Starlit Court History
The Era of Old Kings - 728 years
The Rise of The Elenti Kingdom TOK 1-696
The planet Elentar is settled by colonists from Earth, who encounter the native Zelvan. Several conflicts and wars are fought between the human colonists and the Zelvan; ultimately seeing the Zelvan conquered and integrated. During the conflict between the Human colonists and the Zelvan, the colonial military begins augmenting their forces with biological augmentations. After several centuries Zelvan culture had been fully integrated into the local human culture; creating the unique Elentar identity.
Reign of the Father TOK 696 - 728
Elentar had been ruled over by a Feudal government and the hereditary line of the High King for centuries. Society is highly stratified and static, though the population is largely content, obedient, and peaceful. The Current High King begins the training of their Heir to rule at an early age, as was tradition. By all accounts the Heir was highly charismatic and a skilled warrior. The high king began to build a retinue of personal advisors, bodyguards, and hangers on.
Members of the Heirs inner circle began to present if not push populist ideas on the Heir; some going so far as suggesting the High King needed to be removed for the good of the people. According to legend, the Heir sought the truth of these claims, moving among the people in disguise and meeting with common folk. A few historians suggest that these meetings were carefully selected and cultivated to push the Heir further into this populist movement.
Some historians suggest that the Heir was simply growing impatient with their father. The ruling High King had held the office for some time, and their reign had no end in sight. These historians posit that the Heir latched onto the growing populist movement as an excuse to overthrow the High King and seize power. Regardless of their motives, the Heir began to push these ideas at court, souring relations with the High King, and brewing dissent and spite between the two. Ultimately, the High King disinherited and disowned the Heir publicly.
War TOK 721-728
After being disinherited the former Heir begins to foment rebellion against the High King, gathering to his banner many Men-at-Arms, and the Knightly retinues of those Nobles who had been part of his entourage. At the beginning of the war the tides were in the favor of the High King; bringing the full might of the Nobility and their knights against the Disowned Heir. As the civil war dragged on, more and more commoners flocked to the cause of the Disowned heir, forming militias and resistance groups that swelled in numbers until the High Kings forces were greatly outnumbered. One of the most useful allies that came to the Disowned Heir's side was the commoner Morag. Morag was an extremely fierce and competent warrior who earned a place at the table of the former Heir. Eventually Morag is given her own title and knighted by the Disowned Heir the former Heir, and the two would fall in love.
What some believed would be a swift rebellion dragged on into years of conflict. The devastation of wreaked across Elentar was incalculable. Despite this, neither side wanting to give in or surrender. Ultimately, this brutal stalemate moved the hands of both the High King and the Disowned Heir to unleashing super weapons against each other. The desire of both monarchs to bring a swift end to the conflict lead to the ultimate and total detestation of the world.
Eventually, the High King is mortally wounded in battle and died; his forces scattering with no leader, and leaving the Disowned Heir the victor. It is unknown who exactly slew the High king, but by all accounts his death devastated the Disowned Heir, who still loved their parent despite the conflict. Some claim that it was the Disowned Heir that found the High King dying on the battlefield, and that when the Heir began to break down the High King scolded them.
The Era of the High King - 18 years
A Fractured World HK 1-7
The Disowned Heir was crowned the new High King of Elentar, as the world still burned. The new High King reflected over the words of his Father, that still rung in his ears. His world was dying, and a great deal of that blame he put at his own feet. The construction of Sihi had begun before the war, and had been halted when the war diverted all industry toward war material. Sihi was initially designed to be a great colony ship; destined to spread the Elentar empire among the stars. Now, all efforts turned to finishing and expanding the project, creating the enormous vessel we know today while Elentar was wracked by disaster after disaster brought about by the great and terrible weapons of the war.
Among the Stars HK 7-18
The journey away from their destroyed world was seen by many to be a new beginning, wiping clean the slate of what had come before. The High King began to enact many of the governing principles that exist today in the modern society of Sihi, the first among which was the egalitarian society who's ideals he espoused in the War. While originally without a destination, after some years the High King became convinced of a new place for his people amongst the stars. A near mythical, perfect world. Grail. It is also during this time that the High King begins to become deeply introspective, and the beginning steps of the Starlit Path are founded, culminating in the Faith and philosophy from which the Starlit Court takes its name. During this period, we lost the high king. There are two main theories, but legends and tales are as uncountable as the stars.
