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The Free Worlds Affiliation – also known as the Free Worlds Alliance – refers to a number of human colonies joined by agreements and treaties into a loose confederation of worlds . It is officially known as the Free Worlds Affiliation, but the name has slipped into “Free Worlds Alliance,” or sometimes, “the Alliance” in common vernacular.

As of the late 74th Solar Century, nearly 35,000,000,000 humans lived on planets that were members of the Free Worlds.

History[]

The aurorae were intense that night, owing to a geomagnetic storm in Loki’s northern hemisphere and increased solar activity on 10 527 Pegasus. It was also winter in the northern hemisphere and a layer of ice crystals in the stratosphere filtered the auroral light with an effect reminiscent of stained glass. On Loki, these were known as the “Cathedral Nights.”

On this night (24 Avember 7392 by the Sapphirean Calendar or the Solar Year 7201), three of the delegates to the [Interstellar Council] – Zavius Telemark of Furlong, Angus Keeler of Sapphire, and Falco Andros of Wolf’s Head – were drinking at the Shoehorn and Organism, a semi-disreputable drinking establishment on the periphery of the triplex of hexagon-shaped dome that enclosed the Interstellar Diplomatic Complex on the plains of Loki's North Alpha continent. The Shoehorn and Organism occupied what had been a construction bunker during construction of the dome forty years earlier, built from stolen and scavenged construction materials. It was half In the ground, covered by a stubby oblong dome like an inverted hygiene tub.

They preferred this place to the more fashionable drinking establishments in the IDC. They didn’t have to worry about protocol, or rent-seeking sycophants buying their drinks, or those snotty Republicker waitresses who thought they were too good to be working there. They could talk and get drunk and not worry about anything but the two obvious spies from the Republic Ministry of Security drinking water at the adjacent table.

“Nothing to be done,” said Telemark fiddling with his third Sour Panrovian of the evening.

Andros conceded, "I am beginning to come around to that opinion." He was drinking ultra-beer. Few men could handle more than two without becoming incoherent. Andros was on his fourth.

“Republickers start out with what seems like a reasonable proposal, then they stick absolutely horrific things into the details,” Keeler sighed. “Trust me, we’ve been dealing with those people for four hundred years. First thing they did after they got space travel back was try to take over our planet. They never quit. They get more subtle, sometimes, but they never quit. The New Galactic Commonwealth is going to happen.”

Andros scowled and set his beer down heavily on the table. “I don’t like the idea of other worlds meddling in Wolverine matters, but I also don’t like the idea of being on the outside of such a powerful alliance.”

“That’s the problem,” Keeler went on. “World governments are going to figure out that belonging to an interplanetary alliance has advantages, even if it does compromise their sovereignty.”

“The solution is obvious,” Telemark said. “We need to make our own interplanetary alliance; with the advantages of cooperation but without all the other … crap.”

“With hookers and gambling!” Angus Keeler insisted. He called for the barmaidens to bring him a quill and a stack of bar napkins. Over several more courses of drinks and wads of napkins, they eventually decided upon and drew up on the back of the final (and nicest) napkin four guiding principles for their alliance:

1.    Respect for the sovereignty of all worlds, for the right to all worlds to conduct their own affairs in the manner of their own choosing.

2.    Non-Aggression toward other worlds both within and outside the arrangement.

3.    Trade, commerce, and cultural exchanges between worlds with minimal interference

4.    Avenues for mutual defense in the event of aggression from outside forces.

The beer-stained napkin was subsequently framed and hands in the Free Worlds Museum and Beer Hall in the city of Pandemonium on Loki.

Eight days later, the representatives of Republic, Emeishan, Independence, Boon, Denali, Longeuil, and Rainier III presented the original Memorandum of Intention to Revest (their word) the Human Galactic Commonwealth. Although supposedly modeled after the previous Human Galactic Commonwealth, it was, in actuality, a far more centralized and interconnected structure than the Old Commonwealth. The Memorandum called for the creation of a “Galactic Parliament” and an Executive Council, and contained a lot of flowery language about cooperation and progress.

Keeler, Andros, and Telemark announced that their worlds would not be joining the Commonwealth, and would instead enter into trade, cooperation, non-aggression, and optional mutual defense agreements with each other. They welcomed other worlds that wished to "stand outside the Commonwealth" to join them.

