“What does it mean to be Andromedan? The Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth united our galaxy in war and fostered cooperation in peace. But ultimately we still flew our own banners and considered one another by the states we were born in. I suggest no longer; from the shining spires of Alcanti and Crepusculum to the forests of Mardvenia, we are Andromedans. Children of the stars of our celestial halo. Beyond biology, culture and opinion, we are Andromeda. Its children, its custodians and its face.”
The Pan-Andromedan Ecumene (alternatively the PAE or the Andromedan Ecumene) is the ruling oligarchical hyperpower in Andromeda and a direct successor to the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth. Originally formed under the strenous events of the Shattering in accordance to the secret Lux Contigency plan formulated during the New Dawn period, the Ecumene is united by the common belief in concepts of order, progress and culture, uniting the Andromeda Galaxy by appealing to its many races' shared historical and cultural links - priding themselves on their glorious past, sophistication and their supposed exceptionalism.
With members holding ocnnections to numerous intergovernmental organisations, the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene enjoys an enormous sphere of diplomatic as well as economic influence in the First Gigaquadrant, most known for producing all sorts of luxury goods used in other galaxies. However, this power is hampered by many internal conflicts within the galaxy: the conflict between the monarchical Highlords and the democratic House of Lords, the upper and the lower classes, the inner highlord states and the outer dominions of the realm, and finally the traditional prime Andromedan factions - the Draconid Imperium and the Divinarium - and the powerful Exarchates of France and the Kicathian Republic.
The Andromedan Galactic CommonwealthEdit
The Pan-Andromedan Ecumene isa successor state to the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth, a supranational body formed in 2785 during the Andromeda War as a means to unite the defending forces of the Andromeda Galaxy against the aggression of the Andromedan Grox Empire. The war's conclusion in 2787 set the stage for the Commonwealth to establish a new galactic order. The concept of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth was a democratic society that though mutual cooperation engaged in numerous social and mechanical engineering projects to the benefit of galactic society such as the Deep Core manufacturing installation, Elysion and the United Andromedan Navy. This time was not smooth however, as the New Dawn era that followed the Andromeda War was challenged in 2792 by the Drakodominatus Tyranny. While the resulting conflict, with Andromeda joining other factions such as the Delpha Coalition of Planets and Katar Sector Alliance in resisting the Dominatus during the Great Tyranny War, the end of the war culminating in the dissolution of the Drakodominatus Tyranny, the death of its leader and the demilitarisation of the Tyranny's territories.
The Lux ContingencyEdit
The threat that the Drakodominatus posed was a worrying concern within the Andromedan Light, the seat of power for the Commonwealth. Meeting in secret, the leaders of the Highlord Nations - Uriel Ultanos of the Draconid Imperium, Iovera IX of The Divinarium and Tyraz Breek of the Brood of War - drafted the Lux Contingency, a plan for an alternative form of political body should the Andromedan Commonwealth ultimately prove to unstable to be sustainable. The Lux Contingency was originally penned as a last resort, something to be implemented only when the Commonwealth was on the brink of collapse. In order to avoid suspicion the document was referred to in correspondence between those who knew as 'Lux'. Until the early 29th century, the Lux Contingency remained as a rumour-bound concept, known by very few individuals. It was not until the destruction of Adaru and The Artifacts in 2797 that interest in the Lux Contingency returned.
The Shattering and the Ecumene's EstablishmentEdit
The destruction of the Artifacts in 2797 led to a catastophe that became referred to by media and the public as The ANdromedan SHattering, where the macroscale topology of hyperspace was cracked like glass. THis hyperspace fragmenting cut off regions of the galaxy, which fragmented galactic commerce and, with the fracturing's progression, drove the populace into a panic. Fron 2797 onwards, the Andromedan Commonwealth was assailed by a number of threats such as the Crystalline Horde and sporadic attacks by foreign powers such as The Corruptus. Andromeda was further destabilised by insurgent acts such as the rampage of the Champions of the Aetomarchis, the abduction of Tyraz Breek by the Draconizane Dominion and the spread of the Golden Movement within the Brood of War.
The death of Tyraz Breek and the collapse of the Brood of War in 2800 was followed by a clandestine meeting between Uriel and Iovera. This meeting marked the first time since the few years after its penning that the Lux Contingency was discussed. Several months of subsequent correspondence between the two highlords and high-level officials of the highlord nations concluded that in order for Andromedan society to persist, the Lux Contingency was the best option. In a period of reformation between 2801 an 2803, Uriel Ultanos used his diplomatic ability to win over the numerous delegates of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth into reforming as the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene.
In his delegations, Uriel had promised the Ecumene to the next stage in the social development of the Andromeda Galaxy. He had focused on the celebration of the Commonwealth's achievements and the amount of progress that had been made, but followed these with expressed concern over current events and the looming threat of untrustworthy powers such as the Draconizane Dominion. A combination of these deliberations and the backing of pro-reform organisations and political parties led to the formation of the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene in May of 2802.
The Great Xonexian SchismEdit
These incursions were not the only matters that encouraged the formation of the Ecumene. Compelled by the Draconid Imperium's close connection with the French Sixth Republic, Uriel used discussion of the Ecumene to draw other members of the Commonwealth into the Great Xonexian Schism, which had only recently broken out by the time of the meeting between himself and Iovera. While this did not impede talk of reformation, the rest of the Andromedan Commonwealth largely remained out of the war until the summer of 2804 where the abrasive stalemate of the Andromedan Camapign and Uriel's newfound enthusiasm for reform convinced the majority of the Andromedan Light to enter the war for the sake of protecting the galaxy and assisting beleaguered fellow Andromedans such as the New Tertamian Alliance.
With the alliegence of the rest of Andromeda secure, the reunified Andromedan coalition supported the rest of the Xonexi Allies in driving the Delpha Coalition of Planets out of Andromeda, lending support during the Milky Way offensive and cooperating with the DCP in suppressing and eliminating rogue elements of The Civilisation.
As a more cohesive entity, the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene was instrumental alongside the French Empire in restoring the damage caused by the Great Xonexian Schism, the relaxed economic barriers between its components allowed for Andromeda's economy to restore itself, with new technologies developed by re-emerging pan-Andromedan companies and think tanks emerging on the markets of the Gigaquadrantic Intergalactic Trade Organization. The fiscal policies and economic contributions made by the French Empire granted the French emperor Alexandre I a seat on the Highlord's council a year after the final conclusion of the Great Xonexian Schism. Alexandre's ascension restored galctic leadership to a triumvirate as Alexandre occupied a seat left empty since Tyraz's demise. In the years that followed, cooperation within the bolstering Andromedan Ecumene, coupled with further interaction with the Commonwealth's allies lifted the Andromedan Ecumene to new heights, becoming a leading superpower in Gigaquadrantic politics. Of further excitement to its supporters was the popularisation of inter-universal exploration, which bolstered the Ecumene's understanding of the fundamental physical laws of the universe which slowly trickled into emerging technologies. The first extra-universal territories were led by the establishment of the Forefront sector in 2809, connected to the Onuris universe by the Ecumene's new Hypergates.
