Beyond the Stars
The Terran Commonwealth
The story of the Terran Commonwealth began in 2041, when Jarrik Leroux launched the Macross Project and established the first Human extrasolar colony, Halcyon. The next century saw the Human race expand rapidly despite the brutal War of the Seven in the 2120s. By 2141, five Human nations lay spread across the stars: The Corporate Worlds Group, the Outworlds Confederation, the Solarian Republic, Vandalia, and the Worlds Alliance.
During the early days, the Human settlements were plagued by vicious Kourouk raids. The Kourouks had long been held thrall by Shadowed Ones, malicious living fragments of the Ikana. Over the course of these raids, the various Human militaries discovered how to destroy the Shadowed Ones and free their Kourouk warrior-slaves. This led to the creation of the Freeholds, territory of the Kourouk tribes.
Near the end of the 22nd century, the Human nations felt a powerful need to band together, to unify for the common good. It took many years to hash out all of the details, but in 2291, the five nations and the Conclave of Freeholds came together in the Sol system to sign the Decree of the Commonwealth. And thus, the most powerful organization in known space was born.
People of the Commonwealth
The Terran Commonwealth is an immense entity, spanning over 200 star systems and more than 100 billion citizens. To ward over this vast territory, the Commonwealth employs the Office of the Inquisition to root out trouble and the Spaceborne Brigades to chase off invaders. Each member state is required to make a tithe to the Federal government, who then uses it to fund the Inquisition and the Spaceborne, as well as the Commonwealth Information Relay, a vast network of SD-Field Transmitters to keep the worlds connected. The Commonwealth sets standards for trade goods, ensuring that commerce is fair and universally applicable.
All is not rosy in the Commonwealth, however. The Federal government is a monstrous, faceless beauracracy, and the member states have every reason to play with their cards hidden. In fact, the average citizen will probably never even notice the Commonwealth’s existence except at tax time. However, in the rare occasion when disaster strikes, the Commonwealth helps to bolster the local government, and without the unifying force of Terra the various Human states would likely have bludgeoned each other into a far worse state of affairs.
The Terran Commonwealth presents the following character options:
Human: Humans are the most populous species in the galaxy, and they are the effective baseline for the races. Humans start knowing Common, an updated dialect of an old Terran language. Humans get 5 additional Character Points on creation, because of their adaptability.
Kourouk: Kourouks look like the stuff of nightmares—hard, slick skin over bulging “muscles” driven not by currant and sugars, but the principle of hydraulics and a massive tireless heart. Bred for generations for war, the Kourouks are far sturdier and tougher than a Human. But this power comes at a cost. Spirit and intelligence are soft in Kourouks, from ages of slavery. Still, the Kourouks are determined, and within the bowels of the Freeholds, a new generation is being born, one that is born free and raised with the knowledge of how to remain so.Racial Qualities:
- Knowledge maximum 3d10; Spirit maximum 3d10; Strength minimum 2d8; Vigor minimum 2d6.
- Begin with Fighting 2, Guts 2.
- Kourouks gain a +1 bonus to Stun Recovery checks.
- The Worlds Alliance (est. 2049) is the oldest of the Human states, and the most unusual. The Worlders have great faith in a cult of personality known as the Heroname. Heronamed are people who have styled themselves into avatars of fictional characters who embody traits they admire. Strangely enough, this actually works. Studies have shown the Heroname concept to be a form of low-level, unconscious Ikana Use.
- Heroname: A 3-point Edge for the Worlds Alliance. If you fail a Guts check, you may make a straight Spirit check against the same TN. If you succeed on this check, you gain a bonus to your checks for the encounter equal to the Fear Level of the area.
- The Solarian Republic (est. 2096) was formed from the remnants of the Grand Army of the Earth, raised by the broken and corrupt government on Earth at the time to conquer all her extrasolar colonies. Instead, the Grand Army packed up and made for greener pastures. The Solarians maintain the proud martial traditions of the Grand Army as a way to promote unity and order within their borders. The Republic has the strongest military in the Commonwealth, and they spend considerable time hunting down pirates and other malefactors.
