As the rir and human society expanded to the four corners of Askies Island, centralized rule from the holy city of Sarchelete became less and less practical. With each of the city-states gradually increasing in population and strength, leaders began to rise to power. Disputes between the largest of the city-states caught the smaller ones between them, and drowned out the voices of reason from the holy city.
The leaders of the city-states, each with different moral codes and agendas, began to fight among themselves, at first with words, and then eventually on the battlefield. These battles, though they lacked any sort of grand goal or climactic ending, became known as the Succession Wars. With the holy city centered mainly around the spreading of the pantheon’s religious tenets, the leaders of the city-states sought to claim supremacy and crown themselves king of Askies Island.
The Succession Wars were, it is largely agreed, among the stupidest of events in the history of Citaria. Most scholars and priests agree that it is either a matter of luck or divine intervention that kept Seril from attacking again while the collective mortal population was at its own throat. Had Seril even the slightest hand in events, she could have easily tipped the balance in one side’s favor and then another, gradually weakening them all until she faced no unified or significant resistance. How this opportunity escaped her notice is ever a matter of debate among scholars.
The Succession Wars, though not particularly bloody, did leave permanent rifts between the residents of certain cities, most notably Gnarr and Barcon. The approximately sixty-two year “conflict” eventually came to a close not because any side could claim victory, but because the younger generations of leaders and rulers decided unity was far more important to the welfare of the population.
Though many forms of inter-state government were considered, ultimately the people chose a modified feudal system. No king was crowned, but each city-state saw its leader granted the title of Earl, with the collective Earls in turn choosing one from amongst them to serve as Duke. While they were called “nobility” with respect to these titles, and the titles were allowed to become hereditary, they were not considered a “divine right,” and the right of the people to remove and replace corrupt or ineffective “nobles” was enacted as part of the law.
Askies Island was divided into four duchies: Streka, Carinthia, Brunswick, and Sutherland. The Jirtorex Kingdom, also known as the Bengal Kingdom, remained apart from the greater government of the rest of the continent, as the terra-bengal people were more content to rule themselves. Streka would eventually become a democratic state, the Strekan Province, as its technological advances far outpaced the evolution of the rest of Askies Island society.
The Duchy of Carinthia, ruled from the seat of the Duke in the city of Ceritopolonis, is comprised of five counties: Sterling, Perth, Bristol, Kent, and Cantershire.
The Duchy of Brunswick, ruled from the seat of the Duke in the city of DarkWind, is comprised of four counties: Montgomery, Edinburgh, Kanvaria, and Eastland.
The Duchy of Sutherland, ruled from the seat of the Duke in the city of Gnarr, is comprised of five counties: Pelishire, Hartford, Southwick, Lajere, and Marsdale.
A king was eventually crowned in the Strekan Province, but the position is a curious one because of the division between Streka and the rest of Askies Island. The king has authority to step in and settle disputes between the dukes, but otherwise has no real power with regard to the day-to-day lives of the people of Askies. The Strekan Province itself is, currently, run by a Parliamentary government, over which the king has no power.
The only other portion of Askies Island that is not subject to the rule of either the dukes or the king is the holy city of Sarchelete and its minor territory, which are considered theocratic.