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The History Of Earth & Beyond (A Timeline) By Albino Eatpod

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[Dakynos]: Warning, there are spoilers in the history below and later posts. If you prefer not to know what is coming later in the game, beware! This applies to newer players, as the old hands already knows what happened up to sunset.

This is the first go at at full E&B timeline, from July 2001. There are later revisions, which I'll post later (Albino Eatpod)

A Matter of Time

The purpose of this time-line is three-fold. Primarily it is to chronicle key events that have shaped the EnB Universe as well as to set a tone and mood for the creation of content within the EnB Universe. The secondary purpose of this timeline is to give designers a familiarity with key events that have shaped the current consciousness and knowledge-pool regarding astronomy, stargazing, and so forth. Wherever possible, key real-world events have been woven into the EnB Universe. And finally, the timeline is meant to anchor the EnB Universe to something tangible: the passage of time, in order to help designers, marketing, and writers develop areas of the Universe for expansion, cross-media publication and so forth.

As it will be noted, the Big Story begins long before the awakening of humanity.

This timeline exists within the EnB Universe as an object referred to as The Index. It is a document that takes the form of crystalline spheres that, when touched by one with the proper key, project images, narrations, and impressions of the following events. This Index was created by the transformed Malacore, whose consciousness splintered across time and space and has become the self-appointed chronicler of Humanity’s histories. These aspects of Malacore are called Librarians by those who know.

To offset any confusion created by the Ancient Lore that I am attempting to establish, the Hierarchy goes like this: Ancients  Gate Lords  Dominions  Gate Keepers.

The Greys were Gate Keepers who possessed power nearly equal to the Ancients but were never allowed The Ascension, which is essentially the process that the Ancients impose on certain races throughout the Universe. Once a certain level of technological, spiritual, mental, and physical evolution has occurred, The Ancients force-evolve the species in question from being creatures that occupy the Physical Universes to creatures of pure genesis-energy that occupy a place between energy and matter, with capabilities to exist on one or all planes singularly or simultaneously. It is beyond the Psionic ascension of certain species whereby by they become creatures of pure thought. This Ascension of the Ancients is far more encompassing.

What is beyond that? Mystery. Wonder. The truly unknown.

Antiquity

c. + 1,500,000 B.C.E. – Earth. Stone is struck against stone to shape an edge; sand and water are used to polish the surface, making this new technology a crucial moment in the development of modern humanity.

c. + 1, 250,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. Dominions, recently evolved avatars of the Gate Lords, take up residence on the 3rd World of a binary system Humans will later name the Taurus Molecular Ring Cluster; and later still Aragoth. They are sent back to re-establish the outpost once dominant in the Milky Way Galaxy, from which the Dominions parent species will eventually evolve. The Dominions begin their tenure with dubious distinction, attracting the attentions the Israfel, the Gate Keepers.

c. + 100,000,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. The first recorded collective Ascendancy of two species, (the 2nd Born, by some reckoning), releases such a violent outpouring of dark energy that burgeoning galaxies M81 and M82 nearly collide.

The Israfel, still un-Ascendant, begin the great festering, being most powerful, but least revered of the Ancients, they feel slighted. A great darkness comes to their gray souls.

c. 3,000,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. The Israfel Gate Keepers attempt the first coup against the New Gate Lords. They’re failure gives future viewers on Earth the Ghost of Jupiter nebula, lying frighteningly close to Earth at only 2,600 hundred light years within the constellation of Hydra

c. 2,900,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. The First War between the Keepers and the Lords concludes. The Keepers are cast out of the Spiral, loosing control of the Gates. The Ancients begin their withdrawal.

c. 2,000,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. Keepers have set themselves as Gods above a number of worlds within the Great Magellanic Galaxy. The Keepers have seized the One Key – the crystalline construct that contains the entirety of the Gate Network and instructions on unlocking all the Power of the Gates. With this they challenge the Ancients themselves, building an Army of trillions, as a poetic would one day put it, to ‘storm the Gates of Heaven’.

c. 170,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. Sent by Avatars of the Ancients to chastise the Keepers, the Gate Lords engage their ancient enemies, who have subverted a number of younger races within the dwarf galaxy (the Great Magellanic Cloud). The Keepers have seen the events. And in response, The 1st Keeper releases a harmonic pulse, bringing down a Gate Lord herald-ship.

The pulse destroys a star and it’s accompanying worlds, the inhabitants of which worshipped the Keepers. The resultant supernova releases a burst of unparalleled neutrino-swells. The out-pouring of energy spreads like a plague through the dwarf galaxy. Tens of billions die instantly. Tens of trillions over successive generations. The Gate Lords cast the Keepers into the heart of a sun, imprisoning them. The violence of this action causes the sun in question to ignite a corona of energy that blazes at 360,000 F, making it the hottest star in the known universe.

For a time, the luminosity out-shines the whole of the universe and is observed from Earth in the latter part of the 20th Century. The Malacore Consciousness is present during the event. A portion of his essence is ripped free of the time-space veil and set adrift.



The Classical Awakening
[spoiler]
c. 5500 B.C.E. – Beyond. A tear in time a space flares for an instant followed by a damaged star ship – it is the Shadowshrike Maru. Entering real-space a breath-span it’s black heels, the Sparhawke, forward batteries already locked and blazing the darkness. Both super ships are badly damaged. One might say in the throws of death.

The Sparrowhawke, swarming with the ships of those loyal to the renegade SolSec Captain Morgan Thorne, (or those who just got caught in the temporal wave of the Shadow Gate), has pursued the Shadowshrike for nearly two years – several thousand now.

Aboard his battered bridge Mordane Kathrada, whose Jihad ended with the death of his mother Merjan, turns his broken ship toward the Blue Giant just within one shinobiashi-burst of his ships slide engines.

Seeing what he is about, Morgan orders her rag-tag group of followers back. The Sparhawke had been meant to be the symbol of a New Era. Since Morgan had taken the Conn, it had become the very real symbol of destruction. In the limited Imperial-speak of the V’rix she had managed during the War, Morgan learned that she had been given a name that roughly translated to something like “Harvester’s Silence.”

The Silent Harvester was the gatherer of the dead in V’rix legend.

Mordane gave the order to his Ku’dan (second-in-command), a frightened young boy of what was left of the Order. Mordane’s Ku’dan since the time of the Great Exile, beautiful Valla, had died a brutal death at the hands of the Sabine-Witch Lareth.

He felt, rather than heard, the uncoupling with the core of his ship. Magnetic clamps were being released. The containment field that kept the white dwarf’s unimaginable power in check was eroding. It would be gone before he could –

Finish this! Was the last thought that entered Morgan Thorne’s mind as Sparhawke unleashed all she had in one forward wave of power. She’d be damned he Mordane robbed her of this as well.

And so a Star goes supernova in the Taurus Constellation.

Earth enters the Chalcolithic (Copper) Age. The First Traders come into being, changing valuable goods such as ceramics and textiles for raw materials. With Trade comes the need for a means to keep track of bartered goods – symbols, hieroglyphs, writing with pictures all come into being.

c. 4000 B.C.E. – In Asia and Egypt, humans record their first observations of the stars

c. 3000 B.C.E. – Earth. Stargazers in Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, and Central America leave written materials on celestial events

c. 2800 B.C.E. – Beyond. Violent subsurface technonic movement forces mutated V’rix ‘wild’ hoards to emerge from the caverns of sub-world. They sweep over the Purebloods, sacking their settlements. The rape of many outlying settlements spawns the mixed-breed ancestors of the so-called ‘dire’ V’rix.

2697 B.C.E. – Earth. Observers in China record Solar eclipse in apocalyptic terms; they never realize the truth of their feelings – the sun had been eclipsed by the arrival of a Shadow Gate with an armada in pursuit of Fallen Grey’s; they took refuge on Calypso above Jupiter.

c. 2400 B.C.E. – Beyond. The descendants of the Underworld V’rix are finally overcome by the Purebloods on what became known as the Slaughter-mound on the largest of the southern plateaus of their homeworld. Their near genocide forces them into the role of war-machine for the Ruling Clans.

c. 2000 B.C.E. – Earth. The first solar-lunar calendars appear in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Wounded Grey makes his way to the Beacon at Stonehenge, summoning help. He is slain by terrified locals. Ancient astronomers begin to draw the first Constellations.

c. 1950 B.C.E. Beyond. A V’rix Pureblood becomes the First to put forth a valid trigonometric solution to the motion of their twin suns. Reason begins to stifle the old superstitions.

c. 600 B.C.E. – Earth. Pythagoras and Thales of Miletus speculate that the Earth is a sphere.

c. 400 B.C.E. – Beyond. The Pureblood Unity leads to the formation of Empire. The reigning regent discards the old suns-based time-standard calendar for a Lunar model, a more accurate distillation of the geological seasons.

Earth. Pythagoras and Thales of Miletus speculate that the Earth is a sphere

c. 467 B.C.E. – Earth. The first mention of a comet in historical records that may have been Halley’s Comet.

c. 450 B.C.E. – Beyond. V’rix sky-watchers note the first appearance of what becomes known as Heaven’s Gate, an Ancient Built Wandering Gate that appears regularly within the V’rix home system.

c. 330 B.C.E. – Aristotle's On Heavens

c. 280 B.C.E. – Aristrachus of Samos suggests that the Earth revolves about the Sun (heliocentric concept of the Universe). He also provides the first estimations on Earth-Sun distance

c. 240 B.C.E. – Earth. The first definite sighting by Chinese astronomers of the object later to be identified as Halley's Comet.

Eratosthenes of Cyrene (now Shahhat, Libya) measures the circumference of the earth with extraordinary accuracy by determining astronomically the difference in latitude between the cities of Syene (now Aswan) and Alexandria, Egypt

c. 130 B.C.E. – Hipparchus discovers the precession of the equinoxes and develops the first star catalogue and charts (around 1000 brightest stars)

c. 100 B.C.E. – Earth. Hipparchus, a Greek astronomer, drew the first star catalogs for brightness and position. The stars helped mapmakers, pilots, and sailors find directions and certain locations

c. 45 B.C.E – The introduction of Julian calendar (purely solar calendar) to the Roman Empire upon the advice of the Greek astronomer Sosigenes

c. 11 B.C.E. – Halley’s comet is observed by both Chinese and Roman astronomers.

[/spoiler]
The Common Era Arrives

[spoiler]
c. 66 – Halley’s comet appears at the time of an attack on the city of Jerusalem by the Romans; here begins Halley’s Myth, superstition attaching great disaster to the appearance of the Comet.

c. 141 – Halley’s comet appears at the time of a great plague throughout Europe and parts of the Middle East

c. 218 – Halley’s comet appears at the onset of Civil war in China; agents of the so-called Hidden begin their infiltration of China and Asia

c. 451 – Halley’s comet appears at the time of the Battle of Chalons when the Romans defeat the Huns

c. 684 – Halley’s Comet appears as Plague invades China; earliest drawing of Halley's Comet published in the Nuremberg Chronicle

[/spoiler]
The Dark Times – Part the First

[spoiler]
c. 800-900 – Intensive development of Arabic and Persian astronomy (star charts and catalogues, planets and the Moon movement, better estimations of the Earth size, and calendar improvement

c. 813 – Al Mamon founds the Baghdad school of astronomy. Mathematike Syntaxis by Ptolemy is translated into Arabic as al-Majisti (Great Work) later called by Latin scholars Almagest

c. 903 – Al-Sufi draws up his star catalogue

c. 1054 – Earth. July 4th, the Anasazi residents Chaco Canyon had been expecting the Summer to bring wondrous things, horrible things. The old Star Whisperers had foretold what would come to pass. The Sun Dagger had revealed it all – the Dark Sky Cloud spreading through the southern heavens. Ki’wa-na, who was young but gifted with the spirit sight, was first to etch upon a deep notch in one of the south-facing walls of Chaco Canyon the long, opaque-eyes Dream Walkers. They would bring pestilence and make toys of men.

On the other side of the world, Chinese Astronomer and Feng Shui Master Wu Quia’ji’an felt what could only be termed a ripple through the ch’i unlike any he’d experienced or read about. Other Star Watchers felt as he, looking into the heavens at Taurus and the birth of the Crab Nebula

c. 1066 – Earth. William the Conqueror invades England and defeats the Saxons at the Battle of Hastings

c. 1145 – Earth. Pope Eugenius uses the appearance of Halley’s comet as a call for a Holy war against the Moslems

c. 1222 – Earth. Genghis Khan thought the comet was his "special star'; more than a million people were killed by his armies

c. 1200 – Beyond. First V’rix Mixed-blood ascends to Regency. Under his leadership, Empire assumes the mantle of Gate Keeper of their World Gate, the beginning of the V’rix Decline

c. 1370 – Earth. Arab Astronomer Nasir ad-Din at-Tusi at his observatory in Maragheh in Persia introduces trigonometry as a valid discipline. He continues his work, modifying Ptolemy’s models of mechanical principals, in order to preserve the uniform rotation of spheres. Fearing the marriage of science and mysticism through a numerical catalyst, Israfel Dream Walkers return to Earth to stop his work. Again, they meet failure.

c. 1400 - Beyond. Grey Shadow Gate at Scorpius X-1 is forcibly neutralized mid-transport. The wave effect forces the star to expand then contract, forming a neutron core.

c. 1456 – Earth. Halley’s Comet appears as the Great War between Christians and Moslems intensifies

[/spoiler]
An Age of Reason

[spoiler]
1543 – Copernicus publishes De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium in which he provides mathematical evidence for the heliocentric theory of the Universe.

1572 – Tycho Brahe discovers a supernova in the constellation Cassiopeia (now this supernova remnants are known as Cassiopeiae A).

1576 – Tycho Brahe founds the observatory at Uraniborg.

1582 – October 15. Pope Gregory XIII introduces the Gregorian calendar.

1572 – Earth. Danish Astronomer Tycho Brahe proved a super nova is in fact a star and dispelled many myths, namely that there was no movement in the heavens

1595 – David Fabricius discovers the long-period variable star in the constellation Cetus, named Mira Ceti.

1593 – Earth. Galileo uses the Archimedean approach to motion: the speed of falling bodies is proportional to their density, not their weight, as Aristotle had maintained

1600 – February 17. Giordano Bruno after some eight years of imprisonment is charged with blasphemy, immoral conduct, and heresy for challenging the official church doctrine on the origin and structure of the universe and is burned at the stake in Campo dei Fiori.

1603 – Johann Bayer publishes his star catalogue, Uranometria. He introduces the so-called Bayer designation; system of assigning Greek letters to stars that is widely used nowadays.

1604 – Kepler discovers supernova in Ophiuchus.

1607 – Kepler tried to measure the path of the comet

1608 – Lippershey, a Dutch spectacles maker invents the first telescope.

1609 – Galileo first uses the telescope for astronomical purposes (discovers four Jovian moons, the Moon craters, and the Milky Way).

The first two of Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motions are announced.

1611 – Galileo, Scheiner, and Fabricius observe sunspots.

1612 – Peiresc discovers the Orion Nebula (M42).

1619 – Kepler publishes the Third Law of Planetary Motion in his Harmonice Mundi (Harmony of the World).

1620 – Beyond. The First V’rix Regis assumes the role of Leader of her race, uniting the V’rix Homeworld for the first time in 2,000 cycles. The Three Orders of Society come to a shaky accord

1631 – Kepler predicts the Transit of Mercury that is observed by Gassendi.

1632 – Galileo publishes his Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems – the discussion of Ptolemaic and Copernican hypotheses in relation to the physics of tides (the original version including title – originally Dialogue on the Tides -was licensed and altered by the Roman Catholic censors in Rome.

1633 – Galileo is forced by the Inquisition to recant his theories.

1639 – Jeremiah Horrocks observes the transit of Venus

1647 – Hevelius - the astronomer from Gdansk - publishes the map of the Moon.

1656 – Huyghen discovers the nature of Saturn’s rings and Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn. Foundation of the Copenhagen Observatory.

1659 – Huyghen observes markings on the planet Mars.

1666 – Cassini observes the polar caps on Mars.

1668 – Newton builds the first reflecting telescope (Newtonian).

1669 – Montanari discovers the variable nature of Algol.

1671 – Foundation of Paris Observatory.

1675 – Foundation of Greenwich Observatory. Romer measures the velocity of light. Cassini discovers the main division in Saturn's rings.

1683 – Cassini observes the zodiacal light

1682 – The comet that eventually bears his name is observed and studied by Edmund Halley

1687 – Sir Isaac Newton publishes his revolutionary Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica establishing the theory of universal gravition that is considered to be a turning point in the history of science.

1705 – Halley predicts the return of Halley's Comet in 1758.

1725 – Flamsteed - the first astronomer royal of England - publishes his star catalogue. He introduces star numbering in each constellation in order of increasing right ascension.

1728 – Halley discovers the star motion.

James Bradley proposes the theory of the aberration of the fixed stars, including the aberration of light.

1729 – Chester More Hall proposes the principle of the achromatic refractor.

1744 – A six-tailed Cheseaux comet is observed.

1750 – Thomas Wright speculates about the origin of the solar system.

1755 – Immanuel Kant proposes the hypothesis of the origin of celestial bodies

1758 – Palitzsch observes Halley's comet return previously predicted.

1761 – Lomonosov discovers the atmosphere of Venus.

1767 – The foundation of the Nautical Almanac.

1768 – Earth. August of this year saw the maiden Voyage of the Icarus. British explorer, navigator, and astronomer James Cook commands her. He sailed her to the Pacific to observe and record a rare event: the passage of Venus between the Earth and the Sun.

1781 – Charles Messier, searching for the comets, discovers tens of deep sky objects (galaxies, nebula, and star clusters) that he compiles in his catalogue.

Herschel discovers Uranus.

1784 – Goodricke discovers the variable nature of Delta Cephei.

1789 – Herschel erected a telescope at Slough with a 48-in (1.22-m) mirror and a focal length of 40 ft (12.2 m). Using this telescope he resolved stars in different nebulas.

1796 – Laplace proposes the Nebular Hypothesis of the origin of the solar system based on the theory of stellar evolution.

Of Industry, Pollution, and InfinitiCorp

1801 – Piazzi - an Italian astronomer - discovers the first planetoid, Ceres.

1802 – Herschel announces the discovery of binary star systems.

Wollaston observes dark lines in the solar spectrum.

1803 – Fall of meteorites at L'Aigle.

The explanation of the nature of meteorites is established.

1811 – Olber proposes the theory of comet tails.

1814 – Fraunhofer provides a detailed description of the solar spectrum.

1818 – Pons discovers the predicted return of Encke's Comet.

1826 – Discovery of Biela's Comet

1833 – The Leonids great meteor shower.

1834 – Bessel infers that the irregularity of proper motion of Sirius is due to the presence of its invisible companion.

1835 – Earth. Halley’s Comet appears during the "Black Death" in Egypt; battle of The Alamo

1837 – Beer and Madler publish the first accurate map of the moon.

1838 – Bessel determines the distance of star, 61 Cygni. This was the first determination of star distance.

1839-40 – The first application of photography to astronomy (Draper takes the first photograph of the Moon.)

1842 – Discovery of Doppler's Principle

1843 – Schwabe describes the sunspot cycle.

1845 – Observation of the break-up of Biela's Comet.

1846 – Johann Gottfried Galle discovers the planet Neptune based on its position calculated by the

French astronomer Joseph Leverrier.

1851 – Foucault provides evidence for the rotation movement of the Earth by giving a spectacular demonstration by suspending a pendulum on a long wire from the dome of the Pantheon in Paris.

1858 – Appearance of Donati's Comet.

1859 – Kirchoff provides the interpretation of the dark lines in the star spectra.

1859-62 – Argelander publishes Bonner Durchmusterung (BD)- the catalog of over 300,000 stars.

1862 – Clark discovers Sirius B based on calculations by Bessel.

1860-63 – The beginning of spectral analysis of stars. (Huggins identifies elements in the spectra of Betelgeuse and Aldeberan).

1865 – Jules Verne publishes the story From the Earth to the Moon.

1867 – Description of Wolf-Rayet stars.

1868 – Jansen and Lockyer observe solar prominences.

1872 – The Bieliid meteor shower.

1877 – Hall discovers Martian satellites, Phobos and Deimos.

Schiaparelli observes the Martian canals.

1878 – The Great Red Spot on Jupiter becomes prominent.

1890 – Lockyer announces his theory of stellar evolution.

Vogel discovers spectroscopic binaries.

1894 – Percival Lowell founds the Flagstaff Observatory in Arizona.

1896 – The erection of a 33-inch refractor at Meudon.

1897 – The foundation of Yerkes Observatory.

[/spoiler]
A Beginning Ascension

[spoiler]
1900 – Chaberlin and Moulton propose the new theory of the Solar System origin.

1901 – Appearance of Nova Persei

1905 – The foundation of Mount Wilson Observatory established exclusively for the study of the sun. Later also used to research stars, nebulas, and galaxies.

Einstein proposes the basis of the special Theory of Relativity, first described in his paper On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.

The theory is based on two principles: the principle of relativity, that physical laws are the same in all inertial reference systems, the principle of the invariance of the speed of light, that the speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant.

1908 – Hertzsprung describes giant and dwarf stars.

Leavitt discovers the relationship period - absolute magnitude for Cepheids.

60-inch reflector erected at Mount Wilson.

1910 – Earth. Halley’s comet is viewed and photographed through improved telescopes

1911-14 – Hertzsprung and Russell discover the relationship between the star spectral type and star absolute magnitude (diagram H-R).

1914 – Goddard begins practical experiments with rockets.

1915 – Adams discovers White Dwarfs (Sirius B).

1916 – Eddington proposes the first premises of the theory of intrinsic star structure.
Einstein proposes his general Theory of Relativity, where he describes the interactions of bodies (gravitational forces) on explained as the influence of bodies on the geometry of space-time.

1917 – Completion of the 100-inch Hooker reflector at Mount Wilson

1918 – Shapley provides the first model of the Galaxy structure

1918-24 – Cannon publishes the fundamental catalogue star spectra

1919 – Barnard publishes the catalogue of dark nebulas

1920 – Slipher announces the discovery of Red Shifts in the spectra of galaxies.

The first direct measurement of star diameter using interpherometer.

1923 – Earth. Hubble proves that galaxies lie beyond the Milky Way.

1926 – Earth. Goddard fires the first liquid fuel rocket

1927 – Earth. Oort proves the center of the Galaxy lies in the direction of Sagittarius.

1937-40 – Earth. Gamow proposes the first theory of stellar evolution.

1957 – Earth. The first artificial satellite launched by the Russians. Dr. Samuel Marcade is born in Newcastle.

1958 – Earth. The first American satellite is launched.

1961 – Earth. The first man, Russian born Yuri Gargarin, becomes the first man in space.

1961 – Beyond. V’rix Empire sits leaderless. Stewards, fearing retaliation by their conquered worlds, cease Expansion in the Beyond; drawing to a conclusion the longest sustained growth their worlds would ever see. War Canons are abandoned along the border zones.

1962 – Earth. Scorpius X-1 becomes the first galactic source of X-ray radiation. (The Jenquai later discover this to be the result of a forced neutron acceleration effect caused by the forced closure of the X-1 Gate – the final leg of the Antares Main.)

1965 – Earth. Penzias and Wilson discover cosmic fossil radiation, providing direct evidence of the Big Bang Theory.

1970 – Earth. Russian satellite Venera 7 makes first successful soft landing on Venus.

1971 – Earth. Russian built Mars-3 becomes makes first soft-landing on Mars.

March – British satellite communications and spymaster Dr. Monica Scott marries British-West Indian Biologist Dr. Clifford Boch, who becomes a pioneering member of the Human Genome Project, inspiring his son to take Earth-bred genetic material to Mars as the basis of a terraforming plan.

1973 – Earth. Pioneer-10 sends back the first images of Jupiter. It is at that moment that a young Samuel Marcade conceives of building a rocket and going to Jupiter.

1978 – Earth. Charon, Pluto’s moon, is discovered.

1980 – Earth. Images of Saturn’s rings sent back to Earth, debunking many theories. Caithan MacGregor sees them while in transit above the Atlantic to conclude a hostile take-over of French rival multi-national Naverre-Vivendi. Upon hearing of their composition he’s remembered as saying, “One day the MacGregor’s will buy Saturn.”

1986 – Earth. January 28. The Space shuttle Challenger disaster: 73 seconds after take-off from the Kennedy Space Center. The explosion occurred due to the failure of an "O-ring.” It was the most tragic accident in the history of space exploration. The following astronauts were killed: Francis R. Scobee, Micheal Smith, Judith Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Gregory B. Jarvis, Ronald E. McNair, and teacher-in-space Christa McAuliffe.

McAuliffe student, introverted biology whiz Nassir Khan, determines to build a monument to his favorite teacher – on Mars.

March - Space probes Vega 1, Vega 2, and Giotto pass near Halley's Comet during it’s second 20th Century appearance. The Comet itself passes within a single AU of Charon’s Gate, at that time still embedded in rock and ice.

1987 – Earth. A supernova in the Great Magellanic Cloud is visible to the naked eye. The supernova is some 169,000 light years from Earth, visible in the southern hemisphere. In her penthouse in Buenos Aires, Carolyn Malacore falls to the floor of her living room and gives premature birth to a son. The child is touched by the Malacore Consciousness, itself carried on the light waves of the Magellanic Event, seeking out a vessel through which to manifest itself.

1988 – Earth. Brothers Caithan and Crispen MacGregor take controlling interest of American-multinational InfinitiCorp Technologies – ICT – from its parent company Naverre-Vivendi, another in a long series of moves against their French rivals. However, the move positions them to become leading innovators in space-based technological applications.

1991 – Earth. Naverre-Vivendi ceases operations outside of Europe. Adopting the name The Good Earth Trading Company, Lucas Naverre dumps a staggering amount of Family Money in the launch of the Dauphin-1 Robotic Survey Platform. The all-in-one Observer/Surveyor/Speculator is bound for the asteroid Gaspra on the heels of Galileo. Naverre has gambled his family’s fortune on the presence of rare and valuable metals buried within the giant space rocks. The gamble pays off in spades.

1992 – Earth. The Hubble space-telescope observes the hottest star ever recorded in the Magellanic Cloud. It is burning at some 360,000 degree F.

The newly christened InfinitiCorp launches its first in a series of Solar Energy relay platforms to transmit high yield solar energy from Orbit to the surface, positioning IC Tech as the leading supplier of energy.

May – The Space Shuttle Endeavour (Orbital Vehicle-105) flies her maiden voyage. Launching from Pad 39-B at the legendary Kennedy Space Center, she is commanded by Daniel C. Brandenstein, (Captain, USN), NASA Astronaught on what was at that time the 47th Shuttle Mission.

September – This marks the discovery of the first object orbiting the Sun beyond Pluto, in the Kuiper Belt. Also, NASA launches the Mars Observer to study the atmosphere and surface of the Red Planet.

October – From the Vatican, Pope John Paul II announces that the Catholic Church erred in condemning Galileo’s beliefs.

1993 – Earth. The Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) detects the brightest burst of gamma rays ever recorded – the so-called Super Bowl Burst, as it is observed on January 31st, Superbowl night.

March 28 – Outburst of supernova in the M81 galaxy in Ursa Major.

August 21 - NASA loses contact with Mars Observer three days before its planned entry into Mars' atmosphere.

December - Astronauts abroad of the space shuttle Endeavour correct the defects in the Hubble Space Telescope. This improves greatly the quality of telescope's images.

1994 – July 20 - Comet Shoemaker-Levy crashes into Jupiter. This is considered by many, the most spectacular event in the history of astronomy.

1995 – December 7 - Galileo reaches the planet Jupiter.

1997 – July 4. Mars Pathfinder arrived at Mars and impacts the surface at 16:57 UT. The landing site is in the Ares Vallis region and is named the Sagan Memorial Station. A six-wheel rover, named Sojourner, rolls onto the Martian surface on July 6. The last successful data transmission is on September 27, 1997, the 83rd day of the mission since landing on the surface.

The joint ESA/NASA Cassini mission explores the whole Saturnian system – the planet itself, its atmosphere, rings and magnetosphere, and some of its moons, paying close attention to Titan and the icy satellites. Titan is especially interesting because its atmosphere is confirmed as having properties very close to those of the terrestrial atmosphere in pre-biotic conditions. The Cassini mission will consist of the NASA-provided Saturn Orbiter coupled with ESA's Huygens probe, which is dropped into Titan's atmosphere.

The results of this expedition inspire the MacGregor brothers to begin the Titan Program, the first pass at terra forming as an industry: a 50 year program of seeding, manipulating and otherwise altering another world (Titan) for human exploitation.

1998 – Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) launches the Nozomi Probe to study the Martian environment. The Project Lead is Dr. Shiro Tadakatsu; this will be the first Japanese spacecraft to reach another planet.

[/spoiler]
The Second Millennium of Humankind[/b[

[spoiler]
[b]2020 – Earth Goes to Mars. This time the Probe doesn’t get stuck in the dirt. It’s a manned mission. Full-frigging-Monty. It is funded in part by InfinitiCorp Global Expansions Group, a Venture Capitol Organization trying to get its hands into the pot-of-gold Beyond Earth.

2025 – Dr. Nassir Khan joins the Mars Colonization Team bringing his precepts of genetic engineering a world – from the population base up – as a viable means to taming the Red Planet. Dr. Nassir Khan sees the desolate Red Planet and vows and is remembered to utter the worlds, “I’ve come home.”

From algae to people, he seeds it, breeds it, feeds it, and watches it run wild. Life returns to Mars.

Mars Colony One is established on Cydonia Mensae. It is later renamed to Areopagos Plateau and is the location of the Progen Halls of Justice. Areopagos is eventually known by members of the Paxist as The Mound of Skulls. No Paxist Rebel to face the will of the Tribunals on Areopagos has escaped with his or her life.

2030 – First credible telepaths start coming out of the closet; Dr. Ben Joseph is one of them. UN gets nervous. What will they do if no one can lie to each other anymore? Russian Consortium fields first open group of Telepathic Advisors in its Kiril Negotiations with Japan. They walk out of the talks. Ten years of littorals skirmishes ensues between the two nations.

2032 – The Ganymede Project is begun; it is established at Stanford University, becoming the first semi-private University-funded planned deep space expedition; Dr. Samuel Marcade is both Project lead and its cheap architect – the plan is to take disposable ships to the Outer Worlds, begin construction of a long-term habitat using components of the main pusher-module, and rebuild the return vessel using materials found there.

2040 – Earth Station completed; The Good Earth Trading Company established; becomes the first Company founded solely on interstellar commerce – Good Earth Robotic Pushers survey Asteroids in the Belt, establishing future claims on resources

2050 – United Nations Council on Extra-terrestrial Colonization sees cash-flow in the wake of Dr. Khan’s unprecedented success at taming Mars. That and its rich mineral resource foundation turn it into a one-stop cash-cow for Earth.

2055 – Earth. Mars Colony Two established. It eventually becomes the Seat of Power of the Khans, Nassir descendents.

2060 – Earth finally goes to Jupiter; Dr. Elias Ben Joseph heads the Project. Following a vision he had while in cold sleep on a return trip from the Mars Colonies, he handpicks his Team assuring a philosophical leaning toward ‘what he knows must come’. (A meddling Gray is setting him – and by extension humanity – up. Divide and conquer.)

The Jin-Qui Maru is launched from Earth Station without a hitch. The Jin-Qui Maru sets off for Ganymede, commanded by Dr. Elias Ben Joseph, called the Philosopher-Physicist by his contemporaries; he picked up the Ganymede Project following the death of his mentor Dr. Samuel Marcade.

2061 – Mars Colony Three established at the base of the Olympus Mons.

2065 – Genetically augmented Clones are fine on Mars, in the Inner Belt Ore Mines, or reigning in the growing number of ‘space pirates’ (ore jumpers to their victims), but all of a sudden they wanted immigration rights to Earth and the newly forming Lunar Colonies. Riiiight. The UN Colonial Watch-group sends a hardline by-the-book warhorse to handle the situation. He is American war-veteran and all-around badass, Marine aviator Lt. Colonel Alexander-bleedings-for-girls-Marchinko. His mission is to go to Mars with his Advisory Group and tame those wacky scientists. What the hard-charging devil dog finds instead is an unparalleled socio-cultural efficiency. He and his boys ‘go native’. (Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now – you get the picture).

2080 – Jin-qui Maru establishes station at Ganymede, Jupiter

2085 – Jen-qui Maru Crew Rebellion. Leads to the concept of Independent Space Explorers.

2097 – Dr. Khan is assassinated by a UEG Sanction Team following his out-spoken stance of Clone Rights both on Earth and Mars – his “I have a Dream…” speech to the United Nations Committee on Clone Rights. The Assassination prompts Boch to slap a self-imposed quarantine around Mars. Earth responds accordingly. Big-city headlines go something like; “Insane Military genius holds Mars captive…”
[/spoiler]

A Breaking of Barriers

[spoiler]
2100 (Actually, March 15th, 2100, get it?) Mars Claims Independence; Colonel Alexander Boch forces the issue of both Clone-rights and Earth’s continued resource-stripping of the once Red Planet. Oh, his Nassir Khan-engineered Dog Soldiers hand the UN Peacekeepers sent to “take him in” their collective asses. No quarter given. None asked. The UN slaps a trade embargo around Mars. An InfinitiCorp Trade Rep, following a promised disclosure of certain delicate aspects of key players in the standoff, plays intermediary, opening up “light trade” with Mars Colony.

2100-2125 – Earth/Mars Cold War Period. InfinitiCorp makes a mad-crazy fortune in both tangible assets and intangible influence. Playing both sides against each other, the notorious MacGregor Twins (who head the Clan that owns InfinitiCorp) sweep between Earth and Mars in state-of-the-art Gulfstream XXVIII Supershuttles (based on the latest designs straight from Jupiter Colony) like they own both worlds.

2120 – Earth slaps down immigration barriers as it watches it’s brightest luminaries make for the growing Astrophysics and Zen of Space Living Commune growing around the King of Planets – Jupiter Colony One. Dr. Ben Joseph, de facto leader and guru of Jupiter Colony One, begins a policy of financing free traders on the ore routes between the Outer Worlds and Earth, provided each return trip carries a haul of, quote, free thinkers who wish to live among the stars, unquote.

2124 – Earth Ship Pegasus fires on the Free Trader Orion precipitating the Trader’s Embargo against Earth-built Stations

2125 – It really hits the Fan. Spacer ship Orion gets shot down. So the spacers – in protest – stop hauling to and from Earth. (InfinitiCorp Ore pushers exempt, of course). Earth Gov responds. Take back the ships given to the free traders as part of the expansion project. Or not.

Ben Joseph declares the formation of an independent Commonwealth. He does so without bullet-1 to back up the assertion. Enter the Martian Consortium. Dog Soldiers for hire, funds to offset the Earth trade sanctions. Payment to be in meds, nutrients, and other essentials. This is also an opportunity for a Reckoning for the 25-year long Embargo, the Press-Gang treatment of Sovereign Mars natives working in the Belt, and the general nastiness leveled at Mars from Earth. However, it will be the time for Revenge for the massacre of invitro-augments, labor Clones, and Synthetics who died by the thousands during Sea of Trinity Lunar Purges.

This time, however, Earth remembers to bring an actual gun to the gunfight. Dog-faced space-warrior Fleet Captain Hannibal Thorne brings his brand of no-mercy warfare to the heavens. He hits the free-spacer ships with his Earth-built war-cruisers. Two and three generation old cargo haulers are crumpled like tin cans. The bodies start to litter the vastness of between Earth and the Belt in the thousands. But the goal was achieved. The supply lanes were dismantled. Then he made a strategic feint at Mars, causing Mars Colony leadership to recall its ships from the Outer Worlds. Which was what he wanted, so Earth-built weapons could destroy Jove City.

Which Hannibal’s Fleet did. However, before they reached the Outer Worlds – still nearly a two-year expedition as the crow flies – Hannibal extended that extra effort by dismantling a string of intermediary “Free Ports” along the way. Earth Gov went into a frenzy when a pirate transmission made it through the jammers. Between Primetime Zero-G Smackdown and the 24-hour global market reports, Earth’s happy citizens saw in-your-face, almost-real-time images of what it was really like to get blown into space, Vacc-suit optional.

c. 2125-2135 – War. The 1st Interplanetary War. Nasty. Unrelenting. High body counts on all sides. It isn’t until a partnership of Earth’s most powerful multinationals over throws Earth Gov and seizes power is the War ended. This marks the first and last time Naverre and MacGregor worked together. However, not before Mars fleet Admiral Jericho Khan returns to Earth and gives his response to the assassination of his father 30-some odd years ago. He’d been six. Grown to specifications by his father’s loving hands. An example of the normalcy of Clones. The phantom itch of his fathers dried blood on his face – now scarred from numerous campaigns – still plagues Jericho.

