Monday, March 23, 2015

Savage Space II: The Return of Savage Space

Last year I took the month of February and did an entry a day for a free-form "build through inspiration" series of posts on a Savage World Sci Fi setting, using two sources as inspiration: the then-new Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion (a no-fuss, no-muss dirt simple manual on running SF fast and furious style) and a mess of random pics pulled from the inerwebz.

I am now planning a return to Savage Space over the coming weeks. First off is a preamble...a proper "introduction" to the setting as it was constructed piece-by-piece last year. The previous entries via this new foundation become the base off of which I will spring an entirely new round of freeform entries, to expand the scope of Savage Space in new and strange directions. I have many, many weird new pics ready for this exercise. Be warned!!!!

There is one thing I'm mulling over, though. Since I did Savage Space the Entropic Gaming System came out, and it's essentially a "super-deluxe" SW variant game system with all the cool bells and whistles. When I start doing more SW I may just include dual stats for EGS, especially since their first two major sourcebooks are for scifi gaming.

But if I do an EGS version of each entry, would it be fair to call it purely Savage space? Perhaps  can delineate those entries as Entropic space....

Savage Space

Savage Space….a universe of possibilities and adventure. The Savage Space setting is set in the Terran standard year 2820. Earth is the center of a vast, cosmopolitan organization known as the Federated Commonwealth, which sprung from a medley of dissident colonies, political regimes and private corporations that had claimed space during the early days of human travel to the stars. The original Commonwealth was Earth’s attempt to bring humanity under an umbrella of coordinated rule, a sort of “Interstellar United Nations” directive. It did not succeed at its goals until humanity coordinated with other races such as the Fadelik to incorporate into the Federation, which united human, Fadelik and Chevarais interests. Over time the Federation expanded to include dozens of other sapient starfaring species, as well as humanity’s Commonwealth.

The human Commonwealth was built in three stages: in 2097 the first STL interstellar ships were built. The earliest STL ships were compact colony terraformer vessels; the automated ships had a modest crew cryogenically frozen and were built to introduce the tools to create and foster earth-like ecosystems on arrival at their destination worlds. These vessels were powered by early crude but extremely expensive attempts at antimatter engines which used gravitational tubes to accelerate vessels to an appreciable percentage of light speed. These vessels relied on early warp bubble technology which was costly and unreliable, but allowed for travel times which violated relativity. A vessel could reach a star five light years distant in “real time”of 30-50 years. The warp bubble technology was necessary to counter the relativistic side effects of travel at .7c or greater; however getting more than .7c out of a ship protected in a warp bubble consistently led to the loss of the ship as it accelerated to speeds impossible to “slow down” from.

The second wave of STL vessels came during the unpleasant diminishing years of Earth’s own crisis in global collapse due to depleted resources. Humanity had spread throughout the solar system, but the desire to expand out to the stars was fueled by the first reports of successful colonization efforts from the terraformer vessels at nearby stars such as Alpha Centauri. The second wave of colony ships began by 2150, and included large vessels containing tens of thousands of volunteers, often idealists, religious dissidents and corporations investing in the future. The second wave of colony vessels were powered by more effective anti-matter engines and the warp bubble technology had improved to the point where critical failure was statistically insignificant. However….attaining FTL speeds still eluded mankind.

By 2348 there were dozens of colony worlds, and more which had been lost or “forgotten” due to various unusual circumstances. Humanity had met with other sapient beings, but none who had achieved space travel. The year 2348 marked the breakthrough in engineering that led to the creation of the first transitional drive. Today the old drives are called “skip” drives because they pushed ships briefly but continuously into a higher dimensional “tube” that moved through the eleven dimensions of reality. The transitional drive effectively let star travelers cheat the speed of light’s hard limit by moving through shortcuts in the folded additional spatial dimensions, which created an effect similar to moving through a wormhole. Suddenly, ships which took 50 years to reach a destination 5-10 light years distant with the old warp bubble anti-matter drives would arrive only to find that an entire colony had already sprung up with skip drives that took a few months to journey there.

