The Four Factions were the four opposing sides facing off against one another in the war for control of the government of Einwimz after the collapse of the agreement between the fish trading cartels on the various atolls in the Blue Ocean.
The sparsely-populated Einwimz atolls were able to take control of the majority of Einwimz by an ingenious combination of price-fixing, arbitrage, land purchase, and murder.
The atolls began to build their riches after the realization that they, together, were almost the only source of edible fish, an important driver of the Einwimz economy. Cartels formed and co-operated to control the market. By gradual above-inflation increases in fish prices, they were able to invest in several investment markets on the mainland and perform arbitrage between them, taking advantage of the lack of fixed rates of exchange between local currencies which existed at the time. Following this they began purchasing key waterways, roads, and farmland to drive prices of all goods up while the atolls, more-or-less self-sufficient, retained their low cost-of-living.
A series of carefully-planned assassinations, performed by means of poisoned deliveries of fish to the residences of important officials, weakened the previous Grand Froohlahlah regime and allowed corrupt governors to be installed in the place of those assassinated. Eventually the Froohlahlah was purchased for a knock-down price and simply dispersed.
Unfortunately at this point the co-operation between the atolls broke down and civil war broke out, with the sides eventually forming four mutually-opposed alliances with differing views on whether the Froohlahlah's institutions and leaders should be reinstated as puppet governments or entirely cast away.
- The Bensaro Faction (only Bensaro) — neutral, see below
- The Cluwene Faction (Cluwene and its much smaller neighbour Clutheyne) — supportive of the Froohlahlah
- The Ring of Fire Faction (7 small semi-conjoined atolls around an active volcanic islet) — antagonistic towards the Froohlahlah
- The Piya Faction (Piya, Erren, and Wigwert) — tentatively supportive of the Froohlahlah, but in favour of reforms
Of these it was the Bensaro faction that displayed the most opportunistic cunning and devious strategizing, for they were able to make all sides believe that they were allied to their own cause by careful use of
lies diplomacy. Eventually General Maximilian Ayre, the most skilled liar diplomat of the Bensaro faction, brokered a truce, the Armistice of Lorenfall, that was notionally egalitarian but in reality gave most power to the Bensaro faction.
The Imaginarium in Lorenfall where the armistice was signed today hosts, among other things, a museum of the factions, containing important documents donated by the descendants of the key fighters and on each side. The present political order of Einwimz very much reflects the tensions and concerns of the factional war and the political beliefs of each of the sides.