President of the Orion League circa 2472, President Hale was the initiator of the Treaty of Concord. He disappeared
about 2475, saying he was going to look for his son Christopher, who had disappeared in an apparent peace protest
some years earlier.
The Hatire are followers of a god they call the Cosimir, an alien deity that they have adopted as their own. Though
they became infamous for their "by-the-sword" conversions during GW II, they are also well-known for
their passionate dislike of advanced technology, especially tech that alters the human body.
The Hatire see themselves as missionaries, determined to bring trust in the Cosimir to the masses, exalting the
spirit revered by the long-vanished dwellers of Haven. For both the Brethren and the ancients whose stories they
translated, worship is about purity and purification. All other factors being equal, the ideal Hatire life pursues
simple harmony, without complicated technology to distract the spirit. It would be a simple agrarian life, focused
on spiritual contemplation. Nothing would stand between the believer and the universe.
This is not the universe the followers of the Cosimir live in. In this fierce, contentious universe, the Hatire
must grid themselves with weapons and technology they abhor. The Hatire priesthood offers special dispensations,
called technology indulgences, to those who volunteer to contaminate themselves in this way. The Brethren must
fight fierce wars, undertake far-flung explorations and even research spaceships and other instruments though ultimately
these things are only distractions from the truly important goals in life.
The Hatire community is a stellar empire (nation) filled with contradictions. They revile technology and what,
in their view, it has done to humankind. Yet their empire relies on it, and their faith would no doubt have parished
without the stardrive to provide it with the room to grow and it would not have experienced it's greatest revelation.
Currently the Hatire Community is a client state of the Thuldan Empire, a state it seemingly has little in common
with. However the necessities of war make strange bedfellows, and when the Thuldans offered membership in the Expansion
Pentad, the Community had little option except annihilation.
Faith is the foundation of the Community. The original Hatire left Earth with a faith dedicated to the simple aspects
of life, believing that humanity should make due with as little technological intrusion as possible. They drew
on many Old Earth faiths. The Amish, the Mennonites, Muslim Shiites etc. Hatire tied itself to no one Old Earth
faith; it merely adopted tenants of many, built around a rejection of technology as being the antitheses of faith.
The faith was revolutionized in the late 23rd century, when Haitre archeologists discovered the remains of a million-year-old
civilization on the planet Haven. They found religious texts of this civilization, which told of a noncorporeal
being called the Cosimir. The Cosimir's teachings provided a prescription for a new purity of being which would
raise its followers above the material world. This discovery lead to a religious frenzy among the Hatire and sent
believers to the far reaches of human space, as apostles of their faith.
The Hatire Communities relationship with the Thuldan's has lead to consequences the Thuldan's could never have
expected and surely are not pleased about. More than a quarter of Thuldan citizens now profess some form of belief
in the Cosimir's teachings. Given the Thuldan propensity for genetic manipulation, this could lead to societal
problems in the long term. Although the Hatire show no desire to change the nature of their relationship with the
Thuldans, even though it is subservient, the Thuldans may in the future want to distance themselves from the Hatire
and their faith.
The Helix System:
The Helix system contains no habitable worlds, although it does possess several rich planetary bodies as well as
a mineral laden asteroid belt. To exploit this system its original owners, VoidCorp created a huge L5 colony. At
its height this series of linked L5 Colonies contained a population of over 28 million, with room for millions
more. Helix quickly became VoidCorp's manufacturing and shipbuilding center in the Twilight Sector. As such it
posed the only real threat to the Terra-Sol system at the onset of GW II. Early in the war (2351) the Orion fleet
destroyed the manufacturing and ship building capacity of the system. They avoided as much loss of life as possible
and the system still contained 16 million inhabitants when it was ceded to Concord in 2474. Most of these were
expendable, A to C class employees, so obviously VoidCorp felt they were not giving up much to fulfill their obligation
as part of The Treaty of Concord. On the other hand Concord has poured in huge amounts of capital to try and rebuild
the industrial capacity of the system. To date they have had some success, but there is still much work left to
be done. If Concord is successful in this system they will have acquired for themselves a wonderful forward base
for further exploration of the Twilight Sector, and beyond.
