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First Time, which stretched far and wide across the Inner Rim. During the Unbound War the Hiigarans were one of many races to gain from the end of the Bentusi’s reign and their territory expanded. The Hiigarans were one of the 16 founder races of the Galactic Council. However, due to their arrogance at their apex, they would eventually wage a war against the Taiidan and the Bentusi, bringing upon their downfall.The Hiigaran Empire was a powerful state existing during the
The precise date of the Hiigaran civilization's formation is not fully known, but the earliest estimates from Hiigara's oldest libraries show dates from until 6000 years before the Landfall, circa the 3500s GSY. During this time, they formed a republic that after discovering Hyperspace technology c. 5500 GSY, it extended throughout the Inner Rim. At the height of their power, the Hiigaran Republic had 40 worlds under their control, having annexed a few of their neighbors during the Unbound War.
Rise to PowerEdit
Soon after the establishment of the Outer Rim Trade Routes the Bentusi, by far the most advanced of the races in the galaxy, took it upon themselves the role of "galactic peacekeepers." Using their ability to Far Jump and their superior weaponry the Bentusi, for 500 years, maintained order and stability, preventing wars and keeping any one of the races from growing too powerful. However, although this prevented much ill, the younger races such as the Hiigarans resented the Bentusi's hegemony and plotted to overthrow the regime. Overnight, the entire galaxy went to war, overwhelming the Bentusi who were in fact less prepared for such an event than many had assumed. Shortly thereafter the Bentusi surrendered and the map of the galaxy was redrawn, as the most successful of the rebellious states expanded their dominion into new systems. Amongst these new empires were the Hiigarans, whose only equal in size or power were the Taiidan.
These upstart regimes were now more powerful than even the Bentusi, and were able to force from the Bentusi a concession of self-government. Reluctantly the Bentusi agreed, recognizing the empires’ borders and governments, although some believe this had in fact been part of their plan for some time. Ironically enough, considering the fact that the war against the Unbound had been considered one of freedom against tyranny, many of these new governments were outright despotic. The Hiigarans were no exception, whose ruling council, known as the Daiamid now brought countless worlds to their knees. However, these empires also recognized the need for a peacekeeper and established an interstellar committee, known as the Galactic Council, among whom the Hiigarans were the founders.
Amongst the other 15 founding states was the Taiidan Empire, the Hiigarans’ chief rivals and adversaries in galactic politics. Both were located in the same region of the galaxy and had, through expansion, come to border one another. Even as the Galactic Council was formed border skirmishes continued to break out between both empires’ fleets and a treaty negotiating the border of the Hiigarans and Taiidan became one of the first priorities of the Council. The resolution for this matter however was not one that pleased the Daiamid and it clearly favored the Taiidan over the Hiigarans, granting them not only most of the contested systems but a 30-light-year exclusion zone between the empires, one which the Hiigarans were forbidden from approaching. The general consensus on Hiigara was that this decision was the result of Taiidan conspiracy involving means such as; Representative Bribing, Blackmail or Assassination of key members of the Council. As such the Hiigarans were hardly willing to accept the treaty, although they had little choice.
The Second CoreEdit
Yet, although the Hiigarans at first were unable to resist the Council’s edict they would in time gain a secret advantage. At this point the Hiigarans had begun to map out and explore the Great Wastelands and it was during these expeditions that a Hiigaran team uncovered an artifact that would have a profound impact on the Hiigarans. A Far Jump hyperspace core, enclosed within a crystalline lattice, supported within the heart of a derelict of immense size. Immediately the Hiigarans recognized the possible implications of such a device and set out to recover the Core so that they may use it against the Taiidan.
In time the Hiigarans discovered the Core's power, recognizing it as identical to the Core used within the heart of Bentus. Eager to use the device against their enemies the Hiigarans re-engineered the containment unit and mounted the drive into their new flagship, named Sajuuk's Wrath. With more firepower at its disposal than any other vessel in existence other than the Bentus this warship was immediately put at the head of the Hiigaran Navy. This, the Daiamid hoped, would put the Hiigarans not only at an advantage over the hated Taiidan Empire, but also allow them the ability to become the equals of the Bentusi.
