Flintlocks & Fireballs
In a way, the Empire really only has itself to blame for the rebellion. If the right people had been speaking to the Church, then they’d have realised what would happen when they declared Arakesh‘s history-chambers to be shrines to heathen gods and ordered their destruction. Arakesh no longer had anything to lose, and the city’s culture hadn’t been damped by Imperial influence; rather, it had spread to those who visited. And, of course, ever since Imperial occupation a resistance had been putting plots in motion to take the city back when the time was right. They were put into action.
Rebel forces took Arakesh and the surrounding terrain overnight, and largely without bloodshed. They’re now well dug-in to the marshland around the city, and have the devotion and training to fight a long-term guerilla war. The Arakesh rebels know only too well what they are fighting to defend: if Imperial forces reach the city, it will be destroyed and millenia of history will be pulverised into rubble, leaving the Empire’s story the only one written down.
Outside of the Arakesh region, the rebellion is also having an effect. The Imperial legions are being pulled away, which means that the law is being enforced far less consistently. This, combined with Arakesh’s visible success, has led to a number of other rebellions springing up — either in support of the Arakeshi cause or to advance their own aims. It’s also led to all manner of other power-hungry individuals seeking to lever their way into the reins. And the lack of food from the Arakesh valley is beginning to bite, too. Most cities are enforcing some kind of rationing of supplies. A lot of people are hungry, and a lot of people are angry, and the Legions no longer have the manpower to keep them all quiet.