AKA: New Portsmouth Colony
Created by: Garry Stahl
Appearance: Mentioned throughout Epiphany Trek, no visits.
Number of Members: 1.5 million
Nature of Members: Mostly Humans, but they are not particular as to your looks.
The Portsmouth charter grants all rights to the Senate of Landowners. A group of 500 families that control the entire world. The elder members of each of the founding families having a seat on the Senate. Only Landowners have full rights, and can dictate what rights are allowed to clients that live on their lands. Order is kept with mercenary police and armed forces. The only enforceable law is that made by the Landowners.
Federation objections to this arrangement are many, but generally fall on deaf ears. The Senate of Landowners is in the driver's seat and doesn't care if the passengers complain.
Game Role: A thorn in PC's sides.
World Role: A thorn in the side of Starfleet.
Relative Influence: Medium, far exceeding the impact of most colonies that size.
Public or Secret?: Mostly public.
Publicly Stated Goal: Make money, and make money while we are at it.
Relative Wealth: Wealthy for a single planet. All of the wealth is in the hands of a few.
Group advantages: Neutrality. Portsmouth does not get into wars. Wars are unhealthy to the bottom line. It is also advantageous for their clients to see they are not molested.
Special Abilities: Port of convenience
Group disadvantages: Neutrality. If they ever got in serious trouble they are not likely to get the kind of help that would matter.
Those who favor them: Shady ship owners and less than upright ship Masters. The League of Unaligned Worlds of which they are highly vocal, and monetarily supportive members.
Those opposed to them: More upstanding ports, competing bottom feeders, pirates (surprise!), Starship Captains.
Area of Operation: New Portsmouth registered ships operate all over known space.
Headquarters Location: -4.5/-2.4 New Portsmouth Colony located between the Orion Main and the Sword Worlds.
Public Face: Anything ship related for a price.
Notable Members: None mentioned.
History of the Organization: Portsmouth was a privately funded colony effort in the later years of the 23rd century. People seeing the simple life away from the "crowded" center of the Federation. The colony was named for the Earth port in England.
By the second generation the young bloods (landowners) were tired of life on the farm and decided to seek other avenues of profit. Portsmouth itself was resource poor, so even the hard work of mining wouldn't make them rich. After brief trips to Earth the "Bloods" returned with shipping company backing. They bought elections, dealt underhandedly, eliminated enemies, and rammed through what they wanted (AKA: politics as usual). By 2350 Portsmouth was a neutral spaceport issuing ship registration and Master's licenses. In short a flag of convenience. The main criteria is money. The worse your reputation, the more money it takes. This keeps the known pirates, the truly worse of the bottom feeders, and the outright criminals away. The price is too high. However, it means that a questionable ship can get its papers, without that Starfleet inspection.
Money came rolling in. A few of the Bloods met the wrong end of Orion assassins when the Orion Syndicate felt the competition heat up, but the rest quickly bought the bodyguards that money could buy and made further attacks by the Orion Syndicate a poor return on the investment. The remaining Bloods wisely turned it on it's head, they hired the Syndicate as "security". It was suddenly in the Syndicate's interest to work with the Senate of Landowners.
Portsmouth is a firm and vocal member in The League of Unaligned Worlds. They defend sovereign rights even when it doesn't need defending.
Portsmouth is an anything goes sort of place. As long as the kickback is paid, and you keep it in Portown, the local government is ignorant of all you do. Portown is a walled enclave of 25 square miles. The keys held by those outside it, and the law is that of the fittest survive. Not a place for the faint of heart.
Outside of Portown is a little more restrictive. As long as it doesn't bother the neighbors you are pretty much free to do your own thing.