At the spinward edge, 120 parsecs from the original centre of the Imperium, the Spinward Marches sector represents one of the furthest extents of exploration and domination by Imperial forces. Lying adjacent to territory of the Zhodani Consulate and the Vargr Extents, this region is a site which has seen conflict and intrigue.
Although selected worlds have been settled since the 60s, the Spinward Marches is still a frontier sector. High-tech worlds are scattered among empty, fallow worlds; there is potential for exploration, exploitation, and development for centuries to come.
Containing 437 star systems divided along a coreward/rimward line by the Imperial border, the region is dominated by two major powers: the Imperium's farthest frontier sector, and the frontier provinces of the Zhodani Consulate.
In the independent territory between the two powers lie four small territories: the Federation of Arden, the Sword Worlds Confederation, the Border Worlds (a splinter state cut from the Sword Worlds during the Fifth Frontier War ), and the Darrian Confederation. Each follows its own diplomatic line designed to maintain independence from both the Zhodani and the Imperium.
The Zhodani name for the sector is Tloql.
The Spinward Marches were settled by the young Third Imperium beginning in the year 60. By the year 500, Imperial settlements extended all the way to the spinward edge of the Chronor subsector, and were starting to encroach on Zhodani settlements in core/spinward areas of the sector. These frictions precipitated the First Frontier War (589-604, the longest of the frontier wars), which resulted in the loss of the Chronor subsector to the Zhodani. This was in spite of the fact that the war ended in an Imperial victory by Grand Admiral hault-Plankwell 's destruction of the Zhodani / Vargr fleet in the Rhylanor subsector: this victory was sufficient only to end the 15-year conflict, but not to recover territory already lost in it.
The Second Frontier War (615-620) resulted in the loss of more territory to the Zhodani Consulate in the Jewell subsector, as well as the relinquishing of a number of Imperial worlds in the Querion subsector, creating a buffer zone between the two powers.
This arrangement proved to be quite stable, and lasted for over 350 years, until the outbreak of the Third Frontier War (979- ). This war also resulted in a roll-back of Imperial borders, with further Zhodani gains in the Jewell and Querion subsectors, and the expansion of the non-aligned demilitarized zone into the Vilis subsector.
A century later, the Fourth Frontier War (1082-1084) was essentially an accident (and is also known as the "False War"), which resulted in minor border adjustments affecting only four worlds.
The Fifth Frontier War (1107-1110) was the first true Imperial victory, resulting in a small net gain of worlds. Zhodani -Imperial relations since then have been remarkably warmer than in the past.
Dinom / Lanth
Mithril / The Sword Worlds
Regina / Regina
Tavonni / Vilis
(SUPP-3: p1, 1105; MT-ENCYC: p39, 1120; TNE-RSB)
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