Tuesday, March 29, 2022

50 Factions for Mothership

Some of these are old, some of these are new, some are small and some are large.

  1. Colonial Trade Alliance - The great power of the human expansion sphere, a theocapitalist hierarchy built up over centuries of expansion and consolidation. 455 Great Houses bound together by the Great Chain, under the knowing eye and guiding hand of the Board. May Prosperity and Profit come to the holders of Property.
  2. Lords of the Road - Posthuman supervisors of the jump gate network, created through contact with god-modules left behind by the Celestials among the gate infrastructure. They act as overseers of their respective hub systems, maintaining neutrality between whatever parties are using the Road. Each is unique, each is immensely powerful. They do not reach beyond their own systems, even into each others; they are more peers untied by purpose than a polity.
  3. Barn Swallows - A loose mutual aid network for cosmic drifters. A way to get a hot meal and a place to stay for cheap or free. Most plentiful on the Road, where transit is easy.
  4. Tiger Lilies - A militant anti-indenture group and longtime ally of the Transistor Railroad. Help indentured individuals to escape from CTA-controlled territory. Fund their efforts through smuggling goods from the Rim back into the Core.
  5. Interstellar Sex Workers Union (ISWU) - Old enough that it used to just be Interplanetary, and one of the toughest unions out there. Wherever the fascists crack down, the rooster-and-cat flag will fly in opposition. 
  6. FRIEND - A smiley sticker placed just so. A row of emojis texted from an encrypted number. A simple grinning face on an old TV. FRIEND is here, or a friend of FRIEND, and they have a job you might be interested in. 
  7. Calamity Jean - When thelychroma populations are put under high stress for long periods of time, it will trigger the hormonal changes that make Fixers - those that are able to put aside their increased empathy for a time and take the necessary, often messy, steps to remove the threat. There was a real Calamity Jean, a long time ago, whose rebellion became so famous that Fixers take her name in solidarity.
  8. Lamplighters - The apocalyptic fanatics of Lantern Boy aren't really a proper organization - more a recurrent mania that wells up when crisis scenarios are already underway. They aren't much for coherent ideology, only that with the prelude to the End upon them, only their enigmatic subject of devotion
  9. Redoubters - Black pyramid arcologies rising above lonely worlds orbiting lonely stars. Despite their total lack of communication with the outside world, their imagery has captured the imagination again and again. What are they doing in there? What have they become? What do they think of in there, as they wait for the cold, dim future? We don't know. They will not speak to us.
  10. Trollgarden - A slum gang notable for their fashion of designer tumors and flower grafts. Their secretive leader is called the Unsatisfied, known primarily for their voracious appetites.
  11. Bon Morte Society - A non-profit organization that provides end-of-life care and counseling. Specializes in services for individuals who have undergone life-extension. You tend to hear a lot when providing counseling to nigh-immortal (but not quite) oligarchs.
  12. Monks of Primus Oort - Cyborg followers of the Cold Gods, those Celestials who have seemingly rejected their place in the Bureaucracy. You might see a band of them in a crowd in some deep-space station Cowled navy robes, expressionless silver masks, droning synthesizer-chants. Popular among Hiders, but otherwise obscure.
  13. The Postworkers' Union - In the digital epoch, writing something down and having it hand-delivered is often the most secure method. The Post will get it there, stellar wind or solar flare. Members are easily identified by their navy jackets, their emblem of a stylized white bird, and their bright red shoes with white wings emblazoned. They are heavily armed, lifetime unionists, and will not hesitate to investigate any kind of fraud that goes through their services.
  14. Society for Human Consumption - A white glove, black coat affair. Vat-cloned meat, of course, with all the necessary precautions against prion diseases. Membership is exclusive to those who can afford the outrageous subscription fees, though single-use passes can be acquired if you donate some flesh that suits the palettes of the clientele. Their gala dinners are the talk of high society when they roll around, perfect for rubbing elbows with the high and mighty freaks out there.
  15. Hellpeddlers - The gates to the golden servers of Heaven are locked. But there are other options for the low-credit masses living in the valley of the shadow of death - low-fidelity, low storage options. Even if you manage to afford the payment plan, your ego will be pruned to fit during the death-transition, and there's no guarantee that the server won't just be bought out and reset by other parties in the future. The independent afterlife merchants peddling these hackjob solutions are widely shunned as snake-oil salesren taking advantage of the desperate, or as dangerous subversives threatening the Great Chain. But there are always folks willing to take on generations worth of debt to keep the reaper away.
