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The Age of Decline

4875-5010CE

Overview

The Age of Decline marked the gradual transformation of surviving Human civilizations from remnant based jury-rigged cultures into fairly stable fusion era cultures that were slowly emerging toward an early macrojump interstellar technological era.  During this period, many more worlds failed and whole civilizations, like the Coreward States and the Twin Kigndom of Kalmar-Libertas, essentially collapsed in upon themselves.  By the end of the era, a primitive macrojump or gravstarship web of trade and communications, supplemented by the handful of remaining wormships, linked many of the remaining states, but inadequate production and continuing disintegration stunted the growth of interstellar civilization even as it spelled the end of interstellar piracy.

Almost a third of the Human population lived in the eight sectors of the Central Region, and half of those lived in the sixty-odd systems comprising the three Central interstellar states.

Disputes between the ruling Nobilis and the growing Sapien population gradually eroded the Twin Kingdom of Kalmar-Libertas, with Hercules, Odin and Aurora withdrawing to join with Prometheus in forming the Reconstruction Federation in 4905CE.  Within decades, Nova and Heaven followed.  By the later part of the 50th century the Twin Kingdom's wormships were all gone and its rulers depended on Bengali largess to maintain an interstellar state.  Worlds continued to defect, leaving only seven systems in the Kingdom by the time Sapien rebels killed the two monarchs in 5004CE.  Thereafter, King Malcolm struggled to keep his realm together by dismissing all Sapien officers, causing Freedom's secession and increasing oppression across the remaining six worlds.  In 5009CE, King Malcolm himself fell to assassination, and in the following year, the provisional Council of Free Sapiens declared a secular Sapien-led Union of Kalmar.  Led by Director Ronal Hassani, this Union of four systems was little more than client state of the Terran Khalifate.

The Bengali Dominions survived the Age of Decline better than any other Central state.  Though a lack of interstellar transport stalled Emperor Garth's cautious expansion at eighty systems, those member worlds did receive regular interstellar traffic and the Dominions continued to build up institutions and traditions that would form the nucleus of the successful state.  Its alliance with the Nobilis-ruled Twin Kingdom put pressure on the Khalifate, but when the final collapse of Kalmar-Libertas came, Garth was unwilling to commit to a war and accepted the compromise that gave him control of Freedom and Eden but allowed the Sapien revolution to stand.

The Terran Khalifate added two worlds around the turn of the 50th century, but Ishmahil was not keen on continuing to export revolution.  He had too many concerns in the Solar system itself, with food shortages on Terra, persistent drought on Mars, a continuing environmental meltdown on Venus and the potentially disastrous chaotic orbital variations of Mercury.  While Ishmahili culture eventually came to dominate Khalifate society, Ishmahil could not clearly demonstrate that his government was improving life during this period; at best the Khalifate was staving off disaster.

In the Coreward Region, the Khanate of Heguz essentially evaporated, its fundamentalist Ibrahimite theology fading with it.  The Antaran Military District ceased to be an effective interstellar state long before Janik Horwell's death in 4930CE.  The Trans Antaran Free Republic folded, three of its members actually joining the Grand Federation in 4880CE.  The Grand Federation responded to this power vacuum by readmitting a few scattered Tze't worlds and reabsorbing the Chlorine races by 4903CE, but the Grand Federation had neither the strength nor inclination to occupy Human worlds, even within the territories of the Chlorine races.  During the period, Grand Federation military outposts and patrols helped to defeat the last wormship pirates and did check some Khabaderan excesses, but mostly, the vast interstellar government concentrated on its own internal weaknesses and on maintaining ties with former member races, the Coreward Races, now independent states within Human Space.

The states of the Coreward Races became more insular during the Age of Decline, with the Cargomen and especially the Yerman retreating into isolationism.  The Grand Federation Protection League collapsed in 4957CE after the B'dr'rak refused to share newly developed macrojump drive technology with the Kith'turi and Salvaatiki.  The later two Races, long allies, in turn formed a Union of Worlds in 4989CE, formalizing joint control of their territories; hardly a conflict, as the desert-dwelling Kith'turi and the J3 jovian Salvaatiki did not compete for living space.

The Zhantlas Union and the Mendam Codominium developed closer ties during the period, eventually allying to combat Dragon incursions and promoting a degree of peace and stability in the Core-Spin region.  However, even by the end of the period, their new macrojump navies remained miniscule, and both states struggled to keep their civilizations running.

The Trailing Star Kingdoms also managed to retain an interstellar civilization, the eight mostly civilized Sectors of the region comprising the largest pocket of Human interstellar civilization outside the Central Region.  While rivalries and internal struggles continually troubled the eight Star Kingdoms, even the Macrojump War of 4977-4986CE remained a limited affair, constrained by tiny fleets and fears of upsetting a fragile civilization.  In the far southern Trail, the Rootjalik Consulate strengthened its grip on dozens of occupied systems, but even this vigorous race suffered a decline into a gravstar interstellar society and posed no threat of further expansion.

In the Rimward Region, only the far tail of the Bengali Dominions, stretching to the Calderan worlds, and the minuscule Betelgeuse Union maintained any sort of interstellar culture.  Kumar and Luminous comprised the entire Betelgeuse Union, though in 4923CE Kumar launched the giant gravstarship Cook to the Armpit Nebula surrounding the Betelgeuse black hole and managed to establish a struggling scoop mining colony there.  The Khald'aron, themselves falling back into a fusion culture, maintained tenuous contact with the Union and the Dominions.

By the end of the period, the long decline had bottomed out.  In the far Coreward, four traders established the Merchant Guild in 5010CE, and by that time, even in the Central Region, the sprouts of a new interstellar culture were starting to emerge from the ruins of the old civilization.  By 5010CE most of the Humans who still remembered the Empire were sterile Eternals.  Five-sixths of the estimated three-quarter trillion Human population was Sapien, and nearly none of them had any memory of the Empire.

