In the First
Time, some 4,000 years ago, a long and terrible war brought
about the collapse of the ancient Kushan empire. The
victors, the savage Taiidan, would have slaughtered all
Kushan had it not been for the outcry for mercy from the
races of the Galactic Council. As a gesture of goodwill, the
conquerors spared the lives of the defeated; the survivors
were sent into exile on the remote desert world of Kharak.
None were permitted to follow or aid the fallen; all memory
of them was erased. Even the exiles themselves soon forgot
their origins, and so it would have remained were it not for
the Guidestone, a single artifact that had survived the
journey. Made of rock from the sacred "Angel Moon"
of their lost homeworld, Hiigara, the Guidestone showed them
the way back to their ancient home. The long-awaited and
much-prophesized rediscovery and reclamation of the Kushan's
ancient birthright is the story of the Homeworld War.
A brave, resilient, and resourceful people, Kushan
pragmatism is reflected in their gray, blockish ship
designs. Many of their combat vessels, including the massive
Mothership itself, were hastily converted from civilian
designs, yet performed as well as those of the Taiidan
Imperial fleet. Neither are the Kushan reluctant to make
sacrifices, the legendary example of which was the scientist
Karan Sjet, who had herself integrated into the Mothership
as its living core, Fleet Command.
The story of the Kushan Exodus
to Hiigara is widely known and often told; most of us
already know all about the voyage. In a matter of months,
the survivors of our entire race traveled from the prison
world of Kharak to our once and future homeworld. The trip
was a major turning point not only for the Kushan people,
but for most of the civilized galaxy; our return to Hiigara
was not only the end of our 3,000-year exile, but the end of
the Taiidan Empire, and its tyranny over billions.
Shortly after their relocation to the harsh desert world of Kharak, the Exiles
forgot both their origins and technology. It took them 3,000 years to struggle
back to the stars. Having rediscovered hyperspace and the location of their
original planet, all the families of Kharak, or kiithid, united to build a
mothership that could take them home. Just as they prepared to embark, however,
the brutal Taiidan Empire took notice and attacked. Enforcing an ancient decree
forbidding the Exiles from developing hyperspace technology, the emperor had his
forces immolate the planet. Only those already in space survived.
This cruel slaughter appalled dissidents throughout the empire, and the
mothership's heartening retaliation and escape catalyzed a long-overdue
rebellion. Amid wholesale civil war, and with the help of the highly advanced
trader race known as the Bentusi, the Exiles regained their homeworld, and the
emperor and his pirate mercenaries were defeated.
Galactic Council recognized our claim to this world. The sacrifice
of thousands has left a trail of destruction behind us, like
a path across the galaxy... to Hiigara, our homeworld. So
much destruction, so many lives lost, for this place... a
place of wonder to those who knew only the sands of Kharak.
Our colonists were released from their long sleep.
All symbols of the old empire were destroyed, but the
conflict will never be forgotten. A celebration marked the
beginning of a new time. No longer Fleet Command, Karan Sjet
survived extraction from the Mothership's core. She insisted
that she be the last person to disembark and set foot
on the Homeworld.