Locations and Background.   Posted by ALEPH.Group: 0
ALEPH
 GM, 34 posts
Sun 29 Dec 2019
at 05:12
Locations and Background
SURVEY OF THE HUMAN SPHERE
Scientists discovered the first viable wormhole in orbit around Saturn in the early 21st century. Ten years later, the Sorel sisters unlocked its secrets and opened the Gateway to the Stars.
Unfortunately, Project DAWN—the first attempt to colonize an alien world—ended in catastrophic failure when the wormhole leading to the neophyte colony permanently collapsed.
Humanity rallied in the wake of failure, though. PanOceanian vessels using powerful Minotaur motors punched through trans-Plutonian holes and took us to the stars. A race once confined
to a single planet can now call eleven star systems home.
EARTH
The cradle of humanity. A place of natural and cultural treasures. The cities here are full of history, but still severely depopulated as a result of the star tide. The Sol System in general, however, remains more highly developed than any other system of the Human Sphere.
NEOTERRA
The first system to be discovered and colonized by PanOceanian explorers, Neoterra is now the capital of PanOceania and the seat of the Christian Church.
It is home to the most important technology companies of the Sphere and is a daily destination for business travellers and tourists alike.
ACONTECIMENTO
PanOceania’s breadbasket and the third planet to be added to the Sphere, Acontecimento saw massive colonization by Latinos. Famous for its garotas, particularly the spectacular women from the city of Portobelo, Acontecimento is a planet of contrasts.
Endless crop fields and pastures alternate with vast, sprawling factory compounds that meet most of the agricultural and industrial needs of PanOceania.
Acontecimento also has one of the largest national parks in the Sphere, the Great Arboreal Reserve, the last remnant of the planet's original biome.
VARUNA
The ocean planet. The third extraterrestrial planet found and the first populated with a semi-intelligent native species, the amphibian Helots. Home to the water gods, Varuna is a planet of small islands and soil is scarce. Visitors will be amazed by the sea platforms, subaquatic buildings, and artificial islands. Varuna harnesses the full potential of its
oceans in the form of biotechnological research and sea factories and farms that employ numerous Helots. The quiet charm of the planet is disrupted,
however, by the violent acts of Libertos, a group of Helot insurgents.
SHENTANG AND YUTANG
Two tidally locked planets within the habitable zone of their star, the first discovered and claimed by Yu Jing as they struggled to catch up with PanOceania’s deep space capabilities. The two planets were colonized at a rapid pace and Yutang now serves as the capital of Yu Jing.
BOURAK
A harsh desert world, discovered by the prophets of Haqqislam and named after the Prophet’s Horse. In struggling to master its harsh realities, the Bourak Academy of Planetology has become the leading authority on terraforming technologies. Their goal is to transform their sun-blasted world into the gardens of Al-Andalus, or of lost Nineveh and Babylon.
But that reality lies far in the future.
CONCILIUM
Claimed by O-12, the international and panplanetary organization which theoretically has ultimate jurisdiction over the totality of the Human Sphere, Concilium is lightly populated. However, it is also home to the O-12 Senate and the various O-12 bureau headquarters.
SVALARHEIMA
Discovered by PanOceania, Svalarheima has become a snowball of discord. It is so distant from its star that freezing temperatures make life nigh impossible save between its tropics. Despite its extreme climate, Svalarheima is coveted due to its abundance of resources, particularly Teseum. During its early settlement, despite PanOceania’s initial
claim, Yu Jing established a competing colony here.
PanOceania now controls roughly two-thirds of the planet and Yu Jing one-third. Svalarheima is not a popular tourist destination due to its drab, snow-covered landscapes, its functional, industrial-looking towns, and its status as a contested land always on the brink of an open confrontation between superpowers.
HUMAN EDGE
Also referred to as the Edge of Humanity, this shattered system of asteroids and gas giants orbits at the furthest reaches of human exploration. Human Edge is studded with small orbital fortresses, laying claim to the rich resources which have whetted the mining appetite of every power and corporation in the Sphere.
PARADISO
The emerald jungle. When it was discovered, Paradiso was almost immediately fiercely contested between the Great Powers, becoming a triggering point for the NeoColonial Wars. Its wounds had scarcely had time to heal when the Combined Army invaded, turning its jungles into an endless battlefield and the testing ground of humanity.
ARIADNA
Nearly two centuries after the Project DAWN colony had been lost, it was rediscovered by the PanOceanian scout ship POS Nirriti and, much to the surprise of the rest of the Human Sphere, the colonists had survived and even thrived. A conservative people, driven behind defensive walls by the assaults of the native Antipodes, the Ariadnans now strive to stave off the iconoclastic assaults of the advanced societies they have fallen out of
step with.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:54, Mon 30 Dec 2019.

