The Strange Stars is the sphere of the human phyle in the far future, a time millennia after the first human expansion and the rise (and fall) of builders of the hyperspace nodes, the Archaic Oikumene. In the current era, the Strange Stars are fragmented into smaller cultures and civilizations.
The former cradle of the Archaic Oikumene is a depopulated area without a central authority known as the Zuran Expanse. The Expanse is home to dangers like the inhuman ssraad (in three colors), and ruined worlds that entice treasure-seekers like Tenebrae and the Library of Atoz-Theln. It’s also home to unusual cultures like the invertebrate zhmun of Aygo and the self-improvement cult of Aurogov.
|Art by Peter Elson|
Bordering the Alliance is the expansionistic and theocratic Instrumentality of Aom.
On the other side of the Expanse is the Vokun Empire. Besides the decadent vokun, the empire contains several client species. The cybernetic crustacean-like Engineers build much of Vokun technology. The yellow-skinned ibglibdishpan are their biologic computers. The kuath are bioarmored child-soldiers.
There are a number of other interesting cultures and worlds: the oneirochemist Phantasists, the ancient mind excavators of Deshret, and the warrior-poet moravecs of Eridanus, among others. The major galactic powers are at least openingly cordial (whatever may go on behind the scenes) and trade takes place between the two “civilized” portions of the galaxy that must pass through hyperspace nodes in the “wilder” areas (not just the Expanse, but the Rim and Coreward Reach, as well). New cultures, lost since the Great Collapse are discovered from time to time, and their are number of ruined worlds with treasures to loot.