DEATH OF THE IMPERIUM
AND HISTORY OF THE ARTIFACTS
GEMS, RELICS AND JEWELS OF POWER
the reign of the great Meringalian Dynasty, the final Dynastic
rulers of the First Imperium, the Terramonah Empire was divided
into six political sectors, known simply as the Six. Each of
the Six contended with one another and with the Mensa Theliot
Priesthood in seeking Imperial favor. As more and more power
swung between these political factions, it became increasingly
apparent to Emperor Vasselius XXI (R'Ameeyn Meringeli) that
to rule successfully required balancing one or another of the
seven powerful forces against one another. Vasselius contrived
to foment the natural antagonism that existed between the seven
forces to prevent alliances which could destroy the dynasty.
No longer did the long and implacable arm of the Emperor's Cyborg
Legions reach to all corners of the Empire as the Six Baronies
grew in power and influence. Perhaps the Emperor could no longer
rule without question but he could still rule by diversion and
began his scheme by requesting that an Imperial Crown be designed.
The Emperor's Imperial Crown was to be set with seven sets of
seven different kinds of Gems, each set of seven, a dazzling
perfection of the rarest and most beautiful stones in the known
galaxy. These Gems were to be a gift of homage and fealty from
the Six and the Mensa Theliots. The seven factions would each
submit Gems of each of the seven kinds and they would be judged.
The resulting fierce competition brought the Emperor a number
of secret smiles and more time to consolidate his position.
History does not record a clear winner but that was likely a
part of Vasselius' policy.
gifts, what we refer to now as the Imperial relics, each one
rivaling the next in expense, glamour and power followed the
gemstones as the Imperially stimulated competition grew. Vasselius
granted titles and worlds and favor to keep the Six, and particularly
the Priesthood, off balance and divided. Never, not even in
the time of Vasselius' grandfather, had there been more intrigue
in the Terramonah Empire and especially at the Imperial Throneworld
Emperor could not have foreseen that his machinations would
make him midwife to the birth of the deadly beauty and force
of the Jewels of Power, artifacts so compelling that their very
existence changed the course of history of the entire Empire.
first Jewel of Power was given to the Emperor by the Mensa Theliot
Priests. The Scientific Priesthood spent over 30 years in secret
laboratories and radiant baths developing the solid state technique
to set powers into a synthetic circuit shaped as a Jewel. For
the Imperial presentation, it was mounted in an amulet of Maussite,
cunningly wrought by the miniature jewel smiths of Amphidor.
It's beauty and perfection brought tears from the eyes of the
ladies and open mouths to the nobles of the Imperial Court.
The First Mathmatist of the Mensa Theliots basked in the envy
and bitterness that the Jewel inspired.
Jewel of Enchantment, as the first Jewel was known, was meant
specifically, as a slap in the face from the Priesthood to the
Arcturians, the most independent and powerful of the Six Terramonah
domains, as much as an Imperial gift. Recently, the Arcturian
Viceroy had demanded the right of Arcturian tax collectors to
collect the Imperial taxes in their own sector before they were
turned over to the Empire. Vasselius knew, of course, that a
huge percentage of these tax revenues would never find their
way into the Imperial coffers if this were allowed. As important,
the other members of the Six would see any wavering on such
an issue as a sign of weakness. At the least, they would immediately
move for the same rights in their sectors. Vasselius responded
with an arrogant disdain he was secretly not sure he could back
up. One Imperial BattleStar with one Cyborg Legion, a token
force, he decreed, would arrive in the Arcturian home system
within a year, at the normal tax collection time to enforce
collection by the Imperial tax collectors. One BattleStar was
hardly a powerful fleet but the Emperor would count on the hundreds
of years of Meringalian rule to overcome the insult to the Arcturians
this show of force represented.
gift of the Jewel of Enchantment from the Theliots arrived in
time to assure the power of Vasselius' gesture, as the Theliots
well knew. No one except Vasselius and the Mensa Theliot hierarchy
knew what power the Jewel of Enchantment represented until the
Arcturians attempted to storm the hated Imperial BattleStar.
The mystical Jewel, locked into a specially designed socket
on the battleship's bridge by a perspiring First Officer, froze
all hostile fire against the giant ship. Disconcerted boarding
crews found themselves unable to lock onto the impervious BattleStar.
