Galactic Concord
Galactic Concord
seal_galactic_concord.jpg
motto
Founded 1765 NS
Location Ur ring
Capital Pallatium, Concord
Government Democractic-Socialist
Representative Republic
Head of State Tor Rustoski
Legislature Concord Assembly
Judiciary Galactic Court
Major Species Human, Fraal,
Weren, Sesheyan,
T'sa
Military Star Force
Concord Defense Corps
Concord Marines
Concord Administrators
Intelligence Services Concord Investigative Bureau
Language Galactic standard

The Galactic Concord (abbreviated as GC and commonly referred to as the Concord) was an interstellar union of planetary governments that agreed to exist semi-autonomously under a single central government based on the principles of universal liberty, rights, and equality, and to share their knowledge and resources in peaceful cooperation, scientific development, space exploration, and mutual defense.

A league formed from a cultural mish-mash of different nations. Ruled by philosophers, artists, and intellectuals. Exports the majority of the galaxy's entertainment industry. The Concord possesses a great deal of military strength with its Star Force navy and its famed Concord Marines. Still, the Concord must play a delicate balancing act to constantly keep the more aggressive nations at bay.

Critics say Concordians take every opportunity to prove they are the most important nation in the galaxy.

  • The United Federation of Planets. Best pals with the Orlamu.
  • A space oligarchy except with titles based on academic achievement. About half their population consists of clones.
  • Hacker nation; you can't stop the signal. Insight's secession from VoidCorp basically signaled the end of the second galactic war. Smallest nation by far, but their grid warriors will slice your bank account and shit up your twitter.
  • Terra and everything within 50 light years of Terra. Overcrowded, their main export is prisoners. Resents the Galactic Concord for usurping Earth's rightful role.
  • The New Republic. Formed to govern buffer zones after the second galactic war. Most of their territory consists of ruined battlefield systems, but they have a very powerful military strong enough to take on any one stellar nation if need be. The T'sa cluster is in Concord space.
  • Worships drivespace and stardrive tech, their faith was founded by the first FTL test pilot. Discovered the Weren and protects their homeworld from cultural contamination. Builds the best stardrives.

Formed from the wreckage of the Second Galactic War, the Galactic Concord stands as mankind’s hope for the future. Cobbled together from the losers and leftovers of the war by the surviving nations, the Concord is an arbiter in the affairs of the stellar nations. The Concord has been described as humanity’s jury, a moral compass intended to keep all the stellar nations in line.

The Treaty of Concord


see Treaty of Concord

The Treaty of Concord established the groundwork for the Galactic Concord. The treaty finalized the borders between the stellar nations, established Concord Neutralities, allocated resources from the existing governments into a pool that became the property of the Galactic Concord, protected the t’sa by establishing their cluster of space as a Concord protectorate, and created the 13th stellar nation.

The Concord was established along the same lines as other stellar nations. Understandably, many nations feared the creation of a super-nation that could one day overthrow them. The lessons of both Galactic Wars and the secessions that came with them were still fresh in the minds of the delegates.

The nation created by the treaty is a hybrid unlike any of the other stellar nations. Its borders are scattered across Old Space, creating neutral territory between wartime enemies. Its governmental bodies contain members from all of the stellar nations, each dedicated to governing on both a macro and micro level. The Concord’s military is likewise composed of members from every nation and species. In the years since the war, Concord authorities have successfully brought numerous small conflicts to a close. Skirmishes have proven Star Force and the Concord Marines surprisingly effective after only a few years of organization.

Economy


Corporations put their profits back to their workers.

The Concord government collects taxes from both the citizens and the corporations. They then use this to fund social programs for those who cannot work.

Money is the blood of empires and there are vast fortunes for those who know how to seize them. The source of this wealth is the interstellar economy of the 26th century, a great and hulking beast, larger and stronger than ever before. In the last three decades, the Stellar Ring has shifted from a century of wartime economy controlled by the needs of government to a realm of healthy commerce, growing industry, and towering new business.

