Sword Worlds Commonality
Sacnoth (Spinward Marches 1325)
Commonality organized as a loose confederation of worlds with limited representation within the Commonwealth government. No formal interstellar government beyond whatever can be imposed by Sacnoth and its allies.
The SWR contains the worlds of the former Sword World Confederacy, save for Hrunting, Tizon, Mjolnir and Gungnir, all of which are in Arden Federation, and the former metal worlds, now part of Enterprise Federation.
Overwhelmingly human, predominantly Solomani of Indo-European or Finnic-Ugric orgin. No native sentient alien races. Small groups of Aslan and Droyne have settled on the trailing worlds of the Commonality since the end of the Crucible War.
The Sword Worlds were admitted as a Commonality in NE 45, when it became clear that damage inflicted by the Zhodani invasion and a host of attendant problems would make it impossible for a sovereign government to operate without massive infusions of Commonwealth aid. For their part, the Commonwealth government wanted to create a compromise sovereignty that gave the Sword Worlders self-rule without a major occupying force or colonial arrangement. The compromise arrangement became the model for inducting other regions into the Commonwealth that wanted to be part of the larger federal structure, but whose populations did not want to become completely integrated for political and cultural reasons or in light of future independence.
Since its induction, several worlds have left the Commonality for either the Arden or Enterprise Federations, though the governments and populations of these are still a part of the governing structure of the SWR itself. Thus far the remaining Sword Worlds have remained faithful to their traditional culture, which means the region is one of mildly restrained anarchy. Reconstruction has managed to return most of its worlds to their prewar tech levels, though their populations have yet to recover. The military/MOI reconstruction governments have given way to sovereign, independent planetary governments on every world save Narsil.
Sword Worlds culture is peculiar from the point-of-view of most other populations Behind the Claw. Originally the Sword Worlders were Terran colonists from what would later become the spinward frontier of the Solomani Confederacy. During the latter few centuries of the Long Night, these regions were thrown into turmoil by a number of outside pocket empires that rose and fell on the fortunes of their expansionist wars. The devastation these created led to a banding together of several groups into "self-defense forces" to defend their homelands, first against invasion and then against occupation. When the invaders prevailed and began despoiling their homelands, several of the SDFs turned to starfaring, first as pirates and then as mercenaries, before leaving the region for Aslan space around -500. After serving with the Aslan with distinction, they gained free passage to coreward, crossed the Great Rift, and settled in their current location around -400.
Because their history is rooted in persecution that led to a long trek and a constant struggle for survival, it gave the Sword Worlder an exceptionalist culture that is strongly reminiscent of other historical separatist groups like the Boers and the Mormons. Their worldview is bunkered, having strictly divided the universe into a stark "us versus them" dichotomy. "Us" being the right-thinking and moralistic descendants of those who stumbled and limped across the wilderness to the righteously gained rewards of faith, and "them" being the decadent universe that threatens to seize their rightfully gained paradise through evil, whether by force or trickery. Though many outsiders rightly regard them as having their bolts in a little to tight, their nationalism is not lacking in logic or justification. Given the enormity of the pressures that have weighed down upon them, their faith in freedom is rather admirable, even if it has created a moral rictus that has prevented them from progressing beyond the earliest beginnings of stellar civilization.
Sword World society seems rather premodern, with its insistence upon Germano-Icelandic myth cycles rather than a reliance upon more rational epistemological structures. Individual heroism is highly esteemed, as the willingness for members of the community to sacrifice themselves for the greater good was the sole compensation for material and economic deficiencies that have bedeviled them since the beginnings of the Long Trek. They were always ready to lead the way against tyranny, whatever and wherever it manifests. But a Sword Worlders will always lead, the saying went, but never govern. Their tendency towards fatalistic heroism has never allowed them to progress their government practices beyond a regressive tribalism. Politically the Confederacy was little more than an associative assemblage unified by common language and culture, and power was dispensed not so much along convenantial or constitutional lines but by the rule of the gun. Might made one of the more powerful worlds right, and these would rule through a combination of military threat and careful patronage of allied warlords within the other planetary governments. But the greatest consequence of their fatalistic worldview was its insistence upon a negative definition of itself. They were defined more by what they opposed or were against than by what they were on their own merits; without a greater struggle to consume their energies, all too often these forces were internally focused, tearing down institutions and customs that would have brought prosperity or unity.
The Zhodani invasion severed the threads that held their ratty banner together. This was an enemy unlike anything the Sword Worlders had previously encountered, mainly because the Dawn Heralders held onto an irrational worldview that emulated theirs in many ways, but was more methodical and much more cosmic in its objectives. These invaders were just as completely unreasonable and unrelenting, and had more resources and fewer reservations about using sanguinary methods. Under the hectoring of DH prophets, a significant proportion of the invading troops had come to see the Sword Worlders as being somehow subhuman and intrinsically evil, and therefore were not protected by those few basic laws the Heralders recognized. Zhodani commanders did not intend to simply occupy the Confederacy and the Regency Sword Worlds, they intended to completely uproot and destroy them as a hindrance to the creation of their new empire. The postwar society has been deeply traumatized by the genocidal Zhodani campaign and the resulting displacement of billions of Sword Worlders into worlds traditionally occupied by their enemies. The result has been a mildly restrained period of violent revolution during the immediate period following their liberation by the Commonwealth, followed by vicious political infighting between new political factions since the recognition of the Commonality. None of these groups seem to be motivated by differences in political ideology, however, being little more than political mafias bent upon domination. By contrast, refugee Sword Worlders have enjoyed a renaissance in culture and learning since coming to the Commonwealth, and many of their politicians, scholars and artists have energized the surrounding Imperial culture communities with their liberal traditions and feisty independence.
Sovereign undivided federation with no internal subdivisions. Presided over by a governor and a appointed legislative council of "nobles".
