4860AD The Colony Ships Return.
In 4860AD the Marianus van der Lubbe returned to Neubayern, arriving at virtually the same time as the Voyageur which had travelled from Amondiage.
Even by this date the progress made by Neubayerns colonists was pitiful. The Foresters struggled to maintain a primitive industrial capability (TL4), while the Fishers and Goatherds endured a mediæval poverty. The most sophisticated machines on the planet were steam powered agricultural devices used by some of the more progressive Wald communities.
Dismayed at the poor state of the colony, the Crew set about trying to improve matters. They sent missions to towns and villages across the planet. Two generations of Crew, from both ships dedicated their lives to helping the backward inhabitants of Neubayern escape their miserable lot.
They met with some success in the relatively advanced Wald, but they failed to make a positive impact on the primitive Fisher and Goatherd communities. Many of the Goatherds took them to be Sky Spirits, come down from the sky to carry them off to paradise. Where they could, they brought medicine and education. They built hospitals and schools. They built roads through the Wald to connect isolated communities. And they tried to foster liberal, tolerant values in the people whom they helped.
4882AD The Neumünchen War
The Crew were horrified by the inhuman brutality of the Neumünchen Kingdom. They realised that the vile régime was maintained through terror that relied upon relic technologies, particularly the ancient shuttlecraft. So in 4882AD they mounted a commando raid aimed at destroying the shuttles. Unused to combat, the Crew commando teams badly fluffed their mission - the shuttles were undamaged and many Crew were captured. King Julius VI tortured and killed many of the prisoners in an attempt to force the ships to hand over more shuttles and advanced weapons.
The Crew responded by fitting explosive charges to unmanned probes and remotely flying them against the Kings shuttles. These crude missile had some limited success. One shuttle was badly damaged and could no longer fly, the other escaped with only minor damage. Julius retaliated by killing many of his remaining prisoners. He then used his remaining shuttle to raid the Crews biggest mission - in the large Wald town of Grünberg. Many Crew were captured, and hundreds of Foresters were massacred.
Julius kingdom consisted of well defended towns. Their stone-built walls and sturdy palaces were hard for the Crew to target with their limited weapons capability. The one remaining shuttlecraft also proved resilient. Eventually the Crew spent a year developing the capability to build large pulse lasers, and just shot it down from orbit. They then turned their orbital laser platform on Neumünchen and flattened many of the citys major buildings.
This assault from orbit was followed up by a ground attack, lead by Foresters armed with advanced weapons. These troops were flown in aboard Crew ships and left to mop up the last of the Royal defenders. The Crew were horrified when their proxy army ran amok. The Kingdoms towns became a huge blood bath.
The Neumünchen massacres turned the Crew against the idea of further meddling in Neubayerns affairs. For nearly 40 years the two starships had done everything in their power to help the colonists. But everything they had tried seemed to make things worse.
Marianus van der Lubbe just left the system, but Voyageur decided to take on new colonists and try to help them build a better life elsewhere. They needed reasonably well educated people, so they recruited 50,000 Foresters. Most of these came from the old Kingdom, which was now a blasted wasteland. Having weeded out war criminals and other undesirables from their complement, the Voyageur set sail for Topas in 4902AD.