Rise of an Empire

Hiigara has become an empire...

Known as the Pax Hiigara by the beginning of the Dustwars, they are the largest nation in the Galactic Council with over a thousand worlds, and represent the largest military organization ever assembled.

This rise to power was not without conflict however. After the fall of the Taiidan Empire, the Turanic Raiders were able to push forth from the Great Wastelands, overrunning and conquering many of the former Taiidan kingdoms surrounding the galactic core. The growing Pax Hiigara was asked by the Galactic Council to eliminate this threat.

In exchange the First Empress Heidi S’jet, asked to lay claim to the worlds taken from the Turanic. With additional help from the Republican Taiidan, the Pax easily pushed back the Turanic Raiders, practically eliminating their entire species. In the end, only a small stronghold located in the desolate star system of Tobar remained. These few fled to the graveyard at Karos and hid there.

The new territories to the north and east of the galactic core acquired by the Pax were instantly contested among the various Kiith’s. Major Kiiths like S’jet, Manaan, Paktu, and Nabaal claimed many of these “inner rim” worlds. Kiith Soban however looked outwards, to the distant stars of the unexplored eastern spiral. The Sobani Kiith-Sa Melaarn Soban, requested of Heidi that he would gladly give up any claim to the worlds of the inner core, to in exchange be granted the vast expanses of the uncharted eastern spiral. Heidi, eager to do anything to appease the growing territorial conflict between the various Kiiths, and now even the Taiidan Republic, readily agreed.

Heidi understood that to colonize the eastern spiral, she would have to acquire a route through Republican territory in the south. Faced with an impending conflict, and the growing strain on the Pax’s economy, she looked to an old legend recovered from the former Taiidan Imperial Archives. The legend spoke of a massive network of hyperspace gates perforating the galaxy, allowing instantaneous travel across vast expanses of space.

Heidi turned to the Bentusi for answers. The Bentusi, eager to see an end to the growing friction between the Pax and the Republic, admitted that the legend was true, that at one point there had been a hyperspace gate network, known as the “Ring Road”, bridging the corners of the galaxy.

The other members of the Council vehemently opposed this idea, stating that re-opening the Ring Road would be inviting disaster should there ever be an invasion from the outside. However, in spite of pressure from the rest of the Council, Heidi with the aid of the Bentusi, was able to rally the Republic to this option rather than descend into yet another conflict with the Taiidan. A joint effort between the two great nations began to recover the location of the lost “key” to re-opening the Ring Road.

Following a trail of ancient documents, it was discovered that the control center laid in a remote megalith deep in the very core of the galaxy, an area plagued with multiple black holes, and densly packed star clusters. This megalith, known as Balcora, drew energy directly from the immense gravitational force of these black holes. But it required one final thing to operate: An ancient hyperspace core, like the one recovered from the wreck of the Khar-Toba by the Kushan decades earlier. The original core however, was presumed to have been destroyed with the rest of Kharak by the Imperial Taiidan. This led Republican and Hiigaran scientists alike to question whether or not the replica core used in the Kushan Mothership would be capable of powering Balcora.

In spite of fierce objections from the Daiamid council, Heidi permitted the removal of the core from the Mothership so it could be transported to the Balcora site. As the hypercore was connected to its berth deep inside the tremendous structure, ancient megaliths strewn across the galaxy surged to life with newfound energy.

Balcora and the hypercore were declared by Heidi to be the property of the citizens of the galaxy, an edict which the entire council unanimously agreed to. As she had hoped, one of the gates inside Pax territory passed completely over Republican space, connecting to a megalith on the frontier of the unexplored Eastern Spiral.

This massive megalith, known as the Eye of Arran, contained numerous gates, leading to various places inside the inner rim including Triishala, the Republican Taiidani capital world. One gate however, pointed out deep into the eastern spiral. Heidi, eager to legitimize the Pax’s claim to the Eastern Spiral, rapidly organized a survey fleet and sent them through the gate, into the unknown.

The gate sent the survey team into proximity of a world which was later discovered to be called Nalthor by its inhabitants. With several months of diplomacy, the advanced Nalthoran civilization was quickly appended as a protectorate of the Pax under Kiith S’jet. Melaarn Soban was greatly displeased by Heidi’s actions, and protested, saying that she was violating her agreement to allow Kiith Soban to claim the new territories in the Eastern Spiral.

