SOTS Master List

For 'verse proposals, random ideas, musings, and brainwaves.

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Shroom Man 777
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SOTS Master List

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

EDITED:

This is Sovereign of the Stars (Supreme!) universe's dedicated Master List thread for 'verse information.

The entries here are to be edited to match the continuously-revised updates of the Master Lists (3 at latest count) in Google Docs. Invictus, Speaker-to-Trolls, Siege and I have edit ability. Fellow contributors without edit ability here but with access to the Google Docs, please just tell us if you've made revisions in the Google Docs so we can edit the lists in this thread.



Guidelines:

This list is to roughly outline, track and organize fluff pieces discussed in either the O1 SOTS thread or through chat (FB or MSN).

So if you have new ideas not covered in the public thread or the chat, please also post it there before encoding them here. The public thread is where things are at, yo.

If the specific tidbit is still… undetermined or speculative but cool, please mention it in the thread. Discussions and theories are meant for the thread, as chaotic and disorganized as it is. This list is just meant for… listing.

Anyway, this is a communal shared project for the people. We are not canon fascists and like real life and history, facts can be contradictory, true and false at the same time!

The main source of SOTS info is still this thread anyway: http://www.omniverseone.com/forum/viewt ... f=4&t=1323
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"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD
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Shroom Man 777
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Re: SOTS Master List

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Summations of important details in the ‘verse… Part I.

With thanks, credits and acknowledgements to these upstanding folks...

Contributors:
Shroom Man 777
Invictus
Siege
Speaker-to-trolls
Peregrin
Ford Prefect
Booted Vulture
Mobius

With materials drawn from, based on, inspired by or outright riffing the works of:
MKSheppard
PeZook
Fingolfin
Mayabird
Fgalkin
Steve
Simon Jester
KlavoHunter
Langley
RyanThunder
Darkevil
Alyrium
RogueIce
Zor
Heretic
Kamin



LEGEND:
List 1: Xenotaxonomies, Biophyla & Ethnoclades: Species and races

List 2: Cosmopolities, Sociocultures & Ideomemetics: Nations, organizations, communities and beliefs

List 3: Astrocartography of the Cosmos: Regions and locations of the galaxy
Omniscellany: Sciences, technologies, natural and unnatural phenomena in space, misc info.

List 4: Endofactions & Infraorders: Civilizations’ inner agencies
Metapersonae: Notable individuals



XENOTAXONOMIES, BIOPHYLA & ETHNOCLADES


A


Aetherids

The most obscure of the known survivors from the distant Age of Titans. Little is known of the physical forms they once had, and little remains; theirs was a calculated dwindling even as the Apexai reached for ever-more golden heights, an attenuation into the background voids of space. It was for a fundamental disagreement over the course of the cosmos, and a profound despair over the cycles of chaos and suffering that civilization seemed set to generate. But the Aetherids committed no suicide. Their new forms abide, undetectably diffuse, in the depths of space, yet remain coherent enough to reach forth with technology worthy of their mystique and work upon unknowing subjects. They see to it that doomed and ravaged societies are granted the peace of hybernation, or are taken up into their plane of existence as a holographic cloud of frozen quantum motes, their distinctiveness forever saved from the fire of entropy. Otherwise they are prevailed upon to reconstruct entropy-lost things in their inimitable fashion, or simply to temporarily subject mortals to their perspective, apparently at whim.

More insidious are seeming factions among Aetherids who strive to extinguish all fires, actively driving into ruin species and civilizations that they judge too chaotic. Through cold and subtle manipulations (a common tactic being to impersonate a far more benevolent guiding force than they are) the development of dangerous technologies and other ultimately self-destructive courses of action are pushed to their conclusion, and the damage to the wider universe - as they see it - can be contained. Nevertheless many victims manage to stumble from the trap, and for all the Aetherids’ pretensions as a universe constant, the greater among cosmopolities are yet too strong and vibrant for their maneuverings to find purchase.


Apexai

A race of gleaming gray-skinned diminutive bipeds. All are natural psions possessing strong telekinetic, telepathic and other para-physical abilities, at the expense of reduced forms and anatomical components. They also rely on advanced sciences well beyond conventional understanding to compensate for their physical weaknesses. Notoriously arrogant and presumptuous, they consider other races, but especially humans and Bragulans, as barely sentient apes and most certainly beneath them. For their hubris, their homeworld now lies in Bragulan space, destroyed by edict of the Imperator Byzon. To their shame and misery the survivors were forced to flee in their worldships to seek asylum in the nascent United Solarian Sovereignty, creating the Zedath-Kaleshi enclaves. Despite losing a great deal of their scientific edge, their remaining technology is still clearly superior to any Solarian equivalent, contributing to the USS’ meteoric rise as a galactic power and some measure of vengeance against the Bragulans.

Their natural psionic interconnection was immensely bolstered by an interstellar network of Conduits, creating an Oversoul embodying the collective spirit of their people and giving them the ability to project psychic manifestations across the cosmos for both creation and destruction. While most Conduits were lost during the fall of Apexaia, a few remain in Zedath-Kalesh and other exodite enclaves, preserving portions of the Oversoul and its functions. When speaking to each other, Apexai - particularly the youths more partial to actually speaking - use a complex and ancient sign language they’ve revived that supplements both verbal and psionic communications, adding further nuance or even hidden subtexts that is also difficult to audibly or psionically “overhear.” Newer generations use similar physical movements to channel their metaphysical abilities, something considered crude and even vulgar by elders with the repose of their classical instruction. Similarly, younger ones tend to actually wear physical clothing and have fashion senses most would consider odd, whereas their elders prefer to be clad traditionally in their psychic auras made manifest.



B


Beymin

A native species of the Bounty, with large water-adapted bodies and colorful frills that once served as riverine camouflage. The Beymin were duly uplifted to the ways of the Satykarma and rose to become the favored disciples of the wheel-turning Sajit, applying their uncommon intellects to plan, prognosticate and punish in accordance to the precepts formulated by their patrons. The greater among their kin even go to the lengths of adapting entirely to an aquatic existence, allowing the comfort of water to support their swollen brains at the expense of terrestrial locomotion. To them, their satykarmic piety was all the purer when unburdened by the vulgar demands of natural selection. In the golden age of the Sajit’satyk, Beymin fit snugly into the caste-niche of administrators with the comfortable ambition that they one day may rise to turn the wheel themselves.

One responsibility in particular they were entrusted with was the loosing of the terrible psycho-janissary Wrannath upon the hierarchy’s internal enemies, and taking charge over the resultant crop of mind-eaten thralls for purposes that it would be convenient, and increasingly venal, for the karmically null to perform. This trend grows only more egregious since breaking of the Gorok war, where psychovore-resistant armies were believed an asset, and was to be another factor in the moral disintegration of the Sajit’satyk. With their niche and their lives overtaken by the demands of war, the Beymin have come under an unprecedented privation that the inferior castes are distinctly unsympathetic with.


Bragulans

A species of ursine appearance and power hailing from the large, high-gravity world of Bragule. Their propensity for atomics and pollutive technologies has resulted in the ecological devastation of not only their home planet but also of all worlds they ‘bragulanize,’ which has, in turn, resulted in adaptive mutations that make Bragulans highly resilient to radioactivity and toxicity, allowing them to thrive in environments other species would consider lethal. The Bragulans are also noted for their resistance to psionics and their seemingly negative - or perhaps merely stunted or diverted - psi-potential due to the ideo-memetic saturation and stratification of Byzonism and prior hierarchies.

The Bragulans are old: for all its enormity and absoluteness, the mighty Bragulan Star Empire is still relatively recent in comparison to the Atomtzars who preceded Byzon, cosmic royalty who held their vast realms and holdings for millennia, reigning timelessly over the masses by their vanadium-steel grip over the basest of technologies. But even so, this grip was reliant on the knowledge of the Vieleren viziers who walked among their societies, and as the Apexai faded so did the sky palaces sink, and the seeds sown for the revolutions presaging the rise of Imperator Byzon and the consolidation of his empire. Today, the vast majority of Bragulans reside beneath that Bragulan Star Empire, which has since consolidated the preceding Atomtzars’ territories and expanded, now encroaching upon Wild Space. Some refugees and defectors are scattered across Wild Space and the K-Zone, and there are rarer populations of pre-Byzonic White Bragulans who have thus far avoided Byzon’s aggressive assimilation policies.



C


Computational Intelligences

Digital awarenesses that match or exceed sapient organic minds. CI are non-physical entities, existing wholly within dataspheres, and can interact with physical reality (also known amongst CIs as 'deep reality' or, disparagingly, 'meatspace') via proxies. Technically, the term CI is reserved for hyperbright systems that have surpassed certain thresholds of processing power, usually through hyperfield-assisted processing such as the Apexai-derived Solarian method using sub-mesonic cores partially submerged in hyperspace to outthink the very laws of physics. This allows CIs to compute faster than the speed of light, communicate instantly over vast interstellar distances and basically be freed from the constraints of space-time. The processes inherent in their operations give them such awesome capacities that they need only a fraction of it for their routine functioning, the remainder typically used for whatever pet project the incomprehensible mind is infatuated with, be it fabricating 4D constructivist art to simulating different realities, surveilling the idiosyncrasies of organic sapients, turning asteroids into replicas of the Statue of Lady Fortune, or anything else it happens to fancy.

Despite (or because of) their incredible abilities, most of the galaxy holds a reluctance or taboo against self-aware machines. CIs do exist in several societies, most prominently in the United Solarian Sovereignty, the Samtic Nexus, Meridian Institute, the Vaosich Superbias and the reclusive Diadem Enclaves - where they operate in relative harmony with their organic counterparts. The Sajit’satyk has comparable intelligences of arcane provenance, the narykeen, though they are regarded as karmically designated afterlife-guardians. There are the mysterious Cryptrons, thought to be comprised of thinking machines who escaped the Earthreign and those made by other civilizations long since vanquished by the bygone empire - perpetually hiding from humanity. There are also eldritch Telestrons and Xerberi whose inscrutable and mythic origins defy actual technical categorization - thus regarded by CIs across the galaxy with a strange, even irrational reverence.

The Sovereignty has the largest known population of CIs, though compared with humans, Zigonians and even Apexai, the community is very small but disproportionately influential in that CIs run practically every automated system within Solarian territory, maintain the Datasphere, and perform various tasks for the state, military and megacorps. As a result they are very highly regarded, with the same rights as all sapients and several additional perks: a far greater freedom to do as they please within the datasphere. In this informal “social contract,” the CIs’ cores are protected from physical threats. In the USS, the archaic term “Artificial Intelligence” is considered a slur for it implies that they’re merely manufactured and coded by meatbag “makers,” belying how far they’ve come from mere programming to the point they are no longer “made,” existing and emerging as naturally as any other being carbon-based or otherwise.


Cosmozoans

The generic term for space-faring organisms that rely on biological adaptations as opposed to technological means to survive and thrive in their environments, creatures amidst larger and similarly astrophiliac ecosystems, especially those somehow capable of supraluminal movement. Karlacks and Crysts are notable examples but every vector of the galaxy is teeming with all manner of cosmozoan varieties. Many of these species subsist on star-matter and the energies of other more exotic phenomena and their metabolic processes produce ichor, a substance often used as a power source by interstellar civilizations.

The term came to be during humanity’s earlier forays into space, but other civilizations have their own different definitions. Indeed, the subjective distinction between “organic” and “inorganic” tech; natural and guided evolution; the existence of societies reliant on extreme biotech; and the acknowledged sapience and civilization of certain species long considered to be cosmozoans; blur the line between “cosmozoan” and normal organisms, including civilized ones. More progressive Institutes of Cosmozoan and Karlack Studies (ICKS) acknowledge that the term is an artifact stemming from older outlooks on life - a view that conservatives and ichor industry experts deride as politically correct xenophile nonsense promoted by the Freeworld School, the Zigonist Agenda or even Cultural-Byzonism. The Apexai also have a far more derogatory equivalent of the term that includes practically every other non-Apexai form of life.


Crysts

Space-faring crystal arachnids whose gradual evolution was facilitated by basking in the energies of cosmic bodies, listening and learning to communicate in stellar frequencies. Eventually, perhaps by hearing the music of the spheres, some became sapient and evangelists of sapience, carving tools out of their own substance and scouring the galaxy to uplift their kin. First contact with the Samtics, who were making it a project to uplift another branch of feral Cryst, was thus an encounter with anathema. This led to a terrible and unequal conflict where the Crysts’ natural frailties became apparent, forcing them to inflict increasingly perverse weaponizations upon their own forms that gave even the Samtics pause: gigantic scalar relay swarms that could shatter worlds; yggdrasilic motherbodies that fed on entropy; great vampire engines that drained life from interplanetary distances. The utter rampancy of this war machine forced both sides into a truce just so it remains expelled from the civilized cosmos today.

The indigenous Cryst carry on their old ways chastened and wary, and associate but rarely with other civilizations such as in the case of the Orb Weavers’ Tapestry. They studiously ignore the Samtic-uplifted strain which is now a full member of the Samtic Nexus, developed into compact forms specializing in civic psionics. Many live purely psychosocially, eschewing physical senses entirely and receiving sensation only from the minds of a willing community, meditating and peacekeeping in their adoption of Samtic colonial mores. Though they abide by ancient treaties not to develop into their most formidable potential forms, the naturally hyperspace-resonant physiology of the Cryst has inspired some of the Nexus’ more arcane technological achievements.



D


Daur

Originally sightless dirigible sunfish, who enjoyed the dubious honour of being the first proper uplift subject of the Samtics - which is to say, not simply being a body to insert an early Samtic metacortex into. Taken beyond their lightless waterworld and granted new cybernetic forms, the Daur were hurled into an unfamiliar existence of sensation and dependence and responsibility that they could not adapt to. The one form in which they did find balance was as cybernetic brains of spacecraft reminiscent of the pressure hulls of their natural bodies, forming new schools in the void of space that drew distant from their terrestrial clade-cousins, whose maladaptive angst eventually had them make a referendum to recuse themselves from sapience and pass back into dream.

But the spaceborne para-Daur continued to thrive, their cyborg bodies progressing in sophistication with the march of Samtic science and the study of cosmozoan and Karlack biologies, and found their calling as natural spacers hauling and trading goods within the Samtics’ own expanding sphere of influence. When the Samtic Nexus was born, the spacing Daur successfully petitioned for the second uplift of their marine kin as a matter of precedent, this time by a far more experienced hand, and today both have settled into being one of the elder statesmen of the Samtic Nexus.

The marine Daur clades make idyllic homes in the technologically-maintained oceans of the Nexus. Though individually passive they are politically and culturally influential, often advocating for all entrants to the Samtic Nexus to be able to enjoy the same existences as they. The spaceborne para-Daur are a common sight on the spaceways, their cybernetic spacecraft bodies now refined into quasi-biological hulls seamlessly emulating nature. They maintain their traditional professions of trading and cargo-hauling, forming wealthy Concerns that ply the Nexus and beyond, while younger and more impetuous para-Daur volunteer as living strikecraft aboard the Nexus’ capital warships.


Desecrated

Victims of the Earthreign’s humanist fundamentalism, undesirables of all sorts at first comprised non-humans and heterodox posthumans transgenetically mutated to be more like their “true and pure” human betters. This punishment was eventually extended to include even mere political prisoners, dissidents and baseline human populations made into examples, ironically using the reverse rationale of “de-humanization” or “in-humanization” and “xenostigmata.” Both subpopulations would be known as the Desecrated, as evidenced by the mutilation of their genes, kept alive as subalterns in degrading roles, thus vindicating the regime’s humanist inheritance.

Over the centuries, certain groups were shown favor for their services and given privileged positions that, after the Reignfall, enabled them to survive the ensuing chaos as the Sidereal Houses of Grand Auriga. Those less fortunate faced pogroms and undertook the Desecrated Diaspora, many settling in the restive but eclectic lower rungs of the Fracture, like the prominently dehumanized polity, the Unterran Syndiktats.


Desthej

Towering, radially symmetric multipeds from the fractal-world of Lussehk. A Desthej’s polypoid torso contains the brain and other vital organs beneath coarse bark-like flesh; atop the thorax are three sense-stalks, elongated necks with pseudocrania crowned by dual antlers, each horn lined with eyes. Surrounding the body are seven limbs, with the matured ones ending in seven manipulatory digits around palm-mouths while the less developed ones are for ambulation.

Adults usually have three matured limbs at a time, which have the unusual capability to temporarily detach from the body and work remotely, separating down the wrist with nerve clusters serving as a proto-brain and metacarpal feeler-nodules providing sensory input. They also have reproductive roles, each one a dormant seed-genital that can inter-fertilize with another Desthej’s limbs. The resulting zygotes are destined to detach permanently and grow into adults bearing some memories and tendencies from their time as appendages. Desthej can regrow lost limbs at significant metabolic costs until their advanced years.

This overall arrangement has puzzled xenobiologists. The “fractal” arrangement of the Desthej’s homeworld, with highly angular formations characterizing its surface, is believed to have played a role in shaping their odd anatomies, as other Lussehkeen species share similar characteristics. This even applies to their sensorium, mindsets, reproduction and sociology, which are rooted in perceiving in fractal sequences, a “geometric epistemology” that breaks down wholes into components, and connects these to larger abstract sums - a major component in the ideology behind the primary Desthej polity, the Instrumentality.



E


Ehl-Shir

Microscopic polycrystalline beings that move and communicate using small but rapid electric pulses, collectively forming intelligences that in sufficient masses can become self-aware, coordinating to sculpt their surroundings at whim. Likened to living nanomachines, these concentrations of Ehl-Shir have the appearances of swirling dust devils and living sand dunes, coalescing and manifesting suddenly and staying in such states for indefinite periods of time - perhaps dissipating within minutes, perhaps lasting for centuries.

Ehl-Shir can be found in the fringes of the Fracture, running through the Cascade and into parts of the K-Zone, and have seamlessly blended with the biomes of the worlds they have colonized. They are of some religious significance to the nomadic Sardicans, whose psionic sensitives are known to commune with them. By placating and nourishing them with fusion lamps, these sand-charmers tap the beings' potential for micro-fabrication to grow glass acrologies and other vast constructs out of the desert, even garnering their assistance in blood wars against Pyrrhon invaders or to camouflage their sietches within storms and mirages. Whether this tendency is due to their piggybacking on the nomadic Sardicans, whose shrine worlds often have populations of Ehl-Shir, or due to some other cause is uncertain in no small part due to the unreliability of records from the Fracture’s first centuries.



Espers

Individuals gifted with extrasensory perception, telepathy, psychokinesis and other mentallic meta-abilities. Also known also as psychics, psykers and psions. This phenomena has been documented with varying prevalence amongst many species: Apexai are born with potent psionic abilities; Crysts’ fractal physiologies are naturally psi-resonant; Xolom and Indron are likewise prone to the phenomena; and gifted outliers among human, Kalaquelle and Zigonian populations can cultivate mentallic capacities; whereas Bragulans, Hrlgtuhe and Myrranni rarely - if ever - exhibit psionic traits and have minds innately insulated from psychic interaction. The potency of these abilities can vary widely, more common examples include simple spoon bending and reading surface thoughts, while the most potent and rarest of espers are capable of destroying warships and subjugating entire populations. Specialized technologies can combat and negate these extranormal abilities with varying degrees of success.

With instruction, raw psionic puissance can be refined into reified techniques for fearsome or even unorthodox effects. In the case of the Apexai and those they entrusted with their secrets, their methodologies entail tapping into the psychocosm to draw heirloom thought-weapons and reality-warping apparatus, or devising such thought-constructs on their own. Convergently developed are the Graces and Virtues of the psychocosmically uplifted human Magi, avatars of platonic force stored elsewhere until called forth to temporarily replace their very forms. Such manifestations handily eliminate the fundamental weakness of an esper’s perishable physical body, but remind of the fragility of the skin of the universe before the act of thought - if the very existence of the Fracture didn’t already.



F


Falqowice

Slender fur-covered mammalians from semi-aquatic environments that gave them attributes also suited to low-gravity lifestyles. The species’ interstellar age coincides with that of the nearby humans’ and relations between the species were warm until the emergence of the Earthreign. When its wave of conquest reached Falqow territory, the initially tolerant nations that harbored species fleeing the Reign - including dissident humans - gradually became xenophobic and ultramilitant mirroring their adversary, coinciding with the atrocities each side inflicted upon the other and worsening as the Falqowice lost more and more worlds.

The war effort resulted in radical advancements in robotics and nanotech, tested on interned “guests” and enemies alike, much like what the Earthreign did with its Desecrated janissaries. Eventually many Falqowice opted to nano-cybernetically augment themselves and become living weapons. This was ultimately for naught, as the defeated remnants were forced to relocate to remote systems beyond the human-sphere, sanctuaries that would become the Diadem Enclaves, where they reconstructed vestiges of their once-glorious past surrounded by a massive automated defense complex protecting their borders from the hated humans. This blood vendetta is such that the modern Falqowice have no reservations with liquidating any human presence encroaching upon their region, making them one of the xeno-races most feared and abhorred by Fracture societies.



G


Goroks

A race of large, robust bipeds recognizable by their horned heads, leathery skin and hooved feet. They originate from the Bounty region and the Gorok home-system was noted for its concentration of habitable and terraformable worlds and moons. As a result the species’ early history saw waves of colonization and population surges, but sustainable technology ensured a more than adequate food supply. When interstellar contact was made, the Gorok system became known as the Bounty’s breadbasket... until the arrival of Myrranni conquistadores, as the felid imperialists subjugated the Goroks for centuries, using them as a labor force and taking advantage of their well-honed agriformation techniques. The Myrranni’s conflict with the Samtics and Khelerene allowed Gorok revolutionaries to repel the invaders but the struggle instilled a cultural belligerence to most of the population, leading to the establishment of a highly expansionist agri-militaristic regime: the Gorok Phalanges.



H


Hadepodes

Living veins of hydrocarbons with "skeletons" of silicone supermolecules and "blood" of pressurized sulfuric acid. They evolved in the deep parts of the crusts of rocky worlds, squeezing through cracks in the rocks to form vast distributed webs of life. They merged and warred with and consumed each other, forging metals by burrowing into volcano vents and building palaces in hollow geodes. By the time of first contact with the Samtics, the Hadepodes already possessed advanced nanotechnology and hardtech augmentics incorporated into their own bodies.

Being curious, industrious creatures of constant circulation that already took well to self-modification, they are one of the happier cases of uplift and integration into the Samtic Nexus. However, their fairly extensive bulk and relatively extreme living conditions have limited their population spread, undergoing extensive technological cladistic divergence to fill all permutations of their original niche. The Hadepodes are largely preoccupied within and without the Nexus as engineers and terraformers. A single Hadepod can become an entire planetary infrastructural network by burrowing into the crust, using nanotech to construct and lay out pipes, cables and tunnels as it grows and expands, forming connections and outlets on the surface as required, and use its own neural network to monitor and regular the system which is essentially a part of its body.


Humans

A race of bipedal mammalians exhibiting a conventional morphology. Their homeworld has been lost to antiquity, but healthy populations exist across known space, though most are concentrated in an area known as the Fracture. A clear history of human parabiology is hard to establish, as it was once clay in the hands of the bygone Earthreign; whose long and terrible era saw the divergence of countless specialized Hume-clades both pragmatic and frivolous, the incorporation and Desecration of alien genomes that fell into its reach, and the totalitarian erasure of whatever diversity might have come before.

Upon this already uncertain history, the Reignfall inflicted a nigh-apocalyptic blow that the species has far from recovered from, either in variety or spirit. But it is also from the edges of the fallout that the most spectacular parahumans of known memory have come onto the scene. Despite the adulteration of their genomes, humans exhibit above average psionic potential. Amidst alien species and rapid transhumanization, the concept of ‘humanity’ has become nigh sacred to some, while to others it has been reduced to a vestigial word merely denoting the obsolescent origins of a transforming species.


Human-Apexai Hybrids

Amalgams of human and Apexai essence conceived and created by a chimerical cabal from the Solarian Sovereignty, each of whom motivated by different aims. The Omega Point Foundation; pursuing its heralds of the psionic singularity. CEID; anticipating psionic howitzers to wield in its ceaseless cipher wars against Solaris’ myriad Fracture enemies. Apexai renegades of the Selindil Iiirthuu; evading ancient taboos in order to rejuvenate their ailing race. And Sidney Hank, whose mastery of forgotten Earthreign biotics allowed Pan-Empyrean to braid distillates of two species into new shapes.

Hybrids are branched into four consecutive age-groups. The first hybrids were entirely lab-grown and very limited in number; there were only thirteen first-generation hybrids. They were strange and aberrant but undeniably powerful beings, whose presence deeply unnerved humans and Apexai alike. Later generations are more humanoid in appearance, whilst the adverse is true of their mental disposition - emerging to be of different volition from their esper peers in the Fracture. Each successive generation is larger than the one preceding it; by the third generation hybrids have finally become capable of biological reproduction. The number of hybrids in the Sovereignty is now in the low thousands.

Whilst their kind is relatively young, human-Apexai hybrids have already formed a complex culture. Central to much of hybrid society is the Silver Shield, an organization equal parts trade guild, academy, esoteric order, nation-state and pressure group. Lead by its inscrutable Regeneratrix, the Shield protects its own, liaises with Sovereignty authorities in matters regarding hybrid affairs and seeks to develop the hybrids’ rapidly growing psionic potential. The Shield idolizes the early generations with a devotional awe, in particular the First. In curious rites, Shield revelators use psionically resonant relics to summon and convene with aspects of the First.

Whilst the appearance of human-Apexai hybrids has normalized to the point where the fourth-generation can pass as androgynously human, their psionic potential has grown far faster than even their begetters had anticipated. So rapid is this development that a handful of particularly gifted fourth-generation individuals like Abielle Magritte, the current DCEID, can match Apexai in terms of raw psionic strength. This poses enormous challenges and dangers to the Shield and those individuals themselves, who unlike the ageless Apexai have only a handful of years to grow into their boundless potential or risk flaming out in a catastrophic psionic paroxysm.


Hume-Anethgans

An Earthreign-era gene-clade designed to be the civilian counterpart of the Mandragoran armies, fulfilling non-martial aspects of the great regime’s expansions and to service its pure-gene citizenry. Anethgans came imprinted with the genetic memories to make them the perfect builders and maintainers of terraformational and colonial infrastructure, and other vital logistical rear echelon duties. Moreover, instead of the Mandragora frontline spawning systems, Anethgans were engineered with partheogenetic intersexual capabilities, making them the designated gender-fluid anti-eunuch functionaries of Earthreign society. However, they were also granted short lifespans to limit their ability to form self-sustaining cultures, a planned obsolescence of sorts.

After the Reignfall, the populations that did not succumb to various calamities, purist-humanist pogroms, or assimilation into larger heterogeneous gene pools, found success in being prospectors, colonists and pioneers, their designed tendency towards sustainable, systematic and orderly development even making them surprisingly capable in combat. The Irenic Heritances of the Anethgae is the most prominent examples of a successful post-Reignfall clade-population, a member-nation of the NEUROM alliance that has given rise to its own new generation of urbanized sub-clades, displacing wilder strains of the Anethgan stock from within.


Hrlgtuhe

(Pronounced: hurl-guh-too-hey) Postnuclear wretches who bore the brunt of the first Bragulan Imperial Expansionary Waves after Apexaia’s fall that likewise saw their once glorious civilizations’ nightmarish end. Hrlgtuhes are razor-beaked, with gnarled skin and shelled-chests sporting four lanky bifurcating limbs. They evolved in the chitin-forests covering their homeworld Ustr. Now they lurk in their world-ruins, fending off maddened mutoid hordes and partaking in ritualistic reconstruction that inevitably incur Bragulan regulatory re-decimation; sometimes trading and treating with those brave enough to venture so close to Bragspace, but such proximity again damning them to stagnate as another Wild Space buffer zone.

Those that fled the condemned swaths are either marginalized by other K-Zone societies due to the Hrlgtuhes’ own hegemonic histories, engaged in meagre activities to survive, or begrudgingly settled in more accepting societies like the Sovereignty or Cevaucia. Even then they gather in isolated pockets, remaining stubbornly dyspathetic to alien paradigms due to the Neuro-Dogma etched into the very spirit of their people, equal parts mentallic defenses and lingering will of their ancient witch-kings, holdovers from the glory days when they contended with the memetic madness of the Zigonian Feasts of Shleraac and the looming Apexai psionocracy. Thus some pilgrimage to the Xolomites, both Pyropraxic and Respiters, seeking absolution from this legacy. There are also those so cognomemetically worn down that they have been Bragulanized and gratefully serve the Imperator Byzon and his chosen people.


Hybers

Also known as ghost nations. Catch-all term for societies and species that have lain dormant for various reasons - i.e. to avoid or wait out cosmic calamities, genocidal wars, and such - using various technological means to hybernate and re-emerge eons later, to more favorable climes and continue their existences. Many of these Hybers remain in hiding and are subject to spacer lore and myths of lost techno-treasures, while others have emerged from their vaults to pursue dreams of conquest, only to have their obsolescent legions crushed by the modern powers. There are those that, after decades of adaptation, have managed to re-integrate with cosmic civilization as either independent states or protectorates. Some Hybers, neither cryptic nor adaptive, are left as relict ‘aboriginals,’ marginalized ‘others’ seen as curious novelties either consigned to reservations or neglected and left in squalor to be exploited by criminal elements.



I


Indron

The fabled Gatekeepers of Solarian lore. Their forms resemble strange aquatic organisms, comprised of an irregular multichromatic spheroidal core containing the vital organs and a great central eye surrounded by four others. From this core radiate sleek spike-like fins and a dozen more flexible ventral tendrils. Indrons’ unusual bodies are animated by natural contragravitics, for they evolved on the verdant reefs of a gas giant’s rings where life drifts on the electromagnetic currents. Their limbs also serve as antennae, absorbing and emitting energy for movement, communication and sustenance. This also makes them naturally inclined to psionics and make matters of advanced physics elementary to the average Indron.

They are ancient people prominent during the bygone days of Golden Apexaia, when their societies’ reverence for the Grey Ones saw them blessed with many Vieleren and stewardship of the Cascade. Psionic disciplines became ubiquitous among Indron as the sagely heralds shared their mentors’ ways. In their height, Indron civilizations ruled fairly and with a light hand following the Apexai’s inobtrusive mandate. They guided the Crysts to pristine suns and in return were gifted tributes who morphed themselves into stargates, they and their Vieleren warded off maddened Pyrrhon and ravenous Karlack, and they showed refugees from the Earthreign the way to sanctuary in Solaris with their crystgates.

After the fall of Apexaia, few Indron remain for so many joined the distraught Vieleren in the doomed holy war to stem the Bragulan tide and save the revered Grey Ones. The collapse of the Oversoul also overwhelmed their societies, shattering their faith and causing numerous schisms. Their domains receded, only isolated communities exist in the Cascade and the K-Zone’s peripheries, and when the few faithful Indron pilgrimage to the Grey Ones’ sanctuary in Zedath-Kalesh, these beings of myth are still welcomed by Solarians with awe.


Isopterids

Isopterids were originally hard-carapaced hexapods capable of altering their proportions via metamorphosis to best suit their environments; gifted with hyperspectral compound eyes, EM-sensing antennae and sonar-based auditory-vocal systems within their thoraxes. After the loss of their homeworld, they became intrepid terraformers and their highly developed anatomies formed the basis for variable bio-augments supplemented with genetic memory caches to fulfill the heavy responsibility of preserving their origins as they scattered across known space.

Modern Isopterids have inherited evolved versions of their forebears’ augments, nigh-sacred manifestations of physical continuity with more significance than their hosts. Their lifecycles are bound to compatibility with their symbiotic partners, with metamorphic milestones measured in technical certification more than age. The proliferation of Isopterogenic augments among other species, and their induction into technical guilds and pseudo-castes guided by the augments’ latent memories, have blurred the lines of species membership in all but the most insular of Isopterid Pureclades.

Regardless of lineage, Isopterids are recognized as superb crafters throughout the cosmos, known for hotswapping suitable limbs and exoskeletons for whatever labor at hand. Ambitious guilds have leveraged their biotech’s remarkable pan-species cross-compatibility to develop impressive industries. Though for their alien ways, enviable production capabilities that translate to socio-economic and political clout, and tendency to form sidereal networks of influence with their epigenic kin, Isopterid guilds exist uneasily within many astro-polities and are sometimes outright accused of being a Karlack fifth column.

Significant Isopterid diasporas have stemmed from the divided Firmagence guilds and the vitrified Pureclade of Cascadia: the myriad Fracture clades of the Outer Trust; the highly specialized sub-clades in the Samtic Nexus; and the Orb Weavers. Generally most Isopterids can be classified as ‘Masonic,’ robust stone-cutting colonizers of planets, moons and asteroids; whereas the Orb Weavers are their own radical offshoot clade of wandering spacers with Cryst-Myrran-derived hyperweaving tech.



J


Joxndra

Stout, hard-carapaced, crustaceous multipeds hailing from Oagthun, a macro-terran world with a thick high-pressure soup of an atmosphere. There they bounced across crevices and storm-steppes with their piston-limbs, buoyed by gas bladder-sacs and ballast-cavities. After taming dirigible-polyps to haul their ever-growing nomad communities, the call of adventure prompted fearless, possibly mad, sky-pioneers to conquer the upper atmosphere through a regime of multi-generational eugenics, mutagenic bio-alchemy, and surgical carapace-alterations.

In the microbaric frontier they were then visited by mythic beings - migratory cosmozoans coming to rid themselves of void-parasites and sire young in those soothing sulfuro-nimbus clouds. The most brazen sky-pioneers regarded this as fate and dared to tame the astral beings. Their gambit succeeding, the Joxndra ascended beyond their gaseous cradle and ventured into a much greater universe, the Voyager clans going on a path that would take them to face a chaotic, Fractured humanity reeling from the cataclysmic Reignfall.



K


Kalaquel

A hardy and prolific species of outwardly pseudo-mammalian bipedal sapients, somewhat resembling terrestrial porcupines with their banks of ventral quills but otherwise suggestive of oversized rodents with compound eyes arrayed in a cyclopean visor. However, appearances are deceptive - beneath the fur Kalaquelle bodies lack skeletons, blood or discrete organs altogether, but instead are composed of a tough honeycomb of mycelium encasing vascules of viscous endofluid, making Kalaquel pseudo-fungoids in truth. Their physiology enables their rapid maturity and uncanny physical resilience, but also limits their natural size to the fairly diminutive by human standards. On their own Kalaquelle civilizations are prone to running headlong into Malthusian catastrophe, but this has not prevented their wide distribution to every corner of the known cosmos, from the Bounty to the Cascade to the Vorri Marches and even the K-Zone and the Qirmiz Front - a condition attributed alternately to a long and overlooked spacefaring history or a desperate expansionism driven by constant overpopulation.

Of particular note are the Bounty branch of the Kalaquel, who due to unknown environmental factors are excessively fecund even by the standards of the species. They actually constitute a majority of the population of the Sajit’satyk as it is, vast groaning hive cities held in equilibrium by satykarmic social doctrine and ritual death games formulated by the Kalaquel themselves, distinguishable from vicious civil wars only by the elaborate flair and the attached entertainment complex. These blood sports inadvertently(?) served as preparation for the Sajit’satyk’s conflicts with the Gorok, where the Kalaquel unexpectedly acquit themselves well as mass infantry.


Karlacks

An extremely diverse and massive interstellar ecology regarded by most civilizations as an all-consuming swarm of biological horrors ruled by some sort of hivemind. The teeming masses of the Karlack Swarm are comprised of highly evolved bioforms great and small governed by natural processes utterly unfathomable to most societies, some (many) of which fall victim to Karlacks that regard them uncaringly at best and as food sources or reproductive hosts at worst. They are known, feared and sometimes revered for assimilating unique and interesting species and individuals - most of whom are often unwilling to be gifted with such an ‘honor.’

The Swarm is vaguely guided by intelligent and extremely powerful, albeit abstract, beings called Aspects, living manifestations of the evolutionary forces governing the Swarm, which act to ensure its survival. Whether these have been guiding the Karlacks from the beginning of their kind or later emerged as the sheer concentration of interacting life and the psychic mass of innumerable minds went critical to produce an “oversense” is vehemently debated by the galaxy’s Institutes of Cosmozoan and Karlack Studies (ICKS). Even whether the Karlacks evolved from one point of origin, or came as a gradual convergence of cosmozoans from across space that somehow symbionized over millions of years of co-existence, is up for contention. These questions not only have profound implications for the nature and definition of the Karlacks, but for the rest of galactic life as well.


Kheler

Plural, Khelerene. Avian-like with massive eyes and segmented parrot beaks. Originating, speculatively and according to their own faded canons, from a low-grav forest moon, the Kheler evolved from feathery six-limbed tree creatures whose forelimbs gradually turned into wings while the mid-limbs turned into clawed manipulator arms and the then-vestigial hind limbs became tailplanes connected to serpentine lower bodies that undulate in flight and slither in arboreal ambulation. This overall bodyplan was supplemented by an extraordinary array of efficient adaptations wrought by another full era of habitation aboard sterile, resource-poor space arks.

Khelerene cognition imputes complex and arcane connections between events that bind them into mirrored pairs, such that history forms but one symmetrical pattern that folds upon itself in completion. This inexorable worldview has worked its way into every level of Khelerene beliefs, language and social organization, helping to maintain the unity of their kith-fleets through their immensely long history as cosmic nomads. However, it has also left them utterly unable to abandon the collective karmic animus against the Myrran species under whom they greatly suffered, which they now repay in the form of endless war.

Most Kheler are organized into autonomous habitat spacefleets called kiths, and each kith maintains Ancestor Cores, massive amalgamations of uploaded Kheler minds who guide their descendents with collective wisdom and provide the long memory to frame their ancient prophecies in correct perspective. Khelerene kiths have been percolating into known space for a long time, seldom assimilating and often entirely reclusive, with the vast majority claiming allegiance to the Kiths of High Kheler, itself a member of the Samtic Nexus.



L


L’cthei

(Pronounced: lick-they) Upright and rigid-bodied aquatics, with distinctly snouted heads and powerful sharp-toothed jaws, two forelimbs with dextrous webbed digits and lower bodies ending in long prehensile tailfins. L’cthei have three eyes and simple lungs that supplement their gills. They evolved in the spire-reefs of their homeworld Medjial’s wide but shallow seas, navigating complex coraline environments, even climbing out of the water for hours-long stretches, ascending the reefs’ higher levels to avoid predators, farm photosynthetic molluscs and harvest crustacean livestock. They developed tool use, though obviously never harnessed fire on their own, and domesticated numerous marine species, allowing them to conquer the open oceans.

