The Periphery (sourcebook)

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This article is about the sourcebook. For other uses, see The Periphery.
The Periphery
Product information
Type Sourcebook
Development L. Ross Babcock III
Primary writing Rick David Stuart
Pages 160
Cover Artwork Jeff Laubenstein
Illustrations Tim Bradstreet
Sonya Brochta
Tim Coman
Bryan Gibson
Rick Harris
Jeff Laubenstein
Todd Marsh
Jim Nelson
John Robinson
David Zenz
Publication information
Publisher FASA
Product code 1629
First published 1988
ISBN-10 1555600670
Agency ComStar
Universe Date 3025
Timeline 2011–3025
Preceded by House Davion (The Federated Suns)
Followed by The Star League


The Periphery recounts the expansion of humanity across the galaxy through the lens of independents and non-conformists—rebels, pirates, and those excommunicated due to various wars and conflicts. Over time, these people ultimately settled in what is now known as the Periphery, or the area outside of the Inner Sphere bordering the Great Houses. The sourcebook examines an array of cultures and social systems spanning hundreds of light years apart, showing both positive and negative growth among nations of all sizes. From single-planet pirate havens to multi-system bandit kingdoms and empires stretching hundreds of worlds, the history of the Periphery is inexorably linked to the history of civilization as a whole, and as such is deserving of its own volume, told in greater detail than previously provided.

The in-universe period for the report appears to be set around the year 30253028, based on the statement by Precentor Alisha Nevine, the Periphery Project Editor for the ComStar Archives and apparent compiler of the report, that it was the "Sixth in the series of ComStar sourcebooks dealing with the cultures of the Human Sphere..." The assumption is that this series refers to the five Housebooks, with the fifth released being House Davion (The Federated Suns). The maps included in The Periphery show a copyright of 3025.

Also referred to as Guide to the Periphery, it was updated in The Periphery, 2nd Edition, published in 1996.

From the back cover[edit]

For centuries, the powers of the Inner Sphere have looked down on their brethren in the Periphery with thinly-veiled disgust. To the "civilized" worlds of humanity, the Periphery is a backwater, not a place where any respectable person would want to live. And many still remember that the nations of the Periphery fought tooth-and-nail against the Star League's attempt to unite all of humanity in a new golden age. Full of hardship, immorality, lawlessness and danger, it is a vast and little-understood region of space.

But that's not the whole story. The Periphery is all of the things that people say about it, but it is also much more. The Taurian Concordat has a better educational system than most Successor States. The citizens of the Magistracy of Canopus enjoy more freedoms than their counterparts in the Inner Sphere. Even the bandit kingdoms are getting into the act, with realms such as the Circinus Federation and the Marian Hegemony making moves towards legitimacy.

ComStar continues its series of sourcebooks detailing human space with a look at the Periphery in all its facets, good and ill. Learn the history of the various nations beyond the Inner Sphere, including the Rim Worlds Republic, home to the treacherous Amaris clan. See how life differs out in the wilds, where every danger is balanced by the freedom to live unfettered by the petty oppressions of the Successor States.


This sourcebook is known for containing a handful of prominent factual errors. Line Developer Herbert A. Beas II once made a statement to the effect that certain products including this one are considered "secondary sources" by the writing staff, but this should not be construed to mean they are not canonical. It is standard procedure in cases of conflicting information to treat later publications as accurate over earlier publications.

And, if Sarna used the Luthien scenario pack as a resource there, the fact is, that book proved to be so riddled with errors, it--like First Edition Periphery and Objective Raids--is now seen by our staff as a "secondary source": Canon only in areas where it does not clash with other canon.
  — Herbert A. Beas, BattleTech Line Developer, 08 Jul 2012


  • Introduction
  • History
The Piranha Principle
Death of a Premier
Terran Alliance
First Exodus
Outer Reaches Rebellion
Beyond the Farthest Star
Calderon Expedition
Birth of the Rim Worlds Republic
Inner Sphere Politics
Taurian Concordat
Davion and Calderon
From Rim to Tamar
Mishka's Diplomacy
Age of War
Struggle with Liao
Benign Neglect
The First Amaris
Expanding Frontiers
Outworlds Alliance
Magistracy of Canopus
Star League era
The Malagrotta Affair
Rebellion in the Rim
The Santiago Massacre
Reunification War
Concordat War
Case Amber
A New Commander
Retreat into the Nebula
War for the Outworlds Alliance
The Pitcairn Legion
Strategy of Savagery
Campaign Against the Magistracy
Buquoy's Ploy
Conquest of the Rim Worlds Republic
Operation Mailed Fist
Territorial Status
"Good Neighbor" Policy
Taurian Bootstraps
Second Invasion
Palace Coup
Avellar Economics
"Prince Charming"
Amaris Politics
Years of Detente
Consuelo the Fair
Canopus in Mid-Century
Educational Reforms
The Crucial Year
Canopian Triplets
The Beatrician Era
Nicoletta Takes Over
Wheels Within Wheels
Winter of Discontent
Dark Clouds
Seduction of Richard Cameron
The Amaris Crisis
A Small Paradox
The Succession Wars
First Succession War and the Periphery
A Low Profile
Difference of Opinion
Concordat-Magistracy War
The Bandit Kingdoms
Second Succession War
Tactical Developments
Conquest of Circinus
Ignatius Calderon
Third Succession War
Ronaine Avellar
Renaissance in Philosophy
  • Taurian Concordat
Sphere of Influence
Sociopolitical Structure
Government Structure
Internal Politics
Political Goals
Interstellar Relations
Taurian Nobility
Strengths And Weaknesses
Religion And Philosophy
Military Forces
Structure of the TDF
Unit Profiles
Special Forces
Deployment of TDF Forces
Weapons Industries
Taurian Military Academies
Strengths And Weaknesses
Culture And Arts
Corporate Profiles
A Brief Atlas
Sphere of Influence
Sociopolitical Structure
Government Structure
Magistracy Nobility
Internal Politics
Interstellar Relations
Political Goals
Strengths and Weaknesses
Religion And Philosophy
Military Forces
Structure of the MAF
Typical MAF Units
Unit Profiles
Deployment of MAF Forces
Weapons Industries
Strengths and Weaknesses
Culture and Arts
Corporate Profiles
A Brief Atlas
Sphere of Influence
Sociopolitical Structure
Government Structure
Political Goals
Interstellar Relations
Strengths and Weaknesses
Religion and Philosophy
Military Forces
Structure of the AMC
Unit Profiles
Deployment of AMC Forces
Weapons Industries
Strengths and Weaknesses
Culture and Arts
Corporate Profiles
A Brief Atlas
  • Periphery Independents
Barony of Strang
Elysian Fields
Fiefdom of Randis
Franklin Territories
Illyrian Palatinate
Lothian League
Mica Majority
New St. Andrews
Niops Association
Port Krin
  • Bandit Kingdoms
Belt Pirates
Circinus Federation
Marian Hegemony
Morgraine's Valkyrate
Oberon Confederation
Pirates of Butte Hold
Santander's World
Tortuga Dominions
  • Index
  • Map of the Periphery