Imperial authority met its first great challenge from within when, in 418, the world of Ilelish (Ilelish 2907) declared its independence from the Imperium and called for its sister worlds within Ilelish and Verge sectors to join in the establishment of a new order.
The problem had been a long time coming. The population of the Imperium was concentrated (then, as it is now) on High Population worlds that comprise fewer than a tenth of the available worlds. The focus of the expanding Imperium, however, was on increasing the number of worlds under its authority; because expanding frontiers was first priority, meeting the needs of High Population worlds fell somewhat lower on the list. After decades of neglect, the High Population worlds of Ilelish sector (and led by Ilelish, then the capital of the sector) began negotiations in 399 with the central Imperial government for the establishment of an autonomous region in Ilelish sector. The population centers uniformly felt that greater control over their own interstellar trade was the key to greater profitability.
History & Background (Dossier)
Emperor Martin III refused. Although the precedent of the League of Antares existed, Martin III and his advisers saw no pressing need to relinquish Imperial authority simply to relieve economic depression within the empire.
In 418, Ilelish declared its independence from the Imperium; it was joined by 12 other High Population worlds within a year. By 420, the revolt had spread to six subsectors.
In 420, Martin III acted by imposing a blockade around the insurgent territory. Squadrons were mobilized from throughout the Imperium in order to fill out the siege lines. As the noose drew tighter, the density of ships in the line increased. As each world fell to the siege, the inevitability of Imperial victory became stronger.
The Imperium was patient in its campaign. It minimized its own losses by avoiding confrontations. At the same time, its own overwhelming fleet force made confrontations rare. Instead, the revolt was slowly and carefully ground down.
The last world to fall was Ilelish itself. When it did, in response to a demand for unconditional surrender in 435, the Imperium mandated the evacuation of all population in the lush equatorial zones, and then scrubbed the zones of their flora and fauna. Seven hundred years later, the equatorial zone of Ilelish remains a sterile desert. The capital of the Ilelish sector was shifted to Dlan (Ilelish 1021), a High Population world which remained loyal to the Imperium.
References & Contributors (Sources)
- MegaTraveller Imperial Encyclopedia
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science