Founding of the Byzantine Imperium
Population pressures in Nova Terra
The population pressures of Nova Terra was reaching a critical state and the Byzantine Empire of Nova Terra was not immune to the problems of Terra. By the decree of Emperor Stilochos Komnenos, his youngest son, Isildur Komnenos, would lead a large colony expedition into space. Some of the brightest minds in the Byzantine Empire would join the expedition, along with the necessary group of military officers as well who would command many of the ships. The colony expedition was later expanded to include PeZookians as well as UCSR citizens, and both nations began their own selection programs to select citizens to join the expedition. A relatively small number of Syrians joined the expedition as well. A joint civilian and military command consisting of Byzantine, UCSR and PeZookians would command the expedition, of which the Byzantines would dominate. The expedition took off in the early 23rd century, just as the San Doradans and the Shroomanians set off for their expedition as well.
The Colony ships were assembled in the CATO moon bases, and among the many items the ships brought with them was the entire database containing all the knowledge accumulated by CATO, as well as entire stocks of machine tools and various heavy equipment, and even stocks of plant seeds. All that was required to set up a stable colony was installed aboard the ships. The Prince Isildur Komnenos also brought with him the Writings of Emperor Heraclius IV, a prescient book written by one of the great Byzantine Emperors that ruled the 21st century.
The Founding of Terra and the colonisation of the Constantinople System
Growth and Contact with Alien Races
The Byzantine Imperium first encountered the Tau, when one of their trading fleets entered one of the outer colony sectors. At first, the Tau appeared to be a peaceful race, willing to trade and established relations with the Imperium and the Imperium received the Tau gladly. However, few knew what would happen next, and initiated a bloody war that would last for decades and drain considerably the Imperium's strength.
Initially, relations were good. The Tau traded with the humans, and offered technologies more advanced than some of the technologies the Imperium had. The Imperium accepted these gratefully. In that time, the Tau had also began sending missionaries proclaiming the "Greater Good". Orthodox Catholicism had a far stronger hold on the population, and few were swayed by the "Greater Good". The Imperium at that time was far more tolerant and freedom of worship was enforced. No one paid much heed to the new religion, but the religion soon took on a more sinister aspect.
While the Tau came in peace, humans were not welcome to their core worlds, and they were only allowed to visit the Tau colony worlds. This perplexed Imperial leadership, as they could not understand why the Tau core worlds were off limits when the Imperium had received the Tau in open arms. Regardless, the Imperium's intelligence agency began pursuing covert operations, seeking to find out why the Tau had refused human contact in their core worlds. They soon discovered that the Tau kept the might of their military in the core, and that the Tau had fairly large and advanced armies. Within the Imperial Government, considerable debate took place as to whether to Tau's refusal to allow humans to visit their homeworld, was because they did not want them to see their vast military. The Imperium was suspicious, and began a quiet build up of the Imperium's military.
Things came to a fore, when an outer colony, Ephesus, rebelled against Imperial authority. It was an unthinkable act, and took the Imperium completely by surprise because there was no evidence that the colony's citizens so were displeased with Imperial authority whatsoever. The Imperial Guard was sent immediately to quel the lingering rebellion, fearing that such a rebellion could only spread its fire to the other colonies and shatter Imperial authority altogether.
The rebellion was crushed swiftly, but among the dead, included the Imperial Exarch, and a member of the Tau Ethereal caste. Further forensics and study of the data collected from the data archives of the planet yielded evidence that the Tau Ehtereal had conspired and persuaded the Imperial Exarch through a mixture of pheromones and bribes to join the Tau Empire. The Tau Ambassador was summoned and an explanation was demanded. What the Imperial leadership received to their shock was an ultimatum: That the Byzantine Imperium must submit and become part of the Tau Empire. The Emperor Sergius XI simply said, "Never. Begone, before my patience runs thin." With that, the Imperium's armies and navies were raised to full alert to await the impending Tau invasion. The year was 2863.
The Imperium-Tau War
- Main article: Imperium-Tau War