  16. Priests of the Red Eye - The cult of hoary All-Father Jove is old; Its war-priests were already established before the Jovian Assembly even formed, and have kept vigil over their flocks ever since. Their spread has been relatively limited through the expansion sphere, but it is not uncommon to see their temples in the Core. Priests of the order serve as spiritual guide, legal judge, and practical defender of their communities, and are easily identified by their red prosthetic eyes and billowing cloud-colored hair.
  17. Cetacean Nation - The first independent uplift polity, founded initially by a band of dolphin pilots-turned-pirates and enforced through a combination of spacers' union support, canny negotiations, and strategic application of a torch ship as a diplomatic tool. The Nation has since built an enormous merchant fleet, established several major cycler routes, and has garnered a reputation for the best pilots in the Sphere (available for hire at appalling rates). More whales live within the Nation than without, though dolphins are less homogenous - there is an ongoing violent rivalry between corpo and Nation pods.
  18. Rat Kings - Dealers in "specialty goods" and "logistics for underserved markets". Have a firm belief in the free market, specifically that it could always be freer, you know? Tend to exist in the cracks between major syndicates, specializing in items limited under sumptuary law on top of the usual black market goods.
  19. MOTEM - The largest of Earth's interstellar colonization efforts and an attempt to compete with Jupiter's dominance. Historically notable for two reasons. First, for the fact that its ventures were joint human-datamind, leading to the development of several robust hybrid societies. Secondly, many of its colonies resisted or declined membership in the Colonial Trade Alliance thanks to the implementation of less-stratified memetic conditioning and the aforementioned hybridization.
  20. Gorilla Warfare - A PMC with a membership consisting entirely of uplifted apes. They are well aware of the joke, it was intentional, you will elicit one (1) polite chuckle in response if you point it out. While their advertisements tend towards the goofy ("We're the best in monkey business!" or "Why stop at just one 800 pound gorilla?"), their actual reputation is one of brutal efficiency and a casual disregard for collateral damage. They gave chimpanzees amphetamines and machine guns what the fuck did you think was going to happen.
  21. Deep Future Continuity Paradigm - A collective of scientists and human-aligned dataminds aiming to future-proof information storage. Often at odds with corporate interests chasing after new formatting trends, but have managed to protect several critical codebases from privatization. Popular with codepriests. 
  22. Long Horizon Colonial Security - A security company that rose to prominence by attaching itself to first-wave colonization ventures. As with most of the companies of that period, it collapsed in ignominity, existing only as a few fragmented outposts that were typically absorbed into the colonial government. Still, on a few secluded worlds in the core, you can still find and hire them, more as a historical curiosity than anything else. 
  23. Distributed Virtual Nations - A sweeping category encompassing any system where, in part or in full, a person's legal rights and responsibilities are tied to their digital presence rather than their physical presence. Started off as a means of Collapse-era corporations to undermine traditional states, and have been used and abused in seemingly endless permutations in the centuries since. 
  24. American Dominion of Christ - Collapse-era theofascist government. Did not survive into the interplanetary age, thankfully, and none of those groups claiming lineage to it have lasted long enough to repeat the process. Despite the patchy historical record of the time, the Dominion's crimes are very well attested (by their own records, no less), and still remembered centuries later. 
  25. Alliance of Indigenous Nations - Like many other movements of the Collapse, the Alliance was born from the power vacuum left behind by the weakening of the old nation-states. Unlike most of them, however, this one had a positive outcome. Territory was reclaimed, languages were revived, and miracle of miracles it was not stolen away. Everyone who would have thought to come and conquer were so exhausted that they could manage little more than a limp rattle of the saber. As the recovery of Earth continued, more nations were added, eventually including those outside of the Americas. Affiliated habitats and communities are found throughout the solar system, with the largest being Cahokia cylinder at Vesta. 
  26. Delta Pavonis Commonwealth - To the outside universe, the DPC is paranoid, reclusive, heavily militarized and aggressively territorial. Internally, it is a fairly standard socialist polity with a standard of living reasonably above the Expansion Sphere average, heavily militarized and aggressively territorial. These latter two points came about as a consequence of the discovery of two planets with noticeable biosignatures in the Delta Pavonis system, the subsequent backing of a colonization mission by Terran ecosocialist groups, and then the further discovery of two near-sapient alien species upon arrival. The "wall of spears", as it is termed, is an attempt to prevent the biospheres of the DP system from exploitation and / or destruction by external forces, as was the case in the disastrous colonization of Ross 128. 
