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Planetside
Last Updated June 13, 2003

Bintari Federation

Background

The Bintari are relative new comers to space. Physically they closely resemble humans, the key exceptions being the elongated lobe of cartilage that extends above their head and their paler skin tones. The lobe is made very prominent, however, by its pigmentation which is almost always a shade of red (from a deep crimson to the light pinks). The Bintari homeworld--commonly called Bintarus by most of the galaxy, but known as Esh'hal'aszhi to the Bintari--is broken up into seven major continents. These large "island continents" are rugged and treacherous, the inland regions being divided by craggy, nearly impassable mountain ranges. The geography of their homeworld forced early Bintari civilizations to eek out their existence along the world's waterways. The small kingdoms that popped up inevitably decided that conquest of their neighbor's lands would be far easier than the conquest of their homeworld's terrain. Eventually each continent fell under the control of its own single ruling government, and none would yield to any of the others. Fighting died down after a series of brutal but inconclusive wars in the 1800s, allowing the Bintari to reap the benefits of a golden age unheard of in the course of their civilization.

The first manned space craft left Bintarus in 1970, and within five years three small asteroidal colonies had been founded. By 1990 over a dozen colonies existed in the Bintarus system. It became obvious during the period from 1982-1996 that something had to be done to coordinate the efforts of the planetary nations that ruled over the Bintari homeworld. Each had claimed colonies for themselves, and many of the non-corporate colonies in the asteroid belt and outer solar system flew the flags of not the Bintari people but of individual countries. The services and programs being supported by each individual government were costly, and a single consolidated entity could drastically reduce the resources being spent on redundant operations at home and abroad. So it was that, in 1998, all seven nations of Bintarus agreed to a charter that instituted the Bintari Federation. This organization, a voluntary democratic entity designed to oversee international and interplanetary projects, shared equally the burden of operations between members, but each nation's total costs were less than what they had been forced to appropriate in the past. Eventually many of the programs and projects formerly overseen by each government were shifted to the aegis of the Federation, most notably the entirety of Bintari space-based assets and projects.

By 1999, the Bintari thought they had mapped their entire star system. They were wrong. Nestled safely into a close orbit to one of the gas giants was an old, inactive jump gate. This discovery sent the Bintari scientific community into a fervor unparalleled in their history. As their best and brightest were shipped out on the thirteen day journey to the jump gate to study it, back home others waited excitedly for whatever information they could glean from the find. With months worth of effort and the resources of their entire world, the secret of the gate was unlocked. As the jumpgate came on-line once again, the explorers could only gape in awe at the enormity and mystery of the ancient monolith.

Through this find, the Bintari managed to develop their own, fully functional jump drives. Put through a rigorous testing cycle, the jump drive was outfitted on several small prototype hulls built specifically for the task. Following the successful implemenation of this new technology these vessels became the backbone of the new Federation Scout Fleet [these two hulls, the Onias and Cauzia Jump Frigates, may appear in the future]. With a new source of exploration and expansion the Bintari set to work exploring nearby space.

In the decade that followed the Bintari erupted from their homeworld, their scouts exploring every system near their own and actively seeking out other races. The Bintari were successful in this endeavor, making contact with many neighboring cultures. However not all of their contacts were pleasant ones. In their chaotic exploration the Bintari had caught the eye of the T'shann Sovereign, an aging empire coreward of the Bintari. The masters of this fading empire saw the Bintari as a weak and naive race ripe for the plundering. The T'shann watched greedily as the clearly weak and low tech Bintari ships began to stream from their homeworld in every direction, scouting aimlessly. Several scouts were destroyed and others captured by the T'shann, all an attempt to learn more about this possible prey. It was decided that the Bintari were unprepared for war and were an easy invasion target for the T'shann Sovereign.

In June of 2013, a T'shann warfleet--headed by two of the impressive Entarra Imperial Battleships--emerged from the Bintari jump gate orbiting the gas giant of Janith. The fleet easily destroyed the few Bintari defenders and secured the jump gate along with the four major colonies on moons orbitting Janith. The T'shann thought that this battle would be typical of future battles--their technological advantage easily handing them victories--as they pushed onward to Bintarus itself. In this they made their first major error.

