History of the Novan Empire
The Spirit of Omsk
The history of mankind in the Herschel System began in 319 After Tranquility (Gregorian calendar 2288), a few short decades after the first Solar War during the second wave of extra solar colonization (Beginning at either 285 AT to 295 AT (depending on what school of thought you subscribe to) until the second Solar War (632-636)). During this phase, due to financial pressures from voting blocks desiring tax cuts, interstellar colonization efforts by sol’s seven main nations nearly completely stopped while private investors began to finance and commission Colony Ships from various shipbuilding firms. Colony ship construction kept a fair number of people employed was profitable enough to justify the expenses of construction and was a good way for governments to maintain the upkeep costs for antimatter production facilities, although the colony ships constructed for private use generally had less in terms of supply.
Among those who desired to leave Sol System permanently to set up shop elsewere was one Sergei Anatolivich Maksutov, a modestly successful Russian industrialist and owner of a Kitchenware Corporation and chain of Chinese Restaurants on Russian Mars. In 319 he liquidated most of his assets and began paying for the beginnings of an interstellar colony ship, setting aside a program to garner colonists by offering to cover ten percent of the rates for a seat aboard, eventually managing to get some 23,628 Colonists for the project, loading them a ship designated the Spirit of Omsk after his city of birth, and set off early in 323.
While many who set out to colonies extra solar star systems had some sort of political or social background in their mind, the Motivations of Maksutov’s beliefs were of less importance. Beyond seeking around 300 skilled professionals (doctors, engineers, architects, professors and so forth) and some requirements involving some basic health criteria, being able to speak at least two major languages, a clean criminal record and some minor educational qualifications, there was no discrimination over nationality over nationality or political background. The Spirit of Omsk had a fairly diverse back-round, with large segments of Chinese, North Americans, Russians and Brazilians, as well as a fair number of smaller minorities. He was in general pro-democracy, but had little preferences between different Democratic systems and believed that there was no one sized fit all system of economics that would work perfectly everywhere. In effect, his long term goal was that of the creation of a prosperous nation that would peacefully thrive and he simply desired to be remembered as its key founding father.
The Herschel System (Designated as such in 95 AT), which at some 241 light-years from Sol was the third furthest star system to be targeted for colonization at this time, with most other colony ships at this point being sent to systems within 100 Light years of sol, as their was still plenty of land to be developed and claimed on planets closer to Sol (or would be in case, given that several worlds had ships still en route) and due to technical reasons related to the risks of long-term cryogenic suspension (the longer the period in deep freeze, the lower the chances of emerging alive at the end of the flight) and fear in regards to antimatter containment. Never the less, the Spirit of Omsk was launched for this system due to a belief that his society would have at least a few centuries to thrive before a second colony vessel arrived, in which his settlement would have emerged as a dominant nation. The Herschel system had two worlds on it that could support life, which had been titled Nova Atlantis and Nova Australia (which were not changed by the colonists, as tended to happen), further allowing breathing room. The Spirit of Omsk would arrive in 1128AT in a fairly routine manner, despite the loss of some 1,039 Colonists in route during transit from cryogenic system failure (which was lower that the expected attrition rate for long range colony ships of this period making such a journey) and would soon found the first Nova Atlantean Colony.
The Spirit of Omsk was not the only ship to be launched towards Herschel, in 485 a second colony ship was prepared for its journey to the Nova Atlantis system. This ship was the life-long brainchild of Haruhi Nishibori, a wealthy heiress to a prominent Eastern Pacific Alliance shipping firm and a woman who had a lifetime fascination with European Monarchy and strong ambitions. Using here financial capital as a base, she managed to bankroll a colony ship and assemble a core of colonists, a fair number of which having similar ideals involving monarchism. With this at her disposal she was able to assemble sufficient funds for a colony ship and mustered a sufficient amount. After much deliberation, chose to move into the Herschel, believing based on reports of colonial development that the descendants of the colonists of the Spirit of Omsk would have not be able to support interplanetary travel at this point. This fact meaning that they would have New Australia all to themselves, but would also have. As such, she ordered a special modification to her colony ship (designated the Argonaut) involving its fusion reactors (used to provide power to the magnetic containment fields on the antimatter tanks) that would allow the effectively one shot interstellar craft to be able to be used as an interplanetary transport, a move which she believed would give her colony an early edge in interplanetary trade between the two worlds.
