By 5350 CE, the expanding Natalese Confederation had encountered the Duchy of Geled.
In 5372, war broke out between the two, a war which continued until 5408 CE.
The Geled-Natal War caused economic disruption throughout the region, particularly affecting the Independent Traders. When the Independent Trade Ship Keala-ka's was caught in crossfire and destroyed (although the crew survived), the Traders had had enough.
A peace conference was held on Escen (10 - 24 Ahktyahbr 5408 CE); when the Council of Escen was over, the disputed territory was made into the Free Territory of Cisnatal, with its capital at Tep Kecor. Cisnatal provided a much-needed buffer zone between Geled and Natal.
Cisnatal, however, did not last. In the long economic depression that followed the war (5408 - 5460 CE), Cisnatal slowly dissolved. By 5440 there was little left of the Free Territory.
Both Geled and Natal were so weakened by the war that neither tried to claim the contentious territory; the peace held through the dissolution of Natal c. 6000 CE.
Reigned: TE 321-341
Born: 16 September TE 304
Died: 30 August TE 341
When 17-year-old Alex Leonov took the Throne in TE 321, it was necessary for him to build up a power base virtually from nothing. His grandfather (Dirk Fodon) had been disliked as an Emperor, and now various factions sought to ignore Alex and take over the government on their own.
One of his steppingstones was his staunchest supporter, 17-year-old Betty Sanceau. By espousing her and elevating her instantly to the status of Imperial Consort, Alex secured the support of the Sanceau factions in the Imperial Council. Betty that year bore the Heir, Jef Leonov.
Another of Alex's ploys was aimed at Jean Carroll (b. TE 279), who as Idara Carroll's Rep to the Council commanded all the intricate web of generations-old Carroll alliances. Alex could not elevate Jean Carroll's status any more -- in Imperial hierarchy and in fact, she stood just below the Imperial Family itself. So Alex bought Carroll support with the only coin he had: he agreed to espouse his firstborn daughter to Bob Carroll (b. TE 312), son of Jean Carroll and Dave Engelbach.
Jef, of course, was male; it was not until TE 326 that the bargain was closed, with the birth of Alex's daughter Anna.
About TE 333 the state of the Empire was looking bad: the Patalanian Union was expanding and the Empire's economy was tightening under the war effort. Along with economic and political moves, Alex took very drastic measures to boost morale with both troops and the Civil Service. Jef refused to father a Carroll Heir, so Imperial biotechs bred an in vitro daughter from 8-year-old Anna and 22-year-old Bob Carroll. This daughter, Laura Carroll, was born in 334 and hailed as Heir's Heir.
One question remained. Why a granddaughter, instead of a child for Jef? The Carroll alliance had to be preserved at all costs, and arranging for a Carroll to take the Throne cemented the alliance for good. The real reason, however, lies with the Emperor's increasing disenchantment with Jef, who was making the wrong kind of friends (especially among Idara Schmidt and their powerful anti-Carroll coalition).
During the first few years of Alex's reign, the Imperial Council passed a number of laws restricting the Throne's powers and privileges. Most notable of these was the Sovereign Cyborganic Implants Act of 321, which prohibited members of the Royal Family from having bodily implants other than those necessary for the job (i.e. the implants that interfaced with the Memory Crown). This law was passed in reaction to Dirk Fodon's apparent desire to prolong his life with medical implants.
With the departure of the Paranormal Families in 335, and the subsequent diminishment of Schmidt opposition, Alex's mood mellowed and he had a reconciliation of sorts with Jef. The two worked closely together for the remaining years of Alex's reign. The Imperial economy slid downhill, reaching a low point in TE 340; by this time Alex was in bad health, and Jef took on an increasing share of authority and responsibility. It was in 340 that the Masilek dynasty took over the Patalanian Union and began to pursue a more aggressive policy -- responsibility for response fell upon Jef, as Alex remained indifferent to the Empire's losses.
Alex died in August 341, and Jef succeeded him with only token resistance in the Terran Council.
The Reign of Aemallana was a time of peace for both Scattered and Gathered Worlds. But Aemallana's descendants were not so peaceful.
Thus Aemallana begat, of Kasuret, Eper-Heran. And Eper-Heran begat Takhmis, beloved of the Galactic Riders. And of Bata-Bedhet, son of Kresnes, Aemallana begat Tharnagod, who was the father of Mooredann. And Takhmis, being senior, was the Heir of Aemallana.
Now Takhmis was well-studied in the disciplines of warcraft and statecraft, while Mooredann studied philosophy and history. And Mooredann went to the world of the Daamin to study, and she journeyed even to the innermost of the Gathered Worlds,. And Mooredann was captivated by the lingering power of the Gergathan, so that she desired to rule the Scattered and Gathered Worlds. The Gergathan then supplied the means.
It came to be in that time, some of the Gathered Worlds rebelled against Aemallana. These were Kaernesh, !Th-thren, Evenyth, and the three worlds of Toomenaw. Now Aemallana went to calm the peoples of these worlds, and Mooredann used trickery to force Aemallan to fly into a collapsar. So passed Aemallana from the Grand Scheme, betrayed by Mooredann.
Now Mooredann spoke to the peoples of the Galaxy, and told them that Takhmis had murdered Aemallana that she might rule in her stead. Many people loved Takhmis, but they loved Aemallana more. And such was the influence of the Gergathan that many fell under its spell, especially many of those from the Gathered Worlds. So it came to pass that, using the peoples' love for Aemallana, Mooredann had Takhmis executed. And Mooredann also destroyed Maercal, the son of Takhmis, and Desthaltor his daughter. But the Galactic Riders protected the infant Toolea, daughter of Desthaltor and the last survivor of Takhmis's line, and took her away from Avethell to be raised in the Secluded Realm.