Political

During the Age of Decline, most surviving states, interstellar or otherwise, continued a period of decay and differentiation, with unique social structures emerging in thousands of isolated or tenuously connected systems.  On more advanced worlds, divisions between Nobilis, Sapiens and other variations on the Human race often dominated, with religious differences, especially fundamentalist Ibrahimite beliefs, also competing or dominating power struggles.  On more primitive worlds, military power, dominated by warlords with remnant technologies or knowledge, tended to define what remained of civilization.  Most primitive worlds with dispersed populations balkanized into competing states, punctuated by warfare, isolation and often further decline.

The collapse of the Twin Kingdom of Kalmar-Libertas was one of the most notable political events of the Age of Decline.  From a sixteen system cooperative union in 4871CE, the Twin Kingdom had declined to seven systems at the time of the the assassination of Queen Janis and King John in 5004CE, and only four systems remained after the 5009CE revolution that created the Union of Kalmar.  Initially, the Twin Kingdom choose to align itself with the Bengali Dominions for geopolitical reasons, essentially surrounding the Khalifate.  Over time, especially after the 4904CE marriage between the Twin Kingdom heir, Prince Malcolm, and the Bengali Emperor's daughter, Princess Amanda, the alliance between the two states became an alliance of Nobilis dominated states.  The Bengali Dominions handled this power structure by developing protocols that evolved into a feudal caste society where Standard Humans had a major role.  The Twin Kingdom was not as structured, and as Nobilis power grew, Sapien resentment increased, and the most well developed Sapien-led members, especially Prometheus, Hercules and Nova, withdrew from the Kingdom, increasing the Nobilis domination and tensions in the shrinking state.  The King and Queen reacted to growing unrest by promoting Nobilis interests over Sapien complaints.  The spiral worsened, especially as the last Twin Kingdom wormships failed and the Dominions provided leased vessels to perpetuate royal authority over all interstellar transportation.  Just as macrojump technology was returning to the Twin Kingdom - again in the form of a royal monopoly - the oppressed but vastly numerically superior Sapiens rose up; the Royal Guard attempted a coup in 5004CE, leaving an isolated and justifiably near-paranoid King Malcolm in charge of Kingdom.  The harder King Malcolm pushed to hold onto power, by replacing Sapien officers and by acting to fill the ranks of his military with Goblinoid and Casap foot soldiers, the greater the Sapien pressure became.  The eventual coup in 5009CE and the violent extermination of Nobilis leaders by agents of the Council of Free Sapiens was hardly a surprise.

Vast stretches of the Coreward Region became increasingly devoid of interstellar traffic during this period.  Contrary to offers of Primary Race membership for Humans made during the height of the Empire, the Grand Federation was not eager to absorb former Imperial Space after the Empire's fall.  Where before, such an offer was a method to co-opt Humanity and strengthen the Grand Federation, after the Empire collapsed, any such attempt, especially if Humans received Primary Race status, would be a terrible drain on the Grand Federation, which was already burdened enough in its own struggle to rebuild.  Though a few individual border worlds petitioned for and received Grand Federation membership, the Humans on these worlds entered as a Secondary Race, receiving the same rights as the Federation Humans and Imperial expatriates that had resided within the Grand Federation before the Mech Plague struck.  The Humans of Zhantlas, though largely of Federation Human origin, politely refused an offer of reabsorption, preferring their independent status and role as helpers of the Iceworms and Kraz to a secondary role in a larger state.  Surprisingly, even former long-time Federation Races had little interest in rejoining the Grand Federation, choosing their new-found independent status over the patronage of Federation Primary Races.  Only the Chlor Alpha and Chlor Beta races chose to rejoin the Grand Federation, but those races had only belonged to the Empire for three centuries and they feared the threat of attempted Khzraut imperialism.  Not wanting the burden of rebuilding Human worlds or the turmoil of bringing in a hopelessly disunited Primary Race, the Grand Federation was happy to renounce claims to Imperial territory at the Conference of Ocelot in 4919CE, especially in return for rights to establish military outposts and patrol the region up to fifty light years beyond the old border.  After the Grand Federation suppressed the last pirates, its interest in Human Space declined, and it maintained only a few military outposts within former Imperial territory.

Technological

The major technological achievement of Age of Decline was the reintroduction of macrojump technology into Human Space.  Though the bulky post-Plague Type Ib macrojump drive was only capable of sixteen light-year jumps and required considerable upkeep, it represented a major improvement over the Alimeen and indigenous gravstarship designs that were emerging in pockets of fusion era civilization.

Varied macrojump drive technology slowly spread back into Human Space during this period, though limited production did little to stem the decline in trade and communication.  A post-Plague macrojump vessel needed two replacement technologies: fast quantum computers specialized for multi-dimensional spatial calculations and high temperature superconductors capable of quickly absorbing and transmitting energy from the antimatter injectors to the governor field and the stabilization grid.  The Zhret-Mech quantum matrix required considerable redesign into an efficient multi-node processing array to solve the first problem, a difficult but surmountable engineering challenge.  The superconductor problem was more difficult, as the Tze't franduzu superconducting organism could not sustain the required amperage without destroying itself.  The Grand Federation solved this problem by developing a microcosm of organisms to channel, reinforce and sustain the loads required for a reusable macrojump vessel; the core of a Grand Federation macrojump vessel resembled a weave of biological fibers, with strands, symbiots and parasites stretching through the stabilization grid.  This Grand Federation design spread to the Zhantlas Union via trade and to the Mendam Codominium via espionage in the first half of the 50th century and it was the original template for early Merchant Guild vessels. 

The B'dr'rak were uncomfortable working with operational biological systems and modified the franduzu organism to secrete a concentrated green sap that, when frozen, could channel enough power to sustain macrojump.  Sealed tubes and spindles interfaced with shipboard equipment, enabling repeated macrojumps before the franduzu sap degraded and needed replacement.  The Star Kingdom of Irmingham reengineered a purchased B'dr'rak macrojump vessel and had limited success maintaining a franduzu processing plant.  After Tannberg stole the macrojump specifications, Tannbergese biochemists developed a synthetic process to produce the sap from reengineered bacteria, and this process became the basis of Star Kingdom macrojump technology as the 50th century came to a close.  This Star Kingdom design was adopted by the Central States in the early 51st century as the technology continued to leak into the civilized portions of Human Space. 