The First Nova Atlantean Colony
Upon arrival in orbit of Nova Atlantis, Colonial development proceeded fairly routinely for the Passengers of the Spirit of Omsk. A transmission was sent off automatically on arrival declaring the safe arrival of the Spirit of Omsk in the system. A colony sight was located on the Lifeblood River on the continent of Lada on the coast of the Bay of Peace (latter known as the Bay of Storms). From prefab housing they quickly built a settlement which they named Maksutograd (this being the most commonly name, Maksutov City for example, was the common name among English speaking groups) and for the fist two decades things preceded more or less as they were intended to. The planet was basically earthlike and inhabitable and the colonists engaged in setting up their settlement without too much delay. Land was cleared for cultivation while animals were grown from frozen ova for pets, beasts of burden and livestock. The native wildlife posed no threat which could not be handled by a simple bolt action rifle and chemical differences between Terran and Nova Atlantean life rendered native single celled organisms unable to infect the colonists nor their crops and livestock. Terran Plankton and fish stocks were successfully added to the surrounding seas. For the first twenty one years, the population did well. However, eventually problems would crop up.
Amongst the first of which problems to emerge developed in the agricultural settlements created outside the Maksutograd. Four sub settlements were created within 30 km of the main settlement, however an unexpected result emerged due to the linguistic divisions, with these settlements each attracting a population of one national background. This issue was made more significant as concerns were raised after education of children in these areas proved to be biased towards the language that was prevalent in the settlement, with attempts to change this scenario drawing resentment from the members of these communities. However, this was in of itself not enough to justify any conflict of significance. Maksutograd remained diverse with no major demographic based conflict inside the city.
This problem however would eventually become a major issue in 1149 after a hurricane poured through the bay and onto the bay and devastated Maksutograd between harvests. The town was flooded, several hundred were killed, granaries were destroyed, power was lost and much in the line of the basic industrial equipment (most notably nanorobotic growth systems required for computer production) that would have been used to develop an industrial economy was destroyed or rendered inoperable. While some managed to gain support from the surrounding farmland, most of the population (about 10,000 people) was forced to move to the agricultural towns to survive. This however, generated problems of its own, as the agricultural settlements were also negatively (if not so severely) effected by the storm and simply did not have enough food in reserve to sustain themselves and the refugees, despite efforts to ration and original donations of food. After a few weeks, an order was given and Maksutograd Police officers moved in to demand this food from them at gunpoint to sustain the starving displaced masses, they were met by armed resistance and firefights broke out. In one settlement (Souziana), the Maksutograd Policemen managed to win and forcibly redistributed food supplies to the refugees; in the other three the police were eventually defeated and the refugee population (with a few exceptions, mostly children) being expelled.
The result of which was famine for the population of Maksutograd and Souzinia. A few refugees turned to banditry to raid the farms of the towns for livestock and produce while others turned to working with the local farmers that lived outside Maksutograd and fishermen to try to get what foodstuffs they could. Horses and Dogs were killed for food and some were forced into attempting to eat the inedible native wildlife or resort to cannibalism. In the three months between then and the next harvest, some 3,500 people died of starvation. At the same time, the three independent agricultural towns developed a deep resentment for the denizens of the capital. As the famine ended, relationships finally broke apart when the town council of Derricksburg demanded the execution of several pig rustlers (which had become something of heroes to Maksutograd’s populace for supplying food during a time of desperation). When this request was refused, the result was that Derriksburg declared that the government of Maksutograd was no longer legitimate. The other two towns followed suit soon afterwards and set up guards. Two weeks afterwards, a quickly rallied Militia was dispatched by what remained of the central government to bring these rebellious settlements back under control proved to be disastrous, while an uprising in Souzinia managed to shake off the police garrison holding it in place and declared independence, a move which incurred guerilla actions against the assets of the original settlement.
The next three years were the consumed by what is now known by modern historians as the Disintegration war, a set of armed conflicts between the central government and the four agricultural settlements. Armed only with rifles, grenades and home made rockets, raiding groups moved against each other. During this period, the population fell considerably from around 36,500 to 20,000. In a subtly planned mission to save themselves, the Muslim community (which had some 400 members with a disproportionate number of woman) managed to relocate themselves to a settlement some 250 kilometers away from the capital. Despite Maksutograd having an early edge in training, mobility (having most of the motorized vehicles) and weaponry, eventually the agricultural settlements managed to wear down their forces and the former capital was eventually sacked, destroying most of the industrial equipment and databanks from earth in the in the fighting. Maksutograd was leveled and its population was killed, taken prisoner and forced into serfdom, turned to banditry or engaged in an exodus to find new lands to settle.
The agricultural settlement’s victory was never the less a pyrrhic one, having sustained considerable casualties and having several periods of bombardment damaging their towns, as well as still having to face bandits and eventually warfare between themselves. What little industrial equipment was pilfered from the remains of the former capital was divided between the four of them and was not sufficient to set up a new industrial economy or replace lost equipment. Over the next few decades, industry fell apart irreversibly and society regressed to an agrarian level. Those forced into exile set up small settlements along the coastline and those that survived regressed to either to a roughly Neolithic or Iron Age level. The Muslim settlement (which became the Melen Caliphate) also regressed to this point due to lack of industrial machinery. By 1200, the fate of the Human population of the Planet was a regression to the level.
