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The War of Saiheran Succession, also known as the War of Thrones or the Twenty Millennium War, was a galactic-scale civil war lasting from 67,433 CE-84,808 CE. It is widely considered the most horrific war in the modern history of the galaxy and possibly the entire Local Universe. It resulted in the formation of one of the most powerful nations in the universe, the United Nations of the Florathel Galaxy, as well as some rather large territorial changes for multiple nations and the complete dissolution of the Corroloa Empire.

Background

Due to the epic scale of this war, there was not one single cause, but a network of causes on a hair trigger waiting for something to happen. On its own, the squabbling between Sais, Karnak, Zelera, and Kalea probably would have little effect on the wider galaxy beyond the Kingdom. However, due to the preexisting alliances and feuds between the existing nations, it exploded into the horror that it was.

Border Disputes

Almost every nation that bordered another nation had some form of border dispute. These nations hoped to take advantage of the growing war to regain the territories that they believed were theirs. Notable disputes include:

  • Marakat Interstellar Union-Free Nation of Garrea - These nations do not have a long border with each other, but the two conflicting borders were over 1000 light-years apart. The FNG believed that it owned territory within 700 light-years of Argano, and the MIU believed that it owned 500 light-years worth of territory away from the administrative border (that is, the systems actually administrated by either side).
  • Arnot Republic-Trezhath Republic/Dominion of Khae - The Arnot Republic, being a former colony of the Dominion of Khae, was completely unrecognized by it, and the DoK believed that it owned the entire territory of the country. This obviously didn't exactly work. The Trezhath Republic also believed that it owned a strip of territory approximately 30 light-years wide extending along the border. That might not seem like much, but they seemed to really want it.

Timeline

Initial Casus Belli

The war started after the murder of King Oram, when he failed to name a successor. No one has the faintest idea who did it, but it doesn't really matter anymore. Normally, failing an official naming of a successor, Saiheran Law states that the royal consort would be next in line, or failing that the firstborn of their children. Unfortunately, Queen Azal predeceased her husband, and her oldest four children were all quadruplets. (the three who came a few minutes after the first used this fact to rationalize their ignoring of the birth order clause)

After Oram's death, his four children immediately started fighting. The physically weakest but most popular of them, Princess Zelera, proposed a public election between the four heirs, but this was rejected by the other three because they knew perfectly well they would lose. The physically strongest, Prince Sais, proposed a fight to the death. This was also rejected for similar reasons. The most intelligent of them, Prince Karnak, proposed a battle of intelligence, which was again rejected. Finally, the most scheming of the four, Princess Kalea suggested that they try to send armies against each other, and whoever controlled the victorious army would win.

This idea was accepted as it seemed the most fair, but Kalea already had secret agreements with roughly 1/3 of the divisions of the Saiheran Army as well as the Trezhath Republic and Dominion of Khae. Some historians believe that this kind of planning indicates that Kalea either hired the assassin or committed the murder of King Oram herself. A savvy underling of Prince Karnak (who he was possibly having an affair with) was in the room at the time, and pointed this fact out to the other three heirs. They then hastily arranged alliances with the vast majority of the nations in the galaxy (notable exceptions being the Cnara-Frealee Federation, which spent the entire war trying to convince everyone to make peace, and the Pecay-Po Federation of Nalachi, which was extremely isolationist at the time and thus did not care about external affairs.)

Opening Moves

At the beginning of the war, all four heirs with the exception of Prince Sais fled Dimostah to avoid being killed. Princess Zelera set up a secret base on the entirely unknown rogue planet of Aiah, where she stayed for the majority of the war. Princess Kalea constructed a mobile station deep in interstellar space. Interestingly, Prince Karnak's base was located directly on the surface of Erae, a major planet of his main ally, the Arnot Republic. This decision would prove to be extremely foolish, and almost resulted in Karnak's death very early in the war.

As this was occurring, the various nations began to move their automated fleets towards each other, and the first battles of the war started happening when they met. While the war was ostensibly over who would sit on the Saiheran throne, many of the warring nations already disliked each other and so were looking for an excuse to fight.