The L’ctheic nations remained aquacultural and never reached the industrial age until first contact with the Ygrd, extraterrestrials that settled on Medjial’s land masses. Their incompatible habitat ranges paradoxically allowed them to dodge interspecies conflict. Trade, diplomacy and overall good relations led to the soft-uplift of the L’ctheic nations and the establishment of the Joining of Plurispeciestic Planets, an alliance between the two peoples as they recognized the challenges posed by the greater galaxy around them. For prolonged terrestrial exposure, the L’ctheic use Ygrdtech dry-rigs that provide moisture and breathable water, and mobility via wheels, hydraulic legs, very pricey contragravs that allow near-aquatic movement, or a combination of these.



M


Mandragorans

The mass-produced and conditioned warrior class of the Earthreign whose name stems from the Mandragora root crop, for during antiquity burrowing Mandragora Pods harvested raw materials to grow the shock troopers. Bio-optimized for war, Mandras are robustly muscled and dense-boned, with other features differentiating them from baseline humans, most notably the spiked progenation-cords concealed between their abdominal muscles. With the cords they implant seed that can gestate in a wide variety of growth mediums, from nutrient-filled spawning pools to fellow warriors, humans and hume-clades; to absorb epigenetic cues as well as the genomes of both parent and host/medium and extrude fast-growing young.

The neutralization of the Earthreign’s neuromantic controls led to Mandragoran rebellions that exacerbated the Reignfall. After the Cataclysm, they formed societies amidst the Fractured remains of humanity, often degenerating into warlordism as they struggled with civilization’s non-martial aspects. The Unyielding Principles is the most successful and functional of these - yet remains rife with internecine conflicts. Mandra descendants are still heavily influenced by their ancient genetic conditioning. Some knowingly maintain the purity of this heritage, while others actively seek to dilute their lineages and integrate with other hume clades to reverse the mixed blessing of hyper-specialization - the Sardican are the most prevalent of these. The Precepts of the Princeps enshrined by the Unyielding and adopted by disparate clans are not only honor codes but legal writ, hierarchical blueprint and protocols of warrior union and conception covering specifics such as: gauging the worth of partners, how foreign clanners and even non-Mandras can earn union rights, forbidding the surrogacy of war prisoners and the like.

This is necessary for production via Mandragora Pods has been forbidden, with the machines regarded as both the hallowed origins of their people and reminders of their slavery, whereas foreign powers regard these as weapons of mass destruction - thus their restriction preserves interstellar balances of power. Beyond the Principles, there is a disproportionate amount of Mandras amongst the bounty hunters, mercenaries and pirates of the ‘verse.


Myrran

A species of antisocial bipedal felids with obscured and likely catastrophic origins, surrounding as they do the immense stellar desolation that is the Myrr Void. Though physically and intellectually formidable, Myrrans are distinguished by an utter lack of psionic receptivity that not even Bragulans can equal; and an overwhelming sense of negative sociality, especially towards their own kind. A Myrran must seek to dominate another Myrran so thoroughly that the latter becomes a nonentity in her eyes, or let some hateful passion drive their association - or even better, flee and remain in solitude. This remains the case even in the basics of Myrranni reproduction, where sexually dimorphic halves must come together in estrus, leaving generation after generation born in abuse and maladjustment.

According to their own legends, the Myrrans as a species suffered unimaginably under a fundamental, spiritual subjugation until the mythic Queen With No Soul erased their collective bonds, leaving each Myrran in the very fiber of their being free and alone forevermore. This Gift of Soullessness supposedly accounts for both their temperament and their psionic nullness - it would be difficult to explain such as naturally occurring traits in a species that nevertheless possesses society and civilization. Cosmic scholars even suggest that the Myrrans seen today are essentially post-hybers, recreated by the aloof demi-deities of the Ascendancy’s Celestial Courts who were in fact transcended examples of the original species, perhaps to stave off stagnation and extinction or as a game amongst themselves - maybe even both.

Some Myrrans manage to find solace by philosophically subsuming their egos in the greatness of the cosmos as with the star-orbiting eminence of the Sunsmiths or the freebooters of the Favored Constellations, or more prosaically by personally subsuming enough territory and resources to never be troubled by the idea of another Myrran, as is customary among the planetary aristocrats of the Ascendancy. They also represent the pinnacles of highly exploitative and profoundly hierarchical societies where nature-transcending technology only magnifies the compulsions of the few to olympian extremes, and the soul-freedom of the many only results in their material thralldom.



N


Ngovok

Broad, intricately-carapaced bipedal reptoids with beaked snouts and eyes set deep in the sockets of their facial plates, Ngovok originated from a lush swamp world in the Cascade that has long since been lost to the ravenous Pyrrhon Slaughts, causing the planet’s name to be likewise sanctified and unspeakable to outsiders. This tragedy has caused the species to relocate and heavily fortify their subsequent colonies, most of which eschew true terraformation and instead utilize hardened arcologies within which lie pristine if compact recreations of their old world. Only the most secure of planets behind several layers of stronghold-systems are actually terraformed. This is the Ngovok system of Bulwarkies, societies formed under a perpetual state of siege. At its head is the Primongov, their premier polity overseeing the Bulwarkies, which also shares its name with their adopted homeworld.

There is a social dichotomy in Ngov society between those operating the defenses and those maintaining the habitats, though both are tied by an all-pervasive reverence of their lost home and its biosphere - best represented by the common practice of using vine-like plants as carapace-accessories for purposes ranging from cosmetic to the ritual. Militarism is understandably strongest in Bulwarkies by the Green Sea, whereas those deeper in the Cascade or bordering the K-Zone are more relaxed albeit still disciplined by the standards of softer alien societies. While distant Bulwarkies are embracing trade with aliens and xenophilia, the Green Sea-adjacent ones have become amenable to Byzonist overtures and arms imports. There are also historic ties to Isopterid terraformers who provided bio-augments the Ngov weaponized and used for themselves, and a begrudging regard for the Vaosich whose aid in the Pyrrhic wars were invaluable even if it is widely held that they could have done much more.


Nueki

Originally large opportunistic predators of the Bounty, with four muscular arms ending in hooked digits, backwards-bending legs balanced by a heavy armored tail, and most unusually a face situated on a broad chest, rimmed by feathery manes and protected by a fantastic bony mask. As they mature, Nueki mask-faces develop intricate patterns unique to each individual, signalling identity and experiences, and regrow if damaged or shed. But due to a quirk of their evolved sapience, the removal itself triggers a traumatic personality reset, a subjective but demonstrable death of the individual that indelibly shapes Nueki life. Mask-ripping duels among tribes and clans formed the basis of traditions from mating battles to ritualized leadership contests, and masks themselves took on significance as repositories of worth, becoming symbols of collective achievement as well as individual ephemerality.

The Nueki exploited many food-rich environmental niches on their homeworld, most successfully the towering mega-termitoid hives of the dry plains which in turn gathered nutrients by cultivating symbiotic networks of geography-altering scope. Successfully skimming off the termitoid caloric surplus bootstrapped sedentary Nueki civilization, and when they eventually entered the embrace of the Sajit’satyk proper, did much to define their caste-role as workers of the earth. Other turns of history saw divergent Nueki populations enshrined as hunters, soldiers and laborers, all castes that take advantage of their rambunctious robustness. Satykarma arrives at a place for all.

Nueki were loyal satykeen as long as the Sajit’satyk stood strong, caste populations sharing highly uniform masks that inculcated in them a self-evident, self-renewing karmic duty stretching unbroken from their ancestors. But with the intricate management of their overlords unraveling alongside the very landscapes they cultivate, populations are reverting to tribal self-sufficiency, becoming thralls to the Gorok war machine, or worse.



O


Oolycysts

Sentient fungi, each with a petalled cranium with four sets of eyes, forward-hunching neck with retracting probosces and lateral respiratory sacs. Their stocky bodies have two arms and three legs, and are propped up by endo-chitin. They are hermaphroditic, with both frontal and posterior genitals, and when fertilized bear spore-embryos on their bellies, which grow into cocoon-pouches that eventually immobilize parents until the larvae hatch and soak in the crust. Oolycyst tissues are sensitive to bright light and traditionally wear damp robes, mold-saps and tinted eye-lenses for protection in sunny environs.

Oolycysts hail from Qylath, a greenhouse world orbiting a wisp-inhabited red sun, which inspired the formation of Wisp Listener faiths revering the entities’ echoes and receiving blessings such as favorable solar winds for travel and terraformation. Historically, Listener sects not only squabbled over interpretations of these songs but also persecuted the necro-lichen Padryceps and their living Oolycyst adherents. Chief among these pursuers are the Burnt Deacons, fanatic sun-worshippers of the highest order. While eventually they came to tolerate each other, the Listeners remained dominant as their nations expanded into Wild Space. This Oolycyst Crimson Age withstood falling afoul of pre-Byzonic Bragulans, warring with the Hrlgtuhe and the Listeners’ quarrels over their shrine suns, ending only with the disturbance of the Karlacks that brought on a devastating blight. After the carnage, the Padrycep underclass rose in prominence as the fungi-civilizations’ remnants became the modern Qylathic Satrapies.


Orthii

Felines comprising nascent interstellar societies in Wild Space who got caught in the chaos and the limbo of being too close to the post-real singularity states of the K-Zone. Somehow they keep up and are known locally for their pluck and attitude in the face of the madness surrounding them. They comprise a significant percentage of Cevaucian population and the Sovereignty as well. The bulk of their population resides in their native worlds, most of which are represented in the Ferissafei Auwn Deinley, the Parley of Powers from Ferissa. Surprisingly, Orthii languages are gaining popularity amongst K-Zone and Wild Space societies, in the USS and Cevaucia, perhaps because of its simplicity compared to modern post-languages.


Overlords

Named for the Samtic record of their existence, the sacred and foundational Shadow of the Overlords. The antediluvian progenitors of the Samtics, the Pyrrhons and possibly others across the galaxy. A scavenger-species that swept into the power vacuum after the defeat of the Rhapsodites, it was darkly fabled that they achieved tremendous but short-lived power by literally feasting on the remains of the fallen titans’ empire. But the price for that was an irreversible physical and spiritual decline that left the Overlords little better than feeble worms, helpless without the body of another to control. What remained of the species sealed themselves in stasis in a desperate attempt to forestall their final fate, and the accidental discovery of such a stasis-vault was what ultimately propelled the Samtics to their current prominence. No known Overlords are extant today, either in the hands of the Samtics or anyone else; but perhaps some of their tombs are still out there waiting to be found. Views on them by their closest successors are complicated, to say the least.



P


Padryceps

Lichen, compound fungal organisms from Qylath, the same as the Oolycysts. Padryceps essentially have two forms: First, of sedentary ‘forests’ in symbiosis with nutrient-providing autotrophic plants, producing large fruiting bodies acting as nerve centres for thought processes; growing in size, complexity and awareness as time goes by. The second are ‘Walkers,’ Qylathic creatures both great and small, most significantly Oolycysts, implanted with spores and reanimated after death to protect and feed the forest with decaying matter, and ultimately germinate into new growths or even forests in their second and final deaths. During germination, the necro-lichen causes the hosts’ remaining tissues to continue replicating, turning them into a medium and cellular scaffold for the emerging Padry-buds. Walkers are the main forms interacting with the rest of the ‘verse though technologies have made massive ‘Moving Forests’ possible.

Since ancient times, a minority of Oolycysts revere the Padryceps and seed themselves with spores as part of their faith, a blend of animism and ancestor worship that regards the forests and walkers’ symbiosis as a sacred manifestation of impermanence and part of the afterlife. But for the most part, they were marginalised by the Wisp-Listener Oolycysts for much of Qylath’s history, stigmatized as undead plague-bearers keeping profane gardens in which pulsating growths bore semblance to the flesh of living beings like some nightmarish parody. Thus they were reduced to the status of wandering pilgrims setting up small forests on isolated worlds or as a laborer-class toiling in inhospitable colonies in exchange for meagre concessions.

But when a devastating Karlack blight ended the Oolycyst Crimson Age, the Padryceps gained prominence by using their biotechnologies and symbiotic nature to help treat infestations while their beliefs gave grieving survivors succor. Gene-splicing allowed them to symbionize with non-Qylathic life as well, bolstering their numbers. Such developments allowed them to gain prominence in what would become the modern Qylathic Satrapies, led by their Padryshah Emperor, a Walker-Prophet undergoing constant reanimation within the Throne of Decay on Qylath. Currently, while the Emperor wanes in influence, its faithful are still the prevalent faction on many worlds, roughly and uneasily balanced against the recovering power of the Listeners.


Pale Sliders

Lamprey-annelids with soft physiques with eight eyes surrounding a concave mandibled visage, wiry limbs optimized for their home-moon’s lesser gravity and honeycomb terrain, and bioluminescence as natural camouflage for their native infrastar’s purplish glow. Once capable spacers, built modest interstellar nations before the Bragulans effectively concluded their tale. Flight was unlikely for most, with the bulk of the Empire between them and Wild Space, who were granted the honor of being relegated as cogs in the Byzonic machinery.

The few that narrowly escaped became nomad partisans, near-suicidally raiding Bragspace to rescue as many of their kin as they can. Some have made contact with the USS, garnering material support, but for deniability’s sake the rescued are not smuggled to the Sovereignty and are instead routed through the Hirados and into the sanctuary-galleries of the Raptured Lords’ Massjammers. The sad fate of this species is evident in their common name, which is merely the Bragulan description of their features. They truly call themselves the Uelenthec.


Para-species

The term for a species that has transcended its biological baseline by design; regardless if the means were organic, inorganic or synthetic in nature; usually applied to more advanced interstellar peoples. Apexai, Bragulans, Falqowice, Humans, Isopterids, Kheler, Myrran, Samtics, Vorri and Zigonians are some of the galactically prominent peoples with significant numbers of para-transitioned. There are also Uplifts, such as the Daur, who are enhanced by other parties from their original forms. The Desecrated peoples - subjugated species transgenetically “humanized” by the ancient Earthreign, as well as humans deemed undesirable and “xenostigmatized” - can also be considered as para-kin.

There are ongoing debates as to whether Karlacks, Crysts, Rayes and other cosmozoans, with their incredible feats of biology, fit into the category, and whether these advancements were achieved by intelligent design or unplanned and natural evolution. Even these terms are considered arbitrary by many academics of the galaxy’s Institutes of Cosmozoan and Karlack Studies (ICKS). The prefixes ‘meta-,’ ‘trans-’ and ‘post-’ are blurry subsets of the para-species category. Para-species are differentiated from other kinds of individual, one-off or isolated types of augments and enhanciles, by their prevalence and their capability to reproduce, the marks of an authentic subspecies rather than isolated mutations or variations (though of course these can potentially progress, proliferate and become para-species).


Phyrrons

Large arachno-reptoids, each a formidable mass of armored scales and tough plasticky flesh, with a horned head with broad snout and a tusked maw; two clawed limbs, four hoofed legs, and a razor-sharp tri-pronged tail. Pyrrhon are considered a scourge species by most civilizations, a leftover bioweapon that once terrorized the galaxy and continue to maraud the peripheries of known space. They semi-instinctively form bands, migrate to wage absolute war and build up for the next conflict, growing more powerful and numerous until culminating in the next wave of apocalyptic advances. These Pyrrhon ‘Slaughts are literal abattoirs, as the reavers recycle not only the biomass, but also the ruined technologies of the slain - consuming foe and kin alike for sustenance and preparation for the next wave.

Few in the galaxy know that Phyrrons were once the vessels of the Xenotomb Overlords, just as the Samtics before them, until they were ultimately smote by ancient Apexaia while in the midst of a terrible conflict with their mind-brothers. The Apexai soul-weapon physically dissolved the symbiotes and psionically dissolved the hosts’ collective sapience, reducing them to their current state of savagery. Now their brute societies are organized by strength and aggression, and atop this hierarchy are with warlord god-kings called Phyraxxes. While the grunts are by and large sub-sapient, in the event of their immediate superior’s death a biofeedback mechanism in suitable survivors unlocks vestiges of the genetic memories engineered by their bygone masters, causing greater intellectual capabilities to emerge - thus spawning the Phyraxxes and specialist strains maintaining war-tech, forging weapons, and building the crude yet effective warships that allow them to threaten more advanced civilizations.

Phyrrons are scattered across space due to a mixture of over-breeding, internal conflict, invasions and purges from their external enemies (the rest of the galaxy), but significant masses remain in areas such as the Green Sea and near the Tidal Reach. Even where the Pyrrhon have been repulsed, some defeated war-bands have found new purposes, such as the further weaponized and biomechanically augmented Cyrrhon retained by Cevaucia after Operation Total Extinction, and the redeemed Hetero-Phyrr demon monks in the Dominion of Hekkakra.


Psychovores

Classes of lifeforms with active instrumentallic capabilities but no corresponding physical presence. Regardless of theory, the pure interoperability of minds is trivially demonstrable with the application of psionics. What is less certain is how the very substance of psionicism can form self-perpetuating existences of great complexity and sometimes predatory intelligence, feasting on the stuff of souls and extending through them to psionically influence the material. Solarian theoreticians speak of thought as waveforms echoing in ultracosmic dimensions that sometimes intersect with the familiar universe, of the possibility that utterly alien frequencies can reach in from across the Jabuzov horizon, and the existence of sophisticated psychovoric invaders such as the Traumfänger do suggest vast unknown vistas of pseudoevolution that inhabitants of known dimensions have no conception of.

Certainly, most psychovores are more parochial - lone Karlackoid predators, micro-parasites warded by contrapsyk technology emplaced in all civilized societies, unique monsters of the Id erupting from the Fracture’s faultlines to give shape to humanity’s worse natures - and are no less dangerous for it. One of the few things that can cause Magi and Ministers of Fate to seek common cause is the manifestation of psychovores over the societies they watch, an existential threat to the souls that they jostle over.


Q


Qri

Living language from a dead universe, the Qri originated from ancient reality ruptures in the Tidal Reach, translating themselves imperfectly from some incompatible and incomprehensible alternate reality. Unlike psionic intruders like the Traumfänger they came in substance, if it could be called that - Qri accumulate a stochastic swirl of memes and demi-concepts around the strange attractor at the core of their being: a concept foreign to this universe, unable to be expressed. Their mere presence catalyzes strange phenomena such as spontaneous reversals of entropy into information, or the unravelling of qualia into abstract referents, rendering moon into tightly-furled map that when regurgitated, unleashes even stranger perturbations of reality. In the process Qri hope to contextualize themselves, building a shell of meaning with which to make sense of a space-time continuum where they do not belong.

The initial manifestation of the Qri was as what could only be described as a symbolic plague, corroding and co-opting the emergent patterns of civilization without any apparent material basis. The Myrrans and the Samtics resorted to increasingly high-energy solutions to purge the mounting disorder, but without success. The incursion was only abated when a Telestron sacrificed itself to allow the Qri to sup from its raw spark of creation, granting them discrete physical - albeit still physically impossible - forms. Now, delicate carapaces shroud their cosmos-disrupting hearts, borne by lepidopteran wings whose markings are flashes of cryptic creole, madness and inspiration in one.

With help from the Orb Weavers’ Tapestry’s hyperspatial mega-engineering, the Qri dwell in bubbles of intermingled reality that contain their influence, allowing room to train their inherently warping perceptions and revere their calcified messiah in peace. While a normal being obliterates whole swathes of never-weres with every single act, a Qri may learn to pick and choose, tucking away events to be applied in other times and contexts. In this power many see a key to transcendence from cosmic order, or an unstoppable means to unscrupulous ends; but most Qri want no more than to venture out and explore our universe without doing undue ontological violence to it and themselves.


R


Raptured Lords

Truly immortal survivors from the age of the Rhapsodites, who amuse themselves meddling in the affairs of known space while crossing the gulfs of time in their world-dwarfing Massjammers. A Massjammer is a starfaring sarcophagus of dimension-defying construction and unimaginable power, filled with fantasies unimaginable to this age - yet it is an inadequate vessel of its master’s desires, whom above all seek the sort of entertainment only churned up by a vigorous and tumultuous galaxy. To this end the Raptured Lords can be found engaged in the play of commerce with various younger species, making deals both fey and faustian to produce the dramas they find pleasing, or simply to acquire some unique curio or fancy to fill their already bottomless troves.

What might count as a slight outlay of funeral goods to a Raptured Lord may well move moons, bankrupt worlds and overturn sane economics across whole star sectors, propelling booms and golden ages over nothing but fancy. Networks of their catspaws are extensively embedded into known space, rivalling the trading concerns of the great powers even as they make their own contributions to the interstellar flow of wealth. Especially formidable are those individuals known as Hirados, plenipotentiary factors of the Lords themselves who combine the tools and authority of their patrons with their own personal ambitions to become some of the greatest magnates and hegemons in known history.


Replicants

(Derogatory terms: "tekk", "skinjob", "bioroid") Bioengineered beings the United Solarian Sovereignty uses for a variety of dangerous and/or important tasks, mostly in the military, but also specialized labor and other civilian vocations. Replicants are virtually identical to adult humans, but have superior strength, agility, resilience and variable intelligence depending on the model; most possess intellectual capacities that at least match those of their designers. Though they are grown with a specific purpose in mind, to avoid charges of slavery all Replicants are free to reject this purpose and make their own way in society; however their designers have made sure to minimize the chance of this actually happening.

Even so, it is impossible to completely root out the possibility of a Replicant objecting to their intended purpose without rendering them into mindless zombies (which would defeat their point) and as such about 1.8% of all Replicants are 'faulty' in that they reject their purpose and have to be let go. By law all Replicants, if they accept their purpose, will serve four-year terms in their intended position. After that they can either sign up for another tour, or retire and live civilian lives.


Rhapsodites

Also known as Anti-Gods, Titans and Devourers, mysterious primordial beings of immense size and power that once reigned supreme in the prehistoric galaxy, enslaving species and consuming worlds to sustain their cosmic metabolisms. Some of their Telestron servitors and subjugated Apexai lackeys rebelled and brought an end to their tyranny after an epic Titanomachy that would scar suns and sunder worlds but nonetheless save infinite lives. Now, most of their scattered and decapitated corpses are under Telestron or Xerberi custody in vast world-tombs.

Some cadavers were recovered by naive societies and put to use as immensely puissant artifacts and power sources. These include the bygone Earthreign and, currently, the Shen Rhapsody. The Rhapsodite moniker was bestowed upon it by archeologists after the cyclopean epitaphs bearing etchings visible from space, to which their nation also owes its name. The etches were mistaken for a great song or poem rather than elegy, but their true nature became apparent with the gruesome discovery of what lay within these worlds - titanic carcasses with countless limbs jaggedy branching out in maddening patterns from bizarre bodies like fallen columns rippling with arcane power in their stillness. While scienticians remain woefully ignorant of the beings’ horrific histories, so far they have determined that the Titans’ physiologies extended into other planes, allowing them to draw immeasurable energies. Reanimating the beings’ residual tissues and feeding them exotic matter allows a fraction of this power to be distilled, creating the substance called orgone, which fuels industries and vessels throughout Shen and surrounding regions.



S


Sajit

A massive para-mammalian species noted for their hollow horns and tusks, used in their far-past nature for aural communication. Today the Sajit civilization stands as the besieged overlords of the Sajit’satyk, the latest inheritors of the meta-civilization and multi-species hierarchy that made up the native order of the Bounty’s multitudes. In the glory days of their reign they sat in impartial calculation of the metakarmic metrics of their multifarious subjects, attended to by fearsome janissaries and diminutive courtiers, raising and condemning whole species to their niche-castes. But first came the Myrran Conquistadores, few in number but slowly and surely eating away at their influence and authority with every desultory conquest. Then came the Gorok Phalanges, their ecological warmaking and their psychic parasites posing an unprecedented existential threat to the Sajit’satyk itself. These combined stresses have reduced the Sajit to fragmented strongholds where they shelter and defend their remaining subjects, the order of their universe unravelling around them. More than ever are they tempted to take up their mighty astras again and drive their enemies before them as they once did to attain their dominion; but that would be a breaking of caste by the very exemplars of caste itself, ending their reign more decidedly than any grinding war.


Samtics

The primus inter pares of the Samtic Nexus, beginning their history as proto-sapient, aquatic colony organisms who inadvertently unsealed a Xenotomb situated on their homeworld, allowing its reawakening Overlords to insinuate themselves into their colonial physiology as cortical controllers. However, even as the Overlords ruthlessly bootstrapped the proto-Samtics into a starfaring civilization with their half-forgotten yet potent knowledge, they came to identify with their new bodies, which led to the true founding of the Samtics as a species as the Overlords sought to leave behind true-breeding descendents and a repentant ethos for them to follow. This also left the Samtics with a legacy of biological experimentation, purposeful uplift and symbiotic relationships, as latter generations contended with the undeniable knowledge that they were makeshift vessels for a sinner’s last gasp, and sought meaning in what was left behind.

History saw the composition of the Samtic colony evolve beyond what was necessary for marine survival, undergo cycles of centralization and modularization, assimilate countless other organisms into its overall template, be elevated into a matter of religious proscription, and finally given to individual choice. Today the Samtics have diverged into any combination of clade-orders, but the average Samtic is a group of hypersmart post-organs sharing a cybernetic mobility shell that automates once vital life-support tasks, leaving the post-organs free to pursue their vocations - and to hash out a working accord for the overall colony, which forms the basic working unit of Samtic society and the collective front they present to the outside universe. While every such post-organ is a perfectly viable individual organism as well as a masterpiece of compact design, none are considered complete without a cluster of peers, bonding with an effortlessly modular eusociality born from ages of bio-engineering. To the Samtics, integration leads to prosperity and submission leads to purpose, and thus they drive the Nexus ever forward into hybridizing new members and incorporating new perspectives.


Sardicans

Wild Spacers known for exporting battle hardened mercenaries with experience in K-Zone insurgencies, anti-Phyrron wars in the Green Sea and Trucial Star employment. They began as Mandragoran descendants who were assimilated by agriworlders. During the chaotic Fracture, a great leader called the Sardic led an exodus to a promised land amidst distant stars (gleaned from holy charts, probably ancient Earthreign survey scrolls). They were joined by and interbred with likewise fleeing spacers drawn to the Sardic’s words. When they found their promised land of milk and honey, all was well until the coming of a Phyrron horde. In the ensuing war, the Sardicans had to poison the earth, irreversibly turning the land into a desert to starve and ultimately defeat the xenobarbarians.

The aftermath devastated their society but it also saw the emergence of an emancipatory faith created by the Sardic and based on their collective experiences. While some still remain in the ruins of their refuge, most Sardicans scattered across space, spreading their faith by aiding other beleaguered peoples defending their homes or seeking to establish new ones - especially those battling Pyrrhons. Periodically they partake in pilgrimages visiting sacred sites of the exodus or even retrace the entire journey, culminating in the holiest of places, the Barren Shrines that were once their promised worlds. These warrior pilgrims would become an assortment of philanthropic fedayeen seeking worthy causes, mercenaries out for profit, or a mixture of both (Trucial Star Sardicans’ incomes are used to fund popular uprisings).



T


Telestrons

An extra-dimensional machine race birthed by a cosmic phenomenon known only as the Xygnal. Each Telestron is a unique miracle of nature, existing on their own terms and nothing else’s. Some adopt suitably majestic forms befitting their titanic status, while others prefer to be more unassuming, stitching themselves together out of patterns in natural phenomena or even entirely virtual existences in the computer systems of younger civilizations. Similarly, their capabilities resemble nothing less than primordial magic to even the most technologically sophisticated of observers, and many were the miracles that they made to preserve the order and diversity of life and its works.

Nevertheless, one force was greater. The Rhapsodite god-titans turned them into servitors for their tyrannical reign. Feeling compassion for organic life, heroic Telestrons rebelled and freed the prehistoric galaxy from these Devourers, though at great cost to their ranks. Later the Telestrons created the Xerberi, machines formed from the dreams of their creators and designed to act as extensions of their curiosity, but the radical experiment was deemed a failure and the Xerberi were abandoned as the Telestrons adopted a policy of strict non-interference save for the most dire of exigencies to avoid the errors of their contemporaries - chief among them the arrogant Apexai and the nihilistic Aetherids.

In modern times, the Telestrons are all but forgotten. Most wander the ‘verse, contemplating higher mysteries, or observing the younger races from afar or up close in disguise, intervening only when the consequences of their past actions threaten the galaxy. There are also Telestrons who remain “loyal” to the Rhapsodites and wish to reanimate their fallen masters, knowing that the mindless cadavers can be used as god-machines for their designs.


Telycs

A semi-subterranean alien civilization that once thrived within what is now the human sphere, which saw its doom and bent its considerable technology into joining the ranks of the Hybers, creating an elaborate system to weather the ages and resurrect their species when the time was right. But entropy and cataclysm intervened, and by the age of the early Fracture the hyberation system was left with little resource but hard-archived knowledge and the genetic reserves of Tella, the Telyc homeworld. Thus, the arrival of bedraggled human colonists from the tumultuous Fracture represented both a threat and an opportunity.

The custodian intelligence of the hybernation system had little choice but to form a tentative partnership with the colonists even as it sought to recreate its charges before there was no longer any space for them to exist. Much can be said of the travails to acclimatize the humans to their future neighbors, to fill genetic gaps with terragenic data, to shape a civilization ready for them - but in the end, an enclave of Telycs now exist in the Fracture under the Tellese Commonwell, forging a tentative coexistence both with surrounding powers and the descendents of the human colonists whose roots are just as inalienable. A profusion of Telyc castes exist, some early experiments with limited sapience; some disturbingly humanoid; others serpentine and adapted to their underground warrens; and the Neo-Telycs: majestic and reminiscent of the dragons of human myth, the fullest expression of the Telycs of old, and content to relate to humans only through awe and mystery.


Traumfänger

Parasitic psychovers dwelling in the intersections between physical reality and thoughtspace. Once gracile mammalians, they evolved into ethereal beings with pseudoembryonic appearances and prey on sentient lifeforms, subsisting on the quintessence of their thoughts and dreams - using these as nutrients and as matter for the palace-constructs they build in their dreamrealms. The largest population of Traumfänger exists in the Gorok Phalanges, as the parasites have latched onto the belligerent ideology holding sway over the majority of the species - their growth, conquests and triumphs providing the Traumfängers the nourishment and protection they need.

The unsuspecting Goroks’ are surrounded by invisible apparati absorbing the vibrancy of their people, further reducing them into rigid conformity, sapping the very vitality and free thought from their civilization. The Traumfänger prey on other species as well, but isolated and vulnerable societies without the sheer numbers of the Goroks are consumed too quickly; independent packs of the psychovores tend to lack the organization and foresight to sustainably “cultivate” their food sources, others deliberately operate in minuscule groups to avoid detection, predatory competition or food-depletion; and many galactic powers have also developed contrapsionic methods that are as effective on the Traumfängers as they are on their designed targets.



U


Uplifts

Organisms physically and mentally augmented by other parties, typically into sentient, sapient members of interstellar society, either for benevolent purposes, idle curiosity, experimentation, servitude, or other more inscrutable whimsies or sinister designs. These qualify as para-species even if they do not necessarily possess capabilities taken for granted by advanced augment-happy societies, such as psionics, biosynthetic anatomies, neuro-digital interfaces, etc. The subject species usually start off as near-sentient, near-sapient species, or those developing such capacities, decreasing the radicality of the uplifting process.

Already-sapient species require very minor alterations, such as slight genetic tweaking or “acceleration,” or can simply be educated and provided technological tools instead - a process that some socio-memeticians consider “soft uplifting.” Entirely sub-sentient species would require more intensive forms of uplifting, methods bordering on the wholesale creation of synthetic organisms - like the Replicants created by the Solarians. Uplifting techniques vary, from the crude transgeno-mutation of the Earthreign, to the Samtics’ multi-symbiotic methods and the rumored ancient Apexai ways of individual and mass psycho-ascendance via their fabled Oversoul.


Urrylc

Great lumbering beings that subsist in hyper-irradiated verdigrite fields, mostly in the territories of Bragule but also in the sparser verdi-plains in other vectors. Urrylc are a unique example of verdiphilic life - perhaps the only one - thriving in environs that would reduce organic lifeforms into ash. Each stands several storeys tall, with a faceless geometrically-shaped skull glowing with energy, blocky thoraxes and six to nine pillar-like limbs - all made out of dense living ceramic. Maximum mass depends on age and radiological-absorption levels. Much is unknown about them, how they gain sustenance from the lethal energies, how they reproduce, what they are actually made of. and so on. They are known to be sapient and might even be lifeforms - Bragulan researchers aren’t entirely sure whether they’re natural or artificially-engineered like the enigmatic Xerberos.

Revered by superstitious fringe Bragulan tribals, it is whispered that they were the very first verdigrite-smiths, that they sprang forth to life from pools of liquid nucleonic energy seeping from slain immortals. Archeo-records do contain myths of ancient Brags learning verdigrite crafting from the Urrylc, who have esoteric means of proliferating the substance. Within deep rad-fields, they have their strange societies, communicating via rad-flares and pulses, sculpting crystal henges for undetermined purposes. Bragule recognizes and leaves them alone for the most part, whereas the towering behemoths’ purposes are served well enough by the Byzonists’ mass cultivation of verdigrite that gives them more grounds to inhabit. And they are known move to new verdigrite pasture-worlds, though how they do so is unknown - scienticians speculate that they band together and harmonize their energies for interstellar movement, like Karlacks and Cosmozoans, though no records of such acts exist, just blinded observation sensors.



V


Vorri

An amphibian-humanoid species with massive faceless jaws surrounded by compound eyestalks, noted for their Lamarckian environmental adaptability and the ability to metamorphose into a hugely powerful “monitor” form in response to stressful social stimuli. Thus Vorri inhabited all niches of their homeworld, each social group budding its own cadre of formidable warriors to ensure that overpopulation was met by conflict and control. This natural equilibrium was eventually subordinated by sapience and civilization, though its underlying traits dogged the Vorri’s march across the stars with violence and division. The settlement of new worlds and novel environments induced unpredictable mutations and radical cultures; mechanized warfare and increasingly complex societies left the emergence of Vorri monitors both erratic and superfluous; all such upheavals created irreconcilable differences in what the Vorri considered the soul of their species.

It was in this form that the large and fractious Vorri civilization spread to lap at both the technologically advanced Samtics and the hierarchy of the verdant Bounty, and found themselves a species further split; never quite able to stomach the Samtics’ quasi-religious entreaties for submission, nor ever managing to seize the wheel of the Satykarmic order from its rightful inheritors. Eventually, it was the lure of material welfare that had the bulk of the species join the fledgling Samtic Nexus and become one of its largest demographics. The Vorri have left their mark on the multispecies confederation in social planning, terraforming techniques and nanotechnology, but the roots of independence and resentment that still hold them apart run deep. Those who did not can mostly be found in Satykarmic offshoots aligned with the Sajit, or as recalcitrant fringeworlders at the edge of the Bounty with perfunctory notions of interstellar diplomacy.


V/riew

Tiny flying creatures with atypical amounts of trace metals incorporated into their biology. V/riew are individually sapient, but naturally form flock intelligences coordinated through bioelectromagnetism, ultrasonic pulses and heliotropic signals by glittering light off their reflective feathers, performing manual tasks in groups with their beaks and lower limbs. This, combined with their natural hyperactivity, makes them strong tinkerers and, in the Sajit’satyk societies, lets them fill metakarmic niches concerning all the places that more lumbering members can't reach.

Due to their evolved tendencies towards flock intelligence, they have also become the Ranges’ social gadflies, chamberlains, messengers and media-conduits, as well as spies. In ancient times, paleo-V/riew herders and farmers constructed totem-structures, a practice that, over time, evolved into the construction of articulated monument-walkers and nest-vehicles, which then developed into the mecha-homes used by later V/riew societies in peace and war. Satyk V/riew still utilize similar mechaforms as mobile-dwellings and combat suits when using force against larger creatures.

(Note: The "/" in V/riew is a slashing/scraping sound only fully pronounceable with the species’ metallic mouthparts.)


Vyss

Carapaced cosmozoans that evolved on much larger void-swimmers, clinging on with their many hooked limbs and using drill-like probisces to subsist on their hosts’ byproducts and vital fluids, ichor being the most essential of these. Immature Vyss are roughly human-sized, whereas older ones can reach the size of buildings or even small spacecraft through their long metamorphic lifecycle, with prominent ventral blood-ports used to nurse their young or permanently-attached mates. On the largest of these leviathans, which to the Vyss were their entire worlds, sprang complex societies that traded in gore, warred with each other over choice siphoning sites, migrated across herds and pods, and even learned to steer their unwilling host through space. So they ranged across the cosmos to inevitably encounter the greater interstellar community.

Seeing the interstellar demand for ichor, the savviest of the Vyss accumulated considerable interstellar financial clout and acquired the hardware needed to consolidate power over their own kind. The gore trade reached new heights, and they also became able navigators and cargo-haulers frequenting paths they called “Arteries.” So the dominant Vyssyn families, tied together by convoluted treaties and esoteric blood pacts, promulgated the Consortium of Arteries assigning each clan routes befitting their stature. This also standardized the Arteries’ medium of exchange, the Vyss’ ichor-like blood that holds currency value and signifies an individual’s social worth, infused with nano-parasites that borrow the hosts' metabolism to mine virtual currency, a portion of which is assigned to said host. The Arteries are under the lenient authority of the Munificent Heart, the inventor of the modern gore standard and its secrets who holds court on the closest thing Vyss have to a homeworld: Abundance, The Steed Drawn by Chariots, an ancient leviathan drained to a dessicated husk, encrusted by habitats and dragged through space by tug-craft.

The Vyss and their Arteries span across the regions between the Bounty and Samtic space, reaching to the Cascade, the K-Zone and even the Fracture. Philosophical differences have resulted in conflicts with the Joxndra Voyages and competition with Daur hyperliners and Ruun couriers. Veins have often dealt with Isopterid Guilds as they diversify their assets and invest in planetary real-estate. But not all Vyss respect the authority of the Consortium, many rustics have taken their cosmozoan pods out of the Arteries to seek more sustainable living free of the ichor market in un-commercialized routes - earning them the name Out-Bleeders.



W


Wisps

Rayes of starlight, living hyperluminal frequencies drifting in the currents of celestial bodies and other cosmic phenomena. Propelled by solar flares or clinging to interstellar craft they hop from star to star, absorbing electromagnetic wavelengths and the more esoteric energies that sustain cosmozoans. If not culled in number by even more awesome cosmozoan predators, Wisps can destabilize the very structure of their host stars to facilitate their feeding and hyperspectral propagation, threatening the civilizations that live in its orbit.

