Following the exodus from Earth some travelers found the Attria System which contained several rocky planets, gas giants and a single moon made mostly from water Called Attria Prime. Wars were fought for control of it and in the end the Imperial Corporation claimed sole proprietary ownership over the planet and the elusive distribution rights of all water in the system making it illegal to produce it without harsh user fees.
People fled major cities and stations to avoid conscription, which is nearly guaranteed upon occupation. These people found a way of building from the wreckage of the past with unparalleled quality and efficiency. Their scientists quickly developed a currency based on the raw materials of the Universe called the Elemental Credit which is commonly shortened to “Credits”.
These people began to network and eventually became known as “Drifters”; a series of loosely organized merchants guilds rather quickly and successfully through printing ships, weapons and settlements from the most abundant of natural resources. The Imperial Corporation was powerless to fight back against a currency backed by any abundance of material, and as such the Corporation’s grip on the system weakened. As an economic concession and in an attempt to avoid an all out war in a weakned state, the Imperial Corporation agreed to adopt the Elemental Credit as its primary form of currency so long as it had sole distribution rights to Water. The network of Merchants were deeply divided, though outmatched in raw firepower. They agreed, but it wasn’t long before water printed from Hydrogen and Oxygen were being printed illegally across the system at a fraction of the cost of the licensing fees, which is occasionally met with military raids .
While most on the Board of Directors for the Imperial Corporation were satisfied with the relative peace and territory they had, one individual wanted totalitarian rule over the entire system, and an erradication to non-citizens. His grim behaviour was noted early and he was exiled from the core planets. As his ship Drifted in space he developed cloning technology and began to clone himself into his own military. He began attacking small settlements and, as his army grew, he began attacking large military convoys, shipping lanes and scientific outposts. He became known as The Raider, in all his variants which he spawned from cloning vats.
You start the game on a ship destroyed by a Raider attack. You must escape the ship and, upon doing so, are free to develop a faction which can control territory, build capital ships, space stations and even settlements. You may also gain favor or lose favor with the various factions through randomly generated quests. Succeeding in a quest chain for a particular faction will grant bonuses to their favor for you, while failing a mission can turn them against you.