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Urilian 1

The Urilian Empire at its height (c. 2100)

Urilian Empire
Political information
Type of government

Autocratic monarchy

Founding document

None; some consider it (de-jure) to be the First Imperial Edict (2004)

Constitution

None; some consider it to be the First Imperial Edict (2004)

Head of State

Emperor of the Urilian Empire

Head of Government

Emperor of the Urilian Empire

Commander-in-chief
  • Emperor of the Urilian Empire
  • Grand Imperial Vizier (de-facto, post-2150)
  • Grand Imperial Marshal (de-facto, post-2150; often conflicted with Vizier)
Societal information
Capital

Saren, Urilia

Official language

Modern Urilian (derived from Middle Urilian and Old Urilian)

Historical information
Formed from

The Kingdom of Urilia, several outlying principalities, as well as foreign republics and monarchies

Date of establishment

De-facto 1971

Date of fragmentation

2201

Date of reorganization

2217

The Sublime and Great Imperial State of Urilia, more commonly and short-handedly referred to as the Urilian Empire, was an autocratic monarchy that existed for several centuries during a time of great expansion within the Unity of the Core Worlds. Before the rise of the latter, the Urilian Empire was one of the largest and most powerful interstellar governments in the galaxy.

The Urilian Empire was centered around the planet of Urilia, the homeworld of the Urilian people, whom made up a majority of the empire's population. From the 15th to 20th centuries the King of Urilia -- also ruler of several outlying systems -- fought often with the surrounding six principalities (once the six sons of a former King, who allied with each other and broke away during the War of the Six Princes), though was never able to defeat them. Around 1965, Hasdrada I, King of Urilia, prepared for a massive war with the six princes, and when he launched his campaign of conquest, he succeeded within several years. In 1971, after securing victory at the final Battle of the Five Gates, Hasdrada executed the surviving four princes (two of which had died in battle earlier in the war), banished their families, and assumed their titles and powers. Several days later, after returning to Urilia to witness a massive military parade in the capital of Saren, he proclaimed himself Emperor of Urilia. Great fanfare followed, after which he immediately set about securing his authority and preparing for grand conquests.

The following decades saw the flowering of Urilian power in the region as it quickly expanded to nearby systems, colonizing the unoccupied ones and assimilating the others through force or the use of gunboat diplomacy. Upon the death of Hasdrada the Great, his son, Orulia (named after the Old Urilian name for Urilia itself), expanded even further than his father did, solidifying the power of Urilia as one of the strongest empires in the galaxy. Conquests following Orulia's death in 2020 slowed in pace and the acquisition of new systems became a rarer occurrence; still, the Empire continued to grow economically and politically.

During this period, corruption began to affect Urilian bureaucracy, though the phenomenon itself was not realized until after the devastatingly humiliating War of the Three Systems around 2080 against a growing Unity of the Core Worlds. Further localized conflicts against the Unity and nearby empires resulted in further Urilian defeats and humiliations -- even despite military and technological superiority -- in the face of rampant corruption, bickering amongst military governors and high-ranking officers, and the growing disillusion with military and diplomatic affairs from the Emperor, whose place was gradually filled by the Grand Vizier and later the Grand Marshal, who would both often work to their own goals. A diplomatic dispute in 2198 involving the Unity of the Core Worlds resulted in the devastating War of the Yellow Cluster, headed by the Nitomian admiral Sayun Ta'acun, effectively shattering the Urilian Empire with its defeat in 2201. Civil war and massive social discontent followed for over a decade, until the Empire was reinstated by Sajuuk, grandson of the previous Emperor. Though his rule was prosperous and united the remaining realms of the Urilian warlords and pretenders, his death left in the wake a largely ineffective Empire, though it managed to endure for several centuries more.

History

Formation and early years

King Hasdrada ascends to the throne

King Hasdrada IV was born on August 16, 1946 as "His Highness Prince Royal Hasdrada IV Derset, Crown Prince". He was noted as a child as being fiercely independent and quite manipulative of his parents and friends; despite this, he was loyal to his friends and families.

He ascended to the throne in 1964 at the age of 18, immediately setting about his plans to greatly expand the Kingdom of Urilia to new heights and territories. The key to doing so was the destruction of the Six Principalities, which had persisted in the face of continued aggression from Urilia for the last five centuries.

