In a move that has alarmed some political analysts, Lamog’s Premier Makkil Forrent publicly condemned the construction of the new large ship construction
yards near Mars, calling it a clear sign of hostile intentions. Many worry that this may be a sign that our former allies may be preparing for war. In other news, six Dodor fighters were shot down over Corrya as their conflict continues to escalate. – Mary Landern, HNC Network News
Although the Fall saw the Stellar Imperium’s massive infrastructure collapse like a deck of cards, many of the more powerful (and more independent) of its organisations survived the destruction. In this era of discordia such groups are joined by rampant crime families, robust technological corporations, warlike planetary authorities and collectives of like-minded citizens in rebuilding the Known Galaxy in their own vision.
The Role of Powers & Organisations
In Reign of Discordia the various groups and organisations presented provide the Game Master with both allies and antagonists for their parties. Each of these groups have their own goals, be they altruistic or selfish, which they look to ‘freelancers’ such as the Heroes to help fulfil.
Joining an Organisation
In addition to providing adventure seeds, the Heroes may look to join these organisations either to simply gain the benefits of such an affiliation or assist them more explicitly in their goals. For ease of play, they are two types of membership available to the characters.
- Affiliate – Affiliate membership represent a simple ‘working’ association with an organisation, such as having a contact with an agent of the group or having previously completed work for them. This type of relationship helps create connections between potential adventures and the party, and can be used by Game Masters to trigger scenarios. In most cases there is no cost in maintaining this type of membership, but equally implies no binding obligation from either party in the relationship.
- Full Member – Full Membership represents a compelling commitment between a Hero and an organisation. This could manifest itself as actual membership (i.e. ‘paid up’ dues) or something more demanding (i.e. family connections or pledges or loyalty). Full membership to such groups are purchased with Edge (either during character creation or during play), and in return convey both benefits and Hindrances to the Hero).
Archaeological Expedition Corps
The Archaeological Expedition Corps (AEC) is the most well-known group that explores the ruins of dead worlds and sifts through the wreckage of other civilizations.
The AEC was originally founded in 2374 by the Interstellar Concord as an exploratory organization. It was tasked at the time with finding the Farradin homeworld. After fifteen months, they found the world and the military destroyed the Farradin. Following the end of the war, the AEC was reassigned the task of exploring dead worlds for lost technology that might prove beneficial. The organization survived through the rise and fall of the Stellar Imperium, although it was forced to become self-sufficient when government funding disappeared. It is now financed through private donors that have a vested interest in the fruits of the organization’s labor.
The AEC publicly acknowledges its existence, though it does not publicize its members. To this day it retains the goal set forth by the IC after the end of the war, which is to find technology that would serve to better the former species of the Imperium. Since the fall of the Stellar Imperium, the AEC has turned its attention to recovering the technologies that were presumably under development on the former core worlds.
The AEC was funded and managed by a military committee before the Imperium’s fall, but the leadership has since changed hands to a board of investors who make sure that their companies are the first to examine recovered technology and artifacts. Many of the field operatives despise the fact that it has fallen into the hands of the corporations, but most are willing to acknowledge that the continuation of their work would not be possible without private funding, and they would not receive that if new financers and management had not been found.
The AEC inducts members based on recommendations from other members, though they shy away from individuals with a criminal past because the risk of theft is a concern.
Many members of the AEC feel that membership is its own benefit. Others say that they are paid in sunsets and starlight. While the pay is never very good, there are other benefits, such as obtaining a loaned fast freighter through the organization, which they can use for whatever purposes they wish for as long as they remain members. Many use their ships to haul cargo to create additional income.
The AEC has gained a reputation as a group of do-gooders and meddlers. While they are under no obligation or directive to right the wrongs they encounter, they typically do not back down from injustice, particularly when it stands in the way of their research. Crane Dargen’s criminal organization in particular dislikes them because the AEC beat them to a dig that led to the recovery of an advanced energy weapon. Rather than sell the weapon, the AEC ensured that it was locked away at a safe location so it could not be replicated.
Based on the planet Aruim, this corporation maintains profitability by skipping the research and development of its products, instead sending operatives into other organizations to steal their designs and beat them to the market.
Aruim Technologies was the brainchild of ex-Interstellar Intelligence operative Miles Wendt, who realized that in this day and age, when there are literally no laws restricting fair trade practices, there was nothing in place forcing companies to behave ethically. While there is nothing new about the strategy he devised, it had never before been a viable way of doing business because such practices were illegal under interplanetary law. Without the Stellar Imperium, the only law that he needed to worry about was local planetary laws, and they generally only punished the agent who stole the secrets; the company that assigned them was beyond their ability to control.
Aruim Technologies’ prime objective is to rapidly earn credits while investing as little as possible in the design and development of their products. They have managed to avoid conflicts with other companies on Aruim by only targeting those based offworld. This strategy has built them into a successful company while creating numerous enemies abroad. Anyone known to have had any affiliation with Aruim Technologies is usually not trusted by other companies and often has difficulty finding other work. This is one reason why their employees tend to remain loyal.
Because of the contentious nature of their business model, they have been targeted by a number of attacks that sought to damage their facilities and injure or kill the employees. Wendt himself has been targeted for execution, but has been able to rely on his training as an intelligence operative to survive these attempts. Because much of the technology it steals is at some mid-point in development, the company keeps Sangor and Tallinites on staff. The Sangor reverse engineer any undocumented technology brought to them while the Tallinites finish engineering projects that are half completed. The Sangor have no moral issues working for a company that operates in this manner and the Tallinites do not understand the nature of non-mortal competition, so hostility arising from the theft of intellectual property does not make sense to them.