ALEPH
 GM, 36 posts
Mon 30 Dec 2019
at 19:28
Locations and Background
FACTIONS OF THE HUMAN SPHERE
ARIADNA
Project DAWN was an international effort, meant to bring humanity together in a grand endeavor. Unfortunately, when the planet was cut off from Earth the colonists broke apart along cultural lines and fell into feuding tribes: the Americans of USAriadna, the French traders of Merovingia, the English-Scottish Caledonia, and the Russian Cossacks of Rodina.

Long years of bloody war—against both each other and the native Antipodes—forced these disparate nations together again through the imperfect weld of violence. The strength of their union was tested when the Ariadna system was rediscovered by the Human Sphere and the Great Powers turned their greedy eyes upon the resources of the planet Dawn
(including rich deposits of the neomaterial Teseum).

The world still bears the scars of the Commercial Conflicts, and the Ariadnans remain locked in a struggle to persevere in their independence.

HAQQISLAM
During the Energy Crisis and subsequent Stock Market Crunch, the Muslim world suffered a crisis of faith. Out of those turbulent times, Haqqislam (meaning the New or True Islam) emerged as the dominant neo-Muslim culture. It followed the teachings of Farhad Khadivar, who saw in the Qur’an a clarion call summoning the faithful to the Search for Knowledge. Haqqislamites have built their society around the balance between the rational pursuit of knowledge through the comprehension of the outside world and the instinctive pursuit of knowledge through the apprehension of inner mysticism.

After following a holy vision to the world of Bourak, Haqqislam built its economy around three pillars: The Merchant Guilds which dominate interstellar trade. Advanced biomedical research (including a monopoly on Silk, the nanonic technology which makes advanced bioengineering and personality Cube-recordings possible). And terraforming, the vast industry which would remake their hostile home into a glorious paradise.

NOMADS
The Nomads have no planet to call their own, instead being primarily a coalition of three colossal Motherships: Bakunin, Corregidor, and Tunguska.
They seek independence from the insidious, tyrannical control of ALEPH and the existential threat it poses to humanity. Or their illegal gene-experimentation and radical body modifications are a relentless drive towards an incomprehensible posthumanity.

They are fierce advocates for personal liberty and willing to die for their freedom. Or they are dangerous anarchists who seek to weaken the Human Sphere when its strength is most needed. Their small, libertarian commercial interests are a much-needed alternative to the faceless macroeconomic powerhouses which control society. Or they are ruthless, unprincipled profit-mongers willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder while using their “government” to leverage unfair economic advantages.

Regardless of your point of view, the Nomads stand apart from the rest of human society, even while their far-flung Commercial Missions—which serve as embassies and trade delegations—insinuate their presence throughout the Sphere.

PANOCEANIA
The Hyperpower. Larger, richer, and stronger than any of the other Great Powers. As Rome stood atop the world; as London was the ideal of Victorian society; as America and the West were the de facto culture of the 20th century; so history will write of PanOceania as the definitive experience of the Diaspora.

The people of PanOceania put more trust in ALEPH than anyone else in the Human Sphere. As a result their lives are automated, comfortable, and luxurious. In their lush, garden-like Living Cities they have the best technology, the highest living standards, and the most disposable income per capita.

YU JING
PanOceania’s greatest rival is Yu Jing, the pan-Asian alliance forged in the economic
gravity-well of post-Communist China during the Domino Effect that followed the collapse of the United States.
In order to fuse the disparate cultural groups thrust under their protection, China was forced to reinvent itself as something new. Yu Jing (the Jade Capital) was the result.
Seeking a symbol around which the new Yu Jing could unite, the Party reinvented the old Imperial system. The authority of the new Emperor is balanced against the democratic processes of the Party, but the Jade Throne is an important reality within the vast propaganda sphere projected by the Ministry of Information.

Held back by the Old Guard, Yu Jing did not join PanOceania in the gamble to develop the technologies and infrastructure of extra-solar exploration. PanOceania reaped the benefits of Yu Jing’s conservatism, but the StateEmpire learned its lesson. Fueled by the concerted action of its immense population and its indomitable army, it races forward with the unwavering goal of becoming the greatest power of the Human Sphere.

CORPORATIONS
The chartered companies used by PanOceania to rapidly develop its colonial prospects, the
Merchant Guilds of Haqqislam which blazed the trade routes of the starways, and the keiretsu
spunoff from the centrally-controlled economy of Yu Jing’s StateEmpire became the seeds of the new hypercorporations.
Corporations exist to limit liability and provide a structure for collective commercial action. Megacorps become self-contained social structures for their employees and (in some cases) their customers, replacing the services and infrastructure traditionally provided by nation states (just as those nation states replaced feudal lords).

Hypercorps are the natural extension of the megacorp.
Through complex systems of interlocking directorships, holding companies, and the broken loopholes of the M-CORP law, they have achieved a true transnational status. They exist in an interstice between national realities, which both coexists with and is held separate from the national territories they share.

