When the fourth planet in the Shannedam star system was originally charted by the exploration vessel Outback II, it was named Shannedam after the ship's captain, Mark Shannedamus. Garbled communications resulted in the Terran Star Registry listing it as Shannedam VI rather than IV. Until the recent change to "Defiance", Shannedam IV was the world's accepted name.
In naming the county, the Baufrin were following their racial tradition of naming worlds after great individuals. They never realized that Mark Shannedamus was simply one of thousands of exploration commanders.
From orbit, Defiance is a beautiful sight. Its deep blue is overlaid with three continents but no polar ice caps. Defiance's mountains are rich in base minerals and metals, and a few deep-core mines still yield supplies of strategic minerals despite centuries of mining. The forested regions of Defiance are so lush that many have compared them more to gardens than to natural forests. The hardwood trees native to the world grow over 50 meters high. The planet's river deltas, on the other hand, are usually open to vast areas of swamp. These regions are habitable only in specially constructed housing, and travel within them is difficult, at best.
With only a slight axial tilt, Defiance's seasonal variations are almost nonexistent. The weather is nevertheless often unstable and destructive. Frequent storms render air combat difficult, if not impossible, in the affected region.
The Defiance transportation system is one of the most advanced in Shannedam County. Hover "bullet" trains that travel at supersonic speeds link all the major cities, crossing the oceans between continents through three major subway systems constructed more than a century ago. (Recent military operations on Defiance have left only one of these systems operational.)
The Baufrin were the first to colonize As-taka-Lay, later known as Shannedam IV and Defiance. When the Outback II entered the star system in the year 3000, several Baufrin vessels hailed it at once. After establishing communications, the Baufrin welcomed mankind as equals. Mankind, however, was not nearly so kind. Fearful of alien Baufrin expansion, Terran military commanders argued for the deployment of troops in what would one day be known as Shannedam County. The resulting war was short and bloody, and ended with the signing of the treaty that established the Commonwealth.
Over the next 2,000 years, Humankind came in large numbers to Shannedam IV. Humans and Baufrin continued to work and live together; their government was a model of self-determination and protection of individual rights.
Then came the Snow Plague. The Commonwealth, now dominated by the Baufrin, enacted legislation to aid and help preserve mankind, pouring trillions of credits into research for a cure. Despite this massive effort, the Plague had all but wiped out the Humans of Shannedam IV by 5002.
The KessRith Armored Legions that landed some five years after the Plague first struck were surprised to find that the primarily Baufrin world of Shannedam IV was so well-defended. The Baufrin defended themselves ferociously for more than twelve years, but finally gave way to the expanding KessRith Empire.
With the conquest, many Baufrin were sent as manual labor to mining operations on Pisae, Ope'Diar, and Mysia. The Human population grew as the survivors of the Snow Plague recovered from the devastating effects of the illness. Within 600 years, the Human population on Shannedam IV was nearly double the Baufrin.
By 6550, the peoples of Shannedam began to revolt against the KessRith, systematically forcing them to retreat to their garrisons in fear of sniper and guerilla attacks. Soon these garrisons were all that remained of their once planet-wide domination.
In 6570, the KessRith withdrew from Shannedam, leaving only one garrison legion in defense. The underground regent of the Commonwealth, Suphra Decla, declared the world to be free. In 6584 she signed a separate peace treaty with the KessRith, setting the stage for today's circumstances.
Both TOG and the Commonwealth realize the many things that this world simbolizes: the Baufrin-Human accord, the heart and mind of Shannedam County, the birthplace of Suphra Decla, the separate peace with the KessRith, and even the new name of Defiance.
When TOG seized Ancona, Shannedam came within striking distance, and raids against the system were immediately launched. However, TOG commanders sought to consolidate their hold on the County by taking planets they had bypassed rather than attacking Shannedam IV itself.
The first full-scale attack on Shannedam IV, in October 6829, was a complete failure. With the Royal Navy pummeling their attack carriers, the two TOG legions were destroyed almost before the assault could begin. The two legions withdrew and secured a foothold in the system on Diamond Ball. From there, they expanded to several other planets in the system.
In 6830 three legions made a second assault. TOG's objective was to secure all outlying areas before attacking Reush Hall. Anka was a primary target because of its defense industries and its defensible position against counterattack. The TOG forces took Anka, but the 7668th Strike Legion lost over 75 percent of its forces to the 9087th Commonwealth Marine Regiment. After the near-destruction of the 7668th Legion, three attempts to establish footholds on the prime continent have been failures.
Meanwhile, the 6500th Battleship Squadron has prevented TOG Interceptors from securing the rest of the star system. This enables the Royal Navy to maintain some degree of control over the situation on Defiance.
The Grand Duke of Shannedam County has remained as a rallying point for his people's morale, and Parliament continues to meet in Reush Hall, now a military fortress. Many claim that the battle for Defiance is more a political and morale struggle than one of arms. The Commonwealth is sure that if Defiance falls, it will cause the collapse of the rest of the County's defense. TOG needs it for exactly the same reasons.
Contested between TOG Occupational and Commonwealth Parliamentary.