Time Of StrifeEdit
The Ecumene's attempts to control the situation in Frenzy Space - the Zazane territories that once made up the Brood of War - became problematic in 2811 with the arrival in the region of the Draconizane Dominion, an extra-universal power that had been present as a warning to the Ecumene since the Dominion's abduction of Tyraz Breek in 2799. While the Dominion was able to secure a few of the various fiefdoms that sprang up after the Brood's collapse, all-out war between the two great powers was averted, with the Ecumene maintaining a tenuous grasp on the remaining territories though an assigned coordinator and a number of attempts by The Divinarium and Draconid Imperium to win hearts and minds in the sector.
Between 2815-2820, the Ecumene's golden age was hampered as after Empress Ramashe was left comatose and unable to rule. Her successor, High King Rambert Ramveral subsequently drove a wedge in what were once bountiful relations between Rambo Nation and the greater gigaquadrant. Despite numerous attempts by France and the Draocnid Imperium to forge a reconciliation, the high king maintained a spreading wave of isolationism in the Quadrant Galaxies, the symbol of this strife being the Gorge network, a line of stations built on the border between the Quadrant Neutrality Zone and the greater Quadrants. Although tensions momentarily escalated from an unexpected alliance between the Nation and the Hutter Kingdom a resolution was reached as 2820 approached, which partially restored relations between Rambo Nation and Ecumene states that existed prior to Rambert's ascension.
The approach of the Ecumene's third decade was as apocryphal critics cite, explosive. in 2819 the news of the destruction of Mou'Cyran by the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus called for a summit of the Andromedan Light to discuss how to react. The conclusoin of the summit was that although the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus was to be regarded as a threat to gigaquadrantic peace, the Ecumene as a whole would abstain from mobilising for the ensuing Second Cyrannian War, declaring a position of neutrailty in the conflict, its individual members, such as the Kicathian Republic maintained the freedom to get involved if they saw fit, with the Ecumene disavowing involvement in any such decision.
More pressing for the Ecumene however were rising threats closer to home. Although remaining neutral to the events of the Cyrandia Cluster, the Andromedan Light was more active on events in Segmentum Umbra and more distant Borealis, where belligerent forces began emerging. In Segmentum Umbra, the New Terran Order released the Mechanovirus on the Mithadorn Republic, a weapon not seen since the Andromeda War and a terrifying prospect for the Light, which had declared after the war the virus to be an unethical weapon of war and terror. In Borealis, there was support for assisting the Polar Crystal Alliance in nullifying the threat of the Ganthorea hive-mind. Among the Light's members it was understood that it threatened anyone in Borealis, regardless of the galaxy of origin, which included not just natives to Borealis, but also Ecumene citizens that identified themselves as inhabitants of Borealis.
“It is no coincidence that the temples of Crepusculum and the royal halls of Alcanti are so remindful of the old Earth's Constantinople. There is no better word in human languages to describe the intricate structure of Andromeda's government but "Byzantine". Complex, intricate, grandiose, overcomplicated and cumbersome.”
- - Beginner's Guide to Andromeda, Catherine Dupont
The Ecumene is, in essence, a unique formation, created first as an emergency government during the Shattering and then as a compromise between various galactic political forces afterwards; thus, it does not fall under any traditional form of government as defined by humans. The official term for the Ecumene's government, used in human nations, is Andromedan republic - that is, a republican system unique to Andromeda - but that translation, a calque from the term used in the French Empire, is somewhat imprecise. The actual High Dracid term, which is used in the Ecumene's constitution, is altesicon, roughly translated as encompassing common state. The idea of an altesicon is that of a global, federal community that all of its constituents are allowed, encouraged and obliged to participate in. While this implies a level of democracy and limited rule, and this term was indeed used historically to refer to various Draconis-majority republics, the emphasis is placed on the nature of an altesicon as a union, rather than a democratic state (e.g. Drak'oa Regio Altesicon or Alcanti Aldra Altesicon). Alternative terms were suggested as translations, such as global federation, federal commonwealth, or even catholicity, but in the end, only two translations stuck: Ecumene for the state itself and, as already stated, Andromedan republic for its form of government.
De facto, the Ecumene can best be described as a federal constitutional monarchy with oligarchic and republican elements, where every institution functions as a counterbalance to some other institution. The traditional, largely authoritarian sources of power - the Highlords, the House of Lords, and the central sectors - are opposed to the democratic forces of the Andromedan Light, the outer sectors and the Exarchates. The supporters of further unification, coming from both camps, conflict with the federalists who would prefer for the Ecumene to be more similar to the Commonwealth of old. In another state these differences would have likely torn it apart, but the nature of the Ecumene and its rather convoluted network of approvals and vetoes mean that no single institution can do just about anything without other parts of the byzantine government somehow involved. Thus, even sworn adversaries are forced to cooperate somehow and achieve consensus. While the resulting system of checks and balances is quite cumbersome, ultimately, it is what keeps Andromeda stable.
The most important elements of PAE's government are the so-called August Offices, five institutions considered to be pivotal to its functioning and declared in the Ecumenical Constitution to be the ultimate representatives of the nation and its people. These offices are, from the most important to the least: the Convocation of the Highlords, the Office of the Lord Protector, the Andromedan Light, the House of Lords, and the Supreme Court. All these institutions possess vetoes of varying strength regarding each other's decisions as well as other ways to influence one another, ensuring that no branch of the government does not get too strong.
Convocation of the HighlordsEdit
“The Convocation of the Highlords shall be the collective head of state of the Ecumene and the symbol of the Home Galaxy's unity. [...] The Highlords shall act as moderators between the August Offices and preservers of order and the Constitution across the home galaxy and its extragalactic domains. In order to do so, it shall exercise these sovereign powers according to the provisions of the present Constitution and with the consent of the August Offices: declaring war, making peace, and concluding treaties, appointing the candidates to the title of Lord Protector... [...] The Convocation shall be dynastic, its members chosen from two of the Home Galaxy's noblemost Houses: the Royal House of the Draconid Imperium and the Sacrosanct Conclave of the Holy Empire of the Divinarium: the Paragavatus and the Clericarch. Two more shall be chosen on behalf of the Grand Exarchates in accordance to their fundamental laws.”
- - Excerpts from the Andromedan Ecumenical Constitution, chapter 2, articles 1-5
The pinnacle of the Ecumene's government is the Convocation of the Highlords (formerly known as the Andromedan Light ), derived from the original triumvirate that once spearheaded the Commonwealth against the Grox years ago. With the death of Tyraz Breek shortly before the Ecumene's formation, the Convocation was originally formed of two Highlords only: the Paragavatus of the Draconid Imperium and the Clericarch of the Divinarium. During this period, the Light was known as the Dyad and Iovera and Uriel as Co-Highlords: the two wielded significant autocratic powers alongside the Lord Protector. However, following the end of the Shattering, and under the influence of democratic forces in Andromeda, a new constitution was drafted, in which the Highlords' powers became much more limited. The Edict of Grand Exarchates that was signed following the Great Xonexian Schism further expanded the Convocation into a council of four, thus spreading its vast power.
