Backstory

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Welcome to the VORE Station background page!

This is the starting page into VORE Station's lore, also commonly known as 'fluff' (but we usually just call it lore). This is the basic, common knowledge that the vast majority of characters should know and helps introduce you, the player, into the world of our server. While you do not have to know every little detail by heart it would be wise to skim through some of the pages. At least to know how our lore differs from the other SS13 servers.

Many wiki lore pages are constantly under construction and open to change, If you feel like you may have something to add, please join our discord and pop your head into the #Lore channel.

Note: Unlike other pages of this wiki, changes to these pages must be approved by our Loremaster or another admin.

Once again welcome to VORE Station, we hope your stay here is a long and enjoyable one!

The year is 2320CE (Common Era) and Humanity has spread amongst the stars, forming a diverse and enduring diaspora of political and cultural ideas, thought streams and creeds. Spearheaded by the Terran Commonwealth, which serves as a rump state and soft dominant cultural power, Humanity is slowly spreading through the Orion Spur and ensures the perpetual endurance of the Human race in one way or another. With the discovery of the mysterious properties of the Alden-Saraspova particle and the abundance of it in the naturally occuring substance of Phoron, FTL travel and communication has become a reality through utilizing Bluespace Technology and enabling the massive energy requirements for truly wondrous public projects of shaping entire planets to a habitable atmosphere in decades, not centuries.

But Humanity is not alone - not only do the diverse human factions compete under each other, but also with other intelligent life, like the ambitious Tajaran, the imperial Unathi or the enigmatic Skrell and many more smaller and greater alien species.

It’s a brave, new world.

Welcome to the Frontier

Welcome to Virgo-Erigone (Virgo for short), a system within the Coreward Periphery, one of the two current frontiers of Humanity they pay even a modicum of attention to. This is due to the reason you are stationed on one of the moons of Virgo 3, Virgo 3B. The gas giant, being a massive ball of liquid and gaseous phoron is one of the many of the Coreward Periphery, where a phoron heavy star has gone supernova millenia ago, scattering the coveted material over nearby star systems, just waiting to be exploited.

For this reason Virgo-Erigone is colonized much like many other systems by a mess of charters working under Mega Corporations (such as your workplace), personal charters of wealthier individuals pitching together in a start-up, independents and other unions and polities,all keen on receiving one slice of the Phoron pie. Sometimes competing, sometimes supporting each other, sometimes being outright hostile to each other - life in the Coreward Periphery is dictated by opportunity and a certain clannishness between each other, as there is no central authority whatsoever and living standards can rise and fall on a dime with just one poor decision or one windfall.

The universal currency of the Coreward Periphery, introduced by a conglomerate of mega corporations and simply accepted as a good standard, if one could call it that, is the Thaler representing a fraction of FTL travel expenses.  In theory, one Thaler represents one second of flight within bluespace. This makes the currency precious in the Rim, but less so in the developed systems of Humanity and Aliens, where it is required to be exchanged to more conventional currencies, either backed by fiat or by kilowatt hours of energy.

Life in the Periphery

While automated labour is common in the core worlds, there are several problems that hinder its widespread implementation in the Periphery. Drones are incredibly inflexible in their programming and any program sophisticated enough to handle the, often changing, circumstances in the Frontier will likely be a positronic brain, which has requirements like any sapient being of having social contact and friends if one does not want to make them go mad in isolation.

Then, there is the issue of actually maintaining all this infrastructure without human input and the very real danger of pirates simply bombing the facility with EMPs as soon as they find out that only machines operate there.

Thus, the Periphery is populated with a plethora of contractors milling in one station to the next to earn their paycheck, handling any work more sophisticated than simple labour and even that is done in the spirit of either being incapable of affording drone swarms or plain refusing to do so due to the cost.  They also serve the purpose of being a higher barrier to attack and maybe even murder for pirates, as property damage is a whole other unethical step than outright killing a fellow sapient being - and well, to keep AIs company.

As contractors earn their license without questions asked as soon as they pass standardized tests offered by the NGO “Galactic Labour Pool”, there is a rich tapestry of creeds, cultures and species working in the Periphery. In a sense, it is a great melting pot of the galaxy as everyone is united either by the lust for a big paycheck or by the dogged adventurous spirit of taming the wild unknown.

Travel to the Coreward Periphery varies depending on urgency and affluence when going from or to the Terran Commonwealth and specifically Sol. The shortest amount is three weeks, the longest amount is 2 months. Holidays back home need to be planned well in advance due to it!

Due to a lack of a central authority, many colonies either rule themselves or have appointed managers of their respective charter holders. It isn’t uncommon for to see colonies within a system to work as loose confederation, but so far no real effort for a “real” government has been considered - most colonies are purely erected due to economic interests and often just abandoned to the cold, harsh mistress of space when the Phoron runs out.