Mire/Daryen (Spinward Marches 0527)
The Reservation incorporates all worlds of the former Darrian Confederacy linked by jump-1 Darrian Main with the Darrian homeworld. This excludes the coreward worlds and the Entropic cluster (all of which are now acceded to the Arden Federation) and the rimward interface worlds (Enterprise Federation).
Mixed Darrian, Terran and Zhodani human population. Aslan minorities, supplemented with a small number of Droyne that have immigrated since the end of the Crucible War.
The long scope of Pre-Crucible Darrian history is better documented elsewhere. In large part, the Crucible was akin to a major road accident for the Confederacy. It had previously supported Darrian partisans operating in neighboring Reidain subsector during the little brushfire wars following the Zhodani Exodus, and on a few occasions these had engaged Zhodani refugees in skirmishes over resources.
The Regency's Zhdant Offensive had blindsided the Darrian government. Regent Arthurian had not consulted with his allies beforehand, and Mire considered the whole thing to be an irrational endeavor after they had learned of its scope and objective. Acrimony between the two governments nearly caused a diplomatic break with the Black Regent. The "retaliatory" invasion by the Zhodani took the Confederacy's forces completely by surprise, coming after reassurances from Zhdant's envoys that the Heralders did not have any axe to grind beyond repelling the Denebians. The Zhodani invasion of the Confederacy had more to do with the Dawn Heralders military objectives than with moth-eaten grievances. The Heralders saw the Confederacy as mainly an obstacle to its military expansion into the Regency, and needed its infrastructure as a jumping off base for its invasion forces.
Lacking strong ground forces, and its naval squadrons scattered by the initial attack, the Darrians actually did a good job bogging down the invaders. Despite longstanding differences, the warring factions on Zamine (Spinward Marches 0421) unified in the face of the attack, and held the invaders at bay for three months. Forces on Entrope (SM 0720) and Mire itself held out for five and six months respectively. This resistance diverted Zhodani units from the main thrust across the Marches, enabling the Denebians to restore a stable defense line between Rhylanor, Mora and Glisten subsectors. The strength of the resistance infuriated the Heralders and their most unreconstructed Consular allies, and on several worlds their forces massacred suspect populations. Billions of Darrians fled these attacks, joining their beleaguered Sword Worlder and Regency neighbors in an exodus that scattered them across the remainder of Deneb.
The new Commonwealth of Deneb counterattacked in NE 36, and slowly pushed back the spent Zhodani forces. The former Confederacy was not retaken until NE 39, when the Zhodani defense line at Querion and Cronor collapsed, and garrisons on Darrian worlds suddenly found themselves cut off from their supply lines. Liberating soldiers found the the region a shambles, as the Heralders had encouraged their troops to loot and rape with impunity for three years as punishment for the "ungrateful" Darrians resistance. The Confederacy's government-in-exile proved incapable of restoring order or unifying the disparate communities, and the Commonwealth imposed a direct occupation in NE 41. After successfully adjudicating authority to a sovereign government to the Sword Worlds, a similar government was established on Mire in NE 47, and the Darrian Reservation was established by formal legislation the following year.
Of all the communities that suffered from the insanity of the Crucible War, the Darrians suffered the worst breakdown of their culture and public order. The ferocity of the war and subsequent occupation were unprecedented for a society that had long known only rationalism and peace. A street militia culture emerged in the vacuum, organized around those resistance groups that managed to keep fighting the Zhodani. The latter seemed to take perverse delight in inflicting a nihilistic culture upon the Darrians, who they had traditionally viewed as being arrogant and elitist. When Commonwealth troops liberated the worlds, they found that the Darrian culture had disintegrated into warring factions led by military strongmen. Several worlds that had long resisted Mire's attempts to incorporate them, such as Zamine and Nonym (SM 0321) seceded from the Confederacy just as soon as neighboring federations were formed.
Since the end of the war, large occupation forces and semi-authoritarian rule by the Darrian Council has slowly returned some functionality to Darrian communities. The militias that have terrorized the public have been slowly crushed out of existence, laws have been reimposed, and infrastructure rebuilt. But political unity has been complicated by a period of postwar angst and soul searching that has increasingly led the younger members of society to increasingly question their tradition-minded elders. This conflict has placed the Commonwealth government into an uncomfortable middle position between different factions: conservatives whose reliance upon foreign troops to keep order clashes with their dismay at the disorder their presence has encouraged, and various "Young Turks" of various ideological stripes with their own widely varying views of the Commonwealth. Both sides have used various means to-both peaceful and violent-to promote their objectives. Various coups and revolutions have been aborted only by the heavy Commonwealth military presence, and the fact the local planetary militaries have steered a neutral course between all factions.
Rommie Autonomous Commonality
Sovereign, self governing reservation within the High Zhdant Federation. The RAC is an undivided federation with no internal subdivisions. Presided over by a governor and a bicameral legislature.
Algebaster/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0605)
Comprises the worlds of Rio (Spinward Marches 0301), Whenge (SM 0503), Enlas-du (SM 0601), Algebaster, Rasatt (SM 0607), Indo (SM 0703), Nerewhon (SM 0704), and Narval (SM 0805), all of which are contained in Cronor Subsector (Spinward Marches A)
Mixed Terran, Imperial Culture and Zhodani human. Small Vargr minorities.
The Rommies are a collection of worlds whose population mixture is rather at odds with the neighboring High Zhdant Federation. Four of these worlds (Rio, Whenge, Algebaster and Nerewhon) were colonized by either Terran sublight missions or Rule of Man long range colony missions. Enlas-du appears to be a world of Zhodani runaways who fled the Consulate about six thousand years ago. Indo was colonized during the Imperial period from Nerewhon. Rasatt and Narval were former 3I worlds lost to the Zhodani after the Second Frontier War. These worlds objected to being included into the High Zhdant Federation after its founding, and their agitation created a second, sovereign nation within the boundaries of the former. The new Commonality was established in NE 60, after protracted negotiations with the High Zhdant Federation government.
