Encyclopedia Galactica O-Z
Old Earth Religions:
Waves of emigration from humanity's homeworld have yet to weaken the venerable belief systems developed on its
surface. Some have seen a percentage decrease in their numbers when compared to the whole of the population, but
still all the major and most of the minor religions spawned on earth are still quite viable.
Christianity (in Catholic, Orthodox, and various Protestant denominations) is practiced by somewhere around 10%
of the human population. Islam (Sunni and Shia sects) boasts similar numbers. Somewhere between 5 and 10% of the
human population follow each of these other major religions; Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism.
The Orion League:
This stellar nation is neither the largest nor the strongest, but is among the largest and the strongest. It definitely
is the most heterogeneous. The Orion League has a population of 893 billion, the 4th largest of the 12 stellar
nations. Its navy is rated "A" by the Mikada report, joining only The Galactic Concord with this naval
rating. Orion's love their freedom, and are among the most tolerant, even if disparate, of the human nations.
During GW II The Orion League was the leader of the FreeSpace Alliance, which successfully held onto most of its
territory. The hardest hit being the Borealis Republic, but with FreeSpace help they were able to stem the tide
and not end up on the trash-heap of history as so many others did during the war. President Hale was one of the
key arbiters of the Galactic Concord, and so earned a featured place in the history of GW II for himself and his
Currently the Orions are in a very good position for expansion. With the Crescent sector relatively settled and
The Twilight sector partially so, they have strong bases from which to launch further exploration of the Orion
Unlike any other religion except the Church of the Oracle, Orlamism is a dynamic faith built on a foundation of
technology and science. The Orlamist faith was born from the invention of the stardrive and the subsequent discovery
of other dimensions within drivespace. While testing the stardrive, pilot Jeff Sendir had an encounter with the
divine. When he returned to normal space he abandoned his previous life and set forth the principles of the faith:
Drivespace is the groundwork of God. Just as the world all around was the conscious act of the creator, the space
behind space remains the source and origin of all things. Drivespace is nothing less than the Divine Unconscious.
The doctrine of the faith is centered on a single objective: understanding and contacting the Divine Unconscious.
To reach this goal, the Orlamus constantly monitor and experiment to advance their understanding of drivespace.
Doctrine changes as necessary to fit the latest theory supported by the scientific evidence. Disputes and disagreements
among the Orlamist faithful are more than permitted; they are encouraged. Just as division and argument are vital
to the scientific community they are considered vital to the faith as well. Not suprisingly, a secondary result
of all this experimentation on the Divine Unconscious has been the superiority of Orlamu stardrives over the last
Orlamism can only loosely be considered a united religion, since it lacks elders who preach a common doctrine.
The only requirement for an Orlamist is that one's activities help to understand the Divine Unconscious. By seeking
to understand what drivespace truly represents, one comes closer to understanding God. For example the 121-hour
duration of each starfall has led some Orlamists to suggest that this was the span of creation itself. A more radical
Orlamu cult questions the very use of the Divine Unconscious as a means of travel; might not trespassing alter
the very nature of God? At the same time, the religion's openness and tolerance extend beyond its own faith, Orlamists
are accepting of all religions.
The Orlamu Theocracy is a stellar nation of 782 billion. The Theocracy marks the latest example of a society born
out of the desire for religious freedom. Orlamism is a faith built on a foundation of technology. The faith was
born from the invention of the stardrive. For Orlamism drivespace is the foundation of God. Just as the world all
around was the conscious act of the creator, the space behind space, remains the source and origin of all things.
Drivespace is nothing less than the Divine Unconscious. The doctrine of the Theocracy is centered around a single
objective: understanding and contacting the Divine Unconscious. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Orlamu
stardrives are second to no others in human space.
In the Theocracy intellectual and religious freedom are accepted as a matter of course. For the Oralmus this is
more a matter of tradition than any written contract. Even as most Orlamus follow the Orlamist faith, most Orlamus
hold the theocratic government as a necessary evil, not a divinely inspired power. The faith is considered a scientific
endeavor first and a religion second.
The Theocracy's strength is it's openness, it's relationship with Orion in particular, and the rest of the Freespace
Alliance generally, and it's discovery of the alien sentients the Weren.
This theory has been advanced in recent years by Orlan Watson, professor of astro-physics at the University of
Perth in Australia and Vilmar Oerth a professor in the same field at the University of Bern.
