These pages describe the setting for our events. They are written from an in-character perspective as most of these pages are also available to your character in-game. The exception are certain notes like this one that are marked as "OC" for out of character information.
Note that this describes the new science-fantasy setting that we are developing for the events. If you would like to read the old settings, you can find it here .
Welcome, reader. These pages contain the an overview of the knowledge we have collected about our galaxy and that what is contained within it. They are meant to introduce you to what is out there and what you can encounter during your travels. Some of them will concern phenomena that you may not be able to witness directly and where the information is more theoretical; other pages will be more practical and provide information directly applicable to a situation. Should you encounter anything not listed in these pages that you feel should be here, please do not hesitate to add it.
Our galaxy, named "Altaleana", is a spiral galaxy with two spiral arms and a large central oval in the centre. It is about 110 000 light-years in diameter and 1150 light-years tall. It contains roughly 200 000 000 000 stars. Of those, we estimate 30 000 000 - or 3 in 20000 - are inhabited with intelligent life. Planets inhabited by intelligent life are referred to as worlds. These worlds are spread out across the galaxy, though neither the two spiral arms nor the central oval bulge of the galaxy contains many of them, as these areas are generally too volatile. Even with this clustering, there are still pretty vast distances between these worlds. The average distance between a world is around 68.5 light-years. Fortunately, we have technology available that allows us to cross these distances, even if it can easily take several months to get from one world to another.
Main article: Convergence
Something strange is happening to the worlds in our galaxy, something that makes them look alike. They all share similar important events. They all have similar races. Many even have similar gods and religions. These shared features can at first appear to be quite different, but usually they share the same base characteristics. This phenomenon is referred to as "convergence" and is one of the greatest unexplained mysteries in the galaxy. Apart from the gods, the planets do not have copies of specific people, no matter how important their actions may have been. There are just similar people with somewhat similar roles and actions.
One other important phenomenon that is shared between these worlds are organisations. Some of the shared events concern the creation of certain organisations. Thus, many similar organisations - called convergent organisations - arise across the galaxy, that share certain goals. While some may never make it into space, others have banded together with their counterparts from other worlds and combined to form entities that rival some factions.
Factions arise when one world comes into contact with another and they combine their resources - either because one side subjugated the other, they struck a deal or something else happened. At this point in time, we estimate around 75 percent of the worlds is part of a faction. The size of these factions varies greatly, some are a handful of worlds cooperating, others are vast interstellar empires covering hundreds of worlds.
However, not only their size varies greatly. Each faction has its own way of dealing with internal and external entities. Each faction prioritises different things to create, destroy or preserve. That said, the governing bodies of these factions tend to take a few well known forms. Many are simply up-scaled planetary governments, focused on maintaining internal stability in whatever way they deem necessary. Other factions are more focused on trading various resources. Their governing bodies tend to focus on more mercantile endeavours. These are the megacorps - planetary mercantile corporations scaled to interstellar size. Finally, some factions focus on their religious side, spreading their worship of whatever entity they venerate.
One faction in particular needs to be mentioned. This faction is usually referred to as The Collective. This faction was the first to invent the means of travelling between the stars. But rather than sit on it, they decided to spread this technology among other worlds. This allows many worlds that otherwise would not be capable of interstellar travel to reach their neighbours. Their technology does not come cheap, however. The Collective maintains their monopoly with brutal efficiency and is not above using their influence to pressure other factions into doing what they want.
The various worlds are inhabited by several different intelligent races. We have so far identified fifteen of them, a number most likely enforced by convergence. These races tend to share the same biological characteristics, though those may be overshadowed by the cultural differences between factions and worlds. Another thing affecting these races is that modern cybernetics and bio-engineering is capable of changing even their biological makeup, resulting in races that may be vastly different - or much more similar to each other. In fact, in some factions there is no longer much of a difference between any race.
Religion and Gods
While mortals have gotten quite powerful, gods still exist and are often still worshipped by those same mortals. As mentioned earlier, convergence affects everything on a world, including their gods. In fact, Gods seem to be the only intelligent beings directly affected by convergence, though even their differences can often be larger than their similarities. Convergence regarding the gods seems to center around their portfolio items. We have identified fifteen gods that each tend to have one portfolio item that is similar. In addition there are a number of other portfolio items that always show up as part of the portfolios of one of the gods. Then there are a whole number of portfolio items that do not seem to be shared.
Apart from the gods, there are several other forms of religion on worlds, though they tend not to be affected by convergence. One prominent example of this being the worship of spirits, be they animistic or ancestors. Not all of these forms of religion survive the transition to modern societies with advanced technology. On the other hand, sometimes the technology gives rise to new religions. It is far easier for a person to broadcast their voice and be worshipped by millions if they have a planetary network to use for that broadcast.
Magic and Technology
Technology levels across the galaxy are quite different. Some worlds may feature neolithic barbarians to which the height of technology is a campfire in a cave, while their closest neighbour is a thriving starport at the center of an interstellar faction. The sophistication of a world's technology is indicated by its technological era, which is a scale based on identifying key technologies that describe a certain era of technology.
On average across the galaxy, most worlds seem to be capable of interplanetary travel without outside help. Many of those worlds are in contact with the Collective, who provides them with devices that make interstellar travel possible. These devices are called Divine Space Transitioners or DSTs for short. They allow a spaceship to travel along the fourth spatial axis to what is usually referred to as Divine Space. In divine space, light travels faster than in normal space. This, combined with an effect that reduces the mass that needs to be accelerated, allows spaceships in divine space to reach speeds far above what is possible in normal space, making interstellar travel possible. One important thing to note is that communication in Divine Space is extremely limited, which means that most long range communication happens by space ships that transfer messages from and to different worlds.
Much of this technology is actually created using extremely intricate forms of primordial magic, which is the magic developed by mortals at the beginning of time. This magic allows creating devices to manipulate the basic elements of the universe. When powered by electricity, they become the building blocks for advanced civilizations everywhere. Individuals with the knowledge to apply this magic can rise far in those societies.
At the same time, one major reason for religion to still exist is the magic that devoted mortals are able to use. This magic, called divine magic, is used by priests and other worshippers to perform small miracles that seem to completely bypass natural laws, instead working under different rules created by the gods themselves. This magic seems to rely more on large groups of people working together.
Other types of magic are also known. The most prominent other form of magic usually encountered is that of those worshipping spirits in one form or another. This usually works by people making agreements with these spirits in exchange for those spirits performing some kind of service for these people. This type of magic can be wielded by individuals but is also often seen in smaller tribes.