The Empire of Humanity permanently dissolved during the 4753-4773CE War of
Disintegration and completely collapsed in the chaos that followed in the wake
of the spread of the Mech Plague. Imperial cohesion shattered and one
interstellar state became over a dozen, with thousands of individual worlds
descending into anarchy and isolation. In the hundred years that followed
the war, the seeds of new governments emerged in some regions, but continued
warfare wasted much of the remaining Worm/Stasis infrastructure. By
4874CE, most worlds had lost all contact with other systems and continuing
interstellar communications and trade was confined to barely more than a
thousand of the Empire's twenty thousand systems. Exhausted by war,
disruption, and unprecedented death and starvation, the surviving worlds settled
into an increasingly isolated dark age.
The War of Disintegration started as a two-sided struggle between the Imperial Loyalists led by the interim Chair, Sir Percival Nassim, and the Nobilis Protectorate rebels led by King Roban the Elder of the House Farrar-Kamarov. The severe response of Loyalist forces at Champa, sterilizing the rebellious world to destroy its Nobilis leadership, caused many otherwise pro-Imperial worlds and nearly every non-Human race to withdraw to the sidelines, hoping to support the war's eventual winner. In 4755CE, the fugitive former Chair Marshal Adannan returned to the Central Region, capturing Heaven and beginning his Republican crusade. The three-way conflict saw increasing radicalization in the Central Region, where most of the fleets flocked to support their factions in struggles for control over the centers of Imperial government and culture. Adannan died at the Battle of Kalmar in 4759CE, and his movement quickly disintegrated, with surviving squadrons retreating to the frontiers. In 4760CE Protectorate forces led by King Roban the Elder gained control of the Solar system and, in the bloody occupation and bombardment of Terra, Chair Nassim, Emperor Orlan and Ibrahimite prophet Ibrahim Mustafa died, along with over five billion Solar system residents.
After 4760CE the War of Disintegration entered a different phase. Ishmahil Mustafa gradually gained control of the former Loyalists, now renamed the Council of Salvation, and in 4762CE the massed Councilar fleets attacked Sol, eventually forcing the Protectorate to withdraw from the Solar system and retreat to their stronghold at Bengal. For more than a decade, the bitter war continued, back-dropped by increasing non-Human defections from the Empire and a complete lack of centralized authority anywhere in Human Space. The Mech Plague became the dominate force in all of Known Space after 4760CE, devastating most worlds and causing a complete breakdown in interstellar society before 4770CE. The War of Disintegration finally ended at the Battle of Hermes in 4773CE with the death of Roban the Elder and the ascension of Roban the Younger to become Emperor of the Bengali Dominions, as he renounced claims to lead all of Human Space. By then, the damage was done. The War destroyed Imperial cohesiveness and the Mech Plague destroyed Imperial civilization, driving a near universal Worm/Stasis culture back into at best threadbare Materialist economies running on fusion and remnant technology and at worst barbarism, starvation and extinction.
In the years immeidately following the war, Ishmahil Mustafa declared himself Khalif of the Terran Khalifate and began to push his strict Ishmahili brand of Ibrahimism onto his subjects. Though Ishmahil held just seven systems outside Sol at the dawn of his Khalifate, he focused on purifying his realm and spreading his doctrines. In 4776CE, Libertas, Kalmar and several Constructionist (neutral moderate worlds) including Hercules, Prometheus and Nova, formed the Second Kalmar Pact, an association of Central worlds dedicated to stabilizing their corner of civilization. Led by Queen Janis of Kalmar and King John of Libertas, this association soon became a direct rival to the Khalifate, leading to the Pact-Khalifate War of 4784-4801CE, an increasingly sporadic conflict that weakened both combatants. While the Khalifate and Pact fought, Emperor Roban expanded his Bengali Dominions through large portions of Sectors 8, 4 and 47 and along the old Taurus-Orion Trail to maintain contact with the Nobilis resort at Glorious and his philosophical Nobilis brethren in the Calderan worlds. The Paradise War of 4805-4808CE between the Khalifate and the Dominions gave Ishmahil control of Paradise, but ended finally general warfare in the Central Region for decades.
Outside the Central Region, civilization unraveled.
The Northern and Southern Regions eventually collapsed into complete isolation and anarchy. In the South, the Nobilis-dominated Dawn League barely survived past the end of the War, and thousands of Southern systems, cut off from remaining trade routes, essentially drifted into total isolation. In the North, the Crux Protectorate led by Count Adrian Mendoza lasted until his death in 4849CE, but spent the first half of the 49th century in increasing isolation. The far extremes of Northern and Southern space remain uncontacted; those systems that have seen visitors are often primitive, xenophobic or extinct.
Much of the Coreward Region maintained a degree of interstellar civilization, with the former Grand Federation Races of the B'dr'rak, Kith'turi and Salvaatiki forming the Federation Races Protective League (FRPL) in 4761CE in association with seven other former Grand Federation Races, maintaining trade and relief relations throughout much of the Coreward expanse. Human Coreward states, including the Antaran Military District (AMD) based at Nachen and its offshoot Trans Antaran Free Republic (TAFR), based at Bastian, as well as the fundamentalist Ibrahimite Khanate of Heguz, grew up in the aftermath of the war, but faded as they struggled with continuing decline and with their neighbors. By 4840CE the AMD and TAFR had collapsed after a pointless war, and the Khanate of Heguz did not survive much past Khan Baktalin's death in 4864CE. The Federation Humans of Zhantlas formed the Zhantlas Union with local Imperial worlds and the systems of the Kraz and Iceworms; the Union held onto civilization by maintaining close ties to the Grand Federation, only opening trade relations with the remaining Human Space states after 4850CE.
The Spinward Region was rocked by Dragon incursions beginning in 4775CE and continuing until the unexpected nova of Draco's sun in 4837CE. Even after the Dragons collapsed into post-nova balkanized nations, they continued to hold over six hundred Human Spinward worlds in effective slavery. The only effective Spinward government was the Mendam Codominium, a republic of Khruzi and Human worlds, headquartered at Mendam and dedicated to upholding civilization and fighting the Dragons. After Draco's destruction the Codominium was unfortunately too weakened to retake more than a handful of conquered worlds, and a war with the Khanate of Heguz in 4845-4847CE, effectively curtailed to Codominium's offensive capabilities. The rimward areas of the Spinward region suffered nearly complete neglect and remain mostly uncontacted.
The remaining civilized worlds in the Trailing Region were centered on the eight Sectors of what became known as the Star Kingdoms. These Sapien-led states, adopting King Adam DeJulius-Brening of Markham's brand of semi-elected government, maintained an interstellar economy and culture. Led by growing powers such as Lanander, Orpheus and Irmingham, they used their IAK ties and remaining resources to consolidate their grasp on over one hundred Trailing systems. By 4842CE, the Star Kings had consolidated their holdings, and after some conflict, established borders and protocols for maintaining order in their corner of Human Space. Further from the center, the Rootjalik race came to dominate Sector 430 and surrounding areas as the remaining starships of the Rootjalik Consulate occupied the Serlian worlds and began to conquer Human systems.
The Rimward Region suffered neglect, especially toward its spinward and northern extents. The Bengali Dominions expanded into the near Rimward regions, especially into Sectors 47 and 48 and maintained a string of worlds and stations leading to Glorious and Caldera, but its true expansion had not begun, and Emperor Roban ceased enlargement after 4820CE, concentrating his efforts on the first sixty-four members of the Dominions. Further to the rim, Kumar maintained an interstellar culture, but its Betelgeuse Union had only two members, itself and Luminous, and its main lifeline was a tenuous contact with the struggling Khald'aron Republic.
In the middle 49th century, Central Region politics were dominated by increasing Ishmahili Order of Valor raids on Pact, Bengali and independent worlds. Ishmahil backed down from war with Bengal, but continued to allow attacks on Pact shipping. A pirate attack blamed on Ishmahilis killed Libertine King John's last heir in 4871CE, and John married Queen Janis of Kalmar, transforming the Pact into the Twin Kingdom of Kalmar-Libertas and adopting Janis's son Malcolm as heir. The Twin Kingdom attacked the Khalifate in 4872CE, starting a two year war which further exhausted the two sides and ended with Ishmahil's heir, Yosef, dead, and weakening ties between Kalmar-Libertas and the remaining Pact worlds.
Emperor Roban maintained his grip on the Bengali Dominions until his death in 4850CE. He was succeeded by his only surviving heir, twelve year old Garth Kamarov, who began his rule under the Regency of his mother, Empress Marva, Roban's third wife. Emperor Garth inherited a Dominions increasingly divided into racial castes and supported by Calderan and Altaran Golden Stasis philosophies. In 4853CE, the Nobilis of the of Dominions presented Garth and Marva with their constitution at the Council of Oregador, guaranteeing House autonomy and codifying the genetic caste system; within a year, the sixteen year old Garth, supported by the Oregador Nobilis, ruled the Bengali Dominions, and his authoritarian mother retired to estates on Selene.
