The Story of the Shattered Worlds Mod
For eons humanity has waged wars. From the first pages of recorded history, humans have imposed untold hardships and struggles upon each other. Starting with the first primitive man who wielded a rock with the intention to harm another, this curse was passed down from generation to generation. Be it cause, country or just petty greed humans have always found it easy to pick up arms against one another… this is why the Sirius sector is now our home.
The Exodus from Sol
The beginning of the Sirius sector began over 800 years ago. An epic conflict erupted in the cradle of civilization, the Sol System. This horrific war touched every man, woman and child. Few historical records remain which explain what exactly why or when the war started, but it is known that there were two opposing forces; the Coalition (Russia, China, and the Arab States) and the Alliance (United States, Europe, and Japan.) Billions of lives were lost in the conflict, and after years of stalemate the Coalition managed to gain the upper hand. The Alliance, sensing impending defeat, built massive Sleeper ships in secret which would carry the survivors to a distant system where, it was hoped, that they would escape the cold fingers of war. When the Coalition attacked at one of Jupiter’s moons the Sleeper ships broke the blockade and escaped through hyperspace to the Sirius sector. Amidst the chaos the sleeper ships were scattered, only 5 managed to make it to the Sirius sector and the other 3 were assumed destroyed.
The Landfall of Sleeper Ship Liberty
In the tumult of the exodus from Earth, the Liberty sleeper ship, commissioned by the Americans, launched before the other Sleeper ships. It is surmised by many that the Liberty was intentionally launched early despite the wishes of the Great Planners. Early launch would have guaranteed the Liberty free access to the worlds of the Sirius Sector before the other ships arrive, but all proof of such a betrayal of trust was long lost with Sol. Even if the Liberty did launch early there is little that can be done about it now, but there remains a lingering feeling of resentment among the other Houses; a feeling that, somehow, Liberty does not entirely deserve the position of superiority is enjoys eight centuries later.
When the Liberty first arrived in the Sirius Sector, they found an area rich in resources but lacking in habitable planets. With a hundred systems at their fingertips, they settled on those near the center of Sirius where the highest number of main sequence stars and Earth-like planets existed and a fair number of resources could be easily obtained. Eventually they made planet-fall on Manhattan in the system they christened New York on 0 A.S.
The Landfall of Sleeper Ship Rheinland
Two full years later, the captain of the German Sleeper ship Rheinland was awakened from hypersleep to begin preparations for planet-fall. He and his officers spent weeks studying the long-range sensor logs in an effort to determine the best location for their new home. Much to their surprise, the Rheinlander officers found that the Liberty had already arrived in the sector and made planet-fall within a clutch of worlds near the center of the sector. The officers grudgingly decided to give the Liberty colonists their space, as it were, and instead concentrated on an area close to the Walker Nebula and rich in natural resources.
Landfall of Sleeper Ship Kusari
As the Kusari Sleeper ship approached the Sirius sector they looked for evidence of high percentages of water, analyzing spectrographic wavelengths of various planet atmospheres. One area in particular looked interesting. Lying near a distinctively shaped blue nebula that the on-board astronomer named the Crow, it was composed of relatively young stars, and possessed at least two planets with high amounts of atmospheric water vapor and oxygen. Planet-fall was made on the New Tokyo in 5 AS., five years after the arrival of the Liberty. New Tokyo had plenty of water. What it didn’t offer was much land. The ocean planet was dotted with a few small volcanic islands. A culture that had left their cramped homeland far behind had to accept a cruel twist of fate once again, on the other side of the universe.
The Landfall of Sleeper Ship Bretonia
The Bretonia was one of the last sleeper ships to arrive in the Sirius Sector, almost twenty years after the Liberty, Kusari, and Rheinland had made planet-fall on what became their respective homeworlds. In the chaos of Exodus, the starboard engine array of the Bretonia was destroyed, requiring her to limp the rest of the way to Sirius.
By the time the Bretonia arrived, most of the resource rich areas of the sector had already been claimed by the passengers of the Rheinland and Kusari, while the Liberty had settled the lush planets at the sector core. Bretonia was forced to select a less than ideal site near the Barrier, a giant belt of ice that spans the entire western half of the Sirius Sector. On 20 A.S., they established the colony of New London, on one of the few habitable planets in the area. Isolated by the Barrier from the other Houses and years behind, Bretonia began an accelerated program of rebuilding their industrial civilization.
