Group Name: The United Planets
Created By: Jay P Hailey
'Short Summary: A two fisted, old fashioned stellar nation, where the men are real men, the women are real women and the small furry things are real small furry things.
Nature of Members: Most of the visible people of the United Planets are White male humans. It takes most Federation people a little bit of time to notice this as they are completely unprepared to see it. The Federation office refers to them as Edgarians. Human to nine places.
The visible representatives of the United Planets are all healthy and intelligent physical specimens of humanity. The less healthy, strong and intelligent people don't tend to get off Gannao much.
When one sees non-white males - or females one is seeing a formidable individual - as in the old saying, non-whites or females must be twice as good to be considered half as good.
Biology: Gannao is a very Earth like world with a full compliment of wild life, plants and animals. The Bio-chemistry is conventional when compared to the Earth. The Gannao-people are conventional humans by all measures. They can be traced as a different linneage than Earth humans by Mitochondrial DNA, but otherwise they are identical.
Game Role: A source for Old fashioned Pulp Sci Fi heroes, a mirror on the evolution of the concept of the "Good Guys" Imagine the Federation written in 1953.
World Role: A Minor Human empire on the Fringe of the frontier.
Relative Influence: Compared to other Fulcrum region powers above average - only the Fulcrum and the Kaa have more direct influence
Compared to the Federation and the Romulan Empire - Miniscule.
Public or Secret?: Public
Publicly Stated Goal: To advance the cause of The Good and Civilization
Relative Wealth: Compared to an Individual Immense - they can afford a sizable starfleet and armed forces
Compared to other Fulcrum Empires Above average - arguable equal to the Kaa and Corporate Sector
Compared to the Federation or the Romulan Empire - Small fry
Group advantages: Agents and allies of the United Planets can expect good materiel support and quick back up under most circumstances
Special Abilities: A plethora of Steely Sinewed, ice blue eye, cleft chined heroes.
Group disadvantages: Considered prejudiced, arrogant and Jingoistic
Special disadvantages: Even their friends are working to limit their influence.
Those who favor them: Rivals and allies who don't want to be eaten by the Kaa - Humanophiles who think Humans are cool, despite their flaws.
Those opposed to them: The Kaa and people who suspect that humans would be just as bad if they didn't have the Kaa to limit them.
Area of Operation: The Fulcrum Sector, -15 to--16/5 on the map.
Headquarters Location: Bertala City, West Azarlan Continent, Planet Gannao
Public Face: Steely eyed, cleft chinned Two fisted Defenders of the Good.
Population: 8 billion humans; 2 billion Sparrials; A smattering of other races common to the Fulcrum region.
Culture: The Culture of the United Planets thinks of itself as an Advanced technocratic meritocracy and describes itself that way. In reality there is a vivid underlying current of sexism and racism. Humans of the pale pink variety are considered superior by default, and males superior to females.
There is also an underlying arrogance to UP culture - until recently they felt that they were the highest evolution of human culture. An Gannoan individual will seem friendly enough, but casually assumes that men are the boss. He will have a default patronizing attitude towards women. If shown by example that women and aliens are his equal, the Gannoan will smile and knuckle down to exceed them.
Individual Gannoans have outgrown this attitude and enjoy being present to snicker then their less introspective fellows smash into the unreality of their assumptions.
Although well traveled Gannoans are usually experienced enough at least to doubt their cultural biases - the government of the UP is made up of parochial and self satisfied members of Gannoan society - and their prejudice is fossilized in government policy.
Women are prohibited from many "Dangerous" fields (Combat pilot, Army and Marine ground combat positions) and are considered to be less accomplished than male colleagues as a matter of course.
Although technically integrated - the number of non-caucasian males as a proportion of the government and military drops rapidly as one climbs higher in the command structures.
This has often lead accomplished female and non-white scientists and military people to leave the UP and seek employment in the corporate sector, the Shin hegemony, the Fulcrum forces and other places. These people are largely considered tragically "bitter" and "disloyal"
Languages: The Lingua Franca of the UP is Azarlan - a Language developed on the West Azarlan Continent by the People of the Union of Azarla.
