Terrans in the Greater MagellanicCloud

Terran Humans first reached the Greater Magellanic Cloud in 501T, whenAmon Diska discovered the first stable wormhole at Gateway {Nixon 2332}.The wormhole lead to Breakout {Newlands 0720}, the first system to havebeen seen by the Terrans in the Cloud. However Diska and subsequent explorerswere faced by a mystery; there were already Humans in the Cloud. Just 8parsecs from Breakout they found Ewolsf {Yumacuza 3121} and its nativeHuman inhabitants. Further exploration found more and more Human inhabitedworlds. The mystery deepened with the discovery of the Ulkoyo world (arace believed to be native to the Milky Way) of Ayoulka {Newlands 1436}.The current theory is that the Sidhe either discovered or manufacturedthe wormhole and transported Humans and Ulkoyo to the Cloud. One of theseHuman races (the Efrip) had discovered jump drive around -1200T and establishedan empire which lasted for about 800 years before it collapsed for reasonsas yet not fully explained.

The Imperial Period

Early exploration of the Cloud was fraught with danger due to the Dkaraleffect on ships when attempting to transit the wormhole. It was 10 yearsbefore the construction of the Yumazaca gates at both ends of the wormholeneutralised the Dkaral effect; and the first major colonisation effortwas launched in 511T, with colonies being established at Breakout, Lazarus,Nemesis and Waverley. With the perfection of the second generation Yumazacagates in 527T transiting the wormhole became virtually risk free and colonisationincreased rapidly. By the year 700T it was estimated that there were some190 billion Terrans living in the Cloud.

Colonisation and exploration of the Cloud continued until about 1100Tand the last organised group of colonists (refugees from the civil wars)from the Milky Way arrived in 1264T. In 546 Empress Paula III allowed agroup of refugee Jneril to settle in the clouds. These were followed bymore Jneril and in 559T the first of a relatively large number of Dk’arekcolonists also crossed over into the Cloud. This was to spark a restiveperiod of tensions and minor conflicts (collectively termed "the AlienCampaigns") within the Cloud. This unrest lead Empress Cloe II to issuethe Gateway edict in 624T; this banned further non-Human colonisation ofthe Cloud and severely restricted the non-humans already in the Cloud.The edict was backed up with major military campaign to crush any opposition;and this resulted in the first real imposition of Imperial authority inthe Cloud. These suppressions lasted until 647T and while the Gateway edictwas rescinded by her successor, Emperor Arthur V in 689T; Non-human migrationwas never again to play the same role in the colonisation of the Cloudand Imperial control (while never strong) was not to be disputed untilthe civil wars.

In 632T the first contact was made with the Second Akhrini Commonality,an Efrip successor state encompassing about two sectors. Tensions betweenthe Terrans and the Commonality over continued Terran expansion lead toa series of wars which lasted from 647T (the start of the First AkhriniWar) until 1141T (the end of the Sixth Akhrini War). While relations betweenthe two states was always to remain strained, further conflict was to beaverted until the collapse of the Terran Empire. After the Empires collapse,the fragmented nature of their society prevented them from taking largescale advantage of the Terrans misfortune. They absorbed several borderworlds, but in 1168T the Commonality disintegrated in a civil war whichlast 200 years and their civilisation was devastated as thoroughly as thatof the Terrans.

The Empires collapse began in 1032T with Empress Cloe VI’s disputedsuccession. This directly caused the long series of civil wars which wouldeventually rip the Empire apart. Initially the civil strife had littleeffect on the cloud, but in 1128T Admiral Zharkov withdrew the bulk ofthe Imperial forces from the cloud to support his claim to the throne.Almost immediately order began to breakdown. Without Imperial ships patrollingthe spacelanes, piracy started to increase and planets started to lookto their own resources to survive. The Sixth Akhrini War (1135T to 1141T)forced the Empire to return some forces to the Cloud, but this could onlyhope to slow the collapse. In 1161T the Dk’arek worlds around Khaask revolted,starting the Khaask War (1161T to 1164T). The Empires defeat in this warlead directly to a series of revolts and rebellions, which the Empire wasunable to put down. By 1269T the Empires control had been reduced to elevenworlds within six parsecs of Breakout. In 1272T the Yumazaca gate at Gatewaycollapsed and all communications between the Cloud and the Milky Way ceased.The few remaining Imperial forces in the Cloud gathered around Breakoutand attempted to survive as best they could.

The Second Dark Age Period

The early years after the collapse were a time of crisis. Raiders struckat the rump of the Imperial holdings and one by one the surviving Imperialworlds were lost until by 1314T only Breakout remained. Breakout struggledto survive; the Viceroys played the Raiders and petty successors off againstone another and managed to retain a starfaring technological base. Thefirst turning point is generally agreed to have occurred in 1331T whenViceroy Robert III established the Phoenix Project. Several very simpleand rugged types of starships were designed; and the Imperial MagellanicScout Corp (IMSC) (formal name "Imperial Terran Scout Service, MagellanicCorp") was organised from the surviving Imperial Terran Scout Service personnelwho had remained in the Cloud after the collapse of the wormhole.

