Iconoclast Wars

Iconoclast Wars
Surikov Pokoreniye Sibiri Yermakom.jpg
Famous painting depicting the Battle of Losniza in modern-day Poliania. Iconodulic forces on the left holding the Banner of Sotiras face off against Iconoclast forces on the right, who often fielded nation banners or no banner at all.
Result De facto stalemate; de jure Iconoclastic victory
Empire of Tengaria
Duchy of Pavatria
Principality of Radushia
Zalyk Khanate
Unio Trium Nationum (1440–1444)
Banate of Višnagrad (1411–1417)
Kingdom of Lemovicia
Kingdom of Poliania
Realm of Thorns
Apolitan Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
Vasil II
Ivan III (1409–1431)
Tomislav II (1431–1441)
Büden Khan
Aliaksandr II   (1409–1419)
Aliaksandr III (1419–1430)
Uladzimir I (1430–1441)
Manuel the Good (1440–1444)
George II  
Premysl IV  
Neritsomir III
Gheorghe II  (1409–1421)
Mihai I  (1428–1435)
Ioan IV  (1435–1444)
Casualties and losses
27,615 killed, wounded or missing
13,992 killed, wounded or missing
4,011 killed, wounded or missing
10,294 killed, wounded or missing
3245 killed, wounded or missing
43,800 killed, wounded, or missing

The Iconoclast Wars (see names) were an extensive, widespread conflict in Western Euclea over the beliefs and stances of its Episemialist patriarchates on the use of iconography. It is one of the most well-documented and studied conflicts in Western Euclean history and was one of the largest conflicts ever until the Ten Years' War in the 18th century. At its height, the war involved over half a million military personnel and affected millions of people across Western Euclea during its near forty-year-long period.

The main precursor of the war was the theological controversy in the Episemialist Church over the issue of icons and holy images, with iconodules promoting the use and veneration of icons, and the iconophiles believing these were against the divine will of God. This culminated in the iconoclast rebellion in the dying Empire of Arciluco, which by 1385 had resulted in the Empire's final destruction and the beginning of the Realm of Thorns. In 1386, Ravnia followed suit, granting increased legitimacy to the iconoclastic movement. In primary opposition to the schism were the Empire of Tengaria, proclaimed as the to successor to the Empire of Arciluco by exiled Ecumenical Patriarch Alexander III and defenders of true Sotrianity, and the powerful northern Duchy of Pavatria, to where Alexander later remained in exile. Following almost 20 years of extremely tense relations and minor religious conflict, at Alexander III's request, the Duchy of Pavatria and the Empire of Tengaria declared war on the Kingdom of Ravnia and the Realm of Thorns in 1409, aiming to restore the original Episemialist Church to absolute authority in Western Euclea. They were supported by other minor states.

Battles involving tens of thousands of soldiers were commonplace throughout the wars, and was one of the bloodiest wars in history at the time. Conflict was centred around the Ravnian-Pavatrian border as well as Lake Min, with both seeing immense amounts of bloodshed throughout the war. Throughout the early periods of the wars, the iconoclast faction saw notable victories against Pavatria, notably at the Battle of Gritsky in 1417, where a combined Pavatrian-Radushian force of around 65,000 was decisively defeated and pushed back by a Ravnian force of 50,000, who later began to advance towards many of Pavatria's urban centres. By the end of the war, with tens of thousands of casualties on both sides, the conflict had devolved into a bloody stalemate, by which both sides agreed to a ceasefire. In 1441, a policy of cuius egio, eius religio was implemented in Western Euclea, achieving de facto recognition of the existence of both churches by their respective sides, although their heretical nature is still maintained to this day.

One of Euclea's most pivotal and largest conflicts, the Iconoclast Wars achieved mass acceleration in military technology between the sides, employing weapons such as early hand cannons during the war. It is an extremely significant conflict in Episemialism, with some historians going as far as arguing that the wars led the basis of early religious freedom in Euclea. The iconoclast churches benefitted with some recognition immediately after the war, but the decline of the Realm of Thorns and rise of the subsequent iconodulic Unio Trium Nationum as well as the formation and centralisation of Narozalica in the north ultimately contributed to Poliania's decline from the west's leading power.


Iconoclastic schism

Events of the war

Stalemate period