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Roughly a century behind the modern UFP
The most powerful race in the Pre-Warp Cradle, the Tynusian Empire consolidated power in the Cradle more than half a millenium ago, and has ruled the region benevolently but firmly ever since. With most contact with the outside world facilitated through the Dendrian Order and few exterior enemies remaining after five centuries, the Cradle has become an insular, even stagnanting, society.
The Tynusians have no concept of a non-interference directive, which is what originally allowed them to take power so many centuries ago. As one of the first species in the Cradle to secure warp technology (and certainly the most heavily armed of the bunch), the Tynusians contacted each of the primitive pre-warp worlds in the Cradle and offered them protection against outside threats, limited access to cutting-edge technology, and widespread civil improvements in exchange for taxation in the form of agricultural goods and industrial capacity. Most joined the Empire eagerly. Within a century, the Tynusian Empire was by far the most important power in the Cradle, functioning as a military society while being fed and supported by tribute from the planets under its protection.
The Tynusians take their responsibilities to their client worlds very seriously, and have fought and died valiantly for those under their protection in a number of wars. They are equally serious in insisting that those worlds live up to their end of the bargain, and, though never iron-fisted about it, the Tynusians (like any taxman) have bred resentment in some places. By 2384, there had not been a major war in over a century. Without a war to wash away those resentments, anti-Tynusian politics had begun to spread beyond the lunatic fringe in a number of provinces.
At the end of January 2384, the Tynusian Empire was thoroughly surprised when the powder keg they didn't realize even existed suddenly exploded. A renegade pirate captain calling himself George Orwell, fleeing the aftermath of the Battle of Union, stumbled into the Cradle and saw a society ripe for revolution according to his Marxist principles. A brilliant rhetoriticians, Orwell was able to plunge several of the most restless client worlds into outright rebellion in a matter of weeks, promising a society where all people are equal, where all citizens serve one another, and everyone has access to the same advanced technology. The rebel worlds stopped sending the ships they constructed to the Tynusians, and suddenly Captain Orwell wasn't captaining a badly damaged courier ship retrofitted with a few phasers; he was leading a fleet.
The S.S. Miniluv was destroyed by the U.S.S. Ticonderoga a few weeks later during the Battle of Ruined Station, killing Captain Orwell, but the communist rebellion continues. Despite some material support for the Tynusians coming from the Dendrians, the rebel message has proved remarkably resilent, and enough worlds have seceded from and declared war on the Empire to become a serious threat to Tynusian society.
The Tynusian Empire, despite recent developments, remains the best-trained, best-equipped military power in the Cradle. As the seven-fingered race likes to point out, cool training will defeat hot passion six times out of seven. Despite having the technology to produce immensely powerful phasers (by local standards; Tynusian military tech remains about a century behind the Federation's cutting edge), Tynusians prefer to invest their industrial and scientific might in ridiculously powerful structural integrity fields. Though their ships are armed with light phasers, the preferred Tynusian tactic is ramming. Most enemy powers have been unprepared for seemingly suicidal manuevers by Tynuisan opponents until it's too late--another reason for the Tynusians' historical military superiority in the Cradle, even centuries ago when there were a few other technologically equivalent powers.