The War of Crowns
Once the land had been ripped apart, islands remained where before there were whole nations. The islands did not form based on artificial boundaries and so cities were separated from the nations which they once belonged to.
Greedy rulers tried to gain control of as many of the islands as possible. After a hundred years of fighting, the land was divided down the middle by two empires. The Lysian Empire, who’s capitol was the city of Lyse was an empire ruled by greed. Everything and everyone could be bought. Slavery was a huge part of the economy. Bribing officials was the only way to accomplish anything. Even today remnants of this way of life can be found in the Fighting Pits of Nexus
The other empire was the Empire of Roses, who’s heart lay in Penrose. The Empire of Roses was a theocracy, with all of the power in the realm resting in the hands of the various churches. The various churches vied for control of all aspects of the government and even secular life. It was frowned upon to not bend knee to one of the gods.
As is always the case when there are two world spanning empires with completely opposite codes of morals and ethics, tensions began to rise between the two empires. The Lysian Empire coveted the riches that could be found in the Empire of Roses and despised their holier than thou attitude. The Rose Empire grew sick from the perpetual scheming and slavery found in Lyse, and especially in Nexus. Slavery had become practically a cottage industry and the gladiator pits were incredibly brutal. Humans were pitted against orcs and goblins and unspeakable horrors. Unfortunately for the Rose Empire, Nexus had a powerful relic that rendered enemy armies almost completely incapacitated, leaving it nearly impossible to assault.
Things came to a head when, in a fit of rage, the Lysian ambassador assassinated the Heirophant of the church of Tyrithan. Enraged by this affront, which had actually been planned, the Heirophants of the other churches began to muster an army larger than any other recorded in history. The army loaded into huge warships that easily took a hundred men to row. Ballistae and catapults lined the decks.