Curiously Enough, This Came Before Software

contract module: To avoid both unnecessary repetition, and to avoid the additional labor of poring over the mass of said repetition in search of differences from the commonplace form, Imperial contract law has long embraced the use of contract modules, sets of predefined and referenceable clauses and specifications to address specific issues within the contract in standardized manners, controlled by equally standardized variables introduced at the beginning of the contract. A variety of contract modules are available covering matters as disparate as arbitration, assignment and transfer, choice of law, confidentiality, delivery, escrow, execution, force majeure, notice, translation, waiver, and indeed allow for many more areas in which the obligator and his client may choose to rely on existing, well-established terms for a specific scope, with which terms they are already thoroughly acquainted.

Agabanda: In common use, this references the largest collection of form contracts and contract modules in common usage, more properly known as Agabanda’s Compleat Obligator: Form Contracts and Modules for the Practical Contractor, published in annual volumes by Academy of the Quill and Coils Press. Citations from Agabanda are typically given by volume, chapter, and number.

Wistio interpretation: (from it’s establishing case, Wistio Automatics v. Ryudailai Pier Eleven Shipbuilding Cooperative) A rule of interpretation for modular contracts specifying that, for the avoidance of doubt, clauses and specifications from any and all relevant invoked contract modules shall override any clauses and specifications found within the contract itself, except where the intent for the base contract to override the module is explicitly stated in the clause or specification in question. The function of the Wistio rule, if examined from that angle, is to ensure the usability of contract modules by preventing situations of uncertainty from arising in which invoked contract modules and the base contract contradict each other without clear statement of which has legal priority.

One exception to the Wistio rule of interpretation (established by the later case, Jacaranda Graving Company v. City of Dal Épareil) is that strict sectioning clauses or contract modules may not be overridden by any clause or specification not given at the point of invocation of the module itself, since to require the study of the entire contract (and all its referenced modules) in order to determine whether or not the strict sectioning rules apply as given vitiates the essential purpose of the strict sectioning clause or module itself.

strict sectioning: A strict sectioning provision (or contract module – most typically referenced as Agabanda IV/1/3) within a contract provides that (a) the contract is divided into sections whose scope is limited to a particular function, or aspect, of the contract, defined by the heading of that section; and that (b) any clause or specification located in a section other than that to which it applies is automatically null and void as out of scope. In this way, one may be assured, when reviewing the contract, that all provisions relevant to one’s use-case are found in their appropriate sections, and one need not hunt through the entire document for hidden traps, buried clauses, or counter-illegibility assurance.

– Salvarin’s Dictionary of Legal Principles

Stealing From Yourself

The Advocate for Guilt has cited the existing precedent set by this Court in Ulpiaj v. Ulpiaj (7918), affirming that for one sophont to appropriate property from themselves in the past constitutes theft, inasmuch as a worldline-past time-slice of an individual cannot consent to the actions of a worldline-future time-slice.

However, in this case, we must instead affirm that for one sophont to appropriate property from themselves in the future cannot constitute theft, insofar as so doing is a performative act binding one’s future self, and a worldline-future time-slice has, ex sequens, consented to all voluntary actions of worldline-past time-slices of the same individual.

The Shareholders’ Court therefore finds for the DEFENDANT, Ulpiaj of 7994, who is VINDICATED upon all counts. The charges of the plaintiff, Ulpiaj of 8002, are DISMISSED.

– Ulpiaj v. Ulpiaj (8002),
Shareholders’ Court (City of Synchrony, Resplendent Exponential Vector)

October Stuff

In honor of the coming holiday, a terrifying thought I had:

According to “The Blood-Brain Barrier” (and other incidental mentions elsewhere), it’s possible to target, edit, and alter the will if you know what you’re doing.

By implication, this means that it must be possible to *erase* someone’s will entirely with a personalized “nolitional” payload.

It would be an incredibly subtle and terrifying assassination method. Your target would be almost physically untouched and retain most of their sensory and cognitive functions, but the one thing that makes you a person would be as utterly destroyed as if you had taken a bullet to the brain-pan.

It’s certainly possible to build a p-zombifier, yes.

On the other hand, it’s not all that subtle (at least to societies that have sophotechnology, since coring out the logos will show up on a mind-state display like a claidheamh mor on a chest x-ray); and since – per the Cíëlle Vagary, etc. – logotic activity is most relevant in instants of chaotic choice, if you p-zombify Kim Jong-un, all you get is someone who can’t choose not to be Kim Jong-un. While not completely unuseful, leaving ethics aside for the moment, this is much less useful than one might think. 🙂

Given the emphasis on and discussion around the eldraeic take on “cold justice,” particularly in the recent post on the “Bonfire of the ‘Elites’,” I figured it would be appropriate to ask this one: Did the Empire ever develop anything parallel to the body of law and jurisprudence of equity (and its derived equitable remedies) that arose *here* from the English chancery courts that were established to “temper the rigor of the law”?

Equitable remedies have always been available in Imperial law, where applicable and just; unlike Earthling common-law systems (up until recently, in some systems), there has never been any distinction between law and equity. (Similar, although this is as imprecise as all Terran analogies, to the Scottish situation.)

(Not, of course, to “temper the rigor of the law”; if the law is just – and since the justification for the existence of the law hinges upon that it is just, which is to say, is as accurate a reflection of the Platonic ideal of perfect justice as possible – then any departure from the rigor of the law is, eo ipso, unjust. If the law is not just, then the only thing to do is change the law until it is.)

Okay, tomorrow morning AD, we have First Contact with the Eldrae. The day after, Corvus Belli gets access to an excellent intellectual property AI legal council and starts to put out the licensing and publication rights for their miniatures wargame, “Infinity”. They don’t make the mistakes that Games Workshop makes when trying to license their IP.

What would the game-playing public think of the game and how well would it do?

Don’t think I can commit to a position based on what the web alone can tell me, alas.

What would the eldrae think of [toppling] dominoes, seeing as they’re displays of entropy at it’s finest?

On the contrary, they’re lovely ordered complex systems producing a desired and desirable end result. Sure, they produce entropy as a by-product of their operation, but so does everything else: it’s a broken universe.

(On a related note, what of victims who become either implicitly or explicitly complicit in their own victimhood?)

I’m talking about, to use a specific case, the situation that Patty Hearst fell into where, after initially being kidnapped, she was so thoroughly reprogrammed that she actively aided and abetted her captors’ further illegal activities because, in her own words, “The thought of escaping from them later simply never entered my mind. I had become convinced that there was no possibility of escape… It simply never occurred to me.”

Unless you can prove reprogramming in the technical sense – thought-viruses, overshadowing, coercive fusion, bodyjacking, et. sim., such arguments do not gain you much sympathy. Because, y’know, you have free will and the capacity to choose – and whatever your position on that *here*, in the Eldraeverse not only will mainstream philosophers tell you that hard determinism is incoherent, but the sophotechnologists and physicists will chime in and point out that they’re only a skosh away from being able to point at the widget that makes it work – and can exercise them unless you’ve been technically deprived of that capacity (your hypothetical “nolitional” payload, for example), and so bloody well ought to have.

(If available, you would definitely be better off trying for the duress – committed-lesser-crimes-to-prevent-a-greater-one – defense, but it wouldn’t have been in her case.)

It doesn’t help much that the eldrae in general, being constructed differently and very disinclined to submission, do not see much Stockholm Syndrome, et. al., per the bottom answer here, and thus do not consider it part of “human nature” the way we do.  Here, that’s victimization that could happen to anyone; there, it makes you an undiagnosed parabulia case, and in the modern era, the Guardians of Our Harmony and your tort insurer both will be wondering how exactly you went undiagnosed for long enough for this to happen.

(And since you don’t grow up in a mature information society without learning something about memetics, or a philosophically mature society without learning some formal ethics, an inadequate memetic immune system is no defense either.)

This, naturally, flavors the sympathy you get if you victimized yourself, in much the same way as if you were an undiagnosed schizophrenia case; people feel bad for you because you’re fundamentally broken and need fixing. It also tends to evaporate much of it when the choice you made under its influence was to go from victim to victimizer.

Nor does the meme rehab prescribed in such a case excuse you from paying weregeld and reparations: you still chose and acted, and that’s still on you.

[As a side note, actually, the schizophrenic has a better defense available: if you shoot at your hallucinatory monsters and hit someone, you don’t have mens rea because you responded reasonably to the data you have. That’ll play for an insanity defense.]

(Continued from earlier…)

What, specifically, is the issue at stake that makes such a conclusion unacceptably psychotic? I can understand why they might object on grounds that it’s morally pessimal (to use your terminology from a previous discussion) not to “abstain from the very appearance of evil,” and how in a positivist sense it might be abnegated by an Imperial citizen-shareholder’s commitment to maintain a specific standard of what locally is defined as sanity,

I’m going to assume this has effectively been answered by the earlier comment on the layered shells of ethics.

but as for its applicability to the general mass beyond the confines of the Empire’s own reach, and particularly to a self-sovereign individual under no contractual constraints to behave otherwise:

Law is local (the Doctrine of the Ecumenical Throne notwithstanding, and in any case, that’s less of a legal principle and more of a good excuse); ethics are universal. The Empire’s citizen-shareholders are more than happy to export and apply – on a personal, non-legal level – their views on what constitutes virtue and lack of same to the entire observable universe.

(As a tangential aside — though one I’ll come back to later — it seems that this is the necessary justification that allows anyone, and not just the particular victim(s), to shoot and kill an offender for what we would regard as relatively petty offenses if they deem it necessary under Imperial jurisprudence.)

I note that you have the right to defend self, others, and property by lethal force in the moment; this doesn’t extend to a generalized hunting license for anyone who has committed a crime and who hasn’t been formally outlawed. (Although since everyone has the right of arrest upon probable cause provided that the alleged criminal is handed over forthwith to the Constabulary or to a Curial court for arraignment, crimes committed while resisting arrest can blur this a bit.)

As has been greatly emphasized elsewhere, the eldrae place a high value on informed consent in their dealings. How would they respond, however, to the idea that consent is not a thing that can merely be passively solicited, but something that can be actively manufactured or engineered — as espoused (and largely developed) *here* by men such as Edward Bernays (1)(2) — by controlling what information passes through the various filters and “gatekeepers” on its route from the source to the general public, and by dictating how that information is presented

I believe the relevant snarky soundbite is: “No-one can manufacture your consent without your consent.”

Or, possibly, “Isn’t that called persuasion?”

There are certain constraints on what’s permissible by way of information control (extraordinarily limited) and by way of bad information (prohibitions on YGBMs and basilisks, but also in re choice-theft on defamation, falsification of information, falsificiation of entelechy, claiming false attachment, assumption of false identity, etc., etc.; the freedom of speech is not the freedom to deceive). But inside those limits —

On the one hand, it’s a mature information society. Information is everywhere, from a million sources which have their own point of view on everything except the facts. Learning to sort through this for truth and picking out the intentional memegineering is a basic life skill; failing to do your due diligence and just believing any damn thing you’re told, especially if you outsource your cognition to one particular source, is a kind of wilful stupidity that receives absolutely no cultural respect whatsoever. (This is why, say, advertising is the way that it is *there*.)

On the other hand, of course people and their coadunations will try to persuade you of things, and dress up their ideas in the nicest possible attire. That’s how you get things done in civilized society when you can’t force people to do things your way; sell the product. Persuasion, advertising, memetic engineering, a little manipulation – these are the polite tools of a society that’s renounced compulsion, and are refined accordingly.

Incidentally, this is where some of those grayer eikones come in: the intrigant who can persuade people into an extended series of individually positive-sum interactions and, by doing so, achieve a greater goal is greatly respected for their social-fu. On the heights, this is how the Great Game is played.

Conveniently, it also encourages the play style in which everyone wins.

So let’s say that you’re a rookie vigilante righter-or-wrongs out on your first day. And let’s say that on your very first case, you honestly interpret the scenario in entirely the wrong way, and thus botch things in the worst way possible. Maybe the “thief” you caught red-handed was actually some sort of contracted retrieval specialist hired by the property’s true owner to recover it, and the building they were trying to break into was where the thief was storing it. Or maybe those robed thugs you blew away with gusto after you caught them accosting a defenseless old man were actually actors in a public performance of *Julius Caesar*.(*) Either way, while you can safely say that you acted without malice and with the best of intentions, you did exactly the *wrong* thing given the situation. What’s most likely going to happen to you once you go through the Imperial justice system?

Contracted retrieval specialists – or to give them their local name, asset repropriators – have v-tags and bonds, so that’s not a mistake you should make.

Anyway: assuming that everything is as it seems on the surface (i.e., you genuinely tried to do the right thing, you just fucked it up, and you weren’t negligently incompetent), you’ll have to pay the reparation – just not the weregeld. There won’t be meme rehab, either, because there’s no homicidal tendency to correct.

(This is standard procedure for cases whose intent is adjudicated as error in judgment/non-wilful negligence.)

((As a side note, this sort of thing is very unlikely to be someone’s career choice, given the local crime rates and Constabular efficiency. If you want to make a career out of unlikely scenarios, you’d probably be better off hanging out your shingle as a professional unicorn hugger, or some such. They’re much more likely to exist.))


Viriaz vs. Carlantanda

Viriaz vs. Carlantanda, District Court of the Lesser Rocks, 4001: In a case arising from an incident in which Viriaz was defrauded of several hundred esteyn by Carlantanda by means of the well-known “shell game“, respondent Carlantanda advanced that by the principle of long-standing custom (as seen in the brawler’s bar), and inasmuch as within delta of every sophont in the galaxy is familiar with the shell game, plaintiff Viriaz consented to play the game in full knowledge of its fixed outcome. Amicus briefs were filed for the plaintiff by the Baranithil Station Guide & Path-Pointer Association, and for the respondent by the Consequential Didaxis Non-Discouragement Faction.

The District Court found for the plaintiff, Justice Víënéra dissenting.

– Curial Summaries: Significant Historical Precedents in Imperial Law


Bonfire of the “Elites”

In today’s somewhat morose worldbuilding thoughts inspired by real-world events (in this case, the Harvey Weinstein affair, along with an endless parade of abuse-of-power stories courtesy of Sheriff Joe, the Chicago City Council, the Arizona Dept. of Corrections, etc., etc.), one really does have to wonder what the judicial death toll is among the powerful so-called “elites” when the Empire annexes or protectoratizes somewhere less, um, serious about notions like the rule of law, the equal protection of same, and actually meaning what it says about Liberty and Justice for All.

“All debts must be paid.”
– official motto of the Curia

“I approve this message.”
– Tywin Lannister



This image inserted to lighten an otherwise serious post.


After all:

  • The Ministry of Harmonious Serenity doesn’t care whether you want to press charges or not – it might, assuming you are mentally competent, concede that you have a right to waive weregeld and reparation owed to you, but you can’t forgive a crime against the Contract and the Charter, since you don’t have standing to do so;
  • You can’t bullshit an alethiometer, and its measure of truth has nothing whatsoever to do with your “credibility”, relative or otherwise;
  • The cyberjudicial AI may Know Who You Are, but to its intellect vast and cool and unsympathetic and defined by the predicates of the law, Who You Are means exactly nothing;
  • (You can’t bribe it, either – and even if you could figure out a way to, it couldn’t accept it since its entire decision process is entered into the publically-auditable court record.)
  • Nor does it give freebies based on your career prospects, talents, pretty face, or supposed one-offness of your special crime – or, indeed, any other circumstances. You can plead duress or justification if those apply, which will be taken into account, but the algorithm was written with the Equal Protection and Application of the Law in mind, and Thus Hath No Fucks To Give about anything that doesn’t bear directly upon the events in question.
  • And there is no pardon power to be wielded on your behalf, since – for the same reasons as the victim cannot forgive a crime – it can’t exist; holding office by virtue of a Mandate descending from the Contract and the Charter, even the Imperial Couple and the unanimous Senate in all their majesty and dignity lack standing to pardon crimes against them.

Basically, should you call down upon yourself the attention of the mills of justice, they grind exceedingly fine, and they aren’t terribly slow about it, either.

“What’s the difference between God and the Curia?”
“God forgives.”
– overheard in an Encystment Facility

This is, for those counting non-Utopian features, accounted horrific by everyone who is very keen on Justice in the abstract, but are substantially less so when the prospect of their own actions being judged according to an objective standard of such might actually be realized.

(The Empire finds this position about as eye-rollingly contemptible as that of all the people who are very keen on Liberty in the abstract, as long as no-one actually uses it for anything they disapprove of or don’t understand.)

