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In the OTU In the Official Traveller Universe. Any milieux that's been published in any edition. Not for discussion of rules except in reference to how they reflect the OTU

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  #11  
Old April 7th, 2021, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jetrock View Post
And of course one civilization's Long Night is often another civilization's Golden Age
As examples of this, the Darmine, Suerrat, and others all took another go at empire during this period, having been quashed a couple thousand years earlier by the Vilani Consolidation Wars against them. Very few of them bumped borders, and some weren't at their peaks in the same centuries, but the Long Night definitely has its local empires.
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Old April 7th, 2021, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Some musings:

the Long Night is the Sylean Federation/Third Imperium name for the period between the fall of the Rule of Man (which technically was still the Ziru Sirka just under new management)

the First Imperium never got above TL11, the Terrans and the RoM had access to TL12
speaking of the Terrans, in the region in and around Earth it is a case of "what Long Night?"

The Ziru Sirka/RoM finally ceased to be an entity due to the banking crisis during which the Imperial Credit was no longer accepted, and thus interstellar trade started to dry up
the Vilani tech stagnation and distribution of manufacturing 'black box' technologies for final assembly would lead to many worlds losing the means to build starships

but

never forget that the Vilani, who make up the vast bulk of the population of even the Third Imperium (and that in itself is a rabbit hole few have dared to go down) had the rigid social structures and tech stagnation forced upon them, they were originally daring adventures, merchants and explorers

so basically every cut off world now has the chance to evolve its own culture and technology

there will be pocket empires, trade alliances etc during the Long Night, but none of them could rival what the Sylean Federation claim to have achieved with the establishment of the new Imperium
Thanks for clarification re tech level; my assumption was based on GT:Interstellar Wars, but the GT tech levels are a little different and Traveller TL 12-13 are both lumped into GURPS TL 11. Ah well, I always liked PGMP-12s better anyhow.

And I also like your phrasing of Ziru Sirka conservatism and rigidity as a structure of that society rather than something inherent in Vilani psychology. Was the Long Night a period of dramatic cultural diversity and creativity, forged by the new challenges inherent in survival without a star-spanning empire, retconned after the Syleans started hammering down any nails that stuck up too high? Did some of those bold people discovered Secrets Humaniti Was Not Meant To Know and done away with more dramatically than the Darrians?
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Old April 7th, 2021, 01:57 PM
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Can anyone recommend any Traveller reference materials (official or otherwise) dealing with the Long Night?
Gateway to Destiny has a lot of historical notes on this period for these 4 sectors.
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Old April 7th, 2021, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jetrock View Post
Can anyone recommend any Traveller reference materials (official or otherwise) dealing with the Long Night?
There is no single source, many tantalizing hints. However two books may give hints. One begins with the end of The Long Night, the other ends with hints of the coming darkness.

A. Marc Miller's Traveller (aka Traveller 4) details the period of founding and early Imperium. From about the founding of the Sylean Federation in IY -650 to around IY 200 depending on the book. You want the books Milieu 0 and possibly, the Core Rulebook, available at Drivethru.
T4 Millieu 0 Book at DriveThruRPG

B. Also of use may also be GURPS Traveller 4th ed. Intersteller Wars. This details the period before, the Rise of the Terran Confederation, with history ending in -2200. It hints of the coming darkness, but may not be worth the price of the CDROM just for those hints. It is in GURPS CDROM 2. The license reverted so it is not available via Steve Jackson, so go to Far Future
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Old April 8th, 2021, 03:35 AM
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One might argue that the 1977 CT is very much this sort of milieu, particularly with the A and B starports getting more pirate encounters. Very much a non-centralized polity enviornment.
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Old April 8th, 2021, 08:20 AM
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The end of the Rule of Man could be an interesting setting to explore too:
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Twilight (-1776 to -1526)[2742AD to 2992AD]: The failure of the Rule of Man triggered the collapse of most of interstellar civilization. While interstellar travel and commerce continued, it was at a greatly reduced rate, and the many worlds of the lmperium turned in on themselves. The period of collapse is termed Twilight and lasted for two and a half centuries.
Modern historians consider Twilight to have begun in -1776 when the treasury on Hub/Ershur refused to acknowledge a monetary issue of the branch treasury at Antares, triggering a financial collapse and the destruction of large-scale trade within the Imperium.
The end of Twilight is commonly accepted as the year -1526, when the last governmental body claiming to be the Rule of Man ceased to exist.
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Old April 8th, 2021, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
The end of the Rule of Man could be an interesting setting to explore too:
Actively moving borders as the patrols out of Ershur follow closer and shorter routes, formerly interior Naval bases become frontier bases, then are abandoned, and merchants become more and more local while also becoming less and less accepting of widespread currencies. Much like the return of specie described in Hard Times, or the chain of trades seen in the classic Zero Stone and Uncharted Stars by Andre Norton, interstellar trade becomes riskier and more based on barter and relationships.
Black letter days build up in living memory, such as the last time anyone showed up for your world's lanthanum, or when the entire population of the tiny colony two parsecs away showed up in a ship that should never have lifted, much less seen jump space. Or the day the denialists three worlds away committed to a victor-less war on the assumption that the Navy really was still around and would stop the conflict in their favor. It wasn't, and didn't, and now that world is silent and radioactive.

