Crab Nebula Stardrive Campaign
THE VERGE (Alternity Campaign)
This is a Progress Level 7 Alternity Campaign. The most common drive is the star drive, but recently there have been developments with creating jump gates (called a hyperspace portal). Space Entrepreneurs have always been obsessed at the sheer amount of wealth that would be available from a nebula, particularly one that has a supernova at its heart but the closest one with a supernova was the Crab Nebula, some 7000 LY distant, far outside the range of any conventional star drive. However it is in range of this new technology of jump gates… The StarMech corporation constructed a string of military forts utilizing these advanced hyperspace portals that connect the Core Worlds to the Crab Nebula. It still takes 20 2 week jumps to travel from one to the other. The endpoint of this jump chain is a system called Tendril. Then the Second Galactic War started and the lifeline connecting Tendril with the Core World of Kendai was cut. For many decades The Verge was forced to fend for itself. The Second Galactic War saw the formation of The Concord and under their peace the way to Tendril was reopened. But not all the sentients in The Verge are ready to welcome back the influence of the Core Worlds and there is a growing call for independence. This has not stopped The Concord from establishing itself the defacto military and political power of the region. Tendril is still a protectorate of the StarMech Corporation and the headquarters of the Concord. To encourage colonists The Concord has initiated an incentive program called The Compact
This campaign is intended to emulate a space western. The string of forts are constantly under alien attack, contact between the home worlds and the nebula is tenuous and it takes a long time to get from one to the other.
There exist enclaves of ESPers in the Concord and by extension The Verge that are committed to assuring that their vision of the future come about. Initially they were guided towards a future in which all sentients lived free and in relative happiness. However the group split philosophically when some of their members realized that this free future was inherently more dangerous and unstable then an authoritarian future. Colloquially these two factions refer to themselves as lightsiders and darksiders and they have been at war for the future of universe ever since. Both factions use and have available a unique weapon called a Star Sword (TL8). Star Swords hit the wielder on a critical failure unless the wielder has a -2 bonus on Initiative checks (usually through the Battlemind specialty skill) or wears a Star Lens. If the wielder has a -1 bonus then he only hits himself half of the time on a critical failure. The lightsiders are known through out the Concord as Star Knights and are generally welcome.
To attract colonists every human or fraal character between 22 and 27 can operate under what is called The Compact. The Compact gives you 50000 credits plus starting money and a free ride to the nebula. You cannot leave the nebula until the 50000 credits are repaid (it is interest free however). The Compact is a legal contract between The Concord and the recipient and is only available to human and fraal characters. If you play a Compact character then you should choose one of the Stellar Nations currently in The Concord to come from. You can play a character not under The Compact, and remnants of the original Core Worlds survive in The Verge, but most native Vergers will choose to be independent.