The Ordered Dominions incorporate forty-six stellar systems into their fold, organized as follows:
1.) Home, the First Kingdom - A small cluster of 5 systems near the galactic core and the private preserve of the Jak and their royal family, the first systems settled by them, millennia ago.
The planet Home itself was made a preserve several Jak lifetimes ago, a site of pilgrimage that many adolescent Jak make, to see the cradle from whence their race sprang aeons ago in all its natural splendour. The star is now surrounded by a vast ringworld, the Star-Lit Gateway
in the Jak tongue, or, more commonly, to those outsiders permitted to see it, the Glitter Band. This is a vast habitat, hundreds of times the surface area of the ancient home planet and simulating perfectly the conditions there, and houses the governmental centre of the entire empire, the enormous Parliament of Stars and the equally grand Diamond Palace, surrounded by a vast and studied idyll, an Eden-esque park sprawling for hundreds of miles, riotous with the finest flora and fauna drawn from across all the Dominions.
The populace here are almost entirely Jak; other client races as a whole are permitted only as visitors, with only their leaders and ambassadors from other nations being exempt and allowed to reside on the Gateway
Home is lit by a blazing blue giant by day, and a shimmering red and gold nebula at night that is filled with coruscating points of light - the nearby Hadesfire, one of the few cradles of star-formation near the galactic core.
Population: 10 billion Jak.
2.) The Bight of Fire, Tartarus (12 systems)
Under the rule of House Sibiri, the Bight of Fire is one of the larger and more vital Dominions, and also one of the more fractious; well aware of its importance to the greater empire, Tartarus is not averse to using that influence to further House Sibiri's own, often inscrutable, ends. The Bight is a vast swathe of barren but resource-rich worlds and many binary stars that can be mined for exotic minerals and power; as such, this Dominion is the location of much of the Jak shipyards for both the Bright Fleet and the civilian merchant marine. Planetary-scale construction arrays house powerful gestalt AI entities, directing the vast construction projects underway in their areas of control, while orbiting megacities house the Bight's small population of sapients; mostly Jak and hardy Kilrethiis.
The capital world of the Bight of Fire is Tartarus, the homeworld of the Kilrethii race, a silicon-based species utilising selenium and rare earth elements to form natural solar collectors on their bodies, providing sufficient energy for locomotion and, later, sentience. Kilrethii weigh a minimum of five tons and are very slow-moving; their main use to the empire is in the processing speeds their minds can reach when sufficiently energized, and, more frivolously, in the exquisite sculptures their artisans painstakingly create entirely without mechanical aids. The Kilrethii were assimilated into the Dominions during its first great expansion as the Jak began to impose their order on the unruly stars around their birthplace. At the time, they were undergoing a Renaissance of sorts, brought about by the advent of spaceflight and the mass-production of solar power stations in orbit around Tartarus, accelerating their metabolic and synaptic processes with the abundance of energy suddenly available.
The Jak convinced them to join the Dominions as a protectorate with a mixture of diplomacy - offering the newly-perfected Dyson swarm designs - and threats; orbital diplomacy from a Jak dreadnaught and the destruction of every solar power station in the system, and now, many Jak and Kilrethii lifetimes later, the Kilrethii are loyal citizens of the Dominions and widespread throughout Jak space.
Jak Population: 1 billion
Kilrethii Population: 125 billion
Ilex Population: 7.2 billion
3.) The Castle of Dreams, Sontaire (7 systems)
Party capital of Dominion space, under the velvet claw of House Hellebore, the Castle of Dreams is a long string of systems weaving between spectacular nebulae that shift and change continually, a vibrant lightshow that's never the same twice and always spellbinding. The planet Sensalis has alcohol oceans and waves that defy belief, thanks to its string of five moons, whilst the gas giant Aria's dramatic floating islands are a place of pilgrimage for many; from the nomadic Jak who find peace amid the drifting clouds and the spectacular thunderstorms and aurorae, to the Qujoray who dance in the shimmering cities and delight in hedonistic excess of all kinds; everything is permitted in the Castle of Dreams, after all.
