The War of the Decamillenial Transition, also known as the Third Intergalactic War, Virgo War (most common name outside the Milky Way), or the War of the Confederacy, is a long-stretched, major intergalactic war lasting for nearly 500 years in the turn of the 21st millennium. It was, by far, one of the most destructive and fragmenting war in the history of humanity and many other species.
In total, 2,962 galaxies (mostly located in the Virgo Supercluster, with several galaxies just outside humanity's definition of the cluster also taking part) are directly involved in the conflict, equivalent to ~100 trillion stars with a population of ~1.1 quintillion, with about 75 quadrillion combatants in total. To many of its participants, the war completely changed the future of their whole population, with entire systems wiped off the galaxy and clusters deserted.
The war saw common use of powerful weapons by multiple parties, such as planet destroyers and anti-stellar bombs alongside advanced transport technologies such as long-distance wormholes (~13,000 wormholes were made during the course of the war) and superior-quality warp drives (capable of travelling with a speed of 5x107 c for two weeks, range of 21 Mly). It also saw the development of countermeasures against these weapons and technologies such as B-Enrichment. Nevertheless, it was estimated that 25,000 stars and 87,000 planets were annihilated in the conflict, aside from those rendered uninhabitable by intensive bombing or deserted due to Kessler Syndrome (see Evacuation of Earth). Several smaller starfaring races were also damaged to the point of near-extinction.
While conflicts between major powers have been rare, the exponential growth of the population meant that even the massive space was slowly becoming more and more crowded. Some scientists had estimated that within 50,000 to 90,000 years, all available planets would have already been colonized and there will be massive numbers of conflicts due to overpopulation. By the 17000s less than 0.5% of systems were populated, although this number had risen from just over 0.01% 10,000 years prior.
Around the start of the 19th millennia, the complete failures of The Intergalactic Confederacy in preventing a multitude of conflicts between its members have led a lot of members to question the reasoning of its existence. Multiple times, the Xcathli as the most dominant member of the organization has pushed various treaties, almost entirely advantageous to itself. While sentiments that the organization was simply Xcathlia's method of projecting power across the supercluster, this viewpoint grew exponentially in strength throughout the relative uneasy peace of the 18000s. During this period, many governments which had been welcoming of the IC grew more and more skeptical of it.
In addition to this, several major governments have never been members of the IC, and have refused to join. Particularly important is the Kren, who had slowly expanded in power across the supercluster with significant interest overlap with many other powers.
The Confederacy of Borealis, Xcathli's most important ally, had had a growing opposition to a continued alliance with the latter. Despite being arguably the second most powerful force in the IC with presence in 71 galaxies and majority control of Milky Way, Andromeda, and Triangulum along with many of their satellite galaxies, they were treated equally with some civilizations controlling a handful of star systems. On 19413 a motion to give a vote of no confidence against the Xcathli nearly passed in the Confederate senate, with 48.9% of the votes. Some government entities further from Sol, still having fresh memories of the lack of intervention during the Galactic and Intergalactic Wars, began to form their own organization secretly.
These systems were not alone. Many major civilizations controlling entire galaxies have also grown weary with the Xcathli's spineless dominance. Single-species civilizations with a strong sense of independence, in particular, had grown weary. Some Xcathli wormhole-based expansion into smaller galaxies which ended with near-forced treaties with the local civilizations, nearly all of which allowed the Xcathli to keep the territories they had colonized and more.
In the late 198th century, the Circinians made some colonization attempts in Triirir, a small elliptical galaxy 17.1 million light-years away from Milky Way. As it happened, the Xcathli was also initiating a colonization attempt at the very same year in the same general area in the galaxy. Aside from those two, there were no powerful interstellar civilizations in Triirir, with the largest ones holding less than 5,000 systems. Soon enough colonists from the two civilizations met and some friction began to heat up, since the Circinians, also a major power in the IC with presence in 38 galaxies, have never been fond of the Xcathli.
