Empire of Dominia
|H. Sapiens / Human|
|Home System: X'yr Vharn'p|
|Language(s): Sol Common/Sinta'Azaziba|
|Political Entitie(s): Empire of Dominia|
- 1 The Empire of Dominia
- 2 Population and Planets
- 3 Economy
- 4 Societal
- 5 Ethnicity in the Empire
- 6 Government
- 7 Anthem
- 8 History
- 9 Dominian Society
- 10 Potential Character Concepts
The Empire of Dominia
A heavily religious absolute monarchy with its capital, Nova Luxembourg, on the planet of Moroz in the X’yr Vharn’p system. This autocratic state is ruled by His Imperial Majesty Boleslaw Keeser. The Empire of Dominia was proclaimed in 2437 by Unathi raiders who invaded the planet of Moroz, a colony which had been isolated for hundreds of years. Imperial society is dominated by the Great and Minor Houses under the Emperor and is very socio-economically 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 a lifetime or more to pay off. Indebted citizens are known as Ma’zals, forming the massive underclass in Dominia. Many in the Empire follow a strict code of honor. The Empire of Dominia is considered by many to be a threat to the sovereignty of Frontier systems.
Imperial society is a society divided more by class then by species or ancestry. The Mor’iz’al blood debt is a very important part of Imperial society. The history of the planet of Moroz stretches back to the 22nd century. The core planets of the Empire are found in four systems. “In the Goddess’s Name, So Shall It Be Done” is the national motto, alongside the unofficial motto of “Democracy is a Codeword for Plutocracy.” The state religion of the Empire is led by the Moroz Holy Tribunal which lays a heavy hand on the Imperial government, with their edicts enforceable as law. The Empire remains diplomatically isolated, with little official representation in most areas.
Due to the recent entrance of the Empire on to the galactic stage as well as political considerations, it is rarely possible for a Dominian citizen to serve as a Captain on the Aurora as this require at least ten years of experience. Rare exceptions may exist, but they would have to be over the age of forty at the least. Loyalty implants are considered acceptable under the 33rd Edict.
Population and Planets
The total population of the Empire around 13 billion based on the 2458 Imperial Census. This population is spread out over the Empire’s multiple systems. Citizens from the Inner Empire (Moroz, Sparta, Lyoid Primary, Ignomni Balteulis, Spartan Station and Greensands) tend to be extremely devout in their belief in the Tribunal due to their proximity to the heart of the Tribunals power. Citizens within the Central Empire (Alterim Obrirava and Tribunal's Joy) are considered to be more moderate.
Citizens of the Outer Empire or "Imperial Frontier" tend to be extremely militaristic and interpret the Tribunals edicts in the most martial way possible, largely due to the large amounts of military units stationed there. Alongside is the fact that many citizens are new to the Empire in these regions and are therefore new converts. Imperial frontier citizens are known to talk with their fists and have a reputation of being uncivilized in the Inner Empire. They tend to be the most zealous citizens in the Empire, with these regions seeing higher amounts of edict-based executions. For more information on Dominian Culture, see here.
The capital planet the Empire with roughly 13 billion residents. The planet is largely dominated by its large polar circles which encompasses around 70% of the planet’s surface. The seven major cities on the planet are connected by the Imperial Railroad, a popular activity being a round trip across the planet on this massive rail system. Most settlements are dotted around the equator of the world, though some outer villages and cities are located in the sparse, frigid northern regions. The citizens of these arctic regions are known for their endurance and survival skills causing many to be recruited into the Imperial Army. In recent years efforts have been made to reclaim the polar regions with the use of large Echelon Mirrors, large constructions which direct heat and sunlight into their local surrounding areas. These melt zones are then settled and cultivated.
There is a growing rift between the 'original' inhabitants of the polar regions whose rugged, survivalist lifestyle is being replaced by the ‘cushier’ urban migrants. Moroz is also home to the prestigious Juro School of Genetics and Bio-Sciences, a University focusing on genetic research and cross-species biology. Key tourist attractions include the polar tours, the Imperial Palace exterior with gardens and the four-meter phoron crystal statue of fifteen battle medal holder Immortal Tribunal Commando Kikari Azi in the Imperial Plaza.
