Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech (Farscape) : The New Breed
The Commonwealth of Nations
United Planetary Government
The Commonwealth of Nations, also known as simply “The Commonwealth”, is an intergovernmental organisation of various member states from across System – Dumassas. The Commonwealth operates by intergovernmental consensus of the member states, organised through the Commonwealth Secretariat, the bureaucracy of the organization which includes divisions responsible for international trade, interstellar trade, legal affairs, refugee resettlement, technology, and internal oversight. This bureaucracy is intended to be small, and only provide advisory information for all signatory members.
The leader of the Commonwealth is a single individual elected by all signatory members of the organization, chosen from a list submitted by the membership itself; each member-state can submit a single name for discussion. Known as the Secretary-Marshal, this individual leads both the Directorate Council and the Secretariat in its mandates, as well as The Commonwealth Star Guards in its military activities, requiring proven skills in many different fields.
Following the 3032 private election by its members, the Commonwealth’s leader is Secretary-Marshal Omar Hilale. He was re-elected in 3037, but turned over control to the popular Sérgio Vieira de Mello of San Isabel in 3042. He died following a terrorist bombing of his hotel in 3047 along with 20 other members of his staff, just two months before his re-election bid was set to begin. Frederick Paxton, a mining clan leader from Cortez, and considered the dark horse in the running, won the new election bid, and is presently the leader of the Commonwealth, intending to serve only one term.
Member states have no legal obligation to one another, governing their own territories and enacting their own laws. Instead, under the banner of the Commonwealth, they are united by language, history, culture and their shared values of democracy, free speech, human rights, and the rule of law. These values were enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by regular meetings of its member-states. They are seen as being united in military defense and trade for the promotion of peace, and could eventually develop into a true world government, if supported by a majority of the existing nation-states.
At present, the Commonwealth has three signatory member nations, with its Charter taking effect as of 3029, and several nation-states are listed as “observer” nations, who are watching the talks and negotiations closely; the inclusion of Cortez in early-3028 as an observer nation came as a shock to most nations of the system, as the isolationist organization rarely concerns themselves with activities on Terramatrix (or “Groundies”, as they’re often referred to). However, the increasing industrialization of both signatory members has perked their interest for trade and defense.
Proposed Commonwealth Capital Buildings
The Commonwealth dates back before the Reunification Wars and the original colonization of the system by the Taurian Concordat. Although the various corporate entities that first settled the planet had diverse interests, they were united under the banner of the Concordat in military and economic matters and trade ties. The world became the administrative capital of the Dumassas Union, the furthest colonial region of the Concordat.
Following its conquest by the Star League in the Reunification Wars, the system remained an administrative capital to the constellation, but became more and more divided, until when the Star League collapsed, Dumassas was one of the first systems to simply disappear off the maps of most merchants and eventually became a fractious world of small nation-states striving to take control of the planet’s resources. Eventually, on July 18th, 2830, Selich the Third crowned himself the Emperor of Dumassas, having profited from the colonial efforts of his father and grandfather, to the point that he was in control of every corporation and nation-state on the planet, either by virtue of his military or their desire to trade. The empire lasted a short thirty years, until bandits in BattleMechs raided and sacked his capital at Petrópolis, in 2860.
Since that time, the nation-states of Terramatrix have risen and fallen in response to their successes and failures, and most recently, through off-world investments by rival Inner Sphere powers. As the nations have slowly developed, most have become republics, and their leanings towards democracy have led to an empowerment of the middle class, and a push away from imperialism and a desire for elitist rulership.
The civil disorder of 3021 in The Republic of Sangria caused by the assassination of the nation’s corrupt president, sparked a series of world-wide events that embroiled the world in war, disease and general collapse of most of its governments. During the conflicts, Sangria reorganized itself into The New Republic of Sangria, and found itself working closely with The Oriental Republic of San Isabel in mutual defense during the 3024 Small War, against the martial League of Free Nations, and emerged stronger and willing to work together in the future.
In 3025, while the world was embroiled in the chaotic end to the Small War, the infamous 3025 Outworld Flu struck most nations across the planet, and once more the two nations were working together and sharing resources and knowledge. Eventually both recognized that they needed a format for future work together against common foes, whether they be mortal or disease or interstellar marauder. And so, the idea for The Commonwealth of Nations was officially born.
