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Beyond the boundaries of the Inner Sphere lie the endless reaches of the Periphery, traditionally home to independentminded souls who sought escape from the often repressive regimes of the Great Houses. The Periphery is the Inner Sphere’s frontier, keeping the spirit of exploration and discovery alive and well. The less savory aspects of frontier living are equally abundant; numerous pirate bands and petty bandit kingdoms thrive in this almost lawless region of space. Largely unexplored and sparsely populated compared with the Inner Sphere, the Periphery has nonetheless played a pivotal role in several major interstellar events, including the fall of the Star League.
The Periphery’s reputation as backward and technologically inferior is only partly true. Though many areas in it are underdeveloped industrially and well behind the technology curve compared with the Inner Sphere, it includes scattered regions that boast cultural and technological advancement. The Taurian Concordat is well known for its excellent educational system and high literacy rate, while the Magistracy of Canopus exemplifies some of the most progressive views on human rights in known space.
Throughout humankind’s history, rogue elements have always lived outside the confines of civilization, willing to do whatever it takes to survive. In practice, that usually means taking what they need from someone else.
Though pirates are generally associated with the Periphery, interested readers can dig into the history of any Great House and find small-time, planet-bound pirates, or pirates that made a name for themselves in a few close star systems. Some pirates have become legends, feared and reviled (and sometimes romanticized) across known space: Lady Death, the Band of the Damned and the New Belt Pirates are a few examples.
In the pages that follow, you can read about the various states of the Periphery, their trials and tribulations, the movers and shakers who drive them to glory or tragedy, the fabled commands and powerful corporations who provide the backdrop against which so many stories are told. Each page contains profiles of important personalities, units and companies, as well as suggested readings to give you a feel for the flavor and history of that faction.
BattleTech is a science-fiction “space opera”: a factional, militarized universe set in the thirty-first century, a future where humanity has spread to the stars and spawned titanic interstellar empires, each nation controlling hundreds of worlds across a region of space stretching a thousand light years and beyond.
Initially published over thirty years ago as a tabletop board game, BattleTech has gone on to become one of the gaming industry’s most important and longest-lasting science-fiction universes.