Table of Contents:
- The Orisia System & Arcadia.
- Overview & History.
- Ijad Enclave.
- Free Cities of Arcadia.
- Arcadian Workers Syndicate.
- Terran Expeditionary Marines.
- Varangian Guard.
- Promethean Initiative.
- The Corporations.
- The War.
1. The Starsystem & Arcadia:
Arcadia is a naturally hospitable planet in the Orisia System, located in the Mid Rim of the Milky Way. A “water-world” planet, roughly 70% water, 30% land, and with a climate that is perfect for growing crops and other food-stuffs nearly-year-round, Arcadia looks to be the first colony of the Orisia system; with the plan to be the primary colony, one that acts as a focal point to spread the colonization efforts in the system.
Being a planet which is entirely a freshwater planet, Arcadia’s primary export was agriculture (peaches) and seafood until a large asteroid crashed onto the planet. The resulting cataclysm revealed the valuable minerals that laid beneath the seafloor of Arcadia, changing its primary export to rare ores and minerals, particular one rare mineral that is being heralded as a new variation of Lunar Titanium. With the seafloor being revealing a plethora of invaluable materials, the colonists began constructing a chain of sea-rigs to drill into and harvest the minerals in the sea.
Arcadia has itself two satellite moons, Lycaon & Callisto. There were plans for colonization of the moon, but the project never really got off the ground. The transit gate is located just outside of the moon’s orbit and is defended by the Authority's marines.
When the asteroid, Aurum, crashed into the surface of Arcadia. It forced the planet to undergo a stark transformation. A "minor" [context is key] nuclear winter. The once-temperate areas froze over quickly, the equator the only area on Arcadia with a real "growing season". When Rosenthal returned to the planet, they brought themselves terraforming equipment to ease the people's burden and help heal the planet... and subsequently charged the people of Arcadia for it, placing them in a steep debt to Rosenthal. (Similar to the debt incurred when they first build the Transit Gate "Elysian Fields", except now that planet doesn't have the lush farmlands to support the economy. ...Till the Aurachalcum refineries are build.)
By the time after the "Seven Hour War", Arcadia has seen a considerable improvement to its atmosphere and surface. There is once-again a temperate zone, between the equator and arctic lines, albeit a small one, since the arctic lines are much closer to the established cities and societies. Regardless of the current recovery, Arcadia is still prone to violent and chaotic shifts in weather patterns, making of course, paying off the debt difficult.
The rare resource was deemed "Aurachalcum" by Rosenthal scientists. Described as "The Solar Calendar's Philosopher's Stone", Aurachalcum is first discovered in cities ravaged by tsunamis and tidal waves, by the asteroid's ("Aurum") collision into Arcadia's lower ocean. This green crystal-like resource is being heralded as a new-age superconductor, making Arcadia vastly important to the Solar Union, as it is the only known world with vast amounts of Aurachalcum; let alone available in high quantities. Processed Aurachalcum is however, highly unstable and explosive. Rosenthal had discovered this when a tanker full of Aurachalcum had been damaged by a terrorist attack, which subsequently exploded the tanker, and taking out its surrounding escort vessels and the terrorists. (Preformed by the Eco-terrorist "protection" group, "Lost Eden".)
Aurachalcum has both superconductive and radioactive properties, and thus, it is very valuable in the production of Military Frames. As a high temperature super conductor, its use is proposed for in next-generation frames frame-systems, such as high-energy demanding system concepts such as Maser Technology and Ionic-Float Systems.
3. Overview & History:
When the bid of a new system was given out by the Solar Union, many companies vied for its claim, the winner was Rosenthal Incorporated. Rosenthal quickly sent out colonies to the Orisia system, and set up on Arcadia. The colony grew for a solid decade, its primary export being agriculture and fishing. Rosenthal made exuberant profit from the trade and it showed. Arcadia itself grew quickly from the economic boon, spreading far across the land; that is, before it had its first crisis. A large asteroid crashed into Arcadia’s surface, far south of the colony itself, but the resulting collision caused massive damage which spawned tsunamis and other natural disasters. Worst of all, it caused a dead-stop in Arcadia’s agriculture cycle, causing Rosenthal to lose its expected huge profits, especially after years of constant growth.
