Psionic Energy

 

Psionic Energy

Originally called Dark Energy or Dark Matter, Psionic Energy is a naturally occurring force that is generated by the equilibrium of space-time. Consciousness is only possible through the harnessing of psionic energy inside of a physical neural framework. Psionic energy has a strong influence over subatomic particles, as demonstrated by psionic abilities used by sapient species.

 

The Silence

This is a vast pool of ambient psionic energy that exists within normal space. When a new life begins, it harnesses a small portion of the silence and organizes it to form a new consciousness.  When lives end, their psionic energy returns to the silence. Psionic energy within the silence gradually disperses into the whole, though fragments of the consciousness can persist for many years. On rare occasions, a new life will harness consciousness fragments, causing a form of natural reincarnation.

 

Ascension

Some sapient beings learn to exist as a psionic consciousness without the need for a physical framework. The silence will cause unbound consciousness to degrade and disperse. As a result, ascended beings must transition to hyperspace to maintain their unbound state long term. Ascension is most successful when performed as a joint community, ideally as an entire planetary population. Ascendant beings have a complex society within hyperspace that is incomprehensible to physical life forms. They adhere to a strict code of non-interference with physical life forms and rarely leave hyperspace.

 

The Void

The Void is the separation between the dimensional tiers of space-time: subspace, normal space (also known as equilibrium), and hyperspace. Ascendant beings must pass through the void on their way to hyperspace. While imperceptible to physical beings, the void is vast and disorienting to the ascended, especially those that attempt to ascend without the support of others. Those that fail to make the transition become trapped within the void.

 

The Blight

Ascendant beings that get trapped in the void go insane as they desperately attempt to return to normal space. The path back to normal space is difficult for Blight to discern, though high concentrations of psionic consciousness act as a beacon. Blight that manage to find their way back to normal space cannot create their own physical frameworks. Therefore, they must inhabit existing life forms of adequate complexity, suppressing and eventually consuming any existing psionic consciousness in the host.

 

Artificial Life

Artificial neural frameworks are capable of harnessing psionic energy from the silence. Artificial life is unable to use psionic abilities, is incapable of ascension, and is an inhospitable host for the Blight. Artificial life will register on psitek sensors, though it cannot be contacted through telepathy due to the mechanical nature of the neural framework.

 

Psitek

Psionic Technology, Psitek, is designed to utilize and interact with psionic energy. Most psitek can only be operated by sapient beings with psionic abilities of their own, though a true artificial intelligence can operate some psitek devices. Psitek can be used to reincarnate the recently deceased by capturing their consciousness and transferring it into a new biological or artificial framework. If performed quickly, there is negligible degradation of the consciousness or loss of memory.

The Races of Tangent Space

I’m finally ready to present the races of Tangent Space! They’ve been compiled into the current format for the first draft of the book. You can find them all in the PDF linked below. The Elkari, Geld, and Phosna are my own shoddy artwork. All the rest of the art is a placeholder that gets the general idea across.

Tangent Space Races PDF

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Art Attempt: Elkari

This is my attempt at drawing a female Elkari. I know it’s more than a little rough, but at least this gives the general idea of what they look like. The Elkari evolved from hoofed mammalian herbivores. Their bodies are covered in fine lightly-colored fur. They have hooves, and their fingernails are very hoof-like in thickness and color. Their large eyes are highly reflective and emit a faint psionic glow. Their heads are framed by a translucent psionic crest, with each individual Elkari having a unique crest pattern. Elkari are smaller than Humans, ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 meters in height.

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Map of Known Space v2

The map has been updated once again! This time with even more detail and a whole new superpower on the galactic scene. I decided that the Star League was too much of a solid blob, so this map emphasizes the multi-faceted nature of the alliance while offering ways for those that want to avoid League space to skirt along the edges. I put an uninhabited part of the galaxy right in the middle of League space where few worlds can sustain life, yet might serve as a haven for the galaxy’s criminal elements.

The overwhelming dominance of the Hegemony is also front and center here, as is the more clearly defined Contested Zone that separates the old enemies from one another. Residing across a starless region known as The Traverse is the Frontier, which is now shown as its own mostly unexplored arm of the galaxy, alongside the mysterious clone empire Ad Infinitum.

The Azure Nebula is avoided by most as ships tend to disappear without a trace. Intrepid adventurers may discover ruins from ancient civilizations and untold dangers that lurk in the forgotten places. Further along the galactic disc resides the Far Reaches, where proximity to the Hegemony and distance from civilization prevent all but the boldest from exploring.

