NAME: Centauri Prime
LOCATION: 3rd Planet
SYSTEM: 7 total - 4 solid, 3 Gas
AGE: 5.2 billion years
TEMPERATURE:14 degrees Celsius
MASS: 1.001 gravity
REVOLUTION 624.9 DAYS
Name Centauri carries with it
much weight in our galaxy. Of all the younger races, excluding the Minbari, the
Centauri Republic is the oldest space fairing people among the younger races,
with a rich history and extremely well documented past. There is no one word
that could be used to describe the Centauri. Pride, ruthless, honourable,
butchers; all these describe the Centauri.
Centauri home world, Centauri Prime, orbits a star on the far side of the constellation Centaurus, some 70 light-years from Sol approximately 75 light-years from Babylon 5.
Average travel time to Centuari Prime from Babylon 5 is four standard days, roughly twice the travel time to Earth.
Around the earth year 3000 B.C., the Centauri home world was engulfed in strife. Technologically at a state similar to that of a fledgling Rome, the beings known today as the Centauri were at war with another sentient life form on their world. This race, called the Xon, were large brutal people similar to the Neanderthals of earth, who were stronger than a normal Centauri but not as intelligent. According to Centauri records, the Xon were a missing link that had evolved on another continent and had not died out. By Centauri terms the Xon were little more than animals who had learned to speak. Barbarous in demeanour the Xon lashed out at their Centauri kin when ever the opportunity presented its self.
For the most part, there was little interaction between the Xon and the Centauri, only a few border wars as each race tried to gain a foot hold on the others territory. While not very bright, the brutal Xon proved themselves to be formidable opponents and were able to beat back the Centauri on several occasions. At first the boundaries of land masses and oceans kept the Xon in check, separating them from the normal Centauri. As both races grew and expanded however, they soon came into continual contact. As the Centauri entered a historical period similar to the renaissance, around the earth year 738 BC, their technology and governing structure began to grow. Discovering how to sail great distances and building tools and weapons far superior to the Xon, the Centauri created great cities that buzzed with commerce, culture and arts. Seeing Centauri prosperity as a threat, the Xon began attacking and raiding Centauri villages. The Centauri were able to beat the Xon back however, taking many as slaves. This proved to be a deadly mistake on the part of the Centauri.
Using contacts from within the walls of the great Centauri city yandantrio, the Xon were able to organize a slave revolt. As the revolting Xon slaves created havoc within the walls of the great city, a Xon army attacked and seized the city. When forces from the neighbouring city of Viddaro arrived, they befell a terrible sight. The city of yandantrio, as large as the City of Venice on earth, had been completely destroyed. On the road into what was left of the city, the heads of thousands of Centauri sat atop spikes and inside the city walls the Centauri soldiers found everyone in the city, over two-million Centauri, dead. Cries of outrage befell all Centauri like a wind. At a time of great prosperity, the Xon had demonstrated again that the Centauri people were not safe from their barbarous wrath. The Xon, riding high on this victory, began a massive campaign to destroy their Centauri cousins. At first, through seer ferociously the Xon defeated the Centauri in battle after battle, destroying every Centauri village and city they came across. Unable to stomach the Xon attacks, the Centauri responded with a vengeance. The Xon succeeded in doing what years of diplomacy had not, forcing the great houses of the Centauri to unite. Thus began the thousand year war between the Centauri and the Xon. For centuries the war between the Centauri and the Xon raged. Losses on both sides were substantial, giving rise the Centauri Festival of Life. The festival was, for all intent and purpose, a party at the end of the Centauri year where all the Centauri would look around and celebrate NOT being one of the many dead.
Eventually, in the earth year 262 A.D., the Xon were eradicated from the face of the planet Centauri. Historians state that the Centauri population had been roughly 800 million at the beginning of the Centauri/Xon war. By the time of the Xons defeat, due in large part to the Centauris discovery of gunpowder, the population had been reduced to only some six million people.
Defeat of the Xon gave rise to the current class structure of modern Centauri society. Centauri families who had done the bulk of the fighting, and had the most survivors come the end of the war, came together in peace and mutual respect. These became the great houses of the Centauri. This new government of nobles created the Centaurum, a place where all the nobles good meet and make political policy. Recognizing the need for a individual leader to unify and rule all the houses of the Centaurum, the nobles appointed the leader of the most powerful house Emperor and Lord Tuscano, who lead the war against the Xon was appointed to the position of Emperor, but not before consultation three technomages for their blessing. The Emperor was essentially the social and spiritual leader of the Centauri Republic, whose wisdom was greater than all others... even when this was not the case.
