What Could the Galaxy Be Like?

This document goes over the background of this part of the galaxy. Use it to help you write your Backstory Content Contribution, or just to learn more about the backstory for ColonyShip-4: Survivors.

RACES

There will be several different races to select from when choosing to write your backstory for CS4S. Below you can find key details for the species’ that you can use or build off of in your backgrounds. Anyone of any race can come from just about any type of profession, with the exception that all high-ranking government/military posts on all planets in the Voorwix Empire are occupied by the Voorwix themselves.

The Nefelite

(Unavailable for Selection) Soldiers of the Voorwix. Large cloning facilities directly controlled by the Voorwix Emperor continuously pump out these strong, purpose-bred soldiers for use by Voorwix Governors. They are controlled by chemicals pumped into their brain and fed by different chemicals pumped throughout their body. They do not require “sleep”, although they must spend at least 10 hours out of every 10 day period in a regeneration alcove to clean their brain chemicals and one 20 hour period out of every 100 days in a regeneration pod for a flushing out of old body chemicals. Their life-span is unknown as none is known to have died of natural causes before dying in combat.

A large number have been left stranded on the “Far Planet” due to occasional crashes of Voorwix Empire ships. Because of their long-life span, Nefelite numbers have grown over the centuries. They are controlled by those ruthless warlords that have somehow secured a supply of Nefelite chemicals or have put scientists to work synthesizing a substitute.

Special Attributes

Slightly telepathic. Their best are trained to use their powers to see what their squadmates around them see, allowing them to target enemies they cannot see themselves. (Grants Nefelite Sight skill: The ability to target enemies seen by other Nefelites)

The Voorwix

Dominant Race in this part of the galaxy. They have spread to all parts of the known universe as part of the Voorwix Empire.They occupy all high government posts and all military leadership posts.

Characteristics

Roughly average intelligence and strength for this part of the galaxy.

Special Attributes

None. The Voorwix are about as average as Humans.

Religion

They worship their millenia old ruler as a god; It is said no Voorwix has laid eyes on their ruler in decades, maybe centuries. His underlings/assistants/lieutenants communicate his apparent wishes to the governors. Various ceremonies are performed to honour him each year with elaborate celebrations.

The Shad’Ra’a

Intelligent, but frail race of skinny bipeds with long necks, and bulgy eyes. They occupy a small, remote star-system that has been a thorn in the Voorwix Empire’s side ever since their occupation, centuries ago. While they are prohibited from joining the Voorwix Empire military, they still provide many of the police personnel in their star system, though not the higher-ranking leadership.

Characteristics

Generally of high intelligence. All are quite frail.

Special Attributes

High Intelligence (Mental Toughness Starts at 5)

Frail (Physical Toughness starts at 1 and cannot be increased)

Religion

The Shad’Ra’a believe that a leader shall rise from a rebellious group to lead an overthrow of their occupiers. The prophecies foretell that they shall be of the Shad’Ra’a, but travel from afar to return home to victory. They worship the Six as gods; a group of mythical freedom-fighters who died resisting the Voorwix takeover. Said to have been taken away by the Voorwix commander, the six are prophesied to be pivotal to the final outcome.

The Krazolok

Seen as brutes, the Krazolok have spread across the galaxy as a tough, manual-labour class. Many are of above-average intelligence, but it is hard for them to overcome the stigma of their race. Their homeworld has been reduced to a collection of asteroids, as nearly the entire planet was mined away for its resources by the Voorwix. Because of the destruction of their home planet, the Krazoloks are spread throughout the galaxy. The Krazolok are one of the races allowed to apply for entrance into the Voorwix Empire’s military, as they are very adept at physical combat.

Characteristics

Physically strong.

Special Attributes

Tough (Physical Toughness starts at 5)

Strong (Increased Melee Damage)

Brutes (TBD: Something about a reduced effectiveness in social/diplomatic situation)

Religion

Religion involves intense competitions of strength and endurance. Large tournaments are held on any planet where you find a concentration of Krazolok. The tournaments are defined by rituals of honour. Every other year the Eternal Tournament is held, and the Champion joins the Council of Champions. On worlds less important to the Voorwix, that have a mostly Krazolok population, the Councils act as not only local religious leaders, but also as local rulers, under loose Voorwix control. On more developed worlds, whether majority Krazolok or not, the Voorwix have a much tighter grip, and the Councils only oversee religious matters.