This language is also the lingua franca of the Corporate sector. The Shin hegemnony has had to adopt it, perforce - as have the other races of the Fulcrum. You may not speak the language of that aliens' planet, but it's a safe bet that the both of you speak Azarlan for trade purposes.
There are several Languages on Gannao, but they are rare and kept alive mainly by scholars interest groups and history buffs.
The native Sparrial language is all but extinct - the Sparials didn't see much point to it after they picked up Azarlan.
Government: The United Planets is a multistate coalition of governments founded in 2275. It descends from the Assembly of Nations on Gannao. The Assembly of Nations on Gannao was a multi-state peacekeeping and negotiation body founded after the "Great War".
It is largely unspoken that the nation called the Union of Azarla ran the Assembly of Nations following a century long campaign using economic and diplomatic as well and military tactics to reduce rivals for power and influence on Gannao. Political pbservers take it for granted that the descendants of the same power structure run the modern United Planets.
The Union of Azarla was founded when multifarious colonies on the huge Western Azarlan Continent banded together to fight their home nations for independence.
This war for independence, and the Great War which set up the ascendency of the Union of Azarla are revered in the history of the Union of Azarla, the Assembly of Nations and the United Planets.
Most governments that participate in the United Planets Assembly are representative democracies to one degree or another. They use variations on a post-Azarlan democratic regime which is actually pretty workable. however the Azarlan Union has not enacted these reforms yet and shows no sign of wanting to.
In theory the United Planets has Universal Suffrage, however, in the UP it is widely believed that females or people of darker skin tones are less able to rule and so they are rarely elected and still less often successful.
Each nation (or independence planetary colony) sends a representative to the UP assembly. these people vote on matters affecting the UP as a whole and range various committees which make recommendations back to the main body for voting.
The UP assembly has a "court of review" which functions as a supreme court hearing appeals on cases from the various national supreme courts. Their mandate is in the area of interstellar law nd relations.
The UP assembly has a President - the assembly elects one of their own to act as chairman, agenda controller and to nominate people to the Assembly to fill other posts
There is a "Supreme Commander - United Planets Military." This post is appointed by the Assembly President, and over sees the command and coordination of all UP military forces.
The Judges on the "Court of Review" and the "Supreme Commander" serve life time appointments or until the voluntarily step down (Or unless convicted of wrong doing, but this has never happened.)
Economy: Gannao preaches free trade, but is, in fact a mercantilist state. Corporations that advance UP national interests thrive. Businesses that have little effect one way or the other are treated with benign neglect.
The United Planets is a conventionally arranged economy, and uses a fiat currency the UP Credit.
This economic model is about maxed out in its present condition and shows the strain of trying to manage trade and economic growth over 100 different nations of various sizes on Gannao and colonies on 12 Class M worlds.
The economy of the up is showing strain and knowledgeable experts predict an on coming collapse.
The UP is currently studying the Federation's economic model, with severe misgivings. UP residents have an emotional reaction to the Federation's style of Economy, calling it "Communalism."
Apparently the Union of Azala and its allies confronted a nation that espoused a "Communalist" philosophy during the century long campaign for dominance of the Assembly of Nations. That nation broke up and balkanized towards the end of the century long conflict paving the way for Azarlan dominance.
Although there are major technical differences between the Federations energy accounting system and the old "Communalism" - many residents of the UP find the idea uncomfortable.
The idea is especially unpopular in the upper escutcheons of the UPs mercantilist elite - they see the Federation system as a way to undercut mercantilism and weaken their position as rulers of the UP - this is, in fact true - but the Federation system is more stable in the long run and better able to handle the demands of a space going state.)
Military: The Military of the UP descends from the Military alliance that won the Great War and set up the Assembly of Nations.
The Assembly was to be able to call on member states to form peacekeeping forces. To avoid threats to any one nation's sovereignty, these forces were to be national forces on loan to the assembly.
