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Old 11-02-2021, 11:13 PM   #697
jason taylor
 
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Stephenshold:

This is a deliberately created society centered around a centuries old Terraforming project by descendants of refugees from the fall of the Zira Sirka living near the Spinward Marches. When budget ran out it was sold to an ally the Commonwealth of the Peoples of Falartha. The later is a constitutional monarchy with a clan based culture and an Archducca as head of state. The system was bought whole and the primary star renamed Buda. There are two habitable planets. One was named Legion; the project failed and so it is dedicated to military maneuvers. Soldiers like to tell tales of the monstrous genetic failures there and there are some natural dangers, but the biggest danger is expended ordinance, which is carefully charted on maps.

The other world Stephenshold is named after the Patron St of Hungary to associate it with a Terran nation famed for plains. Stephenshold in fact has considerable plains for though parts were formed with Terra as a model, as a whole it was more Kuzuformed than Terraformed. In fact the planet has been called a giant recruiting poster for it was originally intended to settle Ihatei in return for military service a habit that was continued by the Commonwealth. The first settlements were planned carefully. Spaces which were declared ready were opened. Clans were tested as diplomaticly as possible for military effectiveness and compatibility with Commonwealth methods of war (meaning just to start clans that reject the use of special forces, which the Commonwealth makes much use of were rejected, as were clans which saw no dishonor in atrocity). The remaining clans bid for landholds with the first choices going to the highest bid in manyears (meaning one years service for a warrior: one warrior serving five years equaling five serving one for instance). Land gained by such service is called honor land and a minimum of honor land is required to be able to purchase land on the open market. Honor land is not taxed (the tax was already paid), and cannot be sold though it can be rented for a contract lasting up to 49 years before it is renewed or reverts to owner.

A natural result of this was a government with a vested interest in conservation and ecological management. Such emphasis attracted soldiers wanting a home for their families and willing to fight for it. The result has been held in admiration by many with interests in the subject. Stephenshold proved a bonus as well having several economic benefits. It is a net food exporter, mostly of animal products Aslan preferring ranching and hunting to farming. Each Aslan landhold maintains a herd, of whatever kind of animal it prefers. Most of the planet still has not been cleared for settlement because of the policy of opening land slowly. As a result Stephenshold has proved a boon for tourists, such as scientists or outdoor enthusiasts.

There are also a number of humans in Stephenhold. Usually they live in mountain, wooded, or coastal country of which there is ample as well as the plains already settled by Aslan or reserved for projected future settlement either by the immigration of new clans or the expansion of old. Human territories often have such transplanted Terran life which was compatible with the stress on Kuzuforming. There is however little racial strife between the two species, there being plenty of room. The Head of State of the planet up to now is human though that is not mandatory in the Constitution. He goes by the title of Rajah, a common usage in the Commonwealth for a citizen holding nominal or active lordship over a client polity (borrowed from the Brooke dynasty on ancient Terra which ruled in a similar fashion). Several candidates for Rajah are chosen by a panel of chiefs with the final selection made by the Archducca. As a footnote the Rajah is always a member of the Archducal clan-because adoption is often used to maintain fictive geneology in the Commonwealth so that even if he was not before, he would be automatically adopted.

The Rajah's personal landhold is in the far north. It contains large portions of forests, fresh and salt water fishing areas, and much game for hawking and hunting. There are also large herds of Terran reindeer kept by the Rajah to sell for meat, hide, milk, and antlers. One of the more curious parts of the landhold is Mystic Manor which was Terraformed by special request into a model of North America's Northeast Coast. This supplies much of the food for the Boston Commons restaurant chain owned by the Archducal clan. The Rajah's hall at Mystic Manor is commonly used to receive guests including chiefs or their envoys come to pay homage.
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Last edited by jason taylor; 10-29-2022 at 10:29 AM.
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