Most times are peaceful times. But one of the sacrifices the Emperor made in establishing the Council of the Crowned in the beginning of the era was enabling and legalizing conflict 'when it is in the best interest of the empire, and in the name of reflectivist wisdom and courageous will'. The founding of Hotonotochi was legal, even though it was bloody, but only on the condition that this blood and violence is controlled and order is maintained. This allowed intrepid individuals to follow their will and define grand projects, but forced them to do so diplomatically (with allies, legal justification, and more posturing than action).
Governor Amador, a successor and descendant to the original Amador the Intrepid, founder of West Demurgia and the FTC, wanted his realm to grow, but knew they needed access to the mainland to secure economic and diplomatic legitimacy. To the immediate south was the Isla de Torres in local tongue, or Island of Towers, but was mostly occupied by the Kingdom of Valtoros (although settlement was minimal). On the southwest tip hid Newlanding, a small Valyrian colony. Here Governor Amador planted the seeds for a future campaign. But it took transparency, diplomacy and lucky timing.
At this time, the increasingly prophetic Hotonotochi was carrying out a far-reaching campaign to destablize fringes of the empire in hopes to build up legitimacy and an appetite for their Bone Church. 'In chaos, opportunities emerge', as the old addage goes from Mercurian Hotonotochians living in the high districts of Newtowne. A large network of roadside bombs were discovered, as part of a larger brutal and genodical campaign to terrorize the troubled region. In Newlanding, not a soul was left standing. Most of the bodies were found in and around one exploded houses, suggesting citizens hid there or were locked in their and murdered collectively. In one case, a powerful bomb was still strapped to a house on a hill overlooking Newlanding. The King of Valtoros fatefully took his final steps, but honourably so, as he was personally investigating the crimes. But the explosion was feirce. The Regent and Governor Amador, assisting in the investigation, were injured, but perhaps their worst fate was witnessing the King's flesh fly into the air alongside debris and flames.
Governor Amador used the confusion opportunistically. He denounced the attacks outright, but argued the terrorist attacks showed that Valtoros could not control all of the island, as his resources were stretched thin (seeing as how the western tip of the island is far from Bogtown). Governor Amador set up illegal settlements in the north of the island, including a hidden jungle fort, in the event of a war, but took the steps required to legalize his claims. He annoucned his ambitions on the island to the new King following the death of his senior, and said, 'new attacks could continue, or under me, I can promise the island will be safe.' The King of Valyria was ready to pounce, to defend his holdings, but Amador's frank and open claims were stark contrast to the secretive terrorist campaign initiated by Hotonotochi. It was agreed upon that in return for the construction of a great bridge connecting mainland Valtoros to Isla de Torres, the King would agree to transfer control of the western portion, including Newlanding, which fell victim to total genocide and was free of Valtorians by this point anyway.
All and all, this experience shows the difference between legal claims and illegal ones. International attention quickly moved away from Amador, even though he was waging a claims war on half of Isla de Torres, because he did so openly and frankly. He built allies, and established a peace treaty with his opponent. The perpatrator responsible for the genocide on the other hand refused to completely acknowledge their crimes (although they did so informally), and so the Empire cobbled together an alliance to wage war on the trouble-maker. This resulted in the second phase of the Newlanding Crisis, also known as the TnT Crisis. As part of their pressure against Hotonotochi, a global ban on holding more than 2 stacks of TnT was issued after Hototonochi threatened the world with his 'stockpile of 1000 TnT'. The law was passed, and most conflict was avoided, but Hotonotochi suffered minor trade sanctions and their brand was again tarnished. Again, this showcases the difference between legal claim wars (which must be acknowledged, and must have EXPLICIT political goals), versus open-ended attacks that have wishy-washy goals and are therefore potentially just senseless crimes against humanity. This debate surfaced again during the 'Loyalton Crisis' when antother unnanounced attack was discovered. Reminder to those reading this passage. Claims wars can be done right, but if kings consider your attacks unjustified, be careful. That is, build alliances and practice the art of diplomacy.