|Pontesian Civil War|
Crusade aligned tank in Hodirak'hi
| Union of Imperial Crusader Kingdoms
|| Pontesi Hegemony
| Alamar Xarfaxis
Galt Freya III
/ Crimson Keiser
| Robert Medris Mederagaar|
|1,500,000 approx.||4,200,000 approx.|
|Casualties and losses|
|Est. up to 600,000 dead||Est. up to 1,500,000 dead|
The Pontesian Civil War (also called Pontesian War of Liberation or Glorious Crusade of Saints) was an armed conflict that began with the Lerna Uprising in were armed Pnték nationalist militias drove out two reinforced infantry companies of Lerna and declared the current government illegitimate.
Roots of the conflict
In early 3225, thirty-seven former leading members of the New Imperial Party of Selucia were granted asylum in the Pontesi Hegemony on grounds of political persecution. Among them were NIP leader Alamar Xarfaxis and former Selucian foreign minister Livia Haart, both being sought after by the Selucian government and the Alliance of Terran Republics for having unconstitutionally authorised a military operation to aid the Unholy Empire of Davostan under Medivh Evil.
The Pontesian regime at the time lacked support among various segments of the populace, with the Mederagaar family ruling as Directors Generals in a mercantile fashion. Director General Medris Mederagaar's policies intended to concentrate the infrastructure various important utilities (such as electrical power, postal services, private security forces, education, internet access and telecommunications) in the family's hands. The policies had meant a wave of privatizations (to companies under the Mederagaars), removal of welfare services and economic nationalism. Radicals of both the left, the centre and the right considered the regime corrupt and decadent. The regime had introduced policies of secularisation that were unwelcome by more traditional rural communities. Minorities were also persecuted, while Selucians (around 6% of the total population) were generally well-treated as "white" Hosians, large minorities such as the Yeudi (around 14% of the population) and in particular the Abadi Majatrans (around 10% of the total population) were treated as second-class citizens and segregated into separate communities.
Dismantlement of the Pontesian nation and establishment of the UCCR
The Pontesian regime - while generally viewing outlanders with distrust - thought of the newcomers as reliable mercenaries for the regime, experienced politically rightist academics who could be a means for the regime to gain power and influence in Selucia. This would prove to be a miscalculation on their behalf. Alamar Xarfaxis, who had studied in Oxminister and was fluent in Jelbic had experienced prophetic visions of Pontesi being a God-given part of the Selucian nation and intended to make this vision come true. He assembled dissatisfied radicals hailing from the left and the right, mainly disgruntled traditional from rural communities and blue collar workers from urban areas. These groups formed the grass-roots core of the new Crimson Crusade.
Under the name of Imperial Crusaders League, the Crusade succeeded in winning the elections of 2232 with 68% of the vote. Xarfaxis was chosen to lead the government as Consul, while Haart assumed the office of Interregina (Regent Lady), with the powers formerly held by Medregaar. In the following years, the Crusader government at first didn't state intent of Selucianizing Pontesi but took steps in this direction by offering free (later obligatory) courses in Selucian as part of their mass-education initiatives. The Crusade combined this with extensive social reforms, such as free healthcare, acess to higher education, legalizing labour unions and the right to strike, as well as the nationalisation of most of the Mederagaar family fortune.
On September 7 3235, the legislative Grand Synod, renamed Grand Magisterium Crusader government passed a preposition dismantling the Pontesian nation and establishing the Union of Imperial Crusader Kingdoms (Selucian: Unione Caesareae Cruciferi Regnis, abbreviated UCCR). The posts of Regent and Consul was merged into the new Office of Overlord, held by Xarfaxis, who thus became both Head of State and Head of Government. This was followed by a lavish ceremony in Dawnstar (Pontesian name: Oxminister), declaring it the new capital and inaugurating the new Magisterium building as well as the Overlord's Palace, where the new Overlord stated - among other things - that:
"Today, let us celebrate and rejoice, as the illusion of Pontesian nationhood has been subverted, and the Union of Imperial Crusader Kingdoms been formed in it's place! Glory to Lord Eliyahu who has been merciful and let us see this day come true!"
The establishment of the UCCR meant the removal of all traditional Pontesian symbols and the prohibition of many widespread customs. The government stepped up it's activities to Selucianize the the Pntek population through means of social engineering and social control, even to the lengths were ale and spirits were taxed over wine and cider simply because the later were considered more Selucian.
International reaction and condemnation
To the south, Felinist Barmenia was facing a somewhat similar situation, were monarchist Ahmadi mujahedin, funded by Kafuristan, were fighting to restore the old Caliphate and commited terrorist attacks upon felinist civilians. The UCCR, ideologically opposed to "Ahmadization", saw a potential ally in the Felinist state, despite it's leading role in the ATR - the very organisation that had forced the Crusade into it's Pontesian exile in the first place. Under it's Felis Supremis Galt Freya III, the Crusader state were welcomed as friends and allies. The UCCR government sent troops to Barmenia to use it's internal difficulties as a "training ground" for new crusaders - in turn Barmenia supplied the Crusader armies with oil and other supplies.
The Empire of Jelbania, dissatisfied by the developments in Pontesi, broke of relations with the new state and called for foreign military intervention. Clashes took place in the Selucian strait, were the Crusader government found - and sank - Jelbanian submarines sent there to spy on the new regime. However, their hands were bound, because of the refusal of Barmenia to allow any such intervention to take place.