Friday, November 29, 2013

The Bituin Commonwealth

Logo courtesy of Hereticwerks

The Bituin Commonwealth traces its origins to the Bituin Expedition to the world of Kepler 22-B. The worlds that are part of the Commonwealth today descended from the various Filipino colonies established in Sector I-5 of that world. After the establishment of the initial colonies in Sector I-5, additional waves of colonists arrived from a range of Southeast Asian groups, including Malay, Thai, and Lao settlers. All of these groups were part of the secondary and tertiary expansions from the Filipino colonies in Sector I-5 which went on to settle six additional worlds. And so on...

The resulting Bituin Commonwealth is a loose confederation of systems. The Commonwealth has six core systems that are tied together by a series of slipknot connections into a single Cluster. Each core system has numerous tributary or affiliated systems - some 60 systems at last count - each connected to a core system by either a slipknot or via hyperdrive.

Like any galactic polity, the worlds of the Bituin Commonwealth today have a mix of human, alien, and machine intelligences as their citizens. Among the most common aliens are the Balanggtik, who are among the best independent star pilots in this region of space, and a vast variety of temperamental and often dangerous Tangalid subspecies.

No single sociopolitical system prevails, but several distinct tendencies can be identified in the Commonwealth's disparate star-archipelago of worlds:
  • Left-leaning and communitarian worlds (some authoritarian, others democratic) that trace their political roots to the original settlers of New Manila Bay. These are generally friendly toward the Empire and conduct a fair amount of direct trade with Imperial  worlds; 
  • The panoply of neo-Islamic star systems under the extremely fragile "rule" of the Sultanate of Managdao. The Sultanate often hires Comet Barbarians (Green, of course) as mercenary forces to keep some degree of coherence and order among its usually fractious and often warring worlds;
  • An anarchic mix of systems dominated by the pirate fleets of the Cojuangco crime syndicate and their local affiliates, lackeys, and compradors;
  • The Cordillera Star Confederation, a loose sub-confederation of worlds settled by various indigenous groups from across Southeast Asia and the Philippines Archipelago. These worlds fiercely defend their independence and resist interference in their affairs by the other worlds of the Bituin Confederation.


The Bituin Commonwealth
An interstellar Extra

  • High Concept: A Filipino Star Archipelago
  • Trouble: A Commonwealth torn by many competing interests
  • Aspect: Six Core Worlds tightly bound
  • Aspect: Trade relations with the Empire
  • Aspect: Sometimes too close to the Wild space of the Periphery
  • Great (+4): Resources - the Commonwealth's worlds are resource abundant
  • Good (+3): Burglary - significant criminal operations occur within the Commonwealth
  • Fair (+2): Rapport - many disparate worlds and cultures means skill with diplomacy
  • Average (+1): Fight - the Commonwealth can muster armed forces for planetary defense
  • Good at Alliances: The Commonwealth may bring a new ally (political, military, economic) to the table once per session by spending 1 FP.
  • Hire Mercenaries: The Commonwealth may increase its Fight in any session for one scene by +2 by spending 1 FP to hire mercenaries. Such forces often create problems soon after they provide help.
  • Pirate Fleets: The Commonwealth may use Burglary rather than Shoot to Attack/Defend against fleets from other interstellar states.



  1. You're really good at seeing connections and following up tangent paths. This is definitely an inspiring development of the core project.

  2. Thanks! We had fun with this one and we plan to do more with it (as well as get back to Sector I-5 on Kepler-22B.

  3. Good to see that there is indeed some life in this project. Our latest entries have finally rolled out of the queue as well. Finally.

    How far have the Bituin Commonwealth expanded across K22-B? Are they in contact with any of the other exploration or colonization efforts? How have they handled the indigenous population(s)?

    We know where they could hire some mercenaries...

  4. I have an "uplifted" beastie that the Sultanate uses for shock troops going up in another day or so, but I'd love to hear more about these mercenaries!

    I figured I'd keep the explicit references to The Bituin Commonwealth on Kepler -22B limited to Sector I-5, just so nobody felt impinged upon, closed off from possibilities as they create their Sectors. But I'd certainly welcome crossovers/interactions. I'm excited to see posts for the shared world again! It was a great idea and still is.

    Also, I can readily imagine a world that starts off this balkanized staying that way, with many... Zones as it were and many competing (and sometimes cooperating) interests.

  5. This has snagged my attention as well!

    1. Thanks! The short story "Kite of the Stars" got this ball rolling. Feel free to contribute some affiliated systems if you'd like!

  6. I've always been a fan of Dune-esque extrapolation into the future rather than creation from whole cloth, and this does that well.

    1. Thanks! Dune was a big influence on me as a kid. I remember being so happy at getting the first three paperback books in a little slipcase at Christmas. As a gay kid, I probably could have done without Harkonnen, but like they say "bad representation is better than NO representation." And I rather like the portrayal of Harkonnen (and the Harkonnens) in Lynch's film. They seem to be the only people in the Dune-verse who really enjoy life! "I'm alive! I'm alive!"