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Note: X and Y are coordinates (light years on XY plane) relative to Terra at (0, 0)
|X:Y Coordinates||-126.48 : -785.30 [e]|
The Pharos system was first settled in the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth century by a group believed to be descendants of the Tikonov Galactic Rangers, a private military formation from the former Tikonov Grand Union that was forced to flee the Capellan Confederation in 2367 during a purge conducted by Chancellor Franco Liao. This group settled the third planet in the system. Subsequently, two more groups settled in the Pharos system, more or less simultaneously and in ignorance of the presence of each other or the descendants of the Tikonov Galactic Rangers; while both later groups were fleeing the Reunification War, one hailed from the Taurian Concordat and settled on the third planet in the system, while the other group originated in the Magistracy of Canopus and settled on the fourth planet. The Taurians named the system Eros, while the Canopians named the system Phaeton.
- 2700 - Alexandrian Covenant 
- 2800 - Alexandrian Covenant 
- 3042 - Alexandrian Covenant 
- 3075 - Alexandrian Covenant 
- 3082 - Alexandrian Covenant 
- 3095 - Alexandrian Covenant 
The first colonists on Eros III were descendants of the Tikonov Galactic Rangers, and their presence on the world from the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth century onwards went undetected by later colonists from the Taurian Concordat who arrived and settled the planet in the late twenty-sixth or early twenty-seventh century with the intention of forming a military redoubt in the Deep Periphery for the Concordat, a location that could be used to build up military assets for an eventual attempt to liberate the Concordat from Star League occupation at some point in the future.
The Taurians had attempted several failed colonization efforts before arriving in the Pharos system, and they remained ignorant of the presence of colonists from the Magistracy of Canopus on the fourth planet in the system, dubbed Phaeton IV by its inhabitants, for some time. The Taurians had bought vast stores of technology and information with them, and worked to build up military industries on Eros III. While it is unclear when the two groups became aware of each other, the two populations remained distinct from each other - and unaware of the presence of the earlier colony on Eros III - until some point in the twenty-sixth or twenty-seventh century when Eros III was devastated by some form of catastrophe. Believed to have been precipitated by a mass meteor shower striking Eros III that destroyed several population centers, wiping out much of the nascent military industry whilst also killing a large portion of the population, the catastrophe placed the surviving Taurian population at threat of dying off.
The Canopian population on Phaeton IV was unwilling to see the Taurians perish, and sent DropShips to Eros III to evacuate as many people as possible - unknowingly also collecting some or all of the descendants of the Tikonov Galactic Rangers in the process - and transplanting them to Phaeton IV.
|Pharos (Phaeton IV)|
Pharos - formerly Phaeton IV - is the fourth planet in the Pharos system.
Phaeton IV was colonized in the late twenty-sixth or early twenty-seventh century by Canopians looking to preserve elements of civilization in the face of the Reunification War, which they were convinced would lead to the destruction of swathes of history, knowledge and technology, and which they feared might even plunge the entire Inner Sphere into a cycle of warfare and rising barbarism. The Canopians had launched a number of failed colonization efforts before arriving in the Pharos system, and when they colonized the fourth planet - naming it Phaeton IV - they were ignorant of the fact that Taurians were engaged in a similar endeavor at the same time on the third planet in the system.
At some point, the two populations became aware of each other but remained largely distinct until a catastrophe struck Eros III, the third planet in the system, wiping out settlements and industry and placing the population under imminent threat of extinction. The Canopians were unwilling to see the Taurians perish, and dispatched DropShips in an effort to evacuate as many people as possible, bringing them to Phaeton IV - and unknowingly bringing members of a third, earlier population with them, descendants of the Tikonov Galactic Rangers.
The Taurian evacuees initially maintained separate enclaves on Phaeton IV, but over time the two major populations began to intermingle, blurring the national lines between the two groups; the leaders of the two factions subsequently chose to formally pool their collective resources and merge the two nations together, signing the Covenant Pact and uniting them as a single state - the Alexandrian Covenant. The very first edict passed by the new government was the renaming of Phaeton IV to Pharos, a name chosen both for its links to the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the lost wonders of the ancient Terran world, and for its blending of the names Eros and Phaeton. Caches were created across the planet, storing and safeguarding both Concordat technology and Canopian history for the future, and the new nation was able to prosper.
A new bicameral legislature was created on Pharos, and the Alexandrians began colonizing nearby worlds; the new colonies flourished, bringing a steady stream of trade to Pharos and providing a feeling of security that allowed the Alexandrians to covertly observe the realms of the rimward Periphery whilst waiting to act as a beacon for those looking to rebuild after the inevitable collapse of the Inner Sphere.
