|Calculators are evil.|
The Taraskovyan Empire (Russian: Тарасковская Империя; Taraskath: Imperekh Taraskath) is an impressive interstellar State, in terms of size and might. Taraskovya spans over 45’000 years of history and has a unique and proud identity. Although coming from various cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds, the Taraskovyan people share an overzealous love for their motherland, ancient traditions and freedom. And although they are known to be quite xenophobic and mistrusting of foreigners, Taraskovyans are also known for their remarkable and sincere hospitality.
- 1 Brief History
- 2 Politics
- 3 Imperial Realms and Dominions
- 3.1 Imperial Realms
- 3.2 Imperial Dominions
- 4 Foreign Policy
The so called Pre-Unification period of the Taraskovyan history lasts up to the year 44’215 B.S. (Before Strife) and is characterized by a great lack of written documentation and of available information. Many archeologists and researchers agree than what is now the Taraskovyan Metropoly was home to a number of different civilisations and even races for a long period of time. The four major ethnicities that disputed supremacy over what now is Taraskovyan territory were the Taraskath, the Setari, the Amalori and the Keth, each having their own, radically distinct from the others, style of life and vision of the world.
Even if written documents pertaining to this period are scarce, the ‘Prophecies of Sathala’, a very important and sacred text of the Church of the Seven Deities, belong to this period. It is also a known fact that the Sacred Citadel of Zynthris was built during that period and it was it that inspired Taraskath architects in the millennia to come.
Uidath of the Emerald Spire and the Unification
Up to 44’215 B.S. the Taraskath did not form a single nation, but dwelled in dispersed tribes all over the territory of Cardinia, Dakathia and Tarvalak. These tribes, divided not only by the levels of development, but also by political, philosophical and religious views, built a number of Citadels throughout their territories, forming a myriad of City States constantly at war with each other. The rare times of peace between the Taraskath were used to wage wars against either of their Amalori, Setari or Keth neighbours. The greatest of all Taraskath Citadels was the Black Hand, which also served as a symbolic capital, its might and riches sparking a great number of wars between rival Lords lusting for power and leadership.
Everything changed drastically in 44’215 B.S. when Uidath Karetsah, Lord of the Emerald Spire, led a coalition of Lords and took over the Citadel of the Black Hand, disposing of its Lord and slaughtering his dreaded Black Guard. With the support of the majority of Lords and of the Church of the Seven, Uidath proclaimed himself as the first ruler of a unified Taraskath nation, which he dubbed ‘Namel Zethanekh’, the ‘High Unity’.
The success of young Uidath in unifying the Taraskath territories remains a mystery even today. The Church of the Seven Deities and their sacred texts insist on the fact that Lord Uidath was bestowed with the blessings of the Seven Deities and was entrusted with the Sword of Rulers, a powerful artifact that is still wielded by the Grand Dukes of today.
The High Unity
By 43’567 B.S. Lord Uidath finally managed to reunite each and every Taraskath Citadel under his control and dubbed himself as the first Shokath-Kshas, the Supreme Lord and Ruler of the Kin. The rise of the High Unity was met with fear from the nations of Setar, Amalor and Kethar. Having had to endure sporadic raids by Taraskath throughout their history, the three peoples saw the Taraskath nation as a clear threat.
The Keth were the first to react and sent an army was the High Unity. The Taraskath met their foes in the valley of the Thousand Teeth, where the Keth soldiers were ambushed and butchered, the Keth Lords narrowly escaping the same fate. They fled back to their lands and pleaded for help to the Amalori and the Setari, which joined forces against the High Unity. This sparked the famous Eternal War, which the Taraskath won after several thousand years of fighting. Texts dating from the period insist on the fact that the Taraskath slaughtered and massacred their foes to the very last individual, yet many researchers agree that the three rival ethnicities were weakened and absorbed into the Taraskath kin.
Although being victorious, the Taraskath were greatly weakened by the Eternal War and for a time there was peace. The war left many tribes too small to exist by themselves and forced them to join up with others to survive. Moreover, the great struggle against a common enemy instilled a sense of national identity to all Taraskath, an identity tied to war and slaughter. The High Unity knew some periodic civil wars between rival Lords, but the country continued to develop itself and prosper, with Taraskath merchants and nobles soon beginning to sail to lands far beyond the oceans to bring back cheap slaves.