The Nova Atlantean Dark Age
The society which emerged from the remains of the former colony is in general terms considered to be feudal society, although no direct analogue in terms of technological development can be found in Terran History. While firearms were developed and in use, construction technology was particularly hard hit, with architecture becoming a lost art and most buildings afterward being assembled from stone, timber and mud as little more than crude huts. Also lost was print making, resulting in drastically decreased literacy as all books had to be hand written from this point onward, which further crippled the population. Metallurgy devolved to blacksmithery and primitive forging methods. Glass making totally ended with the onset of the dark ages. Agricultural tools and methods also became more primitive (largely from the primitive nature of metalworking), although some things including harnesses for draught animals remained somewhat advanced. Shipbuilding was also fairly advanced, sailing craft (being low maintenance and easy to produce) similar to first century BT fishing schooners were by the colonists before the Disintegration War and continued to be built afterwards, with the basic design eventually evolving into warships after the population grew to the point which they could economically afford them and after pirates emerged. These ships also allowed for as eventual colonization transportation to a series of nearby archipelagoes, the entirety of Lada’s coastline and eventually to the continent of Pordaga, though Lada remained the most populated continent.
The most pronounced differences between the general technological level of the Nova Atlantean Dark Age and any Terran historical period was that of Gunpowder (as mentioned earlier) and sanitation. Every society that emerged during this time knew how to make it and Saltpeter could be obtained easily from the solid waste of certain native animals. The Implication of which was that simple fire-arms (mostly matchlock Arquebii) became the most common ranged weapons in use within a few short decades, with axes, swords and pikes also becoming common. The first record of an actual cannon being used was in 1302. Despite the end of proper education after the Disintegration War basic germ theory continued to endure and manifested itself in a general sense of sanitation that was superior to that of most pre industrial societies. As such the risk of infection was lower than in most feudal nations and in particular allowed for rapid population growth by cutting back on infant mortality, thus allowing for rapid population growth despite various factions engaging in wars. By 1200 the estimated population of Nova Atlantis was about 60,000, and had further ballooned to 200,000 by 1250 and increased further still to 500,000 by 1300. The Population continued to expand their domain, with military conflicts often driving migrations.
In Terms of Political Development, things were more complex. Democracy still was practiced in a few communities, although this state slowly decayed in light of military developments. The three most common forms of government was monarchy in the traditional sense, military dictatorship or rule by a council of oligarchs (generally wealthy land owners or leaders of trade guilds). Theocracy appeared in a few areas, but was generally less successful as a means of government. In Terms of Religious development, Christianity (divided into various sects of Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Protestant background) and Chinese Traditional Religion remained the largest groups, with Judaism, Buddhism, Reformed Scientology and Islam being the significant minority faiths. Several indigenous Nova Atlantean cults emerged, but were never more than a footnote historically. The Political scenario was mostly small scale independent towns, with the emergence feudal nations beginning around 1250 as more powerful towns/cities were able to bring less powerful groups under their command. Amongst the most successful of these was the Melen Caliphate, which in isolation had nearly fifty years to establish itself as a nation and managed to gain several vassal towns and with them enough manpower to protect itself against any attacking force. Chattel slavery emerged in a few societies, but was seen with distain by most. Serfdom and Indentured Servitude to various degrees emerged and was fairly common, if not universal. While the Jewish communities kept the Hebrew alphabet alive and there was some use of Chinese Calligraphy, the Latin and Russian Alphabets were by far the two most common forms of writing.
The Colonization of Nova Australia
The Colony ship Argonaut arrived in Orbit of New Australia in 1301, the 17,560 surviving colonists were surprised to receive no radio transmissions from New Atlantis. They did manage to discover the Spirit of Omsk in orbit of Nova Atlantis with navigational radar and telescopes, as well as discovered the growth of Terran Flora on eastern Lada around the Bay of Storms (which contrasted with the blue native plant life. Lacking long range probes, Haruhi Nishibori feared the worst for the Spirit of Omsk and its descendants. The worst case scenario which was the most popular theory involving their lack of hails from the other inhabitable planet was some unknown alien plague destroying the population. At the same time, the Argonaut had jettisoned its last antimatter container after arrival per standard safety protocols and it would take a few months to convert the Argonaut to work on Fusion Drives. As such, the colonists descended to the surface of Nova Australia and began colonization.
Nova Australia was a smaller planet than Nova Atlantis, having 0.95g gravity compared to Nova Atlantis’s 1.12gs. It also was closer to Herschel and as such was considerably warmer. Over sixty Percent of Nova Australia was hot and barren desert, with warm and tropical temperate regions near the northern and southern poles. In the northern Polar region near the Nishibori Sea was founded the first city of Nova Australia, simply named Planetfall. A few weeks after construction began on this settlement, Haruhi Nishibori had herself crowned Queen Haruhi-I of Nova Atlantis with general approval from the populace at large, as well as laying out her laws of succession. In 1303, a prominent Jacob Krauter decided to found a secondary agricultural town some 30 kilometers from Planetfall’s city limits. With the Queen’s blessing he did so, leading a small group of some 500 homesteaders out beyond the city limits. After a few years of economic success, Krauter was given the title of Baron and began the creation of her Nobility, which she would continue to expand. The Multi-ethnic colonists managed to get along and no major ethnic issue ever cropped up.