During the reconstruction of the colony, its inhabitants had come to the realization that the impact threw invaluable resources from the ocean floor, onto the surface. The colonists shifted their focus onto harvesting these minerals. It was this rare discovery that compelled Rosenthal to finally send aid to Arcadia, now that the ravaged planet looked like it had obtained a “second wind”; and so Rosenthal sent aid to Arcadia.
Despite the arrival of help, the colonists’ reactions varied, most were negative. In the best of lights, Rosenthal was grossly negligent and took their sweet time to send aid. At worst, the corporation had practically abandoned them, were it not for the discovery of the minerals. The colonists, after the time they spent to help each other during the disaster, broke down… and rioted.
The rioting and protesting spread through the streets of almost every major settlement, particularly those with a heavy Rosenthal influence. Rosenthal had the local colonial police forces enforce the law, and after a few weeks most of the protesting had stopped they had no trouble regaining their profits, and then some… Until it came to the day of trade with the Terran Trade Marines; a sect of partisan colonists armed themselves with modified (and unmodified) labor frames and attacked the trade meeting. While all of “terrorists” ending up being killed by the TTM in the short-lived skirmish, this was the first spark in a revolutionary movement, that while staying underground, grew over the course of Arcadia’s history - till present-day. Since that incident, Rosenthal tightened its grip on the colony, altering the scale/ratio of company profit to worker pay. Arcadia and its people were slowly being strangled into submission.
While the people were upset about the sliding pay scale, and treatment of Arcadia, life returned to a sense of normalcy, work for Rosenthal continued, just with a bit more armed presence. New projects to expand into the ocean were underway; sea-rigs were created and spread like tendrils through the waters looking for more resources.
This is when the newest sea-rig noticed a large landmass in the distance, the workers could even see lights coming from it at night. After much discussion, they decided to take a small vessel and investigate the land, no one back on the mainland knew of any settlements in the area. Perhaps there was another corporation here? The workers discovered something far more perplexing, another settlement: a Human & Ijad settlement.
The asteroid that crashed years back onto Arcadia was a derelict mining asteroid, it came from another part of the Orisia system. It had veered off course, and was drifting through Orisia till it made contact with Arcadia. While most of the interior of the asteroid was destroyed in the crash, some of it survived intact, allowing its inhabitants to reclaim their technology and supplies inside, deciding to rebuild on the asteroid topside, which was now sticking out of the water like a large island. The Ijad (both human and Ijad) were so pleased to see other life on the planet. The two parties immediately began sharing information and opened up trade. The Ijad too had relied on agriculture (in the form of artificial greenhouses) and mining to flourish, even showing off their own frame, an Aqua-Chub, which they used to harvest supplies from the flooded interior of their asteroid and off the shallow-ocean floor.
While most of the Ijad stayed behind on their land, a group of them went back to the rig with the workers, and then hopped from rig to rig, sharing their stories, values, faith, and customs with the Arcadian colonists, eventually making their way back to the mainland. The radical views of the Ijad way of life were a surge of fresh air to the strangled colonists. Many discussed a possible change in faith and how to live.
Rosenthal noticed a decline in profits, and blamed it on the “interference” of the Ijad, Rosenthal and their muscle began to hassle and arrest members of the Ijad enclave, and anyone who was even suspected to being sympathetic to them. The Ijad put up no resistance, only responding with non-violent protesting. Seeing an enemy of their enemy, the revolutionary movement sprung to action. Using sabotage and other guerrilla style tactics, the movement was able to inflict enough damage to Rosenthal, and cripple their projects to such a degree, that Rosenthal felt they had no other option. After trying to suppress the protesting and disruption, they left Arcadia, content with their other planets and systems to garner profits. As Rosenthal was leaving Arcadia for the transit gate, they informed the TTA of their choice. Despite that this mean Rosenthal voided their contract with the Terran Transit Authoirty & and the Solar Union, the corporation saw more hassle than it was worth in their colony. As a parting gift, they informed the Transit Authority about the Revolutionary and Ijad movements on the planet’s surface. With that, Rosenthal Incorporated abandoned Arcadia.
