- Government: Constitutional Monarchy. Currently headed by Empress Alexandra Spears II & Prince Consort James Spears. Major political parties include the Liberals (Prime Minister Shen Sanetomi), Conservatives (Alfred Chieko), Imperialists (Gregory Alleyn).
- GDP: £48,000 (£14,000 + (£12,000 * 2) + (£2,000 * 3) + (£1,000 * 2))
- GDP Growth: 3% pa on average
- Defence Budget: 5% of GDP = £2,400 pa = £200 per month, of which typically roughly three quarters is for the RIN and one quarter for the rest (Marines, Guard, maintenance, R&D, etc).
- Population: 190 Billion
- Population Growth: 1.01%
- Dominant Species: Humans (74%), Tisennans (22%), AIs (3%), Other (1%)
- NCP Spent: 21
Current Government Notes:Edit
- The current Liberal party government is coming to the end of its term in office, and the markets are expecting it to lose in the coming General Election.
- The normal Altacaran foreign policy is to live and let live, but to trade lots whilst doing so. War is expensive and to be avoided, but the Empire does take a long-term view in this regard.
- The normal Altacaran colonisation policy depends on the party. The Imperialists like expanding, whereas the other two parties are generally indifferent to it most of the time.
- Militarily, the Altacarans prefer quality over quantity, and this can be seen in their ship design and the equipment used for their planetside forces.
For a list of Altacaran characters, please see the page on Altacaran Dramatis Personae.
The Altacar Empire is a rich, self-confident power, known in the region for its stability, long-term outlook and extensive interstellar trading network. Given its trading interests the Empire generally prefers peace to war, and is generally happy to act as a neutral go-between in regional conflicts (whilst selling things to all sides, naturally). When it has to involve itself in larger conflicts, it prefers to provide industrial and financial support to its allies rather than get involved directly (some say because it's so very good at it), enabling it to use its navy for commerce protection / raiding and defence. That said it is a vociferous opponent of piracy and privateering, and its navy is primarily geared towards defeating pirates and the like.
Altacar Sector: Home (0)Edit
- Planets: Altacar 2, Altacar 3 (Capital), Altacar 4
- 60 Billion
- Hyperspace Junction (Included)
- Wormhole Nexus (Included)
Aestil Sector: Core (5 + 2 + 1)Edit
- Planets: Aestil 3, Turaer 2, Kasimir 3 (Culture Orbital), Typhern 2
- 50 Billion
- Hyperspace Junction (£2,000)
- Wormhole Nexus (£1000)
Tyzar Sector: Core (5 + 2 + 1)Edit
- Planets: Dammos 3, Temmor 2, Avanna 4
- 50 Billion
- Hyperspace Junction (£2,000)
- Wormhole Nexus (£1,000)
Varda Sector: Midrange (3 + 2)Edit
- Planets: Varda 3, Callista 2, Tyress 3
- 30 Billion
- Hyperspace Junction (£2,000)
Grand Admiral Sir Arthur Wolfe is the commander of the RIN (Empress Alexandra II is officially the commander-in-chief). A close relative of the Empress, Sir Arthur has nonetheless an excellent mind for strategy, although there is some patronage in the Empire's armed forces, Sir Arthur earnt his rank the hard way.
Hailing originally from Great Britain and with a great deal of their own foreign trade, the Altacar Empire has always considered the RIN the "senior service", with the lion's share of the defence budget going towards the fleet. This is further aided by the fact that the Empire's offensive ground arm, the Royal Marines, are technically a part of the RIN, rather than a separate service. Given the currently peaceful state of Altacaran relations with the other major powers, the RIN is currently focused primarily on trade protection, with plenty of anti-piracy patrols, convoy protection duties, and the like.
Most Altacaran (and RIN) ships are best described as streamlined, cigar-shaped vessels, with a wider diameter halfway down the ship than at either the prow or stern. Weapons and the like are typically mounted on ball turrets covered by retractable covers so as to preserve the streamlined design of the ships.
