History of the Mindsea Empire


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Kokkiro ascended the Stairway of Ice.

They say that humanity first spread through the galaxy after Kokkiro, King of Earth, ascended the Stairway of Ice that leads to the center of space and time.

Because this event took place a thousand millennia before the empire arose, it is only one of many possible pasts leading to the empire, but it is one imperial citizens choose to enshrine.

The colonists who followed in Kokkiro's footsteps took with them the genetic codes for all Earth's life-forms, both living and extinct, and seeded their new homes with familiar flora and fauna. The human mind and body remained largely unchanged on many colonized worlds, so although contact between worlds was lost in many cases, and new languages and customs evolved, a basis for eventual reunification remained.

The Founding

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Attequol built energy temples on all the planets.

Attequol was born on a small island on the planet Tywoshak. Although his people were simple fishermen, Tywoshak was a technologically-advanced world that had anti-aging genes and universal education. Theirs was a trading world, and Attequol was so impressed by the interplanetary merchants who visited that he built his own ship to follow them.

Attequol was gifted with the ability to perceive deep-level forces and to design equipment that made use of those forces. He sailed the universe-generating waves of the Deep as he had sailed the ocean of his native world. He is credited with inventing the science of Patternistics.

His mindpowers caused Attequol to be called the first mindsea, although historians feel that Kokkiro must also have been a mindsea.

Attequol had a transforming vision. He foresaw that, just as the myriads of islands on the Tywoshakian ocean were united under one government, the inhabited planets scattered across the ocean of space might be united. He set out on a mission of conquest. Most of the planets he visited were primitive compared with Tywoshak, but even the more advanced peoples could not withstand the patternistic weapons Attequol had developed. Within the course of a few millennia, he forged an empire consisting of three thousand and ten planets.

The Ancient Empire

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Aturon's sword was to shoot out fireworks when he returned.

Attequol ruled his peaceful empire for almost five hundred years. Then he vanished. As the years passed, histories traced back to the moment of his disappearance multiplied. Some maintain that he died aiding citizens during a disaster. Others say that he ascended the Stairway of Ice and never returned, just as Kokkiro had.

Attequol's son, Aturon, was supposed to take over the reins of empire, but he preferred to hunt planets, and vanished for millennia. A magnificent patternistic detector was constructed at the galactic capital, meant to light up brilliantly when Aturon returned, but it lay forgotten long before that event occurred. A theocracy was established, centered around the galaxy's absent gods—Attequol and Aturon—and the patternistic technology that had melded the empire.

The Patternistic Theocracy

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Holy emperors raised monumental statues to themselves.

Holy Emperor Raldan guided the theocracy during most of the first half of its three-and-a-half millennia existence, impressing upon the people of every planet that they must be pious and worship him as the representative of the absent gods in order for their technology to continue to work. His descendant and successor, Holy Emperor Rezi, was endowed with a more powerful mind and a less narcissistic nature.

The Patternistic Mindsea Empire

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Quokisa was depicted as a thief of soul-gems.

Aturon returned at last to the capital after a voyage that had seemed much shorter to him in the Deep, as far removed from ripples of time as creatures of the abyss are removed from disturbances on the ocean's surface. He put an end to the false piety. But he did not enjoy the responsibilities of governing, and departed once again for other galaxies.

Sometime later, Quokisa appeared and took power on the dubious claim of being Aturon's granddaughter. She set about hunting down the soul-gems, conduits of deep-level force that had been forged by Attequol and lost or destroyed by his successors. It was her dream to rediscover the secrets that had made the early empire prosper, but she was thwarted by remnants of the old theocracy, who called her requesitioning of the ancient artifacts piratical.

The Evolved Plutocracy

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Consulting the congress of humans and animals.

Quokisa's reforms had emphasized galactic productivity. In 8,405 Emperor Aumud tapped an an additional unused resource when he put the galaxy's animals to work alongside its human citizens. His great-gransdon Aavid raised animal favorites to positions of power in the empire.

Great corporations run by the emperors' favorites arose and slowly consolidated positions controlling all of the commerce in the empire.

The Doubting Theocracy

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Ashia built monuments to herself.

Holy Empress Ashia, who took power in 20,973, was the longest-serving galactic emperor. During her interminable reign, she wrested control from the corporations and invested it in organs dedicated to her worship. Her dogma doubted the divinty of ancient mindseas, instead pointing out the present and practical (herself) as the true omnipotence in citizens' lives. She had no mindpowers, and towards the end of nearly ten-thousand years on the throne her personality disintegrated in the process of crystallization that affects most citizens despite antiaging. Long habit kept the theocracy running smoothly for another two hundred years after her death.

The Unfused Plutocracy

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Rathax milked the multiverse.

Emperor Rathax, who took the throne in 30,464, was inspired to use mathematics creatively in the style of old Emperor Aumud—his great-grandfather—in order to increase the empire's wealth. Other rulers had tried to maintain a unified time-line across the many imperial worlds, but Rathax reasoned that if one allowed the time-lines to proliferate freely, income could be collected from all of the multiverse. Rathax tried to reduce all of the time-line-fusing towers Attequol had built, and was crushed by a falling wall.

