The Human Sphere is a BattleTech universe set in 3100. The Jihad has come and gone, leaving in its wake dozens of small realms in a perpetual cycle of raids and small wars. Will you seek money or defend your nation? Or both? You decide.
"We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming." - Werner Von Braun
Originally aligned with Regulus, the commonality has long been an area of space that felt abandoned by the Mariks. Attacked by raiders from the Periphery for generations, with only token military presence to stop them, the Rim once even played with working alongside the Anduriens. The rash actions of the Orloff Grenadiers did little to make them happy, except for when they left to fight the Anduriens in the ’30s.
Few were happy when the Grenadiers returned to prey on them, and many actually wondered if they were worse than the “pirates” they were supposed to be guarding against. By the ’60s, tensions were at a boiling point. Generations of Periphery citizens had learned to fear the coming of the 8th Grenadiers on their “pirate hunting missions” that killed countless innocents, and the Rim distinctly disliked it when the 8th was in their space. Tales of soldiers taking advantage of anything they could get their hands on had grown to be common knowledge throughout those systems, and yet the Captain-General still refused to move them. In the eyes of the Rim, the Captain-General was allowing the 8th to take advantage of them, and the long distaste they’d had for him grew sharper and sharper.
The arrival of Force Commander Hannah D’Arcy on the easygoing planet of Campoleone seemed to be a turning point in many ways though. Taking over second battalion, she was a warrior who could have easily fit in the Knights of the Inner Sphere. No one knew why she was a part of the troublesome 8th Grenadiers, possibly the single most feared and hated unit in the Free Worlds League, but as the ’60s began to wane her influence was soon shown to be strong as the 8th’s worst depredations were held back and, for the first time in the Rim’s memory, soldiers were actually disciplined for harassing Rim citizens. But it was far too little and far too late for the Rim to support the Captain-General. They had been hurt too much to simply be happy again.
The coming of the Jihad and the fall of the Captain-General brought cheers in the Rim, and few were sorry to see the majority of the 8th Orloff Grenadiers return home to Vanra. Only D’Arcy’s second battalion remained in the Rim, still concerned with protecting the Rim from outside aggressors. And then Word of Blake came. It was a simple messenger who gave them two demands. The first was that the Rim formally leave the Free Worlds League and allow the Word of Blake to rid the universe of the hated Mariks. The Rim gladly agreed to the demand. The other demand was harder, but in the end they accepted it as well and began sending all of their BattleMech construction to the Word of Blake. After all, they knew the Word could simply land and take the factories, and the Rim didn’t want to be under the rule of another military unit after their experience with the 8th. It was a trade they considered to be worth the cost.
Left alone, except by random raids from the Periphery, for the majority of the Jihad in Marik space, the Rim continued to load their small amount of construction onto Word ships until 3071 when a Regulan naval squadron arrived to blockade the system. Like the Word though they wanted the factories intact, and simply demanded that all production be given to them for the fight against the Word. The Rim, not having any real choice, began loading the Regulan DropShips with BattleMechs and as time passed it became a not uncommon sight for BattleMechs on each side of a fight to have been built on Tematagi. The Regulans, Mariks, and Oriente finally kicked the Word out of League space in 3072 and then went on to support the rest of the Star League fleet in their assault on Terra, once again using BattleMechs coming out of the Rim.
As 3078 came to a close and the war in the Terran system ended, the last of the Regulan ships returned home to support their rebuilding, leaving the Rim with a single battalion of decade or older BattleMechs, a few scraps of aerospace fighters, and a handful of converted civilian DropShips to protect them. Cut off from their standard sources of supply and forced to use only systems they could build on planet, even their new production ’Mechs didn’t look at all like their original specs in some cases, and the BattleMechs that D’Arcy commanded had been jury-rigged for a decade. The Rim was used to working with what they had, and their military looked like it.
Still fighting off the infrequent raiders, they sat back and waited as the first new BattleMechs they could use for their own defense came off the lines, and then began to ship them throughout the small realm in an attempt to defend themselves. Other nearby systems requested aid from raiders and the Rim welcomed them in, parceling out their rare BattleMechs and the more numerous converted civilian vehicles to the systems in need. The fights were hard, but the pirates learned to fear the pulse laser packing BattleMechs and vehicles that the Rim brought to bear, especially since many of them could easily hit 100 kilometers an hour. And those that couldn’t tended to eat the lower tech pirates for breakfast if they got into a fight.