During this time we began wide scale use of the Sheath among our military, finding it a vital tool for better control of our mechs and ships. As we collected imprints of former knights within their Sheaths they began gathering in our repositories and formed a Gestalt consciousness. This Gestalt would eventually become known as the Unseelie Court; a way to never again need to suffer the loss of family as had been seen in the War, as well as the immense loss of knowledge and wisdom death on that scale brought.
One tale recounts that the High King left Sihi on an independent pilgrimage. The High King would do so from time to time, and was in the habit of designating a rendezvous points and scheduled pick ups. However, when we went to find the High King, he was nowhere to be found. Morag went on a quest to find him, but only found the place where he had reached Enlightenment, ultimately refusing to leave the spot and perishing.
Another account suggests that the High King had begun to believe that his people were following him too closely, almost deifying him, and that they would never find their own path to spiritual enlightenment on the Starlit Path if he remained to hold their hands forever. And it was because of this that he left. Again, when he did not return at the scheduled point, Morag rushed to find him, and when she discovered him and the truth she was heartbroken, that he would break his oaths to his people, and to her. And in a rage, she killed him, only to end her own life after, realizing what she had done.
The Era of the Grand Masters - 91 years
Restructuring the Statlit Court EGM 1-66
With the loss of the High King, the court goes into a state of mourning and grief. Eventually, the court of the High King collect themselves, and begin to form an provisional government. The Knights of the High King's Court each establish a knightly order and become its Grand Master. These Grand Masters form the first grand Council of Grandmasters as a ruling body over Sihi and the Starlit Court. The Grand Masters also appoint a Steward, to act as an arbitrator in the place of the missing High King.
Civil Strife and Dark times EE 66 - 91
A period of civil unrest and growing tensions threatened to tear apart the Starlit court and throw Sihi into civil war and destruction.
The Returnists Riots
A political movement calling themselves The Returnists spreads across the people of the court. The Returnists were largely made up of third and second generation Sihians who demanded the right to leave the Court and return to the Homeworld at the expense of the court. The Returnists were an outspoken and active, holding many marches, protests, and drawing in large numbers. However, things turned bloody when a Returnist rally turned into an armed march, moving through Camlann to protest on the grounds of The King's Woods. In response, the Grand Masters declared the protestors rebels, and the knightly orders were dispatched to put them down in a swift and bloody battle. The Grand Masters are heavily criticized by many members of the public, as few efforts were made to quell the Returnists and hundreds not involved in the riots were arrested and imprisoned with no trials in the wake of the event.
The Baker Trial and protests
After a fight between a Syr Alasdair Torvik, the Black Hand and Jon Rey Baker escalates and Baker is killed, leading to the infamous Baker Trial. Syr Alasdair Torvik is tried via military tribunal and receives light punishment, inciting protests that claim cronyism, nepotism, and corruption among the knightly orders. While knights and members of the military often received military trials over public ones at this point in history, this case was considered particularly egregious as Syr Alasdair Torvik’s father and brother in arms were both members of the tribunal’s judges. The civilian population called for exile, as it was believed that Syr Alasdair Torvik and Jon Rey Baker had bad blood, and many believed the killing was premeditated. The trial sparked 3 weeks of protest. The Grand Masters grew concerned with drops in productivity, declaring martial law and increasing Syr Alasdair Torvik’s sentence from a short imprisonment to a penance campaign.
The Marauder Act
The Marauder act was a law that granted members of all knightly orders the power to carry out civilian law enforcement to bolster the Sihian police in response to the Mound Murders. The Mound Murders were a series of brutal murders targeting technicians at a number of mounds along the silver road leaves a dozen killed and several maimed, dedicated police forces stretched thin and a six month manhunt that never bore fruit. There is a massive outcry by the general public that the orders are overstepping their bounds, and effectively declaring martial law.
The Dave Protests
After a farmer named Dave had his land seized by the state to make way for a military garrison, Dave attempted to sue the Court for wrongfully seizing their land. In a shocking decision, Dave was charged with insubordination and shameful conduct when they attempted to sue the state, and was sentenced to 10 years of penal service by the Grandmasters in charge of his trial. This sparked a series of and demonstrations and protests that shut down Camlann for nearly a month. Despite declaring martial law and arresting nearly fifteen hundred protesters, the Grandmasters eventually relented, repealing Dave’s punishment and releasing all but a handful of protesters.