The Bintari Federation was outraged, the shock of an invasion wearing off quickly after news of the invasion and atrocities at Janith reached homeworld. The war hawks took firm control of the Bintari ruling council and the Bintari fleet was readied for battle. All ships capable of fighting were redirected to key defense points while those ships previously ill-equipped for combat were
recalled for makeshift refits. It was obvious that the T'shann had the advantage in shear fleet size, strength, and weaponry. However, they were unknowledgable about the system and about the Bintari's military defense policies and tactics.

The first T'shann attempts to push deeper into the Bintari system met with mixed success. Their lead fleet held back at Janith awaiting reinforcements from the nearby Trashtan system. The rest of the fleet broke into two smaller fleets, each launching attacks on nearby major asteroid mining colonies, as these colonies were the primary source of ore for the Bintari. The fighting was furious, but there was very little the Bintari could do. Nonetheless the mining craft present made it a point to attempt to ram the enemy cruisers, in many cases splitting both craft wide open in the attempt.

The T'shann were quite unhappy with these results. They had expected less losses and more ground gained. In the end their forces had barely managed to hold their own against a lesser military force. With the possibility of losing face, the members of the Admiralty present, Admirals Bralvan and Halhour, decided a decisive battle had to be fought. With the primary Bintari asteroid mining base of Salsik captured, they believed they could run their ships on a beeline for the Bintari homeworld. Some casualties were expected, but overall the fleet would remain intact and would clear major opposition on the battlefield, allowing the fleet to retain space superiority over Bintarus until such time as reinforcement arrived.

The Bintari military, reeling from the heavy losses at the Battles of Salsik and Mathador, was desperate for a means of counter-attack. The first batch of refitted warships were coming online, but the major defense linchpins had fallen or been cutoff by the T'shann assaults. Things looked especially grim for the outer system colonies which were now entirely cutoff from the homeworld, the T'shann jamming all communications to points beyond the orbit of Janith. The first designs for a true heavy warship were on the table, but it would take over a year for even a protoype model to be constructed, and even then it would not be able to combat the overwhelming power of the T'shann's mainline cruisers.

The decision was made when the T'shann fleet was spotted en route to Bintarus to prepare for the final assault. Any other measure of tactical planning in the works was abandoned, the Bintari simply not having the luxury of time. The T'shann expected this of the Bintari, but they did not expect the Bintari tactics leading up to the final climactic battle.

The T'shann were not ready when, half way through their transit from Salsik to Bintarus, several jump points formed in amongst the fleet. As the unprepared T'shann warships attempted to reach full battle stations and scramble their fighters groups, a small fleet of Bintari attack craft--some being the rapidly refitted craft that had been sitting idle in the shipyards prior to the invasion--spewed from the jump points and began raining laser fire upon the unsuspecting targets. Over a dozen of the Bintari craft began systematically targetting any nearby T'shann vessel--the larger the better. Another surprise came from the jump frigates; all previous models captured by the T'shann had been unarmed. These were very much armed. Admiral Halhour's Entarra was struck critically amidship by a trio of attack craft, the blast rippling through the connection struts and detonating one of the ship's primary reactors.

Once the T'shann reached battlestations a rain of fire emerged from the vessels, a deadly reprisal which left the entire Bintari force easily silenced. The price was high, however. Admiral Halhour's flagship was badly damaged and was no longer combat worthy. One older Commodus Cruiser had been blow to smithereens and several other ships had taken light to moderate damage. The most damaged vessels turned around and fled back to Salsik. Fourth-fifths of the fleet remained, and it was still headed towards Bintarus. Several more harrying strikes were launched, though no more via jump capable craft. Each time the fleet was worn down further, but the T'shann still believed that they could crush any and all Bintari opposition at Bintarus.

As the T'shann approached the homeworld's defenses, they discovered that their calculations of the number of Bintari ships had been wrong. They had expected to be taking on a fleet roughly their same size--a decided advantage for the T'shann, who had a distinct technological advantage. However, their intelligence reports were far from accurate. There were two Bintari vessels for every T'shann. Nonetheless, pride and arrogance fueled Admiral Bralvan as he ordered his forces to close and attack.