The limited amount of Transit Marines located at the transit gate couldn’t hold off a real attack if they needed to, they were a skeleton crew to run the transit gate. Rumors of the Ijad rebellions in other systems invoked the “fear of (the Ijad) God” in them. They did the only thing they could do, Inform the Solar Union’s C.C.D. – Committee for Colonial Development; the Union’s bureaucratic agency that writes the contracts & controls which corporation obtains territory.
Despite obtaining the situation report from the Orisia Transit Gate very quickly, it took nearly a whole year for the C.C.D. to even entertain the process of selecting a new corporate backer for Arcadia. Despite all the red tape, they eventually decided on writing a new contract. It came down to two vying corporations, Valhallan Industries, an already powerful corporation based from Jupiter, which vied for the rights to Arcadia decades ago; and Amber Coast Electronics, a Mars-based corporation which has foundation ties to Terra. In a close vote (some say due to political turmoil concerning the S.U.’s favoritism to the Jovian powers, and the Martian political parties calling in a favor) the bid was given to Amber Electronics.
Amber Coast and the Solar Union C.C.D. drafted a new contract, to retake Arcadia and reopen the trade route with the Transit Authority. To further the goal, Amber Coast was issued a unit of the T.E.M., the 507th Provisional Unit, under what has been deemed “Operation: Galahad”. The 507 is a renowned unit, recently returned and recovering from the Coral system, they're known for getting the job done despite the conditions. Out of the total men who fought in the Coral Rebellion, only two men were left alive who had never been hospitalized with wounds or illness. (By its end, the casualty rate was nearly 45%) This unit became famous for its deep-penetration missions behind enemy lines, often engaging hostile forces superior in number.
However, even before the voting process has come to a conclusion, Valhallan Industries sent a ship through the transit gate to Arcadia. Through the use of bribes and political favors, Valhallan learned of Rosenthal’s abandonment of Arcadia, and was able to go through relatively unnoticed, and decided to set up a colony on the Arcadian moon of Lycaon. It is here that they began to prepare for a takeover. The corporation did not travel to the Orisia system alone though, they brought themselves the Varangian Guard; a group whose name is known by few, but feared by those that do. The Varangian Guard is the corporate muscle of Valhallan Industries, handpicked from the broken remains of a Colonial Militia turned Ex-Foreign Legion Unit, the V.G. are experienced soldiers with a twisted fervor. This colony was to be the staging ground for Valhallan when their new contract was written up. However, when the bid was given to Amber Coast Electronics… the higher-up’s in Valhallan decided to stay on Lycaon. To stay, watch, and wait…
Throughout the last year of political bickering back in Sol, Arcadia had entered another crisis. With their governmental body gone, and most of their funding and assistance pulled, communities began to splinter. Aspects of the revolution that had forced Rosenthal off-world had turned upon itself. All throughout the colony, chaos ensued. Two forces stood forward to quell the anarchy sweeping through the countryside. First is a Free Colony Movement, backed by the Mobile Frame Militia, the remains of the Colonial Police. Banding together with local mayors and community leaders, various settlements came together for survival. Whenever a warlord or criminal came to cause trouble, the MFM were sent to stop it. Using their own customized police frames, the MFM became heroes in their respective lands, almost like the Sheriffs of the Wild West, in Terra’s historical days before the Solar Calendar. They were looked upon to help lead the people of Arcadia out of this mess.
The other force was the Ijad. Motivated by their faith and high-moral culture, the Ijad who had moved to the mainland had been spreading their beliefs since Rosenthal left. Many of their followers did not sink into despair and instead continued the Ijad style of a society in their new land. In fact, most of the colonists in areas with Ijad in them looked towards them for guidance. The Ijad took very little steps to take power, the people wanted them to lead. Ironically, entirely peaceful, if one were to consider all of the Ijad as one collective unit, they would be controlling the most territory; all the way from the Mainland port, to the asteroid island in the ocean, and all the rigs in between.