Initially the Phoenix Project had little or no effect and the formerImperial territories slipped into a Dark Age of barbarism. By 1432T interstellarcommunications had all but ceased; only 3 former Imperial worlds stillretained the capacity to construct starships. It is estimated that therewere less than 100 working Terran starships in the Cloud at this time.It is then that the Phoenix Project started to make a real impact. Initiallyits impact was limited to the region around Breakout. By 1587T Imperialcontrol had been reestablished over all of the Breakout cluster (the coreworlds of what would latter be the Principality of Breakout). At this pointViceroy Colin III changed the aim of the Phoenix Project from reestablishingImperial control to reestablishing some form of Interstellar civilisation.Phoenix design ships were produced in quantity and made available to privateindividuals; and the IMSC started with the task of ensuring that an adequatenumber of worlds had the technology to maintain and construct starships.

The Diadochi Period

Phoenix ships ranged far and wide and the IMSC disseminated technologyas best it could. Gradually interstellar communication and commerce startedto increase; and in 1839T the first of the Diadochi states (the FaorinConfederation) was formed, encompassing five worlds centred on Faorin [ThePrincipality of Breakout is not usually considered to be a Diadochi state,as there was no break in the functioning of Imperial bureaucracy on Breakout].The next 300 years saw more Diadochi states come into existence and in2127T Viceroy Henry IV proposed the Babylon Accords. Most of the Diadochistates and independent worlds in the Newlands and Yumazaca sectors accededto these over the next 180 years. The Babylon Accords formed a very looseinterstellar government. The signatories acknowledged theoretical fealtyto the Terran Emperor or Empress (the Empire still being regarded withgreat awe and respect) and agreed for the Viceroy to act for the Emperoror Empress until contact with the Milky Way could be reestablished. In2132T the Imperial Magellanic Assembly on Babylon {Yumazaca 2517} was established.Consisting of representatives from all states acknowledging fealty to theEmpire. It was to act as an advisory body to the Viceroy concerning Imperialmatters. In practice the Viceroy can not act without approval from themajority of the Magellanic Assembly and the Imperial Diadochi states retainmuch effective independence. The system can best be described as a veryloose feudal state, akin to 12th and 13th century France.

The first threat to the Magellanic Empire came in 2197T. During thepreceding 25 years the IMSC had re-established the J-2 route across theDiska Rift and started recontact with the worlds beyond. It was here thatthey encountered the Mwoah. The Mwoah are a major race descended from herbivore/intermittentstock native to the Cloud. The Mwoah had discovered jump drive in 1678Tand had formed an interstellar state (the Mwoah Unity) encompassing abouthalf a sector and were starting to expand into the former Terran coloniesbeyond the Diska Rift. In 2197T the Mwoah launched a campaign to ejectthe Magellanic Empire from beyond the Diska Rift starting the First MwoahWar.

The war went badly for the Terrans. Despite possessing a clear technologicaladvantage and theoretical numerical advantage, the Imperial Diadochi refusedto commit significant forces to the prosecution of the war. This forcedViceroy Alethea III to conduct the war with inadequate forces. These wererestricted to: the IMSC, such forces as she could spare from the Principalityof Breakout and cajole from the Imperial Diadochi, whatever mercenary forcescould be afforded, and the few local forces which could be raised frombeyond the Diska Rift. Naturally these were insufficient for the task required.By mid 2204T the Mwoah had ejected the Terrans from beyond the rift andcontinued the campaign across the J-2 route. The Rift campaign was thehardest fought of the war. The Terrans fought desperately for each world,but by late 2205T the Mwoah had forced their way to Gibraltar {Newlands3235} at the Imperial end of the J-2 route and were threatening Imperialterritory. Finally the Imperial Diadochi took some notice and significantforces were made available. The siege of Gibraltar lasted until 2207T andexhausted the Mwoah ability to continue the war. A peace treaty was arranged;and the war ended with the Terrans still in possession of Gibraltar, thoughall the worlds beyond that were placed in the Mwoah sphere of influence.

In 2209T the Mwoah started to colonise Gibraltar’s distant companion,naming it Orabow. Though this was a clear violation of the Treaty of Lorienwhich ended the war and a definite threat, the Terrans could respond withnothing stronger than terse diplomatic protests. It was quite clear thatthe Magellanic Empire lacked the military strength to do anything morethan this.

In response to the defeat in the First Mwoah War and the humiliationof the Orabow incident, the Magellanic Assembly finally agreed to the formationof a structure to coordinate the defence of Imperial territory. In 2214Tthe Imperial Magellanic Navy and Marines (formal names: "The MagellanicDivision, Imperial Terran Navy" and "The Magellanic Division, ImperialTerran Marines") were formed. Initially these were simply administrativeorganisations to provide a higher command structure and coordinate cooperationand standardisation between the various Imperial Diadochi states. Howeverin 2228T a system was established whereby a small number of Diadochi unitswere seconded to the Navy and Marines on a rotating basis, to provide aready reaction force on the border. This system was further expanded in2231T when the two surviving Imperial units still in the Cloud (the KingCharles III Squadron and the Albion Marine Legion) were transferred fromthe Principality of Breakout to Imperial command. This state of affairsremained unaltered until the Second Mwoah War.