The Admiral did not live long after that order was given. Within minutes both fleets were lost amidst a swirling fire of laser and plasma volleys. Hastily converted merchantmen fought alongside the Bintari's light police craft and scouts that wildly leapt into the fray, their laser bolts firing reliably and true. The T'shann weapons swatted the craft from the sky, but there were too many of them. The fleet could only watch helplessly as the Entarra Phulcrum exploded before their eyes. With their leadership gone, the fleet splintered. The commanders of the remaining T'shann craft began bickering, each of them claiming to be the new, rightful commander of the attack force. As they fought for status the battle continued. Several cruisers attempted to escape, but each that tried was quickly swarmed by nearby craft and destroyed or disabled. One Presimium Battlecruiser, the Okassa, nearly escaped the battlefield, but was destroyed when a Klavidia System Monitor rammed the rear of the ship, destroying the Okassa's jump drive. Both ships died violently as the jump point collapsed in upon them.

The misery and destruction of the Battle of Bintarus left both forces in distress. Almost the entire T'shann expeditionary force--which in and of itself represented 1/4 of the entire T'shann Imperial fleet--had been destroyed by the Bintari. In return the T'shann had nearly destroyed every ship the Bintari had that was capable of fighting. The tide had been turned, however. It was enough to force the remaining T'shann within the Bintari home system to flee back to their military base in Trashtan in order to lick their wounds and gather much needed supplies. It is true that the remaining T'shann ships could have easily wrested control of the system from the remaining defenders, but the T'shann military suffers from a very debilitating Achilles' heel: unless their position of power is unassailable by their opponents they will not engage.

Following the Bintari/T'shann War, the Bintari Federation was left to lick its wounds and begin the slow process of rebuilding. It took over four months for the Bintari to reclaim their outer outposts, flushing out the few surviving T'shann guerillas. Their economic infrastructure was in ruins; though Bintarus had been subjected to little in the way of orbital bombardment, the asteroidal mining centers on which the Bintari economy had hinged had fallen apart. Without the influx of new materials and colonial markets for goods the entire Federation began to slip into a recessionary state.

Matters could have gone from bad to worse if not for the efforts of First Citizen Lachis; governing at the head of the Federation Council, Lachis instituted work programs to help and rebuild the outer colonies and orbital facilities devastated or destroyed in the conflict. A secondary project of great importance was the reconstruction and bolstering of the Bintari military. In fact the explosion of new technologies following the Bintari/T'shann War were in large part due to First Citizen Lachis' policies.

Within six years the Bintari Federation was once again strong, with its colonies revitalized in the home system and the first substantial extrasolar colony emplaced in the nearby Ja'Kali system.

After opening more normalized diplomatic channels with other races in the region the Bintari learned that the T'shann invasion of the Bintari Federation was not localized event. Far from it, the power had attempted similar invasions on most of its neighbors, with varying degrees of success. The Bintari's nearest neighbor, the oppossum like Neshik, had repelled a T'shann invasion only 30 years before, and the Orgotts had been forced to endure 50 years of slavery under the Sovereign before being able to successfully rebel and repel the enemy forces from their home system.

In 2022, the T'shann once again began sending probing fleets into Bintari space, searching for a weakness that could be exploited. Instead they found a race galvanized through the fire of the last war and united in hatred of the T'shann Sovereign. All such probing fleets were destroyed with little loss of Bintari life, but that was the least of the T'shann's worries; in late September of 2022, the Bintari military command authorized a surgical strike on the T'shann military base and secondary shipyards in the Trashtan system--a system second only to the T'shann homesystem of Toln in strength. A contingent of 17 ships was dispatched secretly to the system, running quiet until they struck the T'shann baseworld. The attack took the T'shann completely by surprise; their best estimates placed the Bintari fleet still at numbers too low to be an active threat, and even their maximum estimates did not leave the Bintari with enough ships to project their influence beyond Bintarus. Both sides were bloodied by the assault, but the Bintari managed to escape with half their number still intact; in return they brutalized the planetary supply depot and destroyed a capital shipyard in addition to wiping out the entire defending T'shann fleet. The Bintari had been avenged.

With the Damoclesian sword removed from over their heads, the Bintari were left to continue down the road they had started to many years before: a peaceful expansion out into space, exploring and cataloging every possible system or anomaly they could reach via hyperspace.




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