The shimmering, half-there capital world of the Dominion is decadent Sontaire, a sprawling ecumenopoleis where any pleasure can be had - for the right price. Many Jak go to Sontaire to die, to spend their final days in perfect, unfettered joy before committing suicide and being interred in the Whispers of the Veil
- the Acropolis - the funeral moon of the Dominion. Much of the technology on Sontaire is biologically-based, from the fanciful spires and domes of the buildings to the erotobots and even the free AI denizens. It is thought that the Half-there Shadows
- the Dominions' Secret Service - are based here, the dark heart of shining Sontaire, those who arrange 'accidents' for those who cross the borders into Jak space without invitation or become a threat to the civilised serenity of the empire.
Jak population: 3.2 billion
Kilrethii Population: 11 billion
Qujoray Population: 42 billion
Ilex Population: 26 billion
4.) The Hope Eternal, Arcadia (6 systems)
Wrapped in the blue-green arms of the Serpent's Tail nebula, the Hope Eternal is a cradle of life. Garden worlds abound here, some natural but most extensively terraformed into paradises for the species under the velvet claw of the Jak. The Hope Eternal has a vast and stable population, and as such is one of the major Jak merchant hubs; the Arcadian Stock Exchange is the baseline for the entire Dominions' economic assessment. Megafreighters clog the spacelanes, carrying teratons of goods from one end of the empire to another, maintaining the Jak and their client races in the comfort to which they have become accustomed.
Traffic in the capital system of the Dominion has increased so much that the Jak are in the process of constructing a second void gate to cope with the flow of ships.
Arcadia itself is an agricultural world, covered in vast automated farms; it is the string of seven pearly moons around it that hold the majority of the system's population, in great cities that reach five miles high into the thin atmospheres and burrow another three miles down into the lunar surface, making the most of the space available.
Jak Population: 3 billion
Kilrethii Population: 500 million
Qujoray Population: 102 billion
Ilex Population: 115 billion
5.) The Waking Sea, Morningstar (6 systems)
Treacherous and cutthroat best describe the spaceways of the Waking Sea. Unusual stellar phenomenae abound, ruining sensors and navigational plots in the outer reaches of the Dominion, making this the most dangerous region in the entire empire. The centre, however, is an oasis of calm; six systems shimmer in perfect peace, undisturbed by the maelstrom all around them. Given the abundance of scientifically-interesting phenomenae all around the Waking Sea, the Dominion is home to a vast array of scientific instruments, stations and institutions, seeking to better understand the universe. Indeed, it was in the Waking Sea that the primary power system for the Jak was invented.
The capital planet, Morningstar, is the homeworld of the Ilex, a felinoid race that had been hemmed in by the barrier the stellar activity all around their systems until the Jak, with their superior drive systems, broke through into the calm eye of the storm. A long period of acclimation and mutual diplomacy then ensued between the two species, finally folding the Ilex worlds into the Dominions in the last Great Expansion.
Morningstar is ruled from on high by Song of Desire
, also known as Natael Jak en Morningstar, the current head of House Corona.
Jak Population: 500 million
Ilex Population: 72 billion
Kilrethii Population: 250 million
Qujoray Population: 1.2 billion
6.) Star-Scattered Sky, Luminis (9 systems)
Hugging close to the Dead Zone that wraps the galactic core, the Star-Scattered Sky boasts spectacular starscapes and a few natural garden worlds. More importantly, for the Jak, the Dominion holds enormous asteroid belts rich in mineral resources, as well as several potentially-lucrative moons and planets. Gas mining and transmutation are already the primary industries of the Dominion, exporting vast amounts to the other parts of the empire. The Star-Scattered Sky is also the location of the Qujoray homeworld, an oceanic planet several times larger than Home. When first discovered, the Qujoray species was in a primitive state, with only a few small undersea communities.
