Stories of The 39th Midnight Squadron
“Gypsies” is actually a derogatory term to our present day Romani (also referred to as ‘Travellers’). As this adventure setting is a thousand years hence, this is a term that has come full circle: Gypsy has been revived as an all-encompassing term for space riffraff who have no roots on a homeworld and are instead tied to ship flotillas. Technically all races and ethnicities can and are in this category- however Ursula is of the original bloodline which is a source of pride for her mother’s family (despite the fact that calling someone a ‘gypsy’ is actually an insult).
These folks are very loyal to one another- they open arms when desperate survivors have nowhere else to go because they have been displaced by raiders, gone broke while prospecting, or run afoul of the Empire legally in some way. This also in some ways accounts for Ursula’s open acceptance of the rough and dangerous- as these are the sort of folks she grew up with.
To suggest that a gypsy has no respect for morality is basically untrue. They are simply uncomplicated in that they live by a code that prioritizes loyalties to other clan members and the Gypsy Council, though this does not mean that it is unheard of for one Gypsy to shake down another.
There is a high value placed on cleverness, and if one is unfortunate to fall victim to the chicanery of another gypsy, well that is a personal embarrassment- and a lesson- to the one who was fleeced.
However, children are precious and protected within the gypsy community- though all adults are responsible for teaching the young the skills to survive in this universe. Likewise murder is not acceptable unless of course it is seen as a crime of passion between lovers, for who should come between such an intimate connection? So it is that Gypsy women are largely seen as exotic and alluring- but also feared. Likewise drawing the ire of a significant other is to be avoided by the sensible.
The Gypsy flotilla avoids Empire taxation by remaining in free space and constantly on the move. They are self sustaining and move from settlement to settlement as a moving marketplace (and black marketplace). It is said that for enough money you can buy or sell anything when dealing with a gypsy.
For these reasons, the Empire harry the gypsy clans and there is a build up of bad relations between the officials of both groups.