After the Crystal Spire War of 217 AC and the dissolution of the guild-based government system in the Council Lands (now renamed the Republic of Federated Free Peoples), many of the formerly-powerful people were very embittered and disaffected. Kaelthia lost significant prestige and trade (now that everything flowed through Rauviz rather than the much more distant former capital) and no longer had the power to control the nation. With the outflow of the gwerin to Southshore and the explosive growth of Crisial City, the balance of power was shifting even further away from their grasp.
A decade later, the situation had become intolerable. It was obvious that pretty soon, the remnants of control they still had (primarily influence over trade with Fuar Uulan and parts east, but also moral suasion in agricultural regions) would vanish as the new generation rose to power and the old faded. Something had to be done, and quick.
Four former Guildmasters gathered in secret and made a plan. This much is public knowledge. Darvin Fallowfield (of Agriculture) and his Committee for Realignment (headed by his son Daelin Fallowfield) took the lead, but Ardrik Whiteshield of Commerce, Yorgri Tsetseg (of Mining, he whose corrupt appointment to that mastership triggered the Crystal Spire War), and Tome-Master Korthan of the Academy also participated. What is less-well known is that the Sheaf-binder (Loran Hae's High Priest) was the driving force behind the scenes, at his god's direct request. Were it not for this priest, the remaining guildmasters would not have dared challenge the nation.
In the late fall of 227 AC, as the ruling Parliament gathered in Rauviz for the start of their winter session, the Guildmasters plan went into motion. Infiltrating the Council Hall with magical explosives stolen from Delicate Apocalypse, they booby-trapped the chamber. When the Immortal Bard, the honorary Head of State, stood up to give his opening remarks (traditionally a few ribald jokes and off-color stories, to be sure), they detonated the explosives. All the representatives were killed; the Bard only survived by the quick reflexes of Marcelline, the brass dragon of Kaelthia, who had caught wind of the plot but arrived too late to stop it. She was grievously wounded in the blast, and the Bard (helped by adventurers) spirited her away to a hidden location where she remains in healing slumber to this day.
The results of this act of treason were exactly what Sheaf-binder expected and desired, but not what the guildmasters wanted. Instead of pinning the blame on Zhapai Karmap, their hand was made obvious and priest-assassins of the Hollow King hunted them down and assassinated them. But the damage was done. The nation, already weakened by internal divisions and lack of common purpose, shattered. Group turn against group, and civil war of clan against clan, family against family, all against all broke out. This state of unrest and riot lasted for three years, until in the spring of 230 AC, the various factions, weary of war and fearing that the other nations might start lopping off chunks, gathered in the ruins of the Council Hall and signed the Treaty of Rauviz, breaking up the Council Lands into the Successor States. Thus ended the Guildmasters and their vile plot.
Why did the Sheaf-binder want this chaos? To bring about the creation of the Holy Kaelthian Republic, a nation dedicated to the gods and forged in the fire of war. Steel cannot be made without hammering and flame--the dross must be burnt off and the mettle proven by the blows of the smith. So must a nation undergo adversity until it turns to the gods for leadership.