The fate of the Nova Atlanteans colonists was confirmed in 1304, when a probe was deployed to investigate discovered the regressed descendants of the original colonists arrived in orbit. Despite this, the now well established Nova Australians had little interest in packing up and leaving at this point in time and Queen Haruhi eventually ruled against it, fearing the ramifications of breaking up the gene pool and industrial assets at this early stage of development. As such, the Nova Australians remained on their claimed world with only minor talk of expeditions floating about their society for over a century, although they did place several surveillance orbiters to monitor the affairs of the primitives, as well as the occasional unmanned probe (which often ended up being destroyed by some local human). The next century was defined by the peaceful growth and expansion of the population of Nova Australia. The Argonaut was successfully re-assembled to work on fusion drives in 1315, but was left inert in orbit after a low range trial flight. In 1347 minor uprising by an anti nobility militia on the southern frontier was put down by the Royal Gendarmerie, in 1373 the Southern Polar Region was colonized by an expedition led by the future Earl (and latter Herzog) Zhang Weili and in 1410, work began on orbital long range communications systems.
The Conquest of Nova Atlantis
A major development happened with the ascension of King Wilhelm-I in 1424 to the Throne of Nova Australia and with that, the thirty two year old man was able to put some plans he had been working on into effect. Gathering public support, Wilhelm began to rally support for a long-term plan revolving around the colonization and conquest of Nova Atlantis and in 1426 managed to begin his military buildup. Using police officers as a core for his officer’s corps and training staff, he managed to raise an army some 5,000 men strong, as well as recruiting a force of some 5,000 civilian support personnel, over a period of 5 years. At the same time, he led an industrialization project to produce vehicles, aircraft, weaponry and equipment to set up a base. In 1431, the force was loaded onto the Argonaut (which had been further modified to serve as a troopship) and the ship flew over to Nova Atlantis, with King Wilhelm personally overseeing the affairs of the operation.
On Darwin 24th, 1431, the Argonaut settled into orbit of Nova Atlantis and after a month of survey teams studying several potential sites, the Nova Australian forces to an unclaimed island 500 kilometers south of Lada, which he built a settlement called Fort Wilhelm. Quickly agriculture and fishing operations were begun to provide food for this base. A prefab foundry as well machine shops and arms factories were readied to support development and the war effort, mining operations began to supply ores to these facilities while a central fortress able to fend off any attacking force with brutal firepower. The Argonaut left orbit after a few weeks and three months latter returned with six prefab oceanic ships, each about 50 meters long and armed with several mortars and a 20mm auto cannon and were quickly assembled and tested.
After six additional months of preparation and the capture of sailing ship, a squadron of unmanned aircraft distributed leaflets to the major settlements, heralding the coming of the armies of King Wilhelm-I of Nova Australia and stating that they should surrender or face conquest and annexation by his forces. Afterwards, the King led his wet navy against the port city of Dawsongrad, swiftly decimating its navy and army and forcing its surrender. With that, he stationed a garrison of some 500 soldiers and moved on to take five more port cities over the next fifteen days. Arquebus, Cavalry Charge, Cannonade and pike formations could not stand against Mortars, armored vehicles and Machine Gun fire. After overseeing the conquests, the King gave seven of his army’s officers Noble Titles before returning triumphant to Nova Australia.
The Dawn of the Empire
Upon his return to Planetfall in 1432, he was met with standing ovations for his successful campaign and shortly afterwards was given a new title by popular request and was re-crowned Emperor Wilhelm-I and the Kingdom of Nova Australia was re-named the Novan Empire. Large numbers of volunteers among the younger generation (From a total population of approximately 300,000) signed up for military service, and an additional 10,000 soldiers were raised, as well as 15,000 Civilians being recruited to serve in technical roles in developing the assets. For the next three years saw rapid conquest and development on Nova Atlantis, ending with some 500,000 new people being brought under Imperial Authority before manpower limitations in occupational forces stopped expansion for the next forty years. During this time, 50 new houses were added to the Nobility. While there were a few of these were of economic and administrative background, most of this newly created Nobility was promoted from the ranks of the Army. To encourage modernization of these newly annexed territories, various programs run by the Imperial Bureaucracy were installed with clean water, road development and education being high priorities. At the same time, Nobles were encouraged to develop their domains economically as those who were the most capable of economic expansion would be given higher ranks.
