A Short History of the Kingdom of Drinax
“In the days of its strength, the Kingdom of Drinax – or, to give it its proper title, the Star Dragon Empire of Sindal in Exile – ruled many worlds across Tliowaha subsector. Tliowaha, of course, is the Aslan name; old charts still call it Drinax subsector. The heart of the Kingdom of Drinax was the arc of planets first named by Solomani settlers in the age of the Second Imperium. These worlds were named for the great visionary writers of old Terra – Banks (now Khusai), Stross (now Kteiroa), Asim, Pourne, Hilfer, Paal, Torpal, Clarke and Blue. Beyond these core worlds, the Kingdom also had a presence in two dozen other systems across the subsector and beyond.
Of course, the Kings of Drinax also claimed to be the heirs to the vanished Empire of Sindal, and if one were to accept that right, then half the sector legally belongs to them. That Empire of Sindal arose in the year -2000 and ruled for 600 years, although for much of the last 200 years it was riven by internal dissent, rebellions, and brutal punitive attacks on its own vassals. The Sindalian Empire finally fell around -1400, when the imperial seat at Noricum was bombed to oblivion.
Half a dozen regional dukes proclaimed themselves Emperor or King, and the Kingdom of Drinax was the longest-lasting of these pretenders. From -1400 until the year 902, a span of more than two millennia, the Kings of Drinax ruled over their domain, guarding their vassal worlds from invaders and pirates. For most of their reign, the Kings were wise and well loved. It was only around the year 700, under the disastrous reign of Glaco IX, called the Vengeful, when Drinax started using the old tactics of Sindal and bombed their vassals to keep them in line. The Kingdom became increasingly unruly in the face of the growing Aslan threat, and the outer worlds broke away from the cruel yoke of the kings. Matters came to a head in 884, when King Oleb XIV placed a tax of 20% on all trade between the Third Imperium and the Aslan Hierate that passed through the Kingdom. The Aslan response was swift, deadly, and all too fitting for the descendants of Sindal. They bombed Drinax from orbit.
Few travellers visit Drinax today. According to the charts of the Imperial Scouts, the planet still has a Class-A Starport, but the charts are centuries out of date. Drinax is a dead world. There are no settlements on its surface, only the scars left by the Aslan when they bombed the cities from orbit. The once-fertile grasslands were seared to deserts; the forests where the kings of old hunted were razed. The seas bloom red with algae after they were boiled to death. No-one lives on Drinax anymore. They live above it. A sense of irony is shared by both Humaniti and Aslani. The Hierate’s invasion force spared the famous floating palace of the Kings of Drinax. They blasted the cities and laid wait to the countryside, but did not touch the golden grav-platform or any of the palace’s elegant domes or delicate towers. They exterminated millions of commoners, but let no harm come to the nobles, servants, sycophants and courtiers on the Floating Palace. The survivors of the invasion, numbering a scant few thousand, had to adapt to survive. The glorious Hanging Gardens, said to be a wonder of the sector, were cleared of their exotic bloom from a hundred worlds and turned into hydroponics bays. Delicate nobles who had never worked an honest day in their lives suddenly found tools thrust into the hands. The early years were not easy. Blood stained the diamond tiles of the King’s Seraglio, and the ancient Scrolls of the Prophet Zaol used for kindling. Still, the people of the Floating Palace survived. In the months before the invasion, the King had ordered the staff of the great university to transfer their best scientists and equipment to the Scholar’s Tower, so they were able to retain the bulk of their scientific knowledge. The Drinaxi still have Technology Level 15-era knowledge, although they lack the mineral resources to put it to use. With most of the world below still radioactive, diseased or simply scorched beyond use, all the knowledge in the galaxy is useless when you have no copper or steel or rare earths with which to forge your wonders. Behold, then, the Floating Palace – a flying city, an aerial pleasure-dome of surpassing beauty, of endless wonder… and of utter despair."
—taken from Pirates of Drinax, Introduction