The aggressive Split live in a society constantly changing leadership where challenging factions rise up to impose a new Patriarch. Their short temper and fiery disposition puts them at odds with other races which has sometimes lead to war, notably with the Boron and Argon.
The Empire of Patriarch Rhonkar was in disarray even before the Gate shutdown fractured the Empire. When the systems, disconnected, the smaller families rebelled against the Patriarch of all Split and fought an intense war for independence. They persevered and managed to establish a different kind of Split society in their systems, one that is not lorded over by one Patriarch. Instead, every family is governed autonomously by their own Patriarchs. Now that the Jump Gates have reconnected, this new way of governance is opposed by the Patriarchy. After the Fires the patriarchal empire seeks to unite the split under a single family once again.
The Free Families starts with a significant region of sectors in the top right corner of the map a sizeable distance from the main Highway Ring. The faction is bordered by the Xenon on almost all fronts and the Teladi in the bottom left. Consequently the Free Families are at a significant disadvantage from the start and quite often in game starts lose a large amount of territory and in some instances has been reported to being wiped out completely without player intervention. The list of sectors the Free Families starts with is listed below.
Family Tkr (Split Equipment Dock)
Fires of Defeat ("Fires of Victory" in the "Spear of the Patriarch" game start)
Heart of Acrimony II (Split Wharf, Split Shipyard)
Tharka's Ravine VIII (Split Equipment Dock)
Tharka's Ravine XVI (Split Trading Station)
Tharka's Ravine XXIV
Thuruk's Demise II
Thuruk's Demise III
The Free Families produce raider (faster and weaker hull) variants of Split S and M ships, the FRF unique Balaur and the standard complement of Split L and XL ships. Additionally, it is important to note that the Free Families and the Cabal of Curbs are the only producers of Split Flak Turrets.