With the Xon defeated the Centauri began a massive reconstruction effort. Primary among the concerns of the Centaurum, was the few number of Centauri left. Thus procreation became the principle concern of the new Centauri government. With this thought in mind the first Emperor decreed that no Centauri male would be without a wife, ever. He outlawed monogamous relationships and ordered the woman of Centauri society to marry and have children. This decree was overwhelmingly adopted, even by the female members of the Centaurum and lead to woman in Centauri culture becoming second class citizens, little more than property. A necessary evil if the Centauri people were to survive. By this time the Centauri Republic was well into the Industrial Age, obtaining technological level equivalent to earth at the beginning of the 20th century, but the Centauri quickly progressed out of the Industrial Age and into the Atomic Age and Information age. This is believed to be due to the Centauri acquiring alien technology from a race known as the Shoggren, who attempted to invade Centauri Prime. Shoggren invasion was repelled by Centauri in the last years of Tuscano's rule and the technology acquired from them and the discovery of a Jump Gate in the Centauri system allowed the Centauri to leap ahead technologically at a very fast pace.
Over the course of the next ten years the Centauri examined and reverse-engineered every bit of technology aboard the alien vessel captured during the Shoggren invasion. Using the technology acquired via examining the alien craft, the Centauri were able to quickly leap into the Stellar age.
Within a few short decades the Centauri had colonized almost every planet in their home solar system. Then, once they perfected the tachyon scanners, communications and the critical jump engine design needed to travel through hyperspace, the Centauri began to explore outside their home solar system.
Many of their first jumps were to nearby solar systems and barren worlds, but some contained living worlds with many alien life forms. As the Centauri explored, they found no race as technologically advanced as they were and no sign of the Shoggren. Upon meeting sentient aliens, with only the Xon and Shoggren as a reference in dealing with non-Centaurian people, the Centauri turned to what had worked in the past - conquest. Assembling a large military fleet, the Centauri began to invade and seize control of all the worlds near their own. The Centauri had the technological edge and were fast to exploit it, seizing many worlds in a matter of weeks. Some they offered a place in their glorious Republic and were welcomed openly. To these worlds the Centauri were more than generous, offering their new servants the best of everything the Republic had to offer. Those that would not submit were conquered and turned into slaves.
Eventually the Centauri made contact with other alien races, the Dilgar and the Minbari among them. The Dilgar were almost technologically equal and, rather than waste resources waging a war against a seemingly peaceful race who could actually fight back, the Centauri made no attempt to make contact, other than to serve warning that the Dilgar would regret going to war with them.
The Minbari, though weary of the Centauri and their reputation as conquerors, welcomed the Centauri to their world. After the war with the Shadows, many space fairing races had been eradicated or bombed back into the dark ages, leaving the Minbari as one of the few space fairing races left in their corner of the galaxy with few sentients to associate with. At the time of first contact with the Minbari, the Centauri Republic had only been jump capable for some eighty years, thanks to the examination of an alien craft which placed them at a technological state superior to many of the other races in this region of the Galaxy. By way of comparison, the Minbari had been in space for nearly four-thousand years and jump capable for half that time.
The Centauri, realizing that they could not win a war against the Minbari at that point in time, began to explore new territory... the art of diplomacy. It was obvious that, while powerful, the Centauri were not the most powerful race in the cosmos and still had much to learn. Thus the Centauri began making attempts to negotiate and trade, as well as conquer. After years of back room dealings and political slight of hand back in the Centaurum, the Centauri found the art of diplomacy very easy to learn.
By the earth year 1695 the Centauri had become known as The Lion of the Galaxy, reaching its political, economical and imperial peak. By this time the Centauri Republic consisted of 127 solar systems, a total of 309 colony worlds, effectively controlling one quarter of the entire galaxy. So vast and powerful was the Centauri Republic, even the vaunted Minbari Federation would dare not cross them. Though still technologically superior, the Minbari could not hope to marshal the power needed to combat the Centauri military machine and its near limitless resources.
For two-hundred years the Centauri ruled most of the Galaxy. But as with all great empires of vast size, the Centauri found that even they could not be everywhere they needed to be in order to patrol, control, and protect their vast holding. Piracy began choking off the Centauris supply lines, political bickering filled the Centaurum, Colonial Governors conspired against the Emperor and civil unrest began to take its toll.
