The Burning Son is set in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. Known space is 3500 light years by 4500 light years. At the time of the story, there are four known races.
The Terran Confederacy consists of twenty-seven systems.
Four systems, known as the Independent Colonies lay between Confederacy Space and Erethizon Space. They are also Terran worlds, but have no affiliation with the Confederacy. Butcher’s World, Grey, Anderson, Ajax, and now Yale are former Independent Colonies that are now considered Erethizon Space. New Cancun is a dead world after the Erethizon bombarded it with biological weapons.
Erethizon Space consists of their homeworld, Urowan, and three colonies. They now control five of the formerly Independent Colonies by conquest.
Muscat Space consists of eight systems. Their homeworld is Gra’nome.
Dru Space consists of four systems. Their homeworld is Wavaga.
Terrans are known for treachery and their industrial might. The senate runs things, but bribery and racketeering are rampant. For centuries they’ve been taking over Independent Systems by subterfuge, trickery, and ‘police actions.’ That stopped when the Erethizon were discovered. The senate quickly realized that the religious zealots that ran the Theocracy could not be trusted or coerced. The Confederacy began to use the Independent Colonies as buffer states instead of takeover targets. Terran Corporations routinely steal technology from other races, primarily the Muscat, claiming they discovered the technology on their own. The senate and Confederacy courts tacitly encourage this activity by taking bribes in return for favorable laws and rulings.
The three foot tall foxlike aliens were the first alien race Terrans encountered as they spread across the galaxy. Curious, hyper-kinetic, with little regard for personal space, they are the most friendly of the known alien species. Their government is a monarchy run by a queen. They are the most advanced of the four species. This has led to conflicts with the other races as they try and often succeed in stealing Muscat tech.
The Erethizon look like a cross between a porcupine and a bear. Often standing nine feet tall, they are physically impressive and very hardy. They have a Theocracy and are ruled by a council of bishops. Their god Urson insists that all species must be shown the true way by force if necessary. As a species, they are known to be easily angered and not very bright. Once they have a goal, they attack it with laser focus and complete devotion.
The Dru are an aquatic race of telepaths. Their government most closely resembles pure communism. As a culture they believe that all information should be freely available to everyone. This puts them at odds with all of the other three races. Telepathy kept them at peace for centuries, so they have no military to speak of. They are highly sought after for espionage activities.