Cadhla's Purge was a 500-year military campaign initiated by the dark elven Queen Cadhla to eliminate the followers of the old religions in the realm of Vael'Aser.
The Queen is noted for abandoning traditional trinity and introducing worship centered on herself, which is sometimes described as a personality cult. An early inscription links her image to the sun as compared to stars and superior to the former trinity, but the shifts were not widely accepted.
After her death, her monuments were dismantled and hidden, her statues were destroyed, and her name was nearly excluded from the queen lists if her family hadn't intervened. Traditional religious practice was gradually restored, and when some dozen years later rulers without clear rights of succession founded a new dynasty, they discredited Cadhla and her immediate successors, referring to her as "the enemy" or "that criminal" in archival records.
The Purge Edit
Cadhla’s Royal Guard took up position on the stairs leading to the Assembly, while Cadhla herself stood at the top of the stairs. As the representatives of the 10 families arrived, she checked them against the list provided to her; Her guard helped to identify those to be arrested and those to be prevented from entering. The purge was not over in one day, and a military watch was kept on the entrance for 3 months. By then 145 members of the 10 families had been imprisoned of which 25 were released. It is not known exactly how many were excluded as many, once they heard of the purge, voluntarily stayed away, either because they feared they would be arrested but more usually as a sign of protest. Pre-purge the number of members who were still eligible to sit in the house was 507 but 18 seats were vacant and a further 18 members had not sat for a long time which meant that there were 471 active members. After the purge just over 50 members sat in what would become known as the Rump Assembly. Of the 50, 20 absented themselves voluntarily, 10 were allowed back in the assembly after formally dissenting from the decision to deny the Queen's proposals, and the rest were supporters of the army from the outset.
The imprisoned members were taken first to the Queen’s Court within the Palace, and then to a nearby public house. There were three public houses next to the Palace. The imprisoned members were taken to prison where they spent the night. On the next day they were moved to two inns.
The Rump now had a majority that would establish a new cult. Any doubts the remaining members may have had over the wisdom of this course were suppressed by the presence of the Army in great numbers.
The Queen declared martial law in the Capital and issued a secret order to all provinces under the control of her forces to purge the trinitarians.
Under the new Heresy Acts, numerous heathens were executed in the persecutions. Around 800 rich trinitarians chose exile instead. In total, 136.283 were executed, most by burning. The burnings proved so unpopular that even the queen advisors condemned them. The Queen persevered with the policy, which continued until her death. The victims of the persecutions became lauded as martyrs.
The Holy War Edit
The Purgers captured the small villages and then headed for the cities, calling on the loyalist within to come out, and demanding that the trinitarians surrender. Neither group did as commanded. The cities fell, were burned to the ground and the entire population was slaughtered. It was reported that the Queen, when asked how to distinguish the Trinitarians from the Royalist, responded, "Kill them all! I will know my own." News of the disaster quickly spread and afterwards many settlements surrendered without a fight.
They had cut the trinitarian cities' water supply. The local authorities sought negotiations but were taken prisoner while under truce, and the cities surrendered. The people were not killed, but were forced to leave the cities naked.
The Acolytes promulgated the message of the Queen to combat alleged heresies by preaching the Queen's command in towns and villages, while the Royalist investigated heresies. Because of these efforts, by the time of Cadhla's dead, any discernible traces of the Trinitarian movement was nearly eradicated.
In the end, Cadhla's religious revolution collapsed from within after her death since the massive costs of founding a new capital city and the closing of her temples choked off the growth of the economy. A notable result of Cadhla's centralisation tendencies was the appearance of large-scale corruption among the Queen's state officials who held unprecedented control over all the wealth and produce of the Empire. This was a tendency that the next queen Garnet was compelled to deal with by threatening to cut off the nose of any officials who were found to be involved in state corruption or abuses.