The Dragons maintained their superior Type III macrojump vessels even after the destruction of Draco.  The Dragon solutions to the computing and superconducting problems were unique to their race.  Well into the seventh millennium, Dragon vessels relied exclusively on savants, not quantum computers, to calculate macrojump equations.  Dragon superconductors needed to function in the thick buffered injection chamber environment of their Type III macrojump drive cores; to solve a number of unique engineering problems, the Dragons had always relied on stable transuranic-alloyed filaments to distribute the required power surge.  After the destruction of Draco, only the mines of Sauron and Melkor, both deep in Dragon Space, could provide transuranics in sufficient quantity for starship mass production, and these rich independent systems remain centers of Dragon shipbuilding.  Not until the Betelgeuse Union began sustained scoop mining in the Armpit Nebula did any other reliable sources of stable transuranics emerge.

Though the Grand Federation had developed large-scale crude vacuum distillation plants during the late 49th century, vacuum distillation technology did not reappear in Human Space during this era.  As a result, large-scale antimatter production remained an expensive and complex undertaking even in the regions of Human Space with reintroduced macrojump drives, greatly limiting the affordability of interstellar travel.

Cultural

Most of the thousands of Human Space worlds remained isolated during the Age of Decline.  With their Imperial Era populations mostly dead by 5000CE, these worlds began to develop unique cultures, languages and traditions that persisted or evolved over centuries of isolation or limited interstellar contact.  Every conceivable political system, from monarchy to communism to libertarianism to total anarchy, flowered on different worlds and sometimes among myriad nations on the same planet.

Interstellar states too, began to develop distinct cultures.  The most conspicuous examples of cultural divergence were represented in the Central Region states of the Terran Khalifate and the Bengali Dominions.

The Khalifate was a Ishmahili theocracy, with absolute power vested in the Khalif Ishmahil himself.  The religious Orders, with their distinctively colored robes, ran the Khalifate government and economy and defined the society in the sixteen systems then under Khalifate rule. 

The indigo-robed Clergy, who eventually became known as the Order of Ibrahim, did not have direct administrate control of the government, but they enforced social conventions, led the increasingly Ishmahilizied population in worship and set the agenda of daily life through regulated periods of spiritual emphasis. 

The scarlet-robed Order of Purity was responsible for internal security.  With religious and civil law completely intertwined, the Order of Purity patrolled the streets and space lanes of the Khalifate, arresting violators, judging them and sentencing them to Purity-run prisons or work camps.  Only the senior priests of Order of Ibrahim could overturn the Order of Purity's verdicts.

The grey-robed Order of Enlightenment led religious-appropriate science, technology and scholarship.  The Order was also responsible for the ministries of science, health, agriculture and other technologically-based Khalifate bureaucracies, where they sometimes shared responsibility with the Order of Benevolence.

The white-robed Order of Benevolence was founded to coordinate relief operations in the wake of the War of Disintegration, but quickly evolved into the nascent Khalifate bureaucracy.  All government functions not under control of the Order of Purity or the Order Enlightenment fell under the purview of the Order of Benevolence, even up to the planetary ministerial level.

The crimson-robed Order of Valor was a subsidiary of the Order of Purity that was devoted to external security.  The Order of Valor staffed the Khalifate's marine and naval forces and led covert operations and raids against external threats to the Khalifate.  After the Kahlifate-Twin Kingdom war ended, the Order of Valor curtailed most raiding activates, but continued to patrol interstellar space in the Khalifate's increasingly threadbare warships and came to the aid of Khalifate citizens outside the realm's borders.

The green-robed Order of Truth was the missionary branch of the Khalifate theocracy, working both within the borders of the realm to convert non-believers and acting outside the borders of the Khalifate to gain converts, occasionally subverting governments into Ishmahili theocracy.  The Order of Truth comprised both pure missionary workers and agents of the the Khalifate, sometimes covert members of the Order of Valor.  After the strain of absorbing the subverted governments of Phoenicia and Daedalus, the subversive aspects of the Order of Truth's work became more subdued and focused on long-term gains, plotting to set the stage for Ishmahili rule after periods of centuries, not years or even decades.

The brown-robed Order of Generosity were the traders and merchants of state-sponsored commerce.  As the wormship fleet dwindled, the Khalifate maintained strict control on all interstellar travel, and the Order of Generosity developed a monopoly on external trade, transferring profits into the state's coffers.  The Order of Generosity also acted as the official representatives of the Khalifate in systems that would allow trade, but not missionary work, often conducting espionage and covert evangelism in those systems.

Most Khalifate citizens did not belong to any of these Orders and wore the tan, yellow or black robes of commoners, working in agriculture, private enterprise or the restricted entertainment industries.  As the centuries progressed, the numbers of the Order of Benevolence increased as more of the economy transferred into state hands.  Most parents hoped for their children to gain admittance into one of the Ishmahili Orders, for only the elite of those Orders, Masters and Grandmasters, received the ever dwindling supply of Elixir, extending their lives from a few centuries to as much as a millennium or more.  By 5000CE, most systems had been under Khalifate rule for two centuries or more, and dissent had greatly subsided, except in the Martian Southern Highlands, deep in the Outer solar system and on Paradise, where resistance fighters still emerged from hidden bases to harass Order of Purity garrisons.

The Bengali Dominions also developed unique social structures.  The society of the Bengali Dominions came under early influence from Emperor Roban's association with the Altara Mystery sect of the Golden Stasis religion.  The Altara Mystery preached the separation of roles between different Human Variants, with the Nobilis as rulers and the Futaris as administrators, priests and scholars.  The first Council of Oregador, accepted by Emperor Garth, acknowledged specialization of Variant roles, accelerating the rise of Variant-based castes on the worlds of the Dominions.  In the emerging Bengali dialect, non-transformed Humans were "Standards", effectively treated like any other Variant class.

