Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2012
According to the records of the Janus Syndicate, Toradis has been colonized for at least twelve hundred years. Far from the centers of political power in the Ingressa, it was originally a planet sought out by refugees seeking to escape factional intrigues and conflicts. When a star on the route from the Inner Worlds to Toradis went nova a thousand years ago, it was cut off completely. Only recently, with the discovery of an alternate route to the planet, have outsiders returned to see how the inhabitants fared through their long isolation.
As it turned out, they fared quite well. They had certain advantages, of course, over other lost colonies: the planet was earthlike and well suited to the cultivation of the crops with which the colonists were already familiar; it possessed a rich variety of natural resources; and it had an abundance of indigenous fauna that could be domesticated or hunted.
Some of the last groups to arrive on the world were scholars who brought their extensive libraries with them, including not only scientific works, but philosophical ones as well. When Toradis lost contact with other worlds, these scholars persuaded the ruler the city of Sanarado to make her city into a center of learning. She authorized the founding of the planet’s first university, ushering in a two-hundred-year golden age of progress and cooperation that carried the people of Toradis through the fear of isolation.
Although that age came to an end with the splintering of Sanarado’s royal dynasty, its effects were long-lasting. The so-called “sages of Sanarado” established the scientific canon for their own city and all the city-states that rose up after it. For better or worse, their decrees on lawful and unlawful avenues of research shaped the technological development of the entire world, leading to Toradisian scientists to breakthroughs in some fields well before their counterparts on other planets and to completely ignoring others.
Today, Toradis is still a world of city-states, each of them well fortified and protected from siege. Within the walls of the cities, pneumatics and hydraulics run trains, carry packages through underground tubes, and power machinery. Wealthy industrialists control the production of gas and the channelling of water necessary to keep the cities operating, while the poor labor in factories. It is a far cry from the vision of the sages of Sanarado, but for eight hundred years, no one city-state has had enough influence or military strength to impose that vision on its neighbors.
That may all change with the arrival of emissaries from Roma Exterra, who possess something that could shift the balance of power on Toradis forever: the firearms that Toradis’ scientists never invented.