Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Psi-Wars Historical Timeline III: The Rise of Humanity and the Alexian Dynasty

For those just joining us, this part of the historical timeline occurs before yesterday's timeline.

The Human Era

~800 BD Human Expansion: the First Wave (Westerly)
(200 DC Lithian; 139gc U Eldoth)

The earliest human world to develop hyperspace travel was “Old Westerly,” a world with four moons consumed by rising sea levels brought on by mismanagement of industrial resources. The Westerly people were the first to spread throughout the galaxy and they found it already occupied by aliens. Made desperate by their misfortunes and keenly aware of ecology thanks to the collapse of their own homeworld’s eco-system, they tended to settle on harsh worlds and integrated closely with it while forsaking (or losing, over the years) advanced technology in favor of simpler, more sustainable lives, or they refused to settle worlds at all, and formed roving space-caravans of asteroid miners and, when necessary, pirates. They valued survival and fierce independence above all else, making them tenacious colonists.

~300 BD Human Expansion: the Second Wave (Shinjurai)
(720 DC Lithian; 154 gc U Eldoth)

The next major wave of humanity came from the city-world of Denjuku. Unlike the Westerly, they came from a society that prized science and rationality and, indeed, this was they hey-day of Rationalism, and Rationalist sages like Tai-Sun Saga and Kun-Lun Kaku lived in this era, writing their great works and pushing their people to the stars. Their mastery of technology gave them immediate dominance over the worlds they settled and where the Westerly had to beg and struggle to find worlds to settle, the Shinjurai could afford to conquer and trade.

The Shinjurai wave followed the Westerly wave, often colonizing worlds humans had already carved out a niche on and setting themselves up as new masters, or cutting deals with alien powers to gain control over marginal worlds. The result was not a unified empire, but scattered pocket realms of the Shinjurai, each unique in its character, and open to trade with aliens, especially the Traders, who began to trade ideas with the Shinjurai, a fertile cross-pollination that resulted in rapid advancement in hyperspatial technology, hyperium fuel and the works of Trader Rationalist, Tillika. These star-nations centered on a single nexus systems, which acted as a hub of trade, and slowly grew to encompass numerous systems around them. 

Major settlements in his era include Xen and its Geno-Sages and Stanis and its Cybernetic Religion.

~100 BD Human Expansion: the Third Wave (Maradon)
(900 DC Lithian; 160 gc U Eldoth)

The last wave of humanity would prove the beginning of the end of this era. They came from the doomed world of Maradon, which would be torn apart by the wars of dominance that would eventually lead to the rise of Alexus Rex as its sole master. The increasing radiation levels released by its global war and the controversies created by the newly arising class of powerful psychics led to the flight of various factions, who turned to piracy or religion to sooth their wounded hearts. The Maradon people did not travel as far as the rest of humanity and would colonize the more complicated worlds of the Glorian Rim, such as Persephone, Caliban (though this is contentious, as it may have been settled by Westerly people first, and the current people may be a fusion of both bloodlines), Bellerphone and Zaine in the Galactic Core.

The Alexian Dynasty

21 BD to 1 AE The Rise of Alexus
(1009 to 1032 DC Lithian; 163 to 164 gc U Eldoth)

By the time “Alexus Rex,” the nigh-mythical founder of the “Eternal Empire” and the Alexian Dynasty, the Maradon people had already scattered to the stars, thanks to the nigh constant warfare on their homeworld caused by the upheaval of the advent of extraordinarily powerful psychics and nuclear war. Alexus Rex won that war and achieved dominion over his homeworld; he himself was one of these “new psychics” and he gathered about him other powerful psychics into an elite force that defeated the other forces on his world. He then turned his attention to the stars, where he had already gathered some allies, where he burst free of the Maelstrom and took the galaxy by storm with a force of arms and psychic insight not seen since the first Ranathim Tyranny and, thanks to improving hyperspatial technology, at an unparalleled pace of conquest .
  • The Akashic Prophecy: The first world Alexus sought to conquer was Persephone, home to the Akashic mystics and their famous prophecies. The world and its mystics readily surrendered to him and gave him his queen, the founder of House Sabine: Sissi Sabine. Akashic precognition would serve the Alexian warmachine thereafter.