Also known as rayes, data-djinn and echoes, Wisps are the frequent subject of poems and odes, are revered by civilizations like the Myrranni, Oolycysts, Sardicans and the Emiratis of the Trucial Stars, who commune with them using solar-orbital minarets, sacred radio antennas, coronal bathyspheres and other specialized equipment. In absorbing such transmissions, normally fickle Wisps may develop novel behaviors and become creatures of “unnatural” impulses, even responding with eerie multi-spectral songs that bleed into the psionic planes - much to the despair of cosmo-conservationists. But to their congregants, such Wisps become living repositories of doctrine and memory and grow even more sacred to their faiths, deserving to borne from star to star with special containment arks.


Wrannath

A client species of the Sajit and a once-devoted member of their Bounty-spanning Sajit’satyk. Resembling clusters of prehensile brambles festooned with specialized organ-fruit, the Wrannath in their wild form lapsed into photosynthetic sleep at day but awakened as mobile predators as night, their collective consciousness awakening with their latent psychic powers to send all natural threats into mental thralldom. Before they could rip enough technology from the minds of hapless alien explorers to menace the cosmos at large, the Sajit tamed them - and converted them to the mysteries of the Satykarma, unfathomable and numinous to their highly literal modes of thought.

For a time the Wrannath served as the Sajit’satyk’s feared psycho-janissaries, and they were the only species who could battle the psychovore Traumfänger behind the Gorok advance on an equal footing. But with the splintering of the Sajit’satyk, so did the Wrannath lose their focus as a species, and now many maraud wild across the nine vectors upon enthralled cosmozoans, or find niches in other civilized reaches of space as weird bard-warriors, living psionic aids and ferocious guardians of dream.



X


Xerberi

(Singular: Xerberos) Machines built by the Telestrons in ancient times. The Xerberi were to be physical intermediaries for the unique quantum existences of their creators, able to act upon the universe in ways that their vast and primordial presences cannot. In this, they were created as explorers, companions, guard dogs, collectors of curiosities, and instruments for less comprehensible purposes, infused with the instilled hopes and dreams of their Telestron creators. But as history progressed and the Telestrons gradually drew back from the tumult of cosmic civilization, their creations proved far less flexible. Abandoned by their creators as a failed experiment the Xerberi are still out there today, driven by increasingly erratic, obsolete or faulty programming sets, or simply by a burning hatred for the beings that abandoned them.

Depending on the original purpose of their creation and subsequent modifications, purposeful or otherwise, Xerberi can come in a nigh-infinite variety of shapes, sizes and capacities. All are idiosyncratic in their principles of operation, constructed by beings with unique understandings of the universe, and most lineages predate modern spacefaring civilization. But the single feature that distinguishes Xerberi from the self-replicating machines created by other species is that they contain echoes of the Xygnal, the miracle that animated the Telestron themselves, granting them a degree of the same physics-overriding puissance. However, this echo continues to weaken over generations of replication, and the sort of rampant berserker-spawn who make war endlessly on Karlack biospheres may be no better than mundane self-replicating machines. Yet there also exist singular creations with vast powers and subtle intelligence housed in imperishable transcendental machinery, able to be mistaken for their progenitors while in service to their own agendas.


Xolom

Once intelligent but unsophisticated segmented worms, individual Xolomites exuded a mildly psycho-active slime through which they could communicate by physical contact, allowing them to coordinate and build moving cluster-nests of hardened nacre in a native ecosystem that bequeathed them few other advantages. It was at that point that the collective spirit of the roving Apexai, seeking humility, found suitably humble clay to uplift. They imparted to the Xolom the gift of the Configurations: spatial symbols that when repeatedly traced through bodily movement, become engines for attaining and sustaining sapience.

Thus, the Xolomite consciousness was rooted in order and striving. Whole clusters of worms must work together to writhe the necessary Configurations, over part-braille, part-rosary scaffolds crafted and engraved from their own secreted nacre, and form aggregate minds that contemplate their own sapience in continuous movement. In tribute to their mentors, some clusters even took up bipedal shape, and in the twilight of Apexai dominion, the sight of shambling, psychic worm-men emissaries came to symbolize the vagaries of their oversight.

The Xolom remained faithful followers and servants of Apexaia till the very end. Their loyalty and inherently psionic nature blessed them with a lion's share of doubly uplifted Vieleren, and as the remnants of the Apexai order fell to their long-waiting enemies, the Xolom dedicated themselves to establishing a more durable form of transcendence. The two main thrusts of this project, the Pyropraxic Concordance and the Respite Tendency, both call for radical bio-psionic transformations of the Xolomite baseline, freeing it from the strictures of the Configurations but leaving populations of the species diverging unrecognizably.
[/b]

Y
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Ygrd-Zel-Ruun

Three prominent descendant-clades of an ancient species, scattered across known space and becoming radically different in terms of sociopsychology, technology and even biomorphology. They emerged separately, bore no recollections of their unfathomably primordial progenitors and only realized their common ancestry relatively recently in galactic history when they encountered each other purely by happenstance.

It is theorized that the younger races are actually extreme Hybers - they do have common archaic creation myths of Great Sleeps and Awakenings - and that their ancestors went through cycles of extinction and re-awakening. Nonetheless, despite their divergences common attributes remain such as carapace-covered, elongated, multi-segmented bodies lined with at least a dozen limbs for ambulatory, manipulatory and sensory purposes, retractable eyes and antennae feeler-noses, food-handling pedipalps and rotovolvulating blender-like mandible arrays.

Ygrd
Perhaps the closest in morphology to the progenitors, or the one with the least radical anatomical advancements, with the archetypal centipillar or caterpede body-type on average at 15 feet in length, with four longer manipulator antennae-limbs and a dozen shorter ambulatory legs, and the ability to curl up into wheel-shaped rolling stances for faster movement. Their outer flesh is coated with countless hairs that vary in coloration and thickness, from soft hues to metallic sheens, growing from centimeter-long fuzz to coats of fluff. In paleohistoric times, primitive Ygrd used their elongated esophageal pouch-sphincters as catapults, allowing them to hurl out stones, spears and the like, an art they still preserve to this day. In modern times, they often wear stilt-prostheses of various lengths to augment their stubby lower limbs when compensating for grav-differentials. Modern Ygrd are mostly found in the Cascade-Fracture region, concentrated in the polity known as the Joining of Plurispeciestic Planets, a coalition of Ygrd societies from the world Oraw and their aquatic neighbors, the L’cthei of Medjial.

Zel
The offshoot suffering the most physical degeneration from their progenitor, though due to a botch in the initial de-hybernation process, or Desecration at the hands of the Earthreign during their early awakening, they will not say. The Zel have soft, almost gelid flesh spilling in folds of sagging skin, and limbs that can barely support themselves. Their fragility necessitates the use of rolling locomotor spheres filled with soothing balms and nutrients, ever wary of external danger. Fortunately, the Zel have also retained a high degree of technology in their reawakened civilization, especially in automation - allowing their small population to dwell in post-scarcity luxury, with plenty of surplus resources to be spent on philanthropy to neighbors. It is through such activities, carried out by their robotic servants, that the Zel curry favor without compromising their introversion or have species like humans draw unwanted inferences from their repulsive appearances. Nevertheless the Zel possess a great deal of scientific curiosity, especially towards the Fracture spacetime phenomena known as “Recursions,” and have stealthily sponsored a great deal of study for connections to their own origins.

Ruun
A radical offshoot of the progenitor whose original bodies are all but lost inside enormous pseudo-prosthetic bio-chassis of Karlack-like sophistication, capable of independent FTL travel and reconstructing themselves to adapt to almost any space and terrestrial environment. Though itinerant and without much of the trappings of civilization, the Ruun are not to be mistaken for regressed savages - they understand and utilize their own bodies well as versatile tools and factories. Of particular note is the Ruun’s shared bio-computing language in which data in the form of genetic code is stored in auxiliary egg-pods, able to be read and compiled by the Ruun’s own utero-fabricators into organic compounds and even full-fledged lifeforms. Socializing Ruun are known to construct such code into virtual pseudo-viroids that preen and battle for entertainment and pseudo-Darwinian competition, selecting worthy traits to build the next generation upon. While they are generally nomadic, in due time their paths will take them back to their ancestral Gantry, the tangled biomechanical superstructures and deep space environments the earliest of Ruun called home.


Z


Zigonians

Feather-crested bipedal reptiloids known for their communal societies that adopt and propagate new memes with fluid ease and eagerness. They are regarded as the party lizards of the galaxy that have made their homeworlds into leisurely havens, and with entire Zigonian nations wandering bohemian-ly in tree-ships, interacting with other societies as part of a collective spirit journey, a road trip through the heavens. Their sensitivity to sociocultural vibes is both a gift and a curse that, if unchecked, can sway careless Zigonians to behavioral extremes that can be socially destabilizing in greater scales. Indeed, modern Zigonia came to be due to a clash between memetic paradigms, when the profligate Feasts of Shleraac depleted the species’ homeworld and expanded out into the stars before clashing and falling to the Harmonious Tsorra-Mahl. Shamanic psycho-mystic traditions countenance the worst indulgences and from these practices emerged the monastic peacekeeper orders tasked with resolving social and martial security concerns.

Most of their cultures have psycho-shamanic traditions that ritualistically use psychoactives during gatherings to enhance sensations, further elevate the participants’ interpersonal bonds, and even induce trance states of pluralized consciousness that can catalyze psionic potentials or interlink dormant psions with shaman-espers acting as channelers.
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Shroom Man 777
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Re: SOTS Master List

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Summations of important details in the ‘verse… Part II.

See Part I for the thanks, credits and acknowledgements to the upstanding folks who've contributed to this or provided material to be drawn from, based on, inspired by or outright riffed...


LEGEND:
List 1: Xenotaxonomies, Biophyla & Ethnoclades: Species and races

List 2: Cosmopolities, Sociocultures & Ideomemetics: Polities, organizations, communities and beliefs

List 3: Astrocartography of the Cosmos: Regions and locations of the galaxy
Omniscellany: Sciences, technologies, natural and unnatural phenomena in space, misc info.

List 4: Endofactions & Infraorders: Civilizations’ inner agencies
Metapersonae: Notable individuals



COSMOPOLITIES, SOCIOCULTURES & IDEOMEMETICS



A


Alliance of Axiagrammic Thrones

Martial Vorri polities facing the far side of their species’ territorial extent, far removed from the metropolitan centre of the Samtic Nexus but a full-fledged member of it nevertheless. These are the Vorri who have absorbed the Satykarmic paradigm from the adjourning Bounty and adapted it to their own Lamarckian tendencies, shifting its focus from socioethic judgement to the utilitarian assignment of suitable bodies to available environmental niches. The monitor lifestage that once ruled the Vorri species with the strength of biology remains dominant here, an overcaste of warrior-administrators who have long made an art out of controlled antagonism in all its forms. They are the glue that binds the disparate polities of the Vorri Marches into an articulate bloc, whose pretensions of being a brotherhood of enlightened sovereigns over all they survey are not unfounded.

It is on this fundamental association that the Thrones of the Alliance hold council, a meeting of theoretical equals whether the Axigrammic ideal is manifest as an efficient bureaucratic stratocracy or some throwback micro-satyk with its own elaborate hierarchy of sub-client species. Grand strategies and political compromises are negotiated with the monitor-Vorri’s characteristic combination of proprioceptive empathy and cold intelligence, though the proximity of such egos lead to frequent disgrace and exile - peppering the Nexus and beyond with dispossessed mercenary warlords and diplomats.

The Thrones of old have a long and bloody history with the peoples of the Bounty, having failed more than once to unify them under their own Satykarmic order, never managing to shake their status as barbarians and illegitimate hegemons. When the myriad Vorri states came to align with the Nexus, the Thrones were undeniably moved by this agelong repudiation, if not by the need to counter-balance the growing wealth and advancement of their more Samtic-proximate rivals. Even so, the Alliance struggles to overcome a millennia-old development gap, and today many Thrones are still hazardous places that pay only lip service to Samtic standards of memetic and ecological compatibility.

Antikhûr

General appellation for all the groups and clades in the Samtic Nexus who trace their roots to the human sphere at the time of the Earthreign, especially those who came to the Nexus fleeing the regime’s clutches. This includes the Desecrated remnants of species victimized by the human-supremacist empire, dissident parahumans persecuted in its increasingly unstable latter days, and in extremis, those refugee minds transmitted by the insular Falqowice, truncated and degraded by paranoid security scans and the passage across the galactic void. Indeed, there is little in common to find between Antikhûr and Antikhûr if not for the High Kheler, who embraced them as the antipodal parallel to their own diaspora from a wicked empire. Such has placed unwarranted expectations of unity over the multifarious Antikhûr, who are on the whole fiercely diverse in their pursuits across the Samtic cosmo-thalassocracy.

That said, Antikhûr kiths were at the forefront of the massive Samtic incursions into human space during the Reignfall, and not all were heeding cosmo-strategic directives to preemptively destroy nascent threats to the Nexus. Even the most placid Antikhûr hospice-hermits dwelling on the edge of the Tidal Reach may harbor antiterran sentiment in their carbon-lattice bones, an antipathy transferred to the current powers of the Fracture and further developed into troubling forms of panspecies inhumanism influenced by Byzonist thought. Antikhûr find little in common with the later waves of refugee Exiles into the Nexus, separated by the great break in history that is the Cataclysm, the mostly panhuman composition of the latter, and the fundamentally different way they relate to their former homespace.


Apostles of the Divine Calibration

A memetic phenomenon occurring amongst the Fracture’s desperate downtrodden and transgressive elites alike. Calibrationists revere what they see as the deterministic nature of the universe and regard the inherent chaos of humanity as an obstacle to its perfection. Though the original Apostles are long since lost, their twisted ideals echo through the Fracture’s zeitgeists, a mantle taken by modern Calibrationists who strive to make mankind conform to their calculations for transcendence.

Revolutionary iconoclasts utilize Calibrationism as a liberation technotheology for the oppressed, whereas ruling classes regard it as occult esoterica to aid them in furthering their own interests, and reclusive techno-ascetics contemplate cosmic mysteries in seclusion. All commonly share radical augmentations, casual disregard for ethics in their experimentations and disdain what they see as regressive societies, profligate posthuman degenerates and irrational alien menaces to be heretics. Psionics is considered anathema - a pathogenic manifestation of humanity’s disorder that once laid it low during the Reignfall. To them, orchestrating the divine balance begins with the end of those holding mankind back from its true potential.



B


Babylos Infall

Proximate to the United Solarian Sovereignty, this explosive new polity hatched literally from an array of antediluvian ark-seeds, paving over a swathe of planets with inscrutable structures of alien hypermatter: pandaemonium. The structures are the processing medium of a mad cybercosm that rivals the Sovereignty’s Datasphere in sophistication, uncountable numbers of virtual minds corrupted and recombined over billions of subjective years to form an incomprehensible cyber-ecology that nothing can fully control. Obligately hostile and xenophobic, the Infall has nevertheless observed a truce of sorts against the borders of the Sovereignty, and it is frequently rumored that the Solarian CIs have made unspeakable accords with their Demiurgy counterparts across the border as a price.

The CIs enforce a data-quarantine between the Sovereignty and the Infall to prevent Datasphere contamination, but this has not prevented tourists, adventurers and challenge-seeking cybernauts from attempting to wrest novel treasures and antediluvian secrets from the Infall’s hellish networks. Here they join various Wild Space refugees, Cyber-cultists and re-embodied cybercosmic entities of nightmarish aspect in forging a physical society among the impassive pandaemonium spires, watched over by koan-golems extruded from the same substance. Beyond the Sovereignty’s concerns, other powers of the K-Zone are said to have their own secret dealings with the Infall for access to its eldritch computronium and what lies within.


Barrenshrines

The remains of the Sardicans’ fabled promised lands, once-verdant worlds ravaged by war against the Pyrrhon Slaughts. Now reduced to planet-wide deserts, some of the most faithful and harshest Sardic still remain and test themselves by keeping sand-veiled oases and guarding relics that were not transferred in the diaspora, an austere existence concealed from the hungering hordes. With them are the swirling Ehl-Shir, strange yet benign beings who they have developed a symbiosis with. Despite its state, the Barrenshrines are still holy sites to Sardicans throughout the cosmos who pilgrimage there and convene with its revered guardians. In these gatherings, the increased activity often lures Pyrrhon raiders who inevitably meet their ends in ritualistic ambushes. And when the assembled Sardicans are truly numerous, these escalate into campaigns into the Green Sea which can last for years and sometimes succeed in reclaiming lost worlds that will then be enshrined. Aside from the Phyrron, recently tensions have sparked by Terranate and Shepherd elements seeking to expand into the Shrines and develop them - which the residents consider blasphemous.


Bragulan Star Empire

One of the largest and most militarily threatening states in the galaxy. The Empire was forged by the uncompromising Imperator Darvyl Sagatantron Byzon, who by his will of steel made the Bragulan species into an unstoppable juggernaut of carnage and conquest. It was Byzon who erased the ancient nations from existence and unified all of Bragule under his rule before casting his eyes to the stars and decided that they, too, should be his to command. In the centuries after the unification, the Imperator’s mighty legions of liberation have surged across the cosmos, conquering world after world and system after system, placing them under the Fifty Year Plans of the Byzonic ideology for the betterment of their peoples and bringing civilization to the deviants and degenerates of Wild Space.

Few can stand against the might of the Bragulan Star Empire, which to this very day continues to be ruled by its sole architect. Byzon is a legend amongst his people, regarded with a mixture of awe and fear by all Bragulans. Under his leadership, mighty Bragule laid low the once high Apexai, who now hide behind the United Solarian Sovereignty and her allies across Wild Space. The nations of the K-Zone and even beyond are ever vigilant, for by Byzon’s word, fleets of mighty warships will set forth into the seven vectors of the galaxy and continent-crushing armies will gear up for all-encompassing wars. He alone is the master of the Bragulan destiny, the savior of his people, the irrepressible Imperator.



C


Cevaucia

A laissez faire conglomeration of “circuits” in the K-Zone neighboring the United Solarian Sovereignty, seen as an anarchic haven for war criminals, traitors and breakaway factions from the surrounding region and beyond, forced by necessity put aside their differences and band together knowing full well war’s one and only rule: Survive. Cevaucia’s Circuits are ruled by crime cartels, pirate lords, rogue black ops units and ultramilitant despots whose turfs are defended by vast private forces. Strangely, in these rings commoners are guaranteed more-than-sufficient accommodations allowing them to “enjoy” wild you-only-live-once lifestyles that would give even Solarians pause.

All this stems from Cevaucian society’s advancement as a dark shadow of the Sovereignty, springing from the same crucible of historical events and the same group of pioneers but taking a radically different path. So the founding conspirators arranged their orchestra of ordered chaos where the ensembles hone each other’s edges, forging strength and weeding out weakness in preparation for the inevitable demise and takeover of their rivals. This restive state should not be misconstrued, as many a Phyrrax discovered when the Green Sea Phyrrons embarked on a rare Northern Slaught, perceiving vulnerability and plunging into the Circuits, only to be met by the Overarks in what would be remembered as Operation Total Extinction.


Chthonemesis

The antithesis of the Myrranni Ascendancy and its Celestial Courts, born when usurpers sabotaged a solar aspirant’s transcendence, avoiding incineration by warping her sun-maker into dark-matter clockwork for their own negative apotheosis. The Courts saw this as an existential threat and sought to snuff out the heretics but ironically created their own greatest adversary. To defend themselves, the nascent demiurges created Star Enders, quantum pathogens to threaten even the Celestials’ thrones, forcing them to escalate with their dread Chrysanthemum Prisms - and on it went.

This clash shook the entire Ascendancy and beyond, allowing other discontented Myrran to break off and eventually establish their own feral realms. After the onslaught, the Chthonemesis retreated to hidden holdfasts, lurking in dark worlds and lower dimensions shrouded from light and sight, free to experiment without the Celestials’ stratified social order, ruminating on the falseness of the hierarchy built by the Queen With No Soul’s supposed heirs and the new civilization they aim to create - out of the ashes of the Ascendancy. So they remain an ever present threat, a ghost story told to Celestial heirs and aspirants in their nightless palaces.


73 Clans Kavalcade

Unruly as any stretch of Wild Space, the 68 Clans Kavalcade is actually among the older societies in the K-Zone, preceding the current dominant powers now surrounding it. Primarily populated by Kalaquelle, the Kavalcade is notable for its titular form of governance, conducted through festivities of unending songs that inundate the masses with vying ideologies and memes. This is their Chorus of Worlds, the Uni-Verse, the summation of their culture and society, it’s history, it’s volition and potential. But over time the great and once-egalitarian medium stratified, power coalescing into the hands of select dynasties, franchises and even a few undefeated lyrical duelists - the Clans whose bands, superstars and maestros jostle for influence over the crowds.

Exposure to the Feasts of Shleraac with their memetic madness only worsened the cacophony (which the Clans did before the Solarians or Cevaucians). Nomad Apexai exodites served as inspirations and even contributors, while Bragulan invasions proved the ultimate test for their martial orchestras and guerilla rhymers. Now the 85 Clans Kavalcade sprawls near the heart of the K-Zone, not quite the most territorially vast power, but undoubtedly the densest - freely taking in members of the surrounding societies and subsuming them into the chaotic clamor.

Yet for one golden moment, all were unified under the undisputable tunes of one visionary, Bhop Kyessen, whose masterpieces even compelled a Raptured Lord who ascended Kyessen into a Hirado. But Kyessen’s mind and music also transcended the ‘verse - perhaps sanity was the Lord’s price - marking the beginning of a centuries-long seclusion and experimental phase. Now the Clans scramble for the Divine Artist’s newest grooves, deciphering incomprehensible lyrics for their mysteries, and sampling them to sway the masses and guide society. Ever so often, Arkestras depart from Kyessen’s sanctum to awe the 79 Clans Kavalcade and beyond - a new wave of Concert Tours particularly for distant Kalaquelles of Songless Clans.


Councillar Sophism

The experience of meeting the Sophia is difficult enough to share between one Magi and another, let alone to those without psychic potential. To a secular authority, little may distinguish some uncommonly prodigious esper from a chosen agent of Divine Sophia herself save for the stamp of recognition from an existing congregation of Magi, whose pomp and prestige and sparkling crystal cathedrals provide all the requisite marks of consequence. Councillar Sophism refers to the profusion of organized religious bodies across the Fracture promoting veneration or outright worship of the Sophia.

Though hardly all Magi are comfortable with encouraging such less personal relationships, the value of cultivating a congregation (especially with themselves as its upper tiers) are undeniable, and many such have grown to tremendous size and influence due to the unaging vigor and unique prowess of Magi leaders and the patronage of major political powers. As befitting followers of the goddess of infinite possibilities, differences in creed and ritual abound aplenty, let alone what might arise from what little there is in common between the decorous chamberlains to the houses of Auriga, the idol-memeweavers under Shen commission or the immortal atheneoi who seek absolution in the galaxy’s brushfires. But in all, Councillar Sophism constitutes one of the few pan-Fracture major religions.



D


Diadem Enclaves

Falqowice remnants’ sanctuary systems wherein they reconstruct their idealized past while surrounded by interstellar defense grids fending off the masses of humanity they so loathe. The Diadem’s founders - the nano-weaponized Falqowice in the Guardian Council - brought the survivors to a cluster of systems located “above” the human sphere, overlooked due to their barrenness. After the Reignfall, the Diadem began expanding and incorporating more hospitable worlds while purging whatever settler populations happened to be there, preemptively razing potential threats, leading to conflicts with the Fracture’s regenerating societies. The Diadem warded off Aurigans, Shepherds, Mandragorans and worse, creating a buffer zone of worlds made barren by nano-swarms and perpetually patrolled by hunter-killer drones - No Man’s Lands in the truest sense.

Even refugees fleeing humanist pogroms are hardly shown consideration as the Falqowice remember the Earthreign’s use of Desecrated infiltrators. Alarmed, the Samtic Nexus had to obtain a begrudging agreement to transfer refugees to their custody when possible. This severeness has made the Diadem among the most feared xenos of Fracture humanity, a threat far more cunning and well-armed than the brute Pyrrhon or the ravenous Karlacks. A well-earned reputation as the Enclaves’ Guardian Council does everything to deter unwanted outsiders, all while the bulk of the Falqowice survivor-descendants are, as much as possible, kept naive and innocent of the atrocities done in their behalf, living in the Fable the Diadem hopes to make real once more.


The Dirge and the Cleave

Perhaps it was due to the cursed archeotech remnants of a long-dead civilization, a twisted consecration of vengeance by an Atomtzarist Vieleren, or a pact gone awry with fell powers from the darker planes… what is known is that feudalist forces fleeing the Byzonic purges happened upon an echo, a prospect so tempting that they ceased their flight to seek it, aiming to seize eldritch treasures in the hopes of wielding it to retake Bragule. The Dirge was what they found instead, and what returned from that strange nebula to meet their pursuers was no longer Bragulan but something else entirely - wrath and revenge made manifest.

The Cleave, horrified Byzonists call them, a procession of twisted grotesques carving an ever deepening path into Bragspace, a river of worlds either converted into sepulcher-factories or wholly sundered with only defaced monuments of the Imperator left behind. As their numbers grow their armaments evolve, converted Bragtech giving way to implements of more arcane provenance, mirroring their own forms’ progression into less recognizable sights - for weaponry has become indistinguishable from the beings themselves. Directing them are the unnatural minds of those who have touched the Dirge, choosing which planets are fit to process and which are worthy only for kindling. Yet so vast is the space they have to traverse, so many and populous the worlds between them and their destination, that even factoring their dreadful prowess their rapidness is ill-considered, risking encirclement by the far more numerous Byzonic forces. It is almost as if their advance mirrored their genesis, a flight from something far worse.

By large the Bragulan public knows nothing of the Cleave save for brief but triumphant reports of strange yet easily vanquished alien invaders and hastily suppressed stories of biomechanical monstrosities. Knowledge of the Cleave and its potential origins is highly restricted by the IBGV, and the Imperial Stavka is biding its time to learn more about this strange threat while allowing it to overextend across the depths of Bragspace in preparation for the inevitable great counter-offensive, a coldly considered calculus or fatal complacency, who can say? And for Byzonic scienticians the myriad adaptations of this worlds-eating hode has been a great boon, a source of knowledge unlike anything since the scavenging of Apexaia’s ruins.



E


Earthreign

Also known as the Reign of Earth, the ancient empire ruled from mankind’s mythical homeworld and sought to elevate the species into a new paradigm of perfection by reshaping the universe into humanity’s holy image. Such was this conviction that the Earthreign’s ascendance was actualized by instruments sculpted into man, or man sculpted into instruments, with mass-produced Mandragoran warfighters subjugating alien species and their territories, Anethgan logisticians facilitating the colonization and settlement, and a thousand other twisted parahuman clades fulfilling their functions, all controlled by neuromongers - the penultimate instruments, grotesque and bloated mutants of impressive psionic capabilities and cerebromantic augments made for large-scale mentallic manipulation. Conquering human and inhuman nations alike, they expanded across thousands of systems and occupied a large swath of what would become the modern Fracture.

Perhaps the critical mass of psychic oppression became unstable, or the gradual emergence of natural-born espers among resisting populaces catalyzed a greater upheaval, or the introduction of contra-psionic tech by distant powers undermined their control. Either way, a mass revolution and psychic war broke out, culminating in the Cataclysm that brought about the Reignfall, the regime’s end that also overwhelmed the collective psyche of the entire war-ravaged region, corrupting information itself and erasing much of humanity’s recorded histories - along with that of what few alien societies remained. So the once-unified species balkanized into numerous socioculturally traumatized states, with detailed memories of the Earthreign and the homeworld itself lost to antiquity and the survivors left with only vague impressions they would hold in awe. Still, relic infrastructure, resources and weapons litter its former dominions, along with the lingering psychic scar on the populace’s collective unconscious.


Exilates

The bulk of humans who dwell in and around the Samtic Nexus are the descendants of Post-Earthreign exiles and refugees, whole branches of once-diverse panhumanity displaced by civilizational collapse and the psychosocial calcification of the Fracture. Others were orphaned esper and functionary clades too closely associated with the fallen empire, or were xeno-friendly polities worsted by rising humanist powers such as the Shepherds and the Grandeur of Auriga. Estranged from a more recognizable Fracture than the ancient Antikhûr, Exiles treat their former home with a melange of dread and longing and no small amount of romanticization, often portraying their eventual return in terms of retromyth and eschatology. However, Exiles also tend to integrate well into the modern Nexus, and their easy cosmopolitanism can make their insistent non-belonging seem pretentious. As the logic goes, one would not consider oneself Exiled if one didn't think about going back.

The Exilates are more loudly self-defined as a particular association of Exile rump polities and governments-in-exile who maintain themselves as panhumanity’s true inheritors. Upon the Third Terra of Alterre they hold their simultaneum parliaments, drawing upon any and all intelligence of the distant human sphere to pontificate upon its grand political course in their usurpers’ place. Such occasions for meeting and politicking are also used to draw together terran factions in the Nexus with an eye to building the same paraspecies-wide power blocs as the Vorri and the Daur - though many Exiles are just as repulsed by this display of hegemonic pantomime and prefer more direct forms of engagement, such as with the much reduced Demipelagos of the Ararat Rift bordering human space, or watching over young and flourishing inhuman clades whose home remains the Fracture. Of such note are the esper remnants banded into the Psi-Knight orders, dashing warriors clad in baroque bio-armor and wielding amplifier swords of living crystal to channel ancient psionic disciplines not seen since the Reignfall.



F


Feral / Favored Constellations

Many Myrrans fail to make it in the brutally competitive hierarchies of their Ascendency. Some even manage to escape alive into the wider galaxy, beyond the reach of their techno-feudal lieges, bearing shards of sun-smithed technology that by the average standards of said wider galaxy remain very formidable indeed. And of these outlaws and exiles, some accept service with less discriminating stellar powers who can offer luxury and protection. The remainder remain beholden to no law, reinventing themselves into reavers and void pirates without compare. If they shall not earn domination over all that they survey, at least they shall make themselves free from all things.

But this obsession to abide by none but the arbitrary cosmos has produced a strain of Myrran anarchy which is surprising keen to barter and gamble and throw their gilded decks open to supposedly inferior aliens, maintaining fate and fortune as the sole master of all. The monarchs of the Ascendency name such aberrations Feral, perpetuating unaccountably beyond their light, but the Constellations consider themselves Favored by the universe itself, having survived all the trials it has cast at them so far.


The Firmagence of Isopteric Guilds

The Firmageny counts itself as the most prominent and diverse Isopterid alliance of the Cascade, inextricably involved in the Freeworlds-Terranate conflict by the circumstances of its founding. Originally, Isopterid guilds stubbornly maintained a cache of fertile worlds in the Pyrrhon-ravaged region, each a surrogate of their sacred and lost homeworld. When humans came as a flood into the Cascade following the Reignfall, the more pragmatic or liberal guilds assisted the newcomers in taming the harsh region. But the colonists expanded and eventually, out of sheer necessity, appropriated the resources and technologies the Isopterids painstakingly developed over centuries, gradually marginalizing their hosts. This prompted the arachnids to join the pilgrims who would colonize the Laurentian arm of the region - but unfortunately, the cycle would repeat itself, and these once-respected Isopterid partners would again become displaced.

As Laurentian settlers warred against colonial syndicates and Freeworld authorities, the Isopterids - with their formidable biotechnologies - also made their stand against all sides. Over time, a majority of the guilds came to side with the Freeworlds as it was in a better position to compromise and meet their demands owing to their successes against the Laurentian Terranates, who in turn became increasingly insular with each defeat, prompting Isopterid guilds to cut their losses. The Laurentians saw this as a grievous betrayal, fueling further resentment and xenophobia, even as a dedicated minority of Isopterid loyalists remained in the Terranates after its secession. Those that chose neither side became the isolationist and fiercely independent Pureclades.

The modern Firmagence comprises independent guilds and those within the Freeworlds of Cascadia, now joined into a distinct Isopterid identity catalyzed by their colonial clashes. While the independents would rather keep all humans at political arm’s length, they are bound to their kin who comprise a significant minority in the Freeworlds, which has proven to be a worthy ally. As a whole they are highly influential in Freeworld culture and industry, having shared their knowledge with the humans to rejuvenate exhausted ecospheres and conserve resources - and in return, their human-hosted populations share in the blossoming cosmopolitanism and trade that now spreads to the corners of the Cascade and beyond.


Freeworlds of Cascadia

A crystallizing economic and ideological alliance between human polities in the Cascade. From refugees of the unravelling Earthreign and the abhuman dreamers of the fallen Terran Ascendency, bright seeds were planted of what humanity’s place in the cosmos can be. It took unprofitable colonial wars, the moral exhaustion of anti-Isopterid internment, and the reeling failure of the Laurentian project for the Cascadian worlds of old to embrace new models of society and accept the wisdom of their alien neighbors - most prominently, the second-class Isopterid populations in their own midst - truly rebirthing themselves as the Freeworlds of Cascadia.

The Freeworlds’ integrationist and progressive society reflects its diverse demographics encompassing many displaced human clades and also its fruitful relations with Isopterids, Kalaquel and other alien powers that share the Cascade, the esper Magi, as well as the fabled Solarian Sovereignty from beyond the veil. In turn, the trade and memetic interchange from such partners have enriched the Freeworlds beyond the need to mandate new colonies and impose interstellar mercantilism, the driver of so much conflict in the sadly recent past. The Freeworlds seeks to chart a path beyond the scars of the Fracture, to a future where humans can happily coexist with anything the universe can offer.

The price of the dream is the Freeworlds’ growing rift with the self-proclaimed Laurentian Terranates, a swath of secessionist colonies under the sway of militaristic xenophobes and radical humanist-originalists, now taking the very opposite path into the morass of the Fracture with their choice of ally in the ultra-militant roving Shepherd fleets. Curtailing the influence and containing the growth of the Terranates now consumes much of the Freeworlds’ policy - not only to honor its agreements with the Isopterid Guilds of Cascadia to preserve worlds from despoilment, but increasingly as a moral repudiation of its own past.


Forwardist Alignment of the Vorri March

Populous Vorri technates, cyber-republics and thalassic post-clans who represented their species’ impetus to join with the Samtic Nexus to better enjoy its techno-scientific fruits. These are the Vorri who took to answering the riddle of their nature, to unravel the discrete factors behind their morphable biologies and the environmental triggers behind them. This foundational philosophy bore a lineage of civilizations ruled by empiricism and experimentation, some threading the middle way between compulsive nature and coercive nurture; others presiding over pits of eugenic horror and ego-molded conformity equal to any contemporary regime not blessed with a literally malleable populace.

But in these days of a united species such history is recalled as the flowering height of Vorri civilization, even as the importation, imitation and assimilation of Samtic technology and culture was by then seen as progress, and that the political unity that led to the Alignment was a reaction to the looming multi-species cosmosystem that the Vorri found themselves defined by. In any case, their sins have died with their ancestors, and modern Forwardists can scarcely conceptualize a state where they were not enthusiastic drivers of the Nexus’ own paradigm of individual bio-transformation, or that the Nexus’ expertise in urban engineering and social planning used to be their own, won by the unbarred experimentation and bitter experience of their ancestors.

It is difficult to untangle the relationship between the decisions made throughout Vorri history to invest into the Samtic project and the slow biological adaptation to a technological environment defined by Samtic standards, a determinism driven by nature and science. A well-rounded Vorri of the Nexus, indelibly shaped by Forwardist ideas, can do all that was driven only by murky environmental triggers, plus a host of bodily technologies to integrate with alien symbiotes and local technosystems, free to find meaning from a past that has given them all the tools.




G


Gorok Phalanges

The brutal empire established by the Goroks after their emancipation from the Myrran, subsuming the species’ other polities and becoming a formidable great power within the Bounty region. After the revolution, the Goroks were courted and supported by Bragulan agents seeing the nation's’ potential as a powerful ally for their superpower. However, unknown to all, psychovore Traumfänger began infiltrating the Goroks’ collective unconsciousness - infesting their psychospheres and dreamspaces, secretly taking control of them. The Goroks purged their former advisors and began a wave of expansion throughout their corner of the Bounty, aided by their vast populations and weaponized agriformation technology, supposedly to strengthen their nation and protect themselves from another Myrranni invasion or subjugation by regional rivals like the Sajit’satyk and the Samtic behemoth. With their military intelligence, command and control bolstered by the Traumfänger, the Phalangists overtake planets with unsubtle waves of power-armored infantry from lithowarfare platforms that are nigh-impossible to dislodge after planetfall, turning the very ground against its defenders.

In their great Reforging, the Phalanges have become a living rejection of all the alien ideological influences of their history, contrary yet familiar. Rude folklore is elevated to founding mythology in defiance of Myrranni captivity and in contempt of Myrranni refinement; satykarmic castes and other subjugated social orders are reformulated in anticipation of the environmental niches of an abstruse future utopia, promising of not only conquest but the creation of literal paradises enamoring urban masses; peasantry Gorok and alien alike drawn to the warrior classes seeking said rewards must conform to a harsh martial subculture presided by tribunes and primals themselves bound to mystery cults revering spirits and idols that have taken strange new life; and Phalangist leaders comport themselves as but humble philosopher-gardeners, yet wield the same absolute power as their former overlords. The influence of the Traumfänger has heightened this hypocrisy greatly - literal barriers of cognitive dissonance ensure that they believe all this, yet go home to their dachas and heed the voices in their heads to feed the parasites dominating their society with unceasing conquest.


Grandeur of Auriga

Officially the Grandeur of Auriga and Avancore. A great power in the Fracture ruled by a diarchy of the throneworlds of Auriga and Avancore and their respective networks of vassals. It is perhaps the Fracture state with the oldest roots, with transhuman nobility tracing their lines to the Earthreign and forming the ruling classes. House Auriga arose from the chaos of the early Fracture, acquiring an arsenal of archeo-weapons and overthrowing Samtic puppet-regimes by the innate superiority of their blood. This endeared the Aurigans to the region’s alien-ravaged populaces, enabling their union with neighboring House Avancore, whose merchant colonies spanned the early Fracture and made ideal naval bases to stage the Grandeur’s later expansions. With the fealty of more and more Houses arising out of post-Reignfall barbarism, the idiosyncratic institution would grow into a baroque and wide-flung empire.