The Hellfire Strike
The last in a series of major strikes and protests that had taken place between 829 and 826, during which all arms manufacturing plants on Sihi had simultaneously entered a prolonged labor strike. The protests had initially begun by exhausted arms manufacturers who had been forced to work extreme hours with no compensation, claiming they were being treated like enlisted men, or worse; the cold-ones enlisted men used as pack animals during training drills. The Hellfire Strike was an entirely peaceful event, with no records of violence or riots. The Strike gained its name from the Hellfire Missile workers who began the strike, and their symbol of a rocket drooped over like a limp noodle.
The Year-long Summit
Under immense public pressure and threats of running out of war material and manpower, the Grandmasters accept demands for the restructuring of governance within the Starlit Court. Initially called the “Demilitarization Congress”, the Yearlong summit was a lengthy series of meetings, negotiations, and public referendums that last over a year The Summit was delayed for nearly three months after being announced by the Grandmasters by the public’s discourse on who to send to the summit, with countless arguments over the eligibility of former military personnel, religious figures, members of private industry, and if there needed to be a reserve number of Zelvan or human representatives. Ultimately a compromise was reached and The Council of Elders were established to act as a second house to govern The Court as well as be chosen by the majority of peoples in Sihi not just those of the Knightly Orders Choosing.
The Era of the Elders - 245 years
The Lutrian War EE 25 - 26
While traveling through space the Court encountered a world in turmoil. Its atmosphere was polluted, disease was rampant, and it was caught in the throws of a bloody civil war. The people were oppressed, enslaved by extra-planetary ruling class of who lived in luxury. The Lutrian people had risen up shortly after we made contact with the planet, there is some debate if this was a simple coincidence or if our arrival was seen as an opportunity to cast off their oppressors.
The Court initially remained neutral in the face of this conflict, refusing to get involved. As the war raged, Court observers saw the courage and fighting spirit of the Lutrain people; standing up to vastly technologically superior masters despite the odds. Members of the Court began to admire the Lutrians. At the same time, demands made by the slave masters had strained the Court's diplomatic patience and prodded their last nerves.
In a unanimous vote by the Council of Elders and Grand Masters, the Startlit Court declared war on the slave masters, citing numerous insults and slights toward the Court, and the liberation of an oppressed people. It is to be noted, that several Grand Masters all but publicly urged Council of Elders to engage in the war to alleviate a growing sense of discontent or even boredom among court knights. With the Starlit Court joining entering the conflict, the revolution came to a sudden and abrupt end. The slave masters had grown used to slaughtering poorly armed and organized rebels, and in turn were crushed under the full mechanized might of the Knightly Orders.
The Court's intervention brought an end to three months of war, and for the remainder of the year the Court remained near the planet to negotiate peace. Impressed by their deeds on the battlefield, the Court's leadership offered the Lutrians a place aboard Sihi as full citizens and equals. Seeking a future and world that had not been destroyed by their former masters. By the end of 799 the Lutrians had either migrated aboard Sihi or constructed numerous ships to join the flotilla, joining the Starlit Court and embracing the Starlit Path.
The Najan Adoption EE 153 - 156
The court had entered a sector containing the planet Najaran, home to the Najan people, in 643. Najaran was an ecologically unstable world, and the situation had only been growing worse in recent history. The Najan faced constant floods and rising sea levels as Najaran's ice caps had begun to melt. Worse yet, the Najan had devolved into a state of strife and infighting. Two major factions had come to power, some seeking to wreap what they could from the flooding world and endure, the others wishing to flee to the stars and start anew in full fledged space colonies rather than the limited resource colonies the Najan were used to building.
Members of the court who saw kindred spirits within the Najan urged Court's Leadership to intervene and help the Najan just as they had the Lutrians some century and a half earlier. Many people of the Court believed there was a kinship between the Najan and the Court, both were primarily warrior cultures, and the primarily faith of the Najan resembled the Starlit Path in many ways. The Courts leadership was split on the subject for some time, some were hesitant that Najan religious beliefs, particularly the worship of the war gods Hydros, Jormanger, and Dracos (representing Deception, Victory, and Savagery respectively) would seep into practices of the Starlit path and corrupt it. Others sited that while the Najan had an extensive warrior class, that the were far more aggressive and undisciplined compared to the warrior culture of the Court.
