Size, and a Patron Offer

For those mildly bothered by the ambiguity in the size of the Empire heretofore present, I’m here to relieve you of that ambiguity. It is precisely 243 systems in size, of which 226 can be found in the list below, the other 17 being ecumenical colonies whose name and location shall remain obscure so that I can place ’em when I need ’em.

(This also doesn’t count the six naval bases, four naval depots, scientific research stations – like those at Eye of Night (Last Darkness), Leytra (Ringstars), or Serehn (Glimmerstars) – or trade stations – such as Uílel (Csell Buffer) over which no permanent sovereign claim is made, or for that matter the scattering of Imperial exclaves. So its presence is found in rather more systems, but it only claims 243 as sovereign territory.)

The patron offer? Well, here’s the deal and the point in posting this rather lengthy list of systems; pick one, and I’ll tell you something about/set at/etc. it. In some cases you already know something about them, in others you don’t, but either way, give me one of those creativity-stimulating constraints, why don’t you? Open to any Patreon level.

  1. Acheva (Methizar Traverse); ecumenical colony
  2. Aevarae (Principalities)
  3. Aiö (Imperial Core)
  4. Alanene (Principalities)
  5. Almalex (Flaming Skies Complex); ecumenical colony
  6. Almeä (Thirteen Colonies)
  7. Amerál (Talie Marches)
  8. Anjeä (High Verge)
  9. Annabar (Talie Marches)
  10. Anniax (Imperial Core)
  11. Aperyte (Loroi Quarter); ecumenical colony
  12. Arála (Banners)
  13. Arathis (Talie Marches)
  14. Argyran Depository (Imperial Core); privately held storage facility
  15. Asamis (Imperial Core)
  16. Asthé (Principalities)
  17. Athallar (Imperial Core)
  18. Aurel (Imperial Core)
  19. Belynar (Principalities)
  20. Berrésis (Talie Marches)
  21. Brennar (Imperial Core)
  22. Brevia (Admigon Corridor); ecumenical colony
  23. Bríänth (Principalities)
  24. Caliar (Imperial Core)
  25. Calíäthé (First Expanses)
  26. Caliss (Imperial Core)
  27. Calríäkay (First Expanses)
  28. Camaríä (Principalities)
  29. Cathchal (Principalities)
  30. Cepten (Turathi Expanse); ecumenical colony
  31. Cerise (Banners)
  32. Chenachale (High Verge)
  33. Chereth (High Verge)
  34. Chessene (First Expanses)
  35. Chiríästé (Talie Marches)
  36. Cilmínár (Thirteen Colonies)
  37. Cinnaré (Imperial Core)
  38. Cinté (Thirteen Colonies)
  39. Clajdíä (Thirteen Colonies)
  40. Coentis (Banners)
  41. Conclave (Imperial Core); home of the Conclave of Galactic Polities
  42. Corabar (Talie Marches)
  43. Corámus (Banners)
  44. Coricál Ailék (Imperial Core); Cirys swarm housing the Eldraeic Transcend’s core
  45. Corse Eth (Banners)
  46. Cortanth (Imperial Core)
  47. Corundar (Banners)
  48. Culúlic (Talie Marches); mezuar homeworld
  49. Daliethé (Principalities)
  50. Delphys (Imperial Core)
  51. Delthiax (Principalities)
  52. Démis (Imperial Core)
  53. Desníär (First Expanses)
  54. Díärisár (Banners)
