He would know the basics. The Duke of Helveki's daughter was married to the God Emperor Arideen V the Betrayed. She murdered him in his sleep before producing an heir, and the Helveki's tried to take the throne. They were opposed by the rest of the empire (Arideen, the elves of Inedraem, and the dwarves of Chehon-ust, and Essess), igniting the civil war. Five years into the war, radical elements in Essess rose up in rebellion and overthrew the nobility, instigating violent purges, killing the Duke of Essess, and declared independence, widening the war into two fronts for the Arideen Empire. The civil war lasted 27 years, ultimately ending in a stalemate and recognition of the three new independent entities, the Arideen Empire (where Owyn is from), The Republic of Essess, and the Queendom of Helveki. The empire had the best troops in the Imperial Legions, and elven and dwarven support, excellent defensive terrain (mountains), but hampered by the loss of divine power with the death of their god. Helveki had gold and wealth for hiring monstrous mercenaries (brutality and cannon fodder), superior in arcane magic, and the backing of the Nine Hells. Essess had high population for zealous defenders (cannon fodder), fighting a defensive war, but less defensive terrain (plains) and suffering a leadership vacuum from the purge. They did get some very good generals, though (think Washington). They lost most battles, but made them hurt, and one a few key ones.