The Imperial Traveller's Library Service

A glossary for the Traveller roleplaying game

Another service of the Traveller's Aid Society

update 1115.000

This data base is assembled by the Society with the aim of providing the interstellar traveller with an accurate, up to date source of information about the Imperium, its worlds, and its surroundings. Included are entries on the major subjects most commonly requested by interstellar travellers. All in all, this data base is one the most comprehensive, widely accessible libraries in the Imperium. In addition, the system allows for continual updating and expansion, simply by connecting your portable data base to a local TAS computer system. To avoid filling too much memory space (always precious on a starship's computers), a large portion of the data is stored off-line, requiring specific action on the part of the operator. However, the most important core information may be immediately accessed by anyone with a minimum of computer literacy. It should be noted that the updating of the data tends to result in the content of a particular library being biassed towards the area in which the updating occurs. For example, this data base currently shows a lean towards information originating in the Imperial Spinward Marches. The core information is prefaced by the Emperor's List, a useful aid to viewing Imperial history. Following this is an alphabetical listing of the greater portion of the library's core data. Finally, there are essays on major aspects of Imperial society, etc.

Game Notes



The Argushiigi Admegulasha Bilanidin, which in Vilani literally means the "Vilani Repository of All Knowledge", is a major scientific institution on Vland. The extensive AAB facilities include a vast museum, a library, and several research centres and publishing houses. Not only does AAB collect samples, specimens, and recorded materials from all over explored space , but it also publishes an abridged 15 holocrystal encyclopedia set of its extensive data files. Known simply as "The Encyclopedia", the set contains the equivalent of 7500 extensively illustrated volumes, yet it can easily fit into a large pocket.


Archduke of Sol, Grand Admiral of the Rim. Adair's great grandmother held the post of Grand Admiral of the Rim during the Solomani Rim War, and was rewarded with the Archduchy.

Amber Zone

Traveller's Aid Society classification for a nation, world or system which presents a need for caution in dealings and activities. The amber zone may indicate chaos, upheaval, or xenophobia in local business, politics, society, or culture, or may be applied for other reasons. Travellers should exercise caution. See also Red Zone,Travel Zone.


The name given to a race of intelligent, alien beings who inhabited various locations in this portion of the galaxy approximately -300 000. Archeological evidence recovered from excavations of the few known Ancient cities indicates that the race destroyed itself during a 2000 year conflict known as the Final War, which left only ruined cities and shattered planets.

The Ancients were responsible for several major features within the region now occupied by the Imperium. Their warfare resulted in the large proportion of asteroid belts throughout this spiral arm. There is evidence that they created the multiworld rosette at Tireen (in the Vargr Extents). Scattered empty cities (most severely damaged by war) stand as evidence of their conflict; most, however, are under investigation by the Imperium and are not open to the public.

The Ancients are generally accepted as responsible for the dissemination of Humaniti within its current domain when they transplanted genetic stock from Terra to at least forty worlds across a span of some 360 parsecs. Similarly they were also responsible for the creation of the Vargr through the genetic manipulation of carnivore/chaser animals. Apparently they used Terran canine stock acquired at the same time as Humaniti. See also Antiquity, Humaniti, Solomani Hypothesis, Vargr.

Andory(Spinward Marches 0236 C695735-9)

Prime candidate for the Droyne homeworld. Discovered in 802 and placed under interdiction by Imperial Interstellar Scout Service. See also Droyne.


The official language of the Third Imperium. A distant descendant of Terran English, Anglic was the language of the Rule of Man (-2294 to -1776). Anglic remained a common interstellar language for trade and commerce during the Long Night. Its widespread use on the original worlds of the Third Imperium made it the natural language when the Imperium was established.

On many worlds, Anglic is only a second language used for system traffic control, commercial operations, and interstellar communications. Anglic is often called Galanglic (for Galactic Anglic). The Imperium has not been able to prevent the emergence of a wide variety of Anglic dialects. Interstellar communications, holocrystals, and recordings help to spread a uniform pronunciation of Anglic throughout the entire Imperium.

Within the Imperium, any Anglic speaker can understand almost any other, but isolated communities on worlds with little contact with interstellar trade lanes shift their speech patterns to form dialects. In addition, broad areas within the Imperium have established their own pronunciation patterns; accepted dialects include Rim (which includes Terra), Core (the central region of the Imperium), Riftian (the spinward frontiers), and Transform (the Antares region).


Trailing region of the Imperium. The name is applied to a variety of places at the trailing fringe of the Imperium.

Antares is a domain of the Imperium, a sector within that domain, and capital of that sector.

Antares, League of

An automonous region within the Imperium. The worlds were originally pressed into the Imperium in 89 during the Antarean Pacification Campaign. The worlds were occupied by the Julian Protectorate during the Julian War. When regained for the Imperium at the end of the war, the peace terms included a mandate that the League of Antares be given limited automony for control of trade, commerce, and internal affairs.

The automony of the League served as a model for the later establishment of the Solomani Automonous Region.

Ansing Expedition

Famous exploration of the accessible reaches of the gas giant Annikkittar in the Pretoria system in 870 to 884. Extensive use of specially designed exploration vessels, protective suits, and high technology equipment allowed the Ansing Foundation of Vland to extensively map and explore the upper reaches of the gas giant's atmosphere.


Literally, before the war. General historical term referring to the period within the Imperium before the Civil War, specifically 210 to 604.

The Antebellum period was characterised by expansion of the Imperium with large scale colonisation efforts, integration of numerous regions into Imperial society, and an overall mood of growth and exploration. With the end of the Antebellum period, the Imperium turned more attention inward and devoted resources to internal development and consolidation.

Antiquity(Corridor 0816 A223420-C)

One of the best preserved Ancient sites in existence. Discovered in 385, the site is unique in that many parts of it are still operational. The biggest problem faced by researchers has been figuring out what things did, and how they worked. Many items are still a mystery. See also Ancients.


Any manufactured object. The term artifact is commonly used to refer to any object, item or group of related items produced by the ancients.


A race of intelligent beings with an established interstellar dominion spinward and rimward of the Imperium; in addition large numbers have settled within the Imperium.

Aslan stand roughly human-sized, averaging 2.0 metres in height and weighing about lOOkg. They are descended from fourlimbed, upright, bipedal carnivore/pouncer stock originally adapted to a solitary arboreal existence.

The earliest Terran explorers saw in them a vague resemblance to the Terran lion, and they have been described (by Imperials) as lion- like ever since, although there is very little true similarity. The derivation of the word Aslan is unknown. There are two sexes, male and female. The most notable difference is the increased size and mane of the former. Females outnumber males by 3 to 1.

Aslan have a highly specialised dewclaw under each thumb which folds back jackknife fashion into a horny covering in the base of the thumb and palm.

A vast Aslan dominated region (the Aslan Hierate) lies far to rimward, but Aslan themselves have ranged well beyond its borders, with many settling within the Imperium and attaining full status as citizens. As such, they subordinate themselves to Imperial authority, although they have remained culturally separated from human society. Aslan serve in the Imperial armed forces; they achieve nobility; they pay taxes; they run businesses. See also Aslan Border Wars, Aslan Hierate.

Aslan Society

The Aslan are a warrior race, proud, noble, and devoted to those in authority above them. An individual Aslan is usually a member of a family of from 2 to 12 individuals under a patriarchal leader. Several families will combine into a pride with one dominant family. A number of prides form a clan, with a dominant pride. Aside from military organisations and the ruling council (within the Hierate), the clan is the highest socio-political unit among the Aslan.

A deep-seated territorial instinct causes the aslan to have an inordinate (from a human standpoint) concern with land. For male Aslan, owning land is a major goal in life. An Aslan's stature is determined by the amount of land he (or her husband) controls, or by the amount of land owned by any higher lord the Aslan may be vassal to. The lowest classes of Aslan are landless, and provide the farmers, labourers, craftsmen, and factory workers. A holder of a large territory will often grant authority over it to vassals (usually sons, brothers, or male relatives by marriage) who administer the land in his name.

The sexes have very different roles in Aslan society. Males (in all but the lower classes) are concerned mostly with military operations, acquisition of territory, and political affairs.

Females are concerned with trade, industry, and the accumulation of knowledge. Upper class males have little conception of money and are literally incapable of functioning in a technological society without aid, so they are thus seldom encountered without the supervision of a wife, mother, or other female relative or employer.

For instance, a typical Aslan mercenary unit will be organised by a wealthy married female, who will then assign its operation, for a share of the proceeds, to an unmarried female relative. The battle commander and most of the troops will be unmarried males (many of them also relatives) hired with the promise of land grants (and the opportunity to gain honour and reputation in combat); however, staff, operations, supply, and intelligence officers will generally be female.

The extremely deadly nature of any combat between Aslan has led to a rigid, ritualised pattern of behaviour designed to reduce conflict. Aslan are very polite, and while most have learnt to be patient with non-Aslan, accidental fights still occur. Disputes between individuals are handled by the patriarchs; disputes between families are handled by the pride leaders; disputes between prides are handled by clan leaders.

Aslan Calender

The Aslan calender is based on the period of Kuzu (the Aslan homeworld) around Tyeyo, its star. The Aslan ftahea (year) is 319.98 standard days in length. See also Aslan Border Wars, Aslan Hierate, Kuzu.

Aslan Border Wars (-1118 to 380)

A series of conflicts between various Aslan clans and human systems as the Aslan expanded toward already settled human territory. The Aslan achieved jump drive late(-1999) and proceeded to expand into available territory in their region of space. Contacts along their trailing border necessarily resulted in friction with the human systems in that region.

Because the Long Night was already well under way by the time the Aslan encountered humans, there was no central human government to resist Aslan attacks. Since there was no united Aslan authority either, the sides were fairly matched, and numerous small wars erupted between Aslan clans and human splinter states, with alliances between the various powers constantly forming and dissolving.

The border between human and Aslan space remained relatively constant, with a few systems changing hands after each war. At this time some clans also launched raids into the interior of the former Imperial domains, where they conquered and settled worlds as much as 40 parsecs beyond the border.

Once the Third Imperium expanded into the region(circa 200), its superior organisation and technology gradually put an end to the Aslan threat. The final treaties, known as the Peace of Ftahalr, were negotiated with all the major clans. They established a buffer zone about 30 parsecs wide between the Imperial border and the region of Aslan control. There has been no war since then(380), although the Solomani have violated portions of the zone and incorporated it into their boundaries. See also Aslan, Aslan Hierate.

Aslan Hierate

Interstellar, multisector government of the many Aslan clans. Aslan society centres on the clan. Within the Hierate, the family structure of the Aslan and the governmental structure are the same. The highest governmental functions are performed by a council of twenty-nine clan leaders chosen from amongst the most powerful clans.

"the 29"(as they are known) have a quasireligious status and represent the essential unity of the Aslan race. To be chosen one of the "the 29" is the highest honour to which an Aslan can aspire. The 29 meet continuously on Kuzu to adjudicate interclan disputes and decide matters of group policy. No member of the 29 speaks for the Hierate as a whole, nor does the whole 29.

There are no Hierate armed forces; each clan has its own, and rarely act in concert with those of other clans. The Hierate itself can call upon military forces only in so far as the clans themselves agree to provide such forces. Even the minor forces conveying the 29's decisions are actually under the control of individual clan leaders.

Assassination, Right of

A method of ascension to the Imperial throne which involves the assassination of the present Emperor, along with all heirs, by the pretender to the throne. The assassin can then claim the throne, subject to the approval of the Moot. Originally established in order to remove the Emperor Cleon III (also known as Cleon the Mad) when he demonstrated homicidal tendancies.

However, the murder of Empress Nicholle by Cleon IV in 475 led to a revival of the method, and ultimately to the Civil War in 606.


The science of mapping interstellar space. Basic to any science of mapping is a coordinate system. The system used by the Imperium is based on rings of longitude, rays of latitude, and parsecs. By convention, rays of latitude are measured from a starting point at Reference/Core, this world being at ray 0000 and on the ring 10 000 parsecs from the centre of the galaxy.

The system is highly Imperio-centric, and liable to break down beyond certain limits. However it admirably serves within the area surrounding the Imperium. Other states use different conventions, but the Imperial system is widely accepted by many client states. In ordinary discourse, a world is refered to by its name, sector and/or subsector. For example the home of the first Barracks Emperor, Olav, is Rhylanor/Rhylanor/Spinward Marches)


Fruity wine produced on Zila from trakes. Atrake enjoys a reputation within the Marches as a quality wine, largely due to extensive marketing by Tukera Lines.


Bad War/Good War

See Good War/Bad War.

Barracks Emperors

Collective term describing the succession of emperors springing from military backgrounds(and usually seizing the throne by force) during the Civil War. See also Emperors of the Flag.

Battle Rider

Non-jump capable ship intended to stand in the line of battle in space combat and carried interstellar by a battle tender. Two opposite views in naval architecture have dominated the design of the major battleships of space navies. The battle rider concept involves a large jump-capable tender carrying many (two to ten) heavily armed and armoured battle riders. The opposite concept is the battleship, a large jump-capable ship which carries the jump drives and fuel tanks internally.

The battle tender, so integral to the concept of the battle rider, is little more than a large dispersed structure with jump drives, fuel tanks, and basic controls. By dispensimg with the need for jump drives and associated fuel tanks on each of the riders, each becomes ton for ton more heavily armed and armoured.

It is generally held that, in any meeting between a battleship and a battle rider of equal displacement, the battle rider will triumph. See also Battleship, Battle Tender.


Jump capable starship intended to stand in the line of battle in space combat.

The battleship concept involves well armed and armoured starships of massive displacement and capable of meeting almost any adversary. In battle against superior forces, however, the battleship can flee using its own jump drives. The opposite concept (of battle riders carried into combat by a battle tender) does not allow for the possibility of superior force; no matter how good a rider is, if it meets a superior adversary, it is placed in a posistion of winning or dying. Retreat is nearly impossible without losses. See also Battle Rider.

Battle Tender

Interstellar ship transport intended to carry battle riders into combat. Generally a dispersed structure, it transports a squadron of battle riders ready for immediate launch upon entry into a system. While riders press the attack, the tender stays in the reserve for protection. See also Battle Rider.

"Behind the Claw"

A slang term used by inhabitants of the Spinward Marches, Deneb and Trojan Reaches sectors to refer to these areas. The term derives from a supposed resemblance between a claw and the Great Rift, as seen on maps of the Imperium.

Inhabitants of this region feel a certain pride in the designation, and it is used to imply that they share a camaraderie and common interest. The name was once used as the title of a popular news magazine with a circulation area encompassing the three sectors named above. The term is rarely used by inhabitants of other areas of the Imperium.

Belt Mining

The process of extracting useful minerals and other substances from asteroids. Asteroids fall into three basic categories for mining purposes.

Nickel Iron
Nickel-iron asteroids are reasonably dense, high-grade sources of metals, and are also useful to the shipbuilding industry as hull material.
The most common asteroid type, and also that with the lowest value. The best markets for such rocks are space colonies and largeistations which make use of the various useful elements which can extracted from them.
Ice chunks
Made up of frozen volatiles, including methane, water, etc. Hence, these "dirty snowballs" are a source of hydrogen fuel, and so support "ice miners". The main markets are starports and space stations which cannot, for one reason or another, use more convenient sources, such as oceans or gas giants.

None of these types are particularly valuable, and will never make a miner rich. However many asteroids, especially nickeliron types, contain rare minerals, platinum, lanthanum, etc.

Occasionally, an asteroid may be valuable for scientific, or even aesthetic, purposes. Finally there are the products of civilisations, from the week old wreck to the treasure trove of the Ancients.


Strictly speaking, one who practises the profession of asteroid prospector and miner, usually working alone or with a small number of partners. Loosely, any resident of an asteroid belt (including citizens of civilised belts such as Glisten, some of whom have never been in a spaceship).

Blistein Yards

The Blistein company of Glisten (Spinward Marches/Glisten) has achieved a high reputation for specialist starships of nonstreamlined types. Although constructing on a small scale compared to builders like Ling Standard, Blistein vessels are sought after due to their attention to customers' special requirements.

Blistein is the main supplier of private yachts to the Marcher Nobility, and this provides the bulk of their output.

Occasionally, however, a class of vessels such as the Leviathan merchant cruisers are turned out, and several powered planetoid types have also been constructed.


Any defensive non-starship. In general, the term boat is reserved for craft produced for local defensive operations. While non-interstellar in nature, they are heavily armed and armoured.

Also, any small craft used interplanetary. See also Gunboat, System Defence Boat.


Archduke of Antares. Brzk's great- (to the eighth) grandfather, Admiral Soegz, was a loyal supporter of Arbellatra in the final years of the Civil War.


Capital (Core/Capital 2118 A586A98-F)

Central world of the Imperium and seat of government since its founding. Situated in the centre of the Imperium, Capital's astrographical posistion has proven of prime importance as a communications hub, a cultural centre, and an industrial focus.


Name commonly applied to the K'kree, because of their resemblance to a mythical Terran creature. See also K'kree.

Children of the March

A fleet intruder (later frontier cruiser) of the Azhanti High Lightening class. Tail number 6355. Laid down 095- 994. First flight 117-997. Displacement 60 000 and heavily armed.

The Children of the March was unusual in this class of ships primarily for its method of finance. The boost to subsector ecomony created by the award of starship construction contracts is always important enough to make all areas of the Imperium vie for the privilege. At the time of the bidding invitations, the Solomani Rim War (990 to 1002) was burning on the other side of the Imperium; there was little chance that the Spinward Marches would receive a contract.

The Duke of Regina, speaking for the Marches, proposed that the marches fund one additional ship from its own resources, on condition that the Marches would receive a portion of the total run. The school children of the worlds within the Marches contributed their lunch money, at a quarter credit each, for the ultimate funding of one ship, and it was named Children of the March in their honour. Reportedly, some backwater schools districts still collect for the "Starship Fund".

Church of the Chosen Ones

A fanatical Vargr sect which believes that the Ancients not only "invented" the Vargr race by genetic manipulation of Terran carnivores, but that the Ancients also returned to the Vargr several times and improved the race to the point that it could take its rightful place as the leader of this part of the galaxy. Some Church members even believe that the Ancients will return to bring this about. The Church has waned in influence since its founding 200 years ago, but it still has followers on many worlds. See also Vargr.

Ciencia Iphegenia (b. 1088)

Grand Princess of the Imperium, daughter of the Emperor Strephon and Empress Iolanthe. As heir to the Iridium throne, Grand Princess Iphegenia has been educated from birth to eventually assume the mantle of authority for the Imperium. Her early fascination with the sciences prompted an extensive interest in the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service, which considers her its patron.

Civil War (606 to 622)

Fought between various factions within the Imperium for control of the bureacracy. It had its origin in the strain on communications within the Imperium caused by the long time lags dictated by the very size of the Imperium. To cite one cause, however, would be simplistic. The diverse backgrounds of the many constituents of the Imperium had its effects, as did rivalry for power by major naval and military commanders and a lessening in the Imperium's expansionist tendancies.

The spark which started the Civil War came from the First Frontier War (589 to 604) in the Spinward Marches. Communication lags and a lack of preparedness forced the Marches to conduct most of the war on its own with| little additional help or support from the Imperium. Grand Admiral of the Marches Olav hault-Plankwell forced the war to an end and found solid support for a new government. Marching on Capital with his war fleet, he forced an audience with Empress Jacqueline I, supposedly for recognition of his war effort. In the course of the meeting he personally murdered the Empress, and then proclaimed himself Emperor by right of fleet control. The ensuing power struggle lasted through 18 years and 17 emperors.

The fighting in the Civil War was of two varieties: fringe battles for power bases, and central battles for power in the Core. The fringe battles were fought throughout the Imperium as rival factions recruited forces. Once any power block built up enough strength to make victory seem possible, the forces were moved to the Core and used to either seize power or to wrest it away from someone else.

But there was also a cheaper, easier route open to many. The dynastic crisis of 244 had produced a precedent for assassination of the emperor if he or she overstepped the bounds of legitimate activity. The concept was introduced to legitimise the elimination of Cleon the Mad and was never intended for any other purpose. Nevertheless, in the turmoil of the Civil War, assassination was introduced and accepted, at least by those utilising the technique, as a way of promoting a succession in government.

The line of Emperors during the Civil War came mostly from naval officers, and they are collectively called the Emperors of the Flag. Of these seventeen seven were assassinated and ten were killed in battle; the line was ended by the person sometimes considered the eighteenth Emperor of the Flag - Arbellatra.

During the course of the Civil War, the Outworld Coalition (of Zhodani and Vargr) saw that their defeat in the First Frontier War at the hands of Olav need not be permenant. They attacked again in the Second Frontier War (615 to 620). Their defeat in that war had greater effects than they would know. Grand Admiral Arbellatra Alkhalikoi managed the meager forces of the Spinward Marches against the Coalition and forced a second defeat.

Arbellatra's strategy after the war was (like Olav) to march on Capital and seize power. She, however, did not make the mistake of seizing the throne. Instead, she defeated the putative emperor and then took possession of power, holding it in trust for a rightful successor. She held the post of regent for seven years while a search for a member of Jacqueline's family could be found to take the throne. In the stability that followed with her as regent, she made an impression on the Moot and succeeded in establishing a broad power base. Ultimately, the Moot approached her to take the throne herself, an end which was probably in her mind all along.

