Catamite Wars · Solaris Wiki | World Anvil

Catamite Wars

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The Catamite Wars were a series of conflicts over lunar independence in the Jovian system, encompassing the uprisings and rebellions on Jupiter's moons triggered by the Io miners' strike, as well as the war between Ganymede separationists and Jupiter following a declaration of independence. The Catamite Wars culminated in a treaty that granted the right of self-governance to the moons, but ceded trade and foreign affairs to Jupiter.   The name of the war is derived from "Catamites", an archaic word for the Jovian moons. The name is deeply associated with the exploitation of the moons and the paternalistic Jovian attitude towards them. Prior to the Catamite Wars, Jupiter expected its moons to follow Jovian law, obey Jovian policy and most importantly pay Jovian tax. The regulation and oversight varied from moon to moon. More strategically important moons experienced far stricter enforcement of these policies and a heavier hand, while others got away with something more similar to self-rule even before the war.  

Resistance Brews

  The Catamite system had been begrudgingly accepted for millennia. However, a series of tax raises caused discontent among the moons, while oversight was tightened following a wave of Jovian supremacy in the Senate. Tensions reached a boiling point when the Senate formally acknowledged Ceres as independent, sparking a miners' strike on Io that was brutally suppressed. Uprisings spread through the moons of Jupiter, ranging from peaceful protests to outright attacks against local Jovian governments.   The winds of independence came to Ganymede as well. The largest moon in the Solar System, Ganymede has been one of most valuable tributaries of Jupiter thanks to its dense population and developed industries. The Council of Nations, which oversaw matters concerning all of Ganymede, started discussing the plight of the other moons. Fearing these discussions turning into more serious conviction, Jupiter used its influence to force a premature vote on a referendum of independence in order to head off such a possibility.   Unfortunately for Jupiter, Mysia, a Ganymedean nation that held a veto in the Council as a founding member and was considered the leader of the most pro-Jupiter faction, misinterpreted Jupiter's intentions and exercised its veto to defeat the motion without a vote. Chaos erupted in the Council. The other nations' representatives quickly deemed Mysia's veto undue interference by Jupiter and ignored it. The motion was passed with a supermajority. Ganymede was officially in rebellion.
Miner Strike on Io
Brutally suppressed by Jupiter.
Moons across the Jovian system see protests and open rebellion.
Independence Vote
Council of Nations hold a vote on seccesion.
Veto Ignored
Mysia vetoes but is ignored. Council of Nations votes to secede.
Jupiter declares vote illegitimate, immediately starts sanctions.

Jupiter Retaliates

We will not suffer treason. These terrorists are gambling with the lives of Jovian citizens. We must respond, and we cannot respond with half-measures.
— Senator Clemensius
Jupiter immediately denounced the illegal actions of Ganymede. Sanctions were declared, and a Jovian interim government was dispatched to restore order. This government was refused entry at many of the stations, Mysia being a notable exception.   As the interim government was being denied, the High Priestess of Jupiter summoned all Keystones to the Great Red Temple to lead them in group prayers to provide religious guidance through the pan-Jovian crisis.   Some time after this, Jupiter dispatched a peacekeeping force via shuttlecraft in order to punish what was seen as unlawful actions and forcibly return Ganymede to normalcy. Rebel forces activated the relatively antiquated ground-to-air defensive batteries and shot down many of the inbound craft, seeing it as an invasion force in all but name.  
It is time to face our foes. The Jovians outnumber us. For each one of us there's a hundred of them. They are trained soldiers, talented soldiers. But this is our home. No-one knows Ganymede like we do, we know the depths and the dark heart of our Moon. From Dardanus to the Ghost Sea of Menefer, Ganymede will protect us.
— President of Etana
The armed resistance forced Jupiter to draw up invasion plans. Jupiter imposed a full blockade, shutting down transmission relays and capturing space-side portals. Troops and materiel were ferried to Ganymede via shuttle and through friendly portals. However, the initial Jovian advance was stymied. The difficulty in delivering and supplying mechanized vehicles forced a slow, unsupported advance into territory that was well known by Ganymedean locals.   The war was quickly bogged down in slow battles of attrition, but the writing was on the wall that Jupiter would eventually win, if at a steep price. Operation War Dove shifted the balance of power by expanding the war to a different field. The Ganymede rebels were able to temporarily capture Galileo Spaceport and exfiltrate a diplomatic team who revealed the true nature of the Catamite Wars to the solar system.  
We wanted this war least of all. It is Ganymedean blood that is being shed. We tried to win our freedom in the fields of diplomacy. Backhanded Jovian tactics forced us to the battlefield.
— Anastasia Halcyon
On Jupiter, public opinion began to shift against the war and its extreme cost in human life. Previous reports had downplayed the brutality of the conflict and carefully controlled the narrative, but Ganymede's people now had a voice and the ability to challenge what was previously taken as fact.   Over the next few months, fierce Ganymedean resistance, slow advances, international condemnation, and public opinion all combined to force Jupiter's hand. A ceasefire was called, followed by negotiations to end the war.

