The Free People’s Republic, or FPR, is an area of the Sea of Spirits galaxy not claimed by any one faction but by a number of loosely affiliated entities not united under a single banner. There is no overarching system of law and order in the FPR with the vast number of unclaimed star systems effectively lawless while the established laws differ wildly between the various present factions. The FPR has only two universal rules: if it’s unclaimed, claim it, and, don’t do anything to upset those in charge of the particular territory you’re in. Due to its lawless and chaotic nature, the FPR has become a haven for criminal organizations, terrorist groups, and crazy cults, in addition to other bizarre communities.
The FPR does not have a centralized government and is instead made up of many hundreds or possibly thousands of smaller factions, varying greatly in terms of size and power. It is unknown exactly how many factions are active within its reaches, the number fluctuating constantly with new groups being established on a regular basis while others are destroyed, disbanded, become merged, or are assimilated. Similarly, it is unknown how many of its star systems and planets are inhabited. The combined territory of the FPR encompasses roughly a quarter of the galaxy and is mostly concentrated in the Sovata Quadrant (the upper left quarter). Many its factions are criminal in nature and often use violence and manipulation to control and exploit those who live within their territories. However, not all who live in the FPR are criminals. Many are merely people who wish to live free of the influence of organized government. Its citizens are usually free to do whatever they please as long as they don’t cross those in charge. Also, many worlds in the FPR are claimed by those who simply want to be left alone by the rest of the galaxy.
The FPR is older than both the Imperium and Confederacy, having existed since the early days of the Galactic Collective. Much like with the mass exodus of those who didn’t want to live under the Imperium, the FPR came about from people who didn’t want to live under the rule of the Collective and fled into unexplored areas of the Sea of Spirits to form their own societies. Over time these societies became larger and more organized and a loose alliance was declared between the most powerful, finally declaring their territory and the space encompassed by it to be the Free People’s Republic, a safe haven for those who wished to live free from the rule of organized government. The Collective did not contest the formation of the FPR or its claim to a vast portion of the galaxy due to the fear that doing so would unite its loosely-connected groups into a single army with the potential to be a very dangerous threat. Over the centuries, the Collective and the FPR coexisted in much the same way that the Imperium and Confederacy coexist now – very uneasily. Ultimately, the FPR would remain standing while the Collective fell, and continues to be one of the dominant factions in the galaxy today.
In addition to its various constituents, there are a number of intelligent alien races present in the FPR that have little to no presence in the rest of the galaxy. This is due to the fact that they were never discovered by the Chinchi and hence never absorbed into their empire and didn’t join the Collective after their defeat. These species were discovered by citizens of the FPR exploring further into the unclaimed regions of the Sea of Spirits and their territories have come to be counted as part of it. Some of these species have small affiliations and dealings with the Confederacy although none of them are considered to be allies.
The FPR is constant thorn in the side of the other factions of the Sea of Spirits, particularly the Imperium and the Confederacy. Both sides share borders with it and many of its citizens have demonstrated that they are unafraid to cross said borders and conduct criminal activities within their neighbours’ territories. Raids and slaver attacks on worlds located at the fringes of both the Confederacy and Imperium by groups residing within the FPR are frequent and both factions have limited options in dealing with them. In response to hit-and-run attacks from FPR groups, the navies of the Imperium and Confederacy can deal with the attackers in their territory but are unable to cross the border to deal with the groups themselves (save for under exceptional circumstances) as doing so runs the risk of uniting the FPR under a single banner and declaring war, such a scenario being a constant fear for both sides. If the groups of the FPR were to become united under a single banner, they would represent a very serious threat to the rest of the galaxy.
I created the FPR because I wanted an area in my universe that was full of lawlessness and chaos where there would be a lot more potential to explore the more eccentric and outlandish concepts and characters present in the Sea of Spirits, and, while the FPR does not actually appear in Spiritum, it’s influence is nevertheless felt by the rest of the galaxy and it will soon become a major presence in future entries in the series.