With the end of the Civil War, the Imperium entered a period of renewed expansion and consolidation. The express boat system was established to enhance government, commercial, and private communications; the Solomani influence in the Imperium was lessened and replaced with a more cosmopolitan policy; renewed efforts at interior development of existing Imperial territories provided a new focus for the nobles of the Moot. See also Emperors' List, First Frontier War, Moot, Outworld Coalition, Second Frontier War.

Clan Severn

A Rhylanor based shipbuilder, with associated facilities on Jae Tellona and Margesi. The Rhylanor yard concentrates on filling Naval contracts, while civil and merchant operations are dealt with on Margesi. The Jae Tellona facilities engages primarily in maintenance and overhauls, but is also capable of constructing some of the simpler components for the other yards.

Client State

An independent political unit which has elected (or had forced upon it) the patronage of a larger political unit.

This relationship is generally mutually beneficial and is essentially commercial in nature. That is, the political or defensive ties which may be part of any patron-client relationship are ultimately intended to promote trade between the two.


Group of independent states, worlds, or systems united for specified purposes while generally retaining more freedom of action than the members of a federation. Also known as a league or alliance (especially of princes, nations, states, worlds, or systems).


Imperial sector containing 267 systems dramatically split by the Great Rift; 69 systems lie rimward of the Rift and 149 systems form the coreward third of the sector. Corridor is named for its role connecting old, well-established Vland sector with the frontier sectors Deneb and the Spinward Marches. The name Corridor dates from about 140 and has displaced the old Vilani name (Eneri, rough translation: "star salad") for the sector.


Of the rare artifacts recovered from Ancient sites, the most common are coyns, small disks of metal engraved with various symbols. Their specific use is unknown. It may be that the objects served as money, jewelry, mystic focii, or some other unknown purpose.

Coyns have been found in various precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, iridium, and even monadium. Sets range in size from six to thirty-eight pieces and are considered desirable to museums throughout the Imperium. Each coyn has a scrap value of Cr400 (if gold); to a museum, the value is closer to Cr4000.

Crisis of '99

Albert Croale, in his book Almost Disaster presents a hypothesis that the Third Frontier War (979 to 986) occurred two centuries too late. After reviewing the progress of events in the spinward reaches of the Imperium from the antebellum period to the late seventh century, Croale then analyses the rise of the Psionics Institutes, their growing public acceptance, and their spreading power. Finally, he presents that a straight projection of events would predict a resurgence of the Outworld Coalition, increased hostilities, and a Third Frontier War.

Instead, his hypothesis as stated in his book indicates that the Psionic Suppressions (800 to 826 and beyond) were a massive manipulation of the population of the Imperium, a form of psychohistory, intended to eliminate the power of the institutes.

Preparations were ongoing for war, and the Imperium made representations of strength (in 799) to the Coalition. It backed down.

But the pyschohistory project went wrong and resulted in widespread rejection of psionics as a whole within the Imperium to the point that even the government had difficulty in using the science of psionics for its official purposes.


A ship capable of independant operations and of support of the main line of battle. Cruisers are intended to fulfil two diverse missions- in battle, they support and reinforce capital ships which are present and which form the main line of battle, generally from the flanks, and they perform seperate operations, often acting as the centre of task forces which have no capital ships. Cruisers are also put to use as independant ships.

Currency, Imperial

The basic unit of legal tender in the Imperium is the Imperial credit. Individual worlds may issue their own currencies, and those currencies may or may not be acceptable on other worlds. Similarly, corporations and megacorporations may issue scrip, and its acceptance outside of the corporate environment is a matter of conjecture. But Imperial credits are accepted everywhere in the Imperium and many locations outside of it.

Imperial credits are almost impossible to counterfeit because of their unique method of manufacture. Plastic fibres are combined under high temperature and pressure and extruded as a rectangular bundle of great length. The different coloured fibres form the pattern of the bill. It is not printed but actually made a part of the structure of the note. The bundle is sliced into paper thinness, and a 14-digit alphanumeric is added for uniqueness.

Credit bills are issued in 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 10000 credit denominations. Plastic coins, manufactured in a similar manner in various shapes, are issued in quarter (a quart), half (a demi), one, and five (a bec) credit denominations.

Imperial credits can be bulky in large enough quantities. Bills measure 75 x 125 millimetres; 1000 bills stand 50 millimetres high and weigh 500 grammes.



Cultural region in the Zarushagar sector. Darmine had a separate but submerged cultural identity within the First Imperium and happily threw off that domination when the First Imperium fell.

Allowed to flourish by the Rule of Man, the community of worlds survived the Long Night with little harm. Darmine was the major focus of the Ilelish Pacification Campaign (76 to 120).

Darrian Confederation

Group of worlds in the Darrian subsector (Spinward Marches) settled by humans from Darrian (Spinward Marches/Darrian 0627 A463955-G) during the period 1137 to -927.

The current capital is Mire (Spinward Marches/ Darrian 0527 A665A95).

The Darrian Confederation contains 18 worlds within the same subsector and has a population of 17.19 billion. Darrians are humans who developed independently on Darrian. Some Solomani blood is evident from Solomani traders who encountered Darrian in -1511 and provided them with sufficient technology to explore their subsector.

The Darrian Confederation is a Client State of the Imperium. It has had long standing conflicts with the Sword Worlds. See also Humans.

Delgado Trading, LIC

Originally a manufacturer of military hardware and widely known for their work in minaturisation, Delgado has extensive holdings in heavy mineral mining and refining, publishing, antiquities trading, and recently, the toy industry.

Founded in997, Delgado is the youngest of the megacorporations.

Stock Ownership: Imperial Family- 5%, Delgado family- 47%, Noble families- 27%, Private ownership-21%.


Imperial sector containing 385 systems lying beyond the Great Rift; named for the sector's brightest star, Deneb.

Deneb sector was fragmentarily settled by both Vilani and Vargr during the latter years of the First Imperium, but major developments of the sector only took place after Third Imperium Scout Service explorations located major resource worlds in quantity.

Industrial worlds that exploited those resources soon created trade routes and commercial ties that linked the Imperial core with the Spinward Marches.

Deneb sector is primarily Imperial. The Imperial border runs just within the coreward edge of the sector, and scattered Vargr systems (as well as non-aligned systems and client states) lie beyond the border.

Digest Touring Award

Outstanding journalism award offered every seven years by the Travellers Digest magazine (a popular magazine with a wide circulation in the spinward sectors of the Imperium, available on either plastic vellum or electronic media).

The recipient, who must be a professional journalist living and working "behind the claw", is given honorary membership in the Travellers' Aid Society. (worth one million credits); he or she is then expected to travel through the region during the tenure of the award and to submit a feature article once every thirteen weeks. The intent of the Digest is to "promote understanding of cultural diversity within the Imperium". The most recent winner of the award, in 1100 is Akidda Laagiir an editor of the Mora World Review on Mora (Spinward Marches/Mora 0704 AA99AC7-F).

Directions, Galactic

North, south, east, west are insufficient terms for referring to directions within the galaxy. Instead, the following conventions have achieved widespread acceptance when referring to direction:

Toward the galactic core (toward Capital from Terra) is coreward; away from it, in the direction of the rim, is rimward. In the direction in which the galaxy is rotating (toward Regina from Vland) is spinward, and the opposite direction is trailing.

These directions are widely used in describing Imperial features and businesses. For example, the Spinward Marches is a Sector at the extreme spinward fringe of the Imperium.

Finally, within the Imperium, the term coreward is also used to indicate the direction of Capital, the Imperial core. There is some potential for confusion if the term is accepted out of context.


Group of four sectors within the Imperium under the general control and direction of an Archduke. Since the Civil War, the importance of the Domains has been considerably reduced.

Dresden (b.1051)

Duke of Sanches. Dresden married Princess Lydia in 1092. They issued two sons (the twin princes, Varian and Lucan) in 1094.


Intelligent major race inhabiting scattered worlds within an area larger than the region of the current Third Imperium. The Droyne are a small race derived from winged omnivore gatherers.

They vary in size depending on caste but generally stand one metre tall (large workers and warriors can be larger than humans). The history of their evolution remains a puzzle because their homeworld is not known with any certainty.

Droyne society is divided into rigid castes determined when an individual reaches adolescence. The six castes of the Droyne each serve different functions within Droyne society. Although identical at the time of caste selection, caste members develop pronounced physical and mental differences by maturity. Different genetic programs are awakened by differences in diet and environment among the various castes. Young leaders, for instance, experience a nearly 30 percent increase in brain size in the first year after casting. The following are descriptions and definitions of castes:

Manual labour and mundane ordinary activity are not too smart and are temperamentally suited to contentment with ordinary labour and subservient tasks.
Trained for combat and possessing comparatively well developed muscles and reflexes, the warrior is the security troop, the marine, and the policeman of the Droyne culture. They are common in frontier bases, and less numerous in civilised areas.
Drones have a variety of purposes in Droyne society. They perform a reproductive role which makes them parents to Droyne young, and they have a role in the ceremonies which determine caste for maturing young. In addition, drones comprise a sort of middle management caste, which is responsible for many of the routine functions in business, trade, and administration.
This caste is the science-orientated portion of Droyne society and is concerned with both research and practical implementation of technology.
Although the caste system of the Droyne is rather rigid, the sport is the deliberately accepted exception to caste structure. Sports are special individuals who cross caste lines to become scouts, messengers, representatives, hunters, prospectors, and to take other occupations that require individual initiative or separation from Droyne society for long periods of time. A sport is the most commonly encountered Droyne outside their own worlds.
Leaders are required to manage and direct society. They are ultimately responsible for everything that the Droyne as a whole do.

Society: There is little individual freedom in Droyne society, and as a result, society and government join into one concept.

Workers work. Leaders lead. All of society is dedicated to continuing the existence that provides all members with food, shelter and the other amenities that make life enjoyable. In addition, there is little discord in Droyne society when things are running smoothly, as each member of society has its own function to perform. Only when disaster occurs is the group forced to strain.

A typical Droyne group consists of a variety of Droyne from the different castes. There will be many workers, few drones and leaders, and technicians and warriors based on current needs.

Each group will also have several sports, although they may not be present; instead they may be occupied with their own solitary tasks.

This is not to say Droyne are mindless. Leaders are-quite capable and responsible; warriors haveistrategic and tactical senses; technicians are inventive and clever. But all accept the central group as a part of their lives and work for its benefit above their own.


Archduke of Ilelish. The newest of the archdukes, appointed by Strephon in 1099, a decision which has since met with much controversy.



Sophont race native to Yebab. Ebokin (singular: Eibokin) are bilaterally symmetrical and are built low to the ground, with eight legs and four small manipulative arms set close to the head. Adult female Ebokin average 0.8 metres tall, 1.5 metres long, and 130 kg in weight; males are somewhat smaller. Ebokin society is a very conservative matriarchy, bound by strict, unchanging laws. Ebokin seldom leave their homeworld.


Ex-imperial Navy fleet intruder (formally the Sparkling Distress) of the Azhanti High Lightening class. Tail number 6379.

Laid down 138-997. First flight 121-1000.

Currently in Oberlindes Lines service in the Vargr Extents.

Somehow, Oberlindes managed to purchase the ship with its weaponry intact, which violates Imperial regulations. Thus, the ship is unable to return to the Imperium. However, the Emissary has operated successfully as an Oberlindes flagship in the Extents and has proven effective, by the implied threat of its presence, in protecting Oberlindes shipping from piracy. The Emissary is armed with a large spinal mount particle accelerator and considerable secondary weaponry

Emperors of the Flag

During the Civil War period (604 to 622), the Imperium was in the hands of a series of naval officers of flag (admiral) rank. These eighteen emperors achieved the throne through assassination, fleet action, political manoeuvres, and general mayhem. The year 619 particularly saw six emperors hold the throne, none of them for more than three months.

The succession of Emperors of the Flag began with the seizure of the throne by Olav hault-Plankwell in 604, which precipitated the Civil War. It ended with the naming of Arbellatra as regent of the Imperium by the Moot in 622. See also Civil War.


Group of independent states, duchies, nations, tribes, worlds or systems under the supreme rule of one emperor.

Express Boat

Rapid communication ships which are designed to make optimum use of jump technology in communicating information within the Imperium. Because the Imperium is so large, ordinary communication must depend on ships travelling along established trade routes, making Regina nearly 4 years out from the Imperial Core.

The express boat (abbreviated Xboat) system, established originally in 624 and expanded to cover the entire Imperium by 718, cuts this communication time by nearly 75 percent. Selected locations along major trade routes are established as sites for express stations, which are orbital facilities which service and refuel the Xboats on their communication runs.

As an Xboat arrives in a system, it beams its recorded data to the express boat station, which then retransmits it to an Xboat standing by for a jump outsystem. Time between jumps is almost always under four hours and has been recorded at under seven minutes, making the speed of communication nearly the speed of jump (since Xboats carry jump-4 drives, speeds near four parsecs a week). In practise, this speed is somewhat reduced by the fact that trade routes do not follow straight lines and that not all jumps are made at jump-4. Nonetheless, the system achieves approximately jump-2.6 per week.


False War

See Fourth Frontier War.


Group of states, worlds, or systems, each internally independent, joined into a union to which has been surrendered certain rights and responsibilities, most generally to do with foreign affairs.

First Frontier War (589 to 604)

The first of the border clashes between the Imperium and the Zhodani, which sparked the beginning of a continuing antipathy between the two major lines of humaniti.

With the conclusion of the war, Olav hault-Plankwell returned to the Imperial core with his war fleet and took the reins of government, dispatching Empress Jacqueline and thus starting the Civil War and the reign of the Barracks Emperors.

First Imperium (-4045 to -2204)

The first modern interstellar civilisation, politically and culturally dominated by humans originating on Vland. The jump drive was discovered on Vland in -9235. Immediately the Vilani discovered a number of interfertile and technologically primitive human races on worlds within 60 parsecs. These were gradually brought to a high technology state with Vilani help and assimilated into a loose interstellar community bound by trade and common culture.

Eventually, the client races themselves explored beyond the local sphere, contacting and trading with still more races. These new races gained their technology without being assimilated into the Vilani culture; the resulting increased friction caused a series of wars beginning in about -5400.

In response to the threat, Vland began tightening its control of its trade sphere, and finally organising it into a centralised state in -5273. This marked the beginnings of the First Imperium, although there was as yet no emperor. During the thousand year period of the Consolidation Wars, Vland conquered and absorbed its enemies until there were no longer any civilised states on its borders (except for a portion of the Vargr Extents, isolated from the Imperium by the Windhorn).

The last war ended in -4045, and the Vilani declared the establishment of an interstellar empire to govern all Vilani territory. Known as the Grand Empire of the Stars or Ziru Sirka, the Vilani dating begins at this point. With no exterior threats, the Ziru Sirka lasted for nearly 1200 years; at its height, which was attained soon after the end of the wars, the First Imperium contained 27 sectors and over 15 000 worlds.

However, the cost of maintaining centralised control over this vast expanse was cultural rigidity; exploration had ceased with the beginning of the wars; now scientific research slowed to a halt, and the beginnings of a hereditary caste system began to emerge. Civilisation was in decline.

As long as there was no exterior threat, the Grand Empire was safe; but gradually, despite all efforts, technology leaked across the borders. New interstellar states arose, and the Imperium could no longer afford to absorb them. Slowly, the Imperium lost territory along its coreward and trailing marches.

Then, in -2422, the Imperium was contacted along its rimward border by the Terrans, who had recently emerged into space.

Terran expansionism led to a series of interstellar wars which ultimately resulted in Terran conquest of the Imperium in -2204 and the founding of the Rule of Man.

First Interstellar War (-2408 to - 2400)

The first military engagement between the Vilani of the First Imperium, and the Solomani of the Terran Confederation. This began an on-again, off- again series of wars between these two major human races, which ended in the defeat of the First Imperium and the beginning of the ascendance of the Solomani. See also Nth Interstellar War.

Flame Sculpture

A Darrian art form. Developed before the super- nova which destroyed interstellar interaction in that region for 700 years. Initially, techniques were invented to shape flame using gravitic technology, application being in such things as cutting torches. However, it was discovered that the flames could be molded, and artisans began practising this new art. Busts, landscapes, and other 3-D subjects were sculpted in flame, along with letters, company names and logos.

As with many Darrian artifacts, those created before the disaster (known as Early sculpture) are considered the best, and are all simple in form, with the rarest being sculpted while the Darrian worlds struggled to survive (known as Maghiz) Modern sculpture is far more complex than the older forms, and is less prized by art lovers.

Fourth Frontier War (1082 to 1084)

Also known as the False War.

Short inconclusive war fought primarily in the Jewell subsector (Spinward Marches sector) between the Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate. The war began with initial assaults by the Zhodani against Jewell and Regina subsectors stalled at the borders. Its final battle the Battle of Two Suns, 1084, was waged in the vicinity of Yres and Menorb and resulted in Imperial victory. The armistice was signed before instructions for the conduct of the war were received from Capital.



Primary language of the Third Imperium. See Anglic.

Gas Giant

A large planet with an extensive atmosphere of hydrogen and hydrogen compounds. Starships fuel themselves by diving into this atmosphere and skimming hydrogen from it.

Jupiter, in the Sol system, is an example of a gas giant.

General Products, LIC

Largely concerned with heavy industry, General is a manufacturer of starships, non-starships and heavy machinery of all sorts. General is known for inexpensive products of adequate quality, but of late its starship division (particulary its military products) has been plagued with disaster.

The corporation was formed by the merger of a number of smaller manufacturing concerns shortly after the end of the Civil War, in the period 620 to 622.

In the Spinward Marches, General owns the shipyards on Regina and Efate, and holds the maintenance conccesion at Pixie naval base in addition to other insatallations. The last military contract held by these yards was for four Kinunir class vanguard escorts, all ill fated, and none presently in service.

Stock Ownership: Imperial family- 5%, Hortalez et Cie- 26%, Noble families- 35%, Private ownership- 12%, Antares Holdings- 12%, Others- 10%.

Glea (Central/Glea 2609 A667800-F)

Main coordinating centre of the Hive Federation since 410. Centre of the Glean Cluster, an unusually rich grouping of 16 Hiver-habitable worlds which are mutually accessible by jump-1 shipping.

Good War/Bad War

The terms "good war" and "bad war" are expressions used by mercenary soldiers to differentiate between small-scale actions, not involving Imperial forces, and large scale conflicts involving Imperial forces, including wars between the Imperium and other states.

Small scale actions are viewed as good because generally the Imperial rules of war are observed, preventing, among other things, the use of nuclear weapons. Good wars are usually short and not particulary bloody. A unit in a tight spot need merely surrender and activate its repatriation bonds to be removed from combatant status. Even antiguerilla actions are good, under this classification, because of the fact that although most guerillas usually observe no restraint with captured government forces, captured mercenaries can usually be ransomed to serve as a source of income.

A war is bad when no such controls are in effect, and a mercenary unit will be subject to the full horrors of war. Mercenary units are understandably reluctant to accept bad war contracts, but they may be forced into them, especially when near the border areas.

Grand Prince

Imperial titular designation of the heir to the Iridium Throne. Under Imperial custom, the eldest daughter or son of the Emperor becomes heir to the throne at the age of 12.

Elaborate ceremonies confer the title Grand Prince (or Grand Princess) on the heir and proclaim the information to the Imperium.

Great Rift

Broad expanse of space with a very low density of stars lying on the spinward borders of the main region of the Third Imperium. The Great Rift is a pronounced impediment to to interstellar travel, and it constrains jumps to the Spinward Marches through the Corridor sector.

The Great Rifts is one of the many astrographic features which have provided long-term security for the Third Imperium. By its very nature, the Great Rift has made outside incursions difficult, which has made the interior of the Imperium a secure population centre.


Herbivore native to Fulacin in the Rhylanor subsector.

Individual groats are harmless, but the outer members of a herd will attack any perceived danger in groups.

Groats have been transplanted to several worlds in the Aramis subsector, most notably Focaline.

The groat's shaggy hair (known as groatle) is the most obvious resources it provides. Once sheared, cleaned, and groomed, it has a softness and silkiness rivalling the finest synthetic. In addition, groatle contains metal salts, which has two beneficial effects. First, groatle cloth is proof against most small lifeforms (such as Terran moths) which eat other animal fibres.

Second, a simple chemical treatment brings out an iridescent, shimmering quality which is very attractive. Groats are also raised for their meat, which is highly prized by Vargr.

GSbAG (Geschichtkries Sternschiffbau AG)

Founded, according to company propaganda, in -2438 from a consortium of old Terran manufacturing firms. In actual fact, there is no concrete evidence of the corporation's existance prior to a contract with the Sylean Federation Navy in -334. Unlike other manufacturers, GSbAG (populary known as Gas-bag) has restricted itself almost exclusively to the manufacture of starships since its earliest known existance.

GSbAG is one of two firms charged with the manufacture of the personal vessels of the Imperial family and is a major contractor for the Imperial military. Their products command extremely high prices, but it is generally conceded that the quality makes them well worth it.

