The Spinward Void
Mankind has colonized the stars. The early explorers launched themselves into the void with little or no idea of what the future would hold. Many were never heard from again.
With the construction of the hypergate system a reliable means of travel and communication connected hundreds of worlds. Leaving for the stars was no longer exile where loved ones would never again be heard from again. Mankind thrived and the golden age of colonization began. However as we spread across the stars, it became increasingly hard for central authorities to maintain control. Soon politicians became military governors and squabbles increased in size and frequency.
Then it happened. Overnight hundreds of worlds were cut off when a fanatical group calling themselves Lazarus simultaneously destroyed several key gates. The economic and political fallout put the human race into yet another dark age for nearly three hundred years.
Yet some took the high road, unable to admit defeat they continued development of the ship sized FTL drive. For over the next hundred years astronavigation was refined and contact was reestablished. Communications were restored via an x-boat network, but isolation had taken its toll. Mankind is now a splintered group of cultures and ideologies.
Life is now a cheap commodity in a dangerous universe.