Suffering from previous slights and defeats from Tierra, the League of Antar demanded a number of concessions from Tierra upon the death of the previous monarch.
In many eyes, this was seen as an attempt to force the Tierra's hands into acquiescing which from the Antari side should have been easily done with the government in disarray so soon after the death of the monarch.
It did not. Miguel I of House Rendower the newly ascended King of Tierra refused the demands and as result both geared up and mobilized for war. The bloodiest war in Tierran history.
Following the declaration of war by the League Congress in early 602, King Miguel had retaliated with surprising ferocity to Antar's advances. This retaliation involved attacking the Antari on their homeland, rather than risk a defensive war on their homeland, and by spring Tierra's forces made a beachhead around Noringia, one of the towns along Antar's southern coast. As the remnants of the winter snows passed, the Tierran vanguard expanded their beachhead into the surrounding areas.
With a port now available to channel forces through, the King had demanded that at least three Regiments of Foot and one Regiment of Horse (the Royal Dragoons, as soon established by the game) must be deployed to reinforce the forces already stationed in Antar by the summer months. During the spring, the Earl of Crittenden, Port-Admiral at Northern Pillars, had announced that the Calligian Sea was free of Antari warships. This gave Tierra the distinct advantage of naval supremacy, though this could only be capitalised on by securing more ports along the western coast.
By Summer 602, the Kings requested forces land in Noringia. These forces consisted of the Royal Dragoon Regiment under the Duke of Cunaris, the 6th and 8th of Foot, and the renowned Kentauri Highlanders led by the Duke of Havenport. Soon after the reinforcement, portions of the King's Army reached the River Kharan, and began constructing outposts along the river's length, one of which is Lord Captain Enrique Hunter's outpost. Alongside this, Royal Tierran Intelligence reports that a large Antari army is being formed by one of the League Congress Lords to repel the Tierran Army currently deployed in Noringia. In response, King Miguel has sent Lord Hector d'al Candless, the Duke of Wulfram and war hero of the previous war against Antar under the command of King Alaric, to assume overall command over the Tierran Army in Antar.
The Antari army being raised in summer was now ready by Autumn, a 14,000 strong force that advanced from Octobirit, far up the coast and well into the Central Plains, intent on retaking Noringia. The arrival of the Duke of Wulfram spurred him to respond in haste, as a defensive battle over Noringia would end disastrously for the Tierrans. Wulfram formed up a force of nine regiments, numbering around 6,000 men, to face the Antari. Rather than in open combat, Wulfram opted to skirmish with the Antari, using the tactic of isolating individual enemy columns and destroying the enemy by detail.
The battle between the numerically superior Antari and the Tierran reactionary force lasted twelve days, and brought with the winter of 602. After the twelve days, only 4,500 survivors of the Antari force remain to surrender to the Duke of Wulfram, seventy kilometres northeast of Noringia, near the centre of the Great Forest. The onset of winter left thousands of men dead on both belligerents sides. After the victory over Antari forces, the Duke of Wulfram makes the decision to bypass the fortified port city of Kharangia (not having to fear Antari warships anymore and having tactical advantage in the Forest). This resulted in the River Kharan being designated the main line of defence on the western front. Being such an important factor, the previously minor outposts along the river being reinforced significantly. Royal Engineers were present along the river to build up exterior defences for the outpost, notably Major Enrique's and Captain Lefebvre's outpost, as well as having reinforcements from the Second Battalion Grenadier Guards, the 9th of Foot, and another cavalry unit, the White Rose Lancers. This meant that the Royal Dragoons were now supported by a fellow cavalry unit and so lack of cavalry was not detrimental to the Kharan's defence.
After the mass movements of arms and reinforcement along the River Kharan, the Antari who were severely displaced or upset at this pushed up partisan activity in the area, frequenting more raids and ambushes. This surge in partisan activity coincided with Royal Tierran Intelligence reports of a second Antari army being assembled in the northwestern regions of Antar.
