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Diplomacy and Geopolitics: Power Blocs
Ironwatsas
The dynamics of diplomacy have shifted substantially since the Exodus era. The madness of the Emperor, his death, the events of the Beast War, and the Vaygr Invasion have effectively neutered the Galactic Council's authority (or at least, it's ability to exercise power and mediate conflicts). Prior to Riesstiu-IV's Reign, the Council was able to maintain peace, and nip any potential conflicts in the bud. Aside from the occasional random attack on the part of the T-MAT, few major wars were fought between Council Members.

With the increasingly militaristic and insane policies of the late Taiidan Empire, things began to change. Slowly, the entire rest of the council was more or less unified in it's own power bloc against Imperial expansion. Had the Kharakian Exodus not occurred, a galaxy spanning war would have likely broken out within a few decades.

In this period, a rough breakdown of power hierarchy is as follows.

Galactic Council

-Unbound Races
--Bentusi
--T-MAT *Limited interaction with council
--P3
--Czalkiir
-Nubia (Nalthor)
--Allied Kihnjahal
-Yomi Empire
-Frrern Aggregate
-Levii Conglomerate
-Kassi
-Tural's Vaygr

versus

Taiidan Empire
-Taiidan Imperial Navy
-Turanic Kingdoms
-Collaborationist Vaygr

It is most likely the Taiidan Rebellion would have sided with the council, but in a total war situation, and given sufficient time to prepare propaganda and sequester communications between it's worlds, support for the rebellion may have been mitigated. In either case, the Imperial Navy's total strength was broadly equivalent to that of the other races combined, and it's forces were far more deployable, with forward bases galaxy wide.


In the immediate postwar conflicts, between the Emperor's death and the Beast War, the situation seemed to be on the road to stabilizing. The Imperialists were diplomatically isolated and the Republic was the de-jure successor to the Empire. The main complicating factor is a large number of former Taiidani protectorates and client states wanted nothing to do with either the Empire or Republic. Many became "Bandit Kingdoms", out for themselves, or with their governments subverted by Turanic Raiders, while others began to consolidate into what would become the Federation of Cush and Itaar Assembly.

The other major point of contention was the cooling of relations between the Frrern Aggregate and Yomi Empire. Politically, the Aggregate, in an effort to stem the tide of revolution, began a campaign of exploiting the Yomi as a dangerous rival desiring expansion into the agreed-upon Neutral zone between their respective territories. While Yomi corporations had sponsored colonization efforts in the region, these were not strictly government sponsored and fully legal under the treaties to which both parties were signatory.

This did, however, lead to situations where YSDF border patrol units were deployed into the neutral region to counter Imperialist Stragglers or Turanic Raiders attacking defenseless colonies. Frrern units made provocative deployments in response, however the situation never had the chance to escalate due to the Beast War a few years later.

On the eve of the Beast War, the general diplomatic layout was something like this:


Inner Council

-Unbound Races
--Bentusi
--T-MAT*
--P3
--Czalkiir
-Hiigaran Federation
-Levii Conglomerate
-Taiidan Republic
-Kassi

Pro-Frrern
-Frrern Aggregate
-Tural's Vaygr
-Assembly of Itaar (predicessor states)

Pro-Yomi
-Yomi Empire
-Nubia (Nalthor)

Pro-Imperial
-Taiidan Imperialists
-Turanic Kingdoms
-Collaborationist Vaygr
-Several 'Bandit' Kingdoms

Unaligned/Independent
-Kadeshi (hostile to all)
-Migou (hostile to all)
-The Beast (hostile to all)


The aftermath of the Beast war changed the balance of power substantially. Several nations had their fleets devastated, most notably the Frrern, Republic, and Imperialists. The latter so much so that it was no longer combat effective. After a purge of Imperialist leadership responsible for attempting to ally with the Naggarok, the two Taiidani states entered into an uneasy armistice. This was opposed by several nominally Imperial aligned warlords, who desired to continue to fight. Low intensity insurgency and attempts by one Taiidan to undermine the other continued, and several high-intensity battles were fought, but a total war situation did not break out until the Vaygr War.

The Frrern-Yomi cold war was stymed significantly by the Beast conflict. The two had entered into an uneasy alliance against the entity, but the Aggregate Navy had bore the brunt of the casualties, with nearly 50% of it's fighting ships destroyed or infected. The dramatic reduction in power of it's fleets meant it was no longer in a position to back up it's attempts at saber rattling. More importantly, it was unable to effectively police many of it's border regions, where secessionist sentiment was rampant. A major insurgency began to break out, as the secessionist and populist groups began to become organized and better armed. The resulting crackdown in turn lead to more militaristic and, eventually, expansionist leadership being ingrained in the Aggregate government.

Yomi on the other hand had taken little materiel loss, but as the Bentusi went into decline, so did their economic prospects. Free trade with the Bentusi had been something the Yomi had relied on for many years to gain access to some of the advanced unbound technologies, as well as raw materials. Ties between the Yomi and the Nubian Kingdom became closer, as the latter's expanded colonial trade networks were seen as a viable contingency. Yomi also began trading heavily with the Hiigaran Federation via the Levii Conglomerate.