This scheme had hits and misses - when the Assembly itself was the scene of a contest for control it was usually stalemated and rendered useless. Until the Communalist block disintegrated. Then with Union of Azarla dominance assured the Assembly of nations began to function as it was intended - although never in ways Azarla disapproved of.
Later the Assembly of nations was granted a small force to act as command and control in order to coordinate national forces on loan to the Assembly. Officers on detached duty from their home services began to serve as Assembly Officers.
The 2210 - 2260 age of Exploration Azarla undertook strained relations with the other nations of the Assembly - knowing that Azarla would not share their found galactic technology with them. They banded together many times to try and force Azarla to make it's technology and space infrastructure available to all equally through the Assembly of Nations - Azarla used bureaucratic maneuvers and stubborn obfuscation to delay this process.
When the war with the Shin Hegemony began, Azarla found itself over stretched and came to her allies for Aid.
Under pressure from her allies the Azarlan space program was largely turned over to the Assembly of Nations. A new charter was written up and 6 large Azarlan Colonies were granted independence and seats at the Assembly of Nations.
The process was completed in 2275. The new United Planets Assembly took the lead in Gannao's space presence, and space defense with troops provided by member states or recruited from the general population.
The United Planets Defense Force is organized through a Supreme Commander who has authorization from the United Planets assembly and must report to over site committees in the Assembly.
The Supreme Commander is nominated by the President. However, to avoid politics it's a life time appointment. Although Supreme Commanders can, in theory, be impeached for crimes while on duty.
Supreme Commanders have stepped down following military defeats. It is now considered appropriate for defeated supreme commanders to resign. Although each nation in the UP assembly is entitled to maintain any military forces it considers warranted and appropriate, the Space forces are arranged and held in common by the UP assembly. The UP assembly has authorized the Supreme commander to issue warrants and commissions for officers and generally do what he needs to do to ensure the UP is protected militarily from rivals in space.
Although the UP space Force is considered the backbone of the defense of the United Planets, each member nation may have as much or as little military of it's own as it feels warranted. Smaller states have very little, many make do with disaster relief forces and emergency peacekeeping forces.
The Union of Azarla makes a point of having a military that equals the force available to the UP assembly, due to residual jingoistic paranoia. However this does come in handy during war time, when national forces reinforce the UP.
The UP forces and their mirrored Azarlan force are composed of capital ships for space superiority, smaller ships for escort and patrol duties, fighters for fire support and ground assault, and landers intended to allow the Army and Marines of the United Planets to put boots on the ground.
The UP has adequate ground forces but often calls upon special units from member states for special missions or for extra man power.
The forces of the UP Space force have been honed in battle several times, most recently against their traditional enemy the Kaa. Their tactics, equipment and training are as good as technology allows.
The UP space forces all told are about 7,500 ships and 9,000,000 ground troops
- General Jo Bertala, Leader of the Coalition of Azarla which won it's freedom from the Old Kingdoms of the East.
- General Thal Milar, Supreme Commander of the Grand Alliance Centered on Azarla during the Great war, and Later President of the Union of Azarla.
- President Nor Relan, President when the Union of Azarla discovered their cache of galactic technology - he authorized the secret projects to reverse engineer the technology, and the subsequent space exploration program which took the Union of Azarla to several nearby worlds.
- Ambassador Jon Steele, Ambassador of the UP to Fulcrum Station in 2373 and 2374 when the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire petitioned for membership in the Fulcrum project. Steele initially advocated against allowing the huge alien empires into the Fulcrum, and in initial voting rounds he voted against membership. Later Steele changed his mind and voted for the member ship. Steele was a fighter pilot during the 2362 - 2366 war against the Kaa.
- An-Phar: The An Phar found themselves alternately courted and threatened by the Shin Hegemony and the United Planets - each wants the An-Phar to join its side against it's rival. The An-Phar quickly discovered, with the help of human refugees how to play one side off against the other, and quickly began building up planetary defenses.
The An-Phar Like humanity but are puzzled by its factionalism and internal rivalry. The An Phar have never behaved this way with each other.
