The Akrian Hegemony, or as they prefer to call themselves: “The Six Independent Cantons”, is many things to many people. Some see the Hegemony as a brilliant beacon of prosperity and growth without sacrificing Liberty and Freedom, a place where a man or woman can go and truly make something of themselves without the interference or shackles of the over bureaucratized and bloated governments of other nations. Others see the Hegemony as a dark blemish of corporate corruption and greed, a place where unregulated enterprise reigns free to do as they please without control or intervention by regulating forces.
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ABOUT THE AKRIAN HEGEMONY
While neither of these statements are exactly true, neither is exactly false. The Hegemony can be stand-offish and unwelcoming to outsiders, a place where one must take it upon themselves to accomplish their goals and where motivations are often driven by self interest rather than a sense of common good. One should also never expect an over abundance of altruism from the people of the Cantons as it is usually expected that people should take care of themselves rather than rely on the good graces of others.
Yet the Hegemony is also undeniably a place of prosperity. Even the poorest Cantonian lives a life which in most other nations would be considered comfortably middle class, and the Hegemony boasts the highest percentage of private ownership of space worthy vessels per-capita in the whole of known Human space.
The people of the Six Cantons are fiercely independent and pride themselves on their resourcefulness and openness to new ideas and practices as well as their entrepreneurial spirit.
Mercenaries and smugglers, businessmen and adventurers, merchants and pirates, the Akrian Hegemony is the place to be for those willing to take life by the horns and forge their own destiny.
The term “Hegemony” is defined as “leadership or dominance, especially by one country or social group over others” and was first used to refer to the Six Cantons in the 2900’s, shortly after the completion of the Corporate merger of the Akrian based Therun Industries and the Avalonian based Royal Exports Inc. It was used as a derogatory word to insult the heavily corporitized nature of Akrian society and how, at the time, it seemed to be moving in the direction of a small handful of super-monopolies who would control all business and trade in the region. This “Monopolistic age” lasted for 70 years before a massive recession broke up the super monopolies and the mass privatization re-created the chaotic “Cloud” of small businesses the Akrian peoples love. Despite this break up, the term “Hegemony” has remained, although the derogatory aspect of the title has subsided over the years. Today most people living within the Six Cantons prefer to call themselves “Cantonians” and are extremely proud of their independence and individuality.
THE CANTON OF AKRIA
The core of the Six Cantons, Akria is arguably the largest trading hub in the galaxy. The “Capital” is the Moon Akros, which orbits the planet Akria. Most of the population of the Canton is space based and most of the planets are home to large farms, small towns, luxury resorts and Corporate offices among other things. The Canton of Akria is home to many of the Hegemony’s largest and most prestigious Corporations and business and Akria itself holds humanity’s largest marketplace, the “Great Market of Akria,” an open air market stretching over a thousand square kilometers of the planets surface.
THE CANTON OF AVALON
Prestigious and glorious, Avalon sits as the center of art, literature, and culture within the Hegemony. Home to some of the finest opera houses and concert halls in the galaxy, the Canton of Avalon has a long and storied history of being thinkers, creators, artists, and philosophers. Once a proud Kingdom similar to Eringard and Bravia, the Canton of Avalon was brought into the Hegemonic-fold after the Akrian intervention in the Avalonia-Pretorian war (also known as the “Afrikaans Wars”). The King was forced to step down as head of state but the title of “King of the Avalonians” remains and the current King is one of the wealthiest men in the Canton if not the entire Hegemony.
THE CANTON OF NEW CANAAN
Established by Mormon settlers, New Canaan would likely have stayed as nothing more than a simple Agro-Religious cloister had it not been for two events. First, the arrival of the Greogo Pirates and secondly the founding of Sampson and Sons. The Greogo Pirates pillaged the worlds of New Canaan for more than 60 years before the Akrians arrived and offered to “take care” of the piracy problem for a fee, but it was Sampson and Sons who put them on the map. Today New Canaan is called “The Armory of the Galaxy” as weapons-plants, and testing grounds churn out new and exciting ways to fight and win wars at a staggering pace. Today New Canaan is the center for weapons research and development
THE CANTON OF LANCASTER
A simple and quiet community of Agricultural worlds and farming companies. The planet Lancaster alone is know to produce more food in a year than many systems can in a decade. The people of Lancaster are humble, quiet folk who are proud of their ability to live off the land despite the technological wonders filling the universe around them.
