- The World
“A healthy nation is a powerful nation.”
“Rum, fatty food, pasta – these products kill not just your body, but your evolutionary superiority as well. Leave it for the Dominion.”
The Galactic Federation is a predominantly human superpower that controls around 60% of the known galaxy. It’s an authoritarian regime that seeks to establish a healthy nation, and enforces a prohibition on rum, fatty foods, and pasta – the very products that make people unhealthy. As of today, the Federation is at a cold war with the Starlit Dominion, an equally powerful superpower that promotes a frivolous and unhealthy lifestyle. The Federation searches for powerful alien artifacts to bolster its military might against the Dominion.
A Rising Superpower
The Federation started as a militant republic on the Tanaris planet, led by Chancellor Victor, an ambitious ruler who almost destroyed the wildlife on his planet in pursuit of power. He turned the republic into a Federation shortly before the Great Galaxy War, by conquering its local solar system. During the war, the Federation played a vital part in liberating the planets conquered by the Empire of the Holy Lance. Following the defeat of the Empire, Victor asserted ownership of the planets the Federation liberated. Those worlds, already devastated by the war, were not ready to fight another one and accepted the new rule. Thus, Victor became known as the founding father of the Federation. Large statues of Victor saluting his people, situated atop floating platforms, are a common sight in its space cities.
Before the Great Galaxy War, the Federation used to live a frivolous and unhealthy lifestyle. During the war, they suffered heavy losses due to their inability to recruit healthy sailors. After the war, the Federation made a major pivot in its politics and launched its “Healthy Nation” agenda. They prohibited unhealthy products, such as rum, fatty foods, and pasta. Consumption of these could lead to imprisonment and denial of medical treatment. A large number of traders and manufacturers went bankrupt because of these changes and rebelled against the Federation. In response, the Federation quelled the rebellion and trapped the rebels in an industrial space city. After a lengthy siege, they covered the city in toxic clouds – their newest biological weapon – killing everyone within, including civilians.
Government and Society
The Federation is an authoritarian regime governed by the Senate that resides on Tanaris, the capital planet. It presides over other planets and solar systems, each governed by the representatives of the Senate. The government controls all aspects of its citizens’ lives, including the food they eat, the books they read, the outfits they wear, and even their daily activities. The Federation citizens would happily snitch on their neighbors, should the latter deviate from the norms. Yet, rumors spread that the reasons behind those restrictions have nothing to do with the citizens’ health concerns. However, anyone who tried to find out the truth has been accused of being a Dominion spy and imprisoned.
Goals and Activities
Since the Federation is at a cold war with the Dominion, they are in constant pursuit of military advantage over it. They always seek new alien artifacts and use them to develop new technologies. Recently, they have captured space Sirens to study them and found out that by injecting their blood into humans, they might grant these humans telekinetic powers. The Federation has a dedicated academy to train individuals with these powers and recruit them to their space navy. So far, these sailors have proven to be powerful, but quite unstable. Nevertheless, the Federation keeps experimenting.
“Beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder, but in the eyes of the artistically superior individuals.”
“True power lies in ideas, but cannons make ideas come true.”
The Starlit Dominion is a feudal space monarchy ruled by hedonistic royals and nobles. It’s a wealthy superpower that seeks to spread an aristocratic system across the galaxy. They promulgate the idea that there must always be the culturally superior wealthy nobility and the peasantry that would serve them. As of today, the Dominion is at a cold war with the Galactic Federation, a superpower that rejects classism and wealth to create an equal yet cultureless society. In order to keep up with the military developments of the Federation, the Dominion searches for powerful alien artifacts.
A Wealthy Monarchy
The history of the Dominion starts on the planet of Tyrana, which got so wealthy that everyone became poets and artists, and nobody wanted to do blue-collar work anymore. Queen Elitina decided to colonize other planets and import its immigrants as cheap labor. But the aristocratic Tyranians weren’t eager to join the navy and fight. Everything changed when the Empire of the Holy Lance launched their Holy Crusades across the galaxy. The genocide of non-human races at the hands of the Empire drove millions of non-humans to seek refuge in Tyrana. Elitina saw it as an influx of cheap labor and secretly allied with the Empire to keep it going. But the alliance quickly broke apart when the Empire demanded all non-humans be eradicated, rather than employed.
