FANDOM


The Second Aurelian War is the name given to a series of interstellar conflicts between the Aurelians and the Human colonists of the Perseus Quadrant of the Milky Way galaxy. The period of the conflict spanned roughly the Solar Years 7296 to 7344 [Sapphirean Years 7604 – 7656, Republic Years 6982-7025]. 

Aurelian War

The Battlefronts of Second Aurelian War

</p>

Precursors to WarEdit

Previously, over a period of some 500 Solar Years, the Aurelians – a post-human race of beings with greater physical strength and higher mental capacity than homo sapiens – had conquered scores of human worlds as they pursued their ultimate goal of total Galactic Domination.

As the Aurelians conquered each worlds, they stripped them of their resources in order to build their next battle fleet and construct a new Megasphere. A Megasphere was an artificial world in which the Aurelians lived.  When their new fleet and new megasphere was complete, the Aurelians sterilized the conquered inhabitants so that the worlds they left behind would become depopulated. Those human inhabitants deemed most worthy and faithful were taken aboard their megaspheres to serve as slaves in one of the four casts: Cups (Servants); Pentacles (Technicians); Swords (Warriors) and Wands (Controllers of the other casts). They were led by a mysterious cabal of quasi-gods known as ‘The Arcana,’ who were said to have transcended physical form and lived on as the embodiment of Aurelian ideals.

Their initial conquest of the galaxy was halted when the Aurelians crossed paths with the pathfinder ship Lexington Keeler. The pathfinder ship destroyed an Aurelian megasphere using a cascade-effect anti-matter weapon (Nemesis or “Big Dam” warhead). The Aurelians sued for peace and agreed not to attack any worlds under the protection of the New Commenwealth of the Galaxy (NCG or Commonwealth) or Free Worlds Affiliation (Free Worlds). In exchange, the NCG and the Free Worlds pledged to dismantle and ban the use of cascade-effect weapons of mass destruction. The planet-sized spheres they had been using to conquer the galaxy were all recalled to the Aurelius Prime System.

The Agreement held for nearly a hundred years. In that time, the Commonwealth expanded to include 34 worlds. 25 worlds were joined in the Free Worlds by arrangements of trade agreements, non-aggression pacts, and diplomatic exchanges. Most of these worlds were located in the Perseus, Pegasus, Columba, and Vulpecula sectors of the Perseus Quadrant of the Milky Way Galaxy. In addition, over a hundred Non-Aligned worlds spread across the quadrant were not formally aligned with either Interstellar organization. 

Aurelians believed themselves to be a superior life form to the Human Race. Through generations of selective breeding and genetic manipulation under the control of an alien race called the Aenagh, the Aurelians had developed superior size, strength, resilience and intelligence. Their ultimate goal (stated) was to conquer every human world in the galaxy and eventually drive the human race to extinction. As the New Commonwealth and the Free Worlds grew in size and power, they became a threat to Aurelian ambitions.

In their previous contacts, the Aurelians had discovered themselves to be at a technological disadvantage to the other worlds in the quadrant, having no ability to navigate in hyperspace and therefore limited to traveling in temporal space. They attempted to bargain for the Hyperspace Navigation Technology (based on human precognitives) used by the New Commonwealth and the Free Worlds. But recognizing the strategic value of this technology, the NCG and the Free Worlds withheld it.

Unknown to the other worlds in the Quadrant – which would eventually form the New Galactic Commonwealth and the Free Worlds Alliance – the Aurelians had in the course of their journeys discovered an ancient Commonwealth Ship … the Library of Alexandria … which had been dispatched to the Perseus Quadrant millennia before on a mission to preserve human knowledge in the wake of Tarmigan Apocalypse. By the time Alexandria had reached its destination (the Commonwealth Protectorate Base on the planet Stronghold, the world had already fallen to the Tarmigans. The ship followed protocol and made orbit, and remained in orbit for centuries until the Aurelians happened upon it.

The ship was literally a storehouse of the technological and cultural knowledge of the Old Commonwealth. With knowledge from the Alexandria, the Aurelians were able to rapidly develop new technologies in faster-than-light (FTL) transit, as well as advances in weapon technology, genetic engineering, superluminal communication, and artificial intelligence.Armed with these enhanced abilities, the Aurelians moved to take out the main obstacles to their plan of Galactic Conquest.

Chronology of the WarEdit

First Aurelian Assault – SY7290Edit

In SY 7296, the Aurelians launched battle fleets of 6-12 capital ships in near simultaneous attacks against ten major systems in the Perseus Quandrant:

  • Bella La Cava – Bella La Cave was the third most populated planet in the Free Worlds Affiliation An Aurelian Battle Group approached the planet from over the north magnetic pole. The planet’s largest cities were badly damaged by orbital bombardment, but landing forces met stiff resistance from Bellalacavan Security forces and “Irregular” militia forces from the Badlands. The Aurelians managed to land forces and occupy the planet’s larger cities and government facilities; but the stage was set for a prolonged ground battle with resistance forces.
  • Boon – Boon was a well-populated, strategically located world in the NCG. The Aurelian Battle fleet was able to smash through the system’s defenses, establish a beachhead and maintain a garrison presence on the surface of Boon.
  • Denali – Denali was one of the Major Worlds of the NCG. A force of ten Aurelian ships was launched against the Denali system. The colony was fortunate to have two Defender ships in the system at the time of the attack. Though outnumbered and outgunned, the Defenders battled for several days in the orbital space around Denali. Although one defender ship… Formidable … was destroyed in combat, the other defender, Constellation survived the battle and succeeded in driving off the surviving Aurelians, who retreated to Boon to reinforce the garrison there.
  • Furlong – The Furlong system (Free Worlds) was almost completely undefended and fell rapidly under Aurelian occupation. The Aurelian fleet took an orbital position above the planet and sent thousands of Sword troops to occupy its cities. The Aurelians threatened to destroy their cities if their troops met with any resistance.
  • Gander-Longueil – The Aurelians sent a force of ten ships into the Gander-Longueil System, which divided into two attack groups – one for each planet. Although system defenses were limited, the worlds managed to fend off the worst of the ground and air attacks although cities on both worlds suffered major damage and the Aurelians were able to establish a beachhead on Longueil. The Aurelian fleet established an orbital presence over both worlds. By threatening to annihilate the worlds from orbit, the Aurelians effectively neutralized the Gander-Longueil system.  
  • Independence – A large force of Aurelian ships was able to enter the Independence system (a member of the NCG), cripple the system defenses, and launch attacks on several major cities causing massive devastation. Presidio Capitat and several major cities were occupied by Aurelian forces and the planet was held as an Aurelian stronghold until late in the war.
  • Republic – Republic, the most advanced and most populated single world in the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy, was the target of a strike force Aurelian battle cruisers. The fleet was shot into the Republic system out of the plain of the system but rather close to the Republic sun. The battle for Republic lasted several days and orbital bombardment inflicted heavy damage on some of the major Republic cities. The attack was eventually repulsed.
  • Sapphire – Sapphire’s Advanced System Defenses detected the Aurelian attack fleet while it was well outside their system and the Permanent Sapphire Defense was able to engage and destroy the fleet before it reached the inner system.  The Defender ship Chaotic Good led patrol cutters and attack fighters from the system’s outer bases against the Aurelian fleet. The Sapphirean forces attempted to disable and capture the Aurelian flagship for intelligence purposes, but the Aurelians destroyed their ship rather than let it be captured.  
  • Emeishan – The Aurelians were able to cripple planetary defenses and occupy the capital city of Attenborough. More forces followed and completed planetary occupation. Emeishan remained a base of operations throughout the war.

    The Aurelians dispatched a message to the leadership of the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy, the Declaration of the Priestess. The complete text of the Declaration was: “Aurelia Triumphs.” To which Free Worlds General Taine Ravenaw of Wolf’s Head responded, “About half the time.”

It is believed that the Aurelian strategy was to decapitate the New Commonwealth by attacking, occupying or destroying its most advanced, most strategic systems. The fleets sent against Sapphire and Republic were too small to effectively occupy those worlds, and it is believed their purpose was to obliterated them from orbit. Thousands of heavy missiles were found in the debris of the destroyed ships.  Once these worlds were crippled, the rest of the quadrant would be open for conquest. It is believed the ultimate Aurelian intention was to annihilate the population of the occupied worlds. However, they first intended to strip the planet’s resources in order to build the battle fleets for their projected next stage of the conquest.

Subsequent AttacksEdit

As the Commonwealth and Free Worlds struggled to assess the damage and comprehend the new threat, the Aurelians launched an all-out attack against the planet Bernal, a planet of 20,000,000 inhabitants in the Columba Sector. The Aurelian assault utterly destroyed the colony, exterminating its human population and leaving its surface a radioactive wasteland. Bernal was a non-aligned world with low technological development and no strategic value. The New Commonwealth perceived its destruction as a warning against attempting to liberate any of the worlds under Aurelian occupation.

The Aurelians launched subsequent attacks against the Wolf’s Head and Rainier III systems on the 190th and 390th solar days following the initial assault. These systems were able to repulse each of these assaults before the battle fleets came within striking distance of the home worlds due to the presence and alertness of defense forces. The forces involved were not large, and these attacks were believed to be either probing attacks against system defenses or diversionary attacks to keep the Commonwealth and Free Worlds Off-Guard.  

