The Fourteen WorldsIn the setting of the Childe Cycle, humanity has colonized new worlds. Most of these extrasolar colonies have concentrated on a singular cultural characteristic, and has become a basis of their society. These became known as the "Splinter Cultures".In Necromancer, the roots of the Splinter Cultures could already be seen in individuals who embody one of the major core ideologies: Courage, Faith, Philosophy, or the Hard Sciences. Following the events of that novel, humanity takes to the stars, with people traveling to colonies that shared their outlook. By the time of Dorsai, the splintering is completed, and reinforced by economic necessity - Planets had to specialize or they could not survive economically. Each Culture had developed to emphasize their key aspect.Note: While there are sixteen inhabited planets (including Earth), characters often refer to all of them as "the Fourteen Worlds". The Exotics (who control Mara and Kultis) and the Friendlies (who control Harmony and Association) tend to be counted as a single "world" each.
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Honorable, tall and physically powerful, the Dorsai are best warriors humanity has ever seen. Expert mercenaries, their culture represents the aspect of Courage.Orbiting Fomalhaut, their oceanic homeworld (also called The Dorsai) has many rocky islands with little farmland. Fishermen harvest the seas to provide food. With little natural resources, the people can only maintain their independence by working as mercenaries.The descendants of unemployed mercenaries and others seeking freedom, they developed into a culture of fierce individualists. While technically ruled by a loose confederation, the central and local governments have no real power. The people allow no one to interfere with their freedoms. At the same time, they are traditional folk, and have a sense of responsibility towards others. It is this accountability is what drives the Dorsai.
Dominating the Procyon system, the Exotics is a rather unique culture. To outsiders, they seem to be peaceful if very odd mystics. In reality, they're relentless in their ideology of non-interference. Specialists in medicine, psychology, genetic engineering, social sciences, but above all their culture represents Philosophy.Co-operative and mystical, some speculate the exotics may not be even human. In order to maintain their objectivity, the Exotics have developed their skills to stay rich, and thus maintain their independence. As such it is one of the major powers. Overtly agnostics, the Exotics are disliked by the Friendlies.The warm worlds of Mara and Kultis are not ruled in a conventional manner. The closest leader of the Exotics is "The Bond" - a position that represents the relationship between the two planets.
Inhabiting the worlds of Epsilon Eridanus, the Friendlies are a puritanical, deeply religious society. Throughout the Fourteen Worlds, they're known as fanatics - using their faith to justify their actions. However, other Friendlies have demonstrated that they are Faithful - following their beliefs instead of using them. As such, the culture displays the vital characteristic of Faith.Their homeworlds of Harmony and Association are resource poor - no metals and poor farming conditions. It was an ideal place for the first settlers wishing to live an ascetic, agrarian lifestyle. Alas, to survive as a culture they needed something to trade. Lacking products and having little practical skills, they've became mercenaries - conscripted cannon fodder to fight in others wars.Both worlds are governed by a theocratic republic. However, sectarian violence and guerrilla warfare is common.
The "Venus Group"
Hard science cultures, noted for their technical talents and being Tight-contract worlds. Because of the high need for their skills and knowledge, these planets are wealthy and influential. While logic is an important characteristic, it is not considered as relevant as Courage, Faith, or Philosophy.
VenusSecond planet of the Solar System, and home to many research stations. During the events of Dorsai, it is a major power under the rule of Project Blaine (yes, his first name is Project). Presumably to be heavily terraformed, otherwise it wouldn't be settled. It leads the "Venus Group", which also includes the technically inclined worlds of Newton and Cassida.
NewtonHard Science world orbiting Alpha Centauri B. The leading center of research and development of the Fourteen Worlds. Ruled by technocrats, the planet has a tightly controlled, people are seen as social resources. The Newtonians are rich and powerful thanks to its discoveries.Covered mostly by clouds, Newton has a high albedo. Reflecting its primary star's light and having two major moons, the planet has the nickname of "The Orange and the Two Pips".
CassidaPlanet of Alpha Centauri A, known for it's engineers and technicians. With Newton dominating the whole of Alpha Centauri, Cassida has been deeply influenced by it's neighbor - becoming focused on the hard sciences, and seeing people as resources. With it's natural resources, to produces the technology that Newton develops.
CetaFrontier world of Tau Ceti, known for its entrepreneurs and commercial activities. Though having a larger surface than Earth, the planet has less mass (thus less gravity). With large unexplored and undeveloped landmasses, Ceta is the newest settled world. Multiple sovereign states exist on the planet, but it has no central government.
CobyAirless mining world within the Procyon system, noted for it's plentiful and varied metals. Its inhabitants live in a subterranean network of communities, mining below the surface. Life is harsh, the world is almost anarchic, and governed by a criminal society. In desperation, some miners sign up to become mercenaries.
Dunnin's WorldFrontier planet orbiting Altair, with few resources and low population. Barely terraformed and with little resources. Originally controlled by the Corbel (a "co-operative society"), and colonized to provide gambling and other entertainments on a world with no laws. However, the planet was eventually left to fend for itself.
EarthThe homeworld of humanity, which remains the most populated and richest of the Fourteen Worlds. "Old Earth" has no centralized government, and remains multicultural and nonspecializing.Originally, Earth played a major role in stellar affairs, with two power blocs attempting to influence the new colonies. But after the events of The Tactics of Mistake, Earth has been relatively quiet in interstellar politics. Since then, Earth has focused on internal projects, such as "The Final Encyclopedia". Intergovernmental agencies and bodies exist, but they are unable to come to a consensus.
FreilandOrbiting Sirius, Freiland was settled by Northern Europeans. As a result, the planet is known for their work ethic, self-sufficiency, and most of all, their bureaucracy. With plenty of natural resources, the planet is rich and prosperous. Competitive allies with their neighbors, New Earth.
MarsFourth planet of the solar system. Partly terraformed, Mars remains a dry and cold. Governed by a republic, the planet is a quiet hinterland.
New EarthMulticultural world, one of the two habitable worlds of the Sirius system. Much like it's namesake, the planet never specialized socially. Sadly, the number of different cultures has resulted in conflict. It does provide a market for mercenaries. Allied with Freiland, if a bit competitive.
Ste. MarieRural and abundant planet settled by Roman Catholics, and known for their agriculturalists. Mostly quiet, it plays little role in interstellar politics. However, it shares the Procyon system with the Exotics, they're practically a ward of the culture. Governed by a democratic theocracy.