History of the Par'tha Expanse
While "life" has existed throughout the galaxy for eons, interstellar-capable civilizations are a much more recent phenomena, and widely interspersed within the Milky Way Galaxy. In the spiral arm of the galaxy that contains what is now known as the Par'tha Expanse, such civilizations began appearing approximately 25,000 years ago.
The Karellon were the first race to expand beyond the confines of their world, and quite soon after, their solar system. The Karellon were a particularly brutal and savage race, either destroying or enslaving all other races they came into contact with. They would pillage, desecrate, and appropriate anything and everything they wanted. This lasted for approximately 3,000 years. At the pinnacle of their reign of terror, their influence encompassed a total of 30 star systems and 8 surviving and enslaved sentient species.
One of the enslaved races, the Miloa, was a peaceful and roughly humanoid species. Their race alone outnumbered the Karellon species at a 5 to 1 ratio. The Karellonic domination of their slave races came to an end roughly 22,000 years ago when the Miloan philosophy of peace and freedom gained an incredibly strong ideological foothold in the slave races and began infecting the Karellon themselves. Within decades the Karellon had been overthrown, both from without and from within. The Miloa took control of the declining empire and governed successfully for the next 500 years.
During the Miloan reign the races operated on a basis of equality enlightenment. They combined their resources to educate and enhance the lifestyles of their own races and those they encountered upon their journeys of exploration. It was during one of these exploration missions that their oblivion was to begin. An exploration vessel was sent to investigate a nearby region of interstellar dust clouds and plasma storms, which occupied several sectors of space. The Miloan people had named it the Par'tha Nebula. Easily seen from the Miloan home world, their creation mythology had designated the nebula as the birthplace of all life. The Miloa were eager to see what was actually there. Apart from the unusually high levels of anogen particles that the nebula was producing, the Miloa happened upon an as yet unknown interstellar race called the Androni.
If the slave races thought the Karellon had been brutal, they were in for a short and awful surprise. The Androni were, for the most part, xenophobic. The entire Miloan civilization was destroyed. Not a trace of their existence was left behind. The Androni disagreed with peace, and with cooperative unions with other races. Likewise the Karellon were wiped out because the Androni saw them as a dying race that had not been strong enough to hold on to its empire. Only a few of the slave races survived the decimation, and their numbers were sparse and scattered. They fled outward, galactically speaking, away from the Par'tha Nebula and the Androni terror.
The tyrannical rule of the Androni lasted for 2,000 years, until the coming of the Braemar. The Braemar were a noble race, humanoid in appearance and almost human in physiology. Just as the Centauran and Betazoid races are outwardly indistinguishable from Terrans (for the most part), so were the Braemar. The Braemar were the first race in the region to have faster than light travel, which was a huge advantage in their war with the Androni. Hit and Fade tactics using warp speed allowed the Braemar to quickly gain the upper hand in the war, until traitors and spies managed to get the secret of faster than light travel to the Androni. What was originally going to be a short war was dragged out and lasted for almost 100 years. Both civilizations were nearly destroyed before the Braemar finally won.
The Braemar were content to allow the Androni to survive as a species, but the Androni could not live in a region of space where they were not in control. Their civilization left the war torn region and headed galactically rimward. The Braemar ruled the region peacefully for the next 4,000 years. During this time, such races as the Naylar, the Prelian, and the Korri began to establish the beginnings of civilization on their home planets. Soon, however, a mysterious race moved in from the Gamma Quadrant and destroyed the Braemar civilization, then disappeared again. No single race had control over the region for 200 years until the Chon Empire appeared.
The Chon Empire approached the region from the galactic core, and grabbed control of the entire region. Their reference to the "Par'tha Expanse" not only included the Par'tha Nebula, but the entire spiral arm. For 500 years they remained unchallenged in the Expanse region. Then, suddenly, the Chon, began fighting an important war on their opposite border. All their resources were re-allocated to help fight this enemy who was unknown to the Par'tha races. The Chon retained an outpost at the core-ward edge of the Par'tha Expanse, but had no nominal presence in the region ever again. The Chon Empire finally succumbed to their assailants approximately 13000 years ago. They abandoned their outpost about the same time the Caraadians began to arrive in the area.
