|Recognised national languages||Attican, Burgundian|
|Government||Political Consortium, Federation|
• President of the Consortium
• General Secretary of the Directorate
|1 km2 (0.39 sq mi)|
• 2030 estimate
• Per capita
|Currency||Asterian Electronic Currency (AEC)|
• Summer (DST)
|Drives on the||right side|
Asteria, officially The Asterian Consortium, is a political construct consisting of numerous city-states and small Republics, also known as Læsteri, closely resembling a federation. It is mainly situated along the Istroyan Coast, including several islands in the Sea of Istroya, the Founder's Sea, and the Bay of Oduniyee. While the Consortium sees itself as sovereign political entity, the legislative and executive power distributions between the central government and its members are meticulously balanced.Economically, Andune follows a unique socio-economic model with, as outsiders have often both criticized and admired, strong corporatocratic and technocratic influences as corporations are closely intertwined in everyday life.
Asteria is named after the island of Aster which has been the cultural, economic, and political centre of the region for the better part of the past 1400 years.
Asterian history goes hand in hand with that of the Istroyan civilization for most of history. While first settlements in the region of Attica date back to around 3500 BCE, artifacts and burial sites suggest human presence several millennia before. Excavation sites in Tasale and Meneloas suggest that nomadic tribes, which supposedly passed over the Echoriaths between the second and third ice age, brought a more advanced understanding of metallurgy and sailing with them from the north and settled as fishermen along the southeastern coast of Ixnay.
Historians mark the founding of the city of Istroîon sometime around 2200 BCE as the begin of the Istroyan advanced civilization. With what has been concluded to be a highly advanced understanding of sailing and navigation, the Istroyans settled the entire southeastern Ixnayan coast and island chains over the following centuries. It is a matter of debate of how far eastwards Istroyan discoverers ventured, however more recent excavations in Valm could lead to the conclusion that they exceeded the range assumed in the past.
It seems that not long after settling, the Istroyans developed a sophisticated culture, including writing and a polytheistic religion. The first authentic historical document that gives an insight into the political structure of the region dates back to 2170 BCE. It describes the region as an amalgamation of city states, governed as dēmokratía, a crude form of what would today be classified as a democracy. With their maritime prowess and being spread across two continents, commerce and trade with and between its northern and eastern neighbors let the region flourish.
Geography & Climate
Asteria is located in Attica, a region across the western coast of *insert continent name*. Attica is often also referred to, regionally, as Nileion'Ardh, roughly translating to 'The Pale Blossom Realms' due to the distinct white blossoms of the Jacaranda tree that can be found blooming nearly all year round.
Its climate is for the most part subtropical and mediterranean, exceptions being the arid and cold Echoriath Range.
Attica consists of a number of distinct regions: Towards the northeast lie the Echoriaths, a vast mountainous range that separates Attica from the land further inwards and which reaches all the way to the coastline in the north, ending abruptly in the sea. Wedged inbetween the northern Echoriaths and the coast is the Thasos, a thick rainforest that transitions into the beautiful coastline of Aeolis with green-sand beaches. At the southern border of the Echoriaths is where the Hochmark Regions of Orestos and Édu begin, highland plateaus roughly 1000 m above sea level mostly consisting of vast plains, steppe, and stretches of forest in the north. These plateaus slowly descend into the plains of Illyria and the hilly Thracis region. Towards the coast, Illyria splits up into Thessia in the north and Ellis in the south. The main island groups of Asteria are the Aquilan Isles (consisting of Troas, Lycia, Lyreia, Antaeus, Eion, and Skyllia), and the island of Agessia. Cyone and the Arcturian Isles belong to the Consortium, but are not considered part of the Attican region.
Asteria is a political union of multiple small Republics, City States, or other political entities all summed up under the historical term of Læsteri. They are predominantly based in the Attican region but there is no geographical limitation to membership in the Consortium. The political system allows a high level of national sovereignty for members. As such, the Læsteri are organized into three tiers of primary, secondary, and tertiary Læsteri - depending mainly on their level of devolvement from the central Consortium Government.
The Laesteri of the Asterian Consortium individually are all autonomous and govern themselves in almost every regard. As such, any region, city or otherwise self-governing entity can opt to be a Laesteri, another member of the Consortium. In effect, the number or composition of Laesteri can also vary dramatically over the years.
Politics in the Consortium and its members generally occupy a high status in the lives of its citizens. Political participation is expected by all members of society. It is also quite common to see corporations actively partake in the political discourse. Many observers of the Consortium have stated that its politics but also society are very affine towards corporate interests, often classifying it as a de-facto corporate state. Effectively, this is probably not far from the truth yet many other unique factors influence the complicated relationship between government, society, and economy in the nation. It is historically, down to its ancient foundations, based upon a democratic mindset and Anduneans highly value their political and personal freedom.
