Empire of Dominia
|H. Sapiens / Human|
|Home System: Mira Sancta|
|Language(s): High Morozi (Tradeband), Vulgar Morozi (Solarian Common)|
|Political Entitie(s): Empire of Dominia|
The Empire of Dominia, often simply referred to as “the Empire,” is a heavily religious absolute monarchy with its capital, Nova Luxembourg, on the planet of Moroz in the Mira Sancta System. This autocratic state is presently ruled by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Boleslaw Keeser I. The Empire of Dominia was proclaimed in 2385 by Emperor Godwin Keeser, the father of Boleslaw Keeser. Imperial society is dominated by the Great and Minor Houses under the Emperor and is very socioeconomically stratified due to the so-called blood debt, known as the Mor’iz’al. All citizens are born with the Mor’iz’al debt in exchange for the privileges of citizenship, a debt that takes some a lifetime or more to pay off. Imperial society is heavily divided by class and the Mor’iz’al blood debt is a very important part of Imperial society. Many in the Empire follow a strict code of honor, which originates with its great houses. The Empire is considered by many to be a threat to the free frontier. Its state religion is the Moroz Holy Tribunal which lays a heavy hand upon the Imperial government, with their edicts enforceable as law and those that violate its edicts being referred to as “edict breakers,” a class of unpersons actively hunted down by the government. Perhaps the most famous export of the Empire is the gene-boosting techniques it has carefully developed over centuries, though they lag behind the Skrell. It remains highly imperialistic and somewhat isolated but has recently made strides to enter further into the galactic stage. The primary language is Tradeband, though a local dialect of Sol Common referred to as Vulgar Morozi is also common. “In the Goddess’s Name, So Shall It Be Done” is commonly regarded as the unofficial motto of the Empire, due to the association of the phrase with the Tribunal.
Population and Planets
The total population of the Empire roughly fifteen billion based on the 2459 Imperial Census. This population is spread out over the Empire’s multiple systems. Citizens from the Inner Empire (Moroz, Sparta, Spartan Station, Lyoid Primary) tend to be extremely devout in their belief in the Tribunal due to their proximity to the heart of the Tribunal's power. Citizens within the Central Empire (Alterim Obrirava, Tribunal's Joy, Ignomni Balteulis, and Greensands) are considered to be more moderate yet still devout and loyal, primarily being Morozian colonists sent abroad.
Citizens of the Outer Empire or "Imperial Frontier" tend to lack loyalty to both the throne and the Tribunal, largely due to being conquered by force rather than colonized by Morozians as the Dominian core worlds were. Many subjects are new to the Empire in these regions and are unwilling to bend the knee, leading to a great number of military units being stationed here. Imperial frontier subjects have a reputation for being uncivilized in the Inner Empire. They tend to be unwilling to convert, with these regions seeing higher amounts of edict-based executions.
The capital planet the Empire with roughly six billion residents. The planet is largely dominated by its large polar circles which encompass around 70% of the planet’s surface. Moroz is by far the wealthiest settlement in the Empire and owes much of its wealth to the extraction-based economics of Dominian imperialism, which has led to some resentment from other planets in the young Empire
With 200 million people, Sparta has a thin but breathable atmosphere and a largely unstable crust. It suffers from frequent natural disasters from earthquakes to volcanoes. Despite the violent geology making permanent habitation dangerous, the unstable crust contains an incredibly rich source of minerals and valuable ores that form the backbone of the local economy. Much of the steel and other metals used in the Imperial economy are mined here. The planetary capital, Raltabao, literally translated Red Castle, is home to the Imperial arsenal that it takes its name from. Sparta's orbital station, Spartan Station, is home to the majority of the Empire's Offworlder Humans.
Carrying around half a billion people and featuring a diverse yet Earthlike environment, the population is rapidly growing after coming under Imperial control. In the capital of Ilstel, a bustling foreign merchant quarter can be found, with a diversity of goods to match the planet itself. After a proper government administration was established, surveys revealed that the planet may have been terraformed in the ancient past. Due to the secretive nature of the Imperial government, there are no methods of confirming these claims.
Often called by the equally popular name of Ignatzi Alte’uz by the resident Unathi and populated by roughly 300 million, this is a dry world with a mixed climate of savannas, deserts, and arid polar regions. The Temple of the Ancestors can be found in the planet's capital of Salstiliska. Many Unathi are known to dwell here and the Moroz Holy Tribunal's power is at its most potent: its influence here can even surpass the Emperor's in some cases. The Unathi of this planet are usually under the influence of the Kazhkz as they enjoy the Sk’akh-like religion they can add their own rituals to.
A recent addition to the Empire, Sun Reach is the least populated major world in the Empire, with around 500 thousand people. The planet, taking its name from its largest settlement, is itself mostly covered in primitive algae with a low level of biodiversity: a young world.
The Empire has other colonies throughout its small sector of the Orion Spur that typically exist to provide resources to Moroz proper, with populations ranging from just a handful of settlers to thousands of colonists.
A tundra planet initially colonized by inhabitants of the Adriatic coasts with a population of roughly 100 million people near the edge of the Empire's westernmost frontier. Predominantly cold and icy with short summers have kept the economy primarily rural and much of the planet underdeveloped, with most living in small cities dotted around the coast and along major waterways. Some major population centers exist, such as the capital of Nova Rijeka, that have a semblance of a modern service-based or industrial economy, though these are typically based around processing the foodstuffs the planet is well-known for. Noble authority on the edge of the Empire in Novi Jadran is quite strong, with many people viewing themselves as loyal to their local nobles first and the greater Empire second.