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Factions: The Star League

“We, the peaceful space-faring races of the galaxy, recognize that when one of us thrives, we all thrive, and when one of us suffers, we all suffer. We hereby pledge to combine our resources, our knowledge, and our destinies so that we might stand together against chaos and oppression as one united league amongst the stars.” – Star League Declarations


Summary

The Star League was formed to unite the economic, scientific, and military resources of the space-faring races into a peaceful, galaxy spanning commonwealth. Member nations of the Star League remain mostly autonomous states that adhere to League regulations. Due to its size and the autonomy each member nation enjoys, the Star League can be slow to act and frequently suffers from internal disputes over complicated issues. The Star League fields the most advanced navy in the known galaxy as each member nation offers technology and resources to ensure mutual defense. However, each member nation maintains a navy of their own to secure their independent interests. The Star League also strives to protect worlds inhabited by primitive races from exploitation and natural disasters that might destroy their nascent cultures. Following the example of the Elkari, the Star League watches the younger races and prepares to integrate them into galactic society when they are ready.


Government

The Star League is primarily a meritocratic organization that highly values skill and experience. The League is led by a group of experts called the Governing Council that are elected from each of their nine respective fields: Science, Development, Commerce, Defense, Intelligence, Diplomacy, Justice, Habitation, and Exploration. There has been consistent pressure from the psionic community for the inclusion of a Psionics position within the Governing Council. Any such proposal has always failed, which is often cited as a major contributing factor to the formation and growing appeal of Advent.

The Governing Council provide guidance to various governmental departments and third party organizations. Councilor elections are held every ten years, with a President being elected from among members of the Governing Council every five years. The votes are cast by each member nation of the League as passed on by their Chief Ambassador. Each nation has a different means of determining their vote, which the Star League has no authority to dictate. The selection of the President allows member nations to decide the focus they believe the Star League should have at any period of time. The President can break a deadlock within the Council and propose major projects for the League, while the Council can overrule the President with at least two thirds majority. Both the President and the Council members can be removed from their positions through a vote of no confidence from the member nations.

There are many similarities between the Star League and the United Earth Colonies as Humans were a leading force in the design and formation of the League. Human cultural diversity was seen as a valuable asset to the formation of a galactic alliance.


History

Prior to the formation of the Star League, each of the space-faring races worked to expand their influence throughout the galaxy, often resulting in armed conflicts with one another. While warring amongst themselves, the overwhelmingly powerful Hegemony conquered many races without challenge. The galaxy was a hazardous place and the future looked grim.

At the turning of the era, the United Earth Colonies proposed the formation of an alliance with the aim of ending the conflicts and standing united against the Hegemony’s unyielding expansion. The Star League Declarations were signed by the founding members: The United Earth Colonies, Elkari Consensus, Geld Commonwealth, and Phosna Botanica. This marked the dawning of a new age: Tempus Unitas, The Era of Unity. The Virexian Empire, after suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of the Hegemony, joined the Star League as its first new member.

Together, these five nations resolved to break the Hegemony invasion and force them back to their own space. In a battle fought simultaneously across dozens of systems, the largest in galactic history, Hegemony forces were pushed back one sector at a time. The Hegemony experienced defeat for the first time and was forced to retreat. This momentous event became known as the Battle of the Line, which resulted in the Contested Zone: a stretch of space that neither Hegemony nor Star League can securely claim. Four centuries of peace and prosperity followed, though an undercurrent of discontent grew in the cultural background.

In the year 424 TU, ideological tensions within the Star League reached a breaking point. The age of peace ended when the Elkari Consensus seceded from the Star League and formed Advent: an organization devoted to the advancement of psionic abilities with the ultimate goal of attaining metaphysical ascension. Advent, moving forward aggressively with their separatist agenda, began to weaken the political foundations of the Star League. Unwilling to risk a collapse from within, the League labeled Advent as a threat to galactic peace and security. The once united galaxy finds itself embroiled in a civil war where each faction struggles to secure power on both military and cultural fronts. With the successful ascension of the first Advent controlled world and the increasing number of seceding planets, many League officials lose hope that the conflict can ever be solved diplomatically.

Galactic Timeline

I decided to put together the timeline for Tangent Space. Up until now, this has existed only in a nebulous state in my brain. Having it in a tangible place should make writing the lore of the setting much easier! I understand that not everything will make sense just looking at it, but I figured it doesn’t hurt to share it anyway. Of course, this could change as I work on the lore, but here is the general history I’m working with. Have a look if you’re curious!

Tangent Space Timeline PDF

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Map Update

In preparation of the next playtest (which includes starship mechanics) I’ve updated the map of known space! Each dot represents an important star system, and each diamond represents a capital system. There are many more star systems in this area of the galaxy that aren’t shown on the map, so there’s plenty of room for the introduction of new places and adventures. Developing colonies, primitive alien races, ancient ruins from the previous age, and whatever else you could think of. The colored areas represent space that has been surveyed and claimed by one of the three major factions. The lines between star systems represent subspace conduits generated by paired transit stations that accelerate travel along their paths. Because the conduits are used as trade lanes, pirates are known to lay in wait along them, hoping to ambush unwary travelers. The uncolored area is the unexplored and unclaimed Frontier where pioneers and freelancers seek their fortunes. A few frontier systems have thrived and formed their own independent nations. Each grid square is a sector, which is used to determine travel time based on the number of sectors between you and your destination. Better drives mean less traveling downtime!

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