Over the next several years, the Aurelians launched similar attacks following the same pattern; launching battle groups into other systems, bombarding populated worlds from space, but without establishing occupation forces on the worlds of those systems. Meanwhile, they sought to consolidate their holds on the worlds taken in the First Offensive.

The Second Aurelian Offensive – SY 7299Edit

The Second Aurelian offensive was focused entirely on the Bountiful System – An Aurelian Battle Fleet was inserted within Bountiful System A and attempted to conquer Bountiful Prime, Columba Zion, and Chaldea. The NCG had anticipated that the Bountiful system would be an Aurelian target, and dispatched the few Defender Class ships it could spare to its defense. These ships, coupled with Bountifullian Defense Forces and orbital defenses, enabled Bountiful Prime and Columba Zion to prevent the Aurelian ships from making orbit over their central worlds. However, after weeks of fighting, Chaldea (in the outer system)  fell and Aurelian forces fell back to the planet Gideon. Both worlds fell and became occupied by Aurelian forces.  

The Aurelians were able to maintain their footholds in the Bountiful system for the next eleven years on Gideon and the next nineteen years on Chaldea. The Bountiful System would remain an active war zone for the first half of the war, but the diligence and perseverance of Bountifullian forces contained Aurelians to those two worlds. The Bountiful Defense Forces could not counterattack Chaldea or Gideon directly because of the threat of planetary annihilation from the orbiting Aurelian Dominatrix Class Base Ships.

First Allied Counteroffensive – SY 7300Edit

After several years of building up system defenses in Sapphire, Republic, and other systems that had not yet been attacked, the New Commonwealth began planning counter-strike missions with the aim of pushing back the Aurelian fleets and liberating occupied worlds.

To lead the counterstrike, the Commonwealth appointed Supreme Commander Paxton Rowsdower of Longueil; at the time the Prime Commander of the Explorer Ship Commonwealth. He was given command of the Longueilian Defender Ship Stratos as his command ship.

Rowsdower called for an immediate counterstrike against the Aurelians to stop their momentum. He put together a force of three defender ships and set on a course for Guelph colony. Unfortunately, Guelph was not under Aurelian occupation and its government became annoyed when Rowsdower’s fleet demanded their unconditional surrender. Eventually, Rowsdower became aware of his mistake, and redirected his fleet toward Emeishan Colony. Not only was his battle fleet routed, but the Aurelians destroyed a major city on the planet in retaliation for the New Commonwealth attack.

Rowsdower returned to Chapultepec still in command of Stratos, and the New Commonwealth Minister of Defense expressed his full confidence in Supreme Commander Rowsdower’s leadership. Shortly thereafter, Sapphire, Wolf’s Head, and the rest of the Free Worlds pulled out of the New Commonwealth military structure and announced they would be forming their own military alliance to deal with the Aurelians. 

Second Allied Counteroffensive - SY7305Edit

The Second Allied Counteroffensive was a focused effort to liberate Independence. Again, the couinter-offensive consisted of a Task Force led by Supreme Commander Rowsdower. The fleet of three defenders and two refitted Explorer ships and the Pathfinder Ship Republic'.  

As the fleet approached the system, the Provisional Occupational Government of Independence (POGI) broadcast messages telling the fleet not to attack. The POGI were operating in collaboration with the Aurelians. The Aurelians had a Dominatrix class battlestation in orbit with nucleonic missiles targeted on the Independence capital of Presidio Capitat, and the ability to utterly destroy the planet.

Rowsdower chose to disregard the warning and press on. The fleet attacked and destroyed what they believed to be the Aurelian battle station but what was in fact Independence’s orbital spaceport. Republic and the two explorer ships were destroyed in the battle that followed. Rowsdower’s flagship, Stratos, and the Defender Ships Indefatiguable and  Illustrious retreated from the system and returned to Chapultepec.

Rowsdower began planning another counter-offensive, planning to retake the Emeishan system. His plans were rejected by the War Council. He was relieved of his duties as Supreme Commander and given a position on the War Council. He would go on to serve as the Chief of Commonwealth Intelligence, later in the war.

The Hellas Peace Conference and the Ecco 1 AllianceEdit

In SY7306, the Aurelians sent a message to the New Galactic Commonwealth Council requesting their attendance at a Peace Conference on a world called Hellas. Hellas was unknown to the Commonwealth, but the coordinates led to a system in Lyra sector. Hellas was a world the Aurelians had conquered over a hundred years previously. It was unpopulated, all evidence of human inhabitation scrubbed from its surface. The Aurelians constructed a Peace Complex over the ruins of one of Hellas’s cities. They were represented by delegations from most of the worlds they occupied at the time: Boon, Furlong, Longueil, Gander, Independence, and Emeishan. All of the members of the delegations were native inhabitants of the worlds they represented (or, at least, they appeared to be) except for the leader of the Peace Delegation, an Aurelian male called Bartholomew. Delegations from the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy and the Free Worlds Alliance were dispatched to Hellas.

The Aurelian delegations conveyed the official position that the Commonwealth (and the Free Worlds) must accept and concede that these worlds were part of ‘Greater Aurelia,’ and make no attempt to free them. They presented a list of other worlds that would be ceded to Aurelia in the coming years that included the colonies of Vermilion, Key Lyra, Sierra Vela, New Hawthorne, Fortnight, and Fulcrum. In return, the remaining major worlds would not be attacked.

The Commonwealth and the Free Worlds disagreed. Their opening demand was that Aurelians should unconditionally withdraw from all occupied worlds. This demand was deemed ‘unacceptable’ by the Aurelian negotiators.

Shortly after the Peace Talks convened, the Aurelians announced an alliance with the cyborg population of Ecco 1 colony. The cyborgs immediately declared a ‘War of Recrimination’ with Aurora, the planet that had developed their progenitors. The Aurora-Ecco war was a subsidiary conflict to the Second Aurelian War, although the Ecco 1 cyborgs fought alongside Aurelians, allowed their world to be used as a base of operations, and infiltrated Commonwealth and Alliance bases. They also attempted to radicalize the android population of Medea and spark an uprising of AI’s against humanity, but the androids chose to remain neutral.

The Third Aurelian Offensive: SY7310-7315Edit

In SY7310, Aurelian attack fleets again appeared in a number of systems, including Guelph, Fortnight, Vermilion, Swansong, Larkspur, and Fulcrum. Fulcrum and Iota Arae were successfully occupied. The attacks against Fornight, Vermilion, and Thistledown were turned back when their command ships were disabled through new technology deployed on Free Worlds ships; a crippling nanovirus developed cooperatively by Defense Initiative Consortium (a working group of weapons companies) and the University of New Tenochtitlan on Sapphire. The Seeker Nanovirus disrupted Aurelian neural networks and crippled the systems of their battle fleet. It had been integrated into the defense systems of many colonies under the Free Worlds, but the Commonwealth War Council had not approved it for deployment on Commonwealth Worlds.

In SY7313, an Aurelian force attacked the Chapultepec Starlock but was held off by the StarLock’s Commonwealth-Era defensive systems. A battle fleet without a command ship attempted to attack the NCG Auxiliary Command Base at New Andover later in the year, but was repulsed after several days of space combat.

An attack on Wolf’s Head in SY7314 was defeated in a single Wolverine Day. The Wolverine Chief of Chieftains Forseti-the-Unyielding warned the Aurelian Commander ‘If you attack our world, we will repulse your attack. Then, we will defeat your ships. Then, we will annihilate you.’ The Aurelian assault on Wolf’s Head was met by withering fire from ground-based defenses. The Aurelians withdrew to regroup for a second attack. By hiding the bulk of his forces, Forseti was then able to draw the Aurelians into a violent ambush that destroyed the bulk of the Aurelian fleet. As the Aurelians retreated, Forseti’s ships chased them into the rings of one of the outer planets, where the Aurelians thought they could evade their sensors. But Forseti had placed thousands of mines throughout the ring system, annihilating the rest of the fleet. This day became known as ‘A Day to Remember on the Wolverine calendar. It was the first and greatest defeat of the Aurelians since the start of the war. A rare occasion of victory in the early years of the war.

In SY7315, the Aurelians launched a new offensive and were able to successfully occupy three additional systems, New Hawthorne, Psi Triangulum, and Thrace, but attacks on the Maru system were repulsed by the giant space battle robots the planet had constructed as a means of defense.

The Bountiful system remained a combat zone throughout the period. The Aurelians had hoped to capture or destroy the shipbuilding facilities on the outer world of Chaldea (and its moon Babylon) but had underestimated the strength of defenses on that planet. Nevertheless, Chaldea suffered extensive damages and shipbuilding operations had to be suspended for over a year.

A combined Task Force (Task Force North Star) was dispatched to liberate Fulcrum in SY7316, but turned back after they were unable to infiltrate the system undetected and the Aurelian base ship threatened to annihilate the planet if the fleet did not back off.

Third Allied Counteroffensive – SY 7312Edit

Beginning the Solar Year 7311, both the Free Worlds Alliance and the New Commonwealth set up joint bases on the non-aligned planet Terpsichore, and Terpsichore became the major joint operational base through the remaining years of the conflict. Alliance Defense forces cooperated with New Commonwealth forces on ad hoc Task Force bases. The first of these was the liberation of the Gander-Longueil system.