Defiance is the Commonwealth county seat for all of Shannedam County; as a result, most local government is eclipsed by the functioning of the county government. There is a local parliament that oversees the general disposition of day-to-day affairs on the planet. Representatives are elected to a planet-wide Chamber of Governors, who elect from their own number a Chamber of Honors. Those elected to the Honors serve only one eight-year term, and then are ineligible to ever serve again in elected office. TOG has imposed martial law over those places in which it has gained a foothold.
The real power lies with the three planetary Barons, the heads of the houses Chance, Longacher, and Banturin; they oversee the administration of laws enacted by the parliament.
The staple of Defiance economy is its affiliation with The Tiven-Rilus-Ope'Diar Industrial Megaplex. As the chief consumer world in Shannedam county, and its main Commonwealth banking center, it is inseparably linked to the industrial might of the Megaplex. Politics is also a substantial industry on Defiance. It is one of the official residences of Grand Duke Massus, it is the seat of Shannedam county, it harbors the bureaucracies of three baronies, and it is home to the headquarters of the regional Royal army, navy, marine corps, and aerospace forces. With the size of its available work force vastly greater than on most of the county's other worlds, Defiance can produce finished products at lower prices than most other world's domestic industries.
Early in the Human resurgence that grew into the Commonwealth, Shannedam IV was freed from the KessRith. 6575 saw the last pockets of resistance thrown out of the Shannedam system. This gave the liberators some freedom to recover from their battling and plan for the future - a luxury denied other peoples still fighting to free themselves.
Shannedam County was formed in 6582, and Shannedam IV was named the county seat. It is interesting to note that Shannedam is the only county-level representative to be a signatory to the peace treaty between the Commonwealth and the KessRith. This was due to the activities of anti-peace factions in the county (See Michaels' System Guide To Shannedam County, Peter Jameson ed., July 6825). In order to assure the KessRith they would comply with the treaty, the county was made a signatory.
In 6683 the vast influx of refugees from the creation of the Terran Overlord Government sparked the so-called Refugee Riots. The planetary barons suppressed the riots by force, but trouble continued to brew. The County had enacted the Anti-Refugee Rights Act of 6685, but the parliament felt this was not sufficient and initiated a program of legal repression that lead to the Refugee Suppression Act of 6687 and the Armed Suppression Act of 6690. All of these were overturned by the Grand Duke in late '90. This was the darkest moment in Shannedam IV's history, but even then, in spite of the brutal repression, refugees poured into the County, and onto Shannedam IV. With the ruling of the Duke, the populace got a grip on itself and, while resentment still lingered, active anti-refugee sentiment and actions all but died away. The reversal was so total that in 6727, at the height of the Naram refugee wave that swept the county, not a single anti-refugee march took place on Defiance!
The lack of anti-refugee sentiment was in large part due to the wave of prosperity brought about by the close association between Shannedam IV and the rising star of the Tiven-Rilus-Ope'Diar Industrial Megaplex. The economic boom this created turned Shannedam IV into a proverbial land of milk and honey, at least during the middle 68th century.
TOG encroachment soon threatened the peace of Shannedam county. In 6809 the adjacent Keserdal County fell, and TOG began marshaling their forces for a new offensive. No one in the county or among Commonwealth officials questioned the location of TOG's next target. With the new year (6810) Shannedam IV became the rallying point for county defense. Most military leaders felt Thapsus would be the first world hit, and they prepared to launch a counterpunch early in order to destroy the beachhead as it formed.
Between 6811 and 6825, TOG launched a series of sequential attacks that mopped up half the county short of Syriph and Shannedam. Generally they met with easy success, excepting the tough Messana/Caralis pocket.
The year 6829 spelled disaster for TOG. Unknown to them, Syriph XX was an advance supply base for the Renegade Legions in Shannedam county. The ill-fated assault that TOG forces launched led to the annihilation of the TOG 816th Strike Legion. TOG warriors hope not to repeat this horrible disaster in the future, while Renegade forces glory in having handed TOG a major defeat.
TOG headquarters, recognizing that Caesar's Folly - as the planetary government renamed the world in May of '29 - would not fall right away, evolved an even more daring plan. A TOG carrier taskforce was sent to bully its way through the County's defenses and strike at the capital, Shannedam IV. (Note: it was about this time that the name of the world was changed to Defiance by popular acclaim. The change was based on numerous refusals to move the seat of the county government to a safer world in the face of TOG raiding pressures.) Though outnumbered, the Common-wealth/Renegade defenders exacted such a toll that the attack collapsed without landing a single unit on the planet's surface. However, TOG Naval and Marine forces have built an advance base on Triest, a moon of the sixth planet, Bassura. This base has at least a cruiser squadron and a wing of fighters stationed on it, along with 2 to 4 cohorts of Imperial Marines. Raiders from this base have made interstellar commerce to and from Defiance extremely difficult.
Human explorers make first official contact with Baufrin.
World is devastated by Snow Plague.
KessRith enter planetary system.
KessRith attack, surprised to find the world well defended.
Baufrin finally defeated by KessRith.
Suphra Decla signs separate peace treaty with the KessRith.
Name changed from Shannedam IV.
First attack by TOG is a complete failure. Two legions intended for Defiance decide to land on Diamond Ball instead.
Elements of the Golden Medusas and Death Express fight here.
TOG's second assault.