Then the League returned, asking the Rim to send representatives to the Parliament. After several weeks of debate, and only agreeing because the hated Mariks were no longer in charge, they sent their representatives. Out of that came an agreement to sell half of their BattleMech production a year to the Free Worlds Guards, using the profits on projects that had been put off during the Jihad because they didn’t have the money. They also made a deal with Brooks Incorporated of Kendall that allowed them to build a modified version of the Galleon light tank for only a minimal licensing fee.
The next few years were quiet ones for the Rim, with only sporadic raids to weather as they slowly built up their vehicle and BattleMech forces. But in 3086 a heavy raid on Gatchina caught the Rim by surprise. Captain Anna D’Arcy, Hannah’s daughter, was one of many Rim warriors captured in the battle and taken from Rim space. After Rim intelligence managed to track the raiders to Astrokaszy, Colonel D’Arcy led the Rim Guards to the world in an effort to rescue her daughter and the other captured warriors.
Though they managed to rescue the prisoners within months, the invasion of Astrokaszy set off a chain of events on the planet that has forced the Rim to expend most of its resources to hold the world. Some of the locals helped them in rescuing the prisoners and the D’Arcys couldn’t stomach leaving them to die when their foes ganged up on them. So they stayed and protected the locals, while also helping them to rebuild into something more approaching civilization.
Now, more than a decade later, over a dozen city-states on Astrokaszy have gone over to the Rim and now enjoy prosperity unheard of in the past. Most of the planet is still out of Rim control though as the other city-states and non-aligned bands of warriors continue to fight the Rim. At the turn of the century, the Rim is on generally friendly terms with all of its neighbors, though that doesn’t stop cross-border raiding from occurring.
The Spider and the Venom make up most light defensive and raiding parties, mounting hands that allow them to easily take salvage or supplies and run with them. The Vulcan has become the standard medium ’Mech of the Rim Guards, while the four-legged Bishamon is often used to support the Vulcans in numerous ways. The Warhammers the Rim builds make up most of their assault lances and sport firepower equal to almost any assault ’Mech. Galleon light tanks make up most of their modern vehicle force, though they are heavily supported by large numbers of converted civilian vehicles. A single Eagle II-class frigate commands their navy, mainly made up of converted civilian DropShips though a few of them are dedicated military ships.
Tematagi – Nimakachi Fusion Products Limited – Bishamon, Spider, Venom, Vulcan, and Warhammer BattleMechs. Galleon light tank.
Astrokaszy – Looking like a sinister version of the Arabian Nights, this desert world is the home to over a dozen beautifully jeweled Rim cities, as well as other independent cities considerably less comfortable. Attacked by the Marians twice before the Jihad, it was also home to the first, last, and only offensive campaign of the Rim Commonality. Still attempting to complete the capture of the world, the Rim sends resources to the friendly cities, helping them live comfortably, while leaving those who prefer their independence alone. They hope to bring everyone on the planet under Rim rule by making them want to join, but the program has not done as well as expected and other plans for full conquest are currently under consideration.
Bismarck – The host of a recreated pre-20th century distillery, the Irish Whiskey made here is sold throughout the Human Sphere.
Campoleone – Often called a “retirement home for old spacers,” sparsely developed Campoleone is home to more stories about the mysterious darks of the Periphery than anywhere else in the Rim. Traders moving out to the Hegemony and beyond make a tradition of stopping here to learn any snippets they can of the area they plan on traveling to, and then tipping anyone who gave them information that helped them make money when they return. Outside of information, the beautiful black ginja wood is one of Campoleone's few exports.
Lesnovo – Once the target of Marian raids before the Hegemony became self-sufficient, this poor world supported the removal of the Mariks as Captain-Generals long before it was fashionable.
Tellman’s Mistake – Named after Zacharias Tellman, the farmlands of this world send food throughout the Rim. It is also home to a small batlike vampiric creature whose venom increases the immune system and general health of anyone bitten by it. The venom is also sent throughout the Rim, and beyond, to increase the health of anyone not allergic to it.