A long time ago and far away, the peoples of the Imperialum and the Alliance were one. A great rift came between them, and the two powers followed their own paths.
Brief Political History of the Empire and Alliance
The political shape of the galaxy began to form over 300 years ago. At that time, Emperor Alaric IV, sole lord of a galaxy-spanning empire, was growing old, yet he did not have a child from any of his politically arranged marriages. Then, very late in life, he sired two sons. The elder son was born to a later wife, and both boys were close enough in age and ability that the likely successor was unclear as the boys grew up. Tensions grew as the boys fled to different ends of the galaxy, gathered power, and wooed the military and the conglomerates.
Upon the death of the Emperor in 1625 IE, the successors-to-be began to openly gather armies and fleets. "Warfare" begun shortly afterward, as bombings and other terrorist acts began to crop up on the planets with strong ties to the feuding brothers. Full-scale military actions began in 1628 IE, but the last straw was a bombing in the Imperial Senate in 1643 IE. In response, the Imperialum Senate declared war on the brothers. As the only truly legitimate voice of authority, most of the military and planetary governors flocked to the banner of the Senate.
With a strong numerical advantage, the Senate soon pushed the boys into a corner of known space. By 1664 IE, the brothers had no other choice; they linked fates and resources and formed the Alliance. The combined forces of the new Alliance was able to slow the advance of the Imperialum forces, eventually ending the war with a negotiated settlement in 1776 IE (12 AE). The armistice was signed at a small outpost where the war's front lines met the edge of known space: Constantinople Station.
Now, in 2001 IE (213 AE), total war is almost unthinkable, although there are plenty of diplomatic incidents, special operations, and the very rare skirmish. The Senate runs the Imperialum without challenge, being without an Emperor since the death of Alaric IV. The Alliance is run by a Parliament, with descendants of the brothers holding several of the key seats.
But lost in the shuffle and confusion over the years, a number of settled areas were forgotten or broke from both sides. These systems are now known as Independents, Free Spacers, and other names. Some have fallen into hard times, but some (like the Cartel worlds) have organized and done very well for themselves. The Imperialum and Alliance compete for these rare prizes, with a combination of enticements, propaganda, threats and muscle.
Return to Known Space
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