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"Support for the war and our ability to fight it are dwindling. We are out of resources, we are out of public approval and we are out of time."
S.C.A.F. Admiral Marjorie Graves[1]

The Secession War was a civil war fought in the early 24th century between the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces and Secessionists seeking to dissolve the Sovereign Colonies administration and replace it with an Earth-centric government.[2]

The Secession War was fought alongside the ongoing Resource Wars, which also played a significant role in the eventual dissolution of the Sovereign Colonies.[3]


DS3 posterpropaganda01 cout

A poster labelling the Secessionists as traitors to the Sovereign Colonies.

The precise duration of the conflict is not clear, but the Sovereign Colonies were hanging on by a thread by 2311, suffering from dwindling resources and public support for the war effort. In a bid to regain the upper hand, the Sovereign Colonies launched a covert Galactic Expedition to Tau Volantis, committing a substantial amount of ships, men, and materiel to unearthing the secret of the Markers and what the Colonies believed to be an inexhaustible energy source that would turn the course of history.[4]

The Expedition included elements from the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces that had experience in black ops against Secessionists during riots on Earth[5] (163rd "Reaper" Unit), supply line raids (the famed "Marauders"), and special operations forces (UN14), on top of a generous crop of fresh draftees and conscripts.[6]

The expedition became the death knell of the Sovereign Colonies. The discoveries made on Tau Volantis revealed the Markers to be an existential threat to humanity and the Council invoked Scenario Five, purging all material and personnel related to Marker research while burying what couldn't be destroyed.

The extent of the Scenario Five purges nullified the ability of the Sovereign Colonies to continue to fight the war, leading to a Secessionist victory in short order.[2]


The Secessionists seized power in the vacuum left by the Sovereign Colonies administration, establishing the Earth Government Colonial Alliance, an Earth-centric regime.[3] In military circles, the widespread scuttling of SCAF ships as part of the purges led to the perception that the Sovereign Colonies leaders were implementing a scorched earth policy, unwilling to turn their assets over to the victorious Secessionists.[7][8]


  • In the beginning of Chapter 3, if the player heads to the right and starts exploring the space around the CMS Roanoke instead of entering the ship, Isaac will call Norton and ask about the SCAF flotilla, prompting Norton to start talking about the Secession War and give his opinion about the Sovereign Colonies.