Hiigara, for it's part in the defeat of the Beast, was for a time considered a paragon of the galactic community. Charismatic leadership and close alliances with the Bentusi, Republican Taiidan, and Levii Conglomerate, and geographic position near the center of the galaxy allowed Hiigaran territory to rapidly balloon. Close ties were established with the then newly formed Federation of Cush. This turned around abruptly when the "Beacon Pod Scandal" erupted. The revelation that it was Kiith Somtaaw was responsible for releasing the Beast, and the fact that this had been covered up by the council rapidly eroded faith in the Diamiid abroad, and lead to a wave of Anti-Hiigaran sentiment which soured relations with most other galactic powers. While the Kuun-Lan's crew where exhonerated (most blame was placed, rightly, on the Somtaaw-Sa, who was found dead shortly thereafter. An apparent "suicide"Wink, the whole affair began a slow slide of many prospective Hiigaran allies away from the federation.


Within the Vaygr Clans, Lord Tural had brought some measure of stability. The pro-Taiidani houses had largely been defeated or annuled, as Imperialist support withered. Tural sought no external conflicts, and was primarily interested in nation-building. He had no formal diplomatic ties with any other nation at that time, though it is likely that, had events not transpired the way they did, his closest ally would have been the Frrern Aggregate. Makaan's discovery of the Third Hyperspace Core and the abrupt shift in power from the more Progressive houses to the Traditionalists, effectively changed all that. Makaan closely aligned himself with the Taiidani, although he, at the time, considered the Imperialists to be a vassal of the Crusade. This was the de-facto case until after his death, when centralized authority over the Armada collapsed.

Makaan's only real resistance within the Vaygr was a small alliance of Tural Loyalist clans lead by House Mar'yan. However, they made little attempt to gain outside help, and were mostly interested with simply survival. It was only after Makaan shifted his attention to galactic conquest did the Mar'yan have time to establish themselves in the Karelian Sector. They had few lines of communication to any parties outside the Vaygr Reaches. While they attempted to warn the Republic about the impending invasion, Imperialist Taiidani Intelligence was able to ensure their messages never reached the Republic's Leadership.

At the beginning of the Vaygr War, the diplomatic tree was as follows.

Galactic Council combatants
-Unbound Races
--Bentusi
--P3
-Hiigaran Federation
-Levii Conglomerate
--Clans (TFL, PSA, DP et.al) *Note: DP was notorious for switching between sides frequently
-Taiidan Republic
-Federation of Cush
-Assembly of Itaar
-Nubia (Nalthor)
--Allied Kihnjahal

Galactic Council noncombatants
-Unbound Races
--T-MAT
--Czalkiir *Provided materiel support to the Federation of Cush. Did not partake in combat.
-Yomi Empire *Too distant to participate
-Frrern Aggregate
-Kassi *Some Kassi-affilated mercenaries fought for both sides

Vaygr Military Alliance
-Armada de Makaan
-Taiidan Imperialists
-Turanic Raiders *Co-belligerent forces

Independent Factions
-Turanic Kingdoms *Majority did not participate
-Kadeshi
-Migou


The destruction of the Bentusi and Taiidan Republic, the eventual Death of Makaan and splintering of the Armada, and the acquisition of Sajuuk by the Hiigarans lead to perhaps the greatest paradigm shift in the Galaxy's recorded history. The Galactic Council is effectively a powerless rump state. With the Bentusi dead and other nations executing their own agendas, it's authority is effectively subject to the whims of the Hiigaran Federation, however altruistic those may seem to be. The shift to the Hiigarans as the new galactic superpower has caused several nations, most notably the Frrern, to distance themselves from the council. As well, the Bentusi's demise has effectively lead to the T-MAT's removing the last vestiges of it's ties to the council. Their behavior has been increasingly anomalous as of late. The two remaining Unbound races, the Czalkiir and P3, have neither the charisma, political clout or in the latter's case, even the ability to communicate, and are unable to take over the reigns.

Militarily, the Hiigarans, Federation of Cush, Levii Conglomerate, Nubian Kingdom, and Taiidan Republic government-in-exile are all but inseparable at this point. The war against the Vaygr Loyalists is far from over, and fears that the Taiidan Empire is making a dramatic comeback are seemingly being realized. However, outside Hiigara, the war is starting to become unpopular with many within the Cush and Conglomerate. The only party seeming to benefit is the Hiigaran Federation itself, with their near monopoly on Sajuuk and Progenitor Technology.

