The Empire, officially the Empire of Achenar, is one of the three major factions in the universe, the other two being the Federation and the Alliance. The Imperial Palace, seat of the Emperor, is situated on Capitol in the Achenar system.
Although a peace treaty has existed between the Empire and the Federation since 2382, there have never really been any peaceful relations between these two old enemies. Both factions have a long and refuted history of deep hostility and disdain for one another, resulting in many battles.
The Empire is less technologically dependent than the Federation, choosing to keep and employ slaves for the work which machines would usually perform in other parts of the galaxy. The Empire is also a proponent of human cloning, a topic which the other factions find abhorrent and have officially banned within their own jurisdictions.
Imperial society is based on a client system (much like ancient Rome) and strictly stratified, with people being able to move between strata based on money, patronage and influence. It values both status and honour very highly. Whilst it is acceptable to flaunt wealth, treating people well is a question of honour – this includes slaves. Having an unpaid debt is seen as utterly dishonorable; an honorable Imperial citizen would sell themselves into slavery to clear a debt they couldn't otherwise afford.
The Imperial Law is seen and enforced by Senators who themselves are above the law. They can order executions, and can even kill people themselves, though rarely they may be held to account for their actions by the Emperor. In the Empire very little is illegal, but many things are frowned upon, such as the excessive use of narcotics.
Imperial design puts an emphasis on the glamorous, glorious, and aesthetically beautiful, with extravagance in abundance. Everything in the Empire looks impressive; from their cities, to their ships, right down to the clothes worn by Imperial citizens.
What is now known as the Empire began around in the middle of the 23rd century, with the architect of peace and an anti-Federation activist Marlin Duval. She had long spoken out against the oppressive Federal administration of the time. Such was her disenchantment that she gathered her family together, along with many supporters, and left the Federation. Marlin led them to a distant star system called Achenar, many light years from Sol, in order to found a new colony based on peaceful ideals. A suitable home was found orbiting Achenar 6, a Class III gas giant, and Achenar 6d was colonised. Now named Capitol, this moon formed the core world of what would later become the Empire.
The colony started well, and an administrative council was formed with Marlin at the head, in order to fairly distribute power throughout the colony. As the colony expanded, so did the council, with a determination that any and every situation was dealt with via peaceful methods and dialogue. This arrangement worked well and the colony continued to prosper.
Accusations of Genocide Edit
Imperial historians record that many native species were found on Capitol during colonization, which the colonists took great care to protect as best they could. Among these species, unbeknownst to the newly-formed republic, were one of the few sapient species to have been encountered by humanity. Imperial scholars have suggested a number of factors led to the extinction of this species, not least of all imported bacteria carried along with the colonists. Within a few short years, this indigenous species had been rendered extinct.
Federal historians, citing Federal decrees of the time, paint a different tale. The official Federal version of events alleges that Capitol was in fact sterilized on the orders of Henson Duval, brother of Marlin Duval, prior to terraforming some years after Marlin's death. Imperial scholars disagree on whether this was due to innocent confusion over misunderstood or misrepresented information, associating plans for the terraforming of nearby world Conversion (a project which would not be completed until 2696) with that of the genocide, or a deliberate political smear campaign based on Marlin Duval's antagonistic relationship with the Federation.
Birth of the Empire Edit
The original government of Achenar was recorded as a democratic republic, elected senators representing the people and a council of high-ranking politicians acting as an executive body for the republic. Marlin Duval, as the founder and a popular political figure, retained a great deal of political power in this period, but enjoyed only a position of influence within the council rather than the absolute leadership of later Emperors.
Some few short years after the founding of the Republic of Achenar, Marlin Duval was killed in a shuttle accident, in which her partner and children also perished. No evidence ever surfaced linking her brother Henson Duval to the incident, but even the most loyal Imperial historians openly accept that the event was suspicious in light of his subsequent actions.
