Author Topic: Final Discord (Background and Explanation)  (Read 13665 times)

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Offline Theodidactus (OP)

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Final Discord (Background and Explanation)
« on: December 29, 2015, 11:24:00 PM »
Hello Aurora Community. This is another, and probably the last, in a long series of interactive fiction stories from my nearly 3-year-long aurora game. In the past, you've helped me determine the government that would rule over all of explored space and later you helped overthrow (and simultaneously preserve) that government in a coup attempt that had far-reaching implications for how the Concordance of Worlds grew and developed. 

Now I begin my most ambitious project yet, a possibly yearlong project to end this aurora game in the manner you see fit. For the next 20 years of game time, you will decide the course of events that shape the empire. You will make decisions that govern how the pieces are laid out on the board...others among you will, eventually, help decide how those pieces shall move. Every move has immense consequences. The year is the year 2182, the invaders shall arrive from the charnel deeps of the spacetime...whatever form humanity has taken by that time will have to face them...either united, or in pieces.

The rules are pretty simple for the first half (2162-2174): every in-game year, I will post a story. Each story will involve a critical decision on the part of SOME group of people...the group in question will change every time. Readers will be able to vote on what that group does. You are invited to make the decision in whatever manner you see fit: vote based on what you would do in that situation, what direction you think may have the best outcome for humanity long-term, or what option you think might lead to the most interesting conclusion. Feel free to post questions. They may be answered. You will never know the exact effect each outcome has (IE, the tiamati government gets +5 influence over a particular outlying world) but rest assured there are numbers behind the scene. Occasionally, the MARGIN will matter....but again, I won't tell you when.  ::)

I'll use this thread to post updates about the project itself. In its second phase (2174-2180) it will look a bit...different. For now, the project is open for everyone on the forum and outcomes will be decided by simple poll.

It's not necessary to know the backstory of the entire surreal space opera in order to vote. In fact, it's not necessary to dig through my fiction to do so, because up to this point I've been posting only tiny windows into what's actually going on. I'll post a somewhat lengthy description of the setting below.


It is 2162, and the human race is the vibrant heart of an civilization which rests on the edge of an otherwise dark and uninviting galaxy. Beyond the borders of the Concordance of Worlds there are only dim red stars, screaming alien hordes, and the tumbling wreckage of a thousand dead empires, and rumors of fell things that fly through the night...without ships.

However, within 40-odd light-years of Earth, all is as good as it has ever been. For more than 120 years, delicate political maneuverings have averted the nightmare of interstellar war between more than a dozen independent worlds. Peace is not easily maintained, but it's getting easier all the time. The last dedicated enemies of lasting peace have been broken for more than a decade, and the survival of the human species is now virtually guaranteed, as many colonies have attained true self-sufficiency (indeed in many cases, total isolation). For the last thirty years, peace has been maintained through an entity known as the Concordance Of Worlds, a quasi-military force which maintains an absolute monopoly on interstellar military power but has pledged never to interfere (in any way) in the affairs of individual planets. This force came about through a compromise  at the dawn of the 22nd century, between dozens of competing political factions with nationalist, imperialist, isolationist, and transhumanist aims. Many feared that an organization wielding this much power would inevitably become corrupt, or dictatorial. For most, but certainly not all, these fears have been utterly dismissed in the last decade. The Concordance has defeated countless hostile alien threats, curbed the worst excesses of interstellar piracy and corporate extortion,
and assured the stable continuity of dozens of governments. Under its protection, humanity has made great technological, economic, and cultural strides....but all that may soon be for nothing.

Lasting Peace is not Eternal Peace, which of course, is an ideal and not really achievable in this universe. War on a galactic scale is inevitable... and it will be more disastrous now that even the visionaries at the dawn of the 22nd century could have imagined. When the Concordance comes crashing down, will it take the whole of humanity with it? What will arise to replace it? Or will humanity simply join the shattered remains of those countless dead empires floating in deep space.