Outside of the traditional three branches of the government as defined by humans, the official role of the Highlords is that of moderators: they are meant to alleviate the potential conflicts between the other four (somewhat conflicting) August Offices and direct the Ecumene as a whole. For that purpose, the Convocation elects two judges for the Supreme Court, chooses candidates in their domains for the title of Lord Protector, and affects the work of the Andromedan Light by issuing regnal edicts; thus, every branch of the government is overseen and influenced by the Highlords. They also possess a veto on most actions of other August Offices, though that in most cases requires the agreement of all the Convocation, which means this right is only realised occasionally. However, the Highlords' power is not without limits: most of their edicts and decisions require the approval of the Andromedan Light, and while Highlords requests and suggestions to other member states are accepted, orders and demands are seen as detrimental to the stability of the Ecumene (unless agreed by other Highlords) and are discouraged to prevent the abuse of power.
The Lord ProtectorEdit
“The Highlords may be powerful, and so are the Lords of the Ecumene, but they work in councils - and councils are always a consensus, an agreement, a half-measure. Councils are mired with intrigue, corruption, they lie and devour their own rumps in a constant fashion akin to the Ouroboros. Almost never can a group of people with different opinions come to a solution that will truly benefit society as a whole, and not their own selfish political interests. That is why the Lord Protector exists: if it is necessary for the realization of a well-known political goal to perform a series of brutal actions then it is necessary to do them in the most energetic manner and in the shortest time, which councils cannot give us. The moralists in the Imperium and the Divinarium will always tell you that many is greater than one, but I have come to realise that the opposite is true more often than not. ”
- - Vesperon Maltris, circa 2797
Perhaps one of the most peculiar positions in the Ecumene is the office of the Lord Protector, founded alongside with it as part of the Lux Contingency. De jure, this post is similar to that of prime minister or chancellor - the Lord Protector heads the executive branch of the government, chooses ministers, and oversees the Ecumene's daily affairs. However, in actuality, this position goes far beyond that. Almost as much as the Highlords, if not more so, the Lord Protector is the face of Andromeda and the symbol of its unity; they also function as the Convocation's ambassador to foreign nations, representing the Ecumene when the Highlords are not available (which is quite often), and, with their close connection to the Convocation as well as the Andromedan Light, serve as the primary intermediary between the two institutions, thus ensuring the conflict between oligarchic and democratic forces in the galaxy never escalates. Some would even claim the Lord Protector to be the most powerful man in Andromeda: though the Highlords are powerful collectively, there are four of them, while the Lord Protector shares power with noone.
As an intermediary between the people and the elites, the Lord Protector is neither appointed nor elected directly. Instead, every Highlord has to choose three candidates for the post (the Highlord Exarchs are limited to their own territories, while the Paragon and the Clericarch may, at least in theory, bring candidates from all the Ecumene), and the Andromedan Light then has to either approve one of these twelve as Lord or reject them all. In the latter case, the Convocation will have to choose another set of candidates, this time with the advice of the Light. The Lord Protector has a ten-year term, but may be reelected five times (while half a century may seem like a long period, keep in mind that Draconis and Radeons are long-lived races, and perceive time differently). Outside that, they can also be removed from power with both unanimous agreement of the Convocation and an overwhelming majority of votes from the Light, which is a fairly rare occurrence. Such was the case with the deposition of Lord Protector Baen Diraph, hated by the galaxy's populace for her stauch policy of neutrality which prevented the Ecumene from acting as a whole in the Great Xonexian Schism. The Light's appeals for her removal were famously denied by Iovera IX, who believed taking direct action would endanger her people in the Milky Way and sour relationships with their people's oldest ally, thus further stiflng the Ecumene's foreign policy. It was only after a scandal involving the Lord Protector's alleged illicit affair with a human classical musician Lilian Delacour, which ruffled quite a few feathers in the conservative Conclave, that Iovera approved the appeal and she was finally forced to resign.
Due to the post's somewhat unsavory reputation (courtesy of Maltris and Diraph), the Lord Protector is not the most loved person in the galaxy, and their position's power has dwindled somewhat from its inception. Thus to be chosen as a candidate to the Protectorate is considered to be both a boon and a curse reputation-wise.
“Those who bemoan this body as an abomination to democracy forget that a republic cannot exist without consent; those who decry it as ineffectual have yet to learn that rulership is hollow without compromise. Through its very existence, the Andromedan Light negotiates the fine line between two extremes, between Tyranny and Tyranny, and thus renders Andromeda governable by a single state.”
- - D'Arcy Maucroux
Formerly known as the Galactic Diet, a mostly powerless rubber-stump consultative assembly for the Lord Protector and the Highlords, the legislature of the Ecumene was given much more significant powers following the Shattering, even allowed to bear the honourable title of Andromedan Light over the Highlords who previously used it for their council. (That being said, it is still commonplace to refer to it as the Diet.) As a legislative assembly, the Light possesses the authority to promulgate and repeal laws of the Ecumene: its approval is also required for most decisions of the Convocation and the Lord Protector. However, how many votes are required depends on the decision and the position in question: in case of passing regnal edicts, only 50% of votes are need, while evicting the Lord Protector demands an overwhelming majority.
The Light's members are elected from every sector of the Ecumene every 10 years, with the amount of electees proportionate to its population. This fact in particular has caused much discontent in the highly influential, but extremely underpopulated Holy Empire, though that also prompted the Conclave to start a new wave of proselytizing. Compared to most other similar assemblies, the Light is positively massive: four thousand deputies, with each standing for about eleven trillion citizens of the galaxy. This means that, to prevent disorder, most discussions are done through committees, either formal or organised on the spot, or representatives from various political parties. Some political theoreticians would thus dub the Light, officially unicameral, a de-facto bicameral or ad-hoc bicameral assembly. The Light is presided by the Lord Speaker appointed by the Convocation: while they are meant to act as a neutral force in the legislature, de facto they wield significant influence in the Light and often tip the balance in discussions.
The Andromedan Light's role in galactic politics is controversial - and, unlike other August Offices, it is attacked from both sides. Though there are many supporters of the institution in the galaxy, some of the more traditionalistic politicians decry the Light as a obstructionist entity that slows decisions greatly, and believe its powers should be curtailed in favour to those of the Highlords. On the other hand, the more radical proponents of democracy often consider the Light to be a half-measure, a rump parliament that ultimately bows down to the Highlords. These forces believe that the Light should not only be reformed, but become the ultimate source of power in the galaxy.
The Andromedan Light follows a two-party system of a sort. There are two major umbrella coalitions dominating the political landscape. The Golden Bloc, frequently called Loyalists or Royalists, unites supporters of further centralisation of power, stronger executive power, internationalism, and the Convocation of the Highlords. Their opponents - the Grey Bloc - are supporters of federalisation, (usually) further democratisation, and the preservation of national identities within the Ecumene. Each bloc is not a single front with one shared opinion, but rather a motley collection of smaller political parties, often with different opinions on smaller issues, such as ecology or religion, but brought together by necessity. However, as parties that fail to reach acertain threshold during voting - around 4% - are exempt from being elected, very minor and local political groups are likewise rare, necessitating politicians to focus not on one species or region, but on many. As such, most political forces in the Light are multispecies.
