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The Pento War was a major conflict in D'ni history that occurred from 1323 DE (6334 BCE) to 1376 DE (6281–6280 BCE). It was fought between the D'ni and the inhabitants of an Age known as Pento, who were led by the Judges of Yahvo, an extremist D'ni religious sect.
The Judges of Yahvo
King Veesha had been extremely religious during his reign, and tried to push many of his convictions on the population. Much of the population did not agree with Veesha, and there were some groups that strongly disagreed with him. King Mararon, Veesha's son and successor, disagreed with his father on many topics and thus did nothing to offend the groups, but when Koreen was crowned, they endeavored to make their causes more widely recognized. The most extreme and dangerous of these groups was a religious cult known as the Judges of Yahvo.
In 1303 DE (6354–6353 BCE), during the reign of King Koreen, a writer from the Guild of Writers mysteriously left the guild. A few days later, books and ink were stolen from the Guilds of Book Makers and Ink Makers. In response, Koreen ordered for Guild security to be tightened, and the missing writer was searched for, to no avail. It was much later revealed that the Judges of Yahvo were responsible for the disappearances, and under the leadership of Airis were writing illicit inhabited Ages in order to find a race that would fight for them, so that they could go to war with Koreen and the D'ni. It wasn't until 1320 DE (6337–6336 BCE) that the Judges succeeded in their efforts with the Age of Pento and the inhabitants thereof, who agreed to help them.
The Pento War
Beginning of the War
On Leevot 12, 1323 DE (September 30 – October 1, 6334 BCE), as Koreen's wife was about to give birth to their first son, the palace was attacked by a group of Judges and Pento warriors, forcing Koreen and his family to flee Ae'gura and head to the safety of a Private Age, the book of which was located on the other side of the D'ni City. Koreen's first son, named Ahlsendar, was born during the journey there, and according to rumors was born when the boat carrying them passed under the King's Arch, which would fulfill an ancient Ronay prophecy, written by Oorpah, concerning the coming of a Great King. This event came to be known as the First Arrival of the Great King.
While Koreen's family remained in the Age, Koreen himself stayed in the city, which became more dangerous as the Judges gained greater control and started to further push their destruction of sections of the city and murder of its inhabitants. In an attempt to retaliate, Koreen poured funding into the City Guard and what little military D'ni had, although it was not enough to repel the Judges and the Pento.
In 1352 DE (6305–6304 BCE), Koreen was assassinated by Judge-led Pento warriors, throwing the city into disorder. The Judges and Pento at this point claimed control of D'ni's government and began to conquer other D'ni Ages.
Ahlsendar's return to D'ni
Ahlsendar's uncle (Koreen's brother), a member of the Guild of Linguists, came to the family's private Age to inform Ahlsendar, now 29, and his mother of Koreen's death. Ahlsendar remained in the Age at the advice of his uncle, strategizing with the help of information supplied to him by advisers and his uncle, who was studying the Pento language and trying to find out as much about the Pento as possible.
A few weeks later, news came that the Judges of Yahvo had killed the Pento leader out of fear that he was becoming too powerful. This left the throne of Pento to be fought over by his two sons, Mekarr and Timaue, since he had not named an heir before his death. Mekarr believed that the Judges had used them, and that they should rebel against them, whereas Timaue was still loyal to them. The resulting civil war meant that the Pento were more focused on fighting each other than the D'ni, leaving the Judges with greatly-reduced forces, and what little there were were spread thin over other Ages, leaving the city open to attack.
Ahlsendar decided to take this opportunity to reclaim D'ni, and, fifteen weeks after Koreen's death, sailed through the Arch of Kings with a small force, immediately retaking the palace and large sections of the city. Eventually, he opened negotiations with Mekarr, and after some mediation the deals were agreed upon and signed: Ahlsendar would help Mekarr defeat Timaue if the Pento would peacefully return to their Age, and Mekarr agreed if Ahlsendar would order the writing of a new Pento Age for them to return to.
In 1376 DE (6281–6280 BCE), Ahlsendar led a force to Pento, and in the Battle of the Great King defeated Timaue and ensured total victory for the D'ni, officially ending the Pento War. The five former leaders of the Judges of Yahvo, two of them having been handed over by Mekarr and three of them found in D'ni, were sent to Prison Ages, and the books leading to them burned. Ahlsendar was crowned as the eighth King of D'ni.
