Free Space describes a region of space "free" from the influence of the Big Four. Its boundaries and purpose were originally defined by diplomats and delegates during the last Armistice Conference on the planet Poho of the Diobah. The Big Four, the Blue and about seventy independent space faring civilizations discussed, argued and finally agreed on this region in 3599 OTT with the signing of the Free Space Treaty.
Aside from the seventy space faring societies that signed the treaty, the area within the treaty boundaries included numerous other societies mostly of Tech Level 2 or below.
Free Space was to act as a buffer zone between the Big Four and give those who did not want to ally themselves with one of the big powers a place to exist after their own fashion. It was hoped that the region would a free trade zone, enabling commerce and slowly ensuring a lasting peace through cultural exchange.
Before the establishment of the Free Space Treaty the region was unclaimed except for a few minor civilizations and was prone to pirate attacks and slave raids. After the treaty these attacks continued and even escalated. To the dismay of its advocates, Free Space did not turn out to be the region of peace where free commerce and a civil exchange of culture would erode the differences as the dreamers and utopists dreamed about; instead it became a breeding ground of pirates and a destination of the lawless from every corner of the galaxy. Planets like Sin 4, Alvor's Cove, Kalimant, Drogs, and N'ger gained notoriety as places where law and order meant nothing.
In spite of restrictions that the region was to be off limits to the official influence of the Big Four, each operated covertly and often through third parties whom they could claim no connection with. This added to the already chaotic nature of the region and led several species to eventually side with various of the Big Four.
The biggest independents were the Togar, the Kartanians and the Shattered Kingdoms of the Oghr. The Kartanians hated the Togar and the Togar disliked everyone, except for dinner. The former ancient Oghr Empire, shattered into Nine Kingdoms were constantly fighting among each other, didn’t get along with the Togar and considered the Karthanians hostile competition and agitators.