“Our worlds will not be part of an interstellar Government,” Angus Keeler announced. “We will not suffer from the bad governance of remote politicians, as we are all well-capable of being ill-governed by our inhabitants. We will not be governed by the edicts of any other bureaucrats than our own. Our worlds will continue mind our business, and keep our hands to ourselves. But, we will seek to bond ourselves, in treaty and friendship, to other worlds of like philosophy. There will be no tests to join with us, we don’t want power; we just want money. I mean, freedom. Yeah, freedom… that.”

Telemark clarified, “What the esteemed Delegate from Sapphire means is that we believe trading relationships, cultural exchanges, and mutual defense agreements will lead to greater prosperity across all of our worlds; without the expense of supporting a massive interstellar bureaucracy.”

Angus Keeler jerked his thumb toward Telemark. “What he said. And Freedom.”

Andros spoke next. “In the name of the Chieftain of Chieftains, the planet Wolf’s Head will now sign charter agreements for mutual defense, trade, and cultural exchanges with the planet Sapphire.” He paused and drew his sigil on the thick parchment documents in his blood according to Wolverine custom. These he passed to Keeler, who signed them in a more conventional manner with his laser pen.

Telemark brought papers as well. “These treaties will form the nucleus of friendship between the people of Furlong and the people’s of Wolf’s Head and Sapphire.” Keeler inscribed his signature on the bottom of the much thicker stack of Furlong Treaty documents. Ambassador Andros signed in blood once again.

Telemark finished. “We welcome any world --- whether a member of the New Commonwealth or a free world --- to sign similar treaties of cooperation with our three worlds.”

“Don’t everybody sign up at once,” Keeler advised. “I would not want the honored delegate from Wolf’s Head to get woozy from blood loss.”

 

Growth[]

The name 'Free Worlds' did not come into official use until nearly a decade later. But a number of colonies were drawn into trade agreements and mutual defense arrangements including Vermilion, Fortnight, Sugar Tit, and Maidenhead. Some worlds explicitly chose membership in the Free Worlds over the New Commonwealth because of the New Commonwealth scheme of designating worlds with less than a billion inhabitants as “Minor Worlds,” with less political influence in Commonwealth Government. Nevertheless, some planets that would have qualified as Major Worlds in the Commonwealth nevertheless opted to join the Free Worlds, including Guelph (in SY 7240), Gander (in SY7244) and Bella La Cava (in SY 7259)

There has never been any prohibition against members of the New Commonwealth entering into treaty arrangements with free worlds, and many did. The New Commonwealth added an Amendment to its charter in SY7145 giving the Galactic Parliament the authority to review and abrogate treaties between member worlds and worlds outside the Commonwealth.  

The New Commonwealth of the Galaxy vacated Loki in SY7173, after which the Complex on Pandemonium became the new headquarters of the Free Worlds.  Rather than a centralized Capitol, the Complex is an arrangement of “Missions” from colonies across the Perseus Quadrant and meeting spaces. A large industry of consultants, advisers, and brokers assures the smooth operation of relations among the worlds located there.

 

Second Aurelian War[]

The Free Worlds of Sapphire, Bella La Cava, Furlong, and Gander were targets of the First Aurelian Offensive launched in SY 7296. 

A the start of Second Aurelian War, the Free Worlds entered into a military cooperation agreement with the New Galactic Commonwealth, but withdrew in the early years of the war because of the stunning incompetence of the New Commonwealth’s Supreme Commander, Pax Rowsdower, and his annoying habit of attacking friendly and neutral worlds instead of the Aurelians. They organized the Free Worlds Military Alliance (The Alliance) and chose to fight the war on their own terms.

As the most militarily advanced worlds in the Alliance, Sapphire and Wolf’s Head took the early lead in developing the Alliance Defense Forces and implemented a three-stage plan for defense of Alliance worlds.

1.    Establishing system defenses for worlds in danger of Aurelian attack.

2.    Repelling Aurelians from Alliance worlds under Aurelian occupation.

3.    Taking the fight to the Aurelians.

Lamont Tannhauser of Bella La Cava became the first Supreme Commander of Alliance Forces.  The Alliance began a program of shipbuilding and orbital defense construction and within eight years had established minimum basic defense systems for most member worlds. More advanced system  defenses showed their capability by repulsing Aurelian forces at Guelph, Vermilion, and Fortnight during the Third Aurelian Offensive in SY7310-7315. The Aurelian invasion of Wolf’s Head in SY7313 was a devastating defeat because of the outstanding system defenses of the Wolf’s Head system.