A specific faction of Freedom, the Extrastellar Travel Union, calls this planet home. A desire to break the bluespace monopoly held by Nanotrasen, and a few other corporations is their primary goal.
With 200 million people, Sparta has a thin but breathable atmosphere and 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.
Carrying around half a billion people and featuring a diverse biosphere and an environment similar to Earth’s, 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 of mysterious terraforming.
Often called by the equally popular name of Ignotum Balteum by the resident Unathi and populated by roughly 300 million, Alterim Balteulis 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 it's most potent. The Tribunal's influence here can even surpass the Emperors imperial will in some cases. A popular attraction in the planet's capital is a large statue of a genetically modified kangaroo named Roger, one of the most popular figures in the planet's history, famed for his immensely muscular figure.
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 primative algae with a low level of biodiversity - a young world.
Lyoid Primary - Mining colony based on Moroz's airless moon Lyoid.
Spartan Station - High orbit merchant and mining station above the planet Sparta. Has a high concentration of secondary Offworlder Humans.
Mo'zal Station - Prison station located on the edge of Dominian space.
Tribunal's Joy - Colony based in central Dominian space. Self sufficent economy exporting large quantities of lumber and livestock/meat to the Empire.
Greensands - Colony based in the inner regions of Dominian space. An Empire dependent import colony whose main export is minerals and metals, namely largely radioactive fuels. Named after the uranium rich yellow/green sands across large parts of the world.
Zal'laken - Colony based in the outer regions of Dominian space. Empire dependent import colony whose main purpose is as a strategically important location for military maneuvers. It has a booming Thunderdome community and hosts both death match tournaments and standard holo-tournaments. Its economy is largely service based.
Dominia accepts the Galactic Credit like the rest of the galaxy, but to SolGov and NanoTrasen's frustration Dominian systems continue to use the Imperial Pound as a local currency, a currency backed in precious metals by the Imperial Bank of Moroz. There is incredible stratification of living standards in the Empire. There is a very large underclass in Imperial society formed by indebted Ma’zals which are allocated by the Emperor every year to the major houses. These indebted laborers are used for all sorts of labor, from farming, to industrial work, to accounting, craftsmanship, and more.
The Great Houses are very powerful movers in the Imperial economy, dominating several key industries such as defense, agriculture, banking, and research. These quasi-corporations are some of the largest employers. The middle class in the Empire, largely consisting of freemen, is small but expanding as parts of the still isolated Empire begin to integrate into a larger galactic economy. Much of the middle class comes from former Fisanduh, and is concentrated in the few large cities.
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 a rapid growth in all types of equipment production and research for the Army and Navy, a sector dominated by houses Han'San and Zhao.
- 36% Tertiaries
- 25% Secondaries
- 20% Primaries
- 15% Other (Humans of other heritage)
- 3.0% Unathi
- 1.0% Alien (Skrell, Tajara, Dionae, Other)
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 Honor
Ethnicity in the Empire
The "Primaries" make up the third largest portion of the population and the majority of the nobility. Though sharing the same heritage as the "Secondaries" the "Primaries" were part the early colonial history of Moroz, times of hardship and rugged survivalism, and are therefore physically quite different to their lower class cousins, having a more multiracial appearance.
Skin Tone: 30 - 50
Average Male Height: 5'9" - 6'4"
Average Female Height: 5'8" - 6'2"
Various shades of blue or brown eyes
Blonde to brown hair of various shades
Dominian Unathi also fall into the category of "Primaries". They are usually descendants of the Unathi raiders who invaded Moroz or recent immigrants from the Hegemony.
Skin Tone: Shades of dark green (RGB 0,90,0) or light red (RGB 128,0,0)
Average Male Height: 6'4" to 7'4"
Average Female Height: 6'1" to 7'0"
Eye color shades of dark red.
The "Secondaries" make up the second largest portion of the population. They are the results of increases in standards of living, lessening of physical labor, and other effects of the end of the struggle to survive on Moroz.