Wartime damage to these worlds were surprisingly light. The locals had assimilated enough Zhodani culture to escape a cursory examination, and the Dawn Heralders were largely ignorant of these client states. The Commonality has a separate relationship with the Commonwealth government from the other commonalities.
Culture/Worlds of the Commonality:
Rio/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0301)
Starport: Class B, Commonwealth Naval Base
Diameter: 6215 Miles (Gravity=0.79G)
Atmosphere: Dense (1.70 Atmospheres)
Surface Water: 62%
Climate: Normal (Average Temp: 70.32 degrees)
Population: 8.92 Million
Law Level: 8
Tech Level: 11
Trade Class: Normal/Moderate/Post-Industrial
No. of Moons: 2
Rio was originally settled by humans from the Rule of Man. The colony ship crashed during landing, leaving the colonists bereft of their most advanced equipment. Despite this, the colonists were able to found a unified community, thanks to an environment amenable to human biology and a remarkably Earthlike climate. The world obtained its name from the huge Amazon sized rivers that bisected its main, equatorial continent, and it was here the colonists eventually settled. The population stabilized early in its history, and despite the tech level hovering around low industrial levels, the people were content with their lot for the next two thousand years.
The 3I rediscovered the world in IY 458, and interdicted it against offworld contact, a restriction observed by the Zhodani and Vargr as well. The Deltans (as they called themselves) rediscovered the basics of Tech Level 5 between then and IY 577, when the Imperials recontacted them. The world was contacted two decades later, at the height of the First Frontier War, by the Zhodani. After balancing the claims of the two sides' envoys, the planetary government opted for neutrality, and traded openly with both states. Despite their territorial gains in Cronor, the Zhodani decided not to absorb the world, and the Imperium pledged noninterference in their affairs. Their neutrality, and the fact that they were one of the few worlds where the Imperials and Zhos could mix in peace, made them a prosperous world. Advanced technology was paid in kind with agricultural produce from their rich farms.
Rio managed to escape the ravages of the Frontier Wars by strictly enforcing their neutrality, even banning armed Zhodani and Imperial ships from landing at their port. The Zhodani Civil War (ending in IY 1198) brought a steady traffic of unwanted Zhodani refugees as early as IY 1119 (see the MegaTraveller/Traveller: The New Era sourcebook Survival Margin) and brought warmer ties with both Deneb and Zhdant. During the Crucible War, Dawn Heralder units briefly occupied the world's starport, but departed when Commonwealth forces crushed their forces on Cronor in NE 40. Today it remains a quiet and pleasant agro world that does an increasing amount of trade (through neighboring Llanic Subsector) with the Vargr Splinters.
Whenge/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0503)
Starport: Class A, Commonwealth Naval Base
Diameter: 6224 Miles (Gravity=0.685G)
Atmosphere: Thin (Pollutant Taint)(0.50 Atmospheres)
Surface Water: 80%
Climate: Cold (Terraformed, Average Temp=18.55 degrees)
Population: 93.61 Million
Law Level: 3
Tech Level: 13
Trade Class: Normal/Moderate/Stellar
No. of Moons: 1
Whenge was settled by a sister ship of the one that settled Rio (see above). This time they effected a safe landing on the surface with all of their gear intact. Unfortunately, the colonists overlooked certain physical limitations of the world's ecology as the established heavy industries. The cool temperatures created high pressure fronts over the main continents that prevented the circulation and dissipation of industrial pollution, and rain and snow brought these back to the surface, poisoning the marginal biosphere with acidic runoff. When one hundred years, this pollution, combined with other bad decisions, destroyed the colony's ability to function as a unified community. Millions starved to death, and the survivors shrunk back into fortified encampments surrounding their surviving farms and factories.
Both the 3I and the Zhodani recontacted the world during the 400s. Both found it a wasteland populated by paranoid and xenophobic warlords backed with tech level 8 weaponry, including rumored nuclear weapons (though that was later discounted). Neither state made any attempt to incorporate the world into their empires, and traders decided that the world wasn't worth the effort. Not until after the Collapse did the Zhodani attempt to develop the world, discovering that it was the only convenient way across the Chronor Cleft, a small rift bisecting the subsector. The Zhodani government encouraged colonists from the Regency to settle the world after discovering that the locals would not accept large, unmixed populations of Zhodani to live on their world. After IY 1144 a new unified planetary government took over, and the world finally rejoined the rest of the universe.
The world suffered only minor damage during the Crucible War when the Commonwealth retook it from the Dawn Heralders.
Enlas-du/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0601), Amber Zone
Starport: Class C
Diameter: 8875 Miles (Gravity=1.065G)
Atmosphere: Standard (Low O2 Taint)(1.10 Atmospheres)
Surface Water: 53%
Climate: Warm (Average Temp=93.27 degrees)
Population: 148.95 Million (32% Vargr)
Law Level: 6
Tech Level: 7
Trade Class: Normal/Moderate/Industrial
No. of Moons: 1
This bizarre little world was colonized around six thousand years ago by a sizable population of Zhodani fleeing political repression in the core worlds. After being forced to land upon this world due to failing jump drives, the exiles destroyed their colony ship and scattered the pieces by throwing them into the ocean. Forced to live off the land afterwards, their physiology diverged from the normal Zhodani baseline, as they adapted lungs and hemoglobin counts in response to the very low O2 level in their new home's atmosphere.
The Zhodani recontacted the world after the Second Frontier War, having been previously ignored by the 3I. All records of the past events that led to the Enlas being present upon this world had been deliberately destroyed along with their ship, and the Consulate had lost all official records of the controversy as well. Hostility between the Consulate and the locals led the former not to incorporate the world into their empire, as the Enlas had kept their psionic culture, which would make it difficult for them to be absorbed. After the Fifth Frontier War Vargr traders began appearing on the world; after the Collapse these brought immigrants from Gvurrdon sector and established a state on unclaimed territory called the Hrgurek Collective. Citing the dangers posed by these outlaws, the Consulate built up a sizable naval presence, and the Traveller's Aid Society declared the world an Amber Zone. This pronouncement remains emplaced, as tensions between the Enlas and Zhodani have escalated following the excesses of the Dawn Heralders. The Enlas are politically regressive, but have a very egalitarian culture.
