Drawing from the The Volturnus Connection, Building background for the Volturnus campaign by Stephen Bonario in Dragon Magazine, #98, pg. 71 as well as other resources and marrying them with the changes I have made to the setting, I decided to write a further analysis of the war, the governments and the people. Amazingly, much of this is still very allegorious to today.
The seeds of war between the Pales seems to be deeply rooted in the origins of each world. Pale and New Pale are only a world apart physically, but worlds apart socially.
Pale was colonized by the pre-UPF races because of its great mineral wealth. Pale is a cold planet with seasons defined only by the movement of polar ice over its equatorial oceans. It has a diverse population now of all races, including humans and embrace the “progressive” and socialist views. Governed by a parliamentary-style of government, with a prime minister as the executive leader. It was not long after initial colonization that they discovered they were not alone in this system.
New Pale is an Earth-like planet rich in vegetation and animal life. However, this planet is far more dangerous than Pale; huge, vicious dinosaurs roam its plains, jungles, and skies, very much like prehistoric Earth. New Pale humans had settled the world long ago, taming it enough to settle one of the continents and parts of others. Humans had developed it as a agricultural world. Not long after first contact, it became the food supply to Pale.
Seeds of division began immediately. The early first contact agreements included clauses that would keep New Pale (name given by the UPF – New Pale humans called the world Truani. Eventually it would be officially called New Pale after the Wars). This agreement accompanied strict immigration laws and technology aimed at keeping New Pale’s culture human-centric.
The 200 years leading up to the Sathar war and the formation of the UPF were littered with political tensions, factional bickering and general unrest between the two worlds. However, trade and wealth flowed for both enough to keep things to a low rumble. Meanwhile, the early foundations of Streel on Pale began to grow. Before the word “Streel” was ever uttered, there were multiple corporations growing that eventually would become the behemoth that is known as Streel today – namely Bla’ange Software (Holography, Genetic Engineering), Trunier-Yound Ltd. (Electronics, Telcoms), Wayax Prime Security (Weapons, Private Security), and Mega Industries (Terraforming, Psitech). All were Vrusk originated companies and eventually merged into Streel
Over the two decades that lead up to the war between the Pales, political rhetoric and military might grew. One side would elect a more extreme leader and the other would follow suit. More and more, the two worlds grew further and further apart. Tariffs were applied to trade. Food prices on Pale skyrocketed as minerals and ores became harder and harder to come by on New Pale. Streel was finally born in 20 FY and extended it’s already extensive influence on the political climate. While peace talks took place on the Carathax-Spartan-1 Station at solar lagrangian point 1 – the fabled station named after the two ships that made first contact between the races of the Frontier and the Truani humans – Streel saw more growth opportunity on New Pale and some say, had a hand in events that followed.
Unfortunately for the peace yalks and for worlds of Truane’s Star as a whole, the realities of public opinion and media perception won out. Each side had their extremes. As in any political situation, the majority of the populations of both worlds were of a moderate opinion on all things involved. The level-heads that made up the majority on Pale simply wanted a easing of immigration laws while still respecting the original first contact agreement as well as a lifting of some of the more harsh tariffs. The majority on New Pale simply wanted respect for the sovereignty over their world while continuing sensible immigration that allowed for easy assimilation into the Truani culture. However, those with the louder voices were the only ones most heard.
The extreme Palien side were anti-human neo-communists who felt that humans were lesser beings and deserved nothing from the UPF. They had no home-world and were orphans of space. For all they knew, humans were former Sathar slaves. Meanwhile, on New Pale, the anti-alien human supremacist separatists sought to break all ties from Pale and the UPF. Empowered by the extremist/populist leaders of both sides, both extremes resorted to terrorist actions to get their point across. To all, the extremes represented to mainstream opinions of their enemies.
New Pale extremists struck first. A group called the Paladans of Sapius – a radically religious group that believed all humans in the Frontier were actually a lost tribes of humans from their home-world they called Sapius – attacked during the peace talks on Carathax-Spartan-1. An entire shipment of much needed food was destroyed en-route to Pale. This ended the peace talks abruptly and war was soon declared in 58 FY.
The war lasted for 5 years. First the space navies fought it out, then when New Pale’s inferior and unprepared navy and orbital defenses were depleted, the orbital invasion started. By then, the New Paliens had learned to tame and train the dinosaurs of their world, which were used as war-beasts during the war. The ground war took up a majority of the five years. Pale invaded New Pale first while New Pale continued to bombard Pale with inter-planetary missiles. If New Pale was going to fall, they would not have a world to go back to – so believed the New Palien military leaders.
New Pale fell in 63 FY and an armistice signed. Pale agreed to acknowledge the original first contact agreement on New Pale and reinstated the original immigration laws. Meanwhile, New Pale “agreed” to fall under the rule of the new Truane’s Star Unified Government where both Pale and New Pale will have representation. Until peace was fully established and all anti-alien factions were wiped out, Pale would have a majority vote on the new government. When New Pale could prove that it could fall in line with the Palien philosophy, then a new arrangement could be discussed. Many on the New Pale side saw this as too open-ended but they had no choice to agree.
Today, New Pale is under a pretty harsh thumb for the Truane’s Star Government. It seems like that despite the total surrender, the armistice, and the war crime trials that followed, the population continues to pay for the war. Humans are relegated to second class citizens (even more so than other locations in the UPF) and freedoms are very restricted. Local police are run by the Palien military (supplemented with Streel equipment and funding) and order is kept with big stick (that is electo-charged).