About 50 years ago, a group of three powerful mages discovered a way to hack their souls and conjoin without going through a godnode. The Five Churches of the League obviously weren’t too excited about this and called a Feud of the Faithful against the Three Mages and their disciples, collectively known as the Cabal.
The Three Mages had anticipated this step and fled to the great port city of Ielit to join forces with the local Academic Uprising. After 6 days of fighting in the streets between armed citizens supported by the Academy and the Trading Houses on the one hand and troops supported by the noble houses and the churches on the other, the revolt succeeded in taking control of the city. Shortly after, the Republic of Ielit was founded.
The Republic soon found itself openly at war with the League. Currently, the mounted troops of the League control both sides of the river up to about 46 miles upstream from Ielit, where the Sisters, two harbor-forts with batteries of siege weapons, are able to prevent the warships of the Ielit Navy from breaking through.
Effectively cut off from any supplies from the inland, Ielit relies on trade for deliveries of grain from the Empire of Iartiga an ancient enemy of the League further west. In exchange, the Ielit Academy has agreed to educate a contingent of students from the Empire in the ways of magic.