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The Eternal Empire

"Some may feel that "Eternal" is a euphemism for the long lives of dragons, but one need only look at what they have accomplished, and what we have not, to realize that they are truly intent on making something that lasts forever." - The Monarch, Ruler of the Shiang Federation, in a private conversation with his son-in-law, Caleb Sergalbane, on the need to reconsider hostilities with the Dragon Empire.

Structure

The Eternal empire is lead by the Emperor, who takes on the traditional name of "Father". This is a hereditary role passed down through the "Royal Bloodline" despite the actual royal bloodline having been overthrown for religious reasons roughly seven million years ago. The current bloodline has passed through a line of Emperors known outside the Empire as Grallax (/grawl-lax/) to the most recent, Grallax XIV.   Serving Father as Steward and Prime Minister, is a Zanth picked by Father for the role and who is known as the High Chamberlain. In the absence of Father's direct say so, the High Chamberlain speaks with Father's voice. All High Chamberlains are wither Stage 1 or Stage 2 Zanth hybrids. The current High Chamberlain is a modest boar by the name of Tranak.   Below the High Chamberlain are various Ministers who oversee different aspects of the day-to-day of the Empire, as well as members of the High Court, the representatives of the Major Houses of dragonkind, and the Synod, those members of the Lower Houses from other races, the representatives of specific worlds which operate under one government regardless of the species living on them, and those species which have only just been adopted into the Empire, collectively known as the House of Commons, who have not been officially given their own house to represent them.   The Ministries are typically run by either a Stage 1 Zanth hybrid or a normal Zanth, or, in some cases, a dragon from the House of Jade. Jade dragons recognize their fellow ministers as equals, a rarity among dragons. This is because the Zanth are the direct servants of the Obsidians, the only dragons all other dragons recognize as above them. There are ministries for everything, with cross-training, cooperation and information sharing being the norm for promotion of efficient governance. Jades are nothing if not efficient bureaucrats.   The High Court, as noted before, is made up of the Major Houses, each for a different type of dragon. The "first among equals" is House Obsidian, composed of the black dragons and basilisks. The Imperial Bloodline comes for this house, though it is difficult to trace and the process of working through the various claimants when a new Emperor must be selected is an arduous one that only the most dedicated take on. The other houses are Jade, the floating oriental dragon bureaucrats who collectively make sure that the empire stays eternal, the Ruby, fiery drakes who burn as brightly as the stars of which they claim to be avatars, and the Pearl, sea dragons and serpents with a mucus lining to their hides that has regenerative properties in most other species.   House Obsidian is represented by the High Chamberlain, who speaks for the Emperor and His kind in His stead. House Jade is represented by the Heavenly Beasts, a trio of dragons who represent Storm, Sea and River. They are mentally linked and speak, think and act as one. House Ruby is represented by His Illuminated Magnificence, the Cataclysm Sagittarius A*, Igneous I. And House Pearl is rarely present for any meetings or deliberations, save at the most auspicious of time, for good or ill. The leader of the House of Pearl is the Midgardian, Leviathan, who sleeps and dreams at the bottom of a limitless ocean, attended by functionaries who relay his prophecies and commands to the Court.   The Synod is populated by the best and most talented telepaths of a given species or world because when they meet to discuss policies that affect non-dragons, they cast their consciousnesses into the Great Meld so they can come to a consensus quickly. So many mouths speaking in turn would never see anything done on a timescale that would be relevant to the brief lives of these lesser species. The Synod races come from the amboran, human and a handful of other races with populations not large enough to warrant having their own distinct houses. It is the amborans and humans who comprise the bulk of the Empire's population. Notable minor populations include Tyroleans, a canine-like species from Tyrol VI, having been a colony of Tyrol Prime, but not as violent, and an asylum house of former Federation species displaced by the Sergal Uprising that killed the royal family, apparently down to the last member.

