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Overview: Ertan Directorate

Summary

The Ertan Directorate is the dominant government in the Coreward Region and the youngest of the major interstellar governments.  Originally established as the Ertan Republic, the Directorate was formed after the absorption of the Realm of Antares at the conclusion of the Antaran War.  The Directorate remains a generally open tolerant society, but governmental instability, incomplete integration of annexed regions and border disputes have taken a toll on stability and economic growth.

History

The region occupied by the Ertan Directorate was mainly settled by Humans from the Empire of Humanity during the period of the Federation Wars in the mid and late fourth millennium.  Bordering the Grand Federation and specifically Kith'turi space, the region endured waves of invasion and counterattack during the wars, hastening Human colonization of the region as a bulkward against the Federation Races.  After the wars, the geographically and economically central coreward volume underwent significant development to become second only to the Central Region in wealth and population.  The world of Erta became home to the Imperial Spring Palace in the late 40th century and the world of Nachen became the capital of the Coreward Region in 4160CE.

After the War of Disintegration, the Coreward Region was home to a few short-lived states, including the Antaran Military District at Nachen and the Khanate of Heguz, which briefly occupied Erta.  By the end of the 49th century, these states had faded away and the entire Region entered a dark age.  In the early sixth millennium, the Merchant Guild began to renew trade in parts of the Coreward Region, mostly along the border of the Grand Federation of Races and through Antaran space towards the Star Kingdoms.  Eventually, the Guild held sway of much of the Region, monopolizing interstellar travel and high technology for the entire millennium.  Outside the Guild trade routes, interstellar travel remained minimal, with pirate raiders the most common form of interstellar contact for many worlds, including Erta.

The Merchant Guild monopoly on high technology began to fray from inevitable leakages and redevelopment.  Ultimately, the Realm of Antares, founded by Tanik Major in 6248CE, became the first interstellar state to successfully challenge Guild authority and to develop into a true Coreward Region interstellar state.  Antares eventually grew to encompass over a hundred systems and remained a challenge to the weakening Guild hegemony.

Erta, after a long period of pre-industrial collapse, had just entered the Late Industrial Era in 6412CE when pirate captain Karl Larkeen crash landed on the world, sparking both a major drive toward industrialization and a series of wars that raged on through most of Erta's Industrial and Technological Age revival.  By 6553CE, Erta was a united Republic with a Late Fusion Age technological base.  Two years later, its habitable moon Nokara joined the Republic and sixteen years after that, in 6571CE, the natively produced Ertan macrojump starship Exeter, left the system, traveling to Garissa with the aging Karl Larkeen at its helm.

The nearby world of Soren joined the Republic in 6574CE, the same year that the Ertan Senate, keen to emulate the distant Federation of Orion, created the Ertan Vanguard Service to establish contact and develop relations with nearby worlds.  The Republic grew to twelve worlds by 6607CE when it brazenly petitioned to join the Federation of Orion, a request rejected out of hand, ostensibly for logistically reasons.  Erta soon clashed with Sector 339's other dominate power, the military government of Garissa.  Encouraged by Guild and Osiran support, the Ertan Republic confronted and defeated Garissa in the Ertan-Garissan War of 6635-6639CE, gaining dominance over nearly all of Sector 339 and considerable influence with the Merchant Guild.

The Guild continued to promote the Ertan Republic as a counter to the arrogant and increasingly authoritarian the Realm of Antares, especially as exemplified by Turin Major, who became the Realm's third and last Lord President.  The simmering rivalry ultimately erupted in the Antaran War of 6691-6699CE, which ended in a complete Ertan victory and in the creation of the dictatorial Ertan Directorate under Jorj Habash, the Grand Admiral of the Ertan Navy and Chairman of the military High Command.

After the war, the Directorate became a dominant interstellar state ruling nearly four hundred systems ranging from the Theran League to the borders of the Grand Federation of Races.  Relations with the Merchant Guild quickly soured, and in 6701CE Director Jorj Habash repudiated Erta's war debt to the Guild.  A subsequent Merchant Guild assassination plot against Habash failed, and after Ertan threats of retaliatory action, the Merchant Guild backed down, apologizing, forgiving Erta's debt and signing a friendship treaty with the Directorate.

Jorj Habash died of an aneurysm in 6711CE and was succeeded by his son Seov Habash, who ended hopes of a restored Republic by officially dissolving the Ertan Senate and establishing direct rule of member worlds though Viceroys and Consuls.  Seov Habash died during the 6721CE outbreak of Sparlavap Fever on Morris and his daughter Siantia became Director, though real power remained in the hands of Sianta's husband former Senator Tarn Bellevordi, who orchestrated the appointment of their twenty-one year old son Cleon Bellevordi to the Chairmanship of the High Command. 