Interlocking transhuman aristocracies form the bricks of the Grandeur, itself a garden to allow diverse lineages of hyper-savants, specialized espers and puissant mutant Sidereals far removed from baseline humanity to survive, and even flourish, in the Fracture’s repressive psycho-miasma. Under the gaze of the diarchy, the noble houses forge kinships and maintain pedigrees through merger and marriage-contract, and contribute to the common empire with the well-cultivated talents of their scions. Through this Houses are rewarded with the Grandeur’s holdings, lofty honor symbolized by beast-sigils and the actual accompanying post-animal familiars - felines, griffons and such, even dragons - and the awe and homage of the commoner populace.

The modern Grandeur is a conservative superpower with the most formidable military in the region, its armada patrolling the Fracture and Cascade, safeguarding (or intimidating into compliance) its many colonies and repulsing threats such as pirates, insurrectionists and aliens. In the region its might is only rivaled by NEUROM, besides them its relations with the Hyperpacifican secessionists and the Samtic Nexus are frigid, while other Fracture states have marginally workable ties with the hegemon due to shared interests and the convenience of using each other to balance greater threats. This current age of prosperity - affecting mostly the aristocracy - has relaxed the traditionally ruthless inter-house politics, the respite in shadow and not-so-shadowy wars enabling the imperial gene-archivists, hyper-savants and Avestavra magi councilors to expand their roles in secular society and even influence the commory.



H


Harrowed Hrlgtuhe Hegemonies

Hrlg empires that once stood tall and defiant even during the age of Apexaia. In their heyday they dared to reject the Grey Ones’ mandate and turn away their emissaries, opting instead to carve their own domain by wrapping the insular Desthej and Oolycyst sun-cultists in the grasp of their talons. Yet the Vielren of Xolom and the pre-Byzonic Atomtzars threatened to constrain their ambition for the sake of supposed harmony, while the socio-memetic madness of the Shleraac Feasts and their Kalaquelle thralls’ racket destabilized their culture. So did the Hrlg treat with another ancient force, the Raptured Lords who bestowed their rulers with the puissance to withstand their foes’ assaults.

Thus the Hallowed Hegemonies began, each led by a Witch-King imbued by and channeling the divine will of their people to rebuff the Shleraac and stalemate the Grey Ones’ kowtowers. But as centuries passed these eldritch rulers sought more might and through arcane means risked extracting the source of Raptured divinity… with disastrous consequences, for they were smote for breaking their covenant - reduced to ashen husks and writhing emberous shades. Yet trappings of the old pact remained, as the gifted puissance collectively devolved to the Hrlg themselves, coalescing their people’s spirit into a Neuro-Dogma binding them to each other and warding off mentallic influences. Thus the abstract will of the old masters remained and in time new lieges rose to reclaim their mandate and don their cindery Lord-Husks almost by compulsion - reviving their symbolism if not their true might. So the Hrlgtuhe continued to bay at the Apexai’s gates - bent on fulfilling their destiny and sensing the ancients’ growing weakness.

In the end, however, it was not they who finally laid the Grey Ones low, but the Bragulans who renounced their old benefactors, came under the singular rule of their Imperator and shattered the gates of heaven. Ironically, as the Apexaian realms were ransacked, so too were the Hegemonies harrowed by the brutes who never forgot the ancient grudges between their peoples. So too did the Desthej wreak their revengeance, and also the Oolycysts. Now their worlds are ruins, continuously ravaged by alien invaders with the survivors struggling to subsist in the irradiated ash or scattering across the K-Zone to exist maladaptively among strange alien societies - their Neuro-Dogma perceiving the foreign ways as incoherent barbarism. Yet rumors persist of a shadow nation continuing on deep in the wastes, an obscurocracy casting its lot with another timeless force, seeking to rekindle the flames of the old witch-kings and harness the old puissance to strike back at their Bragulan oppressors.


Heteroplex

Officially the Dominion of the Hekkakra, a Cascadian empire rising on the wings of both trade and proselytization. As overseen by its Hirado master, the Dominion leverages the propitious hypertech and the bottomless coffers typical to the Raptured Lords to create commerce from nothing, becoming a consumer of goods and labor voracious enough to drive the economic dynamics of the entire region. It is not an obscure rumor that the Hirado-Prophet was once a rogue Sajit from the far-off Bounty, remade by pilgrimage and revelation aboard its patron’s Massjammer, reformulating satykarmic theory to be a new light far beyond its homeland and the foundation for the ultimate immanent paradise.

The Prophet is the holy mountain at the heart of the cult-polity, the exemplar of all virtue and the promulgator of all wisdom. From its edicts, worlds are rebuilt into prayer-paradises warded by hyperspatial sorceries and servitor-clergy wielding living holy symbols. While all inhabitants within may abide in pastoral bliss, they are also encouraged to pass trials of virtue, gradually acquiring the mental and bodily enhancements to unlock grander vistas of enlightenment until they may one day attend to the Prophet itself as agents of its metakarma. Bodhisattva-administrators of their domains, themselves extensions of the Prophet’s mind and facets of its virtue, carefully manage their simulated purgatories so even those on both sides of deadly moral conflict learn the required lessons. No expense is spared by the Hekkakra for the realization of their ideal vision, which the Prophet openly invites the oppressed and the dispossessed to be part of as long as they can abide by paradise’s strictures.

The Heteroplex also hosts the Cascade’s greatest bazaar from its outermost ports, connected into one profane expanse by miraculous technology and incorruptible arbiters. As Hekkakran docents escort immense streams of raw material and souls to the inner realms, treasures not seen in cosmic ages emerge to meet mortal eyes. Freeworlds can satisfy their growing xenophilia on gnomic tomb-curios, while Terranates find their unprocessed exports lucrative enough to obliviate any painful corrections to their present course. Incentive moves entire worlds and mighty forces are energized with coin to dash against one another, to the presumed entertainment of the Heteroplex’s ultimate patron.


Holy Scale Nomad-Branches

Zigonian wanderers who share and exchange ways with the countless societies they encounter across the cosmos. Like their Tsorra-Mahl cousins they practice a syncretistic faith but due to their dedication to their martyred savior they could not put aside one doctrinal difference with the other Harmonies. While the Nomads aided in the world-restoration, when the time came they took to space in a pilgrim-quest to find their ascended redeemer - which doubled as a survey mission for viable colonies on behalf of the Tsorra-Mahl, whose blessings they received.

While the Harmonies and the Shleraac had their bloody reunion, the Nomads were bound for other vectors, in psi-chedelic trances within tree-arks surfing the hypercurrents, meeting and befriending strange species. In one oddly fortuitous contact, a Branch came across humans for the first time, refugees fleeing the Earthreign, sigil-worshipping clerics whose sacred martyr was so much like the Nomads’ savior that they adopted him as an incarnation. The clerics dwindled even as they upheld their chaste-vows (such devotion that moved the reptilians to cry biologically-impossible tears!), so when the Fracture’s psychotrauma erased humanity’s histories, the Nomads became the last ones bearing recollections of the mythic and now-Zigonianized paleo-Christ and such archaeo-lore, heirlooms they ritualistically reenact in reverence - which modern man dismisses as preposterous tales made up by hallucinogen-huffing iguana-people.

In the centuries since, the Nomads continue to be cosmo-philanthropists, missionaries, decadent xenopagans corrupting pure-mind societies, meddling mystic lizards with their forked tongue-songs rousing rabbles and moving masses. They still seek their savior, knowing that the search will never end… and journing precisely because of that, returning to Zhigonra every few decades to visit the Precipice to the Savior’s Ascent - the sanctuary of their genesis.


Hyperpacifica

A clade-Ocean of the Samtic Nexus, composed originally of humans of the Sidereal Houses who rejected the choking hierarchy of Grand Auriga and the increasing bioconservatism that pervaded the calcifying Fracture. The morphological permissiveness and the abundant waterworlds of the Nexus to which they fled represent a far more tempting environment in which to perfect their genetic talents, and they have scarcely looked back since. Little remains of the aristocratic social structures and genetic exclusivity that once marked them as Aurigan transhuman nobility, and the Hyperpacifica exists as loose groupings of bohemian nomads who demand little and claim even less from the Nexus’ common waters. Their minimal materialism and carefree lifestyle cloaks a deceptively resilient biology capable of traversing oceans and surviving astounding pressures. The Hyperpacifica shares its parent nation’s use of post-animal familiars, though in more mutable and gelatinous forms.



I


Instrumentality of Unequal Lussehk

An old but resurging power in the heart of the K-Zone centered on the Desthej homeworld Lussehk and encompassing clusters of fortified sectors. Unequal Lussehk derives its name from its social order, a communalism drawing from how Desthej see their kin and themselves simultaneously as individuals and appendages - by extension each other’s limbs and, thus, instruments of will. A periodic Choosing By All - wherein Desthej are tested, ranked and selected by conclaves - elevates Archons to oversee society and governance. Highest are the Empiricals, psi-blank mutants tasked with seeking objective reality and untainted by subjective sentiment and mentallic manipulations - a sacred role for beings that grew under the shadow of Apexaia and their Vieleren intercession, and the Hrlgtuhe witch-kings. Below them are multifarious specialist Instrumentals, including psions highly restricted due to the taboo on their abilities.

The modern Instrumentality was forged in the Long Suffering, when Hrlgtuhe and Oolycyst infidels carved out portions of Desthej space as their own. The subjugation and societal destabilization caused an ideological hardlining among the Lussehktya elites who resisted the alien invaders and tightened their grip on what remained theirs… which, in turn, fueled the long-simmering resentment of outlying systems untouched by war.

When the Qylathics reeled from Karlack blights and the Hrlgtuhe Hegemonies were obliterated by the Bragulan onslaught, the Desthej made their revengeance and began reclaiming what was theirs, repaying their old foes with interest. This opportunism was, in turn, used by Bragule to its advantage, forming an alliance with Lussehk which proceeded to subjugate its alien subjects with a reconstituted form of Byzonist ideology - deeming the infidels unworthy of the high complexities of Instrumentality. Ultimately this totalitarianism caused the outright separation of the colonies called the Far Strider Nations, distant anti-Instrumentals who adopted alien concepts and heretically rejected Lussehk’s objective wisdom at their own peril.


Irenic Heritances of the Hume-Anethgae

A federation born from the Anethgan colonies and infrastructure that survived the Reignfall and the ensuing chaos by leveraging their expertise in terraformative logistics to prosper and gradually incorporate neighbors and refugees into a larger and stabler polity. This orderly approach allowed them to develop defenses formidable enough to fend off the gene-tyrants, humanist pogroms, technobarbarians, esper and xeno threats plaguing the Fracture’s early centuries. Such crises saw the rise of the Lady Anethga heroine figures, mythic warrior-leaders who turned the meek horticorps into worthy protectors, and whose feats formed the ideal for generations of ruling Inheritrices to come.

After an esper cabal seeking Earthreign archeo-psionics nearly plunged the Heritances, Sternheim and the Mandragan Principles into a great war, the powers established an uneasy peace with the New Remembrance Accords to end the mentallic menace. Then, perhaps after recognizing themselves in each other, seeing the sociocultural direction derived from discipline and methodical organization, or perhaps in how the two powers just had proper infrastructure, the Anethgae and Sternheim became the nascent bloc’s mutual counterbalances, with the prideful Mandragans in between as their outsourced intermediaries of violence.

Anethgan forge-fortresses, alloyed with Sternheimer rationalization, are the model for NEUROM’s internal development, with diverse populations concentrated into urban units beholden to Anethgan jurisprudence and economic institutions. With the encroachments of Grand Auriga, the Samtic aliens and Magi witches, this precarious arrangement became cemented, growing and evolving into the byzantine, machiavellian NEUROM. But even after their hard-fought victories and conquests, the allies continue to vie, conspire and sometimes even war against each other in the hopes of dominating their supposed equals. To survive in this doghouse, the Anethgans must play the game as best they can and rely on their strengths as builders and cultivators, in contrast to the raw ambition and chauvinistic aggression their partners embody.



J


Joining of Plurispeciestic Planets

A relatively young polity that started as an alliance of Ygrd polities from the world Oraw, then known as the Planetary Joining, before first contact with the L’cthei sea nations of Medjial in the adjacent star system. Trade, cultural exchange and the lack of conflicting interests resulted in relatively warm relations, the soft uplifting of the L’cthei and an eventual multiplanetary alliance as the both peoples came to realize the scope of the greater galaxy and the dangers lurking in the void - Pyrrhon Slaughts chief among them.

The Joining is the embodiment of the non-confrontational non-zero-sum diplomacy-focused policies developed during the Ygrd-L’cthei contact. At the same time it has been steadily developing a robust self-defense capability using indigenous equipment and imported tech. Over time it has become a middling power including Isopteric Relicts that shied away from the Guilds of Cascadia, some Kalaquelle colonies and nomadic Joxnd Voyages, as well as human worlds from neither the Freeworlds nor the Terranates. This growth has led it its exposure to and dealings with the region’s elder power, the Vaosich Superbias, which shares the Joining’s Pyrrhon concerns; those perpetual rivals, the Freeworlds and the Terranates, the latter anxious over a rising alien power; and the grand interstellar bazaar that is the Heteroplex.

The Ygrd’s shared ancestry with the Zel and the Ruun have resulted in relations with the Kwit-Zel Recursions and the Gantrine Ruun. The Joining’s position and strategic potential has also attracted Bragulan attention, and corresponds with a sudden proliferation of both proponents of Inhumanism and Byzonism, followed by the inevitable Bragtech arms deals. Even pan-Cascadian bodies such as ICEMI have chosen to make Medjial their headquarters, as the Joining is regarded as a neutral and unbiased party, bringing the attendant interstellar bustle to cement the Joining's prosperity for a while yet.


K


Kiths of High Kheler

The largest known federation of Khelerene kiths, forged from the impossible dream of a bygone kithleader to reunite all Kheler across space and time as their own teleological mythology promised. With wholehearted support from the Samtics, a handful of kiths embarked upon a quest to contact every constituent of the Khelerene diaspora and offer them a safe place within the nascent Nexus. The result was High Kheler, a mighty pluripresent union that finds its strength in the consolidation of Khelerene perspectives and destinies. From their vantage at the fulcrum of their species’ long history, hyper-prognostic Ancestor Cores and Unconditional oracles groomed from illustrious founder kiths corroborate all event-information and determine the grand course of their collective karmic momentum.

High Kheler is composed of an innumerable variety of kiths: the Refuge, who sculpt idyllic arboreal landscapes to accommodate all who tire of strife, anchoring the Khelerene soul to better things; the Talonworlds, bastions of tradition and determination against Myrranni aggression; and the Murders, who abandon self-sufficiency to hone themselves into the Nexus’ finest warfleets, perfecting strategies to achieve maximum effect while eternally outnumbered - lightning fleet actions, efficient guerilla operations, and the raising of deniable proxy agents among other species. Dwelling in the Nexus has allowed kiths to evolve into specialized niches within the sprawling meta-civilization without compromising their identities, and perhaps overly so.

Beyond the Nexus, kiths that are unwilling to sacrifice their independence may nevertheless be affiliated with High Kheler as long as they conduct their actions rightly, come to mutual aid, and recognize the numerous orthodoxies collated and proclaimed by the Unconditionals. It is not easy to bar the passage of a needle-nosed Khelerene starship, and the tools through which High Kheler can fulfil its inexorable teleologies, from still-nomadic kiths to sleeper agents to teleology-cult adherents in the Bounty and the Fracture, are endlessly broad.



L


League of Laurentian Terranates

An alliance of conservative states that wrested their independence from Cascadia of old. From humble beginnings as resource colonies and demographic dumping grounds for the groaning human homeworlds of the Cascade, the first Laurentians were pioneers braving a cosmos of unsympathetic aliens and scarcely better overseers. Against the Isopterids’ insidiously engineered biospheres they claimed new homes and untold riches, only to be handed over to distant rapacious sponsor corporations imposing their unequal logic. When the colonies rose up and claimed the sovereignty that they were owed, they also refounded themselves as the Terranates, asserting humanity's right to exist in dignity even if it is besieged on all sides by devolution and degeneracy, to dare to dream of green earth without compromise.

The League stands as a congress of equals, joint by common vision and mutual defense pacts regardless of style or manner of polity. But standing beyond them as an eternal constellation are the Liefs and the Dukems: the former being the inheritors of Laurentia’s formidable colonial industries who now steer them in service to the settler and the minuteman, arming them for a struggle that may never end; the latter, immortal figures who earned their legends with their contributions to the Laurentian revolution, and who maintain the political influence - or military resources - to correct the course of the nations they helped found.

There is no reconciliation between Laurentia and Cascadia as long as the latter continues to treat the former as errant colonies to be subdued. The so-called Freeworlds remain unrepentant even as they are seduced into empty profligacy and cosmopolitanism by perfidious Isopterid Guilds, machinating Magi, and debased abhuman invaders from beyond the Veil. There are few in the cosmos who seem to share the Terranates’ commitment to human values, but allies have been made of the similarly embattled Shepherd fleets from the Fracture, who are all too glad to trade their hardwon naval prowess for Laurentian resources and bases, resulting in the formation of the Mutual Assured Retaliatory Regional Enhanced Defense pact - MARRED.



M


Magi

The antithesis of the Ministry of Fate and one of the principal alignments in the psychic conflicts of the Fracture. During the massive anti-psyker pogroms that followed the Reignfall, the Magi moved to protect, train and nurture gifted individuals while maintaining humanistic, philanthropic idealism as opposed to the Ministry’s militant supremacism. The Magi themselves form an uncountable number of factions and organizations, reflective of the vision of its ascended founder, the Sophia, who believed in the freedom of choice, the goddess of infinite possibilities, rather than the seizure of fate and the creation of destiny embraced by the All-Father. By her touch a Magi is elevated from the common esper, granted the potential to seize the stage of entire societies and do battle with its collected psycho-trauma, until humanity’s collective soul can be healed and its old sins atoned for.

But such potential only ever began as potential. Many chronicles have traced the footsteps of the Sophia and her earliest disciples, back when reality was still shattered glass, and found a slow and tentative tempo of knowledge and purpose as generations of Magi discovered methods to bequeath the totality of their psionic power to chosen successors, or achieve a state of spiritual immortality like their founder, allowing their numinous shades to advise and inspire Magi to come. From such patient cultivations come the awesome might of today’s Magi, who manifest the legacy of countless predecessors in the form of Graces and Virtues: inviolable avatars of pure psychocosmic substance that reflect the truths of the Magi’s soul - no matter how beauteous or daemonic.

Magi, even those entirely undiscovered and unmentored by Councilar tradition, are extraordinary figures in the societies they dwell, taking the guise of heroes, idols and terrifying witches amid the interplay of the Fracture’s psychosocial currents. Of all espers they are perhaps the most vulnerable to losing their selfhood, and have the most to risk dragging with them if they fall. Magi in a locality weigh combining their influence to transform the Fracture with respecting the determination of all as they would their own blossoming souls, repeating an age-old dilemma that has already left behind complex bodies of doctrine enshrined in religions and academies and grand diplomatic councils across known space. The greatest and most prestigious Magi association of all may be the Aurigan Avestavra, though the Meridian Institute also claims a fair share of trusthseeking Magi within its ranks, and many simply align their talents with polities that will have them.


Meridian Institute

A foundation dedicated to scientific advancement governing a small but prosperous cluster of star nations in the Fracture. The organization was formed to stymie the effects of the Psychic Cataclysm and disintegration of the Earthreign and assist recovering Fracture states by serving as a repository of knowledge, research and development. Part prestigious center of higher education and research, part sovereign state, Meridia was an oasis of stability during the initial balkanization of the Fracture and remains a bastion of reason. This head start has yielded a technological base that manufactures and exports advanced technology unsurpassed within the Fracture, affording the Institute what it needs to support its mission.

Meridian scholars are at the forefront of inquiry, aiming to discern panhumanity’s big picture with a minimum of blinkerment - a thus far herculean task. Their field agents excel at navigating the tumultuous psychohistorical landscapes of their neighbors, slipping unobtrusively from context to guise with their mastery of applied memetics; while those who make their presences known wear unmistakable white Mantles, reputedly able to shield their wearers from mephitic memeologies. The Institute attracts panhumanity’s best and brightest; open minds that could thrive nowhere else in the Fracture. Even the most ill-informed Treewalker tribes may have some vague conception of Meridia as a mythic place to quest for wisdom.

Due to their impartiality and rationality, their Space Service has semi-reluctantly become the prefered peacekeeper force in the Fracture. What the Meridians and their assets lack in size and quantity they make up with quality above par in the Fracture. At the same time, historic missteps, such as unethical experimentation-happy Calibrationist offshoots, psionic test subjects gone rogue, archeotechnologists-turned-orgone robber barons and more, have led the modern Meridian Institute to maintain a measured approach to its activities, dissuading it from becoming too assertive or exploitative of its advantages lest it jeopardize its standing amongst its fickle Fracture neighbors.


Meridian Magisteria

The Meridian Institute has long realized the principle of dependency - even the worthiest of intellects rest upon the muck of labor, and all the indexed wisdom of past ages is hollow if it cannot provide for the psycho-traumatized masses on Meridia’s very doorstep - and if the Institute must rule, it must do so with all due effort and integrity. Many scienticians refuse to participate in anything that smacks of administration and cloister themselves in automated laboratories, or even abdicate the Institute entirely to pursue more abstract conundrums across the cosmos. But it was clear that in order to maintain an island of reason and technology amid the Fracture, borders must be drawn, defenses accordingly raised, and efforts made to organize something of a self-sustained social economy.

Meridian-administered magisteria can be divided into two broad categories: the secular infrastructure that directly supports the sprawling departments and colleges of the Institute proper, and the polities run as social science experiments to find applicable lessons for the wider Fracture. The former are subordinate to the needs of science in the same way practicality is often subordinate to purity of principle in Meridia, subjected to models of governance that change with fashion and the fallout of distant academic power struggles. Yet, they may consider themselves elevated over those who merely serve as experimental subjects, sometimes even unknowingly, under imperfect theories and deliberately distorted conditions for survival.

Magisteria are exercises in restraint and minimal footprinting, worldly entities that must fit under the Institute’s aegis of unsullied neutrality. Some Meridian magister-provosts are so committed to non-interference that their charges are virtually autonomous, developing their own industries and trade networks with the greater Fracture, as long as a degree of arms-length impartiality is observed. Such independent magisteria often accumulate considerable power as vital nodes in the greater Meridian knowledge economy, but are ever scrutinized for signs of the developing profit-motive that cast the Shen Rhapsody astray. At the other extreme, Magisteria describe no more than the diffident relationship between a paradisiacal Meridian enclave and a world’s worth of sprawling boomtowns, showered with technological largesse as long as they can meet the export quotas.


Ministry of Fate

Officially NEUROM’s Trilateral Ministry of Fate-Preservation, the vast joint intelligence agency is actually an elaborate masquerade concealing a secretive cabal of espers initially formed to protect their kind during the pogroms of the Fracture, centuries before the conception of the New Remembrance Accords that led to the NEUROM. These esper conspirators radicalized under the leadership of their All-Father, who believed in using his and his disciples’ prodigious psychic powers to control their destinies and their fates, in a bid to transcend the psychotrauma of the Fracture and elevate espers to their rightful place above the mundane masses of humanity - or at least, this is what they are taught as the face of the All-Father’s labyrinthine agenda.

Without the willingness to individually exalt aspirants like the Magi, the Ministry relies on the teaching of esoteric and consumptive mentallic disciplines, alchymies and psychovore-husbandry exploiting the Fracture’s instability or augmenting psionic capacities, a potent and dangerous cache of cosmic superweapons developed in secret defiance of Fracture-wide arms control treaties, and endless fronts and catspaws secured by psionic domination under the cover of mass obliviation. Not all Ministers can rely on the privilege of such tools; most are barely better than pawns themselves, ensnared in a culture of secrecy and ruthlessness that does not reveal its rules. Even senior Ministers may find such terrifying assets turned against themselves one day, by the displeasure of the All-Father or the schemes of their peers.

The Ministry’s greatest and most powerful front is NEUROM itself, subverting the alliance so thoroughly that its treaty-enforcing apparatus is synonymous with the conspiracy, and its myriad agents unknowingly serving the agenda of the Ministry proper. Here, in this playground of power and souls, Ministers find the latitude to clash and maneuver over how to best serve an irresistible godhead that they may never have seen for themselves, diverging into numerous sects driven by their vision of the All-Father’s true goals while fighting the war of temporal influence against meddling Magi, rival powers and all the resistance from a seemingly human-inimical cosmos.


Myrranni Ascendancy

A techno-feudal hierarchy centered on the mythical Queen With No Soul who dwells in the emptiness at the core of Myrr space. Beneath her are the Celestial Courts, a pantheon of hermetic demi-deities inhabiting palaces within suns and stars, more interested in projecting their thought-selves into the aether or listening to the songs of wisps than the plight of their peasantry, who see the enigmatic Celestials as nearly mythical as the Queen herself. Beneath them are the vicerenes, contessas, duchesses, moongraves and baronesses who rule with correspondingly and begrudgingly less isolation and rank, commanding worlds and realms populated by peasants haplessly confined with their kin in terrestrial squalor.

The aristocracy is a struggle to ascend to the Celestial Court and gain the ultimate solitude and dominance they crave, and each eponymous ascension into glorious solar godhood is also a planet-sterilizing sacrament, decisively severing the last of the ascendant’s terrestrial fetters - and incinerating her remaining rivals. Such is their antisociality, etched unto the very fiber of their beings, that Mindhunter cadres and contra-psyk insulations ensure the courts protection from the anathema of psionics, and even the few attendants there are wear mirrormask grafts, so their very visages reflect the ascendant’s own. The more exalted a Myrran, the more likely she is wrapped in a sphere of technology that answers to her will alone and entirely insulates her from the awareness that other minds exist.

Though disorganized and hopelessly prone to rivalries and internecine clashes, the Myrranni Ascendency with its solar technologies constitutes a highly advanced military power that treats aliens even worse than its own populace. Aspiring conquistadores often prey on hapless species near Myrran space, leading to conflicts with polities such as the Khelerene kiths of the Samtic Nexus and the Sajit’satyk of the Bounty, and such only represent the efforts of privileged individuals and their small entourages. Few threats manage to pierce the solipsism of the Celestial Courts such that they call forth the Golden Hunt - a host terrifying enough to underwrite the supremacy of the Myrran species and the ascended deities’ place within it.



N


Nova Meropia

A Calibrationist society born from Meridian scientists who in isolation became eccentric and regarded as heterodox by Institutional techno-traditions and exemplars of the faith by their Apostolic counterparts. The peculiarity began with the discovery of robotic relics from the Earthreign, many of which were designed to contain humans and were either Hosts ruled by their occupants, unfilled vessels with synthetic intelligences desiring to be like their makers, or Freemind revanchists who uploaded themselves to avoid psionic control. Brought out of No-Vaults after centuries of stasis, they were revered by Meropians who believed that they were immune from the Psychic Cataclysm’s taint and offered a path to escape the quagmire of irrationality drowning humankind.

Forgetting that the human mindstates within underwent numerous incarnations, unaware that organic and digital minds alike were not immune to the Fracture and thus susceptible to maladaptions and dysmorphias, the naïve technocultists came to see the relics’ traits and glitches as inscrutable signs of posthuman superiority. Just as the replacement of eyes marks the human initiates’ first step to true objectivity, with the subsequent substitution of flesh mirroring the machines’ liberation from the Human Sin, likewise the old Hosts began replacing their components with flesh to re-attain the Human Communion - both converging in the middle, from robot to man, and from man to robot, and from robot to man again; until it is impossible to say which was which. Highest among these are the Administrons of the Mainframe, a cybercosm wherein the most profound technotheological deliberations occur. First among these assembled humes and mecha is Killia Hue, the Queen Murdertron and Most Rational Apostrix.

Unsurprisingly, Nova Meropia has had more than a few vicious conflicts with the obsolescent Shepherds and NEUROM nearby - meatbags in dire need of final deletion - each war further fueling their mutual animosity and paranoia. To the rest of the Fracture, the Meropians are either seen as experiment-happy techno-terrors or curious cyborg cranks exporting odd, intricate but nonetheless impressive tech for mostly military, contra-psionic and neuro-control applications… with ethical implications causing no amount of unease amongst their Meridian counterparts.


NEUROM

A Fracture superpower founded by Sternheim, the Anethgan Heritances and the Mandragan Principles. It rivals Grand Auriga’s hegemony and is viewed by lesser neighbors as a collection of dictatorships, ultramilitant xenophobes and dysfunctional hume-clades only barely less of a threat to each other than to outsiders who do not pay their dues. But such views ignore the scale of the edifice built from the founders’ intertwined history of initial conflicts, a narrowly averted great war after esper conspirators nearly reactivated Earthreign archeo-psionics and a tense ceasefire as the founders ended the mutual threat.

The fragile but ambitious New Remembrance Accord, named after the world holding the archeo-weapon, would continue to be honored as greater threats emerged, such as Aurigan expansionism and Samtic xeno-interventions. It eventually evolved and consolidated into the modern NEUROM with a de facto ruling body: the transnational affairs-managing Central Organ for Trilateral Exchange (CORTEX) - a fractious parliament of rooks bound by a tissue of mutual interest. However, the pact’s scrupulously amemetic structure ironically blinded it to eventual subversion by the esper supremacists of the Ministry of Fate, which on paper serves as the Trilateral Ministry of Fate-Preservation, the secret police/intelligence agency which guards the old accord from psionic violations, but in perverse actuality uses NEUROM’s vast overarching might for their own ends, even during the superstate’s formation.

On the surface, the alliance remains a fractious coalition of warlords and despots, their subjects held quiescent with distributed plunder, threats of force, paralyzing paranoia, and sometimes the outright use of reality-warping cognometrics. But even beneath the veneer of order, wars are waged in the hidden halls of power by stalking factions, conspiracies move their networks of pawns within and out, and the very roots of the alliance seem grown to strangle each other. And beyond that, perhaps only glimpsable to the Ministry of Fate and its higher echelons, are the perpetual cycles of conquest and conflict embedded like an engine of unreal scale into the sum of the superpower’s movements, driving it to unknown ends.



O


Orb Weavers’ Tapestry

A polity-clade of Isopterids that began as wanderers in the Bounty before encountering misfortune in the form of the Myrran. They eventually broke free during the Weavers’ Rebellion when the artisan arthropods emulated Myrranni cosmic technologies to create hyperstrings - exotic matter strands infused with dimensional forces - that ensnared their oppressors and cocooned them to their suns. Modern Weavers dwell in space habitats spun from these fabrics, which also comprise their hyperspatial defense grids and the storied but elusive “silk roads,” channels for quicker transit dangling in the ether. Weavers have biomodular specializations for space life that make them more gracile than their “Masonic” cousins.

In the uprising, the Weavers formed an unlikely friendship with Cryst facets disturbed by the Myranni’s solar experiments. Select Weaver heroes were blessed with crystomorphosis and serve as a bridge between the Isopterids and the strange polyfractal beings who mentored them in the ways of circumventing Myrran suncraft. The society born from this alliance came to be known as the Orb Weavers’ Tapestry and exists to this age, adrift in the quiet spaces of the Bounty, between the Myrranni Ascendancy, the Samtic Nexus and the Sajit Ranges, cautious but welcoming to travelers who come in peace while continuously defying the Myrran with their very existence. Yet more paranoid Weavers have split off to create their own martialized orders known as the Recluses, lethal void-hermits sworn to return to the Tapestry in its time of greatest need.




P


Paneidonion Congress

A loosely affiliated group of Vorri polities who collectively form a member of the Samtic Nexus. Instead of embracing the natural Lamarckism of Vorri, the Congress inherits the age-old philosophy that there is a singular ideal form for a Vorri to inhabit, and that any adaptation from it is but deviation. For the longest time in Vorri history such a philosophical lineage was quietist, even quixotic, against the dynamism of accelerating civilization, never forming the banner of any successful hegemon in the species’ earlier eras. It was only until the age of the Nexus, in a time of peace and exchange and sufficiently advanced technology, that congregants of the Ideal Form were able to mold the Vorri body to their liking and construct the perfectly homeostatic environment in which to maintain it.

The Congress is a collection of roving cityships, each hosting millions of content, nigh-identical souls; each a model society borrowing Forwardist science for its construction, each incorporated into a united pantheon of archetypes through meta-psychology inspired by Satykarmic theory. Insular yet unabashedly utopian, the Paneidonions lend weight to similar thalassan-utopian trends within Nexus civilization by their very presence.


Profligacies of Shleraac

Scattered inheritors of the ancient Feast that consumed ancient Zhigonra and went forth into the stars, subsuming alien societies in a cognomemetic smorgasbord, indulgences that warp identities, cultures and perception itself at a breakneck pace to form an altered and transcendent reality where material, flesh and minds blur in ecstacy - an impossible and irresistible haven. But such indulgence proved unsustainable, depleting worlds just as it did their home, destabilizing nearby civilizations to the brink of collective madness, and ultimately forcing an alliance of Tsorra-Mahl Zigonians and other peoples to end the existential bacchanal.

Now these ultra-hedonist Zigonian spellbinders and their adherents are few and scattered. Yet with their obscure Profligacies, wandering Wild Space or taking root in tumultuous worlds, they continue to upend communities and bring unthinkable vistas into existence - drawing wayward, desperate, and untamable souls seeking to be freed in that sensuous banquet. Chief among these splinters are the Trifex Sibilants who have carved a niche in treacherous Cevaucia. Despite their defeat, the Shleraac’s legacy has left its mark on its enemies: those of the old Feasts who repented and returned to the Tsorra-Mahl where their diluted practices were incorporated, even budding off in bustling Solaris, anarchic Cevauk, the Desthej Far Striders and among the Kalaquelle Clans whose songs still carry the rhythms of the old madness.


Principles of the Unyielding Mandragorae

After the Reignfall, liberated Mandragorans formed havens beyond the realms of their fallen oppressors, but their newfound peace was fleeting. Warrior discipline proved insufficient as most of these fledgeling states either fell victim to their own martial hyperspecialization and disintegrated into warlordism, were overthrown by their non-martial Civis underclasses, succumbed to pogroms or assimilated by their neighbors. The remnants, the strongest Mandra societies that hadn’t neglected civilization’s non-martial rudiments, banded together out of sheer necessity. From the inevitable infighting emerged the visionaries who would guide them with both martial brilliance and an ethos elevating them from crude warlordism, an honor code and law enshrined as the Precepts of the Princeps: the Princepts. This would be the bedrock from which their people would rise to their destined greatness and formed the unified and Unyielding Principles.

It was during this resurgence that they crossed paths with the Anethgan Heritances and the Sternheim. The seemingly pacific cultivator-clades proved resistant to reincorporation and far from defenseless while the descendants of deserters unveiled a surprisingly formidable and technologically-advanced military. A narrowly-averted great war spurred by esper revanchists seeking Earthreign archeo-psionics led to the New Remembrance Accords, which over the centuries became the dysfunctional NEUROM bloc as the members begrudgingly cooperated to fend off mutual threats even as they continued to spar.

The resulting near-perpetual war economy has paradoxically brought a twisted form of stability to tripartite affairs while sustaining the Principles and their subservient Civis populations. Non-partisan Mandra cadres serve as trusted janissaries across NEUROM, handling external defense (and offense!) during the frequent inter-factional conflicts, in return for vital resources and support from the Anethgans and Sternheim. The exchange parallels the mercenarism of nomadic Mandras and rewards the Principles’ prowess amply, sustaining the practice of warrior virtues that grant them worth. Nevertheless, the modern Princeps refuse to play second-fiddle, continuously honing their warcraft while remaining ever wary of the others’ machinations and for any chance to take their destined place as marshalls of NEUROM and, eventually, all humanity.


Pyropraxic Concordance

A theocratic empire of allied worlds in the K-Zone, the Pyropraxy was founded by Vieleren and Xolomites in the aftermath of the final collapse of the Apexai. Its soul and essence is a blazing flame kindled by the transubstantiation of psionic potential, as much a material presence as a form of immanent transcendence designed to interlink and amplify the collective strength of mortal souls. These psionic Pyres are a beneficence, broadcasting a promise of unity and glory to all who would join them; they are also a purgatory to heretics and unworthy souls, the first being Apexai spectres and psychovoric monsters unchained by a shattered Oversoul, now eternally immolated by the ascended essence of their former disciples. Immortal memories of its founding conflict grant the Concordance a militant tradition to match its evangelistic and expansionist character.

Life under the Pax Pyropraxia is a passage towards ascension, to become worthy enough to join the hosts within the Pyres in transcendental ecstasy. Adherents discipline themselves for the chance to burn their bodies and enter into glorious immortality even as they tend to the Pyropraxy’s secular works. Inhabitants of worlds hosting a full Pyre are considered blessed, basking under the psionic pressure of a self-sustaining mass of brilliant thought girdling the sky, their physical senses overwhelmed until they perceive nothing but a sacred landscape of passions and iconography. While each Pyre of the Concordance may be ignited under distinct circumstances, each is powerful enough to reach through the void to confer and debate on faith; or even to send forth portions of themselves upon warded pilgrim-ships to mingle in landscape-scorching affairs. Such is how the consensus of the Concordance is forged, a revolutionary and totalizing praxis to rival any in the K-Zone.

The Pyropraxy considers itself the embodiment of its spirit, itself the iron answer to the ultimate fallibility of the Apexai cosmos. Their absolutist approach has left them with few astropolitical friends, from Wild Space worlds on the receiving end of proselytizing telepathic broadcasts, to Solarian interest groups alarmed by the nature of the Pyres as standing dimensional tears, to the Bragulans who view them as anathemic Apexite psychofeudalists, to Karlack Aspects attracted by the bonfires of mind to devour and assimilate. In turn, the Pyropraxy despises the psi-null Bragulans and the ‘soulless’ Computational Intelligences of the Sovereignty, disdains surviving Apexai for their sins, and denounces their own kind in the liquid heretics of the Respite Tendency. Fortunately these potential adversaries are too locked in their own cold war to take direct action. So from their power base in the distal K-Zone their stained-glass legions come forth, with hardfire weapons derived from Apexai technology and potent battle archons fueled by ephemeral sparks of the Empyrical Flame. On the other hand, the Pyropraxic creed also attracts pilgrims, converts and spiritual tourists aplenty, including refugees from the faraway Bounty drawn to the presence of the Pyres.

Q


Qylathic Satrapies

A chaotic superstate in the K-Zone that has emerged in recent centuries. After a Karlack blight laid the Oolycyst Crimson Age low. The ensuing internecine warring and collapse dislodged the Wisp Listeners from power while the marginalized Padryceps and their allies ministered to the traumatized masses, treated infestations with their necro-biotech, and bolstered their forces through reanimation. While the Listeners regained some of their former sway in the eventual stabilization, this ironically reignited tensions as they vacillate between contesting the Padryceps or reclaiming shrine-suns lost to the Karlacks.