Now Mooredann ruled from the Seat of Aemallana on Messilinia, and for a time there was peace. Mooredann told the people that peace had come, and so it seemed, For the Gergathan did not incite the peoples of the Gathered Worlds into more rebellions, and while Mooredann ruled there was no war. So Mooredann reduced the size of Avethell's defense fleet, saying that it was time to put away the weapons of war and begin the work of peace.
Now many years passed, and finally Mooredann delivered her final stroke. The fleet was reduced to helplessness, and Mooredann ordered a general overhaul that left most ships grounded. Then the powerful vessels of the Gergathan swept out of their hidden hangers in the Gathered Worlds, and the Free Peoples could offer no resistance. And so the Empire of Avethell, which had conquered the Gathered Worlds and ruled in peace for many millennia, came to a tragic end.
This is a title given to the Queen of Avethell by the Galactic Riders, and possibly derived from Coruman words for "sexual attractiveness" and "life-affirming."
The Reign of Aemallana:
According to legend, Aemallana ruled throughout the 70,000 years of the Avethellan Empire. According to historical sources, the same individual reigned for that vast period. All available evidence indicates that the Avethellans had a natural lifespan of about 500 years. It is possible, however, that artificial methods of rejuventation, possibly psi-based, were in use during this period.
One derivation suggests that this name was related to the Avethellan word for "loyalty." No entity named Kasuret is documented in historical sources, and Klin Taris has suggested that Kasuret is an amalgamation of several historical figures. A wealth of legend has grown up around Kasuret in Avethellan tributary states.
Daamin records speak of an "Eppur Haarin" who spoke before the Council of the Free Peoples around the 21,500th year of Aemallana's reign. The date of Eper-Heran's birth, then, can be fixed at no later than 21,475. Eper-Heran apparently lived for many scores of millennia, for records continue to mention this individual until the year 68,700. Later legend held that Eper-Heran was a trusted counselor of Aemallana. Eper-Heran may have died in a battle of some sort, for Avethellans still celebrate "the heroic death of Eper-Heran."
Takhmis became Grand Vizier of the Scattered Worlds in the year 63,000 of Aemallana's reign; his birth is placed by legend at least ten centuries before that date. The best estimate seems to be about the year 61,800.
Bata-Bedhet is a Gathered Worlds name, and seems to mean something like "solidarity." Bata-Bedhet's parent is given as "Kresnes";. an Avethellan named "Chrasnash" is recorded to have been Grand Vizier of the Gathered Worlds sometime around the year 30,000 of Aemallana's reign.
The name means "shameful" in Avethellan; it is most likely a later emendation for the real name of Mooredann's parent. Tharnagod's birth can be set at no earlier than the year 30,500.
Clearly derived from the Coruman "Marannadenen," meaning "mother of destruction." Again, the name is probably a later emendation, and is not the name by which Mooredann was actually known to contemporaries.
The World of the Daamin:
Usually supposed to be Verkorra, homeworld of the Daamin race. However, it is more likely Nephestal, since the next clause says she journeyed "even to the innermost of the Gathered Worlds." Verkorra, of course, is one of the innermost of the Gathered Worlds; if Mooredann were studying there, then the next clause would seem redundant. Poetic redundancy is not a major rhetorical device in Avethellan literature.
Kaernesh, !Th-Thren, Evenyth, Toomenaw:
Altogether six planets are mentioned (including the "three" worlds of Toomenaw). The vast multiplicity of planets in the Gathered Worlds makes it nearly impossible to locate any of these worlds with certainty. In later times, legends grew up around Kaernesh, making it out to be a world of merciless warriors. Today, some of the folk of the Scattered Worlds will say "You fight like you come from Kaernesh" to indicate someone who mindlessly and stubbornly argues a particularly irrational point.
Maercal remains only a name; no data is known about him at all and no historical figure can be identified with him.
Although the translation can be confusing, the original Avethellan pronoun makes it clear that Desthaltor is the daughter of Maercal, making her the granddaughter of Takhmis. Tradition maintains that Desthaltor was sixty years old when she died, while her daughter Toolea was an infant. With only three generations spanning the 8200 years between the birth of Takhmis and that of Toolea, clearly something beyond normal Avethellan longevity is at work. The most persuasive theory is that Maercal was not born until very late, sometime after the death of Eper-Heran. Internal evidence suggests that other members of the Royal Family participated in whatever rejuvenation techniques were applied to the Queen.
The great-great-great-graddaughter of Aemallana was supposedly spirited away by Dareenten, the last of the Galactic Riders in Aemallana's time. Dareenten was an Iaranori, with the typical Evellan lifespan of millennia. It was the same Dareenten who took away the Golden Throne of Avethell. Legend has it that Aemallana knew of her upcoming death, and commended Toolea into the hands of Dareenten. After the fall of Avethell, Toolea reputedly reached Nephestal and lived with the Council of the Free Peoples until her death, founding the dynasty which eventually helped the Galactic Riders to restore Avethell.
The Seat of Aemallana:
At this time the Golden Throne was still at the court on Avethell, but Mooredann preferred to rule from Messilinia, where the Seat of Aemallana was an alternate throne. During Malreppidar, the Gergathan's lieutenants ruled from the Seat of Aemallana, so that in the Gathered Worlds, the term became synonymous with tyranny.
Internal evidence suggests that the minions of the Gergathan had been rebuilding the Gathered Worlds fleet throughout Aemallana's reign.