This article is primarily written from a roleplay and worldbuilding point of view. Information relevant to IFA operations and gameplay is italicized.
Aurax is the only natural moon of the original homeworld, Auraxis. First terraformed and populated during the Second Exodus, Aurax is the Crown World of the Twenty Worlds of Auraxis and is considered the center of Auraxian civilization.
Aurax is only natural moon of Auraxis, the second planet in the Auraxis Star System. The surface of the moon is partially terraformed with many of the moon's prehistoric craters turned into lakes. The surface gravity is 0.21g and the surface atmosphere density ranges from 1 atmosphere at Avalon and Mirage Cities to 0.25 atmosphere farther from major population centers.
Historical calendar eras in Auraxian history include: PX (Post (First) Exodus), P2X (Post Second Exodus), and the current era: P3X (Post Third Exodus). 'P3X' may be omitted from years in the current era. If you are confused about calendar formatting, so are modern historians: check out History#Eras for more details.
Aurax is theorized to have formed naturally 3 billion years ago. Around 45 million years ago, a large asteroid impacted Aurax and left an impact zone known today as the Mirage Basin. The impact event scattered hydrogen, water ice, precious metals, and iron throughout the northern hemisphere.
After the First Exodus, little attention was given to the barren moon in orbit.
The far side of Aurax was left unexplored during the Auraxis War, since all sides had anti-satellite and anti-launch capability. Any mission to establish a base on Aurax would be shot down before orbital insertion. In 5 PX, the Vanu Sovereignty managed to put a constellation of spy satellites in orbit of Aurax to outrange the other two nations' anti-satellite weapons.
After the war, nuclear winter plagued the homeworld and direct viewing of the moon from the surface was impossible for 250 years.
Almost all bodies of water on Auraxis were radiologically contaminated following the war, and artificial methods of chemically producing water were unsustainable to support the population.
In 100 PX, spectrographic studies of the moon were performed. They showed unusually high quantities of water ice, a priceless resource to the struggling Auraxians on the homeworld. Fearing false hope, the government called the results a 'mirage' and largely covered up the report until they could feasibly send a mission to recover the resources.
After years of failed missions, the Rosalin-Kallac expedition finally launched in 145 PX. The expedition mapped the complete surface of the moon and plotted the most favorable landing coordinates. While scanning the far side of the moon, they found a massive concentration of water ice lining the sides of a 4500 kilometer wide basin in the northern hemisphere. Easily visible from space, streaks of water ice radiated away from the impact zone in a glistening starry pattern. This was the beacon of hope the homeworld was waiting for - enough clean, uncontaminated water to support 500,000,000 people. Mission leader Eva Rosalin fittingly named it "Mirage Basin" to spite the central government's misgivings and disinformation. Rosalin knew if they reported their findings only to mission command, their discovery would be hushed up for another half decade while millions died of dehydration. Therefore, while returning to Auraxis orbit on July 14th, 145 PX, she personally addressed a wideband to the entire planet with all files, reports, and discoveries made throughout the mission encoded within the transmission.
The result was immediate anarchy. After government control was reestablished following 2 months of rioting, the focus of the entire planet became reaching its moon. Reinvigorated, the people pressured the government for immediate action and blamed leadership for any further delays.
Rushed missions launched in 146, 147, and 149 PX. In 150, the Water Committee standardized plans for a water reclamation center in Auraxis orbit that would collect water ice containers slingshotted from Aurax. In 170 PX, a fulltime lunar mining station was in operation in Mirage Basin, and by 215, Auraxis had a system ferrying 600 million liters of water ice per year between worlds.
In 305 PX, Mirage City was officially incorporated with a starting population of 50,000 that grew by thousands each year. Mirage City is currently the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Twenty Worlds as it enters its 6273th year in 3147 CE.
In 348, the Confederation of Auraxis commissioned its first military force - Overwatch - to deter water piracy in the transorbital region.
In 507 PX, the Arralyan supervolcano erupted on Auraxis, plunging the planet into a nuclear winter much worse than the one experienced 300 years prior. Massive tectonic activity was recorded globally, and earthquakes collapsed the majority of the Arann continent into a subterranean pocket miles deep in a massive geological event that costed 205 million Auraxian lives. More devastatingly, it opened up the surface to Auraxis' previously unknown methane gas layer under the planet's crust, which started leaking gas into the atmosphere at an alarming rate. Experts warned that the planet's atmosphere would become unbreatheable within 250 years even with further genetic modification of the Auraxian subspecies.
