Some of you who know me may have seen this before, but I'm playing around with a series of stories set in the Traveller Third Imperium setting.
For those unaware, Traveller is one of the first science fiction RPGs, second only to Metamorphosis Alpha. Originally, there wasn't a setting for the game, with subsector generation a mini-game unto itself. Over time, the Third Imperium developed, including areas such as the Soloman Rim (the area of space near Earth) and the Spinward Marches (deeper into the galaxy). For my series of novels, I'd be focusing on the Spinward Marches, a frontier area of the Imperium that allows for pirates, espionage, and political tension, as the Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate maintain a tight balance.
The main players of the area:
The Third Imperium - over a thousand years, the largest starfaring nation of (primarily) humanity around. The Imperium is so large that news from the Core takes half a year to reach the far reaches.
The Zhodani Consulate - sitting beyond the Spinward Marches, consists of a psionically active branch of humanity. Given the Imperium's dislike of psionics (mental powers) and aggressive expansion, the Zhodani do what they can to avoid mingling.
The Vargr - uplifted wolves with spacefaring capability. Rarely seen as a unifying force, the Vargr are a wild card in the region. A Vargr nation can be an ally of the Zhodani, the Imperium, neither, or both, depending on who is in charge (which can change rapidly over time).
The Aslan - a race of lion-appearing beings, whose roles are gender-defined. Male Aslan are the warriors, charged with acquiring land, usually through warfare. Female Aslan, however, tend to the land gathered, and are far more able to handle using technology that isn't a weapon.
Some of the minor players:
The Darrian Confederation - another branch of humanity, best known in Imperial space for accidentally de-stabilizing their homeworld's star. After fighting their way back to being a spacefaring culture, the Darrians have figured out how they messed up their star and now have a weapon known as the Star Trigger that prevents being invaded. ("You attack us, we nuke your star.")
The Sword Worlds - H. Beam Piper's space Vikings, essentially. The Sword Worlds are a lower technology than the rest of the Spinward Marches major players, but are known for taking setbacks in stride and just keep going.
The titles for a possible Traveller Third Imperium series I'm playing with:
The Sword World Menace - wherein a Sword Worlds mission upsets the diplomatic balance in the Marches.
Attack of the Zhos - wherein the Zhodani launch the Fifth Frontier War.
Revenge of the Aslan - wherein an Aslan warrior seeks vengeance on the main characters.
A Darrian Hope - wherein our heroes head to Darrian space to resupply and repair.
The Imperium Strikes Back - wherein the Imperium counterattacks the Zhodani
Return of the Scout - wherein the former Imperial Scout in the cast returns.
Yeah, lots of work to do to fill things out.