Currency

The Concord dollar (§) reigns supreme in the starfaring nations. Although each stellar nation had issued its own currency prior to GW2, the interconnectedness of their economies made the currency markets a source of economic aggression – and a potential source of another war. With the Treaty of Concord, the stellar nations established a universal currency – the Concord dollar (§) – accepted throughout the Stellar Ring and far beyond.

The Galactic Bank, one of the administrative bureaucracies of the Concord, is the central bank that controls the flow of currency into the interstellar economy. Whereas system banks and regional financial institutions can only exchange money, the Galactic Bank creates and destroys Concord dollars electronically to preserve the human sphere’s economic health and halt the tide of runaway inflation or deflation.

This isn’t to say that paper currency exists; the Concord dollar is entirely electronic. A few years after the development of fusion power, paper money finally disappeared, replaced by digits in financial networks. For individuals, a single card completed any financial transaction. Credit became governed by computer analysis of credit records; every individual’s worth could be estimated, and his or her spending limits determined at Grid financial record centers. Except in special cases, robbery came to an end.

After GW1, the 26 stellar nations of the period pushed the barriers back by calling for the elimination of credit cards. Bio-electric signatures, DNA scans, fingerprint detectors, and voice pattern analyzers made it easy to identify individuals, so it was no longer necessary to carry identity papers. The interstellar Grid made it possible for data networks to spin links between the stars. A bioelectric energy scan is the standard means of confirming identity and accessing accounts. To transfer money, a citizen simply confirms his bioelectric scan with a merchant, bank, or financial institution and authorizes the move. Sophisticated megabit encryption protects the banking community from fraud and other disasters.

The Treaty of Concord also recognized the guilder as a unit of exchange equal to one-hundredth of a dollar; this mollified the Star Consortium, the financial empire that threatened to reject the treaty. (In Rigunmor space, merchants price an item that would sell elsewhere for §7 at 700 guilders.) Many still refer to their money as “credits” rather than dollars.

After endless arguments over rates of exchange, all twelve stellar nations have successfully converted currency to the Concord dollar. Only a few colonies, frontier regions, and backward planets use other forms of exchange, such as the T’sa Cluster’s creeve.

Banking

The vast distances between the stars complicate galactic banking. Since instant communication between star systems is beyond current drivesat capabilities, the citizens of the 26th century find themselves financially limited as they travel. To access money, a traveler must temporarily open an account with a bank in the local star system. Typically, the traveler transfers funds in advance via a drivespace communication relay.

To buy or sell in systems without a drivespace relay, an individual can carry a 3D crystal that contains the same data as a drivespace message. Once the 3D crystal arrives at a bank in the destination system, the traveler has full access to the funds it verifies. The 3D crystal can be protected by its owner’s bioelectric signature, and most banks limit 3D crystal transfers to §100,000 for individuals and §10,000,000 for corporations. The Galactic Bank can authorize larger transfers, but it typically watches such transfers closely to avoid fraud or other crimes. Modified shipboard systems can also store bioelectrically secured funds; military personnel and traders depend on these secure onboard systems.

Banks charge money for their services. They charge a straight 1% fee – to a maximum of §1,000 – for transferring money to another star system, onto a 3D crystal, or into a shipboard computer.

Loans

Anyone who wants to buy a spaceship or fund a colony needs a great deal of money – hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. If you don’t have the funds, you need to approach a bank for a loan. Banks won’t loan money to just anyone – only individuals with proven employment records are eligible, but any corporate merchant can secure a loan. A corsair or an outlaw will have to find another source of funds.