2136 – United Earth Government officially dissolved. The Terran Federation is born, a “democratically elected, globally based, sovereign nation” that measures electoral votes in shareholder terms. It later becomes the Terran Alliance. Not well known, ‘Alliance’ was the term used in the Contract the Multinationals used to define its “limited partnership” with the “elected” puppet-state – er – Government.

2140 – The Martian Consortium renamed to the Mars Republic. This evolves into the Progen Republic with the completion of the Iron Fortress and Mars Progenitor Institutes on Elysium Plateau, an imposing edifice cut into the very face and top of Olympus Mons. The spot was chosen to say clearly to all comers, “we reshaped a world; we bent the winds and mountains of Mars. Mess with us if you want to.”

Hannibal’s Raiders were the last foreign power ever step foot on the planet whose namesake is the embodiment of War. Hannibal’s remains are still preserved in the War Memorial Hall. His genetic/social aspects recorded, dissected, and integrated into next-Gen War-Breeds.

Progen waste nothing.

2150 – The new Jove City completed. It is a floating city-station above Ganymede. It is the technological marvel of human engineering. Correction, Jenquai engineering, for by this time, that is the name by which they refer to themselves. The Hierate solidifies. Science, enlightenment, exploration of all things, all places, becomes the material by which all things

2155 – Terran Alliance Forms

2172-2198 – 1st Terran Psionics Suppression Campaign. Many Psions escape into Jenquai Space. Many were working for the Jenquai Intelligence Apparatus.

2190 – Justin Winterbourne steals containment field theory from Jenquai, gaining the advantage in the FTL-race over the Jenquai (begins 60 years of FTL exploration/colonization)
[/spoiler]

Manifest Destiny, Part Deux

2210 – Psionic suppression (Mars – Psionic gene is eradicated)

2225 – 1st out of Sol colony established at Tau Ceti - Terran

2230 – Colony established at Capella – Jenquai establish Homeworld

2235 – Colony established at Sirius – Progen

Earth and Beyond

2312 – 2nd Terran Psionic suppression begins

2350 – Charon’s gate revealed to all (Jenquai knew of it for 190 years)

2351 – Terran Psionic Registration Act

2355 – Gate War

2357 – Jove City Occupation

2359 – InfinitiCorp replicates short-range gates

2360 – Jenquai/Terran pact against the Progen

2365 – War ends/SolSec forms/Gates shared

2400 – Last Ancient Gate discovered in Deneb – a world Gate linking to the Heliades Cluster

2410 – Reciprocity Campaigns begin. This entails the Progen quelling of colonies along its Borders.

2455 – General time Earth and Beyond begins


Dominion and Empire

2525 – The Sol Dominion formed. Following the Second V’rix/Human War, The Five Superpowers unite, forming an Empire that controls a territory spanning for 300,000+ light years in a sphere centered on Sol, including fledgling outpost garrisons along the Andromedan Rim and Great Magellanic Cloud.

Errata

The EnB Timeline is an on-going Project meant to shore up the foundation of the EnB Universe.

Things left to include:

• Early Shadow Cabinet Involvement in the affairs of governments beginning in the Middle Ages. The Shadow Cabinet has its origins among the Templars and Masons

• More Indications of the Malacore Consciousness (as an Observer) throughout the History of Humankind

• Further development of the V’rix side of the Equation. The relationship between the V’rix and Humans needs to be alluded to.

• Liberal sprinkling of Epic Character Ancestors throughout the Timeline Edited by Dakynos
added spoiler tags to break up the wall
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[b][size=2]The Epic Players[/size][/b] by Albino Eatpod.

June 2001: A glimpse into very early characters, many of whom never made their way into the game.

Dr. Kalif Rashid

Dr. Rashid is a Progen Alpha-class Leader who is the founding father of the so-called Paxis Movement within the Republic. The Movement is at first a political bid to break down Progen restrictions on genetic classes. It quickly mushrooms into a full-scale rebellion with Rashid’s organization receiving backing in both weapons and money from Terran operatives working to destabilize the Progen Republic. The organizations headquarters is based within the Asteroid Belt of Sol, hidden by Jenquai cloaking technology given to them by InfinitiCorp.

Mendisa umm Rashid

Although Mendisa was born a Jenquai. She met, fell in love with and under a special dispensation from the Progen Presidium, married Dr. Rashid. This has a great deal to do with Rashid’s eventual decision to form the Paxis Movement.

Kasha

Girl from Gamma Sulani. She is a Rogue Telepath who joins the Paxist Movement. She uncovers Lady de Winter’s scheme and tries to convince Julien Batiste to refuse to contract.

Nikolai Petrov

Terran/Progen emissary. Part of InfinitiCorp. Nikolai is stationed along the Denebian Span of the Republic representing InfinitiCorp interests. He is subverted by Lady de Winter and inadvertently aids Shadow Cabinet in delivering treachery into the heart of the Progen Republic. After he realizes his role in allowing the V’rix egress into Progen Space he commits suicide in a last redeeming effort.

Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov

SolSec Rear Admiral in charge of the 13th Frontier Fleet. He is especially well known – and hated – among Pirate and Freebooter circles having tasked a number of SolSec system boats with the specific mission of hunting down and destroying Pirates.

Nostradamus Smythe

Charismatic leader and founder of Black Eleven. Prior to the V’rix Invasion Black-11 has limited effect beyond propelling quests relating (directly or indirectly) to acquiring Ancient Artifacts. After the Invasion, Black-11 becomes extremely influential and a subversive force that tries to undermine the New Unity among the Factions.

Isandros

Progen Alpha who, under the manipulation of Infiniti, becomes a “sleeper”, an agent genetically engineered to respond to InfinitiCorp promptings. It is Isandros who infiltrates and slays the leader of the Sabine, thus making the Virtuals vulnerable to Julien Batiste’s attack, the inciting incident that eventually leads the Republic to Civil War on the eve of the V’rix Invasion.

Kitsune (Nicknamed Kitfox by his compatriots)

Young Jenquai Shinwa Novice.

Ergane

Ergane is a female Progen Centurion loyal to Anjuren Khan until his betrayal at Gamma Sulani. She attempts to slay him.

Ereshkigal Gui

Jenquai Warrior-Priestess and nominal Abbess of the Cloister at Kurnugia Prime.

Grey Feather

Jenquai Pirate and rogue. His “fleet” operates along the Forbidden Zone’s Frontier arc.

Dr. Taliesin Bach

Dr. Bach is an anomaly within Jenquai society. He is the son of a Progen Alpha-class Centurion and a Jenquai Priestess. To many he is a symbol of the potential unity – or at least cessation of hostilities – between the Progen and the Jenquai.

Sha ho-Shang

Jenquai Grand Master and Psionic.

Praenoman Selene

The Lady Selene is chief among the women who head the Sabine.

Major Rachel Santiago

Santiago is chosen to lead an expeditionary force to establish the first Progen colony beyond Sol because of her experience as a pirate hunter. The Presidium is made aware of the fact that the infamous Nagato Maru survived its tangle with the ship of Command D’kan – the event that set off the discovery of the Gate at Charon. The Presidium also discovers that Rashid – leader of the Paxis Movement – is still alive and fighting. It is decided that who is needed is someone capable of colonization and leadership/management efforts as well as someone who knows the mind of the criminal and terrorist.

Artemis Var

Sister of Selene

Chancellor Krius Goth

Powerful Progen Nomarch.

Baroness Jett van Els

Wealthy and honorable Terran (mainly appearing in the Novels). She is an ally of Mallory Bishop and nemesis of Lady de Winter; Jett is young, tall, raven-haired and well versed in a number of skills not usually ascribed to the aristocracy. Her cousin is the self-proclaimed Duke David LaCriox of the House O’Brandon.

Baroness India van Helkein

Ariadne ben Joseph

Adept Matron who heads the Cloister at Charon that discovered the First Gate. She predicted that it was folly to go so blindly down the path of exploration using the Gates.

Iain MacGregor

Black Sheep of the House. He plays a pivotal role in the War with the V’rix.

Governor Nathan Fokker

Governor of Gamma Sulani’s Highport. A stationer to the core.

Captain Miguel Chavez

Legendary pirate and captain of the ship called the Nagato Maru. Every human government wants him. He and his crew operate cleanly and efficiently and should not be an easy kill for anyone.

THE NAGATO MARU CREW

First Mate Jason Fokker

Spacer. 27-year-old. First Mate. He has been with Chavez the longest.

Charlie 7

Progen. 20-year-old Beta-Class Technician-clone. Crew/second helm.

Siobhan MacLeod

Terran. 25-year-old Weaponeer/Gunner. She leaves the Crew to join SolSec right before the War.

Sacristan de Troyes

Terran. 26-year-old chief Navigator/Gunner. Kimburle is his wife.

Kimburle de Troyes

Progen. 24-year-old Chief Engineer.

Bastien Lafrate

Terran. 19 year old Interloper (hacker)/Communications.

Katsyn Roh

Jenquai 23-year-old Shinwa-telepath. Crew/second navigator.

Natchez

Terran. 16-year-old Amerindian boy and assistant engineer.

Nikita (Nikki) Phoenix

Spacer. 21-year-old Medic/cook.

Tailgunner

Female. 17-year-old Spacer. Gunner/Helm.

Tobias Red Hawke

Terran. 19-year-old Cheyenne youth. Gunner/Helm.

Silas Craven

Silas is a cruel, violent and deadly pirate and Chavez’s chief rival for supremacy. Craven and his three ships terrorize Terran exploration and colonization efforts because he is aware that Chavez has strong ties to one of the Terran Houses. He is not sure precisely which House. When Tobias Vaughn – agent of GETCo – meets up with Craven they strike a deal. Vaughn, having discovered InfinitiCorp’s quest for the so-called Genesis Engine, proposes that they beat InfinitiCorp to the punch and find this Genesis Engine first. As part of how Craven accomplishes this, whenever a Terran colony begins to establish itself, he and his other ships will systematically attack the colony, especially colonial expeditions centering around Ancient Sites.

Proconsul Anjuren Khan

Powerful Progen senator and governor. Anjuren forms a secret alliance with Lady de Winter.

Finn Raziel

Blood Mark commanding officer and Khan’s hatchet man. Finn Gore is single minded in both his ruthlessness and dedication.

Party First Secretary Wolfgang Bock

Clone of the original Bock, who was commander of the Mars mission.

The Prime Minister

The most impotent human in Republic government.

Chief of Military Intelligence Rafi Guriel

Guriel is the most powerful human Republic. He's known as 'Ha-Zaken' the 'old man'.

Lady Madra and Praenoman Tianna – Progen Sabine Warriors. Lovers, together they command the Primigenia Legion for Lareth. When Lareth becomes First Matron of the Sabine Theocracy, Tianna becomes Praenoman of Skarlas Krinn. She commands the force of warriors who fend off first Anjuren Khan’s assault force – led by Finn Raziel – then the V’rix War Party that swarms Deneb after the Wasting of Arrakis.

Black Moran Kathsidhe – Mordane’s nephew. Moran leaves the Maléfari just prior to the destruction of the Heliades. He and several of the Maléfarum Adepts take opposition to Mordane’s plans. They try desperately to reach Progen Space and warn the Sabine. They make it instead to the Frontier and want Jordan Naverre. She breaks SolSec orders and turns her Frontier Fleet toward the Heliades to stop Mordane’s Shadowshrike Fleet. During his adventures, Moran meets Karella, daughter of Lareth. The two fall in love and become life-mates. Moran – and other displaced Jenquai – finds an unlikely home among the Warrior-Priestesses of the Sabine, taking part in the forming of the Frontier League.

Sahib al-Barid

The Postmaster. Term as it applies to the chief spymaster in an Islamic Intelligence Organization.

Merjan Kathrada

Merjan is tall, slender, and athletic in build. She has olive complexioned skin and tends to wear her hair back. Although an initiate of an Ecumenical Order (the Religious Caste), Merjan hopes to one day assume a role within the Black Guard. It is because of her unique position that the Jenquarum personally selects her to join the expedition through Charon’s Gate.

With the 1st Sephira worried that the Black Circle is up to its typical machinations, it is decided that someone trusted should be included in the initial colonization Team that travels through Charon’s Gate to Terra Alpha. Merjan is selected to carry out this mission because she is recognized as an independent capable of resenting the manipulations of Mordane, who is de facto leader of the Terra Alpha mission.

Merjan is the youngest daughter of a powerful member of the 1st Sephira – Kaled Kathrada – and although she recognizes her father’s hand in getting her this mission, she is determined to see it through to the end.

Kaled Kathrada

Kaled is father to Merjan. Kaled and his daughter are at odds. He sees her election to the 1st Sephira and the assumption of the Mantle of State as the beginning of the end for her. Although her destiny has been directed toward this position since her youth, Kaled has never embraced the thought of his first born assuming the role of First Emissary.

Black Moran

Moran is a 3rd Tier Adept of the Warrior Caste. Moran is a member of the Shinwa, and vehement opponent of the Maléfari.

Moran wears his hair long and in a tail; his complexion is swarthy – being a genetic mix of East Indian, Teutonic, and North African. He is stockier than most Jin-Qui due to his birth on Earth.
Costume
Chinese-style black leather tunic, sleeveless
Belted with an obi
Baggy Samurai-style trousers tucked into black tabi

Moran was an outcast – a Harijan – from both his caste and his family. He is called back to serve the Sephirum who fear that the Black Circle have been keeping too much from the people and must be held in check. The choice of Moran is purely political. Should he do something that dishonors and offends the Circle, it can be said that he was a Harijan and no dishonor would then fall upon the Sephirum for their actions. Moran is keenly aware of this but accepts his duty all the same. Moran had at one time been part of the Circle, serving has an Acolyte within the Exsurge Domine.

However, under a cloud of dishonor for actions he would not take against his clan, he was excommunicated. He lost all of his belongs, was stripped of rank and title, and separated from his partner. For years he wandered, traveling with Outsiders as well as from city to city within the Jin-Qui regime. He finally made his way to the Shinwa and their monastery on the moon Pan. There he took up the robes and the vows of an aesthetic and monk. His solicitude was short-lived. The discovery of Charon’s Gate and the disclosure that the Black Circle had known of its existence for years caused the Sephirum to finally take notice and scramble about to see what else the Circle kept to themselves.

Moran is the choice of the Sephirum to carry out missions that they will give him directly. His primary and overall task is to oversee the establishment of a colony beyond the Gate at Charon. From there, his secondary task is to maintain watch over the Black Guard known as Mordane, who the Circle has sent to advise the Expedition sent through the Gate.

It does not help matters that Mordane is Moran’s brother and that the blood between them is very bad.

Dai’shao Mordane of the Ordo Maléfarum
Mordane is the driven leader of the renegade Maléfari. He has led them for the past ten years, since the death of their Leader, the one who led them during the Gate War, whose passion evoked their self-imposed exile nearly fifty years before the Coming of the V’rix. Mordane has gone from simply their leader to something of a religious icon. It is no overstatement to say the members of the Maléfari that serve him would live and die by his words. Prior to taking command of the Maléfari during the Gate War, from the Jenquai Adept of the Black Guard. He is summoned by the Black Circle to head the expeditionary effort into the secrets of the Ancients that created the Gates. He discovers part of the secret of the V’rix. It is primarily through his exploits that the Jin-Qui story is told. His adventures are described throughout the story as he makes one discovery after another. As Jin-Qui go, he’s something of a rogue.

Theseus ben Joseph

Acolyte of the 3rd Order of the Black Guard Son of Ariadne ben Joseph. He is an apprentice of Mordane and a member of the Black Guard.

Jöga

Beta class clone servant of Lady Winter. They are technically illegal within the Terran Alliance, however … Jöga, as with all Betas within Progen Space, was bred to be a loyal and ever present companion to her mistress. In the case of Jöga, however, she was augmented with a mild telempathic ability that Lady de Winter utilizes in business and social matters.

Jarred Thorne

Jarred is InfinitiCorp’s ranking Director, Outside Projects. He is a corporate pretty-boy; tanned, cooker-cutter good looks, Anglo; he could have stepped from the pages of any number of trend setting fashion magazines.

Despite having clawed fought, and otherwise schemed his way to the Inner Circle of InfinitiCorp, the truth is Jarred is a street kid that made good. He is a true speculator and merchant prince who has made InfinitiCorp a great deal of money and earned them a great deal of prestige through his acquisitions. Because of his background, Jarred has unsavory connections from one end of Sol System to the next. It is for this reason – and not because he’s sleeping with her – that Lady de Winter chooses him to spearhead the Terran Exploration and Colonization effort. Jarred is also in the know. He is aware of the InfinitiCorp spy that went through the Gate with the first Jin-Qui expedition. Because of this, he is up to speed on what has happened in the Terra Alpha system when – five years later – the Expedition returns.

Jarred’s primary motivation is to build his own private Empire outside of Sol, (on behalf of InfinitiCorp, of course). He has a nose for where profit lies and every operation he is given from InfinitiCorp HQ will lead him down paths where he has the most opportunity to expand and build Terran Alliance colonies.

Silvia Shaw

Beautiful woman of Caribbean decent; she wears her hair short and practical; she’s very buff, and has the unmistakable attitude of someone who has been there and done that.

Silvia is chosen to spearhead the effort of Terran colonization because she has not particular loyalty to any one of the Five Houses. In fact, she is just this side of being a pirate. For the Alliance Ministry that makes her a perfect choice for the expansion effort they have in mind. However, it does suggest that her colonization process will not go as smoothly as Jarred Thorne’s. Working in her favor is the fact that most pirates know her and will not attack her colonies. Working against her is the fact that most Progen patrol ships know her and will attack her colonies and convoys.

Colonel Hannibal Bishop

Hannibal is Commanding Officer of the Black Hammer Detachment; Former head of Blood Mark Detachment Omega. He has one black; one red (cybernetic right eye). He has a solid, iron hard powerhouse brown complexion (black ethnic descent) Cybernetic right arm.

As a Commanding Officer of a Black Hammer Detachment, Colonel Bishop has the unenviable task of traveling to strange worlds, meeting strange creatures and killing them in the name of the Republic. Although he exists at the top of his class, caste, and genotype, he feels an slight twinge at some of the missions he is tasked to carry out. Before assuming his command of the Black Hammer Detachment, Hannibal served as a member of the Blood Mark. His command was one of the shock units dispatched to the Miranda Mining Colony above Uranus to quell the Paxis uprising. Two years he and his soldiers fought a blood-soaked guerilla campaign through the tunnels, caves, and domed facilities of the deadly environment of Miranda. The 1st Directorate had delivered the Primarch’s orders: no mercy. No survivors. The entire crop was to be slashed and burned. As a Progen Soldier, Hannibal is genetically bred to follow his orders. But in his case, something misfired and he experienced – out of dozens of campaigns in his career – something resembling remorse. From then on, he knew he no longer belonged with the Mark.

When the Operation was completed and all of the Paxis forces destroyed, Bishop made a lateral move from the Mark to the Hammer. Less than a month later, he was given his orders: establish a Progen beachhead on the other side of the star gate discovered at Charon.

Hannibal assumed his command and took an expeditionary force through the Gate to a new star system and set about building a garrison.

The Adriel Cluster

There was a time when Proxima in general and Adriel Prime in particular brought with it a sense of wonderment, respectability, and a dream of profit. Those days are gone. What is left is a failed colony, a backwaters place that has barely enough local resource to justify the presence of a population base, however broken, disenchanted, and otherwise beaten down. Adriel Prime still supports automated methane collectors, skimmers that dip down into violent atmosphere of the Brown Dwarf, scoop up their chemical cargo, and haul ass out of the crushing gravitational influence of so gigantic a body. The haulers rendezvous with drone ships for transfer of haul, then the drone ships proceed to the processing plant on Castores.

The whole affair is a never-ending circle of mind numbing monotony to the few thousand inhabitants who live in this sector, not the least of whom is Station Master Raynard Duvet. Aside from being French-born, in itself a cause for great personal misery, Duvet is a broken man. He embodies the flavor of Adriel in particular and Proxima at large. He once served as an officer within the ranks of SolSec, part of a peace keeping mission during the so-called Cold Water Crisis that brought the Terrans and the Progen once more to the brink. But he forgot his Charter as a SolSec officer, allowed a bribe to exchange hands and one dead civilian, a court martial, fines and time served later, Duvet managed to get this gem of a position running the Infiniti-Orsini Operations in this little corner of heaven.

Loric de Grey – InfinitiCorp representative and founder of Gamma Sulani Colony under the banner of Caliph Omar Pahmoud.

Cassiopeia de Grey – Progen-born woman.

Governor-General Kyron Gui was the first to stand and make his feelings and the feelings of his people clear: Spartak belonged to Spartak. It would not be pulled into a War being fought over some alien device over 500 light years away. There were merchant ships that plied the Trade Routes of the (then) four colonies that had never seen Earth or Sol or even Centauri Alpha and the other Core systems. Spartak rules would apply to any Terran, Progen or Jenquai ship that wished to dock at Sparta Station. Weapons down. Disputes to be settled in the Slaughtersphere.

Loric de Gray, having invited Omar Pahmoud and Ariadne ben Joseph – two of Gamma Sulani’s pre-eminent citizens – consulted with them. It was agreed that the Protectorate would make clear both its independence and neutrality as well.

Faryn of Chandilar and Barusa of Altairus both echoed this sentiment. Let Sol blow itself to pieces. Let their parent governments squabble like selfish children. There were worlds to be discovered and riches to be had on the Frontier and nothing as uncivilized as War was going to slow the current trend.

And so it was in the plush meeting chamber of Loric’s fortress that the Frontier League was born.


(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.
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[b][size=2]The Gates of the Elder Races and The Ancients[/size][/b]
by Albino Eatpod
The Star Gates of the Ancients are an anomally hidden behind a mystery concealed in an outright lie. At their basic core they are epic devices that move great masses from one point to another within the known universe instantaneously and harmlessly, if so desired.

They are, however, far more than that.

What the Humans Know

Seen in recurring Visions from his arrival at Jupiter to his death on Ganymede some 80 years later, the image of Star Gates haunted Dr. Ben Joseph. It is not a far stretch to say that these premonitions of Star Gates were at the foundation of his ultimate vision of the Jenquai people. They were his Holy Grail, embedded in the secret heart of the Jenquai culture.

In truth, there were those who knew about the existence of Star Gates as early as the late-20th century.

The first actual encounter with Star Gates came as a result of the post-FTL wave of colonization. The Progen Republic discovered a cluster of objects on the fringes of the Sirius System. At the time they had no idea what they’d found. They were, however, circumspect enough to realize they were in possession of something that would change humankind.

It wasn’t for another 100-years that the Gate at Charon was revealed embedded in ice and rock on the fringes of Sol System itself.

What occurred over the next ten years was interstellar warfare that nearly destroyed the human species. The war is conversely called the First Gate War or the Second Colonial War. The former is the better description, as the V’rix Onslaught was, at its core, a War of the Gates.

The First Ancient Gates

Charon’s Gate – Originating in Sol System. This is Point-to-Point to TMR-1 (Aragoth; 450 light years from Sol).

Acheron’s Cluster – Four-Gate Hub within Aragoth
• Aragoth-to-Beta Centauri (Jenquai Path)
• Aragoth-to-Rigel (Progen Path)
• Aragoth-to-Alpha Crucis (Terran Path)
• Aragoth-to-Adara (Explored by the Terran’s, taken over by SolSec just prior to the discovery of the Last Gate within Astraeus)

The Original Terran Path
• Alpha Crucis-to-Spica
• Spica-to-Aldeberan
• Aldeberan-to-Shoda’kan Nebula
• Shoda’kan-to-The Aquitaine Cluster (Beta Crucis)

The Original Jenquai Path (Pre-Codex)
• Beta Centauri (Hadar)-to-Vega
• Vega-to-Antares
• Antares-to-The Hagana Antares Gate Cluster (The Scorpius Path, kept secret from the other Factions with the exception of the Gate to Betelgeuse)
• Antares-to-Betelgeuse – With a non-functioning Gate within Betelgeuse (Until the Sabine release the Intelligence occupying their shard of the Codex, unlocking several Gates simultaneously)

The Original Progen Path
• Aragoth-to-Rigel
• Rigel-to-The Heliades Cluster
• The Heliades Cluster-to-Deneb
• Deneb-to-World Gate within Astraeus (dead-end)
• The Sirius Gate Quad – The Progen discovered Ancient Gates around their home star but did not discover how to use them until the Codex Shard is awakened
SolSec’s Path
• Aragoth-to-Adara
• Adara-to-The Vendari Cluster


The Unaligned and Rogue Ancient Gates

• The Lost Gate-to-Prospero’s Gate – Stumbled upon by the renegade Terran weaponsmith Simon Prospero (the secret power behind Storkraft), this Ancient Built Gate begins the Smuggler’s Run on the fringes of Prospero’s Rift. The Gate’s that follow along the Run are Human Built
• The Nameless Gate (Paramis Gate) – much like the Sirius Quad, the Gate is inactive until the Codex Shard is awakened; from there the Gate links to the Sea of Serenity and thence to Arzachel Prime

• The Shadowspar – Shadow Cabinet discovered Gate hidden beyond the fringes of Alpha Crucis. It is a ‘go-anywhere’ Gate
• Mordane’s Wake (Aragoth hidden Gate) – The Eidenmist
• The Eidenmist Nebula Gate – Uncovered by Maléfari zealots
• Eidenmist-to-The Maléfari Cluster (their secret enclave

The Post Codex Ancient Gate Network

The Terran Starting Path

The Aquitaine Four-Gate Cluster (Touchstone) is brought on-line with the Codex Awakening. The Terran’s are the first to gain what the call Gatelock – through Cenovar-inspired reverse engineering of aspects of the Shard

• The Aquitaine 1-to-Pollux
• Pollux-to-Sulani Epsilon
• Sulani Epsilon-to-The Spiral Corridor
• Sulani Epsilon (World Gate)-to-Altairus
• The Corridor-to-Chandilar
• Chandilar-to-Solaris (and 1st Contact – The Sesh)
• The Aquitaine 2-to-Gamma Crucis
• Gamma Crucis-to-Reaver’s Deep
• Reaver’s Deep-to-Scorpius X1
• Aquitaine 2-to-The Al Niyat Twin Gates (Tau Scorpii)
• Aquitaine 3-to-Achernar (Alpha Eridani)
• Achernar-to-The Na’ir al Saif

The Jenquai Continuing Path

With Terran possession of the Codex the secret of the Hagana Antares is out. The Jenquai set about earnestly trying to uncover other Shards, specifically a means to control the Gate ant X1, which they theorize leads out of the Galaxy.

• Betelgeuse-to-Polaris
• Polaris-to-Kochab
• Kochab-to-The Dark Corridor Twin Gates
• The Dark Corridor Gate One -to-Sirius
• Dark Corridor Gate Two-to-Gamma Velorum (the first Gate discovered around a Wolf-Rayet variable and possessing peculiar properties all its own)
• Gamma Velorum-to-Haedus I (Zeta Aurigae)
• Haedus I-to- Kitalpha (Alpha Equulei)
• Kitalpha-to-The Six Lights Gate Cluster
• Six Lights Cluster-to- The Na’ir al Saif

The Progen March to Empire

The Sirius Gate Quad Awakens with the activation of the Codex Shard by the Sabine.

• Sirius Gate One-to-Markab (Alpha Pegasi)
• Markab-to-Mirzam (Beta Star of Canis Major; Sirius is the Alpha Star)
• Sirius Gate Two-to-Epsilon Indi
• Epsilon Indi-to-Pentagarm
• Pentagarm-to-Bellatrix (Gamma Orionis)
• Bellatrix-to-The Golden Triangle Cluster
• Sirius Gate Three-to-Menkib IB (Xi Persei)
• Menkib IB-to-The Na’ir al Saif (Forbidden Space and the Star Cave)
• Sirius Gate Four-to-The Mondara Shear
• The Mondara Shear-to-Skaara (Warrior-V’rix Outpost System)

(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.



[ This message was edited by: Albino_Eatpod on 2004-03-25 17:56 ]
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[b][size=2]The V' rix[/size][/b] by Albino Eatpod

A little snippet - the following is (c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.

Who are they?

The V’rix are servants of an ancient race, known to them as the Ancients. They do the Ancients’ bidding because they believe the Ancients will grant them eternal life if they serve the Ancients loyally. They serve the Ancients by preventing other races from using the Ancient’s highway through the Universe, the waypoints of which are the Ancient Gates themselves.

How do they fit into the story of E&B?

The theme of earth & Beyond is “Fear of the unknown leads to pain in the past, present and future.” This theme will be repeated in Acts I, II and III with different enemies or ‘unknowns’. The V’rix manifest this ‘unknown’ in Act I in a tangible way, as they have invaded our space (well, technically, we brought them here through our actions… see below). Science fiction, as Earth & Beyond defines it is: “When mankind realizes for the first time they are not the only intelligent race in the universe, how do they take the lessons learned through that encounter and heal the divisions within their own kind?”

Why are the V’rix here?

Because Amah opened the Ancient Gate in Deneb. This attracted the V’rix into our space because of the terms of their service to the Ancients, which involves protection of the Ancient Gate routes.

Why didn’t Merjan attract the V’rix here when she opened the gate in Vishao’s Cove?

Because of her study of all things Ancient, she found a secret way to open the gate without setting off the alarms. She is truly a Shaman, and actually much more advanced and ‘enlightened’ than anyone else. But, this is not a good thing as it has made her insane. She is and always will be the ‘leader of the veiled sect of the Mordana’. She will try to ascend and become an ancient, fail, and come out of the closet about this fact. Then she will not lead the Sha’ha’dem any longer.

What the V’rix want?

The V’rix do not want to kill us. Rather, they simply want to prevent us from using the Ancient Gates. Their strategic goal is to bottle us up in this section of space and destroy the Ancient Gates. They cannot really beat us one-on-one. But we will never know that, nor will the players. They win the early stages of the war mainly because we are still divided. The Jenquai try to fight them off; EarthCorps tries to fight them off; and the Centuriata try to fight them off. All separately. Nothing is effective until alliances are forged.

How they intend to get what they want?

By scaring us. Because of their technological limitations (see below) they cannot really destroy us. And, because we reproduce so rapidly, we actually can out-number them. So, they play on own fears (see above) and appear as something scary. They believe we will eventually do their bidding simply out of our fear of them.

What the V’rix appear to be is not what they are

The V’rix want to scare us (see point above). So, the instant they enter this time-space continumum, they interacated with our collective unconscious and materialized as things that would scare us: namely, bugs. Their actions should always be motivated by this rule: first, do the thing that will scare humans the most. Second, fight us militarily. Example: Why take Praetorium Mons when it doesn’t relate to the gates? Because they knew that the Progen would be more impressed with the V’rix military might if the V’rix took Khan’s home planet. He would fear them more.

What the V’rix touch in this reality becomes corrupted

Because the V’rix are greatly influenced by our collective unconscious, and because in effect they are a reflection of our nightmares, when they interact with our ‘things’ (weapons, items, etc.) those things become a corrupted reflection of the thing itself. Thus, there is no such thing as V’rix technology in this space-time continuum, merely corrupted reflections of our own technology. Thus, there is nothing the V’rix can have that we haven’t already created or thought about. So, if we can conceive of a weapon or technology, we can give it to the V’rix. But if we give them anything we don’t have yet, we eventually must give it to the players, and do so before the war is over. So, the players must get the hexagon weapon and strategy eventually.

How do the V’rix travel through space?

The V’rix are limited to the same space-travel laws we are. While here, they can only use our modes of space travel. They understand the Infiniti Corps Gate technology because it is a pale reflection of the Ancient Gate technology. They can be given Wormhole; they can be given Summon and Fold Space. But, ideally, these skills should work differently from our versions.

What is V’rix technology like?

Nothing like ours. But they can’t use their technology here, remember. So, when we build items that is dropped by their corpses, it always has to be a corrupted version of our technology. Corrupted here doesn’t mean worse, per se. It is just that our item, when combined with their ‘influence’ ends up materializing a different thing which is similar to but not identical to the original.

What is the V’rix home like?

It is what we would call hyperspace. It is where we ‘go’ when we use any Gate and the ‘load screen’ is visible. To us, it is non-existence. To them, it is air and water. It is a place without time as well know it or dimension as well know it. In that place they are without bodies as we know them.

Will players ever be able to play V’rix?

As defined now, I doubt it. Unless there was major systemic support to allow them to look like one thing in their ‘space’ and another thing when they are in our space.

What are the V’rix limitations?

The V’rix can only be what we fear them to be and they can only have corrupted versions of what we have. They, in truth, are not stronger than us.

What do they really look like when they are home?

I don’t know yet


[ This message was edited by: Albino_Eatpod on 2004-03-25 11:42 ]


[b][size=2]Back-story[/size][/b] by Albino Eatpod

The V’rix are the descendents of a race genetically bred to monitor use of the Star-Gates and protect them.

The Gates were created by one of the Ansarium, the Ancient Races who inhabited the universe at the beginning. The Ansarium used the Gates to travel instantaneously from place to place and from ‘then’ to ‘later.’ The Ansarium had the strictest of prohibitions in traveling backward through time, as theory and grim experience indicated that even the slightest of temporal anomalies would result in dire consequences to the very fabric of reality.

The Ansarium were what we would call gods. They lived as deities, setting events into motion, then jumping ahead in time to observe the results, while their subjects, (humans amongst them), lived and died through the intervening eons. Their very thoughts created reality.

It was inevitable that somewhere, some ‘when,’ the prohibition on travel into the past would be violated, and so it was, although the violation did not come from the Ancients themselves.

Millions of years ago, humans, like thousands of races before them, discovered the Gates. And like a thousand races before them, Humans gained some minor mastery over control of the Gates. For centuries humans used the Gates to expand through the galaxy, meeting alien races, becoming part of the Great Chain of life amongst the Stars. But unlike the thousands of races before them, Humans dared to use the Gates to discover The Answer.

It was supreme folly, supreme arrogance. To travel back to The Beginning. To meet the Ansarium in their own time. That was the goal. The anomalies generated by this act rippled through space-time in a self-sustaining chain reaction that tore reality asunder, splintering infinities into infinities. Catastrophe came to unnumbered galaxies and the Ansarium, through it all, just disappeared.

Only faded remnants of the Ancients survived. And the Gates. Some working. Some not. And the Key to the gates lay in pieces strewn throughout the time/space continuum.

As humans picked up the pieces of their own splintered reality, they realized the universe would never be safe so long as the Gates existed. They further realized that no human would be up to the task of destroying them all. And so the GateKeepers were bred. Genetically engineered Homo Sapiens programmed with the singular genetic program to close all the Gates. And keep them closed.

Their mission got sidetracked. The humans did not appreciate how stern a task this would be. Somewhere through their travels the human Gate Keepers encountered another race. Who this race was and where this race came from is lost, buried in the ruins of a thousand dead civilizations. But what came from the meeting of this race and humanity is the new construct, the V’rix. Humanity brought the construct the concepts of height, depth and width, while whatever else brought to the Vrix time, blood, and gravity. The ‘other’ was Light; it was Humanity that was Dark.

The V’rix are drawn to the power of the Gates like bees to a field of flowers. Wherever a Gate is awakened, the V’rix will go. There the V’rix will build hives dedicated to the singular goal of unlocking the secrets of the Gates.

A Matter of Time

Antiquity

c. + 1,500,000 B.C.E. – Earth stone is struck against stone to shape for an edge; sand and water are used to polish the surface, making this new technology a crucial moment in the development of modern humanity.

c. + 1, 250,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. Dominions, recently evolved avatars of the New Gate Lords, the Termani, take up residence on the 3rd World of a binary system Humans will later name the Taurus Molecular Ring Cluster; and later still they will name it Aragoth. They are sent to establish an outpost into this spiral galaxy so close to their own, following the light arcs as they swirl within the universe. The Dominions begin their tenure with dubious distinction, attracting the attention of the Israfel, the Gate Keepers.

c. + 100,000,000 B.C.E. – The first recorded collective Ascendancy of two species, (the 2nd Born, by some reckoning), releases such a violent outpouring of dark energy that burgeoning galaxies M81 and M82 nearly collide.

c. 3,000,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. The Israfel Gate Keepers attempt the first coup against the New Gate Lords. Their failure gives future viewers on Earth the Ghost of Jupiter nebula, lying frighteningly close to Earth at only 260,000 light years within the constellation of Hydra.

c. 2,900,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. The First War between the Keepers and the Lords concludes. The Keepers are cast out of the Spiral, loosing control of the Gates. The Ancients begin their withdrawal.

c. 170,000 B.C.E. – Beyond. Sent by Avatars of the Ancients to chastise the Keepers, the Gate Lords engage their ancient enemies, who have subverted a number of younger races within the dwarf galaxy (the Great Magellanic Cloud). The Keepers have seen the events. And in response, The 1st Keeper releases a harmonic pulse, bringing down a Gate Lord herald-ship. The pulse destroys a star and it’s accompanying worlds, the inhabitants of which worshipped the Keepers. The resultant supernova releases a burst of unparalleled neutrino-swells. The out-pouring of energy spreads like a plague through the dwarf galaxy. Tens of billions die instantly. Tens of trillions over successive generations. The Gate Lords cast the Keepers into the heart of a sun, imprisoning them. The violence of this action causes the sun in question to ignite a corona of energy that blazes at 360,000 F, making it the hottest star in the known universe.