The Bithera

The reptilian Bithera are a shy race that primarily tend to stay grouped with their own kind. On their home planet, vast marshes cover almost all of the surface, leading the Bithera to make their homes in the trees. They build giant multi-story nests of woven marsh reeds. A century ago the Voorwix arrived and dug huge, open-pit mines for precious resources that devastated the local environment at many sites around the planet. Due to the devastation of the local environment, Bithera living around these facilities find it extremely difficult to survive without working in the harsh conditions of the mines. The only parts of the Bitheran homeworld not touched by Voorwix mining are the harshest environments, so life for Bitherans away from the mines is also hard.

Characteristics

Scally reptilians, with long reptile style snouts, strong jaws, short tails, strong legs, and weak upper bodies.

Special Attributes

Fast (Grants Sprinter Skill)

Heightened Sense of Smell (Grants limited ability to detect enemies through walls; skill can be developed)

Enhanced Healing (Bithera heal at an advanced rate)

Strong Jaw (Grants increased Melee Strength)

Weak Upper Body (Decreases Melee Ability)

Religion

In constant search of the endless meadow, as they call it; a world entirely covered in flowering marshes. Their stories foretell of a strange being that shall find its way there and lead the Bithora to their promised land. Their ceremonies involve simple meals, simple furniture, and general simplicity, with elaborate, colourful, floral displays.

Additional Races

Additionally, you will also be able to choose from the races created by content contributors that select the Create-a-Race Reward Tier.

GALAXY

The galaxy around this planet is controlled by the large, corrupt Voorwix Empire that allows powerful Governors to directly rule individual Star Systems as they see fit. Imperial leadership cares little about how the star systems are ruled and only cares that control is maintained and that resources get to where the Empire wants them. Beyond these requirements a Governor is free to dictate law and order. This style of control leads to a wide variance in just how that control is accomplished in different Star Systems. While most of the core star systems in the Voorwix Empire have developed societies based free-market economics, where wealth determines power, and it is not impossible to improve one’s place in the galaxy, the majority are controlled by powerful appointments of the Star System’s governor. And on every planet, the ever present threat of falling out of favour with the ruling powers and ending up on some faraway prison-planet hangs over the citizenry.

Different worlds posses different technological levels, socioeconomic dynamics, and styles of law and order. The high-tech home planets of the Shad’Ra’a generally see more egalitarian ideals prevail and permeate the politics in their star systems. On the Bitheran homeworld, the old ways were very communal, and much of those ideas and customs still prevail; while their technology lags behind.

Inequality is rampant in this part of the galaxy. Generally the rich lead privileged lives, only curtailed by the highest of Imperial authorities. The middle-class struggles to get by, constantly in fear of the ruling authorities and their power. The poor are the most numerous, throughout the galaxy, on every world the Voorwix dominate. Life is generally a struggle for the middle and lower classes on all but the core Voorwix and Shad’Ra’a star systems.

Several other races exist in the Voorwix Empire, but we’ll need to wait till after Kickstarter to see who they are, as they will be contributed by Kickstarter Backers like you.

Technology

The technological level of the star systems in this part of the galaxy varies considerably. Advanced Voorwix and Shad’Ra’a technologies have permeated throughout this part of the galaxy; they are present on every world. However, how much of the technology a world has varies considerably, causing a wide gulf in the technological level of different star systems and even planets within a star system. Because of exposure to advanced technologies, most star systems in this part of the galaxy are of at least a post-industrial base technological level. While not everyone on a planet will have access to post-industrial technology on a planet, someone on each planet does.

The planets are generally divided Technologically as follows:

Core Systems

These are the star systems that the Voorwix or Shad’Ra’a call their home systems, or those systems colonized early in the Voorwix expansion. They have advanced technology, and all except for those in poverty are able to enjoy and make use of this high level of technology (Shad’Ra’a core worlds tend to see less poverty as they are more egalitarian). Most diseases are curable, nearly all manufacturing is automated, and humans are used for creative thinking, superviving, policing, selling, and many other occupations not easily automated.