The Tragedy of the Sleeper Ship Hispania
The Hispania, a Spanish sleeper ship, is thought to have been sabotaged on its escape from the Sol system. On its arrival in Sirius space, many of its passengers split away, becoming the Corsairs. The remainder founded the Outcasts on a planet rich in a plant containing cardamine. The wreck of the Hispania still drifts in Outcast territory. Since departing the Hispania the Corsairs chose one of the few habitable planets remaining, Planet Crete. Forced to survive in an inhospitable area of the Sirius Sector the Corsairs struggled to acquire resources. With expanding neighbors, Bretonia and Rheinland, encroaching on their territory, hostilities erupted. This further isolated the Corsairs from the rest of the Houses. In order to trade with Liberty or Kusari, the Corsairs had to traverse hostile systems. Bretonia and Rheinland patrols also interdicted merchants attempting to trade with the Corsairs.
In an effort to acquire resources, the Corsairs were forced to pirate Bretonian and Rheinland cargo ships. Some less cautious Corsairs began pirating any cargo ship regardless of faction. While they would prefer to trade, they must pirate out of necessity to obtain the resources they need. Despite Corsair protest, they are now considered to be outlaws by most factions. Some historians believe that the Corsairs tale is the most tragic of all the Sol survivors. Denied their rightful place as a House, forced to settle in dangerous edges of space, and fighting an eternal blood feud with their fellow Hispanians, the Corsairs still manage to fight for, and believe in, a cause all others have deemed is lost.
Unlike their Corsair kin, the Outcasts have embraced their pirate nature. Selling cardamine harvested from the Outcast homeworld, Planet Malta, the Outcasts have forged a criminal empire, which spans all four of the main Houses. In an effort to promote distribution of cardamine, the Outcasts have formed unofficial truces with House pirate groups such as the Liberty Rogues, Lane Hackers, Red Hessians and the Golden Chrysanthemums. Closer to home, the Outcasts are engaged in a blood-feud with the Corsairs spanning many centuries. Combined with a warlike nature and rampant cardamine use, Outcasts are known to be fearless. For this reason, Outcasts are some of the most feared pilots in the Sirius Sector.
The 80 Years War
Rheinland was rich in mineral resources but had limited h-fuel. This forced Rheinland to rely on Kusari h-fuel mined out of the Crow Nebula. Primarily mined and provided by the Gas Miners Guild (or GMG), h-fuel was in abundance throughout the Sigma systems.
In order to accommodate Rheinland’s growing h-fuel needs, it’s government started mining h-fuel from the gas clouds in Sigma-13. The GMG had already laid claim to that system, however, so began attacking Rheinland gas miners in covert raids from the gas clouds themselves.
With their superior knowledge of the system and, rumors say, the backing of the Kusari government, the GMG beat back the Rheinlanders at every turn. The War finally came to an end with the Battle of the Yanagi Nebula, where the GMG forces obliterated a large portion of the Rheinland navy, while leaving the remainder to limp home. Remnants of that battle can be found there to this day.
The War Averted
To the workman or freelancer, 800 A.S. marked a decidedly different state of affairs throughout Sirius. Tensions began to brew throughout the Houses once more. Rheinland, who had been somewhat insular since the 80 Years War, had begun troop movements once more. In response, President Jacobi, of Liberty, invited the Reischtag representatives to a meeting on Planet Manhattan. Admiral Schultze of the Rheinland navy was en route to Newark station, in New York, when his convoy came under attack by a mysterious group known only as the Order.
The convoy was destroyed, which outraged the Rheinland government. Over the next weeks, Rheinland navy ships were sighted all throughout Sirius, in places they normally would not be seen. Bretonia and Kusari cautioned the Reischtag, noting that they would defend their space with violence if necessary. Liberty, however, was going through some internal turmoil during this period. Several key LSF officers were put into irons and jailed, while several disappeared as enemies of the state. Two of these were ex-commander Jun’ko Zane and freelancer Edison Trent.
Tensions flared to the point where all-out war seemed inevitable, and just as suddenly, the situation disarmed itself. Most of the Liberty enemies of the State were issued full pardons, including Commander Zane and Edison Trent. Oddly, both of them also received a medal for some unknown action: the Lonestar of Bravery. Despite many lingering questions of the populace of Sirius, government officials of all four Houses remained tight-lipped for years about what events triggered the end of hostilities, and the pardoning of known terrorists.