In terms of more serious dark sides, however, there is one, and it’s called misprision of felony.

For those not familiar with the term in its Earth context, it was a common-law offence making it a crime to fail to report knowledge of a felony to the appropriate authorities; exceptions being made for close family members of the felon and where the disclosure would tend to incriminate the reporter of that offense or another. It’s also currently been mostly dropped except for people who have a special duty to report a crime.

The Imperial version is essentially the same, but without the exceptions – because so far as it is concerned, upholding the law is a duty that comes along with being a citizen-shareholder, and mere sentiment does not foreclose that.

Now, by and large, the Empire has – in its own territories – much, much less of a problem with people coming forward about these things, because the justice system has the reputation that it has for delivering on its promises. (And also because the general public doesn’t have its head wedged firmly up its ass, culture-wise.)

But where and when that doesn’t happen –

Yes, it is possible (and it has happened) for the victim of a crime to be charged with misprision of felony for not reporting it. Because as stated above, you don’t have standing to forgive crimes against the Contract and the Charter, and by allowing the perpetrator to escape justice – and thus be free to prey on your fellow citizen-shareholders – you’re violating the Responsibility of Common Defense.

This stringency is, of course, horrible.

It’s just also… just.

The just heart is always cold.
– traditional, source unknown

Snippet: Legality != Approval

“One of the chief problems with some cultures’ attitude towards professionalism is that it prevents their courts from issuing opinions such as – to quote Mandatory Benevolence Association vs. Suld – ‘This court must affirm that the defendant possesses an unalienable derived right to be, if he so wishes, a bigoted sack of contaminated crap.'”

– Presiding Justice Madrasi Koiric, Court of the Beyond


Question: Plea Bargains

Y’all get May’s first question the day it arrived, ’cause it’s an easy one:

So what would Imperial jurisprudence make of the notion of the plea bargain?

Sarcasm, mostly.

The way the more dyspeptic members of the College of Judicature would put it, there are two possible outcomes from a plea bargain as various polities practice it:

The one is that a guilty soph gets away with the due consequents of a lesser charge instead of the appropriate one, which is obviously contrary to all principles of justice and balance.

The other is that an innocent soph is railroaded into compensation, weregeld, and so forth for fear of the consequences of a greater charge if mistakenly found guilty, or by the cost of mounting a defense. Which is even more contrary to all principles of justice and balance, even if they were to accept the notion that this isn’t the actual intent of the system – namely, to provide cheap and quick “justice theater” in lieu of the more challenging task of providing actual justice – which proposal they find risible on its face.

And to sum up, any “justice system” that incorporates the notion has lost all right to be called such without, at the very least, emphatic sneer quotes, and any misbegotten wight proposing such an abomination in their justice system should rightly call down the wrath of Saravoné Herself, descending from the Twilight City in fire and fury to beat aforesaid wight soundly upside the head with Her scales until all the stupid has left the building.

Cough. Readjust monocle.

…so, um, they don’t care for it much?


Sold For Educational Purposes Only

“Be advised that the operation of transmitters or other equipment designed to jam, block, corrupt, or otherwise interfere with communicative signaling in the bands allocated to multipurpose mesh networking (see Electromagnetic Spectrum Global and Regional Allocations, latest edition) is a violation of the Free Communications (Trusteeship) Act (1462), as amended. This Act prohibits, enjoins, and binds by law any sophont from willfully interfering with mesh network communications of any type, proprietorship, format, protocol, or purpose carried out over the aforementioned frequency bands.

“Sophonts and/or coadunations in violation of this act shall and must be subject to the penalties provided for under the Act, including but not limited to fines beginning at one sur-doceciad esteyn and scaling geometrically with volume affected, full compensation of costs for all affected parties, and memetic rehabilitation and reconditioning.

“Be further advised that, inasmuch as multipurpose mesh networking protocols are used to fulfil a variety of essential infrastructural and personal safety functions including but not limited to smart grid coordination, health monitoring, emergency response, road-grid and vehicular coordination, et al., the Actions Willfully Prejudicial to Public Safety Act (710) empowers the Imperial Emergency Management Authority to order the immediate destruction of the aforementioned equipment by whatever means it shall deem necessary in order to maintain these functions. Since the act of operating such equipment is classified as a violation of property rights in spectrum with intent, no compensation is due or will be paid for collateral damage to other properties of the equipment operator.”

– a rather important warning label

A Question Grab-Bag

Clearing the decks on a scale that is large…

So after many back-and-forth sessions involving questions and answers, I’ve gotten the impression that in eldraeic morals and ethics, there’s essentially a continuum with “coercion” at one end, “ideal enlightened self-interest” at the other, and in between a fairly broad space of behavior which, while certainly unpalatable to a large number of people, technically isn’t forbidden as such.

This might be a useful point at which to discuss the difference between ethics and morals in their terms, for which it would be useful to invoke RFC 2119 terminology.

Much like that, it’s a three-level system.

  • There are matters of the fundamental deontology, which are MUSTs and MUST NOTs;
  • There are matters of arêtaic ethics, which are SHOULDs and SHOULD NOTs;
  • And there are matters of morals, which are MAYs and MAY NOTs. (Well, sort of: in the sense that morals are personal and supererogatory rather than essential and obligatory, if you will.)

Such unpalatable behaviors generally fall into the second level.

It’s also rather apparent that the eldrae themselves (and other people like them) probably occupy the extreme high end when it comes to wisdom and foresight with all the technological powers they’ve essentially gifted themselves with. Among those powers comes, essentially, something that would come eerily close to precognition to those not similarly gifted.

With that in mind, a few additional questions:

1. How do those who advocate the principle of non-coercion account for the fact that some people can better predict another’s most likely response to a particular stimulus better than the target themselves can, or have different willpower and self-control reserves?

By and large, on the former, they don’t feel the need to. Your consent is not vitiated by your merely being predictable. (If it was, it’s hard to see how dull people could be interacted with at all.)

On the latter…

2. In particular, what’s the eldraeic take on temptation? Obviously you’re ultimately responsible for your actions and yours alone, but is willfully, continually, and deliberately expose someone to a stimulus for your own ends while knowing that their indulgence may destroy them or end with them in an exploitable position — even if it only comes about “by their own free choice” on the surface according to a technicality — recognized as a form of coercion in and of itself?

…only if it’s a targeted superstimulus, such as something exceeding voluntary persuasion thresholds, or the sort of thing used by a certainty-level persuasive communicator, because those amount to ways and means of rooting your brainz.

Mere weakness of will is a personal defect, not a cause of action. You should work on that, or failing that, go see a psychedesigner and have that fixed.

(After all, you can always walk away. They have the freedom of speech, not the freedom to make people listen to them.)

3. Roughly where does the dividing line between “coercion” and “acceptable-if-pernicious exploitation of another’s flaws and failings” lie?

The bright line is very clear: it’s coercion if it violates the principle of consent, specifically, to quote:

No sophont may act upon the person or property of another, except through the other’s memetically-shared consent, in response to an action-correspondent memetically-shared request.

For legal-ethical purposes, a meme is considered a unit of information expressed through symbols: e.g., writing, speech, farspeech, infographics, Uniglyphics, or other symbols with a broadly published, specific meaning enshrined through law, contract, or long-standing custom, such as the knotted club or spacer’s marlinspike that identifies a brawler’s bar.

Imperial law distinguishes this, thus, from direct or indirect manipulation of another’s mind by mechanisms which do not pass through the cognition, ethical function, and self-awareness of their mind, and thus deprive them of the ability to act accordingly; this constituting choice-theft.

Imperial law further requires that the memetically-shared request correspond accurately to the action consented to, and therefore communicate the request properly to a reasonably informed listener; non-informed consent, in Imperial praxis, is no consent at all. Likewise, implicit consent, based on extrapolations of meaning and/or symbols whose meaning the reasonable person would not be aware of, is not considered valid.

…that sets the limits of MUST NOT. There are any number of things that you SHOULD NOT do that you can still theoretically persuade people to let you do (assuming they weren’t that bright, slept through Bad Ideas 101, ignored their pocket obligator software, and didn’t subscribe to any reputation networks) but this is the limit of MUST NOT.

To finally sum up this line of thought along with related ones raised elsewhere: Ignorance, inattention, uncompensated Dunning-Kreugerism, careful avoidance and/or bypassing of the mechanisms designed to cull bunco artists out of civilized society, et al. et seq. will let people determined to screw you, screw you.

Insofar as people think about this particular issue, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

On the grounds that anyone this careless about their talcoríëf is a walking disaster just waiting to happen any way you slice it, and therefore it’s better that it happens to them sooner rather than later, and consequently, on a larger scale and with more other parties involved.

…oh, one last side-note:

After all, full sanction only truly works against those who depend on others to supply their own essentials — and we are talking about a universe where, even if your support staff up and quits on you because you’re under sanction, you could (with enough resources, fabricators, and knowledge base at your disposal) simply replace them outright with self-forks, greenjacks, and non-sophont automatons that you own outright. And even full sanction amounts to little more than a mutual recognition of the status quo when you’re the one who owns the food, the ore stockpiles, the roads, the utilities, etc.

If being placed under sanction makes annoying, dysfunctional people wrap themselves up into a tiny little autarkic bubble where they can basically live off their existing capital so long as it lasts while playing happy-happy games with themselves and not bothering anyone else…

…that is a win for the social enforcement mechanism. You’ve taken your ball and gone home; hope you enjoy playing with yourself; don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

One: Do the eldrae have any sort of concepts analogous to “pay it forward”? Is stipulating that an obligation can be discharged not by direct compensation, but by instead performing the same or an analogous action for a future (and often unspecified) third-party beneficiary, something they recognize as valid? If so, how common (relatively speaking) are exchanges of this sort in the Imperial / Associated Worlds “contractual ecosystem”?

You can contract that, sure. (Under Imperial law. From aspects of various questions, I get the impression that you think that contract and other law across the Worlds is much more harmonized than it actually is: apart from the basics defined in the Accord on Trade which concentrate on letting different systems interface with each other, they can vary quite radically between polities, and thus choice of law is important. Certainly, a lot of entities from outside the Empire like to specify its law as their choice of law regardless, since it manages to be both flexible in definition and rigorous in application where contractual matters are concerned, but it’s by no means equivalent to a galactic standard.)

It’s considered quite useful, as a self-replicating means of having one’s will done, although the wise contractor will include some sort of appropriate termination condition and a smart-contract monitor, inasmuch as for the former, few things remain relevant indefinitely, and for the latter, one should remember that a party undefined at time of contract cannot enforce said open-ended contract, because they aren’t party to it yet.

I have no idea how common they might be; the contractual ecosystem is a seething mass of arbitrarily many arbitrarily defined types of contracts, so that would be nontrivially quantifiable even if I had a basis to quantify it. There are “some”.

Two: On a semi-related note, how common are (for lack of a better way of putting it) self-replicating contracts? Can a contract stipulate specific terms, conditions, and forms that are encouraged or prohibited when subcontracting part of the obligation out, including a recursive replication of the subcontracting restrictions clause itself? (To keep it short and sweet, can a contract essentially say “All subsidiary contracts made in pursuit of the terms of this contract must be devised according to the same format and with similar stipulations as this one”?)

Sure. That’s basically standard form for things like, say, non-disclosure clauses which you wish to bind not only your contractee but whoever they might contract with in the course of execution also. (Naturally, the more you bind the means, the less appealing your contract is to potential counterparties, but that’s a negotiated-reasonability issue that’s easy for reasonable sophs to work out between themselves.)

I also feel that I may save some time here by stating outright that the default answer to questions of the form “Can a contract…/…as valid?” is Yes for essentially anything that doesn’t directly contravene the Contract (or, by virtue of previous contract, the Charter). Exceptions to this are very rare indeed.

When it comes to saying things that need to be said but that you know the listener isn’t going to want to be hear, is it better to be polite or to be frank — inasmuch as there may be situations where adherence to the formal protocols of politeness may obscure the (real or perceived) urgency of your message?

Be polite. This is for two reasons:

First, the notion that you can’t be polite and frank/urgent at the same time is one of those products of having a tragically inadequate language, that doesn’t have evidentials and attitudinals and other features designed to convey exactly this sort of information.

Second, while not strictly true in a logical sense, it is heuristically true that rudeness is strongly correlated with poor argumentation and outright dark-side epistemology, and as such it is generally accepted throughout the Core Cultural Region that it is rarely worth listening to anyone who cannot comport themselves with appropriate propriety.

Which is not to say that you cannot be cutting, snarky, or indeed Sophisticated As Hell, as well as simply purveying unwanted truths, but the sophisticated part is not optional.

Does Imperial law have anything analogous to our “Son of Sam” laws?

No, principally because there’s never been a need. People who would otherwise be in a position to make money from publicizing their crime are generally either (a) too dead to do so, or (b) not prone to do so because they’ve been through meme rehab. Either way, it’s not been a significant issue.

The eldrae’s perspective on causes of action related to fraud and physical coercion have been expounded on at length, but what about mental and emotional coercion? Does Imperial law have anything analogous to “negligent” and/or “intentional infliction of emotional distress”?

No, for two reasons. The first is that what they might see as legitimate applications of our tort by that name are already covered. To use a couple of examples from Wikipedia’s article, there is “The common law tort of assault did not allow for liability when a threat of battery was not imminent,” a defect which the Imperial law’s tort of assault does not suffer from on at least two different grounds; and “An example of an act which might form the basis for a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress would be sending a letter to an individual falsely informing the person that a close family member had been killed in an accident,” something which there is illegal under the tort of falsification of information, and possibly a species of fraud. Other things might fall under, say, defamation, anharmonic indecency, etc., etc.

Those things that aren’t – i.e., don’t have an actual tortuous act at their core – well, they’re fluff. You don’t have a right not to be outraged, and you certainly don’t have a legal remedy for anything that isn’t unquestionably mala in se, not just mala in percipi.

A pair of somewhat related questions pertaining to the eldrae and their Blue and Orange Morality:

One: What would the eldrae think of the “seven deadly sins” and the corresponding “heavenly virtues” if they were introduced to them? Much has been said directly about their takes on pride and greed, and there’s plenty of indirect evidence for their probable takes on lust and sloth, but I’d be interested to see an in-depth treatment.

(I’m also curious as to whether they might actually see certain “opposed” virtue-vice pairs as actually being complementary, not conflicting.)

Well, let’s see. (And in short, obviously, because there would obviously *there* be a lot of written thought about such things, not all in agreement and suitable to ready summarization in a single in-depth blog post.)

First, it is perhaps worth listing the Nine Excellences, which are the closest equivalent to the virtues, although not all that close. These are: Unity (or self-integrity, perhaps); Honor (including within its scope the minor virtues of justice, truth, and clemency); Duty (including the minor virtues of liberality and tenacity); Courage; Harmony (including the minor virtues of beauty, courtesy, refinement, and the appreciation of excellence); Right Action; Liberty; and Dignity (including the minor virtues of pride, propriety, and temperance). There is no equivalent list for the vices; the Antithetical Heresies are manifold, inasmuch as there are always many more ways to be wrong than to be right, and in any case, are mere defects in the virtues. (As we’ve covered previously theologically speaking, evil, or Entropy, rather, has no essence of its own; it’s merely a distortion of a thing’s true essence.)

Second, it’s also worth mentioning a key philosophical note as expounded here: the empowering balance of passion and reason, talcoríëf and valxíjir, and the ideal encapsulated within, that of dispassionately and cold-mindedly choosing a course of action, and then carrying forth that action with absolute passion.

That done, let’s examine the sins in pairs with the virtues, as is often done:

Gluttony and Temperance: Now, temperance is also among the Nine Excellences, but with not quite the same meaning. After all, as the Word of Cinníäs puts it, “Lack is the greatest intemperance.” Ain’t nothing wrong with pleasure: eat, drink, be merry; sate yourself with all the world’s delights. These are the proper rewards of prosperity earned.

Temperance, if you ask the Prince of Wine, is defined as avoiding harming yourself or others (don’t be a mean drunk!), becoming a slave to addiction, or losing the proper joy in your pleasures. Abstemiousness for its own sake or for the sake of some notional “moderation” is pointless.

Greed and Charity: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge, has marked the upward surge of [sophontkind].”

– inevitable quotation at this point

Because, well, obviously. Greed and its handmaiden ambition are the spurs from which greatness and achievement in general come. Were it not for greed, desire, and ambition, people would still be living in caves and shitting in the woods. The Empire, great and glorious beyond all greatness and glory, didn’t achieve its current exalted state by modest means through modest ends – it achieved it by the starkly rapacious pursuit of awesomeness.