This army was fully assembled by the summer of 603, formed again like its predecessor in Octobirit, and numbered around 18,000 Antari. They had similar intentions as the year before, aiming to retake Noringia from Tierran control, though the objective was considerably more difficult due to the time the Tierrans had to prepare. Back in mainland Tierra, the Earl of Weathern, who holds the title Deputy Privy Councillor for War, proposed to King Miguel to offer the Antari Congress favourable peace terms coupled with the payment of a face-saving level of war reparations, to save both countries more losses and economic dismantlement. The proposal for such a negotiation was dismissed, out of hand. By the Autumn season, Wulfram's counter to the Antari forces succeeds in their aims to split the army into three parts. The split Antari were then forced into battle with separate Tierran forces and thoroughly destroyed through a tactic similar to the previous years, over a period of two weeks.
The summer of 604 brought political tension in the Cortes of Tierra. The King had requested the lords of the Cortes to grant an additional 2,000,000 crowns per annum (annually) to the military budget, for the purpose of maintaining Tierran forces present in Antar. The proposal passed, albeit by a slim margin. With the security of his army intact and funded, during autumn the Duke of Wulfram leads a reconnaissance-in-force into the Central Plains of Antar, burning sixteen villages in the process and disrupting the harvest in the region, providing the first conflict of the plains a success to the Tierrans. The Antari diplomatic envoys to the Convocation of the Orders-Militant put forward a motion to excommunicate the Unified Kingdom of Tierra and declare the Pariah-Among-Nations, though this is never followed through, and is one of the first attempts of Antari envoys to gain foreign support. Back on mainland Tierra, Royal Tierran Intelligence submits a report that Prince Mikhail of Khorobirit in the north has demanded that the League Congress supply him with authority enough to recruit fighting men from the holdings of all of Congress' lords, to lead them against the Tierrans and "throw them into the sea." Whilst his attempt gains a vast majority of Congressional support, the proposal is vetoed by one of the Prince's personal rivals. As a knock-on effect to Wulfram's reconnaissance-in-force and subsequent Tierran raids, Central Antar is hit by a severe famine in the winter, creating a death toll that peaked at 75,000 by the beginning of spring, 605.
After another winter passed, the Cortes voted, in the spring of 605, to raise a tax on pewter bowls and plates as a way to maintain the war in Antar. The state coffers, once having possessed an abundance of 30,000,000 crowns, is now empty. By Autumn, the Antari envoys to the Court of the Sun and Heavens of Kian'Zi push for their support against the Tierrans steadily moving further inland, and envoys to the Richensaat of Takara do the same.
In the spring of 606, the Antari began adopting similar tactics to the Tierrans, mounting major raid into Tierran-held territory using forces comprised of one to two hundred men. The Convocation of the Orders-Militant finally vote, nearly two years after the Antari put forward the proposal, on whether to declare Tierra Pariah-Among-Nations, though the proposal is defeated by a slim margin. In the summer, Royal Intelligence reports indicates that a series of 'accidental deaths' had afflicted several known personal enemies of Prince Mikhail of Khorobirit, clearing the way for him to gain more power and influence without opposition in to the Congress. On the Tierran mainland, the Ministry of the Exchequer announces the government will be more than 2,500,000 crowns in debt by the end of 608, creating tension and worry among the Cortes lords. The Autumn brings with it a series of events. King Miguel presents the Duke of Wulfram with an ultimatum: end the war in Tierra's favour within the year, or face termination from military service. Alongside this sudden ultimatum, the King requests an additional three million crowns per annum from the Cortes to expand the Royal Army, to compensate for the losses in Antar. His proposal is voted down by a significant margin of three to one. The Throne's political position is growing dangerously precarious and unpopular. Riots also break out among Tannersburg over the rising cost of bread. Without the Antari imports, the price of grain has risen three-fold. Royal Intelligence submits another report on the activities of Prince Mikhail, who has gained the support of nearly two hundred Lords of the Congress for the purpose of building the army he proposed in 604. During this, Wulfram attempts another reconnaissance-in-force into the Central Plains, although this second attempts lacks the positive results of the first, as the strike force is intercepted by a similar Antari force of cavalry. A six day running battle commenced, resulting on heavy losses on both sides and no clear conclusive victor. During the winter season, the Earl of Weathern again proposes peace talks with the Antari that favours Tierra, though this time to an open session of the Cortes. Weathern's motion passes by a margin of seven votes, though is struck down by the King using his royal prerogative power to veto the motion, the first time a Tierran monarch has done so in thirty years.