MERCENARIES
In an era of interstellar war, the Free Mercenary Companies and Private Military Corporations flourish. In the employ of state armies, O-12, and private corporations alike they can be found almost anywhere: capitals and colonies, orbital stations and deep space patrols, the battlefields of Paradiso and the security of corporate compounds.

Their services are traded on the well-regulated War Market, a mercenary stock exchange in which employers can find companies available for hire and the mercenary companies can find individual soldiers or squadrons ready for recruitment. Although exact titles and ranks can vary from one company to the next, the existence of the War Market has standardized things to a certain extent. Mercenary units are commanded by a Captain. These captains will sell or lease their units to a Colonel in charge of a PMC or FMC, which is usually made up of multiple units. The colonels are, in turn, linked to Warmongers, who act as the company’s
CEO, financial workhorse, and professional agent.

SUBMONDO
Petty and violent crimes obviously have not gone away in the wake of interstellar flight, but if you are talking about criminals as a faction, then you are talking about organised crime. Some of those organisations have become incredibly large, spanning not only planets but the entire breadth of the Human Sphere.

O-12 uses the codename Submondo (meaning Underworld in Esperanto) to refer to these criminal syndicates, which include mob families (like the Acontecimento Mafia), criminal brotherhoods (like the Triads), pirate consortiums (like the Grey Band of Human Edge), terrorist groups (like Eco-Aktion), and Maya clusters (like Aug-Neon).

O-12
As an international and pan-planetary organisation, O-12 strives to hold humanity together. O-12 is functionally a “neutral” faction, rather similar in powers and capabilities to the UN. The faction consists of a number of bureau's trying to hold humanity together. The most widely known of the bureaus are Bureau Toth (this bureau hunts down and destroys rogue AI's, but is also responsible for the creation of ALEPH) and Bureau Noir (the O-12 secret service).

THE COMBINED ARMY
Humanity has met and encountered several sentient alien intelligences, mostly with good relations, only one is considered an existential threat. The combined army is under the control of the EI (Evolved Intelligence). The armies have technology superior to that of any in the human sphere. ALEPH and O-12 are working hard to counter the Combined army threat with limited results. The small force the EI has placed on Paradiso has resisted all attempts to remove it.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:38, Sun 05 Jan.

ALEPH
 GM, 39 posts
Wed 1 Jan 2020
at 02:50
Glossary/Slang
Slang will be denoted by (sl/<faction>)

Antipode - A sentient alien lifeform found on Ariadna (exclusively). They resemble large dog like creatures and have hive based intelligence. They can be bipedal and use tools/weapons.

Arachne - The Nomads response to Maya. Its heavily encrypted and firewalled and as a result slow. Nomads keep planting repeaters for it in non nomad places, ALEPH destroys the repeaters on sight.

BTS - Bio-Technological Shield, a mechanism for allowing protection against biological/nuclear/nanotech attacks.

Combi<Weapon> - Typically a rifle, this can be combined with another weapon.

CUBE - An implanted Silk based device that stores the personality and memories of its user in case of death. Typically the cube is downloaded into an L-Host on host death.

DogFace - A human/antipode hybrid. Transforms into a werewolf.

Geist - A personal limited AI assistant. Almost everyone has one and grew up with one. They're highly customisable and upgradeable and were probably your best friend ever.

Helot - An amphibious based lifeform found on Varuna in Panoceanic space. They live in pods and rarely leave home, but a few adventurous souls venture out into the rest of the human sphere.

LHost - Life host, a body that a person inhabits. They're not necessarily biological, although most normally are. If you die in chargen, you'll have obtained an LHost as a replacement body.

Maya - The Sphere Wide Web of the future. It is ubiquitous everywhere humanity breathes and is heavily endorsed by ALEPH. Not widely used by Nomads. Might be difficult to logon to Maya on one of the Motherships.

Multi<weapon> - A more versatile weapon. There are normally three modes that provide various benefits on firing. These tend to be burst, anti material and stun.

Pupnik (SL/Nomad) - A highly genetically modified animal (not necessarily a dog, the term has become generic). Aggressive and used in attack.

Silk - A metamaterial discovered by the Haqqislam faction that almost single handedly turned it into the most influential faction. This material has revolutionised the healthcare industry for Haqqislan. They're the only faction knowing how to make it.

Tachi(koma)(Sl/All) - A remote (can also be a TAG piloted remotely, but also CrazyKoalas, FastPandas and other bots.

TAG - Tactical Armoured Gear, or mecha. They're about one and half to two times the height of a human.

Teseum - A metamaterial used in weaponry. Extremely hard, but malleable and moldable under the right processes.

Tohaa - A sentient alien race. They're heavily focussed on biological based technology.

Wulver - A dogface/human hybrid. Sterile and often rather angry.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:26, Thu 09 Jan.