Imitating the Bentusi, the Hiigarans recalled their entire fleet, refitting and reorganizing it into a single armada. With the knowledge that the Taiidan Imperial Fleet was posted along the border of the neutral zone the Hiigarans utilized the advantage of their Far Jump drive to strike into the heart of the Taiidan Empire. With the interior poorly defended and unprepared for the scale of such an invasion the Taiidan gave little resistance as the Hiigarans plowed onwards toward the Taiidan homeworld, Taiidan, the seat of their emperor and the location of the Imperial Palace.
The Taiidan Elite Guard, although recognizing the battle to be in vain, nonetheless bravely defended their homeworld, hoping vainly that they could delay the Hiigarans long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Yet the Hiigarans managed to break through and with the defenses broken the Hiigaran Navy began the bombardment of Taiidan, devastating the Imperial capital in a day-long bombardment. Satisfied with this success and believing that the Taiidan, without their emperor, would be unable to retaliate, the Hiigarans returned to Hiigara a mere 67 hours after having departed.
The Hiigarans were confident also that they could, with the Taiidan supposedly neutralized, resist the reprisals of the Galactic Council, if there were even to be any. The Daiamid had, after long debate, considered that their decision had been inevitable and that without it, they would have faced eventual conquest by the Taiidan Empire, either through military or economic means. Considering this to be unacceptable the Hiigaran government had ordered the surgical strike, maintaining that the Second Core had been a gift to them from Sajuuk to use against the Taiidan and their other enemies. Their strike complete and the Core having proved even more useful than had been initially expected by even the optimistic, the Hiigarans awaited the inevitable reaction from the Council, proud in their successful conquest.
The ineffective Council was expected to be sluggish in their response, a weakness the Hiigarans had knowingly exploited. Given the usual rate of progress in the committee the Daiamid had estimated they would have the time they needed to occupy any worlds in the neutral zone or Taiidan space that they desired, thereby making any Council action too little and too late. However, the Council reacted much more quickly than the Daiamid had banked upon, a fatal flaw in their planning. Mere days after the Hiigarans’ strike against the Taiidan the Council delivered its edict. The Hiigarans were to turn their Core over to the Council for safekeeping, retreat from their conquered worlds immediately, and abandon any warships within the neutral zone. Any further decisions would be made later, at the Council’s usual pace and with a chance for the Hiigarans to appeal, although such an appeal would likely be unheeded in light of the severity of their crime. The Daiamid was given 24 standard hours to comply.
War Against the GalaxyEdit
Debate raged within the Daiamid almost immediately over how to respond to the Council’s ultimatum. However, such debate was short-lived as the Hiigarans as a whole were convinced that their ability to Far Jump as well as the size of their fleet gave them an unprecedented advantage against any foe, except for one, the Bentusi. Yet even here the Hiigarans eventually decided they would be victorious and on the matter the words of Malketh LiirHra, kiith-sa of his people and their representative at the Daiamid, would represent the will of the Empire.
"We are a people forged in the struggles of battle, conflict, and death. Where others see pride, we see only duty. Where invaders see weakness, we see honor. As individuals we go to war, yet we return as family, Hiigarans, Kiith. The choice before the Daiamid is that between war and submission. Our foe possesses every material advantage that we possess and hundreds of years more experience wielding the power of their core. They have the support of the Galactic Council while we stand alone. You cannot consider your spirits yet tested if you accept only those battles where victory is certain. Many men would turn back now at the thought of the hardships before us should we challenge the Bentusi. We stand at the edge of our future with only one question to be answered. Are we to be remembered as Hiigarans, or do we bow to the sands of time?"
The Daiamid’s decision was clear: to deceive the Council. As the deadline approached its final minutes, the Hiigarans sent a promise to submit to the Council's will provided that the Bentusi Harbor Ship alone approach the Hiigaran Navy in order to retrieve the Core, the Hiigarans claiming they trusted no other race to honor the agreement. The Council, relieved to see the Hiigarans bowing to its orders rather than provoking war, agreed to the amendment and sent the Bentus to meet the Sajuuk's Wrath within the neutral zone. The Bentusi soon arrived, finding themselves surrounded by the Hiigaran Navy but nonetheless unconcerned, the fleet appearing to be abandoned as agreed. At the centre of the armada stood the Sajuuk's Wrath and slowly, the Bentusi approached to take the exposed Core.