  55. Dímae (Imperial Core)
  56. Dumevoi (Aris Delphi); ecumenical colony; arterial intersection
  57. Dvetrameir (Talie Marches)
  58. Ecanthé (High Verge)
  59. Eilisset (High Verge)
  60. Éorre (High Verge)
  61. Eldersthine (Imperial Core)
  62. Ellisar (Imperial Core)
  63. Elúeléä (First Expanses)
  64. Esilmúr (Imperial Core); Cirys bubble for energy generation
  65. Eskay (First Expanses)
  66. Estramír (First Expanses)
  67. Estrevess (High Verge)
  68. Ethíölár (First Expanses)
  69. Fentiríäs (Talie Marches)
  70. Fíäcál (Principalities)
  71. Fithral (Principalities)
  72. Galáré (Thirteen Colonies/Galari Trinary); galari homeworld
  73. Gáling (Ring Nebula); ecumenical colony
  74. Galiríäl (Principalities)
  75. Gíänaxíäs (First Expanses)
  76. Golden Groves (Principalities)
  77. Hacíäl (High Verge)
  78. Harmonious Chorus Eternal (High Verge); conlegial colony
  79. Helymene (Principalities)
  80. Iliriléä (First Expanses)
  81. Intainár (Principalities)
  82. Intais (Ley Nebula); ecumenical colony
  83. Ionaï (First Expanses)
  84. Irétectep (Talie Marches)
  85. Irimiril (Principalities)
  86. Isefang (Talie Marches)
  87. Isilmír (Banners)
  88. Isonár (Principalities)
  89. Istelrith (High Verge)
  90. Jandine (Imperial Core); corporate conlegial colony
  91. Janiris (Imperial Core)
  92. Jiradar (Imperial Core)
  93. Jiraltae (First Expanses)
  94. Kaeris (Talie Marches)
  95. Kalacha Eth (Banners)
  96. Kalanár (Banners)
  97. Kalmár (First Expanses)
  98. Kanatar (Imperial Core)
  99. Kordaray (First Expanses)
  100. Kythera (Thirteen Colonies)
  101. Lantoctectep (Talie Marches)
  102. Leiralan (High Verge)
  103. Lestíne (High Verge)
  104. Lincál (High Verge)
  105. Lintis (Banners)
  106. Lírakay (First Expanses)
  107. Listel (Principalities)
  108. Lociltectep (Talie Marches)
  109. Loeth (Banners)
  110. Losen (Imperial Core)
  111. Lostranene (Principalities)
  112. Luciverine (Eponian Cluster); ecumenical colony
  113. Lumenna-Súnáris (Imperial Core); eldrae homeworld
  114. Lunisae (Imperial Core)
  115. Madréä (High Verge)
  116. Mahalloris (Principalities)
  117. Mazir (Imperial Core)
  118. Méklish (High Verge)
  119. Melancthé (First Expanses)
  120. Meliaedár (Principalities)
  121. Menéä (Banners)
  122. Meridia (Imperial Core)
  123. Merísse (Talie Marches)
  124. Merrion (Imperial Core)
  125. Meryn (Imperial Core)
  126. Minisír (First Expanses)
  127. Minnemír (First Expanses)
  128. Mírlan (Imperial Core)
  129. Mishníär (Principalities)
  130. Mmrdene (Principalities); esseli homeworld
  131. Moníär (First Expanses)
  132. Moradímae (High Verge)
  133. Muiríbar (Talie Marches)
  134. Mynár (Imperial Core); myneni homeworld
  135. Natahish (High Verge)
  136. Nepenene (Principalities)
  137. Neríällár (First Expanses)
  138. Níäca (First Expanses)
  139. Nivalta Eth (Banners)
  140. Ocella (Imperial Core)
  141. Ólish (High Verge); ciseflish homeworld
  142. Ondrameir (Banners)