Tone: 1 - 15
Average Male Height: 5'6" - 5'9"
Average Female Height: 5'1" - 5'4"
Eyes dark brown to black
Hair black or dark brown
The "Tertiaries" make up the largest portion of the population and are the lowest class, usually Ma'zals or the rare ex-slave being moved into the Mo'ri'zal after slavery was made illegal. They are descended from conquered colonies and as such have a wide range of colonial heritages.
Skin Tone: Any
Average Male Height: Any
Average Female Height: Any
Various shades of brown eyes
Geneboosting is done during the fetal development stage. It perfects the genetic structure of the patient, removing all genetic diseases and rendering said patient the perfect form of their genetic heritage, whatever that may be. This form of genetic modification is limited to the upperclass due to the high cost, and is only now becoming common among the Dominian primaries belonging to rich houses. The effects lead to perfect, patrician features of the patient. Geneboosted playable species tend to be a foot or so taller than average and find it very easy to maintain peak fitness. A geneboosted person is obvious at a glance. Interestingly, all Skrell are geneboosted in an effort to combat the genophage however the effects are not as robust as on other species. Skrell do not increase in size or strength but rather use geneboosting as a method to cure the genophage. Sadly this only works in around 33% of cases.
Gene therapy is done post-birth and uses genetically tailored retroviruses. It is more expensive by far than geneboosting and requires the patient to be suspended in a gene therapy tank, from seven days every few months for several months or more depending on the "change". This is commonly done by rich patients to "geneboost" themselves after birth, however some use the treatment to alter traits in themselves - eye color, muscle mass etc. Such treatments are always extremely dangerous and require constant care during the process and are thus extremely expensive. This form of gene therapy is largely irreversible and can lead to instabilities in the genetic structure of the patient which can lead to malignant cancerous growth or - in the worse case - biological instability, with the flesh literally melting from the poor victim. In the former case immediate gene therapy can save the patient, in the latter it's much too late. Characters should use gene therapy to change their traits with great caution. This high risk, very high expense, and high maintenance process is usually found among upper-class citizens in especially strenuous professions.
In the same manner as mechanical augments, biological augments such as tailored eyes, robust muscles fibres and strengthened bones are implanted into the patient. This also covers genetic neutral (zero percent rejection) biological limb replacement. Known tried and tested bio-augments would work every time. Black market augments, though cheaper and or more "powerful" tend to be unstable, leading to rejection at best, necrosis at worse. Though still very expensive, the occasional citizen outside of the aristocracy can be found with these augmentations, with efforts being made to make them more accessible to the greater populace in the future.
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 Imperial Diet 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:
- High Lord General of the Army: Kasz Han’San (Unathi)
- Colonel-in-Chief of the Special Operations Group: Maxillius Alze (Human)
- High Lord-Admiral of the Navy: Maxim Zhao (Human)
- High Seneschal: Ngo Juric (Human)
- Chief Commissioner of the Imperial Military: Eliza Han’San (Human)
- Chief Commissioner of Economic Development: Izla Caladius (Human)
- Chief Commissioner of Imperial Sovereignity: Oalz Es’zala (Unathi)
The Imperial Diet, composed of the House of Lords and the Lords-Spiritual, is the origin of legislation in the Imperial government. While Emperor Keeser rules with absolute authority, capable of rewriting law with unchecked power, the normal legislative operations of the government are handled within the House of Lords. The Diet is where the Emperor has the most direct way of coordinating with and hearing the concerns of the aristocracy, but as the absolute monarch it is the Emperor’s privilege to completely sideline the Diet if he so wished - but this would be dangerous.
The members of the House of Lords appointed by the Emperor, while the Lords-Spiritual are appointed by the Tribunal. The House of Lords handles secular matters, while the Lords-Spiritual handles religious matters. When the lines between these two become blurred, matters are normally decided personally by the Emperor.
Lord-Generals represent the Emperor’s imperial will on the different territories held by the Empire, each with their own sprawling bureaucratic system under them to assist in governance. Appointed from the ranks of the prominent generals of the Imperial Army, these skilled and loyal soldiers govern in the Emperor’s name, with vast authority to achieve the goals set by the Emperor and the Imperial Diet. These governor-generals also command Army units garrisoned in their provinces.