Algebaster/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0605), RAC Capitol
Starport: Class A
Diameter: 5502 Miles (Gravity=1.03G)
Atmosphere: Standard (0.90 Atmospheres)
Surface Water: 50%
Climate: Very Hot (Average Temp=121.84 degrees)
Population: 22.3 Million
Law Level: 8
Tech Level: 12
Trade Class: Normal/Moderate/Stellar
No. of Moons: 2
This hot, heavy-cored world was originally settled by ROM colonists to act as a supply depot and communications base. After each world was settled, however, the colonists abandoned starfaring, leaving the base to fend for itself. The population rallied around a government of technicians, who painstakingly repaired and rebuilt failing technology. The community became severely stratified under this ruling class, with the bulk of the population working menial labor at their masters behest. 3I scouts recontacted the world in IY 213, and established a trade agreement that traded new technology for the locals stockpiles of heavy metals. When the Zhodani ejected the Imperials four centuries later, they were obligated to continue this arrangement, as their disorganization prevented absorbing the neutral world into their empire.
Algebaster's economy revolved around its starport, firstly for refueling and later for supporting trade across the Cleft following the Collapse. The Elite Council initiated enough political reforms for some freedoms, though local culture became more egalitarian than free. The Dawn Heralders did significant damage to the world, first during their seizure in NE 36, when they ran the local infrastructure to the ground with incessant use during their military offensives, and lastly in their doomed defense when the Commonwealth invaded Cronor Subsector in NE 39. Rebuilding took a decade, during which time the elite took a leading role in organizing the Non-Zhodani worlds of the subsector in breaking away as a sovereign entity.
The RAC capitol is actually a non-formal affair, as the commonality is verydecentralizedd, and the government legislature only convenes for one-third of the year and leaves most decisions with the local bureaucracy. The legislature, known as the Convention, meets in the world's brand new highport, whereas the bureaucracy and planetary government (these being almost the same thing) conducts its business from offices in the old downport. This dichotomy is evident in the language of Rommies: a political decision from "on high" is a legislative action, whereas one refers to the bureaucrats actions as "locked in the basement".
Rasatt/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0607)
Starport: Class C
Diameter: 8213 Miles (Gravity=0.965G)
Atmosphere: Dense (2.00 Atmospheres)
Surface Water: 25%
Climate: Hard Boiling (Average Temp=213.08 degrees)
Population: 5.33 Million
Law Level: 1
Tech Level: 10
Trade Class: Normal/Moderate/Post-Industrial
No. of Moons: 1
Rasatt is a young world with extensive polar oceans. Being ten times more seismically active, with geological plates that are virtually climbing over or running away from each other, it suffers major earthquakes on a daily basis. Mountains grow as much as 1.5 to 2 inches (2-3 cm) a year, and the worlds oceans are opening up at a similar basis. Before the Imperial Civil War, the world had only attracted a sizable belter community from the Imperium, who operated small mines among the peaks at the whim of the Zhodani Consulate. Hot surface temperatures and newly uncovered ore bodies made this a transient population at best, which moved around from region to region with housing built out of shipping containers or other improvised materials. The world did attract a massive population of Zhodani refugees during the Exodus, and eighty percent of the population are mixed or pure Zhodani descendants of these.
Indo/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0703)
Starport: Class C
Diameter: 2521 Miles (Gravity=0.29G)
Atmosphere: Very Thin (0.25 Atmospheres)
Surface Water: 37%
Climate: Warm (Average Temp=96.87 degrees)
Population: 43.28 Million
Law Level: 6
Tech Level: 9
Trade Class: Marginal/Moderate/Post-Industrial
No. of Moons: None
Indo was settled with sublight colony ships from Nerewhon (SM 0704). The Nerewhon Confederation, the government that controlled seventy percent of that world, had undertaken the colony project for reasons that now seem egotistic, deliberate and perverse. Though the project was labeled a way to giver Nerewhonians a better home, that is difficult to imagine since Indo is a world that, besides being much cooler, is virtually the same in most physical terms as the homeworld. It has a very thin atmosphere that requires the same sealed architecture and air compression methods. The colonial government was just as unimaginative as the Confederation, and governed in the curious absence of communication from the homeworld as if nothing had happened, despite the presence offworlders that tried in futility to tell them, with tears running down their beet-red faces, of the disaster that befell the Confederation. This wall of denial finally collapsed during the negotiations surrounding the Spinward Accords, when Regency delegations flew the uncomprehending officials to Nerewhon to see the devastation for themselves. Despite this incontrovertible physical evidence, the government still calls itself a "provisional colonial government", leaving the Regency and the Commonwealth to relabel them an independent government on their own volition.
Nerewhon/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0704)
Starport: Class C
Diameter: 6249 Miles (Gravity=0.76G)
Atmosphere: Very Thin (0.14 Atmospheres)
Surface Water: 78%
Climate: Very Hot (Average Temp:184.32 degrees)
Law Level: 5
Tech Level: 9
Trade Class: Marginal/Moderate/Post-Industrial
No. of Moons: None
Nerewhon is a world of steaming oceans and perpetual coastal fogs. Underneath its overcast skies, a ROM colony was established around three thousand years ago. The colonists broke up into warring factions, the most powerful of these being the Nerewhon Confederation that controlled seventy percent of the population. Nerewhon was recontacted in IY 432, though the Confederation deliberately limited offworld trade in favor of a policy of autarky. During the next few centuries the Confederation concentrated its resources on a colony project that sought to launch a fleet of TL-9 sublight generation ships towards the neighboring Indo system (SM 0703). This project, ostensibly to improve the lot of Nerewhonians, weighed heavily on the other states, who desired that these resources would actually be spent upon improvement projects at home.
