Twilight Sector History
... the nations of the world coalesced into powerful unions. Military confrontation gave way to wars fought
on the trading floors of commodity exchanges and the marketplaces of the world. Industrial espionage became a standard
practice as rich megacorporations claimed their places among the great powers of Earth. Technological breakthroughs
advanced the standard of living by leaps and bounds across the planet. Eventually the general public experienced
a period of unprecedented peace and prosperity...
Throughout this time, great strides were made in the areas of science and technology. The most important of these led to the development of the mass reactor. By 2110, the first system-explorer craft equipped with mass reactors soared into space. Over the next four decades, the world powers visited, divided, and colonized the solar system, expanding their territories and exploiting natural resources from sun-baked Mercury to cold, distant Pluto.
This system-wide activity led to humanity's first contact with an alien species. In 2152, the Fraal revealed their presence and established peaceful relations with the people of Earth. It was an exciting yet sobering day when the news was made public and humans finally realized they weren't alone in the cosmos. The Fraal, alien colonists stranded in Earth's solar system over 10,000 years ago, possessed advanced technology far different from what humans had developed. When incorporated into human-designed technology, it helped make intrasystem travel even faster. The Fraal gave humans the key to develop the first stardrive-a means for quickly crossing the vast distances between stars.
The stardrive is an engine capable of hurling vessels from one star system to another in a relatively short period of time. It accomplishes this by dropping a vessel through a previously unknown dimension instead of moving it across normal space and time. This dimension, termed drivespace, is tied to the gravitic plane of the galaxy. With the discovery of faster than light travel, miles long fortress-class ships were constructed to house massive stardrives. These vessels were designed to carry smaller ships serving as ferries to the stars. They were also among the most heavily armed and armored vessels ever built. They were used to begin mans exploration of the galaxy. Fortress ships are still in use today. Because of their size, fortress ships are traveling cities. Markets, thriving entertainment businesses, diplomatic posts, and more can be found within these giant vessels.
The ties to Earth began to fray as people were born, lived and died without ever visiting the planet of humanity's origin. The stellar nations were born. Some continued as allies of the Terran powers; others declared independence. Earth declared itself the leader of the Terran Empire in 2250. This Empire was ruled by a council of Terran superpowers and included several of the colonies and their client states. More alien species were discovered during the expansion. The Mechalus, Weren, and Sesheyan civilizations were encountered and incorporated into the stellar nations that found them. Another species, the T'sa resisted assimilation into human society.
THE FIRST GALACTIC WAR
The flames of war flared throughout human space when a few of the stellar nations declared their independence.
Earth's superpowers decided to force them to remain part of the Empire. Soon all of human space became entangled
in the conflict-the First Galactic War had begun.
The First War was vicious, marked by long periods of nerve-wracking anticipation and sudden, deadly combat. Some star systems found themselves engaged in long, drawn-out battles as fortress ships fought in-system vessels and troop carriers touched down on planetary surfaces. It was an expensive war and when the Treaty of Earth was finally drafted in 2312, all of the stellar nations agreed to sign it.
Among the conditions of the treaty that ended the First War were the abolition of the Earth-based superpowers, the formal recognition of 25 stellar nations, and the formation of a 26th nation, the Union of Sol, to replace the Terran Empire. Though tensions remained high and the threat of another war loomed on the galactic horizon, the peace held. Soon the nations relaunched their efforts to explore, colonize, and expand the borders of human space.
For the next 30 years, the stellar nations claimed more and more stars. Colonies were established over an area 1,000 light years across, and regions such as the Verge and the Twilight sector were opened to settlers, explorers, and corporate concerns. Colony ships reached Mirfak in 2316, establishing the first Verge settlement. Terra-Sol in the Twilight sector was first colonized in 2324.
THE SECOND GALACTIC WAR
Because the Treaty of Earth didn't truly solve the problems that led up to the First Galactic War, it was inevitable
that a second conflict would erupt. The spark that ignited this new war was the Mutant Uprising in 2346, but this
was only a symptom of a well-entrenched illness. This time the war was even nastier, lasted longer, and plunged
humanity into an extremely violent dark age from which it's still trying to recover.