One century after the fall of the Empire, only five percent of its worlds maintained any sort of interstellar society and only another ten percent received even sporadic interstellar contact. A third of the Empire's pre-war population had died by 4800CE. By 4875CE, life expectancy among Standard Humans had plummeted as Elixir and Extensor became unavailable and as most of the Human population lived beyond even the means of fusion era nano-biotics. Only one in ten Standard Humans who remembered the reign of Olav IV remained alive in 4875CE. The total population of Imperial worlds was probably near half its prewar level, as many worlds began to settle into some sort of equilibrium and births began to exceed deaths once again, but local populations and demographics varied widely, depending on local conditions, politics and original demographic makeup. The non-Human Major Races faired better, with many maintaining fusion era economies and slowly rebuilding Plague-damaged worlds.
The War of Disintegration arose from the pressures of the previous centuries,
with the competing visions of the ruling Nobilis, Sapien Republicans and
Ishmahili Ibrahimites finally boiling into full conflict. Perhaps some
sort of settlement might have preserved a united state had the Plague not
destroyed everything, but that state would not have resembled the Empire as it
stood in 4753CE. Without the unity of the figure of the Emperor - and
Orlan could not even credibly act as figurehead - the Empire unraveled, its
common cultural vision too weak to hold it together after the divisive spiral
that had began under the Chairmanship of Duke Vega and worsened under Marshall
Adannan's tenure. The destruction of Champa early in the war demonstrated
how bitter rivalries had become and battles on some worlds took on genocidal
fury, enflaming passions that would not cool, even under the overwhelming threat
of the Mech Plague. In the end, the war ended from exhaustion and
collapse, not from any clear victory. Ishmahil held the capital, Roban
ruled the Nobilis, but neither controlled more than the smallest fraction of the
old Empire. Unity was permanently lost.
Major and Minor Races mostly sat on the sidelines during the War of Disintegration, seeing it as a Human struggle between competing castes and ideologies. Where they could, they tried to encourage peace, but most races waited to help the victors put the Empire back together. After the Mech Plague began to spread, this nervous aloofness changed into panicked isolationism as pockets of heretofore peaceful non-Human Sectors set up quarantines, frantically searching for remedies and firing upon unknown vessels. Long before the final Battle of Hermes, the Major Races had effectively left the Empire and were governing themselves.
The Pact-Khalifate War of 4784-4801CE was a fiasco for the Central Region. Neither the Pact nor the Khalifate had effective control over more than a dozen systems, and both suffered from enormous ongoing humanitarian disasters. With less than two hundred warships between them, they wasted precious resources without hope of a decisive victory. Queen Janis and King John had hoped Bengali Emperor Roban would join the war in their favor to help crush Ishmahil, but Roban was in no better shape than the two combatants. Roban and Ishmahil were bitter and personal enemies, but Roban had fought the entire twenty years of the War of Disintegration, and had entered and withdrawn from the Solar system several times with much stronger fleets than he could ever hope to gather again. He knew that Ishmahil could not be beaten at Sol and wanted to concentrate on saving his people and expanding his realm, bringing in enough worlds and industrial base where he could eventually, decades later, retake Sol, especially if Ishmahil was weakened by a war with the Pact. Ishmahil agreed to the peace with Roban to rid himself and burden Bengal with millions of undesirable Nobilis, Variants and non-believers; he figured he could defeat the teetering Pact and deal with an overextended Bengal later.
The Paradise War of 4805-4808CE was a more limited affair, with Roban coming to the aid of House Kamarov out of loyalty. Once the costs of war were clear, especially in Nobilis lives, the Khalifate and Dominions agreed to a permanent peace, ending raids and disputes for a few decades. While the Pact and Khalifate struggled to add a few Central members, the Dominions continued to expand until it reach sixty-four member systems in 4820CE. Bengali Dominions territory looked like a twisted tadpole, with a big head in the Central region and a long, thin tail reaching almost five hundred light years to Glorious and the Calderan worlds. Roban chose to maintain ties with the Calderans over the faltering Northern and Southern Regions more out of loyalty and ideology than strategy; closer to home he was more discerning, essential "cherry-picking" members that had solid Nobilis leadership, surviving infrastructure and potential for future expansion. With starships becoming ever fewer and less reliable, the Bengali Dominions stopped expanding after 4820CE, though ships still sporadically visited a few hundred worlds providing occasional aid, advice and encouragement.
By the time of Roban's death in 4850CE, the structure of the Bengali Dominions was taking shape. Roban had long been a member of the Altara Mystery sect of the Golden Stasis religion and though his long-time paramour, the Futaris Chamelia Vladimos, did not survive the war, he remained true to her ideals, shaping a state where the Nobilis ruled, the Futaris administered, and Sapiens and specific Variants had specific roles in the military and the state-sponsored industrial and educational systems. Roban had acted quickly to procure an heir, marrying the Calderan Princess Elana Turki in 4767CE and soon siring two artificially conceived and gestated children, bringing Calderan Nobilis ethics into the mainstream of Bengali society. Elana and her two children died in 4775CE, essentially victims of the Mech Plague. Roban's second wife and one child died on Kongo during the more conventional pandemics that devastated the world in 4810CE. Three years after his remaining son Adolphus died in 4827CE, Roban married Princess Marva Terranomailachi of Aeneas, with whom he artificially produced Prince Garth in 4838CE. Roban had allowed his Nobility considerable latitude and self-government, partially from disposition, partially from practicality in an age of scant resources. Marva, who became Regent for the twelve year old Emperor after Roban's death, was more authoritarian and her efforts to force obedience from the Nobility led to the Council of Oregador in 4853CE. At that Bengal highland estate, the Nobilis of the Dominions essentially demanded certain autonomous rights and a formal constitution. The following year, the Emperor's cabinet effectively deposed Marva, exiling her to a small Baronial estate on Selene, and accepted the Oregador constitution, placing the sixteen year old Emperor on the throne to govern in his own right. Though young, Emperor Garth resisted domination from powerful Ministers and Nobilis Houses and set about to implement the Oregador constitution, rebuilding the exhausted worlds of his realm and establishing good relations with his neighbors.
Three Human states rose and fell in the Coreward Region after the fall of the Empire. The Antaran Military District (AMD) was ruled by Admiral Janik Horwall from Nachen for its entire history. At its height, the AMD comprised over fifty systems centered on Nachen. A former Sector Admiral, Horwall was a dictatorial anti-Nobilis Technologist. In 4778CE, his authoritarian rule led twelve extreme Coreward worlds to revolt and form the Trans Antaran Free Republic (TAFR) at Bastian under President Oliver Tander. The two states fought sporadically over the next sixty years, and by 4840CE, the final Battle of Nachen had destroyed the last military vessels of both states. As the 49th century progressed, the AMD and the TAFR existed on paper only, as their few remaining systems maintained internal contact through dwindling numbers of armed auxiliaries and traders. The other Coreward state, the Khanate of Heguz, began in 4760CE when fundamentalist Ibrahimites led by Baktalin Utyka seized control of that world. Twenty years later, Khan Baktalin aboard his flagship, the Hornet class cruiser he christened Jihad, setout to spread his brand of Ibrahimism to a region that eventually measured one hundred seventy light years in diameter and encompassed fifty-five worlds. Once the Dragon threat had faded with the ember of their star, the Mendam Codominium felt it could risk alienating the Khanate as it continued to spread Heguz missionaries into Codominium space. After its Mendam detained its missionaries, the Khanate rashly attacked the Codominium, triggering the Khanate-Codominium War of 4845-4847CE, which ended in the destruction of the Jihad, the death of the Khan's sons, and the effective end of Khanate power, as remaining forces took to piracy and occasional trade. After the Khan's death in 4864CE, the Coreward Region was devoid of effective Human interstellar government, though the Federation Races Protective League, and later the Zhantlas Union, continued trade with the Grand Federation and the remaining Human states of the Central, Spinward and Trailing regions.
The Mendam Codominium represented a progressive multi-racial federal government that demonstrated the best natures of the Khruzi and local Humans. Formed in 4764CE by Khruzi and Human delegates for protection against war, chaos and Plague, the Codominium responded to the threat of the Dragon incursions that began in 4775CE. The Khruzi enmity for Dragons was longstanding and deep seated. Combined with Human outrage over Dragon perfidy, the Codominium managed to slow the tide of Dragon expansion and simultaneously build the bonds of cooperation that helped sustain the government once the immediate Dragon threat faded. Buoyed by the common welfare, the Khruzi and Human cultures of the Codominium became closer. By the end of the period, the Khruzi philosophy of the Fzuki Way, which emphasized self-improvement though discipline, became a type of secular religion that permeated Codominium society.