Novi Jadran has been under the Empire's control for roughly fifty years following its peaceful annexation, and has proved itself to be a loyal colony despite not contributing much to the Imperial treasury. Many in the Empire view it as the “model colony” of the Dominian frontier and it is visited by many functionaries on tours due to this status, with the Chief Commissioner for Colonial Affairs visiting the planet twice a year. These visits are major events for the planet’s inhabitants and bring with their best offerings for the visiting Primaries in hopes of attracting attention, and the benefits from having a Primary’s eye upon you. These gifts are usually finely crafted feasts and food, though it is not uncommon for horses and other animals to be presented.
Planetary cuisine holds true to its Adriatic roots, with many Croatian and Italian elements still present. Fish-based diets are ubiquitous among the rural people as the vast oceans make for perfect fishing conditions and much of the ground is too cold to properly till. The raising of livestock is common towards the equator of the planet, but is not as prevalent as fishing.
Despite its status as the “model colony” the planet is not without its problems. Many local nobles are negligent regarding the needs of the rural population and often refuse to carry out mandated infrastructure or electrical reforms. Many of the rural inhabitants in far-flung regions still have either no electricity, or very little. The petty nobility that oversees the various settlements and cities often protests this mismanagement, but the dukes keep them in check through vast and indulgent parties and balls. Calls for a new administration have been spreading around the planet for a while now, but only time can tell if the nobility will be reigned in by the Empire or not.
Though Dominia accepts the Solarian Standard Credit like many other regions of the Spur, it continues to use the Imperial Pound as a local currency, which is backed in precious metals by the Imperial Bank of Moroz. The Great Houses are very powerful movers in the Imperial economy and are some of the largest employers. Defense industries, raw resource production, and agriculture are the largest sectors of the Empire's economy, with recent years' modernization efforts making the latter two increasingly lucrative. Consistent expansions of the Imperial Military’s budget have seen rapid growth in all types of equipment production and research for the army and navy, sectors dominated by houses Kazhkz, Strelitz, and Zhao.
The Empire’s unique form of taxation is the Mo’ri’zal, or “Blood Debt” in Vulgar Morozi. The Mo’ri’zal is a lump sum every Imperial subject receives upon birth (or otherwise acquiring their citizenship) that is paid to the state over the course of their life, and is often high enough to require decades to pay off. How quickly one can pay off their Mo’ri’zal is a key marker of one’s economic class in the Empire. Most Primaries — those of the Empire’s aristocracy — have theirs paid off at birth, most Secondaries — the Imperial middle class — pay theirs by early to mid adulthood, and many Ma’zals — the colonial subjects of the Empire — must work their entire lives to pay it off.
One’s Mo’ri’zal can be paid off by others, and many noble houses of Dominia attract commoners into their employ through promises of paying off parts of their debt. The Mo’ri’zal can also be paid off in other ways: military service pays five percent of the debt per year served, and injuries received in the line of duty — particularly severe ones — can pay off large amounts of the debt. Those that fall serving the Empire have their entire debt and a part of their immediate family’s debt forgiven.
While the Mo’ri’zal is a significant sum — and criticized by some as simply a state-sponsored form of indentured servitude — it is quite popular in the Empire’s core worlds due to the benefits it provides them: their paying of the Mo’ri’zal funds healthcare, public services such as education, infrastructure, and the might of the Empire’s war machine. It is additionally often trivial for many of them to pay off their Mo’ri’zal due to the wealth of many in the Empire’s core. In the Empire’s colonies, such as Sun Reach, the Mo’ri’zal is looked upon much more poorly. Many Ma’zals were initially born as non-Imperial subjects and only received their Mo’ri’zal when the Empire conquered their planet, and few of them view the debt — which is meant to be paid off gradually from one’s birth onwards — as reasonably payable. While the debt is legally meant to not carry over to one’s descendents, should it be unpaid at one’s death, a familial history of being unable to pay Mo’ri’zals can result in a denial of privileges such as healthcare until the debt is settled -- generally through a family member joining the the Imperial military.
Compounding the issues of these recently-conquered Dominian subjects is the nature through which the Mo’ri’zal is calculated. As the Mo’ri’zal is assigned to an Imperial subject at their birth -- or at the point that they become a subject -- it is not, like other taxes, based upon one’s income. Instead it is based upon one’s perceived loyalty to the Dominian state, and the Imperial throne by extension. Primaries and many Secondaries often have small Mo’ri’zals due to generations of dedicated service to the Empire while less loyal populations -- such as Fisanduhians, Lyodii, and some Ma’zals -- tend to have larger Mo’ri’zals.
- 76% Morozian Humans
- 23% Ma'zal Humans
- 0.75% Unathi
- 0.25% Other nonhumans
The state religion is the Moroz Holy Tribunal.
Dominians, especially members of Houses, follow a strict code of honor similar to that found in Unathi culture. For more information see: Dominian Culture
Breaking of an edict is punishable by death so it is not uncommon for an "Edict Breaker" to go on the run outside of Dominian space. Due to the nature of the Empire, in-depth records are kept on all subjects and once one runs, their details are reported on the local ExtraNet daily until they return/are returned. These details include name, address, picture, family details, everything. As such, any "Edict Breakers" are instantly identifiable to Dominian subjects. In Dominia space, any "Edict Breakers" are violently sought for capture. Outside of Dominian space, however, due to the nature of the fourth edict, subjects of Dominian usually do not violently attempt to apprehend these criminals but instead try to convince them in the nicest way possible to return to Dominian space under their own volition for judgment. This usually devolves into near-passive harassment where the loyal imperial subjects will remind the "Edict Breaker" over and over that they have violated the law and should return to the Empire to repent, usually in a sickly sweet manner. The effect is usually maddening for the lawbreaker and it's not uncommon for them to allow themselves to be returned to Dominia for judgment and in some extreme cases take their own lives. Edict breakers abroad in human space sometimes find themselves pursued in the legal realm for infringing on the trademarks of their House if they refuse to change their surname.
