Chapter 25: The Aestari Embargoes

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22,916 - 23,055 AE

'Aestaria will never set foot on Vetruvian soil again.' - Ziros Starstrider

After his forces’ victory over the Aestari in the Battle of Akram, Vetruvia became an unrivaled global power and General Ziros its undisputed leader. Vowing that his people would never again suffer the way they had at the hands of Rasha’s forces, Ziros’ first act was to bolster Vetruvia’s military and to heavily fortify the cities of Petra and Kaero. Next, he focused his sights on the source of the aggression — Aestaria itself.

General Ziros sought to punish the Aestaris and limit their ability to wage future wars of aggression. He reinstituted the Aestari Mandates, but applied them this time only to the Aestaris. Further, he proclaimed that the center continent was completely banned from the crystal trade and the usage of crystals, and pledged Vetruvia’s military power to enforce the embargo. Having witnessed the utter defeat of the Aestaris, none would risk challenging the Vetruvian policies. The surrounding continents complied, completely cutting off all crystal trade with the center, starving them and their way of life. The Aestaris sent envoys to the other continents seeking aid, but none would defy Vetruvia.

Ziros’ hatred for the Aestaris consumed him, and he ruled over them with an iron fist. Ziros did not care that many Aestaris had disagreed with Rasha, that some had fought him, resisted him — even plotted against him. Ziros uniformly punished them all, turning potential allies into silent enemies. The Aestari economy was in ruins and their crystal supply exhausted, turning their lives into a daily struggle for even the bleakest survival. The more the Aestaris suffered and starved under the Vetruvian hegemony, the more Ziros unwittingly created the perfect breeding ground for extremism to flourish.