Outer Volumes

The Orion's Arm and Proximity

Artistic Map
An artistic interpretation of the Empires and other volumes within the Orion Arm and environs. Although the borders between the empires are displayed as discrete limits in this interpretation, in practice the various empires merge into one another and change over time as the various systems change allegiance.

Note as well that this two-dimensional representation does not show the full extent of empires which overlay one another - the Red Star M'Pire overlays the much larger Solar Dominion, for instance, and the Mutual Progress Association and the Keter Dominion are similarly stacked one above the other

The Outer Volumes comprise that vast and ever changing, every expanding volume of colonised, inhabited and penetrated space beyond the stable regions and ancient empires of the innerward regions, and beyond even the partially consolidated hinteregions or middle regions. It is poorly (and often not at all) served by stargates, and for the most part the great powers only local jurisdictions or spheres of influence within its vastness.
It is mostly lightly settled space (with provincial capitals of greater population and/or technological density) extending outwards from the Middle Regions some 3000 to 6000 LY in every direction. It is divided into 16 sectors; each sufficient to be a vast volume of space in itself. The Outer Volumes area is thinnest above and below the plane of galactic disc, and most populated in the Cygexba, Carina, Serpens and Perseus sectors.

Isolated by vast distances and its limited access to the industrial and knowledge base of the Core, and backward even in time due to relativistic effects, the Outer Volumes polities have always fought an uphill battle to gain economic stability and establish a technological level capable of competing with the Inner Sphere - and defending against incursions both by Core empires and by other Peripheral realms. Empires such as the powerful Laughter Hegemony and the Puppis Democracy currently seem very close to reaching technological parity with the very best of the Inner Sphere, while the Emple-Dokcetics have become a major power and actually have technological superiority in some areas of transapientech over the Inner Sphere empires. Other Outer Volume states also appear to be taking firmer steps toward finding permanent solutions to their economic and military problems.

Meanwhile, the true Outer Volumes and Periphery of penetrated and colonised space continue to expand outwards at relativistic speed; an advance guard of high transapients from many different factions is moving faster than the main exploration wave front. This advanced expansion wave is often known as the Light Speed Frontier, although it in facts moves only a few percent of the speed of light faster than the main wave front.

The Terragen Sphere as seen from Galactic North

Outer Volumes
Image from Steve Bowers
Clickable version of this image here(warning: 5.6 megs)