Or, to put it as one of the more colorful books addressing the topic might:

“What do you get if you disdain greed an’ ambition? Bunch of jackasses sitting around on their planet flippin’ each other off, writin’ smug little tracts about the naturalness of mortality and the moral superiority of poverty, wastin’ perfectly good extropy while the future passes them by. Their home biospheres must be so embarrassed to give rise to such perfect, unadulterated wankers.”

– Fíërí Lariantinos,
author of Fuck Me, Would You Look At These Assholes?
(approximate translation)

Now, sure, greed may inspire some people to wrong actions various, but that’s not greed’s fault, now is it? There is pretty much no notion in the world that can’t inspire wrong actions if misunderstood, and people who turn to theft and fraud and suchlike are not wrong for being greedy, they’re doing greed wrong.

So far as the charity side of things is concerned? Imperials do not approve of charity in the traditional theological sense, inasmuch as that sense implies self-sacrifice (not a popular notion; you can buy things with yourself in their praxis, but it’s an unfortunate and unavoidable necessity to be avoided whenever possible, not a virtue!) and other aspects of Comtean altruism. And, indeed, the nearest local equivalent of the Parable of the Widow’s Mite ends with the lesson that it is unwise to give away that which you need to take care of yourself, and that the eikones do not expect it of you.

On the other hand, you will note liberality listed among the virtues of the Nine Excellences, and indeed, liberality, generosity, and open-handedness are very much considered laudable. On the gripping hand, they are also considered to form very much the complementary pair with greed, since one’s capacity to be generous depends very much on one’s capacity to generate. They are two virtues, therefore, best practiced in conjunction.


tl;dr Rarity is best moral exemplar.

Lust and Chastity: Yay, lust! (See gluttony for pleasure and greed for desire, basically.)

Well, okay. Imperials are also very keen on some aspects of chastity. Discretion, which is the excellences of Dignity and Harmony. Honesty in relationships, as elsewhere. Commitment. The bounds of one’s obligations.

But within the bounds of obligation, commitment, and discretion, it’d be a sad and sorry thing if there weren’t some lust, now wouldn’t it? This is one of those talcoríëf-valxíjir each-in-its-place scenarios.

Sloth and Diligence: Sloth is spiritual Entropy, period. Often, specifically, the Antithetical Heresy of the Deedless Cripple. That’s a terrible, terrible sin indeed.

As far as diligence goes, though, they would say that that doesn’t go far enough. Diligence is merely doing what one ought do. By contrast, the excellence of Right Action implies not only that one should do what one ought do, but one should also strive to do more. Being content to only do what one ought do is itself a minor kind of, well, slothfulness.

Wrath and Patience: The only sinfulness of wrath, an Imperial would say, is that if you haven’t had your neurochemistry properly adjusted, wrath makes you stupid. Typically in ways that cause one to strike the wrong target, cause collateral damage, wander off into evil areas like torturing your enemies to death or harming innocents to hurt them indirectly, and/or get your damnfool self killed.

But once you have cold-mindedly ensured that you have the right target and have done the proper strategic and tactical planning, then go ahead and strike down upon those who attempt to poison and destroy your brothers with great vengeance and furious anger, and other colorful metaphors. It is… appropriate. Empowering one for such unpleasant necessities is what wrath is for.

As for patience: this depends on the aspects involved. They are very keen on those aspects such as “Building a sense of peaceful stability and harmony rather than conflict, hostility, and antagonism; resolving issues and arguments respectfully, as opposed to resorting to anger and fighting,” where possible, as you can see from the Excellences. That’s just good positive-sum sense as well as virtue.

On the other hand, it’s not an absolute virtue. As they’d point out with regard to us specifically, he who turns the other cheek has to put up with a lot of… cheek, and one of our more common tragedy-of-the-commons social failure modes is the way that a lot of bullshit persists because no-one’s willing to call the perpetrators on it.

They also notably prefer the virtue of clemency over that of forgiveness/mercy, because indiscriminate mercy tends to leave a lot of enemies at your back, sharpening knives. Clemency is more discriminating. Also, and they are very clear on this, that means you get a second chance. Key word: a. You do not get an arbitrary series of nth chances, because just as nice is not cognate with weak, kind is not cognate with stupid.

Envy and Kindness: Not a whole lot to say here. They are against envy and pro kindness.

(They would go so far as to say that they’re a lot better at spotting envy, given how much our society reeks of it and even promotes it as virtue under another name, but that’s what one might call an implementation detail.)

Pride and Humility: Ah, yes, pride. Pride is a virtue, on the one hand, because self-awareness is a virtue, and pride is self-awareness of your own awesome. It is a virtue on the other hand, symmetrically, because it creates the ideal version of yourself that you are compelled by it to live up to. Mirror and goad in one.

Hubris, though, is not a virtue, being a way to lie to yourself and to others – but, one should note, it’s never hubris if you can back it up. (Nor is arrogance, per the excellences of Harmony and Dignity, although steering away from unconscious arrogance is a hard, hard task.)

But humility is not a virtue for the precise same reason. It amounts to telling yourself that you aren’t as good as you are – which is also lying to yourself and to others. (And if even you’re accurately humble, it amounts to a claim of “I’m afraid I kinda suck”, to which the universal response of your annoyed colleagues *there* is “Well, stop it!“)

(ObSophontology: This may play better for species with hierarchical instincts where a lack of humility in subordinates may be perceived as a threat to the position of the leader. In eldrae, the reaction is more likely to be that a lack of pride in colleagues may be perceived as a gap in the competence of the group.)

Two: Much has been said about how eldraeic morality looks distinctly alien from human eyes, and how ours would accordingly look deficient in theirs — but is there such a thing as “taking it too far” on the opposite end of the pendulum swing? How would the eldrae criticize those whose particular deviation is not (metaphorically) a famine, but rather a surfeit?

Not deficient. Different, yes, and often plain wrong, but that’s as often because of too much as too little. See temperance above, for example, or the moral weight that many human moral systems place on purity or authority.

As such, that critique is likely to be along the lines of:

“Some vices miss what is right because they are deficient, others because they are excessive, in feelings or in actions, while virtue finds and chooses the mean.”

(That was Aristotle in “Nicomachean Ethics”, but it would fit just as well in the mouth of any dozen Imperial ethical philosophers.)

(And on a related note, what’s the typical reaction to those from criticized cultures whose reaction is to take the criticism to heart in such a way that they end up becoming “more eldrae than the eldrae” (in the sense of perhaps-superficial aping of behavior without apparent understanding of the underpinning psychology)?)

“They understand. They do not comprehend.”

(I mean, technically that’s the Heresy of the Thoughtless Churl, but, to steal another quote, “The very young do not always do as they are told.” In this case, it’s childish zeal. They’ll grow up in time and with a good example.)

What is the general attitude towards the idea of the “Socratic gadfly” or the “Devil’s advocate” — those people who advance arguments for controversial and unpopular views and measures less to seriously advocate their implementation, and more to encourage interesting discussion and / or get people to seriously think about why they are committed to the things they believe and espouse?

Annoying, but useful.

(Useful enough that people have devised Socratic questioning-daemons to run on your personal mindware, mark you, but still. Even the Intellectual Integrity Movement can only impress people with Socrates’ utility and get them to respect and listen to him; they can’t make him loved.)

So does the Imperial legal system lean more towards adversarial or inquisitorial procedure?

On the one hand, you’ve mentioned before that every citizen is expected to be able to argue their own case on their own behalf, which may imply an adversarial element. On the other hand, the whole notion that legal judgments should always be based on clearly enumerated principles in a comprehensive legal code as opposed to having the judiciary effectively legislate through case law precedent is very much a civil law idea, and most civil-law judiciaries tend to favor inquisitorial procedure.

This is a case where drawing too-close analogies to Earthly practice is likely to lead one into error, especially as the two concepts are only bound together by historical accident.

To address the latter point first, bear in mind that the comprehensive legal code exists for one reason: namely, you can’t reasonably expect people to follow the law if they don’t know what it is, and that means that there has to be somewhere they can go and look it up.

But the original Imperial Codex of Law was written as a codification of the very-much common law-like codes originally generated during the Ungoverned Era. And more relevantly, while it can be added to by legislation, it is also added to by binding precedent in the traditional case law manner. But, since the ability for people to check what the law is is still necessary, and there’s a limit to how big a precedent search you can expect a layman to perform, every dodecentury a commission goes through the last 144 years worth of case law and transmogrifies it into statute law, such that the Codex remains definitive – and then new precedent starts building up again, and the process repeats.

Which on the whole may be closer to the common-law model, but ain’t exactly it.

As for the former, it hews closer to the inquisitorial model. The justices of a Curial court are empowered to investigate anything they please, and do so once the case has been presented. There is typically an Advocate for Innocence and an Advocate for Guilt, who concentrate on the case from that particular perspective, but both are first and foremost officers of the court, whose primary oath-sworn goal is to find the truth, and never to win the case for my client, as is the case for any other contracted advocates, for that matter. (Forgetting this is a very quick way to end up out of the bar and into the dock.)

So you can think of it as a common-law system with a mostly-inquisitorial procedure for short, but that’s not an entirely accurate picture.

Given the prevalence of space dwellers, sustainable closed habitats, sophisticated in situ resource harvesting techniques, and the quasi-magical Clarkean matter-energy cornucopias underpinning it all, are there any particularly notable groups that effectively make the on-the-go, take-your-home-with-you approach into their way of life? Are there any especially notable large-scale nomadic or itinerant movements, whether in the old sense of communities like the gypsy caravans or Central Asian steppe hordes, or the subculture-sense like the “RV lifestyle” or the traveling hippies whose home is their beat-up VW bus?

There are nomadic space travelers in canon, yes, including some entire species.

Speaking specifically for the eldrae, there are the Traveling Houses, who have embraced the on-the-go lifestyle since the Bronze Age-equivalent with various tech and scale updates as they go, and some of the Variosotec maintain their plains-dwelling nomadic heritage into the modern era, along with some other cultures…

…and that’s all I’m going to say about that for now, because I may/will want to do something with them in the future, and so am not going to spill the details in advance. 🙂

You know, after doing some thinking, it strikes me that, at times, there’s an awful fine line between qalasir and “pernicious irrationality” — fine enough to make me wonder if any outsiders have ever accused the Empire of practicing some form of doublethink by alternately exalting as a fundamental virtue and condemning as a fundamental vice the same thing under two different names.

And, if so, what the Empire’s philosophers and moralists response would look like.

“Category error.”

…approximately. I mean, that’s getting your supergoal drives and your volition dynamics all mixed up with your cognitive methodologies. Comparing whats, muches, and hows. You don’t want to do that. Nothing but confusion will ensure.

(Although there is a slight asymmetry inasmuch as while reason can’t tell you what to want, it can tell you what not to want. And yet.)

This may also be further illuminated by contemplation of the empowering paradox of passion and reason, as discussed above.

A few queries on language:

1. What is the Eldraeic language’s name for itself and its speakers?

The people are elen eldra informally, or el eldaratha more formally. (Which, as is traditional, means “the People”, or literally, “the thinking ones”.) The language, therefore, is el traeldra laranlír (“eldrae-type-of language”, where laranlír ‘s roots could be glossed “song-of-words”.)

2. Is there a central regulating body / “language academy” that mandates proper language use (whether formally or informally), or is the situation more like English where there’s simply a broad consensus with lots of room for variation? (Or, given the free-wheeling “emergent order” attitude the eldrae take to nearly everything else, is is sort of a mix of both?)

A mix of both.

The version published by the Keepers of the Language, themselves part of the Conclave of Linguistics and Ontology, in turn part of the Eupraxic Collegium, is definitive. Of course, since they also train professional logotects, eonymics, and sphragists, it’s also innovative.

This doesn’t prevent unofficial linguistic innovation, of course, but at least it generally keeps it to innovation, and holds the line on meaning-degrading changes and other forms of linguistic entropy. Since, yes, emerging order and the professionals can’t predict all the innovation that is required, the Keepers include several departments whose function is to harvest unofficial linguistic innovations and roll them back into the next release of the canonical language.

3. Are there any particularly strong examples of fixed expressions or collocations in Eldraeic?


(Not really equipped right now to pull some out randomly, but I know there are several seen in various back postings here.)

4. You’ve mentioned elsewhere that the language has a diverse array of honorifics. Are there any particularly common (or otherwise good-to-know, such as when addressing Their Divine Majesties or the local runer) ones beyond daryteir?

Leaving aside titles, a non-native speaker without special requirements probably should be prepared with respectful-address, to-a-professional-in-their-context, to-an-[Excellence|Exquisite|Perfect|Paragon], to-an-[exultant|praetor|runér], from-one-who-demands-by-right, from-one-who-acknowledges-fault, and to-one-whom-one-does-not-know.

If invited to anything out of the ordinary, ask the symposiarch. That’s what they’re there for.

5. Given the heavy focus on logic in constructing the language, how tolerant is Eldraeic of paraconsistent logic? (For that matter, how comfortable are Imperials and the eldrae themselves with paraconsistent logic in the general case?)

The language supports it as another tool in the auxiliary set.

(It’s only a tool, mind. It’s a way of handling lack-of-knowledge problems, since reality itself cannot be inconsistent, only incomplete.

And the general view of things is that multi-valued logics, especially probabilistic and specifically Bayes-descended logics have proven themselves a superior way of dealing with these problems, but there’s no particular objection to it. Unless you assert that it actually reflects reality, at least.)

On the subject of the Equality Concord, we know that they make heavy use of mind-state manipulation and memory redaction. But what level of self-awareness do the members have? Are there any members who are completely non-self-aware?

All the equalitarians are fully sophont. It wouldn’t be nearly as creepifying if it was just one of those bizarre p-zombie cults that crop up from time to time.


“Everyone” is a Dangerous Word

Be informed that the firm of Kanzian, Servessil, and Vagaster is currently seeking applicants for inclusion in the proposed coadunate action elen daryteir v. Tobry Horanuk. Horanuk, a citizen of the Shirethi Guilds currently domiciled in Mer Dinévál, Seranth, in an interview broadcast on the Living Seranth channel’s Hammer and Anvil, attempted to defend the current suit for breach of marital contract in which he is engaged by alleging, of acts of infidelity, that “Everyone does it. I’m no worse than anyone else.”

It is the opinion of Kanzian, Servessil, and Vagaster that this statement is defamatory of daryteir in general, under the precedent of elen daryteir v. Caryad Aid, and should the threshold for commencement be reached, we intend to pursue appropriate remedies including public disavowal of the statement, full compensation for reputational damage, and appropriate punitive fines for willful propagation of falsehood.

The threshold for commencement in this coadunate action is set at one million sophonts. Those who consider themselves defamed or defrauded by Horanuk’s remarks are invited to contact Advocate Imril Septimus Vagaster at Kanzian, Servessil, and Vagaster’s Seranthine office to register their participation in the action.

– posted to the public litigation memeweave, Seranth (Imperial Core)


The Imperial Charter: Section Thirteen

…continued from parts ten, eleven, and twelve.


(Note: this entire section was added by the Eleventh Amendment, passed in 0000 as a response to the steady increase in the power available to individuals, which (with reference to incidents in the few years immediately preceding it) greatly increased the potential harm that an irrational individual could cause if unchecked and undetected, and with reference also to the code of behavior (based on the Eupraxia) coded into the structure of AI operating systems, the eleventh amendment imposed the requirement of a similar eupraxic code on all sophonts within the Empire, and established a body to define it, implement testing for it, and in other ways to care for the avoidance of pernicious irrationality and the promotion of rational thought.  — ed.)

Article I: Charter of the Eupraxic Collegium

Inasmuch as essential prerequisites to the liberties of the citizen-shareholders of the Empire and the prosperity and good order of our civilization are the rational choices of its citizen-shareholders;

And inasmuch as developments in technology have placed greater and greater energies into the hands of the individual sophont; and further, have enabled new technologies of mental editing, desire control, and personality analysis to be developed and used;

And inasmuch as these developments pose a great threat to the liberties, prosperity and good order aforementioned, when wielded by minds unstable or irrational;

We hereby charter and establish the Eupraxic Collegium, for the purpose of monitoring and assuring the rationality and good mental health of the citizen-shareholders of the Empire.

