History of AotSS



1962 Receipt of the Signal – the transmission (from Aitvaras, not that any humans knew who that was) that presaged the attack of the Xyl and enabled the construction of the evacuation ships.
1988 Birth of Ivan Simonovsky, physicist and prophet, in Samara, USSR
2031 Attack of the Xyl on Earth
2033 The Exodus – the flight from the Earth of the starships Shem, Japheth and Noah. On board were 5029 people. 1121 of them comprised 216 high-net-worth individuals and their families, who had helped bankroll the project; 1092 world leaders and senior military officers, including their families; 1816 assorted expert staff, including pilots, scientists, doctors, engineers, agronomists, and many others, not least of which were 49 select Nobel prizewinners; and precisely 1000 individuals randomly selected in a worldwide lottery. (In practice, it was only possible to carry out the lottery in those areas under relatively light Xyl attack, representing around 35% of the world’s population.)
2034 Epiphany of the Prophet Dr. Ivan Simonovsky, leading him to write the Book of the Sun. This is the central text of the Solarian faith, and combines elements of Christianity and Islam with Green mysticism to weave a narrative in which Mankind was banished from Mother Earth by Father Sun, who sent the demonic Xyl to punish them for their sins against nature and one another. Turning away from the moral individualism that characterised the modern Abrahamic faiths, [Solarianism draws on postmodern ideas of cultural and environmental conditioning to emphasise collective responsibility and solidarity – values that resonate strongly in artificial ecosystems in which the survival of all rests upon the contribution of each.
2035 Arrival of the Noah, the principal transport ship of the Exodus, at New Terra.
2055 Dr Simonovsky and other, less important scientists manage to reverse-engineer the Signal’s warp technology sufficiently to enable faster-than-light travel. He was unable, however, to reproduce the galaxy-spanning leap the original Gate produced. The scientists finally concluded that the Gate had accelerated the ships of the Exodus through a wormhole, which has evaded detection ever since in the inky vastness of interstellar space. (In actual fact, Aitvaras took advantage of his supernatural, Transcendent power to close it after the last of the ships passed through, to prevent Žemyna following them.)
2059 Crisis of 2059 – The first decades of settlement on New Terra saw the mass use of artificial gestation to rapidly expand the population, allowing the re-establishment of technological civilisation before the supplies of goods such as microchips brought on the colony ships were completely exhausted. This prevented the loss of the accumulated wisdom of Earth, but in doing so produced a very young population, with weak or no family ties, notable physiological differences from their elders, and a very different outlook on life than that of their forebears. Tensions between this new generation and the generation which made the Exodus first came to a head in 2059, in a series of protests and riots which rocked the still-fragile settlement (then numbering only 38 000 people, with 21 000 of them in New Berlin, which was the only real town then in existence). As a result, a number of reforms were instituted, recognising freems as a third gender on a par with men and women and giving the young a much greater voice on the Council of Delegates, among other things.
2068 First colonisation of a world outside the Neo-Sirian system
2070 Death of Simonovsky
2098 Population of New Terra passes 1 000 000, due to heavy use of frozen gametes brought from Earth with the colonists
2102 First birth of Joae Vogt
1/12/2128 Apparent self-destruction of the supercomputer Sirius 3, along with a significant proportion of the Lang Regio power grid, at Tsiolkovsky University, Aldrin, Lang Regio, New Terra. This was in fact the first incidence of a man-made AI Transcending.
2131 Official formation of the Terran Alliance, as the Council of Delegates under Gunther Vormelker bowed to the inevitable and granted the colonies beyond New Terra representation by planet, rather than by population, in a new unicameral federal senate. The Council itself remained in existence as the New Terran planetary government.
2142 Birth of Alphie, the first ‘Super-Chimp’ – genetically modified ape with human-like intelligence, descended from chimpanzee gametes transported from Earth in the Noah during the Exodus. From this point on, the process of Uplifting species – and genetically modifying humans – would boom in exobiology labs across the Alliance, as scientists attempted to adapt civilisation to life on alien worlds.