The theory proposes that the Terra-Sol system is an artificial construct, created by an as yet unknown precursor
race. As evidence a catalog entry by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the Old Earth country
of the United States of America, in 2009 is sited. This entry does not correspond in class with the star currently
known as Sol. The classification indicates a much older and unstable star. Watson and Oerth also offer as evidence
data from distant measuring stations in the Thuldan Empire that are just receiving light that would have been emitted
by Sol some 800 to 1,000 years ago. This data shows a miniscule but measurable increase in the stars mass over
the last 125 years of data recording. The two professors assert this could only be accomplished by the introduction
of mass to the star by an as yet unknown and most likely artificial source, and at a time not that distant in the
star's past. They also cite Terra's lack of an extensive ecosystem. As a final piece of evidence Watson and Oerth
point to a group of asteroids in the system's asteroid belt, the best known being, The Evening Star (catalog #
V.38769) which were found to be hollow, undoubtedly the work of sentients.
Prometheus is the first planet in the Terra-Sol system. It is in approximately the same orbit as Mercury is around
the Sun. It is a heavily mined world with a population of approximately 28 million people, whose principal commerce
is mining. The populace live in underground shelters. A further 300,000 live in several L5 colonies hidden from
Sol by their stationary position on the dark side of the planet. The planetary capital is Warren Prime (population
11 million) located in the perpetual twilight of Prometheus' North Polar Region. It is located next to one of the
two sources of water (the other being the South Pole) on the planet.
Prometheus surprised many scientists when a layer of permafrost water was found in low spots on the poles; these
areas are shielded from Sol's intense glare. These layers of permafrost provide much of the planet's supply of
water and fuel. The planet itself is airless and pockmarked by extensive meteor impacts. Prometheus is the most
meteor-impacted body in the solar system. The level of meteor activity indicates the planet has been dead geologically
for approximately 3 to 4 billion years. The planet's day side is a radiation blasted hell and its night side is
a freezing wasteland. The planet does rotate slowly, a Prometheus day is 293.7 standard days long, while it's year
lasts only 226.1 standard days.
This Twilight sector system is the property of VoidCorp. It currently has a population of approximately 345 million.
The primary, Ratan is a very pleasant world. Conditions are earthlike, with a little lighter than normal gravity
(.92 G), a high hydrographic percentage (82%), and a thin atmosphere. VoidCorp is attempting to improve the atmosphere
by seeding the ocean with phytoplankton, genetically engineered to produce large amounts of oxygen.
Ratan has become a very popular resort and entertainment system. Many professional sports leagues are based here
and a large percentage of all the tridee chips sold in the sector are produced on Ratan. In addition, it attracts
more than 25 million tourists each year from Terra-Sol.
Republic of Chicago:
Is a Terra-Sol nation state. It occupies most of the territory known as the north central United States and eastern
Canada on Old Earth. Chicago is of course its capital, and it has a population of some 405 million. It uses a republic
form of government, with two legislative houses, a chief executive and an independent judiciary. The ROC makes
its living from heavy industry in the urban centers of, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto specifically, as well as raw
materials production, especially in the Canadian outback.
Republic of the Plains:
Is a Terra-Sol nation state. It occupies most of the central plains of the continent. The nation's economic mainstay
is agriculture. It has given rise to one of the largest planetary Corp's, The Mennonite Agricultural Cooperative
(see related article). The nation has a population of 325 million of which 42 million live in its capital, Kansas
Some populations for ROP urban areas are as follows; Kansas City 42 million, St. Louis 28 million, Edmonton 19
million, Omaha 18 million, Calgary 16 million, Tulsa 15 million, Des Moines 14 million, Wichita 11 million, Oklahoma
City 10 million, Springfield 9 million Sioux Falls 7 million, Fargo 5 million, Sioux City 3 million.
Republic of Texas:
This Terra-Sol nation state occupies the Old Earth states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana and parts of
Oklahoma and Arkansas. It's population is 390 million, and its capital is Dallas. The nation has spawned one of
the large planetary mega-corps, General Products. This corp headquartered in Houston makes a wide variety of products,
but got its start in shipbuilding, surface and submersible craft.
