The Military Brotherhoods: interstellar organizations of soldiers, initially formed after the Qinglong Wars. Their mandate began as protectors of smaller, poorer systems that could not adequately defend themselves. In some cases, it expanded to armed mediation and counter-piracy. Over time, some of the brotherhoods have maintained their code of honor (deemed essential by several of the founders), while others have grown arrogant, or even descended to the level of near-piracy. There are some rivalries among the brotherhoods, some going back centuries. Some of the ones who have retained their code and their honor are especially hated by those who have become little more than condotierre and assassins. Some have even faced each other on the battlefield.
The Caractacan Brotherhood: One of the oldest of the military brotherhoods. Consummate warriors, the Caractacan Brothers must undergo a five-year novitiate before taking their final oath to become Brothers for life. That five years is spent in constant training across the disciplines of the art of war, along with learning and taking the Brotherhood’s Code to heart. They are the epitome of chivalry, while still remaining the most dangerous warriors in the known galaxy.
The Confraternity of the Starship and Sword: One of the newest of the Military Brotherhoods, the Confraternity of the Starship and Sword is either a pack of eager amateurs and scoundrels or one of the up and coming new protectors of the galaxy.
Order of the Tancredus Cluster: The Order is wealthier than the Caractacans, and is often a source of considerable prestige for those who are allowed in. They aren’t as feared, and they tend to resent it a bit. They also are more…selective in what conflicts they engage in. Many of the defensive actions the Caractacans take on, the Order of the Tancredus Cluster finds beneath them (somewhat as a result, the Order doesn’t have near the combat experience the Caractacans do).
Militarus Tempestus: A military brotherhood started in the cluster near the Tempest Nebula. Started mainly as a common defense force to pool soldiers among the generally poor worlds of the Tempestus Cluster. Having started as more of a treaty organization, the common force of the Militarus Tempestus gradually started to try to imitate the older brotherhoods, though their code tends to be simpler and somewhat more flexible.
The Order of Shufa: perhaps the most mysterious and secretive of the military orders. Next to nothing is known about their internal workings, and no one outside the order seems to know their internal language. They utilize exclusively advanced power armor; each full member of the Order is known as a Cataphract. It is not known for sure, but it is believed that there are never more than one thousand Cataphractii at any one time.
The Sons of Jimmu: best described as techno-Samurai, the Sons of Jimmu are aloof and universally grim when interacting with anyone outside the order. Their code of honor is as strict as the Caractacans, but many of the Sons seem to be somewhat inclined to theatrics. Often less than merciful to their enemies, they are respected by many of the other orders, but not necessarily trusted. Where that changes is when someone attempts to claim suzerainty over the Sons. The other orders can be assured that the Sons will put their code and their Daimyo first.
The Triamic Hegemony: one of the greatest tragedies of the Rim sectors. The canine-headed humanoids (think Anubis) had created a high civilization, managed a solid commonwealth of nine systems, and had several dozen smaller systems as protectorates. The Hegemony was generally beneficial to all around it, and a good neighbor (though not without the occasional bouts of self-righteousness and bizarre laws being enforced). But it all fell apart when a dynastic power play spun out of control into a genocidal war that saw the use of asteroid impacts as weapons of mass destruction. The Triamic culture was based around packs, and splinters of packs that had been wiped out on the homeworlds tended to commit suicide when they found out. No Triamic have been seen away from the nine worlds in the two hundred years since the Hegemony collapsed, and it is believed that the Triamic population now numbers no more than a few million.