For a time, the luminosity out-shone the whole of the universe.

c. 5500 B.C.E. – Beyond. A tear in time a space flares for an instant followed by a damaged star ship – it is the Shadowshrike Maru. Entering real-space a breath-span it’s black heels, the Endeavour, forward batteries already locked and blazing the darkness. Both super ships are badly damaged. One might say in the throws of death.

The Endeavour, swarming with the ships of those loyal to the renegade SolSec Captain Jordan Naverre, (or those who just got caught in the temporal wave of the Shadow Gate), has pursued the Shadowshrike for nearly two years – several thousand now.

Aboard his battered bridge Mordane Kathrada, whose Jihad ended with the death of his mother Merjan, turns his broken ship toward the Blue Giant just within one shinobiashi-burst of his ships slide engines.

Seeing what he is about, Jordan orders her rag-tag group of followers back. The Endeavour had been meant to be the symbol of a New Era. Since Jordan had taken the Conn, it had become the very real symbol of destruction. In the limited Imperial-speak of the V’rix she had managed during the War, Jordan learned that she had been given a name that roughly translated to something like “Harvester’s Silence”. The Silent Harvester was the gatherer of the dead in V’rix legend.

Mordane gave the order to his Ku’dan #2, a frightened young boy of what was left of the Order. Mordane’s Ku’dan since the time of the Great Exile, beautiful Valla, had died a brutal death at the hands of the Sabine-Witch Lareth.

He felt, rather than heard, the uncoupling with the core of his ship. Magnetic clamps were being released. The containment field that kept the white dwarf’s unimaginable power in check was eroding. It would be gone before he could –

Finish this! Was the last thought that entered Jordan Naverre’s mind as Endeavour unleashed all she had in one forward wave of power. She’d be damned he Mordane robbed her of this as well.

And so a Star goes supernova in the Taurus Constellation.

Earth enters the Chalcolithic (Copper) Age. The First Traders come into being, changing valuable goods such as ceramics and textiles for raw materials. With Trade comes the need for a means to keep track of bartered goods – symbols, hieroglyphs, writing with pictures all come into being.

c. 4000 B.C.E. – In Asia and Egypt, humans record their first observations of the stars

c. 3000 B.C.E. – Earth. Stargazers in Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, and Central America leave written materials on celestial events

c. 2800 B.C.E. – Beyond. Violent subsurface technonic movement forces mutated V’rix ‘wild’ hoards to emerge from the caverns of sub-world. They sweep over the Purebloods, sacking their settlements. The rape of many outlying settlements spawns the mixed-breed ancestors of the so-called ‘dire’ V’rix.

2697 B.C.E. – Earth. Observers in China record Solar eclipse in apocalyptic terms; they never realize the truth of their feelings – the sun had been eclipsed by the arrival of a Shadow Gate with an armada in pursuit of Fallen Grey’s; they took refuge on Calypso above Jupiter.

c. 2400 B.C.E. – Beyond. The descendants of the Underworld V’rix are finally overcome by the Purebloods on what became known as the Slaughter-mound on the largest of the southern plateaus of their homeworld. Their near genocide forces them into the role of war-machine for the Ruling Clans.

c. 2000 B.C.E. – Earth. The first solar-lunar calendars appear in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Wounded Grey makes his way to the Beacon at Stonehenge, summoning help. He is slain by terrified locals. Ancient astronomers begin to draw the first Constellations.

c. 1950 B.C.E. Beyond. A V’rix Pureblood becomes the First to put forth a valid trigonometric solution to the motion of their twin suns. Reason begins to stifle the old superstitions.

c. 600 B.C.E. – Earth. Pythagoras and Thales of Miletus speculate that the Earth is a sphere.

c. 400 B.C.E. – Beyond. The Pureblood Unity leads to the formation of Empire. The reigning regent discards the old suns-based time-standard calendar for a Lunar model, a more accurate distillation of the geological seasons.

100 B.C.E. – Earth. Hipparchus, a Greek astronomer, drew the first star catalogs for brightness and position. The stars helped mapmakers, pilots, and sailors find directions and certain locations

56 B.C.E. – The star XXX goes supernova. This star, 56 LY from Sol, will later be confused by observers on earth as heralding the birth of a savior.
The Dark Times – Part the First

1054 – Earth. July 4th, the Anasazi residents Chaco Canyon had been expecting the Summer to bring wondrous things, horrible things. The old Star Whisperers had foretold what would come to pass. The Sun Dagger had revealed it all – the Dark Sky Cloud spreading through the southern heavens. Ki’wa-na, who was young but gifted with the spirit sight, was first to etch upon a deep notch in one of the south-facing walls of Chaco Canyon the long, opaque-eyes Dream Walkers. They would bring pestilence and make toys of men.

On the other side of the world, Chinese Astronomer and Feng Shui Master Wu Quia’ji’an felt what could only be termed a ripple through the ch’i unlike any he’d experienced or read about. Other Star Watchers felt as he, looking into the heavens at Taurus and the birth of the Crab Nebula

c. 1200 – Beyond. First V’rix Mixed-blood ascends to Regency. Under his leadership, Empire assumes the mantle of Gate Keeper of their World Gate, the beginning of the V’rix Decline

c. 1370 – Earth. Arab Astronomer Nasir ad-Din at-Tusi at his observatory in Maragheh in Persia introduces trigonometry as a valid discipline. He continues his work, modifying Ptolemy’s models of mechanical principals, in order to preserve the uniform rotation of spheres. Fearing the marriage of science and mysticism through a numerical catalyst, Israfel Dream Walkers return to Earth to stop his work. Again, they meet failure.

c. 1400 - Beyond. Grey Shadow Gate at Scorpius X-1 is forcibly neutralized mid-transport. The wave effect forces the star to expand then contract, forming a neutron core.

An Age of Reason

1572 – Earth. Danish Astronomer Tycho Brahe proved a super nova is in fact a star and dispelling many myths, namely that there was no movement in the heavens

1593 – Earth. Galileo uses the Archimedean approach to motion: the speed of falling bodies is proportional to their density, not their weight, as Aristotle had maintained

1620 – Beyond. The First V’rix Regis assumes the role of Leader of her race, uniting the V’rix Homeworld for the first time in 2,000 cycles. The Three Orders of Society come to a shaky accord

The Beginning Ascension

1923 – Earth. Hubble proves that galaxies lie beyond the Milky Way.

1926 – Earth. Goddard fires the first liquid fuel rocket

1927 – Earth. Oort proves the center of the Galaxy lies in the direction of Sagittarius.

1937-40 – Earth. Gamow proposes the first theory of stellar evolution.

1957 – Earth. The first artificial satellite launched by the Russians. Dr. Samuel Marcade is born in Newcastle.

1958 – Earth. The first American satellite is launched.

1961 – Earth. The first man, Russian born Yuri Gargarin, becomes the first man in space.

1961 – Beyond. V’rix Empire sits leaderless. Stewards, fearing retaliation by their conquered worlds, cease Expansion in the Beyond, drawing to a conclusion the longest sustained growth their worlds would ever see. War Canons are abandoned along the border zones.

1962 – Earth. Scorpius X-1 becomes the first galactic source of X-ray radiation. (The Jenquai later discover this to be the result of a forced neutron acceleration effect caused by the forced closure of the X-1 Gate – the final leg of the Antares Main.)

1962 – Earth. John Glenn’s flight. Sets up warning system that tells the Ancients earthlings have achieved space flight.

1965 – Earth. Penzias and Wilson discover cosmic fossil radiation, providing direct evidence of the Big Bang Theory.

1969 – Earth. Moon Landing. Buzz Aldrin’s vision…

1970 – Earth. Russian satellite Venera 7 makes first successful soft landing on Venus.

1971 – Earth. Russian built Mars-3 becomes makes first soft-landing on Mars. British satellite communications and spymaster Dr. Monica Scott marries British-West Indian Biologist Dr. Clifford Boch, who becomes a pioneering member of the Human Genome Project, inspiring his son to take Earth-bred genetic material to Mars as the basis of a terraforming plan.

1973 – Earth. Pioneer-10 sends back the first images of Jupiter. It is at that moment that a young Samuel Marcade conceives of building a rocket and going to Jupiter.

1978 – Earth. Charon, Pluto’s moon, is discovered.

1980 – Earth. Images of Saturn’s rings sent back to Earth, debunking many theories. Caithan MacGregor sees them while in transit above the Atlantic to conclude a hostile take-over of French rival multi-national Naverre-Vivendi. Upon hearing of their composition he’s remembered as saying, “One day the MacGregor’s will buy Saturn.”

1986 – Earth. January 28. The Space shuttle Challenger disaster: 73 seconds after take-off from the Kennedy Space Center. The explosion occurred due to the failure of an "O-ring". It was the most tragic accident in the history of space exploration. The following astronauts were killed: Francis R. Scobee, Micheal Smith, Judith Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Gregory B. Jarvis, Ronald E. McNair, and teacher-in-space Christa McAuliffe. McAuliffe student, introverted biology whiz Nassir Khan, determines to build a monument to his favorite teacher – on Mars.

March - Space probes Vega 1, Vega 2, and Giotto pass near Halley's Comet. The Comet itself
Passes within a single AU of the rock and ice embedded Charon’s Gate.

1987 – Earth. A supernova in the Great Magellanic Cloud is visible to the naked eye. The supernova is some 169,000 light years from Earth, visible in the southern hemisphere. In her penthouse in Buenos Aires, Carolyn Malacore feels the effects through a violent convulsion from her unborn child.

1988 – Earth. Brothers Caithan and Crispen MacGregor take controlling interest of American-multinational InfinitiCorp Technologies – ICT – from its parent company Naverre-Vivendi, another in a long series of moves against their French rivals. However, the move positions them to become leading innovators in space-based technological applications.

1991 – Earth. Naverre-Vivendi ceases operations outside of Europe. Adopting the name The Good Earth Trading Company, Lucas Naverre dumps a staggering amount of Family Money in the launch of the Dauphin-1 Robotic Survey Platform. The all-in-one Observer/Surveyor/Speculator is bound for the asteroid Gaspra on the heels of Galileo. Naverre has gambled his family’s fortune on the presence of rare and valuable metals buried within the giant space rocks. The gamble pays off in spades.

1992 – Earth. The Hubble space-telescope observes the hottest star ever recorded in the Magellanic Cloud. It is burning at some 360,000 degree F.

September – This marks the discovery of the first object orbiting the Sun beyond Pluto, in the Kuiper Belt. Also, NASA launches the Mars Observer to study the atmosphere and surface of the Red Planet.

October – From the Vatican, Pope John Paul II announces that the Catholic Church erred in condemning Galileo’s beliefs.





2050 - Earth. Mars Colony One established on Cydonia Mensae, which later becomes the Elysium Plateau. Mission Chief Scientist Dr. Nassir Khan sees the desolate Red Planet and vows and is remembered to utter the worlds, “I’ve come home.”

2052 - The Ganymede Project is begun; it is established at Stanford University, becoming the first semi-private University-funded planned deep space expedition; Dr. Samuel Marcade is both Project lead and its cheap architect – the plan is to take disposable ships to the Outer Worlds, begin construction of a long-term habitat using components of the main pusher-module, and rebuild the return vessel using materials found there.

2061
Mars Colony Three established
2072 – Colonel Alexander Boch is given command of Mars Colony One; a veteran of the Polynesian Crisis of ’65 brings, he brought an aggressive animal-plant cloning policy to the Colony. The mandate was for Colony One to become self-sufficient
2080 – Earth Station completed; The Good Earth Trading Company established; becomes the first Company founded solely on interstellar commerce – Good Earth Robotic Pushers survey Asteroids in the Belt, establishing future claims on resources
2090 –Jinqui Maru sets off for Ganymede, commanded by Dr. Elias Ben Joseph, called the Philosopher-Physicist by his contemporaries; he picked up the Ganymede Project following the death of his mentor Dr. Samuel Marcade
2155 – Earth Ship Pegasus fires on the Free Trader Orion precipitating the First Interplanetary War
2159 – Jericho (Progen) Battle Group Scour the Earth
2190 – Justin Winter steals containment field theory from Jenquai, gaining the advantage in the FTL-race over the Jenquai


2100 Jin-qui Maru establishes station at Ganymede, Jupiter

2120 Jin-qui Maru rebellion

2125 Mars claims independence / Jenquai claim autonomy

2130 1st Interstellar War

2150 War Ends

2155 Terran Alliance Forms

2160 Jenquai complete Jove City – Jenquai Commonwealth formed

2165 Progen Republic becomes official

2190 FTL Drive invented (begins 60 years of FTL exploration/colonization)

2210 Psionic suppression (Mars – Psionic gene is eradicated)

2225 1st out of Sol colony established at Tau Ceti - Terran

2230 Colony established at Capella – Jenquai establish Homeworld

2235 Colony established at Sirius – Progen

2312 Terran Psionic suppression begins

2350 Charon’s gate revealed to all (Jenquai knew of it for 190 years)

2351 Terran Psionic Registration Act

2355 Gate War

2357 Jove City Occupation

2359 InfinitiCorp replicates short-range gates

2360 Jenquai/Terran pact against the Progen

2365 War ends/SolSec forms/Gates shared

2400 Last Ancient Gate discovered

2450 General time Earth and Beyond begins




(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.


This is from Feb 2002


Summary


Type: Insectoid
Height : Combat Vrix 6-7’, Normal 5-6’
Weight : 150-500 lbs. varies with type
Eating habits: Omnivore
Primary motivation: Knowledge of and protection of Star Gates
Hostility factor: Typically low
Intelligence: High (Hive Mind)
Technology level: High, uses unique form of biotechnology.
Climate: Environments with large life / vegetation concentrations.
[url=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/525/vrixconcept.gif/][img]http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/9181/vrixconcept.gif[/img][/url]

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Vrix Technology and StarShips

Their ships are individually crafted and not the product of an assembly line. Think bees and hives; they create perfect geometry out of seemingly chaotic behavior and no two hives are identical even though individual building blocks may be.

Vrix technology creates living organics Their ships, weapons, shopping carts are all alive and symbiotic with the Vrix. Imagine picking up a laser gun and having it purr in your hand. Or wearing one of the Vrix atmosphere processor masks, which is strikingly like having an alien strapped over your face.

Vrix do not have Warp. They cannot use human Warp. They surf gravity waves to travel in normal space. They do not have propulsion engines.

Vrix Formations

The Vrix fly through space in hexagonal formations. When guarding a Queen, the fly in The Perfect Hex, as noted below:

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In this formation, the Vrix fire their weapons independently in defense of the Queen. Their Queens are Vrix capital ships. Vrix are their space suits, Vrix are their scout ships, Queens are their capital ships.

Energy Hex

When in full formation and when a queen is not present, the Vrix can combine their weapons to greater effect, as below:

[url=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/854/formation1.gif/][img]http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/8586/formation1.gif[/img][/url]

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Their weapon could fire from the yellow center, not from the external six ships. In this supportive mode, the weapon’s power is not simply 6 times the normal power but 36 times. So, six Vrix level 1 scout ships in formation would fire as a level 36 Vrix ship. Six level 3 Vrix scout ships would fire as a level 108 scout ship. The highest level Vrix scout ship is level 5.

The x/y coordinate within the overall hexagon where the energy node forms indicates what kind of weapon it is and what its strengths and weaknesses are.
This weapon…

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Would do a different type of damage than this weapon…

[url=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/11/formation3.gif/][img]http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/3554/formation3.gif[/img][/url]

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This is designed so that the player can have a sense of what kind of defense to raise against a Vrix attack and also allows us flexibility to designate many different Vrix attack types with little new artwork. But this would require AI code.

If there are less than six Vrix ships present in a formation, there are standard patterns they form based on their numbers:

[url=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/215/formation4.gif/][img]http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/1771/formation4.gif[/img][/url]

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The choices of which Measurement (see Vrix Philosophy, below) to leave empty affects the types of weaponry that can be used in that formation. And the power drops dramatically; 6 ships = 36 x, 5 ships = 25 x, 4 ships = 16 x, 3 ships = 9 x, and two ships = 2 x.

Vrix Philosophy

We would describe the Vrix as insectoid, but that certainly would be a simplistic view of them.
Hive mentality; never see less than two of them. They tend to travel in sixes (the hexagon is sacred to them. The hexagonal shape itself represents their view of realty, the six dimensions they perceive (height, width, depth, time, gravity, blood).

The Vrix Double Triad:
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This is the Vrix view of reality; however, don’t assume they think symmetrically. They just see six dimensions; and not every point on the hexagon has equal weight.

In the above diagram, the Vrix do not evaluate the opposites as having any meaning or weight simply because of their opposition. The only meanings they would attribute to the orientation would be the following: that gravity and blood, being adjacent and both of the ‘light,’ are closely related; that Time and Depth sit both in the ‘light’ and in the ‘dark,’ and are both unique essences; and that Height and Width are both ‘dark’ and thus both related essences. Note that while ‘blood’ could be translated literally (humans smell like copper to a Vrix) it could also be translated as ‘odor’ or ‘smell.’



This shape is just as appealing to the Vrix as the one drawn above. How a shape varies from perfect balance forms the foundation of Vrix philosophy. Note that the light and dark balance of a Vrix year is not symmetrical; the shape immediately above might be a symbolic representation of their hybernation cycles.

Light and Dark

Everything is to a Vrix is made up of Qualities and Measurements. The Qualities are Light and Dark, and these are spiritual. The Measurements are how the thing expresses itself within the material plane and comprise all things that can be measured by a Vrix (time, gravity, blood, height, width, depth).

The Vrix attack Plan

At story step #1, the Vrix have been attracted to the local stellar group because of Amah’s use of the shard. The ships in the game at live are all scout ships, really. No Queens. The scout ships come in a variety of sizes are orientations, but their ‘level’ is always appropriate to the sector they are found in. The Vrix enter through all the open Ancient gates and through both maelstroms. They enter through the Charon, Antares, and Gallina gates and the Vega and Sirius maelstroms. They head for Beta Hydri and for Aragoth, search and then go home the way they came. We need Vrix scout ships, traveling in pairs, heading along Infiniti Corps Gate routes if needed, heading for Gates that would get them to Aragoth and Beta Hydri. The Vrix do NOT agro on you, but they are social. They will attack back if attacked in this phase of the Invasion.

Back-story

The V’rix are the descendents of a race genetically bred to monitor use of the Star-Gates and protect them.

The Gates were created by one of the Ansarium, the Ancient Races who inhabited the universe at the beginning. The Ansarium used the Gates to travel instantaneously from place to place and from ‘then’ to ‘later.’ The Ansarium had the strictest of prohibitions in traveling backward through time, as theory and grim experience indicated that even the slightest of temporal anomalies would result in dire consequences to the very fabric of reality.

The Ansarium were what we would call gods. They lived as deities, setting events into motion, then jumping ahead in time to observe the results, while their subjects, (humans amongst them), lived and died through the intervening eons. Their very thoughts created reality.

It was inevitable that somewhere, some ‘when,’ the prohibition on travel into the past would be violated, and so it was, although the violation did not come from the Ancients themselves.

Millions of years ago, humans, like thousands of races before them, discovered the Gates. And like a thousand races before them, Humans gained some minor mastery over control of the Gates. For centuries humans used the Gates to expand through the galaxy, meeting alien races, becoming part of the Great Chain of life amongst the Stars. But unlike the thousands of races before them, Humans dared to use the Gates to discover The Answer.

It was supreme folly, supreme arrogance. To travel back to The Beginning. To meet the Ansarium in their own time. That was the goal. The anomalies generated by this act rippled through space-time in a self-sustaining chain reaction that tore reality asunder, splintering infinities into infinities. Catastrophe came to unnumbered galaxies and the Ansarium, through it all, just disappeared.

Only faded remnants of the Ancients survived. And the Gates. Some working. Some not. And the Key to the gates lay in pieces strewn throughout the time/space continuum.

As humans picked up the pieces of their own splintered reality, they realized the universe would never be safe so long as the Gates existed. They further realized that no human would be up to the task of destroying them all. And so the GateKeepers were bred. Genetically engineered Homo Sapiens programmed with the singular genetic program to close all the Gates. And keep them closed.

Their mission got sidetracked. The humans did not appreciate how stern a task this would be. Somewhere through their travels the human Gate Keepers encountered another race. Who this race was and where this race came from is lost, buried in the ruins of a thousand dead civilizations. But what came from the meeting of this race and humanity is the new construct, the V’rix. Humanity brought the construct the concepts of height, depth and width, while whatever else brought to the Vrix time, blood, and gravity. The ‘other’ was Light; it was Humanity that was Dark.

The V’rix are drawn to the power of the Gates like bees to a field of flowers. Wherever a Gate is awakened, the V’rix will go. There the V’rix will build hives dedicated to the singular goal of unlocking the secrets of the Gates.

Physical Attributes

NOTE: Because of the Vrix’ mastery of biotechnology, it is difficult to describe what an individual Vrix may look like. For the sake of this text, the most “common” of the Vrix is described here, or perhaps this is really the “purest” form of them. We have seen modifications to individuals that completely alter their appendages and functionality of them (see the combat Vrix pic above), most likely to allow that particular Vrix to fulfill a certain role in their colony. The Vrix appear unconcerned as to the manipulation and modification of their bodies for single purposes – perhaps this is what has helped them to master their unique technology.

Vrix are angular, jagged insectoid-like creatures, primarily dusty brown to dark green in color. They are roughly 5’4 in height (6’ and over if standing completely upright), the males slightly larger than the females. Covered with chitinous plates, the Vrix appear to be wearing armor at all times, which considering their mostly spindly appendages, must have allowed them to survive the harshness of their homeworld, evolving into the creatures they are today. They weigh roughly 150 to 200 pounds, depending on the gender and physical role in the hive.

Their distinguishing characteristics are numerous. A large, flat head houses their hexogonal, side-set eyes. A long double-jointed neck connects their head to the large torso segment, to which are attached two sets of arms. Each set appears to serve different functions. The larger set appears to be heavy lifting / working hands with rough manipulators. The second, smaller set is attached above the heavy one, with fine manipulator “fingers” at the ends. The Vrix use all of these appendages together, depending on the task at hand.

The female Vrix also possess a set of wings that are folded over their backs. Whether these are functional at birth, or modified to fly through biotechnology is unclear.

The combat version of the Vrix, encountered during the Vrix battles, is somewhat different than the type observed on Vrix planets. Made to withstand a greater deal of punishment and survive in vacuum, the combat type-Vrix are serious threats to anyone that crosses their path

Vrix are hatched from eggs lain by the females (Queens), which undergo an gestation period of about three months. When they hatch, the Vrix are immediately aware of their purpose and surroundings – apparently this is possible through their telepathic link with the “hive-mind”. These creatures can all communicate telepathically through this “hive-mind”, giving them an incredible organization and reaction time.

Vrix eyesight extremely poor, but their sense of smell and hearing are both more sensitive to motion than human eyesight, and almost no gesture or movement goes unnoticed.

Mental Attributes

The main method of communication among the Vrix is through their hive-mind. This is a local telepathic link that lets Vrix individuals within a limited range act as a single unit if desired, giving them a coordination among tasks that the other races cannot match. The hive-mind also organizes the Vrix activities, and manages any pressing affairs that need to be dealt with. It is almost as if the Vrix are constantly holding a “town hall” meeting with all the other Vrix around them, constantly organizing and updating their list of tasks.

When speaking to outside races, the Vrix use small spider-like creatures that are attached to their chests. These creatures are apparently “grown” by the Vrix to interpret audio sensation into telepathic communication and vise-versa, allowing them to understand the other races without problems. This creature is the representative of a Vrix that appears in all communication with humans. Vrix (at least at the beginning) will NOT show their true self to humans.

The Vrix mind is very organized and structured. Vrix always have something to do. You rarely see a Vrix that is not “going somewhere” or “in the middle of something”. Although they don’t use such human terms, these are the translations that give the best gist of what the Vrix communicates to us.

The main goal of the Vrix is to serve the Ancients (that is what they were bred for) and to protect the Star Gates. Judging by their unusual bio-technology, which requires food instead of power, the Vrix are motivated simply by consumption. Everything requires food. Everything. The hydroponic farms that the Vrix employ are massive, each one stretching for miles. A product of their biotechnology – everything’s got a mouth, and it’s always hungry.

Vrix Society

Vrix government is matriarchal; the Queens rule. They do have a set of rules and regulations that they use when interacting with the other races, but mainly each colony is a self-governing body that has a single Queen and acts as an independent Vrix establishment. The hive-mind is called on when there is something that must be decided on, but these hive-minds do not seem to be linked from planet to planet, thus there is no centralized government. We have also seen multiple hive-minds on largely populated planets. Perhaps the hive mind is limited by size of the population that draws on it instead of sheer mileage.

As far a law and order are concerned, there isn’t really a problem with this among the Vrix. All of them abide by a code of operations that appears to be ingrained into them – they simply don’t historically fight one another. Attacking another Vrix is considered one of the most hideous of crimes imaginable. Any such attack is seen as an attack on the hive-mind itself, even the idea of which puts the entire Vrix colony onto alert. There have been incidents where one Vrix has attacked another (typically, the deviants are the older ones, which are approaching the time of their recycling), which has always resulted in the deviant Vrix being destroyed. The other Vrix have always referred to the deviant one as “defective” and left it at that. The judgement of the hive-mind seems to be instantaneous and accepted by everyone – that which does not follow is destroyed.

Hibernation

The Vrix weakness is that they still must Hibernate. They are awake for 2/3 of their ‘year’ and they must sleep for 1/3 of their year. They have been struggling for generations to alter that weakness through bio-engineering, but have not yet found a solution. As the reawake every cycle, they almost from scratch re-build their society, so ideally every time the Vrix re-appear their ships would look slightly different. Only the Queens remain awake for a full year. However, the Queens are their Cap ships, so this is not something that leaves the Vrix defenseless. Vrix view awake as light and hibernation as dark (see below).

(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.



[ This message was edited by: Albino_Eatpod on 2004-03-27 09:29 ]
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[b][size=150]The Red Dragon Pirates[/size][/b] by Albino Eatpod

The Red Dragons are a highly organized crime syndicate that closely resembles the old Chinese Tongs from centuries past. Ultimately, all Red Dragons owe allegiance to the Shan Chu (“Hill Chief”). This position is presently held by the pirate lord Shou Tzu. However, the Dragons are organized into various “tongs” (“halls”) that dominate particular sectors or regions of space. Members of one Dragon tong will never attack vessels belonging to another Dragon tong, but it is considered bad form for Dragons to trespass on the territory of another tong.

The Red Dragons’ traditional seat of power is Hong Kong, where the organization has existed since the time of the Boxer Rebellion, trafficking in everything from opium and heroin to illegal biogenetics and stolen Jenquai esoteria.

Ancient technology particularly interests the Red Dragons. Shou Tzu has recently issued an order to all the Dragon tongs to hunt down and capture alien artifacts (or the ships containing them). Ideally, Tzu would like to become the principal source of black market ancient technology.

At present, the Dragons are growing. Although their traditional center remains in Hong Kong, on Earth, they have a thriving base of operations in Smugglers’ Run and are actively recruiting members in the Beta Hydri and Tau Ceti systems. They have a relatively strong presence in Beta Hydri, where they prey upon colonists, prospectors, and other hapless fortune-seekers. The Red Dragon pirates in Tau Ceti are a newer branch of the organization and have a distinctly Vietnamese flavor. In fact, they arose from a neo-Southeast Asian crime organization that inhabited the fringes of the Tau Ceti system until recently, when they joined the Dragons and gained additional resources.

Although the Dragons are known to supply information, arms, and bodies to other pirate groups, notably Miguel Chavez and his vicious raiders, they are widely feared by even their most successful competitors. As a rule, the Dragons are better trained, better supplied, better organized, and more numerous than other pirates. Chavez and others have lately found their ranks drained thanks to Red Dragon recruitment efforts.

Obedience to authority and loyalty to fellow members of the tong are traits that characterize all Red Dragons (those who do not learn to follow the Red Dragon code do not survive past the Ma Jai phase – see below). Red Dragons live or die with the members of their respective tongs – both success and failure are group-based. Thus, members of attack squadrons will always protect their injured comrades, even if the risk to themselves is great. Fierce discipline and enduring commitment to the group have made the Red Dragon pirates a particularly formidable threat.

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In terms of costume, ship configurations, and mentality, the Dragons model themselves after Medieval China (or, at least, the way Medieval China appears in the old films they have scavenged). Colors, or course, tend toward the reds, blacks, and greens.

Red Dragon Ships

Red Dragon ship classes are named to correspond to the rank structure of the traditional Chinese tong. From weakest to strongest, standard Red Dragon pirates are as follows (Chinese meanings are in parentheses):

Ma Jai (“little horses”): Typically, newly recruited or inexperienced members of a Tong pilot the relatively weak Ma Jai fighters. They are almost always encountered in groups of three or more (a single Ma Jai is hardly a match for an inexperienced Jenquai explorer) and are armed only with missiles. Ma Jai are usually released into a tong’s territory to attack lone vessels and explorers. Those who succeed (and survive) will eventually be awarded a better ship. According to Red Dragon philosophy, the Ma Jai pilot is intended to learn to work in a group and to think as a member of a team. If he doesn’t learn this lesson, a Ma Jai pilot won’t survive for very long in his weak and vulnerable ship.

Yee Lo (“little brother”): Closely resembling Ma Jai, Yee Lo are outfitted with improved armor and an expanded complement of weapons (including missiles and lasers). Yee Lo pilots have been promoted from the ranks of the Ma Jai. As such, they have learned to fight as a unit and will always come to the aid of a fellow Red Dragon. Yee Lo can often be found along the trade lanes, taking greater risks against tougher targets than their Ma Jai juniors. Like Ma Jai, they appear in groups of three or more. However, Yee Lo are sometimes employed as escorts for Red Dragon freighters and corvettes.

Dai Lo (“big brother”): Skilled Red Dragon warriors fly a more advanced ship class, the Dai Lo. These vessels are faster, more maneuverable, and better armed than either of the preceding ship classes, employing high quality lasers and projectile weapons. As with other Red Dragon marauders, they tend to appear in groups of three (or more), but can sometimes be found leading squadrons of Yee Lo.

Dai Dai Lo (“big big brother”): Only the finest Red Dragon pilots are entitled to fly these expensive and heavily armed fighters. They are equipped with extremely powerful lasers and missiles, but they sacrifice armor in favor of speed and maneuverability (their pilots consider themselves to be skilled enough to survive without the benefit of heavy armor). Dai Dai Lo may appear in the company of their own kind, or they may lead squadrons of Dai Lo. They are also employed as escorts for important Red Dragon shipments.

Ah Kung (“grandfather”), Shuk Foo (“uncle”): Larger versions of the Dai Lo class fighters, these corvettes are the personal property of Red Dragon tong leaders. Piloted by the finest of the Dai Dai Lo, Red Dragon corvettes are almost never encountered without an escort of Dai Lo or Yee Lo. The more powerful and heavily armored Ah Kung serve as transports or raiders (when the tong leader is in the mood for a good bloodbath). Shuk Foo are perhaps feared even more, however, as they signify the arrival of the dreaded Red Dragon press gangs. Shuk Foo are also easier targets, with fewer weapons (but heavy armor). However, they are rarely encountered without numerous escorts.

Fujian-class freighter: Used primarily to ferry large shipments of captured materials (especially to and from the Smugglers’ Run), Fujian-class freighters are heavily armored and fast, with few weapon systems (sacrificing attack capability for speed and defense). They rely on fast Dai Lo and Dai Dai Lo escorts for active protection. In appearance, they resemble Red Dragon cap ships (though obviously smaller).

Mekong-class missile freighter: Mekong-class freighters resemble the standard Red Dragon Fujian-class, but the Tau Ceti tongs have been forced to do more with fewer resources. Thus, they have outfitted their Mekong-class freighters with numerous batteries of heavy missiles, allowing the ships to double as attack crafts and to relieve their fighters of the burden of escort duty.
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[b][size=150]Original Bible Excerpts[/size][/b] by Albino Eatpod

“The age of the universe has been placed at more than fifteen billion years. The oldest stars in Charted Space are dim red dwarfs some ten billion years old. When the First Gate was discovered on the fringes of the Human Sphere, we had no idea that it was one of many Gates that linked those selfsame red dwarfs when they were viable suns feeding worlds teeming with long forgotten races.”
An Unknown Adept of the First Sephira of the Jinquai.

EARTH AND BEYOND – A HISTORY IN BRIEF

Two monumental events shaped mankind, as it exists today. And as with all events that have defined our collective histories over the centuries, War was at the heart of both near catastrophic occurrences.

The first Event was called by some the War of Secession. Others called it the First Colonial War, a presupposition that future Wars were inevitable. However, by whatever title you wish to present this turning point in human evolution the outcome was the same: the fracturing of mankind.

Earth’s colonial enterprise, founded on a string of space stations, mining colonies, and Outer World moon bases, fell apart when orders to solve problems lagged a long time behind the reality to enforce them and the realities of the situation in general. Distance made it impossible to maintain the close control the United Earth Government wanted to exercise, and Earth’s ill-advised orders provoked rebellion among Outer Colonies when the discovery of rich resources suddenly changed the balance of power in Sol System.

Mars had outright defied Earth’s visa requirements and founded a runaway colony, its population deliberately augmented by cloned-man.

The stations, chief of which was Ganymede Highport, tried to stand by its allegiance to Earth Government. So did other Highports and colonies, fearing retribution from Earth Corps warships.

However, the hasty actions of a single Earth Corps Captain sent a wave of rebellion through the system that forever changed the landscape of human society and development.

The Wars of Secession

To understand humanity, as it exists today one has to understand the story of the Wars of Secession. There was a time, before the solar system became a small place, when all the races of humankind existed on just one world – Earth. Although the Terrans lay claim to Earth as their own all humans come from that single world. There was a time, before the great Progen Experiment and the great Jinquai migration, when we all called the Earth home.

Imagine all the variety of the human species confined to a single world, a world sown with the petrified bones of our human ancestors. This is a world dotted with the ruins of ten thousand years of forgotten human civilizations. This is a planet on which at the time human beings first flew in space, humans still hunted a surplus of animals, gathered wild plants, farmed with ancient methods, spun natural yarns by hand and cooked over wood fires. A world before the Seven Great Houses ruled, a world before the scouring by the Progen, a world that the ancestors of the Jinquai still called home.

Earth owed allegiance to a multitude of chairmen, councilors, kings, ministers, prelates and presidents; to parliaments and congresses and committees, to republics, democracies, oligarchies, theocracies, monarchies, hegemonies and political parties which had evolved in profusion for thousands of years.

This was the world that first sent out the probes to the farthest reaches of the Sol System and beyond. This was the world that sent pioneers into space.

Mars Colony existed. Home to the first settlers of another world. A harsh collective of astronauts, soldiers, and scientists living on a dry and dead world. At first they were only a handful, sent to establish a beachhead for the inevitable waves of humanity that would follow. Back then, of course, the colony was a huddled collection of modules and capsules meant to sustain the survey teams that would follow. Largely self-sustaining and a year time lagged from Earth, they developed their own methods of survival and renewal, a precursor to terra-forming in a way. The genetic materials of vegetation and livestock were brought to Mars for incubation and eventual breeding to feed future teams, cramped as they were back then in claustrophobic modules and domes.

Earth Station also existed. Tumbling forever as it did in orbit above the planet that spawned her. She was a giant. A city. Home to the first settlers in space. Granted, it was much more primitive then. Gravity came through centrifugal force, shielding through ceramic tiles and other composite materials. However, it was altogether self sustaining; and favored with a system of tax remission in return for scientific benefit, it launched a number of ambitious projects, including the first large-engine deep-probe, and ultimately the first crewed pusher-ship toward the Outer Planets.