The release of the plague
- Main article: Pento plague
Following the defeat of Timaue and the Judges, Mekarr and the Pento relocated to the new Pento Age, although the link between the Pento and the D'ni remained open, as Ahlsendar insisted on the perpetuation of resources from the Pento.
Unknown to the general D'ni public, Ahlsendar worked with the Guilds of Writers and Healers during his reign to create a plague, which could be used as a biological weapon against the Pento in case the need would occur at some point in the future.
In 1466 DE (6191–6190 BCE), the Pento leader Mekarr returned to the D'ni Palace using linking books given to him by the Judges, and for unknown reasons killed Ahlsendar's wife and two sons. Ahlsendar confronted Mekarr and killed him in what was called an "astounding battle," and, two days later, ordered the release of the plague onto the new Pento Age, although he was advised against it by his counselors.
The plague was released and within three days the entire Pento civilization was dead. Most of the Pento, however, realized what was happening and linked to other Ages, spreading the plague to numerous cultures. The plague had been engineered so that it would not affect the D'ni themselves, although the Guild of Chemists started to fear that it would mutate into something that would.
The D'ni population, still unaware of Ahlsendar's involvement with the plague, blamed the Pento for the devastation, and called for the destruction of the links to all Ages that the Pento had had access to. Eventually, in 1500 DE (6157–6156 BCE), Ahlsendar revealed the truth about the plague's origins, and asked to be sealed in the Temple of the Great King along with all plague-infected books and books which linked the D'ni to their past, such as Garternay's. Around a year later, on Leefo 23, 1502 DE (May 21–23, 6155 BCE), Ahlsendar and the books were sealed within the Temple, and after six months had passed, he was assumed dead, the Temple was renamed to the Tomb of the Great King, and Solath, who Ahlsendar had chosen as an heir, was crowned King.
The breaking of the seal and the evolved plague
- Main article: D'ni plague
Years later, in 1999 DE (5658–5657 BCE), during the reign of King Me'erta, Jolatha, Me'erta's mother, managed to convince her son to break the seal on the Tomb of the Great King. Her reasons for doing this are unclear, although she believed that Ahlsendar had been an imposter and a fool, and possibly wanted to prove once and for all that he was dead, as opposed to the beliefs of some who believed that Ahlsendar would return some day. The Tomb's seal was broken in secret, and a number of books were taken by Jolatha and placed within the Temple of the Tree, as well as what was according to Jolatha a piece of Ahlsendar's robes, taken from his body.
Two days later, Jolatha died of an unknown illness and Me'erta discreetly ordered the re-sealing, with a stronger seal than before, of the Tomb of the Great King. The books taken from the Tomb, however, were left in the Temple of the Tree. Me'erta died 15 years later, leaving the throne to Gan.
King Gan took the throne in 2015 DE (5642–5641 BCE), and six vaileetee later, the first signs of the plague began to show themselves. The Guild of Healers later discovered that the new plague was an evolved version of the plague used to destroy the Pento, and thus most of the public blamed Ahlsendar for the new plague, not knowing about Jolatha's opening of the Tomb. The new plague reduced the life spans and birth rates of the D'ni by half, and ended up killing over a quarter of the D'ni population before a cure was found in 2262 DE (5395–5394 BCE).
In 2397 DE (5260–5259 BCE), the Eamis Theater Company hosted a play written by the playwright Sirreh, which dealt with the Pento War and Ahlsendar. The play was praised by the reigning king at the time, King Naygen, and the play is often considered to have marked the official beginning of the D'ni Renaissance. The Pento War would go on to be one of the most dealt-with historical topics in D'ni art.
King Ishek was a faithful scholar of D'ni history, and in particular the Pento War. When his wife was captured in 4103 DE (3554–3553 BCE) by natives of the Age of Yimas, Ishek firmly believed that a D'ni faction was influencing the Yimas natives, as the Judges of Yahvo had done with the Pento. Ishek's belief turned out to be correct when the Relyimah uncovered the isolationist plot to frame the Age's natives, and hence ahrotahntee as a whole, as being untrustworthy savages.
- Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (mentioned in the King Naygen Notebook)
- Uru: To D'ni (mentioned in the King Koreen Notebook, King Ahlsendar Notebook, King Ishek Notebook, and King Loshemanesh Notebook)
- Uru Live (mentioned in the King Koreen Notebook, King Ahlsendar Notebook, King Ishek Notebook, and King Loshemanesh Notebook)