Spoiler Warning: The contents INCLUDE SPOILERS for the books.
A collective of UOS worlds under the reign of an “Emperor” — originally, he was a general of the UOS and took his fleet rogue after the Wardens started the cleansing. They have since become a totalitarian regime.
With the fall of the UOS and DWA, many created new, smaller governments. These are not associated with each other but are generally referred to as “colonies.”
Many cults have formed after the cleansing as people struggle to find something to connect to. There are many varieties of what is worshiped, from folk creatures (such as the Sasquatch), to “the atom”—however, the most disturbing are the cults that worship the Kraal.
A separate government from the UOS, which formed 100+ years in the past during the initial colonial expansion. Culturally reasonably similar, with more socialized approaches to how they governed. Over time they were at odds with the UOS, and there were fears of a rising conflict, which is what brought about the proliferation of nuclear shelters and enclaves. The People’s Liberators are vestiges of the DWA government.
A renowned pre-arrival fleet of luxury ships that maintained a continuous moving circuit through the stars and has yet to be attacked by the Kraal. Highly automated with robots, express services include designation 1-9, 2-9, 3-9, 4-9, etc. Getting access to one is nigh impossible without blood relation. However, occasionally people can get tickets through special connections. It’s possible to gain access to a Galaxy Express as a visitor if invited by a citizen of one of the ships.
Pre-war, Ordyne was a well-known corporation with ties to many other corporations. They were often at the center of many military industrial complex research projects. The truth, however, is the organization has a long history to it, tying back to the <i>Ordus Deus Irae</i> — A secretive organization few know about, which has existed long before the cleansing. The leader is a reclusive person known as Suzerain.
General term applied to land-based or space-based warlords and thieves.
If anybody may claim to be the true remnant of the Old Union, it’s SAINT. They were the intelligence division of the Union and still maintain old government enclaves, archives, and vaults, several of which still have many of the old Union senators and officials frozen in stasis. They are not heavily militarized but were able to keep the Wardens from seizing all of the military assets.
(“The Rangers”) — The Star Rangers were originally the exploration branch of the Union of Stars — The Star Rangers were originally the exploration branch of the Union of Stars—after the collapse, they worked to rally a new government together, which became the Star Federation (intentionally not the Union of Stars as that has a much bigger governing structure and less martial rule. The SF has an article allowing itself to reform into the UoS when appropriate).
The Rangers are regularly at odds with the Wardens and Liberators. They tend to be more “boots on the ground” squads of deputies than highly militarized. The Head of a squad is an official judge as well. Their equipment is more survival-oriented than military force oriented, like the Wardens (for example, their power armor, the PR-18, is always space capable, having greater maneuverability and better shielding but less ballistic capabilities than any of the corps PA units.
A loose collective of merchants who travel between the worlds which are still able to support trade.
People trying to create something new for society, a loosely knit sort of distributed network of governance in a federated republic style. Crosses both what was previously the DWA and UOS. Between towns on all the worlds they communicate using shortwave radios and deep link ansibles. They do not recognize the authority of the Wardens nor Liberators and consider both entities on the same level as Raiders.
Each world is like an independent state. Star Rangers also have a seat on the senate (or perhaps act as judicial branch…)
Original government over 3/4 of the systems was the Union of Stars. Now it’s just called “the old Union.” Over time they were at odds with the DWA, and there were fears of a rising conflict, which is what brought about the proliferation of nuclear shelters and enclaves. The Wardens claim to be remnant and legitimate vestiges of the Union’s military corps, and they take offense if it’s called the Old Union.
