Graedian ConfederacyAlthough named for Graedius, its most central planet, the Confederacy is made up of hundreds of fabulously wealthy and influential planets. It is actually quite typical for foreigners to refer to Confederate citizens not by planet of origin, but simply as Graedians; yet if such a false generalization is considered insulting, no Confederate citizen tends to show it. The actual foundation date is in dispute due to the Confederacy being more loosely organized than Terra Nova or Nebulus, but Graedian civilization is arguably the oldest in Aesgar. Local legend says that Graedius itself was unified in a great battle led by off-worlders, back in a time when Terra Nova itself remained in tribal strife. Indeed, the remains of a variety of sentient species not indigenous to Graedius can be found dating to at least three millennia ago – although such finds have been scarce since the near-total devastation of the First Graedian Revolt.

Graedius and the member worlds of the Confederacy are estimated to have coalesced into rough present form several hundred years after the founding of the Terra Nova Empire; however, it is important to note that these member worlds were wealthy and fully capable of long-distance interstellar travel before Terra Nova’s ascendance. For nearly 2500 years the Graedian Confederacy developed as Aesgar’s commercial heart. It was naturally wealthy, fertile, advanced, and well-positioned. From even their pre-Confederacy days, the Graedian worlds have often determined the economic strength of the rest of Aesgar. This fact has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout history, as any event disrupting the region has caused or nearly caused economic depressions in neighboring states.

Many foreign powers attempted to conquer or influence the Confederacy to their side, but none succeeded. Invaders were defeated by fierce Graedian patriotism and boundless wealth – which in turn afforded boundless mercenary armies. More than once the powerful Orian Empire attempted to assert its influence over Graedius, and each time was defeated. Some historians speculate that these attempts contributed to the eventual Nebulan conquest of the Oriani in 1358.

Yet Graedian history is not a complete triumph. Over two hundred years before the Battle of Aquias, Graedius was fat, complacent, and corrupt to the core. The Clans began to waver in their unity, and the Confederacy experienced its greatest catastrophe: the Nebulan Star Empire. All of the public rallying, bribes, and mercenary armies in civilized Aesgar were still unable to stop the Nebulans. Every Clan and member world had been conquered or abdicated to the Nebulans in less than a standard year. Thus the enormous economic wealth and raw materials in the Confederacy fell into the maw of the galaxy’s most feared military machine.

Had Graedius at least outwardly given the appearance of loyalty to the Nebulans, Aesgar and the League might be very different today. But they were proud and arrogant, confident that the Nebulans were just another uncouth invader. They were wrong.

The First Graedian Revolt cost more lives in a week than the entire conquest of the Confederacy did over several months. Nebulan forces pulverized ancient cities and spaceports into slag, which they then reprocessed through slave labor to rebuild a new, Nebulan-influenced Graedian region. Nebulan control lasted two hundred years, fifty of which were spent in the rebuilding process. Billions died as slaves, adding to the carnage of the First Revolt. Though the infrastructure and economic stability in the region was repaired in a few decades time, the Graedian population would spend the next few hundred years recovering. Psychological damage remains to the present.

After two hundred years of iron-fisted Nebulan domination, the Graedians staged a Second Revolt, and by a stroke of fortune managed to negotiate their independence from the Nebulan Empire. Though many fanatical Graedian historians believe the Confederacy was reborn free of Nebulan influence, the more pragmatic citizen and politician acknowledges otherwise. Graedian infrastructure is still maintained as the Nebulans rebuilt it, and Nebulan architectural techniques are still widely used. A professional army was raised during the Second Revolt based on Nebulan tactics and equipment and is still in service to the present. Even starship weaponry is largely borrowed or stolen from the Nebulans. While not a mirror of the Empire, the few organized institutions in the Confederacy – and the standing armies of planetary militia – have definitive roots from the Nebulan occupation.

The modern Confederacy is considered a Corporate Republic, ruled by a variety of corporations and other economic organizations in a semi-republican fashion. Power is outwardly dispersed amongst separate worlds, but they do maintain nominal autonomy. Wealth is widely distributed amongst the public as a sign of ruling generosity; though a definitively recognized loyalty ploy, this has proven extremely effective at building Graedian nationalism. Conventional government taxation is non-existent. Instead, the governing body, in a time of necessity or crisis, will draw what resources are needed from every world. This keeps individual worlds contented and personally wealthy, encourages business competition, and ensures the safety of the Confederacy’s overall resources.

This is the outward impression of Graedian society, and on the whole how it functions. What is known and yet kept very much subdued is the fact that the Graedian Confederacy is ruled by the Squire Clan from Graedius itself. The planet is considered the unofficial capital, due in no small part to its superior position, wealth, and influence. It is the single strongest world in the Confederacy, and has been home to many competing clans throughout its history. The delicate balance of power within the Graedian Confederacy was toppled in a series of underground wars, riots, and general political upheaval during a period known as the Corporate Wars in 2891 AU. The two leading Clans, the Astyrs and Squires, brought the entire Confederacy to near-civil war for final control. The exact details of the struggle are unknown at this time, but had a profound influence on Graedian government.

The Squires conquered and despoiled the Astyrs and all other rival Clans, dispersing the hoard of wealth amongst the populace to strengthen their popularity. Although the other Clans remain a part of Graedian life and bureaucracy, they have no actual political power – they are a façade maintaining the illusion of a maintained Graedian state. So far, the Squires have brought a considerable amount of centralized authority to the Confederacy, but successfully continue the illusion of loose organization.