Stock ownership: Hortalez et Cie- 19%, Imperial family- 4%, Noble families (includes the families of the legendary founders)- 44%, Other corporations- 13%, Private investors- 4%, Other- 16%.

Guaran (Ricenden/Guaran 0827 A565800-F)

Homeworld of the Hivers.

Guaran has no special political importance, although it attracts millions of tourists annually from all over the Federation.


Ultimately, the distinction between ground, air sea and space craft disappears for military vehicles, and a single type of vehicle assumes all of the roles for system defence. Called gunboats, they are capable of extended operations in vacuum, atmosphere and water, ready to continue resistance to enemy action. Individually, the vessels are strongly armed, and can fight enemy ships while later supporting ground troops or bombing enemy installations. Further, they can continue resistance for long periods, hiding in oceans or local gas giants, and coming out only when there is promise of enemy losses.

Typically, a gunboat is fast, well-armed and well-armoured. It is capable of a wide variety of military responses, and has a high survival potential. Displacement is 200 to 600 tons. See also System Defense Boat.


A language group (including Gvegh, Gvegh-Aek, Knithnour, Uedhu, and Taeksu), spoken by 60% of all Vargr in the Spinward Marches, Deneb, and the sectors immediately coreward. Thus, it is the most commonly encountered Vargr language.



Intelligent major race with a large federation trailing the Imperium. Hivers average 1.5 meters from ground to top of upraised head and weigh about 150 kg. Descended from omnivore gatherer/scavenger stock, they are the most alien of the major races. Hivers exhibit a modified six-fold radial symmetry; the body has a calcareous internal skeleton consisting of a series of rings supporting the limbs and a fused carapace protecting the brain and internal organs.

The head is a modification of one of the limbs and contains six eyestalks and six manipulative tentacles, plus paired infrared sensor organs. The other five limbs are identical (except for slight modifications of the hand opposite the head) and are used as arms and legs indiscriminately. Each limb ends in a six-fingered radial hand. Fingers are very flexible and have muscular suction cups on the lower surface about halfway to the tips. Hiver arms and hands are generally weaker than a human's but are very tough and difficult to injure.

The mouth (digestive opening) is on the lower surface of the body. There is no sound-producing organ, but Hivers do have three ears placed around the neck near the head. Hivers have only one sex. Reproductive cells are exchanged each time that Hivers meet, using the modified rear hand (the process has been termed by humans as "shaking hands"). The cells are kept in a reproductive pouch on the lower body surface where they conjugate and exchange genetic material. Once every forty days or so, a cell develops into a larva, which then drops from the parent's body.

Hive planets are mostly wilderness, and the larva enter the wilds, where most are killed. After about a year, survivors return to civilization, where they are welcomed into any nest and begin their education as citizens. Parental instinct in Hivers is very strong, and the young are adopted by the entire nest. (Note that this instinct applies only to the year old returnees; Hivers have no concern for younger larvae, and in fact they consider them minor pests).

Hiver language is a combination of arm/tentacle waving and physical contact. The written language is ideographic and is used as a standard language among the races of the Hive Federation. Hivers talking among themselves use all three aspects of language (gesture, touch and writing) at once, a process capable of great subtlety and sophistication, but unintelligible to the outsider.

Hivers are unique among the major races in that they had a complex culture before becoming sentient. Originally, they lived in the tunnels and built-up mounds of a large (1000 kilogram) burrowing animal. In exchange for shelter, they gave food. They farmed fungus and foraged outside for decaying vegetation and dead animals as a source of food for the fungus.

Burrowers were allowed to graze the in the farm tunnels. Hivers ate the fungus and whatever fresh food they could find outside. Intelligence arose as the outside environment changed, forcing the foraging parties to travel farther to discover new sources of food and fertilizer; foragers advanced from simple scavenging and gathering efforts to complex cooperative efforts of hunting and trapping live game.

Today, fungus remains the staple of the Hiver diet; fungus growing is a highly developed art. Most buildings retain the beehive shape and large underground tunnel complexes of the original burrowers, but they are constructed by machines; the burrowers (known as snohl) are now reduced to the secondary function of keeping the tunnels clean. Hiver attachment to them is essentially irrational; they just feel more comfortable with snohl around.

Society: Hive society is highly individualistic. The term "Hive" results from an early Human misconception which stems from the appearance of the Hivers' building and tunnel complexes. Nests contain from five to five hundred individuals, who are usually centered around some common endeavor.

While one hundred is an average size for nests (and was the size in precivilized times), larger groups may come together for some civilized purpose such as large manufacturing companies or universities. Small nests are usually spaceship crews or isolated research parties. A young Hiver will spend its first fifteen years in its home nest; thereafter, nest changes may take place as often as a modern human might change jobs.

Because of the nature of their reproduction, Hivers never experienced the population pressures so important to human history. The population of the homeworld is now only a few hundred million, only ten times greater than it was in prehistoric times. Predators control the young; when the adult survival rate rises, thus increasing the number of young produced, the predator population increases proportionately and the balance is maintained. Space colonization arose not from pressures but from curiosity, with which Hivers are amply endowed.

The Hivers have colonized only those planets with climates most pleasant to themselves; if the planet has no predators that like to eat Hiver larvae, they are imported. Because of the high birth rate, a colony will rapidly fill up to its maximum population level of a few hundred million and will then stabilize. Hivers like planets of size 6 or less, with thin or standard atmospheres and unvarying climates. Hiver enclaves, for commercial or scientific purposes, are found on worlds of more extreme characteristics.

Hive industry and business excels at communications technology and robot construction. Major exports include artificial and computer languages, translators, and sophisticated electronic hardware of all types. Hiver mathematical systems are in much demand for their power and elegance.

Hive Federation

Human term for a loose interstellar community dominated by the Hivers; Hive Confederation is also sometimes used. The Hivers have only one culture and one language; the Hiver genotype (with individual variations similar in degree to differences between individual humans of the same race) is also constant.

The Federation government (if such a term is at all applicable) is mostly concerned with maintaining the uniformity of the Hiver culture and species. This is accomplished by frequent reproductive embassies from one planet to another. Members of many different nests will shake hands with everyone nearby in a sort of farewell party and will then board a large embassy ship bound for a far-off world. Once there, they will meet with as many people as possible, shaking hands and exchanging news, art, gossip, scientific information, political views, and so on for about a year. They will then return home for another year-long round of parties, discussions, and handshaking.

Most disputes among communities are handled in these embassies; others, considered too urgent or transient to wait for an embassy, are settled by judges. There is a considerable body of Hiver common law and custom, and a judge is a person who has spent years in study of the law; judges' decisions are not necessarily binding and are open to compromise, but they carry a great weight of custom.

The discovery of alien races and their integration into society required a slightly more formal organization, which grew out of the coordinating body which schedules embassies. Two additional bodies were established: the Federation Navy and a development agency.

The Hiver parental instinct was aroused by the discovery of numerous intelligent species less fortunate then themselves, and work began immediately to lift the "children" to civilization. An early experience with an aggressive race led to the establishment of a system of quarantined worlds, denied entry to (or knowledge of) interstellar society.

Covert operations are in progress on quarantine worlds to modify overly aggressive cultures into acceptable members of the Federation, and several quarantined worlds have so far been opened since the beginning of the program. So far, no quarantined race is close to achieving interstellar travel on its own; public debate continues on what to do in such a case.

The navy is the main instrument of military force. Hivers came late to the concept of war and are more comfortable with hightech, long-range oriented violence; they dislike the personal approach of ground combat.

When ground forces are absolutely needed, other races of the Federation generally provide troops. Federation armed forces are essentially a deterrent force and are seldom used as an instrument of policy.

Other races of the Federation are equal partners in society, although the structure of society is Hiver generated, and those races able to adapt best to the Hiver way of life and customs have been most successful. All races participate in the embassies, although in a modified form.

Some associate species retain strong internal governments or police forces to regulate the aggressive tendencies of their members, but whatever solution is reached, all Federation member societies are nonaggressive.

Most worlds of the Federation have communities of several species; races inhabit the worlds they find most pleasant.

Hoard of the Sky Raiders (Collace Press, 1098)

Pseudoscientific tract written by Professor Jothan ~essandi, formerly of the Institute for System Studies on Collace. The book's controversial theories have provoked considerable interest in research institutes across the sector.

Holiday Year

The year zero in the history of the Third Imperium, decreed by Cleon I to commemorate the establishment of the Imperium. Technically an aspect of calendar reform, the use of the year zero provides a central date point for counting years back into the Long Night and forward into the future of the Imperium.

The actual advantages of a holiday year are slight: centuries begin in the hundredth numbered year instead of the first numbered year, and the number of years between any two dates can be determined by subtraction.

More importantly at the time, the holiday year was used as part of the public relations campaigns which were impressing the authority of the Imperium upon local governments. The minor requirement of changing to the new calendar was used to determine the cooperation by those governments.

Hortalez et Cie, LIC

Founded in 221 by Lucienne Hortalez, capitalised from family funds. Primarily a banking and investment house, Hortalez specializes in loans to planetary governments, mercenary unit bonding, underwriting of large scale projects of all sorts, and other fiscal activities. Hortalez is one of the major insurance houses in the Imperium. In some regions (especially the Spinward Marches) the firm acts as a mercenary clearing house.

Stock ownership: Hortalez family- 74%, Other corporations 15%, Imperial family- 5%, Other- 6%.


Extremely dense, striated material obtained from the trunk of the Howood tree, a rare plant native to Pretoria (Deneb/Pretoria) and known to grow on several similar worlds in the Spinward Marches. The tree concentrates metals from the soil in their extremely tough bark. Howood is aromatic and its scent is especially pleasing to Vargr. It is also beautiful; the size, colors, and intensities of its rings and striations vary unpredictably with the characteristics of the environment in which the plant grows.


Collective name for the human races, including the Solomani, Vilani, Zhodani, and others. Former spelling Humanity.

See also Humans.


Intelligent major race dominating the Imperium, the Zhodani Consulate, the Solomani Confederation, and several additional interstellar communities. Humans stand approximately 1.7 meters in height and weigh about 100 kg. Descended from omnivore gatherers, humans developed intelligence in response to shifting climatological factors.

The most unusual aspect of Humaniti is the fact that Humans are present on many different worlds and stand at various levels of development on these worlds. The Solomani Hypothesis states that Humans evolved on Terra (Solomani Rim/Sol) and were scattered to many different worlds by the Ancients for reasons currently unknown. The result is that many different and parallel human races exist and coexist throughout known space.

The three most widespread human races are the Solomani (Humans from Terra), the Vilani (humans from Vland), and the Zhodani (humans from Zhodane).

See also Ancients, Humaniti, Solomani Hypothesis, Solomani, Vilani, Zhodani.


Imperial Calendar

The Imperial Calendar was established at the creation of the Third Imperium as a universal calendar reform. Dates count from the founding of the Imperium, the year-"zero". Dates before zero are negative, dates after are positive. For example, Terra discovered jump drive in -2431. The Imperium was founded in zero. Emperor Strephon was crowned in 1071. The year is divided into 365 standard days, which are grouped in 52 weeks of seven days each. The lengths of days and weeks is a legacy of Terran domination during the second Imperium. Days are numbered consecutively, beginning with one. The first day of the year is a holiday and is not part of any week. For example, the first day of the twelfth century of the Imperium (holiday) is 001-1100.

Imperial Edict 97

This executive order is the enabling act for the use of Imperial warrants. Unusually obscure for such a wide ranging and powerful edict, it is nonetheless on file at all Imperial installations. The edict runs to 34 pages, much of it pure legalese; when distilled down, it proves very direct: an order to assist the bearer of an Imperial warrant with all the power you can bring to bear. Only the emperor has the power to issue these warrants. A similar edict (edict 3097) provides limited power to the Archdukes of the Imperium to issue similar warrants, although they are limited in their duration and territory.

See also Imperial Warrant.

Imperial Guard

Eleven regiments of highly trained, superbly equipped troops dedicated to the protection of the Emperor and the Imperial Palace. Accepted as one of the elite formations of the Imperial armed forces, the Imperial Guard is a respected unit with a long and honored tradition. One purpose of the Imperial guard is to provide a symbol of political unity for the Imperium. One Regiment is drawn from each of the seven Domains of the Imperium, with each serving a one month tour of duty as honor regiment in rotation.

Imperial Research

The worlds of the Imperium manifest a wide range of technological levels. The Third Imperium has always allowed its member worlds a wide degree of latitude, and it meddles very little in local affairs. With communication limited to the same speed as transportation, a single offworld query can involve weeks, months, or even years before a reply is received. ln addition, the cost of offworld transportation (both in time and money) tends to limit the interchange of information, the shipment of experimental prototypes and other such activities that are basic to the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Most worlds have found that simply purchasing advanced technology from a neighboring world is impractical. Not only is such high technology expensive, putting it to any cost effective use requires that the technology be understood. Consider: as useful as Tech Level 8 solid-state chip circuits are, they cannot be used on a large scale without the knowledge of electronics or the ability to provide supporting circuits (power circuits, circuit boards, and so on), which further implies knowledge of photoprocessing, and even crystal culture. In the final analysis, attempting to jump to a higher Tech Level without passing through any of the intervening Tech Levels just doesn't work; one must pass through the lower stages of technological development on the way to the higher Tech Level. Regardless of what the individual member worlds do, there are also certain large-scale interests in the Imperium which back research projects. Such research is generally privately backed (such as under contract by multiworld corporations), or it is sometimes performed in established Imperial Research Stations.

Imperial Rules of War

To mitigate most of the potentially disastrous aspects of armed conflict, the "rules of war" evolved as an accumulation of unwritten concepts, which were established on a case-by-case basis. The rules of war have never been officially codified, both to prevent them being seen as an Imperial endorsement of war and to keep formal precedent from preventing Imperial intervention whenever the Imperium deemed it necessary. The main aim of the rules is maintaining the economic and military well-being of the realm. They give the Imperium the right to intervene only when local military action threatened this well-being. The primary causes of instability, as viewed by Imperial analysts, have been long-term economic dislocation and excessive extraplanetary influence.

A) long-term social or economic dislocation is suffered when a region loses its ability to carry on at its prewar level of activity.

B) Excessive extraplanetary influence is even more vague. Historically, the Imperium has tolerated the use of force as a necessary outlet for built-up political and social pressures. In such cases, a short war is deemed preferable to continuing tension, sabotage, political agitation, etc. However, attempts by extraplanetary forces, such as offworld governments or large commercial interests, to seize control of a world's affairs are beyond the scope of the "safety valve" rationale.

"Assistance" is tolerated so long as it is deemed appropriate to the level of legitimate interest in the affairs of the world held by the extraplanetary organization. For example, the Imperium has often tolerated the provision by megacorporations of providing training cadre, arms equipment, etc. on a limited scale, and even of training fully equipped striker units to local governments. However, when it appeared that the primary burden for the conduct of the war has been carried by an extraplanetary power, the Imperium has intervened, claiming the power is using the misfortune of a local dispute as a pretext for aggression.

Unlike the above rules, one prohibition is clear and firm throughout the Imperium: the use or possession of nuclear weapons of any type.


The Imperial family has reserved (both by custom and by law) a distinctive design for its personal stationary. Well-known throughout the Imperium through its use for routine messages and for Imperial appointments, the form is cream colored and embossed with the Imperial Sunburst in gold. Both physical and electronic versions of the stationary are used.

Because it is used for Imperial appointments (even when issued blank for office use) all Imperial officials are familiar with the design and can readily tell physical forgeries from the real thing. Electronic versions are data encrypted with a special code lock and require a special hardware key to be unlocked, thus making even electronic forgeries difficult.

Imperial Sunburst

The symbol of the Third Imperium established by Cleon (the first emperor) when the empire was proclaimed. Images show him standing before the original banner with a golden yellow sunburst against a black background, representing Capital's G-type star against black space. In 247, the Eliyoh (a nonhuman minor race) joined the Imperium. To that race the symbology was unimpressive. The Eliyoh vision centered in the far infra red, which resulted in distinction between the official colors of yellow and black being impossible. So Empress Porfiria declared that the symbol would have no official color. The original banner in the Imperial throne room is still black with a yellow sunburst. The Imperial Interstellar Scout Service uses a red sunburst; the Imperial Navy yellow; the Imperial Army black; the Imperial Marines maroon.

Imperial Sylean University

The traditional school for the Imperial family and most higher noble families. The university is one of the most prestigious in the Imperium.

Imperial Warrant

Instrument of power issued by the Emperor, or Imperial Dukes and Archdukes (to lesser extent). A warrant is a written or electronic document on Imperial stationary provided to trusted agents of the Imperium as a method of bypassing the bureaucracy.

Typically, a warrant is provided to an individual who uses the power it provides to accomplish some mission of interest to the issuing official. Missions may include establishment of colonies in areas requiring development, the assumption of military command in the midst of a crisis, and the unilateral establishment of new noble lines to administer provinces which have suffered from war or economic collapse.

For example, Emperor Strephon sometimes exercises his power through agents rather than directly through the bureaucracy of the Imperium. These instances are rare, although there is reason to believe that such agents are more numerous than it appears. See also Imperial Edict 97.

Institute for System Studies

Research foundation located on Collace (Spinward Marches/268 0407 B628943-D). Primarily concerned with historical, archaeological, and xenological research, the Institute maintains a wide range of facilities for all manner of other scientific endeavors as well. Founded in 988, the Institute is closely tied with Imperial research organizations. Teams from the Institute are employed throughout the sector.


The Imperial practice of interdiction of worlds within the boundaries of the Imperium had long been a source of contention between liberal and conservative factions in the government. Interdictions must be approved by a member of the Imperial family, but generally such approval is given in response to a request from an interested service, which is almost always the Scouts or the Navy.

It is generally held that the Scouts recommend interdiction to shield a young or sensitive culture from the interference that trade and commerce will bring.

The Navy is held to be more vindictive in its recommendations, for they use interdiction to punish local governments or to hide its own mistakes.

Interdicted worlds are awarded travel zone red ratings by Travellers Aid Society. See also Red Zone.

Instellarms, LIC

Founded in 626, shortly after the end of the Civil War, by Axel Murdoch, a retired colonel of mercenaries. Taking advantage of inside contacts in the Imperial military, Murdoch was able to obtain large quantities of surplus military equipment at very low prices, but still costing billions of credits. Where Murdoch got his financing is not known.

Murdoch's connections with various mercenary unit commanders coupled with a willingness to ignore the Imperial regulations on mercenary warfare where profits were large enough enabled Instellarms to dominate the mercenary arms trade in the coreward sectors of the Imperium within ninety years, and in the Imperium as a whole within two centuries.

Manufacturing, buying, and selling military equipment of all sorts, Instellarms is a specialty supplier of mercenary units of all sizes and types. Agents of the firm can often be found on a battlefield, negotiating the purchase of the equipment of the losing side before the battle is completely over. The company does not deal in interstellar vessels and chemical, bacteriological, or nuclear weaponry.

Stock ownership: Murdoch holdings, LIC- 32%, Hortalez et Cie 30%, Noble families- 8%, Ling Standard Products- 6%, Ichiban Interstellar, LIC- 5%, GSbAG- 5%, Sternmetal Horizons, LIC- 8%, Other- 6%.

Iolanthe (b. 1052)

Empress of the Imperium. Iolanthe, the daughter of the senior Duke of Gushemege sector, and member of a prominent Vilani noble family, married Strephon in 1079. Her primary avocation is the preservation of developing cultures within the Imperium.

Iridium Throne

The symbol of the continuing line of emperors of the Third Imperium. The physical throne was originally an iridium construction on which the emperor sat. Over time, the term has come to represent not only the emperors throne, but the office of the emperor itself.


Archduke of Vland. Ishuggi heads one of the oldest noble lines in the Imperium, being directly descended from the original Archduke, Laerkigar (appointed by Emperor Artemsus in 72).


Julian War (175 to 191)

A war initiated by the Imperium, under Emperor Martin I, to annex the sectors of Meshan, Mendan, and Amdukan. After nine years of negotiation and diplomatic manoeuvering with the many confederations of the area (each a member of a larger confederation), Martin mobilized the Imperial Navy against these states. In the first three years of the war, Imperial fleets pushed deep into ,lendan sector, capturing the capital world of Lasla and several important industrial worlds. In178, however, a minor bureaucrat in the government of the capital of a confederation in Amdukan sector had risen to power there and gathered around himself an alliance of neighboring confederations. This bureaucrat then proposed a defensive confederation encompassing all three sectors under attack.

This state, the Julian Protectorate (named for its founder), fought sporadic battles, doing its best to push back the Imperial fleets. Then, in 185, concentrated Protectorate fleets crossed the Lesser Rift in an end run against Antares, and with deep raids against the Imperial Depots in Antares and Ley sectors. With two local depots destroyed, the Imperium withdrew its fleets to protect its internal communication lines.

The Protectorate fleets then concentrated on the Antares cluster, a lightly defended group of worlds, which fell easily to their advances. Using these worlds as a base, the forces of the Protectorate carried the war into the Imperium. In 190 the Imperium lost several battles in attempting to retake the Antares cluster, and Martin I became convinced that the Protectorate could not be pressed into the Imperium, and gave up the fight. However, the war did not end there, as the Protectorate insisted on keeping a hand in the Antares cluster. The peace treaty included the establishment of the League of Antares as a compromise, ending the war in 191 on the Protectorate's terms.

