The Reef Wars were a series of conflicts that took place in the Solar System's asteroid belt, waged between the Awoken of the Reef and the Fallen House of Wolves. The wars ended with Skolas' confinement in the Prison of Elders and Queen Mara assuming the Kellship over the Wolves, bringing the defeated Fallen into her realm. Details of the conflict can be found in the Maraid.
The seeds of the conflict were sewn when the House of Kings and their mysterious Kell organized a massive attack against the Last City on Earth so that they might shatter humanity's final bastion and claim the "Great Machine", a limitless supply of ether, for themselves. Mustering the might of the House of Devils from Earth and the House of Winter from Venus, the Kings also sent their summons beyond the asteroid belt to the House of Wolves.
Virixas, Kell of Wolves, heard this call and amassed his fleet from the Jovians with the intention of combining his house's strength, which ranged between the hundreds of thousands to millions, with the Fallen coalition gathering for the assault. Pushing through the asteroid belt toward Earth, the Wolves' presence stirred the Awoken who knew of the coming attack through their Techeuns and Crows but lacked any means of warning the City. Whether Mara Sov, the Queen of the Reef, sought to save potential allies from the coming onslaught, or simply desired to bring the Wolves under her rule, is unclear, as the Fallen and Awoken share different views on this; but regardless of the queen's motives, she acted. At some point, the Reef allied with the Nine. What role they played or what motivation they had is unknown at this time, though it is possible that the Wolves were a common enemy, as they were originally occupying the outer system.
Course of the war
Virixas had the Wolf fleet regroup at Ceres, a dwarf planet in the belt, still seemingly oblivious of the Awoken's presence until the light from their ship engines appeared. The Awoken fleet consisted of starfighters, destroyers, frigates, and other ships salvaged from the Reef, led personally by Queen Mara. Unworried by this seemingly meager force, Virixas warned the Queen to surrender. The Awoken respond by cutting their engines and drifting; at this point Mara and Virixas engage in banter, with the latter hoping it would give his ships time to draw the coming battle away from Ceres. This would not be the case, however, as the Queen would summon her harbingers.
Massive superweapons of unclear origin, the harbingers disrupted Fallen ships and servitors so severely that they were left barely operable then unleashed such destructive force that Ceres and over half of the House of Wolves were wiped out; among those killed in the massacre was Virixas, the Kell of Wolves himself. Before they could be completely annihilated, the remaining Wolves scattered into the asteroid belt, never to see battle at the Twilight Gap. although she managed to save the City from their attack, three new claimants to the Kellship rose to threaten her people: Irxis, Wolf Baroness; Parixas, the Howling; and Skolas, the Rabid.
The three claimants to the throne instigated a civil war within the House of Wolves. In the early part of the war, Irxis had the upper hand; while the other claimants tried to gather as many Kaliks servitors for themselves, Irxis controlled the Orbiks servitors, who had permissions on the Kaliks servitors, giving her a tactical advantage over her enemies.
Skolas sought to eliminate Irxis first, in a devastating battle known as the Eos Clash. Leading Skolas' fleet was Peekis; his determination brought victory, and Irxis' death, but at a terrible cost to is own side. Skolas had Peekis demoted to dreg for his recklessness.
In the meantime, Skolas decided to use the Awoken to his advantage, by pitting them against his remaining enemies.
Razing of Amethyst and Battle of Iris
The Silent Fang, Skolas' elite assassin unit led by Drevis, Wolf Baroness, attacked an Awoken space station called Amethyst. Paladin Abra Zire gave chase to the Silent Fang to Iris, where they engaged a Wolf ketch. To their surprise, however, it was not Drevis' ship, but Parixas'. Grayor, Wolf Assassin and The Silent Fang had tricked the Awoken into defeating Skolas' last rival. With Skolas as sole claimant to the throne, he declared himself the Kell of Wolves.
Battle of Bamberga's Wrath
Prince Uldren had successfully broken the Wolves' encryption and discovered that they had miscalculated the eccentricity of the asteroid Bamberga. Using this knowledge, Paladin Imogen Rife tricked Drevis into flying into Bamerga's path, destroying her ketch and leading to her capture. Rife took the prisoners to Pallas.