Miles Wendt remains the Chief Executive Officer. As with most companies, there are always plots to overthrow the CEO and replace him with someone who is more malleable to the wishes of the board of directors, but Wendt has enough personal spies planted within his own organization that he has so far been able to survive these plots.
Aruim Technologies employs numerous characters for support positions, such as customer service, shipping, accounting and other mundane tasks. But Aruim also employs player characters. Agents, rogues, nobility, and citizens can all be skilled infiltrators. The company also recruits from the armed forced to act as corporate security.
- Affiliate – Because the company does not spend a great deal of money on research and development, the employees they do have are paid well. The company provides them with cost-free health care, a gym located at the offices, and a 30 percent discount on travel. Executives receive their own personal ship, which can be their choice of a personal fighter or a fast freighter.
- Full Member –
Most organizations have little interaction with Aruim Technologies. Occasionally an operative will utilize a criminal organization to quickly and quietly move a parcel to corporate headquarters. Otherwise, they mainly affect other technology firms by costing them millions of credits in profit. Those who would steal technology for them understand that other corporations deal harshly with those caught stealing their work. More than half of them would have the infiltrators killed rather than surrendering them to the local authorities.
The Basts syndicate is one of the largest organized crime organizations that operates out of Upagra, which is notorious for its criminal activity.
The Basts syndicate is named after a Lamogos family with the last name Basts, which moved their organization from Lamog to Upagra. The family was butchered by an ambitious group of criminals that they had hired shortly after they moved, and their sizable operation was taken over by the Human Lina Crel, who felt that the organization would remain successful if she kept the family’s name. She was assassinated a short time after that and her successor was the Human Kecia Dialno, who has retained leadership for the past fifteen years.
Agenda: The Basts Syndicate has only one priority: to earn money through illicit dealings. Generally speaking, this means that they make their money by trafficking banned substances and weapons on other worlds. Many worlds have become so lax with their laws that these items are easy to buy and sell, so the main challenge is smuggling them onto the planets where they intend to sell them and then finding buyers. The Basts Syndicate is also notorious for their violent acts, carrying out hits against those who have betrayed them, or against those who have bounties posted against them.
Leadership: Kecia Dialno is in charge of the Basts Syndicate. She is now approximately forty-five years old with red hair, green eyes, and a well-maintained physique, leading most people to assume she is ten to fifteen years younger than she truly is. She spends a great deal of time and money maintaining her image, which she continually uses to seduce new conquests and enemies alike; the latter are usually dealt with soon thereafter, either cast out of the organization or simply killed. She does not tolerate betrayal, going out of her way to ensure that those who cross the organization are killed or maimed. She deals with those she distrusts quietly, leaving many to question what happened to those who disappear.
Members: The vast majority of the members of the Basts Syndicate are rogues or agents. A small percentage of those working with this crime syndicate are ex-military who are there to provide Dialno with protection, collect bounties, or deal with members who have betrayed the organization.
Benefits of Membership: There are a variety of benefits to working for the crime syndicate. The organization provides fast freighters or occasionally larger cargo ships for the captains who wish to carry out smuggling jobs. In exchange for the ship, they must turn over 50 percent of their profits until the ship is paid off. The organization also connects smugglers with each other so they can trade banned items more easily. Finally, they make every effort to liberate incarcerated members that run afoul of local law enforcement while working on their behalf.
Relations: The Basts Syndicate’s main rival is Craine Dargen’s organization, which enjoys the benefits of being hidden away at a secret location. They also have had numerous run-ins with Frontier Law, which insists on enforcing the laws of worlds they are not even affiliated with. Every major world with an organized government dislikes the Basts Syndicate, though when caught, their operatives can usually get away with their activities through a combination of intimidation and bribery.
Brotherhood of Eternity’s Salvation
The Brotherhood of Eternity’s Salvation is a religious extremist group that is trying to spread salvation through the use of force. They believe that their methods are consistent with their religion, partially because of their group’s dogma, but also because the original book they base their religion on was compiled nearly two hundred years before the current generation of fanatics were born.
History: Originating as a fundamentalist church on Earth two hundred years ago, the sect that became the Brotherhood of Eternity’s Salvation reinterpreted their holy text and concluded that extreme measures and violence were needed to save the universe before God’s wrath struck Humanity down. They initially perpetrated a series of unexpected violent acts, which enraged the population of the Earth and resulted in their exile in 2484. They left the system and found a world, which remains uncharted. Little is known of their activities during the last two hundred years, but it is believed that they forcibly indoctrinate their children into the religion and slaughter the ones who refuse to commit to their ideology. They emerged from exile when the R’Tillek war reached its height, believing that they were the physical incarnation of God’s will and they would fulfill their destiny by saving the Earth. Upon their emergence from exile, they murdered five well-known individuals: a writer, an actor, a philosopher, a politician, and a scientist. After capturing these individuals, they forced them to announce their acceptance of God and reject their previous “propaganda” before putting them to death on camera. While this move infuriated groups throughout a number of worlds, it also appealed to a certain segment of the population who felt that society had been moving away from religion and needed to be saved. Since their emergence from exile, the Brotherhood of Eternity’s Salvation has remained veiled behind a shroud of secrecy, meeting quietly and in private, then striking hard and fleeing. Their organization has become active on almost every world and starport that welcomes Humans. They always leave a copy of their holy book with the bodies of the slain.
Agenda: The stated agenda of this organization is to lead the galaxy to salvation through brutal forced conversion. Only through pain can a person be redeemed for their wickedness. They primarily target the non-religious, though they have hit some individuals who belong to competing religions. Ultimately they believe that by instilling the fear of God into the populace, the truth of their beliefs will become apparent and the other religious groups will merge with their own.