The An Phar can be relied upon to try to negotiate stable treaties and cease fires among the humans.
Privately the An-Phar bristle at the Shin Hegemony and the UP - each casually assumes it's superiority and assumes that eventually the An=Phar will come to see the natural superiority of the Shin or the UP way.
The An-Phar are enthusiastic supporters of the Fulcrum project
- MMM: (See GURPS Aliens Pg 112) MMM didn't know much about anything when it was encountered by UP explorers. Early on it took the UP point of view to heart directly and did it's best to uphold that. As time has gone on and MMM has become more galaxy-Wise - MM will turn to it's friends Among the An-Phar, the Fasanni, the Gerodans and others for a more detailed view.
MMM is a member of the United Planets and has a seat on the UP assembly. Lately it has asked for, and gotten seats on the rules committee, and the ethics committee. A request for a seat on the Budget and military over sight committee was not granted.
- Sparrials: Much of the Sparrial Culture simply laid down and died when the Union of Azarla colonized their world. The Sparrials have almost no consciousness of themselves as a race, consequently, Sparrial language, history, art and mythology was all dropped like a hot potato when the Sparrials were presented with the Azarlan Language, science and technology.
Similarly - The Union of Azarla colonists took it upon themselves to raise the barbaric Sparrials to civilization - and the Sparrials cheerfully let them do it. Now humans run the infrastructure, most schools and administration duties. Individual Sparrials make good teachers, but few (if any) of them make good school administrators.
Soon, every job on the planet that bored a Sparrial was taken by a human. New arrivals on the Sparrial Home world worry about this. Humans who know Sparrials know that Sparrials are just wired different.
Sparrials make great free lance technicians, journalists, explorers, scientists and investigators. They suck at anything that requires a chain of command - they are too individualistic and anarchic to last in any human military structure.
They can and do form special ops groups and starship crews, but these always look haphazard to human eyes and are always temporary in nature.
The Sparrial Home world is a member of the UP and has a seat in the UP Assembly - however it doesn't actually represent many Sparrials - during elections, every Sparrial votes for himself.
Sparrials make enthusiastic space explorers and civil starship crews. Sparrials cheerfully ignore national borders and go where the urge takes them.
- Shin Hegemony: The Shin Hegemony is in many ways a mirror image of the UP, although both sides would disagree vehemently.
For years the Gannoans and the Shin considered each other mortal enemies and actually seemed to enjoy framing the galaxy as an intra-human struggle for dominance.
Once the Kaa appeared and seemed bent on dominating, enslaving and eating all humanity, as well as their friends - the Shin Hegemony and the UP quickly allied and joined to fight the aliens.
Although they compete for political and economic influence just as hotly as ever actual war between the two is off the table - that would just set them up to be devoured by the Kaa.
- Corporate Sector: (See GURPS Space Atlas 2) The Corporate Sector is viewed as a renegade and rebellious faction of the UP by the UP. This has lead to bitter propaganda and heavy regulation of the interaction of the two entities.
However - when the Corporate sector allies with the Shin Hegemony, then the power of both the Shin and the Corporate governments expands rapidly. When the UP relaxes its hostile and regulatory stance - then they get to play in the economic growth as well.
Publicly, the UP frets and worries about the people in the Corporate sector, being dominated by "Soulless and greed driven" corporations, and whether residents of to Corporate colonies are having their civil rights respected.
Privately UP officials admit that the Corporate sector has escaped the rule of the UP and will not likely be brought back under control any time soon. Many UP executives are stock holders in the Corporate sector.
- Fasani: (See Gurps Aliens Pg 44) The Fasanni, like the An-Phar refused to take sides in the Shin/UP struggle. Although Fasanni reporters, commentators and comedians are popular in the UP - the Fasanni have pointed out some of the hypocrisy and prejudice inherent in the UP - and so are generally labelled "Liberals" and disregarded in matters of politics.