A moniker for the five most prominent Houses in the Empire, these families are some of the most powerful political and economic influences in the Empire. They currently consist of:
- House Han'San- House Colors: Green Shades - A Unathi dominated house. Largely a military and martial clan, it provides a large number of officers to the Imperial Military.
- House Volvalaad - House Colors: Blue, Black - A Human dominated house. This house's wealth is in genetics and biological research with many of its Minor Lords belonging to the Biological Augmentalists of the ATLAS group. Of all the Great Houses, House Volvalaad is the biggest supporter of the empires integration into the wider galatic community.
- House Kazhkz - House Colors: Orange, Red, Yellow - A Unathi dominated house. The wealth of the clan is in its privateer enterprise. Of all the Great Houses, House Kazhkz is the most against the empires integration into the wider galatic community.
- House Caladius - House Colors: Purple Shades - A Human dominated house. This house's power lies in its money lending and banking, alongside it's many land holdings for which is receives a breathtaking sum in rent money.
- House Zhao - House Colors: White, Gray - A Human dominated house. The power of this great house sits in farming and its numerous naval contacts.
The Peerage, Noble Orders, and Titles
A mixture of prestigious, now defunct hereditary titles left over from the previous nation-states of Moroz, wealthy land-owners, powerful aristocrats, and new appointments by the Emperor, these are respected individuals are at the peak of Dominian society, recognized with these honorary titles.
Several honorary groups, ranging from knightly orders to civil exist, serving to recognize like-minded individuals or famous contributions to the Empire. Some of these are the Order of Ilyizev, the Knightly Order of Moroz, the Royal Order of the Feather, and the so-called 'Steel Sabers'. The Steel Sabers are a prominent group of young, martially minded political radicals, pushing for militarily expansionist policies.
Judges in the Empire act as representatives of the Emperor, meting out justice in view of the laws and edicts in their appointed individual districts. They are chosen by the Emperor, with candidates normally being suggested by the dominant Great House in the area. Legal disputes unable to be decided by judges are referred to the Emperor himself.
Unlike most nations the Empire's national anthem contains no official lyrics and instead consists of an intense unathi drum beats and deep, melodic throat singing. The pre-dominian word "Moshala", meaning "to rebel" or "overcome" in the old Ofasselian language is often chanted to the beat of the drums. Originally a word associated with rebelling against the previous Unathi warlords the word has become synonymous with the Empire's "liberation" of the known galaxy.
The original settlers of the planet of Moroz arrived and founded the city of Nova Luxembourg in July of 2137 within the X'yr Vharn'p system, so named after an ancient crystal artifact of massive size and value found near the inital landing site. The settlers had been recruited from the nations of Europe and East Asia, promised a fertile new home in the deep frontier of human space. They were going farther than any settler had gone before. Their colony ship was equipped with a new generation of warp engine that made the trip only take three years. They had been told by the European propaganda that terraforming efforts had transformed three barren worlds into utopian paradises.
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 3 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 Forgotten Colony
With their colony ship out of fuel and unable to re-enter orbit, Nova Luxembourg became a sprawling shanty town with its twin fusion reactors the sole source of power and heat. They were stuck planetside, and had to make tough choices in order to stave off extinction. While they turned to faith to get through the trying times, the colonial overseers implemented the rationing programs that required large family sizes for food ration cards. This first generation of neglected exiles formed the Primary generations. Children born as Primaries were held in high regard, for they were considered the future of the colony, being born into a rugged and inhospitable environment that gave rise to a spirit of ruggedness and perseverance. The rationing programs did not relax until 2195, when life on Dominia was no longer a brutal struggle to survive. The people born in this generation form the Secondaries, becoming a distinct new caste for a new era of the planet. In the 2200’s the rationing program was reduced even further, creating the caste of the Tertiaries.