Director Seov 's death provided the excuse for Kallin Baldrik, Viceroy of Nachen, to instigate the Nachen Revolt, a uprising that gained the support of many former worlds of the Realm of Antares and of the Ertan Third Fleet.  The Loyalist Admiral Orin Larkeen defeated and killed Baldrik, ending the Revolt in 6723CE, and Larkeen became Viceroy of Nachen for his efforts.  Director Siantia, widowed by the bombing of a peace conference, resigned in 6724CE, handing the Directorship to her son Cleon.

Cleon Bellevordi remained Director until his accidental drowning death in 6752CE.  Mostly known for fighting border conflicts with the Zhantlas Union and with B'dr'rak freeholders, he also establishing a new constitution, modeled mostly of the Charter of the Empire of Humanity, with the Director taking the role of Emperor, and with guarantees for rights and citizenship extended to all Races, Variants and machine sentients. 

Cleon's son Seov Bellevordi succeeded him as Director.  Seov Bellevordi worked toward integrating the Directorate and presided over a peaceful and stable tenure cut short with his assassination by an unknown assault in 6776CE.  Seov's seventeen year old daughter Sabra survived the assassination and became Director as a minor, supervised by the Regency of Alton Rubitar, self-appointed Chairman of the High Command, whom she wed in 6777CE.

Politics

The Ertan Republic was a parliamentary government ruled by a Senate comprised of elected members from major Ertan regions and every member world.  The Republican executive was a rotating Senate President, serving at the pleasure of it members.  The Ertan Judiciary was appointed by the Senate, but judges served for twenty year non-renewable terms, retaining significant independence.

The Directorate is in effect a military dictatorship under the control of the Director and the Chairman of the High Command, a position generally held by the same individual.  Under Cleon's constitution of 6749CE, the Director is the head of the Ertan bureaucracy, composed of the Ministries of State, Commerce, Justice and Science and the Ertan military High Command.  A bicameral legislature, composed of Viceroys and twenty leading Consuls as the Upper House and the remaining three hundred plus Consuls and fifteen Ertan regional leaders in the Lower House, meets regularly on Erta, but its powers, but for the confirmation of a new Director, are mostly consultative, not legislative.  Judiciary power is vested in the Ministry of Justice, under the Director's control.  While the Ertan Directorate remains technically a constitutional government, few effective restraints curb the Director's actions.

The Director retains the right to appoint Viceroys and Consuls, though the positions have often been inherited within families.  The Ertan Directorate has six District Viceroys: Nachen, Morris, Thera, Lordabaelis, the Northern March, and the Rimward Line.  A Viceroy governs military and bureaucratic affairs over a District covering one or more sectors.  Ertan worlds not under the jurisdiction of a Viceroy remain under direct Directorate governance.  Ertan member states retain a high degree of local autonomy, with Consuls normally appointed with the advice and consent of local officials.

The Ertan Directorate remained politically stable during the rule of Cleon and Seov Bellevordi, with Viceroy and Consul successions generally orderly and civil strife limited.  The Regency and Chairmanship of Alton Rubitar has begun roughly, though observers remain hopeful that the transition to Sabra's rule will be stable.

Geography

The 394 systems of the Ertan Directorate occupy potions of thirty-four sectors in the mid to near northerly sections of the Coreward Region.  The Directorate is shaped like two lumpy spheroids connected by the Namerin Neck, an umbilical running through Sector 312.  The more planar and spinward larger spheroid covers the volume of expansion of the Ertan Republic prior to the Antaran War and the recently added area of the Lordabaelis District.  The smaller trailing spheroid represents the volume of the more northerly annexed Realm of Antares.  The Kith'turi-Salvaatiki Union of Worlds is immediately coreward of the Namerin Neck and the Grand Federation of Races lies along the coreward frontier of both halves of the Directorate.  To the spinward, the Directorate reaches the borders of the Zhantlas Union.  To the trailing, the Directorate abuts the Star Kingdoms Confederation and the turbulent near coreward border territories, known for with considerable B'dr'rak and pirate activity.  The Directorate's rimward border abuts the expanding Terran Khalifate.

The capital of the Ertan Directorate is Erta in Sector 339.  Almost half the Directorate's systems belong to six Viceroy-governed District territories:

District Capital

Systems

Nachen Nachen (690) 60
Morris Morris (314) 34
Thera Thera (104) 25
Lordabaelis Lordabaelis (338) 22
Northern March Laryukor (311) 26
Rimward Line Pindar (122) 25

The remaining nearly two hundred systems are governed directly by the Director through a local Consul.  Besides the six Viceroy capitals and Erta, other major Directorate worlds include Namerin, Basra, Garissa, Arbella and Farris.

