First time traveler, are you? Well, you're in for a treat. Just be certain to read up on the different groups and factions you may come across along the way. Best to know what kind of trouble you're likely to meet, you know?
The War for Enlightenment
divided the citizens of Fillimet
across multiple factions, each focused on different beliefs and interpretations of the war. While the ambitious Sparnell Confederation
, traditionalist Hydell Order
, and mechanically-inclined Space Defense Legion
formed around the descendants of those involved in the war, younger factions such as the Vardan
traders and Mordena
mercenaries were founded later to fill perceived needs within the power struggle. Meanwhile, the scattered and ever-changing planets of The Freeholds
strive to obtain and maintain their independence from the other factions and each other, to instead forge their own path under their own governance.
Each has since developed their own cultures and beliefs since the Enlightenment. A short summary is provided below.
An expensive and ferocious band of mercenaries, the Mordena have earned equal parts respect and fear throughout Vazdimet. Few outsiders understand their true motives.
The largest mercenary organization in Vazdimet, the Mordena
have been permitted to grow in strength and numbers largely unchallenged courtesy of the fear and mystery surrounding their homeworld, Janikk
. They have gained favor with a large collection of planets within The Freeholds
, holding defensive contracts with many, particularly those bordering the territories of the larger militaristic factions.
Fees for their services range from direct monetary compensation to trade agreements to unspecified future favors. Some few select clients may even find themselves and their loyalties requested as part of these arrangements, if they catch Mordena founder Shane Lawrence
's eye during negotiations. The mercenaries are also picky regarding the contracts they are willing to accept, often turning down lucrative options with high chances of success if they dislike the client or end goal, while occasionally accepting difficult jobs they found intriguing despite the low compensation offered.
Fiercely loyal to their own, the Mordena take no nonsense and even fewer prisoners.
The strong survive while their allies thrive.
Values: Strength • Reputation • Allegiance
The Freehold Planets value freedom and individual identity. Freeholders take great pride in maintaining their independence from each other and the rest of the universe.
Planets of the Freeholds
have managed to obtain autonomy from the larger factions, allowing them to choose their own path and governance. Some Freeholds have always been free, results of a perceived unimportance often due to their location, low resources, or unfavorable planetary conditions. Others have obtained that independence through political or more often military means, or the sheer inconvenience of attempting to hold an unwilling planet. Regardless of the cause all Freeholders recognize the potentially temporary nature of this arrangement and will do what they can to assist their planet in retaining it.
Many Freeholds have chosen to align themselves with the Mordena to assist in these efforts. While the mercenary organization does require certain concessions in the form of planetary-produced goods or monetary compensation, as well as a non-aggression agreement with the other Mordena-aligned Freeholds, they have otherwise pledged to remain separate from the planetary politics of their active clients. The results of these arrangements speak for themselves.
A defiant and self-reliant collection of people and cultures, the Freeholds cling to their independence with an unrivaled tenacity.
Better to die by our rules than to live by another's.
Values: Individuality • Independence • Local Values
Hydell Order adherents believe in the divinity of their Ordained Ascended and strive to earn their own right to ascend. AI formed outside the sanctions of the Ascended Conclave, however, are a blasphemy against the Natural Order and must be destroyed.
Citizens of the Hydell Order
learn their purpose in the universe from an early age, to obey the Ascended Conclave
and spread the tenets of the Natural Order
throughout the universe through words and deeds and, when necessary, bloodshed and military might. These brave True Descendants of Fillimet
live their lives in service to their beliefs, hoping one day to earn their place among the Ordained Ascended
as a chosen Afterlife Intelligence
of the immortal Conclave so that they, too, may defend their people against heretical magic.
The Order scorns much of the newer technologies unleashed in the aftermath of The War for Enlightenment
, instead relying upon perfecting those known during the original Age of Fillimet
. The Militant Order of Descendants
are the exception to this rule, learning all they can of the new magics to better assist in spreading their messages of faith, obedience, and purity to the heathens of the universe.
To defeat one's enemies one must sometimes become them, after all.
No heretic shall stand against the True Descendants of Fillimet.