Leadership: One of the things the Brotherhood of Eternity’s Salvation did in an attempt to ensure their survival was to decentralize the leadership of the organization. There is no figurehead of the church. Their dogma states that God’s will is what will keep their religion from changing from its current form. Pastors lead their flocks, but large organizational or theological changes must come from an annual convocation of pastors.
Members: The vast majority of the organization’s members are either those who were indoctrinated into it upon birth or those who have willingly converted. Members include scholars, drifters, citizens, and entertainers.
Benefits of Membership: The greatest benefits of membership are belief and a sense of belonging. The organization pays to transport members to other star systems and provide food and housing for them, assuming that they believe there is missionary work to be done there.
Relations: The Brotherhood of Eternity’s Salvation is almost universally reviled. The religions that teach peace and tolerance are shocked and outraged at their actions, law enforcement agencies fear what they will do next, while criminal organizations worry about becoming their next target.
Craine Dargen (Criminal Organization)
Craine Dargen is an elderly crime lord who has built an empire around himself over the course of his lifetime. His organization specializes in anything and everything that violates the laws of any system if it stands a chance at generating profit.
History: A Human native to Hagenti, Craine Dargen was born into a wealthy family with a small amount of political power. When he was in his early twenties he began a relationship with a Lamogos woman, drawing the ire of his family. When he refused to end the relationship, he was cast out of the family, but not before liquidating his assets and taking them with him. A year later he married Kiltain, his Lamogos fiancée, and began a series of attacks against his own family’s holdings. He gathered a group of thugs loyal to him and shortly thereafter broke into the smuggling trade. Five years after marrying, he sought out a geneticist who managed to combine the Human and Lamogos DNA of he and his wife, creating a son, one of a very few halfbreeds in existence.
The organization remained on Hagenti for twenty years, during which time it grew drastically in size and power. Eventually the law identified him as a serious threat and attempted to apprehend him. Dargen, his wife, and most of their organization lost themselves on the various Sangor worlds where they grew their organization. Two years ago, the group moved to the remains of Piresega where they could operate without interference from any local authorities. Upon arrival, however, they found that they were not the only criminal organization with this idea, so they quickly established dominance by destroying one of the competing organizations near their headquarters. Since then, the only time they have been contacted by other criminal organizations was when they had something in mind that would be mutually beneficial.
Agenda: Craine Dargen has two agendas. The first is the one that is publicly known, which is to earn an obscene number of credits by having his thugs carry out every conceivable criminal action, provided that they are lucrative. The second is that he has employed a number of bioengineers on Aruim to research viruses that would rewrite Human and Lamogos DNA to make reproduction between Humans and Lamogos possible without medical assistance. The physical and biological similarities between the two species are remarkable enough that a large number of interspecies couples exist and he believes he would be doing both species a favor by allowing them to mix at will. He believes that accomplishing this would overcome the societal stigmas attached to such couples. So far the scientists have failed to produce results, but the research continues.
Leadership: Two people in charge of this organization are Craine Dargen and his wife, Kiltain. Both look remarkably young for their age due to a series of genetic and dermal treatments that they undergo every year in an effort to prolong their lives. Members: This organization draws a pretty equal number of drifters and rogues, and they have a few psionic characters working for them as well, detecting and weeding out potential traitors. This is an organization that anyone can join, provided that they are competent in a fight and are able to stay loyal.
Benefits of Membership: Craine Dargen provides members who are actively working for him with a good lifestyle that includes luxuriously large homes, their own personal vehicles, and a nearly endless supply of credits that they can spend as they wish.
Relations: Most criminal organizations have a healthy fear of Craine Dargen, though the Basts Syndicate is on equal footing. Almost all planetary governments dislike them, but like the Basts Syndicate, they use bribery and intimidation to try and keep their operatives out of trouble, though their methods are not always successful. A number of planets have smaller organizations that actively oppose them, while other groups have formed beneficial relationships with them.
Earth Defense Force
The Earth Defense Force is Earth’s primary military force. They inserted the word “Defense” into their name in an effort to distance themselves from the Lamogos military following the fall of the Stellar Imperium. Earth is trying to change its reputation away from the conquests of the past to one that promotes peace, even while the Lamogos are doing almost the exact opposite.
History: The Earth Defense Force (EDF) was named the Earth Military Force before the Interstellar Concord. When the Imperium formed, a small percentage of Earth’s forces remained at the planet for defense purposes, but the majority was transferred to the control of the Imperium. When the Stellar Imperium finally fell, a number of ships that had been constructed and funded primarily by Earth returned to the home system and became the Earth Defense Force.
Agenda: The primary objective of the Earth Defense Force is to keep the Earth safe in the event that the R’Tillek target the planet. Past battles have shown that the R’Tillek are not indestructible, provided that there is a sizable force opposing them. Earth Defense Force ships are often sent to other systems to protect Earth’s interests. The fact that they leave Earth, primarily on combat missions against other worlds brings into questions whether or not the force is truly defensive in nature.
There is a great deal of corruption within the ranks, which is why some commanders who are stationed away from Earth pursue private agendas without any form of accountability. Earth is careful to investigate these issues when they arise and distance themselves from such lawlessness due to the fact that Earth’s leadership frequently criticizes Lamog’s military for the same issues. Ships from other worlds encountering EDF ships have learned to treat them with suspicion since they tend to be aggressive just as often as they offer aid.
Leadership: The EDF is ruled by the joint chiefs of staff, which report to the president of Erarth. Military action is only allowed if the president authorizes it or there is a danger facing a ship in another system. Altercations are subject to review and inquiry, so it is rare (although not unheard of) for a ship captain to be the aggressor in a conflict.