The Strife is the name of a major civil war that ravaged Tarasovka from 5 to 1 B.S. With the explosion of the slave market in Tarasovka, the population of slaves in the years before the Strife equaled and even surpassed the Taraskath population. The first slaves were brought in centuries before the Strife, a short time for the Taraskath, yet many generations for those from beyond the oceans. By 50 B.S. the slave rebellions became a routine event in the High Unity, with the Lords proving ruthless in dealing with them.
And while the Lords were slaughtering thousands of individuals, the rest of the Taraskath society began to ask itself questions and quickly gave birth to an Abolitionist movement, with some of the Lord joining it. Those who were loyal to the old ways dubbed themselves the Defenders of Tradition. The two groups remained in a tense state without fighting each other in the open.
The culmination of the stand off came when the female Shokath-Kshas Amala Karetsah, after the death of her previous companion in a hunting accident, chose a Russian man by the name of Mstislav Shakhovskoy for companion and gave birth to a male heir with Russian blood. Amala, however, already had a daughter from the previous relationship, Tekhala, who now had a rival. The Defenders of Tradition immediately called for Tekhala to be declared as legitimate heir to the Sword, while the Abolitionists defended the right of Mstislav to rule by his wife’s side. After a failed attempt by the Defenders to assassinate Mstislav and his son, a civil war erupted between them and the Abolitionists.
During the five years of struggle, many were killed, but the Abolitionists won and forced the Defenders into a permanent exile. Mstislav Shakhovskoy, who had subdued Amala completely and fully to his influence by the end of the Strife, abolished slavery and took the title of Veliky Knyaz (Grand Duke). He established his capital at the Citadel of Vigvar, for the Citadel of the Black Hand was lost in a tremendous earthquake that erupted in its area while two armies were fighting each other to the last by its walls. However, wanting not to offense the Taraskath, Mstislav equaled his title of Grand Duke to that of the Supreme Lord and Ruler. In symbol of a new start, a new calendar was put in place marking the end of the Strife as the first year of a new era.
The First Grand Ducal Period
The Grand Ducal period, stretching from 1 A.S. until 1141 A.S., was remarkable for a relative stability and prosperity of the Grand Duchy of Tarasovka and its entry on the international scene. Some suggest that this rapid evolution was sparked by the comparatively short lives of the Grand Dukes who then had a share of non-Taraskath blood in their veins. Because it was ruled by Russian Dukes, Tarasovka became to be seen as a Slavic state, the Grand Duchy attracted, overtime, an important community of Slavic migrants, most of whom were Russian. The migrants brought with them their culture and also achiements and traditions from beyond the seas, which only helped the Taraskovyan prosperity.
The greatest achievements have been made by Grand Duke Mikhail I. Under his rule the Grand Duchy reached great technologic heights and went into the conquest of the stars, with the first major out world colony founded on Mars. A skilled and cunning politician, Mikhail I maneuvered between the various activities undertaken by the GDODAD, of which the Grand Duchy was once member, and always ensured that the interests of the Grand Duchy and not that of the organisation prevailed in relevant situations. Eventually, the Grand Duke stepped down and handed power over to his son, Mikhail II, a move disputed by the leader’s daughter, Archduchess Anastasya. This triggered the Plague which would cause the fall of the Grand Duchy and the exile of Archduchess Vethara.
The Federal Period
The Federal period began in 1141 A.S. after the fall of the last Grand Duke during the Plague and the seizing of power by a triumvirate of military commanders who dubbed themselves the Ruling Council and held supreme power over the country. During this period many of the ancestral rights and traditions of the Taraskovyan people were abolished, the Alexander Guard was marginalised and isolated. All of this eventually sparked a renaissance of ultra-nationalist and traditionalist movements and opened hidden rifts between the various cultures and ethnicities within the Taraskovyan territory. Various nationalist factions, such as the White Legion have turned Taraskovyan cities into battle zones as the weak Federal government attempted to restore peace and order.
The positive aspects of that period included the integration of the Vortex Corporation and of the Knootian Europolis Islands into the Taraskovyan Federation, expansion of territorial assets on Mars and elsewhere.
The Second Grand Ducal Period
The second Grand Ducal period began after the unexpected return of the Grand Duke Mikhail II, who was believed by everyone to have died during the Plague. The Grand Duke, wielding the Sword of Rulers, joined the Ruling Council and pushed forward the voting in of a new Constitution. The document, innovative in many aspects, was passed by a majority of the People and of the Fiefdoms and came into force in May 1148 A.S., putting a definitive end to the short Federal period. Shortly after, the First Grand Ducal Parliament was elected.
