Laurasian Empire Type of Government Absolute Monarchy and Autocratic Empire Founding Document Proclamation of the Laurasian Empire, 1321 Constitution None Head of State Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians Head of Government Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians with Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire Commander-in-chief Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians De facto leader Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians Executive branch Imperial Privy Council of Laurasia Legislative branch Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians (supreme source); Privy Council and Governing Senate (secondary laws) Judicial branch Governing Senate Capital Christiania, Laurasia Prime Official language Imperial Laurasian Standard (English) Currency Imperial Dataries State Religious Body Almitism (Imperial Holy Synod) National Holiday Imperial Proclamation Day Anthem Under the will of Almitis this Empire lives! Formed from Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia Date of Establishment 25 November AH 1321
"An Empire of such proportions is one of the greatest states in the Universe!"
-Empress Aurelia I the Great
The Laurasian Empire is a galaxy-spanning empire which extends its jurisdiction over the Caladarian Galaxy and its two satellite galaxies, the Angelina Spiral and the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Empire was established in AH 1321 by Seleucus the Victor, following the end of the Great Briannian War, and emerged from the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia. The Stellar Kingdom had been originally established in AH 412 by Arasces I the Founder (AH 412-32), following the end of the Arachosian Period. Laurasia enjoyed strength and prosperity during the First Laurasian Period (412-630), during which it exerted its power over the Core States, including such rivals as Gordasis, Courdina V, Clancia, Goldaria, Marshia, Rebecca, Briannia, Chancia, and others. At the death of Horax (603-23), Laurasia governed a vast dominion spanning from the Central Core to the outskirts of the Middle Territories. After Horax's death, however, the Kingdom entered into a severe decline, experiencing a civil war and losing control of most of its worlds. By 630, Laurasia had been subdued by the Lacian Despotate, to which it was a vassal state for twenty-seven years. In 657, with the Lacian Despotate itself entering terminal decline, King Perseus (653-59) overthrew Lacian overlordship and reasserted Laurasia's complete independence.
During the Second Laurasian Period (657-840), the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia enjoyed a even-greater period of strength and prosperity. Under the successive kings Constantine (659-87); Marcus Aurelius (687-712); Flavius Aetius (712-46); Hercules I (746-62); Gordian II (762-76); Hercules II (776-99); and Polares (799-809), the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia extended its power from the Galactic Center and the Wild Marshes to the Shendonanan and Roastafarian systems. By the time of Polares however, Laurasia had become overextended and was under severe strains. The devastating Trajanic Civil War (810-32), caused by the ascension of the baby King Trajan (809-23) to the Laurasian throne, resulted in the severe disruption of Laurasian power. Heredotus (823-30); Andrea Septimia (830-32); and Neuchrus (830-32), struggled with each other for control of the Laurasian state. Eventually, Gordian III (832-40) emerged victorious, but was soon after confronted with the formidable Dasian challenge.
In 840, the Dasian Khan and military commander Batya, as part of his campaigns throughout the Core Regions, overwhelmed Laurasia Prime and subdued the world, commencing the Dasian Yoke. During the Dasian Yoke (840-1080), Laurasia Prime and the Laurasian Purse Worlds were under the rule of a Dasian Bey, who acted as the military and political governor for the Dasian Golden Horde in the region. From 978-82, Arasces Arcracius, a Laurasian noble, briefly managed to restore Laurasian independence, but was eventually defeated by the Dasian Khan Tokhtamysh in 982. After nearly another century however, Laurasia emerged as a Grand Principality in 1075, as Khan Ahmad attempted to instate measures to insure loyalty to the Dasians. Grand Prince Honorius took advantage of the weakened Golden Horde's troubles, and in 1079, instigated a rebellion. In 1080, he defeated Ahmad and proclaimed himself King, thus ending the Dasian Yoke.
During the Third Laurasian Period (1080-1321), Laurasia recovered from the Dasian Yoke, reconstituted its home territories, and at times even dominated the Core Regions, during the first half of the twelfth century. The reign of Honorius the Terrible (1133-84) and the following Time of Laurasian Troubles, however, seriously weakened the kingdom, as it suffered losses against the Solidaritan Sultanate, the Celestial Kingdom of Briannia, and the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. The reign of Leonidas the Restorer (1213-45), and the establishment of the Leonidian Dynasty, began the process of recovery. During the second half of the thirteenth century, by means of the War of the Deluge (1254-67), Laurasia seized control of the Central Core from Polonia, and reasserted itself. Yet it was not until after Seleucus I's accession to the throne, in 1282, that the true process of expansion and reform began. His triumph in the Great Briannian War brought the Empire the Nexus Route regions, Schaueria Prime, the Horacian Provinces, the Northern Crimeanian Provinces, and the Venasian Triangle.
Over the course of the next four and a half centuries, under Seleucus's successors, including the Leonidian Dynasty (1321-1416), the Tiberian Dynasty (1416-68), the Vespansian Dynasty (1468-96), the Nervian Dynasty (1496-1592), the Severan Dynasty (1593-1635), and the Neuchrian Dynasty (1685-1803), Laurasia gradually expanded from its position in the central-western Core Worlds to encompassing the entire Caladarian Galaxy. The fourteenth century witnessed a continuation of conflicts with Polonia, Solidarita, Venasia, and in the Wild Marshes, with territorial acquisitions being made from all of these states and the Empire's elimination of Briannia (1364); the fifteenth century saw the Empire's rapid expansion across the Core Regions, into the Middle Territories, and down to the Lower Barsar Regions, with all core states except Venasia being completely subsumed, and with territories seized from Kimania, Melanie, Anastasia, Lesia, and the Abbathian Dynasty; the sixteenth century saw the Empire's incorporation of the rump remnants of Venasia, and its conquest of Hunt, Kimania, and Lesia.
It also seized the Homidinian and Burglais Arm Provinces from the Mellorite Empire, imposed its overlordship over Neo-Anastasia, and acquired strongholds from the Neo-Xilanian Empire. Yet that century saw the commencement of Laurasian military conflict with the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Marasharite Empire, and the Haynsian Despotate, who now became the Empire's main enemies. The seventeenth century was dominated by its Crisis (1635-85), in which the Empire faced considerable external and internal challenges, and wars with Dejanica, Marasharita, Vectoria (after 1613), and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria (from 1602). Neuchrus I's accession in 1685, however, inaugurated another period of great expansion and strength for the Empire. It became greatly involved in the affairs of the Great Amulak Spiral, and by the end of that century, had subsumed the remainder of Xilania, Anastasia, and Mellorita, as well as the Kingdom of Karakorum. It was the eighteenth century which saw the Empire's greatest period of expansion, with the extension of its rule over the Galactic Borderlands and the satellite galaxies. Haynsia, Vectoria, and Scottria were eliminated, and Dejanica partitioned. Wars with these states and with Franconia, Spamalka, and Marasharita dominated that century.
As of the present (AH 1803), the Laurasian Empire controls the entire Caladarian Galaxy and its nearby Satellite Galaxies. The Empire's territory comprises of seventy million inhabited star systems, spread across a distance of nearly 150,000 light years, from the Galactic Center to the outer edge of the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Of those seventy million star systems, nearly twenty million possessed their own original native inhabitants (or native species). Just seven million systems had populations exceeding one million however, and of that, just 1.5 million star systems had populations in the hundreds of millions, billions, tens of billions, hundreds of billions, or low trillions. The Laurasian Empire is a absolute monarchy and a autocratic empire, being governed by the Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians, who possesses autocratic authority.
The Emperor is recognized as a divinely-ordained sovereign elevated in authority above all of his subjects. He is assisted by the Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire and by a assortment of government councils, chiefly the Imperial Privy Council, the Governing Senate, and the Holy Synod. The Laurasian Imperial Government and Military are extensive and highly-organized, wielding authority throughout the entire bounds of the Empire. Laurasia Prime is the Empire's capital and leading world, with the highest population level in the Caladarian Galaxy, while Christiania is the Imperial capital city.
For details on the Empire's history, and that of the Stellar Kingdom before it, see: General History of Laurasia, Part 1, The Eighteenth Century, Part I: 1701-1725 and its associated articles, Timeline of the Laurasian Empire (1321-1500) and 1501-1700, and Space Age History of Laurasia.
The Laurasian Empire's territorial expansion occurred over a period of nearly five centuries, from c. 1300, with the outbreak of the Great Briannian War, to the Treaty of Christiania, finalizing the Third Partition of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth (c. 1797). During the fourteenth century, the tempo of the Empire's expansion was primarily in the Core Regions, directed against its allies and neighbors from the Great Briannian War. Seleucus the Victor himself, though forced to concede the Azarian Worlds back to the Solidaritan Sultanate, which he had gained in 1296-99, nevertheless expanded Laurasian territory elsewhere. By the Treaty of Nystadia (1321), he acquired the Grand Duchy of Schaueria Prime, the Venasian Triangle, the Nexus Route region, the Horacian Provinces, and the Northern Crimeanian Provinces, greatly amplifying Laurasia's territorial position in the eastern and southeastern Core Regions. As a result of his war against Donathia (1322-23), Seleucus also extended Laurasian jurisdiction over the majority of the Angelican Provinces. By the time of his death in 1325, Laurasia had definitively established itself as the predominant power in the Core, and as one of the galaxy's chief empires.
During the reigns of Seleucus's son, Seleucus II (1325-35) and his half-nephew Didius Julianus (1335-54), Laurasia made some further gains. Seleucus occupied the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories (1335), as a result of the War of the Polonian Succession. Didius Julianus, whose reign was mostly dominated by the Constantian Civil War, nevertheless formalized this acquisition (1348) and extended Laurasian jurisdiction over Dennis, Rastaborn, Shannon, and Michael (1339) as well as the Southern Crimeanian Provinces (1348), including Drennan, Benztir V, and Sanegeta. It was during the reign of the Victor's great-grandson, Antiochus I, the Great (1354-89), that the Empire made more substantive acquisitions. Antiochus acquired Hannis and Decapolia (1357), the Immortalized Cluster and Farther Angelica (1358), and Northern Galicia (1366), through wars with Donathia, Venasia, and in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. He annexed Briannia and Ivoria (both 1364); the annexation of the latter was consolidated by the destruction of the Ivorian Headquarters in 1375. Antiochus, moreover, conquered the Inner Robertian Provinces (1371), regained the Western Territories from Solidarita (1373, 1387) and acquired George, Osriana, and Brittany due to the Treaty of Georgevisk with Upper Melorkia (1383). Under his son Antiochus II (1389-99), Laurasia expanded into the Outer Robertian Provinces and Elijahana (1392), the Outer Venasian Provinces (1395), and Southern Galicia (1397).
The fifteenth century marked the great extension of the Laurasian Empire's authority out through the Middle Territories, down to the Barsar Regions, and westwards into the Wild Marshes. It also saw the consolidation of Laurasian rule over the majority of the Core Regions. Demetrius I (1399-1416), last of the Leonidian monarchs, acquired Upper Melorkia (1400), Lower Solidarita (1403), Lower Melorkia (1410), the remainder of Solidarita (1412), and the Upper Barsar Regions from Kimania (1413). He also began the final Laurasian conquest of Ashlgothia and consolidated its grip over the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories through suppressing the Bato Revolt (1406-09). Finally, Temperance and Way'tosk became vassal states of the Empire (1407), thereby extending its influence into the Millian regions. The Laurasian process of expansion continued under the monarchs of the Tiberian Dynasty. Tiberius II acquired Meredita (1417), Ashlgothia (1421), the High Kimanian Run (1426), and Polonia-Donguaria (1434). Moreover, he subjugated Venasia (1422) and Beatrice (1423). His successor Caligula (1437-41) annexed Beatrice (1440) and made the Merlite Kingdom a vassal-state (1438). Claudius II (1441-54), began the conquest of Hypasia (1443), which was not to be fully consolidated until 1484; acquired parts of Farther Homidinia (1444); and annexed both Temperance and Way'tosk (1443, 1446), thereby extending the Empire into the Millian Regions, and in 1449, made further gains from Kimania in the Barsar Regions.
Antiochus III (1454-68) oversaw the acquisition of Melanite territories (1463), and imposed Laurasian protectorship over Jageronia (1456), besides continuing the conquest of Hypasia. Vespasian (1469-79), who came to power following the Year of Four Emperors, crushed the Donguarian Rebellion (1473), annexed Merlita (1474), and in 1475-76, made gains in the Middle Territories, as well as waging a war of compulsion against Kimania. His son Antiochus IV (1481-96), completed the conquest of Hypasia (1484), waged two Northern Wars against the Iffians and Cosites, penetrated into the Lower Barsar Regions (1489), and annexed the Hookiee Confederacy (1490). Following his assassination in 1496, the Nervian Dynasty came to power. Antigonus I (1498-1517), who succeeded Nerva in 1498, oversaw a rapid period of further territorial expansion, acquiring Jageronia (1499), Kimania (1506), Venasia (1506), and the Huntite Caliphate (1513-1518), in addition to making, in 1500, territorial gains from the Neo-Anastasian Empire. His immediate successors Lysimachus I (1517-38) and Antoninus Pius (1538-61), made further acquisitions from the Anastasians (1520, 1549), annexed the Kingdom of Upper Morsia (1525), acquired parts of Homidinia (1555), and consolidated Antigonus's conquests. During the second half of the sixteenth century, Laurasia became embroiled in the Borderlands Wars, and in conflicts with Xilania, Mellorita, and Anastasia; these conflicts saw the reduction of the remaining Homidinian Provinces (1566), of the Dejanican Borderlands (1580), and of the Satian Provinces (1599), as well as parts of the Xilanian Provinces (1575, 1594). This was overseen by Antigonus II (1561-80), his co-ruler Lucius Verus (1561-69), his son Commodus (1580-92), and Demetrius Severus I, founder of the Severan Dynasty (1593-1611).
The seventeenth century saw much less territorial expansion then had been witnessed in the two centuries before it. Demetrius Severus I completed the conquest of Xilania (1608-1611), besides acquiring the Garaman Provinces from Scottria (1603). After his death in 1611, his son Caracalla (1611-17), waged further wars with Vectoria and with Marasharita, but failed to make any substantive territorial gains. And indeed, during the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century (1635-85), the Empire was consumed by civil conflict, economic deterioration, and foreign war. It suffered the secession of the breakway Samanthan (1660-74) and Xilanian (1671-73) Empires, and territorial retreat. In 1643, however, Gordian VI completed the destruction of the Mellorite Empire, and in 1682-83, Probus conquered the Brestord Kingdom of Karakorum. But it was only with the accession of Neuchrus the Reformer (1685-1709), the end of the Crisis, and the foundation of the Neuchrian Dynasty, that serious territorial expansion resumed. Neuchrus consolidated Laurasian rule of the Dejanican Borderlands (1686), completed the conquest of the Barsar Regions (1690), and extended Laurasian rule to the Galactic Frontier Route (1699). These constituted the final Laurasian territorial acquisitions of the seventeenth century.
The eighteenth century saw the Empire undergo its most rapid period of territorial expansion in its history, equaling the gains made in the preceding three centuries. Neuchrus himself acquired Arachosian and Vectorian territories in the Galactic Borderlands (1705), reducing the Vectorian Empire to a shell. His son Antigonus III, the Extravagant (1709-47), completed the destruction of Vectoria (1711), acquired the Rogerian and Homi Provinces from Scottria (1714), and annexed the Billian, Donnian, and Latrician Provinces, along with the Tof Borderlands, in a series of wars with Marasharita (1714-16, 1723-25, 1735-39). From 1741-50, the Empire again became involved in war with the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, and by the middle of the century, had acquired the whole of the Scottrian Galactic Borderlands. It was under Antigonus's daughter Aurelia I, the Great (1758-1803), that the most significant gains were made. Aurelia acquired Dejanican Lavella (1772), the Marasharite Galactic Borderlands (1774), Scottria (1779), the Haynsia (1783), the Marasharite Ochanian Provinces (1792), Dejanican Belarania and Ukraine (1793), the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia (1795), and the Dejanican Tesmanian Provinces (1797). Her reign saw numerous wars: with Franconia (1757-59, 1762-63), Scottria (1759-60, 1767-1773, 1778-1779, 1781-1783, 1798-1800), Marasharita (1768-1774, 1787-1792), Spamalka (1787-1794, 1795-1798), and Dejanica (1768-1772, 1792, 1794), all of which demonstrated the Empire's military capabilities and exerted its power.
Major Landmarks of Laurasian Expansion:
- c. 1375 (Sole Power of the Central Core)
- c. 1401 (Largest independent state in the Caladarian Galaxy)
- c. 1506 (Sole Power of the Core Regions)
- c. 1643 (Largest state of extra-galactic civilization)
- c. 1690 (Dominant outside of Galactic Borderlands)
- c. 1774 (Sole Power of the Caladarian Galaxy)
- c. 1797 (Sole Power of the Caladarian Cluster)
Government and Administration of the Laurasian EmpireEdit
From the time of its inception to the present day, the Laurasian Empire has been an absolute monarchy and a autocratic empire. The governmental and administrative structure of the Empire is based around the concept of "oriental absolutism", a unique political system that was popularized by the Dasian Khanates and eventually adopted by the kings of the Third Laurasian Period. This autocratic system has constantly strengthened and expanded throughout the Empire's history. This is in spite of the fact that the system has faced numerous challenges over the course of the centuries. These have included the travails of the Time of Troubles; the Constantian Civil War; the threat of the Praetorian Guards, and their involvement in conspiracies against the throne from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries; and more so than anything else, the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century. By the eighteenth century, however, the Laurasians had come to acknowledge the system as the model "ordained" by Almitis. Under the system, as it existed in its complete form during the reign of Aurelia the Great, the ruler of the Laurasian Empire (the Sovereign) wields supreme authority and is assisted by various organizations or councils, who receive their authority from him or her. The Sovereign is considered to be the "Little Father" or the "Little Mother" of the Laurasian species, acting as the representative of the Lord Almitis in the Caladarian Galaxy and as the patriotic essence of the Imperial State. As a result, Laurasian rule is distinctly authoritarian, with any civil rights or liberties, so far as they exist, being conferred upon the will of the Sovereign.
The Laurasian Empire of the late eighteenth century is remarkable for the high level of centralization, political uniformity, and governmental bureaucratization evident in its structure. This is demonstrated by the elaborate structure of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Sovereign, as absolute "Autocrat of All the Laurasians", is at the apex of the system. The Imperial Privy Council, Governing Senate, and Most Almitian Holy Synod act as the chief institutions of the Imperial Government. Below these organizations, arranged in descending order, are the Offices of State, the Ministries of State, the Empire's judicial system, the Imperial Court, the Imperial Almitian Church, and then finally, the military and local administrative structure.