  • The Caliban Duel: To escape the Glorian Rim with this massive fleet, Alexus Rex needed to tame Caliban. He famously dueled Lothar Kain to a standstill and offered the pirate vassalage: to serve Alexus in return for the spoils of Empire. Lothar Kain accepted and founded the House of Kain.

  • The Subjugation of the Shinjurai: The primary opponents of Alexus Rex were other humans, mainly the Shinjurai thanks to their Trader allies and their advanced technology. Nonetheless, the psychic mysteries of the Akashic mystics defeated the Rational technology of the Shinjurai and Xen was defeated (thanks to “Apex Prime,” the founder of House Apex), though Stanis, bolstered by the Hyperium Guild and the Tan-Shai family, held strong.

  • The Conquest of Chronos and the Coronotion at Sovereign: The defeat of a minor warlord on Chronos signaled the end of alien power in the Galactic Core and thus the symbolic rise of man as Galactic Conqueror. However, Chronos proved too far from the Glorian Rim, and too alien in culture, to rule from. Alexus chose instead an untouched garden world, dubbed it Sovereign and on its virgin soil, held a coronation ceremony where the head of the Akashic Order placed upon his brow the Galactic Crown, initiating the “Eternal Empire” of the Alexian Dynasty

1 AE to 476 AE The Early Dynasty
(1032 to 1521 DC Lithian; 164 to 178 gc U Eldoth)

The Early Dynasty retained the martial character of the rise of Alexus, continuing his wars of conquest across the Galaxy and bringing the rest of the Galactic Core and other parts of the Galaxy to heel.
  • The Trader Genocide: Shinjurai power could not be fully extinguished so long as the Traders held sway, and they had deep connections in the Arkhaian and Umbral Rim, and thus needed to be purged for Alexian power to continue. The war against the Traders proved one of the longer and more destructive wars of the Dynasty, culminating in the destruction of their homeworld.

  • The Treaty of Shaddai: Even without their Trader allies, the Shinjurai nations of the Arkhaian Spiral held firm against the advance of the Alexian Dynasty, thanks in no small part to the patronage of the Hyperium Guild and the Tan-Shai family. Eventually, the Alexian Dynasty offered Mythren Tan-Shai the same deal they had Lothar Kain: vassalage in return for autonomy. He accepted, and Stanis and the Kybernian Constellation joined the Dynasty under House Tan-Shai.

  •  The Westerly Rebellion: Once the Eternal Empire had subjugated all off their Shinjurai foes, with no major remaining enemies, they could turn their attention to domestic concerns, which meant raised taxes, stricter laws and a crackdown on those who did not fall in line with the Akashic Mysteries. The Westerly populations, long independent, found themselves under intense pressure and many lashed out. This proved tragic, and their populations were either wiped out or forced to migrate to the edges of Alexian control, especially in the direction of the wild and untamed Umbral Rim, where they began to settle along the edges of the Hydrus Constellation.

222 AE to 319 AE The Reign of Satra Temos (the Umbral Rim)
(1259 to 1359 DC Lithian; 171 to 174gc U Eldoth)

A new Tyrant arose in the Umbral Rim during the Early Alexian Dynasty, though this one was unlike any who had come before him. Rather than accept the symbolic, ceremonial rule of the Ozamanthimian Tyrants, a Ranathim under the psuedonym of “Satra Temos” wrote a diatribe about the weakness of his species, how masters had come to accept slavery. It became a racial call to arms, a demand that the Ranathim ascend to their rightful place rather than dully accepting what other races in the Umbral Rim gave them.

