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Ashnard the Mad King

Mad King Ashnard and his mount, Rajaion watching the events of the war, as seen in the opening of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.

“I've never seen destruction on this scale before.”

The Mad King's War took place around the year 646 on the continent of Tellius. The roughly year-long war's events are told in its entirety in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. The war began with Daein invading Crimea. After the fall of Melior, the Crimean capital, and the death of King Ramon, Crimea descended into chaos. The country's sequestered Princess, Elincia, while escaping from Daein forces was separated from her guard, but was rescued by the ragtag Greil Mercenaries.

With Elincia in tow, the group fled to Gallia, where they found little concrete support. The Princess and her hired escorts decided to escape by sea to Begnion where they would petition for aid against Daein. After completing several tasks for the Apostle Sanaki, Begnion pledged to help liberate Elincia's homeland and provided the Crimean Liberation Army with soldiers and supplies.

Ike, leader of the Greil Mercenaries and eventually the Crimean Liberation Army, set off from Begnion towards the Daein capital of Nevassa. After winning decisive victories at Tor Garen and Talrega, the army cut across Daein and secured the capital. The Liberation Army was disappointed to discover, however, that Ashnard, the Mad King, had abandoned Daein, and set up residence in Melior. With Begnion's General Zelgius guarding their rear in Daein, the Crimean Liberation Army marched into Crimea proper, sweeping across The Great Bridge and killing one of Daein's famed Four Riders, Petrine, dealing a significant blow against Ashnard's forces.

Once within Crimea's borders, the Crimean Liberation Army combines forces with Crimea's clandestine retainers and clashes with Daein regulars. General Ike then moved against Fort Pinell and the second of Daein's Four Riders, Bertram. After besting Bertram in the bloodiest battle yet in the war, the Crimean army gained significant momentum and was next able to take out the enigmatic Black Knight, Daein's third Rider, at Castle Nados.

Against the better judgment of his retainers, King Ashnard split his remaining force in two, giving advantage to Crimea. In order to protect their rear while launching their final attack against Melior, Ike engaged Daein forces south of the capital at Gritnea Tower, where he helped uncover atrocities committed by Daein, specifically against the laguz by means of the feral drug.

At the climax of the war the combined forces of Crimea, Begnion, Gallia, Phoenicis and Kilvas stormed the palace at Melior and confronted Daein's final Rider, Bryce as well as the architect of the war, King Ashnard. After a fierce battle against Ashnard's hand-picked elite guard, the King engaged General Ike. With the blessed blade Ragnell Ike cut down King Ashnard, bringing the Mad King's War to an end.

In the aftermath of the war, Crimea was left in ruins. Princess Elincia was crowned Queen and the reconstruction of the Crimea began. Both Gallia and Begnion assisted in the reconstruction effort, to the displeasure of many Crimean nobles who disapproved of the Queen relying too heavily on foreign aid. As for Daein, the country was placed under Begnion rule, leading to a harsh, three-year occupation that led to many of the events of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.