The Great War was a generations-long conflict between the Northern Empire and The Holy Kingdom of Ethshar, lasting from **** to 4996 YS. Legend has it that it lasted for a thousand years, but no-one alive knows for sure. The end of the war (described in The Misenchanted Sword) came as a result of the Northern Empire releasing the hordes of hell upon the earth through a huge act of Demonology which was only repelled when the gods directly intervened to banish the demons. It is generally accepted that this was an act of desperation due to the fact that the Northern Empire had been failing for some time. While these cataclysmic events wiped out a quarter of the Ethsharatic Army, including turning a substantial area into a wasteland and destroying what would have been the Fourth Ethshar, the Northern Empire was completely eradicated in the aftermath of these events leaving only minor skirmishes with outlaying units.