|Period||1539 - 1551|
|Theater||Lands of Purity|
The Athenian Crusade was a war between the holy armies of the Lands of Purity and the undead hordes of the Black Tide. For the Lands of Purity, it was the beginning of the end for the forty year occupation of their cities by armies beholden to Thasmudyan.
The first major action was the Severed Neck Battle. Many battles and sieges followed, each driving the evil hordes north and then east across the Lands of Purity. The Galathien Sea was used to make amphibious landings against Elgatâz and flank attacks against the retreating armies of the Black Tide. The elves of the Galadriël prevented escape by way of the sea.
While these battles were raging across the Lands of Purity, another war against the Black Tide started in Lirgaza. This conflict became known as the Artery War (1546 - 1554). These two wars greatly reduced the fighting power of the Black Tide. They were caught between hostile empires in all directions. The outcome was quickly realized by the First Dead Council, but nothing could be done for their minions, their despicable hordes of undead, but the leaders could survive to fight another day, and this is what they did, they left their troops to be annihilated or scattered into the wilds.
Retreating east through the Marrow Fields, it is said that when the goodly pursuers reached Khilag-Tarkin, they witnessed a miracle. The five phoenixes of Viressur appeared over the battlefield, wingtip to wingtip, trailing wisps of fire in their wake. They called down firestorms and walls of fire upon hundreds of evil creatures, quickly reducing them to ash. The Firestorms of the Phoenix also halted the relentless pursuit by the forces of good. This event was a signal of mercy by the phoenixes. They were granting mercy to the terrified hordes of Thasmudyan, as any of true good know, mercy is perhaps the greatest goodly deed. The army of the Athenian Crusade, thousands in numbers, in unison, bowed down and prayed, thanking their deities for granting them valor and blessing them with victory over the Black Tide of Thasmudyan. The Athenian Crusade ended, but the plight of the fleeing evil hordes was yet to end, for they had to fight through the Sorrow Pass, attacked by the Orchish Empire and other groups preying on the once great armies of the Black Tide. On reaching Hells Womb, the remnants of these armies joined the Artery War.
A year after the Athenian Crusade, a monolithic statue, weighing 200 tons, was erected at the site of the Firestorms of Phoenix. The statue is called the Phoenixes of Mercy. The place is one of the holy pilgrimages in the Lands of Purity. Its proximity to hostile borders required a fortress of equal grandeur to be erected around it. The fortress protecting the Phoenixes of Mercy is Gadyan.