Though there is much dispute regarding the early history of the Solesian Hegemony, the prevailing historians mark its founding around 93 AE during the Terran diaspora of the Second Exodus. Its earliest inhabitants were said to be radical socialists fleeing ideological persecution on their homeworlds but in actual fact these first settlers were at best idealists and at worst criminals. Through blind luck more than planning, theese first explorers stumbled upon a world remarkably similar to earth in both both size and climate, and boldly named it "New Terra" as a monument to their ideals.
Originally a utopian democracy, the old Solesian government quickly dissolved and the entire planet suffered alternating periods of intense internal conflict and strife as successive dictatorships rose and fell. Eventually, Erasmus Idoko I seized power and successfully brought a measure of peace to New Terra. Within the twenty years of his reign, the Idoko clan rose to absolute dominance over New Terra laid claim to the half-dozen foundling colonies Solesia claimed as demesne, cementing the family's position and forging the nation's stability during tis early years.
The Solesian Hegemony first came to galactic prominance during the Colony-Wars for its neutrality, save for a brief territorial dispute with the early Antarean Federation. Up until the collapse of the first Antarean Star Empire, the SH has slowly and methodically espanded its dominion.
The character of the Hegemony's citizens match its history with tightly knit, honor-oriented communities. It is not surprising that given its proximity to so many other wealthy and bellicose powers that its society is also very focused on martial and mercantile prowess.Despite this, the Hegemony is also a relatively poor nation and must maintain a disproportionally large military to protect its rather expansive border.
The Hegemony' political structure is very deeply tied to its caste system An individual's political position is often based on the accomplishment's of his lineage. There is a strict structure of Houses, ranking in order of prestige from Greater, to Middle, to Lesser, with each category subdivided within itself by number. While these houses are familial their numerical position fluctuates as acts of accomplishment or dishonor are achieved by members of the family. Though this is often generalized toward acts of significance on the battlefield, it is noteworthy to point out that most of the more accomplished houses have achieved their success through trade and business first and war second.
The Hegemony is ruled, obviously, by the Hegemon, a position passed tot he next most eligible member of the greater Houses. In theory, this is meant to allow a continuous passage fo power to the most qualified and illustrious individuals. However, due toth e vicious in-fighting among houses that this promoted, power has, in effect, remained within the Idoko clan for generations. The Hegemon is advised by the Grand Security Council, a group made up of a select group of Masters of the Greater Houses. While the Council does not often speak with one voice, the advice it gives is frequently directs the action that the Hegemon will take. In the end, however, the Hegemon has absolute martial power, as both civilian and military leader, and can use it with little oversight.
Relevant History: The Solesian systems began as an ideal government of equals, known as Solesia, with its capital on New Terra. A series of pacts kept it out of conflict with its neighbors, and atleast during tis earliest years, it seemed fairly prosperous. However given its extreme proximity from the Terran Colonial Authority, obtaining supplies and provisions for its burgeoning population became a tremendous burden. Poor harvests and repeated raiding by local "bandit" nations precipitated a major governmental collapse. That allowed the current ruling famlies to gain control. Decades alter, this same area of space would come under threat during the rapid expansion of the First Antarean Star Empire.
The Hegemony was reminded of they're vulnerability to an Antarean attack that doubtlessly would come soon. As a safeguard against this possibility, then-Hegemon Osric Idoko-Kreuzer commisioned the nation's most ambitious naval build-up to date. The space fleet was to be named the Great Black Fleet, due to the abundance of obsidia-chobtham ore available to the Hegemony (and also allowed them to avoid the time and cost of individually painting each new ship).
The Hegemony has since maintained two active naval divisions, and while all of the vessels of the original GBF have been retired vessels of great distinction "earn" the honor of repainting their hulls in a manner similar to the GBF ships of old.
The political structure of the Hegemony is based around its social structure. A persons political position is based on a variety of factors. There is a strict structure of houses, ranking from the Greater houses to Middle, to Lesser, with each category subdivided within itself by number. While these houses are familial theyre position can be changed based on the honor the members of the houses accumulate on the battlefield. The Hegemony is ruled by the First Hegemon, a position assigned to a chosen warrior or leader by the previous First Hegemon. The Hegemon (often a high ranked warrior with political experience) is advised by his Security Council, a group made up of a select group of Masters of the Greater Houses. While the Council does not often talk with one voice, the advice it gives is frequently the action that the Hegemon will take. In the end, however, the First Hegemon has absolute martial power, as both civilian and military leader, and can use it as he wills
The Solesian systems began as an ideal government of equals, known as Solesia, which gave all citizens equal rights and peace. A series of pacts kept it out of conflict with its neighbors. However, soon that area of space came under attack during the rapid expansion of the First Antarean Space Empire. Suddenly realizing how vulnerable they were to the Antarean attack that was doubtless soon to come, the Solesian Gatherings of Equals voted, almost unanimously, to create a fleet. The space fleet was called the Great Black Space Fleet, because of the obsidian colored metal used in their construction and which was never painted over, due to the hurry in which the fleet was put together. However the incoming attack, and the decrease in the quality of life due to the huge amount of resources funneled into the fleet, turned the entire society into a huge pressure cooker. . The population broke up into pro-ASE and anti-ASE factions. The larger faction was in favor of the ASE, seeing them as simply a new neighbor to ally with. The opposing faction saw them as enemies who would destroy the Solesian way of life. In the meantime the Solesians were bringing more and more of their "Great Black Space Fleet" online and putting it at their border. The ASE, seeing that the Solesians might actually cause a threat and significant pause in their campaign once the ASE finally had got to them, began to funnel resources, both material and financial, to the pro-ASE faction. Ships belonging to the pro-ASE faction began to paint stripes and spikes of gold on their black hulls, a gesture of solidarity with the AISN whose energy weapons at that time were filtered through yellow energy frequency filters and therefore appeared yellow.
As the ASE slowly tightened its borders around Solesia, the debates, which were becoming more and more vehement, between the pro and anti-ASE factions raged in Quorim of Equals' across the planet. When the ASE came within a week of completing a territorial enclosure of Solesia space it issued an ultimatum to Solesia that boiled down to "Make a decision, make the wrong decision and you will face severe consequences." To decide a response, representatives from meeting groups and Quorums from all over every planet in Solesia, gathered at the First Meeting Place.
To the utter shock of the gathered Equals, the pro-ASE party walked out of the Meeting Place during the first day of debates, leaving behind apocalyptic predictions. The next day, the pro-ASE forces returned with the backing of their supporters in the military. Standing outside the First Meeting Place, they declared it a military emergency. (declaring laws and provisions that were non-existent among Solesia law.) The pro-ASE forces told the assembled Equals that they had one day to bow to their military authority. Some of the anti-ASE Equals, who had been suspecting that something of this magnitude was going to happen for some time, had been able to get out a message to their allies in the "pure" Black Fleet. In a mere five hours, a unit had been assembled to combat the pro-ASE forces. The two engaged in combat almost immediately. Soon the Equals within the Meeting Place were caught in the crossfire. When the mist cleared at dawn the next day, the pro-ASE forces (who had been given the technological upper hand by the ASE) were victorious, but there were approximately a hundred civilian casualties and many more injured.
After signing a pact with the ASE, the ruling powers of Solesia set themselves up as rulers, reforming the government into the Solesian Hegemony, claiming that the sharing of power among all was a system unable to work among the battles and conflicts of the Colony Wars. Thus the modern version of the Hegemony began.