During the 50th century, the role of the Futaris in running the Nobilis-ruled Dominions grew.  While the Futaris ran civil affairs, they were barred from military or law enforcement roles.  Increasingly, Mesomorphs, Belters and other specialist Variants came to dominate military and law enforcement positions, though Standards remained a numerical majority in these roles.  The "Environmental" Variants, whether Mermen, Ions, Titans or Subjovians, tended to form specialty castes in their unique environmental niches, with Standards acting as the interfaces between them.

The Bengali Nobilis were well aware of the growing Sapien discontent in the Twin Kingdom, and they evolved two methods to avoid a similar conflict in the Dominions.  The first method was a trend of separation of roles, with Variants leaving most commercial activates to private Standard enterprises and ensuring Standard rights, wealth and influence within their sphere of responsibilities. 

The second method arose in direct reaction to the 5004CE Sapien-led coup on Libertas, though it represented the culmination of decades of research on Caldera.  In 5008CE, the Calderans announced the perfection of the Guardian Variant.  Ostensibly designed to weather the rigors of macrojump travel and to express the enhanced attributes of Mesomorphs and Belters, the first Guardians formed a prototype of the new Bengali military and police forces.  By allowing the transformation of Standards to Guardians, a condition that became mandatory for service admittance by the middle of the 51st century, the Dominions government in effect created a Variant military caste loyal to the Dominion order but not hostile to Standard interests.  For the most part, this solution kept the peace in Bengali Space.

Other states and worlds developed structures suited to their environment.  The Zhantlas and Mendam governments had minority Human populations during this era, and evolved fully multi-racial governments.  The Sapien-dominated, pro-Technologist and Mechanist Star Kingdoms developed into semi-authoritarian, but basically tolerant, multicultural states with citizenship even for the former Servant Races.  The Reconstruction Federation, whose members ironically mostly refused to join Adannan's Republican faction during the War of Disintegration, evolved into Sapien-dominated Republican states.  The tiny Betelgeuse Union followed a similar Republican path. 

On isolated worlds, governments and cultures variety greatly, though authoritarian warlords and religious dictatorships tended to proliferate on more primitive worlds.  During this period, hundreds of new religions arose and new languages began to diverge from the standard Imperial Anglic.

