chris0101 wrote:I think you may be underestimating the destruction of the Morrigi at their height.
- Entire planets today once occupied by the Morrigi are not inhabited. Either their inhabitants were killed or forced to leave as refugees. Otherwise, why else would you abandon an otherwise good planet? (It's clear that the planets were quite inhabitable, as the other species of SOTS have no trouble settling them). That alone implies that something very, very dire happened.
I'd have to disagree about losing capacity too. Entire planets were abandoned. That is a huge loss in industrial might. Morrigi culture too would not go on for many tribes. Again, many worlds were abandoned. I would hesitate to guess that many tribes don't exist today and their survivors absorbed into the remaining tribes.
- Losing trade connections is much, much more vital than you might think. Consider if Canada and the US lost connections the rest of the world. Because each nation today is much more specialized, and much more interconnected. We'd lose access to a huge amount of consumer and industrial goods - remember everything you see that says "Made in China" for example would be unavailable. There would be shortages of many items that we take for granted today. True, in time, we could substitute most of the goods ourselves, but major factories, and the labor force to build such things do not occur overnight. And why did we trade to begin with? Efficiency. True, we could substitute most things we import, but we choose not to for a reason. The other nation just has an important absolute advantage.
- In many cases, they do not know the dates even of major leaders and events. That's huge. In the dark ages - understandable. In the space age of FTL travel? That would mean that every copy of the records of both the Morrigi and any empire that they interacted would have been destroyed. And it's a lot easier to duplicate computer records than physical.
Also, another consideration. The Morrigi at their peak were a collective of planets if you will, that were probably the dominant power in the region. Today, they're just a regional power. A major power no doubt, but not the dominant power.
I have already made my points about these things. You seem to mess things good and well together.
Loss of trade is economically catastrophic, but it isn't a loss of culture, it isn't a loss of laws and it isn't a loss of identity. Just look at Egypt. It suffer two very significant economical setbacks. One was caused by outsiders, the other is less obvious. But Egypt was still the same afterwards despite this being in a time where people would hardly know what the life of their parents was like, and knowing anything beyond the names of their great-grandparents would be uncommon (sure many of us don't even know that, but we know what life was life back then to a much greater extent). Bascially life didn't change all that much for them, perhaps it was somewhat more perilous, but Egyptian culture lived on relatively unchanged.
As I noted earlier, the loss of trade would be very dangerous to smaller colonies and trade posts. Meanwhile others would be hard enough to live on to suffer a decline in population that ended with the complete abandonment when they too reached the untenable point of no return. This is a relatively common event here on Earth, heck we need not look further than the early 90s to see large scale abandonment of towns and cities (in the former Soviet Union). But these abandonments doesn't have to mean the destruction of identity, knowledge or even of life (very few lives can be said to be lost in the former Soviet Union due to these abandonments).
Would the bigger planets take in these refugees? Possibly. A depressed population reproduces less (again the former Soviet Union is a poignant case, with a destructive fall in population in the 90s, one that has gotten a strong hold in the population so that it has continued and will likely continue, but the Great Depression is also a good case), but this is enhanced in the case of the Morrigi due to their cultural gender differences. With fewer visits by traveller fleets, fewer children would be born. The Morrigi demographics must have been very bleak in the fallout of the 'fall'.
I fail to see the point of the industrial capacity comment. I have made no points in that regard, but yes, industrial capacity of the completely empire would be much less. The loss of specialist components, knowledge and perhaps even resources would naturally reduce the output. But this is less of a problem than it might seem. The Morrigi produce a lot for trade, and with trade significantly reduced, that industrial production would be surplus anyway. The individual planets would still produce enough for themselves, but they would lack the goods the other planets made. Industrial capacity wouldn't be a driving factor.
And I already mentioned how the records could have been lost. Khabul was most likely not the only one to attack floating cities, they were obvious. The most prestigeous places to live and the most visible too. Any strike would target them. While we tend to look at the internet and say information will not be lost, it is actually becoming more and more vulnerable. Yes it is technically in more places now, but most of those are not taken care of in the same sense. Only a few servers here and there would cause incredible damage to our databases of important information. The individual databases will slowly wither without the major ones. So a loss of the databases in the floating cities would be a huge blow to a planet's knowledgebase. It might not be bright to keep it there, but we are not talking about critical information like the Void Cutter principle, grav techs or production capabilities. But rather the records of individuals and universities and such. Given the advancement of the Morrigi physical books are bound to have become rather rare, so imagine libraries are gone, and then remove a sort of super Wikipedia (complete university databases plus the general knowledge of our own wikipedia). How long do you tihnk it would take before we would be unaware of 90% of the events leading up to that destruction? The loss of the Library of Alexandria is said to have done as much, the 10% being what was found elsewhere, just like we would search long and hard to find people with information on their own computers to piece history together again. Now imagine this happening 3-4 times and suddenly the loss of information is complete. The Morrigi obviously learned and made sure nothing critical was lost.
Now the argument would be that who would be that careless about History? Well, in times of trouble the written History tends to become less important. So while the Morrigi of pre-'fall' might have been very interested in History, they might have become callous and rather depressed about it after the first fallen cities. But some records were still made since we have learned about Khabul, and obviously other Khans of that age.
All this points to a depressed and troubled culture, but not a Dark Age. Wars were more likely given the lack of general trade (and the most effective way to forestall hostilities is dependable money, such as you get through trade or cooperation) and the lack of good contacts. It would be easier to look at your own holdings and determine that to help them, this and that planets would do very well to include.