Initial Casus Belli
See also: Battle of Koosi Paglaus
Despite the friction, a small group of Circinian settlers arrived in the D-Class planet Koosi Paglaus and established a small biodome with a population of 1000 on 19792. Due to its extreme proximity with the edges of Xcathli space, a special battalion was attached to the colony in order to substantiate their claim to the system. Before long, the Circinian 4th Triirir division moved their headquarters and division frigate to the planet, with the Circinian government encouraging significant immigration. The Xcathli protested the military presence harshly and dispatched the frigate XIO FY-317 (a registration code) with 10,000 personnel in tow. The purpose was a force projection, in order to convince the Circinian military to step back from their current position.
Upon entering the system, the Xcathli received warnings and more were issued as they entered planetary orbit. However, they continued with their operations and landed, dropping the materiel and construction machines required to construct a military outpost from the frigate. The news of the tension spread quickly across the universe through the wormholes, and an emergency IC session was held in order to prevent clashes between the two important powers bearing no fruits. The Xcathli recalled their ambassador to the Circinians when they constructed anti-orbital railguns. Nevertheless, both opposing forces held themselves back from attacking each other, knowing full well of the consequences.
On May 2, 19804, the Circinian government evacuated the civilian population of the planet, leaving only military personnel of the division, moving the forces closer to the fortified hilly region used as headquarters by the Xcathli. Two days later, the Circinian government delivered an ultimatum to the Xcathli - leave the planet, or they will attack. They received no replies. After a week, on May 11 the XIO FY-317 began orbit-matching maneuvers in order to close in the Circinian Frigate. Xcathli delegations finally spoke up on May 13, condemning the actions of the Circinians and issuing their own ultimatum. During the following 80 hours, governments around the supercluster closely watched the situation.
On dawn the next day, or equivalent to 3:24 PM UTC, May 17 Earth time, the Circinian forces were ordered to move into assaulting position, with full equipment of heavily armored vehicles, land-to-land railguns, and laser cannons. At 4:12 PM UTC the Circinus Republic officially declared war against the Xcathli Republic, the information of which took 13 minutes to arrive at Xcathlia even with the most advanced state-of-the-art FTL communication. This information reached the fortified Xcathlians ten minutes later.
On 4:41 PM, the Circinian 4th Triirir Division railguns began shelling the fortifications of the 7068th and 7069th regiments of the Xcathli army, opening the Virgo War. After breaking past the Xcathli defenses, the Circinians continued their assault until the depleted Xcathlis surrendered. In orbit, the Xcathli vessel engaged in combat with the Circinian one and suffered heavy damages, and her crew had to abandon her (they were rescued by their enemy).
Declarations (May-September 19804)
Within hours several smaller governments heavily reliant on the Xcathli or the Circinus had declared war on each other. Larger, galactic entities were far more reluctant to participate, however, The Confederacy of Borealis , for example, had significant trade and research connections with both the Xcathli and the Circinus. Eventually, the Yegassin Republic declared war, joining the side of the Circinus Republic a week into the war. During this period, all major entities in the supercluster had begun mobilizing their armies and making preparations for a mass-conscription and mass-scale war industries. As time continued, the diplomatic missions of both parties continued to persuade other governments to join the war on their side. Somehow, the Xcathli managed to convince the relatively isolationist Mensar to join their war effort in early June (they had been trading with the Mensars for a long time).
On early August, the leader of the Confederacy of Borealis, Julio Perce of Epsilon Luixa, used his powers and declared that the CoB will join the war, siding with the Xcathli. Almost immediately after the declaration, nearly a dozen other entities declared their positions. It was not until early September, however, that the Kren made an unexpected move: they declared war on both warring alliances, with support from the Novum Imperium Rōmānum and the Ysau, among others. The remnants of the Molkor forces still bent on defeating the Confederacy, also pledged their alliance to the Kren.
By September 29, the last major entities have declared their positions, and the governments proceeded with the war.
Opening moves (19804-19807)
With the alliances scattered throughout the supercluster, it was crucial for the parties to establish a path to the target. While it was possible to make a direct wormhole, it was not feasible for large-scale military transport due to capacity and reversibility. Hence it was crucial for all parties to establish plenty of shorter-range wormholes between galaxies.