  143. Opteros (Iesa Drifts); ecumenical colony; arterial intersection
  144. Orotai (Talie Marches)
  145. Othalbar (Talie Marches)
  146. Palaxias (Imperial Core); Capital Fleet naval base
  147. Palíbar (High Verge)
  148. Paltraeth (Banners); kaeth homeworld
  149. Pentameir (Talie Marches)
  150. Pentár (High Verge)
  151. Perathilár (High Verge)
  152. Peréä (Thirteen Colonies)
  153. Períäléä (First Expanses)
  154. Períëstal (Talie Marches)
  155. Phílae (Thirteen Colonies)
  156. Pikirímír (First Expanses)
  157. Polassár (First Expanses)
  158. Ponratectep (Talie Marches)
  159. Qaradár (High Verge)
  160. Qechra (Imperial Core); Transcend manufacturing world
  161. Qeraq (Galari Trinary)
  162. Qindár (High Verge)
  163. Qoríär (Principalities)
  164. Ramír (High Verge)
  165. Resplendent Exponential Vector (Imperial Core); private conlegial research colony
  166. Revallá (Imperial Core)
  167. Rhovan (High Verge)
  168. Ríäjdíä (High Verge)
  169. Ríällebar (Talie Marches)
  170. Rílár (Banners)
  171. Rosimír (High Verge)
  172. Runiax (First Expanses)
  173. Sahal (Cinti Xi); ecumenical colony; arterial intersection
  174. Samtabar (Talie Marches)
  175. Saradene (Banners)
  176. Sarpé (Banners)
  177. Sechale (High Verge)
  178. Senadár (Thirteen Colonies)
  179. Senris (Talie Marches)
  180. Seqalla (Principalities)
  181. Seranth (Imperial Core); major tradeworld
  182. Serenníär (Banners)
  183. Sevára (Thirteen Colonies)
  184. Sidar (Principalities)
  185. Síëntra (Banners)
  186. Silariar (Imperial Core)
  187. Siríäleth (Talie Marches)
  188. Solminae (Azure Fade); ecumenical colony; arterial intersection
  189. Ssssuuuuusssicc/Eversky (Principalities); sssc!haaaouú homeworld
  190. Sulíäd (Imperial Core)
  191. Sy (Imperial Core)
  192. Synalish (High Verge)
  193. Synergy (High Verge); conlegial colony
  194. Talaton (Imperial Core)
  195. Tanja (Talie Marches)
  196. Taríäkar (High Verge)
  197. Taris (Thirteen Colonies)
  198. Tarvaray (First Expanses)
  199. Temisdár (Banners)
  200. Tessil (Galari Trinary)
  201. Tevene (Banners)
  202. Thalíär (Principalities); shell world
  203. Tinf (Nesthin Abyss); ecumenical colony
  204. Tireth (Talie Marches)
  205. Tisérai (Talie Marches)
  206. Torachal (Talie Marches)
  207. Toralish (High Verge)
  208. Toríänai (Talie Marches)
  209. Traxíäs (First Expanses)
  210. Uldarimír (First Expanses)
  211. Ulsish (High Verge)
  212. Valiár (Thirteen Colonies)
  213. Vanarál (Talie Marches)
  214. Vervian (Imperial Core)
  215. Vevial (Starry Lane); ecumenical colony
  216. Víëlle (Thirteen Colonies)
  217. Vintranár (Principalities)
  218. Víöresa (High Verge)
  219. Vordon (Lis Corridor); conlegial and ecumenical colony of Ultimate Argument Risk Control, ICC; also known as “Merchome”
  220. Votíra Eth (Banners)
  221. Vyliar (Banners)
  222. Wynérias (Imperial Core); corporate conlegial research colony
  223. Wynfang (Imperial Core)
  224. Xanthé (Banners)
  225. Xirameir (Talie Marches)
  226. Zaltéca (Banners)