The reformation's tenets acknowledge that all human faiths-indeed all humans-are flawed. Theocratic governments,
rigid belief systems, and well-defined canon produce nothing more than a docile, weak-minded populace and a wealthy
religion. The faith acknowledges a single god, responsible for the creation of the universe. However, worship is
irrelevant to the creator-worshipers must help themselves. Blaming one's shortcomings on an omnipotent god is just
According to Reformer tradition, humans should never expect divine help to overcome problems. Instead the creator
expects sentients to solve problems in themselves, in others and in society. When a person sees a wrong, he should
right it. More important when a Reformer discovers greed, malice, or any other flaw within himself, it is his duty
to confront it.
At the same time, Reformers must help believers overcome their flaws-psychological, physical, or spiritual. To
take advantage of another's weakness or worse, take joy in it is a greater crime than to sin or to have personal
failings of one's own. Followers of the Reformation are expected to devote themselves to lives of achievement giving
generously to charity, helping those in need, and opposing injustice.
As the youngest major religion in existence, the Church of the Oracle is the spiritual home to worshipers called
the Insightful-so named to distinguish them from the title Inseer, given to citizens of the stellar nation of Insight.
Followers of the Church of the Oracle aren't acknowledged as religious adherents by many stellar nations, and certainly
aren't acknowledged by the other major religions. Nevertheless more than 500 billion believers call the Insightful
faith their own. The religion is a well-known haven for gridpilots and programmers and some of the best hackers
are known to follow the code of the Insightful.
To understand the Insightful's beliefs, it's necessary to experience the Grid. The Grid's ability to allow exchange
of thought is the cornerstone of all Insightful beliefs and practices. Insight depends on a perfect melding of
technology and mysticism-a melding that has a strong appeal for many of the technically and artistically inclined.
The vehicle of the religion is not prayer, or good works, or devotion to scripture. The Insightful believe that
divine potential lurks within the Grid.
Uncomplicated by the imperfections of human language, the Grid-especially as perfected by Insight-permits direct
contact with the conscious mind. As such, it grants human minds the potential for complete understanding, or complete
union with one another and the universe. This is a possibility once thought limited to those fortunate enough to
be gifted with mindwalking talents. This union results in a state of complete equality among souls, reflected by
the Insightful disregard for the notions of ranks and hierarchies. As a believer grows in understanding, he/she
gains access to higher and higher levels of truth and advances along the path to perfect understanding.
For humanity to evolve beyond crude flesh to a free exchange of thought across the Grid, information must be free.
For governments and corporations to keep secrets and restrict the free flow of information is a sin. It's the sacred
duty of the Insightful to expose the truth, no matter how painful it may be. The price of free exchange, the price
of human destiny, is the willingness to learn and embrace both the good and evil sides of human nature, and ultimately
rise above them both.
Insight is the youngest of the Stellar nations. It was born of a secret rebellion within the halls of VoidCorp.
Insight began as a division of that gigantic stellar nation, being its research and development/creative arm. During
GW II it provided considerable intelligence to the Freespace Alliance, allowing the Alliance to always be one step
ahead of the Expansion Pentad. This information probably stopped what seemed like an inexorable march to victory
for the Pentad.
Insight's specialty is computers generally and the grid specifically. Few nations can boast the technological expertise
of Insight. It will be this expertise and its application that determines the survival of this infant stellar nation.
With a population of only 278 billion, and at best a minimalist military (the Insight navy only boasts 6 fortress
ships, and its ground forces are the smallest and received a "D" grade in the latest Mikada Report, the
lowest grade possible), it will need economic and technological power to offset it's other weaknesses.
Law levels vary from planet to planet, and even country to country on a planet. For this article we will discuss
the legal atmosphere of The Republic of the Plains.
The ROP is at heart a libertarian state. The typical Plainsman believes that the fewer laws there are the better.
A Plainsman also believes in swift and effective punishment when one of those few laws are broken. Guns are an
excepted part of The ROP, as long as they're not concealed. While social morays usually preclude carrying around
a gun in a major metropolis like Kansas City, it is not illegal. The concealed carrying of weapons is legal with
a proper permit. The applicant will need to show cause why they need a license for this activity, but reasonable
requests are usually honored. Of course convicted felons and certain other classes (mentally impaired, etc.) are
excluded from the right to keep and bear arms.
