Third Imperium (5469 to present)
Subject:Third Imperium (5469 to present)
Description:Also called The Imperium. Founded in 5469 by Cleon Zhunastu from the Sylean Federation in what is now Core sector. The Imperium grew swiftly during the pacification campaigns and more slowly thereafter until stability was reached in the 5500's, by which time the Imperium had absorbed much of the territory of the First and Second Imperiums.

Government Structure: The Imperium can be best thought of as a form of feudal confederation. Member worlds of the Imperium agree to pay taxes and obey a few fundamental laws which the Imperium promulgates, known as the "High Laws". In return, the Imperium agrees to patrol the space between the worlds, to protect interstellar trade, to encourage travel and commerce, and to arbitrate diplomatic relations between worlds. Beyond this, individual worlds are left to their own devices so long as they acknowledge the power of the Imperium to rule the space between the stars.

Imperial power is present on member worlds in the form of consulates, bureaucratic offices, and bases. Sometimes, larger enclaves of Imperial power are placed where they can enhance the emperor's strength.

The Imperium's territory is divided into sectors, which are in turn divided into subsectors and systems. Groups of sectors, called domains, have been created above the sector level.

During the Pacification Campaigns, Emperor Artemsus divided space into six regions, labeled them domains, and appointed an archduke over each of them. To each archduke, he assigned the continuing pacification of the domain's many systems and their integration into the Imperium. The domains were: Sylea (Core, Fornast, Massilia, Delphi), Vland (Corridor, Vland, Gushemege, Dagudashaag), Gateway (Ley, Glimmerdrift Reaches, Gateway, Crucis Margin), llelish (llelish, Zarushagar, Reaver's Deep, Daibei), Antares (Lishun, Antares, Mendan, Amdukan), and Sol (Diaspora, Old Expanses, Solomani Rim, Alpha Crucis). Most of the domains were never totally absorbed into the Imperium.

In 6058, during the First Frontier War, a seventh domain was established: Deneb (Spinward Marches, Deneb, Trojan Reach, Reft). The intent was to appoint an archduke to be responsible for their supervision. However, the Civil War broke out before an archduke was appointed.

Following the civil war, the emperors expressed concern about individuals with powers equaling their own, so they moved to lessen the power of the archdukes in the Imperial government. Because of this, no archduke of Deneb was never appointed. As a result, the domains came to have little practical significance. Each archduke did retain the power to create knights and baronets.

In the years after the Fourth Frontier War, and after the problems it presented from lags in communication, Emperor Strephon felt a strengthened archduke position could enable the Imperium to more quickly respond in defending the realm. Against the protests and opposition of some prominent members of the Moot, Strephon reestablished the domain as a level in the bureaucracy of the Imperial Navy and returned to the Domain the ability to collect taxes. Still later, Strephon gave the archdukes the ability to legislate and enforce the desires of the emperor on the local level. One of Strephon's last acts before his murder was to finally appoint an archduke of the Domain of Deneb: Archduke Norris.

Even with the uncertainty of the current moment, the Third Imperium still stands. The archdukes are instituting local stopgap measures until such time as a strong central government can be reestablished.
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