Values: Divinity • Piety • Obedience
Space Defense Legion
The monolithic Space Defense Legion holds the forefront of non-magical technological achievement. They lead an insular existence, defending their territory from unauthorized incursion and rarely venturing openly outside their own borders.
Originally founded by many of the less magically inclined of Fillimet
, the Space Defense Legion
seeks to protect their holdings from the expansionist Sparnell Confederation. Rather than relying solely upon magic and Imperium
-fueled advances the Legion has also focused on more traditional technologies to augment their capabilities. This has allowed them to successfully carve out their own space within the universe and defend it against their more magically-inclined neighbors.
In an effort to protect their technological advantage the Legion has grown more insular and secretive, rarely interacting with others outside of formal diplomatic channels. Exceptions are made for the peaceful and nomadic Vardan
traders bringing news and magical conveniences from distant planets and cultures in exchange for the high-valued trinkets and machinery of the Legion. While many would disbarage them for their weaker magical acumen few outsiders understand their technological capabilities, and this in itself has provided them the advantages necessary for survival.
Where others see weakness, the Legion finds its greatest strength.
To find the possible within the impossible.
Values: Discovery • Technology • Perseverance
The jingoistic Sparnell Confederation rewards loyalty, patriotism, and merit - in that order. Citizens begin their careers in support of the military before earning their way into desired professions.
The Sparnell Confederation
emphasizes patriotism, personal achievement, and family honor above all else. Citizens' chances of success are governed by the reputation of their family name, with those from dishonored houses encouraged to choose a new name and set forth in search of their own future. The more successful families rely upon Family Councils to review the records and achievements of current and hopeful family members, choosing to disown those individuals expected to underperform and approve or disapprove proposed marriage arrangements.
All citizens are conscripted
into the Sparnell Armed Forces
upon coming of age at sixteen, to ensure they are imbued with the values and skills required for success within the Confederation and to guarantee they fulfill their obligations to Confederation leadership and Empress Rakethorne
. The SAF fosters a cutthroat environment where only the strong survive, pushing less bloodthirsty individuals into dead end support positions which do little to add to the family name. The most talented conscripts often make their careers within the SAF, continuing to add to their family legacy, often even after death in the form of Afterlife Intelligences
To the Sparnelli
, family honor serves as both shield, spear, and goal as they strive to make their own mark within the Confederation.
Glory is its own reward.
Values: Patriotism • Merit • Glory
The nomadic space-dwelling Vardan control the paths of commerce across the universe. Their neutrality is hard earned through trade agreements and economic embargos.
Living their lives entirely in space, the Vardan
traders are well known for their sharp negotiating skills, high quality goods, and political neutrality. Forming family owned caravans, Vardan fleets travel their determined trade routes to carry goods across galaxies and battle lines in pursuit of free trade and personal wealth. Each generation is trained in the skills necessary to further their trade and travels. Children are sorted into roles maintaining and managing the caravan ships, or pursuing roles as tradesmen, negotiators, and merchants. Roles selected depend upon their preferences and skills, as well as the family's present and anticipated future needs, and switching roles either during or after training to adjust to present needs or new interests is not uncommon.
While Vardan caravans will compete with each other for the best trade routes there is an unwritten code of honor that once a trade agreement has been signed that rivalry will cease. Caravans are expected to provide fair and honest prices and trades for their wares and avoid trading local contraband in an effort to uphold the reputation and neutrality of the Vardan, but members are otherwise free to forge their own agreements and choose their own wares and customers. Caravans are operated as family units, with each crew member recognized by their expertise and training within their present role and otherwise considered an equal member of the enterprise. Each caravan responds to a Caravan Lead
, most often selected and trained by the former Caravan Lead but sometimes chosen democratically by the members of the caravan according to their own determined rules and processes. This leader serves as the face of the caravan during negotiations, and represents the family on the Vardan Council
Accustomed to life within the Void of space, the tight-knit family caravans of the Vardan traders maintain the lines of commerce across a war torn universe.
Commerce. Neutrality. Family. The Vardan Way.
Values: Commerce • Neutrality • Family