In this database are entries for:
* - Copied from other sources (GDW, FASA, Paranoia Press, Judges Guild). Minor changes or additions only.
^ - Copied from other sources. Significant changes or additions.
Imperial Retreat : Special honour created by Empress Margaret I in 692. It is bestowed by the Emperor upon member-worlds of other interstellar states, in official recognition of their efforts to 'foster good relations with the Imperium'.
Imperial Retreats are extremely rare - no more than eleven worlds have received this honour in the last four centuries. Of those, one eventually joined the Imperium, and three others had this status revoked. Of the remainder, two exist in Gateway sector, and one in each of Beyond (Tartakover / die Weltbund), Gvurrdon, Hlakhoi, Ley and Trojan Reach sectors. Typically, such worlds retain their own cultural identity but also host a large Imperial embassy and maintain special facilities for Imperial citizens.
Alntzar, The Domain of : Zhodani client state in Piah subsector of Foreven sector, with its capital being Harntz (A8859CA-B). Once the dominant force in the region, the Domain was split by dissent and internal warfare some three hundred years ago. It is suspected that Imperial interests were behind this upheaval, as the Imperium and its regional allies benefitted greatly from the removal of the Domain’s strong pro-Zhodani government. The subsequent weakness of this flank of the Zhodani Consulate was a significant factor during Frontier Wars Three and Four.
Regardless of the cause of the Domain’s disintegration, over half of its member worlds either rebelled or formally seceded - many eventually unifying into the League Of Suns and the Descarothe Hegemony. Former member worlds Lelaek, Thenstor, Mirayn, Affleck and Nirvana remain independant to the present day. After unsuccessfully attempting to regain lost territories by force or diplomacy, the remnants of Alntzar have spent the last century or so declining into an isolationist and comparitively decadent state. Strict internal security measures remain in place, albeit mostly submerged under a massive bureaucracy. The military is large, but has not deployed in force outside Domain borders since 1021.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Domain’s relationships with its neighbours remain poor at best. Substantial “technical assistance” is provided to Descar and Nirvana. However, major political and philosophical differances make any lasting accord between these states very unlikely.
The Zhodani Consulate still supports Alntzar, but this has waned since the end of the Fourth Frontier War. During the Fifth Frontier War, Alntzar was ‘sympathetic' to the Outworld Coalition, but limited its activities to providing facilities for Coalition forces.
Belgardian Sojourn : Independant state in the Egyrn and Menorial subsectors of the Trojan Reach sector, the capital being Belgard (D371321-9). The Sojourn was founded by Argon Kevin Beauregard (a former Captain of the Imperial Navy). One of Empress Marava’s senior officers during the Civil War, Captain Beauregard allegedly underwent a ‘religious experience’ during the Battle of Sulgami in 620, and had his ship jump to safety. This sudden desertion left the Reserve Division of Marava’s fleet without leadership at a critical time, and led to her eventual defeat.
Beauregard and a group of followers fled Imperial space, and ultimately founded the Belgardian Sojourn - which now comprises the Belgard, Gorgon, Eleson and Belgard’s Truth systems. Though technically a starfaring community, much of the Sojourn’s technology is based upon obsolete equipment, either much repaired originals or unreliable copies. Actual tech level ability stands at a maximum of 9. Their worlds’ resources are ravaged in an unplanned callous manner since the Belgardians allegedly do not regard them as permanent homes.
The Sojourn Navy consists of several starships in the 200 ton class (termed ‘Lancers’), which are broadly similar to the Type A Free Trader, but with some space given over to larger drives (approximately 4G and Jump-3), additional fuel and limited armour. Despite the technological limitations, these ships are heavily armed for their size (albeit mostly with crude short-range weaponry) and should be avoided.
The Belgardians are isolationist to the point of outright xenophobia, hence relatively little is known of their society. The Sojourn is rumoured to exist in a form of “technological barbarism”, with a dominant warrior caste, and with women and non-humans mostly treated as livestock. Fragmentary writings left behind by founder Beauregard would seem to confirm his own leanings in this direction, but there is little firm evidence either way. In any case, due to their hostility towards outsiders, the Belgardian worlds are coded as Amber or Red Zones.
Recently, there has been a major increase in sightings of Belgardian ships in the Urnian subsector. The recent disappearances of ships carrying valuable technological cargos (from or by Delta Research, PEL, and others) in this region has been blamed on the Belgardians. This is of particular concern to the Imperium and to TAU.
Wandjina Theory, The : Controversial, and widely discredited, hypothesis originally published in 1093 by AAB researcher Dr Gimaagin von Sandberg.
To summarize, her theory is that the ‘Ancients’ were several separate races, at least two of which utilized proto-Humans (in various geneered forms) as colonists and troops. These ‘Ancient Empires’ destroyed each other in a series of wars that ended 250,000 years ago.
Utilizing technology salvaged from their former masters, several groups of pre-Human survivors were able to establish their own interstellar empires. They terraformed and colonized further worlds, uplifted several races, and conducted various other activities. Unable to maintain or duplicate their salvaged technology, all of these civilizations ultimately became extinct or regressed to pre-spaceflight levels before the rise of the Vilani 20,000 years ago.
Whilst the theory addresses several questions about the Ancients, it suffers from a lack of adequate proof and flatly contradicts a number of generally accepted facts. Interestingly, the greatest hostility has come from both pro-Vilani and pro-Solomani groups, all apparently regarding the theory as a ruse to undermine the importance of their respective causes. In contrast, some Vargr groups (including the ‘Church of The Chosen Ones’) regard the Wandjina Theory as supporting their own views, which has not helped its standing in the scientific community.
Solomani Connections & Imperial Directions : Title of a book researched and authored by Dr Kellia Montrose, with the assistance of her husband (Sector Admiral Eivendar hault-Plankwell, IN, retired). First published in 1102, the book reassesses the perceived successes and failures of the Second Imperium; and highlights where, rightly or wrongly, they have directly influenced the policies and development of the Third Imperium.
Noteworthy is the book's carefully compiled list of colonization and exploration fleets that went missing in the closing years of the Second Imperium. Drawing upon various sources, the final fate of many of these has been made public for the first time. The 'Sky Raiders' controversy has been touched upon, with Dr Montrose theorizing that the legends were exaggerated accounts of a Second Imperium exploration fleet previously believed lost in the Corridor Sector.
The book has done well in publication. A fifth reprint is planned, and is expected to be revised somewhat in light of recent discoveries.
ComSentient Alliance, The : ComSent was founded in 705, as an answer to the admittedly arbitrary Major Race / Minor Race theories embraced by the Imperium. The Alliance now encompasses an area some 37 parsecs in diameter, largely in the Beyond and Vanguard Reaches sectors.