The streamlining is used due to Altacaran discoveries regarding the nature of hyperspace: namely, that streamlined ships that use hyperdrive taps can typically achieve slightly higher speeds than regular ships. It also allows for superior shield strength, as more complex shield geometries typically require more power to maintain and must cover a larger surface area.
Royal Interstellar Navy: a dedicated page for the RIN's strength and current dispositions.
Grand Marshal James Wolseley (£15,000, 198.75M Elites, 1,102.5M Regulars)
The Royal Marines are offensive arm of the Altacar Empire's planetside forces. The entire force can be deployed via Marine Transports, but during times of peace they are split between the various Altacaran worlds to act as additional defensive forces. Elite forces from the Royal Marines can also be found aboard larger RIN warships, but not in sufficient numbers to either materially change the OOB here or have any noticeable effect on warship performance.
Note: All Royal Marines use "elite" equipment.
- Altacar 2 Army: 25M Elites (£500), 100M Regulars (£1000)
- Altacar 3 Army: 50M Elites (£1000), 200M Regulars (£2000)
- Altacar 4 Army: 25M Elites (£500), 100M Regulars (£1000)
- Aestil 3 Army: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750)
- Turaer 2 Army: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750)
- Kasimir 3 Army: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750)
- Typhern 2 Army: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750)
- Dammos 3 Army: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750)
- Temmor 2 Army: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750)
- Avanna 4 Army: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750)
- Varda 3 Army: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750)
- Callista 2 Army: 2.5M Elites (£50), 55M Regulars (£550)
- Tyress 3 Army: 1.25M Elites (£25), 37.5M Regulars (£375)
No commander-in-chief, each world has its own command structure (£21,000, 132.5M Elites, 1,035M Regulars)
The Altacar Guard consists both of those ground troops used to repel enemy invasions, and planet-based anti-starship weapons and defences. The figures for both have been listed here, separated by a semi-colon. In addition to the forces listed here, most major towns, cities, key resource areas and the like have powerful theatre shields, making orbital bombardments difficult to pull off effectively; however these shields cannot stop dropships and other transports from landing.
Note: All Altacar Guard forces use "elite" equipment. Figures per world are generally above-average due to the fewer number of worlds, but in total is under maximum strength.
- Altacar 2: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Altacar 3: 25M Elites (£500), 200M Regulars (£2000); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £1500 of starships.
- Altacar 4: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Aestil 3: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Turaer 2: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Kasimir 3: 25M Elites (£500); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships, defensive shields able to absorb £1000 of starship fire. Fighters don't get double effectiveness.
- Typhern 2: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Dammos 3: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Temmor 2: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Avanna 4: 12.5M Elites (£250), 75M Regulars (£750); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Varda 3: 7.5M Elites (£150), 85M Regulars (£850); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £500 of starships.
- Callista 2: 60M Regulars (£600); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £300 of starships.
- Tyress 3: 40M Regulars (£400); defensive lasers & missile silos equal to £200 of starships.
Research & Development Notes:Edit
The Altacar Empire spends a sizeable chunk of its defence budget on R&D. Much of this is currently going into constructing a wormhole nexus for the Varda Sector, which is currently the only Altacaran sector without one. Given their history (see elsewhere), the Altacarans have always had a keen eye on advanced physics, genetic engineering (including ESP research), and regular engineering.
In reality, very few countries have the industrial capability to manufacture all of their military hardware - be it the mid-nineteenth century or the twenty-first, many countries contract out the manufacturing to other countries. Great Britain during the mid-19th century is a good example, as its shipyards were often involved in the construction of warships for a great many foreign countries.
If you wish to hire the Altacar Empire to build ships for you, then the ship will be built at its normal cost, representing both the Altacaran government's fee and its highly efficient & productive shipyards. For example a £200 carrier will cost you £200, and after construction the Empire will deliver it to you for its 10 month shakedown cruise. The Altacar Empire's government meanwhile makes a profit of 10%, or in this case £20. In return the Empire promises to build and deliver your ship(s) for you, on time as per the normal starship construction rules. The Empire reserves the right to refuse orders and confiscate starships built under this agreement as a diplomatic bargaining tool or in the event of a major war. That said, the Office of Shipbuilding recognises the importance of this policy in international relations, and will generally endeavour to meet its commitments.