New empires will rise and fall, even during Twilight, as particularly ambitious groups observe the retreat of the Empire and take advantage. Worlds in a good position to survive may not create a visible empire, but might easily rule an invisible one through economic means. Arguably they are "taking over" from the retreating RoM to preserve civilization, but are setting themselves up as First Parasite.

The Aslan don't appear until later, but that regional war in Magyar and Daibei is still going 1600 years later. The area around Terra is pretty sedate until then, though.

Regional politics rears its ugly head in Ley almost immediately, with the arrival of the Ursa to complicate matters between the Luriani and the Sydites and the nearby Bwaps. That area will also see a lot of human refugees passing through heading out into Gateway.

The Marches are a Zhodani frontier early on, with the Darrian Rise and the Sword Worlds appearing later, and a slow but steady invasion of Vargr explorers. The Vargr will also dominate Deneb and Corridor, making any refugees of Empire in that direction a high risk endeavor.

The K'kree and Hivers are *just* setting up real states at this point, with only a few Humans to "help" things along. Their spinward edges are going to be a riot of preventive colonialism, tussling for resources, annoyed and displaced K'kree (as their culture changes by shockwave after the war) and other bits of chaos.
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Old April 8th, 2021, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
The end of the Rule of Man could be an interesting setting to explore too:
The GURPS Interstellar Wars book is more helpful in regards of setting the stage. The only unanswered question I concerning the Rule of Man, The Long Night and the early Imperium is "Where are the Vargr?"

A. In GURPS IW, Vargr raiders are described as "becoming a major threat to the Vilani Imperium", only held back by it's primary fleet. Because of the Terran threat to the perceived potential legitimacy of rival Imperium (Terrans are "humans", Vargr are NOT) is a "Greater Threat", they send the fleet to the Rim. The Terrans destroy the Vilani fleet with the newly invented Jump-3 and Meson Guns.

B. In T4, Vland is described as a cultural "vacation" spot for Sylean nobles willing to take the long journey PRIOR the Imperium's formation. Vargr are described as raiders, but no big deal.

C. In T4, the Julians, a Human/Vargr polity, are able to stop the early Imperium, showing that Vargr travellers went several sectors Trailing in about 2000 years.

So what were the Vargr doing The Rule of Man and Long Night? The primary Vilani fleet was gone. They crossed the Windhorn going Trailing. What held them from travelling further Rimward? They were already raiding the Vilani Imperium. Allegedly the Vilani have no official possessions outside its borders. That was the point of the Vilani Consolidation Wars.

Where did the Vargr go? Was there a die-back? Did they get sucked into The Long Night and if so, how did they get to Mendan, Amdukan and form the Protectorate?
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Old April 8th, 2021, 06:29 PM
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The Vargr were the 'barbarians from the north' that the provincial governors of the Ziru Sirka were trying to do deals with at the same time as using hem to gain political advantage. Unfortunately the Vargr didn't play by the Vilani rules and as a result were a much greater threat to the Ziru Sirka than the upstart province 'down south' (the real reason the Terrans had such an advantage)
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Officials in the fringe territories began to fabricate their reports rather than reveal the truth to their superiors. Appeals for help or support cost heavily in personal power, so officials simply reported success.
Meanwhile, local governors took to hiring and equipping "barbarians" from outside the lmperium for personal power plays.
Civil wars, mutinies, and insurrections became increasingly common.
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About 2100 AD, the wolf-like barbarian Vargr began pillaging the Imperium's civilized territories in the direction of the galactic
core. Between then and 2800 AD, Vargr fleets were a significant factor in the Imperial retreat out of coreward territories.
Other border territories were in revolt, and even some interior territories were becoming unruly in their demands for self-government and less rigid controls from above.
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Old April 9th, 2021, 01:56 AM
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Where did the Vargr go? Was there a die-back? Did they get sucked into The Long Night and if so, how did they get to Mendan, Amdukan and form the Protectorate?
A key here is that Vland's influence and power were smaller, but strong within that radius. Vland never went dark, and it continued to plug the Corridor Gap to the best of its ability. Thanks to the Terrans, that ability included Jump 3.

The Vargr did sneak past them in small numbers, but the big push was around the other end of the Windhorn. That ran smack into Gashikan, an already old Yilean (the native humans) and Vilani state. The Vargr who ignored or got around Gashikan gradually filled in what would become Julian space, which also never went dark. Antares and the Scorpion Company couldn't keep the region politically united, but they did keep the lights of commerce on, so the Vargr had stiff resistance but great rewards that kept them busy raiding and, gradually, integrating into the region.

We know very little about Lishun and Antares during the Long Night aside from the Julian history, but the suggestions are that the Vargr were in both sectors as both settlers and antagonists. The area being between Vland and Antares/Scorpion territory, the Vargr would have run into enough friction that running wild deeper into the former Imperium was not going to be common. I think there's a human minor race in the region that may have done some empire building as well, to provide more resistance to Vargr incursion. There was nothing special about Sylea for the first half or more of the Long Night, so no beacons to draw the Vargr in.
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