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The Thakolarivaj, or the "Great Orion Empire", was a series of imperial states that existed early in Orion history. It consisted of the First through to the Twelfth Orion Empires.
- This may be related to the Empire of Orion mentioned in TAS novelization: Yesteryear. The FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Common Knowledge presented an alternative Orion Empire.
In 200,993 BCE, following a long period of Orion colonization, piracy and interstellar disputes, Nispavan I united the Orion homeworld of Rigel VII (Kolar) and its colonies. With these, he founded the Thakolarivaj, and declared himself the first Emperor of All Space.
It lasted almost sixty thousand years (Decipher RPG module: Worlds), but the Great Orion Empire was ultimately destroyed by an unknown species employing robotic planet-killing craft from another galaxy. (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook, Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
This empire became known as the First Orion Empire, as it rose and fell many times over the next 200,000 years. However, none of its successors could match its longevity or technological brilliance. Increasingly, the Orions saw conquest as unprofitable and found more potential and success in mercantile pursuits and piracy. Steadily, as the Emperors grew more degenerate, the caju, or merchant clans, rose to dominance in the Empire. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Approximately 35,000 years ago (prior to the 24th century), the Second Orion Empire was caught up in a lengthy conflict with the First Federation. Both states interfered with the progress of developing worlds. (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook)
The Thakolarivaj reached its greatest extent during the Fourth Orion Empire, greater even than the First and pushed deep into the Alpha Quadrant. Around 30,000 years ago, the Fourth Empire hastily abandoned a terraforming project on Rigel VIII (Tavar). It also founded Kohlor Station on Rigel X (Kohlor), on the site of an earlier Orion research facility, and installed its defense grid. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Another Orion Empire dominated most of the Orion Arm around 23,000 years ago. Archaeologists labeled it the Curved Rodinium Culture, but disagreed on whether this was the Seventh or the Eighth Orion Empire. (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook)
The Twelfth Orion Empire expanded into the Alpha Quadrant around 8000 BC. The oldest surviving caju could trace their lineage back to this era (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook). But the Twelfth, and last, Orion Empire fell in 5200 BC. With that, the caju decided that galactic conquest was best left to lesser species and gave up on overt rule (Decipher RPG module: Worlds).
The Orion Empires were centered on the Rigel system and quite extensive (Last Unicorn RPG module: Star Trek: The Original Series Core Game Book), spreading across both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants throughout its history. The area of space covered by the Orion Empires, during and after, was known as Thana Kolari, or "Extended Orion". (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
The Orion Empires were highly advanced, technologically, particularly the First Empire. At this time, Orions developed and perfected technologies that were beyond the understanding of Federation science in the 23rd century, and had only begun experimenting with in the late 24th century (Last Unicorn RPG module: Star Trek: The Original Series Core Game Book, Decipher RPG module: Worlds). These included sentient androids, transwarp drives and planet-remolding generators. They also tapped the power of stars; the grand palace-casinos of Rigel II (Mokalar) were powered by an advanced subspace energy tap from Rigel A, even after 40,000 years. They also engaged in various kinds of subspace engineering. Among these developments, the First Orion Empire conducted dangerous experiments on Rigel XVI (Yagthar) that left knots of chaotic space all along its surface and orbital path. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
They left their marks in the abandoned terraforming of Rigel VIII, the weapons testing wreckage on Rigel IX (Sanidar), and the chaotic space around Rigel XVI. A number of their settlements remained inhabited, such as the palace-casinos of Rigel II, the ancient city of Sathura on Rigel IV, and Kohlor Station on Rigel X. On the homeworld of Rigel VII, the cities of Vajripam and Kolaripam represented the old Empires, while the Twelve Emperors mountain range bore the carved faces of its greatest rulers. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)