- The Altacar Empire is modelled on the government of the United Kingdom, although there have been many changes made to accomodate the shift into space. Empress Alexandra II has a largely ceremonial role, although behind the scenes she does much to advise the current government and is generally considered to favour the Liberal Party over the other two. The government itself includes the two Houses of Parliament, the Cabinet, the Privy Council, the Civil Service, and the Courts. Parliament is invested with absolute sovereignty. The voting age (and age of adulthood) is 21.
- House of Commons: The House of Commons is the most powerful body in the government, as it can use the Parliament Act to override the House of Lords. The 765 MPs are elected by constituencies of roughly 250 million people each, but the understanding is that the MP is not elected to represent his constituents but to play a part in the governance of the nation. By tradition, elections are held every 4 to 5 years using a "first past the post" system, although there is no actual rule as to this. The Prime Minister is selected by the reigning monarch, but is traditionally the person who can command a majority in the House of Commons (note: the PM can be a member of either House). Altacaran MPs are known for their sizeable salaries and final salary pension schemes, but despite public opinion there is little corruption. Those MPs selected by the Prime Minister to run the various departments are referred to as Ministers and are a part of the Cabinet.
- House of Lords: The House of Lords has been described as a combination of dumping ground, group of experts and proof-reading body for Bills. Although they cannot stop or delay budgets, they have wide powers to send poorly-worded Bills back to the Commons, can initiate their own legislation, and can stop the passage of most pieces of legislation. A large number of members of the Lords are experts in various fields who've been offered membership, although there are enough who've gained their seats through mere politics that the idea of being "kicked upstairs" or the use of the House of Lords as a dumping ground has a fair bit of public support. Fortunately, this does have a beneficial side-effect: most rich party donors can be bought off with a seat in the House of Lords rather than actual policy changes, and in combination with various other measures has kept the lobbying industry from growing too powerful.
- The House of Lords also contains the Law Lords, a body of judges that collectively form the highest level of the judicial system anyone is likely to see (although the monarch is technically above them).
- Privy Council: Consisting of various select individuals chosen by the monarch (but always including the Prime Minister), the Privy Council is designed to advise the monarch, but essentially works to circumvent Parliament: a simple majority in a Privy Council meeting and the assent of the monarch is all that is required. This secretive body though is generally well controlled by Empress Alexandra II, and thus has seen relatively little use.
- Cabinet: The Cabinet is the body of MPs and Lords that oversees the various government departments. By law its size is limited and expanding it is very difficult (although reducing it is not). The current departments consist of:
- Cabinet Office: Run by the Cabinet Secretary, it oversees the Civil Service and all Cabinet affairs, but cannot vote in Cabinet meetings.
- Treasury: Run by the Chancellor, it oversees everything related to government finance and economic policy. An extremely powerful ministry as a result.
- Home Office: Deals with domestic policy, and in particular law & order, it is run by the Home Secretary.
- Foreign Office: Deals with foreign policy, and run by the Foreign Secretary.
- Public Information Office: Government spin. Naturally distrusted by everyone, its primary role is to keep each party's spin doctors in their place.
- War Office: Oversees the Altacar Guard and all planetside armed forces apart from the Royal Marines. Considered subordinate to the Admiralty in terms of prestige.
- Admiralty: By tradition, the Secretary to the Admiralty is an MP or Lord formerly in the Royal Interstellar Navy. Oversees the RIN and Royal Marines.
- Department of Government Services: Nicknamed the Department of the Nanny State, it runs social services and the health service.
- Department of Science & Education: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
- Speaker for the Lords: A representative of the House of Lords, chosen not by the PM but by the House of Lords' members. Can vote in Cabinet meetings.
- Department of Intelligence: Headed by the Director of Intelligence, a civil servant, it answers only to the monarch and Privy Council members, but by long tradition has a non-voting seat in the Cabinet. It oversees all the espionage work the Empire gets up to.
- Legal Secretariat: The government's legal advisors and such, this reports to the Attorney General, another non-voting member of the Cabinet.