Article II: Purposes of the Eupraxic Collegium

To fulfill the purposes for which it is chartered, the Eupraxic Collegium shall be granted the following powers:

  • To define, maintain, and update standards of rationality, of stability under stress, and a eupraxic code, which shall henceforth be adhered to by all citizen-shareholders of the Empire;
  • To routinely audit and certify the mind of every citizen-shareholder of the Empire, on a regular basis, as executing within such standards of rationality, and as stable under such levels of stress; and to offer such higher levels of certification on the basis of rationality as shall also be defined;
  • To, when under audit the mind of a citizen-shareholder of the Empire shall be found not to execute within such standards of rationality or stability, take such corrective action as shall be necessary to restore said mind to a rational and stable state;
  • To investigate cases and trends of cacopraxia which do not themselves qualify as pernicious irrationalism, and to take such measures as are permissible within the rights outlined in this Charter to advise and guide against them;
  • To produce, maintain, publish and promulgate an ontology and set of social and economic protocols capable of fulfilling the purposes of sophont interaction and the recording of knowledge, while acting to propagate rational thought free from bias and irrational axiom;
  • To research further advancements in the science of clionomy; and to produce projections, extrapolations, and computations therefrom;
  • And to investigate cases of self-reproducing thought-code; toxic memes; and other infectious information capable of propagating irrationality, and to take such action as is necessary to prevent their free propagation.

Article III: Governance of the Eupraxic Collegium

To achieve the above purposes, The Eupraxic Collegium shall be governed by a council of twelve officers, the Clarifiers of the Collegium, each of whom shall be appointed by the Imperial Couple with the advice and consent of the Senate, and who shall be passed at the highest degree of rationality by the previously existing procedures of the Collegium before their appointment, and who shall be Aspects of the Eldraeic Transcend.

Each Clarifier of the Collegium shall be audited no less often than once in each week to the strictest degree of scrutiny practiced by the Collegium; and should such examination reveal any deviation from the highest degree of rationality, the Clarifier shall be suspended from office until such deviation is corrected.

(The boldface in the article above is another addition by the Twelfth Amendment. — ed.)

Article IV: Rationality of Collegium Officers

Each and every officer of the Eupraxic Collegium shall be audited at such intervals and to such degree of scrutiny as the Clarifiers of the Collegium shall find appropriate for the office to which they have been appointed; and should such examination reveal any deviation below the appointed degree of rationality for that office, the officer shall be suspended from office until such deviation is corrected.

Article V: Responsibility of the Citizen Mentality

Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of permitting the officers of the Eupraxic Collegium, duly appointed to audit the minds of citizen-shareholders, to access their static and dynamic mind-state for the sole purpose of auditing its structure and algorithm to assess the rationality and stability thereof.

Such static mind-states, having been audited, shall be erased forthwith; and an officer of the Eupraxic Collegium, having audited a mind-state, shall redact and erase from their memory all information gained from their study of that mindstate not germane to the assessment of its rationality and stability, specifically including all memory information; and each audited citizen-shareholder of the Empire shall have the right to examine the records confirming that this has been done.


Given under our hands and seals this day, 17th of the Fourth Cycle of Selene, 1,828th Year of the Calendar of Rhoës;






…and we’re done!

The Imperial Charter: Sections Ten, Eleven, and Twelve

…continued from parts eight and nine.


Article I: On Currency

The Empire shall establish a single unit of exchange to use in commerce between the nations of the Empire and with those beyond its borders, and this shall become the base for the coin, currency and values minted by the nations of the Empire, which shall have with it an absolute relation. The Empire shall have the responsibility and the power to protect and control the value of this currency.

A nation of the Empire shall not coin money outside the bounds of this unified system of exchange, nor shall make anything except for currencies of this system legal tender for the payment of debts.

Article II: On the Imperial Revenue

The government of the Empire, and the governments of its constituent nations, to such extent as voluntary contributions and infrastructure usage fees do not suffice, shall be funded by an annual fee in direct proportion to incomes earned, or from whatever other source derived, by citizen-shareholders of the Empire and coadunations chartered therein, levied by an instrumentality of the Imperial Service created for that purpose, and by its citizen-shareholders paid, save that coadunation income passed through to their members shall not be again counted.

Under no circumstances shall this fee exceed a fifth part of the gross income of each citizen-shareholder or coadunation upon whom it is levied.

Article III: On Imperial Disbursements

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the Empire, but in consequence of appropriations enacted by the Senate; and the accounts of the Treasury, with a full accounting of receipts and expenditures, shall be available for the public use.

After the first fiscal year of the Empire, the total outlays of the Imperial government for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for the previous fiscal year, unless:

  • such outlays shall exceed receipts by an amount which is covered in its entirety by funds reserved within the treasury, and such outlays are authorized by the hand of the Imperial Couple;
  • or such outlays shall exceed receipts by an amount which would require the sale of Imperial bonds, or other borrowing on the credit of the Empire, and such outlays are authorized by a substantive vote of the Imperial Senate, and by no other means.

Prior to each fiscal year, the Imperial Couple shall propose to the Senate a proposed budget for the Imperial government for that fiscal year, in which total outlays do not exceed total receipts, save as authorized by the above rule.

Article IV: On Disbursements to Constituent Nations

In the first fiscal year of the Empire, the government of the Empire shall retain one-third of the revenues collected for its own use, and the remaining two-thirds of the revenues collected shall be available to the constituent nations of the Empire to draw upon; and each constituent nation of the Empire shall be permitted to draw upon a portion of this two-thirds in due proportion to its population.

In subsequent fiscal years, the budget proposed to the Senate shall set the portion of the revenues collected which the Exchequer shall reserve; and this budget shall also set the formula determining the availability of funds to each demesne of the Empire as it shall see fit, providing only that the formula shall be applied equally to all.

Notwithstanding the above, the Imperial Couple or the Senate may, by special decree, make extraordinary funds available to any demesne of the Empire for such purposes as it shall designate.

Article V: On the Reserve Fund

The Exchequer shall maintain a Reserve Fund against variability in Imperial revenues, by appropriating revenue in excess of disbursements; and increases in budgeted disbursements, both to the Imperial government and to the nations of the Empire, shall only be permitted inasmuch as they are covered threefold by the money available in the Reserve Fund; and the Empire may enter into no contract permitting future increases of disbursements that does not acknowledge this constraint.

Article VI: On Imperial Debt

The base limit on the aggregate debt of the Empire held by the public is hereby set at one million Cestian brights, or their equivalent in the Imperial currency, once established, or a fifth part of the national income, whichever is greater;

And this limit shall not be increased, unless the Senate shall provide by law for such an increase by a substantive vote, and by no other means;

And having been increased, in each following fiscal year the limit on the debt of the Empire shall decrease by such amount of the debt as is repaid, until the current limit shall return to the base limit. The repayment of such extraordinary debt, over a set term not to exceed one hundred and forty four years, shall have priority over all other appropriations and disbursements of the Imperial government.

Article VII: Borrowing by Constituent Nations

Constituent nations of the Empire shall not borrow funds from any source except the Exchequer; and such borrowing from the Exchequer shall require the permission of the Senate.


Article I: Imperial Military Service

For the purpose of defending the territories and the citizens of the Empire, its governance shall maintain a standing military force sufficient to defend each and every territory occupied by citizen-shareholders of the Empire, and, where necessary, to intervene abroad for their defense.

Article II: Organization and Command

The military forces of the Empire shall be organized as part of the Imperial Service, and the Imperial Couple shall command all military forces of the Empire, although this command shall be delegated to the runér in the case of units in garrison; but the first loyalty of all military units shall always be to the Empire.

Article III: Citizen Militia

Additionally, as the common defense is a duty of every citizen-shareholder, the governance of the Empire shall provide militia training to any citizen volunteers who request it, and maintain a stockpile of military weaponry for their use in the event of invasion, insurrection, or subversion.


Article I: Transparency

In order to promote good governance, and to ensure the fulfillment of the responsibilities to the citizen-shareholders of the Empire implicit in the coronargyr that is the basis of the right and authority to govern, the governments of the Empire and its constituent nations shall conduct their work as openly as possible (In the modern era, this has been interpreted to permit the distributed auditing of the governments of the Empire and its constituent nations by all Imperial citizen-shareholders. — ed.).

Article II: Citizen Access

To fulfill this promise of transparency, any citizen-shareholder of the Empire, and any legal coadunation within the Empire, shall have the right of access to the documentation and archives of the government of the Empire; except for those which, for the public safety, must remain held in confidence, or which relate to public order operations currently in progress.

…continued in part thirteen and final.


The Imperial Charter: Sections Eight and Nine

…continued from part seven.


Article I: Functions of the Runér

Each demesne of the Empire shall be governed by a duly appointed runér (Note that since the Empire recognizes multiple forms of government, a runér is not necessarily a singular entity. Letters patent are routinely issued to the offices of diarchies and triumvirs, the occasional ruling council, and even (in rare cases, since most of them manage to appoint a representative for the purposes of the special powers conferred) the occasional Athenian democracy. –ed.), who shall administer the demesne in accordance with their right of coronargyr and the Imperial Mandate held from the Imperial Couple, to achieve the purposes of Imperial government and uphold Imperial law, in accordance with this Charter.

The functions and powers of a runér shall comprise the following:

  • To implement and execute the system of government of their appointed demesne, as defined in its Charter and laws.
  • To supervise the operation of the Imperial Service and command all other Imperial servants and Imperial resources within their appointed demesne.
  • To ensure the enforcement of law within their appointed demesne; to supervise the Curial courts where necessary; and to carry out such formal enquiries as are necessary.
  • To prepare and enact such legislation as is necessary for the proper governance of their appointed demesne, as provided for by its Charter, provided that such neither contradicts the laws of the Empire nor those of a superior demesne.
  • To make such decrees as are necessary to handle circumstances for which no legislation provides.
  • To control the budget of their appointed demesne, to request extraordinary funds and loans when necessary from the Exchequer; and therein to allocate and appropriate funds as necessary for all the functions and operations of its government.
  • To command such armed forces of the Empire as are in garrison within their appointed demesne as necessary for its defense, under the supreme command of the Imperial Couple.

Article II: Assembly

Each demesne of the Empire, of 1,728 citizen-shareholders or more in size, shall select from its citizen-shareholders an assembly, of whichsoever structure and by whichsoever means shall be deemed proper in that place, to offer counsel to and prepare legislation for the runér appointed to that demesne, as the Senate for the Imperial Couple; and with a substantive vote, in accordance with the rules for such applying to the Senate, that assembly shall have the power to veto legislative acts of that runér, where such are carried out on their own authority.

Article III: Fealty

While the first loyalty of all runér shall be to the Empire, as the source and fountainhead of the Imperial Mandate, and the second shall be to the Imperial Couple, by right of coronargyr, fealty and duties beyond these shall be owed by each runér appointed to the superior demesne to that to which they have been appointed; and each runér appointed to a demesne beneath that to which they have been appointed shall owe them this same fealty and duty within the bounds of their loyalty to Empire and Imperial Couple.

Article IV: Praetorate and Exultancy

The Imperial Couple may, to provide due honor and dignities to officials of the Imperial Service, create noble ranks and titles, which shall collectively be known as the Praetorate, and to provide due honor and reward to citizens of the Empire for great merit, create noble ranks and titles, which shall collectively be known as the Exultancy; and those upon whom these titles are bestowed shall possess the right to the precedence, courtesies and honor of their rank, and shall be considered part of the runér darëssef, but shall not possess the Imperial Mandate, nor any of the rights, privileges, or authority to command inherent therein.

Article V: Revocation

The patent and Mandate of a runér, praetor, or exultant may only be revoked by the Curia, upon petition from the Imperial Couple, the Senate, or the assembly of the runér‘s demesne; and the Curia’s own judgment upon the substance of the petition shall be the final determinant.

Article VI: Sacrosanctity

The persons of runér shall be sacrosanct; while they are acting within their right of coronargyr, no authority or forces may be levied against them, save by their superiors, or that their delegated Mandate shall first have been revoked; and having resigned or having been been removed thus from their position, no action in law against them for any action which they shall have undertaken within their Mandated authority shall succeed, save only an action in respect of legislation or action outside the bounds of this Charter.

Article VII: States of Emergency and Martial Law

A runér shall, when a clear and present danger to the public order, the public safety, or the public health shall demand it, have the power to declare a state of emergency for their appointed demesne; and when the normal instrumentalities of government are unable to operate, to place their appointed demesne under martial law; each subject only to vacation by the runér appointed to the superior demesne to that to which they have been appointed, or by the Imperial Couple.

Situations arising during a state of emergency shall not come under judicial jurisdiction until after the emergency has passed; and for such situations as arise during a state of martial law, runér and officers of the Empire shall be responsible, not under civil law, but under military law, for actions performed during said state.

Article VIII: Succession

Inasmuch as the demesnes of the Empire reflect differing forms of government, the succession of each runér shall be set by each demesne in its Charter, as it shall see fit, and the founding nations of the Empire shall retain their existing rules of succession until and unless they shall legislate otherwise; but no runér shall succeed to office without the approval of the Imperial Couple.


Article I: Functions of the Imperial Service

The Empire reserves to itself the power to create as it sees fit instrumentalities to carry out the detailed administration and executive functions of the Empire and enforce the Imperial will. This shall include the power to abolish said ministries as the Empire sees fit. The management of these instrumentalities shall be placed in the hands of Ministers of the Throne, as the office shall require, under the direction of the Imperial Couple, and these instrumentalities shall be known collectively as the Imperial Service.

Article II: Composition of the Imperial Service

The Imperial Service shall be composed of instrumentalities organized in accordance with the areas of executive function of the Imperial government. Each of these instrumentalities shall be headed by a Minister of the Throne, who shall sit upon the Council of the Star and serve at the pleasure of the Imperial Couple. The Imperial Couple may, by legislation, create new instrumentalities of the Imperial Service, and may abolish existing instrumentalities whose existence is not required by this Charter.

At the time of the ratification of this Charter, the Exchequer shall be established as the first instrumentality of the Imperial Service, subject to amendment by acts of the Imperial Couple, and shall carry out all functions of the Imperial Service relating to currency and finance.

Article III: Organization of the Service

For the purpose of performing administrative functions internal to the Imperial Service, including but not limited to appointments, archives, logistics, pay, procurement, promotions, rations, recruitment and technique, the Imperial Service shall maintain its own infrastructure, outside any instrumentality of purpose, and for this purpose, this infrastructure shall be headed by a Secretary-General (This office was de facto combined with the Lord Keeper of the Registry of the Imperial Service early in the reign of Valentia I, and they have remained combined ever since. The title of “Secretary-General of the Imperial Service” is thus effectively extinct. — ed.), who shall serve at the pleasure of the Imperial Couple.

Article IV: Information

Each Minister of the Imperial Service shall provide, upon request and in writing, any information or opinion upon any subject related to their instrumentality which the Imperial Couple shall see fit to request; and each Minister of the Imperial Service being also a liaison between that particular agency and the Senate, shall respond at any time to any questions or other requests for information from the President of the Senate.

Article V: Transfer and Interim

Upon the ratification of this Charter, each of the existing instrumentalities of the Union of Empires, of the Deeping, of Veranthyr, and of the nations of the Silver Crescent shall be transferred in whole to the Imperial Service, and the Imperial Couple shall, by legislation, see to their amalgamation and disposal.

…continued in parts ten, eleven, and twelve.


The Imperial Charter: Section Seven

…continued from part six.


Article I: Functions of the Senate

The functions and powers of the Imperial Senate shall comprise the following:

  • To prepare and present to the Imperial Couple for enacture detailed legislation in any and all areas of authority of the Imperial government, as defined in this Charter; and to amend or repeal such laws thus as are deemed necessary.
  • To prepare and present to the Imperial Couple for enacture such decrees as they deem necessary to handle circumstances for which no legislation provides.
  • To prepare and present to the Imperial Couple for enacture legislation to meet the Empire’s obligations under any treaty which the Senate shall choose to ratify, which shall nonetheless not be effective unless the Imperial Couple shall choose to enact it.
  • To provide to the Imperial Couple such advice and counsel as they shall deem appropriate, or that the Imperial Couple shall request from them.
  • To review, amend, and approve each budget submitted to them by the Imperial Couple, and to return it to them for enacture.
  • To adjudicate, mediate and rule upon disputes, other than disputes at law, between constituent nations of the Empire and demesnes of different nations thereof.
  • To approve the appointment of ambassadors to foreign nations nominated by the Imperial Couple.
  • To approve or repeal those treaties and agreements which governed relations between the Empire’s constituent nations prior to the founding of the Empire, or which governed relations between the Empire and a nation newly admitted to the Empire, and to codify the requirements of such treaties as shall be approved as Imperial statute law.
  • To declare a state of war, except in such cases where the state of war is required by existing Imperial law, or where invasion or imminent danger shall require such a state to be declared before the Senate may meet, in which case the power to do so shall belong to the Imperial Couple.
  • The Senate may, without the Imperial assent, enact rules governing its own behavior, censure its members for unfitting behavior; and with a substantive vote, proscribe its members from sitting.