Amongst the most prominent parties in the Light are:
|VATANIS||Golden Bloc||UNITY - AUTHORITY - STRENGTH||xxxx/xxxx SEATS|
|The largest pro-government party in the Light, and arguably the largest party in the entire Light (though only because the Golden Bloc has less parties overall). Generally supports traditionalism, patriotism, authoritarianism, and, to a point, militarism; followers frequently engage in pompous marches, waving the white-gold flag and chanting the Andromedan anthem. Origin of the party unclear: some believe it to have once been the Andromedan Eye's project, which has since then spiraled out of control. Generally considered somewhat insane by the rest of the Light.
|SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF ANDROMEDA||Grey Bloc||UNITY - DEMOCRACY - RESPECT||xxxx/xxxx SEATS|
|One of the most vocal, organized, and disciplined actors for change in the modern PAE, the SDPA is a behemoth of a party possessing the infrastructure, donors, connections, and organization to not only advocate for reform––but to potentially govern. Indeed, while the party is often accused of caving to the interests of aristocrats and selling out the left, its moderate platform allows it to attract a uniquely diverse and numerous coalition of voters across national boundaries. These voters––typically reform-minded populations in secure regions––are turned off by radical calls for revolution and an overthrowing of a favorable status quo, but would still like to see the PAE gradually become more unified under a more democratic government.
|ANDROMEDAN DEMOCRATIC FRONT||Grey Bloc||RIGHTS OF STATES - DEMOCRACY - CHANGE||xxxx/xxxx SEATS|
|SWORDS OF THE CELESTIAL HALO||Golden Bloc||UNITY - AUTHORITY - PURITY||xxxx/xxxx SEATS|
|Arguably one of the most radical parties. Appeared recently, during the Schism, and became popular in the Draconid Imperium and the New Tertamian Alliance. Espouses pan-Andromedan nationalism to the point of chauvinism, imperialism, and militarism. Party leaders think highly of religion in general, seeing it as one of the chief Andromedan values that other galaxies (such as Cyrannus) have lost because of their decadence, but do not espouse any particular faith. Holds a particular hatred of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, seeing it as the gravest danger to Andromedan sovereignty, and Cyrannian civilisation in general (considered to be spiritually dead, brutal and decadent). Despite this, believes in supporting the New Cyrannian Republic and the Cyrandia Resistance in the Cyrannian Cold War.
|MASAARI FEDERALIST PARTY||Grey Bloc||RIGHTS OF STATES - AUTHORITY - PURITY||xxxx/xxxx SEATS|
|One of the few local parties in the Light. Founded by Masaari clerics who opposed Iovera, believing the PAE's unification to be a danger to their way of life. Stands for federalisation and allowing every member state of the PAE to retain its culture and traditions. Relatively small but quite wealthy; outside of the Divinarium, also has followers in Coalition space.|
Obviously considering its origins, the Ecumene is a federal state, with its many sectors having varying degrees of independence and autonomy. This is largely the result of the Shattering, both politically and astrographically. Not only did the cataclysm tear the galaxy apart, rendering many regions of the galaxy not easily accessible from the core, but it also caused nationalist and irredentist movements to spring all over Andromeda, while at the same time tearing down old institutions. Thus, in order to adapt to the map of the galaxy being redrawn, the government on Elysion had to accomodate changes, and take into account both regions where traditional rule was preserved (and thus, had to be persuaded to cooperate) and where it had to be rebuilt from scratch.
The Ecumene separates Andromeda into twelve Segmenta, of which it claims eight and has de facto control over seven. Though some of them share their borders and names with the Segmenta of Old Andromeda, most of these are entirely new formations, and correspond with the shards of the galaxy left by the Shattering, or groups of these shards that are close to each other. The segmenta are then further separated into sectors, or provinces, whose boundaries are based mostly on historical lines. How exactly a sector is governed depends on its status, of which there are several:
- Realms are likely the most common type of sector and represent regions which have retained their pre-Shattering national identity. These sectors are given much more independence and are largely self-governed by whoever reigned there before, whether monarchical or democratic (though the former is more common), with the Ecumene represented through plenipotentiaries appointed by the Lord Protector. The local rulers are given the title of Lord Regnant, a place in the House of Lords and the right to issue local laws as long as they do not conflict with the Ecumenical Constitution. An example of a Realm is the Realm of the Divinarium, as well as certain Draconid Imperium protectorates.
- Sectors proper are almost as common as realms and represent territories that were either so damaged by the Shattering that the local law had all but disappeared there, or regions in central Andromeda that have ceded their independence voluntarily. Sectors, unlike realms, do not have the right to issue their own laws, and their governors, Lords Governor are not elected locally but appointed by the Highlords with the Light's approval. Examples of sectors include most Draconid Imperium provinces and the Galactic Core.
- Directorates, or directoral sectors, despite their fancy name, are actually usually the most destitute or dangerous regions of the galaxy, which require greater supervision. Directorates are typically larger than normal sectors, though the territory that the Ecumene actually controls there is usually quite modest. The local governors, appointed by the Highlords and bearing the title of Lord Director, are de facto military dictators (usually with actual army backgrounds, or particularily loyal local warlords) given a carte-blanche to do just about anything to maintain Ecumenical rule in their directorates. Examples of directorates include the Frenzy Space, which encompasses most of the former Brood of War, and Adnihilo Irritum (that the Ecumene technically claims as its own, even though it controls little more than a few outposts there).
- Extraordinary sectors are several unique administrative divisions that do not fall into the categories described above. Amongst these are world-sectors, representing planets so important to the Ecumene that they warrant their own designations - like Alcanti, mobile sectors, representing nomadic polities such as the Clanden Admiralty and the Innitian Flotilla, Exarchates (described below), and finally, Elysion itself.
All sector governors, regardless of their sector status, comrpise a consultative assembly called the House of Lords, which is meant to represent the entire federation. Formally, save for the occasional veto (which it can only exercise with unanimous support), they have no power outside their own domains; however, the Highlords and the Light would be wise to listen to their representatives, and the influence they wield in galactic politics as a group is significant.
The Ecumene's territory outside its home galaxy generally follow the same rules and are separated into similar sectors. However, one more unique post exists for every other galaxy it has domains in, one the Ecumene has inherited from the Commonwealth: that of Lord High Comissioner. Unlike their predecessors, High Comissioners possess direct executive powers and are meant to oversee the Ecumene's actions in their galaxies as a whole; their decisions overrule those of sector governors.
Due ot its success as a political heart, the double-ringworld of Elysion is considered the de jure capital of the Pan-ANdromedan Ecumene, with each member having an embassy and a portion of the station dedicated to them. Outside of Andromeda, Elysion remains popular as a cultural mixing site for the galaxy, populated by numerous spacious embassies and sprawling shopping and entertainment precincts located within commercial hubs across the structure.
