The Verge

Jiàngluò Home Guard officers returning from a mission with assistance from a Solace Colonial Ranger.

Overview

The Verge is a network of a couple dozen main worlds and many more minor outposts and stations connected by wormholes. It is where three space-faring sapient species and their entrained followers met, out on the rim of the Milky Way galaxy. For more than an Earth century, the Verge has been cut off from the rest of the universe, forcing these diverse people from distant lands to learn to get along – or die trying. Tensions between the Verge Republic and the Zox Hierate Colonial Authority threaten to come to a boil, bringing war and devastation. Meanwhile, the menace of the enigmatic and rapacious Squirm hangs over the tenuous network of worlds.

History of the Verge

    Time-keeping

    Before discussing history, it is necessary to say a few things about time. It's not as simple as you might think.

    History

    Sidebar: The Physics and Tactics of Intra-Network Wormhole Warfare

    Synopsis
    • Wormholes connect across space and time, not just space.
    • Nevertheless, you can't use wormholes to build a time machine.
    • A consequence of this is that interstellar wormhole networks form branching, tree-like structures with no closed loops.
    • You can try to steal nodes (worlds) from a neighboring branch by forming a closed loop. The weakest link will break, and if that link is in the other branch you will have stolen the nodes left stranded by the break. This is called a causality attack.

    Ancient History

    Synopsis: The Antecessors spread across the Local Group of galaxies and maybe beyond. They developed an extremely advanced technology, spread complex life across the Local Group (including the Cambrian Explosion on Earth), then disappeared.

    Human History

    Synopsis: The Humans discover wormholes and spread across the galaxy. Out on the Milky Way's rim the network of worlds that will become the Verge is first settled by the Americans, captured and occupied by the Chinese, then recaptured by the Americans. Then Humans meet the Mants of the Zox Hierate at the Verge, and they fight. The fight is a stalemate.

    Sidebar: Human Entrainments

    Synopsis: Humans accidentally create the Pannovas and meet the Laers. Both follow the Humans to the stars.

    Mant History

    Synopsis: Hive Tzachi discovers Antecessor technology, creates the Zox Hierate, and becomes emperor. The Zox colonize the Triangulum galaxy. Then they go to the Milky Way and meet the Humans at the Verge. They fight, resulting in a stalemate. Then the Mants go to Andromeda Galaxy and meet the Squirm. They fight, and the Mants lose. The Squirm destroy the Mants in Triangulum – the Mants of the Verge may be the only Mants left in the Universe.

    Sidebar: The Physics and Tactics of Warfare Between Separate Wormhole Networks

    Synopsis
    • It is difficult for an attacker from one wormhole network to capture worlds from another network in a timely manner. By destroying the wormhole to a conquered world, the defender can greatly slow down the attacker.
    • The best way for an attacker to attack across a broken wormhole is to exploit any back doors that also link back to the same world.
    • The Squirm used the wormhole communication system of the Mants and Gummis to get around broken wormhole links.
    • Humans don't use wormholes for communication in the same way, so Squirm have been known to clandestinely abduct Humans, infect them with a mind-control parasite, implant a miniature wormhole in them, and set them loose to return home before beginning their invasion, in order to prevent a broken wormhole from stopping their advance.

    Gummi History

    Synopsis: Gummis reverse-engineer Antecessor technology, then spread out across several small galaxies. They meet the Brood, and they fight. The Gummis win, the Brood are eradicated. Then the Gummis visit the Milky Way and meet the Humans. They get along well.

    Sidebar: Gummi Entrainments

    Synopsis: Gummis meet the Pirang and Tweechi, and both species follow the Gummis to the stars.

    A Menace Revealed

    Synopsis: A long ways away from the Verge, deep in the center of the Milky Way, the Indians meet the Squirm. And the Brood. It turns out they are the same thing. They fight, and the Squirm win. The Squirm advance on Earth.

    A Bump in the Night

    Synopsis: All wormholes connecting the Verge to the rest of the universe break. The Verge gets its act together and survives.

    The Aftermath

    Synopsis: The Humans form the Verge Republic. The Mants from the remains of the Zox Hierate remain a threat. Squirm occasionally try to invade. Exploration of new worlds begins again.

