Collapse and Interregnum
The designation of an era as a period of "Collapse and Interregnum" may be applied to a number of different timeframes pertaining to a number of different empires and polities which have existed across sections of Charted Space. However, the most significant and frequent use of this terminology is to designate the events which ended the Golden Age of the Third Imperium. Due to a combination of many factors (Rebellion, Virus and Vampire Fleets, invasion by the Lords of Thunder, the Empress Wave of psionic madness, and numerous other horrifying interstellar wars and calamities) the timeframe of the years 1116 thru 1221 was when the Third Imperium collapsed and experienced an interregnum without an Emperor on the throne; meanwhile, the Regency and various other regional powers maintained pockets of civilization.
This timeframe was also a period when devastating events occurred in regions outside of the Imperium, as the rest of Charted Space was affected by various factors such as the spread of Virus and the psionic madness of the Empress Wave. The Hive Federation, Aslan Hierate, Vargr Extents, Two Thousand Worlds of the K'kree, and other polities all suffered setbacks and damage during this era, so the term "Collapse" may be loosely applied to most regions beyond the Third Imperium; the concept of an Interregnum, while important to the former Imperial zones, was not necessarily a terribly significant issue in other polities. The spread of diabolical Virus, collapse of interstellar trade, loss of technological cooperation among different regions, and the incredible damage from the madness of the Empress Wave are considered by historians to have been the primary matters of importance throughout Charted Space during those two centuries.
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