The Sovereign Worlds
This small cluster of neighboring solar systems have formed a very loose mutual-defense and free trade pact. They occasionally maintain short-term agreements with the Outback Alliance and other nearby autonomous regions, though normally these are limited to free trade or non-aggression treaties. The Sovereigns have no central government as such, but have bilateral and multilateral talks whenever business affecting more than one member world must be dealt with.
The warm, pleasant world of Astarte is the base of a system-wide free trade zone. The government of Astarte is a Oligarchy composed of powerful, family-owned corporations. These 'government' corporations provide law and order, security, and certain basic civil services (paid for by fees for said services) and little else. Because trade is the life-blood of Astarte, the laws binding trade agreements and the protection of life and property are rigidly enforced, but very little else is covered under local law.
The resident population of Astarte is mostly standard human, with a very large transient population of humans and other races.
The great attraction to Astarte is that almost anything is legal here, and due to the volume of traffic from the nearby Uhlani worlds, the Seven Sisters, and the other Sovereign worlds, almost anything can be found here.
The Uhlani once claimed Astarte as part of the Republic, and have made several attempts to bring them back under their dominion in the last five hundred years. Several have been temporarily successful, but the Astartes usually rebel and return to their mercantile ways. Relations between the Uhlani and Astarte is hostile at best.
Astartes ships are usually gunship to corvette sized, used mainly for patrol work. They offer a bewildering array of transport vessels of all sizes and purposes. Several larger classes of warships are maintained, often models purchased from the Makali or Isaa.
Relations with other worlds are generally neutral with the exception of the Uhlani. The Astarte government is only really friendly with the Outback Alliance, who provide them with significant trade opportunities and mutual defense treaties with few other obligations.
Makali II & III
The twin worlds of the Makali system are home to the Sri, a race rumored to have been heavily influenced by the heavyworlder Etheradi. The Sri have a somewhat rigid society . Their government is a Stratocracy (rule by the military) with heavy religious influence.
Makali II is a small, sub-optimal Terran type world, cloudly with heavy rainfall. The planet has a very high population density in the equatorial cities, but is not self-supporting and requires regular food imports from offworld.
Makali III is a large, mineral rich Terran-type world, which the Sri have spent centuries terraforming. The planet is very heavily populated to the north and south of the eqatorial hot zone, with large areas of fertile cropland spanning the planet's equator. Makali III is unusual in having a single, large continent and two 'ring' oceans between the polar icecaps and the central landmass.
Sri resemble closely resemble humans, but are obviously a sub-species adapted or improved by an outside force, suspected to be the Etheradi (use the celestial template).
The Sri have a four thousand year history as mercenaries; first among their own warlords, then serving the Etheradi, and finally serving as shock troops for other races in their wars. While hardly a homicidal species, the Sri are well apapted physically and psychologically to warfare. As such, their primary exports are munitions, warships, & warriors. On the negative side, the Sri are divided into thousands of Clans, each clan owing a complex web of fealty oaths to other Clans and Clan leaders. The Clans often fight among themselves (using limited rules of engagement, such as not fighting in cities and no WMD, and so forth). The Sri have a saying - if more than fifty Sri could band together without choosing up sides and fighting among themselves, the Sri would rule the galaxy.
While both Makali II and III are colonized, the Sri have also settled most other major celestial bodies in their solar system, and have outposts and small colonies in a handful of nearby systems. Both of the terran-like planets are home to large populations and training grounds; while the major shipyards and heavy industrial facilities are constructed on or orbiting the hundred moons surrounding the Makali system's three gas giants. Additionally, the religious orders of Sri society have temples on these moons. Though their religion is quite secretive, it seems that the Sri worship or commune with, in some way, the Etheradi who dwell on the gas giants.
The Etheradi are a reticent, shy race who seem to prefer living in the crushing gravity of medium to large gas giants. They have seldom seen and little understood technology that seems quite advanced. The numbers of their kind, how many gas giants they dwell on, or their attitudes towards other non-Sri races are uknown.
Sri in the Makali system are referred to as 'Makali Sri' or just Makali as there are several Sri splinter colonies spread around the area, including one under Uhlani control.
Sri warships are small, fast, and powerful, stressing speed and maneuverability over size or armor. They lack artificial gravity and are too small for spin-sections. They never equip their line warships with jump engines, preferring to leave that role to larger, slower vessels like carriers and command ships (of which there are very few). The Sri are major exporters of warships, however, and often design and build according to the specifications of customers like the Astarte or the Outback Alliance.
The Makali Sri have generally poor relations with most other governments. Their relationship with the Astarte and Isaa is fairly strong, based on mutually profitable trade and long-standing mercenary contracts. Most other governments are considered neutral or potentially hostile. The Uhlani are considered annoying but not really threatening. Sri have a racial dislike of Acai Maj, who bear an uncanny resemblance to the devils of Makali religion.
More than once, the Isaa system has been the site of enormous space battles. Several ancient jumpgates (of pre-Ulhani manufacture) drift at the outer reaches of the system, alongside newer gates built by other races. Thousands of derelict ships litter the binary system, which has only a single small terraformed planet and large fields of asteroids and solar dust rings, all shepherded along by a brown dwarf at the outer boundary of the system.
The current occupants of the Isaa system are not the first group to have inhabited the system. The cities of the current Isaans are built atop the ruins of other civilizations, and those atop still others. The current residents are a small race of humanoids (use halfling template) who have excellent technical skills.
The Isaans arrived through one of the ancient jumpgates (they have a considerable schism among their historians concerning which one) seven hundred years ago. According to their history, they were fleeing a numerous and powerful alien race from their home region of the Galaxy (at least they assume they are in the same galaxy) which had already driven them from their homeworld and colonies. They had placed all their hope in the construction of a few massive vessels which took their remaining people on an exodus across the stars.
When they arrived in the Delta Cluster, the Isaans were exhausted. The collection of ships in the Isaa graveyard and the habitable world beckoned. They settled in the system, dismantled all but one of their great colony ships, and began to scavenge and reverse-engineer the relics that abounded in the system.
The Isaans currently thrive as a construction, salvage, and repair center. Though the Sri build excellent warships, the Isaans have a knack for upgrades and modifications, and build some excellent vessels themselves.
Due to their small size, Isaans are heavy proponents of powered armor and lightweight mecha.
The only planet in the system, Isaa Prime, is an old world which has been extensively terraformed. While the world is mineral poor and slightly cooler than Terran norms, it is wealthy in artifacts and salvage. The planet has three main continents, two of which are heavily settled.
The Isaa cannot be said to have a consistent ship type. With so much of their craft salvaged, customized, or hand built, it is impossible to generalize about their ships. Most Isaa vessels are capable of operating as deep-space salvage ships or as carriers for fighters or mecha. They maintain a handful of large 'carrier' type ships, which function both as motherships for small craft, but as mobile production and resource processing facilities. Only these carriers are large enough to have spin-gravity sections.
Isaa have good relations with their nearest neighbors and poor relations with nearly everyone else. The Astarte regard them as excellent trading partners and suppliers of salvaged goods. The Outback worlds often deal with Isaa salvage operations for spare parts or repairs. The Makali occasionally trade technology or weapons to the Isaa for artifacts or other advancements. Beyond their neighbors, however, the Isaa are viewed as scavengers or thieves and not well liked. The Uhlani have branded them pirates and have the legal authority (under their laws at least) to arrest Isaans and impound their vessels. A state of 'cold war' exists between Isaa and the Uhlani.
Last edited by Wolfgod
on Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:44 pm, edited 11 times in total.
- "Don't assume you are safe because there is a rational explanation for all of this."