The Forty Days war was a border dispute between House Drayten and Tyrium. Unbeknownst to the players involved, the conflict was engineered by Democratic agents to test the destructiveness of a conflict between Norica and Tyrium.
The conflict arose over the possession of a patch of neutral land between the two nation's borders known as Fennwater Glen. Democratic agents clothed as Tyrian mercenaries rampaged through the area killing the resident Noricans and setting fire to their homes. The Norican response was swift and unexpected. Sthenalus Drayten, the reigning prince of House Drayten, called upon all of his vassals and marched across the border into Tyrium.
The early stages of the war went favorably for the Noricans, and they smashed through the hastily raised provincial levies sent against them. Crossing the Arsuf, the Norican host marched straight for the provincial capital at Marmara. On the outskirts of the city the Noricans defeated an army of Tyrian Mercenaries at the Battle of Marmara. Lacking the means to besiege the city, the Noricans marched south, straight for the capital, hoping to lure out the bulk of Tyrium's elite field units and defeat them in the field. The Noricans got their wish, but the Tyrian field armies outnumbered them three to one.
During the ensuing battle, the Norican heavy infantry broke through the Tyrian center, but their unprotected flanks were overrun by the Tyrian cavalry. Sthenalus Drayten halted the pursuit of the Tyrian center, and returned to stop the momentum of the Tyrian cavalry. After hours of tough fighting, both sides retired bloodied and battered, with no clear victor in sight.
The next morning, envoys were sent to discuss terms of peace. In exchange for several highborn hostages, the Drayten host was allowed to depart unmolested.
Though Sthenalus Drayten was never defeated in the field, Norican losses were high. Moreover, the knights he lost were the flower of his army and would take a decades to replace.
For the Tyrians, the war seemed to have little impact on the outset. Within weeks, trade had resumed, and the regions devestated by the conflict were put back into order. To the agents of the Democratic Nation, however, the conflict revealed some important flaws in Tyrium's defenses. While the combined might of the elite field armies was effective, the softness of the border defenses would allow for significant penetration before a cohesive defensive response could be formulated.