Members: The EDF is comprised of a variety of character roles, including army, navy, agents, marines, and scouts. The EDF enlists a variety of others who operate outside of their established ranks and act to advance Earth’s interests.
Benefits of Membership: The EDF provides members with structure, moderate pay, and a higher purpose: the defense of their homeworld. They are never allowed to forget that their actions might one day save the planet. Relations: The EDF has repaired relations with the Tallinite Collective Forces, though tensions have risen with the Lamogos Star Navy since the fall of the Stellar Imperium. Many Lamogos view the EDF as weak and blame Humans for losing the war against the R’Tillek. A number of minor battles have taken place between the two military organizations since the split, and it is becoming increasingly likely that the two powers will go to war soon. Despite the hostilities, there have been a few incidents where ships from both sides have worked together towards common goals during crises.
The Exinorists are a religious organization from Lamog that has vied for political power, recently taking control of the gas-producing world of Sarodar.
History: Exinorism is one of the oldest religions on Lamog but its membership has never surpassed 10 percent of the population. The religion worships the deity Exin, which they believe will provide spiritual salvation for all who he deems worthy. Many reject the religion because they consider the teachings of the religion too elitist, while others simply have a difficult time finding faith. Despite its relatively low popularity, it enjoys the favor of many of the political elite. One does not simply convert to Exinorism unless born into it or invited in. Their religious texts are freely distributed to members, but are so expensive to purchase for anyone outside the church that only scholarly institutions typically justify the expense. They are not interested in secrecy as much as they are maintaining Exinorism as the religion of the upper class.
Agenda: The agenda of the Exinorists is to bring salvation and wealth to those who fit their preferred profile and wish to believe in Exin. They do not believe that there will be spiritual salvation for all; in fact, they believe they can handpick those who will accompany them into the afterlife and keep them on the ‘right’ path throughout life’s journey. Their primary strategy for accomplishing this is to accumulate as much financial wealth and political power as possible and then carefully exercise it to further their goals. Sarodar, the primary gas-producing world in Lamogos space, is controlled by them and serves as a major point of power. It allows them to greatly influence the price of hydrogen in Lamogos space, granting special price breaks to those they deem worthy while overcharging those they don’t.
One of their central teachings is that if the Lamogos people do not hold with Exin’s teachings, they will no longer be the chosen. The revelation hundreds of years ago that there was alien life was proof to them that there was a very real chance that this prophecy would come to pass. Many fear, however, that their time spent allied with the Humans was enough of a break with his teachings that he has turned his back on them.
Leadership: The central figure of the Exinorist religion is the Veliff. He is elected by the Council of Seren, an organization comprised of high priests. The Veliff’s main job is to interpret their holy text, the Sillzin Vah, and apply its teachings to the modern age. In practice, the Veliff’s job is to oversee that the church is functioning as laid out by his predecessors, ensuring that they continue to amass more power. The identity of the Veliff is a closely guarded secret, as he appears to his followers clad from head to toe in black robes. He wears a ceremonial mask that reveals only his eyes and he typically goes before them only two to three times per year.
Members: Exinorists are individuals who have been invited into the ranks. They are primarily nobility, scholars, and entertainers, though there are also a large number of merchants and citizens in their ranks. While many Lamogos hide the fact that they are members from outsiders, others flaunt it in an effort to increase its popularity. Most who outside of the religion consider the exuberant vocal minority to be brainwashed or simply foolish.
Benefits of Membership: The primary thing that most members gain from joining this religion, other than spiritual payoff, is an increase in status among the elite as well as an open door to some of the better opportunities within Lamogos society. Many have also flocked to Sarodar, seeing it as a beacon for the faithful where they can be surrounded only by Exinorists.
Relations: Even on Lamog many people dislike the Exinorists. Some call them the world’s largest cult while others are simply jealous that they do not have the same opportunities available to them as Exinorists do. A number of corporations also dislike the Exinorists because their hydrogen prices are inflated simply for refusing to give the organization lip service. This resentment has led to a number of attacks carried out by saboteurs to interfere with their production.
The Frontier Haulers are a group of loosely affiliated cargo runners who primarily operate in the Frontier Systems. They share tips and job leads with other cargo ship owners and they also help each out when members become caught up in local troubles.
History: The Frontier Haulers formed in response to the upsurge in raiders throughout known space. A group of them met at The Quaraaca on Rover’s Beacon and made an agreement to look out for one another. Over time, they added new members, each informing the others when they learned of jobs they could not take and advised the others about areas of space that was becoming overly dangerous. They also began to exact vengeance for those who fall to the depredations of raiders, often times hunting them down on Rover’s Beacon while posing as raiders themselves.
Agenda: Ultimately, the Frontier Haulers try to make the Frontier Systems a safer place for cargo runners to do business. They try to help each other complete their deliveries, they help each other find jobs and they also help their fellows collect payment when an employer tries to cheat them after the job is complete.
Leadership: The recognized leader of the Frontier Haulers is Tella Brode, the only one of the original five who met that fateful day on Rover’s Beacon and is still actively hauling cargo; the others have since either retired or become too injured to continue in this line of work. Tella is a tall Human woman with blond hair, striking blue eyes, and such a foul mouth that she sometimes makes seasoned veterans blush with the way she can creatively string expletives together.
Members: The vast majority of the members of this organization are merchants and rogues. The Frontier Haulers don’t worry about whether any of their members are wanted by the authorities, though if they find out about a bounty hunter on the tail of one of the other members, they usually make sure that member is informed. Benefits of Membership: The primary benefit of belonging to the Frontier Haulers is that they tend to be more successful than those who are in it strictly for themselves. Raiders also tend to shy away from a ship if they know that the captain is a member of this organization since that increases the chances of later repercussions for their actions.