Ultimately, the Court's leadership decided to intervene, following the argument that the High King himself had intervened to turn the bitter hardened warriors of the dead world Elentar to create the Starlit court in the first place. Initially the Court simply offered to evacuate those who sought a future off world onto Sihi and grant them asylum, and an operation of evacuation and relocation was launched. However, the relief forces deployed to Najaran were met with violence, and the Court was left with no recourse but to deploy the Knightly Orders. Over the next few years the court successfully defeated the opposition to evacuation, and extricated countless Najan before leaving Najaran to its ultimate fate.
The Era of Schism - 8 years
Encountering The Light ES 1
In 581 a Bright light is seen off in the distance of space, many on Sihi believe that it could be a sign from the High King that there was the location of Grail. After much debate, Sihi's heading is changed to peruse the origin of The Light.
The Schism ES 2-5
After the decision to change heading toward The Light, there was a major split among Court politics on the subject of the spiritual and secular. Ever since the departure of the High King, there was a lingering argument among the Court as to the nature of the High King and the Starlit path. Some beloved that the High King was a divine figure and that the Starlit path was a set of religious commandments. These people eventually grew into the Spritualist movement, and argued most fiercely for the change in course after encountering the Light. On the other end of things, there were those who believed that the High King was just a person and both the path and the court were at most philosophical and political constructs. These people became known as the secularists.
Tensions between the Secularists and Spirutalists had built up over hundreds of years of small squabbles, and rivalries, growing and growing into full blown factionalism. The split ran through all levels of society and species across the Court, from the highest halls of government, to the smallest bars and taverns on Sihi. Everyone on Sihi had some stake in the split, perfecting one side to the other in small ways if not outright picking a side.
In an attempt to move the Secularist and Spirtualist split from the political scene, the Ruling Body of the court turned to the source of the strife; the Light. The Court's Leadership fed all data the Court had on the Light into Maeve, charging the Gestalt spirit with deciphering the information and putting an end to this Schism. However, when the data was transferred; Maeve went silent, and was presumed damaged or destroyed. Spiritualists saw this as an apocalyptic omen, and the Secularists an incalculable waste of an irreplaceable treasure.
The Emergence of the Sidhe ES 5
As political trumoil broke out following the Silence; a hitherto unseen kind of Fae emerged from Castle Sihi and the Mounds inhabiting crude machines. These Fae called themselves the Sidhe, and urged the people of Sihi to remain calm, and not to come to blows. The emergence of the Sidhe had a notable calming effect, as most interpreted their arrival as a sign that Maeve and the Unseelie court had not been destored by the Silence, but ultimately their intervention only delayed the inevitable.
Civil War ES 6-8
Despite the best efforts of many, the chaos brought on by the Schism boiled over into full blown armed conflict and civil war. In the months leading up to the conflict, dozens of fights, duels, and small skirmishes between Knights, commoners, and even monks all across the court. The exact inciting incident is unknown, but most claim the war began when two Grandmasters who were in the midst of bidding for a contract struck each other in The West Wing. Despite being broken up quickly, word of the skirmish spread quickly around the court, causing a cascade of ever escalating brawls. Luckily, at the time many Grandmasters had bid their Orders services at lower than normal rates leading up to the civil war to claim greater honor for their chosen faction, often underbidding their rivals. This left the bulk of Knightly orders had been deployed on mercenary contracts, leaving few military assets on or near Sihi, limiting the initial intensity of the conflict.
The Battle at Hanger 38 ES 8
The secularists crew of a strike craft docked at Hanger 37 rallied behind their order’s knights and assaulted the crew of a mech carrier docked in neighboring hangar 38. What started as a skirmish and boarding action escalated into a full blown shoot out and dogfight in and above Sihi. While the winner of this engagement has been lost to history, this marked the first military action of the Civil War.