The Arcturian navy itself was forced to destroy the attempted
boarding craft to provide a political excuse for the Arcturian
ambassador who, positioned for such an emergency, immediately
begged for Imperial audience back on Humm. He explained away
the intended use of force against a ship of the Imperium as
the work of insurgents. Vasselius, with an oily graciousness,
and in full view of the Imperial court, granted forgiveness
(along with hefty penalties) to the wayward sector. The Arcturians
were forced to accede humbly. The loss of face, particularly
for the stiff-necked Arcturians, was almost unbearable. The
Arcturians knew who to blame - the detestable Mensa Theliot
hand picked Arcturian TAC force, sworn to suicide, and a renegade
priest penetrated the deepest laboratories of the Mensa Theliot
Temple on the sacred planet of Mitre. The ultimate theft of
the mystical technology used to make the Jewels cost the lives
of the entire 150 Imperially conditioned Arcturian warriors
(and the priest) and nearly a year of patient waiting while
four separate copies of the secret technology moved through
various Theliot channels. The superbly trained suicide squad
had not actually stolen the secrets but placed the papers and
machines in non-sensitive areas where the general movement of
papers and equipment could eventually be recovered through normal
covert operations. The Mensa Theliots, thinking they had foiled
the plot, actually only uncovered its top layer and became unwitting
accessories in the theft.
ten years, using heretic Theliot priest-scientists and a previously
deposed Chief Mathmatist, the Arcturians were able to duplicate
the mystical science which created the first Jewel of Power.
Meanwhile, the Priesthood, whose star had risen to such favor
with the Emperor was fading. Vasselius now demanded more Jewels.
The Mensa Theliots were unwilling to provide them claiming that
no more could be fabricated. It was a satisfying coup for Rath
Woer-Halin, the Arcturian Viceroy to present a Jewel even more
powerful and breathtaking than the Jewel of Enchantment - the
Jewel of Protection, to Emperor Vasselius XXI with his compliments.
The Grand Council of Mathmatists of the Mensa Theliots had been
official history of the old Imperium ends not long after this
but we do know that others of the Six besides the Arcturians
acquired the knowledge stolen from the Mensa Theliot laboratories.
Various bits of information hint that the development of the
Jewels of Power continued. Vasselius, in an abortive attempt
to regain his great grandfather's iron grip over the Priesthood
and the Six interstellar domains, precipitated the disintegration
of the old Empire. It appears to us, thousands of years later,
that the Emperor believed the Jewels of Power he possessed and
the ancient force of the Cyborg Legions created a temporary
balance of power in his favor that would last long enough for
him to regain the Imperial domination for which the Meringalian
dynasty was known.
has it, now that history can no longer be depended upon, that
Vasselius instigated a revolt in Vega and began a campaign to
crush the weakest of the Six. The assassination of Emperor Vasselius
XXI by an exotic poison administered by a trusted courtesan
moved the Imperial Crown, somewhat shakily, to the head of the
Imperial Sisterson, the dynastic Beneficent X (R'Anselm Meringeli).
Young R'Anselm seems poor material to follow up the Imperial
dreams of Vasselius. The incestuous dynastic bloodline (son
of Vasselius' sister by his Grandfather) did nothing to inspire
confidence in his mental stability. After causing the Gems of
the Imperial Crown to be scattered through Humm's interstellar
Star Gates in a fit of pique and refusing to meet with any of
the envoys from the Six or the Grand Mathmatists of the Theliots
for over a year, the feuding Viceroys banded together against
the Imperium and the Theliots. The disintegration of the Empire
Mensa Theliots cursed the Gems they had donated to the Emperor's
Crown in response to Beneficent's faux pas but near the end,
became the only ally of the Imperial throne. Most of the other
relics of the ancient Empire were scattered throughout the Empire
as it disintegrated. Seven Jewels of Power are rumored to have
surfaced at one time or another since the breakup of the old
Empire. The most powerful of these, and some say the most uncontrollable
was the Jewel of Fate - the last Jewel ever made, designed by
the devious priest-scientists of the Mensa Theliot.
later years, as interstellar travel revived, political power
often fell to the owners of the old Imperial Relics and Gems
through the legends and mysteries they represented - and always,
raw power to the owners of the legendary Jewels.
excerpt from the Encyclopedia Galactica