Far Stars Subsector History
Far Stars and Dark Stars Sectors
Located just beyond the Apophis Nebula, these sectors are bounded by the vast strip of space called Lucifer’s Forge. That expanse is littered with unstable stars, neutron stars, pulsars, and at the center is the vast, violet hyper sun known as Lucifer. A stellar monstrosity that shouldn’t even exist, it warps space and time around it almost as intensely as a quantum singularity, yet seems to remain stable. It’s intense sphere of influence prevents Jump Drives from being used for parsecs around it, and its unstable surface shoots off plasma storms, ion storms, and gravity storms across both sectors, a hazard to all ships and worlds in the vicinity. Travel across the rift was impossible, though it had apparently been done in the past, since the early explorers into the area discovered in two isolated systems near the Rift, the barren world of Golgotha, and the cold, lifeless world of Nebiros, massive jump gates of unknown origin called the Death Gates. Whereas most jump gates were the products of the enigmatic Forerunner races called the Valthar, the Annelids, or the Morthraak, these gates were of completely unknown origin. Each is of a unique design, and of unknown operational methods. One functions intermittently, while the other was dormant, and exploration across the Rift was limited, as there were other nearby, far easier to colonize worlds available. Only the odd explorer or archeological expedition used the Hecate Gate to cross the rift, and most of those failed to return. Those that did return had suffered severe losses, reporting hostile hell worlds populated by dangerous predators and extreme climates, space hazards unparalleled in human experience, and worlds covered in vast, ancient ruins, many with still functioning devices that could only be considered traps. These examples served to limit attempts to explore and colonize beyond the rift for centuries.
The second defining characteristic of the Sectors were the suns called Dead Stars. These rare stars possess cold, dying worlds, orbiting the silvery-white stars. These dwarf stars by all evidence of analysis should be young, vibrant, type F, G, or K stars, yet their luminescence has dimmed to the point of being almost brown dwarves. Detailed analysis only shows that somehow, these stars have been artificially altered into the dim, cold stars they are now. The fact that many of the worlds orbiting these stars show signs of having been the home of thriving cultures, now long gone, indicates that some sort of weapon was used, but the mechanics of such a weapon seem to defy the laws of physics as known. It is also known that being under the influence of these stars somehow effects humanoid minds, making them susceptible to hallucinations, both visual and auditory, depression, paranoia, and suicidal. No analysis has shown how this occurs, but the effects are well documented by the Devans, who were the first culture to explore the sectors, about 25 to 30 thousand years ago, and they noted that their research showed the worlds and stars were like that long before they arrived.
The sectors themselves were first found during humanity’s first expansion under the TUWG, when a few small, rogue colonies were established. Most failed, but a few managed to cling to a precarious existence, under threat by aliens. The area didn’t become fully colonized by humanity until the last decades of the Human Imperium. The worlds, clustered together so that only Type 1 and Type 2 Jumps drives were needed, proved a fertile area for colonization, and they prospered, growing rapidly. During the collapse of the Imperium, they were cut off by the Devan drive into human space, and the remnant Imperial government managed to keep things running for fifty years until the Devans sent a Janissary Armada to conquer them. From that point on, a Devan Pasha ruled over the area, usually from the world of Golod. Humans were subjected to slavery and Devan racial laws, reduced to chattel and parceled out to Devan nobles. This regime plundered and looted with impunity, and it dispatched a few expeditions to seek out any bolters who fled through the Hecate jump gate, though only one of the four Imperial Punishment Armadas returned. The occupation lasted until the Devan Phage broke out in the human core worlds. Devan refugees fleeing in plague ships brought the Phage with them, devastating the Devan worlds. The surviving Devan aristocracy and their followers then evacuated all the human worlds and retreated Spinward to the worlds of Golod, Molach, and Valshiva. There the uninfected Devans sealed off their borders, destroying any plague ship that approached, and established the Triarchy, a Devan vassal state governed by the Triarch Council, composed of one Triarch from each of the three worlds. This state then began a period of isolation devoted to maintain what it possessed, though it also took the opportunity to fund Krorr raiders and human shatrat bands to harass its enemies in the area.
In the aftermath of the Phage and the Devan Retreat, the human colonies attempted to organize themselves. Small independent governments formed, but these were under constant threat of roving Shatrat warbands, composed of junk cruisers cobbled together from old ships and wreckage. The Pirate Lords dominated the area until the Solarian Republic began to send exploration ships into the sectors as part of its drive to reconnect with far colonies lost to the Devans. The commitment of fleet elements allowed the Republic to push the pirates back beyond the Fringe and establish order in the area. At first the central government realized the sectors were too far away to directly rule, so it established the Fringe Autonomous Region Authority, and the sectors were allowed a high degree of home rule. This lasted for 123 years, until the discovery of the high grade thorium and iridium mines of the Lateras Belts, as well as the ruins on Kybidos, coupled with increased aggression from Devan and Krorr pirates, and the Megacorporations pushed the Republic to tighten authority in the sectors.
The centralization of control and limiting of local rule provoked more and more resistance in sectors until the First Fringe War broke out. The Free Worlds Confederation was proclaimed at Beltaine, composed of the various Free States proclaimed on individual colony worlds. The distances from the Core Worlds would have normally guaranteed success for the rebels, but they underestimated how much wealth the Megacorporations saw in the Sector. Republic forces were marshaled and constant reinforcements sent in, despite initial rebel victories. By the fourth year of the Rebellion, the Free Worlds were on the defensive, and by the sixth year all the remaining Free Worlds had surrendered. Some desultory guerrilla warfare lasted about two years, but the remaining rebel ships were slowly and methodically hunted down. Now, ten years after the final rebel surrender, the Republic has control over the Fringe sectors again, but the cost has been enormous. Vast amounts of troops and resources are needed to keep control this far from the Core Worlds, and the Megacorporations no longer pay direct taxes as they used to, yet still enjoy reaping the benefits of plundering the worlds of the Fringe, leaving the Republic to direct tax the occupied worlds ruinously. Resentment against the Republic still runs high, and no amount of military and Para-military forces can contain the unrest and protests. Already other Fringe areas grow restive as well, seeking to take advantage of the Republic’s military being tied down in the area, pirates are starting to plague the trade lanes again, and the alien powers, long held in check by fear of the Republic’s military, have started cautiously expanding again now that the Republic Fleet is occupied, setting off streams of bolters who have headed to the Fringe, or tried to flee beyond the Death Gates. It would seem that the time is ripe for those who seek to make their fortunes, and those who hope to keep the light of the Rebellion shining among the dim light of the Dead Stars.