The Race for Sihi
As information reached the remote fleets on deployment a series of dozens of battles and skirmishes broke out between spiritualist and secularist aligned orders, ultimately resulting in a rush to return to sihi and establish control of its nearby orbital space. Dozens of contracts were defaulted on, or finished in sloppy rush jobs, harming the courts reputation as mercenaries for years to come. While numerous orders that had no interest in debates of the spiritual and secular were quickly drawn to one side of the conflict or another by bonds of honor to those who had already chosen a side. The majority of conflicts were brief hit and run skirmishes while the fleets massed and mustered at major travel hubs alongside faction allegiances.
The Strife of Camlann
The conflict quickly spread into Camlann and the four wards. The knightly orders that still had their mechs quickly retreated to more secure locations and fortresses within the Wards, while others rapidly assembled armed militias and fought bitter street to street warfare through the great city. Castle Sihi’ automated security systems awakened in response to the armed conflict taking place within its halls, turning weapons on all participants, driving both factions from its halls before initiating a full lockdown with only a small skeleton crew composed of those who had not taken up arms trapped inside.
The Realm Sundering ES 9
Just over a year into the conflict spiritualist and secularist massed in The Golden Valley and The Nimuen, converging in the first battle to see full deployments of Court mechs on both sides in Sihi since the beginning of the conflict. The battle came to a sudden end when just outside of Realms Keep, Syr Dalion’s mech the ‘Gravewalker’ suffered a cataclysmic chain reaction when an auto-cannon round caused it’s ammunition racks to ignite, overheating it’s reactor. The Gravewalker exploded with enough force to tear a hole in Sihi’s bulkhead, tearing through enough armor and interior decks to expose the interior of the station to the void of space.
Numerous combatants from both sides of the conflict drop arms and rush to plug the hole in the station, eventually piling mechs into the breach. Several combatants that fire on those attempting to seal the hole have their mechs suddenly shut down, the Fae revolting against the shameful practice of their knights. Numerous Sidhe emerged, risking the battlefield to broadcast a message from Maeve demanding a cease fire. After having witnessed the near destruction of their home, and urged on by the apparent demands of Maeve, the Grandmasters issued a general cease fire order across the entirety of the Court. Several small battles were fought by forces outside of Sihi for two months after the Ceacefire was called due to lag in communications. Castle Sihi remained shut for another 4 months until all remaining orders had reported all clear signals.
Peace was officially established in a council mediated by Maeve and those who had been locked in Castle Sihi for the duration of the conflict. Numerous knights are sent off on penitence quests: dangerous but high value missions meant to redeem the knights through victory despite extreme odds or honorable death. The Grand Tourney system was established as an official place for tensions to be resolved between knightly orders to help prevent another escalation of arms like this one.
The Age of the Quests - 572 years
The Magmari AoQ 33-37 (565)
In 565 The Starlit Court encounter a race of Crystalline entities which resembled humans. These Crystal Men, called the Magmari, already knew of the Path to Enlightenment and of the legacy of the High King, claiming they had been visited by him prior to the Starlit Court arriving on their homeworld. The Court is at first confused with how they could possibly know of our faith but eventually comes around to accepting one of two truths; they actually met with the High King, meaning the court was on the right and just path toward Grail, or they met a group of knights who still have yet to return to Sihi and they taught them our ways. Either way the Magmari happened to be great engineers and assist us in the repairs that would need be done after the Civil War, and were eager to join us on our journey through the stars to find the Grail.
Wandering the Stars in search of the Light AoQ 37-470
The Age of One Thousand Quests
The age of One Thousand Quest is a time period marked by roughly two hundred years of politically stable time and travel for the Court as we pursued the origin of the Light and Grail. During this time the knightly orders of the Court took on countless contracts, quests and tasks for dozens of civilizations. Countless tales and legends of bold knights were forged in this time and just as many great orders were founded.