Remnants of the original Army, Sky, and Fleet corps — the Military of the UOS. The Wardens were a series of generals across all the corps that united during the arrival as self-designated cleansers, purging the worlds of the Kraal, and have since become a tight-knit brotherhood; however, like all others, their numbers were depleted. They nuked the worlds they were to protect to cleanse the Kraal, and they believe if they keep everybody spread out, the Kraal will eventually go away. They destroy any settlements or congregations that they deem to be too large, and to keep up appearances, they fight raiders and pirates but often leave that to the Star Rangers. They are considered extremists by most people. They refuse the authority of the Star Federation and only partially recognize the authority of the Star Rangers. Because they have greater military might than the Star Rangers, they’ve continued to survive and press their agenda.
Tightly knit group of self-appointed void-creature and Kraal hunters. They hunt the darkest and most dangerous of the void creatures, such as Deathmarks.
A UOS world, where the Atom Bomb Baby begins. Originally one of the larger worlds of the UOS.
With the rising threat of nuclear conflict between the UOS and DWA, there was a proliferation of underground shelters being developed. Enclaves are town-sized shelters with completely closed-loop ecosystems, usually created by local municipalities, where Bunkers generally refer to smaller complexes not suited for more than a handful of people. Vaults are shelters specifically oriented to storing critical information, technology, or other items (such as notable people placed into cryosleep to avoid attracting the Kraal), and usually don’t have enough life-support systems for more than a handful of people, despite their size. Vaults are usually sought after by many as a trove of valuable supplies. In the UOS, SAINT works hard to keep the government vaults hidden.
Adding -clave onto the region’s name is a common way people use to refer to enclaves. Fen-clave is the term used for the Fen Enclave in Arcadia, established by the local county government. It is managed by the Commissioner, who the local county government appointed before the arrival.
A world rumored to be safe from Void Storms.
UOS capital world, where Rainwood and Moonbeam came from.
Due to the nature of the Kraal, people have become very dispersed in their settlements, and towns have a soft rule that no more than 100 people may co-exist in the same rough area.
A large space-station complex run by Ordyne, which was destroyed.
Dangerous storms which roll across all of the worlds. It’s believed to be a side-effect from the cleansing nuclear bombs, combining with the Kraal’s extra-dimensional nature. Void Storms create mutations in flora and fauna, with either “gaunt” like creatures, often thought of as zombie-like (humans are the growler form of void gaunts), and also terror-mutated forms that are enlarged and change to nightmarish things. These are called “void” creatures (or in some cases, they gain a name of their own, like the Deathmarks).
Mainframe level computers, with some “personal” computer functionality (limited) — largely the latter are AstroComs.
Long range communication is not possible. Relays via “pony express” style communiques on tapes which are manually transported with couriers.
Along with robots come many human type mechanizated vehicles, for exploration and warfare, including mechanized suits of armor (aka Mechs).
Nuclear reactors and lots of “atom” type technology, as envisioned in the 50’s and 60’s.
Lots of robots to help with all daily tasks.
Hyperspace (or warp). Or Slipstream? Or both? (Starways?)
Storage is “tape” no disks or solid state
80% is 50’s/60’s style with some anachronistic things (like space travel)
No digital video; all analog
The workhorse of the UOS military, this is a semi-automatic to automatic rifle that supports many configurations.
Dirigible ships used on-world for a variety of purposes, including military forces for the projection of power. Since the arrival, Airships are largely used only by military forces.
Common hover-car type transportation.
An elite version of the AM-25 specifically designed for special forces.
Autocanons and Chainguns are varieties of large-caliber cannons used througout the military, featuring fixed barrels (as opposed to the rotating barrels of a Minigun). They are too large to mount on a Mech armor frame, and are instead found on larger vehicles, such as the HWG-125 transport and Airships.
This came from the desire to have a handheld version of the GA5 minigun. While it doesn’t have rotating cannons, it is larger than the rank-and-file standard machinegun M7, and only the most rugged soldiers are able to handle it.
Common military transport aircraft which use tilt-thrust jet pods mounted on the ends of stuby wings, to support both vertical and horizontal flight modes.
A sniper’s long-range rifle.