A more immediate point of contention is the increasingly chaotic circumstances surrounding the Independent Vaygr clans. The two main bodies of the IVF are house Mar'yan in the North, and the Ravinder Exile Fleet in the south. The latter is in the most precarious situation, occupying both the Port of Nalthor, and several surrounding territories. The nascent RDR has taken in many Republican refugees and several worlds who were cut off from the Nalthoran and Republican masters, and established a joint military. Both the Republicans and Nubians desire their former territories back. However, this is at odds with the intentions of the Hiigaran Military, who are attempting to court the Independent Vaygr as a means to set up a competing power bloc against the Armada. A centralized Vaygr leadership which can act as a de-jure Vaygr State, and hopefully find a way to end the war diplomatically, as the Armada without a leader is like a multi-headed hydra. Kill one warlord, another will replace him.

Neither the Nalthorans or Republicans are aware of what the Hiigarans are doing. The Diamiid has been withholding information, as they realize that an open alliance with the IVF would be politically untenable on either side. The Republicans and Nalthorans would resist fiercely, and the loyalist warlords are unlikely to rally to the IVF's banner if they perceive them as being pawns of the Hiigarans (the Hiigarans lack of a complete picture of Vaygr Culture, and the concept of Jin-Vaygr nonwithstanding).

The biggest wild card, perhaps, is the Frrern Aggregate. Feeling itself both marginalized by Hiigara's monopolization of Sajuuk and associated technologies, and with a large cadre of expansionists within it's government and military spheres, it has become hungry for expansion. It desires control both of currently Vaygr held (both Loyalist and IVF) territories, as well as to exploit Progenitor technology caches formerly off-limits due to Galactic Council mandate. With the Hiigarans distracted across a broad front, and the other council races seemingly unable or unwilling to intervine, the Frrern have begun to draw up plans for an invasion of the Ravinder Democratic Republic, and the seizure of as much territory as it can possibly acquire. They believe they can do this fully within the laws of the Galactic Council, abusing loopholes with regards to the disputed territory and the effective collapse of the Taiidan Republic, and non-council member status of the IVF.

Yet another issue is that of the Keepers. With the Hiigarans, Vaygr, Frrern, and Taiidan all poking into Progenitor ruins which the Council had previously considered off limits (specifically because of the keepers' defenses), conflict with the machines is becoming all too commonplace. While the Hiigarans control Sajuuk, they have not yet been able to control the Keepers. This is because they are fully aware that the Hiigarans are not their former masters, and his recovery is a planned-for contingency. The Keepers have begun aggressively expanding their defensive envelopes around their respective territories, and launching pre-emptive attacks and recovery operations. They are beginning to coordinate and attempt to bring additional defenses on-line. Their primary goal is to prevent the Hiigarans, or anyone else, from discovering and activating the Eye of Arran. However, they simply do not have the numbers or infrastructure to prosecute an offensive war against any major galactic power.

The Yomi Empire are isolated from the conflict by distance, but are slowly beginning a shift toward a more martial government. Internal politics within the Imperial Household, the Courts, and the Defense Forces, in response to these external events, are leading to a situation where the Yomi desire to expand their territory and power base, establishing another power bloc separate from the Hiigarans, Vaygr, and Frrern. The Yomi have been courting the Nalthorans and even the Kassi, establishing closer trade ties and planning operations to potentially secure territories currently controlled by the Turanics, as well as assisting the Nubians in the reclamation of the Port of Nalthor. Attempts by the Frrern to sieze IVF territories could potentially draw the Yomi into a conflict on the Nalthoran's behalf.

As it sits, four main blocks of power have formed in the wake of Makaan's death, and several other factions remain unaligned, though nearly all are now somehow involved, or potentially about to be involved, in the conflict.

Hiigaran Alliance
-Hiigaran Federation
-Levii Conglomerate
-Taiidan Republic Exiles
-Federation of Cush
-Assembly of Itaar *Itaar is on the fence between supporting Hiigara or the Frrern

Vaygr/Taiidani Coalition
-Taiidan Second Empire
-Armada de Makaan
-Frrern Secessionists *Some have allied with splinter armada forces attacking the Aggregate's borders. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.

Frrern Bloc
-Frrern Aggregate
-Assembly of Itaar *Itaar is on the fence between supporting Hiigara or the Frrern

Yomi Bloc
-Yomi Empire
-Nubia (Nalthor)
-Kassi *Not formally allied with either party, but slowly leaning towards it.

Other Council powers
-P3
-Czalkiir *Although they are close to inclusion with the Federation of Cush

Independent Factions
-Independent Vaygr Federation *Mar'yan and RDR are nominally allied but unable to directly assist one another
--Ravinder Democratic Republic
--House Mar'yan
-Turanic Kingdoms
-Kadeshi (hostile to all)
-Migou (hostile to all)
-Keepers (hostile to all)
-T-MAT

As a footnote to this, there are unsubstantiated rumors of possible diplomatic contact between the Frrern and Imperialist Taiidan. While this may be a construct of subversive parties attempting to undermine the Aggregate, it suggests that the Imperialists and Frrern would, in the event of the latter's invasion of the Ravinder Democratic Republic, call an effective ceasefire. A potential Frrern/Taiidan armistice or even co-belligerancy should Hiigara or her allies intervene on the IVF's behalf is an extremely worrying situation.
 
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