Jump Dimming

The transitions to and from jump space are momentous occasions during an interstellar trip. Following an old Vilani superstition, the pilot of a ship customarily dims the ship's interior and exterior lights before going into jump. Historically, this custom derived from the need for most of the ship's power to be diverted into the computer and jump drive systems, so that the jump drive can be guided into creating the jump field properly. Zhodani and Solomani pilots do not follow this tradition of 'jump dimming'.

Lights on a ship are typically dimmed for a period of about two minutes; the lights are brought back up to full strength as soon as the ship is in jumpspace.

Jump Drive

The combination of equipment required to insert a starship into jumpspace and project a jump field. This consists of four components: A high-yield fusion powerplant which energizes the second component an energy sink array (usually constructed of Zuchai Crystals); when the jump point is reached this energy is transferred to a jump grid (usually of lanthanum) on the ships' hull under the control of a jump governor. The jump governor is a computer controlled device which energizes the grid in a sequence determined by the jump to be undertaken.


The basic concept of interstellar travel: that of an alternate space. Theoretically, jumpspaces are alternate spaces, each only dimly understood from the standpoint of our own universe. Jump is defined as the movement of matter from one point in space (called normal space) to another in normal space by travelling through an alternate space (called jumpspace). The benefit of jump is that the time required is relatively invariant, about one week. If the distance travelled is greater than can be covered in one week in normal space, then a gain has been made. Jumpspace makes possible enormous gains.

Entering jump is possible anywhere, but perturbations due to gravity make it safest to begin a jump at least 100 diameters out from a large massive body such as a world or star. Ships are naturally precipitated out of jumpspace before they get too deep into a gravity field.

Normal jumps take 168 hours (plus or minus 10 percent) to complete, regardless of the distance travelled.

Sometimes a jump goes wrong. Catastrophic failures (called misjumps) can destroy the ship and its crew. Other failures can destroy a drive or send a ship in the wrong direction. Some misjumps reduce a jump-6 to a mere jump-1, or convert a jump-1 into jump-10, 20, or higher.

Jumpspace Institute

Originally established at Deneb to investigate interstellar jump drives. Financed initially by the Duke of Deneb, the institute has since become an arm of the sector government. Projects include training for starship engineers and naval architects.


Kedzudh, Commonality of

Loose interstellar government in the Vargr Extents. The Commonality dates from 1044, when several world governments joined in an attempt to suppress piracy. The Commonality government has limited powers of taxation; government institutions include a small navy/police force and a university. Individual worlds conduct their own interior and exterior relations.

Kirur (Ruupiin/Thirty 1315 B863A03-F)

Homeworld and capital of the Two Thousand Worlds, the interstellar empire of the K'kree. The planet's oceans are extremely shallow and the world exhibits almost no volcanic activity, which is very unusual for a world of its size. Kirur has one large continent, which was conquered in prehistoric times by the current ruling clan; Kirur is one of the most politically stable planets known.


The K'kree (once called Centaurs by humans) are among the most massive of the major races and are the only one of the major races to be descended from herbivores. An adult K'kree stands about 1.5 meters at the shoulder and between 2.0 and 2.4 meters tall when standing erect. Weight averages 550 kg. They are bilaterally symmetrical, hexapedal, and homeothermic. They bear some resemblance to the centaur of ancient Terran myth, a trait noted by the earliest human explorers.

The arrangement of the manipulative organ (or hand) on the front limb is one of their most interesting features. Complex cartilaginous tubes permit the fingers of the K'kree hand to telescope out of the way when the hand is used as a weapon. Fully extended, the fingers are mutually opposable to each other and to the "thumb" which is in reality an extension of the ulna. The K'kree hand is very flexible but somewhat weaker in grasping power than a human hand.

The K'kree are covered with short gray or black fur and a dense black mane covering the head and neck and upper back of both sexes. Unlike Terran mammals, the young are fed partially digested, regurgitated food instead of milk. Males average 15 percent to 20 percent larger than females.

K'kree are extremely conservative in all aspects of their culture. Ceremonial military units (such as bodyguards) are armed with equipment which K'kree military technology outdated centuries ago, and (aside from modifications made necessary by the discovery of space flight) K'kree government has not changed significantly in centuries.

Because of their origins as plains-dwelling herd animals, the K'kree are claustrophobes; they cannot stand to be enclosed.

K'kree cities are clumps of low, broad buildings; the interior is never more than one story in height, which allows the sky to be visible. Internal building divisions are achieved with curtains and tapestries.

K'kree are extremely gregarious. They are never found alone, and will quickly sicken and die if removed from other K'kree for any length of time. Receiving a trade or diplomatic delegation from the K'kree means entertaining the entire family (one or more wives, servants, scribes, assistants, etc.) of the merchant or ambassador. The K'kree word for "my" refers to a possession of an individual's herd, not to that of an individual. Privacy and individuality are exotic and little understood concepts for K'kree.

Society: K'kree society is divided into castes. The system is a remnant of ancient times which no longer fits K'kree culture perfectly, but the K'kree stick with it because it is traditional. There are hundreds of castes, but distinctions are too faint for non-K'kree to understand. For simplicity, castes can be divided into three general groupings: noble, merchant, and servants. It is possible for a family to rise in caste, but this is a rare occurrence.

The lowest caste, the servants, has come to include farmers, factory workers and unskilled laborers as well as servants for all classes.

The next higher caste, the merchants, includes most skilled workers, scientists, engineers, technicians, scribes and government administrators, as well as merchants and businessmen.

Nobles are the governmental officials (the Krurruna and others), the high military officers, diplomats, and heads of trade and manufacturing concerns. Nobles are usually garbed in much more ornate fashion than the lower castes.

Every male K'kree must serve a term in the military upon coming of age. Warriors are drawn from all castes; rank in the military is determined by caste of origin. Upon completing the required term of service, a warrior returns to his original caste and position. Warriors are the only K'kree permitted to bear weapons, and they are further distinguished by their peculiar flared and horned helmets. They serve as soldiers, police, firefighters, and bodyguards for diplomatic and mercantile expeditions.

Female K'kree are casteless, and take on the caste of their father or husband. Females have no position in government or society other than the rearing of young.

Government: The basis of K'kree government is rooted in the traditional herd system. The basic unit of government is the herd, which consists of thousands of individuals of all castes and ages led by Krurruna (literally: bosses) under a single steppelord.

In recent times, most herds have been assigned specific geographic areas (several may be assigned to city or a single herd may be assigned millions of hectares of farmland). A number of herds are governed by a single "lord of steppelordes" (usually the ruler of a planet); and the K'kree race as a whole is ruled by a "Steppelord of the 2000 Worlds".

K'kree Calendar

The K'kree calendar is based on the period of Kirur (the K'kree homeworld) around Gzang, it's star. The K'kree Pim!bigr (year) is 439.56 standard days in length.

See also Kirur, Two Thousand Worlds.

Kuzu (Dark Nubula/Kilrai' 1919 A876986-E)

Homeworld of the Alsan race and capital of the Aslan Hierate.


Lair (Provence/Grnouf 2402 A8859B9-F)

"Homeworld" and capital of the Vargr Extents. Lair has never been accorded any particular status in the hearts and minds of the Vargr race, unlike worlds like Terra, Vland, Zhodane, Kuzu or Kirur. Lair was only recently united; several sections of the planet boasted independence until only a few years ago - which is unusual for the home world of a major interstellar race.


Cultural region in the Gushemege sector of the Third Imperium. The area was extensively ravaged during the Vilani Pacification Campaigns and afterwards resettled from the Vland sector under a special program sponsored by Makhidkarun.


A rare earth element, the first of the inner transition metals. Vital to the construction of the inner coils of interstellar jump drive units.

Lesser Rift

Broad Expanse of space with a very low density of stars trailing the main region of the Third Imperium. This rift is a pronounced impediment to interstellar travel, for it constrains jumps through the Empty Quarter. The Lesser Rift, like the Great Rift, has provided long term security for the Third Imperium by constraining access to the Imperiums Boarders.


Sophont race native to Junidy (Spinward Marches/Aramis 3202 B434ABD-9). Llellewyloly have five multi jointed limbs which function as hands and feet interchangeably; main sensory organs are also located on the limbs. The spherical central body is covered with long, coarse hair. Many body features are adaptations to the extreme temperature variations of Junidy's day.

Llellewyloly have a complex society with many dimensions of social precedence; the same individual may be entitled to high status in one situation and low status in another, and to make an error concerning propriety is a serious matter.


Minor human race from Gushemege sector; known only from ancient First Imperium records. During the early stages of the First Imperium the Loeskalth culture absorbed a great deal of science and technology indirectly from the Vilani and founded a small empire which embraced, at its height, most of their home subsector.

About 5400 years ago, the Vilani consolidation destroyed the Loeskalth Empire and absorbed the civilization into the mainstream of Vilani culture. An aggressive and warlike race, the Loeskalth resisted but were ultimately overwhelmed.

Long Night (-1776 to 0)

The period of interstellar decline and anarchy between the fall of the Rule of Man (also known as the Second Imperium) and the establishment of the Third Imperium by Cleon I.

Lucan (b.1088)

Prince of the Imperium, son of Princess Lydia and Duke Dresden, the younger of Emperor Strephon's twin nephews. Born five minutes after his brother Varian, and so fourth in line to the throne.

Lydia (b.1052)

Princess of the Imperium, daughter of Emperor Paulo III, sister to Emperor Strephon. A naval officer, Princess Lydia carries out many of the formal duties of the Imperial Family with regard to the Imperial Armed Forces. She and her husband, Duke Dresden, also tour Naval facilities throughout the Imperium, presenting decorations and nobility patents on behalf of the Emperor. Born three years after her brother, the Princess is second in line to the throne.



A large grouping of systems forming a chain of worlds all within jump-l of another. This grouping provides a sort of "corridor" allowing jump-l capable ships to travel to any world along the chain without ever exceeding jump-l.

Many such groupings exist in the Imperium. Prominent examples include the Spinward Main in the Spinward Marches, the Vilani Main centered in the Vland sector, the Sylean Main in Core sector, and Antares Main originating in the Antares sector.


The destruction of Darrian technology in -925 by the super-nova of Darrian's sun, Tarnis. Rumors claim that the Darrian's triggered this nova with their advanced technology. See also Darrian.

Major Race

An arbitrary distinction based on the achievements of a specific intelligent race. A race which achieves interstellar travel (jump drive) through its own efforts is classed major; one which does not is classed minor.

To date, generally accepted major races include Humaniti, (Zhodani, Solomani, and Vilani, but not other examples), Aslan, the Hive, K'kree, Vargr, Ancients, and Droyne.

The Suerrat (a human race) are considered minor because their achievement of interstellar travel utilized generation Ships. Similarly, the Geonee were originally thought to be major race, but their development of jump drive was based on recovered Ancient artifacts rather than on true racial efforts. The Geonee dispute this prevailing opinion and hold the (generally unshared) view that they are of major standing.

The Droyne have been demonstrated to be major, for they have developed jump drive as far back as -7000. At present, however, they do not build or use jump drives, and remain voluntarily sequestered in their scattered systems to spinward.


The origins of this company are shrouded in the mists of the Long Night. All that can be stated with certainty is that its foundation pre-dates the Third Imperium. Makhidkarun specializes in the communications and entertainment industries. The firm produces fine musical recordings of all types, two and three dimensional motion pictures, books, magazines, and art reproductions of all sorts. Its communications division produces a wide variety of data processing, storage, and retrieval equipment and the requisite software, along with various innovative robotics technologies. A gourmet foods division trades in all manner of rare and expensive foods, wines and delicacies. In the Spinward Marches, Makhidkarun has manufacturing and purchasing facilities spread throughout the sector, and also has extensive holdings through its transport subsidiary, Arean Transport. This line's routes travel across the sector and beyond into Foreven and Far Frontiers sectors; its starships (including the famous liner, King Richard) are renowned for their luxury.

Stock ownership: Imperial family- 5%, Noble families- 28%, Hortalez et Cie- 28%, Investment trusts- 25%, Private ownership- 14%.

Marches Auxiliary Naval Service

In a border area such as the Spinward Marches, the IISS is responsible for exploration and survey in all the surrounding sectors. Thus, the mapping services provided to the navy in other areas of the Imperium is not up to standard in this area. To deal with this problem, MANS was established. Staffed by people from every type of service background, the Service carries out various survey, exploration, and reconnaissance missions, with a greater emphasis on the military importance of the information gained. The Service also provides several specialized scout squadrons to the Navy during war time.


Duchess of Delphi, first cousin, once removed to the Emperor Strephon. Margaret lives far from the social whirl of Capital, preferring the position of sector duchess at the head of the local hierarchy, instead of competing with nobles of similar precedence at the Imperial court. She recently married Count Blaine Trulla Tukera, assuring her of wealth and him of influence, and placing them at the pinnacle of society across two sectors.


Popular term for the Mars Shipwrights, Gravengineers and Computertechs Union, a shipbuilding concern based on Mora (Mora/Spinward Marches 0704) and owning subsidiary yards on Maitz and Pallique. Named for its founder, Marcus Alexander Rameo Serenpindo, and the three major industrial unions amalgamated at its formation. In its earliest days, it concentrated solely on merchant vessels, and is widely considered responsible for the success of many Moran based merchant trade companies across the sector. Although the home yard on Mora caters almost exclusively to naval and scout construction contracts, the two auxiliary shipyards still produce merchants as a large proportion of their total output. Many of the Subsidized and Free merchant operations in the Marches use Mars vessels.


Corruption of a Terran term from an ancient language from that world. Accepted in the Imperium as a distress signal for vessels in difficulties. See also SOS and Signal GK.


An extremely large interstellar corporation. When a corporation's scope of operations are such that it provides services to an area similar to that controlled by Imperial government, it earns the name megacorporation. Only thirteen such companies exist within the Imperium, along with another thirteen based in other interstellar states.

Because of their size, megacorporations have truly astronomical numbers of employees, shareholders, and profits. Their upper level executives labor at broad policy questions, and are largely out of contact with the day-to-day (and even year-to-year) activities of the corporation. The real power in the company lies in the hands of the regional managers (under whatever title they have) Who control the actual operations of the business. While they may control only a small fraction of the megacorporation's assets, they wield more power in some areas than do the representatives of the Imperial government.

A small number of Imperial regulatory agencies have power over the megacorporations, and the companies are subject to any applicable local taxes as well. Nevertheless, if Imperial sovereignty is not blatantly violated, regional managers can usually conduct their company' s business as they see fit.


The remote centralized government of the Imperium is possessed of great industrial and technological might, but it is also unable, due to the sheer distances and travel times involved, to exert total control everywhere within its starspanning realm. Extensive home rule provisions allow planets to choose their own forms of government, raise and maintain their own armed forces for local security, pass and enforce laws governing local conduct, and regulate (within limits) commerce. Defense has been a cooperative effort of local indigenous forces, which is stiffened by Imperial naval bases manned by extremely sophisticated forces.

Conflicting local interests have often settled their Differences by force of arms, with Imperial forces looking quietly the other way, unable to intervene en masse. Imperial forces have been unable to operate as a police force so as to not jeopardize their primary mission of defense of the realm. Only when local conflicts threaten the security or the economy of an area have Imperial forces taken an active hand, and then with overwhelming speed and force.

In this environment, the soldier for hire has found active employment. The tolerance exhibited by the forces of the Imperium have made the hired military force a practical matter. Imperial policy has allowed the marketplace to provide military force to those who can afford it; one line of thought has been that a hired military can be more effectively controlled if it gets out of hand, as opposed to nationalistic or politically motivated forces .

Merchant Cruiser

A generic term applied to vessels specifically assigned to independent missions, the prime objective of which is market discovery and acquisition, either in isolation or in competition with other merchant operators. Design parameters for such vessels usually include a high level of weaponry and auxiliary boats in proportion to their cargo capacity and all possible back-up systems, along with high structural integrity.

Minor Race

an intelligent race which has not achieved jump drive through its own efforts. For most races, this classification is appropriate. Many are contacted before they have reached a technological level capable of even considering jump drive, thus permanently prejudicing their potential.

Indeed, the shock of such a classification, and the realization that this classification pervades interstellar society, is sufficient to relegate a race to a permanent role as shopkeepers and accountants. Some slump, while others violently resist the classification. The fact that the categorization is informal and arbitrary, and tends to elevate those already in power has made resistance difficult, if not impossible .


Impenetrable bluish-gray metal used as the basic construction material by the Ancients at the site on Antiquity (Corridor/Ian 0816). It has defeated all efforts to determine its exact composition; some experts believe it contains titanium. Even modern tech level 15 plasma and fusion weapons have been unable to penetrate it.


The Imperial government's only deliberative body. It has few powers and rarely exercises them. In theory, the Moot includes all Imperial nobles of baronial or higher status, but most nobles do not find it convenient to travel to Capital, and so many of those seated hold proxy votes. Large blocks of these votes can be wielded by a single influential noble.

Technically, the Moot is supreme in the Imperium, but its power is extremely limited. In practice, its deliberations are advisory to the emperor, and he is wise to heed them. The Moot has only one power; to dissolve the Imperium. When this power is brought to bear, it compels compromise between opposing factions.

When an emperor dies, abdicates, or otherwise becomes unfit for office, the Moot becomes important as the validating body for the new emperor. It has the power to examine the qualifications and credentials of the heir apparent and, in unusual situations, to reject him.

The Moot holds its sessions in the Moot Spire, which, at 1.75 kilometers High, is the tallest building on Capital. By tradition, the Spire is the only building allowed to tower above the Imperial Palace, which is 4.25 kilometers away. Elevators with gravitic compensators can speed visitors from bottom to top in 18 seconds. At the top of the Spire is the High Moot, where select committees hold the most private deliberations.



Naasirka specializes in the manufacture of information storage and processing equipment and software, computers, and other complex electronic devices. Their robots are the most commonly found of any company within the Imperium. The firm is a Vilani megacorporation of uncertain lineage, but it is known to have been in business prior to the founding of the Sylean Federation. Naasirka is the largest supplier of communications equipment to the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service's X-boat branch.

Naasirka was a late-comer to the Spinward Marches; until recent expansions, it owned only a few facilities on the sector's trailing border, such as the shipyard on Aramis (Spinward Marches/Aramis 0710), and robotics factories on Rhylanor

Stock ownership: Imperial family- 4% Investment trusts- 24%, Noble families- 23%, Hortalez et Cie- 11%, Other corporations 14% Igsiirdi family- 13%, Private ownership- 11%.

Naval Base

Port facility for the support, maintenance, repair, and refit of naval vessels. Planetary surface facilities are generally provided for vessels of 1000 tons or less; orbital facilities handle larger ships.

A naval base has several distinct parts to it; each part helps in the accomplishment of the overall mission of the base. The typical naval base is composed of an orbital berthing area, a surface berthing area, a maintenance section, and an administrative headquarters. Berthing areas provide locations for ships to lay over, for a day or for months. All berthing areas include provisions for refueling from storage tanks or fuel lighters.

Maintenance sections at naval bases vary from base to base. Where such a section would be redundant to the local starport shipyard, it is small, and repairs or alterations are carried out under contract by the local facility. Where adequate facilities do not exist, the naval base itself may have a large maintenance section capable of extensive repairs and refits. Maintenance is performed on ships on the world surface or in orbit as necessary.

The administrative headquarters handles the day-to-day operations of the base, as well as its paperwork (including allocation of funds, distribution of personnel, and disbursement of maintenance and repair contracts). The naval base is not a tactical unit. It has no battle forces of its own, and it does not exert control even over local system defense boats (which are under a separate command). The naval base is responsible for supporting the fleet and Keeping it in optimum condition for its combat missions.

Naval Depot

Depots serve as focuses for naval efforts: supplying a fleet's every need, providing construction and repair facilities, and producing and testing experimental ship prototypes. A depot generally occupies an entire system. Facilities, material, and personnel are extensive enough to repair and resupply a large fraction of the fleet at any time. A depot may be isolated from outside contact for years at a time without serious setbacks. As depots cover large parts of a system, there is no distinction between orbital and surface berthing.

In peacetime, the main function of a depot is the design and testing of ships. A large staff of naval architects (the cream of the area) and construction personnel is maintained at every depot.

In wartime, depots serve as repair and resupply centers for the fleet. In emergencies, the depot's construction yards are sometimes pressed into service for production of military ships. Since a depot is obviously a very sensitive installation, security is tight. An extensive array of both entry and exit codes are employed to ensure no unauthorized vessels enter or leave the system. Contingents of marines and system defense boats are stationed throughout the system, and they are constantly ready for action.

There is usually no more than one naval depot per sector. Depots are placed in systems where they will be close enough to the expected action to be useful, but far enough back to insure that they will not be captured.


The foundation of interstellar government within the Imperium. The Imperium depends on nobles ranging From knights to archdukes to carry the chain of authority and the mantle of responsibility from the Emperor to the people.

