Starship Fantasies’ default setting is a galaxy called Illuria by its human inhabitants. It consists of hundreds of billions of stars, and at least as many planets. Its inhabitants range from humans, elves and dwarves to things so strange they don’t even have names. There are empires of millions of worlds, and there are planets that still believe they are all alone in the dark. It is a galaxy full of shining beacons of light, and terrible endless darkness. A galaxy in need of heroes.
The Great Struggle:
A defining feature of Illuria is the Great Struggle. This is the name given by the galaxy's mortal inhabitants to their struggle against the Gods. Once magic and technology advanced far enough, it became clear that the Gods were no more than powerful immortal bullies. They knew the secrets of harvesting the multiverse's magical energy and used it to claim divinity and domain over certain aspects of reality.
When interstellar travel became possible it became clear to the mortals that their deities were not universal. The various pantheons of deities united in their desire to maintain power created a vast galactic civilization of terrible tyranny. It didn't take long for their worshipers to become their enemies and this led to millenia of war. The Great Struggle finally wound down around 1000 years ago, with most of the deities dead and the few remaining in hiding. Mortals were now free to channel divine energy directly from the multiverse and a new era began. Scholars created a calendar around the end of the Great Struggle and set that as year GS 0. The current year is GS 1000.
The Vega Federation:
The Vega Federation Budding Interstellar Civilization
Capital: Vega (Pop. 3 billion)
Planets: 15 member worlds (Pop. ~75 billion)
Major Races: Humans 40%, Elves 25%, Dwarves 25%, Other (dozens of races) 10%
Major Religions: Mostly secular, freedom of religion enshrined in law
Languages: Common, Elven, Dwarven
The Vega Federation was born out of turmoil. Once the Great Struggle came to an end the fleets of the men, elves and dwarves were left scattered across the known galaxy with nothing left to fight. Generations of people had been bred to war, now there was no more enemy. The great Alliance of Mortals fell apart as civil wars and territorial disputes broke out all across the stars. Communication, trade and government failed and the races reverted back to feudal warlordism and infighting. The wars lasted for almost nine centuries. The mortals had defeated the gods, but found themselves unable to defeat their neighbors. This all changed in GS 898 (102 years ago) when the Ravage arrived. This nebulae sized horde of undead began eating its way across what is now the Federation. Made up of the bodies of trillions of reanimated corpses, it was directed by a group of powerful liches. It swept like a plague across the inhabited worlds, each death an addition to its ranks.
The existential threat quickly unified the remaining mortal planets, and they used their combined knowledge of millennia of war to fight back against the undead. It was a long struggle, but after two years it had come down to a decisive battle. The remaining strength of the mortal fleets were in orbit around the planet Vega, the Ravage Lords saw it as an opportunity to decide things once and for all. In the end the battle came down to three mortals. A human named Brennar Dakken a holy warrior, a powerful elf arcanist named Rathiel Galfaewen, and a dwarven priest of machinery named Haggurd Goldgear. They teleported into the horde and defeated the Ravage Lords in open deep space combat. Afterward everyone looked to them for leadership, they signed the Vega Accords that day (08.17.GS900) thus creating the Vega Federation.
In the hundred years since the war the main priority has been rebuilding and replacing civilization. Endless war culminating in the Ravage had left populations vastly reduced, and interstellar gate-routes unsafe or unusable. Once they saw the advantages of working together, several more inhabited systems agreed to join up. The number of planets has slowly expanded to its current count of 15. The Federation Exploratory Fleet was formed out of the remnants of the wartime armada, and continues to explore, expand and defend the Federation’s borders to this day.
While Vega and the core worlds are now secure and urbane, there remain many wild places along the edges of Federation space. The Federation continues to expand along the old gate-routes and restore them. The constant need for new sources of Arcanicite also drives the Federations’ expansion.
The federation is led by a triumvirate. One human, one elf and one dwarf. The humans elect their triumvir, elves give their eldest the honor, and the dwarves have a complex series of examinations that determines who speaks for them. The Astro Guild is viewed by many as a shadow governemnt, due to their massive wealth and control of the gate-routes.
