From publisher blurb:
Stars of Empire is a role playing game in which the Victorian Powers have discovered space flight and are striking out across the vast darkness of interplanetary space. As they explore frontiers on Earth, Luna, Mars and Venus, they encounter transplanted populations of humans, ancient and terrible alien races, and ferocious exotic beasts. Until 1892 each considered the other Great Powers to be their biggest rivals. It was in that year The Hive broke free in Devon and threatened more than just the balance of power on Earth. The Hive put the very existence of mankind at stake.
Hive, Queen, and Country is a Victorian Science Fiction (aka “Steampunk”) setting for Role Playing Games, Miniature Games, and fiction. It emphasizes scientific and historical realism, and a rich and complete setting. It can be called a “hard science” background. Although there are a number of “conceits” in terms of scientific breakthroughs and advanced technologies there are no hand waves. Everything added to the universe is carefully designed and works within the existing framework of science.
What is Hive, Queen and Country’s History?
The In-setting History of HQC is much like our own timeline (OTL) – Until the 1800s. At this point several key divergences begin to reshape the world:
- Babbage’s Difference and Analytical engines succeed and the computer revolution joins up with the industrial revolution much earlier. This leads to huge improvements in mathematics, logistics, and manufacturing.
- Aerolyth, a naturally occurring mineral, is discovered. It has anti-gravitational capabilities and is a highly potent rocket fuel. Air travel becomes commonplace, and space travel is not far behind. Soon, Luna, Venus and Mars are explored.
- The exploration of Venus and Mars leads to the shocking discovery that they are already populated by races of humans and mysterious aliens. Earth governments begin to scramble to open up off-world markets and resources and the off-world humans and aliens begin to extend their influence to Earth. In 1892 this leads to the Hive being infiltrated into England.
How will the timeline progress into the future?
The original HQC setting progressed the timeline up to 1892 and focused on the Hive’s invasion of England (The First Hive War).
Subsequent material has added the Second Hive War (1898-1902) set in South America.
Future conflicts and events:
- Wars on Venus with the Sea Kings
- The Europan Invasion set for 1920 a race of aliens from the Jovian moon Europa will set their sights on the inner solar system. Vast invasion fleets will attack Mars, Earth and Venus with massive planetary assaults. This will move the HQC setting forward technologically and politically
- In 1942 a second deep space event will challenge all life in the solar system. The Ghost or Shattered Fleet will arrive. This strange and ancient phenomenon will bring the residents of the Sol system into contact with literally hundreds of alien races.