“Even as the legions of Voltaria came to swallow the plane we all knew, Draco was a defiant beacon. A second star shining beyond others in a spiral sea, when all others were outshone by Vartek.”
- - Arinas Keltar Vissekar, poet, ID.135.217
Defined as the northern half of the inner galaxy, Segmentum Draco is considered in many circles one of the most prosperous of the Andromedan Segmenta. Recognised as the ancient home domain of the Draconis and one of the few regions that resisted the Vartekai nconquests, the segmentum and its identity is almost synonymous with their high-standards lifestyle. The great expanse of the empire that calls it home was pivotal in preserving tranquility during The Shattering, although the marks of the scarring can still be seen.
Draco is the segmentum where the idea of the Draconid Peace, or Pax Draconica, is most visible. With large cosmopolitan city-continents, great hyperspace lanes that criss-cross the region, it is easy to mistake this part of the galaxy as one of the most peaceful. Beyond the territory policed by the Draconid Imperium and Segmentum Draco Federal Union however, and near the fringes of the segmentum things get less safe and more mixed. Writers and historians within and without have referred to this part of the galaxy as "the dragon's playground" for the influence these two superpowers have had on segmentum history.
Beyond the influence of the so-named Twin Dragon empires, Segmentum Draco is the broader of the two beating hearts of economic and political activity in the galaxy, with the known-space spanning Gigaquadrantic Intergalactic Trade Organization connecting every other galaxy with wormholes and Elysion station acting as the political heart of the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene and Andromeda at large.
The earliest signs of advanced civilisation in the segmentum date back to the time of the Four. Archaeological expiditions performed by various species has uncovered evidence of settlement by the Metropoly, Tertamian Alliance and the Rades, and the ruins still dot the segmentum today. While not entirely confirmed, historians suggest exist that this convergence point of the Four may have had an influence on developing societies from their remains and wreckage, and may or may not have been a deciding factor in the Draconid Imperium's ascent to hegemony in this part of the galaxy.
Much of the segmentum's history for the least quarter-million years has been intertwined with the so-called "star dragons of Andromeda," who left their mark in the form of proxy wars, civil wars, scientific expeditions, retaliatory attacks and cultural assimilation. While the prominence of the Draconid Imperium has waxed and waned like the tides, the emergence of the Segmentum Draco Federal Union c. 178,000 BC and their ensuing rivalry with the Imperium (considered ancient even back then) cemented the segmentum's moniker as The Dragon's Playground. For the next one hundred and eighty millennia the two great powers would compete both violently and subversively for supremacy, leaving various marks and influences that define the culture of Segmentum Draco in the present.
This rivalry saw its most prominent detente during the expansion of the Confederation of Andromeda. Although the two great powers saw each other as diametric opposites, the Confederation's plans for supremacy was something they both agreed was something to stand against. Draco's history would for thousands of years be highlighted by numerous attempts by the Confederation, particularly its hierarchs the Vartekians, to undermine serpentine supremacy, in doing so creating an island in the galaxy that was relatively free of Vartekian cultural and military influence. When the Confederation weakened to the point of retreat in the wars of the 28th century however, the two powers returned to a state of odds until the Second War of Black Fog where the two formed an uneasy entente.
In the early and middle phases of the Great Andromeda War, Segmentum Draco was a key battleground. Although much of the early war actually took place in Segmentum Crepusculum, with some expiditionary forces striking southern Draco, the Draconid Imperium's choice to store and study The Artifacts (which were the key source of conflict for much of the war) made it a magnet for outside powers looking to take the eldritch power for themselves. In the interwar years between the Great Andromedan War and the Great Xonexian Schism, Draco's importance in the galaxy reached astronomical heights with the establishment of the Andromedan hypelranes and the intergalactic wormhole network around Araveene. This prosperity was somewhat short-lived but perhaps pivotal to the segmentum's resistance when southern Draco would see further bloodshed 15 years later. A joint coalition between The Civilisation and the Delpha Coalition of Planets (fresh from ending campaigns in the Milky Way) attacked from Crepusculum.
Historically overseen by the Twin Dragons, Segmentum Draco has been seeing an expanding alien influence from its outer reaches since the 28th century to the point where these outside powers are prime influencers in the regions bordering Adniliho, the arm and Exterioris while the Twin Dragons maintain hegemonic influence over the central segmentum and the passage to Praestol.
