This war, sometimes also referred to as The Clash of the Cousins, was the jumping off point for the altered history behind the World of HOOD. Empress Matilda taking the throne and reshaping the Anglia Isle sets the stage for everything that comes after. It’s such a huge moment, in fact, that in the story world we restarted the calendar with the end of the war.
You may have already noticed references to “YE” around the wiki. This stands for “Year of our Empress”, and acts the same way as AD/CE and BC/BCE in the real world. But without the Christian church dictating so much of the history of Europe, the “anno domini” dating split really didn’t make sense. Plus, having our own dating system adds a fun fantasy flare to the world of our story!
Find out more about the First Hycath War
Hycathism endured centuries of persecution before the war at the hands of the Church, who saw it as one of many pagan religions that ought to be converted to theirs. Violent attacks were meted out on the religion, from the sacking of Hycathic temples to the Norman Conquest of England. The strict Hycath codes prohibited Hycathae from using their magic to fight back; the penalty for this was reckoning. These codes would be amended in 1100, in the wake of the New Forest Incident. However, after that Hycathae were still compelled to lead clandestine lives. Even those who married into the Scottish and English Royal families had to adopt illegitimate sons to maintain the line of succession in this strictly patriarchal time.
King Henry I of England and his Hycathic wife, Edith – now known as Matilda of Scotland – were one such case. They adopted Henry’s bastard son, William Adelin, as their heir ahead of their biological daughter Matilda “Maud” – the later Empress. However, William died by drowning in the White Ship Disaster of 1120 and, since the King and his new bride Adeliza of Louvain had not produced another heir, this created a succession crisis. With Maud ruling Italy as Holy Roman Empress, her cousin Stephen of Blois attempted to persuade King Henry to name him heir, but the King held out for Maud’s counsel and named her his heir in 1127. Stephen agreed to swear an oath of fealty to her.