Still stuck on the planet’s surface by the 2300’s, many regions were prized for their abundance in natural resources such as coal or petroleum to power industry. They had a bizarre mix of 24th century technology without the capability of getting into orbit. By this time the colonists had spread out across the majority of the planet and had formed many unique identities and ideologies. This caused the planet to form into three distinct nations: The absolute monarchy of the Imperial Alliance, the theocratic absolute monarchy Holy Kingdom of Ofassel, and a republic known as the Confederate States of Sovereign Fisanduh. These three nations soon developed the capability of launching small vessels and satellites into orbit, and officially began looking outwards from their planet’s surface.
The Lightning War
After the discovery of the Unathi on Moghes in 2433, some unsavory bands of pirates and raiders began to traffic in the species, to be sold as slave labor in lawless areas of the Frontier. Many of these kidnapped Unathi assimilated into the pirate groups, with some quickly rising through the ranks through sheer force and intimidation. The largest of these raider groups was led by an enterprising and cruel Unathi named S’kraskin Seryo. With a majority of the leadership positions in this ad-hoc pirate fleet held by Unathi, they began to garner a fierce reputation in a very short period of time, and are partly responsible for the species’ current reputation as little more than lawless savages and pirates.
It was in 2437 that a small detachment of his pirate fleet, chasing a particularly valuable freighter through what was thought to be uninhabited, uncharted space, happened upon the now increasingly prosperous colony planet of Moroz. Sensing a ripe opportunity, Seryo quickly gathered the captains of his fleet, to propose taking the planet by storm and founding a new nation, as they watched Moghes descend into the chaos of the Contact War. After a unanimous vote from the Unathi captains, the leaders of the fleet first landed secretly on the planet’s surface on February 7th, 2437 in northern Moroz to survey the planet and formulate a strategy.
A rapid campaign was decided upon, one that could utilize the invading fleet’s technological advantage to its limit while covering their miniscule amount of men. Seryo personally lead an attack on the city of Nova Luxembourg, the largest city and capital of the Confederate States. With little to no losses thanks to their element of surprise and advanced technology, the city was stormed and cowed into submission. Outside the city, an army unit marching to the town’s relief was almost completely destroyed with the help of the pirate’s fighter-craft and RIG suits. This display of power ensured that after a few more lightning raids on the largest cities of the Confederate States, the nation submitted in its entirety. Standing in the Court of Chalser in Nova Luxembourg, a triumphant Seryo declared the formation of the Empire of Dominia on June 8th, with himself as Emperor.
Filled with shock, and a feeling of opportunism, the Holy Kingdom and Alliance formed a united coalition to destroy the now-Empire of Dominia and split its territory between them. Emperor Seryo decided to destroy their united army in order to establish his rule over the planet by crushing all resistance at one blow. The two armies marched to unite in the northern Empire, near the Rike River.
On July 29th, the army of the Empire of Dominia - consisting of the remainder of the army of the Confederate States combined with the pirate fleet - and the army of the coalition met on the banks of the Rike River, shortly after 9 am. After a dramatic battle spanning nearly the entirety of the morning and evening, it looked like the odds were turning against the fledgling Empire. At the crucial moment in the battle, Seryo personally led the remaining Unathi with all their remaining Breacher suits in a charge through the enemy’s center, cleaving the coalition army in two. With this crushing blow, the battle was won, and the Empire was permanently established on Moroz. After a brief rapid campaign against the cities of the coalition, Seryo’s world government was formed, with him ruling from his iron throne on his flagship.
Emperor Seryo’s reign was marked with brutality and exploitation of the system’s inhabitants, used as little more than slave labor to enrich himself and his fellow captains. Seryo’s time as Emperor was cut short by the formation of Mo’Roz - a religious movement formed from a mixture of the newly-introduced Unathi religion of Sk’akh and the religion already dominant on Moroz. With increased unrest and protests, and shouts of outright rebellion in the air, the newly formed Great Houses Han’san and Kakzhz pushed for a fateful change - the appointment of a new Emperor - in attempt to stabilize public order, forcing Seryo into retirement.
The Keeser Era
While the records of Boleslaw Keeser’s life before his election as Emperor, and the reasons for him being chosen are currently unknown, it is rumored that he was a skilled soldier and engineer. Using slow, creeping, seemingly innocent moves, within years he consolidated power out of the hands of the Unathi lords, amassing high popular support with his embracing and establishment of the Moroz Holy Tribunal.
