Phoenix is the most populated and industrialized system on the Eastern Rim, along the former border between the old Federation, the Frontier Worlds Territory, and the Kingdom of Enoch. It is currently ruled as a constitutional monarchy under House Savant.
Phoenix was originally settled in 2167 as a place to dump refugees from other star systems fleeing repression, poverty, or alien invasions. Instead of a good place to begin anew, they found a world with so many heavy metals in its crust that cancer and birth defect rates skyrocketed despite the best 22nd century medicine could do. But the very metals that poisoned the populace also made Phoenix one of the richest mining systems in human space. And not just the inhabitable planet was blessed with this mineral bounty—even the local asteroid belts and airless planets were chock full of rare metals. Phoenix quickly developed an extensive orbital industrial infrastructure, and consequently the Federation chose the system to host the Earth Fleet's Phoenix Shipyards.
Third Civil WarEdit
Phoenix was spared the worst of the Bug Wars, but during the Third Civil War of 2243, the Christian Federation invaded and conquered the system in the First Battle of Phoenix, hoping to use the Phoenix Shipyards to build up the Righteous Navy into something that could stand up to the Earth Fleet. A secret resistance movement led by Commander Xinjao O'Reilly sprang up among the captured Fleet engineers, however, and they launched a sabotage campaign culminating in the destruction of the main spacedock and the Righteous Navy's 1st Fleet. Months later, O'Reilly led Task Force David, a large group of Jewish volunteers equipped with obsolescent starships, in an invasion of the Phoenix system. In the resulting Second Battle of Phoenix, the Righteous Navy's 2nd Fleet was crippled, driven out of the system, and Phoenix was liberated.
In the series of wars that dominated the next twenty years, Phoenix was far enough away from the front lines to avoid the destruction of the Vin Shriak Holy War of 2251-55, narrowly avoided invasion during the Vulthra Wars of 2253 and 2257, and wasn't in the path of the Caal Invasion of 2264.
After the Caal Invasion triggered the collapse of the Earth Federation, Senator Aisha Ramirez fled home to Phoenix and, along with the Light Infantry Commander-in-Chief Kathryn Wagenecht, established the Ministry of Public Safety (with Phoenix as its capitol) to maintain law and order until the Federation was restored. When the Ministry reunified with the Federation several months later, the near-simultaneous assassination of Chief Minister Ramirez led to a rash demonstrations by protestors who suspected Federation Chairman Joseph Smythe of killing Ramirez to avoid having to share power with her. Attempts by the Light Infantry to break up the protests backfired and turned them into riots instead, which quickly boiled over into full-blown rebellion.
After months of trying and failing to put down the rebellion militarily, Chairman Smythe switched tactics and tried negotiating. Unlike many other rebellions of the Red Spring sweeping the galaxy at this time, the rebellion on Phoenix was not led by the Cult of the Emperor wanting to join the Holy Terran Empire, but rather Ministry of Public Safety patriots wanting to secede from the Federation and reestablish the Ministry, and so were more open to a brokered peace. The Phoenix rebels agreed to a cease-fire in exchange for the promise of new Federation Senate elections in six month. Unfortunately, before that could happen, the Empire won the Ascension War and the Federation ceased to exist.
Due to Phoenix's economic importance and because it rebelled against the Federation (even if it wasn't exactly pro-Imperial), Emperor Vin Dane was inclined to be generous to Phoenix after the war. In exchange for peacefully and voluntarily joining the Holy Terran Empire, the Emperor promised Phoenix a large degree of home rule. The rebel leader, former Deputy Minister Peter Savant, was granted the system as a fiefdom, but set up the planetary government as a limited constitutional monarchy with his noble household acting as a representative to the Imperial Diet.
As the Empire began shutting down the jumpgate network, Phoenix was again favored by allowing it to keep two operating jumpgates and commercial hyperspace lanes open (to San Angeles and New Tokyo). Between a booming economy and having some semblance of democracy, Phoenix became a hot destination for immigrants and refugees from across the Empire, flooding into startup boomtowns like the Iztapalapa Dome. Phoenix now has the second-largest economy in the Empire, eclipsed only by Avalon itself, and is consequently both a Major House and a political faction practically by itself.
Finally, the between-seasons short story Let's Make a Deal by Lorpius Prime established that Phoenix is also home to a small, underground cell of K'Nes businesscats, led by Miao K'Rrowr Na'Yurr from Miao Mercantile, Inc, who are the shadowy puppetmasters behind a smuggling ring, although they use debt bondage to coerce human merchants into doing the dirty work for them. It has yet to be determined, however, if this short story is part of accepted cannon.
Phoenix has as varied a terrain and ecosystem as Earth, but the adaptations of the local flora to the high concentrations of heavy metals in the soil tends to lend the vegetation an unusual palette of hues even for alien plants. Much of the landscape is pockmarked with active or abandoned open-pit mines, the abandoned ones frequently being glazed over with domes to house cities shielded from the toxic dust borne on the wind.
Off the main planet, Phoenix has one of the most industrialized systems of asteroid belts and minor planets of any system in human space. The Blackbird Belt is the most heavily exploited, with one of the major Harrington Industries Daughter Corporations owning the mining rights to nearly the entire belt. Orbiting the main planet is the Phoenix Shipyard, once one of the major shipbuilding and repair facilities of Earth Fleet, although it never quite recovered from the damage done when one of the main spacedocks exploded during a daring escape from Christian Federation captivity by a group of Earth Fleet engineers led by Xinjao O'Reilly during the Third Civil War.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Phoenix is of course named for the city in Arizona where some relatives of one of the original Season One players lived. According to TI creator Nathan Bax, House Savant is related in some way to Priscilla Savant, although the connection was never made clear, and whether or not it's considered cannon has yet to be determined.