Manual of Threats

The Manual of Threats

Introduction
Galaxy is large and full of horrors. Ships traversing the Hyperspace or braving the frontier may encounter a large number of threats. Even more can be encountered when braving the frontier, where the light of civilization ends and strange things dwell around even stranger stars. Some of those things are unknown to the general public (often due to Explorers' Guild suppression of information), some exist as 'myths' and some are greatly underestimated (or overestimated).   The following list is written from the perspective of the the Explorers' Guild, which means that it will include mentions of things that aren't a common knowledge (and most navies and merchants out there doubt in their existence). The awareness level will be specified each time. It will also mention how often they are encountered, and how much of a threat they might be. There will also be only a short summary on each of them, though once an article is written about any of those threats, it will be linked beneath them.
 

Threats

Humans

Pirates
Pirates are the most common type of threats to be encountered, both in Hyperspace or (though that's rare) on the edges of the star systems and in unclaimed regions of the Yellow Zone. Overwhelming majority of them operates under the auspices of the Council of Woes, however there are rare cases of unaligned pirate groups. Most of them follow roughly similar modus operandi. 'Wolf packs' of small starships skittering around the trade routes, engaging lone transport/passenger vessels or weak convoys, pillaging ships before disappearing. Raiding outer system installations like asteroid mines. Rare planetary assaults (though typically against vastly undeveloped or even dome-based worlds).   There are, however, certain subcategories of pirates, each of them acting a bit differently.   Pirates - Standard pirates. Some of them are independent, however overwhelming majority is aligned with the Council of Woes. Those connected to the Discord will typically have access to a much better gear and easier recruitment, making them a bigger threat. What's worse, they receive access to the D-Gate Network, which means that they can theoretically appear anywhere.   On the other hand, save for a handful of larger and more established pirate fleets, they almost never become a really notable threat. There are out there, but in the end, it's as if they weren't there. Everyone knows about them, but save for cargo vessels insurances and convoy organization they are almost never brought up. They are, in a way, too common, too easily repelled, and not exotic enough to catch attention.   Threat Level: Low
Rarity: Common
Public Awareness: Total
  Corsairs - Corsairs are, in an essence, legal pirates. Instead of attacking everyone save for them, they pick a patron from the list of Confederation of Mankind's members, and attack their enemies. This has both downsides and upsides. Upside is that corsairs need to adher to at least basic ethics - even worst countries out there will typically prevent their corsairs from raping and mass murdering their captives, if only to avoid ruining their public opinion even more. What's more, corsairs can only attack trade vessels of their patron's enemies.   However, they have (by default) access to a decent equipment, good training (including military personnel), and occasional military support - it is unheard of for a corsair cruiser to tail a convoy while its colleague is drawing in military warships prowling the area as a part of the blockade. What's worse, not all corsairs are fully law-abiding, after all if their patron doesn't know about something, it can't chastise the corsairs about it. Which, typically, means leaving no one alive...   Threat Level: Low to Medium
Rarity: Common
Public Awareness: Total
  Slavers - Slavers can come from two sources. First are the infamous discordian slavers, perpetually seeking new cannonfodder, workslaves and toys for the Council of Woes. The other are more 'legal' entrepeneurs, typically operating from one of the countries that are ok with such behaviour. Common pirates (especially those from Discord) will typically take prisoners to sell (though this depends on how deranged they really are). For the 'actual' slavers, capturing, breaking, training and selling 'human resources' takes absolute precedence.   They will pillage captured ships, but this is merely secondary in importance. This has a notable influence on their choice of targets - they might ignore a cargo vessel merely because their crews are de facto skeletal. In exchange they will gladly attack a pessenger ship, which is something that pirates often alow ammount of high value goods, potentially a lot of resistance etc.)   Threat Level: Low
Rarity: Uncommon
Public Awareness: Total
  Pleasure Cults - Originally from the Solar Federation, Pleasure Cults are a threat that recently began appearing in Confederation' space. Most 'pleasure cults' are groups of very wealthy and very depraved individuals who seek increasingly extreme pleasures. Sooner or later they are either ousted from society or escape it on their own, creating a typically short-lived ship (or group of them, in rare cases) that roam the wilderness beyond, hoping to attack ships so that they can capture their crews and, typically, torture them to death. Which is the better option for them than remaining alive.   Pleasure Cults began in more nihilist-oriented circles of the Solar Federation 'nobility'. They are rare and often almost utterly uncoherent in their actions - which typically leads to them being quickly discovered and subjugated. Some of them, however, turned out a bit more devious and dangerous, becoming something a bit more long-term. This is especially common to those Pleasure Cults that managed to connect themselves with the Discord and the Council of Woes.   Threat Level: Low
Rarity: Very Rare
Public Awareness: Low
  Deserters and Rebels - Deserters from a regular military or rebels, who are either conducting a guerilla warfare against their former country or on the run from the victorious loyalists in the aftermath of an internal struggle going hot. While different on a basic level, in an essence they are exactly the same thing. A group of armed and well-trained soldiers that are on the run from authorities and can, if cornered, start doing mean things.   Most deserters and rebels can either join the Explorer's Guild or another nation of the Confederation altogether, somehow reorganize themselves enough to launch an open civil war in their country (in case of rebels)... or go downhill. Many of those are pirates in all but name, endlessly gathering money to pay their crew or to finance their little war. Those that go that way almost always end up in Discord, swallowed by its pirate fleets.   u]Threat Level: Low to Medium
Rarity: Rare
Public Awareness: High
  Abyssal Cults - Extremely dangerous groups of people that get so insane due to contact with Hyperspace that their insanity returned to the sanity from the other end of it. Which doesn't change the fact that they are completely and utterly malevolent. They prey on Mankind for centuries, with no plans of stopping. They are known for their sadism, utter lack of empathy and access to most mysterious sorcmods and crazy numbers of anomalists (all of them powerful).   They remain one of the most powerful groups within the Council of Woes, however their plans are shrouded in secrecy. They seem to have them (at least judging from certain patterns in their raiding operations), however their true plans remain a riddle for anyone save for their leadership).   Threat Level: High
Rarity: Rare
Public Awareness: Legendary [overwhelming majority of Mankind doesn't believe they still exist and thinks that they disappeared following their defeat in at the hands of Solar Federation).