- Civil Service: Headed by the Cabinet Secretary, the Civil Service has five key ideals to which it holds: integrity, honesty, objectivity, impartiality and anonymity. It also has a high degree of independence from Parliament, and over the years has worked hard to ensure that Sir Humphrey Appleby's spirit lives on. As a counter to too much political spin, all so-called "spin doctors" for the various political parties must be members of the Civil Service, which gives the Cabinet Secretary the power to stop them overstepping their bounds.
- Courts of Justice: The Altacaran judicial system is split into two main sections: the Senior Courts, which includes the Court of Appeal (which deals with appeals from other courts), the High Court of Justice (trial court, appellate court), and the Lower Courts, consisting of Magistrates' Courts (generally minor criminal cases) and County Courts (civil jurisdiction only).
- The three main political parties are the Liberals, Conservatives, and Imperialists. Whilst the Liberals are perhaps best described as laissez-faire classical liberals, the Conservatives take a more paternalistic view and the (much smaller) Imperialists tend to be the most left-wing of the three main parties, but is also much more interested in territorial expansion than the other two parties.
- Trade unions are perfectly legal, but the combination of high standards of living and fairly tough laws on strikes and the like means that they do not have much power. Altacaran unions tend not to support any particular party, as the long separation from Earth has greatly weakened the ideological links between trade unions and socialist or communist politics.
- The Royal Interstellar Navy has traditionally been the primary means of defence for the Altacar Empire, and it consequently gets the lion's share of the defence budget. Being a nation so dependent on interstellar trade, the Altacarans are naturally somewhat paranoid about threats from space, and are absolutely ruthless when it comes to pirates and (other people's) commerce raiders: official policy is that there is no such thing as a disproportionate response to piracy, and whilst this hasn't yet led to full-scale planetary bombardments, it does give the Admiralty a lot of leeway in how it goes about dealing with pirates.
- The three basic weapon and defensive systems employed by the RIN are high-energy lasers (usually ranging from UV to gamma ray lasers), relativistic missiles, and energy shields. Exceptionally high efficiencies allow for both high-energy and high rate-of-fire energy weapons, with most ships dumping waste heat via neutrino radiators (and in the case of stealth missions, neutrino particle beams for minimal exposure).
- Power is supplied in all modern vessels though advanced Altacaran hyperspace engineering - everything from individual fighters to the HMS Sovereign use hyperspace taps to provide unlimited amounts of energy. Whilst this flow is limited by volume and surface area (put simply, bigger taps provide more power than smaller ones), reaction mass is still required for the engines as efforts to develop useful energy-to-matter converters are still years away. Altacaran hyperspace taps do however have the advantage of being both extremely safe (as there is very little stored energy) and environmentally friendly - hyperspace taps have been shown to "smooth out" hyperspace, preserving existing routes and making rougher patches easier to navigate, albeit after extensive use. Sadly, this technology is still much less efficient than regular "hyperspace dredging" technologies, and so for now it remains in use only as a power source.
- Whilst the RIN is content to use sapients as the crews for its FTL-capable starships, almost all its interceptors and bombers are run by specially designed AIs, allowing the RIN to replace the mass normally used for life support with more powerful engines, weapons and the like. Given that fighter crews often have the highest rates of attrition in battle, this policy has saved a lot of lives, and had the side-effect of ensuring a strong software design sector of the economy.
- The bulk of the RIN's manpower requirements meanwhile are to be found in the Royal Marines: roughly 1.3 billion men (with very few women by comparison) are in the Royal Marines. Genetic modification is a standard procedure in the Marines: every marine has a suite of enhancements they can switch on and off and which, in combination with powered armour, personal shields and such, make them very tough customers. Much like the ancient United States Marines Corps, the Royal Marines are in many ways a second regular army, with everything from atmospheric fighters to heavy artillery, special forces (Commandos), and the like.