By the end of that tumultuous year and a half, most of Arcadia had calmed down, although was divided into two sides: The Free Colonists of Arcadia and those of the Ijad Enclave. Then, of course, the “third crisis of Arcadia” began. The 507th Marines came through the transit gate, and landed on Arcadia. The 507 began to recruit, particularly in out-skirting areas of the Ijad and Free Colony movement. With the promise of returning to the age of prosperity under a new corporate backer, now also backed with the blessing of the Solar Union, a surprisingly high amount of people enlisted into their newly founded Foreign Legion regiment.
Amber Coast Electronics also came down with the 507, and immediately began giving those who wanted a job some work. Good paying jobs too. Taking over some abandoned Rosenthal facilities, ACE were up and running on Arcadia in minimal time. Amber Electronics, while focusing in the rare minerals, made sure not to forget about the planet’s agricultural bounty, compelling many farmers to return to the old Arcadian way of living. Last thing Amber Coast wanted was a possible food shortage… or at least, they wanted to have control over it.
Both the Ijad and FCM were cautious about the TEM landing on-world. Both sides hated the prospect of the Solar Union’s grasp on their planet again. And many of the Ijad did not comprehend why so many would flock again to the Sol Empire’s side, knowing of the past “betrayal”. Likewise, there were many in the Free Colonies side that resisted the temptation. They were on their own for so long, the people have become accustomed to leading themselves, especially after being abandoned.
Tensions between the 3 factions grew, a few skirmishes were had, and no official lines were drawn in the sand. The Mobile Frame Militia became to undergo training non-policemen, becoming a true paramilitary organization. The Ijad too now formed a Combat-Frame self defense force, a dedicated one at least, the Aegis of Arcadia.
And just as the three sides began to dig in to their respective territories, one fateful morning, citizens of Arcadia everywhere looked up in shock and awe. The morning sky was burning. Entry pods and troopships had landed, the Varangian Guard launched a multi-pronged attack on Arcadia. And while most of their attacks were pushed back, the battle for the planet’s spaceport was a success. Within one sneak attack, the Varangian Guard had captured the most valuable station on the planet…
Welcome to Arcadia.
With the Spaceport captured by the Varangian Guard, the territorial lines were drawn in the sand. No faction had the nerve or capacity to make any outward strike, not yet. Everyone dug in and began to bolster their forces, preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. This "stalemate" resulted in minor skirmishes here & there, but was largely non-violent. The unofficial ceasefire lasted for six months, at which point the Varangian Guard pushed out, this time to the south, aiming to capture the city of New Haven. New Haven was one of the first Syndicate-aligned settlements, and was a major processing & mining center for them.
The Guard told the workers to vacate the city within 48 hours or be destroyed. The workers, unwilling to be bullied by the Solar Fascists, dug in and called in for reinforcements from the Syndicate & Confederation nearby towns. However, any reinforcements sent didn't reach in time. The Varangian Guard, precisely on the mark of the 48th hour, firebombed the entire town of New Haven. Once the fires began to die down, Guard ground forces moved throughout the town, eliminating everyone. Men, women, children - No one was spared. It was an absolute massacre, and the papers ran with it. "The New Haven Massacre" they would announce, the news spreading quicker than anyone would imagine. (Although, how much was an exaggeration compared to the actual loss of life, only the Syndicate truly knows) The Varangian Guard, after securing the town entirely began to reconstruct it into their image. Renaming the town to Bastion, the Guard now have a major Aurachalcum mining & refining center as well as the planet's mass driver/spaceport.
With the Guard beginning to mobilize, all of the other factions prepared to defend their people, to prevent their territories from becoming the next "New Haven".