Chronology Table

4875 The Grand Federation begins tentative contacts with border states and peacefully annexes the formerly Imperial Tze't world of Singala in Sector 729.
4876 Its giant buried HSPG stabilizer thrusters ruined, the world of Mercury begins to drift into a destabilizing spiral around it contra-Terran LaGrange point, starting fears of a potential collision with Terra or Luna in centuries to come.
4877 The Zhantlas Union signs a formal treaty with the Grand Federation, regulating formal borders, trade tariffs and military coordination.
4878 A deadlocked presidential election officially disbands the Trans Antares Free Republic, with three member worlds subsequently formally petitioning the Grand Federation for membership.
4879 Atlantian workers begin renovating Atlantis, the last surviving Cityship, to turn it into a fusion era orbital factory.
4880 Khan Tamaburi, leading a ragtag fleet of converted freighters and personal starships, sacks Heguz and installs himself as Great Khan of Heguz, but his rule only encompasses sporadically contacted six systems.
4881 Three Dragon raiders attack Khruzi, penetrating defenses to vaporize the city of Shamaldorn before defense forces drive them off.
4882 Mendam Codominium forces attack and destroy the Dragon raider base on Harlan, avenging Shamaldorn and liberating the world, but losing the flagship battle cruiser Hrumba and three other vessels in the effort.
4883 Princess Amanda Kamarov is born naturally to Emperor Garth and Empress Arlena on Bengal.
4884 Emperor Garth allows resumption of a slow expansion of the Bengali Dominions, gradually incorporating willing words in the Central and near Rimward Region, starting with Niagara.
4885 The Star Kingdom of Tannberg descends into chaos after the assassination of Queen Strella, though fighting between rival claimants is limited to the Tannberg system.
4886 The Order of Purity brutally suppresses food riots in South America, killing millions; the growing population strains the decrepit agricultural infrastructure and teeters on the edge of starvation, with reports of cannibalism surfacing in Sao Paulo after the riots.
4887 The Khalifate establishes a reservation on Dante in the Amaterasu system and begins shipping Nobilis, Variants, Cyborgs and other undesirable there, but the costs of interstellar travel limit the Dantean population to mostly Amaterasu exiles.  Star King Balatar of Irmingham backs Admiral Jens Trunar's claim for the Tannberg throne, leading to a counter-intervention by Lanander and Orpheus that results in victory for General Davan Hulsa-Bross and exile for Trunar; but for the diplomacy of Adam I of Markham, the interventions nearly lead to full-scale war in the Star Kingdoms.
4888 The world of Phoenicia voluntarily joins the Khalifate after its ruling elite come under the influence of the Order of Truth.
4889 The Grand Federation Primary Races begin anti-piracy patrols up to fifty light years into former Imperial Territory, often following up with relief missions to desperate worlds.
4890 A rebellion against Khan Tamaburi on Heguz destroys the Khanate's last function worm drive vessels; the Khan dies in the fighting and Heguz itself sinks into a quagmire of warring information era factions.
4891 A Khabaderan raiding force attacks the Human-colonized world of Rhush (Rhushadurma) in Sector 760, overwhelming the two million pre-industrial inhabitants and reclaiming the world they abandoned a millennium earlier.
4892 Ishmahil establishes the Order of Generosity to conduct trade missions outside and within the Khalifate.
4893 Khabaderans seize the Sector 796 world of Ghaashi (Kh'durghaashi), effectively enslaving the one million early industrial Human inhabitants.
4894 A Un'aa'graum patrol reaches Rhushadurma and discovers the deplorable conditions of Humans under Khabaderan rule.
4895 The fungal Bloody Lung epidemic spreads through Venus's crowded arclogies, killing millions, including Consul Ladran Ishmik, and forcing a quarantine of the world.  The Grand Federation Primary Races censure the Khabaderans for seizing two of their former worlds, placing restrictions on Khabaderan starships, deploying Primary Race peacekeepers on the two worlds and affording the Humans on those worlds full Federation Human privileges; but the Khabaderans retain control of the systems.
4896 Princess Jessica is born naturally to Emperor Garth and Empress Arlena on Bengal after a difficult delivery; despite Calderan Rymar stabilization and subsequent treatment, she bears signs of generational fatigue and remains small, though attractive and very intelligent.
4897 The death toll from the Bloody Lung reaches one hundred million Venusians as effective vaccinations finally begin and the Order of Purity starts coordinating relief operations.  With permission from the Grand Federation, Khabaderans occupy the failed colony world of Rushmabunduran in Sector 795.
4898 On Erta, secular Sapiens overthrow their Ibrahimite rulers but fail to maintain a united government and the planet devolves into pre-industrial city-states, petty warlordism and lawless wilderness.
4899 Venusian initiates of the Order of Enlightenment develop a cure for the Bloody Lung and begin escorted distributions into the worst affected arclogies; final death toll from the epidemic tops two hundred million.
4900 Otto I becomes Star King of Lanander by Elector acclamation after the death of his father, King Malcolm.
4901 A Pact-sponsored attempt by former members of the Time Travel Society to contact its Fomalhaut V facility ends after a blunt acknowledgement and a demand to withdraw from the sheltered outpost.
4902 An Ishmahili revolution on Daedalus overthrows the Nobilis oligarchy and establishes clerical rule; the Daedalus Holy Republic executes Nobilis leaders and petitions successfully for entry into the Khalifate; most Daedalan Nobilis and Variants face the choice of execution or exile to Dante.
4903 After protracted diplomatic negotiations, the Grand Federation reabsorbs the Chlor Alpha and Chlor Beta as Secondary Races.
4904 Princess Amanda of Bengal marries Prince Malcolm Travis-Roosevelt in a ceremony at the ancient Svartfjell Palace on Kalmar.  Emperor Garth signs a formal treaty of alliance between the Bengali Dominions and Twin Kingdom.
4905 Wary of Nobilis dominance, Hercules, Odin and Aurora withdraw from the Twin Kingdom to form the Reconstruction Federation in conjunction with Prometheus; objections from the King and Queen are not backed up by force.
4906 The Reconstruction Federation sends a diplomatic and trade expedition to the Star Kingdoms, returning with some industrial equipment and an ambassadorial delegation.
4907 Straining under the economic burden of exiling Daedalan Variants and supporting faltering Solar ecologies, Ishmahil commands the Order of Truth to concentrate of spreading religion, not fomenting revolution.
4908 A Betelgeuse Union delegation arrives at Caldera and negotiates a formal treaty of peace and recognition with the Bengali Dominions.
4909 Ishmahil orders the embargo of the city of Moscow after a series of anti-government riots; ten million die of starvation before the blockade lifts the following spring.
4910 Emperor Garth lifts the Bengali quarantine on Kongo and orders a relief operation for the devastated iron age societies that still survive on the world.