For those Nova Atlanteans which lived under the Rule of the Imperials, the conquering Empire was a mixed affair. Those that surrendered without a fight were generally treated quite well and new goods and products did positively affect a large number of people. However, in other zones there was heavy opposition to the changes that were brought about, largely motivated by religious leaders. On several occasions, children needed to be forcibly removed from their parents to be taken to school, in other occasions rioters managed to destroy a large amount of equipment before being dealt with. Others resisted in more organized ways by killing Nova Australians. Never the less, such acts often garnered harsh retribution by the occupying forces. The standard punishments applied by the Imperial towards violent resistance were public execution by firing squad, confiscation of property, relocation to isolated communities, disassembly of families and forced labor in infrastructure development. Some experimentation with Neurological reprogramming happened, although the early methods that they worked with were expensive and had limited usefulness. In particular, prison labor was favored by the Nobility as it was deemed quite useful in developing their domains. Problem areas were cordoned off to prevent rebellions from spreading. Orphans and children below puberty that were taken from their parents were transported to Nova Australia or to Fort Wilhelm to be raised in state run orphanages, those above were sent to state run boarding schools designed to weed out troublemakers and instill loyalty to the new government. Propaganda campaigns were also used extensively to encourage loyalty to the Empire.
For the first decade, no form of resistance more sophisticated than riots, vandalism and random assassinations and muggings were employed. These actions got more sophisticated as time went on, although they were never sufficient to dislodge the Imperial Forces. On four occasions, resistance movements managed to out force the Imperial Forces from towns, the end result of all three of which was attacks from Imperial Army and re-conquest within forty eight hours. The most successful groups were those which resorted to bomb attacks and in guerrilla warfare, but automatic and bolt action firearms and explosives proved to be quite rare due to tight anti-firearms laws. Attempts by other Nova Atlanteans to raid imperial held territory were quickly dispatched. Ultimately attempts were never able to cause sufficient casualties or material sufficient to cause the Imperial Forces to abandon any area for long. At the same time, Migration from Nova Australia, integration programs and the imposition of Imperial Culture upon the conquered territories gradually allowed for the Assimilation of the conquered peoples into Imperial Culture while police forces took over the job of keeping law and order from the military.
In 1477, the newly crowned Empress Yuriko-II set out to finish what her father had begun and prepared the Empire to begin the final conquest of Nova Atlantis. Over first four years she raised an additional 75,000 soldiers (some 30,000 of which being Nova Atlantis born) to supplement the 20,000 already in existence and prepared to embark upon a new campaign of conquest. At the same time in shipyards in orbit of New Australia to provide the foundation for a growing interplanetary space-fleet. Not only were new troopships being built, but a large civilian fleet was being assembled as well. This was coupled with training a force of spacers, with the most experienced crews and commanders being given joint ownership contracts on their spacecraft to rapidly create a healthy private sector of space travel.
The first stage of this was a series of hard strikes against every major port city on the planet using armored dropships to deliver soldiers and men. Within 24 hours all naval powers were conquered and a buildup of supplies supplied from Fort Wilhelm allowed for pushes inland. Once again, armies that opposed were cut down, although a few minor technical developments (most of which being traced back to smuggled equipment and designs from imperial held territory) and strategic adjustments did increase casualties. To supplement the forces and to reduce the risk of over-extension, several prominent local rulers were aligned with, given access to modern weaponry while being played against their enemies in exchange for fidelity to their new Emperor and control of the Territory of their enemies. The conquest of Nova Atlantis was completed and the entire Star System was unified under the banner of the Novan Empire, while giving the Empire some 15 million new subjects.
The inhabited zones were divided up into new Feudal domains and the ranks of the Nobility increased in size four fold afterwards. As earlier, shortly after conquest industrialization programs were instituted, this time the process being faster due to the fact that their was already numerous factories and mining complexes on the planet’s surface to support this expansion. Large areas of the planet were declared nature sanctuaries to preserve sections of the native ecosystem, but Yuriko did have one major development to do. From 1485 to 1490 in the tropical Lake Margules was erected a new city to serve as an administrative center of the Empire, a planned city of canals, gardens and elegant art-deco, neoclassical and Japanese inspired buildings built in a radial pattern around 500 meter tall skyscraper. This pristine city was known as Atlantium and was to become the Imperial Capital of the Planet.
The Golden Age
Over a period of fifty years, the Industrialization process of Nova Atlantis proceeded smoothly. While there was some issues that emerged (most notably a class difference between the Nova Atlanteans and Nova Australians due to the educational gap inherent in absorbing such a large number of people into the general populace) and their were a few minor uprisings, all conflicts were easily put down by Police and the Imperial Army and Gendarme. The result was a period of peace and prosperity that lasted for nearly six centuries. Immigration of Nova Atlanteans to Nova Australia was common place from 1500 to 1650, eventually achieving a population ratio of one Nova Australian for every three Nova Atlanteans that remains the case to the present. A period of system-wide development began in 1550, with outposts and minor settlements being established across the Herschel system.