Nth Interstellar War

Any one of an indeterminate number of inter stellar wars fought between the Terran Confederation and the First Imperium during the Period -2408 and -2219. The First Interstellar War (-2408 to -2400) marked the initial clash between Terra and Vland. The peace that concluded the hostilities was both uneasy and short. The second through seventh wars were marked by seesaw exchanges of territory, mostly confined to the Dingir and Sol subsectors. These initial wars were fought, on the Vilani side, with only the forces available to the Vilani provincial governor; central government was preoccupied with other problems. This was fortunate for the Terrans, as Vilani power, even at this late date, was sufficient to crush the Terrans in short order had it been applied.

The Eighth War finally broke open the frontier and ended in the first major Terran victory. Finally, the Grand Imperium took notice, and dispatched major fleet elements to the area, but the time for action had passed. Terran invention of the jump-3 drive made the Ninth War a crushing victory for Terra and forced the Vilani to relinquish most of the Solomani Rim. Thereafter, the Terrans were almost constantly on the offensive.

In the centuries after the conclusion of the wars, no consensus could be reached in the academic community as to when the later conflicts began or ended; all were interrupted several times by armistices, cease fires, or shaky periods of peace (indeed, a new war would often break out along the front lines before the existence of a peace treaty could be communicated to the respective capitals).

Periods of warfare are lumped together or split apart depending on the historian's individual point of view, and a single war to one historian can be identified as two or more wars by others. The situation is complicated by the fact that for some of the years in question are sketchy. To clarify matters, an accommodation was arrived at which simply labels all interstellar wars after the Ninth with the indeterminate N. Proper usage calls for the war to be defined with the actual years being discussed. Many history texts use this system to refer to all the wars except the first.

The Nth Interstellar War (-2235 to -2219) ended the series when the Vilani Grand Imperium collapsed, as much from its own weight, age, and decadence as from Terran victories. The terrans moved quickly to occupy the remaining Vilani territory.

See also First Imperium, First Interstellar War, Rule of Man.


Octagon Society

Established in 342, the Octagon Society was the first major distressed spacefarer assistance operation to appear in the Spinward Marches. The group thrived on public contributions and on some tax revenues for 150 years; then it collapsed in the late 400s when scandals emerged over the quality of shelter construction and the disposition of certain funds.

Society shelters were generally of an octagonal shape. Large hostels were established on major worlds, while smaller weather shelters were placed on frontier or unsettled worlds. The characteristic octagon-shaped buildings are still visible on various worlds, although none are still in use as shelters for distressed spacefarers.

The Octagon Society was dissolved in 499, and its assets were sold at auction.

Off-dirt Rank

Mercenary jargon for the courtesy title major, applied to non-naval captains when aboard starships, to avoid confusion with the starship captain.


Common translation of tleqazdijdiet, a Zhodani measure of time representing three Zhodani years (each approximately .75 standard years). An olympiad is used to denote the period from one set of psionic games to the next. The olympiad is used in the Zhodani calendar to mark dates, which are further subdivided by year, season and day.

Oort Cloud

A spherical shell around most stars containing numerous small bodies of cometary material. A typical Oort cloud is about 0.5 to 1 light year from its primary and has an aggregate mass about that of Terra; density is thus extremely low. The main constituents of cometary bodies are ice and dust ("dirty snowballs"). Bodies in the Oort cloud are occasionally perturbed by collisions or by the influence of nearby stars into orbits which pass near the star; these form comets. The Oort clouds are named after the discoverer of Sol's, Terran astronomer Jan Oort.

Orbital Terraforming

A process by which the immensely difficult and often dangerous task of transforming possible colony planets into more habitable worlds through forestation, detoxification and oxygenation of the atmosphere and hydrosphere, recomposition of the climate, etc. could all be conducted from the safety of an orbiting spacecraft through use of drones without the delay, expense or error of planet-bound human teams.

Outrim Void

Colloquial name for the region to the rimward of the Marches consisting of many small empires and independent worlds. the region is largely unknown to the civilian population of the Imperium, and is regarded with suspicion by the average citizen due to its being a natural haunt for corsairs and any who wish to escape Imperial justice. Many Outrim worlds are believed to have been settled in the great Terran age of expansion known as the Rule of Man, and since isolated from other human contact, whilst others have retained links with either the Imperium or the Zhodani Consulate.

Outworld Coalition

Traditional name for the belligerent groups allied against the Imperium during the First and Second Frontier Wars. Commonly applied to any alliance of powers threatening the Spinward Marches and Imperial territories spinward of the Great Rift.

The original Outworld Coalition was formed in the early 500s at the instigation of the Zhodani Consulate. Vargr allegiances vacillated, but memories of the Imperial campaigns against certain Vargr states in the Corridor swayed some into membership. Zhodani as the major partner, contributed military aid and assistance (such as technicians). While some Vargr governments contributed personnel and naval units, other Vargr remained neutral or sided with the Imperium. The initial history of the coalition was one of continuing struggle for organization, as the Zhodani were continually occupied in establishing Vargr governments, and then maintaining them in power. The intent was for Vargr to raid the coreward edge of the Spinward Marches, especially Regina and Aramis subsectors, while the major thrust from Zhodani took Cronor and Jewell subsectors. The Vargr portions of the offensive failed dismally. Furthermore, the failure resulted in the collapse of the coalition.

The internal Imperial upheavals (the Civil War) which followed the First Frontier War (it was called just the Frontier War then) exposed a continuing weakness in the Imperium, and the Outworld Coalition reformed after a hiatus of five years. At the appropriate moment, the reformed Coalition again attacked the Marches, this time taking portions of Jewell subsector. Although the Vargr again failed to take any territory permanently, their performance as a whole was considerably improved.

Traditionally, frontier wars in the Spinward Marches have involved coalitions of Zhodani and certain Vargr states. the Sword Worlds have also joined the coalition at times.

See also First Frontier War, Second Frontier War, Third Frontier War, Fourth Frontier War.


Language used between Droyne involved in interstellar commerce. Its origins are not well understood, but it appears to have survived as a formal language for quasireligious ceremonies. The language is assumed to have been the most common in whatever previous community the Droyne dominated.


Pacification Campaigns (76-120)

A series of economic, diplomatic and military operations directed at forcing membership in the Imperium upon those worlds which resisted the initial efforts to annex them.

Although the campaigns were predominantly economic and diplomatic in nature, the Imperium was not averse to using force when peaceful methods failed. Imperial battlefleets and ground forces rarely failed when brought to bear.

By 120, the pacification campaigns had ended, and the initial phase of the Imperium's growth came close.

Four specific Pacification Campaigns were undertaken, each by an archduke of the Imperium. The Vilani Pacification Campaign was targeted at portions of Dagudashaag and Gushemege sectors. The Ilelish Pacification Campaign was aimed at the Darmine region. The Antarean Pacification Campaign hit much of Lishun sector. The Sylean Pacification Campaign operated in Delphi and Fornast sectors.

Pan Galactic Friends of Life

an influential pressure group, concerned with preventing damage to environments by intelligent life. Once considered a member of the lunatic fringe, they gained credibility with their successful defense of the declining herds of dawnsingers. Their most recent major victory was in forcing Seaharvester to accept low quotas for the slaughter of daghadasi.


Chemical compound discovered by Seaharvester (now a subsidiary of SuSAG, LIC) scientists in the corpse of a prereproductive phase daghadasi (large water animal) some eight years ago. The full name of the compound, Cis-1,2 paradichlorotirethylaminoprocycloheptatrenyl-4-tricyclohexenebeta, is rarely used.

The chemical serves as the basis for a family of experimental broad-spectrum antibiotics which can be selectively "tuned" to wipe out specific types of bacterial, viral, and cancerous growths, while leaving adjacent benign growths untouched. Thus far, no synthesis of the chemical has been produced, and the ecology of the daghadasi homeworld was in danger of serious danger of becoming unbalanced, until the actions of the Pan Galactic Friends of Life persuaded SuSAG to take action.


The hierarchy of nobles within the Imperium.

Phoenix Project

Reported plot by Solomani guerrillas on Terra to destroy Imperial forces occupying Terra. Imperial intelligence reported penetration of the project command in 1045, with subsequent compromise of its basic plans and dismantling of its structure. The Phoenix Project has supposedly born in the final years of the Solomani Rim War (990 to 1002) as Solomani leaders saw the possibility of their defeat and the loss of the homeworld to the invading Imperials. The project was said to have consisted of two distinct parts: prepositioned caches of Military goods to supply the coming uprising and a continuing program for the training of guerrillas.

The caches were concealed in many different places on Terra in areas calculated to preclude accidental discovery over the years. Each cache contained large quantities of munitions, weapons, vehicles, and medical supplies, all of varying technological levels so as to be of use regardless of the technical knowledge of the users. Each cache was hidden with its location entrusted to a single local family. These families were to form the core of the guerrilla forces when the rising was to take place.

A massive Imperial counter-guerrilla effort in 1040 to 1045 was directed at the discovery and destruction of the caches and the arrest of the families entrusted with the secrets.

Persistent rumors of two additional aspects of the Project-Lambda (a code word to trigger the uprising) and Omega (the reinforcement of the uprising by offworld Solomani) have been dismissed as baseless by Imperial officials.

Many historians believe that the extent of the plot was greatly exaggerated by Imperial authorities, and hold that it was little more than an extreme example of wishful thinking on the part of the Solomani leadership. At any rate, the Phoenix project no longer threatens the security of the Imperium, if indeed it ever did.

Postal Union

A group of political units associated to a greater or lesser degree for the purpose of communication among citizens, businesses, and governmental units.

Nearly all star systems are members of one postal union or another. Governments cooperate along their borders in order to allow the efficient flow of communications between them. Members of a postal union forward mail through their territories (subject, of course, to local security needs, acts of War, and so on) to the proper addresses. On the average, communication is at the speed of the fastest available transportation. Within the Imperium, such unions often pay a voluntary tax to the IISS Communication Office in order to use their facilities for communications. Private companies have also been known to provide such services.


The criminal use of mental powers for the manipulation of matter and energy and for communication. It has been demonstrated that minds (human or non-human, conscious or unconscious, intelligent or unintelligent) contain some capacity to operate without apparent use of physical facilities. For an individual to seek training in such abilities is a criminal act.

Until circa -1000, psionics was little studied in most regions except on a disorganized level (parapsychology, the occult, spiritualism, and so on). It was known and practiced among the Zhodani and by some minor races, but it was by no means wide spread.

However, during the Long Night, many races, (human and others) turned introspective. As a result, many finally began to engage in serious research in psionics, which revealed much about the empirical nature of the phenomenon, although the principles involved were, and remain, little understood.

Even though it assumed scientific validity, psionics remained a backwater science until about 650, when it underwent a tremendous burst of popularity. Psionics within the Imperium reached its peak in the latter half of the 700s. In the 790s, however, the crest of popular opinion broke with the revelation of scandals within the Psionics Institutes; the result was the psionics suppressions (800 to 826), which shifted public opinion away from support of psionics.

Psionics Institute

Any clandestine organization devoted to illegal training of individuals in the use of psionics talents. Active Imperial campaigns to eradicate the Institute have been pursued for over 200 years.

Organizations of this nature have existed since before the advent of space travel, but they attained prominence only during the Long Night, when reproducible scientific discoveries made psionics a teachable, learnable science.

In the Imperial ante-bellum period, psionics institutes were rare, and they were formed only on a few scattered worlds, which for one reason or another, had an unusually high rate of psionics talents appearing, or which encouraged psionics for social, political or commercial reasons. In the years after the Civil War, institutes were organized on most high population worlds within the Imperium. Psionics institute is a generic name; each such institution was independently organized and maintained. Institutes were generally supported by that portion of the population which had psionic talents; since that portion has small, they were viable only on high population worlds.

During the psionics suppressions, the institutes' charters were revoked, and talented individuals were persecuted. In some cases, the individuals fled to assume new identities on other worlds; in others, whole families emigrated to the Zhodani Consulate or to other places beyond the frontiers of the Imperium.

Following the psionics suppressions, there were theoretically no psionics institutes remaining. In practice, however, illegal underground institutes are rumored to still remain on many worlds.

Psionics Suppressions (800 to 826)

Between 772 and 798, a series of financial, ethical, and moral scandals within the Psionics Institutes of the Imperium shifted public opinion against the institutes. At the same time, it became clear that a good number of the institutes were under the control of the Zhodani Consulate. In 800, the Imperium moved against the institutes by canceling their charters, jailing their leaders, and passing laws restricting the teaching or practice of psionics. Many institute figures went underground to espouse their cause in a type of guerrilla war.

The Psionic Suppressions had a profound influence on Imperial opinion. Over the course of 26 years, the Suppressions equated psionics with the Zhodani and established in the average Imperial citizen a distaste for both which continues to this day. The average citizen will admit to a general dislike of psionics, and if pressed, will usually state that psionics violates a persons right of mental privacy.


The science of historical prediction and macrosocial manipulation . The main thesis of psychohistory is that the action of trillions of individuals take on a fluidity and predictability which can be compared to that of molecules in a gas. The very size of the population being dealt with factors out individual peculiarities and allows the prediction of its behavior. With the ability to predict the reaction of a population to a particular stimulus comes the ability to manipulate that population, Psychohistorians reason psychohistory began as a combination of public relations/advertising techniques and behavioral science, and although its techniques have been put on a more rigorous footing, the basic principles are still not well understood. A number of minor experiments have confirmed the general validity of the science, but it was also shown to be too expensive to be of practical utility. Research continues at a small number of Imperial universities.


Traditional construction form for developing cultures; considered to be the simplest form of large scale architecture because of its load-bearing strengthand ease of assembly. TL 1.

Pyramid structures of all sizes have been believed to serve as focuses for psionic (or cosmic) power, and are claimed to sharpen dulled edges, cure diseases, and generally work miracles.

Pyramids have been constructed on most worlds where the local culture haspassed through TL 1. Many examples remain due to the massive strength of the structure .



Rachele Society

Secret Vilani supremacist group founded on Pretoria (Deneb/Pretoria 0405) by Zid Rachele in 992. Genocidal policies favoured by the group culminated in the attempted takeover of the Pretorian government in 1010. An attempt at nuclear blackmail backfired when 26,000 people (including 1900 Rachelean commandos) were killed by a nuclear explosion after the Society seized Imperial Scout facilities on Saki (Deneb/Pretoria 0504). Zid Rachele disappeared in 1015 after escaping from the prison world Exile (Deneb/Usani 1928).

In 1103, Zid Rachele and the Rachele Society surfaced again in Lishun in a brief power play at Dynam Naval Depot (Lishun/ Masionia 1219). Rachele and his followers attempted the theft of several mothballed naval warships but were quickly defeated. Zid Rachele's vessel was destroyed in the battle.

Rachelean Revolts (1010-1011)

Major uprising on Pretoria (Deneb/Pretoria 0405) fomented by the Rachele Society, which resulted in martial law under the Imperial Navy since that time. The Imperium as a rule does not interfere with local politics, but their intervention was forced when a Scout base on Saki (Deneb/Pretoria 0504) was destroyed by nuclear weapons.

See also Rachele Society.

Ramshackle Empire

Common term used during the Long Night to refer to the Rule of Man, also known as the Second Imperium. As the successor to the First Imperium, the Rule of Man took over the territories (and the problems) of its predecessor. Pro-Second Imperium histories contend that the Rule of Man delayed the inevitable collapse. Pro-First Imperium histories claim that the First Imperium was stagnant, but stable, and that the Ramshackle Empire actually precipitated the Long Night by looting subject worlds and promoting Terran superiority.

See also Rule of Man.

Red Zone

The Traveller's Aid Society travel zone classification for a nation, world or system which is dangerous to travellers. In general, the imposition of a red zone classification indicates the location is quarantined, interdicted by higher authority, or at war.

Quarantine indicates that a dangerous disease is present and the danger of war is self explanatory, but interdiction requires further discussion. Interstellar governments often find it necessary to restrict access to worlds or systems for political or military reasons, and they do so by publishing interdictions.

Enforcement of interdiction varies with the reason for the restriction. Interdiction may be imposed on a world if it is a military base or other sensitive installation, for private reservations belonging to powerful families desiring seclusion, for developing societies which government has elected to allow to evolve in isolation, or for valuable resource areas being saved for later development or exploitation.

Repatriation Bond

A document guaranteeing passage of an individual to a specified location upon completion of contract work or upon suspension of contract work for any reason. Repatriation bonds are guarantees given as inducements to workers who might otherwise be wary of leaving their own worlds with no assurance that they could return. They are most commonly used by mercenary units. Repatriation bonds are usually administered by a large financial institution which holds the necessary funds in escrow.

Rule of Man (-2204 to -1776)

(Also called the Second Imperium and, disparagingly, the Ramshackle Empire.) A short-lived interstellar empire formed after the conquest of the Vilani Imperium by the Terrans. The conquered territories were under military rule from -2219 to -2204. Vilani military forces were incorporated into the Terran forces. Terran naval officers took over key posts in the Vilani bureaucracy (which otherwise remained intact).

In -2204, the Terran Secretariat attempted to transfer control directly to Terra and to incorporate the conquered regions into the Terran Confederation. The commander in chief of the Terran Navy, Admiral Hiroshi Estigarribia, realised that the Confederation government could not possibly control the vast territories of the Vilani Imperium. He proclaimed himself Regent of the Vilani Imperium, and protector of Terra, so both states were now united in the Rule of Man. Nearly all the fleet sided with Estigarribia both because it was composed largely of colonials, who were under|represented in the Terran Confederation government, and because of Estigarribia's careful preparation. The Confederation was dissolved without significant resistance.

The Terran fleet headquarters on Dingir became the capital of the Rule of Man. The bureaucratic centre of the Imperium remained on Vland, although arrangements were undertaken to gradually transfer it elsewhere.

Upon Estigarribia's death, he was succeeded by his chief of staff, who crowned himself Emperor Hiroshi II. Estigarribia, even though he did not actually assume the crown, is therefore known to history as Emperor Hiroshi I.

Hiroshi II transferred all functions of government from both Vland and Dingir to a more centrally located world renamed bilingually Hub (Massilia/Ershur 0402). This world was to remain capital of the Rule of Man for the next four hundred years.

During the Rule of Man, large numbers of humans from Terra and its oldest colonies emigrated throughout the Imperium. People of Terran ancestry or culture (many of them assimilated Vilani) assumed positions of power on most worlds and became industrialists and administrators.

The problems of sheer size and scientific stagnation, which had brought about the fall of the Vilani Imperium, continued to plague the Rule of Man. The Vilani had coped with the problems of ruling a large empire by a rigid caste system with all citizens rooted permanently in their places, but this system could only last as long as there was no significant external threats. The Terrans did away with the system but were not able to replace it with a new social order. The destruction of the caste system swept away the foundations of society. Key industries fell apart as their workers became free to move elsewhere.

The -1776 date for the end of the Rule of Man is arbitrary and it notes the financial collapse of the central government which occurred when the Treasury at Hub/Ershur refused to honour a monetary issue of the branch treasury at Antares. The resulting lack of confidence within monetary circles marked the end of large-scale interstellar trade and of effective governmental power within the Rule of Man. Although the Imperium did not completely fall apart for many years, the Rule of Man had effectively ceased to exist as a viable interstellar community, and the period known as Twilight had begun.

The Third Imperium refers to the Rule of Man as the Second Imperium, which emphasises its own roots in the Solomani dominated Second Imperium and the Vilani dominated First Imperium. Anti| Solomani elements emphasise the failure of the Solomani dominated Ramshackle Empire.

Rule of Terra

Solomani terrorist group active in selected regions of the Solomani/Imperial border. Violently anti Imperial even by the standards of most Solomani political groups, the Rule of Terra seeks to force the return of all "rightful Terran property" to Solomani hands through assassination and other acts of violence.

The organisation, although interstellar in scope, was apparently not a very strong organisation in the beginning; some of its claimed attacks have proven to be accidents, while others were the work of different dissident individuals or organisations.

The Rule of Terra's acts, although not its goals, have been disavowed by many other Solomani groups, including the Confederation government; in return, the Rule of Terra has attacked even Solomani populations, stating that "all who do not contribute to the Manifest Destiny of the Race are not worthy to be part of the Race".

Since the death of Strephon and the resulting Solomani incursions into the rimward reaches of the Imperium, the Rule of Terra organisation has apparently mushroomed in popularity. The group has claimed responsibility for many terrorist acts along the current Solomani/Imperium border.

Rydel Expeditions

In 153 and again in 160, expeditions lead by Admiral Inesh Rydel tried to locate a useable jump route across the Great Rift from Corridor (rimward) to, Deneb. The first expedition originated from Sinta (Corridor 2037) and eventually arrived by various routes at Ashishinipar (Corridor 0931). Nearly a year was spent trying to find a way to go further to no avail. A second attempt, made by a different route ended on Ishirdu (Corridor 0338). This proved closer, but not close enough to Yoma (Deneb/Vast Heavens 3031), the closest possible world in this area of the rift.