Early Escalation

As the armies met, small skirmishes broke out between the borders of the various nations participating. An important early battle was the Battle of Pagalus, a minor system on the border between the Marakat Interstellar Union and the Free Nation of Garrea. It wasn't very well populated, but was within a disputed region between the two nations. As they were still ostensibly following the rules of war, they avoided civilian casualties, with most of the fighting occurring within the unpopulated Oort cloud of the system. This battle allowed the FNG to take control of the disputed territory surrounding the system.

There were similar battles across the galaxy, causing small border changes. As these occurred far from populated areas, most citizens had little to no changes to their daily lives. People in the border regions were protesting the war, but they were sadly ignored.

Battle of Erae

One of the most climactic battles of this part of the war was the Battle of Erae. This battle took place after the Trezhath Republic and Dominion of Khae pushed far into the relatively unpopulated coreward region of the Arnot Republic, reaching the planet Erae. Erae was the site of Prince Karnak's base, and they jumped on the opportunity to attack it.

At first, the battle seemed to be going well for the attacking nations, and the front lines almost entered the hill sphere of Erae itself. A long-range missile impacted the site of Prince Karnak's base on the surface of the planet, leaving a large crater, but the occupants had fled to an outer dwarf planet. However, reinforcements from Morlac had finally arrived, and managed to rebuff the enemy forces.

After the battle, Prince Karnak later fled the system and constructed a base on an interstellar asteroid, far from any population centers.

Rules do not Apply

After this early phase of the war, almost completely filled with minor battles that didn't really do much, the warring nations stopped even trying to follow the Rules of War. This phase began after many of the generals on all sides decided that their current strategy, while relatively popular, wasn't getting anywhere. It was a period in the war in which most nations started to stop distinguishing between military and civilian targets. This period saw the usage of weapons never before used in conflicts in an attempt to make the enemy surrender.

One of the most horrific weapons to be used involves the manufacture and firing of a unique form of artificial matter, known as Marceum, that accelerates proton decay in any structure that it impacts, causing a chain reaction and erasing the structure from the universe, killing everyone on the surface in less than an hour. All who ordered its use on civilian targets were convicted in the Great Tribunal after the war and remain imprisoned to this day.

The material was extremely dense and difficult to make, and was very unstable. It only works with a certain critical mass, and the material has a half-life of roughly ten minutes. Thus, this weapon would need to be fired from within about 200 kilometers of the planetary surface, making for many climactic battles.

Battle of Morlac

One such battle was the Battle of Morlac, which took place in the vicinity of Morlac, when the Trezhath-Khae alliance pushed deep into the territory of the Arnot Republic. After their disastrous defeat at the Battle of Erae, they had taken to using these Marceum bullets on any attacking fleet.

The first enemy fleets entered the oort cloud of Morlac's home star in 71,835 CE, reaching the orbit of the outermost planet hours later. The entire fleet of the Arnot Republic as well as those divisions of the Saiheran army that Karnak had managed to win over at the beginning of the war were waiting for them. The two opposing forces were almost equally matched, but Karnak had absolutely refused to use the Marceum bullets as a matter of principle. This resulted in an absolute massacre, the entire fleet being reduced to millimetre-wide blobs of hyperdense matter within minutes of the beginning of the battle.

The attacking fleet then advanced towards Morlac itself, and all that opposed it was the tiny group of patrol ships in orbit of Morlac itself. These were rapidly destroyed, although one of the pilots managed to place her craft on a collision course with the flagship before the craft was hit by the Marceum bullet. This meant that the flagship was likewise erased, which was a serious blow to the attacking fleet.

Prince Karnak himself arrived in the system while this was occurring, and landed his shuttle on the opposite side of the planet. He personally made twelve trips between the surface and his flagship before the fleet reached the planet and dropped the bullet onto the surface. As the planet collapsed in on itself, he fled into the intergalactic void, broken by the horrors of war.

Princess Kalea then ordered for the remaining major planets of the Arnot Republic to be destroyed in a similar fashion. Sadly, no one objected to this brutal act, and it was carried out. The Arnot Republic was utterly destroyed, and a full 99.5% of its population was killed. This event was later referred to as the Scouring of Arnot, and those who carried it out were sentenced to a punishment worse than death in the Great Tribunal.

