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A society on the brink of war. The once benevolent corporation Drauger Limited has expanded its solar empire to become the most powerful organization in history. Leveraging its Core energy technology to generate unprecedented wealth, Drauger evolved from an ambitious company into an unstoppable regime with influence over the lives of citizens everywhere. Drauger started by stifling competitors, but was soon oppressing whole populations. Many have tried to fight the company’s pull, but how long can the powerless resist the powerful?
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The lifeblood of Drauger’s empire is the mysterious energy it collects from Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. For years, Europa had been considered the most likely place to find alien life in our solar system, and many in the scientific community longed to unlock the moon’s secrets. Drauger shocked everyone when it travelled there first and found, not life, but a new energy source in the salt water oceans below the surface ice. Using its proprietary (and highly secret) Core technology, Drauger began to harvest and package this energy, and soon it had established a thriving colony on the moon and began to expand its presence.
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Unfortunately, humanity was not alone on Europa. Forty years after humanity first set foot on Europa, an army of sentient, alien creatures (who survivors would later name the Kavash) erupted from the ground and attacked Drauger’s colonies and industrial centers. Little is known about the Kavash or their origins, but they appear to be motivated by a ruthless desire to possess Core energy. Outmatched and overrun, thousands of people evacuated Europa, only to be left to drift helplessly in space while they waited for their company to save them. These refugees became known as the Exiles, a people without a nation. In an attempt to reclaim Europa, Drauger sent everything it had to the surface, but its attempts were ultimately futile. Within days, the company had lost control of the one place in the solar system that produced the energy on which all of humanity was dependent.
Rig battle

Not everyone in the solar system had benefitted from Drauger’s huge profits and rapid expansion. Many citizens of Drauger’s new solar empire began to actively oppose the company and its policies. Now, with a power vacuum on Europa and Drauger at risk of losing its access to Core energy, the opportunity to strike had come. To that end, the resistance pioneered a method of covertly inserting a small squad of militarized robots called Rigs into Kavash territory in an effort to claim Cores for themselves. The resistance sold these illegally acquired Cores on the open market in an attempt to undercut Drauger. While this new Core supply source staved off a larger energy crisis, it put Drauger on the offensive. The company insisted that all material on Europa was their rightful property and enacted a complete ban on unlicensed Core distribution and the sale of weaponized Rigs. They pursued violators aggressively.

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Once Drauger eliminated the legal Core trade, a thriving black market evolved to meet the high energy demands of the people. Entire communities emerged, largely driven by a desire for wealth, to participate in the new Core economy. Many began purchasing their own squads of Rigs and performing Core-runs on Europa. The men and women leading these attacks on the Kavash became known as Core Hunters, and an entire ecosystem of goods and services sprung up to support their operations. These actions were heavily embraced by the resistance who saw this new emerging market as the key to undermining Drauger’s control.

Unsurprisingly, Drauger went to great lengths to stifle access to Europa, the trade of Cores, and the economy of support gear intended to outfit Rigs and their pilots; but the company could do little to stem the rampant Core hunting counterculture. Demand for energy was simply too high, and for many the prospect of becoming Core Hunters on Europa had become a romanticized fantasy. The reality, however, was much darker and more dangerous.

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Core Hunting is a serious business. Rig pilots get at best fifteen minutes to complete their operations before the Kavash forces become overwhelming. Each Core is worth a great deal, so it is crucial to escape with as many as possible. To complicate matters, Drauger began to fund its own elite squads of Rig pilots--led by seasoned commanders--with orders to hunt down and destroy other Hunters and poach their Cores. All of these factors have contributed to a general attitude of “shoot first, ask questions later.” Individual Hunters have become very protective of their Core claims and show zero-tolerance to rivals. Predictably, this thrilling, deadly atmosphere has produced a notion that Hunters are rogues and scoundrels (a reputation that many Hunters embrace), and some have even capitalized on this to become celebrities.