Relations: The Frontier Haulers are disliked by most raiders, and they have also made enemies out of a number of cheap businesspeople who try to swindle others out of payment after services have been delivered. Another problem occurs frequently is when cargo runners take on fugitives as passengers. The ship owners are labeled as accomplices, which makes it difficult to return to those systems without facing arrest. Despite the trouble, hauling fugitives is sought after by many because they pay considerably better than transporting ordinary cargo.
Guardians of the Light
The fate of the known galaxy may hinge upon winning a war that has already been lost, and the Guardians of the Light are one of the few organizations that concern themselves with that.
History: During the war against the R’Tillek, the war was going poorly, so an elite group of troubleshooters was called in to figure out how best to defeat them. Their ultimate answer was to build ships with more powerful weaponry or find some sort of technology that would have the power to destroy several R’Tillek tribe ships more quickly. In other words, they needed to find better weapons or some sort of a super-weapon. The organization was funded by the Earth government after the Stellar Imperium collapsed, and they continued their search for anything that they could use against their foe.
Agenda: The Guardians of the Light have a number of objectives, mainly finding technology that will boost the destructive power of their weapons, discover some fabled lost shipyard with Imperium Class Destroyers, or find some way to negotiate a peace accord with the other race. The Guardians of Light has its share of critics. Many have argued that they have an impossible goal, or that Earth needs to admit that it is simply outclassed, and still others are content to sit back and hope that the R’Tillek will simply go away on their own eventually. The Guardians of the Light have tried to impress upon these people that the R’Tillek will not simply go away, and they will strike world after world after world until there is nothing left of their various civilizations unless something is done about them.
Leadership: The figurehead of the Guardians of the Light is a former general in the war against the R’Tillek, a Lamogos named Hirto Lajin. The blue-skinned leader, with his close-cropped white hair, sits in his office running endless simulations involving the ships at Earth’s disposal against the Tribe ships to try to come up with some strategy that would effectively defend the planet. He uses the data on the enemy ships that was collected during the war. While he’s engaged in those activities, he sends agents to known dead worlds and has them pick through the wreckage to see if there is any previously unknown technology that might be of use. Another thing they are searching for are wrecks of R’Tillek tribe ships from the war. After all, the best way to find weaknesses in these ships is by studying actual samples.
Members: Primary membership consists of scholars, although they also employ a fair number of groundassault forces to act as guards for those doing field work. Roughly half of the scientists are in charge of weapons research while the other half are actively exploring dead worlds. The species composition is nearly equal parts Lamogos, Human, and Tallinite. Some Sangor consultants are available in the event that they find some alien technology that they need to reverse engineer. Benefits of Membership: Most of the members of the Guardians of the Light are doing it for the completely altruistic purpose of saving civilization as it currently exists. The organization barely has funding, let alone enough to pay its members what they’re worth. Some members, even at the highest levels, choose to work with almost no pay, living in quarters that are provided by the organization. Every time extra funding has been allocated, the membership has agreed to spend it on more research rather than improving their financial comfort level. They know they are the one hope civilization has of surviving the R’Tillek.
Relations: The Guardians of the Light has very few enemies within the known galaxy. They try to avoid direct contact with the R’Tillek and they routinely tap contacts from a number of organizations for favors and leads. The Frontier Haulers are frequently used to transport them to the systems on the outer range of known space, the Archaeological Expedition Corps has been known to provide them with information that might lead to the discoveries they’re looking for, and the military organizations belonging to the Humans, Lamogos, and the Tallinites often help them reach their destinations and provide military support when they need to go into a hostile region. Criminal organizations are also useful for the information that they sometimes freely share. These organizations may work against each other’s interests quite a bit of the time, but they do realize that they could all be extinct soon enough if something isn’t done about the R’Tillek. One organization that The Guardians of the Light is not on good terms with is the Exinorists. Recently Hirto Lajin made a flippant remark about the religious group that provoked derisive laughter at one of his speeches. Faughn Rukt, the Exinorist leader, took offense to these remarks and issued a statement of condemnation against the organization and then followed it up by destroying a destroyer-sized military vessel that was owned and operated by the Guardians of the Light. Sources believe that saboteurs managed to sneak more than one nuclear device aboard the vessel while it was docked at Rover’s Beacon and then detonated them after the ship left the station, killing all crew aboard. The Exinorists publicly took credit for the destruction of the ship. The ship’s Human captain, Bradley Ribbs, had disappeared a week before the ship’s destruction during a classified mission. The whereabouts of the captain are unknown, though he is not suspected of complicity in his ship’s destruction.
Integrated Astrodynamics is the single most successful corporation on any Tallinite world. They own the starship navigation market and they have accumulated a great deal of political power on other worlds as a result.
History: Integrated Astrodynamics predates the Stellar Imperium by one hundred solar years. The company was created because the Tallinite navigation systems proved far more reliable than those developed by other races. Because their data was more accurate, accidental collisions between starships and space-born objects during FTL jumps have been nearly eliminated. In addition to this, the system had an interface that was much easier to use, reducing the amount of time it takes to calculate an FTL jump.
Agenda: Tallinites typically avoid organizations outside of their own colonies unless belonging to them directly benefits their colony. While the typical agenda for any corporation is greed, the Tallinites set up this corporation so that they could widely distribute their navigation systems to other races and areas of space. The profits generated are reinvested by the hive owners into research and development to fine-tune and improve the system even further.
