PanOceania is the leading nation in terms of influence, the Number One, the top of the pyramid of power. Thanks to its strong, healthy economy it can boast the best example of a welfare society, and even a leisure society, in the Sphere. Pioneering space exploration and the development of the ALEPH AI, PanOceania was able to harness its technology to gain an edge over other powers. It sees itself as a model for others to follow, and is willing to fight anyone who would threaten its station. In order to maintain its status, the Hyperpower uses the full extent of its influence in international policymaking, safe in the knowledge that it is backed by an army furnished with the most advanced and destructive technology in the Human Sphere. If life at the top is your thing, your place is in PanOceania.
Its challenger, its perpetual opponent, the other great power, is Yu Jing (pronounced you cheeng), the Asian giant. The whole of the Far East, united under the banner of what once was China, has produced an integrated, but heterogeneous, oriental culture. Equipped with a blooming industrial sector, state-of-the-art technology and astounding economic growth, Yu Jing is ready and willing to demand the dominant position to which it feels entitled.
Ariadna was founded by the descendants of the first human colony ship, thought lost when it disappeared into a wormhole. Left to their own devices on a hostile, resource-poor planet, endurance and mettle had to make up for the lack of state-of-the-art technology. Cossack, American, French and Scottish fought each other and they all fought the planet, and from all the fighting emerged Ariadna, where only the toughest survive. Welcome to Ariadna. Welcome to the army.
HAQQISLAM: (from the Arabic Haqq Islam, New or True Islam) Religious doctrine derived from Islamism, and its associated Neomuslim culture. A modern interpretation of the set of dogmas and precepts of the Quran that permeates the everyday lives of its followers. Founded by Farhad Khadivar in the late 21st century, the Haqqislamic movement proposed a philosophical and theological revisionism of the classical Islam, in order to adapt it to the society of its time. Haqqislam proclaims Humanism, the Search for Knowledge, and a set of Metaphysical axioms influenced by Sufi scholars, as the foundations of its doctrine, while simultaneously rejecting religious hierarchies and Sunnah, ‘tradition’, as dogma. Their doctrine is profoundly concerned with political and social issues, and the culture built around it has rekindled the scientific and artistic heirloom of the golden age of Islam.
Three gargantuan spaceships endlessly traverse the Sphere, doing what others cannot or will not do, sticking it to ‘the Man’ and contesting ordinary definitions of normalcy and acceptability. Do you prefer to think for yourself? Do you want to travel? Then you might have a Nomad spirit.
The Evolved Intelligence, an alien AI with a vast wealth of knowledge and a cold, relentless will, has conquered, subjugated and annihilated entire civilizations to fulfill its ultimate ambition: Transcendence unto a higher evolutionary plane. To that end, the EI has created a well-honed instrument of conquest: the Combined Army. In it, the AI has gathered some of the most dangerous species from its cosmic domains: the viciously brutal Morat, bred for war and war only; the insidious, sly Shasvastii, capable of anything to guarantee the survival of their species; the Sygmaa Trihedron, race traitors, biotech virtuosos, death dealers. Headed by combat incarnations of the EI itself, they are the most formidable war machine this galaxy has ever witnessed. Now they have set their sights on the Human Sphere...
ALEPH is the name of the single Artificial Intelligence that oversees the data network of the Human Sphere and most major international technological systems. The scope of its responsibilities is so broad that, in service of Humanity and under O-12 supervision, a whole organizational structure has been created around it to assist in its functions. To fulfill its mission, ALEPH oversees a sizable fraction of all human activity as a sort of friendly, inconspicuous Big Brother whose only goal seems to be aiding us. And yet ALEPH does have enemies. The Nomad Nation has a bitter hatred for the only legitimate AI, convinced that Humanity is but a hapless puppet furthering its secret agenda. And there is also the Evolved Intelligence, whose confrontations with ALEPH are clashes of titans on an epic scale.
The Tohaa are an advanced alien civilization currently waging an open war against the EI and its Combined Army. Guardians of one of the great treasures of the universe, the Tohaa have withstood the EI’s onslaught longer than any other race in this galaxy. The Tohaa are masters of biotechnology, capable of building terrible viral weapons and impervious symbiont armors, but also of altering other species, granting them more intelligence so they can fight by their side. The Tohaa need allies, and Humanity seems fitting for the first line of the fight against the Combined Army.