The Emperor and Autocrat of All the LaurasiansEdit
At the apex of the governmental and administrative system of the Laurasian Empire is the Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians (Empress and Autocrat of All the Laurasians for a female ruler). As explained in the introduction to this section, the Emperor is an absolute monarch and an autocratic Imperial ruler. The nature of the Emperor's position is demonstrated by their very title. "Autocrat", which means supreme or unlimited ruler, is a title that was borne by the Khans of the Golden Horde, beginning with Batya in the ninth century AH. When Honorius I the Liberator reestablished the independence of the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia in October 1080, he assumed the title of "Autocrat", in emulation of the former Dasian overlords and to underline the supreme authority of state which he was now claiming. This title has been borne by every Laurasian sovereign, royal and imperial, since.
The Laurasian Empire's governmental system is undoubtedly a "personal" monarchy with ministers. The Emperor's personality determines the style, intensity, and efficiency of the central governmental administration. As the highest authority in the Empire and the direct ruler of the government, the Emperor wields supreme and absolute authority over the Laurasian Empire, Imperial Government and Court, and the various star systems, species, and regions of the Caladarian Galaxy and its two satellite galaxies, the Angelina Spiral and the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Emperor serves as both head of state and head of government, with ultimate legislative, executive, military, and judicial authority being concentrated in their hands. According to the official creed of the Imperial Government, as espoused by the monarchs themselves and by the Imperial Almitian Church, the monarch is invested by the "Lord Almitis" and "his regents, angels, and servants of the Universe" with his or her authority. As "Autocrat of All the Laurasians", the monarch is held above all of his or her subjects. He or she commands the absolute obedience, loyalty, and respect of their subjects. It is the Laurasian view that the only means by which one can respond to the monarch is through rebellion, duplicity, self-interest, or submission. The first three can bring severe punishments however; it is the last that is expected by the monarch.
As an absolute monarch with authority (auctoritas) considered to be derived from the Lord Almitis, the monarch is "above the law". There are absolutely no official limits on his or her authority, although in reality, the monarch's actions can be determined and constrained by the possibility of revolt, passive resistance, or conspiracy, as has happened so many times in the Empire's history. The Emperor is subject to no other legal or practical authority, and consequently holds the power of life and death over everyone. The monarch is officially considered to be correct on all matters; disagreement with him or her are grounds for condemnation, punishment, or (in extreme cases), execution. Not obeying the monarch's orders and commands is considered treason and subject to immediate punishment, the nature of which is determined by the monarch personally. With such extensive authority in their hands, the Emperor wields complete control and supervision over the affairs of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Emperor appoints and dismisses all major governmental, military, judicial, court, ceremonial, ecclesiastical, and administrative officials at will. This includes the Ministers of State, the Great Officers of State, the Governing Senators, members of the Almitian Holy Synod, the leading Justices of the legal system, the commanding officers of the military forces (and of any rank in general), as well as the Governor-Generals, Vicars, and Provincial Governors. The Emperor wields supreme authority over government administration and the affairs of the Imperial Chancellory. It is the prerogative of the Emperor to establish, reorganize, merge, or abolish any and all existing governmental councils, commissions, bureaus, ministries, agencies, boards, and organizations. All governmental bodies receive their functions from the Emperor, are subject to the Emperor's authority, and must follow the Emperor's wishes. The Emperor can modify or override any decisions made by any government bodies. All judicial rulings of the Governing Senate and the Imperial Courts must be approved by the Emperor, or can be amended or repealed by them at will. All orders of the Privy Council must be endorsed by, or can be amended or repealed by, the Emperor. No government body is permitted to act beyond the limits established for it within the law. As the "master of the civil service", the Emperor commands the allegiance and absolute obedience of all government officials and employees. All civil, ecclesiastical, military, diplomatic, judicial, court, ceremonial, and representative officials, members, and employees are required to swear a oath of allegiance to the Emperor personally. The Emperor is the ultimate head of the Imperial Privy Council, the leading executive council of the Empire. The monarch convenes, prologues, or dismisses the sessions of the Council. He or she may also allow the Chancellor to convene or dismiss meetings, when the monarch is not present. The Privy Council's proclamations require the approval of the Emperor, and all orders received by it from the Emperor must be executed immediately.
The Emperor is the supreme and main originator of all primary legislation, holding absolute legislative initiative. Although the Council and the Senate both assist in the composition, compilation, and publication of laws, only the Emperor governs their content. The monarch may also choose to compose the law completely by their own effort. The Emperor holds the unlimited power to promulgate, amend, and repeal decrees, statutes, edicts, charters, proclamations, and codes at will. The Emperor also possesses the right to repeal or amend any legislation implemented on the gubernatorial, provincial, and district level. No law from the lower levels of government can contradict laws issued by the Emperor. The laws of the Emperor also take precedence over the proclamations, orders, and instructions of the Council, Senate, or Synod. Instructions from the monarch are considered more important then those from the Chancellor or any Minister, Officer of State, or Bureau Director.
As regards to the judicial system, the Autocrat is considered to be the "fount of justice". He or she has the power to grant, amend, or revoke pardons, commutations, and reprieves at will. Pardons are the complete forgiveness of a crime, and as such, entail a complete abolition and override of the sentence in question. Commutations are the lessening of a criminal penalty, such as the reduction of a term of imprisonment, without the entire sentence being abolished and without the element of forgiveness. Reprieves are the temporary postponement of a sentence, with neither forgiveness of the crime or reduction of the penalty. As such, these are considered to be "the methods of mercy". The Emperor can grant these at any time, right up to the very moment for the execution of the penalty. On the other hand, the Emperor wields a absolute grip over the "methods of punishment". He or she has the supreme prerogative to arrest, imprison, place under house arrest, banish, fine, exile, condemn, execute, or in any other way punish any person as he or she sees fit. This is without consideration to social class, age or rank, and with or without consideration to the judicial system of the Laurasian Empire, which itself is based upon a grant of authority and functions by the Emperor. The Emperor can also confiscate any property at will. Within the judicial system itself, decisions or court cases which have proceeded through the entire judicial system, or cases regarding the nobility and government officials, may be appealed to the Sovereign directly. This can be even after the Senate (the highest court of law in the Empire) has heard them. The Emperor can confirm, amend, or reject the decision handed down by the Senate or the lower judicial body in question. Once that is done, that particular case is considered to be finished. The Emperor can amend or override any decisions made by the Senate or any lower judicial bodies. No judicial ruling or case interpretation can have a impact upon Imperial Law, and no Justice or Senator is allowed to condemn the Sovereign's actions or declare any law non-valid. The Emperor, besides appointing and summarily removing the members of the Governing Senate, also appoints and summarily dismisses the justices of the Star Chamber, Chancery, Common Pleas, and Requests.
In economic and other domestic matters, the Emperor is supreme, organizing and establishing the budget, also laying, modifying, or removing all taxes at will and establishing or revoking regulations about trade, commerce, and other economic circumstances. The Emperor is also in absolute control of military and foreign affairs; as supreme commander-in-chief of the military, the Emperor commands the obedience and loyalty of all military officials and personnel, who swear a personal oath of fealty, both to the sovereign and to the state. The Emperor declares war, ratifies treaties and alliances, imposes or revokes embargoes, sanctions, or bans against other states, establishes or removes diplomatic embassies, directs the actions of the military, and issues, modifies, or repeals any regulations or rules relating to military operations and discipline. The Emperor also receives diplomats from other inter-galactic nation-states and appoints or dismisses all Laurasian ambassadors and consuls at will. Finally, the Emperor is the "fount of honor", the source of all honors, dignities, and peerages in the Laurasian Empire. The Emperor creates or abolishes peerages, grants or revokes knighthoods and honorary ranks, promotes or demotes all noblemen in the Empire, appoints or dismisses members of the orders of chivalry, and establishes, amends, or repeals all regulations and legislation concerning the nobility and orders of knighthood.
The Imperial Privy CouncilEdit
The Imperial Privy Council of the Laurasian Empire, also known as the Imperial Privy Council of Laurasia, the Imperial Privy Council, the Laurasian Privy Council, the Imperial State Council, and rarely as the Council of Ministers, is the leading executive council of the Laurasian Empire and the chief advisory body to the Emperor. The Privy Council is comprised of the Great Officers of State, the Ministers of the Laurasian Empire, six lesser officials of state, and six Privy Councilors without portfolio. All of these collective officials of the Privy Council are known as "The Lords of His (Her) Majesty's Honorable Privy Council". The Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire, who is the Emperor's chief minister and the leading official of the Imperial Government, also serves as the chief officer of the Privy Council and holds the honorary status of President of the Imperial Privy Council. This has not always been the situation however. From 1772-1798, the Lord Treasurer (then the Lord Burghley) served as the chief officer of the Council, having been granted precedence and supervision rights over all other Councilors, Officers, and Ministers of State, including the Chancellor (Sir Caligula Walsingis and then Sir Robertius Cecilis). In the present time, however, the Chancellor again serves as the leading officer of the Imperial Privy Council. All members of the Privy Council are appointed and may be summarily dismissed by the Emperor to serve at will. Upon taking their office, they are required to swear an oath of allegiance to the monarch and to the Imperial Government. All members of the Privy Council are directly responsible to the Emperor, with the Chancellor serving as the Emperor's representative in routine administration. The Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor are normally the two highest-ranking members of the Privy Council itself, although they are not the highest-ranking officials in terms of precedence who sit on the Council. That honor belongs to the Great Officers of State, who are the officers of the Imperial Household.
They are (in order of precedence): the Imperial High Steward, the Imperial Lord Treasurer, the Imperial Privy Seal, the Imperial Great Chamberlain, the Imperial Constable, and the Imperial Marshal. Although they are the highest-precedence members of the Council, they do not have the ability to participate in the drafting of Council orders, unless if specific permission had been granted by the sovereign. Below the Great Officers of State are the Imperial Ministers of State, each of whom is a government minister who is responsible for the affairs and supervision of a certain field of government administration. They are, in effect, the chief administrative secretaries of the Imperial Government, dealing directly with the civil service. The government ministries of the Empire are those of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Education, Sentient Services (Welfare and Healthcare), Space and Transportation, Energy and Planetary Resources, Agriculture, Imperial Works and Holdings (i.e. government proprieties and business enterprises), Regional and Colonial Administration, Chancellory, Culture and Communications, Internal Security, Justice, Finance, and Commerce and Labor. There are then six officials who are members of the Council, although they are subordinate to both the Great Officers and Ministers of State. Nevertheless, these are the most prestigious agency heads in the civil service of the Imperial Government. They are the Sovereign's Personal Secretary, the Chief of Staff of the Imperial Chancellory, the Director of the Imperial Intelligence Agency, the Director of the Imperial Internal Revenues Service, the Director of the Imperial Bureau of Ships and Services, and the Lord Comptroller of the Imperial Household.
Finally, there are the six Privy Councilors without portfolio, persons chosen at the monarch's discretion who do not hold any direct position within the Imperial Government. The six Privy Councilors are normally prominent nobles or Knights of the Empire chosen by the monarch because of their able counsel abilities and the respect which they hold because of their qualities, normally honesty, efficiency, loyalty, and discipline. They too, cannot participate in the drafting of Council Orders without the express permission of the monarch. Each member of the council has his own staff of secretaries and clerks, who perform the research and routine work associated with their duties; each member is also entitled to express holonet, transportation, and intelligence access privileges. As the sovereign is the ultimate head of the Imperial Privy Council, he or she holds absolute authority as regards to its affairs. As such, the Emperor has the power to summon the Council to meet and to dismiss it from the same. The sovereign may also wish to summon only certain members of the Council to his or her presence, or to summon individual ministers, in order to consult with just them. The Council meets on a regular basis, but just how many times it meets depends upon the particular sovereign in power. Aurelia the Great, for example, normally summoned the Council about three times a week during the first ten years of her reign. Thereafter, the number of times she summoned the Council increased, until by the end of her reign, the Council was meeting almost every day. The current Laurasian Emperor, Lysimachus II, prefers to summon the full Council just once a week, and to confer with individual Councilors, Ministers, and Officers of State every day. Nevertheless, the Council does have regular meeting places. It has both public and private meeting chambers in the Quencilvanian Palace. When the Council meets in the Public Chambers, it is normally for a official Imperial Announcement or a Proclamation, such as the Accession, Coronation, and Decease of a Monarch Proclamations. Such meetings are normally joint sessions with the Governing Senate or the Holy Synod, or with both. Council debates whom the Sovereign deems fit for the public to hear may also be held in the Council chambers, as are public inquiries and trial proceedings.
When matters being discussed are confidential or classified, or when it is a routine meeting, the Council assembles in the Private Meeting Chambers. The Council also has its own Meeting Chambers in the Diplomatic Palace, a Meeting Hall at the Senatorial Palace, and assembly rooms at each of the Sovereign's palaces. Attendance of a Council by the Sovereign also depends. Aurelia the Great, for example, attended nearly every Council meeting, while Lysimachus II attends only on special occasions, preferring to control matters from behind the scenes. Whenever the Sovereign is in attendance, he or she controls the session, and the Chancellor is merely one of many subordinates. When the Sovereign is not in attendance, however, the Chancellor presides over the Privy Council. It is within his duties to take notes and records about Council proceedings, moderate Council discussions and debates, communicate the Sovereign's orders or wishes to the Council, and organize the matters debated by the Council. The Chancellor is also responsible for communicating reports about Council matters, as well as the notes, to the Sovereign. Normally, the Chancellor will hold a audience with the Sovereign as soon as possible after the Council meeting.
The Privy Council also has numerous sub-committees, smaller councils or bureaus which focus on particular policy areas, especially ones which cut across several ministerial responsibilities, and therefore require extensive coordination. Such committees may be permanent (such as the Committee of Colonization Defense) or established on a ad-hoc basis (such as as a Emergency Situation Committee). The transaction of government business through the meetings and sessions of the Privy Council, as well as the proceedings of its various sub-committees, is coordinated by the Secretariat of the Imperial Chancellory, whose Minister is himself a member of the Privy Council.
As the leading executive council of the Laurasian Empire and the chief advisory body to the Emperor, the Imperial Privy Council is an important institution within the Imperial Government. The principal function of the Imperial Privy Council is to provide advice and information to the Emperor about state affairs. That advice, however, is not binding upon the Emperor and may be regarded or disregarded at will. However, some monarchs have heeded the advice of their ministers more than others. Aurelia the Great, for example, always took her Council's advice into her consideration, although many times she did not follow it. Lysimachus II has followed a similar policy. The Council is also the leading body of government administration, being responsible for routine administrative matters, day-to-day supervision, and coordination among the Ministries and Offices of State. It is involved in matters such as economics, the sovereign's security, the affairs of the imperial household, the routine affairs of prominent individuals in the Empire, the sovereign's official affairs of state, religion, and the security of the Imperial Household. In order to carry out these functions, the Council possesses the authority to issue Civil Service Orders, which provides regulations and procedures for the Imperial Administration. There are also Ministerial Instructions, issued by one or all of the Ministers of State, which provides direct commands to the administrations of the Imperial Ministries.
These commands may be routine Council decisions, concerning matters of procedure or disputes within a government institution, or they may be the command passed down from the Emperor, which takes utmost importance. Ministerial Instructions may also be issued by the Council as a whole to a particular Minister of State, instructing him to carry out a certain policy or certain Council decision as relating to the affairs of his ministry. The Council executes the decrees and edicts of the Emperor, ensuring their enforcement and using its Instructions to speed along their progress through the governmental administration. The Council also possesses the authority to override or modify any decision made by any lower government bureau, ministry, or office. The Council also coordinates the compilation of legislation with the Imperial Chancellory, and arranges for additions to the Codex Aureliana or the revisions of judicial decisions by the monarch with the Governing Senate. It coordinates church regulations and matters with the Holy Synod. The Council is also responsible for official government communiques and proclamations, containing instructions to Governor-Generals, Provincial Governors, District Proconsuls, and other local officials, as well as to the population of the Empire. These are, however, within the limits set by the Emperor. The Council may attach a repraesentativum (attache) to each Governor-Official and local official in the Empire, who coordinates the sending of a report by that official and that official's communications with the Council. The attache, however, has no authority to override or countermand the Governor-General's decisions; that can only be done by the Justiciars appointed by the sovereign directly. Justiciars hold authority over the attaches, and have the ability to recommend their dismissal from office.
The Governing Senate and the judicial system of the Laurasian EmpireEdit
The reigns of the monarchs of the Neuchrian Dynasty witnessed the emergence of the present judicial system of the Laurasian Empire. By the late eighteenth century, the judicial system had obtained its current specifications, and was a highly organized, bureaucratized, and unified structure. At the apex of the Empire's judicial system is the Governing Senate. Also known as the Imperial Senate or simply as the Senate, it is one of the oldest and most important institutions of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Established by the first Emperor, Seleucus I the Victor, as an ad hoc body, the Senate originated more as a council of administration, civil service, and justice, combining all of these functions into one body. It was responsible for overseeing the efficient collection of taxes and state revenue; supervising the civil service and the government administration; handling high cases of state; and enforcing the decrees of the monarch. It therefore wielded considerable authority and influence from its onset. Later in the fourteenth century, during the reign of the Emperor Antiochus the Great (1354-89), many of the Senate's judicial and administrative functions were transferred to the Chancellor, the Justiciar, and the Council of Civil Service. The Senate, however, retained its place as the highest council of state, and during the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, obtained more prerogatives. Already in 1416 it took a major role in the elevation of Tiberius to the Laurasian throne; by the reign of Claudius, the Senate had gained the right to advise the sovereign on legislation, to issue orders and decorations in its own right, and to regulate matters related to various fields of government administration.
The Senate also gained the right to pass damnatio memoriae (eternal condemnation of memory) upon any deceased individuals who were viewed to have affronted the Imperial Government. Senators were still appointed by the monarch and served at their discretion; however, their rank, number, and influence increased over time. By the middle of the sixteenth century, the Senate had 100 members (as compared to its original twelve when it was established under Seleucus I); by 1605, this had increased to almost 400. Increasing influence and prominence, however, eventually brought the Senate into conflict with such Emperors as Commodus and Demetrius Severus. It played a major role during the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century, to the point that it was elevating Emperors (alongside the Guards and Synod). Neuchrus I, when he had acceded to the throne in 1685, had begun the process of drastically curtailing the Senate's size and powers. Through his Senatorial Administrative Regulations (1686-91), the Emperor deprived the Senate of the right to confer damnatio memoriae and any honors, decorations, or titles; limited its advice to merely those concerning administrative or judicial matters; reduced its membership from 450 to a more manageable 150; and imposed a term limit upon every Senator. The Senate was also forbidden to issue proclamations or orders without the express permission of the monarch; by the administrative reform of 1695, the Senate was deprived of its super-visionary authority over the Senatorial Provinces, placed under the direct oversight (after 1712) of the newly established Imperial Ministry of Regional and Colonial Administration. Neuchrus's successors continued the trend; by the time Empress Aurelia acceded to the throne, the Senate had been reduced to merely a high court.