The Colonies

These are planets that have been more recently colonized, with a less pervasive spread of high-technology. People still die of diseases here that are easily treatable on Core Systems. Much of the day-to-day technology is of a level lower than that of the Core Systems. Only the rich have access to all that the Core Systems have to offer.

Outer Systems

The Outer Systems are still in the process of being colonized or are far from the Core Systems, leading to little advanced technology being present on these planets. These systems vary the most in technology level, with some even having a predominance of industrial level technology and below. The Bitheran star systems are in this state as their development tended to suffer under Voorwix rule.

Key Technologies

High-Tech:

Mid-Tech:

Low-Tech:

Interstellar Travel

Speeds faster than light have been achieved in the Voorwix Empire, making interstellar travel a matter of days, rather than years. This has brought the galaxy close enough together that the Voorwix Empire has been able to maintain its hold on this part of the galaxy.

However, those speeds are only obtainable outside of the influence of major gravity wells. Within the influence of large gravity wells, maximum speeds are drastically slower, close to 1/100th of the speed of light.

Some perspective:

Distance from the Sun to Pluto: 5,906,292,480 km

Fastest Man-man probe: Juno at 266,000 km/h (Briefly achieved while being pulled in towards Jupiter)

Fastest current, but unachievable, human space flight from the Sun to Pluto: 22,204 hours, or 925 days.

Speed of Light: ~1 billion km/h

1/100th of the Speed of Light: 10 million km/h

Distance from Sun to Pluto at 1/100th the speed of light: 590 hours, or 24.5 days

So, while starships can travel vast distances in a very short period of time, the time to get from even two planets in the same star system would be a minimum of a half-dozen hours and could be as long as four weeks.

The Far Planet

The planet you crash land on is known only as the “Far Planet” by those in the Voorwix Empire, even by the local inhabitants of the “Far Planet” itself. Centuries ago, the Voorwix Empire began delivering prisoners to this world, so that there is now a constant mix of those born on the “Far Planet” and those that have more recently been “delivered”.

Beings of different races, cultures, and walks of life have found themselves marooned here, with no hope of escape. This wide diversity has led to an equally wide diversity of different settlements setup with different value systems.

Most settlements have fallen under some kind of totalitarian rule, be it in the form of a monarchy, dictatorship, or oligarchy; with the people in these settlements living in fear of the ruler or ruling class. Life in these settlements is even harder than it needs to be. Fewer settlements have found their way to more egalitarian societies; several Shad’Ra’a communities form the best examples of these as they have brought their egalitarian culture with them from their home system. Several communal Krazolok and Bithera settlements are also scattered throughout the pink gas covered surface.

Some settlements are far enough from others that they have little interaction other than the occasional trade caravan passing through. Fewer still are so remote so as to be entirely forgotten. Most, however, are caught in the seemly eternal struggle for dominance and survival with their neighbours. War is a constant background for trade and diplomacy in these areas.

Settlements are usually formed around the extraction or production of a single resource. Many are small mining or farming communities of less than a thousand people. These communities extract and process resources from underground, or foods and materials from various types of mushrooms, the only vegetation that seems able to thrive on the “Far Planet”. Several communities have also sprung up around major crossroads becoming major centres of trade; these are the most prosperous, but are still unable to grow past several thousand inhabitants because of the various hardships of living on the “Far Planet”.

Reasons Why Beings End Up on the “Far Planet”

Political prisoners, both beings who actually commit actions against authority and beings who those in power simply want to see disappear, are sent here instead of executed to appease opposition and prevent the creation of martyrs. Murderers are sent here from worlds where they don’t have the death penalty. Organized Crime leaders get sent here when the chance of their organization providing a prison-break are too high. Thieves and other lower-level criminals often find their way here from planets where the prisons are simply too full, or their crimes don’t warrant a death penalty, but someone in power never wants to hear from them again.