2151 Transcendence of Sirius 4 at Tsiolkovsky University’s new AI Research Station in a remote area of Smithee Regio, New Terra
2158 Following two years’ custodial sentence for gross medical misconduct, disgraced neuropsychologist Joae Vogt leaves Alliance space to pursue their research into Imprinting, illegal under Alliance law for a host of reasons. Vogt is funded by a small group of like-minded investors gripped by the promise of their version of immortality. Vogt’s remote colony would become the seed of the Imprinter culture.
2161 Death of Alphie from a genetic disorder associated with the genetic modification process that produced him.
2177 Birth of the first two hundred and three Homo radiodurans, otherwise known as ‘Wrinklies’ – human beings modified with DNA from naked mole rats and radiophilic bacteria to withstand high-radiation environments
2192 Solarianism becomes majority religion of Mankind for the first time, as recorded in the decadal census of developed Alliance worlds.
2195 First settlement of Illitch, much later to become the Hawken House seat.
2199 New Terran computer network – populated by many human- or arguably superhuman-level AI agents – achieves Singularity, appropriates factories and power stations, and Transcends, leaving most of its own infrastructure as well as that which it appropriated in ruins. New Terran economy would not fully recover for fifty years afterwards. In response to this event, the beginnings of the Pythean machine-worshipping cult appeared. It would putter quietly along for another 85 years, until most of its adherents left Imperial space in response to state persecution of their ‘unethical’ AI research.
2245 Birth of Kimiko Maebara, First Minister of the Terran Alliance 2298-2308
2251 Birth of St Ramu Nyquist.
2270 Rise of Solarian Integrist movement as a force in Alliance politics
2272 Anti-Uplifted riots on a minor world in the mid-range area (at that time the outer limits of human space) kill around 250
2281 Passing of the Artificial Intelligence Development Prohibition Act, which – acceding to the now-popular view that the repeated apparent self-destruction of AI systems throughout history was due to their realising they had no souls, and despairing at that realisation – forbade the development of artificial intelligences approaching the human level.
2285 Formation of the Biosphere Incipience Organisation (BIO) as an inter-corporate terraforming coöperative. They would go on to transform numerous worlds, but the growing fanaticism amongst the ranks of the terraformers – based on a version of the Gardeners’ Faith – would first cause their sponsors to lose control of the organisation, and then for it to be declared a terrorist threat, and ultimately stamped out in the Great Purification.
2291 The Justice and Equality Party – an Uplifted-rights movement – secures its first seat in the Senate
2298 Integrists achieve power in the form of the Solarian Stewardship Party government under First Minister Kimiko Maebara, with the assistance of St Ramu’s miracle at Parthia, Coulson Regio, New Terra; Solarianism becomes the official creed of the Terran Alliance
2300 Adoption of the Solarian Decimal Calendar as official calendar of the Terran Alliance
2321 Birth of François Govigama, Solarian fundamentalist preacher, notable Humanist civilian leader during the Gene Wars, and key architect of the Great Purification.
2342 Colonisation of House Rautokoski’s oceanic homeworld.
2377 Gene Wars – Genocidal conflict between Integrist-led ‘Humanists’ and Uplifted Vertebrates and their human allies. ‘Humanists’ win; Spacers and Wrinklies escape. This represents the beginning of the most violent and intolerant period in Solarian history.
2395 Summit of Pericles (22 – 37 Trecuary), in which the leaders of the Abrahamic faiths, along with representatives of Jewish, Christian and Muslim commercial interests, agreed a plan for mutual defence and evacuation in the event of religious war within the Alliance. Whilst it brought increased tensions in the short term, it was critical to the success of the Third Exodus, four years later, and arguably thereby prevented much bloodshed.
