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This page covers the backstory of the factions and characters for Star Realms.

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Major Factions

    Trade Federation 

Focused on capitalism and trade, the Trade Federation was one of the first of the titular Realms to come into existence. Originally an "alliance of wealthy corporations", the expansion into space gave them enough power and influence to supersede Earth's nations, and then form an interstellar government.

  • Corporate Warfare: Despite their economic focus, the Trade Federation has a fleet of warships to protect its assets.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The companies leading the Federation prioritizes wealth. During the Blob invasion, this led to them focusing only on their core worlds over the lives of the outer colonies.
  • Mega-Corp: The members of the Federation are these, with CEO's and executives holding the reigns.
  • The Federation: Played With - Prefers peace, works towards a united goal, and is more prosperous than the other Human factions. However it's a corporate Empire more interested in wealth. They prefer peace because it could have negative impact on their profits, and will use force if necessary.
  • Greed: Tends to puts profit above all else. It also a motivation for certain Federation CEOs in the Campaign.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: The Trade Federation. Their abilities, ships, and bases reflect their corporate focus.
  • One-Federation Limit: They're the one federation out of the four main factions.


    Star Empire 

A military focused Realm, the Empire was formed by one Pierre Martine. The world he governed had a large, strong military before the Blobs invaded. With the alien attacks and the Federation lackluster response, the outer colonies began to flock to Martine for protection. Eventually a large chunk of the human worlds had declared their fealty to Martine, who later created the Star Empire as its first Emperor.

  • Hegemonic Empire: Thanks to its military strength and benevolent, capable leadership.
  • The Emperor: Martine created the position and assumed it, probably as a means to help unify worlds aligned to him and to gain better control.
  • Feudal Future: Downplayed - there is a system of nobility within the Empire, and the various worlds have pledged their fealty to the Emperor. But otherwise it doesn't appear in the game itself - Most of the Empire cards are Military in nature, with Admirals and Officers as heroes.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Emperor and at least one daughter of a Duke actually do something, administration and trading respectively.
  • Space Is an Ocean: While not as literal as some other examples, the Empire's capital ship designs look like they're based on modern military oceanic craft. The Aging Battleship shows this influence the most.
  • Succession Crisis: To avoid this problem Pierre retired and had his son become the new Emperor. Apparently Martine planned this well in advance: he raised his son to govern the Empire.
  • Voluntary Vassal: The human colonies willingly joined the Empire for protection from invading aliens.
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: The Empire's origins as peripheral Federation colonies that felt exploited by the corporations and unprotected by alien threats. They declared independence and built a military fleet to deal with both problems.

    The Blobs 
An alien species, mysterious and dangerous. Their first contact with Humanity was the destruction of the Outer human worlds. While the Blobs remain violent, some factions of the Blobs are willing to tolerate humans and trade with them.

  • Animal Motifs: The Blob ships tend to resemble animals - whales, turtles, sting rays, massive snakes... It's a stark contrast to the Human technology, adding to that alien element. In addition, the motifs also represent the Blob's raw violence.
  • Aliens are Bastards: At first, though afterwards some Blob factions are willing to join or work with Human groups.
  • Blob Monster: Played with the Blobs - while very hostile (at first), the Blobs are more Starfish Aliens than these.
  • Inscrutable Aliens: Downplayed - while the human factions have a rough understanding of the Blobs and can communicate with them, there's still plenty not known about these aliens. Also invoked in the video game: The Blob focused chapter is seen not from the alien perspective, but from the point of view of a Star Empire trader.
  • The Horde: Plays the role of one in the back story - destroying any human colony they made contact with. By the time of the game, they're less destructive and a little more co-operative.
  • Octopoid Aliens: The various Blob heroes look roughly like a cross between octopi and fleshy insect-things.
  • To Serve Man: Discussed in the app. No human knows if the Blobs eat humans or not, and the protagonist of one chapter is in no hurry to find out.

    Machine Cult 
A technocratic, theocratic human polity, and the most recent of the major factions to come into power. During the Blob invasion two human industrial and mining worlds were isolated from humanity but ignored by the aliens.

Union leader Thor Bowerson convinced the colonists that their salvation lay in their technology. His faction took over leadership, and using their resources to build a high-tech fleet. As time went on, the constant stress from the Blob threat and focus on technology led to worshiping technology itself.