Mechalus are a race who physically and genetically are almost identical to Humans. However they have evolved to
become an amalgamation of biological and mechanical parts. They are not Cyborgs, living beings that graft mechanical
improvements to their bodies. Mechalus are actually born with their mechanical improvements. They are techno-organic
The Mechalus are a part of the Rigunmor Star Consortium. Their original name for themselves is the Aleer, after
their system of origin. However they have adopted the name that humanity has bestowed upon them. As one might expect
the Mechalus are experts at computer science, especially the grid. An ability the Rigunmor used to great effect
in GW II.
Ever since the genocide that converted most Mechalus to pacifistic ways, these aliens have suppressed their only
native faith, the Warrior's Credo. Founded by a warrior/programmer named Thetor, the faith taught that only through
struggle could the Mechalus species attain and maintain unity. The little evidence available indicates that the
religion involved special implants and software as well as ritual acts of prayer and violence. Most Mechalus today
look back on these beliefs as primitive and even distasteful, much as many humans frown on some old human religious
practices such as animal sacrifice.
Since contact with humanity, however the Mechalus have demonstrated some interest in human faiths. Currently, many
Mechalus adhere to Old Earth Buddhism or claim membership among the ranks of the Insightful.
Medicine has advanced to the point that the average human's life expectancy is approximately two centuries. Most
disease processes can now, be arrested. Most organs can be replaced, either with artificial ones or with specially
grown animal organs (for example baboon livers are used for transplant into humans, these organs are harvested
from animals, genetically altered to grow a redundant organ). Violent trauma and acute dysfunctional episodes now
cause the majority of premature deaths. Even though most diseases can now be cured or controlled there are still
some disease processes that mutate or resist treatment causing premature death. However in the 25th century this
Modern medicine has allowed life spans to increase to approximately 200 years for humans, with proper medical treatment.
This would include routine medical scanning (about once a week), and a trip to a "gene spa" about every
decade, where an individual would receive anti-aging gene therapy.
The Mennonite Agricultural Cooperative (MAC):
The MAC was the first Corp in the ROP (Republic of the Plains), and is still one of the most powerful on Terra-Sol.
The Corp got its start in agriculture and is still very strong in that area. It has branched out into heavy machinery
manufacturing, robotics, and micro-technology. It now has offices on every continent and it's reported assets are
in excess of 3 trillion Orion credits, about 2.91 trillion Concord dollars.
Moria is a Saturn sized gas giant in the Terra-Sol system. It has 23 moons and orbits Sol at 17.8 AU's. It is home
to a thriving gas mining industry. The miners live on large L5 colonies orbiting the planet. The mining is done
by large "scope ships" which skim the upper atmosphere of the planet, shifting through the mostly hydrogen
atmosphere for the rare gases which make this type of mining profitable. The mining operations have attracted a
population of about 14 million.
The Orion League has awarded Moria's largest moon Cristo to the Mennonite Agricultural Cooperative for development.
To date the MAC has several large scientific facilities orbiting the moon but has not proceeded with any development
The last bastion of socialism/communism in the galaxy, this stellar nation of 636 billion struggles on. It has
certainly had to make strange allies in the name of survival. It currently survives as a VoidCorp client state
and member of the Expansion Pentad. While one can understand it's membership in the Pentad (workers of the galaxy
unite), it's association with VoidCorps, state capitalism seems strangely incongruous, and rumblings from behind
the corporate wall of VoidCorp space indicate that the Nariac may be feeling their oats.
Nariac citizens boast many cybernetic devices. Their only drawback being that each implant can be monitored by
the state. The Nariac Domain has embraced the Godlessness of communist societies throughout human history. If all
this sounds like it makes for a rather harsh society, well it does.
Netherell is a VoidCorp system. It is currently under military interdiction. Any ship making star rise in the system
is warned not to approach the primary under threat of attack, and to exit the system as soon as their stardrive
is recharged. VoidCorp stations at least one dreadnought and its associated task force in system at all times to
back up these threats. The reasons for this secrecy are unknown, however rumor says Netherell is populated by a
primitive alien species which, exhibits unusual psionic abilities.
GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)