- Gerodans: (See GURPS Aliens Pg 48) The Gerodans are essentially a client race of the Shin hegemony. Humans occasionally travel to the Gerodan homeworld to learn "Wisdom". The Gerodan homeworld is the home of several intentionally difficult to reach temples where humans are lead to meditate in ascetic conditions and to other things preparatory to gaining wisdom.
The Gerodans make their philosophies and thoughts available to everyone, but human seekers weren't happy unless a quest and some physical harship was involved.
The UP considers Gerodan Philosophy and Pacifism to be esoteric, weird and mysterious - subconsciously most UP natives suspect that gerodans can do magic. But since it's patently alien and impractical, Gerodan Philosophy is not terribly practical in UP life.
- Kaa:(See GURPS Aliens Pg 64) The Kaa are now the UPs favorite enemy. War against the Kaa is romanticized, approved of and generally supported. Gannoans love to see images of their heroic troops blasting the snot out of the Kaa - when the Kaa go on the attack, the UP bands together in patriotic fervor. When the UP goes on the attack against the Kaa, flag sales go up.
Fasanni observers point out that the Kaa and the Humans seem to enjoy bringing out the worst in each other.
UP commentators point out that many, many fewer UP citizens consider Fasanni good to eat.
- Kronin: Most UP civilians see the Kronin as junior partners and side kicks of the Kaa. The truth is that when UP generals and Admiral see Kronin forces opposing them they become grim. Casualties from such battles are usually pretty bad. The Kronin are always out numbered but cause disproportionate casualties among opposing forces.
The UP would love to move the Kronin diplomatically, but the Kronin receive such proposals coolly. They know that the UP would love to turn the Kronin into their own junior partner.
- Marquan The UP had adopted a faction on Marquan and is aiding them the way the Federation is aiding Queen Liona. However Liona has successfully counter balanced this play. Although the Pro UP Marquani faction is benefiting handsomely from UP aid - they will will wind up puppets of the UP and roadblocks on the way to planetary unity.
By diplomatic agreement - the UP can use DS14 as a way station on their way to the Federation.
- Federation: The UP sees the UFP as a kindred organization and a kindred soul. Once it finally occurs to Federation people what sort of biases the UP natives carry, they react poorly, confusing the Gannoans.
Earth people rarely get to say much, since Federation natives from other planets will often point out that Gannao's current set of archaic prejudices are oddly familiar...
The Federation is trying to encourage the UP towards more civil rights and a more open society. The United Planets is trying to sign a mutual defense treaty with the UFP - so far there has been minor movement.
Non-Caucasian people and Women from Gannao are starting to hear word of a place where ethnicity and gender are largely ignored - and so a brain-drain has started from the UP towards the UFP. The UP doesn’t really notice this and the UFP is too desperate for competent people to stop it.
- Romulans: The UP looks at the Romulan Empire and becomes even more grim. They'd been 4 weeks of hard fighting and a fairly strenuous occupation for the Romulan Empire. And the Empire has let them know this. UP battlecruisers and carriers are hopeless against D'Deridex class warbirds and they have no hope of breaking the Romulan Cloak. The ruling elite of the UP see this as a very definite threat. Some inside the UP see this as a challenge.
The Romulan Ambassador to the Fulcrum enjoys hassling the Federation Ambassador by claiming he can see no difference between the UP and the UFP.
- Orions:The Orion Syndicate has made surreptitious approaches to the UP and has found a criminal under ground completely willing to do business, and an intelligence community suspicious, but desperate.
Trading on this desperation, Orion smuggling has stepped up smuggling into the UP, and pirate attacks are becoming more common in the area.
- The Fulcrum: The UP was the last of the Human Empires to sign on to the Fulcrum project. Originally they saw it s a way to move the center of gravity of intra-human politics away from the Gannao-Shin axis. And this was not to their liking, the ultimate goal of the UP is to make Gannao the center of known space.
However it was pointed out that The Original Assembly of Nations was a peaceful method for diplomatic and economic domination of Gannao and that the Fulcrum could well fill the same function. besides, most of the other Empires in the region had already signed on, so it was join or be left behind.
