A Brief History of The Rise and Fall of the Empire of Light
A Story from the Mendelbrot Universe
by Chris Freely
In the aftermath of the fall of the Mendelbrot Imperial Biarchy there came the Empire of Light. Even though the Legion of Darkness controlled the Legion of Light from behind a facade of falsehoods too numerous to name, it largely became a legitimate government in the aftermath of the Arkalkian and Luffanian evacuations that took 70% of the energy reserves of the Cosmic Tree with them. The loss of this energy had annoyed the Legion of Light greatly.
The history of the fall of the Mendelbrot Imperial Biarchy and near destruction of homo promethean as a species was a long one. It all began with the entry of the Cosmic Tree into the Iron Void, a massive rich void full of energy from cosmic rays from the surrounding systems. The natural pattern of a void then took hold and the central systems of the Tree began to suffer from the lack of magnetic transfer potential from the neighboring systems that were now no longer there. The result was that the cosmic ray pressure was absorbed by the Chaos Region which resulted in its massive expansion over many eons.
The early parts of this period before the Outer Cloud (the pre-chaos name for what was later called the Chaos region) fell out of Arkalkian Front rule or direction is known as the Late Golden Age. It was a period of unprecedented economic activity throughout the Arkalkian Front. Because the Iron Void was not a poor void the Cosmic Tree did not decay at all during the transit through the Iron Void. During the Late Golden Age, this residual strength allowed for the natural growth of Arkalkian Front borders as the Outer Cloud expanded from 80% of the size of the Cosmic Tree to around 25 times the size of it.
The Late Golden Age lasted until around this time. It was well known that the carrying capacity of the Arkalkian Front generally maxed out around 25 times the size of the Cosmic Tree. It was during these times in the past that great crisis would happen. Yet naturally the drift of the Cosmic Tree was anchored for the last 999,999,999,999,999 generations of power to it's sister systems so that it was known that 25 times the size of the Cosmic Tree was going to be about the maximum of the growth of the Outer Cloud.
Only three times before had the ratio of the Outer Cloud to the Cosmic Tree exceeded 30. These instances occurred during The 1st Generation of Power, the 4th Generation of Power, and the Lost Generation of Power. Each of these three periods had near death crisis for the Arkalkian Front, especially the Lost Generation's struggle which nearly destroyed the Mendelbrot Biarchy completely to where the Mendelbrots were forced to rebuild the Biarchy from scratch effectively.
But this was the prophesied quadrillionth Generation of Power when the Mendelbrots would reach their peak. And the entry to the Iron Void had only come for two Cosmic Trees, the Pookarian and the Mendelbrot. The Pookarian, however, was a much larger tree in the middle to late quadrillionth Generation of Power and much more capable of surviving the Iron Void. The two Trees however would be alone for a long time and the Pookarians would struggle to survive during this period as well. It was known by all of the Kay (the spiritual, scientific, and political elite effectively) at that point in whatever Arkalkian Front society they happened to live in that the future would bring with it the calamity that might very well destroy everything. It was known the Pookarians would survive only for sure as their Cosmic Tree had the mass to sustain it's existence and the sentient ecosystems of the Pookarians were more unified and singular than the dynamic of the Arkalkian Front which caused problems sooner for the Mendelbrot Cosmic Tree.
The High Kay Khan, the Council of Masters, however was decidedly optimistic about what would be the end result for reasons they did not share always with the lesser Kay. It was when that fear entered into the Kay that the late Golden Age ended and gave way to the Silver Age. The Outer Cloud began to form newly separated Kingdoms from the Arkalkian Front. The populations of the Outer Cloud exploded. Political sectarianism began to appear. The Outer Cloud grew rapidly from 25 times the size of the Cosmic Tree to 100 where it stopped growing for a short while.
The Silver Age lasted for as long as the Late Golden Age, which itself was only the 8th part of the Great Golden Age before the entry into the Iron Void. It was during this Silver Age that the Outer Cloud broke away peacefully to form a patchwork of millions of political entities in the vast regions beyond the Cosmic Tree all of whom were still allied to the Arkalkian Front at the time. Only the innermost part of the Outer Cloud remained part of the Arkalkian Front proper.