 
Renegades
Renegades operate in a way similar to the pirates, but unlike them they are motivated by ideology. Some of them are remnants of the really 'wrong' countries that collapsed during Unification Wars, some are even older, and some are the only remnants of the countries exiled from the Confederation of Mankind and subsequently destroyed. All these remnants eventually found refuge in the Discord. All of them have their own long-term plans - typically successful reconquest of their lost territories.   This makes them an opponent of the Confederation of Mankind - and, in many cases, Solar Federation. All of them are organized in a rather militaristic way,and retain both the discipline and the determination required to assault military ships. Their approach to encountered civilians varies greatly, but rarely is very humanitarian - they spend too much time in the Discord. Which is also their primary source of recruits.
  Solarian Raiders - Solar Federation remains irritated with the Confederation of Mankind stalwart defense against its reunification attempts. The defenses are even further strengthened with technological advantage that the Confeds have. Feds are determined to make the gap smaller - and one of their methods of achieving that is sending raiders into Confederation space around the border blockades.   This is a troublesome thing to do, as many ships (or even entire squadrons) disappear during transit. However every ship returning with modern technologies is a great boon for the Federation (which also tends to reward greatly the really successful raiders), which means that such a raiders continue regardless of casualties.   Threat Level: Low
Rarity: Uncommon
Public Awareness: Total
  Necrocracy - Necrocracy is the end result of a mix of extreme militant nihilism and transhumanism. Necrocracy is a sort of a religion of death and extinction. Ancestors of modern Necrocrats used technology of the long dead Immortal Assembly and created an extensive set of implants that could (for a while) make a dead person continue 'acting', of course under the necrocrats control. The plague of undead they unleashed threatened to devour entire sector, but was finally pushed back - at great cost.   Modern Necrocracy remnants operate from Discord where they are gathering recruits from both the dead and alive, picking the most staunchly genocidal nihilists they can find in the second case. Their mission is to kill everything alive. Once the Necrocracy wipes out everyone but themselves, they will probably commit suicide. If there is a group in the Galaxy that personifies madness better than Necrocracy, it probably killed itself long ago.   Their ships are a mix of every possible vessel that they managed to catch. While not overly dangerous in case of technologies or tactics, they are relentless, completely ready to throw out their 'lives' if it will let them kill more enemies, and seem to always roam the Galaxy in larger groups.   Threat Level: Low to Medium
Rarity: Rare
Public Awareness: Low
  Transhuman Alliance - Transhuman Alliance was the first group to find refugee in Discord, which happened during the late years of the War of Purity. When the defeat of the Alliance became apparent, members of the Alliance who didn't die typically joined the Unforgiven en masse. This is something that included only the relatively 'tame' transhumans - those that could hope for mercy from the victorious Commonwealth. Entire leadership, members of the Humanity Ascension Program (responsible for the greatest genocide in history) and those most fanatic in their beliefs fled to the Discord.   What's left of the Alliance are absolute fanatics, dreaming of the day when they will finally succeed in 'uplifting' Mankind from its current primitive state. Dreaming of the day when they will break the Solar Federation and the Confederation of Mankind alike, killing everyone who refuses to join them - even if it will force them to kill trillions of humans. What's worst, they perfected their technology, and reinforced themselves with entire arrays of archeotechs (including many darktechs), taking full advantage of their vastly superhuman physique and minds.   Threat Level: Medium to High
Rarity: Rare
Public Awareness: Total
  Reavers - Reavers are descendants of the few thousand humans that escaped from Human Space in the late years of Genetic Wars, when their leader - the genetical warlord Reaver - was defeated by forces of the Solar Commonwealth. They escaped with Gene Artificer, which allowed them to change into what is essentially a different subspecies of Mankind - so far from the mainline Mankind that some claim them to be a different species altogether.   Reavers are masters of biological manipulation. Their ships insides are to a large degree organic, and they are known for unleashing a sizeable number of biomodified beasts of war. They occasionally send out ships to capture new 'genetic material', which (thankfully) doesn't necessarily mean hunting humans. Of course, being the species of psychopathic (and cunning) sadists, they might stop to enjoy local views...   Threat Level: Medium to High
Rarity: Rare
Public Awareness: Low
