Fifty Years War
The half-century of conflict between Ivalice and Ordallia is today known as the Fifty Years’ War.
The beginning of the Fifty Years’ War can be traced to the death of Ordallia’s King Devanne III, and his failure to name a successor. His cousin, Varoi VI, was next in line for the throne; however, King Denamda II of Ivalice (the uncle of Devanne III) proclaimed himself the rightful heir and declared war on Ordallia.
However, this was merely a pretense to justify the invasion of the neighboring Ordallian province ot Zelmonia. Once an independent state, it had been annexed by Ordallia nearly a century prior. Ivalice had since been aiding the province in an effort to weaken Ordallia – an effort that ultimately failed. Tired of Ordallian rule, the Zelmonian leadership and nobility secretly petitioned Ivalice to take a more direct hand in their liberation.
After a victory in Zelmonia, the Ivalician armies marched on the Ordallian capital of Viura. As fate would have it, Denamda II succumbed to fatal illness on the road. The momentary confusion amongst Ivalice’s troops gave Ordallia the opportunity it needed to regroup, and Varoi VI succeeded in pushing the Ivalicians back as far as Zelmonia. The resulting impasse would not be broken until the Romandan army’s invasion two years hence.
Romanda, a powerful military state lying across the Rhana Strait, marched on Ivalice at the behest of Varoi VI, a blood relation of the Romandan nobility. However, Denamda II’s successor Denamda IV was a fearless warrior, personally leading his men into battle against the combined might of Romanda and Ordallia. This, along with an outbreak of the Black Death in Romanda, forced the Romandan army to withdraw after only three years.
Two military orders worthy of particular mention in this conflict are the Order of the Northern Sky, led by Knight Gallant Barbaneth Beoulve, and that of the Southern Sky, led by Cidolfus Orlandeau, known also as the Thunder God.
After countless victories at home, these two orders had been poised to advance into Ordallia. However, the protracted conflict had begun to take its toll on domestic morale. Peasant uprisings and revolts throughout Ivalice and Ordallia forced both countries to send their troops home to pacify their own citizens, resulting in another stalemate.
It was Denamda IV’s sudden death by malady that broke the stalemate, although some claim that he was murdered. His successor, Ondoria III, was ill suited to the throne, and left the governing of Ivalice to his queen and retainers. Without Denamda IV’s leadership, the armies of Ivalice had little prayer of preventing Varoi VI’s successor, Prince Lennard, from defeating the troops stationed in Zelmonia and advancing into Ivalice proper.
Despite the valiant efforts of the Northern and Southern Orders, Ivalice failed to repel Prince Lennard’s invasion of Zeltennia. Ivalice’s leaders soon began looking for a peaceful alternative. In the end, both states agreed that prolonging the war would prove mutually detrimental, and a pact was signed allowing each nation to return to addressing domestic strife. An equal peace in name, it was in reality a defeat for Ivalice.
The economy of Ivalice was brought to the very birnk of ruin as it struggled to pay reparations to its former enemies and to repay the loans taken from neighboring states to fund its war effort. Soldiers returning from the front found themselves without pay, and entire orders of knights were summarily discharged from service. The swelling ranks of the unemployed did little to relieve the people’s distrust of the Crown and the nobility.