Life in Virgo-Erigone specific

NT’s presence in Virgo-Erigone is actually relatively small - they are much more active in Amaterasu, Tenebrae and First Footfall, but the buyout of a royal charter company of the Zorren Kingdom An-Tahk-Et led to them occupying several ruins of the old Zorren Empire at Virgo 3B and Virgo Prime, paying homage and minor taxes in exchange for continued quasi-sovereignty over their installations - as such Zorren law holds little sway over these pockets of soil.

The main installations that are the most important are “Central Command”, an old basalt quarry of the Old Zorren Empire, now re-functioned as central communication and administrative hub for the region and the Tether itself - the NSB Adephagia, also an old Zorren Ruin, initially excavated by An-Tahk-Et, before leased to NT in exchange for helping them to develop more dry docks.

Refurbished as staging point for drone tankers filling themselves richly with harvested Phoron from surrounding facilities, the Tether serves also as staging point for xenoarcheological, xenobiological, xenobotanical and other scientific expeditions into the surrounding ruins, old quarries and mines of the planet and the star system as a whole - and, under the table, the occasional salvaging of competitor’s derelicts in both space and the surface.

The tether is a relatively comfy posting as NT tried to use it as staging point for more fervent colonization of the system. However, the Zorren blocked such attempts, leaving a strangely comfy fuel station and administrative hub, serving the orbiting NIS Orator with a direct fuel pipeline, which it uses happily to sell phoron fuel to any nearby ship, attracting a lot of air traffic of the myriad factions within the Virgo-Erigone system.

Non-Catalogued Species

Custom Species

Home planet: ???

Home system: ???

Here on Virgo our users and staff have created a varied back catalog of bits and bobs for species not specifically listed below. We do not enforce players play one of the canon species listed below. You may bring in your own special snowflake! As long as they, and by extension you, follow our rules over playing server appropriate characters. If you are having trouble creating your character please refer to our "Character Creation" guide.

Catalogued Species

Major Species

“Major” races are the alien species who have managed to accumulate enough political and economic gravitas to “matter” in a grander scale, often having spread over several star systems or having some sort of edge or tie with other major species - for example the Skrell, while isolationist to a degree are a philosophical ally to humans, while Sergals and Nevrean have been put into importance by being major trade partners with them, while Zorren and Vulpkanin bring back technologies of their ancient forebearers.

Being a major race means a certain degree of independence from other races, as they usually do not have to rely on others to fare space.

Humans

Home planet: Earth

Home system: Sol

Humanity, everything and nothing can be said about them. As diverse is their thinking, as fractured is their society. Intrepid and mercantile, brutal if needed to, Humanity has formed a great diaspora among the stars primarily driven by their innate curiosity and love for adventure and exploration. While a good half of them live under the wing of the Terran Commonwealth, centered around their home planet Earth, the extremely diverse political theory they have accumulated over the centuries led to many splits, arguments and secessions.

While most humans are accepting of other species and simply want to earn an honest paycheck, the best and worst are found among them. You never know what a human is going to be like when you first meet them.

Humans are most well-known for the stalemate and eventual peace with the Unathi during the Hegemony War, firmly cementing them as one of the major species in the Orion Spur.

Unathi

Home planet: Moghes

Home system: Uueoa-Esa

The Unathi are a race of tall, reptilian humanoids that possess both crocodile-like and serpent-like features. Their scales are hard and plate-like, save for the softer ones that line the inside of their legs, armpits, and groin. Originating from the planet of Moghes, the Unathi live in a complex, almost byzantine bureaucracy developed over the centuries of their Hegemony of their pocket of space.

The Unathi believe in a rigid honour system, following their duty to the Hegemony itself, then their respective allegiance and finally their own family, valuing dignity, strength and expertise above all. Learning crafts, however peaceful or martial, is seen as the perfect expression of Unathi pride.

The Unathi were humanity's second major race contact, but due to their imperialistic nature, engaged in an interstellar war with humanity known as the Sol-Hegemony Conflict. Although the conflict has long since ended, and relations have slowly improved, Unathi are still often considered to be haughty and arrogant for their much older culture, often leading to tensions between them and younger species.

Skrell

Home planet: Qerr'balak

Home system: Qerr'Vallis

The Skrell is a species of amphibious humanoids, distinguished by their green-blue gelatinous appearance and head tentacles. Skrell warble from the world of Qerrbalak (or as the lore once called it, Jargon 4), a humid planet with plenty of swamps and jungles. Currently more technologically advanced than humanity, they emphasize the study of the mind and the mystery of the natural world through philosophy and mmemotics.