  AI/HUMILITY - AI/HUMILITY was defeated and destroyed, but before that happened it managed to spread bits of malicious (and transcendental) code through Mankind's systems. When they find a refuge in a computer with weak antivirus defenses, the result will be replication of AI/HUMILITY. Who will immediately proceed to repeat its past rampage. It will take advantage of its control over computers to seize control of a military vessel (or vessels) to escape into Hyperspace. It will establish a permanent base in the wilderness beyond... and will begin furiously experimenting on the captives, creating various sophisticated biological (and cybernetic) monstrosities.   Ships (or rarely fleets) controlled by AI/HUMILITY are extremely dangerous. HUMILITY improves the computer systems (and weaponry) with its own tricks. What's more, it's also utterly ruthless and extremely devious, almost routinely running in circles around even the most cunning human opponents. While its enclaves are always destroyed in the end, it's caused mostly by generous application of human waves tactics.   Threat Level: High
Rarity: Very Rare
Public Awareness: Low
  Truthseekers Corporation - One of the most horrible groups to ever curse the Human Space. TC is somewhat of an anti-cult. While they are certainly extremely cult-like in structure and day-to-day operations, they are in fact a faction of extreme nietscheans. They want to elevate Mankind into the greatness - and are more than willing to kill, torture or experiment on people for that. Their motto (No Gods, Only Men) is perhaps the best summary of their agenda. They are also the only group to survive being exiled from the Confederation of Mankind without collapsing entirely - a great achievement.   They field massively augmented (with both bio and cybernetic augments) supersoldiers, cloned cannonfodder and extremely high-tech weaponry, often bordering on being a low-level archeotechs. They are extremely wealthy, often capable of ensuring that forces in their region of operations that could stop them are currently absent. In essence - an extremely dangerous group of people.   Threat Level: High to Very High
Rarity: Rare
Public Awareness: High
 

Aliens

Modern Aliens
Aliens are a category of threats that are far from being unified in their tactics, engagement doctrine and ship technology. What unites them is their, well, alien origin. Unlike pirates and renegades, they rarely cooperate and are in no way connected to each other via an alien counterpart to Discord.   Yatevian Raiders - Yatevians are an absolute terror in ground combat - but they are at best moderate when it comes to naval engagements. Their fleets are typically roaming around at random, hoping to catch some unaware prey that they scavenge for supplies, food and technologies.   They are much behind in technology, and typically try to make up for it with sheer numbers. Once they manage to disable the attacked ships, the battle will typically end swiftly and bloody for their opponents. Which is why they are feared, despite 4 in 5 raids ending in utter disaster.   Threat Level: Very Low
Rarity: Common [in sectors bordering with Yatevian space], Rare to Very Rare otherwise.
Public Awareness: Total
  Tech-Eaters - Tech-Eaters are essentially a vastly impaired variant of the original berserks that went towards nanotechnology instead of robotics. Tech-Eaters attack and devour ships, breaking its outer defenses and spreading nanobots (ranging from dusts of truly 'nano' machines to small constructs made entirely of such material), slowly assimilating everything within the ship.   The end result is a new Tech-Eater ship, built entirely of nanomachines constructed from its original material. They are much less resistant to hits than the replaced ships, and aren't exactly the smartest naval commanders ever. They are, to be honest, a nuisance more than a threat. Their numbers are actually decreasing ever since the time of the Machine Wars, signifying their decline.   Threat Level: Very Low
Rarity: Very Rare.
Public Awareness: Limited
  Legion - Legion is a yet another Berserk-offshoot that seems to be declining, though much more slower than the Tech-Eaters. On the other hand, Legion is also much more malevolent than even the average berserks. They seek to 'enhance' their mainframes with the most horrific type of wetware - extensively modified brains of their captives, installed into the network. While they pillage and scavenge the ships they captured, their focus is the crew and passengers.   Animals, humans, mantises, Voca - all of them failed to the predations of the Legion and ended up becoming a wetware CPU for the Legion troopers and vehicles.. While Legion's technology doesn't seem particularly advanced, the raiding fleets of the Legion make up for it. In the center of every ship lie entire arrays of brains, each housing an organic counterpart of a lower class AI, extremely intelligent yet also capable of abstract thinking.   This makes Legion especially devious and intelligent. However, it is too malevolent for its own good. Sooner or later all major operational hubs of the Legion are discovered and destroyed (as everyone is willing to cooperate when it comes to killing them). This means that when it comes to replenishing and expanding their forces they are permanently behind their enemies a bit.   Threat Level: Low
Rarity: Rare.
