Society of Equals
- 1 Astronavigational Codes
- 2 Description (Specifications)
- 3 History & Background (Dossier)
- 4 Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
- 5 References & Contributors (Sources)
|Society of Equals||Pre-Imperial||SocEqu||No standard code||None|
|Society of Equals||1st Survey (300)||Vs||2-ltr code||None|
|Society of Equals||2nd Survey (1065)||VSEq||4-ltr code||None|
Society of Equals (SoE) (Dzen Aeng Kho) is one of the oldest interstellar governments in Gvurrdon.
- It dates back to about 400~.
- Lack of records make this date uncertain.
- Nor are there any records available regarding who founded this government.
In the last 300 to 400 years, the Dzen Aeng Kho has stood as a steady rock in the usually fluctuating structure of Vargr society. But this stability is only skin deep. In reality, the Society has gone through a lot of changes since its founding.
From 930 to 1030, the Society of Equals quadrupled in size. Most of this expansion can be explained by a sharp increase in charisma within the leadership of the Society; but it is equally true that much of the territory gained was simply ripe for conquest. For 40 years after this period of expansion (1030 to about 1110), there was little change in territorial boundaries.
SoE has, for a long time, been involved in border disputes with the Thirz Empire. In 1109, when the old king of Thirz Empire died, plans for the conquest of Thirz was laid. The young Vargr King was perceived as having little natural charisma by the leaders in SoE. The invasion strategy was devised to take advantage of his inexperience and relatively low charisma; these attributes would surely make the campaign an easy victory.
In 1111, the Society of Equals attacked over a broad front line. Initially, they penetrated deep into Thirz territory, at which point the invasion faltered. Thirz, through their contact with the Zhodani, managed to regroup their forces and then rebuild those military assets which they had lost in the initial stage of the assault. The young King also demonstrated excellent leadership ability which helped win the war for the Thirz Empire. When peace came in 1116, SoE had lost almost half of their territory, most of it to Thirz Empire. In the power vacuum, a few worlds rebelled and proclaimed themselves independent.
Many of these independent worlds eventually returned to SoE, but tension still exists between the two star nations, even with the constant threat of the Virus just outside of their common borders.
The gimmick with SoE is that to become a worthy citizen of SoE, you have to be rated Equal.
The Equal rating is earned by successfully passing the Equality Test. This Test is intended to ensure a minimum level of mental ability, emotional stability, and basic skills; the Test is continually adjusted and refined to ensure that it serves its purpose and does not provide and advantage or disadvantage to any particular group. Those rated Equal are intended to be rated so purely on merit. The Test is readily available to all inhabitants of the Empire; but no one is granted Equality without first passing the Test. Cubs from parents that have been rated Equal must still pass the Test on their own. Typically, the Equality Test is taken between the ages of 16 and 18 years old.
Not being rated Equal does not spell disaster...but it certainly restricts the range of job choices and impacts a person's life opportunities. Most visibly, those who fail the test have their canine teeth removed. This lack serves to permanently brand the failed Equal. For aristocratic cubs, the price of failure is severe; valid heirs to title and estate must be rated Equal. Upon failure of the Test, an heir presumptive will lose most of his or her inheritance to a more worthy sibling or other relative. For others, Equality must be earned to follow these careers: Any Military, Politician, Aristocrat or Law Enforcement officer.
The few who choose not to take the Equality Test usually become wanderers. Within the borders of the SoE, the Untested must wear special headgear and belts. Untested persons are not treated as citizens in most ways; most notably, employers are prohibited from hiring Untested. However, Untested are afforded freedom of travel, and can abide in any dwelling they can afford.
SoE law provides some protection to those without Equal status, but the level of protection afforded is very obviously inequitable. In all cases, Equals are given priority in selection: employment, position, invitations, honors, etc. In a court of law, the word of an Equal is taken over that of someone not considered Equal, excepting very peculiar circumstances. For example, if a new world is to be colonized, the Equals involved will have first pick of the available lands for their estates, mines, or farms. The "rest" are sometimes allowed the "scraps".
An Equal ranks above an Unequal vargr, but there are exceptions. For instance, an Unequal vargr may own a starship and have a crew consisting of both Equal and Unequal individuals. This circumstance tends to be rare, but the situation does exist. Being Unequal in an of itself does not prevent a vargr from starting their own business or owning property. Equal vargr may seek employment under an Unequal citizen, and sometimes do so.
Slavery does exist within the Society of Equals, but only Equals may own slaves. No citizen of SoE may become a permanent slave, Equal or not; however, there are laws which allow for a period of indentured service for Unequals as partial payment or punishment for property damage and other minor crimes.
As is implied, slaves are required to perform labor for their masters without recompense. Additionally, slaves must wear metal hoops through their ears as a badge of status. Masters are required to provide reasonable housing, food and medical treatment. Slaves are typically used to perform menial and sometimes dangerous tasks. Slaves can be required to work for as many hours per day as their Masters choose. Masters are required to provide reasonable, functioning safety equipment for their slaves. Failure to adequately provide these basics can result in that Equal's slaves being summarily emancipated by the courts Permanent slaves may be sold to other Equals within the Empire.
Slaves are slaves for life. If the owner decides, he or she may emancipate a slave by entering a writ with a local court of law. It is considered normal to emancipate slaves that have performed far beyond their expected service. It is also possible for a slave to earn his or her own freedom, as some Equals allow their slaves to keep tips or work side jobs. To do so, a slave must acquire enough funds to survive a month; that token amount is set and adjusted by law every 5 years. A newly freed slave is considered Untested, but may apply for citizenship and take the Equality Test.
The insignia symbolises the canines of an Equal. The canines are considered a symbol of strength and power. The originator of this symbol is unknown, but the symbol does not predate the Society itself.
In the classical symbol, the teeth are white, while the background is red, just like in the mouth of a Vargr. On military vehicles and starships, the teeth are usually tipped with red representing blood.
The honorary guard have teeth painted in silver. This symbolises their steel hard discipline and strength.
Government & Politics (Leadership)
Society of Equals are ruled by an elite council. This council is staffed by the most charismatic persons from each system of the empire. Typically, there is one representative from each world. By tradition, a representative has one vote for every million inhabitants inhabiting their represented world. Those worlds that do not have the necessary one million inhabitants must group together to attain one or more votes.
A council member sits on the council until replaced by a Vargr with higher charisma. As a rule of thumb, the least charismatic member of the council must retire or withdraw, if there exists someone with higher charisma.
Military & Intelligence (Force Projection)
The interstellar forces are financed by taxation of the different worlds. Council membership comes with a troop requirement from the member's personal forces. A member's contribution depends on the size and wealth of their homeworld's population. Less populated worlds can usually only contribute with starship crews and infantry units. More wealthy member world must contribute starships or other heavy equipment. Larger starships like destroyers and cruisers are not typically donated by member worlds (though that would be a source of considerable pride for such a world), but are instead funded from the Imperial largess.
Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
World Listing: 1105
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