Joint Task Force Red Augur/Alpha Return was a force of some sixty New Commonwealth and Free Alliance heavy warships dispatched in SY7316 to liberate the Gander-Longueil system from Aurelian occupation. Force commanders recognized that in order to liberate the planets successfully, it would be necessary to prevent the Aurelians from bombarding the worlds below with weapons of mass destruction. Tactical forces snuck into the system for years in advance to study the Aurelian ships and prepare assault plans.

The Aurelians had ringed both planets with automated attack satellite warheads that threatened to annihilate both worlds in response to any attempt to liberate them. The warheads were controlled from Dominatrix-class battle stations in polar orbits around each planet. The Dominatrixes were heavily defended with cannons, missiles, and swarms of attack ships. The Aurelians believed their defenses were impenetrable.

The Free Worlds Alliance forces under General Commander Vaughan Lancaster of Gander were tasked with the liberation of Gander. New Commonwealth forces under Supreme Commander Topanga Hanjin of Republic were charged with liberating Longueil. Their fleets spent more than two Solar Years hiding among the outer worlds of the Gander Longueil system, among the moons of Abelard and the icy rings of Yyz as they made their preparations, infiltrating and studying Aurelian defenses. Both commander agreed that the most effective attacks would be coordinated and simultaneous, but the two leaders varied vastly in strategy. Both recognized that disabling the orbital warheads were key to success. Intelligence indicated that Aurelians intended to use the warheads as a Scorched Ground last resort to lay waste to the planets in the event their forces were defeated.

Lancaster theorized that the warheads would be designed to defend against a spaceborne attack, but would never anticipate an attack coming from the ground. Over the course of two years, using the planets and moons of the Gander-Longueil system for cover and carefully evading Aurelian patrols, he managed to smuggle Special Operations forces to the surface of Gander, along with Skystreak missiles specially designed to defeat the orbital weapons platforms by flying too fast to be detected before impact. Topanga favored a soft-kill approach to the warheads, equipping several squadrons of Raptors with Electromagnetic pulse weapons to fry the circuitry of the warheads and render them inert; a high-risk strategy that required the Raptors to maneuver in close to the warheads.

Fortuitously, as the day of the final assault neared, an Aurelian battle convoy was detected en route to the Gander-Longueil system; a remnant force of ships that had carried out an unsuccessful attack on the Denali system. Vauxhall saw the fleet as an opportunity to distract the Aurelians and draw some of their Attack Fighters away from planetary defense. He dispatched one of his Defender Ships (Formidable) and two Fast Attack Corvettes to tail the Aurelian ships. The plan succeeded as the Aurelians sent ships to defend the remnant fleet, thus drawing down some of their defenses.

Cautiously, Lancaster and Hanjin moved their fleets closer to Gander and Longueil. The planet’s military was able to exploit a weakness in the artificial intelligence network of the Aurelian ships to create gaps in their sensor and defensive systems. Taking advantage of blind spots in the Aurelian sensor net, approaching from the far side of the sun, and carefully plotting a course that hid them behind the inner planets of the system. Finally, at zero hour, the fleets attempted the riskiest part of their attack … a hyperspace jump intended to place them right on top of the Aurelian Forces. Nothing like it had ever been attempted before and the risk of failure was great. By jumping through hyperspace for only a few seconds, the lead attack ships were able to jump into position light seconds away from the Aurelian base ships. Simultaneously, over 300 Skystreak missiles were fired from the surface of Gander, taking out many, but not all, of the orbital warheads. Two Defender Ships appeared over the Aurelian Base Ship over Longueil and rapidly launched a barrage of missiles against the Dominatrix. Two more Defenders exited hyperspace near Gander, but out of effective weapons range. The two ships mounted a sustained, head-on attack against the Gander base ship while launching missiles against the remaining warheads.

Within 40 hours of the initial assault, the Aurelian base ships were destroyed and their warheads neutralized. The two most populous worlds under Aurelian occupation had been liberated. Fearful of an Aurelian counterstrike, Alliance Task Force “Red Dog” was sent to defend Bella La Cava. Task Force “Red Saint” was sent to Furlong. NCG Task Force Beta Protector was sent to Independence, and Task Force Kilo Guardian was sent to Furlong. They were under orders to hold in the outer system and attack the Aurelians should they attack planets still under their occupation. But the Aurelians did not annihilate their occupied worlds.

The Fourth Aurelian Offensive – SY7322Edit

In SY7322, the Aurelians launched offensives against a number of worlds all within the Perseus sector, including New Hawthorne, New Andover, and Perseus Superior, as well as Terpsichore in the Triangulum Sector. Strategists believe the Aurelians were attempting to cut off and destroy Guelph, which had become the primary operating base for combined offensive operations.

Terpsichore Base was targeted for attack by an Aurelian fleet built and launched from occupied Boon and Furlong colonies; the first use of war machines constructed on occupied worlds. The ships were crewed by collaborators and commanded by Aurelian loyalists.

The Fourth Allied Counter-Offensive (SY7324)Edit

Bella La Cava was liberated by the Free Worlds Military Alliance after a long space and ground battle in SY7324. Resistance Forces had managed to smuggle several pulse weapons onboard Aurelian shuttlecraft. The simultaneous detonation of the these weapons caused system failures throughout the ship and disabled its shield grid. Skystreak missiles from the surface of Bella La Cava launched against the ships, striking it with nucleonic warheads and crippling the Dominatrix. Four battle groups emerged from Hyperspace while the Dominatrix was still disabled and engaged the other elements of the Aurelian Fleet. Landing ships deposited Alliance Troopers on the ground where they met and reinforced planetary resistance forces. The Aurelians were able to partially restore the Dominatrix Base Ship while their fleet engaged FWMA forces, but aimed its weaponry at the space fleet instead of the ground. Fourteen days into the attack, Resistance Force captured the Aurelian Command Tower on the ground, at which point the Aurelians launched a single high-yield missile and destroyed it. Cut off from resupply and reinforcements, and under constant attack, the Dominatrix ran out of munitions 20 days into the siege, by which time its defensive line had taken heavy losses. Lightning Commando Forces boarded the Dominatrix as towing ships moved it away from the planet to limit the damage from the potential detonation of its contained singularity engine. All remaining Aurelian forces were sent to the ground and were ordered to fight to the death. They dug in around the capital city, and while their Swords and Wands tried to hold off the Resistance outside the city walls, a few surviving Aurelian elites and their Cups (servants) holed up in a palace  and spent their last days holding a literal orgy involving massive amounts of drugs and hundreds of sex slaves. Resistance forces broke through the ramparts after days of heavy fighting and retook the city.

The Starlock Raids (SY7320 -SY7326)Edit

The StarLock network played a vital role in moving Commonwealth and Free Worlds fleets, as well as serving as operational bases. The Aurelians, through their Ecco 1 cyborgs, carried out periodic attacks against StarLocks… in particular the StarLocks Chapultepec and Chapterhouse. The defensive systems of the StarLocks … dating from the Old Commonealth, were more than sufficient to the task. But massive attack against Chapterhouse in SY7321 resulted in the destruction of the Pathifinder Ship Odyssey when a saboteur-agent of the Aurelians shut down the defenses from the inside.

The Bountiful Campaign: SY7299 to SY7323Edit

The strategic value of the Bountiful System was incomparable. Bountiful was a triple star system with five habitable planets and four habitable moons. It contained fully half the population of the NCG, over ten billion people. Fighting in Bountiful also kept the system from contributing fully to the NCG defense of other systems. The entire trinary system became a battlefront in the war.

The Aurelians captured two planets in the Bountiful system during their initial invasion, Gideon and Chaldea. Gideon was a fallback position after their battle fleet was repulsed from its attempted conquest of Bountiful Prime; the principle world of the Bountiful System. Gideon did, however, provide a base for the Aurelians to operate and build forces with a focus on conquering the main worlds of Bountiful Prime and Columba Zion.

When the Aurelians seized Chaldea, they also seized the largest shipyard in the Bountiful System, and the only one capable of constructing military capital ships. The Aurelians were able to use the Babylon shipyards on Chaldea’s moon to build additional ships, and were able to manufacture weapons and supplies on both Chaldea and Gideon. Other shipyards in the system (on the moons Liahona and Oquirrh) were expanded to rush the construction of ships for system defense.  

In SY7303, the Aurelians began an offensive against the moons of Desolation. Desolation was a hot brown dwarf in the Bountiful Beta system, orbited by a number of moons, four of which were inhabited. In addition to its inhabited planets, Desolation was a key resource base for Bountiful; a source of energy, chemicals, and minerals used throughout the system. The Aurelians required those resources to build up the Conquest Fleets for the invasions on Bountiful Prime and Columba Zion. The Bountiful War Department had shored up the defenses of its bases around Desolation and built deep subsurface bunkers on the larger moons in preparation for a prolonged campaign. A force of Despoiler and Dreadful class ships from Chaldea entered the orbit of Desolation in early SY7303, where the pocket Defender Ships Psalm 44:5 and Samuel 10:12 met them, along with several squadrons of Raptor Mark II defense ships – armored, tactical versions of the Aquila shuttlecraft. The pitched battle that followed denied the Aurelians access to Desolation’s moons, but resulted in heavy casualties on the Bountifullian side. It was a scenario that would be repeated often during the next fifteen years of the occupation.

