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"What has this conflict come to? An eternal bloodbath laying the groundwork for our demise. For thousands of years we have prospered as a species, yet this conflict highlights us at our most dreadful state. Trillions of innocents have deceased and I fear many more will follow suit." - Kenth Pellian commenting on the state of war during it's fourth year.

The Ether War, commonly known as the Great War, was a large-scale interstellar conflict that spanned from 96,625 to 96,632 CE. Most of the Anthrovian Cosmos of the Starfield was involved in the war. The democratic United Terran Federation and the People's Kingdom of the Starfield, a short-lived monarchic entity, were the two opposing sides in the Ether War. The Ether War, widely regarded as humanity's deadliest conflict in the Starfield's history, claimed the lives of over two quadrillion individuals in combat, with an additional four quadrillion civilians dying as a result of the war's side effects, such as widespread hunger, planetary destruction, or subjugation. From orbit, many worlds were blasted into ruins. Cervia, a densely inhabited world within the Federation, was one of them.

The United Terran Federation attained a threshold of a million star systems under its authority in 95,225 CE, the majority of which had yet to be colonized. This was noticed by an organization, which came to the conclusion that if humanity was to survive, it couldn't all be centralized in one civilization. The crew took to the cosmos, traveled outside Federation territories, and began establishing their kingdom. The UTF didn't notice this civilization until 96,624, when the society and press gained awareness of the newly flourishing civilization. This nation opposed the UTF's ideology, which claimed that civilizations should never divide mankind.

The UTF demanded that this civilization disband, though all they received was assurance that the Kingdom would be a massive autonomous civilization. The UTF decided to leave the nation alone for several weeks afterward to see whether they had changed their minds. After two weeks, Tythia, one of the UTF's more renowned worlds, was struck by a missile, devastating one of it's cities. This rocket sparked suspicion, but the Kingdom was soon accused. The Kingdom's only response was that it was the malfunction of a military base. The UTF then started to wonder why the missiles were directed at Tythia in the first place, sparking the massive conflict.

Many conflicts were fought on the Federation's outer borders during the first phase. Most of the battles were won by the Kingdom, enabling them to penetrate into civilized space. Many violent conflicts erupted and concluded. Thousands of worlds were wrecked, and billions of people died in the ashes of great destruction. Shortly thereafter, Valkyrie Drones were deployed, culminating in the subjugation of countless planets. After that, the Kingdom had seized control of over a thousand of Federation's worlds. Because of the war's corruption, the Kingdom erected various concentration camps for those who aligned with the Federation. Many of the detainees were unsuspecting civilians who were compelled to assemble different combat equipment in exchange for the smallest quantity of food necessary to survive. Many perished of starvation, although the majority were executed for revolting. For fear of death, no one would dare contemplate fleeing in the years to come.

The cruelty of the second phase vastly outweighed the first, as the battle began to spread farther into the United Terran Federation's civilized domain. The conflict looked to have settled down in the first year, with only minor clashes between the rivaling nations. The Kingdom interrupted this period of comparative tranquility by deploying hundreds of thousands of Valkyrie Drones into peaceful Federation space. The Federation was severely shaken by this unexpected onslaught, losing over half its force in less than two months. The United Terran Federation established the first partnerships, inviting many independent organizations to fight for their cause. The Kingdom was inspired by these initiatives and began looking for organizations to assist itself. Only three organizations would be interested. Only three organizations, all in favor of disbanding the Federation, would accept the invitations. Unbeknownst to them, the Kingdom had committed multiple war crimes, which, when revealed, would result in the dissolution of the groups' Kingdom with the Kingdom. When one of these organization learned of the Kingdom's war crimes, it left it alone in order to fight with the Federation

Biological weaponry also had a significant appearance in the war, causing billions of deaths and hundreds of worlds to be contaminated. As biological weaponry was heavily illegal in the Federation, it was only utilized by the Kingdom. Several artificial and natural viruses and infections were used to severely cripple the Federation, allowing the Kingdom to launch several offenses. Innumerable disturbing experiments had to take place for the development of these biological weapons. The most deadly of these would be Stygian Death, a horrifying and agonizing viral disease which took control over one's brain and body. A thousand worlds were fully contaminated and quarantined by Stygian Death alone, with several hundred more by additional less deadly diseases.