THE CANTON OF OUTREMER
The crazy religious fanatics of the Hegemony; No one in the Cantons particularly likes them but they keep to themselves mostly. Additionally they don’t speak the same language as anyone else in the Hegemony and to add to the oddities, their Canton also includes a neutron star and a pulsar. Everything about the Canton of Outremer is considered weird and even people from the other cantons don’t like them very much.
THE CANTON OF PRETORIA
Pretoria was originally founded by African settlers from South Africa, Nambia, Angola, and Botswana. They are a proud and noble people but their early days in the stars were filled with struggle and pain. Harassed by pirates, harassed by Avalon, and lacking a major termini to their space, Pretoria would likely have simply fallen off the map were it not for their sheer tenacity. The Afrikaans war changed everything. Despite being technologically and numerically inferior to the Avalonians, the Pretorians managed to hold them off for two years before the strain of war finally brought them to the breaking point. It was only with the intervention of the Akrians that saved the Pretorians but by then they had earned the respect of the Akrians, Avalonians, and all who witnessed them.
“Election day in the Hegemony is a bit of a festive season for us.
Who am I going to vote for? Hah, myself of course!”
-Paul Shimazu, Citizen of New Carolina
The term “The Government of the six Cantons”, is a bit of a joke in many circles both inside and outside of the Hegemony. While there is technically a government, it has remained vacant for nearly 500 years. The head of state for the Hegemony is of course, the Hegemon. A position which is part president, part chief arbitrator, and part referee and in the eyes of many in the Hegemony, fully unnecessary. The last Hegemon was Richard O’Connell, a man who unfortunately oversaw the worst Economic depression in the history of the Six Cantons and despite his best efforts, was unable to alleviate the problem before receiving a vote of ‘no confidence’ from the Corporate Council. With O’Connell gone, the council set to work attempting to get the market back on track, and 15 years later, they succeeded.
To this day, the ‘position’ of Hegemon still exists, but no one has managed to win enough support to actually achieve said position. The Office of the Hegemon sits empty, and it is unlikely to be filled any time soon. Still, every five years the people of the Hegemony come together to vote for the next Hegemon, and in the greatest mockery of democracy, nearly everyone votes for themselves, or a fictional character, or in the case of Avalon: voting for the King of Avalon.
Beneath the Hegemon in the “governmental hierarchy”, are the Polemarchs. The Polemarchs are a hybrid of local law enforcement official and trade arbitrator. The position of Polemarch is a temporary one, usually only existing for a few years before the position is handed off to someone else. One of the major tasks assigned to the Polemarch, is organization and command of the local militia forces and any vigilante posies which may be organized to hunt down a criminal. It is the role of the Polemarch to take a prominent position in the defense of his or her canton in the event of a major pirate raid, or invasion from without.
The real power and authority in the Hegemony rests not with either the Office of the Hegemon or the Polemarchs, instead it lies within the halls of the Corporate Council. The Council is a constantly changing and morphing entity who’s membership and catalog of bylaws and agreements change daily. Currently there are approximately 120,000 individual corporations sitting on the Council as full members with an additional 30,000 companies as sit in observers. Membership into the council is not required to do business in the Hegemony but it is considered polite for outside businesses to have representative observers present. All a company has to do to get a seat on the council is simply to ask for a seat as there are no requirements for entry, and as all Akrian citizens are effectively their own corporation, any citizen may simply walk into the chamber halls and take a seat.
The Corporate Council building covers a massive ten square kilometers of the surface of the planet Akria with additional halls ranging in size from five square kilometers to just two. Council sessions are held every six hours, and it is expected that any corporation wishing to be all every meeting, have multiple representatives. It is also not uncommon for there to be multiple sessions running at the same time, with the current record for highest number of simultaneous sessions sitting at fifteen with the longest running single session lasting two weeks.
There are eight arbitration companies contracted to arbitrate disputes in the Council and mediation is sometimes necessary as discussions and debates can often become heated. There are also three security companies contracted to provide security for the Council halls, although private security personnel are permitted as body guards and guardians of the various offices and suits of the representatives.
THE MERCENARY ARMY AND MERCHANT MILITIA
“Need someone dead?”
The Hegemony has no formal military in the standard sense. In place of a standing Army, Navy, or Marine Corpse, the Cantons are defended by a loosely organized entity which today is referred to as “The Militia”. The term is fairly appropriate as “The Militia” is more a collection of various different smaller entities rather than any kind of unified organization. In theory the Militia is effectively a full strength fighting force, but in reality the Militia is more of a massive blunt object.