Public Awareness: Limited
  Devourer Raiders - Devourers are a relatively minor, yet persistent threat in the Human Space. They are believed to be a runaway nanoware-based supersoldiers of some ancient and long dead precursor species. They devolved a lot in their technological level and even on a purely biological way. Devourers were formed with 'you are what you eat' idea in mind. WIthout consumption of biological organisms of greatly expanded neural systems (typically, sapients) they cannot maintain their own intellect, devolving to semi-mindless drones. The end result is a small 'caste' of sapient devourers lording over armies of drones.   Devourers are in the end a minor species, enough to be a regional troublemakers but enough to hope for a success in an open war against Mankind. Their raiders sometimes stalk trade routes, searching for food to maintain their elites, and both technologies and resources. They are technologically outdated, but many of their ships are captured ships of other species (meaning that their fleets will always be unpredictable in their composition and armaments) and they can be both devious and ruthless in their choice of tactics.   Threat Level: Low to Medium
Rarity: Very Rare [rises to Uncommon in some areas of Human Space].
Public Awareness: High
  Berserk Raiders - Berserks are an entire 'species' of advanced AIs that were created as replicating Von Neumann's machines dedicated to exterminate all life. They attempted to do just that, but after being defeated in the Machine Wars they broke into a dozen different groups (from those that become humanized to the point of joining Confederation of Mankind, through crazies like the Legion or Changelings, to enigmas like Synths). Two of them continue to uphold the term of 'Berserks' - the Inheritors and Successors. Inheritors continue their original omnicidal crusade against all life, while Successors seek a more 'standard' way of existing as a part of the Galaxy.   Both Inheritors and Successors send raiders into Human Space. Inheritors seek to exterminate everything that they found, while Successors are more interested in seizing technology and valuable intel (and they tend to return the captives to their home plants after a sufficient 'fee' is paid for the travel. Both Berserk offshoots are decently armed, are mostly modern and can be quite ferocious in combat (unsurprising when you can send expendable drones to do the work for you).   Threat Level: Medium
Rarity: Very Rare [up to Common in some areas]
Public Awareness: Total
  Changelings - Changelings are a curiosity. They are a variant of post-Berserkian machines that seemed to go for both relative humanoid form (like Successors or Synths), but their methods seem closer to Legion or Tech-Eaters. They are not enemy that can be negotiated with or reasoned, but their attacks seem to occur at random. Sometimes they assault a passenger ship only to kill a single passenger (or even a crew member (sometimes even a cleaner or an engineer, with no discernible importance) before retreating. Sometimes they blow entire ship for no apparent reason. Sometimes they steal technology and resources. Sometimes they kidnap people. Attempting to discern any sensible pattern in their predations to this day has failed, even when mightiest AIs analyze all data about them.   Changelings posses a slightly above average technology and tend to possess archeotechs. What's more, once they managed to land aboard the enemy ship, they are an absolute terror in ground combat. Each changeling is a combat robot with extensive nanomachine component that allows them (if given enough time) to reconfigure themselves on the battlefield to better suit the battlefield and enemy forces. A changeling squad engaged with heavy infantry will attempt to lose contact with an enemy, and then with few minutes to spare they will improve themselves with reinforced armor and will modify their weapons into antitank rifles. Their nanomachine bodies are, de fact, an archeotech by the modern standards   Threat Level: Medium
Rarity: Rare
Public Awareness: Low
  Voca Nazdraq - After arriving in the Human Space, Voca split into three groups. Voca Warager and Voca Hakath are playing according to Confederation' rules, as elite forces of the Basileia Rhomaios (Warager) and legal mercenaries (Hakath). Voca Nazdraq, however, are renegades. It is not fully understood what a Voca has to do to be exiled and join Nazdraq. What is known is that they are surprisingly well disciplined marauders, They often hire themselves to forces of Discord (or anyone else who is ruthless enough), hough when there is noone willing to pay them, they will engage in random piracy. Typically leaving few survivors. Though, on the other hand, they aren't particularly sadistic about it, and prefer simple methods - such as a bullet to the head.   Voca are pretty much alien space Spartans. Almost inhumanly disciplined and trained in combat from birth. Their technology also tends to be surprisingly good, which together with their training makes them very, very dangerous. Their only major weakness is their affinity to simple and/or well tested tactics - they aren't well-versed in the mystic power of improvisation and creativity.   Threat Level: Medium to High
Rarity: Rare
Public Awareness: Medium
  Thorn Raiders - Council of Thorns is a 'mythical' counsel of humanized yatevians that are silently ruling over a significant part of the near-human Yatevian Space. Originally created by human scientists in an attempt to find a way to reason with yatevians, they escaped and began searching for a bloody vengeance on their creators for the treatment they received. The existence of the Council and the entirety of the 'humanized yatevians' species is considered to be one more space myth. This is, unfortunately, a wrong belief, as they do, indeed, exist. And are as malevolent towards Mankind as the myths say.   Council' pretend to be the much less dangerous 'common' yatevian raiders. They will act like a small raiding group of the technologically outdated yatevians until they will enter firing range, when they drop the facade. Many ships were done in by that, as not only the Council ships are much stronger, but they also retain the insane ferocity of their lesser brethren. Not to mention the devastating power of close quarters combat they will show once the boarding succeeds.   Threat Level: Medium
