Arcanessecent Time: A short history of the Galaxy of Cyriss. Part 5: The Dissolution

The Dissolution is where the Galaxy reaps the rewards of centuries of warfare. Titanic empires collapse into dust as their disrupted systems are unable to maintain their Imperial Cores. But Empires of this size don’t collapse overnight, even when fatally wounded and unable to staunch the bleeding. The Dissolution is one of the longer Epochs lasting 988 years. Even though my blood and organs are regularly replaced even I would not have a memory that long. A period of decline does not mean that the people who lived through it experienced that decline, or even believed it was occurring.

It begins with the Mechanist Assembly, having been defeated by the Caspian Federation and much of its territories taken, it experiences a sharp decline. They exiled the Aeternus Continuum as a scapegoat for their horrors and lost their terror weapons leaving behind territory ripe for the picking by the Caspian Federation and the now official Free Workers Union (occupying the seat of power of the Rechlavsky-Laris Combine). There is evidence of a disease in Mechanist lands at this time but reports from the Mechanists are scattered and destroyed and it is difficult to substantiate it.

It is important to note that up until this time Arc harvesting was a much more bespoke process. The Free Workers Union broke this by discovered new ways of harvesting arc that relied on below ground detonation that made its harvest free, cheap, and easy. This coincided with the expansion of the Marches as new gates and lands are discovered and rumours of forces from beyond the Hyperuranion (and some compelling evidence that lacks explanation to this day supporting it). The Marches represented a wild, massive area of untold riches. The only thing preventing its full exploitation was its distance from any of the Imperial Cores.

(Editor’s Note: One might question why the Khazeraki, the native owners of those lands, refused to exploit those resources so fully. Maybe more lurks in the Marches than we would like to contemplate.)

It was at this moment that the Third and final Border War began. The Mechanists were a shadow of their former self, but they were never a power who brooked embarrassment. They built a traditional War Fleet and began harassing both the Free Workers Union and the Caspian Federation which eventually sparked into open war again. This war was much less marked by technological advancements or strategy, but one of sheer loss of life. The Mechanists were vastly undergunned and operated on far more pride than strategy. A secret mission led to them using one of their final terror weapons on the Unions capital of Telos, destroying it utterly. The Union, still functioning but merely decapitated, folded their forces under Caspian control. The Mechanist Union capital was invaded and the last of their lands sacked. The War was over at a cost of Billions of lives yet again. The Union troops and lands formally joined the Caspian Federation.

(Editor’s Note: The Mechanist homeworld was abandoned and one of the void gates lay burning in the sky when the allied forces arrived. They have obviously escaped. But where to? They have never again appeared in any chronology I have found)

The Union slowly dissolved after this. Its leaders dead and the Caspians poaching their most talented Engineers it slowly faded to irrelevance. 

(Editors Note: Although the Aeternus Continuum recruits many of its members from Unions and the push for workers rights and the Workers ownership of the means of production remains strong. Perhaps in future if a new Free Workers Union were to arise it would find a natural ally in the Aeternus Continuum).

The Caspian Federation found itself surrounded by unclaimed lands that could easily be cultivated, but in claiming the lands of the Mechanists and Free Workers Union so quickly it grew to a behemoth size in a disorganised way, and it found these new lands hard to organise and control. Not only that but the Border Wars had destroyed its defences to the point where it was still trying to rebuild itself closer to home. These extra lands truly were a poison pill, too cheap not to claim. But claiming them directly led to a slow death.

On the other edges of the Hyperuranion space we return to an old power: The Khazaraki. We had last seen them as they engaged in a bloody retreat through the galaxy escaping from some power in the Marches and had settled unclaimed land. There they were ignored by the other great powers as they claimed their new homes and engaged in their traditional lifestyle.

It is rare that I even need to speak the name of individual people. History is the study of forces and structures. Individual kings may start wars and sit on thrones, but it is rare that it is the king that matters more than the throne upon which they sit. That I cannot say about Goran Jarog, the Black Wolf. Goran began a bloody campaign of defeating and integrating Khazaraki clans under his own banner and created an army the likes of which the Khazar had never seen before. This army was known as the Malgur Horde. This mostly went unnoticed in the rest of the Hyperuranion until Nya, Jarogs Daughter, killed her sister and took the Malgur Horde for her own. She smashed into Caspian Space like a bolt of lightning on a clear day.

The Khazaraki claimed unprepared edges of Caspian space, taking land and treasure and accessing Void Gates that vastly extended their reach. Eventually, however, they were bound to come upon the Caspians in force. Nya was smart, however, and didn’t fumble blindly into her new neighbour. She halted her advance, harried Caspian trade, and kept an eye on how they operated.

At an inopportune time for the Caspians, however, a series of Void Gate disruptions isolated the Marches from the Caspian Imperial Core. The Marches were much more self sufficient and able to organise independently, however, than the resource starved-Caspians. Ravonel’s World became a hub of Marcher Lord organisation and eventually became the capital of the Coalition of Free States known as the Marcher Worlds. The Caspians sent a fleet to compel loyalty from their subjects, but it was ambushed and defeated in battle. The Caspians had lost one of the richest areas of their empire at one of the worst times.

Eventually the long brewing conflict between the Malgur and the Caspians came to a head. The Malgurs attack was complex and well planned, striking at several places simultaneously, but eventually the Caspian giant fully awoke and Malgur forces started to be isolated, outflanked and destroyed. The Caspians attempted to finish the war with a long outflank manouvre with a great fleet. The Malgur, however, destroyed void gates in front of and behind the fleet and it disappeared into the void.

Despite these successes, the Malgur were wracked with internal tensions. Nya was deposed by her son who led them on a series of calamitous military defeats. Nya wrestled power back by asking for help from the Aeternus Continuum who was willing to assist in ending the loss of life caused by her son.

Nya attacked and it was successful at the time, but it was clear that both powers war weariness had overtaken them. The Malgur empire splintered upon Nyas death. The Caspians fared little better, with their forces destroyed to the point that they couldn’t control their borders. Slowly but surely the borders collapsed in as the spiral of decline continued. A hundred years later the Caspian Federation was naught but dust and memory.

All things fall if not supported by objective truths greater than themselves.  The Mechanists, the Union, The Caspians and the Malgur all rose and fell according to their access to resources and the strength of arms to hold them. None can escape the forces of entropy. I grow weary, I feel as if one or two of my hearts are failing and in need of replacement. I will continue the story next time where I will tell you about The Maelstroms and the current (and by no means final) era of the Convocation.


The Editor. 

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