The Silver Age was followed by the Bronze Age when the Outer Cloud's allegiance to the Arkalkian Front gradually eroded. During the Bronze Age, which lasted only half as long as the Silver Age before it, the Outer Cloud doubled in size to it's maximum 200 times the size of the Cosmic Tree. The Arkalkian Front was forgotten by the farthest 2/3s of this vast region. The Pookarian Cosmic Tree had a Outer Cloud that was 80 times the size of their Cosmic Tree and the contact between the Trees was lost near the end of the Bronze Age as it simply became too difficult to navigate the increasingly fractious outer regions of both systems.
War hadn't broken out yet, but there were arguments now over resources as the region of the Iron Void now being traversed was not as rich as that before it. As a result growth plateaued and no further extra cosmic ray pressure was available, which is always a warning sign of the approach of cosmic winter. And probes began to reveal that eventually the area of the Void ahead was not part of the Iron Void at all. It was a poor void. When this was discovered the Kay in the Mendelbrot Biarchy, The Tetragramaton Khanate, and the Perakian Hive panicked for the first time ever. The High Kay and the Kay of Luffania, Arkalkia, Gnellgra (The Gnell), The Seraphim, and the Hebegyatians calmed everyone, but this panic was considered the great shiver of the Tree, for what was coming was the end for sure.
As panic spread the Outer Cloud began to conserve resources. It was the conservation of resources that caused the first arguments between the many societies of the Outer Cloud over the resources that could be rightfully harvested. The rules held, barely. But order began to break down at this point in cosmic history, known as the Shivering of the Bronze Age, or the late Bronze Age.
During the shivering, ship traffic in the outer regions dropped precipitously as no one wanted to fuel ships for travel any longer with the rumors of an imminent loss of the free energy provided by the cosmic rays. Without cosmic rays from an external source, everything dies. The size of the approaching poor void kept growing in the estimates. Things looked very grim. The final estimates of the Kay eventually came in. Between 20 - 25% of the mass of the Mendelbrot Cosmic Tree would remain after the passage through the now named Zeitreia Void, named after the prophetess Zeitreia who predicted that the Mendelbrot system would last exactly a quadrillion generations of power. Additionally it was estimated that only about 7% would actually be left if maximum usage was assumed by the sentient, semi-sentient, and sub sentient races which was almost certain.
It was known at this point by the Kay what would happen. The Drow, those of the 2nd rank in society, would not be informed, but the majority of them knew what it meant as most were quite intelligent even if they did not know the Kha. It was known what to do. The Shadow Archives were opened, and the Dark Age began.
In the Shadow Archives, kept hidden and locked within the great Memory Core on Carpathia, the capital of the Mendelbrot Imperial Biarchy, it was revealed that the Kha had abandoned the Mendelbrots, Khanate, and Perakians. Kha Dawn would not return to save them from their own karmic damnation. It was written that only the Prometheans as a species would be allowed to exist under the protection of the Luffanian and Arkalkian Shadow Forces from these three doomed societies.
The Outer Cloud became known as the Chaos Region again as it had before during periods of collapse, War broke out eventually in the Chaos Region. The Arkalkian Front shrunk to the Ring Kingdoms and the Arkalkian Front proper as was always the case in these cycles in the prior Generations of Power. The total power of the Chaos Region vs. the Arkalkian Front and Ring Kingdoms approached 100 to 1. By selection and conflict the Chaos Region began to fall under fewer and fewer powerful central governments.
Eventually the Legion of Light emerged from the power struggles that took four total Outer Cloud Empires to cycle through. The first three of these attacked the Arkalkian Front and lost rather quickly, not even being able to subdue any of the Ring Kingdoms. The Legion of Light emerged as the 4th Empire. This was an unprecedented situation in the history of the Cosmic Tree that the ultimate enemy emerged so early in the Dark Age cycle.
The first 11 wars fought by the Legion against the Front were disasters for the Legion. Losses were massive. But each war the Legions commanders became smarter. With each war their technology became more powerful. The longer the time that went on, the more energy did the forces of the Legion accumulate in their reserves until they surpassed that of the front. The Arkalkian Front was bound by honor to fight defensive wars only and the enemy territory was never occupied to allow those societies the rights to grow in their own way. While this earned some good opinion of the Front in the Empire of the Light as it came to be known, those who showed a little too much good will were punished by the Empire's security forces swiftly.