After the fall of the Empire, Queen Elitina claimed ownership of some of the liberated planets and established the Starlit Dominion, an interstellar monarchy with herself as its queen. The dominance over the new worlds gave Dominioncheap labor, but also a lot of headaches in the face of rebellions and workers’ strikes. In order to deal with it, the ruling elites introduced the class system, where the common folk could rise up the social hierarchy, if a noble vouched for them. While it did motivate the common folk to work harder, the criteria for vouching were still up to the whims of the hedonistic nobles. As a result, the Dominion grew into a mighty superpower led by childish royals, who wage wars based on their mood.
Society and Culture
The Dominion society is a classy system, with royalty at the top, followed by artistic nobility, then clergy, navy, and finally blue-collar workers. The hierarchy forbids Dominion citizens from doing anything above their status. As such, no one except for the royalty and the nobility is allowed to practice arts. The artistic nobility, due to their status, make major decisions in the Dominion’s politics. They often extend their influence to areas outside of their competence. For example, an artistic noble can design their own galleon. Not even the Admiral is allowed to raise concerns about the practicality and safety of the designed ship – the artist comes from a higher class and therefore is always right. If the ship ends up crashing, the artistic noble would never take responsibility.
Beliefs and Goals
The Dominion nobility values beauty and self-expression above everything else. Alas, not everybody is born with good taste or intellect. For the sake of keeping art pure and untainted, they believe that only the chosen few must be allowed to practice it. The end goal of the Dominion elites is to have the entire galaxy worship their artistic genius. But to make it happen, they need a never-ending supply of cheap labor that would obediently fulfill their whims, while they sip wine. Alas, it is unlikely to happen without full domination of the galaxy.
“Freedom is the noblest aspiration, but without self-preservation, it’s a mere epitaph.”
“The life of a pirate is short. Joe’s Haven can make it longer.”
“Joe’s Pirates” is a group of “lawful” pirates who live in a trade hub built by Joe O’Brien, a retired pirate. It is a safe haven for pirates who want to make a living using their piracy skills, without being persecuted by the Galactic Federation. Joe has a deal with them – Joe gives the Federation free docking and ship maintenance services and makes sure his people respect the Federation laws. In return, the Federation won’t prosecute any outlaws within Joe Haven’s territory. This deal gives the Federation some “control” over piracy – Joe’s men would steer clear of the Federation’s trade routes, thus ensuring their safety.
Joe O’Brien was a cannoneer in the Dominion Navy, who followed an order of his impulsive captain and fired at a Federation ship. The captain thought the Federation ship was about to attack them, and ordered Joe to attack first. This incident almost escalated into an open war with the Federation. During the investigation, the officer denied responsibility and blamed Joe for it. When Joe was to be arrested, he escaped and resorted to piracy. After two decades of piracy, Joe settled down in neutral territories and, along with his loyal men, built up a black market trade hub. However, shortly after, the territory was conquered by the Federation. The Federation desperately needed a docking station in the area, and constructing a new one may take years. Thus, they made the aforementioned deal with Joe.
Joe’s hub is a large complex of multiple space structures and docks. It serves as a safe haven for people who would otherwise be hunted down by the Federation. Joe gives them a new life, provides them with regular jobs, and trades with major factions to make sure the hub has all the needed supplies. All he asks of them is to follow his rules and steer clear of the Federation patrols. But not all pirates appreciate his efforts. They regularly mess with the Federation and bring trouble upon the haven. Joe knows the Federation would eventually build their own docking station in the area. If he and his men cause too much friction, the Federation would eventually break their deal and outlaw his haven.
“All ducks go to heaven.”
“Protect ducks, because one day, you will need their protection.”
The Mallard Order is a powerful and devoted cult of duck worshippers. They wear duck-looking hats, operate duck-looking ships, and inhabit Lagoon – a fractured world of floating lakes and astonishing hanging gardens full of wild ducks. Despite the lack of a strong navy or large territories, the Order has been able to protect the wild ducks, geese, and swans from numerous colonization attempts. The power of the Mallard Order lies in their unity and devotion. They seek to preserve their way of life in the ever-changing galaxy.
Planet of Ducks
The invention of solar sails gave rise to interstellar superpowers that started colonizing other planets. The Starlit Dominion, an influential interstellar monarchy, came across Lagoon, a magnificent planet full of lakes, waterfalls, and hanging gardens. As the Dominion sailors landed on the planet, they came across its native inhabitants – hordes of wild ducks and primitive humans wearing duck hats. When the Dominion started hunting the ducks for food, these ducks turned out to be quite ferocious and fought back. As the Dominion doubled down on their efforts, the savage tribes engaged in a fight. Despite being armed with bows and arrows, they swarmed the Dominion invaders and forced them to retreat.