Leadership: Queen K’L’Ktch of Talin is the head of the Integrated Astrodynamics Corporation. She ensures that the company continues producing navigation systems, but takes almost no risks with the business. She only releases new models when they can offer significant upgrades that simple software updates could not accomplish. All new navigational courses reported to them by the numerous explorers are double checked by a group of Tallinites and then loaded into the central computer. This information is then loaded onto all new navigational systems, and anyone already owning one of their systems is able to download this information for free.
Members: Most members of the Integrated Astrodynamic corporation are Tallinites that were specifically bred to perform their jobs within the company. Like all Tallinite workers, they are compensated for their time, but since their housing and cost of living is already provided for, this money is strictly for travel and leisure.
Benefits of Membership: The only tangible benefit of working for the Integrated Astrodynamics Corporation is that they can do what they were bred for. Since all Tallinites are considered equal within the colony, there is no individual prestige to be had.
Relations: This organization has a few competitors, namely one technology firm that sprang up on Aruim called Navigation Incorporated and a Sangor company called Prime Navigation. Both are cloned systems that were designed by reverse-engineering the Tallinite navigation system. The Human one has a few extra features that make it easier to use, but does not offer the free navigational updates from the Tallinite central computer. The one produced by the Sangor is less expensive, also lacks the ability to update from the Tallinite central computer, and has a reputation for making deadly mistakes.
Interstellar Intelligence (or the II as they are commonly referred to) is the largest information gathering service in the known galaxy. Most of the information they accumulate is for sale to almost any client.
History: The II started with the Interstellar Concord as their primary information gathering agency and then carried forward to the Stellar Imperium, where it served until the Imperium disintegrated. Five years ago most of the agency decided to remain intact, but rather than accept funding from (and thus be beholden to) a specific world, they decided instead to investigate matters that interested them and then put this information up for sale to the highest bidder. They have since become the bane of several governments and organizations, having influenced the results of elections, toppled crime lords, and brought notorious criminals to justice.
Agenda: The primary agenda of the II is to provide information to the highest bidder. They do have a slight sense of justice, however, as they will seek out the right buyers if it means interfering with individuals who are abusing their power or committing atrocities. They have sold information to many governments, though all know that the II could sell information about them to one of their enemies one day. The II likes to think that fear of them helps prevent some amount of corruption within the various governments.
Leadership: The II’s leadership is primarily the directors who were in charge when the Stellar Imperium collapsed. The four highest ranking directors are Faye Savage (Human female), Ramon Franco (Human male), Tanner Bentley (Human male), and Bline Dodget (Lamogos male).
Members: Most members of the II are agents who mostly rely on stealth and avoid conflicts whenever possible, however, there are a fair number of them who are skilled in combat and take on more dangerous assignments. Despite the soured relations between Earth and Lamog, the II still uses large numbers of Humans, Lamogos, and some Tallinites and Sangor. Sangor in particular are especially capable of infiltrating corporations since a large number of technology firms like to keep Sangor for their engineering skills.
Benefits of Membership: The greatest benefit of belonging to this organization is that it pays extremely well. Members are expected to travel in privileged circles and the only way to do that it so be privileged themselves. They always have private spacecraft, usually fighters, which are decked out with the greatest creature comforts; they stay in upscale hotels, and are encouraged to casually throw their credits around. Agents try to promote the perception that their credits come from personal wealth, or they masquerade as an corporate executive or politician. More than one cover has been blown in the field when the agent posed as someone that the subject of their investigation knew personally.
Relations: Many organizations have a love/hate relationship with the II. Organizations often want information that the II possesses, but the II has no loyalty and will provide information to their enemies. There have been cases where groups that knew the II had information on them have paid a great deal to make that information become forgotten. They rarely agree to do this unless the amount of credits they are being offered is staggering, or they have some personal reason to want that information retired. Recently the Earth Defense Force and the Lamogos Star Navy have been employing the II to spy on each other and the II, in turn, has been happily playing both sides of the conflict.
Lamagos Star Navy
The Lamogos Star Navy Is the military arm of the Lamag government, and one of the largest causes of small-scale conflicts in the known galaxy.
History: The Lamogos Star Navy was similar to its present form prior to contact with Humans. It has always had a reputation for jumping into systems, taking what it wanted by force (if the local government did not surrender it willingly), and then jumping away. Normally their objectives would be shared by their government, such as apprehending an individual, or obtaining newly developed technology or important information. The Lamogos Star Navy has also been known to occupy worlds for years at a time for a variety of reasons. Starship captains held the authority to act as they saw fit.
When the Lamagos formed the Stellar Imperium, their actions were tempered by the political will of the governing body that they served. Many Lamagos disliked the arrangement, though this was compensated by the fact that, with the combined power of several governments, they were prominent members of the largest, most powerful military ever built, and they expanding the Imperium, regardless of whether the natives were in favor or not. Now that the Imperium has fallen, they are not on as strong of footing as they once were, but they are rebuilding quickly and their methods have returned to what they originally were. Many are suspicious when they see an Earth cruiser, but most are fearful when they encounter a group of Lamagos ships.
For the time being, the Lamagos Star Navy uses the same types of warships that were left over from the Stellar Imperium. However, they have opened up new shipyards to create a new fleet, and most analysts expect that there will be new ship designs developed that will likely be more advanced than the ones currently in service.
Lamagos Star Navy soldiers are clad in distinctive black armor that covers the body from head to toe. Their helmets contain a heads-up display that monitors surrounding temperature, atmospheric makeup, and known friendly and enemy positions. These are some of the most highly trained and well-equipped soldiers in the galaxy and the mere sight of them inspires fear in the hearts of most who see them.
Agenda: Many suspect that the Lamagos military follows the individual agendas of their captains. They are obviously there for the protection of Lamag and its interests, but they often become entangled in affairs that have little to do with planetary defense. Aside from the ships that are strictly used for planetary defense, most of their other ships are far from their home system on a wide variety of missions, some of which have dubious value to Lamag.
