The Exusian Empire spans several solar systems and numerous planets in the galaxy. In its heyday it was the power in the galaxy but recently it has fallen on hard times. Surrounded by smaller empires all eager to claim parts of it for themselves and facing strife internally Exusia is approaching its final days.
The Empire's economy is almost feudalistic in a sense with wealthy "nobles" (Highborns) owning huge portions of the Empire's wealth. Most Highborns own huge portions of planets in the Empire, some own entire planets themselves. Entire populations of people work under these nobles and although most nobles try to keep their populations happy (since an entire planetfull of hostile peasants could be hazardous to one's health) after hundreds of years the Lowborns are tired of having no political say. Riots, uprisings, and general disorder are becoming more and more frequent. Coupled with external attacks from neighboring systems and slowly but surely Exusia is falling apart.
The last line of defence against the chaos is a group known as the Gunslingers. (Yes I ripped it off of The Dark Tower, don't care). This group could be equated almost with the spectres in Mass Effect, the Jedi in Star Wars, or...well the Gunslingers in the Dark Tower series (I never said this was original). They are essentially above the law and can act as soldiers, assassins, diplomats, or almost any other role needed to protect the crumbling empire. Only Highborns are chosen to fill the ranks of the Gunslingers and they are trained starting at 13 should they pass initiation. Lately though the gunslinger numbers have been dwindling due to the various conflicts. Because of this and desperate to prolong their way of life, the ruling Highborns have begun to conscript a small number of Lowborns who prove themselves to be "worthy". Typically these Lowborns come from "upper class" peasantry, are educated, and are chosen because they stand out in a relevant field (ie top of their class in college, extremely skilled athlete, extremely high scores in intelligence tests, etc). They are often seen as "second class" within the Gunslinger ranks despite not being any less skilled.
Despite the best efforts of the Gunslingers and military, revolts from within and attacks from outside the Empire by the Gralls and the hated Aurorans have left Exusia a shell of its former self. Much of the hierarchy has been dismantled and Lowborns now run most of the Empire with the Highborns attempting to hold onto what little power they have left. Many planets are in open Civil War as the Highborn rulers fight to keep their power while others are attempting to set up new governments and leadership in the wake of their own conflicts. The Empire still exists in name only and it is a time of chaos and disorder. The Gunslingers who have survived the fighting find themselves without orders. Many have turned mercenary, some have turned warlord, and some have turned in their guns and have tried to live a normal life.
It is a time of chaos but also opportunity.
Guns still use bullets, no lasers. No "shields", armor is ok and yes fairly advanced armor exists in this world but if you want to play as a rebel char you likely do not have access to it. Faster than light travel exists but it's not very relevant at this point. Depending on how far this goes that might come into play. Cars are hydrogen powered or electric, internal combustion engines exist but aren't ultra common. PDAs and smartphones and the like are all over the place...just be reasonable with what you want your character to have.
Weapons and ArmorHephaestus Arms B-5 Ensi:
The Ensi is a simple bullpup submachinegun favored by rebels looking for compact firepower. Reasonably accurate and with a high ROF the Ensi is well-known for being a quality subgun. Like most SMGs the small caliber round does not lend itself to stopping power or long range but up close it can be quite deadly. Hephaestus Arms Gladius Assault Weapon:
Essentially a machinegun strapped to a semiautomatic grenade launcher, this is the weapon of choice for elite Exusian assault teams. Too heavy to be used effectively by a normal human, these are typically wielded by power armored soldiers.Hephaestus Arms Damon Assault Rifle:
The standad issue rifle of the Exusian army, large quantities of these have also fallen into rebel hands. Made out of reinforced polymer it is very light while still being very strong. Fires a standard assault rifle bullet in full or semi automatic. Can be fitted with a grenade launcher and other accessories depending on the soldier's needs. Another solid weapon from HA.Sinclair Arms Javelin:
Hephaestus is known for its mass-produced military weapons. Sinclair Arms focuses on higher quality and more specialized weapons and because of this it is the favorite gunsmith of most Gunslingers. The Javelin pump action rifle has been around for nearly a century and still remains the gold standard in pump action rifles, forming the action for the personal rifles of many Gunslingers. Magazine fed and very accurate, the Javelin shoots a full-sized round and is the weapon of choice for aspiring snipers.Gunslinger Weapons:
Gunslinger weapons are typically made-to-order or very heavily modified production weapons. Most Gunslingers prefer power and accuracy over raw speed so the vast majority of Gunslingers carry revolvers, typically chambered in large caliber rounds. A Gunslinger's revolver is usually extremely personalized to his or her tastes.
