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The Far Stars

The Void. A vast, empty stretch of space, devoid of stars, planets...even of dust and debris. It lies on the edge of imperial space...and beyond, the hundred remote worlds known as the Far Stars. The nothingness of the Void makes travel through hyperspace difficult and dangerous, something attempted only by the most daring navigators in the sleekest and most maneuverable vessels.

It is this great emptiness that has kept the Far Stars free of the empire's grasp, or mostly so. The imperial battleships are too massive and unmaneuverable to navigate the Void, and too costly to risk in dangerous crossings. For a thousand years, the empire has maintained the barest foothold in the sector, six worlds known as the Imperial Demense. Everywhere else, the Far Stars is a wild frontier, where pirates ply their trade and internecine warfare is constant.

The planets of the Far Stars are vastly different from each other. They have different levels of technology and most of them wage almost constant war-both internal struggles between planetary nations and power groups and interstellar wars against the other worlds of the Far Stars.

The "Primes"
There are one hundred inhabited worlds in the Far Stars, with different cultures, climates, histories. But six are in their own category, the oldest and strongest, vastly more populous and powerful than the rest of the planets in the sector. They are the "Primes," and it is largely through them that the fate of the Far Stars will be decided.
Celtiboria   Antilles
Celtiboria is by far the most powerful and populated of all the Primes. Long ago it was a republic, headed by an elected king, but for the past three centuries, it has been fractured, embroiled in an endless series of internecine wars as a class of warrior-nobles known as the Warlords struggled for dominance. But that contest has now almost ended. One force has prevailed, and the great Marshal Augustin Lucerne stands poised to rule over a united planet and to pursue his dream...to unite all of the Far Stars into a confederation powerful enough to resist imperial encroachment forever.   The second most powerful of the Primes, Antilles is by far the richest world in the Far Stars. It's enormously wealthy merchant banking families practice a rapacious form of unbridled capitalism, one which has brought the planet vast wealth, but has sometimes bred resentment and distrust among the other worlds. Antilles' great houses fund and control industry all over the Far Stars, using bribery, blackmail, and the threat of force with equal utility to maintain control...and keep the flow of profits pouring into their coffers.
Sebastiani   Troyus
Home to the renowned Assassin's Guild, Sebastiani is a mostly arid world of vast orange deserts, surrounding a narrow equitorial band of lush and fertile lands. For almost a thousand years, the masters of the Assassin's Guild have maintained a sacred trust, a duty to remove any corrupt or incompetent government officials, and as a result, Sebastiani has the most capable government in the Far Stars.   A virtual paradise, Troyus is a world known for its many delights, and the dedication to pleasure and decadence of its people. The planet is the Far Stars' largest exporter of fine wines and other luxuries. It is the least warlike of the Primes, and has had no intraplanetary warfare-and little involvement in interstellar struggles-for five centuries.
Arcturon   Varangia
Arcturon is a world dedicated to leaning and knowledge, a haven for researchers, philosophers, and scientists of all kinds. It is home to many of the Far Stars' greatest institutions of learning, including the famous Academy, the most prestigious university in the sector. Arcuron's wealth and status as a Prime derives from its advanced technology and its status as the Though its idealistic planetary constitution requires Arcturon to make its knowledge available to other worlds, it does not preclude charging those who seek enlightenment. The planet is ruled by a council of senior academicians, and its government is bloated and wildly inefficient.   Varangia is a blasted world, ravaged by centuries of warfare as its noble houses fought each other in a ritualized series of blood feuds that lasted for centuries. The constant warfare only ended when the planet reached utterexhaustion, its resources expended, half its cities radioactive ruins. Varangia would certainly have fallen from the ranks of the Primes, but a new source of wealth and power arose from the shattered wreck of its former culture. The Varangians, once a major producer of manufactured goods, developed a new export...their own people, hardened by life on the wasted planet. Varangian mercenaries are sought after wherever the call of battle sounds...and that is nearly everywhere in the Far Stars.
The Celtiborians
The most powerful by far of the Primes, Celtiboria is just emerging from three centuries of constant and savage civil war, united at last by the military genius of Augustin Lucerne and the iron courage of his veteran army. Lucerne fears an eventual imperial takeover of the Far Stars, and
Marshal Augustin Lucerne   Astra Lucerne
Augustin Lucerne was born into one of Celtiboria's noble "warlord" families, his birthright a strip of not particularly fertile riverlands and an army of just over a thousand retainers. From that modest start, he and his soldiers have waged thirty years of non-stop war in pursuit of Lucerne's now almost-realized dream, the unification of Celtiboria, allowing the planet to take its rightful place at the head of the Primes and lead the fight against imperial aggression. Lucerne is a military genius, and a general who has never lost a battle in the field.   Marshal Lucerne's only daughter, Astra is beautiful and intelligent. She is a gifted fighter and a tactician who inherited much of her father's genius, but she is also willful, stubborn...and she hates being told what to do. Still, despite her free-spirited nature, she realizes she is her father's only child, and she understand the duty that lies upon her...to aid him in his efforts to unite the Far Stars. And to step into his place when the time comes, to sacrifice whatever future she might desire to succeed him, and to ensure that his dream does not die.
General Rafaelus DeMark   General Arias Callisto
One of Marshal Lucerne's most trusted comrades, General DeMark is perhaps the most gifted commander in the Celtiborian army, save for the great marshal himself.   Another of Lucerne's inner circle, Arias Callisto is among the marshal's longest serving officers. Fanatically loyal, he has also grown into one of Lucerne's most reliable and skillful officers.
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