Edge of the Black: A Space Western Campaign
PLANETS AND SUCH
Since humanity began spreading from Earth way back in the days of yore, all manner of worlds have been discovered out in the universe. Some were inhabitable by the time they were found, some needed terraforming to get them into shape, but in the modern day, humans have spread to all corners of discovered space, from galaxy to galaxy, system to system. Even the newest, fastest ships that travel well over the speed of light can take quite a time getting from place to place. There’s plenty out here.
But how do we refer to the setting?
That’s a good question. On the whole, known space is referred to generally as the Universe, or the ‘Verse for short. Of course, this is basically like saying “Creation” or some other abstract measure of nothing in particular. You’re more likely to hear something along the lines of “Where in the ’Verse are we gonna find more phlebotinum?” than the name being used to describe a location.
On a more specific level there are comments on the Galaxy, which in this game will typically refer to the faraway sector of space where you folks are found. The Milky Way’s a long way off, and it takes a significant trip—not to mention a reliable ship—to get out that far. For the most part, this Galaxy’s where you’re going to stay, and that’s not a bad thing. You’re far enough out of the way of major governments to conduct your business unharried most of the time, but just close enough that there’s plenty of business to conduct.
And that brings us to the specific region of space where you folks are: the Frontier. A busy little piece of the Galaxy set near the edges of civilized space, this is where you’ll find all manner of folk and all sort of adventure. Bandits and scavengers, lawmen and bounty hunters, terraformed worlds with boom cities or dusty one-horse hamlets. Some say the Frontier is where folks come to make their fortune, some say it’s where old hands go to die. Most think it’s a little of both.
One more thing—beyond the Frontier, and discovered space in general, are dangerous, unexplored territories collectively referred to as the Black. The Black gets a little smaller each generation, as new explorers fly beyond the edge to discover new worlds. (Of course, depending on the theories you believe about physics and so forth, the Black is actually getting bigger since the whole universe is getting bigger… but we won’t worry about those specifics.) The Black is an abstract concept, and is sometimes invoked as a symbol of danger and the unknown. The Frontier exists on the edge of the Black, and those who live there have to face its dangers on a regular basis.