Not all states seek to commit their full sovereignty to the Ecumene as a whole. These states, known as Exarchates by the Andromedan Light, are empires that although performing duties as component elements of the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene such as providing soldiers to the pan-Andromedan military, contributing tax income to the state budget and discussing ttate policy, they hold a further degree of autonomy compared to other members.
This extra freedom can be considered a source of contention, with some in the governing body arguing that the exarchate system is flawed for a number of reasons. Considered a form of preferential treatment, an escape clause for societies that fear complete integration. Others consider the system a defiance as to what the Ecumene's concept stands for, existing only to cater for a minority. Whether it is form these arguments against the idea or an overall willingness to accept being citizens of the Ecumene first, the number of exarchates compared to the number of fully participating powers are comparatively tiny. The most noteable example of an exarchate being the French Empire.
AstrographyEditAs a unitary collection of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth's members as well as the French Empire, the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene is a vast territory that dominates the Andromeda Galaxy and holds sizeable extragalactic territories in each of the major galaxies of the First Gigaquadrant. Inner Amdromeda is considered the very heart of the territory, with millions of wealthy populated star systems that hold a multi-quadrillion sentient population, the coreward regions could be considered a beacon of success both within and outside of Andromeda. While at one time the Andromedan hyperlanes created an intricate network of hyperspace tunnels, the new networks are bolstered with artificial wormholes that bridge gaps over hyperspace fissures, which prevent unrestricted hyperspace travel. While most of Andromeda has been reconnected in some fashion by the start of 2810, there are some areas that remain cut off, either due to logistical issues or are used to hide government or even corporate black-sites for the testing of more controversial technologies or scientific experiments.
Outside of Andromeda, the Ecumene holds territories consisting of hundreds of thousands of inhabited star systems, and many more automated support colonies intended to supply the inhabitants of the Ecumene with an abundance of energy, goods and raw materials. These territories are a common point of visitation for travelers to the Ecumene, as many hold galactic starports that cater to trillions of inward and outbound visitors a year. Adopting the concept from the Draocnid Imperium and the French Empire however, where these colonies are defined can be difficult as the Ecumene prefers to adopt a system of non-contiguous territories defined as a certain radius beyond stars they hold authority over.
Beyond the inhabited star systems and the support colonies, the Ecumene has millions of waystations scattered across the galaxies that are used by citizen and visitor alike as trade posts, local trading hubs, resupply stations and logistics nexi for allied military forces.
Society & CultureEdit
Though as a galactic federation the Ecumene has no unifying culture, certain values, traditions and customs are nevertheless shared across most of the galaxy's species as a result of their historical ties, further emphasised by the Highlords' and the Golden Bloc's efforts to foster a common Andromedan identity.The most important component of that identity is, of course, the long-standing influence of the Draconid Imperium on the galaxy. As the galaxy's oldest extant superpower and the largest member of the former Commonwealth, not to mention its people's famous love of beauty, the Imperium forms the cultural foundation for the Ecumene as a whole, and, more importantly, constitute the standard against which other cultures are measured. However, the Imperium is far from the only major influence on the greater Andromedan society. The Divinarium with its meritocratic philosophy, pompous ceremonies and religous-driven collectivism have influenced the Ecumene almost as much as the Imperium, both on a large scale (the Ecumenical civil service examinations, for example, were copied almost word-by-word from the Divinarium's similar system), and on a small scale (as seen in the large hats worn by many of the Ecumene's upper classes). The smaller realms of the Ecumene too provide further diversity to Andromeda's society, from the Tertanai's outlook on business and life to Praestol's cheesy holodramas and pop music; the Exarchates, while overall seeking to retain their identities, are swept in that melting pot as well. (Unfortunately, all attempts of Kicath cooks to make a silicon-sulfur baguette fit for their physiology have resulted in failure so far.) Finally, while the Confederation of Andromeda may not be the dominant superpower in the galaxy anymore, its legacy too is felt in the Ecumene today: Vartekian laws of war continue to be taught by the Ecumenical Military's officers, their martial arts and crafts are imitated and developed and Varteik remains one of the galaxy's linguae francae.
Overall, the Ecumene's society can be described, or at least are stereotyped as culturally refined, conservative, collectivistic, and spiritual. As one of the oldest civilisations in the Gigaquadrant to have developed continuously, the people of the PAE pride themselves on their ancient heritage, with even younger species like the Imperix, or those who migrated to Andromeda from elsewhere like the Radeons, having come to associate themselves with the galaxy and its history. The notion that Andromedan culture is somehow more sophisticated than those of other galaxies because of its age is common. As such, etiquette is strongly adhered to, high culture is held in equally high regard, tradition is preserved zealously, and an individual is considered to be less significant from a historical perspective than the society as a whole. This is especially true in the inner regions of the Ecumene, where the old Commonwealth was particularily influential, but even in the outer realms of the PAE, local species and especially their elites tend to imitate the haute culture of Elysion, Alcanti or Crepusculum to a certain point. The Exarchates, again, stick out somewhat, though how much they reject the Ecumene's cultural influence depends on the member state in question. For example, many in the French Empire have embraced the idea of Andromedan high culture whole-heartedly (as long as they are part of it and contribute to it, of course), while states like the Nomatari Sovereignty tend to keep away from it.
Perhaps the greatest expression of that adoration of old traditions (if old ways are good, what of the ways that are millions of years old?) is the Ecumene's great cultural interest in its precursor species, the Venhokwe and the Four, that began during the Andromeda War, grew during the New Dawn and reached its apex in the later periods of the Shattering. Venhokwe, Tertamian and Rades philosophy and history are taught in schools and universities, new fashions are often made in imitation of precursor clothing, while a great part of the recent scientific development of the Ecumene came from studying Tertamian and Rades relics. Extragalactics tend to find that particular part of Ecumenical culture perplexing, considering that Andromeda is far from the only galaxy that had ancient powerful precursors, though it is often believed that Elysion simply uses the images of the ancients as a convenient way to unite its diverse populace.
Arts & MediaEdit
With the Ecumene encompassing countless civilisations, the diversity of art styles in its space is obviously quite high. The traditional cultural centers of the galaxy are Alcanti, Il'larion, and to a lesser extent Praestol, where the three largest art academies of the Ecumene are located physically. This in turn gives us three major styles common to Andromedan culture: Draconic, Crepuscular and Umbral, and while these three dominate the broader galactic scene, Andromeda itself is a highly diverse environment with thousands of different ways to express creative vision.
In general, the Ecumene's artists favour a combination of modern and traditional elements in art, weaving them together in a variety of ways. For example, the ancient tradition of fresco, used by the Draconis for decoration ever since the Great Minosian Empire, may be reinvigorated by applying special holographic paint that makes the murals three-dimensional, or by utilising electrochromic elements to animate them. Traditions, as everywhere in Andromeda, are held in a very high regard, and newly constructed buildings and pieces of art are usually meant to adhere to strict canons, though it is considered to be the mark of a true artist to somehow bend these rules so as to stay true to them while at the same time creating something original.
