The Humbolts were a controversial family of Imperial Nobility descended from Solomani. They ruled Vincennes Subsector in Deneb for almost four centuries until removed from power and exiled in 628 for several violations of Imperial law, the most heinous of which was the exploitation and torture of the Yaitlat, a Sophont people native to Peres (Deneb 1221). The current whereabouts of the surviving Humbolts are uncertain, and even though they were expelled from the Imperium 500 years ago, their influence is still very much felt throughout Deneb sector.
In 243 Vincennes subsector was admitted into the Imperium and the Humbolts were installed on Vincennes (Deneb 1122) as ruling nobility, with a charge to keep Starlane open and crush the nearby Vargr states. The assignment of the Humbolt clan to the Marquisate of Vincennes was less of a reward and more of an exile.
The Humbolts immediately entrenched themselves in the region, carefully placing agents in diplomatic posts in neighboring subsectors and spending resources on technological research. One early success was in convincing the Imperium to found the "Humbolt Research Division," a military research base on a world that in short time came to be known simply as HRD (Deneb 1623). The establishment of HRD allowed the Humbolts to gain unparalleled access to cutting-edge military technology.
In time the Marquisate was elevated to a Duchy and entered into intense competition with other duchies in Deneb. In 615, Chanus Reynald Humbolt, the Duke of Vincennes, brokered an unprecedented alliance with the Duchy of Inar. With nearly half of the sector’s military, industrial, and economic power, these two neighboring subsectors could dominate Deneb’s affairs.
In response, the remaining subsector Dukes formed a confederation with the explicit purpose of breaking this alliance. Cruisers were deployed in the Denebian Bad War, which saw the destruction of numerous industrial bases. Worlds were captured and held by assault troops and fleets riddled planets and each other with nuclear weapons, forcing the Imperial Navy to intervene.
In 622 the capital units of the Dukes were ordered to stand down and report to Imperial Naval bases. The Duke of Inar betrayed the Humbolts, turning over his fleets and passing the locations of key Humbolt bases to the Imperium. Even so, a number of Vincennes units refused the terms of surrender and had to be hunted down and subdued. In 628 the last remaining rebel ships were defeated at Balzac (Deneb 1636) and Duke Chanus was slain in personal combat with the commander of the 45th Imperial Fleet. The Duke’s body was given an Imperial burial, but his family was banished from the Imperium ‘for extreme violations of Imperial law.’
Following the exile of the Humbolts, Solomani-only parties fell out of favor in Deneb and Solomani influence began to wane along with their influence in the Imperial government. However, several governments in the Deneb sector still carry a distinctly pro- or anti-Solomani bias and some neighboring systems still do not trust one another. Many pro-Solomani worlds label themselves as ‘pro-Humbolt,’ preferring the rule of the Humbolts over the entire sector to today’s apparent balkanisation into subsector duchies.
- Chanus Reynald Humbolt, Duke Vincennes (7th Century).