Its proximity to Earth meant it gained a great deal of the attention that Mars in fact needed. This was of course a situation that would inevitably lead to mankind’s fracturing.

The first pusher-ship sent out from Earth Station was the venerable Jinqui Maru. She was a hulking mass, two ships in one really, as she was meant to deliver the Ganymede station-component to the gas giant Jupiter. There the Jinqui Maru was to leave some fifty volunteer scientists and technicians in what in those days meant unimaginable isolation. These volunteers would build Ganymede Station – operating from the primitive command component the Jinqui carried – out of the moon’s rock, ice and mineral resources, perform scientific research and maintain long-distance communications with Earth.

The first concept had been disposable pushers, hardly more than robotic spaceprobes; but human passengers mandated an abort-and-return capacity which, considering all the possibilities for disaster, was negotiated finally to mean full-return capacity. That led to the notion of a crewed pusher-module to stay at Ganymede should the moon, Jupiter, and its surrounding system prove impossibly deficient in raw materials necessary to sustain self-sufficiency of the Ganymede module.

In that event, the Jinqui Maru would remain for a number of years, then strip the station-component to the essential core and return the mission to Earth. If Jupiter/Ganymede-orbit proved a viable home for the station, Jinqui Maru would remain only a few months until the Ganymede Station module was fully functioning and stable in its orbit and the fifty volunteers felt no imminent danger in being left alone so far from home. Then it would return to Earth with it’s tiny compliment of crew to surrender the Jinqui Maru to a second mission, which would, after refitting, go out again with such supplies as trace minerals and materials which the infant station might not have available.

Equally important with the supplies, those early pioneers theorized, was the human link; the reassurance of face-to-face contact with other human beings across what in those days was an inconceivably lonely expanse of space. There was a psychological component at work that very few could accurately evaluate. Although the fifty volunteers could speak in near real-time to family and loved ones, it was always the distance that effected people.

Earth, with months’ advance warning via the constant data-flow from the Jinqui Maru and infant Ganymede Station that the mission was abundantly successful and that the Jinqui Maru was returning, trained a replacement crew and prepared a second-phase mission.

Mars, during this period of aggressive exploration of the Outer Worlds, had found itself operating increasingly in the shadow of the more commercially successful deep space missions. Mars had not found the rich mineral resources that the Jinqui Maru had surveyed on the moons orbiting Jupiter and within the rocks and asteroids bisecting the solar system. Nor had Mars benefited from being launched from the already successful and incorporated Earth Station. Mars had, in many ways, to fend for itself. This, in conjunction with the fact that there was a strong military component in the command structure of the mission, laid the seeds for what became known as the Great Fracturing.

Now the crew of the Jinqui Maru, subject to relativistic effects, running into an information stream indicating greater and greater changes in the Earth they had left, had become more and more at home in the ship than in the mainstream of a Terran culture gone very alien to them. Although they received data on a regular basis about events and changes on Earth, to them, much like prisoners confined apart from society for years, none of it connected with the world they’d left behind.

When the crew of the Jinqui Maru docked at Earth Station, they found the orbiting spaceport had almost tripled in size, had become little more than just another Earth City. Gone were the scientists and astronauts that had been in command. Now there were politicians and businessmen running things. As a result, their sojourn on Earth Station was intensely disconcerting.

Faced with the prospect of operating as little more than a corporate holding the crew re-occupied the Jinqui Maru in a surprise move that immensely unsettled station authorities. After a standoff of nearly two weeks the crew finally won their ship. The new administration running Earth Station deemed a military style takedown counter productive when simply giving them the ship and hiring out their services would reach a more equitable end to the impasse.

This policy – initiated by the newly formed Good Earth Trading Company – became one by which Earth would eventually be governed. At the time, however, it merely relegated the replacement crew to waiting on the next pusher-craft.

Henri Naverre, who had been CEO of the Good Earth Trading Company during that tense period, had himself come up with the compromise. From a smaller space station in geo-synchronous orbit above Paris, Naverre had given the stand-down order to the corporate security team only minutes before they were set to storm the docking ring and take the Jinqui Maru. The decision proved extremely wise, the crew of the Jinqui Maru had managed to secrete shaped charges set on radio control at key points along the station’s central core. The resultant explosion would have killed the 200 people living on the station almost instantly.

Following the model that the crew of the Jinqui Maru established, other crews of further missions reached the same decisions, regarding themselves as permanent voyagers. They considered their small ships as home, had children aboard, and as space stations and attendant pushers multiplied, asked of Earth and the space stations only fuel, provisions, and the improvement of their ships with larger compartments, more advanced propulsions – whatever had become available since their last docking.

The only stationary base many of them even remotely considered home was the fast growing Ganymede Station. For spacers, Ganymede became almost like a religious pilgrimage.

To exist in this manner with the slowly privatizing space exploration industry, these ships would provide mineral and territorial claims to the corporations that sponsored them. Earth Government did not at first like this policy, but as the profits and benefits continued to show, popular support kept government ships out of the affairs of private explorers.

Spacers backed by powerful and impossibly huge multinational corporations set up mining operations in the mineral rich asteroid belts bisecting the solar system between the Inner Worlds and the Outer Planets. The Jinqui Mission scientists had confirmed what everyone had suspected that there were riches to be found in the rocks floating through Sol System.

So with Ganymede Station as an anchor, countless space stations between Earth Station and Jupiter were set up to mine, process, re-fit, house, and tend to the needs of the spacers who mined the systems resources for their corporate masters on Earth, all for the freedom of never having to leave their ships.

During this period Mars Station had been born without input, sponsoring or permission from Earth. Mars was not alone. Over the next few years privately owned space stations – Highports as they were being called – sprang up at a half dozen worlds: Venus Highport, Io Station, Miranda, Titan I, Europa II, and many others.

Then came the planet-side colonies. Ganymede Downport was the first to establish itself. With a population base growing far in excess of the Highport’s capacity to keep pace, Ganymede Highport set it’s sights on what is the largest moon in the solar system as a homeworld of sorts. This would, of course, later become the capital of the Jinquai Autonomous Region.

Other world-based colonies also sprang into being: Valhalla Colony on Callisto, Titan City, and Europa City, to name three. But in the isolation of those days in which messages traveled at mere light speed and ships traveled far slower still, every cluster of humanity was at least a year time-lagged from every other human habitation, be it ship, station, or colony. Although information was near real-time, the connectivity to other humans lagged hopelessly behind.

These settlements learned to live in these strangely fluxing time-referents that were impossibly alien to the general population of Earth.

As it is difficult from our viewpoint to imagine Earth of that time, it was virtually impossible for Earth to comprehend the reasoning of spacers who refused to leave their ships and who, in their turn, found the (to them) teeming corridors Earth Station chaotic and terrifying.

It was also virtually impossible for Earth Station to understand the life of their contemporaries in the deep Beyond. These were contemporaries whose culture was built on history and myths and legends that had much more to do with the hardships of life in remote stations and aboard famous ships, than with events in a green and wildly unpredictable world they saw only in virtual matrices and holographic imagery and datafiles in on-board libraries.

All the while Mars had quietly developed a rich and full society of it’s own. Mars had initiated a policy of genetic engineering and cloning to fill out its ranks, to build a population base. Away from the eugenics laws of Earth, and with only moderate immigration from Earth, Mars mutated like an unattended virus.

In addition to Mars Highport, a city had sprung up on Phobos from which Mars launched her own probes into space. It found its population in the Body Banks of the Red Planet below.

Earth, beset with overpopulation and political crises largely attributable to its ancient rivalries, had nevertheless flourished. This was mainly due to a laissez faire space exploration policy. Private industry had all but gained total control of the Great Beyond. The solar system was being divvied up like market shares among the seven most powerful multinationals on Earth.

Exploration and exploitation of the solar system was proceeding right on schedule.

That was until the great discoveries. Spacers, surveying the newly colonized moons above Jupiter, found extremely deep and extremely valuable mineral and metal resources. Although the scientists of Ganymede, who had taken to referring to themselves as the Jinquai, had known what riches were to be found orbiting the Jovian gas giant, known what researchers on Earth had suspected for centuries, they’d elected to keep their discoveries to themselves, fearing what inevitably took place.

The Great Migration.

Earth’s problems began in earnest when the unexpected rush of people to new construction at Titan Colony, Valhalla, and Europa City took place. Rich carbon deposits – diamond – gold, silver, titanium, to name just some of the resources discovered, were all located on the worlds around Jupiter. Although such deposits existed within the asteroid belts and on smaller moons of the other Outer Worlds, the general population was more apt to find a degree of comfort and safety mining and living in a hostile planetbound environment than a free-floating space station. This coupled with the prospect of rich and abundant mineral resources, became a panic flood not unlike the gold rush.

Privateers sponsored by private interests on Earth such as The Good Earth Trading Company, Intermode, and Tadakatsu-Obata, to name three, set out to add to their fortunes. Highports between Earth and the asteroid belt all but shut down, disrupting the trade of the Great Circle between Jupiter-Earth-Asteroid Belt that had been built over the past half century as everyone made for the rich deposits found on the worlds of Jupiter. This created economic chaos on Earth and Earth Station.

The original inhabitants of Ganymede Station and what became known as Ganymede City on the moon itself found such a rush to what they deemed their worlds almost intolerable. The descendents of the original volunteers of the Jinqui Maru saw their place in the Outer Worlds as explorers into the mysteries of the cosmos themselves. They’d become almost monk-like in their single devotion to research and exploration. Mercantilism had become almost a faded memory. And this in but a generation or so.

Mars, in the meantime, saw an opportunity and, resource poor as she was, took full advantage. Mars Highport and Phobos became havens to ships that would normally be bound for Earth. In exchange, Mars only required a largesse of minerals and genetic material to seed its population, expand its gene pool.

Earth reacted by attempting to regulate – across a year time lag. Although orders and mandates were as real-time as communication of the time allowed, the means and personnel to enforce Earth rule was at least a year away.

Earth politicians could not readily conceive of the economic strength that the remaining stations and colonies might achieve given the growth and unification of population that initial rush to Jupiter and Ganymede Highport had created. Economic power wielded by a handful of Earth multinational corporations whose only loyalty was to expanding profit margins and satisfied shareholders. Nor could Earth have conceived of the determination with which the neglected Mars colonies wanted to claim independence. The concentration of population and the discovery of vast resources combined with the psychological impetus to exploration … meant that Earth’s now years-old instructions reached the Outer Worlds in a situation in such rapid flux that even a few days time-lag would have grave consequences.

Earth Government found itself increasingly isolate. There were private conglomerations funding private expeditions. These expeditions went out to the resource rich Outer Worlds. There was an errant colony on Mars that had increased in size by an order of magnitude in a little over a generation. And there were the descendants on the Jinqui Maru pushing further and further away from Earth, erecting unheard of space stations above Uranus, Saturn, Neptune, and even Pluto.

All the while Earth became subject to increasing internal pressures from a faltering government policy that had little to do with what had grown organically outside of its control. Politicians and governments reacted in a desperate and ill-conceived action to retain control. Earth Government imposed a punitive tariff on all traders, private or corporate sponsored. This led to smuggling and an inevitable black market; which in turn led to a fall-off of legitimate Government sanctioned trade.

From there the domino effect followed. The accounts of the privateers and corporate interests on Earth who were sponsoring the non-Government exploration operations grew fatter, which led in turn to increased number of black market/privateering operations, which in turn led to armed hostilities between Earth Government ships and private industry ships.

In the confusion, ships which had not been built on Earth or by Earth and which held no particular allegiance to Earth Government were penalized as well for not taking sides with Earth Government.

Furthermore, Earth Government became convinced that the emigration of scientists and engineers from Earth was feeding the Outer World with the best and the brightest and robbing Earth itself of its best talent. In turn Earth Government slammed down an emigration ban not only on travel from Earth and Earth Station to Mars and the Outer Worlds, but on further moves of citizens in certain professions from highport to highport.

Executive committees across the globe saw this move as treading on free enterprise while explorers, pioneers, and privateers saw this as an attack on personal freedom.

This led to a general wave of rebellion and mutiny. Government owned stations were mothballed and deserted. Probes and missions sought further and further objects among the Outer Worlds, beyond the reach of Earth Government. Motives were not only economic, but because there were more and more people anxious to move outward and away from Earth Government control. There was a sense of danger in the air. A clampdown was coming and many people could feel it.

Tethys Highport and Thule Highport sprang into existence as stationers – the former inhabitants of Earth Government space stations – sought to slip away from Earth Government control. Later, these and other Highports would serve as ports of call and places where the three dominant governments could conduct business on neutral ground.

Meanwhile, Mars colonists found that the hardships of its existence was creating a peoples whose services by the Outer Planet colonies was being sought after. In exchange for technology and resource trade, Mars’s colonists provided escort and protection to the Jinquai descendants operating in the Outer Worlds. The Jinquai were themselves mostly scientists, engineers and technicians. The Mars colonists were by now the product of a progenesis cloning process and genetic engineering. The Mars Colonists, in preparation for an eventual declaration of independence from Earth, were the only ones who had actively established a military force in the Great Beyond.

Finally, the situation became intolerable to Earth Government. Within her own sphere of influence, great multinational corporations were disregarding Earth Laws and financing expeditions and building their own infrastructures in space. Mars had all but declared itself an independent colony and had even established its own trade agreements with the Outer Worlds. And the Outer Worlds had even had the audacity to start referring to themselves as an Autonomous Region, officially, and, on Ganymede, the Jinquai, unofficially.

In yet another ill-advised move, Earth began a series of police actions against ships that were not recognized. This in turn led to the complete and utter secession from Earth rule of the Outer Worlds. Earth’s answer: a declaration of War.

The first move of Earth Government was the re-establishing of a strong presence on Mars. A military presence. To the surprise of the politicians and soldiers alike, they did not face a ramshackle force of a few disgruntled colonists, but a hardened militaristic regime, a generation old clone-culture that had sprang into existence while Earth was not paying close attention. Earth paid little attention to Mars during those years and such representatives from Earth Government who had tried to sound the alarm were dismissed or stonewalled in committee after committee. There had been nothing on Mars deemed worth paying attention to. The riches were to be found among the Outer Worlds. Now Earth would pay the price for this over sight.

For its part the denizens of the Outer Worlds – who had begun to change in many ways besides politics during their generations in space – enlisted the aid of the Martian Soldiers to great extent. But not before first blood was drawn by Earth Corps.

It was in the first part of the year 2195 that the Earth Ship Pegasus, under the command of Colonel J.D. Fleetwood, UNAF, fired the first shot into the portside nacelle of the Free Trader Orion. In the harsh blackness of space, amid the abandoned mining fields of the asteroid belt, this first engagement was over before the Captain of the Orion knew what had happened. Refusing an order to stand-down and prepare to be boarded, the Orion tried to out-run the Pegasus. Being smaller, slower, and less armored, the Orion took one nuclear missile in the side and exploded. All sixty hands – men, women, and children – were lost.

A wave of outrage, anger and horror washed from colony to colony, ship to ship space station to space station. Earth Government had gone too far. However, no one had ships of the size and strength that were being turned out of the great shipyards of the Moon.

No one but the Martians, who now called themselves the Progen.

The Martian Colonies declared their independence less than a week after the Orion Incident. Earth’s response was to dispatch its big military cruisers to the Red Planet. Although word of the Progen Declaration of Independence reached Earth within minutes, it took nearly six months for the 1st Fleet to arrive over Mars. During that time, the Progen set up a defense grid that has not fallen in nearly two hundred years.

When the 1st Fleet finally arrived at Mars, they were met by what became known as the Red Spear: a force of nearly one hundred Progen warships.

Captain Artimus P. Jericho commanded the Progen Battle Group. Genetically engineered for the expressed purpose of defending Mars against invasion along with every man and woman that served under his command, Captain Jericho mounted what history has named the Jericho Offensive. A razor sharp whippet of a man with a mind capable of performing over a million probability calculations per second, Jericho out maneuvered his Earth-born opponents on every level. Leading Earth designed, Luna-built warships through the Martian gravity well, he dispatched his smaller, more agile sub-orbital fighters to ruthless effect. The Earth ships had not expected to face tiny fighters, couldn’t out fly them in Mars’s thin atmosphere, and one by one fell.

At the end of three days of round the clock fighting, 1st Fleet was broken, destroyed. Prisoners were taken, an ultimatum sent back to Earth.

Earth set about to build bigger and greater warships to put down the upstart Martians.

Meanwhile, the Outer Worlds, fending off the advances of a police fleet – the same that had destroyed the Orion and started the War – fared less well. The Pegasus, leading the so-called Pegasus Battlegroup, initiated what became known as Station Hopping. Thirteen ships total – all war ships – went from station to station en route to the more densely populated Jupiter colonies and seized each space port: Thule, Tethys, Guinea, Karmoran, Endeavour, Atlantis, Mariner, Caravel, and eventually the venerable Ganymede Highport. At each station a police force had been left to control the population.

Brutality was inevitable and an Earth Marine Expeditionary Force, facing humans as alien to them as any non-human, took their work to new levels of sadism. Space walking became a common sport with the enforcers – open an airlock with an unprotected civilian and take bets on how long before the vacuum effect overtook the poor soul caught in their sport.

That was one of their less sadistic activities.

With advance knowledge of the invading Earth Corps, the Jinquai set about preparing for their defense. Unlike the Progen of Mars, these scientists had no war ships, no real weapons to speak of. All they had was the knowledge of the Outer Worlds and the systems and defenses they’d designed to keep them safe from the harsh environments they’d grown accustomed to living in. The colonies on Callisto, Europa, Io, Titan, called out to the Jinquai of Ganymede City for help.

The Jinquai answered not with weapons but with shields. Technology that deceived sensors, machines that manipulated electromagnetic fields, imaging devices that projected sophisticated holograms out into space. All in an effort to buy time for the Progen Soldiers to reach them and push back the invaders from Earth.

Which is what happened. Eight months of siege warfare passed with the thirteen ships of the Pegasus Battlegroup harassing ships and colonies alike. Finally the Progen warships arrived. Again, under the command of the promoted Admiral Jericho, the Progen soldiers obliterated the Pegasus group invaders, retaking every station that had been lost.

It was in one final and rage driven act that, facing certain destruction by Jericho, the Pegasus commander, Colonel Fleetwood, turned his battle-damaged cruiser into the inner core of Ganymede Station, where its fusion core exploded, destroying the venerable space station and the 50,000 people who lived there.

Word reached Earth Government almost immediately of the loss on the Outer Worlds. It had the resources to either dispatch a fleet to Jupiter or dispatch a fleet to Mars. Not do both. Earth Government generals, however, had no desire to let Mars get away with the rout that had taken place less than a year before. And there were Earth soldiers still being held hostage as well.

A second Mars invasion was planned and executed. This time however, Earth Corps would come prepared. This time Earth Corps sent its missiles ahead. Nuclear warheads rained down on Mars. Platform mounted rail-guns blasted domed cities on Phobos. All out of the reach of Martian Progen fighters.

With the enemy softened, Earth Marine Expeditionary Force ground troops began what they thought would be a simple re-taking of an errant colony. This was when Earth discovered exactly what had been bred on the Red Planet. Progen dog soldiers, genetically engineered to be stronger, faster, sturdier, and capable of withstanding the natural rigors of the Martian environment – many also cybernetically enhanced – tore the Earth Corps invaders to shreds.

Word of this reached Admiral Jericho and his fleet, which comprised the bulk of the Progen spacefaring force. Leaving a skeleton police force to defend to Outer World colonies, his ships retrofitted with Jinquai technology bartered in exchange for Progen soldiers, Jericho returned to his homeworld.

Earth Corps had been hit hard following the failed attempt at retaking Mars. Such ships and people that remained within Earth’s Sphere braced for the coming Progen retribution. Word of this legendary Admiral Jericho swept from Venus Highport and Luna through every city on Earth. Everyone had heard that he had routed the 1st Fleet and stopped dead its attempted taking of Mars. Everyone had heard how he’d retaken the Outer Worlds from the Pegasus Battlegroup. And everyone by now knew that the Mars colony had been breeding super-soldiers.

However, Earth Government would not yield. Reserve fleets were brought on line; merchant ships were taken and retrofitted for war, anyone and everyone who could hold a weapon was pressed into military service. It became a rallying call: defend Mother Earth.

All the while the great multinationals were losing profits, losing shareholders – they were being killed fighting for Earth Corps – and seeing their colonies and interests on the Outer Worlds drifting further and further away.

Admiral Jericho’s Fleet reached the Inner Planets on the eve of Christmas, 2199. Earth Corps ships were on line to meet them. However, cloaked as they were by Jinquai shields, Jericho’s ships burst past the orbit of Mars in route to Earth and all but by-passed the outer defense fleet Earth Corps had put on-station to intercept him.

In the Western Hemisphere night had just begun to fall when the Progen fighters, released from their docking bays aboard the huge Progen warships, swept over Earth’s greatest cities. This was retribution pure and simple. The Progen fighters, spearheading a great fusillade of missiles, leveled such metropolises as New York, Toronto, and Chicago. Earth Station was nearly sent crashing into the ocean. Tycho Dome on the Moon was nearly shattered.

This offensive became known as the Scouring of Earth. With word of the devastation reaching the Earth Fleet on the edge of the Inner Worlds, Jericho turned his forces to meet them.

On Earth, the heads of the great multinationals saw that Earth Government was leading the planet into extinction. Utilizing their own private security forces, their own ships, Earth’s leading multinationals – Intermode, The Good Earth Trading Company, Tadakatsu-Obata, InfinitiCorp, and the Triad Intergroup Consortium – seized control of the United Earth Government in Paris.

Just as Admiral Jericho’s ships were breaking Earth orbit to meet the incoming fleet, word went up that the UEG had fallen. The order went out to the remaining Earth Corps ships to stand down. And a request for the cessation of hostilities went to the government on Mars.

In one desperate move by the economic giants of Earth, the War of Secession had been brought to a halt.

Within a years time three new governments had been born and a Treaty signed. The coup de tat on Earth had ended the UEG forever and put an end to hostilities between Earth, Mars, and the Outer Worlds. In place of the UEG was born the Terran Alliance headed by what is today called the Five Powers – Five Ruling Houses that have divided Earth and her remaining interplanetary interests among themselves. The sole purpose of the Terran Alliance is the sustaining, expanding, and initiating of Trade and Commerce.

The Progen Republic, a totalitarian state with a genetically inbred manifest destiny, had replaced Mars’s colonial government. The Progen then, as now, sees themselves as the ultimate inheritors of the mantle of humankind. Admiral Jericho was instated by the Progen Presidium as the first Primarch of the Republic.

The Outer Worlds became the seat of the newly born Jinquai Autonomous Region, later renamed the Jinquai Commonwealth. Of the newly emerging human governments, the Jinquai sought to minimize interaction, to push further and further outward toward deep space and distant star systems.

As for the bases that had fallen to Earth Corps, it was decreed by the Tycho Treaty Accords that any Highport established prior to the War of Secession was to be considered a neutral Freehold, with no one government having total control. The two exceptions, Earth Station, which was to remain a Terran holding, and Endeavour Station, which was to become a Progen Military outpost. This suited the displaced stationers well. Station living had created an odd mix of population that saw itself as allied to no single planet

It was under this system, under what became known as the Tycho Treaty, that the new factions of humanity were born and flourished.

Although peace was sometimes shaky at best, no threat of War came to humankind for nearly one hundred years.

That was until the discovery of the Star-Gate at Charon.

Hyper-Drive and Colonization Beyond Sol System

To understand what led to the events and decisions surrounding the discovery of the Star Gates and the War that followed something must be said of the climate of those years.

With the year 2389 coming to a close the solar system was shrinking rapidly. The advent of more sophisticated propulsion systems – the Infiniti MK8 Cold Fusion Pulse Drive – however, addressed this issue in a most direct fashion. The MK8 actualized what had been theorized since the 20th century: hyperspace.

Within Sol System itself, movement from one end of the solar system to the other was attainable in less than a week, unheard of only fifty years earlier. Furthermore, the Infiniti Drive brought the nearest star to within a one-year reach. Colonization efforts time-lagged and slow but steady all the same reached out to Rigil Kentaurus – Alpha Centauri A – first. The Centauri Alpha 1 trinary star cluster proved to be a rich and viable system.

And the Terran Alliance laid claim to her first. The system became Centauri Alpha for navigational purposes and the first colony on the 5th position garden world became Terra Nova. It would one day transplant Earth as the center of the Alliance, but then it was simply the first of numerous colonies that Terra and her children would establish leading up to the dark time known as the Dominion of Man and the Terran Empire.

The Balance of Power had shifted in favor of the Terran’s again. With Faster Than Light technology being squarely in their hands and more importantly the infrastructure and resources to produce Fusion Pulse Drives on an unprecedented scale, the Terran Alliance established a monopoly. Any and all colonization efforts outside of Sol System would somehow be tied to their profit margin.

A short term advantage – as even the most stalwart optimist realized resource rich garden worlds would undoubtedly be discovered orbiting the distant stars – it was one the Alliance utilized to it’s fullest.

In the meantime, if the Progen wanted FTL engines for their warships, come to Terra. InfinitiCorp would cut you a deal, never mind the Jinquai unlocked the technology almost instantly. The Jinquai simply did not have Terran resources, a Terran labor-force, and most importantly, the Terran acumen for the Art of the Deal, as the expression within Terran culture persists to this day.

What followed was a period of exploration out to the nearest neighborhood of stars. In true factional fashion, each government took its own path.

The Jinquai, having improved upon the Infiniti Drive, reached out the furthest, spending the three-year traverse time to send a colonization effort the 41 light years to Capella in the Auriga constellation. There, in orbit around the radiant twin G5 and G0 stars, the Jinquai found a rich, resource abundant system complete with it’s own Garden World, a 6th position, Earth-like world complete with twin moons. Although the twin suns of Capella are theoretically dying stars, the systems around them are abundant mineral rich worlds, one even teeming with life and darker secrets.

Following on the heels of the Terrans and Jinquai, the Progen set out toward the Sirius binary system, some 8.6 light years distance from Earth covered in 18 months using the Infiniti MK9 Stellar Drive. There, the Progen explorers, supplemented by Terran and Jinquai scientists, found an equally mineral rich system. However, unlike Capella and Centauri Alpha, no natural garden worlds exist in orbit around the twin suns. Harsh, mineral rich worlds orbit the suns along with several magnificent gas giants. It is on the Moon of one of these gas giants – a 12th position worlds nearly twice the size of Jupiter – that the Progen find a home. They call their colony Tyrsis. The world is a frozen, harsh place suited to the Progen temperament.

Through the beginnings of the colonization effort beyond Sol System, the Terran Alliance exercised its economic superiority, pushing and pulling the other two factions against each other. The Jinquai had a resource rich star system to develop. But lacked the population base to effectively – and more importantly rapidly – develop outlying colonial holdings. The Progen had a barren and harsh star system to call Colony One, but it had mineral rich asteroids and moons and stellar material. But they lacked the industrial base to mount system-wide exploitation. Enter the Alliance, for a percentage, with terra-forming mecha and an administrative development force ready-made to turn even the most inhospitable planet into a paradise.

It was only natural that resentment followed on all counts.

The Star Gate and the Second Colonial War

History proved to be on the side of those who had called the War of Secession the First Colonial War. The Second defining event in what has molded the factions of humankind came on the heels of a discovery – The Star-Gate at Charon.

The Three Factions of mankind had established a sort of détente that only occasionally erupted into “border” skirmishes. Interstellar colonization was a generation old. Star drives had improved along with colonization and terra-forming techniques by all of the factions. Both the Progen and the Jinquai depended less and less on the Terran Alliance for colonization and industrial allegiance, although the Terrans remained the experts on system exploration and exploitation. And like water dowsers of the old times, the Terrans had an almost clairvoyant ability to find the richest worlds, the garden worlds.

Given the natural exigencies of competition, a state of Cold War existed between the factions.

The Jinquai held only marginally disputed control over the Outer Worlds, with the exception of the Kuiper asteroid belt, which the Terrans – specifically InfinitiCorp – claimed rights to. The Factions held cities, settlements, and embassies within their respective territories, but each definitely held sway over various parts of Sol System.

The Jinquai, retreating into themselves, became ever more xenophobic, more mysterious in their ways. They were convinced the Terrans practiced sabotage at every turn. They were equally convinced the Progen Republic was building for War, despite its military’s attention being largely directed at what was rumored to be growing into something of a large-scale civil uprising.

The Progen Republic – which scared both the Terrans and the Jinquai – controlled Mars and had a string of bases and colonies from Phobos to the Outer Worlds, with hidden and whispered of facilities located on the asteroids bisecting the solar system and the dark spaces between the star systems.

The Progen bred in ever increasing numbers, operating under what could only be viewed as the most aggressive of military build-ups. They had colonies in the Sirius system to populate and defend. Moreover, they were convinced the Terran Alliance was behind the growing strife within their society. Spy-games were played at every level, skirmishes occurred with increasing frequency, each side pushing the line just a little.

The Terran Alliance controlled Mother Earth and the Inner Worlds of Venus and Mercury, where Alliance automated resource collectors had found uses for the hot first position world and Venus, under the hand of slow terra-forming techniques, was being made into a relatively livable environ, within domed cities within the atmosphere.

Furthermore, the Terran Alliance expanded its colonization and resource development of the Sol System and the Centauri Alpha System at rates the other two factions could not keep pace with. The Terrans had an agenda: domination. They wanted it all. Not by force of arms, but by force of economics, of resource, and of sheer population.

And the Freeholds – the stations along the Trade Routes through the system and now outward toward the distant Colonies – bartered and traded and tried to ignore it all, remaining steadfastly neutral in factional dealings.

Through this Cold War, however, Trade existed. The Terrans had the food. The Terrans had Earth and Earth had certain resources that were not possible on any world in what has been called the Human Sphere of Influence – with the exception of Terra Nova, which the Terrans also held and which was a year behind the goings on in the Core.

The Progen had the bodies to work in the most inhospitable environments within the solar system. In frigid asteroids, deep within the core of mineral rich comets, Progen workers, genetically bred for the task and cybernetically augmented for survival, could out strip both Jinquai and Terran workers at just about any task. And with Piracy a growing threat, ships often felt it was worth the investment to hire a company of Progen warriors to supplement a ships security attachment.

The Jinquai had the Technology. In certain areas, gravitics, space-based engineering, quantum theories, dense matter theories, and the like, the Jinquai were the undisputed masters. If you wanted an orbital platform built, your best bet was to hire a Jinquai, no easy task as they were not the most willing when it came to the open exchange of knowledge. But the Terrans, who could negotiate the sell of anything to anyone under any conditions, managed to profit from and exploit Jinquai know-how to – by some estimates – raise head-and-shoulders above the two other Factions.

No Jinquai would admit to being caught in Terran machinations for they were a cagey and aloof peoples.

All in all the balance of power was tenuous at best.

Sol System had been carved up and now the struggling factions sought to do the same with the neighboring star systems. The only thing standing in the way of all-out chaos was the simple fact that even the nearest colony was a year away. Too long and too far for Alliance or The Jinquai or the Progen to consolidate into a true superpower head and shoulders above the others.

That was until the Discovery.

Fear of the Progen was at the heart of many ill-made decisions during those years. Terran operatives were fostering an internal uprising within the Republic, flaming the fires of those who wanted to break out of the genetic-casting system the Republic operated under. The Jinquai, tacitly aware of Terran interference, maintained a distant but watchful eye. They too feared that one day the Progen yoke might find it’s way around their collective necks.

However, they also seemed blinded to the lessons history had presented. Much like Earth Government before them, Jinquai caginess, coupled with an almost innate sense of racial superiority, led directly to the Second Colonial War, what some have called the Gate War.

The Gate War

The Jinquai were the first to discover the Star Gate. And from that moment forth it was decided at the highest level of the Jinquai government to keep – at least in the short term – discovery of the Gate a secret.

News of the discovery of a Star Gate spread throughout the whole of Jinquai space. Although the old masters that governed the Jinquai would not have it so, a great change was coming upon the human race. A shift in the Balance was at hand.

Jove City, the Jinquai capital, to this day is a magnificent sight to behold. It is a floating city hovering above Ganymede. It is one of the wonders of contemporary humankind. In the background is Jupiter, radiant and incredible. Off in the distance above Jupiter, between Ganymede, is the gigantic structure of a space station, complete with a constant ebb and flow of traffic: starships, cutters, frigates, all coming and going.

Merjan Kathrada, who held a position of some authority during this time, played a key role in the events leading to the War. Her Clan could trace it’s roots back to the original explorers from the Jinqui Maru, a fact that assured them a certain level in Jinquai society regardless of Caste or Profession.

She had been summoned to the Sephirum, the great Hall of State where the ruling body of the Jinquai meet to this very day to make Law and Govern their people. From the towering arched windows in the great rotunda can be seen the Lord of Planets: Jupiter.

The Cloister at Charon, above Pluto, had made the discovery. The Gate, already being called Charon’s Gate, was undoubtedly some sort of Star Gate, a stable wormhole cutting through space, folding from one point in the universe to another. The precise mechanism of how this was possible was at the crux of this meeting.

The Gate had been uncovered, imbedded as it was in the particulate matter of the asteroid belt, by a freak accident.

Or so it had seemed at the time.

Merjan Kathrada had stood fast in the company of the Guard awaiting the call to enter the Inner Chamber, pondering what path must be taken.

The call came. Huge doors opened silently. Merjan entered. The Circle of Masters was seated in semi-circle around a holographic display. Then, as now, they were the Nine Rulers of the Jinquai people, collectively called the 1st Sephira.

Merjan saw before her a holographic recording of the events that had only hours before unfolded at Charon, the moon of Pluto where the Gate was discovered.

A Progen battlecruiser, huge, black, tri-finned monolith bristling with weapons systems, is slicing through the darkness of space, a dense starfield behind it, a dense asteroid field in front of it.

The Progen war cruiser was called the Dauntless. She had disregarded Jinquai sovereign space before, earning her a reputation as something to be watched with a wary eye. In that respect, the Progen have throughout their history been consistent.

The Progen ship was pursuing a pirate ship. Or so the official account went. The pirate ship, however, was unknown to the Council.

The only hope for the pirate ship lay in the thousands of objects that make up the Kuiper Belt, just beyond the orbital path of Neptune. The pirate ship, small, sleek, and fast as it was, slipped into the asteroid field.

The Progen captain gave chase, crossing the border into Jinquai space. A fusillade of objects sprayed out of the battlecruiser’s gun ports into the Belt. Fusion mines.

However, the Progen captain erred in his judgment.

Fusion mines a-port and aft of the pirate ship went off like wild fire. A smaller asteroid was hit, its rocky, icy surface splintering and sending debris off into a million directions. A passing, ancient comet was blasted off course, leaving the pirate ship exposed.

The comet tore into the side of another, larger asteroid. Incredibly, the collision triggered some sort of explosion.

Where there had been an asteroid there was now an object. Rings, floating in space, still partially encrusted with rock and ice, came to life, spinning, aligning themselves to form a three-layered ring-cluster.

What Merjan and The Nine saw before them was a Stargate!

The rings of the Gate had all but aligned into a perfect circle. In the center of the rings fire had ignited. Energy. Fields of plasma held together and in place by this object.

The Progen warship unleashed a second volley after the pirate ship. The engines of the sleek pirate vessel ignited and it took off into whatever this thing was that had revealed itself.

This Gate at Charon.

The Progen captain ordered a second volley, seeing the pirate ship heading full throttle into the maw of whatever those rings were. But he had made another critical error. Unexploded fusion mines were struck by the second fusillade.

The holograph faded out.

A tall, gaunt man, draped all in black, stepped forward. He was the First Emissary at the time, whom Merjan herself later succeeded. He informed Merjan that she had been selected to lead an Expeditionary Order through the Star Gate. She was an Initiate of the Black Guard of the 9th Sephira during those years. She was a Psionic, one of those Jinquai gifted with telepathy, empathy, and a broad array of other abilities. She was also a Priest, devoted to the safe guarding of the Jinquai culture above all else.

From the standpoint of the Jinquai Council, these factors made her an ideal candidate. From the standpoint of history, such nationalistic fervor was simply asking for disaster.

With the passion of the zealot Merjan accepted her mission and went with great haste to the spaceport above Jove City.

Before Merjan was the Jinquai expeditionary Fleet forming up as the rings of the Gate aligned. The command was given and a dozen ships crossed into the unknown.

The Jinquai sent this expedition through the Gate without alerting the other factions.

However, the Terran Alliance, whose operatives then as now were everywhere, knew about the Gate even before the general populace of the Jinquai. But the Terran’s watched and waited to see what the Jinquai expedition turned up.

The Progen, however, when they finally learned of the Star Gate at Charon were not as reasonable. That came later.