There are 10 possible factions that might arise in the course of this story. These groups, and only these groups, have the potential to build military spacecraft and thereby defy the concordance. When and if that happens, I will create a new race for them in my Aurora game, and play them as a separate race. They can (and likely, "will") take several ships or officers with them. These factions are not in any sense "equal."

The Concordance of Worlds.
Currently, the only absolute interstellar power in explored space. The concordance of worlds is, by the terms of the articles of Concordance laid out in the mid-2120s, the only organization authorized to build and operate military spacecraft within 40 light-years of Earth. Its advocates maintain that their entrance protocols, training, and internal controls, are so strict and demanding that the organization is absolutely incorruptible: an army of devout guardians headed by a small collective of philosopher-kings. Its detractors believe that the Concordance is either fascistic or on the road to becoming so. The Concordance is governed by a single human Concordant and his handpicked council of Dukes (currently, there are three). Technically, this group is authorized only to make broad strategic commands, which are carried out by Admirals (currently there are five, each controlling a self-sufficient starfleet). However, the Concordant has a considerable amount of "soft power" as well, given that he or she has enormous influence over where trade routes can be safely laid out and how governments on separate planets may settle their differences.  Currently, the officers of the Concordance are completely loyal to their Concordant, and the Concordance itself is so powerful it far outmatches all other factions combined in terms of influence or military power...but it's position is quite precarious. Currently, the Concordance is controlled by Concordant Constanza Brevis, a decorated hero of the Human-Elder war.

The former dominant power in space. NATO-RUSSO, a defensive pact between Earth's greatest nationalist powers, was responsible for exploring and developing most of known space in the 21st century. Their power has waned considerably since the 2080s, when Earth's colonies began to resist nationalist control. Currently, it has limited power outside the planet earth...but ON earth (which still houses most of humanities shipyards, laboratories, and factories) their power is considerable: they control earth's largest countries, armies, and navies. They maintain a handful of research labs working on strange alien technology they did not turn over when the concordance came to power. Their leadership is old and widely disliked, but NATO-RUSSO may yet return to power.

The European Union
One of NATO-RUSSO's rivals for power and offworld colonies in the 21st century. The European Union is considerably weaker militarily, largely due to the fact that significant sections of France, Germany, and Spain were nuked in the early 21st century in a catastrophic global war which no one has really forgotten. The European Union has territory on many significant offworld colonies.

The China Sphere
Another of NATO-RUSSO's rivals. Like the EU and NATO-RUSSO, the China sphere can be considered a "nationalist" faction with significant interest in tightening its control over territories it holds off the planet earth.

The only other earthbound nation of significance. The nation of Brazil is far weaker than China, the EU, or NATO-RUSSO, but is significant geopolitically because many of the early founders and implimenters of the Concordance were Brazilian, and 3 of the 4 Concordants themselves were of Brazilian nationality. Brazil builds all the Concordance's fighters and missiles, affording them a considerable infrastructural advantage.

The Eternal Kingdom of Tibet
No longer an Earthbound nation, the Kingdom of Tibet controls an entire world in the Tau Ceti system (see below) which was colonized and terraformed by ethnically chinese, indian, and mongolian explorers in the late 21st century. Tibet's ruling castes seek complete isolation from Earth and despise the China Sphere, NATO-RUSSO, and the Concordance. Tibet controls the largest collection of laboratories off of earth, and their strange syncretism of several world religions, 22nd century mysticism, and science, has produced interesting results. They possess several technologies even the concordance knows nothing about, especially the mysterious "particle beam". Currently Tibet has no military spacecraft, but could assemble them in a matter of months.

The Patel Corporation
The Concordance of World's bitterest rival, and the most powerful extranational entity in space. The Patel Corporation is trade empire, formed offworld and exempt since its foundation from UN law. It has played an integral role in shaping space colonization for more than a century, and considers itself to be the TRUE engine of human interstellar conquest. 30-40% of all space infrastructure and civilian spacecraft are built by the patel corporation (fully 10% are OWNED by the Patel Corporation). Patel and the Concordance have had many many struggles over the last 30 years, some legal, and a small  number military. The last Concordant worked tirelessly to break Patel's mercenary army and severely limit their monopolistic capabilities...they are no longer as powerful as they once were, but they may yet rise again.

