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Why did an empire suddenly gain 18,000 troops after "Istania's Plan" finished?

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I'm really enjoying this game, but I'm going to have to scrap and entire 56 hour game because after Istania completed her conspiracy against me I now have to deal with all three empires. All of which were previously in decline and both the southern and western empire had less than 100 troops each. Through some Calradian black magic, they managed to raise enough money to recruit the biggest armies on the map and are attacking me with a fury I've never seen before. Please fix the conspiracy quests so players can actually stop the conspiracy from happening. Even if this isn't possible then do something about their ridiculous recruitment boosts. I currently have 2.83 million denars and if I tried to recruit 18,000 troops I'd be broke. How did empires with no troops, settlements, money or influence manage to recruit an army that large? I know Istania used to be a spymaster, but there is absolutely no way she managed to raise that much support for two completely broken empires. The leader's of which I kept finding and executing immediately after capture. This is simply unrealistic and absolutely broken. Just a suggestion to any players reading this. Avoid the main quest and focus on building a MASSIVE power base before even thinking about touching it.
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