The Senate may, additionally, discuss any other matter at any time, in order to express the sense of the Senate on a matter via a Senate Proclamation, although it may not legislate upon matters outside its Constitutional authority.

The Senate shall have two powers over the Imperial Couple: they shall have the power to declare the dissolution of the Empire, and they shall have the power to disqualify an Imperial Couple from ascending to the Imperial right and authority. However, these powers shall only be exercised for just and proper cause.

Article II: Composition of the Imperial Senate

The Imperial Senate shall be composed of three Chambers, designated and constructed as follows:

  • The Chamber of Counselors, to represent the highest knowledge and achievement of the Empire;
  • The Chamber of Demesnes, to represent the sovereignties which are joined together in the Empire; and
  • The Chamber of the People, to represent all the people of the Empire, indivisibly.

All those appointed to the Imperial Senate, regardless of Chamber, shall be entitled to the title of Senator.

No Senator shall be less than 27 years of age, and possessed of full legal capacity; shall not have completed a course of education appropriate to a daryteir; or shall have been convicted of any felony, or misdemeanor of moral turpitude; or shall not have been an Imperial citizen-shareholder for nine years, unless made a citizen-shareholder by the ratification of this Charter; or shall have failed to pay an amount in due service fees to the Empire for the six years preceding his appointment.

Article III: The Chamber of Counselors

The Chamber of Counselors shall consist of 72 delegates, nominated and selected on the basis of their personal excellence, as evidenced by unstained honor, peerless wisdom, success in the arts, philosophies, sciences, commerce, or war, or deeds of renown without peer even among the ranks of the exultant.

Senators of the Chamber of Counselors shall serve for terms of twelve years; and one-third of the Chamber shall be reselected in every fourth year. Such delegates may serve indefinitely, should no adequate peer be found to take their place; but after serving their first term, they may decline the honor of further service, if the Imperial Couple shall permit.

Candidates for the Chamber of Counselors shall be nominated by the Imperial Service according to the criteria set forth by this Charter and by such law as shall refine them, to the number of 144, and shall vote amongst themselves, none being permitted to vote for their own selection, until the Chamber of Counselors is complete.

When vacancies occur in the Chamber of Counselors for any reason, the most senior of the remaining candidates nominated at the time of the nomination of the Senator vacating his seat shall be appointed to fill such a vacancy for the remainder of that term.

Article IV: The Chamber of Demesnes

For the purpose of selecting delegates to become Senators in the Chamber of Demesnes, delegates shall be selected from the demesnes of the Empire on the following basis:

  1. Each demesne of the Empire whose citizen-shareholder population is one one-hundred-forty-fourth of the Imperial citizen-shareholder population or greater shall appoint a single delegate to the Chamber of Demesnes;
  2. The demesnes of the Empire whose citizen-shareholder population is less than one one-hundred-forty-fourth shall be grouped into Circles whose total citizen-shareholder populations shall be both:
    1. As close to equal as is practically possible;
    2. And shall not exceed one one-hundred-forty-fourth of the Imperial citizen-shareholder population;
  3. From each Circle, a single demesne shall be selected by random drawing, and that demesne shall appoint a single delegate to the Chamber of Demesnes, and that delegate shall represent all demesnes of that Circle; and the other demesnes of that Circle shall appoint advisors for his counsel.

No Senator of the Chamber of Demesnes shall not be a resident of the demesne, or of one of the demesnes within the Circle, for which he has been appointed.

Senators of the Chamber of Demesnes shall serve for terms of twelve years. Such delegates may serve for twelve successive terms only, unless their reappointment is approved by a two-thirds vote of the Chamber of Demesnes.

When vacancies occur in the Chamber of Demesnes for any reason, the government of the represented demesne shall appoint another to fill such vacancies for the remainder of that term.

Article V: The Chamber of the People

For the purpose of selecting delegates to become Senators in the Chamber of the People, the citizen-shareholders of the Empire shall be divided into 144 1,728 centuries, by random and permanent assignment. A single delegate to the Chamber of the People shall be selected from each century, from among those citizen-shareholders of that century who shall be qualified for such selection; and such selection shall take place at least one month before the first session of the year.

No runér, no magistrate of a Curial court, and no-one in the Imperial Service above executorial rank shall be eligible for the Chamber of the People.

Senators of the Chamber of the People shall serve for six-year terms, and one-third of the Chamber shall be reselected in every second year. One who has served as Senator for a particular century shall be ineligible for selection again until twelve subsequent selections have been made.

When vacancies happen in the representation in the Chamber of the People for any reason, the Imperial Couple shall issue a Writ of Selection to fill such vacancies for the remainder of that term.

(The strikeout/boldface in the above article represents the First Amendment, expanding the Chamber of the People by increasing the number of centuries from 144 to 1,728. This significantly expanded the flexibility of the Senate to represent the different bodies of opinion among the people, as the Empire expanded, at the price of additional administrative overhead. As a historical note, while additional expansions to the Chamber (and, indeed, the Chamber of Demesnes) have often been mooted, the administrative difficulties of supporting meaningful debate between such a larger number has invariably resulted in the defeat of such amendments. )

Article VI: Aisymnetes

In times of interregnum or emergency, where no legitimate Imperial power exists, the Senate may grant through the mechanism of the aisymnetes the Imperial right and authority to another, for a term not to exceed one year. At the time of such appointment, the Senate may prescribe boundaries within which the selected one is obliged to remain. At the end of his term, the actions of the selected one shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Article VII: Appointments

Approval of appointments, both those of ambassadors and diplomatic officers, and those other appointments which legislation may place in their purview, shall require a two-thirds vote of both the Chamber of the People and of the Chamber of Demesnes.

Article VIII: Citizen-Shareholder Veto

Any Senator may invoke a citizen-shareholder veto upon any legislative act currently before by the Senate, and said act is, unless addressing a present emergency or such imminent danger as not to admit of delay, then to be voted on by all of the citizen-shareholders of the Empire before its implementation. A simple majority vote of the citizenry is sufficient to veto the passage of such an act. When such a veto is invoked on an act addressing an emergency or imminent danger, it shall be implemented immediately, but the citizen-shareholder veto shall cause it to be repealed immediately should the vote be successful.

Article IX: Enabling Acts

No law shall be passed routinely exempting the Imperial Couple, the Senate, or Curia, or any other instrumentality of the Imperial government, from any provision of any Imperial law; but recognizing that extraordinary circumstances often demand extraordinary measures, the Senate may authorize, through the mechanism of the Enabling Act, a specified set of extraordinary measures to be undertaken, though they conflict with any Imperial law outside this Charter, and these measures shall be considered lawful.

Article X: Initiatives

Every citizen-shareholder of the Empire has the right to submit a legislative proposal to the Senate by written petition through the public dataweave, and such proposals shall be made available for public vote, and any legislative proposal that receives the support of one twelfth part of the population shall be brought before the Senate and there debated.

(Strikethrough and boldface in the above article are the Second Amendment, passed as part of the on-line governance reforms in the heyday of the first Empire-wide public networks, which replaced the then increasingly archaic written petition procedure for submitting citizen legislative proposals with a mechanism for such to be done electronically. )

Article XI: Legislative Unity

No bill brought before the Senate shall contain legislation touching on more than one subject, except for non-substantive bills for revision or codification of the statute law brought before the Senate by the Curia; or budgetary bills; or bills of appropriation.

Neither budgetary bills nor bills of appropriation shall contain legislative elements, or other matters outside the defined purpose of the bill; nor shall the Senate, within a bill of appropriation, seek to manage the allocation of appropriations beyond the stated purpose of the bill.

Article XII: Magnates

Should any Imperial citizen show great ability and wisdom, it shall be the right of the Imperial Couple or the Senate to nominate him for a seat in the Chamber of Counselors, and this being approved jointly by the Imperial Couple and a two-thirds vote of the full Senate, he shall be granted the right to attend meetings of the Chamber or of the full Senate and there speak, although he shall not have a vote, and the title of Magnate.

Should it prove necessary, such Magnates shall be subject to discipline and censure in the same manner as Senators.

Article XIII: Matters of Substance

On such bills for which this Charter shall require a substantive vote, and on such bills as subsequent legislation or an adopted procedure of the Senate shall require a substantive vote, and on such individual votes for which at least one-sixth of the Senators there voting shall require a substantive vote, the Senate shall require a five-sixths vote to affirm.

A bill or other vote upon which a substantive vote is required in a single Chamber shall require a substantive vote to be taken in every Chamber in which it must be voted upon; and should it have failed to achieve a substantive vote in a previous Chamber before the requirement was known, it must be returned to that Chamber, there to achieve one, before it may pass.

Article XIV: President of the Senate

At the beginning of each year’s fixed session of the Senate, the Senate as a whole shall elect from itself, by a two-thirds majority, the President of the Senate, who shall be empowered to summon the Senate into special session, to oversee the Senate’s deliberations, to appoint and to command such other officers of the Senate as it shall deem necessary to its functions, to ensure that the Senate’s Chartered duties are carried out, and to represent the Senate to the Imperial Couple, the Curia, and the people of the Empire. The President of the Senate shall hold his office until the beginning of the next year’s fixed session.

The President of the Senate may be removed at any time by a vote of no confidence in his leadership, which shall require a two-thirds majority of the Senate as a whole.

Article XV: Procedures

Any legislative measure, or other bill, save a bill for repeal, may be introduced in either the Chamber of the People or the Chamber of Demesnes, and shall become effective when passed by a two-thirds vote of both the Chamber of the People and the Chamber of Demesnes, except in those cases where a substantive vote is specified in this Charter, or by subsequent legislation or an adopted procedure of the Senate, or is called for by one-sixth of the Senators there voting.

Should a legislative measure, or other bill, fail to achieve a two-thirds vote, or substantive vote, in both Chambers, it shall be referred to the Chamber of Counselors for decision, and a two-thirds vote, or substantive vote, shall make it effective. The Senate may not, however, require less than a two-thirds vote of both Chambers to enact new legislation.

The Chamber of Counselors may initiate any legislative measure, or other bill, including a bill for repeal, by simple majority vote, which shall then be submitted to the other two Chambers for enacture.

As an advisory body, the Chamber of Counselors may introduce an opinion or motion on any measure pending before either of the other two Chambers; and either of the other Chambers may request the opinion of the Chamber of Counselors before acting upon a measure.

Each Chamber of the Senate shall adopt its own detailed rules of procedure, which shall be consistent with the procedural rules set forth in this Charter.

Article XVI: Repeal

A bill for repeal may be introduced in either the Chamber of the People or the Chamber of Demesnes, and shall become effective when passed by a one-third vote of both the Chamber of the People and the Chamber of Demesnes, except in those cases where a substantive vote is specified in this Charter, or by subsequent legislation or an adopted procedure of the Senate, or is called for by one-sixth of the Senators there voting, in which case it shall be effective when passed by a one-half vote of both the Chamber of the People and the Chamber of Demesnes.

Should a bill for repeal fail to achieve a one-third vote, or substantive vote, in both Chambers, it shall be referred to the Chamber of Counselors for decision, and a one-third vote, or substantive vote, shall make it effective. The Senate may not, however, require less than, or more than, a one-third vote of both Chambers to repeal legislation.

Article XVII: Quorum

The Senate may not convene with fewer than two-thirds of the total number of members; and shall take no substantive decisions, under any circumstances, with less than five-sixths of its total number of members present.

Article XVIII: Sacrosanctity

No Senator shall be subject to arrest, save for treason or other felony, in going to, or returning from, the Senate’s place of meeting, or during the continuance of the session, nor shall they then be subject to service of writs; their persons shall be sacrosanct at these times.

Senators shall not be liable for any of their votes, written submissions, or statements given in debate within the Senate, nor shall any such vote or statement give rise to any action in law, save only an action in respect of legislation outside the bounds of this Charter.

Article XIX: Sessions

The Senate shall assemble in full session at least once in every year, and such session shall begin at noon on the day of the spring equinox, unless they shall by law appoint a different day; and all sessions shall be held at the seat of government, unless a declared state of emergency prevents this.

After the Senate shall have adjourned, it may be called back into session by proclamation of the Imperial Couple, or by the President of the Senate, having received a petition signed by at least one-sixth of the Senators of each Chamber; and having been called back into session, shall not then adjourn again until it has given consideration to the specific matter for which it was summoned.

Article XX: Transparency

The Senate shall keep a journal of all its proceedings, in which the full debate verbatim and the vote upon every question shall be entered, and upon the end of each week’s session shall publish the same, excepting such parts as must, for the public safety, require secrecy.

Any Senator may make written protest against any act or resolution of the Senate, and the same shall be entered in the journal without delay or alteration.

…continued in parts eight and nine.


The Imperial Charter: Section Six

…continued from part five.


Article I: Functions of the Curia

The functions and powers of the Curia shall comprise the following:

  • To hold itself, and vest lesser Curial courts with, the judiciary and mediary right and authority over all cases brought by or against citizen-shareholders, subjects, or coadunations of the Empire, or within Imperial territory, or within Imperial control in lands without sovereignty, or in time of war; and to act as a court of final appeal for all such cases;
  • To adjudicate, mediate and rule upon disputes at law between constituent nations of the Empire and demesnes of different nations thereof.
  • To regularly review the body of Imperial statute law to determine whether any particular law or decision has become obsolete or defective in serving the purposes intended; and to make recommendations to the Senate accordingly for repeal, amendment or replacement.
  • To regularly review the body of Imperial case law to draw up recommended translations of precedent into statute law; and to make recommendations to the Senate accordingly for amendment or replacement.
  • To give opinions and rulings upon request upon any legal question arising under Imperial law.
  • To constitute such Courts as shall be necessary for the administration of justice and mediation throughout the Empire; and to regulate their operation.

Article II: Jurisdiction

The Curia shall have original jurisdiction over legal cases arising between nations of the Empire, legal cases taking place outside national jurisdictions, to which the Empire or a nation of the Empire is a party, or any litigation based on events occurring in territory under the control of the Empire, but not incorporated into any nation of the Empire.

The Curia shall further have mandatory and overriding jurisdiction in all cases arising under this Charter, and appellate jurisdiction over all cases under the Charters of the nations of the Empire.

The Curia shall constitute a court of highest appeal, and its decisions shall be binding on all parties involved in all cases, actions and litigation brought before it. Advisory opinions on any issue within its jurisdictions may be requested by the Imperial Couple, the Senate, or any interested party.

Article III: Charter Review

The Curia shall be informed of all Acts of the Senate and Edicts of the Imperial Couple, and shall review them for consistency with this Charter; and any Act or Edict found inconsistent therewith shall be, in its entirety, null and void.

Article IV: Composition of the Curia

The judiciary authority of the Curia shall be vested in a panel of five Ephors, of equal seniority; the first of whom shall be appointed by the Imperial Couple upon their ascending the Throne, and subsequently who shall select themselves three successors to any Ephor who resigns or is removed from his position, and these names shall be submitted to the Imperial Couple for final determination. and the Ephors shall be dedicated law-bound artificial intelligences vested with the complete predicate form of this Charter and the statute law of the Empire, and this form of the law shall be definitive and binding.

An Ephor of the Curia shall have at least seventy-two years of judicial experience in the courts of the Empire or its nations; and shall not have been convicted of any felony, or misdemeanor of moral turpitude.

(The strikeouts and boldface in this article reflect the Tenth Amendment, “Cyberjudiciary”, passed after the development and many successful implementations of dedicated savant AIs. This amendment replaced the previous Ephors of the Curia with dedicated law-bound artificial intelligences, thus guaranteeing the impartial application of law at the highest level. This, thus, initiated the age of cyberjudiciary. Over time following the passage of the amendment, the judges of the lesser Curial courts were likewise replaced. The passage of this amendment additionally marks the translation of the Charter into the predicate-logic form used by such judicial machines.)

Article V: Lesser Courts

The Curia shall create, subsume, amend and organize as it shall see fit such lesser courts throughout the Empire as shall be necessary for the proper execution of the judiciary and mediary functions, and for every citizen-shareholder of the Empire to have full recourse to law, and shall vest these Curial courts with such judicial and mediary right and authority as it shall deem necessary; and the Ephors of the Curia shall appoint and remove judges to these lesser Curial courts as they shall see fit.