Today, a beacon orbits over the superheated remains of Morlac, telling all within range one thing:

Remember

Total War

After the complete destruction of the Arnot Republic, the stakes were higher. Despite the utter loss of one side of the war, everyone else saw the extreme danger they were in. Kalea was seen as the most ruthless of the three remaining combatants, and Sais and Zelera decided to team up against her.

This stage of the war caused so much death that it was referred to as Total War, a war which takes all the resources of the nations which are waging it. At this point, quadrillions of individuals were being conscripted into the war, to remotely pilot the huge numbers of ships taking part in it. There were many horrifying battles, including the Battle of Vea and the Battle of Virelask.

Battle of Kaledar

The black hole created in the battle, after consuming the space station.

After the destruction of the Arnot Republic, Prince Sais and Princess Zelera decided to team up against Kalea, and Zelera returned to Dimostah for the first time in millennia. The two heirs and their generals put their heads together and made a plan to destroy all of Kalea's Marceum factories ensuring that the horrors of Morlac could never happen again.

At the time, essentially all of Kalea's Marceum-factory ships were situated over the planet Kaledar, a very stupid idea that quite possibly led to Kalea's downfall. As the fastest and most permanent way to destroy anything was to throw it into a black hole, this operation called for either stealing all of it and throwing it into the nearest stellar mass black hole, or creating a black hole right there. They chose the latter option.

Despite the name, it was less of a battle and more of a hit-and-run operation. Tiny space probes with high-tech scanning equipment flew to the system and found the precise position of the targets. Then, a ship specially designed around the black hole generator managed to jump back into the universe less than a kilometer away from the manufacturing station.

As the craft passed close to the station, he dropped the generator payload directly onto the station, where it created a black hole of approximately 1 planetary mass, destroying the station instantly. Although the pilot was lost, this was a crippling blow to Princess Kalea, and the tide of the war was turned. The only question now was why did they call this a battle?

Battle of Vea

Vea after the end of the battle.

Despite the destruction of Kalea's Marceum factories, she was still quite formidable. Believing that Princess Zelera was the weakest of her two remaining opponents, and not knowing where her hideout was, she attacked the planet of Vea. Vea was the least-well-defended major planet of Zelera's most powerful ally, the Marakat Interstellar Union. Due to the lack of her most powerful weapon, Kalea's generals had a difficult time planning an assault on the planet, and elected to simply bombard the whole place.

Spies planted previously by Prince Sais and Princess Zelera gave the Marakat government advance warning of this, and most of the civilian population was evacuated elsewhere before the attack. Large shield generators were also placed in orbit around the planet, to be guarded by large fleets. These generators went online seconds before the first missile streaked into them.

The bombardment lasted hours, doing no more damage than a mote of dust. Because of this, the generals elected to send in attack fleets against the craft guarding the shield generators. Long-range missiles fired from the planetary surface decimated the attackers. One powerful missile disintegrated a ship, and the debris flew outward at supersonic speeds, disabling many others, causing a chain reaction. This chain reaction reduced the entire vanguard to a cloud of shrapnel. Unfortunately, they could still do damage in this state. On impact, a similar reaction occured, though less powerful, in the defending fleets. Approximately half of the ships remained.

After this disaster, Kalea ordered ships to withdraw to the edge of the system. The defending fleet began a chase, firing missiles at the escaping fleet, but it proved to be fruitless. Even worse, twelve spacecraft hid behind Vea's moon and were able to destroy the shield generators in the absence of the defenders. At this, the attacking fleet suddenly turned around toward Vea and fired every missile it had at the planet, reducing the mostly-uninhabited surface to lava and destroying the shipyards in orbit.

This was a loss, but not as terrible as it could have been. 98% of the planet had been evacuated before the battle, so civilian casualties were minimized. Shipyards could be rebuilt. People could not. After the war, the inhabitants of the planet returned to rebuild, and today, Vea has recovered from this event.

Battle of Virelask and the Sack of Saleas

The Treana War

Some Nations Stop Fighting

Battle of Aiah

De-Escalation

Aftermath

The Great Tribunal

Lasting Effects

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