Central to the ComSentient Alliance is the Grand Council, which resides in the Great Hall at Rabanitas (A869346-B) / Zydar of Beyond sector. The Great Hall is the largest single planet-based structure in Beyond, measuring 5.946 km in length, by 3.675 km in height and width. It contains fully-supported environments for each race represented in the Alliance. The Grand Council’s Assembly Chamber lies at the centre of this structure, and is a sphere .937 km in diameter.
Alliance members are represented in the Grand Council by a number of councilbeings based upon population expressed in exponential terms. Simply put, the number of representatives for each world is determined by its UPP population index. As of 1115, there are over 800 worlds / cultures represented in the Grand Assembly by more than 6,400 councilbeings.
Materials and manpower for the Alliance’s bureaucracy and the ComSent Defence Force are provided by members, customarily as a fixed percentage of their Gross System Product. Additionally, some members also maintain independant military forces of varying sizes and capabilities.
The ComSentient Alliance purports to recognize, both in theory and in practice, the concept of equal rights and responsibilities for all sentient races regardless of their level of achievment. Alliance law centres on this founding principle, and leaves members to deal with most other issues as they see fit. For that reason, the majority of inmates in ComSent prisons have been found guilty of “deliberate anti-sentient activities”. The latter term includes such crimes as mass murder or ecological sabotage, but can also be stretched to cover any activity that is arguably against the best interests of the Alliance or its members.
The Zhodani maintain friendly relations with ComSent. Contact with the Imperium is usually via die Weltbund, an associate member of the Alliance. However, the Alliance’s fragmented nature makes its foreign policy almost incomprehensible. For the same reason, a number of 'outsiders' (including citizens from the Imperium, the Zhodani Consulate, the Darrian Federation, and the Sword Worlds) have been known to achieve positions of influence within the Alliance. Imperial corporations PEL, Beaufort Lines Ltd and Delta Research all operate within ComSent; making enough profit that many others also seek to do so.
Sky Raiders, The : Name given to a semi-legendary culture which flourished some 5,300 years ago in the ‘Foreven’ sector. Almost all evidence of the Sky Raiders has come from oral traditions, myths, legends and the like from a number of worlds centred around the Jungleblut subsector. Their origins, fate and cultural details remain unknown. Estimates place them at TL 9-10, and stories suggest that they were a race of upright bipeds, but nothing further is certain.
Legend invariably depicts the Sky Raiders as a ruthless aggressive race, descending from the sky to spread destruction and death among the inhabitants. Plunder and pillage seems to have been their main objective in these raids.
A number of theories exist as regards the Sky Raiders' origins and eventual fate. Controversial author Professor Jothan Messandi directed interest towards Mirayn / Jungleblut, where he disappeared in 1107 whilst attempting to vindicate his theories. In her book 'Solomani Connections & Imperial Directions', author Dr Kellia Montrose is critical of his research, claiming that the legends are exaggerated accounts of a lost Second Imperium exploration fleet. Most recently, Dr Dafyd van Burien, of LOSCIS, has theorized that the Sky Raiders were Drakne, with a mixed reaction from his peers.
Paradise Island : A luxury resort in the Hamilton's Reach archipelago of Noah / Urnian, officially opened in 1102. Paradise Island has its own spaceport (Class G); complete amenities and utilities for up to 2,000 guests (including fifteen restaurants / bars / nightclubs); and caters for a wide range of recreational activities - including watersports, scenic tours, fishing, boating, art, several gravsports and a small zoo. The resort's main claim to fame is being the permanent venue of NavyCon since 1097.
Despite extensive development (recently including several luxury private homes), over 70% of the island remains in its natural wooded state. The Noah-LSP Development Company are the official landlords, but the resort itself was built, and operated under long-term lease, by Oceanstar Inc. Under the terms of the lease, most of the 500 or so employees are citizens of Noah, and over thirty local businesses also operate or sub-contract within the resort.
Descarothe Hegemony, The : Independant state in the Jungleblut and Piah subsectors of the Foreven sector, with its capital being Desaekhe (C653738-9).
Desaekhe was originally colonized by the Domain of Alntzar circa 740, but was isolated during the latter’s break-up three centuries ago. Until recently, it was a backward and highly balkanized world with poor agriculture and a limited industrial capacity. In 1088, five of the semi-feudal lords of the planet’s principal continent unified, and became the High Tribunal of Descar. Their combined militaries forcibly subjugated the rest of the planet, and a massive industrialization program was launched.
By 1103, the small but effective Descar Navy had absorbed Dansen (D445667-5) and Iraaz (C45696A-6) into the Hegemony, which has since made considerable progress in building up a sizable military. Clashes with the League of Suns over mercantile rights (1103) and control of Qarant (1105) have caused a great deal of tension between the two governments despite the detente agreements of 1106.
Although capable, the Hegemony’s armed forces relies upon secondhand equipment mostly acquired from Alntzar. The Navy’s current flagship and largest vessel is the ‘Ekhebra Zhariskhor’ (‘Sword of the Tribunal Lords’), a converted ‘Broadsword’ class Mercenary Cruiser. The remainder of the fleet are primarily converted merchant and escort vessels in the 100-400 ton range. Naval bases remain comparitively low-quality installations with little major firepower, and planetary-based forces are mostly at TL 8 - a few elite TL 9 units exist, and some TL 6 formations remain.
Arguably the most feared arm of Descar is the secret police of the Hegemony’s Tribunal Guard. Known as ‘MeRaZhar’ (Mekhlezhakh Ranhivira Zhariskhor or, literally, “Security Guardians of the Tribunal Lords”), this organization has broad discretionary powers to deal with political threats and ensure the loyalty of other Hegemony units. It is also largely responsible for covert operations outside the Hegemony.
It has been claimed that the Descarothe Hegemony is a puppet regime of either the Zhodani Consulate or the Domain of Alntzar - established as a counter to the Imperial-aligned League of Suns. There is no evidence to support this claim. Desaekhe certainly receives assistance from both states, but otherwise shows very little inclination for cooperation. Also, the Hegemony maintained strict neutrality during the recent Fifth Frontier War, going so far as to close its borders and request support from the ComSentient Alliance. This surprise move severely impeded Coalition activities throughout the Foreven sector for much of the war.
The Descar systems have been posted as Amber Zones, due to the openly hostile attitude expressed towards the Imperium, and the strength and zeal of the forces under their control.
Delta Research : Established in 437 at Sha’anoe / Delta / Beyond sector as Delta Products Corporation, where it specialized in spacecraft design, repair and construction. Taken over by Baron hault-Storm in 1086, and renamed Delta Research.
