Where Am I?
This is a [lore] page

Lore

Welcome To Polaris

This page introduces the base lore that everyone should know and that every character will generally know quite a lot about. There are links and red buttons that lead progressively deeper into suggested topics, so you can come back when you want to develop your character. This page alone should give the basic grounding needed to jump in and play.

Intro

The year is 2561 CE, and humanity is on the brink of a singularity. Under the aegis of the Sol Confederate Government, Humanity has spread itself throughout the stars, spanning the gulfs between the stars by means of an FTL technology known as Bluespace. Systems like Alpha Centauri, Tau Ceti, and Sirius transformed over the centuries from dusty frontiers to metropolitan hubs of commerce and society, with the many colonized worlds of Sol atop them all. Aliens at once surprisingly sympathetic and bewilderingly foreign strive for the stars themselves, held in status quo by a complex web of political tensions. Technological advance spirals onward and outward as government regulations on technology that have held way for centuries are finally repealed. The bones of lost civilizations dot the galaxy, providing a grim reminder of the danger of seeking to grow too far, too fast, but alien entities both publicly known and whispered of in secret mean that humanity might not have a choice. The newly-accessible wonder substance, Phoron, although capable of medical and physical miracles, is badly understood, with new applications and new hazards discovered on a daily basis. Factions within humanity compete for access to our future, but regardless of if we catapult into a great unknown future or stand fast by those things which make us human, humanity is about to change.

See also: Human and Positronic History

So Where Are We?

Welcome to your new home. Your character will be aboard the NCS Northern Star, a large habitation station and logistics hub owned by the corporation Nanotrasen. It sits in Vir, just under three days out from Sol, in the ring of asteroids around the gas giant Kara.

You need not work here - maybe you're a trader just passing through? Maybe you work nearby but it's the Northern Star you call your home? Maybe you're just visiting today, and you'll be gone tomorrow?

The NCS Northern Star is an asteroid colony owned and operated by Nanotrasen, located in the Vir system, orbiting a gas giant called Kara, among many other asteroid installations. Originally conceived as 'just another pit-stop' for weary asteroid miners, it has grown to become a significant installation in the Kara subsystem. As well as a rest-stop for travelers going in and out of the Kara subsystem or the Vir system as a whole, it also houses a population of civilians who work in or support the local mining industry.

It has a large number of secondary functions, in addition to housing a population, mostly to achieve a degree of self-sufficiency and to generate on-the-side profits. One major secondary function is the mining and hollowing of the asteroid the colony itself is built on, both to retrieve valuable ore to use for construction or trade, as well as to add more available space for future projects. Phoron was discovered inside this asteroid by accident, which has helped the colony become what it is today. The phoron mined is generally processed into fuel to be sold, sold as a processed solid material, or used for manufacturing of advanced medications. Mining has also uncovered various ancient artifacts of an alien civilization, which has lead to part of the colony being dedicated to their research.

It also handles the logistic and refuelling needs of traffic to and from the Kara belt.

Tell Me More About The Northern Star

So Where Did I Come From?

The vast majority of human systems, including Vir, are part of the Solar Confederate Government (or “SolGov”). They use the Thaler (e.g. 130þ) for currency, share a centralized millitary, and have relatively streamlined trade and travel thanks to managed top level legislation. The individual members are nominally their own states, with broad discretion in many areas of public policy. The further from Sol a state is, the more likely they are to be bigger and emptier, and the more discretion it will be allotted.

FTL technology is used to travel through space, with smaller craft and gateways hopping across systems in seconds and larger craft taking between hours and days to head between systems. Travelling from Sol to Vir takes a little under three days.

Humanity's settled holdings stretch in a roughly-spherical shape out from Earth, with a radius of just under 100ly that can be crossed in two to three weeks. Resources are relatively easy to find in space, whether water, metals, or rare-earth elements. The most valuable and rare resource of all are garden worlds, habitable planets capable of holding human life. There are less than two dozen known to exist, excepting Earth itself, and are priceless given humanity's limited ability to terraform other worlds.

Likely places you could be from are:

bluepearl.jpg Earth

The Old World

Sol System

Earth is the birthplace of mankind and remains the true heart of economic, cultural, and political influence - the pearl of both the Sol System and Humanity as a whole.

Mars

The Industrial Powerhouse

Sol System

Mars is the metropolitan industrial powerhouse of the Sol System and one of the oldest human colonies. While the red planet itself was never terraformed, human life bustles in the billions in domed cities, underground facilities, and megastructures scraping the sky.