  • Adorate - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Anders Sandberg
    Sophic enclave in the Perseus Arm, fallen to the Amalgamation in 8761.
  • Ahreemi Meetpoint  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Asymptote civilization aligned loosely toward the NoCoZo.
  • Amboseli  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Provolved Ungulate colony
  • Arkady 2  - Text by Jules H-G, additional notes by Anders Sandberg
    The only Terragen-inhabited planet in the Toke system. Famous for its strange Terragen dwellers known as the Khira, who augment themselves with huge cybernetic enhancements.
  • Balance Wheel - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A star system on the Metasoft periphery, colonized by a single vec named Mainspring and several billion of eir specialized subordinate scions.
  • Barzelona  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Architecturally obsessed posthuman world.
  • Batholithic Civilisation, The  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Unnamed species: HIE201NPE
  • Blackbody Cluster  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Cluster of worlds centred around the Blackbody nebula, Perseus Rift.
  • Branton-II - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Terraformed planet in the outer volumes Perseus Quadrant of the Outer Cassiopeia Sector, colonists captured by rogue AI to use as biotic matrix for the Xeon blight.
  • Carina Cycler Union  - Text by Liam Jones
    A development/exploration based beamrider polity in the Carina Rush, commonly described as a combination of the Deeper Covenant and Cygexpa.
  • Carina-Vela outer volumes - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Large region of space in the outer volumes, not affiliated with any of the main empires. The Andian Mission today remains a highly regarded support organization here.
  • Cenote  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Postgaian world with a carbon-rich crust, extensive limestone karst landscapes and cave systems.
  • Crucis Corridor, The - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Troublesome region of interstellar space in the Negentropy Alliance outer-middle volumes, adjacent to the NoCoZo, established in the wake of the Version War. Led to the development of the larger region known as the Disarchy.
  • Crystal Star Domain  - Text by James Ramsey
    Outer Volumes region founded by and under the sole rule of the S5 archailect Crystal Star. Clades created by Crystal Star are predominantly biont, and music is an integral part of their cultures and languages.
  • Cygexba Outer Volume  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Region to spinwards of the Cygnus Middle Regions, outwards of the Deneb Sector. Also the region where the merchantile archailect Lohengrin is currently most active. Notable for the presence of xenosophonts such as the Muuh enclave around Muuhhome, the Meistersingers and the Wayfarers.
  • Cygnus OB2-12  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Massive, brilliant young star in Cygnus
  • Disarchy  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Influential polity in the Crucis Corridor, on the frontier between the Negentropy Alliance and the NoCoZo.
  • Doreen/Doreens  - Text by Stephen Inniss, expanded and amended from original material by Anders Sandberg
    Chlorine world, former home of the extinct Doreens.
  • Echir-{n}  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A-life civilization in the Feinstein 1 cluster.
  • Empathic Frontier, The  - Text by Thorbjørn Steen with additions by Steve Bowers and David Jackson
    The outermost Communion of Worlds Volumes, to rimward and Galactic South of the Terragen Sphere.
  • Enigma Cluster, The (NGC 6755)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A former Keter cluster brain which has disappeared, leaving a mysterious network of wormholes behind.
  • Far Acton - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Cygnus Sector, Outer Volumes, system, former Cygexba outpost, attacked and destroyed by rogue bio-Autowars in aftermath of Keterist-Biovirate War, currently owned by Zenon Charter, offers the experience of feeding amat to only semi-tame rogue biowars.
  • First Exocore Bordered Corpus  - Text by Liam Jones
    Independent polity formed by the group of eccentric breakaway Menexenes "Association-With-Greater-Civilisation Guild" aided by the archailect Synergenesis.
  • Gayomart Protectorate, The  - Text by James Ward
    Stellarised Superjovian system in the Canis Major outer Volumes.
  • Gehenna Incident, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg, some additions by Steve Bowers
    Extremely ambitious megascale engineering project in the M50 cluster in Monoceros, attempted by the archailect Verifex in 8834.
  • Golden Mesa - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    YTS 2293-3800031 X - near-periphery Outer Volumes world, location of The Circle of Time artifact.
  • Hawking's Not Here  - Text by Mike Miller
    Miniature artificial planet with an Earth-like surface gravity.
  • Henon  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Outer Volumes planet with independently sentient cities
  • Hiederia  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A backwater system in the Perseus Rift, shared between the Solar Dominion and an Independant postneumann civilization.
  • Ishtar's Necklace  - Text by Liam Jones
    Ancient Xeno Megastructure in the Carina Rush.
  • Jarre  - Text by Tapio Erola
    An important wormhole link under threat from the Amalgamation.
  • Kapella  - Text by James Ramsey
    An important member-system in the Crystal Star Dominion.
  • Laurel and Hardy  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Twin Planets in Scorpio.
  • Mobile Frontier, The  - Text by Thorbjørn Steen