The Xcathli is based in the Fornax Cluster and the Kren in the Ursa Major group, while the Circinus Republic is based at the outer ranges of the Local Sheet. With the added presence of the Confederacy of Borealis in the Local Group, it was the center of mass between the largest combatants. However, it was a military fact that simply breaking through would be near-impossible - the Confederacy's military strength is second only to the Xcathli (or third or fourth). Hence, the participants sent expeditionary forces to where it started - the Triirir Galaxy, 15 million light-years away from Circinus. The fighting almost started to areas where the different alliances had parties - the initial Ysau invasion in the Large Magellanic Cloud, for example. Aside from the direct Xcathli - Circinus combat in Triirii, however, there was little interaction between the major powers.
Early Escalation (19808-19823)
After decisively destroying the main Circinian force in Triirir and capturing the Circinus-Triirir Wormhole, the Xcathli began to establish a holehead in Circinus. The Artrians used the millenia-old wormhole to Amatria, invading their old enemy with support from the co-invading forces of the Qrastro from NGC 3156, capturing several relatively dense planets on their first wave lasting from 19809-19813. In the Local Group, the Confederacy of Borealis managed to effectively nullify enemies within the Milky Way, repelling several raids from wormholes and invading the Ysau in the LMC as retaliation. The Confederate forces were defeated by Rexlorians in Whirlpool Galaxy and were forced to the outer edges of the galaxy and NGC 5195 to secure the wormhole to Milky Way, however.
At this point, the Confederacy deployed the weapons of the Pluto Vault. However, unlike the previous conflicts it was engaged in, the enemies were of similar level and numbers - after a brief successful counteroffensive against the Rexlorians (19811) which recaptured the lost systems in Whirlpool and another managed to take significant portions of the Large Magellanic Cloud from the Ysau (19814), the Confederate forces were once more stuck in a stalemate against their enemies. The situation was further complicated by a diversion of forces into both Triangulum in order to aid the Glitter Territories against a major incursion of the Kren and Amatria in order to fight the Qrastro. Furthermore, morale in Whirlpool Galaxy dropped after advances of the Confederate forces hit the metaphorical (and in some cases literal) wall on the disastrous Battle of Palik 119.
Several more major engagements, involving millions of troops and thousands of vessels from each side, were made in these years. For example, Siege of Dambjin (one of the most important Xcathli worlds in NGC 991) involved a combined force of 60,000 Yegassin and Circinian large vessels and 54 million support crew entirely blocking the planet while bombarding it from orbit.
While at this stage trillions of soldiers have been involved, the war remains a somewhat distant prospect for the majority of the populace - about 1 in 50,000 or 66 trillion individuals were conscripted at this point.
Beginning of total war (19823-19850)
The first general conscription by a major entity was the Transgalactic Empire of Rexlor, which implemented full conscription into its army on 19823 and at the same time declared a state of total war. By doing so, the size of the Rexlorian Armed Forces multiplied significantly and their industry began producing far more war equipment compared to the normal situation. This influx initially overwhelmed governments fighting them, shown by the Xcathli territorial losses in the Sombrero Galaxy and the retreat of Novum Imperium Rōmānum from NGC 3310. In order to counter this, many of the governments followed suit - the Xcathli did so for the first time in almost their entire starfaring history on 19843. Confederacy of Borealis did so on 19837.
With such measures in place, the number of combatants in the war jumped. Battles became more intense and casualty numbers follow, and countless previously uninhabited planets were colonized simply to support the massive amount of personnel and supply war materiel. These worlds, in turn, became subject to attacks from opposing factions. Newly-developed technologies such as autonomous combat drones were scarcely sufficient or useful enough against the continuous development of energy weapons, limiting their use in ground combat. The war had to be fought by spilling blood (for the case of organic combatants, at least), and there were plenty spilled. Between 19849 and 19850, the Battle of Vu Raka claimed the lives of 150 million military personnel and 50 million civilians as the Kren struggled to seize the Yegassin planet with 1 billion inhabitants.
Static Warfare (19850s-19945)
In the mid to late 19800s, the front plane of the war began to grind to a general halt, with major battles becoming rare and constant medium-scale fighting happening in barely-populated systems across the supercluster. Around these times the major combatants militarily colonized, and in some cases terraformed, significant numbers of uninhabited E, D, I, and O-Class planets in order to use as a defense and supply point. These planets, in turn, become points of strategic importance and battles were waged around these. Massive battles with >1 million combatants were rare, however, and a large number of troops from most major powers essentially had a form of unofficial truce between them. This time period contained the least combat since 19820, and 19907 saw the least number of casualties during the entire war.
