Scourge of Death

The Scourge of Death was a terrorist organization that operated in the Free Worlds League during the mid-27th Century.

Overview[edit]

Following the establishment of the Star League and the conquest of the Magistracy of Canopus, the Free Worlds League became a victim of its own success in both of these events. Canopian industries, refurbished and updated by post-war aid, soon outperformed those of their League benefactors, and then the introduction of the Star League dollar became the straw that broke the League's economy's back. Driven into recession from 2623 until the late 2640s, the Free Worlds League witnessed the rise of a protectionist faction opposed to the Star League and seeking to guard the League's economy with anti-free trade measures.[1] [2]

While the League's economy recovered in the mid-27th Century, the most extreme anti-Star League protectionists continued to push their agenda. Deprived of popular support due to the economic upsurge, they began resorting to violence in the 2660s. While most of these groups were small and swiftly hunted down, one organization would pose a far greater challenge.

This "Scourge of Death" terrorist group first made its presence known with 2667 with a bomb at Atreus' starport aimed at pro-Free Trade industrialists. This action heralded over a decade's worth of bombings, assassinations, hijackings and other terrorist acts while the League's security forces were unable to capture any high-ranking members or uncover the Scourge's shadowy patrons.[3]

On October 19, 2678, the Scourge finally overreached when it bombed House Marik's family estate in Dormuth on Marik. The reigning Captain-General Theodore Marik was slain along with thirty-eight others in an attack which almost destroyed the Marik dynasty. But Gerald Marik managed to survive after a month of treatment and bionic reconstruction. Taking office as Captain-General, Gerald determined to hunt down and destroy the Scourge of Death.[3] [4]

Taking full advantage of his support from Parliament and the public, Gerald unleashed SAFE and the Marik Militia upon any and all suspected Scourge hideouts and members. Though civil liberties suffered and many innocent opponents of the government were imprisoned or dispossessed, the campaign proved effective in slowly but surely ferreting out Scourge cells throughout the League and the nearby Periphery. Nonetheless, opposition to the Captain-General was steadily rising when a SAFE raid on Westover gave them the clues needed to identify the Scourge's secret backers.[3] [4]

More evidence was soon uncovered, all pointing to House Selaj, rulers of the Principality of Regulus and among the most vocal protectionists and opponents of the Captain-General. Although they denied the charges - and conspiracy theorists claimed the Selaj had been framed - in October 2679 Gerald was able to arrange trials in absentia of Puraj, D'mir and Rajneesh Selaj. Though little more than kangaroo courts, the trials ended with all three convicted and sentenced to execution. Over the next two months the League military stormed their estates; D'mir committed suicide while Puraj and Rajneesh managed to escape to the Magistracy along with other Selaj relatives and assets. Other Selaj associates were jailed or executed, effectively ending House Selaj as a power in the League.[3] [4]

With the downfall of House Selaj, the Scourge of Death was also quashed. However, the escape of some of its members meant that Gerald Marik remained paranoid about the Scourge and other hidden enemies, and he spent the rest of his tenure ruling the League as a de facto police state. This atmosphere of terror and suspicion led directly to the Marik Civil War that erupted during his successor's reign.[3] [4] [5]

References[edit]

  1. House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 20
  2. Handbook: House Marik, p. 23 and 26
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Handbook: House Marik, p. 26-27
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 22
  5. Handbook: House Marik, p. 27

Bibliography[edit]