In exchange for a loan, the bank requires the debtor to sign a contract detailing how the loan will be repaid. Typical repayment plans last five, ten, or twenty years; the interest rate depends on the length of the loan, the debtor’s credit status, the bank’s perceived risk, and the collateral. Normally, the plan requires quarterly payments on the debt. If payments fall behind, the bank seizes the assets purchased using the loan, and possibly other assets as well. In many places (including the Rigunmor Star Consortium), a defaulting debtor suffers criminal prosecution and punishment, up to and including debtor’s slavery (only in the Star Consortium). By signing the note and failing to repay the debt, the debtor relinguishes any rights to appeal, much like a criminal who jumps bail.

Of course, not every loan is a multimillion-dollar contract. Loans for a few thousand Concord dollars – for a new weapon or some cyber gear, for example – can be made without collateral. Credit ratings are a matter of public record, freely available on the Grid. Anyone who fails to repay a loan damages his credit record for many years, eliminating any chance of getting another loan. The credit databases are well protected, and accessing a credit record requires a bioelectric signature.

Corporations & Free Traders

Interstellar corporations are galaxy-spanning conglomerates with interests spread over thousands of light-years. Typical corporate divisions include advertising, consumer services, sentient resources, marketing, market research, merchant relations, operations, production, research and development, sales, security, and transportation. As a company grows and develops, it must issue stock and pay dividends, protect equity and market share, and outwit the competition.

For the independent trader, business is much simpler – at least in principle. Traders operate under the same theory as all other businesses: buy low, sell high. Put bluntly, independents fill their cargo holds with cheap goods from one star system and carry them to another system where the price is significantly higher. Of course, free traders often discover that life is not so simple. Merchants may be willing to swindle, scam, or betray a free trader, though they would never dare to try it with a corporate or national representative. Most free traders turn a profit despite quirky local complications and risks on the frontiers of explored space. In fact, most operate there because the large corporations have yet to move in and destroy a small trader’s chance to prosper.

Without a controlling organization, free traders sometimes band together in guilds. Operating together, guild members share information about prices – their most important function. They also update their members on dangerous situations, emerging markets, and opportunities for profit. Typically, the guild charges a membership fee for its services, including acting as a reference for accomplished traders. Some guilds expand over time, becoming corporations and issuing stock.

When independent trader profits become truly lucrative, the demand for working capital grows equally high. For a trader to make §100,000 transporting technical equipment he must have millions of dollars to buy the equipment in the first place. Most traders have neither the capital nor the collateral to secure such loans. Many are still paying off the loan on their driveship, so many free traders work under contract. Rather than purchasing goods themselves, free traders take a contract from someone else. Usually, the price is set on both ends, and the free trader takes a percentage of the profits – about 10% plus expenses. It’s never as lucrative as working for yourself, but many traders rely on contracts when times are tough.

Information

Buying and selling data is a tricky business reserved for those with plenty of resources and a shrewd understanding of the value of knowledge. Those who make a living selling information are known as data merchants. These merchants carry data either in special ship computers, on encrypted and biolocked 3Ds, or in secure internal nanocomputers. Basically, data merchants are intelligence agents and couriers who operate without the protection of a central agency; they sell information as others sell industrialized parts.

The easiest part of infotrading involves selling information, carrying messages, and delivering news to the frontier. Without drivespace relays, frontier planets rely on driveships to carry libraries, financial records, and calls for economic and military assistance. These are the core business of data merchants. Simple data delivery can’t provide a living for dealers with small ships, so most data merchants also carry normal cargo.

It’s a tricky business. Information joins foodstuffs as one of the few commodities in the galaxy that grows stale and useless over time. Holding information too long can be just as disastrous as holding out for a few more dollars.

Selling Passage

A trader with a ship has one other commodity that he can carry from system to system: passengers. In the Verge, people pay to ride aboard trade vessels or freighters heading in the right direction. This isn’t luxury service; the quarters are barely adequate, the service is nonexistent, and the food consists of whatever the ship’s cook puts on the table. However, it’s an economical way to travel.

Rates rise as the quality of accommodations increase. Aboard a ship equipped with a luxury passenger suite, the standard rate is §100 per light-year of travel. The rate drops to §50 per light-year if the ship has a luxury suite without service, and §25 per light-year if the living quarters are standard crew fare.

