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Third Order

The game of Third Order is set in a high sci-fi alternate version of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Interstellar travel is commonplace, people carry laser weapons and vast empires span across thousands of light years. Life exists on many worlds and several species have advanced to the stage of interstellar travel, the marker by which all civilisations are judged. These species are the ones that move between the worlds, exploring, trading, fighting and colonising the stars and the worlds they find around them. There are three main empires within the Forge (the name given to the galaxy by other species), each with its own agenda and alliance of species.

Forge Map

The Protectorate is the closest thing to a democratic and peacekeeping force in the galaxy, trying to locate and protect species that haven’t the technology to protect themselves. The Borax Trade Union is a vast star spanning trade network, centred round gigantic Citadel Ships that slowly travel the circuit of Forge Lanes that link their mining and refinery worlds. The Vona Princedoms are five loosely allied states that form a series of totalitarian dictatorships; led by arrogant and vicious Science Lords they subjugate species to do their work.

There have been two major wars between these three empires, the Vona on one side and the two others joining forces to repel them. The Protectorate and the Trade Union will do anything they can to repel or defeat the technologically superior Vona Princedoms. Many star systems show the scars of these centuries old conflicts. Deserted systems that were once colonies sit silent out amongst the stars. The ancient battle lines have been fought over so long a great swath of shattered worlds and tainted stars lies between the Vona and the Alliance, known as the Eternal Chain. But don’t let this make you think that the Forge Galaxy is in constant fear of war.

People still live their lives trying to avoid conflict, either as part of one of these organisations or as independent colonists and traders on the fringes of civilisation. There is constant discovery and exploration as people head out to start their own colonies or mining ventures. Farms crop up on temperate worlds and are soon followed by trading outposts. Forge Lanes are strengthened between the stars, allowing faster and more reliable travel. What starts out as a colony soon turns into a settled world and explorers head out once again; the cycle of expansion continues today.

Imprint

Today the galaxy exists in what is known as the Third Order by the Protectorate calendar. This is the third phase of intelligent species stepping out into the galaxy after developing tachyon transit, the means to travel the stars. Each phase brings with it conflict and tension as new cultures interact with the status quo of those that came before. The First Order saw the ascension of the Alethi, Borax, Jugari and Vona species. The Second Order saw the appearance of the Cho’Rixx, Goruld, Mendocarthans, Reedol, Ternasi and Ytrin. The Third Order has so far seen two species arise to the galactic community. The first was the Fothlan and the latest, and by no means the least, was the Human species.

Long had human storytelling and entertainment prophesied a future where man would go to the stars and tame all the harsh worlds they found there. What they didn’t know until they stepped into the wider galaxy was that there were plenty of people out there already doing it. Narrowly avoiding subjugation by the Vonese DuBarris Princedom the Human species was offered a new homeworld by the Protectorate. The remote temperate world of Castobar became the new home of the majority of humankind.

Humans have a difficult time out amongst the older species of the galaxy. Even though the Human Republic of Castobar has been in existence for sixty years it is still learning the finer elements of interstellar diplomacy and trade. Castobar is a pleasant world that is similar to Earth was before the Industrial Revolution, speckled with a few large, but ecologically designed cities. Not all humans have aligned with this new world however, which many view as a Protectorate world in all ways but name.

A group of ancient Earth corporations were quick to shift to the galactic business model and have spread fast across many systems, providing cheap haulage and personnel provision. After the exodus from Sol they bought as many old Borax ships as they could get their hands on and started to work the Forge Lanes. Known simply as Mantrax they are often seen as a minor blight by space station administrators and Citadel Ship Consortium Heads, spreading advertising and cheap merchandise at an alarming rate.

There is a second element of humanity that has avoided the peaceful, and in their eyes far too easy, resettlement on Castobar. The human state of New Toronto is the remnant of a fascist regime that controlled Earth’s moon after The Silence and in the dying days of Sol. They believe that in agreeing to the Protectorate’s resettlement humanity has lost its strength and free will. New Toronto stands for humans first and aliens second. All things on this world are made by human hands, or so the propaganda claims.