mistervec wrote:So, revisiting this much-revisited topic. Here, we have a sort of Ubar (or Atlantis, I guess) for the SotS universe. A high and powerful civilization disappears suddenly and mysteriously, leaving behind almost no trace of its former existence. This disappearance not only effects the Tarka and their culture, but also the very ground that they walked upon. This calamity, whatever it was, threw both the Tarka and Hivers into cultural upheavals.
Now, what based on my understanding of what has been described, what seems to have happened is that the calamity originated at a certain point, then propogated out radially at super-luminal speeds (if not instantaneously), its effects becoming more and more attenuated over distance. It can also be inferred that this effect extended past the nominal bounds of the Silver Imperium, but by that point probably lost it's ability to make worlds vanish. Immaculate Pearl, on her way to Tarka space at the time, became caught up in this event, either directly or indirectly, and was lost, prompting her loyal retainers to seek vengeance on the Tarka, whom they held responsible. At least part of Immaculate Pearl's jewels were retrieved, implying that that whatever befell her, at least part of her remained in our particular bit of space-time.
Another thing of note is that the Tarka's empire expanded roughly at the same speed in all directions, meaning that the Silver Imperium was probably a roughly-spherical blob of inhabited (or at least explored) systems with their evolutionary homeworld somewhere close to the center. Those heavily colonized systems are just gone.
So, based on all that, here's what I think happened: Something caused a massive perturbation in the Meniscus/Realspace boundary (for lack of a better word) at or near the Tarka homeworld and that entire region of space sort of "sank" into it, then popped back out into space-time in a different place. Planetary systems and star ships that happened to be near the edge of the effect would have only been shifted a little bit, with the effect increasing geometrically the closer one happened to be to the origination point. The Tarka's most developed colonies, being much closer to the origination point, may have been displaced so much that they might be practically anywhere. If the homeworld was close enough to the origination point, it may have been fortunate enough to be in a calm zone, where nothing particularly interesting happened, or it may have been shielded from its effects somehow.
You also have the unhappy consideration that those worlds would have entered into the Meniscus practically unshielded. There's no telling what the inhabitants of that place would have done to the sudden influx of alien matter. The existence of the Puppetmaster seems to imply that something in the Meniscus can shift (or exist) partially in space-time. It's entirely possible they figured out how to pull that off based on what they found in the worlds they scoured.
Anyway, from an observer on the Homeworld, the immediate effect of this would be a cessation of all FTL communication (as it relies on the Meniscus to operate). As they ventured out from the homeworld again, they would have found nearby space much changed. As for Immaculate Pearl, her ship may have simply been displaced far from her destination and heavily damaged. I don't know, as I don't know anything about how the crown jewels were returned to the Hivers.
Anyway, that's my long-winded two cents.
An idea that occurred to me after reading this is the idea of a , for lack of a better term, triple Meniscus feedback event. I was in the middle of playing a map as a hiver when it dawned on me that maybe one of the early stl hiver fleets might develop Hiver gate tech but with subtle differences, like the difference between a Porsche and Ferrari. What if, when this 2nd hiver civilization was experimenting with early gate tech, they tried making a moving gate, while at the same instant the gate at the Silver Imperium was starting up to have Immaculate Pearl come through. This might resonate with the Tarcha warp tech Warp pulse to provide a massive pull into Meniscus in the way a strong wind will pull papers and such if windows are opened at the right times. I recognize that i may be completely wrong and that my idea requires alot of specific events to happened in a detailed order
this is a SOTS fan, signing off