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Free Union Leadership

In terms of overall leadership and organisational structure, the Free Union barely exists compared with the other Factions of the Orion Sphere. Fundamentally, the Free Union of Sovereign Worlds consists of hundreds of independent planets, systems or multi-planet governments, who have all signed on to be part of the diplomatic construct that is the Free Union. These Sovereign World signatories generally retain total authority over their own holdings - a planet, its star system, or in some cases a group of nearby star systems. Some signatories are not even Worlds - they are roving flotillas of individual Ikunkuma tribes, large Guilds of miners based on massive roving space stations or many other strange configurations. The governmental structure of each signatory varies wildly, and is not mandated by the Free Union as a whole - some are participatory democracies, some are monarchies, councils of elders, theocracies, authoritarian autocracies, and every other government structure in between and beyond. Their culture, species makeup and economies are also often radically different. The only common thread is that each signatory sends representatives to the Free Union Council and its associated bureaucracy, and it is these two bodies that comprise what could be called the actual structure of the Free Union, rather than the governments of the Sovereign Worlds.


The Free Union Council, located in the Concord system, is a representative body that decides pressing issues that go beyond a single signatory, and guides and funds the activity of the bureaucracy that actually does most of the work of the Faction. Each signatory has votes proportional to its population, economic and military power, and a host of other factors, all rendered by a complex and byzantine arm of the bureaucracy into a single number that roughly determines their overall “influence”. Factions contribute to the central organisation in whatever way best suits them - money, ships, military strength, intelligence, personnel, and anything else. Individual signatories or different parts of the bureaucracy bring motions before the Council and they are voted on and adopted or rejected by a simple majority of votes cast. There is no Executive Branch, no Council Head or any single leader with greater influence or a casting vote. Politicking and factionalisation within the Council are rife, and it is often deadlocked on issues for months or even years, with much of the day-to-day decision making being done by the bureaucracy beneath it.

The Council structure makes it difficult for a cause or project to pick up momentum, as issues are constantly being re-opened, re-assigned or having their resources diverted. The very nature of how the Free Union of Sovereign Worlds came together makes it remarkably poor at long-term planning or projects beyond the scope of a single Signatory or Agency. At the same time, the underlying culture of the Faction is buoyed up by a reserve of goodwill from its citizens, and their desire to see the Faction prosper and succeed. This goodwill combined with a lack of rigid control over individuals makes it able to pull together and quickly respond to events and threats, as all the various components of the Free Union line up to ensure its survival.

The Corps

The Bureaucracy of the Free Union is complex and many-layered, with individual agencies being formed, changed or abolished according to the internal struggles of the Council or opposing components of the Corps own political machinery. There are four overall “layers” of the bureaucracy - Bureaus at the highest level, and then Corps within them, Divisions within the Corps, and finally Agencies within each Division. Most Free Union citizens refer to the bureaucracy as “The Corps” (pronounced “Core”), as those tend to be the most stable and comprehensible of the different levels. At higher levels, these organisations are more likely to be staffed by career civil servants and managers, while the lower levels are made up of more specialists, crews and on-the-ground workers. The effectiveness of each Corp varies significantly as well as over time.

The Corps are responsible for their area of expertise in volumes not claimed by a particular signatory, or as advisors in that area to signatories on their request. They hold the most influence over matters that involve more than one signatory - disputes and trade - or that involve no nearby signatory at all, such as in wild and uncolonised space. Ship captains that operate across multiple systems always tend to have a few contacts within Corps operating in their volume, greasing the wheels of the bureaucracy to get things done. The Corps themselves are often overstretched, and cultivate networks of contacts and fixers that can perform jobs for them in return for later favours.

Politically, some Corps can have a great deal of influence over some signatory powers that depend on them heavily. Many Corps have the power to release funds or aid shipments, assign standards for goods or exports, sanction or restrict trade, or grant exploration or colony rights within certain areas. These powers, and tiny changes in their use, can make or break a planet’s economy or erode their political base, and Corps bureaucrats often use them to their fullest legal limits in order to get their way with uncooperative signatories.

List of Corps

This list of Corps is incomplete, as the internal structure of the Free Union Bureaucracy is always shifting and changing.

Diplomatic Bureau

  • Internal Diplomatic Corps - handles diplomacy and mediation of in-Faction disputes.
  • External Diplomatic Corps - handles external diplomacy with other Faction and non-aligned powers.
    • MegaCorp Liaison Division - liaises with MegaCorps.
  • Archive Corps - Complies and maintains records and archives from across the Faction.
    • Terra Division - seeks out relics and media from Ancient Terra.

Planetary Bureau

  • Terraforming Corps - Coordinates terraforming activities
  • Colonial Corps - Investigates and establishes new colonies.
    • Cultural Contact Commission - initiates contact with undiscovered Terran Sleeper colonies.
  • Cultural Corps - Works to document and protect minority cultures with the Sovereign Worlds
  • Conservation Corps - works to protect native species as well as unique biomes and locations. Also nature tourism.
  • Archaeology Corps - Investigates, catalogues and maintains archaeological sites.
    • Precursor Division - Specialises in Precursor remains.

Resource Bureau

  • Agricultural Corps - Manages agricultural output, develops new practices and technologies.
    • Agro-Health Division - Monitors and develops cures for agricultural diseases and pests.
  • Mining Corps - Develops terrestrial mining technologies and practices, and advises on geological matters.
  • Astro-Extraction Corps - Assigns space mining rights, surveys resources and develops new technology.
  • Haulage Corps - Coordinates interstellar freight networks.

Response Bureau

  • Defence Corps - Coordinates defensive preparations and signatory militaries.
  • Emergency Response Corps - Responds to emergency incidents.
  • Aid & Development Corps - Assists impoverished or stricken signatories with long-term development projects.

Security Bureau

  • Intelligence Corps - Gathers intelligence from all sources.
  • Operations Corps - Probably the closest thing the Free Union has to a standing military.
  • Union Security Corps - Bodyguards and security details for Free Union officials.

Scientific Bureau

  • Exploration Corps - Exploration and surveying.
  • Survey Corps - Surveying and exploration.
  • Medical Corps - Medical research
    • Anomalous Medicine Division - Deals with uncommon or unique medical situations.
    • Pathogen Division - Monitors and researches infectious pathogens.
  • Celestial Corps - Monitors, researches and catalogues various celestial phenomena.
  • Psionics Corps - Coordinates psionic research and assists psionic species among signatory worlds.

Technology Bureau

  • Engineering Corps - Maintains and develops new engineering technology and processes.
    • Maintenance Division - Repairs things that need repairing.
  • Research and Development Corps - Coordinates the development of new technology and spreads it around the Faction.
  • Courier Service - A fleet of messenger vessels that carry messages between the Sovereign Worlds.

Trade Bureau

  • Interstellar Corporation Corps - Manages and licences companies and Corporate Groups that operate outside the territory of individual signatories.
  • Planetary Trade Corps - Manages and mediates matters of trade between signatories.
  • Standards and Compliance Corps - Sets and monitors standards and practices between planets.
  • External Trade Corps - Negotiates trade deals with external powers.

Engaging with the Corps

The Corps of the Free Union are the primary vehicle for Free Union Faction plotlines. Like with all of the Faction leadership structures, they are rife with politics and different parts that compete or fight with each other for influence and control. In the game, some corps will be more active than others, and their activity levels may increase or decrease over time as plotlines come and go.

If you want to engage more with a Corps and its activities, then the first step is to build some influence within the Free Union, acquiring Free Union Status either by spending character points or accumulating Earned Rep. Further steps might be to try and reach out to them, either via the Free Union NPC, or sending messages to named NPCs that you have heard of that might be relevant. Alternatively, if you do things that a Corps might find interesting, they might contact you, particularly if you have built up some Reputation with the Faction.

free_union_leadership.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/09 15:08 by conan