The number of orbital defense points and artillery-littered planets around the frontline discouraged a large direct offensive, and few wormholes were opened. Most participants had used this time period to relieve their depleted frontline forces and to replenish supplies and equipment. The Confederacy of Borealis, for example, only engaged in 5 battles with more than 5 million combatants - three of them in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
It was not to say that the period was peaceful - there were some hit-and-run raids on populated planets done by all sides and plenty of battles fought over uninhabited and low-populated systems involving tens to hundreds of thousands of troops. Even more, smaller battles involving local divisions, regiments, and battalions were fought on celestial bodies of uninhabited systems. Memoirs of an Unending War, one of the most famous publication of the war, was written by compiling memoirs of troops starting from this time period from all sides and was published on 20299 by the human Vibol Chea. It contained first-hand descriptions of over 60 engagements, minor or major, within the static warfare age.
Operation Wi-Varath/Heavenly Descent (19946-19948)
On January 6th, 19946, the major powers of the Alliance for Intergalactic Restoration conducted a simultaneous, massive offensive across all fronts and in essentially all galaxies where they have a presence. The offensive involved about one-third of their entire fighting force at that time - just below 8 quadrillion soldiers and 45 billion heavy battleships. It was by then the largest singular military operation ever conducted in the known history of the supercluster, although it will be surpassed later on in the same war.
The initial attack took many of the opposing force by surprise and the AfIR managed to inflict significant casualties and make massive gains in territory, seizing several smaller galaxies entirely. However, it failed to achieve an important objective which was to cause irreparable damage on major opposing combatants. After about 18 months of retreat, the other parties began to regroup and counterattack the stretched and exhausted AfIR forces. AfIR lost some of their captured systems despite making a net gain. In some critical battles the AfIR advance was essentially turned back when their supply lines were crippled (i.e. Battle of Uvarada) or a major component of the galactic task force were destroyed (e.g. Fall of Yyitri). In total, this offensive caused 1.2 quadrillion military deaths - about 6% of the entire conflict. Due to the massive casualties, significant splits occur among non-Xcathli military leaders of the AfIR, including the CoB.
In this offensive, the use of Planet-busting weapons was first recorded. It was used on a fortified S-Class moon where an artillery division continually harassed a besieging force of cruisers around its parent planet. It was (quite conclusively) determined that all ~13,000 soldiers and officers on the moon were killed as a result of the moon collapsing into a small black hole. A time travelling empire known as the Time Devils noticed the use of the weapons and put the guilty in a time loop as a warning to make this never happen again.
Second Static Warfare (19948-20007)
After the depletion of military strength and personnel incurred due to the not-so-successful Wi-Varath, the AfIR regrouped in the new front lines and refortified themselves like the early 19850s. The other two factions did not utilize this timing to launch a massive counterattack, learning from the pyrrhic offensive they had just repelled.
While in this time period combatants were significantly more aggressive compared to the first static warfare stage, it was on average quite similar with about 50% more annual casualties on average. Knowing that anti-celestial body weapons would be deployed, all sides began to intensify research into countering these weapons. The Xcathli scientists were the first to realize, by adding neutron absorbing elements such as Boron or Cadmium into the body cores even with small concentrations, it would be able to avert the collapse of the planet due to nuclear processes and in essence "vaccinate" the planet (slight increases in tectonic and volcanic activity occur in the process of injecting hundreds of thousands of tons of material into the planetary core).
Starting at this stage, direct takeovers of planets after one single decisive battle became rarer and rarer, with battles being split into multiple less-colossal conflicts throughout the surface of the planet. Similarly, space fleets tend to avoid massive engagements save for major sieges. This pattern of combat generally stays around for about two centuries.
This led to a diplomatic crisis between the Xciathli and the Time Devils.
Confederate Civil War and exit from the war
Main article: Split of the Confederacy of Borealis
On October 4th 20007, the CoB sent an army corps to capture an ordinary, Yegassin-controlled D-Class Planet Aaedepa in NGC 991 to secure the sector nearby where the Xcathli military HQ for the galaxy reside. After a brief battle, the Confederate forces captured the planet and was attached to the Xcathli military for the time being.