With Delta’s change of ownership came a major diversification of its product line. The maneuver drives previously contracted from LSP were replaced with units built by Delta Research itself. New designs of computer peripherals were announced in 1088. The first production runs for the Type S “Storm” Class Scout and the Type SX “Wind” Class Courier began in 1090. The prototype for the Type A2 “Phoenix” Class Far Trader first flew in 1094.
This uncontrolled enthusiasm drove the company to the brink of receivership. But, in 1101 at Delta Centre / Metchi’ Alagawa, a major breakthrough in computer technology was made when researcher “Mad” Marvin Hauk successfully grew genetically-engineered brain cells in vitro, making possible the Logical Heuristic Processor (Organic) series of computers. The LHeP(Or)s proved the turning point in Delta’s fortunes.
Since then, Delta Research has become a leader in new computer technology, with their capabilities exceeded only by the Hivers and the Darrians. The bulk of sales are to the Imperium and its allies (via special contract with Beaufort Lines Ltd), but members of the ComSentient Alliance are also steady customers. The company continues to be rigidly controlled by hault-Storm, with stock ownership as follows: hault-Storm - 70%; investment trusts - 15%; corporate employees - 10%; Imperial Family - 2.5%; and public (individuals) - 2.5%.
die Weltbund : A confederation of worlds, in the Beyond sector, which lends its name to the subsector it is centred in. die Weltbund’s capital is Bundestag (A9031A6-E), with the subsector capital being Oberprasidenten (A373113-B). It is an associate member of the ComSentient Alliance.
The original Weltbund colonists were pro-Solomani groups that left the Imperium during or just after the Solomani Rim War. They at first imagined (and eventually convinced) themselves that they were the direct lineal descendants of the original developers of Terra’s space program. This is evidenced by a tendency to cast names of worlds, ships and people in Terran-Germanic forms; and to embrace aspects of the Terran-Germanic culture. Oddly enough, despite their beliefs, most Weltbund worlds stubbornly remain non-industrial, with minimal interest in further development or expansion - either individually or collectively. Military forces are traditionally well-supported by individual worlds, but there is very little centralized organization in their deployment or operation.
die Weltbund customarily acts as a "go-between" for the ComSentient Alliance and the Third Imperium. Relations with the Imperium are good enough that one DW world, Tartakover, has been honoured as an Imperial Retreat. die Weltbund’s relations with its nearest significant neighbours, the Domain Of Alntzar and the Mal’Gnar Primarchic, are openly distrustful and extremely erratic for reasons that are not fully clear.
Kirov, The Star Empire Of : Independant state in the Reidain subsector of the Foreven sector. The capital, Kirov (C7647CB-7), was settled by Solomani sympathisers soon after the Solomani Rim War, with subsequent expansion to Vladimir (C565265-4) and Tunguska (C8B9332-A). Vladimir remains under direct control of Kirov. Tunguska became a “Grand Duchy” in 997, with limited autonomy.
Kirov’s nobility is remarkably prone to fatal accidents or illnesses, implying that local politics can be dangerous. Emperor Sergei XXIII, the current monarch, took the throne in 1113, after his father was assassinated during an attempted coup. In marked contrast to his predecessors, he has initiated several ambitious projects to boost his realm’s economy.
Kirov’s Law Level reflects long-established measures for keeping the populace in line. The Army is well-equipped, up to TL 8, but is fully occupied maintaining civil order. The Navy comprises “acquired” merchant ships, plus a few mercenary vessels. Quality of personnel in the Star Empire’s armed forces is questionable - with political appointees in many key posts, mercenaries handling some roles, and conscripts forming the bulk of personnel.
For decades, much of Kirov’s export economy has depended on dubious activities - the production and distribution of contraband, provision of Letters of Marque and Flags of Convenience, mercenary work for its armed forces, “no questions asked” facilities, and so forth. A lucrative market opened up some years ago with the sale of Nobility “patents” (with packages of otherwise valueless real estate) to whomever can afford it. The current Kirovian Emperor has devoted considerable effort to building up local manufacturing capability, but with only limited progress so far.
In spite of (or, perhaps, because of) its sensitive location neither the Imperium, the Darrian Federation nor the Zhodani Consulate show any interest in Kirov, despite the latter's attempts to garner support from any or all of them. The Star Empire's diplomatic efforts have now shifted further afield, with a recent petition to join TAU; and with 'special envoys' having arrived (apparently uninvited) in the Domain of Alntzar, die Weltbund and the Mal'Gnar Primarchic - all within the last year.
League of Suns : Imperial client state in the Jungleblut and Piah subsectors of the Foreven sector, with its capital being Alzenei (B768895-C). Originally a loose coalition of worlds that rebelled against the Domain of Alntzar in 819, the League has been a stable island of peace and prosperity in the region for the last three hundred years.
The League has treaty arrangements with the Imperium, providing for Imperial use of League facilities in exchange for support against encroachment by hostile forces. Alntzar has been the traditional threat since the League's foundation, but the recent emergence of the Descarothe Hegemony has forced a drastic reassessment of strategy.
The League Survey Service is the LOS's primary interstellar defense and law enforcement arm. It is organized similarly to the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service, and derives much of its equipment from Imperial sources. The LSS has seen wide experience as an Imperial ally in Frontier Wars Four and Five; as well as being involved in “skirmishes” with Alntzar, Descarothe and Nirvana. It has also undertaken far-ranging diplomatic / exploratory missions into the Beyond and Vanguard Reaches sectors, and frequently engages in joint operations with both the IISS and the IN.
Kokkelen is home base for the LSS naval/military arm, which has been stationed on that world for most of the League’s history as a check against Alntzar. However, the facilities on Alzenei are now being upgraded to co-equal status, as a counter to the Hegemony.
Alzenei is also noteworthy for its university facilities. LOS universities are regarded as being amongst the finest in the 'Foreven' sector, having co-equal status with several prestigious universities in the Imperium. Prominent among these, of late, has been the League of Suns College of Interstellar Studies (abbreviated to 'LOSCIS').
Apart from ongoing problems with Alntzar, Descarothe, Nirvana, and, naturally, the Zhodani; the League Of Suns is on friendly terms with many other worlds in their vicinity. It is a patron of the Treaty Association of Urnian, and often supports Imperial interests.
Dark Angel, The : Media nickname given to Shira Kaldann, a corsair who operated within the Foreven and Spinward Marches sectors for a few years immediately prior to the Fifth Frontier War. Information about her childhood is sketchy. She is known to be an illegitimate daughter of G.L.A. leader Jerark hault-Kaldann, was born on Noah / Urnian, and raised on a number of worlds in the Urnian and Reidain subsectors. She was estranged from her father as a teenager, and henceforth pursued an independant life. There is no information about her mother.