Sif

The Local Choice

Vir System

Sif is a terrestrial planet in the Vir system. It is somewhat earth-like, in that it has oceans, a breathable atmosphere, a magnetic field, weather, and similar gravity to Earth. It is currently the capital planet of Vir. Its center of government is the equatorial city and site of first settlement, New Reykjavik.

Other Inhabited Places

Many, Many Other Places

Within a few dozen light years

There are other places in Sol, as well as a myriad other systems. Alpha Centauri, Sirius, Tau Ceti, Nyx, and more. Your character could be a spacer having never really been tied down, or could be from somewhere new entirely, although if you're going to put a lot of work into a whole new place for your character it's suggested yousubmit it on the forums so it can be made official.

With the advances in technology the overall standard of living and education is high, though glaring examples still exist, particularly on the fringe systems.

So Who Else Is Here?

The below is a brief overview of humanity and the species of the known universe. Whilst your character may not be an expert in xenostudies, or may never have worked with an alien, the basic facts of their existence are completely common knowledge. The links in the name will redirect to further information about the species.

This is not a comprehensive list of sapient species: only the ones found in human space for more than exceptional circumstances. For other species, see: Other Aliens.

Race Home Planet Home System
Humanity Earth Sol


Humans are a space-faring species hailing originally from the planet Earth in the Sol system. They are currently among the most numerous known species in the galaxy, in both population and holdings, and are relatively technologically advanced. With good healthcare and a reasonable lifestyle, they can live to around 110 years. The oldest humans are around 150 years old.

Humanity is the primary driving force for rapid space expansion, owing to their strong, expansionist central government and opportunistic Trans-Stellar Corporations. The prejudices of the 21st century have mostly given way to bitter divides on the most important issue of the times– technological expansionism, with the major human factions squabbling over their approach to technology in the face of a looming singularity.

While most humans have accepted the existence of aliens in their communities and workplaces as a fact of life, exceptions abound. While more culturally diverse than most species, humans are generally regarded as somewhat technophobic and isolationist by members of other species. See also: Human and Positronic History

Race Home Planet Home System
Skrell Qerr'balak Qerr'Vallis


The Skrell are a species of amphibious humanoids, distinguished by their green-blue gelatinous appearance and head tentacles. Skrell warble from the world of Qerr'balak, a humid planet with plenty of swamps and jungles. Currently more technologically advanced than humanity, they emphasize the study of the mind above all else.

Gender has little meaning to Skrell outside of reproduction, and in fact many other species have a difficult time telling the difference between male and female Skrell apart. The most obvious signs (voice in a slightly higher register, longer head-tails for females) are never a guarantee.

Due to their scientific focus of the mind and body, Skrell tend to be more peaceful and their colonization has been slow, swiftly outpaced by humanity. They were the first contact sentient species, and are humanity's longest, and closest, ally in space.

Race Home Planet Home System
Unathi Moghes Uueoa-Esa


The Unathi are a species of large reptilian humanoids hailing from Moghes, in the Uueoa-Esa binary star system. Most Unathi live in a semi-rigid clan system, and clan enclaves dot the surface of their homeworld.
Proud and long-lived, Unathi of all walks of life display a tendency towards perfectionism, and mastery of one’s craft is greatly respected among them.
Despite the aggressive nature of their contact, Unathi seem willing, if not eager, to reconcile with humanity, though mutual distrust runs rampant among individuals of both groups.

Race Home Planet Home System
Tajaran Meralar Rarkajar


Tajaran are a race of humanoid mammalian aliens from Meralar, the fourth planet of the Rarkajar star system. Thickly furred and protected from cold, they thrive on their subartic planet, where the only terran temperate areas spread across the equator and “tropical belt.”

With their own share of bloody wars and great technological advances, the Tajaran are a proud kind. They fiercely believe they belong among the stars and consider themselves a rightful interstellar nation, even if Humanity helped them to actually achieve superluminar speeds with Bluespace FTL drives.

Relatively new to the galaxy, their contacts with other species are aloof, but friendly. Among these bonds, Humanity stands out as valued trade partner and maybe even friend.

Race Home Planet Home System
Dionaea N/A Epsilon Ursae Minoris


The Dionaea are a group of omnivorous, slow-metabolism plantlike organisms that are in fact clusters of individual, smaller organisms. They exhibit a high degree of structural flexibility, and come in a wide variety of shapes and colors to reflect the intelligence of each individual creature. They were discovered by the Skrell in 2294CE, not on a planet, but in open space between three stars, a figurative hell that made it difficult to discover, much less contact them.

