Tijian Expanse

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The Tijian Expanse is an empire located spinward of the Pirian Domain and coreward of the Zhodani Consulate.

  • It is near the very edge of Charted Space.
  • While it is officially part of the Tijian Khaganate, conditions are rather different in the Expanse. This, in addition to its tenuous linkage to the Khaganate, means that for most practical purposes it is a separate polity that has sworn fealty to the Khaganate.

Astronavigational Codes[edit]

Polity Astronavigational Codes
Polity Survey Code Type Remarks
Tijian Expanse Pre-Imperial TijE No standard code None
Tijian Expanse 1st Survey (300) TE 2-ltr code None
Tijian Expanse 2nd Survey (1065) TiEx 4-ltr code None

NOTES: The Expanse was unknown to the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service until 1104, but following standard practice, the above codes were retroactively added upon the Expanse's discovery.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

A human minor race polity unknown to Charted Space until 1104, occupying several worlds in the subsectors immediately spinward of the Pirian Domain. A single person, the khan, rules the entire polity in the name of the khagan, who remains in the Tijian Khaganate.

As of 1105, it has been less than a century since any of these worlds were colonized. Some of the colonies have failed and been re-established, always with around 1,000 people. Some have succeeded, attracting further colonists, but all of the systems have Population UWP codes of 3 or 4. They are essentially mining and agricultural colonies, focused on survival and growth.

The Pirian Domain officially protests these colonies, and has tried actively removing colonists only to see the worlds recolonized within 5 years. What attention the Domain can spare from other crises is mostly spent seeking to find out how colonists and supplies keep passing between the Expanse and the Khaganate, a mystery they do not fully understand until the 1200s.

Culture & Society (Ethnology)[edit]

The Expanse has been described as "frontier writ large", and "a bunch of colonies in a (mostly) friendly competition to grow fast". At every turn, measures and facilities are makeshift and focused on basic needs. Mining - on-planet and, where spaceships are available, belt - is the dominant industry, so far as worlds with less than a million sophonts can be said to have industries, followed by agriculture and construction.

Exacerbating this is the fact that colonies are expected to pay off their costs of colonization, and then some to support less successful colonies. This principally takes the form of mining more ore than the colony can use, and waiting for freighters to come by to haul away the excess in batches of 500 tons. Radioactive ore is especially valued for export, so colonies make as minimal use of radioactives as they can.

Particularly successful colonies are rewarded with additional factories and/or colonists. This is a mixture of resources "purchased" from the value of these exports, and of administrators from Buudal deeming that a colony is ready for more. This can be particularly disruptive when a thousand colonists suddenly arrive with no warning, and no food or expanded agricultural production to support them; fortunately, they tend to arrive in low berths, and can be awakened after the colony's farms have expanded sufficiently.

As high growth is desired, four children for every two parents is the requested average, and most couples comply. (Many go for five or six, to balance those who do not or can not have children.) Assuming no early deaths, all adults reproducing, and no additional colonists, this would result in doubling a colony's population roughly every 33 years, or an eightfold increase every century. However, all those interfering factors do occur (and no colony in the Expanse is a century old as of 1105), shredding planners' projections. Cloning equipment has been considered to expand the number of colonists, but there is a strong preference for traditional child rearing, and the present arrangements are seen as taking approximately the maximum tolerable percentage of workers away from agricultural and industrial jobs.

All capable adults are expected to work. There is no concept of retirement save for buying passage to the Tijian Khaganate, most often to Tijia. Former miners who lose strength in their old age move on to other tasks; the stereotype (common enough in truth to become one despite the low population) is agriculture (overseeing other labor or directly participating), which some venerate by calling it "preparing to become one with the dirt". (The cultural overtones are roughly, "Ore may be exported, people may leave, but the dirt - and by extension, anyone who dies and is buried in it - will always be a part of this colony. Unlike someone who wants to retire in the Khaganate, this person is committing to being with us forever.")

As an example of who they venerate, there is a common song about a woman who takes a mining boat on weekly runs (fans have calculated this is a 200-ton boat with a laser drill, returning 100-150 tons of ore per week from already-surveyed asteroids) and, as the song puts it, "mines" her husband on the weekends. She spends more time pregnant than not, takes a month off each time to give birth, then brings her newborn with her for about 6 months before letting her husband raise the child the rest of the way. According to some versions of the song, she paid off the ship just in time to see her firstborn graduate primary education, and only then realized what a large family she had. She passed the ship on to younger hands so she could spend more time with her children and had no more, finding bliss with her existing family. While the song does not explicitly say this, she is celebrated as a hero because she devoted her life to contributing to her colony in multiple ways.

(There is in fact an old mining instructor on Ergyl, who runs an intensive one-year mining apprenticeship program that uses no more than day-long trips so everyone can go home at night - though the apprentices are required to sleep on board toward the end, duration increasing from one night to four in a row, to make sure they can handle it - happily married with over a dozen children, who claims the boat she first mined in was lost after she handed it off and the currently manufactured mining boats are an upgrade of the design she flew. She does not publicly comment on whether she was the subject of the song (and her husband the songwriter, who composed it to celebrate her career change to instructor), but evidence suggests this is the case.)

