Acheron Rho is dominated by The Empire, which has a long standing History. Adam Koebel has done several lore streams about Acheron Rho and answered a multitude of questions around it. You can find all this information in the Lore Category of this Wiki.
The Story So Far
The actual play follows the story of a group on the run, two newer synths (Haley Sky and Jasnah Solari), an older model synth (Johnny Collins), and a human, Eridanii noble (Autumn Vaska). With newer synths marked for retirement, the group must evade House Crux Hunters and other challenges in order to stay alive and see another day. Season 2 episodes are also available in the Episode List.
Many different factions shape the political landscape of the sector in the Faction Turn. Read more about their cultural roots and symbolismhere. Below a summary of the factions' responsibilities and main themes established at the beginning of the show and may not reflect the current state of the factions.
Former forerunners for the throne (Season 1) Ancient and powerful (always have been) Ties to the church have historically been strong Responsible for saving humanity from the terrible mistakes of House Cygnus VERY anti-synthetic Keeper of the law and strictures of The Empire Adjutantism adjudicators, solicitors and executioners of the legal aspects of The Empire Arbitrators yes, Inquisitors also
Inventors and designers of the current iteration of the spike drive Builders of fleets and ships Industrious and relatively apolitical There's never been a Fornax emperox Ancient house, with a great deal of clout and power
Warriors and Generals Infantry especially, but also GIANT ROBOTS Serve the Throne not the Emperox Deal not in guns and bombs or equipment but in human troops Weakened by the loss of their synthetic legions Pretty sure House Triangulum is up to something
Deals with the corporate Powers Has a hand in trade Controls and manages the Imperial accounts Responsible for the taxation of the other houses Sort of universally disliked but they get the job done If you need a loan between nobles, you ask them If they hate you, guess who has to pay way higher taxes (it's you)
Secret techniques of psychic manipulation (more telepaths than any other house - strict breeding) The house responsible for funeral practice in the Empire A little bit Bene Gesserit A little bit psychic death cult Manipulators and string pullers Propagandists of the Empire
Formerly part of House Vela, splintered off when the Library was built Explorers, no fixed home A loose network of nobles Space rangers and travellers Once a year, they connect at a secret meeting and share exploration and illicit maps! The most alien friendly Cosmopolitan and open to new ideas A bit weird, a bit flakey Voted most likely to forget that they're human at all
Makes guns, bombs, flak cannons Makes knifes, swords, nukes On the bleeding edge of weapon manufacturing Near religious obsession with weapons and personal conflict Invented and, with House Crux, are responsible for the Formal System of Noble Grievance Resolution Duellists, seconds, gun and sword aficionados. The literal Blade of the Emperox Employ and utllize the Bravos, a cadre of elite duellists who will fight EACH OTHER in your name House is split between those who make and those who wield Ruled by the top two in each branch (Best Maker and Best Duelists). Traditionally hate each other (might end up lovers too)
House Serpens publicly known to have assassinated the previous Emperox, an unforgiveable crime (even if it was done for good reason) No murder of an Emperox goes unpunished but the Houses have agreed to temporarily stay judgement due to circumstances They see the future and know the ways forward Have access to deep and powerful visions and psychic stuff Yes, they do employ psychic assassins but also, like, they run most of the big hospitals and biopsychic surgeries If it weren't for Serpens, MES would just kill people
Researchers and scientists Terraformers and world builders Dreaming of dyson spheres and megastructures Vary from obsessive mad scientists to social scientists; Engineering a better life for humanity Helped House Cygnus create the synthetics, for which they are currently being distrusted and are paying their debt to the other houses Heavily monitored, heavily sanctioned and watched over carefully by Crux, Vela, and Fornax Many top scientists in the field of AI / VI and other related fields killed during the (Cygnus war stuff) Angling for an invitation to The Guild
Former Imperial House, now no living Cygnus would admit it Secret plan to seize control of ALL other houses and take sole control Very dead. Hunted to a man (or so Crux would have us believe) for their crimes against all humanity They created the Synthetic who served us for generations but who would turn on us for their Cygnus masters Betrayers all and apostates and villains Also though, they basically invented modern AI / VI tech With them, we might all be robots It's said they had secret links to The Guild Crux had to get rid of them, and everyone else just followed along
Messianic religion that believes that the Emperox is a recurring reincarnation or eternal visitation of heaven's will in reality Highly tied to the nobility Embedded deeply as state religion Controls, manages and facilitates every aspect of Imperial spiritual life If an Emperox is not chosen, the High Exarch becomes Steward and Regent of The Empire The actual doctrine is a mashup of various Earth beliefs Conservative religions, anti-alien, anti-synthetic (though only vocally really recently) Pro-human, pro-nobility, hierarchy, structure, control
Affect a very scary demeanor Excellent business division Generally friendly towards the Nobility, becase that's who usually hires them Guns for hire Very much a space PMC Formed from survivors of the Burning of Thorg, who left House Aquila in the year 2928 Declined to participate, turned down a contract to hunt Synthetics and kill Cygnus Obviously, Crux holds a grudge
Both all the news, entertainment, and general media in the sector Also, monitoring, spying, panopticon 1984 shit They watch, and are watched by just about everyone in the sector Control over public opinion, deep intelligence assets
Makers of luxury goods - space yachts, designer pharmaceuticals, cybernetic implants, much lux goods If it's fancy and expensive and cool, it's probably a Trill Supposedly they made a series of skins for The Guild once Designed the bodies and programming of the Cygnus Pleasure Synth model (which they are trying to not let you remember) Nobles love them because they're ferrari, moet & chandon and like, everyone's favourite drug dealer all in one thing Complex relationship with the criminal syndicates ALSO the inventors and sole suppliers of life extension technology... Looks greedily at The Guild and their megatech
A collection of individual ships and small fleets that come from shitty worlds and banded together to raid and pillage House in an asteroid field Strike quickly and withdraw Apolitical, save that they hate people who have money that they don't Deal in kidnapping, piracy, smuggling, illegal transport Currently have a good number of kidnapped nobles waiting for ransom Slavery business is picking up... Some of House Cygnus is definitely hiding out here with them
The Democratic Mandate is a collective of social movements and political groups who seed, strengthen, and spread democracy within The Empire.