Neuchrus was also responsible for a systematic reorganization of the Empire's judicial system. Besides implementing the Codex Gregorianus (1692) and the Codex Hermogenianus (1696), which provided the Empire with a codification of all imperial laws since the reign of Lysimachus I, Neuchrus was also responsible for the reorganization of the Empire's central judicial structure. He established the Court of the Star Chamber (1687), which became the leading court of civil and criminal cases of the highest-ranking personages of the Imperial Court and Chancellory, except those of treason and conspiracy, still handled by the Governing Senate; the Court of the Imperial Chancery (1689), which dealt with criminal cases among all other government officials; the Court of Imperial Pleas (1691), which dealt with government cases involving finances; and the Court of Requests (1694), which dealt with petitions and appeals to the Imperial Government from the lower courts. The Court of Requests, however, was not to be the last court of resort: the Senate still retained that place of honor. Neuchrus also established the practice of appointing Justices of the Imperial Peace, who would enforce the law in their local jurisdictions. Each Prefect, Vicar, and Governor-General received supreme judicial authority over their administrations; the Judicial Courts were subordinate to them. This was the system which stood until the Empress Aurelia's comprehensive administrative reforms of 1763 (dealing with the organization and procedures of the Senate and the Imperial Courts) and 1775 (dealing with the Empire's regional and local judicial system, and its relation to the Courts and the Senate), which saw the emergence of the modern system.
Under this system, the Governing Senate serves as the court of last resort and the highest judicial council of the Laurasian Empire. The Senate is comprised of one hundred Senators, who are appointed and dismissed at the discretion of the monarch. Each Senator however, with the exception of ten specifically designated by the monarch, serves for a defined four-year term. The Senate itself is divided into four departments of business: the General Administrative Department, the Criminal Appeals Department, the Civil Appeals Department, and the Department of Heraldry. Each department is led by a Assessor; this is always the most senior Senator assigned to each department. The departments of the Senate are responsible for the Senate's various judicial, advisory, and administrative functions. The General Administrative Department is charged with updating and maintaining the Codex Aureliana (the official legal code of the Empire); the Imperial Legal Journal (the government's official publication concerning judicial decisions, decrees, and proceedings); and the records of the Senate's judicial rulings (the Iudicialis Codificationis). The Department is also responsible for mediating disputes among government agencies of the civil service; ensuring the enforcement of the laws and instructions of the monarch and the Privy Council; and the immediate revision or revocation of any regulations, by civil service and court officials, in contravention with the directives of the Imperial Government. The second department, that of Criminal Appeals, is responsible for hearing all appeals in criminal cases of state, referred to it by the Courts of Chancery and Imperial Pleas. These are cases which proceed either from the Imperial Government or from the Regional and Provincial Courts of the Empire. This department's decisions, however, are subject to revision or revocation by the sovereign at will. The third department, that of Civil Appeals, hears appeals in civil cases of state, again referred to it by the Courts of Chancery and Imperial Pleas. Both Appeals Departments have the right to issue writs of certiorari: these are writs of summons, by which they can decide to either confirm the decisions of the lower Imperial Courts concerned or to hear the case. The Appeals Departments also have the right to issue instructions to the Chancery, Common Pleas, the Regional Courts, Imperial Intelligence Agency, and Ministries of Justice/Internal Security, alongside other government ministries, bureaus, and commissions, ordering them to provide evidence and produce a report on any matters of concern connected with that particular case. The last department, that of Heraldry, is the oldest department of the Senate, having its origins in the Heraldmaster's Office (established by Seleucus I in 1321). This department is responsible for the appeals of the Provincial Marshals and Assemblies of Nobility to the Imperial Government; deciding disputes and regulations concerning coat of arms, heraldry, and honors among the nobles of the Empire; and determining rules or questions related to protocol and rank among the nobility and gentry.
Their decisions are subject to final approval by the sovereign. The Department of Heraldry is also responsible for monitoring the financial and personal affairs of the nobles; of keeping a list of all nobles and gentry in government service and at the Imperial Court; and of dealing with matters related to taxation or confiscation of noble properties and estates. The departments of the Senate convene in a plenary session, on the orders of the monarch, in order to try cases of imperial treason, conspiracy, heresy, corruption, and high felony against the person of the monarch. In cases of individuals accused of plotting to murder or depose the monarch, or of adultery in the Imperial Household, the Senate combines with the Privy Council and Synod in a Special Court; all three bodies then jointly pass a sentence of punishment. All the Senate's decisions, in all cases, are subject to revision or revocation by the monarch. The entire Senate is led by a Procurator-General, who serves as one of the leading officials of the Imperial Government. The Procurator-General is responsible for enforcing discipline among the Senators; communicating the monarch's orders and instructions to the Senate; relaying Senatorial information to the monarch and the Privy Council; and organizing the agenda of the Senate Departments. The Procurator-General is also responsible for establishing the rules and procedures for each Department, subject to approval by the monarch. He has the authority to suspend any Senator for misconduct or abandonment of duty, but only the monarch has the ability to remove them from office. The Procurator-General is assisted by a Vice-Procurator General, the Assessors, and twenty Senatorial secretaries, who do not have participation rights and are not considered Senate members. He is also the head of the Senatorial Committee of Public Procurators, responsible for rooting out corruption in the Empire's ministries and agencies, and for maintaining the network of Procurators in the Empire's governorates and provinces. Finally, in accordance with its duty of enforcing the laws of the Empire, the Senate issues decadal Codifications of its decisions; supeonas and writs with override orders concerning the actions of local government officials and commands for the production of evidence or witnesses; and judicial opinions, concerning the application of laws to the Empire's subjects.
Below the Senate are the four Imperial Courts of the Empire. These are, in order of importance, the Star Chamber, Chancery, Imperial Pleas, and Requests. They are the imperial courts of appeal, holding appellate jurisdiction over cases (except for treason and conspiracy as defined above) emanating from the Empire's administrative functions. Each court has twelve justices and a Chief Justice; the four Chief Justices are all members of the Governing Senate and may provide consultancy advice to the Privy Council as needed. Sessions of the Star Chamber and Chancery are held in secret; those of Pleas and Requests in public, although the monarch can order them to a secret session at any time. Each of the four bodies has the right to accept or reject appeals referred to them from the lower jurisdictions; they can issue writs of compulsion to force any noncooperative individuals to participate in the government's investigation and to provide evidence. In accordance with Laurasian law, defendants are not permitted their own counsel, and must prepare their own defense. The Star Chamber is responsible for criminal and civil cases of leading nobles, knights, personages, and officials in the Empire. Everyone in service at the higher echelons of the Imperial Court and Civil Service appears before this body if charged with a crime. Cases of treason and conspiracy, however, are automatically referred to the Special Court. The Star Chamber also has the right to hear appeals from wealthy personages, businessmen, and merchants throughout the Empire. The Court of the Chancery deals with criminal cases among all other government officials, members of the civil service, and servants of the Imperial Household. It is responsible for hearing criminal appeals from lower jurisdictions, and also has the authority to hear military court martials. The Court of Common Pleas deals with civil appeals, civil cases related to government officials and institutions, bankruptcy, counterfeiting, and treasury crimes, and petitions from subjects of the Empire directly. Finally, the Court of Requests deals with petitions from local government officials and organizations, cases of conflict among government institutions, between institutions and subjects, cases relating to foreign subjects in imperial territory (except for matters relating to treason or conspiracy), and between the Empire and foreign subjects, organizations, or governments.
Each Governorate in the Empire has a Regional Court, which is led by the Praetor of Justice in that jurisdiction. The Praetor, appointed and dismissed for each governorate by the monarch directly, serves as the chief judicial officer of that jurisdiction and as head of that governorate's Justice Board. The Senate has the authority to attach two Senatorial Procurators to each Regional Court, who report on the Court's proceedings and are responsible for providing the Senate review information on lower court cases. The Procurators may also compel a Court of Assizes to halt a session, if the Senate (or the monarch) deems it necessary, and they can consult with the Governor-General and Justiciar over administrative disputes to be referred to the Imperial Courts. Each Court of Assizes has twenty-four justices, appointed and dismissed by the Governor-General with the approval of the irremovable officials of his governorate. Each justice has the right to self-immunity and to issue judicial opinions on the cases brought before them. The Court of Assizes serve as the highest appellate courts in their jurisdiction, and as courts of second resort. They are required to meet for at least four sessions a year, and to hear all cases of criminal and civil appeal brought before them (unlike the Senate or Imperial Courts, who have the discretion to choose which cases to hear). The Courts of Assizes, however, wield considerable authority, and have the right to issue warrants, supeonas, and writs of compulsion in their jurisdiction. They can also order the Governor-General or his representatives to provide them information or governmental resources as needed. Courts of Assizes have original jurisdiction in cases relating to the officials and agents of that particular governorate. Each Province in the Empire has a Provincial Court of Assizes, comprised of twelve Justices and a Suffect with similar powers and responsibilities.
The Provincial Court, however, is required to report to the Regional Court on all cases, and to present them for automatic appeal if ordered. The District Courts, however, are different. Each District Court is comprised of six Justices and a Chief Justice, appointed by the gubernatorial board of justice and confirmed by the irremovable officials. District Courts are required to have a consultative panel of experts in session with them, who may determine whether or not evidence presented to the court is valid. The panel also has the authority to issue recommendations to the court as to the punishment which should be applied. All Provincial and District Justices are term-limited; no limits exist for Regional Justices, who continue to serve as long as they have "good behavior". Each star system has a Solar Court of Justice, and every municipality (in accordance with definitions provided by the 1785 Charter of Municipal Administration), a magistrates court of the municipality. These courts generally have authority over all petty cases in their jurisdictions; for example, property cases, certain labor cases, divorce, drug use, disruption of the public peace, robbery, theft, rape, manslaughter, murder, and perjury. The decisions of all Municipal Courts must automatically be referred to the Solar Court for approval, however. Each of these Courts has two Judges and a Justice of the Peace, thereby retaining one element of Neuchrus I's system. The ecclesiastical courts of the Imperial Almitian Church were abolished in 1783; all clergymen were subjected to the secular courts, with the exception of members of the Holy Synod, who remained subject to trial by the Synod.
The Most Almitian Holy Synod and the Almitian Church of the Laurasian EmpireEdit
The third central institution of the Imperial Government is the Most Almitian Holy Synod of the Laurasian Empire, also known as the Holy Synod or as the Imperial Synod of the Almitian Church. The Holy Synod, like the Senate, is one of the oldest institutions in the Empire. It was established by Seleucus I the Victor on January 25, 1321, as part of his ecclesiastical reforms. Until the reign of Seleucus I, the King had exerted influence over the Almitian Church, but it had remained largely independent in its internal governance. The sovereign was considered to be the "Defender of Almitism"; he had the right of veto over the election of clergymen, and upon the consecration of new clergymen would often be the one to present their crozier (chief garment) to them. The King would also be involved in major ecclesiastical decisions. The Synod of a Hundred Chapters (1149-51), summoned by King Honorius the Terrible, confirmed the inviolability of church properties and the exclusive jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts over the clergy, with exceptions as designated by the monarch; the norms and procedures of church life were regulated. Over a century later, the Great Synod of Christiania (1266-67), which deposed Nikon as Pope but confirmed his reforms, was also presided over by the King. Seleucus the Victor lost the support of the Laurasian clergy over his reforms. Local hierarchs became very suspicious of Seleucus's friendship with foreigners and his alleged antipathy towards Almitism. The King however, did not abandon Almitism as the ideological core of the state, but sought to begin a process of "modernization" of the clergy, relying on those who had obtained a specialized galactic education.
Seleucus's actions towards the Church included measures to regulate the conduct and financial affairs of the monasteries; the narrowing of admission requirements into the clergy of the Almitian Church; the promotion of religious institutes for education throughout the Kingdom's realms; a comprehensive survey of church properties; and the establishment of stricter moral standards for the clergy. The Church lost its tax exemption on its commercial revenues. Seleucus had also allowed the Papacy to lapse following the death of Adrian in 1300. He had instead designated the Archbishop of Americana and Charasia, Stephan Yarkovis, as the locum tenens (custodian of the papal throne). Yarkovis held this position for twenty-one years, but eventually came into conflict with his sovereign. Seleucus eventually discovered a new and trustworthy ally in the form of Theodosius Provickitis, a professor of the Laurasian Theological Academy of Ivoria, who became Bishop of Herclaenum (1318) and Archbishop of Ralina Vixius (1324). It was with his aid that Seleucus compiled the Ecclesiastical Regulations, which provided for the abolition of the Papacy and the installation of the Holy Synod in its place.
Provickitis became the first Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, and held this position until his death in 1336. The Chief Procurator's influence and powers, however, grew as a result of the Constantian Civil War, and by the reign of Emperor Antiochus I, the Chief Procurator had become established as a major and influential figure in the imperial government. He virtually dominated the Synod. The clash between that Emperor and Chief Procurator Thomasius Becketius (1363-70) is well known. Following Becketius's assassination in 1370, Antiochus assumed the title of Pontifex Maximus (head of the Laurasian religion) and mandated that every Chief Procurator thenceforth was to be a secular official. The jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts was narrowed, clergymen lost rights of benefit, and a uniform taxation system for all church revenues and properties was imposed. This was the essential system which persisted for over two centuries. It was the Emperor Demetrius Severus (1593-1611) who reverted to the custom of appointing a clergyman as Chief Procurator. By the early eighteenth century, the Almitian Church was, in the eyes of many, in need for reform.
As a result of the travails of the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century, ecclesiastical courts had restored their jurisdictional boundaries; the Commission of Monastery Administration, established by Seleucus I, had been abolished; and corruption had spread among the ranks of the Laurasian clergy. The creed of the Church had also become outdated, and required a major overhaul. Neuchrus I had abandoned the title of Pontifex Maximus in 1686, in the course of his reforms of the Empire's administration. His son, Antigonus III, however, considered this essential, and believed himself to be the vice-regent of Almitis. From 1729 onwards, the Emperor, who was also displeased at the failure of his Chancellor, Cardinal Wolesius, and Chief Procurator Willanius Warhamius to obtain a swift ending to proceedings concerning his marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah, began to implement measures to strengthen his control of the Church. These included the Heretical Ratification Decree, the Declaration of Submission, the First Statute of Supremacy, and the Statute of Monasterial Administration. As a result of Antigonus's policies, the Church was deprived of its vast estates and properties; its remaining institutions and monasteries were subjected to the supervision of the Commission of Economy; the title of Pontifex Maximus was restored; and the prerogatives of the Holy Synod were strictly limited.
The Emperor's Six Articles (1739), however, maintained such tenets as clerical celibacy and the retention of Traditionalist vestments. This would be changed under his son Demetrius II, who was under the influence of the ardently reformist Chief Procurator, Thomasius Cranmerius, and the Duke of Northumberlais. The Second and Third Statutes of Supremacy were passed, resulting in the abolition of Traditionalist vestments and ornaments; the institution of a Book of Common Prayer; the repeal of the Heresy and Sodomy Laws; and the exclusion of Traditionalists from the ecclesiastical structure. Demetrius's sudden death in 1753, however, brought his ardently Traditionalist sister Didymeia to the throne. The Didymeian Persceutions she implemented resulted in the condemnation and death of over 700 million Reformed Almitists. With the assistance of first Stephanius Gardinerius, Chancellor and Archbishop of Winchestrius, and then of Cardinal-Chancellor Reginaldius Polsius, Didymeia reversed the reforms of her predecessors and confirmed the Church's traditionalist administration and customs, although she retained the restored title of Pontifex Maximus. Didymeia also restored the Heresy and Sodomy Laws. This "Counter-Reformation", however, lasted only until her death. It was under the Empress Aurelia that the present ecclesiastical system of the Laurasian Empire was established. The Imperial Statute for the Governance and Uniformity of the Almitian Church of the Laurasian Empire (1759) reinstated many of the reforms of Antigonus III and Demetrius II.
Under the present system as established by the Statute, the Holy Synod serves as the highest ecclesiastical council in the Almitian Church. The Synod is comprised of the fifty leading prelates of the Almitian Church, thirteen Lay Councilors (lay officials appointed and dismissed at the discretion of the sovereign), and ten Assessors. The Cardinalships and Metropolitanites of the Almitian Church, which had existed from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries, were abolished under the Statute of Governance. Instead, each region in the Empire and the foreign conclaves beyond the Empire's territory are represented by one of the Lay Councilors, who, nevertheless, is not a consecrated official of the church administration. Among the high prelates who sit on the Synod are the Archbishops of Christiania, Constantinople, Heliotrope, Colombia, Uris, Soriana, Mendelevium, Ostia, Ravenna, Laurasia Prime, Caladaria, Darcia, Americana, Ralina Vixius, Oxia Vixius, Winchestrius, Apathama Vixius, Taurasia, Aquilionia, Janesia, Dearton's Gateway, Constantine I, Rebecca, Chancia, Katherine, Briannia, Clackimaris, Mercedes, Metallasia, Andriana, and Sarah, as well as the twenty most influential bishops in the Empire. Each archbishop and bishop on the Synod is nominated and consecrated on the orders of the sovereign. The entire Synod is presided over by the Chief Procurator, always an archbishop, who is appointed and dismissed by the sovereign at their discretion.
The Chief Procurator is the highest-ranking of all of the members of the Synod, regardless of the seniority of those holding them or the date of establishment of the chief dioceses. He has the authority to oversee the proceedings of the Synod; to set the agenda and procedures for the Synod's sessions; and to maintain ecclesiastical "conformity" (discipline), among the members of the Synod and the clergymen of the Almitian Church. The Chief Procurator is responsible for ensuring that the Synod keeps to its tasks and fulfills its responsibilities under the Statute of Governance. This gives him the power to countermand or to suspend any of the prelates in the Church; he can also recommend their removal from office to the monarch. To the effect of maintaining his oversight over the daily matters of ecclesiastical administration, the Chief Procurator has the right to issue instructions to his subordinates and regulations concerning the conduct of Almitian institutions, officials, and congregations. These instructions, however, must be approved by the sovereign and executed by the Synod. The Chief Procurator may also conduct investigations into the affairs of local dioceses, and he is responsible for maintaining records of the personal and financial affairs of every official in the Church administration.