Suits of articulated, mechanized armor, which often will include environmental seals, allowing soldiers to be in many extreme conditions, although not all units can support the vacuum of space. Within the UOS, there were three generations of mech frames:
The most common are the first generation Ogre frames, with the Griffin being fairly common, and rare are the Banshees, which were just being developed at the time of the arrival.
A MA frame with vacuum/space designation ends with an
S such as MA-35S.
Rangers use a MR frame naming system instead. Ranger frames are always space worthy, usually have jet packs, are more agile, but are lighter on ballistic armament.
A mix of medicine and sanan fluid with an easy applicator, meant for battlefield use on mild to moderate injuries. The medicines include stimulants, and the sanan fluid is a concoction contributed by the grays, which has surprisingly accelerated healing properties. It will not heal heavy trauma, but it can help slow bleeding.
While production of Medpaks was disrupted by the arrival, because of its highly valuable properties, the various power groups have since repaired the effected facilities and it’s still readily available; although other medicines like antibiotics are scarce.
A rotary barrel gatling style machine gun which was common throughout all three branches of the Union Corps. Must be fixed to a hard-mount, as it’s too powerful to be used by an individual. The GA5 fires a smaller caliber bullet (5mm) vs the 7mm used by the GA7.
A highly enigmatic species that most people believe to be folklore. Only a handful are known to exist, and rarely do they admit it if encountered. They can do minor shapeshifting and may appear as different people depending upon how they choose. It’s also believed they are immortal. Nobody knows if or how they propagate their species.
It is speculated that Suzerain is a Chronus.
Frightening void creatures that come from the void storms. It’s thought they come from void-mutated humans, and can be found across all the worlds.
Grays are smaller humanoid creatures with gray skin. They are less prolific than Humans but will intermingle, although typically, they live in their Burroughs.
Humans make up a majority of the people of the galaxy.
Kraal come from beyond known time and space. Nobody knows why they arrived nor what their purpose is. They are attracted to large gatherings of people (100+) and can move between areas using corners. Seeing them alone usually paralyzes somebody with terror, and being in their presence is painful and extra-worldly.
Since arrival and cleansing, their visitations are much less common, and many settlements have started accepting people beyond 100 without a problem. Some people hope they are gone for good and things can return to normal. Others aren’t so sure.
Mutes are Humans and Greys that have developed stable mutational variations due to the void effects. This can include extra-human abilities, usually around environmental things like water breathing, spitting acid, or hybrid super-animal traits, rather than comic-book style superheroes (no telekinetic flight, for example).
Void-mutated water creature, likely related to crawdads, but with horrific mutations including not only size, but tentacles.
Super-sized toads, these are a common mutation found universally across all the worlds.
Maelevolent floating sacs of toxic gas, often thought of as airborne jellyfish with a bad temper.
Personal ruggedized autonomous computers that have a variety of purposes, around 8 x 6 x 4 in width, height, and depth. Powered using small fusion cells, which rarely need to be replaced—commonly attached on a harness at the waist or around the wrist as one would a watch (if it were significantly larger).
One of the largest conglomerate corporations from before the war, they produced everything from toothpaste to rocket systems and everything in between. They have a recognizable branding, mainly from the broad line of consumer goods.
Sugary soft cakes in several flavors, including chocolate, banana, and vanilla, with a frosted topping. Whatever methods were used in manufacturing these, they are still around 25 years later.
Who doesn’t want sugar-coated crunchy something for breakfast cereal?
A prolific brand that featured a cat and his other animal friends in many roles, always with closed eyes, a cheesy grin, and a “potato” type sitting position, with stubby feet, no arms, and a bean-bag base. Popular with both boys and girls, Fuzzy Kat had gendered styles for each.
Maker of most of the Mech armor frames in the UOS.
Popular sugar candy.
A popular brand of soda across all the UOS worlds. Also had Pop-Up as an energy drink.
A prolific brand of consumer merchandise, usually centered around travel supplies and gear, from luggage to whatever the modern jet-setting individual may need in their travel.