After securing their home systems, the Alliance the proceeded to liberate Aurelian-occupied worlds.  Alliance Task Force “Red Saint” was sent to drive the Aurelians off Bella La Cava. After long battles, the Aurelian presence was eradicated. The Alliance established remote Military bases on Thistledown and Call Triangulum to build forces for more counter-attacks on the Aurelians.

The Alliance ultimately combined with New Commonwealth forces to drive the Aurelians out of the Ganger-Longueil, Furlong, and Boon systems. The first of these was the liberation of the Gander-Longueil system. Subsequent Count-Offenses were successful in driving back and ultimately defeating the Aurelians.

Exploration of the Galaxy[]

Most of the Free Worlds Galactic Exploration efforts are undertaken by the Free Worlds/Private company known as the Space Exploration Consortium. The Space Exploration Consortium (S.Ex Consort) is headquartered in the city of Pandemonium on Loki. The Consortium buys ships using funding provided by the Free Worlds. Major contributors are Sapphire, Wolf's Head, Bella La Cava, Aneirin, Bering's End, Gander, Guelph, Furlong and Thistledown. Sapphire, Wolf's Head, and Bella La Cava also operate their own planetary space fleets.

The Free Worlds Military Alliance was renamed ‘Star Force’ in SY7357 on the basis that it was a cooler-sounding name.

Interchanges[]

“No leaders, no organization, no capital… how can we lose?” – Angus Keeler, Lead Sapphirean Diplomat on Loki/Ambassador to Wolf’s Head, Solar Years 7187 – 7196.  

Major interchanges have developed on several member worlds where all of the diplomatic, trade, and defense representatives of the various worlds can live and meet in one location. The largest of these interchanges are on the planets Loki, Furlong, and Thistledown.

The Loki Interchange of the Free Worlds (of which the Library is a part) occupies the same space where the IRC formerly stood. When the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy vacated in Solar Year 7192 [7440 AS], the Free Worlds Alliance chose to keep the complex. Literally, they didn’t even pay a song for it, but there was a lot of inebriated singing as the last Commonwealth shuttle left the Outer Ring Spaceport.

After kicking around the names Alliance City, New Alliance City, Alliance Station, Commonwealth City (Just to piss off the New Commonwealth), they eventually settled on Pandaemonium; which they felt captured the spirit of what they expected to accomplish.

The Free Worlds Interchange is a pair of buildings in the heart of Pandemonium called “The Mushrooms” because of their mushroom-like shapes. The tops of the buildings are garden parks under large crystalline domes. The lower floors are filled with meeting spaces, and communications equipment to allow representatives of member worlds to cooperate.

Pandaemonium is also the location of the Loki Galactic Exchange, a brokerage for commodities and shares in registered enterprises and other commercial transactions [“Export 600,000T Quattrotriticale from Furlong to Fortnight at 1.65 per ton.” “90 Graviton Engines from Hyperion under contract to Sestina.”] Trading Houses line the inner ring of the city. The Alliance extracts a small fee on transactions within the Exchange.  

The saying goes that agreements are made at the Interchange, broken at the Galactic Exchange, and buried in the Library.

Member Worlds[]

It is difficult to determine the number of worlds in the affiliation because there is no recognized central body to account for them. A number of worlds have trading and cultural interchanges with worlds within the alliance but do not consider themselves part of it. Also, nothing precludes a member of the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy from also being a member of the Affiliation of Free Worlds, but such an arrangement is strongly opposed by the Commonwealth Governing Council. The planet Chaldea in the Bountiful tri-system has declared an intention to join the Free Worlds, but the System Government has denied it permission.

