Star Empire of Galba Roy
The Star Empire of Galba Roy is a nation and political entity in the Orion Arm of the Wider Galaxy, and the most powerful faction in that region, at least in its own estimation. The Empire has a long and storied history prior to its adoption of spaceflight and becoming an interstellar power which heavily influences its culture, but has integrated assimilated members of its two largest colonies, the Venusians and Martians, with whom the founding Humans shared the Sol System. The Empire has a highly centralized government, with its capital on Terra, in the Sol System, and relies heavily on the Imperial Stellar Navy and Stellarines to maintain law and order in its domain.
The citizens of the Empire are chiefly known as Imperials, and are best known for their command of peculiar technologies focused around an energy economy built on their principal fuel, Phlogiston, and concern with the exotic material Coronium. A spirit of adventure and expansionism has gripped the empire for centuries, causing it to lose any inward focus it once had, leading to the Three Pulpits Conflict by the time of the 24th Century.
Imperial society can be seen as relatively complex and hierarchical, but not rigid. Internal and external conflicts provide the principal means of economic, political, and social mobility. Many Imperials risk incurring great debts in exchange for the potential great reward of being the first to discover a new habitable world or a vital piece of Xenotechnology.
Astrography and Government
The Star Empire is comprised of the Imperial Homelands (Sol System), three Provinces, and ten colony systems. For ease of administration, the empire has a highly stratified government hierarchy that increasingly devolves responsibilities onto smaller and smaller astronomical and geographical regions.
Government of Sol
See Also: the Sol System
Being the oldest portion of the Empire, the Sol System has the highest population of the entire empire, and most Imperial citizens go their entire lives without ever leaving this system, due to the expense of interstellar travel. Originally, the Sol System comprised the entire empire (then known by the older name of the `Terran Empire of Galba Roy`), and the three cultures that were combined to form it continue to dominate imperial life, even in the colonial and provincial systems. Because of the long and often tense history of these cultures, Sol has a split governance, and is the only system in the empire to do so.
Imperial Aristocracy and Terran Governance
See Also: Dutchy of Terra
The ultimate seat of power for the entire empire is in the city of Galba Roy on Terra, where the Imperial Royalty holds sway and court. However, while the Imperial family are the heads of state, they are not the head of government, nor should the government of the empire or the government of terra be held as single entities.
The government of the empire-in-sum is comprised of the Imperial Judiciary, whose role is self-explanatory, and the Imperial Legislature, a bicameral legislative assembly that acts as the legislative arm of a government supported by the Emperor of Galba Roy as its executive. Both the Judiciary and the lower chamber of the Imperial Legislature are "commoner" bodies, staffed, as a rule, with non-aristocrats, though only the Imperial Legislature's lower house is elected. Per the Elections and Equality Act, 2112, any Imperial Citizen in good standing may stand for an elected position of any kind throughout the empire provided they meet certain requirements of age and physical and mental fitness. The government of the empire in sum provides for laws concerning interplanetary and interstellar travel, diplomacy with other nations, relations and disputes amongst the colonies, and other areas where empire-wide standards (like metrology and manufacturing) are needed.
This government is based heavily on the historical government of Terra, which is still in active service as the Royic Goverment, itself also consisting of the Parliament of Terra and a judicial arm, which operates in a virtually identical way, including using the Emperor of Galba Roy as its executive, de jure as the Monarch of Terra. The sole exception is that only citizens of the planet Terra may stand for government at any level within the Royic Government, and up until the early stages of the Three Pulpits Conflict, citizenship of Terra was extended only to human citizens of the empire who owned land or could prove permanent residence on the planet.
In addition, the traditions of the former aristocracy of the Terran Empire (itself the older aristocracy of the pre-hegemony Royics) have extended into the empire as whole, comprising the Terran Aristocracy. The Great Act of Constitution of the Terran Empire, itself based on an older document, severely limits the extent of the privileges of the Aristocracy, and for the most part the titles of the Aristocracy are essentially courtesy titles, with the real power of an individual coming from their civil, governmental, or military positions (or, in many cases, from significant personal or familial wealth). However, many such titles include a position in either the Imperial Legislature's upper chamber or the upper chamber of the Parliament of Terra; thus the significance for the oldest and most influential families in the Aristocracy.
See Also: Dutchy of Ares
The Martians of Ares comprise the first non-human culture to have become part of the empire, following the Failed Aresian Conquest of Terra and the subsequent Conquest of Ares in the late 20th Century. As a result of this conflict, and the high disparity between both the cultures and psychology (as well as physiology) of the Martians and Humans, reconciliation was not an immediate concern, and the original conquest was brutal and heavy-handed. While the attitudes of the two toward each other have long since reconciled, and the Martians have largely assimilated into Imperial culture, vestiges remain.
Ares, along with its own former holdings in its moons and the moons of Zeus and Poseidon, comprises a region known as the Dutchy of Ares, in part because of the traditional title of the Terran governor of the region, the Duke of Ares. Over time, the initial stranglehold of what was a colonial government headed by the Duke of Ares has lessened, with the responsibility for many government functions having devolved back to the former Martian ruling class, the Heirophants of Mars, outside of the majority-human city of Noachian York.