Biological weaponry played a crucial role in the conflict, resulting in billions of deaths and the contamination of thousands of worlds. As biological weaponry was strictly strictly prohibited in the Federation, it was exclusively employed by the Kingdom. The Federation was badly crippled by a variety of manmade and natural diseases and infections, allowing the Kingdom to launch many offensives. The development of these biological weapons necessitated a slew of disturbing experiments. Stygian Death, a terrifying and agonizing viral sickness that takes possession of one's brain and body, was the most lethal of these. Stygian Death alone contaminated a thousand worlds, which had to be quarantined, with other, less lethal viruses contaminating hundreds more.

When focusing on the positive aspects of the battle, humanity's technical level skyrocketed. During the war, numerous innovative and distinctive technologies were developed, many of which are heavily in use nowadays. One of these is Eutherium Shielding, which was developed by the People's Kingdom of the Starfield in the first period of the war. Eutherium Shielding operates by altering space-time in such a way that solid matter would be unable to pass through it. These shields are still exceptionally scarce, as they are only used by huge military or governmental vessels. The Valkyrie Drones, which were exceptionally durable and stealthy assault drones primarily deployed by the People's Kingdom of the Starfield, were another notable technology.

The public's attitude toward the conflict is extremely hostile. People would recognize that there was no justification for the war, given that there might be two enormous human civilizations without it. The populace, and even the government, now recognize that forcing the UTF's ideology on other developing nations is not a wise approach. There haven't been many defenders of the war yet, and there aren't going to be any anytime soon. Some people are even misunderstood for praising the conflict when highlighting its positive attributes.

Background

Foundation of the United Terran Federation

Approximately a century after the Palioxis Rift collapsed in on itself, the United Terran Federation was established. The United Terran Federation emerged as an union amongst a network of deserted Theras' colonies. Regardless, it grew into a fully functional federation over time. Deonis Lera, the first president of the United Terran Federation, single-handedly restored mankind, for without his efforts, humanity's imprint in the Starfield would have remained concealed. His career lasted elevel years, until he died of an exotic disease that was prevalent on Theras at the time of his death.

The president and a tiny council of ten members were the first forms of government. It rapidly grew in size as more individuals decided to join. The nation then developed an ideology that declared that civilizations should never be able to divide humanity. The Unified Terran Federation then enacted the draconian rule, which said that no new human states should be permitted to be established, and that everyone must be united. Many votes were cast to repeal this policy, though none of them would succeed since the people were assured of utopia provided they remained unified.

Rise of the People's Kingdom of the Starfield

The Akrjian Group, a political organization of like-minded citizens who all shared the same desire to unify mankind in an entirely fresh civilization, was the forerunner of the People's Kingdom of the Starfield. This was just a dream until Zared Breton, one of the richest people in the UTF at the time, expressed a comparable ambition. He quickly became an associate of the group and would fund a private colonization voyage to Scornem, a paradise planet twenty light-years outside the United Terran Federation's borders. A fleet of five colony ships, thousands of crew members, and millions of cryogenically preserved human eggs made up the colonization effort. The fleet successfully arrived in orbit around Scornem after several months of superluminal flight. Following that, the colony ships were dismantled upon landing on the planet, and the first settlements were constructed. The first system of colonies was established, spanning the globe. The planet's first permanent colonies appeared shortly thereafter.

Jameson's Memorial, the first interstellar colony of the People's Kingdom of the Starfield

The form of governance that the new civilization should adopt sparked a heated debate. The vote was virtually evenly split between a republic and a monarchy, with the monarchy coming out victorious. Afterwards, Zared Breton succeeded to the throne of the People's Kingdom of the Starfield. The first city was completed shortly after the first million residents were born on the planet from frozen eggs. Scornem's moons would be extensively occupied and industrialized in order to extract rare resources. Soon after, the planets of the Scronem Prime System followed suit. Jameson's Hope, the first interstellar colony, would be established soon afterward.

The People's Kingdom of the Starfield had blossomed into a self-sustaining civilization in less than a thousand years, complete with its own government, laws, companies territory, thousands of colonized worlds, and a population of eight hundred trillion. As lively as it was, the People's Kingdom of the Starfield was isolated, undisturbed by any other civilization. When the Great War broke out, this paradise would be drastically changed.

