The First Civil War
…One Bloody Sit In…
The first civil war started from something so simple that wise scholar still have trouble understanding the consequences. To understand what happened, you must understand Mara. The Maran state, despite all of its power vested in the army, does incredibly little for its people. Moreover, this was much more the case back in this time period. It was all about survival for families in the big city, and even common services you may take for granted today were not even ideas then.
With most paved roads, granaries, water sources and entertainment all privatized, sames finally came to a head when the dock workers of pier 98 in the Boardwalk District organized, demanding access to road lanes to process and transport goods from the harbor. They wanted the state to take a more vested interest in the people’s livelihood. So in AM5550, they went on strike.
The Maran state at first did decide to get involved by the only way they know how, which was by mustering a reserve force to put down the strike. The mustering, which took time, alerted the strikers and caused a chain reaction of support to bolster their numbers. By the time armed forces moved in, the entire district’s dock workers, teamsters and affiliated people all joined together to fight it out in the streets. With so many people engaged in the fray, the riot spilled out into the city and turned into a multi-day war, with the patricians fleeing into their keeps and country estates.
Forcing their way into the halls of the senate, the organizers of the sit-in demanded allocation of funds be provided to common public works. While the state did indeed already build roads, most of this action was done outside the city. They city itself was surprisingly chaotic compared to the rest of the republic. They also installed their front man, a pleb named Marco Tulo, as sitting dictator for 2 years. He reigned in much of the violence and set about dealing with the mess they had created.
As the riots subsided over the next few years, the senate squabbled and argued over ways to implement these demands. Eventually the will of the people was heard, however, and most of the reforms became law. This opened the door to much more investment of state capital into the city of Mara itself, rather than on the provinces connecting the rich with their resources. Marco resigned content with his results.
The senate spent another four years, however, unable to control the rest of the country. The mandates were impossibly difficult to implement across the Republic, and in the confusion ambitious men would have their time in the sun.
Varus Alenus, a general immensely popular with the western legions, did exactly what he could with a bored army: he invaded the friendly south dwarves for land, money, slaves and fame. in AM5554 he crossed the border and started long series of wars with them. Although the chaos subsided at home, the senate was able and unwilling to stop the war machine once its gears were turning. Too much money stood to be made by the system, and the dwarves were completely enslaved and removed from their home of so many generations. Another triumph for Mara, if only at the expense of friends.
War of The South Beard: AM5550-5575