Continuing my series of star charts, this is one of the Alulan Traverse, the region of space immediately to the Galactic Windward of the Old Core. Dominated by the far-reaching jump nexus at Alula Australis, the Alulan Traverse is, behind the Algolid in the Armward Reach, the longest-inhabited and most densely-colonised region outside the Old Core itself. Broadly-speaking, the Traverse is bounded to Galactic Armward by the Pollux, Capella and Castor jump nexuses, to Galactic Coreward by that at Arcturus, and, further to Galactic Windward by the jump nexuses at Regulus and Tegmeni.
The Alula Jump nexus was the first of many multi-star jump nexuses discovered in the early Diaspora. The discovery jump-started exploration of the Windward Reach and led to the establishment of many early colonies, most notably Atlantaea, the third outsystem colony in human history and the third founded by the International Consortium, behind Malinche and Orel. Successive waves of colonisation, propelled by tensions in Sol and the aftermath of the Jovian War, saw the Traverse become a hotbed of colonisation efforts, spurred further by the discovery of four easily-terraformable worlds at the Tegmeni jump nexus. The race to Tegmeni was led by the charismatic Nicolaas Van Arnhem, who after overseeing the settlement of Tegmeni and Tiberian Systems, personally led the settlement of Aleutian on what was to become the Windward Reach's dominant colony, Van Arnhemsterre. Developing rapidly, and enjoying good link with the burgeoning Algolid colonies via the Menkalinan jump nexus, Van Arnhemsterre became the intellectual seat of the outer colonies, eventually leading them in establishing an new Diasporal accord covering both the Windward and Armward colonies: the Inter-Solar Treaty Organisation. Meanwhile, Atlantaea had founded or convinced other colonies to come under its banner, creating the Crown Colonies of Bellerophon, Persephone, Hermione, Melbourne and Silvester. The Procyon Confederacy and Sector Earth Authority had expanded in the region too, while extensive Chinese colonies in the central Traverse became independent following the Jovian War.
Perhaps inevitably, the Inter-Solar Treaty and the United Earth Alliance came in time to perceive each other as rivals. Spurred in large part by the increasing authoritarianism of the Sector Earth Authority and increasing Purism of Shang-An at the dawn of the 4th Century ADH, relations between the two superpowers began a slow decline. By 323, the last of the Great Marches on Old Earth had been thoroughly suppressed, huge banners reading "The Innocent Have Nothing To Fear" had been unfurled on Authority colonies across the DH, Shang-An had begun its purges, and a true Inter-Solar Cold War had begun. Neither superpower was suitably equipped to rein in their most extreme significant members, and successive aggravations between Shang-An and the Authority cost at least two Allied Secretary-General their jobs. In 344, tensions reached a head in the Talitha Incident, and war was declared between InterSol and the UEA; the ensuing First Inter-Solar War was the largest in human history. Fighting occurred from Alphecca, to Coreward, through Arcturus and Alula, round to Pollux and Capella to Aldebaran and even Sheratan. Only the stunted and under-developed Spinward Reach was spared the fighting. In the war's 14th year, Alliance forces were able to take and hold the Menkalinan jump nexus, cutting the Treaty in two and allowing the separate halves to be defeated independently. Hostilities were halted after an Earth Authority warship raiding Aleutian System fired a c-fractional kinetic javelin at Van Arnhemsterre. The Van Arnhemsterre Strike triggered a 40-teraton blast that led to the deaths of between 500 million and 750 million people - the largest single loss-of-life event in human history. Appalled, the Alliance ceased hostilities at once; it directly to the end of the War, the banning of c-fractional weapons, and very nearly the disbanding of the Sector Earth Authority, which was thoroughly reformed and demilitarised instead.
In the War's aftermath, the Alliance set up new Armward and Windward Federations to govern the former Inter-Solar Treaty colonies in the respective Reaches. ArmFed would eventually challenge the Alliance to the point where a Second, much more limited, Inter-Solar War occurred between them, leading in turn to the establishment of the Alignment and the secession of the Seven Suns. The Windward Federation, however, endures, its pacifist post-IW1 constitution still in effect. Van Arnhemsterre, whose terraforming project was set back 150 years by the Strike, is recovering well, and is poised once again to overtake Tanganyika as WindFed's most prosperous colony. The colony of Shang-an and its neighbours, traditional rivals of Atlantaea and Procyon, refused to be bound to WindFed, however, and declared themselves independent, creating a new Coalition of People's Planetary Republics. Following IW2, the CPPR joined the Alignment, although its militant purism - to the point of criminalising transhumanism in all its forms - poses significant difficulties for its new partners. Tensions between the CPPR and Alliance are high, particularly with the Interstellar Consortium (of which Atlantaea is a leading member) and Procyon Confederacy. However, Van Arnhemsterre's shadow is long enough to rein all parties in. For now.