On August 1, 1152 After Strife, His Majesty the Grand Duke was crowned as His Most August Majesty the Vasilevs Mikhail of all Taraskovya, begging a new page in Taraskovyan history.
Imperial Realms and Dominions
Administratively, the Empire is subdivided into Imperial Realms, territories fully subject to the Imperial Constitution and, thus, send representatives to the Imperial Parliament, and Imperial Dominions, which are defined by exclusion: a territory under Taraskovyan jurisdiction which is not a Realm is a Dominion.
Despite their differences, the Realms follow a more or less similar political organization. Every Realm has an executive authority led by a Minister-Chancellor, appointed by the local legislative body and confirmed by the Vasilevs. Despite the Vasilevs having extensive powers of veto over all official matters in the Empire, the Realms are Parliamentary democracies, with the exception of Zoria and Sortavala where special power sharing systems are in place. In the Autonomous Republic of the Island of Atlantic, the Minister-Chancellor is elected directly by the local population.
United Kingdom of Cardinia and Dakathia
The United Kingdom of Cardinia and Dakathia covers the territories formerly know as the Grand Duchy of Taraskovya proper. With the Imperial reform and to avoid confusion between two Taraskovyas (Grand Duchy and Empire), the Grand Duchy was made into a Kingdom. Peerage-wise, the former Grand Duchy now spans three titles, namely the Kingdom itself, as well as the Grand Duchies of Uthar and Aphyr, the latter having no effect on the administrative and politicial structure.
The United Kingdom is the heart of the Empire, it is the cradle of the Taraskovyan civilization. The Imperial Realm and the Vasilevs dwell in Vigvar, which is the capital of not only the Kingdom, but also of the Empire itself.
Kingdom of Dreamreach
The Kingdom of Dreamreach is an entire star system transferred to Grand Duke Mikhail II by the United Star Empire of Valinon, in exchange for a non-aggression agreement between the United Star Empire and the Grand Duchy, which was approved by the Grand Ducal Parliament. Dreamreach proper and the Empire also became part of a free trade zone.
It is the first star system to be officially belonging fully to the Grand Duchy, even if rumours circulate about a certain “Safe Haven”, a system reportedly under control of the Taraskovyan Space Fleet.
Dreamreach was first referred to as a Dominion, until the Grand Duke decided to promote it to a Kingdom. Nowadays, the Kingdom is an important Taraskovyan outpost, with a billion population.
Kingdom of Nyi-Gardarika
The Kingdom of Nyi-Gardarika was formally created in the early days of 1150 AS, amalgamating the quasi-entirety of Taraskovyan territories on Mars, namely Cimmeria, as well as the Fiefdoms of Svarog, Dajdbog and Stribog. The series of referenda which led to the creation of Nyi-Gardarika became a symbol of political stability and of a healthy semi-direct Taraskovyan democracy.
Grand Duchy of Sortavala
The Sotvala Isles are a northern archipelago under Taraskovyan control and historically inhabited by Sotvalians, a finnic people. Conquered centuries ago, the archipelago today has a bi-cultural population of ethnic Sortvalians and Ros. The religions composition is almost equally split between the Sortvalian Lutheran Church and the Taraskovyan Orthodox Church.
A rather reclusive portion of the Empire, it is nevertheless famed for supplying troops to complement the renowned 3rd Strike Corps of the Taraskovyan National Defence Forces, as well as of other military formations.
The Vasilevs of all Taraskovya is not the Grand Duke of Sortavala. However, the Grand Duke exercises only symbolic authority, with the bulk of powers residing with a local Minister-Chancellor and the supreme veto powers being wielded by the Vasilevs. However, in practical terms, the Vasilevs devolves his veto powers to the Grand Duke.
Duchy of Zoria
Following the reunion of Mikhail II and his sister Vethara after years of separation, the Grand Duke decided to purchase a territory on Venus from the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar and gift it to the Archduchess. The necessary funds came from the personal fortune of the Grand Duke and the territory was acquired rapidly in what is seen by many as one of the most eccentric acts of the Grand Duke ever.
