The CyberWolfe's Den
'Punks In Space
Weapons and Defenses
Timeline: Space Opera
Long ago, in a Galaxy far...waitaminute, that's already been done.
The known Galaxy has two major factions: the Republic and the Mageworlds. Thirty years ago, the Mages came into the Republic on a mission of conquest. Perada Rosselin, the Domina of Entibor, worked to unify the many systems of the Republic to a common defense, and recruited Jos Metadi, a privateer out of Gyffer to bring all of the various Planetary Defense fleets under a single chain of command, thus creating the Republic Space Force.
The Space Force was successful in defeating the Mages, but at great cost: whole worlds were slagged, including Entibor. Others had nearly every species of life exterminated by chemical attacks. Once the war was over, the Republic went back to the Mageworlds in force and destroyed most of their technology base. Errec Ransome, Master of the Adept's Guild, took the same aproach and destroyed the Mage-circles in the same way. The Mageworlds were reduced to the tech level of the United States in the late 20th century, and the Space Force erected the Net, a pair of electromagnetic 'fences' that create an artificial energy field to prevent access to Hyperspace between the Republic and the Mage worlds. The Net is located in a starless expanse between two arms of the Galaxy that lies between the two star nations.
The Republic spent the next thirty years rebuilding, and the marks of war have largely been erased from those planets that were not destroyed. Commerce flourishes, and the Galaxy has, in general, moved on, and the Mageworlds have been quiet.
You have to admit though, that thirty years is a long time to plan your revenge...
Galcen is the mother of worlds, and is located in roughly the center of the 'civilized' galaxy. The three major tenets of civilization, the Government, the Space Force and the Adept's Guild, all call Galcen home - not to mention a fair portion of the galaxy's wealth. (At least, that little bit that doesn't already reside in Adolfe Annervarian's pockets.)
The rest of the galaxy branches out in all directions from there, with those planets closest to Galcen being the longest colonized, and therefore the Core Worlds. Outside of the Core, you run into any number of Republican worlds of every stripe - the first coloinists left Galcen centuries ago, so they've had a long time to propigate.
Towards the edge of Republic space, you find the Outplanets, a mixed bag of loyal worlds, neutrals and the occaisional 'not-a-member-and-proud-of-it' world. Like any frontier region, things are less settled out here, and this is where most of your players are going to want to hang out, since this is where the fast money can be made.