The story (brief):
In the near future, the Earth was politically unified under the aegis of international megacorporations. Quickly the government becomes oppressive, however, under the First Republic (such the government), Earth also met the exploration and development of the solar system. Then in the 24th century, humans discovered the Jumpgate, first race (excluding various dubious discoveries on Mars) from an extraterrestrial civilization. Most importantly, the immense artifact opened the door for Jumpweb, left by ancient race called Ur or Anunnaki, who long ago had disappeared.
Corporations took the opportunity to rapidly expand, but discovered their inability to exercise control over the settlers; then a community at a time if the Earth independent states. Thus, the Diaspora was born and caused the death of the First Republic.
Many communities were led by charismatic leaders, often forming clans. These clans, to take each other for an additional splendor, often traced their lineage nobility and aristocracy of pre-Earth space, becoming noble houses.
The discovery of alien civilizations was a blow to the already weak religions; various sects and cults to the Anunnaki came and spread. Among them, the most notorious (and most hunted because of the danger to corporations and the social order) was the cult Sathra, popular among pilots of spaceships.
In the 28th century, Zebulon, a priest Christian – Catholic or Orthodox, is not known – took the stars, searching for some sign. Enlightenment he found and was beyond his dreams. He became the prophet of a new and definitive faith, preaching to humans and aliens in the Diaspora, performing miracles and picking Apostles and followers, who after his death wrote the Omega Gospels and founded the Church of the Celestial Sun.
In the middle of the third millennium, inspired by the Church, free trade ideas and philosophy of human rights the peoples of the Diaspora came together again, forming the powerful Second Republic. In this period of unprecedented boom, people settled in countless worlds, scientists were on the way to prove that anything was possible, disease and hunger have become legends and medical care was the most suicidal of extreme sports insurance. But all things come to an end.
Near the millennium (4000 AD), many lost their jobs due to the robotic cheap labor and alien work, scientific experiments have frankensteinian results and the common man tied the Republic to heavy taxes and political disputes. And besides all this, the stars began to fade. Many sought refuge in the Church, which accused the man of having lost his middle between the goods and technology, which caused riots and panic on the planets. While the border worlds were leaving the Republic one by one, the central worlds people turned to the noble houses, preaching ideas of noblesse oblige. The ten most powerful took up arms to fight the separatists, but saving the Republic was not their intention. In the end, the Ten conquered the capital planet and the Second Republic came to an end.
The first half of the fourth millennium became known as the New Dark Ages. Most of the population became peasants, the Church forbade the advancement of technology, nobles ruled their castles and the remnants of the Republic and their knowledge formed the guilds, led by the Merchant League. When the barbarians, the then separatist worlds, invaded the Known Worlds, one man – Vladimir Alecto of house Alecto, got up to fight them. He managed to unite the forces of the Known Worlds (as the core worlds in human space were called) behind him and drove out the invaders. With all the power at his disposal, he was named Emperor of the Known Worlds, the Emperor of the Phoenix, which would generate its power to the stars – but was assassinated during his coronation by an unknown attacker (although rumor has it that he was murdered by demons).
Vladimir, however, left the entire administrative apparatus back and a precedent. In the 50th century, a claim to the throne caused an avalanche, plunging the Known Worlds on a five-front war (five of the ten original homes died or lost their influence in the meantime – thus becoming the Five), with the Church and the League Merchant watching the situation in the possibility of establishing a theocracy or other republic. Ultimately, it was Alexius, of house Hawkwood, who mustered the support of the Church and the League, forging alliances with house al-Malik and Li-Halan, defeating their opponents and crowning himself Emperor Alexius, the First.
The new emperor quickly led to the reconstruction of the Worlds Known after the war. Instead of imposing his rule by force of his army, Alexius opted for a more charismatic and peaceful leadership, to inspire others to join him and to stir the old power structure, stoking, the young. Thus began a period of opportunity and hope, a perfect time for those who want to forge their own destiny.
This is where the players appear.