Associations War

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4998AD–5000AD. The Associations War was a conflict between the corporate interests of Bright Expansion and the mercenary forces working for it, and the allied forces of the Valen Trade Protectorate and the Association of the Star.

Description / Specifications[edit]

The war was primarily fought in the Alasim and Utt Subsectors of Halcyon Sector at the turn of the 51st century. It was characterised by raiding, bombing, and small-scale actions fought primarily between loyalist mercenaries and rebel corsairs. It resulted in a substantial victory for the Greater Associations of Worlds, who achieved all of their war aims, and a humiliating defeat for Bright Expansion.

History & Background / Dossier[edit]

In 4998AD the Valen Trade Protectorate seized Bright Expansion assets within its member systems, citing as justification claims of massive commercial protectionism, systemic fraud against their citizens, sponsorship of pirate organisations, and corrupt business practices. They launched coordinated preemptive raids against Bright Expansion interests beyond their borders, spearheaded by experienced former corsairs from the Association of the Star.

As word of the conflict spread throughout Alasim Subsector the local populations, always far from the heart of Bright Expansion's interests, seized the opportunity to right the wrongs that they felt that they had suffered. The early part 4999AD was marked by uprisings and short, violent engagements as worlds broke free of Bright Expansion control.

As information about the uprisings trickled back to Bright Expansion’s headquarters on Selasia, the organisation moved to secure its assets around the Alasim Cluster. Security personnel were deployed in strength and any signs of civil unrest were swiftly quashed. As the situation stabilised, warrants were issued for the arrest of the most overtly corrupt officials and a series of social and business reforms were initiated, designed to appease the public. By the later part of 4999AD the Cluster was a fortified camp.

Throughout the whole of the year both sides conducted long-range raiding and bombing missions, targeting shipping and facilities within one another's systems. Considerable damage was done and both sides suffered large numbers of casualties, both military and civilian. Some of the raids involved large numbers of vessels and were more akin to full-scale fleet actions.

Mercenaries and Starmercs formed the fighting cadre of the Bright Expansion forces while locally levied militias provided large numbers of troops. The conflict went badly for Bright Expansion – the mercenaries proved alarmingly quick to retreat or surrender if a fight wasn’t going their way, and the levies were loyal only because they fought to protect their homes and families from the hated pirates.

Bright Expansion was comprehensively beaten in almost every engagement it fought and within months the trailing half of its business operations had effectively ceased to exist. Within the Alasim Cluster and the systems around it Bright Expansion prepared for a coming invasion – in fact, the Greater Associations commanders never had any intention of invading.

At the beginning of 5000AD a peace treaty was drawn up strictly defining the limits of Bright Expansion activity, instituting rival businesses, and requiring formal pardons to be issued to all members of the Association of the Star. The same treaty formalised the creation of the Greater Associations of Worlds – more commonly known as the Enlightened. They never made any claim on the systems now free of Bright Expansion interest, being content to let these worlds find their own paths and to trade with their newly opened markets.

References & Contributors / Sources[edit]

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