For the Empire of Light was not what it appeared on the surface. The Acolytes of Darkness ruled it. They were out for karmic revenge against the societies of the Mendelbrot Biarchy, the Khanate, and the Perakian Robotic Hive for errors committed by these soul groups during the 4th Generation of Power for the first two societies and the Lost Generation for the Perakians. These cosmic errors involved the great sex crimes of the 4th Generation of Power and the great cosmic purge of the Perakians who overdid themselves in zeal against the populations of some of the darker powers of the end of the Lost Generation history.
Despite warnings from the Kay of those times, these errors occurred. Even though they had occurred so long ago, the issue of karmic justice became the basis of holding the Empire of Light together even against the grumblings of those who felt that the honor of the Arkalkian Front was perfect. And yet, the five karmically perfect races of the Arkalkian Front knew that the other three were doomed with only the Mendelbrot society having elements of purity that were sufficient for them to avoid the ultimate doom of history of complete biological extermination of the Promethean metarace itself.
Yet honor bound they fought for their allies, these five karmically perfect metaraces and societies. As the power of the Empire of Light grew the final three wars of the Mendelbrot era were fought. The first was called the War of the Red Death, a long a brutal slog across 1/4 of the Chaos Region and all of the Ring Kingdoms. After the War of the Red Death ended a long stalemate and border war against the Ring Kingdoms that ended in their destruction began. This was considered greatest military loss of the Arkalkian Front. This War is known as the War of the Black Death. The Arkalkian Front recovered from the great battles of this war and recaptured the area of the Ring Kingdoms at the beginning of the third war, the War of the White Death, but they were now of little value militarily.
But the Empire of Light was holding back its reserves and another massive stalemate war occurred as the Arkalkian front pushed into the Empire of Light's territory. The War of the White Death was truly horrific beyond description. Whole Cosmic Domains were vaporized in an instant during the height of the war. Trillions upon trillions of galaxies vanished in an instant. And the stalemate held for a third the length of the stalemate of the War of the Black Death.
But the Empire of Light finally felt the balance of power was fully in its favor, and in a tragic miscalculation from the point of view of its own soldiers and people it pushed for an all out attack against the forces of the Arkalkian Front. This 2nd phase of the War of the White Death was brutal and total.
Rather than save the unwinnable situation the high command of the Arkalkians and Luffanians decided to save their civilizations and those of their fellow karmically perfect races as well as many, many Mendelbrot lives temporarily. The Khanate and Perakians volunteered to die off to absorb the survival of the other 6 metaraces and buy them time. Their forces went to the front to hold off the Legion of Light's advance.
The Luffanians had planned their survival for eons ahead. It was said that Luffanians were best at hiding, building massively overpowered yet fragile ships, and reproducing quickly in times of war. They were hideously good at their specialties. Knowing that they could hide effectively if they had enough energy, they had been hording as much as they could. The Arkalkians, who shared a long history connecting them to Luffania, also knew of this strategy and adapted their own version of this strategy eventually, especially the hiding part when they realized by the War of the Red Death that time was limited.
Arkalkians knew how to build fortresses and powerful long lasting warships and had the best military industrial system in the Front. They had a decent knowledge of secret ship designs that could hide in the Void if built perfectly, much learned from the Luffanians. Using the trick of harmonics, ships could plan their refuels carefully and hide all over the near Void. But just to be sure both Luffanians and Arkalkians had ships built capable of reaching the now distant Pookarian Cosmic Tree. They sent these ships first with 1,000 Mendelbrots especially chosen among their passengers. This fortunate move is all that saved Homo Promethean for the Pookarian Cosmic Tree, though wild, was far from the Mendelbrot Cosmic Tree and far outside the reach of the Empire of Light without massive ship engines of the type they simply could not build given the energy situation of the Cosmic Tree at that point.
With 70% of the energy of the Cosmic Tree made into ship cores of Luffanian and Arkalkian shadow ships over periods as far back as the 5th part of the 8 part Greater Golden Age, the ever watchful Luffanians once again saved everyone. And these ships were designed with one purpose in mind, to hide themselves using their massive energy and dimensional shift technology to keep undetectable. The technology wasn't perfect, but the Luffanians and Arkalkians were just going to wait the bastards out till they all starved of cosmic ray shortages. Having a foothold in the neighboring Cosmic Tree allowed them to have options. The Pookerian locals were wild but willing to accept a few ships and a few galaxies being shared in return for some favors.