GC Government


The Galactic Concord is composed of five branches: executive, judicial, diplomatic, legislative, and financial. Two branches-legislative and financial-are totally autonomous from the stellar nations, but they are also the weakest of the Concord’s divisions, restricted to internal operations. The judicial and diplomatic branches are extremely powerful, but their power is checked by appointees from each of the other twelve stellar nations. The executive branch has the authority to act independently, but it is restricted from significant expansion by the treaty.

All branches of the government meet on the planet Concord, located in the center of Concord Prime. The planet is open to visitors, tourists, and lobbyists of all species and nations, but the Concord’s space-to-ground security is quite thorough.

Concord Assembly

This is the largest group of elected representatives within the Galactic Concord, containing more than 1,200 representatives from Concord worlds, colonies, and outposts. The Assembly is always in session, meeting daily on a secure node of the Grid Members travel to Concord Assemblies for formal meetings at least once a year. The Concord Assembly only has jurisdiction within Concord Neutralities.

Laws are passed by a simple majority, and debate is limited to what a representative chooses to view on his gridcaster. Once through the Assembly, a measure goes directly to the Concord Consulate. If approved by the Consulate, it becomes law.

The Assembly has taken only a minor interest in the Verge, since certain parts of the area-such as the Ignatius system, Hammer’s Star, and the Lighthouse-are technically Concord Neutralities. Until the diplomatic tangles are resolved, however, the Verge has no representation in the Assembly.

Laws

  • Prostheses are only for medical reasons. No cosmetic or upgrade elected permitted.
  • No genetic manipulation. Not even with genetic diseases. Very hot button issue.
  • Prime directive
  • Time travel is illegal even if there is no known method

Concord Military


The Concord military is split into four branches: Star Force, the Concord Defense Corps, the Concord Marines, and the Concord Administrators. All of these branches report to the Chancellor, Tor Rustoski For a military scraped together from volunteers, outdated or damaged ships, and the shattered armies of defunct nations, the Concord Military has done a remarkable job of training, upgrading, and unifying its forces. In part, this is due to the sense of shared mission that Concordans rely on. The Concord has also benefited from substantial military advice and materiel from the t’sa, who view the Concord as the best chance for retaining their independence.

10 fleets of 600 - 900 ships

Concord Survey Service


Exploratory organization. Uses the Trident symbol

The T'sa


Officially, the T'sa Cluster remains a Concord Neutrality, protected from interference through the Treaty of Concord. The existence of the t’sa as an independent force in human-controlled space is still a matter of great concern to many; humanity’s manifest destiny to the stars is a popular concept.

The leader of the t’sa, Chaluk Chisier, is a far-sighted t’sa of great diplomatic skill. While the t’sa have proven their unwillingness to bow to human military force, they’re not interested in an armed conflict, either. Both Chisier and the human leaders of the remaining stellar nations understand that such a direct confrontation could spark another interstellar war.

Visitors to the T’sa Cluster are warned by Concord communication drones that the t’sa operate under their own laws and that the laws of human space do not apply there. The same message greets every visitor: "Welcome to the T’sa Cluster. Your ship has entered the jurisdiction of the t’sa. Military vessels may not proceed without a security escort. All other vessels should be aware of the cluster’s customs and regulations, the details of which are available on the Grid." In the Cluster, humans always travel at their own risk-though the t’sa are friendly, they owe no allegiance to any stellar nation.

Founding members


Other known members




Concord Assembly

This is the largest group of elected representatives within the Galactic Concord, containing more than 1,200 representatives from Concord worlds, colonies, and outposts. The Assembly is always in session, meeting daily on a secure node of the Grid Members travel to Concord Assemblies for formal meetings at least once a year. The Concord Assembly only has jurisdiction within Concord Neutralities.
Laws are passed by a simple majority, and debate is limited to what a representative chooses to view on his gridcaster. Once through the Assembly, a measure goes directly to the Consulate. If approved by the Consulate, it becomes law.
The Assembly has taken only a minor interest in the Verge, since certain parts of the area-such as the Ignatius system, Hammer’s Star, and the Lighthouse-are technically Concord Neutralities. Until the diplomatic tangles are resolved, however, the Verge has no representation in the Assembly.