- Whilst the RIN protects the space-lanes and trade routes of the Empire and the Royal Marines go about delivering Imperial Smackdowns on pirate bases, the Altacar Guard protects the Empire's colonies from direct attack. Somewhat smaller than the Royal Marines in terms of numbers, the Altacar Guard is the last line of defence against invasion. Equipped and trained to the same level as the Royal Marines, the Altacar Guard have three core missions: preventing enemy forces from making planetfall, overrunning landing sites when they do, and then holding out until relief arrives. Consequently they have quite a bit more in the way of long-range weaponry than the Royal Marines, and many Guardsmen are known to have (usually low-tech, easily maintained) spare weapons in the event of long sieges.
- Both Altacar Guard & Royal Marine infantry formations are organised into sections of 8 men (headed by a sergeant), five of which form a platoon (headed by a lieutenant). Two platoons form a company (run by a captain), five companies form a battalion (headed by a major), and ten companies form a regiment (headed by a colonel). Vehicle (including wet-water navy and air force) formations consist of four vehicles per troop (headed by a lieutenant), with five troops to a squadron, two squadrons to a company, with the rest mirroring the infantry organisation. Organisation above the regimental level is typically on a more ad-hoc basis, with regiments shifting between brigade, division, corps and army as needed. The entire armed forces of a planet are organised under a single "Planetary Command" formation, although in the case of the Royal Marines this would only ever be used if they were to invade a strongly-held enemy world.
- Planetary defences also fall under the purview of the Alliance Guard. Consisting generally of the same weapons found aboard starships, such defences are often extremely well hidden, with their crews prepared to wait for the enemy transport ships in order to prevent invasion, which they consider to be their primary goal. Most major settlements and resource areas have extensive theatre shields protecting them, designed to protect the populace from orbital bombardments and, for example, ensure that said populace also has access to adequate food supplies for the duration of a siege.
- The Altacaran economy is dominated by manufacturing and trade: from all over the known galaxy come convoys laden with raw materials for the factories and shipyards of the Empire, before being sent out again in the form of finished goods. Much of this happens on Altacaran-registered or owned merchant ships. The Asamar Stock Exchange (the "ace") is also one of the biggest stock markets, in part thanks to the use of micro-wormholes that allow for FTL information transfer between far-flung planets. That the main stock exchange should have this whilst the government has to send flesh-and-blood messengers should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the Altacarans: governments don't make profits after all.
- Manufacturing and trade are hardly the only aspects of the Altacaran economy however. Genetic engineering, software / AI design and mining are also big industries in their own right (although most people tend to forget the mining done due to its unglamorous nature), and there is a large service sector beyond those parts already mentioned. Whilst most planets are self-sufficient in foodstuffs, extensive trade for the delicacies of other worlds also exists - to be forced to subsist purely on local food would come as a rather rude shock to most Altacarans, however healthy or "sufficient" it is. To an Altacaran, the idea of being a part of a "nation of shopkeepers" isn't insulting, its praiseworthy.
- Taxes take the form of a flat income tax and corporate tax, which keeps things simple and efficient. Just don't mention raising them though.
- As might be expected from a people so in love with trade and commerce, there is something of a Protestant work ethic about the Altacar Empire. "Work hard, play hard" is largely seen as a good thing, and free riders and "benefits junkies" are looked down on with contempt. As are thieves - the criminal justice system is unusually harsh (by most nations' standards) towards theft, and in years past someone was even been executed for stealing crown property (normally, the death penalty is reserved for treason, murder and the really serious stuff).
- On the bright side, there are generally very few taboos in Altacaran society - so long as you live and let live, what you do with your life is your own business. Or as one former Chancellor cynically put it, "speciesism hurts the bottom line". Most people are not particularly religious - although there are representatives of just about every known religion in the Empire, the government doesn't much care what they get up to so long as they don't try to put themselves before the Empire. "Empire first, self second" is a popular patriotic saying, and often lampooned whenever the delicate issue of taxes is raised. That said, the government takes it very seriously when it comes to the issue of unity - religions that encourage people to put their fellow believers above their nation can expect plenty of difficulties.
