Some Notes on Background.   Posted by Referee.Group: public
 GM, 3 posts
Tue 6 Oct 2020
at 08:32
Some Notes on Background
The Imperium does not take a part in the government of individual worlds, but provides a way for those worlds to settle disputes and regulate trade.

Each world governs itself, and is represented at the subsector level.  A subsector within the Imperium is generally under the rulership of a Duke or Duchess.  This noble sets general policies for the subsector, and reports to the Sector Duke.

The Sector Duke is one of the Dukes who has risen to particular prominence within the Sector.  The Sector Duke takes information from the Dukes and sets policies for the Sector as a whole.

Above the Sector Duke is the Archduke, who rules the domain (a cluster of four sectors), and reports directly to the Emperor himself.

The Sector Duke for the Spinward Marches is currently Duke Norris Aella Aledon. His full title is Duke Commander Sir Norris, of Regina, Count Aledon, Marquis of Regina, Baron Yori.  As can be seen from the title, he is also the Duke of the Regina subsector, and the Marquis of the world Regina.

Jump Drives work by using what is basically an overloaded power plant to generate a massive charge in a grid of lanthanum cables inlaid in the hull of the ship.  The ship enters J-Space and drops out a week later at the destination point.  It always takes a week, give or take a few hours.  A Jump that takes more or less than that is often the first sign that something has gone wrong...

Ships in J-Space are blind and entirely cut off from the outside Universe.  No communication is possible to or from a ship in J-Space.  The ship is surrounded by a Jump Field which protects it from the destructive nature of J-Space.

There is no FTL communication.  The only way to get a message from one world to another is to have it carried aboard a ship.  The Imperium maintains the Express Boat Network (X-Boat Network) as a rapid means of communicating across large distances.

An X-Boat is a ship that is all Jump Drive.  It cannot move in normal space, but can Jump up to 5 parsecs at a time.

An X-Boat arrives in a system, transmits all of its messages to a relay station, where they are sorted and transmitted either to the world, or to X-Boats waiting to Jump on the next link of the network.  The arriving X-Boat is picked up by a service ship, refuelled, restocked, pilots are changed, and finally the X-Boat is dropped to await its next Jump.

Using X-Boats it takes almost two years for a message to reach the Imperial Capital from Regina and a reply to be sent back.
 GM, 4 posts
Tue 6 Oct 2020
at 08:34
The Imperial Calendar
When the Solomani spread out from Terra into the Galaxy, and caused the collapse of the Vilani Empire (the First Imperium), among the things they brought with them were their clock and calendar.

Even now, thirty six centuries later, a standard day is still 24 hours, and a standard year is 365 days.

The calendar used by the Imperium is a Julian calendar.  Days are numbered from 001 to 365, and dates are given in the format ddd-yyyy.  This game starts on 337-1106, the 337th day of the 1106th year since the founding of the Imperium.  In Terran reckoning, that would be December 3rd 5626 AD.

Weeks of seven days, and months of twenty-eight days are sometimes used to refer to lengths of time, but are never used in establishing set dates.  Somebody might say "It'll take a month or so to deliver." but if he has a specific date in mind, then he'll use the standard calendar.

Days of the week are named, Wonday, Tuday, Thirday, Fourday, Fiday, Sixday, and Senday.  Day 337 of the year is a Senday.  There are exactly 52 weeks in a year, plus one extra day.  Day 001 is a special case.  It is called Holiday, and does not belong to any week.  It is set aside to comemorate the founding of the Imperium, and is a holiday across all of Imperial space.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:17, Sat 23 July.

 GM, 5 posts
Tue 6 Oct 2020
at 08:36
The Imperial Nobility
The Imperial nobility is a narrow class of persons at the upper strata of society who hold, either personally or through their family line, noble rank from the Emperor.  Noble rank serves two purposes: it rewards individuals for significant achievements, and it provides social station for the political leaders within the government.

Nobility is acquired through letters of patent (patents of nobility) issued by the Emperor.  Traditionally, appointments are published in the Holiday List (appearing on the first day of the new year) and in the Birthday List (appearing on the Emperor's birthday; Strephon's is 202).  Additional patents of nobility for political purposes or special occasions, are published when necessary.

Nobility Types

All nobility forms part of the feudal system of Imperial government.  Nobles, upon receiving their patent or upon confirming their inheritance when coming of age, swear continuing loyalty to the Imperium, to the Emperor, and to the Emperor's heirs and successors.  There are three general types of nobles: honour (achievement), rank (position) and high (service) nobles.

Only rank and high nobles are have real administrative functions with the Imperium.

Honour nobles receive patents for "heroism in the military, success in civil or commercial enterprise, or innovation and discovery in the services".  Rank up to marquis may be awarded.  Patents for honour nobles are not hereditary.