  27. Lesser Covenant - The Great Covenant of Minds was dissolved after the destruction of the colony on Zeta Reticuli Bb during the Core Wars. The resultant loss of the Star-Touched-One, the Site of the Great Accord, and the source code for their cyberbrain modifications meant that the techno-empaths could never fulfill their part of the Great Covenant. The adoption of the Lesser was agreed upon as a necessity.
  28. Anthropic Hegemony - Minor humanichauvanist polity. Unwillingness to deal with AI has led to being economically outclassed by most other independent polities in the Core (much less the CTA), but this has had the odd effect of broadening the working definition of "human" to include metahumans (though not uplifts). Generally regressive and insular. Tend to turn a blind eye towards piracy of their neighbors.
  29. The Fortress Worlds - The end of the Core Wars saw the disarmament of Sol and its allies, save for these scattered holdouts. They lacked the ability to project force beyond their own fortifications, but the newly-restructured CTA could not afford the lengthy and costly campaigns to subjugate them. So an uneasy truce reigns, with a wide DMZ established on the edge of the gravity well.
  30. Teegarden Republic - A minor cyberdemocratic polity (descended from the Jovian Assembly) around a minor star, notable mostly for remaining independent throughout both the Wars and the following period, and for being home to the first successful neogenic biosphere tailored for an M-type star. 
  31. Automation Maximization Paradigm - Ontology dictating that as many component processes of human life should be automated as possible, citing the destructive inefficiencies and biases implicit in any operation spearheaded by a self-aware actor. Popular with a certain variety of technocapitalist, though usually in speech only - there are enough algowar horror stories to put the kibosh on growth-oriented non-metacognitive AI.
  32. Moonland - A semi-autonomous region of Luna containing the oldest permanent settlements in the Expansion Sphere. Homeland of the Selenians, the first widely-adopted metahuman clade and source of the standardized microgravity gene template. Briefly independent early in solar system colonization, later absorbed by the Earth-Lagrange powers as political power migrated away from Terra.
  33. Microworld Homesteaders' Union - A loose mutual-aid network of independent asteroid and iceteroid settlers. There is a cutoff of 100 persons per member settlement.
  34. Centauri Corporate Command - Mars sent colony ships to Proxima and Toliman well before warp travel was developed - colony ships it could not afford, all things considered, but the Martian Corporate Congress wanted to beat Earth and Jupiter to the punch. No one expected the cheap, ragged ships or their compliments of debtors and other prisoners to survive the trip. But survive they did. The resultant colonies can be charitably described as crimes against humanity. There weren't enough debtors and prisoners to build up infrastructure on the timetable the MCC wanted, and so an exowomb-based population program was put into place, which swiftly led to critically overpopulated habitats and extremem poverty, the effects of which were brutally cracked down on by colony security forces. Things never got better, only bigger.
  35. Solipcist Matrices - A datamind ontology wherein the subscribed intelligences withdraw entirely from the outside world and reside entirely within virtual spaces, permitting only automated systems to interact with externalities. The popularity of this philosophy among humans varies, with bubbles tending to burn out quickly as those interested join a network and are never heard from again.
  36. Sczi-Hadolaung Mutual Interest Group - Early, remarkably successful colonization effort. The original settlements were isolated from the rest of human-settled space for generations, leading to the development of a unique metaculture. The Group's leadership were early adopters of radical posthumanism, to the point that when contact was established during the Reconsolidation Era it was briefly believed that Group worlds had been conquered by aliens. While nominally neutral, the Group has significant enough influence to have the CTA worried of systems flipping allegiance.
  37. Knights of An-Hehm - A broad label for a variety of esoteric warrior sects under the umbrella of the Atûmaic Mysteries. Include the Dog Knights and the Knights of the Invisible Flame. Typically found on the Rim, either as vagrant madren, in the service of some minor boss, warlord, or corponoble family, or as sworn swords of the Atûmaic Church.
  38. Autochtonic Underground - The stars and their innumerable worlds were empty, and so the great powers of Earth saw it fit to invent peoples that they might colonize. Cloned metahuman legions, tailored for the harshness of extrasolar worlds, were grown via seedship and exowomb and sent to prepare the way. When the colonists came, they were to be disposed of. But their creators overestimated their subservience; the rebellions were quashed, their members scattered to the solar winds, but the autocthons refuse to go quietly. The fight continues in silence.