Rarity: Extremely Rare [grows to Very Rare in some areas]
Public Awareness: Mythical
  Insectoid Errants - Insectoids are a bit loony when it comes to the way they treat outsiders. For them, the very point of an existence of armed forces is to fight - and if their soldiers have no occassion to fight a defensive war, they will immediately go for an offensive one. They will, however, play accordingly to what passes as 'laws of war' of their opponents. 'Errants' are a common term for their raiders who are essentially insectoid corsairs. Those roaming the Human Space play along local law, so they only engage military ships (to avoid killing civilians, even accidentally), and rescue the survivors that are then returned to the nearest safe port. They might also be persuaded to back off if a ship in question has sufficient arguments (for example carrying a crucial cargo, like medicaments to stave off the raging plague etc.), but they will expect the attacked ship to show up for a battle on a later date, and might get TROUBLESOME when this doesn't happen.   Errants are veterans. Well-armed veterans in ships made by a culture that considers fighting neverending wars a way to pass the time. They are certainly not a pushovers, and engaging them in duels is not advisable save for well-equipped and high-tech ships crewed by experienced humans.   Threat Level: Medium to High
Rarity: Very Rare [grows to Common in some areas]
Public Awareness: Total
  Grey Raiders - Even after understanding the extend of the danger than Mankind is to them, Greys are still willing to risk infuriating the Confederation. As their entire species is slowly dying out, they seek ways of countering the genetic collapse that is killing them. This, however, requires human experimentation. Which, in turn, requires access to human. Ever since their deal with Discord broke, Greys try to gain the necessary human resources on their own, by sending raiders into the Human Space.   Their ships are technologically advanced, have a lot of expendable drones to overwhelm the enemy with sheer numbers, and they are really pushed into the corner when it comes to repairing their failing genome. They are also not above scavenging archeotechs that are then used to outfit their vessels. As an interesting curio, they seem to be especially interested in transhumans and Variants.   Threat Level: Medium to High
Rarity: Very Rare [grows to Common in some areas]
Public Awareness: Total
  Unseelie - Sidhe are a bit of a pain for the Human Space - they seem much too similar to Virtual transhumans. Which makes sense, as they are de facto Virtual transaliens. Their 'official' part (the Seelie) are fairly harmless, as their cybertemples are busy seeking new converts into their Virtualism in a way that doesn't make them a public enemy. The Unseelie that arrived in Human Space a while after them, are utterly different. While much less numerous, they are actively malevolent. They seek to kidnap people that can be processed into 'Virtuals' against their will, stored forever in the cyber-realms as slaves, serving their Unseelie masters.   The worst part is that Unseelie leadership is typically very, very old. They battled many aliens in the past. They are extremely cunning and devious, and unlike Insectoids or even Voca Nazdraq they do not shirk from terror tactics. They also have access to Sidhe' Cyber weaponry, armors and equipment, all of them archeotechs that Sidhe themselves no longer understand (but still possess a great ammount of automatic fabricators). They are EXTREMELY dangerous.   Threat Level: High to Very High
Rarity: Very Rare
Public Awareness: Limited
  Synth Raiders - Synths are an enigma. An offshoot of the berserks that disappeared in the Hyperspace and returned... changed. They are machines, but machines that are alive. Their metal elements and circuits grow and behave like flesh. Their mental patterns are so different from any other countries that despite humanoid forms they are truly ALIEN. In a way they are the even less understood cousins of Changelings, with patterns in their attacks (be it kidnappings, pillaging or blowing up) impossible to be fully figured out. Nobody seems to know for sure what's Synths' agenda.   Their technology is extremely advanced, with almost entirety of it being archeotech-grade. Their base of operations is unknown (some whisper of places as ridiculously impossible as a Hyperspace Planet), but they seem to be able to show up anywhere they want, as their attacks are always surprising and right on point. Very rarely someone manages to repel them. The fact that they are essentially immortal and every of their soldiers is extensively improved to the point where a single Synth can engage several Enhanced at combat doesn't help.   Threat Level: Very High to Extreme
Rarity: Very Rare
Public Awareness: Mythical [some 'spoky space legends' about them circle around Mankind, but they are widely believed to be a myth].
 
Remnants
Remnants of now long-forgotten and dead species, still roaming the Galaxy and remaining a threat to those alive right now. Some of them are on archeotech level of power, being both extremely dangerous... and a really valuable prey. Just like aliens, they do not cooperate and use vastly different tactics. Not to mention having vastly different goals (if they even have some).   Derelicts - Derelicts are abandoned ships of thousands of civilizations from ages past that were devoured by the Hyperspace. They roam it endlessly, the time barely touching them due to fickle nature of that eldritch dimension. Officially only the Explorer's Guild can attempt to enter such ships, however it's quite often for other ships to risk such an excursion. After all, sometimes you can get extremely wealthy with absolutely no risk to your life. Of course, sometimes you get nothing but painful death, your ship joining the long list of derelicts.   Threat posed by a Derelict depends on many things. On whether its weaponry is activated and in automatic defense mode. On internal defense systems (like turrets, automatic robots and so on). And, last but not least, on whether something found a nest aboard the ship. It's often a trap laid by some of the other threats, for example Legion or Abyssal Cults.   Threat Level: Very Low to Extreme
Rarity: Common
Public Awareness: Total.