Skillful work by Emperor Keeser has helped mend the seemingly uncrossable gap between the foreign Unathi and native Morozi population, united in a new loyalty under the Emperor and Tribunal. With constant public appearances, charity work, and speeches, all often hand in hand with an Unathi noble, he has, at least on the surface, healed the gap between the two species over the past several decades. An uneasy melding of Unathi and Human culture has begun to take place, though tension still exists beneath the surface...
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 2440, the Imperial Railroad was completed, linking all of the major cities of Moroz together. Beginning in 2452, the Imperial Canal project to link the major inland seas has made steady progress.
A timeline of events in his reign follows:
In 2443 he oversaw the creation of an outpost on Lyoid, Dominia’s moon. This served as a shipyard and stepping stone for Dominia to officially enter space. By 2444 Dominia’s growing military had begun expanding to nearby systems, starting with the planet of Alterim Obrirava
In 2449 the large pirate fleet Corsairs of the Eternal Raid attacked Dominia, providing an opportunity for the untested Imperial Navy to cut its teeth, fighting them to a stalemate. The pirate fleet was absorbed into the Dominian navy by treaty as privateers in 2450.
In 2451 the Frontier Alliance officially formed 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 2453 NanoTrasen officially entered into trade talks with the Dominian government, focusing on free trade and the so-called “pirate issue”. The talks broke down and a year later the Imperial Government condemned NanoTrasen, saying they would never do business with the corporation due to irreconcilable differences. They released several dramatic documents alleging genetic experimentation and human mistreatment in remote NanoTrasen labs, which NanoTrasen denied as ridiculous. With their business with NanoTrasen cut off, Dominia is forced to purchase its bluespace capable vessels and its entire supply of phoron through third party vendors.
In 2457 a formal embargo is enacted against Dominia by the Frontier Alliance and over a hundred affiliated Frontier systems. The embargo restricts the Empire’s access to phoron and bluespace capable ships. Cut off, the Empire is forced to rely on its backup warp engines, which drastically reduce their capability of traveling between star systems as they nurse their dwindling resources. This chain of events has dramatically reinforced calls for self-sufficiency and autarky within the Empire.
In 2460 Emperor Boleslaw declared involuntary servitude illegal, still leaving the much larger system of the Mo’ri’zal debt in place. In response, the embargo against Dominia is lifted by the Frontier organizations and Tau Ceti ends its own travel ban on Dominia, officially allowing its citizens to travel to and work outside the Empire. Coincidentally, reports show that the end of slavery came as Dominia’s phoron reserve was down to a month’s supply.
The Dominian Ideal
For those in the young Empire, being considered Dominian is not a matter of birth, but of belief and conviction. To be considered a Dominian, one must follow loyally follow the Emperor, the Tribunal, and hold to the standards of Dominian society. Regardless of species, birth, origin, accomplishment - anyone can be respected as a Dominian. The phrase 'Goddess, Emperor, Empire' is echoed throughout the Empire as a summation of these ideals. Immigrants are welcome from any place in known space, with the meritocratic and zealous nature of Imperial society inviting many to the idealistic Empire.
Several languages are spoken in the Empire of Dominia. Among the aristocracy, speaking a fluent Tradeband or 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. Many burghers in the middle class speak Tradeband to some degree. Freespeak is detested in the Empire, being associated with barbarism and corruption. It is often referred to with the pejorative of 'gutter'.
Each citizen incurs a personal debt to the Emperor at birth for the privileges of citizenship in the Empire, a sum assessed per person at birth, but usually high enough to require nearly a lifetime of labor. This practice has been criticized as merely a polite form of serfdom by foreign observers.
Despite this heavy burden, there are benefits to Dominian citizenship. A degree of healthcare, education, and assistance are guaranteed, especially for those who perform better then average according to the calculations of the labyrinthine Imperial bureaucracy.