Question: Great Powers

It’s question-answering time again:

Would you mind if I request a list of “great powers” and their overall internal/external policies? I am very curious about major powers other than the Empire and the Republic.

Well… maybe not all of ‘em. There are some whose revelations I would prefer to save for story purposes, and I must leave myself some breathing room for the sake of future creative freedom, and all. But I can give you a bit of data.

Hyperpowers

There are two that stand notably above the rest:

The Empire of the Star

Well, as everybody knows, the Empire and its 300 worlds don’t have an internal policy, except possibly the policy that people who think that they ought to get an internal policy should be thrown off 400’ waterfalls.

…well, okay, that’s not entirely true. The governance’s internal policy is to benignly umpire matters such that everyone can enjoy their liberties howsoever they wish, which leaves it largely up to the people. What the people want is a measure of laissez-faire mixed with a measure of laissez les bons temps rouler, served over the gospel of libertism-technepraxism and garnished with a sprig of Gilded Age – excuse me, Solid Gold Age – excess. And so that’s what they get.

In official foreign policy terms that translates out to a relatively passive “free trade (unilaterally), free people (by shooting slavers with KEWs), and free gifts for anyone who wants to join up”, plus general peacekeeping in the sense of demonstrating force majeure to anyone whose brushfire war might turn into something more serious. Oh, and striking down with great vengeance and furious anger anyone who might try and stop the good times, of course. That goes without saying.

This leaves the rest of the foreign policy to be determined by corporations, branches, and individuals with an agenda, which resulting policy coheres only rarely with anything else.

Voniensa Republic

Internally, just like their Expy original, they’re basically a paper federal republic that the technocracy (in the literal sense) behind the scenes wears as a figurehat. You don’t need me to tell you what their domestic policy is like: “moneyless” society, working to better ourselves, replicators and asceticism, a societal fear of augmentation, biochauvinism and carbon chauvinism, yadda yadda etc. all packaged in a chewy idealistic shell. We’ve seen lots of episodes of it each week at 7pm Central Time, only with shaved monkeys instead of four-armed lizards.

Or, at least, that’s what the Core Worlds are like. Life is somewhat different in the Shell, because of certain uncomfortable economic necessities, but… tum-te-tum-te-tum, saving that for later.

Their external policy is determined more or less entirely by their one major external contact, their border with the Worlds, which they regard with fear, loathing, and a general sense of existential threatenedness. They’re not wrong, either, but especially in the wake of the Core War, they’re not at all sure what if anything they can do about it.

The Other Four Presidium Powers

Consolidated Waserai Echelons

The Consolidated Waserai Echelons are a hierarchical military oligarchy located towards the coreward-nadir region of the Worlds, controlling approximately 100 systems. Which sounds terribly dictatorial, except given the militant character and inborn public service ethic of the waserai, they aren’t for-the-sake-of-it assholes about it, and their government form actually suits them very well indeed, which even the Imperials would admit. And it means they don’t have to run a “socialized” economy, since the social institutions they built ab initio were strong enough that they didn’t have to socialize it. (They actually get along reasonably well, except for the few elements of compulsory collectivism and a general sense that the waserai should, y’know, pull the stick out from time to time.)

Externally, they’re upstanding galactic citizens who look out for the status quo and the general enforcement of galactic law, such as it is. They’re somewhat more interventionist than the Empire, albeit not by much, and do like to think of themselves as galactic peacekeepers – which is largely true, and makes the IN happy, since they’re glad to accept help when shooting them as need it. The Waserai Star Brigade, of course, takes the same basic view the other way round, a subject of much friendly debate in naval bars.

League of Meridian

The League of Meridian is a democratic federal republic of approximately 80 worlds to trailing, moderate and centrist in its politics, and pragmatic in its approach to them.

Or, depending on how you look at it, a bunch of smooth-talking weasels who wouldn’t recognize a moral principle on a nice, bright day and rewrite their policies every couple of years just to be extra-annoying. But in general, if there’s an issue, they’re somewhere right in the uncomfortable middle ground, scrabbling to find compromises.

Yeah, they’re basically just like us and them. IN SPACE!

Photonic Network

The Photonic Network is a pure-AI polity controlling 80 worlds or so to acme. Since their forms of identity are generally unfamiliar to protein intelligences, it’s fairly hard to say anything about what their internal policies look like, except the general statement that they mostly deal with resource and priority allocation among, and arbitration between, teleological threads.

