Tiens were, like most races in the former Cerean Empire, evolved from avians as the planets in their respective star systems stumped the evolutionary growth of conventional mammals. Those that didn't go extinct from natural causes were hunted down either for sport or food by the various burgeoning 'bird' races. But, as the discovery of ancient spacefarer tech on the Tien homeworld began to take center place and intergalactic colonization started, members of the species sent to other worlds in the star system adapted to new environments. These colonists soon bred with 'purebloods', spreading their modified genes. Unfortunately, a marauding band of exiled humans soon attempted to exploit the region, and while the Tiens had made preparations, they were insufficient. As the humans constructed vast automated strip mines they polluted the atmosphere, making life all but unsustainable for anything other than the exiles and their environmental suits.
Word began to spread through desperate cargo vessels and through damaged communications nodes, and a widespread panic ensued on most of the core worlds in the Tien star system, dubbed 'Phalanx' by the newcomers. Most planets were in widespread anarchy whilst the exiles pushed further and further inward. Only outward worlds, where the bipedal gene was dominant among the Tiens, managed to escape in a collection of old and partially dysfunctional colony ships from the Golden Age, as it was called by the Tiens obliviously en route to the Entima Cluster.
The Entima Cluster is essentially the birthplace of those other avian species mentioned earlier. Sparaks, Hajji, and Conhas. All three had something of a stable alliance in place, and in a show of good faith, welcomed the Tiens to join. As time dragged on, however, it became apparent that the newcomers were too much of a drain on the system, and the races were not friendly to the concept of the Tiens, blessed with a high birthrate, misplacing them, and subsequently made war. However, the same characteristics that condemned the Tiens to hostilities proved to be their saving grace as well. For as much as the nimble Sparaks harassed the Tien ships, or how many mighty Hajji showed up to fight, or how many plans the Conhas carefully crafted, the Tiens gradually settled worlds inhospitable to the opposition and built, bred, and battled, eventually driving the trio of avian species to near extinction.
And they would have ceased to exist, as well, had it not been for the ruling hierarchy of the Tiens smartening up and realizing that their talents could be useful. The newly ascendant Tiens formed the Cerean Empire, composed of the former trio of races and, of course, the now large population of the 'invaders', as they were later called in dark, quiet places. However, the newborn empire's first days were anything but prosperous. Various revolts took place, and the threat of civil war ever loomed on the horizon. In addition, many issues were made apparent concerning the economy and various civil services (or lack thereof). Quite a few innovations took place during this period, though, including the optimization of the Paramount Drive, offspring of an FTL relic first discovered in Phalanx. There was also a massive emphasis put on military service, and, in fact, the overall strength of Cerea's armed forces, presumably in fear of another incursion similar to the Ialis Conflict that took place when the Tiens first discovered the technology that enabled them to explore the stars. Some were strongly in the belief that there was a connection.
The Argor WarsEdit
They were partially right to worry. Not even a decade into the burgeoning civilization's beginning, strange angular ships jumped into the far off colony world of Jekur. Negotiators were sent, but none returned. The Eighth Fleet under Rear Admiral Kilovu, a Conhas (many of them held similar positions due to their tactical prowess) subsequently engaged the enemy fleet ominously holding position off the planet's North Pole. Marines sent to board the largest ship that ostensibly served as the offending fleets flagship were slaughtered by furred creatures vaguely resembling cats. Later waves beat back the enemy at a heavy cost, but those that survived the action shakily describes their fallen comrades "mutilated, as if to be eaten". The diplomats appear to have met a worse fate, when the Marines finally managed to gain control of the ship, they found them half consumed.
Cereans everywhere were disgusted and, at the same time, horrified. The Eighth Fleet was composed of the latest and most advanced warships, and its Marine contingent was a detachment of the 83rd Heavy Infantry Division; most of the members of the particular unit were Hajji at that. (Coupled with advanced training a fully armed and armored Hajji is a formidable foe) Despite all the favorable factors, the Eighth suffered approximately 70% casualties to what appeared to be a vanguard to any offensive the mysterious enemy was apt to send. The Argor Wars lasted more than a century and devastated innumerable worlds beyond return. The Cerean Empire was about to share near the same fate as three of its member species, albeit as renewable food sources, when a miracle occurred. Turmoil within the Falin state was tearing the great empire into two warring mindsets.
The Spaln Conflict and Hostile GenerationEdit
Relieved, Cerea turned to face another threat to its borders, the exiled humans that now called themselves the Eurayus Remnant were prospering in their own portion of the galaxy, and expanding as well. Scouts sent decades ago reported that if the trend continued, they'd be right at the borders of Cerean space within 20 years. Emperor Aiun Iyuj quickly overruled the Parliament to enact a draft, an event commonly known as the 'Hostile Generation' where children as young as 15 were taken from their families to serve in the rapidly rebuilding Cerean fleets. This was particularly controversial in the wake of a policy put in place a few months before denying families the right to more than two children. Iyuj, director of the war effort against the Falin for half his life, 80 years, was forced to step down or face impeachment.