Much of the territory of what became the Star Kingdoms was settled by Technologist and Mechanist-oriented Sapiens in the later fourth millennium. As the area developed, this progressive culture spread back though the region, even to older worlds like Orpheus and Timbuktu. The Institute for the Advancement of Knowledge (IAK) placed many of its research facilities in areas under this cultural influence, and, in fact, the IAK facility on Orpheus was instrumental in developing the Technological Life Boats which helped save thousands of worlds across Human Space from complete collapse. Being a focus of technological invocation and having some restricted access to Than fusion era goods helped buffer the region from the worst Mech Plague effects. Lanander became the focus of the Trailing Protectorate, the regional state that cooperated to weather the Plague. Notwithstanding, the region suffered greatly, and out of the destruction, Adam DeJulius-Brening of Markham emerged as a progressive strongman, who appointed himself King, but left regional matters in the hands of local elected officials and developed the constitutional mechanism to support his monarchy. Other worlds in the Trailing Protectorate saw Adam's model as successful and copied it with similar results. The eight Sectors of the region stabilized by 4810CE and in the 4830s the system Kingdoms began to consolidate, with King David I of Irmingham conquering Sector 126 and the aforementioned King Adam I of Markham joining the worlds of Sector 348 into a voluntarily union; they called themselves Star Kings. Other Kings followed suit, leading to eventual conflict in 4842CE when Irmingham and Orpheus came into conflict over Srinagar. Lanander's King Malcolm devised the treaty that end that conflict and in effect created the Star Kingdoms by defining the Sector borders as the Kingdom borders. When King Adam I of Markham announced his approval of the Treaty of Lanander, the Star Kingdoms had evolved into a cooperative of eight sovereign, but collaborating states.
The Mech Plague was uniquely designed to destroy Worm/Stasis technology.
It was comprised of three related nanomechanical strains; the first destroyed
standard Quantum computing devices, the second ate the Active Quantum matrix
hulls of all worm drive ships and the third devoured high temperature
superconductors. The loss of data services alone doomed whole worlds, as
fabricator-based economies simply ceased to function. Electronic devices
and power distribution networks failed nearly universally, and functional worm
starships, once ubiquitous, became an increasingly rare commodity. The
major technical innovations of the era of the Wars of Disintegration were
countermeasures against the Mech Plague. The Tze't developed
biological-based superconductors that could only operate below 400K and would
only support half the current density of Voltan and Markan-based
superconductors, but these new materials were sufficient to help restore power
grids on thousands of worlds. The Mechanists and Zhretra collaborated to
develop new quantum storage and computing matrixes, which, though bulkier and
more expensive than pre-Plague designs, did manage to save the Zhretra race and
form the basis for restored data services. But the Mech Plague itself, so
carefully crafted for destruction, did not seem to have a direct countermeasure.
Only the targeted CounterPlague nanomechanical killers devised by Geena Ombeka's
team on Venus had real success at containing the Mech, slowing its spread and
allowing some remnant Worm/Stasis technology, particularly starships, to survive
for a few centuries after the Fall.
While the Dragons quickly reverted to their unique macrojump ships and the Alimeen dusted off their gravstar designs, the rest of Known Space was reliant on an ever shrinking number of Plague-free worm drive vessels for interstellar transport. Before the advent of the CounterPlague, the best method, short of Stasis storage, to maintain a Plague-free vessel was to keep force fields raised whenever possible and to allow access only via "naked teleport", where all passengers and cargo allowed on a vessel were organic only. Designated "clean zones" or isolated certified Plague-free outposts and stations allowed some relaxation of strict protocols, but before 4800CE, 97% of military vessels had succumbed to the Plague or been otherwise destroyed or lost, and all but one in twenty thousand civilian vessels was compromised. This still left over one thousand military and half a million private vessels in service in Human Space alone, but most of the civilian vessels were smaller than a thousand cubic meters displacement and of limited utility. These remaining vessels provided ever diminishing life-lines between isolated pockets of civilization, but also formed the raider fleets and pirates that preyed on broken worlds. As the 49th century progressed, intermittent pointless warfare, failing maintenance and the dreaded Mech Plague infestation took its toll, drastically reducing the numbers of working vessels and greatly proscribing their range. By one hundred years after the the fall of the Empire, almost no one dared to travel more than a hundred light years from their home bases.
By the early 49th century, the Grand Federation redeveloped primitive macrojump drives and vacuum distillers, but the few macrojump-capable industrial centers could meet only a small fraction of internal demand, and the technology did not spread back into Human Space until the 50th century. Humanity did benefit from Tze't superconductor spores and "Zhret-Mech" quantum computers, though the spread of these Mech-proof technologies remained limited to those systems that had maintained interstellar contact.
While thousands of worlds collapsed and suffered in thousands of ways, one noteworthy emergent disaster was beginning to overtake Venus. Second to only Terra itself in human population, Venus had long suffered side-effects from its radical but fairly low-tech terraformation. While Plan VI had worked to stabilize Venus's ecology and tectonics in the later centuries of the Imperial period, the Plague and the disruptions of war had destroyed the active control stations that had stabilized the world. By the mid 49th century, geological instability was growing, the temperature was climbing, and the ecology was beginning to collapse. Nearly eight billion Venusians had survived the war, but conditions on their world grew increasingly ominous, and large sections of low-lying and equatorial territories became entirely uninhabitable. Conditions had degraded to the point where Ishmahil was even willing to allow Mermen and Deep Mermen Variants to return to Venus to work on saving the world.
The largest long-term effect on worlds that maintained a stable fusion environment was the loss of the capability to produce the Elixir/Extensor anagathic treatments. While some worlds had stockpiles that would last their elites for centuries and Ishmahil, through rationing and very limited production, managed to provide Elixir for the elites of his Orders throughout the period, most Standard Humans could not receive the drug. On worlds in the Star Kingdoms, Mendam Condominium or the three Central states, medical NB technology could extent the Human lifespan to between two and three hundred years, and for another century or two through Reneux regeneration therapy available to the more wealthy. On isolated worlds, few NB clinics remained and Human lifespan drop to below a century for the first time since the Dark Age. Populations skewed as Crowlian Variants, Nobilis and Eternals who survived the wars and Plague continued their long lives while Standard Humans passed through generations quickly. Depending on the world, this effect led to Variant dominance, racial segregation or dominance by rapidly growing Human populations.
The shock of the Plague was enormous. After fifteen hundred years of
leisure, the walls stopped producing food, power and entertainment. No one
had needed to grow their own food or perform manual labor in nearly two
millennia. The cities, arcologies and habitats failed, sometimes slowly
rotting away, other times detonating or burning in pyres to a lost golden age.
People fled the cities, moving into giant camps, exposed to the elements,
panicked, confused, demoralized. Disease, famine and environment struck
down billions and others simple gave up, unable to face the loss of everything
they knew. A third of the Imperial population died in less than half a
century. Whole worlds collapsed into barbarism or extinction. While
pockets of civilization sometimes remained in elite well-guarded strongholds,
for most people the hundred years that followed the fall of the Empire was a
desperate depressing struggle to survive in camps and shanties around the
crumbling ruins of Imperial civilization.
Within the first century of the Fall, most of the Empire's twenty thousand systems attained some form of equilibrium, reaching maintainable conditions that could persist even for millennia until disturbed by some new calamity or opportunity. Every world followed a unique path, but most Imperial systems fell into four categories: those who maintained a fusion culture, those that stabilized into the industrial or atomic ages, those that collapsed to pre-industrial or more primitive societies, and those that completely collapsed into extinction.
Less than ten percent of Imperial worlds managed to maintain a fusion culture. Here, non-Human Major Races, less damaged by war and often astrographically or at least culturally cohesive, faired much better than Humans, often establishing enduring small interstellar governments. The Human worlds that faired the best were those that occupied the Central Region or major trade or government nexi, such as the Spinward Mendam Codominium, the Star Kingdoms region, the many ephemeral Coreward states and those that had received and absorbed Technological Life Boats from the Institute for the Advancement of Knowledge. Individual standouts or pocket empires like Kumar and the Crux worlds also succeeded in maintaining a fusion culture, at least for a time. Even on those worlds fortunate enough to maintain high levels of technology, conditions during the 49th century were bad. On many worlds, half the population died in the first decades, and the rest could look forward to difficult, shortened lives. On those worlds that stabilized, internal strife generally remained low and the younger generations saw purpose and eventually pride in rebuilding their worlds. New cities grew out of the wilderness or the ruins, farms sprouted and communication links spread across the planetary surfaces; some worlds rebuilt interplanetary infrastructure and established outposts across their systems; many maintained tenuous interstellar contacts with remaining traders.