Leadership: The Lamagos Star Navy is officially led by a trio of generals who are appointed by the planetary Chancellor. These generals mainly decide how many forces to keep in the system for defense and how many to send abroad. They typically don’t become very interested in the actions of their fleet outside of the system unless there is a very realistic chance that they provoke a war they cannot win. Since their military is on par with that of Earth and Tallin, that seems like a remote possibility. It is worth noting that the former Stellar Imperium is just a small section of a largely undiscovered galaxy, and there is a definite chance that other powerful groups exist beyond frontier space.
Members: Lamag’s long-standing propaganda among its own people is that there is no honor greater than serving in the Star Navy. Members come from all sorts of backgrounds, though the military is selective about who they accept. They mainly look for intelligent individuals for officers while they want tough people who can follow orders without question for the various branches of trained warriors.
Benefits of Membership: Since Lamagos is a socialist government, their only status is determined by rank and achievement. As there is no greater honor than to serve Lamag’s interests, veterans of the Stellar Navy are given a great deal of respect and status, second only to their political leadership.
Relations: To say that the Lamagos Star Navy isn’t well regarded by other organizations would be an understatement. However, since they possess more raw power than most others, the best anyone can hope for is to simply stay out of their way. The Interstellar Intelligence sometimes manages to use some leverage against them due to the sheer amount of information it possesses. However, they rarely play this card since the Lamagos have information on a number of their agents that are in the field and could jeopardize several of their critical missions.
Native Atmospheric Solutions
Because Relarrans are the only major spacefaring race that requires a water atmosphere, they have become the foremost experts on creating protective suits for species that must venture out of their native environment.
History: The Relarrans are an intelligent aquatic species that found their way to the stars long before Humans did. Their special atmospheric needs gave rise to the creation of Native Atmospheric Solutions, which is a company that manufactures suits for a number of different environments. Originally, they had a different suit for oxygen atmospheres than they did for the vacuum of space, but they soon combined the two and made them compatible with atmospheres composed of other gasses.
When the Relarrans encountered the Humans, they believed that they could make lighter-weight space suits for the Humans. After this became a highly successful endeavor for them, they began making environmental suits for other species. Now, hundreds of years later, they are now the single-successful manufacturer of atmospheric suits in the known galaxy. Agenda: The Relarrans are strongly motivated by profit, and this endeavor is no different. To maximize profits, thier suits have a maximum lifespan of approximately six years and include a complex alarm system to let the owner know that they need to replace theirs before a major failure occurs. They also release new upgraded models of all lines they sell every solar year. Since the rate of failure with non-Relarran produced suits is higher, they maintain the appearance of manufacturing premium quality environment suits, even though they know that they could manufacture suits that last five times as long.
Leadership: As with all corporations, Native Atmospheric Solutions is run by a board of directors. The current Chief Executive Officer is a Relarran with a great deal of past business successes whose name roughly translates to CH’Klittkik. The company has been quite profitable in the post-Imperium galaxy under his guidance.
Members: The vast majority of the members of this corporation are citizens and scientists who either work in research and development, manufacturing, or corporate administration. This is one of the primary Relarran-employing companies, so embarking upon a career here is highly competitive and they always hire the most-talented individuals.
Benefits of Membership: The greatest benefit of working for Native Atmospheric Solutions is that it pays better than most other companies by an order of magnitude. Any Relarran, no matter what part of the business it works for, has achieved a level of status that is higher than most others in the community. The company also provides superior health benefits, a quality retirement plan, and six weeks of vacation per solar year.
Relations: Most other organizations are on excellent terms with this corporation. They have included autodestruct programming in their suits for those who attempt to reverse engineer the suits, which has sparked annoyance with some companies. Aside from learning their basic material components, no company has managed to reverse-engineer their suits.
The Psi-Assembly began as a Relarran organization, though it has since spread to the remaining races of the known galaxy.
History: The Psi-Assembly was originally created because the Relarrans discriminated against the members of their society that showed signs of possessing psionic powers. In time, a large group of Psionicists formed an organization and began pushing for political change. They achieved their goal of equality many generations ago, but the organization remained intact to ensure that they do not slide back after making so many gains. When the Relarrans joined the galactic society, they found that they were not the only race to possess psionic powers. Many other species either feared their psionic members or their governments exploited their powers for their own gain. Many of them decided to join the Psi-Assembly when they became aware of it. Over time, the organization left behind its roots on Relar and became a true interstellar organization.
Agenda: The Psi-Assembly’s primary stated goal is to protect the rights of psionicists on all worlds. When they see an injustice taking place against psionic-capable individuals, they bring the weight of the organization down on that world until changes are made to end the discrimination. They normally work within the legal realm to accomplish their goals, however, they have employed mercenary companies in the past to go to war with the governments that refused to comply with their wishes. Many believe that the Psi-Assembly is not simply interested in equality, but are more interested in establishing their superiority over others and using it to place them in positions of leadership and power.
Leadership: The Psi-Assembly is run by a complex bureaucracy that is intended to be difficult for nonmembers to navigate while being completely irrelevant to members. The decision to take action in any given case comes from a consensus among members, not the so-called leadership. The primary role of the leadership is to issue statements, allocate funds, and maintain records. Very few of them have strong psionic talent. Members: The members of the Psi-Assembly come from a myriad worlds and species. Most species, both major and minor, have some members in the organization. The two notable exceptions are the Gaieti, and the R’Tillek.
