- Basic Facts
Formal Name: Federated Ascendancy
Common Name: Ascendancy
Population: 280 billion, 10 billion in the Voyageur Republic.
Races: Within the Ascendancy, 60% human, 25% Formic, 15% other. 100% human in the Voyageur Republic.
GDP: ~60,000 Interstellar Standard Value
Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy; the Lady (or Lord) Ascendant controls military and foreign policy, with domestic issues being the province of the Estates General. The Estates are composed of the First and Second Estates; the First is composed of the nobility, and can override the Second on many affairs, but the Second Estate has control over most government funding. Sector and sub-sector governments operate on much the same principle, with an aristocrat being advised and checked by a council of elected commoners. All sectorial and planetary nobility (Grand Dukes and Dukes, some Counts and Barons in the colonies; New Baerne is a special case; a core planet ruled by a Countess) have seats in the First Estate, as do non-hereditary peers awarded titles for conspicuous gallantry during wartime. The Formics have the right to appoint a number of individuals equal to ten percent of the total membership in addition to all Hive Queens and any Formics who may have won seats through the aforementioned means. The Commons's members are elected in biannual elections in each sector in the Ascendancy. Sectors are permitted one representative for each billion citizens, for a total of 280.
Capitol: Thuranni, Firmament, Firmament Sector
Head of State: Her Ascendant Ladyship the Lady Ascendant Sikala II ir Virtu
Judiciary: Local courts are supplemented by appellate courts at the continental, planetary, sectorial, and national levels. The national court is the Supreme Judiciary, which cannot be overruled.
Primary Religions: Most native Ascendants worship an abstract concept of safety and security called the Darkness. A small and much-mocked minority believes that the Lady Ascendant is an embodiment of this Darkness, and worships her as a living goddess.
Languages: Ascendant French; a form of the language most notable for its lack of alternate spellings for words, is the official national language. Most educated Ascendants can at least get by in Formic clickspeech, and everyone speaks Galactic-Standard English.
The Ascendancy came about as the result of a particularly bloody dynastic war in the French Empire. Originally settled from Nova Terra's Duchy of Baerne and Earth's French Republic as a joint effort, the sectors that would eventually become the Ascendancy we know today cheerfully joined Emperor Jean-Baptiste III when he proclaimed the Fourth Empire following Earth's Great Upheaval. After his death several peaceful centuries passed, with the cracks in the social structure caused by Jean-Baptiste's sucessors being increasingly less able to live up to his example becoming more and more obvious with each passing year. Eventually. perhaps three centuries ago, several French sectors decided they'd had enough and rose in revolt, threatening to drag the rest of the region into a devastatingly bloody civil war.
It was at this time that the Ascendancy decided that it too had had enough, and delegates from Firmament, Isabella, Inception, Sleighbell, Zephyr, and Windmill sectors came together aboard the Firmament Defence Force cruiser Temeraire to discuss the possibility of secession. It was at this convention - officially called the Nationality Convention - that the Ascendancy's name came about. In an anecdote that would become famous throughout the Ascendancy, an Inception Sector delegate by the name of Paul Girond said "Whatever we decide to call our new federation, our stars are clearly in the ascendant. Delegates, this is the best course of action not only for us, but for our children and theirs." In a similarly famous anecdote, a Formic delegate's puzzlement over democratic government led to the establishment of the Lady Ascendant as the head of state. Formics, being a partially-hive-minded species of insectoid, do not fully comprehend the concept of representative government, and tend to promote monarchies - for Formics, it's only natural, after all.
The 'senior service' in the Ascendant military since its official formation in 3103, the Ascendant Navy was originally composed of the private navies of major aristocrats added to the systems-defence forces of the founding sectors, particularly the Firmament Defence Force. Firmament still plays a vital role in naval affairs, as the main shipyards that produce the Navy's capital ships operate in the space surrounding a geologically unstable moon of the capital planet. Integration of the Formics into the regular Navy following the landmark decision of Lady Sikala II to prohibit species-based discrimination of unreasonable classes (some jobs simply cannot be done by a four-metre-long ant analogue) has proven difficult, and the easiest solution has been to have Formic crews man modified versions of standard designs. Two superdreadnoughts are entirely Formic-crewed, for example.
Notably less presitigous than the Starfleet, the Ascendant Army nonetheless prides itself on being "the ones who keep what the Fleet takes." Ascendant equipment tends towards the offensive, with armored vehicles frequently mounting guns much larger than comparable vehicles in other nations' arsenals. The regular army is supplemented by the Lady's Guard, which contrary to its ceremonial-sounding name is a fully functional combat unit with excellent gear and training.
40 000 000 Lady's Guard (Elite troops with elite kit, 3 points per 40 000)
350 000 000 Regular Army (Regular troops with elite kit, 3 points per 100 000)
Firmament Sector (AA-11), the capitol, contains a hyperspace junction and a warp gate. Inhabited planetary bodies in Firmament Sector are Firmament, Paradise, Nirvana, Rapture, and Bliss, each in a system of the same name.
Inception (Z-11) and Isabella (Z-10) Sectors are both heavily populated and highly industrialized. Isabella Sector contains the planets Isabella, Victoria, Evangeline, Yvette, and New Baerne, as well as a hyperspace junction and a warp gate. Inception Sector contains the planets Inception, Sklack, Klaskl, Cliksk, and Clikskack; other than Sleighbell, these worlds contain a majority-Formic population, and Sklack is in fact the Formic homeworld.
Zephyr (AA-10), Windmill '(AA-12), and Sleighbell (BB-10) Sectors were in the second wave of colonization from Firmament. They are prosperous, but not affluent to the degree of Firmament, Inception, or Isabella Sectors. Zephyr contains the planets Zephyr, Boreas, Notus, Eurus, and Venti. Sleighbell is home to Sleighbell, Edinburgh, Rudolph's World, Caramaran, and Cazan. Windmill Sector's planets are Windmill, Moulin, La Grange, La Gaillard, and Citroen.
In the colonies, namely Lorica (BB-11) and James (BB-12) Sectors, terraforming has not yet progressed to the point where names are assigned to planets - the Ascendanct Astrotopographic Insitute does not name planets until they can sustain both Formic and human life without technological intervention. As such, they each contain a single named, naturally-habitable planet - in Lorica Sector this is the recently-settled Bulwark, and James Sector is centered aound James's World.
Recently, the Ascendancy has entered into a protective relationship with the Voyageur Republic. Located in the St. Lawrence Sector (CC-12), this state consists of the two planets in the St. Lawrence System, Nouveau Quebec and Nouveau Montreal.