In SY7307, a force of Cyborgs from Ecco 1 seized the mining operation and spaceport on the moon Pahoran. That same year, a force of Ecco 1 cyborgs attempted to use a captured merchant ship in a kamikaze attack against the Bountifullian capital of Zarahemla, but the ship broke apart in the atmosphere and its reactors malfunctioned, denying the massive anti-matter detonation the cyborgs had hoped to invoke. Areas nearby Zarahemla suffered the impact of flaming ship debris, however.

In SY7309, Aurelian reinforcements arrived at Chaldea and the Aurelians began a campaign that subsequently became known as 'The Nights of Abaddon.'  Taking advantage of a close conjunction in the orbits of Gideon and Cumorah, the Aurelians launched thousands of their Dart and Dagger attack fighters against the largest cities of Bountiful Prime. None of the fighters ever returned to the Dominatrix over Gideon, it was a one-way assault intended to sow terror into all the inhabitants. After firing their missiles, the entire force of attack fighters suicide bombed the ten largest cities on the planet, resulting in mass casualties. But, miraculously, the attacks missed the sacred temples in those cities. 

In 7310, Bountiful became aware of mass-drivers under construction on Chaldea. If completed and launched, the mass-drivers could have undertaken orbital bombardment of any world in the system. The docks where they were being built were heavily guarded by Cyborgs from Ecco 1.Recognizing they were out of their depth, they sent a Top Secret courier to Chapultepec Starlock asking for assistance. The NCG Task Force reached the system too late to stop the launch of the first four mass-driver ship, but a force of Fast Attack Corvettes was able to pursue the mass drivers into ‘The Mess;’ the enormous, dense asteroid debris field that divides the Chaldea System from the two primary Bountiful star systems. After several weeks of cat and mouse, one of the NCG FAC squadrons caught up with a mass driver ship, engaged, and destroyed it.  The other Task Force found another mass driver and crippled it. The Task Forces then raced to meet up with Bountifullian Forces to engage the surviving ships before they reached Bountiful Prime and Columba Zion. While the FAC’s pursued the Mass Drivers, the other NCG ships attacked the shipyards and engaged the Cyborg forces. The mass-drivers, fortunately, did not reach the launch points required for planetary bombardment.

In 7316, the Aurelians attempted a massive offensive against Bountiful Prime and, as part of the strategy, moved the Dominatrix away from Gideon.  The forces the Aurelians had amassed under the Occupation coupled with third and fourth wave reinforcements joined the Dominatrix in moving toward Bountiful Prime. Though outnumbered, Bountifullian Defense Forces were able to defeat the Aurelians by concentrating their attacks on the Dominatrix. The battle lasted for nearly 40 days, but after the Dominatrix was destroyed, the Aurelians withdrew their remaining forces to Chaldea.

Chaldea was liberated six years later after resistance forces on Chaldea, cooperating with the New Commonwealth Intelligence Service were able to smuggle a Contagion Weapon on board the Dominatrix. This weapon was a form of nanotechnology that began spreading throughout the ship until all of its systems were paralyzed. It was the test run for a strategy the NCG hoped to deploy against the other Aurelian Base Ships. The Dominatrix then crashed into the moon Babylon. The Bountifullians then attacked with a Commonwealth Task Force. The Aurelians eventually withdrew from the system, but the Bountifullian Defender ships hounded them into interstellar space and eventually destroyed them.

In SY7323 the Aurelians deployed a force of Diabolical Class ships in a last effort to hold the Bountiful System; or destroy it if they failed. These ships carried an ultra-powerful version of the Aurelians’ gamma ray burst weapon, the Psion Lance.  The Defense Forces of Bountiful engaged the weapon ship and its force of battle cruisers as they bore down on Bountiful Prime. The Aurelians used the weapon against the Bountifullian command ship resulting in its complete destruction. However, this revealed the power and nature of the weapon to the defending forces, who immediately notified the New Commonwealth Central Command. The Bountiful Defense Ships ignored the escorts and focused their full effort on the Psion Lance ship, crippling it before it could reach their homeworld; albeit with significant losses among their defense fleet.

Gideon and Chaldea were quarantined for ten years after the occupation to prevent the spread of Aurelian biological weapons.

TriangulumEdit

Knowing that the Aurelians always prepared the battlefield by planting agents and spies among the populations of their targeted conquests, the Free Worlds and the NCG had to assume that their activities were being monitored. The capture of Aurelian agents coupled with acts of sabotage confirmed this hypothesis. Their military leaders had to assume that every shipyard, every staging area, every armory, every major strategic location was under surveillance.

The recently charted worlds of the Triangulum Sector presented an opportunity. They were far from any known Aurelian operations or exploration.

The NCG established a large operating base and construction facility in the Terpsichore System. Thistledown became the host to a Free Worlds shipyard, operating base, and major weapons facilities. The planet Call Triangula became a major training site for the Free Worlds Alliance. The worlds had significantly large populations, high technological development, and proximity to the Chalk Starlock.

In order to keep the location secret for as long as possible, knowledge of the Triangulum worlds was maintained at the top levels of secrecy. The crews and passengers of ships sent to Triangulum were not informed of their destinations, which were known only to a few officers on board. The planets were given code names. Terpsichore was referred to as ‘Theta’ (and later “Terma”) in all documents and transmissions. Thistledown was codenamed “Tarantula.” And Call Triangulum was codenamed “Telescope.” To confuse things further, the NCG created further secret documentation falsely designating Fulcrum colony (the site of another NCG operating base) as the location of ‘Theta.’ The Free Worlds linked their code-names to uninhabited systems in the adjacent Antlia sector to further confuse attempts at discovery.

The Aurelians eventually uncovered the locations of the secret bases on Terpsichore and Thistledown and launched attacks against both worlds in the Solar Years 7322 (Terpsichore) and 7325 (Thistledown). But by this time, the worlds were heavily defended and the attacks repulsed. In the meantime, both the NCG and the Free Worlds Alliance had built large fleets of warships and assembled armies capable of undertaking counter-offensives on the Aurelian-occupied worlds.

Fifth Allied Counteroffensive – SY7322 – SY7325Edit

The Free Worlds Alliance drew the Aurelian forces from Furlong and Boon into an ambush at Fortnight colony through a coordinated scheme of false intelligence suggesting the planet was being left vulnerable and undefended; tricking the Aurelians into dispatching an invasion fleet. With forces in those two key systems weakened, two task forces were able to strike quickly. During the Battle of Bella La Cava, FWMA forces had learned that the shielding around Dominatrix-Class Capital ships could be penetrated by a sustained, focused burst from the main anti-proton gun carried by Fast Attack Corvettes. Therefore, their attack strategy for both system involved large numbers of FAC’s acting as attack squadrons; performing lightning-strikes against the orbital base ships as the larger defender ships and battle cruisers engaged the Aurelian capital ships. The Dominatrix-class base ships were crippled in a matter of hours, but the battle raged for several days. The Furlong Dominatrix ship lost containment of its singularity core, blasted away part of the planet’s atmosphere, and left a strong ionic field around the planet.  The Boon ship broke apart in orbit without losing containment (the primary containment vessel remained in orbit), its debris fell from orbit for years. When the space fleets were defeated, ground troopers engaged the Aurelian Sword Forces on the ground. The Aurelian Procurators fled in escape ships.

 

The Fifth Aurelian Offensive – SY7329Edit

In SY7329, the Aurelians and their allies, the Ecco1 cyborgs, launched a new offensive against the Bountiful, Republic, and Sapphire Systems. The three invasion fleets combined numbered over six hundred Diabolical, Despoiler, and Dreadful class ships. The Aurelians assembled their fleets in secret, over a period of years or even decades, in uninhabited systems in the Perseus and Pegasus sectors. NCG picket forces operating in the Bountiful System encountered the Aurelian invasion force in the Bountiful out-system. Although outnumbered, NCG and Bountifullian forces defeated the Aurelians in a prolonged battle.

The Aurelian invasion fleets met stiff resistance outside the Sapphire and Republic systems. The battle lasted for over 100 solar days as the Aurelians sought alternately to evade and penetrate Sapphire and Republic’s defensive lines. A few Dart and Dagger class fighters managed to get close to the prime worlds before interceptors destroyed them, but the larger ships were kept out of the inner system. The Aurelians launched thousands of hyper-missiles, but most were intercepted before reading their targets. Bases on the moons of Gigantor, Aegir, and Forseti took hits from Aurelian missiles and kamikaze runs from Dagger and Dart fighters. When The Aurelians retreated on the 99th Solar Day of combat and their surviving ships headed to reinforce positions on Emeishan and Independence. 

The lack of a Dominatrix class base ship in any of the fleets suggested the Aurelian objective was not to conquer and occupy the systems, but to destroy them and render them strategically inoperative.

Sixth Allied Counteroffensive – SY7330 – SY7333Edit

The Sixth Allied Counter-Offensive liberated Larkspur from Aurelian Occupation. By this time, the NCG-FW Alliance had mastered tactics and strategy against the Aurelians, and were able to disable the Dominatrix-class base ship and liberate the planet in only five days. Another Task Force moved to liberate Emeishan that same year, but the battle to liberate Emeishan met incredibly stiff resistance and showed the Aurelians had adapted to Alliance tactics.