Finally, the Chief Procurator enforces church doctrine and ecclesiastical statutes: he has the authority to fine, imprison, or condemn any who act in contravention to the Church's directives. The Holy Synod itself deals with ecclesiastical questions. It is responsible for formulating the chief objectives of the Church; reporting on Church affairs to the Privy Council and the monarch; and ensuring conformity among all Church congregations. The Synod is charged with revising and maintaining the Book of Common Prayer, and for devising rules on vestments, ornaments, and garments in Almitian cathedrals. Consequently, the Synod administers the chief religious festivals of the Church, maintains the religious calendar, and regulates matters related to church holidays, processions, and ceremonies of state. It also is responsible for supervising the conduct of all non-Almitian religious organizations in the Empire, and has the ability to demand reports from non-Almitian religious prelates and bodies in the Empire. Finally, the Synod, on the orders of the monarch, has the ability to excommunicate or condemn any person convicted of treason, conspiracy, or another serious crime against the state. Excommunication deprives one of access to the sacraments; it denies that person a Almitian burial; and condemns them, their posterity, and their properties to eternal damnation in the Hell of Almitis. Below the Synod are the two Commissions of the Almitian Church: the Commission of Economy and the Commission of Ecclesiastical Education and Welfare. The Commission of Economy is responsible for the salaries and expenses of all church officials; the regulation of the financial affairs of church properties; the maintenance of church estates, monasteries, cathedrals, and citadels; and the collection of state levies and taxes upon the Church. The Commission of Education and Welfare, on its part, is responsible for the supervision, finances, and operation of the ecclesiastical education system; the provision of financial aid to secular universities and institutions; and the charity, public health, and welfare functions of the Church.
The Imperial Almitian Church has 110,000 dioceses in the territory of the Laurasian Empire: 10,000 Archbishoprics and 100,000 Bishoprics. The boundaries of the archbishoprics do not coincide with the governorates of the Laurasian Empire; nor the bishoprics coincide with the Empire's provinces. Many of the Almitian Church's dioceses, particularly on Laurasia Prime and in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, date back centuries or even millennia: the Archbishoprics of Ravenna, Heliotrope, Herkorim, and Ostis date back to the 3rd millennium BH. The Archbishops of the Laurasian Purse Region are the most prestigious prelates in the Almitian Church, and command greater resources than any of the Empire's other prelates. All Archbishops, nevertheless, are organized into the Conference of Almitian Prelates, which convenes twice a year at the Westphalian Cathedral on Laurasia Prime. The Conference is responsible for communicating petitions and matters of concern among the clergy to the Holy Synod and the Privy Council; they also have the right to make a direct petition to the monarch. Each Archbishop wields jurisdiction over 10 Bishops; the Bishops in turn, wield jurisdiction over upwards of 20,000 or more Deans, Deacons, and the Abbots and Deans of all cathedrals and other religious institutions placed under their jurisdiction. Finally, each congregation has its own reverend and administrative officers; these are the most numerous religious clergymen in the Empire. Monks, nuns, and members of holy orders are considered to be black clergy (that is, clergymen who cannot marry or have children), while all other religious officials, including the Chief Procurator and members of the Holy Synod, are white clergy (those who can marry).
Regional and Provincial Administration of the EmpireEdit
For the purposes of administration, the Laurasian Empire is divided into fifty Governorates. Each Governorate has twenty-three Provinces, for a total of 1150 provinces in the Caladarian Galaxy and the two satellite galaxies. Each province, in turn, is subdivided into three districts, for a total of 3450 districts. The current form of the regional and provincial administration of the Laurasian Empire was established by the Statute of the Regional and Provincial Administration of the Laurasian Empire, promulgated by the Empress Aurelia the Great on November 7, 1775. The fifty Governorates, each led by a civilian Governor-General, serve as the highest level of provincial government. The Governor-Generals are the Emperor's top representatives in the regions of the Empire, ranking immediately blow the hierarchy of the Imperial Court. They are appointed and dismissed by the Emperor at will. Although originally the Governor-Generals, as they had first been constituted in the Empire's earlier centuries, had been given absolute authority over all matters of importance in their jurisdictions, they were, by the reforms of Empress Aurelia, stripped of their military functions. These rest in the hands of the Magister Militums (Masters of the Imperial Forces), who are the highest ranking military commanders within a particular governorate. One is an officer of the Imperial Army; the other an officer of the Imperial Navy. This reform was inspired by the events of the Malarian and Pugachevia Rebellions; the Empress believed that the separation of civilian and military functions on the regional level would reduce the challenges posed to her authority and would establish a balance of power in the Empire's local administration. The Governor-General is obliged to submit weekly reports to the Emperor and the Council. In order to ensure that the Governor-Generals stay to their tasks of office and do not nurture any ambitions of their own, a Imperial Justicari (Justiciar), or representative of the monarch's will, is attached to each Governor-General. The Justicari, who is appointed and dismissed by the monarch directly, is responsible for monitoring the activities of the Governor-General.
All reports communicated to the Imperial Privy Council and the sovereign by the Governor-General must be proofread and approved by the Justiciar before it can be formally submitted. The Justiciar has the authority to countermand any of the orders or directives given by the Governor-General or his subordinates. He also has the power to suspend the Governor-General from exercising the duties of his office, if it is deemed that the Governor-General engaged in conduct "unbecoming to his position". This is generally defined as treason, conspiracy, corruption, or overall incompetence. Finally, the Justiciar has the authority to dispatch his own reports to the Privy Council and the monarch concerning the Governor-General's conduct, and he is obliged to report all matters concerning the Governor-General's personal family life, transactions, and properties on a routine basis. Besides the Justiciar, however, the Governor-General does wield considerable authority. He has the authority to promulgate executive orders and directives with the force of law in his jurisdiction, as long as these do not contradict or modify imperial laws or the directives of the Imperial Chancellory. These orders are generally issued in accordance with the Governor-General's chief duty of executing the will of the monarch. As the highest executive official in the governorate, the Governor-General has the responsibility to enforce the laws of the Empire. Consequently, he holds the power of supervision (vigilantiae virtute) over all provincial governors, district proconsuls, and system governors placed under his authority. This authority gives him the ability to demand reports and communiques from these subordinate executive officials; to countermand or override their orders and directives when these are viewed as contradictory to the aims of the Imperial Government; and to suspend them from executing their duties, in extraordinary cases of misconduct.
The Governor-General can, in the case of a provincial or district vacancy, appoint a temporary office-holder, who executes the duties of that office until the sovereign formally names a replacement. The Governor-General also has the ability to recommend successors to a position to the monarch, and he is the one responsible for delivering the seals of office to appointees. The Governor-General also coordinates the operation of the gubernatorial civil service. It is his responsibility to ensure that orders of the Imperial Government to local government officials are followed without question. The Governor-General mediates disputes among those within the regional civil service, issues regulations pertaining to the operations of the civil service, and sends instructions to the gubernatorial officials in the star systems as necessary. To assist the Governor-General in his duties, and serving as the highest administrative council in the governorate, is the Gubernatorial Council. The Gubernatorial Council is comprised of two houses: the upper house, known as the Council of Secretaries, is comprised of the chief secretaries of state of that particular governorate, as well as the Vice-Governor General, the Gubernatorial Justiciar, the Chief Praetor of Justice (leading judicial official of that governorate and head of the Regional Court of Assizes, highest court of law in each governorate), the Quaestor of Finance (leading official of finances for the Governor-General's household), and the Chief Secretary of the Gubernatorial Chancellory. The second house, known as the Gubernatorial Advisory Consistory, is comprised of the leading nobles, knights, and personages of that particular governorate. Generally, this means the one hundred wealthiest and most important nobles in that governorate, with 15 dukes, 30 earls, 20 marquesses, 15 viscounts, 5 counts, 10 barons, and 15 baronets; the Knights Banneret and Knights Hereditary; and the fifty wealthiest non-noble personages of that governorate.
Finally, the twenty-three Provincial Governors under that Governor-General's authority attend the Council as non-participatory members. Of the two, the Council of Secretaries is responsible for executing and countermanding (collectively) the Governor-General's directives; operating the daily administration of the regional civil service; and dispensing advice to the Governor-General. The Advisory Consistory presents petitions and pleas to the Governor-General; informs him of affairs in the Governorate; and protects the interests of the gubernatorial elites. Most of the boards of administration are chaired by a Secretary, with a Vice-Secretary, Board Assessor, and five other officials. The exceptions are the Boards of Justice (chaired by the Praetor in his capacity as highest judicial authority), Finance (chaired by the Quaestor), and Defense (chaired by the two Magister Militums of the Governorate). Each governorate has boards of justice, finance, police and security, administration, agriculture and resources, health and welfare, colonization, education, labor and commerce, transportation, energy, nobles' affairs, and defense. The Governor-General has the authority to appoint and dismiss these secretaries and most other regional officials, with the exception of the Praetor of Justice, the Justiciar, the Quaestor, and the Magister Militums. These officials are appointed by the monarch directly, and they in turn, are responsible for confirming the Governor-General's appointments. This forms a major check on his authority.
Below the Governor-General is the Provincial Governor. Who appoints the Provincial Governor depends upon the province in question. The Imperial Laurasian Province and eighty other select provinces of the Empire, primarily those of great symbolic or cultural significance (such as the Arachosia Prime, Way'tosk, and Samarkand Provinces), have Governors who are appointed and dismissed by the Emperor directly. Another two hundred have Governors appointed and dismissed by the Imperial Ministry of Regional and Local Administration, the central government ministry responsible for coordinating the governorates and provinces. Four hundred have governors appointed by the Privy Council (with the monarch's permission). Two hundred have governors appointed by the Ministries of Space and Transportation or Defense. For the remainder (269), the governors are nominated by the Governor-General of that jurisdiction and confirmed by the "irremovable" officials of that governorate (such as the Justiciar). The Provincial Governor, who resides in a separate residence from the Governor-General, is regarded as the highest executive authority in his jurisdiction. To become a Provincial Governor is considered of great significance in many star systems, for a Governor's position carries prestige, rank, and power. The Governor actually wields more authority over his jurisdiction than the Governor-General does over his. A Censor, subordinate to the Regional Justiciar, is attached to each Provincial Governor, and they, like the Justiciars, can report or countermand the Governor. The Censor, however, is not permitted to exercise veto power over the Governor's appointments, and he is forbidden to monitor the Governor's personal affairs without explicit permission from his Justiciar. Governors are able to appoint officials within their jurisdiction with a minimum of restraint; their Provincial Council is subordinate to them. At the provincial and district level, however, appear the localized institutions of the Imperial Government.
These include the Chambers of the Nobility and the Procurators. The procedures for the representation of the nobility and gentry in the Empire were primarily codified in the Charter of the Imperial Nobility of the Laurasian Empire, enacted April 21, 1785. By the terms of this statute, the privileges and ranks of all nobles in the Empire were protected. Their position as the highest subjects of the Empire, in advance of commoners, was affirmed. Nobles enjoy the direct right of petition to the Star Chamber, and in cases of extreme distress, to the Governing Senate. Only they (and corporations) are permitted to possess a formal coat of arms; only they are allowed to wear and maintain a family heraldry and insignia of ancestry. They enjoy the right to a trial by their peers; are permitted to exchange property, in accordance with the procedures of the Courts of Wards and Heraldry; and to possess these estates by hereditary right, unless if they were confiscated by the monarch or forfeit due to financial circumstances. In order to guarantee these rights and privileges, each Province in the Empire has a Provincial Chamber of Nobility. The Chamber is comprised of all the nobles of that jurisdiction, although the two hundred nobles with the greatest influence and patronage in that province enjoy the supreme prerogatives of discussion and proposal.
Each Chamber meets in full form twice every three years, in order to discuss matters relating to the social affairs, finances, religious affairs, and cultural affairs of the nobility. The Chamber is divided into two houses: the Hereditary House, for nobles and gentry who possessed their titles and properties by hereditary right, and the Non-Hereditary House, for those who enjoy their rights as a result of a grant by the monarch. The Hereditary House has higher precedence, and these are the nobles who are selected to serve on the Gubernatorial Consistory. Each House has a Speaker of the Nobles, generally the most senior or wealthiest nobleman in that house; each Chamber, in turn, has a Marshal of the Nobility. The Marshal serves as their representative in that particular province; he is responsible for enforcing laws of the Empire and the local administration as they apply to the nobles. The Marshal defends their interests and has the right to censor or punish any non-noble subject who threatens or trespasses upon noble property or privileges. The Marshal also maintains discipline among the Chamber and can condemn any noble who overstepped his bounds. A similar level of organization and administration is seen on the district and planetary levels.
The districts each have a District Vicar, in all cases appointed by the Provincial Governor, district committees of administration, and the elected officials of the District Council, responsible for representing the interests of subjects. They each have a District Chamber of Nobility, which meets five times a year, more often than the Provincial Chamber, and deals more directly with the social affairs and economic welfare of the nobles. Finally, each star system in the Empire with a population of at least 100,000 has a Solar Governor, who wields the most authority of the local executive officials and is countermanded only by the Planetary Municipal Authorities and the Solar Assembly of Nobility. This assembly meets two times a month and is the most active of all the noble bodies, coordinating the relations of the nobility on a local level. In accordance with the Charter, the Provincial Marshals of Nobility have the ability to present direct petitions to the monarch, and to request the monarch to give redress to their grievances.
The Procurator-General of the Governing Senate, as mentioned above, is the head of the Senatorial Committee of Public Procurators. This body, as mentioned above, is responsible for rooting out corruption within the Empire's administration. Each of its twelve members were, by the Statute of 1775, granted jurisdiction over four governorates in the Empire; in each of the governorates there was to be a Regional Procurator, in each Province a Provincial Procurator, and in each district a District Procurator. The Procurator-General and the Committee thereby gained control of a network of their own throughout the Empire, parallel to the Justiciars and the other officials of the local administration. The duties of the Procurators are mainly passive. They sit in at all sessions of the Gubernatorial Council and of the governor's executive meetings, and listen to the proceedings. The Procurator keeps a journal in which on one side he records the law, on the other the decision taken. Should he wish to protest against a decision on the grounds that it is against the law, he can protest to both the Justiciar and the Governor-General. The Justiciar, in turn, is then authorized to countermand or confirm the actions of the Governor-General, as provided elsewhere in the Statue. Procurators can also appeal directly to the Senate, to overturn any executive orders which contradicted judicial verdict or decisions. The Procurators are also enjoined to report abuses by the Justiciars, and by all other government officials in the jurisdiction to which they were assigned. Procurators, therefore, are the instruments to root out corruption, and are another mechanism of control by the Imperial Laurasian Government.
The lowest level of provincial administration in the Laurasian Empire is at the municipal level. The foundations for this system were established by the 1775 Statute of Administration, but further elaborated and expanded upon in two landmark documents: the Administrative Statute of the City of Christiania (1782) and the Imperial Charter of Municipal Administration (1785). Christiania, in fact, the capital city of the Empire, has a special form of administration. The largest and most important city in the Laurasian Empire and in the Caladarian Galaxy in general, Christiania's tradition of city government had origins extending back to its foundation by the Lycian Tsar Peter the Great in 1297 BH. The form of administration, as established by Peter, had been one of a city "gubernator" (governor), who presided over the city's affairs in accordance with a council personally selected by the Tsar of Lycia. This form of government had undergone substantial changes during the two centuries of the rule of the Masacavanian Empire; by the time of the Empire's downfall in 1082 BH, Christiania had a full-fledged mayor-council form of government, with the Governor of Christiania holding the reins of executive authority in accordance with the City Duma. Christiania was renamed Lenadiugrad by the Madavarian Soviet Union in 1076 BH, and retained this name for nearly seven decades until regaining its original title in 1009 BH. The Communists had eliminated virtually all traditions of city self-government and had subjected the city administration to the authority of the Communist Party. During Communist rule, Christiania's ultimate authority was the Party Boss of Lenadiugrad, who owed his position to the dictator and his supporters on the Politburo. There was no city assembly and rule was authoritarian. Upon the overthrow of the Lycian Union in 1009 BH, the city gained a form of government in which the Boss, now renamed back to Governor, retained the supreme authority but relied upon the assistance of an Advisory City Council.
This form of government, known uniquely as the "Lycian style", proved extremely long-lasting, and endured for nearly three centuries. Upon the unification of Laurasia Prime in 753 BH, however, the first Laurasian President, Romulus, instigated a major reform of municipal administration. His reform of the city's administration, included the institution of an Assembly of Notables, the public procurators and aediles of the quadrants of Christiania, and the reorganization of the Mayoralty. With some minor modifications, this was the system which persisted for 1077 years until the commencement of the Arachosian Period. The Arachosian Period had seen the establishment of a system centralized once again to the directives of the center; the Mayor of Christiania now answered directly to the Arachosian Viceroy. This system lasted until the establishment of the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia in AH 412, when the Mayor switched his allegiance to the King. Over time, the Kings granted extensive privileges to the Mayor and the city's notables, until by the ninth century AH, Christiania enjoyed much autonomy. Governed by the Mayor, the Urban Council, and the Consistory of Advisers, it was one of the most prosperous cities in the Caladarian Galaxy. The Dasian Yoke, however, witnessed the destruction of all these traditions of self-government and the reimposition of autocratic rule over the city. From 840 until 925, the city was deprived of its own leader, being directly subject to the directives of the Dasian Bay. When the Mayoralty was restored, the office-holder was subjected to the Bey's directives and placed within his reach of appointment. This system continued, in modified form, throughout the Dasian and Third Laurasian Periods. Seleucus I and Antiochus I implemented reforms to the system, but initiative and self-rule were still generally denied the inhabitants of Christiania. Until 1782, the system of municipal administration in Christiania, and in other cities of Laurasia Prime, was that introduced during the reign of the Emperor Alexander Severus (1622-35). Severus instituted a reform by which the Mayor of Christiania, who was by then a figure elected by the elites and nobles of the city, acted as the chief executive of the city administration. The Council of Suffects, comprised of fourteen distinguished officials, wielded authority over the city and assisted the Mayor in governance. The Suffects of Public Welfare and City Finances held the greatest influence over the city's administration.