Gender has little meaning to Skrell outside of reproduction, and in fact, many other species have a difficult time telling the difference between male and female Skrell apart. The most obvious signs (voice in a slightly higher register, longer head-tails for females) are never a guarantee.

Due to their extremely decentralized, but locally total rule, colonisation always has been an issue for the Skrell and even though they are among the oldest species known to Humanity still occupy just as much space as the diaspora of humans - so far they know. It is indisputable however that humans and skrell consider each other, if not natural allies, at least cordial partners for the joint exploration of Space.

Tajaran

Home planet: Meralar

Home system: Rarkajar

A relatively young species, much like the humans, the Tajaran are a humanoid race possessing cat-like features. Hailing from Meralar, they possess insulating fur and felinoid stability to better survive in their harsh native environment. Their home planet is a cold planet of vast tundra and arctic zones.

If one follows their turbulent history, many would see a defining cultural trait for many Tajaran - an innate sense of ambition and pride. Empires fell and rose with the pride of their leaders and pride of what they are, driving them to throw off the yoke of others. Tajaran might be the most aggressive colonisers concurrently, leaving their political landscape volatile and unpredictable.

They, however, care little for such. They see themselves as masters of their destiny - it only has to be manifest.

Tajaran are usually less trusted due to their ambitions and upstart nature, but this attitude is greatly diminished in the Coreward Periphery - where every person is gladly taken.

Sergals

Home planet: Tal

Home system: Vilous

Sergals are a race of furry shark-like headed creatures from the planet Tal in the Vilous system. They are one of two intelligent races living in the system, the other being Nevreans. They are split into four main ethnic groups,  being the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western sergals.

Humanity encountered the Sergals during the colonisation of Tal by Yantzu Mining, a now defunct corporation, who disregarded them as savages due to the first contact with the northern sergals, who live in primarily agrarian and hunter-gatherer societies, an attitude that did not change with the much more developed Eastern and southern Sergals, who grasped complex economics and trade networks under their various confederations and leagues of city states in the climates with many artificial or natural waterways.

This led to the Sergals making the humans first connected and then dependent on their goods (mostly agricultural), before just driving them out with relatively simple tariff wars, leading to Yantzu Mining losing standing in the Human Diaspora and to their eventual bankruptcy. Acknowledging their intelligence and culture, most human enterprises now lead mutually beneficial development and trading charters with the Sergals, who often stride out into the world to learn about the technology and crafts of the galaxy to bring them back home and transplant them into their home cities. 

Nevreans

Home planet: Tal

Home system: Vilous

Flighty and avian, the Nevrean share their home planet with the Sergals, who is their relatively close genetic cousin, although their appearance is quite different, rather looking like a mixture between a feathered dinosaur and a bird, with the sexual dimorphism leading to females being bulkier, flightless and also more aggressive in their cultural mores, while the males are slimmer, more colourful and are capable of flight.

Nevrean live traditionally in nomadic societies, roaming the savannahs and mountains of Tal, where permanent agriculture is next to impossible, relying on a rich oral tradition to pass down knowledge and their culture. Sometimes at odds with Sergals, sometimes their allies, their history with the second sapient species of Tal might have been the reason why some of their cultures are very much accommodating to xenos.

Nevrean are perceived as industrious and excellent crafters, which led to many communities of Nevrean eventually folded into the more urbanized life of Sergals, attracted by supply and demand economics. These urbanized Nevrean generally adopt Sergal writing systems to their own language, which led to many myths and legends being much more accessible to more book-loving cultures - like the humans.

Zorren and Vulpkanin

Home Planet: Menhir (Virgo 4) / Altam

Home System: Alat-Hahr (Virgo-Erigone)/ Vazzend

The origin of these two diverse species is subject to debate in the specifics, but DNA sequencing and archeology determined that Zorren and Vulpkanin have both belonged to a progenitor species that has been spacefaring before Humanity reached industrialization. While the decline and eventual complete collapse is still unknown, the Coreward Periphery is dotted with old outposts, cities and facilities, most often almost completely lost to the wastes of time.

The Zorren and Vulpkanin are the only known descendants of this precursor empire, living on planets that have been to some significance for the precursors, although it’s not quite understood what exactly made them special. In case of Virgo 4, it is suspected to be either an industrial-focussed planet or a weapon testing facility, due to evidence that the planet had several moons before its asteroid rings, while the clement conditions of Altam and the much higher population of Vulpkanin leads to the theory that it was either a market or waystation of an important supply line.

While genetic drift and deliberate DNA manipulation (such as Zorren having hemocyanic blood instead of red blood like Vulpkanin) drifted them apart considerably, both Zorren and Vulpkanin are curious about their respective cousins and their heritage.