Rigunmor Star Consortium:
A consortium of independent traders founded this stellar nation of 740 billion. It retains many of the idiosyncrasies
common to free traders, rugged individualism, inventiveness, and the wholehearted pursuit of the guilder. As a
side note, while the galactic currency is called the Concord dollar, this currency was based upon the Rigunmor
guilder, as negotiated at the Treaty of Concord. While the dollar is now also the currency of the Consortium, they
still call it a guilder.
The Consortium were members of the Profit Alliance during GW II. They still maintain close ties with most of their
wartime allies. The Consortium is also the home of the sentient alien species, the Mechalus. They provided invaluable
help on the grid during GW II.
The Russian Empire:
This is one of the largest and most authoritarian of Terra-Sol's, nation states. It spans parts of three continents
Europe, Asia, and North America. Even with a population of 645 million, this huge area is underpopulated by Terra-Sol
standards. Fortunately for the nation states of North American, its population on that continent is only 95 million,
although this seems enough for it to be perpetually up to mischief. The Russian Empire has been repeatedly censured
by the Orion Governor for violations of the Orion Constitution. The Empires government is totalitarian and oppressive.
They have lost control of several institutions (state police and department of the army) to the Orion government,
over the years as a result of their actions. The Orion's have controlled the institutions for a period of time,
declared them rehabilitated and turned them back over to the Empire, only to see some of the same actions begin
again in a short period of time.
This sentient alien species is the most alien in appearance of all the major species. They are hexapedal flying
creatures, with a pair of small forelimbs, powerful sweeping wings and complex double-jointed legs that end in
clawed feet. In addition they possess long, finned tails that flare open and act as stabilizers when the creatures
take flight. A Sesheyan's head is wide and round ringed by eight small eyes and crowned by tow pointed ears. The
blunt snout covers a hinged jaw full of sharp bony ridges instead of teeth. Their hearing is as keen as a cat's,
and their night vision is superior - but bright light virtually blinds them. A Sesheyan is about the same height
as an average human, but weighs only about 40 kilograms, their skeleton being composed of mostly light, strong
The Sesheyan were first discovered by VoidCorp and are now part of that stellar nation. When first discovered they
were a primitive race barely out of their stone-age. Most are now low level employees of VoidCorp, mostly used
in menial positions. Some however have risen to high rank within the Corp. The most notorious use that VoidCorp
makes of this species is as expert assassins.
Sesheyan Fable Animism:
The Sesheyans have their own beliefs based on tales and proverbs told by their shaman. These tales vary from shaman
to shaman but almost all contain one of three important figures: Neshii'en the trickster, Tal the hunter, or Vec't'lir
the broodmother. In particular, the parables of Neshii'en and his enemies have sustained the Sesheyans during the
dark times of their servitude to VoidCorp-though many of the public rituals and outward expressions of the faith
have been lost.
Sesheyan religious practices are now strictly verbal within VoidCorp space. Possession or manufacture of religious
paraphernalia is punishable by heavy fines, demotion or relocation. If anything this restrictive atmosphere has
strengthened the hold of religion on the Sesheyan culture; new tales of Neshii'en's conflicts with agents of VoidCorp
circulate as pervasively as jokes and rumors.
The Starmech Collective is a stellar nation of 530 billion. It was part of the Profit Alliance during GW II, and
was heavily damaged by The Thuldan Empire. The Collective is not as its name implies a socialistic state. In fact
they are aggressive capitalists, and have some of the finest shipyards in human space.
This is another mega-corp spawned in The ROP, it makes it's headquarters in Kansas City. This Corp specializes
in gravetics, micro circuitry, zero-g products, and spaceship engines, power plants and Stardrives. It had gross
sales of 2.01 trillion Orion credits in the year 2500.
This star system discovered in 2324, is Orion League Sovereign territory. The primary of the system, Terra, is
remarkably earthlike. In fact it is an almost identical copy of earth down to the shape of the landmasses. The
rest of the system however bears no resemblance to the Earth-Sun system. The planet Prometheus occupies much the
same orbit as Mercury does around the Sun, and like Mercury. The next planet in the system is the primary, Terra.
It is exactly 1 AU from Sol. Achilles is a smallish, cold planet, capable of supporting some life. It is currently
undergoing terra-forming. Between Achilles and the next planet in the system, Moria, is a rather large asteroid
belt. Moira is a gas giant with 23 moons, many of them quite small. Apollo, orbits Sol at an extreme range (35
AU), only the systems cometary belt has bodies which achieve orbits further out from Sol than this.