Kaldann's skill and daring as a corsair, and consistently humane treatment of prisoners, very rapidly gained her both notoreity and fame. This plus her beauty also made Shira a reluctant focus of media attention, with the bestowed nickname of 'Dark Angel' being one consequence. Ms Kaldann has never used the nickname personally, and actively discourages its use.
During the Fifth Frontier War, she joined forces with (and eventually married) Captain Jasen hault-Plankwell. She was an active participant in the Imperium's seizure of Starbridge and the Battle of Macene, for which she was granted a full pardon by the Duke of Regina. Shira Kaldann and her husband now reside on Newhaven / Five Sisters.
Mal’Gnar Primarchic : A federation of worlds centred on the Mal’Gnar Radiant subsector of Beyond sector. The capital is Mal’Gnar (A864727-C). The dominant species of the Primarchic are also known as Mal’Gnar, and were genetically-altered Humans transplanted to the Mal'Gnar system by the Ancients. Until Imperial contact circa 600, the Mal’Gnar people had not developed Jump Drive, having settled neighbouring systems via sleeper and multi-generational vessels. Accelerated expansion and colonization followed, with the Mal’Gnar eventually taking over most of two subsectors by 700.
This territory lies across what has turned out to be a prime trading route between the Spinward Marches, and the Beyond and Vanguard Reaches sectors. Therefore it was probably inevitable that large numbers of foreign vessels would begin crossing Primarchic space in search of profit. There were also the inevitable intrusions by groups and individuals seeking Ancient artifacts within the Primarchic itself. Given the Mal’Gnar distrust of outsiders, numerous incidents resulted. Open warfare between the Primarchic and the Imperium was narrowly averted by negotiations in 988, culminating in the Treaty of Methusaleh in 989.
Having established their boundaries, the Mal’Gnar have displayed no interest in further expansion. Member worlds are responsible for their own internal matters, but can be over-ridden by the Primarchic’s Advisory Council. The latter is also responsible for interstellar diplomacy and has sole control of the military.
The preponderance of Ancient sites within their boundaries have convinced many Mal’Gnar that they are either the Ancients, or the legitimate heirs thereof. Be that as it may, most of Mal’Gnar scientific research centres on archaeology and the recovery of Ancient artifacts.
In exchange for concessions in the Treaty Of Methusaleh, the Mal’Gnar Primarchic permits the Imperium to operate an X-Boat Route and a Trade Corridor (monopolized by Beaufort Lines Ltd) through their space, and to send occasional observers to their Ancient sites. Other than this, the Mal’Gnar display little tolerance for intruders and, at best, appear to be strictly isolationist in outlook.
OceanStar Incorporated : Registered as an interstellar trade partnership on Mora/Mora in 1073. Noteworthy is that the majority of the owners and employees are aquatic in nature - particularly Dolphins, Githiaskio, and geneered Humans.
As well as being one of Mora’s largest brokerage firms, the company has a fleet of approximately twenty-five starships in the 200-1000 ton range, mainly configured for aquatic crews. Since 1102, the company has become increasingly involved in colonization and development ventures within the Domain of Deneb. Company representatives currently reside on many waterworlds within the Spinward Marches.
As well as being acknowledged experts in aquatic-based business activities, OceanStar Inc. has a solid reputation for honesty and integrity. For both reasons, it is a popular choice for joint ventures involving local governments and/or other companies - notably Oberlindes Lines, the Starbridge Consortium and the Baraccai Technum. One of its more notable recent successes has been the construction and management of the Paradise Island resort on Noah. Presently, company representatives are touring the ComSentient Alliance, presumably with a view towards expanding Oceanstar's activities there. However, negotiations with Beaufort Lines as regards access to Beyond sector have been distinctly unsuccessful so far.
In organization, OceanStar remains essentially a private partnership, but has a profit-sharing arrangement with most of its employees.
Mal’Gnar : The dominant race of the Mal’Gnar Primarchic. They are descendants of early Terran homo sapiens, transplanted to several worlds in the Mal’Gnar Radiant subsector by the Ancients. As a result of genetic alteration, the Mal’Gnar possess a number of avian traits - long supple feathered wings, retractable-taloned feet, keen long-range vision, and an extra-lightweight skeleton. Despite their light weight, they are still comparable in strength to the Human norm, and only marginally fragile by the standards of most other humans. While the majority of Mal’Gnar are incapable of lifting their own bodyweight from their homeworld’s surface by wings alone, once aloft they are masters of soaring.
Typically, Mal’Gnar are slender in build, with an average height of 1.4 m, average weight of 45 kg, and a fully-extended wingspan of 2.3 m. Skin colouration tends towards bronze; hair and feathers tend to match in colour, being various shades of brown and/or gray. Eyes are green, gold or (in rare cases) silver-blue. Mal’Gnar are inter-fertile with most other branches of Humaniti, with their more avian traits being recessive in such cases.
The Mal’Gnar social structure is based on a voluntary caste system, with citizens selecting a specific caste, for life, at an early age. The basic social unit is the “Echelon Quintad” - five individuals who function together as a single multi-purpose unit, similar to an extended family. Each of the five members of an Echelon Quintad is drawn from one of the six echelons (castes) which divide Mal’Gnar society - Advisors, Hunters, Leaders, Multi-Echeloned Ones, Priests and Technicians. Only two of the echelons are sexually restrictive - Priests are always male, and Advisors are always female. Only one Advisor is in each Quintad, being the nominal leader. Quintads often, though not always, form the basis for Mal’Gnar team activities such as starship crews, diplomatic missions, research groups, and small businesses.
The preponderance of Ancient sites within Primarchic boundaries has had a profound influence on the culture. Many Mal’Gnar believe that they are the Ancients, or the legitimate heirs thereof; with their culture's entire history dominated by the acquisition, usage, and duplication of Ancient artifacts. Subsequently, Mal’Gnar science has only a limited grasp of linear development or “pure” research, since it centres on recovering and experimenting with artifacts. Subsequently, adequately classifying Primarchic technology has proven very difficult; since some areas match or exceed Imperial standards, and advancement in others is almost non-existant.
The Mal’Gnar are mildly xenophobic, and are particularly intolerant of Droyne. Any comparison between Echelon Quintads and Droyne Tyafelm (or, indeed, any comparison between Mal’Gnar and Droyne) invariably provokes a hostile, even violent, response. That, by Imperial standards the Mal’Gnar are technically a “minor” race also provokes a strong reaction - and may even be cause for continued tensions between the Mal’Gnar and the Imperium.