The Confederation launched the first ship in 853, and the last one in 981. After launching the last ship, the other governments decided that the Confederation was sufficiently weakened by it colonial obsession to launch a combined, surprise attack to eliminate their oppressor once and for all. The Confederation used tactical nuclear weapons to stop the onslaught, and the other governments retaliated in kind. By 984 ninety five percent of the population had been killed, and the survivors retreated into their surviving habitats. The world was briefly Amber Zoned, but the 3I and Zhodani were too preoccupied with the Third Frontier War to stop the fighting or render any kind of aid. Even today, large areas retain residual radioactivity, and the world has been slowly rebuilt with the aid of the Commonwealth government and Sangrails.
Narval/Cronor (Spinward Marches 0805)
Starport: Class A, Commonwealth Naval Base
Diameter: 4537 Miles (Gravity=0.54G)
Atmosphere: Very Thin (0.35 Atmospheres)
Surface Water: 45% Water Ice
Climate: Very Cold
Population: 12.57 Million
Government: Commonwealth Republic
Law Level: 8
Tech Level: 9
Trade Class: Marginal/Moderate/Post-Industrial
No. of Moons: 1
Narval was originally a thin atmosphered world that was settled by the 3I prior to IY 500. The world was host to a major naval base, which was subsequently lost, along with the world, to the Zhodani under the armistice terms ending the Second Frontier War. Despite its Imperial majority culture population, the locals accepted the change without any major protest, and the Zhodani were too disorganized to alter the status quo. But the 3I apparently considered the world to be too strategic to leave in Zhodani hands. During the height of the Third Frontier War, a 3I task force attacked the world in IY 984, and bombed it with mass drivers and redirected asteroids. Damage to the population centers and their infrastructure was major, and much of the atmosphere was blown into space. Twenty million people died, and when news of the incident reached the Imperial Core, it added to the public outcry that drove Emperor Styryx to abdicate.
The surviving population was saved by the Consulate, which now had the full liberty to intervene in the world's culture. Massive aid infusions saved the survivors from starvation and asphyxiation, rebuilt housing and basic services, and brought a permanent Zhodani military presence to protect the system. The 3I was so contrite about the incident that its forces would never attack the world again, despite two subsequent Frontier Wars. The local population, perversely, did not welcome the Zhodani as anything more than providential saviors, and the world retained its Imperial culture in spite of the attack, though they remained leery of the Imperium long after that. A fuller reconciliation was brought about by the DoD-Zhodani detente following the Imperial Civil War; subsequent civil disruptions within the Consulate caused brought these old sympathies back to the surface, and the population agitated for readmission to the Regency, or at least secession from the Consulate.
The world suffered moderate damage when it was captured by the Dawn Heralders/Consular forces pursuing the Regency, and some atrocities were inflicted on the population after the latter committed acts of violent resistance. But the Heralder portion of the garrison departed for Regina Subsector, and the remaining Consulate troops evacuated after the Commonwealth of Deneb retook Jewell in NE 39. The Black Regent's excesses and the resulting occupation made the locals rethink their options, and they joined Algebaster and Rio in forming the new Commonality.
(The world descriptions in this section are adapted from GURPS Traveller: Behind the Claw sourcebook)
Droyne Inter-Oytrip Council
Sovereign representative unit with no internal subdivisions. Presided over by a supreme council appointed by the Oytrip councils of various Droyne worlds.
None. The Council convenes on Tobia/Tobia (Trojan Reach 3215) biennially to adjudicate on matters of importance to the entire Droyne community.
The DIOC represents all major Droyne worlds in the Commonwealth.
Droyne majority with significant human and Aslan minorities on some worlds.
Formed in NE 43 at the instigation of Droyne representatives to the Commonwealth Conclave (the formal name for the Assembly and Senate).
The advent of the Commonwealth's representative government created some unusual problems for the minority races of the new nation. The Droyne wished to keep their culture distinct from the surrounding space. Given the difficulty in accommodating them during the Regency period, it was not too much of a stretch to permit them internal autonomy. The DIOC is not so much of a sovereign government as an internal national or tribal council that mediates disputes and adjudicates authority among the scattered Droyne communities of the Commonwealth. It lacks any governing authority beyond the community walls, and does not supersede the participation of these worlds in the normal politics of the Commonwealth or member Federations. These worlds are allowed their own segregated military units, a consequence of their species' peculiar psionic symbiosis, though these are kept separate from the DIOC under the control of each communities senior Oytrip councils.
Worlds of the Commonality
Because of their autonomy, Droyne worlds have felt secure enough to fully integrate into the greater Commonwealth community. In contradistinction to the sloppy, ad hoc policies of the former 3rd Imperium, the Commonwealth does not interdict nor deliberately discriminate against these worlds, and Non-Droyne have become so accustomed to their participation in trade and travel that cooperation between them is no longer worth mentioning for its novelty. Psionic instruction, among other traditional practices, attract a significant number of visitors to their worlds for learning and trade.
Droyne worlds generally feature tradition inclined populations inhabiting densely packed communities. They generally do not support commercial development beyond the startowns of major starports, and these worlds subsequently have a noticeably slower pace. Outsiders are tolerated and welcomed, but the insular nature of their communities means that most contact will be with designated elders or emissaries, until enough familiarity and trust has been established for more casual contact with younger members of the community. This mentality segregates accommodations as well: more casual visitors will likely spend their days looking at the starport walls, while more familiar visitors can enjoy their own private lodgings among the Oytrip, their opulence reflecting their status or importance.
Tripartite federation. Presided over by a council of three governors and a joint bicameral legislature elected by the Commonality as a whole.
The Commonality has three different capitols: Xenough/Xenough (Foreven 1828), Lenin/Xenough (Foreven 2428), and Reidain/Reidain (Foreven 2925).
