A large number of planets and moons exist inside the worldsphere in orbital arrangements that point to intelligent, rather than natural, design. Very likely, the aliens that created Septimus also placed the planets inside it. The Archipelago, as this group of worlds is called, has proven to be a refuge for millions of newcomers seeking the avoid the oppressive rule of the Extent. Five major powers have arisen among these worlds.
The Commonwealth of Maximus was created by some of the original Imperial survey teams sent to Septimus once they realized that leaving the worldsphere was impossible. It has quickly grown to become the most powerful stellar nation in the Archipelago, thanks to its technological superiority and its relatively enlightened governance. Although originally established by a group of scientists and explorers, the Commonwealth has reluctantly begun to build its military strength as the threat of war grows.
The Fellowship of the Seventh Proletariat is a collectivist state which seeks to unite miners and other working-class citizens within the Archipelago under its banner. It has wrested several moons from the Commonwealth in the last few years by supporting popular uprisings. Recently, it has engaged in active aggression and piracy against the Commonwealth, even sending in troops to conquer a lightly-populated moon. Although the Commonwealth is reluctant to retaliate in kind for fear that an all-out war in the Archipelago might be the sort of opportunity the Extent is waiting for, most expect any further escalation by the Fellowship will force its hand.
The Cigomi Consortium is the third major player in the Archipelago. It is content to allow the Fellowship and the Commonwealth to fight it out and commonly supplies arms and equipment to both sides. The Consortium does not seek to expand its territory, although it will defend its holdings aggressively. The Commonwealth has good relations with the Consortium, but the Fellowship has designs on several mining worlds within Cigomi space. Only the need for Consortium trade keeps the Fellowship at bay.
The two remaining powers are Sarkis Intertrade PLC, an interplanetary trading company, and The Blackfeet, a criminal organization. Neither maintain extensive planetary holdings, but both have large fleets of ships. The former seeks to control the flow of legal trade goods, while the latter dominates the illicit trade. They are, of course, mutually hostile, although in truth, the Blackfeet have no friends anywhere in the Archipelago.
The campaign begins on Hardpoint, a moon in the Badrigal system. Prior to a recent coup led by forces loyal to the Fellowship, it was a Commonwealth research station and mining operation. The majority of the inhabitants are hostile to the new government, prompting the Fellowship to forceably settle some of its loyal citizens from the homeworld to Hardpoint. The flames of war are about to ignite. Will the PCs provide the spark?