Siege of Pallas
In an effort to rescue Drevis, Pirsis attacked Pallas. The battle grew into a stalemate, as neither side could use their full strength without risking collateral damage. The siege was eventually broken by an unsanctioned attack led by Weksis, the Meek. They managed to breach the Athens hull but were captured by Commander Hallam Fen, Rife's protege. Pirsis decided to attack the already weakened hull and reached Kaliks-4's cell. However, he was cut off by Imogen Rife, who was killed by Pirsis before escaping.
Hallam Fen was able to link up with the Reef and orchestrated a plan with the Crows and Techeuns to devise a mass illusion of the Queen's Harbingers. The Wolves broke ranks immediately, allowing Fen and Paladins Leona Bryl and Kamala Rior to finish them off. Bringing Drevis alive to Vesta, Fen was promoted to one of the Queen's Paladins.
Hildian Campaign and the Fortuna Plummet
To try and break the siege at Pallas, the Queen ordered Paladins Abra Zire and Kamala Rior to hunt for Skolas. However, this eventually proved fruitless after he disappeared into the Hildian Asteroids with the help of Beltrik, the Veiled. Beltrik eventually left the Hildians to gather Ether from the asteroid 19-Fortuna, positioning the bulk of his forces above the resupply area in order to form a defensive screen against any potential attack from Abra Zire. Unbeknownst to Beltrik however, following the Battle of Bamberga's Wrath, Paladin Zire had been developing a powerful gravity weapon called Carybdis.
Knowing that Beltrik expected Paladin Zire to throw her forces against this defensive fleet, Abra devised a strategy to make him believe she was doing just that, by dividing her own forces and sending a portion of them to engage Beltrik's screen with long range missiles & torpedoes. While her feint kept his forces contained at Fortuna, Paladin Zire then gathered the rest of her fleet at asteroid 687-Tinette, which was making a close pass by Fortuna at the time. With the remainder of her fleet safely hidden within Tinette's shadow, she activated Carybdis.
The weapon's beam pushed Tinette out of its orbit and sent it hurtling into Fortuna, destroying both asteroids and devastating Beltrik's fleet, which was still positioned in a defensive screen above the resupply area on Fortuna. In the ensuing chaos, Beltrik's shattered and disarrayed forces were quickly neutralized by the full might of Zire's now-recombined fleet and Beltrik himself was captured and taken to the Queen.
After the battle, the Crows made contact with Variks, a former scribe of House Judgment. Variks was displeased with Skolas, as he was too vicious and hateful for him to withstand (it is also rumored that it was Skolas who docked Variks' arms), so he was willing to side with the Reef to stop him.
Having lost many of his most important lieutenants, Skolas planned an attack on the Awoken military fortress of Cybele. However, thanks to Variks' betrayal, the Reef knew of Skolas' attack, and all four of the Reef's armada Paladins were waiting for him. Defeated in a decisive battle, Skolas was captured and locked away in the Prison of Elders.
With most of the Wolf nobility incarcerated in the Prison of Elders, Variks declared Mara Sov the new Kell of Wolves, and advised other captives to swear their fealty to her. The first amongst them to do so was Saviks, who served closely with the Queen as one of her guards. A small few attempted to continue their fight against the Awoken however, such as Veliniks, the Ravenous. This would-be Kell rallied a group of Wolves to fight with him, but before he could strike, he was captured by Petra Venj.
During other operations to neutralize entrenched hostiles, Petra ordered an airstrike that resulted in Guardian casualties; this led to increased tensions between the Reef and the City, and Petra was demoted and sent away from the Reef, only to be recalled during the Wolf Crisis.
Some time after the wars end, Queen Mara gifted an imprisoned Skolas to the Nine to commemorate their victory against the Fallen, but in an act of apparent subterfuge against the Reef, Skolas was freed by one of their agents and given a ship. Declaring himself Kell of Kells, Skolas found renewed purpose and would lead a new uprising to unite the Fallen and claim the Great Machine. Saviks and his Fallen heard of Skolas' return, and were the first to rise against the Queen, attempting to assassinate her. Though many so-called of these Queenbreakers fell and Saviks was sent to the Prison of Elders, he and many other noble Wolves would escape soon after. In response, the Queen placed bounties on these enemies and called to the Guardians of the City to quell the rebellion.