The Empire of Dominia operates as an absolute monarchy, with a powerful central government and an expansive, all-consuming imperial bureaucracy. The Imperial Cabinet and Electors are major parts of the government.
The Imperial Cabinet is the direct will of the Emperor manifested in the hundreds of officials that work in his name and carry out his will. The ministers, judges, and bureaucrats of the Imperial Cabinet manage many parts of the Empire, as well as advising the Emperor on all major decisions. The majority of all political posts are directly controlled by Emperor Keeser. His Imperial Cabinet consists of:
- Colonel-in-Chief of His Majesty's Special Operations Group: Angelika-Lina Strelitz (Human)
- Chief Commissioner of Economic Development: Izla Caladius (Human)
- Chief Commissioner of His Majesty's Imperial Military: Eliza Volvalaad (Human)
- Chief Commissioner of Imperial Sovereignty: Antonio Caladius (Human)
- Chief Commissioner for Colonial Affairs: Alessandro d'Arcobuono (Human)
- Chief Minister of Unathi Affairs: Kasz Han’san (Unathi)
- Grand Admiral of His Imperial Majesty’s Fleet: Huiling Zhao (Human)
- Chief Commissioner for Imperial Aviation. Annaliese Strelitz (Human)
- High Lord General of His Majesty's Imperial Army: Dorothea-Frieda Strelitz (Human)
- High Seneschal of His Majesty's Justice: Ngo Juric (Human)
- Director of His Majesty's Imperial Intelligence Directorate: Alojzia Molnarova (Human)
A moniker for the five most prominent Houses in the Empire, these families are the most powerful political and economic influencers in the Empire. They currently consist of:
- House Volvalaad - House Colors: Blue, Black - A Human-dominated house. This house's wealth is in genetics and biological research. Of all the Great Houses, it is the biggest supporter of integration into the wider galactic community.
- House Caladius - House Colors: Purple Shades - A Human-dominated house. This house's power lies in its money lending and banking, alongside its many land holdings for which it receives a breathtaking sum in rent money. They also control a large amount of the Moroz Holy Tribunal.
- House Zhao - House Colors: White, Gray - A Human-dominated house. The power of this great house sits in engineering and its numerous naval contacts. It dominates the navy of the Empire of Dominia, with other houses constituting minor portions of the fleets.
- House Strelitz - House Colors: Gold and Red - A venerable Human house. Largely a military and martial power, it provides most of the Imperial Army’s officers and equipment. It is also the origin of Dominian honor as it is known today.
- House Kazhkz - House Colors: Orange, Red, Yellow - A Unathi-dominated house. Most of their wealth comes from its budding privateering enterprise. Of all the Great Houses, House Kazhkz is the most against integration into the wider galactic community. It has an internal faction, the Han’sans, who often enjoy their work bolstering the army’s ranks.
The Imperial Electors
The five great houses form the only voting group in the Empire of Dominia, the Imperial Council of Electors. These five individuals, leaders of their respective houses, are expected to meet with the Emperor - or Empress - to discuss and pass legislation impacting the entire Empire. Debates amongst the electors can become extremely heated and can be roughly divided along reformist and conservative lines. The reformists - those that seek a more liberal and widely integrated Empire - are led by the Volvalaads with support from House Caladius’ pro-trade faction. The conservatives - those that believe the Empire is fine as it stands and does not need further integration - are headed by the Kazhkz with support from much of House Caladius’ clergy. Houses Zhao and Strelitz, being more militarily-minded, tend to flip-flop on issues depending on Imperial security interests. The Emperor rarely steps into debates himself but, when he does, he is often able to easily shift the argument in his favor.
The Peerage, Noble Orders, and Titles
The Imperial nobility is defined and sorted in prominence by their peerages alongside a complex mixture of noble orders and titles, many of which can trace their origins back to the era before the modern Empire. The Empire’s nobility is well-respected in its core worlds and is regarded as the peak of polite Dominian society. Below is a list of some common titles found in the Empire of Dominia, ordered from highest to lowest in the Empire’s peerage. This should be used as a general guide for the Empire’s nobility.
Royal Titles (Unplayable):
- Emperor/Empress: The unquestioned ruler of the Empire of Dominia. This title can also refer to the spouse of an Emperor or Emperess.
- Crown Prince/Princess: The heir apparent to the throne of the Empire of Dominia, next in line for the Imperial succession. The current heir apparent is Crown Princess Priscilla Keeser.
- Prince/Princess: Children of the current Emperor that are not the heir apparent.
Lord Noble Titles (Unplayable):
- Grand Duke/Duchess: The leaders of the Empire’s great houses.
- Grand Consul: The leader of House Caladius. Unlike a Grand Duke, this position is elected by members of its own great house.
- Governor: The rule of an Imperial March, one of the Empire’s core worlds. Governorship is not inherited and is instead granted by the Emperor.
- Marquess/Marchioness: The ruler of one of the systems on the border between the Imperial Core and Imperial Frontier, such as Novi Jadran. Appointed by the Emperor.
- Viceroy: Ruler of an Imperial Viceroyalty, a colony in the Imperial Frontier. Viceroys are appointed by the Emperor rather than inheriting their title.
- Duke/Duchess: The immediate subordinates of a governor or viceroy that are responsible for managing regions of a planet. This title is bestowed by a Governor and is not hereditary.
House Noble Titles (Playable):
- Count/Countess: The hereditary ruler of an Imperial province and subordinate to a Duke. Counts can also be the administrators of Imperial military bases, though these Counts are not hereditary. Military Counts retain their title, but not their county, after their posting.