Schunamann und Sohn AG, LIC (SuSAG,LIC)

SuSAG is involved in a wide range of chemical, pharmaceutical, and genetic engineering activities. SuSAG is the primary manufacturer of anagathics for the Imperium, and maintains psi drug manufacturing plants in client states outside Imperial borders. Because of the bad reputation for safety of its chemical/biological warfare division, the firm is not well liked in many regions, even though all of SuSAG's dangerous manufacturing plants and experimental stations are located on remote, uninhabited planetoids. Since sabotage of its plants is wide spread, and its products extremely valuable, the firm maintains a large paramilitary security force equipped at tech level 12-14 standards.

SuSAG was founded in 252 by Gustav Schunamann, financed from royalties received for his purification process for various psionic drugs, and using the shell of a bankrupt Sylean firm (hence the archaic AG in its name). In 800, psi drugs were declared illegal, all plants engaged in their manufacture within the Imperium closed, and all stocks confiscated and destroyed. Fortunately for SuSAG, the firm had by then expanded into other operations, and although badly damaged, managed to survive and prosper.

In the Spinward Marches, SuSAG has facilities on many industrial worlds. The company supplies a large proportion of the sectors chemical and biological weapons, and owns several isolated laboratories in the Glisten (Spinward Marches/Glisten 2036) belt.

Stock Ownership: Schunamann family- 52%, Imperial family- 2%, Hortalez et Cie- 9%, Other corporations- 24%, Private ownership- 7%, Other- 6%.

Scout Base

Port facility for the support, maintenance, and repair of scout vessels. The Imperial Interstellar Scout Service maintains a variety of scout bases scattered throughout the Imperium, with installations tending to be on less well developed worlds with starports type D or C. Scout bases tend to be surface installations equipped with basic facilities for fuelling and for minor maintenance activities oriented toward ships of displacement 1000 or less.

Scout bases are positioned in systems more out of the way than are naval bases for a reason. The scout bases serve as a source of ships carrying dispatches from the well-travelled xboat lanes to more remote worlds.

Scout bases also have other responsibilities, and most have an administrative responsibility in addition to the maintenance and refuelling of scout ships. Within a subsector, one base will hold responsibility for cartography in the subsector, another will be responsible for technical developments, and still another for contact and liaison activities. The scout base is more extensive than an xboat station, but less comprehensive than a way station.

See also Way Station, XboatStation.

Second Frontier War (615-620)

Fought between the Outworld Coalition and the Imperium during the period of the Barracks Emperors. Arbellatra (b. 587, d. 666) was named Grand-Admiral of the Marches and led the combined local and Imperial forces to defeat the Coalition, and thenproceeded to restablish the central Imperial authority. She was named Regent in 622 as a result, and Empress in 629.

Second Imperium

The successor of the First Imperium, established by Admiral Hiroshi Estigarribia to rule the territories conquered by the Vilani Empire by Terra.

See also Rule of Man.


Mapping unit in astrography encompassing sixteen subsectors. Average density of 500 to 650 worlds per sector.

Sectors are named, and several synonyms are in common use, including march (or marches), region, reach (or reaches), quadrant, and matrix. The Spinward Marches, for example is a sector.

As a rough means of comparing size, the sector counts of the large interstellar states and areas of settlement are as follows: the Imperium:27; the Aslan Hierate:18; the Hive Federation:17; the Vargr Extents:14; the Two Thousand Worlds:14; the Zhodani Consulate:13; the Solomani Confederation:11.


An aide or executive officer. For high-ranking officials, the wide range of responsibilities of high office are manageable only through computer assistance. Even then, the information flow may be too great. The seneschal is a product of the computer age - an adjutant or assistant with responsibilities in information management. The seneschal has no authority of his own; he manages the massive input of information associated with his superior's position, keeping the official informed, but not overwhelmed.


A Vilani trade and speculation corporation, with very little manufacturing capability. Sharurshid trades in luxury goods from all parts of the Imperium and many areas beyond. Most rare Terran wines and spirits are carried on the starships of Sharurshid. Sharurshid is one of the least active megacorporations in the Spinward Marches, although it does own several unique areas and planets with a view to developing products as sought after luxuries. Few Marcher markets are rich enough to afford Sharurshid's prices.

Stock Ownership: Imperial family- 2%, Hortalez et Cie- 29%, Investment trusts- 32%, Noble Families- 18%, Antares Holdings- 19%.

Shudusham Concords

Agreement signed by twelve worlds of the Sylean Federation at Shudusham (Core/Capital 1821) in -110 which dealt with weaponry carried by robots. The Concords have no legal force now, but many worlds have adopted similar or identical standards using the Concords as a template, and most robots produced commercially in the Imperium are designed with these restrictions in mind.

The Concords consisted of seven articles:

Article 1
This gives a general explanation of the document, overall guidelines for robot construction, locations and occasion of robot use, and the rights of robot owners. The robot's owner is responsible for all actions the robot may perform, whether direct or indirect. Reliability is thus identified as a key issue, as is motivation for a robot equipped with a weapon or used as a weapon.
Article 2
Describes detailed programming guidelines for general functions.
Article 3
Covers detailed manufacturing standards to insure reliability and provide for the safety of owners and the general public.
Article 4
Gives guidelines for when and where weapons are allowed or prohibited.
Article 5
Describes specific programming logic for weapon control and usage. Most strongly worded of all the articles.
Article 6
Details manufacturing standards to insure weapon reliability, when weapon installation is allowed.
Article 7
provides for a new agency whose responsibility is to enforce the articles of the Concords.

Forty-three amendments were made over the course of the Concords' active life. The best known is the 37th amendment, that no pseudo biological robot may attempt to pass itself off as a living being. A hardcopy of the Concords is on display at the Museum of Sylean History on Capital.

Signal GK

Abbreviation for Gashimeku Kaalariin, Vilani for "vessel in distress". The code signal GK originated on Vland as a distress signal in maritime and aviation activity, and it was one of the standard communication codes of the Vilani Imperium. When the Second Imperium succeeded it, signal GK was retained as a distress code co-equal with the Terran SOS and Mayday signals.

The Imperial Navigation Act of 103 requires all vessels, whether military or civilian, to respond to the GK, SOS, or Mayday signals provided such a response does not endanger the fabric or crew of the responding vessel.

See also Mayday, SOS.

Six Races

Traditional term for the intelligent races which dominate this region of the galaxy. It appears independently in Aslan, Vargr, and K'kree literature.

There is some disagreement as to the meaning of the term and the identity of the races involved. Most commentators agree that all of the six races must be major races; the candidates are Aslan, Droyne, Hive, K'kree, Solomani, Vargr, Vilani, and Zhodani. Various racially based hypothesis have emerged, but none have gained ascendancy.


Admiral Soegz was a loyal supporter of Arbellatra in the final years of the Civil War, and he was elevated to Archduke of Antares by her decree, which incidentally and simultaneously ordered the execution of the previous archduke for treason.

Soegz, a Vargr and a subordinate admiral under Arbellatra, commanded a task force during the fleet actions of the Second Frontier War and late in the Civil War.


Strictly, a member of that human race which developed on Terra from the original human stock (H. Sapiens). The term Solomani is often used to refer to members of the Solomani race (or, more palatably to some, to members of the human race of Solomani descent) or to members of the Solomani political movement. Its original meaning is obscure, but the word seems to have derived from either "men of Sol" or "sole men".

After the Solomani developed jump drives in -2431, Solomani humans scattered to the stars in several waves. Early colonisation efforts first settled the worlds closest to Terra; the later conquest of the First Imperium and the establishment of the Rule of Man sent more Solomani humans out primarily to occupy former Vilani controlled regions.

Solomani Autonomous Region

Area within the Imperium granted self-government through a charter from Empress Margaret I in 704.

The charter granted control of the region of space within a radius of 50 parsecs of Terra (hence the name Solomani Sphere) to a Solomani governing body, which was given broad powers of authority.

For two hundred years, the Imperium effectively ignored the region and concentrated instead on its coreward frontiers.

By 940, Solomani oppression of non-human (and non-Solomani) worlds forced Empress Margaret II to revoke the region's charter. After years of diplomatic actions proved fruitless, it was decided to forcibly reintegrate the region into the Imperium. Naturally, the Solomani resisted, and the Solomani Rim War (990 to 1002) began.

Solomani Confederation

In 871, the government of the Solomani Autonomous Region reorganised itself as the Solomani Confederation in an attempt to strengthen its claims to the heritage of the old Terran Confederation. Although tantamount to a declaration of independence, the reorganisation was officially ignored by the government of the Imperium until the increasingly belligerent and extremist policies of the Solomani caused many border worlds under Solomani rule to petition the Imperium for redress.

The branches of the Solomani Confederation's government took the names of the government of the Terran Confederation, but the present institutions have little resemblance to those of the past. The chief governing body is the Secretariat. This is presided over by the Secretary General, who is elected from its membership. The Secretary General is the chief administrative officer of the Solomani government, and while the office holds great power, it is fully accountable to the Secretariat.

Representatives to the Secretariat are appointed by the governments of the individual districts. The number of representatives each district may appoint is determined according to that district's contribution to the Solomani economy. A district typically consists of a single world, but low population worlds or depressed areas are combined into multi world districts. In the case of a district such as this, an election is held to determine the representative from that district. These, however, are not elections in the normal sense: the governments vote rather than the populace. Each government of such a district is allocated votes (again, according to its economic importance), which are used to elect a representative for that district.

All government office holders and officials must be members of the official party, the Solomani Movement. Although formerly of great power and influence, the party is now weak, decentralised and of little importance. Real power in the Confederation is held by the government and the factions.

Because of the greater degree of local autonomy that exists in the Solomani Confederation, inter world factionalism exists to a much greater degree than would be allowed in the Imperium. Coalitions of worlds exist outside the normal government channels, sometimes equalling them in importance within a given region. For example, the Near Bootes cluster, in the Solomani Rim, dominates large portions of the adjacent subsectors, both economically and politically. Bootean mercantile interests heavily favour peaceful trade with the Imperium, and their influence with the Confederation government is considered to be the primary reason for the unofficial detente between the Confederation and the Imperium. Another example of this factionalism is the ongoing trade war between Kukulcan (Kukulcan 0405) and the coalition of Thetis (Kukulcan 0108) and Laputa (Kukulcan 0310). The war is causing severe damage to the economy of Kukulcan, but the Thetis-Laputa coalition has thus far been able to muster enough power to prevent effective intervention by the Confederation government.

Solomani Hypothesis

When the Solomani discovered jump drive in -2431, they also discovered that more than a dozen human races had already colonised the worlds surrounding Terra. At the same time, there was no satisfactory explanation for the more than 40 genetically identical human races.

The Solomani Hypothesis, first proposed by Magis Sergei haut-Devroe (64 to 141), theorised that all of the many widely scattered human races of the galaxy originated on Terra, and he thought that they were transported to their current homeworlds by an alien race (called the Ancients) for purposes which even today remain unclear. The approximate date of the scattering has been established as -300,000.

When Terra was incorporated into the Imperium in 588, a small historical mission verified much of haut-Devroe's work. The hypothesis was already generally accepted by the majority of the human population in the Imperium.

More than 40 known human races have been located (and several more of them failed to adapt to their new worlds and are now extinct); only three of these human races have reached widespread prominence: they are the Vilani, the Zhodani, and the Solomani. Most other human races accept the hypothesis but lend it no special importance. The hypothesis is used by the Solomani Movement as a basis for its claims of Solomani racial superiority.

Solomani Movement

An organisation devoted to the doctrine that humans of Solomani descent are superior to all others and are most fit to rule the galaxy.

Solomani Rim War (990 to 1002)

War between the Third Imperium and the Solomani Confederation during which a large portion of the Solomani Rim sector was returned to Imperial control. Hoping to profit from Imperial preoccupation with the Third Frontier War and the disorganisation which followed upon the abdication of Styryx in 989, the Solomani reasserted their control over the complete Solomani Sphere, including those portions reabsorbed into the Imperium (see Solomani Autonomous Region). The Imperium declared war in 990.

The initial phase of the war went very well for the Solomani. Although the Imperium maintained sizeable fleets along the border, they were inferior in strength to the massed naval elements of the Solomani Confederation. In most areas, the Solomani regained the border worlds lost to the Imperium in the last half century and even occupied a number of worlds that had never been part of the Solomani Sphere.

However, Solomani fortunes were checked in 993 when a large invasion force attempted to regain the worlds in the Old Expanses sector; it encountered near- fanatical resistance and was repulsed with heavy losses.

The period from 993 to 998 was one of stalemate. The Solomani abandoned their plans for further expansion in order to rebuild their forces. However, their policy of inflexibly defending every border world was a constant drain on their resources, and the Solomani were not able to regain the initiative. By 998, the Imperial Navy had achieved strategic dominance as the greater industrial base of the Imperium made its power felt.

The last phase of the war, 998 to 1002, consisted of a near continual advance by Imperial forces into the heart of the Solomani Sphere. The basic Imperial strategy was to attack along two parallel axes of advance, with lesser task forces spreading out to create a huge pocket of Solomani territory.

Although the Solomani occasionally achieved a tactical success against a task force (such as in the Battle of Kagukhasaggan in early 1002), they were unable to halt the main advances. With the liberation of the Vegan district in 1001, the Imperium gained the secure base envisioned in the reign of Styryx. The loss of the Vegan district prompted the Solomani to embark on a desperate gamble. Recalling the time when the out numbered Terran Confederation was able to defeat the Vilani Imperium, the Solomani consolidated their remaining naval forces into a single fleet and struck at the Imperial fleet that was advancing out of the Vegan district. At the Battle of Dingir, in early 1002, the Solomani Grand Fleet was scattered and substantially destroyed. The remnants of the Solomani fleet fell back deeper into the Sphere and the Imperial forces firmly established themselves in Terra's own subsector.

The Imperial high command decided that Terra would have to be invaded in order to end forever all claims of Solomani superiority and thus the use of Terra as a rallying standard elsewhere in the Sphere. In order to invade Terra, a sizeable fraction of the Imperial forces in the Solomani Sphere were assembled into an assault force, which effectively ended the pursuit of the defeated Solomani fleet. The invasion began in the second quarter of 1002, and the hard fought campaign lasted until nearly the end of the year. In the end, the Imperium conquered the planet. However, the battle for Terra had consumed so much of the Imperial military's resources that the Imperial high command felt they lacked sufficient strength to resume their advance into the rest of the Solomani Sphere. Accordingly, they negotiated a temporary armistice with the Solomani military commanders, who were glad to gain a respite to regroup their remaining forces. The war ended on this basis as both the Imperial and Solomani civilian governments, who were concerned with the strain placed on their economies by the protracted war, informally agreed to extend the armistice indefinitely.

Although scholars have debated the wisdom of invading Terra, some claim that the battle was a marginal if not a pyrrhic victory for the Imperium. The general consensus has been that the war as a whole was a victory for the Imperium. A substantial amount of the Solomani Sphere was reabsorbed by the Imperium, and a vigorous Vegan Autonomous District was set up to oversee Imperial interests along the new border.

Solomani Security

Secret police force maintained in service to the Solomani Confederation for the purpose of maintaining state secrets, conducting espionage, and implementing political policies of the government.

Solomani Security maintains both a network of contacts which provide information from outside the Confederation and a network of informants which provide information within the Confederation. Solomani Security agents themselves are highly trained individuals capable of conducting espionage and sabotage.

Solomani Sphere

The territory governed by the Solomani as the Solomani Autonomous Region. See Solomani Autonomous Region.


Terran distress signal, developed in the century before the first space travel. An abbreviation of "Save Our Souls", which developed primarily because of the widespread adoption of a simple communication code. See also Mayday, Signal GK.


A generalised term for an intelligent life form.


The study of intelligent life forms. Subsidiary branches of this science include: cultural sophontology, the comparative study of sophont societies; physical sophontology, the study of genetic and physiological makeup of intelligent life; and developmental sophontology, the study of the various means by which life forms evolve intelligence.

Spinward Main

A grouping of systems in the Spinward Marches sector, each within jump-1 of another. This grouping forms a corridor that allows jump-1 capable ships to travel to fifteen of the sixteen Spinward Marches subsectors and to 223 of the sector's 437 worlds.

Spinward Marches

The Imperium's farthest frontier sector, containing 437 star systems divided along a coreward to rimward line by the Imperial border. The region is dominated by two major powers: the Imperial Spinward Marches sector and the frontier provinces of the Zhodani Consulate. In the independent territory between the two powers lie three small states: the Federation of Arden, the Sword Worlds Confederation, and the Darrian Confederation. Each follows its own diplomatic line designed to maintain independence from both the Zhodani and the Imperium.

The Spinward Marches has been settled since the 400s and is still a frontier sector. High-tech worlds are scattered among empty, fallow worlds; there is potential for exploration, exploitation, and development for centuries to come.


Established for the landing, servicing, refuelling, and control of starships. Starports range in quality from A (the best and most extensive) to E (the worst, little more than a spot of cleared ground).

Starports generally have two components: a surface facility and an orbital facility. The surface facility includes cargo handling installations, a landing field, control towers, and other necessary areas. Surface starport components are frequently called Dirt-Side, Ground, or Down (as in Credo Down Starport on Regina). Orbital facilities are present (usually in stationary orbit above the surface component) to enable handling of unstreamlined Ships and to allow construction of heavy craft in orbit. The orbital component is often called Shiny-Side, Up, or Orbital (as in Credo Orbital Starport). Type D and E starports have no extensive orbital facilities, but usually have navigational satellites or similar equipment. Unstreamlined ships at these starports must be serviced by shuttles. Starports, being the primary point at Which starships interact with a system, are usually the location for shipyards and additional bases, such as scout bases, naval bases, or other military and governmental installations.

Strephon (b. 1049)

Forty-third and current emperor of the Imperium; eldest son of Emperor Paulo III (981 to 1071). Born 1049.

Coronation 1071. Strephon has been criticised for starting to reverse the post Civil War policy of reducing the power of the archdukes. The most controversial such move was the appointment of Dulinor as Archduke Ilelish, who is considered to have an excessively strong power base. The Emperor has also shown considerable interest in the latest technological developments, particularly in the field of pseudo biological robots.

Sternmetal Horizons, LIC

Sternmetal is primarily engaged in mining operations and manufacturing. It produces mostly power generation equipment of all types including power plants for starships, air and ground vehicles, cities, and industrial installations. Additionally, Sternmetal is the largest manufacturer of food synthesis equipment in the Imperium. In the Spinward Marches, Sternmetal runs a low key operation, and is best known for supplying galley equipment to the sector's smaller ship builders. Various Sternmetal divisions trade under other names, and many individuals are unaware of how often they use Sternmetal's products. The aim of this policy appears simply to reach as many markets as possible with their fundamental trade goods.

Stock Ownership: Imperial family- 2%, Hortalez et Cie- 29%, Investment trusts- 32%, Noble families- 18%, Antares Holdings, LIC- 19%.


Mapping unit in astrography. Average density: 30 to 40 worlds per subsector.

Subsectors are noted within a sector by their position using tile first sixteen letters of the alphabet (A to P). In addition, they are named and may be called by a variety of synonyms for subsector, including province, cluster, or district. Imperial convention is to assign numbers to districts (for example, District 268), which are under Imperial protection, but maintain independence pending integration into the Imperium.

Superheavy Elements

Although elements heavier than uranium are increasingly unstable and radioactive (with half-lives measured in fractions of a second), quantum theory predicts an "island of stability," consisting of the elements with atomic numbers 114 to 122, which have half-lives measured in the millions of years. These superheavy elements, also called eka-metals or island metals, are generated in small amounts in supernova explosions. Only a few grams have ever been discovered in nature, which is just enough for scientists to determine that superheavies would be immensely valuable to industry if a source could be found.

Survey, First (published 420)

The first comprehensive astrographic and demographic survey of the Imperium, which was performed by the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service. More than a hundred years in the making, its publication in 420 made available the Imperium's records on its component worlds for public use.

Survey, Second (published 1065)

The second comprehensive survey of the Imperium, which was performed by the Scout Service, and which updated the long obsolete and incomplete data of the First Survey. The Second Survey was seventy years in compilation, went to greater lengths than the First Survey, and included more world data as well as more complete astrographic data. In addition, the expansion of the Imperium since 420 had added many new worlds to be included.


Commonly used name for the megacorporation heavily involved in chemical, pharmaceutical and genetic engineering. See Schunamann und Sohn AG, LIC.

Sword Worlds Confederation

A loose confederation of worlds in the Spinward Marches, coreward of the Darrians and spinward of Imperial space. The first settlement in the region was on Gram in -399.

By circa -200 the settlement of the area was largely complete, and the first interstellar government in the region, the Sacnoth Dominate, was formed in -186. Consisting of the twenty worlds settled up to that point, the Dominate lasted until 102, when it was fractured by rebellion into several smaller states.

During the ensuing centuries various Sword World governments rose and fell; they sometimes coalesced all the worlds under a single world's domination and sometimes splintered into several small states. Contact with Imperial traders in 73 brought increased trade and had a stabilising influence on the region, but this stability was short-lived.

The First Frontier war brought a desire for cooperation among the various squabbling worlds, and the end of the war saw the formation of the first unified confederation in centuries, centred on Sacnoth, and referred to as the Second Dominate. As a result of the Outworld Coalition's victory, the Sword Worlds annexed Terant 340, Torment, Trifuge, and Cunnonic, which are all in the Darrian subsector.