Nirvana, Supremacy Of: Independant state in the Urnian subsector of Foreven sector. The world Nirvana (A7998DE-8) seceded from the Domain of Alntzar in 833, taking with it the colonies of Sierra (C350567-9) and Dislurger (C0007AB-B). With over half of the original population being followers of the ‘Temple Of Interstellar Supremacy’ (a splinter sect of the ‘Church of Resurgent Anthropomorphic Philosophy’), Nirvana rapidly evolved into a theocratic state.
That evolution has not been peaceful. In 935, a protracted trade dispute with Lelaek flared into all-out war. Despite being technically outgunned, Lelaek decimated Nirvana’s forces and captured Sierra, forcing a ceasefire in 937. In the inevitable search for scapegoats, Nirvana’s government began a major purge of its military. Most of the surviving navy and their dependants subsequently fled Nirvana, seized control of Dislurger, and declared their independance. The two worlds have been engaged in open hostilities ever since.
As well, Nirvana has “skirmished” with the League of Suns; the independant systems of Affleck, Winder and Hightower; and the Imperial-aligned systems of Macmurray and Noah. The formation of TAU is often attributed to Nirvanan aggression, and is a particular sore point for the Supremacy.
Central to the Supremacy’s government is the ‘Circle Of Truth’ - a council of eight Temple officials, all females selected on a regional basis and apparently serving for life. Most aspects of the general populace’s lives are strictly regulated by the Temple. Doctrinal matters and regional bias cause local politics to be turbulent, with the high population density only exacerbating matters. In every respect, local law levels are extreme.
The Supremacy's military is mostly equipped to TL 7-8, with a strong emphasis on internal security. Its space navy is comprised of around twenty vessels in the 200-400 ton range, mostly secondhand Zhodani craft. Nirvana's military has operated under very strict control ever since the so-called 'Great Betrayal'.
The Zhodani Consulate formally allied with Nirvana in 934. However, Nirvana’s inability to coexist peacefully with anyone, least of all itself, has proven to be a major embarassment. The Domain of Alntzar is known to provide materials and technology for Nirvana's activities, presumably in exchange for goodwill.
Non-believers (especially non-Human aliens) visit Nirvana at their own risk.
Treaty Association Of Urnian, The : TAU, as it is commonly known, is a defensive pro-Imperial alliance of several worlds in the Urnian subsector. It was established in 1107, and is jointly sponsored by the Third Imperium and the League of Suns. Organization members conduct joint military exercises, regularly exchange personnel and data, and provide mutual assistance as required. In emergencies, the Association’s military forces may be combined into a joint command structure.
Current members are Gagarin (B643699-7), Scott (A62A220-B), Hightower (C9D0324-8), Drax (C79A8BA-9), and Bisley (D867538-6). Associate members are Saggoth (E878467-2), Macmurray (E000233-8), and Dakota (D000422-9). In addition, Lelaek and Dislurger have special statuses in TAU as ‘Observers’. Noah was a founding member, but resigned in 1113, citing irreconcilable differances in policy. The Star Empire of Kirov recently petitioned to join but, given Kirov's distance from the other worlds, its internal politics, and history to date, acceptance is seen as highly unlikely.
Given that the most direct route between League and Imperium runs through Urnian subsector, both empires have gone to considerable lengths to ensure TAU's stability and viability. Certain critics have claimed that this is the only reason for the alliance's continued existance.
Other than the Zhodani, the most immediate and obvious threat to TAU is the Supremacy of Nirvana, which has fought with many of the individual members at one time or another. The Belgardian Sojourn has also become a concern in recent years.
hault-Plankwell, Jasen Eivendar : Born 022-1067 on Rhylanor / Rhylanor in the Spinward Marches sector. Eldest son of Eivendar hault-Plankwell (Sector Admiral, Imperial Navy, Retired) and Dr Kellia Montrose (author of the best-seller 'Solomani Connections & Imperial Directions'). Direct lineal descendant of ‘Barracks Emperor’ Olav hault-Plankwell. Honours Graduate of the Imperial Navy Academy (Deneb Annex, Class of 1086).
Joined Imperial Navy (Flight Arm). Served with distinction in the Corridor, Reft, and Spinward Marches Sectors; and achieved the rank of Captain. Decorations - 1 x PH, 2 x W, 3 x MCUF, 2 x MCG, 4 x SEH. Acknowledged expert in tactics related to ‘Unconventional Operations’. Gained notoriety in 1106 after publicly criticizing the Marches' naval deployments and intelligence practices, prior to the outbreak of the Fifth Frontier War.
Resigned from the IN that same year, citing 'personal reasons'.
Plankwell acquired the Far Trader “Sidewinder” and, with several associates, established a cooperative known as ‘Vanguard Consortium' (later re-named ‘Starbridge Consortium’). This venture was mainly active in the Regina and Lanth subsectors. When FW5 finally broke out, Plankwell and his group took up commerce raiding and intelligence-gathering for the Imperium. During this time, he met and married corsair leader Shira Kaldann (a.k.a. “The Dark Angel”).
Inarguably, Plankwell’s greatest wartime achievement is the capture of the Drakne artifact known as ‘Starbridge’ from the G.L.A.. Precise details remain classified, but it is known that he personally led the team that boarded the artifact, suborned its computer systems, and took over. Under Plankwell’s leadership and with Imperial reinforcements, the artifact devastated Coalition forces in the Battle of Macene, then spearheaded the Imperial counter-strike on the Sword Worlds.
With peace, Jasen Hault-Plankwell was made a Protector Of The Imperium, and granted the feif of Newhaven / Five Sisters (previously catalogued as ‘875-496’). He currently resides on that world with his wife and four children.
LOSCIS : Commonly used acronym for the 'League of Suns College of Interstellar Studies'. Founded on Alzenei in 1052 as an amalgam of several smaller institutions, LOSCIS has become one of the most high-profile education and research facilities in the League Of Suns.
LOSCIS's Charter specifies its primary goal as being 'the study of alien lifeforms and psychologies'. However, in recent decades the college has expanded to first include, and then emphasize, archaeological activities. Amongst other things, LOSCIS is now recognized as a local authority on both the Ancients and the so-called 'Sky Raiders'.
Recent field expeditions have had mixed results. Despite years of negotiation, the 1099 and 1102 expeditions to the Mal'Gnar Primarchic were abruptly terminated by the Mal'Gnar without explanation within weeks of their commencement. The LOSCIS cultural exchange delegation to Darrian was much more successful, with several joint League / Federation projects now planned. Currently, LOSCIS supports "digs" on Noah (Urnian), Maccu Picchu (die Weltbund) and Iniku (Reidain); and is also represented on several others.