4911 Full scale sea farming begins on Europa, Ganymede and Callisto in an attempt to provide more food to Terra and Mars.  Prince Arthur Travis-Roosevelt-Kamarov is born to Princess Amanda and Prince Malcolm on Kalmar after natural conception.
4912 The world of Fermi secedes from the Star Kingdom of Tesla, prompting an attack from Telsan Star King Andros; who dies in defeat at the First Battle of Fermi.
4913 The new Teslan Star King Ari I, brings his two remaining warships into the Fermi system and in the Second Battle of Fermi, bombards industrial centers and lands troops from his four auxiliary transports, installing a compliant local government and ending the rebellion.
4914 The Kumarese develop an F2 (3C max) gravstarship design, hoping to supplement their five remaining worm vessels.
4915 The Venusian arcology of Ovda Hyatt suffers and outbreak of resistant Bloody Lung; six volunteers including New Roman emissary Paulo Veracruz enter the quarantined arcology, tending to the dying and relaying enough information for an improved treatment; all the volunteers dies, but over a million residents eventually recover from the improved treatment that finally banishes the threat of Bloody Lung.
4916 At the brooding Palace of the Ruddy Sea on Aethon, Bengali Crown Prince Talon Kamarov marries Baroness Sandra Rensi-Tellar, the young granddaughter of the Duchess of Aethon.
4917 The Twin Kingdom of Kalmar-Libertas begins limiting high command of naval and marine units to Nobilis officers.
4918 Troubled by growing Nobilis dominance, Nova and Heaven withdraw from the Twin Kingdom to join the Reconstruction Federation; with only eight remaining warships, the King and Queen do not contest the secession.
4919 At the Conference of Ocelot with Kith'turi, Bd'rak'k and Humans from Zhantlas, Nachen, Mendam and Bastian meeting Grand Federation representatives, the Grand Federation forgoes territorial claims to settled portions of former Imperial Space but retains for itself the right to actively patrol up to fifty light years beyond the old border, to establish military bases in uninhabited systems within this region and to strike at pirate bases anywhere.
4920 Crown Prince Talon Kamarov and his wife Sandra take up residence in the restored Winter Palace complex on Bengal.
4921 On Venus, three seamounts erupt explosively within a month, triggering massive tsunamis and widespread coastal and shallows damage and causalities.
4922 Princess Jessica dies from complications following a stroke at the age of 26 on Bengal; Crown Prince Talon and Princess Sandra name their first child, the naturally conceived Jessica, in her memory.
4923 The Kumarese gravstarship Cook sets off to establish an industrial colony in the Armpit Nebula; with a crew of twelve hundred and over one hundred thousand tons of cargo capacity, it is larger than any previously constructed Human gravstarship.
4924 An extended drought spreads through the equatorial farming regions of Mars, threatening the world's food self-sufficiency.
4925 With their last worm starships failing, the Reconstruction Federation establishes small enclaves on the habitats in the Alimeen systems of Night Gust, Storm Seed and Eternal Fog, leasing F3 gravstarships for use between their systems.  Ishmahil dismisses as impossible a plan to evacuate most of Venus's eight billion people and demands progress from the Order of Enlightenment in developing a restabilization plan.
4926 A flare of Isis's star disrupts civilization, killing millions and straining the world's industrial Sapien nations.
4927 The Zhantlas Union begins limited production of macrojump vessels from a purchased Grand Federation design.
4928 Assassins kill one of Ishmahil's grandsons, Bandar Mustafa, Consul of Luna, in an apparent power struggle over succession; two months later, another grandson, Faisal Mustafa, Grandmaster of the Order of Valor, dies in a shuttle explosion, an apparent revenge attack.
4929 Kumar begins construction of a small fleet of smaller gravstarships to support Luminous and the eventual Armpit Nebula colony, reserving its four function worm vessels for contacts and trade with the Bengali Dominions and the Khald'aron Republic.
4930 Marshal Janik Horwall commits suicide on Nachen and a planetary executive council succeeds him; Horwall's death marks the official end of the Antaran Military District, but effective interstellar contact between its members had ended decades earlier.
4931 The nascent macrojump Warmonger race launches an expedition to the world of Resnik in Sector 318 and becomes infected with the Mech Plague, dropping the Warmonger civilization back into the fusion age and isolating their two new colony worlds.
4932 Fahzi Reyshan, Minister for Agriculture on Mars, begins the Shiaparelli Project, constructing dozens of canals from the Hellas Sea and the Northern Ocean to aid equatorial agriculture.
4933 Pope Pius XLI becomes the ruler of New Rome and starts a campaign to improve ties and religious cooperation with the Khalifate.
4934 The Cook reaches the Armpit Nebula and establishes a colony to mine metals from the nebular cloud.
4935 Settling decades of intrigue within the Mustafa family, Ishmahil names his grandson Hussein ibn Yosef as heir to the Khalifate.
4936 Prince Albert Kamarov, the naturally conceived child of Crown Prince Talon and Princess Sandra, is born on Bengal.  Princess Katrina Travis-Roosevelt-Kamarov, the Artificial child of Prince Malcolm and Princess Amanda, is born on Kalmar.
4937 Paulo Veracruz becomes a Saint of the United Catholic church; Khalif Ishmahil praises the martyrdom of Saint Paulo and five others at Ovda Hyatt and dispatches a wormship to bring Pope Pius XLI and several cardinals to Venus for dedication ceremonies at the Shrine of the Bloody Lung Martyrs.
4938 Meeting with senior Nobilis at the Council of Oregador, Bengali Emperor Garth agrees to the abolition of the death penalty for Nobilis and Futaris, instead establishing Dominion Prisons on each member world to hold convicts for their maximum one hundred years sentences.
4939 Helna, Star King of Timbuktu dies of natural causes and Electors appoint her niece Myra to replace her.
4940 Emperor Garth halts Bengali Dominions expansion at eighty worlds, citing the strain of diminishing fleet capacity, now under two dozen military vessels and three hundred mostly smaller commercial and private wormships.
4941 Khabaderan irregulars seize their former colony world of Turmaburan in Sector 395, infecting the struggling early industrial Human population with a geneered virus and allowing all three million to die; occurring deep into Human Space, the Grand Federation does not notice this atrocity.
4942 Bengali Crown Prince Talon and his wife Sandra begin a grand tour of the Dominions, traveling in the wormship frigate Bannerman with three escort vessels.
4943 Mercury spirals out of its LaGrange orbit, drifting into a slightly eccentric orbit; calculations indicate a significant risk of a disruptive close encounter with the Terra-Luna system in 5432CE.
4944 Fahzi Reyshan becomes Grandmaster of the Order of Enlightenment and Ishmahil tasks him with "fixing the Solar system", specifically rescuing Mercury and Venus from doom.
4945 Ishmahil renews immigration agreements with Bengal, allowing residents of the Solar reservations to resettle in the Dominions in return for payments of industrial goods from Bengali relatives.
4946 Pope Pius XLI allows the Order of Truth to establish a mission on New Rome with the goal of exploring "theological symmetries".