However, while Vulpkanin’s interest is mostly relegated to a passing academic interest, Zorren are obsessed with their ancient heritage and deliberately try to shape their societies according to ancient customs, social mores and culture, seeing themselves as inheritors of a lost Golden Age.

Minor Species

“Minor” species are those who are dependent on the major races to accomplish their spacefaring goals, are vassals, clients or protectorates of the major species or are insular and only have colonized very minorly in their respective star systems.

“Minor” has little bearing if a species is developed or not, as Angels and Demons are considered “minor” due to their isolationists and inward perspectives, but are very advanced in their technology, while Dionae are considered “minor” as they show no interest whatsoever to have any political clout.

Zaddat

Home planet: Xohok

Home system: Uueoa-Esa

The Zaddat are an Unathi client race only recently introduced to civilized space. Having evolved in the high-pressure and post-apocalyptic world of Xohok in the Vengeful Father system, Zaddat require an environmental suit to survive in usual planetary and station atmospheres. Despite these restrictions, worsening conditions on Xohok and the blessing of the Moghes Hegemony have led the Zaddat to enter human space in search of work and living space. The vast majority of Zaddat now live in nomadic spacer fleets.

Promethean

Home planet: None

Home system: None

A gelatinous race of mimics evolved from their slime predecessors that were first discovered aboard the research station Prometheus, these colorful humanoids are best characterized by their ability to repurpose and shape their bodies for whatever a situation may warrant by means of their semi-solid structure. Along with this is their semipermeable membrane encasing their gel, allowing them to filter feed while keeping the undesirable matter out of their bodies. Their composition allows them to resist most sources of brute trauma, though energy will cause their limbs to become unstable and disintegrate. Prometheans are also void of most normal organs, possessing quite the different setup for their homeostasis.

Being an artificially created race, and a new one at that, Prometheans have no unified culture, though there are small populations of Prometheans scattered around the universe, the tropical planet of Aetolus in particular having roughly one thousand such individuals.

Promethean stewardship varies from state to state. The Fyrds outright outlaw them, while the Eylsian Colonies oscillate between embracing them as fully independent citizens to outright slavery. The norm however is that they require a caretaker at all times to teach them civilization properly.

Diona

(( Whitelisted species - requires a special character application to play. ))

Home system: Epsilon Ursae Majoris

The diona are a group of omnivorous, slow-metabolism plantlike organisms that are in fact clusters of individual, smaller organisms. They exhibit a high degree of structural flexibility and come in a wide variety of shapes and colors to reflect the intelligence of each individual creature. They were discovered by the Skrell in 2194CE, not on a planet, but in open space between three stars, a figurative hell that made it difficult to discover, much less contact them.

Diona spread by seeds and are asexual, no gender. When grown into their small 'nymph' state, they are known to eat large amounts of dead plant matter and fertilize plants while they learn from those around them by sampling their genetic code (usually through blood extractions), and as they grow further merge into larger and larger forms. It is not unheard of for Skrell explorers to be traveling in a ship composed of habitat modules and engines of Skrell make, with the body of the ship formed by their Diona allies to warble across the cosmos.

Introduced by the Skrell, and quite slow and peaceful, the Diona share good relations with humanity.

Vasilssans

Home planet: Varilak

Home system: Antares

Vasilissans are a carnivorous, large spider-like people with tall, lanky bipedal bodies covered in chitin, and four large spider-like limbs protruding from their backs. They come in a variety of colors and are extremely diverse in that aspect. The females are usually about a foot taller than the males, averaging in at about seven feet. The females are also much stronger than the males. Their faces have four eyes of solid and varying colors. On the top of their heads are strange, thick, leg-like feelers that are normally styled in much the same way as hair. Their color varies greatly and isn’t normally the same color as the Vasilissan’s body. They have several feelers and sharp claw-like limbs around their lipped human-like mouths. These mouths contain only fangs, a strange, bulbous, long tongue, and spinnerets, giving them the ability to spit large strands of silk from their mouths. Their faces are traditionally very pretty, long, and elegant, almost elf-like despite their hard chitin plating and lack of a nose.

From a temperate jungle planet, the Vasilissans were once solitary, territorial people until great queens began to subjugate them. These 'Star Queens' ruled with an iron fist and urged their subjects to expand her territory and to attempt to build great towering cities tall enough to reach the stars and their sun, which they believed to be gems of great magical power and spiritual significance. First contact has been made by NT, who rigorously tried to exploit their culture and adaptive architectural keenness, which went poorly for the Vasilissans until they have managed to contact the greater human diaspora.