Soon enough the Yegassins launched a counterattack and laid a siege against the planet. The Xcathli, unwilling to let the Yegassins regain a strategic foothold, made a brief raid which managed to launch an anti-planetary weapon against the planet. However, the corps was still on the planet (the Xcathli, due to miscommunication in the chain of command, thought that they had evacuated) and were all killed due to the attack.
While friendly fire was an extremely routine occurrence within a war involving quadrillions, this particular incident gained traction within the core systems of the Milky Way since said corps had members coming from the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way. With a large degree of exhaustion and unrest caused by 200 years of Intergalactic War which was not fought to defend human interests, this incident took out whatever sympathy left of the Xcathli remaining in large swathes of the populace, particularly those living relatively far away from the central government in Sol. Within 25 years, this growth had become essentially unstoppable and political influences of the Confederacy had vanished from entire sectors of Milky Way and human-held space.
Several systems within the galaxy began to declare complete independence from the CoB, and this soon caused a domino effect which pulled in about 40% of the human population in the galaxy. These systems formed militias which, due to the lack of military presence within the far-from-fighting Milky Way, managed to break in deep into core Confederacy areas. In fact, this rebellion saw the first ever proper invasion against the Solar System and planet Earth within the entire history of spacefaring of humans (multiple wars prior saw attacks against Earth, but those were mainly minor raids which never made it past the geostationary belt). While the Confederacy managed to, somehow, beat back the invaders by withdrawing a huge amount of force from the frontlines, this internal split effectively nullified the CoB from the (main) intergalactic war.
Eventually, the CoB signed a thirty-year truce with most of the opposing entities on 20046, in order to focus on its own internal turmoil. Part of the truce included temporary withdrawal of human forces from space not theirs by 20036, including Xcathli and allies' territory.
League-Axis Offensive (20050-20059)
Exploiting the withdraw of human troops on many fronts and a temporary truce with a powerful combatant, the LfIIG and the Axis signed a ceasefire on their own, lasting for ten years from 20049. With their hands freed up, both parties began to make a buildup of forces against the weakened alliance.
On March 2nd 20050, twenty quadrillion soldiers from both the League and the Axis launched a coordinated attack, although they did the attacks in separate locations. This offensive remains the largest military campaign in recorded history of all known species within the Virgo Supercluster as of the year 30,000. This offensive crippled the weakened Alliance, with major Xcathli forces being destroyed by the rapid advance or forced to retreat far from the frontline. Several governments, such as the Amatrian Galactic Spherium, entirely lost the support of the war within their populace and was forced to sign peace treaties.
The offensive continued with many galaxies being seized entirely by the League or the Axis. Krenians were the first to actually reach the Xcathli's home galaxy, although the Xcathli managed to halt their advance first at the Battle of Ik'Kara-O and later push them back to a small holehead following the Battle of Pipicata.
After eight years of near-continuous advance, rifts began to appear between the two technically-not-enemies and forces were diverted from the counter-Alliance front to the old League-Axis front once more, allowing the Aliiance to start their painful, slow push back. Eventually, the truce expired and combat nearly instantly resumed between the two groups.
After the significant losses in territory, the Alliance turned far more aggresive and engaged in a war of attrition which involved frequent full-scale invasion of systems and heavy bombardments of strategic targets. Obviously, this doctrine caused significantly more casualties compared to that of static warfare. Invasions costing hundreds of millions of lives on each side were no longer uncommon, with large swathes of space being exchanged almost daily. Multiple doomsday weapons were unleashed and were proven incapable of giving any hint of doomsday to enemies not directly on the receiving end. The bloodiest single battle in the entire war was the Battle of B4 Null, where two entire invading transgalactic combat fleets moving in massive intergalactic formations somehow came within less than 100 AU of each other, prompting both fleets to exit warp. The Allied and Axis fleets, numbering ~1.2 billion large ships total with ~6 trillion crew, clashed, and the Allied fleet decisively beat the Axis fleet forcing the cancellation of the invasion entirely. In total, the battle was estimated to cost about 1.5 trillion lives total with hundreds of millions of destroyed cruisers and battleships (after the war ended, these wrecks coalesced into a small rogue near-pure metallic dwarf planet).