The Golden age was notable for seeing the rise of Imperial High culture, spurred by a good section of the Nobility who desired to create a lasting impression. Artistry, Music, Architecture and Philosophy thrived. Atlantium was used as a template, leading to the rise of the Atlantean school of architecture, with elegant Radial complexes of buildings of mixed background architecturally arranged ringed tiers of canals with foot (and occasionally rail) bridges leading to a single central spire becoming a common sight, mostly manifesting in Estates of the Nobility but also notably in parks and high end apartment blocks. At the same time poverty was minimized through a variety of state welfare programs and while some resentment between the Nobility and the commoners cropped upped, there were few social concerns of note.
During this time, a spiritual development happened in the Empire, for the most part subconsciously to the political whims of the Commons, Nobility and Emperor. In this period was completed a transition phase in religious developments through a period of Imperialization. This process had been ongoing from the establishment of the colony on Nova Australia, as the Religious communities shaped themselves around the Monarchy due to reflections of popular opinion and both conscious and sub-conscious attempts by church hierarchies to curry favor with the monarch. In times of conquest, this manifested itself as reflecting nationalism and in support for government and the objectives and as the influences spread and the strict and authoritarian occupation governments on Nova Atlantis, this point was finally driven home. While freedom of religion was allowed as a general principle, those sects which posed violent threats were hunted down and their priests, through various means, were hunted down and silenced. Those sects on Nova Atlantis that endured did so by either embracing the monarchy or by putting up a façade that they did, one which was eventually cultivated into fact over generations of existing under the empire. The end result of which was that every major faith that remained in the Empire by about 1800 had incorporated the Novan monarchy into part of their theology and while the throne never officially recognized it, all of them, from Novan Islam to Novan Shinto gave their own personnel validation.
The early FTL era
The most important development, how ever came from out of system. In 1853, information came into the Empire in regards to the discoveries of String physicist Mai Xijin (Nüwa, 47 Ursae Majoris), with repeatable experiments. This information was considered to be one of the most important discoveries in Human history, as what it did was proved that there was a way around the speed of light through firing a stream of particles through hyperspace. This got the Empire interested in this development and pressed resources into evaluation and research. However, they were to be outpaced by other nations closer to the cradle of Human Civilization.
The first successful (not extruded as a light minute long trail of radiation and mono-atomic dust) Hyperdrive equipped spacecraft (the Future) was built in 1943 by Artemis Shipyards in orbit of Eden (Epsilon Eridani III), which traveled at a real-space relative speed of 50c for a distance of a light month before returning to real space and making a homeward jump. Soon afterwards, a small fleet of interstellar courier ships had established contact with the rest of the oldest systems calmed by mankind. The council of Eden had high hopes of establishing permanent friendly relations with its close interstellar neighbors while engaging in interstellar trade (which really began around 1970). However, things did not unfold as planned as the success of the first hyper capable space craft prompted other nations into crash development programs to remove the gap. In 1979, the Olympus Mons Treaty Alliance (OMTA) launched the Saraswati, followed by the Nova Terran Valkyrie and the Nuwa’s Xijin in 1985 and the rest of the star systems of old systems over the next hundred years, either through their own development programs or being given by those which did in a new form of interstellar power plays. Politically, seven major power blocks emerged during this time in the early colonized planets. This also brought about a new problem, as FTL drives not only made interstellar trade possible and practical, but also interstellar war. There were some who advocated space militarization and the emergence of space piracy around the year 2000, which led to the creation of a few small navies, although fears of an arms race would prevent largescale militarization for nearly a century until a major threat emerged.
In 2023, Eden made a political agreement with the Dominion of Foundation, a militaristic autocratic state that came to power through a war of global domination four centuries beforehand, providing them with Hyperdrive capabilities in exchange for being part of a Political Alliance. However, after 5 years of construction and development the Foundationites began work on an ambitious project as their orbital shipyards, constructing a large number of hyper capable craft, many of them being effectively freighters, but also a fleet of Hyper Capable warships. In 2035, the Foundationites launched operation Icarus against a nearby system containing the planet Brahma, swiftly destroying any resistance in space before forcing surrender and eventually landing an occupation force of some 2.5 million soldiers while engaging in an industrialization program. The result of this move was a crash militarization by the other powers to deal with this threat. A second Foundationite assault was launched against New America two years latter, but was quickly dislodged from the system at the Battle of New America by a joint fleet. The Foundationites were not yet defeated, and deployed what remained of their fleet to engage in harassment missions against the allied supply lines. Over the next three years there were four major fleet battles, with the Foundationites managing to inflict significant losses despite having a smaller fleet before they eventually surrendered in 2039.
Afterwards, new political climate between the nations grew less friendly. No nation engaged in de-militarization after the war and tensions built, coming mainly from resentment towards Eden for giving Hyperdrive Technology the Foundationites in Power games and from a newly emergent political theory known as Solarism, which stated that the Solar Powers should rule the extra solar colonies. An increase in space piracy post war did not help matters, which led to a risky move in which Eden gave a group of anti-Nuwa rebels in one of their allied nations a frigate to harass shipping with. This action eventually led to war between Nuwa and Eden fought in their allied states in 2053, which further grew to encompass star systems as they made power plays, conquering various allied worlds as well as making the occasional move against the Home Systems. Thus began a cycle of ongoing wars and cold wars between the various old system powers that continues to this day.