The successors of Rathax called the problem of poor communications the solution to economic woes. Empress Eureln, a Rathax granddaughter, extended the program to the harvesting of black holes. She was followed by other Rathax descendants, who controlled the galaxy until the end of the epoch, and kept the credits flowing.

The last great ruler of the plutocracy, Emperor Oatamo, sought still more powerful and destructive equations to draw on the fundamental patterns of the universe. "Extend to the unknown," he urged the stewards of his monetary schemes. He reigned for over four thousand years.

The Spacious Mindsea Empire

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Mindsea duels took place on horseback.

In 47,028 yet another Rathax descendant, Wener Dread Aopenne, took the throne to begin a thousand-year reign. Emperor Wener cast aside the reverence for mathematics and the focus on milking the time-lines in favor of an old-fashioned warlike and expansionist mind-set, and the empire shifted from realms of time to realms of space.

The galactic throne had not been won in a mind-duel since the Evolved Plutarchy, but all that changed when Muevin Peurat Fnox charged in on his stallion Null and overthrew his father, Emperor Cesime. Brutal murders and frequent duelling became the way of the empire. Emperor Muevin's plans included a special genetically-engineered warrior class, but he was overthrown before he could perfect his army.

After nearly a millennium of conflict and chaos, Imperial Major Oayola, a great-great-great-granddaughter of Rathax, returned stability to the galaxy when she engineered a supreme duelling emperor from wild hominid genes. Emperor Rocki Metsen triumphed in thirty-one mind duels and held onto the throne for nearly two thousand years. He was followed by his and Oayloa's descendants, and though duels continued, the brutality of Emperor Muevin's time had passed.

The Transaxial Meritocracy

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Besi built transaxes to the multiverse.

In 64,902 Mindsea-empress Besi, who claimed to be a descendant of Quokisa, took power. She cleared away the old engines of war and instituted a meritocracy. Her plan was to allow the most energetic and creative imperial citizens to come to the fore. She hoped to encourage a wide spectrum of improvements, in the arts and architecture as well as science.

Following millennia saw increasing benefits of patternistic technology, including transaxes that guided interstellar travelers across the time-lines. During its last ten millennia, positions of power were often filled by military force or bought, though the name and form of the meritocracy continued.

The Cataclysmic Theocracy

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The Cataclysmic Theocracy saw the return of extinct species, including the near human.

In 76,558, Imperial Major Vendanu, weary of the tameness of the twenty plus emperors she had served, and longing for wildness, madness, and destruction, transformed the meritocracy into a theocracy. She succeeded in her search for a holy emperor who would believe in her vision of a terrrible god by using the DNA of Emperor Rocki's lineage to create Empress Quazi. Quazi did not reign for long, but her descendants and successors upheld and expanded Vendanu's vision, though Vendanu herself served under only one more emperor after Quazi.

In 77,658, a mindsea named Ciro Eiyan Seolo ascended the throne with his expanded take on Vendanu's vision. He declared that existence was a battle between the human will and the uncaring, often dangerous forces of nature. He emphasized the need for masters of the universe to become strong, to use force against force. He himself provided an example of masterful will. As the millennia of his rule rolled past, he pointed out, triumphantly, that mindseas draw their vitality from the same deep-level realm that generates universes, and thus are immune to crystallization. Unlike old Empress Ashia, he could reign forever.

After five-and-a-half millennia, Holy Emperor Ciro was betrayed by a grandson whom he had appointed as imperial major, and his reign ended. Major Iene Beont Silenfe continued to run the theocracy as Ciro had willed it, unleashing periodic cataclysms to "toughen" the people, and setting a long series of his own offspring on the throne. He miscalculated when he allowed a mindsea great-grandson, Oin Pureniml Siarg, to take the throne. Holy Emperor Oin replaced him with a son of his own, and the cataclysms ceased.

The Temporal Aristocracy

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Riemis was master of time and space.

Major Riemis Ginarn Horl bred, trained, installed and removed emperors during the ten millennia after the reign of the last Holy Empress Zupa, while he used the galaxy as a laboratory for his time experiments. His mastery of the time-lines allowed him to banish rivals and detractors into other histories or to isolate them in worlds with spatial, temporal, or patternistic walls, while his chosen lieutenants enjoyed the benefits of his inventions and wielded great power over the common people of the planets they governed. In the end, one of his experiments got out of control and caused his downfall.

The Spacious Aristocracy

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Destructive wars made the mindseas unpopular.

As the empire reached its hundredth millennium, mindsea emperors produced by the previous era's breeding program waged fierce battles for control of the galaxy, sometimes laying waste to entire planets. The secrets of temporal and patternistic engineering that Major Riemis had uncovered were again lost. In response to the violence and chaos, a movement grew to exclude the wild genes Major Riemis had introduced in his experiments and return the galaxy to the supervision of the galaxy's ancient and tested bloodlines.

The Fluidity of History

Because imperial travel and communications cross time-lines, and mindseas engage in temporal engineering, only the broad outlines and the most pivotal events of galactic history remain stable as the empire's past and future are rewritten. Less vital individuals and events undergo constant flux, and even planets may change or vanish altogether.

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