Unique Technologies

Valkyrie Drones

A Valkyrie Drone seen in flight over a city

Valkyrie Drones were remote-controlled assault spacecraft utilized extensively by the People's Kingdom of the Starfield during the Great War. Valkyrie Drones were reverse-engineered from technologies left behind by an ancient precursor race, and they have powers that are yet unknown. These battle machines conquered several worlds, resulting in the deaths of billions. Only two million of the were made due to the scarcity of the extraterrestrial technology used and their extravagant price. For the Federation, reverse-engineering the same extraterrestrial technology has proven impossible. As a result, it's possible that the Kingdom received external assistance.

Valkyrie Drones are integrated with a variety of stealth mechanisms hidden deep beneath their armored shell. These devices can block all electromagnetic radiation from reaching the Valkyrie Drone, rendering it undetectable to the naked eye and to sensors alike. As a result, Valkyrie Drones were the single most important reason the Kingdom had any hope of standing up to the Federation and its enormous armies of uncountable ships and orbital defenses.

Employing what are termed as Mass Dilation Drives, Valkyrie Drones may achieve superluminal velocities. These experimental otherworldly devices exploit reverse time dilation to achieve speeds of up to a hundred light-years per second while really traveling at slower speeds than light. These FTL drives were only used by unmanned vessels since manned trips would be far too dangerous. Even if cryogenic hibernation were to be used, it would be difficult to keep such a demanding apparatus in perfect operating order for millions, if not billions, of years.

Valkyrie Drones have a formidable arsenal, which includes both energetic and kinetic weaponry. Two sets of plasma-based projectile cannons are stationed at the front, mostly for wiping out soldiers or civilians. A larger plasma-based railgun is mounted close by and is used to annihilate lesser vehicles and spacecraft. The Valkyrie Drones' main firepower comes from two retractable missile launchers on the bottom, which allow them to take down even the greatest of spacecraft over time.

Venators

TFR Lux Infinitum, one of the last Venators fabricated by the Terran Federation

Venators are colossal humanoid mechs which saw heavy use by the Terran Military during the second phase of the Ether War. Venators were the pinnacle of Terran warfare technology at the time. Venators, which were reverse-engineered from extraterrestrial technology unearthed on Luur, were thought to be indestructible and formidable enough to dominate entire worlds. Only six hundred seventy three Venators were ever built regarding the resources and time required to produce a single Venator at the time. Due to the small quantity of Venators, they were primarily used on key frontlines.

While rising hundreds of meters in height, Venators can only be operated by a single person. Venators operate by linking an individual's neurons to the mainframe of a Venator with sophisticated Neural-Machinery Transmitters, allowing the pilot to command the mech only with their thoughts. This would prove too much for the brain of an individual, and as such, only the best of the best are to be considered for a Venator pilot role. To become a Venator pilot, one would have to go through a rigorous training program, which most individuals failed.

Venators feature super sophisticated armaments which outperform most military craft. Usually Venators are equipped with a plasma-based energy cannon or a massive gatling cannon with either explosive or corrosive shells as their primary weapon. While the primary weapon supplies the majority of a Venator's firepower, lesser weapons such as guided missiles and railguns can be distributed all through the Venator's chassis. A retractable jetpack fueled with Zysan Fuel and a set of wings come standard on all Venators. These enable a Venator to function in both air and space, the latter of which being a common tactic used during the Ether War to bring down enemy warships.

Shadow-Fusion Missiles

Mass-Driver Relays

First Phase (0-2 Years)

The Dawn of Conflict

On September 27th, 96,625 CE, the brief monarchic state of People's Kingdom of the Starfield inadvertently fired missiles towards Tythia, one of the United Terran Federation's most renowned planets. While the reason of this disaster is uncertain, most trustworthy sources indicate that it was caused by a simple programming error in one of Fort Zexis' autonomous superluminal missile launchers orbiting Scornem. This would have been dismissed as a simple oversight if it hadn't been discovered that the superluminal missile launcher was already pointed at Tythia, prompting the United Terran Federation to become more protective than ever, afraid that more of its worlds will be targeted.