By the middle of the eighteenth century, however, this system suffered from numerous inefficiencies. The Mayors of Christiania, each of whom were elected for a one-year term, and were primarily men with a background in business, were beholden to those who had elevated them, feeling more loyalty towards their constituents then the Imperial Court. They exercised almost absolute authority over the city, with the Suffects having no powers to veto or restrict their measures. The Suffect of Public Welfare, in fact, was the Mayor's second-in-command, and enjoyed considerable influence by controlling the citizens' access to welfare and aid provision. The Empress Aurelia implemented various measures attempting to remedy the flaws in the system, but by 1782, had become convinced that a total reform was needed. The Administrative Statute of Christiania, enacted January 25, 1782, implemented the most comprehensive reform of Christiania's city administration in its history. This, therefore, is the current municipal administrative system of Christiania. Under the statute, city administration is handled by the Praetorian Mayor of Christiania and the monarch's personal representative, the Urban Prefect; the Christiania Municipal Council, divided into two chambers; the Municipal Assembly; and the bureaus of administration. The Mayor of Christiania, theoretically at the apex of the system, is in fact only a ceremonial official. He is formally elevated to his position by the Municipal Council and Assembly, whose choice had to be confirmed by the monarch. The monarch also has the right to directly appoint, and to summarily dismiss, the Mayor of Christiania at will. Each Mayor serves for a defined four-year term. As a primarily ceremonial official, the Mayor is responsible for representing the city in public functions; presiding over public ceremonies of state concerning the city's affairs; and leading delegations of the city to the monarch, the Privy Council, and visiting dignitaries. He is officially the chairman of the Municipal Council, and is responsible for opening and closing the Council's sessions, moderating debate, and enforcing general conduct.
However, the Mayor has no authority to discipline or suspend any of the Council members, and he is not permitted to participate in any of the Council's decisions or to cast a motion. The Urban Prefect of Christiania, on the other hand, holds the greater influence. He is the monarch's representative, reporting directly to him or her on the city's affairs. The Prefect is responsible for monitoring the conduct of the Mayor and the other government officials; supervising and coordinating the daily operations of the municipal civil service; and granting formal approval all motions of the Council. He is also the chief law enforcement official of the city, and is in charge of maintaining the public order and welfare. The Prefect, unlike the Mayor, has the authority to suspend Councilors for dereliction of duty or for corruption, although they can only be dismissed by the Ministry of Regional and Provincial Administration. He also has the right to issue orders to his subordinates, which have the force of law as long as they did not contradict or change existing law. The Municipal Council, the highest legislative council in Christiania, is responsible for the legislative administration of Christiania. The Council, as stated above, is divided into two chambers. The upper chamber is the appointed, 100-member Board of Commissioners. Commissioners must be over the age of forty; possess at least a hereditary knighthood in the service in the Empire; and have a net worth of €2.5 million dataries at minimum. Each commissioner represents a particular "commission district", into which the city of Christiania is apportioned on the basis of population, and is nominated every two years by the district committee, being formally appointed by the Urban Prefect. The lower chamber is the 250-member Committee of Advisers. The members of the Committee of Advisors are known as delegates; there is no requirement for them to be of either knightly or gentle status. However, the election system for the delegates is designed in such a way to give prominence and greater power to those of wealth and influence. All the taxable inhabitants of Christiania, from the wealthiest magnates to the lowliest workers or laborers, are arranged into descending lists according to their assessed wealth. The total valuation is then divided into six equal categories, representing six groups of electors very unequal in number, each group of whom elects an equal number of delegates to the Committee. They do not, however, have the right to introduce motions into the Council, only to consider them.
The Council itself passes resolutions, proclamations, and municipal ordinances; oversees the adoption of the municipal budget and the regulations for the civil service; coordinates the policy of the various municipal agencies; and communicates the City's concerns to the Imperial Ministry of Regional and Provincial Administration, which holds responsibility for the oversight of the Empire's largest cities. The Council also considers and may pass or reject resolutions proposed by the Prefect. The Mayor's duties in respect to the Council have been described; he has no right to introduce any resolutions or to vote on any measures. Below the Council is the Municipal Assembly, a somewhat more diverse body consisting of the leading municipal officials, the chief officers of the Council, and four hundred "tribunes" of the people. The tribunes are not paid a salary; their sole duty is to provide advice to the Council and the Prefect, and to report to them on matters of concern to the city's inhabitants. The Assembly itself can pass regulations relating to the administrative affairs of the quadrants, but these must be ratified by the full Council. The final component of the municipal administrative system of Christiania are the bureaus of administration. The city has bureaus of public welfare, education, healthcare, transportation, utilities, finance, coordination of justice, notables' affairs, urban administration, police, code enforcement, architecture, and emergency services. Each bureau is headed by a Aedile of Public Welfare, appointed and dismissed directly by the Prefect, with the ratification of the Municipal Council.
The Imperial Charter of Municipal Administration, promulgated the same day as the Charter of the Imperial Nobility of the Laurasian Empire (April 21, 1785), specified the procedures and form of municipal administration for the other cities and planetary settlements of the Laurasian Empire. The three years preceding the implementation of the Charter had seen a significant improvement in the efficiency of the Christiania administrative system. Rates of corruption had decreased from 1 per 25 officials to 1 in less than 500 officials; the revenues of the City of Christiania had increased more than twofold, from €11.9 trillion to €18.9 trillion; and the transportation, sanitation, and education systems of Christiania all experienced significant improvements in the quality and speed of service which they provided to the constituents of the city. Now, with the municipal reforms in Christiania having proved successful, a comprehensive reform of the municipal administration of the Empire proper was now implemented. By the terms of the charter, the cities of the Empire were divided into four classes: civitates significationem (cities of significance); civitates momenti (cities of importance); urbes sui imperium (towns with self-government); and absque sui imperium (towns without self-government). The civitates significationem were designated as cities with a population of at least five hundred million permenant inhabitants. It was these cities which received the full form of municipal government as had been granted to the city of Christiania. Barsoni, Briannia, Timur's City, Samarkand, Central City, Hunt Major, and Sherri City, Kalbacha, were among the major cities of the Empire which now obtained this status. The second class, the civitates momenti, were defined as cities with a population of between two hundred and five hundred million.
These cities received an consultative assembly and a city council, but in this system, the Mayor exercised more substantial authority over the city's executive and budgetary affairs, although the Prefect still held oversight over him and the civil service. The urbes sui imperium were defined as cities with a population of between fifty and two hundred million. These cities were granted a city council, a mayor, and a prefect, but the Prefect in these instances possessed only nominal powers. These cities did not have the right to a consultative assembly, but citizens could submit their grievances to the Council and Mayor as was necessary to their interests. Finally, absque sui imperium were defined as cities and towns with a population of between one and fifty million. These cities had no prefect at all; the Council was only a consultative board; and the Mayor held supreme authority. As for settlements with a population less than one million, they were to be under the direct authority of the planetary governor. The Governor was permitted to appoint a board of commissioners to act as his representatives in city administration.
The Laurasian Empire, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, is perhaps the most powerful and most influential state of extra-galactic civilization. This is a role which the Empire assumed during the course of the eighteenth century, with its involvement in the Franconian Wars, the First and Second Spamalkan Wars, and the Partition of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, among other events. This, in turn, derived from the initial establishment of diplomatic and economic ties between the Empire on the one hand, and the powers of the Great Amulak Spiral (also of the satellite galaxies), during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Possessing the largest military forces, the largest economy, and the most territory of any power, the Empire thereby wields considerable political, military, cultural, and economic influence over its neighbors and allies.
The Empire has embassies and consulates in all of the powers of the Great Amulak and Crone, but also a network of alliances and special relationships. It enjoys a economic and diplomatic alliance with the Great Kingdom of Masacavania, engendered during the reign of Empress Didymeia in the 1750s, and consolidated through the Slobeskie Capitulations (1767) and other agreements between the two governments. Laurasia is currently Masacavania's largest foreign trading partner, and its main supplier of mercenaries and military goods. Besides Masacavania, the Empire has specific military alliances with the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, the United States of Durthia, the Sultanate of Morocco, and the Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia. All of these powers were Laurasian allies in the conflicts of the 1780s and 1790s. To that end, the Empire maintains special military garrisons at Brill, Flushing, and Ypres in Durthia; Orleans, Caen, and Mont. St. Aignan in Franconia; Ifini in Morocco; and Valabria in Portugallia. These forces are deployed in order to provide assistance to those states, to maintain Laurasian interests, and to provide a buffer against states hostile to them. The Imperial Laurasian Government also maintains a positive working relationship with the Holy Austarlian Empire, with which it also possessed a direct alliance between 1781 and 1790.
It has signed commercial and transit treaties with the Haxonian and Vendragian Confederacies, among the leading trade and naval powers of the Great Amulak. Laurasia also enjoyed, from 1764 to 1788, a military alliance with the Autocratic Pruthian Empire. Relations with that power have been more strained in recent times, however, and the Empire has counterbalanced Pruthian ambitions through encouragement of Bavaria, Saxony, and Mecklenburg, the three chief principalities of Germania, not under Austarlian or Pruthian governance. Hanover, moreover, is a dependency of the Vendragian Confederacy. With the Marasharite and Holy Spamalkan Empires, Laurasian relations are correct, at best. The Marasharites have been, since the Borderlands Wars of the 1560s, the Empire's most persistent enemy in war. The Laurasians enjoy special transit, religious freedom, and commercial privileges in Marasharite territory; diplomatic immunity at Topacia; and other such privileges. The Marasharites, however, refuse to conclude any alliance. The Spamalkans, on their part, disarmed and much reduced in their power following the end of the Second Spamalkan War, seethe with resentments towards Laurasia. The Empire, however, employs its superior military capabilities to maintain the balance of power, and enjoys the Asientos capitulations in Spamalkan territory.
Other minor powers, such as the Kimite Colonies, the Mughals of Delhi, the Barbary States, and the Mongolian Fiefdoms, also maintain relations with the Laurasian Empire. Laurasian ties to the Great Amulak and Crone are further engendered through the Galactic Holonet; immigration between the respective realms; and the existence of such trade highways and gateways as the Bug Highways, the Barbarossa Wormhole, the Dejanican Wormhole, and the Peldavian Gateways. Laurasian expeditions also conduct routine missions throughout the Galactic Void.
The Laurasian Empire has, as befitting a galactic government, a very diverse and complex economy. The Imperial Government's influence on the economy is linked to its regulatory powers, production of the Imperial Dataries, and its authorization of various relevant bodies related to economic affairs. The Empire's economy is also notable for the economic properties and enterprises owned directly by the Imperial Government and those of the high-ranking nobles and gentry of the Imperial Court. The nearly five centuries following the establishment of the Empire have witnessed tremendous changes concerning the galactic economy. This economy, which had begun to mature as early as the 3rd millennium BH, saw a centralization of economic procedures and the introduction of a uniform currency system, as the Laurasian Empire established its jurisdiction over the regions of the Caladarian Galaxy. By the late eighteenth century, the economy of the Empire was enjoying a period of prosperity and stabilization. Inflation and unemployment both had obtained the lowest levels on record, and the Imperial Government sponsored further economic growth through the grant of subsidies and loans to businesses; the encouragement of noble and merchant activity in commerce and manufacturing; and the maintenance of an organized and clarified tax policy. Transportation expanded greatly from the fourteenth century onwards, and the Imperial Government continued the policy of the extension and revision of the galaxy's trade routes. Capitalism is the system of the Empire's economy; some historians, in fact, have described the imperial economic structure as a series of interconnected "regional economies" monitored and coordinated by the agencies of the Imperial Government for the benefit of the center. Socially, economic dynamism has opened up avenues of social mobility in the Laurasian Empire. Social achievement has become less based on birth, patronage, good luck, or even extraordinary ability. Although aristocratic values permeate the Empire's highest elites, more focus has been paid on the wise investment of financial profits in areas which have benefit for the Empire as a whole. Through investment in religious dedications, grand residences, and entertainments for the public at large, many have been able to establish their prestige and financial position further. The Empire's industrial and trade guilds have provided support for individuals to succeed through networking; shared sound business practices; and emphasized the willingness to work.
Currency and bankingEdit
The present currency of the Laurasian Empire are the Imperial Dataries, which, according to imperial law, is the sole currency for use in all of the Empire's star systems. The history of the Empire, however, has seen major changes in the currency. For nearly four centuries (1321-1697), the Empire's currency was the denarius, which had been introduced as far back as the 8th century BH as the currency of the United States of Laurasia. From its establishment, the Empire was highly monetized, with money being used to express prices and debts. The sesterius, whose standards were formally established by Seleucus I in his currency reforms of 1301 and 1305, was used as the basic unit of value until the late seventeenth century. The denarius itself was the highest denomination employing this value: one denarius was roughly equivalent to four sesterces. The gold aureus was worth 25 denarii; the asses were worth 10 denarii; and (after 1612), the antonianus was worth 5 denarii. All Emperors from Tiberius onwards outlawed foreign currencies for use at businesses and financial institutions in the Empire, and promoted the standardization of money. This assisted in the expansion of the Empire's trade and its economic growth. The high amount of metal coinage in circulation increased the money supply which was available for trading or saving. By the late sixteenth century, however, the denarius was in the process of debasement by Emperors of the Severan dynasty, who were attempting to obtain finances for their various military campaigns and to suppress challenges to their authority. The credit market was damaged by sudden inflation during the reign of Commodus; the supply of specie contracted in the middle of the seventeenth century. By then, the Crisis was fully under way, and reductions in trade, disruption of mining and agricultural operations, and the transfer of coinage from the Empire's dominions all combined to diminish the money supply and the banking sector. By Aurelian's reign, many creditors had lost faith in the coinage issued by the government. The reign of Neuchrus I (1685-1709) witnessed substantial reforms in the currency and a return to the Empire's earlier situation of stability and conformity in regards to financial affairs. Neuchrus restored three-metal coinage and issued new pieces; he also sponsored the establishment of electrial currency, with chips and credit cards becoming more widespread. Five coins and ten bills of denomination were now introduced into circulation. These included the solidus, a gold coin weighing one-sixitieth of a pound; the argentus, a coin weighing one ninety-sixth of a pound and with 95% pure silver; the follis, a copper coin with added silver at 32:1 a pound; the radiatus, a small copper coin struck at the rate of 108:1 a pound; and the laureatius, a smaller copper coin at the rate of 192:1. The paper bills of denomination were now designated as dataries, with the values of sesterces being abolished. Denominations in the value of €1, €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €500, €1000, €5000, and €10,000 were issued. These reforms stabilized the Empire's currency situation and resulted in a reduction in inflation rates; in 1701, through his Edict of Coinage, Neuchrus introduced the nunnatius, a silver coin valued at 43:1.
During the course of the eighteenth century, reforms of the Empire's currency continued. The Imperial Treasury, which had been established in the fifteenth century, served as the chief financial repository of the Imperial Court and the monarch's personal revenue; it also paid the expenses of the state budget. In 1727, Antigonus III's chief minister, Cardinal Wolesius, established the Imperial Bank of Urban Finances, which centralized the finances and spending of municipal administrations throughout the Empire. This process continued through the century with the establishment of central banks in Transportation Expenses (1733); Personal Accounts (1736); Noble Loans (1754); and Ecclesiastical Expenses (1757). The reign of Empress Aurelia the Great saw the continuation of these trends. In the late eighteenth century, the banking system of the Laurasian Empire fully emerged. The Imperial Bank of Laurasia Prime, established in 1769, is subordinate to the Imperial Treasury; responsible for the personal financial affairs of government officials and nobles at the Imperial Court; and responsible for coordinating the other Imperial Banks. The Lord Treasurer of the Empire serves as the monarch's personal finance officer and as manager of the Imperial Household's expenses; the Minister of Finance is responsible for government expenditures. Each Governorate in the Empire has a Regional Bank; each Province and District, a Sub-Regional Bank. The Imperial Bank of Laurasia Prime has a board of twenty directors, appointed and dismissed directly by the sovereign, and a President, responsible for overseeing bank operations. The currency denominations, in both physical and coin form, of the Empire are largely in the manner established by Neuchrus, with the exception of the crownarius (a gold coin valued at 100:1 in 1 pound, added in 1714); the chiafvrius (a silver coin of 55:1 value, added in 1743), and the namantius (a bronze coin of 22:1, added in 1781).
The taxation system of the Laurasian Empire is a bureaucratized structure by which taxes are imposed by the Imperial Government, the regional and provincial governments, and by the individual governments of the star systems and cities of the Empire. The system originates from the Third Laurasian Period, and has undergone significant reforms throughout its history. The goal here is to describe the system as it existed at the end of the eighteenth century. The Emperor Neuchrus I the Reformer was responsible for implementing a series of measures which laid the foundations of the Empire's modern taxation system. Until AH 1635, the Imperial Government used payments in gold and silver, based upon a stable coinage, in order to provide for its budgetary expenses. During the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century, however, forced requisition came into use, as imperial armies confiscated or impounded any revenue or property that they needed. Emperor Neuchrus formalized the requisition system into one of proper taxation. He introduced a extensive new tax system based on heads (capita) and property (iugera)-and tied to a new, regular census of the Empire's administration and wealth. Census officials conducted communications and traveled extensively throughout the Empire's realms, assessing the value of labor and land for each nobleman, business-owner, and landowner. They then used these values to compile the capita and iugera values for the wealthiest and middle-class individuals in the Empire. The iugera (effectively a property tax), was at first not a consistent measure, but varied in accordance with the type of terrain, the product raised or produced, and the amount of labor required in order to produce that good. The capita was also not consistent, with women and foreign species being assessed at half the value of Laurasian males. Star systems were now obliged to provide tax revenue, manpower, and supplies in accordance with the capita, and agricultural requisitions in accordance with the iugera. Neuchrus changed the tax due date to September 1, and established the office of decurion in order to levy taxes directly from estates and businesses. His reforms also increased the number of financial officials in the Empire's regions: rationales and magistri private almost tripled in number, as did the Quaestors of Finance. Rates of taxation were shifted by the Imperial Treasury to take inflation into account. In 1696, Neuchrus reformed census procedures, introducing a five-year general census for the realms of the Empire. The new censuses would provide for changes in the iugera and the capita. Christiania, long exempt from taxes, was included in the tax system from 1691 onwards: nobles and knights also lost their exemption from taxation. Neuchrus's reforms emphasized the common liability of all taxpayers, with public records of taxation being made available on the Holonet.
