- "The Taiidan Empire has become decadent and corrupt over the centuries." — Captain Elson
The Taiidan Empire, also known as the Taiidan Imperium was one of the oldest states in the galaxy before its collapse during the Homeworld War. For millennia it was the central power in galactic affairs, as taken for granted as the Galactic Council or the ancient Unbound. Some would say its rule was tyrannical and oppressive, others would say it was a beacon of civilization in a chaotic galaxy. In spite of such objections however the Empire would remain unchallenged for millennia.
It’s unknown specifically when the Empire was formed, although it was already rather powerful by the time of the Unbound War.
The Homeworld War
In 9510 GSY the Empire faced a crisis. The Kushan exiles, having long forgotten the origin of their exile, had now redeveloped the hyperdrive after millennia. Now, determined to return to Hiigara they had initiated a jump within their star system, a jump detected by Imperial listening posts. This jump was a violation of the treaty which had formalized the Exile and so the fact that the Kushan had developed the hyperdrive was seen by the reigning Emperor, the paranoid and insane Riesstiu IV the Second, as a challenge to Imperial rule.
The Empire struck without mercy, determined to destroy the Kushan before they became a threat. The surrogate homeworld of the Kushan, Kharak, was subjected to the infamous atmospheric deprivation device and an entire civilization was destroyed. The attack recordings were then broadcasted across the Empire as an example of Imperial might. However, although the videos were meant to inspire the citizens into loyalty they had the opposite effect, provoking rebellion and dissent.
This new Taiidan Rebellion quickly became a threat to the Empire, although the Empire was prepared for such. Riesstiu, who had already prepared himself for any possible threat from within, launched his fleet into action, pounding the rebellion into oblivion. Within months most elements of the rebellion were crushed, although they had in their own way done considerable damage.
But the threats to the Empire were not over. Surprisingly enough, the Kushan were not made extinct. The Kushan Mothership, the flagship of the Kushan fleet, had avoided destruction. It struck back in the Great Wastelands at both the Turanic and Taiidan fleets which had participated in the Kharakian Genocide, destroying them completely. Then, before the Empire could strike back they fled into the forbidden Great Nebula, reemerging in the heart of the Empire.
It was inevitable then that the Rebels and Kushan would ally. In the Core Worlds the Rebel leader Captain Elson allied himself with the Kushan and a coordinated attack plan against the Empire began. While the Rebels carried out their various operations the Kushan would move steadily closer to Hiigara. Riesstiu, realizing that the advance could not be stopped, prepared his fleet for battle and in the Second Battle of Hiigara met the Exiles in combat over Hiigara.
In the process the Exiles managed to destroy the Emperor’s fleet, killing Riesstiu and bringing an end to his terrible reign. Shortly thereafter Rebel and Kushan forces together landed on Hiigara and occupied the Imperial capital, destroying the Imperial Gene Bank and overthrowing the local government. Concurrently, the Galactic Council arrived upon the summons of the Bentusi and declared their recognition of the Kushan's claim of Hiigara, relinquishing Taiidani rule over the planet.
With the death of the Emperor and the return of the victorious Kushan, the Taiidan Empire effectively ceased to exist, its vast domain crumbling away as Imperial worlds aligned themselves with the many breakaway factions to emerge in the wake of the Emperor's defeat. The remnants of the Taiidan Empire would eventually fall primarily under two factions, the Taiidan Imperialist Faction that remained loyal to the old regime, and the Taiidan Republic, governed by the rebel movement aligned with the Kushan. These two sides and their allies would spend the next several decades fighting several internecine wars as they wrestled for control of Imperial space, but the Empire itself would never again rise as a major power in the galaxy.
The Empire at its fall was composed of three main elements: the Emperor, the Assembly of Lords, and the Taiidan military. During the rule of Riesstiu IV the Second the Assembly of Lords was mostly reduced to a committee that simply rubber-stamped anything put forth by the Emperor. It was the Emperor who possessed the real power.
However, for a large part it was the Empire’s military, particularly the Taiidan Imperial Fleet which wielded most of the power although they were, for the most part, loyal to the Emperor. It was the Imperial Fleet which was used as a security force, a symbol of unity, and a weapon with which to strike the Empire’s foes, all at the same time. When the Fleet’s loyalties began to waver during the Homeworld War the Empire collapsed, torn into two.