The Pandora Cluster
Hyperstorm is set in a secluded galactic region commonly known as the Pandora Cluster, but local nomads and rifters know it better as the Hyperstorm. The region is accessible practically only through an artificially maintained stable wormhole called The Eye (also known as the Pandora’s Eye), which is held open by a ring-shaped hyper-advanced alien structure, the Ring.
The Consortium and the Gate Worlds
The first colonists arrived in Pandora Cluster almost five hundred years ago, but the expansion has been slow and painful. Many metacorporations came in the cluster after it was found and tried to claim its riches. After the first century of constant conflict and turmoil, the Consortium was established. It is a union between several metacorporations, alien domains, AIs, and colonial governments and tribes. Currently, the Consortium is the most significant political and economic power in the Pandora Cluster, and it controls the amatium trade and space travel between the Gate Worlds, and traffic through The Eye.
The Gate Worlds comprises the oldest Pandoran colonies, and they have a strong Consortium military and endopol presence compared to the New Horizon colonies or the Dead Space, where the Consortium has almost nonexistent authority.
There are currently almost thirty Gate Worlds, and new gates are being built to the colonies of the New Horizon and the Prosperity Chain to reconnect the Gate Worlds with the Lost Expanse – a previously colonized part of the cluster, which was lost to the Locusts almost thirty years ago.
The whole Pandora Cluster is affected by a strange gravitational phenomenon, probably caused by several gigantic black holes near the cluster. This phenomenon is commonly known as the hyperstorm. It makes hyperspace travel much more unpredictable and hazardous, by interfering with hyperspace navigation and causing strain on the ship systems.
On the other hand, it is theorized that the phenomenon enables the high amount of wormholes in the region, and the Consortium has taken advantage of this. The Consortium AIs have developed a way to control this phenomenon by retro-engineering The Ring and manufacturing smaller rings, called fargates, that can create stable wormholes between planetary systems.
While challenging, hyperspace travel is not impossible, and the fact that most of the space travel within the cluster happens through the fargates has created a demand for spaceships and pilots, who know how to navigate the hyperstorm and even find routes to worlds that are hidden in the storm.
The Rifts and the Malakim Ruins
There are dozens of smaller wormholes, called rifts, found around the Pandora Cluster and many of these lead to worlds with ancient alien ruins riddled with wondrous alien artifacts. Most of these worlds are inhabited – or perhaps even guarded – by weird creatures, and terrible traps can be found within these alien ruins. There are also several worlds with moon-sized strange structures rich in amatium, a rare and valuable mineral that is important to space travel, highly advanced fractal technology, and the psychic voyants.
The Edge refers to a series of planetary systems that lie on the edges of the fargate network. These are worlds with some Consortium influence, but most of the planets and colonies are autonomous or under megacorporation control.
Dead Space is a lawless zone between the Consortium Gate Worlds and the Lost Expanse. After the Lost Expanse fell to the Nephilid Swarm, this area was where the last battles against the nephilids were fought. Some even as recently as a few years ago.
This region is at the same time a war zone, with sentinel warships and metacorporation privateer frigates patrolling the star systems, and an autonomous zone with many criminal cartels fighting over the control in the area.
The Prosperity Chain
The Prosperity Chain is a string of resource-rich star systems close to the Lost Expanse. The riches of the Prosperity Chain have attracted House Azuria, along with many smaller metacorps and prospector rigs, into the region.
The Clan Stars
The Nomad Clans have built several refueling and repair docks in a small cluster of stars in the Dead Space. No one else but Nomad clanarks is welcome into these systems, and Nomad patrols politely escort any unwanted ships out of the star system. Any hostilities are met with relentless return fire.
Kraken’s Maw Nebula
The Kraken’s Maw Nebula hides several pirate safe havens and resupply stations on its star systems’ inhospitable worlds and asteroid fields. The nebula’s strong background radiation makes navigation and sensor use very difficult in the area, and pirates use this to their benefit when hiding their tracks and striking out into different parts of the New Horizon and The Prosperity Chain and their trade routes.
The New Horizon
The New Horizon is a region of space where the metacorporations are expanding with the Consortium’s mandate. New colonies are found and terraformed. Fargates are being built to several of these worlds, and a few have an operational fargate already.
The New Horizon is sometimes called Wild Space, because of its status as a widely uninhabited and unexplored region where different kinds of criminals and outlaws can hide in the outskirts of the civilized world.
The Lost Expanse
Previously a colonized area that was lost to nephilids when they attacked for the first time. Most of the worlds in the Lost Expanse now lie in ruins, or they were abandoned in the evacuation efforts over thirty years ago.
There are still many spaceship wrecks to salvage and lost colonies to find. The first Malachim ruins are also located in the Lost Expanse.
The Rift Worlds
Rift worlds are worlds that have a relatively stable wormhole somewhere in the system. Almost always these worlds have alien ruins or other remains of the Malakim culture. Many of these worlds are located in the Dead Space or the Lost Expanse.