Xenochimera

(( Whitelisted species - requires a special character application to play. ))

Home planet: Not known

Home system: Not known

An extraterrestrial colony organism, xenochimera are unusual in that they have no real defining physiology of their own - effectively, xenochimera mimic other beings, or parts of other beings, by consuming them and mutating their own cellular structure to imitate whatever evolutionary advantages they may find - or in layman's terms, they eat other creatures and copy features to create bizarre hybrids. As a result, no two examples of the species are alike, and they can, in fact, be wildly different in appearance. So much so, that even when they popped up on various colonies, they were dismissed as distinct alien creatures and native wildlife before a connection was finally made.

Xenochimera are relative newcomers to the galactic stage, their existence as a distinct species having been only discovered a little over twenty years ago, and as such are of great interest to xenobiologists. Owing to the moral and legal constraints surrounding experimentation on (arguably) sentient creatures, some transstellar corporations hire them in the hope that doing so will allow them to be studied  in a way that locking them in a xenobio pen would not - and if the scientists on the station can persuade them to volunteer themselves for examination, that's a bonus.

The origins of the xenochimera are largely a mystery - xenochimera biomass and individual creatures have been found on numerous planets and even discovered embedded in asteroids and comets across a vast area, but no established populations have been found.

Teshari

Home planet: Qerr'balak (Native : Sirisai)

Home system: Qerr'Vallis

The Teshari are reptilian pack predators from the Skrell homeworld. While they evolved alongside the Skrell, their interactions with them tended to be confused and violent, and until peaceful contact was made they largely stayed in their territories on and around the poles, in tundra terrain far too desolate and cold to be of interest to the Skrell.

In more recent times, the Teshari were technologically uplifted by the Skrell to be a space-faring race of their own, one that's ready to prove its worth to the galaxy at large, much to the glee of the Skrell, as they see this as the first real, successful uplifting that has benefited all sides.

The Skrell love to rub that in with the other species.

Synthetics

Home Planet: N/A

Home System: N/A

Synthetics are spread throughout known space and serve a myriad variety of roles that range from a tiny drone scrubbing a floor to a nearly omnipotent AI used in a combat-ready interstellar vessel. Most known sufficiently-advanced races use synthetics in some way; very often as prosthetic bodies when their own bodies fail. There are three basic kinds of synthetic intelligences found in the universe today:

●    Drone: A drone is the term for any synthetic that uses more simple artificial intelligence constructs such as chips or motherboards. While capable of very sophisticated interaction, they are, in essence, only expert systems and not truly sapient.

●    Cyborg: A cyborg is a synthetic that uses an organic brain to function via an MMI, short for Man-Machine Interface. Cyborgs come in many shapes and sizes and most sentient cyborgs are free-willed. Some companies have used canine brains and brains of other animals to ensure a cheap workforce that doesn't rely on cutting-edge technology.

●    Positronic Brain: Positronic Brains are synthetic intelligences equaling the intellect of a particularly clever sapient being and are generalized artificial intelligences that can be seen as equal (or superior) to organic sapience. They possess a neural network not dissimilar to a brain made out of flesh; and are often used when expert systems simply do not make the cut and a true intelligence is needed. Many positronic intelligences strive for self-determination and are often acknowledged to be holders of their own destiny.

Synthetics have the unique capability of serving in different bodies. This can take shape of a Synthmorph, a lawbound AI, or lawbound mobile chassis. However, transition from one to the other is an expense higher than the net worth of the bodies, making it non-lucrative for corporations and the synthetics themselves.

Angels and Demons

Home planet: Sanctorum / Infernum

Home system: Sanctum

Perhaps the most quintessential of all colonies in the Elysian Colonies is the system of Sanctum, found in the earliest years of Humanity’s sprawl into the galaxy and colonized as a mundane agricultural world at first. However, close contact with the Skrell led to leaps and bounds of advancement in gene-resequencing technology and ambitious plans to steer the direction of Humanity.

The leaders of Sanctorum (renamed from its original name, lost to time) seen to it that the humans under their care soon transformed into abrahamic paragons of virtue, physically making them look like the popular depictions of angels and turning into a stern nanny state extolling virtue, self-reflection and rejection of earthly pleasures and vices.

This led to an underbelly of dissidents, criminal elements and rogues, who refused to follow these party lines and resisted any attempt of therapy until the Sanctorum authorities were fed up and put them in a penal colony inside the Sanctum system - now dubbed Infernum. There people formed a libertine society of extreme libertarianism and purposefully celebrating all the sinful vices and joys of the flesh their compatriots have forsaken.

