In one form or another, The Imperium as a political entity has existed for millennia. Formed from the ashes of the Dominion of Man the Imperium slowly consolidated it's grasp on the galaxy. It was the al-Dyastrin dynasty which is, perhaps, most well-remembered, providing an unbroken line of almost nine-hundred years of monarchs, until the events which ultimately led to the Ashes. The last al-Dyastrin Emperor was succeeded by his daughter, Phonecia and her husband who, it is rumoured killed her to assume the throne for himself. Power shifted to the Vira dynasty which led the Imperium through the fateful [of the Line] with the ancient Enemy and the eventual decline that this brought about. Though the Enemy was defeated, the Imperial economy was in ruins and slowly, one by one, outer systems began to fall out of Imperial control. The Vira dynasty was eventually supplanted by the Jaya dynasty almost two centuries ago, in a bloodless coup supported my most sections of society. The Jaya's proved incapable, however, of restoring the Imperium to its former glory.
The decline of the Imperium has directly contributed to the current civil war. The continued loss of territory, either through rebellions or revolutions, or tactically-planned and economically-driven withdrawals, has left the Imperium but a shell of it's former self. When, eight years ago, rimward colonies began to disappear, it took time to assemble the fleet and resources necessary to investigate. The loss of that fleet proved a catalyst. Already disgruntled at the loss of territory and the incompetence of the political elite in the handling of the recent secessions around the Tarantula Nebula, high-ranking military figures began to meet to discuss the possibility of a coup. When the main bulk of the Imperial fleet vanished, along with the Emperor himself, the disaffected naval officers decided the time was right to strike. With the support of nearly half the fleet they began an action against the Imperium. Calling themselves the Alliance, they established control over a handful of coreward systems and began the civil war.
The Imperium has found it difficult to respond to events ever since. Prince Irian-Jaya was next in line to the throne, but was killed during the events as Syr Darya station almost six years ago. His closest living relative, the Lady Cortesia, is missing and in her stead Lafiate Camar has assumed the Regency. A well-respected veteran of the Imprial political scene, Camar faces the daunting task of trying to gather together what remains of the Imperial economy, and her fleets and attempt to salvage some form of victory after the loss of the former capital at Chandra. Most of the Imperial government has re-established itself on Cheron, a major naval base and shipyard, and the remaining fleets loyal to the throne are making their way to the Cheron system for a possible counter-attack against the forces of the Alliance.
The Imperium has a socially-stratified class culture, with very little upward mobility. At the bottom is the slave class, composed of countless poverty-stricken individuals spread across hundreds of worlds whose only role in life is to serve their masters whim. Slave labour has proved vitally important to the war economy, considering the lack of available funds with which to pay workers or even feed them adequately. The number of people sold into indentured servitude continues to rise. The bulk of the population falls into the working-class category, including miners and farmers. Many have been pulled from non-essential industries to work in the triborozon refineries or Imperial shipyards, creating a gross lack of luxury and comfort products, which as resulted in a thriving black market. The middle-classes have shrunk considerably as the war has impacted greatly on the Imperial economy, but wily merchants and traders can still make a living if they have the right know-how...or the right contacts. The upper classes form the smallest social grouping, and include the elite members of the Seven Houses, the wealthiest and most influential families within Imperial space and beyond. The Imperial family form part of this elite grouping.
During the Imperium's expansion several xenoforms were encountered and absorbed, including the Nyazeans, Boutu and Vindrazi. During the earlier centuries of Imperial histories, such xenoforms held equal rights to humans but over the last millennia such quality has been gradually withdrawn. The Nyazeans, once a proud mercantile people, have been reduced to nothing more than household servants, and the Vindrazi have been all but exterminated.
For those who can afford it there is a rich and vibrant social and cultural life to sample, but for most life has become a struggle simply to survive. Food and fuel shortages, restrictions on freedoms and near-rampant paranoia have critically endangered Imperial society.
Capital: Cheron (Temporary); Chandra (under Alliance occupation)
Political System: Imperial MonarchyCurrent Ruler: Lafiate Camar (Regent); Cortesia (uncrowned Empress)