Seven years ago, Iberia was ripped apart by a vicious war between factions supporting the King and factions supporting the Order Cardinale. The factions supporting the King, the so-called Heretics, were convinced that the success of the other Island Nations, such as Frisia, has been realised by their use of aether tech and the dogma of the Inquisition was strangling Iberia. The Order Cardinale was adamant that the Heretics were agents of destruction, dead set on the annihilation of all of mankind with their cursed aether tech.
The King originally sided with the Heretics, bringing him into conflict with the High Cardinal - one of his chief advisors. The majority of the conflict was based around naval battle, with the Iberian High Navy splitting between the two factions. A number of bloody battles occurred between the two sides and schisms were driven between the two sides of the navy that will take generations to heal.
As the civil war progressed, civilians were dragged into the conflict, with the Inquisition seeking to purge Heretic sympathisers from the population - using informants and torturers to gain the confessions. Those that were suspected and confessed were absolved for their sins before being tossed into the Dark Below. Those that would not confess were never seen again.
There were two major events that ended the war. The first was the King changing sides and declaring himself a repentant Heretic, and now a believer in the Order. As a puppet of the Inquisition, his words changed the hearts and minds of many of the ordinary Iberians and turned them against the Heretic navy.
The second was the Battle of El Diablo's Eye - an aether storm high above the Island plane. The forces of the Heretics met the Order navy and whilst both fought well, the Heretics realised the day was lost and made to escape, discharging their weapons in the acceptable and honourable manner of naval warfare. However, Admiral Lucas Alamo, the leader of the Order Navy, pursued and fired upon the fleeing ships, 'sinking' eight and killing hundreds of people. Crippled, the Heretic navy dispersed and its Captains fled underground. Some became pirates, some continued in petty resistance and others - such as Capt. Gabriel de la Cruz - offered himself as a privateer to another island nation.