- Viscount/Viscountess: The ruler of a subdivision of an Imperial province, subordinates of the province’s Count. A hereditary position.
Minor Nobles (Playable):
- Baron/Baroness: The hereditary ruler of a barony, a small plot of land that has been declared the domain of a family in exchange for their loyalty to the Emperor. Typically answer to a Count or Duke.
- Lord/Lady: A generic title used to refer to a landless noble lacking other honorifics, such as the children of a noble.
Secondary Titles (Playable):
- Baronet: A gender-neutral, landless hereditary title granted by the Emperor or a Governor to a notable commoner family, granting them the status of Primary in the Empire. Often the first step to becoming fully ennobled.
- Imperial Knight: A title granted to members of an Imperial Order of the Empire, such as the Order of the Golden Albatross. Used by both Secondaries and Primaries.
The original settlers of the planet of Moroz arrived and founded the city of Nova Luxembourg in July of 2137 within the Mira Sancta System, so named after a belief that the planet would be a bountiful new frontier for humanity. The settlers had been primarily recruited from Europe and East Asia, promised a fertile new home in the deep frontier of human space as many were during this era of colonization. However, these settlers were going farther than any human colonists had gone before. The three colony ships were equipped with a new generation of warp engines that made the trip only take three years and they had been told by their sponsors that terraforming efforts had transformed three barren worlds into utopian paradises to surpass Earth itself.
But as the settlers stepped out onto their new home, they found the planet almost entirely frozen. What terraforming equipment had been there had been abandoned for years— the failing states of Earth had effectively sent tens of thousands of people off without making sure they had a home to arrive to. Their mission was not an official United Nations-sanctioned effort, but a disjointed effort between scattered, failing states. Only three years after they landed the United Nations had even ceased to exist - transformed into the Sol Alliance. In the transition red tape and chaotic bureaucracy consumed everything and old data was lost or neglected, including records of the Morozi colonial effort. And with the colonists' warp-based transponder signals broadcasting on phased out frequencies that no longer existed within Sol, Moroz was cut off with no hope of resupply or escape. With no other option, they brought their colony ship to touch down on the planet's surface.
The initial colonists of Dominia arrived in three separate areas, as per the original flight plans of their colony ships. Landing Site Fisanduh was located in "temperate" plains to be utilized for farming that was surrounded by mineral-rich mountain ranges, intended to become the industrial base of the colony— unfortunately for the colonists, the landing zone and its surrounding area were discovered to be quite cold. Landing Site Ofassel was located in the most "fertile" area of Moroz, a relatively temperate region of the planet. Intended to be the "breadbasket" of the planet, the colonists of this landing site viewed themselves as blessed with good fortune compared to their fellows. Landing Site Telminia was located near flat, fertile plains intended to serve as the primary launch point for shuttles coming on and off of the planet. Exacerbating the issues of the colonists upon landing was the failure of their local warp-based transponders, meaning that the three landing sites developed isolated of one another for some time. The Forgotten Colony
After landing, all three colony ships were unable to relaunch due to a lack of fuel. In this harsh environment, the colonists quickly learned how to adapt and overcome through a variety of means. Some overcame through unity, while others tried more radical methods.
At Landing Site Fisanduh, the name of the mountainous region in which they had settled, the colonists managed to quickly adapt to their harsh circumstances. They unloaded crate after crate of heavy equipment originally intended for mining and industrial work, managing to establish the respectable city of Neubach in the foothills of the Fisanduh Mountains. The colonists of Fisanduh opted to unify as a whole to conquer their harsh environment and managed to avoid the radical measures undertaken by other landing sites due to the strength of their unity. As the area around Landing Site Fisanduh expanded, and it became clear that the original colonial staff would no longer be able to manage it all, the Confederated States of Fisanduh were formed. To the members of the Confederacy, there was no such thing as a Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary - there were simply Confederates. To the members of other states, however, the population of the Confederated States is primarily Secondaries, due to the lack of a colonial rationing program or nobility.
At Landing Site Ofassel the colonists were more religious than their fellows, being primarily recruited from Eastern Orthodox populations. When faced with the hardship they relied on their faiths to guide them through the harsh initial years of the colonial process, and the clergy quickly became a wealthier and better-fed class than their contemporaries. The religious class of Ofassel was taller, stronger, and more educated than their fellows that worked in the agricultural industry and quickly began co-opting control of the landing site from the small staff of colonial administrators sent along with the ship. It was not until an administrator, a senior official named Valentia Caladius, proposed an alliance with the clergy that the settlement truly began to prosper. The start of the Holy Kingdom of Domelkos grew out of this political alliance, as did House Caladius. The importance of the religious leaders to the Holy Kingdom led to a great amount of emphasis being placed on them, with many referring to them as the "first and most important citizens" of the Holy Kingdom. Over time, this would simply be shortened to "Primaries."
At Landing Site Telminia, two families rapidly came to prominence: the Zhao family, a group of engineers involved in ensuring that the engines that powered their capital of Nova Luxembourg kept running, and the Volvalaad family, a group of scientists responsible for the genetic engineering of crops and livestock to prevent the starvation of the colony. The two families would eventually rapidly expand their capabilities and power, with the Zhaos becoming prominent engineers and the Volvalaads moving into human genetic manipulation. They would also, through a combination of their power and manipulation of the colonial bureaucracy, turn the landing site into a monarchy controlled by the two families - now referred to as House Zhao and House Volvalaad. Eventually, they would refer to themselves as the Imperial Alliance of Zhao and Volvalaad. Or, more simply, the Imperial Alliance of Telminia. The engineers of House Zhao were lucky to create a working long-range radio system shortly after landing, which put them into contact with the fledgling Holy Kingdom of Domelkos. The religion of the Holy Kingdom spread to the Imperial Alliance as the two groups grew closely together due to their similar systems of government and similar state of quasi-castes. The nobility of the Imperial Alliance was, like their contemporaries in House Caladius and the Holy Kingdom's clergy, generally taller and stronger than their commoner counterparts due to a better diet. The caste system of the Imperial Alliance was further reinforced by a primitive version of the later blood debt, in which those living under the control of a noble paid them in service or goods to reside on it.
By 2300 these three groups had grown significantly from their original sizes. The Confederated States had expanded to become a major industrial powerhouse in the Fisanduh Mountains and area around them, but remained behind their mountain ranges aside from the occasional expedition due to the hostile attitude of the Holy Kingdom, occupying western areas surrounding the mountain range— and Imperial Alliance— occupying the eastern regions surrounding the mountain range. Due to the differences between the Confederacy and the Holy Kingdom-Imperial Alliance coalition, conflict was inevitable at some point. It would come in 2355 when the Imperial Alliance and the Holy Kingdom gave the Confederated States an ultimatum: bend the knee and come into the fold as a unified Moroz, or resist and be annihilated. The democratic Confederated States opted to resist, and the bloodiest war in the planet’s history began.
The War of Moroz
Lasting almost a full century, the "Holy Crusade to Unite Moroz" as it is called in the Empire of Dominia (the Confederacy refers to it as the "War for Liberty") economically and militarily devastated the planet. While the war began with victories for the Coalition outside of the Fisanduh Mountains, it rapidly became a stalemate when the mountain range was reached by Coalition forces. The Confederacy was on its home terrain, had fortified the passes through the mountains heavily, and was not willing to give territory up to what its citizens viewed as bloodthirsty imperialist invaders. The full might of the Confederated State's industrial economy was brought to bear to produce the materials needed to defend its harsh mountainous environments, with factories producing everything from winterized uniforms to artillery shells, while the Coalition turned its biological prowess towards beating their way through the mountains. The foundation of the modern geneboosted Primaries, often-titanic examples of humanity stretching upwards of seven feet into the air, originated from this effort to produce more effective soldiers.
While the Coalition tried their best to break through, they could not. Shell after shell of artillery rained down from the Fisanduh Mountains as the war continued, turning the foothills where assaults would originate from into blasted moonscapes where the very ground became poisoned from residual gunpowder and unexploded munitions. There were breaks in the warring, but they were only temporary ceasefires - simply interludes in what the Coalition viewed as a holy war and what the Confederated States viewed as a war for their very existence. One side would not stop until their conquest was over, and the other side intended to fight until the bitter end. The Confederated States were diverting more and more of their economy towards the war as the years turned to decades, and were approaching a kind of white peace as the Coalition became more and more worn down by reports of losses for what they saw as very little gain. Then, in 2384, after decades of war, the balance of power shifted dramatically.
The Collapse of Fisanduh
In late 2384 the Imperial Alliance and the Holy Kingdom, worn down by nearly forty years of continuous fighting, made a desperate move. House Zhao was confident in its ability to launch a functional spaceship fleet after decades of research alongside House Volvalaad with the aim of flanking the Fisanduhian lines and deploying elite geneboosted commandos of House Strelitz to destroy the Fisanduhians from the inside. A Captain from the Holy Kingdom, Stanislav Olkhovsky, was chosen for his exceptional faith in the Morozian Holy Tribunal - the colonial religion of the Alliance and Kingdom, descended from Eastern Orthodoxy. As Captain Olkhovsky and his crew launched, they were firm in their faith that they would aid them. As the ships took off with their troop compartments full of crack Strelitz troops, all aboard prayed that this would be the end of the bloody war. In the Imperial Palace, the Emperor himself is said to have prayed for the success of the mission.
The Confederated States, for their part, prepared for the assault with what knowledge they had of it. However, this did not prepare them for an orbital assault by the commando units on all their major cities, including their capital of Neubach. The government of the Confederated States never signed surrender terms to the war, instead opting to enact "Plan SCRAM" and send its government and military into an insurgency. The last Prime Minister of the Confederated States, Helga Kesselring, shot herself while draped in the standard of the States rather than be taken prisoner. No fully intact copy of Plan SCRAM has ever been recovered from Moroz due to the Confederated States' efforts to destroy sensitive documents in the final hours of its existence as an official government - the only recovered parts of it are a two-page section: a title page reading "PLAN SCRAM" and a second page reading "DESTROY ALL INFORMATION PAST THIS PAGE AFTER READING."
This spirit of defiance continues up until the present day. The Imperial forces that came to occupy the former Confederated States after this rapid assault reported no resistance whatsoever, but constant signs that the citizens of the region were preparing to stand against them. The army of the States had simply vanished, its factories had disappeared, and its citizenry had ripped up road signs across the territory. The second phase of the so-called "Fisanduhian Imperial Conquest" was more cultural than military. With the reunification finally completed at long last, the Imperial Alliance and the Holy Kingdom joined hands with the formation of the Empire of Dominia and the coronation of Godwin Keeser, the ruler of the Imperial Alliance, as the first Emperor of Dominia. The years that followed his coronation on the 29th of June, 2385, would be a time of great change for Moroz.
The Reign of Emperor Godwin Keeser I
The first true Emperor of Dominia, Godwin reigned from 2385 until his death from old age in 2437. During his roughly five decades of rule the newly-formed Empire of Dominia would go from a minor power to a true Empire, though his path would not be free of issues. Even as the Empire, under the watchful eye of its Emperor, expanded to multiple worlds and became masters of generic research it had problems in its home. The reign of Emperor Godwin Keeser I and its rapid expansion saw the creation of a new social class in the Empire: the Ma’zals. These humans make up a broad swath of Imperial society and are defined within the Empire as non-Morozian subjects of the Empire of Dominia. Controlling Ma’zals has been a longstanding problem for the immense colonial bureaucracy of the Empire of Dominia, and issues continue to this very day. Along with issues in the Imperial colonies, not all was well in the Imperial Occupied Territory of Fisanduh.