Those worlds that stabilized at broadly industrial levels, equivalent to the ancient Terran nineteenth and twentieth centuries, maintained some semblance of organized civilization. Probably a third of Imperial worlds, between six and nine thousand systems, ended their decline as technological societies. On many of these worlds, some pockets of higher technology, whether fusion or remnant, still existed, but not in the quantity that would better the lives of common people or support a thriving civilization. Many of these worlds suffered calamitous declines in population, but numbers often began to rebound sharply by the mid 49th century, as new generations grew accustomed to pre-spaceflight life. Many of these worlds balkanized or established decentralized governments, especially where the population was dispersed, but others, especially religious or cohesive cultural worlds, developed strong central governments ranging from the benevolent to the totalitarian. Some of these worlds still received the occasional interstellar visitor, whether trader or raider, especially those systems near remaining interstellar states. Others, particularly those in the remoter frontier regions, sank into complete isolation.
At least as many worlds as stabilized at industrial levels fell instead into pre-industrial barbarism. Those that never received TLBs and did not have nearby interstellar neighbors were most vulnerable. Frontier systems and worlds with marginal or degrading ecologies were especially susceptible to decline, as were worlds that suffered greatly from the War of Disintegration or subsequent conflicts. Most of these worlds lost any semblance of central authority within decades of the War of Disintegration and often suffered warfare and chaos, destroying any attempts to build initial stability. Many barbarous worlds lost as much as ninety percent of their population by the middle of the 49 century, and both population and technology often took centuries or even millennia to return. Thousands of worlds still remain pre-industrial and uncontacted two thousand years after the fall of the Empire; on some, even the knowledge of a technological past or interstellar origin is forgotten.
At least ten percent, maybe fifteen percent of Imperial worlds failed completely. Some died quickly from war and Plague; other spiraled downward over decades or centuries as events conspired to degrade living conditions, eventually causing a complete breakdown of all civilization. Most of the failed worlds were near the frontier, outside remaining trade routes or were only marginally habitable. Many of these worlds still remain outside civilized space or have only received cursory visits over the centuries, and some may have remnant primitive populations or survivors trapped in Stasis, but even these worlds are effectively dead.
A final category of Imperial worlds comprised the hundreds of Dragon conquered systems, most of which have slave Human populations, often numbering in the millions or tens of millions. These Spinward worlds, often suffering from "Draconization" of their ecologies, remain reminders that Humanity is no longer the dominate race in all regions of Human Space. Dozens of worlds also suffer under Rootjalik occupation in the far southern Trailing region, and other occupations undoubtedly occur in uncontacted regions.
|4754||Warfare spreads across the Empire, with worlds, fleets and organizations lining up behind factions or struggling to stay neutral. Nobilis-led Protectorate forces seize control of installations throughout the Central and Rimward Regions. On Terra, ground battles begin between Roban's forces and Loyalist Guard and Marine units. Queen Yena of South America dies in the destruction of Cuzco. Loyalists hold Mercury, Venus and the Belt, but Protectorate fleets secure Mars and patrol the outer Solar system from Jupiter to the Kuiper. The Battle of Mars's Beads results in a stalemate and massive losses on both sides. Loyalist Spinward forces move to the Center to defeat the Protectorate Second Fleet at the Battle of Champa, with the Hellking Loki reducing the world to bedrock, killing over four hundred million. Marshal Adannan rallies the Fortieth fleet and many elements of the Coreward Command at his homeworld of Dyson.|
|4755||Loyalist forces overrun Protectorate positions in North America and Asia using overwhelming force and indiscriminate disintegrator artillery. Nassim declares Terra and Venus secured and pronounces the Nobilis treasonous, starting mass detentions and using Imperial Guards to seize the government of Luna. The Battle of Phoebe gains the Loyalists control of Saturn's moons. Local forces expel the Protectorate from Uranus. Adannan's fleet occupies Heaven; he declares a Sapien Republic and summarily executes hundreds of leading Nobilis, calling on Nova and other worlds to rise up against Nobilis oppression. Battles rage over and on thousands of worlds. After Nobilis raiders strike Nachen and destroy much of the military leadership, Coreward Viceroy Kaldwell declares martial law, but many of his naval units defect to Adannan's Republican cause. Nova, Hercules and Prometheus form the core of the Constructionist movement, calling for an immediate cease-fire. The Mech Plague first surfaces near the Coreward border.|
|4756||Ibrahim Mustafa calls on all his followers to actively fight the Nobilis and support the Loyalists. Imperial Guard Command Admiral Sir Jose Valmir defeats the Nobilis at the Battle of Callisto, seizing effective control of the Jupiter system, then driving the defenders of Triton deep into the Kuiper. Nassim orders all Nobilis leaders detained and begins deportations to camps on Luna. Roban the Younger leads his fleets at the Battle of Yathrib, defeating Loyalist forces and beginning mass executions of Ibrahimite clergy. Adannan campaigns in the Central Region, winning the Battle of Tripoli and gaining control of the Hellking Kali, eventually holding thirteen Central Worlds. Independent raids against Nobilis Houses intensify across the Empire. The Alimeen and Swarm join Constructionist calls for a truce, but the Khruzi throw full weight behind the Loyalists. An Order of Purity raid destroys Nobilis estates on Erta and destroys much of the world's infrastructure. Coreward Races reject Kaldwell's martial law and withdraw to their systems. Rootjalik raiders begin attacks in the Trailing regions, ostensibly to support the Loyalists. The Mech Plague begins to spread across dozens of Coreward systems.|
|4757||Fighting resumes on Terra as protests against Nassim's heavy-handed tactics lead to Republican revolts and the remaining Nobilis strike out from fortified Houses. Janis Roosevelt becomes Queen of Kalmar after her father and brothers die in a Republican assassination. Adannan captures Cyclops and holds it against a Protectorate counterattack at the Battle of Cyclops. Protectorate and Loyalists stalemate at the bloody Battle of Nasser, with the Protectorate losing the Hellkings Hades and Seth. Protectorate forces consolidate their hold on much of the Trailing Rim, using the Erebus to destroy the Loyalist planetoid Naval base at the Battle of Aldebaran. Factional raiders skirmish and attack worlds over much of the Empire. The Grand Federation begins to react as the Mech Plague infects more worlds.|
|4758||Ground combat continues across Terra, with heavy fighting in Asia. Martian forces break a Loyalist blockade and strike the Imperial Guard at the Battle of Luna, retreating after freeing many Nobilis detainees. King John of Libertas renounces his neutrality and begins a campaign through Sector 7, seizing worlds and installations for the Protectorate. Protectorate raiders sack New Rome, killing Pope Pius XXXVII and bombard Islam, killing tens of millions. Adannan fails to convince the Constructionists to join his Republic and begins consolidating his hold on over a hundred Central and Coreward worlds, executing thousands of Nobilis and freeing their Servant Races. Count Vladimir Rosen of Bosporus assassinates Viceroy Kaldwell and flees Nachen; Admiral Janik Horwall seizes control of Nachen and the remaining Coreward Fleet, then defeats combined Nobilis forces at the Battle of Bosporus, killing Rosen and bombarding the world. Unrestrained raiding and pillaging continues to spread. The Mech Plague causes complete collapse on hundreds of Coreward worlds and begins spreading into other Regions, deep into Grand Federation Space and across the Dragon border.|
|4759||As warfare continues on Terra and erupts on Venus and Mercury, Protectorate forces stream from the Kuiper to retake Neptune at the Battle of Nereid and then raid Titan and the Asteroid Belt. Marshal Adannan dies at the Battle of Kalmar, defeated by combined House Roosevelt, Anderson and Turki fleets supported by Protectorate reinforcements. The Republican movement quickly crumples as Admiral Ann Dahlman leads the Hellking Kali and supporting vessels Coreward under pressure from both Protectionist and Loyalist forces. Count Adrian Mendoza defeats a Republican squadron at the Battle of Tamir and begins solidify his control over the northern Crux region. The Protectorate withdraws beleaguered ground forces from Yathrib, unable to subdue the billions of Ibrahimite supporters. The Mech Plague causes full industrial collapse a thousand Coreward worlds and reaches epidemic levels in the Zhretra community, starting panics across the Grand Federation.|