In fear of being destroyed themselves, the People's Kingdom of the Starfield became more wary of a region of UTF called the Outskirts. At first, thousands of surveillance drones were dispatched in the region by the Kingdom. While harmless at first, several patrols had destroyed them, resulting in far more stealthy and weaponized probes being fabricated. The Terran Council, after being denied by the Kingdom for the seventh time, declared war against the nation.

War Breaks out in the Outskirts

First Battle of Eternity

Civilized Borders Breached

Operation Sparrow

Kingdom's Great Defense

Second Phase (2-5 Years)

Bloodbath of Cervia

Formation of Alliances

Genesis of Biological Warfare

Stygian Death

The secret base on Kalika, which held thousands of deadly viral bombs

Stygian Death was the deadliest biological weapon developed by the Kingdom during the Great War. Discovered by Vero Agows on a far-away moon, the natural form of Stygian Death was considered safer. Only after specially modifying it in a special laboratory, Stygian Death, a lethal brain-controlling virus with no viable cure, became weaponized as a swiftly-spreading airborne strain. Thousands of large viral bombs were constructed by the Kingdom as well, and hidden below the secretive Outpost 74 on the remote wasteland moon of Kalika.

Stygian Death was a type of airborne virus that could infiltrate one's body and induce horrible symptoms while the immune system sought to battle the disease. Stygian Death would gradually obtain minimal control over a person's neurons, substantially decreasing intelligence and reasoning capacity, as well as producing emotional and mental instability. The immune system was then totally shut down, allowing multiple diseases to attack the body at the same time. The infected would die a horrific and torturous death after only a few days of agony. Intense headaches, vomiting, paralysis and uncontrollable violence were among the most common signs and symptoms of the virus.

The means of formulating the most lethal form of Stygian Death took months of effort and thousands of casualties. To achieve this, the virus would be genetically altered, however this resulted in multiple epidemics on the Kingdom's territory. The effects of Stygian Death would be tested on Federation captured soldiers to ensure ultimate security. Because the Stygian Death requires a living, completely conscious host to survive, the seized soldiers would be confined in virus-infected water tanks. The average specimen lived for a day or two and was in excruciating pain during that time while the Stygian Death gained control of the specimen's brain and organism. Stygian Death was soon modified so that it no longer required a living host to survive. Individuals afflicted with newest strain of Stygian Death died more slowly, yet the virus remained after they died. The specimen would be so deformed around a week after death that it would be difficult to imagine it was once a human being. Over the weeks it took to develop Strain Omega, the virus's most destructive form, tens of thousands of captive soldiers would be sacrificed. For months following that, the Kingdom began mass-producing this strain.

The outpost on Kalika was discovered and obliterated from orbit several weeks after the mass-production of Strain Omega began, as it had no viable fortifications and was relying on its secrecy for survival. Despite this, the viral bombs were only discovered a few days after the outpost was destroyed. Several troops were discovered protecting one of the massive bunkers upon the planet's second arrival. Fearing that the infection would propagate, the Federation dispatched an attack force to the bunkers to secure them. On July 7th, 96,628 CE, an assault group led by Kenth Pellian, an Outskirts lieutenant, was launched, and after several casualties and offenses, they were able to secure a massive cryogenic chamber containing samples of the deadly virus in stasis. Upon further investigation of the chamber, numerous cells housing unconscious and infected test subjects were discovered, which were later identified as captured soldiers.

After a week of torment, the attack team would perish, though the first symptoms didn't manifest for three days after the infection. The member of the team had been aboard several capital ships, military bases, and worlds during that time, allowing the virus to spread to thousands of people and tens of worlds. As a result, the Federation was significantly crippled during that time, allowing the Kingdom to move ahead in relative safety. A total of a thousand worlds that were heavily populated became completely contaminated as the remaining undiscovered bombs were dropped on them. As a result, the worlds had to be quarantined, with no individual being allowed to leave or enter. Even tourists who came on the planet would either take their own lives or face a painful death. This area became known as the Great Quarantine Zone, with remote-controlled weaponry discouraging any travelers to go near the contaminated worlds. A small minority of humans are thought to have been immune and have begun to rebuild their society on these worlds, albeit no communication has yet been established.

Second Battle of Eternity

First Battle of Theras

Third Phase (5-7 Years)

Second Battle of Theras

Kingdom's Retreat

A Fragile Pushback

Hades' Conflict

Aftermath

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