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TRAVELLER | Science Fiction Adventure in the Far Future

An historical Sword Worlds campaign setting

"Count Oliver has drawn his faithful sword at last. . . .  He swings it down with all chivalric force. . . .  The sword cleaves helmet, head, neck, spinal cord, the saffron mail, the flesh where it forks. . . .

The Song of Roland, verse 107 (translation by John DuVal)

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Traveller's Sword Worlds | Piper's Sword-Worlds

Earth Colonies Campaign

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The Cleaved Helm blazon of the Sword World Haulteclere
(Image by Thomas "Lorc" Tamblyn)

The Space Viking Era

The Space Viking Era is an unofficial, historical "Official—or Original—Traveller Universe" (OTU) campaign setting for Traveller®, set among the Sword Worlds of the 2nd Century pre-Imperial.  This is the period of the Sacnoth Dominate when the Sword Worlders are expanding into interstellar space and is most akin to the setting of H. Beam Piper's Terro-human Future History novel Space Viking, an inspiration for Traveller's original Sword Worlds.

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The Red Wyrm blazon of the Sword World Gram
(Image by Thomas "Lorc" Tamblyn)

History of the Space Vikings

Sword Worlds history began with the settlement of Gram at the dawn of the Fourth Century, Pre-Imperial, by settlers fleeing the war-torn Old Earth Union on Terra.  Within just a few years the "First Colonies"—Joyeuse, Colada, Tizon and Hrunting—were settled from Gram in an effort to pre-empt the potential for Darrian expansion into the Sword Worlds subsector.

Another century passed before the "New Colonies"—Tyrfing, Balisarda (Sacnoth), Excalibur, Hofud, Durendal and Dyrnwyn and—were settled from Gram.  In this period limited contact was established with the Zhodani and the Darrians.

With time, Sacnoth began to challenge the historical leadership of Gram.  In the closing decades of the Third Century, Pre-Imperial, the "Far Colonies"—Orcrist, Anduril and Narsil—and the "Rim Colonies"—Beater, Sting and Biter—were settled from Sacnoth.  Shortly afterward, Gram settled the "Horseshoe Colonies"—Isenfang (Margesi), Haulteclere (Mjolnir) and Morglay (Gungnir).

Soon Sacnoth and Gram were at war.  Sacnoth emerged victorious and established the Sacnoth Dominate, claiming suzerainty over all of the Sword Worlds and moving into Tanoose (Vilis), Ginnungagap (Lanth), Sepireld (Lunion), Pilgrim (District 268), and Diadem (Glisten) subsectors

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The Black Bull blazon of the Sword World Sacnoth
(Original image served by Ugens Horoskop)

Library Data

General information about the Sword Worlds and the Space Viking era, including detailed information about each of the worlds.

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The Irresitible Wave blazon of the Sword World Tizon
(Image by Thomas "Lorc" Tamblyn)

Source Materials

Canonical and other sources of information about the Sword Worlds.

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"The Sword Worlders" (detail) by David Deitrick (from Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society #18)

Traveller's Sword Worlds

The Sword Worlds first appeared in GDW's Traveller Supplement 3: The Spinward Marches (1979).

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Nemesis blazonry
(Space Viking detail by Michael Whelan)

The Original Sword-Worlds

Science-fiction writer H. Beam Piper wrote about the Sword-Worlds more than two decades before they appeared in Traveller® in his stories "Ministry of Disturbance" (first published in Astounding Science Fiction in 1958) and "A Slave is a Slave" (first published in Analog Science Fiction—Science Fact in 1962) and his novel Space Viking (first serialized in Analog in 1962-63).  These yarns are part of Piper's Terro-human Future History series.  Piper's Sword-Worlds were settled by refugees from a civil war that plagued the first Terran interstellar civilization (called the Terran Federation), and Space Vikings from the Sword-Worlds raided the remnants of the "Old Federation" during the Long Night that followed its collapse.  Eventually, the Sword-Worlds were conquered by the new Galactic Empire that arose from the remnants of the Old Federation.  Sound familiar? ☺

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Earth Colonies Campaign

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