During this war the Readceras Divine King St. Waidwen led a holy war into Norwaech, Dyrwood. He was killed by the "Godhammer" bomb at Evon Dewr Bridge, which was held by a group of Dyrwood peasant soldiers called the Dozen, leading to the war's informal end. The Bridge was located north of Halgot Citadel which was subsequently popularly renamed to Godhammer Citadel.
After the Miracle of the Verdant Vorlas (as it came to be known) in the colony of the Aedyr Empire north of the Dyrwood, Waidwen quickly gathered followers, drawn to the stories of Eothas's miraculous prophet. His power grew. Eventually, Waidwen had gained enough support that he confronted the imperial governor. Assisted by a collection of knights and nobles who had been swayed to his cause, he marched on the capital city. The governor was allowed to live, but he was forced to abdicate power and leave the colony. This was not from any understanding or easy acquiescence from the governor, but because of what happened when Waidwen entered the governor's palace. As Waidwen approached the governor, according to some accounts, his body turned into something that was no longer human. His flesh became luminescent and his head transformed into pure, blinding light. The governor, knowing there was no way he could oppose an avatar of Eothas, relinquished his power. The people then asked Waidwen to lead the colony. He accepted, earning him the name ‘Divine King’ of Readceras.
Waidwen's rule was virtually uncontested. Initially this was because everyone was awed that a god had chosen to manifest himself and lead his people. This changed as Waidwen began punishing the allies of the old empire and the ‘poison on the world’ - what he considered corrupt churches or church leaders of Eothas. Scrutiny escalated and soon worshippers of Eothas were also being punished for mere perceptions of heresy. Members of other religions were also added to the list of the persecuted for following different faiths. This caused large segments of the population to flee Readceras for the Dyrwood, begging for sanctuary. This caused strife between the two nations. The people of the Dyrwood knew that they could not sustain explosive population growth if Waidwen's rule were to continue unchecked. They also feared that his eye would turn from Readceras and land on them next if nothing was done. This was exactly what ultimately happened, and open war broke out as Waidwen moved to spread his dominion into the lands of Dyrwood.
Waidwen claimed to lead a war of liberation against the Dyrwood. Although dismissed as an excuse for invading a sovereign state, it's likely that it was an attempt at finding Thaos and destroying Woedica's plot to reclaim her throne among the gods, which would plunge all of Eora into an era of slavery under the Strangler's heel.
At the beginning of the war the Dyrwood rallied at Halgot Citadel and took the battle to Waidwen in Readceras, attempting to prevent as much damage to their own land as they could. Even though the Dyrwoodan forces suffered devastating losses, using Hadret's military techniques combined with Galven Regd's strategies, they were able to secure a few victories for themselves as well.
Waidwen personally led many of the battles during the war, exhibiting extraordinary supernatural powers. He seemed virtually untouchable on the battlefield, able to burn or even disintegrate his enemies with beams of blinding, white light. With a god on his side and possibly, as some said, inhabiting him, he was thought to be indestructible.
While the main force of Saint Waidwen's army marched on the Dyrwood from the north, two brigades approached from the east, reaching Cold Morn from a pass through the White March. The villagers of Cold Morn allowed the Readcerans to continue unopposed, an act of cowardice that still draws curses from Dyrwoodans today. The soldiers headed north, planning to join the rest of the army at New Yarma.
The villagers of Mercy Vale had little warning and no time to prepare, but they fought to hold the Readcerans back as long as they could. Though the town was burned to the ground after a few days of fighting, the delay allowed the villages and tribes on the way to New Yarma to organize successful guerilla campaigns. It's widely believed that the battle at Mercy Vale, as well as the many skirmishes in the wilds, kept the Readcerans from reaching Halgot Citadel before the Godhammer was in place.
Dyrwoodan hog noses - an inexpensive but reliable short-barreled cannon type - played a big part in the defense, giving otherwise outnumbered and outgunned regiments an edge in battle. They earned their nickname from Lord Commander Sigfryd Rulth of the Dyrwoodan Overland Regiment at the battle of Char's Field, where he and his soldiers - nearly all of them commoners - made a valiant stand against the invaders.
The people of the Dyrwood knew they would lose the war if they could not at least slow Waidwen down. Engineers, priests of Magran, and a few others, working in secret (some say with Magran’s direct help), developed a weapon they hoped would be able to stop a god. Twelve feet in diameter and filled with a variety of chemical and magical explosives, the bomb was built into the foundations of Evon Dewr Bridge.
Twelve Dyrwoodan men and women volunteered to stage an ambush at the bridge to keep Waidwen on it until the bomb could be detonated. The battle was short, bloody, and ultimately decisive. The Dozen (as they came to be known) were able to delay Waidwen on the bridge. The bomb detonated, killing Waidwen, the four Dyrwoodan volunteers still alive at that time, and over fifty Readceran soldiers marching on the front line with the god.
It was at that moment The Saint's War ended. The remaining Readceran forces were easy to rout. Even though they had more than enough men and equipment to finish the siege, their leader - previously thought invincible - had just vanished in a rain of metal and stone. Panic set in and the Dyrwoodan troops sent them away with ease.
The end of the Saint's War did not mean the end of hostilities. Although Readceras forces withdrew to the north, founding the Penitential Regency, Eothasians in Dyrwood were targeted by their vengeful neighbors regardless of their loyalties.
Known simply as "The Purges", violent backlash against followers of Eothas started shortly after the end of the war. Homes were set on fire, temples to Eothas were destroyed and followers were murdered. Cold Morn was the first town to see violence, as many condemned their citizens for not opposing the Readceras army when it arrived from White March.
Ingame Books about the Saint's War
- The Dyrwood, Part 6: The Saint's War and Waidwen's Legacy
- The Saint's War, Part 1: Overthrow
- The Saint's War, Part 2: Invasion
- Update #20: Lore Tidbits, Campaign Almanac, Big Ol' Stretch Goals, and...
- Info about the The dozen and Dyrwood military
- Update #78: The Leaders of the Band: Chanters and Priests
- The Trials of Durance
- Dyrwoodan hog nose description.
- Edér Teylecg in game dialog: "Was strange timing, 'cause we'd just won the war. They celebrated when I came home." and "Might've been Cold Morn that started it. Town near the border. They let Waidwen march right on through. Rest of Dyrwood cursed their names till the end of the war." and "Either way that town was burning before the first ashes of Eothas hit the ground. And it felt good to the people here, to be in control after being so helpless. So the fires spread. A lot of us Eothasians went the way of our god." and "There were claims from the church of Magran that she'd actually commanded the Purges. I found that hard to believe. Sounded to me like people doing what they wanted, wrapping their god around it like she was a cloak." and "Just my parents now. They took a ship back to Aedyr when the Purges started. Wanted me to go with 'em but I didn't see things like they did."
- Durance in game dialog: "She and her clergy offer shelter to the Eothasians since his death, his humiliation. She's next for me."
- The Dyrwood, Part 6: The Saint's War and Waidwen's Legacy