule of one of the two brothers. Aodhán entered the war with an advantage, that advantage being that he was in control of Ballinluska. While his brother marched his soldiers back to Bannedon at the request of his generals, Aodhán occupied the city immediately after his brother's departure, closing the city as Nuadha had before him. He demanded that the Council name him king, but they refused, supporting his older brother's succession. Much of southern Mármaga was in favor of Ruaidhrí, due to the large amount of alliances, dynastic ties and generally good relations he had built with his neighboring vassals. Similarly, the vassals in the north generally aligned themselves with Aodhán and Narraghmore for the same reasons. When Ruaidhrí heard of his brother's actions, he called for war against the pretender king.
Ruaidhrí turned his army back north and began the long march toward Ballinluska. Morale was low. They had just sieged the city and were now forced to do so yet again. Many wished to return to their homes after months of duty. However, support for the war by others was high and vassals of the kingdom pledging their support to Ruaidhrí soon began to join the efforts to retake Ballinluska. Aodhán called his allies to do the same, and they began raising their levies for battle. Ruaidhrí reached Ballinluska in March, 577, and demanded the city open its gates for the rightful heir. The gaurds, under the command of Aodhán and his generals, refused. In response, a two month siege of the city by Ruaidhrí and what came to be known as the Southern Coalition took place. The city guard would eventually surrender, forcing Aodhán to retreat to Narraghmore in May and allowing Ruaidhrí to claim the crown in his absence. But, his rule over the kingdom would not last long. Aodhán soon declared his independence from the kingdom, as did nearly all of his allies. The king called for a subjugation of the mass rebellion, and led further campaigns into the north. These proved to be unsuccessful.
The Southern Coalition quickly began to collapse after this. They saw the newly independent northern states, seeing the freedom and power they could exercise over themselves. They saw the failed efforts to reign in the rebellions. The leaders of these states met in secret. In the two year war to unify Mármaga, they realized, they had gained no land and the king had proven himself incapable of leading them to a unified kingdom. Collectively, and to the dismay of King Ruaidhrí, they too declared their independence from Mármaga. Soon, all that remained of the kingdom was the Duchies of Ballinluska and Bannedon, and the various counties and cities under Ruaidhrí's direct rule. After five more unsuccessful attempts to reunify the kingdom, the Duchy of Dromleigh, his small yet influential ally, intervened. The duke had tired of the constant conflict that tore apart alliances and obstructed his trade and diplomacy with the other Cuirpthean states. He organized the Treaty of Drogheda between Aodhán and Ruaidhrí, forcing the latter to recognize the independence of the many vassals he had lost, and officially dissolving the Kingdom of Mármaga.
With the end of Cuirpthean unity, Cuirpthe entered a period of war between the newly formed duchies. The vassals once ruled by the Marmurian dynasty had now found themselves free to govern themselves. These duchies, counties, city states and other petty kingdoms were spread across the region, most too small and insignificant to be considered powerful or influential. Because of this, many of the weaker states waged wars on their neighbors to expand their demesne. These nations would become regional powers, forming pacts and alliances with those neighbors that remained to increase their collective power. These alliances created close relations between these states, some even forming international councils to create laws and maintain a stable balance of power between the allies. Three states would come to be regarded as the most powerful within Cuirpthe, due to their age, size and relative influence in their respective regions of Cuirpthe. Two of these states, the Duchies of Corragh and Narraghmore, descended directly from the ruling family of Mármaga, while the third, the Duchy of Dromleigh, had been the longstanding power in northwestern Cuirpthe for centuries.
