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Eight hundred years prior to the start of our story, bitter conflict divided all of mankind. A handful of colonists struck out on their own to begin anew - far away from the Earth and its turmoil. Several ships were launched with enough equipment and supplies to give the hundreds onboard a fighting chance - but since the area around far-off Sirius had never been surveyed, no one really knew what to expect. What they found was a new frontier of free-flowing natural resources, unexplored territories, great wonders and lurking dangers. Each ship, representing the clusters of people and their earthly place of origin, settled into different parts of the galaxy pre-selected by their ship-board computer to give them the best chance of survival. Life was hard in the beginning, but over the 800 years the different colonies prospered and expanded their territories, claiming more and more systems for their own. Survival and propagation eventually led to growth and profit as each of the colonies developed specialties and fostered commerce. As the colonies grew and time passed their connections with their roots on Earth dwindled and they lost their memories of the conflicts of the past. Soon their attention was dominated by new, more immediate conflicts. Feelings of lost ancestral connection spurred anachronism in the look of the great cities, and created a somewhat distorted image of each colony's cultural heritage. In the ever-expanding outer edge of the territories, frontier lawlessness prevailed. The Houses: Each shipboard colony that left Earth carried some memory of its origins in its name. The Liberty carried Americans, The Bretonia flew from The United Kingdom and surrounding territory, The Kusari from Asia, and the Rheinland launched with Germanic cargo. As each ship settled and colonies began to expand, they knew little about each other and their advancing development. Finally, little by little, the individual colonies found each other and began to set up trade routes to link their systems for commerce and solidarity. Today, with each colony firmly rooted in its respective corner of the galaxy, the colonies rely heavily on each other for trade and industry but also compete for resources and new territories in the Border Worlds. The colonies mandate member governments in "The New Alliance" within the Sirius sector. To control conflicts, each colony has forged alliances and treaties with others as they have grown. Competition remains fierce, however. Struggles rage for supremacy in business, commerce, resources, power and control. There can be tenuous peace between colonies' political agendas, but the grabs for holdings constantly unsettle the volatile frontier.