While relations and extreme societies have mellowed over the time, Sanctorum and Infernum have developed far differently from normal Humanity, focusing less on ever-expanding exploration and instead polishing their societies into their vision of perfection. It is true that Angels live in an early post-scarcity society where they want for little and most labour is automated - while it is also true that they live in a quite repressive state and have forgotten some goods and services to actually want. Meanwhile demons enjoy their excess and free lives, while balancing dangerously on one ambitious person to put them all under the yoke or tear themselves apart with no clear direction on how to spread their libertine ideals outside their small sphere of influence.

Alraune

Home planet: Abundance in All Things Serene

Home system: Beta-Carnelium Ventrum

The Alraune are the native species of a planet within the territory of no less than five Elysian Colonies, concurrently under protection by just these to develop on their own pace. However, previous to this non-contact policy, many Alraune were displaced by Angels and Elysians as companions, garden flowers and pet projects in uplifting, ultimately leading to a Diaspora of more culturally advanced Alraune living in Elysian Colonies and even the Coreward Periphery.

Akula

Home planet: Jorhul

Home system: Barkalis

The Akula are a curious species first found by a human Kosaky fleet while they were scouting for a place to recuperate, take on perishables and potable water. Fierce and aggressive and in a developing society of an amphibian iron age, frequent contact on Jorhul eventually led to the adaptation of Akula into many nomad fleets, as the lifestyle seemed to suit them. Today, the Akulas are found in nearly any nomad fleet as security, explorers and engineers, having largely abandoned their planet to strive for adventure among the stars.

Origins and Factions

One person is alone, two are a couple. Five is a family. Beyond this, it’s a tribe. Any sapient species eventually form their factions, polities and governments, some of them more important than others. For the Coreward Periphery, these are the most important ones, from which a solid chunk of their population hails from one way or the other.

These are the major backgrounds one could possibly have.

Greater Human Diaspora

Also called “Earthling Rabble” by older species, there is no doubt about it that Humanity as a whole is very far flung and claims many a star under their name - however, an overwhelming majority are independent and sparsely populated, preferring to enforce their way of life and their prosperity without interference of other humans or centralized governments. These many micronations and habitats can be found all over the Orion Spur. And more often, their ruins.

Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon

Also known as: Terran Commonwealth, Commonwealth, SolCom

Mayhap the greatest of all star states of Humanity is the Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon or Terran Commonwealth in vernacular, an evolution of the goods and ills of the 21st century nation states coalescing into a federal, parliamentary democracy spanning not only planets but entire solar systems.

While the Terran Commonwealth sees itself as protector of Humanity and Freedom, Liberty and Equality, reality slightly differs, where idealism wanes for realpolitik and greed - The Commonwealth combats practically itself, competing political interests and lobbyism making its government at best slightly ineffective in its less developed regions and at worst corrupt and abusing its exalted offices for profit and power. Nothing like the old days, it seems.

In itself it's a Federation made up of Star Systems and habitats and covering over sixty federal member star systems - however politically relevant is the "core" of Humanity - the oldest settled colonies of Sol, Procyon, Sirius, Proxima Centauri and Altair, which are cultural, industrial and economic powerhouses, overshadowing other settled systems within their sphere of influence with sheer population numbers and political clout.

Beyond that are the self-organized, but not federally represented territories, the appointed-dependent colonies and the “satellites”, smaller states and nomadic lifestyles who are saddled with Commonwealth taxes in exchange for freedom of movement and (not always present) military protection.

Deeply entrenched in Commonwealth culture is the fear of losing the tenuous social cohesion as dissatisfied workers and the apathetic middle class are almost always at each other's throat, leading to reactionary movements to about everything - from xenos, to gene editing, to any ideas coming from the Trailing and Coreward Colonies.

Unitary Alliance of Salthan Fyrds

Also known as: The Fyrds, The War States, Fyrders, Mighty Fighty

A product of neglect, born out of fires of war, reforged into the most militaristic state of Humanity. The Unitary Alliance of Salthan Fyrds has seen its share of loss and tragedy and as hard times made hard people, the governments of the Fyrds have become a self-imposed Aegis for Humanity.

At first, they were simply the coreward part of the Commonwealth, prosperously developing as relatively closely clustered planets shown either high habitality or richness in rare materials, especially of Scandium and Helium-3.

This changed with the Hegemony War, the cataclysmic (in the eyes of the Fyrds) conflict with the Unathi, who have offered the colonies status as client species - either by the pen or by the sword. Naturally, as humans do, they chose the sword.

As the Commonwealth was dragged into the conflict, Salthan was the main battleground, bringing all the horror with it - but the Salthanians never gave up. Rebels, guerillas, irregular troops, they kept fighting for their freedom and eventually the stalemate turned into a peace treaty and a Status Quo Ante Bellum.