In general, LOSCIS is well-regarded. It is not as large or as well-equipped as some Imperial universities, but has an excellent academic record. Its field expeditions are typified by meticulous planning and strict ethical constraints.
Church of Resurgent Anthropomorphic Philosophy : Founded 708, on Paradise / Subsector Delta / Beyond Sector, by Louis Farbes. The church now controls Paradise (C6642DF-?) and seeks to convert others to its tenets by any means necessary - including the alleged use of intimidation, kidnapping and worse. The faith’s primary tenet is that ‘God Created All True Sentients In His Physical Image’. The sheer diversity of Humaniti, and the large number of other sentient races, seems to have no bearing upon the illogic of this claim. Unbiased analysis of the Church’s overall teachings indicate them to be confusing and extremely self-contradictory.
Since 790, a splinter sect known as the ‘Temple of Interstellar Supremacy’ has dominated Nirvana (A7998DE-8). In terms of overall population, this has undoubtedly been the Church’s greatest success. The original violent split between Church and Temple took place in 835, but relations between them have noticeably improved since. However, distance (and, presumably, continuing differances in theology and politics) prevent any meaningful cooperation.
Church followers are derogatively referred to as “Crappies”.
Starbridge : The only known remnant of the Drakne. The ‘Starbridge’ is a gigantic asteroid-hulled starship, powered by anti-matter. Most of the vessel’s systems are estimated at originating from a Tech Level range of 16-17. Based on available data, ‘Starbridge’ was designed as a combination of capital ship, long-range explorer and research platform.
Approximately 5,000 years ago, sabotage by a rebelling Drakne faction caused the vessel to misjump, and left it derelict in the Great Rift with a dead crew and crippled computer systems. Circa 1075, the vessel was discovered by the GLA and, for the next decade or so, used by them as a secret base. In that time, they were somehow able to activate several systems, restoring limited mobility and combat capability to the artifact.
In 1091, the ‘Starbridge’ entered Imperial space near the Reft sector, and massacred Imperial Patrol Squadron 903. The unsubstantiated testimony of the only survivor was dismissed by the Imperial Navy as a product of shock and post-traumatic stress. The operation was considered by the GLA to be a total success, but several more years in seclusion were required to repair damage and resolve systems failures.
With the outbreak of the Fifth Frontier War, the GLA was ready to try again. Instead of frontal assault, ‘Starbridge’ was utilized as a mobile base for piracy and insurgency operations. In this mode, it disrupted traffic through the Lanth subsector in the early stages of the war, thus providing invaluable support to Coalition forces. Shortly thereafter, there was a falling out between the GLA and the Coalition, presumably related to the command and control of ‘Starbridge’. The GLA subsequently chose an independant course of action against the Imperium, but was ultimately defeated when Imperial forces boarded and seized control of the artifact. Under the command of Captain Jasen hault-Plankwell, the ‘Starbridge’ was then used with devastating effect against Coalition forces at the Battle of Macene, and supported follow-up attacks against the Sword Worlds.
Since the end of hostilities, ‘Starbridge’ has been based at Newhaven / Five Sisters (previously 875-496), where it is listed as an experimental unit of the Imperial Navy. Specific data about its capabilities remain classified, though there have been persistent rumours of anti-particle weaponry, tractor beams, a ramscoop-fuelled Jump drive, and a highly advanced computer system. Most of the advanced systems have been removed for testing and evaluation by the Imperium. The hull is to eventually be converted into an orbital base for Newhaven's military.
Phoenix Enterprises Limited : Most commonly referred to by its initials, PEL officially registered as a partnership at Capital / Core in 1052. Offices are scattered throughout the Imperium and certain of its neighbours, with major facilities on Capital (Core sector), Mapepire (Beyond sector), and Regina (Spinward Marches sector).
The company is active in interstellar transport; starship design and construction; manufacture of military equipment; dealing in military ‘surplus’; general brokerage and trading services; import/export of luxury goods; tourism; technological research and development; and all aspects of mercenary and private security operations.
In most of these areas, PEL makes only one claim to superiority - they are the best. Competitors may be larger and more widespread; but cannot match the sheer quality of PEL products and services. Employees are drawn from a number of sources; but face extensive training, evaluation and indoctrination before full acceptance.
Vessels designed, built and/or operated by Phoenix include the ‘Valkyrie’ Class Heavy Fighter, the ‘Fenris’ Merchant Cruiser, the ‘Tethys’ Troop Carrier and the ‘Leander’ Modular Freighter. The flagship of Phoenix Enterprises Ltd is indisputably its 'King Richard' Luxury Liners. Only four of these fabulously opulent vessels exist, travelling throughout the Imperium and neighbouring regions under heavy escort. It is popularly claimed that only the Emperor enjoys superior comfort to that found in a “King Richard’s” Luxury Class suite - and by a narrow margin at that.
PEL was founded as, and remains, a four way private partnership. The names of the partners remain secret under Imperial Edict 826-A, in direct contravention of standard commercial practices. Speculation has always been rife as to the partners' identities, but the only certainty is that they had substantial resources and far-reaching connections with which to start the company in the first place. Phoenix Enterprises has often been accused of being a “front” for covert Imperial operations - something which both it and the Imperium solidly deny.
In 1115, PEL entered into a joint venture with Delta Research, operating convoys between the ComSentient Alliance and the Imperium, mostly routed through the Urnian subsector. Commenced the same year, these convoys have been subjected to an escalating series of attacks, allegedly by ships of the Belgardian Sojourn. Both corporations have since increased their armed presence in the region, and are rumoured to be negotiating 'security arrangements' with the Treaty Association of Urnian.
Drakne : A race believed to have existed ‘near’ the Domain of Deneb approximately 5,000 years ago. All data about them has come from their only known artifact, an immense craft known as ‘Starbridge’. That the original sabotage to ‘Starbridge’ also resulted in extensive damage, and caused a misjump of unknown extent, is widely accepted. No other trace of the Drakne has been found so far.
Racial data has been gathered from computer records and Drakne remains found on ‘Starbridge’. The species are/were radially symmetrical triped bisexual livebearers, with copper-based blood. They averaged 3 meters in height and 500 kilograms in weight. Their optimum environment was an Exotic atmosphere, a gravity of 0.835, an average temperature of 80 degrees F, a 37 hour day, and a high degree of background radiation. So far, no worlds have been found that match all of these criteria.