Little research has been done into the origins of the Terra-Sol system, and how an Earth duplicate planet could
have evolved. With the end of GW II this scientific question will no doubt receive considerable attention.
The Thuldan Empire is one of the largest and strongest of the stellar nations. It has a population of 1,072 billion
and by far the largest armed forces of any stellar nation. The Empire believes its manifest destiny is to unite
all of humanity under its banner. To assure the completion of this goal it has set out to improve humanity. Genetic
engineering is a specialty of the Empire, and its engineered stormtroopers were the scourge of GW II.
This system is Orion League Sovereign territory. The primary of this system, Gaurhoth, serves as one of the major
prisons of the Orion League. Consignment to this planet is considered one of the toughest sentences that can be
received. Prisoners sent here receive only minimal assistance, in the form of food and clothing. They are dropped
off to serve their sentences. Getting out can be even harder. All prisoners are subject to brain scans and extensive
psychological testing to determine if rehabilitation has been achieved. Needless to say, many shorter sentences
have turned into life sentences, because of the tough exit requirements.
The planet itself is semi-arid, and not exactly loaded with resources, although marginally habitable. Even given
the hostile nature of the place, several prisoners have carved out fortunes for themselves here, providing goods
and services, or producing raw materials and products to ship to other systems. The Orion wardens in fact encourage
this activity, believing it is a good way to rehabilitate prisoners.
Travel on Terra-Sol takes a variety of forms. For local travel in a city, there are of course slidewalks. Intercity
travel is usually accomplished by means of a speedy subway system. An express train can take a person from one
end of a city like Kansas City in the ROP, to the other in as little as 15 minutes. Even resorting to local trains,
the trip would probably take no more than 45 minutes if you didn't have to wait to long for your connecting trains.
Short distance travel (less than 1,500 miles) usually takes advantage of the planets system of Bullet Trains. These
trains connect most major population centers and prime destinations. They travel at approximately 600 mph, making
cities like Des Moines (20 minutes), Springfield (17 minutes), St. Louis (26 minutes), Wichita (19 minutes), or
Omaha (14 minutes) within commuting distance of Kansas City. Another option is personal skycars. This method however
can be considerably slower as the average skycar only travels around 350 mph, although they range from 300 to 500
mph capability. When distances are merely continental (over 1,500 miles) Supersonic aircraft are used. These average
1400 mph making even a New York to LA run about an hour and 45 minutes. For truly global travel, Sub-Orbital Aircraft
are available. These vehicles travel roughly twice as fast as supersonic aircraft (2,800 mph), making any destination
on the globe roughly only a 3-hour plane ride away.
Costs for these services range from; Slidewalks - Free, Subway - 3cr local, 5cr express, Bullet Train - 25 to 80cr,
Supersonic Aircraft - 250 to 600cr, Sub-Orbital Aircraft - 500 to 1200cr.
T'sa are another of the five major alien races. They are smaller than humans, averaging 1.1 to 1.4 meters in height
and weighing in at 30 to 50 kilograms. They are reptilian in general appearance, covered in colorful scales and
having a snout full of tiny, sharp teeth. They are astonishingly fluid and quick in their movements, with wiry,
flexible bodies and short limbs. T'sa scales are extremely hard and dense, capable of stopping a knife-thrust or
even a low-caliber bullet.
T'sa have been the only species not willing to integrate into the human political structure. Despite owing their
presence among the stars to the humans gift of the stardrive, the T'sa have jealously maintained their independence,
amidst a sea of humanity. Today their cluster of worlds is a Concord Neutrality, a separate stellar nation in all
The T'sa, of all the intelligent aliens encountered so far, are the most like humans psychologically. They are
driven by insatiable curiosity and determined to find a better way to do things. Their childlike exuberance and
optimism, so deceptive to humans who don't know them well, are tempered by a keen analytical intelligence capable
of astounding feats of innovation and ingenuity. T'sa society is utter chaos by human standards, which says a lot.
At best it might be described as feudal in nature, a tangled system of patrons and clients without any clear division
of position or nobility, but the allegiance is shared by an entire clutch of siblings toward another clutch of
higher standing. In short the peasant and all his brothers owe fealty to the lord and all of his brothers, who
owe allegiance to the king and all his kin…although it's not as clear-cut as that!
Union of Sol:
This stellar nation contains the birthplace of humanity, Earth. It has changed quite a bit since humankind first
set out for the stars. The Sun/Earth system now contains over 60 billion, the Union as a whole contains 1,812 billion
sentients. It is by far the most populous of the stellar nations.