See Also: Dutchy of Aphrodite
The Venusians of Aphrodite comprise the other major non-human culture in the empire, and are the most integrated of the non-human cultures into overall Terran life, both within and outside of the Sol System. Once seen as a barbaric and primitive culture, the Venusians have risen above these assumptions and prejudices and are now largely seen as wise, economical, and (by some) mysterious and alluring. Prior to the Terran Conquest of Aphrodite in the 21st Century and the subsequent establishment of the empire, the Venusians were a pre-spaceflight culture with a collectivist attitude and a strong connection to the natural world of their planet.
Over time, while the planet and several related holdings remains under the nominal governance of the Duke of Aphrodite, Imperial trust of the Venusians increased, and the Venusians were allowed to re-establish their traditional government structure of a confederacy of individual communities, each of which is afforded great latitude in local governance by the usual imperial standards.
Government of the Provinces and Colonies
Much like the Solar Dutchies, there are governors, always dukes, almost always military, installed over the imperial provinces, being the oldest extrasolar colonies:
These provincial star systems have the greatest independance and self governance available in the empire, on a similar level to the Duchy of Ares and Duchy of Aphrodite, including local parliaments that use their governor (in council to the Emperor) as the executive. By contrast, there are also the colonies, who have military lieutenants-governor who are often minor aristocrats, but who are beholden exclusively to Imperial Law and the central government:
- Pavonis System
- Sidus Hayden System
- Sidus Herberti System
- Sidus Verno System
- Sidus Leo System
- Sidus Extrema System
- Maxwell's Dwarf System
- Stanley Sidus System
- Egalt's Cloud System
- Howell's Pit
Arts and Architecture
Religion, Festivals, and Timekeeping
Language and Scholarship
Even discounting the entirely seperate languages and cultures of the Venusians, Martians, and other Colonial Cultures, the humans of Terra themselves had hundreds of languages, many with regional and local dialects. As a result, early on in the lead up to the establishment of the Terran Empire of Galba Roy, the Ministry of Arts and Culture promulgated a constructed language made up of several leading Terran language conventions known as Standard Trade, which has since become the lignua franca of the empire and is now taught in all school and used for all governmental communications.
Additionally, with the culture and economy of the Star Empire relying heavily on science and technology, and with the need to instill the Appropriate Fervour in young minds while they are still impressionable, an empire-wide program of free primary and secondary education and subsidized tertiary education exists empire wide. While resourcing for these schools can vary broadly with settlement size and location, a standard curriculum exists, with public school students on Terra, Ares, the provinces, or anywhere else in the Empire all nominally being taught the same subjects - including, unsurprisingly, Standard Trade.
Taxation and Social Provision
The economy of the star empire is built upon three principal activities: agriculture; the production, refinement, and transportation of Phlogiston, and the production, refinement, and transportation of Coronium. While obviously other industries exist, in general they could be considered separately.
As the principal fuel of the Empire, used in everything from household lighting to driving Gateguns and interstellar commerce, Phlogison production naturally dominates almost any concern other than keeping the citizenry fed. While it is possible to produce Phlogiston within planetary gravity wells, by far the most abundant sources can be found in orbit. Most planets, and even some stars directly, have dedicated stations known as Orbit Plants that produce phlogiston at industrial quantity, refining and packaging it for further transportation in its many forms.
Similarly, while the Stanley-Hemmingway Process allows the creation of low-grade Coronium within planetary gravity wells, higher grades of the metal need to be produced in conditions found only in low stellar orbits aboard special facilities known as Solar Rigs. Coronium's critical use in both Phlogistonics and as a material for key technologies required for spacetravel and interstellar commerce make the establishment and operation of stellar rigs a key economic driver and a source of both political and economic power, driving the rush to find convenient stars to establish new rigs around.
Technology and Craftsmanship
See Also: Phlogistonics
See Also: The Babbage-Lovelace Company
See Also: Coronium
Having experienced a period of constant enrichment and expansion, Imperial craftsmanship, though industrialized, is focused largely on individual labour and quality of worksmanship. Woods, fine finish, and polished metals are common features of external claddings for devices, and the heavy use of phlogistonics and coronium lends itself to glowing ampoules and valves, and visible working with the brassy metal as conduits and conductors. Owing to the fantastic energy potential of Phlogison, steam power is heavily used for industrial and even personal applications, and ray weapons have become common. Phlogiston's energy density and the properties of Coronium of sufficient grade have also heavily enabled spaceflight, through inventions like the Coronium Bow and the Aetheric Tractor.
Because of the limitations of electronics when used in space, computing has been dominated by techniques originally introduced by The Babbage-Lovelace Company in the 19th Century, and while further refined by the contributions of later computer scientists, phlogisto-mechanical computers have become the standard both in space and under atmosphere, leading to some confusion when interacting with certain other polities that instead standardized around electronics.
Imperial Attitudes on the Other Nations