The work generated outrage, which Satra Temos channeled into dominion. He used his vast psychic powers to channel rebellion and revolt across the Umbral Rim, and he rose amidst the chaos. He never formally ruled anything, acting more like a master of a criminal syndicate centered on revolt, racial superiority, assassination and a cult of personality that arose around him. His reign of terror lasted a Lithian century when it abruptly ended, the shadowy Satra Temos simply vanishing from history without a trace and his dominion collapsed quickly. His legacy would carry on, however, as his disciples carried his lessons and began to build their own structures of conspiratorial power that would culminate in the Shadow Tyranny two hundred years later.

476 AE to 959 AE The Middle Dynasty (“the High Gothic period”)
(1521 to 2019 DC Lithian; 178 to 194 gc U Eldoth)

A succession crisis within the Alexian Dynasty rocks the House of Alexus and forces them to give concessions to prevent civil war. This era sees the slow down of the Alexian war machine, the shift of the Alexian Dynasty to a more ritualistic rule, one where the Emperor rarely leaves the gardens of Sovereign, and where the heads of the various Houses begin to take on a greater role. The era sees an explosion of culture and ornately beautiful armor as military arms begin to take on a more ceremonial role.
  • The Succession Crisis: the proliferation of the Alexian line led to lesser siblings being married into families or given minor titles meant that numerous families scattered across the Empire had some claim to the Alexian throne and so when an Alexian Emperor died without an heir, civil war nearly erupted until wiser heads prevailed and a successor was properly chosen from a close branch of the Dynasty.

  • The Rise of the Houses: The chaos of the succession crisis forced concessions from the Dynasty to their vassal lords. The various houses, while founded in previous eras, took on a form more familiar to the modern galaxy and had a far greater measure of autonomy as the Alexian Emperors became relegated to a more ceremonial role as a “Font of Honors” and the stamp of legitimacy upon the actions of the Houses.

  • The Reign of the Nameless Emperor: Curious records associated with the succession crisis show signs of a data purge surrounding one of the rulers of the Alexian Dynasty. He seems to have been the Emperor during the time of the succession crisis, either a short-lived usurper, a compromise candidate later rejected, or the rightful heir deposed and then his reign covered up. He seems to have laid the ground work for some of the advances and techniques used later by Lucian Alexus to solidify his power.

  • The Reign of Tanaquil Alexus: Considered the most exemplary Empress of the era, Tanaquil Alexus proved a deeply philosophical ruler whose reign laid out the rules and expectations of the Houses and the forms of etiquette expected of those who attended the Alexian court. She also penned substantial works on the Akashic Mysteries, still used to this day by the aristocracy.

  • The False Oracles and the House of Bastards: The Akashic Order’s image of perfection took a blow during the succession crisis and the rising power of the aristocratic houses made the lords less inclined to blindly follow Akashic oracles. Furthermore, as the lines of what was socially acceptable became more clearly defined, people needed to turn elsewhere for their more illicit needs, and so a trade in self-serving prophecies began to arise, with Akashic-trained Oracles offering their assistance directly to the ambition of houses, and the bastards and illicit servants of the aristocracy coming together into an informal organization known as “the House of Bastards.”

  • The Conquest of the Hydrus Constellation: As it winded down, the Alexian warmachine did still manage to conquer the gateway into the Umbral Rim, ending a long period of Keleni independence. House Elegans, who had spearheaded the conquest, were given command of the region, and they ruled with a light hand, allowing the unique practices of the local Keleni and Westerly populations to remain unchecked.

  • The Preaching of Isa the Exile: Integrated once more into a greater galactic community, some Keleni began to move about the population, preaching a unique form of Communion open to all species. The most famous of these preachers was the saintly Isa the Exile, who would be mysteriously martyred (some blame the Akashic Order or Keleni traditionalists, but a Ranathim assassin seems the most likely case). This lead to the widespread belief in True Communion throughout the Dynasty (but especially in the area bordering the Umbral Rim) and the undermining of many of the ideas and ideals of the Akashic Mysteries.