In these long, bloody years, the Alliance slowly (and even more slowly as time continued) gained space, nearly returning to their old positions by 20149. However, they had run out of capabilities to conduct large operations due to massive war exhaustion on their populace.
Final Statics (20149-20249)
As the attrition finally lost steam, the war returned to a static phase, not dissimilar with the earlier two time periods with extremely rare invasions and semi-frequent raids. The desire for peace had grown amongst most parties in the combat, particularly the humans where the Confederacy had been forced to stop fighting the rebels and secede to many of their demands, including territorial losses and demilitarization.
Major initial peace talks began on 20249 between the major combatants, and during these peace talks invasions were canceled and raids were becoming less and less frequent. The last major invasion of a planet during the war occurred on 20281 (the defenders were victorious). While some particularly warmongering smaller entities refused to attend the talks, they were largely ignored by the larger intergalactic powers and an effective truce had been established by 20276. This included the demilitarization of the frontlines and proliferation of most anti-planetary or anti-stellar weapons (Pluto Vault was raided empty after the War in Sol).
Finally, on 20285, delegates met on Tuuze, an Xcathli-controlled planet, to finalize the clauses of the treaty. After another 24 months of intense negotiations (actual military raids happened on orbit, with on average biweekly threats of planetary destruction), delegations representing 99.76% of the total military participation of the war signed the Treat of Tuuze, ending the War of the Decamillenial Transition and enforcing a twenty-five year long peace in the cluster (save invaders from further outside and the remaining 0.24%).
While none of the strongest thirty states participating were dissolved, some were shrunk to near irrelevance. The CoH was particularly affected by this, although many others were also weakened. While little annexation of territory occurred between the major nations, the long war had caused discontent in many of the populaces and all of the thirty states were forced to release some of their territories as independent states. This allowed for a more balanced political relation with the weakening of the strong powers. Billions of states, large or small, were created as a result of the Treaty of Tuuze and its sub-treaties.
The population of the supercluster was reduced as a direct result of the conflict. Normally, the population growth would range around 8-9% per century, but the average growth rate during this conflict was -2.5%. Trade and collaborative research between opposing nations also suffered severely, with long-distance trade dropping by 70% at worst. Trade recovered rather quickly, however, due to the jumping demand for machinery and materials required for rebuilding.
The astropolitical and military climates of the supercluster had been permanently changed as a direct result of the war. Xcathli lost their position as the dominant military power, now having to vie with many newly-formed rivals such as the Circinians or the Kren. CoB was reduced to the control of just under one-tenth of its former territories and lost plenty of its political advantages, severely weakening its standing from one of the near-invincible top power to a relatively less threatening middle power.
With massive territorial changes and secession of systems, large migrations occurred between bordering nations (e.g. inhabitants of a Yegassin planet in now-Kren space moved back into Yegassin space). Large swathes of former dense systems were almost abandoned. Countless new nations formed, with territories ranging from several galaxies to minor states holding parts of a natural satellite.
As one of the clauses of the Treaty of Tuuze, the Intergalactic Confederacy was disbanded and replaced with the Stellar Council. The latter has much less power in comparison to the IC, which significantly weakens the political positions of powerful entities and prevents excessive foreign intervention in wars and disputes. The Stellar Council was only authorized to call for an alliance between the many states if an aggressive force had utilized weapons of planetary-scale destruction on non-military facilities.
In the Local Neighborhood of Milky Way, the massive political shift confined the sphere of influence of the CoB to about 45% of the Milky Way with some extragalactic territories. Humanity was once again fractured into multiple states, with about 150,000,000 separate political entities governing over 71 galaxies and 45 quadrillion humans. Although this number reduced rapidly to about 250,000 (i.e. an average government would have 180 billion citizens in comparison to 300 million) within 40 years due to single-system states being annexed by larger ones or joining together, humanity and its related species were not to see unity within the foreseeable future.
After the population had recovered, improved diplomacy and reductions in armaments allowed for reduced conflicts between (the remaining) major states. Due to the massive number of new political entities formed, there were many conflicts still being fought, however.
Interestingly, Koosi Paglaus itself was released by both Xcathlia and Circinia, making it an independent entity.