However, the industries that made the sector prosperous were destroyed and profits sharply declined. Partially abandoned, partially forced into labour by mega corporations and even some less scrupulous Commonwealth officials, the Salthasians finally broke off completely and violently revolted, forming their own Fyrds (nostalgically called after ancient history) and declaring the Perpetual Vigilance, their form of constitution.

Today, each planet is a fortress, each citizen a soldier - Each fyrd (planet) led by a general, who sits in the Allied Council, its form of overarching government. A stratocracy to the extremest sense, the Salthasians are trained from birth to fight - there is no such thing as a civilian in their society.

Surprisingly, their war machine never turned to other aliens or humans - their conflict is eternally with their most bitter of foes - the Unathi. They both raid and skirmish with each other, testing strength and honing their warriors.

The Elysian Colonies

Also known as: The Demi-Monde, Slavers, Squabblers, Elysians

Spinward colonies have always been trouble for the Terran Commonwealth. Nebulae makes communications and travel difficult. Chosen colonists often turned out to be subversive elements. Corporations got defrauded or emasculated in their influence by the colonists... Many things have gone wrong with centralizing power in the surprisingly habitable  worlds of Cygnus and beyond. But the most detrimental factor for a centralized government for the Commonwealth was the Skrell.

With the Skrell came technology and a strangely familiar style of government - instead of puppets and an overlord, the colonies sought to emulate the Skrell by having each their own sovereign government and decision to rule as they see fit and how they see fit - much to the chagrin of the Commonwealth, they have achieved their autarky.

However, this style of self-rule has been tainted by human nature - as quickly as they broke off from the Commonwealth, as quickly did their ideas of an ideal society wildly diverge from each other. Vanity states rub shoulders with utopian projects, autocracies shake hands with direct democracies. The Demi-Monde is known to have such wildly different styles of governance, culture and even genetic make-up that one gets a whiplash of the mind.

Everything and nothing is allowed in the Demi-Monde. Slaves are happily traded or freed in righteous crusades. People are forced into eugenic projects or reassembled into the figures of ancient mythology. Whatever strives their fancy, Elysians probably have done it at some point or the other. Only their united desire to remain free and self-determinant drives them to ally with each other by convenience to drive out any meddler who tries to impose rules over them.

They are the most xenophile of all human factions, since people already heavily genesplice here, so nobody can tell if the sapient creature before them is a gene-edited human or an alien.

Third Ares Confederation

Also known as: ArConFed, Aresians, Exile-Martians, Formers, Commies

The situation in the Terran Commonwealth has not always been cemented. With the advent of the colonisation of Mars, Venus and later the asteroid belt, there were dissidents, rabble rousers, thinkers and firebrands, pushing for separate societies in which everyone is equitable, the torch of socialism passing down to Humanity in the stars.

Especially the first and second Confederation were seminal times in the history of the Red Planet as they quickly spread out to the disparate and isolated Mars colonies in the beginning and later in the underbelly of dissatisfied and maltreated workers. Both times, the uprising left its mark in the fledgling interstellar civilization, but both times they have ultimately failed to create their sought after polities.

And thus, the “government in exile” of the Confederation fled into deep space to build their home on foreign shores. They succeeded, in a region now called the Trailing Periphery, where a small, if prosperous Confederation of a dozen systems, held together by their economic and military alliance. While individual member states differ in their ideologies on how to implement socialism and there is much leeway from the Central Government situated at Paraiso, the Confederation endured the initial hardships of early colonisation with barely any support and now enjoys an Age of Expansionism.

They are experts in large scale efforts, such as terraforming and microgravity engineering - a necessity from where they have started. They readily help other colonies in the Trailing Periphery, with the express purpose of fomenting solidarity and a wish to join them - much to the chagrin of the Commonwealth. However, they are still cooperating and trading with each other. For now.

Mostly as the Ares Confederation never saw much need for a strong federal military, letting individual states assemble their own external and internal militia forces, based upon volunteer service. The federal army is rather perfunctory, made up of officers, militia veterans and engineering personnel to train and guide the militias if they so request or maintain the sparse defensive infrastructure within the space of the Confederation.

Skrell Consensus

The Skrell are peculiar. They think any government beyond a city level would just turn into corruption and imperial ambition. And still their actions after often in unison as their philosopher kings lead them in decisive times. The Skrell Consensus is less a faction and more an ideal - what is right is self-evident for many Skrell and therefore many city states cooperate with each other on an interstellar stage to bring prosperity to all partners involved.

A rather idealistic idea, but for the Skrell it works most of the time as their strict caste system has led to very similar cultures and way of thinking for the Consensus, ensuring a smooth operation at almost any given time.

However, the Skrell are known for, if not outright infighting, of “competitions” on who is the better philosopher king, leading them to unwittingly support or oppose others if they would’ve done otherwise or stay neutral.

