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In Moot Member Blogs [SBRD] History Lesson for this Campaign Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #26 New August 15th, 2013 12:05 AM
[SBRD] History Lesson for this Campaign

I have been reminded again that at least three of our players in this campaign are not very familiar (if at all) with the history of the OTU. Combine that with the fact that our campaign is set in a remote border of the OTU, and is set about 2000 years in the past with respect to most OTU campaigns, and I think that maybe a bit of history is in order for everyone (all of your characters would know at least the basics of this; if you have someone w low Edu they might have forgotten some of it), so we are all on the same page w respect to the background of where this is all happening.

OK, first is a little map that I made (sorry, I'm new at GIMP), then a brief explanation - please read, and I really will keep it as brief as I can, but you all need some understanding of when and where your characters live.



First, some orientation as to where this little chunk of the galaxy is located. Directions are Rimward (bottom of map), Coreward (Top of Map), Spinward (Left) and Trailing (Right). In relation to some of the history to follow, the bulk of the Vilani Empire (aka Ziru Sirka or First Imperium) is up to coreward of this chunk - the Vilani colonization area in Daibei was about as far to rimward as the Vilani ever got. Terra (aka Earth) is in the Solomani Rim, two more sectors to trailing from here. (And for those of you who have played in the Spinward Marches, that sector is about two sectors to spinward and three sectors to coreward from here.)

These two sectors lie to rimward and trailing of The Thumb, a branch of The Great Rift where star systems are few and far between. The area of The Thumb is shown in gray on the map.

Now that we know where we are, lets have some history to place us as to when (I will use Terran BC/AD dating, as that is what we are using in this campaign. To convert to Imperial, just subtract 4518).

The Ancients - Approximately 300,000 BC the race now known as the Ancients visited Terra. For reasons unknown to us, they took samples of early Humans and Wolves. They scattered the Humans (some with genetic tinkering) on various worlds all over known space, which is one reason why Humans are so common in this part of the galaxy. The Wolves they uplifted via genetic engineering to create the sapient species known as Vargr, who live very far to coreward from here.

Sapient species that have achieved interstellar travel on their own are referred to as major species, while species that received jump technology from someone else are referred to as minor species. Known major Human species are Vilani, Terran (later to be known as Solomani), and Zhodani. Only the Vilani and Terrans (plus mixtures of the two) are present in the area of our campaign, along with several minor Human species that were planted in this area by the Ancients.

The Vilani - The Human species known as the Vilani achieved interstellar travel around 4700 BC (about 2000 years before the construction of the Great Pyramid by ancient Egyptians on Terra). The Vilani spread out from their homeworld over multiple sectors of space, and created the Vilani Empire, also known as the Ziru Sirka or First Imperium. Vilani colonization in Daibei sector occurred toward the end of their expansive period, from about 500 AD to 1000 AD. The area of colonization during this period is shown in light green on the map.

The Terrans - Terrans achieved interstellar travel in 2087 AD (we'd better get to work on that!), and within less than 25 years had met the Vilani and gotten involved in the First Interstellar War. During the Interstellar Wars period there was sporadic, mostly unorganized colonization by Terrans in Daibei and Riftrim Deep (what the RD was called before the Reavers). Some were dissidents seeking to get away from the Terran Confederation and the Interstellar Wars completely; others were refugees from Terran colony worlds in the war zones; a few were organized missions by the Terran military to achieve strategic goals by building bases to flank the bulk of the Vilani offensive/defensive fleets. These scattered colonies are shown as yellow dots on the map.

The Rule of Man - When the Vilani Empire collapsed after the Nth Interstellar War, the Terran Confederation military forces occupying Vilani space declared a new empire, to include all Terran and Vilani territory, which they called the Rule of Man (also known as the Second Imperium) (2314 AD). During the Rule of Man, colonization was expanded in Daibei sector and also into Riftrim Deep. These new colonies received settlers from both the Terran worlds and the nearby Vilani worlds of Daibei. This colonial expansion is shown by the light blue area and light blue dots on the map.

Unfortunately, the Rule of Man lasted barely 400 years before it collapsed (2742 AD); some blamed this on the inherent instability of the pre-existing Vilani Empire, while others blamed Terran incompetence and referred to the RoM as the Ramshackle Empire. With the collapse of the central authority of the RoM began the period known as Twilight.