Public Agenda

The Eternal Empire officially promotes the well-being of their citizens ahead of everything else. The philosophical position is that the Obsidian Throne serves the people, offering protection, structure and stability so that they can go about their daily lives without worry about shelter, food, or a lack of meaningful work or play. Minimal standards of living are provided to give each citizen a base that is health, safe, and mentally stimulating. The desire for greater things, ambition, or artistic goals are encouraged, but not required. The only mandate placed upon the citizenry is that they maintain a healthy level of activity so that they don't burden society with undue health concerns.   The Eternal Empire has an open immigration policy for most races. The exception is the Sergal, who have a long and storied history with the Obsidians. They are forbidden from entry other than as individuals and even then, for public safety, they are monitored carefully. Only two exceptions have ever been made and both were under extraordinary circumstances.

Assets

The Empire control over 60% of the Milky Way galaxy. The assets, however, are mostly concentrated in the core the galaxy, where only Ruby and Obsidian dragons can harvest them. Of the habitable parts of the galaxy, the Empire controls roughly 30% of the areas spinward of Sol. They control some 5000 habitable worlds of the estimated 16000 in the Milky way. Most are involved in the production of consumer goods, military hardware, and exploration equipment for finding new habitable worlds.

Territories

The Empire controls the entire core in the deep radiation zones out to just under a third of the galaxy, and nearly a third more of everything on the spinward side. They are bordered at the core and on the driftward edge by the Federation. They do not share a border with the Alliance. Their spinward border is frontier space. They control just over 60% of the Milky Way.
Type
Geopolitical, Empire
Alternative Names
The Dragon Empire
Demonym
Imperial
Government System
Monarchy, Crowned Republic
Power Structure
Unitary state
Economic System
Post-scarcity economy
Currency
Officially the Empire uses "Credits" as their currency, but in a post-scarcity economy, any form of currency is really perfunctory. Most goods are acquired through automated distribution hubs which make certain that an individual citizen's basic needs are met and that their luxury acquisitions are balanced by their social contribution. This is where credits come in, allowing the system to do the bookkeeping on the back end so that the citizen can simply make the request up front. Any need to "work off" their requests is front loaded before goods are provided, incentivizing citizens to contribute before they ask for rewards.   This doesn't stop crime from occurring. So long as there are goods, even for free, someone will try to take what someone else has. The Jades take a dim view of this behavior, and their punishments are, in a word, draconian. They are also fair. Value is determined in terms of time spent apprehending, cost of goods stolen, expenditure require to replace, and social cost of rehabilitation. Once the total value of stolen goods, or wrongs done to society exceeds the projected future value extracted from the perpetrator, the only remaining punishment is death.
Judicial Body
The Empire, being a well-run bureaucracy, has rules, laws and policies for just about everything that can be judged, legislated and presided over. The Jade are the only judiciary, and their rulings are based exclusively on the facts of the case and the legal accounting required to balance the "Ledgers of Heaven". Actions have a costs, penalties are applied based on said costs, and each potential punishment has a value that is compared to the cost of the crime.   Potential punishments:
  • Expulsion from the empire, typically for non-citizens who commit minor offenses. They are deported back to their systems of origin, possibly to stand trial there for their crimes.
  • Restitution, also typically for non-citizens, but for more expensive crimes. Then they're also deported back to their system of origin, possibly to face additional charges there.
  • Forced Servitude (Permanent). This is imposed when the crime is beyond the capacity for the perpetrator to ever repay, but does not warrant execution. The option to be executed instead is always offered. See "Dalva" subsection below in this section.
  • Forced Servitude (Timed). This punishment is offered when the perpetrator has commited a crime of significant value, but not out of malice or not of their own volition. With the permission of the wronged party, or their representative, a duration of service is determined based on the value of the crime. As with the above "Permanent" version, execution is traditionally also offered, though it is more often considered the "wake up call" for repeat offenders.
  • Execution. When all else fails, and/or someone has committed a crime of such a magnitude that no amount of service or restitution can make it right again, their existence is determined to be a burden to society itself. The only option is to end their life. See the entry on "Executions" below.
