After the death of his father, Rislav's older brother, Dorald Larich, became the King of Skingrad. When Dorald became king he immediately ceded the Kingdom of Skingrad to the Alessian Empire, which angered and shocked many of the nobles in the Colovian Estates. Rislav, who was enraged by Dorald's actions, killed his older brother and took the throne for himself during the Coup at Skingrad. After this a war broke out between the Alessian Empire and the allied kingdoms of Skingrad and Kvatch.
Though Rislav had no previous experience in warfare he managed to defeat the much larger Alessian army by use of guerilla tactics.