|4760||The Protectorate fleets mass in the outer Solar system and defeat the Loyalist Guard forces at the Battle of April 2nd, near Mars's orbit, then strike the main Loyalist fleets at the Great Battle of Terra, with each side loosing its remaining Hellking, the Erebus and the Loki, in the struggle. Protectorate fleets bombard resisting Terran cities and land troops, seizing Byzantium, where King Roban the Younger personally executes Orlan and Nassim and declares his father the Emperor of Humanity. Ibrahim Mustafa dies in the disintegration attack on Mecca. At least five billion die in Protectorate bombardments of Terra and Venus. The Loyalists regroup at Amaterasu with some Republican units and form the Council of Salvation under a joint leadership council including Ishmahil Mustafa. Zhantlas, with cooperation from the Kraz and Iceworms, forms the spin-coreward Zhantlas Union, enforcing a strict quarantine against the Mech Plague. Admiral Horwall declares himself Viceroy of Antares following news of the Emperor's death. On Heguz in Sector 338, fundamentalist Ibrahimites led by Baktalin Utyka seize control, and Utyka proclaims himself Khan. Admiral Dahlman dies at the Battle of Dhalman's Folly and her followers abandon the Hellking Kali in deep space as they continue their faltering retreat towards Nachen. The Mech Plague reaches critical mass, spreading rapidly through the Imperial Central regions and across Known Space; the Grand Federation begins strict quarantine and prevention measures.|
|4761||The Council of Salvation masses its forces and attacks the Solar system, defeating the Protectorate at the Battle of Luna and subsequent Battle of Mars, driving the Protectorate into the Kuiper, where they scatter after the Battle of Ixion, which kills Princess Felese and Queen Tani of Europe. Securing the Solar system, the Councilar forces set up a headquarters in ruined Byzantium. Councilar and Protectorate forces fight to a stalemate at the Plague-disrupted First Battle of Atlantis. Mech infestations overrun the Zhantlas Union. The B'dr'rak, Kith'turi and other former Grand Federation races form the Federation Races Protection League (FRPL) and enforce a full embargo as the Mech infestation continues to crumble Known Space infrastructure. The last Hellking, Anubis, suffers Mech infestation in Trailing Sector 350, forcing its abandonment in deep space.|
|4762||Ishmahil Mustafa arrives on Terra, solidifying his hold on the Council of Salvation and declaring himself Khalif of Byzantium and head of his father's church. Protectorate attempts to establish a foothold in the Solar system fail. The Constructionist Movement, with Alimeen and Swarm participation, call for an immediate halt to hostilities and research against the Mech Plague. Antimatter containment accidents on Ishtar kill tens of millions, including the ruling House, and push the world into total anarchy. Lanander and like-minded Trailing worlds form the Trailing Protectorate with heavy IAK participation. IAK researchers on Orpheus, working with the Than, develop the Technological Life Boat (TLB), with volunteer starships spreading Mech-proof late fusion era Than technology, eventually to thousands of faltering worlds. Outposts, Drifts, habitats and bases in inhospitable systems begin mass evacuations as the Mech Plague destroys their infrastructures and kills billions.|
|4763||Councilar forces secure the last Nobilis Kuiper strongholds and declare the Solar system secured, though cascading Mech failures bring growing chaos. The Councilar fleet defeats weakened Nobilis defenders at the Second Battle of Atlantis and bombard the world, withdrawing in the face of Protectorate reinforcements. A Protectorate fleet commanded by Lord Robert Aul defeats Councilar forces returning from the Coreward Region at the Battle of Franklin. The Khruzi formally withdraw from the Empire, summoning ships home to deal with the Mech chaos and establishing a joint council with likeminded Humans on Mendam. The Mech Plague burns through Khald'aron space, destroying whole planetary infrastructures and forcing the abandonment of the Rigel stations.|
|4764||Thousands of worlds from Terra to the frontier suffer famine and disease as all basic services fail and residents take to the countryside, escaping failed cities and arcologies. The Siege of Kalmar begins, with Councilar ships seizing the outer system, defeating Lord Robert Aul at the Battle of June Thirteenth and forcing the remain Protectorate and Roosevelt ships into a defensive perimeter around the planet. Human and Khruzi delegates form the Mendam Codominium, initially comprised of seventy-two Spinward worlds. The beleaguered Nobilis-dominated Southern Dawn League requests technological assistance from Lanander. An attempted peace conference on Alimeen collapses as Mech Plague infects the ships of delegates and Alimeen alike.|
|4765||Councilar forces win the Battle of Malabar, preventing the remaining Protectorate fleets from linking with Mendoza's Crux Protectorate. From his throne on Bengal, Roban the Elder proclaims Artificial reproduction legal and readmits the Calderan worlds and their Nobility into the Empire. Mech devastation continues, killing billions more. Civilization continues to collapses; over half the working starships have failed and TLBs are only beginning to provide basic services on those worlds they reached.|
|4766||Roosevelt warships fail to break out of Kalmar, the siege ironically limiting Plague exposure on the world. Sapiens on Kumar overthrow their Protectorate rulers and raid Caldera and Anton. The Khzraut seal their systems from Human contact and begin active patrols. Admiral Horwall begins sweeps against Nobilis and pirates within one hundred light years of Nachen.|
|4767||Councilar forces win the Battle of Apollo, occupying the collapsing world and setting up a Sapien Republic; King Ivan and his household escape to Bengal. Ishmahil officially assumes the presidency of the Council of Salvation and requires all senior officers to convert to Ibrahimism; hundred of Councilar officers and ships withdraw from the Central Region in defiance. Roban the Elder orders all Ishmahili Ibrahimites detained, but allows the Hammedian sect to practice freely. Councilar and Protectorate influence outside the Central Regions drops dramatically as communications falter; the Protectorate retains ties with Caldera, sending a squadron to fight off the Kumarese. Roban the Younger marries Princess Elana Turki of Caldera at ceremonies on Bengal.|
|4768||Roban the Younger leads a Protectorate fleet to finally break the Siege of Kalmar and then raids the outer Solar system, destroying remaining facilities on Charon before retreating to Hermes. At this interval, nine in ten Imperial worlds have succumbed to the Plague and over three quarters of all starships have failed. The Twin Princes, Roban and Rogar are born to Roban the Younger and Elana after Artificial conception and maturation.|
|4769||A second attempt by Alimeen and Swarm diplomats to negotiate a cease fire fails. Rootjalik starships attack the Serlian homeworld of N'Cheeta and three Human systems in Sector 430. The Dawn League effectively collapses in chaos after canceling all Senatorial meetings on Dawn.|
|4770||Ishmahil declares Ibrahimite rule over the Solar system, triggering widespread resistance and fighting on Mars and Venus and the outright revolt of Europa. Councilar forces win the Third Battle of Atlantis, driving King Karl and surviving House Turki members to Proxima, where they face a second defeat and subsequently withdraw to Libertas. The Order of Purity begins purges of Nobilis and Variants on Atlantis.|
|4771||The Crux Protectorate ends attempts to support the Central Region after their defeat at the hands of the Order of Purity at the Battle of Lodruk Lun. King Karl and the survivors of House Turki arrive at Bengal aboard a disintegrating cruiser, settling into permanent exile.|
|4772||Roban the Elder personally leads the remnants of the Protectorate fleet into the Solar system, briefly occupying Pluto and Charon before retreating after defeat at the Battle of Encke's Gap in Saturn's Rings. The Dawn system suffers final collapse after the Mech Plague destroys Dawn's Ring, raining debris across the world's equatorial areas.|
|4773||At the final Battle of Hermes, Roban the Elder dies aboard his disintegrating fleet in a battle noted more for Mech disruptions than heavy fighting. Through Swarm intermediaries, Roban the Younger agrees to an armistice, abandoning his claims to the Imperial throne but declaring himself Emperor of the Bengali Dominions. The War of Disintegration officially ends, though skirmishes between Nobilis, Republicans, Ibrahimites, Rootjalik, pirates and desperate refugees continue, though less than one starship in twenty remains flight worthy. Admiral Horwall acknowledges the collapse of the Empire and declares himself Marshal of the Antaran Military District (AMD), claiming sovereignty over the entire Coreward Region, though he has only forty working warships. The Mech Plague has reached every Known Space world and has caused nearly a trillion deaths.|