Assuming control of the senate as Marlin's closest living heir, Henson Duval quickly disbanded the ruling council and installed himself as leader of the Achenar colonies. Citing the continued threats made by the Federation and their defenselessness in the face of a military invasion, Henson began a campaign of propaganda rejecting his sister's pacifistic ideals. Such was his passion and power of persuasion that he succeeded in converting the capricious colonists to his doctrines in a remarkably short period of time.
Utilizing his popularity among the colonists and strong control over the colony's government, Henson declared that control of the colony and any associated systems would pass from father to son. With this declaration in 2314, the Empire as we know it was born.
At this time, the Federation continued to invite the colony to accept Federal rule and abandon their fledgling Empire. Not only were these invitations met with outright refusal, but the Empire also began to approach nearby colonies to recruit them away from the Federation. Most historians agree that this was the catalyst for the Federation's move from diplomacy to military action.
Battle for Achenar Edit
Whether in the face of the Empire's sedition or the stated charges of genocide, the Federation began an armed invasion of the Achenar system in 2324. As the largest power in the known galaxy, the Federation hoped to cow the rebellious system with sheer military might and thus bring them under Federal control.
They arrived to find a fleet of military vessels and defence platforms, designed and constructed in anticipation of just such an armed invasion. While Achenar did not represent the first system that the Federation had sought to bring to heel through military dominance, the primacy of the Federation had not yet been challenged at this time and historians suggest that the Federation's military may have grown complacent. While sizable, the Federal fleet of this time was made up of multi-purpose vessels and not the warships employed by the Empire. Outgunned and outmaneuvered by the Imperial Fleet, the Federation were forced to retreat and accept the sovereignty of the Empire for the time being.
With the Federation embarrassed and the threat of the Federal fleet undermined, many systems flocked to the Empire in the following years. From one system, the Empire had quickly grown to a galactic power in less than a century since its founding.
|#||Rank||Ship Access||System Access|
There are 14 ranks in the Imperial Navy. Highly ranked Commanders are allowed access to specialized ships, and are granted permits to access otherwise restricted star systems.
Permit-locked systems controlled by the Empire can be accessed through ranks in the Imperial Navy. Unlike the Federation, there are no known systems without methods for permit acquisition.
While all available permits require some involvement with the Imperial Navy, these ranks can affectively be purchased as the Empire views wealth as highly as honor and influence.
- 2314 - 2370: Henson Duval
- 2370 - 2430: Harlan Duval
- 2430 - 3100: Unknown others
- 3100 - 3163: Hender Saik Duval
- 3163 - 3233: Hesketh Duval
- 3233 - 3301: Hengist Duval
- 3301 - Present: Arissa Lavigny-Duval
Imperial Senate Edit
All Senators and the Emperor can sit in the Senate, but it is rare that all participate at the same time. The Chancellor is a Senator with additional powers, and he or she runs any debates in the Senate. They are appointed by the Emperor. It is otherwise structurally flat by law, but in practice has power blocks within it, led by the more important/powerful Senators. Not all Senators are equal. There are regular votes on issues of the day, and the Senator’s voting power is the total number of Citizens (in turn represented by Clients, and blocks of Clients by Patrons) they currently represent. They are influenced by their most powerful Patrons – who in turn are not all equal, and Patrons may move their block to another Senator at a whim, particularly if they feel their current Senator is not representing the views of their Clients. Senators can lose Patrons quickly if their actions are unpopular, but bear in mind a Senator sets tax rates and healthcare for all those that support them, so can effectively bribe Patrons to ally themselves with them. The most powerful Senators can have a hundred or more times the voting power than others, and a Senate majority can be just a few of the major Senators, but honor requires that the views of all Senators are listened to politely. Before voting against them.
Historically it used to always physically sit in the Senate House on Capitol, near to the Imperial Palace. While it still technically remain there, in practice most Senators sit virtually by remote projection – though by tradition there are a number of events (like the accession of a new Emperor, and on Empire Day (January 2) where it is considered proper and polite to attend physically, where a party atmosphere descends on Capitol as the entourages of each Senator arrive in their finery.