Neuchrus's financial reforms were continued under his successors, in particular his son Antigonus III and his granddaughter Aurelia I. Cardinal Wolesius, in particular, implemented a universal standard of taxation for all commoners in the Empire in 1720, abolishing exemptions previously granted to single-parent families, starhoppers in frontier regions, and colonists. Noble and gentry tax rates, however, remained lower than the average. A tax on equity, known as the tributum æquitatis, was introduced in 1722; this was followed two years later by the donum (gift tax), imposed for all transfers of property and lottery rewards. Wolesius also liberalized the property tax in 1727, creating the office of sub-decurion in order to assess the values of municipal estates and residences. As a result of these measures, the Empire's financial revenues increased from €92.5 quadrillion dataries in 1709 to €114.5 quadrillion dataries by the end of the reign. Demetrius II's reign saw the introduction of a novel tax, known as the tributum peona (penalty tax) in 1750; this was assessed at a rate of €600 a year, and was imposed upon any Laurasian who refused to adhere to Reformist services in public. Didymeia I abolished this tax during her restoration of Traditionalism, and introduced the capitis lucra (capital gains tax) in 1755, upon the excess gains of all trading and industrial enterprises. A automatic deduction of 5% was imposed if the company exceeded more than 5% of its established profit margins. Under Empress Aurelia, the system reached its full maturity. The tributum peona was restored, and in 1766, new taxes on military provision (militiae cibaria), insurance (certissimum), sales of commercial products (mercatorius salum), withholding of income (subtractionem), and nonconformity of morals (morum nonconfirmis) were introduced. That same year saw the reformation of the Empire's external tariff system (internal tariffs were abolished in 1752). In 1770, a tax on spaceport docking (portus) was introduced, requiring a fee for all Laurasian ships docked for more than three days and with a metric weight in excess of 25,000 tons. Estate and license taxes (praedium licencia et tributa) were imposed upon commoner properties in 1773; two years later, nobles and gentry were subjected to the same rate of taxation as commoners. Ecclesiastical taxes were mentioned earlier. The two chief ones, by 1780, were the tributum clercius (clerical tax) and the tributum monasterium (monasterial tax). The former was imposed as a capitation directly upon clergymen; the second, upon the revenues of monasteries and estates. Governmental revenues increased to €150.6 quadrillion dataries by 1776; and to €189.9 quadrillion dataries by 1797.
Transportation and tradeEdit
Throughout the history of the Caladarian Galaxy, trade and transportation have formed vital aspects to every interstellar civilization and has influenced its economic affairs, relations with other civilizations, and internal governance. This is no different for the Laurasian Empire. Ever since the Empire's foundation in 1321, it has been a central priority for the Imperial Laurasian Government to monitor the regulation of transport; of the exchange of goods and ideas among the Empire's disparate star systems; and to promote galactic commerce which is regulated by central authorities but free from the ravages of pirates, criminals, and other threats. The government ministry of the Empire responsible for space and transportation matters is the Imperial Ministry of Space and Transportation, one of the agencies established by the administrative reform of Emperor Antigonus III in 1712. The Ministry of Space and Transportation is one of the largest and most important ministries of the Imperial Government. It is responsible for collecting and maintaining information on astrogation, navigation, and astronomical affairs. The Ministry is responsible for the production, revision, and distribution of accurate star charts; the lists of all explored and inhabited star systems; and logs containing information on stellar phenomenon such as nebulas, supernovas, drifts, and patterns of "irregular activity". To that purpose, the Ministry is responsible for providing updated astrographical and navigational information to all transport firms, commercial enterprises, starhoppers, businesses, and government entities in the Empire. It is responsible for reviewing and updating the Imperial Spacefaring Regulations governing space travel, and providing the Spacer Information's Manual containing information on government guidelines concerning space travel and transport. The Ministry is responsible for certifications and inspections for all manner of transportation facilities, including spaceports and aeroports; for handling cargo and carriage permits; operating the planetary highway, rapid-transit, and public commuter systems; and maintaining the galactic hyperlanes, trade routes, and corridors. Subordinate to the Ministry of Space and Transportation is the Imperial Bureau of Ships and Services. This agency is one of the most powerful executive departments in the Imperial Government, with the Director sitting on the Imperial Privy Council.
It is responsible for keeping extensive information on starship registrations and transponder codes, captains' flight certifications, and listings of all weapon loadouts on all registered ships in the Empire's dominions. It also keeps track of astrographical and navigational information (as provided by the Ministries of Space and Regional/Colonial Administration), as well as data on hyperlanes used in navigation computers. The bureau's databanks are constantly updated and transmitted to spaceports, systems, and enforcement agencies throughout the Empire. Files bearing information on the millions of registered starships are held in secure, encoded computer cores. All registered spacers are issued with a Bureau datapad, which is to be shown to all government officials and troops upon request, in order to ensure the legality of all starships and their crews. The Ministry of Space and Transportation, altogether, has a large set of responsibilities. Perhaps the most important component of the Empire's economy are the hyperlanes crisscrossing its dominions. Also known as hyperoutes, they permit a spaceship to travel safely through space without colliding with an object, or other phenomenon. Although hyperlanes proper date from the first centuries after the invention of the hyperdrive, the history of "warp highways" and "routes through space" extends all the way back to the 3rd millennium BH, when the Cree Empire is believed to have developed a jump corridor which included the T'clai system, as evidenced by the ancient inscriptions there. The Shapeshifters constructed their StarGates, allowing for instant travel among inhabited star systems. In the 19th century BH, the Pauline Empire developed a system of "jump corridors" connecting them with Meris, Walters, Beharis, and Shephard. Throughout the 2nd and 1st millenniums BH, as they obtained Space Ages, other species developed their own lanes. The Cadarians, who developed warp highways as early as the 20th century BH, had developed the first increments of what became the Kimanian Trade Run in the Middle Territories by the 14th century BH; the Kalbachans, Rasdallans, Nandi, Metasians, Samanthans, and Kimanians, among others, would all develop their routes before the close of the 2nd millennium. Laurasia joined in after the 8th century BH; the Purse Region Corridor and the Laurasia Prime-Caladaria Trunk Line both originate from the 4th century BH. All of these were the precursors to the seven major hyperlanes of the Caladarian Galaxy, as they existed at the end of the eighteenth century. Besides these seven hyperlanes are at least 20,000 minor routes and millions of travel "passageways" (that is, defined lanes of travel that did not have the designation of a hyperoute). They are listed in order of their seniority:
1. Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route-The Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route is the oldest of the major hyperlanes and one of the most important. This route has its origins in the 2nd millennium BH, when the Robertian Hierarch of Demandia, Gusum, sponsored the establishment of a "trade corridor" between Robert and Robert Minor around 1570 BH. About seventy years later, the Pauline Empire blazed the Meris-Elijahana Highway, connecting these major possessions at the outskirts of the Middle Territories. The Highway resulted in more extensive contacts between the Paulines and the denziens of the Outer Borderlands. By c. 1300 BH, shortly before the Pauline Empire entered its inevitable decline, the Robertian Space Agency had sponsored the chartering of a space lane extending through Robert Minor and Robert to the Desporan Straits on the "farther side of Meris". This lane, known as the Old Robertian Highway, developed further during the course of the next thousand years. The Metasian Empire, who ruled the Robertian Regions from the 9th to 7th centuries BH, sponsored the absorption of the Meris-Elijahana Highway into the Old Robertian Highway; by 200 BH, the highway extended as far as Hannis, by which time the first contacts between the Stellar Republic of Laurasia and the Robertian Regions had occurred. At the same time, the Stellar Republic, upon completing its conquest of the Purse Region in 282 BH, chartered the Spin Trade Corridor from Laurasia Prime to Katherine. The Macedonican Kingdom of Chancia was at the same time chartering the Chancian Tunnel. When Laurasia annexed Chancia in 146 BH, the Chancian Tunnel and Spin Trade Corridor were combined to form the Cross-Regional Trade Route. By the time the hyperdrive was invented in AH 1, the Cross-Regional Trade Route was approaching the outskirts of Durglais. The invention of the hyperdrive resulted in Laurasian contacts with Leopolodia, Big Twinny, Roxuli, Abraham, and other worlds in the Northern Regions during the 1st and 2nd centuries AH; these same centuries also witnessed the Core-Robertian War. The Robertian forces, in fact, assaulted the Core Regions from the Old Robertian Highway, which had reached Bolgrahay by AH 15. In AH 147, following the reformation of the Laurasian government's structure by Cliesthenes, the Treaty of Rebecca was signed between the Stellar Republic of Laurasia and the Rebeccan Confederacy on the one hand, and the Wakedian Empire of Robert, the Rokai Confederacy, and the Elijahanan Consortium on the other hand. The Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, named because its primary transit facility was located on Rebecca, was established as a result of the merger of the Cross-Regional Trade Route, the Old Robertian Highway, and the Elijahanan Corridor. It became the first major trade route in the Caladarian Galaxy following the invention of the hyperdrive. At the time of its formation, the Trade Route stretched from Laurasia Prime in the Purse Region to Meris in the Robertian Regions. Over the course of the centuries, colonization and commerical development along the Route matured, with Elijahana, Hannis, Ka, Bolgrahay, Robbay, and the worlds of the Nexus Route (which was established as a secondary route in the sixth century by Laurasian King Augustus), becoming major commercial spaceports and industrial powerhouses. In AH 781, the Route was extended to the Osonboka Nebula, and part of its course was shifted from Robert Minor to Wakedia. Since then, with the exception of minor adjustments made in order to maintain the Route's stability and accessibility, it has largely maintained the same dimensions. By the late eighteenth century, the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, which spanned for over 40,000 light years, was one of the most developed corridors in the Caladarian Galaxy, and the second most heavily-trafficked route (after the Larkian Way).
2. Kimanian Run-The Kimanian Run, also known as the Kimanian Highway or as the Trans-Kimanian Route, is the second oldest route in the Caladarian Galaxy, and one of the most historically significant. The Route's history extends back to the 2nd millennium BH, and has origins in both the Middle Territories and the Outer Borderlands. Mention has been made of the Kingdom of Cadaria's development of "warp highways" as far back as the 19th century BH. The Cadarian King Harharu, who ruled c. 1800 BH, sponsored the establishment of the Trans-Assur Route which connected Cadaria with Anasia. Within a century, Cadaria and Eutagia had come under the suzerainity of the Old Jackorite Empire, which was based in the Neo-Trigitte Solar Cluster. The Jackorite Emperor Sargonis (1734-1679 BH) and his successors sponsored the establishment of the Neo-Triggite Warp Corridors, which for many centuries thereafter remained the primary routes in the Cadarian Territories. By the 11th century BH, the Trans-Assur Route extended as far as Roastafaria Minor and Algaica Belguica; and by the late 4th century, the "Cadarian Highways" spanned a distance of nearly 10,000 light years. At the same time, the more ancient Kimanian civilization in the Barsar Regions was developing a series of routes to connect its primary star systems. As early as 2200 BH, Kimania and Kimanis Mooria were connected by the Huang-Dee Corridor, allegedly sponsored by the ancient Kimanian Shogun Yao. By 1700 BH, the last Kimanian Shogun of the Xia Dynasty, Jie, had charted the establishment of the Spice Highway linking Kimania and Kimanis Mooria with the Kimanian colonies at Orion III, Dorothea, Lange, and Gardiner. Over the course of the next seven centuries, Kimanian highways connected the Kimanian Worlds with the northern strongholds of the Orion Cluster, Henderson, Cox, Banks, Newman Victoria, Nikki Lowell, Constipex, Millard, and Filorean. In about 1200 BH, the Farther Kimanian Road was charted linking Kimania with Leseur; this was to form the basis for the Kimanian Run in the Barsar Regions. The Metasian Empire, which dominated parts of the Barsar Regions for over two centuries, sponsored the establishment of the Goni Jump Highway, which connected Goni and Samantha with terminals at Roastafaria Major, Khagia, and Dumbgwita. By about 221 BH, when Shi Hugandi established the Qin Dynasty of Kimania and reunified the feuding Kimanian Worlds, the Spice Highway and the Kimanian Road had been united to become the Kimanian Grand Highway. Shi Hugandi sponsored the establishment of routes linking Kimania and the Orion Cluster with Riley, Strongstine, Abshire, Drea, and Duana. First contact occurred between Kimania and Cadaria in the 2nd century BH; the first embassy to Kimania, dispatched by Cadarian King Miglath-plieser III, arrived around 80 BH. By the time of King Ashurbanipal's reign in the 1st century AH, the Kimanian Grand Highway had been extended to reach Tolbiac. First contact was made with Laurasia Prime around AH 100, and by the end of the 2nd century, the Kimanians had obtained hyperdrive technology. The Kimanian Grand Highway was extended segment by segment during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries. By about AH 90, it had reached Roastafaria Major; a century later, Eutagia; and, by AH 250, Horacia. In AH 272, Laurasian and Horacian scouts blazed the Kimanian Run in the Core Worlds; it did not reach Laurasia Prime, however, until AH 321, on the eve of the Arachosian conquest. By the time Sargon destroyed the Millian Empire nine years later, the Kimanian Grand Highway had also been extended through Leo's Redoubt into the Wild Marshes. It was renamed the Kimanian Run in 390; and by the sixth century, had become definitively established as one of the galaxy's major routes. The history of the Kimanian Run since has been dominated by the numerous wars along its course, ranging from the Laurasian expansions of the seventh and eighth centuries; to the clashes of the Dasian Great Empire with the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania in the early 9th century; the Barbarian Wars of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries; and finally, the conquest of Kimania by the Laurasian Empire in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. In the eighteenth century, it is the third most-trafficked trade route in the Caladarian Galaxy (after the Larkian Way and the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route) and has a span of 50,000 light years.
3. Metallasian Trade Corridor-The Metallasian Trade Corridor is probably the most important route in the Galactic Borderlands, although for the first thousand years of its history, this was not so. The Trade Corridor's origins date back to the 3rd century BH. In 272 BH, the Stellar Republic of Laurasia made first contact with the Metallasian Confederacy, which had been established three centuries earlier and had colonized Metallasia, Metallina, and other worlds in the vicinity of what became the lower Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. Relations between the Laurasians and the Metallasians were at first friendly, but the Stellar Republic annexed the Confederacy in 212 BH, as a result of its erstwhile alliance with the famed Heuthrian general Hannibal. Metallasia remained under Laurasian rule for over two and a half centuries, until it broke away in AH 120, during the disintegration of the Theocratic Republic of Laurasia. Economic and commercial relations between the two star systems, however, remained strong as a result of the centuries of Laurasian rule, and in AH 147, by agreement of the two governments, the Metallasian Trade Corridor was established to link the star systems. The Trade Corridor indeed facilitated easy commerce and communications in the Western Core, and it gradually gained importance, in economic terms, within the context of the Caladarian Galaxy over the centuries. During the fifth and sixth centuries, the Metallasian Trade Corridor was the site of numerous exploration and colonization expeditions sponsored by the Royal Laurasian Government and by Laurasian mega-corporations such as Katherine Drive Yards and Christiania Metallurgy. Along with a rise in economic status came the gradual extension of the Corridor's length. The first such extension had taken place early in the 3rd century, when the Corridor was extended from Metallasia onwards to Courdina V. By the time of Sargon the Conqueror's subjugation of the Core in AH 330-36, the Trade Corridor had reached Gordasis and touched the outskirts of the Wild Marshes. Sennacherib, founder of the Arachsio-Sennacherid Empire during the civil wars following Sargon's death, sponsored an extension of the route to Quiveria in the Wild Marshes. By AH 450, the Trade Corridor had reached Kanjur, and by the end of the sixth century, the Rogerian Cluster. In AH 803, by the Treaty of Gwynne, King Polares of Laurasia and Guthima II, High Regent of the Kalbachan Consortium of Sherry (which existed from AH 690 to 859), agreed to extend the Trade Corridor to Kalbacha Prime. This extension resulted in the addition of another 15,000 light years to the route and provided easy access by Laurasian and other Core transport vessels into the heart of the Galactic Borderlands. Although the subsequent Dasian Yoke brought the rule of the Golden Horde upon Laurasia and the other Core Species, the Trade Corridor did not lose its economic importance. Dasian Khans from Batya onwards sponsored the further development of industry, agriculture, and space transport along the route, maintaining most treaties with the restored Great Kingdom of Kalbacha. At the end of the tenth century, in fact, the Trade Corridor became the route by which Kalbachan King Vyautas and Khan Tokthamysh launched their ill-fated invasion of the Golden Horde. The eleventh and twelfth centuries witnessed the subjection of the Galactic Borderlands to the authority of the Amelianian kingdoms. Marcia assumed governance over the Kalbachan territories, and in 1154, King Honorius the Terrible negotiated the Treaty of Christiania with Penda, King of Marcia and Overlord of the Galactic Borderlands. As a result of this agreement, the Trade Corridor was now extended to Marcia Prime (Arachosia Prime), an extension of over 30,000 light years. This lasted for over five and a half centuries, with only minor modifications. In 1697, as a result of the Treaty of Ayton between Laurasia and Scottria, the Metallasian Trade Corridor was extended to the Galactic Barrier (an addition of a further 15,000 light years) obtaining its current specifications. The Galactic Borderlands fell under the dominion of the Laurasian Empire as a consequence of its massive territorial expansions; with it came undisputed possession of the entire Trade Corridor (by 1745). By the late eighteenth century, the Trade Corridor had become known as one of the easiest, most reliable travel routes in the Caladarian Galaxy, and was still known as a theater of ongoing colonization and economic development. It had a span of 70,000 light years, surpassed only by the Larkian Way and Galactic Frontier Route.
4. Murphian Trade Spine-The Murphian Trade Spine, the fourth oldest trade route in the Caladarian Galaxy, also has origins extending back to the 1st millennium BH. As suggested by its name, the route's nexus is at Murphy, one of the most important star systems in the Eastern Core Worlds. Murphy had been, for most of its pre-Space Age history, a world dominated by the incessant clashes and skirmishes between the various confederations and kingdoms on its surface. Upon the development of manned spaceflight in the Murphian star system c. 1000 BH, the Murphians quickly proved themselves to be adept in adapting to the challenges of state and in exploring the star systems beyond their own. Within a century of obtaining spaceflight, the Murphian Confederations had been united into the Royal Kingdom of Murphy, whose first ruler was Queen Rana Trealt of Bryan. Queen Rana was responsible for the construction of the Valley of the Murphian Kings, which would in later centuries become a major landmark and tourist destination in the Caladarian Galaxy. She was also responsible for sponsoring the construction of the first spaceports at Murphy-Daughteria, and in establishing the first "corridor" of travel between Murphy and the Prelone Asteroid Belt, which was one of its earliest and most important colonies. During the course of the 1st millennium BH, the Murphian monarchs and their commercial organizations sponsored the establishment of corridors linking Murphy with the Prelone Asteroid Belt, Anusia, Mumbraine, Senna (then known as Suatra), Duros, Kukilovo, Dayanie, and Bartella. Economic development in the Murphian Provinces accelerated with the development of warp technology in the 8th century BH. By the time the Stellar Republic of Laurasia established first contact with the Kingdom of Murphy in 64 BH, the Murphian Core Highway connected Murphy with the Spurs of Horacia. The Murphian Core Highway increased in importance during the first centuries of the Hyperspace Era; by the 3rd century AH, it extended from Meaganian, which was located over five thousand light years to the north of Murphy, down to New Nosauria, and provided access for Murphian merchants to the commerical and manufacturing markets of the Central Core and the southwestern Core Worlds. It later became the base from which Horacian and Laurasian scouts extended the Kimanian Run through the Core Worlds in AH 272. By the fourth century, the Murphian Core Highway had been extended past New Nosauria to Lublin in the Polonian Heartland. By AH 700, the Murphian Core Highway had reached Beatrice, but it was not until 786, during the reign of Hercules II, that the modern-day Murphian Trade Spine was established, extending from Murphy to Beatrice. It was not extended to reach the southern Wild Marshes until the late sixteenth century. By the eighteenth century, the Murphian Trade Spine had become significant as a route providing rapid access from the Core Worlds and the Outer Core to the Wild Marshes and the southern quadrants of the galaxy, although it did not gain the same economic importance as the Larkian Way or the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. The Murphian Trade Spine extended for nearly 50,000 light years, and its terminus was at Rixlcais II, in the Wild Marshes.
