StelCo: StelCo is the abbreviation of Stellar Corporation, a company that is a direct subsidiary of the Empire itself. A fairly new institution, it has replaced the previous caretakers of Thrace’s starport after allegations of corruption and fraud were proven and the company was condemned for its deplorable conduct. StelCo does not interfere with Thrace’s affairs and maintains a purely neutral (and very lucrative) policy. Thrace’s starport is neutral grounds and any fights the corporations have to settle will be dealt with elsewhere, but not on their watch. StelCo owns many of the institutions on both Thrace’s HighPort and DownPort, supplying the funds necessary to maintain a constant stream of shuttles heading from the orbiting starport down to the planet’s surface. These funds come from revenue gained in its various endeavors and of business conducted on the starport.
Influence: 0 – As a purely neutral party, StelCo has no influence on Thrace. Inside the starports, however, their word is law, so to speak.
Muron Cooperative: The Muron Cooperative was one of the three first corporations to arrive at Thrace. Moreover, after centuries on the planet’s surface, they still claim adamantly that they are the ones who got there first, and the ones who began to cultivate the planet before any of its rivals. It’s a rich claim, one that the others have already dropped simply because no one in their right minds still believes it. The Muron Cooperative is a multi-billion credit company that is a major player in the weapons manufactory and R&D market. It is the source behind some of the more popular pistols and rifles in the sectors it is active in, and even has a few running contracts with the Empire. The Cooperative maintains a steady foothold on Thrace, having an abundance of mining installations on the northern hemisphere. Many of these are dangerously close to the equator, where temperatures are unbearable. Fortunately, the expenses of outfitting the cities and installations with higher grade domes have been fully compensated over the years by the wealthy yield of materials dug up from the massive canyons and craters located all around their territory. The Muron Cooperative’s mining facilities are all built into the rock faces of large canyons that have split open after seismic activity ages ago. While others have to dig down to find their prize, the Cooperative merely has to lower itself into the canyon and dig into the walls to chip off chunks of precious materials. The Cooperative’s main focus on the planet is to gather ores for the manufacturing of light, durable metals used in many of its firearms. Fortunately, these elements are abundantly present in the canyons. The Cooperative is considered ambiguous when it comes to the treatment of their citizens. Law and order is strictly enforced and some of its cities are considered safe (as far as you can be safe on Thrace). However, its mercenaries always sport a suspicious amount of heavy weapons known to have been conceived by its own R&D teams… Muron’s interests on the planet are regulated directly by its board of directors, one of which has taken up a permanent residence on the planet, overseeing the Cooperative’s activities from the safety of his gaudy mansion in one of Thrace’s largest cities. The Cooperative is a very aggressive company who is known for being direct and to the point, but relaxed right now because of its comfy position. It has poor relations with the Neirin Foundation, who take it upon themselves to raid Muron stockpiles continually, always eluding capture through some dodgy excuse.
Influence: 8 – The Muron Cooperative has a tight grasp on its territory, using the cloak of the law to make sure everyone bows their heads and listens to their will. This artificial safety has garnered them great support with other inhabitants of Thrace, to the dismay of its rivals.
Neirin Foundation: The Neirin Foundation is a relatively unknown company that makes a living as a jack-of-all-trades in the computer business. It has developed wildly varying packets of software for all sorts of purposes, designed and produced powerful computer systems as well as user-friendly handhelds, manufactured chips both old and cutting edge, and more. Why would they be present on Thrace? A key component for some of its chips can be found in ridiculously abundant amounts beneath Thrace’s sandy dunes. The Foundation had previously been forced to buy these components and materials at high prices from cutthroat competitors, putting a serious damper on its ability to make a profit off some of its more popular chips and memory devices. This sparked Neirin’s venture to reach Thrace first, and cultivate the components they need before anyone else beats them to the punch. Sadly, the Foundation was the last one to reach Thrace out of the four candidates, immediately supplying a humiliating slap to the face for any claims they made. The Foundation is known for its dodgy business practices and allegations of fraud and corruption have vanished in thin air more than once in the past, sometimes through witnesses “accidentally” dying in the comfort of their homes. This is indicative of the fact that the Foundation will stop at nothing to get what they want, and they have a surprising amount of contacts in that sector of space, allowing them a greater freedom when it comes to semi-legal, or blatantly illegal activities. The Foundation was the company responsible for sparking the bloody conflicts between the four, being the first to disregard the negotiations and make landfall on Thrace. It was also the first to turn its mercenary guards into assault troopers that lay siege to several installations close to the territory claimed by the Neirin Foundation. By the end of the conflict, Neirin’s relations with the other corporations, and the people of Thrace, had