The Taurus Alpha System

Space folded back in an instantaneous wave. The great expeditionary force dislodged through the Gate at the other end into a new star system, new space. A dozen ships cut into real space, forming up as probes were immediately launched into what was then a strange and uncharted system, readings taken during the jump-event were analyzed and long-range manned shuttles dispatched.

Merjan looked out into this new space from the bridge of her ship the Shintaro Maru. At once a dataflow from advance probes began to flow back to her.

It did not take long for the Jinquai to discover their location: Taurus 1 a.k.a. TMR-1, (Taurus Molecular Ring); binary system, 450 light years distance from Sol. They renamed the system Taurus Alpha.

Furthermore, the system contained – as it does today – some 12 planets, 120 moons, and thousands of asteroids, comets, and planetoids scattered in four distinct belts bisecting and orbiting between the two suns.

A Garden World was located in the heart of the solar system orbiting around the two suns. It is the fifth position world in this binary system.

From her command deck aboard the Shintaro Maru Merjan issued orders. As other exploratory cruisers fanned out through the solar system, colony ships were to establish a beachhead colony on the Garden World – which is already being called Terra Alpha.

Merjan chose this name knowing full well it would be an affront to the Terran’s when word finally reached them. As much of an affront as the fact that their warp-drives had been made potentially obsolete. Four hundred and fifty light years had just been crossed in the twinkling of an eye. Four hundred and fifty light years!

Merjan, who held all the Pride, all the Arrogance, and all the Superiority that was the worst of the noble Jinquai, saw the Balance of Power shift again and this time her people sat atop the Throne.

Other expeditionary teams scoured the binary system, sending a constant flow of information about new discoveries back to Merjan, who wasted no time taking control of the Terra Alpha colony development process.

Although a Garden World, Terra Alpha exists in something of a primordial stage. It was – and still is – deficient in a number of minerals. However those necessary resources were discovered on the moon of the Mars-like sixth planet – Taurus Alpha VI . This planet was renamed Fenris and the moon Fenris Prime. Merjan, wanting to explore first hand, lead the team that is to establish a mining facility there.

During the course of that operation, she came across what appeared to be a buried city. It was sunken deep within the frozen, cavernous crust of Fenris and was huge, with causeways big enough to navigate a ship through. It showed signs of having lived through some type of conflict.

That exploration also led to discovery that some of the automated defense mechanisms were still active.

Alive was the key word. The devices set in place were semi-sentient, cybernetic creatures. Powerful and aggressive. These creatures were man-sized and reminiscent of one-eyed, free-floating cybernetic manta rays, swarmed over the first-contact scout units, dismantling the deployed craft, consuming the organics inside – the explorers.

The defense units were eventually overwhelmed, but the price for the learning curve was grave. One of the surviving members of the initial exploration party gave them a name: scaracen – after an ancient and mythological Egyptian creature said to serve Anubis as guardian to the underworld.

After the misstep on the planet (Fenris), a NavComm Beacon was established in the outer system. Shortly after the system was brought on-line, a distress call went out from the Beacon – called Nova Beacon – indicating they were under attack.

Merjan ordered a rescue ship to investigate. When they arrived they found that the facility had indeed been attacked. There were hostiles somewhere within the system.

Raiders attacked the rescuers, taking them by surprise. But these attackers were beaten off the first time, if not outright destroyed.

What this turned out to be were pirates who had come through the Gate – the pirates the Progen Captain had been pursuing.

For nearly a year Merjan and her explorers fought these pirates as they learned the secrets of the Gate. Eventually, discovering the rudimentary method of how to control – tune – the Star Gate, they were able to return to Sol System.

What they returned to was War.

The Second Colonial War

Nearly a year had passed without a single word from the Jinquai about their discovery. The Terran Alliance, made aware of the Gate’s existence by operatives of the House Winthrop, dispatched a delegate to Jove City demanding inclusion in research, development, and exploitation of this alien technology discovered, as it had been, within territory that was technically still the property of InfinitiCorp.

The First Emissary refused. The Terran’s reacted with a counter offer. The First Emissary refused again, claiming that the Gate was within Jinquai space.

The Terran Delegation gracefully and under all the pomp and circumstance of visiting dignitaries withdrew to Earth. Shortly thereafter, all Terran citizens residing within Jinquai space were called home. Shortly after that, the warships of Earth descended upon Ganymede for the second time in the history of humanity’s exploration of space.

The Jinquai, not unprepared this time, met the onslaught. Alliance and Republic ships broke out of hyperspace above the gravity well of Jupiter, particle weapons scouring the domed cities of Ganymede. Jinquai defense grids powered up and came online erecting near impenetrable shields over their cities. The Progen, however, were Masters of War.

From his Supercarrier the Achilles, Progen Fleet Admiral Anjuren Khan launched his drop ships onto the surface of Ganymede. Giant walkers deployed from the Dropships, along with Terran built mining drillships – basically giant man-controlled drills in the form of terrestrial vehicles. Terran sappers manned the drillships and began to cut under the Jinquai defensive shields.

From his Destroyer the AS Valiant Captain Hannibal Winthrop led his Battlegroup – a joint Terran/Progen force – to Charon and the Gate itself.

There, veiled by Jinquai wraith engine, the young commander Mordane held his cruisers in tight formation, ready to spring on the approaching enemy.

As the Valiant cut into the outer fringes of the Neptunian gravity well, the ships of his battle group formed up in his wake.

Mordane’s cruisers – a dozen of the dagger-shaped rapier-class that the Jinquai favored during those years – appeared as if shimmering into being over a burning horizon in some burning desert.

What happened next was one of the most brutal and violent spaceborne battles that man has fought against man.

Winthrop with his Terran ships, stealthy and well armed, pummeled Mordane’s contingent. However, Mordane was a crafty warrior. He led Winthrop into the Belt, and much as the Dauntless before, the Valiant found its bulk a hindrance in the great field of asteroids. Rock after dense frozen rock battered her hull. One ship after another was crippled or destroyed by the swift and stealthy Jinquai cruisers, capable of slipping in and out of gravity wells with murderous efficiency.

Finally, seeing the futility of his plight, the Star Gate within his range, Winthrop turned his destroyer toward Charon’s Gate. In that instant Mordane realized Winthrop’s intention.

The Valiant’s engines ignited, cold fusion pushed the massive bulk of the Terran behemoth toward the side of the rings that defined the Gate.

Ramming speed.

Mordane was too far. But as the Valiant neared the Gate, her engines signature reading a power surge as she forced them to go critical, the Shintaro Maru appeared through the Gate. From the bridge of her command ship, without waiting for clarification, going on nothing but instinct and prescience, Merjan ordered her gunnery officer to target the Valiant’s engines and fire.

Particle energy found its mark. The explosion the Valiant created blasted a hole in the mass of the Kuiper Belt that is present to this day. The mushroom cloud expanded in the vacuum…core material deep in the heart of the rocks of the belt melted, fused into slag, Mordane’s ship was blasted out of the Belt, but survived, shields holding. The Shintaro Maru survived as well, shielded by the dissipating quantum field of the Gate.

What might have ended there, turned into three years of bloody warfare. The Terran Alliance outraged by the death of a favored and powerful scion of one of it’s noblest Houses, took the affront to heart. A sort of national pride overcame the otherwise reasonable Terrans.

No side wished to give quarter. No side wished to concede defeat to the other. The Second Colonial War lasted for 3 very long and very bitter years.

During the course of the War control of Charon switched hands at least four times. The Terrans, during the time they held control of the Gate and the Cloister at Charon, were the first to discover how to synthesize the spacefold technology of the Gate. At least partially. To this very day the secrets of the hundreds of Static Gates that have been found elude our collective efforts.

The Progen took the Gate from the Terrans. Specifically a Progen Supercarrier operating under the direct command of Anjuren Khan – who would later become Primarch of the Republic – took the Gate and held the Gate the longest.

No Terran prisoners made it to the Progen Prison Camps when Charon’s Gate fell. No Terran outcries of betrayal and breaking of treaty were acknowledged. The War had suddenly taken a turn down the dark path that all wars eventually follow.

It was from this same Progen House of Khan that other horrors of the War occurred. Shortly after the Progen took control of the Gate, they seized control of Jove City. With a number of her planetside satellite cities under Alliance/Progen control, Jove City, floating above the moon, had never conceived it possible she would fall. But the Progen – as has been stated – are nothing if not resourceful in matters of War.

Led by Dahaka Khan, Anjuran’s elder brother, a small, mobile force of Progen warriors, outfitted in their mechanized battle armor, penetrated the city from below, withstanding the gravitational forces exerted by the platforms supporting the city, these soldiers pierced the soft underbelly of Jove City – a weakness since addressed – and stole into the City. Caught unawares, this small force of less than two-dozen seized the Ministry of Defense, gaining control of the inner sanctum that controlled Jove City’s defense grid.

It was no less than bloody, savage hand-to-hand fighting in the very Halls of State. And although the Jinquai Warrior Caste are a force to be reckoned with, the elegance of their style of personal combat was no match against the unadulterated primal brutality of the Progen.

What followed was something the Jinquai have sworn will never happen again: Occupation. For a year – the last full year of the War – Dahaka Khan held Jove City and many of the other cities on Ganymede. He set up Camps, he initiated pacification campaigns, he earned the nickname Al’ Mu’azib – The Tormentor.

His actions, some believe, were what finally brought a semblance of sanity back to Alliance. The Treaty with the Progen broken, the Jinquai facing certain annihilation at the hands of the Progen if left unassisted, the Terrans sued for peace.

What finally brought the governing factions of humanity to an armistice of sorts was in part due to the fact that the Terran’s had unlocked the secret to creating small, disposable Gate generators. In truth, what did in fact actually end the War, as before, was the Terran realization that to continue was to blast mankind back into the stone ages.

Lord Galen Winthrop, who sat at the head of the Alliance Parliament as Prime Minister, sent the urgent message to the exiled government of the Jinquai: Peace. Let there be an end to this insanity. The Jinquai acting First Emissary, Merjan Kathrada, whose actions had taken from Galen his own son, conceded that Peace must be achieved. But as long as the Progen held Jove City, as long as the horrors visited upon them by one such as Dahaka Khan and his cohorts went unanswered, she felt this War must be played out to its inevitable conclusion.

It is said that heroes are born out of necessity. And so they may well be. Galen Winthrop, aboard his personal yacht, left the safe confines of Earth to Mars to speak personally with the Primarch of the Progen Republic. He was a moderate. But he was held in the thrall of a powerful Senate who ultimately saw the Progen as victorious in this War.

Galen spoke to the aging Primarch about children; Progen and Terran children who would never see the Stars because their parents had blasted themselves into the stone ages.

So the Primarch, in stark opposition to what he had been genetically engineered to be, flew with his personal cadre to Jove City to reason with Dahaka Khan, who to many was a Hero.

The Primarch arrived at Occupied Jove City and was himself appalled by what he saw. The Progen were not a barbarous people, are not a barbarous people. There is Honor in War and Conquest. There is no Honor in torture and savagery.

The Primarch met with Khan in the Great Hall where only months before The Nine had directed the Jinquai War Effort. The Primarch cast about the great circular chamber, up at the spectacular view of Jupiter as it rose overhead. The Guards were ordered to leave the two men alone to talk.

No one is certain what truly transpired in that chamber. No one save an aged former Primarch, who left his post under a veil of scandal, his armor still painted with the blood of Dahaka Khan. And much more, the blood of the 2-million Jinquai Dahaka slaughtered in his 9-months in Jove City, over half the population.

Whatever happened, the Primarch won an ending to the War.

In truth, even the Progen had wearied of the War.

A moderate Primarch took control of the Republic; a gentrified centrist who thought to sue for Peace now would ensure victory later. The Progen listened to what the Terran Delegate had to say. The Primarch’s opposite number in the Jin’Quarum, Merjan Kathrada, also listened to the Terran Delegate’s proposal: joint administration of the Star Gate. Reparations to be paid. War Crimes to be addressed by joint Tribunal.

Furthermore, with the Terran’s having learned a measure of how to replicate the Gate-effect artificially, the point of the War had in essence been made moot for the most part.

Merjan Kathrada, who hated the Progen and hated the Terrans, nonetheless led the Jin’Quarum in the decision to sue for Peace. She had no choice, really, even had she wanted revenge, the Jinquai could not give any more of it’s people in this War effort.

It was the old vulnerability. When a Terran city on Earth fell, the people took to the outskirts, to the wilderness, to a new place. When a Jinquai city fell, whoever did not reach an escape pod was a body floating in space or frozen on the surface of a cold moonscape. The Jinquai simply did no have the population base to fight this war of attrition that the Terran’s had.

So it was agreed. And with a word shot via masercomm from one end of Sol to the other, the bloodiest War in the history of humankind came to an end.

Aftermath of War

Three things had happened as a result of the War. Each faction had lost many, many people in the Core System (Sol). During the Reconstruction, each Faction moved its production bases to the Pre-Gate colonies they’d established decades earlier. Now linked by stable Gates built and refined in the first and only joint effort by the scientists of all three Factions, these Pre-Gate colonies became the “temporary” centers of factional power. From these respective systems, exploration and colonization efforts could spring forth.

Taurus Alpha became the one and only jointly held territory. Acheron’s Gate linked to Charon’s Gate on Sol System. None of the man-made Gates could link directly into Sol. This became one of the First Charter’s of the Star Gate administrative body. This was included in the Charter as a precaution to prevent any Faction from mounting an attack into Sol system by opening a gate and dropping an entire fleet over any given world.

Therefore the Pre-Gate colonies would link to Taurus Alpha and from their passage to Sol.

This was possible because during the War the Jinquai colonist that Merjan had left behind learned the rudiments of Gate manipulation. It became widely held that these Star Gates were all linked to form a Highway of sorts, not unlike the Highways of Ancient Rome. This theory would later bear out for wherever an Ancient Star Gate was discovered, ruins of some lost civilization followed. Whether civilizations of the original builders of the Gate’s or civilizations of races that discovered how to use the Gates like the humans is debated even now at the great universities of the Imperium.

Finally, or rather firstly, a governing body was established to act as arbitrator of future conflicts and security for the integrity of the Trade Routes, Gates, and the like. This organization was dubbed the Solamnic Security Treaty Organization – SolSec.

Later, much later, SolSec would lead to the rise of the Dominion of Man and the Terran Empire. But that is a discussion for another time.

THE SOL FEDERATION OF WORLDS

OVERVIEW

The Sol Security Treaty Organization was born out of the ashes of the Second Colonial War. The Organization functions along the same lines as the United Nations being the arbitration Organization between the three super-powers, the Frontier League and the loose confederation of Highports. From the time directly following the Second Colonial War to First Contact, the Treaty Organization evolved into a full-fledged Federation of governments. In time, it was simply referred to as the Sol Federation.

The Federation is a formal joint effort body established on the Moon in Tycho Dome with a triumvirate ruling council seated above a parliament with representatives from each colony in Sol and the outlying systems.

A defensive arm of the Federation exists known as the Sol Security Force, or simply SolSec. Beneath SolSec are the Peace Keepers. Much like their forefathers, these contemporary Peace Keepers are comprised of detached units from the Jinquai Commonwealth, The Terran Alliance, The Progen Republic, and security personnel from the various Highport Authorities. While serving under the banner of the federation they wear SolSec uniforms, assimilate into the SolSec rank structure and go through training geared specifically for SolSec and Peace Keeper missions. The Federation has directed SolSec to utilize the best military practices offered by the three member governments.

An elite arm of the Peace Keepers known as the First Watch provides security for the Halls of State at Tycho Dome as well as make up the security entourage of the members of the Council.

The primary mission of SolSec and the Peace Keepers is to maintain the integrity of the Spaceways and to assure the security of the Star Gates, whether manmade or Artifact.

Furthermore, SolSec provides a voice of reason for the handling of factional disputes. SolSec is charged with handling conflicts among the member factions, arbitrating disputes over trade treaties, mineral and territorial rights, and so forth. All of these actions are geared toward preventing another interplanetary war.

The Peace Keepers are further charged with providing security for member delegations as well as security for the Council as a whole. The Peace Keepers can also be dispatched to areas where conflict is brewing and will maintain a strong presence until the situation has been successfully arbitrated.

The Federation’s Charter does not, however, call for Peace Keeper interference in internal matters. The Peace Keepers provide safe travel along the Trade Routes, Police the Frontier, and so forth. They do not, for example, interfere in civil strife on Progen Colonies or quell riots on Terran holdings.

HISTORY

In recent years the Federation has grown in both political pull and organizational complexity. This has come about mainly because of increased tension between the Progen Republic and the Terran Alliance along what SolSec has designated The Frontier. The Frontier is a region of space toward the galactic core where a cluster of habitable star systems have recently been linked via the great Star Gate chain and numerous abandoned settlements have been discovered.

Furthermore, a string of runaway space stations has sprung up in what has been dubbed Contested Space. These Stations, linked to the older, more stable Highports along the main Trade Routes, have banned together to form a Docking Guild. Using technology bartered from whomever they can, they’ve become sort of waystations in deep space. As such, they have the ability to charge exorbitant docking fees and service fees for retrofitting and so forth. This has caused no small amount of tension between them and the three super-powers.

Additionally, the Progen have blatantly ignored the sovereignty of a number of these Guild aligned Stations, docking their great warships and essentially taking control of the station until they’re done. This has prompted more than a few clashes between Progen and SolSec forces.

From the intrusion onto non-aligned stations, it was no great leap for Progen warships to start landing on the colony worlds of the Frontier League. Although ostensibly under the banner of neutrality, the Frontier League has no great love for the Republic. Whereas the stations of the Docking Guild might not seek SolSec assistance in handling recalcitrant Progen captains, the Frontier League – with a seat on the Council – has been quick to call in SolSec cruisers to intervene.

These recent interventions by SolSec on behalf of the Stations and the League have been the source of some consternation.

This has sparked a flood of additional problems as Progen units – usually hunting pirates, dissidents and other elements it deems enemy to its State – have essentially bullied their way onto these stations seeking individuals trying to find refuge and asylum.

For the Guild Delegations part at Tycho Dome, they have accused the Progen of encroaching upon the sovereignty of individual Highports in blatant acts of Treaty violation.

Because the original SolSec Charter had not included provisions for this specific type of eventuality, SolSec has had to push through a number of resolutions strengthening its position. Whereas the Jinquai and Terran Alliance have felt no clear and present danger from these developments, Progen posturing has increased significantly as a result.

ORGANIZATION

Federation organization is relatively simple. There is a ruling Council of Three who have voting rights. These are delegates who are appointed by their respective governments – one each for the Three Powers. A fourth member of the Council, who is the ad hoc representative of the loose confederation of Highports – The Traders Guild – is present but does not have direct voting rights, something that many believe will change soon as Highports spring up along ever expanding Trade and Colonization Corridors. The fifth – and most recent addition to the Council – is the representative of the Frontier League, a very loose confederation of independent colonies established by private interests from every faction outside of Faction Space.

A General Secretary – who is one of the three delegates, chosen on a 5-year rotating basis, chairs the Council itself. The role of the General Secretary is simply an administrative one, his or her vote carries the same weight as the other two.

Each member of the Council answers to a parliament comprised of governors and colonial leaders from each faction’s colonies. This layer was instituted to insure that none of the minor colonies lost a voice in the exploitation and exploration of Space.

As a whole, the Federation has a number of internal divisions and organizations tasked with various functions. There are divisions charged with monitoring resource allocation within the super-powers. Another arm deals with the maintaining of the navigational beacon system – usually delegated to one or another of the Highport Authorities. There is a criminal investigations group tasked with tracking pirates and trans-factional crime syndicates. Another – recently formed unit – deals with First Contact protocols.

The largest division of SolSec, however, deals with the administration and charting of the Star Gate Network, whether manmade or discovered. This organization is called Overlord.

After the first Ancient Site is disclosed, SolSec established an additional body to oversee the dissemination of ancient artifacts and technology. This has grown into a monumental task as privateers, pirates, and free booters make discoveries and scavenge for tech to sell off to the highest bidder.

The Stargate Administrative Organization – euphemistically called Overlord – is designed to monitor stargate use as well as monitor colonization paths along stargate routes. Overlord is also charged with the establishing and maintaining of Stargate navigational beacons, waystations, and security.

Overlord activities reached fever pitch when a rash of stargate sabotage attempts occurred just prior to First Contact with the alien species later known as the V’rix.

MILITARY

The Peace Keepers are joint-forces para-military unit comprised of representative divisions from each of the three super-powers as well as the Highport Authorities. Units are comprised of Low-Orbit and terrestrial elements as well as space-faring interplanetary star fleets.

The Peace Keeper’s primary mission is the policing of the Space Ways. They are a rapid response force capable of coming to the aid of nascent colonies along the Frontier as well as rendering aid to crippled and lost ships.

The Peace Keepers also provide the security for member nation delegates as they travel from colony to colony or within Tycho Dome itself. Terrorism and piracy are a constant threat to the delegates and Peace Keepers are never lacking for work.

Peace Keepers are also charged with humanitarian relief efforts such as the rebuilding and relocation project SolSec mounted to aid one of the non-aligned colonies on Mimnos following a devastating sub-surface worldwide eruption on the Saturn moon.

In recent years, as border skirmishes between the Terran Alliance and the Progen Republic have been on the rise, The Peace Keepers have been on hand to prevent fighting from escalating and spilling over into non-involved colonies and the Highports. This has led to an unprecedented number of Jinquai personnel within Peace Keeper units.

Once Overlord was up and running, Peace Keeper units were also dispatched to the new navigational beacons and waystations. They immediately assumed a new role as pirate hunters and a post-modern coast guard, chasing down smugglers, gunrunners, and black market tech-runners.

In terms of impact on how things run in the E&B Universe, Operations and Intelligence are the Directorates that matter. Each Directorate wears its own colors and has its own “flavor”. Intelligence operates like every intelligence organization that has existed from the dawn of creation. Black shadowy figures that live by there own rules. Their uniforms, demeanor, Overlord spaceships, facilities, etc. should all have the look of things that sterile, cold, dangerous, distant.

The Shadow Cabinet

“And the Lord asked the man who was possessed, ‘What is your name?’ And he answered, ‘Legion. For we are many.’

The Shadow Cabinet operates as a Shadow State comprised of secret enclaves interlinked throughout human space. A psionic web created and maintained by Psi-talents from each faction links this State, maintaining its secrecy. This psionic-web is called the Index. Each entry into the Index is erected and maintained by a 1st Order Telepath working within each enclave. This 1st Order Telepath is euphemistically referred to as a “Librarian”. The Librarian is the life-blood of this Shadow State. Each Librarian is linked via psionic rapport with the Inner Circle of the Cabinet, giving them almost instant awareness of events taking place across the human sphere.

What is the Shadow Cabinet?

There were those – the most powerful, the most influential – who recognized from the beginning that a change was coming upon the whole of mankind whether Progen, Jinquai, or Terran. The existence of a Star Gate, an unimaginable Alien technology, so close to Earth, put forever to rest the question of whether humanity was alone in the heavens.

More importantly, the implication was that not only were humans not alone, our neighbors had dropped by to visit our place in the stars.

The obvious questions then became who were these visitors to Sol system that left behind a device of such incredible power? But the most important question, the one that the Jinquai in all their wisdom had not asked – or refused to voice – was would the creators of these Gates return? And if so, would they come in peace or as conquerors.

This concern came from the highest levels of each Faction.

In the wisdom of this concern it was decided that the Sol Federation, for all its altruistic policing of colonized space and its role as arbitrator and peacekeeper would only be a stopgap in a worse case scenario.

When and where the decision was made cannot be accurately determined. But those responsible set in motion the path that would one day lead to the Dominion of Man.

A Shadow Cabinet was created, a government behind the government. It was comprised of the most influential people of each Faction including the Station Guild and members of the Frontier League. Their agenda, a slow and steady moving of the factions together with the eventual goal of Reunification for the entirety of mankind under a single government. The purpose of Reunification? To stand as a unified Power in the face of any potential alien threat.

To the Jinquai Masters, sliding into shadow and secrecy, draped in their black robes, listening to the echo of the stars, it was not a question of if but when First Contact would occur.

To the Progen Praetors, bristling with their prosthetics, linked through direct encephalic interface to the Collective, overseeing the creation of the next generation of Warrior Caste, there was no doubt that when First Contact occurred it would be bathed in fire and blood.

To those Terrans who had the stomach to face this grim future, it was obvious from the very beginning. No species would abandon something as powerful as a Star Gate. There were only two possible answers as to why these devices were left floating untouched in Space. Both ended in genocide and conquest.

In terms of how the Shadow Cabinet affects the universe at large, they are the black ships that appear at the edge of sensor range. They are the secret bases that appear one day on the fringes of a newly discovered Alien ruin then disappear the next.

The Shadow Cabinet has it’s own ships, it’s own army, it’s own resources. They control and guide the collective consciousness of each and every faction in subtle and not so subtle ways and those who stumble upon their existence inevitably disappear.

The only face of the Shadow Cabinet comes in the form of Lady de Winter . She is a Terran trained by the Jinquai in metapsionic disciplines. She travels aboard her yacht – The Andromeda – tending to the business of the Cabinet: spying, sabotage, manipulation. She is never more than a single jump from reinforcements. She will often use the unsuspecting to further her ends and the ends of the Cabinet. Her primary sphere of interest is the cataloguing and acquisition of any and all Ancient technology.

The Andromeda – this ship should be as unique looking as possible. Like all Shadow Cabinet craft, it is sleek, black, and aerodynamic. Armaments are not readily apparent, folding out of nacelles and the like when in combat mode. The ship is a marriage of Jinquai, Terran, and Ancient technology.

NETWORK 7

Net 7 is the only communications, media, virtual network that spans the whole of Federation Space. Linked by a series of relay stations at the nexus point of Static Gates, signals are sent from point to point through Gate Space like any ship. Once bounced into Real Space, MASSUS Net picks up the signals and boosts them using maser comm to in-system satellite relays.

Miscellaneous

It should be noted that SolSec starships and uniforms have a distinct styling. The Sol Federation is the blueprint for an Imperial Power in the making. Decades off and beyond the scope of E&B, nonetheless SolSec and the Federation should suggest a certain totalitarianism.

The Red Dragon

The Red Dragon is the name given to the most powerful crime syndicate within Terran society if not the entire human sphere. The Red Dragon is a highly organized outfit that closely resembles the old Chinese Tongs from centuries past. In point of fact, Red Dragon’s traditional seat of power is still Hong Kong, where it has existed for a thousand years trafficking in everything from opium and heroin to illegal biogenetics and stolen Jinquai esoteria.

The Red Dragon has ties to just about every pirate that plies the spaceways of Sol System, often supplying information, arms, and bodies to brutal Captains such as the legendary Miguel Chavez and Jonus Temple. The only Pirate clan to refuse business with Red Dragon is Faulkenberg and his Clan. They are independents to the core. This has caused them to be considered enemies of the Red Dragon.

When the colonization effort through the star-gates hits full swing, the Red Dragon is there to capitalize wherever possible. Once long buried cities containing ancient – and often unique – artifacts start cropping up along star-gate routes, the Red Dragon becomes the premiere source of black market ancient technology and ancient artifacts.

Although the Red Dragon Triad will hire its services out to the highest bidder in certain matters, they are the quintessential crime syndicate. They run every racket that they can from illegal gambling at certain Highports, to prostitution, narcotrafficking, techtrafficking, piracy, kidnapping, resource jacking, etc. etc. and so on.

Because of the nature of Red Dragon organization they are more dangerous to nascent colonies and space travelers than most pirates.

As a by-product of Terran crime, Alliance has the most thorough and sophisticated criminal investigation apparatus in the whole of the human sphere.

Cont..

Red Dragon Organization

It should be noted that the Red Dragon operates like any House within Alliance having its own fleet of ships, style of dress and manner. Red Dragon ships all display the Red Dragon emblem, two dragons stylized in a yin/yang configuration.

The Paxis Movement

The Paxis Movement – members of the Movement being called Paxists – is the brainchild of a single deviant alpha-class Progen named Dr. Kalif Rashid.

Centered on the Progen colonies on Mimnos and above Saturn and Uranus, the Paxis Movement has grown from a few deviant Progen clones to a full scale revolution. The Movement is a radical separatist faction that utilizes terrorist techniques to achieve its goal, which is ultimately secession from the Republic. What began as an outcry of rage from the Spandau Clone Banks has swept through the Republic in one violent wave after another.

In Progen society, clones and free-born citizens who do not conform to prescribed perimeters are looked upon in a manner similar to how the criminally insane were perceived at one time in man’s sordid history. Manageable deviants are confined and studied by Progen scientists seeking to understand how and why the progenesis process failed in a particular case.

Other, less manageable deviants are sent to Terminus Minor, an asteroid with the belt bisecting the solar system. The facility, ostensibly a Progen training base, is little more than a concentration camp where the impure – deviants – are “put to sleep”.

A secondary function of the Movement is as a sort of Underground Railroad. No one is forced to join once they are liberated. Many – the old, the very young, the infirm – are moved out of Progen space.

Refugees appear throughout the Sol system. However, for the sheer humanitarian based nature of the Jinquai, most make their way to the Outer Worlds. Those who have traveled to the Alliance have had a less successful time assimilating and have formed Progen “ghettos” in many major Terran cities.

Still others join various criminal organizations. Few make as efficient soldiers as a Progen Warrior.

In recent years the Movement has mushroomed into a full-scale rebellion with Rashid’s organization receiving backing in both weapons and money from Terran operatives working to destabilize the Progen Republic. As well as pirates, criminal syndicates, and others.

Just shortly after the loss of Captain D’kans ship while in pursuit of the Nagato Maru, Rashid launches a full-scale assault against Progen outposts throughout the Saturn and Uranus corridors. This leads to five years of violent terrorist attacks by the Movement until they are finally hunted down and slaughtered to within a handful just prior to the start of the Progen embargo at Charon’s Gate.

Rashid manages to escape through the star-gate to one of the systems that the Progen eventually colonizes. He and his remaining loyalists – with the aid of InfinitiCorp support – operate guerilla raids against Progen exploration units. (Rashid’s role is similar to the pirates who harassed the Jinquai colonists).

Jinquai

Clan Ravenlock

This Clan is the most militant among the clans. Most members of the clan belong to the warrior caste and dominate the 4th Sephira. However, there are individuals from other castes who have pledged allegiance to this clan such as Par Moran, the Jinquai acolyte the 1st Sephira chooses to go through the Gate to “keep tabs” on Mordane and his Black Circle cadre. This clan has a tradition of selflessly serving the caste and the Sephirum with honor and distinction, if not always by following the rules. It is not unusual for one of their number to bend the rules to achieve a goal.

Clan Aragotha

This Clan marks an arcane hybridization of the spirit of the religious caste and the methods of the warrior caste. Members of the clan more closely resemble warrior-monks than the pure philosophers and illuminators the majority of the religious caste would have them be. On the other hand they are too esoteric for the tastes of most within the warrior caste. This Clan has a long history dating back to the founding of the Jinquai society. They have always walked the razor edge between what is accepted and tolerated by society as a whole. For this reason many members of the clan shun inclusion in the Sephirum, preferring to make their own path. Those that do join the Sephirum find their way inevitably to the 9th Sephira. Mordane is a member of this clan.

Crime in Jinquai society does exist although the texture of Jinquai crime is very different from crime within the other societies. There is even something that resembles a criminal organization and it is called the Cenovar.

The Cenovar

The Cenovar is the name ascribed to a “criminal” organization within Jinquai Society. Members of this organization come from all clans, all castes, and all walks of Jinquai life. The leadership of the Cenovar, however, is comprised solely of rogue telepaths. It is for this reason that the Jinquai have failed to discover much of what the Cenovar are about.

The Cenovar is essentially a college of Jinquai who pursue what the Sephirum has deemed forbidden knowledge. These are the Jinquai for whom Science and the pursuit of Knowledge are an absolute to be achieved at all costs, regardless of so-called moral implications.

There is a certain mystique around them as well. They are analogous to Druids or Wizards of old in terms of how they are perceived in Jinquai society at large. They are half myth and legend, half folktale. But they do exist, like post-modern Templars. One irrefutable fact regarding the Cenovar is their technology is far in advance of the rest of any human society and to achieve their ends, they will barter with pirates, crime syndicates, or whomever. This has resulted in the odd case of one or another renegade in the beyond being equipped with some device that gives them the edge.

Prior to the discovery of the Gates, the Cenovar were an annoyance. A dangerous annoyance, but not a force to be feared. Once Ancient artifacts and ancient technology began to filter into Sol System and the Outer System Colonies (the Frontier as it is eventually called) the Cenovar grows in might. They essentially take over the black market Ancient Tech scene as other factions – pirates, crime syndicates – simply fail to understand what they find half the time.

THE FRONTIER LEAGUE

OVERVIEW

The Frontier League is the name given to the collection of colonies that have sprung up independent of the main factions. Located along the spiral arm and connected by a series of Ancient Gates, the League consists of some seven systems with new systems being discovered and colonized every cycle. However, the oldest of the League colonies was founded before the 2nd War by a joint Terran/Progen/Jinquai effort using an early version of the Infiniti stardrive.

There are seven star systems containing over twenty colonies that have united into a loose joint defense League. Beyond the considerations of mutual defense, each member colony of this confederation is completely autonomous.

HISTORY

The History of the Frontier League begins with the introduction of the hyper drive. With the year 2389 coming to a close Sol System was shrinking rapidly. The advent of more sophisticated propulsion systems – the Infiniti MK8 Cold Fusion Pulse Drive – however, addressed this issue in a most direct fashion. The MK8 actualized what had been theorized since the 20th century: hyperspace.

The drive was the product of Terran ingenuity. Dr. Justin Winter, a temporal physicist at the top of his field, is the father of jump – or hyper drive – technology. While working on star core gas expansion principles at the Star Clipper Station just beyond the orbit of Mercury, Dr. Winter, utilizing Reimannian extrapolations of the Special Theory, came up with the theoretical equation to bypass real-space by riding the crests of gravitational nodes. This coupled with the break through of stable cold fusion generation by one Dr. Indara Kobe of Tadakatsu-Obata, paved the way to the Infiniti MK I CF PULSE Hyper Drive.

Eight generations and one year later the MK8 – the first commercial Drive – hit the market and forever changed the face of human exploration of space.

Within Sol System itself, movement from one end of the solar system to the other was attainable in less than a week, unheard of only fifty years earlier. Furthermore, the Infiniti Drive brought the nearest star to within a one-year reach. Colonization efforts time-lagged and slow but steady all the same reached out to Rigil Kentaurus – Alpha Centauri A – first. The Centauri Alpha 1 trinary star cluster proved to be a rich and viable system.

The Terran Alliance laid claim to her first. The system became Centauri Alpha for navigational purposes and the first colony on the 5th position garden world became Terra Nova. Leading the colonization effort of Terra Nova was MacGregor-Winthrop and InfinitiCorp, which to this day is considered the pre-eminent House of Centauri Alpha.

Touching down on this Garden World teeming with life – analogous to what prehistoric Earth might have been – InfinitiCorp led the way followed by the newly formed Deep Space Exploration Force of the Alliance military. The first settlement was christened New Earth City and today is the largest human city outside of Sol.

The Balance of Power had shifted within Alliance in favor of House MacGregor-Winthrop. Outside of the Terran Alliance the two other factions would have to follow Earth’s lead.

InfinitiCorp held the patents to Cold Fusion Pulse Drive Faster Than Light technology. Patents that to this day feed into the coffers of the MacGregor scions. However, House Naverre with its vast mineral rich holdings was in possession of the infrastructure and resources to produce the ships around which the Fusion Pulse Drives were built. Quite naturally – until InfinitiCorp established a presence in the Beyond – this meant Naverre and MacGregor-Winthrop would be forced to maintain a tense truce.

This Truce between the two most powerful Houses led to an unprecedented opportunity for individuals to make their fortunes in the great Beyond. One such individual was one Loric de Grey, ex-Alliance starship captain, and self-styled freelancer with no particular allegiance to any of the Houses. Loric owned three of his own pusher ships. These were deep space explorers he used to shuttle legal goods and whatever else around Sol System. Once the Infiniti Drive became commercially available, taking out a loan against his ships, Loric refitted his little “fleet” for interstellar exploration.

Loric, with his Progen wife Cassiopeia, led his pushers on a year long push deep into uncharted space. The result, after navigating through several empty systems, was the binary star cluster called Sulani Epsilon.

The Sulani Epsilon system proved to be rich in certain minerals and elements, but poor in others. There were 20 planets in orbit around and between two suns. The three closest inner system worlds were completely uninhabitable. They were little more than boiling, molten slags. However the 4th world, which cut an elliptical path around the GV and K stars of the system proved to have a breathable atmosphere and acceptable gravity. It also proved to be a harsh desert world defined by violent sandstorms and tectonic activity.

