The Tarka have been a sentient race for nearly a million years. Their current ruling dynasty has been in power for nearly 10,000 years, and previous ruling clans have not been eliminated, but rather relegated to rule different segments of the empire.
The basic social unit among the Tarka, even during the hunter–gatherer phase of their evolution, was a large family group protected by a Changed male and socially dominated by Tarka females.
The cause of the first imperial collapse remains a mystery. A period of chaos followed the collapse, and records of that time period seem to be...spotty. There is a gap of 150 years.
Recent Tarkasian history is regarded as a golden age. Tarkasian scientists had discovered the Menisceal Principle and adapted it to make the first warp envelope for a vessel. The armed forces were unified under a rare and much–revered female Supreme Commander, Sara Jar'dok — many Tarkasian females from the military caste are named after her to this day. The Jar'doka and a hand–picked circle of close confidantes and advisers, including three emperors and two brilliant scientists, maintained peace and order on the homeworld and devoted an incredible volume of its GNP to building and fitting out a new kind of fleet, for a new kind of conquest.
The legends say that the Tarka held an empire of over 24 planets before the Fall. Naturally, when they returned to space 500 years later they had hoped to find some of those colonists still surviving — there are modern Tarka who still claim kinship bonds to someone who had gone to the stars, either as an officer in the Fane Lao or as a civilian attache.
But in all their years of searching, there has been no sign of the Jar'dok'kao as yet. Maps of those old settlements were lost with many other records of the period — even finding an archaeological site seems impossible. It is as if they were swept from the universe by a mighty hand...
The Orr Clan Edit
"Orr" has roughly the same meaning as the Human clan name "Smith" — "people who shape iron and steel". Among Tarka, of course, these names have a little more teeth — the highest members of the Orr caste will still be deeply involved with mining, refining and manufacturing concerns.