During GW II the Union of Sol was a member of the Profit Alliance. It can correctly be said that the Solars where
one of the few winners in the war with a net increase in systems of 20%. The Union is always in search of new systems
to increase the space it has for it's teeming masses. This however is quite difficult since it is virtually surrounded
by the other stellar nations.
United States of America:
This nation state of Terra-Sol occupies what would be the east coast and much of the south of what was the historical
nation bearing the same name, on Old Earth. The nation is one of the more populous in North America, with a population
of 425 million. It's capital is Washington, which forms the southern end of a huge mega-city, stretching all the
way north to Boston. High tech and service industrys (insurance, banking etc.) form the backbone of the USA's economy.
The government is a representative democracy, however oligarchies have formed from the intellectual and financial
elite's. These groups effectively run the country.
VoidCorp is a sovereign stellar nation that can trace it's roots back to a 20th century Earth corporation, Microtel.
The Corp grew and eventually left Earth, establishing itself a stellar nation with the onset of GW I. VoidCorp
is one of the most rigid and authoritarian of the stellar nations. It is also one of the most successful. It currently
has a population of 964 billion, the third largest among stellar nations. VoidCorp's economy has always been centered
on high tech and computers, and they are still among the leaders in human space in these areas, even with the defection
of their insight division. A defection they still only tacitly recognize. VoidCorp was a member of the Expansion
Pentad during GW II, and is still a member of that alliance. It has one client species, the Sesheyans, which are
totally under their dominion, and the Nariac Domain, another stellar nation has been reduced to little more than
a client state. However the Domain is currently testing the boundaries of this relationship.
The Weren were the first preindustrial sentient species to be discovered by humanity. They are a fierce species
of warriors born and bred for battle. Until humanity met the Weren, we thought we were the most warlike species
in this corner of the galaxy. But Weren battle-lust dwarfs the human proclivity for violence, just as their hulking
frames dwarf even the most powerful humans.
Orlamu missionaries first visited Kurg, the Weren homeworld, almost two and a half centuries ago. They found a
species on the verge of renaissance of literature, learning, and science, but their ceaseless warfare threatened
everything. The Orlamu managed to pacify the Weren through diplomacy and the introduction of their religious beliefs.
Although the Weren still feel the call to arms after all these years of contact with the Orlamu, these conflicts
are now limited and fought under a Code of War, and there always seem to be outside actions (GW II for instance)
to sate the Weren battlelust.
The Weren are formidable physical specimens to say the least. Armed with rock-hard claws and enormous strength,
Weren are 200 kilograms of muscle, fur, fangs, and rage. Instead of humanlike hands and feet, Weren retain the
distinct second joint of their quadrupedal ancestors; they walk on their toes, and their hands are very long and
pawlike. The Weren's dense fur is colored in soft striations of white, gray, and black.
Weren Religious Practices:
Many Weren still living on Kurg have embraces Orlamism. Unfortunately, these Weren often hold heretical versions
of the Orlamu beliefs, known as the Weren Heresies. For these Weren, the Divine Unconscious is indelibly linked
to the universe itself. Their version of the Orlamu God-the Divine Unconscious-takes them from their homeworld
to other, better worlds. The Divine Unconscious isn't a subject of scientific study, but a force that believers
must appease. A Weren who makes the proper offerings before leaving Kurg will find his/her way to one of the paradises
of the Great Beyond. Those who fail to do so end up in one of the universe's any hells.
The native religion of Kurg is a sophisticated form of animism that depends on its adherents' belief to give strength
to a clan's warriors through the channeling of the proper spirits. Beyond that point, interpretations differ from
tribe to tribe.
Weren priests offer a number of simple explanations for everyday problems. Hexes, curses, astrological predictions,
and the summoning of disease by hostile prayers are widely held beliefs, especially among the nomadic marrishe-herders.
The details of these beliefs vary, but the position of priest is one of the few in Weren society with as much prestige
as that of warrior. The priests watch over the sacred combats of the faith's high holy days and perform the ceremonial
bloodletting that purifies a clan's warriors. These religious festivals sometimes become little more than drunken
riots, as the Weren argue points of doctrine and the merits or interpretation of each individual combat. Few outsiders
can withstand the sheer noise of a Weren religious gathering.
GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)