The Helghast Empire is one of the three superpowers within the known galaxy as of the 2400's.
Following the First Extrasolar War, the Helghan Corporation was dismantled and all its assets seized by the UCN. Vekta, once a planetary holding of the now-defunct Helghan Corporation, was turned over to direct ISA rule, and colonists from Earth were brought in to supplement Vekta's corporate-affiliated population. However, tensions soon rose between the Earth minority and Helghan corporate majority, resulting in Helghan resistance fighters targeting and killing many Earth-loyal citizens in terrorist attacks. The ISA governors' response was to enact more and more economic sanctions and military punishments on the Helghan-affiliated colonists in retribution for the Helghan persecution of Earth-loyal colonists.
By 2220, in the face of such persecution, all Helghan corporate colonists had chosen voluntary relocation to planet Helghan, where years of hardship awaited them. In order to leave for Helghan, they purchased and refurbished the original colony ships they had used to reach Alpha Centuri. Since neither the UCN or ISA wanted to fund this new colonization attempt, they were then declared to be a sovereign nation, with Helghan being their territory in perpetuity - subject to ISA blockades and restrictions until, "diplomatic relations" were normalized. The Helghan settlements recreated the former Helghan Authority to rule over all affairs on Helghan, but this rule was often inefficient and corrupt. Their human bodies were ill prepared for the harsh environment of Helghan, resulting in most of the first generation dying only a short while after they arrived in the system. However, by 2305, future generations had evolved an increased biological resistance to the harsh atmospheric conditions, some even discarding the common breathing masks that many colonists still relied upon.
Vekta's monopoly of the Helghan trade allowed them to develop great wealth - at the expense of reinvestment on Helghan. As the Helghan population increased, more and more of their own wealth was diverted to the feeding and protection of their civilians - this led to a series of industrial accidents where expensive machinery was not serviced sufficiently to cope with the harsh Helghan conditions. The resulting downtime whilst Helghan pays for the servicing, maintenance and replacement of its old machinery caused a severe economic downturn that lasted almost 20 years.
Helghan economists blamed the depression on selfish Vektan exploiters. Vekta had its own troubles with the collapse of the lucrative black-market trade in Helghan minerals and energy and spared no resources for a relief effort. For the first time since 2220, Helghans died of starvation in the cities.
Rise of the EmpireEdit
With the economy in the abyss and Helghan morale below that, a singular and remarkable figure rises to prominence: Scolar Visari, the eventual self-proclaimed autarch of Helghan. Visari's ideology is simple and compelling: the Helghan people had once come here as humans, but they are humans no longer. They are different, changed. Changed cosmetically in their travels, changed physically by their residence on the alien planet of Helghan, changed spiritually by the hardships they've endured in every circumstance. The government that has brought them to this end could only give them structure; it could not give them life, could not give them a reason to go on, and could not fully express the magnitude of the transformation. The world has changed us, Visari claims, and now it is our turn to change the world.
Visari's oratorical skill and magnetic personality draws many of the disaffected public to his cause. It spreads among them like wildfire and galvanizes them in a single recognition: that they are one people, one nation, united against all aggressors. More significantly, perhaps, Visari is the first to give voice to what will later become the keystone of the Helghast agenda: their identity as an entirely new and entirely superior race – the 'extra-human' race. He goes on to preach the militaristic, absolutist values that will become the trademark of the Helghast. More importantly, he transforms the value of mask-wearing – once a badge of low station – and makes it integral to the Helghan identity. There is nothing shameful in its history, Visari tells the people. It is testament to their fortitude to wear the mask. And the Helghan rally around him, rich and poor alike.
Second Extrasolar WarEdit
After a popular coup that allowed Visari to take total control of the Helghan people, he immediately restructured the nation into the Helghast Empire, and rapidly initiated his plans for galactic conquest. After many years of economic and social reforms that successfully ended the famine and depression on Helghan, Visari focused on building up a fearsome and bloodthirsty army, one that world soon become the most feared military in human and helghast space alike.
