Hello, and welcome to Polaris, a High/Heavy Roleplay server of SS13. This page is designed to be a quick and simple introduction to our setting, though not every topic will be covered here. If you're looking for more detail, there are further lore pages on this wiki, as well as an in-game codex that should include most pertinent information. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask on the lore channel of our Discord
Wait, Where Am I?
Characters on Polaris are workers, residents, or visitors on the NLS Southern Cross, a large satellite in orbit above a habitable planet in the Vir system, in the year 2563. The Southern Cross is owned and operated by NanoTrasen, a massive corporation with interests in the region's deposits of the physics-violating substance of Phoron, used throughout the galaxy for power, medication, and artificial gravity. The server proper depicts both the satellite itself, home to a NanoTrasen research lab and a variety of supporting facilities, and the nearby planet-based outpost in the snow-swept Ullran Expanse.
Where Did I Come From?
The various planets of the Solar Confederate Government, the central government your character is a citizen or resident of, are connected by spaceships with faster-than-light Bluespace Drives. There are a dizzying variety of colonies one could be from, but most new arrivals to Vir come from one of the worlds of Sol, Alpha Centauri, or Tau Ceti. Vir also has a habitable planet called Sif which is slowly becoming a major industrial center.
In the relentless march of science, humanity has created a number of sapient and semi-sapient beings. The most socially accepted of these is the positronic brain, a high-powered computer design adapted from a discovered alien artifact. Positronics, or "posis", have existed for just under 300 years and make up a sizable minority on almost all human colonies. Positronics are distinct from the classic robot because they cannot run code nor be modified under any circumstances, making them in many ways more similar to the organic races than to most machines. Much more common is traditional software AI, known as drones. Drones come in many different specializations, and are more or less ubiquitous in human space. Although some modern designs are remarkably expressive, drones are objects, not people.
You can play a positronic or a drone without having to apply on the forums. If you do so, please keep in mind their lore and their job restrictions, found on the rules page. Drones, in particular, must carry their drone ID and present it when requested by Security.
I Just Saw An Alien
For at least a few thousand years, humanity has wondered if it is alone among the stars. By 2563, the question has been answered with a resounding "No". The three major alien races your character has almost certainly heard of before are the Skrell, a race of amphibians with a strict caste system; the Unathi, a species of enormous bipedal lizards with a powerful militaristic empire; and the Tajaran, a less-advanced human ally race that remains divided into feudal realms. The Vir system is also host to a small number of Prometheans, jelly-like aliens created from a species called the "giant slime". The treelike Dionaea and the raptor-like Teshari are also occasionally found in human space, as are the omnipresent Vox, who plague every galactic civilization.
Politics in 2563 are an incredibly pressing facet of modern life. For roughly the last 400 years, the dominant issue in human politics has been around to what extent we should allow technology to transform us and our way of life. The technologically conservative Icarus Front had a virtual stranglehold on human technological policy until recently, when the upstart Shadow Coalition and the Sol Economic Organization obtained political control and began introducing revolutionary new technologies, like death-defying cloning and cybernetic augmentation. Some like this, some hate this, and some think we should go further and become something entirely new.
The dominant conflicts in 2563, aside from the political discourse, are many and varied. Tensions with the Unathi government remain high after an inconclusive conquest war during first contact. Many resent the degree of political influence the Skrell have on humanity, while doing the same thing to the Tajaran. Just outside of Vir, the Almach Association has seceded from SolGov, a conflict which could turn violent at any moment. NanoTrasen has a variety of corporate rivals who want nothing more than to usurp their current position. Opportunistic raiders, both human and alien, harass frontier stations, to say nothing of the Vox. Any of these conflicts could come to threaten the peace of the NLS Southern Cross.