The only option for the survival of the Auraxian people would be another exodus, to the moon of Aurax, or to a distant star.
In 509, the Continuing Committee decided Year 0 should be reset to the date of the Raylan Event. Although the intent was to reset year 0 to the date of the calamity, most Auraxians decided to reset it at the start of the next year instead for convenience purposes. After a year of calender confusion, Year 0 P2X (Post Second Exodus) was carried to January 510 PX. For that reason, historical documents from 509 PX are often misdated as Year 2. Confusion regarding the time and date conventions within Auraxian history has resulted in at least one war within the last 5000 years.
Between 0 and 37 P2X, three massive arks were constructed over Aurax for the evacuation effort - To Avalon, Unto Heaven, and For Destiny. They acted as colossal ferries between Auraxis and Aurax and could each carry 100,000 refugees per trip.
Between 67 and 260 P2X, Anchorage Orbital received over 80 million refugees through substations such as Avalon Gate. It is estimated that up to 25% of the Auraxian species was evacuated before environment dome collapses, earthquakes, and starvation killed the surviving holdouts by 450 P2X. To Avalon was landed on the near side of the southern hemisphere to start Avalon City in 245 P2X.
In 244 P2X, the Athian Union purchased the Ark For Destiny and retrofitted it over 20 years. The Athians launched for a distant star in 262 with over 175,000 on board.
By 300 P2X, the population of Aurax numbered around 130 million.
Between 300 and 507 P2X, Aurax enjoyed a stable period with widespread terraforming around Mirage and Avalon making the air outside breathable for the first time in 502.
The Confederal government fell in 507 after regional strains and infighting broke the governing ability of the Continuing Committee, splitting Aurax into different nation-states which often conflicted with one another. During this period, several nations emerged that would later colonize the Twenty Worlds as Auraxians traveled to the stars.
Anchorage Orbital became a constant battleground as each nation fought for control over modules, cities, and ships. Control over Anchorage's nuclear batteries could enable a first strike attack on any nation on Aurax and any ship within Aurax's sphere of influence, and each state wanted to wield that leverage over the others to protect its interests.
Thankfully, Anchorage's CiC or its nuclear batteries never fell into unwary hands. The Sola Imperial Authority (descendants of the Confederation Overwatch) protected the most sensitive areas of Anchorage between 630 and 920, when the Anchorage Compromise was eventually brokered.
After a range of disputes, Sola Imperial Authority disconnected the Arann, Reley, and Corin modules from Anchorage Orbital for breaking the terms of the Anchorage Compromise. The other nations retaliated by firing surface-to-orbit missiles at Overwatch Station, a population center of 1.2 million. The Avalon Gate Authority, which had maintained neutrality for 200 years to serve as a free port, intervened, shooting down the missiles as they entered orbit.
After retrofitting their module into an Ark, the Corinians left the Aurax Star System by 1020 P2X.
In 1637, the aging superstructure of Anchorage Orbital buckled after an errant Ark Áspera collided with Anchorage's space elevator. The remaining parties to the Anchorage Compromise decided to dismantle the orbital and use its material on more ambitious projects. The process would take the next hundred years as dismantling a 400 kilometer long structure held together with a thousand years' worth of patchups is a daunting project in itself.
Main article: Third Exodus
Ricard Rattel invented the impulse fusion drive in 1627 P2X, paving the way for colonization of other star systems. Instead of spending generations to reach another star, you could now continuously accelerate while leaving and reverse direction while halfway through your journey, cutting a 500 year odyssey to a 35 year journey - a single generation of an Auraxian's lifespan.
Much of the Sola Imperial Authority left the Aurax system in 1737 and founded the Solan Dominion by 1947 P2X.
Greatly bolstered by all the available material liberated from Anchorage Orbital's demolition, the first major wave of colonial arks left Avalon Gate to head to distant stars. Over 6 million left on these arks before 2000 P2X, but most of these unlucky Auraxians had no clue what relativistic dangers awaited them as they accelerated to fractions of the speed light.
Very few arks launched between 1900 and 2200 as not a single of the 500+ Arks reported back a success until 2200 P2X.
In 2201, a listening post in the heliopause detected a faint and ancient radio communication from a star 24 light years away. It was Athis - the Athians who had launched almost 2000 years ago had made it after a 693 year long journey. And against all odds, not one, but two planets in the Athesian Star System were habitable after some terraforming and microevolution.
