Decided to mingle here a little (sorry for the pause by the way, we just wanted to investigate any claims, and felt people should have some time to adjust to the situation, get a bit of sleep... I kind of insisted on it.).
The main issue here was that while a rule was indeed agreed on 7 eras ago, it unfortunately wasn't advertised anywhere. We're working on a standard rule thread which will contain links to world specific rules and be linked in the world's opening message. Community will get a chance to vote on that.
So yeah -- bit difficult to deal with a rule some players know and expect, and the rest never heard of (or had any way of knowing).
The point of it either way is to prevent trolling -- We don't want people to extend era's just out of spite, ruining everyones time. This case though, they were fighting, they were doing things, not really what it was intended for.
So I have to admit I kind of felt the need to involve myself here -- from now on everything needs to be publicly accessible before the era begins and we should be pragmatic and focused on interfering as little as possible, only when something is actively harming the game.
It will be up for a vote soon and if you prefer the old way of relying mostly on admin discretion that's fine too -- can just vote for that. I think it should have been this from the start, though.