Chanellor

Elected by citizens of the Concord to a six-year term, the Chancellor directs all aspects of the executive branch, including the military abroad and police forces at home. The executive branch carries out orders from the Assembly and the Consulate. As the commander-in-chief of Star Force, the Concord Defense Corps, and the Concord Marines, and the ultimate overseer of the Concord Administrators, the Chancellor wields considerable influence over the affairs of the Concord.
The current Chancellor, Tor Rustoski, began his six-year term in 2500. He was a StarMech hero from the Second Galactic War who entered politics following a famed Old Space battle. His popularity has yet to be challenged by a major crisis. Rustoski spends most of his days insuring his popularity by keeping a careful eye on affairs in the Stellar Ring and Open Space.
Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Fortuna and dozens of Directors control various departments of the executive branch. At least one director is always resident in any Concord Neutrality, and many directors travel from system to system to keep a close watch on their wards. They are appointed to the offices by the Chancellor and confirmed by the Assembly.

Concord Investigative Bureau

Little information is available about ‘the Silent Bureau,’ but it is believed that the Concord’s intelligence-gathering arm is based on the Taurean Star Bepublic’s Strategic Information Agency, which had many agents in place throughout the Stellar Ring before that nation’s collapse in GW2.

Formerly known as the Concord Investigative Bureau, the Concord Interstellar Bureau is what this agency has become. Known throughout Concord space and beyond as “the Silent Bureau”, the intelligence-gathering agency is the most powerful branch of the Galactic Concord.

Operating mainly from the Celestial Dreadnaught “Mount Olympus”, the CIB maintains „offices‟ on every dreadnaught in the fleet and has absolute authority over every aspect of the Concord Military if necessary. The agency has thousands of operatives spread throughout the known galaxy, with many agents having been in place in the Stellar Ring for years at a time.
While the agency maintains a strict secrecy policy regarding many of its operatives and operations, a large majority of its members can be easily identified by their striking black outfits with the symbol of the bureau emblazoned on the suit in a conspicuous location.

Amongst the civilian population of every part of Galactic Concord territory, CIB agents have complete authority, even having the power to supersede local constabulary and governments if necessary. The CIB answers directly to the Galactic Consulate, even having authority over the Chancellor and the Concord Diplomatic Service, if need be. However this authority is rarely if ever asserted. Amongst other stellar nations, the CIB‟s authority is recognized and generally accepted if a situation arises where the Galactic Concord needs to be in place as a „peacekeeper‟.

Concord Military

The Concord military is split into four branches: Star Force, the Concord Defense Corps, the Concord Marines, and the Concord Administrators. All of these branches report to the Chancellor, Tor Rustoski For a military scraped together from volunteers, outdated or damaged ships, and the shattered armies of defunct nations, the Concord Military has done a remarkable job of training, upgrading, and unifying its forces. In part, this is due to the sense of shared mission that Concordans rely on. The Concord has also benefited from substantial military advice and materiel from the t’sa, who view the Concord as the best chance for retaining their independence.

Concord Defense Corps

The Concord Defense Corps, or CDC, is the principal branch of the Concord military. Numbering more than 11 million sentients under arms, its mission is defined by its motto: ‘We defend the galaxy.’ The CDC protects all settled regions of explored space, including Concord systems, planets, and stations. With bases throughout the Stellar Ring, the CDC stands on the front line of international conflict.
The CDC is an entirely volunteer force and has the highest turnover in the Concord military. This turnover stems from the Concordan desire to serve; doing a few years in the CDC is a common way for a citizen to realize that desire. Although this frustrates the generals who must organize this large and dispersed army, the depths of its ready reserves also mean that if the Concord ever mobilizes for war, the CDC can triple its numbers in less than a year.