The Aurelian Strategic Withdrawal and Repositioning – SY 7232 to SY7340Edit

By SY 7232, Aurelian Forces had been depleted by sustained combat with New Commonwealth/Free Worlds Alliance forces. Warships withdrew from all but a handful of occupied worlds. The Aurelians reinforced their position on Independence Colony in fear of an invasion, and redirected their surviving ships to protect their smaller occupied colonies; including Acheron, Fulcrum, Montrose, and Coriolis.

During the drawback, the Aurelians adopted a ‘scorched world’ policy based on use of their ‘Psion Lance,” a gamma-ray burst weapon capable of incinerating vast areas of a planet’s surface. The weapon first saw use in the Bountiful Campaign. During the Emeishan campaign, a smaller scale version of the psion lance proved devastating when directed against the capital ships of the Commonwealth fleet. However, its carrier ships were destroyed before they could turn the weapon on any of the planets in the system.

The Psion Lance was a Gamma Ray Burst weapon, capable of scorching entire planetary hemispheres at maximum yield. It required a purpose-built ship over 20 kilometers in length to deliver the blast. Only Six of the devices are known to have been built. These ships took a great deal of time to accelerate. They were believed to have been carved from asteroids, conical in shape and thickly armored.

The Aurelians attempted to deploy the psion lance against Sapphire, Republic, and Wolf’s Head The defenses of the Chapultepec Starlock were sufficient to disable the Psion lance ship launched against it. Similarly, the planetary defenses of Republic, Sapphire, and Independence were sufficient to disable the Psion lance ships launched against those systems. The final engagement between the fleet at Terpsichore and the last Psion Lance ship ended with the later crashing into the atmosphere and burning to prevent its capture.

Seventh and Final Allied Counteroffensive – SY7340Edit

Allied efforts to halt the Aurelian advances had long been stymied because the location of the Aurelian home-system was unknown. Efforts by the New Commonwealth Intelligence Core had been searching for the world for decades without success; primarily because they were looking in the wrong sector. Relying on the theory that pre-war Aurelians were incapable of faster-than-light travel (a theory promoted by the Aurelians themselves), it was thought that their homeworld must be somewhere in the Lyra or Vulpecula sector; the location of most of the worlds taken by the Aurelians during their initial advance across the galaxy. Analysis from outside the Intelligence Core rejected this hypothesis, pointing out that the range of Aurelian conquests indicated that Aurelians had to have some form of FTL, otherwise it would have taken some 6,000 years for them complete their conquests. 

The Lynx, however, had located the original Aurelian system; in the Sextans sector at the very edge of the galactic disc. They also knew it to be abandoned. Aurelians had previously abandoned their home system of Aurelia Prime for a new system, which they designated Aurelia Maxima. Aurelia Maxima was located deep in the Sextans Sector, where its proximity to an active stellar nursery helped it to evade detection. The system had once been a binary system, consisting of an f-type sun and a white dwarf. The Aurelians collapsed the white dwarf to create the power source for their artificial starlock. The colonization effort preceded the war by at least one hundred solar years.

In the Solar Year 7343, the Alliance with the Lynx secured the location of the Aurelia Prime (or Aurelia Maximus) system, which was known to the Lynx. The Lynx had been planning an offensive and both the New Commonwealth and the Free Worlds were incorporated into their assault plan.

Join Task Force Task Force Black Horizon/Olympic Ultima, was formed in SY7344  with the mission of confirming the location of Aurelia Maxima, invading it, and if necessary, destroying its capacity for aggression “by any means necessary.” Black Horizon was led by Commander Harrier Riordan of Wolf’s Head and consisted of 20 ships of the Free Worlds Alliance (10 Fast Attack Corvettes and 10 Battle Cruisers {Mark I}). Task Force Olympic Ultima was led by Fleet Commander Demetrius Carbide of Republic, and consisted of 10 New Commonwealth Defender Class Cruisers. Three Lyngine fleets of nine battle cruisers led the Battle Force under the Command of the Warlord Prince Stex Hapheastus.

They were met outside the Aurelia Maxima system by a force of (estimated) 170 Aurelian Capital Ships, primarily of the Diabolical and Despoiler type. Although outnumbered and outgunned, the fleet punched a hole through the Aurelian lines after some hours of battle and proceeded inward toward the system. Only part of the Aurelian fleet pursued them into the system; the remaining ships held position.

The inner part of the Aurelian system was filled a large number of Megaspheres – the Great World Ships that the Aurelians created each time they conquered a human colony; all of them had retreated home after the First Aurelian War and now occupied inner orbits around the Aurelian sun. The Task Force made its way toward a Terra Class planet in the sun’s habitable zone, presumed to be Aurelia Prime.

Before they reached the planet, the Aurelians detonated a Nova Bomb --- a planet sized apparatus that turned their star into a supernova. The resulting shockwave destroyed everything in its path… planets, megaspheres, and most of the ships in the fleet. Even with shields at maximum, the ships closest to the sun or the bomb itself were devastated by the shockwave that followed. Images of the detonation were captured by the Sapphirean Fast Attack Corvette Thunder Cat, which was trailing the fleet and turned to try to avoid the shockwave. Only a handful of ships survived the battle and the detonation of the Novs bomb. The survivors made their way back to the Joint Operations Base on Terpsichore.

Major Combatants: AureliansEdit

AureliansEdit

Aurelians are a race of humanoids who descended (or, from their point of view, ascended) from Homo Sapiens, but are now a distinct species. They are described as beautiful, intelligent, powerful, and extremely dangerous. They believe themselves to be a perfected form of humanity, and believe it is their duty and mission to “purge the galaxy of the human virus.”

Aurelian Battle StrategyEdit

Throughout the war, the Aurelians followed a consistent and almost unalterable battle strategy; they focused their attacks on large targets (advanced, highly populated worlds or the largest ship in any attack formation). The Aurelians showed little interest in smaller colonies, reserving them for conquest until the larger colonies had been defeated. Aurelian forces swept up the smaller ships in waves of attack-fighters following the destruction of the capital ships.

This was beneficial, in the long run, to the New Commonwealth and the Free Worlds. While the Aurelians launched repeated attacks against major worlds (Republic, Sapphire, Bountiful, Wolf’s Head, Denali, and so forth), smaller and more vulnerable colonies were rarely attacked.

After securing a system, the Aurelians typically left one large combatant base ship (Dominatrix Class) in orbit of the occupied planet, freeing other warships for additional conquest. The also typically built a single thousand-meter tall tower (called variously ‘The Dark Tower,’ ‘The Black Obelisk’ or ‘The Citadel’ and other names) usually in the largest city of the conquered planet. This tower became the ground base of their operations; a combination headquarters, arsenal, and prison camp. Humans on the occupied planets were periodically rounded up and brought to the towers for confinement, execution, torture, and often conversion into servants of the Aurelian order. The towers also held arsenals of weapons, vehicles, and drones which were dispatched to keep the population in line.

Because the main worlds were intended as bases for further conquest of human colonies, the Aurelians did not destroy or depopulate them immediately, although they were capable of doing so. Instead, the worlds and their populations became resources for the Aurelians to build and expand their war machines.

Aurelian Order of BattleEdit

The Aurelian fleet consisted almost entirely of four types of ships which the Aurelians believed were the optimal and perfect configuration in both type and number.

  • Dominatrix – Large, saucer-shaped command ships 50,000 meters in diameter. The Dominatrices led the Aurelian attack fleets and remained in orbit over conquered worlds with thousands of warheads aimed at their population centers; sufficient to cause complete planetary annihilation. The Dominatrices had limited offensive capability otherwise, but the ships that accompanied them were destructive indeed. Additionally, the Dominatrices (like all large Aurelian ships) were powered by a “White Hole” Contained Anti-Singularity Power Core. If the power core were to lose containment, the planet below would be subjected</li>
  • Diabolical – The bulk of Aurelian war fleets were 1,000 meter long cylindrical craft with two large hornlike forward psion cannons which inspired the code name “Diabolical” for this class of ship. The Diabolicals were the dominant capital ships that accompanied the Dominatrices into conquest. These ships were capable of orbital bombardment with ballistic missiles. The Diabolicals usually had relatively small crews but were bulked out with missiles and energy weapons.</li>
  • Despoiler -- Similar to the Diabolical in size and mass but less numerous lacking the distinctive psion cannon, the Despoilers relied on barrage weapons to pound their opponents with plasma blasts. Unlike the Diabolicals, the Despoilers were not used for space-to-ground assault.</li>
  • Dreadful – The smallest class of Aurelian attack ships, the Dreadfuls served as attack ships and troop carriers, capable of transporting up 600 heavily armed Swords to the surface of a planet along with weaponry and ground vehicles. They also served in an attack role in space combat. The Dreadfuls lacked the clean lines of the other ship types, but were boxy and rugged.</li>

    The Dominatrix, Diabolical, and Despoiler type ships also carried small attack drones that were code-named ‘Daggers’ and ‘Darts’ following the New Commonwealth and Free Worlds’ codename convention for Aurelian ships. They also carried large numbers of missiles.

    Aurelian ships were commanded by selected members of the Wand caste, and crewed by members of the Pentacles class. The Sword, or soldier caste, were artificially constructed creatures with cyborg components. They were three meters tall with elongated arms. Their heads were encased in metallic alloy helmets that housed specialized sensor and targeting gear. They sported thick, mottled grey skin, highly resistant to ballistic and energy weapons. These served as the shock troopers of the Aurelian ground forces. Some of them reportedly breathed fire.