Drakne society appears to have been discordant and xenophobic, with an emphasis on personal combat ability. The race was apparently divided into a number of nations or clans, with one holding clear dominance over all others. ‘Starbridge’ was sabotaged on its maiden voyage by low-ranking members of its original crew, perhaps as an opening move in a general insurrection. Given their apparent proclivities for high-powered weapons and “all or nothing” tactics, the resulting civil conflict could have led to the Draknes’ extinction.
The overall Tech Level of the Drakne is believed to be around 15-17. Most equipment seems to be only marginally superior, at best, to Imperial state of the art. On the other hand, ship-mounted weaponry is at the upper end of this range. Whilst recovered data is incomplete, it has been confirmed that the Drakne are not a new Major Race. Salvaged artifacts, presumably of Ancient origin, formed the basis for their Jump drive and advanced weaponry.
‘Self-Destruction Via Civil War’ is the most popular hypothesis for explaining the disappearance of the Drakne, but only because there is insufficient evidence to substantiate any other theory. Extra-galactic / extra-dimensional origins; abrupt transformation of the entire Drakne species into something unrecognizable; fatal encounters with the First Imperium, the Vargr, the Zhodani or the Hhkar - all these and others are touted as alternative theories. Evidence remains non-existent.
It should be noted that the Imperial Science Foundation has offered a special prize of 10 million credits and inclusion on the Imperial Honours List to whomever finds a Drakne-populated world, or can provide conclusive proof of the Draknes’ final fate.
Noah : (UPP: C98A420-9) Imperial waterworld centrally located in the Urnian subsector. Noted for its incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem, with lifeforms originating from the oceans of eight or more different worlds (including Terra, and at least one as yet unknown to the Imperium). Also known as the birthworld of "The Dark Angel".
It is generally accepted that Noah's "imported" lifeforms were introduced by the Ancients shortly before their Final War, but this theory has recently been disputed by LOSCIS. Their own research suggests that some species could only have been introduced to Noah after the Ancients' Final War, yet still millennia prior to the rise of the First Imperium.
Noah is in a trinary system, and orbits the two largest suns. The third sun, a Red Dwarf, circles the system at a distance. The planet's orbit is mildly eccentric, providing tropical / subtropical temperatures for most of its year, but moving outwards to become cooler for about a quarter of each 433-day year. During the same period, Noah skirts the edge of the system's outer asteroid belt, increasing the likelihood of minor asteroid strikes.
The original human settlers were the crew of a small Darrian starship that misjumped and arrived insystem circa -925. Additional groups of human colonists arrived between -150 and 220. First official contact with the Third Imperium was made in 550, and membership granted in 564. During the Second Frontier War, the Outworld Coalition invaded Noah, but was repelled with heavy losses on both sides by a combined force of local militia and the 910th Imperial Marine Regiment. During the Fifth Frontier War, a Coalition task force entering the system was ambushed and wiped out by an Imperial force.
Noah was a founding member of TAU in 1107, with the then Duke of Noah being credited as the chief architect of that alliance. Unfortunately, he died in 1112 and his heir removed Noah from the Association. With that Duke's recent death, and a new heir yet to be declared, Noah's immediate future is again unclear.
The current population stands at approximately 28,000 - around 85% of which are Human. The remainder includes Dolphins, Githiaskio, Vargr, and even a small number of Droyne. Most of the general population lives in boats or habitats in the world's ocean, or in various island settlements. Bigsby Main (Pop: 5,000) is the main town/city, and was only constructed within the last 20 years. Prior to then, Noah's major centre of population (and site of the original starport) was Bigsby Downs (Pop: 2,000), on the other end of Noah's largest island.
The 'Noah-LSP Development Company' was established in 1113 as a joint venture between the planet's nobility and Ling Standard Products. It has provided the impetus for several capital projects, such as large-scale sea-harvesting (under strict environmental controls) and the Paradise Island resort.
Since 1093, Noah has run a regular event called 'NavyCon'. For three weeks every two years, Wet Navy professionals and enthusiasts gather to discuss history; compare tactics; assess new hardware; and to participate in naval wargames both live and virtual. The local defence force actively participates, gaining valuable experience in the process. Locals often take leave from their regular jobs to participate in the more entertaining aspects of the gathering. Noah's economy benefits considerably from this event.
G.L.A. : Faction of the Ine Givar founded, circa 1055, in either Urnian or Five Sisters subsectors. The founder, and leader for most of its existance, was Jerark haut-Kaldann. Lt-Commander Jerark haut-Kaldann of Imperial Naval Intelligence deserted in 1053, after his involvement with a Zhodani spy ring was revealed.
His organization dedicated itself to the violent overthrow of Imperial authority, but its activities were largely confined to hijacking and piracy. It remains unclear precisely what the initials ‘GLA’ stood for, if anything. A popular assumption is ‘Galactic Liberation Army’. Various quotes in Anglish, Zhodani, or Vilani have also been suggested.
In 1070, the GLA openly split with Ine Givar to pursue its own agenda, though it continued to receive assistance from the Zhodani. Circa 1075, the artifact ‘Starbridge’ was discovered and, for the next decade or so, used by the GLA as a secret base. In that time, through herculean efforts, they successfully restored the artifact to partial mobility.
In 1091, the ‘Starbridge’ jumped into Imperial space, and massacred Imperial Patrol Squadron 903 near Colony Five / Vestus in Reft sector. The unsubstantiated testimony of the only survivor was dismissed by the Imperial Navy as a product of mental trauma. The operation was considered by the GLA to be a total success, but necessitated several more years in seclusion to repair combat damage.
With the outbreak of the Fifth Frontier War, the GLA was ready to try again. Instead of frontal assault, ‘Starbridge’ was utilized as a mobile base for piracy and insurgency operations. In this mode, they successfully disrupted traffic through the Lanth subsector in the early stages of the war, thus providing invaluable support to Coalition forces.
Shortly thereafter, there was a “falling out” between the GLA and the Zhodani, presumably related to the command and control of ‘Starbridge’. The GLA subsequently chose an independant course of action against the Imperium. It was ultimately defeated when Imperial forces, assisted by haut-Kaldann's estranged daughter (a.k.a. "The Dark Angel"), boarded and captured the artifact. Jerark haut-Kaldann perished as a result of that action. Most of his followers were either killed or captured at the same time.
Officially, the GLA organization is considered to have ceased to exist at that time, though a few isolated groups have claimed the name since.
Beaufort Lines Limited : Established 984 by Samuel (later Sir Samuel) Beaufort (b. 941, d. 1042?) of Guildheim / Liberty Hall. Beaufort Lines is unique in that, while it is registered and based in Beyond sector, all of its ship captains are officers of the Imperial Navy Reserve. Beaufort is one of the major shipping lines operating in Beyond, with established routes from the Mal’Gnar Radiant subsector through die Weltbund and Liberty Hall, and rimward into Metchi’ Alagwa and the Northeast Middle Beyond. It interfaces with Parallel Lines Unlimited at Xeres / Zydar. Beaufort has a favoured status within the ComSentient Alliance.
