Markhot was a solar system used by the Gudersnipe Foundation to construct a fleet of starships for its WorldCraft Terraforming Firm. The process of building the fleet consumed most of the systems natural resouces and took over a thousand years. Later, during the Kamian Succession Wars, the solar system was razed and the star collapsed. The region is now known as the Markhot Nebula.
Markhot's two habitable worlds were once part of the Marcon Alliance, which did not posses space travel but could reach the worlds magically. They were among the planets decimated by Lelerough during her rampage, and spent the next 600 years recovering. Marcon ideology quickly lost its hold, and many civilizations flourished.
During this period, neither of the two worlds knew the other existed, and developed very different cultures. At least one planet had determined the other was habitable and thought there might be intelligent life there, but neither had developed space travel by the time they were conquered.
During the Second Chaotic Period, the old Gudersnipe Army took control of Markhot. The conquest is generally recalled as being very bloodless, with scattered, light opposition. At the time, Markhot was ruled by various nation-states which themselves had been fighting wars for generations. Gudersnipe united the planets and provided considerable technological advancement.
Markhot flourished under occupation and began a fine tradition of ship building. When the old Gudersnipe Army transitioned to the Gudersnipe Foundation, many of their first generation of ships were constructed at Markhot.
When the Gudersnipe Army became the Gudersnipe Foundation, Markhot became a major stronghold and was the Foundation's primary small ship-building facility throughout the Golden Age. Capitol ships were constructed at Naupactus during this time.
In the early Second Age, the Foundation shifted its focus to Utopia Gregaria as a ship-building site, while Gallihop became the chief wrecking and refitting site. Still, Markhot's position along the Steel Road kept it as a valuable economic entity.
Late in the Second Age, the Foundation began looking for a new site to construct a replacement fleet of terraforming ships for WorldCraft. The site needed five things:
- Large, untapped supplies of natural resources;
- Existing and robust space infrastructure;
- Large available workforce;
- Strategic positioning;
- No existing major projects in place.
Marhot still had a large commercial shipbuilding industry, but the existing infrastructure was under-used. Further, new advancements had made planet-breaking much more viable, providing a greater availability of resources. Markhot was the obvious choice.
Construction of thirty large ships began in A.Y. 315. The ships were built along an empty orbital ring surrounding the sun, and were so massive that each ship had to meet project milestones at roughly the same time, to avoid unbalancing the orbit. No stardock could ever hope to accommodate a terraforming ship; they were larger than Mercury Ships. So to aid in construction, each ship-building slot was equipped with a large, ring-shaped space station that moved up and down the length of the ship. Most work was done in smaller, pressurized stardocks and moved to the final location as modules.
The process took 1,000 years, and was completed perfectly on schedule to the day, finishing in A.Y. 415. The ships were designed to have an operational lifespan of 10,000 years, though the Foundation believed this could ultimately be extended indefinitely.
During the construction period, the population of the Markhot system had become unsustainable, and the first act of the new fleet was to relocate nine billion people to new colonies. Following completion, Markhot contintinued its traditions in ship-building, stabalizing its economy fairly quickly.
Through the Fourth and Fifth Ages, Markhot flourishes as a trading hub. The massive space stations left over from the terraforming ship constructions were too large for use on even the largest ships built at Markhot, but still made excellent space stations. They were under-utilized, but it turned Markhot into a sort of "city of gold" along the trade routes. The stations were so large and space was in low demand; any merchant or trader wishing to set up shop could have very low overhead. Fortunes were made and lost on those rings.
While an important trading center, Markhot was not considered strategically valuable, and was poorly defended. In A.Y. 6555, a large Kamian fleet descended on the system, destroying everything in sight. They destroyed the large ring space stations, hit orbital habitats, and bombarded the surfaces of the two planets. They then collapsed the star, resulting in a super nova that destroyed the inner solar system. Precisely how the Kamians collapsed the star is unknown. 12.7 billion people died in the attack, the largest single loss of civilians in the war.
Intelligence reports captured later in the war indicated that the Kamians saw the annihilation of Markhot as an important stepping stone to victory. If they ever struck the much more heavily defended Utopia Gregaria and Naupactus yeards, they knew the Foundation could easily relocate its shipbuilding facilities to Markhot.