  Seskan Patrol Fleets - Seskans were a fairly militant species with a penchant for a 'societies' constructed with a single 'warlord' and armies upon armies of robotic servants. It is of no surprise that some of those fleets are still active, supported by hidden shipyards and refuelling stations - all of them automatic, of course. This is a relatively minor threat, however, as the time took its toll on those Patrol Fleets. Many were cleared out during the human colonization of areas that used to be Seskan space. Others are hunted even now for their technology and archeotechs.   Some, however, remain. They are technologically advanced, bu vulnerable to anti-AI tactics as they have all the weaknesses of AI-controlled ships without most of their strong points. They are still a threat to the trade routes, though typically those recently established (as the older ones were cleared from their presence).   Threat Level: Medium
Rarity: Very Rare (Rare regionally)
Public Awareness: Total.
  Silinrul Harvests - Silinruls are officially marked as an extinct species, which is both true and false. Their empire was wiped from the map during the Darkening, however when that happen they were no longer alive. Their entire species achieved the apotheosis of circuits and metal, transfering themselves into robotic bodies that could emulate themselves perfectly. Or so it was thought. Mental degradation of Silinruls was an important factor in making the Darkening such a horrible disaster. But some remained.   Contrary to popular opinion a few isolated pockets of the Silinruls survived the Darkening... but not the mental degradation that slowly changed into entities that were no longer sapient. They can build and operate ships, but there is no conscious thought in that - merely instincts activated at random by remaining assistant programs, offering 'suggestions' to now mindless Silinruls that they obey without question. Of course, they are hedonists as much as they used to be in life, as the assistants are following their 'old' programming. The need for slaves to do all the menial work and follow now pointless rituals remains.   It is unknown who was the first to name the resulting Silinrul raiding parties 'Harvests', but the name sticked. Their ships are extremely advanced (almost entirely built from archeotech-grade equipment), and their behaviour is almost entirely unpredictable. The knowledge about their existence is suppressed, however. Explorer's Guild and choice elements of Confederation' higher echelons do not want too many people to know about such a perfect source of answers about the mysterious technology used to transfer consciousness into machines. Not to mentions such ridiculously advanced robots. Especially as the process failed miserably in the end.   Threat Level: Very High
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Suppressed.
  Aurum Remnants - Whether the Aurums are still out there (but in hiding) is a great mystery. Even today there are sightings of Aurum ships prowling the Hyperspace, responding to people coming too close with their pocket arsenals of archeotechs. It is unknown if those ships are crewed, because if defeated in battle they will simply vanish, probably using the Aurum spacetime manipulation technologies to de fact teleport away (or hide in a pocket dimension until enemy will get tired of waiting around).   There are also cases of ships disappearing in area frequented by Aurum ships. It is unknown if Aurum ships sometimes attack human ships, or if they are there to 'investigate' the case of the disappearances, or if that's simply a coincidence. In fact, very little is known about those remnants. What is known, however, is that engaging one of aurum ships in combat is a dangerous thing to do. Many ships perished trying to do so.   Threat Level: Very High
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Suppressed.
  Procession of the Lost - Procession of the Lost is a massive fleet of half-active derelicts that tours the Galaxy in random. Nobody knows why it does that. Nobody knows how it still continues its silent procession. It is always unexpected, which makes interception extremely complicated. And engaging it openly requires massive fleet behind you, for the Procession is composed of thousands of ships of various size, including at least one gigantic ship bigger than current leviathans - it's almost one hundred kilometers long.   Sometimes ships ran into the Procession accidentally. its ship possess active weaponry, so any attempt to get closer will result in being shot at. It is fairly rare, however, as a fleet of this size is easily noticeable and few are crazy enough to attack the biggest known fleet armed to the teeth with archeotechs. But still, deaths occur. At least from time to time.   Threat Level: Very High
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Total.
  Banshee - Banshee are a threat of a highly mysterious origin. They appear from nowhere, warning their soon-to-be prey with a telepathic scream audible from millions of kilometres. The engagements with them are typically short and bloody, and almost all of them are won by Banshee. Their technology is extremely advanced, their ships impossibly resitant to kinetic weaponry (at one occasion a Banshee frigate survived a direct hit from a battleship spinal-mounted super heavy MAW, thrown thousands of kilometres back with the force of the impact - that would destroy any human ship of this size even without penetration, through sheer kinetic force). Their ship seem at least partly organic in nature, which makes the mystery of their resistance an even greater enigma.   Banshee's attacks seem entirely random. After destroying their victims they disappear in Hyperspace. No communication was ever established. No answers were found. On the few occasions where the attacked ship managed to repel the attack and destroy the Banshee ship, its wreckage quickly dissolved leaving only few containers containing high grade archeotechs. A prize for the winner? A trojan horse (as many of those items seem to have negative effects on the users' mind)? Nobody knows for sure.   Threat Level: Extreme
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Legendary [known for their 'assistance' in the event that led to additional Gene Artificers being found, but few people know that they are still a threat today].