Loric and his ships touched down on the world and set about charting the planet and taking core samples to see if there was anything there worth exploiting. Aboard Loric’s second ship was one Omar Pahmoud, scion of a family of asteroid miners affiliated with the Orsini. He was chief among Loric’s geologists so he was given the task of heading the initial survey team. Meanwhile, Loric and his wife took their lead ship to chart the remaining planets in the system.

What followed were three very harsh years. The Sulani Epsilon system is not an easy one. There are resource rich pockets scattered throughout the binary system. However, these resource pockets are located on the harsh and violent moons of the system’s four gas giants or the chaotic mass of rocks of the systems primary asteroid belt, which was dubbed Cassiopeia’s Belt. Furthermore, Cassiopeia’s Belt being the most resource rich of the three asteroid fields in the system is located along an orbital path that bisects the system between the two stars. This makes it possible to mine for only 18 out of the 24 months it takes the belt to orbit between the suns. But the deposits of titanium and other invaluable metals make the effort more than worthwhile.

With a resource base rich enough to make the hazards of living in the Sulani Epsilon system worthwhile, other explorers began making the three-year trek from the Core Worlds to the Sulani Epsilon system. However, for many of the speculators, wild catters, belters, convicts, and spacers, who made the trek, liberation from the constraints of the Three Factions was the primary driving force. This far out from Sol made jurisdiction by the superpowers a difficult proposition at best.

Granted, under the banner of the newly declared House Pahmoud – who were now major players with the discovery by Omar of the most precious commodity on Gamma Sulani, water – Alliance claimed a presence in the system. A Jinquai research facility had been established deep in the desert plains of the High Plateau, but it was almost completely autonomous of the Jinquai regime. And a Progen Garrison had been erected just outside of the largest settlement – now being called New Jericho – but it was abundantly clear that service to these hinterlands was almost a form of punishment for those soldiers who weren’t quite with the Progen program.

What all of that boiled down to was a colony ripe to repeat the trend of Mars and Ganymede two hundred years before and declare its independence. The only difference, albeit a major difference, Sol didn’t seem to really care.

In any event, Gamma Sulani became the springboard for colonization efforts further out along the spiral arm, away from the Core Worlds.

The second major colony to be founded with a group of explorers openly declaring themselves independent of the three major factions, was Chandilar in the Rho Eridani star system. Even before Gamma Sulani declared its independence, Chandilar was calling itself the Eridani Collective.

From Eridani yet another expedition was launched even further out along what was being called the Spiral Corridor. This expedition, led by a Progen renegade who was – unbeknown to his Jinquai under-writers – wanted in the Core Sector by Progen Authorities, found its way in true Progen fashion to a desolate star system. The sun was named Epsilon Indi 1. The colony that was founded there was on the barren, rocky, volcanic fourth world called Spartak.

As the colonization effort proceeded, other discoveries were made on the primary colony world of Gamma Sulani. Deep in the golden sands of the central desert – defined by a ring of jagged mountains encircling it for thousands of miles – an exploration team made a discovery. Buried beneath the sands and astride one of the rare underground rivers was a city. Long before the Jinquai made their discovery in Taurus Alpha, long before Charon’s Gate was uncovered, a group of privateers on a scorching desert world discovered the first of what have become known as the Ruins of the Ancients.

This discovery, more than anything else, led to the decision that Sulani Epsilon would remain independent of any Terran, Progen, or Jinquai influences.

EARTH AND BEYOND – THE V’RIX

“ ‘Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.’ One of my acolytes quoted these words when we stood upon the precipice of the pit, surrounded as it was by the giant, obsidian stones of the World Gate at Arzachel Prime. Had I known then that we were about to look into the face of our own extinction … I cannot say that my actions would have been any different. Only, know this, the V’rix are not just our enemy, they are a malevolent force.”

Mordane as he enters the Ancient Shrine on Arzachel Prime.

OVERVIEW

The V’rix are an ancient species whose Empire spread and contracted thousands of years ago. They are a predatory species that came out from the coreward star clusters of the galaxy toward the rim and the spinward arms. They accomplished this using technology left by the first races – The Ancients. Much like humans, the V’rix stumbled upon the Star Gates. With this technology, the V’rix were like locust, travelling from world to world, consuming native species, turning them into outposts of their Imperium.

Whenever the V’rix came across a species they could not conquer – such as the Dozi, the Borad, and the Sharh – the V’rix would barter with them, offering their services as Gate Masters and navigators through Gate-created hyperspace. This earned them the reputation as being The Gate Masters. One which the V’rix made no great effort to disprove.

HISTORY

The V’rix encountered by the Humans at the onset of Earth and Beyond are a renegade Collective who have left the master race. Like all V’rix, this collective, barters in conquest through both militaristic and genetic dominance. Unlike the Imperial V’rix, however, these raiders have aspirations of domination through control of the Star Gates. The Humans and their relatively quick rudimentary mastery of the Gate’s has posed a threat to this species.

GOVERNMENT

The V’rix are governed by a genetic Monarchy roughly translated as the V’rix Intelligence or V’rix Collective. A Sovereign rules the Collective as a whole. Beneath the Sovereign, Regents act as rulers of smaller sub-divisions – hives, if you will – of V’rix society.

The apex of V’rix society and government is the Sovereign, whose rule is absolute. Since a V’rix is obedient to its Sovereign on a genetic level, both rebellion and disobedience are physically impossible unless induced chemically or through some other biological tampering.

It is known that pheromone warfare was how the sharh controlled and enslaved the V’rix. How the V’rix in turn freed themselves from the sharh is not known or in fact if they have.

ECONOMICS

The Renegade V’rix have developed a bartering system with races and species they have not managed to conquer. The coin is usually V’rix bio-genetic mastery and technology.

RELIGION

The V’rix have no religion as such. The closest thing they have to a form of worship is their collective fixation with the Gates.

EVOLUTION

Unknown.

SOCIETY

V’rix society is task oriented. Each V’rix is genetically designed for a specific function or task. Even the Sovereign is designed by its predecessor to rule. V’rix Society ranges from extremely intelligent and completely autonomous ruling classes – the Regents – to non-intelligent biomechanical drones.

There is no advancement as such in V’rix society since the function of V’rix workers and drones does not change. Rewards for tasks well done are chemical enhancements. V’rix are designed to feel pleasure when a task is done well, fear when a failure occurs.

The V’rix are a driven and somewhat warlike species. Their original genetic predisposition was toward conquest of other races for their Masters the sharh. Somehow – at least with the collective that was imprisoned in gate-stasis at Deneb VII – the collective’s predisposition altered toward expansion of the collectives throughout the galaxy – if not the universe – for themselves.

They are not unlike invading locust in that respect. Their greatest advantage, however, is the collectives’ knowledge of the true nature of the Gates and the actual power the Gates possess.

PHILOSOPHY

Unknown.

TECHNOLOGY

V’rix technology is second to none in areas of biogenetic engineering and nanotech manipulation. Not only can higher caste V’rix manipulate the genetic material of other V’rix, they can produce drones that can manipulate the genetic material of alien species.

MILITARY

There is a hierarchy within the V’rix military based on genetic predisposition. There is also the V’rix Triumvirate. The smallest unit of the V’rix military is the Triumvirate. It consists of three V’rix soldiers who each has a specialty that complements the unit as a whole.

EARTH AND BEYOND – THE GATES AND THE ANCIENTS


OVERVIEW

The Gates were the ruin of the sharh and Ansazi alike. The Gates have been the ruin of every race that has tried to master them.

The Gates were created by one of the Ansazi, the Ancient Races who inhabited the universe at the beginning. The Ansazi used the Gates to travel instantaneously from place to place and from when to when. The Ansazi had the strictest of prohibitions in traveling backward through time, as theory and grim experience indicated that even the slightest of temporal anomalies would result in dire consequences to the very fabric of reality.

The Ansazi were gods in their own right. They lived as deities, setting events into motion, then jumping ahead in time to observe the results, while their subjects, (humans amongst them), lived and died through the intervening eons.

It was inevitable that somewhere, somewhen, the prohibition on travel into the past would be violated, and so it was, although the violation did not come from the Ancients themselves.

Humans, like thousands of races before them, discovered the Gates. And like a thousand races before them, Humans gained some minor mastery over control of the Gates. For centuries humans used the Gates to expand through the galaxy, meeting alien races, becoming part of the Great Chain of life amongst the Stars. But unlike the thousands of races before them, Humans dared to use the Gates to discover The Answer.

It was supreme folly, supreme arrogance. To travel back to The Beginning. To meet the Ansazi in their own time. That was the goal. The anomalies generated by this act rippled through space-time in a self-sustaining chain reaction that tore reality asunder, splintering infinities into infinities. Catastrophe came to unnumbered galaxies and the Ansazi, through it all, just disappeared.

Only faded remnants of the Ancients survived. And the Gates.

As humans picked up the pieces of their own splintered reality, they realized the universe would never be safe so long as the Gates existed. They further realized that no human would be up to the task of destroying them all.

And so the Gate Keepers were bred. Genetically engineered Homo Sapiens encoded with the singular genetic program to close all the Gates. This programming failed. Continued use of the power of the Gates altered the Gate Keepers, changed them, evolved them into what history calls the sharh, one of the most malevolent forces to invade the galaxy.

The sharh became corrupt and malevolent, seduced by the power the Gates offered, by the seduction of immortality and god-hood. Instead of sealing the Gates, they used the power of the Gates to create an Empire. To enforce rule of the Empire, the V’rix were conquered or bred, which one is not clear, and turned into shock troopers, dog soldiers for the Empire.

The Star-Gates

The Gates themselves come in two known configurations, large, spaceborne rings or smaller, planetbound rings, usually mounted and surrounded by some sort of outer ring, not unlike the sort of standing stones found at various ruins of Earth.

Spaceborne Star-Gates are three circles or rings one within the other turning and rotating on a different axis. The largest outer ring is always spinning contra the second inner ring; the smallest ring spins contra the second ring. Activation occurs when all three rings align. The outer two rings must further align based on certain points. This is how the Gates are tuned or programmed to connect to other, specific Gates. Gates can be attuned to specify a particular Gate of another star system, or specified to link to the nearest Gate to a specified distance.

That much had been theorized by the first Jinquai who discovered the Gate at Charon some one hundred and ninety years before that foolish Progen barbarian made it impossible to keep the Gates existence secret from the Ruling Council at Jove City.

How those Jinquai of nearly a century ago discovered Charon’s Gate was simple. While surveying a suitable site for a Cloister on the Plutonian Moon of Charon, ruins, buried at least five miles beneath the surface, were uncovered. These ruins turned out to be a control station of some sort. Upon further examination, an energy spike was registered somewhere within the Kuiper Belt.

The spike turned out to be the inadvertent activation of the Gate by those unknowing scientists. Later – much later – when it was discovered what the Gate could do, it was decided that neither the Jinquai nor humanity at large was ready for such an undertaking. The War was still fresh in the minds of many. There was rebuilding and world seeing in our own system to be done.

So it was decided to keep secret the existence of the station and the Gate and to erect a Cloister to monitor the Kuiper Belt. No one save the Master of the Cloister would know about the ruins or the Gate. And even they were to have a limited knowledge of the Truth.

What we discovered after passing through the Gate to its immediate counter part over the world of Terra Alpha in the TMR-1 Binary System, was another ruin, on a nearby moon. This led us to further discoveries and to hypothesis that located on the nearest planet or asteroid would be the control point of each Gate.

These control stations are sometimes – but not always – separate from any ruins that are found near a Gate.

What was discovered later, after the first expedition was launched through the Gate from Terra Alpha to the next linked system was that the third innermost ring can be turned to align to points along the outer rings initiating temporal displacement – i.e. time travel from one Gate to another Gate forward or backward in time.

It was for this reason that the Black Circle called upon the Black Guard to discover all that they could about all other Gates in existence and to keep this aspect of the Star-Gates away from the Progen and the Terran.

(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.
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[size=6][b]Planets[/b][/size] by Albino Eatpod

September 2001 - Back when we thought we’d have lots of planet gameplay.

[b]Earth and Beyond – Initial Planets[/b]

The purpose of this document is to give a descriptive summary on the Planets necessary for live.

[b]Terran Worlds[/b]

[b]1) Terra Delta (Proxima Centauri system)[/b]

Terran capitol in the Proxima System; a temperate equatorial zone is the most livable region and is where the Terrans have made their colonies mining the extremely rich mineral deposits that lay beneath the surface.

Buildings: This is the capital city of EarthCorp warriors, and as such is a huge metropolis. Outside of the Terran Trader colonies on Tau Ceti, these buildings are the most beautiful and opulent in all Terran space. Proxima was an ancient FTL colony, and the colony should display both the older 200-year old architecture but also a newer, high-tech military base attached to it. This world is the heart of the Terran Warrior culture and should exude power and military might. 1,000,000 people and soldiers live here. Lots of traffic. All that is good and bad about a capital city is here.

[b]2) Arduinne Major (Tau Ceti system)[/b]

Gas Giant. Arduinne Major has a metallic core that is surrounded by a thick, nearly impenetrable layer of frozen nitrogen. This layer of frozen nitrogen is held under tremendous pressure; the pressures are so great that carbon and metallic hydrogen are compressed together to form a quantum crystal that has been labeled Infiniti-Quartz. This quartz is among the hardest substances in the known universe, being surpassed only by the unidentified material used in Ancient-built Star Gates. InfinitiCorp runs the only authorized mining facility on or above Arduinne Major. There method is to drop quantum-plated diving bells linked via energy tether into the core of the planet. There, automated drills chip slowly away at the materiel, transporting it up through transmat-link to the base above. The Quantum Gems are an essential component in the manufacture of Hypergates, among other things. In addition to this, gasbag floaters drift through the turbulent upper atmosphere feeding on free-floating algae and lesser species of floaters. The larger of these are known to attack ships in the Upper Atmosphere as they head toward Windmark City (a cloud city), the planet-side link to Windhawke-Infiniti, the station that controls the core-divers.

Buildings: In addition to the cloud city, it has floating mining platform in atmosphere; big, huge, very impressive. This is perhaps the most important mining colony for the Terrans. It is an old operation, as this system was part of the old FTL route; the style should appear to be a generation ago. 100,000 people live here, and the Terran Traders own it. This is the largest Terran installation.

[b]3) Loch Mar (moon of planet X in the Alpha Centauri system)[/b]

Smaller of the two moons of Planet X; Loch Mar is an anomaly. It is a low-grav world with water and trace atmosphere. It also has pockets of Tiberium infestation that GetCo initially sought to use as a source of energy. However, its volatility has placed it on the quarantined list. Expeditions to the Mining Center can net rare materials. When this planet is designed, it needs a mystery that we need to flesh out with sub-quests. This moon is the reason why GetCo settled this system, so we need to make it interesting.

Buildings: This is a small colony on surface. It is a mining colony only. Use a modern day oil-derrick as a metaphor; dozens of people live here. Terran Explorers own this system. This is the smallest Terran installation.
Jenquai Worlds

[b]4) Dahin (Capella system)[/b]

Capella Three – Molten, Venus-like world. There are four moons generating incredible tidal forces. Dahin is important to the Jenquai in this system for its rich subsurface mineral deposits. [b]The Dahin Mining Interest[/b], a Jenquai partnership has taken up the chore of exploiting this deadly and violent world. The Dahin Mining Interest has an agreement with the Good Earth Trading Company. Flying, pterodactyl-like creatures inhabit the surface of the world, often causing problems with landing parties and the floating platforms from which mining operations are launched. [b]This should be the largest Jenquai installation.[/b]

[b]Buildings:[/b] Dahin is colonized by the Jenquai Explorers. This is a large science and research colony, and the design of the buildings should show that the Jenquai have invested a lot of money. The design needs also to visualize how the people and interiors are protected from the extremely harsh environments. 25,000 Jenquai live here.

[b]5) Ishuan (Castor Five)[/b]

This is a violent, enormous gas giant. Castor Five has a dense and complex ring system complete with a number of the smaller moons being locked into the rings. There are 28 moons orbiting this monstrous giant. The Jenquai operate missions into the outer atmosphere of the world to process methane and conduct research.

[b]Buildings:[/b] Floating in the atmosphere of Ishuan is a processing and manufacturing plant that allows quick re-purposing of the methane and other resources into final products ready for shipment. Large docking bays allow multiple transport ships to come and go from this plant. Many ships come and go, heading from here to Capella and Sirius. [b]This should be the smallest Jenquai installation.[/b]

[b]6) Swooping Eagle (Sirius II)[/b]

This is a Military Garrison controlled by the [b]Shinwa Order[/b] of the Warrior Caste. Swooping Eagle is a very large, hot, desert world fed by under ground rivers and lakes; water vapor is thick within the thick atmosphere of the planet; a species of aggressive silicon-vegetable hybrid exists here, harassing desert skiffs as they cut across the vast and uncharted desert wastelands.

[b]Buildings:[/b] Land-based military garrison. One large fortified training area and star port, this should appear as multiple buildings (perhaps geodesic domes?) linked by underground tunnels and the whole area criss-crossed with landings strips, landing areas (for VTOL craft) and docking bays for starships. This is a huge facility, more than a million Jenquai are stationed here.

[b]Progen Worlds[/b]

[b]7) Primus (Vega IV)[/b]

[b]Primus – Sirius Four[/b]; twin planet of Terra Theta. The two worlds orbit each other; near-desert world with over 80% of its surface covered with desert; almost the same size as Earth, the Progen operate a military training garrison on Primus. This world has two moons.

[b]Buildings:[/b] Huge Progen fort dominates the surface. Built as an homage to the Crusader edifices created in Ethiopia on Earth, this fort was etched into the side of a mountain. The tunnels honeycomb the mountain and all that is revealed to the outside world guard towers bristling with turrets, and the main hangar bay allowing transport ships and supply ships to dock. The important concept is that this is the ultimate warrior’s fort; the largest Progen installation.

[b]8) Nastrand Vor (Altair 6)[/b]

Nastrand Vor – 6th position world; Nastrand Vor is a desert world rich with mineral deposits and deficient in everything else; the atmosphere is thin and the gravity .3-Earth standard. The Progen city of Carthage is a floating city high above the ruins of an Ancient City; Nastrand Vor has three moons. The traders set up their headquarters here because of the rich resources hidden under the harsh hostile surface. The Sabine have many representatives here in order to expedite the removal of these resources which are manufactured into finished goods within Carthage.

[b]Buildings:[/b] The floating city is a bit of a false metaphor. The city appears like solid hulk with no aerodynamic qualities at all. This is the home of the Collegia Traders, the Progen Trader caste. Austere and functional, it is nonetheless the home of all Progen economic power, housed in one large edifice. Many turrets dot the exterior of the structure, ready to defend against hostile forces at a moment’s notice. Huge bays stand ready for the many cargo ships. A million + Progen call this their home.

[b]9) Spartak (Gallina I)[/b]

Spartak – Epsilon Indi 4 – harsh molten world. It is a swept through by thick ash-storms and turbulent cloud-cover in the upper atmosphere, blocking out the twin suns of the system. The combination of total cloud cover and molten interior results in pools of Brood Oil, which is found floating on the molten surface. Other resources would be found here as well, but the discovery of Brood Oil is what drew the Sabine here 100+ years ago.

[b]Buildings:[/b] An ark that floats on the lava rivers. That’s what the building should be. Honeycombed with small launching platforms for the explorer’s ships, this Ark is capable of moving around the planet’s surface, following the slow flow of the lava base. 50,000 Sabine live here. This is the smallest Progen installation.

[b]Solaris – Jenquai [/b]

Oceanus – This is a waterworld and capitol of a collection of colonies in a star system filled with waterwords; the chief export of Oceanus is, of course, water, hydrogen, and oxygen; the Human Capitol of Oceanus is Achelloos, a multi-tiered city existing as a floating platform above the ocean, a tethered platform some 1,000 meters above sea level, and a sub-aquatic city some 1,000 meters below sea level; Oceanus is unique in that it is home of a space-faring native species called the Sesh who have perfected interplanetary travel from Oceanus to the sister world of Aquaris, where and off-shoot of their species exists in seclusion deep beneath the surface of the oceans of that world; InfinitiCorp provides Oceanus with Cargo Ships, Defensive Platforms, and Interstellar Shuttles, modified for use by it’s genetically altered population. Orsini provides Oceanus with Express Boats, Resource Collectors, Net-7 CommLink Orbital Platforms, and Heavy Mining Rigs.

[b]Later On…[/b]

[b]Proxima Centauri[/b]
[b]Guardia (Proxima IV)[/b]
This is a mid-sized Gas Giant; Orsini operates a mining platform in the upper atmosphere; Floaters are in high concentration around this world prompting Orsini to use hire-on’s for expeditions into the gaseous atmosphere, another ‘cause du jour for Black-11 saboteurs.

[b]Glendochart[/b] – rocky, violent moon in close orbit within the Rings of Arduinne. Glendochart serves as a hideout for many smugglers who make the run from the Gas Giant to Argus Major. The Smuggler’s Base – called Talon’s Rift – is hidden within one of the many deep canyons torn into the surface of this world. It is undetectable from orbit and dangerous to reach as meteors regularly bombard Glendochart from above.

[b]Tukera Delta[/b] – Water-moon of Arduinne. Tukera Delta is a hybrid of many things. It is home to the Jenquai presence within Tau Ceti from the Ambassadorial Staff to the small community of émigré’s to Alliance Space – called The Cenovar (or Displaced) by the Jenquai-proper.

[b]61 Cygni A[/b]

[b]Sariel Prime[/b] – Home of the Winterbourne House’s notorious Einsatzgruppen (Special Task Force). This is a cold, ice-moon that is home of the Winterarc, a powerful pulse-particle railgun capable of warping it’s effect from one end of Cygni Alpha to the other. The Einsatzgruppen is the command arm of the Jagdverbande (Hunter Units), whose sole purpose is to prevent Winterbourne secrets from leaving the System.

[b]61 Cygni B[/b]

[b]Trinity’s World[/b] – This is the 1st and 4th position Gas Giant in orbit around 61 Cygni Beta (called Trinity’s Star). The planet has a mass 1.7 times that of Jupiter at a distance that averages 1.7 astronomical units (12 percent farther than Mars is from the Sun). Trinity’s orbital period is 804 days, or 2.2 years. The orbit is quite eccentric, however. Trinity’s World comes as close as 0.56 astronomical units to the star (77 percent Venus's distance from the Sun) and then goes as far away as 2.8 astronomical units, a bit over half Jupiter's distance from the Sun. From Trinity’s World the somewhat brighter 16 Cygni Alpha shines with perhaps twice the brilliance of our full Moon. Operating within the thick, relatively cool atmosphere of Trinity’s World is Winterhaven, one of the most technologically sophisticated Terran creations. It is a Cloud City, encased in a combination of reinforced alloy and gravitic-driven electromagnetic shielding that adjusts accordingly in reaction to Trinity World’s extremes in environment. The process of building Winterhaven began some 100 years from the beginning of the V’rix Invasion. It came on-line as fully habitable only 19 years prior to the Invasion. The intensely complex and powerful shielding and environmental mechanisms are powered by long umbilicals descending deep into the very core of the world and siphoning energy from the natural process of fusion that occurs there. The process is even more sophisticated (if not as elegant) as the Jenquai solution to maintaining not just artificial gravity but protection against the violent atmosphere of a Gas Giant.

[b]Sunda Bay[/b] – The Trailing Moon, it is call the Galilean Step-child as it begins its orbit as the “5th” member of the Galilean Moons that orbit Trinity’s World. However, it has an eccentric orbit around a world that has an eccentric orbit around a star that itself has an eccentric orbit. Its position relative to Trinity’s World places it both the closest and the farthest away depending upon where it is in its 100-day cycle around the Gas Giant. At it’s furthest it is caught within a tug of war between Trinity’s World and 61-B. What makes it worth the effort of having a colony on Sunda Bay is a combination of its rich subterranean water systems (and the mind boggling array of life that it has spawned and InfinitiCorp/Winterbourne pharmaceuticals has exploited) and its incredibly rich mineral resources. It is called the Jewel of Winterbourne by the more poetic with the Cygnus System. The single world-side colony is also called Sunda Bay.

[b]Shoda’kan Nebula[/b]

[b]Kurnugia Prime[/b] – A solemn, harsh lava-world where the Shoda’kan Order have set up secret bases in preparation of what they see as the “coming darkness”.

[b]Sirius[/b]

[b]Fidis Prime – 1st position world[/b], this is a molten rock that is possessed of a singular anomaly: livable pockets exists high within the heat-blasted atmosphere; the largest of these pocket is centered around an Ancient City which the Jenquai have occupied in an all-out effort to unlock the Secrets of the Gates; traveling through the dangerous atmosphere is possible to other pockets of livable space for treasure hunting and resource collecting; fiery silicon based predators roam the upper atmosphere

[b]Kalais Azul[/b] – Jenquai Capitol world in the Vega System; this is a water moon the Jenquai have made planet-fall to and have named their capitol world in the Vega System; it is second largest of the 6 moons of Regina Prime and one of two that supports an atmosphere and carbon-based indigenous life; Carolan is one of the most amazing of the Jenquai floating cities. Members of the Shinwa dominate Kalais Azul. The inhabitants of this world are sympathetic to the Maléfari-Jihad. As a result, a hidden [i]Maléfari[/i] enclave exists within the Rings.

[b]Antares[/b]

[b]Kor Vanian[/b] – Kor Vanian is a brown dwarf gas giant orbiting the Antares suns at roughly the same AU as Jupiter in Sol. This giant world represents an anomaly in that it is the only known gas planet with a breathable oxygen layer within itself. Some nine hundred kilometers beneath the thick upper layer is a band of nitrogen rich oxygen some five hundred miles deep. This band of air is sandwiched between two extremely turbulent layers. However, because of the rising gases and thick thermal layer below, it has been found that with very little energy vehicles can support themselves. Given the Jenquai propensity for gravity defying civil projects, it was an obvious call that Kor Vanian would become home to one of the largest Cloud Cities within the entirety of Jenquai Space: Silvanus Soar, home of the great Malakane Clan, who flew with Ben Joseph on the Jin-Qui Maru when it set out for Jupiter and destiny. Kor Vanian has 6 Moons.

[b]Kokuyoku[/b] – Largest of the 3 Galilean Moons that chase each other around Kor Vanian. Kokuyoku is a tectonically active world complete with geysers of liquid nitrogen that spew into the world’s toxic atmosphere, intense volcanic activity, and a rich mineral-ore composition. It is from here that the Shinwa maintain a training cloister that launches exercise missions first against the Flight Drones around the Moon then into the Corridor on so-called “hot missions”. The Kokuyoku Cloister sits at the base of Mount Niataka in the Kuroku Crater, a relatively stable region. The Kuroku Field offers planetary training opportunity.

[b]Beta Centauri[/b]

[b]Jikogu[/b] – This is a hot, volcanically active moon in orbit around Iktomi Prime. It is the third satellite in the 4-satellite Galilean Moon-cluster that includes Nishanu, Shakuru, and Hiruko.

[b]Castor[/b]

[b]Nebiros[/b] – The planet in flames. Nebiros is the 1st position world riding between the suns of Castor A and Castor B. Nebiros’s single colony is surrounded by wall upon wall of fire. Lava flows in molten streams, flames dance constantly over the scorched surface leaving Nebiros Colony in a state of constantly fighting off the roaring fires in order to mine the massive deposits there. Most of the systems on Nebiros are automated, however, for precious gem mining, human and robotic agents are needed. Ahzmundi supervisors from the Sharushar Consortium often hire freelance Terran crews to work the mines. Hazard pay is applicable. Some Terran’s have told tales of ruins buried beneath the surface of the planet.

[b]Menorb[/b] – 3rd Position world; Menorb is a harsh, cold desert world complete with violent sandstorms and a nasty subterranean tunnel worm that ranges in length to several thousand feet; a Penal Colony – Androzari – has been established on Menorb for Jenquai Non-Rehabilitants, including Maléfari, Shoda’kan, and certain Cenovar as well as foreign Prisoners that do not meet the Extradition Requirements.

[b]Sandcastle[/b] – honeycombed asteroid hollowed out to accommodate the Ancients it is both city and space ship with a World Gate at it’s heart – the Gate is called Crom Dugh, after the MacGregor explorer who discovered it before the arrival of the Progen.

[b]Frontier Worlds[/b]

[b]Sulani Epsilon – Terran [/b]

[b]Gamma Sulani – Sulani Epsilon IV – [/b]Gamma Sulani is a profoundly mineral rich desert planet located in an orbit between the twin G stars and the bright K star. Although the surface of the world is extremely hot – unlivable at the equators – it does have a breathable atmosphere and some vegetation as well as frozen polar caps. However, beneath the sand and within the hearts of the towering jagged mountains that define the surface of Gamma Sulani are resource deposits not found on any other world to date. Because of this and because of its unique ecology, a joint Terran/Jenquai expedition led to the establishment of the colony at New Jericho, Capital City. Furthermore, due to the star systems strategic position along the spiral arm of the galaxy, the Progen were also quick to establish a garrison on the moon of one of the Outer Worlds. This in turn led to the establishing of the Sulani Highport – to help keep the peace, among other things. Sulani Epsilon quickly establishes itself as one of the more active and densely populated systems outside of Sol. It is a haven for privateers and pirates with “hidden” desert cities. Gamma Sulani has three moons

(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.
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[size=6][b]Nebula's and Maelstroms[/b][/size] by Albino Eatpod

[b]The Shoda’kan Nebula[/b]

This is a dense cluster of particulate matter swirling around a newly born star in the Spinward reaches of Human Space. It is on what has been euphemistically named the Yellow Brick Road, a corridor through contested space along navigation points established – and generally only known – by pirates. Within the heart of the Shoda’kan Nebula is a planetoid that pirates have turned into another of their many secret “coves”.

The Nebula itself was first charted and semi-mapped by the self-exiled Jenquai Explorer/Warriors of the Excommunicated Shoda’kan Order who were angered by Jenquai capitulation and the dissolution of the Maléfari following the Second Frontier War (The so-called Gate War). Feeling a sense of disgrace and shame over the reaction of the Jenquarum, the Shoda’kan Order left Jove City and Jenquai Space swearing never to return. Unlike the Maléfari, the Shoda’kan are not malicious, choosing to wander the stars in search of the Enlightenment that is the promise of the Forefathers.

The Shoda’kan discovered the “road” into the Nebula quite by accident. A Stable Wormhole from the fringes of Proxima Centauri to the heart of the Nebula was discovered and charted by explorers operating under an InfinitiCorp charter. A NavComm Beacon was erected at the other end of the Wormhole and an InfinitiCorp Hypergate was built linking the Wormhole to Ceti Gate, thus bypassing the normal circuitous route from Proxima-to-Alpha Centauri-to-Acheron-to-Tau Ceti.

[b]The Mondara Maelstrom[/b]

The Mondara Maelstrom is consuming worlds. It is a swirling chaos of destruction where worlds are caught within its tidal influence and flung together, shattering into thousands of smaller, deadly asteroids, planetoids and the like. The Maelstrom is located on the fringes of Progen Space as it nears the so-called Greater Rift. The origins of the Maelstrom seem to be unclear. If formed some time just before the so-called First Contact with the V’rix, centering on a Cepheid Variable that was being monitored for strategic value by members of the Progen Sabine. Within a year the Cepheid expanded and contracted, destroying the star system that existed around it. What was left in its place was this swirling chaos that has been sweeping in ever broadening ever-closer arcs to Progen Space. Moreover, a particularly aggressive lifeform has taken up residence within the Maelstrom, a capitol-ship sized species of Leviathan that has been dubbed the Mendara Leviathan by some the Jormungand by others. (In Ancient Norse Mythology the Jormungand was the name of the worlds serpent that lived at the bottom of the sea.)

The Leviathan and its smaller off-spring have been flying raids into Progen Space prompting the Progen to mount expeditions into the heart of the Maelstrom to hunt them down. Unknown to the Progen is that the Maelstrom is in effect a weapon and the overture to an Invasion into Human Space. The Leviathans are scout creatures under the control of an unknown alien force. As the Countdown to invasion continues, the Progen – and the other Factions in general – begin to suspect that there is more to this than initially believed.

[b]The Caliban Nebula[/b]

Caliban’s Nebula is located one jump from the so-called Prospero’s Rift. Entry to the Nebula is via Caliban’s Gate within the Pollux System. Caliban’s Storm – dangerous zone filled with intense plasma storms and electromagnetic activity. It is in the heart of the Nebula.

[b]Loch Shannon[/b]

Plasma storm maelstrom that swirls with violent regularity through the concourse; many ships have been lost to its fury. The Loch Shannon is basically a mini-nebula and one of the popular tourist features of Tau Ceti.

[b]The Eidenmar[/b]

When the Cygni Stars are at their furthest, the Eidenmar expands, defining itself by the glowing halo-nebula effect that it manifests. It is in fact a mini halo-nebula, filled with proto-matter and the remnants of several failed worlds. It is home to a great deal of hostile life.

[b]The Alseides Cluster[/b]

The Alseides Cluster is a secret Terran system hidden within the swirl of a newly forming Nebula. The Nebula itself is the result of a secret Terran/Cenovar project to “force grow” a viable Star. Alseides is the name given the artificially created “sun” which was “conceived” using the proto-matter of the Nebula. Alseides was ignited following the initial testing of the so-called Genesis Engine, itself a by-product of the Star Clipper Project.

[b]The Per Nefer Dyson’s Sphere[/b]

In ancient times, among the desert kingdoms of Old Earth, the Per Nefer was the place where some of the purification and mummification rituals took place. In the present, this delirious time that feels like the timeless moment before a lover’s first kiss, the Per Nefer has become the holiest of holies to a number of the Sha’ha’dem faithful. When Ben Joseph gazed first upon Jupiter it is said that this place was among the Visions that formed the basis of the 7 Prophecies.

The Per Nefer exists within the blackness of deep space beyond the gravitational veil of great Vega, within the sweep of a gaseous nebula. The name, chosen by Indara Nishido when she first made the trek through the mysterious Gate at Vega, refers to the region itself, a quadrant of space define by drifting dust and the detritus of planetary Nebulae.

Within the heart of this region, some ten light years down the spiral arc of the Galaxy from the star Vega, is the Soku-no-Kumi – the Dyson’s Sphere whose origins are still shrouded in some measure of mystery. Initially thought to be another of the numerous Artifacts and sites left behind by the race or races collectively referred to as The Ancients, there are some within the Sha’ha’dem who feel the Dyson’s Sphere is the product of another race, one more directly linked to humankind in both biology and physique.

On the outskirts of the gaseous nebula that defines the Per Nefer is a narrow, thin band of what seems to be the remnants of a world. Rich ore and mineral deposits have been surveyed there. Because of this, the Néferi – the Guardians of the Per Nefer – are kept constantly busy keeping wildcatters and speculators from drifting beyond the Belt and into their System.

[b]The Nurikabe Swell[/b]

Extending around the region of space that defines the Per Nefer is a thick, gaseous nebula – of sorts – that conceals the Per Nefer from the most powerful of scanners until one is directly above the monolithic Dyson’s Sphere. The Nurikabe Swell itself is sprinkled generously with the remnants of which the Jenquai believe to have been several worlds. These chunks form asteroids of varying sizes that offer a wealth of resources to those who are daring enough to brave the environment, the indigenous life within the Swell, and the perimeter of defensive war-machines set up by the Néferi to keep pirates, freebooters, and speculators from entering the system itself.

A Rogue Gate exists on the Rimward Sweep of the Swell, a tributary to the Smuggler’s Rift. It was set up by the Prospero Expedition some one hundred fifty years prior to the discovery of the Codex and the V’rix Invasion. The route to the Swell is long and arduous, but the riches to be had are great.

In orbit just beyond the Rogue Gate is the small but well made station established by Prospero himself some ten years before his death at the hands of Progen Pirate Hunters. The station, based on the same design as his legendary Paramis Port, is a bit more heavily defended, with a Cloak Generator, a new addition courtesy of the latest Station Master – Ly’sho Bok Lei, Jenquai Cenovar, formerly of the Shinwa. His knowledge of what lies beyond the Swell and the Helix is what brought him here, taking his position from his predecessor by the usual means of murder, blackmail, assassination and intimidation. Bok Lei is offering a reward to anyone who can bring the access codes to the Per Nefer Dyson Sphere back to him. His reward, some say, might be worth the effort: an Ancient-designed, Cenovar built, ready-to-go-live from InfinitiCorp Mark III Gate Engine.

