Shadow Federation, The
Shadow Federation
Image from Avengium
The symbol of the Shadow Federation; this informal federation is the closest that the Hiders have to a superpolity. Although many individual Hider clades welcome the Greensong Accord, the Shadow Federation itself has never formally ratified the agreement, nor in fact has the Shadow Federation ever formally interacted with any other body except the Deeper Covenant.

Shadow Federation - Data Panel

DefinitionHider Association - Superpolity
Symbolnone standard, although two white circles on black, the larger circle enclosing the smaller (above), is sometimes used
Originmostly Terragen, but some Xenosophonts are believed to be involved
Foundednot known, but was already established by the end of the First Federation period
Psyche, Art, CultureMetapsychology: Isolationist, secretive, wary of higher toposophic beings

Metaethics: The various polities, factions and tribes in the Shadow Federation are extremely diverse and rarely agree on any topic, especially questions of ethics - apart from one thing; that secrecy is paramount. Any contact with the outside universe or other indiscretion is taboo. Few Hider systems include transapient entities of any kind, and no archailects exist in these isolated worlds.

Culture and Art: Varies by individual member polity and clade; generally insular and exclusive, often deliberately incomprehensible to outsiders.

Languages: Numerous languages and dialects, some descended directly from Pre-Expulsion Earth tongues and machine codes
Government and AdministrationIndividual Polities: A large number of unrelated polities, clades, and other small factions that share nothing beyond a desire for isolation from higher topsophic entities.

Government Type: Varies. Only form of government that is completely absent is Archailectocracy, since there are no archailects in the Shadow Federation.

Constitutions and Legal Systems: Varies by individual member polity and clade; often incompatible from one polity to another.

Sentient Rights: Varies by individual member polity and clade, but generally very poor towards outsiders
Economics, Local InfrastructureEconomy: Most Hider systems have limited resources by design, as they are often based on small, isolated deep space objects and trade between these locations is difficult. A few Stevensonian worlds in deep space have comparatively abundant resources, but the polities based around these locations are generally protectionist and isolated.

Megastructures: a few large structures exist, especially in Bok Swarms.

Stargate Nexus: none

Beamrider Network: none

Lightway Network: limited, heavily encrypted

Known Net: limited, heavily encrypted

Military expenditure: not known, possibly fairly high

Trading Partners: some trade occurs with the Deeper Covenant, and indirectly, with a few other metaempires.

Longrunning Interstellar Disputes: sporadic conflict with colonist efforts that accidentally approach their territory
Sophont TravelHazard Rating: 5.0 to 9.9

Freedom of Movement for outsiders: highly restricted

Environmental Requirements: varies according to clade

Very little is known about the Shadow Federation. Even the name is a tag applied to them by others. It is basically a loose alliance - less a federation than a confederation, if that - of any number of outside cultures, such as the Space People, the Haloists, the Backgrounders, deep space adapted vecs, and other clades.

The origins of the Shadow Federation are linked with the Great Expulsion and the Diaspora that followed. Factions, clades and individuals that wished to avoid the conflict migrated to the edge of the Old Solar System, and as soon as the news percolated out to the extrasolar colonies, many groups followed suit around those stars. When the Federation of Sophonts was declared, many of these Hider groups distrusted the new organisation, especially the transpients and their so-called shills.

These outsider groups chose instead to live far beyond the major polities. Rogue interstellar objects are favoured to provide convineint material and heat sinks to mask their societies. Ascension is universally distrusted as a wariness/fear of higher topsophic beings is common in higher cultures to higher was completely taboo, but a few isolated incidents of tribe mind ascensions appear to have occurred.

Time moves slowly for these groups, sometimes literally in the case of those running subjectively slow virches to reduce waste heat. Each polity may spend decades carefully negotiating brief trades. As with all hiders being prepared to flee in the face of contact is a fact of everyday life. Little more is known of detailed history and current status of this association.

Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Additional material by Steve Bowers and Ryan_b (2019)
Initially published on 25 July 2000.