    Each fleet was believed to be commanded by an Ace of Wands; the highest of the Aurelian ranks.

    Once launched from the Aurelius Maxima System, battleships were under orders never to return in order to keep the location of the homeworld secret.

    Life Under Aurelian OccupationEdit

    • Each Aurelian Battle Fleet was led by an Ace of Wands, who subsequently became procurator of the conquered territory.

    • Tlaloc -- Male Procurator of Furlong

    • Andraste -- Non-Binary Procurator of Longueil.

    • Belatucadros – Male Procurator of Independence

    • Deimos – Male Procurator of Emeishan

    • Chamunda -- Female Procurator of Gander

    • Leto – Male Procurator of Bella La Cava

    • Bellona – Female Procurator of Boon.

    The Aurelian System Procurator, Helios, made it a point to address the subjects of his conquered worlds frequently, always promising, “Life under Aurelia will be better.” Thousands of churches were converted to teaching facilities under his watch, to indoctrinate children in the Aurelian philosophy. Other church and educational structures were transformed into orgy houses. Temples on Gideon were destroyed rather than let them fall to Aurelian depravity. His iconic portrait adorned buildings throughout the cities of both worlds. Hundred-meter statues were erected in the squares of each city.

    His Co-Procurator (and eventual successor) Kokou built an enormous palace to himself in the city of Tantium on Chaldea. Both of the procurators seldom left their heavily-fortified fortresses, but had statues and icons of themselves erected throughout the major cities of the captured worlds.

    The Aurelians made a show of demonstrating that life on occupied planets continued as normal. Aurelian propaganda showed life on occupied worlds as happy and prosperous, and celebrated the willingness of inhabitants to “cast off outdated superstitions and hegemonies, and embrace the new enlightenment.”

    Propaganda transmissions ended with the tagline “Life is better under Pax Aurelia.”  Trade was encouraged among worlds under Aurelian occupation. The Aurelians also sought trading contacts with the non-aligned worlds.

    The reality of occupation was not as pleasant as the propaganda transmissions indicated.

    Aurelian aggression was motivated by an all-consuming hatred of the human race, which they regarded as a virus in need of extermination. Yet despite a range of weapons from nucleonic to biogenic, the Aurelians did not directly exterminate the populations of any of the planets they occupied; although large numbers of them were enslaved into Aurelian servitude, and others were subject to biological experiments.

    The populations of planets under Aurelian occupation were used to provide resources for Aurelian War Machine as well as slave labor and concubines. The Aurelians installed an Autarch… typically with the rank of Ace of Wands … over each world or more than one Autarch in the case of worlds with large populations. The Autarch was charged with harvesting resources and keeping the local population subdued.

    Aurelian Autarch’s typically shut down planetary communication networks and outlawed the possession of weapons and technology to prevent insurrection. They also made freely available to the population an array of addictive drugs designed to deter resistance. Persons who became addicted and dependent on the Aurelian occupiers for their drugs proved very easy to control.

    Those who collaborated with Aurelian occupiers were granted positions in the occupational government and access to better quality rations, housing, and even some limited technology. Those who put up any form of resistance were subject to immediate termination; although they were more often interred at least temporarily prior to execution. Some were subjected to conditioning in efforts to turn them into collaborators.

    Most collaborators were recruited into one of many “Services,” including the Aurelian Civilian Protection Service, which acted as enforcers of the Aurelian occupation. The Aurelian Education Service ran the occupational education systems, which were used to indoctrinate captive populations to be subservient to Aurelian domination. The Aurelian Information Services ran the media and information networks of occupied worlds, turning them to use to transmit Aurelian propaganda. The Aurelian Benevolence Service ran a welfare state and sought to make captive populations utterly dependent on their Aurelian occupiers for food, energy, shelter and all the other necessities of life.

    The Aurelians also possessed the technology to transplant the minds of Aurelian individuals into human hosts. This ability enabled them to replace members of planetary government with Aurelian-controlled counterparts; the minds of the Aurelians physically transplanted into human host bodies. This strategy also enabled them to infiltrate Resistance organizations on the planets they occupied.

    The long term goal of Aurelian occupation was ‘Conversion;’ ostensibly a plan to convert occupied world into Aurelian satellites. One vector for ‘Conversion’ was a sexually transmitted virus known to Aurelians as the Gift’ but known by nicknames on various other worlds: The Bug, Aurelian Blood Fever, Disco Inferno (for some reason), and MSZ (Mindless Sex Zonbie). The virus was genetically engineered to react differently in the presence of genetic markers of the individual. It would sterilize those considered by the Aurelians as “weak” (roughly 94% of the human population), but those who possessed intelligence and strength would not only be spared this effect but would find those traits enhanced, their lifespans increased, and their minds turned to complete loyalty to the Aurelian cause. The virus also increased pheromone and hormone production in all the infected, increasing their libido and driving them to infect others. In some cases, the virus resulted in complete violent deranged madness. Resistance members taken into custody were often injected with high doses of the Gift and released to infect others.

    The after effects of the virus took years to eradicate even after the end of hostilities.

    Aurelian PrisonersEdit

    Because Aurelian Swords seldom surrendered but would continue fighting until death, very few Aurelians were taken prisoner during the war. Those that were were taken to a planet called Proveglia. Proveglia was charted by an expedition of the Pathfinder Ship Republic', and is believed to have hosted a small human colony that died out as a result of the Tarmigan Assault and the Collapse of the Galactic Commonwealth. Though habitable, many parts of the planet had an inhospitable climate. Surviving Aurelian prisoners were transported here in stasis and kept under heavy guard on an island subcontinent in the planet’s southern hemisphere. Because of the danger to human life, Aurelians were guarded primarily by automated sentries on the surface while a garrison on another continent monitored them. Early attempts to take prisoners to New Commonwealth worlds or Starlocks often proved deadly as Aurelians were more than willing to die fighting and take down others with them.

    After some early incidents where prisoners began organizing resistance cells, Aurelian prisoners were separated by caste, with separate sites created for Swords, Cups, Wands, and Pentacles. A fifth camp housed Aces of all castes under conditions of extreme security, as such beings possessed cunning and power far beyond that over their subordinates. 

    During one escape attempt, a group of Aurelian Wands captured several automated sentries and weaponized them against the guard station. Assisted by the sentries, the Aurelians managed to capture the surface garrison and hold the guards hostage, demanding a spaceship in return for their release. After a prolonged standoff, the Aurelians were given a spaceship in exchange for half the hostages. They boarded the ship with about half of the remaining hostages. The ship’s engines had been programmed to malfunction, but the Wands, being Wands, quickly discovered and repaired them. The hostages were ejected into space. And the ship was tracked and eventually destroyed by a New Commonwealth Fast Attack Corvette.

    Because the Aurelians did not reproduce sexually, the prison’s population gradually died out after the war.

    Major Combatants: The New Commonwealth of the GalaxyEdit

    The New Commonwealth of the Galaxy at the Start of HostilitiesEdit

    When the Second Aurelian War began in Solar Year 7296, the NCG consisted of 21 systems with a combined population of 20 billions, half that population coming from the nine inhabited planets of the Bountiful System.

    The newly formed Commonwealth and the non-member worlds convened a War Council at the Chapultepec Starlock. At the time, the New Commonwealth Intelligence Service theorized that the Aurelians had found one of the old Commonwealth Starlocks and was using it to launch attacks, and planned a systematic search of the Starlock network to find it.

    The consensus of their intelligence analysts was that the Aurelians did not have technological capability to build a Starlock. However, analysts from Wolf’s Head and Sapphire believed it was possible for the Aurelians to construct a StarLock or something like it. They based their conclusion in part on the lack of detected Starlock network activity during the assault.

    A priority of the Intelligence mission was to find the Aurelian’s home world, so that the war could be taken to them. The location of the Aurelian homeworld was unknown, and a closely guarded secret. Aurelian ships would self-destruct rather than betray the contents of their Navigational Cores. As far as the New Commonwealth knew, the attacks could have originated from any one of billions of star systems.

    The Commonwealth Fleet at the Start of HostilitiesEdit

    The New Galactic Commonwealth and the Free Alliance had only 25 Defender class ships in their combined fleets at the time of the first wave of Aurelian attacks, and most of them were employed on remote exploring expeditions with no means to recall them. The few ships that were available were tasked to defend the larger systems of the Perseus Quadrant. The five pathfinder ships still in service in the quadrant were ordered recalled as soon as contact was possible.

    Resources were insufficient to guard every system, and the distances and time involved meant it would be impossible to respond to Aurelian attacks by dispatching ships. For this reason, initial war efforts focused on shoring up the defenses of systems throughout the quadrant to enable them to repulse an Aurelian attack.

    Major Combatants The Free Worlds AllianceEdit

    The Free Worlds had previously been under a military cooperation agreement with the New Galactic Commonwealth, but withdrew in Solar Year 7300 because of the stunning incompetence of the New Commonwealth’s Supreme Commander, Paxton Rowsdower. They formed a mutual defense pact called the Free Worlds Military Alliance; The Alliance, for short or the FWMA in acronym form.

    As the most militarily advanced worlds in the Free Worlds, Sapphire, Guelph, and Wolf’s Head took the early lead in developing the Alliance Defense Forces and implemented a three-stage plan for defense of Alliance worlds that paralleled the New Galactic Commonwealth’s strategy.