Release the Quacken!
Refusing to give up, the Dominion assembled its entire fleet and returned to conquer Lagoon. When the Dominion fleet was nigh, thousands of ducks gathered and started quacking in unison. Their quacks got stronger and louder until a giant octo-duck monstrosity, the Quacken, broke out of the planet’s core. The Quacken tore the Dominion ships apart and forced them to retreat, dealing a mighty blow to the Dominion navy. Looting the ships, the equipment, and the weaponry left by the defeated Dominion navy, the native tribes started learning and utilizing those new technologies. Over time, they would master the art of space warfare, build a mighty fleet and become a force to be reckoned with.
The Mallard Order
Before the arrival of the Dominion, the natives of Lagoon lived in harmony with nature, passing down their beliefs and traditions via generations. With the colonists’ arrival, despite even their victory over Dominion, their life has changed forever. They were forced to take additional measures to preserve their way of life. Thus, they established the Mallard Order, a spiritual and religious entity dedicated to protecting the wild ducks and their homeland.
The Mallard Order follows a strict hierarchy with the High Priest/ess at the top. The High Priest/ess consults with the Oracle, a mysterious entity that rarely reveals itself even to the members of the Order. The Mallard society itself is far from welcoming. Decades of wars against various factions made them suspicious of intruders. The Mallard Order imposes heavy restrictions and rules, such as prohibiting the consumption of meat. The issue of meat consumption has also been a deterring factor in forging alliances with other factions. The Mallard Order refuses to ally with anyone who would use ducks as food.
Beliefs and Traditions
According to the Mallard epos, all life on Lagoon was created by Platypia, a wandering planet-sized turtle with the head of a platypus. Platypia put one of her children, the Quacken, to protect Lagoon from enemies in her absence. One day, Platypia will return, and all ducks will go to heaven – a giant pond on the back of Platypia. This pond is open for the Mallard Order as well, but only if they fulfill their duties during their lifetime. The duties of every member are: protecting ducks, conducting daily prayers in one of the 13 duck dialects, and wearing their Gadhats – traditional beak-shaped hats that symbolize devotion to mallards. But when would Platypia return? Only the Oracle can answer this question.
“In the Name of the Pasta, and of the Sauce, and of the Holy Meatballs!”
“Accept His Noodly Magnificence into your heart, and ye shall forever be free!”
The weirdos wearing colanders on their heads, feeding weary sailors with free pasta, and celebrating all day, can be found all across the galaxy. These are the Pastafarians, a religious community of philanthropists, who worship His Noodliness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a divine being made of noodles and meatballs. Pastafarians hail from a distant planet called Pasta Faria II – a giant ball of spaghetti and meatballs. They prefer to stay out of the galactic conflicts, and would rather feed the poor or give shelter to those in need.
The history of the Pastafarians starts with Captain Mosey, a poor ship cook with a good heart, who always dreamed of sailing space on his own ship and helping those in need. One day, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a divine being made of noodles and meatballs, visited Mosey in his dream. He promised to grant his wish if Mosey frees his co-workers from corporate enslavement and introduces them to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. When Mosey gathered his colleagues and promised them a miracle, the Flying Spaghetti Monster revealed itself to them and conjured a ship out of nothing. Astonished by the miracle, they accepted His Noodliness into their hearts and souls and became the first Pastafarians.
I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts
Aboard his new ship, Mosey received ten “I’d Rather You Didn’ts” – a set of guidelines for living a good life – but lost two of them due to a collision with an asteroid. Following the “I’d Rather You Didn’ts”, the Pastafarian community committed to philanthropic activities across the galaxy, such as regularly cooking giant bowls of pasta in space to feed hungry travelers for free. However, Mosey was determined to find the two “I’d Rather You Didn’ts” he had lost. Eventually, he sailed off into the open space and never returned. His fate remains unknown.