Much of the history of Pharos was destroyed in later years, but evidence-gathering by Interstellar Expeditions in later centuries determined that at some point in the early 2700s, civil war erupted on Pharos. The cause of the civil war was unknown even as late as the late thirty-first century, as a cycle of uprisings and changes in government led to records repeatedly being destroyed or altered, but it is known that the first civil war - dubbed the First Upheaval by the population - was hugely destructive and began on Pharos. Although the war didn't reach the level of an exchange of nuclear weapons, it left Rhakotis - the planetary capital - in ruins, and Pharos almost unrecognizable.
Various theories for the sudden degeneration into violence were postulated by Interstellar Expeditions, with the two most plausible being that the war was precipitated by the leader of one of the two ruling bodies - either the Magister or the Protectrix - uncovering evidence of massive corruption within the other ruling body, either the House of Dames or the House of Lords, and the accused faction launching a military strike against the other, with events spiraling out of hand from there. A third theory places responsibility for the civil war on the descendants of the Galactic Rangers, postulating that they remained hidden among the greater population, and that the war was the result of efforts by this third group to subvert the Convenant's political structure for its own ends.
The effects of the First Upheaval were long-lasting, permanently altering Pharos from being the heart of a bicameral republic into a dictatorship, and the other worlds of the Covenant descended into violence alongside Pharos. The First Upheaval was merely the beginning, and led to a period in which the new ruler of Pharos, a new Protectrix, established a matriarchal society in which only women were allowed to hold positions of high rank in the military, own property or manage business enterprises. A number of the caches established by the original colonists were destroyed during the conflict by accident, diminishing the Covenant's legacy, and the Protectrix destroyed the original Covenant Pact and replaced it with a new version, suiting her own ends.
Roughly a century after the First Upheaval began, a Second Upheaval seized the Covenant. The Second Upheaval was even more destructive than the first; in addition to deposing the Protectrix and establishing a new Magister - who in turn redrafted the Pact, reversing that created a century before and removing all female Alexandrians from positions of power - more caches were destroyed, and the Second Upheaval was marked by hate crimes against women. Newborn girls were often left out to perish from the elements, and thousands of women were brutally murdered.
The Second Upheaval was far from the last, and each subsequent Upheaval was characterized by greater levels of brutality and destruction than those before. At least two more occurred between the 2800s and the mid-thirty-first century, and another - tentatively dubbed the Fifth Upheaval by Interstellar Expeditions - occurred in 3042, followed by the Sixth Upheaval in 3075. Each Upheaval resulted in a change in government, patriarchal authority being replaced with matriarchal and vice-versa, along with the loss of knowledge from previous centuries. Religious beliefs among the population devolved, with the bulk of the population coming to worship the idea of the Covenant's JumpShip fleet - left in mothballs following the loss of the capability for interstellar travel at some point after the Second Upheaval - was actually some form of protection from a divine sky god, as the population became increasingly superstitious.
The Fifth Upheaval was caused by the population blaming the Magister for a horrific plague that ran rampant; the Sixth was caused by the Protectrix being blamed for a meteor strike that destroyed a major population center on Pharos. The discovery of a DropShip in a hidden technology cache led to a member of the House of Lords being convicted of blasphemy and executed in 3082, for daring to suggest that the DropShip be used to try and contact the sky god. The Alexandrian military on Pharos ruthlessly destroyed any pirates that landed on the planet, and when Interstellar Expeditions discovered Pharos in 3093, the Alexandrians attacked the IE DropShips with surface-to-orbit missiles, damaging two and destroying three. Undeterred, IE attempted to learn more about the population of Pharos by having exploration teams intermingle with the population, only for local security forces to execute the IE personnel.
Interstellar Expeditions was finally able to obtain information on the history of Pharos by gaining access to some of the information caches that had been destroyed during the Upheavals, and then working to restore some of the corrupted data.
- Rhakotris: the planetary capital city prior to the First Upheaval.
Pharos is introduced as the capital world of the Alexandrian Covenant. Despite a lack of HPG communications or interstellar transport, Pharos was still notionally the capital of the Alexandrian Covenant in 3095, and the Covenant incorporated several more inhabited worlds at that point in time. No map was provided giving locations of the individual worlds of the Covenant in Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, only the location of the Covenant as a state. The co-ordinates given for Pharos in this article correspond to the centre of the region occupied by the Covenant.
- Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, p. 84-85, "To The Lighthouse"
- Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, p. 76, "Deep Periphery (Rimward Sector)"
- Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, p. 86, "The Spark of Tragedy"
- Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, p. 87, "Gamesmaster's Section"
- Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, p. 85, "Day and Night"
- Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, p. 85-86, "A House Divided Against Itself"