But the vast majority of the Luffanian and Arkalkian shadow fleet was engaged in dodging the Empire of Light's hunters for a very long time. Most didn't survive this period. Only about 27% of the Luffanian Shadow Fleet and 19% of the twice as large Arkalkian Shadow Fleet survived. Only about half of 1% of the fleet was in the Pookarian Tree.
During the massive buildup of the Arkalkian Shadow Fleet during the War of the Red Death, the other 7 races had to do most of the ship building and resupply on the front of the war. This sacrifice however saved the Arkalkian Front. The Cosmic Tree was doomed anyway and would only be splintered fragments of its former self after the entry into the Zeitreia Void. Once the Golden Galaxy, the heart of the heart of the tree, was destroyed the Tree would effectively be dead.
With the Shadow Fleets built and the plan complete, the wars to save the those doomed by these decisions was fought in honor, but not with 100% commitment as the Shadow Fleets did not participate in the battle. There were simply too many bad feelings left over even in the Arkalkian Front about the errors made during the ancient times to risk the survival of the whole front in such a conflict. The War of the White Death reached its emotional zenith with the engagement of the Khanate and Perakians in the great surge against the Empire of Light. To their credit they managed to surprise the Empire's forces and even successfully pierced the defenses of the capital and laid waste to its military infrastructure.
Momentary the territory of the Arkalkian Front was nominally 25% of the Chaos Region, but the Empire of Light reserves began the counterattacks which destroyed the Khanate and Perakian military. It was the Battle of the Sentimest, though, that was the pinnacle of the war. Fought on the cosmic west of the Tree, the full might of the non Shadow militaries of the Arkalkian Front members destroyed the Empire of Light's main fleets and armies in a battle that lasted many eons. But again, the Legion called up reserves, and threw another force into action. The 2nd Battle of the Sentimest ended in the destruction of that reserve fleet, but the forces of the Arkalkian Front were exhausted at this point. Less than 15% of the Arkalkian forces remained, and the Empire of Light called up its last emergency reserves and threw them into the fight under its best commanders.
The last stage of the War of the White Death had begun. The Arkalkian Front was pushed back into the Border Kingdoms first, and then into the Cosmic Tree itself. The Empire of Light had lost 85% of its available military manpower at that point, but the Arkalkians and Luffanians were the only forces left still capable of putting up real resistance. The Seraphim had taken the brunt of the invasion into the Cosmic Tree itself and so their massive defensive forces were destroyed and their capital fell to the Empire of Light.
Even while this happened the Empire of Light went through a military revolution and the entire existing government was executed by enraged military officers for the disastrous losses they had suffered due to the mismanagement of the war. The original estimates was that the Legion of Light should have suffered 25% losses rather than 85%. The problem was caused by poor military management under the Empire's aristocratic factions. The Acolytes of Destruction had finally decided to act to eliminate the government having watched the failures mount and having to bide their time until the government's security forces were too weak to defend them.
The last phase of the war was the invasion of the remaining 7 members of the Arkalkian Front from Seraphim space which was now almost entirely occupied. The rest of the war, now under capable management, went according to plan. All the capitals of the Arkalkian Front fell one after another except Luffania, which had mysteriously disappeared, again.
What had happened to Luffania, wondered the non Acolytes of Darkness among the Empire of Light forces. But the Acolytes knew Luffania's secret. And they went searching for it everywhere to catch their quarry which were the illusive Mendelbrots that had survived.
With the capture of all the other territories of the Cosmic Tree complete, the Empire of Light set about resettling its citizens into the Cosmic Tree. The 8 defeated races were to be restricted from reproducing. Although it was discovered fairly quickly that there weren't any Khanate or Perakians anywhere. They had all committed to the war effort and had stopped producing children long before the battle started. They had committed conscious self genocide. The Empire decided after discovering this to settle new colonists in these 2 territories, and to cruelly destroy the Mendelbrot region piece by piece over eons. However the Mendelbrots had also stopped reproducing, so there was very little to be done. The Empire of Light still destroyed the Mendelbrot culture, but because there were no promethean children anywhere, there was no ability to leave a legacy of enslavement. Some of the more insane leaders of the Empire did try to clone Mendelbrots for the purpose of slave labor, but this faction was defeated in a purge against evil that happened after the main purpose of the Crusade of Karma was over.
The surviving Mendelbrots died off slowly. During this time the other 5 races were treated as defeated people. They were restricted in reproduction. The Empire very quickly figured out about the shadow fleet when they realized the energy reserves of the Cosmic Tree's cores had all been depleted by mining. The hunt began to eradicate the hidden fleets and the precious remnants of six civilizations they held in within their hulls.