[b]The Shi-Ryo[/b]

This is the Planetary Nebula bisecting the Antares system, separating the one Inner World from the three Outer Worlds. The Shi-Ryo looks and behaves much like a nascent nebula in may respects. However, navigation and certain weapon and sensory effects are severely limited. What makes the Shi-Ryo even remotely useful is the presence of the stable wormhole within the heart of the debris cloud.

This expression, meaning ‘dead man visiting the living at night’, is used to describe the ion-storm heavy Planetary Nebulae region of space between the Inner and Outer Worlds itself as well as the phenomena that occurs there: Jenquai Warrior Ghost Ships.

Wailing Ghost Ships roam the Shi-Ryo emitting low-level, sorrowful electromagnetic wails that take on the form of mini-pulse waves driven by the ion-particle winds of the Shi-Ryo. These Ships – a lone Jenquai Starcruiser (capitol ship) and two escort corvettes – are thought to be the collective Psionic resonance of the Warriors who lost their lives in the Shi-Ryo some thirty years ago pursuing raiders. These raiders were believed to have been Progen, the last remnants of Dahaka Khan’s renegade Occupation Army from the Gate War. Like the Maléfari, Dahaka’s Fleet fled from Occupied Space into the Beyond. But unlike the Maléfari, Dahaka’s survivors were a broken, disillusioned band of marauders.

From the first moment those who escaped Jove City had turned up, they operated as little more than pirates. Albeit very dangerous pirates. In any case the Dai’shao who commanded the Shodan was determined to hunt down the Dahaka Khan renegades. He’s pursued them from Sol to Bellatrix and back. He’s finally forced them into Jenquai Space, the Antares System, in a bid to make of the Progen an example. But the Dai’shao of the Shodan Maru had not reckoned on shear Progen ingenuity.

Pulling the Shodan into the nebula-field bisecting the system, the Progen Centurion suddenly evened the odds. Knowing that he and his crew were dead, the Progen Centurion elected to take the Shodan with him. With his Destroyer set to self-destruct, the Progen Centurion put the last of his ships reserves into forward thrusters – ramming speed. The Destroyer barreled into Shodan Maru head on. Both ships, however, got pulled into a gravitational eddy within the Shi-Ryo and were torn apart as the Progen’s reactors went critical, fulfilling their last mandate.

[b]The Ru Shou[/b]

Emission Nebula/Oort Cloud defined by intense electromagnetic storms, plasma-bursts and ion particle storms.

[b]The Murmur[/b]

There exists in the broad emptiness between the 1st and 2nd position worlds what amounts to a mini-nebula, a debris cloud encircling Deneb and centering on what is left of a world; the Murmur itself resonates, giving off a sibilant electro-magnetic “whisper” that has been catalogued as disrupting – in some case permanently negating – psionics. The Murmur is freely roamed by a variety of Black Leviathan that the Progen had heretofore not encountered.

[b]Aslan’s Veil[/b]

This is a debris cloud nebula filled with organic molecules, violent charged particle storms and caused by a convergence of the prevailing solar winds of the Sulani Trinary system and the cosmic rays of the nebula. In the heart of the Nebula is Aslan’s Gate, an Ancient Star Gate.

[b]The Eidenmist[/b]

The Eidenmist is a dense, eerie nebula into which one of the eight arms of the Shoda’kan Wormhole opens. Within this nebula is the Ancient-built two-way Star Gate linking into Maléfarum Space.

[b]The Eresh’gal Kai[/b]

Dark region of space defined by a thick, gaseous Nebula. A renegade Jenquai Priest lost his life searching for Mordane’s Wake, the secret path Mordane and his Maléfari took to Arzachel Prime, first charted it.
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Albino Eatpod:

[b]The Ordo Malefarum:[/b]

[b]Sev Tushnim (“We Who Serve in Silence”)[/b]

The Sev Tushnim carry Shigehiro Yasuragi’s doctrine of service and selflessness to an extreme. Members of this sect are entirely devoted to the well-being of others. They are supremely skilled in the arts of concealment; among the Jenquai, the Sev Tushnim match even the elite Sha’ha’dem in cloaking technology. Sev Tushnim commonly patrol Jenquai (and sometimes Progen and Terran) space, seeking those in need of assistance. They render service without question, sacrificing themselves if need be, and accept no reward for their service. In non-Jenquai space, these Shinwa take great pains to keep their identities secret, and will frequently risk their lives to assist those who, under normal circumstances, would consider any Jenquai to be an enemy. More than a few Progen Warriors owe their lives to mysterious “Good Samaritans” who appeared out of nowhere to tow a disabled Centuriata ship to safety, or to foil a clever pirate ambush, only to vanish when the furious Progen realized that the savior was none other than a hated Jenquai Warrior.

Philosophically, the Sev Tushnim believe that choosing another’s happiness over one’s own brings one closer to the infinite, serves to remind the practitioner of the artificiality of the material world, and helps free one from it.

All Shinwa are expected to serve, however briefly, with the Sev Tushnim. Some few choose to make the selfless life their own, but the Sev Tushnim have always been few. Even for a Jenquai, their path is a difficult one.

[b]Kaojin (“Destroyers”)[/b]

Members of this sizable sect reject the idea that the worldly is meaningful. They represent a bizarre outgrowth of traditional Jenquai philosophy that is represented among both the Shinwa and the Sha’ha’dem.

Shinwa followers of the Kaojin Way are typically strange and unpredictable. Having rejected the things of the visible universe, they appear and act oddly, supposedly to reinforce the meaninglessness of worldly beliefs and conventions (although it is highly likely that many of the Kaojin are simply rebellious or disaffected individuals).

What separates them most from like-minded Sha’ha’dem is their fascination (obsession, even) with destruction, “the glorious dance of annihilation.”

[b]The Shadow Cabinet:[/b]

[b]Overview[/b]

The Shadow Cabinet operates as a Shadow State comprised of secret enclaves interlinked throughout human space. A psionic web created and maintained by Psi-talents from each faction links this State, maintaining its secrecy. This psionic-web is called the Index. Each entry into the Index is erected and maintained by a 1st Order Telepath working within each enclave. This 1st Order Telepath is euphemistically referred to as a “Librarian”. The Librarian is the life-blood of this Shadow State. Each Librarian is linked via psionic rapport with the Inner Circle of the Cabinet, giving them almost instant awareness of events taking place across the human sphere.

[b]What is the Shadow Cabinet?[/b]

There were those – the most powerful, the most influential – who recognized from the beginning that a change was coming upon the whole of mankind whether Progen, Jenquai, or Terran. The existence of a Star Gate, an unimaginable Alien technology, so close to Earth, put forever to rest the question of whether humanity was alone in the heavens.

More importantly, the implication was that not only were humans not alone, our neighbors had dropped by to visit our place in the stars.

The obvious question then became who were these visitors to Sol system that left behind a device of such incredible power? But the most important question, the one that the Jenquai in all their wisdom had not asked – or refused to voice – was would the creators of these Gates return? And if so, would they come in peace or as conquerors.

This concern came from the highest levels of each Faction.

In the wisdom of this concern it was decided that the Sol Federation, for all its altruistic policing of colonized space and its role as arbitrator and peacekeeper would only be a stopgap in a worse case scenario.

When and where the decision was made cannot be accurately determined. But those responsible set in motion the path that would one day lead to the Dominion of Man.

A Shadow Cabinet was created, a government behind the government. It was comprised of the most influential people of each Faction including the Highport Authority and members of the Frontier League. Their agenda, a slow and steady moving of the factions together with the eventual goal of Reunification for the entirety of mankind under a single government. The purpose of Reunification? To stand as a unified Power in the face of any potential alien threat.

To the Jenquai Masters, sliding into shadow and secrecy, draped in their black robes, listening to the echo of the stars, it was not a question of if but when First Contact would occur.

To the Progen Praetors, bristling with their prosthetics, linked through direct encephalic interface to the Collective, overseeing the creation of the next generation of Warrior Caste, there was no doubt that when First Contact occurred it would be bathed in fire and blood.

To those Terrans who had the stomach to face this grim future, it was obvious from the very beginning. No species would abandon something as powerful as a Star Gate. There were only two possible answers as to why these devices were left floating untouched in Space. Both ended in genocide and conquest.

In terms of how the Shadow Cabinet affects the universe at large, they are the black ships that appear at the edge of sensor range. They are the secret bases that appear one day on the fringes of a newly discovered Alien ruin then disappear the next.

The Shadow Cabinet has it’s own ships, it’s own army, it’s own resources. They control and guide the collective consciousness of each and every faction in subtle and not so subtle ways and those who stumble upon their existence inevitably disappear.

The most recognizable face of the Shadow Cabinet comes in the form of Lady de Winter . She is a Terran trained by the Jenquai in metapsionic disciplines. She travels aboard her yacht – The Achllies Maru – tending to the business of the Cabinet: spying, sabotage, manipulation. She is never more than a single jump from reinforcements. She will often use the unsuspecting to further her ends and the ends of the Cabinet. Her primary sphere of interest is the cataloguing and acquisition of any and all Ancient technology.

The Achllies Maru – this ship should be as unique looking as possible. Like all Shadow Cabinet craft, it is sleek, black, and aerodynamic. Armaments are not readily apparent, folding out of nacelles and the like when in combat mode. The ship is a marriage of Jenquai, Terran, Progen, and Ancient technology.


• The Inner Circle – the ruling body at the head of the Shadow Cabinet. Also called The Trust.
• The Hidden – The name given to the Shadow Cabinet’s Fleet
• The Index – this is the name given to the Psionics that link together all of the various Shadow Cabinet enclaves throughout known space.

[b]Azra'il (The Azra’il Covenant)[/b]

The Azra’il Covenant are the enforcers and intelligence gatherers of the Shadow Cabinet. The Azra’il are charged with protecting the secrecy of the Cabinet at all costs, maintaining security, vetting new additions, controlling the ranks with equal measures of fear and respect. The Azra’il utilize the highest that Shadow Cabinet technology has to offer. Most of them are psionic – whether naturally or through bio-chemical, cybernetic means.

[b]The Sanctus Kyrie:[/b]

[b]Overview[/b]

To understand the sub-faction that becomes the Sanctus Kyrie (the name applies to the group as well as the star system they initially choose as their refuge) it is necessary to understand the man on which they build a society, Dr. Elijah Malacore.

[b]Malacore’s Tale[/b]

Malacore is a truly enigmatic individual. Dr. Elijah Malacore is the initiator of [i]Malacore’s Run[/i], called the [i]Velvet Gauntlet[/i] by the initial survivors. He is the founding father of Sanctus Kyrie. He becomes a martyr to his people, no less than a [i]demi-god[/i] by some accounts.

Born on Earth – the Pacific Northwest coast of America – he migrated with his family to Terra Nova and the sprawling metroplex of New Earth City. He resided there until he and his twin sister manifested their talents. When this happened, he told his parents, insisting upon registering, as was the Law, a by-product of the Suppressions of a century before. The Suppressions – Purges by some accounts, nothing less than attempted Genocide by other, more vocal voices, nearly wiped the gene responsible for the “gift” from the Terran peoples. All the same, at the time he and his sister registered with Alliance PsiCom, Tau Ceti Office, he and his family – in order to remain together – moved to the Bishopgate Collective on the outskirts of Brasilia, southern hemisphere island-home of Tau Ceti’s PsiCom Institute. Segregation was the Law.

Malacore still managed to remain unprejudiced against his oppressors. Like so many social and cultural leaders before him he felt that Terran society at large was reacting from fear, the root of all bigotry, racism, and countless other “-isms” that have plagued humans from the dawn of recorded history. He felt that peaceful protest, education of society at large within the existing system, would eventually bring about a cultural enlightening.

With this ethic at his heart, Malacore began his rise to legendary status as an outspoken, registered Terran Psionic, a leading member of PsiCom – the Terran Alliances’ Psionic Administrative Command Organization. With practical doctorates in the disciplines of Genetic Anthropology and Neurology – he was a highly educated, intelligent, and charismatic man, a man who Followed the Rules. Dr. Malacore was not filled with hate; he did not fear Alliance Society at large. He believed that an accord could be reached between the Psionic minority and the un-gifted majority – an accord that did not involve the wholesale extermination or exile of his people to Psionic-tolerant Jenquai society. They were Terran, after all. Their ancestors had toiled to make the Terran Alliance the richest society, the most liberated society, the greatest society in the history of humankind.

Dr. Malacore, nevertheless, was painfully cognizant that this was turning into the second time in Terran history that the tide was starting to shift against Terran-borne espers. One of the last documented entries in his journal, just as he began to make the shift from social and cultural visionary to subversive, freedom fighter, revolutionary, and finally martyr, he wrote – longhand as was his style – that he sensed that the latest round of witch-hunts had a particularly venomous and sinister feeling.

[i]“It is like a distant, vague scent, held aloft for a moment then it fades. But the scent keeps returning. Sometimes it is very subtle, like the heady perfume of a vigorous lover. Like my Robin. Other times it is strong, like human flesh burning, sickly sweet. Malevolent. Robin would say it was my imagination that I was under the influence of Terra Nova’s winter moontides and too much ambrosus. He is ever my practical opposite. The executor of my dreams, I suppose. But when I spoke of this with old Solomon, he spoke to me of dreams, insane dreams by all accounts. Blood and fire, he said. And the afterbirth of stillborn revolution. His words. The old and the very young, the weak and the strong, men and women, all of them linked by thought, screaming as their flesh burned from their bodies from their minds outward, each feeling their own agony and the agony of everyone else, mirrored back and amplified. So intense was the collective vision it took shape, manifesting itself in the physical world. A world of psionics were laid waste from the inside out, their talents turned against them in unimaginable violence. And worse, those who survived the insanity, the death but did not escape the planet itself were burned to ash. Solomon could not tell me the planet of his dreams. He could not he tell me how such a thing could happen or by whose hand. He simply gave me a warning: “no shadow has ever withstood the banishment brought by the light”. Those were the last things Solomon said to me. He has disappeared. Like others. No trace. Not even an after thought. For a telepath, this is…disturbing,”[/i]

[i]Excerpt from The Endless Marathon, a collection of the surviving pages of Malacore’s Journal.[/i]


Shortly after the disappearance of Dr. Ezra Solomon, late of PsiCom’s Central Registry, mentor and confidante, civil engineer and ecologist who had a passion for all things born of dirt, water and love, widower of 60 years who would not re-marry in memory of the wife he saw run down during the first Suppressions, yes, shortly after he simply vanished, Dr. Malacore died. In his place was Malacore.

Malacore was not a man of peace and reason. He was not a man who believed anymore in peaceful cohabitation with his oppressors, the conquerors of his race. Malacore believed it was time for his people to make their own way, free and clear of the Old Guard, the old bigotries, the old wars – Terran, Jenquai, Progen alike. Malacore was something worse still. Malacore was angry.

At first his anger was made manifest by the smuggling of Psionics refusing registration, attempting to escape PsiCom, out of Terran Space. Later, upon the discovery and survey of the world that would later become Sanctus Kyrie, he focused on the establishing of a homeland for his people as well.

The first signs that Alliance may well have awaken the sleeping dragon occurred after the Michaelmas Massacres – the first overture of the current round of purges to burn through Terran space like wild fire. It began on Earth, England, the eve of Michaelmas. Fanatics tore through the Coventry Collective, home to nine thousand registered legal psionics. Men, women, children. Net-7 sent images of the slaughter from one end of human space to the other. Babies dead in the streets, a man’s corpse twisted and broken, the spikes of a wrought iron church gate piercing his body like some surreal rendering of St. Sebastian.

Copycat massacres occurred sporadically throughout Terran Space. Then came the Tau Ceti regional governments decision to “relocate” the citizenry of Bishopgate. The overture was not lost on Malacore. Concentration Camps one day on Monday, and by Friday twelve million registered psionics would be smoke rising in plumes above some gothic crematorium.

What happened next was been called the Madness of Malacore until the attack on Sanctus Kyrie. Malacore stepped up the evacuation of his people. From the slow, subtle method of the beginning days Malacore’s Run, he turned his ragtag collection of ships into an offensive guerrilla phalanx. Sabotage, diversion, assassination, destruction over here while escapees fled under the chaos over there. Many innocent people died on both sides. For a brief moment the Malacore surpassed the Maléfari as the premier terrorist group.

That was only a rehearsal. If the Michaelmas Massacre planted the seed that grew into Malacore the Revolutionary, Freedom Fighter, Liberator, the burning of Sanctus Kyrie – ignited by the introduction of a pheromone driven neural virus effective only against the most powerful psionics, a virus that effectively turned a MetaPsionics abilities into the telepathic equivalent of an Ebola-carrier, burning first his mind, then manifesting itself as a physical result of the release of such incredible psionic energy. Nearly two million psionics died the most horrible death the human mind could conceive of. Ten million more would surely have joined them had something miraculous not occurred. Above Sanctus Kyrie, as the next wave took the form of mass drivers, a more practical approach to genocide on a planetary scale, Malacore appeared. Drawing upon the death cry – the threnody, if you will – of over 2-million extremely powerful psionics, Malacore’s rage became a physical manifestation of raw, inconceivable Power. The surviving Terran’s, those not driven irreversibly insane by the experience, recall vividly an image of Malacore walking into their minds, pushing aside resistances like wet paper. Simultaneously they could see his countenance, grown to god-like proportions, sweeping through the fleet, precursor to the Malacore Wave, a sheet of power that destroyed everything in its path, allowing the Refugees a chance – with the help of House Winter Objectors and Sha’ha’dem sympathizers – to escape.

As a result, those Malacore refugees who did not turn their eye to baseless revenge and succumb to Maléfari and later Shadow Cabinet influence began the Silent Exodus. Nevermore would they Malacore Refugees or their children or their children’s children speak by means of vocal cords. Nevermore would they be bound by fear to the flesh that left them victims to the violence the universe could inflict. Nevermore would they hide in fear, shiver in the night, waiting for the sound of boots and the endless screams.

Robin, ever by Malacore’s side, ever his partner in all things, by not turning to hate, to vengeance, possibly saved the Human Race from itself. Each surviving member of the Malacore Refugees had felt Malacore at the moment of his Ascension. They felt it in a way that no normal could understand. Even the Jenquai, whose pursuit of the psionic arts was steeped in logic, science, process, religion, only achieved a visceral understanding, an unfulfilling taste of the organic nature of Malacore’s Ascension. He had shown his people who and what they could become. Once out of the bottle, the certainty that genie offered became a living manifest destiny no amount of oppression could ever challenge.

He had shown it to those who were less forgiving than Robin – from then on called The Seeker in response to a lifelong quest for Malacore; those Malacore who did not seek autonomy and freedom, but revenge and blood. Those Malacore who stepped into the darkness a let it shape them, corrupt them, twist them into instruments of oppression, forever lost in shadow.
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[quote name='Darkk' timestamp='1346200166' post='62488']
Nice.
[/quote]

perhaps some other staff on the web end could put a link called "history" or some such on the forum site or the web site and have this stuff historically speaking come up as a web type history of the enb universe with perhaps subtopics by other authors? after vetting of course

just my 2c worth

Searing
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A lot of it is repeat info, should be condensed a bit and checked for doubling and repetitiveness, otherwise like I said in guildchat, this is pretty boss.

Like maybe make a navigation bar for Game History with drop down to the various parts. Timeline, Vrix Invasion, info about the history of the races, info about the planets, etc. Cause its one hell of a long tedious read otherwise. Edited by Ryle

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[quote name='Ryle' timestamp='1346234330' post='62503']
A lot of it is repeat info, should be condensed a bit and checked for doubling and repetitiveness, otherwise like I said in guildchat, this is pretty boss.

Like maybe make a navigation bar for Game History with drop down to the various parts. Timeline, Vrix Invasion, info about the history of the races, info about the planets, etc. Cause its one hell of a long tedious read otherwise.
[/quote]

If you wanna condense it before I put in on the portal, then YEY !

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How do I get myself into these situations?

stopcriticizingstopcriticizing

Ill take a look later, but man thats a big wall of text x.x

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Lol. I've added it as is to next portal update. We can trim as we seem fit.

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Yes...it is a very long read, but I wanted to make sure I posted everything Albino Eatpod said/wrote in it's entirety.
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While I am at it....AE (Albino Eatpod) did post these "teaser" pics of upcoming content that unfortunately never came to be.

[size=5][b]Albino Eatpod[/b][/size]:

What do you suppose all this is eh? I'll tell you what - some more snippets of March patch goodness.


[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/42/am3vz.jpg/][IMG]http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/1702/am3vz.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Uploaded with [URL=http://imageshack.us]ImageShack.us[/URL]
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Uploaded with [URL=http://imageshack.us]ImageShack.us[/URL]
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(Once again, (c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.)

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More tidbits from AE.

[size=5][b]The Celestial Warder[/b][/size] by Albino Eatpod

(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.

The Crystal Temple that the players speak to is actually an interface that translates for the Celestial Warder, which is the real intelligence. For all intents and purposes, though they are one and the same thing. The Celestial Warder came to this galaxy thousands of years ago. The Warder thinks of itself as omnipotent. The only creature it would consider superior to itself would be the “Progenitor” which is a mother figure to it. Despite it’s talk otherwise, the Celestial Warder is not all-powerful, nor is it all knowing. It must hibernate regularly (especially when it uses large amounts of energy as it did when it destroyed a moon orbiting Arduinne) and is often grossly unaware of many things around it. The Warder is related to the Zenrai Revenants and migrated to our area of space from a distant galaxy. The ancients were still building their stargates at the time the Warder arrives. The Warder is essentially lost. It pines for the Progenitor. For reasons known only to the Warder, it cannot return home and feels lost and lonely, though it would not admit these feelings. It thinks of the Oroborous worms as it’s children and will fight fiercely to protect them.

The Warder does not perceive the universe as we do. It sees energy and energy patterns, not matter, and it only recognizes certain patterns of energy as being “alive”, and only a certain number of those patterns as being sentient. The Warder thinks of the Gates as being alive and sentient. It also believes that the Quantum worms are sentient. Communication through something other than energy patterns is relatively new to it. The Crystal Temple was built as a response to creatures it considered “viruses”. An alien race was exploiting the quantum worms for their silk, and the CW built the temple as a sort of “RNA decoder” to learn about the alien “viruses”. It called these aliens (and any who threaten the worms) the “Miasma”. The warder destroyed the moon the alien “Miasma” was from, killing all the aliens. Since then the Warder has been in hibernation. The Worms have abandoned the temple during this hibernation.

Having possession of a Crystal talisman (found on the destroyed moon) tricks the Warder into thinking that the possessor has the “sentient” energy pattern. At the time the players discover the Warder it is just waking up from its long hibernation. InfinitiCorp is currently drugging the Oroborous worms to keep them docile and easy to harvest silk from. They are blissfully unaware of the grave danger the Warder poses should it discover this.

Crystal Warder Terms Translated:
Energy = living creature
Essence = sentient creature
Travellers = Ancients
Lattice = Ancient Gates (they think of the gates as being alive)
Hive Energy = Gate (not necessarily ancient)
Procreator = CW’s ancestor (a mother figure), common ancestor with Zenrai
Dissonant = Zenrai
Miasma = aliens that from one of Arduinnes moons, destroyed by the Celestial Warder also any creature the Warder considers hostile to itself or the oroborous worms
Presence = sentient creature (itself)
The Warder = the celestial warder, sometimes interchangeable with presence
Children = the oroborous worms
Alignment = 5.2 years
Quandrangle of Alignment = 5.2 years to the fourth or 731.16 years


[size=5][b]Vinda-Back Story[/b][/size] by Albino Eatpod

Vinda is the class leader for the Sabine. This is the explorer faction within the warrior society called the Progen. The Sabine have two important functions among these Centuriata warriors: first, the exploration, discovery, and claim of new territories (the loss of a galactic system called 61 Cygni has made this particularly urgent); second, the Sabine control all genetic activities in
a society one hundred percent dependant on bioengineering. Progen are not born,
they are made and if need be they are made over again. The Sabine ritual for
regenerating Progen who have been destroyed in battle is known as the “call forward”. A woman in a man’s world, and an explorer in a warrior’s world, Vinda
is shrewd, cunning, and tenacious. She has learned to cover her iron will with
a steady stream of amiable banter. Don’t be fooled. While speaking with Vinda, you may feel she is slightly cracked, but upon reflection you will realize she has you wrapped around her finger. She has adopted the pose of the hard-headed, grandmother who will even use vulgarity to make her point much in the same way another woman might adopt the role of the dumb blonde. But Vinda is actually the most ambitious of all the class leaders.

After many years of experimental gene research, Vinda has concluded that left to its own devices evolution actually favors cooperation over competition. This information is irrefutable, but far too explosive to be debated openly in Progen society. Therefore, Vinda has kept this revelation to herself, but has begun the mapping of a new, more cooperative type of warrior as an alternative to the Centuriata, a warrior she calls Sabura. Realizing that the Progen are on the
Path to extinction, Vinda has developed a far-reaching plan for reengineering the entire race – a plan even the invasion will not derail. Ultimately, Vinda is the class leader who decides which Centuriata will live, die or be called forward in a genetically altered state.

As the story begins, Vinda faces a crisis on three fronts. First, the Centuriata Amah has lost the codex that opens and closes the Ancient Gate to Deneb. (Recovery of the codex is Vinda’s immediate goal, but the remapping of the Progen race remains her super objective.) Second, before losing the codex Amah opened a long dead Ancient Gate and let a mob of aliens into Vinda’s home world. Third, a Centuriata warrior Vinda forced into retirement is using the alien invasion as a pretext to return to power. Kahn will almost certainly lead the warriors in a direction that threatens Vinda’s long-term plans for Progen society:

• tenacious, hard-headed, ambitious
• sees each of the races as flawed in their own way
• suspects freespacers are actually a race of humans that did not quite “make the grade” and is interested in the freespacers as failures
• fascinated by insect cultures and their proclivity toward cooperation
• distrusts the Kahn, Var, and the Gatekeeper
• will be attacked by Cassel who resents her power
• acts as a catalyst to Merjan
• feels the Psi experiment is laughable, and is sure the Psis developed their powers organically
• desires exposure to more community minded warriors, such as Herrera or Gray Feather
• unlike other class leaders, untroubled by spiritual anxiety or the differences between the races, accepts difference as a matter of fact
• sometimes capable of being quite harsh and will eventually expel Cassel
• has an unyielding fear of genetic flaws such as those exhibited by former Centuriata Primarchs
• constantly examines Progen behavior for signs of genetic goofs
• worries that extreme mapping of Progen society will eventually bring the Progen to ruin

(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.



[ This message was edited by: Albino_Eatpod on 2004-03-25 11:44 ]


[size=5][b]Tzu Background[/b][/size] by Albino Eatpod

Tzu is a pirate class leader. His background is Jenquai Shinwa, an Eastern sensibility that emphasizes a kind of strength and honor that puts warriors at one with the galaxy. A sense of community and the respect of fellow Jenquai is important to most Shinwa. It’s important to Tzu as well, but Tzu is a hothead. His natural instinct is to rebel. His passions and outbursts are charismatic and not without substance but they often put him at odds with Jenquai authorities who have done little to hide that fact that they expected more of Tzu. Tzu’s critics include his father, a wealthy and highly regarded Shinwa warrior. As the story begins, Tzu remains torn between his need to belong and his instinct to rebel. Because he is unimpressed and uncowed by the Ancients and the Gate system they left, Tzu will become quite valuable to the class leaders as the invasion begins to hit hard. He will especially impress Herrera:


• a good guy, but a hot head
• admires Herrera, Gray Feather, Ariad
• rebellious towards his father, Silva, Merjan, Kahn, Var, deWinter
• sees Nostradamus as an iteration of himself and despises him
• superstitious and resentful of Psis and their sensory powers
• avoids self-examination
• outbursts followed by embarrassment
• seeks power though rebellion
• ambitious
• lonely
• confused about his methods and his goals
• tyrannical superego which punishes severely for mistakes
• seduces players to a rebellious position and then abandons them there
• unaware of his appeal and his ability to be charismatic
• seeks his father’s approval, punishes his father for withholding it
• believes love should be unconditional
• internalizes the reactions of the class leaders.
• suspicious of cooperation, friendship, etc.


[size=5][b]The Freespacers[/b][/size] by Albino Eatpod

The earliest Freespacers left Earth at the beginning of the Great Migration (in the 2120s). They were relatively few in number, but ideologically driven. Their beliefs stemmed from the rejection of human-constructed categories - race, nation, ethnicity, etc. They insisted that these categories were ultimately meaningless, and that every person and thing is a unique individual, that human beings must overcome the classifying impulses innate to the human brain and learn to see each thing as a unique entity. For the most part, these first migrants were fleeing the racial and national conflicts of their day, both relics from the 21st century past and budding divisions into the three proto-races. They became spacefaring nomads, an even more space-based culture than the Jenquai, and many died of the numerous hazards of space. The first migration had essentially ended shortly before the War of Secession, and Freespacer 'history' is sketchy at this point. These first migrants, and their descendents, are now known as the Old Families. Very few are left.

A second migration of Freespacers began with the advent of the MK8 Infiniti Pulse Drive (the first true warp drive) in 2190. Mostly consisting of fringe elements of the three races and 'non-raced' neutral spacers who had been exposed to the ideas of the Old Families in far-flung outposts, the new members of the Freespacer clans were reacting primarily against the Three Races and the growing conflicts between them. The Freespacers saw them as just another example of the same tired conflicts that had always plagued humanity. Buying or cobbling together warp drives, the Freespacers - new recruits and Old Families - headed out in a variety of directions, but always away from civilized space. Some are thought to have established human beachheads in systems as yet unsurveyed.

One expedition consisting largely of Old Families were the first to set up human habitation in the Vega system (though it was, naturally, entirely space-based). This convoy arrived in the 2220's. Some newer recruits among the expedition relayed data about the system back to Terran contacts. This information came to the attention of InfinitiCorp by 2240. Infiniti then 'acquired' rights to the system and ceded it to the Progen in 2244. When the Progen arrived and found the Freespacers already there, conflict developed. Mark and I haven't yet sorted out the details of this, but suffice to say that the Freespacers lost.

The second wave of Freespacer converts are now known as the Middle Families.

The newest converts to the Freespacers are named variously, including simply "the New," "New Families," "Newbloods," or the "Free-made."

There's lots of varieties of Freespacers, since they've spread throughout known space and often haven't had contact with other humans (including each other) for generations. Some are more closely tied to the Three Races. Others have gone out beyond the bounds of known space and never returned. Many look for knowledge or wisdom of one kind or another and gravitate toward the Jenquai (like the guys in the Ohiya missions). All reject the idea of race, however, and hold (to a greater or lesser extent) to the original core belief that opposes human-constructed categories. Lots of different subgroups among these guys, though.

Some have referred to the Freespacers as a "failed fourth race" of interstellar nomads, but the Freespacers themselves, naturally enough, totally reject this idea.

The Old Families are truly bizarre. Many have separated themselves from humanity for *many* generations and are verging on becoming a different species. Their language has gone off in different directions, and is virtually incomprehensible to Terrans, Jenquai, and Progen. One branch has 'gone feral' - they're largely inbred, almost animal in nature and temperament. Among these are the so-called bio-harvesters. These subhuman scum sort through wreck fields for body parts and genetic material to sell to pirates. They're particularly loathed by the Progen Reclaimers (and Centuriata gene-maps are highly prized by the bio-harvesters). They'll also attack players in the hope of harvesting their high-priced organs.

Middle Families should probably talk in a bit of a dialect, but they'd be easy enough to understand. New Freespacers are basically just like everybody else in the game in speech patterns, and they're the most numerous. Groups of Freespacers congregate (in space, naturally) from time to time to maintain their ties to one another and to exchange information, party, etc. These gatherings are called Voidmoots. One of the largest is in the Jotunheim sector of Aragoth. Freespacer groups are generally (loosely) family-based and follow a patriarchal or matriarchal structure. The Freespacers have knowledge and technologies that differ widely from that of the three races. One of these is the ability to "Jumpstart" (resurrect, in game terms) a ship that becomes incapacitated, without having to be towed back to a starbase (a grouping skill - fitting, for the Freespacers).

(c) 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.