Sirius After the Nomad Threat
Five years of relative peace passed. Then came the political upheaval in the Houses, leaders died or had attempts made on their lives and the uncertainty accompanying these events created more tension between the great powers of Sirius. On the edge of human civilisation the Outcasts briefly invaded the Border Worlds but not much notice was taken by the Houses, fighting their own skirmishes and cold wars. Eventually escalation took hold and Bretonia declared open hostility with Kusari. Liberty, Bretonia’s ally, was compelled to join them. Rheinland, the economically weakest house, eventually took the side of Kusari but soon afterwards the situation changed. With blinding speed and ferocity the Outcasts invaded Kusari with the help of the Blood Dragons and in very little time they had captured much of Kusari, the other houses standing by in shock. For a month after the formation of the new Kusari government there was unrest and internal rebellion. In reprisal for the assassination of the Emperor they had instated the Outcasts spread a new strain of cardamine on Planet Honshu, a lasting form of torture carried out against millions. After the government settled into a Blood Dragon backed empire Sirius was suddenly eerily quiet. In response to the Outcast invasion the other Houses formed the Strategic Defence Network, strengthening their borders while Kusari healed from the many wounds of war.
Several months passed and the Outcasts left Kusari in the hands of its people. The other Houses took advantage of their new strength to quash some criminal uprisings however tension between them started to show. The Strategic Defence Network, no longer under mutual threat from the Outcast hoard, began to break apart and the Houses began feuding again.
Kusari became the new Blood Empire, with strong ties to the Outcasts, the long lasting scars of war and the internal animosity of centuries of rebellion the House is still a region of political and military instability and is highly distrustful of the other powers in Sirius.
Rheinland has grown economically, no longer in debt to Liberty the House has asserted a new sense of pride and strength which it must draw on heavily in order to deal with pirates from within and without.
Bretonia has remained the stalwart pillar of a nation, mostly unscathed by the recent wars their internal conflict with the Mollys has had the most profound effects on the House.
Liberty has weathered border clashes with its neighbours and after a full scale war, a falling out with its allies and a second Nomad infection it has been the center of change.
Strange ships have begun to be sighted all over Sirius. They attack any target on sight, mostly seen near military positions of power. After many years it became known that they call themselves simply The Guild, and their ultimate goals remain a mystery however their hostility does not.
Liberty, finally feeling some ill effect of their prosperous location in the system, begins to feel the need to expand. Whether it’s because of a lack of resources, or burgeoning populations, the need is felt keenly. However, their push into new systems, particularly the Sigmas, has caused alarm. Kusari, in particular, seems to be taking offense to the new movements by Liberty. They have begun to come in conflict with the Rheinland government, as well, due to that governments moves into the Borderworlds between the Houses.
Kusari has been racked by civil war, conquest and civilian decimation. After the Blood Dragons won Kusari back from their enemies in the War of Light, albeit at a high price, Kusari became known as the Blood Empire. Still struggling with the effects of war the House is beset by rebels and criminals. To top all of this off, Blood Empire naval vessels have been sighted within the Tau cluster, much to the chagrin of House Bretonia. Liberty, as well, has been the target of the Blood Empire's hostility at times but have, as yet, avoided outright war.
Bretonia has moved its naval forces to its boarders along the Tau and Omega clusters, to combat increased hostility from both the Blood Empire and Rheinland. While doing this, however, Bretonia has seen a huge jump in Molly criminal activity. With subversive assistance from the Blood Empire the Mollys pushed Bretonia into an unprecedented compromise, and the Dublin Free State was born.
House Rheinland sat for the first two years licking its wounds. It became an insular society, worrying about rebuilding its military might and crumbling economy. However, a year ago, Rheinland military vessels have made a push into the Borderworlds between itself and Liberty. Planet Atka, in the Hudson system, has been the target of several Rheinland terraforming operations, though no building has begun. This has obviously put the Rheinland and Liberty governments at odds. Along with this push, as well, the Rheinland government is moving more forces into the Omegas to attempt to block the Bretonians and an increased Corsair presence.
The Outcasts have continued their tradition of turbulent history in the period since their assistance to the Blood Dragons in conquering Kusari. Outcast smugglers still move the masses of cardamine to the houses in spite of their internal political turmoil and increased isolationism. The ancient blood feud of the Hispanians has flared on and off, with temporary Outcast incursions into Corsair space and Corsair plans for expansion into the Sigmas.
The Corsairs have begun to push more into the Omega cluster intent, it seems, on crushing the Hessians and solidifying a hold on the minerals of both Omega-5 and Omega-11. Artifacts are flooding the market as rumors have abounded of the real reason behind the last war: some new alien race. Collectors have flocked to the Junkers and Hogosha, looking for as many of the ancient relics as they can get their hands on. The Corsairs quietly sell them, knowing full well the extent of the creatures at their back door...
The unity of the Houses is shattered. The worlds stand on the brink of war. Where do you fit in? Only you can grasp your destiny and find it within the Shattered Worlds.