Article VI: Censorship

The Curia shall have the power and authority to examine and investigate the members of the Senate, upon probable cause, for felonies; for misdemeanors of moral turpitude; and for undeclared conflicts of private interests with the fiduciary obligations of government; and to censure such Senators and proscribe them from sitting.

Article VII: Impeachment

An Ephor of the Curia may be removed for cause, by the process of impeachment, which, to be placed in process by the Senate, shall require a substantive vote of each Chamber; such shall place the case for impeachment before the Imperial Couple for their decision, upon which the impeachment shall take effect or be voided.

Article VIII: Legal Proceedings

The Curia and all Curial courts shall hold equitable and impartial trials, and within a reasonable time; and these trials shall be released to the public eye upon their completion, except on such occasions and to the least extent that the public safety shall demand secrecy.

Article IX: Public Library of Law

The Curia shall maintain a library containing the entire codified statute law of the Empire, and such precedents as are not yet part of the statute law; and shall provide for such instrumentalities as are necessary for every citizen-shareholder of the Empire to have access to this library, in order that they may have full knowledge of their rights, responsibilities, and obligations under the law.

Article X: Sacrosanctity

No Ephor of the Curia shall be subject to arrest, save for treason or other felony, in going to, or returning from, the Curia’s place of meeting, or whilst the Curia is in session, or is called to session, nor shall they then be subject to service of writs; their persons shall be sacrosanct at these times.

The Ephors shall not be liable for any judgment made, or statements given in debate within the Curia, nor shall any such judgment or statement give rise to any action in law, save only an action in respect of judgment violating the bounds of this Charter.

…continued in part seven.

The Imperial Charter: Section Five

…continued from part four. Probably worth noting that this section obviously interacts heavily with the following two sections, Six being the Curia and Seven the Senate, so if any questions you may have concern how the various branches interact, you may well find the answer there.


Article I: Functions of the Imperial Couple

The right of coronargyr over the entire Empire, and consequently the full Imperial Mandate, shall be vested in an Emperor and Empress both, who together shall maintain the title and powers until their death, or until they shall see fit to resign the Throne. Never shall one rule alone.

The functions and powers of the Imperial Couple shall comprise the following:

  • To implement and execute the system of government of the Empire as defined in this Charter, and in the codified system of statute law.
  • To prepare and enact detailed legislation in any and all areas of authority of the Imperial government, as defined in this Charter; and to amend or repeal such laws as are deemed necessary.
  • To review, and then enact, amend, repeal, veto, or return, with their comments, for further consideration such legislation as the Senate considers appropriate to submit for their enacture.
  • To make such decrees as they deem necessary to handle circumstances for which no legislation provides.
  • To convene special sessions of the Senate as they deem necessary.
  • To address at any time any of the Chambers of the Senate or the entire Senate assembled (One common use of this right is the “position speeches” which many Imperial Couples make, especially early in their reigns, outlining their positions and intentions on various issues; but while these are often made, they are not required. — ed.), and for this purpose require the presence of the Senators; and to send messages to any Chamber of the Senate, whether with respect to a measure then before the Senate or otherwise, and a Chamber to which any message is so sent shall, with all dispatch, consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration.
  • To supervise the Imperial Household and the instrumentalities thereof.
  • To supervise the Imperial Service, and all of the ministries thereof; and to create, alter, and abolish such ministries and instrumentalities of the Imperial Service as may be needed for the best functioning of the government, in accordance with the specific provisions of this Charter.
  • To nominate, select, and remove the ministers of the Imperial Service in accordance with the provisions of this Charter, and as specified in measures enacted in the codified system of statute law.
  • To prepare and submit annually to the Senate a comprehensive budget for the Empire, and therein to appropriate and allocate funds for all the functions and operations of the Imperial government.
  • To instruct the Curia to carry out formal enquiries.
  • With the advice and consent of the Senate, to accredit ambassadors and other diplomatic officers to foreign polities; and to receive those representatives of foreign polities appointed to the Empire.
  • To exercise the supreme command of the Empire’s instrumentalities of warfare and security.

But the Imperial Couple shall not have the power to dissolve the Senate or any Chamber thereof; nor to prevent the Curia from deciding issues of Charter law as it shall see fit; nor to act in defiance of the Charter law as decided by the Curia.

Article II: Chartered Limitation

The Imperial Couple shall not at any time alter, suspend, abridge or infringe any provision of this Charter by any edict, executive order, or device of executive privilege.

Article III: Council of the Star

The Imperial Couple shall be advised by the Council of the Star, consisting of the Imperial Shadow (A position not explained in further depth in the Charter, but rather left to the traditions of Cestian, Silver Crescent, and Veranthyran nobility, in which a royal or noble “shadow” was the noble in question’s most trusted adviser, executive, and second-in-command, with special privileges to challenge the noble’s thoughts and decisions, and if necessary, act as a check on their actions. Thus, the “Imperial Shadow” is a second couple who occupy this position in re the Imperial Couple. — ed.), the senior officer of the Imperial Household, the Ministers of the Throne of the Imperial Service, and those others whom they shall see fit to appoint, providing that the number of those appointed shall not exceed the number of the Ministers of the Throne.

Article IV: Fons Honorum

The Imperial Couple, as fons honorum, have sole power to grant letters patent and letters of enfeoffment; to grant and bestow orders of special privilege for the Empire; and to present Imperial honors.

Article V: Executive Privilege

The Imperial Couple may alter, suspend, or abridge any legislation enacted by the Empire under the authority of this Charter by decree for a period no longer than one month, for the protection of the state. Before this period elapses, the decree must be brought before the Senate, and there confirmed or vacated. If the Imperial Couple fails to bring the decree before the Senate within one month, it is automatically vacated.

Article VI: Impeachment

The Imperial Couple may be removed for cause, by the process of impeachment, which, to be placed in process by the Senate, shall require a substantive vote of each Chamber; such shall place the case for impeachment before the Curia for their final ruling, upon which the impeachment shall take effect or be voided.

When an Imperial Couple is removed by impeachment, the Senate shall examine the chosen and acknowledged Heirs, and if it shall find them satisfactory, and if they shall have been passed at the highest degree of rationality by the Eupraxic Collegium, the succession shall be allowed; and if it shall not, the Senate shall designate the next recipient of the Imperial right and authority, under the same conditions as the choice of a formally acknowledged Heir.

(Boldface is the Eleventh Amendment, again. — ed.)

Article VII: Legislative Veto

When the Imperial Couple enact, amend, or repeal legislation on their own authority, the Senate shall have the right, by a substantive vote, to veto such legislation and thereby prevent its enacture.

Article VIII: Annual Statement

The Imperial Couple shall, on the date each year on which the legislative session begins, present to the Senate and to the citizen-shareholders of the Empire a full and complete statement of the affairs of the Empire over the preceding year, and an accounting of its current state (Most also take the opportunity to outline the policies they intend to pursue for the coming year. — ed.).

Article IX: Sacrosanctity

The persons of the Imperial Couple shall be sacrosanct and inviolable; while they are invested with coronargyr, no authority or force may be levied against them, save that they shall first have been removed from the Throne; and having resigned or been removed from the Throne, no action in law against them for any action which they shall have undertaken within the Imperial right and authority (This means “as a legitimate part of their administration”, not “any action taken while they were on the Throne”. — ed.) shall succeed, save only an action in respect of legislation or action outside the bounds of this Charter.

Article X: Succession and Incapacitation

Upon the death or permanent incapacity of one of the Imperial Couple, or their abdication of the Imperial throne, the right and authority shall pass to the heirs chosen from among the Imperial family, provided that the chosen Couple shall have been publicly acknowledged as the rightful Heirs, provided that they shall have been passed at the highest degree of rationality by the Eupraxic Collegium, provided that they shall be Aspects of the Eldraeic Transcend, and providing that there are no extraordinary conditions which would render the Heirs unfit to maintain the Empire. Until the Heirs shall ascend the throne, the survivor of the former Imperial Couple shall act as Regent; if such does not exist, the former Imperial Shadow shall act as Regent for this time.

If the Imperial Couple dies having provided no heirs either by blood or by adoption, or if no Heirs are found fit to maintain the Empire, the Senate shall have the power to designate the next recipient of the Imperial right and authority, by a substantive vote, and an aisymnetes shall act as Regent until this can be decided; until the aisymnetes can be appointed, the President of the Senate shall act as Regent. Should the Senate find it necessary to exercise this, the one designated as aisymnetes shall be an Imperial-born citizen-shareholder of the Empire, passed at the highest degree of rationality by the Eupraxic Collegium, and an Aspect of the Eldraeic Transcend.

Upon the temporary incapacity of the Imperial Couple, and such incapacity has been communicated in writing to the President of the Senate by either the Imperial Couple themselves, or by the Imperial Shadow and a majority of the Council of the Star, the Imperial Shadow shall act as Regent, until the incapacity is removed, and this is likewise communicated in writing; and the Senate may and shall provide by law for the simultaneous incapacity of both the Imperial Couple and the Imperial Shadow.

(Boldface above is from the Eleventh and Twelfth Amendments, of which more later.)

…continued in part six.

The Imperial Charter: Section Four

…continued from part three.


Article I: On Sovereignty

This Charter guarantees the local sovereignty of nations of the Empire underneath the overall sovereignty of the Empire. No interference with local law or custom is contemplated, except where such local law or custom is in conflict with Imperial law (This is, in essence, a supremacy clause, because all constituent nation law in conflict with Imperial law is overridden. Presumptively, all constituent nation laws in areas not reserved to the Empire are valid and will be recognized and respected by the Empire. –ed.). Each nation of the Empire shall be free to determine its internal form of governance as it chooses, consistent with the guarantees, protections, and requirements of this Charter.

The nations of the Empire are sovereign and equal beneath the Empire; no preference shall be given by the Empire to any, or the citizens of any, above and beyond that accorded all, or the citizens of all. No nation of the Empire shall be divided, united, or altered in territory or constituency by the governance of the Empire without the permission of the governance of all nations of the Empire involved.

The Empire reserves to itself the power to create as it sees fit governmental demesnes superior to the constituent nations but subordinate to the Empire. This shall include the power to abolish such demesnes as the Empire sees fit, but no constituent nation may be thus abolished; nor shall any constituent nation be reduced in jurisdiction without the consent of its governance.

Article II: Full Faith and Credit

Full faith and credit shall be given in each nation of the Empire to the Acts, decrees, edicts, writs, records and judicial proceedings of every other nation of the Empire; and the Curia shall, when necessary, act to mediate the means in which and by which such credit shall be given.

Article III: Charter

Each constituent nation of the Empire shall maintain a Charter, in which shall be set out its domain, citizenship, structure, and form of government, and which shall be agreed with the Empire at the time of its admission to the Empire; and such Charter shall be binding upon both the nation and the Empire, and shall not be modified without the consent of both the nation’s governance and the Senate.

Article IV: Dispute Resolution

The government of the Empire shall provide appropriate means for the negotiation and resolution of such disputes, other than matters at law, as may occur between the nations of the Empire; and the Senate shall act as the final arbitrator of any such disputes, and its decision shall be final. In matters at law, such disputes shall be within the jurisdiction of the Curia.

Article V: External Relations

No nation of the Empire shall of its own authority enter into any treaty, alliance, compact, agreement or other relationship with a nation outside the Empire; nor shall any nation of the Empire of its own authority engage in war with any foreign power, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

No nation of the Empire shall of its own authority (It has been established, however, that with the consent of the Senate local member nations can appoint non-diplomatic representatives for such purposes as participating in postal unions, local trade organizations, and other sub-Imperial functions. — ed.) appoint ambassadors or other diplomatic officers accredited to any nation outside the Empire, nor to any organization of nations including any nation outside the Empire.

Article VI: Legal Priority

The law of each nation of the Empire shall be binding upon all inferior demesnes of government contained therein; and each nation of the Empire shall be bound by the law of all superior demesnes of government which contain it, and may not make law in contradiction to it.

Article VII: On Trade

The Empire shall support free trade among its constituent nations. No nation of the Empire shall engage in piracy or smuggling (A couple of notes here: in this case, the Charter is talking about constituent nations engaging in piracy or smuggling against each other, or the general Imperial trade; not against third parties, although piracy is universally illegal. But one should also note that the word translated here as smuggling refers, in the original Eldraeic, to the import or export of mala in se contraband, not evading customs duties and excises… although, of course, any relation between this linguistic quirk and the truly remarkable number of “blockade runner” starships in the hands of civilians hanging out at seedy free trader bars is purely coincidental. As is the regularity with which complaints on this topic come up at the Conclave of Galactic Polities whenever it has nothing better to do. –ed.), nor allow its territory to be used for piracy or smuggling, nor shall it issue letters of marque and reprisal (And here it’s worth noting that constituent nations shall not issue letters of marque. The Empire as a whole may issue all the letters of marque it pleases. And does. — ed.), or other permission for ships operating within its territory to engage in piracy or smuggling.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles given or received in trade between the constituent nations of the Empire; nor any special excise laid on the products of any constituent nation. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one nation of the Empire over those of another; nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one nation, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another (In the modern day, however, starships entering Imperial territory may be required to clear at the port of entry; since such ports of entry are federal Imperial territory, however, rather than territory of any constituent nation, this does not constitute a violation of this clause. — ed.).

Article VIII: On Standards

The Empire shall establish uniform standards for weights and measures, for the calendar, and for such other areas as it may be necessary, by which standards all Imperial business shall be conducted, and by which trade between its constituent nations shall and must be able to be conducted.

Article IX: Admission and Annexation

Any nation may, through a duly recognized representative, proclaim allegiance to the Empire, and with the approval of the Senate, such nation shall become a constituent nation of the Empire, equal in status to all other nations of the Empire. Such nations shall govern themselves as they see proper, provided that such government does not violate the law of the Empire.

When the Empire shall come into possession, through lawful conquest, of the territory and citizenry of another polity, it shall at first be held under military rule respecting the Fundamental Rights, until such time as the Empire shall see fit to release it or dispose of it to an ally, or until such time as it attains stable self-government under the Empire, at which time it shall and must be admitted to the Empire as a nation equal in status to all others.

Article X: Unincorporated Territory

Those areas of the territory of the Empire which are not under the jurisdiction of a constituent nation at the time of the founding of the Empire (Principally former “international waters”. — ed.), or which are declared to be Unincorporated Territory subsequent the establishment of the Empire, shall be designated as an Unincorporated Territory; and this Unincorporated Territory shall be governed by a Viceroy appointed by the Imperial Couple, with the concurrence of the Senate.

Imperial citizen-shareholders dwelling within any Unincorporated Territory shall have the right to decide, by plebiscite, to become a self-governing nation within the Empire (Readers will note that there is absolutely no lower bound on size listed here. — ed.), either singly or in combination with other Unincorporated Territories, or to unite, with the concurrence of its governance, with an existing constituent nation of the Empire.

…continued in part five, when we start getting into the practicalities of government organization for a few sections.


The Imperial Charter: Section Three

Continued from part two.


Article I: On Imperial Shares

The Empire, as a corporation sovereign, shall issue a number of shares of citizen stock equivalent to the number of Imperial citizens. Such shares shall be nontransferable, and issued to each citizen-shareholder of the Empire at the point of their becoming so, and shall confer the rights of citizenship with ownership. Such stock shall be purchased by the new citizen at the current floating market price, and shall be repurchased by the Empire from their estate upon the citizen’s death, or from the citizen directly should they renounce their citizenship on some future date.

The Empire shall maintain a register of all citizen-shareholders, this register to be maintained at the seat of government and to be open to the examination of any citizen-shareholder at any time; and each citizen-shareholder shall be provided with a certificate indicating their status and ownership of citizen stock.

Such surplus income as the Empire shall derive from sources other than service fees, once all disbursements and the requirements of the Reserve Fund shall be met, shall be distributed to the citizen-shareholders of the Empire as a dividend, allocated in due and strict proportion.

Article II: On Citizenship

The Empire shall consider as an Imperial citizen-shareholder any sophont who shall both have assumed allegiance to the Empire, in front of the Imperial Couple, the Senate, or any other body appointed for such purpose by the Imperial Couple, or any therein wielding authority by right of coronargyr and the Imperial Mandate, such assumption of allegiance to consist of placing their seal upon a copy of this Charter to signify their acceptance of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen enumerated herein, and of purchasing, or having purchased on their behalf, a single share in the incorporate Empire at the current floating market price; or

Any sophont native to or naturalized by a nation of the Empire at the time of the ratification of this Charter;

Provided that they shall possess, upon audit, the minimal standard of rationality and mental stability prescribed by the Eupraxic Collegium.