5. Denveranian Trunk Line-The Denveranian Trunk Line is the fifth oldest trade route in the Caladarian Galaxy, and, similar to the Murphian Trade Spine, has origins extending back to the 1st millennium BH. The Denveranian Trade Empire, which was established by the Merchants of Hintz in the 7th century BH, sponsored the establishment of the Denver-Huntz Trade Route, linking Denver with its chief agricultural colony of Huntz. The Denver-Huntz Trade Route gained in economic importance during the course of the following centuries, and by the time that Denver had established first contact with the Stellar Republic of Laurasia in the late 1st century BH, the Trade Route extended from Denver to Jared, connecting these two major star systems in the Outer Core together, and down to Galicia Major and Voldoromia, offering access for Denveranian merchants and starhoppers from the Outer Core into the Inner Territories. By the early centuries of the 1st millennium AH, the Trade Route had become one of the most important highways in the Core Regions. It reached Wronzaz by AH 222, and passed through Masan, Polonia Minor, and Legnica by the end of the third century AH. It was not until AH 790, during the reign of the Laurasian King Hercules II, that the modern Denveranian Trunk Line was established. This route was formed by the unification of the Trunk Line, in the Outer Core and Inner Territories, with the Skold Trade Highway, the Beatrice Run, and the Trebekian Military Highway. The Denveranian Trunk Line proved especially important to the Devianiani Confederacy, Kingdom of Alexandria, and the Jarjanics during the barbarian invasions of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries AH, and was the theater of numerous conflicts waged between those powers and the Huntite Khanate. By the late eighteenth century, a thousand years after its foundation, the Denveranian Trunk Line had become the fifth-most trafficked trade route in the Caladarian Galaxy, after the Larkian Way, Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, Metallasian Trade Corridor, and Galactic Frontier Route. At its full length, it stretched for nearly 55,000 light years, from Denver in the Outer Core to Molina in the Wild Marshes.
6. The Larkian Way-The Larkian Way is the longest, most heavily-trafficked, and most economically important trade route in the Caladarian Galaxy. The only route to span the full length of the Galaxy outside of the Galactic Borderlands, the Way had its origins in a number of ancient highways founded in the centuries before its final emergence. By the middle of the eighth century AH, there existed seven major galactic highways along much of the stretch of what became the Larkian Way. These included the Scanlianian Trail; the Spurs of Mocktrialis; the Ryan-Gwendolyn Road, the Leopoldia Run, the Briannia-Eutagia Route; and the Leslag Trace. Of these routes, the Ryan-Gwendolyn Road was the most ancient, having originated as the Homidinian Farther Reaches Transit Highway in the fifth century BH. The Homidinian Stellar Union, which had emerged into interstellar space during the eighth century BH, conquered the worlds of Ryan and Gwendolyn c. 520 BH, and for the purposes of providing a trade and military corridor for easy access to these worlds, had plotted a warp highway that extended for four thousand light years to the Outlet of Kledis Var. The Spurs of Mocktrialis had been established by the Greysonian Nurrs in the 3rd century BH, by the time that the Homidinian Stellar Union was in terminal decline; it originated from a series of warp highways which had connected Greyson, Mocktrialis, Lawson, and McDowell as early as the seventh century BH. The Briannia-Eutagia Route was charted in the 2nd century BH, shortly before the conquest of the Briannian Worlds by the Stellar Republic of Laurasia. This ancient route originally extended from Briannia to Chandlier; in the early 1st century AH, it was, by agreement with the Murphian Hegemony, extended to Eutagia in the Industrialized Borderlands. The Scanlianian Trail, on its part, was chartered as early as the eighth century BH by the Corporate Consortiums of Scanlan, and had been extended to reach Glassia, Sierra, and Felix by the 4th century AH. The Leopoldia Run, which extended from Leopoldia in the Industralized Borderlands to Briannia in the Core Worlds, had been chartered by the Kingdom of Leopolodia towards the end of the 1st century AH; it reached Briannia in the 3rd century AH. The Leslag Trace, on its part, connected Leslie and Allison, and was chartered towards the end of the sixth century AH by the Kingdom of Nandia and the Confederacy of Greg. It was thus the Briannian navigator and starhopper Freia Kallea (763-825 AH), born into the prominent and wealthy Briannian House of Kallea, which was one of that star system's chief hereditary houses, embarked upon her mission. At the age of eighteen, she had enrolled in the Briannian Spacefarers League School, against the wishes of her parents, and had risen to the top of her class, graduating valedictorian in 781. She had then become a captain for the Nystadia Commercial Exchange, running missions up to the Corporate Sector, the Corporate Trade Corridor, and the Homidinian regions. It was two years later, in 783, that Kallea, who had by then assumed command of the Hope, was commissioned by the Spacefarers League, the Commercial Exchange, and by King Hercules II of Laurasia (who then ruled over Briannia) to establish a stable commercial lane as far as Garner in the outskirts of the Corporate Sector. Kallea accepted this mission, creating a path through the Cremarian Nebula on the upper Vali, connecting Mocktrialis and Capone, and pushing into the Corporate Sector. With the help of the Nosaurian navigator Banu Larkania (752-93), Kallea pushed outwards to Skyler and Permi (785-86). In 787, however, she was captured by Arachosian pirates near the OsonBoka Nebula; she managed to escape, but then crash-landed on Veliky in the Outer Borderlands, remaining there until 792. During that time, the Oglamerians, Eutagians, and Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia cooperated in extending the Route to Drennan (789) and then to Warren, India, and Trebek (791). In 792, Kallea was rescued from Veliky, and with Larkania (who would eventually be killed on Stewart), she pushed the Route to Roberts, in the outskirts of the Wild Marshes, thereby intersecting the Durant Cluster and crossing the Murphian Trade Spine (AH 793). She named the route the Larkian Way in her associate's honor. The Larkian Way has largely remained the same in the thousand years since it was chartered, although the rotation of the Caladarian Galaxy, stellar drifts, and navigational changes caused parts of the Route to shift slightly; in the thirteenth century, the route's northern terminus was changed to Scanlan; the link to Garner was terminated. It obtained roughly its current dimensions in 1769, during the reign of Empress Aurelia the Great. It was during her reign (1793) that the route's millennial anniversary was celebrated. The Larkian Way spans for just over 105,000 light years from the Corporate Sector to Moore, at the extreme southern edge of the Wild Marshes.
7-The Galactic Frontier Route-The Galactic Frontier Route, the second-longest route in the Caladarian Galaxy (at just over 100,000 lightyears), is also the youngest. The origins of the Route date back to the 2nd millennium BH, with the establishment of the Waxefield-Onasi Highway by the emerging Prunjharait Dynasty of Rasdalla in the fourteenth century BH; the Kana-Scillius Highway, which dates to the seventh century BH; and the Dehner Trace (3rd century BH). In the early centuries of the first millennium, the Houses of Lavella sponsored the establishment of the Lavellan Great Route, to connect Lavelle, La'delle, Dejan, Antwone, Novella, and Nelson; by the time of the Arachosian conquest of Lavella in the late 3rd century AH, the Great Route spanned for more than 25,000 light years, and was the longest hyperspace route in the Galactic Borderlands at that time. Ironically enough, it was Sargon the Conqueror who sponsored the consolidation of the Lavellan Great Route and the Waxefield-Onasi Highway into the Upper Barrier Highway, which appeared in AH 335, the year before his death. It was not until the seventh century AH, however, before the Rhedite Consortium sponsored the establishment of the Rhedita-Void Highway; additions were made to it by the Arachosian Republic of Vector Prime at the end of the tenth century. It was in 1190, under King Offa of Amelianian Marcia, that the modern-day Galactic Frontier Route was founded; the King combined the Arachosian-Nagosh Trade Highway, which passed through Arachosia Suprema and the Lower Galactic Barrier, with the Kana-Scilius Highway and the Upper Barrier Highway. Between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Route was extended by increments to the Northern Reaches; it obtained its modern dimensions in 1395. Today, the Route is vitally important to the Laurasian Empire for military and commercial access in the Galactic Barrier and Galactic Void regions.
Society and cultureEdit
The Laurasian Empire has a very diverse culture. With more than seventy million star systems and twenty million sentient species, there exists within the Empire's territories a great diversity of languages, customs, beliefs, and traditions. The most predominant culture in the Empire, however, is that of the ruling Laurasian species. This section focuses specifically on the culture of the Laurasian species. The Empire's religion, education, arts, and social customs all deserve attention here. All developed over the course of centuries, being influenced by the events of galactic history and by changes within society itself.
Education is of considerable importance in the Laurasian Empire. It is highly valued in the Empire's culture and is regarded as crucial to socioeconomic success in Laurasian society. For many commoners, education has been the means for access to white-collar jobs, to government positions, and to military positions, as well as positions of intellectual merit, which can eventually raise their own status and even lead to elevation to the Empire's gentry or nobility. The nobles themselves consider education to be a means of refining their own skills and of maintaining an advantageous position in the Imperial Laurasian Court; the Imperial Laurasian Government sees education as the means to improve its own resources, to remain competitive towards other galactic powers, and to strengthen national morale. Consequently, much attention is lavished upon the Empire's education system. It is currently regulated and maintained in accordance with the Statute of General Education (1786) and the Imperial University Statute (1792), both of whom were promulgated by Empress Aurelia the Great. In both of these statutes, conformity, academic excellence, rigor, discipline, and achievement are all highly emphasized.
The youngest Laurasians have the option of attending preschool programs, from the ages of two to four. This, however, is not mandatory, and is geared primarily towards inoculating in students the basic skills necessary for their later academic progress. Beginning at the age of four, and continuing until the age of eleven, students attend "trivial" (elementary) schools. Throughout all grades, they are required to wear uniforms; teachers have the authority to administer corporal punishment, and they may detain those students who they view as excessively disobedient. In trivial school, students are organized into classes, with there being one teacher for each class. That teacher is responsible for covering a variety of subjects, including mathematics, science, social studies, and Laurasian. Specialized teachers are employed for art, music, physical education, and, beginning at the age of seven, foreign languages. By the time students of the Empire graduate from normal schools, they are expected to know at least three different languages besides Laurasian. Moreover, in trivial school, students are required to have "moral" and "religious education", being trained in the basic precepts of the Imperial Almitian Church and of the Imperial State; they are ingrained with a loyalty to their peers, to the Empire, and to society.
From the ages of eleven until fourteen, students attend real schools. They are required to pass competitive qualifying examinations, relating to the materials they were expected to have learned in trivial school. These examinations determine whether or not students must repeat the last grade of trivial school, if they are given special accommodations, or if they are assigned additional coursework at their grade level. Uniform and haircut rules are yet more strictly enforced, and it is at this time that male and female students are segregated from one another, being taught by their own instructors in their own separate classes. All students, nevertheless, have a different instructor for each subject; they rotate among classrooms. Their homeroom teacher, however, is considered to be the most important, and has a major role in the student's life. The core subjects in real school are Laurasian, mathematics (pre-algebra, geometry, and algebra, with honors and advanced options available), science (natural and environmental science, as well as the basics of chemistry, biology, and geology), and social studies (particularly foreign languages, philosophy, Laurasian history, and the basics of anthropology and sociology). Students also receive instruction in music, art, physical education, ethics, technology, religion, and domestic sciences. Classes are for five days a week, eight hours during each day; all students are required to participate in either athletics or other extracurricular activities; they are required to complete a particular number of community hours, and to utilize the services of private tutors to supplement or aid their studies. Students do, however, have some choices as to what electives they wish to take.
At the end of their third year of real school, all students take a competitive examination for entry into normal school. The examination tests them on all of the core subjects and on the basics of their electives. Students who fail the competitive examination are compelled to repeat their last year of real school; if they fail it a second time, they are required to take remedial courses for their first two years of normal school. Normal school lasts from the ages of fourteen to eighteen. Every year towards graduation, students are expected to spend increasingly longer hours studying. By the end of their fourth years, students typically spend at least four hours a day studying. They are also required to participate in both a sport and a extracurricular activity. Students are given yet more flexibility to choose their electives, but they must continue along with foreign languages, social studies, the sciences, and mathematics. Honors-level and advanced options are optional for the first three years, and mandatory for the last. By the end of their fourth year, students are expected, besides the three non-Laurasian languages, to have completed at least one year of statistics and trigonometry, either anatomy or astronomy, and two years of galactic and extra-galactic history. Moreover, midway through each year of normal school, students take a comprehensive examination on the core subjects, which has an effect upon their grades and determines if they require remedial coursework or if they need to be held back a year. Students who score advanced on such examinations receive recognition from their school and are given further options for advanced course studies.
At the end of their fourth year of normal school, students take the SAI Exam, which determines their future following graduation. The Exam is divided into five sections: Laurasian, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, and Social Studies. The Exam can be taken two times a year, at the end of normal school, and midway through the intervening summer solstice. It is graded on a scale of 0 to 100; students must score at least an 80 in order to pass the Exam. The results of the Exam, for which there is vigorous and intensive preparation, are used to divide all graduating normal school students (who have satisfied their attendance, community service, athletics, and academic requirements), into four classes. The top 30% of the class (based on their weighted GPA, including their normal grades and their exam score), gain automatic admission to a university or four-year college. The next 20% of the class gain automatic admission to a two-year college or preparatory academy, with a guaranteed transfer to a four-year institution with satisfaction of all preparatory requirements. The next 20% of the class gain admission to vocational or technical universities, with emphasis on practical job skills and careers; if they demonstrate superior academic achievement (meaning they fall within the top 10% of their vocational class), they are upgraded to a four-year institution upon completion of their vocational studies. And the bottom 30% of the class is required to take tutoring courses for at least one year before being permitted to take the Exam again, or are given the option to join the military or the service of noble, gentry, and military families throughout the Empire.
The Laurasian Empire's universities and higher education institutions are renowned throughout extra-galactic civilization for their quality. By the end of the eighteenth century, the Empire possessed more than 500,000 four-year universities, seven million community and normal colleges, ten million preparatory academies, and thirteen million vocational, technical, and training institutes. There are the Imperial University System (which is supervised by the Board of Regents of the Universities of the Empire, subordinate to the Imperial Ministry of Education) and the Private System (comprised of all universities, colleges, institutes, and academies owned by nobles, by private families or organizations, or by foreign governments and individuals). The Private System has greater autonomy than the University System, but is still subject to the overall supervision of the Board of Regents. The most prominent universities in the Empire are those of the Empire and Laurasia Prime. The former was founded by Seleucus the Strong in 1332; the latter, by King Severus in AH 529. The University of the Empire has more than sixty million students, of whom forty-five million are undergraduates; that of Laurasia Prime has forty million students, with thirty million undergraduates. Both are traditional wide-curriculum universities, with specific Colleges of General Education, Medicine, Law, Theology, Arts and Sciences, Business, Architecture, Education, Sentient Services, Political Science, and Engineering. Both have a Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Deans of the Colleges, and a Board of Trustees; the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, and Trustees are appointed and dismissed by the sovereign directly, while the Minister of Education appoints the Deans. The two Universities have strict standards on plagiarism, require all students to participate in athletics or extracurricular activities, and possess massive endowments from private foundations, nobles, and the government.
The Imperial Academies of the Empire specialize in specific fields of study. They are managed by the Board of Imperial Academies, also a subordinate branch of the Ministry of Education. They include the Imperial Academy of Sciences (founded 1324), the Imperial Academy of the Arts (founded 1357), the Sts. Peter and Paul Ecclesiastical Academy (founded 1549), the Sciences and Mathematics Academies, and the Social Sciences Academies. The Academy of Sciences had more than twenty million students and two hundred research branches by the end of the eighteenth century; that of Arts, fifteen million; and the Ecclesiastical Academy, ten million. All of the Academies engage in both academic instruction and in specialized research, being responsible for many of the scientific and archeological expeditions conducted throughout the Empire's territory. They have more strict controls over curricula, and students are held to a very high standard. Students, in fact, learn at the Academies through direct participation in the expeditions and in research studies; at the Universities, they learn through traditional classroom instruction, including lectures, video presentations, textbook work, private projects, trips to locations of significance, foreign study opportunities, and routine exams. The Academies also require their students to participate in athletics or extracurriculars. At all imperial institutions, behavior is strictly regulated; alcohol, sexual relations, and drugs are strictly prohibited. Students, however, are free from corporal punishment, and from the requirement of uniforms. Associate's degrees are awarded by the preparatory academies and community colleges; bachelor's degrees are awarded by the General Education Colleges; specialized bachelor's degrees by the Academies. In graduate programs, students can work for their masters (two years of study beyond undergraduate school) or their doctorate (up to eight years of additional study). Both require students to teach their own subject, to assist their professor with research or academic work, to prepare an extensive thesis or dissertation, to defend their views in a debate with other instructors and students, and to pass a series of punishing exams, both general and specific, concerning their field of study. Nevertheless, for all undergraduate and graduate students in the Empire, there is no expense; in 1786, tuition was abolished. Class costs, fees, materials, and room & board are all paid for by the Ministry of Education. Students, however, must keep a GPA of at least 2.5 to continue receiving those benefits; those who drop below that benchmark are liable to pay back the State for all of their college expenses, and at risk of being expelled.