Several months later, one of the Hiigaran defense satellites installed above Nalthor turned towards the planet and launched its payload of tactical fusion warheads. The warheads struck the Nalthoran royal palace, killing every Nalthoran queen, except one, who was on unofficial business nearby. The Nalthorans quickly faulted Kiith S’jet, claiming that S’jeti technology was to blame and requested them to leave the planet.

However a rogue Sobani agent was discovered at the defense satellite, and captured before he could commit suicide. The Nalthoran ambassador, Cephalon Peake, had become friendly to Heidi, as well as the local S’jet officials, and requested to interrogate the Sobani prisoner. Within hours, a trail of evidence, drawn from the prisoner’s confession, was uncovered; leading straight back to the upper echelons of the Sobani military. Melaarn claimed he had no knowledge of any attack being planned, and as proof of this launched a heavily publicized investigation, that wound up terminating the careers of several of his most prominent generals.

Heidi requested that Nalthor remain a protectorate of the Pax, and with prompting from Cephalon Peake, the Nalthoran Queen agreed. However she demanded that the Hiigaran defense satellites were to be removed and no outside technology would be allowed beyond the great Port of Nalthor. To this day Nalthorans still do not trust Hiigaran technology.

At the following Pax senate meeting, Heidi apologized to Melaarn for her actions, stating that Kiith S’jet would cease further operations in the Eastern Spiral, and that she would remain true to her agreement to allow Kiith Soban to explore and colonize the Eastern frontier. However Nalthor would remain the responsibility of Kiith S’jet because of their "deeply rooted political trust”.

For the following years, Kiith Soban expanded Pax territory along the Eastern spiral, claiming worlds and contacting new species and civilizations. Heidi grew older, and Karan’s Codex named her successor, a boy called Dutreau Savaros, the son of a S’jeti ambassador. She adopted him at an age of 15 as her protégé, and continued to mentor him for the next twenty years until her death.

Dutreu was crowned Emperor of the Pax, and for the next two years he filled his new role brilliantly, initiating reforms to unite the militaries of the various Kiith’s into three forces: The RimWard Fleet, the CoreWard Fleet, and the Unified Hiigaran Defense Fleet. Whilst the RWF and CWF were still composed primarily of assorted Kiithid navies, the UHDF was a united force, servicemen and women from every Kiith, and every world in the Pax crewing on ships together. As a demonstration of the glory of the Pax, Dutreu announced that he would be leading an expedition to assist Kiith Soban in colonizing the Eastern Spiral.

The 1st Royal Expeditionary Fleet was formed with Dutreau at its head, beginning with a tour of the Pax, working their way slowly towards Sobani territory, with the final goal of assisting Kiith Soban in actually colonizing a virgin constellation. The constellation consisted of three systems each with several habitable planets and moons, an absolute rarity, the gem of the east. Trillions of Pax citizens watched on their holo-screens as the publicly broadcast expedition stopped at the lavish Manaan resort-world of Derwalk, passed through the shining Sobani cities around China Gate, and stared with intensity as the fleet entered hyperspace with a course plotted into the unknown.

Next, an event unfolded across their screens that would change the fate of the Pax forever. The scouts of the 1st Royal Expeditionary fleet dropped out of hyperspace in orbit of the primary system’s third planet, and found themselves in the middle of a battle with thousands of ships on either side. Missiles began to fly from both sides as the alien ships opened fire on the Pax vessels. Hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, the scouts sent a warning though their hypercomms back to Dutreau and rejoined the incoming main fleet.

Favoring diplomacy over war, Dutreau went forward with the preplanned jump in-system hoping to use the sheer size of the main battlefleet as a form of power projection to start communications. He knew that the aliens were responding on instinct, and continued with his attempts to initiate communications even as the missiles entered range of his ships. With pressure mounting and the lives of Hiigarans in his hands, Dutreau was left with no choice but to order the demolition of the alien fleet. He had exhausted every possible form of communication, but all that his goodwill garnered was the thunder of innumerable alien guns. By the time the Hiigaran battlefleet at last fell silent it was too late for words, the burning red ion beams of the most advanced vessels in the Hiigaran navy had sliced through ship after ship and both alien armadas been completely decimated. The Pax Hiigara had begun the Pacification wars.