03 – The Zebulon’s Expanse
The Zebulon’s Expanse is a region of space formed by three major alien races as well as non-terran humans. This region of space has its own politics, its own history and it’s own enemies. Ruled over by the World Council and it’s military arm, the United Planetary Faderation (UPF), the Expanse has recently been contacted by the factions of the Verge and through them the stellar nations of the Stellar Ring.
Governing Body: Council of Worlds. Military: United Planetary Federation Fleet
Dralasites are thoughtful, philosophical beings. Their communities are small, and many Dralasites prefer to live alone. They care little about wealth, power, or status. They judge themselves by the quality of their ideas and their ability to discuss important ideas wisely. Discussions and debates are among their favorite ways to relax. They delight in sharing old jokes and puns, although their sense of humor is rarely enjoyed as much by other species. Most Dralasites consider a shared joke a perfectly way to strengthen the bond between friends, and canny Dralasites even use jokes to confuse or disarm their enemies.
Humans of the Expanse are a mystery. They do not seem to have a homeworld but seem to have been found scattered through out the region. They have always been treated as second class citizens because of that. Some were even enslaved at one time. Now the human worlds are united under a alliance and work together to gain respect from the other major races.
Humans of the Zebulon’s space have coalesced into five major factions, as well as a dozen or so minor factions, based on a number of factors. For some, the primary has been based on subtle genetic differences. It has been found that whoever seeded the Expanse with humans, also subtle modified the genetics to form new subraces of humans. These humans tended to stick together like tribes. These are the closest things that the Humans of Zebulon’s Expanse has come to Stellar Nations. Because of historic oppression and discrimination by other alien powers in the Expanse, the Humans have only just begun to form political powers. Not all humans adhere to these factions but many do.
The Syndicate was formed by an alliance of labor unions and crime cadres from industrialized worlds. It originated from the world Laco in Dixon’s Star System, and is one of the stronger human groups in the Expanse, due to the heavy gravity of Laco. Secretly associated to this faction is the Kraatar Liberation Corps, a underground terrorist organization that contests Vrusk domination of Zebulon’s Space and seeks to expose the secret Vrusk agenda. The common genetic traits in this group are honorable warriors or stealthy rogues; great leaders or skillful tacticians.
House of Truani
The philosophical and diplomatic Truani were the primary instigators of the peace accord between humans and the other Expanse races after the Awakening. Formed from the merging of two factions – one from the bread-basket world of Circe in the Solar Minor system and the other from Truane’s Star, the Truani have led the crusade of peace and prosperity between the races. The contact with a new region of space (the Verge) and other humans has bolstered the political power of the House of Truani. The genetic stock that these humans came from were apparently used for protocol, scholars, and teachers. Psionics is common in this faction as well.
Formed of several human dominate mega-corporation, the largest being Cassidine Development Corp., Cassidinians are well known as being profiteers and merchants of most anything of value. They specialize in advanced technology and ancient alien artifact studies, but have branched out in almost every aspect of the Expanse’s economy. This genetic stock was traditionally the workers, developers and designers. Their society has evolved into entrepreneurs, explorers, and engineers. They are predisposed to learning more, to making things work better and fixing things that are broke.
The planet Kdikit in Madderly’s Star is home to another aggressive and warrior-like subrace of Zebulon Humans – Members of the Madderly Contingent. Some like to call them Madderly’s Madmen. Former’s of MercCo, the mercenary corporation, the Contingent is a more aggressive and intense warrior society than those of the Lacotian strain. Where the warriors of Lacotian are far more honorable and ethical, the warriors of the Contingent might seem barbaric and unconventional. They have a strong alliance with the Vrusk mega-corporation Streel and reap the political benefits from that alliance.
Pan Galactic is by far the largest human faction in the region and primary enemy of Streel Corp, the Vrusk megacorporation. Formed around the Pan Galactic Corporation, one of the first human formed mega-corporations, Pan-Gal is based out off the planet of the same name however they have extended influence in the Prenglar system as well.
This human strain is similar to the Cassidine strain except with a little more aggression, ambition and resiliences. Pan-Galactians seem to adapt well to adverse environments.
Vrusks seem to be the oldest and most enigmatic race of the Expanse. They seem to play the role of parent to the others in the Expanse. Their leadership and noble castes have an air of arrogance and an expectation of respect. Unfortunately, not all within the Expanse show them the respect they expect.
A vrusk resembles a large insect. Eight legs grow from its abdomen, four on each side. It somewhat humanoid torso is mounted upright in front of the abdomen, and it has two arms connected at the shoulders. Vrusk hands are circular pads with five fingers spaced evenly around the edge. A vrusk’s shoulders are double-jointed, allowing it to rotate its arms in a full circle without straining any muscles. This flexibility also enables a vrusk to reach any point on its abdomen or behind its back easily. A hard, jointed carapace covers the vrusk’s body. The carapace protects the vrusk from bruises, cuts, scratches, and otits minor injuries. A young vrusk has a blue carapace with bright orange near the joints. As the vrusk ages, its carapace changes to dull green with yellow joints. Unlike insects, a vrusk has an internal skeleton supporting its body. Its large eyes are protected by hard, transparent enamel, and four large eating mandibles surround the vrusk’s mouth. The two larger mandibles hold food while the small ones tear it apart and place it in the mouth. Vrusk are omnivores. They have lungs and breathe through many small nostrils under their abdomens; this arrangement makes it difficult for vrusk to swim. The average vrusk measures 5 feet tall and 5 feet long and weighs 185 to 200 pounds. Vrusk have excellent color vision, but they see more of the short wavelengths (blue and ultraviolet light) than humans do, and less of the long wavelengths (orange and red). Their sense of smell is centered in their antennae and is slightly better than the average human’s. They can also touch with their antennae. Their hearing is about the same as a human’s. A vrusk’s speech combines mandible clicks with buzzes produced by a plate in its mouth.
Vrusk are driven, practical beings who base their society and values around independent corporations. A vrusk’s company determines whom the vrusk lives with, what the vrusk’s job is, witse the vrusk travels, and so forth. Often, a vrusk gives its company name before its personal name, and any vrusk in the service of a company usually refers to itsself as “we.”
Yazirians have a well-deserved reputation as proud, fierce fighters. Yazirians choose a life enemy and dedicate their lives to destroying, overcoming, and outdoing that enemy as completely as possible. A Yazirian gains honor by striving to defeat their enemy, and a Yazirian with powerful enemies is respected and admired by her kin.
A Yazirian is a tall thin omnivorous simian-like humanoid with gangly limbs and a slender torso. Two large flaps of skin grow on each side of her body, attached to her arms, torso, and legs. When a Yazirian raises her arms, this membrane is stretched tight and forms a sort of wing. Under certain conditions, a Yazirian can use her wings to glide short distances. The average Yazirian stands between 5 1/2 and 6 feet tall and weighs 90 to 120 pounds.
The Expanse is engaged in a Cold War with an old enemy, the Sathar Empire. The UPF fought 3 wars with them, the last one ending in the destruction of what they thought was the Sathar homeworld. A treaty was signed and the Sathar faded away for 200 years.
The Vast Expanse
The Vast Expanse is the space between everything. Although the Stellar Ring and the Zebulon’s Expanse are large regions of space, the Galaxy is much bigger. Now the many factions of these regions work together and sometimes compete to explore the reaches of the Frontier