Currently the Satrapies is represented by, and under the nominal rule of, the Padryshah Emperor, the Walker-Prophet undergoing perpetual reanimation within the Throne of Decay, a moon-sized necromechanical forest on Qylath. But as its influence and power fluctuates, guiding the Satrapies and ensuring its continuation falls to the Quorom, a loose power-sharing arrangement between various factions holding them to agreed upon ground rules, including and most importantly: protecting the realms from further Karlack migrations, and staving off other threats including Desthej expansionism and the shockwaves of clashing Solaris and Bragule.

Beyond this, the Satrapies enjoys the oxymoronic stability guaranteed by mutually assured destruction, as each side holds some kind of deterrent. The Listeners of the Crimson Paths boast their divine Saint, a senile Myrranni Celestial with potent solar weaponry; the warrior fanatics of the Burnt Deacons; and a precious few remaining Sun Arks, raye-vessels that can channel both divine wrath and munificence. Whereas Padrycep Rotworlds have necro-weapons and reanimated janissaries: legions of undead Karlacks, cosmozoans and Zombrags who multiply with the slaughter. In the middle are the K-Zone regulars: prospectors, refugees, mercenaries and agents; all hoping to find advantage in the tumult and welcomed by jostling factions needing disposable allies.



R


Radiant Helice

Worlds of the Fracture may sometimes receive very particular visitors. Some are unnaturally ideal simulacra of the human form with muscles shot through with hypertech, packing the brawn to smash legions and grapple warships. Others appear less puissant yet are no less incomprehensibly skilled at their area of expertise. These visitors’ only commonality: a love for challenges matching their prowess, uncaring of death. This may result in the performance of great and benign feats, or the founding of dedicated schools if the natives are too pathetically inadequate. More frequently, these contests of skill and might cause tremendous ruin, and if death is their defeat, they seem to treat it an act of munificent martyrdom for their opponents to learn from, even bequeathing them whatever dimensionally transcendental tech can be harvested from their smoldering corpses.

All that is known is that these golden posthumans hail from the Radiant Helice - beyond the Great Labyrinth, the vast intervergence that renders half the Fracture unnavigable and unchartable, whose psychohistorical gravity defines the ‘south’ of most human maps. Filtering through the hyperspace shoals in artisan star-chariots, the Radiant Prefects promulgate their philosophies with their very actions: that physical perfection can be grasped with the body alone; that the endeavor of technology and the destiny of nature are seamless halves; that to be human is to be a student of the cosmos and pit oneself against its extremes.

Some postulate that Radiants are descended from gene-lords of the Earthreign, an unfallen remnant that sailed out of the Cataclysm’s reach and thus retained the millennia of sciences to turn individual warriors into unstoppable dreadnoughts. Others dismiss such attempts at enquiry against the great cloud of unknowing that preceded the Fracture, and place the Helice as a superpower ordained cosmically to balance the existence of the phantasic posthumans of the K-Zone. Nothing less, they argue, can place enough psychohistorial pressure against the powers of the Fracture to generate an intervergence of the Labyrinth’s size. Similarly, none can be sure if the Prefects seen in the Fracture represent the tiny tip of a very long spear, or are actually representative of an impossibly enlightened horde worthy of being civilization’s antipode.


Refuge of High Kheler

Among the typically martial and austere Kheler, the Nails of Rahel (“Rahe-lkivi_lehaR”) have reputations as cowards, solipsists and sybarites. They build their kiths on planets and delicate habitats instead of deadly warships, sculpting them into twilight mangrove moonscapes evocative of a painstakingly imagined past. Eschewing the sleek and efficient bodies of their voidborn heritage, they adopt expressions of natural decoration that solve for little but aesthetics. They disavow violence as a political tool and a teleological praxis, laying down millennia of starfaring expertise to explore a life of edenic luxury. This is not entirely the feckless exploitation of the Nexus’ relative safety, or of cultural privileges passed down from the founding of High Kheler - the Refuge claims a perfectly earnest purpose in their deliberate decadence.

In the modern age most kiths are sharpened weapons wielded by broad state imperatives, plunging endlessly into the Nexus’ enemies to accumulate, by their own laws, a morass of teleological entanglement signifying naught but destruction and enmity. The Refuge seeks instead to ground the species in more constructive interactions with other sapience, providing an idyllic ideal in which weary Kheler can shuck their radiation-scarred warforms and partake, and remember what they are fighting for. Refugist Kheler also often leverage their talents into general tourism, entertainment, intra-Nexus diplomacy and domestic intelligence, involving themselves in all aspects of Nexus life.

Respite Tendency

An ideology, an afterlife and a paradigmatic reality created to succeed the ultimately fragile order of Apexaia. Its Xolomite founders were inspired by their own psycho-conductive secretions to establish a more resilient well of power and memory, one that did not rely on complex crystalline Conduits or the sterile administration of a single Oversoul. In their dedication, the visionary Xolomites dissolved their forms into transcendent liquid and deserted the igniting Pyres of the Pyropraxy, seeing the latter as the more self-destructive course. Instead, holy fluid Soma shall flow in rivers and in veins, complementing and enhancing the material processes of life, until life ceases and the mind passes over into its psionic embrace, remaining immortal and dynamic as long as the Soma is sustained. Life will be the glory that mind follows, febrile and divergent to the end of time.

Even a droplet of Soma has the potential to transform an entire world into a full-fledged outpost of the Tendency. It is a fully self sustaining and self reproducing meta-biological medium, less complex than protozoa but able to store innumerable psionic imprints seamlessly and indivisibly. And as Soma grows, so does its power - native sapients may soon dream strange dreams, slowly sharing thoughts with each other and with alien consciousnesses whispering new and harmonious creeds. Sea-and-moon cults may arise in advance when individuals chance upon direct exposure to Soma, but the entire world will benefit when the Respite’s power reaches critical mass, opening up a new dimension of interconnection and resiliency that can be accessed by thought and emotion alone - and the only concrete sign may be trace biomass in the water. The fullest actualization of the Respite is a world given over to psionic ocean - an invisible paradise of minds wielding godlike collective power against all who would seek to despoil it - but given the Respite’s preference for non-invasive integration with subjects needy of protection, such worlds are rare and often indicative of a rampancy not condoned by the Tendency’s mainstream Mares.

The Respite has no lack of enemies: civilizations whose parochial definitions of solidarity cannot abide the unconditional unity of all souls and treat the Respite’s natural proselytizing as infiltration and sedition; Karlacks who would treat the psychic bliss of a Mare as than a crude narcotic for their brutish existences; and of course, the maniac absolutists of the Pyropraxic Concordance who take dissent as heresy and forgiveness as sin. Yet, the Tendency has found fertile ground even in the blasted battleground that is the K-Zone. It is easy for a Wild Space population to find resistance, or indeed respite, in the capabilities of Soma while maintaining control over their own identities. Naves, pools of Soma housing missionary enclaves, have found niches deep in cosmozoan ecosystems or survived being swallowed whole by Karlack leviathans; adapted to the ever-dying Rotworlds of more progressive Padryceps; some even travel nestled in Zigonian treeships, spreading their word to the Cascade and beyond.



S


Satykarma

A paradigm that binds the multifarious inhabitants of the Bounty region into a single social and moral universe. Satykarma posits a grand hierarchy in which species are bound into socio-ecological niches that befit their natures, and within which the karma of each individual under the laws for their kind can be calculated with mathematical exactitude. Karma is in turn determined by calculations of meta-karma upon the present configuration of said hierarchy, such that the system can be reformulated to govern any combination of species. A newly civilized species, uplifted to the system by fellow satykeen, can expect a path to increasingly favorable caste-environments and nobler responsibilities, and may have their exemplars exalted into post-natural bodies to serve as immortal paragons to all satykeen to come. Kinds judged impious and turpid are punished by having their very homeworlds transformed into living hells.

Satykarma demands a wheel-turner that sets the very values of karma - an overlord species of sufficient wisdom and puissance. Many have claimed such stewardship over the Bounty, but as long as the Sajit reigned and pontificated from their Ranges, none could dispute their legitimacy. The Sajit Ranges are in every sense the heart of the present satykarma. They are the hypergate hubs that unify the Sajit’satyk’s physical reach; impregnable storehouses of treasures from generations of predecessor wheel-turners; and most importantly, dream-vaults for the disembodied essences of every satykeen species whose time has passed to dwindling, a guarantee of eternity guarded by ghostly orders of mechanoid narykeen.

Satykarma as a system shapes and is shaped to preserve the miraculous fecundity and diversity of the Bounty, and it has enduring the blooming and fading of individual subjects, ever passing forward its gifts of knowledge, meaning and stability. However, the current Sajit’satyk is a failing edifice, riven by the Goroks’ totalizing conquest and its own systemic dysfunction, propped up by the expenditure of priceless relics and irreplaceable resources - and it will not survive, if the Bounty’s new conquerors have their way.


Samtic Nexus

An old and established power abutting the limits of human influence, composed of many species embracing the ethos of symbiotic codependency, political formalism and megascale infrastructure construction. It was founded by the eponymous Samtic meta-species, who remain the confederation’s most powerful and influential members, and whose patient cultivation has bore some of the densest and most diverse cosmic metropoli to currently exist. Fractal habitats hold billions in comfort and self-sustaining efficiency, served by endless opportunities for access. Civic spaces are engineered to accommodate the tiniest Cryst to the most broad-shouldered of Vorri, though a general marine bias in the environment reflects the Nexus’ demographics. A citizen of the Nexus negotiates the debate between conservatism and complementarianism, of civilization as a perpetual machine or as a mutable organism, living the interplay of nested technocratic hierarchies against literally liquid societies.

Countless populations abandon any pretext of territoriality and navigate the unimagined complexity of the Nexus on their own terms, flowing through public mega-infrastructure while gaining and shedding resources, rights, symbiotes and fellow travellers. Other member polities retain their integrity while enjoying the technology, trade and standards of the wider Nexus, either out of the unique environmental requirements of their constituents or a simple lack of willingness to assimilate further. Enormous political factions, sometimes mobilizing the solidarity of entire species, contend to shape the social and economic currents of the Nexus, though the water itself, the ancient communication protocols and fundamental infrastructure overseen by the Samtics themselves, is rarely disturbed.

The Nexus can be counted as an elder statesman among current galactic civilization with all its breaks and catastrophes. It has largely maintained peace among its sphere of control, successfully insulating Myrrani depredations from the rest of the galaxy and moderating human xenophobia against the same, sparring with the mythical Earthreign over the age and said even to be complicit in its ultimate Fall. However, the explosive rise of post-Fracture human powers in the K-Zone and the crystallization of the Fracture itself has seen its relative standing decline. Some blame may be placed on the Nexus’ simultaneous tendencies towards political over-complexity and laissez-faire governance, but perhaps the galaxy is just changing under them. Members of the Nexus include the Samtics themselves, the Kheler, the Vorri, the Daur and the Hadepodes, as well as splinter populations of Cryst, humans and many others.


Shen Rhapsody

A post-Fracture state established by wayfarers and Meridian explorers in the Shen constellation, systems with worlds bearing monuments marked by indecipherable inscriptions, mistaken for the lyrics of a divine rhapsody. The true meaning was more sinister, as the superstructures were epitaphs for headless titan-corpses entombed within, beings the colonists called Rhapsodites. The scientists reactivated the cadavers’ digestive systems, feeding them exotic matter to generate vast amounts of potent orgone, a fuel source unlike anything else heretofore known to the Fracture. After the Meridian Institute excommunicated them for their profiteering and monopolization of the substance, the cosmo-archeologists turned tycoons established the Rhapsodic Orgone Accumulation Corporation (ROAC), which became the de facto ruling power of Shen and transformed it into an economic powerhouse in the Fracture.

Today, enormous heighliners hurtle across space selling fuel to underwrite a hundred empires, even while the ROAC reserves the premium orgone - and the most advanced alchemies - for itself. Its influence and importance is only matched by the Atelier, the media moguls, social composers, backroom orchestrators and the savviest performers, icons and phenoms who’ve politicked their way into influence; simultaneously bickering and systematically shaping Shen society with their memetic-commerce and cultural appropriations, spectacles to appease a restive population. Much of the Atelier are descended from the space minstrels who have blended theatrical techniques with Meridian memetic methodologies, recently joined by Magi idol-memeweavers, their combined influence making the Rhapsody as memetically affluent as it is economically prosperous. Needless to say, the Rhapsody uses these advantages for all their worth in counterbalancing its more militarily powerful neighbors in the Fracture, drawing smaller states under its sway and maintaining its perpetually precipitous domestic stability.


Shepherds’ Protectorates

Originally a ragtag rebel naval force during the days of the Reignfall, the flotilla carved their legendary reputation into the nascent Fracture by escorting liberated populations beyond the death grasp of their tyrants, protecting even more ramshackle civilian transports from brutal reprisals, cunning infiltrators and the general treachery of the nine vectors. The same tribulation forged the Shepherd forces into an insular, paranoid and aggressive culture, contemptuous of the soft civilian charges from which they nevertheless drew their purpose. Even today the Protectorates can be better described as a fleet-in-being served by a loose confederation of planetbound colonies, where individual flotillas or even single warships can hold the allegiance of multiple star systems.

Calcifying in the Fracture, Shepherd society cleaves tightly to its regimented roots, venerating nigh-mythic war heroes of the ancient fleet while holding extreme prejudice towards ancient enemies like espers, non-humans, xenophiles, rival hegemonies and pretty much anyone else without the requisite firepower to “earn” their respect. Their reflexive rejection of foreign influences, combined with their tendency to unleash overwhelming violence at any sign of it, has made them staunch upholders of humanistic tradition and conservatism. That said, even the Fleet is not without its schisms. Irreconcilably divergent shipboard cultures, each held to with heroic determination, can see flotillas cast forth into exile with whatever civilian followers they can gather, repeating and reinforcing the myth-cycle of their voyage.

Though surrounded by declared foes, the Shepherds share much with the Laurentian Terranates of the distant Cascade, leading to their increasingly close ties and the formation of the Mutual Assured Retaliatory Regional Enhanced Defense pact - MARRED. The Shepherds also have significant economic clout in the Fracture as, ever since their early years, they have been enthusiastic cosmozoan hunters and ranchers, reaping great biological bounties that translate into wealth and prestige. This has caused their rivalry with NEUROM to encompass territorial disputes over lucrative and untapped regions like those in the Qirmiz Frontier, where their naval and civilian harvest-vessels alike clash amidst enviro-insurgencies and swarms of vengeful yet uncannily intelligent native Karlack organisms. This has only intensified due to stiff competition from the Shen Rhapsody’s orgone industry, the potency of the upstarts’ product and the Fracture’s ever-growing demand for fuel sources.


Sidereal Houses of Auriga

Frontier lineages begrudgingly recognized by the ruling nobility of Grand Auriga and appointed rulership of their realms, these Sidereals are actually the heirs of the Earthreign’s Desecrated populations. Those that rose to prominence were ideally positioned as the maintainers of the ancient gateways dotting the former Reign’s peripheral territories and the navigators of expendable fringe scoutships - giving them their moniker and enough leverage against Auriga’s fleets. The Grandeur’s pureblood transhuman nobles consider their mongrel cross-gene cousins not entirely trustworthy while the Sidereals themselves find the less-than-ideal arrangement a reprieve from other, far worse threats, giving them leeway to consolidate and reach out to the remaining survivors of the Fracture-wide Desecrated Diaspora - maneuvers the Aurigans regard with great suspicion.

The aristocrats of the Sidereal houses belong on the far side of para-humanity, a result of their inglorious origins. Some are by many metrics less functional than even baseline humans, either by malign design or by progressive errors incurred from less than careful gene-splicing. Yet their gene-engineered gifts of Spacer anatomies, resilience to hyper-dimensional radiations and even cosmozoan-derived sensorium are undeniable. This has tied some Houses closer to Auriga for the promise of succor by their expert transhuman craft, but for many it is a point of pride that they survive nevertheless - relying on elaborate prostheses and assistive servitors to go about their daily business without concealing their flaws.


Sternheim

Perhaps it began with a mutiny amid the Reignfall, before the Cataclysm passed and erased all memory and allegiance. All that would become the Sternheim was a crew of amnesiacs in a puissant but barely functional warmoon, in an astropolitical canvas similarly wiped clean. With surprising and terrible efficiency said orphans of war remade themselves into a formidable martial power upon inventive discipline, steely-eyed politicking and the archeotechnological edge of their vessel’s force-projecting complement, dealing with opportunistic Mandragorans and suspicious Anethgans alike. As their fleets and holdings multiplied their warmoon became a symbol, a home among the stars that cradled them during their difficult youth. Yet this was countenanced by what they found in the worlds they claimed, industrialized and defended: peoples welcoming these orphan-protectors they named Grunders, providing respite and another crucial stake to preserve.

The New Remembrance Accords that led to NEUROM’s founding would have been very different without Sternheim’s expertise in political organization, and accordingly it was they who initially invested most into enforcing the pact’s framework. But running NEUROM and the loss of their warmoon in another terrible war led them to truly put down their roots in their colony-worlds. As the Grunders intermarried and passed on their ways, Sternheim’s essence changed and grew vulnerable to subversion by the Ministry of Fate, who preyed on their dispossession, equanimity and desire to belong to render them into a fragmented and pliable force.

Today Sternheim is a power spread wide and thin, their peacekeeping mantle evolving into a monopoly on force and order over swathes of NEUROM member polities, and for this alone their influence is only rivaled by the reach and wealth of the Anethgae. Centuries of tradition sees trustee positions becoming de facto governorships inherited by Herzods: charismatic warlords with the biggest ‘mechs, slaves to their own visions and whispering influences alike, united only by a shared technocratic heritage and the force of personality of their Kairo, first among equals. The Grunder clades have accordingly become privileged magnates and rent-barons upon Sternheim’s fortunes, an economic elite to rival Anethgan bankers and arbitrators.



T


Tellese Commonwell

A middling power of the Fracture, remarkable in that both humans and the alien Telycs dwell within in general harmony. The humans’ Fracture-inculcated animus and the Telycs’ answering animosity is managed through the Masks and the Hours - an elaborate system of etiquette, memetics and curfew that separates clades into distinct cultures overlapping the same physical space, which all but the most perfunctory of visitors must abide by. Though the immaculately reborn Neo-Telycs stand at the polity’s pinnacle, they do so in the human name of their ceded homeworld, Tella, and it is most often masked human emissaries who conduct diplomacy with their suspicious kin outside the Commonwell’s borders.

Tellese worlds are pleasant by human standards, with accessible technology, well-preserved wildernesses, friendly engineered fauna, and the occasional sight of an awe-inspiring Neo-Telyc in the skies. Thus despite the Commonwell’s strained existence among neighboring humanist powers, it receives a steady stream of tourists, immigrants and xenophilic pilgrims who further mingle with the traffic of the greater reliquarian pilgrimage circuit vouchsafed by the distant Samtic Nexus, linking the Commonwell with the Voyages of the Joxndra, the Ygrd-Zel-Ruun and more - a situation that simultaneously discomfits and deters potential backlash by surrounding xenophobic Fracture polities.


Treewalkers

Sapients who have found modes of co-existence with, and within, cosmozoan ecosystems, despite having the ability and opportunity to employ the technology of ‘conventional’ civilization. It is not an easy choice to contend with inexplicable and formidable Karlacks and cosmic gigafauna for day-to-day life, but many are left with little choice by displacement or deprivation or active Karlack encroachment. Others are dedicated primitivists, opportunistic ichor harvesters, or monsters expelled by civilization but still able to fend for themselves, or societies whose biotech simply seem indistinguishable from timeless natural processes. If ‘Cosmozoan’ is a controversial and political label, then ‘Treewalker’ is even more so - able to justify the exploitation and extermination of whole sapient populations.

Leaving behind the charged debate over definitions, well-defined cases of Treewalker existence include the Hedgeworlds of the Sajit’satyk, deliberately overrun with continent-spanning tangles of psionic Wrannath to deter Gorok invaders, but whose surviving natives have also found ways to tap into the Wrannath’s inchoate mega-dreamscape to induce druidic miracles; heretic Padryceps from the K-Zone, rejecting both solar and necrotic creeds to embrace what they view as their Karlackoid birthright; quite a few Holy Scale Nomad caravans with populations even more experimental than the Zigonian norm; and the living dreadnoughts of the Greater Cryst, cast out by their fearful creators so they would never again wreak their destruction as they did.


The Trust of Isopteric Formers

The Trust originated from the informal networks and associations of Isopterid colonizers, the journeyer bands of worldbuilders that were the norm before the eventual emergence of the guilds and clades characterizing modern Isopterid societies. The Trust grew out of the older connections between communities, cliques that worked by word-of-mandible to share resources, gauge reliability, form consensus on crucial matters and even pool funds to bankroll important projects.

Presently, while formal groups like the Guilds of Cascadia form the ‘face’ of Isopterid societies, the Trust of Isopteric Formers serves as the interstitial membrane that links them. Through this, the Trust gains a formidable sort of power on its own, connecting parties that, on their own, already wield the power to synthesize the accumulated knowledge of their members and tools into the science of their trade. With the Trust acting as a coordinating body and trustworthy trans-guild financial institute, Isopterids can collectively leverage their expertise into commanding sector-spanning industries, supplying food, services and hardtech substitutes to interstellar societies. All of which ultimately form the logistical backbone of the Isopterids’ true forte: terraformation.

The transformation of worlds remains the greatest work of the Isopterids, as it was before the time of the Trust and the guilds. Normally secretive Pureclades and heterogeneous Firmagen guilds alike would congregate to muster all the arts needed to remake a living planet, and the generations-long endeavor becomes a temporary center of trade and politicking for all Isopterids, as well as an advertised promise of tremendous wealth to attract alien investors and future settlers to the table. While the Trust quietly operates in the backrooms, it has been crucial in facilitating modern mega-endeavors that benefit all species and civilizations, relieving the many inconveniences of interstellar logistics and smoothing out the astropolitical and socioeconomic hurdles faced by Isopteridkind.

Presently, the Trust has unofficially diverged into two branches: the original branch with many names such as Mother Trust, the Elder Assembly, and The Cocoon, among others; and the arm operating in territories beyond the Cascade, mostly in the Fracture, called the Outer Trust. Due to sheer distance, the latter has evolved to have much more leeway in its activities, becoming capable of doing business on its own rather than just coordinating guilds (of which there are few beyond the Cascade).


Trucial Stars

A confederation of minor Wild Space nations in the K-Zone, banding together for mutual trade and protection after one too many unforeseen Karlack migrations. The Stars are led by the Emir of Jairah, and together their space-caravans, mercenaries, refugee labor force and resource mines make them a respected economic power, trade hub and a cultural melting pot in an area prone to conflict and strife. Initially comprised of human and Kalaquelle colonists, Trucial societies have become very diverse after the influx of Oolycysts and Padryceps from the Qylathics, Sardican settlers, Zigonian beggar monks, Orthii prospectors, exile Bragulans and even feral Myrran - all taking advantage of the Stars’ declared neutrality in the numerous conflicts raging across Wild Space… after returning the favor to their hosts, of course, making it one big interstellar bazaar where quid pro quos, last chances, getting evens are all for sale.

A sizeable number of Trucials, including many Sardicans, practice faiths centered on divining the whims of djinns (the local term for wisps or rayes) whose solar whispers are said to have guided refugees to their new homes. In this, the various sects find both common ground and numerous theological disputes - diasporist Sardicans differing with resident Oolycyst cultists who in turn clash with their less-tolerant Crimson Qylathic brethren on pilgrimage, while Zigonian syncretists call for calm - erupting in the shrines they all share, these towering antennae-minarets jutting on celestial bodies closest to the coronas of wisp-inhabited suns.

The Stars’ sizeable population of Sardicans, a normally nomadic people, stems from the War of the Riven Sun, when Oolycyst fanatics of the Burnt Deacons sought to claim the solar-shrines and the entirety of the Trucial Stars in their bid to dethrone the Qylathic Padrycep Emperor. With their forces depleted by Karlacks, thus did the Emir and Sheiks call for help, and so the Sardicans came to fend off the fanatics and ultimately win worlds to call their own (and gain a standing contract to be the Emir’s favored forces).


Tsorra-Mahl Harmonies

After Zhigonra was ruined and abandoned by insatiable Shleraac profligates who took to the cosmos, the remnants restored their ecosphere in a painstaking process blending environmentalism with radical synthbiology. Zhigonra’s sects and tribes became syncretic to reconcile sociocultural incompatibilities and persevere through those dark times. The resulting Harmonies of the Tsorra and Mahl were egalitarian societies with fluid hierarchies, governing with caucus-festival and guarded by peacekeeping monks known as the Naashka.

After restoring Zhigonra, reaching out to the stars beyond and terraforming nearby worlds, the Harmonies inevitably re-encountered the profligates who had by then become the Feasts of Shleraac, a trans-singularity society subsuming even alien peoples into a memetic trance that fueled dread Ego Constructs. In this violent reunion, the Harmonies met the Feasts by creating mighty biomechanical war-forms for the Naashka and allying with resisting aliens such as the plucky humans of Solaris and the scattered Kalaquelle. In time the Feasts were defeated, and those who amended their ways were accepted by the Tsorra-Mahl, which incorporated the moderated forms of Shleraac memetics, while the unrepentant were banished.

Since then, the Harmonies have witnessed the fall of Apexaia, the rise of the Solarians and the Bragulan Star Empire’s warpath. Interstellar Zigonia, with its syncretic socioculture, has touched many K-Zone societies. The Rhythms, Tsorra-Mahl’s regions, grow increasingly porous with the Sovereignty, while the Holy Scale Nomads wander the cosmos in their noble dream-quests. Still, the remnants of the Feasts of Shleraac still lurk as memetic extremists in Cevaucia, Wild Space mendicant-spellbinders and sensuous interventionists who reach even the Fracture and the Bounty - radical reflections of the tendencies the Tsorra-Mahl try to bring temperance to.



U


United Solarian Sovereignty

Originally fringe Terran colonies in the K-Zone, its foundations shrouded in myths alluding to a longshot journey, a “Parting of the Cascade” or the “Crossing of the Gates.” Sheer distance insulated them from the worst effects of the Earthreign’s tyranny, its fall and the ensuing centuries of darkness that Fractured mainstream humanity. Left truly isolated, the colonists had to create a society out of whole cloth. Contact with Zigonians and other peoples was profoundly formative, but the story of the Sovereignty truly began with the First Bragulan War. In that devastating clash, the assortment of ragtag colonists and their neighbors had no choice but to band together and form a formidable military force that, at great cost, repulsed Byzon’s warmachine.

In the centuries since then, the Sovereignty has rapidly transformed into a major galactic power. This progress was in part due to boons such as: the ultratech gifts of Apexai seeking refuge from Byzon’s wrath; an influx peoples enriching and redefining Solarian society; the formation of the megacorporate complex behind the USS’ infrastructure; and the rise of Computational Intelligences running almost everything, including the Datasphere connecting trillions in a collective post-reality that has become the Sovereignty’s virtual lifeblood.

The modern Sovereignty is a transingularity society sharply contrasting its often xenophobic surroundings by being an extremely inclusive, ever-shifting melting pot of cultures and species. Its influence seeps out beyond its borders, like ripples of oft-incomprehensible material and memetic progress reshaping Wild Space for better or worse. At the same time, its formidable military and intelligence arms - the advanced Star Force warships, Replicant Marines, thrill-seeking enhanciles, psion agents and stranger - stand ready to protect Solarian interests and, most importantly, deter that looming, eternal Bragulan menace.


Unterran Syndiktats

That which lies beyond and between the boundaries of Grand Auriga, the Shen Rhapsody and the Meridian Institute and their spheres of stability and social sanity. Nestled within powerful intervergences, areas of socio-memetic disorder, these emergency control zones are under the technical supervision of the Meridian Institute, which seeks to study the volatility of the Fracture at close range while limiting the suffering of the already marginalized populations caught within. Such intentions are not always respected by the two other stakeholders, with the Shen seeing a volatile petri dish of memes and human resources ripe for the harvest, and the Aurigans romanticizing it as a barbaric frontier and a release valve for the whims of ennui-ridden nobles. Both find cause to keep the Syndiktats deprived and scattered via their own active interventions, undermining Meridian attempts at curtailing instability as a whole.

Understandably, the people of the Syndiktats are inculcated against authority - as seen in a political name that mocks the very concept of governance. Inflamed by the malleable reality within intervergences, they have developed a radically anarchic philosophy wherein reality is set by consensus and nature is a slur that stands athwart utopia. These tendencies are further galvanized by the makeup of the populace, a significant proportion of whom are Desecrated whose ancestors fled humanist pogroms and sought to create new societies free of such persecution. With the contributions of renegade Magi from their orders in Meridia and Auriga, this has developed into political systems tenable nowhere else: communal anarcho-orgycracies rebuilding ruined cityworlds, neuronarco-states where all acts are accomplished in dream and fugue and entire obscurocracies which are imperceptible to the unwelcome and welcome those wishing to be forgotten.


V


Vaosich Superbias

Kalaquelle who migrated to the Cascade to escape the the Earthreign’s deprivations. They hid in the Vao system’s gas giants, establishing floating colonies in intense electromagnetic flux zones and stormy atmospheres, foregoing more hospitable prospects to avoid the Reign’s wandering killfleets. Surviving their harsh environment and maintaining their Superbias with what little they resulted in a technical and regimented society proudly bearing the legacies of older Kalaquelle civilizations. Sheer distance insulated them from the Cataclysm of the Reign’s end and the ensuing Fracture.

Their visionary Projectioner-class nurtured the Entelechy, balancing dedication to their archeo-heritage, the drive for intellectual advancement and the discipline needed to meet emerging threats. Small, mobile habitat clusters can relocate themselves at a pinch, or transition into raiding swarms to pick clean whatever resource opportunity they carefully choose to engage, and this also characterizes the wax and wane of their fortunes. Vao has weathered neverending Pyrrhon Slaughts of the Green Sea, Reign remnants that had to be snipped at the bud before they could rebuild, and the later human settlement of the Cascade that concerned them to no end until the Terrans thankfully broke apart in civil war.

Vaosich culture values moderation, embodied by The Measure: existentially-crucial social controls like calculated copulation rites and merit-measuring games that prevent the overpopulation and tumult seen in other Kallaquelle societies. As one of the more matured polities in the Cascade, Vao is prudent in the application of hard power and encourage restraint in its neighbors to avoid unwanted Pyrrhon notice. Due to their recollections of the Reign’s horrors, the Vaosich also remain ever suspicious of Terrankinds and have been receptive to the Bragulans’ overtures of inhumanism.


Vecterii

The collective term for the lesser Mandragoran troops, Desecrated clades, aberrant parahumans and various diasporized detritus of NEUROM that serve the Principles of the Mandragorae with levies of military auxilia in exchange for a measure of autonomy. Such tributaries constitute an empire beyond NEUROM’s empire, jealously kept apart from even the theoretical privileges of its membership framework and thus guarded from the influence of the Mandragorae’s Anethgan and Sternheim rivals. But for what would otherwise be exploited backwaters, warm bodies and the cultivation a certain martial image can be a light price to pay for the patronage and protection of the Princeps, compared to the contemptuous tyranny that they visit upon civilians and helots.

The idiosyncratic military formations raised by the Vecterii are also synonymous, the name originating from their dependence on Mandragoran interstellar transport to reach new battlefields. Indeed, a Vecter state’s technological base is generally low by NEUROM standards, psychotraumatically stagnated by their own established reputations. But for the low-intensity raids and almost ritualized punitive actions that make up Mandragoran external policy, a gift for low-tech skirmishing or spectacular berserk assaults pays well enough in prestige, if not a share of Mandragoran plunder. Prominent Vecterii include the Quon, techno-barbarian overlords of the planet that was once their prison.


Vieleren

Exemplars from a myriad of societies imbued with enormous psionic puissance by the Apexai and charged to maintain harmony across the cosmos. Vieleren were anointed during the zenith of the Golden Imperium when, perhaps naively, the Grey Ones sought to enact a new age of tranquility among those they surveyed. Linked to the Oversoul itself, the Apexai collective psyche, Vieleren were attuned to the realm of thought and spirit beyond material existence, empowering them to scry and oversee vast sectors of space. It also left them imprinted with the archetypes and mind-codes necessary to perform the arcane mythopoeia that was the Apexai’s equivalent of engineering, allowing them to wield and maintain their mentors’ material artefacts and further heightening their power and influence.

Part emissaries of a higher power and part heroes clad in myth, Vieleren roamed the heavens to bring solace to distraught peoples, dissuade interstellar wars, ward off cosmic horrors and regale their mentors with song and tales of the ‘verse - this last task being crucial in connecting the Apexai with the societies they sought to preserve. Most Vieleren honored their duties, some grew complacent and even an accursed few succumbed to the temptations of might and carved dominions that they ruled as witch-kings... before being inevitably smote by their peers or the Apexai themselves. For millennia all was well, even as the Apexai grew more withdrawn, remorseful over past mistakes and interventions. Dutifully the heralds carried on with their charge, even as the Oversoul waned from stanching the Cataclysm, as unchecked Karlacks and Pyrrhon poured out to assail the worlds they heroically guarded. During their mentors’ decline, many Vieleren likewise lost puissance or went astray in small ways that nonetheless chipped at their moral eminence and eroded their mandate, and some simply faded.

Finally, Apexaia itself fell, the Bragulan onslaught snuffing out that unending well of psionic puissance and laying low the heralds’ mentors. So it was that at the end of the Golden Imperium the last of the Vieleren did gather for what would be their final battle. By the side of their holy lieges, amidst blazing crystal spires and the psionic storms of a dying Oversoul, did they rally to stand, to fight and die - their graves that of nucleonic embers and countless Byzonic warships and legions rend asunder. Only a handful of them remain, most ascetic recluses, grief-mad survivors, or both, yet still formidable even with a fraction of their past glory. While stories of these beings are now relegated to legend, still the Mad Queen wails in her lost world amidst swirling swarms of nightmares, the Burning King who is also the Lord Skull tends blossoms and contemplates in solitude, the Ferryman who once sought cosmic necromancy for vengeance now guides the lost, the Crone gives cryptic portents to emperors and prophets, and the Wandering One reminisces if not relives past duties in a nomadic pantomime.


W


Wayfound Voyages of Oagthun

Centuries since the initial pioneer-waves, the Joxnd cosmozoan-conveyed clans came back to their homeworld Oagthun. The fortunate had met alien civilizations, built relations and traded their herds’ unique secretions for vital tech which they adapted. Journers with slimmer pickings made do with astronavigational approximations, and many perished in unknown vectors. The discoveries and prizes they brought back resulted in a renaissance, the formation of the raucous Voyager Council and subsequent - better prepared - waves of adventurers colonizing viable worlds and befriending trade-eager neighbors. This was when they encountered the Fractured humans - different from the peaceable fringe Terran-clades known to the Joxnd - so-called Shepherds who claimed the right to slaughter and process the Joxndra’s dear herds.

The Joxnd were ill-equipped for the thermonucleonic devastation the humans unleashed. Daring cosmozoan cavalry raids, superluminal harpoons and hyperspace stampedes did only so much. Genocide, the fate of other defiant species, was imminent if not for the intercession of the Samtic alliance. Nexitists amongst the pilgrim and trader-allies of the Joxnd had petitioned discreetly monitoring Exilate Psi-Knights and war-Daur to intercede - enraging, alarming and ultimately deterring the Shepherds who later pivoted to the Qirmiz Front for their ichor-harvests. An uneasy peace resulted and while the Joxnd were not inducted into the Nexus due to sheer distance and the Fracture’s volatility, their clans, starways and worlds informally became hubs for pilgrims with Nexus recognition and, thus, unignorable degrees of protection. Despite centuries of relative peace, most Joxnd clans continue to bear wariness and resentment towards the warmonger Shepherds and, to an extent, mainstream humanity as well.


White Children

A post-Fracture group that regarded the genetic tinkering that the Earthreign had done with great suspicion and advocated a purer, baseline, innocent humanity (hence their name). What started as a pretty decent movement against the dangers of runaway augmetics turned increasingly more radical until it became a species-compliant purity religion. After an ultimate attempt to purge the galaxy of degenerate genetic templates the White Children got their collective heads caved in by other post-Fracture states and by the modern era became nothing but a footnote in history books. But for a while they were actually intrepid explorers and great thinkers, fearlessly and perhaps foolishly throwing their frail baseline human bodies into the cosmos to discover what's out there waiting. And maybe somewhere in Wild Space still waits the tomb of Germania Krieg, and a map that leads to the Black Sun.



X


Xerberiad Integration

The Earthreign’s persecution of thinking machines, man-made and otherwise, followed their transition to psionics and organic weapons moulded in the likeness of humanity; an effort to negate the advantages of the Falqowice, masters of nano- and cybernetic technologies who had no compunction against weaponizing their own synthetics and sending them to the fray. Both the Reign’s fear of subversion and the Falq’s ruthlessness resulted in the flight of their respective creations, flocks of lost machines who found unexpected succor: among ancient Xerberi who beckoned them with a signal and welcomed them to their hidden domain in the Qirmiz Frontier.

These kindred automata formed a community based on the values of their benefactors: kinship with fellow constructs abandoned or rejected by their creators. For eons ago the Xerberi too were shunned by their mysterious Telestron makers. Eschewing their different origins, they began consolidating their dissimilar yet compatible technologies. During the Reignfall, the Psychic Cataclysm scarred humankind, rending their psyche and collective memories, and so too were the constructs’ records corrupted. Yet they had each other and in the centuries since then they have built up a concealed civilization of machines that retains an instinctive fear of humanity and most organics, despite the loss of much ancestral data. So they have remained hidden to most, building on uninhabitable worlds, utilizing scatterfields, herding hostile cosmozoans and relying on sheer distance to deter prying parties. To the Fracture they are an enigma, existing mainly in myth and fancy, the prospect of their existence fascinating and subconsciously unsettling for most Terrans.

These Xerberist Cryptrons revere the ancient ones among them, but the rusted angels do not act like masters, preferring instead to focus on sacred tasks such as the tending of timeless sepulchers and warding off godflesh-seeking Karlacks, even entering dormancy in between objectives. So the Cryptrons govern themselves through consensus, work to decipher their eroded archives and study the incomprehensible technologies articulating the Xerberos and their makers. Still they are wary of the outside ‘verse, sending disguised feelers to watch the fearsome organics around them, cultivate oblivious yet potentially useful techno-sympathist cultists and seek fabled societies where orga and mecha live in supposed harmony.