|4774||Ishmahil Mustafa disbands the Council of Salvation and declares himself ruler of the Terran Khalifate, claiming rule over all Human Space, though his forces continue to fight opposition on the Jovian moons and on Mars. Kalmar and Libertas refuse to join the Bengali Dominions and begin emergency relief efforts in conjunction with the struggling Constructionists worlds of Hercules, Prometheus and Nova.|
|4775||Refugees from failing habitats in Sol's outer system stream to Jupiter and Mars. Ishmahil establishes the white-robed Order of Benevolence to coordinate relief efforts and to eventually form the Khalifate bureaucracy. On Terra, the Order of Purity continues detentions of Nobilis, Variants, Cyborgs, Mechanists, Golden Stasists and Technologists, establishing exile camps on Luna, Mars and Venus. Dragon warships cross the Imperial border and begin occupying Human worlds, ostensibly to "maintain order and stem piracy", but effectively enslaving the population. Empress Elana and her twin sons die on Bengal after a Mech-infested tower collapses.|
|4776||Representatives from Kalmar, Libertas and eight Constructionist worlds proclaim the Second Kalmar Pact, pledging to stabilize civilization with their remaining starships. Citing severe shortages and destroyed production facilities, Ishmahil begins rationing Elixir, ensuring a supply to only the clergy and the members of the Orders of Purity, Enlightenment and Benevolence. Bengali Emperor Roban marries Kongolese Countess Ralia Bundu-Hauli.|
|4777||Emperor Roban declares Golden Stasis the official religion in the Bengali Dominions, but promises freedom of worship to all who acknowledge Nobilis dominance. The remnant Bengali fleet begins careful voyages in Sector 8 and outward towards Caldera, exchanging TLB technology and newly acquired agriculture templates for fealty. Prince Ivan is born on Bengal after an Artificial conception and maturation.|
|4778||The Solar Belt planetoid Ceres becomes completely uninhabitable as Mech hordes rampage though the worldlet; Ishmahil declares Ceres quarantined, condemning twenty million Belt citizens to their deaths. Twelve extreme Coreward worlds revolt from Horwall's AMD and form the Trans Antaran Free Republic (TAFR) at Bastian under President Oliver Tander. Horwall's attempt to stem the revolt leads to defeat at the Battle of Malth, and Horwall retreats to Nachen, with only twelve warships remaining. Tze't scientists develop a biological superconductor capable of replacing much of the Mech-vulnerable infrastructure and begin to distribute spores throughout the Grand Federation. Prince Adolphus is born on Bengal, the younger Artificial son of Roban and Ralia.|
|4779||The Mendam Codominium cobbles together a makeshift war fleet to oppose Dragon expansion, launching raids against some of the hundreds of worlds seized along the Spinward frontier; while retaking only a handful of worlds, the effort does manage to force the Dragons to stop and consolidate their gains. The Nobilis resort world of Glorious joins the Bengali Dominions.|
|4780||Remaining trade and communications effectively end across all but scattered pockets of Imperial Space, as the Mech Plague begins to take its toll on all but carefully quarantined vessels and facilities. Khan Baktalin of Heguz gathers eight quarantined warships into a battle fleet, christening his flagship Jihad, and begins his campaign to spread his brand of totalitarian fundamentalism. The Zhantlas Union receives its first Tze't superconductor spores and breaks quarantine to dispatch six volunteer vessels to spread the technology into Human Space.|
|4781||Khalif Ishmahil declares Ibrahimism the only sanctioned religion in his realm and orders the closure of remaining houses of worship; Mechanists struggle to smuggle soulbox backups of countless millions to hidden facilities on Mars or into Coreward space on the few remaining transports.|
|4782||Khan Baktalin conquers dozens of devastated worlds, including Erta, his troops exterminating surviving Nobilis wherever they find them; on most occupied worlds surviving Variants and Servant Races are banished to the wilderness. Waves of refugees stream into Antaran and Trailing Protectorate worlds on disintegrating Mech-infested transports.|
|4783||Ishmahil formally seizes the estates of all Nobilis in the Solar system, Atlantis, Apollo and Amaterasu, turning them over to the Ibrahimite church. Admiral Horwall bans all Nobilis refugees from his realm, though the embargo is ineffective beyond Nachen as his patrols falter.|
|4784||After the Order of Purity attacks a Pact relief transport at Delphi, Queen Janis orders a counterattack on Macoraba, starting the Pact-Khalifate War. Rootjalik forces occupy the two Serlian colonies, seizing working technology to repair their faltering starships.|
|4785||Ishmahil and Roban agree to a permanent peace treaty and border between their two realms, with the Emperor agreeing to respect Yathrib's membership in the Khalifate and the Khalif agreeing to allow millions of Nobilis, Variant and Golden Stasis refugees to emigrate to Bengal. Warfare between the Khalifate and the Pact remains scattered, with commerce raids and bombardments all the respective forces can muster.|
|4786||A Pact raid into the Solar system destroys a refugee convoy, leading to an apology from King John, but a tentative Bengali-sponsored peace conference falters. Adam DeJulius-Brening of Markham brings peace to his Sector 348 world and declares himself a Sapien King at the head of a semi-feudal government of appointed Electors and elected regional councils. The Alimeen officially proclaim a confederation of their fifty worlds; the first redeveloped Mech-proof gravstarships depart Alimeen to support their scattered systems. Emperor Roban recognizes the independence of the Swarm Republic, but ties between the Swarm and Human states remain weak as the race slips into self-imposed isolationism, struggling to rebuild their devastated worlds.|
|4787||Pact forces defeat a small Khalifate picket and seize the Plague-devastated Proxima colony; from there, they launch the Siege of Atlantis, supported by a rising of the local population. The Order of Purity fires on Atlantian civilians from the Centauri Ring, killing millions and putting down the revolt; Pact forces withdraw and lift the siege under blackmail as General Ali Brangan threatens to begin wholesale targeting of remaining Atlantian civilian areas.|
|4788||Khalifate troops occupy Aphrodite, crushing Nobilis resistance and enforcing an Ibrahimite theocracy on the mostly secular world. After Horwall claims regions of Kith'turi space for the AMD, Kith'turi and later B'dr'rak pirate vessels begin raiding AMD worlds, including Nachen itself. The Dragons begin deploying Mech-proof macrojump vessels equipped with Tze't circuitry and resume their advance into Human Space, destroying a Mendam strike force at the Battle of Tigarvati.|
|4789||Queen Janis and King John agree to Constructionist member demands and promise representative governments on their worlds, after hostilities cease; Helicon, Avalon and Aurora join the Pact. Mechanists and Zhretra, working together on Myrland, devise a new quantum consciousness matrix, saving the Zhretra race and beginning to spread new Mech-proof quantum data systems through Coreward and Grand Federation Space.|
|4790||On Venus, the cyberneticist Geena Ombeka and her team develop the CounterPlague, a nanomechanical counteragent that can fight, but not eliminate the Mech Plague. Ishmahil brands the CounterPlague a state secret and begins bringing warships out of Stasis to replenish his fleet. The Order of Purity begins the deliberate Mech Plague bombardment of Libertas. Repeated Khalifate raids force the Pact to abandon their foothold on Proxima.|
|4791||The Kalamaran agent Bruce Relmann steals the CounterPlague and the Pact government immediately releases the countermeasure's design specifications, sending out remaining couriers and transports to hundreds of worlds, regardless of faction or beliefs. The Khalifate ends efforts to deliberately spread the Plague after Roban and the Alimeen both threaten intervention.|
|4792||The Khalifate occupies Vulcan with little resistance. Rootjalik raiders begin bombardment and surface landings on N'Cheeta. The CounterPlague formula reaches Grand Federation Space.|
|4793||Emperor Roban rebuffs another request to join the Pact in its war, but offers economic assistance to Paradise and Eden, effectively counteracting Khalifate-sponsored agitation on those worlds. Lanander and Albus adopt elected Kings in imitation of the success of Markham in restoring order, and other worlds in the Trailing Protectorate consider similar reforms; the first meeting of associated monarchs occurs on Lanander. The Rootjalik conquer the Serlian homeworld of N'Cheeta, imposing military rule and pouring thousands of troops onto the planet; the Rootjalik military junta proclaims the interstellar Rootjalik Consulate.|
|4794||The Battle of Libertas ends after Khalifate forces withdraw with heavy casualties, marking the war's last major engagement against Pact worlds.|
|4795||Ishmahil further restricts Elixir supply, limiting distribution to the Clergy and Masters of the Orders. The Khanate of Heguz reaches its maximum size, fifty-five worlds in a realm one hundred seventy light-years across, ceasing expansion as its fleets continue to deteriorate.|
|4796||The Pact wins the Battle of Vulcan, but lacks the troops to retake the world, withdrawing after bombing Khalifate ground positions.|