Now, with the Bentusi’s guard down and the Bentus without an escort, the Hiigaran Navy sprang the trap. The entirety of the fleet, in fact deactivated but not abandoned, powered up as according to emergency procedures. From every vector came Hiigaran warships, swarming the Harbor Ship as the Hiigarans prepared to neutralize the Bentusi as they had the Taiidan. The Hiigarans showed no mercy and the first shot slammed straight into the Bentus’ hyperdrive. Had this shot been decisive the history of Hiigara, most likely, would have been far different.
Yet the Hiigarans had underestimated their opponents. The Bentus reacted instantaneously and although the Bentusi had hoped and believed the Hiigarans would honor their agreement they had not come completely unprepared. From the docking bays of the Harbor Ship flew squadrons of Bentusi fighters and warships. Shields were raised, deflecting almost all of the Hiigaran weaponry as Bentusi gravity wells opened up, trapping the Hiigaran strike craft. The Hiigaran admiral watched in disbelief as his fleet fell into pieces before the power, experience, and technology of the Bentusi’s single flagship. What had previously seemed an inevitable victory now was rapidly turning into a complete rout.
To the Hiigarans credit, the Hiigaran warships fought on bravely even as it became obvious they were defeated, rejecting every Bentusi offer to surrender. The Sajuuk's Wrath, the only ship within the Navy capable of fighting the Bentusi toe-to-toe, blinked in and out of hyperspace, rallying the fleet wherever it could. Yet the Bentus proved its superior and after hours of brutal combat there was nothing left in the Hiigaran Navy but wreckage and the Sajuuk's Wrath itself. Once again the Bentusi offered the Hiigarans a chance to surrender but were again refused by the ever-stubborn Hiigarans. Hoping to preserve the Core even if they could not save the Hiigarans the Bentusi ruined the engines of the Sajuuk's Wrath and manuevered into position to dock.
As the Bentusi attempted to do so however the Hiigaran admiral put into action his contingency plan. Manually disengaging the mass overrides he set the flagship on a corse for the surface of the Angel Moon, Hiigara’s only satellite. It was close to suicidal to jump so close to a gravity well yet it was considered that the Bentusi would be unwilling to follow such a mad course, thereby making it the best one. Having watched his fleet utterly destroyed and knowing the Daiamid already knew of his plan he gave the order to jump, hoping that in spite of his sacrifice his people would be able to retrieve the Core intact.
In that single battle the Bentusi had completely destroyed the Hiigaran capacity for war and the Galactic Council allowed the Hiigarans their independence and the return to pre-war boundaries should they agree to sanctions that would completely demilitarize the Empire. With their Navy obliterated and the Core presumably lost the Council decided these would be terms the Hiigarans would have to accept, crippled as they were by their own hubris and war mongering. As a result no other terms were forced upon the Daiamid, which the Hiigarans resentfully agreed to, although they in fact, knew they still had the Second Core available to them.
However, the Hiigarans were not the only ones to demilitarize following the war. Guilt-ridden for depriving the Hiigarans of a future and believing the Hiigarans’ crimes to be derived from immaturity rather than evil the Bentusi went into mourning for the Hiigaran Empire. Reasoning that they too had made errors in the past they decided they would play no more overt part in galactic politics, feeling that to do so would be to cause undue interference. After a period of formal mourning the Bentusi recalled all their vessels, heavily disarming them and demilitarizing the fleet, although they would retain defensive capabilities on several of their ships. Their announcement to the Council was one of the final entries in Council records to be preserved amongst official documents on Hiigara, events since then assembled from other sources, many of them less formal than the Council’s histories.
"We retract our martial support for the Council we once founded. Never again will the Bentusi wage war for the cause of peace. We bind our hands before the collected worlds. We will remain, if permitted, members of the Council, no more nor less than any other. May a new age of peace prosper free of our influence."
No Lasting PeaceEdit
However, such an age was not to come and although many of the Council’s members were satisfied with the conclusion of the affair the Taiidan were not. The Empire, now without any central figure, was in a state of civil war and chaos. Only one form of order was to be found, that within the person of Riesstiu I, whose command included the remaining Imperial Fleet forces along the neutral zone. Already a decorated war hero who had proved his tactical ingenuity and bravery in the past Riesstiu declared himself the sole commander of the Empire’s military forces, a decision hardly resisted by a race eager for vengeance.