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[b]The Earth and Beyond galaxy[/b]

The galaxy that the players can explore in Earth and Beyond is made up of larger clusters of systems. The clusters are separated by color in the map to indicate which race currently holds ownership over that system (some exceptions exist). Green for Terrans, Purple for Jenquai and Red for the Progen. There are also two Maelstroms: the Mazzaroth close to Sirius system and the Mondara neighboring to the Vega system. The Maelstroms were opened when activating two of the ancient gates in the galaxy. Maelstroms can be described as part of the space which exist outside our space. The space which the ships use when gating or wormholing. The V'rix, a race created by the ancients to protect and guard the ancient gates, dominate the Maelstrom space together with a lot of Maelstrom whelp creatures.
Below is a map of the galaxy as it was in april 2004, the only sector missing is the Der Todesengle in Alpha Centuri system. It connects to Witberg through a star gate there. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/mapblack.jpg"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/mapblack.jpg[/img][/url]
Each system holds a number of sectors. For example: the Alpha Centauri system holds the sectors: Witberg, Planet Zweihander (where Jagerstadt City is located) and Zweihander sector (where Earthcorps High command is located).
[b] Sol system[/b]

Sol is the system where humans originate from and all the different classes has their starting sectors here (the 3 classes not included in the release of the game would most likely also have their starting sectors here, but some speculate it would have been in other parts of the galaxy). The general difficulty of the sectors is rather low and they offer ample room to explore for the lower levels. The starting sectors (Luna, High Earth, Mars Alpha and Beta, Io and Europa) are only open to their respective classes. From the starting sectors there is a star gate to systems where the respective classes have a strong presence. Example: from Io the Jenquai Explorers have a direct link to the Kailaasa sector and Capella system. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/terran_2.jpg"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/terran_2.jpg[/img][/url]
[b] Earth[/b]

The terran sector which also links to the starting sectors of the terran enforcer, Luna, and the terran trader, High Earth. In Earth sector the most important space station is Earth Station, which now holds hundreds of thousand humans since the earth itself isn't habitable anymore.
[b] Mars[/b]

Mars is the Progen stronghold, with the Progen Capital ship construction ongoing. The Progen has the space station Arx magister in this sector. The starting sectors of Mars Alpha and Beta links Mars to the other progen systems in Vega and Gallina.
[b] Jupiter[/b]

The Jenquai start out in the low gravity of the gas giant moons Io and Europa. In Jupiter there is the important (and popular among the players due to its location) space station of Joves Fury. In Jupiter the much used (mostly during trade jobs) worm hole weft of Virgil is located. There are 2 star gates for the Jenquai Explorer and Defender to the sectors of Io and Europa respectivly in Jupiter. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/jenquai_1.jpg"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/jenquai_1.jpg[/img][/url]
[b] Asteroid belts Alpha, Beta and Gamma[/b]

The asteroid belts are the links between the sectors in Sol system. The also hold various lower level monsters and resources for the new players to explorer. There is no big space station in these sectors, but they do hold some points of interest, as the Detention Center Onorom in ABG. In ABB there is a weft for worm hole exits.
[b] Saturn[/b]

Saturn is a connecting sector in the Sol system, with close access to several asteroid belts, Jupiter and to both Aragoth (through Akerons sector) and Beta Hydri Systems. Saturn also house the news corporation of the galaxy, Net7. Net7 has their main station Net7-Sol here.
[b] Akerons gate[/b]

Akerons gate is the small sector at the outer region of Sol where the first Ancient gate was discovered and activated. It links Sol to the vast Aragoth System. The mysterious V'rix race soon moved in with a rather strong force here to construct the "Eye of God" (which was a doomsday weapon en route for Earth).
[b] Aragoth System[/b]

Aragoth is a highly disputed system because of the presence of ancient artifacts which all factions are trying to get their hands on. The system is filled with Pirates and ancient monsters and the difficulty range from easy up to medium for the players. The names of the sectors are from Norse mythology.
[b] Freya[/b]

Freya is a rather large sector with a large variation of monsters, from small Mist runners to massive Nagifars.
[b] Niflehiem cloud[/b]

Niflehiem is filled with resources and danger. The Einherjar has a research station here and attacks all that explore the sector. The Vindis (a progen security system gone wrong) also have a strong presence here. Vindis Ghostship sometimes appear to defend the Vindis ship yard. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/vindisghostship.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/vindisghostship.JPG[/img][/url]
Large Nagifars roam the resource fields and sometimes attack and eat the (unlucky) ships they come across.
[b] Ragnarok[/b]

The Chavez Pirates favorite system where Miguel Chavez sometimes roam and attacks the ships that comes to close to the Chavez Battle Frigate. Ragnarok is also home to a large number of ancient beings, like the Zenshai, Thorvalds, massive Ostrea, Brains and Brawns (possibly an ancient security system) and other races like the Freespacers. There is a neutral (none of the major factions "owns" it) space station in Ragnarok, The Traders fort.
[b] Jotunheim[/b]

Jotunheim has many lower level areas and a presence of both Chavez and many Progen ships. In Jotunheim the Progens have constructed the space station Arx Ymir.
[b] Odin Rex[/b]

Chavez pirates have a strong presence in Odin Rex and also hold a mining facility here. Odin Rex has the "feel" of a transit sector with all the navigation buoys in a straight row between the 2 gates.
[b] Odins belt[/b]

This crossroad in space links Aragoth to Gallina. The sector is rather small but you can still encounter Chavez pirates and various space monsters in their lower levels.
[b] Muspelheim[/b]

Muspelheim has one of the gates to the Smugglers Run system, and Red Dragons roam close to their gate. There are areas of lower level monsters and resources in Muspelheim.
[b] Aragoth Prime[/b]

Aragoth Prime is a large sector with lots of exploration. It holds the Terran station Chernevog. In the "north west" there is a strong presence of Red Dragon Pirates, and also the Red Dragon Base, Kuei Station. The base is functioning as a resource storage for the Pirates and also holds other riches. The players have great fun in trying to attack and destroy this base and loot the many riches it holds. Among them is great weapons, shields, devices etc that can be found nowhere else in the game. The base is not easy to destroy though and requires good tactics and skill. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/rdbase.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/rdbase.JPG[/img][/url]
[b] Varen's Girdle[/b]

Varen's Girdle is influenced mainly by 3 space beings: Mabonea, Belters and Crystal monsters. They range from easy to medium in difficulty for the players. In Varens Girdle you also find the ancient and mysterious Andarens Tomb, which marks the place of death for Andaren Aragotha, when the Aragotha expedition was attacked by huge Scaracen creatures.
[b] Fenris[/b]

Fenris holds resources and a rather strong force of Zenshai. The Jenquai have built the space station of Fenris observatory here.
[b] Valkyrie Twins[/b]

The Valkyrie Twins sector holds the space station Aragoth Station, which all the 3 races share ownership over. There is a worm hole weft in this sector too.
[b] Beta Hydri System[/b]

Beta Hydri is a vast system for the players to explore and harvest resources from. The Red dragons have a presence in several sectors. Beta Hydri was the first system to be linked to Sol using the InfinitiGate technology in 2303.
[b] Glenn[/b]

The center of the galaxy, or so it seemed to many players, Glenn is where many had their "home" station. The much popular Friendship 7 (or F7 for short), station of the Glenn Commission. Glenn is also home to the galactic "zoo" where you can go and feed the Bunyip. Chavez has a battle station in Glenn. There is an Arena for PvP (player versus player) gameplay, where the lower level players can measure their strengths against each other.
[b] Carpenter[/b]

Carpenter holds the Orsini Mining station and the weft for wormholing exit. Red Dragons closely monitor the navigation routes and will attack any weary traveller careless enough to stop there.
[b] Slayton[/b]

Slayton is filled with lower level Red Dragons and the occasional lower level monster. There is also another PvP arena here (for the high level players, compare with Glenn which has the lower level arena).
[b] Glorys Orbit[/b]

The silent sector, Glorys orbit is a sector which has been decorated with many memorable events in the history of space exploration and the people that lost their life in conquering this frontier. It has connections both to events in the game and in actual events in real life. Its a beautiful with the Mercury Station as a pearl in the yellow sky. Sometimes The Alliance has a little meeting in Glorys orbit and the patient player can scan the 3 Alliance ships: Cyrus, Zhen and Sextus. This is part of the V'rix mission given by Azazel (1Z1Z2L) the defected V'rix in Ardus sector, an activity not liked by the real V'rix. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/the%20alliance%20ships.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/the%20alliance%20ships.JPG[/img][/url]
[b] Shepard[/b]

Another sector dominated by lower level Red Dragons. In Shepard the players can also encounter scuttlebugs, the cannon fodder for the early players.
[b] Grissom[/b]

Grissom is a truly huge sector. It holds Red Dragons, countless monsters, Progen warriors patrolling and a connection to the Red Dragon sector, Smugglers Run.
[b] Planet Grissom[/b]

A huge windy planet. Mostly lower level monsters fly around here. Terrans have put up a science station, Grissom Meterological Observatory, to monitor the planets weather and the creatures there.
[b] Cooper[/b]

"The Ti are coming... This system will be ours". This was the message that the players could hear when coming into Cooper and encountering the mighty Ten-gu. The Ten-gu came to our part of space through the malfunctioning Tada-O gate. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/tada_o_gate.jpg"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/tada_o_gate.jpg[/img][/url]
The Ten-gu has a strong hold over Cooper sector and fight aggressively any pilots that come to close. Occasionally they try to come through the gate with an even stronger force, indicated by the little Ten-gu Harvester, commonly called Harvey among the players. This was one of the Epic encounters in the game. It later evolved into an even bigger encounter when the players got the opportunity to travel and fight the Ten-gu in their homeworld (a fishbowl as it turn out). The players must defeat all the old adversaries known from the old epic (that was triggered when attacking Harvey) and several new ones (Kish-Nethresh, Nesshix The Hand with their minions respectively) and last the players were matched against the biggest fish in the game: Aren'Zael the Master and all his minions. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/the%20master.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/the%20master.JPG[/img][/url]
The "Fishbowl" raid was done in what the players detected as an "unknown galaxy", the Ten-gu Homeworld, which took the form of a gigantic bowl of water (or similar liquid). There was a clear surface where light came in and refracted in the waves of the water (or whatever liquid it was) which greatly improved the image of this alien world. However most of the players was too busy fighting for their life to enjoy the scenery. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/inside%20fishbowl.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/inside%20fishbowl.JPG[/img][/url]
[b] Vega system[/b]

The Terrans were the first to arrive to Vega but in the year 2244 they gave up the system to the progen, reasons for this unknown. Although Progen wasn't the first of the three main factions to colonized Vega they now dominate it. There are a few Red Dragon spread out in the system but largely the Progen has it under control. During the V'rix war Primus planet was invaded by the V'rix. Naturally this was not to the liking by the Progen.
[b] Tarsis[/b]

Tarsis is Progen Warrior training grounds, there are many monsters and pirates to hunt here and its close to the Progen bastion of Arx Tiberius.
[b] Primus[/b]

A largely progen system, with the ship yard Tiberius constructing star ships, and also where the progen players go to get ship hull upgrades. You can see Progen warriors patrolling from gate to gate in the sector.
[b] Planet Primus[/b]

Before the V'rix war this was a Progen (warrior) planet with large defense structures. But even this heavy fortress couldn't withstand the overwhelming force of the V'rix, which attack like insects in an neverending swarm. The Progen had a base on the planet, Praetorium Mons, which also was attacked and invaded by the V'rix. It now holds the only V'rix station 1C4615H (ACOYAUH) in the galaxy and the only V'rix that the players can meet and talk to face to face. The V'rix name, Tezcatlipoca, makes you think of the Aztek indians (His name is spelled out in V'rix: T2ZC1TL3P4C1). Following the Ancients commands the V'rix has taken a form that will strike fear in human psyche, as big insects, to scare humans away from the ancient gates. Note: V'rix uses numbers instead of some vowels in their language, 1=A, 2=E, 3=I, 4=O, 5=U, 6=Y.
[b] Gallina System[/b]

Progen dominates Gallina just like they do in Vega, but here its the Progen Explorers that have the main role. Gallina is a rather mysterious system, among many things is the GETCo sleeper ship incident. GETCo had sent out a ship to explore Gallina and once it arrived it was attacked by something (not clear what) and there is a mini wormhole where part of the debris of the ship is today (most of the ship has crashed on the small moon close to Lagarto, Risco). Could the ship had been attacked by something from the other side of the wormhole? Players can enter the wormhole, but there is only some neutral monsters on that side. Maybe they felt threatened and destroyed the GETCo ship?
[b] Endriago[/b]

Endriago sector is where the Progen Explorers feel at home. It houses both Arx Spartoi station and the Sabine Repository, which restores the Progen Race genemap through the use of Call forward. For fast access there is a wormhole exit in Endriago.
[b] Planet Endriago[/b]

On this molten rock (it is covered by land rich in volcanic activity) of a planet the Progen have set up the base Porvenir Mons.
[b] Lagarto[/b]

It was in this sector that the GETCo sleeper ship arrived and was attacked. The sector seems to be somewhat of a crossroad which binds many systems and sectors together. Far out beyond the vast gravitation fields is Hyperias Explorers leader, Loric, where he is building his own gate (with the help of the players through missions etc.) Lagarto also has the ancient gate, opened by Progen Warrior Amah, linked to the very distant Deneb system 1600 light years from Earth. At the same time as the ancient gate was activated the Mondara Maelstrom ripped an opening into our part of space, the linkage between the ancient gates and the maelstroms is for the players to discover as the game progress.
[b] Lagarto Moon Risco[/b]

Little is know about this moon and its connection to the GETCO sleeper ship incident. There is a mini wormhole connecting it to Planet Endriago.
[b] Deneb System and Roc sector[/b]

This distant system of Deneb (and its only sector of Roc) is the system where the V'rix is rallying their forces and are gathering their strength. There are several big V'rix encounters for the player (or small group of players) to do out in the vast gravitation field of Roc. There are also huge space animals called Bullywere that float around in or close to the resource fields. They are extremely aggressive to any player that enter their territory. If you attack the bullyweres and kill (very) many of them, the Corrupted Bullywere (combat level 66) could spawn. To point out how rare these are, I have only killed 3 of these and it took several days of normal bullywere killing to get the spawn the first time. (btw thanks to Deuskhan for hanging out and killing the first Corrupted with me).
[b] Sirius System[/b]

Sirius is Jenquai territory and since the V'rix war also a large battlefield between Grey Feathers Kokura defenders and the V'rix invaders (the Kokura looses, but puts up a grand fight). Sirius also has its mystery in the Oni and the Hidden One (Zenrei Guardian) which would have been important in the first real victory over the V'rix had the game been allowed to continue.
[b] Swooping Eagle[/b]

The connecting sector in Sirius and also the staging area for the war between Kokura and the V'rix pouring in from the Mazzaroth Maelstrom.
[b] Planet Swooping Eagle[/b]

[img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/jenquai%20temple.gif[/img] Sacred grounds for the Shinwa or the Jenquai warriors and it holds both Yasuragi station and Cha'Han's Dojo for learning Shinwa warriors. The planet is a beautiful place with a green and blue shimmer over the large cliffaces. Its not surprising the Jenquai fight so fiercely to protect it from the V'rix. It was from Yasuragi the expedition set out to find or establish communication with the lost Master Zeh Len. The Students of Zeh Len went out since their master had disappeared during a meditation session. Many of her students believed that her essence had been transformed into one of the recently appearing Oni and that they could still establish communication with her if they constructed the right device. So they did and went beyond the Intzalan line in Xipe Totec. Things didn't turn out exactly as planned though, when activating the communication device it wasn't their master that answered the call but something else.
[b] Xipe Totec[/b]

[url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/Zenrei.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/Zenrei.JPG[/img][/url] The sector has a huge energy wall separating Jenquai space station Prasad from the presence of the Hidden One and the space wandering Oni. It is speculated that the Oni are fallen Shinwas that been corrupted by the Zenrei Guardian. Little is know exactly but it would have been unfolded some had the game continued. Beyond the Inzatlan line dwells the Hidden One, which is the Zenrei. This is an enormous creature from the elder days of the universe. The Zenrei is ever present on his side of the line and influence the ships that travel there in various ways (shuts down reactors, shields etc). To be able to encounter this being the players must build a certain device (the same device that the students of Zeh Len used). To build the device they must first find a slagged device by killing (many) Oni. Take the device back to Yasuragi and then analyze it. To build a working device there are many components needed, among them 3 very rare parts from the Oni beings. Once the patient player has all the components and constructed an Oni Communication Device (or OCD for short) the player can activate the device on a special place in Xipe Totec. Once you do that the Zenrei comes out with several minions and the battle is on. This encounter was one of the most fun to do for many players since the players themself could influence when they wanted to do the raid and prepare for it. This way of making raids started by the players themself was found in several events later in the game (examples are Zekes Great Machine and the Fish bowl Raid against the Ten-gus). The Zenrei is in fact related to the Celestial Warder, which many players had suspected from the conversation with the Celestial Warder. The Zenrei seem to be a more foul being than the Warder though and is actively trying to corrupt and destroy where as the Warder is more of a protector.
[b] Capella system[/b]

Capella is Jenquai domain, and you will see a lot of different Jenquai structures and ships spread out in the different sectors of the large system.
[b] Yokan[/b]

The early level sector for many jenquai, and even for other classes exploring the galaxy for the first time. In the center of the sector there is an old watchtower where many starting out players get their combat experience.
[b] Kailaasa[/b]

Jenquai Explorers have direct access to this sector and also the Paren station here. There is a ship yard for Jenquai to upgrade their ships hull as they progress in the game.
[b] Dahin[/b]

Dahin is another lower level sector mainly focused for the Jenquai, since they have it closer at hand when starting out. In the middle of the sector there is a large rock structure and a wreak of several Sharim ships. Sharims are the traders of the Jenquai but was not included as a player class in the launch of the game. It appears they encounter a large Voltoi there and were destroyed. When players approach the being it isn't responding to any attempts of contact. It almost seems like its in some kind of trance and looking at its stomach it seems like its pregnant. How can the players wake the being from the trance? The only way is to feed the Ascendant Voltoi with a certain crystal, that you only can get from a special Mordana ship, the Mordana Purifier Philosopher. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/mordana%20purifier%20philosopher.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/mordana%20purifier%20philosopher.JPG[/img][/url] [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/ascendant%20voltoi.JPG"] [img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/ascendant%20voltoi.JPG[/img][/url]
Once the crystal is feed to the Voltoi it wakes from its trance and its no happy about it. When the players start to kill the Enraged Ascendant Voltoi its offspring come out to defend its mother. Not only that, if you don't kill all the smaller Voltoi Scions before the Ascendant, it will transfer its essence to one of its Scion there and the battle will restart with a new Ascendant Voltio. This is another really smart small raid, since its player instanced it means the players can start it when they want. It requires patience (mainly to find the Mordana Philosopher) and some tactics when doing the raid, and it was a really popular mini raid in the game.
[b] Planet Dahin[/b]

The Planet in Dahin sector houses a mining facility connected to a space station, the Tokai Saikutsu. Outside the station there is a dangerous landscape of mudpools and volcanic rock. Here dwells the mystic Cenovar. Cenovars exact purpose is not known, or its just not implemented. As far as I know the only thing that could be done was to have a (very) small conversation where he tells you to kill one of the Cenovar Gladiators around him as a mini mission. Any other purpose was never revealed or don't exist. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/Cenovar.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/Cenovar.JPG[/img][/url]
[b] Kitaras Veil[/b]

Mordana ships dominate this sector. Mordana is a Jenquai extreme cult which welcome the V'rix war and work towards the return of Mordane. The sector also holds several lower level Belters and some highest level of the Freespacers. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/mordana%20cruiser.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/mordana%20cruiser.JPG[/img][/url]
[b] Vishaos Cove[/b]

Vishaos Cove has a population of both Zenshai and Belters ranging from easy to medium in difficulty it also has the ancient gate that leads to the distant Antares system. When the gate was activated using the ancient codex it also resulted in opening the Mazzaroth Maelstrom.
[b] Antares[/b]

[url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/kkizz.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/kkizz.JPG[/img][/url] Antares is the furthest out the Jenquai have reached in this part of space. So far only one sector, Antares Frontier, has been opened but the Jenquai is working on activating more gates further into the system. The beautiful Voltoi gracefully roams in Antares, but the beauty is deceiving. If attacked they defend themself fiercely. The sector also has an unfinished station in Antares 1, it seems like the Jenquai had plans to spread further into the Antares system and that this base would have been the staging area for this expansion and possible more stations with higher numbers as the expansion progressed into Antares. Of course its also possible that the Mordana Cult get hold of the base before that, as many players had speculated, seeing the Mordanas high interest in the Voltoi and the crystals they hold.
[b] Alpha Centauri system[/b]

Terran Warriors have the control in most of Alpha Centauri.
[b] Witberg[/b]

The connecting sector in Alpha Centauri and also the scene for the showdown between the Terran warrior faction and the Bogerils. Bogeril are descendants of the first human colonists that arrived in Alpha Centauri. Being used by the other terran factions in Alpha Centauri mines as cheap labor the Bogeril started to rise against the terrans and under the lead of Sam Bogeril they started a rebellion that have lasted until the current days. Bogerils are known for their tinkering skills and can with the simplest means often construct devices etc that surpass even the established companies commercial products, especially their engines have been much sought after. In Witberg there are both EarthCorps and Bogeril faction ships present. Close to the planet in the system is Zekes Great Machine, which is the end raid of the large mission that required all classes to be able to pull it off. A popular event since it was a rather complex mission that lead up to a decent reward that required team work and skill. Among the rewards was weapons, reactors, and special devices. Another interesting fact about this raid is that it could be done two ways, depending on what faction you support in the conflict and what kind of mission you did leading up to the raid.
[b] Zweihander[/b]

EarthCorps (terran warrior) control this system. Its mostly lower level monsters here and some ore resource fields. The terran warriors have set up the star base EarthCorps High Command here.
[b] Planet Zweihander[/b]

The green planet where the terran enforcers set up the large base of Jagerstadt City. In the yesteryears the planet had been afflicted by a large plague killing of much of the population and the cause of the plague is still not fully understood.
[b] Der Todesengel[/b]

The Bogeril home sector and their own station Grand Ole Homestead. This is a great sector which allows all kinds of group combat, the smaller groups go for the easier solo scuttlebugs, medium groups can try the smaller groups of rogue Bogerils and scuttlebugs. For the really large groups/guilds there is the possibility to try the extremely demanding task of taking down the scuttlebug Scooter or the mighty Gen'ril Danner McQuicken.
[b] Aquitaine system[/b]

In Aquitaine there is only one sector explored so far, Ardus. In this sector the players can meet one of the ancients face to face, Antile. There are 3 strange beings that will challenge the player or small group of players. Could there be a link between the Dark matter in Ardus and these beings?
[b] Tau Ceti system[/b]

InfinitiCorp has the hold over Tau Ceti with several mining stations and trade routes. The most important and also closely guarded secret is the gas giant Arduinne where InfinitiCorp is harvesting Quantum silk to be refined into Quantum Crystals which are used in the InfinitiGate technology.
[b] New Edinburgh[/b]

New Edinburgh sector and the space station of Somerled has a InfinitiCorp exclusive (only terran traders can use it) connection to Sol system through the High Earth sector. It also links to Beta Hydri and is therefor a much important sector as it acts a connector between the three systems for InfinitiCorp. There is a Red Dragon presence on the other side of the planet with several smaller Red Dragon installations. Could there be a connection between the Pirate manufacturers BlackSun and InfinitiCorp?
[b] Inverness[/b]

Inverness acts as a transport sector between the large mining in the end sectors of Tau Ceti (and Cygni 61 system) and the refining and manufacturing in other parts of the system (and galaxy). There are several Belters and Red Dragons that watch the navigation routes for unwary ships that they could prey on. Close by the large moon/asteroid Nessie the Red Dragons have a large force present. Its acting both as protection for the Red Dragon gate here and as a place where they can start their hunting expeditions in the sector.
[b] Planet Inverness[/b]

A large and windy planet with some gas mining for the players to undertake. There is the mining station of Inverness Down.
[b] Arduinne[/b]

There are lots of lower level smugglers and monsters in Arduinne. Several ore fields gives the players opportunity to find resources around the many moons in the system. One particular moon attracts attention since it appears to have been attacked by some large force and is almost destroyed. If the players searches around the moon they can find tiny beings that hold a certain crystal in the form of a talisman. Could this crystal give a clue to what happened to the moon?
[b] Planet Arduinne[/b]

A gas giant and a rich resource for mining. However its not the gases in itself that attract the tight security (you need a security clearance and there is a large EarthCorp defense system at the entry gate) around this planet. Its the presence of the Oroborous worms and the silk they produce that made InfinitiCorp keep this planet under this restricted surveillance. The worms float around among the ore fields and although not very dangerous (since they are drugged by InfintiCorp to keep them docile) could attack careless prospectors. There is a constant debris of asteroids and larger rocks falling down on the planet and threatening ships. Far away from the gate there is a large temple, where the players can talk (through the temple) to a being calling itself The Warder (or sometimes "presence"). To be able to talk you must have one of the Crystal Talismans from the destroyed moon in Arduinne space. Otherwise the Warder (who sees the world in energy and energy patterns) wont see you as a "sentient" being and wont bother to have a conversation. The Warder regards itself the caretaker of the Orobourus worms and has been guarding on Arduinne for many millenias. Very long ago there was an alien race that came from the moon outside the planet. When the Warder discovered that the aliens threatened the Orobouros worms he attacked and destroyed (well almost) the moon killing all the aliens. This was however a rather demanding task for the Warder and forced it to hibernate for many thousands of years to recover its strength. It is now waking again. On a (very) regular basis the Warder will come out from the temple and attempt to destroy any ships close to it, as it sees the ships as a threat to the Orobouros worms. [url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/warder.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/warder.JPG[/img][/url]
The Warder encounter has several similarities to the Zenrei epic, but on a much smaller scale. They have similar minions that helps their masters with shields and buffs. And there is a clear resemblance in the appearance (compare the graphics of the Etherial defender and the Zenrei Tempest). The relationship with the Zenrei is also indicated in the discussion with the warder temple. It seems they where "born" a very long time ago from a being the warder itself calls the Procreator and the Zenrei is its "cousins". However the Zenrei grew foul and the Procreator left them. For a very long time they went searching the universe for a home and finally came here very long ago. The Zenrei settled at Sirius star and the Warder (who didn't want to stay with his evil cousins) made Arduinne its home to guard the worms from any harm. The Celestial Warder and the Zenrei are very old, they were around when the Ancients themself constructed the gates, and the Warder mentions the Ancients as the Travelers and the gates they constructed as The Lattice.
[b] Cygni 61 system[/b]

Cyngi 61 and its only (explored) sector of Aganju is a sector of brewing conflict. InfinitiCorp has the ownerships and is using Psionics as slave labor in the rich mines of the sector, which is leading towards an rebellion among the Psis and their sympathizers. There is also the historical conflict since the Progen had lost the Cygni War and Anjuren Kahn wont let the system up easily, and therefor has his Warship in the sector. He is constructing a large shield, as a protection for the mines in the system from the new threat of the V'rix, but if there is more reasons behind Kahns shield construction can only the future tell. At the moment Progen is having their hands full with the V'rix war however and focus their resources there.
[b] Smugglers Run (or Rift) system[/b]

As the most successful pirates in the galaxy, the Red Dragons has control over this system and they have even constructed their own gates, perhaps with stolen technology from InfinitiCorp. The gates are constructed so only those that have good factions with the Red Dragons are allowed to enter. In the sector there is also the Red Dragon station of Queen Anne's Revenge. The exits from the gates are positioned in several important sectors in the galaxy and it gives the Red Dragons fast access to the sectors of Inverness, Grissom, Xipe Totec and Muspelheim. Muspelheim is also close to Aragoth Prime and the Red Dragon supply Base there. Inside the Smugglers Run system there is only one sector, The Blackbeards Wake, which acts as both a resource point and as a place where the Red Dragons can train their combat skills. For this purpose they have installed a range of nav bouys where there are drones to hunt. The Drones are produced in Drone Fabrication Plants.

However, it seems that one of the Red Dragon plants have been taken over by the Drones themself. Far out in a large gravitation well there is a Destroyed Drone Fabrication Plant which is overrun with dangerous Drones. Sometimes (around 5 days or so) there is an even harder Drone event going on, when the Precursor indicates the arrival of the Controller. This event required some real tactics and was a challange for the players, as many felt the first version of the Tada-O was mostly a target and shoot event. If the players are victorious the Red Dragons have a reward for one of the players (the same kind of shield that the Controller is wearing, projecting a skull over the ship).
[url="http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/thecontroller.JPG"][img]http://home.swipnet.se/Hubba/images/thecontroller.JPG[/img][/url]

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Oh man, so many tasty tasty mobs in that post. Edited by Ryle

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This link here is a very good read: "The Earth and Beyond Storyline Reference"
http://web.archive.org/web/20041027031428/http://www.ebportal.com/downloads/ebbook.pdf

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Here are the "lost patches" (the ones toward the end of this list)...the ones that we the playerbase never got a chance to experience due to sunset:

[b][size=6]Act 1 (Major Revelations)[/size][/b] [size=5][b]by Albino Eatpod[/b][/size]:

[b]"Act I[/b]

[b]Step 5:[/b]

deWinter: deliver Shield Anchors to Kahn; reverse engineer the anchor before you deliver it so that deWinter can gain access to Cygni.

Nostradamus: Bring me a V’rix deceptor.

Loric: Thread the Hyperia gate.

89: Deliver Psi to Merjan

Vinda: Make Antile’s codex. I finally get a codex, about time.

Silva: Take mirror fragment/get three Vishao battle imprints.

Kahn: Rebuild shield anchors.

Herrera: Bring three Aquitaine battle imprints or quicksilver phoenix.

T2Z: Deliver consumables to the Eye of God.

Amah: Her ghostly voice is heard near the remnants of her ship. Her DNA is fueling new V’rix weapons and items. Is Amah still alive?

Ariad: Analyze and build consumable, but this is never going to pay off.

Merjan: Deliver a Psi to Antile.

Tzu: Get three battle imprints.

Malhause: Bring back an Eye of Re

Memnon: Bring three Cygni Battle imprints.

Cassel: Rant and rave about how to get revenge against Vinda. He obtains one of Vinda’s gene maps and plans to use it against her.

Eye of God moves to Saturn.

[b]Step #6[/b]

89 (poisoned) goes to Xango, becomes crazy and dies. This happens thusly: he sends the players to take a message to Var; the Psis need Progen help against deWinter and the Terrans. Wouldn’t Var like to help? Var, of course, is dead. Players return to 89 to tell him. He panics and takes his ship to get help from the V’rix instead. The V’rix kill him.

deWinter: Spy on the shield to make sure that the altered anchors are in place and used. Kahn is missing!

Loric: Dark matter worked! V’rix have visited me. Go to T2Z and give him samples of Dark Matter, he asked for. What is important enough to Loric that he does this?

Nostadamus: When players take his mission to investigate the Eye of God and where it’s moving they find out about deWinter’s plans to sabotage the shield.

Vinda: Wow. Gray Feather is dead. Hmmm. I might be able to use that. I need you to go get some of his DNA. I also need you to go out and start scouting Aragoth. I think there are some things we never found there.

Silva: Join my ship in space. Defend Swooping Eagle. What are the Sentinels doing with Gray Feather?

Kahn: Mission to investigate problems with the shield. Unable to discover deWinter’s sabotage. Begins to doubt himself. Is taking back Cygni worth it. Debates negotiating with Nostradamus. Progen can’t do it alone. If players bring him DNA from Gray Feather, he’ll begin changing his point of view about the war.

Herrera: Moves to EC High Command. The war isn’t going well, let’s send a mission to scout the Bogeril. Multipart mission to go deeper and deeper into Bogeril territory and bring back a bucket of Texas Tea. V’rix attack Witberg.

T2Z: Sends people off to look for dark matter. Visit Loric to ask questions. He also sends players off to talk to Vinda. Starts to build a weapon that prevents Call Forward. Maybe Vinda would like that? She hates the Call Forward.

Amah: Her voice continues to echo through Akeron’s sector.

Ariad: Merjan asked me to move to Paren while she is on a trip. Try to find the Aquitaine maelstrom please.

Merjan: Move to Aquitaine, a bit discredited because the new maelstrom does not appear as she predicted. Her confidence is shaken – set up a downfall here. Come with me to Aquitaine. Meet Antile. Join me in my ascension. The Psi was a gift offering. I hope Antile likes them. Circular time – there are always the oppressed and the master. Guess which I am?

Tzu: Moves to Antares; Ariad needs someone to cover for her. We need to get this station finished, get that stupid broken gate working and clean this sector up. Did the lack of oxygen in this half-finished station addle that woman’s brain? And, to boot, the Jenquai are fractured, they need our help.

Malhause: Get pieces of Gray Feather’s body, they’ll become relics, don’t you see?

Memnon: Tries to send spies to Deneb to see what the V’rix are up to; foreshadow the use of Loric’s gate. What is Vinda doing with Gray Feather’s DNA?

Cassel: Use Vinda’s gene map against her. Memnon would probably help out.

Eye of God moves to Jupiter.

[b]Step #7[/b]

Loric: Gate opens to second Cygni sector. Players go thru the gate. Initially only players that have shares in Hyperia can go through.

deWinter: The V’rix have closed the ancient gates, so she uses Psis to keep them open secretly. deWinter proposes to Herrera that she can help in Cygni. Herrera’s letter about Damien brings up old feelings for Herrera and she reaches a decision.

Nostradamus: Move to Xango Moon. The Deceptor isn’t working. Oh well, things you plan don’t always work out the way you planned. Maybe we need to bring the war to them. Send players to get WWI battle imprints in Aquitaine.

Vinda: Cassel is a pain. Okay now we’re going to use Gray Feather’s gene map. No telling anyone, now. Okay well that item you built in Freya, it didn’t pan out so go check out Jotunheim.

Kahn: Leaves Cygni and goes back to Progen space. Vinda’s doing something interesting that will improve the Progen as a whole.

Silva: Realizes that Vinda’s ideas have merit. Merjan having lost it and destroying Jenquai culture, Vinda might be the only solution.

Herrera: Take letters to the families of dead Earth Corps soldiers. One goes to deWinter. Send players to talk with the Bogeril. Also take battle imprints to Kahn.

T2Z: What’s Vinda up to? We have to find out. If she’s after another Codex, we can’t let that happen.

Amah: Nothing yet.

Ariad: Mission to get part of Zenrei DNA to work on creating a better weapon against the V’rix. Needs help from Vinda for this and negotiates such that Vinda gets something and Ariad gets Progen Lore skill to teach to all Explorers.
Tzu: The Chavez took over our base in Aragoth!

Malhause: He’s attempting to bring back Mordane. Use Amah artifacts.

Cassel: Yah, Vinda’s going too far, we have to stop her.

Memnon: Send players to Kahn and discover he’s left Cygni. He’s abandoned us again, just like his last retirement. And Kahn’s shield isn’t working. The man is getting too old. Vinda’s going to use that DNA to mess us up. We have to stop her, she’s destroying Progen tradition.

Loric’s gate opens to Thujuli Rift

Eye of God moves to ABA

Gate opens from Antares to BBW

Voltoi are removed from Antares

[b]Step #8[/b]

Nostradamus: Figures out that when all the imprints are put together, they form the collective unconscious of all pain from all war. Sends them to Ariad.

Loric: Strikes a secret deal with the V’rix to get them in thru Cygni’s back door.

deWinter: Agrees to go to Kinshasa-Mbali as Herrera’s representative to bring order there. She takes this mission with an ulterior motive – perfect chance to seize Cygni.

Vinda: What do you mean the V’rix are asking about me? I’m sure Kahn has them in check. You say you didn’t find anything in Jotunheim, well try Varen’s Girdle now. Now that we’ve synthesized Gray Feather’s essence, let’s try to make ourselves a new warrior.

Kahn: Returns to the scene of his greatest battle, looking for imprints. Finds out Herrera has some and decides to seek him out.

Silva: Offers alliance with Vinda and defends her against Memnon and Cassel.

Merjan: In Aquitaine. Tries to ascend and fails.

Tzu: Breaks with Merjan and sends players to defend memorials in Jupiter.

Araid: Unravels the mystery of the Zenrei and the OCD. Connection to the Oni. Convinces the Jenquarum to open the Jenquai newbie gates. Takes over leadership of the Sha’ha’dem. Gives all Jenquai wormhole ability in Jenquai space.

Malhause: That didn’t work – but go find this relic of Mordane and I’ll get it next time.

Memnon: Send players on a mission to confuse anyone on Vinda’s mission.

Cassel: Begin to build robots based on Vinda’s gene map to fight against her. Reject the idea that a Jenquai gene map can make Progen better.

Red Dragons support Silva and Ariad against the V’rix.

[b]Step #9[/b]

deWinter: V’rix attack Cygni and destroy it all. Mines are destroyed and weapon’s grade ore is lost. The Maelstrom’s cease. deWinter dies at Kinshasa-Mbali, but she manages to evacuate and save the Psis in the mines.

Nostradamus: Xango is besieged by the V’rix. Defend Xango! Trying to find out who killed 89. (Nostradamus worked on a project long ago that harvested Psis neurons for an experimental Psi-tech device.)

Loric: Takes over InfinitiCorp in deWinter’s absence. Sends players to establish new trade routes given the rearrangement of the galaxy.

Vinda: You found it in Varen’s Girdle? Cool. Lets try and open it with an Uber Codex. We’ll send in these new warriors. Move to Varen’s Girdle.

Kahn: Meets with Herrera and they discover that the battle imprints, when put together form a core of knowledge. The V’rix are using the imprints against us. We must destroy all imprints.

Silva: Vinda needs our help.

Herrera: Creates new Joint High Command with new headquarters along with Kahn and a Bogeril commander.

T2Z: Help out in the assault in Cygni. Spy for us. Vinda has found something. Kill her, destroy the Sabine.

Merjan: Moves to Mordana home, leader of the Mordana.

Ariad: Mission to get part of the Zenrei DNA. Combo with OCD does something cool.

Tzu: Diplomatic mission to see if Chavez will join the Red Dragons. They won’t.

Malhause: Get the psionically active artifact.

Memnon: Move in ship to Varen’s Girdle and stop Vinda.

Cassel: Steal parts of Hardenburg drones.

Maelstroms all go away.

[b]Step #10[/b]

Eye of God destroys Earth. Cygni is quiet.

Vinda: The V’rix destroy earth. We really need to open the gate now. But we have to fight a bunch of V’rix to do it. Why are they so angry with us?

Silva: Fight with Vinda against Memnon and the V’rix.

Kahn: Goes after Memnon to get his battle imprints. They fight and Kahn defeats and kills him.

Herrera: Kick the V’rix out of Witberg with the aid of the Bogeril. Tzu and Herrera work together to fight Red Dragons that won’t join humanity’s side.

T2Z: Now will you listen? Stop Vinda.

Tzu: Kill rebel Red Dragons who won’t help humanity. Paying bounty.

Ariad: Assume leadership of the Jenquai.

Merjan: Missing again.

Malhause: We’ve got Mordane’s essence, now we need an appropriate vessel. Setup Act II, Malhause goes into hiding.

Memnon: Fights battle with Silva and Kahn. Kills Silva but is killed by Kahn.

Cassel: Hears of the death of Memnon and flees …

[b]Step #11[/b]

Loric: Begins building a new gate.

Nostradamus: Offers an alliance with Kahn and Herrera if they help him with Landauer and the Anseria.

Vinda: It’s Open! The V’rix go after Vinda. The new warriors are there to defend. Vinda retreats to Andaren’s Tomb to try and explore the new sector through the Gate. The V’rix try to stop her. The Shinwa and the new warriors fight to the death to defend her. The V’rix are driven back.

Kahn: Aids Vinda in exploring the new sector.

Herrera: Approaches Ariad and Tzu. Backs Tzu as the Shinwa class leader.

Bogeril: Give players missions to help gather battle imprints.

T2Z: Prevent players from getting battle imprints.

Tzu: The gate in Andaren’s Tomb is open Pirates and the Shinwa are allies. Many of the Red Dragons die defending the gate.

Ariad: Synthesizes a new anti-V’rix weapon out of the battle imprints and the OCD and DNA from the Zenrei. Something in the new sector helps in this. All that’s needed is something Memnon had.

Open BBW to all players?

[b]Step #12[/b]

Nostradamus: In some low-key way sacrifices himself to enable the V’rix to be defeated. This atones for past atrocities he committed.

Herrera: Big holding action with the V’rix in Witberg. Bogeril and Terran Psis are allies. In this battle Herrera knowingly sacrifices Psis to win the day.

Bogeril: Join Herrera to save their people.

T2Z: If Ariad gets her hands on that last imprint, we’re cooked. Attack the Jenquai.

Tzu: Becomes leader of the Shinwa."

© 2004 Electronic Arts. All Rights Reserved.

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Miss you man, hope you had a merry christmas and a happy new year. Wouldn't mind having you back, in fact, I think we need ya now more than ever.

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