The Second Dominate held power until 698, when it was overthrown by a coalition headed by Gram. The Gram Coalition ruled until 788, when a short war with the Darrian Confederation resulted in the loss of the four worlds gained during the First Frontier War.

Public outrage at the mishandling of the war caused the subsequent fall of the Gram government. The replacement was the Trilateral Alliance, a decentralised organisation headed by Narsil, Sacnoth, and Durendal. The Alliance broke up in 848 due in large part to the inherent weakness of its organisation, and an interregnum of essentially independent worlds lasted until Gram reasserted its influence (helped substantially by Zhodani money and advisers, rumour has it) in 852. This government has retained control-down to the present day.

The government allows almost complete local autonomy. Individual worlds maintain separate military forces, pass their own laws, and completely regulate their own internal affairs. The Confederation government regulates inter world trade, handles diplomatic relations with outside powers, and adjudicates inter world disputes.

In peacetime, the Confederation government maintains a pool of high ranking military officers (selected from the military forces of all member worlds) who are trained in large unit command and staff operations.

During time of war, all military forces are confederalized and placed under a single unified command. For ground forces, divisions will be commanded by generals from the individual worlds, corps, and higher organisations by Confederation officers. The component forces of a division will be from the same world whenever possible. For naval forces, individual ships are under the command of local officers, squadrons and fleets by Confederation officers

Sylean Federation (-650 to 0)

Large interstellar federation which served as the basis for the Third Imperium.

Established on Sylea in -650, the Federation grew slowly, absorbing several surrounding worlds and increasing trade and interaction between worlds.

By -30, the real power in the Federation was an industrial consortium headed by Cleon Zhunastu. Cleon, a Solomani noble of great vision, used his family industrial base and the support of other families (obtained by the persuasiveness of his personality) to obtain behind the scenes control of the Federation government and to begin an active campaign to increase the number of worlds under its control.

After 30 years of economic and diplomatic manoeuvring (and occasional military action), Cleon had increased the size of the Federation and extended its control to the edge of what is now Core sector. Cleon envisioned a territory larger than a single sector, however, and concluded that the tightly controlled, highly centralised nature of the government of the Sylean Federation was not suitable for a large, star spanning empire.

Cleon decided the Federation had served its purpose, and he began plans for a more suitable form of interstellar government, which would allow greater local autonomy but maintain cohesion over large distances. In addition, to restore the past glories of the Rule of Man (and therefore lay claim to all former territories of the First and Second Imperiums), Cleon proposed to revive the Imperium.

This was made possible by the fact that in the closing years of the period known as Twilight, one of the last claimants to the throne of the Rule of Man had made Sylea his capital. Cleon traced the legitimacy of the Sylean Federation back through this emperor to the Rule of Man and (since the Rule of Man claimed to be the lawful successor to the Vilani Imperium) to the First Imperium as well.

In the 651st year of the Sylean Federation, the Grand Senate of the Federation "persuaded" Cleon to accept the Imperial crown. That year he was crowned First Emperor of the Third Imperium, and he proclaimed the 651st year of the Sylean Federation to be the Year Zero of the Third Imperium.


A star and its family of planets and satellites. The term system denotes a major world and its associated star, plus any other planets, satellites, asteroids, and other bodies.

System Defence Boat

A nonstarship specifically intended for defensive operations inside a star system. Developed on the principle that a nonstarship (because of the increased armament made possible by its lack of jump drives) can normally defeat a starship of equal tonnage. System Defence Boats are typically stationed at the vital points of a system (the gas giants, the asteroid belt, the major world, and so on), and they attack invading vessels according to one or more predetermined plans.

System defence boats range in size from displacements of 100 to 5000 and are constructed at all tech levels from eight to fifteen. There are hundreds of different types, tailored to their specific mission.

See also Gunboat.


Terra (Solomani Rim/Sol 1827 A867A69-F)

Also known as Earth. Origin of the genetic stock from which all races of humaniti descended, former capital of the Terran Confederation, former capital of the Old Earth Union, and former capital of the Solomani Autonomous Region. The word Terran (used to refer to an inhabitant of this world or to a citizen of the Terran Confederation) is derived from the name of this world.

Terran Confederation (-2398 to - 2204)

Interstellar government consisting of Terra and its colony worlds. The Terran Confederation has its roots in the formation of the United Nations Space Coordination Agency (UNSCA) in -2499. In addition to handling mundane responsibilities that helped avoid conflict, UNSCA soon became a clearing house for space operations.

One of UNSCA's natural directions was research. In -2431, UNSCA researchers in the system's asteroid belt, who were looking for better drives to transport ores, discovered jump drive. The first jump drives were used only in the solar system--they were too weak to be used for interstellar travel. In -2424, for various reasons, the first interstellar jump expedition travelled to Barnard's Star rather than Alpha Centauri.

Upon their return in -2422, the expedition members were hurried into a hushed meeting with UNSCA. The expedition had encountered alien intelligent life, humans no less! The expedition members had encountered a Vilani prospecting outpost, an outpost on the very fringe of a vast, advanced empire controlled by alien humans. It came as quite a shock to the Terrans that many of the worlds only a few parsecs away were already claimed. Politicians echoed the popular sentiment that it was unfair for alien humans from several hundred light- years away claim worlds near Terra. Individual nations began expanding their armed forces and building starships.

Over the next two decades, UNSCA and the United Nations transformed itself into a true world government, which administered the defense of Terra against the Vilani Empire.

When Terran colonies formed on other worlds were granted membership in -2400, the UN officially changed its name to the United Worlds. Two years later, upon the admission of colonial representatives to the Secretariat, the name was changed again to the Terran Confederation.

The Terran Confederation fought a series of interstellar wars with the Vilani Imperium over the period -2408 to -2219. These wars ultimately resulted in the fall of the Vilani Grand Imperium. The Confederation was dissolved in -2204 upon the proclamation of the Rule of Man to replace the Vilani Imperium.

See also Rule of Man, Nth Interstellar War, Solomani, United Nations, and United Worlds.

Terran Prime

Designation used in astrographical surveys of unpopulated regions. These worlds are similar to Terra, and as such are much prized as possible habitations. To be classed as such, the following must be true: Diameter 8640 to 15200 km, atmosphere 4 to 9, hydrographic percentage 36 to 95%, gravity 0.6 to 1.1g. Within this is the category Terra Norm (diameter 9440 to 15200 km, atmosphere 6 or 7, hydrographic percentage 46 to 75, and gravity 0.75 to 1.1g), a classification which almost guarantees successful colonization.

Third Frontier War (979 to 986)

The long period of uneasy peace between the Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate erupted into war in 979 with simultaneous blows by the Zhodani in the Querion and Jewell subsectors. Imperial reaction was deficient, and the hostilities continued for nearly six years with little to show for it. The armistice finally signed in 986 gave each side little, and it brought about the abdication of Emperor Styryx in 989. Third Imperium (0 to present): Also called The Imperium.

Founded in 0 by Cleon Zhunastu from the Sylean Federation in what is now Core sector. The Imperium grew swiftly during the pacification campaigns and more slowly thereafter until stability was reached in the 600's, by which time the Imperium had absorbed much of the territory of the First and Second Imperiums.

Government Structure: The Imperium can best be thought of as a form of feudal confederation. Member worlds of the Imperium agree to pay taxes and obey a few fundamental laws which the Imperium promulgates, known as the High Laws. In return, the Imperium agrees to patrol the space between the worlds, to protect interstellar trade, to encourage travel and commerce, and to arbitrate diplomatic relations between worlds. Beyond this, individual worlds are left to their own devices so long as they acknowledge the power of the Imperium to rule the space between the stars.

Imperial power is present on the member worlds in the form of consulates, bureaucratic offices, and bases. Sometimes, larger enclaves of Imperial power are placed where they can enhance the Emperor's strength.

The Imperium's territory is divided into sectors, which are in turn divided into subsectors and systems. Groups of sectors, called domains, have been created above the sector level.

During the Pacification Campaigns, Emperor Artemsus divided chartered space into six regions, labeled them domains, and appointed an archduke over each of them. To each archduke, he assigned the continuing pacification of the domain's many systems and their integration into the Imperium. The domains were: Sylea (Core, Fornast, lassila, Delphi), Vland (Corridor, Vland, Gushemege, Dagudashag), Gateway (Ley, Glimmerdrift Reaches, Gateway, Crucis Margin), Ilelish (Ilelish, Zarushagar, Reaver's Deep, Daibei), Antares (Lishun, Antares, Mendan, Amdukan), and Sol (Diaspora, Old Expanses, Solomani Rim, Alpha Crucis). Most of the domains were never totally absorbed into the Imperium.

In 589, during the First Frontier War, a seventh domain was established: Deneb (Spinward Marches, Deneb, Trojan Reach, Reft). The intent was to appoint an archduke to be responsible for their supervision. However, the Civil War broke out before an archduke was appointed.

Following the civil war, the emperors expressed concern about individuals with powers equaling their own, so they moved to lessen the power of the archdukes in the Imperial government. Because of this, no Archduke of Deneb was ever appointed. As a result, the domains came to have little practical significance. Each archduke did retain the power to create knights and baronets.

In the years after the Fourth Frontier War, and the problems it presented from lags in communication, Emperor Strephon felt that a strengthened archduke position could enable the Imperium to more quickly respond in the defense of the realm. Against the protests and opposition of prominent members of the Moot, Strephon has reinstituted a number of powers to the domains, most notably the right to collect taxes.

Thoengling Empire

Large, centralized state in the Vargr Extents. The Thoengling Empire is one of the most stable of the Vargr states and has existed in its current form since 792. The Emperor, who has great governmental authority, is chosen for life by vote of an elected assembly; by law, no member of the emperor's family may succeeded them. Sons and daughters of the higher nobility are brought up at the Imperial court, where every effort is made to inculcate personal loyalty to the Emperor.

The Thoengling Empire has become a major trading partner of the Imperium and generally supports Imperial interests in the Vargr Extents.


See Traveller News Service

Trade Routes

Routes which jump-capable starships travel between major worlds and which connect vital suppliers with essential markets, important government worlds with high population worlds, and strategic resources with exploiting industry. Trade routes are a natural outgrowth of economic and market pressures. When a market is no longer profitable, the trade routes bypass it.

The trade routes are typically the territory of the Imperium's largest trading companies. They maintain fleets of commercial transports and merchants who serve these trade worlds, and they reap large profits in doing so.

But trade routes directly serve fewer than a tenth of the worlds of the Imperium. The other 90 percent of the Imperium's worlds are served by feeder lines, tramp freighters, and free traders. These smaller companies and unscheduled ships carry passengers and cargo between worlds off the main trade routes.

Trade Station

Establishment for the promotion of interstellar commerce. There is no single controlling agency for trade stations; some are established by private companies, on their own, or on contract to the Imperium, some are run by the scout service, and others are operated by different branches of the Imperial government.


Archduke of Gateway. As archduke of the domain with the smallest proportion of territory actually within the Imperium, Tranian's dynasty was always the least powerful of the archduke dynasties. However, following the Civil War, this domain's powers were the least diminished by succeeding emperors. This was largely due to the fact that no emperor of the flag came from this region, and the armed forces of the region remained on the side of the Imperium instead of any particular emperor.

Tranian has few duties in the domain which cannot be administered from Capital, where he resides for most of the year. He is a powerful voice for tradition and honor in the Moot, and so the Imperium as a whole.


Small berry common to many worlds of the Imperium. the trake has a meaty, sweet body enclosing a single large seed and grows on a low, thorny bush. Trakes have grown in the Imperial Core since the time of the First Imperium. Introduced late to the Spinward larches, they have flourished on only a few worlds, most notably Pysadi and Alell, although they are cultivated on many others.

See also Atrake

Traveller News Service

The major news agency of the Imperium, owned by the Travellers' Aid Society. TNS has bureaus on most major worlds throughout the Imperium and representatives at most starports.

Travel Zone

Standard form of classification for worlds in terms of relative danger. As a service to spacefarers, the Traveller's Aid Society publishes travel zone classifications that indicate the degree of danger a world presents to visitors. Standard classifications are green (no danger), amber (caution advised), and red (severe danger).

See also AmberZone, Red Zone.

Trojan Points

In a gravitational system composed of a small body orbiting a much larger one (such as a planet and star or a moon and planet), there are two stable points lying in the small body's orbit 60 degrees ahead and behind it, and thus equidistant from the small and large bodies. These are called Trojan Points (also LaGrangian points, which are abbreviated as L4 and L5).

The Trojan points of of a gas giant near an asteroid belt commonly collect a cluster of asteroids. The name comes from the first such cluster discovered by Terrans at Jupiter in the Sol system; the asteroids are named after mythical heroes of the Trojan war.


Language of the Aslan race, constant throughout all Aslan worlds, except for a few isolated colonies. This has done much to offset the effects of clan rivalry on interstellar commerce within the Hierate, and diplomatic relations With other interstellar states.

Tukera Lines, LIC

Tukera Lines operates a vast fleet of passenger and freight vessels throughout the Imperium, following the Xboat lines. In some subsectors (particularly the older, more established regions of the Imperium) Tukera Lines has a virtual monopoly on long distance shipping and travel.

The oldest record of the firm is a charter from the government of the Sylean Federation, but family tradition holds the company to be several centuries older.

In the Spinward Marches Tukera runs passenger and freight services between all the worlds on the xpress boat routes. In support of these operations, the company also owns marketing facilities, shipyards, ports and even staff training colleges. Their most extensive holdings are the transport company based in Aramis subsector, which is wholly owned by Tukera. The corporation uses its Imperium wide connections to provide highly profitable markets for the unusual products of the subsectors.

Stock Ownership: Tukera family- 29%, Imperial family- 3% Other corporations- 9%, Private ownership- 31%, Investment trusts- 28%.

Twilight (-1776 to -1526)

The failure of the Rule of Man triggered the collapse of most interstellar civilization. while interstellar travel and commerce continued, it was at a greatly reduced rate, and the many worlds of the Imperium turned in on themselves. The period of collapse is termed Twilight, and it lasted for two and a half centuries.

Modern historians consider Twilight to have begun in -1776 when the treasury on Hub/Ershur refused to acknowledge a monetary issue of the branch treasury at Antares, which triggered a financial collapse and the destruction of large- scale trade within the Imperium.

The end of Twilight is commonly accepted as the year -1526, when the last government claiming to be the Rule of an ceased to exist.

See also Long Night.

Twilight's Peak

Legendary or apocryphal story of lost starfarers on an unknown world who discover fantastic structures and devices while surviving a terrible winter. Phrased as an epic poem of execrable quality, the story is most notable only in that it is based on fact: a task force was lost in the time period specified, and it has not been recovered or accounted for.

Two Thousand Worlds

Most common name in the Imperium for the region of space ruled by the K'kree. "Two Thousand Worlds" is a literal translation of the K'kree T't'tkahk Xeng ICirr. The same words can also be rendered idiomatically as "universe". In past times, the words meant "night sky",as roughly two thousand stars can be seen from one hemisphere of Kirur, the K'kree homeworld. The name should not be taken to mean that there are exactly two thousand systems in the K'kree empire.

The K'kree government is highly conservative. The current dynasty ruling the Two Thousand Worlds has been in power since prehistoric times, and the form of the government has remained unchanged except for a few minor modifications made necessary by the problems inherent in governing an interstellar empire.

K'kree expansion into space progressed very slowly after the discovery of the jump drive in -4142. The conservative nature of society and the technical limitations placed upon spaceflight by that society (K'kree spaceships must be very large, for example) combined to inhibit early exploration and colonization.

The discovery of other sophonts caused a xenophobic reaction in k'kree society. The realization that intelligent carnivores might exist somewhere in space sparked the K'kree obsession to convert the universe to herbivorism. This obsession stimulated the growth of the Two Thousand Worlds to its present size and still dominates K'kree culture. Local cultures are tolerated and other aspects of K'kree society are not heavily enforced, but all races within the Two Thousand Worlds are herbivorous.

K'kree contact with the Hive Federation was soon followed by the Hiver-K'kree war of -2029 to -2013. The military technology of the K'kree proved superior in the first stages of the war. The war ended due to nonmilitary considerations, however, when the Hive Federation demonstrated a plan to radically alter the 'kree social order through the the use of psychohistorical techniques and threatened to implement it. The K'kree withdrew to the antebellum borders, and the border between the to states has remained stable to this day.

The K'kree Empire eventually stopped in its expansion. Increasing problems of administration over interstellar distances and contact with other starfaring races (such as hivers and humaniti) have stabilized the Two Thousand Worlds at its present size.


United Nations (-2573 to -2400)

An association of Terran states. Established in -2573 on the signing of the UN charter by the fifty member states at San Francisco. The organization was intended to reduce conflict and hardship on the world by encouraging cooperation between world powers. Duties were mainly carried out through UN agencies, but occasionally military force was employed with the support of the member states on the Security Council.

From about -2520, the UN started reforming into a world government. The armed forces of the major states became more accepted as a world-wide peacekeeping and police force under the banner of the United Nations. The Secretariat began coordinating large scale projects to reduce the effects of famine, disease, and economic hardship. Environmental controls and the move of many industrial concerns to orbital and out- system locations prevented Terra from loosing its garden climate. In addition, research was encouraged, and the solar system was intensively explored.

In -2499, the Treaty of New York formalized the changes in the UN's structure which had already occurred. The armed forces of the major nations were placed under centralized control. The Secretary General was granted wider executive powers. The Secretariat, previously an unofficial advisory group of representatives from the major nation-states, was made the chief legislative body. The General Assembly was retained, but became a forum for debate with little real power. The Security Council was dispensed with entirely. In addition, several new and powerful agencies were established. Among these were the United Nations Space Coordination Agency (UNSCA), the United Nations Diplomatic Integration Agency (UNIA), and the United Nations Trade Services Association (UNTSA).

Following the discovery of jump drive, and the establishment of extra-system colonies, these three agencies became the major arms of the interstellar government. On the admission of colonial representatives to the General Assembly in -2400, the organization changed its name to the United Worlds.

See also Terran Confederation and United Worlds

United Worlds (-2400 to -2398)

Name adopted by the Terran based interstellar government in the interim period between the first colonial representatives taking their places on the General Assembly, and the first colonial state to gain a place on the Secretariat. Despite this seemingly rapid integration of the colonies, they remained in the minority. Thus throughout the government's history, Terran representatives (and so Terran interests) dominated the General Assembly and the Secretariat. The admission of colonials to the Secretariat in -2398 prompted the second change in the state's name, to the Terran Confederation.

See also Terran Confederation, United Nations.



Intelligent major race derived from Ancient genetic manipulations of Terran carnivore/chaser stock, which apparently dates from approximately the same time that humaniti was scattered to the stars.

Inhabiting a region rimward of the Imperium, the Vargr were a puzzle to xenologists. The biochemistry and genetic makeup are almost identical with a number of terrestrial animals, but they differ radically from most of the flora and fauna indigenous to Lair, which is the purported Vargr home world.

Research during the early years of the Third Imperium concluded them to be the result of genetic manipulation of transplanted Terran animals of the family Canidae, almost certainly of genus Canis. The obvious conclusion, supported by archaeological evidence, is that the race known as the Ancients was responsible.

The typical Vargr is about 1.6 meters in height and weighs approximately 60 kilograms. They are upright, bipedal carnivores, with rear limbs digitigrade and hands very similar in size and appearance to those of a human, although there are significant internal differences. They have approximately the same physical parameters as humans and are able to use the same equipment without modification or additional instruction.

On average their reactions are slightly faster than those of the typical human, but individuals vary widely. The Vargr senses of smell and sight are superior to those of humans.

Government: There is no central Vargr government; indeed, there is no governmental type that can be said to be "typically vargr". Every conceivable form of governmental organization can be found somewhere in the Vargr Extents. The only cohesive force in the Extents is a fierce racial pride which causes a slight tendency towards racial cooperation.

The higher the level of the Vargr government, the more unstable it becomes because of the difficulty of obtaining consent of all Vargr involved.

Vargr in the Imperium: While only a few planets populated completely by Vargr exist within the Imperium, there are millions of Vargr citizens of loyal subject planets. Additionally, Vargr adventurers, criminals, mercenaries and traders can be found throughout the coreward reaches of the Imperium.

Society: The key elements shaping Vargr societies are a very strong centrifugal force resulting from an emphasis on personal leadership and a deeply ingrained family-group-race loyalty and an equally strong centripetal force resulting from acceptance only of informal lines of authority, an a constant competition for power between the more charismatic members of a group.

Centralized authority is extremely limited at the upper levels of Vargr society, and action is based on broad coalition concerns, with a constant splitting and rejoining by dissident factions. Traditionally, this has made it very difficult for more centralized and organized societies such as the Imperium to deal on a meaningful basis with what passes for Vargr states.

The Vargr have little respect for formal authority, and what respect they might have decreases as that authority becomes more remote. Vargr tend to respect informal authority figures more, and they obey superiors who are better known to them.

The Vargr have an intensive racial pride, and they are easily insulted. They are prone to enter fights without regard to possible consequences. Vargr social organization is difficult to characterize in Terran terms, but it can be most closely compared to the Dakota Sioux of North America in c. -2700, if the analogy is not pressed too far.

