It seems the Quar have always been at war. When the first wandering clans of insect gatherers built their low, mud-walled buildings, it was as much to keep out other Quar as the wild animals. As they first learned to make tools to get food, they quickly learned to make tools to defend themselves. The mud walls quickly became fortified citadels, and then city-states. In five thousand years of civilization, the constants of their culture have been the changing of the seasons, the quadrennial storms, and the threat of war.
The Long War
The Long War is the name given to the constant state of warfare the Quar have lived under for 700 years. It is not a single war, but rather a series of overlapping wars between various political factions. The Long War is in a relatively new phase called the Crusade, which historians believe to be the first real departure in hundreds of years to threaten an end to the entire conflict.
The Crusade is a relatively new ideological and political movement. Its basic premise is that The Long War is the inevitable result of the stratifications of Quar society. Quar culture is strongly clan- and class-based, and for most of the history of the Quar ruling clans and their allied families have held the bulk of political power.
The Crusaders believe that the ruling clans (collectively called the First Families) are only concerned with maintaining their rule over the rest of the Quar through their hold on property and political power. Since total war would result in too much destruction of valuable city-states, wars must according to the First Families consist of long and protracted sieges to minimize damage to property despite the cost of lives in the lower clans. Even if a First Family loses a battle or war, they stand a good chance of regaining their losses through alliances and treaties at some point in the future. Therefore, there is no reason to engage in scorched-earth wars.
The Crusaders believe that unless the First Families are stripped of their power, they will have no reason to change the current state of affairs and The Long War will continue indefinitely. The Crusaders believe that the only way to end the Long War is to eliminate the political power of the First Families and rebuild Quar political life. At this point, military force is the only thing that will dislodge the First Families from their control. This leads to what Crusaders call the Grim Paradox: They have intensified The Long War to bring it to an end.
Sune Alykinder Rhynn Venk, Chancellor of the Crusader Republic of Tok, is the father of the Crusade. He is also a skilled military commander and a savvy politician. He conceived of the Crusader ideology while in a military prison camp. After his release, he remained in the military and won a series of impressive victories that brought him into political power and allowed him to take the Crusade to a wider audience. He reformed the Tokish army, which transformed it from an indifferent army to a legendary one.
Opponents of the Crusade are called Royalists. The Royalists are an ideologically diverse group whose main commonality is that they feel the Crusade has to be met with military force. Royal- ists typically believe that the changes the Crusaders wish to bring to Quar culture will bring about its ruin, shattering traditional social ties and replacing them with nothing more than politics. Beyond this, the Royalists have a staggeringly wide range of political beliefs, ranging from ultra-orthodox traditionalists to reform- minded constitutional monarchists.
It is now Year 10 of the Crusade, and the Crusaders are preparing to invade Royalist Coftyr, as they have other nations, to overthrow the rule of its First Families and to install a Crusader government. But this will not be the lopsided Crusader victory that has occurred before. The Crusader military is spread thin, and this invasion force is smaller than was originally planned as additional armies are needed to keep captured city-states from breaking away. The vaunted Crusader Airmobile force is tied down in the Inishcol Archipelago and Western Arnyara and held in check by the elite Royal Coftyran Flying Squadrons. And the Coftyrans themselves are mustering in force and determined to fight well. The Coftyran High Command has seen the failures of previous armies, and is determined not to repeat them.