After learning of Athis and Varae, another 2 million Auraxians volunteered over next few centuries, progressing the Third Exodus of the Auraxian peoples.
The Third Exodus officially ended once in 2342, three separate hulks of former Arks came sailing through the Aurax system in the same year, all in various states of destruction. Two of them came in as debris fields identifiable only by their impulse radiation trails and their high relativistic velocities, and the other returned at a more manageable speed...just with millions of holes and 15,000 bodies. It was determined that these Arks must had survived the initial journey to their target stars and had found no planet suitable for Auraxian life or terraforming. In that event, they were to return to Aurax. Since up to 30% of Arks were expected to return, mathematicians had expected more than 275 to have returned to the Auraxis system by 2342, yet only 3 had...in pieces. Therefore, it was solemnly decided that the vast majority of Arks must have perished with all hands on their initial journeys.
Over the next decade, six more debris fields entered into Auraxian space, and there was at least one incident of superluminal debris impacting a population center causing thousands of casualties.
The Ark Joran's Leap was the first Ark to return to Aurax successfully in 2347 P2X. It reported the destruction of two other Arks in the Joran System, where a successful Auraxian colony had taken up thousands of years before. The Joran System had two planets spectrographically confirmed to have oxygen and nitrogen atmospheres, so 6 Arks had left for the system in the last millennia, including two slow ones in 424 and 517 P2X. The Leap was an impulse ark launched in 2298 and arrived successfully in 2316. When it arrived, it found the 517's transponder signal in orbit of the second planet. The planet was inhabitable, and scanners quickly located 3 major cities on the surface - with tens of thousands of lifesigns. They landed 4,000 people before reading some strange contacts from across the system. The locals had informed them about 12 years before, a strange bright phenomena that entered the system and was caught by the star. The Joranians' Ark was thousands of years old and its repair manuals had been lost to time, so they couldn't investigate themselves. The Leap sent a launch that reported back the next year with startling readings. There was evidence of impulse drive radiation arcing throughout a widely elliptical orbit, and there was evidence of a mass of debris in the orbit. Undoubtedly, Leap's sister Ark received a relativistic impact while slowing from superluminal. On the second year of its trip back, Leap recorded another impulse drive signature with radiation scattered over 1 LY, implying another Ark had met the same fate.
Aurax would not launch Arks again until 3327 P2X after the development of gargantuan ablative shield umbrellas that could successfully protect against relativistic and superluminal impacts.
Aurax remained mostly insular as interstellar communications opened between the nascent Ark Worlds, not participating much in the fledgeling interstellar commerce and trade economy springing up between Corin, Athis, Joran, and Arann in the 3500s. In 3705, the Aurax Progression Pact combined the remaining Overwatch with the Sorinian and Vyrranian governments to form the United Republic. As of 4000 P2X, the major nations left on Aurax included the UNR, Mirage, Cyrenia, and Avalon.
Main Page: Unity War
In 4227 P2X, a delegation of 14 Joranian, Athesio-Varean, and Corinian Arks and 47 support vessels arrived in orbit, hoping to form an alliance against the Pax Trinity Republic: Sola, Releya, and Virana, three powerful Ark Worlds threatening interstellar war. After allegations of false premises, internal confusions within the delegation, and even friendly fire incidents, the Aurax government was convinced Pax Trinity posed a threat.
In the 4100s, Sola was equally as powerful as Corin, and its Dominion was rumored to have thirteen World-level colonies under its banner as of 4201. The 3900s-4100s Releyan Socialist Federation was a far cry from today's Releya, with its production facilities far surpassing those of today's Releyan corporate infighting and capitalist hegemonies. The Virana Commonwealth, the smallest of the Pax Trinity Worlds, was a haven for commerce and a major innovator in interstellar drives, developing impulse engines capable of twice the efficiency of Corinian drives.
On 16 November 4227, representatives Brig. Gen. John Perigene (UNR), Prime Minister Arrana Roy-Kalic (Avalon Commonwealth), Governor Cal Tistri (Mirage), Admirals Aralas (Athesian Republic) and Irena Astor (Sovereignty of Varae), and Vice Viceroy Dax-Jana (Corin) signed the Pact of Auraxis (4227), formally allying the Ark Worlds in a military and trade agreement for the next 200 years. Throughout the war, this alliance would develop into the loose Confederation of Auraxis, a precursor to both the Ave of Unity and the Imperial Federation of Auraxis.