2399 Increasing persecution leads to the ‘Third Exodus’ of the Periclean Equal Union of the People of the Book, a protective alliance formed by the remaining followers of the Abrahamic faiths in the face of the rising Solarian tide. The evacuation was principally executed by the shipping magnate Mohammed Munsi, Samuel Popovich, and Blessing Oluwasegun – the latter two buying out the other shareholders in Munsi’s Double Star shipping line, splitting ownership of its bulk carrier vessels proportionately and using them to evacuate the population. The Munsis, Popoviches and Oluwaseguns unsurprisingly ended up in power in the PEU, which they have held onto to the present day.
2401 The Great Purification – six-year period of puritanical terror in which a great deal of scientific and historical knowledge was lost. 6% overall fatality rate across entire species.
2408 Foundation of The New Berlin Newslink, in the more-clement political climate following the end of the Great Purification.
2449 Birth of Zed Pierce, later Emperor Magnus I Pierce of the Celestial Empire
2472 Start of the Second Xyl War
2476 Creation of Prometheus, at the former Tsiolkovsky University AI Research Station, Smithee Regio, New Terra
2481 Birth of Rabbi Jessica Steinberg, founder of Third Exodus Judaism
2491 Accession of Matriarch Fatima to the P/M/Natriarchy
2495 End of the Second Xyl War – Ascension of Žemyna
2496 Decommissioning of Prometheus
2497 Pierce’s Rebellion – Birth of the Celestial Empire
2531 Sustained loss of contact from original Middle Ring colony, Zautus, presumed lost to the Xyl and removed from the Celestial Empire registry of worlds
2556 Sustained loss of contact from original Middle Ring colony, Phiny, presumed lost to the Xyl and removed from the Celestial Empire registry of worlds
2602 Populist Revolution – Magnus III’s misrule and unpopularity leads to unrest among the Imperial elite – still structured along roughly Terran Federal lines. On a wave of protest, Magnus is deposed. Ironically, this popular uprising paves the way for a dramatically more aristocratic form of government, which appears under the guise of localism and decentralisation with the Aldrin Accords.
2602 Ascension of Klavius Sarkov to the (significantly weakened) Throne in the wake of Magnus III’s overthrow
2603 Signing of the Aldrin Accords, essentially establishing the system of Great Houses and laying down the basic ground rules for formal conflict between them, including rules against attacking the LGN network.
2604 Establishment of Imperial Security Interchange intelligence-sharing network, replacing the Central Coordination Office, as part of the Populist Revolution’s reforms
2681 Birth of Yohan Al’Orsino, nominal founder of Solarian Asceticism (although really the movement grew out of both trends in Traditionalist space and dissenters resisting the rise of the Gilded Worlds’ narcopolitical systems of chemical control)
2714 Accession of Natriarch Miha IV to the P/M/Natriarchy
2744 Final death of the pioneer of Imprinting, Joae Vogt (2102-2176/2151-2222/2203-2298/2260-2334/2308-2391/2369-2471/2434-2529/2500-2573/2551-2641/2610-2688/2667-2741/2722-2744)
2744 House Waldegrave lose control of their throneworld, Walden, to rebellion, owing to longstanding mismanagement.
2781 Discovery of the Aatus recordings
2791 Formal abandonment of Ascetic space by the Empire
2795 Merienne Barwon publishes first edition of ‘The Rules of the Game’
2807 House Iogarajah ruptures into Traditionalist and Ascetic factions
2825 Opening-up of interstellar trade that led to the formation of the Mercantile culture.
2838 Kuarezmi (minor House) come to power
2851 Conventional date for the beginning of the Technik movement: publication of the multimedia manifesto Technology For Humanity by Lucida Nevsky.
2871 Execution of Lucida Nevsky for technoheresy and sedition.
2891 Coup on planet Simeon by Technik Gergely Rusimov, notable for the use of relict BIO technology to bolster the minority of planetary forces loyal to him.
2909 Accession of Technik Cheanchak Kordry to Simeon; deposed within the year by popular movement led by Saint Pragatie.
2912 Hawken takeover of Illitch and associated territories
3041 Magnus VII, the player’s grandfather and the ‘voice’ of the tutorial.