For more than a century, stellar nations waged war upon each other. Humanity was forced to pull back from its expanded borders. After all, Old Space and the Star Realm capitals it contained were more important to the nations than the new settlements beyond. This prioritizing cut off frontier regions, leaving the distant colonies and client worlds to fend for themselves in the long dark night of the war. The Verge lost contact with the stellar nations sometime around 2375. The Kendai drivespace communication relay that transferred messages from Old Space to the verge was destroyed, and the ties to the frontier were severed.
For more than a century, the colonies of the Verge either fought among themselves or simply decided to stop fighting and get on with the business of living. Some waited for ships or news to arrive from their sponsor nations. Others set out in small stardrive vessels to seek news of the war and were never heard from again. The colonies were on their own, and many of them came to like it that way. To many young people who were born during this period, the stellar nations were nothing more than names in their history lessons or legends spoken of by the oldest colonists.
The Twilight Sector however never lost contact with its sponsor nations. On the other hand exploration of the sector had barely begun at the onset of the war and further exploration during the war was impossible. Terra-Sol with its huge population and industrial capacity was a stalwart of the Orion League and many historians credit it with preserving Orion influence in this area of space. The war itself in some ways was a boon to Terra-Sol. Its population soared through immigration and refugees. Industrial expansion proceeded at a breakneck pace because of its safety from enemy attack and the need for armaments to support the war. Capital and workers poured in to support the war effort. Infrastructure that should have taken centuries to develop instead took decades.
Meanwhile, the Second War raged on. Whole regions of space suffered under the onslaught of terrible superweapons. Weaker nations were sliced up, swallowed whole, or wiped out completely by more powerful ones. Some planets were bombed into primitive states, falling from the heights of technological achievement to the depths of barbarism. In the end, it became evident that no single nation--or even a group of allied nations--would gain the upper hand in the conflict. Indeed, if the war continued for much longer, every nation could easily end up bankrupt, decimated, or destroyed. In 2465, the leaders of three of the most powerful stellar nations (and the three wartime alliances) secretly came together to work out a solution.
It took years of secret negotiating, clandestine deal-making, and intense planning before an official peace could be established. President Hale of The Orion League kept the effort alive, it was his vision of humanity's future that served as a blueprint for peace. Hale's vision became the basis for the Treaty of Concord, signed in 2472.
THE WAR ENDS
The Treaty of Concord set forth a number of conditions that the stellar nations agreed to abide by. First, it
divided human space into 13 distinct parts. Second, it established the Galactic Concord, an independent stellar
nation made up of worlds, people, and resources culled from the other nations. Third, it gave the Concord the power
to keep the peace, negotiate differences, and oversee relations among the stellar nations.
The Concord possessed qualities that even the best of the stellar nations lacked: a grand purpose, a unity of vision, and a moral compass that placed it above petty quarrels. It was made up of individuals from all the stellar nations giving it a cosmopolitan and tolerant attitude that allowed it to see beyond the borders of any single nation. If humanity was to survive as a collective force in the galaxy, this attitude and vision would be needed in the years ahead.
HISTORY OF THE TWILIGHT SECTOR
Circa 2324: An exploratory ship of the Seti-Tallos mining and development corporation, leapfrogging the minimally
explored Crescent Sector, discovered the Terra-Sol system. Terra, the primary of this system was, and still is,
the most earth-like planet ever discovered. Every detail was perfect. From the large sub-terran moon orbiting at
just the right distance to provide earth-like tidal forces, down to the very shapes of the land masses themselves.
Terra-Sol is almost an exact duplicate of Earth. Settlement quickly ensued at an almost frantic pace. This pace
was even further accelerated with the onset of the Second Galactic War in 2346.
VoidCorp, the chief Orion competitor in the Crescent sector was well aware of the Orion success in this sector and quickly moved in themselves. They developed the Ratan system as a resort and entertainment mecca. Many of the professional sports leagues and most of the Tridee entertainment chips sold in the Twilight sector come from this system. The Argos system is a water world which is currently being exploited for its rich "krill like" fishery. The "krill" are developed into a foodpaste and shipped to several surrounding sectors. VoidCorp has also claimed the Netherell system and placed it under military interdiction for unknown reasons. VoidCorp was initially so desperate to establish themselves in the sector that they entered into two joint development agreements with the Orions. Both these systems were eventually destroyed at the outbreak of GW2.
