The Middle Kingdoms comprise mostly of human civilization of various ethnicities in central Thytika.
Shortly after the third demon war, the small nation of Uridium engaged in a series of military campaigns with sweeping victories to slowly conquer its neighbors, and by the 237th year of the New Age had unified much of the central continent and formed the Uridium Empire.
Only the elite armies of Varsa were able to resist the advance of the Empire forcing a truce after centuries of bitter warfare.
Other nations, like the Argul Magocracy maintained a neutral position, its magical might deterring the Uridium empire from expanding its territory further east.
Years of warfare and expansion had seen many forests stripped to accommodate the ever-growing human populations and their demand for agriculture as well as lumber to fuel their wars.
The agricultural expansion was tolerated with a sense of pragmatism by the clergy and druids of Filanti, Arathorn and Medeina, but the excessive lumbering to fuel the war effort greatly disturbed them.
The Druids and Clergy of these orders had taken a largely neutral stance for years but centuries of endless warfare would force their hand.
An army of rebels from Messaria, influenced by the elves of Amandor and Ilthuan (who numbered a great many worshipers of Filanti, Arathorn and Medeina) overthrew the local governors and garrisons of the Empire declaring their independence.
The Empire swiftly mobilized an army from the Nation of Del Poda to crush the rebels.
After centuries of warfare, Uridium had invented new weapons of war rivaling the magic arts in their destructive capabilities.
Black powder weapons, including cannons able to hurtle death across the field, were to herald a new age of warfare.
The Empire had previously relied on upon more arcane means to persecute it wars particularly offensively. Magic is a reliable tool of warfare, but maintenance of War Wizards commands a high price, particularly in the numbers required for large-scale engagements and campaigns.
In comparison, the mass-produced new weapons possed a more cost-effective way of pursuing the empire’s wars.
Mass formations of lightly armored Arquabusiers with pikemen in the new “pike and shot” formation, with light carbine and pistol cavalry, backed by artillery were sent to oppose the Messarian rebels.
With these new weapons, the Emperor was assured a quick and decisive victory by his generals.
The rebels were well equipped, but with “obsolete” arms and armor of the past. Heavy plate and a wide range of melee weapons and bows and crossbows.
Empire scouts were unable to reveal any significant numbers of arcane casters amongst their ranks that could help counter their new weapon formations.
They did however uncover a contingent of heavy lancers, mercenaries from the nation of Varsa. Shock troops used against the Uridum empire and proven effective even against the new pike and shot formations.
Their services paid for by the Elves that secretly backed the rebels. Scouts reported they were few in number.
The battle was set to be a pitched engagement, much to the pleasant surprise of the empire commanders. The rebels meeting the numerically superior empire troops in the Osga Field, a renowned druid preserve.
It was a massacre. The Uridium army never stood a chance.
With the use of animal forms and “tree striding”, druids and rangers infiltrated to the rear of the empire baggage trains and the valuable reserves of black powder caches. Calling down the elements of nature, great lightning bolts struck at the heart of these depots. The mass explosion wiped out hundreds of troops in an instant as well as most of the army’s black powder reserves and logistical supplies.
This sudden preemptive strike caused much chaos amongst the empire troops.
Magic in combat was not unique, but black powder caches meant that destructive magic like fireballs and lightning bolts could be used more strategically with a far greater impact.
Never before had any army in the world deployed so much black powder on the battlefield and the arrogant empire generals did not thoughtfully consider this and were thus ill-prepared for its vulnerabilities and the magical powers of the druids.
The explosions were the signal for the rebels to advance. And with the advance came the rain.
A day with clear skies and mild weather turned into a downpour over the Empire’s Troops. And with the downpour, the Empire’s gunners struggled to keep their new matchlock weapons functioning efficiently.
The few War Wizards the empire employed were able to help counter some of the downpours but the overall effectiveness on the army that relied on these new weapons was greatly diminished.
The mercenary heavy lancers and rebel infantry charged the numerically superior but lightly armored Uridum forces and quickly routed them.
This signaled the beginning of many revolts throughout the continent and over the next decade, the empire progressively lost ground.
The Uridium Empire is still the largest human civilization in the Middle Kingdoms, but its influence has been greatly diminished in the wake of the fracturing of if its territories.
No army has ever again so heavily relied on black powder weapons in warfare.
Uridium Empire, Border Lands, Kingdom of Welton, Bastya, Astraia, Sabaton, Raven, Oslan, Elios, Del Poda, Messaria, Argul Magocracy, Taliel, Varsa, Southern Desert Kingdoms