Traveling between stars is accomplished in one of two ways. The first and most common is through a Gate. These massive deep space constructions are relics left over from the time of the Great Struggle. The only people remaining who know how to operate (and rumors hint build) them are the Astro Guild. They charge a nominal fee for the use of portals. Gates that haven't been attuned or 'opened' by the guild are either inoperable, or deposit anything that goes through them at the other end of a random gate. Most ships that travel through an unattuned Gate without an Astromage never return.
The second way to achieve interstellar travel is through high level teleportation magics. The Astro Guild's Astromages maintain a monopoly in this field, either buying out or eliminating anyone who elbows into the market. A condition of the Guild's existence is that they provide Astromages to the FEF, and in return they are allowed to reopen and operate any new gate-portals discovered.
The Federation Exploratory Fleet:
The FEF serves as the military for the Federation. It consists of conscripted vessels from all the member worlds, and some collaboratively built ships. Many of the larger member worlds have their own militaries as well. Aside from border skirmishes and anti-terrorist/anti-pirate actions the Federation hasn't seen war since the end of the Ravage a century ago. The FEF's main purpose at the current time is expanding and exploring the borders of Federation space, with special attention given to new sources of arcanicite and newly discovered Gates. FEF vessels that travel beyond known space almost always have an Astromage with them to facilitate return travel.
While many FEF ships are top of the line technologically, it is a common complaint of many of the Admirals that there are several worlds in the federation whose private militaries dwarf the FEF in size. Funding is a constant issue, and years of peace have made it difficult for the Triumvrate to allocate anything more. Most of the funding for the FEF comes directly from the Astro Guild, as they benefit most directly from the expansion of the gate-route and opening of new mining worlds.
The crew of the FEF Excelsior are all recent top graduates of the Federation Exploratory Fleet Academy. The Academy is located on Vega, and makes up most of the beautiful coastal city of Endrienna. This sprawling institution is the first destination for anyone who seeks to join the FEF. As a somewhat elite force, the FEF ensures that all potential applicants are top of the line material. They provide training in almost any field imaginable and some of the most venerated individuals in the known galaxy work as faculty there. If an applicant can pass one of the entrance exams, then their education and living expenses are covered for the duration of their training. Joining the FEF is a serious commitment, that requires a lifetime of service (retirement ages vary from race to race).
Most fields require five years of study, others go longer. Upon graduation each student is tested for aptitude, and the top scorers may be offered positions as officers. Many people come to FEF as a second or third career while others come straight from secondary education. Any Federation citizen who can pass the entrance exams and is willing to swear the oath then is allowed in.
Arcanicite is a crystalline liquid that is the lifeblood of modern life. It is infused with raw magical energy and is used to power everything from handheld devices to space stations. It can be refined from various base crystals through a labor intensive magical process. The Astro Guild is heavily invested in the extraction and refinement processes Federation wide.
The Federation Credit's (CR) value is directly based on the value of Arcanicite on the open market. The Astro Guild accepts payment in Arcanicite for all transactions. It is commonly said that he who controls Arcanicite controls the Federation.
The FEF Excelsior
Squares 3x1 (340 m by 200 m)
AC 9; Hardness 15; Shields DR 100/Bludgeoning,Piercing,Slashing (50 HP)
hp 1600 (Thrusters x2 AC 15, HP 40)
Base Save +6
The FEF Excelsior represents the cutting edge of Federation technology. It is the first of its kind, equipped with a gate drive that allows for interstellar travel at will. Built with special funding from the Astro Guild, the Excelsior is a fusion of the engineering skills of the brightest minds in the Federation. Designed to be fast and maneuverable while also packing a punch, the Excelsior is equipped to handle a wide variety of situations. The ship itself is run by an AI and has top of the line sensors, shields and weaponry. Equipped for science as well as battle, the Excelsior Core AI is capable of storing immense amounts of data and the ship boasts 8 laboratories capable of everything from chemistry to robotics.
As an added bonus the VIEA (Vega Illusory Entertainment Association) installed a state of the art Illusionarium capable of realistically simulating almost any situation. There is also a fully equipped lounge and bar for crew social interactions. The mess hall is equipped with Conjuror5000s and a variety of fresh vegetation from the hydroponics bay.