The Læsteri of the Asterian Consortium, individually, are all autonomous and govern themselves in almost every regard. As such, any region, city or otherwise self-governing entity can opt to be a Læsteri, another member of the Consortium. In effect, the number or composition of Læsteri can vary dramatically over the years. As most Læsteri, historically developing from independent, often trade-based, City States, had a very loose organizational structure amongst each other, it was deemed necessary in the early years of the 13th century to strengthen the regional cluster by installing a strong, overarching governing structure. This decision was fortified in the Charter of 1223 which serves as the Consortium's constitution to this day although the union has seen numerous iterations of itself in the meantime.
The Consortium's central government itself has no classic legislative branch. The only unified body with a right to vote is the Directorate. The Directorate is the de facto Upper House and is divided into two parts: the Core consists of the Heads of Government of all members. The Advisory Board holds representatives from corporations, unions, universities, as well as a panel of experts on topics such as economy, science and technology, social inclusion, psychology, etc.. These representatives are appointed by the Consortium's Head of State, the President and confirmed through each members' legislative process.
The President serves a mostly representative role as Head of State while holding a set of powerrs in case of a government crisis. The office is unique within the Consortium the President serves as Head of State of all members. The President is elected for a term of eight years by all members' regional legislatives.
These regional legislatives are united in the so-called Solestis (which roughly translates to 'gathering'). While the Solestis would technically have been a physical representation of the Consortium's Lower House a few centuries ago, it is merely a theoretical construct nowadays, refering to the sum of all members' regional parliaments. The Solestis is the main legislative body which passes or rejects bills.
The Consortium's Executive consists of the Office of the General Secretary (OGS). The OGS is elected by popular vote by all legal residents from amongst the ranks of the Directorate for a term of eight years, giving the Office a strong governing mandate as no other body within the Consortium is elected by all residents. The OGS may appoint any fellow Directorate members with approval of the President to the Offices of: Office of Consortium Security, Office of Consortium Affairs, and the Office of Foreign Affairs. Within these Offices are Departments maintained by Permanent Secretaries and specialists, typically regardless of the current ruling Executive.
The General Secretary’s budget encompasses an average of 9.23% of each members’ government budget, leading to an average budget of around 70-120 billion AEC per fiscal cycle. Main fiscal responsibilities are reserved for supporting the construction and maintenance of a worldwide leading level of infrastructure throughout all Læsteri, supporting members' resolvement of financial bottlenecks, as well as basic security in addition to that of each individual Læsteri. With recent changes to the Charta, the Office of Consortium Security has gained the right to uphold the Consortium's defense forces.
The legislative process is dictated by the General Secretary and the Consortium Offices which hold the power to propose bills. The Directorate and Solestis may only suggest actions to be taken. Once a bill is proposed, it is debated by specialized parliamentary groups before being voted upon in the first vote. If it is passed, the Directorate may chose to veto it by a simple majority. The bill returns to the Solestis and repeats the process there. If it passes in its revised form, the Directorate may now only veto it by an 80% majority. Voting is typically conducted in regional parliaments simultaneously.
Depending on the outcome of the vote in the Solestis and Directorate, the passed bill will apply to differing tiers of Læsteri. For primary Læsteri, a bill is passed even if it did not pass in the Læsteri's regional assembly as long as it was passed in a majority of primary Læsteri in total. For secondary Læsteri, the same rule applies but the bill needs to find 5/7ths approval. A tertiary Læsteri can chose to opt in and out of a bill at any time but can be sanctioned for doing so.
Any formal decisions, so-called Executive Directives, made by the Office of the General Secretary in accordance with the Directorate are binding to all members, regardless which status, as long as the decision was reached unanimously by the Directorate's Core. Any other decisions may still pass into effect, yet are not binding to all members and may be repealed in individual regions by regional legislative. All this has two consequences in everyday politics of Andune: “consensus” is the most important term in the entire Consortium. Debates sometimes go on for weeks, yet afterwards, a solution is found that suits all participants. And secondly, only matters of importance, concerning each member are usually discussed. The Directorate tries not to meddle with its members' internal affairs unless it blatantly disregards the Consortium’s Codex and/or the Consortium Laws. In addition, referenda are common and can be called easily by merely two Directorate votes or 1% of legal residents authorizing a petition. Results of a referendum are legally binding throughout the Consortium if the same 5/7ths majority is reached, or only in a single region if that majority is reached there. If only a simple majority is reached, the regional parliaments may or may not pass it.
Major criticism of the Consortiums politics is usually aimed at its unaccountability. As most actual legislative power is either on regional level or nearly completely within Directorate control, there is little that can stop the Directorate from acting once a decision has been made in unison.
