“The Fortress of the Twelve Worlds. Once, we believed it to be unconquerable. We were mistaken. Now, we will rectify our error and ensure for now and all time, that our Fortress will never again be sundered.”
- - Minister Khael, Scorpiaen Capricaforming Committee, 01 BNE
Scorpiae is a planet located in the Core of the Cyrannus Galaxy, notable for being one of the Twelve homeworlds of the Libertus. Naturally suited for the warm-blooded saurians, Scorpiae has a dense atmosphere and is covered in thick rainforests which stretch pole to pole, occasionally interrupted by warm tropical seas. Libertus native to Scorpiae have garnered a formidable reputation as some of the galaxy’s shrewdest tacticians and politicians, brokering deals which ultimately afforded Scorpiae a position of power amongst the Twelve Worlds disproportionate to its small size and low population.
Scorpiae’s pre-spacefaring history was shaped by the planet’s powerful city states, which tended to avoid conflict in favour of court intrigue and manipulation. When the planet was ostensibly unified under the Allied Scorpiaen City-States, these states remained largely independent, while simultaneously tolerating the planetary government. Under a loose association with the sprawling empire of Leonae, Scorpiae became best known for hosting the Scorpiaen Fleetyards, a vast installation encircling the planet which supplied battleships for the governments of the Four Systems. Though Scorpiae would remain peaceful for much of its history – particularly under the United Worlds of Coruannus – it would be targeted by the First Cognatus Empire during the Intergalactic War in a massive battle which saw the planet’s near destruction at the hands of the invading zealots.
Though the planet was devastated, the Republic underwent a massive campaign to heal the damage caused by the Cognatus, repairing the planet’s once proud cities and repopulating the scorched rainforests. By the end of the Great Cyrannus War, the planet rivalled its pre-war self, becoming a key military centre for the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus until the Imperial government formally handed over control of the system to the New Cyrannian Republic in 05 NE. Scorpiae is considered to be one of the most important worlds in the New Republic, housing the vast shipyards which had once made the planet famous.
Like the other eleven worlds in the system other than Capricaerón, Oikoumene constructs would seed the dense rainforests of Scorpiae with tribal Libertus in a bid to ensure that the species would ultimately survive. The Libertus who inhabited Scorpiae would quickly adapt to the planet’s often harsh conditions, building vast cities on the fringes of the planet’s largely inhospitable deserts and forests. Eventually, these settlements would form sprawling city-states, each with unique customs. Unlike worlds such as Taurophon however, Scorpiae would remain generally peaceful, with the city states of Scorpiae preferring political intrigue to open warfare.
The planet was ultimately unified in theory under the Allied Scorpiaen City-States soon after the native Libertus developed space-flight capabilities, bringing the world into the increasingly complex Coruannus System. Located in the Heran Gamma subsystem, the Scorpiaens would form mutually beneficial trade agreements with their neighbours on Libraen – an important centre for system-wide law – as well as Sagittarhon, though the superstitious and at times xenophobic nature of the native Sagittarhonians prevented a formal alliance.
Scorpiae would later enter an alliance with the Leonaen Empire while simultaneously engaging in close trade with Virgon, Piconé and Capricaerón, setting the balance of power in the Heran Gamma system which would endure for many centuries. Largely uninterested in struggles between the Twelve Worlds, Scorpiae would instead play host to the Scorpiaen Fleet Yards, a vast orbital construct which would supply massive warships for the highest bidder. When the Four Systems unified under the United Worlds of Coruannus, Scorpiae would be a major military power-broker, known by the other worlds as the Fortress World.
- Intergalactic War
During the Gigaquadrant-spanning Intergalactic War, Scorpiae was regarded as housing the most important shipyards in the Cyrannus Galaxy, supplying a significant portion of the mighty vessels of the Republic Navy. This made Scorpiae a tempting target for the marauding hordes of the First Cognatus Empire, which launched a massive attack against the planet. Utilising a previously unseen warship type, the Cognatus deployed hundreds of dropships to the planet's surface while cruisers bombarded the planet's cities from orbit. Under the command of Fleet Admiral Hallén, the Republic launched a massive counterattack against the occupying Cognatus fleet in orbit, working with Rambo Nation and the newly revealed Rambo Ancientia to evacuate the capital city of Celestes. The Battle of Scorpiae would be regarded as the largest armed conflict in the history of the Republic - a dubious position it would hold until the final Battle of Capricaerón at the end of the conflict. Ultimately, the allied forces emerged victorious, though not before losing a large chunk of their fleet.
Though the war against the Cognatus was ultimately won, the scorched remains of Scorpiae remained a potent symbol of the powerful of the Cognatus.
- Intervening Period
The administration under President Apollo quickly formed the Scorpiaen Capricaforming Committee when the planet was secure from any lingering Cognatus activity. Headed by Minister Khael, the project would be accelerated exponentially upon the conclusion of the Intergalactic War, which heralded the beginning of a new period of growth and prosperity for the Republic of Cyrannus. The task ahead for the committee was vast; though repairing the planet's once proud cities took priority an equal amount of care was required to repopulate the once verdant rainforests of the planet, which had been seared by plasma bombardment. By the beginning of the Great Cyrannus War, great strides had been made leading to the official repopulation of the planet by the end of 01 BNE.
Though many scars from the Cognatus assault remained, Scorpiae would once again prosper as a key hub of the Twelve Worlds, a position it would hold under the rule of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus. During the five years of Imperial rule, the newly repaired and expanded Scorpiaen Fleet Yards constructed many of the mighty Star Destroyers utilised by the Imperial Navy, making Scorpiae one of the most pro-Imperial worlds in the Four Systems. As such, there was a degree of apprehension when the Coruannus System was handed over to the New Cyrannian Republic in 05 NE after an agreement which ended the War for Capricaerón.
- New Republic
Under the New Republic administration, Scorpiae would see an unprecedented expansion of the orbital shipyards surrounding the planet, which had languished under the Empire in favour of Outer Rim facilities. Due to the Four System's precarious location on the border to Imperial space, the Republic thought it prudent to increase orbital defences as well as facilities intended to construct, repair and refit New Republic vessels, in addition to the largely vestigial military of the United Worlds of Coruannus. By the second year of the Cyrannian Cold War, Scorpiae had surpassed Coruaan as the most profitable planetary fleet yard in Republic space.
Scorpiaen Libertus are well known for their cunning and crafty demeanour, which has served their people well throughout the centuries. Indeed, while the Scorpiaens are generally well regarded by the other natives of the Twelve Worlds, they are often considered to be calculating and cold, particularly in comparison with the stereotype that all Piconéans are warm and friendly. Nevertheless, while it is true that more than a few Scorpiaens fit this description, qualities such as good humour and personal charisma are cherished on Scorpiae, the inhabitants of which are known to possess a dry and often self-deprecating wit.
Away from the cities of Scorpiae lie the dense rainforests, home to many species unique to the Fortress World. Unlike worlds such as Capricaerón, where saurians are the dominant terrestrial lifeforms, Anthropods are dominant on Scorpiae, while amphibians represent the most common vertebrates. Many of these species faced extinction during the vicious Cognatus attack on the planet, though Libertus life-workers successfully repopulated most of the native lifeforms during the planet's extensive recovery period.