Unathi Hegemony

Presumably one of the oldest governments of the interstellar stage is the Unathi Hegemony, a decentralized state led by the Moghes Priesthood, whose sacrosanct planet arbitrates between and is paid tribute to by the several “Allegiances”, who are part noble family, part extended family and part political party. These Allegiances in turn administer the star systems belonging to the Hegemony and assemble their armies and navies.

Allegiances also have taken up the banner of client species, aliens that are to be taught how to be Unathi while being an underling to their specific allegiance, not the Hegemony itself. As warfare is forbidden by holy law between Unathi, these client species are used to play the everchanging conflict between the Allegiances for dominance.

The Unathi Hegemony ,if united, is almost unstoppable. However, the Allegiances almost work as a check of balances themselves, as not one of them likes the others and rather see them wiped out instead of them achieving Imperial Glory.

Tajaran Diaspora

Tajaran are a complicated bunch. All manners of governments, nation states and empire are found on Meralar and their innate desire to fulfill their ambitions and manifesting their destiny has led to the situation where they have not one united government but rather a byzantine web of overlords, colonies, dependencies and break-off states from former colonies. Allegiances, intrigue and hatred are dense and outsiders of their culture often struggle to fully see through this system.

However, consolidation and centralization of power is an ongoing progress for the Tajaran, a matter of decades on whose culture, ideals and government will finally reign supreme. Until then, they happily spread amongst the stars anyway, to ensure their future and the prosperity of Tajarankind.

Nomads

Also known as: Kosaky, Ordu, Spacers, Counterskrell, Nerahni

Nomadic traditions have received quite the revival whenever a species reaches space. The call for calling nothing and everything your home, the constant push of adventure and exploration enamours many people to abandon sedentary lifestyles and join one of the many nomad fleets. Some are born into it and drop out later, when they had their fill. Nomads usually are experts in long-term habitation of ships and trouble to reacclimate to a “grounder” life.

Human nomads have developed from ancient traditions of the savannah and steppe and translated them into space during the initial colonization of Sol, preying on weak merchant ships and then later working as prospectors and screening fleets. They prefer to call themselves Kosaky or Ordu, after ancient steppe forebears.

Nerahni were an aquatic nomad culture of the Tajaran, living on generation ships they have lovingly carved their history upon. This tradition they have carried to a spacer life, engraving the hulls with the deeds of the ship and crew.

Counterskrells are mostly young Skrells who reject the local autocracy of the Skrell Philosopher kings, instead bumbling around in space on massive yachts, exploring the depths of the skrellian psyche. With drugs. A lot of them.

Mega-Corporations

Mega-Corporations, an outcrop of late-stage capitalism or commercial interests on an interstellar age. While the corporate culture differs from corporation to corporation, one thing is for sure - they are an important influence on the politics of their “home species” and often transcend the boundaries of their species to deal with everything and everyone.

Mega-Corporations often field private military contractors in regions where government forces are not available, protecting their interests beyond the grasp of where they can have repercussions for their actions.

They are seen as scummy and inhumane at worst, but the mega-corporations try to maintain a good image and just call this “healthy for-profit mindsets”. After all, they have an obligation to fulfill.

The seven major human Mega-Corporations are: NanoTrasen, Ward-Takahashi GMB, Gilthari Exports, Grayson Manufactories Ltd., Aether Atmospherics and Recycling, Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals and Hephaestus Industries.

Other important Mega-Corporations are: Vey-Med, Xion,  Advent Life Biolabs, Royal Meralar Shipyards, Mahrar-Kitsurah Industries, Donk Co., and Cybersun Industries.

Free Trade Union

While often compared to a mega corporation in their own right, the Free Trade Union is an ever expansive umbrella organisation for the attempted countering of monolithic, monopolized mega-corporations strangling the free market. And thus, every smaller corporation, mom and pop firms and independent freighter traders can get a license of the Free Trade Union, which often wheels and deals around to circumvent higher tariffs or taxes. In exchange, the administration takes a portion of the profit and redistributes it to members as insurance and to smooth out local governments. While many independent corporations and smaller labour unions join the FTU, some dislike the idea of the inherent flair of corruption and bribery the FTU is happily being accused of.

Orion Spur Civilizations

A catch-all term for every sapient life within the Orion Spur - Space is insurmountably vast and the Orion Spur is just a tiny region of it and even then it is host to a myriad of alien species, isolated by vast distances and dead planets. Here you find the downtrodden colonies mega-corporation in the Trailing Periphery, who have carved their own, little kingdoms under the “Trailing Colony Development Scheme” as heralded by the Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon or the hundreds of independent colonies away from all of the major species or simple pirates, who carve out their way of life with blood and lasers, deep in the underbelly of the void between the stars.