A Fire Upon The Deep
Large interstellar federation which served as the basis for the Third Imperium.
Established on Sylea in -650, the Federation grew slowly, absorbing several surrounding worlds and increasing trade and interaction between worlds.
By -30, the real power in the Federation was an industrial consortium headed by Cleon Zhunastu. Cleon, a Solomani noble of great vision, used his family industrial base and the support of other families (obtained by the persuasiveness of his personality) to obtain behind the scenes control of the Federation government and to begin an active campaign to increase the number of worlds under its control.
After 30 years of economic and diplomatic manoeuvring (and occasional military action), Cleon had increased the size of the Federation and extended its control to the edge of what is now Core sector. Cleon envisioned a territory larger than a single sector, however, and concluded that the tightly controlled, highly centralised nature of the government of the Sylean Federation was not suitable for a large, star spanning empire.
Cleon decided the Federation had served its purpose, and he began plans for a more suitable form of interstellar government, which would allow greater local autonomy but maintain cohesion over large distances. In addition, to restore the past glories of the Rule of Man (and therefore lay claim to all former territories of the First and Second Imperiums), Cleon proposed to revive the Imperium.
This was made possible by the fact that in the closing years of the period known as Twilight, one of the last claimants to the throne of the Rule of Man had made Sylea his capital. Cleon traced the legitimacy of the Sylean Federation back through this emperor to the Rule of Man and (since the Rule of Man claimed to be the lawful successor to the Vilani Imperium) to the First Imperium as well.
In the 651st year of the Sylean Federation, the Grand Senate of the Federation “persuaded” Cleon to accept the Imperial crown. That year he was crowned First Emperor of the Third Imperium, and he proclaimed the 651st year of the Sylean Federation to be the Year Zero of the Third Imperium.