  • The Coup: How Bowerson's followers came to power, a "mostly bloodless" one.
  • Church Militant: Being threatened by hostile aliens means the Cult need to be pretty well armed.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Inverted - the Cult may use some Biblical Motifs and have a hierarchy resembling a generic Church, but they're have no connection with Christianity.
  • Cult Colony: The Machine Cult didn't start out as these, just being far flung mining worlds. By the time contact with the rest of humanity was made, the faction was pretty much ingrained in their machine idolatry.
  • Lost Colony: Played with - the Cult started off as mining worlds that lost contact with Earth due to the Blobs. But instead of regressing, they focused on developing their technology.
  • Machine Worship: The Cult worships the Brain Worlds and revere high technology. Oddly enough, their ships don't seem to reflect this - the trope is implied by the flavor text in-game.
  • Nicknaming the Enemy: "Chromedomes" by those humans outside the Cult. A reference to their members' cybernetic implants.
  • Prescience by Analysis: The Grand Prophecy - a computer program designed to predict the future. Made possible with the Cult's supercomputing technology.
  • Prophecy Twist: Invoked by the Cult when their Grand Prophecy makes an error. When this occurs, Confessors try to explain why it didn't pan out.
  • Quality over Quantity: Despite their low population (compared to the other factions), the Cult manages to hold their own with superior technology.
  • The Theocracy: Ruled by a hierarchy of clergy and elders.


Minor Factions

    King Regalon's Realm 
Featured in the first chapters of the Digital App, the kingdom is an emerging human power. With its own fleet and capable military and political leaders, the Realm is strong and independent.

In the Campaign, the player is the role of the King's son or daughter, being given command of their fleet to bring glory to the Realm.

  • Armchair Military: Averted - High Admiral Moulon actually volunteers to lead an expeditionary and command his own fleets personally.
  • Cool Old Guy: Minister Sardius, who vouches for the player character to lead several expeditions and latter to lead the fleet.
  • Civil War: With the promise of mining rights, the Realm sends the player's fleet to end such a conflict on the world of Aradel. After Sardius usurps the throne, the player is thrown into this again.
  • Rising Empire: Thanks to the player's character, the king's Realm is gaining influence and power. Alas, this is a double edge sword - this new power attracts not just warlords and pirates, but also the major Factions.
  • The Usurper: Eventually Minister Sardius overthrows the King ultimately revealing himself as an Treacherous Advisor.
  • Warrior Prince: The player's role, as the campaign traces his or her's military career.

     The Unity 
Introduced in the UNITED Expansion, the Unity is a collective of Machine Cultists and Blobs. They have combined their technologies and ideologies to form a Machine/Blob hive mind. They are also the antagonists for one of the Campaign Chapters. Unity cards largely focus on Combat and Scrapping.

  • The Alliance: A surprising one since the Cult was founded as a result of the Blob invasion, and their disdain for the alien's quasi-biological craft. Just as interesting is the alien Blobs accepting some tenants of the Machine Cult.
  • Eldritch Starship: Their ships and stations look like Cyborg versions of Blob craft. In contrast with the Union (see below), the Unity Blob/Cult ships look more integrated.
  • Meaningful Name: The Unity refers more to just a political entity - it means the combined mentality of the Cult's cybernetics and the Blob's hive.

     The Coalition 
A group of Federation and Cult members united under CEO Chris Shaner. Cut off from the Cult, the Coalition's Cultists have gravitated to the proficient executive. Coalition ships tend to focus on Trade and deck manipulation - such as drawing cards or placing cards on the top of the deck.

  • Closest Thing We Got: The Cultists no longer could contact their Hive Mind. So they decided that CEO Shaner was the closest thing to one, with his leadership and administrative abilities.
  • Motif Merger: In-universe, the Coalition emblem is a combination of the Trade Federation symbol within the Machine Cult's gear.

     The Alliance 
Introduced in UNITED, the Alliance is a compact between a Star Empire and Trade Federation groups. Their ships and bases focus on providing Trade and Drawing or Discarding cards. A few cards can potentially provide Authority.

  • Motif Merger: Averted in-universe, The Alliance uses the Trade Federation and Star Empire emblems side by side on their bases and ships.
  • Rivals Team Up: The Federation and Empire have been historically enemies. But despite the past and current state of affairs, at least some from both sides are willing to set aside their grudges and cooperate.

     The Union 
A cooperative between Empire colonists and a Blob Cluster. Originally two stranded groups in the Yorktown colony, Confessor Morris helped them survive by merging both. The result is a combination of Blob and Empire technology. During the events of UNITED, the Union is lead by Commodore Zhang with Morris' approval.

Union cards focus largely on Combat and Drawing Cards.

  • Enemy Mine: The Union was the result of this, with human and Blobs needing to joining forces because they had no other help.
  • Eldritch Starship: As a result of integrating Blob tech with Empire vehicles and stations. Union craft look like one half human craft merging with one half Blob.


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