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Pre-Roleplay History (40,000BC-4995)
Ancient History (40,000 BC)
Tens of thousands of years ago, Vargo was visited by the Ur: the race that built the jumpgates. Their ruins still litter the planet surface and the abundance of them suggests that Vargo had some importance to this ancient race. Surveys of the ruin sites have revealed the possibility that the Ur were not the only space-faring race of ancient times. There may have been a second race, fighting the Ur for dominance of the stars. An intergalactic war with staggering consequences may be the very reason that the Ur disappeared. The youngest known Ur ruin is dated to around 100 AD, placing their disappearance to over 2000 years before humanity discovered their jumpgates.
First Republic Colonization (2300s)
Official records of early human history on Vargo were lost during the fall of the Second Republic. What is known about human presence on the planet before 4994 when the jumpgate was reopened has been pieced together through archaeology and folklore. Evidence gathered by Eskatonic scholars suggests that Vargo was first colonized sometime during the First Republic, by means of a jumproute that once existed between Tethys and Holy Terra (Earth). Archeological studies that were conducted by the Scravers Guild appear to support this contention, for they have dated certain ruins to the 2300s. This would count Vargo among the oldest worlds settled by humanity.
An island in the southwest corner of the main continent was selected as the first human colony (present day Vargo City). As the colonists expanded and founded new cities, they discovered that they were not alone on Vargo. An indigenous, sentient species of amphibious reptiles called the Pakti was well established on the planet, although relatively few in numbers owing to the hunter-gatherer subsistence methods by which they lived. A fierce conflict ensued between the human settlers and the Pakti, resulting in loss of life on both sides. Superior technology gave humanity the edge over the stone-aged Pakti, and slowly the reptiles were driven back. After several hundred years of fighting, the Pakti were believed to be extinct.
Battling the Void Wizards (2400-2900)
The "Sathra Effect" was the name given to the euphoric feeling that many early starship pilots experienced as they traveled through the jumpgates. However, as the First Republic gained power, the Sathraists and their teachings were seen as a threat to republican power, and they were declared outlaws. Refugee Sathraists fleeing persecution arrived on Vargo in large numbers and retreated to the eastern part of the continent where they constructed their own human colonies.
They were left well enough alone for several hundred years until an extremist movement began to consume the colonies. The east was soon controlled by a new breed of Sathraists who called themselves Children of the Void - remembered in folklore as the Void Wizards. For centuries, battles raged across the planet as these renegades sought to conquer the other settlements. Time and again the Sathraists were driven off, only to rise again years later to threaten the peace of Vargo. The last hurrah of the Children began toward the end of the 29th century, when it seemed they might succeed as they captured settlement after settlement.
Finally, only the colonial capital, Vista City, remained free, crowded with refugees fleeing the tyranny of the Void Wizards. Among the people gathered there was a young woman named Vargo, a healer belonging to a religious sect called the Hospitalers. As the Void Wizards closed in on the city, this woman performed some sort of miracle that led to the defeat of the Sathraists. The miracle cost Vargo her own life. The capitol city was renamed Vargo City in her honor.
Native Unrest (2900-3500)
There are very few surviving records from this time period, and most of them are in reference to planetary conflict. It is still uncertain what transpired during this period, but most historians assume that war and strife has obliterated much of the evidence. Archaeology points to Vargo City being occupied and retaken several times and massive population displacement across much of the main continent.
Prosperity During the Second Republic (3500-4000)
Vargo became a layover for mercantile traffic by the height of the Second Republic. The Charioteers Guild claims to have records that verify Vargo's jumpgate was used to travel to many distant worlds, jump coordinates that have been lost since the Fall. Many believe that Vargo's jumpgate links to other lost worlds that have yet to be discovered. Most folklore of the population supports the theory that Vargo prospered during the Second Republic. The planet's inhabitant's look fondly on the era as a golden age in their history.
Sealing of the Jumpgate (4000?)
As the Second Republic began to collapse, invaders from the Rogue Worlds began descending onto Republican worlds. Vargo's representative to the Republic, Ishmael Mercedes, returned from Byzantium Secundus to save his constituency from destruction. The Senator sealed Vargo's jumpgate, isolating his world from the wars that consumed the remaining Republican planets.
The Rise of the Mercedes (4000?-4700?)
Without the influence of the Second Republic or the noble houses that took its place, the Mercedes consolidated significant power on Vargo. In the chaos of the Republic's fall, Vargo's existence had been forgotten by the rest of the Known Worlds, and the Mercedes prospered in isolation.
With the jumpgate closed, maintaining Second Republic technology became increasingly difficult. Historical references note the slow decline of working technology on the planet as the centuries past. Still, for nearly 700 years, the Mercedes ruled over a Vargo which saw reletively few changes.
The Mercedes Civil War (4700?-4800?)
