The Empire of the Four, the Celestial Giant, the Cosmic Titan, the Universal Patria, the Four-Winged Concord, the World Nation… Many are the grandiloquent names that the Tetrarchy is given by its loyal subjects. But the Tetrarchy has also been branded by its detractors: the Limping Quadruped, the Authoritarian Monster, the Sidereal Hydra, the Tetrarcrap and many others. No one is indifferent to the Tetrarchy, because wherever you are in the galaxy, you are bound to have a link with this hegemonic empire that has reigned over the vast majority of habitable worlds for more than three millennia.
It all began when Akhena, a conqueror who had subdued a dozen systems, was the first to benefit from the Interstellar Instant Communication Network. For the first time in human history, a conversation between star systems could take place without delay. This marvel of technology, which would allow Akhena to consolidate his conquests and carry out hundreds of others, was called the Aphera Network in honor of the laboratory that conceived it. The Galta Confederation, also known for its military power and exceptional admirals, quickly joined the Akhenian Empire of its own accord.
Akhena’s greatest weapon was not his formidable army, but the powerful propaganda carried out by his disciples who were exalted by the immense privileges they enjoyed.
Great characters succeeded one another at the head of what was called the first Empire of the Void, for never before had such a great structure existed in space, and each emperor was worthy of his predecessor. It was as if the destiny of this new nation, which was swallowing up all its competitors, was never to suffer a setback. But after a thousand years of expansion, the huge structure was crumbling and civil war threatened to break out at any moment. Imperial propaganda lacked effectiveness and struggled to reinvent itself. Civic rites and celebrations in honor of the empire were often ignored by citizens. Finally, the centralization of political power around Akhenion led to inept management of exotic or distant worlds. It was then that the foresight and wisdom of Empress Agma saved the empire from certain chaos. She divided the power in four and founded the Tetrarchy to create order. She established four capitals: Chatur, Quartos, Tetran and Quadrinople. She appointed four tetrarchs who would jointly rule the Empire of the Void. She instituted the Tetrarchic calendar and wrote the new Constitution. According to her countless admirers, her political work would bring 4000 years of happiness and prosperity to the Tetrarchy.
Only four years after the creation of Agma, a team of astrophysicists financed by Azkos Technologies reached a new level in the history of space travel with the construction of the first heliotor network. This constellation of space arches built in the solar corona could create a wormhole using the gravity of a star to connect two points in the galaxy. If the heliotor network was first developed for trade by Azkos Technologies, its principal user for decades was obviously the Tetrarchic fleet. Thanks to its speed and mobility, the Tetrarchic fleet made the Empire of the Void grow beyond belief and few worlds were spared by the Tetrarchy’s navarchs.
Agma the Wise promised us four millennia of victory and joy. We are so close to fulfilling her prophecy. Don’t spoil everything by rebelling against the homeland that gave you everything or I will be forced to reduce your delicate collection of dead matter to ash.
The Constitution established above all two fundamental notions:
- Tetrarchs administer their provinces autonomously
- Tetrarchs conducted a common foreign policy
If this new formula would make permanent the Empire of the Void, it would set off duels between egos and competition between tetrarchates. To prevent internal conflicts from degenerating into civil war, Agma had the good sense to entrust the management of the army to an independent person who had to be appointed unanimously by the tetrarchs: the Supreme Navarch. He occupied an extremely high place in the hierarchy, so much so that he was often given the nickname, the 5th Tetrarch. It was incumbent upon him to take all military decisions without them having to necessarily be approved by the tetrarchs.
The tetrarchs each had their own capital system. This was conceived as a galactic showcase, symbol of their military might, but also artistic, economic and cultural prowess. Among the most grandiose buildings, we find the Tetran Palace which covers the entire planet of the same name; the High Tetrarchic Court of Quadrinople, all in marble, whose base borders the sea while its point reaches the stars; the Quartos Monolith, carved from an asteroid as large as a moon; Chatur Arsenal which, it is said, harbors all the astronautical knowledge in the world; finally, the Prince of the Void, a true marvel of engineering and technology, flagship of the Akhenian fleet, is still active and often designated the residence of the Supreme Navarch.
In almost four thousand years of history, tetrarchic politics have had every intrigue imaginable. Even if there were a few skirmishes and a civil war from 1704 to 1712, the tetrarchic system held up and the great upheavals were mainly brought forth by changes in the foundations in power. Akhenia, Sunxley, Valseciel, Barx, Falkenry, Kov, Maestral, Galtacon and many others had the opportunity to place their protégés on one of the four thrones.
One word of advice for generations to come? Respect traditions, listen to your foundation’s leaders, do your military service, and do not try to falsify your ontograms.
On the eve of its 4000th anniversary, the Tetrarchy faces a new threat unlike anything it has known before. Myrmézir abolished machine slavery and increased its power tenfold by ratifying the Charter of Ariance. This twist in beginning to tip the galaxy into unprecedented chaos. With their backs to the wall, the Tetrarchs have only one hope of not seeing their empire implode, to be worthy of their glorious Akhenian ancestors.