On August 28th, 2357, the Empire declared war on the ISA by invading Vekta, the wealthiest and most powerful world within the Alliance. In roughly three years, the world fell to the Helghast, who wasted no time in preparing for another push onto the remaining ISA stronghold in the system, the Asteroid Belt and Gyre. Within another twenty years, the entire system would fall to the Empire, and be renamed as the Imperial Core.
For details, visit the Second Extrasolar War page.
The Empire has three branches of Government, The Autarch, the Imperial Cabal, and the Citizens' Council.
The head of the Helghast Empire is the Autarch, who holds absolute and uncontested power within their society. The Autarch makes all laws and holds all political clout within the Empire, and is one of the single most powerful beings in the known galaxy.
The Imperial Cabal serves as the second branch of government, headed by the Najenmik Overseer, Grand Admiral, and Legion Masters of the Imperial military. They run the nations military and oversee its operations independent of the Autarch unless they choose to directly intervene.
After the Second Extrasolar War is at an end, the Empire decides that in order to more efficiently run it's increased territory, as well as keep its newest citizens complacent, they reform the Imperial Council, but this time it is chosen to have it set it up as a partially democratic body. Gyre and Vekta are divided into several large sectors, and each sector gets to vote for a representative who will be placed on the Council and act as an advisor to the Autarch. The Council holds no real power, but brings the needs of their zone/people to the Autarchs attention, and handles smaller, local matters the Autarch cannot be bothered with.
As a people, the helghast are as sturdy and resilient in mind as they are in body. Helghast workers toil where any other worker would complain, their society succeeds where all others give up. Persistence, patience, honor, dignity and loyalty are the forefront of the races culture, and this leads the helghast to be very duty-driven. Almost all helghast will willingly sacrifice their own happiness, well-being, even their lives, for the greater good of their empire and its subjects. This attitude is not rewarded amongst their people, as it is fully expected to be the norm.
The Helghast are hard-working, industrious, efficient and inventive when it comes to practical solutions, traits they were largely forced to learn under the oppression of the UCN and ISA. A helghast worker typically will work longer hours, produce higher quality results and accomplish his or her tasks much faster than a human of similar background. This carries into their military as well; Helghast soldiers carry their tasks with grim determination and efficiency, and are the most superbly trained force in the galaxy. Helghast culture remains adamantly militant, with firm beliefs in the inevitability of war and a refusal to ever be caught unprepared once again. A vast, well-trained and powerful military is and always will be the forefront of the Helghast society, despite much larger amounts of resources now being dedicated to the civilian populace.
The bloodthirst and rage of the helghast has largely cooled off since the Great Reclamation, their term for the Second Extrasolar War. With their greatest two foes who caused their suffering now destroyed and the vast wealth of Vekta, Gyre and the hundred or so colonies under the Imperial Banner flowing back to the Imperial Core, Helghan has never seen better days. The many humans and halfbreeds living within the Empire's borders share the same legal and economic status as their helghast neighbors; now, at least. While social tensions are still noticeable, all Imperials are united under their banner, and fiercely dedicated to the Triad they see as the saving grace to the galaxy.
Helghast worlds are among the most secure worlds in the galaxy. Imperial soldiers and police forces work closely together and maintain a very high level of surveillance and patrols across all Imperial settled planets, and immediately set out on Suppression Campaigns when detecting any form of law-breaking, with incredibly severe punishments for transgressors being the norm. As a result, crime rates are essentially at zero percent within the Empire, those few brave or foolish enough to challenge the law long dead or imprisoned by now. Despite the heavily disproportionate level of punishment vs crime committed, the Empire is not nearly as oppressed and miserable as most outsiders perceive it as. Simply following the laws and knowing ones place within their society allows many Imperial citizens to live happy and successful lives, enjoying the added security of their nation. Helghast have always placed safety and stability higher than individual freedoms, and as a result find great comfort in their nations efficient and organized society.