In Earth Year 2998, five great powers have come to the Orin System to wage war. Their motives are varied, ranging from the obvious to the inscrutable. Some seek dominion, and the expansion or survival of their empires. Another fights to protect the universe from a grave threat. Yet their methods are the same – brutal military force. And so fleets of warships drift across the heavens, and the planets teem with men and women ready to kill or die at the whims of their leaders.
Though the galaxy is vast, its black mantle studded with millions of blazing stars and billions of worlds, it appears that its fate may well be decided in this single system.
The PoM-Hyperion WarEdit
Ever since the human race was united under a single banner, its warlike nature has been directed outwards against its neighbors. The Protectorate of Man (PoM) has campaigned across the dark void for decades, sending forth its vast armadas, legions of ground troops, and the Azeral – humanity’s ultimate weapon. A great war machine made in the image of man, permanently fused with an uploaded human mind, the Azeral leads the Protectorate of Man’s forces of conquest and serves as a glorious embodiment of mankind’s dominance.
Planet after planet became part of the Protectorate’s interstellar empire. Many species of alien life vanished from galactic history before the unrelenting tide of human conquest, and others found themselves subjugated – millennia of autonomous civilization stripped away from them like the fragments of a beautiful dream.
When the Protectorate of Man encountered the Hyperion Empire, however, they found an enemy who would not submit to destruction or domination so easily. The Hyperions battled against the colossal human juggernaut, making them pay with spilled blood and wrecked vehicles at every step. Led by the Psygoth, their great warrior and commander, millions of Hyperions fought and died, desperately struggling to protect their place in the galactic order.
Yet for all their determination, all their courage in the face of a seemingly insurmountable opponent, the Hyperions lost system after system to PoM forces. Doom seemed to settle upon them like a burial shroud, certain to smother the fire of their proud empire. It was in this dark time, faced with utter destruction, that the Hyperions screamed for aid. For the first time in their history they sought allies, forced to acknowledge that they could never succeed on their own. At first their cries went unheeded. No other species wished to bring the wrath of mankind upon themselves, and earn the same grim fate as the Hyperions. Then the Jucati answered. They were a vile and repulsive species, loathed and shunned by all forms of intelligent life. Under any other circumstances the Hyperions would have responded to their offers with scorn if not outright violence. But with the specter of annihilation looming over them, they had little choice.
And so the Hyperions and Jucati stand together in the Orin System, the new frontline in the war, vowing that the Protectorate of Man will go no further.
The Threat from the RiftEdit
While the war rages between the Protectorate of Man and the new Hyperion-Jucati alliance, other forces have also come to the Orin System.
For hundreds of thousands of years, long before the humans or Hyperions ventured forth from their native balls of rock, the Mor’Rossan have attempted to guide the universe towards a future of collective peace and prosperity. Through diplomatic efforts they brought an end to many conflicts, and averted countless disasters which threatened one race or another. When peaceful means failed, they resorted to warfare – bringing their advanced technology and masterful military tactics to bear. For the Mor’Rossan are no pacifists, and understand that fighting is sometimes necessary to ensure the triumph of good over evil.
The Mor’Rossan would perhaps have intervened in the PoM-Hyperion War, had they not been faced with a far greater threat to the galaxy.
It began with the opening of the Rifts, deliberately generated wormholes designed to allow ultra-fast travel across space. The Mor’Rossan had developed the Rifts to usher in a new age of interstellar communication and cooperation. Their goal was to turn the galaxy into a single community, its inhabitants able to speak and trade with one another regardless of the vast expanses of blackness which might separate them. But when the Rifts blinked open, a malevolent force issued forth.
The Order arrived in the galaxy from some unknown quarter, a mysterious race which shunned all attempts at communication and immediately attacked the nearest Mor’Rossan outpost. The assault was almost inconceivably quick, over long before the nearest defense fleets could move to aid the planet. When they finally arrived, they found a ruined world which had been harvested for its technology. There was no sign of the Order. That planet exhausted, they had gone in search of new worlds to feed upon.
Soon the Order's spire ships were sighted in other parts of the galaxy, each fleet heading in search of what it might devour. Their targets seemed to be the most developed systems, those whose technology lit up space like the candles at a sumptuous banquet, beckoning to the hungry, techno-phagic Order.
Desperate to avert this threat, and save the galaxy from catastrophe, the Mor'Rossan mobilized their own forces. Fleets were sent to intercept and battle the Order. Ambassadors were dispatched to rally those species powerful enough to lend military aid. For the Mor'Rossan realized that these creatures were too powerful for even their splendid legions to vanquish alone.
It was in the midst of this chaos that the forgotten war waged by the Protectorate of Man, the Hyperions, and the Jucati came to the attention of the Mor'Rossan. Order ships appeared at the periphery of the Orin System, no doubt attracted by the martial technology of the three races that battled there. And so a Mor'Rossan fleet, led by Master Lo, their greatest warlord, pursued them.
Two conflicts of galactic importance. Five powerful factions. No one knows what will happen, but all realize that planets will burn, and billions will perish. The destiny of the universe is about to be decided.