Senator Appointment Edit
There are Senators that have come up from the Military, or by corporate success, but by the very nature of Patronage, and the cost of the petitions, it can be very exclusive, with family inheritance being important too.
There are no elections. A Senator represents a group of Patrons, who in turn represent Clients, and each of those represents a group of Citizens. This representation is public. Anyone can see who is currently supporting each Senator (Patron, Client), and their numbers. There are 1,000 Senators by Imperial Decree, dating back to the first Emperor a thousand years ago. A very popular Patron can petition to become a Senator if he or she thinks they could represent more Citizens than one of the least popular Senators. That less popular Senator the petitioner chooses to target has the opportunity to rally support against the challenger for seven days, but as does the popular Patron, and at the end of that period a decision is made based on their support, and that Patron cannot petition again for one year if they are unsuccessful. Similarly a deposed Senator cannot petition to become a Senator again for a year. Posting a petition has a cost (1 Billion CR, paid to the Emperor) to prevent time wasters, which is returned if the petition succeeds. When a Senator dies or chooses to retire, usually their chosen successor takes their Senatorial seat. Most Senators will have such a chosen successor already working closely in their entourage, and familiar and friendly with their most powerful Patrons so continuity is assured; as a result generally their petitions are unopposed. Sometimes multiple petitions are made for the same Senatorial opening, which can happen when a Senator and their entourage dies in the same event, so this is the nearest the Empire gets to an election, with the most popular succeeding in their petition.
A controversial issue can result in a sudden mass realignment of Patrons, but this can happen at any time; the system is pretty dynamic.
Similarly there are not just senatorial petitions as above, but there are petitions for Patrons, Clients, and Citizens. A citizen petition is where a slave or child of a Citizen, or even a foreigner, petitions to become an Imperial Citizen. For children this is a fairly informal process, which is really a coming-of-age party with a brief ceremony at the start, which happens when they turn 21. Apart from the Emperor, royal standing is separate from political standing. Knights, Princes etc. exist, and only a few get involved in politics – and then it is mostly by influencing and supporting friendly Senators from behind the scenes, but there is nothing stopping them also becoming Senators.
Effectively all Imperial systems have representation, but indirectly. Every Imperial Citizen has a right to representation by a Client. Every Client has a right to be represented by a Patron, and every Patron a Senator. Senators generally represent power bases – which can be many systems or a specific interest group, and typically many hundred Patrons – though it is up to the Senator how many Patrons they have. There is not a fixed number. So if a system has just one Imperial Citizen living there, they will have representation in the Senate – but most likely only indirectly through their Patrons. It is likely there is a Patron at the head of each of the larger Imperial Minor Factions for example, but not a Senator.
Their tenure continues generally until death, or until they choose to retire. Occasionally an unpopular Senator is challenged by a petition and that can also end their term.
A senator's key responsibility is to represent their Patrons as they see fit. Senators can also hold other roles, like Admiral of the Fleet, Chancellor, Leader of the House (runs the Senate hearings when the Emperor and Chancellor are not present). Senators can also have private interests, and generally represent one or more Corporations, often with large personal shareholdings in them. They are fully entitled to be biased towards their own interests, and generally do, as long as most of their Patrons hold much the same interests. Senators are above the law, subject only to a decree from the Emperor, and through history it has even been known for Senators to go to battle against each other.
Minor Factions throughout Imperial space are likely led by Patron's and not Senators.
- ↑ The exact date when Henson's reign as Emperor ended is unknown, but is believed to have been some time around the 2370s.
- ↑ The exact date when Harlan's reign as Emperor ended is unknown, but is believed to have been around the 2430s.
- ↑ The exact date when Hender's reign as Emperor began is unknown, but is believed to have been around early 3100s.