Finally, mention must be made of the Military Academies. These include the Army and Naval Cadet Corps, the Engineering and Artillery Corps, and the Merchant Marine Academy. All of these institutions are governed by the Military Education Codes of 1766 and 1773, also promulgated by Empress Aurelia. Entry into these programs is very competitive; at the end of the eighteenth century, there were just over 150,000 students in all of the Military Academies put together. All applicants are required to take and pass the SAI Exam; to submit a qualifications profile; and to provide all of their personal and financial information to the academies. Following this, they are interviewed by a panel of officials or nobles, in the star system or region from which they originate. If the panel approves them, they then receive a formal nomination to the academy of their choice. Following this, they are required to take and pass the MAI (Military Academic Institute) Exam, which includes, besides the five traditional sections of the SAI, a section on military history and conduct specifically. Upon passing this Exam, they proceed through two further interviews; one with a different panel of nobles or government officials, another with a panel of officials from the Academy itself. Both panels must be in agreement; if they approve, the applicant then undergoes a series of physical and mental evaluations, before having a final interview with the Superintendent of the Academy in person. The Superintendent approves the applicant, who then writes a final essay on why they should be admitted. That essay is then given back to the faculty of the academy, and anonymously to the cadet body; if a majority of the cadets and the faculty approve, then the student receives a formal confirmation as a cadet.
They then undergo a rigorous military training regimen, to introduce them to the Academy, and are then segmented into their units. Education in the Corps, and at the other Academies, lasts for four years. The Cadet Honor Code, which was last updated in 1796, regulates the conduct and ethics of all those attending the Academies. All cadets wear uniforms; treat their peers and their superiors with the proper military respects and gestures; and are forbidden to engage in illegal activity, sexual relations, or off-campus activities without permission. Cadets are given an extensive character and leadership curriculum, to engender these traits. Cadets are organized into the squadrons of their Cadet (or Ensign) Wings; placed under the authority of senior officers; and garrisoned together. They are required to conduct military exercises and training every weekend of their academic year, and to receive accreditation in operational and battle sciences. The Superintendents, responsible for each Corp's academics, athletics, administration, admissions, and military training, are directly subordinate to the Chief of the Imperial General Headquarters, not to the Minister of Education. The Board of Visitors, comprised of fifteen officials appointed and dismissed directly by the sovereign, inquires into morale, discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the Academies. The board meets at least four times each year and prepares semi-annual reports containing its views and recommendations to the Councils of State, the General Headquarters, and the Emperor directly.
All Cadets are required to take courses in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, military studies, and physical education. They may choose a variety of majors, including engineering, the basic sciences, social sciences, and humanities. During the third and fourth years, they have greater leeway in regards to the classes they elect to take. They are all awarded a Bachelor in Science degree upon graduation, due to the technical nature of the content. Their professors are predominantly military officers; the Corps has colleges relating to each of their varied specialized fields, with each headed by a Dean, Vice-Dean, and Chair of Students. The Superintendents, chief faculty staff, and Deans in the Corps are appointed and dismissed directly by the sovereign; all Vice-Deans, Chairs, and Professors are chosen by the Chief of the Imperial General Headquarters (though the sovereign has absolute power of appointment in regards to them as well). As for athletics, cadets are all required to participate in intramural sports. They, moreover, must pass two fitness tests every semester of their attendance; failure to do so can lead to reconditioning or dis-enrollment. Overall, the Corps are highly respected in the Empire; upon graduation, all cadets and ensigns are automatically enrolled into the Imperial Military, and must devote five years of service to it. Many nobles and gentlemen in the Empire came to be because of their involvement in the Corps.
The literature of the Laurasian Empire is rich and varied. The Laurasians, in particular, are renowned among the species of extra-galactic civilization for their accomplishments. The works of the Pre-Space Age, and of the 1st millennium AH, included those of such greats as Livy, Boethius, and Sergonius. The fourteenth century saw Vigil (the Aeneid), Ovid (Metamorphoses), and Chaucherius (Taurasian Tales), all of whom greatly influenced authors in later times. The fifteenth century was the time of philosophers, fiction writers, and of historians alike. Seneca, the philosopher, dramatist, and tutor of Emperor Antiochus III; Lucan, author of the epic poem Phrasalia and considered one of the greatest Laurasian poets of all time; and Petronius, responsible for Satryicon, one of the greatest drama novels in the history of galactic literature, all thrived, and all were brought down by that very same Emperor. Marital, Juvenal, and Statius, all of whom were satirists, comedians, and social commentators, worked at the turn of the sixteenth century, principally during the reigns of Antiochus IV, Nerva, and Antigonus I. Moreover, there was the encyclopedic compiler Pliny the Elder; his nephew, Pliny the Younger; the biographer and antiquarian Plutarch; the galactic astrographer Strabo; and the great historians, Ulagrai, Josephus, Tranquillius, and Aoari. This literary tradition continued through the seventeenth century with the works of the great theologians Whycriffia, Origen, Tertullian, and Jerome; the historians Cassius Dio, Ammianus Marcellus, and Aurelius Victor; and the orator Symmachus, alongside many others.
The eighteenth century saw the maturation and culmination of all of these literary trends. The century witnessed the great historians Vergil, Vassalina, Gibbeoneous, Foxius, and Monomaphlaus; poets such as Sir Thomasius Wyatta (the Elder), Sir Eutropius Spenserius, and Sir Philip Sidronius; political theoreticians such as Sir Thomasius Morius and Sir Desiderius Erasmus; religious chroniclers and theologians such as Cranmerius, Empress Consort Katharina Parsius, Sir Willanius Tyndalis, and Sir John Foxius; playwrights such as Sir Willanius Shakesperius and Sir Alexander Marlawis; and many others. The sovereigns of the Neuchrian Dynasty (in particular Empress Aurelia the Great) were highly educated, and were great patrons of the literary arts in their Empire. New motifs and new themes, based around the Empire, the Imperial Almitian Church, the consciousness of society, and the consciousness of men all emerged. Romanticism, realism, and mysticism were all combined together in this era; from religious pamphlets and exhortations such as the Book of Martyrs, to works of political theory such as Utopia, to poems such as The Fair Empress and Arcadia, to plays such as Commodus and The Lovers of Lore, and to histories such as the Lives of the Queens and Empresses of Laurasia, the Empire's literature prevailed. Nobles also dabbled in literary work, and Laurasian works were circulated throughout extra-galactic civilization. Literary movements in the Angelina Spiral, Great Tesmanian Cloud, and Great Amulak Spiral also influenced matters in the Empire.
The visual arts of Laurasian civilization reached their full maturity under the Empire. Those who reside or visit Laurasia Prime, or any of the other colonies or star systems of the Empire, are exposed to a great variety of art in a diverse series of media and styles on a routine basis. Public or official art, including sculpture, state portraits and photographs, monuments such as victory columns or triumphal arches, and the iconography on coins, medallions, banners, and other artifacts, are often analyzed for their historical significance or for the expression of imperial ideology. Even at public baths, wall paintings, mosaics, statutes, and other forms of public decoration abound, further communicating the glories of Laurasian culture, and its prevalence within the Caladarian Galaxy. In the private sphere, objects made for religious dedications, funerary commemoration, domestic life, and commerce show varying degrees of aesthetic quality and artistic skill. A prominent noble or gentleman in the Empire might display his appreciation of culture through painting, sculpture, and decorative arts at his residences. Artists were highly regarded in the Empire; many gained knighthoods or ennoblement by virtue of their skills, which produced quality work.
Portraiture, in particular, was the most copious form of imperial art. The eighteenth century, in particular, saw the maturation of this field, with the works of such greats as Sir Hansius Holbienus, the chief Artist of the Imperial Household during Antigonus III's reign; the invention of the portrait miniature, which became widely popular among noble circles in the Empire; and innovations in landscape art, in the depiction of heroic or religious figures, and the use of state portraits to glorify sovereigns and nobles alike. Men and women both are typically depicted heroically; artistic representations are very lifelike, and command much attention from the Empire's art galleries, and from foreign galleries. Laurasian sovereigns, moreover, have embellished their public buildings, temples, and monuments with reliefs, statutes, statuettes, in marble, bronze, terracota, stone, and minerals of various kinds. Moreover, Laurasian churches are marked with their great icons, their lavish objects, and their depictions of scenes of great religious importance.
Literary theater in the Empire has evolved considerably over the course of time. Until the late sixteenth century, most acts were conducted by all-male companies. The actors would don masks, thereby depicting their emotions, and would conduct themselves in a "smooth, rolling" manner, barely acknowledging the crowds but yet captivating them. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the adoption of asides and dialogues; the inclusion of female actresses; and greater reliance upon the words of the characters and actions following from those words, rather than on expressed or exaggerated emotions. By the time of Aurelia the Great, plays were classified as mimus, regarius, and specialitus, each of whom had their own rules, but followed many of the same basic precepts.
Music also reached a level of great development in the Empire by the late eighteenth century. Such composers as Sirs Willanius Bryadia, Thomasius Tallia, Thomasius Morelia, and Antiochus Dowlandia all contributed to the development of this field during that century. All of them were patronized in particular by Empress Aurelia, and became greatly renowned within the Imperial Household. Popular performances are also of especial note in the Empire, with the instrumental arts (such as band and orchestra), formal choirs, and traveling troupes being especially favored by Laurasians. Laurasians tend to prefer classical, religious, and formal music; other alien species all possess their own traditions, and act upon them.
The nobility of the Laurasian Empire is an elaborate and complex institution, with ancient and venerable origins. It first came into existence as far back as the 1st millennium BH, as represented by the ambassadorial and equestrian classes of the Stellar Republic of Laurasia; emerged in organized form during the fifth century AH; and was nurtured further during the Dasian Yoke and Third Laurasian Period. In its current form, it comprises of all hereditary and non-hereditary peerages, knighthoods, and gentle ranks, of both Laurasian civilization itself and of the various alien species under the Empire's jurisdiction. The rules and procedures for the modern-day nobility of the Empire were first established by Emperor Antoninus Pius in the middle of the sixteenth century, being revised and codified during the reign of Neuchrus the Reformer, at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Peers of the Empire are organized into seven different categories. These categories are: Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, Baron, Baronet, and Knight. The titles of peers are in the form of (Rank) (Name of Title) or (Rank) of (Name of Title). The name of the title can either be a place name or a surname. The precise usage depends on the rank of the peerage and on other considerations. Dukes always use of. Marquesses and Earls, whose titles are based on place names, normally use of, while those whose titles are based on surnames normally do not. Viscounts, Barons, Baronets, and Knights generally do not use of. Territorial designations are usually attached to the main peerage titles, especially in the case of Barons and Viscounts. All nobles except for Knights carry hereditary peerages; Knights are given their rank by the monarch, and may not pass it to their descendants, unless if given special permission to do so. Every rank has its own form of address. Dukes are addressed orally as Your Grace; Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, and Barons as My Lord or Your Lordship, or Lord/Lady (Territorial Designation); Baronets and Knights as Sir or Sir (Name). Children of peers use special titles called courtesy titles. The heir apparent of a duke, marquess, or an earl generally uses his father's (or the holder's) highest lesser peerage dignity as his own. They are considered to be nobles in the same manner as the current holder of the higher title. All nobles of the Empire enjoy the privileges of peerage, which were laid down by the Charter of the Imperial Nobility, in their present form, in 1785.
Nobles have their own Assemblies (as described above); they are, if brought to trial, tried by their peers, of similar rank and standing; enjoy the right to an audience with the sovereign and to attend the Imperial Court; to own their estates, properties, and businesses, in accordance with the rules of the Department of Heraldry, and with certain exemptions opposed to those held by commoners; to enter the service of foreign governments and militaries, except in times of war or as defined by the sovereign; to travel freely through the Empire's territory, and in the territory of foreign powers; to be protected from libel, false imprisonment, and defamation; the right to petition the sovereign, Assemblies, Privy Council, or Senate for redress of grievances; the right to gain automatic admission into the Cadet Corps, and preferential treatment in advancement through the military ranks; and the right to receive formal address and obedience from all common subjects of the Empire. Nobles also have (with government organizations, public institutes, and businesses) the right to a formal coat of arms, to devise their own wills and to provide for wardships, and to a staff of servants, provided these are paid. Until 1692, they were exempt from all taxation; until 1775, they received preferential taxation rates. Nobles now pay obligations the same as other subjects, but have the right to withhold their tax returns from the public, and to have full anonymity for their financial accounts, unless if the government compels it.
Nobles enjoy precedence over all common subjects of the Empire, ranking below the Sovereign, members of the Imperial Family, the Great Officers of State, the Ministers of State, the Governing Senators, and the members of the Holy Synod. Precedence within the nobility is based upon rank and upon location. Nobles on Laurasia Prime, and in the Purse Region, enjoy higher precedence than nobles in all other regions of the Empire. The children of nobles enjoy higher precedence than nobles who have lower rank than their parents. Laurasian nobles, moreover, have higher precedence than foreign or alien nobles. As regards to the alien nobility, the Imperial Laurasian Government recognizes their ranks and privileges through the Department of Heraldry. The old Huntite, Lacian, Dasian, Arachosian, Venasian, and Kalbachan nobilites are the most prominent alien sects in the Empire; they enjoy ranks such as High One or Lady Executrix (Venasian); Kajidic (Huntite); Dunga and Khaga (Dasian); and Prince (Kalbachan). These nobles, lower than Laurasian nobles and government officials, nevertheless have higher precedence then all commoners as well. As of the present day, the Empire has more than 50,000 Laurasian nobles and 25,000 non-Laurasian nobles, of all ranks. This small elite controls roughly a quarter of the property and wealth within the Empire; the monarch controls another quarter.
The Laurasian Empire possesses the most powerful military of extra-galactic civilization. Existing from as far back as the 1st millennium BH, and organized into its imperial form by Seleucus the Victor during the Great Briannian War, the Imperial Laurasian Military is renowned for its professionalism, its efficient organization, and its systems of conscription, discipline, and military education. It consists predominantly of the land-based Imperial Laurasian Army, the space-based Imperial Laurasian Navy, the Imperial Marines (separate from both the Army and Navy, and operating on both land and in space), the Imperial Engineering Corps, the Imperial Merchant Marine, and the Valedictorian Guards (the personal squads of the sovereign, under which are also included the Gentlemen Pensioners). The Military is responsible for carrying out military operations throughout the Empire and in extra-galactic civilization, maintaining order in Laurasian systems, and suppressing all challenges to the Imperial Laurasian Government. It forms an important part of the Empire's governmental appartus; the Sovereign is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the Ministry of Defense has overall responsibility for its affairs, and the General Headquarters oversees operational planning for all military campaigns. The highest rank for any officer to obtain is that of Generalissimo (six-star), entrusted with command over all services; Field-Marshal (five star) is the highest rank in the Army, carrying command over Navy and Marines as well; Fleet-Admiral (five star), the highest in the Navy, with command also over the Engineering and Merchant Marine Corps; and Admiral the highest in the Merchant Marine; the highest rank in the Marine Corps is that of Lieutenant-General.
The Empire has, as of the end of the eighteenth century, more than 250,000 warships (such as capital destroyers, dreadnoughts, crusiers, carriers, battleships, and frigates), 20 million smaller craft (such as couriers, fighters, and transports), and a force of more than a trillion land personnel. This does not include the billions of support and medical personnel; the nearly 200,000 officers and administrative personnel; or the ten million Imperial Marines. The Navy, Army, Marines, Corps, and Guards each have their own Command Staff, which is subordinate to the overall General Headquarters. Imperial forces, moreover, maintain such important strategical garrisons such as the Lysimachid Barriers, the Hutsite Reaches Barriers, the Perekop Rampart, the Peldavian Gateways, and the Galactic Void Outposts, thereby protecting all approaches to and from the territory of the Empire. The Empire also operates more than 10,000 training schools and twenty elite military academies; the most prominent of these are the Cadet Corps, the Imperial Naval Academy, the Imperial Merchant Marine Academy, the Imperial Marine Training Institute, and the Officers Institute. These are located on such worlds as Laurasia, Marshia, Briannia, Rebecca, Laura, and Christopher.
At its present extent, which was formally achieved on January 26, 1797, the Laurasian Empire's territory consists of some seventy million inhabited star systems spread throughout the entire Caladarian Galaxy and its two satellite galaxies, from the Galactic Center to the outskirts of the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Of those seventy million star systems, the overwhelming majority of them (68 million) are located in the Caladarian Galaxy, with only two million being spread across the two satellite galaxies combined. Of those sixty-eight million star systems, nearly sixteen million of them were discovered or colonized during the eighteenth century alone. The width of the Empire's territory extends for over 150,000 light years. According to the imperial census of November 1, 1797, the Laurasian Empire governs nearly one hundred quadrillion beings of nearly twenty million different sentient species throughout its territory. Fifteen thousand of these species were discovered during the eighteenth century. Of the seventy million star systems under the jurisdiction and governance of the Laurasian Empire, nearly twenty million of these had possessed native sentient species. Just seven million systems have populations exceeding one million, however, and of that, only about 1.5 million star systems have populations exceeding fifty million. 100,000 star systems within the Laurasian Empire have populations greater then one hundred million, and only about 50,000 have populations exceeding one billion. 30,000 star systems of the Laurasian Empire have populations in excess of five billion, and just over 10,000 have populations in excess of ten billion. Only 300 systems within the Laurasian Empire have a population greater then one hundred billion, all of these being within the Caladarian Galaxy proper. The Empire's capital and most populous world, Laurasia Prime, which is located in the Core Worlds, has a population of at least three trillion permanent official ground inhabitants.
The population density of the Laurasian Empire varies across its vast territory. The general pattern is that the farthest one goes from Laurasia Prime, the lower the population density. Laurasia Prime itself has the greatest population density of all the inhabited star systems of the Laurasian Empire (in excess of four trillion), while the Imperial Laurasian Province has the highest population density of any province within the Caladarian Galaxy (40 billion people per inhabited system in the province). The majority of the Central Core, Core Worlds, and Outer Core have a high population density, ranging from five to thirty billion people per inhabited system per province. Of the 10,000 systems in the Empire with a population of greater than ten billion, 8,800 are located in the Core Regions. The Galactic Borderlands and the Satellite Galaxies have the lowest population densities: ranging from a mere one million to one hundred million people per inhabited system per province. There are exceptions to this rule, however: Kalbacha, Arachosia Prime, Imegina, Vector Prime, Rasdalla, and Lavella are among the elite 300 systems in the Empire with a population greater than one hundred billion, while Vilinus, the only star system in the Great Tesmanian Cloud with a population in excess of sixty billion, has a population of eighty billion. In the Outer Borderlands, Robert, Wakedia, Homidinia, Chalassia, Xilania Major, Scanlan, Hunt Major, Hunt Minor, Leah, Lorna, Iego, Jasonia, Kimania, Sheldonia, Gabriella, and Leo's Redoubt all have a population in excess of ten billion, while most of the historically important systems of the Barsar Regions have populations in excess of five billion.