    Sidebar: Yes, you can kiss an alien space princess

    Synopsis: There are a lot of lost colonies out there now being re-contacted.

Sapient Species

    Human Space

      Humans: Tall bipeds. Cooperative but ambitious.

      Pannovas: Smart chimpanzees. Pushy and clannish.

      Laers: Belligerent and persistent amphibious swamp-dwellers.

      Semi-Sapient Species: Enhanced Animals

    Mant Space

      Mants: Orthodox, flashy, hive-dwelling bugs.

    Gummi Space

      Gummis: Friendly, novelty-loving blobs.

      Tweechis: Small, proud flyers.

      Pirangs: Playful, leggy predators.

    Outsiders

Critters

Organizations

The Worlds of the Verge

A connection map of the important worlds of the verge. Solid lines indicate a wormhole connection between the two worlds. Dashed lines indicate an important former wormhole, now broken. Many wormhole routes pass through one or more uninhabited or lightly inhabited worlds which are not shown. There are also additional wormhole routes to minor outposts and stations that are not displayed on this map.

The Worlds of the Verge Republic

    Garcia's World: One member of a binary world pair orbiting a red dwarf star. The interface between the American settled and Chinese settled worlds of the Verge Republic.

    Gateway: The last civilized world before you reach the Zox Hierate, Gateway has the largest Laer population of the Verge with floating cities and swamp dwellers. It is the main source of the Verge's siderophile elements.

    Homestead: A rugged world terraformed with Earth-life, with space-western attitudes and values.

    Jefferson: A lost world, recently re-contacted. Once the entrance to the Verge, Jefferson has been separated from civilization for generations and has reverted to savagery.

    Jiàngluò: One of the core worlds of the Republic, Jiàngluò is a prosperous and industrious world with grand cities between expanses of frozen wilderness and exotic vegetation.

    New Carolina: A high tech world of innovation, famous for its warm temperatures and tropical forests and beaches.

    Prospect: A tide-locked world around a red dwarf star. Traditional, community-minded Humans live and grow their food indoors, while growing Tweechi and Pirang colonies flourish in an environment close to their homeworlds.

    San Agustín: A world on the border of Gummi and Human space, enriched by the meeting of both cultures.

    Solace: The main world of the Pannovas, famous for its cities built up in Solace's giant trees.

    Valleya: A vibrant and rugged world that spins so fast it is shaped like a bowling pin. A world whose culture is a fusion of Human and Gummi styles.

    Žemyna: The crossroads of the Verge Republic, Žemyna's position at the convergence of four major wormhole routes ensures that it is a nexus of trade, government, and industry for the Verge Republic.

    Zhǎngshān: A world cursed by interesting times. The Republic maintains tenuous control over the central core as a perennial rebellion smoulders and commits acts of terrorism and insurrection. Although possessed of vast mineral wealth, independent warlords and corruption make much of the planet ungovernable.

    Minor Worlds: Brief notes on the minor worlds of Human Space.

The Worlds of the Zox Hierate

    Rhuzzit: The connector world between the Zox Hierate and the Verge Republic. A moon of an ice giant planet, it is a world with a thin atmosphere and under the fist of a brutal dictatorship.

    Other worlds of the Hierate: Many of the Zox's major worlds are still little known to Humans, Gummis, and their entrainments. Even the major worlds are off-limits to outsiders and little known.

The Worlds of Gummi Space

    Bondle: One pair in a double planet with a slightly toxic atmosphere (for Earth life), Bondle is a thoroughfare between Republic and Gummi space, with the largest population of Gummis in the Verge.

    Doonzhee: An Earth-like world with purple vegetation.

    Grummer: The Crossroads Planet. Grummer is the longest settled Gummi world in the Milky Way galaxy, home to the Verge's Primary Coordination Committee, and a nexus of trade within Gummi space.

    Tweezee: A volcanic world with close binary suns, and a distant companion binary pair.

    Whum: A world of mostly Tweechis, tide locked to a red dwarf star inside a planetary nebula with a white dwarf companion.

    Zhiroom: A world spinning so fast it is pulled into a disk shape, with gravity that varies considerably across its surface. It is primarily inhabited by Gummis.

    Minor Worlds: Brief notes on the minor worlds of Gummi Space.

Science and Technology

Gear

    When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.