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Tarsin Highlanders!

A race of bipedal and relatively hairless decedents of apes wouldn't seem to be capable of establishing vast galactic civilizations, and yet humans continue to live within numerous systems throughout the known World.

Not all are alike, however; the majority of humans, known asTarsins, originate from the planet of Tarsis, though the days of their ethnic unity has long since been shattered by the Beacon Cataclysm.

Not your usual Lost Tarsin[]

In 2237, a long-range ore miner found a colony of Lost Tarsins. It didn't stop to meet the wretches, theArkanin piloting the vessel just carried on and returned home, reporting their find to their Othaen Federation officials. The Assembly sent a formal request to theVasîv, their shadowy interstellar neighbors, to deal with the parasites. The Vasîv government, the Vasilitaj, was more than happy to have some new prey. Vasîv etherships sent to spy on these so-called Lost Tarsins discovered that their transmissions had nothing in common with any branch of Tarsin, no matter how far removed, and their ships were of no known design. It was possible they had something else entirely to deal with. Before doing anything, the Vasilitaj reported this to Othaen, homesystem and seat of government of the Arkanin, but it was already too late. The year was 2239, and the Othaen Federation had already sent an embassy to meet these people— Lowlander Tarsin officials, with Arkanin backup, had taken a smaller ethership, exquisitely furnished, to greet these supposed Lost Tarsins and, eventually, bring them back into the fold of civilization.

The Big Accident[]

This obviously did not go to plan– the embassy ship had returned with only the Arkanin part of the crew alive.

They later reported that as the beings boarded their ship, they initially hid in the back of the vessel as not to alarm their potentially startled guests; this allowed the lowlanders to do much of the talking. The guests were not only anxious, but armed -this much was expected- but with weapons that seemed very peculiar; not primitive, just peculiar. The Arkanin could observe the happenings of the encounter; the lowlanders and the Lost conversed with eachother, but the Lost seemed to be using a language unlike anything they had ever heard. Regardless, the lowlanders began greeting them in their best impressions of the Highlander dialect that they could muster, followed by cycling through other dialects; just as it was instructed by a handbook that had been issued to them. "Hello and greetings! We hail from Tarsis and the Nine Realms!" When none of those seemed to illicit an intelligible response, they began sounding out the word 'Tarsis' whilst pointing to the hammer and flaming wreath emblazoned on the lowlander's Captain's uniform, followed by counting to nine using their fingers.

Eventually the Lost Tarsins seemed to indicate that they wished to take their hosts with them back to their own ship. The lowlanders were escorted to their quarters to pack their things, and all seemed relatively positive. That was, of course, until one of the Lost fired his weapon spontaneously, sending several repeated "pa-pa-pa" sounds towards the lowlander he was escorting, smoke-pipe still in hand. The Tarsin fell to the floor screaming, "Oh the demon stabs!" And for a second, all was quite.

Then, blood poured from his body out of holes that had previously not been there, and the ship erupted into a chaotic orchestra of panic; the sound of high-pitched screams were covered by the sound of several of these strange weapons firing. But, the Arkanin in hiding managed not to get noticed and, as soon as the murderers exited the ship, escaped to return to the Othaen Federation.

The First of Forty Years[]

Premier Vasai, leader of the Arkanin, declared war on these new barbarians near-instanlty. Over the next few decades, what started as a series of minor skirmishes escalated into a full-blown war between the Othaen Federation and this new barbarian state. Upon capturing their first world of the barbarians, Othaen discovered this horrifying revelation:

These Tarsins were not Tarsins. They were exactly like Tarsins, but they came from a planet called “Urth," later properly rendered as Earth, orbiting the star of “Sôl.” It had been confirmed by the Vasîv. Though all but completely identical to the Tarsins, these "Earthmen," as they were called, had gene groups that were found in not a single Tarsin population, neither barbarian nor Imperial. Premier Vasai of the Othaen Federation sent this news to Tarsis, but predictably the Emperor sent no replies; the Archive, however, did.