Among the worlds that have formally declared themselves part of the Free Worlds Affiliation are the following:

Colony

Sector

Population

Aneirin

Antlia

164,000,000

Sugar Tit

Antlia

200,000,000

Antillian Prime

Antlia

620,000,000

Idyll

Antlia

265,000,000

Erehwon

Antlia

330,000,000

Arrowhead

Ara

480,000,000

Borealis

Ara

290,000,000

Good Hope

Ara

700,000,000

Compass Alpha

Circinus

350,000,000

Bearing’s End

Circinus

250,000,000

Horizon Omega Nova

Circinus

600,000,000

Red Obelisk

Circinus

130,000,000

Amberlight

Columba

390,000,000

Orange

Columba

300,000,000

Rapture

Columba

250,000,000

Vermilion

Columba

600,000,000

Bayer

Columba

240,000,000

Yaz

Columba

400,000,000

Condor

Corvus

400,000,000

Coronus Corva

Corvus

680,000,000

Omicron Corva

Corvus

180,000,000

Ajax Crux

Crux

403,000,000

Wren

Cygnus

1,000,000,000

Augustus 

Equuleus

380,000,000

Taiga

Equuleus

800,000,000

Atlas King

Equuleus

740,000,000

Furlong

Equuleus

750,000,000

Fortnight

Equuleus

270,000,000

Key Lyra

Lyra

440,000,000

Vindication

Lyra

625,000,000

Reverie

Lyra

500,000,000

Firesky

Lyra

340,000,000

Rhapsody

Lyra

429,000,000

Bellerophon (Prime)

Pegasus

560,000,000

Sapphire

Pegasus

4,400,000,000

Loki

Pegasus

55,000,000

Caspian

Perseus

60,000,000

Gander

Perseus

2,400,000,000

Guelph

Perseus

1,500,000,000

Argos

Perseus

350,000,000

Perseus Superior

Perseus

270,000,000

New Cascadia

Perseus

320,000,000

Kyra

Perseus

260,000,000

Argo Navis

Puppis

300,000,000

Thrace

Puppis

190,000,000

Mesa

Puppis

180,000,000

Torino

Puppis

530,000,000

Apex Sagitta

Sagitta

330,000,000

Zed Sagitta

Sagitta

230,000,000

Call Triangulum

Triangulum

290,000,000

Nowhere

Triangulum

300,000,000

Zed Triangulum

Triangulum

300,000,000

Principia

Triangulum

470,000,000

Revere

Triangulum

620,000,000

Thistledown

Vela

1,300,000,000

Bella La Cava

Vela

1,000,000,000

Bravo Vela

Vela

640,000,000

Omicron Vela

Vela

500,000,000

Spar Triangulum

Vela

352,000,000

Wolf’s Head

Vulpecula

2,000,000,000

Maidenhead

Vulpecula

300,000,000

Tiger Eye

Vulpecula

300,000,000

34,403,000,000

 

Organization[]

There is no central organization behind the Free Worlds Affiliation. Instead, each world coordinates its relations with every other world through direct diplomatic contact. The Free Worlds are bound be individual treaties to provide a framework for commerce and trade, mutual defense against outside aggressors, and shared resources for interstellar exploration.

The worlds recognize the value of a common repository for treaties and contracts, a common mechanism for dispute resolution. This function is provided by a facility called "The Library" located in city of Pandaemonium on Loki. The Library was originally built for the New Galactic Commonwealth as an academic facility. After being abandoned by the NGC, the structure was vacant for over two decades beforebeing renovated and repurposed by the Free Worlds. It is a complex of four structures, three for data and document management and one for consultation, mediation, and dispute resolution. The four structures are connected by a central tavern and gaming facility. a new structure contructed by the Keeler Consortium.

Funding[]

Members of the Free Worlds combine resources for specific purposes (e.g. construction of starships for galactic exploration via the S.Ex Consort; mutual cooperative defense). Negotiators, fixers, scientists, and others working on project are paid by their individual world governments or private enterprises. The thousands of Commonwealth spies that inhabit Pandaemonium are paid by the Republic Ministry of Security, and some of them make considerable extra cash through their front bars, restaurants, and other businesses they own and operate. Technically, all profits are supposed to be returned to Republic, but there are always ways around that.

Mutual Cooperation[]

Worlds are not compelled to help one another except by individual treaty. However, relief efforts have been coordinated from the Interchange to assist worlds experiencing major disasters or distress.


  • Fourteen worlds sent reconstruction assistance after the Caspian Megaquake of Solar Year 7292 that sank thousands of kilometers of the Subcontinent
  • During the wild Yeti migration of SY 7277, a coalition of worlds led by Wolf's Head sent sharp-shooters and armed aircraft to Taiga to thin the herd before it reached populated settlements. 
  • Symbol[]

    There is no unifying symbol for the Free Worlds Alliance, but many of the spaceships flagged by Free Worlds Planets and facilities used by them are marked with a stylized A in a circle.

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