Over the next few years, the two nations began working towards trade and military unity, and were joined by observers from other relatively neutral nations in an effort to bring peace back to their world. While these nations are not directly involved in these talks, their presence is seen as a glimmer of hope for a united world peace.
In early-3026, spurred on by * “The Iron Dingoes”, discussions regarding establishment of a Commonwealth Security Force was tabled.It was proposed that each nation-state of the Commonwealth was required to provide soldiers (roughly a battalion of infantry) and supplies towards the mutual protection of member nations, but was otherwise allowed to maintain their own standing armies, and even conduct their own small-scale wars. The placement of cantonments (landholds) for the support of each nation’s donation was also tabled. Though not completely stable, this proposal was proposed to provide, under Iron Dingoes training and leadership, a state of relative peace, prosperity, and advanced technology development, unheard of in Dumassas history, to be known as The Commonwealth Star Guards.
Throughout 3026 to late-3027, negotiations continued apace, with the finalization of the details for the Commonwealth Guards coming on-line in early-3028. Trade negotiations also reached finalization, and attracted the interest of even The Trojan Dominion of Cortez, who proposed offering their cheap heavy metals in contracts to the increasingly industrialized nations of the Commonwealth. Their inclusion as an observer nation was accepted in early-3028.
By mid-3028, discussions regarding the formal organization of the Commonwealth concluded its trade and commerce negotiations, which included accepting the C-Bill as the Commonwealth trade standard. Almost immediately following this conclusion, The Republic of Carbina petitioned and was accepted by the Commonwealth as an observer nation, followed within a few weeks by * The Independent Territory of Borealis, which was also accepted.
In July of 3028, Petrópolis declared itself the “Free-State”, and also petitioned for inclusion, but was summarily rejected after closed deliberations, using its past wanton use of tactical nuclear weapons and “… rampant militarism…” as an excuse. The following day, Buntar formally declared war on the nascent nation-state, and began moving to seize out-lying settlements and territories, while it moved even more of its armed forces into the region. By the end of the year, a blitzkrieg series of actions conquered the the nation-state, adding it as a jewel in the Buntar crown, though its position remains difficult, with sporadic riots and protests by the occupied peoples of Petrópolis.
The rise of The Marcosan Mandate with the start of 3029 became noteworthy, as the formerly squabbling survivor warlords of San Marcos joined together to form a new nation-state. Immediately upon unity, they called upon their satellite states, most occupied by its neighbors, to join with them and sought entry into the Commonwealth. While it is believed the negotiations may prove difficult, many see the creation of a neutral nation-state in opposition to the growing power of both Buntar and Tragnar in the region, to be a good thing, and seemed to support it in principle.
The formal revelation of the Commonwealth Charter was on February 1st, 3029, and called for many of the proposals tabled in the initial conference in 3026; creation of a self-policing state with a unified military supported by each signatory nation. Both initial signatory states agreed, and the Charter was ratified later that day, under great national pomp and pageantry.
Among the Charter’s key proposals, was also the need to appoint and elect a leader, known as the Secretary-Marshal of the Commonwealth from candidates proposed by each nation. These appointments were to occur every five years, with the majority agreement of all assembled signatory nation-states. No appointee can serve more than two terms. They are also required to claim citizenship within one of the signatory nation states. The first election is intended to occur in early-3031 though the exact choices of each nation-state are kept private until the election is complete.
By late-3029, the two Commonwealth nations formally acknowledged The Marcosan Mandate as a legitimate nation-state, and it was invited to sit in as an Observor state, despite protests from Buntar. While that nation has never sent a delegate, an open seat at the table is always kept as a symbol of their potential to join the growing planetary government.
In mid-3030, The Free-City of Peregrine petitioned to join the Commonwealth as a full-fledged member of the Commonwealth. Many pundits see this as a response to Tragnar’s recent spate of nationalism, and an effort to find allies against the belligerent nation-state; neither San Isabel nor Sangria responded immediately, but rather began a series of close talks between the nations as they weighed the topic. After more than a month of such closed talks, the petition was accepted, and Peregrine became the third nation-state of Dumassas to join the Commonwealth. It set about organizing its affairs and designating officers, troops, and a landhold for the Star Guard’s 3rd Battalion.