While normally harkening back to the old ways would be considered to be a sign of a dying society that stifles creativity, Draconic - considered the classical style and primarily found deep in the inner segmentums - is still known to capture imagination either through the increasing attempts at artistic realism, to the sheer scale of projects like statues, films and structural facades. The Draocnic style celebrates the monumental, is intended to be timeless and often draws from the past to invigorate and inspire. In the world of fashion this is displayed in the praetoral fashion style popular among the Ecumene's elite, especially in areas historically dominated by the Draconid Imperium where the style made its mark. Films, immersive experiences and holovision serials made using the Draocnic school of thought pay particular focus to historical events or grand sagas, the projects are often ambitious but still somewhat safe in terms of innovation, often going larger-than-life in terms of set design and character portrayals to make compelling narratives that spring form stage or screen. Films made this way, especially in Segmentum Draco, are sometimes referred to as 'cinemagas" for their opera-like approach to story and design.
While Draconic dominates Segmentum Draco and its fringes, the Crepuscular style disregards these traditions altogether and create novel, original (though often seen as gauche) art. Crepuscular tastes often favour the new and the popular, less interested in creating works to be considered high art and more interested in work that entertains or gets people talking. While holovision serials of Draconic style seek to impress, Crepuscular entertainment focuses more in simply wanting to entertain, taking the stories of history or fiction and weaving them into a contemporary narrative to appeal to a mass audience. Crepuscular artists are more eager to make media that comments on recent events in an innovative style. But what detractors often attach themselves to with Crepuscular media is its garish approach to art, with bright colours and melodramatic performance, while supporters argue that this garish aesthetic simply makes Crepuscular media more enthralling to watch.
Where Draconic is considered the classical style while Crepuscular is considered the popular style, Umbral media is seen as a reactive. Originating from French Andromeda and the New Tertamian Alliance, the Umbral style typically acts as an outsider's lens into the high-art tendencies of the Draconic style. Many French and Tertenai artists and directors are drawn to the haute-coture opinion held by Draconic media, and seek to be recognised on a similar level. As the former group is relatively young and ambitious while the latter group have spent much of their time isolated, amny of their artists see simply copying the style as not acceptable enough and often pursue more daring approaches to their work. Umbral art and media has drawn a number of critics for its lateral direction, some works are known to attempt an air of elegance while simultaneously commenting on the current state of affairs. As such, Umbral is seen by a growing number in the cultural community to be an example of using art as a means to provoke. Some ambitious creatives have been known to go one step further, and step compeltely into the realm of abstract elegance to create work that challenges the viewer with deciphering what the creation is attempting to express. Naturally this sort of philosophy divides the artistic community; some calling it a true expression of creativity and ingenuity while others decry the works as pretentious or trying too hard to be meaningful.
Perhaps more so than any other galactic superpower, the Ecumene is highly religious and spiritual, with more than two thirds of the population believing in the existence of some supernatural entities (those worthy of worship, that is). Just how religious the citizen of the Ecumene are depends on the region in question - the Radeons, for example, take their faith very seriously (for obvious reasons), while the Tertanai, even if they partake in ceremonies and memorise their holy epics word by word, rarely, if ever, show true devotion to their religion. The largest religions in the Ecumene are the Church of the Path of Masaari, centered around the worship of Spode and a utilitarianist collectivist moral system, and the Oikoumene-related Commutum Drakon'mipthum. The latter is practiced solely by the Draconis and is largely not interested in proselytising, while the former, though centered around the Divinarium, is actively spreading across the Ecumene with its missionaries and is steadily taking hold in Artharon and Imperium territories. Amongst the smaller religious communities in the Ecumene are the traditional ancestor worship of the Artharons, Paragavatus Divinum, and the Ata'lani Pantheon revered in the New Tertamian Alliance. Thanks to the French Empire bringing human culture into Andromeda, Abrahamic religions from Terra - both traditional ones like Catholic Christianity or Sunni Islam and various new ones which formed after humanity left Earth - have also entered the Ecumene, as shown by Lord Chancellor Christelle Khoury being a devout Maronite. That being said, due to France's centuries-old tradition of laicite and its populace's general irreligiousness, human religions are generally not as influential and do not actively proselytise.
Despite all its religious diversity, however, the Ecumene has been, since its inception, a strictly secular state - though many of its detractors, especially Artharons, would point that, as its supreme authority is also one of the Highlords, the Path of Masaari enjoys certain priviliges over the other religions of the galaxy. That is not to say that the Ecumene lacks any sort of religious policy, though - it has one, and it is often quite strict, as confessional conflicts, extremism, or sects preaching separatism are always swiftly and ruthlessly suppressed. The Grand Inquisition's remnants are frequently used in order to enforce that religious peace, with Inquisitors enjoying far more authority in the Ecumene than in other states. However, most of the time, religious tolerance is enforced not through force, but through education, as the government on Elysion actively promotes interfaith dialogue, tolerance, and the separation of the church and the state in all things. For this reason, foreign religions, such as the Asdran'Ari, are often treated with suspicion - not being part of the greater galactic family of faiths - and it may take some time for an alien church to settle down and "Andromedise" before it can enjoy full acceptance.
An idea that first began to grow during the period of rapid economic expansion in the galaxy known as the New Dawn, and took shape during the Great Xonexian Schism, Andromedan exceptionalism or Andromedism has risen to prominence in the recent years, when the Ecumene's rivalry with the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus came to the forefront. Its ultimate teaching is fairly simple: the people of the Ecumene, their culture and civilisation are superior to those of other galaxies. Nationalist ideologues give several reasons for this alleged superiority. Many claim that Andromedans are greater because of historical reasons: the large influx of extragalactics into Andromeda, from the Radeons to the Zazane, is often seen as one of the main reasons for this, as the galaxy is seen to have "taken the best from every world". Others cite its species' "unique" genetics, which were altered greatly due to precursor tampering (that Cyrannians too were affected greatly by the Oikoumene usually gets past these ideologues' heads). Others yet use divine providence to explain Andromeda's "greatness" - supposedly, the Ecumene is blessed by Spode, or some other god, for its piety, and thus is destined to rule over other races.
The arguments that Andromedists cite in order to prove their views are, on the other hand, fairly uniform: the Ecumene's culture is supposedly more sophisticated, rich, and pure than those of other galaxies, by the virtue of its greater age. Andromedan civilisation, as Andromedists claim, has the oldest uninterrupted tradition of high culture in the modern Gigaquadrant, by the virtue of the Draconid Imperium and the old Artharon Realm (ancient extragalactic nations like the Rovegar Matriarchy are usually disregarded due to their isolation and the fact that they usually fell into decline at some point - ergo, their cultural tradition was not uninterrupted). That way, over these years, Andromedan art, music and architecture have developed to become more refined than those of any other modern nation. The people of the Milky Way Galaxy are young: the two greatest forces that rule over it now, the Delpha Coalition of Planets and Humanity, while advanced, are both only centuries old, nothing compared to Draconis or Radeons. Borealians are worthy of respect, but the (former) lawlessness of their galaxy shows that they are disorganised, and require a stronger rule of law that they themselves are incapable of setting.