Economy

The economy of the Ertan Directorate remains decentralized, with local trading blocks and sector-based corporations dominating commerce.  The Merchant Guild has little access to internal Ertan markets, but does provide a great deal of trade from markets outside the Directorate through designated Guild ports at Namerin, Arbella, Morris, Lordabaelis and Basra.

Ertan economic integration is haphazard, with the Ministry of Commerce possessing limited authority to intervene in local economic matters.  Some long-integrated regions, such as the Districts of Nachen, Morris and Thera, enjoy a uniformly high standard of living, but much of the more recently integrated regions have economic inequities and distortions that reflect the youth of the Ertan Directorate as an economic power.  The Directorate is still struggling to fully economically absorb the Antaran territories over seventy years after annexation.

The Ertan Directorate has over 19,000 registered commercial starships totaling over 760 million cubic meters.  The commercial ship registry includes over 260 microjump vessels totaling 4.5 million cubic meters.

Demographics

As of 6775CE, the Ertan Directorate had 406 member worlds, in 394 systems, not including the two Osiran Exile ships located at Nachen and Lordabaelis.  The total sentient population as of the 6775CE census was 226.4 billion:

Standard Human 135.4
Human Cyborgs and Heretics 39.2
Human Variants 34.1
Risen 8.6
Goblins 4.3
Casaps 1.9
Other Servant Races 0.2
Zhretra 1.7
Tze't 0.8
Other Alien Races 0.2
Total 226.4

The Directorate population is 59.8% Standard Human, an additional 32.4% Human-derived, 4.5% Machine Race, 2.8% Servant Race and 0.4% biological Alien Race.  The dozen most populous worlds account for 22% of the Directorate's population, with the three worlds of the Morris system combining to contribute 12.2 billion citizens and Lordabaelis contributing 10.2 billion alone.

Culture

The Etran Directorate lacks a core set of values and overarching culture.  Early Republican attempts to emulate the Federation of Orion fell victim to rapid expansion, and the ingrained interested of established power structures and local values eventually prevailed over Republican ideals.  While the Ertan constitution guarantees rights for all sentients, including machine intelligences, prejudice against the Risen remains high on many worlds and some local regulations restrict Risen freedoms to some extent.  As a legacy of freedom struggles on Industrial Age Erta, Servant Race acceptance remains high and Goblins now account for 10% of the world population on Erta.

A full 21.9% of the Directorate population espouses the Mechanist faith, though the distribution of of membership is mostly within the Districts of Lordabaelis, Morris and Nachen.  Over a sixth of the Ertan Directorate population is Technologist and acceptance of cybernetic, blended and Variant citizens remains high, with such individuals accounting for nearly a third of the Directorate population.  The Ertan constitution guarantees religious freedom, but local regulations often discourage some faiths and many worlds effectively prohibit Ishmahili Ibrahimite practices.

Military

The Ertan Directorate maintains an active battle-ready military.  The High Command oversees a unified military comprised of the Ertan Directorate Navy (EDN), the Ertan Directorate Marines (EDM) and the Ertan Directorate Vanguard (EDV).  The EDN is divided into thirty-four sector based fleet groups and seven District fleets seconded to the Viceroys (two to Nachen), but subject to Directorate recall on demand.  The EDM maintains corps or division sized units associated with individual fleet groups and subject to the authority of the Sector Admiral or Viceroy in command.  Reformed and refitted in the 6740s and 50s, the EDN has an active fleet of 144 microjump and 10,300 macrojump vessels, including 17 battle carriers, 29 fleet carriers, 25 battleships, 408 assault carriers and 340 cruisers.  The last major engagements of the EDN were the respective border conflicts against the B'dr'rak and Zhantlas Union in the 6730s, but sporadic campaigns against border raiders and occasional internal peace-keeping missions allows much of the fleet to claim some current fighting experience.

The EDV is nominally under the authority of the High Command, but operates out of independent bases in close coordination with the Ministries of State, Science and Commerce.  The EDV has 124 microjump and approximately 2,000 macrojump vessels, including 18 cruisers, 16 carriers and 186 frigates.  The EDV mandate includes patrols and recontact missions across the entire Coreward Region, but significant penetrations into the northern and southern extremes have yet to occur.

The Directorate encourages local governments to maintain standing armies and system defense fleets under command of the local Consul.  These outfits vary in size and effectiveness and remain subject to Directorate authority in time of war.

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