Government

The Urilian Empire was ruled as an autocratic monarchy. The Urilian Emperor, the first-born son of the previous Emperor, succeeded to the throne either upon the death of his father, or the Emperor's inability to carry out his duties as reigning monarch of the Empire. Women were not allowed to inherit the throne, so if an Emperor lacked any sons to viably inherit, it would pass to the oldest brother of the Emperor; lacking any, it would pass to his oldest uncle or, lacking any uncles, his eldest male cousin. In any case, situations as complex as these were never warranted, but noted in the event that they did occur.

The Urilian Empire lacked a parliament or any popularly-elected institution of any kind, and the Emperor ruled with absolute authority. This was convenient when men like Hasdrada I, Orulia I, or Najeri II ruled, all of them being skilled diplomats, administrators, and military commanders; this also, however, caused many problems when Emperors were unskilled, arrogant, or ignorant of certain situations, which often led to their removal from power or early deaths (as such was the case with Aralu I and Yudanno I).


Military

Navy

Since the creation of the Kingdom of Urilia and the species' expansion to the stars, Urilia has been well-known in local (and later galactic) space as building and maintaining a powerful and high-tech navy. This navy has a long and storied history, dating back to the formation of the Kingdom in 1006. Constant warfare with neighboring states - and the subjugation of the entire planet of Urilia by 1025 - gave the Royal Navy great experience and knowledge to build a battle-tested regimen off of. Further expansion in the following centuries gained the Urilian Navy further experience, improving its doctrine as it met (and subjugated) many sentient species.

The War of the Six Princes dealt a great blow to the Royal Urilian Navy. Despite centuries of improvement upon effective doctrines, they were not enough to bring the firepower of the whole of the King's navy to bear against the rebels; however, the defeats in this war helped to further improve the royal navy in combat capabilities. Further centuries of experience fighting brief, localized wars against the Six Principalities provided King Hasdrada what he needed to launch a massive preemptive invasion of the enemy, destroying them after many hard-fought battles over a six-year period.

Upon the formation of the Empire in 1971, the navy was further expanded, quickly becoming the largest in the Scutum-Centaurus Arm by the mid-21st century. Though expansion stagnated following the death of Emperor Ghatanis I and the succession of his son Yudanno, the navy continued to be the pride of the Urilian people and empire, even following the fragmentation and later reunification of the empire in the 23rd century. Notably, the navy was heavily defeated in a series of proxy wars with the Unity of the Core Worlds, and especially during the War of the Yellow Cluster, which eventually resulted in the fracturing of the Empire; however, the defeat is more often attributed to the warlord-ism of many admirals and military governors, and the waning influence and power of the Emperor. Others also attribute it to the superior leadership qualities of the Unity's officers, particularly that of the famed Imperial Admiral Ta'acun.

The Imperial Navy includes both the spacefaring vessels of the Empire and the Imperial Marines, who often participate in orbital attacks and landings on enemy-occupied territory, operating with support from the vessels above.

Army

The army is the second of the three main branches within the Urilian Imperial military. The army had a prestigious history, though some consider the army an institution for "underachievers", as it is widely believed (mostly in the upper circles of Urilian society) that the greatest pride and prestige is to be had serving in the navy.

Despite these beliefs, the army is, like its spacfaring cousin, very highly-trained, regimented, and equipped with some of the latest technology in the galaxy.

The army played key roles in the survival of both the Kingdom of Urilia and its successor, the Empire. In the War of the Yellow Cluster, as well as the much earlier War of the Three Systems, Imperial Army units, though often outnumbered by invading Unity forces, managed to perform spectacularly well, given the odds and the strategic situation. During the War of the Six Princes, units of the army fought heroically during the three-year Siege of Gastar against overwhelming odds, though they eventually did surrender following several failed attempts by the Urilians to lift the siege.

The Army is sub-divided between the Imperial Regular Army and the Imperial Defense Force. The former is the standing army, containing all standard equipment and highly-trained troops. The Imperial Defense Force is a militia, activated in times of great emergency within the Empire. Every male not in service with the Army or Navy is already a registered member of the Defense Force, and are called to serve at random when the Emperor orders the Imperial Defense Force mobilized.

Imperial Guard

The Imperial Guard is a unique branch of the Urilian military. Established in 2007 by edict from Emperor Orulia I right before the beginning of his conquests, it was the successor to the famed Royal Guard. The Imperial Guard, rather than acting under the command of the highest-ranking field marshals and admirals of each respective branch, instead falls under the direct command of the Emperor himself. Acting as the most highly-trained part of the Urilian military, acting as a "special reserve" during wars where the best of the best were needed immediately, it was also established by Emperor Orulia over fears of any coups that sought to remove him from power.