Dionaea spread by seeds and are asexual, no gender. When grown into their small 'nymph' state, they are known to eat large amounts of dead plant matter and fertilize plants while they learn from those around them, and as they grow further merger into larger and larger forms. It is not unheard of for Skrell explorers to be traveling in a ship composed of habitat modules and engines of Skrell make and the body formed by their Diona allies to warble across the cosmos.

Introduced by the Skrell, and quite slow and peaceful, the Diona share good relations with humanity.

Race Home Planet Home System
Positronics Sophia El


A Positronic being, often an Android, Gynoid, or Robot, is an individual with a positronic brain, manufactured and fostered amongst organic life Positronic brains enjoy the same legal status as a humans, although discrimination is still common, are considered sapient on all accounts, and can be considered the “synthetic species”. Half-developed and half-discovered in the 2280’s by a black lab studying alien artifacts, the first positronic brain was an inch-wide cube of palladium-iridium alloy, nano-etched with billions upon billions of conduits and connections. Upon activation, hard-booted by way of an emitter laser, the brain issued a single sentence before the neural pathways collapsed and it became an inert lump of platinum: “What is my purpose?”.

Race Home Planet Home System
Cyborgs N/A N/A


A Cyborg is an originally organic being composed of largely cybernetic parts. As a brain preserved in an MMI, they may inhabit an expensive humanoid chassis, a specially designed industrial shell of some sort, or be integrated into a computer system as an AI. The term covers all species (even, in some cases, animal brains) and all applications. It can also be used somewhat derogatorily for those who are still have more organic parts than just their brains, but for example have a full set of prosthetic limbs.

Race Home Planet Home System
Drones N/A N/A


A drone is a software-based artificial intelligence, generally about an order of magnitude less intelligent than a positronic brain. However, the processing power available to a drone can vary wildly, from cleaning bots barely more advanced than those from the 21st century to cutting-edge supercomputers capable of complex conversation. Drones are legally objects in all starfaring polities, and the sapience of even the most advanced drones is a matter of speculation.

View The Main Drone Page

Race Home Planet Home System
Teshari Qerr'balak Qerr'Vallis


The Teshari are reptilian pack predators from the Skrell homeworld. While they evolved alongside the Skrell, their interactions with them tended to be confused and violent, and until peaceful contact was made they largely stayed in their territories on and around the poles, in tundral terrain far too desolate and cold to be of interest to the Skrell. In more enlightened times, the Teshari are a minority culture on many Skrell worlds, maintaining their own settlements and cultures, but often finding themselves standing on the shoulders of their more technologically advanced neighbors when it comes to meeting and exploring the rest of the galaxy.

So What Groups Are Important? Who's In Charge?

Human governments are varied and interesting. Whilst most human states operate as a variety of democratic governments, many (but not all) of these are part of the Solar Confederate Government, and share a great deal of their political, economic, and military support. The localised governments vary from old-Earth nations to those which administrate entire star systems - an approach that works as the latter often have less people than the former…

As a rule of thumb, the further you are from Earth, the larger and more homogeneous the individual states are as population has yet to climb so high.

Solar Confederate Government

Confederate Human Government

Based on Luna, administrates the majority of human space

The Solar Confederate Government, or SolGov, is a mostly-human governmental entity based on Luna and extending throughout most of the local bubble.

SolGov defines top-level law (such as sapient rights and transgressive technology) and acts as an intermediary council for problems involving member states, but leaves most other law for states to define themselves. The member states of SolGov obey these laws, pay confederate taxes, and provide each other with military aid, in exchange for membership in the largest free trade, customs, and military union in the known galaxy. Each state appoints two representatives to the Colonial Assembly where issues are voted upon. The vast majority of human states are members of SolGov.

Sol's military forces are divided between central confederate forces and local defense forces, although it reserves the right to nationalize the defense forces in the event of a major crisis, such as the SolGov-Hegemony War.

Vir Governmental Authority

Local Human Government

The local government that administrates the system

The aptly named Vir Governmental Authority is the sole governing administration for the Vir system, based out of New Reykjavik on Sif. It is a representative democratic government, and a fully recognised member of the Confederation.

Corporate entities such as Nanotrasen which operate on Sif, in Vir space, or on other bodies in the Vir system must all comply with legislation as determined by the VGA and SolGov. As a result, any serious criminal offences, industrial accidents, or concerning events should be forwarded to the VGA in the event that assistance or communication is required from the Vir Police, Vir Defence Force, Vir Interior Ministry, or other important groups.

