Four of the six Southern provinces declare their secession from the Empire, forming the Union of Independent Republics. The new Republic claims the Peninsula Province, and the western half of Stronghold Province secedes from Stronghold Province and the Republic to form the new province of Elysium, and rejoin the Empire. Capital Province is renamed "The Capitol", and Elysium votes to join the Capitol and to be placed under its protection, fearing an invasion by the Republic in an attempt to reunite Stronghold Province.
The conflict will then escalate into the first Civil War, leading to the downfall of civilization. (Precursor to the post apocalypse survival map)
February 22, 2018 update
Post Apocalypse Map
Map of the Civil War