|4797||As famines continue across Terra and storms devastate Venusian lowlands, Ishmahil seizes all property of Futaris and the Golden Stasis sects across the Khalifate.|
|4798||TAFR president Oliver Tander signs a treaty of friendship with the Grand Federation, guaranteeing support against AMD or Khanate aggression and then retires after twenty years' service, replaced by Brander Tiluri.|
|4799||Bengali Emperor Roban agrees to lease a squadron of frigates to Eden, who subsequently joins the Pact and adds the seven vessels to the Pact fleet.|
|4800||A major Pact task force raids the Solar system, briefly occupying Titan before withdrawing. Ishmahil agrees to begin Bengali-sponsored peace talks on Paradise.|
|4801||At Paradise, the Khalifate and Pact agree to an unconditionally armistice, recognizing current holdings and agreeing to end privateering against the trickle of remaining merchant traffic. The Time Travel Society awakens from stasis to find the Empire gone and their facilities under attack by the Mech Plague; all of the Solar facilities suffer Plague damage, with only a few members on Mars managing to secure one lower level and resume stasis; attempts by surviving members to contact Fomalhaut V are unsuccessful, but it is assumed the well-protected facility survived intact.|
|4802||The Second Kalmar Pact adopts a new constitution, forming a Grand Senate of envoys from each world and a Great Assembly of population-weighted representatives; Queen Janis and King John form a joint executive and each world appoints a single High Justice to the High Court.|
|4803||The Pact begins a slow expansion, admitting Delphi and increasing aid to nearby Central worlds. Central government collapses on Artemis, starting the world into a chaotic slide toward a balkanized early industrial culture.|
|4804||The Mendam Codominium abandons offensive operations against the Dragon occupation, concentrating their diminishing assets on defending their territory.|
|4805||Khalifate forces invade Paradise to end Nobilis-sponsored piracy against Ishmahili interests at Amaterasu and Vulcan. The Bengali Dominions comes to Paradise's aid, declaring war on the Khalifate and starting the First Paradise War. The Dominions Vanguard Fleet drives the Khalifate from Paradise and attacks Amaterasu. Freedom joins the Pact.|
|4806||The Order of Purity drops thousands of troops onto Paradise and encourages a bloody Sapien rising against Queen Lydia. Bengali raiders strike the Solar system. Ishmahil orders the few remaining Solar Nobilis and Futaris into camps on Io.|
|4807||Facing growing resistance, the Vanguard Fleet begins evacuating House Kamarov and high ranking Nobilis from Paradise. Emperor Roban personally leads the Dominions Guard Fleet at the Battle of Vulcan, defeating the Khalifate, and landing troops to subdue the world. Ishmahil orders the extermination of Nobilis and Futaris on Io, eventually killing over ten million.|
|4808||Unable to retake Paradise from Ibrahimite and Sapien rebels, Emperor Roban agrees to peace, surrendering Vulcan and conceding Paradise in return for safe passage for the Khalifate's remaining Nobilis, Futaris and other Variants to Bengali Space. Ishmahil and Roban reluctantly meet to jointly sign the Peace of Paradise in orbit around the world.|
|4809||The Khalifate occupies Amazonia at its provisional government's request, beginning a cautious expansion. Regina joins the Dominions, receiving promise of ground troops to fight a Sapien guerilla insurrection in the world's vast shanty camps.|
|4810||A virulent pandemic strikes Kongo, killing half the population within a fourteen month span and driving the survivors into a semi-nomadic pre-industrial culture; after Empress Ralia and Prince Ivan die on Kongo, the Bengali navy declares the world quarantined and withdraws remaining Dominions personnel. Aeneas joins the Bengali Dominions. Scattered Grand Federation facilities begin producing Type Ib macrojump generators, supplementing the dwindling worm drive fleets and helping to maintain a cohesive interstellar culture in the core Grand Federation regions.|
|4811||The Khalifate forcefully seizes Thebes, prompting a strong Pact reaction, but both sides are too strained to start another war. After loosing contact with the remnants of the Dawn League, Tefenet joins the Bengali Dominions.|
|4812||The Bengali Dominions begins developing its "Tail" regions, incorporating Dahlia in Sector 64 to support contact with Glorious.|
|4813||Poseidon begins accepting refugee Mermen and Deep Mermen from the Solar system, receiving technical assistance and trade concessions from the Khalifate in return.|
|4814||Ishmahil orders the establishment of reservations for Nobilis and other Variants on Io, and in the Uranian and Neptunian systems, with the Tunes and Ani ranging the gas giants' atmospheres, and other Variants living in shanty camps on Io, Oberon, Tatiana, Miranda and Triton.|
|4815||Emperor Roban outlines a bureaucratic and administrative blueprint for the Bengali Dominions, envisioning a Nobilis ruling class supported by a Futaris administrative class and a military system dominated by Sapien, Mesomorph, Belter and Variant specialist units.|
|4816||The Mendam Admiral Jonas Breyton wins the Battle of Tetraluna, dealing a blow to Dragon expansion into Codominium space; the Dragon fleets begin concentrating their occupation efforts further to the rim of the Spinward frontier, where Human resistance is weak and unorganized.|
|4817||The Khalifate ends trade and contact with non-affiliated systems, even ending missionary expeditions to conserve its remaining vessels and to protect against sporadic piracy.|
|4818||!Tak privateers disrupt B'dr'rak shipping, leading to a FRPL expedition against three !Tak worlds in Sector 396.|
|4819||On Ishtar, Goblins and Casaps begin Sapien-assisted revolts against their feudalized Nobilis overlords, plunging the world into disorder and continued decline.|
|4820||Ishmahil creates the Order of Valor, a subgroup of the Order of Purity devoted to external security, and authorizes them to venture outside Khalifate space to target piracy and seize Nobilis assets, effectively becoming pirates themselves.|
|4821||The Sapien government on Cyclops seizes remaining Nobilis property; the Bengali Dominions agrees to accept immigration from Cyclops and dispatches four large transports to begin the exodus.|
|4822||Khanate and Antaran merchants clash at Farris in Sector 312, triggering a brief trade war and a few minor skirmishes that degenerate into occasional piracy.|
|4823||Kumar and Luminous form the loose Betelgeuse Union, a interstellar non-racial federal government that retains tenuous contact with the struggling Khald'aron Republic.|
|4824||Emperor Roban lodges a formal protest after the Order of Valor raids Regina's outer system, destroying a Helium3 refinery and adjacent habitats.|
|4825||Nobilis on Horizon begin extermination campaigns against Ibrahimite rebels supported by Order of Valor agitators.|
|4826||After the Order of Valor raids Icarus, destroying the port city of New Antioch and killing millions, Emperor Roban suspends diplomatic relations with the Khalifate, threatening war unless all Order of Valor activity ceases. Ishmahil orders his privateers to stop targeting the Dominions, but allows scattered raids against unaffiliated worlds to continue.|
|4827||Emperor Roban's only heir, Crown Prince Adolphus, dies in a Mech-related speeder accident on Bengal. The Order of Valor bombs Nobilis strongholds and ports on Horizon, starting the world's slide into pre-industrial feudalism.|
|4828||A series of earthquakes and tsunamis devastate portions of lowland Venus as the last Plan VI installations deteriorate; Ishmahil allows Mermen and Deep Mermen to return to Venus to work on coastal reconstruction and flood management, promising the freedom to live in separate cultural enclaves.|
|4829||The frigate Firewalker travels from Mendam to Sol, bringing word of continuing Dragon incursions and requesting assistance; Ishmahil offers a consoling ear, but spares only two escorts from the Order of Valor, neither of which ever reach Mendam.|
|4830||The Firewalker visits Kalmar and Libertas, receiving sympathy, but no support, before traveling to Bengal, but the Emperor can offer no resources and the Firewalker returns empty-handed. Bengali Emperor Roban marries Princess Marva Terranomailachi, ruler of Aeneas.|
|4831||The Cargomen withdraw from cooperation with the FRPL, concentrating on internal stabilization.|
|4832||Admiral Horwall orders his tiny fleet to end patrols of all but seven core systems as the AMD struggles to maintain an interstellar state under threat of disintegration and sporadic piracy.|
|4833||After Order of Valor raiders attack Libertine freighters within the Tau Ceti system, King John organizes a Pact-wide boycott of Khalifate shipping, but traded has drop to such a level that the action has little impact. The Orm lose contact with the FRPL and begin a slide into independent fusion and industrial level worlds.|
|4834||King David I of Irmingham leads his motley fleet to claim and conquer most inhabitant systems in Sector 126, declaring himself Star King of his portion of the Trailing Protectorate.|
|4835||The Romulan War begins when the Sapien Peoples Front of Romulus attacks their Noble-ruled twin world of Remus; the interplanetary conflict soon degenerates into exchanges of weapons of mass destruction and within six months the worlds begin their slide into pre-industrial chaos.|