Whatever the reasons fof its purchase, today the Duchy is a personal fief of Grand Duchess Vethara of Taraskovya. There is no Minister-Chancellor, all executive powers except for the Vasilevs’es supreme veto privileges reside with Her Imperial Highness.
Autonomous Republic of the Island of Atlantic
The Autonomous Republic of the Island of Atlantic (ARIA) was formed following the annexation by the Taraskovyan Federation of the Allanean State of Freedom Island. Despite it's official appelation of Republic, the territory is an Imperial Realm and has the Monarch of Taraskovya for supreme ruler.
The local government is led by a Minister-Chancellor
United Provinces of Tavaroth
The Taraskovyan Federation intervened into the Tavarothian Provinces following rather shady events involving a group of Taraskovyan nobles. Following the restoration of the Grand Ducal Government, the Tavarothian Provinces were declared a protectorate of the Grand Duchy. As of now, the political situation has been largely stabilised by the Taraskovyan National Defence Forces and the further fate of the territories is to be decided in the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, the collective territories are dubbed as United Provinces of Tavaroth, forming a loose federation, with a unicameral Parliament and a Minister-Chancellor. Each of the provinces administers itself on a unitary basis.
New Crimea is a planet of ten million souls and is the only inhabitable planet of the system bearing the same name (the official appellation of the system having been too weird for the likes of the locals). The overwhelming part of the planet’s surface is covered in ocean. Initially colonized by the VerTech Conglomerate for its extensive sea-food reserves and picturesque tropical islands, the planet passed under full Imperial administration. VerTech maintains exclusive economic rights in some parts of the planet.
The Grand Duchy extends its sovereignty over a certain amount of domes on the Omeldor-1 Craftworld. These territories, due to their particular status and possible overlapping of Taraskovyan sovereignty with that of the local Sisgardian Fellowship of Nations authority, made their inclusion into the Grand Duchy problematic.
As of now, the Domes of Kshas-Loith, Novy Sad and Svetogor, fully under Taraskovyan administration, and the Dome of Gesagard, under joint administration with Taurenor and the Technocratic Republics, are placed under direct authority of the Grand Duchy.
The so called “joint protectorates” are nations over which the Grand Duchy has the role of Protector, yet shares it with one or more other nations. Such territories include Os Sanglants (fellow Protectors: Der Angst and Zepplin Manufacturers Industries) and North-Western Antarctica (fellow Protector: Der Angst).
Venom is a largely inhospitable planet, covered in vast deserts. However, it is a major source of Drochium, a precious mineral with breathtaking properties. Initially it was colonized by both the Free Miners Guild and VerTech, respectively on the north and south poles. When the two mega-corporations nearly went to war with each other over the demarcation of mutual exploitation zones, the Empire intervened and placed the planet under its full political authority.
The FMG did not at first accept the State intervention into the matter and its security forces provided resistance to the light TNDF troops dispatched to the planet. After the corporate forces were steamrolled by much heavier units quickly dispatched to quell the unrest, nobody dared challenge Imperial authority again.
The Taraskovyan National Defence Forces also extend their jurisdiction over the Oberon moon in the Solar System. The moon is uninhabited safe for various scientific and military personnel.
The Vrijstaat space station in the vicinity of Jupiter is also under Taraskovyan jurisdiction. Inhabited by thousands of extremely anarchist Utharians, and not presenting any particular strategic importance, it was given extensive self-rule. The TNDF maintains several operational orbital facilities in the vicinity of Der Angistian Jovian assets.
For additional information, see: Taraskovyan Diplomacy
The traditional Taraskovyan reasoning when dealing with international matters can be explained by a simple proverb: "When two dogs fight, the fox makes profit." Indeed, Taraskovyan diplomacy and involvement always had the goal of gaining the most in any situation. As such, Tarasovka always distanced itself from large alliances that might endanger the fiercely defended national sovereignty. Instead, it prefers to enter into bilateral accords or, in certain cases, to enter into multinational alliances that do not impose any overly strict rules over their members.
The Empire highly values its friendship and alliance with Der Angst, the two countries having historically shared a privileged relationship. Remarkably enough, the conservative monarchy that is Tarasovka also shares a cordial relation with the liberal republic that is Knootoss, despite calls by a minority of the Taraskovyan political establishment for the Grand Duchy to concentrate more on other conservative and monarchal States.
As of today, the Empire participates in the following alliances/treaties: