The Earth Empire

Imperial Engineer and Noblewoman

This is where we come from, this is who we are. Never forget that. We were the first. We are still the best.

- Emperor Augustinian

The Earth Empire is the remaining half of the Old Earth regime. It is still governed from the Ancestral homeworld of the human species, and as such those within the Empire consider themselves a truer, more noble form of human. Even those at the bottom of the heap within the Empire can still look down at the humans of the Federation, or worse, the Co-Operative. There are still simmering tensions between the Federation and the Empire. While the Empire took the steps necessary to protect itself and its people, the idea that anyone would have the audacity to rebel still rankles among the true citizens of the Empire. However since meeting the Many, the Empire have found reliable allies in the Universe, as shared political structures have enabled easier understanding between the two species.

Society is heavily stratified within the Empire. Resources, rights and freedoms are distributed unevenly, in a way that makes those who study history smile and mutter about a second Rebellion. However the Imperial Family have made changes since the Rebellion happened. Rather than limiting the opportunities of those below them to rise again, instead they have tried to ameliorate the motives that led to the Rebellion. As such there are now tangible benefits at every layer of their feudal system, even at the bottom.

There is still a stark contrast between the top and bottom of the ladder. Those within the aristocracy live lives of comfort and pleasure, with the power of life and death over those below them. The demands placed on them by the Empress however, are large. To hold a title is to do so in the Empress’ name, and any who act against her will, or her interests can find themselves on a fast track to the bottom, or even the executioner’s block. Meanwhile those on the bottom of the ladder now enjoy considerable freedom of speech and movement, without the constant pressure. They do however live a far poorer and squalid existence.

Most businesses are owned by nobles, even if they are managed by commoners. It is difficult to operate a business with more than a hundred or so employees without at least the patronage, if not the direct involvement, of a member of the aristocracy.

Only those of the Noble classes are allow to develop Neuro-External talents. Amongst the commoners, it is punishable by death. In reality however those of the commoner class who develop Neuro-External talents and admit it to those above them, are quickly married in to Noble houses desperate for empowered genes. Those who try to conceal their abilities, however, run the risk of made into an object lesson.

The Empire has very strong religious influences, with very nearly all subjects at least nominally belonging to one of the Four Faiths: Christianity; Judaism; Islam and monotheistic Hinduism. The Emperor or Empress includes the term 'Defender of the Faiths' in his or her full title. There are several groups devoted to pressuring the Defender of the Faiths to remove the Kaaba from the Zebulons and return it to Mecca. Unsurprisingly no moves, other than diplomatic have been made in this direction, but it still remains as a massive point of contention between the two peoples.

One must always dress appropriately. It is important to show the others how they should be.

- The Duchess d’Rialto.

As with many things within the Empire, dress is heavily influenced by position, rank and gender. There is very little gender parity in the Empire and this shows very clearly through the clothes that people wear. Women’s clothes are far more restrictive, and their expected behaviour in public is far more modest than men. Men are considered undressed if they venture out without a weapon, and likewise ladies if they do not show the hint of a concealed weapon. Whether one is considered male or female is not a simple matter of biology, but one is expected to conform the the habits of the gender one presents, or to align with the stricter parts of both, should neither suit.

Aristocratic clothing tends towards the opulent: patterned silks; rich velvets and thick brocades. Archaic styles from ancient Yrasie, such as frock coats, hooped gowns and kimonos are very popular. Hats are considered the epitome of polite fashion and at a function one would expect to see hats of all descriptions.

The middle classes often wear simpler versions of the noble fashions, although never quite up to date. The cloth is less rich, the colours less bright and there is a lack of metallic embellishments. Alien clothing styles are increasingly popular among those who have the money for such things and no social pressure to avoid them.

Imperial commoners wear far simpler styles, usually thick tunics belted at the waist over trousers or skirts. Some of those with patrons above them may wear a uniform suited to their trade when working.

It is an honour for all to serve when they are called.

- Sir Josephine D’Angler

Like the civilisation as a whole, the Imperial military is arranged largely along feudal lines. That is to say that the governing noble of any area, on any scale, raises and maintains a professional army and navy from the stratum below. So a Sector Duke or Duchess would call upon Planetary Counts and Countesses, who would in turn command Regional Barons or Baronesses. These Regional Commanders bring in the Knighted Commanders of town and city districts who have personal command over the unlanded Knights and the rank and file troops from common heritage.

In addition, the Emperor or Empress holds direct command over several regiments of special Bodyguard, Household and Expeditionary Forces. While all military service is voluntary except in extreme circumstances, any male Noble who has not done any soldiering is not considered to be full-grown or entirely committed to the Imperial cause and a woman of any rank who has seen combat earns an odd mix of mild disapproval and strong admiration.

What they are: Hierarchical, extravagant at the top and protected at the bottom (of society!)

What they are not: Grimdark, Medievalist

Inspiration: Sharpe, Hunger Games, Dune, Flash Gordon, Rome

Further Reading

earth_empire.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/18 08:17 by ruth
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