It is the year 2260 of the Eighth Cycle. Humanity’s golden ages are past. Millennia after millennia of collapse, resurgence, and collapse have spread the seeds of humanity far and wide, diverging beneath alien suns to forms strange and wonderful – though, as far as some are concerned, “human” lost its meaning in ages long forgotten.

Humanity – or, rather, posthumanity, occupies all corners of the Orion Spur. Their realms are as disparate as they are similar, boasting curious amalgamations of culture, technology, and the many starfaring races that inhabit the Spur.

By and large, the technology of the distant future is arcane and strange, worlds of glittering gold and shimmering silver beneath fields of infinite stars. From the agrarian, slow outworlds of the Shallows to the hypertech metropoli of Cradlespace, technology, their wielders, and the strange other-place of the Wild Mesh intertwine and blend, producing the strange techno-force known as Phira.

Travel between the stars was once instant – a relic of the Age of Miracle, scattered remains of the star-bridge gates and their support manifolds and structures still littering the worlds they once serviced. Few gates remain operational, largely confined to the worlds of the Core that survived the collapses best. Elsewhere, travel takes time. Light-skippers, great golden vessels capable of bearing the strain of drifting through the Tide itself, ply routes of commerce and trade.

One quirk, interestingly, is that projectile weaponry long ago fell to the wayside – personal shielding and generational leapfrogging leading to finer and finer shieldbreaker blades until most combat is dealt out hand-to-hand. This isn’t to say projectile weaponry no longer exists, however. From the standard exotic-matter particle weaponry of the Posthuman Spur to the strange gravitic “crusher” implants of the Ovelle, warfare, while rare, is by no means simple.


ORION SPUR – the home arm of ancient humanity. Numerous posthuman and xenoform civilizations inhabit this region, making it a quite literal crossroads of interstellar culture and trade.

PERSEUS DRIFT – the thinning of stars to the galactic west of the Orion Spur, towards the Perseus Gulf that separates the Spur from the Perseus Arm. Sparsely populated, largely unexplored. Numerous xenofauna, no (confirmed) sapient xenoforms.

CENTAURI REACH – the region to the galactic north-east and corewards of the Spur, home to the Cavican Hegemony. Largely explored, very bright.

OLD CORE (CRADLESPACE) – the sixty lightyears surrounding Sol, sporting some of the highest populated worlds in the Spur. Has the largest number of Skipper lanes and routes in the region.

THE WOUND – a relic of wars immemorial, this region is scoured. starless, with drifting wrecks and forgotten relics

IBREAN WASTES – coreward side of the Perseus Arm, contains various splinter posthuman states and satellite xenoforms. Largely empty.

THE SHOALS – rimward side of the Spur, curiously calmer infraspace currents. Makes travel easier, sports large numbers of agricultural worlds and high food exports.

GLITTERSHOAL – artificial nebula within the Shoals seeded some twenty thousand years ago. few go in, fewer come out.

FAR SPUR – the far eastern end of the Spur, contains the posthuman state known as the Ovellian Collaborate. Stars are relatively distant from one another, large clouds of interstellar dust.

SAGITTARIUS HIGHLANDS – rimward side of the Sagittarius arm. Unexplored and unsettled.

CARINA GULF – coreward side of the Spur, contains the loose federation of states known as Lashan. Old colonies, deep roots.

Xenofauna and Posthuman Variety


“Baseline” humans – ancient, Terran standard humans. Acclimated to 1G standard gravity on average, remarkably resilient and adaptive. Found across the Spur and beyond. Many subspecies, from aquatic to arboreal.

Bioframes – living tissue with a silicate vertebral core. Inhabited by posthuman consciousness, functions much as any other body would. Physiology varies wildly and is often tailored to personal preferences. Relegated to relatively high tech regions of the Spur, require specialized maintenance.

Synthframes – less organic than bioframes, usually retain a semblance of humanoid shape and aesthetic. Usually. Can hold a resident posthuman or AI comfortably.

“Unbound” posthumans – individuals who choose to exist solely within the Living Mesh. Functionally indistinguishable from AI, not bound by system constraints but tend to go their own ways. Colonies exist, vast expanses of mixed-reality server farms and mesh foci.

Cavica – techno-mystics seeking to conquer the Wild Mesh and bend it once more to human wills. Powerful wielders of Phira, the Cavica are a formidable player on the interstellar stage, and managed in an age past to create great Tide currents to dissuade errant vessels from penetrating their region of the stars.

Ovelle – posthuman nanite colonies. Can form humanoid form if needed, angular and strange, always shifting like sand. Communicate through high frequency oscillation to form words, formed their own posthuman state, the Ovellian Collaborate. A relic of the Fifth Cycle.

Savhara – designer “pet” bioframes from a time of decadence past that have established themselves as a population all their own. Large variety in species and appearance, though most tend canid or feline. Leporine a close third.


Few true xenoforms have ever been encountered. The ancient Alissids are one race who in cycles past interacted with humanity, but they, as many things do, passed into memory in the First Collapse – as did the Turiga, and the Unari. Many others, however, still exist – and can be found across the Spur, if one knows where to look.

Hujia – vast interstellar dust collections granted sentience by chance and gravity. Communicate over vast distances with as of yet not understood means. Recycle starship wrecks, often found in orbital junkyards and battle sites.

Teshiko – squat, subterranean humanoids often found within asteroid habitats or mining firms. Build great inverted cities on worlds they colonize.

Sanachar – mesh-spawned xenoforms, resulting from a faulty node interacting with local fauna over many millennia. Stronger connection to it than most.


In the first great cycle, humanity created the Mesh within the very shallowest layers of the Tides – a superluminal information network that spread as they settled the Spur, new nodes stretching its reach further and further with successive additions. It functioned, by and large, as the information nexus of humanity, being linked with the analogues encountered xenoforms created when encountered. Successive cycles added to this network, and as it spread, it began to… change. Strange currents flowed through the Mesh, echoes of users long-dead and users yet-to-be. Latent power, awakened by time, and distance.

Today, the mesh beyond the explored and documented portions – or beneath them – is known as the Wild Mesh, a vast sea of information both tantalizing and perilous. The sections pinned down, papered over, and carefully catalogued and categorized, in comparison, are the Living Mesh, posthumanity’s largest repository of ancient knowledge and insight. This functions, more or less, like any other network.

The Wild Mesh, however, can be accessed. Drawn upon. Wielded, as blade or hammer – called, as if summoning a beast or loyal animal.

This, is Phira.

A relic of a past cycle, Phira is, in essence, a physical manifestation of the Wild Mesh, possibility given form and being. Data-magic, far-sight, the summoning of beasts of holite and raw data, these are the manifestations of Phira within the physical, and those blessed – or perhaps cursed – with the ability are formidable.