Interstellar Traders

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Interstellar Traders
 Creator(s) Ardias
 System(s) GURPS
 Genre(s) Sci-Fi

Major Players

Humans

The rising star of the galaxy, Humans have been at the forefront of the stage for only a few hundred years. Even so, two Alliances have grown and fallen around them, while the third is just now regaining the territory of its predecessors. Because of this, many other major races have begun to look down on them as impulsive, arrogant and unstable. Exactly the traits that have made them Humans from the beginning.

Although the Alliance is home to the human homeworld, as well as its traditional space, humans are nearly ubiquitous throughout the Orion Arm, and can be fairly common in nearby arms as well. Even in the most xenophobic of nations, humans are never considered worse than second-class citizens. If pressed, a citizen of the galaxy might reveal that humans are tolerated so well simply because of how many of them there really are, and because of their war-torn history. There are more vicious opponents (latarians are usually mentioned first), species that reproduce faster (Klaxians can have litters of 20 or more every year), and communities with a wider technology base (Killithin), but very few in this region of the galaxy can claim the simple all around capabilities of the humans.

Latarians

Descended from the apex predators of their home world, Latarians have been at the forefront of galactic politics for almost ten thousand years. This was made possible early on because of their warrior based society and strong, clan oriented political structure, the same attributes that had caused the space fairing nations of their time to bet on their eventual self-destruction. However, instead of annihilating themselves in a nuclear fueled war like so many others of their background, they caught a break in fate after a jump-capable ship crashed on their planet. With such an advanced point to start from, the Latarians quickly reverse engineered and put the technology to use, building in ten years what it would take humanity a century and a half to discover.

The current Latarian empire is the second major nation to be centered around their race, and is not nearly as warlike as its predecessor. Their technology though is at the pinnacle of development, and any war that they decided to get involved in would surely end badly for their enemy.

Physically, their lizard ancestors have left their mark on the Latarians and though they stand on two legs, they could never pass as humans. The average Latarian is six feet tall and is covered in heavy scales with a mottled blue and green hue. This pattern was intended as camouflage on their world, but now acts as the best way to tell them apart, especially for humans. In addition, they sport heavy muscles and a strong snout, allowing them to best almost any other species in unarmed combat. Their only apparent weakness is their cold-blooded system, leading them to wear clothing or armor with built in heating and cooling systems in most situations. Latarians also prefer dryer, warmer air than the average human, and their star ships can often feel like deserts to travelers.

As is common with the majority of stable, space faring governments, the USSGL political structure is broken into three branches. The three are roughly equivilant to the Executive/Legislative/Judicial breakup of the Alliance, though the structures differ somewhat. What could be considered the largest break from the standard template though is the layout of their 'People's' branch, or legislature. It consists of three main ruling bodies, one made up by representatives from sector governments, one consists of representatives from planetary systems, and one is formed by representatives from major corporate bodies based in Latarian space. The first two are relatively straight forward, but the third is considered troublesome by some and downright dangerous by others (of course, these others are usually far-left fanatics or right-wing nihilists, but many outside of Latarian space also question the body). By having a body made up of corporate representatives, major financial investments can be given an actual say in what happens, rather than relying on backroom politics or outright buying up of quorum delegates.

To solidify this arraignment, the System Delegates (seated at the System Quorum) are given the most power, and are tasked with tabling laws to ensure the safety and integrity of the USSGL. 'Below' them, the Planetary Quorum and the Corporate Senate are tasked with tabling every-day motions concerning the day to day functioning of the government. This does not, however, make the two bodies weak. If the System Quorum passes a law that is deemed unfair by some measure, the two other bodies can both pass a vote to nullify it. If a majority of both groups agree that it's wrong, then the law is struck down before it can be sent to the President. The System Quorum also has similar powers over the other two houses, but it is used far more rarely.

It is sometimes interesting to note that (in the USSGL at least) by giving large corporations their own seat in the government, even one so tied up in cross-checks and balances, that outright corruption of representatives is at one of the lowest rates in the Galaxy. The body hasn't done anything for the outright pandering to interest groups and influential voting blocks, but that kind of activity is prevalent almost everywhere.