The Imperial Occupation of Fisanduh
In the meantime, settlers of the Fisanduh region from the greater Empire became extremely rare, due to massive hostility from the native population. Settlers often reported having bricks thrown through their windows, effigies of Keeser burnt on their properties, were typically declined employment in Fisanduh-run businesses and saw extremely low rates of attendance at Tribunal festivities and churches. The Fisanduh town of Vasychevo is well-known for having a church attendance of zero non-Imperial citizens until its church was shuttered fifteen years after its establishment. The initial Imperial bureaucrats and clergy sent to Fisanduh often returned demoralized and infuriated (and often complained that citizens of the former Confederated States would refuse to give them the time of day). Most pettily, a Tribunalist priest once claimed that a Fisanduh supply truck had opted to move fifty Kilometers under the speed limit in a no-passing zone, causing him to be two hours late to a sermon. This was not an isolated incident, as Fisanduh was full of these signs of defiance - some large and noble, some small and petty.
The first serious attempt by the young Empire to bring Fisanduh to heel was the creation of an organization officially known as His Majesty’s Imperial Fisanduhian Gendarmerie (simply referred to as IFG by most Fisanduhians), police led by Imperial officers but staffed by Fisanduhians armed and supplied by the Empire. An effort by the Empire to integrate the Fisanduhians into the imperial system and to make good on their status as 'Morozians,' by traditional Dominian definitions of the word, however, the IFG fell flat on its face almost immediately. This was primarily attributed to the hatred of the Empire held by Fisanduhians, a successful smear campaign that (rightfully) portrayed the IFG as puppets of the Emperor, and intensive 3F infiltration of the Gendarmerie. The IFG served only to arm and equip the 3F and while it remains active on paper, it is primarily staffed by Imperial subjects and is regarded as a dumping ground for ineffective officers that must be placed in a location where they can do as little damage as possible to the Empire’s reputation.
In yet another attempt to bring their new province under control, the Empire escalated by sending firebrands to Fisanduh. These firebrands found very little success at best, and death at worst. The situation in Fisanduh continued to escalate as the 2430s, then the 2440s, dragged on and a new Emperor was crowned. The Empire had a poor foothold at best, and there were rumors that the Fisanduh resistance (now, by this point, violent) reached further than the Empire knew. When Emperor Keeser attempted to formally enforce control in 2440 via an order to convert to the Holy Tribunal at the sword enforced by the Imperial Army, fears about the capabilities of the Fisanduh resistance would be found to have underestimated the resistance.
The Fisanduh Freedom Front
Active from 2386 to the present day as part of Plan SCRAM, the FFF (or 3F to some), the Fisanduh Freedom Front entered into a period of mustering for several years following the defeat of the Confederated States in open battle, gradually building up their strength. The Freedom Front is rumored to have been active formally since the day the Confederated States fell, they reemerged dramatically in 2386. While the order formally came into effect on November 15, 2386, its enforcement was intended to take place starting on the twentieth of the same month to allow the Imperials a chance to celebrate Navy Day. On November 18th two Imperial Navy light cruisers— the Arbiter and Outrider— detonated violently in their drydocks in New Luxembourg. The Arbiter remained in its elevated drydock moorings, but the Outrider managed to slip out of its dry-dock after the first blast. Observers first reported the Outrider starting to slide out, then a massive explosion (later revealed to be its power magazine) split the ship in two, with one half remaining attached to the dry-dock, while the other fell out of its moorings and into the naval armament plant beneath the dock, causing massive damage to the facility. The exact number of dead has never been revealed by the Empire of Dominia, though the cruisers were written off as unable to be salvaged. Shortly after the detonation, an organization known as the Fisanduh Freedom Front claimed responsibility for the attacks, with a man identified as "Svetovid" standing in front of the Confederated State's flag claiming that more attacks would come if the Empire continued its efforts to subjugate Fisanduh. The Emperor, not wanting to lose face to what he saw as dishonorable terrorists, continued his efforts to subjugate Fisanduh.
More attacks came. None were on the scale of the Navy Day attack, but they were a constant threat to the Empire in Fisanduh. Nail bombs arrived at important officials in Fisanduh, Tribunal temples were firebombed, buildings of the Imperial bureaucracy were detonated— some through car bombings, others through tunnels being physically dug beneath them. It became apparent that 3F was, despite Imperial efforts to pacify the province earlier, essentially the shadow government of the entire province. Many of 3F's fighters were veterans of the War of Moroz, and were still able to stand and fight despite their age. The "shadow state" supporting them was able to withstand the Imperial Army's efforts to root it out, proving to be extremely flexible and resilient. Losses on the part of the Imperial Army began to mount, and maimed soldiers marching back from Fisanduh became a common sight in the border provinces. The insurgency has continued since 2440 without signs of stopping, though it has waxed and waned. Through the propaganda machine of the Empire, the greater body of Imperial citizenry began to hate 3F and the democratic movement it stood for. Through their brutal actions, the greater Empire became hated by Fisanduh. The intensity of the insurgency, and of the Imperial counter-campaign has wound down in the past seven years - Emperor Keeser has mostly withdrawn from Fisanduh, while 3F has decreased its activities outside of Fisanduh as the occupation has retreated. Fisanduh was left with de facto independence despite being, de jure, a territory of the greater Empire. As a result, vessels flying the flag of Fisanduh are legitimately recognized in most areas outside Dominian space, though the Fisanduh Freedom Front maintains no official ships. Present-day Fisanduh is an area that is, in many places, devastated by war. It remains an area of the Empire that most Imperials do not go to and a source of conflict in the Imperial government. Should they attack Fisanduh again, or should they expand outwards?