Kamrathi includes the worlds of Titan and Xenough (Foreven J and K) subsectors previously ruled by the Avalar Consulate, and the Imperial/Darrian culture worlds of Reidain (Foreven L) subsector.
Mixed Imperial, Avalaran and Zhodani culture humans. The sole alien race in the region are the Akras of Tunmoposu (Foreven 2429).
The Commonality is composed of three different segments, each with its own unique history:
Xenough: This world was settled during the Long Night by ROM refugees fleeing the collapse of their communities. The bone dry climate of their new home forced them to create a society centered upon an elaborate caste system that more equitably shared resources. Adversity also instilled strong nationalism, and they vigorously resisted outside intrusion from the Zhodani and later the Avalar Consulate. Against the latter they fought a series of bitter wars during the IY 700s, before attrition and growing Avalar strength convinced them to surrender in IY 795. But during their long period of independence they had managed to secure and colonize several nearby worlds to spinward, and the size and complexity of this community made them a stronghold of implicit resistance to Avalar dominance. Commercial conflicts led to low-grade guerrilla wars between the Consulate and ornery rebel factions on these colonies.
The Avalar Consulate sided with the Regency of Deneb against their former Zhodani allies after the Exodus. When the Regency was kicked out of Zhodani space in NE 33, the local DH factions whipped up a war fever against the "traitor" Avalars, and invaded the other Consulate in full force. Avalar forces were unprepared for war against their rival, and were quickly overrun. Long animosity between the Zhos and Xenough led to a bloody guerrilla war marked by atrocities, and lasted until the latter was liberated by advancing Denebian forces in NE 40. The Xenough cluster was badly damaged by the occupation, and it acceded to the Commonwealth's more benevolent rule in NE 42, eventually joining the new Kamrathi Commonality in NE 56.
Kamrathi: The Kamrathi League was originally a cluster
or worlds in trailing
Xenough/spinward Reidain subsector settled by economic refugees from the the 3rd Imperium. These founded a state based upon vaguely socialistic principles in the IY 640s, but eventually abandoned these for the creation of a vigorous capitalistic culture in conjunction with the Akras minor race of Tunmoposu (Foreven 2429). Generally nonpartisan and neutral in the disputes between the Imperium and the Zhodani, they were unable to resist the expansionistic pressure of the Avalar Consulate, and were annexed by that state in the 1090s. Nationalist resistance was muted by a lack of resources and unity, and they limply accepted the status quo until the outbreak of the Crucible War.
Zhodani forces overran the Avalars at the beginning of the war, and the Kamrathi cluster was occupied with a mixture of Zhodani regular and Dawn Heralder troops. These troops treated the Kamrathi with a kinder sort of repression that painfully distinguished from the brutal occupation tactics meted out to the Sword Worlders and other "treasonous filth". These tactics did not win over the Kamrathi, who supported the Denebian war effort through spying and sabotage efforts, and raised up in active resistance when Commonwealth forces liberated the cluster in NE 40. The postwar Kamrathi government decided against restoring their former independence, and convinced the Commonwealth government to create a new Commonality to accommodate war-ravaged spinward territories. The new Kamrathi Commonality initially included its namesake cluster plus the Reidain Subsector in NE 54, with the Xenough cluster worlds being added two years later.
Reidain: Reidain subsector was settled by a mixture of Darrian and Imperial culture humans during its 2000 year history. Thorny issues of sovereignty, and conflicts with the Zhodani, prevented the subsector from being assimilated by either state, and it became a remote backwater dominated by rival commercial interests. The bulk of these were mainly Imperial or local corporations based out of Hollis (Foreven 2523), Sul (2724) or the elliptical world of Reidain itself. These rivalries escalated during the Imperial Civil War period as the Domain of Deneb sought new markets and alliances, and again following the Zhodani Exodus. The latter event escalated local wars between planetary governments and their corporate backers into a bloodletting of Zhodani refugees by mercenary and planetary troops before the Regency and Iadr Nsobl governments intervened to stop the killing.
When the Crucible War erupted in NE 33, Zhodani troops overran most of Foreven Sector. The majority of these conquered the Avalar Consulate, but a sizable force took Reidain in a lightning attack on its way to participate in the invasion of the Darrian Confederation. These troops were not very interested in erecting large garrison forces or occupation governments, and the subsector became a contested battlezone between small but well armed DH and Consular garrisons holed up in heavily fortified outposts, and local guerrilla forces supported by Denebian supply and raiding fleets operating out of Five Sisters (Spinward Marches M) Subsector. After Deneb crushed Zhodani resistance in the Sword Worlds, most of these forces abandoned their holdings, and the Commonwealth had an easy time restoring order here after disposing of Zhodani garrisons in Darrian space. The postwar subsector governments disagreed over their disposition under the new Commonwealth, and their worlds were dumped into the new Kamrathi Commonality in NE 54.
Kamrathi does not have a unifying culture at the grassroots level. Any two worlds in the Commonality are as different as night and day. In fact the Commonality is little more than a dumping ground for regions that the Commonwealth acquired but either did not desire to keep or could not politically integrate with neighboring Federations. The dominance of the Xenough based caste system in the spinward part of the state tends to accentuate sharp differences between the various Imperial culture worlds to trailing, and the Commonality is really little more than a confederacy of irreconcilable parts that for the most part ignore each other. Only a ridiculously unregulated market economy, involving corporations that embody the most egregious examples of Imperial-era business culture, provides any kind of modicum of unity.