soured to the point where criminal elements had to be called in to maintain order in their territory. To date, this remains the same. Most of Neirin’s installations are located in what is called the Crystal Flats, a massive expanse of sand as flat as a billiard table, located in the southern hemisphere and almost the size of Africa. Why winds have not yet formed the trademark hills normally found in deserts is unknown, but below the layer of sand lies a wealth of crystals and components that the Foundation requires. They also come across other ores and materials that it gleefully sells to other companies that require them. Neirin cities and installations are trademarked by the way they have been sunk into the ground, thick walls keeping the sand from collapsing into it, and only domes visible over the top of the sand flats. This has transformed the Crystal Flats into a strange vista of sandy plains broken by the occasional glittering dome in the distance. The Foundation maintains regular contacts with criminal syndicates and has a great many open contracts with unsavory mercenaries willing to do their dirty work. The Neirin Foundation is still run by descendants of the family that founded it. It is a cousin of the Foundation’s figurehead that leads the expedition. They have an open enmity with the Muron Cooperative, but by no means has friendly relations with Altos or DG&A, as they too are sometimes the victims of Foundation raids. The Neirin Foundation is a sneaky company, finding that the underhanded approach is the best approach and that having a crack team of lawyers helps protect you from any fall-out one might get from botched missions.
Influence: 4 – The Neirin Foundation has low influence with the people because of the atrocities committed during recent, and distant, conflicts. The Foundation keeps its streets under wraps through the bribery of officials and the hiring of thugs and criminals. As an extra reward, the Foundation often turns a blind eye to rape, murders and thefts committed by these same individuals.
Altos Heavy Industries: Altos Heavy Industries is a powerhouse of its market. The company focuses entirely on the mining, processing and distributing of a wide birth of materials. From metals, alloys and plastics to industrial diamonds and engine fuel, they find it, mine it and ship it out. Altos is known throughout the galaxy, but not necessarily by name. They have no inventions to their name, no innovations, no big shot accomplishments, but they have steadily become one of the most prominent suppliers of everything heavy industries require. Shipyards, factories, weapons manufacturers, and more all rely on Altos’ steady supply of material. Thrace is one of its more recent acquisitions, but the desert planet has more than paid for itself through the richness of its soil. When it was discovered, and the bidding request to the Empire was turned down in favor of a “first come, first serve” approach, Altos was one of the three companies who first sprang into action and made it to Thrace in time. To the company’s dismay, it had arrived simultaneously with two others, but instead of derailing into pointless bickering, which was bad for business, Altos was the company to first suggest sitting around the table and discussing the fate of the planet. The company has since maintained very good relations with the people of Thrace, in no small part due to their attempts to minimize civilian casualties during the many conflicts. To claim that a company so big would be strict with its morals would be naïve, for they have done their fair share of despicable things. But contrary to the others, Altos Heavy Industries takes bystanders into account when discussing the risks of their next move, instead of heading into it, guns blazing. Despite its more humane practices, Altos had the most funds to pour into this project out of the four vying corporations. They hired the most mercenaries, the biggest guns, and they took on the biggest targets. They are also fiercely opposed to the criminal elements that have popped up across Thrace, infesting cities and installations with corruption and decadence. Their active attempts to dislodge the syndicates have met with failure, but their few successes and tenacity have put them on these criminals’ blacklists. Security around Altos corporate buildings is tight, protecting those within from the many terrorist attacks that have been directed at them over time. The Thracian Nomads also favor them as their target, as misinformation from powerful crime lords have led them to believe Altos responsible for some of the greater atrocities committed by the Neirin Foundation and DG&A. Altos industrialized areas are mostly centered around the deserts in the north-eastern hemisphere, close to DG&A’s strongholds and Muron’s canyons. Their installations dot the dunes and massive towers are used to pound or drill holes through the thick rock underneath the sand to reach the riches below. Each pounding strike is enough to shatter ears at close range, and the earth trembles with each blow. Several directors live in the cities that have struck a delicate balance between jobless mercs and intimidated civilians. The air is tense at times, and the cities are not as safe as those managed by the Muron Cooperative. Altos maintains a cold relationship with the Muron Cooperative, and poor relations with DG&A and the Neirin Foundation. They are often the target of terrorist and Nomad strikes. In short, Altos Heavy Industries is a company that tried to add some principles to shrewd business deals. This doesn’t always do the trick, and they are known for their greed, so despite everything, they can still be bought. This price is sometimes too steep to pay, however, and in those cases, Altos does what it can to restore some order and dignity to the desert planet.