4947 Scientists and technicians on Khruzi reverse-engineer an "acquired" Grand Federation macrojump vessel and produce the 20m Type Ib prototype Halberd.
4948 Grandmaster Fazhi Reyshan reopens the labs of Maxwell Biogenics in hopes of developing biological solutions to Venus's deteriorating ecology.
4949 Mechanist Primal Norgail Brastova dies on Karinsky; by convention, her next Incarnation is ineligible for Primal status, and she retires to a monastic life; Shamanda Jones succeeds her as Primal.
4950 The last operational Twin Kingdom worm vessel ceases to function, forcing Kalmar-Libertas to lease six medium sized worm drive freighters from the Dominions to maintain contact between their remaining worlds.
4951 Codominium government-sponsored production of macrojump vessels begins at Mendam, Khruzi and Tetraluna, though each world can only produce two ships every three years and antimatter supplies remain very limited.
4952 Prince Arthur Travis-Roosevelt-Kamarov marries Baroness Lyra Falzi-Bennett of Eden.
4953 King Balatar of Irmingham dies and his son David II becomes Star King.
4954 The Mendam Codominium establishes a naval base at Far Orlando in Sector 771, beginning macrojump  operations against Dragon slavers.
4955 After vocal protests following the trial and death sentence of Jon Vashon of Valinor for the crime of killing the despised Baron Razi Tun, Emperor Garth overturns the Bengali death penalty for all free citizens and commutes Vashon's sentence to fifty years at Valinor's Mithril Prison.
4956 The Twin Kingdom resumes some limited trade with the Khalifate, exchanging their agricultural processes for technological goods and allowing Order of Truth missionaries to visit their worlds.
4957 B'dr'rak merchants begin using locally manufactured macrojump vessels to compliment the dwindling worm drive fleet; after the B'dr'rak ruling council refuses to share the technology, the Kith'turi and Salvaatiki boycott all B'dr'rak goods and the resulting trade war marks the end of the Federation Races Protection League.
4958 A storm-battered Venus records its hottest year since colonization and some doomsayers predict an eventual runaway greenhouse reaction; radicals form the Hellfire apocalyptic cult.
4959 The Cook begins its first return journey from the Armpit Nebula colony, loaded with heavy metals and a small cache of stable transuranics.
4960 The Zhantlas Union and Mendam Codominium sign a friendship treaty and establish a joint military outpost at Ruszhane in Sector 769 to stem Dragon raids near their common borders.
4961 Emperor Garth's grandson, Prince Albert Kamarov marries Lady Salis Tueri of Avalon.
4962 After riots in Ishtar City and in several Venusian arcologies, the Order of Purity begins harsh repression of the Hellfire cult.
4963 King John of Libertas celebrates his three thousandth birthday in a year-long festival that draws Nobilis from the across the Twin Kingdom and Bengali Dominions and nearly bankrupts his world. 
4964 Thor and Utopia withdraw from the Twin Kingdom, effectively becoming isolated independent worlds, maintaining sporadic gravstar contact with the Alimeen and the faltering Reconstruction Federation.
4965 A Dragon raiding fleet destroys the Codominium base at Far Orlando and slaughters the garrison, leaving a gruesome monument riddled with booby-traps for the relief mission to find.
4966 Grand Federation forces destroy a !Tak raiding base in Sector 395, marking the end of remnant wormship piracy and the start of a gradual decline of Grand Federation military patrols beyond their borders.
4967 Riots protesting deteriorating living conditions and dropping life expectancy begin on Libertas.  Sapiens on the eight remaining Twin Kingdom worlds begin circulating the Declaration of Human Standards.
4968 The Bengali world of Esperance suffers a widespread outbreak of Kandal's Flu, a severe influenza that kills millions; Emperor Garth authorizes a temporary quarantine, but calls for active efforts to support the world.
4969 The Mendam-Zhantlas base at Ruszhane fights off a raid from a dozen Dragon starships, but looses three worm ships and four macrojump ships in the battle.
4970 Prince Roban Travis-Roosevelt-Kamarov is born on Kalmar; he is the Artificial child of Prince Arthur and Baroness Lyra.  The gravstarship Cook returns to Kumar to a heroic welcome.
4971 A disturbed royal guardsman assassinates Star King Alexander II of Orpheus and three family members, including his son and heir, Prince Alexander; Orphean Electors name the King's grandniece Lysia to the throne.
4972 The Venusian Clear Skies project begins with the coordinated release of eight geneered microorganisms designed to restore ecological balance and to reduce temperatures and storms on the battered world.
4973 Princess Jena Kamarov is born to Prince Albert Kamarov and Princess Salis after an Artificial conception.  Reloaded with colony modules, fusion reactors, fabricators and five hundred colonists, the Cook sets off from Kumar to expand the Armpit Nebula Colony.
4974 The government of Irmingham trades its last worm frigate to the B'dr'rak in return for a 30m macrojump merchantman and begins work to develop an indigenous macrojump drive technology.
4975 The Rootjalik Consulate develops gravstar vessels to supplement their dwindling military and civilian fleets and to control their empire of forty Rootjalik systems and thirty-nine conquered Human and Serlian worlds.
4976 Ishmahil declares his support for the underground Sapien movement in the Twin Kingdom and ends all trade ties with Kalmar-Libertas.  The Khalifate opens trade and missionary stations on Hercules and Aurora.
4977 Helicon withdraws from the Twin Kingdom.  Warfare erupts between Irmingham and Tannberg after Tannberg agents steal Irmingham's new macrojump design; retaliatory strikes and trade embargos spark low-level warfare throughout the Star Kingdoms in what becomes known as the Macrojump War.
4978 Bengali Crown Prince Talon's eldest child, Princess Jessica Kamarov, renounces her claim to succession and becomes a priestess of the Altara Mystery sect of Golden Stasis.
4979 Grand Federation troops briefly occupy Tashera to support a Tze't enclave on the honeycombed world, but withdraw after establishing multi-racial governance of the Sector 766 world.
4980 Markham Drop Troops raid a data center on Tannberg, stealing its macrojump drive plans.
4981 The Kith'turi and Salvaatiki races from a trade union and negotiate a treaty with the Grand Federation, trading basing rights for access to Grand Federation macrojump drive technology.
4982 Orphean and Irmingham forces fight the Battle of Outer Mendes, where Orphean intelligence agents uncover the secret of macrojump drive technology, but the Orphean Navy looses its last worm warship, the frigate Silias Warner in the fight.
4983 Lanander trades one of its two remaining worm frigates to Orpheus in return for the secret of macrojump drive technology.
4984 Libertine Marines end an extended mutiny at the outer system Katrina Naval Station by storming the base and summarily executing the Sapien officer ringleaders.  The Cook arrives at the Armpit Nebula Colony to find its thousand inhabitants dead, though a wormship vessels from Kumar and Khald'aron had visited just one year prior; an inconclusive investigation is hampered by erased records but hints at mutiny and sabotage.
4985 Traveling aboard Kumar's last wormship frigate, the Hollis Victor, Barnas Khan arrives at the Armpit Nebula Colony to become its governor and takes control of the continuing investigation, the Cook leaves for Kumar, half full of mined metals.
