Not all freemen belong to a guild. Some have either lost their guild affiliation or never had one to begin with. These independent agents — called yeomen — sacrifice protection and stability for freedom and autonomy.
This arrangement is far from the norm, for almost everyone is beholden to someone else. Yeomen are the only people without a liege of some kind (though even they must profess allegiance to the Emperor).
SOCIETY OF ST. PAULUS
This society is an interstellar club of hunters and explorers. Many, but not all, members of the Society of St. Paulus are pilots, and they all have a thirst for adventure. Its members travel the Known Worlds gathering, collecting, and disseminating information about its flora, fauna, and geographies.
Known Allies: Charioteers, Eskatonic, al-Malik
- Share what you find.
- All sentients should be free to roam the stars.
- Help any fellow travelers in need.
Outside the Known Worlds, a group of planets share the same rough culture and a loose federation of tribes: the Vuldrok Star-Nations. To Known Worlders, Vuldroks are nothing but pirates – a reputation well-deserved for their raids on the Hawkwood worlds – but those raiders are only a small portion of the Vuldrok populace.
Now that intercourse is increasing between the Star-Nations and the Empire (in more ways than one), more and more Vuldrok from different walks of life travel the Known Worlds, getting to know its people and judging whether they are friend or foe.
Known Allies: The Phoenix Throne, Sanctuary Aeon, Reeves
- Question authority
- Be generous
- Respect the Blood
F.A.R. (Fight For Alien Rights)
This is the foremost interstellar organization advocating for the full equality of all sentient species in Known Worlds society. With Alexius’ tacit support, they have made significant progress in the last few years.
Their core leadership is made up of yeomen, mostly attracting aliens, but some humans, too. Although F.A.R. has a rep for violent terrorist actions, the leadership has distanced itself from those fringe actors and strives to become an accepted political force.
Known Allies: Decados, Eskatonic, Engineers
- Equal rights for all sentients
- Fight prejudice where it is most deeply rooted
- Experience and embrace the alien
There are no rules for joining the Vagabonds. The only prerequisite seems to be a willingness to lend a hand when it’s needed. Any Vagabond can initiate someone into the “guild.” Vagabonds are everywhere. They are the down-and out; the ignored and the unwanted; the loners and travelers; the dreamers who won’t work and the crippled who can’t work. They have their own language, using universal hand gestures and whispered grunts.
Members of this faction are “all in” — they’re the organizers of the society and upholders of the four Vagabond codes.
Known Allies: Li-Halan, Urth Orthodox, Scravers
- Know how to survive
- Know who you can depend on
- Keep your eyes and ears open
- Be useful.
The Dispossessed is perhaps the largest and longest-lasting independent army in the Empire. Its record of victories and defeats reads like a list of the greatest battles in Known Worlds history.
It began as an army of Ronin who escaped the annihilation of their Chauki masters in the Hazat purge of that noble house. Disgraced by its inability to protect its original employers, the small army today wanders the stars, offering its services to the highest bidder while maintaining a strict ethical code.
Known Allies: Muster, Brother Battle, Hazat
- Honor the contract
- Embrace the warrior code
- Protect the rights of veterans