The Mwoah spent the period after the war slowly conquering and absorbingmany of the worlds now within their sphere of control. However in 2293Tthey launched a campaign to conquer the Jneril world of Hrali {Newlands3231}. Despite this being within the Mwoah sphere according to the Treatyof Lorien, the Imperial forces attempted to intervene; on the basis thatthe treaty had been invalidated by the Mwoah colonisation of Orabow. Thissparked the Second Mwoah War. Initially the war went badly for the Empire.With major elements committed to Hrali, the ready reaction forces on theborder proved inadequate as the Mwoah used their base at Orabow to bypassGibraltar and drive into Imperial territory. However, in 2297T, AdmiralSir Sommerfield-Johns smashed a major Mwoah task force at Hastar {Newlands2533} and the tide began to turn. Although the Empire had lost its technologicaladvantage, gradually the Imperial forces gained the upper hand. In 2300Tthe Imperial forces had forced the Mwoah back and launched an invasionof Orabow. By 2301T Mwoah resistance on Orabow had ended and the Mwoahprisoners and civilians were interned in confinement camps. The Empirethen launched a campaign to carry the war back across the Rift. The Riftcampaign was as hard fought as the first war. The Mwoah fought for everyworld and by 2303T the war had bogged down and was rapidly losing supportamongst many Diadochi states within the Empire. An armistice was arrangedand in 2304T the Treaty of Karin ended the war.

The treaty established the Diska Rift as a demilitarised zone betweenthe Terrans and the Mwoah. The Mwoah colonists of the former Jneril worldof Hrali (renamed Utarr) and their other worlds in the Rift were allowedto remain, but they were to be independent of the Mwoah Unity. This provedto be less of a success than was hoped for, for though the worlds weregranted theoretical independence, the nature of Mwoah society means theare effectively still part of the Mwoah Unity. In 2305T the few remainingMwoah survivors from the Orabow confinement camps were repatriated. Theirunfortunate treatment caused immense outrage amongst the Mwoah; but noaction was taken over it. The Magellanic Assembly granted Jneril survivorsof Hrali the former Mwoah world Orabow as a new home; now renamed St’iyha.Despite continuing tensions, the border has remained stable since.

However recent times have seen an increase in tensions. In 2362T a humanDiadochi state (the Civtra Confederation) formed within the Mwoah sphereof influence. It is widely suspected within the Mwoah Unity that the Empirewas instrumental in the formation of this state. Though there are no formallinks or official aid, Imperial support for the Confederation is a majorpoint of tensions between the Empire and the Mwoah. Though the Mwoah haveyet to take any action against the Confederation, most analysts agree thatit is only a matter of time before they do.

The performance of the Imperial forces during the war was much improved;and the Imperial Navy and Marines had been enlarged throughout its course.With the end of the war many of the Imperial Diadochi states argued fortheir reduction to pre-war levels. However the clear evidence of the inadequacyof their levels during the early war lead to widespread calls for the retentionof at least some of the new units raised. Finally in 2307T the MagellanicAssembly authorised the Navy to retain eight Squadrons and the Marinessix Legions (each consisting of two infantry and one cavalry regiments).In addition to these, the Jneril Eiahya Legion (a unit of non-ImperialJneril serving out of honour for Hrali) was also retained. The units inexcess of this were disbanded and their equipment placed into reserve againstfuture emergencies. The system of secondment of Diadochi units was retained;and most Imperial units generally have one or two Diadochi units attachedto them. These enlarged Imperial forces are funded by a small levy on Imperialworlds (termed Scutage) authorised by the Magellanic Assembly on a yearto year basis.

Around 2311T another threat emerged with the formation of the ThirdAkhrini Commonality. Whilst it is located at least a sector from the Imperialborders, conflicts over influence in the various Non-Imperial Diadochistates located between the two states lead to increasing tensions. In response,in 2331T the Magellanic Assembly authorised a further small increase (twoNavy Squadrons and one Marine Legion) in Imperial forces due to the increasingtensions. Despite numerous small scale clashes and skirmishes, these tensionsdid not lead to direct large scale conflict until the Seventh Akhrini Warin 2364T.

A disputed succession in the Querad Union (a Non-Imperial Diadochi state)in 2362T lead to a civil war within the Querad Union between pro-Imperialand pro-Akhrini factions. In 2364T the Akhrini committed mainforce unitsto support the pro-Akhrini faction. Viceroy Martin VI authorised the commitmentof Imperial Naval and Marine units to counter this. Since neither the Commonalitynor the Empire was willing to move to an all out confrontation, the warprogressed fitfully until a compromise settlement was reached in 2367T.Under the Treaty of Hakkon, control of the Querad Union was given overto a joint council consisting equally of both factions. Both the Commonalityand Empire are allowed to station forces within the Union to maintain peace.During the war the Imperial Navy and Marines raised a small number of newunits. Of these one Navy Squadron and three Marine Legions were retainedafter the peace. The war, however, did little to resolve the ongoing tensionsbetween the Commonality and the Empire; and as at 2370T tensions remainhigh.

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