The Orthodox Catholic Church
Since unifying in 2189, the Orthodox and Catholic Churches have steadily accumulated more followers, despite vicious persecution by transhumanist factions on and off the planet earth. While Orthodox Catholics exist on all colonized worlds, there are a small number of worlds which are almost ENTIRELY catholic, giving the papacy considerable influence there. The papacy has no military aspirations, but has been lucky enough not to need any. Since 2145 the Concordance has been using the Papacy as a political tool to check the Patel Corporation and other, stranger transhumanist factions. Experts believe within the next decade, predominately Orthodox Catholic colonies will generate approximately 40% of humanities precious sorium supply. Holding onto these worlds will require the continued support of the concordance. If that fails, the pope will need a space navy.

Freeside sits on the periphery of explored space, orbiting the dim star known as "teegarden's star". The colony is peculiar for a number of reasons: It was built around a single large alien ruin, and despite being an ideal world for terraforming, it has never been terraformed. For 80 years, the citizens of teegarden's star have viciously resisted outside involvement in their affairs, and a variety of circumstances have made it very hard for interstellar governments (from the old NATO-RUSSO order to the present Concordance) to exercise any control over them. Freeside is a relatively large population, 750 million or more, with absolutely no central government or central planning. The colony is, then, chaotic and unstable, the haunt of pirates, warlords, and madmen in equal numbers. At various points in its past, powerful criminal gangs or pirate brotherhoods have nearly conquered the planet, but always, they are deposed or surpassed by a rival. Interstellar piracy is almost nonexistant now, as the Concordance is strong enough to provide absolute protection along designated trade routes. However, if the Concordance were to weaken, the pirate gangs of freeside would quickly become a significant cosmopolitical force.

The Intergalactic Path
the last century has seen numerous bizarre (sometimes, deliberately ironic) transhumanist and/or millenarian movements, many connected with arcane religious, nationalist, or historical causes which make little or no sense to outsiders. The latest movement, still a minority but growing at an alarming rate, is perhaps the strangest: Adherents of the Intergalactic path insist that, for a million years or more, civilizations in this arm of the galaxy have been secretly influenced at various points in their history by entities, unspecified and known only to the highest members of the path. Even now, adherents believe, these entities are making humanity ready for a Manichean struggle that will soon unfold throughout the spacetime continuum. The path currently makes no claim that these entities are benevolent...merely that humanity must be ready for the great unmasking, and the war that will follow...

A map is attached, but the map is only of "friendly space", "unfriendly space" is considerably larger but currently uninteresting.

Earth is the home of many Nationalist factions which are slowly losing control over their offworld colonies. While many offworld colonies are self-sufficient, Earth still houses most of Humanities shipyards, factories, and laboratories. It is, currently, the most populous, advanced, and happy world in known space.

a completely terraformed agricultural paradise with a population of 2 billion. Mars is one of the few colonies where national affiliation still matters: the world is divided roughly equally between the China Sphere, Brazil, and the nations of the African Union, which have considerable commercial pull but no interest in the militarization of space.

Titan and Luna
two moons of considerable strategic importance, as they house tracking stations and considerable mining infrastructure. Both are old NATO-RUSSO strongholds. Luna's population is in the low millions and largely transient, people resting between one cruise and another. Titan has a population of more than 800 million.