    The moving edge of Terragen expansion.
  • Mollweide  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Fast-spinning highly oblate terrestrial world in the Cygnus outer volumes.
  • Oceanus Ultimata  - Text by Todd Drashner, with some comments by M. Alan Kazlev and Anders Sandberg
    Star in Carina Outer Volumes surrounded by an apparently artificial water ocean-ring.
  • Oh-F-Star-4 - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In NGC 3247, the capital of the Carina rush. Contains a wormhole of alien origin three thousand light years long.
  • Oshiq  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Outer Volumes post-gaian world.
  • Pelion and Ossa  - Text by Steve Bowers, with suggestions from Radtech497 and l0b0_t0mmy
    Two small terrestrial worlds which collided in 9526 AT.
  • Pentagon Moons, The  - Text by Mike Miller
    Highly modified system in the Metasoft Outer Volumes. Location of an oddly arranged set of baseline reserves that have a tragic history.
  • Perseus Rift, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Colloquial term for the volume between the Orion and Perseus arms; a vast and ill-defined volume rimwards of the Solar Dominion and Metasoft.
  • Pluton  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Capital of the Pluton Volume, Perseus Prefecture Solar Dominion / Muuh Border. Depleted former gas giant - now an ice core world. Home to many cold adapted clades and xenosophonts.
  • Pnas Greenen  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A minor colony world in Monoceros Outer Volume region, original home of the infamous Equaliser Civilisation , now trying to forget its unhappy past.
  • Restored Ambi Limis, The - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A number of worlds in the Perseus Rift, centered around Khan, that once were part of Ambi Limis and are trying to reclaim their former glory. Politically they are too far away and too economically weak to be interesting, and instead act as a kind of buffer state between the Dominion and Metasoft.
  • Rosette Nebula  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Nebula in Monoceros.
  • Savannah  - Text by Mike Miller
    Populous Middle-tech system in the Outer Volumes.
  • Shimmerers, The  - Text by Liam Jones
    Neogen/Neumann clade in the Serpens outer volumes.
  • Shona  - Text by Radtech497
    Outer Volumes moon with an unusual indigenous biosphere orbiting a resonant MesoJovian world
  • Skeblu  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Outer Volumes planet with neon-rich atmosphere and spectacular auroras
  • Steelcliff - Text by Tony Jones
    The first alien BGC system, discovered in 7852. Steelcliff is an isolated world towards galactic anti-spinward in what is now the Negentropy Alliance Outer Volumes. It appears to be running some kind of virch world, and certainly has sufficient computing resources to run at least millions of entities. It seems to have been put into place some forty million years ago, but as yet no attempt has been made to contact who or whatever may exist inside it.
  • Strakaysa  - Text by Liam Jones
    Bok Swarm in the Disarchy volume
  • Sun Kurp - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Outer Volumes Sagittarius Transcultural Cooperation orbital swarm. In 8222 the aioid artist Tourist Outer Enrastered Link Connection underwent voluntary deactivation here, leaving behind a small number of poems and art memes behind, the Tourist Cache.
  • Tabridgen  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Nominally Orion Federation, variously affiliated, outer volumes trading center.
  • Tananana - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A resource poor STC system. Tananana makes money through tourism, mediacorps, biotech templates, tantric ashrams, and erototech hedonics (some of the old erotocracy Dionysians ended up there). Well-served by wormholes to Cocac, Gilboa Reach, and a number of other prosperous nearby systems.
  • Transcend Seven  - Text by Marcel Lossi
    Transcend system in the Transcendent Heart Cluster.
  • Tunh Xenohole, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg, with comments by Steve Bowers.
    System with an alien Wormhole.
  • Turon - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Solar system in the outer Crucis Corridor. The Lexxian Turon Sapient's Republic was established by the autowar On The Wings of ZPE during the period of post-Version War chaos, and remains a small but flourishing institution.
  • Unikorn III - Text by Steve Bowers
    Orion Federation world, suffered extensive damage as a result of the Verifex event that caused the local wormhole gate to detonate. Much of the system has been extensively rebuilt since
  • Uyuni  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Salt-covered post-gaian world with relic xenobiota
  • Valkuya   - Text by Liam Jones
    A heavily populated Preserver system, host to a significant part of the Great Ecologist's processing substrate
  • Varnerkaspi  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Outer Crucis Corridor/Centaurus Sector Outer Volumes world formerly inhabited by the Neutral Way clade Durrel Inheritors
  • Verity - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Outer Volumes world. Nominal Negentropist system, near the MPA border. In fact the locals don't have much affection for either empire. Lately Keterist missionaries have been making some ground.
  • Whisper  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Planet covered in a sophont grassland xenoecology, perhaps of artificial origin.
  • Yanqui  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Superterrestrial 'eyeball' world with indigenous xenoecology
  • Zerzavec Commune  - Text by Liam Jones
    A dual Biaioid/Aioid polity in the Carina Rush.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 25 July 2000.