- Warband: A 5-point Edge for the Solarian Republic. Charismatic leaders within the Solarian military often attract disciples. You have 1d6 followers, drawn from the Soldier archetype, though they may have any specialty. When they die, you gain additional followers next time you succeed at a challenge.
- The Corporate Worlds Group (est. 2117) are a loose confederation of planets settled in the Expansion wave after the Grand Army deserted Earth. The industrialist Kazyua Yamiyoka convinced his fellow captains of industry to band together as the Kourouks began probing from coreward. Since then, the Group has remained together in order to maximize profifts and market share. The Corp Worlds operate on a strict caste system, with the upper management being drawn from powerful noble families. Kazuya instilled a strong sense of noblesse oblige in his followers, and the Corp Worlds hold to a Confucian belief in the need for harmony and proper balance in their lives. A member of the Corp Worlds with Wealth may give up his next income for a bonus to a Persuade, Bluff or Overawe check equal to his Wealth level. Corp Worlds characters win ties in Tests of Wills.
- The Kourouk Freeholds (est. 2129) are the holdings of the free Kourouk tribes. The first of these sites was Hard Rock, a miserable, barely habitable rock owned by the Worlds Alliance. The Kourouks have since taken to this world as a social and spiritual center, and much of their psyche revolves around the stone itself. In defense of their rock, the already-tough Kourouks are nearly invincible.
- Granite Talisman: A finger-length chunk of polished stone from Hard Rock. If a Kourouk with a Granite Talisman would fail a Stun Recovery check, he can instead take twice the difference in Wind damage and ignore the check. These stones are not expensive, but they must be earned, or owned on creation with Belongings(1).
- Outworlds Confederation (est. 2133) Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the Enamin race collected Humans from Terra in order to rebuild their shattered population. Due to an arcane interaction between Human and Enamin blood, many of the second and subsequent generations manifest strange supernatural powers. The last influx of Humans, from 1940-1960 CC brought an increasing proportion of the criminal classes, who carried with them a healthy disrespect for authority and a love for mechanized destruction. The Enamin soon abandoned the worlds which the Humans inhabited. Over time, the Human rebels formed governments, and the governments formed alliances, and the exiles survived. Then, in the 2120s, the War of Seven rocked the Outworlds as it shook the other Human worlds. In the wake of the disaster, the exiles re-discovered the rest of Humanity, and the Outworlds Confederation rejoined society.
- The “Gift”: Enamin blood left an unusual mark on the Humans of the Outworlds. For 5 points, you may take a Gift. Draw card from a fresh Action Deck until you hit a face card or a Joker. Your Marshal will tell you what you have won.
- Vandalia (est 2144) Smallest of the Human nations, Vandalia was formed by the notorious pirate Roddy McGuiness. After terrorizing Human space for decades, his Black Skull band settled down and entered the even more lucrative business of selling other pirates everything the need to continue pirating. McGuiness then expanded outward from his secret base, a pastoral world called Haven. Certain “trustworthy” bands were permitted to join up, and Vandalia’s simple live-and-let-live policy attracted many settlers in the postwar era. Today, Vandalia is a legitimate power, albeit a suspect one in the eyes of the Solarians and the Corp Worlders, who see pirates of any kind as a blight upon the land.
- Haven: Haven is more that the capitol of Vandalia. It is a tradition of amnesty which the Vandalians take as a sacred trust. Any Vandalian and his allies may take to Haven, and the government there will absolutely refuse to let law enforcement from any other world take you or prosecute you while you stay—so long as you obey those laws which are enforced on Haven; no killing, no stealing, none of that. Break Haven’s laws, and they’ll tin you themselves and ship you to The Rozzers with a gift bow on top.