Knights of the Stellar Void
A Brief History
Once, Old Earth was vibrant and green under the light of Sol. This the texts tell us. They also tell of its darkest age, its Republic crumbling under a festering malaise of apathy, and mankind was presumed to be withering away. But its final undoing was its own creation—the Hellstar Zarathustra, the ultimate sentience to solve all of humanity’s woes, a fusion of the cybernetic and the mechanical unlike any other.
Sentiences had been created before to assist their human creators. Once, great armies of synthetic life toiled alongside humanity. This sentience was different… capable of limitless creation and destruction. The hope was that its planning computers would revitalize the Republic of Terra, breathe new living into a fading species.
It chose the destruction of the Republic, starting with Tau Ceti E.
The war that raged hence was long and brutal, and saw the complete destruction of innumerable planets. The legendary jumpgate network collapsed, preventing interstellar travel, fragmenting the Republic. In ages past, system after system was seeded with colonizing slowships, before the war between man and machine had taken its toll. But when the Hellstar struck, entire systems were lost to the black void of space, countless fledgling colonies, research stations, and military supply depots abandoned to their own devices and since forgotten.
Victory was grasped from the hands of defeat when brave pilots made their final stand as Zarathustra closed on Old Earth. Suppressing fire from our weaponized moon allowed several squads of starfighters to penetrate the Hellstar’s defenses; they managed to cripple her mechanisms, driving her forth in a blinding explosion.
Out of the smoke and fire from the Republic’s collapse came rebellion and civil war, and from that strife came Lieutenant Janus Mallory, the man who rebuilt a stellar empire out of the ashes. It was he who formed the Treaty of Twelve that ended the conflicts raging between systems. The Noble Houses that sprang from the ruins of the Republic would form a New Commonality, a loose confederation of feuding successor-states, warlords, even rogue planets.
The human systems—scarred and battle worn—rebuilt, blossomed, and grew; peace and prosperity reigned, despite the petty intrigues and vendettas between Houses.
193 years have since passed. The System of Sol is now ruled by opportunistic feudal lords whose lineage stretch back to Mallory and his victory. Using technology scavenged from the wreckage, there was the development of the ion drives necessary for travel near the speed of light, something the Republic of Terra never managed to obtain, reliant on obsolescent jumpgates between trading hubs. And what they have found—sapient life, new resources, uncharted worlds—has given the shattered human race a purpose.
After emerging from its darkest age, mankind has finally entered a true age of exploration: a Second Age of Space.