The Reign of Emperor Keeser I
Skillful work by Emperor Keeser has helped mend the seemingly insurmountable gap between the foreign Ma’zals and native Morozi population, supposedly united in a new loyalty under the Emperor and Tribunal. With his consolidated power, Emperor Keeser has embarked upon numerous reforms and projects to improve the Empire. These range from research and infrastructure projects, military and naval expansions, to social and educational organization. In 2407, the Imperial Railroad was completed, linking all of the major cities of Moroz together. Since its start in 2412, the Imperial Canal project to link the major inland seas has made steady progress.
One major event in the reign of Emperor Boleslaw Keeser I was the introduction of Unathi to the Empire of Dominia. In the winter of 2440 a fleet of Unathi pirates arrived in the home system of the Empire. Though initially feared to be pirates, and the first true test of the Navy, a different outcome emerged: the pirates, led by Salak Kazhkz, instead pledged their sword to the Emperor and swore fealty. In return for their loyalty, and (perhaps more importantly) their vessels, the Unathi were granted the grand House Han’san-Kazhkz. However, due to the recent naval primacy of the Kazhkz and the defeat of the Han'sans, they are typically referred to as simply House Kazhkz.
A timeline of events in his reign follows:
In 2440 he opted to attempt to enforce Imperial control over the province of Fisanduh.
In 2445 the Coalition of Colonies officially forms the “Coalition Against Dominian Piracy”; an additional pact between its members that would target Dominia financially and diplomatically after Boleslaw announced it would enter into a defensive pact with neighboring pirate fleets.
In 2451 Necropolis Industries officially announced its partnership with Dominia would start in June of 2451, though some independent observers noted that facilities resembling Necropolis ones had existed on the planet since early 2440.
In 2452 the Emperor once again entered talks with NanoTrasen at the behest of House Volvalaad, ultimately resulting in the corporation and Imperial government reaching an agreement regarding trading and piracy. The opening of Dominia to the greater market of NanoTrasen has allowed for the Imperial Navy to rapidly expand its capabilities in the past decade, though the fully assembled Coalition of Colonies Deep-Space Fleet still outclasses it handily according to recently released figures.
In 2455 Emperor Keeser began a gradual withdraw from Fisanduh, having seen defeat in its mountainous territories. The province reverts to the droll Imperial title of "semi-autonomous region." He instead opts to expand the Empire's borders in the void of space (in order to save face, according to some critics), and begins a campaign of conquest and colonization.
In 2462 the Emperor continues to reign over Dominia, though he steadily grows older day by day. With the Empire suffering internal issues, and threats abroad, only the Goddess will know what will become of it when he passes...
The Primaries are the noble and liturgical classes of the Dominian Empire's humans, though the noble class of Dominia often sees Secondaries adopted into it. Due to centuries of eating better than their commoner and lay counterparts, Primaries are physically larger and more imposing than their Secondary cousins. Secondaries that are elevated to nobility, though still primaries, tend to be slightly shorter than older families. Dominians (or Morozians, if you are from the former Confederated States) of this social class are not typically found in Fisanduh due to its lack of nobility and can reach heights of six feet in both genders.
Unathi also fall into the category of "Primaries." They are usually descendants of the Unathi raiders who bent the knee to the Empire or recent immigrants from the Hegemony. New Unathi immigrants, however, are often considered “glorified secondaries” due to needing to prove themselves to become full members of a House.
Average Male Height: 5'6" - 6'5". The older a noble lineage, the taller they will be on average.
Average Female Height: 5'4" - 6'3". The older a noble lineage, the taller they will be on average.
Secondaries are the commoners and laypeople of Moroz, those on the planet lacking noble titles or liturgical positions. Exceptional Secondaries are often ennobled, becoming Primaries. They make up the bulk of Moroz's population but are the second-most populous group overall in the Empire after Ma'zals. Secondaries from outside Fisanduh tend to be smaller and thinner than their counterparts in Fisanduh, and Secondaries as a whole tend to be smaller than Primaries (though there are exceptions). Secondaries represent a more diverse social class than the Primaries do, but are a part of the same ethnic group as the Primaries. The key difference between the two classes is the presence of a noble title. In the Empire proper, Secondaries form the core of the Moroz Holy Tribunal and Imperial society as a whole. Within the former Confederated States, Secondaries are instead referred to as "Morozians."
Unathi that come from outside of Dominia that are turned away from House Kazhkz or even stop attempting to join a house often become secondaries. As such, a good chunk of the Unathite population are secondaries.
Average Male Height: 5'6" - 5'9" (add three to four inches if from Fisanduh)
Average Female Height: 5'1" - 5'4" (add three to four inches if from Fisanduh)
A blanket term used to refer to those citizens— or subjects— of the Empire that are not from Moroz, Ma'zals represent the Empire's underclass. They are an extremely diverse group that tends to be generally rebellious, and resistant to Imperial control. Those that do opt to side with the Empire have either been integrated into the Empire's colonial system or are turncoats. Ma'zals also form a large population in the Coalition of Colonies, as they often flee from the Empire through whatever means are available. They are also often conscripted into the Imperial Army or Imperial Navy and can be found throughout the Empire - with some rising far enough in the army or navy to become ennobled by House Strelitz or Zhao.
