Riftspace Glossary


Anchorage: Any permanent space station used as a way station, dock and command base for a space fleet.


Arrival Day: September 5 on the calendar of Earth Past, marking the arrival of the U.S.S. Hawking colony vessel at Terra Prime.


The Black: Space, generally deep space.


Creche: One of ten massive orphanages/educational centers first constructed on Terra Prime in order to expedite the revival of the embryos sent from Earth Past in frozen storage.


Creche Clan: Any one of the ten clans that arose from the original crèches, which are still political powerhouses in the Terran Protectorate to this day.


Deep Time: Any time period of a billion years or older.


Deep Time Artifact: Various devices left behind by ultra-advanced civilizations believed to have gone extinct at least one billion years ago or more. Generally reserved for objects that had to have been created with significant technological knowledge. Often such objects impart fantastic powers or knowledge to the possessor.


Empath: A human psychic whose abilities are focused on sensing. Generally reserved for licensed Empaths from accredited schools.


The Expanse: The great emptiness between the Orion and Sagittarian Arms of the Milky Way galaxy, considered too far to cross with current negative mass technology. Formally known as the Orion Expanse.


Free Colony: Any one of several human colonies that refuse to be a part of the Terran Protectorate, generally lying between the Protectorate and the Xintrin Merchant Guild Territory.


The Great Cleansing: A reference to an (unproven) event that is believed to have wiped out all sentient, advanced life in this section of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. What the Great Cleansing actually was is uncertain. Some believe it to be an invading race or war between all the great powers. Other believe it was some sort of galaxy-wide dimensional disturbance or anomaly. Some do not believe in the Great Cleansing at all, preferring to believe that the ancient races “ascended” to a higher plane of existence.


Hot Jupiter: Gas giant located extremely close to its star. While uninhabitable themselves, there are often moons that are tide locked on the far side that contain vast mineral resources.


The Hunt: The eternal competition between the Starfarers and Novaslayers for Deep Time Artifacts and the power they hold. Both sides hope to eventually acquire an artifact that gives them a decisive edge over the other.


Hunter/Huntress: Starfarers and Novaslayers dedicated to finding Deep Time Artifacts; they are a blend of explorer, warrior and archaeologist.


Mariposa: Giant solar collectors used to collect energy. Often placed in orbit around “hot Jupiters;” gas giants that orbit very close to their stars.


Negative Mass Drive: The human solution to faster-than-light travel, a negative mass drive manipulates gravitons in order to surround an object in a field that gives that object a total negative mass. Objects with negative mass instantly travel faster-than-light in a ratio directly correlated to the negative mass ratio.


Particle Beam: A stream of charged particles created by nuclear fission. These particles are focused along a series of microstatic lenses, essentially focusing a nuclear blast into a concentrated ray. Often measured by the kilotons or megatons of an equivalent nuclear blast. Considered an energy beam, an electromagnetic pulse generally “rides” the beam, and will disable, temporarily, any unshielded electrical components and magnetic memory devices. Most military ships are shielded.


Seed Ship: Terraforming vessels. They get their name from the fact that most Seed Ships’ first action upon arriving at a new world to terraform is to spray various seeds and bacteria into the atmosphere to prepare it for human habitation.


Shaper: A Terraformer, usually belonging to the Scions of Tellus Mater.


Sky City: Massive civilian space stations constructed to operate like a small city in space. Often owned by one clan or corporation, with living space restricted to those in a certain income bracket, clan or with a certain corporate affiliation.


Terran: Humans who migrated from Earth Past to Terra Prime and beyond


Unified Theory: The scientific ruleset that governs both large and small particles, from quarks to galaxies. Once considered the Holy Grail of science, it’s discovery in the mid-21st Century led humanity to the ability to manipulate scalar forces outside of electromagnetism, such as gravity.


The Volo Armistice Agreement: The treaty that ended the first war between the Terran Protectorate and the Arkhon Imperial Freehold.