The year is 2279. Mankind took to the stars on wings of steel, beginning their spread across the cosmos under the guidance of the Solar Union. The stars held sights not foreseen- among them, intelligent life who welcomed mankind with open arms. Ushered into the galactic community as a child among elders, the Union grew beyond our wildest dreams… and beyond our ability to maintain. Humanity now lies fractured, held together only by necessity and force. The remnants of the Union aim to retake their holdings, by peace or by force, while newly-formed factions wage cold wars across dozens of star systems. At the same time, malign influences from beyond Union space play their own great games. Humanity persists, even as it falls into a dark age.