Gunslinger long guns typically tend to be similar. Usually high caliber bolt or pump action rifles (although some Gunslingers do carry semiautomatic rifles or even assault rifles depending on their choice of tactics), these are again highly customized for each individual. Sinclair Arms and other "boutique" custom shops typically handle Gunslinger orders.Hephaestus Arms Power Armor:
Heavy arm can take a toll on combat effectiveness so Hephaestus Arms designed an ingenious array of powered suits of armor. These range from the "Hoplite", an older suit that still offers excellent protection against smaller bullets to the fearsome "Deimos Assault Armor".
People of Note
: A Lowborn Gunslinger whose name is somewhat legendary for his work during the rebellion, Ares has had his fair share of adventures and brushes with death. Skilled in urban operations, much of his work during the war, especially in the later years were deep strikes against targets well behind the lines including several assassinations in Auroran space and his work on Pharos and Isis. An imposing figure; tall and muscled, Ares currently acts as a gun for hire, often working in Auroran space for the constantly-feuding Great Houses.Apollo
: Ares' friend and classmate in training Apollo is a Highborn from the planet York where his family has managed to maintain their control over their territory. Apollo is a skilled technician and knows his way around a computer, explosives, and other instruments of sabotage. A recovering alcoholic after losing his long-time lover, Artemis, in the war, Apollo currently operates as a private detective and bounty hunter.Artemis
: A noble girl from Olympus, Artemis was from a powerful family prewar. Beautiful and persuasive, Artemis was often sent as a diplomat or assassin to outside systems and embattled planets to attempt negotiations. Believed to have been executed by rebels when Olympus fell.Athena
: Ares' girlfriend, Athena was also from Olympus and her blood does not get any bluer. Good at everything she ever tried her hand at and possessing cunning intelligence, physical beauty, and impressive marksmanship Athena was the model Gunslinger until her death on Pharos early in the war. Erebus
: A Highborn from Varas, the elusive and mysterious Erebus is a master of camouflage and deep penetration missions. No one is really sure what Erebus currently does; all that is really known is that she is still alive after the war and she may have done some work in Auroran space. During training her reclusive nature and seeming ability to appear and disappear at will led to a bet amongst the Gunslinger trainees as to whether Erebus was male or female or even human at all (female, not human was the most popular choice just before the war broke out. That has since been proved false). Achilles
: A legendary Gunslinger from before the revolts, Achilles' deeds could fill 3 books and earn several movie deals. Somewhat of a Mentor to Athena and Ares, Achilles has disappeared after the war and is currently believed to be somewhere in Auroran space.Orion
: The Highborn son of Zeus, the Gunslinger commander, Orion's blood is nobler than any of the others listed. Arrogant, cocky, and kind of a dick, Orion is nonetheless a skilled shooter and specializes in general destruction. He is also presumed dead in the fall of Olympus but those rumors are unconfirmed.
: The rebel mastermind behind the victory on Pharos and now a warlord looking to consolidate his power, Amor is a skilled fighter and an extremely intelligent statesman. Last seen on Olympus during the final rebel and Auroran push, Amor has been working to establish a Lowborn government through whatever means he can.
One month ago Pharos became the site of Exusia's most crushing defeat. Located on the edge of the Empire, Pharos is a small planet used as a fuel stop for traders moving between the Exusian Empire and space beyond. Because it is on the edge of Exusian space agents from the neighboring Gral Alliance, eager to undermine Exusian authority, were able to smuggling equipment to rebels operating on the planet. In a series of surprise attacks, rebels were able to cripple long range communication and other military targets. Within a month they controlled the capital. Backed up by a Gral blockade, Pharos is a black eye for Exusia.
The capital world of the Exusian Empire, Olympus is a very wealthy planet. Sprawling cities cover the planet which has a mild, temperate climate. All of the individual cities are owned by Highborns and most cities are divided up into Lowborn and Highborn districts (although this is more by choice and isn't a law). Discrimination and tension tends to run high these days as more and more Border Worlds notice more and more unrest. Ares and Athena were both born here. The Gunslingers are based here as is the seat of the Exusian government.