The War of Ash and Light refers to the open conflict between the Dwendalian Empire and the Kryn Dynasty. The war took place between 835-836 PD and lasted for eight months and seven days. Underlying conflicts, however, began decades earlier.
Virtually from the moment of its founding in 539 PD, the Dwendalian Empire sought to expand itself by absorbing or conquering its neighbors in Western Wynandir. Inevitably, its continued expansion brought it up against the neighboring Kryn Dynasty. Although the Ashkeeper Peaks formed a natural boundary between the two, the Kryn viewed the continuous expansion by the Empire with suspicion, while the Empire saw the Kryn as bestial remnants of a land devastated by the Calamity. Tensions grew between the two countries, with continuing skirmishes and sometimes open battles occurring starting around 815 PD. In approximately 822-823, a battle was fought near Nogvurot in which many soldiers on both sides were killed.
In the past few years, two of the precious Luxon beacons of the Dynasty had disappeared and resurfaced within the Empire. The Kryn believed they had been stolen, while in reality they had been given to the Empire by a traitor within their own government, Shadowhand Essek Thelyss, who desired that the beacons be studied rather than worshiped. This exacerbated tensions between the two countries, and the Kryn eventually sent two infiltrators into Zadash in an unsuccessful attempt to recover at least one of the beacons, during which the Zauber Spire was nearly destroyed. Instead, both Kryn were killed and the beacon disappeared, as it was recovered by the adventuring group known as the Mighty Nein.
Martinet Ludinus Da'leth listed the reasons for the tensions as: the Kryn belief in the Luxon, Kryn missionaries recently found in Nogvurot, skirmishes along the border and the Kryn capture and torture of Empire spies, rising numbers of Xhorhasian creatures crossing into the Empire, general mistrust of goblinoids, and a growing suspicion that the Kryn coveted the comparatively richer Empire lands.
On 3 Fessuran 835 PD, the simmering tensions boiled over into full-fledged war with a Kryn attack on the Ashguard Garrison in the Ashkeeper Peaks near the Brokenveil Marsh in which over a thousand Empire soldiers were killed. In response, King Bertrand Dwendal formally declared war.
After the war was announced in the city of Zadash, there were immediate large troop movements by the Empire eastward. The city of Hupperdook was a center of production of war machines for the conflict, as well as explosive and black powder-based technologies. The Empire also began recruiting mercenaries from outside the country, with some coming from as far as Shadycreek Run and Nicodranas.
While the Mighty Nein were at sea, they learned little of how the war was progressing. However, at Bisaft Isle, they learned that there had been recent battles between the warring nations and that Marquis Olesya Lapidus of Port Damali was calling many of the Clovis Concord's warships to the southern coast near the border with Xhorhas as a precaution. There had been very recent news of a Kryn attack on Felderwin, and that its fields had been set ablaze. When the Mighty Nein investigated the Felderwin attack, they learned that it had apparently been aimed at recovering one of the two Luxon beacons in the Empire's possession. The beacon had already been removed from Felderwin, but the Kryn captured the alchemist who had worked with it, Yeza Brenatto, taking him back to Rosohna, where the party eventually obtained his release and reunification with his wife, Veth. This release was facilitated by the Mighty Nein returning to the Dynasty the beacon that they had recovered months earlier in Zadash.
On 25 Misuthar 836, Dairon shared with the party that she had heard rumors of a recent Kryn military push westward towards Urzin, one of their mobile swamp cities. Toward the end of Dualahei 836, there was a series of attacks by the Kryn on some of the military siege installations within the empire, including an assault on some of the weapon creation factories in Hupperdook. The city sustained quite a bit of damage. The Empire counter-assaulted within Xhorhas, retaking the Ashguard Garrison at the cost of many lives.
A Kryn attack on Rexxentrum itself began on 13 Thunsheer 836, using tunneling purple worms bearing Kryn warriors. The attack was halted when Allura Vysoren told King Dwendal that she had, on behalf of the Council of Tal'Dorei and as a neutral third party, reached out to the Bright Queen and told her of the activities of the Angel of Irons cult and their attempt to release one of the shackles binding Tharizdun. Because Allura represented the information as coming from the Mighty Nein, the Queen trusted their word and temporarily withdrew the attack so that the Kryn would not be inadvertently aiding the cult. Martinet Ludinus Da'leth of the Cerberus Assembly suggested that the Empire could use the Nein as a mediation tool to bring the conflict to an end by returning the Empire's Luxon beacon.
The party was successful in getting the Bright Queen to agree to a peace conference between the two warring nations, and to maintain a cease-fire while they took place.
The war was declared over on 10 Unnidilar 836, after successful negotiations between the two nations occurring on ships in the Lucidian Ocean south of the Whitedawn Lagoon and east of Urukayxl. The parties' respective prisoners, Vence Nuthaleus and Adeen Tasithar, were exchanged, the beacon was returned to the Dynasty, and the armadas sailed away peacefully.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 20.
- See "Harvest Close" (2x17) from 2:25:32 through 2:27:02. Starosta Wyatt Fedar received word that war had been declared. It was announced publicly the following day.
- See "High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99) at 3:22:59.
- See "Family Gathering" (2x71) at 39:57.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 6. The war's name is given here.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 15-16.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 136. In 835 PD, for "nearly two decades."
- See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:34:53.
- See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 3:54:00.
- See "Midnight Espionage" (2x12).
- Because of the battle which took place there in which a Luxon beacon was present, slain consecuted Kryn soldiers had been reborn in Nogvurat children, and were now at the age where they were recovering memories of their past lives. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:34:53.
- See "Unwanted Reunions" (2x88) at 1:44:52.
- See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 2:25:27.
- See "Labenda Awaits" (2x20) from 0:22:42 through 31:41.
- See "The Hour of Honor" (2x24) at 0:11:10.
- See "Divergent Paths" (2x25) at 0:20:21.
- See "Converging Fury" (2x27) at 2:15:33.
- See "Agreements" (2x61) at 1:27:05.
- See "A Storm of Memories" (2x46) at 0:25:58.
- See "A Storm of Memories" (2x46) at 0:26:50.
- See "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 45:05.
- See "From Door to Door" (2x81) at 3:25:19.
- See "Lingering Wounds" (2x89) at 0:17:24.
- See "From Door to Door" (2x81) at 3:25:19.
- See "The Cathedral" (2x86) from 0:18:54 through 0:25:49.
- See "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) from 3:04:34 through 3:06:28.
- See "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 3:08:13.
- See "Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90) from 3:12:00 through 3:32:11.
- See "High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99) at 3:30:25.