Other Orion systems within the Twilight sector include; Tol-in-Gaurhoth, a prison planet. Those sentenced to this system are simply dropped off planetside and ordered to serve their sentence. They receive only minimal assistance, in the form of food and clothing. For all other matters they are on their own. This world is semi-arid. Its topography is very rugged. The only other Orion system is Dorlas, another rugged semi-arid planet. It is only slightly more hospitable than Tol-in-Gaurhoth. It is lightly populated by groups which seek to be apart from the rest of society. These separatist communities are common in The Orion League because of its tolerant and open nature.
The Twilight sector was plunged into the warfare and stagnation of the Second Galactic War only 22 years after initial settlement had begun. With its focus and resources being directed back towards Old Space this sector on the "fringe of the fringe" has gone largely unexplored.
With the coming of peace, a new and separate nation state, Concord, has been created. The purpose of this new nation state is to uphold the peace, serving as a buffer and arbiter between the other competing nations. In the Twilight sector both The Orion League, and VoidCorp are obligated by the Treaty of Concord to provide a star system to this new nation. The system must generally fall within the zone between the two powers. VoidCorp has already provided Concord with the Helix system. VoidCorp obviously feels they've gotten away with one as Helix is the remnants of a huge (emphasis on the word huge) L5 colony. The system was destroyed by the Terra-Sol Fleet at the outbreak of GW2 as it was the only strategic system VoidCorp held within the sector, and thus the only real threat to Terra-Sol. The L5 colony was capable of producing and repairing starships. VoidCorp obviously now views the L5 colony as a space hulk to expensive to repair, even though a good sized remnant population still survives. Concord however gladly accepted Helix as fulfillment of VoidCorp's obligation under the Treaty of Concord. The Orion League has not yet offered a system to Concord. They have 5 years to meet their obligation.
BEGINNING THE CAMPAIGN:
THE TERRA-SOL SYSTEM
Terra-Sol was originally settled in 2324 by the Orion's. Because of its almost perfect climate (The only significant
differences between Earth and Terra, is Terra's gravity which is .997% of Earth's and the hydrograpic %, Terra's
is .0032.% less than Earth's.) it attracted a very significant population almost immediately. Corporations lined
up to invest in the planet and cities and infrastructure sprung up almost overnight. By the time of the Mutant
Uprising in 2346, Terra had a population of almost 4 billion.
The Mutant Uprising was the spark of the Second Galactic War, and Terra played a significant role in the uprising. In 2344, exactly 20 years after the initial settlement of Terra the population suffered a mass epidemic of mutations. This process, called Goblinization by the Terrans was further accompanied by the development of latent Psionic powers by a large segment of the population. The groups affected by both of these events settled at between 8 and 10% of the general population. Because of the rapid transformation of so many of its population, inevitable social pressures ensued. There was a backlash against the new groups even in the live and let live Orion League. Prejudice and discrimination were rampant. Violence on both sides quickly followed. At approximately this same time Mutants on other worlds began an uprising to assert their "rights". This small spark eventually lead to the worst conflict in the history of mankind.
With the onset of war, Terra really kicked into high gear. It quickly patched over the problems resulting from the Mutant Uprising. With an untouched wealth of resources and a large population to exploit them, Terra became an armory for the Orion league. Early in the war the Terra-Sol fleet destroyed the Helix system, its only real threat in the Twilight sector. Because of its remote location and lack of threats The Orion League poured people and resources into Terra and within 40 years the population of 4 billion had tripled to 12.
The political development of Terra was greatly affected by GW2. As you would expect with an Orion system, balkanization occurred early in Terra's development. At last count there were over 160 nation states on Terra. To further confuse the issue there were over 272 corporations with gross assets of over 50 billion credits. Needless to say this makes for a huge hodgepodge of competing interests. Terra's normal political development was stunted by GW2. Normal national and corporate rivalries were left unresolved due to the war, and only now are many of these "disputes" being addressed. Several minor "border wars" have already broken out, with the promise of more to follow. Orion League diplomats are working overtime to try and keep a lid on this powder keg.