Total: 90 points


Stats: [70]

ST +4 [40]
HT +2 [20]
Will +2 [10]

Advantages: [30]

Breath-Holding 2 [4]
Blunt Claws [3]
DR 4 (Heavy Scales) [20]
Extended Lifespan 1 [2]
(36, 100, 180)
Teeth (sharp) [1]

Disadvantages: [-10]

Cold-Blooded (below 65) [-10]

Killithid

This is one of the stranger species that humanity has encountered in its travels throughout the galaxy. Killithin (as the plural is known) are basically massive beetles, at least to human eyes. Another unusual point in their development was that they weren't apex predators or predators at all, instead they were a cattle species that 'grew out of' the need to live in massive herds. Even so, their society is built around a herd like mentality, with a desire to stay in as large a group as possible, which has led to them being masters of large scale construction. Killithin super-freighters are in high demand, and the sky-spanning space stations that they build are some of the greatest marvels of the galaxy.

Alone, and without knowledge of their social structure, a Killithid is a terrifying sight. They stand up to eight feet tall and can grow to be broader than three humans side by side. Each one is clad in great armor plates, reminiscent of early human power armor. Their six arms are tipped with four claws and three manipulator fingers and each of its two feet has eight inch hoof-like pads. They would be the most powerful warriors in the galaxy if their muscle structure didn't get in the way. Their heavy plating and massive size mean that each Killithid is relatively weak, and because they are hunched over, they can't put their size to work for them. To compound matters, they abhor conflict unless utterly necessary, and they will not fight except in self defense. They are excellent mechanics and artificers though, and their culture continues to advance on the galactic stage.

Total: 60 points

Stats: [-10]

ST -2 [-20]
DX -2 [-40]
HT +5 [+50]
SM+1 (8 feet)

Advantages: [93]

Claws (Talons) [8]
DR 5 (Thick Shell) [25]
Extra Arms 4 [40]
Hard to Kill 5 [10]
High Manual Dexterity [5]
Injury Tolerence [5]
(no neck)

Disadvantages: [-20]

Self Defense Only [-15]
Semi-Upright [-5]


Skxii

An average Skxian is roughly two-thirds the height of an average human, and has evolved from their planet's equivalent of a big cat. They are aggressive when faced with hostile opponents, but highly loyal to family or close social groups.

Though as a species they have fairly distinctive patterns, family groups look eerily similar and markings are passed down through genetic lines. Their coloring is also heavily based on family origins, and people familiar with the signs can tell which gene group an individual is from by its appearance alone. To make matters more complicated, they can only roughly be described as humanoid, and many inherited traits have remained solid throughout their evolution, including reverse joint legs and a short mane that stretches from the top of their head to the base of their tail. Their fur is medium length, but dense, and they prefer cooler climates than is typical.

Skxii technology is roughly equivalent of the Alliance, with some advances in weapon technology and a slight gap space station design and power plant technology. Their territory is also only about half the size of the Alliance, and stood for a long time at about 500 stars. Even so, some territory was gained in their recent war against the Mancians and the Empire now boasts over 600 star systems.

The war itself was mostly a problem of cultural incompatibility. There have been minor conflicts between the two nations in the past (a border conflict 250 years ago and two proxy wars 100 and 75 years ago), but the UGL has mostly kept peace between the two factions with their superior firepower and with the help of nearby powers. Once the hatred finally boiled over though, the Latarian senate refused to intervene, and allowed Latarian forces to fight only to protect UGL assets.


Mancians

The Mancians are one of the few amphibious species that have achieved space travel in the Orion Arm. Vaguely frog-like, with long legs and webbed digits, they've retained the ability to both breath air and filter water through gills. Their skin is usually a bright green, with red markings. Some though can range between everything from yellow to black, with markings in the same color range. If they stood at full height, a Mancian would be about eye level with a human, but because they prefer to walk on all fours when given the chance they are on average only half the height.

Their culture is strictly Matriarchal, and family groups dominate politics on their planets. Matriarchs can control houses of up to several thousand individuals, and five years ago the Matriarchs were the most vocal proponents of the option for war.

Historically, their starships were somewhat more organic than other designs, but their actual systems were weaker or slower than comparable hardware. This technological gap was one of the largest reasons for their loss in the war; the second of which was the early decision to place Matriarchs on every warship, causing a massive loss to their leadership and political population.

Important Systems

Subsector Map


A. Marigold Worlds

B. Harneim

C. Ilmwind

D. Laynold

E. Vaxcies

F. Powl

G. Jel

H. Wolfguard

I. Ceteris


a. To Alliance Space, Subsector 188.56

b. Subsector 189.22

c. Subsector 189.31

d. Subsector 189.44

Important Ships and Stations

Halcyon Class Light Bulk Freighter

Norsk Exploit Class Station