Law & Judiciary
While the right and duty to defend the Consortium and all its members is vested within the Office of Consortium Security, the Consortium, technically lacks permanently raised armed forces of notable size. This is to change as an ammendment to the Charta 1223 in July 2018 has trasnferred the right to operate an armed force from the Læsteri to the Office of Consortiom Security. Traditionally, the Consortium government, while not operating an armed force, had a military spending of around 40% which was invested into the police (Asterian Security), special border patrol (e.g. Eclipse), military infrastructure, and equipment in general.
As such, the best phrase to describe the Asterian military is 'chronically understaffed and overequipped'. Especially in terms of naval equipment and deterrence methods(inter- & intranet, satellites, radars, an allegedly rather massive and permanent cyber taskforce, etc.) the Consortium invests in and develops only the most state-of-the-art designs. In recent years, the concept of unmanned equipment has also been on the rise - for obvious reasons - and implemented successfully in many instances. As not much is actively or often in use or even displayed only little is known to other nations regarding what the Consortium uses in conflict.
The Office of Consortium Security operates the Consortium Joint Command (CJC) which incorporates the Consortium Naval Operations, Consortium Defense Forces, Consortium Logistical Command, and SpecTRE (Special Tactical, Reconnaissance & Expeditionary) Programmes, Consortium Cyber Security, and Consortium Military Intelligence. These will be restructured over the coming months and tasked with integrating the Læsteri defense forces into a united Consortium structure.
Experience over the centuries has proven to the Asterians that smaller yet much more highly trained forces and a very sleek administration fare better in the conflict scenarios that they were provided with.
The Asterian Consortium follows its own economic model which is for the most part a free-market liberal economy. Exceptions are basic human needs such as fresh-water, public services ranging from garbage disposal to healthcare, energy, public transportation, and since only recently also communication. These sectors are either completely financed and run by the regional Læsteri or the Consortium itself, or highly regulated and standardised such as the national energy sector.
With slightly over 83% share, Asteria's private economy is dominated by the tertiary sector which ranges from the dominant chemical industry over an innovative high-tech and robotics industry all the way to a rather young yet swiftly growing IT sector. The industrial sector makes up roughly 16% as actual production in the Consortium has been decreased consistently over the past three decades. The agricultural sector employs roughly .5%, with most processes being fully automated. Unemployment rates have been constant around 4.2 to 4.9% for the past two decades.
The Asterian economy is focused on the (petro-) chemical and high-tech industry as well as general engineering services, pharmaceuticals, and robotics. Due to its role as a raw material refining and manufacturing nation, transportation, in particular transshipment, is also a sizeable sector. With Romenna currently being the only natural deep-water port, it has become one of the main transshipment hubs in the region, acting not only as the Asterian economy's gateway into the world, but also a link between the eastern and western world. The national agricultural sector is limited due to geographical constraints. In the cities of Lyreia and Skyllia, hotspots for creative arts in Nileion'Ardh, creative startups have begun to flourish in recent years, especially in the design and IT industry.
In terms of actual manufacturing, Asteria houses one of the worlds largest wharfs - albeit not a ship wharf. Apex operates the Avalon Wharfs Inc. which manufactures and pre-assembles immense units for chemical plants, including reactors, heat exchangers and furnaces all the way up to entire unit plants which are then shipped to their destination. Romenna is home to Noveria's largest wharf, which produces some of the largest ships currently on the seas in cooperation with Tyrian shipwrights. Apex International operates several small offshore oil and natural rigs in the Sea of Istroya, the Founder's Sea and the Omnium Ocean, but is otherwise more involved internationally. It also operates a large oil refinery just outside of Gondolin. With the capacity to refine just slightly over 2 million barrels of oil per day, it supplies large parts of the neighboring nations with oil and gas products while fueling the roughly 60 plants that produce everything from fertilizer to high grade polymers in Asteria. Another, slightly smaller complex is north of Avalon and one on the coast of the Hochmark south of Tasale. Especially in Arktwend, but also north of Skyllia and on the Arcturian Isles, the one of the worlds largest chemical park clusters are situated; substantial amounts of the worlds ammonia production, as well as plastics and bulk base chemicals are produced here.
The Consortium is co-founder and permanent member of the Auroran Internal-Market (AIM). Its predecessor was originally established in 1912 as means to more easily facilitate trade between, what was back then small Republics across the southern hemisphere. It has since, up until 2012, been developed into a free-trade zone between primary and secondary Consortium members as well as third parties in part due to the Consortium's national economies' growing requirement to globalize production chains due to a lack of production capacities in Asteria. As of the recent announcement that a nationwide shift to Industry 4.0 will be completed in the foreseeable future, the Consortium has picked up on evolving AIM to an international economic zone of the future.
