For two centuries, the development of Humanity has been shaped by events which have occurred in a single system; the Seven Worlds. The Starguild Imperium, the Dragoncrests, and the people of the Seven Worlds have each sought to control it, and their battles continue into the present.
The Seven Worlds began with a small group of people who had a vision of what the human race could be, and with an almost magical planetary system; one with seven inhabitable worlds. These seven were Vallone, Dietz, Marcel, Triton, Abon-Kar, and the two which were most developed, Alpha and Hryken. The early years of these people are not of concern here. It is enough to say that the society of the Seven Worlds was based on a code of honor, and that it fought courageously to preserve its freedom. There were two great threats to that freedom; the Starguild Imperium and the Dragoncrests, and though the Imperials were human, the people of the Seven Worlds often felt they had more in common with the aliens. This is because the Starguild was corrupt and oppressive even then, and was obsessed only with increasing its own power and preserving the privileges of the Starcaste, while the Dragoncrests, inhuman as they were, believed in honor.
Beginning in 2170 and continuing for decades, all three powers fought for control of the Seven Worlds system. There were no alliances, only a series of debilitating wars. In 2194, badly weakened by the First Seven Worlds - Dragoncrest War, the Seven Worlds fell to a massed attack by Imperial forces, and Alpha and Hryken were bombarded from space. It was from this period that virtually all the Swords used in Operation Seven Swords were drawn.
For the next 25 years, the Imperium sought to establish itself on the Seven Worlds. Five of the planets were successfully colonized, but Alpha and Hryken remained trouble spots. An organized and very capable rebel underground saw to it that no Imperial was safe on the surface of Hryken, and even launched raids on other Starcaste planets. Several Starcaste Houses were suspected of supporting the rebels and helping to smuggle them off Hryken, and these Houses had their charters voided as a result. Those that were not exterminated were stripped of their holdings and forced into a fringe existence among the Surrogates.
In 2221 conflict between the Starguild and the rebels reached a peak with the destruction of the Imperium's main space station. Pushed too far, the Starguild voted for the complete extermination of Hryken. Before that was done, however, the Dragoncrests reentered the system in force.
The Starguild - Dragoncrest War lasted for almost 30 years. One by one, the Imperial bases were captured by advancing Dragoncrests, and as the lmperium weakened, the Seven Worlds rebels came into the open. In 2251, on distant Earth, the Imperial Technical Research and Development Department made a breakthrough in interstellar transportaton. This brought formerly inaccessible planets within reach and changed the economic balance of human space. A system with seven worlds was less valuable than it had been, and this allowed the Imperium to gracefully rationalize its loss of the Seven Worlds. The war ended.
The withdrawal of the Imperium left the Dragoncrests in control of most of the system, and a reborn Seven Worlds government in command of Alpha and Hryken. The Dragoncrests immediately invaded Alpha, and the Second Seven Worlds - Dragoncrest War had begun. For more than 30 years they fought on Alpha, with neither side able to triumph. The people of the Seven Worlds were only able to survive and to rebuild because the Dragoncrests had too much integrity to use space bombardment or attacks on civilians as tools. The result was a war of honor, and during this period the spirit of the Seven Worlds flourished.
The deadlock was broken in 2286 by a Seven Worlds technological development, the Divine Lightning Stardrive. Far smaller than any existing Stardrive, it allowed the Seven Worlds to pit small fighting craft, each piloted by a single member of the Silver Legion, against the far slower battleships of the Dragoncrests. In a little over a year, the Dragoncrests withdrew.
Against the Dragoncrests, a race which believed utterly in honorable combat, the development of Divine Lightning was enough. The Imperium, however, had no such honor, and in 2291 invaded the battered Seven Worlds system in force, seeking vengeance. Imperial victory was swift, although a substantial part of the Seven Legions escaped. Hryken was again ruined, and this time the survivors of the Seven Worlds were relocated on Alpha. The Imperium banned technology from Alpha, and the remnants of the Seven Worlds lived in a dark age. At the same time, the other planets in the system were recolonized by the Imperiunn.
It was at about this time that the Dragoncrest empire collapsed, and the Starguild entered its Golden Age. Although the reasons for the Dragoncrest collapse were mysterious at the time, it became clear that they had been fighting a long war with the Spectrals, a war which they had finally lost. The Starguild knew nothing of this, however, and began expanding through Dragoncrest space, encountering the races and powers which had remained behind when the Dragoncrests disappeared. Progress was swift but haphazard, with the various members of the Starguild more concerned with competing with each other than developing new areas for Humanity.
On the far side of Dragoncrest space, in the ruins of an empire, in a place where the SpectraIs were the new rulers, the rebels who had escaped the fall of the Seven Worlds came to terms with the remaining Dragoncrests. The two groups had long been related in spirit; at last they were united in purpose. Together they drove toward the Seven Worlds system, and in 2337 they invaded. Led by the humans, the Dragoncrests established a foothold on forgotten Alpha and the Third Seven Worlds - Starguild War began.
The people who lived on the other six planets came quickly to the banner of the rebels, but true unity was impossible. Only on Alpha was the true spirit of the Seven Worlds still alive. The inhabitants of the other worlds, though hostile to the lmperium, knew little of what freedom meant, and at heart they were still Starguild colonists. And so the Seven Legions and the Dragoncrests battled the Imperium, while the people of Alpha sought support from people who claimed to be allies, but who cared more for wealth than they did for truth.
The war was soon interrupted by the Spectral invasion of human space. In 2339 the Starguild abandoned its battle for the Seven Worlds to face this new threat, and all contact with the Seven Worlds ended. The last report to come out of the Seven Worlds indicated that the Seven Legions had gathered the people of Alpha, departed the Seven Worlds system with the Dragoncrests, and disappeared.
The worlds of Humanity were in chaos, and the spirit of the Seven Worlds seemed lost. In 2349, however, the Spectrals launched their invasion of Rhand, and that spirit was reborn. The earliest champions of the Seven Worlds, saved and set aside for this time, were awakened, and Operation Seven Swords was set in motion.