Eridanus League, The

Terragens' first interstellar polity

Image from The Astronomer
The flag of the Eridanus League during the First Federation era, the so-called Jiang 'river' flag.


The Eridanus League was one of mankind's first attempts at a unified interstellar civilization. Although the League ultimately did not last, it is remarkable in having brought together several billion humans from dozens of diverse colonies over a span of over 40 light-years. The League was started unilaterally by the broadcast of the River of Stars Charter from the moon Ran II-D, although the concept had been proposed and promoted among the colonies by Hoa-van-Huynh and his followers since 770 After Tranquility, (2739 CE). About half of the colonies that received the broadcast eventually joined, although after varying levels of debate and often only in a nominal fashion. Despite this there was a surprising level of pride among colonies to belong to the League, especially in small communities which were used to being overshadowed by more powerful nations in the same solar system.

The League worlds developed their own ethnic mix (the old racial/ethnic categories of Earth had disappeared, but the Eridan mix was somewhat more East and South Asian than other early worlds); this plus shared religious freedom were reasons why the worlds tried to unify, but the distances were too great. Ran II was terraformed by a coalition of disparate parties (Mars Interstellar, Kelkemesh Ventures and Eridani Vision Inc.), after a period of initial disagreements. These groups came together to form the Eridanus League, a cooperative body which would oversee the terraforming and the establishment of the colony. The original colonists remained divided into three "nations", although relations were steadily becoming more cordial.

When successive waves of post-Technocalypse colonists appeared, the League allowed and encouraged further colonisation of the planet, incorporating the new groups into the League government. It was never a strong political force and the local inter-colonist conflicts several times erupted into warfare, but the formal institution remained. During this period it became the major centre of Etodism.

The League received several invitations from the Federation of Sophonts to become part of that organisation, but turned them down. However the League remained aligned with the Federation for the entire Federation Era, and received several FedReps as ambassadors, if not as advisers.

Early Eridanus League flag
Image from The Astronomer
The first version of the Eridanus League Flag, devised in 770: a modification of the Hope Flag
Eridanus League Flag
Image from The Astronomer
A later version of the Eridanus League Flag, including a number of triangles representing the member colonies

During the Expansion era several colonies were founded, but the introduction of fast (relativistic) conversion drive ships, and eventually wormhole links also undermined the local rule. Unable to settle on any particular allegiance the League government found itself governing a number of nations allied with different interstellar empires (most notably the NoCoZo, the Mutual Progress Association and the Keterists). After an abortive attempt to join the Mutual Progress Association the League was dissolved and the AgreeToDisagree Pact gave each nation independence. Due to migration and cultural assimilation the Pact was eventually discarded as the remnants all joined the NoCoZo in 2690 AT.

Although based mainly on voluntary agreements to standardize laws and values, the League was successful in its goals of promoting peaceful coexistence between religious and ethnic enclaves, organizing long-term trade relationships, and the development of new colonies. The ambassador-judges exchanged between colonies set a high standard for fair justice, and because of this the four-pointed star of a League court was the symbol of ultimate authority to most local rulers and corporate officers even when there was no System Control Ship or even a Remora-class escort vessel available to back up a judge's decision.

The League's greatest cultural impact, however, may have been the exchange of ideas that led to the rise of several major religious including Etodism which in the crisis years had gained 800 million followers across the League. The League lasted for many centuries primarily because of the common interests of the member worlds, not because of its ability to use force to keep colonies in line; as soon as the population crisis peaked on several colonies the League began to split apart. To their credit, the military forces organized by the Ran council to defend other worlds never used their armaments to force defecting worlds to return to the fold, and even in the crisis years there were surprisingly few attempts by the SCS commanders to alter the local balance of power during inter-colony disputes.

Systems with members

Star Distance from Ran (light years) Name Period Notes
Epsilon Eridani 0 Ran 770 - 2692 Birthplace and the capital of the Eridanus League
40 Eridani 6.321 Keid 810 - 2698 First transmission member; first interstellar member
Epsilon Indi 14.104 Gatlida 815 - 2187 First transmission member
Lalande 21185 15.799 Rajand 820 - 863 First transmission member
p Eridani 21.839 Hamashta 850 - 1770 First transmission member
Sol 10.502 Solsys 906 - 2339 A small number of polities, including the Republic of Haumea
82 G. Eridani 12.424 Terranova 1082 - 2705 .
Gliese 832 18.163 Eunchong 1128 - 2130 .
GJ 3323 8.754 Yiramm 1141 - 1338 Colonized by Keid; taken over by Psychophagers
Ross 128 18.935 Tiwa 1313 - 1956 .
Teegarden's Star 5.910 Teegarden's Star 1404 - 2282 Settled by Ran
GJ 1061 6.919 Baei 1438 - 2172 Colonized by Ran
LTT 1445 12.205 Chaihua 1447 - 2461 Colonized by Terranova
Gliese 183 19.518 Qimira 1513 - 1906 Colonized by Ran
LP 944-20 12.410 Mardit 1546 - 2188 Colonized by Terranova
Delta Eridani 19.158 Rana 1699 - 1823 Colonized by Keid
HR 857 23.541 Benes 1749 - 1843 .


(All dates AT)
770 - River of Stars Charter proposed and promoted among the colonies by Hoa-van-Huynh and his followers from Ran IID; invitation messages sent to nearby stars
790 - Nova Terra replies to message; declines to join Eridanus League
792 - No reply from Solsys.
810 - Twilight joins Eridanus League
815 - Epsilon Indi joins Eridanus League
850 - P Eridani joins Eridanus League
1000 - Eridanus League becomes aligned with but not part of the First Federation
1080 - Terranova joins Eridanus League
1310 - Ross 128 Joins Eridanus League
1000-1900 - Second wave of colonists sent out by Eridanus League to colonise many worlds, some of which become the Yoson Confederacy and the FSA
2690 - Eridanus League breaks up; Ran joins Terranova Foundation and eventually the NoCoZo.

The extreme distances involved were the obstacle that prevented the success of any of the early Human interstellar empires; in one oft-repeated example, the Umbandist 'Star Spirit 3' space station orbiting Epsilon Indi renounced membership in the League, then two years later broadcast its intention to re-join even before the original message had reached the other League star systems. As the League faded into the history files, partisan colonial self-rule would continue to be the trend for centuries to come. However, the spirit of the League was never forgotten, and it also has blood links to the great civilizations that followed it. The elite citizens from many League worlds were instrumental in organizing the 'second wave' of colonists to the new frontier worlds that would in time become the core of both the FSA and the Yoson Confederacy.

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Development Notes
Text by Aaron Hamilton, updated by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 31 July 2000.