Still, however, they are considered to be valuable allies against the alleged antithesis of everything Andromedan - the Cyrannus Galaxy, and the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus in particular, a mockery of the glorious Ecumene. Their alleged sophistication, culture and nobility are, in the eys of Andromedists, nothing but an empty farce, fancy pretenses used to justify barbaric imperialism and galactic conquest. Cyrannus is spiritually dead. Outside of some rare religious groups and the Cognatus Empire, nothing remains of its spiritual heritage. Thus, unlike the noble and dignified Andromedan peoples, who are driven by greater, moral goals, Cyrannians are allegedly self-centered, acting only in accordance to their egotistic desires and interests, which makes them the gravest threat to great Andromedan culture that must be stopped at all costs. About the New Cyrannian Republic, Andromedists disagree. Some consider it to be no better than the Empire, a corrupt regime where politicians dupe the populace, while others believe that the Republic is the only hope for the pacification and spiritual resurrection of the galaxy as a whole. A common middle ground states that, while the Republic is corrupt, it is also inefficient, and thus should be supported so that Cyrannus would not become a threat. The view of the Rambo Nation is likewise polarised, in a similar fashion.
Though the Highlords and the Lord Protector officially condemn the idea of Andromedan exceptionalism, the ideology remains somewhat popular, especially amongst the lower classes, and is secretly supported by many of the upper class as well. Amongst the more prominent Andromedists are the Swords of Celestial Halo party in the Andromedan Light, which supports war against the Cyrannian Empire.
EconomyEditWhile it varies between members and their territories, the Pan-Amdromedan Ecumene is largely a market economy with diverse industries and international shippping routes throughout the First Gigaquadrant. Inheriting the economic strength of the Commonwealth and consisting of quadrillions of inhabitants, an advanced industrial capacity and several important trading hubs in Andromeda and elsewhere, the Ecumene is an economic powerhouse within the Xonexi Cluster that, due to the central presence of the Gigaquadrantic Intergalactic Trade Organization within, is a leading economic power in the First Gigaquadrant. While initially much of GITO's success was enjoyed by the organisation's leading members, the unitary nature of the Ecumene allows for a degree of wealth for galactic society as a whole that flows to the outer territories much more freely than it did in the more state-bound trading partnerships of the Andromedan Commonwealth. The benefit has not only made the inner colonies much richer, but the outer territories are more easily able to reap the benefits of an increased tax income.
The economy itself is rather diverse, adopting the ideas used by the Draconid Imperium to manage the balance between autonomy and hegemony that keeps regions of Andromeda diverse in what they provide. While the effects of the 2802 GITO Financial Crash lingered until 2807, the lessons learned by governments from what caused it and methods devised by think tanks for ways to further mitigate or even avoid a repeat have granted its economy a comforting degree of robustness. When all taken into account, it is understandable how the Ecumene is able to draw an immense yet difficult-to-determine amount of wealth, both domestic and international, to its central economic centres.
Andromeda's reputation as a galaxy playing host to things of ancient, elegant, sophisticated and mystical quality has long been considered a boon for capitalist-minded societies, and provides the Ecumene's Andromedan holdings with the combined commerical influence granting it an enormous degree of appeal for quadrillions of trillions of virtual, physical, business and pleasure tourists alike, creating a thriving tourist culture especially on the more ancient or enigmatic worlds open to such.
Science And TechnologyEditThe Andromedan Ecumene's technological base is largely characterised by the devices used by the Draconid Imperium, Brood of War and the Divinarium. While already advanced, the formation of the Ecumene and the treatment of technological development as innovations of galactic society has led to a further mixing of the innovations of the different civilisations, with further adoption seen in less advanced members by the sharing of experts between the highlord nations and the Ecumene's other members. Devices that use a combination of technological developments from various member cultures are becoming more commonplace, further advancing numerous fields such as transportation, engineering, medicine and robotics.
Since the Ecumene's foundation there has been a gradual trend of a more uniform level of technological ability within the Ecumene's territories. The wider infrastructural base base that this has provided for research and development has accelerated innovation in the 29th century, turning the Ecumene into a leader for scientific research and development, one of the most characteristic fields of which has been the ability to manipulate the spacetime fabric. With earlier projects such as the hyperlanes or the wormhole networks bolstered and in some locations jointly provided to compensate for the fracturing of Andromedan hyperspace to re-knit the galaxy together, while more ambitious developments have attempted to repair the fissures created during the Shattering.
THe other characteristic feature of Ecumene technology has been a result of the ideas laid down by the Imperium's Project Luminance, where since 2785, Andromedans have been absorbing, collecting or reverse-engineering technologies once possessed by other powers. As a result, the Ecumene psoesses technologies adapted from superpowers such as the Andromedan Grox Empire, Delpha Coalition of Planets and Drakodominatus Tyranny. While a number of these civilisations have technologies that are considered questionable in purpose or nature of possessing, Andromedan society has long sought ways to provide safe versions for its inhabitants, granting their territories a trustworthy technological edge in developments previously achieved by more questionable means.
With the advances in bionics, genetics and cybernetics possessed by leading members such as the Divinarium and French Empire, much of the population bear some degree of enhancement that can range from a single neural chip to a bio-synthetic body double. An interest in aesthetics, elegance and practicality have historically encouraged the production of more discreet forms of enhancement, so while much of the population is enhanced, it is difficult to ascertain by the unenhanced eye.
MilitaryEditThe Ecumene's military forces are divided up into five main divisions: the Unified Andromedan Navy, the mechanised Bastion Legions forming the mainstay of the Ecumene's army, the Dragoon Corps - the equivalent of other nations' marines, the law-enforcing Internal Guard and finally the elite Guardians of Light. Supported by the navies and militaries of its members (reformed into standing militias after the reformation), all three work in synchronicity to protect the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene and wage its wars. Originally small, rapid-response organisations under the Andromedan Commonwealth, the reformation into the Ecumene called for a much larger unified military force accompanied by a call to refit all member militaries to use more standardised equipment over the course of the first five years of the Ecumene's existence.
Military forces are recognised by their sleek, AI-supported designs. Vessels of the Unified Andromedan Navy rely on a minimal amount of crew, providing more space for computation power, weaponry and engines to make the ships more formidable despite their compact size. Armour and vehicles are provided similar, using a mix of technologies to allow frontline soldiers to communicate between one another seamlessly in real-time even over planetary distances. These sorts of combat armour have been nicknamed 'smartsuits' by UAN and Bastion personnel, presumably adopted from the first waves of Guardians utilising them.
Even a civilisation as advanced as the Ecumene is still limited by logistics, with better weapon, armour and vehicle designs being more readily provided to the Ecumene's more industrialised members. As of 2808, it was estimated that at least 92% of military forces within the Ecumene adopted the use of weapons and vehicles designed under the hybrid philosophy of both the Commonwealth and the Ecumene.