The damage was done, however. True to its nickname, the 'Hostile Generation' grew up fighting off the humans, who had themselves incorporated dramatic genealogical change in order to adapt to the new worlds they settled. After the various skirmishes were over and Eurayus accepted they could not push the Cerean lines back, the former children went home and had hatchlings themselves. Following the ad hoc administration of the Parliament over the position of Emperor, it was a member of the Hostile Generation that rose to the throne. Consequently, Cerea experienced a huge military buildup as patriotic citizens lined up with their parent's blessings at the recruitment offices. It was now considered a dishonor to one's family to not serve for at least a decade in some capacity in the armed forces, which coincided well with many machinations within Parliament to facilitate trade and the construction of many new fleets of advanced warships.
When rebellious Falin forces came knocking, 7 of Cerea's 23 fleets (not including irregular detachments) were dispatched to end the threat. What with the smallness of Cerean space in proportion to the titanic Falin Republic, High Admiral Fuzhe Raynus was able to leave the capitol's naval base and engage the enemy within mere days while the Falin armada was still on approach. Outgunned, the Falin commander attempted to beat a hasty retreat, but his forces disobeyed and attacked the approaching Cerean fleets without delay, believing their ships still superior to those they faced but a few decades ago. Only the Falin flagship and two vessels classified as frigates made it out alive. The day was still not without casualties. Five fleets suffered severe casualties, but they could be replaced, a stark contrast from the first contact so many years ago.
The Lanican AllianceEdit
Satisfied, the Emperor and his advisers sought a new goal: Unification. Having beat back assaults from both Eurayus and the Falin, Cerea was now realized as nothing less than an equal to both. That's not to say neither of the other civilizations were weary of each other. In any case, Emperor Yusarl was confident that a peace convention would be in everyone's best interests, interests that would bring them to the negotiating table. The summit was held on a station built discreetly by Sparak engineers in the galactic core, and while all parties involved arrived with heavy contingents of guards, thankfully no shots were fired save for verbal ones. Thus began the Lanican Alliance, a series of talks and treaties that enabled cooperation and co-development, thought to provide a premise for a less shaky, more peaceful future for the three factions.
Unfortunately one thing the Alliance failed to account for sufficiently was the political schism ongoing within Falin, split between those who would attack Cerea again, and those who wanted to move onto new ways and usher in an age of galactic peace. Thousands of Falin died each day in the bloody internal civil war, and in the midst of it all a squadron of Eurayus ships warped in on the far edge of Falin space to engage in more directed negotiations, but were welcomed by a flotilla of rebel ships unconcerned about the political repercussions. Which came swiftly and surely as Eurayus's representative on the Alliance blamed the Falin Republic as a whole, and subsequently withdrew from any further talks, effectively leaving the Alliance. Knowing they were a dead end, loyalist Falin and Cereans resumed their own talks, while presumably Eurayus did the same with rebellious factions within the Falin. Both sides input resources, money, and even ships to fuel a futile proxy war within the Falin state. But, Cerea did not give up, and after a little over a decade another diplomatic vessel was sent into Eurayus space to discuss an end to hostilities. The last transmission from it reported several strikecraft displaying Eurayus colors bearing down on the ship.
The Guardian WarsEdit
The mere night before news reached the capitol Yusarl died of natural causes while he slept, and was quickly replaced by Ivus Nevantia, a young, bright rear admiral quickly rising through the ranks. Nevantia did not take the news well, inciting rage among citizens of the Cerean Empire with a brief yet powerful announcement broadcast over all channels. With it, multiple fleets made their way to Eurayus space as a formidable task force predicted to be capable of sustaining the conflict for more than half the next century. Meanwhile, a sizable detachment from the remaining forces made their way to rendezvous with the Falin loyalist 21st Armada so as to eliminate the rogue Falin once and for all. Thus, the Guardian Wars began, and lasted for near a millennium.
Whilst 14 fleets were out to play, the remaining 6 steadfastly guarded Cerea's borders from any campaigns their foes might attempt to initiate, but while they did stoicly beat back a number of enemy assaults, by the end of the 989 years of war the real threat lay not from exterior enemy fleets, but from an increasingly unenthusiastic populace. Many were weary of further engagements as generation after generation shipped out to foreign spaces, and body bag after body bag were sent back. And as were the waves of Cerean fleets swiftly replaced, so was the ruling government. A grand total of 4 throne-switches occurred during this period, with twice as many rotations of Parliament officials.