The preponderance of this business community is native among the former Kamrathi worlds, which were fairly free market even before their annexation by the Avalars. The worlds around Reidain tend to be more balkanized, with spinward worlds like Syl and Hollis being governed by objectivist style corporation states, and trailing worlds like Reidain divided among nations whose loyalties are suspended between the corps and the Commonwealth mainstream. The various pro-business planetary governments protect, service and even subsidize the activities of their corporate clients, whereas more mainstream worlds tend to create their own alternative corporate structures, backed by activist government regulation, to limit the social damage these tend to create. But the Commonwealth government is on the side of the conservatives, as these business havens are populated by refugee companies that failed to adjust to the new cultural and moral prerogatives of the New Era, or refused to let go of their legacies of malfeasance and fraud, and found themselves banished or forced out by escalating communal or government action. Since the Commonwealth finds its attention divided by various crises or problems, the existence of these communities is an acceptable compromise until it can find a workable final solution for corporate governance.
Worlds of the Commonality
Just as Kamrathi is a receptacle bin for irreconcilable and unwanted components, its culture is a bitterly divided trinity. The Xenough worlds are the most alien, as the caste based culture tends to create social organization and architecture without parallel within the Commonwealth. These tend to feature monolithic cities or arcologies built around towering religious and/or political monuments, with their external boundaries controlled by fortifications or clearly demarcated extrality zones. Internally the highest castes live near the center, while the masses live in the nether regions closest to the external universe. Access to these cities is stringently controlled, and outsiders are deliberately confined to special contact zones, under tight supervision or surveillance by special police units staffed by the lower castes. Psionics are not as popular with these communities, and only a few select castes may be tested for or practice psionic disciplines.
In stubborn contrast to these claustrophobic communities, worlds that were once a part of the Kamrathi League, or are in close proximity to them, feature sprawling cities built around capacious boulevards or flightways. Their denizens greatly favor natural sunlight, and most of their architecture is designed to maximize the use of this light for both illumination and power or heating. Overt advertising is limited to the garish commercial districts, usually areas built closest to starports or other communication hubs. Kamrathi elites tend to cluster their homes in exclusive communities built in areas with the best vistas, most dramatic natural features, or the most serene surroundings, and cloister these regions with gated walls or other artificial enclosures to keep out the poilu. Indeed few public spaces exist, and the poor and indigent are often kept at arms reach within crowded cities well away from these suburbs. Segregation is mostly enforced by economic means, and local employers seem more intent upon catering to their own self-interest than in being an effective participant in communal life. The inner cities seethe with resentment at the vast inequalities and insecurities inflicted upon them by this laissez faire economy, and these worlds feature larger-than-expected security services of mostly merc or contract employees beholden to their employers to keep the peace.
Worlds that look towards Reidain are more reminiscent of the Arden Federation. These worlds feature mainly traditional religious communities ruled by stark elites through archaic legal codes. Many use a mixture or Imperial, Darrian and local traditions and legal codes to guide their communities, and their is more than a slight odor of mothballs clinging to these moralistic societies. These tend to cling more to their own personal communities than to the nearby interstellar society, and travelers will encounter significant differences and obstacles moving between these worlds. Many, including Reidain itself, are balkanized, with sharp communal differences verging upon military conflict keeping them apart. Local security services in some of these states are borderline xenophobic, and are not above detaining offworlders (or anyone else for that matter) at the slightest instigation.
Sovereign Confederacy with no internal subdivisions. Presided over by an appointed governor and an elected unicameral "legislature".
Afougae/Firgr (Gvurrdon 2936)
Incorporates all Kedzugh worlds that were part of the Commonality before the Crucible War.
Gvegh-Aekhu Vargr with significant human minorities. No minor alien races.
The Commonality of Kedzugh was originally a traders' union created by Vargr cartels and corporations in the late 800s/early 900s to take advantage of the growing trade with the Third Imperium. This amicability lasted for the better part of the next two centuries, when the convergence of the Oekhsos tirades and the Assassination of Strephon destroyed the calm. The former created an upsurge of racial nationalism against the Imperium, while the latter caused Lucan's withdrawal of the Corridor and Lishun fleets to fight Dulinor, and thereby opening those sectors to attack and plunder by other Vargr states. As hostilities escalated along the entire former Vargr-Imperium border, the Commonality made common cause with the dreaded Kforuzeng corsairs, one of the most powerful pirate fleets that the Extents had ever seen. While outwardly neutral in the conflict, the various planetary governments within the Commonality looked the other way while the Kforuz ships and troops used their worlds to attack and plunder nearby worlds of the Domain of Deneb, while planetary governors and bureaucrats got their share of the loot for their patronage.
As the Domain of Deneb managed to stabilize its relations with the Aslan and Zhodani, the number of punitive raids against the Commonality increased sharply. After DoD forces destroyed a large number of Kedzugh and Kforuz ships at Aramanx (Spinward Marches 3005) in IY 1122, the Commonality found itself increasingly isolated and fighting an increasingly defensive war with a larger state. In secret negotiations with Norris, the Commonality agreed to pay reparations to the Domain in return for military protection from their erstwhile Corsair allies. Faced with this fait accompli, the Kforuz slowly wound down their forces in the region, and the border stabilized somewhat. Several worlds grabbed by Kedzugh during the conflict were later reincorporated into Deneb after the announcement of Virus, and the Commonality was obliged by the Spinward States Accords (and a large Regency military presence) to stand aside. This troop presence did not drop during the Dark Years, as Kedzugh was precariously balanced between the Denebian frontier, the Wilds of Tuglikki Sector, and aggressive or indifferent factions within Gvurrdon Sector.
The Black Regent largely ignored the Vargr during his reign, though he did not disturb the status quo either. Regency troops remained in Kedzugh through the height of the Crucible War, and were useful in deterring Zhodani aggression into trailing Gvurrdon. When Elizabeth Bonesteel launched her successful assault upon Purifier worlds in Pretoria subsector, then swung around and defeated the Zhodani juggernaut at Inthe (SM 2410), her dual victories convinced both the conservative Denebian garrisons on the frontier and their Kedzugh neighbors to accept a change in political leadership. Zhodani forces that earlier attempted to outflank the Regency via rimward Gvurrdon upset the delicate balance of power between traditionally Pro-Zhodani states like the 40th Squadron and the Thirz Empire, and states like the Society of Equals and Noerrgh Confederate and former Rukh constituents that opposed them, and the entire sector soon erupted into war not long after the Commonwealth of Deneb's decisive victory at Lunion.
