Atop the Shoulders of Giants
In the year 1620, foreseeing political conflict with the larger nations of the Merchant Sea, the council members of the Island Cities of Leiln elected an ambassador to approach the Parliamentary Kingdom of Kefran with an offer of alliance. Kefran, known to have increasingly poor relations with the Nada’Ath empire – as well as known to have a standing trade alliance with the city of Ptolzi A’Brafnen – knew that it had the upper hand in this agreement. However, when King Ramsin VII brought the offer before parliment with the intention to present it as an opportunity for exploitation, the reactions were disastrous.
The Parliamentary Kingdom of Kefran had long been a country divided between loyal monarchists and those who supported the parliament, but all were loyal to Kefran. Few could have predicted the bloody and chaotic civil war that unfolded in Kefran over the two years following the presentation of the East-Sea Alliance to parliament. The loyalties of the citizens of Kefran were divided so drastically that in the entire two year period only twice did proper military combat occur between opposed forces. The vast majority of the violence occurred in what Ramsin VII famously called “honorable duels between just persons over private matters” in an attempt to cover up the blood-shed. It was no secret inside or outside of Kefran, however, that these “honorable duels” more closely resembled lynch mobs in most cases.
In early autumn, 1622 a rumor escaped a session of the Kefran parliament that census information showed Kefran’s population of able-bodied adults had dropped by almost 25% in two years. Fourteen days later General Zho Wu-Khan of the Nada’Ath began marching a force of seven thousand across the border from the Nada’Fan into Kefran. Ramsin VII immediately called an emergency meeting of parliament for which the doors of the parliament building were locked for forty seven consecutive hours. When they opened again the East-Sea Alliance had been signed in triplicate with no alterations. The third copy of the alliance was taken by royal messenger to General Wu-Khan along with a letter signed and sealed by the ambassador of Leiln promising that if he continued his war campaign into Kefran that there wouldn’t be a single trade route in the entire Merchant Sea left safe for a vessel flying a Nada’Athi flag. Wu-Khan retreated, and the East-Sea alliance was formed.
Using their contacts in Kefran, representatives of Leiln convinced the leading houses of Ptolzi A Brafnen to agree to the East-Sea Alliance the following summer. In 1633 Leiln and Kefran extended a formal invitation to the nation of Kiyi-Jini-Antu to join the alliance, but were turned down. Five years later when Jikon Yudo – then leader of Kiyi-Jini-Antu – died, her replacement, the much more open-minded Koad Munam, happily joined their more powerful neighbors in the East-Sea Alliance.