Grand Duchy of Corragh
Ruaidhrí, last King of Mármaga and first Duke of Corragh, had been angered by the result of the war with his brother. Despite what should have been considered a victory for him, he had lost nearly all of his vassals and all but two of his own titles. He still held on to the hope that he could reclaim power over his vassals, but in his own lifespan was unable to achieve this dream. Regardless, while he may have been unable to reconquer his vassals, he served as an powerful and influential leader to his own nation and those that surrounded it. He reformed the Council of Lords as the governing legislative body of Corragh and Bannedon (Later, simply known as the Corragh Realm). He had achieved the conquest of several smaller counties and duchies (Nowhere close to his goal, but still a great amount). Overall, he had been popular with the citizens, who had already viewed him as the legitimate ruler of the state. By his death in 598 at the age of 43, he had built a unified and stable Grand Duchy, regarded as the first great power since the fall of the kingdom.
His descendants, beginning with Eógan (598 - 636), continued his role as the major influence of southern Cuirpthe. Eógan was able to mend the tense relationship between Corragh and its former vassals, bringing the duchy into closer relationships with nations it considered rivals and even enemies only two decades earlier. Trade, alliance and eventually, direct royal and dynastic ties between the duchy and its neighbors soon resulted from these new friendly relations, which would prove to aid the House of Corragh not only in war, but in future political struggle between itself and the other great powers of Cuirpthe.
Duchy of Dromleigh
Dromleigh was not a participant in the War of Succession, but still felt many of its effects following the Treaty of Drogheda. The Duke, Donnchad (562 - 587), had sympathized with Ruaidhrí in the war, but decided to remain neutral to prevent the war from expanding into the northwest. Because of this, the nation had remained relatively stable while its neighbor collapsed. They had maintained a sphere of influence over the duchy's northern neighbors, and were affected very little when Mármaga crumbled. Where Corragh and Narraghmore were forced to rebuild themselves from the ground up, Dromleigh continued as they had before the war. Donnchad was able to secure an alliance with Ruaidhrí as a defensive pact against the rapidly growing military power that was Narraghmore, bringing many of their own allies and tributary states into an unofficial defensive pact. This created a noticeable east-west divide between Narraghmore and the combined realms of Corragh and Dromleigh.
Donnchad's son, Bréanainn (587 - 611), turned away from this idea. He advocated for Dromleigh to be considered before any of its neighbors, leading to a split between himself and the Corragh duke Eógan. The defensive pact began to split into two, with Dromleigh strengthening its hold in the north and leaving the south to its former ally. The duke opened trade with Narraghmore, returning to early Dromleigh's view of neutrality in all conflicts between members of the Marmurian Dynasty. Instead, he and his successors chose to manipulate their weaker allies, and easily maintain their power over northern Cuirpthe.
Kingdom of Narraghmore
Aodhán and his newly created Duchy of Narraghmore (later the Kingdom of Narraghmore) were fairly satisfied with the result of the war. While he had lost the crown to the kingdom and his right to rule his brother's former vassals, but he had given up that war goal early on. Rather, he was happy to have won his independence from possible service under his brother, and had ripped apart the kingdom, crippling Ruaidhrí's power and creating a power vacuum for himself to take advantage of. But, unlike his more diplomatic older brother, Aodhán ruled as an attacker only. Ruaidhrí only conquered those states surrounding his own, and created a vast alliance with the rest. Aodhán's strategy was to build his own power by bringing all of eastern Cuirpthe under his own control. Narraghmore was relatively small, but he had the power of an army, made up of his own levied soldiers and defectors from his brother. They were easily able to subdue his neighbors and soon gained control over a significant portion of what today is the region of Narraghmore.
Aodhán died in 613, leaving his lands to his son, Conchobhar (613 - 641). Conchobhar did not finish his father's crusade to control all of eastern Cuirpthe, instead creating a sphere over what other countries remained. He forced trade agreements and alliances on others. Those that refused were threatened with military invasion, and in some cases, were conquered and annexed. By 635, the House of Narraghmore had built its reputation as Cuirpthe's military power, especially in the east. The Kingdom of Narraghmore was declared in 638 with Conchobhar as its first king. Intimidation, fueled by its size and power, became its main tactic in future political strife.