Rank nobles receive patents because of a citizen's position.  Two sub-types exist.  Local nobility represents the Imperium in systems not administered by high nobility.  These nobles make up the majority of the Imperial nobility, and although they are only equivalent to barons and knights in precedence, they are hereditary members of the peerage.  Administrators are citizens who hold Imperial office.  Except in extraordinary situations, a person must be a peer in order to hold high office in the Imperial bureaucracy (although not all peers hold office).  These patents are tied to a position, and are not hereditary.

High nobles belong to the smallest segment of the peerage, consisting of people belonging to old and powerful families entrenched in the Imperial system for generations.  These nobles directly administer Imperial territories and are personal representatives of the Emperor.  Patents are awarded for "political support in office, victory in the military, or contributions or economic assistance from the commercial sector" beyond any reasonable expectation.  Patents are hereditary (upon confirmation by the Moot) and almost always include a fief or feudal estate granted by a letter of enfeoffment.

Noble Ranks

Knight: The lowest of the noble ranks (Soc B) is the knight, awarded by the Emperor or an archduke as an honourific rank in recognition of achievement or service.  As such, a knighthood is coveted by non-nobles and is seen as more attainable than membership in the peerage.  A knighthood entitles the recipient to be addressed as Sir (some females prefer Dame) before their name, and to suffix the initials of the order of knighthood after their name.  An individual accorded a knighthood may receive a fief of land on a single world, generally not more than 10 square km.

Knights are not members of the peerage, and thus are not subject to all the protocols.  Instead, they belong to orders of knighthood and are awarded privileges according to the order.  Each order has its own code, and knights are expected to abide by these codes.  Members of the peerage generally consider knights to be "separate but equal" members of the nobility, and it is considered a breach of protocol for a member of the peerage to treat a knight with disrespect.

Several dozen orders of knighthood exist in the Imperium.  Some are restricted to specific classes of individuals; others are awarded for specific achievements or service; still others are broad-based orders.  The most common are the Order of Starship and Crown (established in 17) and the Order of the Emperor's Guard (established in 52).  More exclusive orders are the Order of Hlyuea (established to honour loyal Aslan citizens), the Order of Gvadakoung (established to honour loyal Vargr citizens), and the Honourable Order of the Arrow (established to recognise interstellar explorers).  The domains each have their own orders: the Order of Antares, the Order of Deneb, the Order of the Gateway, the Order of Ilelish, the Order of Sol, the Order of Sylea, and the Order of Vland.  Of these, the Order of Sylea is administered by the Emperor himself (as Archduke of Sylea), and the Order of Deneb has never been used (no archduke exists).

Baronet: Intermediate between the first and second level of noble rank is the baronet.  This is a special form of baron awarded by an archduke.  The Emperor can create baronets (either as Emperor or in his capacity as Archduke of Sylea); in practice, they are only created by one of the Archdukes.

They rank below barons in seniority and precedence, and do not generally receive fiefs of land.  A baronetcy entitles the individual to use the prefix Baronet before one's name.

Baron: The second level of noble rank (Soc C) is the baron, and is the lowest level accorded membership in the peerage.  Several styles of address are used, including attaching a prefix to the surname (such as von-, haut-, or hault-) or using the title Baron.  When a barony includes a fief, the the title is generally followed by the fief's name (such as Baron Solvenos).  An individual accorded a barony may receive a fief of land on a single world, generally not more than 100 square km.

Marquis: The third level of noble rank (Soc D) is the marquis, a noble associated with a single world.  The title consists of the world name after the title, as in the Marquis of Aramis (or alternatively, the Marquis Aramis).  An individual accorded a marquisate may receive a fief of land on a single world, generally not more than 1,000 square km.

Count: The fourth level of noble rank (Soc E) is the count, a "local area" noble associated with two or three worlds within a subsector.  Counts are referred to by their title, followed by their surname or the name of one of the worlds within their county.  An individual accorded a county may receive a fief of land on a single world, generally not more than 10,000 square km.

Duke: The fifth level of noble rank (Soc F) is the duke, associated with a subsector or sector.  The noble is referred to by their title followed by "of" and then the subsector or sector name (for example, Duke of Regina).  The power of the duke depends on circumstances and the situation within the sector, but generally one duke within a sector rises to power and comes to be the Sector Duke, who is the ruler that sector.  An individual accorded a duchy may receive a fief of land on a single world, generally not more than 100,000 square km.

Archduke: At the highest level of nobility (Soc G) are the archdukes, who exercise control over the six original domains.  They act as intermediaries between the Emperor and the other levels of nobility (except for the Domain of Sylea, where the Emperor is also the archduke).

Emperor: Above the range of noble ranks (Soc H) is the Emperor and the Imperial Family.  The Emperor is the ultimate object of thousands of oaths of loyalty and fealty.

The current Emperor of the Third Imperium is Strephon Aella Alkhalikoi.
 GM, 6 posts
Tue 6 Oct 2020
at 08:39
The Imperial Megacorporations
Merchant companies whose territory covers the entire Imperium.