(The above boldface section was added by the Eleventh Amendment, of which more later.)

Neither one born within the territory of the Empire, nor one born of an Imperial citizen-shareholder after the time of the ratification of this Charter, shall become a citizen-shareholder through any means save that of assuming allegiance to the Empire, as provided for by this article.

No sophont shall be permitted to become a citizen-shareholder of the Empire who cannot demonstrate an understanding of this Charter and of the Imperial language (This is specifically held to include any form of the Eldraeic language, such that citizenship is possible without regard to physical substrate, and therefore capacity to speak or understand specific Eldraeic linguaforms — ed.); or who is not willing to live in accordance with the principles, rights, and responsibilities described therein.

The Senate, or its duly appointed delegate, shall have the right to withhold citizenship from any sophont who wishes to assume allegiance to the Empire for:

  • Fraud or misrepresentation in their assumption of allegiance or in their prior relationship with the Empire, Imperial citizen-shareholders, or Imperial coadunations;
  • Criminality by Imperial legal standards, or widely accepted dyspraxic defect;
  • Imperial security concerns;
  • Philosophical incompatibility or other unassimilability;

Although no sophont born within the territories of the Empire, nor any sophont born of or created by an Imperial citizen-shareholder, shall be denied citizenship upon attaining their majority or on later application, without public disclosure of the reasons for this denial and the right to appeal this denial to the Curial courts; nor shall any citizen-shareholder be deprived of their citizenship without due process of law.

(The above boldface was added by the Fifth Amendment, “Rights of Genesis”, on which more below.)

Article III: Fundamental Rights of the Sophont

This Charter acknowledges that any just and honorable government must and shall be built on the ancient and sacred inalienable rights of all sophont beings, and thus declares that the Empire shall hold as its fundamental law the Four Fundamental Rights of the Fundamental Contract:

The Empire shall respect and enforce the inalienable Right of Domain for every sophont within its domain: that their property and domicile shall not be appropriated, traded, moved, altered, used or destroyed without their informed consent; such property to include each sophont’s body, work, and services.

The Empire shall respect and enforce the inalienable Right of Defense for every sophont within its domain: that they may violate the Right of Domain of another sophont in defense of their own Right of Domain.

The Empire shall respect and enforce the inalienable Right of Common Defense for every sophont within its domain: that they may exercise the Right of Defense on behalf of another sophont, with their permission (In some cases, such as domestic violence, Stockholm syndrome, or insanity, case law holds that an individual may be temporarily psychologically incapable of granting permissions which would have been granted by an uncoerced and/or rational version of that individual. — ed.), or if they have reasonable grounds to believe that it would be granted were they able to do so.

The Empire shall respect and enforce the inalienable Right of Fair Contract for every sophont within its domain: that they may transfer present or future property rights or services to another sophont, on a temporary, partial, permanent or provisional basis, provided both come to a mutual agreement without fraud or duress.

No citizen-shareholder, constituent nation, or instrumentality of the government of the Empire shall violate the Four Fundamental Rights of any sophont, unless in the due process of law prosecuting a violation of the Four Fundamental Rights by said sophont.

In assuming allegiance to the Empire, all citizen-shareholders of the Empire shall be held as having consented and contracted to undertake the responsibilities of the citizen-shareholder outlined in Section III, Article V of this Charter.

Article IV: Imperial Rights of the Citizen-Shareholder

The Empire guarantees the following inalienable civic rights to all Imperial citizen-shareholders, over and above the fundamental rights of all sophonts.

Right of Person and Property: In recognizing the sacred and fundamental Right of Domain, the responsibilities of the citizen notwithstanding, all Imperial citizen-shareholders shall retain the inviolability of their minds, persons, homes, data, correspondence, and honor, save in accordance with strict process of justice, upon probable cause and within specific bounds, or for the immediate public safety. And since property is an inviolable and sacred right, no one shall be deprived thereof except where public necessity (This has the very specific meaning and implication of both usage by the governance, Imperial or local, for a public purpose, and one which cannot be reasonably carried out in another way. For example, the governance cannot use this power to obtain land for a public building, since they could purchase land for this purpose and the location of such is fungible. However, they can use it to obtain land to construct a road — one of the long-distance Interstate-type not managed by local odocorps — since they require a specific route it would be impractical to obtain otherwise. In actual practice, most Imperial constituent governances endeavor to reserve land from terra nullius suitable for anticipated future needs. — ed.), legally determined, shall clearly demand it, and then only on condition that the owner shall have been previously and equitably indemnified; when the immediate preservation of the public safety and order shall demand it; or by due process of law as punishment for a crime.

There shall be neither chattel slavery nor any other form of involuntary servitude in the Empire.

Right of Knowledge: Access to information shall not be abridged by the Empire, or by any instrumentality thereof, save to the least extent required for the public safety; nor shall the freedom of research and inquiry; nor shall the freedom of speech, nor that of the press, save when such information or speech constitutes, in whole or in part, infectious or self-executing code; nor shall the right of the people peaceably to assemble be abridged, subject to the availability of free public volume in which to assemble, and the capacity of the local environment to sustain life.

(The first piece of boldface there is the Eighth Amendment, passed after advances in memetics had permitted “viral ideas” to be constructed which affected the brain in such a manner as to effectively (if temporarily, usually) constitute brainwashing; and technology coming into existence permitted self-executing code to be inserted into the brain to run autonomously and override individual will; such mechanisms that control rather than inform the brain posed risks which required this minor redefinition of the freedom of speech.

The second one is the Third Amendment, which expanded on the existing “public volume” principle that you had to leave enough volume available for other people to go about their business in peace, i.e., not cause obstruction, to cover life-support system capacity, after the first incident of people holding a sufficiently large and poorly-planned assembly in space as to result in cases of severe oxygen deprivation.)

Right of Arms: In recognizing the sacred and fundamental Right of Defense, all Imperial citizen-shareholders shall retain the right to bear such personal arms (The strict Eldraeic meaning of “personal arms” here implies those weapons which can be reasonably used by a single man in personal combat; firearms, for example, even rather large ones, are generally covered, while war mechanicals (requiring a crew) and instruments of regrettable necessity (used in large-scale combat) are not, even though the ownership of the vast majority of these has never been restricted by Imperial statute law. — ed.) as they deem their honor and the public safety to require; nor shall the exercise of this right be abridged on account of any crisis or state of emergency, howsoever existing or declared.

Right of Association: All citizen-shareholders of the Empire shall have the right to form and eschew associations with their fellows as they shall see fit; and they shall also have the right to form, join, withdraw from, and disband such coadunations (The term “coadunation”, in Imperial parlance, implies any organized group with legal personality. Not necessarily implying a business organization, such as a corporation; any organized body with legal personality is considered a coadunation. — ed.) as they shall see fit; nor shall anyone be compelled to become or remain a member of such a coadunation; and this right of association shall only be restricted by law on the grounds of protecting the public safety, the public order, or the public health.

Such coadunations, as associations of citizen-shareholders, shall have legal personality; and shall be guaranteed rights and be bound by responsibilities equal and equivalent to those guaranteed to and binding the citizen-shareholders constituting them, without exception.

Right of Trade: In recognizing the sacred and fundamental Right of Fair Contract, all Imperial citizen-shareholders shall retain the right to work within their trade or profession, to own, buy, and sell goods and capital, to enter freely into binding contracts, and to otherwise transact business within the Empire, without let or hindrance; and no law shall be made impairing the obligation of contracts, or restricting the freedom of trade.

Rights of Petition and Appeal: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire shall have the right to petition the runér in whose fief a matter, having direct negative impact upon them, falls for redress of grievances; to, should they fail to relieve such grievances, appeal further to that runér‘s superior; and finally, to appeal for redress to the Imperial Couple.

Right of Voyage: An Imperial citizen-shareholder shall have the right to travel freely between and take up residence within the Empire’s constituent nations, except where impeded by due process of law for the public safety or public health; to leave the Empire; and having left the Empire, to return to it, except where prohibited by previous due process of law completed before the date of their departure.

Rights of Justice: The Empire shall recognize these rights of an Imperial citizen-shareholder accused of a crime:

  • To be released on the word of a runér;
  • To seek such release by writ;
  • To challenge the prosecution before trial (i.e., at arraignment — ed.) to show that the prosecution is motivated by evidence linking the citizen-shareholder to the crime (Which is to say, is not politically motivated, or intended for the purposes of reputation gaming, or some such — ed.) ;
  • To a trial before a tribunal of judges of the Curial courts, of legal capacity to examine all relevant evidence (i.e., no trial may be held in which any evidence is considered classified to a level that prevents the court from examining it. Any such prosecution must either be withdrawn, or the trial moved to a court which can examine said evidence, even if that means the Curia, and no Curial court may reject a motion for change of venue on these grounds. — ed.);
  • To examine the indictment and the evidence against him before trial;
  • To summon witnesses on his behalf;
  • To engage an advocate and investigators;
  • To make any statement of explanation or exculpation; and
  • To accuse others.

For the protection of the citizen-shareholders against the unjust application of law, the privileges of the prerogative writs shall never be suspended; nor shall any ex post facto law be passed; nor bill of attainder, bill of pains and penalties, or lettre de cachet be used; nor conviction work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

And all citizen-shareholders of the Empire shall and must have full recourse to the courts of justice and mediation both for remedy.

Right of Self-Mutagenesis: The Empire shall respect the right of each and every sophont of self-ownership insofar as, but not limited to, each citizen-shareholder’s inalienable right to modify their physical substrate as they shall see fit, through genetic or cybernetic technologies or through any other means, including the right to transfer their mind-state to such replacement physical substrates as they shall see fit.

While the Empire shall respect the Right of Self-Mutagenesis with respect to germline genetic modifications or other modifications which may affect the subsequent creation of other sophonts, the Right of Self-Mutagenesis shall not be held to supersede lawful restrictions upon reproduction imposed for the public health, or for the benefit of the incipient sophont.

(The entire right of self-mutagenesis was introduced in the Fourth Amendment, to preemptively clarify and guarantee what was, in any case, a right to self-alteration implicit in the right of Domain.

The boldface portion, however, was added by the Fifth Amendment, “Rights of Genesis”, of which more details are given below.)

Right of Gnosis: The Empire shall respect the right of each and every sophont of self-ownership insofar as, but not limited to, each citizen-shareholder’s inalienable right to modify their mind-state as they shall see fit, through noumenal pharmacy, psychedesign, noetic modification, or through any other means, provided only that such modifications do not constitute pernicious irrationality threatening the public order, the public safety, or the public health.

(Similar to the above, the right of gnosis was introduced by the Ninth Amendment for essentially the same reasons as the Fourth Amendment. One may also see here the beginnings of the rules against pernicious irrationality, which reached their full extent with the Eleventh Amendment.)

Right of Assistance: Inasmuch as the Eldraeic Transcend exists coextensively with the Empire, the Transcend guarantees to all Imperial citizen-shareholders, whether currently Aspects of the Transcend or not, the assistance and advice on demand of a Transcendent coadjutor.

(The right of assistance was introduced by the Twelfth Amendment, as part of the general process of recognizing that the Transcend had become effectively coextensive, for the most part, with the Empire.

A coadjutor, in the Transcendent sense, is a dedicated AI subroutine devoted to the best interests of its assignee. In short, it’s the weakly-godlike-superintelligence version of a guardian angel.)

Article V: Responsibilities of the Citizen-Shareholder

To permit the fulfillment of the purposes of the Empire, as laid down in this Charter, all citizen-shareholders of the Empire agree and contract, by virtue of their citizenship, to fulfill the responsibilities here laid down.

Responsibility of Law: It shall be the duty of each citizen-shareholder of the Empire to abide by this Charter and respect its ideals and institutions; to follow the law of the Empire in such matters as this Charter shall provide for the existence of such law; and to uphold the sovereignty and unity of the Empire.

Responsibility of Support: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of paying such service fees as this Charter permits and as the Exchequer shall deem necessary, within the bounds laid down in this Charter, for the maintenance of the Imperial governance and the fulfillment of its purposes herein defined.

Responsibility of Common Defense: Inasmuch as the Empire guarantees to its citizen-shareholders the right to, and the means for, the common defense, each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of participating in the common defense (This clause should not be interpreted as establishing a military draft; the citizen militia is a necessarily unorganized (due to the prohibition on forced labor) body which exists solely for defense, and cannot be deployed as an instrumentality of offensive or preemptive warfare. — ed.); to defend other citizen-shareholders when and wheresoever it may be necessary; as part of the citizen militia and severally from it to defend the Empire, and its people wholly or severally, when they are threatened, whether by ill deed or cataclysm of nature; and to value and preserve the rich heritage of our ancestors and our cultures both common and disparate.

Responsibility of Eminent Domain: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the necessity of transferring specific and enumerated items of property to the government of the Empire or that of a constituent nation when it shall exercise the power of eminent domain as set forth in and restricted by this Charter, provided that public necessity, legally determined, shall clearly demand it, and when they shall have been previously and equitably indemnified (Equitable indemnification, in Imperial terms, generally means 108/96ths of the current open market price, plus reasonable relocation expenses where necessary.).

Responsibility of Sortition: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of service, when selected, either in the Senate or in such local assemblies as the demesnes in which they are domiciled shall require, for the sound governance of the Empire; and to vote when called upon in plebiscites.

Responsibility of Self-Development: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of participating in the civilization, culture, prosperity, and progress of the Empire, and of educating and advancing themselves so far as shall be necessary to participate therein.

The existence of this responsibility shall not establish any governmental privilege to define the meaning of, or the terms upon which one may engage in, such participation, nor to deprive any citizen-shareholder of their citizenship for failure to meet such standards.

Article VI: Nonrestriction

The enumeration of these certain rights and responsibilities in this Charter shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the citizen-shareholders of the Empire.

Article VII: Equal Protection

All citizen-shareholders of the Empire are entitled to the equal protection and obligation of the law of the Empire, and the laws of its constituent nations. No right, immunity, protection or privilege granted by the Empire, or by any nation of the Empire, to an Imperial citizen-shareholder, may be abridged or denied by any nation of the Empire; nor shall any nation of the Empire deprive any citizen-shareholder of liberty, domain or property without due process of law; nor deny to any citizen-shareholder the equal protection of the law.

Article VIII: Non-Imposition

No citizen-shareholder of the Empire shall be required to maintain any record beyond proof of citizenship and shareholding for the convenience of the Imperial administration; nor shall the Empire impose uncompensated costs, mandates, or restrictions upon citizen-shareholders, unless public necessity, legally determined, shall clearly demand it, and when they shall have been previously and equitably indemnified, under the principle of eminent domain.

Article IX: Exclusivity

Forasmuch as sovereign allegiance cannot be divided, the citizenship of the Empire is singular and exclusive. No person who voluntarily assumes allegiance to any other polity or other entity outside the Empire shall continue to be an Imperial citizen-shareholder from the time of such assumption, their citizen stock escheating to the Exchequer at that time; and should this alien allegiance be assumed without prior renunciation of their Imperial citizenship, they shall be subject to such penalties as the government of the Empire shall see fit to specify.

Article X: Renunciation

An Imperial citizen-shareholder may renounce citizenship in the Empire by formal renunciation, before the runér appointed for their domicile, or before an ambassador or other duly designated representative of the Empire in foreign lands; and in doing so selling their citizen stock back to the Empire, for which they will be compensated at the current floating market price; and having done so, they shall not again be permitted to assume allegiance to the Empire without the permission of the Senate.

Article XI: Felonies

Any citizen-shareholder, upon conviction of a crime by a Curial court in due process of law, and when that crime has been deemed to be a felony by the Empire’s statute law, shall no longer be considered a citizen-shareholder of the Empire, and shall no longer possess the rights, privileges, honors, and responsibilities appertaining thereto from the time of their conviction; and their citizen stock shall escheat to the Exchequer at that time, without compensation.

Article XII: Majority

The children of Imperial citizen-shareholders, who are deemed incapable of attaining Imperial citizenship by reason of incapacity, shall retain the Imperial rights by courtesy in the same manner as a resident non-citizen, save that their exercise of these rights, along with their exercise of the fundamental Right of Fair Contract, may be restricted by their guardians for their own best interests; and these restrictions shall persist until they shall fulfill such conditions for majority as are set down by law, or until a Curial court or executive decree shall grant them exception.