Even within the most stable Vargr governments, a highly charismatic leader can attract followers for almost any cause. The neighbors of the Vargr are constantly subject to impromptu raids and scattered piracy by bands of Vargr (totally without government sanction) who have been talked into a raid, a battle, or a war by a charismatic leader.

Vargr Campaigns (220 to 348)

The series of wars, encounters, conflicts, and disputes between the Imperium and the various Vargr states in Vland, Corridor, and Deneb sectors along the coreward edge of the Imperium.

As the Imperium expanded, it initially recruited worlds that were former members of the First and Second Imperium. As its borders reached still farther, the Imperial expansion met already established Vargr states of varying sizes. The Imperium struggled for over a century to secure its territory against the Vargr; the inevitable series of conflicts that resulted are collectively called the Vargr campaigns.

Vargr Extents

The territory dominated by Vargr governments. The term Vargr Extents refers to those sectors with major Vargr populations. The Extents are situated roughly coreward of the Imperium and especially coreward of the Spinward Marches, Deneb, Corridor, and Vland sectors.


Prince of the Imperium, son of Princess Lydia and Duke Dresden, tile elder of the Emperor Strephon's twin nephews. Third in line to the throne, being born only minutes before his brother Lucan.


An intelligent race originating on iluan Gwi (Solomani Rim 1717 A456A86-F) and inhabiting the Vegan Autonomous District (q.v.); they are named by humans after the bright star in their home subsector.

Physiology: Vegans are upright, bipedal and bilaterally symmetrical, averaging 2.2 meters in height. They are bisexual, homeothermic oxygen breathers with an average life span of over 200 years. Because of their low-gravity origin, they are physically quite weak, and are unable to live on high gravity worlds.

The head serves both as a brain case and sensory appendage. Auditory organs are located in the collar-like structure around the neck. Despite external appearances to the contrary, Vegans have to eyes. These are located in the fleshy hood-like structure that dominates the head. The paired eyes are covered by a transparent eyelid structure, which acts as a polarized light filter. This structure protects the eyes from glare, like built- in sunglasses, and also serves to keep windblown dust out of the eyes. This filter can be retracted when not needed. The eyes themselves are large, and pick up radiation well into the infrared portion of the spectrum, an adaptation to tuan Gwi's small red sun. Since the skull is fixed solidly in place, a Vegan cannot turn its head, but the fleshy hood containing the eyes can turn through a large arc.

The mouth is a vertical slit in the upper thoracic region, with paired breathing/vocal slits on either side of it. Two mandibles are located inside the upper chest, and grind food with two opposing sets of teeth. Where the forearm would be on a human, Vegans have three tentacles, which serve as manipulative organs. Their legs end in broad, splayed feet, which prevent them from sinking into the soft sand of iluan Gwi. The urogenital opening is a vertical slit located ventrally in the lower abdomen. There are no external differences between the sexes.

Vegans have a number of adaptations to the arid dry region of iluan Gwi where they developed. Their tall, thin bodies are designed for maximum radiation of heat. The torso is covered with a thick integument, whose convoluted surface is richly supplied with blood vessels. By increasing or decreasing the supply of blood to the integument, heat radiation from the torso can regulated to optimum effect. This arrangement makes perspiration, and the consequent water loss unnecessary. All bodily orifices can be sealed to prevent moisture loss.

History: The Vegans received jump drive circa -6000 from Vilani influenced traders, and colonized several nearby worlds before being absorbed by the first Imperium in -4404. They were severely restricted under Vilani rule, as were all races that resisted integration into the rigid Vilani culture. Because of this they welcomed the Terran victory in the Interstellar Wars and the advent of the Rule of Man. the Vegan Polity prospered under the Rule of Man and survived the Long Night largely intact. However, with the emergence of the Third Imperium in the region, the Vegan area was broken into individual world states in accord with Imperial policy; non-humans were treated as full citizens, but in order to cement Imperial authority no multiworld governmental units were allowed.

Under the Solomani, the Vegans were again restricted. human colonies were founded on many Vegan worlds to maintain solomani influence there, and Solomani governors were installed on all worlds. After the Solomani Rim War (q.v.), the present Vegan Autonomous District was formed as a counterweight to the Solomani.

Society: Vegan society is divided into hundreds of different tuhuir, which might be roughly translated as a culture, philosophy or tao. Each tuhuir has its own customs and traditions and its own interpretation of the proper way to live. The civil service which governs the Vegan District is a tuhuir that oversees and mediates between all the other tuhuir. Although rare, heretical and rebellious tuhuir do exist.

Archaeology shows that the tuhuir were once separate societies, each associated with a particular geographic location, like the countries of ancient Terra. Now, however, they are mixed together in complex patterns. Tuhuir are not hereditary; when a vegan nears sexual maturity, he or she enters a period of search, which may last for many years. Eventually, the individual chooses a tuhuir; once made, the choice is for life. In practice, about 50% of all Vegans enter the tuhuir of their parents (the exact percentage varies between tuhuir); about 5% find that they enjoy the search as a way of life and never join a tuhuir.

Vegan Automonous District

After the pyrrhic victory over the Solomani at Terra in 1002, the Imperium found that it could not completely conquer and absorb the rest of the Solomani Sphere. The Imperial high command decided to create the Vegan Automonous District to act as a counterweight to the remnants of the Solomani Confederation. The Vegans have complete internal control over their district, but free passage is guaranteed for Imperial citizens and goods.

Although many factors have contributed to the present peace and stability along the Solomani Rim, it cannot be denied that the creation of the Vegan Automonous District has achieved its original purpose.

The worlds of the Vegan Automonous District are under a single, centralized government. State power is contained in a civil service and is chosen and promoted by competitive examinations.


Human major race (H. sapiens) that developed on Vland from human stock placed there by the Ancients.

History: The world of Vland, while possessed of a hospitable environment, boasted an alien ecology based on its own independently evolved biology, a biology that produced amino acids, proteins, and sugars that were difficult for humans to digest and metabolize. The humans just could not use local plant and animal life for food.

One of the oldest occupations in Vilani society is that of shugilii (which translates roughly as miller). The shugilii was a person who could transform raw food into edible food through special aging and chemical treatments. The shugilii position was more akin to that of shaman or witch doctor than that of cook. Since virtually no food on Vland was edible without some treatment, shugilii were powerful members of society.

The alienness of land was reciprocal: humans were unsuitable as food for predators, parasites died because humans provided no nutrition, bacteria could not infect the human system, and even viruses were unable to invade and take over human cells. Consequently, the primitive human society found no need for medically oriented shaman. Vilani medical understanding was very slow to develop because of this.

Vilani legends are full of accounts of the wars of the gods, terrible destruction, and occasional intervention in human affairs by the gods. Legends exist of early explorers who found lands with great living stone-metal gods possessed of immense magical powers. Modern archaeologists now believe these "gods" were actually great robot warriors and juggernauts used by the ancients in the final war. Apparently, the last of these machines finally ran down around -20,000.

Society. Early Vilani society was dominated by three groups: the shugilii, the aristocrats, and the merchants. Aristocrats were the natural leaders of society, the shugilii were the all important food processors, and the merchants controlled trade.

With the flowering of Vilani society (circa -11,000) and its attendant industrial revolution, each of these three forces gained power rather than lost it; each participated in the creation of the industrialized wealth of Vland.

In -9235 the Vilani made their ultimate breakthrough, one that would assure their ascendence for the next 6000 years. A research team working on the fringes of the Vland system created the first working prototype jump drive and demonstrated its effects.

The Vilani discovered intelligent lifeforms on other worlds within 60 parsecs of Vland. None of the races had progressed enough to have begun interstellar travel. The Vilani found it easy to dominate these less technically advanced races. The Vilani were able to impose Vilani culture and law on these other races among the stars. However, the Vilani conquering was not of a militaristic nature, but was economic subjugation.

As their sphere of influence was expanding, the Vilani found it difficult to maintain control across such great distances with jump-l their maximum rate of travel and communication. At the same time, each of the three power classes of the Vilani society found themselves threatened by the forces around it.

Three bureaus were established, each independent of the other two, and each assigned a territory among the stars for which it was responsible. Each of the three bureaus was effectively identical, but they initially espoused different philosophies, which were based on their origins. The bureaus maintained their own governments within their territories.

Silarurshid, originating with the merchant class, emphasized interstellar trade. lakhidkarhn, originating with the aristocracy, emphasized interstellar government. Naasirka, originating with the shugilii, floundered after it found that it could not control food supplies on most worlds it dealt with, but it ultimately became a broad based organization, emphasizing energy, transport, and luxury goods.

In -5430, the Vilani finally discovered jump-2. No other race had jump-2, and the Vilani maintained its monopoly on jump-2 by jealously guarding its secrets from all subject races.

Beginning in -5400, a series of wars to subjugate the resisting fringe cultures was waged. This period of consolidation lasted until -4045.

Grand Empire of Stars: In -4045, the ruling Vilani council, the Igsiirdi, declared the Grand Empire of Stars, or in the Vilani tongue the Ziru Sirka. The Vilani calendar starts on this date.

At first, the Empire had no emperor. Within 10 years, the chairman of the Igsiirdi (elected for life by the council) was declared the Isilimkarun, the Shadow Emperor, Who ruled by published proclamation, but never appeared in public. In -3610, the Shadow Emperor became Emperor of the Stars, who was absolute monarch of the Empire. Successors were elected from the Igsiirdi upon the death of the old emperor.

For nearly 1,200 years the Grand Empire of Stars Kept peace among its star spanning population. however, the empire insisted on cultural rigidity. Exploration was brought to a halt by -4000. Scientific research was controlled and then stopped altogether by -300.

The beginning of the end of Vilani domination, however, was emphasized when the Terrans contacted the empire in -2422. By - 240 the Terrans and the Vilani were at war; by -2219 the Terrans had surpassed the Vilani technology and were marching through the cities of Vland as conquerors, and the Grand Empire of Stars was at an end.

Currently, Vilani is a cultural rather than racial or national labeling, and it is applied to those within the Imperium who retain some of the old ways. Dialects of the old High Vilani language survive in certain places, along with a few other fragments of Vilani culture, such as musical forms and other fine arts. Certain of the old Vilani noble families have maintained more of the old culture. In particular, those who control the Vilani megacorporations instill a predominantly Vilani culture on many of their employees.

Vilani Calendar

The Vilani calendar is based on the period of Vland (the Vilani homeworld) around Urakkalan, its star. The Vilani Gurkala (year) is 478.72 standard days in length.

See also Vland, First Imperium.


The group of languages derived from the official language of the Ziru Sirka. In modern times there are three versions common throughout the Imperium. Old High Vilani has a similar status to that of Latin on pre-stellar Terra; many Vilani-based languages of Imperial worlds are closely related to this language. Secondly, there is Classical Written Vilani. Used in the Ziru Sirka to help surmount the difficulties of language differences which emerged across the vast distances of that empire, its spelling, grammar, etc remained constant throughout the empire, even when pronunciation varied. Finally, there is Modern Vilani, still used as a first language on many Imperial worlds. It is this form that members of Imperial service are required to have a working knowledge of. The language has three sub-languages; one for speaking to ones' social superiors (Inferior), one for speaking to ones' social inferiors (Superior), and a third for use only with family members, pets, and close, life-long friends.

Vland (Vland/Vland 1717 A967A9A-F)

Homeworld of the Vilani, former capital of the Vilani Imperium, current capital of the Vland sector. Vland is a major trade and cultural center for the coreward/spinward regions of the Imperium.



Major violent conflict between nations, corporations, or races.

See also Good War/Bad War, Imperial Rules of War.

Way Station

Link in the express boat network. The way station is a large (for the Scout Service) base devoted to the overhaul and refit of express boats at points in their journeys. During a normal tour of duty, an express boat will jump from system to system, and occasionally change pilots, but steadily work its way farther and farther down the line.

At each stop (Xboat station), the Xboat is routinely checked, refuelled, reprovisioned, and sometimes recrewed. Ultimately, however, the Xboat must undergo maintenance and possible repair after the rigors of its mission. The way station performs this function.

Way stations have stocks of scout-oriented repair and maintenance equipment, as well as trained staffs of service personnel. They are the equivalent of naval bases, although they are capable of servicing only smaller displacement ships (10000 and less) due to the size and orientation of their facilities.



See Express Boat

Xboat Station

Facility for handling Xboats at a star system. At each system served by the Xboat network, an express boat station is maintained to handle the message traffic and to manage incoming and outgoing Xboats.

Usually located near the edge of a star system, the station picks up messages beamed to it by incoming Xboats and relays the data to the local world for delivery. Messages destined for worlds farther down the line are transmitted to a waiting Xboat which jumps for the next world in the network.

The Xboat station contains receiving and retransmitting equipment; refuelling and support facilities for the local staff and waiting crews are also provided. The Xboat station maintains a local office on the system's major world for the acceptance of Xboat messages, as well as to handle delivery of the messages to addresses on the world.

Xboat Tender

These 1000-ton displacement vessels are intermediaries between Xboats boats and their stations. They retrieve the Xboats, prepare them for their next jump and provide routine maintenance requirements. An internal Ship bay can hold up to four Express Boats, or two Scout/Couriers, and so are often used by the IISS as field repair workshops. In the more remote parts of the boat network, small groups of one to three such vessels act as the entire boat station with no permanent facility whatsoever. The Imperial Navy have pressed approximately 144 of these vessels into tanker duty, supporting fighter squadrons patrolling frontier worlds. They are also popular as bulk ore carriers and as corsairs, where the ship bay comes in useful for boarding procedures, allowing captured vessels to be stripped at leisure.


Information sent by Xboat. Also known as express mail and Imperial mail. Xboats carry information only (at least for their civilian customers); material objects may not be sent. Messages are digitally encoded; xmail costs CrlO per 2 kilobytes per parsec. The message may be sent using a standard Galanglic character set (about CrlO for a 500 word message), or in classical written Vilani (about CrlO for a 700 word message) or a picture may be reproduced as a facsimile (Cr2 for a 200 x 200 bit matrix). The message is printed out at its destination and delivered by a world's local mail service.

Some merchant companies operate an express Packet service, transporting small cargoes at speeds close to those of the Imperial boat network. These services are considerably more expensive than standard methods of cargo transport.


Year Zero

The base year of the Imperial calendar is the founding year of the Third Imperium. By selecting a base year numbered zero (instead of the generally selected year 1), the Imperial dating system became a standard number line extending backward in time.

Years before the founding of the Imperium become simple negative numbers, and the differences between dates before and after the founding of the Imperium can be determined by subtraction



Official language of the Zhodani Consulate, adopted as standard in -5718 (the 300th Olympiad). It is fairly constant throughout the consulate, the few dialects which exist arising primarily from the jargon of specific occupations, rather than a difference in language.

Zhodane (Zhodane 2719 A6547C8-F)

Capital of the Zhodani Consulate and homeworld of the Zhodani people. Unlike capitals of other interstellar states, Zhodane is largely divided into the estates of the members of the ruling Zhodani council, making the world's population unusually low. The three supreme Zhodani consuls, and the Grand Council, rule the Consulate from this world.


Human major race (H. sapiens) inhabiting the Zhodani Consulate, a region far spinward of the Imperium.

The Zhodani are a branch of Humaniti similar in most respects to other human races. In general, they tend to be taller than Solomani or Vilani, and lithe of build. Their most important difference is the acceptance and use of psionics. Zhodani society is divided into three classes: nobles, intendants, and proles. Nobles are the enfranchised ruling class, and receive psionic training from childhood. Intendants are the managers and administrators of society, and also receive early training. Proles constitute the masses, are forbidden the use of psionics, and do not receive training. Within this rigid class system, there are two opportunities for promotion to a higher class. All prole children are tested for psionic potential, and those showing high scores are taken from their families and adopted into the intendant class. Intendants are rewarded for great diligence, service to the state or victory in the psionic games, through the granting of noble rank.

The presence of psionics in the hands of those in power means that many aspects of society work at high efficiency. Psychology, behavioral science, communication science, and education are more refined and exact than in other societies. Educational methods are finely tuned, and capable of teaching concepts rapidly and accurately. Mental deviance or criminal tendencies can be detected early and corrected with facility.

Zhodani society is generally a happy one. Individuals are members of a functioning whole, with each making a contribution to its success. The relative lack of upward mobility for the proles is offset by the possibility for their children to move upwards if they have the proper potential. The burden of responsibility imposed on on the intendants is lightened by the ever present possibility of reward through elevation to the noble classes. The nobles themselves temper their burden of authority with the comfort derived from their station in life.

Morality: The Zhodani have a general distaste for other human races which do not practice psionics. Effective indoctrination and the ever present possibility that one's mind is being read have removed dishonesty and deviance as common features of society. The tavrchedl (Thought Police) are a special branch of the government who are charged with maintaining correct thought in the population.

Imperial distaste for the Zhodani is founded on two facts. Firstly, the Zhodani practice psionics, and an Imperial cannot be sure that a Zhodani is not invading his mental privacy at any time. Imperials feel exposed and uncomfortable in the presence of Zhodani. Second, because of their psionic abilities, the Zhodani have the most effective authoritarian government in history. Imperial citizens, used to a great degree of local autonomy, fear Zhodani conquest because of the loss of freedom it would entail.

Government: The Zhodani Consulate is a participatory democracy in which only nobles are allowed to vote. Executive and judicial functions are the responsibility of a series of councils of varying sizes. Each council elects one of its number as executive officer, and a number of its members as delegates to the next higher council.

A city, for example, will elect several of its council members to be representatives to the world council. The process continues upward through several layers of councils to the overall Grand Council of the Zhodani. Nominally, each member of a council serves for one olympiad (three Zhodani years), but in practice each councillor serves until their replacement arrives and they are officially replaced, or until word of the delegate's re-election is received. Often, the district from which a councillor is elected will have only relatives as voters, and re-election is virtually assured.

Standard practice (when possible) calls for Zhodani councils to submit important questions to a plebiscite of those affected. The principle can be suspended where immediate action is required, but the official ordering the action stands responsible to the voters, and actions must be justified as soon as possible.

Supreme executive power is vested in three consuls, one elected each Zhodani year for a term of one olympiad by and from the members of the Grand Council. No consul may be elected twice in succession, and retired consuls become life members of the Grand Council.

History: Zhodani history is considered to properly begin with their arrival with the Ancients c. -300 000. However, the first documented evidence of a major culture on Zhodane is of a moon worshipping empire, ascendant between -1000 and -15000. Much of the elementary stone age knowledge was developed in this period.

The collapse of this empire lead to a dark age, until the emergence of a noble class and a feudal system c. -13000. The resultant encouragement of science and exploration resulted in settlement of much of Zhodane, and technological advancement to the point of elementary space flight. However, shortly afterwards a great plague decimated the population, and brought about a second dark age to the world. In the following period of recovery, psionics gained ascendance, and the development of the psionic aristocracy began.

The first psionic games were held in -6731, this being the first olympiad, and so the start of the Zhodani calendar. Space travel was reacquired, and the first sublight interstellar expeditions were mounted in c. -5000. Colonies were established on six worlds within four parsecs. In -523 the Zhodani Consulate was established between these worlds. Then, in -5415, jump drive was discovered.

The resulting expansion was gradual and uneventful. Although some states on the fringe resisted absorption into the Consulate, most were annexed peacefully. The Consulate first came into conflict with the expanding Imperium in the 500s, in disputes over the limits of present and future settlement of the Spinward Marches. The resulting Frontier Wars have done little to resolve the basic differences between the two empires.

Zhodani Calendar

The Zhodani calendar is based on the period of Zhodane around Plebor, its star. The Zhodani Shen (year) is 275.19 standard days (or 244.44 zhodanstial, Zhodane's day) in length, and is divided into six Shider of 40 zhodanstial, separated by one day holidays. Zhodani dating uses Thecuzodij (olympiad), which are three Shen. A Zhodani date is written as: Thecuzodij.Shen Slider/Zilodanstial, with special holiday names replacing the Shider/Zhodanstial where appropriate. For example 001-0000 Imperial (the date-the Imperium was founded) is equivalent to 2979.1 Atrint/7.


A Vilani banking and investment company. Unlike most other Vilani megacorporations, whose origins are shrouded in mystery, Zirunkariish is known to have been founded by the noble Vilani family of Shiishuginsa (a member of which, Antiama, married the emperor Zhakirov in 679) in the year -425.

Zirunkariish is one of the largest insurance underwriters in the Imperium, and while its capital reserves are gigantic, it usually chooses to invest them in various trusts rather than in other megacorporations. The megacorporation was a major source of the investment required for the expansion of the Sylean Federation into the Third Imperium.

Stock Ownership: Shiishuginsa- 29%, Imperial family- 18% Sharurshid trust-17%, Hortalez et Cie- 7%, Noble families- 12%, Investment trusts- 8%, Private ownership- 9%.

Ziru Sirka

Vilani name for the First Imperium. Translates directly as The Grand Empire of Stars. See also First Imperium.

Zuchai Crystal

These crystals form the raw material for a vital focusing element in many designs of jump drive. They occur naturally, but can also be synthesized. However, natural crystals have a longer lifetime, and so command a higher price.

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