Chapter 22: The Vetruvian Wars
22,905 - 22,915 AE
'The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.' -Carl von Clausewitz
With Aestaria now stripped of all its crystals, the madness of High Emperor Rasha seemed to spread beyond the world of men, to infect Mythron itself. Earthquakes shook the ground, great storms churned through the air, and maelstroms roiled the seas. The same destructive madness that fueled Rasha’s lust for power also heightened his feeling of invincibility. He became increasingly obsessed with the Sun Crystals of the Lyonar Kingdoms and the Star Crystals of the Vetruvian Empire – and nothing would stop him from possessing them for himself.
Aestaria was already burdened by the size of its military, but Rasha pushed harder, drafting even more young Aestari men into the largest army Mythron had ever seen. He diverted massive resources to building up his navy, constructing new ships and commandeering merchant ships that had elected to stay in port rather than challenge the turbulent seas. With his navy doubled in size in a few short months, Rasha planned to cross the seas and flood Vetruvia in a wave of Aestari military might, conquering their lands and seizing control of their Star Crystals.
As his ships set sail, many of Rasha’s staunchest supporters were beginning to doubt his sanity. But he landed all of his capital warships on the beaches of Kaero, without a single loss. To the Vetruvians’ shock and horror, Rasha’s fifty thousand troops overtook the city in a matter of days. His success fanned the flames of his burning madness and bolstered his certainty that he was the embodiment of a great destiny.
High Emperor Rasha and his troops unleashed a wanton orgy of destruction, slaughtering men, women, and children, pillaging the ancient city of Kaero and razing the revered Ostracon. As Rasha’s army swept southward, taking Tyvia and Murani, pillaging everyone in their wake, even his gravest doubters came to believe in his invincibility.