    1. Establishing system defenses for worlds in danger of Aurelian attack.

      2. Repelling Aurelians from Alliance worlds under Aurelian occupation.

    3. Taking the fight to the Aurelians.

    The Alliance set up a headquarters on the planet Loki and began a program of shipbuilding and orbital defense construction and within eight years had established effective defensive systems for most member worlds. The Free Worlds Military Alliance provided technical specifications and recommendations to each world, material and technical resources as well. However, each world was responsible for the construction of its own defenses. Innovations, such as the Tachyon-based long range detection system developed by engineers of the planet Guelph, were licensed for use by other systems. The recommended architecture of system defenses consisted of:

  • Long-range sensor network capable of detecting Aurelian ships while still outside the system perimeter</li>
  • Centralized and Auxiliary Command Centers that received and analyzed all detection data</li>
  • Heavily fighters and patrol ships capable of taking the battle to the Aurelian ships before they made orbit.</li>
  • Missiles and directed energy weapons platforms in orbit of the primary worlds of each system.</li>

    These defense systems showed their capability by repulsing Aurelian forces at Guelph, Fortnight, and Vermilion. Thistledown, Bella La Cava, and Guelph became sites for major operating bases of the Free Worlds Alliance. The FWMA established a training center for ground and space combat at Call Triangulum colony.

    One of the first decisions of the Alliance was to recommend that each world convert all under-construction Explorer ships to Defender type as Sapphire and Wolf’s Head had already done. Further, the weapons systems and armament of their Defender ships were ordered upgraded; stronger graviton shields, redundant power systems, more phalanx guns, and a higher weapon load. This was codified as the Mark I Battle Cruiser configuration. The Alliance set a goal of building and deploying at least one defender or battlecruiser class ship to each member system.

    Another focus of Alliance research was an effort to neutralize the space-to-surface weaponry of the Aurelian Command Ships, to prevent them from annihilating colonies in the face of defeat. They developed not one but an array of strategies, including cybernetic weapons that scrambled the launch codes and guidance systems of space-to-surface missiles to anti-missile missiles that took out missiles after launch. They also developed energy barriers to disperse the Aurelian Psion Lance weapons that effectively neutralized them later in the war.

    Each world undertook to beef up its own defenses. In the height of the war years (SY 7300-7330) the planet Sapphire had as many as 28,000,000 active warfighters serving in the Permanent Sapphire Defense, most of them serving in the Alliance Star Force. A network of orbital, lunar, and ground-based defense installations protected Sapphire and Loki, while military bases in the out-system provided a first-line of defense. The Pathfinder Ship Ark Royal was recalled from exploratory service and became a highly mobile military base that patrolled the Sapphire system and responded quickly to Aurelian intrusions. Although Sapphire was a target in 4 of the 5 major Aurelian offenses and many other incursions, the planet’s defenses protected it from harm.

    The Alliance also made an effort to place intelligence agents on the ground on all occupied worlds, and to build covert networks to gather intelligence and subvert Aurelian occupations.

    The Commonwealth/Free Worlds Order of BattleEdit

    Defender Class CruisersEdit

    The primary warship of the Commonwealth and Alliance fleets was the Defender Class Cruiser, a version of the Explorer Class Cruiser with heavier armament and weaponry. Though few in number at the start of the war, the Defender class proved its mettle in its ability to withstand attacks and defeat Aurelian Despoiler and Diabolical class ships even when outnumbered.

    While design details varied depending on the world and shipyard where they were constructed, Defenders were typically 1,000 meters in length and carried crews of 1,000. Their armament included missiles with high-yield warheads, 12 long-range high-energy anti-proton guns, and an array of close-in energy weapons for ship defense. They carried two squadrons of attack ships, consisting of Raptor or Falcon Class fighters.

    A variation of the Defender Class was the Pocket Defender; a half-size version of the Defender Ship with a single hangar bay and heavy dorsal armament. These ships were used primarily in system defense. They could be quickly constructed and deployed. Intended as a stopgap in the early years of the war, they became a mainstay of system defense fleets.

    Battle CruisersEdit

    In the Free Worlds, the basic Defender design would evolve into the Defender Mark II Battle Cruiser, with even heavier armament and more powerful weaponry. This version was launched in Solar Year 7320 and became the main Defender ship of the Free Worlds Alliance.

    The Fast Attack CorvetteEdit

    While the Defender Ships of the New Commonwealth and the Free Worlds Alliance usually bested Aurelian warships, but their numbers were few at the onset of hostilities, and their construction took an average of ten Solar Years. Although construction was accelerated following the original attacks, there was a real danger that many worlds could be occupied or wiped out before enough Defenders could be built to fight back.

    In the Solar Year 7304, the Permanent Sapphirean Defense Office sent out a notice that it was seeking a new type of ship to counter the Aurelian Offense. They outlined their requirements as follows:

    • Firepower sufficient to cripple or destroy an Aurelian Capital Ship

    • Capable of navigating in hyperspace

    • Can be built using current facilities in less than one Sapphirean year.

    • Is fully battle capable with a crew of no more than 100 personnel.

      Sapphire’s Cloudbuster Aerospace Company had already been working on a design for an advanced scout ship. It was designed to support a crew of 100 for five year exploratory missions and was hyperspace capable. Cloudbuster formed an alliance with the Engineering School of the University of Sapphire at New Cleveland to refine the design for rapid construction. The Tactical Armaments Research Department (TARD), (a quasi-independent arm of Sapphire’s B3 Home Products company, a major producer of kitchen appliances) teamed with the High Energy Physics Department at the University of New Tenochtitlan, and a number of other firms, to develop the ship’s main anti-proton cannon.

    Within a year they had built the first prototype Fast Attack Corvette, named Astonishing Fury, and demonstrated it to the PSD Off and their Sumacian Advisors. Astonishing Fury was 300 meters long, sported the characteristic dart-and-tailfins design, and was, for the demonstration, manned by a skeleton crew of 28 personnel. The ship was propelled by graviton engines embedded in the tailfins fed by a single quantum reactor core. It had a hyperspatial lens assembly incorporated into its bow for faster-than-light transportation and required a precognitive Navigator. It sported Cloudbuster’s next generation hyperspace propulsion and navigation system that dramatically reduced transit time between star systems.

    But the main point of the ship was the antiproton gun that ran nearly its full length and discharged from a ‘hell-mouth’ at the bow. The ship, the engineers explained, was essentially a support system for the main gun, which packed a bigger K’boom yield than all the firepower of a Defender ship. It was also highly maneuverable and could carry heavy loads of missiles in addition to its main gun.

    Astonishing Fury was demonstrated in a series of mock attacks with Explorer ships and Defender ships standing in for Aurelian capital ships. It was then sent to the outer system, where it destroyed asteroids of greater mass than Aurelian Ships, even cutting through shields that were installed on the asteroid surface. Its main gun was fired into the atmosphere of the gas giant Ronin so that its yield could be measured, and created a giant red spot in the atmosphere that scientists estimate will not dissipate for at least 4,000 years.

    The FAC could also do something that was not in the requirements at all but would prove very valuable; it could land on the surface of a planet and take off again.

    To save space, the designers dispensed with a hangar bay in favor of individual docking ports at the rear of the ship above and below the engineering decks. Cloudbuster worked with other companies to develop the Aesalon tactical fighter and the Neoaves small transport; small ships that could securely dock in the docking ports of their Fast Attack Corvette. Two airlocks with universal docking collars enabled Aquilae to dock with the ship.

    The PSD Off recommended modifications, including the addition of medium and close-range guns, and placed an initial order for 40 ships to be built over four years. They were delivered in two. The first tranche of ten warships got an unexpected field test during their near-system space trials when an Aurelian battle group of two battle cruisers and ten destroyers was detected on a course for the inner Sapphire system. [Solar Year 7310] The Fast Attack Corvettes intercepted the Aurelians between the orbits of Loki and Sapphire and inflicted total casualties against the Aurelians with no complete losses. The ships proved their mettle again a few years later during the ‘A Day to Remember’ battle of Wolf’s Head, where license-built FAC’s played a decisive role.

    Raptor Class Tactical Aquila VariantEdit

    The Raptor Class Tactical Aquila Variant was a derivative of the Aquila Class transport. The Aquila was designed to accommodate a tactical module that carried missiles. The Mark I proved to be combat ineffective with the standard Tactical Pod. The Mark II was a dedicated combat design. It featured augmented targeting sensors and weapons packages; including an expanded missile payload. The ship’s hulls were fitted with ablative armor to supplement their graviton-based shield system. A pair of heavy particle cannons was attached to the dorsal hull to support ship-to-ship tactical operations. The ship was operated by a crew of four in the combat (up to 10 as surveillance and patrol ships).

    Raptor

    The Tactical Upgrades in the Raptor Mark II included integrated particle cannons, shield generators, four missile external hardpoints, and two dorsal mounted ion cannons.

    While the Raptor Mark II was reasonably effective in combat missions, the extra armament and weapons payloads increased its mass and the enhanced shields strained its power systems to the point where crews often disengaged them. Later models upgraded the powerplant to provide more speed and energy, but the ship’s performance remained lackluster.

    The Raptor Class was succeeded later in the war by the Falcon-Class, a purpose-built fighting ship.

    Falcon

    The Classic Mark I Falcon-Class Fighter. Wolf's Head Variant.