Corporations in Asteria
- the first paragraph will be moved to the history when that's done*
The development of Asterian corporations took a unique turn in the late 18th century with the philosopher and tuna-tycoon Georgis Kattapoulos laying the founding stone of what would become the Attican Eco-Social-Market Economy. The nation had just begun recovering from the *insert conflict here* and was on the verge of isolating itself as political turmoil fell together with revolts on the streets due to the horrible forced labour conditions in the factories. Kattapoulos postulated a number of theories, culminating in the axiom that no single corporate interest could stand above societies common goals. It is uncetain whether or not his contemporaries followed this vision or not, because regardless of whether or not this was the case, the Katta Fishing Corp. first began acquiring competitors left and right before turning to completely other industrial sectors and swallowing them nearly whole. The former Katta Fishing Corp. is today known as Apex International.
The Asterian market is dominated by the two multinational conglomerates Novaris and Apex. Both have gathered massive political and economic influence over the past two centuries while incorporating dozens of companies into their structure. Ever since the late 18th century, companies in Asteria have followed an economically and socially sustainable business model unique to the region. As the market has been dominated by the two multinational conglomerates Novaris and Apex for the most part of the past 150 years, they have managed to turn the usually frowned upon concept of trusts and cartels into an innovative concept by taking up social, ecological, and political responsibilities and applying sustainable business models. Part of their success was to not operate like usual companies, looking for maximum profit margins while drowning out competition, but instead to establish a secure and sustainable base of operations with steady yet only marginal growth while creating internal competition by keeping subsidiary companies formally independent, pitting them against each other, and by both fostering start-ups and smaller companies as well as encouraging foreign competitors to establish themselves in Asteria while pumping above-average sums into R&D.
Furthermore, it is common in Asteria to live where you work. Corporate complexes are generally arranged in a campus-like structure, with all social life, from accomodation over basic amenities and groceries all the way to healthcare and schools bing provided for at no expense and according to everyone's need. As such, both median incomes but also corporate taxes are considerably lower than in comparable other countries.
Finance & Banking
Asteria limits itself immensely when it comes to finance and banking. Apart from several small, private institutions, the banking sector has largely been outsourced within AIM, but also other business partners across the globe. Within Asteria, transactions on currency dealings and stock brokerage is highly taxed.
Agriculture is only possible in the central Hochmark due to geographical constraints and regulations regarding environmental protection. It covers roughly three quarters of the nations need for grains, meat, and dairy products with almost everything else being imported from. The only agricultural export from Asteria are some fruits such as oranges and mangos. It is also the only private sector that sees some kind of government subsidies.
Asteria's energy market mainly consists of geothermal power from the Echoriaths (15%), wind energy from parks off the coast in the Istroyan Sea (45%), biomass combustion (25%), and coal and natural gas (15%). With the recently passed agenda 2040, the Consortium plans to not only completely refrain from using their fossil fuel reserves for energy production, but also to curb any exports of unprocessed natural oil and gas.
Transportation & Infrastructure
As most of the Asterian population lives in or around the major cities, transportation consists mainly of busses, metros, and high-speed trains or ferries between metropolitan regions. Asteria has two international airports, one in Pelargir and one outside of Romenna. Romenna also has a natural deep-water port due to which, since 2024, all major maritime transport has been redirected to this port due to larger container ships not being able to pass through the Aquilan Isles which are too shallow. The Consortium's Agenda 2040 plans to artificially deepen a corridor for modern container ships to pass into the port in Armenelos by 2038.
Automotive transport in Asteria has been decreasing steadily for the past decade, ever since the government introduced a tax rate of 100% on all automotive fuels. Owning a car is considered a luxury in Asteria.
Culture & Society
Politics and society are closely intertwined as political participation only starts with one voting, but is defined much more by a sense of active political and social self-determination. It is expected to a degree of being mandatory, not so much by law rather than social norm, for every citizen to hold at least one political office between the age of 20 to 40 and to actively debate laws regarding their Laestari.
Society is also strongly influenced by what was once summarized by an emissary from # and later statesman of Arktwend, Wu-ling: “A talent for following the ways of yesterday is not sufficient to improve the world of today.”
And this holds until today in Asteria. Society is in constant change and open for anything new. Citizenship exists, but does not come with more benefits than legal residency other than having an Asterian passport. Society varies, yet is strongly influenced by customs and traditions from nearly all nations along the coasts of Ixnay and its bordering continents.
Science & Technology
Asteria counts as a global leader in the area of science and technology. It boasts one of the highest number of annually filed patents and the worlds highest ratio of MINT-graduates (39%). All Asterian universities are part of The Nexus, a scientific cooperation of major universities in any field of research, not only MINT fields, throughout Ixnay.
The Asterian Consortium also finances a very successful private space program, the Asterian Space & Aeronautics Institute (ASAI) in cooperation with regional partners.