A diverse array of organizations co-exist within the Mandate, coordinated by a central body known as the Forum. Depending on who you ask, the Democratic Mandate is the Forum, their mission, the entire social network surrounding it, or even the ideal they seek.
The Democratic Mandate was inspired by the Yakiyahn Mandate and fundamentally opposed to the revolutionary violence that surrounded it. This tension has pushed the Mandate towards political philosophies of peaceful reform.
A progressive charitable foundation that formed on Cabina in 3200, in the wake of the Sector Trade Organization's defeat and the dissolution of the Church of Humanity, Repentant. Composed of numerous charitable orgs and non-profit (caffeine) corporations with a sectorwide presence. Additional stakeholding backing of the Cabinan government. Wants to improve the lot of the downtrodden and voiceless in the Empire through both immediate aid and larger systemic change. A lot of its political and monetary support comes from Repentant congregations. Officially secular and incrementalist in its approach to change. Overt focus mostly on serfs and aliens; a lot of more quiet synth sympathy. Has ties to more radical underground movements.
Post Humans TL 6 Above and beyond the politics of the sector Don't really consider themselves part of the human race Pro-alien Pro-synthetic INCREDIBLY POWERFUL Science magic; multiple bodies, nanotech, psitech, etc. Experienced the singularity of technology and humanity already Live in a dyson sphere Could solve any of humanity's problems but they basically won't Had their origins in a hacker collective / gaming guild Basically just do wierd space drugs, turn themselves into cybernetic dragon faerie elves, have a lot of very weird sex and play games all the time Some of their games result in like, human genocide but that's how it goes Totally lost touch with humanity Darmok and Jalad, baby Have names like xX_Sephiroth_HarshTokes_DeezNutz_Xx
[Vela elected to scrap their own BoI near the end of the STO War in Season 1, Can watch a Timeline of the Faction here]
Control the great Library of star charts and sector maps Protectors of knowledge and history Formerly explorers now earthbound guardians of information Information brokers and secret keepers Navigators on EVERY ship - they're the only ones who can teach astral navigation
[The CHR dissolved in Season 1 following the STO War and pressure form the High Church, transforming into SERAPH]
Progressive religion, formed post-alien sector genocide war Apologists and reunifiers Repentant, varying from barely-religious sociologists and xenologist literal academian, etc. to martyr cults and alien fetishists Make good on all the awful shit we did to the aliens and each other and now synths Believe that conscciousness and the soul are one Cartesian Heretics, technically Not splinter cult, they have a big following Preach acceptance and love Probably are either friends with, or are courted, by the UPC
[ACRE was absorbed by House Eridanus near the end of the Season 1, effectively ending the STO War]
Nobody actually remembers what it stands for, you ask anyone and you get a different reply The board of directors is made up of temporarily de-nobled nobles A Directorate is a way for a noble to gain power if their regular path is blocked They handle all the grunt work of industry and agriculture Keep the planets fed They probably buy up serfdoms and run them for nobles at a percentage Have excellent relationship with House Eridanus most of the time Currently in the middle of a MASSIVE LABOR CRISIS Because, like, farm and mining and labor intensive jobs used to be done by ROBOTS which Crux killed all of But it's cool because they're rich as fuck (for now)
[The UPC leadership sacrificed themselves to save the sub-factions, removing the singular threat of the UPC but allowing the many various groups that had once been part of it to live on. This occurred following the end of the STO War near the end of Season 1]
A loose collection of semi-related movements varying wildly in politics except: Anti-nobility Anti-imperial Pro-letariat Small government, planetary scale, etc. Some of them are like communists others like lbertarians