Despite their philanthropic activities, the Pastafarian community has been gradually demonized by several factions and branded as pirates. But when the Galactic Federation started enforcing the “healthy nation” agenda – prohibiting rum, fatty food, and pasta – the Pastafarian community became outlawed by definition. With the Federation actively hunting down their ships, Pastafarians concealed their home planet from all radars. They distanced themselves from the rest of the galaxy, where they could practice their way of life unscathed. Fighting against the Federation was unacceptable since Pastafarianism forbids violence.
Beliefs and Activities
The Pastafarian community is the most diverse one in the galaxy – it welcomes all races and species. Pastafarians often wear colanders on their heads, celebrate their holidays, and regularly pray to His Noodliness. From time to time, they conduct operations to rescue stranded sailors, cook pasta in giant space bowls, and repair solar cloud purifiers to improve the space travel network. Pastafarians do not enforce their beliefs, nor act sanctimonious in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But they do require their members to follow the Pastafarian values and ideals written in the “I’d Rather You Didn’ts”.
One of the most discussed issues within the Pastafarian community is its stance on using violence. Some prefer to stay out of the galactic conflicts, while others argue that Pastafarians must raise their cannons for self-defense. This disagreement leads to fractures within the community and the creation of different branches of Pastafarianism. Some lean towards piracy, some stick to philanthropy, and some push for diplomacy and alliances with other factions. In times like this, Pastafarians hope for the Flying Spaghetti Monster to show up and clear things out. But it doesn’t happen. And thus, Pastafarians start losing faith.
Empire of the Holy Lance
“Today they take your sails, tomorrow they’ll take your souls!”
“Solar Industries lights the galaxy for gold. The Holy Lance does the same for free.”
The Empire of the Holy Lance used to be a huge empire that stretched across almost the entire galaxy. As an empire based on human supremacy, it launched Holy Crusades across the galaxy, aiming to eradicate all non-humans. The entire galaxy stood together to fight its legions, a period in history known as the Great Galaxy War. One day, the Empire opened a gateway to another dimension and triggered a violent anomaly that threatened to consume the entire galaxy. When it ended, the whole Empire, along with its fleet, disappeared without a trace. The only thing left are ruins of their once beautiful home planet.
Monopoly on Solar Sails
Stygion was the most developed human civilization, long before the invention of solar sails. They were the first to invent their own means of space travel, even though it ended in failure. With the adoption of solar sails, Stygion’s economy boomed. It became reliant on space travel and trade. However, slowly but steadily, the Coggorts monopolized the production of solar sails and imposed heavy taxes on Oxygen Purifiers. Those unable to pay for them were doomed to suffocate in space. Being unable to afford solar sails and pay for Purifiers, most intergalactic economies start declining. Stygians, who were the most affected, grew hateful towards Coggorts. It was only a matter of time before a powerful leader rises up to fight against the Coggorts’ hegemony and plunges the entire galaxy into a war.
Empire of the Holy Lance
With the rising hatred against Coggorts, Daemon Lance, a radical preacher, gained popularity by propagating the idea of human supremacy. According to his theory, humans had godlike powers once, but non-human races robbed them of their superiority. With the support of the overwhelming majority, Daemon united all of Stygion under the Empire of the Holy Lance and proclaimed himself as its Emperor. He launched Holy Crusades across the galaxy, cleansing it from non-human species. As a result of this genocide, millions of non-human species were either massacred or displaced.
As the galaxy united against the Empire and retaliated, the desperate Daemon sought to reclaim the ancient human powers and looked into the ancient Demiurge murals for aid. The murals led him to Pandora’s Box – a gateway to a parallel dimension. Daemon opened the gate and unleashed seven ancient evils that started tearing the nearby solar system apart. These primordial entities weren’t satiated and threatened to consume the entire galaxy. The combined fleet of the anti-Imperial forces managed to stop the Empire and seal Pandora’s Box. Once the gates to the parallel dimension were closed, the Empire, along with its fleet and the ancient evils, vanished without a trace, leaving only ruins behind.
Cult of the Holy Lance
Not all Stygians disappeared with the closing of Pandora’s Box. Some of them were far away from home, on territories conquered by the Empire, and remained unscathed. At first, they were frustrated with their Emperor’s defeat. Persecuted by the entire galaxy, they went into hiding. It was Lord Regent Malichor, a former advisor of Daemon’s, who gave them hope. Malichor studied the ancient murals and came to a conclusion – Daemon and his people did not die, they ascended. And one day, they would return, far more powerful. It is up to them, the Cult of the Holy Lance, to operate from the shadows and facilitate Daemon’s return.