The elite of Imperial society, these wealthy and influential families enjoy the best opportunities and lifestyles available in the Empire. The five most prominent of these, known as the Great Houses, are some of the most powerful influences in Dominia, with vast wealth and sweeping control of industry. Alongside them are numerous Minor Houses, which range wildly in size. Aristocratic Houses are a unique blend of oligarchy combined with a structure similar to that of mercantile families and Unathi clans. These influential houses are not feudal nobility. The distinguishing difference between the aristocracy and freemen is sufficient wealth to pay off their children’s Mo’ri’zal debt at birth.
They are led by a Lord Noble, below which are the Minor Lords, followed by House Nobles, and finally Minor Nobles on the bottom. Each House has a share of the Mo’ri’zal debt allocated to them based upon need and importance. This allocation takes the form of the debters, Ma’zals, which are used by the Houses as labor. Previously, the Houses were able to purchase and own slave labor, but this was decreed illegal by Imperial edict in 2460. All ‘nobles’ of a house share the same last name. If part of a House, players will only be able to play as a House Noble or lower.
The small and growing middle-class of the Empire, consisting of citizens no longer burdened by the Mo’ri’zal debt but not members of a Great or Minor House. Permitted to vote in local elections, own property, and pursue any lifestyle they see fit, Freemen form the backbone of skilled labor in the Empire, with many achieving a college education and often working outside the Empire. It is not unheard of for these citizens to be adopted into a House, becoming members of the aristocracy. This is usually based upon demonstrating some use as well as sharing values with the House in question, though it is sometimes accomplished through cronyism.
The bottom of the social chain in the Empire. While all citizens in the Empire are born with the Mo’ri’zal debt, the majority of society is unable to pay the sum without decades of labor. Ma’zals can range from farmers and factory workers, to on rare occasions highly educated professions like engineers and doctors. These indebted citizens enjoy all the benefits conveyed by it as long as they continue to pay toward their debt.
Ma’zals who are especially dedicated or talented are sometimes sponsored by a House or the government in the form of receiving a higher education that would allow them to pay their debt quicker, or on rare occasion having it paid in its entirety in exceptional cases. Ma’zals who work more than the recorded average can be entered into the Imperial Lottery, which pays the full debt of the lucky winners chosen at random each month. These winnings are not uncommon and are usually attributed as a blessing from the Goddess.
While Ma’zals form the vast underclass of Imperial society, mistreating them is highly penalized, especially if the offender is from a Minor House. Those who refuse to work toward paying off the Mo’ri’zal debt, however, are used as forced labor doing some of the most undesirable jobs in the Empire. In some cases, they can even be stripped of their citizenship, with little to no rights in Imperial society. This penalty is sometimes given as an exceptionally severe punishment for criminals.
The most prominent way to freedom from the Mo’ri’zal is through service in the Imperial Army. Serving for a minimum of eight years guarantees debt forgiveness, as well as a choice between employment by the government in some form of skilled labor, or land on the verges of the Empire on the Dominian frontier, though many skilled soldiers find the stability and respect of martial life desirable enough to stay in the Army.
An evolution of the Unathi concept of the Guwandi, in the event that a citizen becomes mortally ill, finds themselves lacking the pride, honor, drive to live, or simply become tired of their lot in life, forfeit their possessions and join the religious Tribunal Commandos, a near-suicidal military unit under the Tribunal and Imperial Military’s dual authority. Acting as the vanguard, distractions, and expendable forces, members of the Commandos are expected to die. A dishonored person who joins the Commandos is considered to have regained his reputation while serving in the unit, whether they survive or die in combat.
It is not uncommon for young men and women with no real prospects to join the Tribunal Commandos, for a multitude of reasons. A Commando who survives an engagement is awarded a square, bronze battle medal. When ten are accrued, the soldier is offered a choice to remain as a soldier of the Tribunal Commandoe or be honorably discharged. Many members of the secretive Special Operations Group are recruited from the few surviving Commandos. Survivors are allowed to keep their medals and earn the title Ten Medal ‘Immortal Commando of the Tribunal’ as well as being inducted into the Order of Immortals. Surviving members also have their debt, and their children’s debt for two generations, removed with no conditions attached. A soldier who survives ten engagements is very rare.
