Mortals is a far future science fiction campaign setting for YAGS, where humanity has colonised thousands of worlds. Travel between worlds is made relatively cheap using Jump Drives, though it can take months or years to cross from one side of Known Space to the other. This travel delay means that humanity is fractured, with the fringe colonies cut off from the cultural and industrial centre. There is plenty of room for pirates, small colonies, pocket empires and other organisations which make for an interesting game world.
The Mortals that the setting is named for are the bulk of humanity, denied the medical advances that have bestowed immortality on an elite few. A thousand years in the future, the great powers are run by families of Immortals who desperately try to keep control over the outlaying colonies, whilst vying to extend their dominion over the other Immortals.
Earth itself is now controlled by the True Humans - the descendants of those who merged with Machines hundreds of years before.
Humanity calls all of the star systems that it has explored Known Space. Most of these worlds are either colonised, or at least have automated monitoring stations set up. The core worlds are all in what is known as Sol Sector. Surrounding it are eight neighbouring sectors which are also heavily colonised, though most worlds have quite low populations. Beyond this is uncontrolled Grey Space - explored but uncivilised, and home to pirates, outlaws and other rogue elements.
The main sectors are Aquila, Serpens, Virgo, Aquarius, Hydra, Pisces, Taurus and Orion. Most systems in these sectors are claimed by one nation or another.
Life bearing worlds have turned out to be relatively common, though few have advanced beyond the level of simple sea life. The few truly Earth-like worlds are a prize which wars have been fought over - the rest are slowly being terraformed.
The most advanced nations are considered to be TL12, though some of the minor nations are barely able to scrape into TL9, and rely heavily on trade with allies to keep their star faring status. Those powers closest to Earth, which are threated by the Machines, restrict the use of computer networks and automated systems. These are the most heavily populated worlds.
Further out, the threat is deemed lower, and many independent worlds are starting to experiment with more advanced systems.
Communication and travel is via the Jump Drive, which enables FTL travel between star systems, up to a dozen lightyears at a time. Communication is only possible via couriers, so news takes it time to move from one end of Known Space to the other.
There are a few major powers which dominate Known Space in the 4th millenium. All have their homeworlds in Sol Sector, and their empires radiate out from Earth. Initially, the ownership of worlds was relatively mixed, but centuries of warfare have resulted in rigidly defined borders. For the most part, trade and information flows between the various nations, though some have restrictions placed on who and what can go through their borders.
Together with the CSU, the Dominion was formed along strongly religious lines after the Colonisation Wars. It is rigidly against any technology that allows the merger of man and machine, and it is one of the few nations that borders on Machine space. The worlds of the Dominion are tightly controlled through a feudal theocracy, with tough restrictions on technology, speech and education.
After the conquest of eastern Russia by China, the two cultures merged into a single massive empire in the late 21st century. In terms of culture, it has changed the least since the Dark Ages. It is by far the largest of the nations in terms of worlds that it controls, helped by the fact that it was the CSU which invented the Jump Drive in the early 22nd century.
After its ruling elite was forced from Earth after the Machine Wars, what was the European Hegemony renamed itself, and adapted well to a life amongst the stars. Unlike the other major powers, it does not call any single world its capital, but instead the ruling oligarchy manages its empire from the Home Fleet.
Formed during the 21st century soon after the Little Death, the Arabic Empire grew out of the Middle East and Africa. One of the few nations which had good supplies of oil, it grew to become a major world power, and went on to colonise many worlds towards the core. Since it has gone to the stars, its people have been devoted to understanding God and his creation through the pursuit of science.