Colonial Era (10,343 BCE - 9331 BCE)
The Caraadian history in the Par'tha Expanse goes back many, many centuries. The first settlers came to Gorin some 13,000 years ago in huge colony ships sent out from somewhere closer to our galactic core. Par'thinian legend says that a dwindling civilization, the Caraadians, sent out these colony ships to stave off extinction. At that time, the Par'tha Expanse was at the extreme edges of explored Caraadian space, and the colonists were very much on their own for a long time.
Fortunately, the region was blessed with an unusually high number of inhabitable worlds, and it was not long before the settler clans began spreading out and prospering.
Initially, the colony worlds were governed by the Pella Compact, the original central council which led the colony ships to Gorin. These clan leaders forged the first alliances with the Senali, and established the first trade routes in this region of space.
Twelve Kingdoms Era (9331 BCE - 4971 BCE)
Eventually and inevitably, the clan worlds grew apart as generations passed, and began to rely less and less on a central government. With a whimper rather than a bang, power gradually shifted from Kerraron to the local clan capitals. Traditional historians place the year of this transition rather arbitrarily in the Par'thinian year 1012, though some have argued the transition came much sooner.
In the early years of the Twelve Kingdoms Era, numerous clans merged, expanded, fought, and died out. Over time, twelve houses emerged out of the trials of eight centuries, each with its own king or queen ruling over its territories and worlds. These houses existed in a relatively stable state for over 3,000 years, though there was a great deal of flux in terms of who controlled what at any given moment.
Toward the end of the Twelve Kingdoms Era, the houses began colonizing new worlds on the sector's periphery, both to provide them with needed raw materials, and to establish a buffer zone between the houses and the expanding Senali trading empire. Vaedan, Nanaria, and Zalenaedere, and most of the systems now in the Freeworlds Region were cataloged and lightly settled in this time frame. The houses made contact with the Tinalli on Tinall, and began trading with them.
The Dynastic Era (4971 BCE - 775 CE)
The Twelve Kingdoms Era came to an end when a warrior prince named Kaen Tan rose up from House Tadere and unified the houses in a series of bloody civil wars which spanned nearly twenty years. Two houses were destroyed by Tan during the wars, and a third faltered and was absorbed within a century.
Tan was crowned Emperor of his new empire in the Tanith year 5392, and over a long lifetime laid the foundations for a regional empire which would last for 6,000 years. Interestingly, the rise of Tan's empire did little to advance his own house; he was remarkably even-handed in distributing power to the nobles who survived the civil wars. Many historians claim that it was this act more than any other that gave his empire such a strong start.
Tan made a huge mark on the region immediately. For example, he established a number of universities and research facilities (the university system on Tinall was codified in Tanith year 5412), and imposed a new code of laws and a new calendar (still in use domestically) on his empire. He chose his homeworld of Oscion as the seat of his fledgling empire, and his capital has been the center of regional power ever since.
It fell to Tan's descendants to consolidate his empire, which they did over the next 5,000 years. Sixteen dynasties ruled the Tanith Empire in turn, most of which hailed from either Tadere, Larokon, or Kerraron.
The Siiden Passage trade route was blazed by Senali scouts in the aftermath of the Great Trial Wars of 8717 (Tanith reckoning), and within 25 years had become an established trade route into Senali space (actually, the scouts were merely re-establishing a route long abandoned by ancient Senali traders). The distinct angular Senali tradeships became common sights in Tanith space, and the aliens brought with them investment capital and a vibrant culture.
With a thriving shipping pipeline leading into the heart of the expanse, the young empire experienced a new surge of growth. It was in this time period that Aelann and Maarok, positioned on the new trade route, emerged as major new trade worlds. Over the next few centuries, Aelann's modest orbital docks turned into full-blown shipyards.
The Jinju Dynasty, the final to rule the empire, presided over a gentle and steady decline into regional factionalism. The end of the Tanith Empire came in 774 CE, when a cadre of military officers staged a coup, and placed the worlds of the Tanith Empire in the hands of a band of reformers.
The Federal Era (775 CE - 2324 CE)
The reformers, men and women from nearly all of the houses, formed a federation of the planets of the former empire. The new government was ruled by a prime minister elected by a parliament located on Oscion. The resulting system was less centralized than the former empire, giving the houses more direct power than they had enjoyed previously, especially in their own provinces. And in a publicity move, they dropped the formal name of "Tanith Empire" in favor of a more neutral "Par'thinian Federation," named after the dominant spatial phenomena in the expanse, the Par'tha Nebula.