The discovery of a species that had not already achieved limited spaceflight was one which sent ripples through the highest echelons of the Jak empire, and debates raged for several centuries over the best method of approach.
Eventually, it was decided that vault-like caches of information, replete with AI guardians who would adapt Rosetta Stones, of sorts, to the nascent Qujoray language in order to enable translation of Jak script, would be laid down on the planet, each one revealing progressively more about the Jak and requiring an increasing level of technological sophistication to break into. Overhead, development of stealthed orbital structures that would one day form the Jak cities and weapons platforms finally commenced, hidden from primitive sight.
The text of the earliest cache, now the site of the Qujoray's capital city, reads as follows:
'We are Jak. Not gods. Not angels. Guardians, instead. We stand at the edge of your cradle, where the blue of the sky meets the dark shores of the sea of stars, and we are watchful. Fear not our gaze, and lift your senses to the heavens. We are patient; we will wait for you.
The Star-Scattered Sky is ruled by Reflection of Truth
, the current head of House Aurora.
Jak Population: 2.2 billion
Kilrethii Population: 3.1 billion
Qujoray Population: 51 billion
Ilex Population: 26 billion
- The ancient homeworld of the Jak themselves, poised on the edge of the Dead Zone of the galactic core. It has an oxygen-rich atmosphere - wavering between fifty-five and sixty percent - and abundant plant cover now that the ancient Jak cities have been carefully abandoned and reconstructed in the orbital megastructure of the Star-Lit Gateway
. Most species from Home have some form of bioluminescence, much like the Jak, turning the nightside of the planet into the most intricate filigree imaginable, a natural rainbowed lightshow making Home glow like a jewel, set in the ring of the Gateway
. The capital, Rigour, is found on the ringworld.
- A planet wracked with vulcanism, wrapped in sulphurous atmosphere and with continents covered in selenium wastes, Tartarus is one of the more unpleasant planets in the Jak empire - although to the native Kilrethii it is paradise. They are perfectly adapted to the harsh conditions, converting selenium and rare earths into solar energy systems and tapping into the abundant geothermal energies present. Tartarus is one of the main hubs for industry in the Dominions; delicate manufacturing plants extend across the planetary surface, and further microgravity manufactoria for everything from beanstalk space elevator cables to Lofstrom loop control systems clutter low orbit.
- A serene gas giant located in the central system of the Bight of Fire, House Sibiri have converted it into a planetary-scale construction facility, making it the de facto
, if not de jure
capital of the entire Bight. A webwork of floating cities, vast manufacturing plants, shipyards and warehouses fill the 1G habitable zone, supplied with raw materials and food from the many spaceports and the equatorial ring of space elevators. Below the 1G zone hang the power plants, revolutionary TDPD (Temperature Difference Pressure Difference) reactors strung near the planetary core, and gas miners that trawl the rare elements present at the crushing depths. Time on the construction arrays is a publically-traded commodity, and brings in vast revenues for House Sibiri from the corporations - and sometimes the mega-rich of the galaxy - which hire it out. Further, Sibiri machinists and artisans like to think of themselves as the finest in the galaxy and any custom ship, if within the bounds of science, can be built by them. Concorrant dominates its system completely; moons and planets are disassembled for resources, the asteroid belts have been seeded with self-replicating mining colonies and black hole mining operations crowd the upper orbits of its sister gas giants, providing both heavy elements and vast amounts of energy.
Capital world of the Hope Eternal, Arcadia is a rich planet. Farms cover its surface, growing teratons of food for Concorrant and other industrial worlds, whilst the fine champagne and brandy from its sprawling vinyards are considered some of the finest produced. Arcadia - and its string of seven urban moons - are heavily protected as vital supply worlds for the Dominions, and also due to the large population of Jak in orbit. It is one end of the Artery route that supplies the Concorrant system with the food it needs to survive.