The Imperial Guard has both a naval and ground branch. The foot soldiers of the Imperial Guard are armed with experimental weapons of great power, and act as both the Emperor's personal bodyguard as well as the guard for the Imperial Palace in Saren, the imperial capital.

The Imperial Guard Navy is a special reserve fleet in service, and often acts as the center of naval operations during major and wide-spanning battles and campaigns. Notably, the Imperial Guard Navy's predecessor, the Royal Guard Fleet, was devastated embarrassingly in battle against the navy of the Six Principalities at the first major battle of the War of the Six Princes, the Battle of Tyrule. For most of the rest of the war the Royal Guard Fleet was kept in a strictly defensive rule to avoid further misuse of the fleet, excluding the Interitas Offensive of 1481, when King Navitas granted use of a portion of the rebuilt fleet for use in the operation, and elements of the fleet fought at the climatic Battle of the Royal Moon. Again the fleet was used - this time in its entirety - during the surprise Principalities assault on Urilia itself in 1485. When King Hasdrada began the final war against the Principalities in 1965, the Imperial Guard Navy played a key part in many major naval battles, as well as at the final Battle of the Five Gates, at which he himself was present, commanding his fleet with distinction.

The Imperial Guard Marines act to the Imperial Guard Navy as the Imperial Marines act to the Imperial Navy; they are often considered the most hardened troops in the Urilian Empire, and are transported to their destination by their carrier ships within the fleet.

Society

Social hierarchy

There were many clear distinctions between the social classes of Urilia, much of which carried over through the existence of the Kingdom of Urilia. A very large proportion of the population of the Urilian Empire throughout its existence were lower- or "middle"-class subjects; the former often served in positions of manual labor or life-endangering occupations, with the latter generally assisting in the bureaucracy and, perhaps most importantly, service in the military. However, service in the military was not limited to the middle class; many of the lower ends of society would often join in the hopes of advancing up the rungs of the social ladder through service and sacrifice, as was often the case (and was often the only, or at the very least the easiest, to do so). The upper-class -- the nobility, high-ranking bureaucrats, personal friends and advisers to the Emperor, and the higher-ranking officers of the military -- composed about one percent of the population, with their occupations including (but not limited to) being entrepreneurs, owners of larger businesses and corporations, and high-ranking bureaucrats and officers.

Public discontent with social class distinctions

Throughout most of Urilian history -- particularly during the latter stages of the Empire before the civil war (from 2141 to 2201) -- there were high amounts of dissatisfaction with Urilian society running through the lowest areas of the Empire.

Amid the War of the Yellow Cluster, public dissatisfaction with the Imperial administration had grown to all-time high levels -- due to pre-war corruption and economic decay, and the poor prospects of victory in the war against the Unity of the Core Worlds. By late 2199, following the defeats at Qizar (2197) and Polear (2198), many Urilians were uninterested in serving in the war effort, and many openly opposed Emperor Eridakas' reign. After delivering the Imperial Commissioning Edict of 2199 in April of that year, discontent only grew as many men were quickly drafted en-masse into the Army and Navy and sent into the chaotic warzone that was made of the Perseus Arm.

When the High Governor of the Urilian System increased income taxes to a crushing 70% for all people in June, some viewed it as the final straw. On June 27, over 250,000 people of varying social classes marched on the Imperial Palace in Saren, the capital city of the Empire. Local city police were concentrated around the Palace and, under the command of Colonel Kiraaxis (commander of the Saren police force), and were under orders to prevent any possible uprisings. At the same time, underground militias -- with numbers ranging between 10,000 and nearly another 200,000 -- began mobilizing two days before, June 25. Some 5,000 of the marchers were armed with rifles and other high-powered weapons, with many thousands more armed with makeshift weapons.

War and the military

List of emperors

A list of all Urilian Emperors, with the dates of their reign in parentheses.

All Urilian Emperors were, during their reign, head of the House of Derset until the Era of the Three, where the much disliked Orulia III was deposed and replaced by three dictators, Emperors by name, who shared power in a triumvirate. This was the first and only recorded break in Derset rule over the Urilian people in its then-over 1,000 years of existence.

The House of Derset served as the Urilian royal and imperial family since the establishment of the Kingdom of Urilia centuries before. Before this, the House of Derset was one of the most wealthy and politically influential families on Urilia itself.

Following the deaths of Cadratium I in battle in 2335 and Hasdrada V and Teritas I four years later, Orulia III's son, Navitas I, was put on the throne.