  Dalva: Acceptance of this punishment involves the guilty party willingly putting on the Collar of Service indicating their new status as a "Dalva", or "servant" in HIgh Draconic. If they have committed a crime for which they cannot repay and are serving the rest of their life in penance for their actions the lock will turn blue. If they have committed a crime for which they can repay the wronged party with service in penance for their actions the lock will turn red.   Blue Dalva are generally regarded with scorn, thought mistreating a Dalva is a crime in and of itself. They are seen as honorless and the collar confirms that they didn't even have the dignity to accept being execute for their crimes. This isn't always the case. Some blue Dalva did not commit their crimes of their own volition, but the crime was still of such a magnitude that even that extenuating circumstance isn't enough to mitigate them to a lower level of punishment. Again, honor is an important part of imperial culture and being willing to die before allowing yourself to be used for nefarious ends is seen as preferable to most.   Red Dalva are looked upon with pity. They are usually people who have gotten way in over their heads and were unable to escape a bad situation. They are considered to still have some honor, but still fell to temptation instead of seeking help before they were made to do anything they would regret. Usually these crimes are committed out of pride, and the duration of service is seen as a way to rehabilitate them into doing better for society.   In both cases, Dalva have the opportunity to cut short their sentences by performing acts of selflessness and demonstrating they are able to be worthwhile members of society and can contribute in ways far in excess of the cost of their previous actions. This is always at the discretion of the Dalva's keeper, and they need, with rare exception, to seek permission to end a Dalva's term of service.   As noted, mistreating a Dalva is itself a crime, and the Dalva's keeper must, themselves, have the means to support caring for the Dalva. The Dalva is a covenant between the keeper and society saying that they are willing to shoulder the burden of rehabilitation. Once offered and agreed to, the contract is done. Neither party can renege on the arrangement.   For either type of Dalva the rules are the same. The Dalva will only answer to Dalva and has no other name for their period of service. They must end every reply to their keeper with either "sir/ma'am" or "master/mistress". They cannot so much as think of harming anyone, or the collar will induce unblockable pain through direct nerve induction.   Executions: By law, they have to be informed of the sentence against them and given the chance to surrender peacefully. At this point the offender has two options.   If they surrender peacefully and accept their punishment, they be granted a quick death without pain, usually by sonic obliteration which uses focused infra- and ultra-sonic frequencies to instantly liquefy the brain of the offender. The offender dies instantly, though it might take time for their body to realize that it's not getting any feedback from upstairs.   They can also request some other method of punishment after signing a waiver indicating they accept that their death may not be as pain-free as they had been initially offered. The Jade executioner will attempt to comply with any requested method of death that does not increase the cost to society. Some notable requests that have been granted are beheading, strangulation, being spaced, having one's heart rip out (seen as an honorable death by some clans of Amborans), and being eaten whole by a wyrm. In the last case the condemned was rendered unconscious and paralyzed to minimize trauma to both themselves and the wyrm who ate them.   The offender also has the option to request time to put his affairs in order. He will be accompanied by a black-scaled Jade, traditionally seem as being aligned with winter, the season of death. He is allowed to request owed compensation to clear any debts that could come back on his family, and his honorable surrender and willingness to die for the greater good of the society he wronged will wipe clean any outstanding markers or stains on the honor of his surviving bloodline. He is also allowed to make his goodbyes to his family, again without shame being brought upon them.   So strong is the concept of honorably facing death for one's actions that accompanying Jade executioner have been known to help condemned offenders without offspring to find a willing partner with whom to sire. Female offenders have been allowed to become pregnant, and wait out their term until they give birth in order for their family to raise the child. This is considered a noble thing to do for someone who is paying the final price for their mistakes.   Upon completion of the execution, the Jade will verify that no trace of the offender's psychic imprint remains, that they have been completely obliterated, before removing their entry from the column of "Irredeemable Assets" in the "Ledgers of Heaven", to be shifted to that of "Honored Dead".   The only other option available to a condemned offender is to run. Failure to comply with the request for surrender will attach a squad of Ruby hunters to the case, who will track down the offender with brutal efficiency. No one has been able to evade trackers for more than a day. And once they've been tracked down, it is up to the Rubies to determine how the offender should die, but it will be neither quick nor painless. Once the offender is dead the Jade executioner will be brought in to verify that they remains are the correct individual (a wrongful termination has never occurred) and that said offender is in psychically dead. Their name remains on the roles of the "Irredeemable".
Related Ranks & Titles
Controlled Territories
Neighboring Nations
Organization Vehicles
Notable Members

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