~500 AE to 1300 AE The Shadow Tyranny (the Umbral Rim)
(1546 to 2371 DC Lithian; 179 to 204 gc U Eldoth)

During this era, the Umbral Rim sees a slow, but distinct, shift in the institutions of political power. While still highly fractious and balkanized, the warlords, pirates and criminal organizations begin to fall in line behind a mysterious “Circle of Tyrants.” According to the lore of the era, these Tyrants were powerful psychic masters who followed the teachings of Satra Temos and ruled from behind puppets and catspaws, using manipulation and fear as their main levers of power. Definitely during this era, the various warlords of the Umbral Rim were able to set aside their differences long enough to make organized pushes, especially against the Temple Worlds, seizing it from the Dynasty, then losing it in the Communion Crusade, and then waging a secret war with the Templar, who eventually won and broke the Circle of Tyrants, but not before they had corrupted the promising Revalis White and dealt the Templars a serious blow, leading to their dissolution at the end of the Alexian Dynasty.

959 AE to 1359 AE The End of the Dynasty (“the Communion War”)
(2019 to 2432 DC Lithian; 194 to 206 gc U Eldoth)

Decadence and corruption dominated the end of the Alexian Dynasty, as well as a reaction to that corruption in the form of the rise of the Knights of Communion, the masters of the Temple Worlds, the Space Templars. The reign of the Mad Emperor Lucian Alexus and his war on the Templars, the Communion War, would see the end of both the Templars and the Alexian Dynasty.
  • The Loss of the Hydrus Constellation: the churning forces and mini-empires of the Umbral Rim managed to re-capture the Hydrus Constellation, enslaving many Keleni and humans alike and desecreting the Temple Worlds. The Alexian Dynasty did nothing, as the worlds proved too troublesome to hold and the Dynasty had turned inward at this point.

  • The Communion Crusade: Dissatisfied with the lack of Alexian response, True Communion adherents such as the Westerly mercenary Pagan Hue, the space knight Troy Elegans, and the True Communion preacher An-Kellun Arrenon, took it upon themselves to stage a war to reclaim the Hydrus constellation. Former space knights joined forces with Westerly mercenaries gathered arms and took the Constellation themselves.

  • The Temple Worlds restored: The Communion Crusades left the Hydrus Constellation in the hands of humans faithful to True Communion. Rather than return the Constellation to the Alexian Dynasty, they declared their independence, recreating the Keleni Temple Worlds in their own image. Where space knights had ruled the Alexian Dynasty, now the Knights of Communion ruled and guarded the Temple Worlds with their own unique brand of True Communion, which welcomed all species and all adherents regardless of station. They proved a resilient and powerful state, one which troubled the decaying Alexian Dynastry and the Akashic Order with their “subversive” rhetoric.

  • The Reign of Mad Emperor Lucian Alexus: The decadence of the aristocracy allowed for the Alexian Dynasty to begin to regather power. Secretive technological projects begun by the “Nameless Emperor” culminated in the creation of “Immortal” armor and advanced fighters both capable of sustaining their occupants indefinitely and enforcing total loyalty to the will of the Alexian Dynasty. Using these, Lucian Alexus was able to break out of the cage of ceremony and ritual long imposed on the Dynasty and directly enforce his will upon the Galaxy, upending centuries of tradition and power by bringing in new houses, like Tan-Shai
  • The Revalis Heresy: One of the most powerful and influential Templars, now called Revalis White, broke from True Communion to side with the lurking influence of the Cult of the Mystical Tyrant, still alive in the Umbral Rim. His unique take on both philosophies created a rift within the Templars.

  • The Communion War: Lucian Alexus declared war on the Temple Worlds, initiating the Communion War. This resulted, swiftly, in his death at the hands of Jax Elegans but culminated in the rebellion of the Houses against his rule, the dissolution of the Templars and the loss of the Temple Worlds as a distinct entity, and ended at last the Alexian Dynasty.

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