Its external policies can be summed up as “keep our back yard quiet, and try not to get hopelessly entangled in organic affairs”. The few deviations from that are usually attributed to some cunning negotiation on the part of some other polity’s superintelligent AI population, or for reasons amounting to “we wouldn’t understand the answer if they told us as plainly as they could”.

They are, however, a reliable Presidium vote in favor of expanding sophont rights as far as possible, which is probably for nobler or at least more intellectually complex reasons than “sticking it to the carbon chauvinists”, but that’s as good a reason to suppose as any in the meantime.

Under-Blue-Star League

The Under-Blue-Star League, is, alas, the weak member of the Presidium right now. They used to be much more active (they were a founding member of the Accord, in fact), but their sixty-world polity has grown old, moribund, and rather grumpy these days.

Their external policy has, correspondingly, become rather isolationist, and their Presidium votes often slanted towards “what will cause us the least trouble”. Internally, though – well, the problem these days is that their external policy makes it correspondingly difficult to tell what’s going on within the League, unwelcoming to visitors as it has become. They used to be a family/clan-centric loose confederation with few centralized policies other than promoting trade, genetic diversity through exogamy, and technological development… and maybe they still are, or at least they’re not obviously not.

A great deal of time, newsbytes, and occasional violence swirls around, however, the contentious question of just who might replace them on the Presidium if this decline continues.

Other Notable Players

Equality Concord

The Equality Concord and its dozen worlds share the dubious distinction of being the galaxy’s only genuinely functional, non-corrupt, decent-standard-of-living-enabled, etc., communist state.

(As opposed to genuinely non-functional communist states, like the former People’s State of Bantral.)

That’s because the Concord’s founders recognized the fundamental problem of Real True Communism requiring a whole set of instincts and drives and incentives and desires that are not commonly found among sophonts as nature made them. So they studied the gentle art of sophotechnology, and they built themselves some nice bionic implants to fix that problem, and create the perfect collectivist people for their perfect collectivist utopia. And then, and this is the important bit, they avoided the classic trap by applying the implants to themselves before applying them to anyone else.

It works. It may not be the most innovative of regimes, or the wealthiest, or up there on whatever other metric you choose to apply, but it does work, and self-perpetuates quite nicely.

Pity about that whole “free will” thing, but you can’t make an omelette, right?

External-policy-wise, it’s quite active both in a missionary sense (for itself) and in general do-goodery to burnish its galactopolitical image. (Both of these tend to work mostly on the desperate of one kind or another; the mainstream still thinks they’re creepy as hell.)

They do have a strong defensive military, but avoid using it in most offensive roles – probably because its collective intelligence knows that if there was even a slight suggestion that they were expanding by forcible implantation, they’d be on the wrong end of a multilateral fleet before you could say hegemonizing swarm.

Rim Free Zone

The Rim Free Zone isn’t, technically, a polity. It is, however, 49 worlds scattered through the rimward end of the Shadow Systems, the biggest bloc in that location, and so it has to be called something.

It’s not a polity because it’s 49 worlds all adherent to anarchocapitalism, of one strain or another. Which strain you get depends on exactly where you are, ranging from polite and civilized as the North American Confederacy, through somewhat less reputable but still perfectly reasonable places like, say, New Hong Kong, all the way down to pits of scum and villainy like Jackson’s Whole. You pay your money – no, you literally pay your money – and you take your choice.

But they are a big and ugly enough bloc to figure into the interstellar political calculus as a Great Power because it turns out that you don’t need to be a government to be mighty troublesome for one. That, and 49 worlds full of anarchocapitalists have a lot of guns, belike.

Trope-a-Day: Generican Empire

Generican Empire: Well, the thing to remember here is that the Empire of the Star was named long before it ever got into space (and has many stars, besides).  It’s actually named after a philosophical symbol rather than anything physical.  (In fairness and trope-compliance, they could have called it the Eldraeic Imperium, or some such, except (a) back on their own world at the beginning they didn’t feel like offering up such a blatant statement of world-conquering intent, and (b) once they got out among the stars, they didn’t want to sound like a bunch of race/species-obsessed jerks.)

