The Age of Conquest lasted from 2040 AFE to 4000 AFE
Though most of the period was actually somewhat stable, the Age of Conquest is known as such for its bloody beginnings. At the end of their exploration era, the Drude grew more ambitious, seeking to do more than just capture slaves in the Humans' lands. They invaded central Vestin first, completely overwhelming the Humans occupying it. All were enslaved and sold throughout Vestin, Aust, and Nordin, as Human slaves ran a high price in the market in those areas. For the next few centuries, the Drude contented themselves with their current territory. This did not last, of course.
The Southern Hook WarEdit
Named for the location and shape of Vestin's lower lands, the Southern Hook War broke out between the Drude and their Illph neighbors in 2907 AFE. In less than half a decade the Illph had lost to their northern cousins, and the Drude took control of Illphi lands. They did not enslave the entire populace, but those that were brought into slavery remained in their own lands. The Drude moved on into Duendo territory, where the battles were more difficult against the warrior Faeri. The Duendo also lost in the end, after some ten years of struggling. They too were enslaved -- on a larger scale than the Illph, but still smaller than the near-global Human slave trade. After securing their holds in Vestin, the Drude set their eyes on the eastern continent.
The West-East WarEdit
It wasn't long before the Drude and Senjo met out on the battlefield, later known as the West-East War, which lasted fifty years. The Drude managed to conquer the northernmost corner of Aust (now known as Quarto) but were unable to push any further. The two Faeri nations finally came to a truce -- the Drude kept their gained territory, but did not try to spread any further. They established loose trade relations, though both were more focused on internal affairs. The first Humans Aust had seen were brought for then-small slave trade in Quarto, and eventually ended up in the Senjo nation, where the market thrived for many centuries.
During this time, the Drude also attempted to plunge into Vorgess territory. Due to the unusual underground nature of their bluish cousins, however, the Drude met with harsh resistance. Thousands died in unsuccessful raids and battles. Though the Vorgess were a culture of merchants, their warriors proved more than a match for the Druden Empire's best. Eventually relenting after some twenty years of expensive fighting, the Drude retreated back to their own borders. Because of their extremely violent and guerrilla tactics, the Vorgess earned a reputation of distrust and deceit from the other races, a stigma that remains to this day. Despite their past grievances, the Empire managed to secure trade relations with the Vorgess. This included a very small slave trade, though the Vorgess focused more on importing and exporting rare minerals and foods.
End of ExpansionEdit
Though they had conquered the whole of Vestin and a corner of Aust, the Drude slowed their imperialistic urges. Perhaps the Ancients were not completely forgotten -- though they remained the prime world power at the time, the Drude were nowhere near the Ancients' influence at their prime. They had many internal affairs to worry about, and their nation eventually split up into four separate countries, which made holding an empire together rather difficult. Though the Drude kept their territory in Aust, the Illph and Duendo managed to push them back into their home lands back in Vestin. By 4000 AFE, the Drude only occupied their original lands, plus Quarto. The enslavement of Illph had ended entirely, while the Duendo slaves dwindled to a few thousand. They managed to keep their profitable Human slave trade, however, a practice that did not end until the next era, the Age of Unification.