By the end of the war the population of Terra had stabilized at 15 billion, however there were approximately a billion Terrans on active duty with Orion League armed forces off planet! The majority of these individuals have been processed out of the military. Their reentry into Terran society will further complicate an already volatile situation. The population at this time contains approximately 1.5 billion mutants with a similar number having psionic ability. There are approximately 400 million "Aliens" living on planet as well. The Terra-Sol system also has a significant population of approximately 500 million living in system but not on Terra proper (L5 colonies, the other two planets in system, etc.).
ASSUMPTIONS, FACTS AND RUMORS
The basis for interstellar travel is the assumption that faster than light travel is possible. The way it is
accomplished in this campaign is by traversing another dimension called drivespace. Drivespace also called the
gravity plane is the highway through which ships equipped with stardrives are able to traverse interstellar distances
in less time than possible under the laws of Einsteinium physics. The distance traveled is commonly 5 to 50 light-years
depending on the size of a ships stardrive, which is usually dependent on the size of the ship (i.e...bigger ships
travel farther than smaller ships). An anomaly of drivespace is that no matter the distance traveled the time required
to make the journey is always 11 to the 2nd power, hours, or approximately 5 days.
Ships enter drivespace by means of a tachyon-charged pulse of energy which forces the ship through the dimensional barrier of normal space. The process of crossing the barrier and traveling through drivespace is called starfalling. After a ship has completed a starfall it must rebuild its tachyon charge. A process which usually takes between 2 and 5 days, again depending on the power of a ships stardrive.
Faster than light (FTL) communication is also possible through drivespace communication relay satellites. These satellites actually drop into drivespace and send a pulse of tachyon energy towards whatever star system it is instructed. Note that the receiving communication satellite must also be in drivespace to receive this transmission. This process like starfalling takes approximately 5 days, but to date no maximum range has been found. In other words in 5 days you can send a message at least as far as 1,000 light years, the distance from one end of human space to the other.
The Terra-Sol system as previously mentioned, is almost an exact duplicate of the home world (Earth).
It was for this reason that the primary was given the name Terra while the star was given the name Sol. When referring to either the planet or the system as a whole it is almost always called Terra-Sol.
The land masses also are almost exact duplicates of earth's, but the political divisions are not. As is so common with Orion League worlds, Terra-Sol quickly balkanized after settlement. For example North Americas 2.5 billion people live in 7 different countries. The Republic of Chicago, The Republic of Texas, Columbia, The Aztec Empire, The United States of America, Russia (only a portion, mainly Alaska, The Northwest Territory and northern British Columbia) and The Republic of the Plains.
Terra-Sol is a very heavily populated world of 15 billion, soon to be 16 as veterans of GW2 filter back to their home world. Most people live in large mega-cities. Concrete jungles with 50 story or taller skyscrapers as far as the eye can see. For example the starting point for this campaign, Kansas City, which is the capital of The Republic of the Plains, stretches form what we know as St. Joseph in the north to Sedalia in the east to Nevada in the south and Topeka to the west. This city huge by the standards we are used to, has a population of over 42 million. Hard as it is to believe, this is a relatively small mega-city. But it is the largest in The Republic of the Plains.
The average person lives in a 200 sq. ft. "apartment". The typical layout is 10' wide by 20' deep. It contains a bed which folds into the wall to make a couch during the day. It has a small auto kitchen and sink. A tri-dee set sits in one corner, a 3' by 3' toilet/shower in another. Larger units of course are available, but are quite expensive.
Terra-Sol itself is quite full of mysteries. For example, it seems quite improbable for two almost exact solar systems to develop in the Universe, let alone in the same spiral arm of one galaxy. What is the cause of the high mutation rate on Terra-Sol? These are just two of the mysteries of this planet. They are only now being looked into. GW2 left no time to look into the larger scientific questions of Terra-Sol.
GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)