- Due to the history of the Empire, genetic modifications are not only normal, but extremely normal. Every newborn subject of the Empire can expect a suite of modifications whilst in the womb that will help them to heal better, fight off almost all diseases, live much longer, and so on. Whilst initially expensive, subsequent research into genetics has lowered the cost considerably. The Imperial Health Service is actually extremely lightweight as far as welfare state organisations go: very few people get seriously ill, and when they do their compulsory medical insurance typically covers it. The IHS meanwhile is left to deal with the emergency and extreme cases, although it is also well known for coordinating international relief efforts to warzones and victims of disasters. A typical Altacaran human can expect to live in good health for at least three hundred years, before spending a decade or two in retirement on whatever pension they've accumulated.
- Aside from the IHS and compulsory medical insurance though, there are very few aspects of the welfare state in the Empire. Unemployment benefits exist, but there is little else: people are expected to contribute towards their own pension schemes, and single mothers have their work cut out if they're to care for and provide for children. Government-supported education does exist though, primarily through voucher schemes and the like, although anyone good enough to get into an Altacaran university is given a grant sufficient to cover their accomodation and living costs and tuition fees: the Department of Science & Education calculates that the increased tax revenues from university graduates makes this worth the expense.
- Perhaps paradoxically, whilst the average Altacaran would much prefer to sell you something than fight you, the Empire is known for going all out when it does come to war, and has displayed surprising resilience in the past. In practice though, this is not so much jingoism as the desire to get the war over and done with, once and for all. The normal Altacaran style of war is to starve your enemies into submission through blockades, whilst the Royal Marines snap up their outlying worlds and such, which usually end up being traded back at the negotiating table. Administering and occupying captured planets is expensive after all, and wounded national pride can hurt the bottom line.
The Altacar Empire began just decades after the Pathfinder made contact with Nova Terra, in 2182, before even the Upheaval. Recognising the revolution that was the Heim drive, the UK-based Altacar consortium put together the funds to establish a new nation far out into space, well away from the current focus of Earth / Nova Terran interest. Colonists were selected from all over the Commonwealth, although those from first world nations dominated. Seven years later, and there was great fanfare as the first of the ships left Earth orbit for deep space.
After six years of travelling, the Altacar ships arrived at their destination, a star not unlike old Sol. The third planet looked like it was to be perfectly suited for humans, and so after dropping off automated terraforming equipment on the fourth planet, Altacar III was colonised and declared the homeworld of Altacar.
The trouble began soon afterwards though. Various strains of native diseases soon found the human colonists to be buffets on legs, and the situation quickly deteriorated, with thousands sick or dying. Determined to survive, the first ruler, Queen Margaret, ordered the colonists' geneticists to do whatever it took to keep her subjects safe.
The result was a series of genetic modifications that enabled the immune system to recover and eventually overwhelm the native diseases. Buoyed by this success, the Altacaran colonists set about establishing themselves on their new home once more, whilst the success of the gene therapy ensured that that particular industry would always be well received by the public. Altacar III was soon home to the prosperous capital city of Asamar, and new communities were springing up all over the planet.
The Kingdom of Altacar's next big change was in 2255, when some of the starships still in orbit discovered that Altacar II was in fact inhabited by another sapient race. The Tisennans, as they called themselves, were a humanoid race that looked similar enough to pass for human at a distance, although their hair tones were far more varied and exotic than normal human colours. Although only just beginning to understand the basics of agriculture, they welcomed and were welcomed by their human neighbours, and quickly adapted to life in what was now renamed the Altacar Empire. Unusually rational by human standards, it did not take long for the Tisennans to find their place within the Empire, although their human neighbours' seemingly unconscious determination to spread like rabbits across both planets compared to their own, much slower breeding rate meant that they were soon overtaken in numbers. They would leave at least one important mark on the Empire though: most of the new colonies would be named after the Tisennan names for their respective stars.
Meanwhile, the ships that had first delivered the humans to Altacar were set to exploring the region. Their own sector of space was disappointingly empty of habitable worlds outside of the Altacar system, but they soon made a remarkable discovery. Just a few parsecs beyond their own sector there hung a structure in space. An artificial habitat no less, designed much like a Culture Orbital. Named the Kasimir system after the explorer who first visited the system in 2292, the ringworld, or Kasimir III as it was formally named, soon became a new Altacaran colony. Although evidence of its creators was surprisingly - in fact, conspicuously - absent, the massive ring still worked and would prove to be one of the Empire's greatest assets in the days to come.
