Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Galactic Concord

This post deals with the main stellar power in the campaign, The Galactic Concord, an alliance of various species and cultures for the mutual benefits of trade and protection in an oftentimes chaotic and dangerous galaxy. It's largely based on ideas taken from both the Republic in Star Wars and Mass Effect. These are just preliminary ideas. I may decide in the future to change a lot of it, but for now I like the base I've got here. Any questions or comments would be great to help me ferret out inconsistencies and to flesh out the ideas further. Thanks!

The Galactic Concord is the largest stellar alliance in charted space. It was born out of the Sol-Minbari Treaty that ended the First Contact Wars. This treaty designated the precursor space station known as the Citadel as the site where species and cultures can come together to hopefully work out differences before they turn into violent conflict. Initially, there was no plan to build in an interstellar alliance. The treaty simply set up a system of arbitration selection to settle disputes and is set up some guidelines for equitable trade negotiations. The idea of a true alliance didn’t come until the Illithid Invasion of 2353.

The Illithids swarmed into the galaxy enslaving or slaughtering entire systems and sectors in their path. Most systems were not able to get word to neighboring systems or sectors for either aid or warning before they were overwhelmed by the psychic monstrosities and their forces. As the Illithid pushed further into galaxy, the Prome Cloud, home to the Citadel became threatened. With many species governments already in attendance, talks of forming a unified front against the invaders were brought up. The Great Alliance was formed by the Sol Alliance, Minbari, Centauri Republic, Asari, Turian Hierarchy, Tau Empire, Hurwaeti Regency, Eldar, and several other minor species allied to the various mentioned members. The unified front formed by these stellar nations turned the tide against the Illithid. The combined military might was key in the defeat of the Illithids, but the various psionic forces of the various nations proved to be the deciding factor. By making contact with several of the Illithid’s servitor species telepathically, they were able to incite acts of sabotage and even outright rebellion among the Ith-Kon, Derro, and Tzakandi, which cast the Illithid overlords into chaos aboard their own ships.

After the Illithid invaders scattered to the dark corners of the galaxy, many of the members of the Great Alliance saw that maybe making this joining of forces a more permanent construct would be ideal to protect the civilized species of the galaxy. Out of the founding members, the Tau Empire declined the offer to further their alliance, preferring to keep relations peaceful but to keep their own counsel in matters that concern their Empire.

In 2358, the Galactic Concord was formed. A constitution was ratified by the founders that outline certain practices that would be outlawed throughout the members’ systems, as well as general trade guidelines and rules for the contacting of new species. No member of the Concord can partake in the practice of slavery and must fight the practice wherever it is found. Members are duty-bound to aid other each other for the mutual protection of all. Members must contribute ships, troops, or resources to form the Concord Navy, which will patrol sectors deemed as unstable, bordering upon hostile nations, enforcing edicts of interdiction on worlds or systems deemed too dangerous for contact, and for the general exploration of the galaxy. Any new Elder Relay routes that are discovered would be freely and openly shared among the members of the Concord, though the discovering nation would have preferred colonization and exploitation rights. No new species encountered during exploration can be contacted unless they are at least capable of sending probes into space. Worlds inhabited by primitive sentients, or species that are deemed as “pre-sentient” are to be left alone to allow those species a chance to evolve naturally without the contamination of advanced lifeforms. No trade is allowed with stellar nations deemed a threat or is known to be a slave-using species. Each member is expected to enforce these edicts among their own kind. Access to the Grid is extended to all members. Beyond these edicts, each member nation is able to carry out their business and their laws as they see fit.

The Constitution of the Galactic Concord set up a system of government common among republics. A Senate was formed where member nations can debate new regulations. A Council of twelve, selected by vote by Senate members would sign into law any regulations that meet the approval of no less than 66% of the Senate members. If the Council is deadlocked in their deliberations, the High Justice of the third and final branch of the Concord, the High Court, would be the deciding vote. The High Court consists of 12 Justices, with the Justices selecting one of their own as High Justice. The Justices are selected from member nations by the Council and then confirmed by the Senate. The High Court hears disputes that cannot be settled in the Senate and handles only matter between stellar nations or in handing down judgment on criminals found to be slavers or practitioners of genocide.