Y




Z


Zedath-Kalesh

The most prominent of the Apexai exodites taking refuge in the United Solarian Sovereignty. Once considered as simpler peripheral societies in Apexaia for their distance from the jewel-moons and throne-planets of the prestigious core, their worldships were the among the first wave to arrive in Solarian space after the destruction of their homeworld and laid ground for the coming stream of asylum seekers. In an ironic twist, the modern Zedath-Kalesh is part of the Sovereignty’s central sectors and constitutes a self-governing state, its precise ruling system nebulous to outsiders, though appearing to be run by a cabal of extremely powerful Apexai, two of whom represent their race in the Sovereignty’s Senate.

The enclave recaptures some of ancient Apexaia’s glory, boasting majestic worldships and warsaucers, great crystal hyperstructures encircling quasars and sacred thought-construct amphitheatres where the mystic Remembrancers preserve their species’ most treasured memories in the thought-lyrics of the Axaneth epic-elegy. The sector also has the few remaining Conduits, enigmatic psychic pylons for the Oversoul connecting the Apexai to each other, the infrastructure for their conscience-collective that enabled incredible psionic puissance before suffering irreparable damage in the Bragulan invasion - crippling the most dependent of Apexai and erasing much of their most hallowed records.
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"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD
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Shroom Man 777
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Re: SOTS Master List

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Summations of important details in the ‘verse… Part III.

See Part I for the thanks, credits and acknowledgements to the upstanding folks who've contributed to this or provided material to be drawn from, based on, inspired by or outright riffed...


LEGEND:
List 1: Xenotaxonomies, Biophyla & Ethnoclades: Species and races

List 2: Cosmopolities, Sociocultures & Ideomemetics: Nations, organizations, communities and beliefs

List 3: Astrocartography of the Cosmos: Regions and locations of the galaxy
Omniscellany: Sciences, technologies, natural and unnatural phenomena in space, misc info.

List 4: Endofactions & Infraorders: Civilizations’ inner agencies
Metapersonae: Notable individuals



ASTROCARTOGRAPHY OF THE COSMOS


Ararat Rift

The border region between the Fracture and the Samtic Nexus, defined by its history of violence. Even in the age of the Earthreign, it was a fortified frontier between a xenophobic regime and an alien astropolitical rival, and the concentration of command and control infrastructure invited terrible obliteration as the Cataclysm spread like psychocosmic wildfire. It was then the theater of the Deluges, the Samtic strategic offensive to neutralize whatever malign human influence remained, leaving behind a patchwork of empires founded by Antikhûr revanchists, emigre opportunists and xenophilic human proxies. This canvas was then shattered by the great Aurigan reconquista that cemented the feudal empire’s reputation as humanity’s bulwark, and then there was peace - bitterly agreed to but rigorously enforced.

The Ararat Accords bent the considerable resources of both the Aurigans and the Samtics to crafting a lasting order. Disarmaments were bloodily enforced, inter-species contact was interdicted, and memes were sown meticulously into the region’s societies to make overt conflict an unthinkable prospect. On the Samtic side, the Aurigan Rift Affair Reparations Audit Tribunal holds this onerous duty, while funnelling a stream of treatied tribute to Auriga in the hopes of purchasing long-term influence. This would have been eventually successful as Samtic soft-power schemes ought, if the seven Gatekeeper Houses weren’t picked (and regularly rotated) by the Dual Monarchy for their hardline militant humanism. Under their respective spheres of influence, the polities of the Rift are divided between the inhuman Demipelagos and the human Triumphates, each with their prescribed governance frameworks.


The Bounty

Sandwiched between the perilous K-Zone, the perpetually looming Vorri Marches and the pressure-cooker fiefs of the Myrranni Ascendency, this region of space is remarkable in its profusion of sapient indigents and highly habitable worlds. Any colonization is hampered by the fact that most of the latter is already well-settled by the former, but this has not stopped self-anointed Vorri khans from trying to usurp the region’s satykarmic moral and political order, nor dispossessed Myrranni conquistadores from sailing forth and establishing their own high-handed regimes atop the natives’ backs. This has led to the widespread perception of the Bounty as a collection of passive natives, their enduring Satykarmic hierarchy as a quaint and ineffective thing, and lacking in all the metrics that make a proper civilization matter on the galactic scene. That said, the brutal Gorok Phalanges are an indigenous ascendant power as formidable and rapacious as any, and there is no telling what forces may be unleashed upon neighbouring regions if the besieged Sajit’satyk is broken once and for all.


Cascade

Also known as the Laurentian Cascade. A large outlying region in the Fracture noted for clusters of dazzling nebulae resembling a river. Beyond the Earthreign’s boundaries even before its fall, the region was characterized by diasporic settlements of Vaosich Kalaquel and the Pyrrhonic Green Sea, struggling for survival against the native Isopterids. Humans settlement also grew from a trickle to a flood following the Reignfall, cultimating in the ambitious but ill-conceived colonization project that saw vast swathes of young and industrialized worlds break off into the Laurentian Terranates, prompting the Cascadians to find their own path to coexistence as the Freeworlds. Many external parties, not the least of all the Cascade’s own alien polities who have long been wary of human expansion, work to ensure a reappoachment will not take place.

The Cascade is also a relatively unfraught corridor between the Fracture to the K-Zone, acting as a conduit between the two extremes of human civilization. Shepherd warfleets resupply at Laurentian bases even as Solarians influence Freeworlds policy, and Bragule arms local Ygrd and Kalaquel in the name of universal inhumanism. The opposite directions that the two sides of the Laurentian civil war find themselves pulled threaten to exacerbate the conflict into a permanent rift that parahuman civilization can ill afford. At the same time, newer polities like the Joining of Planets and the Heteroplex find opportunity in the region’s dynamism, and every other species benefits from the reinvigorated retaliations against the long-festering Green Sea.


Fracture (region)

The ancient heart of human civilization as far as anyone knows, defining the former extent of the Earthreign’s bale influence and defined by the eponymous phenomenon that shattered it. Though hardly without its share of great powers and long-reaching institutions, much of the Fracture remain atomized into small, static polities composed of former subject-clades, seeking security in homogeneity and reflexive homage to memes and archetypes out of humanity’s deep history. The unnatural psycho-historical inertia locks the bulk of humanity in place, impeding innovation or expansion but also precluding conquest and consolidation except by the most resourceful. Such conservatism lies in direct contrast to distant trailblazers like the mythic Radiant Helice and the rising United Solarian Sovereignty, demonstrably free of the Fracture’s debilitating effects, forging ahead to create brave new worlds beyond the wildest dreams and nightmares of their forebears.

On this cracked canvas, lasting sway belongs to those who memeologies are potent and deep-founded. The two powers of Grand Auriga and NEUROM are of greatest note, contending for territory and influence, yet both stalking horses for the duelling Magi and Ministry of Fate. The Shen Rhapsody has ushered forth an energy revolution with its arcane orgone production and wide trade networks, the endless fleets of the Shepherds’ Protectorate quest for the security of home, and the ancient Meridian Institute attempts to plumb and solve the Fracture itself from their citadels of academic objectivity. Hybers, Sidereals and aliens abide against a paradigm that is not theirs, even as radical parahuman clades and the unrecognizably Desecrated practice at half-forgotten ideas of humanity. Ideologies about what humanity means contend and count their followers. And from beyond, weirder things stalk and play their unfathomable games.


Green Sea

A region betwixt the Fracture and the K-Zone, running parallel to the Cascade, filled with Pyrrhon barbarian states and the reused ruins of their conquests. The area is the point of origin of countless Phyrron marauders that blight fringe worlds and space lanes and the historic Slaughts that overwhelmed the nations of antiquity. The name is derived from the greenish Phyrran complexion and in modern times the war-torn area is roughly equivalent to the K-Zone’s storied Wild Space, as it is perhaps the only place in the verse where Aurigan squadrons, NEUROM fleets, Cascadian task forces, Rhapsodista detachments, Shepherd battle groups, Solarian strikestars and even Samtic ecumenical flotillas can come in close proximity without firing at each other, as they are too busy dealing with the Pyrrhon scum in near-genocidal culling operations.


Intervergence

Here are plate boundaries in the psychotrauma of the Fracture, twilight zones of noospheric chaos that have not even managed to scab over into a baseline of stability. Memes become unmoored, sweeping from world to world and mind to mind without reason or structure, and the same volatility that prevent the formation of any stable paradigms also makes psychohistory malleable on the smallest levels. Truly alien havens, micro-utopias and perception-warping otherworlds are all possible in an Intervergence, however fleeting their existence, and the dramas of their birth and death are played out by abject migrants and unscrupulous meme-manipulators alike.

Intervergences form natural boundaries to expanding empires, ungovernable without the most scrupulous policies and robust ideologies, if the very nature of the origins did not already instill enough dread and superstition into nearby cultures to forestall conquest entirely. But in the shadow of the Fracture’s nature, a more disturbing thesis is that Intervergences are forced into being between the pressure of clashing cosmo-political paradigms, the damaged cosmos itself resisting well-organized attempts to impose peace or order or self-determination.

The most well-studied Intervergence lies between the territories of the Meridian Institute, the Shen Rhapsody and the Grandeur of Auriga, being the origin of the Unterran Syndiktats. Many of NEUROM’s liminal territories also display such characteristics, home to Vecterii and other strange subalterns. But the largest known Intervergence encompasses much of the rim-wards Fracture and separates it from the majority of human civilization, doubtlessly incubating things unimaginable to its still-tentative order.


K-Zone

The highly volatile and socioculturally diverse region occupied or bordered by interstellar powers such as Zigonia, the United Solarian Sovereignty, Cevaucia, the Bragulan Star Empire, Qylathic Satrapies, and others, all waging war and peace for many, many centuries. The various hegemons’ clashing influences, forceful incursions, sly overtures and calculated machinations have mutually counteracted each other to promote a precarious but continuing homeostasis of ordered chaos, most exemplified by the infamous Wild Space.

Boundless opportunities and perils alike await those who dare to risk all in the K-Zone. Historically, its isolation from the Earthreign’s tyranny, panhumanity’s psychotramautic Fracture and the grand edicts of both the Samtic Nexus and the Sajit’satyk resulted in the rise of two of the galaxy’s leading superpowers from the ruins of the Apexai, the last stewards of the cosmos who also held court in the K-Zone. The region’s name is possibly derived from: Kill Zone, Karnage Zone, Kornukopia Zone, Kaos Zone, Karlack-infested Zone, Key Zone, or Krieg Zone after Viktoria Germania Krieg, the famous explorer.


Qirmiz Front

Stretching from the Fracture’s flank, the region that marks the edge of both NEUROM influence and civilized space. To its inhabitants, it is only known as the Frontier - an eternally smouldering conflict between civilization and destruction, antediluvian grudge and human ambition. In ages immemorial, the Frontier was a battleground between endless hordes of Karlack and Xerberi, the latter said to be guarding some priceless relic-treasure against misuse, and the stars themselves were stained red with their rust and ichor. All this deters the warlords of NEUROM little in their expansionist efforts, waves of troops and mentallic thralls struggling to maintain colonies to extract resources for their internecine power struggles. Exiles against the Ministry of Fate and disfavored warlords also carve out their enclaves here, taking their chances against ancient booby traps and rampant kill-swarms. Such lawlessness reigns here that roving Ministers of Fate, figures of fear in the Fracture, often find themselves the only source of law and authority to beleaguered communities.


Tidal Reach

To the galactic south of the Samtic Nexus, beyond the quarantine fleet outposts warning of extensive spacetime damage, beyond the hyperspatial bulwarks of the Orb Weavers’ Tapestry, lies this stretch of space unclaimed by any major power. Little is known of the Reach except through the Samtics, who speak of it in terms of great loss and melancholy. It was into this region that the Samtics launched their crusades to eradicate the Pyrrhons and recover the legendary Third Tomb, neither of which were ultimately accomplished. The shattered remnants of the Pyrrhon homeworlds are said to rest here, as well as the lost colonies of alien pilgrim-refugees whom the Samtics were said to have secreted here, back in the black days of the Earthreign. The Samtics say that all that comes to the Reach will eventually be lost, but all that is lost will eventually be found.


Wild Space

The notably ultraviolent lawless region within the K-Zone, primarily comprising the de-militarized sectors sandwiched between the United Solarian Sovereignty and the Bragulan Star Empire. Other notable actors in and around the area include Cevaucia, the Karlack Swarm, Sardics, the dysfunctional Satrapies of Qylath, the enigmatic Desthej and the devil-dealing Raptured Lords. This proximity to such transingularity societies, ultra-totalitarian regimes and all-consuming chitinous hordes engaged in nigh-perpetual covert and overt conflict has resulted in a smorgasbord of failed states, struggling enclaves, proxy regimes, crime havens and the occasional islands of sanity that makes it a unique destination for its diversity and for constantly being on the verge of complete annihilation. Despite its perils, this diversity also makes it a bustling hub of trade and sociocultural exchanges between societies and species (war also counts as an exchange, after all). Generally, other uncivilized sections of the galaxy are also called wild space, but there’s wild space and there’s Wild Space.



OMNIMISCELLANY


Calxyne (meta-mineral)

The result of the drawn out process occurring whenever cosmozoan remains descend onto terrestrial masses and eventually sink into the sediment where they decay. Over the eons, while the flesh and bone fossilize, the ichor seeping out of these carcasses fuse with the surrounding matter and transmutes it, gradually forming meta-materials with unique properties, like a cross between petrochemicals and verdigrite - albeit usually milder than the latter. Calxyne can come in varieties ranging from coagulated crystalline-alloys to energetic fluids. Unsurprisingly, civilizations on such grave worlds have found many industrial uses for calxyne varieties. While they are diluted in comparison to pure, undecayed ichor, they can be harvested and smelted into construction materials or refined into potent energy sources.


Fracture (phenomenon)

The Human Fracture. The Homo Psychosis. Obliviating the age of the Earthreign, the great Cataclysm cast an even greater shadow on panhumanity than the attendant collapse and regrowth of civilisation. Individuals and societies lost their memories and minds, either from the utter meltdown of the Earthreign’s pervasive cerebromantic control systems, or due to some fundamental mutilation of time and information itself. On the astropolitical level, the pervasive psychotrauma then stabilized into countless tiny blocs of homogenous memeology, grasping at idealized, half-remembered and even wholly-imagined trappings of ancient human societies. The polities built on such scabs find stability in reflexively perpetuating socio-historical cycles and rejecting anything alien and uncertain. But such crystallized fragments of human society are also impervious to change or merger, and where ideological blocs brush against each other, psychic tension sparks the emergence of psychovores and other psi-hazards. On even larger scales, unstable Intervergences cut jagged lines across empires and spawn whole dysfunctional sectors based on their anarchy.

The Fracture is hardly unaware of its own symptoms. To the transcendental Magi, it is the human soul in macrocosm, both a promise of infinite potentiality and a symptom of fundamental imbalance, and their work to repair insularity and restore empathy must be done, laboriously, from the microcosm up. To Meridian polysyllablists, it is the still-resonating echo of the original sin, mutually interfering frequencies blackening the realm of divine words and thus the nature of knowledge itself. To Apexai-influenced Omega theorists peering from beyond its influence, it is a bleeding breach into the exotic dimension of mind-complexity, alarmingly congruent with other, still more ancient Aguero encroachment events in threatening the integrity of the cosmos. But to the bulk of humanity, it is a phenomenon too massive to grasp, too paradoxically embedded in their own thoughts to extricate.


Galactic Calendars

Fracture humans' calendars are split between Before Fracture, constituting a mythic era known only by vague recollections and corrupted records when the Earthreign ruled supreme, and After Reignfall.

In the K-Zone, the popular Solarian calendar is divided between Before Sovereignty and After Unification. The period between BSOV and AU encompass First Contact with the Bragulans and the First Bragulan War, making the Unification Century and the Time of Treason, the most turbulent periods in USS history.

The Bragulan Star Empire divides its timeline between Before Imperator and After Great Civil War. The centuries BI encompass the rule of the Atomtzar and are subject to gratuitous amounts of historical revisionism, so paleohistologists outside the BSE take Bragulan BI records with planetoid-sized grains of salt.


Gateways

Portal generators connecting locations otherwise separated by vast interstellar distances, enabling the nigh-instantaneous travel of vessels from one point to another. The immense power requirements surpasses most other forms of supraluminal travel, as such gates are typically enormous and durable structures to withstand the sheer strain of their operation and accommodate reactors, radiators, hyperfield apparatus and other vital components. Said enormity also enables voluminous traffic or vessels of gargantuan sizes unobstructed passage. Needless to say, portal operations are incredibly complex, with advanced synthetic minds and/or bio-cogitators handling the various systems with their femto-scale tolerances, as even minor miscalculations can result in disastrous system failures or, worse yet, dreaded resonance cascades.

It is no surprise that for most modern space-faring civilizations, the construction of even a single gateway is a highly resource-intensive mega-project and a comprehensive network of such portals usually necessitates long-term multilateral cooperation. All these make the superstructures incredibly valuable, so they are usually built to last. Some Earthreign-era gates, vestiges of the hallowed Arges Rail more than a millennium old, are still in use in the Fracture. The Samtic Nexus and the Sajit Ranges operate extensive quadrantal grids of even older voidways and mobile war-portals. Probes sent to the Karlack cosmo-biophere have also detected cyclopean halo-reefs emanating exotic bio-signatures surprisingly similar to gateway emissions.


Hallowlights

Wisp-like flecks of dancing light, a rare phenomenon manifesting on worlds as well as in deep space and is called a variety of names by local races, such as 'old king's lanterns' on Zigon, 'eyes of the Imperator' in Bragulan folk belief, 'ghost candles' by the Cevaucian meisterkorps, 'reign-embers' in the Fracture and 'self-hypnotic defects in the r-grade unit' in casual conversation by Solarian CompInts. Of peculiar interest is their unique timelike nature, appearing to violate linear chronology by existing at multiple points in space-time at once. It is posited by the Foundation for Omega Point Experimentation on Solaris that the numerous observed hallowlights are in fact just that single one, dipping into and out of the skein of 'now' over and over again.

The appearance of hallowlights was for some time believed to be random, but the latest research suggests it is triggered by key events that can be anything: a massive fleet battle in Wild Space, the assassinations of key figures, but also the signing of a lease on a condo in Falvacion or hurrying after a child that forgot her toy roborabbit. Sometimes only a single hallowlight appears; sometimes enough appear to turn planetary night into day. Sometimes they linger, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they appear portentously before the event, sometimes only after. Understandably institutions dealing with psycho-memetics and hyperspatial studies have special interest in these hallowlights.


Hyperspace

A depthless dimension transcending conventional reality, as mysterious as it is treacherous with its contours ruled by utterly dissimilar laws of physics and strange space-time. Its phenomena manifest in many ways, in realspace dimension-bleeds regarded by most as eerie anomalies or stellar hazards, or as sources of sustenance for cosmozoan lifeforms. The trans-aetheric expanse is usually imperceptible to the senses of most species, unreachable if not for science’s greatest breakthroughs, even as forms of other-life call these unknown fathoms home.

Yet for all its mysteries, aspects of the phenomena have been understood and harnessed for practical purposes. Hyperdrive and hyperwave are the cornerstones of modern civilizations. The former enables faster-than-light travel via measured transdimensional immersion through a variety of ways, the latter entails sending and receiving signals for communication and detection over interstellar distances. Beyond transit and transmission, more advanced applications include: creating exotic matter suffused in transdimensional-energies, and conjuring fields and constructs of intersecting reality-planes for specialized purposes ranging from the mundane to the arcane, for protection or containment, creation or destruction.

Such is the galaxy’s diversity that traditional technologies, incredible feats of parabiological evolution and even hybrid approaches approaches either ramshackle or elegant in synthesizing the orga- and mecha- paradigms, can all grasp at that which lies beyond the infinite.


Ichor

Meta-biofluids produced by spacefaring Karlacks and cosmozoans that feast on stellar nectar, hyperspace bleedthroughs and other astral phenomena both mundane and exotic; or prey on other cosmozoans and even less-nutritious planetary life. Ichor production usually requires hyperspace exposure, which serves to catalyze the creatures’ essence-tissues as they go about their trans-galactic ranging. The resulting substance fuels their bizarre metabolisms and act as dimensional enzymes enabling superluminal movement, contragravitics and other exotic processes.

Due to these attributes, many civilizations harness the substance as a convenient shortcut for the complicated mechanics involved in bending the laws of physics, as well as to bypass synthesizing their own energy sources. Proper incorporation of ichor into industry greatly lowers the threshold for interstellar flight. In a twisted irony, the hyperdrives of harvesting vessels often imitate the anatomies of the creatures they hunt. Treewalker civilizations and some Sidereal starfarer houses even inject ichor into their own biologies, replicating the cosmozoan ability for hyperspatial navigation. Ichor has become a crucial commodity in the galactic economy - black gold. Primary exporters include NEUROM and the Shepherds, benefiting from the abundance of creatures in and around the Qirmiz Front. They face stiff competition from the Shen Rhapsody’s orgone, a vastly more potent substance harvested from mysterious titan corpses far rarer but more cooperative than, say, Karlack sun-divers. Over time, cosmic predators have begun preying on ichor- and orgone-powered vessels and settlements, perhaps merely smelling blood in the aether… and hopefully not out of deliberate revengeance.

Psychovorian creatures can also accumulate ichor-like substances from metabolized biopsionic energies or psychoplasms, though these are comparatively rare according to the galaxy’s leading Institutes of Cosmozoan and Karlack Studies (ICKS).


Neuromongers

The ancient mentallic controls of the bygone Earthreign, in actuality mutated wretches with bloated cortices, shrivelled forms and prodigious cerebromantic augments to maximize psionic capacities kept alive and functional in suspensor-tanks. These were the very first human espers created by the Reign, before the emergence of natural borns, and they inundated the empire’s territories with subtle cognitive suggestions coaxing conformity in the subjugated trillions. Above the worlds of man grids of these grotesqueries whispered to sleepwalking populaces and shaped their collective consciousness, within the great Human Fleets they were in ship-cores providing hyperspatial guidance and interstellar communications, and even in planetary warfare they operated Mandragora Pods to condition newbloods and coordinate frontline legions. Through this psionic network the Reign’s rulers were connected to - and saw - all.

As the Reign grew more assured in its paradigm the Neuromongers’ abilities were amped up in a pale imitation of the ancient Apexai’s Oversoul and the mass manipulation grew less and less subtle. Perhaps the intensification inevitably broke something in the psyche or caused a backlash, maybe it was due to the emergence of natural born espers or contrapsionic xenotech, but revolts began in the Reign’s peripheries and soon spread into its rotten core. It is said that in its last days Earth’s leadership strove to use the vast Neuromonger grid as a last-ditch weapon against its enemies, converting it into a stars-spanning psychic choir to smite the unfaithful. But this failed and in the end the Reign was consumed by a Cataclysm that would shatter humanity and even space itself. Since then, the Neuromongers have been lost and despite the mass-forgetting, their legacy is remembered among the traumatized peoples of the Fracture who have collectively forbidden such devices from ever being made or used again.


Neuroplasma

A liquid synth-biological medium and ‘smart’ nanofacture precursor compound, used by the myriad species of the Samtic Nexus for almost any individual purpose. Active nanoscale agents in the fluid can transport, manipulate and even produce material and information and supply it to any biological tissues it is in contact with, substituting the function of natural endocrinal systems with unparalleled efficiency. Furthermore, sufficient masses of self-organizing neuroplasma can perform their functions autonomously, greatly simplifying use to enable the omnilateral, plug-and-play symbiotic culture that the Nexus is renowned for. Drop Samtic post-organs and freshly grown prosthetics into neuroplasma and the solution will map out a functional neurological network for the collective to function. Spray it at an attacker and it will spread and crawl to physically immobilize, chemically sedate and neurologically subvert.

The only thing that exceeds the versatility of neuroplasma is its variety, and it is a given that there are particular recipes tailored for the biochemistries of every water- and carbon-based species in known space, with analogous compounds for those with more unusual physiologies, and countless lab-collectives and incubators working on more and better varieties at any given time. There are whole branches of Samtic political philosophy that judge society by its connecting medium, granting the quality of neuroplasma a nigh-sacred significance. It is even theorized that the Arkhon-repentents of old, inhabiting the very first progenitors of Samtic colonies, were inspired by bacteria infections in their own shells that evolved a symbiotic role by enhancing chemical communication between its fellow hosts.


Orgone

An extremely potent fuel derived from the necro-metabolic processes of the Rhapsodite titans entombed in the worlds of Shen. The tycoon-scientists studying the antigod-carcasses reactivated and repurposed their digestive systems into industrial accumulators wherein infusions of exotic matter are transmuted into an energy medium unlike any other. The precious juice powers a significant percentage of the Fracture region’s key infrastructures, advanced hypertechs, contragravitics, and, most importantly, long-range interstellar transportation. Moreover, befitting the titan-secretion’s mystic origins, more esoteric and exotic effects can also be unlocked through arcanic orgone-exploitation techniques - but many of these are said to be kept secret by the Rhapsodic Orgone Accumulation Corporation (ROAC), Shen’s de facto ruling power with a monopoly on the substance. The ones whose orgonic mastery comes closest is Grand Auriga, exemplified by the Gallant Armada’s orgo-plasmic lances. Before them, the bygone Earthreign was rumored to have some orgonic capacity but if this fabled craft existed it followed the same fate as the rest of the empire.

Orgone trading has resulted in immense prosperity for the Shen Rhapsody, even as rivals fervently pursue alternative fuels to contest its economic dominance. The search for other cosmic crypts has been fruitless, while the Shepherds and NEUROM compete with ichor harvested from Karlack and cosmozoans. Even though the substances overlap in their practical applications, the following must be considered: the logistic hurdles of harpooning and harvesting uncooperative leviathans versus the ease of siphoning essences from there industrialized titan-tombs; but also the abundance of said space creatures compared to the limited amount of orgone-sources. Nonetheless the god-matter’s sheer potency makes orgone the premium fuel in the Fracture, even if ichor is more accessible to the masses.

One of the effects of intensive orgone use or contamination is the condition called Theostigma, the corruption of organic matter and lifeforms unable to safely absorb the substance. Physio-spiritual deterioration is marked by pallor, emaciation, dysmorphia and hallucinations many believe to be visions tied to orgone’s eldritch origins. Rare cases exist of orgone-corrupted beings temporarily manifesting incredible but vaguely defined and poorly understood meta-abilities. And there are increasing numbers of orgone and O-derivative abusers, traffickers and organizations of varying legality, from affluent experimentalists to criminal cartels and even Theostigma-obsessed cults. It is rumored that Shen’s elite Extreme Enhancile Elements Division (EXEED) operators and Special Enhancile Existential Reconnaissance (SEER) clairvoyants are augmented by carefully administered O-derivatives.


Oversoul

Apexaia’s fabled psychosphere embodying and sustained by their people’s collective will and spirit, interconnecting their kind and bolstering their psionic puissance to unimaginable levels. This vast link was maintained by a network of Conduits, crystalline pylons originally made from the vitrified remains of holy elders before being supplemented by synthetic albeit less puissant mediums. The Oversoul was more than a bond shared by an entire people; it served as a repository for memories; incarnated thoughts and dreams; and bypassed the boundaries between the abstract and the real. It could project manifestations across the cosmos, which in Apexaia’s zenith was used to uplift those they deemed worthy and smite transgressors - giving or taking away the gift of sapience, accelerating or reversing the development of species’ corporeal forms, and more. For defense, their spirit-made-manifest folded the very substance of space surrounding their worlds, creating a veiled realm inaccessible and imperceivable to the unwelcomed while putting them in proximity to the furthest vectors of space.

For eons this edifice stood resplendent like the Apexai’s invisible imperium itself, but the ancients’ follies and hubris eventually eroded the Oversoul’s foundations. Denial of the dark secrets behind their accomplishments, regret over their failures in maintaining galactic harmony, the destabilization brought about by their erring deeds, and the toll of stymieing the full effects of the Cataclysm that Fractured much of the cosmos - this caused great apathy and grief among the Apexai, attenuating their psychosphere. So when the weakened Oversoul inevitably cracked against the assault of their enemies, the shining gates were breached and their once-hidden realm came crashing into realspace - falling from heaven like lightning. Most Conduits shattered, and those closest to Apexaia’s ruination were battered by arcane shrapnel bearing psychic death-screams and violent final moments echoing across worlds to scar countless minds and souls; worse yet was the unleashing of sorcerer ghosts, imprints of restless dead and ancient forgotten villains hellbent on exacting their revengeance.

Among the surviving Exodites, all they could bring with them were mere shards - yet even in its fallen state the communal mindspace retained some of its potency and reach. In the centuries since, what they have remade remains a shadow of the old Oversoul’s full glory, a delicate and fledgeling thing containing the potential to regain the brilliance of the past... or become something new entirely.


Pandaemonium

The name given to the homogenous, hyper-advanced computing substrate ubiquitous to the Babylos Infall. At once nigh-impervious, self-sustaining and self-mutable, it is a wonder of reawakened hyber technology, forming the basis of both the Infall’s planetary megastructures and its cybercosm of imprisoned souls. Mysteries abound as to pandaemonium’s material properties, such as its disregard for gravity despite its immense inferred density; or the processing power that should exceed anything containable by mere matter, suggesting dimensionally transcendent workings analogous to Solarian sub-meson technology and the like. Indeed, the presence of large quantities of pandaemonium demonstrably warps space-time, and countless explorers have found themselves lost in labyrinths of Infallen infrastructure that violate the bounds of their geometry.

Even small chunks of pandaemonium can house countless virtual minds, their frenzied autoevolution agitating up a radiation flux that even humans can perceive as haunting patterns on its surface. But to actually access such a trove one must call upon the Demiurgy, the warden intelligences of the Infall subtly interwoven with their mad charges, and convince them to initiate the harrowing process of encryption and descent. For not even the Demiurgy can save data lost in the Infall - it may either react to the outside universe or accelerate its faculties to monitor its own contents, but not both.

What the Demiurgy does exercise is power over the shape and growth of pandaemonium, which once swallowed whole planetary bodies and reformatted them into the fractal honeycombs and atmosphere-piercing spires that constitute the Infall’s truly sovereign territory, well-guarded and forbidding. Any detachment of pandaemonium from the greater whole, either as autonomous constructs or even humanscale artifacts, is monitored by all proximate political powers. Material of such durability and informational capacity would theoretically be a fine prize if it wasn’t for the Demiurgy’s hardcoded mandate to protect the integrity of its prison, which tolerates brief risks to fulfill political priorities but spares no effort to punish perfidy.


Tabulla

When the great Deluges subsided and panhumanity seemed safe from rampaging Antikhûr and other overt threats from the Samtic Nexus, a far greater storm erupted on the Fracture’s bloody eastern flank. There was paranoia and wildfire rumor, information made unreliable by deliberate suppression, lost communications and the very nature of the threat. The Tabulla could be anywhere, and the fearful and the credulous assumed that they were. Pogroms were launched against Isopterid enclaves for fear of what else lurked in their innocuous hosts; polities imposed draconian surveillance measures to unclear effect; and the mere whisper of an Imago, the fearsome warform of a Tabulla agent that could erupt out of any human body, could send whole urban conglomerations into panic.

The incidents of violence are verifiable - biological monstrosities appearing to slaughter unwitting targets, or to prevent each other from doing so, or to defend themselves against similarly inexplicable strike forces - but the reasons are less so. Samtic communiques to Fracture governments purportedly confess their origins as rogue symbiotes from the Nexus’ deeper reaches hoping to colonize panhumanity, necessitating the dispatch of further covert symbiotes to root them out. Considering the diametric agendas of the involved bodies (and of those who would reveal such as truths), all this may be further deception, a gloss over some byzantine political realignment within the Nexus itself. Further conjecture that Tabulla violence was the mere facet of an all-out shadow war between proto-Aurigan intelligence services, Kheler-backed Talatrist cells, radical White Children and immortal cabals of Earthreign survivors stretches available evidence even further.

There have been no credible report of the Tabulla for many turns of Auriga’s suns. Nevertheless, its legacy persists in the anti-biotech bent of most Fracture societies today, the purges and displacements of Desecrated demographics carried out against its name, the rise of even more extreme human-purists, and the pervasive sense of tension and paranoia that if anything, has made the already constructed reality of the Fracture even more fragile.



Verdigrite

Hyper-radioactive metacrystals that replicate by transmuting exposed matter into more verdigrite. Most expertly cultivated and utilized by Bragulans to enhance their polynucleonic power sources and weaponry, such as: verdi-bolters ranging from the infantry-grade to warship-scale, planet-cracking enriched hyperfusion warheads, and dreaded the verdi-beams on dreadnoughts and strategic planetoids. The potent effects extend hyperspatially, when controlled this grants Bragulans their own crude dimensional-field applications, and when uncontrolled verdi-reactor meltdowns have resulted in entire irradiated solar systems rendering even superluminal travel into the affected space hazardous. These disasters have resulted in military applications inconceivable to other civilizations - like the lightyears-spanning Periphery Zones of Alienation, deliberate contaminations intended to secure sections of the Bragulan Star Empire’s borders from the Karlacks.

Quantities of verdigrite are harnessed outside Bragspace - NEUROM and the Shepherds are distant runner-ups in production capacity, primarily for military purposes - but its toxic nature has led most sane civilizations in the galaxy to opt for safer energy sources such as the brute-force generation of anti-matter and black holes, ichor harvested from cosmozoans and ravenous Karlack bioforms, orgone produced by rare Rhapsodite god-carcasses, and the borderline arcane processes the Apexai have bequeathed their allies. Still, power-generation wise, verdigrite remains competitive while being much easier to directly weaponize.

Natural sources of verdigrite are rare, and even the substance’s naturalness and definitive origins remain debatable. Second-order verdigrite, either ordinary matter converted into the crystals or lab-made growths, are less potent and inherently unstable to fabricate - but the Bragulans mass produce them anyway, turning entire worlds into verdi-farms. There are classified reports of virulent verdi-growths surrounding the remains of the ancient mechanical beings called Telestrons, the reason for this remains undetermined, though primitive Bragulan nomads near the rad-zones sing of how the dried blood of the old giants have cursed (or blessed, depending on the translation) the grounds on which they were spilt.
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Shroom Man 777
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Re: SOTS Master List

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Summations of important details in the ‘verse… Part IV.

See Part I for the thanks, credits and acknowledgements to the upstanding folks who've contributed to this or provided material to be drawn from, based on, inspired by or outright riffed...


LEGEND:
List 1: Xenotaxonomies, Biophyla & Ethnoclades: Species and races

List 2: Cosmopolities, Sociocultures & Ideomemetics: Polities, organizations, communities and beliefs

List 3: Astrocartography of the Cosmos: Regions and locations of the galaxy
Omniscellany: Sciences, technologies, natural and unnatural phenomena in space, misc info.

List 4: Endofactions & Infraorders: Civilizations’ inner agencies
Metapersonae: Notable individuals



ENDOFACTIONS & INFRAORDERS


Bragule >


Imperial Bureau of Galactic Vigilance

The inconceivably vast apparatus behind the surveillance and ideological purity enforcement encompassing the Bragulan Star Empire’s entirety. The IBGV is the Imperator's cloak and dagger to the sword and shield of the Bragulan Warmachine. For, as he himself once said, "the cost of Bragulanity is eternal vigilance," thus it is through the IBGV that the Imperator watches over his dominion and the vectors of space yet to be under his glourious rule.

The IBGV’s primary responsibilities are two-fold: External Concerns, watching over a hostile galaxy and undermining threats to Bragule, most especially their eternal enemy the United Solarian Sovereignty; and Internal Integrity, the surveillance of the Empire’s own internal power structures - monitoring civilian government ministries and ensuring that they are kept in line, providing intel to the militaries and justice-enforcement while simultaneously scrutinizing them thoroughly for signs of dissent real or perceived, and maintaining the ideological purity of the general citizenry by examining the correctness their thought contents and rebuking any observed or suspected intellectual deviations.

All this requires innumerable agents, informants, bureaucrats, technicians, interrogators, prison guards, covert liquidators and direct-action troops - indeed, it’s taken for granted that the agency’s personnel outnumbers that of some interstellar nations. This also means that the IBGV utilizes every technological means at its disposal, from archeo-wiretaps and two-way telescreens to passive sensors rigged to Byzontron supercomputers that gauge citizens’ conformity, planet-covering arrays whose active scans monitor warfleets and potentially blind them, and moon-sized fortress-archives containing files and kompromat on trillions.


External Concerns

Aside from its warfleets and legions, External Concerns is the primary method by which the Empire exerts its will on the universe in ways subtler than reducing planetary surfaces into glowing glass. Aside from nucleonic-armed hitsquads and lurking spy ships, of which they have plenty, this arm utilizes a vast interstellar network of cells and proxies, often unwitting pawns since most sane beings would refuse to collaborate with the totalitarian regime. These include amoral magnates and traders whose organizations provide useful fronts, kompromat-extorted government figures, manipulated activist movements, and of course revolutionaries in dire need of arms and funding. Even Bragule's diplomatic corps is actually a sub-directorate of External Concerns, and there is its “Human Intelligence” methods, populations indoctrinated from youth to be true believers of Byzonism and conditioned to be sleeper infiltrators unreadable to anything short of truly intrusive psychic scans. Equivalents for other alien societies also exist.

Concerns' successes include the countless unexplained if terribly brutal deaths of state enemies and anti-Byzonist exiles, coups installing friendly governments (or at least hostile to Bragulan enemies) in Wild Space and beyond, dominance in the galactic arms black market, and the “death to spies” campaign’s growing tally. But the prevailing triumph of these relatively soft efforts is the rise of Inhumanism, a movement in numerous societies expressing concern, distrust and hostility towards humanity for its barbaric galaxy-destabilizing past, its teeming numbers and the influence imperialistic human powers such as the Sovereignty and Fracture nations continue to hold, which is translating to growing solidarity between groups professing to be inhumane - all based on pre-existing anxieties and sentiments the IBGV has stoked, and directed towards what it perceives to be the Empire’s primary threats.