Article XIII: Resident and Transient Non-Citizens

Those who come to be domiciled within the Empire after the ratification of this Charter, both those who are born or created within the Empire and who are recognized as having the legal capacity to attain Imperial citizenship, and yet do not do so;

(The above boldface was also added by the Fifth Amendment, of which more below.)

And also those who enter the Empire for the purposes of visitation, or while in transit, and do not possess Imperial citizenship;

And also those who relinquish or forfeit Imperial citizenship, and retain domicile;

Shall retain the rights afforded Imperial citizen-shareholders by courtesy, save that their exercise of these rights may be restricted by the government of the Empire as it shall see fit, for the maintenance of public order and public safety; and save also that such resident and transient non-citizens may be expelled from Imperial territory by due process of law, or in time of war or civil emergency by decree, provided that they are provided with the opportunity to assume Imperial allegiance at that time.

Article XIV: Imperial Rights of Genesis

Inasmuch as its (The original Eldraeic used the “unknown” gender here, which English translation does not permit. — ed.) creation affects the incipient sophont as much as those responsible; and inasmuch as such incipient sophonts are often incompetent to manage their own affairs and defend their own rights;

And inasmuch as the Empire recognizes that no sophont should exist as an instrumentality for another;

Each citizen of the Empire is amenable to and accepts that the creation of another individual sophont, whether by inherent reproduction, biological cloning, logos iteration, duplication of mind-state vector, neogenetics, or any other means, and the development and education of that sophont to the point of independent legal competence, may be restricted by the Empire, either for the public health, or acting for that of the potential incipient.

(This entire article was added by the Fifth Amendment, which  granted the Imperial governance the right to regulate reproduction where matters of public health were concerned, originally to deal with genetic disease.

Later, the powers granted by the fifth amendment were also used to regulate unfit parents, unfit circumstances, self-duplication, and autohegemonization.)

…continued in part four.


The Imperial Charter: Section Two

…continued from part one.


Article I: Definition

The Empire shall be a corporation sovereign, endowed with delegated sovereign authority over a polyarchy of locally sovereign nations, governed by a constitutionally limited diarchy, a Senate of representatives from the constituent nations and selected from among the citizen-shareholders directly, and judicially supreme and independent Curia; and the Eupraxic Collegium shall be appointed thereunto to provide for and ensure the rationality of the citizens.

(The boldface section is, again, part of the Eleventh Amendment, which will be dealt with in due course — ed.)

Article II: On the Instrumentalities of Imperial Governance

There shall be established as the principal instrumentalities of the governance of the Empire:

  • the Imperial Couple
  • the Curia
  • the Senate
  • the Runér
  • the Imperial Service
  • the Eupraxic Collegium

(Again, the Eleventh Amendment — ed.)

No one holding an office in any one of these instrumentalities shall be permitted to simultaneously hold office in any other, save the Senate, and while in the Senate such an office-holder may not vote on any issue touching upon his office.

Article III: Seat of Government

The Imperial City of Calmiríë, and all the territories attached thereto, shall be the permanent seat of government of the Empire; and all instrumentalities of governance shall be exercised therefrom. The City shall be excluded from all Imperial constituent nations; and its governance shall be in the hands of the Imperial Couple, or an instrumentality created by them for its specific governance.

Article IV: Territory

This Charter shall apply to, and the Empire shall consist of:

  • All territories currently held by the Empire of Cestia, on the continent of that name;
  • The island chain to the north-east of the continent of Cestia;
  • The Cestian city-states of Eume and Baryvekar;
  • All territories currently held by the Empire of Selenaria, on the continent of Alténiä;
  • All territories currently held by Veranthyr, on the continent of Alténiä;
  • All territories currently held by the Deeping;
  • All territories currently held by the Polyarchy of the Silver Crescent, on the continent of that name, excluding the island chain to the west of that continent;

Such territories to include these lands, such waters as they should enclose, such coastal waters to which they presently lay claim, and such oceanic waters as lie between these lands and their adjoining waters; to the airs above them to a distance of twelve miles above the general surface of the land; and to any other kinds of territory which may be claimed at the present time or in the future;

And shall apply in like wise to all future territories appended to the Empire, whether by colonization, admission, or annexation;

And shall apply in like wise to all virtual realms or other information spaces designed or used for, or capable of, the domicile of infomorphs hosted upon substrates located within the territories of the Empire;

(This boldfaced section is the Seventh Amendment, which defined virtual realms, etc., used to domicile informorph life as “territory” within the meaning of the Charter.)

And shall apply in like wise to all vessels of whatever kind registered in the Empire, while they are in transit;

And shall apply in like wise to all embassies, exclaves, outposts, and other territories ceded, temporarily or permanently, to the Empire under the principle of extrality.

Article V:  National Symbols

The formal name of the Empire shall be “the Empire of the Star”.

The symbol of the Empire shall be a twelve-pointed star of gold, against a midnight blue field; or a luminous gold small stellated dodecahedron, suspended above a midnight-blue silk cloth. This symbol shall both constitute the flag of the Empire, and shall be used as the basis of such other symbolism as the Empire shall require; and all constituent nations of the Empire shall incorporate this symbol into the display of their national symbol where it is displayed alone.

(The above boldfaced section is the Sixth Amendment, providing for a national symbol that looks good on trigraphic displays. Also of historical note as both the most trivial and least controversial of all twelve amendments to the Imperial Charter.)

The anthem of the Empire shall be the triptych How Glorious Our Motherland; Make Way for Tomorrow; Hail, Freest of the Free.

The motto of the Empire shall be that of the Union of Empires; “Order, Progress, Liberty”.

There shall be a Great Seal of the Empire, which shall be kept by the Imperial Household, and used by the Imperial Couple for all official functions. All Acts, Decrees, Edicts, Proclamations and Writs shall be issued in the name of the Throne; and shall be signed and countersigned by the Imperial Couple and sealed with the Great Seal.

Article VI: National Language

The Empire shall construct a language suitable for universal communications between all citizen-shareholders of the Empire, and sufficient for all official purposes thereof, and this language having been constructed, it shall serve as the official language of the Empire, and shall have equality of status and equal right and privilege of use in every constituent nation of the Empire, and in every instrumentality of the Empire’s governance.

Notwithstanding the above, the right of individuals to use any language they choose for non-governmental communications shall not be abridged or denied by the Empire.

Article VII: Public Holidays

The Senate shall establish a national holiday for the Empire, the Grand Festival of the Empire of the Star, for the celebration of its existence, and the first day of this national holiday shall be the anniversary of that day upon which this Charter was ratified.

Each constituent nation of the Empire shall celebrate the anniversary of that day on which it was admitted to, or annexed to, the Empire as a public holiday, the Encaenia; save for those nations which shall have ratified this Charter at the time of the Empire’s foundation, and they shall celebrate the Encaenia on the day immediately following the Grand Festival of the Empire of the Star.

Article VIII: On Religion

The Church of the Flame shall be the official religion of the Empire. Each chosen Imperial Couple shall go to be crowned at the Temple of Unity in Ellenith, most ancient of all holy sites; and the orders of the Church shall provide their advice and counsel to the Imperial Couple.

The above notwithstanding, the freedom of philosophy for the individual shall not be abridged, save when required for the public safety; and the rights of the citizen-shareholder shall not be diminished or enlarged on any philosophical criterion; save that the doctrines of a philosophy may act as an impairment to citizenship when they are considered antithetical to true allegiance or the principles upon which the Empire is founded, and the Senate and Curia have made such determination.

…continued in part three.


The Imperial Charter: Section One

So, in a number of responses to questions, fics, tropes, and other posts I have had occasion to cite various bits of the Imperial Charter. It seems easiest, then, to save a little time and just post the whole document up for y’all. Well, sort of – it’s not a terribly small document, so it’s coming in thirteen parts, one per section.

So, welcome to the field of constructed constitutional law. Or con-con law, if you will.




BY right and authority of coronargyr (literally “sovereign’s merit; in eldraeic philosophy of governance, the combination of qualities which leads the people of a polity to confer on a ruler the right and authority to govern in their names; the source of the Imperial Mandate — ed.), duly conferred by unanimous contract and proxy of the citizens of those nations over which we exercise lin-runér (best gloss: “sovereign”) 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 (which is to say, “natural monopolies” and “public goods”, in the economists’ senses of the terms — ed.), 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 (i.e., as opposed to property created or homesteaded by individuals; essentially, “the commons” – everything from terra nullius to the atmosphere — ed.);
  • 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.


Article I: On this Charter

This Charter shall establish the Empire of the Star as a corporation sovereign, a coadunation vested with the sovereign authority and powers of its citizen-shareholders, for the sole and exclusive purpose of exercising those sovereign powers in accordance with the purposes of its establishment here before stated.

To that end, this Charter shall be the fundamental authority for all governance within the Empire of the Star; and shall limit the authority of all runér (sometimes glossed “noble”, but perhaps better glossed “manager”, “supervisor”, or “harmonizer” — ed.) therein wielding authority by right of coronargyr or by delegation of Mandate, and all instrumentalities of governance created under its authority; and all Acts, decrees, edicts, and writs issued by any such authority or instrumentality shall be subject to it, and in conformity with it; and the governance of every constituent nation of the Empire shall be bound thereby, any contrary statement in their Charter or statute law notwithstanding.

Neither any treaty nor any law passed outside the authority of this Charter shall be considered law in the Empire, unless it shall not conflict with the rights and powers granted by this Charter to the governance of the Empire, and it shall be ratified by the Senate and passed into law as any other Act.

Article II: On the Powers of Imperial Government

To fulfill the purposes of the Empire’s foundation, the government of the Empire shall be granted these powers:

  • To maintain the public order, in consonance with the Fundamental Contract, and protect the public safety from its Defaulters, throughout all the territories of the Empire;
  • To declare and to prosecute war and other instruments of hostility against enemies of the Empire, of the interests of the Empire, and of citizens of the Empire, whether foreign or domestic; and to this end, to raise, support, and command such military forces as shall be necessary;
  • To provide means for the enforcement of, and resolution of disputes arising from, oath-contracts freely entered into by citizens and coadunations of the Empire, and any other oath-contracts any party to which exists within Imperial jurisdiction;
  • To govern interactions between its constituent nations;
  • To guard the borders of the Empire, and regulate admission thereto;
  • To hold in trust, safeguard, and regulate the use of the natural and common properties, including unowned and abandoned properties, of the people of the Empire;
  • To carry out necessary and obligatorily public works; To establish communications and travelways throughout all lands;
  • To coin money, and regulate the value thereof;
  • To define and offer for use standards of weight, of measure, and of function;
  • To promote the progress of arts, philosophies and sciences, and for the purpose of so doing to create, allocate and manage limited rights in abstractions (i.e. patents, copyrights, trademarks, discoverer’s rights, and other intellectual property instruments –ed.), and to maintain freely accessible repositories of public knowledge;
  • To provide for the preservation of knowledge and useful arts against time, mischance, catastrophe, or assault;
  • To lay and collect taxes upon incomes, not to exceed a fifth part thereof;
  • To borrow, within such bounds as this Charter shall set, money on the credit of the Empire;
  • And to exercise exclusive sovereignty over such territories as shall be ceded from the constituent nations of the Empire for Imperial use, for such purposes as it shall see fit.

The Imperial government is permitted to delegate or assign these sovereign powers, where it seems good to do so, to the nations of the Empire; or to privately held bodies that agree to be bound by this Charter; but under no circumstances shall the Imperial government delegate or assign these sovereign powers to any person or coadunation whatsoever which is not, or cannot be, bound by this Charter.

Article III: Limitations of Imperial Government

Neither the Imperial government nor the government of any constituent nation of the Empire shall be permitted, in and of its own right and authority, to carry out any action or operation outside of the scope of the powers granted to them by Section I, Article II of this Charter.

Article IV: On the Amendment of this Charter

After the ratification and implementation of this Charter, amendments may be proposed for consideration in three ways:

  1. By a two-thirds vote of each of the Chambers of the Senate; or
  2. By a proposal put forward, concurrently or consecutively, by two-thirds of the demesnes of the Empire; or
  3. By a citizen proposal, put forward in the same manner as an initiative, which achieves the support of one-third of the citizen population.

Any amendment proposed for consideration by either of these methods shall first require a substantive vote of each of the three Chambers of the Senate for ratification;

And, this having been achieved, shall then require a three-quarters vote in a plebiscite of all citizens of the Empire for further ratification;

And shall then become effective on the first day of the next year, following this final ratification.

Article V: Irrevocable Provisions

The provisions listed here within shall not be amended, nor shall their amendment be proposed. They shall remain above all power of amendment or repeal.

  • Section I, Article I: On this Charter
  • Section I, Article III: Limitations of Imperial Government
  • Section I, Article IV: On the Amendment of this Charter
  • Section I, Article V: Irrevocable Provisions
  • Section I, Article VI: Dissolution
  • Section III, Article III: Fundamental Rights of the Sophont
  • Section III, Article VI: Nonrestriction
  • Section III, Article VII: Equal Protection
  • Section III, Article X: Renunciation
  • Section IV, Article I: On Sovereignty
  • Section IV, Article II: Full Faith and Credit

Article VI: Dissolution

As a last protection against a restoration of tyranny, for just and proper cause, the Senate and People of the Empire shall have the power to dissolve the Empire, which they shall exercise should the Empire fall into the darkness of tyranny or barbarity;

And for the exercise of this power, the Senate shall first declare the dissolution of the Empire, and this shall first require a substantive vote of each of the three Chambers of the Senate for ratification;

And, this having been achieved, the People of the Empire shall then ratify this dissolution with a five-sixths vote in a plebiscite of all citizens of the Empire;

And this being achieved also, the Empire shall be counted dissolved, and all instrumentalities thereof disbanded, from dawn upon the day following the moment at which such plebiscite is completed.

Article VII: Authentic Text

In the interpretation of this Charter, which has been drawn up in all of the languages of the founding nations, that version of the text in the Selenarian language shall be considered authentic and definitive until the completion of the national language of the Empire, into which this Charter shall be translated, and that version of the text, after approval by the Curia, shall then be considered definitive and binding; and this first authentic version of the Charter shall be translated, with identical meaning, into the predicate form used by the artificial intelligences of the Curia, which version of the text, after approval by the Curia, shall then be considered definitive and binding; and a copy of this Charter drawn up in these definitive languages shall be entered into the archives of each of the founding nations.

(The strikeout/boldface above represents part of the Tenth Amendment, “Cyberjudiciary”, to the Imperial Charter, passed after the development and many successful implementations of dedicated savant AIs, the tenth amendment to the Charter replaced the previous Ephors of the Curia with dedicated law-bound artificial intelligences, thus guaranteeing the impartial application of law at the highest level. This, thus, initiated the age of cyberjudiciary. Over time following the passage of the amendment, the judges of the lesser Curial courts were likewise replaced. The passage of this amendment additionally marks the translation of the Charter into the predicate-logic form used by such judicial machines.)

Article VIII: Initiation

The ratification of this Charter shall repeal the Accord of Union which established the Union of Empires; and this being done, such agreements, accords, acts and treaties implementing aspects of the Union of Empires which are superseded by this Charter shall also be held null; but those which have greater effect over and beyond it shall continue in force and effect.

Upon such ratification, coronargyr over the Empire shall be invested in the then-standing Emperor and Empress of the Union of Empires, ALPHAS I AMANYR and SELEDIË III SELEQUELIOS, and they shall be honored as the first Imperial Couple; and upon this investiture shall the coronargyr of the Emperor of Cestia be invested in his lawful heir, CALÉRA AMANYR, and the Senate of the Empire of Selenaria shall elect another in whom its imperium is to be invested.

Existing laws and treaties of the constituent nations of the Empire, insofar as they do not contradict this Charter, shall continue in full force and effect after its ratification; as shall all contracts in which their governments have engaged.

Article IX: Oath

The Imperial Couple, and all runér of the Empire, prior to their investiture to coronargyr; and the Ephors of the Curia and Ministers of the Imperial Service, and all Senators, before they shall take office (Such Declarations are often signed in advance of the necessity, permitting the immediate transfer of power if necessary, with the reading postponed until a convenient time — ed.); and the Clarifiers of the Eupraxic Collegium, on their appointment; shall make a solemn oath and Declaration in writing (While not required by the Charter, such Declarations are traditionally read out before the Court of Courts, or the Senate, as appropriate. — ed.) that they shall faithfully abide by and preserve this Charter, which Declaration being made, shall be placed in the public records of the Empire.

(The boldface text in the above paragraph constitutes part of the Eleventh Amendment, “Eupraxic Collegium”, of which more later.)

…continued in part two.