The Maelstrom's Edge Universe
Maelstrom's Edge is a far future science fiction setting where a golden age of exploration and innovation has been ripped apart and humanity is on the very edge of annihilation. The Maelstrom, a gigantic apocalyptic explosion of dark energy, is rapidly expanding out from the heart of the galaxy, destroying everything it touches. As worlds and stars are obliterated from existence, those who have the means flee towards deep space, while those left behind fight for the chance to escape.
For millennia before this catastrophe, humanity spread across the galaxy at sub-light speed, painstakingly eking out an existence in space and on barely habitable worlds. Then the cybel network was discovered. A gossamer web of dark energy threads stretching between every star, the cybel network allowed humanity to colonise thousands of worlds across the galaxy's spiral arm. All the progress that the cybel network brought, the Maelstrom took away. The Maelstrom erupted from the centre of humanity's worlds a millennium ago, racing down the cybel tunnels, splitting them apart and spilling their destructive energy out into real space.
The Edge is a stormfront, light years wide, where real space meets the Maelstrom's tide of roiling, coruscating energy. The apocalypse is coming inexorably to every planet on the Edge. In the decades leading up the Maelstrom's arrival, every person is forced to make a choice about how they want to live the remainder of their existence. Unite or divide, give or take, love or hate. Those living on the edge are not bulletproof or elite. They are ordinary people caught up in a bewildering cataclysm, their only goal to survive as best they can.
The destruction wrought by the Maelstrom has led to conflict between many of the remaining organisations and governments. The competing corporations of the Epirian Foundation made their fortunes using advanced robotics and geo-engineering to alter worlds for colonisation. Now as the Maelstrom approaches, the Epirians are forced to abandon these worlds, using their enlisted soldiers and retrofitted robots to defend their interests.
Diametrically opposed to the Epirian Foundation's interest is the Karist Enclave, a secretive group of religious extremists. They believe that if you are mentally and physically prepared, the Maelstrom will not destroy you, but instead you will ascend to a higher plane of existence. The Karists use vials of altered cybel energy to 'commune' with the Maelstrom, achieving a trance-like state they associate with ascension.
The refugees, revolutionaries, pirates and mercenaries that are left behind on abandoned worlds are collectively known as the Broken. Poor humans team up with abandoned aliens, desperately swarming worlds near the edge as they try to survive as long as they can. Against the implacable onslaught of the Maelstrom, every dockworker, farmer, CEO and mercenary is faced with the same dilemma: what will you do to survive?