A notable by product of these military conflicts was that of an interstellar exodus for the older colonies. Starting around 2075, numerous star ships carried millions of refugees made their way from the cradle of mankind towards to the latter colonized worlds. Amongst the star systems targeted by this period of development was the Herschel System, starting with the arrival of the Mandate of Heaven in 2079. Due to the distance it still took in the area of one and a half to two years to go from the inner systems to Herschel and as such a fair number of trips were one way shots by desperate refugees searching for a safe haven. As Herschel was particularly well developed for a star system at this distance, a fair number of craft arrived and several simply stayed in system. In 2080, Emperor Nikolai-XIII managed to acquire one of these starships and had it dissected, while hiring whatever foreigner had knowledge with Hyperdrives in order to devise and develop their own hyper drives in a crash development project named the Ericson Program. This yielded results with the creation of the Sergei Maksutov in 2092. At the same time began a period of militarization for defensive purposes, with numerous orbital fortresses and the creation of the Imperial Navy for defensive purposes. At the same time, a set of explorer craft were dispatched analyze the surrounding inhabited systems in 2095 as the Empire’s first interstellar envoys.
These explorations confirmed that the Terran colonies within a sphere of roughly 50 LY from Herschel were in comparison to the Novan Empire to be rather backwards. This was not totally unexpected, given that Herschel had two habitable planets and a head start in the area of centuries over most of them, providing not only a surplus of living space but incentive to develop space industry. Several worlds had even regressed to pre-industrial levels for various reasons, like the original Nova Altantean Colony did during the Disintegration Wars. Even in the systems with some degree of space capacity, they simply could not match the scale of operations that existed in Herschel.
The sudden arrival of Hyperdrive and the knowledge of the ongoing state of war in the inner systems drew heavily on the elderly Emperor Nikolai-XIII and much debate ran through the nobility and the common people on what was to be done. It was not until after Nikolai’s death and the ascension of Empress Susan-IX to the throne in 2097. With this, she prepared the creation of a large-scale fleet and the creation of a large army. Spearheaded by propaganda campaigns about the establishment of a defensive empire over the nearby worlds and offering the reward of Noble titles to common people and the chance for promotions to the existing houses, the plan was carried out under a large scale militarization effort.
In 2102, the first fleet was dispatched to the nearest inhabited star system some nine light years from Herschel and launched an invasion upon the planet of Themyscira (see history of Themyscira for further details), quickly conquering the industrial civilizations that had arose on the planet and assuming imperial authority despite considerable resistance posed by “anti-patriarchy” militias afterwards. Over the next twenty years, eight more systems would be conquered and occupied swiftly with at best marginal defense. The general policy of conquest was simple. After the destruction of any space based resistance (which was at best marginal), park a fleet in planetary orbit and demand a planetary surrender. If they stand down, land an occupation force. If they don't obliterate any weapons systems that pose a threat to troop deployments and tht fleet if they don't and then land an occupation foce. Rebellion has never been too much of a concern due to the orbital firepower which can be brought down by even a modest defensive satellite network (even according to ToS rules of engagement) and there was little given by the threats of planet based terrorists.
In order to get the most out of the new conquests as soon as practical these systems were industrialized through various programs, with imperial industrial equipment and specialists being brought in to develop these systems. Hundreds of new Noble houses were created in the process from officers and Industrialists at this time and Susan-IX was hailed as “the true successor of Wilhelm the Conqueror” in this period of expansion. Pirate activity began to be a threat to Interstellar commerce in 2120, but a comparatively minor naval expansion managed to keep pirate activity under control. The first major battle the Imperial Navy fought was the battle of San Dorado, between the 3rd Fleet under Lord Admiral Stefanos Xitao and the San Dorado joint navy under the command of Marshall Defender Jason Gottfried in 2132. Official Diplomatic relations by the thirteen system strong Empire and the old system powers began in 2143 which was of sufficient size and distance from these powers to remain out of their power games directly (as had several other star nations at this point), and eventually signed neutrality pacts with all of them as well as signing up on the rules of warfare outlined by the Treaty of Sol to get international approval.
The Response to Novan Expansionism and the first Novan War
As the Novan Empire expanded its territory and built up its industrial base, it had a distinct effect on the other nearby systems, especially as interstellar courier services became more reliable. Most notable amongst these inhabited systems being Marx, Speranza and Hubbardia, as well as the Four Founding systems of the Commonwealth of Democratic Worlds. Starting around 2145, these nations began to engage in military expansion in order to obtain vassal worlds (under various political guises) in an attempt to gain resources and manpower to prevent the threat of subjugation by the Novans.
