|War of the Knights of PAIN|
|Salterri Imperium||Knights of PAIN:|
| Qzare Xiu Wandao (P.O.W.)|
General Zuei (P.O.W.)
| High Guildmaster Loki Ethmorl|
| 22,000 army|
| 22,000 army|
The Salterri Northern Invasion, or War of the Knights of PAIN, was a war between the Salterri Imperium and a coalition of northern states. The war was effectively ended by the Battle of Hrathan-Tuor, although armed disputes in the west were to drag on for another twenty years.
First contact between northern kingdoms and the Imperium had been unfriendly. The Salterri were suspected of having killed the crew of a Woodwind vessel, and when an exploration fleet was sent south by the Ignato Empire and Hrathan-Tuor the Imperium seized their ships and imprisoned the sailors.
An attempt was made to resolve maritime disputes at the Central Sea Conference in Crima, an event attended by Governor Lann Qing of Salteire. The event was not a success and tension between the Ignato Empire and the Imperium only escalated, with Khan Dyamus Ignato storming out of the conference once he discovered the Salterri had been invited. Subsequent diplomatic overtures to the Salterri by Razdis also failed when the Imperium detained the Razdissi diplomats in a mine, and the Imperium was further antagonised by the colonisation of its westernmost region, Shengdi, by the Bordeux Concordant.
In 360 a group of northern leaders travelled south disguised as Crimar merchants to attempt to liberate the imprisoned sailors. Governor Lann Qing was killed by Khan Dyamus Ignato with his own hand. In 367 Qzare Xiu Raozhen died and was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old son, Wandao. Wandao was a moderate and attempted to resolve the situation diplomatically, but this proved impossible. Eventually he was persuaded to take action against those believed responsible for the assassination of Lann Qing.
Wandao assembled an army of 22,000 men, which marched on Hrathan-Tuor under his command. The navy was meanwhile dispatched to blockade Cassia. The north was recovering from the Great Tellurian War and was also suffering from the ravages of the Pusdeath, so the Salterri commanders expected little resistance.
Upon learning of the impending Salterri invasion, the leaders of the UN and Grand Coalition put aside their differences to repel the invaders, dubbing their coalition the Knights of PAIN (People Against Invasion North). Wandao's chief of intelligence, Mairun, attempted to disrupt the forming coalition by distributing forged letters revealing (fictional) secret agreements between the Imperium and various northern parties to betray the Knights. This subterfuge was discovered and revealed by Empress Syana Ignato.
The land between Bor-Teire and Hrathan-Tuor had recently been colonised by the orcs of Grmanhil, who sided against the Imperium. In retaliation, Chief Bangboom rounded up Pusdeath sufferers and marched them to the borders of the Imperium, attempting to spread the disease.
In Hrathan-Tuor, Wandao was met by the Knights' army of 75,000 men, under the command of High Guildmaster Loki Ethmorl, and an auxiliary naval component of 4,000 troops from the Jewelled Cities to eliminate the Salterri maritime support. Completely unprepared for the size of the force opposing them, the Salterri suffered a crushing defeat, with all their troops killed or captured. Wandao himself was taken prisoner. Five thousand allied troops also perished.
The blockade of Cassia led by Petty King Jian the Crusty was more successful, although casualties were sustained in maintaining it, and the destruction of the Salterri army limited the troops available to follow through on their success.
Wandao's brother Hanyeo escaped the slaughter, having been placed in command of the reserve, and returned to Aus-Teire to take up his brother's mantle as Qzare. Wandao himself was held prisoner until the Grand Ball of 381, when his release was negotiated. Eventually he succeeded in reclaiming the throne from his brother and adopted a more open policy towards the north, later going so far as to marry Ignato Empress Syana.
Wandao's capture and subsequent reclaiming of the throne was to form part of the basis for the later claim by the Priory of Ascension that the house of Xiu had lost the Silver Mandate, leading to the Wars of the Mandate.
The actions of Chief Bangboom were widely condemned, especially as the Pusdeath claimed many of his people in his attempts to spread it. The Bangboom clan was deposed and the lands of the Grmanhil orcs partitioned between the Kingdom of Serendel and the Triumvirate.
The blockade of Cassia remained in place until the 390s when an expedition was finally launched to recover the territory under Ignato supervision. Bordeux surrendered the land without a fight, although during the withdrawal a meteor strike, followed by the rising of the undead, caused heavy casualties, including Wandao's son Xiu Tian'o.