Bolstering the Ecumene's organic forces and Artificial Intelligence commanders, the Ecumene makes use of large numbers of drones and combat droids to support its soldiers on the battlefield while tank and artillery crews are supported in their tasks by onboard vehicular AIs. Field drones can be commanded either by drone squad commanders (either android soldiers or higher-intellect drones) or from a central AI commander operating more distantly. Ecumene combat doctrine utilises a concept put forward by Divinarium strategists to foster organic-AI synergy, promoting the idea of artificial intelligences as a vital asset to be used in conjunction with organic soldiers.
IntelligenceEditAlthough presenting itself as a light in the darkness, the Ecumene supports a large and complex network of spies, contacts, decoders and intelligence agents to keep fully aware of all goings on across their territory and what occurs in known space. The Ecumene's intelligence agency, the Andromedan Eye is in some respects an evolution of both the Divinarium's Surveillent Caste and the Draocnid Imperium's Royal Intelligence Agency, but also includes the intelligence agencies of other members of the Ecumene's former states. From the Divinarium's cultural obsession with security and control and the Draonid Imperium's methods of covert operation has emerged an intelligence agency with spies and covert agents in every corner of the First Gigaquadrant and possibly beyond, keepign a close eye on all suspected threats. Due to Radeon influence the agency also employs a number of psionic operatives for work in interrogation, information gathering or field work. Like other aspects of the Ecumene's society, the Intelligence committee include a mix of organic, AI and android operatives for the various tasks, utlilising the innate qualities of each for various intelligence tasks. Advanced prosthesis techniques and bio-mechanical philosophy also means that the Andromedan Eye is staffed by a number of androids who can very easily pass off as organic beings save for the most sophisticated of biological scanning technologies.
When clandestine operations would not achieve the desired results, the Andromedan Eye relies on a special tasks unit derived from Wraith Legion and Divinarium special forces. Cybernetically and/or genetically enhanced soldiers trained for covert operations such as infiltration, covert intrusion and equipped with advanced implants and holographic projectors to move about unseen and unheard, the only possible noise often being slicing of flesh or the crack of a silenced firearm.
The Ecumene's foreign policy is influenced greatly by that of the French Empire, which has contributed many of its specialists to Elysion's diplomatic corps. In regards to international engagement however, the Pan-ANdromedan Ecumene prefers to focus inwards. The Ecumene separates foreign relationships are separated into two main categories: those states who are native to Andromeda and those who are not. In regards to the former, the Ecumene pursues a policy of steady political integration. Newfound nations, whether newly spacefaring or rediscovered after the Shattering, are given a choice: join the Ecumene right away as a realm, associate themselves with it as an exarchate or reject joining altogether. In the latter case, the Ecumene will enforce its dominance through the influx of its media and products, which will more often than not soften the nation for integration soon enough. Direct hostility is fairly rare, unless of course a nation proves to be aggressive or otherwise dangerous, in which case the Bastion Legions would be engaged to convert it into a directorate. The Ecumene is generally hostile towards any expansion in its galaxy, and responds negatively to unsanctioned foreign colonies, often cutting off economic ties and closing borders. Culture lies at the heart of the Ecumene's foreign policy, and for nations in and out of Andromeda the general policy is to develop strong economic ties, as diplomats, entrepreneurs and politicians alike believe Andromedan culture to be something to be shared.
The Ecumene's policies outside of Andromeda are somewhat more complicated. With the exception of the occasional military intervention, the Ecumene generally pursues peaceful consensus with neighbours while protecting its own interests and maintaining stability in its territories. Neverthless, as a descendant of the Radeon, Draconis and human empires, the Ecumene maintains a number of strong alliances, most notably with the Tybusen Intergalactic Allied Federation and the Polar Crystal Alliance. Its relationship with the Delpha Coalition of Planets, however, is much more complicated due to events in formative years. Despite the turbulence, which has fostered Andromedan domestic policy, several political groups work towards improved relations with Mirenton, but there are still many in the Light, and among the foreign ministries, that still do not believe it can be redeemed and consider the existence of the Coalition as a political entity, in any form, to be a threat unto itself. The Ecumene's greatest rival however is considered to be the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, another galactic hyperpower with whom the Ecumene has been competing for economic and political supremacy in the postwar Gigaquadrant ever since the end of the Schism. While it is unlikely that the two states will engage in open war, both because Andromeda and Cyrannus alike are extremely difficult to invade and because the resulting conflict would be nothing short of apocalyptic, but there are forces in both galaxies who call for military action, and thus the danger of the potential intergalactic war is always looming over the Ecumene.
The Ecumene's two chief diplomatic authorities are the Galactic Foreign Office and the Intergalactic Foreign Office, working within Andromeda and outside it, respectively, each headed by a Secretary of State. Previously, both offices worked independently and answered to the Lord Protector directly; however, during Da Reckoning, the French Empire proposed the post of Lord Chancellor to further organise Andromeda's diplomacy. As the supreme diplomatic authority in the Ecumene, the Lord Chancellor presides over the two offices, advises the Highlords on foreign affairs and represents them on certain state visits. The current Lord Chancellor is Christelle Khoury, former French ambassador to the Divinarium.
“The AGC turned into something? I didn't even notice, everything looks the same! Except it has humans now for some reason?”
- - Koluap
“An interesting development. We await to see how Andromeda will fare under their leadership.”
- - Councillor Semirian of the Polar Crystal Alliance
“OH MA DAYZ AGC DUMBOS IS NAO PAE DUMBOS. WES GONNA BATTA YOO ALL DA SAME”
“Your galaxy will burn. Watch your worlds be reduced to cinders. Andromeda belongs to the Dominion, and the Dominion alone.”
“So much potential. So much power.”
“Our finest work by far. Though we had to suffer greatly to make it come into fruition.”
“A vision of a galaxy united in the most important of issues, but still with the potential to manifest the unlimited cultural and political variety of a decentralised alliance. The Milky Way Cooperative failed in its first attempt to create such a system due to the influence of leaders who would rather things not be that way. The rest of the universe has learned from its mistakes, and while Andromeda is not the first such success story of the modern Gigaquadrant, the founding of the Ecumene brings another stable light to quench the shadows that bring darkness to the universe.”
- - Apalos
“Whether an alliance like this shall last, I am uncertain. Whilst I should retain a sense of optimism, no alliance truthfully stands forever. Whether they will let Andromeda fall beneath their feet is yet to be seen.”
“Such a travesty of an alliance. What fruit they will bear from preserving an already-dead galaxy is not much unlike salting the earth so that nothing may ever grow. Andromeda is far from their so-called safety.”
“Wait, wait, wait! When did this happen? We were still under the assumption that the Commonwealth was in control.”
- - Unknown Mithadorn Councillor
“Not the brightest solution, but by so far the best solution possible to raise from the ashes we call Andromeda and restore back to its former glory.”
- - Unknown
- The Pan-Andromedan Ecumene was first conceived in the late stages of the Andromeda War, originally considered as the Pan-Andromedan Domain.
- One of the driving forces behind the PAE were the close collaborative ties between Monet47, TheImperios and Hachiman