Staggering in size, these organisations are so large that no one person can know everything they are concerned with at any given moment.  Total shares of stock, annual profits, number of employees are all astronomical.  Many are so large that different divisions of the same megacorporation can be working at cross-purposes.  In most regions, megacorporations merely own the land their installations are located on; however, in some areas they control entire planets, either directly or indirectly.  Their brands, trade names, and service marks have come to be universally recognised throughout the Imperium and beyond.

Most megacorporations are organised like smaller companies, with a board of directors, a president, and vice-presidents.  However, the board and the higher-level executive officers of the company are largely out of touch with the day-to-day (or even year-to-year) functioning of the company.  They only plan general policy and a few long-distance actions.

The most important executives, in terms of personal power, are the various regional managers (by whatever name they may be called).  A regional manager may only control a small portion of a megacorporation's total assets, but may hold more power in some regions than the local representatives of the Imperial government.  Provided they do not blatantly violate Imperial soverignty, regional managers can usually conduct their company's business as they see fit.  A small number of Imperial regulatory agencies have power over megacorporations, and megacorporations are subject to local taxes.  A direct confrontation with the Imperium would be bad for business, so intentional violation of Imperial laws is done only on a covert basis.

Only a very few commercial enterprises grow large enough to extend their activities to every corner of the Imperium.  In fact, there are only thirteen megacorporations within the Imperium.  It is difficult for a company to grow to the size of a megacorporation unless it has the protection of a suitably-sized government.

Some of the interstellar empires surrounding the Imperium have grown to the size that they can also support megacorporations.  In addition to those within the Imperium, there are another thirteen megacorporations operating in the adjoining territories.  In comparison, the largest of these is perhaps median-sized when compared with an Imperial megacorporation; the smallest is smaller than any of the Imperial companies.

All corporations engaging in interstellar commerce are required to possess an Imperial Charter.  This is indicated by the letters "LIC" (Limited Imperial Charter) following the company name.  Occasionally, corporations make use of old titles, such as Ltd, Inc, AG, SA, etc.  This is done to indicate that the company pre-dates the Third Imperium (rarely the case) or to add quaintness and charm to the title.

A few Vilani megacorporations are still in business under their Vilani titles: Makhidkarun, Naasirka, Sharurshid, and Zirunkariish.  These names, at least, date back to the First Imperium, and were the names of the Vilani organisations - half industrial trusts, half government bureaus - which controlled commerce in the Vilani Imperium.

The thirteen megacorporations within the Imperium are:

Name                        Major Interests
Delgado Trading, LIC        Military hardware, mining, publishing.
General Products, LIC       Heavy industry, starships.
GSbAG                       Starships.
Hortalez et Cie, LIC        Banking and investment.
Instellarms, LIC            Military equipment.
Ling-Standard Products      Starship systems, mining.
Makhidkarun                 Communications, entertainment, food, robots.
Naasirka                    Computers, software, electronics, robots.
SuSAG, LIC                  Chemicals, pharmaceuticals, geneering.
Sharurshid                  Trade and speculation in luxury goods.
Sternmetal Horizons, LIC    Mining, heavy manufacturing, food synthesis.
Tukera Lines, LIC           Passenger and freight shipping, trade.
Zirunkariish                Banking and investment, insurance.
 GM, 7 posts
Tue 6 Oct 2020
at 08:44
Imperial Warrants
Instrument of power issued by Imperial dukes, archdukes or the Emperor.  A warrant is a written or electronic document on Imperial Stationery provided to trusted agents of the Imperium as a method of bypassing the bureaucracy.  The enabling act for the Emperor's warrants is Imperial Edict 97, and that for the dukes and archdukes is Imperial Edict 3097.

Typically, a warrant is provided to an individual who uses the power it provides to accomplish some mission of interest to the issuing official.  Known uses for such warrants have included the establishment of colonies in areas requiring development, the assumption of military power in the midst of crises, and the unilateral establishment of new noble lines to administer provinces which have suffered from war or economic collapse.

For instance, Strephon has been known to exercise his power through agents rather than directly through the bureaucracy of the Imperium.  These instances are rare, although there is reason to believe that such agents are more numerous than appears.

Imperial Edict 97, Imperial Edict 3097

This executive order is the enabling act for the use of Imperial Warrants.  Unusually obscure for such a wide-ranging and powerful edict, it is nonetheless on file at all Imperial installations.  The edict text runs to 34 pages, much of it pure legalese; when distilled down, it proves very direct - assist the bearer of an Imperial Warrant with all the power you can bring to bear.

Only the Emperor has the authority to issue warrants under Imperial Edict 97.  A similar edict, Imperial Edict 3097, provides limited power to the dukes and archdukes of the Imperium to issue similar warrants, although they are limited in their duration and territory.