In the 15 centuries of the Federal Era, the balance of power shifted from one house to the next, as leaders formed Great Council coalitions capable of electing them. Most such leaders were either of House Kerraron or Larokon, though even the lesser houses occasionally took charge when a particularly effective leader emerge from their midst. Several houses rose and fell in this time period, and two left the sector entirely in search of new and worthier pastures.
Four trends took place in the Federal Era which had long-lasting impacts on the region: Senali trading stopped almost immediately as the Senali disappeared from this area of space without any warning or clue as to their demise, the Valcarian Empire began to subtly infiltrate the Expanse Sector, a cluster of periphery colony worlds grew rapidly in power and broke away from the houses, and a first contact was made with the Romulan Star Empire.
In 1770 CE, Oscion sent its first representatives to the Romulan homeworld, and the Par'thinian Federation was officially designated a sector of their sphere of influence. Par'thinian nobles frequently traveled to Romulan space to do business, and ambassadors forged links with important Romulan systems. Many Par'thinian expatriates could be found living on Romulus and other worlds, and the Par'thinian members of the Romulan government enjoyed a certain amount of authority and influence.
Initially regarded as a new source of raw materials for the high-consumption worlds of the sector, the periphery colony worlds settled in the Tanith Dynastic Era enjoyed a huge and unanticipated surge in growth when Romulan scouts and traders opened a new route which shaved several days off the long established K'tem hyperlane - a route which passed right through Zalenaedere, Aelann, Tinall, and other periphery systems.
The trade of the new Kaen'anti Bypass poured credits and influence into the coffers of the periphery worlds, and eventually led to their independence. The periphery became known as the Freeworlds Region.
But as is the nature of the universe, things change. Originally the Romulan Empire, though it intervened in a few wars and spates of violence, generally left the Par'thinian Federation to its own devices. Eventually, however, the Romulans began to take more and more notice of happenings within the Par'tha Expanse, and more often Romulan warships could be seen patrolling the formerly sovereign space of the Caraadians. It quickly became apparent that the Caraadians were now under the oppression of the Romulans. Technology in the Par'tha Expanse had not yet reached a level where they could oppose their oppressors, yet some houses tried, led by House Tadere. The Romulans came in waves to purge the Par'tha Expanse of rebels.
The Freeworlds Region realized that if they minded their own business, the trade would continue along the Kaen'anti Bypass and their lives would remain relatively uninterrupted. House Larokon seized upon the situation and allied themselves with the Romulans, using their spinet resources to help ferret out the traitorous members of House Kerraron. Larokon successfully harnessed the fear in the sector and formed a new coalition with the mandate to stamp out all anti-Romulan sentiment in the sector.
Another purge followed, one which rid the sector of more Larokon enemies than Romulan ones. Larokon moved immediately against Kerraron, and ultimately rendered the once-mighty house nearly impotent. Several worlds were taken from Kerraron and acquired by neighboring House Barahn. In the process of the purges, Larokon established a lock on Oscion which it has held ever since.
The New Era (2324 CE - present)
Much more suddenly than they had dominated the Par'tha Expanse, the Romulan influence over the Caraadians dissipated almost overnight. Rumors circulated about tensions between the Romulans and another race, and the possibility of a war (neither the unknown enemy of the Romulans nor the resulting war was ever confirmed, and the period of absence coincided with the period of Romulan isolation that the Federation encountered from 2311 to 2364). With the Romulan guard down, and more of their warships being reassigned, the rebellious houses in the Par'tha Expanse banded together for one unified thrust. The Romulans left, never to return to the Par'tha Expanse. House Larokon's power in the sector wavered, but did not collapse.
With the Romulans gone, the Valcarian Empire quickly moved in and filled the vacuum. The major difference, though, between the two "outsiders" was location. The Valcarians came into the sector through the Expanse proper, while the majority of Romulan presence had been felt in the Freeworlds Region.
The retreat of the Romulans also hit the Freeworlds Region hard. The Kaen'anti Bypass was no longer being used, and trade and the economy took a huge dive. Things began to look bleak. The Par'thinian Federation began a revival of their traditional ways, government and culture.
Then, about 2372, the Siiden Passage saw its first travelers in several centuries. Ferengi merchants managed to discover and traverse the Jenatris Corridor, and found a market ready for trade. Being Ferengi, they kept their knowledge of the Par'tha Expanse to themselves, until some Dai'mon found it more profitable to sell information to a Yridian trader. The United Federation of Planets and Starfleet have been aware of the Par'tha Expanse since 2381.