After over a decade of fierce conflict, the Kaeri were undoubtedly winning. While the Savaan, the so-called Twilight Caste of Kromsian society, could match a dozen Kaeri soldiers in terms of raw, personal power and fanatical training, the Kaeri Army has always been the standard by which modern militaries are judged. In particular, the Savaan never really overcame their own bias for melee combat, their only serious ranged firepower being confined to those elders so wounded their armour served as life-support.
It was almost a genocide. The first real, inarguable genocide since the War of Three Dragons. As the ghost-ridden golems, flamethrowers, and lines of riflemen surrounded the Iron Tower, they murdered a number of civilians – the Ker Viteur caste – in a remorseless massacre, and to heap injury upon insult upon injury, used the souls of those unfortunate dead to power their siege weapons.
It was at this point the Kromsian priesthood became directly involved, rather than keeping to their alleged sacred duties within the Tower. It’s said they acted largely independently, Vampires being notoriously territorial, individualist creatures.
One of them contacted the Ashen Palace by unknown means, and begged Imperus to intervene. Another slipped behind Kaeri lines in broad daylight, found the officers who’d overseen the massacre, and turned all of their muscles into tumours. Thirty more soldiers died before the Vampire went down under the sheer weight of lead, and the body could be burned by a member of the Commissariat. In response to the requests for aid, Imperus charged House Lezek with forcing a truce.
The Lezekim approach was swift and decisive. Heralds arrived in advance of the main House, attempting to negotiate before hostilities began. Gabriallus hovered over the Temple of Eternal Night at Towerpeak, because the Lezekim could not resist the opportunity, and the Kromsians tolerated this because they had no choice.
Predictably, negotiations failed. While there are dissenting accounts, in general the records are clear; the Lezekim provoked Kaer by attempting to force a duel to which Kaeri command would not consent.
The Kaeri cordon around the Iron Tower was decimated; the Lezekim were very precise. One in every ten soldiers killed in a single blow, and any attempting to intervene maimed for their trouble.
Just reparations, the Lezekim said, and then prosecuted their war in earnest. Sixty Lezekim, united in purpose, with their full panoplies, personal troops, lovers, and a cohort from Imperus’ Talon.
Two months later, a broken nation accepted the armistice. Even today, the dead outnumber the living in the corridors of Kaeri garrisons. Kroms remained confined to the peninsula, and with tightly limited airspace, but receive fresh converts every year…
- Giacomo Isley, Brought To Light: A History of Kaeri-Kromsian Hostilities