While Chuck Yeager was becoming the fasted man on earth and Buzz Aldrin explored the lunar surface, the Centauris vast and powerful empire was falling apart. Many of the worlds the Centauri had conquered had become resentful of Centauri rule. Marches and protest were staged across the whole of the Republic. What began as discontent among the indigenous population of conquered worlds, became open rebellion. Territorial governors, fearful of loosing their standing in the Republic, attempted to hide the growing strife. This only served to spur civil unrest until dozens of worlds began to over throw their Centauri rulers. Members of the Centaurum, not wanting to take the responsibility or blame for the problems, turned on each other and the Centauris vast military, hundreds of thousands of ships strong, found itself unable to reassert control. Many subject races, using older ships that had once been part of the Centauri Royal Navy, attacked the Centauri fleet in defiance. With their forces stretched too thin to effectively deal with the situation, many Centauri ships were destroyed in skirmish after skirmish. The age of the Centauri Republic had finally come to an end. Within forty years of the first uprising, the Centauri Republic fell in upon its self.
Time passed and within a century a new breed of Centauri stepped onto the galactic stage. Having grown up with stories and legend of the once proud Republic, these new Centauri burned with the passion to see the old Republic reborn. Thus began the second great expansion of the Centauri. Hundreds of new ships, now using Zero Point energy fields and armed with artificial gravity technology, reached out into space to take back what had once been theirs.
Still, no matter the fervour that drove them, the upstarts in the Centaurum knew that they were not yet ready for a major war. Thus any space fairing race whom could offer up resistance were ignored or were approached with diplomacy. Explorer ships came upon world after world, some rich in the precious Quantium 40 needed for hyperspace travel, others with untapped natural resources of garden worlds. On occasion the Centauri even chanced upon a low-tech planet and were able to seize control of a technologically inferior race.
One of the low-tech planets conquered by the Centauri was the world of the Narns. This proved to be a killing blow to the Centauris dreams of restoring the old Republic. Narn was a paradise and the planets native population, reptilian like marsupials, welcomed the Centauri as gods. The Centauri took fool advantage of this and paid the price. The Narns proved themselves to be a great deal of trouble. No sooner had the Centauri occupational forces moved in, than the Narns began making trouble. Though seemingly peaceful, Narn culture was based strongly in the concept of revenge, and eye for an eye mentality dominant among all Narns. As the years stretched on, the Centauri were forced to poor more and more resources into controlling Narn. Eventually it became a matter of will, the Centauri willingly allowing other holdings to slip from their fingers in an attempt to maintain control of one world.
Eventually, having striped Narn of everything of value and unwilling to continue pouring valuable resource into maintaining controlling a dead planet, the Centauri withdrew from Narn. As the Centauri lost control of Narn, so did they lose what little respect the other worlds had for them. The Great Lion of the Galaxy had become a tired, toothless old cat who could make a fierce roar and little else. Thus, once again, the Centauri Republic fell into decline.
The Narn, desperate for revenge began attacking the Centauri and their remaining worlds. Eventually the Centauri were forced to give up nearly half of what remained of their empire, just to keep the Narns from dragging them into a full blown war. These were dark years for the Republic, so devastated by the fall of their empire they didn't even bother to lift a finger against the Dilgar or fight back against Narn incursions into their space. All this changed however with the death of the man who had seen the Republic through its decline, emperor Turhan. Upon his death and the appointment of his majesty's nephew Cartagia to the thrown, to Lion of the Galaxy once again found the will to shake the galaxy. After being blamed for an attack on the Narn outpost in sector 37 and the Narns declaration of war, the Centauri flexed its military might for the first time in half a century, and they won. Time and again, battle after the battle the Centauri found themselves victorious. The Narn, the dreaded enemy, was being beaten back!
News of their victories quickly spread throughout the Republic. Young Centauri joined the Royal Navy by the millions. Soon the galaxy shook with the thunder of Centauri engines and weapons. The Narn were not the terrible threat politicians and bean counters had made them out to be. Their technology was inferior and soon the Republic found its self reborn in the fires of war. When the Narn fell beneath the mighty wheel of the Republics war machine. Once again the name Centauri filled the galaxy with terror - once again they were the Lions of the Galaxy!
Following the end of the Narn/Centauri war, the Republic took back the worlds taken by the Narn forces during Turhans rule. Many of the other Narn colonies, worlds that had been conquered and ravaged by the Narns, petitioned for memberships in the Republic. Once again the Centauris star was on the rise.
Centauri glory however, would come crashing to a halt following a disastrous war with the Interstellar Alliance. Even though the Prince Regent was blamed for the war, the Centauri Republic was forced to pay massive reparations against all those worlds the Centauri had attacked during the ISA/Centauri conflict. With Emperor Molari the Second now on thethrown, it is uncertain what the future holds for the Republic.