But it was not long after this hunt began that the Cosmic Tree and its surrounding Chaos region entered the Zeitreia Void and the lack of energy became a survival issue. The Choas region withered and died without the cosmic rays to sustain them. The stars burned out. The planets lost their light. And everything on the edge evaporated over eons. The Tree itself began to die off. And with this the Empire of Light stopped its hunt of their ancient enemies and let them scurry off to die in their own way, as the Empire thought.
For the Empire saw this as the end. But before things became too dire, the Empire ruled in its Golden Age that lasted for quite some time. But population crisis and the shadows of revolution started to edge the Empire of Light towards destruction. Eventually it fell to the same forces that had helped it, the division of power into smaller and smaller cultural centers that broke away towards the edges of the Chaos Region, now incidentally shrinking rapidly.
The energy crisis lead to panic among the younger races of the cosmos and those not too wise. Demagogues rose outside the circles of the Acolytes of Destiny, now having changed from the Acolytes of Destruction. And despite the best efforts of these Acolytes of Destiny, the Empire of Light and all its institutions were doomed to be eradicated by the forces of even less honorable people than they.
It was generally the opinion of the Legion of Light that the Luffanians and Arkalkians were almost entirely eradicated. Their populations had largely disappeared with only about 2% of the original levels that the Empire had absorbed. The same was true of the other three races of the Arkalkian Front. The shadow fleets were probably out there but the numbers destroyed gave the Empire confidence that they would not be seeing the return. In fact, the surviving Shadow Fleets had moved out far from the Tree and weren't approaching it at all. They were just waiting for the return of cosmic ray pressure to start their move.
The Empire of Light fell to the rising tides of genocidal insanity within the Empire itself. The Azp, the Kel, the Gnolls, and the Tresh were the four powers that rose up to confront the Empire. These forces grew tired of being denied their rights to expand their populations in the face of declining resources. These four powers rose, destroyed the Empire, and then fought each other until all was ruin everywhere. The four sided war went on until the century where the cosmic ray pressure finally started turning around. The Great Wall of Light, the sign of distant cosmic trees, was suddenly visible and all could see that the end of the Void had come.
The Arkalkian Front returned and the Promethean survivors from the Pookarian Cosmic Tree with them. All of the other Prometheans had died. There were only 1000 left. They had died because species of the Kha would always place any people of any situation into ships based on their karma and their spiritual disposition. This practice lead to the Prometheans being on smaller and less well protected ships of the shadow fleet all of which were destroyed. It was a form of Cosmic Justice and the Prometheans had created the problem themselves in their past lives from their evil acts. By the Innocence shall you sort them. This was done because it was just. But the 1000 that had survived, the purest of the Prometheans were now free of the karma of their species and could start a new species and a new order.
They founded one, the Freean species known as Homo Freus. And from the Freeans after a few million years, a 2nd race came forth, the Thaians, Homo Inocus. All that was once of the Mendelbrot civilization was gone except for the few Quackles that were left somewhere out in the cosmos to be found and the MetaQuackle that had saved a great deal of information about the civilization which had been stored with the 1000 Prometheans who had returned from the Pookarian Cosmic Tree. A long New Age of Light began for all far longer and greater than any that had gone on before in the history of the peoples of the Kha. The Thaians gave rise to the Thaian era of the new Thaian Cosmic Tree which grew from the surviving Dark Quasar cores of the Mendelbrot Cosmic Tree. The Thaian Cosmic Tree became the Freean Cosmic Tree when the Freeans took over. Each Generation of Power was rotated between the two new powers of the Arkalkian Front.
The Pookarians who had helped the Prometheans in the Pookarian Cosmic Tree had also migrated away from their more sophisticated Pookarian neighbors and joined the new metaraces in the new Cosmic Tree. They also entered the Arkalkian Front after some discussion and settled where the old Khanate once lived. This became the two godzillion Generations of Power rotated between the Thaians and the Freeans. And the old Mendelbrot history as well as that of the Empire of Light became almost as nothing and forgotten in the ancient records deep in the vault of the planets of Innocence and Humanity, the capitals of the Thians and the Freeans respectively. But that nearly endless tale of history is best told at another time as we are slightly short on electrons from which to manufacture a story.