After the Kforuzeng unwisely attempted to intervene in the Crucible War and were practically destroyed in NE 41 by Commonwealth forces, the political situation in Gvurrdon actually got worse as surviving corsairs struggled for control of their fallen pirate empire. Concern that this conflict would spill over into their worlds, and a desire to keep Deneb's protection, Kedzugh's leaders approached the new government on Mora to ask for a deeper political alliance. The resulting treaty made Kedzugh an associative member of the Commonwealth, helping establish a process that would incorporate other territories that wanted to enjoy Deneb's political and economic might without unduly sacrificing their autonomy. Even the name for these states, Commonality, comes from Kedzugh. It is widely acknowledged that this is a shotgun marriage that flies in the face of both states' history and traditions, but it manages to serve their mutual interests, and both are satisfied with the status quo.
Culture/Worlds of the Commonality
Kedzugh is not a culturally cohesive unit. Deep divisions exist between the various worlds over a number of different issues. Generally the region follows cultural patterns established in the Monoceros Federation, including its bombastic leadership and oversized egotism.
Confederacy with no internal subdivisions. Presided over by an elected governor and a bicameral legislature.
Knokseng/Dzarrvaer (Provence 0422)
Incorporates 17 worlds in Dzarrvaer Subsector (Provence I), plus four others in neighboring Aenkuk subsector (Provence J).
Mixed Gvegh-Aekhu Vargr and Human. No minor races.
Knokseng was founded out of the wreckage of the old Dzaargh Federate, a onetime ally of the Imperium that invaded Corridor Sector in the aftermath of Lucan's recall of the Corridor Fleet to fight Dulinor. The Federate's lugubrious end is documented better elsewhere, but the invasion of the AI Virus destroyed that state by wiping out its military and elite on the capitol world of Dzarrvaer (Provence 0225). A few worlds managed to preserve technology, and Knokseng was able to recover enough technology to repair a few starships, and used these to impose a quasi-functioning interstellar state it named the Knokseng Confederation. The damage inflicted by Virus upon its industry and infrastructure was almost more than it could repair by itself, and the Confederation was little more than a support group for worlds struggling to survive another bout with Vampire Fleets.
After NE 6, growing contact with the Regency of Deneb led to the virtual demise of the state. A backlash against the naive recontact policies that underlined the reopening of the Regency frontier in NE 2 led many potential colonists to "cash in"-to redeem the high capital costs for colonization-by seizing whatever potential high value targets existed. This meant that the Confederation was slowly consumed by Denebian filibusters equipped and supplied with resources and technology that could not be matched by the locals, and by NE 16 it was a virtual puppet state of powerful Denebian economic factions affiliated with reactionary parties safeside. Most of these were exploitative mining and farming collectives that viciously exploited the local population, and after Lemat Arthurian became Regent in NE 19, these atrocities escalated. Local resentment turned to barely controlled rage, and by the late 20s the region was a powderkeg of anti-Regency sentiment.
When the Black Regent began exiling dissident military officers and bureaucrats to Corridor, the latter found that Vargr areas were just as rife with rebellious feelings as human dominated regions. Corridor Sector Admiral Seran Ramuun made common cause with the Knokseng Vargr, recruiting them into her growing Frontier Corps with the promise of returning their homeland back to a meaningful home rule or autonomy. These troops helped Ramuun drive back the Vilani in NE 29, and were later instrumental in chasing Arthurian's mercenary troops out of both Knokseng and Drayne just before the outbreak of the Crucible War. Knowing the their freedom wasn't assured as long as Arthurian remained in power, or the Zhodani prevailed in the war, these troops traveled with Elizabeth Bonesteel and Hiroe Kaiyo's fleets into the Regency Safe and beyond into the Zhodani Consulate, fighting in every major campaign until the Frontier Corps was finally discharged. After Kedzugh became a Commonality of the Commonwealth, the newly freed governments of Knokseng agreed to the same treatment, becoming a full Commonality in NE 46.
Knokseng Vargr are rather unusual in their mentality. Because of their long and successful struggle against outside tyrants, first Virus and then the Purifiers, theirs is a viewpoint that has much in common with their human neighbors. They are fiercely democratic and militant, with power centered around popular expression and majority rule, albeit in a fashion that evolved on its own before it converged with Commonwealth culture. Politically they are quite culturally conservative, but economically populist, and have considerable sympathy with their Corridor sector human and Vargr neighbors. Their political parties are affiliates of mainstream Denebian parties, and they are enthusiastic participants in the military, corps and other popular services. And nearly all of them see themselves as being equally Knokseng and Commoner.
Though this has led to the accusation by some outside Vargr that they are little more than "lapdogs" for the Denebians, Knokseng Vargr refuse to countenance this argument. After all their struggle and their victory were in parallel with those of the Liberators, but these were their own. The Liberators did not force them to fight: they did so out of their conscience and desire for redress. If there was a convergence, it was because both parties were in service to the same kind of universal ideals, and found sympathy between them. And as many outside Vargr have found, demeaning or belittling the Knokseng for these deeds and their culture often leads to violent reprisal. But it still upsets the racial apologists that still linger on both sides of the culture boundary, as it seems to disprove their arguments that each race is a separate river flowing down to an non-commingled destiny exclusive, and possibly to the detriment, of the other.
Worlds of the Commonality
Knokseng worlds are disorganized and chaotic. War damage inflicted upon them was somewhat less than that suffered by the other regions of Corridor and Provence, but the ad hoc nature of the original Confederation continues to afflict rebuilding efforts. Where rebuilding has occurred it has been largely due to local or Commonwealth efforts rather than those of the Commonality government. Otherwise they strongly resemble any given world in Corridor or Provence Sector.