The Dispossession was a period of Orion history, lasting some three centuries from 1003 AD (reference stardate −10/03) to 1301 AD (stardate −7/0101). It marked a time when Grey Orions were forced out of power in Orion society and into slavery. It was closely linked with the Orion Empire and the Reverse. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Deep Knowledge)
History[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
The golden age of the New Days saw a thousand-year period of great prosperity, cultural growth, and colonial expansion. However, as Orions spread across space and became more diverse, social differences increased. A few Colonies appeared without any Ruddy Orions or without any Grey Orions, and each sub-race wondered why they needed the other. While Ruddy–Grey cooperation had driven the growth of Orion civilization, their racial friction drove its collapse. Meanwhile, low-class Green Orions grew restless, seeing their labor make the other races wealthy and powerful.
Civil disorder began to spread from the lower classes to the middle classes. With their vast holdings, Orion governments became ponderous and ineffective, while local leaders were complacent or indifferent. Small uprisings grew to disrupt worldwide order. The technocratic Greys responded with cautious analysis, technological solutions, and wild ideas. The arrogant Ruddies reacted with brutal repression. Each was ineffective, but while the civilization that enabled Grey society collapsed, the Ruddies were better able to survive. The two opposing races came into conflict. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Deep Knowledge)
The Three Emperors & the Reverse[edit | edit source]
Meanwhile, the Orion Colonies faced a problem of rebellious and seceding worlds. The BPC was unable to restore order or political power. Eventually, desiring more power and extreme force to end the Colonies' disputes, several powerful families on Botchok successfully revolted. On March 21st, 1003 AD (stardate −10/0303.21), BPC President Boyor Ignatin—chosen and aided by the rebels—seized dictatorial powers. He founded the Orion Empire and to take the separatists back by force, he launched the Fringe Wars. These only wasted lives and resources and disrupted trade in the core of Orion space, while filtering arms to the poor and otherwise powerless, thus hastening the collapse of Orion society. This began the Reverse, a period of great decline in Orion society and the contraction of the Orion Colonies.
The Fringe Wars also saw many Grey Orion ruling families on the most distant planets wiped out, beginning the Dispossession. A pattern gradually emerged, wherein ruling Greys faced with revolution hired Ruddies, either locals or outsiders, to solve their problems, by serving as administrators, police chiefs, and military leaders, thus giving them power. As situations deteriorated and Greys demanded action, the Ruddies occupied Grey holdings in the name of 'military necessity' and 'temporary measures'. In time, they outright seized whatever they liked without excuses. Learning of this, panicking Greys on stable worlds closer to Rigel sold off their possessions (businesses, lands, and slaves) and fled and hid, saving local Ruddies the effort.
Eventually, Grey Orions no longer owned any significant property or held any power. They were widely reviled and blamed for the Reverse, even where they'd never ruled, and even some Greys believed it. Massacres were numerous, and entire planetary populations of Greys were slain in brutal purges, leaving 90% of all Grey Orions dead by the end of the Dispossession around 1301 AD (stardate −7/0101). The rest were in hiding or refugees, but they soon fell into captivity, either sheltered by sympathetic Ruddies, or held hostage and forced to work for their freedom, or by begging for their lives and being permanently enslaved. They survived surprisingly well, by making themselves useful. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Deep Knowledge)
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
As peace slowly returned, the victorious Ruddies needed to rebuild and needed experts to restore lost industry and technology. The Greys, with their technical knowledge, became valuable. Guldin of Grey slaves circulated as spoils of war, theft, and pirate raid, by purchase and trade. The Ruddies grew dependent on them, and to fear them again.
In May 1220 AD (stardate −8/205), BPC and Colonial representatives (all Ruddy Orions) met on Kammzdast in a special meeting to discuss the Grey Orion question, aiming to eliminate all possible threat from them, then and in the future. They chose to destroy their history, by officially revising the Codex Orion to remove all reference to them, authorizing the alteration or destruction of historical records related to them, and banning all current and later mentions of them as anything but technically skilled slaves. Such materials were even taken from the Grey themselves. In time, Orion history was erased or rewritten to forget the Grey Orions, bar what books they memorized and kept alive via an oral history. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Deep Knowledge)
The year 1715 CE (stardate −3/15) finally saw a halt to the decline. This heralded a brief century of cultural rebirth, with renewed interest in colonization, re-occupying lost and abandoned Colonies. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Common Knowledge) A use was also found for the Grey Orion slaves, to restore the stagnant Orion technology, and they began to spread once more.
Fearing the Greys again, Ruddy Orion masters spent the next 150 years trying various methods of maintaining control, to keep them powerless but still useful. Imprisonment was not enough, and drug addiction reduced Grey skills and made the Ruddies dependent on their suppliers. Finally, they decided upon genetic mutilation, an affliction of random weaknesses, deformities, and handicaps that made them utterly dependent on their owners and only marginally less useful. It was permanent, incurable, and cheap. To prevent the Greys from ever undoing the damage, a great deal of Orion medical knowledge was purged, leaving Orion medicine behind that of other races, and resulting in additional suffering for the other Orions. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Deep Knowledge)