    Falcon-Class FightersEdit

    In SY7318, the Free Worlds Alliance Combined Defense Operation issued a requirement for new dedicated attack fighter. The heavy losses suffered by Raptors in the liberation of Gander-Longueil had made the shortcomings of that spacecraft all too evident. The new fighter should be capable of two or four-man operation, faster and more maneuverable than an Aurelian Dagger, operate in space or in atmosphere, and carry weaponry superior to the Aquila Raptor Variant.

    The winning design was developed by the Draconis Arms Company of Wolf’s Head. Their design featured powerful forward cannons, dual missile bays located ventrally, and dual engines providing double the power output and twice the velocity curve of a raptor. Being of similar size and support requirements to the Raptor, it could be deployed without major refits to bases of capital ships. Sapphire, Wolf’s Head, and Thistledown began producing Falcon-class fighters and replacing the Raptors in their fleets. The NCG, in contrast, chose to upgrade its Raptors to a Mark IV configuration.

    Once deployed, the Falcon class fighters proved to be more combat effective than their Mark II Raptor predecessors. Kill ratios against Aurelian fighters improved dramatically; battle losses dropped by 70%. The new Raptor Mark IV’s also showed significant combat improvements, but their results were less dramatic than those recorded for the Falcon.  Subsequent versions of the Falcon became the mainstays of planetary defense and tactical wings for Free World militaries.

    Technological AdvancementsEdit

    The furthest worlds (Call Triangulum and Bearings End) were over 10,000 light years from worlds at the other side of Explored Perseus Quadrant, such as Boon and Furlong. With pre-war Trans-Hyperspace technology, the journey would have taken over 100 years. In fact, some exploring expeditions returning from deep space missions were surprised to learn the war had been going on for decades. Faster ships were needed to maintain the defense of the Quadrant.

    The Odyssey project vastly expanded scientific knowledge of hyperspace. Using this data, the leading engineering entities in the Free Worlds and the NCG had already developed prototype hyperspace propulsion designs that vastly increased the velocities of ships transiting hyperspace. Coupled with better mapping of hyperspace, transit speeds increased by a factor of ten.

    Major Combatants: The LynxEdit

    The deciding factor in the outcome of the Aurelian War was a chance encounter between a lone Fast Attack Corvette and an alien battle fleet.

    In the Solar Year 7327, the Free Alliance Fast Attack Corvette Intrepid Husky was conducting a scouting mission of the Lynx cluster – a dense group of over a thousand stars at the edge of the Lynx sector near the Galactic Core – searching for the Aurelian homeworld. As it approached a Terra Class planet at the edge of the cluster, it came across the debris of an Aurelian attack fleet.

    The commander theorized that the Aurelians had dispatched a fleet to attack an unknown human colony, somewhere in the Lynx cluster, and that the human colony was evidently well-advanced enough to repulse the Aurelian assault. Hoping to find a valuable ally, he pushed his ship in deeper until he came across Aurelian ships under attack by unknown and unidentified forces. Commander Ramses ordered his ship into combat and they joined the aliens in destroying the remaining Aurelian ships.

    Ramses attempted to make contact with the aliens, but the alien ships vanished. Ramses chose to push deeper into the cluster. Forty-four days after the battle, the alien ships reappeared, having been apparently tracking him.

    Around the same time, an attack force appeared in the Maidenhead system, a Free World Alliance colony which had until then been spared attack. The colony appealed to the New Commonwealth/Free Alliance for assistance, as its forces would be no match against an entire attack fleet. The 11th Coalition Fleet was dispatched under the banner Task Force Maidenhead, but it would require months for the ships to complete the transit in Hyperspace.  They expected to arrive too late.

    But they did not. The enemy ships orbiting Maidenhead had not bombed the planet from orbit, but demanded immediate surrender, which the colony had offered, its defense fleet having been destroyed. When Task Force Maidenhead approached, the enemy ships attacked. A short and indecisive battle ensued, during it was recognized that the enemy ships were not of Aurelian design.

    The Lynx were a feline species descended from the felines of Ancient Earth, raised to sapience by Commonwealth Era gene-tech. Their forefathers had been exiled to the Perseus Quadrant at the close of the Ninth Crusade; however the feline life forms managed to seize control of the vessel and pilot it to an uninhabited planet in the Lynx Sector. From the survivors of that experience sprang the Nine Clans of the Nine Worlds.

    The Aurelians had attacked several Lynx worlds within the Lynx cluster, and the Lynx initially did not distinguish between Aurelians and humans. They agreed to negotiations only after a long list of demands… including copious requests for food delivered to their ships… were met and agreed to.

    Careful negotiations were carried out at Maidenhead Colony, although the Lynx refused to meet face-to-face with the human negotiators. The negotiations lasted for two Solar Years, but in the end, the Lynx agreed to a limited, wartime alliance with the New Commonwealth and the Free Worlds.

    AftermathEdit

    After the attack, another fleet was dispatched to inspect what was left of the system. They found nothing left but debris. It was determined that the Aurelians had destroyed themselves rather than suffer defeat. Some of the megaspheres survived partially intact. Evidence suggested the Aurelians had begun culling their human slave populations well in advance of the Nova Bomb detonation. A debris survey could not definitively determine the destruction of Aurelian warships of the fleet that met the Task Force outside the system. Searches for the lost Aurelian fleet continued for years, but no trace was ever found and it was presumed the fleet self-destructed.

    The New Commonwealth and the Free Worlds Alliance sent a small Task Force Code Named “Ultima/Fate’s Warning” to the Aurelia Maxima system; comprising three ships led by the Explorer Ship NCS Quest. The ships carefully explored the wreckage left behind after the Aurelian sun was induced to go nova. The task force confirmed the complete annihilation of the Aurelia Maxima system.

    Conventional StarLocks had range limitations of approximately 1,000 light years; the invasion targets of the inner Commonwealth/Free Worlds were many times that distance. Multiple theories have been advanced as to how the Aurelians achieved the greater distance. They may have found a way to piggy-back undetectably on the primary StarLock network. They may have found a way to increase range. They may have simply accepted that long hyperspace transits would follow the translocations of their fleet via the StarLock. The system was too thoroughly destroyed for an assessment.

    Despite persistent speculation that some Aurelian survivors may have escaped through their artificial Starlock, or that they may have established a back-up colony prior to the destruction of their system, the New Commonwealth Intelligence Agency made a conclusive determination that the Aurelian civilization had been annihilated and no longer posed a threat to the New Galactic Commonwealth, or the Human Galactic Community.

    Worlds that had been under prolonged occupation by Aurelian forces required rebuilding, disease eradication, and the deprogramming of millions of inhabitants that had be indoctrinated to The Aurelian Purpose.

    ReconstructionEdit

    Worlds occupied by the Aurelians suffered varying degrees of damage. The Bountiful system was the most damage because of the long battle and the Blitz. Gideon had been stripped of resources, suffered severe environmental damage, and had many of its cities damaged. Chaldea had been damaged extensively during its occupation. Both worlds suffered the after-effects of Aurelian bio-weapons and population control measures. Bountiful Prime had suffered damage to many of its cities during the Aurelian Blitz.

    Other occupied worlds suffered damage as well.

    • Bella La Cava – Damage to urban areas and infrastructure from prolonged battle with Aurelian occupiers.

    • Boon – Atmospheric degradation, damage to planetary infrastructure

    • Emeishan – Severe environmental damage, damage to cities and infrastructure, depopulation.

    • Fulcrum – Damage to urban areas

    • Furlong – Atmospheric degradation, environmental damage, outbreaks of disease from Aurelian bioweapons

    • Gander-Longueil – Environmental damage to both worlds, depopulation, damage to urban centers, outbreaks of disease related to Aurelian bioweapon use.

    • Independence – Damage to urban centers, raging epidemics of MSZ and other Aurelian-caused diseases, cultural degradation.

    • Larkspur – Damage to urban areas, minor environmental damage

    • Vermilion – Damage to urban areas, minor environmental damage

      All Aurelian-occupied Aurelian worlds had suffered a degree of economic decline, most pronounced in Independence, Emeishan, and Longueil. Each of these worlds, as well as Gander sufferance population declines as the Aurelians discouraged reproduction and unleased bioweapons that caused sterility. Both the NCG and the Free Worlds sent medical research ships to each affected world to develop treatments and control the contagion. 

    The Bountiful System rejected offers of assistance and directed its own Reconstruction. The NCG created a New Galactic Recovery Authority, headquartered on Chapultepec and headed up, initially, by Senior Diplomat Alecia Mung of Republic. The NCG instituted a fee structure on interstellar cargo transportation to finance the reconstruction of Commonwealth worlds affected by the war. (After Commonwealth trade declined unexpectedly following the imposition of the fee, it was replaced by a “Temporary Recovery Revenue Enhancement Adjustment” charged to each citizen of the Commonwealth). The NGRA evaluated reconstruction projects and awarded funding to those deemed highest in priority. It also trained Reconstruction Advisors and dispatched them to each of the damaged worlds.

    The Free Worlds adopted a decentralized approach, letting each world manage its own reconstruction. Worlds that had survived relatively unscathed (Sapphire, Wolf’s Head, and others) made materials, financing, and labor available on an expedited basis. The ships that had supported the war effort were used to transport people and supplies to affected worlds. Most worlds returned to prewar levels of economic activity within ten local years.