Fall of CereaEdit
Ironically enough, machinations within Cerea destroyed it. A Sparak idealist named Ru Bannay organized a revolt on the capitol world which quickly overran palace guards and resulted in the death of the current emperor, plus a majority of Parliament members who were in session. Within a day, Bannay had restructured the Empire into a semi-democracy, led by a council with herself as the chairman. Reactions across Cerea were mixed, especially in the military. Two Praetors were in orbit at the time of the coup, but their hands were tied when an invasion fleet managed to worm its way in-system, and even after the one-sided battle, all were unsure of what course to take. Engagements across the galaxy initiated by Cerean fleets ended as abruptly as they had started as the instigators slowly fell back to the capitol in confusion.
Of course, not all respected the newfound authority, and Cerea experienced an even more desperate fracture than the Falin into three factions – The Loyalists, who believed they owed their allegiance to the capitol, emperor or no, the Boku, whom were composed nearly entirely of military defectors vowing to put a heir at the head of the Empire again, and last but not least the Taln, a former civilian attaché to the 49th expeditionary force, whom are also coincidentally disloyal to the new regime, but the force as a whole have opted to leave the system with their desperately outdated technology for a new one like their ancestors instead of fueling a war against their own kind. It is uncertain what the outcome of the battle within the former Cerean Empire is, but we are certain it ended bloodily either way.
The Taln's ExodusEdit
Devastating attacks by raiders and other undesirables hampered the Taln's makeshift fleet's progression through darkspace at woefully slow FTL speeds, hoping to chance upon a galaxy fresh for Tien colonization. The process took close to 50 years, with great numbers of the Taln perishing due to old age or the incessant attacks by fringe factions eager for easy loot. Many onboard the craft were concerned whether they could sustain a viable population with so few people, but in the end children born on the vessels during it's travel took over many of the ships, learning from the elders who had resigned themselves to their ostensible fate - to drift in space forever. By the time the Taln reached a suitable solar system, only a small percentage of those who had undertaken the journey survived to rest their talons on grass again.
Anxious and wary, the young Tiens stepped foot on the world...and immediately jumped back on the craft that had brought them there. Years of living in artificial gravity had rendered their bodies more comfortable with space flight than with the stress posed by planetary gravitational pull. With that, the Taln split in two, those that wished to live on the surface were given permission to do so, but a majority of Tiens remained on the ships that were not cannabalized to venture out and explore their new surroundings. This was the beginning of the division of the Tien into two distinct castes, the Terras and the Cosmoa. Over the course of the next decade, the once unified species drifted farther and farther apart, the Cosmoa with their impressive stations and star galleons, and the Terras with their architectural feats and massive groundside defense installations. Gradually, their ideals began to shift, and in a complete betrayal of the very reason the Tiens ended up in this scenario, the two went to war over who would be subservient to whom.
The conflict was bloody, saddening, and ultimately futile. Neither side could gain the edge on the other. The Cosmoas ships attempted to bomb the surface to ash, but the Terras defense cannons kept them at bay, which had such limited range that the Terras did not have any viable means to combat the Cosmoas, either. Caught in a frustrating stalemate, the two factions spent the next twenty years trying to change the nature of the war, inadvertently cannabalizing their own Tien tech and creating new yet expensive innovations. It soon became such that the components needed for FTL travel were lost, either through improper preservation or destruction by their own scientists in desperate attempts to wipe out the opposition.
A voice of reason finally spoke up. Captain Akaz of the cruiser Khesu openly protested the war, broadcasting its uselessness. Another with a similar mindset, Legislate Osa of the Terras, expressed similar viewpoints among her own people. The two eventually managed to meet each other in an ad-hoc station on the dark side of the planet in lower orbit, apparently becoming intimately involved after a time. News of this spread like wildfire across both factions's respective capitols, and slowly hostilities began to fade from existence, effectively bridging the gap that had grown between the two groups. With that, the two races that were formerly Tien resumed normal communication and trade...they were once again one singular entity. Interbreeding brought surprising results, a species comfortable in both space and land. Within a century, the two former races all but faded from existence, and instead a new species arose, the Taln.
In the day and age of the Tiens, tools of war were a necessary component of even diplomacy and trade. As such, the military flourished under the leadership of the council, to the point of a high group coined the Sentinels coming into existence with heightened status and equivalent power and influence. There are three branches of the Taln Defense Force, the:
Comprise the operations and logistics of Taln's four Armadas
Taln Planetary CorpsEdit
Are the muscle
Taln Special Tasks ForceEdit
Centurion Home GuardEdit
Defenders of the homeworld.