I am working on my ninth or tenth draft outline for the books (plural) in the Sublight Universe. And when assembling factions, one has to consider their origin, their modus operandi, and their interaction with other factions in history.


For Krasnovia I have surmised that they are an authoritarian state that mutated from a survival crisis. They were the first colonies of the Imperial powers of Earth on the Moon. During the Great War they were cut off from home, and had to pool together their resources to survive. British side by side with Russian side by side with Chinese and German and Polish and French and Italian. They cast aside their old nationalities to form their own nationality: that of the Krasnovians. They fight to keep Luna for the Lunatics. And recently have expanded out to other moon-like worlds that orbit the Gas giants.

The facilities that were left behind by the Industrialists were massive, exploiting economies of scale. And Krasnovian society tends to exploit that same massive economy of scale to this day.

Circle Trigon

When Krasnovia formed, they tore up all of the old proprieties of who owned what. As much of the old Imperial system involved patronage to major industrial concerns. Those industrial concerns fled the revolution, taking everything that wasn't too heavy to carry off. The Industrialists had already started settling Near Earth Asteroids. All of the equipment and people that was scavenged from Luna ended up on one of those. And the NEOs blossomed into the manufacturing center for Solar System. At least as far as consumer goods goes.

This collection of motley flying factories was broken down by the corporation that owned them. The names and culture of those companies survive to this day as the collective trade syndicate knows as the Circle Trigon.



Makers of the infamous/ubiquitous TASTE packets, the standard ration served around the solar system. They own and operate massive farms in Solar orbit, packaging industries, and several lines of home goods, toys, etc.

TASTE is a family run company, who treats their employees as family. And by family we mean "if you want to live under our roof, you live by our rules, and you do your chores". With that said, while workers aren't paid very well in terms of money, the dormitories, health facilities, and recreation facilties are comfortable and adequate.

Long-term employees are known as "lifers". Your length of service with the company, and increasingly your ancestors length of service, grants a certain amount of cache with fellow employees and management.

Walters Industries

Still operated by the company's founder Hugh Walters. Walters started as a private rocket firm, but has expanded into the entertainment and hospitality industry. Walters owns the Yisned resort on Eros, the Solar Broadcasting Service, and his studios are known for making family entertainment and educational content.

The organization runs as a cult of personality around Walters and his family. Walters himself doesn't seem like he's aged a day over 50. He employs a staff of Imagineers to constantly push the edge of technology, culture, and entertainment. It is also rumored that he sits on top of some of the maddest of the mad tegic in the Solar System.

Psyche Shipyards

A Japanese/Irish conglomeration who first developed the Planetoid of Psyche. ISTO's capitol actually leases the tethers around Psyche. The planetoid itself is off limits except to the hobito, members of the cult that has a "special relationship" with the planet. Culturally they are a blend of Catholicism, Buddhism, and Shinto. Like Krasnovia, they are extremely xenophobic. However, they tolerate "invaders" in orbit because ISTO is the primary customer for their major export: a special Nickel/Iron alloy that is the ideal material for large-scale space vessel construction.

Etoyoc Heavy Industries

Etoyoc Heavy Industries manufactures automation equipment, computers, and androids. They are the sole survivor of a long battle for corporate dominance in the automation market. A much larger competitor (HAL industries) managed to buy the next largest (American Robotics) and then imploded under the strain. Well, and the scandal that emerged when one of their expert systems killed the crew and essentially hijacked a vessel.

Etoyoc purchased up the corpses of its competition, as well as their support contracts, and has built an iron-clad monopoly. They are notorious for leasing equipment instead of offering it for sale, and for how much they bill for services. However, it is also no secret that their automation systems just plain work. They have slowly integrated the many competing product lines of their former competition into a single family of products. Granted that family tends to argue a lot with each other.

This is especially true of the millions of Expert Systems that operate around the Solar System. The more intelligent of these are actually treated as employees, complete with billable hours, benefits, and even retirement provisions.

Oddly enough, it is somewhat hard to pin down who actually owns EHI at this point in time. Shares of the companies are owned by legal entities, who are owned by other legal entities, who are owned by retirement funds. The company itself is managed and operated largely by expert systems.

Culture inside of EHI tends to stress the peculiar needs of those who work with technology. EHI has teamed with the Lethian Flying University to put together an automated platform for learning. The Expert Systems hire human contractors on-site, and provide their training through LFU. Most contractors are part-time. The most talented are sent to the company's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland for specialized training and indoctrination.


A new player. They stormed on the market with telepathic augmentation technology. Seemingly overnight they have become a powerhouse in the entertainment and communication industries. They own and operate lavish space complexes, mainly to dodge legal restrictions on Earth or any of the developed areas of the Solar System. They rival Walters Industries in the development of game-changing tegic.

Holocon aggressively recruits the most gifted Mages in the Solar System. They tend to offer lavish pay packages, but tend to be light on the benefits. Their stations tend to turn into Capitalistic Dystopias where the high incomes of its residents are swallowed up by inflated costs of living.

Holocon culture is basically a city full of mercenaries. Relationships between employees and the corporation as strictly transactional. Individual business units have widely differing style depending on their stated mission, who is in charge, and who is in charge of the people in charge.

Rewards and perks tend to be doled out to those who profit the company in the short term.


The Great War flooded Earth orbit with wreckage. That wreckage made the launch of small ships dangerous. Vessels attempting to leave the planet needed armor and shields. It wasn't until the development of fusion power, decades later that humans from Earth again stepped into the solar system. By then all of the choice pickings of the Solar system were settled. Settling on the (then) frontier required going all of the way out to the Asteroid belt. And to survive in the asteroid belt required massive infrastructure. Too much for any single Nation or corporation to afford. Getting there required passing through hostile space, so in addition to needing shields and armor for debris, they needed armed forces and weapons to fend of pirates and the xenophobic Krasnovians.

The Internation Space Treaty Organization (ISTO) was formed as planet-wide federation to develop the outer solar system. Like the Krasnovians, they had to exploit a lot of economies of scale. Their settlements basically start on the scale of small cities. But in doing so, they often encounter all of the problems of packing a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds together in a confined space.

ISTO maintains order by enforcing an engineered "Prototype Culture". In Protoculture, your own ethnic, religious, or cultural heritage is cherished. At home. In public everyone conforms to an engineered system of conflict mitigation/resolution strategies. ISTO culture stresses politeness. Arguments are settled with debate, games of chance, or simply agreeing to disagree over a beverage of choice. They encourage competitive sports as way to satiate our need for tribalism. At they same time, they also encourage non-competitive sports, and expressing oneself through art.

ISTO has a set of very idiosyncratic rules dealing with monopolies and attempts to consolidate power/corner markets/etc. Companies are taxed on a logarithmic scale, with the rate determined by their market share. Market share can be diluted by selling interests in the business. Thus a natural monopoly, like a power distribution company, can avoid being taxed out of existence by publicly offering shares in its profits. A lot of utilities actually act as cooperatives, where the "customers" are also "shareholders", as those kinds of institutions are taxed and a negligible rate.