Probably the most prosperous and significant world outside the solar system. Situated in the Epsilon Eridani system, Monticello is a mountainous jungle world with only a handful of shallow warm seas. It has considerable mineral wealth and significant colonial infrastructure...and a population of more than 2 billion. Monticello is a seething battleground of rival factions, containing colonies of The China Sphere, the EU, and NATO-RUSSO, as well as the corporate headquarters of the Patel Corporation. Additionally, several powerful merchant families share close ties with the criminal element on Freeside. Monticello will likely be the center of the coming conflict.

an entirely oceanic world in the Tau Ceti system, Tiamat is home to 2 billion people who live in extravagant floating and submarine cities. The cultural milieu that controls Tiamat is interesting and complex: largely tibetan by culture and religion (with elements of European Theosophism) but with considerable minorities of transhumanists and space tourists. Unlike most other worlds, there is one and only one faction (currently) with any power on Tiamat: The Eternal Kingdom of Tibet, ruled by the Emperor Taii Sang the 1st, though Concordance intelligence believes Sang is largely a political figurehead, and the real power on Tiamat is concentrated in the hands of the High Council of the Third Vision, a secret order of monks.

a planetoid in Proxima Centauri, Euphrates is home to the largest sorium mining operation in known space (though many upcoming colonies discussed below may soon surpass it). It was formerly a NATO-RUSSO stronghold but is now totally independent and on very good terms with the concordance, who have their largest military bases here. Euphrates has a population of about 800 million, while terraformed, it is still unbearably cold.

an independent, terraformed colony in Wolf 359, Tolkien is primarily a mining colony but since completion of its terraforming it has attracted considerable migrant populations interested in farming and tourism. Culturally Tolkien has strong ties to NATO-RUSSO and the EU.

nother completely independent colony. Freeside has long been a home for scoundrels and traitors, and began as an archeological dig for a strange alien civilization sometime around 2110. Nominally outside the protection of the concordance for most of its lifetime, it has only recently gained the status of a colony (as opposed to a backwater) simply because its population has surged to 700 million with refugees from the inner systems. A three-way ground war between Concordance Space Marines, hostile alien life forms, and Freesiders has been settled only in the last year, securing its status as an official colony. The freesiders have mixed feelings about this. Culturally, freeside is nearly inexplicable, having no real connection to any other colony or country. It's its own place. There is a concern that pirates displaced from Monticello may take up residence here.

a colony in the Kapetyn's Star system, entirely controlled by the Orthodox Catholic Church, and possibly its new home in the depths of space, Maidensong is home to 40 million who were displaced from earth around the 2130s and inadvertently settled in a system rich in minerals. Their colonial status nearly triggered a massive civil war. They are very sympathetic to the Concordance and detest most other power blocs.

A smallish colony in Ross 154, with a population of 15 million, Vadim is a cold dark moon that for more than 50 years was the heart of NATO-RUSSO's top secret research network, which made them, long ago, the masters of explored space. The colony is now their lone holdout in space, and is very unfriendly to other power blocs. There are rumors that in labs deep underground, strange research is still ongoing...

A small colony in Alpha Centauri with a population of 5 million. Medeterrania is isolationist and has no resources to speak of, but its location is critical for concordance control over a half-dozen neighboring systems. As such it mostly focuses as a waystation and orbital military base. The surface is entirely controlled by the EU.

"The Saints": 5 small moons in 61 cygni, all controlled by the Orthodox Catholic Church. These colonies were recently created by the whim of the current Concordant, a naked attempt to grant the vatican more power. They will likely grow into powerful mining colonies, though they are quite remote.

Maxwell and Darwin: two colonies with less than a million people, created at the same time as above. They are both EU colonies and will likely grow to be critical sorium suppliers, acting as a valuable backup for Euphrates.

First Chapter of the Story Posts Tomorrow. You will have one week to vote.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 11:26:57 PM by Theodidactus »
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound

Offline Theodidactus (OP)

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Re: Final Discord (Background and Explanation)
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 09:55:16 PM »
hello everyone,

I apologize for starting this giant fiction project, then having to cut out. My work life became much more complicated! ;D

I'm back and this project will continue.
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Final Discord (Background and Explanation)
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 06:12:19 PM »
Ooh, sounds exciting.

I read through your past stuff several weeks ago, it will be cool to see this playing out in realtime.

Offline Herodotus4

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Re: Final Discord (Background and Explanation)
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 06:21:30 PM »
Is this real stars? Either way you definitely should nuke epsilon eridani, then publish the eridani edict.