Goods are transported in standardized 500 ton containers - long and roughly hemicylindrical, with a flat back that rests on the ground. Most colonial buildings are standardized around this form factor; for instance, the initial housing module has 168 6-person habitats packed into its walls, in 28 rows of 6 (3 stacked vertically to a side), yielding imagery often likened to piglets and a sow or to an orderly bush. Any building with a different form factor is almost certainly locally made, and a status symbol to its residents or workers, though there are several who prefer the standardized buildings.

Few of the Expanse worlds have an untainted standard atmosphere. Most have domed their settlements (with doubly or triply redundant dome layers, the inner layer quickly manufactured shortly after arrival, the rest added over time), in addition to keeping their buildings sealed and connected for use as shelters should the domes fail. These domes will typically have airlocks sized for vehicles (also used by people on foot), and one airlock through which a standardized 500 ton container - or most 100 or 200 ton spaceships and starships, as well as smallcraft - can pass through; this larger airlock is considered part of the colony's downport. On worlds with such domes, all colonists except for the youngest children are expected to know how to use vacc suits. When the colony wishes to claim more area, more dome material is constructed, then much of the colony participates in erecting the extension in a "domeraising", typically planned and scheduled for a week to a month in advance while the material is fabricated, then choreographed to completion (at least to having an intact dome with air being purified) over the span of a few hours.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

This polity is the result of a massive "system grab" by the Tijian Khaganate. Ever since the Pirian Domain met the Solomani Preserve in 1, the Domain had agreed to the Preserve's request to maintain a buffer of barren worlds rimward of the Domain and Preserve, to prevent the polities of Charted Space from encroaching. This left several worlds in Datsatl Sector unused. The Tijian Khaganate had long eyed these worlds for colonization, but the Domain had blocked their attempts.

In the early 1000s, Tijia achieved TL-16 and began construction of prototype hop drive ships to jump over the Pirians' blockade. The project was highly directed, leading some to suspect the Khaganate was reproducing artifacts; ironically, when the Empress Wave arrived a few decades later and knocked back Tijia's effective technology level, these ships themselves would become artifacts by certain definitions, even if the "precursor" civilization was extremely recent In 1047, as the Empress Wave was passing what would become Buudal and entering the Pirian Domain (which was expected to disrupt their interdiction for a couple decades), colonists and support modules were readied for transit, finally shipped to Buudal in 1048 From there, other worlds were colonized, staying behind the Wave and self-limiting to a Jump-2 main so the worlds would be able to trade internally with self-built ships, reserving the hop drive ships for trade with the Khaganate (and allowing for self-sufficiency should the prototype ships all break down before TL-16 could be restored).

The ideal of quickly establishing a bunch of self-sustaining colonies ran headlong into the reality of colonization being difficult. The Khaganate believed mightily in its khagan, but Tiji was busy back home. Colonists have had to be independent of the khagan, yet community-minded enough to work with those around them, to survive. As of 1105, a sizable fraction (usually the majority) of colonists on most colonies have never been to any non-Expanse Khaganate world Keeping this fraction in check is one reason for the occasional introduction of new colonists to colonies that can grow to support them.

Technology & Trade: 1105[edit]

The overwhelming limitation on technology is, if the Expanse can not manufacture it locally, it must be imported in the standardized 500-ton modules. If it does not fit, it does not ship.

One of the consequences comes in starships. Of all the worlds in the Expanse, as of 1105 only Buudal is able to construct spaceships (and a few smaller starships), so most starships must be imported. Only 100 and 200 ton starships can usually fit in the modules, and often times even those must be broken down for shipment, then reassembled on Buudal. (The common Type S class Scout/Courier and Beowulf class Free Trader designs, for instance, are too tall and would need to be broken down.) It is possible to design larger ships - up to 500 tons - specifically to fit in the modules, and this is sometimes done (especially for ships to haul other 500 ton modules from system to system, always carrying these modules externally and fitted with systems to expand their jump bubbles over the modules), but these are custom designs for the Expanse.

This also shapes manufacturing facilities intended for the Expanse. Even just smelters are in demand, as they refine ores into far more valuable raw materials - both for local use, and to sell back to the Khaganate. As of 1105 only about half of the worlds have manufacturing facilities more advanced than smelters, though enough do that it is now feasible to provide most basic manufactured goods locally.

This also shapes local law. There have been no reported instances of pirates as of 1105, though many suspect this is bound to change eventually (the most common specific fear is the eventual advent of Pirian privateers). Instead, the practical focus is on colonists who increasingly object to paying tribute to the Khaganate. Especially troublesome types are taken to Buudal; those who might be reeducated are sent along to Tijia, and the rest either assigned to another colony (often to one of the few worlds where environmental seals are not a concern) or executed: the colonies have little ability to feed and house nonproductive criminals for long.

Language & Letters (Communication)[edit]

As with the Tijian Khaganate, Anglic is their official language. Unlike the Khaganate, Oynprith is relatively rare.

Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)[edit]

This polity can be primarily found in the following areas:
Charted Space:

Capital/s: 1105[edit]

The capital/s of this polity is/are located in the following location/s:

World Listing: 1105[edit]

The following systems and worlds are a part of this polity:

No world articles for Tijian Expanse

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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