Concord Marines

The Marines are the Concord’s elite force. Their motto is ‘Eager to Strike’ It’s their job to strike and hold targets on the front lines. Numbering fewer than a million, the Concord Marines make up for small numbers with a well-trained ferocity. Marines serve in planetary assaults, hazardous peacekeeping duties, and frontier defense. When the Concord expects troubleor wants to stop some-they send in the best: the Marines.
A single master academy offers the two years of training required to join. Training doesn’t end there,- the veterans that formed the Marines’ heart 30 years ago made sure that training never ends. While units and whole divisions of the CDC and even Star Force report less than combat readiness, the Marines by their very nature must be ready for a state of war at all times. In these times of peace, they practice their battle talents with the only worthy opponents-each other.

Concord Diplomatic Service

The Concord is deeply involved in galactic affairs, and the Chancellor commands a vast number of diplomatic functionaries in one of the executive branch’s largest departments, the Concord Diplomatic Service. The current Director of the Diplomatic Service is Ihsan Karra, a resident of the Concord Sagittarius Neutrality.
At the foundation of the Diplomatic Service are the ambassadors in each large, settled system of the Concord Neutralities and Protectorates. These ambassadors operate as field agents, and command staffs of as many as 1,000 who keep tabs on various planets in a system, major urban centers, military readiness, local legislation, and taxation. They also work closely with the Concord Investigative Bureau.
The ambassadors assign deputy ambassadors to watch over specific cities, planets, and installations, and to investigate charges and conditions throughout the system.

Concord Free Now

Concord Free Now is the most radical political group in the Verge. Since its first public appearance-when it claimed responsibility for the sabotage of a StarMech cruiser in the Tendril system-CFN has grown increasingly desperate. Its attempts to keep the stellar nations out of the Verge clearly aren’t succeeding, and now its members view themselves as the patriots of an occupied territory. Concord Free Now has been conneded to dozens of terrorist attacks against military and dvilian assets of the stellar nations-induding the Galactic Concord. The only criterion necessary for an attack by CFN is a connection to the Stellar Ring.
CFN believes that the governments of Old Space surrendered all rights to the Verge during the Second Galactic War. The Verge is no longer theirs,- it belongs to the Vergers. CFN’s activity has focused on systems that share some of its ideals for independence-especially the Oberon system-but all Verge systems are subject to CFN attack and sabotage.

Galactic Court

The Court is composed of representatives from each of the stellar nations. Its primary task is to settle legal disputes between nations, and its decisions are enforceable through the Concord military. The judicial branch is lorbidden from involving itself in legal disputes internal to any stellar nation except the Concord itself. The Court serves as the final authority for the various planetary, system, and neutrality courts throughout the Concord.
An appointment to the Court lasts 20 years, but no Justice may hold office for more than a single term. Each stellar nation appoints a single Justice to the Court. Each year, the Justices decide among themselves who will serve as Chief Justice, the individual with final responsibility for establishing the order in which the Justices hear cases and render their decisions. The Galactic Court operates year-round. Though the Justices are not required to sit in a single room to argue out their cases, they normally do.
The Galactic Court holds powers similar to those of the courts of the Borealis Republic and the Union Df Sol. It can impeach any other Concord official, including nation-appointed ministers. A majority vote is required to begin the impeachment proceedings, and a two-thirds majority is needed to impeach. The Court is quick to hear all appeals brought into its jurisdiction, normally hearing a case within a month of filing, though politically sensitive cases are sometimes delayed for years.
With contact with the Verge still new, the Court is bracing itself for a storm of appeals from the surviving outposts applying for independence. So far, Verge-related appeals have centered around old claims of system ownership between competing stellar nations. Chief Justice Sheila Lecoq (Borealin) has scheduled cases to be heard, through a Grid link, on Bluefall in the coming year. The most hotly contested claim is a renewed effort by VoidCorp to absorb the sesheyans on Grith into the corporate structure. VoidCorp wants the Court to set aside the ruling of Ari Mahdra, a Concord Administrator who recognized sesheyan independence on Grith in 2499. Officially, Lecoq is waiting for all sides to file their claims and for an open space on the Court’s docket, some year in the future. In fact, she’s convinced that a vote at the current time would not favor VoidCorp and might further aggravate tensions in the region.