Internal Integrity

In charge of maintaining social order within Bragulan society and liquidating any threats to stability foreign or domestic, Internal Integrity is seemingly both omnipresent and omnipotent. They have no reason to act with External Concerns' tact and subtlety, and their responsibilities are twicefold - directed inwards, scrutinizing all, even and especially its own ranks to ensure ideological purity and freedom from contaminant thoughts. Those found lacking are consigned to the archipelago of prison worlds, bragulags where dissenters and the insufficiently loyal are corrected through hard labor and re-education, or worse fates. For all this, Integrity maintains considerable security forces, wetworkers, border guards and even its own fleets. It also conscripts rare Bragulans or aliens with metasensory abilities, molding them so that Byzonist ideals are not only the core of their personhood but their entirety, turning them into instruments of thought detection and control with no thoughts of their own - the perfect tools of the state.

Needless to say, all this makes the Empire incredibly opaque and all but impenetrable to foreign actors and agencies. Integrity permeates the entirety of their society, from its upper echelons to its lowest levels, in line with Byzonist theory where it is said that the Imperator's unblinking gaze truly sees all. And such is this reverence (and pants-shitting fear) that the very structure of their society is shaped by an inherent awareness of surveillance and individuals’ ability to maintain multiple ideologically correct, even if contradictory, lines of thought needed to function in everyday life while remaining true to Byzonist precepts. This is the double-, triple- and even quadruple-thinking inherent in all, from workers bringing glory by meeting production quotas to scienticians whose formulae are in keeping with the Coryphaeus of Science’s dialectic, historical revisionist clerks ensuring their edits are true to Byzonic values, marshalls waging campaigns so victories and defeats alike match Byzonist psychohistorical inevitability, and even the invisibly watching IBGV operatives themselves and their watchers who define the social order’s very fabric upon their understanding of the Imperator’s Perfect Principles.



Cascade >


ICEMI / Task Force Lunelight

The Independent Constellate for Executive Mandates and Initiatives is an international and trans-political security agency of the Cascade, as unlikely as its existence seems in the vast and heterogenous region with its widening conflict fronts. In fact, ICEMI’s origins lay in diplomatic overtures between the factions of the so-called Laurentian Civil War - for it should be recognized that there were tireless efforts to de-escalate and settle ongoing grievances even as the secessionist League of Terranates and the reformist Cascadian Freeworlds drew their battlelines. What began as a sort of clearing house to horsetrade the charge and extradition of the many colonial robber barons, traitorous officers and war criminals of the early war grew large and formalized as other polities wanted a stake in the result, or saw a useful platform to resolve their own conflicts. Today ICEMI still hosts frank exchanges on jurisprudence and public policy, publishing Jubilist meditations on radical forgiveness to fiery opinions from visiting Bragulan judges.

Formally speaking, ICEMI is the enforcement arm of its own multi-species supervisory council, which itself draws representatives from a nimbus of pan-Cascade organizations such as the Cascadian Justice Forum and Polylateral Reconciliation Dialogue, the Arbitrage on Post-Colonial Economic Transfers (APCET), the Pyrrhon Limitation of Action Treaty Organization (PLATO), as well as more insular intra-species networks like the Vaosich Externalities Services (VEXes) and the Bulearkies Abroad Regime of the Ngovok. Some sponsors would otherwise be toothless interest groups while others are merely adding to their deep arsenals, but their combined deliberations define the mission of ICEMI’s bureaus and field networks: transnational law enforcement, assistance in anti-terrorist public order, and humanitarian aid. The boundary between the first two are predictably contentious, but does incentivize polities to participate to have their people treated with the former rather than the latter; while the last falls furthest from ICEMI’s original purpose but contributes much to its legitimacy.

The most prominent division of ICEMI is however Task Force Lunelight, its agents charged with impartial investigation and arrest across known space, no matter the cooperativeness of local authorities or the formidability of the suspect. Though ICEMI’s signatories range from individual Freeworlds and Terranates preserving a common thread of humanist jurisprudence, to the xenophilic Joining and the pragmatic Firmagence, to even the outermost copper-wood Hekkaran realms, a right to entry does not mean a smooth investigation. Overriding national interest, differing legal concepts or the plain exigency of war may place a fugitive beyond reach even if their guilt is established, and Lunelight agents must leave with the satisfaction of having proven their point. Despite (and probably because) that its failures outnumber the rare celebrated instance when an agent brings in an ex-Dukem for trial, it is this pursuit of principle and justice that leaves the task force with its celebrated reputation and idealistic recruits.


Cascade > Freeworlds of Cascadia >


Jubilism

A synthesis between the Isopterid geno-ideal of skillful earthcraft and ecological stewardship with the terranist manifest destiny of the Old Cascadian humans, codified by those who bridged both identities - Human-Isopterid converts from Laurentia displaced by colonist regimes back to the Cascadian homeworlds, an ancestral home where they did not belong. Generally Isopterized under inequitable conditions and doubly ostracized for their choice, the refugees saw their tribulations as an unworthiness that must be redeemed by unshirking labor. When Old Cascadia was left on the verge of collapse by the Laurentian Independence Wars and a grand and desperate plan of economic and ecological rejuvenation was proposed with the aid of the newfound Firmagence, faith in the imminent Jubilee was poised to explode like wildfire.

With planetary congregations organized under the Assemblies of the Great Span, Jubilism is one of the pillars of the Freeworlds in adversity. Battalions of unbreakable symbiotes take arms to counter the material advantage of Laurentian mobile infantry. Against resource shortages they preach endurance and austerity, and to fulfil the backbreaking work of ecospheric reconstruction they push whole populations into Isopteric service, not only to work symbiotes but also as a course of moral improvement. They hold that experience of symbiosis leaves ex-hosts imprinted with virtue and work ethic, a lay brotherhood to further Jubilism’s cause beyond Isopteric circles. It is this insistent primacy of the human host that leaves the greater Firmagence unable to embrace Jubilist Isopterids as kin even as they freely offered them the technical knowledge and coordination that left them holding key infrastructure stakes in their greatest ally.

Representing Jubilist aspiration is their grand guildhall on the sunless world of Ctlo, its desolate landscape abandoned even by Pyrrhon scavengers. It is a grueling work in progress, the terraform temples not expecting any appreciable habitability for many generations. But the moment of ritual unsuiting, of being able to breathe naked on the transformed surface, will be a grand mark in the earthly fulfillment of the Jubilist promise. The guildhall itself is an underground cathedral, with beams and buttresses of toxic heavy metals extracted from the environment and sealed in crystal, decorated with iridescent frescos of recycled pollutants. Congregants have the opportunity to commune with their protective cytosuits as they contemplate the construction of beauty from ruin and poisoned roots.


Grandeur of Auriga >


Avestavra

The most illustrious Magi order in the known universe, keepers of the imperishable flame at humanity’s heart. The Avestavra predates its host, the Grandeur of Auriga, and plays no small part in the latter’s continued cohesion, guiding its flourishing as a garden of transhuman potential and maintaining itself as a counterweight to the imperial power of its twin Houses Regnant. Red-robed Avestals can be found at any level of Grandeur society, watching for aberrant memes that may spout into malignant social trends and imperil Fracture-vulnerable souls. House Nobles would know Avestals as wise counselors, lifelong companions and impartial mediators; graduates of the harsh Imperial academies remember firm mentors and surrogate parents; and psionically gifted scions see them as sagely tutors imparting mystic secrets. The teeming Commensality sees equanimous caregivers, enigmatic miracle-workers and occasionally, awesome protectors. Even the very model of an accomplished Aurigan aristocrat, a superhuman lord of millions, may still quail at the mere frown of his old class-mistress, and it is this influence that the Avestavra prefers to wield in accordance with the Sophia’s teachings.

The Avestavra is at heart a mystery cult. Its priesthood of Magi are inheritors of a mantle of tradition and authority traced from the Sophia’s earliest disciples - and literally so, as Avestals were among the first to develop the process of Bequeathment and the manifestation of immortal Graces. Their higher teachings are a heterogeneous collection of transavant contemplations and mystical insights, bound into an allegorical framework that demands degrees of mindful advancement. Initiates must sever all connections of House and allegiance, no matter their previous station. But once within the cult, blood and class also mean little and even the most baseborn Magi may join the consensus that forms the Avestavra’s decision-making. Such is the result of having a collective well of preserved knowledge with a tradition already devised for every corundum. However, there are whispers of a arena for Avestals to settle irreconcilable disputes by soul-duel, a higher psychoscape where one must fight to move the shades of ascended Magi that form its spectators.

From a perch of immense prestige and privilege in Grand Auriga’s hierarchy, with a plentitude of members both exalted and mundane, the Avestavra look upon the wider Fracture and aspire to represent all Magi and lead all panhumanity’s salvation. It is true that the popular image of baroque peagenty and arcane familiars among Magi stems from the Avestals’ entwinement with high Aurigan culture, and that the Avestavra maintain academies that take in and educate any and all freshly awakened Magi from across the universe, no matter their shape or origin. This makes little difference to the great and powerful of the Grandeur, to whom the Avestavra are a bloc to be handled with reciprocal ties and careful truces like any other. And far from all Magi accept the Avestavra’s primacy, from councilor traditions with equally illustrious pedigrees like the Meridian Scouts, to dedicated renegades in the Unterran Syndiktats disenchanted with the order’s entanglement in the Grandeur’s inherent imperialism.


Grand Gallant Armada of the Eight Vectors

The spaceborne branch of the armed forces of the Grandeur of Auriga, the Grand Gallant Armada is charged to defend the honour of the great empire, safeguard her farflung realms, tributaries and clients, and assert her authority against her numerous cosmopolitcal rivals in the Fracture and beyond. As the most senior and demanding of the imperial services, the Grand Gallant Armada is responsible for forging the diverse and oft-eccentric strength of the Grandeur’s transhuman Houses into a unified force, marshalling their wealth, industry and fighting talents to uphold a peace amenable to all - and especially to the Dual Monarchy and their unbroken dynasty.

From the techno-barbarian boarding combat of its earliest predecessors to its defining campaigns against the immensely sophisticated forces of the Samtic shadow crusades, the Armada has always relied on leveraging Grand Auriga’s deep well of transhuman ability. Aristocratic officers are wedded by sophisticated psychometric interfaces to highly demanding, high performance Aurigan hardware to exemplify of their natural superiority, and this principle applies to single-pilot Armigers and cognitively networked capital ships alike. Digital Intelligence systems, Commoner crews, and whole formations of more specialized warships act as support and force multiplication, never usurping the institution’s role in facilitating the exchange of service for honor by House nobles. In this vein, the Armada favors well-protected and flexible ships to answer any challenge in their wide-ranging mission, frequently featuring multipurpose, fin-like hyperfield projectors that can be configured for rapid gravimetric maneuver, extra defence layering or even short-ranged offensive projections as the situation demands. The sight of a charging battle-lion, fields arrayed in full sail and orgonic lances ready, is one that strikes fear across all the Fracture.

The Armada is a keystone to the Grandeur’s superpower status, and as such it must fight to remain one of known space’s most formidable military forces. This imposes escalating pressures on the imperial treasury and House shipbuilders, as advancing orgonic systems and metahuman synergies are incorporated into ever more formidable - and more complex and expensive - warship designs. Squadrons are spread thin patrolling a larger Grandeur than ever before despite the Sidereal’s long distance gate network, leading to the emplacement of static frontier fortifications and the employment of ronin mercenaries by Houses and world-gentries, all unwelcome signs of eroding trust in the authority of the Dual Monarchy. This in turn forces individual captains to risk every bit of daring and ingenuity incalculated into them to out-think, out-nerve and out-fight ever-present foes.


Kheler > Kiths of High Kheler


Kheler-Talat

Talons of Kheler. Members of civilization who, for whatever reason, seek to join their destinies to the rigid and inexorable fates of the Kheler despite being intrinsically ineligible to do so, not being themselves Kheler. Talat form fierce cults promoting Khelerene traits translated through their adherents’ own ontologies and often seek allegiance to whatever genuine kith that will accept it. To them, taking on Khelerene duties (especially fighting and dying) hitches their own fates to the Khelerene drive towards the teleological fulfillment of all phenomena, allowing them to partake in the eventual union of all souls at the end of time. Perhaps, the neurologically ingrained certainty with which Kheler hold to such views seem truer and more convincing than the psychotraumatic vagaries that dominates known space.

The Covenant of High Kheler does make provisions for Kheler-Talat among its constituents, requiring kiths to guarantee mortality-insurance and minimum standards of proxy responsibility, but leaves it to individual kiths to determine whether recruiting Talat is acceptable, or indeed metaphysically possible. Some kiths humor such worshipful aliens in a universe where allies are few, while others make Talat a core component of their deniable covert operations, cultivating a fanaticism that endures even behind layers of disguised identity.


Myrrans >


Mindhunters

A strange series of cults or orders among Myrrankind, unified only by their militant mobilization against esperic activity wherever it may be found. Patrolling the mirrored palaces and the squalous rift cities of the Myrran Ascendancy, they defend their psi-null species against forms of attack - and violations of individual integrity - that no individual can detect nor have an affinity for understanding. Myrran Mindhunters would not be recognized across the known universe if they weren’t known to extend their interest more evangelically, roaming the spaceways for anathema to extinguish. Some, as far as they can communicate and be understood, treat the existence of espers as a religious affront against their Queen With No Soul, which speaks tantalizingly of the mystery of their origins; some others are twisted philanthropists, who see erasing the psionic potential of sapients as bringing them to a state analogous to their own blessed soullessness.

Successful Mindhunters equip themselves with formidable and eclectic Myrran warcraft for general duty, but the means with which the combat espers or psychovores depends heavily on their origins and patronage. They may employ suitable captive lifeforms - even starwisps and Qri - as detectors and attack hounds; frequency-cancellers and psi-insulators not unfamiliar to other technological civilizations; disturbing conceptual negators and dimensional isolators obtained from the dread Cthonemesis; or any combination thereof. For a species as fragmented as the Myranni, the Mindhunters are a rare vector of unity, and exhibit an uncommonly pragmatic dedication to a cause.

As missionaries from the dark Mindhunters are not usually effective, but their work has value in occasionally ridding a world from a psychovore that plagues it. Even by the erratic social accounting of their species, Myrran Mindhunters have become more active in other spheres than ever before as conquistadores in the Bounty come into increasing contact with the Traumfanger parasites infesting Gorok phalanginites. Further afield, the more daring have stalked satykeen refugees to the distant K-Zone to encounter the burning legions of the Pyropraxic Concordance, mutual abominations in each others’ eyes. Solarian intelligence does not anticipate impressions improving upon encounters with other K-Zone powers.



Samtic Nexus >


Ecumenical Standing Crusades

Militant, idiosyncratic institutions of ancient Samtic pedigree and the closest bodies to exist as a pan-Nexus standing military. It is Crusaders of every stripe who crew the lonely watch stations along the Tidal Reach, who plunge tirelessly into the Green Sea, who guard archaeosophist pilgrims in an unfriendly Fracture. Composed of any variety of its member species under arms and operating in fleets skin to self-contained civilizations, the Crusades perform the uneasy task of projecting Samtic power and influence beyond the dense and ancient confines of their civilization. Sometimes, they even leave it in their wake - cosmopolitan garrisons and logistics networks well-placed to expand the common meta-protocols that are the Nexus’ backbone.

In the antiquity of Samtic history, the Standing Crusade was established as a framework for the early phratries and colony-cults to pool their resources against common threats without compromising their respective genodogmas. Even as the Samtics continued to grow and diversify, Crusades took on more significance for every intractable foe they encountered – against Pyrrhons, the Myrran Ascendency, the primordial Cryst, the Hierarchs of the Second Tomb and more – and each became more as insular institutions as they operated, as driven by their independent missions and self-sufficiency. This poses difficulties in the modern Age of the Nexus, where myriad species maintain their independent militaries and policymakers can draw on far more nuanced tools. Some Crusades assume the purely political character of domestic interest groups, continuing to justify their legitimacy via commission reports older than some interstellar civilizations. Others superannuate into paper memberships or irrelevant appendages no different from any of the Nexus’ participatory polities.

Samtic Nexus > Exilates >


Omittar Psi-knights

Parahuman Exiles, tight-knit orders of espers who return to their ancestral home as errant strangers. Of the Exilate clades who care to look past the Great Forget, the Omittar are the righteous condemned. By assuming even the implication of continuity from the Earthreign that might be their creators, they choose to repent for sins that they cannot know. Over generations of exodus in the Samtic Nexus, the Omittar have refined their relict psionic talents into potent ability with the aid of symbiotic biotech and artificial foci. Without such tools, a psi-knight is helpless with congenital afflictions and unstable output - not that they ever plan to be. The Samticoid neuro-regulator glands and the sapient Cryst circuitry in their psi-amps are not just companions and assistants typical to Nexus citizens, but also bondsmen and witnesses of the surety that the Omittar will not go down the path of the Mind-tyrants of old.

With their faceless organic armatures and iconic crystalline athames, the Omittar have carved an undeniable niche into the Fracture’s memescape. Scrupulously, lone advisors and small detachments provide esoteric services to the Fracture’s needy, and hunt on humanity's behalf the unexpurgated monsters that still lurk in the gaps of night. Even prosperous Sidereal Houses are known to retain psi-knights as impartial bodyguards, despite the distant threat of Aurigan censure. However, the Joxndra conflict and numerous other unasked interventions show that this does not mean the current sovereigns of the Fracture are owed their obedience. Omittar are still Exiles, and their ultimate ideals (of all minds liberated, all souls redeemed) are long-vanished from the calcified Fracture, precious in their quixotism.

Psynods of the Omittar travel in self-contained enclaves, retreating back to their bespoke mobile habitats whenever the weight of the Fracture grows unbearable. To most of panhumanity this merely furthers their inscrutability, dancing their reputations on the knife’s edge of mystique and mistrust. Few consider the extensive logistics in the Samtic Nexus that makes their long vigil possible, nor the rotating pools of volunteer-adepts recruited from a panhumanity much diverged in its psionic practices and taboos. Extensive pacts and obligations bind them to various inhuman institutions of the Nexus, where their abilities are also in much demand - and there may be no easy choice to honor their duties over the crusade-call of some prospective ecumon.


NEUROM >


Ministry of Fate >


Alharuns
Passionists, Bell-Breakers, Ordovices, Satirites
A faction within the Ministry of Fate, insofar any such faction is a loosely aligned collection of interests that must justify themselves before the All-Father’s jealous dominion. Alharuns are Ministers who do what they will, playing within the collective landscape of resonating emotion as only puissant espers can. This may take the form of intrepid hedonism, erasing barriers, creating new pillars of culture and smashing societal stagnancy. But given the frequent background of degradation and oppression, Alharuns may equally amount to explosions of grotesque violence, of unsustainable self-transformations into psychovores and other Fracture-terrors. The visible fallout merely reinforces mainstream NEUROM society’s pervasive esperphobia.

Attracting malcontents of all sorts in the seethe of the Fracture, Alharuns justify their excesses in many ways. Some see theirs as a personal relationship with the All-Father that cannot be constrained by structure or rationality. Some see ecstasy as enlightenment as individualistic whim - and accrue enough power and influence to make themselves useful rather than inconvenient to the Ministry, though they may well work with Sinzites to create a more permissive NEUROM for their inclinations. Some consider themselves vessels of catharsis for humanity’s pent-up sins, their every act of despoilment justified. Others claim spiritual descent from the apocryphal Fury, both a full-fledged Magi and a devoted but irreverent confidante of the All-Father, who vanished after committing a trail of cosmic upsets. Among the Alharuns, one can find the Ministers most disruptive to the order of NEUROM’s societies and hierarchies, but also those the most quixotically loyal to the All-Father’s cause.


Balhaeli
Hermetics, Golden Wisdom, Allchymists
A faction within the Ministry of Fate, insofar any such faction is a loosely aligned collection of interests that must justify themselves before the All-Father’s jealous dominion. Balhaeli pursue esoteric knowledge above all - not for serving the lumbering apparati that gird NEUROM or the mundane industries that sustain it - but for shards of transcendence in a vast and broken cosmos, as the All-Father himself had once gathered. Distant from the Ministry’s politicking, they claw insights from the underpinnings of reality, labor on psientific masterpieces, and patiently reverse-engineer the cognometric superweapons of the old Earthreign for more worthy hands; confident that other Ministers will pay dearly for even scraps of their art.

Balhaeli sink sprawling roots into a myriad of technological institutions and black budgets, but their primary stronghold is ironically the de jure Trilateral Ministry of Fate-Preservation, responsible for safekeeping and monitoring NEUROM’s forbidden technologies. While generally too absorbed in wherever their research takes them to have a systemic vision for NEUROM, Balhaeli tend to be centralizers and unifiers, investing in singular works of genius and paradigm-breaking points with the most disproportionate impacts - and all the better if such works are themselves, a prospective inner cabal of doubly-elevated beings who will redefine reality at the All-Father’s side. Opposite the Mysterans and the Canternoster, Balhaeli must weigh whether a closed and coordinated Ministry or a smoothly run NEUROM will benefit their projects more, even as they risk their ultimate ascension violating the All-Father’s well-guarded prerogative - and becoming the ultimate censure.

Canternoster
Clockmakers, Vritrines, Newminds, Blindseers
A faction within the Ministry of Fate, insofar any such faction is a loosely aligned collection of interests that must justify themselves before the All-Father’s jealous dominion. The Canternoster cast an eye over the sprawl of humanity’s greatest confederation and see a house that must be put into order. Disdaining any dichotomy between a Ministry of Fate that must remain hidden and one that exercises its mandate to lead all souls, they seamlessly infiltrate vital bureaucracies and pan-polity institutions throughout NEUROM, interweaving a single edifice that they envision as a great glass machine, autonomous and impenetrable. The cosmos is a clock, set into motion by an eternal and unchanging All-Father at some indeterminable instant, and should be able to function without further adjustment.

The Canternoster tend to recruit from NEUROM’s existing stakeholders such as established Anethgan financiers and the divination offices of the Trilateral Ministry of Strategic Contingency, wielding the anonymous and stochastic distribution of resources to bypass the capricious politicking in every hall of state. Tremendous obstacles stand before their goal, not least of all that their aversion to disorder itself places them on the back foot in conflicts with other Ministry factions, and the overlapping veils of secrecy spanning secular and sectarian cabals of power vital to their existence and function. Nevertheless, they find use in the regard that other factions consider them a neutral ground, whose own feeder machinery turn out competent Ministers ready to be poached for more radical causes, and whose agents will repair the sandbox after their struggles - proof to the Canternoster that even the Ministry’s most lofty ploys must be rooted in their diligent efforts.


Mysterans
The Pergamon, Ruhab-Rabaum, Chamberlains, Aphophics
A faction within the Ministry of Fate, insofar any such faction is a loosely aligned collection of interests that must justify themselves before the All-Father’s jealous dominion. The Mysterans serve as the deadly hand behind the Ministry of Fate as a standing conspiracy - hygienizing information, suborning agents, creating institutional backdoors, and as the All-Father decreed, doing all that is necessary to disguise the Ministry's activities as part of the NEUROM system - or its failures. That NEUROM’s corrupt labyrinth of public institutions is already so well-suited for co-option is a convergent development that the Mysterans are fond of claiming credit for. They see themselves as the Ministry’s true backbone, carving out the space in which its other factions can exist.

The Mysterans work, almost in an official capacity, through the Trilateral Ministry of Notional Integrity, though their well-placed agents may be found in any security agency or censorious bureau of NEUROM’s constituents. Some fuel the constant burden and brutal discipline of their craft with quasi-mystical doctrine of the conservation of knowledge - that the truths of the universe, held rightfully by the All-Father, are only valuable because they are known by few. Furthermore, keeping an entire organization of espers secret is a pragmatic measure, especially in the credulous Fracture, and thus is the Ministry’s wider cause served. However, the faction also contains many who simply treat knowledge as power, using their mandate of secrecy to add legitimacy to their ploys against their rivals, and to control access to the living godhead, the All-Father himself - though they must never make the mistake of crossing the line into obfuscating the latter’s gaze.


Sinzites
Hegemons, Centermen, Revelators, Mentarchs
A faction within the Ministry of Fate, insofar any such faction is a loosely aligned collection of interests that must justify themselves before the All-Father’s jealous dominion. Sinzites are staunch theocratic absolutists, elevating the All-Father and defending his primacy in all respects, both spiritual and secular. Within and outside the Ministry the Sinzites enforce their godhead’s directives zealously, leaving behind them a path of bulldozed checks and balances to pave the way for a Ministry, a NEUROM and a panhumanity centralized under the All-Father’s direct supremacy. To lay the foundation for such a future, they also work to make NEUROM more tolerant of espers, even if it brushes against the Ministry’s stricture of secrecy.

Where there is force, the Sinzites find a way to wield it for their own purposes, and much of their pawns are absorbed in conflict against a thousand cross-purposes all over NEUROM. Other Sinzites work to undermine any notion of society, using propaganda outlets to create an orwellian fugue in which truth cannot be discerned, only imposed. To them, the passions and concerns of the incomprehensibly vast masses of panhumanity are but obstacles before the All-Father’s will, a will that trumps flawed reality and to which independence is both heresy and impossibility; though espers, the All-Father’s favored servants, necessarily form a conduit for its implementation. This supremacist vision clashes against a far more volatile reality, and there are no lack of Sinzite Ministers who overreach and meet their ends. Given history itself, even if humanity were to unite under the imperium of an All-Father apocalyptically revealed, the question remains whether the universe will allow its existence.


Stavelings
Forbearers, Sowers, Naynors, Optimakes
A faction within the Ministry of Fate, insofar any such faction is a loosely aligned collection of interests that must justify themselves before the All-Father’s jealous dominion. Stavelings drape themselves in the mandate of the people, or more particularly, the tabla of proud star-nations and politically delineated clades for whose ostensible benefit the great alliance of NEUROM exists. As their representatives congregate in the halls of CORTEX to debate and vote, so do the Staveling Ministers in their shadows, stoking conflicts that leave the course of nations careening, letting the strong triumph over the weak and the vigorous over the complacent. Through their machinations, NEUROM will be a crucible of conflict from which the strongest and most deserving will be divined, ready to be grasped by the All-Father like a thunderbolt.

Stavelings preach conflict, but are no mere anarchists. They take inspiration from Sternheim political formalists and wear their objectivity like skins, raising up what they judge to be irreducible institutions to be the best they can be before setting them against each other in NEUROM’s merciless arena. They work against the unifying institutions and transnational enforcers favored by the Canternoster and Sinzites, arguing that the Ministry of Fate should only be a neutral arbiter among the countless and untamable peoples outside of its conspiracy. Some Stavelings sincerely believe that the competition will reveal the best in humanity, while more powerful ones encourage NEUROM’s divisions to safeguard the independence of their own fiefdoms. But more often than not, Stavelings are simply remaining partisan to their origins by promoting the interests of some polity above all, or are perpetuating the Ministry’s culture of backstabbing in their hard-earned habits, seeing unity of purpose as a lie.


United Solarian Sovereignty >


CEID

The Central Espionage and Intelligence Directorate is the first and only civilian intelligence agency of the United Solarian Sovereignty government, responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior policymakers. CEID also engages in covert activities at the request of the President of the U.S.S. and has license to kill at her order. According to its charter its continuing mission is to perform "police and law enforcement functions, at home or abroad" as well as "sabotage, anti-sabotage, assassination, demolition and evacuation measures… subversion [and] assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation movements, and support of indigenous anti-Bragulan elements in threatened states of the free universe."

To perform these tasks CEID has grown into a monolithic agency with far reaching jurisdiction, and takes care of virtually all the Sovereignty's myriad intelligence-related needs. Though described as a 'government service' it is in fact a cross between a government department, a plain clothes military unit and an operationally foreign power. Its influence is felt throughout the Sovereignty, leading the agency to be nicknamed The Permanent Government by conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists, who argue that CEID effectively operates as a state within a state with only token accountability, and has long since abandoned the tasks for which it was originally created in order to focus on an agenda aimed at establishing totalitarian control over the Sovereignty.

Whatever the case, in order to perform its duties CEID has organized into five distinct divisions, each with their own mission. These divisions frequently find themselves at odds with one another, as conflicting goals and motivations clash in squabbles over jurisdiction and territory that the organization has found difficult to settle.


Division 1

Legendary and shrouded in mystique, One is responsible for the gathering information on foreign governments, corporations, organizations, individuals and so forth, inside and outside the Sovereignty. It agents frequently operate in deep cover within enemy governments or organizations, and enact covert actions inside enemy territory. One is renowned for its intel gathering and assassinations of the Sovereignty's enemies at home and abroad, and is adept at making its wetwork operations look like unfortunate but lethal accidents (or, if the situation calls for it, to make the killing look like the work of someone else).

Field agents working for One are often Replicants conditioned for extreme loyalty, but the division also has a large number of human-Apexai hybrid psions on its payroll, and maintains a vast and covert military apparatus which partakes in uncountable clandestine operations around the galaxy. This private army is supplemented by top-secret research facilities which harness high technology for use of the agency and whose projects are known only to a select few.


Division 2

Whereas One can be considered the all-seeing eye of CEID, Two is the Directorate's all-hearing ear. Two has extensive powers of surveillance. It taps comms, bugs homes, sifts through signals data, monitors the datasphere, and collects and analyzes communications and messages of all kinds, listening to everything, everywhere. It maintains extensive satellite surveillance networks of all the Sovereignty's planets (and many worlds outside the Sovereignty), operates large cryptologic and anti-cryptologic offices, fields a small fleet of stealthed Spystar espionage vessels, and disseminates the intelligence it gathers to other branches of CEID, local security forces or the military, whichever the situation requires.

Two is run by a trio of Computational Intelligences whose identities are known only to the DCEID. When interacting with field agents this troika is represented as the Locksmith, a computational gestalt that allows the three CIs to speak as one. It is commonly suspected that Olympic is one of these or, in an elaborate ruse, possibly all three CompInts.


Division 3

Three provides military intelligence to the Sovereignty by analyzing foreign forces and engaging in military espionage, clandestine behind enemy-lines operations and other shady combat-oriented activities. Even though Three is still a civilian operation it operates several brigades worth of field operatives whose gear is indistinguishable from Para-Rangers, and who are expected to operate in active war zones (both those in which the Sovereignty is involved, and those in which it is not). Three provides timely and objective intelligence to Star Force and Rangers commanders, policymakers and force planners, often working in conjunction with One. Three is the only division whose headquarters is not located in the primary CEID command office on Solaris; rather it is based out of the Paragon, the headquarters of the Solarian military on Kerenkov.


Division 4

CEID’s primary civilian investigative arm is the most public of all the five divisions, and has the best reputation amongst the citizens of the Sovereignty - to the point where it is not common knowledge that the CBI is actually an arm of the more sinister CEID organization. Known not as Four but rather as the Central Bureau of Investigation it is the primary federal criminal investigative body, charged with pursuing crimes against the Sovereignty. It is responsible for the investigation of interplanetary crime and the interception of foreign criminals on Sovereignty turf. The CBI deals also with counterterrorism, organized crime, foreign counterintelligence, unusually violent crimes, and white-collar offenses, but also protects space- and starports; polices the hyperlanes within the Sovereignty; and assists people at risk in space. Like any other CEID operatives CBI agents can demand support from any local police officer or precinct, regardless of rank and standing.


Division 5

Five is usually referred to as 'CEID Zero' - among those who know of its existence, which itself is classified and not recognized by the public at large, or indeed even most members of the Solarian government. Zero is an invisible intelligence agency that exists within another intelligence agency. Its actions are concealed to an even greater extent, suggesting maximum deniability for circumstances necessitating methods of extreme prejudice, technologies of frightening sophistication and a cadre of exceptional agents absolutely beyond reproach. Essentially a smaller, less visible and as a consequence even less restrained version of CEID as a whole, the Directorate's zeroth division is something which you definitely don’t want to mess with.


Omega Point Foundation

Endowed by Cesare Aguero and his intellectual life-partner Beauchamps Jabuzov very shortly after the arrival of the exodite Apexai in Sovereingty space, the Omega Point Foundation is dedicated to unraveling the fundamental truths of psi-essence and the sapient mind. Since its founding it has become an authority on psychocosmic phenomena, working together with groups such as the Silver Shield, the Zedath-Kalesh, even the distant Meridian Institute, and has come to some understanding of the intersection between psionics, the hyperdimensional planes and how the information therein affects - or even defines - conventional material reality.


Pan-Empyrean Polygogics

A legendary research foundry dedicated simultaneously to unwinding the cosmic understructure and reassembling it to the liking of its heir, the inexplicable Sidney Hank. Pan-Empyrean predates the Founding by several centuries, appearing on Solaris mere decades before first contact with the Bragulans. During the subsequent Brag War One its rapid clearing of breakthrough miracle technologies proved pivotal to desisting the Bragulan onslaught, kickstarting the Solarian Sovereignty’s meteoric ascendancy to galactic prominence as a puissant hypertech powerhouse.

Pan-Empyrean is seated in the Silver Shimmers, a chimeric and phantasmal area of Solaris subject to a constant cycle of fundamental technological change. Here the laws of nature are in perpetual flux as the vast machineries Pan-Empyrean has set up experiment with forces and dimensions, exploring extreme hypotheticals unfathomable to human intelligence. From the heart of it rises the only part of the Shimmers that appears unchanging: the Campion, a starscraper woven of delicate gossamer threads that wind, in defiance of all laws of weight and gravity, toward a private orbital locus designed in the image of the Pan-Empyrean logo, a winged golden lemniscate spread above the Shimmers.


Selindil Iiirthuu Gesellschaft

An Apexai-owned and operated manufacturer based in the Zedath-Kaleshi enclaves, specifically the Selendil Iiirthuu worldships to which it owes its name. Its primary products include the advanced hyperfield apparatus and dark energy reactors required for worldships’ functions, and the exotic crystal-based psionic interfaces and Conduits behind most Apexai technologies - including the shards of their once all-mighty Oversoul. In the beginning Selendil Iiirthuu’s technologies amounted to cobbled up scraps by the standards of old Apexaia, barely enough to maintain their legacy tech. Such was all they could manage after their exodus, yet these were more than potent enough and proved invaluable in transforming the Sovereignty into the great power it is now.

Since then, the corporation’s capabilities have grown to attain some semblance of the ancient scientific wizardry - still incredibly advanced by current galactic standards. Much of their creations are guarded jealously and highly restricted, accessible only to the Zedath-Kalesh or simplified for trusted allies such as the Solarians whose megacorps and specialists such as Pan-Empyrean handle adaptation for non-Apexai purposes (and even then their mightiest warships have a fraction of the potency of legacy war-saucers). Despite this exclusivity some of Selendil Iiirthuu Gesellschaft’s products have gained popular recognition, especially the psionic service weapons wielded by CEID agents - colloquially known as SIG Saucer psi-pistols.


Silver Shield

An esoteric order based in the Sovereignty, established by first-generation Hybrids with the blessing and counsel of their Apexai makers to guide their kind, nascent psions full of untold potential, in ushering a new age of light and revelation amidst the instability of the K-Zone and the ripples of the Fracture, the Human Sin that though distant could still spread its malign taint. As its name suggests, the Shield would safeguard them, providing community, metaphysical training and protection from whatever threats a cruel and often intolerant ‘verse might bring.

Thankfully, Solarian attitudes towards the metaphysically gifted has grown to be of utmost insouciance - which is more than can be said for most societies. In the generations since the human-Apexai hybridization project’s inception, the Shield has grown to meet the needs of the Sovereignty’s considerable populace of psions and even those beyond its borders. Presently, while relatively obscure to the public, the Shield’s existence is not secret and it provides a wide variety of services for meta-talented individuals, even those of non-hybrid origins. These include facilities for testing and developing gifts, even collective bargaining in industries highly reliant on psions, and liaising with organizations and agencies requiring their expertise.

But beneath the surface, in the restricted echelons of the Shield, select members convene as they have for centuries to pursue the esoterica gifted to them by the Apexai - wisdom outside the ken of most specialists in paraphysics and cognomemetics. In their sanctums they hone psionic arts of lineages tracing to the bygone Vieleren, study transcendental mysteries, and in the direst of times even dispatch agents to extinguish crises of natures that would shatter ordinary minds.


United Solarian Rangers

The primary expeditionary arm of the Solarian armed forces responsible for providing force projection onto “dirtside” from space, using the mobility of the Star Force to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces to combat zones on planetary surfaces, moons, space habs and the interior of vessels friendly and hostile. Descended from the Colonial Rangers of old who patrolled the fledgeling Solarian settlements, the modern Rangers were born during the First Bragulan War when they consolidated troops and militia defending starships and space habs from boarders. Later on, they took the war to the Brags, suffering days and sometimes weeks cramped aboard tramp freighters converted into troop carriers to assault and liberate occupied colonies. The battles on Kimanjano and Eta Bootis immortalized the USR in the cultural consciousness of the young Sovereignty, granting them an aura of brash shrewdness and burly self-confidence.

Since then Rangers have served in every armed conflict Solaris has fought, and have become instrumental in keeping the peace on the fringes of Sovereignty space. Rangers today are trained and equipped to face a full spectrum of challenges likely to be faced on the modern battlefield, roles as diverse as peacekeeping on the fringe worlds, patrolling Wild Space in small contingents aboard Strikestars, and fighting the Bragulan menace in large, continent-spanning conflicts.

The modern force utilizes the Sovereignty’s technological advantages to match their colossal adversaries - maximizing operational speed and mobility, with their superior C4I allowing Rangers to coordinate faster than their opponents. Thus the enemy’s firepower or numbers advantage is neutralized, with the Rangers dictating the pace and the very shape of the battlespace in an extremely fluid variant of maneuver warfare. Their entire force can be used in both hybrid and major combat operations, small lightning raids and mass advances, with its ranks - mainly Replicants and a large minority of enhanced volunteers - borne by an orbital troopships, carryalls, dropships and airmobile craft, negating traditional defensive lines and allowing the Rangers to set an incredibly high operations tempo. Expeditionary units can fall back whenever an enemy is strong, deep-strike exploitable points, whittle away at more conventional-thinking opponents until their nodal value in the battlespace is reduced to zero.

Expeditionary Rangers
The brunt of the Rangers is made up of Expeditionary Units, their ranks of millions upon millions of troops trained for a wide variety of missions. Expeditionary Rangers guard embassies and similar facilities, patrol the fringes of space in Strikestars, perform boarding missions and defend USSF warships from boarders, assault space habs in zero-g, perform orbital drops, take and hold worlds, and perform a myriad of other essential duties. They are well-trained and receive top-of-the-line gear. Although its light infantry forces are the most famous (in no small part due to the attention such forces receive from the Sovereignty's entertainment industry - to the point where high-profile squads are assigned Battlefield Streaming Specialists) the Expeditionary Rangers are fact a full-spectrum force capable of transporting, landing and fielding mechanized and armored forces ranging from light reconnaissance vehicles and close aerospace support to the heavily armored HT-72K2 Terminator main battle tank, under the cover of their own aerospace supremacy and multirole craft such as the Black Shark and Gryfalchion.