With the need for troopers for its united military force increasing, a topic tabled for discussion among member states, was the idea that for purposes of recruitment, men and women of any member-state could be recruited without the interference of the national government of the state. This Executive Order passed both signatory members of the time, and was accepted by Peregrine as it was in the middle of negotiations to join the Commonwealth at the time. In response, the military arm of the Star Guards began opening recruitment offices in each nation-state, which were given the rights of a full diplomatic mission office; effectively, the Commonwealth began using these recruiting stations as the focus for their own embassy efforts. Many nation-states saw it as an opportunity to remove troublesome criminals from their control, and soon many political prisons were emptied to meet the demand of “volunteers” who sought to join the Star Guards and escape prison.
In early-3032, * Duchy of Tharn proposed joining the organization, and the topic was quickly broached ahead of the international election of the first Secretary-General. The topic was considered important enough to discuss in open session, but a decision was tabled until after the election had been resolved, for later in 3032. Nonetheless, the concept of including off-world political entities into the Commonwealth, suggested making the organization into a larger interstellar entity, which was a dangerous topic regarding its purposes moving forward. In some circles, this was considered the start of the “Commonwealth of Stars” movement.
On February 28th, 3032, * “The Iron Dingoes” executed a high altitude drop on the capital and its fortress, and engaged the local militia forces of the Bloody Hand of Marcosa. Less than a minute later, two nuclear explosions wracked the fortress and devastated the surrounding community, forcing the surviving inhabitants to flee the ruins and seek shelter elsewhere. meanwhile, the militia forces of the Bloody Hand largely dissipated, and the region became one large, refugee problem for the international community.
After several months of frantic relief efforts by various international communities, primarily the smaller, independent nation-states led by the Commonwealth, negotiations with the 7th Cavalry – “The Iron Ponies” led to an offer of control of The Petrópolis Free State if the mercenaries would take control of the situation and bring peace and order to the region. They accepted with a promise of a position as a signatory member of the international Council, should they succeed, and by the end of the year, had taken charge of relief efforts and defense of the region, releasing various military forces that had taken a hand at defensing the border regions from marauders and potential invasion by its neighbors. The Commonwealth continued to support international relief efforts, however, and an international force of aid workers and military logistics personnel remained in FOB “Jericho” to organize matters efficiently.
With the initial talks regarding establishing the Terramatrix Trade Authority (TTA) in late-3034, the Union of Sovereign States was promoted by The Gatun Foundation, as a political effort to gain entry to the Commonwealth. Lacking sufficient resources to build its own defensive contingent, and improve its citizens, the nation thought that forming a voting block of lesser nation-states might be a means around the entry requirements.
Following the successful trade talks in late-3035 hosted by Carbina, The Republic of Delancourt and The Republic of Carbina both petitioned to join The Commonwealth of Nations. While this has been suspected of occurring in the near future, its action following on the heels of the continuing discussions around the formation of the TTA show that unity among the scattered and divisive nation-states of System – Dumassas can be overcome.
While the Commonwealth began deliberations, a third nation-state, The Trojan Dominion of Cortez petitioned to join as well. As all are likely contenders in joining the organization, their inclusion will double the number of states as signatory members. The so-called “Sunbeam Incident” quickly drew world attention, as both Marcosa and Buntar began firing shots at each other, both physically and politically. Both nations had also fired on the Iron Dingoes during their recovery efforts, and while Buntar never apologized for the incident, it did back off from accusing them of interference. The Mandate, however, formally filed a complaint against the Commonwealth, and withdrew all political connection with the rest of the world, and began gearing up once again for war.
As 3039 dawned a global war seemed imminent. The resulting series of terrorist activities by the Bloody hand led to a full-scale invasion of the marcosan Mandate and its allied provinces by the Commonwealth and various allied powers. With the sudden appearance of the Sword of the Monarch in the hands of the 7th Cavalry – “The Iron Ponies”, all fight fled the attackers, adn within weeks, the war was over. Marcosa was subjected to a number of years of occupation by the Commonwealth, its allies, and the Seventh Cavalry, until in 3046 most forces bagan to pull out of their occupation, leaving their affiliated states to their own devices.
The Seventh chose to continue its occupation of The Province of Cabinda, and * “The Fold Fiends” remained in The Province of Central Marcos for another few years, instituting various reforms of its military and government more in line with its own agenda, before leaving the province in late-3048.