4986 Sporadic warfare and tariff disputes within the Star Kingdoms ends after Star King Otto I hosts the Conference of Lanander and distributes macrojump drive specifications to the three governments that had not already acquired them; commercial and military macrojump shipbuilding begins across the Star Kingdoms.
4987 Governor Barnas Khan and his staff successfully defeat remaining rebels and secure the struggling Armpit Colony.
4988 A Khald'aron delegation arrives at Caldera in one of the race's last remaining wormships and establishes formal diplomatic relations with the Dominions.
4989 The Kith'turi and Salvaatiki formally merge into a single interstellar federal state, the Kith'turi-Salvaatiki Union of Worlds (KSUW), often referred to as KithSalvakia by Humans.
4990 Grandmaster Fazhi Reyshan first unveils the Symmetry Project, his plan to modify the orbits of Mercury and Venus, but admits the Khalifate lacks the technical expertise to build large HSPG thruster units; he redoubles research efforts to develop the technology.
4991 Queen Wind of the Star Kingdom Albus dies and her daughter Storm succeeds her as Queen; with Wind's death, of the original Star Kings, only King Adam DeJulius-Brening of Markham remains alive.
4992 A Khabaderan mission to Singlatadra in Sector 795 comes under attack by a local Human militia, prompting a massive response by Khabaderan forces and a resulting occupation.
4993 On Venus, the ancient Astarte Four arcology suffers multiple systems failures and over a million die of heat exhaustion, exposure or disease before relief workers stabilize the environment and shift refugees to other overcrowded arcology cities.
4994 Buoyed by the lack of response from Primary Races over Singlatadra, Khabaderan forces occupy the two Human inhabited Sector 797 worlds of Zhablandogna and Sharlendernas in a proactive "defense"; one conquered world is barely industrial, the other a balkanized set of iron age fiefdoms.
4995 The Grand Federation helps Bastian and the Faztulu Drift set up macrojump generator factories and begins exporting antimatter, setting the stage for renewed trade in the far Coreward Region.
4996 The Cook arrives at Kumar, though its return celebration is greatly subdued, as locals question the costs of supporting the Armpit Colony.
4997 Prince Roban Travis-Roosevelt-Kamarov marries Lady Thena, daughter of the Earl of Dhakaland on Bengal, and moves into the Donnersburg Palace.
4998 The Cook sets off for the Armpit Colony with desperately needed spares, equipment for transuranic mining, a commando platoon and another two hundred colonists.
4999 Markham launches a four macrojump ship expedition to scout Rootjalik Space; only two vessels return after the task force comes under fire at Aaron; the Star Kings condemn Rootjalik oppression and agree to cooperate in the common defense of their own territories, but take no action to relieve the distant worlds occupied by the Rootjalik Consulate.
5000 Pope Pius XLI hosts Ishmahil on New Rome for a celebration of the dawn of the sixth millennium; Ishmahil recognizes the importance of Jesus in Ibrahimite doctrine and calls on all worshippers to "come together", prompting rumors of a religious unification and starting riots among some traditionalist United Catholic orders on New Rome.
5001 Increasing unrest in the Twin Kingdom Navy prompts the Alimeen to withdraw from trade and diplomatic agreements with Kalmar-Libertas.
5002 The Bengali corporation Suraneg Technologies produces the Bengal Phoenix, a workable Type Ib macrojump prototype based on the Star Kingdoms design and begins taking orders from Bengali and Twin Kingdom governments and corporations.
5003 Jessica Kamarov becomes High Priestess of the Markon Cathedral on Bengal.  New Rome Papal forces attack and destroy the monastic stronghold of Mount Ascension, quelling the last traditionalist unrest on the world; Pope Pius XLI commissions a convention of cardinals to review church doctrine.
5004 At Libertas's State House in Freehaven, members of the Libertine Royal Guard attempt a coup, killing King John, Queen Janis, Princess Amanda and her daughter, Princess Katrina.  Prince Malcolm Travis-Roosevelt narrowly survives assassination, rallies loyal Guards, quells the coup and has himself installed as King of the Twin Kingdom of Kalmar-Libertas.  King Malcolm declares martial law and suspends Sapien rights across the Twin Kingdom, sparking Freedom's secession.  Emperor Garth travels to Kalmar for the coronation of King Malcolm and the funeral of his daughter and granddaughter.  Ishmahil withdraws diplomatic recognition from the Twin Kingdom.
5005 King Malcolm dismisses all Sapien officers from the Twin Kingdom military, replacing them with Nobilis appointees.  Malcolm orders a crash program to train more Goblins and Casaps to replace remaining Sapien military troops.  Bengal's Suraneg shipyards begin producing four 30m macrojump vessels annually, and licenses production to the Twin Kingdom.
5006 After a secret trial, the Nobilis government of the Twin Kingdom world of Eden executes thirty missionaries from the Order of Truth for espionage.  Ishmahil threatens war against the Twin Kingdom, but withdraws the threat after a public inquiry and the release of clear evidence of subversion and plots of revolution.
5007 Atlantis Shipyards Limited, located in the old Cityship, produces a Type Ib macrojump vessel, the Glory of Ibrahim and the production of macrojump vessels slowly restarts at yards in Atlantis and the Solar system.
5008 Calderan geneticists produce the first Guardian Variants, designed to serve as the naval and marine personnel of a macrojump military.
5009 Dismissed Sapien military officers rise in a coup on Kalmar, seizing the Summer Palace and Svartfjell and killing King Malcolm.  The provisional Council of Free Sapiens declares Kalmar-Libertas a free republic and detains all Nobilis on Kalmar, Libertas and Osiris and Avalon.  The Council executes hundreds of Nobilis for "Crimes against the People", including Malcolm's heir, Prince Arthur and his wife, Lyra.  Eden and Delphi declare themselves independent Nobilis Kingdoms after putting down Sapien revolts.  Khalifate and Bengali squadrons, representing the last shreds of their interstellar navies, meet over Kalmar, but avoid a war after the Dominions agree to accept Nobilis and Futaris detainees and the Khalifate lets Emperor Garth annex Eden and Freedom.  The Khalifate and the Dominions both agree to recognize the provisional Sapien government.  The Cook arrives at the struggling Armpit Colony three years after the last wormship visit; with all worm vessels now failed, the colony must rely on a few gravstar vessels for resupply and communications.
5010 Four macrojump trader captains pool their resources to form the Merchant Guild at Faztulu Drift.  The Council of Free Sapiens names former admiral Sir Ronal Hassani as the Director, essentially as dictator, of the four world Union of Kalmar.  Ronal, a Hammedian Ibrahimite, guarantees freedom of worship and Variant rights throughout his realm and sends his five ship macrojump Union Navy to attack and destroy a Nobilis rebel camp on Delphi.  The Bengali Dominions begins a pilot program of Guardian Variant crews for its macrojump fleet vessels and encourages transformation for Sapien military volunteers.

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