"The Era of Birth", 1971 - 2034

  • Emperor Hasdrada I "the Great" (1971 - 2006)
  • Emperor Orulia I "the Conqueror" (2006 - 2020)
  • Emperor Hasdrada II "the Lawgiver" (2020 - 2033)
  • Emperor Ghatanis I "the Kind" (2033 - 2034)

"The Era of Stagnation", 2035 - 2141

  • Emperor Yudanno I "the Wrathful" (2035 - 2041)
  • Emperor Najeri I "the Proud" (2041 - 2068)
  • Emperor Orulia II "the Wise" (2068 - 2099)
  • Emperor Hasdrada III "the Brave" (2099 - 2122)
  • Emperor Aralu I "the Mad" (2122)
  • Emperor Aralu II "the Humble" (2122 - 2141)

"The Era of Defeat", 2141 - 2201

  • Emperor Ghatanis II "the Lazy" (2141 - 2165)
  • Emperor Irtabi I "the Irritable" (2165 - 2172)
  • Emperor Najeri II "the Warrior" (2172 - 2188)
  • Emperor Eridakas I "the Unlucky" (2188 - 2201)

"The Era of Disunity", 2201 - 2219

  • Emperor Hasdrada IV "the Strong" (2201 - 2217) de-jure
  • Emperor Sajuuk I "the Brother" (2217 - 2270) de-jure and de-facto

"The Era of Prosperity", 2219 - 2270

  • Emperor Sajuuk I "the Brother" (2217 - 2270)

"The Era of Strife", 2270 - 2313

  • Emperor Sajuuk II "the Holy" (2270 - 2298)
  • Emperor Orulia III "the Hated" (2298 - 2313)

"The Era of Three", 2313 - 2339

  • Emperor Hasdrada V "the Brilliant" (2313 - 2339)
  • Emperor Teritas I "the Rich" (2313 - 2339)
  • Emperor Cadratium I "the Envious" (2313 - 2335)

Legacy

The Urilian Empire had a major impact on the Scutum-Centaurus Arm and the Perseus Arm, which both were the major regions of interest for the Empire for most of its existence and height of power and influence. Though it initially centered itself around a cluster of stars in the Scutum-Centaurus Arm, it eventually spread "galatically west" into the Perseus Arm, out of which came the Unity of the Core Worlds. The proxy conflicts and eventually massive War of the Yellow Cluster between the Urilian Empire and the Unity provided the last major obstacle to the Nitomians before they began their rapid period of expansion and galactic dominance.

At the height of the Urilian Empire its territory stretched from hundreds of systems in the middle of the Perseus Arm to the end of the Sagittarius Arm in one long strip of heavily-fortified and enforced territory. Though the imperial borders were heavily defended during the Empire's most prosperous years, pirates began to penetrate imperial territory after bribing corrupt governors and vassals of the Emperor, who wished to see the weakening and destruction of their neighboring governor's realm.

The Unity's break-out into the wider galaxy

The blunders and withdrawals that led to the eventual defeat of the Urilian Empire before and after the turn of the 22nd century are often cited as giving to the Unity of the Core Worlds the means to expand into a galaxy-spanning empire enslaving thousands of species, crushing entire civilizations in matters of weeks, and becoming one of, if not 'the' dominant power in the Milky Way. Following this defeat and the fracturing of the Empire for the better part of two decades, many have proposed hypothetical situations wherein the Urilians defeated the Unity and maintained their hold on the inner Arms of the galaxy.

At its height around 2100, the Urilian Empire was the largest interstellar state in the galaxy for a short period, but following the worst years of the Era of Stagnation and the subsequent Era of Defeat, the Urilian Empire lost much of its territory along the Norma Arm, the Far Arm, and the outer edges of the Sagittarius and Scutum-Centaurus Arms.

The first major loss of territory was suffered when the Unity seized most Imperial territory along the Perseus Arm.

Trivia

  • The Urilian Empire was, in part, inspired by the author's fascination with the Byzantine Empire. The history of the Empire also resembles that of the Ottoman Empire: expansion and power initially, which then stagnated and eventually devolved into rampant corruption and its inability to effectively fight wars.
  • The emperor Sajuuk (who reunited the Empire after a period of civil war) is inspired in name by Sajuuk of the Homeworld series. In the RTS games, Sajuuk is the name of a god who will bring about the "End Times", and is also the name of the largest and most powerful warship in the galaxy.

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