So the UP eventually, reluctantly signed aboard the Fulcrum project. Many Gannoans view the Fulcrum with suspicion, and form conspiracy theories about how the Fulcrum is out to over write and destroy UP sovereignty. The addition of the Federation and the Romulans to the Fulcrum have just set these people off worse.
However the Fulcrum helped the various people of the Fulcrum region fend off two concerted Attempts by the Kaa to conquer the area, and so the rulers of the UP quietly admit that the Fulcrum is here to stay.
- the Ancient past: A stellar empire grows decadent, corrupt and then tears itself apart in civil war - humans in the region descend into primativism.
- 1999 - 2012: The Coalition of Azarla fights the Kindoms of the East on Gannao, winning it's independence
- 2021: The Coalition of Azarla is superceded by the Union of Azarla under a stronger, centralized constitutional government.
- 2128: The Great War on Gannao Begins
- 2130: The Grand Alliance of Gannao coalesces around the Union of Azarla.
- 2135: The end of the "Great War" on Gannao, Competing power structures vie for control of the planet - two Power Structures - Colonialists and Authoritarians are eliminated from the contest. Mercantilists and Communitarians square off. The Gannao Assembly of Nations is founded.
- 2205: The Union of Azarla on Gannao discovers a cache of galactic technology.
- 2210: Azarla begins limited space exploration
- 2214: Azarlan space explorers contact the Planet Shin
- 2235: The Union of Azarla on Gannao has vanquished all opposition, replacing unfriendly governments with pliable client states - The Assembly of Nations on Gannao becomes an Azarlan rubber stamp and eventually the de facto world government.
- 2225 - 2240: Ideological refugees, fleeing Azarlan domination of Gannao arrive on Shin - those that do not swear fealty to Emperor Walu Shin are tortured for their technological secrets - those that DO swear fealty are expected to help upgrade Shin's technology base, voluntarily - by any means necessary.
- 2235 - 2310: An "Age of Exploration" for humans with Gannao and Shin explorers contacting many of the races that will become their eventual allies, clients and opponents.
- 2260: The first Gannao/Shin war over planet Beela. The Gannao establish space superiority but discover that conquering an unwilling population across interstellar distances is all but impossible.
- 2270: Shin struggles mightily and establishes near technological Parity with the Gannao. This is aided by Gannoa based mega corporations who, having saturated markets at home, seek to expand into new economic niches in on Shin and her colonies.
- 2275: Gannao and several colonies form the "United Planets" based on the structure of the Gannao Assembly of Nations. The existing power structure subsumes the new government. This new structure launches a crackdown on "rogue corporations" that do business with the Shin.
- 2280: Corporations who prefer to do business anywhere they please have formed "The Corporate sector" a group of colonies from which they can do business on their own terms. They are initially backed by the Shin, but then rifts form when the Corporates refuse to accept dominance by the Shin.
- 2285: - onward - Weak Shin Heirs lead to colonization and the spread of neo-feudalism in the Shin hegemony - strong rulers can rally the nobles to their banner, but often these nobles fight among themselves for dominance - except when they need to fend off the United Planets.
- 2310 - 2318: Contact between the Shin and the Kaa leads to a Kaa invasion - The UP and the Corporate sectors rally to defend the Shin and drive off the Kaa - the first of many Human/Kaa wars.
- 2349 - The Fasanni first propose the Fulcrum
- 2350: The An Phar and the Gerodans signed on the Fulcrum project. They join the Fasanni in lobbying heavily for it.
- 2355: Construction of the Fulcrum started
- 2362 - 2366: The "big one" Kaa/Human war - the Fulcrum becomes an allied base for much of that war - but returns to neutrality to negotiate a peace.
- 2373: the United Federation of Planets contacts the Fulcrum. The Romulan Star Empire contacts the Fulcrum not long afterwards. (ST-OM Prometheus Quest) A second major Kaa/Alliance war occurs.
- 2374: The UFP and the Romulan Star Empire become signatories and participants in the Fulcrum Project.