In January 4228 P2X, the 1st and 3rd Trinity Strike Fleets entered the Auraxis system behind a diplomatic entourage. The Solan Dominion expected to quickly sign the homeworld into the Pax Trinity, or if that failed, to annex or pacify it before launching its strikes across the stars. Solan Admiral Daniel Tyraje expected the Aurax Defense Forces to be split between feudal powers, with Overwatch forces to comprise the bulk of any effective defense.
Tyraje predicted the Overwatch would fold rather than fire upon their ancestral kin - both the Sola Imperial Authority of Aurax and the Sola Dominion shared a zealous devotion to their shared religion. Overwatch, now known as the UNR Interplanetary Command Overwatch (UNRICO), had been reorganized into a diverse expeditionary force that patrolled the Auraxis Star System and warred many Outer System Alliance factions since the 3790s. With UNRICO, Avalon Military Command, and the Ark Worlds' fleet, the Sola Dominion's 1st Strike Fleet found itself outmaneuvered and pincered by mid-July and was forced to take up a low orbit around the gas giant Jos, around 2 AU from the Auraxis Sun.
The Trinity's 3rd Fleet, with combined Solan and Viranan elements of 17 interstellar Arks and 130 smaller vessels, engaged Avalon Military Command's 7th Fleet in a protracted nuclear engagement on 17-24 July 4228, resulting in a loss of 13 Avalonian vessels with 13,000 Avalonian deaths and 8 Trinity vessels with 2,700 Trinity deaths. On 30 July, the Avalonians used a high-velocity retrograde orbital maneuver to launch a stealthed skirmish wing of fighter bombers, boarding pods, and small craft into the Trinity fleet. The suicide mission was a success - Avalonian bombers activated within 14 km of closing, launching several point-blank torpedoes and kinetic kill vehicles at their unsuspecting targets. One Trinity Ark was nuked and fell apart immediately with ~ 40,000 deaths, and several Trinity cruisers were successfully infiltrated with close-combat boarding parties. At 01:40, boarded Trinity heavy cruiser 'Eare A. Jones' turned its nuclear batteries towards Trinity Ark En Paz, causing point-blank nuclear detonations that ruptured the Ark's superstructure and ripped its forward deflector umbrella spine from its bow, exposing ~ 3,000 Solans to hard vacuum. At 04:15, Avalonian Ark In Heaven's Name successfully deployed a Casaba howitzer nuclear shaped charge against Trinity Ark Law of Haran, irradiating every one of its ~ 30,000 of crew that survived its beam of nuclear hellfire. Around 04:30, a Viranian frigate escaping the confusion at full burn struck an Avalonian battlecruiser at relativistic velocities, causing complete destruction of both vessels. The ships' orbital debris field would strafe Ralos Orbital Settlement 2 years later.
No further battles in the Unity War would directly affect the Auraxis System, and the war was declared over after a Hasian fleet glassed Sola in 4257 P2X.
Between 4260 and 4275, all members of the Auraxis Confederation ratified the Ave of Unity, creating a permanent interstellar Auraxian state and bringing an end to the Third Exodus. 4275 P2X thus became 0 P3X, the first year of the current Common Era.
Aurax has a population of 25 million Aurax-auraxians, 1 million Athesians and Corinians each, and a few thousand of each other Auraxian species.
Aurax is the location of the Supreme Quorum of Aurax, and is the Crown World of the Twenty Worlds of Auraxis. Aurax is an imperium with all power given to the Office of the Emperor Imperis, which delegates legislative power to the Sola Council and military power to the Aurax Homeguard and Aurax Overwatch. States exist and each have separate governments that resemble the governments they had in the feudal era, however each state government only retains vestigial power in the current era.
- Mirage City, Mira
- Mirage Falls
- New Rosa City, Mira
- Avalon Historic District, Avalon City, Avalon
- Sala-Jackson Park, Avalon
Imperial Exclusion Zone
- Palace of Aurax, Imperial Exclusion Zone
- Golden City, Imperial Exclusion Zone
- Daphyn Jackson Unification War Memorial, Imperial Exclusion Zone
- Old Sorin, Corinia
- Turtle Point
- New Anchorage Station
- Destiny Orbital