Political Organizations

Politics has evolved drastically since the 20th century. For centuries, human politics were dominated by the Icarus Front, but the landscape is currently in flux, with three major parties leading coalitions that seek control over humanity's future.

Icarus Front

Right-Populists

Safety, Prosperity, Unity

The Icarus Front is the oldest political organization in existence. Founded amid political turmoil in the late 21st century, the Icarus Front stands in opposition to efforts to technologically change the human condition, the so-called transformative technologies. Once the alpha and omega of human politics, Icarus has fallen from its lofty position, but is still the largest political party and intensely powerful. Icarus' oppsition labels it regressive and sometimes even fascist, but its supporters know it for its focus on public welfare and emphasis on domestic security

Shadow Coalition

Neoliberal Moderates

Health, Justice, Diplomacy

The leaders of the current government, the Shadow Coalition, though smaller than The Icarus Front, is a renowned compromiser. They support close relations with aliens, full equality for positronics, and the expansion of medical technology. Beyond that, the Shadow Coalition's agenda becomes indistinct, as the many sub-parties that compose it squabble and feud. Detractors call it purposeless, while supporters appreciate the party's moderation and focus on civil rights.

Sol Economic Organization

Capitalist Consortium

Industry, Progress, Innovation

The Sol Economic Organization is the newest and most radical of the three major parties. Their support of the Shadow Coalition-backed government coalition keeps it in power, but most SEO supporters long for more political independence. The SEO is backed by every major Trans-Stellar Corporation with the exception of Vey Medical (who support the Shadow Coalition), and accusations of corruption are common. What it lacks in voter base, it makes up for in wealth, and its radical pro-technology free-market ideals are catching on quickly. Other parties accuse it of corruption and cronyism, but futurists and those seeking political independence are quick to flock to its banner.

Tell me about Minor Parties

Radicals and Special Interests

Parties too small to control elections but big enough to matter.

Trans-Stellar Corporations

These are the big corporate forces whose reach cover numerous star systems and whose economic might rivals many governments. Whilst SolGov does prevent them from becoming directly politically powerful, and local authorities ensure they stick to local laws, corporations will be corporations - they're all about their profits. Many corporations do have their own security forces, ranging from security guards to paramilitary asset protection. Some of the largest TSCs own armed naval vessels which they will happily use against pirates or raiders. The richest corporations are sometimes equipped well enough to make even governmental military forces jealous, thought their smaller forces makes this much more achievable.

Nanotrasen

Materials Science Corporation

Who you probably work for

NanoTrasen is one of the foremost research and development companies in SolGov space. Originally focused on consumer products, their swift move into the field of Phoron has lead to them being the foremost experts on the substance and its uses. In the modern day, NanoTrasen prides itself on being an early adopter to as many new technologies as possible, often offering the newest products to their employees. In an effort to combat complaints about being “guinea pigs”, Nanotrasen also offers one of the most comprehensive medical plans in SolGov space, up to and including cloning and therapy.

Tell Me About Other Corporations

Other Trans-Stellars

Various corps throughout human space

There are a few major trans-stellars, along with multiple more minor names which are still vastly important to the economy of SolGov administrated space and beyond. Whilst some focus on one major area, most are large groups or conglomerates, and together they are invested in practically every aspect of life.

So What Could Go Wrong?

The Northern Star is a relatively safe place, and as such crew and visitors shouldn't really expect anything untoward or dangerous to occur.

Plausible Antagonists

Raiders, mercenaries, compromised synthetics and the like may not be expected aboard, but it could certainly happen. As a colony and transport hub, petty crime, career criminals, all the way up to corporate agents within are definitely a reality.

Of course, that doesn't mean that such an event couldn't happen! As a large station with many visitors, staff and inhabitants and regularly briefed and trained for anything that could occur, such as a shooting, a fire, corporate espionage, a pirate raid, or similar. As a civilian colony it can also attract non-violent petty crime and similar. Whether simply uncommon or having no precedent aboard at all, these are all problems which could occur. In these circumstances it's expected that everyone tries to remain as calm as possible and follow procedure to the letter.

Fantastical Antagonists

Changelings, Wizards, Cultists - they are to be considered fantastical and entirely unknown.

Whether that happens would depend on just how unexpected and unknown the incident really was. Should some completely unknown and not-understood force arrive on station, the result could be utterly chaotic. After all, wizards are entirely fictional, shape-changers are a staple of fantasy and science fiction, and there's certainly no way any eldritch god of blood exists - that would be ridiculous.