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The Key War was a major conflict in the Second Age of Pulasia.


By 398 AB, tensions were rising between the four factions with the highest Dominance: the Perissodactyl Place, the Rodent-Rabbit Republic, the Afrotherian Anarchy and the Turtle Tyranny. The former two took on the latter two in a war. The theoretical reason was an accusation by the Republic of the Anarchy of trade protectionism; this was so silly (because the Anarchy did not have nearly enough powers to execute protectionism) that everyone took this as a sign of wanting war. The Anarchy evaded the accusations by claiming they had killed the senator responsible for the protectionism (although execution had been outlawed in the Anarchy in 253 AB) and the crisis went nowhere until three years later, in 401 AB, when the Republic attacked, now without nominal pretenses. The Place allied with the Republic, while the Tyranny supported the Anarchy. The war lasted for a while, primarily in North Africa, until in 405 AB the Great Army was formed by the Republic. This was a giant contingent of armed forces designed to destroy any attempt by their enemies to resist. Unfortunately, the Great Army required a lot of food, and the food storage soon ran out; the army resorted to raiding local farms. An unknown assassin from these farms killed the leaders of the army, and it devolved into a bandit group that had slowly died from starvation by 408 AB. The end of the Great Army meant that, in North Africa, the Republic was now a non-factor; it remained largely so until the end of the war. If not for the Society Fairness Organization, it is quite likely that a repeat of the Second Small War would have ensued. Due to the SFO, however, the main outcome was a peace in North Africa. The war shifted to Greece and surrounding regions.

The war in Greece started slow, as neither side had many forces there. By 412 AB, the Tyranny felt it was powerful enough to make an attack on the Place city of Boppon; this attack was a disaster. The Siege of Boppon stretched out for three years, until reinforcements finally arrived in sufficient quantities to relieve the siege. The primary reason Boppon held out so long was that, while the coast was blockaded, supplies could be brought in by underground tunnel. In 418 AB a group of Anarchy hooligans who chose not to join the army, but nevertheless hated the Place, burned down a Place farm. The Anarchy "government" took this as a good example, and encouraged its citizen to use such tactics; the Place appealed to the SFO, but the SFO decided that the right to farm was not a basic animal right. The Anarchy's tactics so injured their opponents' economies that in 420 AB, the Republic sunk below the Amphibian Alliance in Dominance and exited the war. The Place refused to surrender, and was significantly damaged by the continuing blows of the Alliance and the Tyranny by 425 AB. By that date, all three Societies were using scorched-earth tactics. In 425 AB, peace negotiations began, but the death of a major Tyranny politician (now accepted to be due to unrelated causes) sabotaged the proceedings. Despite this, the pace of the war was decidedly sluggish by the final peace of 429 AB.

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