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The War of the Lions Begins

Year 947

In the year 947, Emperor Valius V passed away. His death heralded the beginning of the largest scale civil war in Erebonian History.

Valius V was a ruler with a somewhat debaucherous reputation, and is said to have had countless wives and concubines. To further complicate the matter of succession, many of those wives came from prestigious noble families, all of whom began competing for power and wanted their offspring to take the throne. Within days of Valius V's death, Crown Prince Manfred, the son of his first wife, was assassinated by an unknown party.

Following the death of the crown prince, the fourth prince and the son of the first of Emperor Valius' secondary wives, Prince Orthros, seized the capital by force. Once in control, he declared himself the new emperor and began purging all those who dared to oppose him.

The coup set off a succession of counter claims and three other princes also named themselves to be the new emperor.

Backed by the powerful noble families of their mothers, the competing princes ignited a bloody five-year-long civil war, and thus the War of the Lions began.

At first, the princes' armies were largely equal in terms of strength. It wasn't until Orthros, who would later come to be known as the false emperor, revived the being that had long been sealed under the city that the balance of power shifted.

The Testa-Rossa, the legendary Vermillion Knight now tainted by the blood of Zoro-Agruga, saw the light of day once more.

With its unmatched strength under his control, Orthros decimated his greatest competition in one fell swoop, and the fifth prince, Gunnar, was defeated.

It seemed inevitable that the armies of the other princes would share the same fate, but it was at this pivotal point that the war took yet another surprising turn.

This unexpected development came in the form of another Great Knight: The Palatinate Knight. The famed champion was acquired by Prince Lucius, the sixth and youngest of the feuding brothers, and with its power he was able to defeat the army of the brilliant strategist and second prince, Albert. Victorious and backed by the knight's power, Prince Lucius was poised to challenge Orthros. Prince Gunnar and Albert's armies, however, were not completely wiped out and decided to join forces with one another in order to oppose the other princes.

It was thus that the war became one fought by three separate groups--Prince Orthros with the Vermillion Knight, Prince Lucius with the Palatinate Knight, and princes Gunnar and Albert, who had no knight but compensated with their sheer numbers.

The War of the Lions had been raging for two years now, and the chaos only worsened by the day. Erebonia seemed fated to fall into ruin and darkness--fitting, perhaps, for a nation that takes its name from 'Erebos.'

獅子戦役・勃発

七耀歴947年

七耀歴947年、皇帝ヴァリウスⅤ世の逝去と同時に帝国史上最大規模と言われる”内乱”が幕を上げた。 当時、ヴァリウスⅤ世は艶福家として知られ、何人もの妃・側室を持っていたと伝えられている。 しかしそれらの妃たちは、帝国各地の大貴族の出身で、彼らの帝国における覇権争いを如実に映し出すものだった。 そして――皇帝逝去から数日後、正妃の息子だった皇太子マンフレートが何者かの手で暗殺されてしまう。

その直後、第二妃の息子であった第四皇子オルトロスが武力をもって帝都ヘイムダルを掌握―― 反対派を徹底的に粛正した上で、”即位”を宣言して皇帝を名乗ったのである。 それを受け、母を異にする他の三名の皇子たちもまたそれぞれ母方の大貴族たちの支援を受けて”即位”を宣言。 ここに5年に渡る血みどろの内乱――≪獅子戦役≫が幕を上げた。

――当初、各陣営の戦力は拮抗していたが、後の世に≪偽帝≫と呼ばれたオルトロス皇子の陣営は帝都に封印された”ある存在”の復活に成功する。 かつて魔竜を討ち、その返り血を浴びて呪われた巨いなる緋色の騎士――≪テスタ=ロッサ≫。 “千の武器を持つ魔人”の異名を持つその存在によってオルトロス陣営は圧倒的な武力を手に入れ、剛力無双として知られていた第五皇子グンナルの軍勢を撃破――

そのまま他の陣営も呑み込むかと思われたが、同じ頃、末弟たる第六皇子ルキウスの陣営でも動きがあった。 新たなる”巨いなる騎士”――≪紫紺の騎士≫が陣営に加わったのである。 その力を持ってルキウス皇子は、策謀家として知られる第二皇子アルベルトの軍勢を打ち破り、オルトロス陣営に対抗する武力を手に入れたのだった。 しかし、一度破れたグンナル皇子とアルベルト皇子もまた、共同戦線を張った上で二陣営に対抗する。

超常的な力を手に入れた二陣営と、最大規模の軍勢を擁する一陣営による”三つ巴”という戦況への推移――

≪獅子戦役≫勃発から2年にして内乱は混迷と激化の一途を辿り、帝国は正にその名の通り、”暗闇(エレボス)”へと呑み込まれて行ったのである。

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