Galactic Bank

The Galactic Bank is one of the most powerful, yet unassuming, branches of the Concord. Its powers shape the economies of all the stellar nations and ensure the financial stability of the Concord itself. Yet few citizens actually notice it.
The Galactic Bank is responsible for establishing a uniform currency (the Concord dollar); insuring the integrity of all banks; providing secure data exchange between stellar banks, corporations, and individuals; investigating failed banks and questionable
bans; and establishing borrowing rates between stellar banks. While the Galactic Bank contains dozens of bureaus, each is responsible for its own specific task such as security or research. To the average citizen, these departments are virtually unseen. Operating through offices in Old Space and the Verge, the financial branch of the Galactic Concord quietly makes sure that transactions are safely conducted. It doesn’t look for headlines.
The Regulator General heads the Galactic Bank and guides Ihousands of regulators who conduct investigations. The regulators work with other government branches toward the common goal of unifying the galactic currency, as agreed in the Treaty of Concord. Bank regulators roam the Stellar Ring and Open Space, ascertaining that fair practices govern the distribution of the Concord dollar. The t’sa Talox Tesla is the current Regulator General, serving a five-year appointment.



The Borealis colony began as a monarchy built upon widespread use of cloning to create a serf underclass. However, a revolution led to the abdication of the king and the elevation of everyone to peerage, resulting in a meritocracy where social standing is based on academic achievement. The conclusion of the revolution coincided with the end of the First Galactic War, and in the following years the Republic attracted significant numbers of bleachling gnome immigrants, drawn by the growth in academics in the new nation.

The Republic continues to practice the widespread use cloning and it is today the only nation to do so. The majority of Borealian humans are cloned from one of a few hundred source strains, with new strains being introduced roughly once or twice a decade. While natural procreation isn't restricted or even taboo, most clones regard it as somewhat uncouth, not helped by the fact that many female strains from the monarchy were genetically engineered to be courtesans and maidservants.

Daily life in the Republic is dominated by the interactions of the philosophical colleges. Part political party and part informal caste, every adult claims membership in one. Colleges rise and fall over time, with typically a dozen commanding enough popular support to be significant. The rising upstart is the College of Justice Ethics, drawing support among the military and in remote settlements. Justice Ethics advocates a simple view of society where the survival of the community takes precedence over other concerns.


The Orion League formed out of an alliance of several smaller colonies seeking to protect their trading fleets from harassment. The resulting nation is a prosperous and cosmopolitan society that is unusually accepting of new members as long as they subscribe to its core beliefs of liberalism and autonomy. Because of their openness, Orions boast the highest percentage of non-humans among their numbers, and in particular the most Fraal.

The Orion League was instrumental in negotiating the Concord Treaty, and are by far the most consistent supporter of Concord. Their idealism frequently puts them at odds with not only the members of the Expansion Pentad, but also the more mercantilistic states of the Profit Confederation


Sitting at the heart of known space, the Union of Gol was born out of the treaty that concluded the First Galactic War. The Union today is a densely populated cluster of systems featuring some of the largest cities in known space. Centuries of development have left it starved for resources but its location makes it a natural hub of commerce. The Union maintains a healthy rivalry with the Rigunmor Star Consortium as the financial capital of the stellar nations.

Over the centuries billions have emigrated from the Union, but billions more from newly discovered races have immigrated for the opportunities to be found there. Only the Orion League can boast a diaspora to match the Union.

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