The decision was, of course, merely a formality, as nearly all the Taiidan forces were already under his command following the Hiigaran’s brutal slaughter of all other Taiidan squadrons. In fact, in light of current events, Riesstiu quickly rose to become not only the military head, but the informal political head of the Empire as well and his decisive and unbending leadership, under such circumstances, was considered the ideal government for the shattered Taiidan people. Uncompromising in the face of hard decisions and merciless towards his enemies he might have been considered dangerous by the Empire’s leaders in another age. But with the Palace destroyed and the call for revenge everywhere the Taiidan aristocracy were hardly willing to challenge him. His opportunity arrived Riesstiu launched the Fleet into action, taking advantage of the Hiigarans’ weakened state.
The campaign moved rapidly and successfully, even though the Taiidan did not have the advantage of a Far Jump drive. The Taiidan plowed through the Empire with ease, conquering Hiigaran worlds in large swathes, often brutally crushing even the smallest resistance to Taiidan rule. Having at their disposal new and terrible weapons of mass destruction that could kill hundreds of millions in minutes the Taiidan began the holocaust known to many as Riesstiu's Revenge. The first planet to refuse became an infamous demonstration of the Taiidan’s wrath. Without warning an entire planet’s population was decimated for a crime of which the majority were ultimately innocent. After that, few worlds refused the Taiidan ultimatum, though regardless, many were razed for various concerns about loyalty or trustworthiness. And although the Council threatened sanctions, its will carried little weight in the hearts of the frenzied Taiidan people, whose only unity was in their hate for the Hiigarans.
It was not long before the news of the carnage spread throughout the galaxy and protest began to build, in spite of the fact the Hiigarans had committed similar atrocities during their days-long campaign against the Taiidan. Many races, even those outside the Council, petitioned the Bentusi to intervene, yet they would not, committing themselves to their vow of neutrality though they grieved for Hiigara’s fate. However, while refusing aid to either side they agreed eventually to adjudicate the discussion between Riesstiu and the Daiamid, as it became clear that the Hiigaran Empire would soon be facing its inevitable surrender.
Exile and DissolutionEdit
Riesstiu’s terms for the surrender were simple. The entire Hiigaran Empire would surrender to Taiidan rule and Hiigara itself, in the ultimate revenge, would become the new throne world of the Emperor, given its resources and infrastructure, resources that had been lost when Taiidan was bombed. All native Hiigarans on the world would be either executed or pressed into slavery, their sentence dependent on how much they had been involved in the devastation of the Taiidani territory.
In spite of the appeals of the Council, who saw this revenge as exceeding even the Hiigarans’ actions in severity and cruelty, Riesstiu would not budge. The Hiigaran spirit was broken by both its defeat by the Bentusi and now its conquest by the Taiidan, but slavery was too bitter a term for the proud race to accept. Resigning themselves to genocide they prepared for the end.
However, the Bentusi, shamed by their part in the Hiigaran genocide, continued to negotiate until they finally managed to find a solution acceptable to all parties, although one that none favored particularly. The Hiigarans would be sent into exile, given a single standard month to board sublight transports departing for the Outer Rim. Any left behind would be enslaved or executed, as Riesstiu had demanded, but those willing to accept the compromise would be allowed a new home on a desert beyond any established trade routes. There they would attempt to rebuild their civilization, provided they never again developed Far Jump capacity. If they were to venture beyond their planet with the Core or another like it, their destruction would be inevitable.
With little choice the Daiamid agreed and thus, all of the able-bodied population of Hiigara were exiled to the distant fringes of the galaxy. Yet they did not fully submit, recovering the Second Core they had hidden from the Council, who had assumed it destroyed along with the Sajuuk's Wrath. Secreting the core from the new Taiidani Emperor, they carried it with them into exile, hoping their descendants might one day find the chance to regain their home and empire. Even in the most futile of situations, the Hiigarans retained their honor and hoped for the future, in spite of the risks they brought on themselves by carrying the core within their fleet. So, on board several prison ships, the Hiigarans departed their homeworld, possibly forever.
Eventually they stumbled across and settled on the desert world of Kharak on the furthest reaches of the galaxy, far removed from any other space fairing empire, forgotten and alone.