Shadows in the Void
Spaceship racing has a long and varied history within the bounds of known space. Competition can range from the informal shuttle-runs of asteroid miners all the way up to the Geliphan Premier League on which billions of credits are wagered annually and great racers like Li Shu-yan and Elias Hawke become legends of the sport.
At the most basic level, amateur enthusiasts will engage in informal competition for small bets or merely for bragging rights and to test their skill and mettle. Most of these races take place in orbit of an unpopulated moon, through an asteroid field or nebula, or other area on the outskirts of a planetary system.
At the middle of the scale are the so-called “mercenary games”. These consist of semi-formal competitions organized and publicized by corporations looking to recruit new pilots and crews for courier and delivery missions. As extended commercial contracts with the winning racer are the reward, racers who show the tenacity and willingness to do anything to protect their cargo are often rewarded. However, while hard-nosed competition is encouraged, companies keep a lid on the all-out bloodshed. Broadcasting rights for these races often bring in a financial windfall if the racers are high-profile enough, and having the next “great one” killed in your sponsored race does not make good entertainment.
The highest level of the sport is the Geliphan Premier League. Pay-Per-View broadcasts of the 8 races in this competition draw as many as 1.2 billion subscribers. To qualify, racers must have accrued at least 20 corporate league 1st place finishes, and must furnish at least 4 competition grade destroyer-sized ships. Competition is fierce, and racers include Vampires, Werewolves, Mages, Prometheans as well as mortals. These competitions have a heavy dose of social competition, as supernatural and mortal fans cheer for their favorite racers of their species, and the racers themselves strive to prove that their species is physically and intellectually superior through this competition. In particularly unstable times of political strife, a close werewolf victory over his vampire rival or a Mage depriving a mortal of his “rightful victory” can lead to rioting and gang violence. Racing is truly serious business.