The original Federation Timeline didn’t include a variety of background items from the distant past (since the players wouldn’t be aware of them), and – of course – didn’t include any of the major in-game events or their consequences. Since that campaign is restarting, and more information is currently available, here are some timeline updates:
-65 Million Years: The highly-social Ratha begin their expansion into space. They discover the Umal – a primitive quasi-reptilian amphibious race of hierarchical pack-hunters with formidable berserker-enhancements which (barely) allow them to hold territory along limited areas of the continental fringes and islands against the competition of other predators. The Ratha attempt to assist them in building a civilization. The results are disastrous. The Ouratha robotic troops are developed to shore up the defenses, and later are redesigned to enforce a genetic-modification solution – splitting the Umal into a sane subspecies and the original psychotics in the manifold. Unfortunately, sharing cultural details has linked the Umal and Ratha manifolds. When the Ratha manifold begins to open, it subjects their homeworlds to new primal-Umal attacks. Ratha civilization collapses in chaos, rather than in the usual slow decay. The Ouratha robots, unable to pursue the Primal Umal into the manifold, add “maintain and protect civilization” to their original mandates – defending civilization and the Ratha, containing the primal Umal, supervising inter-species interactions, limiting such interactions to safe levels, and supervising species expansion. Unfortunately, the Ratha civilization is gone, although a low-population pastoral culture – and occasional use of the Ratha worlds as day-care and educational centers – continues to this day.
-35 Million Years: The Ouratha, following up on new species contacts, control most of the galactic core. Numerous uninhabited solar systems have been converted into industrial centers, and several thousand encountered species have been supervised, and their cultures and technologies recorded and preserved, despite the organic tendency to occasionally do supernatural things and for their populations to appear and disappear in violation of various accepted natural laws. A gradual expansion into the galactic arms begins. Unfortunately, as information is shared, the primal Umal spread as well – albeit now spread so thinly as to be an annoyance rather than a major threat. Whether fortunately or unfortunately, the Ouratha define pre-technical civilizations as being unready for contact unless emergency assistance is required.
The Taractocoli Resistance:
-14,200 BC: The semi-independent mobile trade-emissary units of the Taractocoli (oceanic community-minds, each resembling a coral-reef community covering up to a hundred square miles) begin probing into space, seeking – as per their genetic imperatives – additional trading partners. They are quite disappointed to find that the Ouratha robots are actively inhibiting both long-range travel and the spread of more mobile civilizations, thus putting them out of reach.
-13,800 BC: The Taractocoli begin undermining the Ouratha regime by sending out genetic engineering teams through the manifold to uplift, and push towards civilization, higher lifeforms on various nearby worlds – implementing a long-term plan to create their own nearby trading partners.
-11,400 BC: The Sarresh (feathered quasi-felines) are uplifted by the Taractocoli (the eighteenth race to be so aided), and begin to build their own civilization with the Taractocoli’s covert assistance.
100 AD: The Sarresh achieve nuclear power and space travel, and come under the protection/supervision/rule of the Ouratha. They are assisted in the colonization and industrialization of their solar system. (The Ouratha would also have intervened – helpfully – if their civilization had hit the industrial era and then started to collapse).
2533: The Ramath, an exploration craft, encounters the Ouratha, and is followed to Cinture (named for its unusual equatorial ring of continents), an outlying colony world. The Ouratha promptly invest the system and begin the usual takeover – although they do lose a few ships to the unpredictable resistance of the asteroid miners. In the absence of the usual courier, the free-trader Soravin under John Calzin is paid a substantial bonus to take a couple of troubleshooter-investigators on board, make a courier run, and check up on the colony.
The crew of the Soravin successfully investigates a wrecked Ourathan ship and determine that a robotic invasion, albeit one resisted by a second unknown alien group as well as the locals, is underway. While the robots technology is better than humanities, it involves refinements of known principles only; most technological limits have apparently been reached. In a desperate attempt to escape after being spotted by the Ouratha, the Soravin jumps out of reality entirely – eventually (albeit after lengthy series of adventures in the manifold and both acquiring and losing members of the crew) managing to return to core earth. Consulting with McAndrew, of the Earth Defense Forces (until now a fairly theoretical organization), the Soravin crew undertakes a variety of missions into the Manifold, investigates the Ouratha, discover the existence of the primal Umal, and deal with a small group of them.
2534-5: Meanwhile, after determining that offensive operations against the Ouratha are problematic – and that the people of the worlds that are being taken over are not in any urgent need of rescue – humanity falls back on jump-point defenses while the Soravin attempts to trace the Ouratha back to their origin near the galactic core. The traceback is partially successful – but does pass near enough to the Taractocoli to encounter several of their client-species. Attempts to negotiate with the Ouratha – and demands to speak to the organic intelligences involved by an increasingly-crazed (or possibly possessed) Captian Calzin – are fairly fruitless, although there is no particular hostility from the Ouratha.
2536: Approaches diverged, as Captian Calzin attempted to deploy the resources of the “Imperial Space” Zone of the Mandate against the Ouratha and then, finding even those resources insufficient, first triggered a nova and accidentally created a ring singularity near the front lines – requiring the evacuation of several worlds thanks to the expanding radiation shockwave – and then went in search of super-weapons. Meanwhile, Ryan and company began importing exotic matter from the depths of the Manifold and reinforcing the jump point blockades as the Ouratha begin exploiting the Ring Singularity. Back on core earth, the consequences of dimensional travel – and the disappearances of talented children – are starting to become apparent. As Orc invasions (chasing a child who’d wandered off with the One Ring), fictional characters, and similar intrusions begin to take priority over a distant robotic threat, the jump point barricades are reinforced to the point where the Ouratha elect to launch a fleet through normal space – even if it will take at least 50-60 years to arrive near core earth from their closest holding – and close to 300 to reach the furthest human-held worlds. Captian Calzin is diverted into a hypothetical military simulation-world, self-destructs there, and is put on time-out.
2540: Technological innovation and research begins again – but is greatly hindered by the diversion of talented individuals into exploring the possibilities of the Manifold and by periodic fantastic intrusions and by the fact that life is already pretty comfortable. It has become accepted that many children will spend quite a lot of time poking around in the Manifold.
2548: With dimensional gates becoming more common, the modestly-talented begin to wander into the Manifold – and are unable to readily escape unpleasant situations. Protective measures – such as guides – are set up and an ongoing effort to bring at least some of the more accessible worlds under some sort of control is instigated. The Singularity Wars begin – albeit with relatively little effect on core earth, although an apparently-perpetual series of low-key intrusions provides plenty of opportunities for special forces actions and individual heroes. Conflicts in the manifold vary wildly.
2572: Ships, wagon trains, and similar “primitive” transportation using gates/”wormholes” to move through the Manifold are now transporting as much traffic as actual starships are. Preparations for the eventual defense of core earth are now well underway – although continuing interactions with the occupied worlds via the manifold lead many to question the necessity. Current predictions indicate the arrival of the Ourathan fleet in 2591.