Negotiations and Aftermath

The negotiation process between Jupiter and the Ganymede Council of Nations was a long and fraught process, so much so that diplomats involved sometimes refer to it as the "Second Catamite War". Even agreeing on a location was not simple, as some Ganymedeans rejected the idea of venturing into space entirely controlled by the Orbital Guard. The venue was ultimately decided to be the Great Red Temple on Jupiter for its religious neutrality.   Throughout the long negotiations, unintentional skirmishes continued on Ganymede. Bitter distrust of the Jovian occupiers, frayed nerves from the long war, and simple misfortune all combined to disastrous effect. One such conflict, the Battle of Serapis Crater, escalated into a full series of battles before the respective commanders were able to enforce a ceasefire again. Conflicts on other moons were also not covered by the ceasefire, and bloodshed continued even after the peace treaty was ultimately ratified.  

Keeping Hostages or Peace?

Every single Keystone of the Jovian system attended the prayer led by the High Priestess, including the Keystone of Ganymede at a time when she was arguably most needed on her home planetoid.   Some wonder whether the prayer was genuinely motivated by compassion, or if it was a strategic removal of the Keystones from their moons, asset denial and hostage-taking in one fell swoop.
Jupiter's moons were given sovereignty for internal affairs, while Jupiter retained control over foreign policy and trade. Although this could be seen as a success for Ganymedean independence, Jupiter retained the ability to tax Ganymede but through tariffs instead. The peace treaty also contained provisions against Jupiter interfering in internal affairs, but whether they would be able to be enforced is an open question.   Although the Catamite Wars are officially over, many moons remain in unrest, and some Ganymedeans also believe that the terms were not sufficient. Meanwhile, conservative Jovians believe that Jupiter would have been able to achieve an unconditional victory and are looking for any opportunity to claw back the concessions made. Though the steep death toll paid by all sides may be sufficient to prevent another war, the fundamental conflict remains under the surface.
Lo and behold, this once great Senate now stoops to appeasing indignant moons. The people of Jupiter, and perhaps more importantly, the dignity of Jupiter cast to the wayside.
— Senator Clemensius
Included Conflicts
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Mar 26, 2023 00:02

Damn, this is some incredible stuff!!! And I admire your ability for succinct explanations, an article I'm currently writing is showing that that is something I lack. Good stuff, and I like how you developed this fascinating conflict!

Mar 26, 2023 09:26 by Annie Stein

Thank you so much! This article was cowritten with Skye, and went through several rounds of line edits. It helps to be two people to get things succinct.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Mar 26, 2023 10:05 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

"Peacekeeping force", eh? XD   Really great overview of the conflict, and I really like the quotes that bring life to the different stages. I also love the glimpses that each moon isn't just an ***genous entity, but has factions and different nations and everything.   Really great job. :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Mar 26, 2023 10:21 by Annie Stein

What do you mean, peace and force are oxymorons? :)   Thank you! What you just highlighted was also very much what I was going for. I'm glad it came across! I totally understand why traditional space operas go for the single biomes and simplifies things, but I want work my way towards some really crunchy political complexity. I thought showing a moon with multiple nations on it would have an stronger impact than describing the same thing on a planet, and I hope that using the kind of political mess that can come from that as an instigating moment makes it stick out more than simply bringing it up in passing.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Mar 26, 2023 10:25 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Yeeees, I love it! <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Mar 28, 2023 16:28 by Caleb

I like what you did with the quotes and columns, very stylish, kept me hooked through the entire read :]

Mar 28, 2023 16:38 by Annie Stein

Glad to hear it! Articles like this can get a bit dense, so I'm glad to hear it helped you!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Mar 29, 2023 23:28 by Aster Blackwell

FASCINATING. I'm obsessed with all the layers and how well you present everything. I don't know what else to say other than I love it.

Mar 30, 2023 07:41 by Annie Stein

Thank you so much!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Apr 10, 2023 09:25 by Angantyr

This was an incredible piece to read, and it sparked many positive and negative emotions. The entirety of the conflict looks like it went through a lot of phases. With 16 months and the events here, I can only imagine how intense it must've been to the Ganimedeans, how they sought a chance to get around the blockade and the dramatic outcomes of individual battles and strifes. And the cost of independence for the civilians... And even now that the conflict has ended it still feels like it's smouldering underground, ready to start unexpectedly in the upcoming future.   Great piece of work. It makes me curious to think about how those particular events impacted the future.   Thank you for a fantastic read.

Playing around with words and worlds
Apr 10, 2023 19:38 by Annie Stein

No, thank you! I'm very glad the article captured some of the complexity of extended conflicts like this, and that it has you intrigued for what the future of Solaris holds.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Jun 12, 2023 23:49 by Molly Marjorie

A good history that gives clear context to the relationship of Jupiter and its moons then and now. I like what you did with the timeline.

Check out Natural Magic : a coming of age fantasy novel, because life is hard enough when you're fourteen, even without saving the world. Or listen to it in podcast form .
Jun 13, 2023 08:40 by Annie Stein

Thank you!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!