The Memory of Sindal
Between the Spinward Marches and the ever-advancing Aslan Hierate is an expanse of wild space called the Trojan Reach. A narrow ribbon of stars, the dust-spice trade route, links the two empires. Every day, ships brave the perilous crossing from Imperium to Hierate, navigating a circuitous route from Fist (Tobia 3215) to Tyokh (Tlaiowaha 2226). Between these two worlds is a sea of lawless, dangerous planets.
The Reach is where empires run aground and mortally wound themselves, and where fortunes can be made on trade and commerce. The First Imperium never conquered the Reach; the Second Imperium left isolated colonies across its expanse, and even the Third Imperium claims no more than a sixth of the systems here.
During the Long Night, another petty empire was arising here – the Empire of Sindal. The Sindalians were barbarian raiders who crowned themselves kings and conquered several dozen worlds before their subjects rose up against them. Today, Sindal (Sindal 2018) is a ruined world of a few hundred dirt farmers whose ancestors once ruled all the night sky, and the Sindalian empire is remembered in confused tales of a golden age and wars amid the stars.
When the Empire of Sindal collapsed, outlying regional capitals became the seat of even lesser kings, and the longest-lasting of these was Drinax (Tliowaha 2223). Drinax’s kings claimed half the worlds in their subsector for generations. The Drinaxians were wiser than their cousins; they learned to hide the iron fist of orbital bombardment behind a velvet glove of trade and protection. Drinax itself became a garden world, fat and plump, an oasis of culture and technology in a dangerous and barbaric sector. The floating palace of Drinax – a huge citadel of beauty and art, suspended on a grav platform of prodigious size – was a wonder of the galaxy.
Then, another empire came to the Trojan Reach. The Aslan were numerous, hungry, aggressive and confident, and the Empire of Drinax was fat, lazy and wholly unaware of the sheer numbers and might of the Hierate.
The Aslan trade routes to the Imperium ran through the Kingdom of Drinax, and the kings became greedy. They demanded tolls, taxes, bribes… and the Aslan were incensed. In a single bloody war lasting less than a year, the Aslan shattered the last surviving remnant of the old Empire of Sindal. Drinax’s subject worlds were either conquered by the Aslan or revolted. Drinax itself was blasted to ash, leaving the floating palace as the only remaining property of the King of Drinax.
One palace… and a few ships.
That was two hundred years ago.
Today, trade ships from the Imperium and the Hierate pass by broken, beggared worlds. The worlds once claimed by Drinax realise they have exchanged one master for another, and that the Aslan have even less regard for them than the kings did. The Imperium and the Hierate pretend to be friends while they jockey for position. The sector stands on a knife edge. The right pressure could push half the Trojan Reach into the claws of the Aslan, force an already overstretched Imperium to extend its forces deeper into the sector, permit Drinax to rise again – or carve out a new kingdom in blood and steel!
Now is the time for corsairs and privateers, for rogues and empire-builders. The King of Drinax offers a small band of trusted, resourceful bastards the chance to make their fortune. He gives them a ship and a letter of marque. They are to go adventuring in the Trojan Reach, prey on shipping and build up support in the worlds once held by the Kingdom of Drinax, playing the two great powers off against each other. If they succeed, they will become princes in the renewed kingdom.
If they fail, the stars will be their grave.