By the time it acquired the alternate soubriquet of the Eldraeic Transcend, evidently people figured they’d already established their credentials on the polyspecificity front.

(The third alternate name, the “Bright Empire”, is actually a given-in-scorn-adopted-in-pride name originating with a news editor’s slip of the tongue and an unfortunate phrasing in an interstellar explorer’s autobiography; as such, in the Imperial mouth, it can make you sound isolationist, hegemonic, or even belletrist, and in the outworlders’, either distinctly pro-Imperial or distinctly sarcastic, and should thus be used with caution.)

Anyway, back on topic: most star nations hang some sort of non-generican name on themselves.  The ones which don’t are often considered suspicious, maybe even likely to be rogue – sort of the way that, on Earth, any country calling itself a Democratic People’s Republic is definitely some sort of creepy-ass dictatorship.

Averted somewhat by the “Associated Worlds”, which isn’t all that creepy – it’s just that a name that Generican is all that the various people included under that moniker could agree on.  They are all worlds (well, mostly, but the drifts that disagreed didn’t push that point too hard) and they are loosely associated, at least galactographically.  Everything else may vary.

A Declaration of Principles

WE:

  • ALPHAS I AMANYR, EMPEROR OF CESTIA and the UNION OF EMPIRES
  • SELEDIË SELEQUELIOS III, EMPRESS OF SELENARIA and the UNION OF EMPIRES
  • LORAN CAMRÍÄD, THÉARCH of the DEEPING
  • LIRÍEL LÁRATHYR,  QUEEN OF VERANTHYR
  • VARÍÄN LEIRAVÁL, KING OF LEIRIN for the POLYARCHY of the SILVER CRESCENT

BY right and authority of coronargyr, duly conferred by unanimous contract and proxy of the citizens of those nations over which we exercise lin-runér authority, and acting upon their behalf;

BEING aware that the foundation of our civilization is the inalienable and absolute self-ownership and sovereign will of the individual sophont, and their free and uncoerced commerce, obligation, and coadunation through the medium of the oath-contract;

UNDERSTANDING that the preservation and enforcement of these fundamental principles is the sole purpose and justification of coadunate sovereignty;

AND in eternal enmity to thieves, brigands, slavers, cultists, tyrants, and every other parasite that would place itself above free people and live by duress and expropriation, and returning us to the barbarism and perfidy of past ages;

DECLARING the foundation of the Empire of the Star as such a coadunate sovereignty, to fulfill these purposes:

  • To protect and to enforce these fundamental principles and rights, including foremost life, liberty, property, and the freedom to pursue eudaimonia, which have in times past been so grievously abused;
  • To guarantee the enforcement of oath-contracts and the rule of law;
  • To safeguard the independence and integrity of its constituents, citizens and nations alike, and to provide fora and means for the resolution of such disputes and grievances as may arise between them;
  • And thus to promote the common and mutual defense of civilization, against acts of barbarians inimical to all freedom and prosperity and cataclysms of nature alike;

AND for the furtherance of the principles of civilization in those areas where the constraints of Nature or of Trade shall require unified action, to fulfill in addition these:

  • To preserve and manage public properties, whether for its own use, for travel or communication, unowned and abandoned properties, or properties inherent to the world;
  • To carry out necessary and obligatorily public works;
  • To guarantee the security of the exercise of the freedoms of travel and trade, in order to encourage mutually profitable trade and commerce;
  • To encourage and promote the pursuit of knowledge, and to provide for its preservation and promulgation;

IN this way to best preserve, protect and defend the everlasting existence of our civilization and its unbounded potential for liberty, progress, and prosperity;

DO hereby ordain and establish this Charter.

– preamble to the Imperial Charter