The Plague was without a doubt the greatest threat to global civilization in the history of Vexillium, and it was no less devastating in Longerath. The Plague effectively destroyed the concept of nationhood, and caused a complete breakdown of social and political structure. Recovery from the Plague took years, and even decades later, the signs of its destructive effects were still evident.
A publication of the Alvare Institute
Contemporary Illustration of the Plague (Central Estontetso, 3 BP)
The Plague originally began on the island of Ptica, in the Demisec Islands. The first sightings of it are from around 12 BP. Gradually it spread, first to the Old Continent and then to Longerath. It was carried by fleas, which in turn were carried by rats. The Plague spread slowly at first, but accellerated. Few places were safe from infection. The nature of the Plague was such that its effects were not noticable until too late, and so by the time people noticed that one of their number had contracted the disease, they were all infected already. Even those who had the disease might be unaware of it for a time. Only by complete exclusion of all outsiders could a community hope to remain isolated, even if it meant turning away those seeking refuge from the disease. One such place was the island of Vaere, in Achenar, which cut itself off completly from the outside world as soon as it heard of the Plague in Angliyaa, and then made absolutely certain that nobody from the mainland reached the island. Several other communities attempted similar measures, but without the benefit of physical isolation, such as Vaere had due to its island status, it was highly difficult to exclude the Plague.
By 3 BP, governmental and scientific leaders were beginning to realise just how terrible the Plague could become. In several locations, scientists began constructing libraries of information, records, and anything else that might survive and allow the reconstruction of civilization. The most famous one of these was the Refúgio, or the Refuge, built in the mountains of Lendia by the Confederation of the Western Isles. It was through this that Lendosa maintained the technology and knowledge which it did. Other similar facilities were established elsewhere in a last-ditch attempt to preserve the world's knowledge.
In actuality, these caches of knowledge were for a worst-case scenario, and were probably not needed. Enough survived to make them unneccessary, although they did speed up the recovery completly. Some had feared that nothing whatsoever would remain of the old world, but this was not so. While a huge amount of restoration was required, it was a matter of rebuilding what had been before, not of recreating, as some had feared.