In the year 957, after nearly 5 decades of peace, relations between the Empire and the League once again descended into war. A fleet of Imperial Astral ships, armed with new and deadly technology, attacked a League territory. The League fleet, led by their Mages, fought valiantly but were doomed in the face of such unmitigated power. They had no choice but to retreat, leaving the territory undefended.
With an Imperial blockade looming around their allods, the League Mages reverted to the use of portals, allowing them to maintain a measure of control. The forces remained at this impasse until, eventually, the League managed to defeat and capture an Imperial ship. Elven mages studied the new technology extensively and discovered the its secret, reverse engineering the weaponry to suit the League’s fleet. In the year 962, after 5 years of continuous blockade, the League finally broke through the Imperial lines, ending the Empire’s monopoly of Astral space and launching the war into a fiercer, deadlier phase.
Meanwhile, demon invasions, which were an infrequent but constant danger, increased in frequency and intensity. Among the peoples of the allods, a new belief system arose, a cult of Humans, Orcs and Arisen who welcomed the demons as just punishment for the inhabitants of the allods. They believed that if they helped the demons accomplish their goals they would be spared. This cult slowly gained popularity and visibility, spreading across the allods.