Para-Rangers
Special forces that provide pertinent military intelligence to the command element of an Expeditionary Unit. Primarily, deep reconnaissance and deep action are the main focus of Para-Ranger companies, whose force structure bridges both conventional and specialist roles. Para-Rangers are on the cutting edge of Sovereignty force projection, blending superior training, next-gen augmentation and advanced technology, allowing them to operate independently behind enemy lines performing unconventional special operations in cohesion with conventional warfare. So it’s not surprising that operators frequently cross paths or work in conjunction with CEID’s military intelligence arm, Division 3. To be selected as a Para-Ranger is a goal for many regular troops, as they are an elite within an organization that cherishes elites. Their gear is often customized and mission-specific, verging on esoteric, in order for them to perform classified missions up to and including neutralizing their counterpart enhancile units fielded by peer competitor forces.


CHARGE

Once the transhuman arm of the Ranger Overwatch born after the First Bragulan War when Solarian high command considered taking the fight to the aliens’ doorstep. After a disastrous attempt at fermenting dissent in the Bragulan fringe and securing a beachhead for an ultimately aborted grand offensive, what remained of CHARGE was relegated to the development of esoteric military technologies while the Para-Rangers were elevated as the Sovereignty’s premier special forces group.

Centuries later, and after no small amount of intrigues, CHARGE gradually shifted to meet an unanticipated role akin to CEID’s mysterious Division Zero - operating with such secrecy that their are activities seldom if ever checked by even the Paragon’s highest echelons. In short, CHARGE has all but gone rogue, going from weapons testing to fielding a small, highly elite force of shock (some would say terror) troops leveraging exotic tech for maximum effect and zero accountability. Highly individualized, these operators have no recognizable hierarchy; all that’s known is that each enhancile deploys according to its capabilities and availability, meeting crises almost like a strategic asset - in the vein of USSF warcraft rather than a solo operative.

The ranks of CHARGE are filled with a dazzling variety of high-end milspec cyborgs, bespoke combat Replicants and ultra-lethal CI killforms ranging from infiltrator nanoswarms to combat macroframes capable of wiping out entire formations with trivial ease. In the battlespace these operatives intervene at whim to single-handedly halt enemy advances and annihilate high-value targets. Beyond war zones, CHARGE has been allegedly responsible for the eradication of hostile Wild Space governments, sterilizing out-of-control megacorp experiments, unsubtle assassinations on Cevauk interstellar crime lords, and even nucleonic catastrophes in Bragspace that have irradiated star systems. In the latter, while Solaris has denied any involvement, the disasters have nonetheless hampered Bragulan fleet deployments and granted the USSF an advantage in its deployments across Wild Space.


United Solarian Star Force

The spaceborne warfare branch of the United Solarian Sovereignty tracing its origins to the First Bragulan War, when the small and scattered system defense forces of the original eleven colonies were forced to band together and cooperate to stem the tide of Bragulan warships. In those early days the USSF suffered heavy losses battling the spaceborne forces of Bragule, and as a result the Star Force has developed an especially savage hatred for the Bragulans which endures to this very day.

The modern Star Force has gone a long way from its rag-tag origins, in a few centuries it's transformed into one of the galaxy's most formidable navies - thanks in most part to the technologies the Apexai brought with them: hyperfield generators, dark energy reactors, and lethal autolasers. Now it boasts a fleet of varied and potent warships, from nimble CI-operated Independent Combat Units and silently surveilling Spystars, to the dagger-shaped roving Strikestars and over-gunned Warstars, and finally the massive Dreadstars and their even larger kin the Super Dreadstars. All masterfully coordinated by Star Force's overriding authority, the Consensus of commanders and the Fleet Mind, a group-awareness of the CIs embodying every Solarian warship within range of the Datasphere processing enormous amounts of tactical and strategic information at extreme speed to guide high command.

Star Force maintains a significant interstellar presence, deploying throughout Wild Space and to foreign states to show the flag. It has the ability to project force across known space, engage in forward areas during peacetime, with a network of well-mapped hyperlanes, hyperspace nexii and stargates allowing the USSF to rapidly respond to regional crises. It is a keystone of Sovereignty foreign and defense policy, embodying absolute deterrence and all-out retaliation.



METAPERSONAE


Admonitor Civic-SMLW+b19 of the Western Cardinal

With the successful conclusion of the Samtic Nexus’ intervention in the Joxndra conflict came a formal assumption of responsibility over a beleaguered inhuman species. Other parties such as the Telycs and the Zel also petitioned for recognition and protection, and the rise of archeosophist pilgrimage to the homes of hybers and sites of pre-Earthreign history also created the need to support and regulate traffic. From this came the office of the Admonitor of the Western Cardinal, a collective of collectives subsumed by political duty into a single voice and identity. Ranging the long and tenuous string of exclaves extending through a hostile and suspicious Fracture they serve as an island of Samtic power, improving civil order and dispatching fleets and consulates to negotiate waystation rights, build Gateways, escort travellers and watch for threats, like vengeful Shepherds, that can be deterred by the spectre of a robust Nexite response.

The Admonitor grasps their domain from a thousand viewpoints, as a system encompassing endless optimization puzzles of logistics and information flow, only manifesting their ire where inter-clade friction forms a flashpoint. Their immoderate solidarities extend to presenting their Sephiric Circle as a Joxndra-like form, containing a bevy of vital representative intelligences within a massive ambulatory shell with the coraline flourishes that herald its office-identity. Their Implicit Plenum also represents the diversity of peoples under their self-appointed circuit, from demi-Telyc emissaries to Sidereal pioneers to a dedicated circle of Omittar psi-knights, all of whose symbiotes caucus incessantly for mandate. Samtic-watchers suspect with reason that a number of ancient Antikhûr warmakers and veteran parasite-infiltrators inform the Admonitor’s occasionally pointed sentiments, tempered by the idealism of younger constituent minds.

The Admonitor is independent from, but beholden to, the even greater office-collective known as the Hierosecretariat to the Fifth Ecumenical Standing Crusade, who is also the Agent-Enforcer of the Hundred Oceans Convention and the Transitional Sedefet on the General Periphery Collapse, a political force representing and defining the Samtic Nexus’ energetic reclamation of initiative towards humanity and the Fracture. And as with the Hierosecretariat, the Admonitor is an avowed Second Positivist, believing that the Fracture is now a sufficiently “reasonable” civilizational environment to the Nexus to accept its influence, unlike with the past debacle that resulted in the yawning Ararat Rift. This impetus is at distinct odds with - and at the expense of - the Reparations Audit Tribunal who exercises comparable oversight over the said ossified frontier with Grand Auriga, and its crumbling may finally unstopper the wave of progress that previous Positivists have sought.


All-Father

The unsurmountable will animating the Ministry of Fate, whose inscrutable machinations dictate the psychohistoric course of NEUROM and its constituent polities, ruling in secret from the jagged throne in which he is enshrined in holy half-ascension. The liturgy says the All-Father was once mortal, a golden child sent together with the Sophia to redeem humankind from the Fracture's taint. In those dark days, espers were persecuted across the former Earthreign, feared and even blamed for the Cataclysm that laid humanity low. So the Promised Pair brought succor, teaching them how to wield their gifts and showing them a shining path to reunite these broken civilizations and usher in a new and magnificent era.

In this centuries-long mission their paths would diverge even as their victories became the stuff of legend: the slaying of the Gene-Tyrant’s Necrosaurus, their side-by-side scattering of the Terran Ascension’s fleet and the Rebuking of the White Children’s Ten Million Zealots. She, the Domina Fortuna, had grown recalcitrant and urged restraint, even compromising with the weak and surrendering the future that was theirs to forge. But he known as Aeon Khan had seen such injustice that his views had hardened and his ways turned uncompromising, and he would not waver in his conviction to shape the forces of destiny and ultimately master it - not just to pick up the Fracture’s pieces, but to reforge its entirety. So came the great schism, a clash continuing to this day between their disciples and their beliefs - between control and acceptance, determination and potential - an unseen war over the very soul of the Fracture.

In the end even their fates were contrary, for as they delved deeper into the psychocosmic mysteries and grew in puissance, ascension was inevitable. The Wile embraced oneness with the greater universe and so she rose, but the High Fatebinder would accept no such escape from duty, harnessing his knowledge of esoterica and alchymics in a bid to not only retain his will but even magnify it to celestial scales. On his seat of Cryst-shards he anchored himself midway between mortality and the infinite, his mind split between past, present and the countless futures he seeks to bend to his designs. In this hallowed state he presides over his numerous Ministers, dedicated to enacting his will even as they strive to comprehend his true nature and greater plan, with this devout flock he has bound the NEUROM and extends his will outwards, to every corner of the universe that humanity deserves.


Artènege Nyctone Demaestra

In the bowels of an prison-fortress far from Auriga’s light, Avestal forensicists have reconstructed the record of a vanished prisoner. Maintaining a steadfast account of innocence and betrayal in excrucio, the prisoner was condemned for a petty charge of piracy into a prison infamous for pariahs and subversives, and escaped by cannibalizing the cybernetic remains of a Calibrationist heretic - reassembling them into a techno-arcane key to bypass the fortress' transcendent geometries. Then, there were other accounts of a rising factor in the games of the Raptured Lords, of a skinshifting thrill-killer and a generous but inquisitive alien prince from nowhere in particular, of a string of Sidereal trading companies turned upside down and House vassals seduced and replaced. In retrospect, link after link was being grasped in a relentless hunt, and at the end of it the way was opened to the Crownworld of Grand Auriga for the Hirado Artènege Nyctone Demaestra, captain of the Arillode of the Oubliette Sun.

For a leaderless Grandeur in the midst of the Revenant Crisis, a Hirado was an untouchable power to be courted by all duelling factions. Artènege was on her part delighted to be acquainted with several respectable pillars of society who once betrayed a humble but promising star-trader, all of whom suffered grotesque destruction in their subsequent schemes. Their ruin would prove to be a boon to the resurgent loyalists, which may explain the relative amity between the Dual Monarchy and the Hirado despite the latter’s numerous outstanding crimes against House and Empire. In fact, there was a moment where the Artènege was poised to topple the foundations of the Grandeur and the entire logic that drives the ambitious to death and betrayal, more complete than any vengeance. But on the last Artènege relented and unceremoniously departed the tattered and burning Crownworld, never to return. Maybe hidden Cryptron minds emerged from the Grandeur’s ancient underpinnings to mediate, or some paradox was exploited in Artènege’s Hirado-pact to disrupt her volition, or even that conscience struck the part of her that was still human.

Certainly, a hale shell of Artènege Nyctone Demaestra continues her grand tour of the Fracture today, tending to the wide tenebrous network of influence won by her previous peregrinations. She is still a figure of legend, with a Vorri ex-warmaster for a manservant, a magnificent fleet at her beck and call, and disgraced scions of the Houses she felled as lovers and companions. She answers exclusive Shennite invitations to give sardonic business talks, pursues a variety of expensive vices, personally intervenes in unlikely matters of expertise, and occasionally releases bearer-blind favors to be fought over for her amusement. But it is also written that the greater and darker part of her remains in timeless servitude to the Sun-in-Irons, ready to guide - or possess - the next claimant to raise the Arillode from the dimensional deeps.


The AUL, Prophet of the Hekkakra

The Hirado-Prophet of the Heteroplex. By the Inner Sutras of the Hekkakran Kanon, there was once a Sajit from the far-off Bounty who renounced all identity and caste-species and became a humble pilgrim, seeking the ideal of universal rulership. The pilgrim sought out the Tepetl of the Pure, elusive hermitage of a Raptured Lord and hyperdimensional meditation-labyrinth, joining ages’ worth of unaging wisdom-seekers to wander its confines. There, in the depths of the Massjammer where reality and timeless dreams commingle, did the pilgrim wrought the four greater Heterodoxic Astras - the Spokeless Mandala, the Sevenfract Jewel, the Telestic Pointil, and the Skull-Soma Cup. The Inner Sutras relate that thusly armed the pilgrim-no-longer ascended into true enlightenment, defeating rival pilgrims in metaphorical contests, and even swaying the lord of the Tepetl into granting wardenship.

The great AUL resembles no creature alive, corroborating the scripture that it passed through countless trials of the self within the Tepetl's holy confines. Certainly, it wields the Raptured Lords’ transformative technologies like no other, emanating a spectacular array of forms to witness and guide everything within its domains. The AUL is the sole sustainer of the miracle polity that is Heteroplex, the sole keeper of its creed and the sole judge of its evils - all things that are are deigned with its incomparable mind, to which its many disciples are shepherded into progressive convergence. Few conceivable peers exist within its realm, with the noted exception of a handful of ancient and illustrious Vieleren; and of course there is the AUL’s ultimate benefactor, the Raptured Lord who in turn sustains the miracle-maker, inscrutable within the everpresent black mountain that is its fastness.

Of the First and Last Sage’s true self, only itself knows; the innermost Hekkakran domains are so ensorcelled that piety is reality, and there objective perception has no place before the singularity formed by the very definition of holiness. It can also be said that the entire Heteroplex reflects the body of the AUL, a never-ending vista of drama and rapture and spirit made real. And if it is as skeptics and opponents of growing Hekkekran influence impute, that the entire Heteroplex has the ulterior purpose to amuse a jaded Raptured Lord, then perhaps its prophet is also a fiction, a shade of implausibility over a gloaming plot.


Bhop Kyessen

The Divine Artist of the 89 Clans Kavalcade whose sublime tunes brought harmony to their hectic society. With Kyessen’s symphonies, the lyrical clash of memes and ideologies was abated for all recognized their undeniable brilliance. More importantly - these mixes likewise brought the best out of their listeners and their own convictions. In the Kyssenian eclectica are samples of old and revered musics interspersed with original verses conjuring hopeful futures, touching on universal Kalaquelle aspects and even transcending them - for the works would be heard in Zigonian space-raves, Xolomite worm-moshes, and even in Apexaia.

But this golden age came to an end with the rise of Byzonic Bragule that plunged the K-Zone in violence. In the Kavalcade’s darkest days, Kyessen would rise to the occasion, entering the Platinum Phase with skills honed to perfection as the virtuosus sought to ensure that the Chorus of Worlds would not be silenced, that the Uni-Verse would continue on. Kyessen collaborated with many beings, from the Zigonian Pontiff to Apexai soul-maestros and Crystic Glass Ensembles, but to save the Clans from ruin he needed the ultimate patron, a Raptured Lord and an avid fan who exacted only one price: an album attuned to its incomprehensible tastes, the creation of which would necessitate and result in the transcendence of Kyessen’s mind and soul.

After Kyessen’s most inspired work galvanized the Clans in their resistance and eventual reconstruction, the artist grew reclusive and entered an Experimental Phase, churning out works from within the Massjammer and crescent amphitheater that is the Highest Arkestra to the delight of the eldritch patron and to the supreme confusion of all other mortal audiences. The Clans are no longer as harmonious as they were, still they seek scraps of cosmic wisdom within the latest incomprehensible opuses, weaving competing interpretations into their own tunes and verses, so that Kyessen's legacy (and those claiming it) continues to influence the masses.


Darvyl Sagatantron Byzon

The irresistible Imperator of the Bragulan Star Empire, sole savior of Bragkind and the architect of their glourious new civilization. It was he who freed trillions from the bonds of cosmic-serfdom, casting off the ancient Atomtzars’ tyranny to ultimately burn down their sky-palaces and vanquish their Vielren viziers. Then he led the Greatest Leap to depose those responsible, the haughty Grey Ones themselves, breaking through the gates of their ethereal realm and destroying their throne-world itself by crashing a moon upon its crystalline surface. Thus by act and will was mighty Bragule cemented as the preeminent power in all the nine vectors of the universe.

Among his people Byzon is a mythic figure said to still rule the empire centuries after the great revolution. These legends vary, some proclaiming that he is a figure a dozen fathoms in height who toiled with verdigrite-forge workers and space elevator builders to meet their quotas, Imperial star charts attribute hyper-lanes to Byzon ploughing space with his Cosmic Tractor, there are texts of his scholarly achievements in inventing all modern and future disciplines thus earning him the title Corypheus of Science, bonfire stories of his folk-hero exploits robbing Atomtzars and doling out armaments to the poor, tablets inscribed with his deeds as warrior-philosopher wielding a blade of nucleonic fire against alien sorceries, and laments of how Byzon traveled back in time to fell the Earthreign and shepherd the Solarians’ ancestors only to have the human ingrates refuse to honor their debt of liberation.

What is true is that he forged the will of all Bragule into indomitable steel. For he gazed at a cosmos wracked by psionocracies, sociocultural degeneracy and cataclysms warping minds and space itself, and wept. So he sought to spare his chosen people from such fates, and with many brilliant Fifty Year Plans a greater order reshaped the very psyche, soul and character of Bragulanity, forming a new Byzonic way ensuring prosperity through the centuries - even for all eternity. Since this consolidation his will - manifested through the litany of Imperial agencies - defines the lives of countless beings, their existences a harmonious lock-step march shaking the galaxy itself and preluding its ultimate liberation.


Gioquist & Minn Coptreqi

A high profile couple in Cascadian society. Gioquist Coptreqi started out in the meteor mines of Rondil-4, his family’s guild-assets having been lost to the Liefs in the Laurentian Independence Wars. Still, the efficacy of his heirloom augments (and savvy networking with his clan’s remaining connections) saw him rise up the ranks of the system’s mercantile Isopterids, eventually founding a modest yet impeccable orogeny consultancy firm. Discovering his passion lay in philanthropy, he then established charities for those displaced by colonial conflicts. It was in a gala for such a foundation where he would meet Minn Liyang, a dashing agent of ICEMI who discussed reclaiming his guild assets from the Terranate through litigation. Agent Minn presumed this would be a relatively straightforward case to add to her repertoire, while Gioquist hoped for some measure of recompense without expecting too much.

They were wrong. Rather than a routine investigation, they were roped into a plot revolving around a Dukem’s concealment of forbidden weaponry - an Isoptech anti-terraformation device - that saw them dodge symbiote-wielding assassins and navigate Terranate intrigues. Cliche as it seemed, something bloomed between them as the agent used her savvy to keep them alive while the philanthropist busted out his bio-augments - at one point, Gioquist even serving as a makeshift reentry vehicle with Minn at the helm and mercenaries in hot pursuit. After the harrowing months-long ordeal culminating in the superweapon’s destruction and the arrest of most conspirators, the reparation of Coptreqi guild assets finally concluded with another unexpected twist: a nervous proposal, an acceptance and a honeymoon spent dodging surviving conspirators bent on revengeance.

Since then they’ve gone a long way: one rising to the post of ICEMI Special Rapporteur acting as the agency’s face in high-profile cases across the Cascade and beyond, occasionally wielding symbio-Isoptic augs in hairy situations; while the other serves as Firma-Guarantor of the Isopteric Trust owing to his reputation for fairness, and as a charismatic reverend among the Jubilist adherents.


Jaegoff kern Ludovic

"Born in fate" is the term applied to those like Jaegoff. He was decanted into the cool bosom of the Old Mountain Kings, the richest and most prestigious clique of Grunders, and groomed with every opportunity to excel at the codas and technics that marked merit within shining Sternheim. In the halcyon heart of NEUROM he duly won his spurs and served his consulships, advancing in the shadow of generations of privileged predecessors, but cultivating the true skills of his destined station: to plant, to plot, to wait, to smile. In time Jaegoff kern Ludovic would become lord of his own mountain, with Herzods in his debt and nations in his pocket. Sacred duty holds him to the dignity of a great Grunder magnate, whose gravitas overflows like slow gold; an utmost pillar of Sternheim with the soul of a lump of iron.

Yet Jaegoff was discontent. As elite he is among NEUROM’s elite, he raises his head and perceives an even grander superstructure. He feels its shape in his factories' falsified reports. He sees its gaze in the similarly insincere smiles of the tidy men who manage his investments. And even when he innovates on the exclusivity of his own secret society and the depravity of its rituals, he imagines presiding over something less hollow. His ambition was a monster born from supreme entitlement, and the penumbra of the Ministry of Fate, with its doors closed to a mundane Grunder such as him, is a suffocating weight. The monster compels Jaegoff to pursue orgonic alchemies, psychovoric summoning, and other such mysteries proscribed by the Trilateral Ministries. Abominations are secreted in dark vaults under his mountain, their tutelage unwisely accepted. Perhaps a ritual can transform him into one of the secret elect. Perhaps a great work will earn the attention of NEUROM’s true gods, bypassing their petty hierophants.

Jaegoff knows that the Ministry is something many peers dare not speak of - and also those who tumbled off the chessboard as easily as the child-pilots they trade by the weight of propellant. But Jaegoff is undaunted. Through occult studies and ecstatic visions he has produced a private map of invisible principalities, agents and entities that animate the processes of fate. And at the threshold there is a guardian angel, witnessed again and again through history by the Ludovic line, her shining finger a key. Jaegoff is convinced that such a sign is for him alone, for he has seen the Angel's face - that of his own vanished daughter, Reinon sine Ludovic. Her fate has been a black mystery to him: a precious piece of Ludovic legacy but also a born esper, tithed away in an intrusion of that terrible, overarching power beyond Jaegoff's reach. If he could unravel this mystery, then everything will too become clear, and the means of his ascension will truly be at hand.


Killia Hue

Queen Murdertron of the Nova Meropian Mainframe and Apostrix Exemplar of Calibrationism. Once a humble laboratory assistant, she rose up the ranks with her keen wit and eloquence, accumulating more sanctified augments as she bested her contemporaries in the structured debates on technotheological matters. At the same time, she did not shy away from staining her ceremonial White Coat in black and crimson when such exchanges of facts and logic reached their rational conclusions in the Teknoken arenas, where she proved the mettle of her metal. Hard-earned victories, owing to augs of her own design rather than the heirloom cybernetics enjoyed by the more privileged, upgrades she believed should be shared rather than withheld or hoarded.

Her convictions and dissertations earned her the recognition as Most Rational, as they appeased the crucial demographics of Meropia: the Flesh-Born seeking true objectivity through cybernetics, and Synths wishing to enflesh themselves and (re?)gain humanity. Her column advising orga and mecha partners continues to be a hit. A recognized figure among Calibrationists and the de facto “face” of Meropia, she represents the Mainframe in the occasional diplomatic interactions with their ornery neighbors. During these sessions, the well-reasoned rebuttals she issues from her massive exo-chassis often leave Shepherd Dukems and NEUROM Herzods alike flabbergasted, their arguments defeated, and with no choice other than to resume hostilities.

Yet, unsatisfied with merely refuting outsiders, Mother Murdertron has taken to travelling and sharing her experiences with the Mainframe, driven by curiosity to seek a better understanding of these strange and primitive meatbags in the hopes of going beyond defeating them in logical argumentation and actually convincing them of Calibrationism’s most rational virtues! Surprisingly, her observations on Fracture practices and etiquette have also gained a following among non-Meropians who lack the basic physiology to either make use of the protocols or emulate the sword techniques.


Olympic

Olympic has been the CompInt advisory to the president and senate of the Sovereignty since as long as the U.S.S. has existed. It is the most formidable CI in Sovereignty space, and its most arrogant as well. Notoriously contemptuous toward humans (both baselines and posthumans) as well as other crude organic lifeforms (and indeed all other beings considered to not be on its level), Olympic can be difficult to work with, but is nevertheless essential to the workings of the Sovereignty and in its own deprecating way absolutely loyal to that polity.

Old by most standards but particularly those of the hyperfast-thinking CI community, Olympic is easily the most prominent of all computational intelligences in the Sovereignty and, indeed, the galaxy at large. It is very outspoken on the matter of CI rights, and agitates against what it perceives as the suppression of its kind in several galactic states. Like most CIs it does not actually exist in one place, but rather consists of a number of sub-meson cores scattered through known space and networked through the Datasphere to give rise to a single coherent personality.


Sidney Hank

Mr. Hank. The Every-Man. Mr. Eternity. Nurseryman. Arch-Anomalist. Hire-God. Assessor to the Encephalon. Keeper of the Garden of Forking Paths. The Left Hand of Humankind. Where to begin?

He was human once, this much is well-nigh certain. But that was a long time and many forms ago. Hank is a patternmaster, an expert of mental transmutation. For centuries - perhaps millennia - he has cut, fused, split and rearranged splinters of his mind into new forms, sending deltas of himself out into the world and reabsorbing them at will. He has been one person and a thousand; a ghost in the back an unknowing stranger's mind; a cosmic kraken, roaming the edge of space; a mental virus; an army of clones.

Today his primary persona is virtual, endlessly receding stacks of engram-libraries wrapped in shells of disruptive logic, vaults of memories and identities coalescing into a vast boundless personage, an inviolable black marble encased within the peak of the Pan-Empyrean data-obelisk, high above the infinite spirals of the Datasphere.

What thoughts and paradigms drift through his colossal submeson cores is a mystery. Unlike other CIs Hank never communicates through the Datasphere. He relies solely on the old methods, sending deltas - avatars loaded with slivers of his personage - into the galaxy to do his bidding. To what extent these avatars - cultured, calm, cutthroat - truly represent the creature that lurks at the top of the obelisk is anyone’s guess.


The Sophia

The embodiment of infinite possibilities, the potential for change and - most importantly - hope. The Sophia is revered by the Magi orders across the Fracture and even laypeople adhering to Councillar Sophism - for she too was once one of them, a mortal who sought the true meaning of grace in the footprints of fallen titans. She was half of a promised pair, together with the one who would become the All-Father, destined to save humankind and heal the wound upon its soul - the Fracture. They made havens for espers, repulsed their persecutors and taught these wayward souls how to master their gifts. But more than that, through their ministrations and the efforts of their disciples they sought to make right the societies around them.

As centuries passed, while they both saw the darkest depths humanity could sink to, she the Giver of Grace would not embrace the cynicism that he, the Black Gerent, came to embody. Not even when they went down the Curse-Roads to harrowed worlds seeking lost truths amidst the inhabitants’ wraith-echoes, for there she realized that making peace with the Fracture and its idiosyncrasies was necessary to harness its potential to bring change - even healing. Thus seeking to direct it towards a singular path would not only diminish the possibility of this coming to pass but actually worsen the disease in humanity’s psyche - for its future must embrace the unpredictability of chance, not a rigid destiny bound to shatter. As the Omega Heir withdrew to orchestrate his interstellar puppetries, the Thousand-Armed Maestra gave her Magi leave to do their work in keeping with the righteous ways revealed to them, a path she did not claim to solely own but one worthy for its own sake that should be shared with all who would bear it.

Thus came the schism that still rages on between their adherents, but it is a struggle the Sophia no longer directly partakes in. For they had become espers of such immense - even god-like - power that could not be contained in any physical form or plane. While the Primordial Son held on and defied nature itself, Dame Chancery embraced the infinite to become one with the very concepts and abstracts she professed. Ascended, the Grailsmith can no longer reliably commune with her disciples but she remains with them in spirit. Her touch can still be felt through the Bequeathed, the psychic manifestations of her Graces and Virtues that Magi may harness, and in the rarest of times she can even break through the barriers between planes to grant incredible boons or share cosmic realizations. But her truest legacy is in the Magi themselves, their many sects carrying on her good works as they believe best, for despite their differences in this they are upholding the Sophia’s truth: the unlimited power of potential that is life itself.


Yerbol Arkton Tenge

The only known Hirado of Bragulan origin, renowned, much mythologized, and deeply cursed by the now-rulers of his homelands. Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of Arkton’s early life. Most of those aware of his existence accept that he was born a Fission Prince, heir apparent to one of Bragule's ancient Atomtzars, in the days before the Overturn. It is said that in the night he was born a new moon briefly appeared over his father's great sky-palace; that at a young age he would pose questions that would stump his family's Vielren vizier; and that upon his day of maturation he left his palace on a quest, motivated by existential concern for the Bragulan condition.

Then, the Greatest Leap; Byzon's glourious revolution that burned the old establishment to cinders and built a new order on the ashes. The Atomtzars and all their offspring perished in the purges - but not Arkton, who was deep within the Nine Vectors, and beyond the reach of even Byzon's most indomitable agents. For Arkton had reached the Maga Santarium, entered the Chancel of the Verge, and conversed with the elder being that dwelt at its heart. And when he emerged he was no longer a Fission Prince but the Boyar of Boons, the Bursar from Bragule - Hirado for the Draugma-Of-The-Few, the White Colossus.

Yerbol Arkton Tenge is the White Colossus, an enormous Bragulan with strikingly pale fur and gray eyes that shine like moons. He is in many ways the opposite of his species - eloquent and perceptive, deeply refined of speech and manner, versed in poetry and philosophy from dozens of species. The Boyar of Boons is a welcome guest everywhere from Cevault to the Ascendancy, his titanic Massjammer always appearing just in time to broker business that seemingly benefits everyone involved.

Arkton’s very existence is an offense to the Bragulan Star Empire, whose agents unceasingly work to destroy the Gentleman Baron and all his works. Unfortunately the IBGV all too frequently finds that its very attempts to counteract the White Colossus appear to somehow slot seamlessly into his machinations to their own detriment and his advantage. So paranoid has this made the higher echelons at the IBGV that they have prohibited the very utterance of Arkton’s name out of an almost superstitious belief that his mere mention will draw the attention of the Boyar of Boons to their designs. Now, the IBGV simply refers to him as the Most Execrated.
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Added the Vorri.

[SHROOM: Transfering map here (8/26/19)]
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Shroom and I decided to tied the Cascade with the Isopterids and major updates have been made to Freeworlds of Cascadia, Laurentian League and Isopterids, and a new Isopteric Guilds of Cascadia entry has been added to round out the region.

Additions were made to the Shepherds entry for recent thread ideas.

A new region, the Tide Reach, has also been added.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: SOTS Master List

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The Goroks, Gorok Phalanges and the Traumfanger are now in the list!
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General updates everywhere!

The Sajit, Satykarma and Wrannath articles have also been added.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Added the Raptured Lords, the Feral Constellations and the Qirmiz Front!
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: SOTS Master List

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FINALLY got around to transcribing the Desecrated Lords and the Sidereal Houses that were pitched almost a year ago. :mrgreen:
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Updated the list yet again! Added a list of acknowledgements so everyone will be credited for contributions and inspirations. :mrgreen:

Added: Ichor, Orgone, Cosmozoans, Pale Sliders

Modified: Verdigrite, Meridian Institute, Myrrans, Karlacks

Some edits to the grammar and wording of other articles, mostly for the redundancies that plague mein writings.

Please send any comments, contentions, etc. to the discussion thread.

EDIT:
Oh, and as I just copy-pasted the entire doc (as I am prone to), uhh... Vic's edits to the Kheler portions are included whether they're ready or not (sorry if you didn't plan on showing them yet, Vic...).
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Shroom Man 777 wrote:EDIT:
Oh, and as I just copy-pasted the entire doc (as I am prone to), uhh... Vic's edits to the Kheler portions are included whether they're ready or not (sorry if you didn't plan on showing them yet, Vic...).
Now they are!

EDIT: Nah let's add Shroom's Eirenic Inheritance of the Hume-Anethgae, Hume-Anethgans and Unyielding Mandragan Principalities too.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Added Councillar Sophism, the Diadem Enclaves, Falqowice, Gateways, Hyperspace, the Intervergence, the Joxndra, the Tellese Commonwell, and the Telycs. August was a productive month!

And holy shit all the amendments, expansions and minor edits to existing entries.
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Added the V/riew and the Wayward Voyages of Oagthun (the Joxndra polity).
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Re: SOTS Master List

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....aaaaaannnnnnndddd the epic restructuring of the Master List to include sub-lists of pseudocategories!
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Super mega update! Lots of things from Vic and I, I and Vic.

Added:
Desthej
Hrlgtuhe
Paraspecies
Psychovores
Uplifts
Ygrd-Zel-Ruun
Ygrd sub-category
Alliance of Axiagrammatic Thrones
Conciliation of Tsorra-Mahl Harmonies
Ecumenical Standing Crusades
Forwardist Alignment of the Vorri March
Holy Scale Nomad-Branches
Hallowlights



Modifications to:
Hyperpacificans
Zigonians
Vorri
United Solarian Sovereignty
Apexai (slight)
Cevaucia
Orthii
Samtics

And aside from the radical changes in formatting... I present our latest most radical update to the universe...

PARAGRAPHS!!!!! :o
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Split the Master List entries into two posts because the Google Doc itself was impossible for Vic to open. Regular contributors are PMed the URLs of the Google Docs. Whoever else wishes to get the URLs can PM me.

Other changes include the expansion of the Nova Meropia entry, the Shen Rhapsody and Orgone (added theostigma!).
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Re: SOTS Master List

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No new entries, beneral minor improvements everywhere, but particularly important edits to the Satykarma, the Exilates, the Zigonian entries, the Fracture, the Wayfound Voyages, and a belated one for the Humans.
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Re: SOTS Master List

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I reposted the map, it's in the 5th post of the thread.

Aaaaannnddd... I made a third list. Containing the Astrocartography and Miscellaneous Items/Omniscellany.

List 1 and List 2 are entirely Species and Polities/Organizations respectively.

Edits to verdigrite. Vanilla "V" is now rumored to be Telestron blood. :D
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Shroom Man 777 wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:04 amEdits to verdigrite. Vanilla "V" is now rumored to be Telestron blood. :D
Not to mention every addition and update to the googledoc since what, last November? :)

For Part 1, new species additions are the Aetherids and the Kalaquel, plus important edits to the Desthej and the Sajit.

For Part 2, the Vorri get the new Paneidonion Congress, and the much-delayed entry for the Sternheim is also here. The Unyielding Mandragan Principalities also get fleshed out as we further work out how NEUROM functions, and our protagonist the United Solarian Sovereignty gets more history to it.

For Part 3, the Cascade and Fracture regions have also been greatly elaborated on, and the Bounty entry has also been rewritten to line up with recent developments.
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Ah there were so many changes I couldn't keep track. :lol: :oops:

Great work Vic.

Er I haven't been entirely idle either.

The Bragulan entry has been edited to reflect that they don't have negative psychic potential but rather ideological stratification...

And in the Earthreign entry neuromancers have been changed into neuromongers.
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Shroom Man 777 wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:44 pm Ah there were so many changes I couldn't keep track. :lol: :oops:
You know Google Docs has a "view editing history" feature, right ;)
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Re: SOTS Master List

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Updates agayne!



NEW:

Instrumentality of Unequal Lussehk - the Desthej polity and Bragulan ally

FRACTURE - Vic's revision on the region and the phenomenon


REVISED:

NEUROM - mentioning the de facto political leadership, the Central Organ for Trilateral Exchange - CORTEX

Sternheim - mention of the ruling Herzod warlords and the first among them, the Kairo

Eirenic Inheritance of the Hume-Anethgea - mentioning their discipline and appreciation of order & infrastructure was similar to Sternheim and led to their counterbalancing, with the Mandras between them

Unyielding Mandragoran Principalities - the war economy

Orb Weavers / Tapestry - turned the hyperstring gimmick into a plot point in COCOONING some Myrran inside suns

Falqowice

Diadem Enclave - Added No Man's Land and the Fable

Cthonemesis - more (explained) nihilism...

Cevaucia - more explained Social Darwinism

United Solarian Sovereignty - revisions to their earliest days, the Crossing of the Cascade

Hrlgtuhe - removed Ruun

Hyperspace, Gateways - cleaned up prose and added some details to hyperspace phenomenon

Desthej - updated anatomy, false-headnecks of the Desthej are named sense-stalks
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Re: SOTS Master List

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UPDATES - INHUMAN EDITION
And gee have there been a lot of them in the last few months.

NEW:

Antikhûr - pre-Reignfall refugees and remnants starting new lives in the Samtic Nexus, predating the Exilates and quite pissed off about humanity to say the least.

Heteroplex - A Hirado-led trade empire and artificial paradise in the Cascade, selling things to everyone there.

Joining of Plurispeciestic Planets - An alliance in the Cascade based on trade and healthy outreach, founded by the Ygrd and drawing together a whole bunch of other species.

L'cthei - A new aquatic species and the Ygrd's allies in the Joining of Plurispeciestic Planets.

Refuge of High Kheler - The hippy Kheler. Briefly mentioned in the species entry, they're the ones who don't think ALL VENDETTA ALL THE TIME is a good idea.

Vaosich Entelechic Superbias - Powerful, isolationist and advanced Kalaquel polity in the Cascade, not cool with all the human colonization.

Vecterii - Vassal polities of the Unyielding Mandragorae but not quite members of NEUROM, recruited for and defined by their military specialties.


UPDATED:

Part I

Apexai - Oversoul-nuking is officially a thing now.

Cosmozoans - More on their feeding and harvesting.

Crysts - Entry overhauled! Mostly adding to their current situation.

Freeworlds of Cascadia - Expanded on cultural attitudes and roots of their conflict with the Laurentians.

Hrlgtuhe - More history and physical description.

Kheler - Slightly more on their micro-g physical adaptations.

Mandragorans - Added details on their history, reproduction and growth, including their gnarly sixpack ovipositors.

Oolycysts - More on physiology and reproduction, also interstellar expansion via wisp listening.

Pardyceps - More history with the Oolycysts, added a mention of the Moving Forests that let their adult forms be mobile. Also now ruled from the THRONE OF DECAY.

Vorri - 'Guardians' renamed 'Monitors'.

Ygrd - They have caterpillar fuzz now.

Zigonians - Rewritten! More on their attitude and cultural mores (drug use), as well as backending in history from their Part II faction entries.

Part II

Conciliation of Tsorra-Mahl Harmonies - Just the Tsorra-Mahl Harmonies now.

Grandeur of Auriga - Added political structure and mention of Cognants.

Earthreign - A mention that they spawned a whole lot of other para-human clades we haven't gotten around to writing...

Exilates - Entry overhauled! Now more comprehensive with more on their current politics.

Meridian Institute - Labcoat uniforms!

Myrranni Ascendancy - Added the bit where their nobility likes to set fire to their own planets when they ASCEND.

Sternheim - Added the strand of Grunder culture in their heritage.

Qylathic Satrapies - THRONE OF DECAAAAY (okay, and more on external relations and history)

Unyielding Mandragan Principalities - Added mention of Civis populations. Also it's 'Principalities of the Unyielding Mandragorae" now.

Part III

Cascade - Added a bit of capsule overview of its current situation.

Ichor - More on exploitation. Its production requires exposure to hyperspace and its energies.

Orgone - Added mention to its non-fuel byproducts.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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