2293 saw the arrival of the first hyperdrive-equipped ship in the Altacar Empire. Sent out from Earth to try and make contact with the Altacar expedition using the last funds of the Altacar consortium, the ship revolutionised FTL travel for the Empire. Within a decade colonies were established in six new systems, with terraforming underway in all of them. Contact was restored with Earth and Nova Terra, and with the many local powers that had sprung up during the early part of the Diaspora. Particularly welcome was the Kingdom of New Anglia, another child of the United Kingdom.
Although technologically backwards in many respects due to the period in which they'd set out, in one respect the Altacarans had a major head start: their space industry. Thanks to the enormous potential of the Kasimir III ringworld and the relatively high population of the Empire, there followed a boom in shipbuilding and trade, as Altacarans took a leaf out of history and set about becoming the shipyard and trading centre of the galaxy. It was in these days that the Altacaran national character really began to form.
Fast forward 800 years and a new threat emerged for the Altacarans to deal with. The Callistan Republic had long been a nuisance neighbour to the newly-established colonies in the Varda and Tyress systems, but in 3099 it was discovered that the Callistans had been actively sponsoring a series of raids against Altacaran shipping. Enough was enough. In the first large-scale war since the Chamaran threat, the Royal Interstellar Navy was mobilised, and quickly overwhelmed the (Altacaran-built) warships the Callistans had been using. A short siege of Callista II followed, and was ended when the Royal Marines descended in force, toppling the government and occupying the planet. Callista II would soon become the first (and, due to the difficulties encountered in integrating the place, the only) world to have been forcibly conquered by the Altacar Empire.
This section is for more detailed foreign relations information; for information, see the chart.
- United Star Kingdom of New Anglia: The Altacar Empire has been a long-time close ally & trading partner with this other outpost of British culture.
- The Collectors: The Collectors are known to have semi-regular contact with the Altacar Empire, particularly when it comes to genetic research & high-tech goods. "Unit 7" is known to be a regular Collector "diplomat" (if such a term can be considered accurate) for the Collectors in dealings with the Altacarans.
- Chamarran Hierarchy: Although the Altacar Empire aided Terra & Nova Terra during the initial war between humans & Chamarrans, relations since those early days have warmed considerably, and both nations are now friendly free trading partners.
- Holy Empire of Haruhi Suzumiya: Is a close ally to the Altacar Empire, with a free trade agreement in place, thanks in no small part to Altacaran shipyards during the Zeon-Zodiac War.
- Outlander Commissions: The Outlander Commissions are friendly towards the Altacar Empire and have a free trade agreement in place. Trade is focused on precision machinery and cultural goods and services.
- Federated Ascendancy: The Federated Ascendancy has been a close ally of the Altacar Empire ever since it achieved independence, and has a free trade agreement in place as well.
- Pfhor Empire: The Pfhor Empire's xenophobic stance has been tempered by a free trade agreement with the Altacar Empire, relations between the two nations are fairly neutral.
- Iduran Confederation: Relations with the Idurans are fairly friendly in spite of the Iduran government's stance, there is also regular trade occurring between the two powers.
- Karlack Swarm: The Altacarans get on fairly well with the Karlacks and have a free trade agreement in place; they are particularly useful as intermediaries and for intelligence on the Imperium of Man.
- Imperium of Man: The Altacarans are friendly with the Imperium and trade freely with them.
- The Centrality: Although relations with the Centrality's government are best described as cool, there is regular trade between the two nations.
- Technocracy of Umeria: There is considerable trade with the Umerian periphery; the two nations also get on fairly well diplomatically.
- Tianguo: The Tianguo humans on the whole get on well with the Altacar Empire and have regular trade with them, but the large non-human minority in the Altacar Empire makes them distrustful of further close relations.
- Bragulan Star Empire: They may be a police state, but that hasn't stopped Altacaran goods (particularly the trade in "vowels") and joint anti-piracy missions from promoting friendly relations.