There were 38 stellar nations that formed the Galactic Concord, but today the number is 127 stellar nations, with several more than have petitioned for membership. Trade is the primary reason new nations desire membership into the Concord, but also protection. There are many dangers in the galaxy, and few species have militaries that can offer the level of resistance that the Concord Navy and the larger Concord members can provide. Illithids, N’sss, Kroath, Yuuzhan Vong, Nano-Terrors, Geth, and other dangers have done more to bolster the ranks of the Concord than anything else.

Over the years, the Concord has established certain agencies that see to the welfare of the members:
The Sol Alliance’s Kreskin Academy was deemed as the premier Concord academy for the training of psionic-capable beings, primarily youngsters just discovering their powers, in the Concord. They also set up a network of four other academies that mirror the Kreskin Academy’s methods.

The Office of Science and Technology, headquartered on the Citadel, is a research and development agency for the betterment of all Concord nations, though some members resent the agency as their governments also work on developments in tandem and wish to profits from their discoveries.

The Office of Xenological Research observes, catalogs, and studies new species discovered by Concord members. The reasons for this are varied. This office deems whether certain species are sentient, pre-sentient, or beasts, which has a great impact on whether or not a planet can be exploited. They also study the physiology of new and current species to develop treatment guidelines, determine any cross-contamination risks of bacteria, viruses, and possible mutagenic agents being passed between species, and to determine if anything in that species biology or planet’s ecology could be used to develop treatments or cures for the myriad of diseases, toxins, and aliments that hinder the various species of the Concord.

The Concord Navy is made up of volunteers and conscripts of the various member species. The Navy started off as a mish-mash of ships of various member species and the crews were largely segregated. In 2396, the Navy was realigned so that Concord ships would be built to certain specifications and that the crews would be made up by a diverse selection of various species. As stated in the Constitution, all members must commit something to the Navy: ships, resources (credits, space dry docks, materials, etc.), or personnel, but the Naval Unification Act changed it to where members need not offer their own ships, but just resources and personnel. As the Concord continues to exist, the need for conscripts is lessened, as more and more volunteer for service in the Concord Navy. The Naval Unification Act was started in large part due to some ships where being spoofed to look like Concord craft, but were instead crewed and commanded by various pirate and slaver factions. In many stellar nations, military and civilian spacecraft is almost the same, so the idea was put forth that the Concord, which had stood for nearly 40, largely peaceful, years should essentially be flying their own flag in ships of a distinct design to minimize the chances of pirates and slavers (or invaders in general) being able to easily catch space stations and colonies unaware by “walking right through the front door” as it was. The act met stiff resistance by many members that felt this was turning the Concord into a stellar nation of its own and that the members were merely just vassals of the state rather than independent members, but in the end the act was passed by a narrow margin.

The Concord Navy is made up of both space, and ground forces. Ground troops are covered by a special branch known as the Marines. There is also the Naval Intelligence Agency which contains their own espionage (although this fact is not widely publicized) and counter-intelligence groups. Finally, there is the Concord Psionics Division. The Navy is governed by four Rear Admirals (one from the Navy, the Marines, the NIA, and the CPD) and an Admiral, and answers to the Council. The Council cannot declare war or make any military orders without approval of the Senate.

The Concord Navy has set up space stations both in key sectors in highly traveled member systems (for training, supply depots, and crew/troop rotations) and also in deep space throughout the frontier for early warning of invasions or aggression from hostile species/cultures and to assist explorers that may find themselves stranded in open space too far from a properly advanced system. These “starbases” started off for military purposes only, but since many are the only space stations in their systems (and even sectors) they have become hubs for diplomacy, commerce, and even R&R.

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