Influence: 10 – Altos is popular amongst all but the most separatist of individuals. Mercenaries and company-hired security forces keep its installations safe from harm, but being the target of many terrorists makes the atmosphere on the streets tense.
DG&A: DG&A, the abbreviation of the last names of its three founding members Derg, Genthral and Ael, is an influential company in the development and construction of components for capital ships and transport vessels. A relatively new company, they were seeking a means to gain a greater foothold on the galactic scene. A lot of funds were wasted on paying for overpriced metals such as steel simply because supply was low in the sector while demand remained high. Their solution was to create a smaller, subsidiary company that would oversee the mining operations on asteroids. When news of Thrace reached them, this plan was changed in favor of cultivating the desert planet’s riches instead. DG&A was one of the three to arrive at the planet first, but found fierce competition. DG&A had the better vessel, and had even come armed, but they could not use bad publicity then as they had been in the middle of a sex scandal involving a key shareholder. With stocks plummeting, they were forced to the bargaining table. When open warfare raged between the companies, DG&A used its access to superior vessels to supply their mercenaries with drop ships, gaining a key advantage in many of the greater battles. Their inflexibility, however, caused them to lose a great many skirmishes. DG&A remained a key player throughout the battles and managed to create a firm foothold in the rocky terrain north of Altos Heavy Industries’ territory. This terrain consists of ashen wastelands and rocky landscapes reminiscent of mountains in a savannah. It is one of the few regions on the planet where some bodies of water can be found, as well as exotic wildlife. These water reserves are predominantly found in caverns close to the surface where water once trickled in and somehow still refreshes over time. The cause of this is unknown, but it fascinates scientists who come to research the occurrence. DG&A welcomes them, as they could use the added knowledge about their investment, and can charge these scientists for being allowed to use their equipment. DG&A facilities are set up at the base of these mountains, or at the mouths of deep, jagged crevices that lead to virtual treasure troves deep within the planet. DG&A security is supplied almost exclusively by contracted mercenaries, who are hired almost indefinitely. The company even has several frigates at their disposal to defend their facilities from the air against heavier assaults than the Nomands or random mercenaries can supply. The subsidiary company, called DG&A Mining and Cultivation, is run by four individuals, each of whom holds an office in the major cities and outposts of DG&A. DG&A has poor relations with the Neirin Foundation and Altos Heavy Industries, most notably due to raids from the former, and continuous open conflict with the latter. In short, DG&A is a company still trying to find its place, but it struck gold with their bid in Thrace. The company is steadily growing and more and more funds are being shifted to the desert planet, increasing their foothold. Their influence has grown in the past few decades and speculation has it that they will dethrone Altos before the century has passed.
Influence: 8 – DG&A is an influential force on Thrace as it has strived to craft the public image that it rebuilds what was destroyed. They leave out the fact that they were the ones who instigated many of the orbital bombardments the planet has had to suffer. Regardless, they enjoy great support and their leniency towards the syndicates do not make them a mark for criminals and terrorists.
Thracian Nomads: The Thracian Nomads are a collection of disgruntled workers, ex-employees, dismissed and jobless mercenaries, convicted criminals, suspected criminals and all-around unsavory types who fight for a singular goal: the liberation of Thrace. They are fiercely opposed to the reign of the corporations and actively fight to create anarchy on Thrace. Their reasons for joining the terrorist cell vary from person to person. Some people want vengeance for committed crimes while others simply want a chance to do as they see fit, with no one opposing them. The Nomads fly the banner of freedom, but are responsible for just as many deaths each year than any of the companies. Their numbers rank in the thousands or more and swell with each scandal that is revealed. Their bases are scattered across the regions made habitable by the presence of cities or larger listening posts. Sometimes they are found out and flushed out by mercenary strike forces, but in general, they remain hidden. The Nomads’ equipment and skill varies. Some barely know how to fire a gun, while others are seasoned veterans of countless operations. Regardless, they are dangerous to anyone but their own, and the leaders of the terrorist cell do not shy away from blowing up a bomb in a critical location to take out the support of an entire installation, killing hundreds for “freedom”.
Influence: 3 – Even though they supposedly fight for the people of Thrace, few of them are fooled by this mantra. They are despised even more than the Neirin Foundation simply because they are seen as traitors to the common people. At least you can expect the Foundation to try and kill you if you disobey, but your own neighbor?