From 2355-2415 after humanity recovered from a devastating system war between the Spacer governments and the Old Terran Order, the new Terran Government which arose from the ashes set a directive to reunite the interstellar colonies. Humanity spread rapidly to new worlds out of reach previously, while trying to restore the colonies under Terran rule. It was this period of expansion and unification that led to conflicts as a number of colonies had grown quite self-sustaining and did not want to relinquish control to the new Commonwealth. Examples include the Tetragon Union, which is the most famous and powerful dissident colonial government.

During this expansion period in 2405 humans met the Fadelik, and it was only a decade after that first contact that the Fadelik, Chevarais and humanity agreed to found the Federation. The Terran Government integrated the Federation in, dubbing it the Federated Commonwealth. As part of this unification the Fadelik provided the research and materials necessary to aid humans in advancing their “skip” drive to full transitional drive. Journeys which took weeks now took days.

The Federated Commonwealth has prospered now for four centuries. There are thirty two full species/interstellar governments which have joined and still more petitioning for right of entry. The Federation provides a strong measure of protection to those who join, and sets strong and fair trade policies for its members, as well as military protection. The Federation itself maintains no standing military, but instead directs the Coalition Forces, which are supplied by the member nations that devote resources to keeping the peace. Local governments still maintain their own stellar navies and ground forces as well.

The human element of all this, the Federated Commonwealth, continues to struggle with the fact that several former colonies emancipated from the Commonwealth or refused to join and fought vigorously to stay independent. The Terran Government retains a keen direct interest in its own affairs as well, while an entirely separate Interstellar Council serves as the governing body of the Commonwealth and also handles all Federation affairs, leaving the Terrans to their own devices for the most part.

There are two distinct organizations that answer to the Federation and the Commonwealth both today which are likely to be of great interest to mercenaries and adventurers. The first is the Aegis Division, and the second is the Interstellar Academy.

The Interstellar Academy:

The Interstellar Academy was founded during the early years of Fadelik and human contact, and was a joint effort to create a dedicated institution of higher learning and research. Over time the Academy became an investigative operation as well, especially as the discoveries of the dead civilizations in the Coreward Expanse were discovered. Today the Interstellar Academy is the most widespread and organized research organization with full Federation authorization to investigate the Coreward Expanse civilizations and discover their fate. The Academy also has a mandate to advance technology and to understand the lost technology and secrets of older, more advanced civilizations. This directive means that the Academy needs plenty of willing and able opportunists who are both scientifically minded and capable of handling dangerous circumstances to work for them to achieve these goals.

Aegis Division (excerpted from the first Aegis Division Entry):

Technically Aegis was a real organization, conducting actual espionage work, about seventy years before the Federated Commonwealth formed (2345). Aegis's inception as an interstellar investigative and peacekeeping force began with the discovery of transitional drive. At that time a group known simply as Aegis was already working to quell dissent from the monolithic one-world government that had formed on Earth, the Terran Order. As the first transitional-drive powered ships left Earth to rediscover the colonies founded during the slow-FTL era of two centuries earlier, Aegis agents were recruited to serve as threat assessors and diplomats to deal with the inevitable resistance of the colonies to reunification with Earth.

Ultimately the Terran Order fell in civil war, but not before establishing contact with more than a dozen colonies, and the work of the Aegis forces deployed to assist in the reintegration was noticed by the Federation that formed out of the rubble of the old Earth government. The new order looked for ways to organize and unite humanity across a vast stellar spectrum, both on Earth and amongst dozens of colony worlds. The Aegis Division was formed at this time, with a new purpose, to serve as the peacekeepers of the colonies, what would come to be known as the commonwealth.

The concept of the Aegis Division was also shared by the fadelik, the first species to assist in the founding of the Federated Commonwealth. The fadelik organization of similar purpose integrated with Aegis Division, expanding their numbers and resources considerably.

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