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Thousand Suns — Designer Notes — Timeline

July 11, 2007

(Yes, I know it’s missing First Contact. I’ll get to that in a bit. There are also some other details that need to be filled in too, so I’m aware of some obvious holes.)


-1859 The Thirty-Hour War
-1783 Discovery of the Dane-Ohlmhorst Map
-1691  D-Drive Invented
-1688 Vojaĝanto Expedition
-1567 Foundation of the Old Federation
-1100 to -800 The Wars of Independence
-800 to 0 The Age of Warring States
0 The Concord
471 to 479 The Civil War
500 The Present Day

The Thirty-Hour War: A worldwide political, military, and economic conflict that devastated the nations and environment of Terra’s northern hemisphere and threw the entire planet into a decades-long chaos. The conflict was so named because, according to popular accounts, the opposing military forces all suffered such grievous casualties within thirty hours of the formal commencement of hostilities that continuation of the war was all but impossible. While such accounts are undoubtedly an immense exaggeration, there is no question that the Thirty-Hour War forever changed the face of Terra and the destiny of the human race.

Discovery of the Dane-Ohlmhorst Map: An artifact of the extinct extraterrestrial culture later dubbed the Travelers (on account of evidence of their presence on countless worlds throughout the galaxy), the Dane-Ohlmhorst Map was in fact a complex navigational computer whose partially intact memory core contained the coordinates for over 1000 star systems theoretically accessible from the Terran system. It was not until the
invention of the D-Drive nearly a century later that these coordinates could actually be used, by which point those same star systems came to be known colloquially as “the Thousand Suns” in João Coelho’s poetic phrase.

Vojaĝanto Expedition: The first successful use of the D-Drive to travel to another star system. Thanks to a correct interpretation of the Dane-Ohlmhorst Map, this star system contained a Terran-compatible planet, which was named Espero by the captain of the Vojaĝanto and soon became a hub from which countless other expeditions along the jumplines of the Thousand Suns was launched.

Foundation of the Old Federation: As humanity spread among the Thousand Suns, the need for a unified interstellar government became apparent over time. The Terran Federation, commonly called the Old Federation nowadays, met this need. Initially, the Federation was a loose body whose responsibilities were few, primarily defense and the regulation of trade. Over the centuries, the Federation grew ever more powerful, centralized,
and, according to some, authoritarian—tendencies that sparked the Wars of Independence, as system after system seceded from the Federation and sparked two centuries of sporadic warfare, economic disruption, and societal decline.

The Age of Warring States: This period lasted nearly a millennium, during which there was no unified interstellar government, the Thousand Suns instead being divided into numerous states of varying size and power. While it is certainly true that this era was characterized by a lack of unity and significant technological and social decline on innumerable worlds, it was not a true dark age, despite recent propaganda to the contrary. Many worlds weathered the Age of Warring States quite well, while several, such as Meridian, only came into their own once the yoke of the Old Federation had been removed.

The Concord: The signing of this charter by the United Worlds in Council established the current interstellar government and its organs, as well as inaugurating the New Calendar by which all historical dates are now reckoned.

The Civil War: Interstellar conflict between rebel and loyalist factions that began as an attempt to reform the terms of the Concord and degenerated into violence when the reformists’ demands were not met. Further complicating matters were efforts by various political leaders to use the conflict as a vehicle for seizing greater power for themselves. Lasting nearly a decade, the Civil War ended with a restoration of the status quo ante bellum and promises of reform. To date, few reform proposals have been discussed, let alone enacted, leading some to fear that it is only a matter of time before further civil unrest results and once again plunges the Thousand Suns into war.

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