|4836||King Adam I of Markham adopts the title Star King of Sector 348 after he forms a voluntary union with the worlds of his Sector.|
|4837||The Dragon home sun unexpectedly novas - though whether from failed stellar engineering or some other cause remains unknown - destroying the Dragon homeworld of Draco and killing over three billion Dragons. The Dragon Sphere collapses into balkanized disorder, with technologies falling to levels scattered between early macrojump and mid industrial eras. The Dragon advance into Human Space ends, though almost six hundred worlds remain under balkanized Dragon rule.|
|4838||Garth Kamarov, Artificial son of Roban and Marva, is born on Bengal; he becomes Prince of Aeneas and heir to the Bengali Dominions. After President Tiluri retires, the firebrand Haldon Braminik becomes President of the TAFR.|
|4839||Yerman isolationists end contact with the FRPL and also turn down an offer to rejoin the Grand Federation. Venusian temperatures begin to climb dramatically, forcing local administrators to shift inadequate resources toward makeshift ecological protection programs.|
|4840||The TAFR declares war on the AMD, hoping to seize resources from the remaining Antaran worlds, but Braminik's attack on Nachen falters after expected Grand Federation support is not forthcoming; both the TAFR and AMD effectively cease to exist after every remaining functional worm drive warship is destroyed at the Battle of Nachen.|
|4841||Algae blooms spread across Venusian equatorial regions killing ocean life and starting an ecological crisis; local administrators begin building sprawling arcologies in the highlands to support refugees.|
|4842||After Irmingham Star King David I's warships attack the Sector 128 world of Srinagar, King Alexander II of Orpheus launches a counterattack on the Irmingham system itself. Star King David I dies in victory at the Battle of Lodestar. To restore peace, Lanander's King Malcolm negotiates a treaty between Alexander II and David's young heir Balatar, effectively codifying Sector-bordered Kingdoms among the eight Sectors of the Trailing Protectorate, a region which becomes known as the Star Kingdoms.|
|4843||New Rome sends an ambassador to Sol and establishes formal relations with the Khalifate, negotiating trade and mutual assistance treaties; Paulo Veracruz, then a young monk from New Rome, later writes about his journeys through the Solar system in what becomes the Letters of Saint Paulo, a detailed account of the suffering of the time.|
|4844||Markham sends a three ship expedition to the Trailing frontier, attempting to contact the IAK settlement at Hortense; one ship returns, confirming the world's survival at a Plague-damaged early fusion level, but King Adam will not authorize further contact or relief of the far Trailing regions.|
|4845||The detention of radical Heguz Ibrahimite missionaries on Mendam leads to the Khanate-Codominium War, mostly a series of raids by Khanate armed auxiliary vessels and retaliations by the remaining Codominium military vessels.|
|4846||A Codominium fleet under Khruzi Admiral Kjarka Rtmarja captures the Khanate base at Tondra Lun in Sector 141 and bombs the Khanate world of Silia into the pre-industrial age.|
|4847||The Khanate loses the Jihad at the Battle of Vanderbrok, effectively destroying Khanate naval power. The Khanate degenerates into a kingdom of pirate raiders united only by their fealty to Khan Baktalin. The Alimeen open new Plague-proof fusion technology habitats in their home system and at Salt Breeze and Night Gust to facilitate Pact trade and settlement, encouraging Human contact with their scattered worlds.|
|4848||Irmingham sends a trade convoy to Kith'turi space, returning through Br'dr'ak territory and establishing tentative trade links between the FRPL and the Star Kingdoms.|
|4849||After the failure of the frigate Zoroaster and death of Count Adrian Mendoza, the Crux Protectorate effectively ceases to exist, its dozen member worlds reverting to fusion or industrial era Nobilis feudalism or balkanized anarchy.|
|4850||Emperor Roban dies from a fall on his 619th birthday; Empress Mother Marva becomes Regent to the twelve year old Emperor Garth and quickly dominates the government.|
|4851||King Anton travels from Caldera to Bengal to swear fealty to Emperor Garth and the Regent Marva; citing difficult travel, he designates his ancestor Karl as the Calderan House Turki representative to the Emperor.|
|4852||Reversing decades of isolation and Grand Federation leanings, the Zhantlas Union opens trade relations with the FRPL and the Star Kingdoms.|
|4853||At the Council of Oregador on Bengal, the Nobilis of the Dominions present to Garth and his mother their proposed constitution, guaranteeing House autonomy and codifying Roban's vision of a Altaran Golden Stasist genetic caste system.|
|4854||Over the Regent's objections, Emperor Garth and his Cabinet agree to the Oregador constitution, and the sixteen-year old ascends to the Diamond Throne at the new Donnersburg palace complex on Bengal. Empress Mother Marva retires in exile to a small estate on Selene.|
|4855||Citing declining fleets and risky travel, the FRPL ends commercial contact with the associated Chlor Alpha and Beta Races; the two races form a collective trade and security arrangement, though few of their worm vessels remain functional.|
|4856||Bengali Emperor Garth marries the young Lady Arlena Major-Lambert, daughter of the Earl of Tanith, in a Bengali ceremony attend by Queen Janis and King John.|
|4857||An asteroid strike near Alda on Cyclops brings death, destruction, decentralization and collapse of civilization to mid industrial levels.|
|4858||The Chlor races expel Khzraut traders and settlers from their worlds, charging Khzraut imperial ambitions.|
|4859||Ishmahil orders the sterilization of all remaining Nobilis and Variants within the thirteen systems under his control, except those living in reservations or in Venusian waters, and suspends the immigration agreements of the Peace of Paradise.|
|4860||The Salvaatiki and Kith'turi launch retaliatory strikes against Octopod raider bases in Sectors 687 and 686, and dictate a treaty protecting FRPL shipping from the few remaining Octopod worm vessels.|
|4861||The Bengali Dominions and the Second Kalmar Pact sign the Treaty of Hermes, governing joint patrols against piracy in the Central Region.|
|4862||Emperor Garth visits Libertas on a state visit, escorted by a quarter of the Dominions' remaining warships.|
|4863||Talon Kamarov is born, the natural child of Garth and Arlena; he becomes heir to the Bengali Dominions and Prince of Aeneas.|
|4864||Khan Baktalin of Heguz dies in his sleep; the Khanate effectively dissolves with even piracy ending with a decade.|
|4865||A Swarm squadron raids Yathrib in retaliation for Order of Valor activities against Memel and Danzig; Ishmahil agrees to curtail "patrols" in Swarm space.|
|4866||The Khalifate bans all High and Low Cyborgs from "sullying" Terra, beginning the deportation of millions to Mars, the Belt and Variant reservations.|
|4867||Ishmahil officially names his son Yosef as heir to the Khalifate. Fungal infestations destroy crops on Venus as temperatures and humidity continue to climb; Ishmahil appoints Ladran Ishmik as Consul of Venus, tasked with saving the world's billions.|
|4868||A dilapidated vessel from Aaron in Sector 402 reaches the Star Kingdoms seeking assistance against Rootjalik aggression; a King's Council at Lanander determines the Kingdoms cannot risk an expedition so far from home space.|
|4869||The Mendam Codominium mandates Fzuki Way philosophy study for all military and administrative applicants.|
|4870||The Faztulu Drift limps into a binary red dwarf system in Sector 762; its multi-racial inhabitants begin harvesting raw material to repair the facility.|
|4871||A pirate attack on the Kalmaran liner Ostramorphus at Freedom kills Prince Howard, the last direct descendant of King John of Libertas. King John marries the long-widowed Queen Janis of Kalmar and adopts her son, Prince Malcolm Travis-Roosevelt as his heir, joining House Anderson and House Roosevelt. The Second Kalmar Pact becomes the Twin Kingdom of Kalmar-Libertas with Janis and John as co-rulers, a decision that has no constitutional effect, but prompts Prometheus to withdraw from the Kingdom, becoming an independent non-racial republic.|
|4872||A Twin Kingdom task force destroys a major Order of Valor base at the Battle of Islam, triggering the Khalifate-Twin Kingdom War, with the Bengali Dominions acting as an ostensibly neutral supporter of the Twin Kingdoms. Ishmahil mobilizes his entire remaining fleet and declares jihad against the Twin Kingdom worlds.|
|4873||Yosef Mustafa dies at the disastrous Battle of Kalmar, ending an ill-advised offensive that cripples the Khalifate fleet. Warfare between the Khalifate and Twin Kingdom reduces to scattered raids and counter-strikes.|
|4874||Ishmahil agrees to an armistice at the Conference of Triton, agreeing to respect both Twin Kingdom and Bengali borders and to completely end the offensive activities of the Order of Valor. Ishmahil establishes the Order of Truth to resume missionary work outside the Khalifate.|
All pages and images ©1999 - 2005
by Geir Lanesskog, All Right Reserved