The History of the Taran Confederacy is rife with violence, betrayal, and intrigue. None more so than the history of the Institute of Higher Learning located on the arboreal world of Giarda.
More than two thousand cycles prior, Giarda had been settled by a coalition of Clans and their T’Ressi allies. The world was peaceful, plentiful, and was suited for study as it was within a bare span of parsecs from the Singularity known as Pangea.
The other thing that Giarda was famed for, was it’s stands of Sky Trees. Massive growths of wood that towered almost five hundred meters tall and grew geometrically straight up. These began to be harvested by both sides as a strong hardwood that could be carved into ornate designs and was simply impossible to replicate using artificial means.
For almost seven hundred cycles, the Institute for Higher Learning enjoyed a proper reputation that allowed for it to be visited by both Taran and T’Ressi. It was immune to politics, and both sides held a minor military presence to ensure neither would try to co-opt the institute for their own means.
This changed when Clan Kerilac was refused some of it’s students admission to the institute. The reason for this is vague, but it most likely relates to the violent nature of the Kerilac students. They tended to be rowdy and disruptive, and all students on Giarda needed to remain calm to focus on their studies. This was not a normal campus, but one that had been focused for centuries on the best of the alliance. No students who were disruptive were allowed on the campus, and this had been maintained by both sides, also for centuries.
Kerilac appealed, and they were denied. They were told to offer a new group of students, ones who did not have a poor reputation. Kerilac officials took that as a slight, and a breach of their honor. Clan Kerilac then declared Giarda to be an elitist school, only for those who towed the line of the ruling Desinlo Emperor.
Clan Desinlo had been ruling the Confederacy with a firm but equal hold for almost three hundred cycles. Clan Kerilac had recently suffered the loss of two worlds as reparations for an invasion of Clan Veritas and were still stinging from that decision when the Giarda insult occurred.
They conspired with Clan Jasinlo, another minor clan that was also suffering under the firm hand of the ruling Clans, and both decided to stage a coup. They had a combined military force of more than a hundred warships and more than a million ground troops they could call upon. They mobilized. Two prongs were used, one went to the central governance world of Tara, the other, smaller force, went to Giarda.
Giarda was chosen as it had a token military force, and as both Clans felt that it was heavily influenced by new learning, was a good target to be converted back into the loyal fold of the Taran Old Guard way of thinking.
The military force landed on Giarda in the middle of the night, and the joint T’Ressi Confederacy security force was slaughtered. When students awoke, the campus was a militarized zone. All ten thousand Taran and thousand T’Ressi students were assembled on the parade ground.
They were challenged to swear allegiance to the Old Guard, and to forgo the teachings that were being spearheaded by Clan Desinlo. Teachings which some felt were too advanced or not in line with the Taran Religious order. According to the legend, almost all students refused to agree. They would rather die than give up their education and their learning.
Kerilac and Jasinlo Clan leaders had agreed that a drastic symbol was needed to prove to the entire Confederacy of the change of the guard. So they began a wholesale slaughter of every student on Giarda. But, they were not just killed. Each Taran was slit open to allow their life’s blood to drain out into a container, then the body was tossed aside.
The containers of blood were loaded onto a transport normally used to disperse liquid fertilizer, which was piloted by a woman loyal to Clan Jasinlo. She suicided after the ship dropped out of Neospace, leaving it on auto pilot to travel to and sit at ten kims above the Taran palace. The vents opened, and a fine red mist sprayed downwards over the entire palace region.
The Rain Of Blood lasted for almost ten minutes before the ship was mercifully destroyed by a laser lance fired from the orbital defense network.
The T’Ressi were not permitted to land, so they never saw the atrocity that had occurred to their own students. They were simply informed that all students had been killed, and the bodies were incinerated.
In retaliation, Giarda was razed by the forces loyal to the other Clans, and civil war raged through the Confederacy for many cycles before Clan Masilec rose to the throne. Giarda was never resettled, and remains to this day, a charred reminder of civil war and strife.