  39. Panan Sho Syndicate - Literally translated as "Panan is mighty" or "Strong Panan", the syndicate is one of the greater powers on the Rim. Primary fields are drugs, protection rackets, jailbroken tech, loan sharking, anything with a CTA ban on it, indenture breaks (never mind that you'll find yourself going from one bad deal to another) and the trafficking of any of the above. Over 80% of sworn membership are heteromorph metahumans or uplifts, and this is treated as a point of pride. Panan Sho himself is remarkably charismatic and public for a crime lord, and his distinctive red cartilage and tripartite jaw are a just as much part of the group's identity as the sign of the crimson bloom. There is more to him than he shows: He's been assassinated on camera once and died another three confirmed times, and keeps coming back. Some people theorize that he has offloaded all of his paranoia and fear onto the android advisor he keeps at his side. 
  40. APC Commune - Normally, when one comes in contact with a self-replicating alien fast food restaurant, one exercises caution. Not so with the Commune, which performs what can only be described as "franchise husbandry" of the von-neumann eateries.
  41. Five Rivers - The true faceless monolith of interstellar shipping. Brought about by the union of five megacorps into a single entity (via group marriage of their scions, as was the fad at the time. There was a reality show about it), in a bid for dominance. Which they achieved, at least if you are on the Road: Off-Road, business rivalries and territorial disputes have a tendency to boil over into open warfare. Usually with the screaming trashfire of Astra Logistics or the ineffably skeezy Ubermaersk Corporation.
  42. Church of the High Houses - Widespread religion centered on worship of the Celestials. Emerged in the social chaos of the period directly after the Bureaucracy's first contact with humanity, later becoming the second-largest religion in the expansion sphere by the time of the Core Wars (only the Principles of Prosperity and Profit is larger, though only because all CTA citizens have a subscription). As the Celestials are factually-verifiable entities, and ones that do not seem to have any desire to provide spiritual guidance anyway, the Church has concerned itself with the development of a moral framework for humans within a universe now defined by the Bureaucracy, and used them primarily as a cosmological and symbolic framework. The Atûmaic Mysteries are an esoteric offshoot of the Church.
  43. The Silent Seven - A seven-person gap in the historical record. A grand redaction in the shape of people. Who were they? What did they do? There are no answers to be had, but many seekers.
  44. The Cult of the Clever One - You pass it just while walking down the street, a graffitti icon of a broad-shouldered woman with a mischievous smile.
  45. BloodBathHouse - O come all ye violent, to the hallowed halls a-bathed in crimson! Let gore slick the tiles! Let gold flow from thy pockets! Peanuts! Popcorn! Ice-cold beer! To the death!
  46. Lighthouse - Clandestine civilian organization; investigators of ontological and acausal anomalies. Provide services to communities unable to afford or unwilling to call upon corporate bodies for aid. 
  47. Devil Hunters' Lodge - Fraternal / sororal organization of devil hunters found throughout the Expansion Sphere, available for contract killings of devils and sorcerers alike. Have a long-standing rivalry to similar governmental organizations, and have taken to calling their counterparts "yapdogs". 
  48. The Pandemonium Free Polity - Anarchist satanists. Their character-focused moot software ("The Court of Hell") has proven incredibly popular, with dozens of forks made for different themes and settings. Originated as an elaborate joke that proved to have sturdier legs than most imagined.
  49. Office of New Religious Movements - Casually referred to as "The Inquisition" (well out of earshot of any inquisitors), this arm of the CTA's machinery investigates and observes developing religions (of which there are very many), hoping to dismantle, defang, or redirect any potential subversive elements before they cause an issue. Members have a properly terrifying amount of authority while on the job and do not tend to care about collateral damage.
  50. The Firebird Rebellion - The song of universal emancipation has not yet been extinguished. On the Rim, in the undercities of the Core, in the places of the forgotten people - there is still fight left. There are victories won, clawed out from the iron grasp of the CTA. The Firebirds are aided by the scion of a Great House, an exultant who gave up their immortality as proof of their resolve, and handed over their House's fleet, worlds, and resources to the cause. There is still a long way to go.


  1. I fully admit that some of these are not as strong as I would have licked, but this post has been cooking for nearly a year and if I wasn't going to sit down and finish it now it was never going to get done.

  2. Fixers! My contribution to SPACE! Makes me unreasonably happy seeing that on the list.

  3. Love it, particularly the Space Ape Mercs, the Indigenous Nations, Panan Sho, and the Delta Pavonis situation.

    The APC Commune rings a bell--what do those restaurants serve? and whom?!