The Day of Dead Suns AoQ 78
The court took on a quest to evacuate a civilization from their home world. While moving out of the local gravity well, Sihi was struck by the shock-wave of the star going supernova. The station and Flotilla were scattered from each other, though only suffered superficial damage as they had already entered faster than light travel by the time the shock-wave hit. Maeve and Avalon were largely intact, and Sihi was restored to full operations within a week, but numerous records, historical documents, and technical documents were corrupted and had to be rebuilt from memory. Among the data that was lost, the coordinates gained from “The Light” and the believed location of the grail were lost. It was agreed, that while valorous, and in the tradition of the court, actions and quests to save a civilization from a dying world would be barred from here on out if it put Sihi itself at risk
The Great Meandering AoQ 78-178
The Great Meandering is the common name for the century following the Day of Dead suns, in which the Court and Sihi are turn back and travel parts of space that we had already tread in search for the information we had lost on The Light and The Grail. The Great Meandering has been considered by most of the Court's historians to be a dark age due to loss of progress toward Grail and a loss of several technologies.
The Tereket Wars AoQ 197-227
After encountering a local hegemonic force called The Tereket Dynasties, what started out as a breach of trust during a quest quickly spiraled into a full blown war. For about six years the Starlit court enlisted the aid of sevearl smaller local factions and waged a series of campaigns against the Terket forces in their local sector. During the war Sihi came under attack twice, including one attempt to seize the station, and an attempt to destroy Sihi itself by way of an enormous plasma based super weapon. The war eventually ended in 206 AoQ, with the defeat and dismantling of the Tereket Dynasties before a period of reconstruction ending in 222 AoQ.
The Path Less Taken AoQ 269 - 356
A change in leadership shifted the Starlit Court's focus from desperately searching for signs of “The Light” or Grail to recovering tech, growing the economy. The goal of this shift was to increase the Court's odds of survival long term, and to establish a widespread enough legend that people would come to us with information about Grail. An emphasis was placed on great deeds, acts of glory, and spreading the Court's reputation across the stars, so that the quest for the Grail would be known to many, and that perhaps someone would come forth with valuable information in exchange for the Court's services. This era was one of great heroes and mighty accomplishments, with Knights and commoners alike seeking to earn glory and renown for themselves, and the Starlit court. Camlan as we know it today is largely built during this time period, growing from an urban center to a sprawling metropolis, and numerous technologies are rediscovered and innovated upon.
The Great March AoQ 356 - 470
Also known as the Renewal of the Quest, The great March was an era of renewed vigor and a second exodus aimed toward beacon space. While questing The Court recovered the data that sent us on the Grail quest. Knightly orders are ordered to tie up all loose ends, and Sihi has its course set toward Beacon space. The Court expend a great number of resources, abandon outposts, and came together for the journey to Beacon Space. The Bleed is first encountered by the Court during this period as Sihi approaches Beacon Space, leading to the emergence of Technomancy and Sorcery.
Sihi ultimately reaches Beacons Space during this time, making first contact with the various factions of Beacon Space, and the Telas Terra Group Initiative.
The Rise of the Dominion and the Crisis over Dachia AoQ 545-550
After seventy-five years of exploring beacon space with little to no sign of Grail, tension and unrest began to fulminate among the ranks of the Starlit court. The notion of the Grail quest came into question, with several knights devising alternate interpretations of Grail, and the quest itself. One of the more popular interpretations among these descending voices was that the entirety of Beacon space was Grail or that, ultimately, one of the planets in Beacon space was Grail; ergo it was the right and duty of the court to conquer the whole of Beacon space. The followers of these ideologies come to be known as The Dominionists.
Eventually, violent Dominionist forces led by the renowned knight Syr Ancelot lead an attempted coup against the Court itself, waiting until a lull in Sihi's defenses before seizing control of the station and attempting to ram it into Dachia. Ultimately, this act of destruction was to force the hand of the Starlit Court, removing their ability to move on and accept the Dominionist interpretation of the Grail Quest. This attack was barely thwarted when a ragtag group of knights led by Syr Reynald who slew Syr Ancelot in single combat, causing the Dominionists to break and flee.
Rebuilding Sihi AoQ 550 - 570
In the aftermath of the Crisis over Dachia, The Order of the First Forge and the Order of the Bright Forge Repair Sihi. The damage Sihi suffered, while repairable, was the worst damage Sihi had suffered during it's centuries long voyage. The Starlit court was forced into an era of reconstruction, as it turned its affairs toward repairing their artificial homeworld, during which the Court's economy suffered greatly, and Sihi entered a period of resection. During this time The court also banished all remaining Dominonists aboard Sihi, and began several purges and hunts for Dominonist traitors across Beacon Space.