The response to Twilight in Daibei sector came swiftly, as the old Vilani world of Warinir declared its independence and gathered other worlds to its cause under the Grand Republic of Warinir. The new state was opposed by the Imperial Realm of Daibei, composed of most of the other worlds of the sector, who remained loyal to the Rule of Man and chose a local Viceroy to rule them until a new Emperor came to power. Naturally, there was war between the disputing powers. Similar situations occurred all over Human Space, as the RoM crumbled and successor states fought over the scraps, bringing interstellar commerce to a halt and leading to the collapse of civilization on many worlds. This was the beginning of The Long Night.

The Reavers - The first Reavers were races native to Riftrim Deep, who obtained jump drive technology from various sources and began to raid the Vilani Empire in Daibei. Later Reaver groups originated from those early Terran colonies during the Interstellar Wars period, also raiding into Vilani territory (and perhaps thinking of themselves as privateers, since their homeworlds were at war with the Vilani). But the real heyday of the Reavers came with the fall of the Rule of Man and the beginning of the interstellar chaos of The Long Night.

Various groups throughout the Deep (and some in Daibei) found themselves facing economic disaster, and used what warships they had to raid each other and to make deep raids into the former RoM. Other Reaver groups started with individual leaders who found themselves in command of small fleets and used these assets to raid and pillage. Some Reaver groups colonized worlds or conquered empires and settled down; others continued their raiding culture even after gaining worlds of their own. Suspected Reaver areas remaining in the time of our campaign are shown in dark red (for blood?) on the map.

Daibei Sector in 3731 AD - The largest power in Daibei sector is still the Imperial Realm, but it has lost much power and territory over the centuries, through lost wars, political settlements, and secessions it could not fight. The Realm still holds most of the central area of the sector, but it is surrounded by smaller multi-world states and single independent worlds. In the past century there has been some improvement in interstellar commerce among the worlds of this sector. There have even been new colonies launched in the former Riftrim Deep, now known as Reavers' Deep. Some have prospered; some have been conquered or destroyed by Reavers.

Reavers' Deep in 3731 AD - Two major powers have developed in the Deep. To coreward is an alliance centered on the Republic of Caledon, which publicly opposes the various Reaver gangs, is allied with the Imperial Realm of Daibei, and supports colonization and development in the Deep. To rimward is the fierce and growing Iltharan Empire, unabashed Reavers who claim the right to "tax" any planet they can reach. Surrounding these two powers are a few smaller multi-world states and many independent worlds.

The Aslan - This major non-human species has fought several Border Wars with Humans in the area of the former Terran Confederation, but so far relations in the area of Reavers' Deep and Daibei have been peaceful. Major Aslan population areas lie to spinward and rimward of here, and there may be a few Aslan colonies already in the spinward areas of the Deep. Most contact with Aslan in this area has been with the Aslan trade fleets traveling from their home sectors to the Trading Posts of the Deep and Daibei. There have been rumors, however of Aslan Reavers raiding Human colonies (these may just be ihatei who could not find a good place to settle, and decided to raid for some loot to take home so as not to waste the trip). The areas of possible Aslan colonies in the Deep are shown with brown dots on the map.

It is now 3731 AD, almost 1000 years after the collapse of the Rule of Man, and the Frontier Trader Fortunate Son is travelling into Reavers' Deep to make its fortune among the old worlds and new colonies of the region.

Geography lesson:

Traveller map subsectors are arranged in a 4x4 pattern within each sector,
and are identified with capital letters in this pattern:

A B C D
E F G H
I J K L
M N O P

Urlaqqash subsector (location of Devonia system)
is in the "L" position within Reavers' Deep sector.

***********************************

Notes: I am attempting to follow the published history of the OTU up to the point that our campaign begins. For Daibei sector, there is hardly anything published other than an outline of what territory the Vilani colonized. This means that I can make up almost anything I like about the history of the place, which gives me a lot of freedom but also means more work. For Reavers' Deep, there has been a lot more published (especially some excellent works by the brothers J. Andrew Keith and William H. Keith), but much of that is "in the future" from this point of view, serving more as inspiration than anything concrete that I can use. What little history of the area goes back as far as this campaign has been a useful framework, but still left a lot of gaps to fill!



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