  Sentinels - Sentinels are another mystery, perhaps even greater than the Banshees. Sentinels guard a network of Vaults safely hidden in the Hyperspace. Inside of those Vaults, an impossibly valuable treasures lie - including powerful archeotechs, navigational data and knowledge about secrets of the universe. However Sentinel ships and their mechanical soldiers are extremely dangerous, and will react with extreme ferocity to any invaders.   Even if sufficiently determined attacker will somehow break in and steal something from the Vaults, Sentinels WILL arrive to reclaim the item or data. There were cases of entire star systems blockaded by fleets of almost indestructible ships, while their robotic warriors sift through the settlements (right after overwhelming the defenders, in non-lethal way if possible). Stolen items will be reclaimed. Stolen knowledge will be eradicated (by eradication of memories and computer data alike). Invaders will be found and dealt with.   If legends are to believed, sometimes Sentinels allow someone in, and gift them some of their treasures. Sometimes they even come out, delivering the goods to their target on their own.   Threat Level: Extreme
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Legendary.
 

Others

Extradimensional Entities
Something things creep in. Things that seem to be so alien that branding them as 'aliens' would just sound like an understatement. Things that seem to deny our understanding of science with their very existence. Things that can only be banished or contained, and not really destroyed. The current understanding of them is that they hail from some deeper parts of Hyperspace, from places like Abyss or Void, or maybe from a very old pocket dimensions (some even speculated that those could be older than the universe itself).   This is something typically left to the Explorers' Guild Department of Containment. It should be no surprise that so many members of it seem eccentric, if not a bit insane.   There are many cases of extradimensional threats, however many of them are so extremely rare that they happen once and that's all. Only some are repetitive (and some of them will be written down here).   Nephilims - Nephilims originally existed as a form of spooky story told by veteran crewmembers to their new recruits. It took several centuries for technology to raise to the point where suffering a Nephilim incursion isn't fatal in 100% of cases, allowing their existence to be confirmed and more or less researched.   Nephilims are an entire assortment of extradimension entities of decidedly malevolent intentions that are periodically breaching reality and invading ships in either the outer edges of the star system or Hyperspace. The form they take during attacks seems to be based on cultural and religious based common fears. To a ship crewed in majority by Christians they will come looking like one would expected demons to look (one of such occassions earned them thye nickname). For Lamenters with their extreme fear of darkness they will come as a tide of darkness swallowing everything. For a ship from a desert world human culture they might arrive as a small group of entities capable of warping Reality, extending ship rooms and halls into entire deserts where the crewmembers will perish from dehydration and heat before reaching the door.   Why Nephilims do that (or what they are) remains unknown. Currently the closest thing to a theory about their origin is that they are a post-Wall of Faith civilization that managed to ascend to a higher plane of existence - and has pretty unhealthy hobbies...   Threat Level: Extreme
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Suppressed.
  Shaper - The Shaper is an unknown extradimensional entity that seems obsessed with change. It's true looks are unknown, and its predations are recognizable due to the effects that the Shaper's presence has on everything, from space itself to animals and sapients alike. It warps the first, and mutates them into grotesque shapes (including their neural systems and brains, which typically drives the victims insane, if not simply kills them). Not all people surrender to the Shaper's influence, and from time to time its incursions end up repelled (often by the desperate mean of self-destruction).   Shaper is worshipped by a number of Abyssal Cults, especially those more interested in body modifications. Thankfully, its' open incursions into Reality are extremely, extremely rare.   Threat Level: Extreme
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Suppressed.
  Signal - Signal is a mystery. It is currently believed to be a form of extradimensional computer virus, capable of infecting computer systems almost regardless of their security. Once that happens, every infected computer begins warping Reality in its immediate vicinity. Shadowy figures (humanoids or not) are seen stalking the corridors, seemingly capable of erasing people (or merely their 'life', leaving them as lifeless husks) and rapidly aging things. Not to mention all the spacetime shenanigans that are as random as they are crazy and potentially lethal.   SIgnal infestations were mostly countered by mandatory modifications to anti-AIs computer securities, forcing total hardwipe of all computer systems if a Signal is detected. This has a side-effect of forcing the crew to literally write the systems once again from the scratch (which can potentially be lethal to an unprepared crew travelling through space, though rarely). However, it does counter the Signal perfectly. Of course, unless someone is 'intelligent' enough to disable their anti-AI security...   Threat Level: Extreme
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Suppressed.
  Emptiness - Emptiness does not exist. Emptiness does not cross into the Hyperspace occasionally, 'infesting' ships that had a distinct lack of luck to be in the immediate vicinity. Emptiness does not unmake sapience of majority sapient entities aboard those ships, instantly devolving them into an animalistic state - and, if further exposure occurs, into a fully catatonic state. Emptiness doesn't seem to be among the most alien of extradimensional threats, to the point where even Abyssal Cults try to avoid contact (or including it in their cosmology).   Emptiness does not exist. It's origins are known. Defending against it isn't almost impossible, though escaping from it's range (or emergency hyperspace exit) might sever its non-existent tendrils, stopping the process.