To most within the Empire all of the aristocratic houses would appear to be unified under the Emperor and the Tribunal. The reality - known to those in the mid to upper levels of the aristocracy and the few citizens they interact with - is one of secret proxy wars and assassination. Most if not all houses strive for Great House status and the favor of the Emperor. As such, aristocratic houses tend to engage each other in secret conflict in attempt to usurp as much power as possible, be this through subtle economic embargos (over charging a competing house for critical services) low-key military interference (blockading a competitors space ports under the guise of policing) or house "accidents" (the heir to a house being poisoned by peoples unknown, a private shuttle experiencing unexpected engine failure). The Emperor and the Tribunal are aware of this and the Tribunal in particular goes to great lengths to ensure the masses are kept oblivious to this. Direct and obvious house competition is met with the wrath of the Imperial Military. ~~+_:@[email protected]~HOUse__HaRadis_---_liVEs'[[}+_
"I'm real! Just like any of you! Please Goddess save me! I'm real!" Last words of Shell IPC T2332 aka Lì Olesk before permanent shut down, praise Goddess.
Dominia is highly anti-synth stemming from it's relation to the Sk'akh faith, as such any and all IPC's are sought out and destroyed upon entering Dominia space. Interestingly to observers, there seems to be a disproportionately high number of shell IPC's present in the sector compared to those beliefs. Special task forces have been set up under Section 0 to tackle this perceived threat to Dominia yet it is still not unknown for shells to flee the system in search of protection.
Due to recent interstellar laws placed on Dominia as a result of the embargo by the "Coalition Against Dominian Piracy", reported political dissidents seemed to have dropped to practically zero. However, an unprecedented rise in shells have been reported in the area shortly afterwards, with numbers of registered shells into the system not matching the reported numbers, but Dominia administration insists it's the work of Synthetic Liberation Front. They have been less than forthcoming with an evidence to back this claim however and the SLF have not come forward and reported any interest in Dominia, though given the reported nature of these shells (primarily in espionage, again according to Dominia), this is not entirely unexpected.
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.
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 Thirty Third 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 law breaker 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.
Potential Character Concepts
Characters from the Empire of Dominia are likely to:
- Have deeply religious views.
- Worship their state religion, the Moroz Holy Tribunal
- Have a strong dislike of Synthetics and robots.
Unathi Characters specifically are likely to:
- Speak Sinta'Azaziba but not Sinta'Unathi
- Worship their state religion, the Moroz Holy Tribunal
- Look down upon Unathi from the Izweski Nation/Izweski Hegemony
- Be more relaxed around humans and human culture.
Here is an example character from the Empire of Dominia:
- Belai Janstane, 31, is a Station Engineer for NanoTrasen. He is a genial with those he knows and a hard worker.
- Janstane, like most Secondaries, is of average height at 5’7” with black eyes and closely trimmed black hair. Although he isn’t muscle-bound, he is lithe from many years of manual labor.
- Janstane, like the majority of Dominians, follows the Tribunal relatively devoutly, with a milder view of most Edicts. Hailing from the capital of Nova Luxembourg, he is descendant from several generations of freeman.
- Janstane, like all devout Dominians, loathes synthetic life. He has a positive view of Dominian Unathi, with a dislike of most other species.
- Janstane speaks Tau Ceti Basic with a fair grasp of Sol Common.
Here is a second example character from the Empire of Dominia:
- Seliza Kazhkz, 22, is a Cargo Technician for NanoTrasen. She is driven when she sets her mind to something, but often lazy.
- Kazhkz is an average 6’4”, with dark red eyes and dark green scales to match. Like many Unathi, she is relatively muscular.
- Kazhkz is a devout follower of the Tribunal subscribing to the Kael’kah school. She is from Alterim Balteulis, and is the child of some of the first Unathi to land in the now Empire, learning many important sailing skills from her parents. She is a Minor Noble.
- While viewing humans relatively positively, Kazhkz dislikes any distinctly Moghean Unathi.
- Kazhkz speaks Tau Ceti Basic and Sinta’Azaziba.