The First military confrontation between the Novan Empire and these powers was the Andromeda Incident in 2213. Despite being cautious of the long term concerns involving Political contact was established between the CDS and the Empire, with the Andromeda system being designated by both as neutral territory that would have its independence recognized by both governments in the Treaty of Andromeda (2187). However, starting around 2205 the CDS (as well as the Interstellar Protectorate and the Union of Free Socialist Worlds), desiring to weaken the Empire used Andromeda as a Port of Call for Privateers to harass internal commerce and eventually get them into a position where preferable treaties could be made to better ensure security for the future.
In this plan, dummy corporations based in the Neutral system were to make frequent deals with raiders given Letters of Marque (mostly bringing in raider crews from various areas of Terran Space but also freeing imprisoned raiders), buying stolen goods raided from Imperial shipping. The Protectorate of Andromeda was notable for having minimal Regulation to commerce and raiders often based there as well as being a commercial hub so it was believed that. Within six months of the plan, piracy had increased by some 500% along the frontier of the Empire Imperial Navy was forced to spend an increasingly large amount of effort and resources dealing with it. While the CDS was did an incredible job of covering their tracks, eventually Imperial Military intelligence managed to extract the outlines of the Plan and in 2213, an ultimatum was issued to the CDS to halt said activity, pay reparations to the Imperial Government and families of those who lost their children. After a year of non response and repeated denials to allegations, the Imperial Navy sent a fleet some 5,000 ships strong into Andromeda to end the threat.
The Andromedan Fleet, even with the aid of a surprising number of private warships with a more than unusually heavy arsenal was fairly quickly dispatched and Andromeda was occupied. On the orders of Emperor Stephen-III (which were dispatched to nearby systems), the long-term plan was not the conquest and annexation of Andromeda, but rather to end the pirate menace by dealing with those who supported pirate activity, having the local government take greater efforts in terms of monitoring commerce and making them harder on pirates and eventually withdrawing after a period of no more than six Terran months, leaving the existing government in place. This was legitimized by an article of the Treaty of Andromeda stipulating the ability to send law enforcement agencies to deal with criminals that had sought asylum on Andromeda and that any attempts to interfere with this action would lead to war.
The result of this action was war. On Faraday 15th, the CDS as well as the Domain of Liberated Mankind, the Interstellar Protectorate and the Union of Free Socialist Worlds launched a joint invasion of the Empire with a combined force of some 35,000 Warships (including some 1,200 Ships of the Wall). In four months, seven of the then thirty seven Imperial worlds were seized at minimal cost while 7,500 Imperial warships along with numerous orbital fortifications were destroyed or taken (along with over two million Imperial Navy spacers) at the loss of less than one thousand craft of their own, most of which being frigates, as well as forcing the Imperial Navy from the Andromeda system. On the home front in these systems, it was advertised that the supposedly mighty Novan Empire was a paper tiger only capable of defeating star systems that were destroyed. Meanwhile their navies prepared to strike even deeper into Imperial Space, mustering supplies and occupation forces for a thrust deeper into the heart of the Empire.
At this point, however, the Empire struck back at the invaders. The Imperial Navy dispatched fleets of Frigates and Destroyers to attack their supply lines, delaying their plans and forcing them to divert their own assets to deal with them and to bolster escorts. This harassment gave the Empire the time it needed to dig into what systems it still possessed, bolstering orbital fortifications and replacing the losses it had sustained. In the beginning of 2215, the Empire launched its first counter attack in a plan designated Operation Zhukov, sending out three strike fleets, each with 15,000 ships under the command of Admirals Fujimura, Kwaśniewski and Marcus. In a series of focused, coherent shock campaigns, they managed to break the allied fleets up and inflict crushing victories during the chaos before descending on their claimed worlds and retaking them over a period of a year and a half. During the storming of these seized planets, twenty five million prisoners of war were taken, mostly overnight despite a few Guerillas refusing to set down their weapons after a war fleet arrived in orbit.
After major allied operations had been booted out of the Empire, minor commerce raiding expeditions were sent against the allied powers, although the Empire was in little shape to press the attack any further. The allied powers had between them some 40,000 warships between them as well as numerous orbital fortifications and logistical advantages for any naval operation. As such, through diplomatic channels they finally brokered a peace treaty in 2217 with Status Quo ante Bellum being the case as far as boarders were concerned.
The age of war
Never the less, this peace was not to last, for various conflicts would continue to shape this region of space as all five nations continued to expand and continued to fight. Over the last eighty years their have been seven wars between the Novan Empire and the surrounding nations, as well as four wars between the surrounding states due to the nature of their ideologies. Systems have been exchanged from nation to nation as their navies push each other into territories and impose themselves onto the natives from orbit. This series of Cold and Hot wars is amongst the most intense in the Terran Sphere, rivaling that of the core systems in terms of scale and political entanglements.
Last edited by Zor on Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:38 am, edited 5 times in total.