The Collapse was the utter and complete destruction of the Third Imperium and many of the empires around it. The collapse began with the war effects of the Rebellion, particularly with Lucans Black War.
The final collapse came with the release of the Virus in 1130. Within a few years the immensely destructive virus strains destroyed much of the existing techological infrastructure. On worlds with environments maintained by artificial means, casualties were probably 99 percent within the first week. If small pockets of survivors managed to hold out past the first shutdowns by using emergency shoring equipment, it was only a mtter of time before their supplies of food, water, and oxygen ran out. On other worlds, the casualty curve was more gradual. The crash destroyed food distribution networks forcing surviving urban dwellers to retreat to the country side. Here the government attempted to protect the agricultural areas of the world in order to continue to feed the increasingly desperate people. The combination of famine, disease, and violence continued to reduce planetary populations.
Depending upon environment, access to breathable air, drinkable water and production of food without technological intervention determined how well or poorly the remining population of the world survived.
In almost all cases, the trauma of the Collapse — both the terrible casualties it caused and the suddeness of its onset — left deep emotional scars on the surviors, and the societies they have built are reflection of that trauma. Most of these societies are both xenophobic and technophobic to a greater or lesser degree.
- Source: Traveller: The New Era