War had gripped Vargo before the jumpgate had reopened. At some point around 4700, there was a massive conflict between members of the ruling Mercedes, one that consumed most of the planet. Most of Vargo's technological and industrial infrastructure was destroyed, setting Vargo's technology back thousands of years. The surviving Mercedes re-initiated their rule of the planet, but society's shift towards agriculture and sustinance living was a reality in the wake of the war's destruction.
In 4994, Imperial scouts discovered the hulk of a long-abandoned Mercedes ship in the Tethys system. Using the jumpkey found inside the onboard computer, they shot through the jumpgate and arrived at Vargo: a world that had been declared as lost by the Empire. House Mercedes retained sufficient technology to detect the arrival of the scout ship and made contact with it. The Mercedes government agreed to meet with these unexpected emissaries at night at the Lowport north of Vargo City, hoping to keep their presence secret from the masses. Unfortunately, the ship's landing did not go unnoticed.
As word spread of the arrival of an unfamiliar vessel at the starport, crowds of Vargens from across the area made their way there to greet the newcomers, believing that the Second Republic had returned at last to reunite Vargo with the rest of humanity. The joyous tumult of the crowds served as a distraction to the negotiations, and little was accomplished in that first meeting. Upon concluding a preliminary exchange of information, the scouts boarded their ship and returned to Tethys, to carry news of this discovery back to Alexius.
After pondering the scouts' report, the Emperor made preparations to send a formal embassy to Vargo. Yet he was not the only one to learn of Vargo's rediscovery. Another faction, as yet unidentified, also learned of this lost world, so ripe for conquest. They dispatched a small but well-armed force to Vargo, apparently hoping to seize the planet before Alexius could react. Troopships disgorged hordes of black-armored troops into Vargo City, setting off a vicious battle with the militia forces that served House Mercedes.
The Empire's Battle for Vargo (4994-4995)
The invaders dispatched troops to the Mercedes Mansion on Vargo Square, and to the Cathedral at the other end of town, apparently hoping to quickly seize these two seats of power on the planet. Yet it would seem the defenders put up more resistance than the invaders had bargained for, and the attack turned into a bloodbath. The Cathedral was left burning, the flower of Vargo's clergy massacred in the assault. As the invaders withdrew, realizing they lacked the force to accomplish their mission, they vaporized the Mercedes Mansion with plasma bombs from orbit.
The Senator and his immediate family were killed, leaving Vargo leaderless. A few days later, when Alexius' ambassador arrived along with a squadron of Imperial warships and a battalion of troops, he landed to find Vargo City still smoldering from the attack as rioters ran rampant in the streets. The ambassador deployed his forces to restore order, but in so doing he sowed the seeds of suspicion and rebellion. Most Vargens came to believe that the Empire, arriving so conveniently on the scene, had actually orchestrated the initial attack.
Vargen terrorists responded by assassinated the Imperial ambassador while he was delivering an address in Vargo Square. On the heels of his death, Hazat and Decados warships arriving in the Vargo system further complicated the situation. The Imperial squadron drove off these new arrivals, but it was clear that Vargo had piqued the interest of Known Worlds factions and would not soon be forgotten. When word of the growing crisis on Vargo reached the Emperor's ear, he acted quickly to keep the planet from being torn apart by rival factions seeking to win the world for themselves at all costs.
Imperial Protectorate Status (4995)
In 4995, an Imperial decree by Alexius made Vargo a protectorate, and he dispatched a governor to administer the planet in his name. He chose Marco DeVore Gunnarson to serve as Vargo's first Governor, an experienced Reeve who had spent more than a decade in Alexius' service. Gunnarson arrived with his staff, accompanied by representatives of the five major guilds, and set out to establish the stamp of Imperial authority on Vargo. To many observers, it seemed as if the Emperor was handing the planet over to the Merchant League in reward for its support during the Emperor Wars.
The Royal Houses, incensed by this perceived snub, demanded that they be given a voice in Vargo's affairs. Even Alexius' allies among the nobility pressured him for access to the lost world, questioning the Emperor's right to blockade Vargo with the Imperial Navy. Yet the strongest pressure came from the Patriarch, who had been angered by reports of the attack on the Cathedral, and was troubled by rumors of heresy among the Vargen Orthodoxy which had been isolated from the Church's doctrinal decisions for a thousand years.
Alexius could hardly ignore these concerns: he was still consolidating his power throughout the Empire. House Decados and the Hazat had only just conceded their claims to the throne, and peace was tenuous at best. In order to preserve that peace, lest Vargo become a bone of contention among the Houses, the Emperor agreed to grant them consulates on Vargo and a hand in the planet's administration. Yet he placed strict limits on the military presence that the factions could maintain in the system, to keep a shooting war from breaking out over control of Vargo. Yet even with these limitations, there were political implications that the strongest faction on Vargo would eventually become the planet's ruler.
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