For decades, the magical orders of the South East Tolarian City States sought primacy in mystical and mundane might. The country side was often laid waste by armies and battlemages. Cities were regularly besieged, conquered, and often burned, but it was the razing of Harcourt that prompted wizards to look for a way out.
If a pact of nonaggression between one, or even two of the major factions, and the majority of the minor factions could be put in place, then the members of the pact would have the breathing room and freedom to turn their attention to bringing any refusniks to heel.
It took years to build trust between the parties, to negotiate particulars, and to get buy-in from the Order of Crimson, the fire mages of Kokkinopilis, and from Durmstrang, the aloof but powerful sect from the south.
South East Tolarian State College was to be the host of the final convocation to ratify the pact. And, although they did their best, forces were at work which seemed determined to prevent ratification.
It began when Durmstrang arrived, riding their opulent palanquins perched on the back of massive pachyderms. If they were trying to impress the common folk of the Univercity, they succeeded. If they were hoping to intimidate their rivals, the Crimson Order, they failed.
Shortly after, as night fell over the college, the offices of the Panglossian Professor of Applied Chronomancy were burgled. With perfect timing, Professor Balashi interrupted the thief, prompting a campus wide outcry and search.
That night, in the city center, a riot broke out between some students of the college, some of the townsfolk, and several members of the Order of Crimson. It was never conclusively proved who threw the first punch, or who instigated the riot, but the watch had to be called, and a tavern was burned to the ground.
The next day, the convocation was again interrupted by a second burglary of the Panglossian Professor’s office. Another search was called, and Hanuk the Archmage reluctantly was forced to delay the meetings for a day. The evening, an attempt was made on the life of the Panglossian Professor, and when the assassin was captured, it was revealed that she was in the employ of Durmstrang.
Despite Lord Kalos of Durmstrang’s protestations, a deep suspicion was cast over the entire faction.
And when the elephants came stampeding across the College and out through the city, it was too much. Accusations flew left and right, from Durmstrang, of sabotage, from the College of, subversion of the treaty, from the Order of Crimson of, it was never clear. To the dark delight of some and the satisfaction of others, the Archmage Hanuk expelled Durmstrang from the city and the convocation broke up amidst acrimony and contempt.
It would be some time before the Magepact would finally come to fruition.