  Threat Level: Extreme
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Suppressed.
 
Others
Ghost Ships - Ghost Ships are ships partially devoured by the Hyperspace. They are divided into several categories on the basis of how much real they are, from Alpha class that exists merely as a gravity disturbance in Hyperspace or thermal signature in the Realspace to Delta-class that are almost fully physically existing and typically hostile, though they either dissolve in the Hyperspace or a pulled back into it once they receive too much damage to sustain themselves.   This is a common knowledge among the space, to the point that there is an entire 'school' of divination of future on the basis of ghost ship manifestation and their details. What isn't a common knowledge is that there are also Echo-class ghost ships. Only a handful of them, and yet any one of them is extremely dangerous and prone to doing things that really shouldn't be possible.   Threat Level: Low to Extremely High
Rarity: Uncommon to Extremely Rare (depends on class)
Public Awareness: Common.
  Anathema - Anathema is a weaponized (and highly peculiar) brand of the grey goo scenario developed by the Truthseekers Corporation, It takes form of nanomachine packets that, once detonated, begins to infect nearby computers, machines and humans. The end result is pretty much a complete, if completely schizophrenic, meld. While a human melded with a combat robot will result in a slightly misshapen cyber-Enhanced, the result of a human being merged with - for example - a toaster, a bulldozer and a crate of sex toys will be much bizarre. Not to mention the same combo but with two humans. Melding will also be fairly taxing for the mind, with most of the infected going insane.   The process isn't fast, and might take weeks to complete. It can be countered by generous application of medical nanomachines updated to destroy the Anathema nanobots, but this will only work on the very early point of infection, as otherwise the melded body will simply broke. When situation gets REALLY bad, there were cases of wide-scale decontamination with nuclear EMP detonations, though this, too, killed majority of the infected.   The problem with the Anathema (aside from being an exact opposite of humanitarian, AND a nanoweapon), is that it is somehow sapient. Its consciousness resemble a lower class AI.... and can operate melded machines to some point. It's intelligence level depends mostly on ammount of nanomachines and melded computers (used as hosts) in the immediate vicinity). Unfortunately, Truthseekers Corporation made a slight mistake during the test firing of Anathema virus, causing a small number of infected individuals to overtake a ship and disappear in Hyperspace. Currently it became a particularly horrific yet not a very dangerous threat, that is a trouble only for people who don't notice the first stage of infection in time, or are particularly outdated in their technological level. That's about the Anathema virus - not about the creatures that it employs...   Threat Level: Medium
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Low.
  Terminus Beasts - Ships and probes heading too deep into the interstellar void have a surprising tendency to vanish mysteriously. This disappearance is often accompanied by last, garbled and incoherent message, before nothing but silence. There is a number of theories that try to explain this mystery, the most widespread is the one that suggests that something is living in that darkness. This mysterious entities are called 'Terminus Beasts', though the term 'Beasts' is slightly melodramatic. They can as well be a very widespread post-WoF civilization, that for some reason doesn't anyone going into the dark.   Terminus Beasts are theorized to have their nests (or bases) on exoplanets, lone balls of rock floating in the darkness between solar systems. The absolutely most lonely, cold and dark places in the universe. How they look? Nobody knows. Why do they do what they do? Nobody knows. Are they truly some space beasts or maybe a civilization? Nobody knows. Very little is known   What is known, however, is that they utterly massacre the ships and probes they attack - on a few occasions the attacked ship seemed to notice the incoming threat and reversed its course in a futile attempt to escape, its trajectory leading its remains back to inhabited systems. They were always scraps, sometimes with bodies of the crew ruined by decompression. They seem capable of either suppressing all known ways of long-distance communication, which is responsible for the garbled and unreadable messages (alternatively they somehow mess with the ships' and probes' computers). They are also seem to dislike the light, as they never show up near stars.   Threat Level: Death Imminent
Rarity: Common [but nobody ventures to meet them in their habitat)
Public Awareness: Legendary.
  False Stars - Some stars aren't exactly stars. There were cases of Explorer's Guild ships encountering desolate star systems, often with signs of prior, but now dead habitation... only to suddenly see the system's star begin accelerating towards them, its gravity throwing planets, comets and asteroids into utter disarray. It is currently believed that the False Stars are some sort of entity that can devour or replace the star, the gravitational disturbances accompanying its arrival throwing the entire system into chaos that ultimately results in all life in the system extinguished by asterois and comets thoroughly trashing everything.   To this day, nobody decided to brave a False Star. It is speculated that a WMD class of weaponry could slay whatever is impersonating the stars out there, however since the False Stars remain systembound, nobody is willing to try. Especially as there is always an option of such an attempt backfiring terribly or awakening something bad. Systems with False Stars are quarantined and erased from official records, their position marked in official hyperspace maps as extreme hazardous to scare trespassers away.   Threat Level: Death Imminent
Rarity: Extremely Rare
Public Awareness: Mythical.

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