Benefits of Membership: The Psi-Assembly provides legal representation to any of its members that they perceive are being unfairly treated due to their psionic abilities. They have a large, well-funded lobbying arm, which is quite effective in most of their efforts. Another, less obvious benefit is that as they become better connected, they are more likely to land prestigious positions. The Psi-Assembly likes to see their members in positions of power, so they help this along whenever an opportunity presents itself. The disadvantage to this is that many psionic politicians feel that they are beholden to the organization that placed them in power. The few psionic capable individuals who have been elected and then decide to distance themselves from the organization for political reasons have a tendency to suffer unforeseen “accidents.”
Relations: Most worlds and organizations are somewhat afraid of the Psi-Assembly. There is a lot of misinformation about psionic-capable individuals, such as the notion that they can automatically scan a person’s mind by simply being in their presence and then proceed to probe for weaknesses, or unearth regrettable actions from their past that they can exploit. Often, when governments discover that the Psi- Assembly has taken an interest in their world, they skip the legal proceedings and simply go to the organization to find out how to resolve the situation. Criminal organizations employ few (if any) known psionicists because they fear that such individuals could discover secrets that could harm them. The Archaeological Expedition Corps and the Guardians of the Light not only like to employ psionicists, but go so far as to consult the organization for a recommendations on the best candidates.
Tallinite Collective Forces
The Tallinite Collective Forces are the military organization that protects the world of Tallin. This organization is strictly on a defensive footing, so it does not send ships outside of its territory unless invited or provoked. There have been cases in the past where non-Tallinites have attacked Tallinite worlds that in-turn asked them for help, and the homeworld has responded by extending Tallinite protection to those worlds until the crisis has passed.
History: Tallin had always maintained a relatively small military, however this changed when Earth first when to war against Lamog. At that time, they felt that the conflict could spill into their region of space and that they should be prepared to deal with any threats that arose. To this end they constructed a fleet of military ships that maintained a defensive posture around the planet. When the Stellar Imperium formed, Tallin joined the Earth and Lamog as the largest financial contributors to the government. This contribution includes an enormous number of credits that were dumped into the military. When the Imperium fell, the Tallinites claimed roughly thirty percent of the ships that were still in working order and added them to their local forces. Today they have the third largest military, and stand ready to defend against nearly every imaginable threat. Like the others, however, their main concern is a R’Tillek incursion.
Agenda: The Tallinite Collective Forces exist to defend Tallin and occasionally, other Tallinite worlds. During times of conflict with other Tallinite colonies, they also employ their military to defeat their Tallinite enemies. They do not use the threat of military action as a means of persuading the species from other worlds to bend to their demands unless those demands are to simply leave their space.
Leadership: Each of the queens on Tallin has a stake in controlling the Tallinite Collective Forces. They agree on the primary function of their military, so the main thing that they must deal with is how much funding comes from each of their colonies. The amount changes from year to year as the colony sizes increase or decrease, but these changes are rarely drastic.
Members: Almost all members of the Tallinite Collective forces are Tallinites. There are a few members of other species who served aboard Tallinite ships during the Stellar Imperium, and a few of them have remained with them, but their numbers are small. Tallinites that go into the military were bred to do so, so they normally serve for life or until they have become too injured to continue with this line of work. Benefits of Membership: As with all Tallinite vocations, the benefits of membership are simply that they are doing the career they were born to do. The general population does not give them any more or less respect than they do any other profession.
Relations: The Tallinite Collective Forces are on good terms with most other governments and organizations, although the queens have issued statements that they may step in and act as peace-keepers should Earth and Lamog go to war against one another. They also aggressively patrol their space for raiders and destroy them when necessary. Despite their hard line, many raiders take their chances anyway.
Tribes of the R’Tillek
The Tribes of the R’Tillek represent the single largest threat facing the known galaxy. Neither the Interstellar Intelligence or the Guardians of the Light have been able to determine where the R’Tillek originate from, or even if they still have a homeworld.
History: The Tribes of the R’Tillek were first encountered by the Stellar Imperium in 2662 when the Imperium investigated a previously unexplored cluster of stars. In their arrogance, they assumed that the R’Tillek possessed weaker technology and attempted to enslave them, just as they had so many other minor races. Over time, they found that not only were the R’Tillek more technologically advanced than they had anticipated, but that they were also a cold, vengeful race that would not be satisfied until their enemies were not just defeated, but destroyed.
Agenda: One of the few facts about the R’Tillek that has recently come to light is that they go from system to system, find inhabited worlds, strip them of their resources, then move on to do this to other worlds, leaving the native populations to cope after their worlds have been devastated. Many have guessed that they do this because they must consume massive quantities of resources to keep their civilization going. However, others have suggested that this is a method of keeping the populations of other worlds from becoming threats, by effectively halting their progress. Many scholars point to the way the IC treated the Farradin after they had defeated them as an example of how this works.
Leadership: Each of the massive tribe-ships functions as its own political entity. During the war, some of these ships were disabled, their crews captured, and they were subjected to physical, chemical, and mental torture in an effort to obtain more information about their species and their leadership structure. These efforts proved futile, as the R’Tillek refused to give up any information and had high pain thresholds, holding out until they passed out from the pain or died from the stress to their systems. Likewise, their brains appeared not to function in the same way as most other species because attempts to psionically probe their minds proved futile.
Members: The best theory is that all R’Tillek live on one tribe ship or another since attempts to find their homeworld have met with failure. All members of this lizard-like race that have ever been encountered were fierce combatants, so many assume that they are either born with a natural competency for combat, or all tribal members are put through training.
Benefits of Membership: It would appear that all R’Tillek are tribal members, and the only tangible benefit is that they fit into their spaceborne society. Relations: All organizations of the known galaxy consider the R’Tillek to be enemies, though only the most powerful governments stand a chance of repelling them.