The War of Many Blessings
A thousand years ago, during the reign of Emperor Great Knowledge, a High Priest had a dream about many tiny ants swarming over a horse, and devouring it. He interpreted this as meaning that the church was too full of heretics and blasphemers, and undertook a purge of the priesthood that eliminated most of his rivals, along with many of the most capable priests and priestesses. The effects were not felt for several decades, however, and this High Priest was long dead by then.
Great Knowledge had ascended as a very young man, and during his reign respect for the priesthood (and thus their authority) had waned considerably. When he finally died, old and infirm, most of the priests went into isolation to divine the receptor of the Divine Flame. In the meantime, however, a Magister Judiciary named Raalstinapi bribed a few of the priests with the help of Great Knowledge's ministers, and got himself named Emperor Many Blessings.
The High Priest did not wish to incur the wrath of the usurper by challenging him, because Many Blessings was a popular emperor. He was a young man, handsome and charming, and his story of rising from a poor tanner's family seemed to exemplify everything the Empire stands for; the priests feared than the people would turn against them. This stance was challenged by Sepuraabi, a young priest who had risen to great authority with speed. The resulting conflict quietly split the priesthood in half.
Sepuraabi and his followers located the rightful successor of Great Knowledge, and hid her in one of the temples, for Many Blessings was trying to eliminate her. When the previous High Priest died, Sepuraabi ingratiated himself to Many Blessings and earned the post himself. From this seat of power, Sepuraabi was able to acquire enough information to expose Many Blessings as a fraud.
He did so in dramatic enough fashion, at a ceremony during a solar eclipse. At the moment of totality, Sepuraabi tore his robes and declared Many Blessings a fraud, presenting witnesses and the priests who had been bribed before a crowd comprising most of Reflected Glory's population. The people were moved almost to rioting, and Many Blessings had to sneak out of town like a thief in the night. A few weeks later, Empress Seeking Perfection was installed.
Many Blessings retained the sympathy of many of the people, and played up Sepuraabi's reputation for being short-tempered and proud. He spread rumors that Seeking Perfection was a puppet ruler whom Sepuraabi manipulated for the benefit of the priesthood. Seeking Perfection, fearing that there would be a revolt, laid Many Blessings and his key allies under a proscription. The act was mostly symbolic; the usurper and his companions had disappeared, and if the proscription were extended to anyone still in Reflected Glory, it would only serve to worsen the unrest.
This situation lasted for two years, until word was received that Many Blessings had been located in Tifur. Seeking Perfection sent her armies to besiege the town, but the terrain and harsh weather made it difficult to cut off supply lines effectively. Sepuraabi begged the Empress to send him to Tifur to help, but she resisted, until mages until Many Blessings' command summoned a miasma which made many soldiers sick unto death.
Thus, Sepuraabi came to Tifur, and the dam bearing his name was created. Such a demonstration was enough to convince even the most hard-core supporters of Many Blessings that Seeking Perfection was the rightful empress. She had a long reign that was remarkably peaceful, and worked to restore the authority and prestige of the priesthood. Sepuraabi himself died in a fall only a few years after the destruction of Tifur, but his successor was wise and peaceful.