The political divisions throughout the galaxy are as important to understand as the various existing races or genders. Your standing reputation with a faction can greatly influence your ability to travel freely or do business in the relevant zones or systems. To keep your footing equally right with warring factions may seem impossible, but sometimes a little monetary nudge can help grease your dealings and improve relations.
Where exactly in the universe the Terrans spawned is long since forgotten, yet this industrious, versatile and inventive race have proven to one of the most successful in known history. Though Terrans have one of the shortest life-spans of any of the language-capable species, they maintain an innate curiosity and enthusiasm for life which most other races find fascinating and refreshing in the humdrum of interspecies relations.
Terran settlers are on a constant expansion throughout every known territory and beyond, each in search of individual claims for legitimacy in the universe. They bring with them the concepts of free will and compassion, new to most other species. For this reason, they have been rewarded with warmth and friendliness from some quarters, such as the faithful Greys or the self-aware Nivelian rebels, yet derision or hostility from other species as the distrustful Vossk or the mysterious Voids.
The Terran Federation is generally liberal and democratic, with a tradition of constant challenges to convention by its citizens, and those who refuse to be aligned. Many Terrans have sought alternative lifestyles in the new frontier, breaking from their faction to find roles as pirates from their long-forgotten yet romanticized folklore, or implanting and mutating themselves to the level of cyborgs.
Nivelians are a race of bipedal reptilians who once proliferated throughout the galaxy, yet have experienced a recent generational reduction in number due to internal strife and civil war. This traditional, egg-laying race has had an uneasy history with the Vossk, and Terran expansionism has added pressure to their survival.
Since the start of the civil war, the Nivelian Republic has been under a strict military junta, with crackdowns and curfews in place to prevent further rebellion. Hard work and family loyalty are key to Nivelian life, although stringent societal norms have led to some broad-minded Nivellian youth, influenced by free-thinking Terran colonists, to expand their concepts of individuality.
While the future for the Nivelians seems uncertain, and the gulf between them and their Midorian counterparts grows increasingly hostile, they have reached a time of self-reflection, taking stock of their position in the galaxy before deciding upon a definitive action. As their society teeters, no one can tell if they will go the way of collective migration, or all-out war.
The Mido Confederation is an alliance of Terran and Nivelian rebels born from the ashes of the Nivelian Civil War. Although officially recognized by the Terran Federation, Midorian territories are still claimed by Nivelian forces, resulting in frequent skirmishes along their borders.
Midorian society is generally open and liberal, and is managed by a technocracy, while social issues are handled laissez-faire. In practice, this means for a chaotic yet technologically competitive culture. The typical Midorian embraces the pioneering spirit of deep space, and is no stranger to the dangers that it involves.
Despite the vast genetical difference between the Nivelian and Terran inhabitants of the Midorian Zone, a solidarity and friendship exists between the races in mutual understanding through the hardships they have endured. Though Terran/Nivelian pairings have been rumored, there has as yet been no evidence of cross-breeding between the races.
The Vossk are hard-shelled, four-eyed arthropods with extremely powerful limbs who are largely unsociable or outright hostile towards other galactic species. Their clan-based society is highly competitive and patriarchal, with most males scrambling for positions of influence while females are hidden from view. At the top of the social hierarchy is the imperial throne, with exclusive privileges granted over all spawn pools. With murder and conspiracy at its peak when the stakes are so high, an emperor only enjoys his position for a few hours at best before being dissolved into regal jelly for the most elite spawn pools. This competition at least ensures genetic diversity in the species.
The ultra-conservative and autocratic Vossk have had long lasting tensions with the Nivelians and extreme dislike for the newly arrived Terrans, but this does not prevent them from realizing strategic alliances when greater threats exist.
Vossk are known to have a high tolerance to alcohol and a keen eye for opportunity. It is not recommended to engage them in either a drinking competition or arm-wrestling match if you meet one in a space lounge.
The scourge of galactic trade and mining operations, these social pariahs form a raggle-taggle band of loose alliances throughout the galaxy, creating major headaches for everyone who has to put up with their menace. Often under-equipped and poorly organized; pirates rely on intimidation and surprise to claim their plunder. Mere nuisances when alone, they can become a big problem when collectively engaged for a common purpose.
Being the thugs and rejects they are, Pirates generally do not make for interesting conversation. Beyond the juvenile grunts or baffled expletives over ship-to-ship communications, there may be heard the occasional coherent bark of a Pirate Boss, but only of the "get this" or "kill that" variety of order.
Originally brought to the outer reaches of space as colonists, the most anti-conformist gathered under the banner of piracy from a long romanticized Terran folklore, and banded in search of hard booze and easy wealth. The Terran Federation has blamed some of its own liberal policies for allowing "spoiled brats with an over-inflated sense of self-entitlement" to run rampant and have frequently apologized to neighbouring factions for causing the inconvenience.
The Voids are a sophisticated and aggressive insectoid race which lurk on the edges of known space and make raiding attacks on convoys of all factions.
Many theories exist as to their origin, whether they have used wormhole technology to jump from a parallel universe to tap for resources, or whether they are a mutated strain of a more advanced species, outcast from their home territory. To further understand the Voids and their technology, the Terran Federation established the Deep Science research mission. While this has led to much advancement in hyperdrive and turret techs, still no breakthroughs have been made in cracking Voids communication, social order, reproduction or motivation. While it is known that they exist by a collective, or "hive", mindset, it is not known how they do this.
Nothing is as frightening to an intergalactic freighter pilot as un-interpretable Voids gibberish coming across the ship-to-ship frequency. Lightning-fast Voids fighters can decide a space battle in seconds and the Voids show no mercy.
Deep Science is a secret association of Terran and allied scientists united in the study of newly discovered Voids technologies. Due to the sensitive nature and precarious political position of their research, their stations are placed far out of reach of main pirate corridors or factionous hot-zones, off the known maps, although their convoys are still susceptible to attack.
Deep down at the bottom of the universe there lurk the depraved and demented outcasts known as the Most Wanted Criminals. While anyone with a glimpse of common sense is well-advised to stay out of the way of these wretched and extremely dangerous villains, the high bounty on their heads lures many interstellar adventurers and fortune-seekers into chasing these ruthless criminals anyway – an undertaking that could be called foolish at best and suicidal at worst.
Although the mysterious stealth fighters can be encountered in almost every star system, they seem to be particularly frequent in the trouble area of the supernova, where they sabotage the evacuations by launching fatal attacks at the drop ships transporting the refugees.