Twilight Imperiam - The Dark Sun
Warrior poets tyrants, philosopher kings, despots, divine emissaries, abominations, benevolent masters, dictators, healers, butchers, wise men, arrogant devils, diplomats, tormentors.
Study of the Lazax, aggregately termed Imperia, is paradoxically among the most gratifying yet most frustrating of scholarly pursuits. Rife with contradiction and passionate opinion, it’s a field that vastly transcends the academic capacity of a single scholar or even that of a large and well-funded university.
On the one hand, the Lazax were dutiful keepers of records and their long imperial rule (which is estimated to have lasted slightly over 24,000 human years) makes such records abundant. On the other hand, the majority of preserved firsthand knowledge (primarily that which was kept intact by the custodians on Mecatol Rex) are government ledgers, sanctioned historical annals, legal edicts and so on. With respect to introspective documents revealing the personality and values of the Lazax personae we are as poor as we are rich in the former. Their artwork, their literature and music, their constructs and cities all were mostly destroyed during the Twilight Wars. What little remained was cast into the flames of oblivion, silenced forever during the period of genocidal mass hysteria that was the Great Scourge.
Little to nothing is known of the Lazax before their rise to prominence. We know that prior to the Lazax’s appearance on the stage of history; the enlightened parts of the galaxy were dominated by the obscure dynasty of the Mahact kings, the gene-sorcerers. Archeologically discovery indicates the Mahact were already crumbling under the weight of their own debased technologies when the final conflagration between their families caused their ultimate decimation. It’s during the dilapidated years in the wake of the Mahact demise that we find the first accounts of the Lazax and evidence that the last Mahact King was slain by the first Lazax emperor himself.
Slowly but surely, the unequivocally brilliant, dynamic and ambitious Lazax civilization brought order and control to the wealthiest core systems. We estimate more than 80 major systems were under their peaceful dominance by the time the emperor declared Mecatol the empire’s central seat of power and there founded the galactic council.
Over the following millennia, the Lazax would generously and freely offer protection and peace to other galactic races as they came into contact with the empire. Most accepted.
While their famous edict, “generosity to the willing and fairness to the fair”, may have been at the core of their dominion, Lazax enmity towards foes must have been terrible. No plausible records exist for us to sympathize with the Lazax’s early enemies. From that fact alone, we can conjecture to the thoroughness of the empire’s punishment for malaadela (the Lazax term describing non-conformity, also their adjective for “unreasonable”).
During the early millennia of the Pax Lazax, the relative military strength and martial knowledge of the imperial race is described as nothing less than all-powerful, matched only by their exceptional devotion to balance and order; the ever-renewing establishment of what they called the “universal law of the sentient”.
And so the galaxy prospered for near 20 millennia.
As the Lazax enjoyed the fruits of this almost-endless golden age, so did the great races of the Imperium. With such prosperity followed vast power; yet even power can be freely and peacefully shared when the cup runneth over and the future is perceived as one of endless abundance.
Alas, nothing lasts forever. Under the waves of oceans of time, hard stone may wear away and even the wise may come to forget the bitter sting of winter. In time, generosity may come to be perceived as a means of control and guidance as arrogance.
In time, the empire began to reach both physical and technological boundaries and expansion slowed. With this slowdown, wealth and power came to be perceived as finite and it is from finite power that its three wicked children are born: greed, corruption and betrayal.
So followed the Age of Dusk, a time of intrigue, strife and gathering storms.
It’s widely agreed that the downfall of the Lazax was their inability to perceive the cancerous growth of suspicion and resentment among the races of the empire. While the imperial navy and army could comfortably deal with any one rebellion of a major race, the emperors did not anticipate what would actually happen: that almost half the members of the galactic council would turn violently against them at once and that the galaxy would over a short period of time be embroiled in the great civil war we known as the Age of Twilight.
In a final betrayal, the last Lazax emperor Salai Sai Corian was killed during a Sol assault directly on Mecatol Rex. In the ruthless urban battles for Mecatol that followed, the Lazax were unable to regain control of their seat of power. Already stretched thin by galaxy-wise conflict and now without its emperor or its central administration, the Lazax Empire collapsed.
The remnant groups of the once-dominant Lazax found themselves friendless. Their newfound humble stature was one to which they found it difficult to adapt. Unable to change, clinging to the illusion of superiority, they managed to only fan the already white-hot flames of hate towards them. This followed the Great Scourge in which the Lazax were expelled, hunted, decimated and ultimately annihilated by their former citizens.
In less than 20 years after the death of the last emperor, the Lazax race was no more. As the Mahact before them, their memory now belongs to the stars and historians.