Ma’zals, while diverse, can be divided into three distinct groups that the Empire of Dominia keeps track of. The largest of these groups are the “regular” Ma’zals of the Empire that have yet to fully accept Imperial rule. These Ma’zals are generally found on recently conquered planets and tend to be the most resistant to Imperial control, with violent resistance not being uncommon. No matter how much the Empire tries there are always those that continue to resist even after most have accepted their status as Imperial subjects, and House Strelitz often becomes involved in counter-insurgency warfare on Imperial colonies. However, in due time, these Ma’zals will eventually bend the knee to Imperial rule; in part due to the next, and smallest, category of Ma’zal.
The so-called "Elevated Ma’zal,” is an unusual and often misunderstood figure both inside and outside of the Empire of Dominia. Originally an “invention,” of House Caladius, the men and women that make up this category of Ma’zals are trained to serve as bureaucrats in the massive bureaucracy of the Empire of Dominia. This has quite a few advantages as the Elevated Ma’zals know the planet, understand the local language and customs and can be utilized as a friendly face for the Empire’s control of the planet. Sometimes referred to as the “nobility of the Imperial frontier,” Elevated Ma’zals will often— with blessings from House Caladius of course— form their own noble houses and orders, assuming they are not integrated into House Caladius. These frontier houses are generally always affiliated with House Caladius, and have proven to be a valuable ally of their merchants.
The final category of Ma’zals are those that have accepted Imperial rule and now live as full citizens of the Empire. The “Integrated Ma’zals,” of the Empire make up a smaller portion of the total Ma’zal population than their non-integrated counterparts but possess a greater amount of economic power than their rebellious counterparts and are, though not fully Morozian, considered to be loyal subjects of the Emperor and Goddess alike. The loyalty of some Integrated Ma’zals is so great that many are often awarded the prestigious title of Honourary Morozian, also referred to as “Morozian beyond the void,” in some areas, which represents that they have demonstrated a very high level of commitment to the Empire. Such an award is accompanied by immediate ennobling with the great house that recommended the award be bestowed.
A technique dating back centuries, geneboosting is descended from colonial efforts to genetically engineer species adapted to the harsh Morozian climate. Geneboosting was originally used on humans by the Volvalaads at the behest of House Strelitz with the intent of improving the Imperial Army's officer corps before being adopted by House Volvalaad as a way to create a better class of nobility. Geneboosting is done during the fetal development stage. It greatly enhances the natural genetic structure of the patient, removing flaws and emphasizing strengths. This form of genetic modification is limited to the nobility due to the high cost and status associated with it. The effects lead to enhanced attributes and appearances: those geneboosted are stronger, faster, more able, and much longer-lived than their non-geneboosted counterparts. Geneboosted playable species tend to be a foot or so taller than average (upwards of seven to seven and a half feet for humans) and find it very easy to maintain peak fitness. A geneboosted person is obvious at a glance, and geneboosted humans are often held as paragons of Imperial society. Geneboosting carried out after birth, known as gene therapy, is very rare and generally dangerous in addition to being prohibitively expensive. Talks with Zeng-Hu to improve upon Dominia's pre-existing gene boosting techniques have not yielded results.
Dominian Heads of Staff
Due to the relative isolation of the Empire, combined with its fanatical outlook on certain issues such as synthetic life and edict breakers, Dominian heads of staff are fairly rare aboard NanoTrasen facilities such as the NSS Aurora. Those that do pass through the requirements needed to become a head of staff are typically considered to be liberals (or, alternatively, reformists) in the Empire and typically belong to or are affiliated with a Great House, with House Volvalaad having the greatest representation abroad and House Caladius following closely behind. Nevertheless, they must still go through a great amount of orientation in order to adapt to life in Tau Ceti. These barriers are in place due to the Empire emerging onto the galactic stage recently and concerns that Dominians, with their atypical views, would poorly represent NanoTrasen on the galactic stage. Mindshield implants are considered acceptable under the thirty-third edict.
Dominians that are elevated to a leadership position within NanoTrasen such as a head of security or a captain are regarded to be the best and brightest of the young Empire by the corporation and are highly-regarded by the corporation for their professionalism and honor despite some difficulties in working with IPCs and other forms of synthetic life. However, playing a Dominian head of staff is not an excuse to make a player's round miserable just because they're an IPC.
Several languages are spoken in the Empire of Dominia. Among the aristocracy, speaking a fluent Tradeband - otherwise known as High Morozi - and Tau Ceti Basic is seen as part of a good upbringing, while Unathi in the Empire speak Sinta'Azaziba, the archaic form of Sinta'Unathi. The middle and lower classes speak a regional dialect of Sol Common known as Vulgar Morozi, which to foreign listeners sounds archaic and formal. Imperial citizens who did not speak Basic from birth often speak in an overly formal and somewhat slow manner because of this. Freespeak is detested in the Empire, being associated with barbarism and corruption. It is often referred to with the pejorative of 'Gutter.' Linguists postulate that this is due to the language’s association with the outermost Dominian settlements and the resistances to the Empire associated with the said region.
Dominian hatred of synthetic life stems from its deep faith in the Holy Tribunal and all positronics are sought out and destroyed upon entering Dominia space. Interestingly, to observers, there seems to be a disproportionately high number of shell IPCs present in the sector compared to those beliefs. Rumors that Emperor Boleslaw Keeser declares political rivals untagged shells before black bagging them have been vehemently denied by the Empire.
Imperial citizens working abroad in human space often interact with synthetics. In foreign lands, Dominians are expected to maintain some degree of tolerance in the presence of synthetics, abomination though they may be, in order to continue being permitted to work in these environments. While robots, or synthetics without a positronic brain or similar, are not objectionable to the Tribunal, citizens who refused to work alongside AI or IPCs would soon find themselves out of work and are expected to cooperate with these entities when their occupation demands it.