Sir Samuel’s policies of subtle Imperial influence and paternal advice (together with, some would accuse, ‘gunboat diplomacy’) have resulted in Beaufort monopolizing trade routes through the Mal’Gnar Primarchic. This fact probably influenced Emperor Gavin in his decision to bestow a knighthood upon Beaufort in 1000.
To date, Sir Samuel’s policies remain in effect, and no other Imperial commercial line is permitted to traverse Mal'Gnar space without clearance from Beaufort Lines. Whilst this route is not the only possible connection between the Spinward Marches and Beyond, it is by far the most economical. Beaufort's strict control has led to severe friction between Beaufort and other Imperial corporations such as Tukera, Oberlindes Lines, the StarBridge Consortium, and OceanStar Inc..
Most of Beaufort Lines is composed of ex-Imperial Navy vessels. But there is a new tendency towards utilization of Type SX ‘Wind’ Class Couriers. To date, twelve Type SX’s have been delivered and christened, rather whimsically: Calm; Light Air; Light Breeze; Gentle Breeze; Moderate Breeze; Fresh Breeze; Strong Breeze; Moderate Gale; Fresh Gale; Whole Gale; Storm; and Hurricane.
Beaufort Lines Limited remains a family company divided approximately as follows: Beaufort Family - 60%; investment trusts - 15%; corporate employees - 15%; Imperial Family - 2.5%; and public (individuals) - 7.5%.
NavyCon : An event on Noah / Urnian run every two years since 1093. Originally a one-off regional symposium for wet navy officials from Imperial-aligned worlds, it proved successful enough to be repeated two years later. This gathering saw the inclusion of historians and several groups of naval enthusiasts, and was so popular that the then Duke of Noah decided to make NavyCon a regular event.
NavyCon's format has remained unchanged since 1099. For three weeks every two years, over 1,500 people from all over the Imperium and beyond gather at the Paradise Island resort. There, they socialize; discuss history; compare ideas; devise tactics; assess hardware; and participate in naval wargames live, table-top, and virtual. Attendees are highly diverse - including professional military, enthusiasts, celebrities, corporate representatives, thrillseekers, and the merely curious.
NavyCon's strictly-regulated live wargames are considered a highlight, with various competitions and historical reenactments for both amateurs and professionals. Most prizes remain in the form of plaques and certificates, but corporate sponsorship has raised the stakes considerably in recent years. A persistant rumour is that various mercenary groups and/or corporations (notably PEL and the Starbridge Consortium), often recruit skilled individuals seen in action at NavyCon.
Some groups take the wargames competitions seriously enough to ship in months in advance, to practice in local conditions. Personnel from the local defence force actively participate, often trialling new equipment and gaining valuable experience in the process. Many locals take time out from their regular jobs and businesses to also participate in the wargames. Needless to say, the tourism boost to Noah's economy is considerable.
The only time a NavyCon has been cancelled was in 1109, during the Fifth Frontier War. The NavyCon in 1111 was considered the most successful ever, but the 1113 and 1115 events had various organizational problems.
Starbridge Consortium, The : Originally known as ‘Vanguard Consortium’, a coalition of several small private companies, formed in 1106 by Captain Jasen hault-Plankwell, IN (Retired). Originally involved solely in interstellar trade, the Consortium has since expanded and diversified into salvage, starmerc / security operations, scientific research, brokerage, and planetary development.
During the Fifth Frontier War, Consortium vessels performed raiding and intelligence-gathering duties for the Imperium. Inarguably, their most famous achievment was the location and capture of the artifact ‘Starbridge’. Under Imperial direction, ‘Starbridge’ went on to devastate Coalition forces in the closing stages of the war. At the end of the war, the Duke of Regina awarded an Imperial Trade Charter to the Consortium, and presented the feifdom of ‘Newhaven’ to Plankwell.
Now based at Newhaven / Five Sisters (C888421-B, previously catalogued as 875-496), the Consortium is chartered as that world’s development company and local defense force. Representatives can be found on most subsector capitals within the Spinward Marches, and several joint ventures have been established with Oberlindes Lines and OceanStar Inc. There is a strong, though apparently benign, rivalry with Phoenix Enterprises Ltd. Relations with Beaufort Lines are distinctly cold, due to the latter’s strict monopoly of trade routes into the Beyond sector, an area in which the Consortium is showing great interest.
Presently, the Consortium has some thirty starships, mostly in the 100-400 ton range. There are at least as many additional vessels that are 'affiliated' - independant owners in partnership with the Consortium. Given the co-operative’s very open recruitment policy, there is a great variety of employees. The majority are Imperial humans, but there are also Vargr, Aslan, Darrian, Droyne, Hhkar, Virushi, and even Mal’Gnar, amongst others. This diversity is often to the Consortium’s advantage in diplomatic matters.
The Starbridge Consortium is owned solely by its employees, with share allocations determined by bonuses, rank and seniority. Leadership is provided by a committee of seven, with each member voted in by shareholders. The current CEO is Major Jorann Balukennan, a former Imperial Army Commando; with her husband, Sergeant-Major Ivan haut-Gefferyson, Imperial Marines (Retired), also on the board as Operations Chief. Both are among the original surviving members of 'Vanguard Consortium', and remain close personal friends of the founder Captain Jasen hault-Plankwell.
Macmurray : (UPP: E000233-8) Imperial-aligned system in the Urnian subsector of Foreven sector. It consists of a single white dwarf star, a small gas giant with four moons, and a very extensive asteroid belt.
Most of Macmurray's population are members of an extended clan of Belters, which has been based there for approximately two hundred and fifty years. The locals are proudly independant and scorn all suggestions of "organized" government.
Whilst lacking a true military, the system is home to a respectable number of experienced (and well-armed) spacers who know the territory intimately. This tends to deter invaders. Nirvana attempted to 'annex' Macmurray in 998 and 1046, with both incursions soundly defeated with minimal losses to the defenders. The Zhodani Consulate invaded during FW4 - local forces withdrew to the outer reaches of the system and maintained a campaign of harassment until Imperial forces arrived.
Macmurray is an Associate Member in good standing of TAU, to which it contributes intelligence data and personnel. Customarily, strategy and foreign policy are decided by "The Macmurray" - the Clan's Laird, Hamish Macmurray - in consultation with the rest of his people, the majority of whom are staunchly pro-Imperial. As expected, Macmurray's predominant industry is asteroid-mining.