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It had its beginnings when the Nine Worlds Confederation sought to curtail and restrict the growing freedoms of the Orion slaves. These efforts came to a head with the 187th Rigel Conference, held on Rigel IV on July 14th, 95 BCE (reference stardate −20/9507.14), where they issued what became known as the Ultimatum of the Nine Worlds. This list of prohibitions restricted Orions from participating in any commercial activities in or out of the Rigel system.
The Conference delegates had made no secret of their plans, and informed their Rigellian hosts as per protocol, and they had sufficient security and ships in orbit. But the Orions panicked and triggered what followed. Which of them did what was unknown, and it was theorized that a captain of the guard ordered the meeting chambers sealed, or an overzealous Trade Hall family scion attempted a coup, or a technician cut the communications. In any case, as soon as the Ultimatum was announced, all links with the outside world were broken. Minutes later, Orion troops seized all ships orbiting Rigel IV, and prevented them from leaking any warning. They also consolidated their control over every Trade Hall on Rigel IV.
All this was quite spontaneous; all Orions present knew that this was the time to act, and they did so with surprising organization. Later Orion propaganda however would make out that the Nine Worlds had instead acted in reckless haste, without careful planning and thereby ruining their chances for success. Their legends also embellished their part in the event, claiming that it was the result of centuries of planning coming to fruition.
An Orion "delegation" arrived at the Conference (this was the first to which they had not been invited since the 113th), led by the previously unknown Nallin Oplate. He presented his counter-ultimatum: the restoration of Orion rights and their peaceful freedom and independence — or there would be destruction and carnage on all of the Nine Worlds until they did. The delegates at the Conference begged time to form a reply (it was still technically in session), and Nallin granted it.
Anticipating that the delegates would attempt to alert the Nine Worlds to the Orion rebellion, Nallin returned to the Orion homeworld of Rigel VIII (Botchok) with a large contingent of rhadamanen from the Trade Halls to inform his people of the revolt and prepare for war. In less than a month, by August, 95 BCE (stardate −20/9508), the Orions seized control of the planet and imprisoned their former overseers. With great diplomatic skill, Nallin bound the divided nation-states together and created the Botchok Planetary Congress (BPC) to govern the newly independent world. The strictures of the Treaty of Kammzdast were discarded, proxy warfare on Botchok was finally ended, and troops readied to fight for their home-planet instead of against each other.
The Recall of the Pirates was issued to provide the planet with a space fleet. Legend would have Nallin be the only one to send it, but he was not: many Orions knew that a war for their very survival was imminent. However, only half of the Orion pirates had gathered at Rigel by the time a Nine Worlds fleet arrived, presumably to investigate the silence from the Rigel Conference, or due to a communications leak. The Rigellians ordered the Nine Worlds to withdraw or suffer the permanent revocation of trading rights, but they were ignored and the fleet approached Botchok.
The Battle of Botchok, on January 3rd, 94 BCE (stardate −20/9401.03), became the opening conflict of the Orion War. Nallin himself commanded an armed freighter (legend would give him a warship and command of the entire pirate fleet). They were outnumbered and outgunned by the more powerful Nine Worlds fleet in orbit of Botchok, but with the fortuitously late arrival of Captain Caruch the Blessed, the Orions snatched a stunning victory from the jaws of defeat, in full view of half the Orions on the planet.
They still faced terrible odds; the Recall took two years to complete, and the opening stages of the Orion War were fought with only one-seventh the number of ships that the Nine Worlds could field. But true to Nallin's words, rebellion erupted across the Nine Worlds, and Orions everywhere sabotaged the enemy war effort, kept enemy ground forces occupied and hindered their space efforts, no matter the risk to themselves. The Nine Worlds suffered countless raids and attrition of their fleets, and were unable to force a battle on their own terms. Weapons, diplomacy and economic threat were the weapons used to fight the Orion War.
Unwilling to give up the valuable resource of Orion labor and surrender their claims and privileges, the signatories to the Treaty of Kammzdast refused to give in. It was thought that a little war would cow the slaves, and it would still cost less than doing without them. And so the war went on for thirty-seven long years.
During the war, the Orions fought a sizable battle for the world of Vab, but later abandoned it. Zchol, held by the Kezt of the Nine Worlds Confederation, suffered heavy fighting in an event later known as the Agony of Zchol. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
By April, 61 BCE (stardate −20/6104), the end of the war was on the horizon, and the Botchok Planetary Congress began discussing the shape and structure of the society that they would adopt afterwards. Their new social structure and laws were codified in the Codex Orion. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
The culmination of the war came with the Battle of Rhinate in December, 57 BCE (stardate −20/5712). Attempting to take back the initiative, Superadmiral Goluscz of the Nine Worlds Confederation gathered the remnants of their warfleet at the world of Rhinate, a space fortress world with highly valuable mines and shipyards. However, Grand-Admiral Finit the Iron-Handed also led the combined Orion fleets there and surprised Goluscz's forces. The fighting inflicted heavy losses on both sides, but the Orions could now absorb these losses while the Nine Worlds could take no more. Goluscz capitulated, and on behalf of the Nine Worlds he sued for peace, with a ceasefire called on February 13th, 56 BCE (stardate −20/5602.13).
Nallin Oplate issued the Declaration of Nallin simultaneously with the cease-fire, proclaiming Botchok a free world and denying the power of the Treaty of Kammzdast. It made all Orions everywhere a free people, citizens protected by the Botchok Planetary Congress. It also declared that the Orions would have no enemies, for they wished to resume all of their pre-war trade relations, on a fair and equal basis. This began the time of the New Days, but it would not be as easy as desired, however, for there was still a lot of rebuilding, resources were exhausted, and the Orions had made enemies of their former masters all across local space.
Of the 58 opposing sides, the Orions had defeated only 13 in open warfare. The remaining factions eventually retired and sued for terms. The last to resist the Orions were the Miln; peace was never concluded and the Orions never tried to conquer them, and the two barely had any contact since.
For their actions in the war, particularly in the Battle of Botchok, Orion pirates were seen as heroes, the saviors of Botchok. However, many figures of the Orion War would be forgotten or only partially known, as their histories were altered or erased in power struggles in the following years and centuries. Only Nallin Oplate, now Nallin the Unconquerable, remained intact though exaggerated. However, many of his adventures were created to include the ancestor of one powerful family or another, and many of these were repeated with minor changes as the tales were stolen by later families. The Tellarite historian Dvoriv B'bargalah discussed these stories in Title to the Truth: Orion Historiography and Its Ownership. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)