Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Psi-Wars Historical Timeline IV: The Ranathim Tyranny

For those just joining us, these events occur before yesterday's post.

The Ranathim Tyranny

~3000 to 2500 BD The Reign First Tyranny (The Galaxy)
(~2060 to 1550 BDC Lithian; ~70 to 85gc U Eldothic)

At the end of the Monolith War, the Ranathim Tyranny found itself in control of a powerful military, including secret access to the Deep Engine, war machines crafted of synthetic flesh and raging berserkers empowered by Dark Communion and the first psi-swords. The rest of the Galaxy hailed the Ranathim as heroes, and while they hated the bizarre experiments and otherworldliness of their Eldothic overlords, much of the Galaxy had come to depend on the trade routes created by the Eldothic Empire, which the Ranathim Tyranny essentially inherited. Thus began the rule of the first Galactic Tyranny. As with the Eldothic Empire, this was limited to the Arkhaian Spiral, the Umbral Rim, and the Galactic Core.
  • The Refugee Crisis: The Ranathim allowed scattered populations to return to their homeworlds, which made them very popular with races like the Keleni, but caused friction with races that had taken up those new areas. The great movement of peoples across the galaxy created a great deal of tension.

  • Ranathim Decadence: The Ranathim perched atop a galaxy-spanning empire, and no longer had to fight a war to access spoils. Slowly, the tough leadership of the Tyranny began to soften into decadence and corruption and officials used their position to access the most succulent of slaves or to line their pockets or gain false prestige by conquering some minor alien race.

  • Proliferation of Cults: The tension of the various cults within the Tyranny never really resolved during the existential crisis of the Monolith War, and those tensions grew greater as a pan-galactic exchange of ideas led to more and more cults, all with conflicting perspectives on similar ideas.

  • Eldothic Vengeance: The Eldothic Empire may have been destroyed, bu the Eldoth themselves proved extremely difficult to kill, thanks to their regeneration sarcophagi and the hidden power of their Deep Engine. Eldothic agents began to spread poisoned secrets, foment rebellion and draw in the corrupt and decadent with promises of occult power. They then turned these agents against the Tyranny, assassinating major officials and spreading disinformation and chaos.

  • The Rise of the Inquisition: The Tyrant, frustrated by heretical cults, Eldothic saboteurs and mass population movements, began to crack down on his own Empire. Once hailed as heroes, the Ranathim now deployed the very oppression that the Eldoth had represented.

  • Revolution: The inquisition did little to slow the crack-up of the Tyranny, and revolts began to spread as isolated alien populations or trade networks sought independence from the leash of Ranathim slavery.

~2500 to 2100 BD The Broken Tyranny (The Galaxy)
(~2060 to 1650 BDC Lithian; ~85 to 98gc U Eldothic)

Eldothic Sabotage, revolts, internal dissension, palace coups and religious wars finally tore the Tyranny apart. A Rump state remained in the Umbral Rim, and it ostensibly still ruled over the entire extent of the Empire, with many warlords “ruling in its name,” but in practice, the Tyranny no longer had the military might to express its power and will. It became a largely ceremonial and religious institution while Trader Caravans, Gaunt remnants, Ranathim pirate lords, Keleni tribal kings and insurgent cults divided the empire among them. Still, the idea of the Mystical Tyrant remained a potent force.

2100-1000 BD The Second Tyranny (The Galaxy)
(1147 BDC to 1 DC Lithian; 98 to 132gc U Eldothic)

A new Mystical Tyrant dynasty arose, almost certainly under the leadership of Ozamanthim (whether this was Ozamanthim the First or Ozamanthim the Second is a point of historical contention). Under his leadership, the Cult of the Mystical Tyrant took true shape as a force of cynical imperial power. He created the Divine Masks system as a way of soothing internal tension and creating tighter bonds of empire. He used force to regain his empire, but he cemented the Tyranny with social and religious bonds that allowed everyone within the Tyranny to interact. Even so, he was never able to truly regain all of the Ranathim former holdings in the Arkhaian Spiral or in the Galactic Core closest to the Glorian and Sylvan rims.
  • The Spread of the Divine Masks: The idea of all cults unified spread like wildfire through the empire. For older cults, nothing changed, but younger cults sprang up on the nexus between cults. “Navare” healers began to spring up as ecumenical religious practices that allowed numerous lesser aliens to find a place for their own traditions and taboos. “Zathare” sorcerors began to look at the cults across the Tyranny as a source for occult truths, including the forbidden secrets of the Eldoth.

  • New Alien Powers: The interregnum had given new alien races a chance to spread and gain influence. This era sees the first mention of the Asrathi as gladiatorial slaves and pleasure slaves, and the Slavers as sport (hunted by Ranathim lords), gladiatorial slaves and, eventually, accountants and courtly advisors. This era also sees the first official contact between the Tyranny and the Mug when the Draco Cluster leaves eclipse in 2021 BDC. This results in an early war between the Tryanny and the Mug which the Tyranny won, and the Mug thereafter engaged in trade, especially for slaves and technology.

  • Eldothic Experimentation and the Awakening of the Adversary: Despite the dire warnings of Domen Khemet, the Ranathim Death-Cult who protected the Ranathim from the “Dead Gods” left over from the Eldothic depredations of the Galaxy, “Zathare” sorcerers experimented with Eldothic secrets in an effort to rekindle the wonders of the first tyranny. In so doing, they may have unlocked some of the safeguards placed over Adverserial or Corrupt powers, or may have played into the hands of a few immortal Eldothic agents. In any case, many of these expeditions end in silence, with their participants never heard from again.

1000 BD The Dark Cataclysm (The Umbral Rim)
(1 DC Lithian; 132gc U Eldothic)

Something causes the home-star of the Ranathim to go super-nova. In so doing, it creates a black-hole around which the shattered remnant of the Ranathim homeworld circles, now called “Styx.” The death of Styx triggers a cataclysm of hyperspatial storms and reshapes the hyperspatial routes of the Umbral Rim, and spreads a great nebula across the rim called the Umbral Veil, giving the arm its name.

-1000 BD to 500 BD The Splintering and the Third Tyranny (The Umbral Rim)
(1 DC to 500 DC Lithian; 132 to 148gc U Eldoth)

The Dark Cataclysm severs the Tyranny’s ability to control the full extent of its territory, and it promptly collapses practically overnight. The Mug manage to plunder numerous worlds of the Umbral Rim, forcing client races like the Slaver to isolate and protect themselves. The Traders form new trade ties in the Galactic Core, and the Ranathim Tyranny splinters into several fragments, as none can rule from the homeworld: one centers on Chronos in the Galactic Core (heavily Trader influenced), one from Rath in the Sanguine Stars (heavily Slaver influenced) and one from Sarai in the Corvus constellation (beset by the Mug (who invaded between 27 DC and 227 DC), and considered by historians to be the primary “legitimate” successor state).

None of these survive longer than 300 years before various succession crises or rising warlords force these too into collapse. The galactic core churns with instability until all vestiges of Ranathim power have faded, leaving only pirates, aliens and, especially, Traders. Ranathim power lasts a little longer in the Umbral Rim before it too splinters.

This era is concurrent with the spread of humanity, and the records of the first human slaves show up in Ranathim court records, all of Westerly stock.

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