The Mee-Dis War was a protracted civil war which lasted from 6985 DE to 7085 DE. As was frequently the case in D'ni's history, the conflict arose from debates over the involvement of ahrotantee—"outsiders"— in D'ni affairs, but it was further fueled by the instability of the new Guild-run government following the death of King Kerath.
Shortly after the appointment of the first five Lords, one of them, Kedri, put forward a proposal to increase the degree to which outsiders could be involved and integrated into D'ni society. The question was highly divisive, with the 360-member Guild Council approving the proposal by only a two vote majority. Because of the closeness of the result, however, the Lords themselves were also required to vote. Kedri was joined by one other Lord, while the other three voted against it, resulting in Kedri’s measure being defeated by a single vote.
Kedri was outraged by the narrow reversal, as were many of his supporters on the Council. The affair led many to question the validity of the new government, and some even suggested that the monarchy be restored. In the aftermath, Kedri swore to his peers that they would regret their decision.
After Kerath's death in 6985 DE, the D'ni people found themselves rudderless in a way that they had not been since the self-entombment of King Ahlsendar in 1501 DE. Their culture and religion quickly lost much of their cohesion, and tensions from the still-recent "betrayal" of Lord Kedri's measure for outsider inclusion finally boiled over completely.
It is unclear what exactly triggered the first conflict of the war, but for roughly the first 20 years, it was fought mostly on the periphery of the empire, and consisted largely of terrorist-style attacks on opposing groups. However, in 7011 DE, Lord Taeri was assassinated, resulting in an outright civil war erupting between the two groups.
The civil war
Following Taeri's assassination, the war spilled over into the D'ni cavern and the City itself, though throughout its duration there were never more than minor battles fought between the two factions. Kedri quickly drew support from many of the people living in the Ages operated by the D'ni. Some even claimed to be more D'ni than those they fought against. This was the first of what D'ni supremacists saw as an outrage, further strengthening their conviction that Kedri's alliance would destroy their civilization if allowed to succeed.
More damaging, however, was Kedri's eventual assertion that outsiders should be allowed to write their own Ages. Again, his opponents were infuriated by the idea, calling it the "worst act in D'ni history", and it seemed even to some of his supporters to be a bridge too far. As he became more and more radical in his thinking, Kedri's own troops began to fear that he had gone insane, and in 7064 DE they conspired to kill him. This act did not stop the fighting, however. At the time of his death, Kedri was rumored to have been plotting an assault on the Guild of Ink-Makers or the Guild of Books. While this did not immediately come to pass, a force led by outsiders did make just such an attempt in 7084 DE. According to contemporary accounts, the attack would have succeeded if not for the heroic actions of a Guildsman named Saren in what would come to be known as "Saren's Defense". His actions even inspired the Guild Council to name an award—the Saren Medal—in his honor.
The near destruction of their society's most precious assets seemed to pull those who supported Kedri's cause back from the brink, and one year later, in 7085 DE, a treaty was signed to end the hostilities.
The fallout from the Mee-Dis War was immense. As a result of the failure of Kedri's revolt, the more conservative members of the guilds who believed in the supremacy of D'ni took greater control of the government and D'ni society. The Guild Council declared that the D'ni religion would follow the teachings of the prophet Gish. The official church of the D'ni state became more conservative as a result, and other belief systems were declared heretical—though some of the larger sects remained in various levels of secrecy. Laws and regulations were passed to prevent such inclusive ideologies from taking root in the future. An exhaustion seemed to grip the D'ni people in the wake of the war's end, with one author stating that they had been left "stale and cold, much like the rock in which they lived, and the rituals that once meant so much to them, they now performed out of empty obligation."
Given that the Mee-Dis War was an internal civil war between two competing ideologies in D'ni, its name may be an abbreviation of the names for those groups, but the actual origin of the name is presently unknown.
- "How They Came; A Detailed Look at What Started the Mee-Dis War"
- Deep City Lectures #1: The Mee-Dis War