After this defeat of the last Liisian Magus King, Lucius the Omnipotent, at the hands of King Francisco I of Itreya, it was assumed that Liisian resistance to Itreyan rule would falter. Itreyan occupation of its conquests was as ingenious as it was insidious - a small group of marrowborn Administratii would move into the power vacuum created by the destruction of the ruling class, and through coercion and bribery, establish a new local elite with ties to Itreya. Local sons would be sent to Godsgrave to be educated, Itreyan daughters would marry local men, wealth would flow into all the right pockets, and within a generation, the conquered would be wondering why they bothered resisting in the first place.
Not so in Liis.
After Lucius's death, a garrison of Luminatii was stationed in the Liisian capital, Elai, to oversee "assimilation". Things went well, until a cadre of elite troops still loyal to Lucius's memory raided a banquet in the former Magus King's palace. The Itreyan elite and Luminatii garrison were captured, lined up by the loyalists, and, one by one, castrated, with a red-hot blade.
The captives were then released, the elite forces barricading themselves inside the palace and awaiting inevitable retaliation, lasting more than six months. It was during this siege that the gesture known as "the knuckles" originated. It is said that the Liisian loyalists roamed the palace battlements, holding aloft their fists with fore and baby finger extended as far as the first knuckle - a taunting gesture meant to remind the attacking Itreyans the rebels were still possessed of their "equipment", while the Itreyans' jewels had been fed to the rebel's dogs.
Although the rebels were eventually defeated, the siege quickly passed into legend.