Because of the overwhelming cultural influence of the Draconid Imperium and Segmentum Draco Federal Union, most maps of the segmentum are delineated by the way these two superpowers divided their empires. Running through and branching like a tree across the armward reaches of the segmentum is the Imperial Gateway Network - a web of wormholes and hyperpsace lanes established by the Draconis to ensure smooth high-volume traffic in their dominion and to key points outside it.
Civilisation in Segmentum Draco is marked by the large spheres of population that surround the ancient throne-worlds of Voytrad and Alcanti and to a lesser extent Richeulieu. These regions are the centre of commerce and culture in the segmentum, featuring sprawling continent-cities of modern achitecture, open fields and great artificial constructs interlinked with a complex web of hyperspace lanes. As civilisation moves to the frontier, circumstances become much more on average with the rest of the galaxy.
- Motive (moderate presence)
- Tybusen Intergalactic Allied Federation
- Kicathian Republic
- Commonwealth of French Andromeda
Arguably considered the centre of galactic commerce and industry, Segmentum Draco overall is one of the most prosperous of the galaxy's segmenta thanks to the careful long-term planning of its resident superpowers and much of the business and industry that goes on is primarily linked to one of these economic powerhouses. Industry in the inner regions of the segmentum is primarily post-industrial, with hundreds of words reliant on intergalactic finance and cultural markets to make most of their wealth. Surrounding these temples to finance the regions are highly industrialised, in a number of cases using a primarily-automated workforce. Out in the armward regions or beyond the hearts of the twin dragons, the economy is much more one of hard labour. Factory stations surrounded by planets or mines that span planetary surfaces, feeding the great commercial and industrial engines near the core, many of which rely on largely if not entirely automated workforces.
Although much of the segmentum's industry is directed toward the Draconid Imperium and Segmentum Draco Federal Union, the northern regions close to segmentum Adnihilo support a third core in the Commonwealth of French Andromeda. Goods and capital flow though the French-held planet of Roussigny which acts as a gateway for the central empires to business and resources in the northern reaches of the segmentum and towards northern Crepusculum.
In essence, much of the trade, commerce, industry and harvesting that goes on in Segmentum Draco is geared to supplying the extraordinary material and capital demands of the resident superpowers.
One of the most visible results of the influence of both the Draconid Imperium and Federal Union is the cultural harmonisation that can only otherwise be found in the remnant domain of the Vartekian Empire, often described as "Draconic" by observers. While the two powers may differ in a number of ways, there is a general mindset towards the rule of law and yet a great degree of cosmopolitanism. A presumed byproduct of attempts by both parties to uplift species for various purposes is that Draconic aspects such as a fascination with the Euclidian and the monumental appears to pervade the various alien societies within the segmentum. Due to the wars of culture and commerce, it is the ideas from Segmentum Draco that are considered by foreign powers to be the most quintessentially Andromedan, but not so commonly seen as such by the galaxy's inhabitants.
Along with a reverence or fascination for the Star Dragons is a historical fascination with the Four that appears more mixed than in other areas of the galaxy, which might have at one time been dominated by only one of them. Tertamina, Metropoly and Tertamian influences can be seen on a number of worlds, sometiems inspirations from more than one of the Four can be found on a single planet, that appears to fuel the segmentum culture's tastes in art and architecture.
In more recent years there has been a growing interest in French culture, which in the northern reaches mixes elements of Draconic and human ideas to form part of the Umbral art and media style popular in the outer regions of the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene. Interactions between the French and Draconic fashion and art circles has created a trend in the northern regions called Praetore Francais by cultural observers, which combines French nations of Haute Couture and the aristocratic Praetoral style popular in the upper echelons of the Draconid Imperium.
“No light shines brighter or pulses with more power like the beating heart of the Crown Worlds. Segmentum Draco is the light all of Andromeda drifts towards, and always shall do.”
- - Taremanon Valocanus
“Segmentum Draco was always the island in a storm. Whether it was history, culture or plain old circumstance, the Confederation of Andromeda's inability to dominate the region had a profound effect on its culture, landmarks and the mentality of its inhabitants.”