The First Succession War was a conflict of unparalleled brutality and horror that raged across the Inner Sphere from 2786 until 2821. At the beginning of the conflict, humanity was at the apex of its technical achievements. At the cessation of hostilities in 2821, the Inner Sphere was slipping rapidly into a technological abyss.
Following the Exodus of General Aleksandr Kerensky and three-quarters of the Star League Defense Forces in November of 2784, the Successor Lords braced for war. They had been building up their household forces since the regency of First Lord Richard Cameron (2751-2762). Once Kerensky and the Star League forces had withdrawn from the Inner Sphere, the Successor Lords were quick to come to blows. In December, 2786, Minoru Kurita, Coordinator of the Draconis Combine, declared himself the new First Lord of the Star League. The other House leaders quickly followed suit and within months the Inner Sphere was plunged into conflict.
The war lasted thirty-four years and was a horrific and brutal affair. The Ares Conventions went largely ignored during the conflict and billions of civilians lost their lives. The Successor Lords used every means at their disposal to assail their enemies, including biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. By 2788, the war had regressed primarily to quick raids behind enemy lines to cripple industrial or technical targets. Some forces, in particular those of the Lyran Commonwealth, were ill-equipped to carry out these kinds of attacks and paid heavy prices.
Hardest hit were planets that relied upon water purification technology to make them habitable. Many of these facilities became military targets and residents of these planets needed to import water or locate elsewhere. Unfortunately for many, trade was seriously disrupted during this period and water ships were few and far between. By the end of the war, water-rich planets were as valuable as they had been at the beginning of humanity's expansion to the stars.
The war ended more from exhaustion than any significant peace deals. The Lyran Commonwealth and the Free Worlds League signed the Peace Accord of Bella I, ending the conflict between the two houses, but it was announced without the pomp or flourish typically expected. Other peace deals, including an offer by Ilsa Liao, Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation, were rejected or not even proffered. The Federated Suns could never agree to a deal with the Draconis Combine after the atrocity of Kentares IV, but feared invading traditional Kurita space. Once they had reclaimed most of their initial losses, the Davion high command decided to stop. The other fronts simply ground to a halt.