Two weeks after the fall of New Haven, a massive hurricane slammed into the eastern seaboard of the Ijad & Syndicate controlled territory. The Confederacy & 507 Marines sent supplies and aid to help the people, while the Varangian Guard took advantage of the chaos, attacking various Syndicate & Ijad-controlled drilling sea-rigs, and assaulting various Ijad settlements battered by the storm. The Varangian began to push north into Ijad territory, and were it not for an imminent blizzard which followed the hurricane, the Guard may have been able to march right through the Ijad-controlled lands. With the severity of the oncoming blizzard obvious, the advancing Guard moved back to their friendly territory, ultimately resulting in things returning to what they were before the hurricane. Even though the Varangian Guard failed to seize any new territory, the sheer damage inflicted to two of their enemies was devastating.
Two months after the hurricane & blizzard ravaged the eastern coast of Arcadia, reconstruction still continuing on, yet another faction made their presence known to the warring factions on Arcadia. This union of citizens, calling themselves the "Promethean Initiative", leak footage of their prototype mobile frame, the Hercules, defeating a Varangian Guard Commander and his attache. With the narrative of the Guard's defeat, they proclaim to all other factions to fight back against the tyranny of the Valhallan Corporation, now showing it can be done.
The video also released details about how the Prometheans met with the Varangian Guard with the intent to trade, and how the Varangians planned on killing all of the Prometheans there, their aim to simply take the goods by force. Were it not for the Initiative's preparedness, they would have met a grizzly fate.
Another 5 months have gone by on Arcadia. Tensions, while still high as ever, have not led to any further fighting. There is an eerie quiet blanketing this shaken world. Everyone is biding their time... watching and waiting for someone to make a move.
- Valhallan Industries has fortified their territory, their Varangian Guard opening up their ranks, now recruiting local Arcadians into the fold, both military & corporate roster. After the hurricane's devastation, many refugees flooded into the Capital city. With these new personnel, Valhallan is quick to put them to work.
- Merrill's Marauders have been using this lull in the war to rebuild their forces; with their sponsor, Amber Coast Electronics, now rapidly producing their new "A1 Talon" mobile frame. They're training and preparing the Arcadian Loyalists for battle too, hopefully to avoid the same blunder that was the Seven Hour War.
- The Confederacy is still politicking on their side of the world, unsure on what battle plans to adopt as their strategy. The Freed Cities of Arcadia have all signed a binding agreement, Articles of Confederation, making their alliance official. All the while, the Mobile Frame Militia have set up fortifications in the city of Stehlings, finally calming the populace down and preparing them for the inevitable outbreak of war. Dr. Magrin has been spending these last few months in Syndicate territory, finishing his latest frame project "Nightingale".
- Speaking of the Syndicate, they've been busy in discussions with the Confederacy, the 507 Marines, and the Ijad Enclave. It appears that supplies and frame blueprints have been changing hands very quickly. Dr. Magrin and Dr. Krieger coincidentally enough are both on the Syndicate's main island, working on new projects. Magrin, the Nightingale. Krieger, the Transcendent. The Syndicate's SDF doesn't seem to have expanded any further, or increased their numbers any larger, but one can assume these latest dealings are leading up to protection for supplies...
- The Ijad Enclave have been hard at work rebuilding their territory. After the devastation of the hurricane, blizzard, and Varangian assaults, Aurum Manufacturers is hard as work rebuilding everything the Enclave needs, including military frames. With new models already making themselves known on the coastlines of everyone's territory, the other factions are forced to remember that the control of the seas belong to the Aurum Ijad.
- No further news have been heard from the Promethean Initiative. After retreating back into the taigas of Arcadia, they've remained hidden.
Back on Sol, the C.C.D. are concerned with the lack of news about Arcadia from the Transit Gate. Empyrean Interstellar is delaying themselves as best can be when asked for a status report. All they have sent back were notices about the Ijad and Colonist revolutionary activities. And of course, news about the Seven Hour War... but astonishingly enough, all news about Valhallan Industries have not been reported...
Valhallan Industries, never one to give up a claim, are attempting to reintroduce themselves to the C.C.D. for rights for Arcadia. Currently, the Committee refuses to meet with them, they still hold faith that the TEM's can do the job.